I watched the great Manny Pacquiao destroy Antonio Margarito on 11/13. Destroy is the word. Floyd Mayweather had best run for cover before even considering going up against Pacquiao, the best fighter in the ring today. But here’s to Margarito who took a savage beating for 12 full rounds against Manny. Margarito is a warrior.
ANATOMY OF A GAME BROADCAST
It’s based on the 2010 MLB regular season. An examination of all the games tells us that there is an average total per nine-inning game of just 14 minutes of action. The stopwatch would start when a pitcher went into his pitching motion. The timing would stop when the ball hit the catcher’s mitt. The timing included each time the ball was put in play, or there was a pickoff attempt or a stolen base attempt. On average, those 14 minutes = 10.9% of the game.
Before you complain about baseball action, or the lack thereof, that beats the action of a regulation time NFL game. That’s 9.4% of the broadcast time on average. I could handle this much better if I could watch the cheerleaders for the remaining 90.6%.
COMPLEXITY AT THE NEW MEADOWLANDS STADIUM COMPLEX
746 is the number of steps required in the weekly process of changing the New Meadowlands Stadium from a Giants venue (blue color scheme) to a Jets (green) motif, or vice-versa. Who do you think is paying for all that? Very good guess!
A VIEW OF THE PAST: WALLY MOON
He cemented his place in Los Angeles Dodger lore by adapting his swing in his first season playing for the team, 1959, which was the second year that the Dodgers played in Los Angeles. The Dodgers acquired Moon in a trade with St. Louis for outfielder Gino Cimoli. Left-handed hitting Moon typically drove the ball to right field, but when the Dodgers first played in Los Angeles, they held their games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Gilmore Field in Hollywood and Wrigley Field in Los Angeles were relics of the Pacific Coast League, and undersized for Dodgers crowds), the gigantic football stadium then converted for baseball usage.
Due to the strange dimensions of the stadium, right field and center field were far away, way far away, while left field was only 250 feet from home plate. The Dodgers erected a 40-foot-high screen designed to keep balls in play, but even with this precaution, a stunning 182 homers were hit to left field in 1958, with just three hit to center and eight to right. So Moon adapted his swing to loft balls towards left field and the screen.
As a result, Moon led the league in triples and also hit 19 home runs. His fly balls to left were soon referred to as "Moon shots." Another term applied was Moon’s “in and out swing.”
Moon was an All-Star and came in fourth in the MVP voting as the Dodgers went on to win the 1959 World Series for just the second time in franchise history (and first in Los Angeles). Moon was around to win two more World Series with the Dodgers before retiring. Moon had a strong career before joining the Dodgers as a memberof the St. Louis Cardinals. Moon actually won the NL Rookie of the Year with the Cardinals in 1954, beating out a strong crop of rookies that included an outfielder named Henry Aaron and a shortstop named Ernie Banks. As NL Rookie of Year and a major part of three World Series titles, Wally Moon left a rather impressive baseball legacy.
JOSE FELICIANO UPSET THE 1968 WORLD SERIES
Ernie Harwell, one of the finest sports broadcasters of all time and a Detroit Tigers legend, was given the responsibility of selecting those who would sing our National Anthem before Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 1968 World Series. The Tigers would host those games against the St. Louis Cardinals. From the standpoint of that usual pre-game ceremony, Games 3 & 4 went off without a problem.
Game 5 was another matter. October of 1968, at the height of protests against the Vietnam War, mil-mannered Harwell had no idea what was about to occur when he selected the very popular Jose Feliciano to do the pre-game honors with our Star-Spangled Banner at Tiger Stadium. Feliciano performed his own rendition of the song, personalizing it with a slow, latin jazz beat that proved controversial enough that radio stations refused to play the pop-singer’s songs. His career was virtually black-listed for several years after.
I was a fan of Jose Feliciano, but I do recall feeling that his rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner was somewhat “off the wall” at the time. I obviously had lots of company. However, it wasn’t long before other performers of “our song” were doing their own renditions of it without public incident. Feliciano had broken the mold, and there lies the negative response he endured.
Even so, in an October, 2006 NPR broadcast, Feliciano expressed pride for opening the door for later interpretations of the National Anthem. His World Series rendition, which features him accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar, was released as a single which charted for 5 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #50. Apparently, all had been forgiven.
IT HAPPENED IN 1982. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.
Stuck in a platoon system in right field, Mets utility man Joel Youngblood had clamored throughout the 1982 season that if he didn't have a regular job, he wanted to be traded. But Youngblood's contract was due to expire after the season, and despite his long tenure with the club, the Mets looked to get some value in return before he left as a free agent.
Youngblood got his wish on August 4, when he was dealt to Montreal for pitcher Tom Gorman during an afternoon game in Chicago, just in time for him to join his new team in Philadelphia that evening. In doing so, he became the only major league baseball player ever to get a hit for two different teams in two different cities in the same day.
Youngblood's unusual day began at Wrigley Field, where he started in center field for the Mets. In the third, Youngblood broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run, bases-loaded single off Cubs starter Ferguson Jenkins. But in the fourth, Youngblood was told that he had been traded to the Montreal Expos for a player to be named later. He packed his bags in the clubhouse and left the stadium.
Youngblood headed to Philadelphia. He arrived at Veterans Stadium during the third inning of the Expos-Phillies game. Later he described the surreal day: "I heard in the third inning that I was traded. I made a quick plane reservation, had dinner on the plane, and caught a cab here."
Montreal skipper Jim Fanning didn't hesitate to use Youngblood, who made his Expos debut in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement. In his only at-bat, he singled off Phillies left-hander Steve Carlton.
To make Youngblood’s history-making day even more memorable, the two hits he got on that day were off two future Hall-of-Famers.
LIFE AFTER BOXING HAS PAID OFF FOR GEORGE FOREMAN
If not for Nike's signing of Michael Jordan in 1984, George Foreman's deal with Salton, Inc. to put his name on what would become its Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine would undoubtedly be considered the best endorsement deal in sports marketing history. If it doesn't beat out the Jordan deal, it's a close second.
The worldwide popularity of the George Foreman grill has resulted in sales of over 100 million units since it was first launched, a feat that has been achieved since 2004, its inception. Although Foreman has never confirmed exactly how much he has earned from the endorsement, what is known is that Salton, Inc. paid him $137.5 million in 1999 in order to buy out the right to use his name. Previous to that he was being paid about 40% of the profits on each grill sold, earning him $4.5 million a month in payouts at its peak, so it is estimated he has made over $200 million from the endorsement.
I’m a lousy cook. I hate cooking. However, I own a George Foreman grill. I even use it. What a shock!
CHRISTY MATHEWSON SET A RECORD FOR THE AGES
Christy Mathewson is one of five players voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the Hall’s inaugural induction in 1936. He pitched for 17 seasons, all with the Giants except for one game with Cincinnati (and then managed the Reds for three seasons), compiling a 2.13 ERA and 79 shutouts. He won 373 games while losing only 188 games during his career. His K-BB ratio was also tremendous; 2507-848. He won 20 games or more 13 times; he won 30 games or more four times. He pitched two no-hitters.
In all my years of writing this website, I overlooked a tremendous feat by the great right-hander.
Mathewson's Giants won the 1905 World Series over the Philadelphia Athletics. Mathewson was the starting pitcher in Game 1, and pitched a 4-hit shutout for the victory. Three days later, with the Series tied 1–1, he pitched another 4-hit shutout. Then, two days later in Game 5, he threw a 6-hit shutout to clinch the Series for the Giants. In a span of only six days in the 1905 World Series, Mathewson had pitched three complete games without allowing a single run.
In 104 years since, it is safe to state that’s a record that will never be touched. Other pitchers have recorded three victories in the same World Series, but never three shutouts. That’s a record for the ages.
PHILLIPS WAS A BUM
Not Wade, but rather his dad. “Bum” Phillips is one of the most colorful coaches in NFL history. He and his trademark Stetson hat marched the sidelines in Houston and New Orleans. “Bum” was never boring.
never scrimmage Oilers against Oilers...what for? Houston isn't on our
(To an official) "Now, you can't do that! If you do it, I'm telling you you'll have more hell over it than a little bit."
(Referring to Houston Oiler's quarterback Warren Moon) "That boy could throw a football through a car wash and not get it wet."
(When asked about Earl Campbell's inability to finish a one mile run in training camp) "When it's first and a mile, I won't give him the ball."
JOE MORGAN. ALL-STAR AT EVERYTHING HE DOES.
As I watched and listened to Joe Morgan (and his talented ESPN first-team baseball broadcast partners Jon Miller and Orel Hershiser) during the season, I was listening to a two-time (consecutive years) MVP 2B who was voted into Cooperstown on the first ballot. As a player, it didn’t get any better, and as an announcer and analyst, it doesn’t get any better. If I owned a MLB team, Joe Morgan would be my first choice as its manager.