Comments on: Mini-Bloops: When Will Jeter Hit #3,000? This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Autin Mon, 07 Feb 2011 08:00:12 +0000 @34 -- And what did Kuhn ever do to halt the influence of TV on the postseason schedule? He's the boob who sat in the stands without a coat during a frigid night game in the World Series, as if that would somehow convince people that it wasn't cold.

In fact, what positive actions of Kuhn can you cite, period?

Blocking Finley's attempted sale of star players was short-sighted and probably vindictive towards Finley, who was a thorn in Kuhn's side. How was his ruling "in the best interest of baseball"? Finley was going to lose those players to free agency and get nothing in return; at least the sale would have helped him start the rebuilding process. Not only was Kuhn going against ample historic precedent -- ever heard of Babe Ruth, or of Connie Mack's "fire sale" of stars from his two dynasties? -- but subsequent history has also gone against Kuhn; we now have regular "fire sales" involving not only the trading of stars for prospects, but the releasing (or trading at a discount) of players whose guaranteed contracts have become onerous to their teams.

Finley was hard to like, so it's no surprise that his ideas didn't get much of a hearing from the hidebound clique of baseball management. But he was prescient in his thinking on how the owners' negotiating of limits on free agency (6 years' service, etc.) would backfire by driving up the price for a limited talent supply. Finley argued that they should all be free agents, every year.

By the way, every major prediction about the impact of free agency has been proven wrong, conclusively. It has not reduced the number of stars who spend their entire careers with one team; it has not significantly eroded fan loyalty to their home team; it has obviously not reduced the number of cities able to support a major league team. It has not even driven up ticket prices. If ticket prices are somewhat higher than they were in the early '70s (and they are not as much higher, in inflation-adjusted dollars, as some people think), that is mainly because the owners realized there was a market for higher-priced tickets -- as is true of almost every form of live entertainment.

Kuhn spent his entire term fighting a rear-guard action against inevitable changes. Maybe it was not easy to foresee how the game would prosper despite the upheaval of free agency; but it's undeniable that Kuhn's pinched vision of the future provided no leadership.

By: John Autin Mon, 07 Feb 2011 07:31:13 +0000 Frank @32 -- I think you got my intention backwards; maybe I didn't word it quite right. I meant that Aaron breaking Ruth's record was far more historic than any player reaching 3,000 hits or 300 wins. In this, we seem to agree.

By: nesnhab Sun, 06 Feb 2011 14:34:07 +0000 I'm with Bowie on this one and I'm sure the Reds' pennant race rivals appreciated the decision not to allow the Braves to field their second best team, even for just a couple of games.

In the big picture BK was a fan's commissioner. He wanted people to believe that baseball had an obligation to the fans who had traditionally made the game grow to greatness. That more than anything, explains many of his best known actions (Bouton, Aaron, the Finley fire sale). He was not perfect. He could have stood up to the TV networks more. The inflation of players' salaries has hurt the game's future more than anything else, but the influence of TV on the postseason schedule is a close second.

By: Frank Fri, 04 Feb 2011 21:03:05 +0000 "Can you imagine if a team that had a 10 game lead with 11 games to go played all scrubs in the last game of a road trip in the 2nd place team's city?"

Sure. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have seen games where at least 5 or 6 position players were not regulars. What's the big deal?

By: Frank Fri, 04 Feb 2011 21:00:15 +0000 "With all due respect, breaking Ruth's career HR record cannot be compared even with such enormous milestones as 3,000 hits or 300 wins."

How are 3,000hits /300 wins "enormous milestones" and surpassing a career total that only one of the greatest players in the game had ever accomplished (and still a milestone that only Ruth and Aaron have achieved, or even come close to, without drugs) not comparably enormous?

It seems to me that 3,000 bhits and 300 wins are milestones that are far more achievable, therefore less enormous (though only by comparison to the far less achieved 714 home run milestone).

By: Sean Rogers Fri, 04 Feb 2011 06:52:16 +0000 As much as I was not a fan of Bowie Kuhn I understand him intervening. It's about respect for the game. The game should not be played any different, regardless of significant milestone, a team clinching or any other event. Above all else, respect The Game.

By: MikeD Thu, 03 Feb 2011 23:16:47 +0000 The Yankees schedule looks kind to Jeter getting his 3,000th hit at home, to the point where the Yankees could sit him a game here or there to assure #3000 happens in the Bronx.

They play on the road May 27th through June 5th, and then are back for a ten-game home stand through June 16th. They then go on the road for six games, returning for a six-game homestand in the Bronx. So that's 16 of their final 22 games in June are at home. If it takes him to the end of June to get 74 hits, that means he's limping in and will be a very bad sign, yet even at his absolute worst in 2010, during the June, July and August days when he was only hitting .240, he was still averaging a hit per game. Game 74 is on the road, but only two games short of returning to the Stadium. They'd sit him for two games, and more likely will have already sat him for a few games, so chances look slim that he won't get the hit at home. It'll probably happen somewhere in the June 7-16th homestand, which are games 61-70. Good luck trying to figure out the exact game!

By: Mike Gaber Thu, 03 Feb 2011 23:07:22 +0000 Besides the game that @22 John Autin found where Hank Aaron had a homer taken down, there was a very famous game on May 26, 1959 where Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves at the time, caused a team mate, Joe Adcock, to lose a homer in the 13th inning inning of a game when Harvey Haddox of Pittsburgh had a perfect No Hitter through 12 innings. Box & Recap of the game:

In the bottom of the 13th. inning:
Felix Mantilla reached on an E-5 to break up the perfecto, but the no hitter was still intact.
Eddie Matthews bunted Mantilla to 2nd.
Hank Aaron was Intentionally walked.
Joe Adcock hit an apparent homer to center. Mantilla scored, but Hank Aaron according to reports thought it was a ground rule double and left the field after touching 2nd. and never touched 3rd. There was a lot of Milwaukee players on the field streeming out of the dugout for Aaron to go back to 3rd.

Once Adcock touched 3rd. The umpires ruled Adcock out for passing Aaron.
At first the score was ruled 2-0 but the National League changed it to 1-0 the next day and declared Adcock out for passing Aaron. Aaron had never scored and Adcock was credited with a Double.

Mainly Hard Luck Harvey Haddox Lost the game, Lost the No Hitter and Lost the Perfect game.
Hank Aaron cost a team mate a homer.
Joe Adcock was the team mate who lost the homer.

By: John Autin Thu, 03 Feb 2011 22:28:20 +0000 @27, Lawrence -- It makes a certain kind of sense that the baseball world started paying attention to "milestones" right around the time that the Hall of Fame opened for business....

By: Lawrence Azrin Thu, 03 Feb 2011 21:27:48 +0000 @7... Bill James once had a note in one of his BJHA books about determining when 3,000 hits became a noteworthy milestone. He concluded that it was between 1934, when Sam Rice retired 13 hits short, and 1941, when Paul Waner got publicity for approaching/reaching 3,000 hits. If 3,000 hits meant anything to Rice, I imagine he would have hung around for another season, to get another 13 hits. Also, there was some talk in the early 40s about Al Simmons (2927) sticking around to reach the 3,000-hit mark.

It was also a big deal in late 1941 when Lefty Grove got win #300 (after six failed attempts), so I imagine this was the time frame when baseball started paying attention to "round-number" career milestones.