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Random Awesomeness (part 2019.5)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, still working on it.)


Purchase Feral Roots from Rival Sons!
(Greta Van Fleet is great, no doubt, but Rival Sons rocks harder for my money.)

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Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Don Sutton

Sutton

Don Sutton is often cited as a prime example of a “compiler,” a guy who is able to stick around for a long time and keep padding his statistical record while never truly dominating. And to that accusation (if you want to call it that), I say, “So what?” If he’s good enough to stick around, let him stick around.

Even though he was only named to four All-Star teams and only won 20 games once in 23 seasons, he had five straight top-five finishes for the Cy Young Award from 1972 through 1976. Outside of that brief brilliance, though, Sutton never received much recognition for his abilities. Even when it came time for Hall of Fame consideration, it took five ballot cycles for the BBWAA to decide to induct a 300-win, 3500-strikeout pitcher.

One other interesting note about Sutton: he attended four different colleges in three states. He started at the Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida, then went to Mississippi College in Clinton. From there, he went to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and finished up at Whittier College in Whittier, California.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Eddie Murray

Murray

Is Eddie Murray the most underrated Hall of Famer? 500 homers, 3000 hits, eight All-Star Games, five consecutive top-five finishes for the AL MVP. How is he so often forgotten when talking about the greats of the past 40 years?

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Mike Piazza

Piazza

Don’t get mad at me. These are “fun cards.” If I want to make a card of Mike Piazza wearing a Marlins uniform, I will. So what if he only played five games for the Fish?

Honestly, the Dodgers never should have traded this guy. He was the franchise in the 1990s, and they were foolish to let their relationship deteriorate. Yes, he is wearing a Mets cap on his Cooperstown plaque, and statistically, that’s what it should be. But it shouldn’t, because he never should have worn a Mets cap as a player. He should have been a career Dodger.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Juan Marichal

Marichal

Juan Marichal is most remembered for his 14 seasons with the Giants, winning all but five of his big league victories with San Francisco. As his career wound down, however, he found himself pitching for Boston and then Los Angeles in 1974 and 1975. He debuted on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1981 with 58.1% of the vote; in 1982 he was a mere seven votes away from immortality. Finally, Marichal was elected in 1983 with 83.7% and was inducted with Baltimore legend Brooks Robinson.

Congratulations Walker Buehler, et al.

Not Buehlers Day Off

I love the Cincinnati Reds, but even more than that, I love baseball. Rookie Walker Buehler pitched six hitless innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Monterrey, Mexico, Friday night. Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Liberatore followed, each pitching an inning of no-hit ball against the San Diego Padres to complete the first combined no-hitter in Dodgers history. What a night, but in the States, another historic moment occurred

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Walter O’Malley

OMalley

While I love the idea of a set containing all the Hall of Famers, I would die a little inside every time I opened a pack and found an executive. Walter O’Malley was the Dodgers owner from 1950 to 1970 and moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. Yawn.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Don Sutton

Sutton

With only one 20-win season, Don Sutton is seen by many as the ultimate example of a compiler. After 23 years, Sutton retired with 324 victories and 3574 strikeouts, both considered “magic numbers” is the pre-steroid era. He debuted on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1994, receiving 56.6% of the vote, and his support went up every year until his induction in 1998 when 81.6% of the BBWAA considered him and his glorious hair worthy.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Tommy Lasorda

Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda was perhaps one of the most iconic figures in Major League Baseball in the 1980s. Everyone knew Lasorda. He led the Dodgers to the NL Pennant twice in the 1970s, and the World Series twice in the 1980s. What’s even more impressive is that his World Championship teams were Hall of Famerless. (Okay, technically, Don Sutton played for the Dodgers in 1988, but he was not the most effective pitcher and was released in August, long before the playoffs.) Until Lasorda did it (twice) in the 1980s, no other team had ever won the World Series without at least one Hall of Famer on the roster. Perhaps one day the Veterans Committee will see fit to induct Steve Garvey, but he is really the only player with an outside (and it’s more than just a bit outside) chance at induction.

Tigers GM trades his own flesh and blood

Detroit Tigers’ general manager Al Avila traded his son Alex Avila (along with Justin Wilson) to the Cubs. According to Jon Morosi, this is the first time in almost fifty years this has happened at the MLB level. The best reaction on Twitter, and perhaps the best Tweet of all-time:

The Cubs will send Jeimer Candelario, Isaac Paredes and either the infamous player to be named later or cash to the Tigers.

Morosi failed to provide the last dad-sends-son-packing deal in his report, however. In 1968, another Al—Dodgers’ GM Al Campanis—dealt his boy Jim Campanis to the expansion Kansas City Royals “as part of a conditional deal.” Dad’s reasoning was that Jim was more likely to get playing time with the new team rather than the established Dodgers. Perhaps the elder Aliva wanted Alex to have a better shot at a ring. The Cubs are the defending World Champions, and currently sit atop the National League Central division, while the Tigers aren’t even playing .500 ball.

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