Diamond Notes & Commentary      Home     Where Are They Now     About Us     Contact
  . .
Off Base

Records are Made to be Broken; CDs Disposed of Some Other Way

Yes, a little double-entendre for your enjoyment.

The 25-year anniversary of the Disco Demolition took us back, didn’t it, but we’re talking saves here. Eric Gagne and his 84 straight saves.

Though Gagne’s Game Over graphic makes him look like the Unabomber, we’re all proud here, truly. And how ‘bout that classy standing ovation at Dodger Stadium after the blown save, huh? Bet you didn’t think we had it in us, did you Frisco?

Gagne is now officially a baseball god, but a little perspective, please. Just a wee willie winky. The streak was awesome, but not up there with Joe DiMaggio or Orel Hershiser, and those who say it’s too easy to get a save aren’t far off base.

Please consider these:

In the 1974 World Series, Rollie Fingers registered a win and two saves in four appearances, going 9 1/3 innings, en route to the Series MVP.

In Game One, Fingers picked up for Ken Holtzman with a one-run lead in the fifth, and held the Dodgers scoreless before tiring in the ninth, when Catfish Hunter came in to get the last out.

Don Sutton won the next day in the famous Mike Marshall vs. Herb Washington game, so Fingers sat. Marshall pitched nine innings of all five games in the losing cause, by the way, with a save and an ERA of 1.00.

Fingers then worked five innings, saving three games on successive nights, leading the Athletics to their third straight World Championship.

I won’t insult you by reviewing Marshall’s entire 1974 season, Phil Regan’s ‘66, Ron Perranoski’s ’63, Roy Face’s ’59 or a plethora of Hoyt Wilhelm’s campaigns. I’m available if you really don’t know.

For decades of course, the Phils’ Jim Konstanty was the one and only reliever to win an MVP in either league, averaging two innings per appearance for the 1950 Whiz Kids, winning 16 in relief, saving 22. Three innings for a save in those days.

In the Series against the Yankees, Konstanty started and threw eight innings in the opener, got an out in relief two days later, then entered one out into Game Four the very next day and pitched 6 2/3.

This isn’t one of those “The Good Old Days Were a Million Times Better Than the Bad New Days” arguments, and we gladly “we’re not worthy” at the feet of Mariano Rivera whenever we see him. We’re just pointing out the differences…

Oh, and thank you, Mr. Commissioner, for another wonderful All-Star Game. Just great.

Tell you what, Bud Selig, here’s what you do. First, make up your mind, either it’s an exhibition or it’s not. Simple.

Next, get a normal haircut, wear a suit made outside Milwaukee within the last 25 years and stand up straight, for God’s sake! Didn’t your mother teach you anything?

Lose the long outdated rule requiring each team to be represented, forget about selecting pitchers who started the previous Sunday, don’t stop the game to reward the torched starting pitcher with anything no matter who he is, and don't reconsider retiring for a second. Most importantly, no Jeff Kent, ever again.

If after all that you’ve come to the conclusion the All-Star Game should determine home field for the World Series, do a complete about face and go against instinct. It worked for George Costanza, maybe it’ll work for you too…

Trivia: Guess my ATM code and win a car. Four digits, something to do with baseball. Get the former ATM code as well, and take home tickets to a Dodger game, a faded but lovely Tommy Davis autographed baseball, and a Croix de Candlestick…

With the trading deadline upon us, it’s just about time for Kenny Rogers to request a deal away from a contender…

Statue for Sandy: BaseballSavvy.com and sports sculptor Malcolm DeMille are honored to sponsor an e-petition to encourage the Dodgers to commission a statue of Sandy Koufax for placement at Dodger Stadium next season. If you haven’t yet, please scroll down to the photo below, and do your thing. Every vote counts…

Remember, glove conquers all….

. .  
Copyright © 2005 by BaseballSavvy.com.