Tag Archives: MLB

ESPN “Improves” Baseball With Incredible Technology

A Strike Box, Called K-Zone, So Viewers Can Have their Main Focal Point Completely Obscured

I watched ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball for the first time this season for a few minutes. The Yankees were battling the Reds in interleague play.

For those baseball fans who don’t know where the strike zone is or question the umpire’s judgment, the brilliant minds at ESPN have put a rectangle superimposed over the home plate area to point out what was a ball or a strike. It was on the viewing screen for every pitch in the bottom of the 9th inning.

I quickly turned off the game before it ended and put on the radio. It was unwatchable.

I was reminded of FOX’s failed “improvement” to professional hockey called “FoxTrax” which lasted for a couple of years in the mid 1990’s for NHL national broadcasts. If you liked following a glowing blue glob (the puck)  and having televised hockey look like a video game, then this was the technology for you.

If you need this visual aid for the strike zone, I suggest you take some masking tape and outline a box on your television screen.

Good move ESPN.

The First Baseball Strike – May 18, 1912

An Unlikely Catalyst Causes a Baseball Strike – Other Players Rally Around the Unpopular Ty Cobb

On Wednesday May 15, 1912 The Detroit Tigers were playing the New York Yankees at Hilltop Park in upper Manhattan when one of the most infamous incidents in baseball history occurred.

Ty Cobb, the star outfielder for the Tigers was incited by a fan to go into the stands and pummel him.

The fan, Claude Lucker (alternately spelled by contemporary papers as Lueker or Leuker) worked as a page in the office of Tammany boss “Big Tom” Foley.  From the onset of the game Lucker was being particularly obnoxious according to all accounts. Cobb and Lucker exchanged nasty barbs and Cobb warned Lucker to stop calling him names or he would come into the stands to take care of him personally. By the fourth inning Cobb had had enough and he jumped into the left field stands and started administering a beating and no one seemed to interfere.

Sticks and stones were probably not as harmful to Cobb as the names which could hurt him – especially when the racist outfielder was called a “half-nigger” by Lucker, which was what apparently drove him over the edge.

It should be noted that Lucker had a machine press  accident when he was younger and was missing one hand and had Continue reading

When The Record Books Are Wrong

The New York Yankees Actually Hold The MLB Record For The Largest Attendance In A Regular Season Game.

Records are made to be broken…that is if anyone knows about them.

If you look up the largest attendance during the regular season to see a major league baseball game, the Sporting News Baseball Record Book and many online sources claim that the paid attendance on September 12, 1954 of 84,587 at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium is the largest ever.  The Yankees were visiting the Indians that day for a doubleheader and were battling for a pennant that Cleveland would eventually go on to win. The Yankees finished in second place with 103 wins (no wild card in 1954)!

But is the 1954 Indians-Yankees game the regular season record?

Probably no one, with the possible exception of the members of SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research) really cares, but the official record books are wrong.

On September 9, 1928 The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Athletics were in a tight battle for first place, a half game separating Continue reading