Yesterday Bud Selig, when talking about baseball’s recent harmonious relationship with the players’ union, said “In American labor history it’s probably as bad a relationship as ever existed.”
Rob Neyer — who knows a few things about history — wasn’t going to sit for that. He detailed a handful of labor disputes that, with all due respect to Bud “Abner Doubleday, in conjunction with the Great Gazoo and the saucer people, invented baseball” Selig, were a tad worse than the 1994-95 strike. I won’t spoil it for you because I want you to read it yourself, but here’s a hint: unless the owners employed Baldwin-Felts agents to crack picketing players’ skulls when none of us were looking, the baseball strike doesn’t make a top 1000 list of ugly labor disputes in American history.
I think history is going to be more kind to Bud Selig than a lot of us are on a day-to-day basis, because he’s done a pretty good job with the broad strokes. But man, when you think that baseball has been run by judges and senators and generals and comparative literature professors cum Ivy League presidents, it’s kind of galling to be reminded that it’s currently being run by a used car salesman who lacks even a basic grasp on history.
We all get inspiration from various sources. Sometimes, it comes from a mentor or peer who has excelled in their field. Sometimes, it’s a video of a dog owner dressing up as his golden retriever’s favorite chew toy (just me? Okay).
If you’re Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon, it’s Michael Scott, regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, Inc., founder of the Michael Scott Paper Company, and one-time star of the hit television show Fundle Bundle. At least, that’s what he told the press during the club’s pregame conference on Friday afternoon.
Thankfully, the Cubs don’t have to worry about Maddon emulating the more outlandish behaviors Steve Carell exhibited on The Office. If anything, the praise Michael heaps on himself as the World’s Best Boss could be aptly applied to Maddon’s managerial style — Spencer Gifts mug and all.
People have been drinking in Wrigleyville since before 8am this morning. There are throngs of people out on the streets and packing every bar in the vicinity and it’s still four hours until first pitch. I realize I’m an old man who rarely leaves his home, but that looks exhausting even by the standards of normal degenerates. Be safe, everyone!
As for the game, the Indians are doing it: Carlos Santana is playing left field, keeping his bat and he bat of Mike Napoli in the lineup. I mentioned this morning that Santana has played exactly one game in the outfield in his career, and that that came four years ago. Allow me to reiterate that. And to remind everyone that, in baseball, the ball tends to find you. I can picture a sinking liner to left right now and it’s not a pretty picture. If you’re an Indians fan, pray that I’m wrong, but don’t act like you can’t picture it too.
Of course, this being baseball, he’ll probably rob someone of a homer and hit two himself while Napoli goes for the cycle. Never try to predict this stuff, folks.
1. Carlos Santana (S) LF
2. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
3. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
4. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
5. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) RF
7. Roberto Perez (R) C
8. Tyler Naquin (L) CF
9. Josh Tomlin (R) P
1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
5. Willson Contreras (R) C
6. Jorge Soler (R) RF
7. Javier Baez (R) 2B
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) P