I haven’t seen the press release yet, but Gordon Edes reports that Bud Selig has announced the formation of a committee that will study the origins of the game of baseball. On the committee: Baseball historian John Thorn, noted plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin, and sepia tycoon Ken Burns.
I don’t want to make rash predictions, but my guess is that with this crowd running things it will be determined that baseball was invented by Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams some time in the mid-1960s. And the text of the report will be lifted in its entirety from A Time to Remember by Rose Kennedy.
Ah well, probably doesn’t matter anyway. This is a Bud Selig-created committee. The same Bud Selig who last year was either so ignorant or so unwilling to ruffle feathers that he said that he believed Abner Doubleday invented the game, and everyone knows that’s a bunch of malarkey. And given his track record with committees, we won’t have any results out of this thing until sometime in the spring of 2025.
Personally speaking I’m opposed to the search for the origins of baseball. I believe in baseball Creationism. The game is too orderly to have simply evolved. A man can throw a ball that curves? You can’t explain that!
UPDATE: Oh, one more thing: before Bud Selig unleashes his committee, perhaps he’d be well-served to watch the movie — that was produced by MLB.com itself — about the origins of baseball. I watched at the SABR convention back in 2008. It was pretty good! Sort of defeats the purpose of the committee too!
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.