I’ve written in the past about how, after the death of Buck O’Neill, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum screwed up by passing over O’Neill’s hand-picked successor, Bob Kendrick, and went instead with some political hack who I suspected would last a couple of years. Well, the hack lasted a couple of years, screwed the place up a great deal, then split and that was that.
You usually don’t get a second chance to do the right thing in such situations because people move on to other jobs and stuff. But the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is getting a second chance. They’ve hired Kendrick to serve as president:
Kendrick’s love for the museum in the 18th and Vine district and its vision is helping him overlook the pain of being denied the job the first time. Brown called him in January asking, “Would you consider coming back to the museum if the opportunity presented itself, or are you just done with us?”
After much deliberation — two months of negotiations, in fact — Kendrick decided it was an offer he could not refuse.
As I’ve said before, I’m no expert on the Museum. Those who know a lot about it, however, including Sam Mellinger and Joe Posnanski are pretty good bellwethers. Posnanski is pleased, and appears to be doing an about-face on his decision to walk away from the Museum. All of this, it seems, is a good thing.
If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.
Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”
Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”
Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.
The weather in Cleveland is not that great at the moment. It’s cold, windy, there’s drizzle and the chance for heavier rain increases as the night wears on. At the moment Game 2 of the World Series is still scheduled to kick off at 7:08PM Eastern Time, however. So bundle up.
And maybe hunker down. Because this game is going to go nine innings no matter what. Maybe not tonight, but eventually.
That’s because, you may recall, ever since that rainy, snowy mix forced the suspension in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Rays, Major League Baseball has held that all playoff games will be played in their entirety. There will be no six-inning, rain-shortened affairs.
The last word from MLB was that they would reassess the weather just before starting pitchers began to warm up this evening. If things still look about the same then, the game will proceed as scheduled. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, they’ll suspend the game and pick it up where it leaves off tomorrow.