Over at Baseball Prospectus today, Tim Marchman writes a piece about Bill Veeck that isn’t like any piece you’ve read about Bill Veeck. It’s partially about Chicago (where Marchman lives and Veeck lived) but mostly about Veeck’s forays into way ahead-of-its-time baseball television.
One of the things he did was a pilot for a show called “Bill Veeck’s Front Office,” which was filmed in 1951. The premise: Veeck talking about baseball. That’s pretty much it. Here’s the transcript of Veeck’s introduction:
“I suppose I should introduce myself,” he says. “My name’s Veeck, Bill Veeck, and I’m figuring on being here every evening to run over the ball scores and to give you a little information that you may or may not have noticed during the ballgame, something possibly that the papers have missed, or your radio commentator. Of course I, being very egotistical, believe I’m eminently qualified to do this thing, because I’ve been in baseball all my life.
Except for the phrase “because I’ve been around baseball all my life,” it pretty much describes my And That Happened features. Although I’d bet anything that Veeck’s version would be way better. If I had some sort of affiliation with a sports broadcast network looking to expand its content base, I’d propose that they do something like that, complete with Veeck’s idea of having an open bar going while the baseball chatter ensues. Oh well, what can you do?
Marchman goes on to describe that and other media ventures by Veeck, with links to various clips of them over at mediaburn.org, where they live. But really, you should read Marchman’s piece before simply watching the clips, because he gives it the background and flavor that’ll make it way more worthwhile.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: