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What they’re saying about the passing of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver

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Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver passed away yesterday at the age of 82 following an apparent heart attack. Here’s some reaction from a baseball world in mourning:

Orioles owner Peter Angelos: “Earl Weaver stands alone as the greatest manager in the history of the Orioles organization and one of the greatest in the history of baseball. This is a sad day for everyone who knew him and for all Orioles fans. Earl made his passion for the Orioles known both on and off the field. On behalf of the Orioles, I extend my condolences to his wife, Marianna, and to his family.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter: “Every time I look at an Oriole, it’s going to be missing a feather now without Earl.”

Cal Ripken, Jr: “Earl was such a big part of Orioles baseball and personally he was a very important part of my life and career and a great friend to our family. His passion for the game and the fire with which he managed will always be remembered by baseball fans everywhere and certainly by all of us who had the great opportunity to play for him. Earl will be missed but he can’t and won’t be forgotten.”

Jim Palmer: “It was the perfect relationship. We won, he was tough, we got our World Series checks. It worked. You don’t ever forget an Earl Weaver. And not just if you were an umpire. Fans, players, everyone. Earl didn’t have the smartest guy in the room syndrome back then, but he was definitely one of them.”

Adam Jones: “Os and MLB family lost a great leader yesterday. Earl Weaver wasn’t blessed wit height but if u measured his HEART he was a 7 footer.”

Hall of Famer catcher Johnny Bench: “So sad to hear about Earl Weaver leaving our HOF family. Really enjoyed my years with him. RIP”

Commissioner Bud Selig: “Earl was well known for being one of the game’s most colorful characters with a memorable wit, but he was also amongst its most loyal.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Marianne, their family and all Orioles fans.”

Credit to Roch Kubatko of MASN and Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun for some of the quotes provided above.

The Orioles held a moment of silence to honor Weaver before they began their annual FanFest event this morning. Courtesy of the Orioles’ Twitter account, the club has his jersey and a No. 4 banner of the main stage:

source:

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.