Happy Anniversary Hal McRae “put that in your pipe and smoke it” rant

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It’s my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary today. To my knowledge, neither of them have every thrown things at each other while in their underwear. The same can’t be said for someone else celebrating an anniversary today: Hal McRae.

As Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes, it’s the 20th anniversary of then-Royals manager McRae going absolutely gonzo when a reporter asked him if he had considered pinch-hitting George Brett for Keith Miller late in a 5-3 loss to the Tigers.  The best part of it is the rant seemed to come out of friggin’ nowhere:

The most amazing thing about it, as Jaffe notes, is that the rant didn’t get McCrae fired. Indeed, he led the Royals to a winning record that year and the next year.  If that kind of rant — which actually injured a reporter who was hit with a phone — had gone down today I think he’d be fired within two hours. Even if he was right not to bat Brett for Miller. I mean, jeez, Brett only hit .246 with a .299 OBP against lefties that year.

But 1993 was a simpler time. It wasn’t spread all over the Internet and talked about nonstop like every little thing today. And as a result, a temporarily crazy man hurling objects at the media while wearing long underwear was allowed to continue in his high-profile job.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.