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.

New Marlins owners are going to dump David Samson, keep the home run sculpture

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The Miami Herald reports that the future Miami Marlins owners, Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, have informed Major League Baseball that they do not intend to retain current team president David Samson. Derek Jeter will replace him as the person in charge of baseball and business operations.

Samson has been a polarizing figure in Miami and has been seen as Jeff Loria’s front-facing presence in many ways. He led the effort for the team to get its new stadium, which led to political scandal and outrage in Miami (not that he didn’t get his stadium). In 2014, he appeared on “Survivor.” He did not survive.

What will survive, however, is the famous home run sculpture in the outfield at Marlins Park. You’ll recall some reports earlier this week that Sherman and Jeter were thinking about removing it. If so, they’ll have a lot of hurdles to jump, because yesterday the Miami-Dade County government reminded them that it was paid for by its Art in Public Places program, it is thus owned by the county and that it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.

I know a lot of people hate that thing, but it has grown on me over the years. Not for its own aesthetic sake as much for its uniqueness and whimsy, which are two things that are in extraordinarily short supply across the Major League Baseball landscape. Like a lot of new and different bits of art and architecture over the course of history, I suspect its initial loathing will increasingly come to be replaced by respect and even pride. Especially if the Marlins ever make another World Series run, in which case everything associated with the club will be elevated in the eyes of fans.

On this score, Sherman and Jeter will thank Miami-Dade for saving themselves from themselves one day.

Jon Lester to miss one or two starts

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Jon Lester had a terrible outing yesterday, allowing nine runs — seven earned — and leaving the game before he could complete two innings.Lester entered the afternoon with a 3.99 ERA. He exited with a 4.37 ERA. Later the Cubs said that Lester was suffering from left lat tightness.

The Cubs are now saying that Lester will miss 1-2 starts. They are sending him to see Dr. Stephen Gryzlo for a more in-depth exam, and it’s possible Gryzlo will determine the injury is more serious, but at the moment the assessment seems cautiously optimistic.

Mike Montgomery will fill in for Lester for the time being.