What, exactly, is “The Living Room” era?

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This is kinda weird. Just as the Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee has split up its candidates into eras such as “The Golden Era” and “The Expansion Era” the folks who hand out the Ford Frick Award to broadcasters has split up its candidates into eras as well. I dig the names:

  • The “High Tide Era” – to be voted on this fall, announced in December at the Winter Meetings and presented during the annual Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2014 – will consider candidates whose contributions have come during the regional cable network era, beginning with the mid-1980s through today.
  • The “Living Room Era” – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2015 – will consider candidates whose most significant years fell during the mid-1950s through the early 1980s, as the game spread through television and into homes across the country.
  • The “Broadcasting Dawn Era” – to be presented at the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation in 2016 – will consider candidates who contributed to the early days of baseball broadcasting, from its origins through the early-1950s.

I watched baseball in the late 70s and early 80s in the basement, but I get what they’re driving at. It’s kind of cute. I picture burnt orange carpeting and a green couch with a laminate coffee table in front of it. On the table is a bologna sandwich and a can of domestic beer. The game features men in tight pants and old school stirrups.

I guess the bigger question is why the Frick Folks feel it’s necessary to go back in time and look for more honorees. Much like the Veteran’s Committee candidates, the past seems pretty well picked over. By going back in time you’re just looking for honorees to justify the process and thus you necessarily lower the standards of induction. Which at one time made sense with the Veterans Committee — there really were certain people overlooked — but all in all it turns into an exercise of obligation than one of honoring folks.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.