And the only reason we’re limiting it to 1972 is because that’s what we have documented. In Harry Caray’s own diary, in which he kept a record of his bar visits and in which he tucked his receipts. All of that was reported in wonderful detail by Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday. The interviews and anecdotes with some of his drinking companions make the story.
The reason Caray kept the record appears to be tied up in his business arrangements with the White Sox, for whom he worked at the time. His compensation was tied to attendance at Comiskey Park and thus going out, glad-handing and getting people to come to White Sox games was a business expense for the man. If you want to take those deductions, you gotta keep your receipts, right? That’s the sober, er, I mean prudent thing to do.
Of course, it’s entirely possible — I’d say probable — that Caray would’ve been out in heavy rotation like this even if he wasn’t doing so for business reasons. Word on the street has it that, on occasion, Caray liked to have a drink or two.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.