I’ve written in the past about how, after the death of Buck O’Neill, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum screwed up by passing over O’Neill’s hand-picked successor, Bob Kendrick, and went instead with some political hack who I suspected would last a couple of years. Well, the hack lasted a couple of years, screwed the place up a great deal, then split and that was that.
You usually don’t get a second chance to do the right thing in such situations because people move on to other jobs and stuff. But the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is getting a second chance. They’ve hired Kendrick to serve as president:
Kendrick’s love for the museum in the 18th and Vine district and its vision is helping him overlook the pain of being denied the job the first time. Brown called him in January asking, “Would you consider coming back to the museum if the opportunity presented itself, or are you just done with us?”
After much deliberation — two months of negotiations, in fact — Kendrick decided it was an offer he could not refuse.
As I’ve said before, I’m no expert on the Museum. Those who know a lot about it, however, including Sam Mellinger and Joe Posnanski are pretty good bellwethers. Posnanski is pleased, and appears to be doing an about-face on his decision to walk away from the Museum. All of this, it seems, is a good thing.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.