Comment of the Day: Curt Flood Jr. talks about the Stan Musial restaurant story

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Yesterday I highlighted Murray Chass’ poorly-sourced hatchet job against Stan Musial. The leadoff in that hatchet job was Chass’ claim — based on a story Curt Flood allegedly told Marvin Miller who told Chass — was that Flood was refused service at Stan Musial’s restaurant some time in the 1960s because Flood was black. Chass’ wrapup to that was to assert that Musial is “someone who discriminated against blacks,” and is thus unworthy of our adulation. His headline: Stan Musial is “no man of honor.”

Last night, a commenter shed a little more light on that story. And I’m inclined to feature his comment because that man’s name is Curt Flood, Jr.  His comment:

Let me say at the outset that I have been in Musial’s company on several occasions. I once even sat next to him at a Cardinals Old Timers Game” in the dugout at the old Busch Stadium for about an an hour. He was warm, gracious and said things about my father that were beautiful. He also graciously signed everything that i could find that was not nailed down. Stan Musial is a good, decent and honorable man.

I have not read Mr. Chass’s blog, however, the incident DID in fact happen to my father and my mother. But according to my parents, Mr. Musial was not in the restaurant. His doorman that night called Mr. Musial by telephone, but by the time it could rectified, my parents were pretty much fed up with not being fed up.

Best,

Curt Flood, Jr.

Shabby treatment of a black man at that time in our history is, regrettably, not surprising. That Chass used a third-hand telling of that story to conclude that Stan Musial “discriminated against blacks” — and that he did so while failing to contact either Stan Musial or anyone who could tell Curt Flood’s side of it, such as Curt Flood, Jr., for example — is reprehensible.

Thank you, Curt Flood, Jr., for telling us more in a simple email than Murray Chass — an alleged journalist — did with his “reporting.”

Yankees acquire James Paxton from Mariners

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The Yankees announced that the club has acquired starter James Paxton from the Mariners in exchange for three prospects: pitcher Justus Sheffield, outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams, and pitcher Erik Swanson.

Paxton, 30, has been among the game’s better starters over the past few years. In 2018, he went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA and a 208/42 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. The lefty has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $4.9 million this past season.

Sheffield, 22, is the headliner in the Mariners’ return. He made his major league debut in September for the Yankees, pitching 2 2/3 innings across three appearances. Two of those appearances were scoreless; in the third, he gave up a three-run home run to J.D. Martinez, certainly not an uncommon result among pitchers. MLB Pipeline rates Sheffield as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect and No. 31 overall in baseball.

Thompson-Williams, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2016 draft. This past season, between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, he hit .299/.363/.546 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI, 63 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 415 plate appearances. He was not among the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, per MLB Pipeline.

Swanson, 25, was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. He spent most of his 2018 campaign between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Overall, he posted a 2.66 ERA with a 139/29 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rated him No. 22 in the Yankees’ system.

This trade comes as no surprise as the Yankees clearly wanted to upgrade the starting rotation and the Mariners seemed motivated to trade Paxton this offseason. To the Mariners’ credit, they got a solid return for Paxton, as Sheffield likely becomes the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The only worries about this trade for the Yankees is how Paxton will fare in the more hitter-friendly confines of Yankee Stadium compared to the spacious Safeco Field, and Paxton’s durability. Paxton has made more than 20 starts in a season just twice in his career — the last two years (24 and 28). The Yankees are likely not done adding, however. Expect even more new faces before the start of spring training.