Don Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” and the tragic life of the first Mrs. Brady

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Don’t lie: you’ve done it. You’ve done exactly what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times describes in this article from the other day:

Baseball fans, who seem to have more time to waste than normal people, love to compile All-This or All-That teams: lineups made of real players who meet some criterion. The All-Steroids Team. The All-Mustache Team. The idea is to find one player for each position who fits the category.

Genzlinger makes up one of his own: the All-TV-Cameo Team.  Players who made a walk-on appearance on some scripted television show.  Difficulty: no “Seinfeld” or “Simpsons” allowed. He also limits himself to only a couple California or New York players because that would be too easy.

Because of that rule he has neglected one of my favorites ever: Don Drysdale appearing on “The Brady Bunch,” telling Greg Brady that he could be a bonus baby, thereby causing Greg to big-time everyone and neglect his responsibilities.

I can’t remember the setup — maybe Mike was designing an addition for Drysdale’s home or something — but I did always wonder if he was related to Mike’s boss who, you will recall, was named “Mr. Drysdale.” Probably got a discount on Mike’s valuable architect services. Or maybe there is some elaborate back story we never knew about in which Drysdale himself was both a pitcher and an architect. That would be something. UPDATE: Crap. As noted in the comments below, I blew this one. Mr. Drysdale was on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Mike’s boss, I am now remembering, was “Mr. Phillips.”  I think I’m just gonna quit for the day.

By the way: Wasn’t Greg just the biggest rube? Prone to suggestion. Remember how he stole the other high school football team’s playbook that time? Remember when he stole the other school’s mascot? All because someone told him he should. If his life didn’t end up with him being the wheel-man/fall-guy for a robbery of some kind I’d be shocked. Dude looked like he was gonna go through life never knowing quite what happened to him.

Probably expected, of course. I mean, his natural mother disappeared completely and was never spoken of again and was never any part of her sons’ lives. Just tragic, really. She probably ran off to join the Manson Family or something. L.A. in 1969 was a dark place for many people.

OK, baseball needs to come back or else I’m gonna do another 2,000 words on the social dysfunction and pathos of “The Brady Bunch.” Which is fine, but may get a bit uncomfortable and difficult when we get to Jan.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.