This falls into the deep thoughts category, but:
- The Royals are only a half game behind the Tigers despite having a 12-game losing streak this year;
- The Pirates are a game up on the Cardinals despite having he worst offense in the National League;
- The Orioles are three ahead of the Red Sox and a half game up on the Yankees despite being the Orioles;
- The Nationals, Marlins and Mets are ahead of the Braves and Phillies despite the preseason prognostications of everyone; and
- The Dodgers are ahead of everyone in baseball despite not having their only legit All-Star for an extended period due to injuries.
Only the AL West is going as roughly expected, and that’s only because the Angels finally woke up in May after the best player in baseball spent a month being the worst player in baseball.
Someone please keep this post handy for next February and March when idiots like me pretend like we know what the hell is going to happen in the upcoming season.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.
Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.
Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.
Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.