Could George Costanza have made it in the big leagues?

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I know what you’re thinking. Nick, are you really so starved for content that you’re plumbing these depths? And yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve had a lot to write about. But on some level, this is a matter that’s been burning at the edges of your psyche for years now. Don’t deny it. No, don’t walk away. Come back. I’m not going to hurt you.

Look, it’s okay. You’re among friends. You can admit it. You have, in fact, watched the Seinfeld clip of George Costanza teaching Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams how to hit and wondered if the small Jason Alexander-shaped man could consistently hit in a big league lineup.

Some context may be necessary here. One of the running gags of this episode is that George has become a genius as a result of abstaining from sex. It’s that sudden brain power that enables George to both understand the physics of hitting and do that mental calculation in his head as the pitch is being delivered. Any theoretical competitive success George would have depends on him remaining abstinent.

With that in mind, let’s consider George the baseball player. Despite the fact that he can suddenly hit, Costanza is still Costanza. He’s a small barrel-shaped man. Jason Alexander comes in at 5’5″, or an inch shorter than Jose Altuve‘s listed height. George has no known athletic abilities prior to his brain-blast. Being smarter might help him track balls off the bat, but they’re not going to help his range or throwing arm. That means George would strictly be a designated hitter. And as he says, hitting is not about muscle.

We don’t get a full view of George’s hitting mechanics. Yet it’s safe to say that the assistant to the traveling secretary doesn’t have much of a stride in his swing. It’s all trunk and arms. Even more remarkable is that George is hitting pitches just below his shoulders out for home runs. There’s not much lift to the swing. It’s the sort of mechanics that would get a scout to put a mark on the low end of the 20-80 scale on his report.

Yet it’s hard to argue with the results. George’s mental trigonometry is somehow letting him use line-drive oriented swings at high pitches to hit homers. It’s simple physics, he says. Giancarlo Stanton can use that sort of level swing to will a ball over the fence. He hits lasers all the time. But George Costanza? Now that’s something else entirely.

It’s not complicated. George has unlocked another level of human cerebral capacity, even if he hasn’t realized the full extent of his powers just yet. He’s Bradley Cooper in Limitless. He’s Scarlett Johansson in Lucy. He’s Professor X. The abstinence is his radioactive spider, his Green Lantern ring.

George Costanza has transcended our feeble mortal plane.

He is more.

These are batting practice pitches. That’s not Roger Clemens throwing 95 MPH at his head. It matters not. Put him in a uniform under the bright lights with Randy Johnson on the mound, wondering who the hell this small portly man in the batter’s box is, and he will still succeed. Costanza’s cracked the code. He’s the best hitter on the planet. He would have won the World Series in fewer than six games.

Could George have made it in the big leagues? That might be the wrong question. A more apt line of inquiry might have been whether Costanza would have made it into Cooperstown with a unanimous vote before Mariano Rivera did.

Alas, this is George Costanza we’re dealing with here. The gods decided long before George generously tried to teach Jeter and Williams how to hit that our hero was doomed to failure. It’s part of who he is, in his very DNA. Not even elevating his mind to unholy levels of strength could save Costanza from himself. Later in the episode, George sleeps with a woman. And then it’s all gone. His brilliance, his mastery of Portuguese, his hitting ability. All gone.

For that, dear reader, is who George is. He is a fool. George could have been the toast of the baseball world. Instead, he was merely the guy who put the Yankees in that Ramada in Milwaukee. For one brief moment, George Costanza was a legend.

Then he was just George.

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Rutschman has five hits in opener, Orioles outlast Red Sox 10-9

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON – The last time Adley Rutschman recalls feeling this level of emotion on a baseball field was playing in front of intimate, 5,000-seat crowds in college at Oregon State.

He trumped that experience at Fenway Park on Thursday in his first career opening day start.

“This blows that out of the water,” Rutschman said.

Rutschman became the first catcher in major league history with five hits in an opener, and the Baltimore Orioles survived a wild ninth inning to beat the Boston Red Sox 10-9.

“To have that close game in the ninth inning and the crowd get so loud. You kind of sit there and say, ‘This is pretty cool,’” said Rutschman, the top overall pick in the 2019 draft.

Rutschman – who debuted for the Orioles last May and quickly became indispensable to the young, resurgent club – homered in his first at-bat and finished 5-for-5 with a career-best four RBIs and a walk on a chilly day at Fenway Park, with a temperature of 38 degrees at first pitch.

Ramon Urias hit a two-run homer for Baltimore, which finished with 15 hits, nine walks and five stolen bases.

Kyle Gibson (1-0) allowed four runs and six hits over five-plus innings to earn his first opening-day victory since his 2021 All-Star season with Texas. Gibson gave up an RBI groundout in the first inning before retiring nine straight Red Sox hitters.

The Orioles nearly gave the game away in the ninth.

With Baltimore leading 10-7, closer Félix Bautista walked pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia. Alex Verdugo followed with a single and advanced to second on an error by center fielder Cedric Mullins.

Rafael Devers struck out. Justin Turner then reached on an infield single to third when Urias’ throw was wide, scoring Tapia. Masataka Yoshida grounded to shortstop Jorge Mateo, who stepped on second for the force but threw wildly to first, allowing Verdugo to score.

Bautista struck out Adam Duvall on three pitches to end it and earn the save.

The Orioles scored four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to take an 8-2 lead. Baltimore led 10-4 before Bryan Baker allowed three runs in the eighth to give the Red Sox some hope.

The eighth could have been even better for the Red Sox had Devers, who led off the inning, not become the first player in major league history to strike out on a pitch clock violation. Devers was looking down and kicking debris off his cleats when umpire Lance Barksdale signaled a violation that resulted in strike three.

“There’s no excuse,” said Alex Cora, who dropped to 0-5 in opening-day games as Boston’s manager. “They know the rules.”

Boston offseason addition and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (0-1) struggled in his Fenway debut, surrendering five runs on six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.

“Less than ideal,” Kluber said. “Didn’t turn out the way I would have hoped for.”


Red Sox: Christian Arroyo stayed in the game after taking an inadvertent cleat to the side of his head in the second inning. Arroyo was applying a tag to Rutschman at second base as he attempted to stretch out a single. Rutschman’s leg flipped over as he slid awkwardly. … LHP James Paxton was placed on the 15-day inured list (retroactive to March 27) with a strained right hamstring.


Rutschman, one of six Baltimore players making his first opening-day appearance, became the youngest Oriole to homer in his first opening-day at-bat since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1984.


The Orioles took advantage of MLB’s bigger bases – going from 15- to 18-inch squares – that are being used for the first time this season. Baltimore hadn’t stolen five bases in a game since last June 24 against the White Sox. Mullins and Jorge Mateo swiped two bags apiece, and Adam Frazier got a huge jump on his steal against reliever Ryan Brasier. There was nothing Boston catcher Reese McGuire could do to stop them and on the majority of Baltimore’s steals, he didn’t bother to throw.


Right-hander Kaleb Ort and Tapia earned Boston’s final two roster spots to open the season. Tapia got the nod over Jarren Duran, who was sent down to Triple-A Worcester. Ort pitched a scoreless sixth with one strikeout Thursday.


Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer will make is sixth career start against Boston when the three-game series resumes on Saturday. In 11 road starts last season, he went 5-3 with a 3.63 ERA.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale, who has pitched in only 11 games over the past three years due to injuries, is set to begin his seventh season in Boston.