Tag Archives: royals

On This Day In 1983: The George Brett Pine Tar Incident

Exactly thirty-one years ago today one of the most infamous incidents of modern baseball history occurred.  The game involved the visiting Kansas City Royals taking on the New York Yankees.  The Yankees were leading the game 4-3 with 2 outs in the top half of the 9th inning.  George Brett was at bat and hit an incredible 2-run home run off of Yankees pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage.  The Royals were suddenly in the lead by one run.

That is until the Yankees manager Billy Martin left the dugout to speak with home plate umpire Tim McClelland.  Martin explained to McClelland that Brett’s bat had pine tar exceeding the normal length allowed on the bat.  This pine tar place on the upper part of the barrel of the bat would make the bat easier to hit the ball solidly off the bat.  McClelland then measured the bat’s pine tar (which was allowed to be more 18 inches up the bat) with the home plate.  The pine tar was over that length,  McClelland immediately over ruled the play and called brett’s at bat as an out.

George Brett protesting the pine tar call after his 2-run home run was ruled an out.  (Getty Images)

George Brett protesting the pine tar call after his 2-run home run was ruled an out. (Getty Images)

George Brett then stormed toward home plate to confront Tim McClelland.  Brett was restrained by his team mates and was brought back into the dugout.  Due to the umpires call the game was now over.  The Yankees were recorded as the winners of the game by a score of 4-3.  The call was later over ruled and a few weeks later the game was restarted after Brett’s at bat with his 2-run home run counting.  The Royals won that game 5-4.

This is a moment that will live forever in baseball history.  It is also George Brett’s most memorable moment in his Hall Of Fame career.

 

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“Get Smart” Trivial Sports Facts #1 (Baseball)

Everyone who is a sports fan wants to appear smarter and more knowledgeable than anyone else.  Sports provide so many historical moments and stats.  I will bring you closer to the high level of sports learning you seek.  I will do all of the hard research so you  can become the ultimate sports fan. Each edition will be on one particular sport.   You may know some of the events but I will open your eyes to something about them you may not yet know.   I bring to you the 1st edition of “Get Smart”  So let’s get started.

Joe Dimaggio’s 56 Game Hit Streak

In 1941 Joe Dimaggio had  56 straight games with a hit.  This record still stands in 2012 and is widely considered the most elusive of all sports records.  The final and 56th game of the streak occurred on July 16th against the Indians at Cleveland’s famed Municipal Stadium.  The pitchers in that game were Al Milnar and Joe Krakauskas, Dimaggio went 2 for 4 and scored 3 runs.  The great streak came to an end one day later July 17 in a game also against the Indians.

Joe Jackson And The Throwing Of The 1919 World Series

In 1919 one of the worst happenings in the history of Baseball occurred.  The heavily favored Chicago White Sox threw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.  The truth came out two years later that some of the White Sox players were involved with gamblers and payed off to lose.  In 1921 eight players from the White Sox were found guilty of intentionally losing the series and banned from baseball for life.  The most notable of those player was the sure Hall Of Fame candidate “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.  Jackson is considered one of the best short stops to ever have played the game.  The puzzling fact of Joe Jackson’s involvement in the throwing of the Series are his stats.  The stats Jackson had in that series do not look like that of a man that was intending to lose.  Jackson batted .375, had 5 runs scored, hit a home run and batted in 6 runs.  Jackson played no different than he usually did at the plate and made no critical fielding errors.  It has been said that he was aware that the games where fixed but did not actively participate in the plan. We will truly never know if he was involved but if you judge it by the numbers the answer looks like he was not.

The Beginning Of The MLB Draft

The amateur draft has a history of good picks by teams but it has a even greater history of players not panning out.   It is the least popular of the drafts amongst casual sports fans.  The die hard baseball fans look forward to it every June.   The first ever MLB amateur draft took place in 1965.  The first team to pick was the Kansas City Royals, who selected outfielder Rick Monday from Arizona State University.  Monday went on to play 19 seasons and retired in 1984 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Monday had a career batting average of .264, 271 Home Runs and 775 RBI’s.  He was also a World Series Champion with the Dodgers in 1981.  After his playing career ended he moved on to Broadcasting.

Should The Fans Vote For MLB All Star Game Starters?

The 2012 All Star Game will be held in Kansas City at Kaufman Stadium on July 10th.  The votes are in and we now know who will make up the MLB All Star Game starting line ups.  Many fans and media disagree with some of the results.

As usual there were some that got snubbed.  Players like the New York Mets David Wright for example will not be starting at Third Base for the National League team.  Wright has a batting average of .354 with 9 Home Runs and 50 RBI’s.  Wright lost the chance to be a starter in the fan voting to the San Fransisco Giants Pablo Sandoval.  Sandoval is batting .300 with 6 Home Runs and 25 RBI’s.  Wright not only has better numbers but is better a fielder.  This is not the first year there has been controversy over starters.

This years All Star Game will have many of baseballs best players starting the game from the bench, all because of fan voting.
(Getty Images)

The debate has rage on for many years whether the fans should be allowed to dictate the starters.  The All Star Game is really just a popularity contest.  Many of the teams in bigger markets get more players voted in.  More importantly many of the teams get their players named as starters.

The All Star Game was created as an exhibition of the best players from the first half of the season.  The one problem is that it is no longer just exhibition game now.  The winning team whether it be the National League or the American League gets home field advantage in the World Series.  Who knows how many World Series Champions were crowned based on their league winning the game played in all the way back in July.  All Star teams that were not comprised of the best in each league.

Something needs to change and boy does baseball commissioner Bud Selig have a lot of things on his list to fix.  When it comes to the All Star Game the fan voting needs to be taken away if baseball wants the winner to have such an advantage in the World Series.  The All Star squads should be picked by the players and managers only.  There is way too much riding on the game for it to be up to fans that only vote for their favorites rather than the players who really have dominated the first half of the season.

Let’s think about the example of David Wright that I brought up previously.  David Wright has put up incredible season numbers and will most likely win the MVP trophy at the end of the year.  It is not right that a player that has been playing the way Wright has would not start the All Star Game.

If the All Star Game is going to be considered an exhibition it should not have important ramifications like it has now.  I am all for making it fun but if its going to be it needs to be just a game in July with baseballs best player and only that.  So Bud Selig a decision should be made.  Either you have a fan vote or a game that could dictate the next World Series Champion not both.