Spring Training baseball, in Arizona and in general, is a long way from the game fans are used to, for better and worse. But if Spring Training isn't quite like regular baseball, neither is it quite like anything else.
Deer antler spray included, there's never been a crazier example of animal-based performance enhancing than Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin's experience with a magical elixir created by Charles Brown-Sequard. Let's just put it this way: whether or not it had monkey testerone is the least interesting part of the ingredient list.
There are reasons why baseball fans have been slow to warm up to the World Baseball Classic, but the baseball being played in these goofy, great games is not one of them. It's time we got over ourselves, and get into the WBC.
Getting loose, jogging through some desultory in-game outfield sprints, finding our arm slots and feeling raw terror at the prospect of a well-armed and irked Kirk "Ted Nugent Is A Friend" Gibson. Spring Training is a time for figuring things out.
Before the World Baseball Classic, slightly after the actual fall of the Soviet Union, and definitely on inexpensive Canadian locations, one baseball movie dared to ask: could David Mamet's favorite actor coach a ragtag bunch of Soviet athletes to semi-competence?
It seemed reasonable to expect a mess from FYI, the low-budget "vodcast" hosted by former Detroit Tigers misfits/miscreants Dmitri Young and Robert Fick. But while the show itself was kind of a mess, it was also oddly earnest and endearing. And that was before they started telling Matt Anderson stories.
The Baseball Hall of Fame has plenty of problems as we saw earlier this month. But the fact that Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is in it certainly counts as one, and says a lot about those other problems.
It's hard to get too angry about the Baseball Writers Association of America's decision not to induct anyone from a stacked class of eligible players to the Hall of Fame this year. It's just the Hall of Fame, after all. But it's definitely possible to get angry about it if you try.
I never saw a highlight of that Kenny Lofton home run, never saw the celebratory beatdown or the perfunctory shot of the crowd going bonkers. I never felt like I needed to, either, because I could then and can still see now Kenny Lofton hitting a home run without much recourse to my imagination.
For the second installment in our weeklong celebration of all things Kenny Lofton, Chris Collision recalls the tall tales told by his old professor about the venerable outfielder, which raised more questions than they answered. Was this professor a millionaire? A swinger? A genius? Whatever the case, this man knew a great ballplayer when he saw one.