Reveille 4/15/13

by Jason Epstein

Good morning.

Here are several links from the past week that will make your Tax Day Monday a bit more bearable:

  • As a consequence of Carlos Quentin’s rushing Zack Greinke shortly after being struck with a 3–2 pitch in a one-run game, the Dodgers pitcher suffered a broken collarbone. In response, Quentin, who has led the big leagues in hits-by-pitch for the past two seasons, was suspended for eight games. In addressing the question why Quentin snapped last week, Jim Margalus of South Side Sox blames Ozzie Guillen for not standing behind the Padres outfielder during a 2009 plunking when Quentin was on the White Sox and Greinke pitched for the Royals.
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports explains why this individual may be the best player on the diamond over the past four years:

A lot of his offensive value is based off walks, which are generally undervalued. He runs the bases very well. He rarely grounds into double plays. And pretty much all the defensive metrics agree that he’s a fantastic fielder. He can play shortstop in a pinch, but plays all over the field otherwise and generally does a very good job of it.

Add that all together, and it makes for a pretty valuable player.

  • On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the opening of Royals Stadium (a.k.a. Kauffman Stadium), Royals Review’s Craig Brown looks back at how the magnificent ballpark came into existence.
  • Writing in the Hardball Times, Matthew Callan suspects that the “crazy closer” genre began with Joe Page, a Yankees reliever in the late 1940s.
  • Rob Neyer of SB Nation interviews Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine about Jackie Robinson, his teammate from 1948 to 1956, and about the new film 42:

Neyer: As I’m sure you know, for many years Jackie was publicly critical of Major League Baseball’s complete lack of black executives or managers. In fact, there wasn’t a black manager (Frank Robinson) until after Jackie’s premature death. Do you think the players of your era would have played for a black manager? Do you think Jackie would have been a good manager?

Erskine: Jackie had a sense of urgency, as though he felt he didn’t have time to wait. He had already had a long wait, so every time he had a chance, he more or less said, “Just because I made it, don’t think we’re there. Look at what is not happening.”

In a way, our team already had a black manager. We, the Dodgers, recognized that Roy Campanella was destined to become a major-league manager. He had the experience and the temperament. So yes, our team would have willingly played for a black manager.

But I don’t believe Jackie would have wanted to manage. He had ideas to help black businesses, and black businessmen and -women, excel. He co-founded Freedom National Bank in Harlem to make loans to black businesses, and he also continued to be active in the Civil Rights Movement for the rest of his life.

  • The Mets are presently in second place in the National League East, but, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Costa, they are No. 1 in uniform choices.
  • In ESPN’s SweetSpot, Joseph Werner asks whether a modern-day Nolan Ryan would be given a chance to crack the starting rotation.
  • Elaine Benes is not amused: Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick informed fans that they were prohibited from sitting in luxury seats behind home plate unless they first removed their Dodger gear

  • Regarding the aforementioned Quentin–Greinke brawl, it would seem that not everyone on the Padres bench was in a rush to join the scrum

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.