CONTINUUCAST 7: 2016 Season Opening EXTRAVAGANZA!

It’s time for another Baseball Continuum CONTINUUCAST! This time with Eric Stephen, Travis Sarandos, and Michael Clair! In addition, Dan reveals his picks for the season! Hit play above, download by right-clicking here, follow the RSS feed here or follow on iTunes here or Stitcher here (if the latest episode isn’t up yet, it will be shortly).

 

Dan Glickman opens up the 2016 MLB Regular Season with a Continuucast with a record THREE guests, and also gives his season predictions!

 

First (at 3:10 in the podcast), Dan talks to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA about the Dodgers, covering their spring injury bug, Corey Seager, Vin Scully, and several other topics.
Then (at 23:24), Dan welcomes Travis Sarandos of Brew Crew Ball, BP Milwaukee and the “Dingers, Doubles and Drunks” podcast. They talk about the Brewers, whether Braun and/or Lucroy will be traded, the NL Central in general, the many excellent prospects on the way to Milwaukee, and whether Travis had any idea that his article theorizing that Hank the Ballpark Pup had been replaced would end up becoming so big.

 

The final guest (at 42:55) is Michael Clair of MLB.com’s Cut4 and formerly of Old Time Family Baseball! The two talk the MLB season, how awesome Opening Day is, Michael’s beloved Pittsburgh Pirates (and how he fell in love with them), give their championship predictions, and complain about how disappointing the Batman vs.  Superman movie was (SPOILER ALERT!).

 

Finally (at 1:18:19), Dan gives his season predictions for Major League Baseball in 2016! They will almost certainly be wrong, but now you have a recording to keep him from claiming otherwise.

 

Music/Sounds Featured:

 

“The National Game” by John Phillip Sousa

“The Boys are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy

“The D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song” by Danny Kaye

“I Love LA” by Randy Newman

“Beer Barrel Polka AKA Roll out the Barrel” by Frankie Yankovic

The Theme Song from Happy Days

“Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa

“You Gotta Believe” (The early 1990s Pirates theme song)

“Bugler’s Dream/Olympic Anthem”

Excerpt of “Pennant Fever” from the Major League soundtrack

 

All sound and music used is either public domain or is a short snippet that falls under fair use.

 

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): I repeat that the Pittsburgh Pirates should be more honestly called the Pittsburgh Privateers

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Earlier installments can be found here. This is the Pirates entry.

The Pirates, like many teams this year, could be a serious contender. They could well return to the postseason for the fourth time in as many years, which is something I never thought I’d type, even with the expanded wild card.

There’s a lot to like about the Pirates. They have Andrew McCutchen, who is of course still one of the best players in the game, they still have Gerrit Cole, and they have several players who will be coming back from injuries or near-endless free agency. They are in a tough division, but it’s not going to be surprising at all if they make the playoffs.

However, I do have to bring one problem to everyone’s attention: The Pirates’ name is completely inaccurate.

And, no, I don’t just mean that in the sense that McCutchen and friends do not actually plunder their way across the seven seas. No, I mean that their name doesn’t quite fit.

First off, some history. The Pittsburgh Pirates can be traced back to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (sic) of the 19th century. That was the name they played under starting in their first season of 1887 and what many previous teams in the Pittsburgh area had been named. However, in 1890, the Alleghenys signed Lou Bierbauer, who had been a member of the American Association’s Philadelphia Athletics (despite the name, there is no connection to either of the Athletics or Phillies of today). Their actions were called “piratical” by American Association officials, and the Alleghenys ran with it, changing their name to Pirates.

However, there is one problem: just because your actions are piratical does not make you a pirate. Well, under some definitions it does, but only the most general and encompassing of them.

You see, pirates are, by definition, not part of any country or location other then themselves, their ship, and their crew. Maybe also other pirate crews, if they are part of some sort of terrorist group (such as many of the Somali pirates of today, who are loosely connected with terrorist organizations in the area).

Now, let’s see, while the Pittsburgh Pirates are definitely in it for themselves and their crew (their teammates), they also are representing a location and a government, albeit indirectly: The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And, guess what? When a Pirate is signed up to represent one government or location’s interests, the pirate ceases to be a pirate, and becomes a privateer. To put it into baseball terms, pirates are basically always free agents, while privateers are players who’ve signed up to play for a certain team.

So, ladies and gentleman, know that while the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates may be destined for great things, they are not, technically, pirates. Rather, they are the Pittsburgh Privateers.

Which still kind of rolls off the tongue pretty well, all things considered.

(Parts of this were first posted for the 2015 Pirates “30 Teams, 30 Posts”.)

(Blogathon ’16) Howard Cole: Thoughts on Retiring Roberto Clemente’s Number 21

This guest-post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer are not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

First a shout-out to ESPN.com, if I may. There is no online publication as dedicated to baseball as ESPN.com, with more writers penning thoughtful pieces on a daily basis than most of their major competitors combined. Employing baseball writers, and lots of them, is a good thing.

There are almost too many scribes to commend without leaving someone out, but here are my favorites: Jim Caple, Jerry Crasnick, Buster Olney, Mark Saxon, David Schoenfield, Mark Simon and Jayson Stark.

ESPN.com is in the midst of a fun series called “MLB 2.0 – Reimagining Baseball,” with topics such as the overuse of replay, international expansion, robot umpires (good grief!) and the DH in the National League #Sacrilege. Whether baseball needs reimagining is a fine question, but one for another day.

Although not part of the 2.0 series, Buster has an interesting piece titled “MLB should retire Roberto Clemente’s number.” ESPN Insider is required, but here’s the key phrase: “This is why the time has come for Major League Baseball to honor Clemente in the way that it did Jackie Robinson, and retire Clemente’s No. 21, for all teams and for all time.”

I get the sentiment and it’s a beautiful thought, but if I were commish for a day – and it happened to be decision day on this one – I’d pass on the idea.

There’s no need to compare Jackie’s contributions to Roberto’s. This isn’t about that. While I would have had loved to have seen Robinson play, I was lucky enough to experience Clemente a bit. On NBC’s Game of the Week, with Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek, in All-Star Games and in the World Series, primarily. And I loved him.

If I saw him as a child in Los Angeles I don’t recall, and that bothers me no end. I remember that awful New Year’s Day in 1973 like it was yesterday. I’ve also learned to take note of Roberto’s birth-day more so than, well, that other day.

Clemente is worthy of having his number retired. I just don’t think it serves the purpose intended.

From my perspective as a life-long Dodger fan, there was something about Jackie Robinson’s number being retired throughout the sport that bugged me. Made me jealous, actually. I mean, it was cool and all, but I couldn’t help thinking, “Why do the Giants get to celebrate Jack in this way? What did they do?” More importantly, I thought, “why the Boston Red Sox – the last team to integrate in 1959 – of all teams?”

And what about teams like the Rockies and Marlins, who might stick the glorious number 42 on a façade someplace 450 feet from home plate?

Pittsburgh is a great baseball town, and Clemente is such an important part of everything the organization does there. Why not allow the Bucs and their fans to have Clemente to themselves? To hold him close.

Similarly, while retiring a number does serve as a fine reminder of a Hall of Fame player who has come and gone, so to does keeping the number in use, with players from Clemente’s native Puerto Rico especially in mind. Ruben Sierra wore Clemente’s number 21 at several stops during his career, including at Texas, Oakland, Detroit and Seattle, for example, and I believe with distinction.

Houston Astros star shortstop Carlos Correa has said just last week while accepting the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award that he would like to wear his idol’s number 21, and can you think of a better player to carry the banner?

Let’s keep the spirit of Roberto Clemente alive in as many ways as we possibly can, shall will. With a little deference to the Pirates, and to the young men from Puerto Rico too, while we’re at it.

And remember, glove conquers all.

Howard Cole has been blogging about baseball since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.

This guest-post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer were not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

The Best Unofficial Baseball Shirts for Postseason Teams!

Last month’s look at unofficial and unlicensed baseball shirts was a big hit, even being picked up by SI.com’s Extra Mustard. So, since I’m never the type to quit while I’m ahead, I’ll do another. So, with the postseason starting tomorrow, here are the best unofficial and/or unlicensed (or, in extreme circumstances, just plain cool) t-shirts for those teams. Click the links to be brought to the stores that are selling them.

(Note: Some of these are not technically unofficial, but are rather licensed by individual players or the Hall of Fame. You’ll see, for example, a HOF Reggie Jackson shirt that conspicuously doesn’t have any Yankees logos on it.)

(GO BELOW THE JUMP FOR MORE)

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): Technically, the Pittsburgh Pirates are Privateers

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, I get into semantics and say why the Pirates’ name is incorrect.

The Pirates, like seemingly every team this year, could be a serious contender and return to the postseason for the third time in as many years, which is something I never thought I’d type, even with the expanded wild card.

There’s a lot to like about the Pirates. They have Andrew McCutchen, who is of course one of the best players in the game, and they have a very nice pitching staff that could be even better this year as the young pitchers such as Gerrit Cole get even better.

However, I do have to bring one problem to everyone’s attention: The Pirates’ name is completely inaccurate.

And, no, I don’t just mean that in the sense that McCutchen and friends do not actually plunder their way across the seven seas. No, I mean that their name doesn’t quite fit.

First off, some history. The Pittsburgh Pirates can be traced back to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (sic) of the 19th century. That was the name they played under starting in their first season of 1887 and what many previous teams in the Pittsburgh area had been named. However, in 1890, the Alleghenys signed Lou Bierbauer, who had been a member of the American Association’s Philadelphia Athletics (despite the name, there is no connection to either of the Athletics or Phillies of today). Their actions were called “piratical” by American Association officials, and the Alleghenys ran with it, changing their name to Pirates.

However, there is one problem: just because your actions are piratical does not make you a pirate. Well, under some definitions it does, but only the most general and encompassing of them.

You see, pirates are, by definition, not part of any country or location other then themselves, their ship, and their crew. Maybe also other pirate crews, if they are part of some sort of terrorist group (such as many of the Somali pirates of today, who are loosely connected with terrorist organizations in the area).

Now, let’s see, while the Pittsburgh Pirates are definitely in it for themselves and their crew (their teammates), they also are representing a location and a government, albeit indirectly: The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

And, guess what? When a Pirate is signed up to represent one government or location’s interests, the pirate ceases to be a pirate, and becomes a privateer. To put it into baseball terms, pirates are basically always free agents, while privateers are players who’ve signed up to play for a certain team.

So, ladies and gentleman, know that while the 2015 Pittsburgh Pirates may be destined for great things, they are not, technically, pirates. Rather, they are the Pittsburgh Privateers.

Which still kind of rolls off the tongue pretty well, all things considered.

Last Night in One GIF (NL Wild Card 2014)

Image

Through the postseason, I’ll be posting a GIF that summarizes the events of the previous night.

This is basically the opposite of what George Brett was feeling. The Kansas City faithful got to see a classic game that was beyond belief. But a day later, Pirates fans… they just kind of had to sit there grim and dejected as their team was eliminated.

(As you can see, @_MarcusD_ made this gif, so thank you, @_MarcusD_, whoever you are).