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The pine tar incident

Posted at 11:36 AM on July 24, 2008 by Chris Dall

Today is the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in baseball history. Well, that might be stretching it a bit, but what baseball fan of the right age doesn't remember when an excess amount of pine tar, and an umpire's bizarre ruling, caused Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett to go absolutely ballistic?

That's still the greatest sports freak out ever. And to this day I still don't understand how having too much pine tar on the bat had any effect on Brett's home run.

Random Thoughts

Hall-of-Fame baseball writer Jerome Holtzman passed away this week. Holtzman covered the game for more than 40 years, wrote six books on the game, and became baseball's official historian after retiring in 1998. But he is perhaps most well known for creating the "save" rule, which has changed the game for both good and bad. A lot of people think saves are the most over-rated statistic in baseball, and they have an argument. Just look at Cleveland closer Joe Borowski's 2007 season.

CC Sabathia pitched his third straight complete game yesterday for the Brewers, a 3-0 blanking of the Cardinals. I know CC is a horse, but as Newscut blogger Bob Collins has noted, the Brewers probably realize they're not going to resign Sabathia, and so they're getting as much out of him as they can. If you had Eric Gagne in your bullpen, you'd probably do the same.

Contrast that with the New York Mets, who pulled Johan Santana after 8 innings and 105 pitches Tuesday night against the Phillies. Santana left with 5-2 lead, but Met relievers coughed up 6 runs in the 9th, and New York ended up losing 8-6. I understand the Mets wanting to protect their investment, but in a game against a division rival, with first place on the line and closer Billy Wagner unavailable, Santana should have pitched the 9th. That's what he's getting the big bucks for.

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