Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Springfield Nuclear: A Pennant Winning Team?

Nuclear power tycoon C. Montgomery Burns is a man used to having his way. Whether it's a child's plaything he's after, or a million dollar bet with the owner of a rival team, he's willing to skirt, bend, and break rules to get what he wants and maintain his own high standard for excellency. Twenty-one years ago today, Burns assembled perhaps the most talked about team in history*. His "Springfield 9" was a collection of stars expected to win not just a beer league softball crown, but the 1992 World Series as well.

On the anniversary of that occasion, I thought it appropriate to look back at that team, not only to remember what became of them that year (oddly enough, while a documentary on their spring training and footage of one game against Shelbyville are regularly televised, the 1992 season itself is rarely discussed), but also to muse about why it happened.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Baseball Players and Presidents

A federal holiday honoring George Washington began in 1879, when all government offices in the District of Columbia were closed on February 22, Washington's birth date. In 1971 the Uniform  Monday Holiday Act took effect, moving all federal holidays to designated Mondays. The holiday is now most commonly known as Presidents Day, but is still officially designated "Washington's Birthday." It is celebrated on the third Monday in February (odd, since that means it never falls on Washington's actual birthday), which is why I'm not at work today. To honor the highest office in our nation, I'm putting together a baseball team, made entirely of players who share their surname with a U.S. President.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Felix Hernandez and Seattle Make a Commitment

Felix Hernandez, one of the best pitchers in baseball and still just 26 years old, has reportedly agreed to a new contract with the Mariners that will lock him through 2019 and pay him $175 million. USA Today's Bob Nightengale first broke the news, reporting that the new deal would start immediately, replacing Hernandez's old contract, which ran through 2014. That would be an AAV (annual average value) of $25M for the next seven years. Later, ESPN's Buster Olney reported the previous deal is still in place, paying Felix $39.5M over the next two years, with a $135.5M extension added to it, an AAV of $27.1M from 2015-2019. Either way, the total money and AAV will both be the highest ever for a pitcher.