Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I am glad to see that you have held off on good old Bob. I know you love being a blogger, and I do think you need to be careful about Julio Lugo.

But, let's be clear.

Because I HATE THIS:
But believe the world revovles around this:
There is NO WAY I am a communist.

We all know that soccer is a sign of communism, and I hate soccer.


I will not write him of JUST YET! But I am still veeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrry angry. (Said like Michelle Tanner or Kim or Brittin) I am angry, because I consider myself a blogger, while You (Thom, when I say You, I mean Thom) consider yourself a columnist (or communist).
Why do I consider myself a blogger and not have any desire to be a columnist? Because I want to be able to write/make fun of people I do not know. And if by some chance one of them like Julio Lugo, does find out it was me who made fun of and they decide to come beat me up...then I will have another think to blog about.

Don't Write Him Off Just Yet

So I went and listened to the Buzz-Lightyear rant that you talked about, and I want you to wait before you write-off Costas.

It is clear that Buzz Bissinger looses his mind. He seems to be up-set that he as "worked 40 years trying to perfect the craft [sports writing]" and that people like Will Leitch are "the future" of the industry."

While you are write that Costas didn't stop him, Bissinger was so out of control. He called blogs obscene and vulgar, yet he couldn't keep from dropping the F-Bomb. Let us remember that Bissinger really has one great book. That book he has pimped out so far that most people don't know that it is both a book and a true story. It is hard to take his "righteous indignation" seriously. For me, when I here him going off, I just hear a sad old man who refuses to change with the times.

First, let's look at a couple things that he said about blogs in general. He said that they are about "speed and dishonesty" and that all blogs are "glib and profaine". I think that blogs are about speed, but that is what the internet age is about. I tell anyone when reading the news online that they are only getting pieces of the story and wait until the morning and you will get the entire story. I think that Peter, Buster, Jason, Tommy Lasorda, and many other quality sports writters/bloggers who work hard to get the fans information as fast as possible wouldn't go on TV and be as profane as Bissinger was. To me this was just Buzz's last stand, it was sad, maybe he is bitter that he can't get a blog?

I do not look at Costas as the bad guy in this. I've watched the clip, I don't think he could have stopped Bissinger from going off. I don't think a frieght train filled with hot chicks wearing Permian High School Panthers or Dillion High School Panthers cheer-leader out-fits could have stopped Bissinger from his tirade. You may want to blame Bob for producing the set-up, but I am not too sure about that.

In the clip that I heard, Costas tried to derail the conversation three times. First he tried his hand at humor, but Buzz wouldn't stop. Next he interrupted him, saying "okay, that's enough." Buzz stopped on the current point but quickly jumped back on. Finally Bob said, "that's a generalization," as Bissinger defined how he saw blogs.

Now it may all be true, and I may have my head in the clouds on this, but I think you should give Bob a mulligan on this one. He is your boy, Blue. I really don't think that he could have stopped Buzz, and now Buzz has lost any hope of having any readership.

Dear Bob Costas,

When I was younger I had a desire to be a world famous sports broadcaster. I watched all of your broadcasts and did everything that I could to study you and what you do. When I received my Eagle Award, I was presented with a picture signed by YOU, congratulating me on this great day. It was a highlight of that day. So, thank you for that.
BUT, after last night, I am done with you. Last night on your HBO show, Costas Now, you had a round table discussion about blogs. The members of this discussion were Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and an award winning writer, Will Leitch, founder of and Braylon Edwards, WR for the Browns. In the past you have, like many other members of the media, have been highly critical of blogs. So, tonight you invited a moron, Buzz LightYear, to verbally attack Leitch and all other bloggers. Not only did you not stop him, but you helped him and even planned in this occurring. Buzz LightYear, who spent most of the time yelling about how disgusting and profane blogs are, was the most disgusting and profane person at the "discussion". And you did not say a word. Bob, you are not better that Bill O'Rielly, who often attacks Jon Stewart for reporting the "fake" news.
This is for all sports media, especially you Bob and Buzz LightYear, get over yourselves.



Who Broke My Window

Dearest Roger,

Over the last five to six months it just seems like nothing but lies surround you. There are so many holes in every story that you tell, and every story that is told about you. I know that you feel like people are misremembering the facts, or that other people are doing bad things (including your wife) that you would never do, or that you are a good guy that just mentors 15 year-old up and coming country singers that you meet in karaoke bars. But come clean Roger . . . come clean. I know it is hard. Learn from Carlton!



Carter Brothers Hats

I am sure you are all wondering about the Carter Brothers logo. Well, our cousin-in-law Muranda gave us a bunch of different mock-ups using different baseball team hat logos.

With this logo we had hats made. These hats came in today. Take a look.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sam's Right!

Sam is right, this current big three, will never be like THE BIG THREE!

But . . .

If this guy has a small hope of being mentioned near the same sentences as . . .
This guy, and . . .

This guy . . .

Then he has to bring home these!

It's just too bad that RED isn't here to watch this.

I disagree

This Big Three...

Will NEVER be as good as THE Big Three...

Even When they bring home one of these...

There will never be another Bird, Parish and McHale...period. I love KG, Allen and Pierce, but they will never be THE big three...ever!

The "Big Three"

This Big Three . . .

Will never be as good as The Big Three . . .

Until then bring home at least one of these!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Do you know what I dislike strongly?

You don't? Well, I will tell you. Devil Rays fans. First, they will always be the Devil Rays. ALWAYS! I will not change what I call them because some second class owner, who refuses to spend money on this team, says that I should. Now, that is out of the way, I hate their stupid fans. I do not hate the team. But I hate their fans.

I have watched the last few games against the Sox and where did these people come from? All of the sudden not only do they have actual fans, not people from the northeast who retired to Florida and want to watch baseball, but extremely obnoxious fans. People who think they know what they are talking about. People who cheer for the DEVIL Dogs, even though they are wearing a Red Sox shirt underneath their BRAND FREAKING NEW Devil Rats shirt. (I am not kidding, they actually showed someone like this.) This kind of stuff makes me very, very, very frustrated.

The end.

Not only is it NOT bad...

But it is the correct response! Only a true baseball fan would have those thoughts when one of the worst players on their team gets hurt. In fact as soon as I read your blog, I automatically made a list of the players on the Red Sox that I would would cheer if they got hurt. It ended up being a lot shorter than I thought, but here it is:
Mike Timlin (I do not care what he meant to the 2 World Series teams, he is awful NOW!)
Javier Lopez (A Waste, a complete a utter waste)
Julio Lugo (Although he is playing much better. I guess I would not cheer, I just would not be sad)

So, that is a naturally and correct response. Now maybe the Dodgers will start to score some runs.

Is it bad . . .

Is it bad that I cheered when I heard this story this morning?

"Los Angeles Dodgers OF Andruw Jones (calf) left the game against the Colorado Rockies Friday, April 25, in the fifth inning, due to a strained left calf, according to the Associated Press. The initial injury occured during the bottom of the third inning, when Jones fouled a pitch off his calf and did his best to walk off the pain. He returned to the outfield in the top of the fourth inning, after being checked out by a trainer, but his lack of mobility prevented him from catching what turned out to be an RBI double by OF Scott Podsednik. Jones was replaced in the game by OF Matt Kemp."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Congratulations on not being Content

Over the years we have seen many beautiful women compete in sports. By "beautiful" I mean drop dead gorgeous! The prime example of this was Anna Kournikova.

Kournikova was not only beautiful, she was a very talented tennis player with a very high ceiling. When she came onto the scene at the 1996 US Open people took notice at her foot speed and aggressive baseline play. But, wow, she was a blond bomb-shell from Russia that was just about every man's fantasy.

Photographs of her scantily-clad form have appeared in various men's magazines, including more than one SI Swmsuit Issue, FHM and Maxim. Kournikova was named one of People's s 50 Most Beautiful People four times, was voted "hottest female athlete" on, and in 2002 she also placed first in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World. She also appeared in the steamy music video for Enrique Igesias' song Escape. There was no doubt about it . . . Kournikova was HOT!

While she was getting all this fame and notiriety for her beauty and sex appeal, she was considered one of the biggest sports flops and even the most overrated athele of all time. Why, well after over 400 matches, Kournikova has never won a title. That's right . . . no career victories. A total sports disappointment.

But, last Sunday, one of my greatest concerns about another beautiful athlete were put to bed. Danica Patrick will not be another Anna Kournikova.

Danica burst onto the Indy Racing League (IRL) scene with a bang in 2005. Throughout that season she competed well, she won three poles and was the only woman to ever lead a lap at the Indy 500, but it looked like she was going to be an pretty good driver, but popular for other things.

Like Kournikova, Danica did a sexy spread for FHM magazine. She had a number of great endorsement deals and like Kornakova, she appeared in a music video (Jay-Z's "Show Me What You Got").

Because she kept competing well but not winning, I thought that she was all hype. Then this February, I was sure she was the next Kournakova when she did a four page spread for the SI Swimsuit issue. Even Celebrity Deathmatch got into the comparisons when they had the two fight in 2007.

But last Sunday all that changed. Last Sunday, in her 50th race, the 26 year-old took home the checkered flag by winning the Indy Japan 300. This pretty face became the first woman to ever win a IRL race. She proved everyone wrong, including me.

I hope that Danika Patrick's win will push woman's sport forward, at least stop the damage that Kournikova has done.

So congratulations Danica on not being content on just being a sex symbol.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What's the Big Deal with the O-Line?

It will probably be a rare occasion that either of the Carter Brothers write about the NFL, especially the NFL Draft; but there are a few things that I want to get off my chest.

First let's talk about the draft in general. The NFL Draft has turned into nothing but a television show, as proven by the NFL not allowing the Rams to start negotiating with who they might pick now that the Dolphins have the deal done for the first pick over all, Jake Long (Left Tackle, Michigan). They want the 10 minutes of suspense and build up that ESPN and the NFL Network are going to give to every single pick, through seven rounds on Saturday and Sunday.

I know that ESPN has done a great job making the NFL "America's Game," but I do find this a bit silly. Trust me, I love booing every Jet draft pick. My brother constantly reminds me that the Jets past on Dan Marino in 1984 and Matt Leinert in 2006 (this stinks since the Jets are without a QB). There are the crazies that go to MSG and will tune into this event, but I would rather read about it later. I get embarrassed for guys like Brady Quinn (he is dreamy) and Aaron Rogers who go to New York only to slip and have everyone in America watch them as they get passed on by team after team. But, thanks to ESPN, people love it.

Yesterday on the radio, Mel Kiper, Jr said that people love the NFL draft because you can see the effects of it immediately (within two or three years). I think that is probably true. It isn't the case with baseball and hockey, since those leagues have the minors. Rarely does an NBA rookie have that kind of impact, said Kiper. Oh really, LaBron, Paul, Wade, Magic. While the NBA draft is televised, it isn't hyped like what will happen this weekend.

I know that you think that I am a NFL hater, but I am not. I just think that it is over done and baseball is much much better!!!

But this post is not meant to bash the NFL draft, but to applaud the Miami Dolphins on their selection of Jake Long with the first pick (I know I am a Jets fan and I hate everything that the Dolphins do, but I am trying to look at this without my usual bias).

I have heard a number of people, whether it is on the radio, around the office, or in the paper question why a club would use the first pick in the draft to take a left tackle. They want to know why they would not take a QB (since the BYU's Beck didn't look too hot last year) or a RB (Darren McFadden is on the board) or even the two defensive studs up there (Glenn Dorsey or Howie Long’s kid, Chris ). Why a left tackle?

In my opinion, outside the quarterback, the left tackle is the most important position on the football field. He literally has the quarterback’s back. When the QB sets in the pocket he has to rely on that left tackle to make sure that he doesn’t get blind-sided in one of those fantastic sacks where it looks like the QB is going to break in half. If you have a good offensive line, especially a left tackle, you give your QB more time and the ability to be successful, without this, your offense is useless, you should just punt of first down.

I think that Jake Long is the right way to go for the Fish. I think that this will give Beck the opportunity to either rise up or fall flat. Last year, without any protection, he didn’t even have time to think about a three step drop.

I am sure everyone in the world will be sitting in front of the TV to watch Kiper and his FANTASTIC hair this weekend talk this all to death. Enjoy, I’ll be at the ballpark, watching the Lord’s game.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fredo Steinbrenner

THE GODFATHER, the the Mario Puzo classic novel and the Francis Ford Coppola epic films, chronicle the life and times of an American Crime Boss, Don Vito Corleone, and this three sons, Sonny, Fredo, and Michael.

Sonny was heir to the Corleone family, but was killed by a rival family. This left a void at the top of the family. It should have gone to Fredo, but he was considered to be weak as well as not so bright, so the family went to Michael.

It was never the intention of Don Vito for Michael to run the family, nor did Michael want a part of the family business, but it was how it was. When the great Don died, Michael became the new Godfather.

Fredo was not to pleased about it, and even helped another rival family as they put out a hit on Michael. Michael figured it out. "I knew it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You Broke my Heart!" Fredo was appoligetic and sad, and Michael let him back in the family (sort-of).

In a very poinent scene, Fredo expresses all of his frustrations that has lead him throughout his adult life. "I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over! It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!"

Eventually Michael had Fredo killed for going against the family.

So what does this have to do with sports. Well, one of the great sports crime families ever didn't have a Michael or even a Sonny and their family went to Fredo, the stupid son of the Great Don. I am talking about Hank Steinbrenner.

Now, I have never been a fan of Old Man Steinbrenner. He was abrasive, and too involved, and demanding, but unlike most owners, he put every dime he had into making the Yukees and better team. When it came time for him to retire this off season, he turned the keys over to his idiot son who clearly didn't learn anything from his father's early mistakes and just keeps yapping off to the New York media.

Most recently Fredo made comments about the pitching staff and what he thinks new manager Joe Girardi should be doing about Jaba Chamberlain. He said, "I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now. There is no question about it, you don't have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don't do that. You have to be an idiot to do that."

This guy can't even get through the first month of the season before he is questioning how everything is done. This is his first year with the club, and he is putting all of his baseball people on notice.

But wait, he didn't stop there. He went on to name how he would line up their starting rotation. "I think once Hughes and Kennedy get plenty of starts and get Joba back, and with Wang and Pettitte, we will be fine." Isn't it interesting that Moose isn't on this list, but Fredo did have a suggestion for him, "[Mussina] just needs to learn how to pitch like [45-year-old Phillies pitcher] Jamie Moyer." Moyer is known as a crafty pitcher who doesn't have an overpowering fastball. Moose has 250 wins, Moyer has 230.

How would you like to be Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, or especially Mike Mussina when you woke up this morning.

Here's the thing, I hate the Yankees, I love watching them be destroyed from the inside. It makes me wonder what would have happened to the Corleone family had Fredo not been passed over.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Closer(s)

Before I start, one of the most important moments of my life took place this morning. I was watching highlights of the Padres/Rockies 22 inning game and Grace walked into the room. She pointed to the TV and said, "Baseball!" I could not have been a happier or prouder Dad! We got her...a baseball fan for life!!

Now moving on to much less important topics. I was glad to see the Sox get a much deserved victory last night against the Yankees. Manny was fantastic and Beckett was on his game. In the 9th inning Paps came in and was not sharp. I am not worried about him at all but it leads me to a question. Is it a good idea to bring in Closers when it is not a save situation? Closers are one of the most interesting breads of athlete. They are creatures of habit, superstitious and usually a bit of their (John) rocker. When they come into a game and their team in up by 4 runs or more, does this mess with their psyche?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

O'Brien isn't as bad as . . .

Sam and I talked about this last night and he expressed these same frustrations to me over the phone.

Then I reminded him that I was in the car and the only radio feed I could get was the Yankee Feed. While I think that John Sterling is a good broadcaster (I could do without the "Yankees win THEEEEEEEE Yankees WIN"), his partner might just be worse than O'Brien, and even worse that Joe Morgan.

Suzyn Waldman is just plain aweful. There were about four times I wanted to turn off the game because she was talking. Sam is right about O'Brien being a "spouse cheater" - Waldman is like that crazy Aunt who has opinions about everything, and 95% of them are wrong. You have to listen to that Aunt because she is family, in this case you have to listen to Waldman because that is the only way to listen to the game.

Not only was it a crazy, nightmare of a game, but it looks like the Carter Brothers both had bad broadcasting experiences last night too.

PS - Here is when she cried after the Yankee season ended last year. LINK

O'Brien being O'Brien

I am not going to lie...very few things bother me as much as watching WEEI/ESPN's Dave O'Brien call Yankee games. Why? Because he is the RADIO VOICE OF THE BOSTON RED SOX! I understand that he is also one of ESPN's number 1 play-by-play announcers and he is fine announcer...but I cannot stand listening to him heap praise on the Yankees when his other job is to love the Sox. When he calls the Yankees the way he does, it is like witnessing someone cheating on a loved one right before your very eyes. In last nights ugly, ugly, ugly game, I was forced to hear him over and over again talk about Jeter "leadership", Wang being the best pitcher in baseball, get excited over Matsui's routine catches in left, talk about Girardi like he is the second come of Joe Torre and be a little bit too obvious in his love for AFraud. It made me sick.

And on top of that hearing him continue to use the stupid phrase, "Manny being Manny", made me want to punch him in the face right then and there! I believe in was the 7th inning and Manny was on first. The count was 2-2 with 2 outs and Manny kept trying to steal second as a few pitches got fouled off. Joe Morgan, another "genius", wondered why they were giving Manny the green light to run when the count was not full. O'Brien remarked, "That is assuming that they are even giving Manny the green light, he is in his own little world." Haha...never heard that before. (A note to all sports media people: Please stop with the Manny being Manny nonsense. It is old and not funny. Find something new. End Note to all sports media people) I am sick of listening to O'Brien and his torrid, very public love affair with the Yankees. Please, no more O'Brien being O'Brien. I cannot handle it anymore.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For The Love of STINK!

Sam is absolutly right. I think that ESPN has forced the NFL upon us. They have set the adgenda and decided that football was giong to be America's passion.

NFL live is on every day with a cherry time slot. If ESPN cared about other sports they would have Shoot-Around or Baseball Tonight on all the time. Even now, with baseball in full swing, Baseball Tonight airs at MIDNIGHT!

Apparently there is nothing sexy about football. And it is true that Stink Schlerth is a dream boat (much better looking than Timmy or Peter). But I promise you this, if ESPN devoted as much time to Baseball as it does to football, including college and high school games, I know that baseball would be king.

For now, we have to deal with the morons who think that football is the best thing in the world. Granted everyone knows that hitting a round ball with a round bat coming at you at 95 mph from 60 feet 6 inches away is the hardest thing in sports; much harder than running a route or blocking a man.

Thank you ESPN . . . or should we call you ESPNFL!

SportsCenter. Agenda Setter

What Thom wrote about may be the thing that drives me the MOST nuts about ESPN...their love affair with all things Football. I know that Thom called yesterday morning vent to Amy about "Mike and Mike" being only about the upcoming NFL draft (2 WEEKS AWAY!) and not at all about Jackie Robinson day (YESTERDAY!!) and then to go home to have to deal with a Sports Center Special and SCHEDULES BEING RELEASED!!! That is ridiculous. Yesterday there were a lot more topics that could have/should have done a special on and to choose something about football shows how blind ESPN is to most of the sports world.

My question for you is, does ESPN have so much Football talk (NFL Live EVERYDAY, Spring Football Games, Schedule Specials, MEL Freakin KIPER) because that is what America wants or has ESPN created this obsession?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What the HUH?

When I got home from the ballpark tonight I turned on the TV to see what was on ESPN. The guide told me that there was a "SportsCenter Special" on.

I got excited, thinking that they were going to go a little more in depth into Jackie Robinson. I had heard a number of people talk about Jackie during my commute to and from work on XM radio's baseball channel, and figured that ESPN would be right in doing two hours on this great man. So I quickly changed the channel over to the "World Wide Leader."

Boy was I wrong. Was it two hours on Jackie Robinson? . . . NO! It was a two hour special on the NFL season!! Apparently the league released the schedule today and so ESPN thought that it was important to talk about the match-ups SIX MONTHS before the games are played. SIX MONTHS!!!

Freaking Ridiculous!

Jackie Robinson Day

This appeared today on my regular blog:

On this date, 61 years ago, Jackie Robinson put on a Dodger uniform, stepped on to Ebbits Field and made history. He changed the game of baseball forever. He was the first black man to play major league baseball. Today, we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, to honor his courage and acomplishments.

n the late 1940s, Branch Rickey was club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers began to scout Robinson who had joined the Negro League Kansas City Monarchs in 1945 after his discharge from the Army. He played shortstop and had a batting average of .387. Rickey eventually selected him from a list of promising African-American players. Robinson became the first player in fifty-seven years to break the Baseball color line.

Rickey reminded Robinson that he would face tremendous racial animus, and insisted that he not take the bait and react angrily. Robinson was aghast: "Do you want a player afraid to fight back?" Rickey replied that he needed a Negro player "with the guts not to fight back." Robinson agreed to abide by Rickey's terms for his first year.

In 1946, the Dodgers assigned Jackie Robinson to the Montreal Royals. Jackie proceeded to lead the International League in batting average with a .349 average, and fielding percentage with a .985 percentage. Although the season was emotionally arduous for Robinson with the racist abuse he faced during the team's away games, he also deeply appreciated the enthusiastic support by the Montreal fans who followed his performance with intense interest. Because of Jackie's play in 1946, the Dodgers called him up to play for the major league club in 1947. Robinson made his Major League debut on April 15, 1947, playing first base when he went 0 for 3 against the Boston Braves.

Throughout the season, Robinson experienced harassment at the hands of both players and fans. He was verbally abused by both his own teammates and by members of opposing teams. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodger management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I don't care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fu#@$n' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you can't use the money, I'll see that you are all traded." When other teams, notably the Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played, NL President Ford Frick let it be known that they would be suspended.

On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Jackie a " ni#$&r" from their dugout, and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields." Rickey would later recall that the Phillies' manager, Ben Chapman, "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men." Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler admonished the Phillies and asked Chapman to pose for photographs with Robinson as a conciliatory gesture.

Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese, who would be a teammate of Robinson's for the better part of a decade, was one of the few players who publicly stood up for Robinson during his rookie season. During the team's first road trip, in Cincinnati, Ohio during pre-game practice, Robinson was being heckled by fans when Reese, the Dodgers team captain, walked over and put his arm around Robinson in a gesture of support that quieted the fans and has now gained near-legendary status. Reese was once quoted saying about Robinson "You can hate a man for many reasons; color is not one of them." In addition, the Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who understood the rookie's difficulties considering he himself faced considerable anti-Semtism earlier in his career, made a point of welcoming Robinson to the major leagues. In the October 1948 issue of SPORT magazine, Robinson said he didn't expect to see baseball's color barrier fall in his lifetime. "I thought it would take another war," he said.

That year, he played in 151 games, hit .297, led the National League in stolen bases and won the first-ever Rookie of the Year Award (this award was renamed "The Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award" in 1987). Although Jackie played every game that season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman.

Two years later, Robinson won the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player award, leading the league in batting average and stolen bases. By this point, he had galvanized fan support to the point that a popular song, Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?, reached the national Billboard R&B chart. In 1952, he blasted the Yankees as a racist organization for not having broken the color line five years after his own crosstown debut.

Robinson was a crucial component of the 1951 "Miracle of Coogan's Bluff" pennant race. On the final day of the season, and with the Giants having already won their game, the Dodgers needed to beat the Phillies just to force a playoff. The game went into extra innings, and in the bottom of the 12th inning, Philadelphia loaded the bases with one out. Robinson made a season-saving defensive play: diving for a soft liner to his right, he injured his elbow but was able to convert the catch into a double play. Robinson then hit a game-winning home run in the 14th inning.

Despite his regular season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run. Film footage of the home run trot and celebration shows Robinson, observantly but dourly watching Thomson's feet in case he failed to touch all of the bases. Most fans know that the Giants were stealing signs and tipped off Thomson on what pitch was coming. They are a bunch of cheaters.

Although he reached the World Series six times in his career, Robinson would win his only championship ring when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. After the 1956 season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the Giants. Robinson announced his retirement shortly after the trade; when asked, he made it clear that he had planned to retire before the trade was made, citing his own physical health and family commitments as his main reasons, but also saying that he was always going to be a Dodger.

Robinson was a disciplined hitter and a versatile fielder. He had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on base percentage and substantially more walks than strikeouts. He was a truly outstanding baserunner. No other player since World War I has stolen home more than Robinson, who did it 19 times in his career. Recent statistical analysis has also indicated that Robinson was an outstanding defensive player throughout his career. During his career, Jackie played in six All-Star games. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a member of the All-Century Team.

Assessing himself, Robinson said "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

On April 15, 1997, the 50th Anniversary of his first big league game, Jackie Robinson's #42 was retired by Major League Baseball, meaning that no future player on any major league team could wear it. Players wearing #42 at the time, some of whom said they did so as a tribute to Robinson, were allowed to continue wearing it, thereby grandfathering the number's retirement. The last player currently wearing the number is New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new New York Mets ballpark, Citi Field, scheduled to open in 2009, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, will be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Additionally, Mets owner Fred Wilpon said that the Mets and Citigroup would work with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center in lower Manhattan, as well as fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

On April 15, 2007, the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, Major League Baseball invited players to wear the number 42 just for that day to commemorate Robinson. The gesture was the idea of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffy, Jr., who first sought Rachel Robinson's permission, and, after receiving it, asked Commissioner Bud Selig for permission. Selig extended the invitation to all major league teams. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Today, Commissioner Selig has again "unretired" Robinson's Jersey for whomever wishes to wear it. As you watch baseball games tonight and you see many players wearing #42, think of this great ballplayer - this great man, and how he helped change the fabric of America and write a new chapter in American History


Welcome to the Carter Brothers Sports Blog! Where you get the chance to read the Carter Brothers sports stories, debates and open game threads. Let the "excitement" begin!