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Posts Tagged ‘Major League Baseball’

Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Russell Branyan held a press conference on Wednesday to announce the founding of a new Major League Baseball franchise, the Seattle Offense, which will start play in early July.

Major League Baseball confirmed the announcement, explaining the circumstances which allowed the three players to bypass most regulations concerning expansion franchises.

Ichiro is All Smiles About Hitting in a Lineup that Doesn't Feature Kenji Johjima

Ichiro is All Smiles About a Lineup that Doesn't Feature Kenji Johjima

“Ichiro pitched the team to me two weeks ago,” Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told the press, “And it’s fairly clear cut. We are granting Ichiro, Ken, and Russell a new franchise based on a ‘talent grievance’ they filed against their current ballclub.”

According to Selig, the three players have statistically proven that, while they remain under contract with the Seattle Mariners, the offensive production from Mariners teammates has crippled their potential for success.

The talent grievance specifically cited the offensive production of current Mariners Mike Sweeney, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Kenji Johjima. The report also included a retroactive claim against former Mariner Richie Sexson.

Selig showed nothing but confidence in the new franchise.

“The bottom line is this: Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr., and Russell Branyan could give the city of Seattle some form of offensive production,” Selig concluded, “And believe me, that city needs it.”

Seattle Offense officials confirmed on Wednesday that former Mariners bullpen coach Norm Charlton has been named as the team’s first manager.

Griffey told the press that the decision was easy to make, citing the need for a coach who could demonstrate business aspects up front but carefree aspects in back.

“I played with Norm in the mid-1990s.” Griffey recalled. “I’ve seen the mullet in action, and believe me when I say it is fierce.”

Charlton had nothing but high hopes for the upcoming season.

“It’s exciting,” Charlton said at the press conference on Wednesday. “The guys and I have a chance to do something that Seattle fans are dying to see; score a lot of runs!

“Let’s put it this way,” Charlton added, “We might even finish better than dead last in total runs scored.”

Despite his initial excitement about the job opportunity, Charlton is aware that there are necessary roster moves on the horizon.

Major League Baseball officials reported that the Seattle Offense declined to partake in an expansion draft, instead relying on a preliminary roster which features only Branyan, Griffey, and Ichiro.

“Filling out a scorecard is going to be a stretch,” Charlon conceded. “As of now we have Ichiro penciled in at pitcher, Griffey playing left field, center field, and right field, and Russell playing pretty much the entire infield.

“It’s a stretch,” Charlton admitted, “But it will work out.”

Suit Him Up

Suit Him Up

There is no word yet concerning who will start at catcher for the Seattle Offense, but Charlton did not deny the current rumors which claim that Mariner Moose will be suiting up at catcher for the Offense.

Regardless of future additions, the current Seattle Offense players are excited about a new playing environment.

“We are doing this for a few reasons,” Russell Branyan said Wednesday, “But most importantly we want to see what its like to have a lineup full of competent hitters.”

“Imagine that,” Ichiro interrupted through his translator, “A lineup that goes Ichiro-Branyan-Griffey instead of Ichiro followed by three guys who should be in the minor leagues.”

According to Branyan, the idea came about after a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on June 6, 2009.

“Ichiro, Griff, and I were sitting around after the game and got to talking about how [the Mariners] offense was performing,” Branyan explained, “We were looking at the stat sheet and realized that on that night we accounted for over sixty percent of our team’s hits.”

“It was bad,” Griffey said of the June 6 game, “Ichiro and I were actually leaving notes on the bases which made fun of Adrian [Beltre].”

“It’s not as mean as you think,” Griffey said in defense, “It’s not like [Beltre] was ever going to get on base to see them. Regardless of the notes, we knew something had to be done.”

Ichiro declined to talk about how the idea came to be, instead focusing on what the Seattle Offense can accomplish.

“All three of us just want to win,” Ichiro said through his translator, “And in baseball, in order to win, you need players who can hit the ball.”

“Russell, Griffey, and I decided to take the best hitters on our team and move on.” Ichiro added, “Unfortunately we found that there was no one else who qualified to join us.”

The Seattle Offense expect to begin play on Thursday, July 16, following the Major League Baseball All Star Game.

The Seattle Mariners declined to comment on the issue.

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K-Rod Celebrates a Save Conversion

K-Rod Celebrates a Save Conversion

New York Mets’ Closer Francisco Rodriguez, better known as “K-Rod,” blew his first save of the season on Friday night against the New York Yankees.

K-Rod should have earned the save, however, as Luis Castillo dropped a potential game-ending pop-up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. This error allowed two unearned runs to score, which gave the Yankees the win.

On Saturday Yankees relief pitcher Brian Bruney, currently rehabbing in Double-A Trenton, was asked about K-Rod’s blown save and the Yankees improbable victory.

“Unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like that. I have, but in high school,” Bruney said, adding, “It couldn’t happen to a better guy on the mound, either. He’s got a tired act.”

When asked to clarify this criticism, Bruney said, “I just don’t like watching the guy pitch. I think it’s embarrassing.”

K-Rod was quick to dismiss the comments, calling Bruney, “Some guy that I don’t even know who it is.”

Regardless of Bruney’s apparent lack of name recognition, one has to admit that he might be on to something.

Since K-Rod’s rise to prominence, his post-game antics have been heavily scrutinized.

For anyone unfamiliar with K-Rod’s typical postgame celebration, watch from 0:05-0:15 of the following video:

After each converted save, K-Rod points skyward with both hands, pounds his chest, wings his arms, kisses one of his hands, then points skyward again. Don’t forget that he is also doing a mock roar the entire time…

Many baseball players use celebrations such as fist pumps, chest pounds, pointing to the sky, and screaming.

K-Rod, however, seems content to combine all of these into a ten-second variety show that takes place directly in front of the pitcher’s mound.

My only complaint with K-Rod’s post-game celebration is this: he performs this overwhelming celebration for every single save conversion.

Translation: K-Rod, a closer, performs an over-the-top celebration (if you don’t think it is over the top, consider it in comparison with other pitchers) after doing his job.

A top-tier closer is expected to get anywhere from 30-50 saves in a given year, but it all depends on how many save opportunities he receives.

Similarly, a top-tier home run hitter is expected to hit anywhere from 30-50 home runs in a given year.

Ask yourself, what if Ryan Howard crossed the plate, pounded his chest, pointed skyward, kissed his hands, pointed skywards again, and roared every time he hit a home run?

Sure, it doesn’t sound like too long of an ordeal, but consider that this is happening for ten whole seconds. Think of a hitter standing on home plate for ten seconds after each home run…

I don’t disapprove of K-Rod celebrating a save conversion. I wouldn’t care if he did a regular celebration like a fist pump and some high fives.

What I do disapprove of is K-Rod’s over-the-top post-game celebration. It’s prolonged, excessive, and quite frankly it taunts the opponent at a time when they are most upset; following a loss.

I’m sure his intentions are good, as part of it supposedly pays homage to his late grandfather.

Regardless of his intentions, however, the post-game dance party has to be limited in some form or fashion.

Keep in mind, I don’t dislike K-Rod and this isn’t meant to bash him as a player. Instead, it is aimed at his trademark celebration.

Sound off with what you agree and/or disagree on in the comments section. Come on Mets fans, defend your closer!

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A few months ago, I wrote an article naming ten players I believe could be in the remaining 103 names affiliated with the A-Rod steroids controversy.

Much to the chagrin of Red Sox fans, one of the names listed was Red Sox DH David Ortiz.

The article was written February 10, and since then Ortiz has done nothing but confirm any suspicions that his better years are in the past.

In 44 games so far this year, Ortiz has compiled a .189AVG with 1HR and 18RBI.

Two weeks ago, I was prepping for an article titled “If it was anyone but David Ortiz they would have been benched already.”

Then he was benched.

One week after that I prepared an article titled, “If it was anyone but David Ortiz they would have been dropped in the lineup by now.”

Then he was dropped in the lineup.

While the Boston Red Sox nation tries to determine what is wrong with David Ortiz, no one considers the most pessimistic explanation: this might not be a slump— it might be the end.

Normally, I don’t target specific players in articles (however I did get butchered for a piece about Dwyane Wade last month). However, in the aftermath of Major League Baseball’s steroid era, I’m growing frustrated with the inability of any major media outlet to use the ‘s word’ when a player takes a turn for the worse.

Ortiz After One of His 45K So Far This Year

Ortiz After One of His 45K So Far This Year

There seem to be basic guidelines when a player is caught with a needle in their hand (these are borrowed from a previous article I wrote about the steroid debacle).

1 – Deny, Deny, Deny — No matter what the media, player, family, trainers, dealers, celebrities, and world leaders say— you didn’t do it. Until they come out with Phelps-esque damning evidence, fight it to the end.

2 – When you admit to steroid use, do so in the most minimal time frame possible — If you tested positive in April 2003, tell the media that you tried steroids only once in your life… it just happened to be in April 2003 (and of course you never tried it again).

Just one time I would like to see a player come out and say, “Yes, I did it. I took performance enhancing drugs because I wanted to be better than everyone else, and they worked. I didn’t only try it once and get unlucky, and I didn’t take something my trainer gave me without knowing what it was. I read the label, ingredients, and directions, then popped the needle in and played a whole lot better than I had before. If I hadn’t been caught I would have never come clean, but now that I have I may as well tell the truth.”

Is that too much to ask?

This article isn’t saying that only Ortiz should do this. In truth, I wish every player who used PEDs in their prime would admit it, but that’s just a pipe dream from an increasingly pessimistic baseball fan.

Instead, this article is to point out one of the many non-productive ex-steroid users who is still siphoning an A-List contract from his team.

Anyone can tell that the writing is on the wall. Consider the following:

  1. The stats. David Ortiz seems to have magically lost any hint of power he ever possessed. Compare his batting average, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage, etc. and you will find a severe drop-off in the past few years. Yes, the same years that Major League Baseball began a strict crackdown on steroid use…
  2. Lou Merloni, who played with the Red Sox from 1998-2002, recently told the press how the Red Sox team doctor gave detailed explanations of how to use steroids at official team meetings. If you don’t believe me, read the story.
  3. David Ortiz’s former Bash Brother (no steroid reference intended) recently tested positive for a drug commonly used while cycling off of steroids. Translation: the only reason on God’s green earth he would be using this drug would be to cycle off of steroids.

Once again, this article isn’t meant to condemn only David Ortiz.

However, in a half-joking-half-serious manner, Ortiz has to know that the show is over.

It’s just time to come clean…

sk.

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My thanks to Matt Howell for this article’s premise and some of its writing.

Nearly two months into the fantasy baseball season, most managers can accurately evaluate their teams strengths, weaknesses, and potential for the remainder of the season. This is also the point where managers can evaluate both entertainment and annoyance received from any particular fantasy baseball league.

It seems that every year a good fantasy baseball league is infiltrated by one of many stereotypical managers who drag the league down.

Since my most competitive fantasy baseball league is currently dealing with a number of these characters, I found it fitting to outline a number fantasy baseball managers that you never want to join a league with.

The Guy that Loves the Draft Just a Little Too Much

We have all been in a draft with this guy before. This is the guy who shows up with ESPN rankings, Yahoo rankings, positional rankings, expanded team depth charts, yearly projections, and even candid photographs taken personally from outside an athlete’s home.

Position eligibility and general statistics are child’s play to this guy. Instead, he focuses on stadium-by-stadium statistics, home/road splits, possible drug addictions, and which baseball player is currently dating Alyssa Milano (yeah she’s hot, but ask Barry Zito, Brad Penny, and Carl Pavano what happened to their careers after the breakup).

Career-Wrecker (Worth It)

Career-Wrecker (Worth It)

Sure, his dedication to pre-draft greatness may seem inspiring, but remember that this guy is also a bit underhanded. He is constantly scheming to find out what pick you have, which player you are targeting, and what he can do to completely destroy your current draft strategy. Why, you ask? Because this guy subscribes to the Highlander school of draft philosophy: there can be only one great manager at any given draft.

As you draft the next best player on the board, this guy will be calling his cousin down in Houston who gave Lance Berkman’s neighbor a haircut three weeks ago and found out that there was a loud crash one night at Berkman’s house which could have been him dropping something heavy. You know, these kind of things can affect Berkman’s 2009 campaign. Yes, he is that prepared.

Luckily, this guy can only annoy you for about three hours each year. As the draft winds to an end, he will start scouting for next year and you can grab a beer in peace. Unfortunately, someone who devotes that much time to fantasy sports has a tendency to leave his draft obsessions behind and morph into one of the other stereotypes that plague fantasy sports leagues.

Stay tuned for his potential habits for the remainder of the season.

The Guy that Drafts All Prospects

Speaking of drafts, there happens to be one more guy at every draft that unintentionally-but-oh-so-efficiently drives everyone crazy.

Cheat sheets be damned, this guy arrives at the draft armed with the newest copy of Baseball Prospectus and nothing else.

Instead of drafting “over the hill” players like Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols, this guy targets the hottest prospects in baseball. After all, they have nowhere to go but up, right?

Without a doubt this guy drafted David Price, Matt Wieters, Matt LaPorta, and Tommy Hanson in 2009… Not too shocking, but keep in mind that he did it by the end of the eighth round.

Productive young players are a prize to have in fantasy sports. While most managers delicately balance a cost-benefit analysis when determining which rookies to draft for an upcoming season, this guy seemingly drafts based on one attribute: potential.

It’s as if this guy attended the Al Davis School of Closed Minded Draft Strategies, but instead of falling in love with speed, this guy developed an affinity for first-round draft picks.

In mid-June, this guy will be inexplicably puzzled at how all of his top-tier talent remains in the Minor Leagues. While Weiters, Hanson, and crew are destroying AAA opposition, this guy’s starting roster will feature a slew of fantasy baseball B-Listers and the occasional free agent acquisition.

No worries, champ, there’s always next year (and next year’s top prospects!).

The Guy that Over-Values People from his Favorite Team

This is the guy who misguidedly lets his love for a certain team determine his fantasy baseball decisions.

This guy is generally guilty of three annoying-yet-consistently-present characteristics concerning the treatment of players on his favorite team:

  1. This guy will make every effort to draft every star player from his favorite team
  2. This guy will subsequently make every effort to trade for whatever stars from his favorite team that he was unable to draft
  3. Once acquired, this guy will hold his favorite team’s players at such a high value that they are virtually untouchable
This Guy Plays Fantasy Baseball

This Guy Plays Fantasy Baseball

This is the guy whose team name is “Go Red Sox!” and whose draft results look like this:

Round 1 – 2B Dustin Pedroia
Round 2 – OF Jason Bay
Round 3 – UTIL David Ortiz
Round 4 – 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis
Round 5 – RP Jonathan Papelbon

You get the idea…

If his draft strategy fails, however, look for this guy to start offering trades. Giving up Hanley Ramirez straight across for Dustin Pedroia? Sounds good to this guy. Trading Mark Teixeira in exchange for Big Papi? This guy would consider it a steal!

If you decide to deal with this guy, remember that all sales are final. Why? Because once this guy acquires his favorite players, they’re not going anywhere. Offer him Albert Pujols straight across for Josh Beckett and he will reject it. Offer him Ryan Howard for Kevin Youkilis and he convince himself he is getting robbed.

The core problem in all of his dealings is this: he is completely unable to subjectively view his favorite players, and this affects nearly all of his actions in a fantasy league.

Next time you prop a trade to a team named “Bronx Bombers,” keep in mind that the team manager probably ranks his players as follows: A-Rod first, Teixeira second, and Jesus in a distant third.

Good luck getting anywhere near those top two…

The Guy that Sends Terrible Trade Proposals

It’s 3:12a.m. and you have just completed a tedious fantasy baseball draft. As your mouse hovers over the “sign off” button, you hear a beep notifying you of a new e-mail. Here is what awaits you:

Dear Owner, the following trade has been proposed to you: Pat Burrell, Derrek Lee, and Josh Beckett for Albert Pujols and Johan Santana.

You reread the e-mail fifteen to twenty times just to make sure it isn’t a joke and quickly reject the trade. How pathetic, you think to yourself, and lean back from the computer.

Suddenly, another e-mail notification rings out.

Dear Owner, the following trade has been proposed to you: Pat Burrell, Derrek Lee, Josh Beckett, and Gil Meche for Albert Pujols and Johan Santana. The following message has been attached: “Hey Bro, I thought the first one was fair but I added Meche to even it out even more. Hit me back!”

Now you’re in a quandary. Do you reject this trade quickly and make a dash for bed before another is sent or just leave it pending so this owner will leave you alone? Either way, this is going to be a long season.

Believe it or not, this guy exists in the fantasy baseball world. Regardless of how much disinterest he receives, his trade volume is staggering and his persistence is unprecedented.

This guy doesn’t care about rejection. For him, a 99.5% rejection rate is fine, as long as one of his trades gets accepted at least once. On any given day, he might send out six or seven bad trades in hopes of one acceptance.

In order for this guy to succeed, all he needs is one misguided, misinformed, or questionably sober fellow manager to accept a trade offer.

Sure, his team may start at a disadvantage, but once the token Royals fan in the league accepts a trade which sends Evan Longoria straight across for Zack Grienke (see the previous bullet for more information on this phenomenon) this guy’s team is set.

A GM committee led by Bill Bavasi, Isiah Thomas, and Al Davis would call this guy insane, but that won’t stop him from proposing eight more trades before the end of the night.

Love it or hate it, any manager in a league with this guy will have to develop some sort of strategy to deal with him by the end of the year.

The Guy that Picks Up Ten People a Week

This is the guy that typically rosters the least overall talent, but somehow wins every other week because he picks up whatever player is on a hot streak at that given time. He may not be fielding a team with big names, but he can win if he rides certain free agents hitting hot streaks.

At One Point Emilio Bonifacio Was the No.1 Player In Fantasy Baseball

At One Point Emilio Bonifacio Was the No.1 Ranked Player In Fantasy Baseball

His starting lineup features one-time greats Emilio Bonifacio, Nick Swisher, and Nyjer Morgan, but that doesn’t deter him from making more pickups.

This guy picked up Tony Clark on opening day, Jason Kubel on April 17, Craig Monroe on April 18, and Dexter Fowler on April 27, and discarded each man shortly after their acquisition.

And that’s just for hitters…

Don’t forget that this guy also adds approximately ten starting pitchers per week for spot starts, keeping one spot on his roster flexible for whenever a quick add/drop is required. Why? Because a 7.95 ERA will most likely lose each week, but amassing 250 strikeouts in the process will undoubtedly win that category.

While this guy’s waiver wire fanaticism might get old, keep in mind that justice is eventually served.

Here’s an example of what I mean: How many people picked up Dexter Fowler after his five-steal game on April 27? Consequently, how many people have dropped Dexter Fowler for totaling a zero stolen bases since then? While Fowler’s April 27 performance was outstanding, he spent the next three weeks producing marginal statistics on this guy’s team (probably leading his manager to multiple losses).

While playing the hot hand can be successful, it is not a strategy that breeds long-term efficiency. This guy’s team can get hot for a few weeks, but it will typically tail off and finish in the lesser half of the league.

The Guy that Never Checks his Team

Last but not least, who could forget the guy that forgot the league?

Every league features a team or two whose draft is auto-picked. If these leagues are lucky enough, they might also feature a team whose season is virtually auto-piloted.

This guy manages his team as if his kid sister broke onto his account and registered the team without his knowledge. Every three months or so he will drunkenly stumble onto the site, make some sort of ill-advised change to his team, and vanish once again.

In mid-June his last log-in date will probably be from April, and it’s likely that at least three of his starting players have been placed on the disabled list.

This is the guy whose roster currently looks like this:

C – Ryan Doumit
1B – Carlos Delgado
2B – Rickie Weeks
3B – Aramis Ramirez
SS – Jose Reyes
OF – Manny Ramirez
OF – Ryan Ludwick
OF – Lastings Milledge
UTIL – Barry Bonds

Yeah, you read the last one right. He hasn’t checked his team in that long.

Trade proposals will come and go, but this guy’s absence will remain constant. While other managers enjoy the benefits of free agent acquisitions and trades, this manager remains in a state of isolation, allowing his team to play without his interference (that’s the positive way to see he never checks the damn thing).

At least this guy’s presence can assure you of this much: you won’t finish in last place, he has that spot reserved already.

So what does this list mean to you? Hopefully nothing.

Hopefully every single one of these managers meant nothing to you, because you have never ran across a manager with these character traits.

This is unlikely, however, as these managers seem to weasel their way into thousands of leagues across the country.

Hopefully this list was good for a laugh, and if you’re like me a name popped into your head while reading each one.

Comment with what you like or dislike, and if you think I left any managers off of this list.

sk.

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Just another night at the ballpark if you are a Colorado Rockies fan…

After a quiet home series against the Marlins (only 20 combined runs in three games) the Rockies current series against Houston has exploded into a “No Pitchers Allowed” two-day (so far) party.

Here are some highlights from Wednesday night’s box score:

  • 9 innings of baseball played
  • 26 total runs scored
  • 36 total hits
  • 12 extra-base hits (9 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs)
  • Houston Astros – .470 team batting average
  • .404 Astros/Rockies combined batting average
  • Starting Pitchers – 13.03 combined ERA

Honorable Mention Stat O’ The Night: In the first two games of this series the Rockies/Astros have combined for 39 runs in 18 innings of play… Yikes.

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The Phillies v. Cardinals game on Tuesday night was nothing spectacular for either side. Starting pitchers Brett Myers (5.1IP, 5ER) and Adam Wainwright (6IP, 7ER) were both mediocre at best, while the combined pitching staffs slugged it out for a whose-pitching-staff-can-try-and-lose-the-most offensive shootout.

There was one story line that caught my attention, however, as I tuned into this game in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Cardinals went down 1-2-3, sending the game into the top of the ninth with the Phillies holding a three-run lead. Entering the ninth, this game was in a save situation, so Phillies closer Brad Lidge began to warm up in the bullpen.

In the top of the ninth, however, the Phillies tagged on another run, making it a 10-6 game and no longer a save situation.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel followed the thought pattern of most managers in this situation: My closer is already warmed up, and even though this isn’t a save situation anymore he can go ahead and close this game out.

Manuel forgot one minor detail in his decision to send Lidge to the mound: the first batter due up in the bottom of the ninth was Albert Pujols.

Yes, that Albert Pujols. The guy who wrecked two years of Brad Lidge’s career with one swing.

"Oh God Please Hit The Ceiling or Something..."

"Oh God Please Hit The Ceiling or Something..."

Here is the play-by-play from the Cardinals ninth inning:

– B. Lidge relieved R. Madson
A. Pujols homered to deep left

Brad Lidge’s second pitch was a belt-high 94mph four-seam-fastball right over the heart of the plate that Albert Pujols delivered to a fan sitting in Section 346, Row ZZ, Seat 9. Translation: it went somewhere far, far away.

Well played, Charlie Manuel…

All I am saying is that if your team is in a non-save situation and the next batter up is your closer’s personal home-wrecker/life-wrecker/career-wrecker SIT THE KID DOWN!

Regardless of a boring game I found it entertaining to take a stroll down memory lane and watch Brad Lidge give himself whiplash watching a pitch sail towards Never-Land in the left field bleachers.

Despite Albert Pujols’ homerun being an A-Rod Homerun (meaning that it was hit in the ninth inning when his team was either down a lot or up a lot and helped the team in no way whatsoever), it was a no-doubter off the bat and Brad Lidge’s face as he watched it fly away was simply priceless.

If Brad Lidge blows eight of his next ten save opportunities and is removed from the closer role I’ll know why, and I’ll blame Charlie Manuel…

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I have officially butted my way into a blog v. blog debate currently between our friends at Snatch Sports and Two Big Boobs. Technically, I was invited by a writer at Snatch, but had I not been I might have just posted my own answer anyways. Why? Because I’m that much of an ass…

Here is this weeks question: What sports event has had the biggest social impact on humankind?

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To answer this question I think its important to fully understand what is being asked. There are a number of events that have heavily influenced modern sports, but in order to answer this question one must understand that it is asking for a sports event that had a social impact on humankind.

Those are three very difficult terms to link together, since most of the famous sports events had great influence over sports (not humankind as a whole).

My answer to this question is one of the most famous events in history. I know it seems cliche, but sometimes the most adequate answer is the most obvious choice.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Remember the Sonics has chosen Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB Color Barrier in 1947.

When reviewing Jackie Robinson’s Major League Baseball debut, one must remember that his actions did not affect only baseball. Instead, they made an astounding social impact on the entire country.

Since the late nineteenth century, Major League Baseball (and a host of other professional baseball organizations) held an unspoken agreement to exclude blacks from play. These type of agreements were born out of both racist beliefs from league officials and racial tensions throughout America.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Major League Baseball operated without any black players for over fifty years (1890-1946), prompting black baseball players to create their own professional baseball league; the Negro Leagues. This league featured some of the most famous baseball players of the era, including stars such as Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, and Josh Gibson.

In 1945 Jackie Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues. His talent was noticed quickly, however, and towards the end of that season he was interviewed by Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey. Rickey signed Robinson to play for a Dodgers’ minor league affiliate, but Robinson soon climbed the ranks to the Major Leagues.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers, effectively breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier.

The rest of his career is irrelevant to this debate, although he did play All-Star caliber baseball, won an MVP Award, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. What mattered the most concerning Jackie Robinson was his first game played in April of 1947. This was a sports event that held a social impact on all of humankind.

The NBA soon followed suit, breaking its color barrier in 1950, while the National Football League, whose color barrier had been broken years before, also saw an increase in the number of black athletes in its organization.

Robinson’s career has been recounted in books, movies, and magazines. His actions provided commentary on the racial relations in mid-twentieth century America, and also provided a rallying cry for blacks as they sought equality in the impending Civil Rights Movement. Consider that his first game played was so significant that it is listed in the History Channel’s timeline of “Black History Milestones.”

His legacy is immortal, his story is timeless, and his No.42 has been universally retired in Major League Baseball (sorry Mo Vaughn).

In my opinion, Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier is easily the sports event that has had the greatest social impact on humankind.

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Click Here to View Snatch’s Response – Curt Flood and the Beginning of Free Agency

Click Here to View Two Big Boob’s Response – Jesse Owens’ Performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Please Help By Voting on Which Event You Think is Most Significant!

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