UCLA legend John Wooden nearly became manager of Pirates

Doc Emrick, unparalleled Professor of Hockey, now emeritus, can recite the roster of the 1981 Port Huron Flags and has on file a replica of the guarantee on their Zamboni.

But then there’s baseball and, regardless of his largely unrequited affection, his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates. If Emrick drank, his fridge can be loaded with Iron City Beer. So final week, when he hit me with this one, I needed to know extra.

In the mid-Nineteen Sixties, the Pirates, seeking to exchange infirm manager Danny Murtaugh, very nearly employed John Wooden, the famed UCLA basketball coach, to switch him. The Bucs very a lot needed him, however Wooden, who got here shut, declined.

Emrick despatched alongside some outdated newspaper clips and recollections to assist this story.

The Bucs’ GM was Joe L. Brown, the son of well-known comic, actor and baseball freak Joe E. Brown. Joe E. and Bing Crosby every owned a bit of the Pirates.

Joe E. Brown adopted Bowling Green University in Kentucky as his unofficial alma mater. The faculty named its theater in his honor. Emrick earned his doctorate in broadcasting from Bowling Green, thus the “Doc.”

Joe L. Brown was in California, eating with Wooden — he was already firmly established because the peerless UCLA basketball coach — when the query was raised:

Wooden
Then Angels manager Mike Scoscia walks off the sphere with former UCLA coach John Wooden previous to the beginning of Game 2 of the World Series in 2002.
AP

Would Wooden, properly versed in baseball, handle the Pirates? He’d said that baseball was his old flame.

But Wooden advised Brown he doubted the gamers would take him severely. “I don’t know who’d be run out of town first, you or me.” But the provide lingered till the Pirates employed Harry “The Hat” Walker.

“Wooden,” stated Emrick, “kept a newspaper clipping in his wallet as proof of that offer.”

And Joe Torre, when he managed the Dodgers, 2008-10 — Wooden died in 2010 — has said that Wooden told him the same story. Imagine, Wooden nearly skippered Roberto Clemente!

As Paul Harvey would say, “and now you know the rest of the story” — even when you didn’t know its starting.

Historian nails baseball love of ‘Red Badge’ writer

One extra?

Gary Cieradkowski, an excellent baseball artist, author and historian — try his Infinite Baseball Card Set site — has chronicled the baseball life of Stephen Crane, writer of the 1895 Civil War basic “Red Badge of Courage.”

Crane grew up enjoying baseball in Newark. His want to play prompted him to flunk out of Lafayette College. He subsequent attended Syracuse, the place he was ok to draw scouts, then joined a newspaper in Asbury Park the place his brief literary profession was born. He died destitute in 1900 at 28.

As Cieradowski notes, Crane wrote, “But heaven was sunny blue and no rain fell on the diamond when I was playing baseball.”


Let’s take a experience on the native. First cease, Gary Cohen. Come again to us, Gary!

SNY
Gary Cohen
SNY

If you have been seated beside him at a Mets sport, and returned after a visit to the gender-appropriate facility to ask what you missed, and he stated, “The Cards put up a four-spot in the third” or that Robert Gsellman “has acquitted himself well on the mound” — foolish discuss — you may once more take away your self, this time to search out one of these $5 Subway Foot-Longs the Mets for 14 bucks.

Would anybody assume much less of Cohen if he stated, “The Cards scored four in the third” or “Gsellman pitched well”?

On the up facet, YES’s Yankees telecasts now embrace a small and useful upper-left graphic carrying the title of the pitcher and the batter. Sure beats that all-game “THE YES APP” promote graphic within the higher proper.

SNY, which solely notes the pitcher, can be clever so as to add that to Mets’ telecasts.


Next, why do I want John Flaherty as an in-game Yankees YES analyst over David Cone and Paul O’Neill? With Flaherty, Michael Kay is least inclined to play “20 Questions.”

With Flaherty, Kay is extra seemingly let it come naturally and casually, versus being keen to search out one thing, something — meals, household, exit velos, launch angles, lunch angles, spin charges, “high-leverage situations,” hype and extra stats than you may shake a slide rule at — to speak about and infrequently to supply pressured laughter.

Let it’s TV. First and foremost, allow us to watch.

Call out GMs, however not personal mock drafts

In about 11 months, surviving NFL GMs shall be requested in the event that they remorse making such-and-such a excessive draft decide, on condition that he has to this point been a bust. The media gained’t mock their very own mock drafts, however GMs are topic to hindsight looking.

And, virtually invariably, GMs will reply, “No,” they don’t have any regrets.

Such episodes call to mind my favourite wait-for-it moments from Super Bowl postgame reveals, when the dropping facet’s coach, even after crushing losses, is interviewed.

He stands, again to a cinder block wall sporting a solemn expression, when he’s requested, “Coach, would you do anything different?”

And, invariably, he solutions, “No.”

Me? Having simply misplaced the Super Bowl I’d confess that given a second likelihood I’d do every part otherwise. I’d punt on first down, have my defensive backs carry butterfly nets, defer each kickoffs.

Having simply misplaced, what would I’ve to lose?


Showtime boxing remains to be making offers with Floyd Mayweather, proof that even in these “woke” instances, the ViacomCBS community will gladly throw cash at an athlete who did time, two months of a three-month sentence, for the assault of one of the 2 moms of his 4 youngsters.

But Showtime’s sense of social indignation is selective. It had no problem sustaining the employment of vulgar Showtime co-host Stephen Jackson after the previous NBA participant issued an ignorant, hateful anti-Jewish spew.


Leave it to Subway to rent probably the most repugnant, attention-starved, me-first member of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, Megan Rapinoe, as a TV endorser. Was Subway unaware that her boorish World Cup habits didn’t play any higher in America than all over the place else?


For 12 of his 18 NBA seasons Steve Nash performed 70 or extra video games. Twice he performed all 82, twice he performed 81. And he performed laborious, all-in, two-way ball, not this hideous sport of “3-Point Loiter.” Thus I’m wondering what he thinks — actually thinks — when he heads to teach the Nets not figuring out who amongst his gamers shall be enjoying, not to mention really feel like enjoying.

A mere 90 3-pointers taken in final week’s Trail Blazers-Jazz, half the sport’s pictures, one in 5 made. Pro basketball. Pay for a ticket? I’d pay you to show it off.


We depart you at the moment with the knowledge of Jimmy Durante: “I know money can’t buy you love, and money it can’t buy you happiness, but give me some and I’ll do my own shopping.”

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