Part II of MoreSplashHits answering thought-provoking questions about baseball provided by Mark Hermann of Newsday.
16. Does team chemistry promote success, or does success translate into team chemistry?
Success translates into team chemistry. Baseball history is littered with teams comprised of players who couldn’t stand each other. But winning cures all ills.
17. Did Babe Ruth really “call his shot” in the 1932 World Series against the Cubs?
Yes and no. Ruth was trash-talking with the Cubs, and I’m sure he said something like “throw it over the plate and I’ll hit it out.” And then he did. But did he take his bat and point to where he was going to hit it out. No.
18. What would baseball look like today if the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York City agreed on either the Dodgers’ plan to build a stadium at Atlantic Yards (site of the new Barclays Center) or Robert Moses’ plan to build the team a home in Flushing (site of Shea Stadium/Citi Field)?
If the Dodgers had remained in Brooklyn/New York, the Giants would have left for Minneapolis, which was the plan before the Dodgers’ move to LA made San Francisco a more attractive destination. The Washington Senators would have then moved to San Francisco to join the expansion LA Angels in 1961. Then instead of being a lifelong Giants fan, MoreSplashHits might have been a San Francisco Ex-Senators fan (Seals, maybe?). Instead of admiring the likes of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, I might have admired Harmon Killebrew and Tony Olivo. And because I attended my first MLB game in San Francisco in 1973, soon after the adoption of the designated hitter rule, I might have thought that’s the way the game is supposed to be played and had my baseball perspective corrupted at a very young age. Oh, the horror! So, thanks Dodgers for moving to LA.
19. What is the best way to break in a new glove?
Play catch with it over and over and over again.
20. Why didn’t the Giants ever win when they played at Candlestick Park, and was it smart for them to have moved there from New York?
They did win, posting winning seasons in their first 14 years in San Francisco. They just didn’t win it all. But the Stick was hardly to blame for that. They only captured one world title in their last 24 seasons in New York. Was it smart to move from New York? Absolutely. After failing to draw 1 million fans in five of their last six seasons in the Polo Grounds, the Giants drew at least 1.2 million in each of their first 10 season in San Francisco including eight at the Stick.
21. Which is the better way to determine home-field advantage in the World Series: by whichever league wins the All-Star Game, or by the previous method of having the National League host in even-numbered years and the American League host in odd-numbered years?
The previous method. The current method is beyond moronic.
22. What is the best baseball town in America?
23. Have the Cubs been held back and worn out all these years by playing so many day games at home?
Well, that … and all those years of sucking.
24. Will there always be a designated hitter rule and will it ever be universal, throughout both leagues?
Yes, unfortunately, to the first part. After 40 years in existence it is too entrenched in the AL to go anywhere. Will it be universal? No. Because it’s just as entrenched against in the NL, where they still play the pure game.
25. Which is better, Stickball or Wiffle ball?
Wiffle ball. You can play it anywhere.
26. As much as Citi Field is an upgrade, in what ways was Shea Stadium better?
The Beatles played at Shea.
27. Same thing with the new Yankee Stadium: As nice and spacious as it is, what do you miss about the old place?
Affordable ticket prices.
28. Babe Ruth shaped modern baseball, so should his No. 3 be retired by all teams?
No. Ruth shaped baseball. But he didn’t help shape society.
29. What was the most important postseason hit of all time? (Remember, Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard ‘Round the World was technically a regular season home run).
Bill Mazeroski’s game-winning home run in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.
30. “Moneyball” was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, so is it the best baseball movie ever? And if not, what was?
Well, as I have not seen Moneyball I can’t say it’s the best baseball movie. But I have a hard time seeing it surpass “Bull Durham.”
Baseball 101 answers to questions Nos. 61-75 COMING SOON
Baseball 101 answers to questions Nos. 76-90 COMING SOON
Baseball 101 answers to questions Nos. 91-101 COMING SOON