Sports Shorts

  • However this season turns out, heroic or heartbreaking, it will have been an emotional and chaotic Rays roller coaster ride—from a historically great start to devastating injuries of pitchers to Wonder Franco’s legal status to a challenging finish. But it could be even more frustrating and devastating. I can attest.

The year was 1964. My Philadelphia family was gearing up for the World Series. (No playoffs back then–only league winners qualified.) The Phillies were coasting with a 6.5-game lead and only 12 games to go.

And we were big Phillies fans. The starting shortstop (Granny Hamner) lived three blocks away in a Magee Street row house. My dad played with several of the starters in Army camp games. We had serious skin in the game.

The Phillies then proceeded to lose 10 straight, and St. Louis won the pennant. To this day, it’s still called the big “Phold.” The first of those 10 was most notable: a 1-0 loss at home to Cincinnati. The winning run game on a steal of home by Chico Ruiz with Frank Robinson—THAT Frank Robinson—at bat. After the game, came one of the more memorable quotes in Philly baseball lore. Reds manager Dick Sisler was asked about Ruiz’s steal of home with Robinson at the plate. As in, what would have happened to Ruiz had he been out? His response: “He’d still be runnin’.”

  • Wander Franco: Play the game you’re richly over-compensated for; don’t be a bling punk; respect others, notably women and teammates; learn some English; and become an impactful, positive part of the community that you are, at least for now, a de facto member of.
  • The ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) is adding California, Stanford and SMU. Is it now the Any Coast Conference?
  • Boca brainiac: FAU head coach Tom Herman is a member of Mensa.

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