Saturday, December 24, 2005

December 24th, 2005

Best Of the Blog: #8

This is one of my all-time favorites I did all year. I don't know if it is really one of the best ten I wrote all year; my fondness comes from the subject than the writing, but what the hell, this is my Top Ten. So here we are, from May Eighteenth: Todd Hundley Debuts.

Friday, December 23, 2005

December 23rd, 2005

Best Of the Blog: #9

A bit of a shorter one today, although after yesterday's that was just about inevitable, I suppose. This is the first entry I did when I really felt like I took an event and used it sucessfully as a jumping off for a discussion that was both interesting and relevant to the event I was jumping off from. So I give you Number Nine, from March 30th: Grady Little Born.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

December 22nd, 2005

Best Of the Blog: #10

You might notice as the Top Ten continues that it is in a rough chornological order. That's no concidence, but it's more because I think that the blog improved as the year went on, rather than any desire to do it month-by-month. Today's entry comes from all the way back in the beginning of February. At the time it was the longest entry I'd ever written--by far--and it still might be, come to that. I also think it was one of the best of the blog's first few months. So I give Number Ten, from February Eighth: Elden Aucker Sold to St. Louis Browns .

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

December 21st, 2005

The Best Of...Baseball "History"

April 1st, 1949: Fidel Castro Cut From Washington Senators

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

December 20th, 2005

Bottom of the Ninth

I'm home at last for the Christmas vacation, home to drink egg nog, home to watch The Ref and It's a Wonderful Life and above all, home to relax. As such yesterday's (rather jaded, truth be told) Steve Howe blog was the last original content of the year. I will be running a "Best Of..." for the rest of the year, so stop by and read some old classics.

Speaking of stopping by, as you might've noticed, I passed 7,000 visitors the other day. That's a staggering and humbling figure. I am very appreciative of everyone who reads this blog, either on a daily basis or just through Google to answer some question they had about, well, probably about the 1991 New York Yankees. Thank you to all my readers for a great 2005, I hope to be even better--and reach even more of you--in 2006.

Monday, December 19, 2005

December 19th, 1991

Steve Howe Arrested

If you know anything about Steve Howe, you can probably guess what this arrest was for, possession of a controlled substance, to wit, cocaine. Howe ended his career with seven suspensions for use of the drug (which was apparently in some way linked to attention deficit disorder) and remains--depending on one's view--a tragic figure whose career was lost in the cycle of addiction or someone who passively allowed his career to go up his nose. For my part, I lean more towards the former than the latter, but it's probably not quite that black-and-white.

Anyway, what intrigued me about this story today wasn't so much the arrest itself, or even Howe's career-long problem, but the place where the arrest took place: Montana. Maybe--in fact, almost definitely--this is just my New York City sense of superiority showing through, but I can't imagine the market for coke in Montana is exactly what one would call booming. Applying the national average, there are only about eighteen thousand regular (that is, at least one a month) cocaine users in Montana, or approximately twenty-four times fewer than in the New York City metropolitan area where Howe had spent the 1991 season. This isn't a point of city pride or anything (New York! Where the cokeheads come to play!) but just an observation. Spending six months of the year in a city with almost a half a million cocaine users and Steve Howe manages to get busted in a state with less than twenty thousand of them? I guess the holidays really are tough.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

December 18th, 1993

Brien Taylor Injures Shoulder

First off, apologies for yesterday's extremely short one, finals and computer trouble are a rather lethal combination when it comes to my producing a quality blog. Getting to today's topic, that shoulder injury was perhaps the final nail in the coffin in the idea of Brien Taylor as a great prospect. Taylor had been drafted by the Yankees with the first overall pick in the 1991 draft and given a then-unheard of 1.55 million dollar signing bonus, one of the first big deals arranged by Scott Boras. As you might've guessed from the date, Taylor's injury came not on the mound but instead during a bar fight with a friend who was on parole at the time. The injury was so bad as to justify surgery which caused Taylor to miss all of the 1994 season.

Truth be told, Taylor might never have reached the Majors anyway as he was struggling mightily during his pre-injury career. Nonetheless, his post-injury performance was embarrassing, with Taylor routinely posting an ERA over nine and he retired after putting up a gruesome 27.00 ERA with Cleveland's single-A franchise in 2000. Whether because of the shoulder or talent issues generally, Taylor joins Steve Chilcott (who, funnily enough, was drafted by the Yankees' cross-town rivals the Mets in 1966) in dubious company as the only first overall picks to retire without ever reaching the Majors.

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