Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Since our last Elephant Rumblings on Friday, the baseball world lost two more Hall of Famers.
Most recently, on Sunday night, legendary second baseman Joe Morgan died at age 77, at his home in Danville, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. Slusser notes a nerve condition as the official cause of death. I’m going to prepare a separate post about Morgan, who has strong A’s connections. (Update: Here’s the Morgan post.)
In this post, let’s double back to the end of last week. On Thursday, longtime New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford died at age 91, the team announced. Ford had been battling Alzheimer’s disease, reports ESPN.
Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees from 1950-67, minus two years of military service during the Korean War. The left-hander earned eight All-Star berths and won the Cy Young in 1961, when he went 25-4 and led the majors with 283 innings. Overall he won 236 games with a 2.75 ERA, good for a lifetime ERA+ of 133 and around 54 WAR on both scales.
While those numbers are strong, Ford’s legacy is even bigger in the postseason. He won six World Series with the Yankees, in ‘50, ‘53, ‘56, ‘58, ‘61, and ‘62, earning MVP honors in ‘61 with 14 shutout innings over two starts. He played in 11 total Fall Classics, missing out only twice in his first 13 seasons. In 22 starts there he went 10-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 146 innings, and those 10 wins are still an all-time World Series record.
The New York native, nicknamed the Chairman Of The Board, is considered one of the all-time greats in Yankees history, which of course is a lofty bar considering the names that have donned pinstripes over the decades. Read more from Bill Madden at the New York Daily News.
One of my favorite stories in “24” comes from an interview I did with Whitey Ford, who told me he threw a spitball to Willie Mays so that he and Mickey Mantle could take home $600 in gear: pic.twitter.com/XSB1LKb9ck— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) October 9, 2020
Since the beginning of September, five Hall of Famers have passed away: Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ford, and Morgan.
- Hickey: 10 Questions Facing the Athletics Heading Into the 2020-21 Offseason
- Hickey: The Next Step for Athletics: Can They Keep Marcus Semien at Shortstop?
- Coffey: Billy Beane, David Forst and Bob Melvin discuss where the A’s go from here ($$$)
- AN: A’s disappointed but determined after 2020 postseason elimination
- AN: Who was the A’s MVP in the 2020 ALDS?
MLB News & Interest
- McTaggart and Toribio: HOU-TB ALCS Game 2 FAQ (TBS, 4 ET)
- Bowman and Gurnick: ATL-LA NLCS Game 1 FAQ (FOX, 8 ET)
- Leitch: 12 big storylines for today’s LCS games
- Today in Baseball History
MLB Postseason update
The Tampa Bay Rays took Game 1 of the ALCS, over the Houston Astros. Blake Snell out-dueled Framber Valdez, and the score stayed low because they were playing in real MLB conditions in San Diego, and not at noon in Los Angeles with the ball flying like they were using aluminum bats. Read more about the game from the recaps at DRaysBay or The Crawfish Boxes.
Monday LCS schedule (all times PT):
- ALCS G2: Astros at Rays, 1:07 p.m. on TBS
- NLCS G1: Braves at Dodgers, 5:08 p.m. on Fox
Rays vs. Braves would probably be the most fun for A’s fans, and also the biggest middle finger to the TV networks. On the other hand, at least a Dodgers vs. Astros matchup could offer national revenge for 2017, though it could also backfire if Houston wins without cheating.
Best of Twitter
Can the A’s make this happen?
David Forst said he texted Marcus Semien yesterday: "I told him we would love to have him back here. We've had an open line of communication with him and his agent. That will certainly be one of the topics for this offseason."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) October 9, 2020
And remember it’s not just Semien
Beane on having 10 free agents in uncertain market: "That's probably the most challenging market for the A's to compete in, even if it's your own guys."— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) October 9, 2020
Interesting take from a respected California local and former Athletic
How many people agree with Jonny Gomes? (Melvins A’s were eliminated last week.)— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) October 11, 2020
This quote was on the scrap heap but the Dusty Factor is a fascinating foil for MLB biggest villains: https://t.co/LtMsvMmyU5 pic.twitter.com/7ICBwmhZpV
Last seen getting out-managed by Bob Melvin in the playoffs
White Sox announced they’ve “agreed to part ways” with manager Rick Renteria— James Fegan (@JRFegan) October 12, 2020
The other Sox also purging some coaches, after a disappointing season
Red Sox did not renew the the contracts of bench coach Jerry Narron or bullpen coach Craig Bjornson. The rest of the coaches have been invited back for 2021.— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) October 12, 2020
Another coach out, in Washington, this one a familiar face to A’s fans
Chip Hale, bench coach of the Nats and part of their championship team, isn’t going back to the Nats. He was let go by the team. Seems to be a coaching purge going on there. Hale has been a longtime successful coach and manager.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 10, 2020
And that’s not all in D.C.
The Nationals are not bringing back pitching coach Paul Menhart, a source tells @TheAthleticDC— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) October 4, 2020
To be clear, he’s not being fired. His contract is up and they will go another direction.
... And also ...
Source: Kevin Long is not expected to return to the Nationals as hitting coach in 2021. Long’s three-year deal just expired and he is expected to pursue other options outside of Washington.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 10, 2020