Yesterday, Major League Baseball celebrated the 100 anniversary of the first viable Negro League, the Negro National League.
Rube Foster’s first name was Andrew, named after his father, who was a preacher. He received his nickname after defeating Rube Waddell in a postseason exhibition game played sometime between 1902 and 1905. Foster’s career participating in barnstorming leagues saw him post records of 25-3, 20-6, and 13-2 and playing on a team that finished its season 123-6.
According to legend, John McGraw hired Foster to teach Christy Matthewson the screwball. He played for teams in Chicago, Philadelphia and the “Cuban” Giants. Foster formed a venture with Charlie Comiskey’s son-in-law, managing the Chicago Leland Giants.
Foster’s vision grew into reality as eight teams participated in the inaugural season of the NNL. The teams were: Foster’s Chicago American Giants, the Indianapolis ABCs, Chicago Giants, Kansas City (Missouri) Monarchs, Detroit Stars, St. Louis Giants, Dayton (Ohio) Marcos, and the Cuban Stars, who had no home city.
The early years saw financial problems due to the discrepancy in talent, inconsistency of umpires (the home team had the responsibility of hiring them), and availability of ballparks.
Foster often faced accusations of favoritism towards his Giants team, which scheduled a disproportionate number of home games. That led to some accusing Foster of forming the league to help fund the Giants by reaping the rewards of consistent home games. His teams also regularly took the best players from other organizations. Other problems included teams choosing non-league barnstorming teams due to an increased payday. Owners in cities featuring major and minor league teams made access to those stadiums difficult.
By 1923, a rival league, the Eastern Colored League (ECL) formed, after pulling out of an agreement with the NNL. When the ECL began raiding his players’ roster, both leagues formed an alliance respecting players’ contracts and facing off in a championship series. In 1924, the first Nergo World Series saw the Kansas City Monarchs of the NNL defeat Hilldale (ECL) five games to four.
The NNL finally fell apart in 1931 under the economic stress of the Great Depression. As for Rube Foster, psychological problems that saw him grow increasingly paranoid led to extreme delusions, including believing he would be receiving a call to pitch in the World Series. He was hospitalized later in 1926 and never recovered his sanity, dying in a mental institution in 1930.
Foster’s legacy grew through the years, and in 1981 he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first representative of the Negro leagues elected as a pioneer or executive. Without his sacrifices and vision, Jackie Robinson might never have broken the color barrier. MLB owes a great deal of gratitude to Foster.
PLAYERS OF NOTE
Andy Cooper – the left-hander won 95 games for the Detroit Stars and Kansas City Monarchs from 1920-31. Member of both MLB and Negro League Hall of Fame.
Pete Hill – The player-manager of the Detroit Stars drew comparisons to Ty Cobb. In 1952, the African-American weekly Pittsburgh Courier named him the fourth-best outfielder in Negro League history, behind Oscar Charleston, Monte Irvin, and Cristobal Torriente. Member of both MLB and Negro League Hall of Fame.
Oscar Charleston – Legend has Charleston with just under 3,000 hits in his Negro League career. Many consider him the greatest player in league history. Member of both MLB and Negro League Hall of Fame.
Other greats included Turkey Stearnes, Martin Dihigo, Pop Lloyd, Smokey Joe Williams, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell, Judy Johnson, and eventually Jackie Robinson.
Perhaps NHL fans in the East bubble city should worry after watching the Maple Leafs lose Game 1 of their qualifying round against Columbus. Despite owning the second most Stanley Cup Championships with 13, the Leafs own the longest drought in the NHL without winning one. The last time Toronto won the Stanley Cup was 1967, the year BEFORE expansion.
Joonas Korpisalo joined John Gibson, Jonas Hiller, Andrew Raycroft, and Chris Osgood to post shutouts in their first postseason start (since 1994). John Tavares (known as pajama boy on Long Island) is a -9 with one goal and 17 shots in his last seven postseason games with Toronto.
In the East’s seeding qualifying round, Philadelphia defeated Boston, 4-1. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (21/355) stopped 34 shots breaking Pete Peeters’ (22/235) team record as the youngest to win a postseason game. The Flyers won nine of their last ten games before COVID-19 stopped the NHL season on March 10.
Colorado, who finished the regular season 18-5-2 in their last 25 games, defeated St. Louis 2-1 in the West’s seeding qualifying round. Former Maple Leaf Nazem Kadri scored with .1 remaining after Gabriel Landeskog hit the post.
Arizona won their first postseason game since 2012, defeating Nashville 4-3 in Game 1. The Coyotes franchise (joined the NHL in 1979-80 as the original Winnipeg Jets) are looking to win their second opening round series after losing 12 straight from 1988-2011.
Wild goaltender Alex Stalock made his first postseason start since April 28, 2014 and second of his career, as Minnesota shutout Vancouver, 3-0. Jared Spurgeon recorded his second career multi-goal postseason game, becoming the first defenseman in franchise history to accomplish that. The Wild joined Montreal, Chicago, and Arizona as double-digit seeds to win Game 1.
Fewest Career Postseason Games, Defenseman
Recorded Two or more Multiple Goals
>>4 Years, 3 Months & 9 Days between multi-goal games in postseason
NY Mess: The Mets lost 4-0 to Atlanta, losing their fifth straight. New York totaled ten hits but left 13 men on base. In six of their seven losses, the Mets are 14-78 with RISP, with only four hits driving in runs. The Mets loss on Sunday marked the first time since May 3, 1987, they failed to score collecting ten or more hits.
Cespedes opts out: While his teammates lost to the Braves, Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes failed to alert the team he wouldn’t make Sunday’s game. Mets officials released a statement that Cespedes won’t return to the team this season, opting out for COVID related issues.
Tigers strike: Detroit reliever Tyler Anderson struck out nine straight Reds, tying an AL record while setting one for relievers.
All Rise: Aaron Judge is returning to his rookie form of 52 HR, becoming the ninth player in Yankees’ history to homer in five straight games. In the eighth inning, Judge’s second HR (league-leading sixth of the season) gave New York their sixth straight victory, completing a sweep over Boston.
Pence breaks snide: Hunter Pence singled in his first AB on Sunday, snapping an 0-23 streak to start the season. The previous two NL players to start the season hitless in his first 23 AB were Austin Hedges in 2017 and Brett Hayes in 2014.
Most AB Without a Hit to Start Season
MLB, Since 2014
Orioles Sweep: Baltimore completed a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay on Sunday, their first against the Rays since 2012, and overall since 2018.
In this insane world of COVID-19, Esports is now non-fiction. Adjusting to the times, here are notes of interest surrounding professional sports in the United States.
While MLB adjusts to multiple teams administering quarantine guidelines, seven-inning doubleheaders, unequal amount of games, changes to extra-innings, and other rules, the NBA and NHL both resume this week minus seven and eight teams, respectively.
Five games on Saturday pushed the total to 13 since the restart on Thursday. COVID NBA produces dominant displays of offense, as point totals continue to soar.
NBA Per Game Totals
3PT FG Pct.
While the rest of the league benefits, the Lakers 35.4 shooting percentage in their 109-92 loss to Toronto equaled their lowest since 2016.
T.J. Warren scored a career-high 53 for Indiana, matching an NBA season-high 20 field goals as the Pacers 127-121 victory moved them one-game ahead of Philadelphia for 5th in the East.
Indiana Pacers History
>>Career-high (previous was 40)
Most FG Made, Single-Game
2019-20 NBA Season
T.J. Warren, IND>>
James Harden, HOU
Anthony Davis, LAL
Seven Players with 19
>> Career-High (Previous was 40)
n the West, New Orleans fell to 0-2 in the restart, falling 126-103 to the Clippers. Zion Williamson did not factor again, producing seven points in 14 minutes.
Totals, last two games
A pair of 12 seeds won Game 1, as Chicago (11 points fewer than Edmonton) and Montreal (15 fewer than Pittsburgh) took 1-0 series leads. In his first playoff game, rookie Dominik Kubalik set an NHL postseason record, registering five points (2 goals, three assists) in Chicago’s 6-4 victory.
Most Points, NHL History
Rookies,First Career Playoff Game
Dominik Kubalik, CHI
Daryl Evans, LAK
24 Players with 3
In the East, Jeff Petry scored his first career postseason goal (19th game) with 6:03 remaining in the first OT, as Montreal defeated Pittsburgh, 3-2. The game featured two penalty shots, as each team blew chances to put the game away. Game 2 is on Monday.
Overtime Postseason Penalty Shots
Jonathan Drouin, MTL
W, 3-2 (0T)
Aleksander Barkov, FLA
L, 2-1 (2 OT)
Aleksey Morozov, PIT
L, 3-2 (OT)
Joe Juneau, WSH
L, 3-2 (4 OT)
The New York Islanders won two of their final 13 games (2-7-4) before COVID-19 but entered Toronto winners of four straight against first-round opponent Florida. The Panthers scoring troubles against the Islanders continued, scoring one goal for the third consecutive game. The Islanders, outscoring Florida 7-3 in their last three wins, can take a 2-0 series lead on Tuesday.
In the East’s 6-11 matchup, the Rangers fell 3-2 to Carolina. New York was 0-7 on the power play in the loss.
While the NBA continued their season on Thursday and the NHL scheduled to start their 24-team playoff format today, MLB faces uncertainty. Both sports are using a hub or “bubble” cities to limit the amount of travel and contain any outbreaks of COVID-19 applying more uncomplicated measures of tracing.
The St. Louis Cardinals learned that two players had positive test results around 11 p.m. Thursday. MLB postponed Friday’s game at Milwaukee, joining the Marlins, Nationals, Phillies, and Blue Jays not playing. MLB awaits additional testing results on Friday to determine if the Cardinals and Brewers start their series. MLB scheduled a single-game on Saturday, followed by a double-header, using the new 7-inning format, Sunday.
Commissioner Concerned, Issues Warning
According to an ESPN report, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to shut down the season in a meeting with players union chief Tony Clark if the sport didn’t step up and manage the problem. An MLB investigation into the Miami Marlins’ outbreak reportedly found players going out to bars during their stay in Atlanta for their series against the Braves.
Best & Worst (July 31st games)
Best Pitching Performance: Taijuan Walker – Mariners
After getting pounded for five runs on seven hits in his season debut at Houston, the 27-year old rebounded on Friday against Oakland.
Walker retired 21 of 24 batters, allowing one hit, zero ER, and striking out eight, in the Mariners 5-3 over the Athletics.
Best Hitting Performance: Kyle Tucker – Astros
The 23-year old LF collected three hits, scored two runs, drove in four, and stole a base in Houston’s 9-6 over the Angels.
Best Team Performance: San Diego Padres
Trailing 5-4 in the top of the ninth, Fernando Tatis Jr. continued his exceptional start, launching a game-tying HR off Rockies closer Wade Davis. Tommy Pham’s three-run HR gave San Diego the lead, as they held on to defeat Colorado, 8-7.
San Diego leads MLB with six wins and +19 run differential. Both their losses came when leading after seven innings.
Worst Pitching Performance: Matt Andriese – Angels
Los Angeles used Andriese to “open” against Houston on Friday. The Angels reliever faced 12 batters, allowing seven to reach base, surrendering four hits, three walks, and four ER in 1.2 innings. The Angels lost three straight, allowing 27 runs in those games.
Worst Hitting Performance: Maikel Franco – Royals
Franco went hitless in four AB, leaving seven teammates on base, including striking out with the tying and go-ahead runs on to end the bottom of the seventh. Kansas City lost 3-2 to the White Sox. The Royals three losses in their last four games are all by one run.
Worst Team Performance: New York Mets
New York lost their third straight on Friday, failing to hold an 8-2 lead entering the bottom of the fifth. The Mets are 2-7 in their last nine at Atlanta, allowing 7.7 Runs PG.
Leading 10-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Dellin Betances & Seth Lugo allowed six of nine batters to reach base (3 H, 3 BB), culminating with former Met Travis d’Arnaud driving in three runs with two outs and the bases loaded, to give Atlanta the win. After holding the Braves to two runs in their first 17.2 innings this season, Mets pitchers watched 29 runs score in the last 18.1.
Imagine if you will, a past time, a yesteryear. A time before cell phones, before jumbotrons, before live broadcasts of sports. Or ask your parents to tell you about what was normal.
Sports were still fundamentally the same. Except there weren’t booming sound systems. Or scoreboards with visuals for replay. Or people shooting clothing at you from a hand cannon.
What DID sports have? Mascots. And cheerleaders.
One of these has stood the test of time. A good mascot is a fun addition to an environment. You’ be hard pressed to find a sports fan who doesn’t know the Chicken formerly known as San Diego, or the Philly Phanatic or Mr Met or the newest all star sports mascot, Gritty of the Filthadelphia Flyers. However, most mascots are not good at what they do. For instance, when the NHL has mascot day, you learn that most hockey mascots are milquetoast facsimiles of the team logo. They are generally harmless, so no one cares. Except that Hot Dog Race in Milwaukee. That shit is dope.
Why mention the NHL? Because the NHL created something unusual to sports. And when I say the NHL created something, it was clearly an accident, and done by the least likely of franchises- the lowly New York Islanders.
The Islanders created a hybrid of mascot, cheerleader, and unionized employee with the introduction of the Ice Girls. These were attractive young women who could skate well enough to shovel ice shavings and dump them into a garbage can- NO, not MSG- while wearing flashy outfits to amp up the crowd. And the mascot angle? The Islanders gave the Ice Girls time to do ice dancing routines, which were actually impressive.
So what did the team do with these pioneers? Fired all of them. Cool.
What the Ice Girls did was unique. Entertainers and safety workers. But what if they were only entertainers? Then they’d just be cheerleaders. And in the year 2020? Cheerleaders are fucking useless.
Why are cheerleaders still a thing anymore? This is a question that needs to be put on the table, because the concept of cheerleaders is horribly out of date, and on a professional level is both redundant and stupid.
Cheerleaders are from a time gone by when there were no arena TV’s, no sound systems for individual walk up songs, no replays of every play no matter how mundane, and no in game trivia contest where all you need to win is know who the fuck the home team is playing.
Cheerleaders purpose is to rev up a crowd to cheer. And thanks to modern technology, you know, like a camera? Cheerleaders are as obsolete as the era that they came from.
So lets discuss that era of cheerleading. Think back to an era…say 1950’s. There were plenty of male sports in schools. Baseball, basketball, football, shoot the minority…. good old fashioned fun from when America was great.
But what did girls do? They waited for a guy to get a car so they could ride in an Edsel and keep their morality by giving a hand job after a 25 cent movie and a milk shake that for some reason was made in a pharmacy. But sports?
Girls generally didn’t have sports programs. And schools? They didn’t have to provide girls sports. Title IX (9 for idiots) was the law that forced schools to give girls equal opportunities to men in academic and athletic programs. 1972 wasn’t even 50 years ago. Your grandma probably could fuck someone up but wasn’t allowed to shoot the hoop. Or take an AP class. Way to wind a pendulum to one end, assholes.
So what did girls do before Title IX? They put on short skirts, cheered for the alpha males, and bred with them after the game. Because what were athletic women to do to meet guys with similar interests?
Yes, I did see “A League of Their Own.” Love the movie. But the women’s pro baseball league needed a fucking world war to make it reality, went from 10 teams to six in a 4 year span, and died as a five team league without a central organization in 1954. Also, the players made about $1200 a week in todays money. Imagine a male pro playing for $1200 a week today?
So, these cheerleaders today? You gotta go. Why?
First off, those in house cameras and giant displays plus sound systems replaced you. Fans prefer to see their own faces while dancing like idiots on a massive screen instead of seeing a cheerleader with stupid pom poms shaking her bony over-choreographed ass from an upper bowl seat where you can’t even tell what the fuck is going on. From the upper deck in any sports arena, you have no idea what bathroom the cheerleader uses. #Trannystyle. Conversely, I will leave an upper decker in any sports arena.
With the inclusion of women in sports from young ages, sports have wholeheartedly embraced female fans. Look at any sports team’s website- they sell shit that no man would buy- team scented candles?? Sports purses? Eat balls. But they’re sold for a specific audience.
Plus, at every sporting event I’ve ever gone to, there are prettier girls in the crowd with way more enthusiasm for the home team than the ones getting paid to smile and dance around while they pretend that they give a shit. Here’s a truth- they don’t.
But there’s a lot more than a hardly visible side show that teams hope sell calendars.
Cheerleaders are paid like Wal-Mart cashiers. And they have contractual demands that are fucked up, like to not eat. I get that women willfully enter these contracts because it gives them access to meet millionaires, which we all know meeting and getting filled with any rich male’s splooge is most girls dreams, but most teams prevent mingling because of the potential for lawsuits. I heard rumors that sometimes these cheerleaders even take pleasure wife contracts from wealthy foreigners, where they sell their ass into 365 loose shits a year instead of cheering for shitty NFL teams, but oddly those articles from major magazines were removed from the internet. I wonder why?
Let’s be practical. Why not have professional strippers shake their implanted tits and implanted asses for a slack jawed crowd that will crank one out after the game? Is there any difference in intent?
Then there are the geographical differences in cheerleader quality. Who wants to see girls freeze their tits off in Buffalo? Plus, a Buffalo 10 is a Los Angeles 4. Too much Beef on Weck hurts the thighs and gunt.
Also, cheerleading by itself is not a sport. It’s choreographed dance and gymnastics. It’s an activity, no doubt, and as athletic as exercise. But if it’s a sport, let me ask you this- how do you play defense against a cheer? Exactly. Fuck your public aerobics.
What should team owners think about cheerleaders? One word- LAWSUIT. If I were a team owner, I would not want the headaches of lawsuits based on men doing stupid shit based on temptation, or rejection, or inconsideration, or hormones. Shit like a Hall of Fame quarterback sending a picture of his dick to a team public relations agent. If he was smart he would have sent a picture of his portfolio and said “Ever seen one this big?” Would have worked a lot better, guaranteed.
Also, as an owner? I would not want the headaches of lawsuits based on women imagining stupid shit based on jealousy or temptation or rejection or hormones. HE’S SO SEXIST! HE’S NOT WOKE! Fuck off. Until there’s a DNA test that proves that women are incapable of lying to punish men- especially when self interest is involved?- bag it. As it is, the entire me too movement is questionable. They didn’t call out an actress that molested a young boy because she was a founding mother. And never forget, this is a gender that will sell out their own sons- and daughters- to punish the father who dumps them for their psychoses making the husbands life unbearable. Never expect stability from that kind of attention seeker. There’s even a phrase for an entire gender that works really well- Trap Ass Ho.
Getting rid of cheerleaders really isn’t much of an issue. Does baseball have cheerleaders? Or hockey? No. And basketball? Sort of. Basketball has dancers, and they’re also useless. So it’s not like there would be vast joblessness.
We’re really aiming at one stupid sport. And a sport that’s so turtlesque that it needs every distraction it can get. So bring in the highlight videos! Let’s see those same old highlights over and over again! See ya, football cheerleaders!
Let me let you in on another reason to get rid of cheerleaders. It’s their deep, dark secret. Some people are afraid to say this, but I will call a spade a spade. Cheerleading teams are sexists. How many male cheerleaders do you see in pro sports? How many women lobby for men to be included on pro teams? Zero. Why? Because they’re fucking sexists. Women watch sports. Do you think they don’t want to see a pair of big hairy dangling delicious balls drop out of the goofy shorts of some Tony Robbins looking motherfucker? Nonsense. This is a choice that female cheerleaders make. Cheerleaders are sexist, and cheerleading is a sexist profession.
It’s a new day. We have access to porn on our phones supported by the arena WiFi to find crank bait. It’s time to retire the cheerleader. Maybe it can be done with dignity- put a silhouette of a mini shirt up with the retired numbers in an arena. Bring back the old saggy tittied grannies who cheered for Knute Rockne for one last huzzah. Throw bologna at effigies of cheerleaders tits and asses in a parking lot. Whatever we need to end this horseshit that is as outdated as dial up internet and records running at 78 rpm.
It’s time to retire cheerleaders. Because cheerleaders are fucking useless.