Another O.K. Corral

The Shootout @ the O.K. Corral has become part of American folk lore. The 3 Wyatt Brothers & Doc Holliday settled their long standing dispute with the Clantons. This 30 second battle in Tombstone, AZ took place @ 3:00pm on Oct 26, 1881. About half of the participants died….heavy casualties for a shootout…..well, some things have changed…but not everything. We still have some serious death or dying to deal with in our sports world recently.
…of course the death of Bob Gibson is the most recent of our Cardinal heroes. Justifiably, There has been a great deal written about him in the past week. Some points about him that strike me… 1) He was a REAL athlete. Remember, he played some time with the Harlem globetrotters. But it wasn’t a direct path. Bob wanted to play basketball @ Indiana Univ but was told that “the team had already satisfied its “quota” of black players. Sooo, he moved on and played at Creighton. Gibson played for the Creighton Blue Jays (he still wore #45!!) between 1954 and 1957. Gibson graduated having scored 1,272 points across 63 games (20.2 ppg) and seemingly having carved out a future in the pros. Instead, he signed with the Harlen Globetrotters in 1957. His roommate was Meadowlark Lemon. Lemon thought that Bob could have played with ANY NBA team and was better in basketball than baseball! Bing Devine, must have feared that also…. He threw in an extra $4000 for Bob to agree to give up basketball permanently. 2) Gibson was the truest of competitors! He really HATED losing. Now, we all dislike losing but Gibson’ hate meter to losing was way, way beyond anything that our own meters could reach! 3) Gibson had no PC meter when it came to expressing his ideas. To me, it was refreshing to hear Gibby really tell it like it is…if your feelings got hurt…..that was YOUR problem, not his! 4) A brief run-down on some of the highlights…maybe overlooked…of his unbelievable records. By far his best year was 1968! These numbers still stun me….22-9 (very good but we’re just getting warmed up), he completed the game in 28 of his 34 starts!! His ERA (earned run average) was 1.12 for 9 innings! To give you an idea, Hyun Jin Ryu won the ERA title last year in the NL with a 2.32 mark Gibby’s was less that half as many runs per 9 innings! Gibby pitched 304 innings with 13 shutouts in 68. That WAS the apex of his career—it would be for any pitcher. Btw….the only other NL pitcher in this century with more shutouts in a season was Pete Alexander (16) in 1916. Another stunning point to me was when Gibby was 37 years old, he was 19-11, 34 starts–23 complete games, 278 innings, 4 shutouts, 208 strikeouts … again, he was 37 years old and still performing like that! WOW! He really was one of a kind!
….the demise of the Cardinal season came to an end with 2 stunning losses to a San Diego team that unloaded on the Cards pitching. Our hopes had been raised with the 1st game victory, but the “young guns” had their own shootout with our pitching staff the next 2 days. I hate to say this but…we were the 8th seed in a league of 15 teams. We really didn’t belong there…however, judging from the national commentators remarks, it already sounds like we’re walking down the “sweet 16 road” in the MLB from now on.
….the baseball decorum for batting flipping has been shot down. It’ll be done all the time now…I think baseball is striving to find that “excitement” button in any way that they can from/for the fan.
…the Cards will have to shoot down the “young stud” OF experiment of O’Neill, Bader, Lane Thomas, Justin Williams. All will be 25 are older when next season opens up and…from my point..serious consideration has to be rendered regarding the future of each of them. What really stings is the slugging success of Marcel Ozuna and Randy Arozarena. Ozuna batted .338 for Atlanta this year with a league leading 18 HR in 60 games. His OPS was 1.067. The Cardinals leading HR hitters this year, Tyler O’Neill & Brad Miller, each “belted out” 7 but each carried woeful averages—O’Neill .173 & Miller at .232. After a hot start Miller cooled down. We should have known–the Cards were his 6th different team in his career—true sluggers aren’t moving around that often in the MLB. Arozarena batted .281 with 7 HR and he has been on fire in the playoffs for Tampa. In the first two AL series, he’s 9 of 16 at the plate with 2 dbl, a triple & 2 HR. Arozarena was traded with Jose Martinez for Matthew Liberatore (minors) & a 2nd round “prospect”.
…the excitement about the new, young, exciting Mizzou Head Coach has been shot down. After 2 games against strong teams, it’s clear that those hopes now focus on “down the road”.
….it seems that the hiring of Jeff Albert (Cardinal batting coach) has been a fizzle and should be shut down. It doesn’t seem that there has been improvement or adjustment by many Cardinals. However, I wonder how much the batting coach REALLY does influence the MLB batters. Meanwhile, I learned that Luke Voit, on his own, became a NYY power hitter by making the adjustment of following through on his swing with 2 hands on the bat. I believe that made his swing have less of an elevated swing & added speed on his follow-through.
…other very memorable MLB players who passed away this year…of course- Lou Brock, Al Kaline, Tom Seaver.
… in 1990 the Mizzou hopes of having a good season was shut down in the unbelievable 33-30 loss to Colorado when the Golden Buffaloes were allowed 5 downs to score a touchdown as time expired to win the game! Colorado finished the 1990 as the #1 team in the AP Poll for the season!
… after 3 games, Oklahoma football looks like it has been shot down from any premier national rankings. The Sooners lost to Iowa State 37-30 and Kansas State 38-35. The Sooners 48-0 win over MO. State seems trite.
…those who were rooting for Tom Brady in Tampa Bay to be shot down will have to put their hopes off for his retirement and/or failure …at least for awhile. The TB Bucs are 3-2 with Brady at the helm. His passes look wobbly, weaker, less zip but….they get there and he leads his team to TD’s & wins.
….Those who yearn for ol’ time baseball…forget it….I’m thinking that all, or almost all, of the changes made by the MLB in 2020 will return for 2021…universal DH & runners on 2b in extra innings are probably the most debated changes. Doubleheaders present a problem for the owners…how do they compensate for the loss of income with 1 paid ticket for 2 games? Day-night DH would not seem to be attractive to the players.
…the durability of pitchers was shot down as there was an increase in pitchers being forced to the DL and forced many to the sidelines. Even before the “crazy” 2020 season began, whispers from doctors & experts worried about the light workload & ramping up too quickly. Dr. Joshua Dines, an orthopedic surgeon from the Hospital for Special Surgery said, “A big concern for me is that kind of acute vs. chronic workload ratio, where even if you’ve been doing a little, if you ramp up too quickly over a short period of time, that’s where you become at the highest risk for injury”. This year, many well known veteran pitchers had their years shot down. Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber all missed many games due to arm issues.
…MLB players who’s lifetime numbers were completely shot down this year—2B Jose Altuve-HOU (.219), SP/DH Shohei Ohtani-LAA(.190), SP Madison Bumgarner-ARI (1-4, 6.48 era), C Gary Sanchez-NYY (.147).
….the Red Sox hopes of an AL title were shot down for decades on Dec. 26, 1919.That was the day that Boston owner Harry Frazee, in order to finance his own play, “No, No Nanette” sent Babe Ruth to New York for $100,000 equivalent to $1,557,418 today.
…well….it’s time to shut me down….I welcome your thoughts on any part of the blog…put them on my Facebook page, my web site, http://www.bobryansportsblog.com or send to me & I’ll publish them on FB. Thanks!

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