Mid-week news bonanza, feed reminder
First, a straight repeat reminder:
Come on out to sunny Peoria and meet two major league GMs March 3rd. Seattle Mariners GM Bill Bavasi and San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers will talk and take questions from fans for a good 45 minutes, before seeing the two interleague rivals face off in a fierce spring training game at the Peoria Sports Complex. Afterwards, you can buy a signed copy of the newly updated, paperback version of Baseball Prospectus’ Baseball Between the Numbers and chat with editor/co-author Jonah Keri or receive some kind of The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball promotional item from USSM author Derek Zumsteg. Game time is 1:05 p.m., and guests should plan to arrive NO LATER than 11:30 a.m. for pre-game festivities, to be held in the section where we’ll be sitting.
Cost is $21, which includes your ticket to the game and the money we have to pay TicketMaster to mail them to us so we can distribute them early.
RSVP by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify your full name and how many tickets you need. To ensure that we can secure/order a group of tickets all together, deadline to RSVP and pay for tickets will be Friday, Feb. 9. Once we’ve confirmed your RSVP by email, you can PayPal the funds, by no later than Friday, Feb. 9, to: email@example.com
Lew Burdette passed away at 80. In The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball, I wrote
Lew Burdette was the greatest spitballer of the 1950s. He debuted in 1950 but didnâ€™t start pitching regularly until 1952 at the age of 23. Everyone accused Burdette of throwing the spitball because of the dramatic downward break he could get on a pitch, but he always denied it. When he hung up the spikes in 1967, he had won 203 games, gone to two All-Star games in 1957 and 1959, and in 1958 finished third in Cy Young voting.
Burdette would get good hitters to come up to the plate and stare at him, waiting for the spitball, watching strike after strike go past them, right over the plate, and then theyâ€™d go sit down, angry they hadnâ€™t seen a spitter.
Burdette, like other great cheaters, helped force a rule change that prohibited pitchers from going to their mouth while on the mound. Burdette, like some of the other great trick pitchers, eventually did admit heâ€™d been putting something on the ball, but not what he was accused of: â€œI wet my fingers by bringing them to my mouth once in a while like a lot of other pitchers do. Itâ€™s a nervous habit. But I go to my eyebrows a lot more, and thatâ€™s when my fingers get real wet. Iâ€™m a pretty good perspirer, one of the best, and the sweat runs down my forehead and soaks my eyebrows.â€
Aaron Harang signed a four-year, $36.5m deal with the Reds, avoiding arbitration.
Eric Byrnes got a one-year deal.
John D in comments pointed out that “What about some love for ex-M FELIX FERMIN? He just managed the DR to his 3rd Caribbean title.” Nice.