Things our kids won’t believe

For sports:

  • Baseball was played mostly during the day.
  • The only way to track the stats of your favorite players was through the box scores in the newspaper.
  • There were no Russians in the NHL.
  • The Mets were good and the Red Sox were perpetual losers, often in heart-breaking fashion.

For media:

  • MTV showed music videos.
  • Nobody got famous because of reality shows.
  • UHF/VHF dials on your TV.
  • VCRs with wired remotes.
  • The best cartoons were on Saturday morning.

For video games:

  • You could play all day in an arcade for a couple of dollars, provided you didn’t suck at gaming.
  • Also, arcades.
  • The only handheld gaming device weighed as much as a brick and was black and white.
  • If you wanted to play against a friend, he had to come to your house.

For computers (mostly DOS/Win):

  • Command line and ini file editing.
  • Boot disks and memory managers for specific games (Wing Commander).
  • Sound beyond the PC speaker was a revelation.
  • 5 1/4 in. floppy disks, clipping the other side so you could make them double-sided.
  • 8 character file names.
  • WordPerfect was king.

What else do you have for this?

The Mitchell Report

Just thought I’d share this. We will need the levity before the bomb drops this afternoon.

Decide the Fate of 756

Vote for great justice. Mark Ecko is apparently the buyer of Barry Bonds 756th home run ball. He has given we, the people, three choices for the ball’s ultimate fate: give it to Cooperstown as-is, brand it with an asterisk and THEN give it to the Hall, or shoot it into space. I’m voting brand it.

Never mind…Ankiel the Cheater

Ankiel got a full one year course of Human Growth Hormone, stopping it’s use just before it was banned by baseball. Way to take a ‘feel good’ story and turn it into yet another black eye for baseball. Ugh.

Rick Ankiel

With all the negative/controversial stories in pro sports, I’d like to highlight one of the coolest of the current baseball season, the triumphant return of Rick Ankiel. He originally broke into the majors in 1999 and pitched a full season for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2000, going 11-7. He was a Rookie of the Year candidate heading into the postseason. Things came crashing down in the NLDS against the Braves, including a third inning in which he walked 4 and threw 5 wild pitches. The same thing happened in the first inning of an NLCS appearance, with 5 balls out of 20 getting past the catcher. As far as the coaches could tell, there was no issue with his mechanics so they decided it was all between his ears.

Ankiel bounced between the majors and minors for a few more years, never regaining the command he displayed in his rookie year. In 2005, after a practice session in which he was on target with only 3 of 20 pitches, Rick Ankiel announced he would switch to the outfield. He showed promise with his fielding and slugging, but a knee injury kept him on the shelf for 2006.

Rick again showed improvement as an outfielder in spring training this year, and was sent to AAA to ensure he got a lot of at-bats. Amazingly, he rolled up 30+ homers and went to the AAA All-Star game. Ankiel got his chance with the big show again on August 9th, hitting a homerun in the 7th inning of his first game back. On the 11th, he added two more and added a Grand Slam to win last night. His current statline reads: .328 BA, 5 HR, 17 RBI, .623 Slugging Percentage. It’s an incredible accomplishment, to make the majors TWICE at two different positions. Awesome.

Milestones Met

Bonds, Glavine and A-Rod all took care of business since last I blogged. Well, Bonds tied but has yet to exceed Hank Aaron’s home run total.

Milestone Night?

There are three milestones that could be bested in Major League Baseball tonight. Barry Bonds* goes for 755* and beyond*****, Tom Glavine is attempting to get his 300th win, and Alex Rodriguez is looking for his 500th home run. I’m probably most impressed by Glavine, unlike the incredibly inflating home run totals, 300 wins has gotten harder in his lifetime thanks to the five man rotation.