I know this is not really a place for sports posts, but there is sad news from Baltimore. Legendary Orioles manager Earl Weaver has died at 82. For those of us who grew up in the late 60s and 70s watching and playing baseball (on the East Coast anyway), Earl Weaver was synonymous with “manager”.
Even as a Red Sox fan, I had to admire Earl and his chess-match style of managing. He seemed to care more about winning and losing than his team did. And he didn’t coddle his players. Baltimore would come north from Spring Training at times with only eight pitchers, because of the early season days off. He expected pitchers to be in shape to throw nine innings every time out. And they did. Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Mike Flanagan, Dennis Martinez, and a bunch of others had their greatest success in Baltimore on Weaver teams. His position roster was pretty good, too. Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Al Bumbry, Cal Ripken. Not too shabby a line-up. No wonder his management philosophy was “pitching, defense, and the three-run homer”.
A good-field, no-hit infielder who never played higher than mid-minor leagues, the 5 foot 7 inch Weaver bled baseball. Fiery and demanding, he naturally had a love-hate relationship with his players. He once told the Sun that he was removing Jim Palmer from the rotation, after he’d “given him more chances than my ex-wife”.
Here is Weaver’s epic argument with umpire Bill Haller, who had been wearing a microphone for a documentary about umpiring. (Warning: As you might expect, NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR KIDS)
Earl Weaver led the Baltimore Orioles to the 1970 World Series Championship, defeating Sparky Anderson’s Cincinnati Reds. He was right about his argument with Haller. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996.
We shall not see the likes of him in a Major League dugout again.
Gawd, my childhood was a long time ago….
Word also that Cardinal great Stan Musial has passed away. He was 92, and a Navy Veteran of World War II.