Greats go back a long, long way
Hitting on a number of subjects as we approach another sports weekend …
• In a recent article, I wrote that Westview High slugger Carson Kelly could be next in the line of some state-of-Oregon major-league greats our readers 'might have seen,' including Dale Murphy, Danny Ainge, Harold Reynolds, Ben Petrick, Trevor Crowe, Jacoby Ellsbury and Darwin Barney.
Reader Joe Harvey wrote to me, asking why I didn't include the likes of Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, Larry Jansen and Joe Gordon.
I wrote back to Harvey, explaining that to have seen any of the quartet he mentioned, a reader would have to be pushing 80 years old.
'Sorry! I understand. I am 80 - old enough to watch Satchel Paige at the old Vaughn Street ballpark, pitching against the House of David.
'Before the game, a player stuck a pencil in the ground 10 feet behind home plate. Satchel stood 10 feet in front of the pitching black. He knocked the pencil over nine of 10 times. How great are memories!'
Wish I could have seen that.
Thanks for writing, Joe.
• In a poll taken during spring training by Sports Illustrated, players voted Portland's Jim Joyce the best umpire in the major leagues with 35 percent of the vote.
Yeah, the same Jim Joyce who last season admitted he blew a call that cost Armando Galarraga - then pitching for Detroit - a perfect game.
Joyce and Galarraga, incidentally, have collaborated on a book based on that game called 'Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call and a Game for Baseball History.' MLB officials have not allowed Joyce to work any games in which Galarraga, now with Arizona, pitches to avoid appearance of impropriety.
• Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrell (1.70 ERA, 40 saves), Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman (.293 average, 18 home runs) and Philadelphia pitcher Vance Worley (8-1, 2.76 ERA) are generally acknowledged as the leading candidates for National League rookie of the year.
Southridge High's Barney, though, deserves to be in the conversation. The Chicago Cubs second baseman is hitting .294 and has made only nine errors in 105 games.
• It went almost unnoticed, but former Trail Blazer coach Mike Dunleavy was awarded $13.517 million in compensatory damages in June after an arbitrator ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The Clippers had ceased paying Dunleavy in March 2010 after firing him as general manager. Dunleavy's attorney, Miles Clement, said the Clippers have no right to appeal since it was a binding arbitration case.
• Of all the things Jacquizz Rodgers accomplished during his three seasons at Oregon State, the most amazing might be never fumbling in 939 career touches (788 carries, 151 receptions). The lone fumble on his record - on a poorly thrown backward pass in the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl that wasn't his fault - doesn't count in my book.
It's a legacy successors at OSU can never live up to.