In 1881 the future National League wanted to upgrade its image and target a more upscale fan base by doubling ticket prices, banning gambling, and outlawing alcohol sales. Several team owners who happened to be brewers refused to accept the new rules and banded together to form what would eventually become the American League. The National League attempted to discredit the new league by dubbing it the Beer and Whiskey League. This, of course only made the new league more popular. Duh!

Friday, May 14, 2004

Like No Business

I must say I'm curious. When I made my "Jeter-sense" comment, I was referring to Darren Rovell's hypothetical situation in which Derek Jeter turned a double play, thus stepping on one of the hated Spider Man bases. My comment ("What the fuck does Jeter have to do with it?") was intended to express puzzlement with Jeter's celebrity cameo in this otherwise business-oriented article. Why, I wondered, of all the players, in all the stadiums, in all the possible scenarios, would you choose Jeter's suspect defense as your lead-in to an article on MLB's decision to sell ad space on the bases? A day after the article was posted, it was revised; now, if you follow the same link to that ESPN article, it's Barry Bonds rounding the bases after a home run, rather than Jeter turning a double play.

Anyway, in case you haven't picked up the New Yorker this week, the May 17th issue has, in addition to more by Seymour Hersh, a nice piece by Ben McGrath called "Project Knuckleball." It's a nice read, and touches not only on the physics of the "butterfly with hiccups," but also makes the heretofore unbeknownst-to-me link between Red Sox knuckleball prospect Charlie Zink and the legendary Luis Tiant. At art school.