Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More McCourt, and the Passing of Harmon Killebrew

     By Ross Newhan

     So, the latest from Frank McCourt is that even if he wasn't strapped for money the Dodger roster would be the same.

     In other words, even if he didn't need to take loans to meet his payroll, he would still have a roster that is last in the National League in runs, has no left fielder, a bullpen that can't be trusted and a journeyman infield because the original shortstop and third baseman are aged and injury prone veterans?

    He can't be serious, but that's what he said.

   In the meantime, former Cincinnati executive John Allan  has been appointed to assist trustee Tom Schieffer in his investigation of how a flagship franchise can deteriorate so quickly and completely, and what Commissioner Bud Selig is actually doing is making sure he has an executive staff in place when he ousts McCourt, whose eventual options seem to be down to suing the commissioner or declaring bankruptcy--or a combination thereof.


  I saw many of Harmon Killebrew's 573 home runs while covering the Angels in the 60s, including the longest ever hit in Metropolitan Stadium, the Twins first home after moving from Washington D.C.

 That record, 570 foot shot was hit off a Lew Burdette knuckleball when the former Milwaukee Braves star was trying to prolong his career with the Angels in what turned out to be his final big league season.

 The drive rocketed off a green, upper deck seat in left field, a seat still on display at the Mall of America, which was built on the site of the former ballpark after the Twins moved to the Metrodome.

 "I didn't need to turn and watch it," Burdette said. "I knew how far it went because I could hear it." 

 I was saddened Monday to hear that Killebrew had lost his battle with cancer, though he had previously released a statement saying he was giving up the battle and hoped to die peacefully with his family.

 The man was a sweetheart, as kind, gentle and accessible as he was powerful, an earlier version of Jim Thome, proof that they still make them like that, just not often.



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