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Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Blunder of my Own

My favorable review of Rob Neyer's new book on blunders is up on BP this morning. I've already gotten some feedback from readers on one paragraph that goes like this:

"Taken one at a time, what those [Neyer's crtieria for inclusion] mean is that the move must have a) been well considered and not simply an act which is the product of historical contingency (it could have been otherwise), b) a physical error (a dropped throw or missed catch), or c) a heat-of-the-moment reaction (a missed call or a Zidane-style head butt, for which there is no event in baseball history that really comes close). Second and by far the most important, there had to be at least some rationale available at the time for not making the move. After all, anyone can play Monday morning quarterback, but it's far more difficult to articulate a reasoned case before the results of an event are known. Finally and most obviously, the move had to have ill effects on the franchise in question, therefore making it a blunder."

While writing this paragraph the event that slipped my mind was the clubbing of Johnny Roseboro by Juan Marichal on August 22, 1965. Viewed from a modern perspective the $1,750 fine and eight game suspension seems like a severe underreaction by NL president Warren Giles. That sort of incident today (witness the 50 game suspension handed out to Delmon Young for the bat throwing incident earlier this season) would certainly merit a punishment ten times as harsh. Roseboro later sued Marichal for $110,000 and the case was settled for $7,000 according to this source.

Now I have a blunder to call my own.

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