Thursday, August 14, 2008

The great game, etc.

Tom Glavine recently pitched in a minor league rehab assignment, his first minor league appearance since 1987 (21 years). Those kinds of rehabs are pretty common these days so it is very unusual for a player to go so long between minor league stints. You would basically have to be one of the better players in the era in order to play that long, and one of the most durable to go that long without injury.

It turns out that it was pretty uncommon even in the days when older players often ended up in the minors at the end of their careers.

SABR member Jacob Pomeranke looked into it and found that it was a pretty remarkable feat. His list:

24 years:
Warren Spahn (1942-66, never returned to the majors)

23 years:
Bobby Wallace (1894-1917) [found by Gerry Myerson]

22 years:
Bert Blyleven (1970-92)
Cy Young (1890-1912, assuming the 1890 Tri-State League to be minor)

21 years:
Glavine (1987-2008)
Eddie Murray (1976-97)
Tommy John (1964-85)
Tris Speaker (1908-29)

20 years:
Don Sutton (1968-88)
Grover Cleveland Alexander (1910-30)

19 years:
Robin Roberts (1948-67)


While on the subject, the 19-17 slow pitch softball game (they claim it was a real major league baseball game, but I don’t buy it) won by Boston over Texas on August 12, a game in which Texas came from 10-0 behind after 1 to later take a lead before losing, produced some historical oddities of its own.

- Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman became the second pitcher since 1900 to give up 10 runs in the first inning and stay in the game. The other was Mark Redman of Colorado, also (April 26) this year!

- Feldman also became the first pitcher to give up 12 runs and not take the loss since Gene Packard of the Cardinals, who was actually credited with a 16-12 win over the Phillies on August 3, 1918.

- The Rangers became the fifth team since 1900 to score 17+ and lose, joining the 2008 Marlins (17-18 to Colorado), 1979 Cubs (22-23 to Philadelphia), 1969 Phillies (17-19 to Cincinnati) and 1922 Phillies (23-26 to Chicago).


Tales from socialized medicine: Diagnosed with a brain tumor in Canada? Come back in six months, if you live that long, and they’ll let you see a neurologist. The author was one of the lucky ones, having the resources to be able to get care in the US instead of dying in line as so many others do.

Why would someone who lives in an industrialized country with a high standard of living and a promise of guaranteed health care need to go anywhere else? […]

Canada's bureaucratic health care system…put me on a waiting list and essentially told me to hope for the best. […]

My story, with all of its unfortunate twists and turns, is relatively simple: Stay in Canada and let the government gamble with my future or journey south of the border and benefit from an accessible, patient-oriented and compassionate facility that responds swiftly to medical emergencies. […]

I hope that American voters will remember my story when U.S. candidates this year begin touting the Canadian health care system as a role model for reform in their own country.

Americans already are being blitzed with a propaganda barrage that bashes their current private-public health care partnership as little better than that of an emerging Third World nation. […]

What they don't tell you is that both Canada's and Great Britain's routinely block or delay access to needed treatments and often treat elderly patients with cavalier contempt.

The national health care system in my country is racked by agonizingly long waits and rationing of many vital medical services, starting with a severe shortage of the family physicians who are gatekeepers of our care.

More than 800,000 Canadians currently are in long holding patterns for operations that would be done in the U.S. in a few weeks after the initial diagnosis. Sadly, many will die before they make it to the head of the line. Those who can find a way flee to the U.S. for the quality medical service so often lacking at home.

The benchmark question for any nation's health care system is whether their citizens are forced to go abroad for quality accessible health care treatment. The answer in America is obvious.

In the decades since World War II, millions of Canadians, Europeans, Asians, Africans and Latin Americans have flocked to the U.S. for life-saving medical procedures. With few exceptions, that has been a one-way flow.

While I work to reform Canada's creaking health care system, I sincerely hope that Americans won't destroy a system that is the envy of the world by placing it under the yoke of big government bureaucracy.

Until Canada breaks free from the "Alice in Wonderland" absurdity of its system, droves of Canadians, including me, will join millions of others around the globe in seeking medical sanctuary in the U.S.

If your "patient-first" system begins to crumble, we'll have no place to go.

Don't ever forget that "universal health care" is nothing but access to a waiting list for inferior care to what we get today.


The Green Party is always good for a few laughs, and this year’s convention in Chicago was no exception. It featured a workshop with the hilarious title "A Clear Path Towards Dismantling and Ending All “ism” (Racism, sexism, classism and white privilege) within the Green Party by 2012."

As James Taranto points out, “white privilege” is not an “ism” and it’s odd that the Greens, of all parties, would be getting rid of environmentalism.

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