In a move that should surprise nobody at all, the Washington Nationals unloaded temperamental ex-closer Drew Storen to the Toronto Blue Jays. What have we learned here? Be a head case, punch a locker and get shipped out of the country. He could have been a good soldier and given up his closer spot when the much more experienced Jonathan Papelbon came to town. He could even have waited to see Papelbon’s own spectacular meltdown on Sept. 27. Jonathan hasn’t been moved yet, but if he is Storen could have been the Nationals’ closer again, but for his outburst after giving up a home run to Yoenis Cespedes that cost the Nats a game on Sept. 9. Cespedes will do that to a lot of pitchers, and only the Stanford-educated Storen took it out on a locker and disabled himself for the duration.
On the other side of the coin, the Nats get Ben Revere who they know well from his time in Philadelphia. He led the league in hits in 2014 for the Failin’ Phillies. If he needed to make a midnight run yelling “The British are coming,” Revere wouldn’t need a horse. He can flat out fly. On the Twins he was a teammate of Denard Span who he now replaces as leadoff hitter for the Nats, with Span having moved his heart and his wallet to San Francisco.
Two members of last year’s World Series’ Mets have signed on with the anemic Braves. Kelly Johnson, a valuable utility man won’t wear orange and blue this year. Neither will lefty pitcher Alex Torres. As bad as the Braves are, the fact that Torres got a minor league contract shouldn’t keep him out of their bull pen in their final year at Turner Field. The runway model of stadiums, Turner is finished at age 19. The Braves will move to a new stadium in 2017.
Talking about men who can flat out fly, Otis Nixon was one and he turns 57 today. This Nixon couldn’t even try to say “I am not a crook,” considering all the bases he stole in his time. He swiped 620 of them in 17 seasons. He has stolen more than any man who was not an All-Star since 1933 when the All-Star game was first played. He was a Brave during 4 World Series seasons-1991-93 and 1999, but Ted Turner’s team lost all four. In fact Nixon made the last out in 1992 trying to bunt for a hit and bring in the tying run.
Ralph Terry is 80 today. I’ve been converting a number of old Yankee games from tape to MP3 of late, and it seems like if Whitey Ford isn’t pitching, Ralph Terry is. In his second hitch with the Yankees, between 1959 and 1964 he played in 5 World Series, winning 2-1961 and 1962. He was the losing pitcher in game 7 of the 1960 Fall Classic giving up Bill Mazeroski’s home run. On radio Chuck Thompson said Art Ditmar threw the fatal pitch, but in fact it was Ralph Terry. In 1962 he pitched both games 5 and 7 of the World Series against the Giants’ Jack Sanford. This was possible because in between games 5 and 6 there was so much rain in the City by the Bay that both pitching staffs rested well. Terry was MVP of that World Series. The last pitch is remembered as a rocket hit to Bobby Richardson at second base with men on second and third. There was even a Peanuts cartoon about that sequence.
He was an All-Star twice, appearing in both 1962 All-Star games, 1962 being the last year there were two All-Star games in a season. He was a golfer after baseball, and still does it as a hobby. He now lives in Kansas. Happy Birthday to all.0