Sunday, September 11, 2011

After 9/11: Trying to Find Normal

Today I came across this CNN article by Steve Politi, titled "One swing of the bat showed the healing power of sports after 9/11." It was a good reminder of just how much the world had changed in the days that followed 9/11. Even for something as simple as sports, our society wasn't sure what should come next. Here's an excerpt:
Todd Zeile still can remember the smell. It was an awful, metallic stench, the odor of burning steel, that filled the Mets team bus as it pulled across the George Washington Bridge on September 12, 2001.
The players, returning from a trip to Pittsburgh in the only way they could after a nationwide air traffic shutdown, crowded to the right side of the bus. They saw that black cloud over lower Manhattan where the World Trade Center had stood, and in an instant understood the pain and fear that had gripped their city.
"I remember wondering, 'What do we do with the group?'" said Bobby Valentine, their manager at the time. "If we were going to just be a Band-Aid over this gaping wound or were we going to actually make a difference?"
The answer, in so many ways, was the latter. The immediate reaction after the 9/11 attacks was to dismiss sports as unimportant, to postpone the games as the nation came to grips with what happened.
Everyone agreed that was the right decision. But soon after, the games people love became an integral part of the healing process for the New York region. The athletes, some with absolutely no ties to the city but a uniform, became a source of inspiration.
The entire article is here.

MLB Trivia: Hittin' and Runnin'

Recently Juan Pierre got his 2,000th career hit. This means he's currently the only active MLB player with at least 2,000 hits and 500+ steals. In fact, only two other active MLB players have 2,000+ hits and 400+ steals. Can you name them? (Hint: Both of these guys currently play for AL teams.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trivia: MVP = Most Valuable Pitcher?

Some people consider Justin Verlander a contender for this season's AL MVP Award. If Verlander were to win the AL MVP this season, he'd be the first pitcher to accomplish the feat since Dennis Eckersley in 1992. Can you name the most recent pitcher to win AL MVP prior to Eckersley? Hint: This pitcher's career actually went well past the year 2000.