There is an age old adage in art and sports and life that nothing is original. Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has one of my favorite iterations of this,
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.
Now, I’m not sure I would go so far as to say baseball strategy would rise to the level of authentic art that speaks to anybodies soul. But the idea of stealing from the best, building on the ideas of others, and standing on the shoulders of giants is essential.
Innovation is key to progress and progress is key to the advancement, and it is rarely (if ever) done easily or without great resistance. Change is scary, and often the best thing you can do is fail forward and move things slightly further forward for the next folks.
And so when the Rays broke baseball and shook the Earth with the use of “the Opener” strategy, they were met with both praise of innovation and scorn from traditionalists who want things to remain the same or just move as slowly as possible. But they were not the first through the door. Their version of this strategy is different, but Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer has a tremendous read and incredibly fun investigation of baseball history on the shoulders the Rays are currently standing on.
In The Opener’s Opening Act, Ben explores the Oakland A’s (of course it’s the A’s) of 1993, and how legendary manager Tony La Russa and legendary pitching coach Dave Duncan utilized a unique and intriguing strategy to make the most out of their somewhat broken pitching rotation.
- Rays won another shutout win, and push current scoreless innings streak for Rays pitchers to 23!
- Daniel Robertson says he is hopeful to return before the end of the season. DRob was one of the best stories of young Rays this year, and I hope he can get back too.
- Sergio Romo’s unabashed joy and emotion over reaching career save 100 warms the heart and soul.
- Carlos Gomez: Fashion Icon.
Around the League:
- Chris Archer left his start early with left leg discomfort, apparently from a tweak during an at bat.
if only there were a player who could be assigned, say, *designated* to hit for the pitcher https://t.co/2QiF5XhkpB— James Santelli, a true bachelor in paradise (@JamesSantelli) August 21, 2018
- Khris Davis delivered some Babe Ruth level baseball lore hitting a towering HR with a jersey signed by Anthony Slocumb, a Make-A-Wish kid who Davis met with pre-game.
- Jose Altuve got his first ever Triple-A Triple on Sunday (he skipped that level on his first ascent to the majors) and that just seems like such a Jose Altuve thing to do.
- David Price was asked what adjustments he made lately to produce as good as he has in his last 6 starts. Price told the media that he was “...not going to do your job for you” and asked them to do their homework and check the tape. Well, Eno Sarris at The Athletic is always up for a challenge, so he did.