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Out in left field

When a baseball writer is honored at the Hall of Fame, the scribe is allowed to select the Louisville Slugger bat used by any player in history and have it inscribed to commemorate the honor. Jerome Holtzman, the man who invented the save statistic, opted to have a Whitey Lockman model, which is an example of the impact Lockman had on people who knew him.

Lockman, 82, died this week from pulmonary complications, a loss to all of mankind. He spent more than 60 years in the game, breaking into the big leagues with the New York Giants in 1945, hitting a home run in his first at-bat, and played a key part in the famous Shot Heard Round the World in 1951. It was Lockman who doubled for the Giants, knocking out Dodgers starter Don Newcombe, who was replaced by Ralph Branca. Bobby Thomson, the next batter, delivered the playoff-game-winning home run off Branca.

Lockman stayed in the game after his playing career as a coach, manager (replacing Leo Durocher with the Cubs in 1972), and eventually as a scout.

Bench jockeying

Put Pedro mania on hold. It was great to see Pedro Martinez pitch so well for his native Dominican Republic against the Netherlands in the WBC. But how could anyone take his demand for a contract in excess of $6 million seriously?

At the age of 37, after three injury-plagued seasons with the Mets in which he combined to make 48 starts, working 269 2/3 innings and going 14-15, it was nice to see Martinez work six shutout innings in the WBC. But get serious.

He worked three innings each time, faced the lineup only once, never having to extend himself. Recent history gives no assurances he will avoid a breakdown again this year, which is why Martinez needs to be realistic if he really wants to pitch in the big leagues again. He needs to be willing to accept a modest base, and then tie the riches into bonuses that pay off if he stays healthy enough to take the mound.

Tracy Ringolsby is a regular contributor to FOXSports.com, and is part of the Colorado Rockies broadcast crew for FSN Rocky Mountain. He also has a Web site, insidetherockies.com. In his 34th year covering baseball, Ringolsby was voted the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the BBWAA in 2005, and honored during the 2006 Hall of Fame induction ceremony.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 21, 2009

Toronto Blue Jays News

News » Face it, there's no good time for WBC


Face it, there's no good time for WBC


Face it, there's no good time for WBC
The World Baseball Classic is to baseball what the Edsel was to automobiles.

It's a nice idea, but its time has not come, and may never come.

Be honest about what it is. It is a marketing attempt to create international interest in baseball.

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