Adding introspection to injury
You cannot help but learn important things when you're doing the things you do to avoid learning important things
This year’s World Series is shaping up to be a good one, replete with a lot of back-and-forth between the Phillies and Astros (Game 3 notwithstanding).
One potential matchup that could have been (but won’t be) is the battle of the Maton brothers. Strangely, the Phillies and Astros played each other at the end of the regular season. Astros reliever Phil put a proverbial stick between the spokes of his proverbial bike, breaking his hand in the last game of the series, and ruling him out for the postseason. During that game he gave up two hits, including one to brother Nick, a Phillies utility player.
It was obviously a boneheaded reaction, and ended Phil’s season prematurely in a game that had no bearing on the season standings — both teams had clinched postseason berths and the Astros had sewn up home-field advantage throughout the AL portion of the playoffs. Hopefully he makes a full recovery and learns from the experience.
This incident reminds of how my angry Raptors fandom was a window into the deeper issues in my life away from sports. Obviously I can’t get into Phil Maton’s head and know what’s going on in his life, but I can say, from my own experience, that even at a rec sports level, real life things can creep into your sports life (which is ostensibly an escape from real-life things) and make you do dumb things. During times of high stress, I’ve definitely been an angrier, jerkier softball player. Like many, I play sports to escape from the stresses of everyday life (as much as possible, anyway) but it’s never a full escape.
I can’t imagine what it’s like when your sports life is also your work life. But I know the stakes are much higher, and if anything, there’s more of a need to look inwardly and address what’s there.
St. Louis Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado just won his tenth consecutive Gold Glove for his fielding excellence at the hot corner. Who was the last third baseman to win an NL Gold Glove before Arenado’s reign of terror?
Bonus MLB question: With his tenth win, Arenado joined Mike Schmidt and Brooks Robinson as the only 3B to win ten or more Gold Gloves. At other positions, 13 other players have won 10+ Gold Gloves: two pitchers, two catchers, one first baseman, one second baseman, two shortstops, and six outfielders. Name ten of those players.
How many Heisman Trophy winners have been enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame since completely unhinged Senate candidate Herschel Walker won the award in 1982?
Bonus handegg question: Since 2000, how many Heisman Trophy winners have not played in the NFL?
Since the NBA started awarding Defensive Player of the Year (1982-83), seven DPOY winners have averaged 5+ assists per game in their DPOY season. Who are they?
Bonus NBA question: How many Most Improved Player Award winners are in the Hall of Fame? (The NBA started awarding MIP in 1985-86.)
Who is the last goaltender under 6’ to win the Vézina Trophy?
Bonus NHL question: Since the 1998-99 season, when Dominik Hašek won the Vézina and recorded a 1.87 GAA, what Vézina Trophy-winning goaltenders had a GAA below 2.00 in their award-winning season?
Answers from last week’s issue
Thirteen players have ever had a season with 26+ power-play goals scored. Who is the only active player among them? He scored 52 goals that season, the first time somebody reached the 50-goal mark for his club since Jaromír Jágr did it.
Last season, Chris Kreider scored half of his 52 goals on the power play for the New York Rangers.
Two NBA players have worn #26 this season. They were both traded to their current team last season. Who are they?
While #26 has been worn by 58 NBA players, the only current ones are Spencer Dinwiddie (Dallas Mavericks) and Justise Winslow (Portland Trail Blazers).
Since 1994, the player with the most rushes of 26+ yards did it 74x (and, coincidentally, 26 of those rushes resulted in touchdowns). He also wore #26 for two seasons late in his career, instead of the number he’s best known for, because that number has been unofficially retired by that team for a Hall of Fame cornerback. Who is the running back?
Adrian Peterson has had more 26+ yard runs than anyone since 1994.
In the DH era, only two players have been caught stealing 26+ times in a season while also logging less than 50 successful steals. One has the same name as an actor/standup comedian who had their own sitcom in the same decade; the other is currently an analyst on the MLB Network. Who are the two players?
Harold Reynolds (35 SB, 29 CS in 1988) and Brett Butler (38 SB, 28 CS in 1991) are the droids we were looking for.
Many thanks to Chris Doleman for being named his name and to you for being named your name, unless your name is Kyrie Irving, because, like, read the goddamn room and smarten up.
Until next week, be the Ezequiel Carrera you wish to see in the world.