Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The King vs. Dice-K

One hundred years ago today, the Boston Americans opened at home against the Philadephia Athletics behind manager-starting pitcher Cy Young (who had just celebrated his 40th birthday two weeks earlier). Denton True Young defeated 24-year-old starter "Colby" Jack Coombs 8-4 at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds. The original Cy would go on to post a 1.99 ERA in 343 1/3 innings that season, and then play through the 1911 season before hanging 'em up.

We're opening a bit earlier these days, so the home and season openers are both behind us, but we have an even more impressive pitching matchup today. Indeed, I can't think of any matchup I'd rather see just now...perhaps Christy Mathewson vs. Sandy Koufax? Nahh. Is there any Mariners' fan on the planet who will NOT be watching tonight? Just imagine both of these guys on the same Seattle pitching staff. Sure, sure, we'd have to bump pothead, er, Jeff Weaver from the team to make room, but I have this feeling that it MIGHT be worth it.

That Boston team, by the way, went 59-90 to finish 7th out of 8 American League teams that season, putting up one of only three losing records in the World Series era before THE CURSE. The lesson? Uh, don't bet against the Georgia Peach? (Detroit won that year's pennant with a small contribution from 20-year-old Ty Cobb.) Nope. How about 'pitchers with cool nicknames like Colby are natural champions?' No, I think it's "no one player makes a team good."

Crap. So our solitary star-quality player can't win it all for us?



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