Tightening the focus

I’ll admit it. I’ve strayed a bit.

I launched this newsletter in August 2020, envisioning it as a natural successor to The Best (and Worst) of Baseball’s Modern Era, a book I wrote four years earlier.

Nobody could deny that the book lived up to its title. It contained 221 lists of — yes — the best (and) worst performances in the major leagues since 1961, the initial year of the Expansion Era, which I relabeled the Modern Era.

I adopted a similar name for this newsletter — Baseball’s Best (and Worst) — and it was my intention to produce a similar product. My initial entry promised, “This is a blog about the best (and worst) teams, players, games, and performances in baseball history. Some of the stories are about current times, but many of my entries are about the past.”

I followed my template for a few months, but I gradually got lost. Part of the blame goes to enthusiasm: A new season arrived in 2021, and I wanted to write about it. But myopia was also a factor. I drifted off to subjects as diverse as the sluggish pace of play, baseball’s ridiculously extended schedule, Ford Frick’s cloudy vision of the 2020s, and my plan to relegate the bottom-feeding teams in the majors.

Not a lot of Best in there — or Worst.

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So today’s entry, which is considerably shorter than most, is simply devoted to my pledge to hit the reset button.

Each future installment of Baseball’s Best (and Worst) will examine excellence or mediocrity in a specific category. And one other important point: It will deal solely with the Modern Era, running from 1961 to the present.

An army of interesting characters marched through the first 90 years of big-league baseball (1871 to 1960), but I don’t have the space (or the inclination) to deal with them.

My focus will remain fixed on the teams and players familiar to those of us who are currently alive. Nobody who is younger than 70, which is the vast majority of us, has any memory of baseball prior to the expansion of 1961, so that’s my cutoff.

I will still write about the upcoming season, but only occasionally, certainly not as frequently as before. A treasure trove of material is already available — encompassing the previous 61 years of the Modern Era — and it deserves our attention.

Let’s start next Tuesday.

Author: admin

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