We’re joined on the Starline by an award winning researcher and author. He’s a board member for the Society of American Baseball Researchers. He’s written many critically acclaimed books but his latest one is about cheating. We welcome author of “Intentional Balk” Dan Levitt.
Dan, let’s go Beyond the Mic. How do you go from Industrial Engineering degree at Wisconsin to Real Estate to author of multiple books on baseball?
Cheating has been going on in the major leagues since baseball was created. Cheating is part of the game. If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying. Which scandal was hard for you to believe?
In you’re your book “International Balk” you’ve created the Hornsby Doctrine named after the ornery Rogers Hornsby which states “Baseball players and others within the game will and should find ways to bend and break the rules. It’s the job of the authorities to stop them.” You could find rules broken in plenty of situations. Where is the line between good and evil? They can stop games for so many reason. If they tried to police everything games could take 4 hours.
Has baseball changed for the better or for the worse since you grew up?
Has analytics made baseball worse? Should banning the shift been done long ago?
The Rockin’ 8:
It’s time for the Rockin’ 8, 8 random questions; answer with the first thing that comes to your mind. There is no Pressure.
1. Best baseball game you’ve ever seen?
2. Favorite moment in baseball to you not including that game?
3. Should there be a steroid wing of the baseball hall of fame?
4. Who will get into the hall of fame first Shoeless Joe Jackson or Pete Rose after he passes?
5. Who was the best and worst baseball commissioner of all time?
6. As VP for Ryan Companies you know about capital markets and commercial real estate. Which MLB stadium should be destroyed completely for humanity and if you say any other stadium than Oakland I’m going to be highly suspicious about your choice?
7. Who was your worst fantasy football league draft pick?
8. Who was the best baseball player you have ever seen play live?
The Back Half with:
Tell the story about the first time you met your co-author at a convention and how a wonderful friendship between the two of you developed from that moment.
You cover the recent cheating by the Astros and Red Sox. In your opinion, were the penalties harsh enough or were they just slaps on the wrist for players, managers and ownership?
And apple watches and things like that…
Bill Veeck, one of the legends in baseball, hired Eddie Gaedel a midget for a game as a pinch hitter in 1951. Veeck once said “I try not to break the rules but merely to test their elasticity.” AL president Will Harridge voided Gaedel’s contract which funny enough because Veeck never broke any league rule. The contract was legal. Why are some rules enforced; some created out of thin air?
Who would you think would be the best next commissioner for baseball?
Would a former player be the best?
We’ve talked signals, steroids, gambling, tiny people… and it’s all in your book. “Intentional Balk”. But, what’s the next controversy we’ll be talking about?
Thoughts on the pitch clock?
What’s you next project?
One Big Question:
When did you 1st fall in love with baseball?
He doesn’t think Pete Rose will ever get into the hall of fame, loves game 7 of the 1987 WS, would destroy Tampa Bay stadium as he should. Randy Johnson was one of the best pitchers he ever saw. The book is Intentional Balk Co-Author Daniel R. Levitt thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.
And that my friends is Beyond the Mic.
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