Remember Mr. Case?
Remember the plaudits tossed by Manager Watkins just two days ago?
“Case is doing fine twirling. He is in the best of conditions and is practicing a slow ball, which will probably be a winner. “
No wonder Watkins was so worried about Case yesterday. No wonder he told him to take it easy. He didn’t want him hurt before he could be shipped off to Duluth, nor did he want him to perform well, so that people would be upset by his departure. A tightrope act by Mr. Watkins, and a successful one at that.
Does Watkins have any feel for how the team might feel about this?
Probably not. They are just pawns in his game.
In any Case, Case is gone, Duluth bound, another Case of disappearing ballplayers. Ahh, well.
In other news, Munch apparently showed up on Monday evening, and he “showed fine form” while pitching the last three innings in a 3-2 victory. “He merely toyed with the varsity players, who were unable to solve his curves for a single hit.” He also varies his speed so as to confuse the batters, and “His slow ball is very deceptive.”
With the good news (The Incomparable Munch!) comes the bad, of course.
Demontreville has a sore arm, “caused by being hit with a water polo ball while refereeing a local contest.” This is not of a serious nature, apparently — I assume our scribe could not keep a straight face as he typed this tidbit up — and it won’t keep Demont from playing. No wonder pros today have that Water Polo Refereeing Prohibition in the standard contract. An arcane bit of legalese, probably many have puzzled over. Now we know why it’s there.
And what’s this? Ludwig’s arm is also now troubling him too! Slightly, they say. It’s nothing. Just a minor thing, really, and hardly worth mentioning. He will be in good shape again soon, they say. So; as soon as we get rid of our third catcher, our new first stringer has a “slightly” sore arm. Why do I think I see where this is headed?
But, again on the upside, Frosty Thomas has recovered from his neuralgia (what the heck is that?) and is ready for more slab duty. Bring it on, he says.
And, finally, the deal for Converse is complete and details are undisclosed, which seems a bit odd, but in any case, Converse heads up to Winnipeg “as soon as his transportation arrives.”
And, a last bit of unrelated baseball news, the big leagues open their 1904 season tomorrow.
In the American league, the New York Highlanders are the odds-on favorites, though the Philadelphians and the Cleveland Naps are expected to challenge. For the Nationals, Pittsburg and New York are the favorites. The 1904 Highlanders are lead by outfielders Patsy Dougherty, John Anderson, and Willie Keeler, with Jack Chesboro on the mound. Cleveland features the Great Lajoie at second base, Elmer Flick in the outfield, Bill Bernhard and Addie Joss on the mound, while the Athletics will rely on Lave Cross at short, Socks Seybold and Topsy Hartsel in the outfield, and pitchers Rube Waddell, Eddie Plank, and Chief Bender – which is not a bad start for a rotation.
The Pirates, in the senior circuit, have the great Honus Wagner at short, Tommy Leach at third, Fred Clarke, Ginger Beaumont, and Jimmy Sebring in the outfield, with Sam Leever and Deacon Phillippe twirling. The Giants counter with Dan McGann at first, Bill Dahlen at short, Art Devlin at third, and Roger Bresnahan and Sam Mertes in the garden. Christy Mathewson, Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity, Dummy Taylor, and Hooks Wiltse are the slab artists, another fine assemblage for manager John McGraw. Sounds like a good season shaping up, for those who care about “major league” base ball.