Jury duty is good for getting some reading in. For the past two days while I was in the main Los Angeles criminal courts building, I read Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Blunders. These are blunders not by players, but by coaches, managers, general managers, and owners. It starts with the White Sox getting rid of first baseman Jack Fournier in 1917 in favor of future “Black Sox” ringleader Chick Gandil, and ends with Joe Torre not putting Mariano Riviera into Game 4 of the 2003 World Series.
Yes, the penultimate chapter is about a certain sequence of events that occurred just six days earlier, in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, and the Devil Rays get an entire chapter (the idea being that the franchise got off on the wrong foot when they immediately traded away Bobby Abreu after taking him with their first expansion draft pick).