Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Billy Cannon Redux?

So the Yanks' first pick in the draft yesterday was the former Massachusetts governor, secretary of transportation, and ambassador to Italy, John Volpe, a rare Republican from the Bay State, who narrowly lost out on being Nixon's VP pick, to Spiro Agnew.

That Coops!!!!

Wait, what?

Oh, all right, it was Anthony Volpe, a star high school shortstop for the Delbarton School, in Morristown, NJ.

Hey, can't complain about them picking a Jersey boy, although like Sikkema he seems to have been somene the Yanks could have grabbed with a later pick.  Volpe is considered a good fielder and he hits for a high average, though with not all that much power.  Sikkema is considered a soft tosser.

Both are considered to be very field smart, and of high "character."  Character plus $2.75 will get you on the subway.

Too early to tell about either player, of course.  The power chops may come as they juice up fill in and develop.

What's more intriguing about Volpe, though, is that he and his highly rated teammate, Jack Leiter—yes, the son of Al—were both thought to be committed to Vandy.  Instead, it looks as though Volpe will go pro and Leiter, who already throws 98 and is considered a top prospect, will go to the SEC.

What's the buzz?  Well, it's likely Leiter doesn't need the big bonus money, at least not as much as his teammate probably does, and he talks a lot about the value of an education.

Now that's character.  But is that all that's going on?

Some of us are old enough to remember the sordid story of Billy Cannon, Jr., highly rated baseball AND football prospect out of Louisiana.

Billy's dad, a football legend at LSU—quick, for no dollars in the championship, what future Yankees catcher punted the ball that Billy, Sr. made his fabled, 89-yard return on against Ole Miss?—and general con man, concocted a ruse wherein he wrote all the MLB teams prior to the 1980 draft and informed them that his son was going to play college football, so don't bother.

The Yanks drafted him in the third round anyway.  Oh, that George Steinbrenner!

Of course, it all turned out to be collusion, other teams sued, and the commissioner ordered a special draft for Billy, Jr., who was picked by Cleveland.

That was enough to make the son go to college for real, where he developed into a tremendous, two-way player, and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys....only to suffer a freakish injury in his rookie year, which left him temporarily paralyzed, and out of sports for good.

His dad, meanwhile, ended up in prison due to some other scam.

The question here is, does Jack Leiter have it in mind, with or without the help of his daddy, to find a way to end up on the Yankees with his old pal?

Who knows?  But if so, I can only say that it behooves him to learn from experience and get the scam right this time.

Crime doesn't pay—if you don't do it right.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

Trivia answer is someone whose baseball card I had when he was the starter, which wasn't for long.

TheWinWarblist said...

Alright, Rufus T., spill it!

JM said...

All I know is Dale Berra could've been a star if he didn't sniff his salary up his nose. Very Pepitonian of him.

Tonight we're up against a former Padre with a 1.38 WHIP and an ERA of 3.38 in two starts. Last year he was 1.38 and 5.33 in 27 starts. He's 35 years old and has a 1.42 and 4.55 ERA.

If we were last year's team, I think we'd lose. This year, though...not so fast.

JM said...

That 1.42 and 4.55 are career numbers.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Has to be Jake Gibbs. He went to Ole Miss.

Carl J. Weitz said...

He sucked but he could hit the occasional long home run.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

He coached Archie Manning.

TheWinWarblist said...

Well, that was disappointing. Great of Ma to leave Masahiro out there. We needed more proof that pitchers get hit hard on their third turn through the lineup. The plethora of relievers we're carrying are really just for show.

Such fuckers.

TheWinWarblist said...

Dale Berra was pathetic.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Jake Gibbs it was! Mediocre as he was at quarterback, he was even worse as a catcher.

It seemed to me as though he was a starter forever, but really it was only 1967-69. Best season was when he backed up Munson in 1970 and somehow hit .301. Retired after 1971.

HoraceClarke66 said...

A dreary, dismal, frustrating game, like all games played in Toronto.

So the bullpen was saved against Boston on Sunday, with an off day to follow, then saved again tonight. That certainly makes sense...in some time, space, and dimension.

I knew Gardy, God love him, was not going to get it done in the 8th.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

The Dale Berra era was sad. The beginning of Yogi's exile.

TheWinWarblist said...

I know. He was a barely above replacement level player, but the Yankees handled it terribly. Crass and classless. Dale deserved better for Yogi's sake, not for his own.

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