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By Joe Kazmar
For the Record 

Kaz's Korner

Pitchers may have to warm up in the arm barn


Last updated 11/2/2021 at 9:11pm

Every year during either the World Series or the Super Bowl, many trivial stories are either written or talked about the fallacies of the sport in season and what to do to make it more “politically correct.”

The most popular topic at this time of the year is the usual complaint that any team whose mascot has some kind of Native American connotation MUST be changed.

One group of dissenters actually did sell their bill of goods to major league baseball’s long-standing Cleveland Indians franchise as well as the National Football League’s Washington Redskins who will each cease being known by those respective nicknames.

The Cleveland Indians will be known as the Cleveland Guardians, probably because they do such as good job of guarding last place in their division.

The Washington Redskins already have dropped that nickname and are merely referred to as the Washington Football Team.

Actually, if they want to make the name more politically correct, it should be called the Washington Losing Football Team because of its encampment in the NFC East Division cellar.

It’s mind-boggling how much money it will cost to change out all the uniforms, team logos being sold all over the world and letterhead just to name a few.

Two franchises they haven’t been able to alter are the Atlanta Braves and their stupid tomahawk chop and the Kansas City Chiefs, who also chop every now and then. It’s probably just a matter of time before some commissioner of these two sports issues an edict that a change in mascot must be forthcoming.

Not to be outdone, animal rights group PETA wants to get some ink of its own and is proposing that major league baseball eliminate usage of the term “bullpen,” which it says promotes cruelty to animals and change the phrase to “arm barn” instead, according to an article appearing in Sunday’s edition of The Houston Chronicle.

I nearly fell on the floor with uncontrolled laughter, but that is PETA’s latest gig to get its name before the public.

More than half a century ago, I spent nearly every game in our team’s bullpen, especially in the later innings of the games, waiting to be summoned to get loose and warm up in the event I was coming into the game as a relief pitcher.

As much time as I spent in the bullpen, I never once felt sorry for any animal, especially a bull, who leads the life of Riley servicing and protecting the cows in the field.

Before Saturday’s Game 4 of the World Series, the writer posed this question to members of the Houston Astros—If you had to rename the bullpen, what would you call it?

One of the Astros coaches quipped, “If we’re going there, we might as well change out baseballs, because they’re made of cowhide.” Although he is firmly against a change but pressed for an alternate suggestion, quipped “pitcher’s pool”.

Another suggestion from a relief pitcher was “stable because there’s a bunch of horses down there”. He insisted that stable does not carry the same negative connotation as bullpen since in a stable, “horses are treated nice because that’s their home.”

There are many theories about the origin of the term “bullpen”, according to the article. “One notion is that in the early 1900’s, many ballparks had bull-shaped ads for Bull Durham Tobacco on the outfield wall near where the pitchers warmed up.”

Another was that “older stadiums in that era were built on old cattle or rodeo grounds and there were literal bullpens beyond the left field wall.”

I don’t believe PETA will have any success in this venture because it’s so difficult to institute a change in America’s pastime and seems unlikely MLB will do away with the term anytime soon.

KWICKIES…Atlanta Braves’ Hall of Famer Greg Maddux threw the Game 5 ceremonial first pitch Sunday night, making a rare appearance at his former home park. The 55-year-old Maddux is the pitching coach for UNLV.

Zack Greinke was Houston’s starting pitcher in Game 4, threw four shutout innings, giving up four hits, walking none and striking out three. He singled in his first at-bat and just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, got a pinch-hit single in Game 5.

The Houston Texans got another “F” rating in Sunday’s 38-22 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but scored their 22 points in the last quarter after the Rams dressed out the sisters of the Poor as subs for the regular defensive unit.

TCU and head football coach Gary Patterson mutually agreed to part company after 21 seasons after Saturday’s demoralizing 31-12 loss at Kansas State. Patterson’s Horned Frogs posted a perfect 13-0 record in 2010 and finished No. 2 in the nation and was 12-1 in 2014, winning the Big 12 and finishing No. 3 in the polls.

The top four places didn’t change in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 College Football poll—Georgia, Cincinnati, Alabama and Oklahoma—with Michigan State moving up three spots to No. 5, Ohio State dropping one to No. 6, Oregon remaining at No. 7, Notre Dame coming up three to No. 8, Michigan slipping down three to No. 9 and Wake Forest claiming No. 10--reaching the Top 10 for the first time in the program’s history.

Tennessee Titans Derrick Henry, who leads the NFL with 937 yards rushing, hurt his foot in Sunday’s game and could be out for the rest of the season.

JUST BETWEEN US…The Houston Astros had a humongous mountain to climb in Sunday night’s Game 5, just to get to last night’s Game 6. First of all, the Atlanta Braves hadn’t lost a home game throughout the entire playoffs. Secondly, after the first inning, the Astros found themselves behind 4-0 thanks to a grand slam by Braves’ center fielder Adam Duvall. The Astros reduced the deficit in half after batting in the second inning, but Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman added a solo shot. But Houston battled back, scored three times in the seventh inning to lead for the first time 7-5 and went on to win 9-5, setting up last night’s Game 6 elimination game.


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