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The National Pastime Today—December 5, 2017

Happy Hot-Stove Tuesday everyone. Remember, there are only 69 days until pitchers and catchers report! We here at The National Pastime Museum are in the business of making connections between baseball’s past and present. As is our Tuesday custom, in TNP Today we link the links, providing a current story with a historical perspective piece. Happy reading!

December 5, 2017

Happy Hot-Stove Tuesday everyone. Remember, there are only 69 days until pitchers and catchers report! We here at The National Pastime Museum are in the business of making connections between baseball’s past and present. As is our Tuesday custom, in TNP Today we link the links, providing a current story with a historical perspective piece. Happy reading!

** Baseball’s Permanently Ineligible List **
The John Coppolella story is a sad one. Now, you might not feel sorry for the former Atlanta Braves GM. After all, he cheated. He breached MLB’s rules regarding international signings, besmirching his franchise and trampling on the rights of vulnerable prospects. But as Coppolella spoke out this week, it was tough not to feel at least some empathy for this disgraced baseball executive. “I have learned the lesson of a lifetime,” Coppolella stated, “as my mistakes have cost me my dream job.” More than that, Coppolella has joined baseball’s most ominous tally: The Permanently Ineligible List. It’s a select group. Recent additions have included Chris Correa and Jenrry Mejia. Both may well earned reinstatement at some point. The worst case scenario though is to remain permanently banned from the sport. This permanent ban has, as Marty Appel reminded us in a haunting piece, defined most of Pete Rose’s life.

** The San Diego Padres Revenge for ‘98 **

The 1998 Padres were a wonderful team. Tony Gwynn, Ken Caminiti, and Kevin Brown led the squad to 93 wins. The team won the NL Pennant and advanced to the World Series. There, however, San Diego was unceremoniously steamrolled. The New York Yankees, one of the best teams in baseball history according to Bob Klapisch, swept the Padres on their way to the first of three consecutive championships. There haven’t been a lot of highlights for the Padres since. So I encourage Padres fans to enjoy the fact that Shohei Ohtani has eliminated the Yankees (and Boston Red Sox) from consideration. As FanGraphs.com explained in delightful detail, the Padres are among the free agent’s finalists. Take that Yankees! A beleaguered fan base needs to seize victories where it can.