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I wish the Internet was around in 1925

Aug 29, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Ruth Called Shot Baseball

Wish I had thought to put this one in This Week in Hardball History, but a day after Puig was benched, this is oh-so-very appropriate.

On this day in 1925, Babe Ruth showed up late for batting practice after a night on the town. Yankees manager Miller Huggins suspended Ruth and slapped a $5,000 fine on him — which, adjusted for inflation is around $66,000 — for disobeying orders. Ruth was forced to apologize before he was reinstated nine days later.

The remarks from Ruth following his late arrival are epic:

Ruth finally arrived a few minutes before game time and Huggins jumped all over him. Ruth explained he had been at a Negro League game watching the St. Louis Stars, and said “he didn’t need any batting practice to hit against a bunch of bums like the Browns.”

Puig is a mere piker. Unless of course he said he was late and loafing and stuff due to the fact that opponents were the Marlins and Cubs.

In other news, can you imagine how this would’ve been covered if we had sports talk radio, the Internet, cable news and various social media platforms? Mercy.

  1. sycophanticide - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Who gives a shit? It’s Babe Ruth.

    You think Miggy would get benched for showing up late tomorrow?

    • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      He damn well better be. I’d be unhappy otherwise. I’m still mad about letting him play drunk/hung over.

    • cur68 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Yes. If THAT was Cabrera’s excuse, Leyland would eat Miggy’s liver under the light of an orange moon with some fava beans and a big amarone.

      If anyone thinks Jim Leyland takes crap from superstar ballplayers, they were paying NO attention to how he dealt with Barry Bonds, Baseball’s Biggest Ego.

      • badintent - Aug 30, 2013 at 2:48 AM

        I recommend the 2005 Antinori Amarone . It is drinking great now and will only get better./ Roast lamb shanks or a NY Strip would be the logical choice

    • paperlions - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      In 2009, Cabrera was still drunk on the morning of the final day of the season, after going out to party with friends on the White Sox and getting into a fight with his wife while having a BAC of 0.26 and the cops being called. He went hitless in the entire series, Detroit lost the first 2 games, but won the last one to force a game 163 against the twins to play for the division title. They lost (though Cabrera had a good game). Cabrera was never disciplined in any way. He was 26.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        Hence, my note above.

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        To his credit, he seems to have grown up quite a bit since then.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        Well, apparently, he’s keeping up with his rehab and I think he still has the sober companion. I was against him doing his rehab out-patient, but it seems to be working okay for him. I guess playing is a motivator to him. That said, I would be super-mad if Leyland let him skate again. And, as I said, I’m still pissed about last time. It really wasn’t in the best interest of the team or Miggy.

      • sycophanticide - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:18 PM


      • badintent - Aug 30, 2013 at 2:49 AM

        So what you’re saying he was acting like 90% of the NBA ?

  2. chacochicken - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    He then open hand slapped Huggins while drinking a beer.

    • rbj1 - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Unpossible. In 1925 alcohol was unconstitutional, not merely illegal. The purity that is the Baseball Hall of Fame would never let in someone who violated the Constitution, much less violating vague grumblings about certain performance enhancing substances.

      • someguyinva - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        Well, technically the 18th Amendment didn’t outlaw the consumption of alcohol; it only made prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes”, which must have made it awfully difficult to legally acquire.

      • txnative61 - Sep 1, 2013 at 2:43 AM

        The widely used legal exception to prohibition was “medicinal” alcohol, although I’m sure illegal hooch was much cheaper and widely available.

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      While simultaneously scarfing down two dozen hot dogs and making appointments with six different hookers for after the game.

      Ah, the good ol’ days.

  3. alexo0 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    The New York media would never have tolerated such behavior…

    • bigharold - Aug 29, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      Bill Madden, the NY Daily New’ newly hired “cub reporter” quoted and unnamed baseball source that Ruth was going to be suspended for 299 games and if he didn’t cooperate he’d get the Shoeless Joe Jackson “treatment”.

  4. southofheaven81 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    If the Internet was around back then every Hall-of-Famer in history would be under scrutiny for some bullshit.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Ack! Mantle sent me a pic of his junk!

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        A wholesome OK boy? No way.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        The big city led him astray. 😦

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        Always a sad story.

        FWIW, I absolutely love 61* and Thomas Jane’s portrayal of Mantle.

      • chacochicken - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        Umm, could you forward that to me. I want to print it off and get him to sign it.

      • bigharold - Aug 29, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        “FWIW, I absolutely love 61* and Thomas Jane’s portrayal of Mantle.”

        Lion, finially something we can agree on. Barry Pepper did a pretty good job too.

  5. kopy - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    1920s internet would be a very xenophobic place.

    • commonsenseisnotcmonman - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      too much Charleston at VMAs, damn you flappers!

      • jwbiii - Aug 29, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        “50 years after the 14th Amendment, some see jazz music as a problem”

    • American of African Descent - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      So not much different than many webpages today.

      • jcmeyer10 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Amen. It still happens, it’s just more frowned upon.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      A pre-Godwin’s Law internet doesn’t seem very realistic.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    “I wish the internet was around in 1925”

    So does she:,9769/

  7. hansob - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    That would be great. I would love to know what was in Babe Ruth’s gift bags.

    • dluxxx - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Cigars and Whiskey.

    • bigharold - Aug 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      $20 dollar bills?

  8. nolanwiffle - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Odd that there was no internet in 1925, considering Al Gore, Sr. would have been approximately 18 years old. I guess he wasn’t the visionary that his son turned out to be…..

    • cohnjusack - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Can this die yet?

      Claim: Vice-President Al Gore claimed that he “invented” the Internet.

      Status: False.

      Origins: Despite the derisive references that continue even today, Al Gore did not claim he “invented” the Internet, nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted that way. The “Al Gore said he ‘invented’ the Internet” put-downs were misleading, out-of-context distortions of something he said during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “Late Edition” program on 9 March 1999. When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied (in part):
      During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
      Clearly, although Gore’s phrasing might have been a bit clumsy (and perhaps self-serving), he was not claiming that he “invented” the Internet (in the sense of having designed or implemented it), but that he was responsible, in an economic and legislative sense, for fostering the development the technology that we now know as the Internet. To claim that Gore was seriously trying to take credit for the “invention” of the Internet is, frankly, just silly political posturing that arose out of a close presidential campaign.

      • misterj167 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        These stories never die, they’re passed around by conservatives like fruitcake going from family to family at Christmas. And no amount of actual facts will convince them otherwise. They hate Al Gore, they hate Bill and Hillary Clinton, they hate Barack Obama and there’s no lie too large or too unbelievable that they won’t tell to assuage it.

      • skids003 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        Yep, good ole Mr. ALJazeera, sold out for a $100 million. He’s really got our best interest at heart, right?

        And you still think the people you named walk on water?

      • cohnjusack - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        What the hell are you even talking about?

        1. Al Jazeera is actually a pretty widely respected news organization world wide. “OHHH!!, but they played Osama’s tapes!” Yeah….because they were the biggest news organization in the area. And then other media outlets got them and also played them. Like CNN wouldn’t have played them in an instant had they been snet to them first. Whoopity friggin’ do.

        2. I don’t even like Al Gore. I thought he was middle-of-the-road D-bag and one of the main offenders of dragging the Democrats to the middle and removing their balls. I didn’t even vote for the guy (I voted for Nader, which served the dual purpose of completely destroying Nader’s legacy and frightening off anyone from ever supporting 3rd party candidates while not dragging the Dems one step to the left. That sure didn’t work out!). It doesn’t mean the internet story is anything other than pure bullshit.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        For the record, I don’t hate Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, or Barack Obama. And how is it that you’re able to decipher that I might be a “conservative”.

        I was merely attempting some light-hearted humor. I am very much aware that Al Gore did not “invent” the internet. I promise (sort of) to never do it again. Oh, and you both should probably lighten up. No need to defend the virtue of your chosen political affiliation at the first hint of derision…..especially on a baseball blog.

      • cohnjusack - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        Your attempt at light hearted humor hasn’t been topical and 13 years and everyone who continues to propagate this nonsense myth every time that word “internet” is mentioned deserves nothing more than merciless ridicule.

      • mybrunoblog - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        You are right. Al Gore did not invent the Internet. He invented global warming.

      • nolanwiffle - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Is that what just happened here? I was “mercilessly ridiculed”?

        Cohnjusack: Arbiter of all matters pertaining to what is humorous/not humorous……or a self-important gasbag. You be the judge.

      • yahmule - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Ralph Nader did more for Americans than all the politicians combined. It is a shame that his legacy has been tarnished. It pisses me off when fellow liberals complain that he cost Gore the election. Gore blew that double digit lead to a buffoon without any help. Running away from Clinton like he was radioactive was bad enough, but naming that double agent weasel Joe Lieberman as his running mate made my head explode. He was the first one to turn on Clinton. More than anything, the idea that it was Nader’s responsibility to get Gore elected is ludicrous. Gore’s barring of Nader from the debates – to prevent people from hearing what Democrats used to believe in – was as slimy as anything Karl Rove ever did. Oh wait, Rove was in on that, too. One of the few truly collaborative efforts by the two parties that didn’t include pay raises for themselves.

      • sycophanticide - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Just ignore skids. He is just another troll that seemed to join after NBC partnered with Yahoo.

  9. Jonny 5 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    If there was an internet in 1925 I think Coolidge would have never been elected as president due to his handling of the police strike of 1919. Unless people really were different back then? Do politicians squash unions today? I think they would never dare. Sissies.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      I give you Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and that bald jackass in Florida.

      The answer is in drug testing.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      People were different back then.

  10. raysfan1 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Imagine all the hand-wringing Internet posts by people worried about the children with those out of control ball players being poor role models by drinking alcohol during Prohibition and using such PEDs as Brown-Sequard solution (animal testosterone).

    • cur68 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      But they’d still be inThe HOF, of course.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Maybe not, if there were hand-wringing internet posts…

        (cue Francisco with a Craig, Lord of the Internets story [hoping it’s a Dr. Who-basement lair mashup])

      • raysfan1 - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        HoF didn’t exist yet any more than the Internet, but yes, the writers didn’t really give a north-bound rat’s south end about Brown Sequard solution. There was still enough support for Prohibition though that the illegal alcohol consumption leading to angst-filled commentary had the net existed then is not entirely facetious.

  11. granadafan - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    What would they say about Ty Cobb?

    • yahmule - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      How fun would it be to troll Ty Cobb on Twitter?

      Alas, Tyrus refused to even go to the movies for fear of harming his eyes, so peering into a computer monitor would have probably been out of the question.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        It kills me how people act like people back then didn’t know Cobb was an asshole. I guess we somehow discovered this after his death. I don’t know how they didn’t see it.

  12. yahmule - Aug 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Anybody who believes Babe Ruth received less fan and media attention than ANY current athlete is out of their mind and painfully ignorant of the scope of Ruth’s popularity. Take Jordan’s popularity at his peak and multiply it by about ten and you begin to get the picture.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      There are differences, however. The quantity of media members due to no cable TV as well as no net. Limited radio. Silent movies. Essentially nothing went straight to the masses same day, and very little even then without editing; not did stories get repeated ad nauseam 24/7.

      • skids003 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        It was the best of times,….

        You got the ad nauseum part right, nowadays the media makes it up, they don’t report it(the news, that is), and then beats it to death.

      • yahmule - Aug 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        Yes, there is more immediacy today, to be sure. More information and more misinformation and more outright bullshit to wade through. There was less media in 1925, also fewer people, fewer celebrities, far fewer entertainment choices to distract people. Does it matter if Joe Sportsfan hears news about Puig in two minutes while his great grandfather heard news about Ruth in two days? There’s still a story, right?

        1925 was the one subpar season during Babe Ruth’s prime. He was 30 years old and he came to camp really out of shape for the first time. He paid the price as he struggled though an injury plagued season. He was also called on the carpet by some people who he respected. He was badly embarrassed and he turned himself around the following season. He also cleaned up his act off the field which enabled him to play at a tremendously high level until he was 39.

        Leigh Montville’s masterful biography, The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth is such a wonderful book.

  13. mrpinkca - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I’m glad it wasn’t around. The world has enough hyperbolic twitter outrage without Ty Cobb cleating people on a daily basis.

  14. doubleogator - Aug 31, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Funny thing about Ruth’s comment was that he was probably right….

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