In a sign of the times, last week Your Natterer did three weeks of laundry, which contained exactly one dress shirt and one pair of socks. Primarily staying at home and writing, apparently doesn’t require an extensive wardrobe… The Chicago Cubs Convention, originally scheduled for Jan. 15-17, 2021, at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, has been cancelled due to COVID concerns. The Cubs event is the longest-running fan event in pro sports, started in 1986, when about all the Cubs had to market was their past. The event typically sells out annually … Canada’s Government has denied the Toronto Blue Jay’s request to play their 30-game home schedule in Toronto’s Rogers Centre due to concerns relating to COVID-19. Frequent travel by visiting teams based in the United States, where the pandemic continues unabated, was cited as the main reason for action. Interestingly, the Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel is located immediately next to the ballpark and the players wouldn’t have to interact with the public on the way to the Rogers Centre… There are two primary reasons why Daniel Snyder, owner of the NFL’s Washington franchise agreed to change the nickname of his team. In order of importance they are No. 1 The City of Washington was never going to approve construction of a new stadium for the team if they retained the Redskins moniker. Second, ownership and marketing partners including Federal Express, Nike and PepsiCo are attempting to disassociate themselves from Snyder and quickly. And Snyder’s turnaround on this issue was in that order of importance. The Redskins should have changed their name a decade or more ago, but I am still trying to figure out why San Diego State needs to do the same with Aztecs and the San Diego Padres are in the same boat… Is it bad form for me to admit that I’m tired of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s very public and lengthy contract negotiations? I have trouble believing someone being paid $31.4 million to play one year of football is a national issue… In the Summer of 1941, two of the great feats in Major League Baseball history occurred, Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 consecutive games for the New York Yankees and Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hit .406, the last hitter to hit.400 or above for an entire season. Growing up I always thought that Williams should have been the American League MVP that year, an honor which went to DiMaggio instead. But a little closer look at the beginnings of Baseball’s Modern Era, which is acknowledged to have begun in 1900, show why DiMaggio won the honor, although both Hall of Famers had great seasons. Since 1900, hitting above .400 has been accomplished 13 times. Ty Cobb did it three times including 1911-12 and 1922 when he was 35 years old and he hit .401; Rogers Hornsby did it in 1922, 1924-1925, with his best season coming in 1924 when he hit .424; and George Sisler hit .400 twice, in 1920 and 1922. The highest average of the Modern Era was .427, turned in by Nap Lajoie in 1901, with Hornsby coming in second hitting with his .424 in 1924. The most recent .400 effort was by Williams, who hit .406 in 1941 and that plateau hasn’t been reached again in 78 seasons. A deeper dive into eight offensive stats of both players finds Williams winning five of the categories and DiMaggio three. Williams scored more runs than DiMaggio (135 to 122); hit more homers (37 to 30); drew more walks (147 to 76); due to the walks he drew, Williams had a far higher on-base percentage (.553 to .440) and his slugging percentage (.735 to .643) was higher. DiMaggio won in hits (193 to 185); RBIs (125 to 120); and strikeouts, with DiMaggio famously striking out only 13 time during the season, with Williams almost as unbelievably striking out just 27 times. On defense, DiMaggio was one of the game’s greatest outfielders, and Williams was in indifferent fielder, who lived to hit. Another factor may have been the Red Sox didn’t qualify for the post-season and the Yankees won the World Series over the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-1. So the MVP Award went rightly to DiMaggio, winning the vote with 291 points to 254 for Williams, including 15 first place votes to eight for Williams. Coming in third place in the MVP voting with 174 votes was Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller, who was 25-13 that season, pitching 343 innings, with 260 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.15… And finally, three writers who cover MLB for the Chicago Tribune, Mark Gonzalez, LaMond Pope and Columnist Paul Sullivan, collaborated on a column discussing the future of the 2020 season. When asked, “If a World Series winner is actually crowned in October, I’ll be (fill in the blank),” Gonzalez who covers the Cubs said, “Surprised,”; Pope also said, “Surprised,” and Sullivan who is also the President of the Baseball Writers of America said, “Flabbergasted.” Sullivan added, “Too many things have to go right for the entire season to play out, and according to the daily COVID-19 numbers, the country is going backward instead of moving forward. More stars will opt out as we go along, and who can blame them? We can only hope this turns around soon, or the resumption of sports will be a moot point.”

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