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Santa Barbara Oil Spill; Don't Change Baseball, February 11, 1969

February 11, 2009 |  9:00 am

The Times publishes a Chuck Powers story on the Santa Barbara oil spill. Powers left The Times to become a novelist but died just before his first book, "In the Memory of the Forest," came out.

"Anyone who says he can guarantee
his well won't blow out is either
nuts or lying."

"The sea began to boil. While the men watched, the boil began to advance toward the platform, stirring the ocean to a 2-foot froth."

Robert Hilburn reviews Judy Collins at Royce Hall, after "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" was released.

1969_0211_sports The Times' Bob Oates asked longtime Dodger official Red Patterson to give baseball's new commissioner some advice. "I don't think there's any way to improve baseball by changing a rule--I mean any important rule," Patterson said.

Oates asked about taking bats away from pitchers or speeding up intentional walks or having platoons of offensive and defensive players like football. Each time, Patterson defended the status quo.

Here's one question and answer:

Oates: "After 35 years in baseball, how would you define its basic appeal to the American public. What makes it the National Pastime?"

Patterson: "It is a game of real finesse and great skill. The essence is the battle between pitcher and batter. I never cease to marvel at the skill and reflexes of major league hitters. They have only an instant to judge fastball or breaking pitch and get a piece of wood on a ball coming at such 1969_0211_sports_rospeed and doing so many different things. The other baseball value is that it's the same game your father played and your grandfather. Football can't say that."

--Keith Thursby