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Vin Scully Making Baseball History (No Performance Enhancement Required)


Old guys and  baseball were in the news over the weekend - but the wrong story got most of the attention.

Fifty-year-old Roger Clemens, who in baseball years is not just old but ancient, pitched a few innings for a minor league team in Texas - instantly prompting breathless speculation about a possible comeback to the major leagues. But the Rocket, who may have had (ahem) a little chemical help in his final years pitching for the Yankees and Astros, must know that he would have tons to lose and little to gain by attempting to pitch again in the majors, which is probably why he threw cold water on the "Roger's coming back!" hysteria. [And how weird was the timing of his appearance for the Sugar Land Skeeters, coming while the sports world was still buzzing about the latest chapter in the saga of another suspected performance-enhancing athlete with strong Texas ties, cyclist Lance Armstrong?]

Meanwhile, the much better old-guy-and-baseball story played out in Los Angeles, where Vin Scully, who has been announcing Dodgers games on radio and television since 1950 (when the team was still in Brooklyn),  said that he'll return to announce the games again next season.

Because of his age, Scully is on a year-to-year contract, and typically decides late in the season whether he'll return to announce the next season. Age, did you say? Well, there's that: When the 2013 baseball season starts, Scully will be 85. So what? If he were a pitcher, he would be said to be "still bringing it"; He's almost universally believed to be, as  Jon Miller - the announcer for fierce Dodgers rivals the San Francisco Giants - said: "The greatest (sports) broadcaster there is and there ever was."

And at 85, he's still learning. Earlier this month Scully - after musing about soul patches and mullets - asked TV and radio audiences to tweet about Dodgers player A.J. Ellis, one of the Dodgers' least famous players, as an experiment in social media trending. His gleeful (and somewhat surprised) reaction is typical of a man who still enthusiastically loves what he does - which is about the best way to find the Fountain of Youth, with no performance-enhancing drugs required.

Monday Quick Hits: 

  • Incomes fell for near retirees. A new report found boomer households (ages 55 to 64) are earning almost 10 percent less than they did three years ago. The median annual household income for near retirees declined from $61,716 in 2009 to $55,748, in today's dollars.

  • Preview Art Garfunkel's "Lena." The song comes from his new collection, The Singer. The album will be released August 28, though Garfunkel isn't around for promotion; the 70-year-old is trekking across Europe.

Photo: Danny Moloshok/Reuters

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