Monthly archives: June 2007
How to live in a cage
Lee Jenkins of the New York Times has a story of Reggie Willits and his family, wife Amber and son Jaxon, who live in a house in Fort Cobb, Oklahoma that is primarily a batting cage.
Thanks to Martin Hoyt for the suggestion.
Patterson leaves the U.S. for experimental medical treatment
Washington pitcher John Patterson, who has been suffering from a nerve injury in his right elbow, is leaving the U.S. for experimental medical treatment.
Patterson is not headed south to seek help from a curandera however. He's going to Canada. Patterson won't say what the treatment is, just that involves a series of injections.
Check for the results in your next copy of the Canadian Journal of Weird Experimental Medicine.
A little more than zero
But not much more.
After writing about Joe Cleary, the player with the highest non-infinite ERA in major league history, Charlie Bevis of the SABR BioProject tells us the story of Skeeter Shelton, who has the lowest career batting average of anyone who got a hit.
Shelton went 1 for 40 for the 1915 Yankees. No, he was not a pitcher. Nor was he Wil Nieves.
This life story does not have a happy ending.
Randy Tate, a pitcher for the 1975 Mets, had the most ABs in a career without a hit: 41.
You mean it's not a new rule?
Joe Torre was told by MLB officials that the suspended game rule that affected Thursday's Orioles-Yankees game was not new, but rather on the books since 1980, according to a New York Times report.
The rule was supposed to be put into place for the 1979 season, but a dispute with the MLBPA delayed the adoption until 1980.
And what was Torre doing in 1979 and 1980? He was managing the Mets. Good to know he was paying attention. Torre's Mets did play two game that were suspended in 1979. The first one was suspended because of a preset curfew. The Mets needed to catch a 7:30 pm flight to Houston and before the game, the Mets and Braves agreed to not start any innings after 6 pm.
The second was very weird. The Mets appeared to have beaten the Astros 5-0 on August 21, 1979. With two outs in the ninth, Jeffrey Leonard of the Astroes seemingly flied out to center. But the umpires ruled that time had been called. So Leonard went up to bat again, and this time he singled. However, it turned out that Mets first baseman Ed Kranepool was missing from the field as he thought the game was over after Leonard's fly out.
So Torre protested that Leonard's hit didn't count because there weren't nine players on the field. And the umpires bought that argument and made Leonard bat again. And this time Leonard flied out.
Out comes Houston manager Bill Virdon to complain that the do-overs were wrong and he protested the game.
The next day, NL President Chub Feeney ruled that Leonard's single should have counted because the ball was in play and if the Mets didn't have nine guys on the field, that was their problem.
So the game resumed on August 22 with Leonard on first with two outs and Jose Cruz at bat. Kevin Kobel came in to pitch for the Mets and got Cruz to ground out to second.
After those two weird events in 1979, a team managed by Torre never played in a suspended game.
As far as I can tell, the first time the suspended game rule involving the visitors tying or taking the lead in an inning without the home team getting a chance to bat was first invoked on May 11, 1990 in a game between the Indians and Rangers in Arlington. The Indians scored twice in the top of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4. Then rains hit and the action was halted an eventually suspended. The Indians would end up winning the game when it was completed the next day by a score of 5-4.
The precipitation of the the precipitating event
The date: August 13, 1978.
The place: Baltimore's Memorial Stadium
The situation: Top of the seventh, Orioles lead the Yankees 3-0 after scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth off of Ed Figueroa. The Yankees come up to bat in the top of the seventh and score five times against Scott McGregor. Mark Belanger comes to bat in the bottom of the seventh when a hailstorm hits, stopping the game.
The umpires ruling: At the time, uncompleted innings were not allowed and the score went back to the last completed inning and that was after six with the Orioles up 3-0.
The upshot: Yankees manager Bob Lemon was angry. Many thought that the loss would keep the Yankees from ever catching up to the Red Sox AL East. Those fears were groundless.
The aftermath: They changed the rule the next year.
Book Review: Inside Power
Looking at the size of Gary Sheffield’s new autobiography Inside Power (written by David Ritz), you wouldn’t expect much. It’s a slim book (242 pages including an index) and there’s a lot of white space on the pages. And the book delivers about as much as you would expect. In other words, there’s not a lot to this book.
Suspended animation! Part 3! *
They already know at Bronx Banter, but tonight's Orioles-Yankees game at Camden Yards was suspended in the top of the 8th inning with the Yankees ahead 8-6.
The Yankees trailed 6-4 going to the 8th, but scored four runs against Orioles relievers John Parrish and Chris Ray. Derek Jeter was on second with two outs.
The game was suspended because of Rule 4.12 (a) (5):
There have been two other suspended games this year.
April 10 between the Brewers and Marlins.
May 1 between the Pirates and Cubs.
The rules state that a suspended game will be completed before the next scheduled game between the two teams on the same grounds. That would be July 27, when the Yankees make their next trip to Baltimore.
Joe Torre seems to not know the rule as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports:
The game will be resumed from the point it was stopped before the teams’ next game here on July 27. If not for a rule change this season, Torre said, the Orioles would have won because they led at the end of the last full inning.
Actually the rule above has been on the book since 1979 (just when in 1979 is unclear because the players didn't agree to it at first, but it was put in the rule book in 1979), the rule change this year was to allow tied games stopped by rain that had gone five innings to be suspended.
Even if Jeter hadn't been allowed to bat and drive in two runs, the game would have been suspended.
Also the Washington Post screwed up the rule interpretation.
I've got a 1992 edition of the baseball rule book and the rule about a game being suspended mid-inning because the visitors took the lead has been around for a while. Note this game between the Dodgers and Giants on April 12, 2000. The game was tied 2-2 going to the top of the 6th when the Dodgers scored a run. Then rain fell and stopped play in San Francisco. That game was suspended and completed the next day with the Dodgers eventually winning 6-5.
I'll shut up now.
Biggio gets to 3000 hits
Craig Biggio picked up hit #3000 today with an RBI single against Aaron Cook of the Rockies in the 7th inning tonight at Minute Maid Park. Biggio was thrown out at second by
500 for the Big Hurt
I did fail to note Sammy Sosa's 600th home run, but Frank Thomas hit his 500th homer today in Minnesota in the first inning off of Carlos Silva.
Frequently asked questions?
Or at least they should be.
Q. Who are you?
A. My name is on the sidebar. It's also at the top of this post.
Q. What is this blog about?
A. Generally baseball.
Q. But what about baseball?
A. Whatever I feel like and goes uncovered by the other people who write blogs here. Sometimes I duplicate their work. I don't mean to.
Q. What's the deal with catcher's interfence?
A. Somebody had to care about it. If not me, then who else?
10 hits, 0 runs
The Angels were shut out at home by a quartet of Kansas City Royals pitchers and lost 1-0, despite picking up 10 hits.
Scoring zero runs while getting double digits in hits in a 9-inning game isn't that unusual. The Angels did it last year on June 5 when they lost to Tampa Bay, 4-0, and got 11 hits.
The most hits allowed in a 9-inning shutout is 14 and it was done by Larry Cheney of the Cubs in 1913 and Milt Gaston of the Senators in 1928.
The Angels had 11 baserunners (Mike Napoli walked). They grounded into two double plays, were caught stealing twice, and Reggie Willits was thrown out trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt, so they left just six men on base.
The Angels previous 10+ hits shutout losses.
The St. Louis Cardinals were the last team to get shutout with 10 hits or more and leaving fewer than six men on base. That was against San Diego on April 26, 1988.
Marlins could lose home to 'Canes
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga wants the University of Miami to play at Dolphins Stadium starting in 2010. Huizenga does not seem too interested if this would create any conflict with the Florida Marlins playing there and Huizenga does not want his Dolphins team to have to deal with infield dirt either, according to a Sun-Sentinel.com story.
A return to a World Series, 1921 style!
Bob Klapisch, in Northjersey.com, has a story about how Scott Boras has suggested to Commissioner Bud Selig that one way to increase the ratings for the World Series would be to change it to a best of nine format and have the first two games played at a neutral warm-weather site.
I suppose that if the World Series matched say, for example, the Padres and Angels (not all that far-fetched if you look at the standings), would the first two games be played in Cleveland then?
Does the World Series need to be like the Super Bowl? Does anything need to be like the Super Bowl?
Can you picture last year's World Series having a pre-Series introduction of the stars?
"Ladies and gentlemen, Neifi Perez!"
"Now introducing, Brad Thompson!"
Link via BTF.
The tables are turned about 43 years too late
The link on Yahoo reads
Somewhere, the ghost of Gene Mauch weeps thinking of this game.
REDS 6TH: Rose grounded out (second to first); Ruiz singled to
Historical perspective toward the bottom of this story.
Which artifact will it be?
Barry Bonds has agreed to give the Baseball Hall of Fame an "artifact" after he hits homer #756.
But what kind of artifact?
Never say never again
The St. Louis Cardinals brought up Troy Percival from AAA Memphis to help out their beleaguered pitching staff.
Percival has not pitched in the majors since July 9, 2005 for the Tigers. On Opening Day of this year in Anaheim, Percival donned an Angels jersey and threw what he considered his last pitch to thunderous applause.
Walt Jocketty also has calls in to Greg Cadaret, Pep Harris, and Urbano Lugo.
Pope changes rule for the REAL Veterans Committee
Pope Benedict XVI has changed the rules for electing any future popes by reinstating the requirement that a pope must be chosen on 2/3 of the ballots by the College of Cardinals (not affiliated with any St. Louis sports organization.) A change by Pope John Paul II allowed the College to use a simple majority in case of a deadlock.
The rule change was put into place because it was felt that too many friends of Frankie Frisch were being named pope.
Elephants beat Donkeys at RFK
The Republicans won the Congressional Baseball Game last night at RFK Stadium, 5-2, over the Democrats. The GOP has won 32 of the last 46 games.
Little known fact: the winning party gets one extra vote in the House on a bill of their choosing.
A life that was more than just a big number
Charlie Bevis, writing for the SABR BioProject, tells us of the life of Joe Cleary, the last native of Ireland to play in the majors and the holder of the highest finite ERA in major league history at 189.00.
White Sox whiff, but win
The White Sox won at Tampa Bay Monday, 5-4, despite striking out 15 times against a quartet of Devil Rays pitchers. And not even a good quartet as J.P. Howell (7 Ks), Casey Fossum (1 K), and Shawn Camp (7 Ks in 2 2/3 IP!), along with slacker Jay Witasick (0 K) pitched.
The last time the White Sox won a 9-inning game in which they struck out 15 times was all the way back on May 6, 1970, when Sam McDowell of Cleveland fanned 15 White Sox, but lost on a game-ending homer by Carlos May.
Parra throws PCL perfecto
Manny Parra of the Nashville Sounds (Brewers AAA) threw a perfect game at Round Rock (Astros AAA), winning 3-0.
Parra threw 107 pitches, 77 for strikes, striking out 11.
Book Review: Branch Rickey, Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman
It would be hard to think of any baseball front office figure that changed the game more than Branch Rickey. Rickey could have just signed Jackie Robinson to play for the Dodgers and his place in history would have been secure, but he also developed the farm system and was a pioneer in the statistical analysis of baseball.
Random Record of the Week #13
Page 321 – Fewest total bases, both clubs, ALCS game – 6, Detroit vs. Kansas City, Oct. 5, 1984
In 1984, the ALCS was just one brief stop on the Detroit Tigers joyride of a season, that ended up with the franchise's last World Series win. The Tigers got out to a 35-5 start and finished 104-58 and won the AL East by 15 games over Toronto.
The Kansas City Royals, on the other hand, were just happy to be in the playoffs after stumbling across the finish line with an 84-78 record (despite being outscored on the season by 13 runs), just three games ahead of the Twins and Angels. It was the Royals' fifth AL West title since 1976. The Royals had also picked up a second half win in the 1981 split season.
The Royals' chances against the Tigers in the ALCS were not considered great and in Game 1 at Royals Stadium, the Tigers won easily, 8-1 as Jack Morris beat Bud Black. In Game 2, the Royals got a good start from 20-year old rookie Bret Saberhagen, but eventually lost in 11 innings 5-3 on a 2-RBI double from John Grubb.
So coming to Detroit, down 2-0 and needing to win three straight on the road seemed like long odds. Royals manager Dick Howser chose lefty Charlie Leibrandt to start and Tigers manager Sparky Anderson went with righty Milt Wilcox.
Interleague play, the final roundup
After all, I've given up for you, don't expect me to move.
NL Designated Hitters -
Overall standings: AL 137, NL 115
Next interleague game: Wednesday, October 24. Teams to be announced. Please follow this blog for further details.
The Angels and Tigers had the best interleague records at 14-4. The best NL team was the Cubs at 8-4. The worst interleague record belonged to the White Sox at 4-14. The worst NL team was Atlanta at 4-11.
The best NL designated hitter in terms of batting average (minimun 10 PA) was Paul Lo Duca of New York at .538 (7 for 13). Scott Spiezio of St. Louis hit .385 (10 for 26). Dmitri Young of Washington hit .355 (11 for 31). Prince Fielder hit three home runs as a DH.
Chad Gaudin, Kei Igawa, Kameron Loe, Shaun Marcum, Johan Santana, Jeremy Sowers, Julian Tavarez, and Jarrod Washburn were the AL pitchers who drew walks. Brian Bannister and Jeff Weaver were hit by pitches.
Oregon State repeats as champions
Oregon State won its second straight college baseball championship, beating North Carolina 9-3 to wrap up the final series in two games.
The Beavers are the first repeat champions since LSU did it in 1996-97.
North Carolina is the first school to lose in the final in consecutive years since Stanford in 2000-01.
Freshaman Jorge Reyes was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, the first freshman to win that award since Huston Street did for Texas in 2002.
Pro baseball begins in Israel
Action in the Israel Professional Baseball League kicked off today in Petah Tikva, Israel. The Modiin Miracles beat the Pioneers, 9-1.
This AP report about the game says that the broadcasters had a hard time coming up with Hebrew words for many baseball terms, but other than that the first game was a success. But some are skeptical:
Here's the league schedule if you wish to catch any action. The games are seven innings. There are no Saturday games of course and Friday games are scheduled to start at 10 am so it is unlikely that any boxscore will read: "Game suspended due to Shabbos."
Rod Beck, 1968-2007
Rod Beck passed away Sunday at the age of 38 according to published reports. The cause of death is not yet known.
CONCACAF Gold Cup Final chat: Noon PT
By popular demand (and it only takes about two people), you can have at it here about the USA-Mexico finale from Soldier Field in Chicago.
AL pitcher triples! Film at 11!
Johan Santana of Minnesota tripled off Florida's Byung-Hyun Kim in the second inning today at Dolphins Stadium.
Since interleague play started in 1997, Santana is just the fifth AL pitcher to hit a triple.
And checking the list of pitchers who did it, it is not a bunch with a lot of speed:
Santana is making a late run at the AL Silver Slugger Award for pitchers. Andy Sonnanstine of Tampa Bay and Erik Bedard of Baltimore both were 2 for 5 at the plate this year, the best among pitchers who batted in more than one game. Jason Hammel of Tampa Bay was 1 for 1. C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland was 2 for 3 in his one game.
Three NL pitchers have hit triples this year: Dontrelle Willis, Jake Peavy, and Micah Owings. No pitcher has had more than one triple in a season since 2005.
Interleague Day 19 roundup
NL Designated Hitters -
Overall standings: AL 129, NL 109
Tampa Bay's 4-3 win over the Dodgers was the 127th in interleague for the Junior Loop, clinching the overall lead. There are 252 scheduled interleague games.
This is the third consecutive year that the AL has won. The two leagues tied at 126-126 in 2004 even though MLB.com disagrees. They forgot to count a Phillies win over the White Sox that was made up later in the year.
And what does the American League get for this?
Beavers on brink of a repeat title
Oregon State, the sixth place team in the Pac-10, has continued its cruise through the College World Series, winning the first game of the championship series over North Carolina, 11-4.
After a 3-2 win over Cal State Fullerton in the opener, the Beavers beat Arizona State 12-4, UC Irvine 7-1, and now UNC 11-4.
Oregon State has lost just one game in the postseason, at Virginia to the Cavaliers in regional play.
North Carolina must win tomorrow to force a third game Monday.
But the Braves do match another record
Braves manager Bobby Cox, along with catcher Brian McCann, were ejected by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild today in the Braves 2-1 loss to the Tigers. It was Cox's 131st career ejection, tying the known record for ejections held by John McGraw.
The late Doug Pappas had done the research on McGraw's ejections, but had said that it was possible that further research would turn up more for McGraw, but for the time being Cox and McGraw share the mark.
Braves really hope to avoid becoming part of this record*
The Atlanta Braves have lost three straight games and were shut out in each of them, twice by Boston and once by Detroit. The Braves are in action again today at home against the Tigers.
If the Braves were to be shut out a fourth straight time, they would tie the major league record for consecutive shutout losses, which has been done 11 times.
The other four teams that did it were the Cincinnati Reds in 1931 and 1908. The Boston Braves did it in 1906. And in the AL, both Boston and Philadelphia lost four straight shutouts in 1906.
There wasn't a lot of scoring in 1906.
Who will be their Roger Kahn?
Interleague Day 18 roundup
NL Designated Hitters -
Overall standings: AL 121, NL 103
You call this a pitcher's park?
The Cincinnati Reds made their first ever trip to Safeco Field (or Seattle at all) and routed the Mariners 16-1. That surpassed, as far as I can tell now, the record for the most runs scored by a team in its first visit to any stadium.
Back on May 28, 1993, the Philadelphia Phillies visited Mile High Stadium for the first time and hung up a 15 on the Colorado Rockies, winning 15-9. The Phillies won the next day 6-0 and then swept the series with an 18-1 win.
When the Phillies visited Coors Field for the first time in 1995, they scored just five runs and lost 8-5.
Safeco Field had been playing to a park factor of 94 for pitchers so far in 2007.
The Hyphen has arrived!
After not playing in his first callup from Tacoma, Ryan Rowland-Smith has finally gotten in to a big league game for the Seattle Mariners. Rowland-Smith is the first major leaguer with a hyphenated surname.
Tejada's consecutive game streak
Jeff Zrebiec and Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun that Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada will have to end his consecutive games played streak at 1,152 games after further tests on his left wrist indicated a nondisplaced fracture.
Tejada batted in yesterday's game at San Diego, but only bunted and then came out of the game for Chris Gomez. The injury occurred in Wednesday night's game at San Diego when Tejada was hit by a pitch from Doug Brocail.
Tejada's streak is currently the fifth longest in major league history behind:
It's officially over. Tejada was placed on the disabled list today.
Interleague Day 17 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 114, NL 96
Tar Heels return to CWS final series
Thanks to four home runs, North Carolina beat Rice 7-4 to advance to the championship series of the College World Series in Omaha. It will be a rematch of last year's final against Oregon State, which the Beavers took 2 games to 1.
Oregon State will try to become the first team to repeat as champion since LSU did it in 1996 and 1997. The last time the same two teams met in the final game in consecutive years was in 1972 and 1973 when USC defeated Arizona State both times. At that time, the entire tournament was double elimination and there was no championship series.
The other repeat champions in the CWS have been:
Repeat losers in the CWS final have been:
The Noah Cross Game
Jake Gittes: I just want to know what you're worth. Over ten million?
Girardi turns down Orioles managerial offer
Joe Girardi has reportedly turned down an offer to manage the Baltimore Orioles and will instead remain a broadcaster for YES and Fox for the time being.
Rick Dempsey appears to be the latest former catcher turned broadcaster who is getting an interview for the Orioles job. Meanwhile, Dave Trembley soldiers on.
Oakland DFAs Bradley
The Oakland Athletics designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment today.
More at Catfish Stew.
Mariners sign two Chinese players
And while the Yankees signed two 19-year olds, the Mariners signed older players: 28-year old catcher Wei Wang and 24-year old infielder-outfielder Yu Bing Jia.
Interleague Day 16 roundup
NL Designated Hitters -
Overall standings: AL 111, NL 94
A tough night's work for Jimmy Gobble
In the 9th inning of tonight's game between the Royals and Cardinals in St. Louis, Kansas City manager Buddy Bell brought in lefty reliever Jimmy Gobble with runners on first and thir and one out in a tie game to face Chris Duncan. Gobble intentionally walked Duncan and then when Tony La Russa sent Ryan Ludwick in to pinch hit, Bell countered with righty Joel Peralta, who worked out of the jam to send the game to extra innings.
So how often does a pitcher come in to face one batter and just issue an intentional walk?
More often than you think. According to Baseball-Reference's Play Index, this was the 212th instance of a pitcher coming in to throw four wide ones and then leaving since 1957. (And I would be inclined to believe that it didn't happen much before that.) It was most recently done before tonight on April 20 by Trever Miller of the Astros. Chris Short and Steve Mingori both had four games where the only mark on their line was an IBB.
Beavers set to defend title
There's no joy on Jamboree Road tonight as defending champion Oregon State eliminated UC Irvine from the College World Series with a convincing 7-1 win tonight in Omaha.
The Beavers will play either Rice or North Carolina in a best of three championship series starting Saturday. The Owls and Tar Heels play each other tomorrow evening at 4 pm PT for the right to be OSU's opponent. Oregon State beat North Carolina last year in three games.
Tigers and Braves swap relievers
Going to Atlanta: Lefty Wilfredo Ledezma.
Going to Detroit: Lefty Macay McBride.
Sportsticker has McBride listed as a righty and that's true to the extent that McBride does have right arm.
Tar Heels force elimination game with Rice
North Carolina forced an elimination game tomorrow with Rice with a 6-1 win over the Owls today in the College World Series.
Later today, the Anteaters of UC Irvine try to force defending champion Oregon State in to an elimination game.
Cubs send Barrett to San Diego
Battlin' Michael Barrett was sent to San Diego today in exchange for Rob Bowen. The
Thanks to ToyCannon.
Interleague Day 15 Roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 101, NL 90
Rays miss chance at record win
The Tampa Devil Rays blew an 8-2 lead against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field and lost 10-8 in 10 innings on a 2-run homer by Chris Young.
The win snapped Tampa Bay's winning streak over their fellow class of 1998 expansion member Arizona at seven games. Tampa Bay could have become the first team since the Houston Astros to win eight straight games against a team right out of the box. In 1969, the Montreal Expos dropped their first eight games to the Astros, before the Expos sneaked out a 1-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader on August 3, 1969. The Expos then lost six straight to Houston over the next two seasons. Houston leads that alltime series 226-177.
There are a few teams that could threaten the Astros mark, at least for regular season play. The Yankees have won all six regular season contests against Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay has lost six straight to Cincinnati. There are several other teams which have 3-0 leads over another.
Pitchers, pitchers, pitchers
In just one day:
Cardinals depart from Omaha, Sun Devils join them.
North Carolina eliminated Louisville from the College World Series with a 3-1 win this afternoon. The Tar Heels will now have to defeat Rice twice, starting tomorrow to advance on to the final series for the second year in a row.
Shutting them out without striking 'em out
Johan Santana of the Twins came close to a fairly rare event in baseball. He shut out the Mets, 9-0, and almost did it with no strikeouts, but Paul Lo Duca finally whiffed in the ninth. Santana also had no walks. He needed just 92 pitches.
The last shutout in the majors where the starter went the distance with just one strikeout and no walks by the famous Mike Grace of the Phillies against the Yankees on September 2, 1997.
The last player to have a zero strikeout, zero walk shutout was Jeff Ballard of the Orioles on August 21, 1989 against the Brewers.
There have been six 0 K, 0 BB shutouts of nine innings since 1957, including one by Roger Clemens. There is also a six-inning shutout. And some incorrectly coded relief appearances in the list.
Figgins goes 6 for 6
Los Angeles Angels third baseman Chone Figgins went 6 for 6 as the Angels beat Houston 10-9. Figgins' sixth hit came on a two-out triple against Trever Miller to drive in Reggie Willits with the winning run in the ninth.
The last player in the majors to go 6 for 6 in a 9-inning game was Raul Ibanez of Seattle in a game against the Angels, also at Angel Stadium back on September 22, 2004.
Interleague Day 14 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall Standings: AL 98, NL 79
The Orange County War fought in Omaha*
UC Irvine stayed alive in the College World Series with a 5-4 win in 13 innings over Cal State Fullerton. Bryan Peterson singled home Cody Cipriano with the winning run. It was the first win ever for UC Irvine in the College World Series. The game lasted 5:40, the longest game by time in CWS history. Irvine committed six errors. There were eight hit batters in the game and two balks. Boxscore and play-by-play.
The Anteaters will play the loser of the Pac-10 battle between Oregon State and Arizona State that will played later (much later than anticipated) tonight. Oregon State won 12-6. That game will be tomorrow evening at 3 pm PT. The winner of the ASU-OSU game will be off until Wednesday evening.
Hitting streaks end in major and minor ways
Brandon Watson's International League record 43-game hitting streak was snapped today even though his Columbus Clippers beat Rochester 6-0 today. Watson was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts while his teammates picked up 10 hits.
In Cleveland, Casey Blake saw his 26-game hitting streak end despite his team routing the Phillies and Cole Hamels 10-1. Blake was 0 for 3 with an RBI and a HBP.
Lee and Young suspended five games
Derrek Lee of the Cubs and Chris Young of San Diego were each suspended five games for their altercation Saturday. Neither player has stated if he will appeal.
Yankees sign two Chinese players
The New York Yankees became the first team to sign players from China (the big one with the wall and all that) today. Both are 19-year olds and they are named Kai Liu and Zhenwang Zhang.
Liu is a pitcher and Zhang is a catcher.
The only major leaguer who was born in China (big version) was also a Yankee, Harry Kingman.
Kingman attended the same high school as Jon Weisman, although several years earlier. And I also believe there are a few Pomona College alums who visit this site besides my brother.
Newspaper reports that Perlozzo is out with O's
The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the Baltimores Orioles will fire manager Sam Perlozzo. Bench coach Dave Trembley should take over on an interim basis.
Cromartie enters the squared circle
Former major leaguer Warren Cromartie made his pro wrestling debut in Saitama, Japan in a charity event.
From the AP story (in the Mainichi Daily News):
Thanks to Jon and Phil and numerous others who have an unquenchable thirst for "former Expo turned wrestler" stories.
Random Record of the Week #12
Page 172 – Longest hitting streak, Minnesota Twins – Ken Landreaux, 31 games, 1980
When Ken Landreaux was traded from the Twins to the Dodgers in spring training of 1981, Twins owner Calvin Griffith said "We thought he'd be better than he was." And that may be the best way to sum up the career of Ken Landreaux.
Interleague Day 13 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 91, NL 77
Bulldogs first team out of Omaha*
Mississippi State became the first team eliminated from the College World Series after losing to Louisville in an elimination game today 12-4. The Cardinals led 8-0 after four innings and cruised.
Louisville, which picked up the first win in school history in the CWS, will play the loser of the 4 pm PT game between Rice and North Carolina on Tuesday. Rice routed North Carolina 14-4 in the late game.
Watson breaks 95-year old IL hitting streak record
Brandon Watson of the Columbus Clippers singled in the sixth inning at Ottawa today to run his hitting streak to 43 games, breaking the 95 year old International League record held by Jack Lelivelt.
Meanwhile in the big leagues, Casey Blake of Cleveland stretched his hitting streak to 26 games in the Indians 5-2 win over Atlanta.
Interleague Day 12 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 82, NL 72
College World Series Day Two
Saturday at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, it was Pac-10 2, Orange County 0.
In the first game, #5 Arizona State beat newcomer UC Irvine, 5-4, on the strength of an Ike Davis home run in the eighth inning.
Later that evening, defending champion Oregon State edged Cal State Fullerton, 3-2. The Titans got the tying run to third base in the ninth, but OSU closer Eddie Kunz was able to get the save.
One of the Orange County schools will go home Monday after they face off in an elimination game at 10 am PT. ASU and OSU will face each other later that evening at 3 pm PT.
On Sunday, Louisville and Mississippi State try to avoid being the first team to be eliminated in a game that starts at 10 am PT. North Carolina plays Rice at 3 pm PT. The loser of the North Carolina-Rice game faces the winner of the Louisville-Mississippi State game on Tuesday. The winner of that game gets a day off until Wednesday.
All we need is two hits
The San Diego Padres beat the Chicago Cubs today, 1-0. The Padres had just two hits in the game, an infield single by Marcus Giles in the eighth and a home run by Russell Branyan in the ninth.
This is the THIRD time the Padres have won a game this year with two hits.
On April 9, the Padres beat the Giants 1-0 with Matt Cain of the Giants giving up just a seventh inning double to Geoff Blum, who would score on a Jose Cruz sacrifice fly. Adrian Gonzalez singled against reliever Jonathan Sanchez in the eighth.
On June 5, the Padres beat the Dodgers 1-0. Blum singled off Jason Schmidt in the second and Marcus Giles singled in the 8th off of Rudy Seanez to score Branyan who had reached on a hit batter and stole second.
The last team to win three games in which they got two or fewer hits in a game was the 1965 Dodgers. May 15 against the Cubs, September 9 against the Cubs (I think that game was famous), and October 2 against the Braves.
I can only go back to 1957, but I could imagine some Deadball Era teams winning a few games with only two or fewer hits.
Watson ties IL hitting streak record *
Brandon Watson of the Columbus Clippers (Washington's AAA team) is trying to tie a 95-year old record for the longest hitting streak in International League history.
Watson has hit in 41 straight games, one shy of the record of 42 by Jack Lelivelt in 1912 for Rochester. The Clippers are in Ottawa today (game starts at 10 am PT) and Eude Brito is starting for the Lynx.
For all minor leagues, the longest hitting streak is 69 games by Joe Wilhoit of Wichita in the Western League back in 1919. Joe DiMaggio had a 61-game hitting streak with San Francisco of the PCL in 1933.
Watson doubled in the fourth inning against Brito to run his streak to 42 games and tie Lelivelt's record.
Thanks to Sam DC for heads up.
Interleague Day 11 roundup
National League Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 77, NL 63
College World Series Day One
In the first game of the College World Series, #2 Rice rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to Louisville to win 15-10. The Owls scored six times in the bottom of the eighth to win it.
In game two, North Carolina rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to Mississippi State to win 8-5. The Tar Heels used a six-run sixth to take the game.
Louisville will play Mississippi State in an elimination game for both teams on Sunday at 10 am PT. Rice will play North Carolina Sunday at 3 pm PT.
The other half of the draw starts play Saturday. Arizona State plays UC Irvine at 11 am PT and Cal State Fullerton plays defending champion Oregon State at 3 pm PT.
Padres bring Headley up
The Padres, whose everyday third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff left yesterday's game in Tampa Bay with a sore back, purchased the contract of Chase Headley from AA San Antonio.
Paul McAnulty was sent back to Portland to make room Headley.
Kouzmanoff, who batted .113 with an OPS of .354 in April, has hit over .300 in both May and June to bring his average up to .227 and an OPS of .679.
Guest Book Review: The Echoing Green by Joshua Prager
Since das411 is a frequent commenter here and a recent college graduate, I've given him the chance to write one last book report. I don't have to grade him even though he's reviewing a book from 2006. I didn't give him a firm deadline in the syllabus.
We've all heard the call. (For those who haven't heard the call, click here)
DVD Review: American Pastime
Fox and ESPN debate becoming All Barry Bonds networks
Fox and ESPN are boosting coverage of the San Francisco Giants, and in turn Barry Bonds, as Henry Aaron's home run record looks to fall.
The Giants will be on Fox this Saturday at Fenway Park against the Red Sox, the second of three straight Saturdays the Giants will be appearing on the network. The Giants game at home against the Yankees will also be on Fox on June 23.
Then Fox will show the Giants on July 14 at home against the Dodgers and July 21 at Milwaukee. The Giants other scheduled Fox appearance will be on September 8 also at home against the Dodgers.
ESPN presently just has plans to show the Giants on Monday, July 16 at Wrigley Field and Friday, September 7 against the Dodgers. ESPN will try to break in to coverage of other games to show Bonds at bats as is Fox, although both are hampered by the problem that many of the Giants games don't start until after 10 pm on the East Coast.
Clay Davenport thinks the Cubs and Brewers series in mid-July are the likeliest places for home run 756.
It's also possible that a lot of people in America want to see Nate Schierholtz and Kevin Frandsen and Jack Taschner.
Interleague Day 10 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall Standings: AL 71, NL 55
Getting ready for 10 days in Omaha
John Manuel of Baseball America has a look at the eight participants in the College World Series which starts tomorrow in Omaha.
The first game will be at 11 am PT Friday between Rice and Louisville. North Carolina will play Mississippi State at 4 pm.
The other division starts Saturday at 11 am PT with a matchup between Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State. UC Irvine faces defending champion Oregon State Saturday at 4 pm.
Kyle Peterson of ESPN predicts a North Carolina vs. Arizona State final series.
One letter short of tying the record
The Pirates have called up pitcher John Van Benschoten from Indianapolis to start Saturday against the White Sox.
Van Benschoten checks in at 13 letters, one shy of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's record of 14. I suppose you could count the space in the name as another letter, but this is baseball, not Scrabble!
As a former Pirate first round draft pick, Van Benschoten will be expected to walk off the mound with a look of excruciating pain on his face while holding his right elbow.
Interleague Day 9 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 64, NL 50
Red Sox try to corner the market on All-Star first baseman
With David Ortiz headed for a likely victory in the fan balloting for the AL All-Star starting position at first base, the Boston Red Sox have asked MLB to put Kevin Youkilis's name on the ballot given to players to choose backups.
Doug Mirabelli, Eric Hinske, and Wily Mo Pena will probably not be selected.
Thanks to Philip Michaels.
Sal has no pals in Toronto
The Blue Jays have designated for assignment catcher Sal Fasano. The Jays had been carrying four catchers: Fasano, Gregg Zaun, Jason Phillips, and Curtis Thigpen.
The mellifuously named Lee Gronkiewicz, a righthanded reliever, was recalled from AA New Hampshire.
Billy Donovan Night in Fort Myers
The Fort Myers Miracle (Cubs farm team) of the Florida State League is going to have a Billy Donovan night on June 20 for its game against Tampa (Yankees farm team).
Anytime during the game, fans who have second thoughts about attending the game can try to negotiate a refund of their ticket by shooting a basketball through a hoop set up for this purpose.
Interleague Day 8 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall standings: AL 58, NL 42
The real official capital of prep baseball?
After I fulminated about Lee Jenkins of the New York Times describing Chatsworth High as the "official capital of prep baseball," Rich Lederer pointed out to me Baseball America's latest rankings of High School baseball teams.
The #1 team in the nation, by a unanimous vote:
Wilson High of Long Beach.
Lakewood High, from the same league as Wilson (the Moore League) is #7. The team from the official capital is #8.
Rich and I are both wondering how Monroe High in the Bronx fit in 50 games during its school year. Cullman High of Alabama played 55 games.
There will be one more poll, but Wilson's season is over and the Bruins received every #1 vote.
Notable Wilson High alums who made it to the majors include Bob Lemon, Bobby Grich, and Jeff Burroughs.
Verlander tosses no-hitter
Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and 4 walks (3 of them to Bill Hall) as the Tigers beat the Brewers, 4-0, at Comerica Park.
Verlander's no-hitter was the first by a Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris threw one back on April 7, 1984 at Comiskey Park against the White Sox. The last time the Brewers were on the wrong end of a no-hitter was back on April 27, 1994 when Scott Erickson of the Twins tossed one at the Metrodome against the Brewers.
Steve Busby of the Royals is the only other pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Brewers and that was back on June 19, 1974.
Other Tigers no-hitters:
Virgil Trucks, May 15, 1952 vs Washington AND August 25, 1952 at New York
George Mullin, July 4, 1912 vs St. Louis, (2nd game)
News flash: Baseball not true team sport
Sawyer is a professor of psychology and education at Washington University and thinks that you can't use baseball's style of play and apply it to business.
But there is some nice unintetnional humor:
First of all, I find it hard to believe Pete Rose would ever construct a sentence that complex. And most baseball games I watch have a series of plays which involve a pitcher, who throws to a catcher, trying to get it past a batter, and if the ball is put into play, usually two people are involved in trying to record an out.
Basketball is like jazz, but only if jazz had officials who stopped the players from playing every couple of minutes because one guy played a note too long.
Reynolds finds a home
After being fired by ESPN under still officially unexplained circumstances, Harold Reynolds has been hired as a broadcaster by MLB.com. If you see Harold, give him a hug.
Authorities finally rule that cricket coach died of natural causes
The Jamaican police, in conjunction with the medical examiner, have finally declared that Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer, was not murdered, but rather died of natural causes. There will be no further investigation into Woolmer's death.
Originally, the Jamaican police suspected foul play after Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room in Kingston on March 18 after Pakistan was upset by Ireland in an opening round match of the Cricket World Cup.
The Pakistan team was suspected as well as possibilities that gambling was suspected.
But as former Pakistan capitan Imran Khan was quoted on the BBC website:
Red Klotz's favorite baseball team
Courtesy of Sam DC, I present you the webpage of Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, Illinois.
Hurry, before they catch on and ruin the joke.
Book Review: The Gashouse Gang by John Heidenry
When you pick up a book about the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, you should expect a lot of stories about Dizzy Dean. And John Heidenry has a lot of those in his book, The Gashouse Gang. The book has the lengthy subtitle of How Dizzy Dean, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey, Pepper Martin, and Their Colorful, Come-From-Behind Ball Club Won the World Series – and America’s Heart – During the Great Depression. But the subtitle may end up telling you more about the other players on the 1934 Cardinals not named Dizzy Dean than you will find in the book.
And while reading about Dean is not a bad thing, but you can find the same thing in Robert Gregory’s Diz: The Story of Dizzy Dean and Baseball During the Great Depression, which came out in 1992. I wanted to find out more about Martin and Medwick. But Martin continues to exist in the history books as a cartoon character and Medwick’s tempestuous relationship with his teammates (which seemed to stem from self-esteem issues) is only hinted at.
Interleague Day 7 roundup
Overall standings: AL 51, NL 35
Eight for Omaha
Defending champion Oregon State clinched a spot in the College World Series with an 8-2 win over Michigan in Corvallis.
The eight teams heading to Rosenblatt are: Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, Arizona State, North Carolina, Rice, Louisville, and Mississippi State.
The teams are divided into two groups and, by happenstance, the Western teams are all in one group with the four teams from the rest of the country making up the other side of the draw. There will be a double elimination tournament in each group. The winners of each group then play a best of three for the championship.
The games in Omaha start on June 15.
Trying to satisfy Jon's desire for all things Buddy Carlyle, I present Phil Foley's profile of everyone's favorite journeyman pitcher, via Yahoo and Sportsticker.
Would he have as much cachet if he went by his given name of Earl?
Baseballcube's career path for Carlyle.
Random Record of the Week #11
Fewest assists, team, NL Division Series Game – 2, Los Angeles vs. St. Louis, October 7, 2004
After the Cardinals had taken Game 1 of its NL Division Series matchup 8-3, the Dodgers started Jeff Weaver in hope of getting the series even heading back to Los Angeles. Facing him for the Cardinals would be Jason Marquis.
Weaver had never been much of a groundball pitcher and in 2004, his ratio of groundouts to fly outs was just 1.07. His career ratio is 1.08. Weaver had given up just 19 home runs in 220 innings of work, so he was able to keep the ball in the park for the most part.
The Dodgers took a lead in the first inning when left fielder Jayson Werth homered off of Marquis. Weaver retired the Cardinals in the first on a pop up, line out, and strikeout, sandwiched around walks to Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen.
Anteaters and Cardinals go to Omaha, Heels, Devils, Titans too*
UC Irvine defeated Wichita State 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the ninth to win its super-regional and advance to the College World Series.
Louisville won its super-regional at home with a 20-2 pounding of Oklahoma State.
South Carolina and North Carolina are playing a decisive third game now after the Gamecocks finished off a suspended game with an 8-6 win at Chapel Hill. North Carolina won 9-4 to advance to the CWS.
Oregon State won the first game of its super-regional in Corvallis, 1-0 with a run in the ninth to down Michigan. Michigan starter Zach Putnam had a no-hitter for 8 2/3 innings before OSU's Joey Wong singled to score the only run. It was the only hit the Beavers would get or need.
Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton can advance on to Omaha with wins over Ole Miss and UCLA respecitvely tonight. ASU beat Ole Miss 7-1 to go to the CWS. Fullerton beat UCLA 2-1 to win its super-regional.
Presently there are
Rice will play Louisville in its first game, Mississippi State will play North Carolina, Arizona State will play UC Irvine, and Cal State Fullerton will face either Oregon State or Michigan.
Interleague Day 6 roundup
NL Designated Hitters:
Standings: AL 51, NL 33
Interleague Roundup Day 5
NL Designated Hitters:
Overall total: AL 42, NL 28
Mississippi State gets first ticket to Omaha, Owls follow *
Mississippi State finished off a two-game sweep of an NCAA Super-Regional that it hosted with an 8-5 win over Clemson.
Oklahoma State set up an elimination game for both teams tomorrow in Louisville with a 3-2 win in 12 innings over the Cardinals.
UC Irvine won the first game in its super-regional edging host Wichita State 1-0.
Rice joined the Bulldogs with a 5-2 win over Texas A&M in Houston. North Carolina can join Mississippi State and Rice in Omaha with a wins today over South Carolina. But the Gamecocks led 8-5 in the 7th when the game was suspended until Sunday afternoon.
Cal State Fullerton beat UCLA 12-2 to open play in that super-regional. Arizona State scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat Ole Miss 4-3.
Michigan and Oregon State were rained out in Corvallis.
Phillies reanimate Mesa
Jose Mesa, whom I had left for dead by the side of the road after Detroit released him, is back with the Phillies. Freddy Garcia has gone on the DL.
I sense a rant from someone named Mike soon.
Do pitchers from the South throw more brushback pitches?
This link from the Work Matters Blog by Bob Sutton examines a study by Tennessee Tech professor Tom Timmerman (note the spelling, he's not my brother) about whether or not pitchers from the South are more likley to throw a brushback at a hitter who comes up after the previous batter has homered.
One of Timmerman's conclusions is:
Also note that Sutton is the author of a management book that uses a word that some people might object although I would guess that almost all of my readership, with the possible exception of my nephew, says the word everyday.
Everybody's Buddy is back!
The Atlanta Braves put pitcher Lance Cormier on the disabled list. Cormier was suffering from the inability to get anyone out. In two games against the Cubs, Cormier saw Alfonso Soriano get 5 hits in 6 ABs, which included FOUR home runs and a triple.
John Smoltz will miss his next start with inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
Buddy Carlyle was recalled from Richmond to replace Cormier on the roster. There is much rejoicing in other parts of the Toaster.
Giants call in emergency replacements
With both backup catcher Eliezer Aflonzo and outfielder Fred Lewis going down with injuries last night at home against Oakland, the Giants have brought Guillermo Rodriguez from the minors to back up Bengie Molina and had Dave Roberts cut his rehab assignment at Fresno short and he's in the starting lineup today.
Interleague Day 4 roundup
Embracing Your Inner Armando Benitez: Marlins 14, Devil Rays 8
Gorzellannyapalooza thwarted: Yankees 5, Pirates 4 (10 innings)
The 2006 World Series That Wasn't: Mets 3, Tigers 0
Playoffs in Hell Preview: Orioles 4, Rockies 2
Homer Like Pitching: Reds 4, Indians 3
The Battle of the Red Armies: Angels 10, Cardinals 6
Didn't We Used to Play In Your City?: Nationals 8, Twins 5
Willie Wilson's Revenge: Royals 8, Phillies 4
Shh, I forgot: Astros 4, White Sox 2
Proof That the NL Central is Really Weak: Rangers 9, Brewers 6
The Drew-off: Red Sox 10, Diamondbacks 1
More Interstate 5 Shenanigans: Mariners 6, Padres 5 (11 innings)
Not Really Close to a Stanley Cup Final Rematch: Dodgers 4, Blue Jays 3 (10 innings)
Brother Can You Spare a Catcher?: Athletics 5, Giants 3 (10 innings)
National League DHs:
Willy Taveras, Colorado, 2 for 5
Xavier Nady, Pittsburgh, 2 for 4, HR
Paul Lo Duca, Mets, 2 for 4
Pat Burrell, Phillies, 0 for 4
Dmitri Young, Nationals, 3 for 5, 3 RBI
Craig Biggio, Astros, 1 for 5, HR
Gabe Gross, Brewers, 1 for 4
Total after four days: AL 32, NL 24
Cardinals try to reanimate Percival
The St. Louis Cardinals, desperate for relief pitching, have given a minor-league deal to formerly retired pitcher Troy Percival.
Prepare your ode for the newest Reds pitcher
Cincinnati has recalled 21-year old Homer Bailey from Louisville to start tonight on the mound at home against Cleveland. Todd Coffey was sent down.
Bailey will be the first Homer in the majors since Homer Bush in 2004. But before that you had to go all the way back to 1956 to find a Homer, in Dixie Howell, whose given name was Homer Elliott Howell. And you have to go back to 1947 to find a Homer who went by Homer in Homer Spragins.
Book review: Opening Day by Jonathan Eig
Jonathan Eig’s Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season is the latest in a series of books about the most iconic figure in post-WWII baseball. The book is not as much a biography of Robinson, but mostly an examination of Robinson’s first season in the majors and how the Brooklyn Dodgers and the rest of baseball and its fans reacted to Robinson’s arrival on the scene.
New York Times discovers that Southern California produces baseball players!
Lee Jenkins of the New York Times has declared Chatsworth High to be the "official capital of prep baseball." And Chatsworth did win the Los Angeles City Championship and had the #2 and #12 picks in the draft today in Mike Moutsakas and Matt Dominguez. So they can claim that crown perhaps for this year.
But Jenkins, like any other typically myopic West Coast-based New York Times reporter, failed to even notice that just a few miles away in Granada Hills, John F. Kennedy High has actually won the same number of City Championships as Chatsworth (7), has three active major leaguers (Garret Anderson, Jon Garland, and Terrmel Sledge) to none for Chatsworth.
And there are numerous other great high school baseball programs in the San Fernando Valley, such as Cleveland High in Reseda (a 2-1 loser to Chatsworth in the championship game), El Camino Real High in Woodland Hills, San Fernando High, Granada Hills High, and the list could go on. It's an area rich in talent. And you could probably get a similar argument from people in the Long Beach area. Or the San Diego area.
But no, it's just one school, which is really just only marginally better than a few other rivals in the same area that gets the New York Times seal of approval.
Next up in the New York Times, a three-part story describing how the film industry has made significant inroads in Southern California.
The UN honors the Commissioner
Yep, no joke.
The United Nations gave an award to Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. It was a Global Diversity and Innovation Award. Apparently, Selig has not brought peace to the Middle East or ended the genocide in Darfur. That's Bob DuPuy's job.
There is no word if anyone pounded their shoe on a table in protest. Although historians now doubt if that actually ever happened.
Book Review: The Soul of Baseball by Joe Posnanski
When I checked out my copy of Joe Posnanski’s The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America, I was not expecting to like it even though it had been very well-received and I knew that Posnanski was one of the best baseball writers in America today.
Fun with Ozzie and Sheff
Gary Sheffield says baseball prefers Latino players to African-Americans because they are easier to control. But he meant no harm, he claims.
The last Guillen is Carlos, however.
The turmoil in the Middle East comes to Toronto
The Toronto Blue Jays called up pitcher Jordan De Jong from AAA Syracuse and sent down Brian Wolfe.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Israel Rammer was designated for assignment.
The Avuncular Confines
When I hit upon the idea of taking my 10-year old nephew, Dan, to Wrigley Field for a game, I was both excited at the chance to spend a day with him and also terrified to spend a day with him.
All hail, the new Tampa Bay hit king
Carl Crawford of the Devil Rays singled in the fourth inning against Toronto's Roy Halladay, giving him 871 career hits and making him the hittingest Devil Ray ever.
Take that Aubrey Huff!
Thank you, now leave
Buddy Carlyle of the Braves got the win today in the first game of a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins. It was his first win since he pitched for the Padres and he beat the Marlins as well. That was back on September 4, 1999.
After the game, Carlyle was sent to the minors.
Somewhere in the offices of Variety, a writer is both overjoyed and bereft.
The 2003 World Series revisited
As part of my weekend trip to the Midwest, I saw two baseball games. One was Sunday's Cubs-Braves game at Wrigley with my nephew Dan, which I will write more about later, but I also some exciting 8-year old Little League action between my nephew Kevin's team (the Marlins) and the Yankees.
They say when hitters are in a groove, the ball just looks bigger as it comes to the plate. But in this case, the ball is getting larger as Kevin hits it. This was actually during BP and Kevin slapped the first pitch out of the machine down the first base line. At this level, all the pitches in the game come from a machine and all the players bat during each inning.
Kevin's biggest skill is his speed as you can see from this shot where he literally flies down the third base line as his feet don't touch the ground. Or if he's not fast, I have to stop buying my cameras from Eadweard Muybridge. The game was decided in the late innings when the Yankees coach opted to change pitching machines used and put in the "Jeff Weaver Gopherball-matic."
Random Record of the Week #10
Page 89 – National League leaders in runs scored by season
In 1952, there was a three-way battle for the NL lead in runs scored among two Hall of Famers: Stan Musial and Jackie Robinson, and a third player and a teammate of Musial's on the Cardinals, Solly Hemus. The race came down to the last day of the season, yet it was likely that few people cared or were even paying attention. So let's look back at that great non-event.
With three games left in the season, Musial and Robinson led the NL with 103 runs scored, and Hemus was third with 102. The Cardinals were finishing the season with three games at home against the Cubs, while the Dodgers were playing their final three at home against the Braves. The Dodgers had clinched the National League pennant already and the big news in St. Louis was whether or not Musial would hold off Chicago's Frank Baumholtz for the NL batting title.
On Friday, September 26, Brooklyn manager Chuck Dressen rested Robinson and most of his other starters as the Dodgers beat the Braves 8-4 before 1,440 fans at Ebbets Field.
But there were big doings in St. Louis, the Cardinals were looking to clinch third place in the NL. And 5,823 fans came to Sportsman's Park to watch the Cardinals clobber the Cubs 10-3. Warren Hacker of the Cubs, who was leading the NL in ERA coming into the game, gave up seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, and ended up finishing second in the league in ERA behind Hoyt Wilhelm of the Giants.
Hemus, the Cardinals shortstop, went 3 for 4 and scored three runs, with a home run helping his cause. Musial went 2 for 5 and scored two runs.
So with two games left in the season, the runs scored race was now: Hemus and Musial with 105 and Robinson with 103.
On Saturday, September 27, Dressen played most of his starters at home against the Braves, but the Dodgers lost 11-3. However, Robinson scored a run in the fourth after reaching on a walk, advancing to third on a single by Roy Campanella, and then scoring on a fly ball from Andy Pafko. (There were no sacrifice flies in 1952.) 4,903 fans packed Ebbets Field.
So going into the last game of the season, the runs race was led by Musial and Hemus with 105 and Robinson in third with 104.
The final day of the season saw the Dodgers and Braves play a 5-5 tie that was called after 12 innings because of darkness. Although Ebbets Field had lights, the rules of the day required that a game started in the daytime be completed without turning the lights on. This rule had been waived for Game 5 of the 1949 World Series at Ebbets Field when the umpires did order the lights turned on when the game ran long.
Dressen started all of his regulars, except Carl Furillo who was nursing a sore hand and Campanella, but most did not stick around long. Robinson had one at bat, no hits, a stolen base, but no runs scored.
So the runs race would come down to a game in St. Louis. Except the spotlight was on the batting race between Musial and Baumholtz and the home run race between the Cubs Hank Sauer and the Pirates Ralph Kiner, who were tied for the league lead with 37.
Musial led by over 10 points, but to make things interesting, Musial pitched to Baumholtz in the first inning and swapped positions with starter Harvey Haddix. Baumholtz reached first on an error by Hemus and then went back to the outfield.
But it was Cubs starter Paul Minner who was the star, shutting out the Cardinals on six hits, one of them by Musial, as the Cubs won 3-0.
Musial won the batting title with a .336 average. Sauer and Kiner both failed to homer.
And the runs race finished in a dead heat between Hemus and Musial, with Robinson one behind. Musial led the NL in runs scored five times in his career and is presently ninth on the alltime list for runs scored with 1949. Robinson never led the NL in runs scored, finishing second in his rookie year of 1947 with 125, but that was 12 short of league leader Johnny Mize.
Hemus only led the NL in two categories, one was runs scored in 1952 and the other was times hit by pitch, which he did three times. Hemus had only two good years in the majors: 1952 and 1953 and then slipped down from above average to mediocre or worse. The Cardinals would trade Hemus to the Phillies in 1956, but reacquire him in 1959 and make him player/manager.
However, Hemus remains one of the least likely leaders in this particular offensive category, which tends to be dominated either by very speedy leadoff men or, more frequently, guys who have a very high OPB with a lot of good hitters elsewhere in the lineup.
But everyone now and then a Hemus or an Ivan DeJesus (1978 leader) managers to sneak in and makes you scratch your head.
Sources: Retrosheet, Baseballreference.com, New York Times, Sporting News Complete Baseball Record Book
In memoriam: Mark Harris
Author Mark Harris passed away last Wednesday in Goleta, California at age 84. Harris, who was born Mark Harris Finkelstein, wrote several novels including a famous series of books about a pitcher named Henry Wiggen.
Clete Boyer, 1937-2007
Clete Boyer, a third baseman for the Yankees, as well as the Kansas City Athletics and Atlanta Braves, passed away Monday in Atlanta at the age of 70.
Boyer was one of three brothers in his family to make the majors. Brother Ken, who passed away in 1982, played against Clete in the 1964 World Series. Another brother, Cloyd, was a pitcher for the Cardinals and Athletics.
Clete Boyer had a reputation as an excellent fielding third baseman, although he did not win a Gold Glove until he moved to the NL and then had to wait until 1969. Such were the problems of being a good fielder at third base in the AL at the same time as Brooks Robinson.
Boyer also played one season in Japan (1972) for the Taiyo Whales, now the Yokohama BayStars.
Super-Regionals for NCAA set (well mostly...)
The NCAA baseball tournament is down to 17 teams and all eight sites for the next round, the Super-Regionals have been set.
The only slot still to be determined will be decided Tuesday in Charlottesville when defending champion Oregon State takes on host Virginia in an elimination game for both teams. The winner will host Michigan in the super-regional. The Wolverines were the surprise winner in Nashville and eliminated #1 overall seed Vanderbilt on a pinch hit home run by Alan Oaks against Vandy ace David Price in the 10th inning for a 4-3 win.
The other seven super-regionals are all set.
UCLA will play at Cal State Fullerton
Ole Miss will play at Arizona State
UC Irvine will play at Wichita State
Texas A&M will play at Rice. The Owls are now the highest remaining seed at #2 overall.
Oklahoma State will play at Louisville
Clemson will play at Mississippi State
South Carolina will play at North Carolina
#2 Rice, #3 North Carolina, and #5 Arizona State were the only top seeds to advance. Louisville and Oklahoma State were both seeded third in their regionals. Oregon State is also a #3 seed.
The super-regionals will start on June 8 (the last four listed) and June 9 (the first four mentioned.)
End of the line for Mesa?
Jose Mesa, whose career has been surprisingly long-lived for a reliever without being left-handed, was released by the Tigers after compiling a 12.34 ERA this season. Mesa did manage to win one game this season. That was on May 5, when he got Jason LaRue of the Royals to end the sixth inning in Kansas City with a force out. The Tigers then scored three times in the top of the seventh to take the lead and Bobby Seay and Todd Jones closed it out. In his career, Mesa has pitched for the Orioles, Indians, Giants, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, and Tigers. And I guess the Pirates.
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
About the Toaster
Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
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