Monthly archives: November 2007
Another infielder on the move?
An infielder finds a home
And yes I did cheat a little on this one.
This one is too easy
And I thought he was retired?
MLBer heading to Asia?
Unimportant news expressed enigmatically
Big deal goes down
Free agent news again
Yet another free agent signs
Another free agent signs
Hot stove rebus continues
Honest, I only have a few more of these in me. But it's not like you didn't know the news already.
HOF ballot unveiled
Let the lobbying begin!
The Baseball Hall of Fame has released its ballot for its main election by the BBWAA. The votes are due by December 31 and the results will be released January 8.
Besides the usual suspects of Rich Gossage, Bert Blyleven, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, and Jack Morris, there are newcomers such as:
Jose Rijo, who was already on the ballot in 2001 and got one vote, is back on the ballot because he pitched in the majors in 2002. Rod Beck's 5-year waiting period to appear on the ballot was waived because of his death.
Book Review: 'I Live for This!' by Bill Plaschke with Tommy Lasorda
For a man who is supposedly beloved by not just fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but by people EVERYWHERE, Tommy Lasorda is not the most popular person. Lasorda decided to give Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke the chance to document in his life in I Live for This. And after a fairly promising start with a look back at the early parts of Lasorda’s life and his baseball career, the book devolves into one long complaint by Lasorda and Plaschke about how the post-Lasorda Dodgers lost their way because the organization did not heed the words of a man who apparently will do just about anything to stay in the public eye.
Old news told with pictures
New free agent photo puzzle
Joe Kennedy, 1979-2007
Joe Kennedy, who pitched for Tampa Bay, Colorado, Oakland, Arizona, and Toronto, died at his home in Florida today at age 28.
The cause of death has not been determined.
Easy baseball rebus
The tape delayed live blogging of an apple pie
Instead of my usual purchase of a pie to take to Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to make my own. From scratch. Well, not quite from scratch.
My grandmother loved to bake and when she was in her 80s (and still baking quite often), I asked her how to make piecrust. She said the best thing to do was buy some premade crust at the store. She said she was too old to make her own. I respect the wisdom of my elders.
However, I did buy apples and a couple spices (my cinnamon and nutmeg I had at home where long past their prime) and I got to baking.
The first I realized that you cannot just drop a full apple in to a pastry shell and have pie. It would be a lot easier. So I was to off to peeling and coring and slicing of six apples. I got out my knives, my peeler, and a big bowl.
After I had finished three apples, I looked at the bowl and like
20 minutes later, I had something approximating six sliced apples. And I had all my fingers still intact and no severed arteries.
I think mixed up the spices, sugar, butter (which I was out of so I have margarine, sorry), flour and got to mixing up the apple slices. I thought to myself, "This is going to be one enormous pie if these all fit."
I rolled out the crust and it was too big for my pie pan. But I trimmed off the excess and it turned out that I could fit about 2/3 of the apple slices in. Which was fortunate because I could see some slices were about an inch thick and had seeds stuck in them. So out they went. Then the top crust went on and I cut some ventilation slots and then into the oven it went.
And now we wait ...
Marlins may move series to Puerto Rico
The Florida Marlins are in "extremely preliminary" talks to move their July 28-30 series against the New York Mets to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Other series are under consideration.
It's not known if playing games in Puerto Rico is one of the first signs of franchise death. Doctors say that more data is needed.
Happy Birthday to the Man
Stan Musial turns 87 years old today.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a long mash note to Musial.
Musial played in parts of 22 seasons and received MVP votes in all but four of them. He also made the NL All-Star team in every season except 1941 (September callup) and his first full season in 1942.
Indians sign Japanese reliever
Insert hot dog eating joke here.
Older or geekier readers may insert "Star Trek" joke here.
But the man's name is Masahide Kobayashi.
Senior Circuit MVP
The National League MVP will be announced after 11 am PT and you can find it at your favorite green website here.
I predict that the MVP's name will either be:
See, deep down we're all pretty much the same.
And after today, all I'll have to write about here will be exciting news about where people like Carlos Silva or Aaron Rowand signed. Or I can run more pictures of trees in my neighborhood. Or my success is baking an apple pie Thursday. Or why I should have checked my hard disk space before I tried to download the entire third season of "Battlestar Galactica" off of iTunes.
Autumn comes to Southern California
We interrupt nothing in particular to bring you this scene of "nature" as I was on a leaf-peeping tour of my own neighborhood.
The "native" trees are something to see aren't they?
AL MVP time
Time to prepare yourself for the green!
And the winner of the AL MVP award should soon be signing a contract that provides a lot of green.
Alex Rodriguez got 26 first place votes to win his record-tying 3rd AL MVP. Two voters actually thought Magglio Ordonez was the MVP.
It must have been the hair.
Angels form quorum for Kennedy High Alumni Association meetings
The Los Angeles Angels acquired pitcher Jon Garland from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
Garland, as I tell a lot of people, attended John F. Kennedy High in Granada Hills, CA, which is also where his new teammate Garret Anderson played high school ball. Anderson is seven years older than Garland. And this Kennedy High graduate (namely me) is seven years older than Anderson. And my oldest brother is close to seven years older than me and he went to Kennedy High also. However, there are no Kennedy High grads seven years older than my brother as the school didn't open until 1971.
News from Dodger Thoughts commenter Don Tordilla.
Castillo stays in New York, Glavine leaves New York
Luis Castillo has resigned with the Mets for four years and $25 million. The deal is contingent upon Castillo passing a physical.
Tom Glavine is headed back to Atlanta with a 1-year deal worth $8 million.
U.S. wins first Baseball World Cup in 33 years
Jayson Nix homered and Jason Jaramillo drove in two more runs as Team USA surprised Cuba and won the Baseball World Cup in Taiwan by a 6-3 score in the championship game.
The last time the U.S. had won the tournament was back in 1974 when the Cubans did not participate. Cuba had won the last 9 World Cups.
Steve Shell got the win in relief as starter Brian Duensing only went 4 2/3 innings. Jeff Stevens picked up the save. Yadel Marti took the loss for Cuba.
Cuba had not lost in the championship game of this tournament since 1941.
Same as it ever was? Now over 60 years of baseball drug scandals
Murray Chass of the New York Times has a column where he examines the curious case of Babe Dahlgren, the man who replaced Lou Gehrig at first base.
Dahlgren, according to a book written by his grandson Matt Dahlgren, was traded away by the Yankees because of suspicions that he smoked marijuana. Yankees manager Joe McCarthy is fingered as one of the perpetrators of the rumor and was instrumental in getting Dahlgren traded after the 1940 season.
Eventually in 1943, Dahlgren decided to undergo a drug test and medical examination, to clear him of the charges.
Dahlgren moved around a lot after leaving the Yankees did move around a lot as you can see from his B-R entry. After Gehrig, the Yankees first basemen were not an overly impressive bunch until Don Mattingly came around.
Link via BTF.
U.S. and Cuba to meet in World Cup final
Matt Wright pitched six shutout innings and three relievers tossed one scoreless inning apiece as Team USA advanced to the final of the Baseball World Cup in Taiwan with a 5-0 win over the Netherlands. Colby Rasmus homered in the first inning and the Americans added four more runs in the 8th.
19-year old Aroldis Chapman struck out 11 in eight innings and Cuba moved on to the final with a 5-3 win over Japan.
Cuba has won this tournament the last nine times it's been held and 12 of the last 13. Korea was the last team other than Cuba to win it and that was back in 1982. The U.S. has not won the World Cup since 1974 and has not finished second since 2001.
The final game is scheduled to start at 12:30 am PT.
Kenny Rogers has let go of agent Scott Boras and is negotiating his own contract as a free agent.
Somewhere in Newport Beach, someone may have said on the phone:
"Yes, Mr. Rogers, I may lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. At this rate, I may have to close my agency in about sixty years."
WAC Chat: 'Bows vs Pack
I doubt most of you on the East Coast will be staying up, but I'll be watching the anticipated marathon game between Hawai'i and Nevada on ESPN2 from Reno.
For those who like to watch teams pass and pass and pass and pass, then here is your home.
Tomorrow, there will be another college football thread. Apparently, some small conference in the Midwest is having important games.
Yes, I know UH doesn't call its footbal team the Rainbows anymore, but I'm not giving up a perfectly good nickname.
US, Japan, Cuba, and Netherlands advance to Final Four in Taiwan
Andy LaRoche hit a 2-run homer and Jeff Karstens won his second game to lead Team USA to a 3-1 win over Korea in the quarterfinals of the Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. The Americans will face the Netherlands next.
The Dutch upset host Taiwan 6-3 in 11 innings, two days after beating Cuba.
In the other semfinal, Cuba will face Japan. Cuba beat Mexico 6-0 and Japan shut out Australia 3-0.
Joe Nuxhall, 1928-2007
Nuxhall made his major league debut at age 15 (the youngest confirmed age of any major leaguer ever, altthough Fred Chapman most likely has him beat) on June 10, 1944. He would return the majors again in 1952 and pitch briefly for the Kansas City A's (missing the Reds NL pennant in 1961) and the Los Angeles Angels, before returning to Cincinnati and retiring after the 1966 season. Nuxhall worked for the Reds as a broadcaster from 1967-2004.
But I was wondering about something else? Why is the word "indict" spelled so much differently from its pronunciation? Mussolini wasn't a ditator, he was a dictator.
So I consulted the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary to see if there was an answer. Well, there was, sort of. Not that I understand it as I don't have Arneson-like linguistic skills.
I can't cut and paste the info because it has a lot of weird characters and is also copyrighted, so I'll paraphrase as best I can.
The word "indict" appears to derive from the Latin "indictare" which means "to say or declare." The word made its way into Middle English as "endite." But the word may also have come from the Latin "indicare" which means "to show."
English lawyers started using the word "indite" in the late 16th century and then, for reasons unknown, decided to go with "indict" around 1600. But they didn't change the pronunciation.
And so "indict" rhymes with "night."
I believe my explanation is almost, but not quite, entirely unhelpful.
NL Cy Young Award
I predict that after 11 am PT, you can click on this link and you will find out:
If some voter didn't name Peavy first, then someone's going to have to do some explaining.
Panama gets booted out of Baseball World Cup
The Canadian Press article says it's an "administrative error", but whatever you call it, Panama is out of the Baseball World Cup in Taiwan because seven players on the Panamanian team failed to turn in proper proof of insurance. It's unclear how this was determined, but I don't believe the Panamanian players tested negative for insurance on a urine test.
Mexico takes Panama's place in the quarterfinals and plays Cuba as Panama had to forfeit its initial win of the tournament against Spain.
Managers of the Year
I'm guessing that if you click here after 11 am PT, you will find out that Eric Wedge was named AL Manager of the Year. (I was right!)
And if you click here after 11 am PT, you will find out that Clint Hurdle was named NL Manager of the Year. Or maybe Bob Melvin. (In the end, I hedged between Melvin and Hurdle and Melvin won.)
Red Sox and Athletics finally agree to 2008 season opener in Tokyo
Boston will begin its defense of its World Series title in Tokyo against Oakland on March 25 and 26.
The Dodgers and Padres will play exhibition games in Beijing on March 15 and 16.
The linked story from MLB.com states that the Tokyo Dome seats 55,000 fans. Which would be true if in Japan 55,000 is equal to about 40,000.
U.S. wins group play in Baseball World Cup (Updated)
Team USA beat
The big surprise was the Netherlands beating Cuba 2-1 which gave Australia a tie for first place in the other group. Cuba had not lost a game in this tournament since 2001.
The quarterfinals start on Friday: USA vs
2007 AL Cy Young Award - C.C. Sabathia
The winner will be announced while I'm driving to work, but you should be able to get the winner by clicking here after 11 am PT.
If you don't want to click, the answer is C.C. Sabathia!
Same as it ever was? 50 years of sports and PEDs
Dr. Keith Wailoo of Rutgers University has an essay in today's New York Times about the American Medical Association's research into "pep pills" in sports. This study took place 50 years ago.
An article by John Hoberman, a University of Texas professor, also examined this topic in greater detail, especially in regard to milers, in Sport and History in 2006.
USA downs RSA in IBAF WC
Team USA improved to 5-1 in the Baseball World Cup with a 4-2 win over South Africa Tuesday afternoon in Taiwan.
The Fukudome bidding war is officially on
Chunichi Dragons outfielder Kosuke Fukudome (the last name has four syllables) officially filed for free agency and is listening to offers both in Japan and the U.S.
Fukudome was the MVP of Japan's Central League in 2006 when he hit .351, but an elbow inujury limited him to 81 games in 2007 and he missed Chunichi's Japan Series win over the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Fukudome's career stats via Japanesebaseball.com.
Pedroia, Braun win Rookie of the Year awards
Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Milwaukee third baseman Ryan Braun won the AL and NL Rookie of the Year Awards respectively.
Pedroia easily won out over Delmon Young of Tampa Bay by a margin of 132 to 56. Pedroia received 24 of 28 first place votes. Young received three and Brian Bannister of Kansas City received one.
Braun edged Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki by just two votes, 128-126. Braun was first on 17 ballots and Tulowitzki was first on 15 ballots.
Since the BBWAA changed the voting system to allow electors to rank three candidates instead of naming one, the closest margin of victory had been four votes. Hanley Ramirez of Florida edged out Ryan Zimmerman by four votes last year and in 2003 Angel Berroa of Kansas City beat Hideki Matsui by four votes.
U.S. treats Spain like it's 1898 again at Baseball World Cup
Andy LaRoche hit a pair of home runs to lead Team USA to a 12-2 win over Spain at the Baseball World Cup in Taipei.
The U.S. leads its group with a 4-1 record. Taiwan and Italy are 3-1 and are a half game behind because of a rainout that they will make up Monday. All the other teams don't play again until Tuesday.
Cuba leads the other group with a 5-0 record.
Full information on the tournament and links to videos of previous games are available through the IBAF website.
Catch the Baseball World Cup online
There is streaming video (for Windows machines only) available through Stadeo TV. However, you can watch archived games on Macs. Or at least I was able to.
Your other issue is figuring out the time difference between where you are and Taiwan. It is a 16-hour time difference for the West Coast and 13 hours for the East Coast.
U.S. powers past Japan in Baseball World Cup
Delwyn Young hit a 3-run homer in the first to lead Team USA to a 5-1 win in the Baseball World Cup in Taipei. The U.S. has a 3-1 record in first round pool play.
In other games, Australia beat Thailand 26-1. It's a heated rivalry.
Italy upsets U.S. at Baseball World Cup
Italy surprised Team USA 6-2 at the Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. An error by Brian Bixler kicked off a three-run rally by the Italians in the second inning and the U.S. never could catch up. Josh Outman took the loss.
Japan is the next opponent. The U.S. is 2-1 in round robin play. Spain, South Africa, and Taiwan will follow.
Tampa Bay's exorcism is complete
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are no more. They are officially the Tampa Bay Rays now.
The team dropped green from its color scheme and switched to blue. And the team is no longer named for a fish, but rather a ray of sunshine.
The Rays are the first major league team to change its nickname without changing cities since the Houston Colt .45s became the Houston Astros before the 1965 season. If you wish to debate if Oakland's official nickname ever became A's instead of Athletics, the floor is open.
Veterans Committee readies ballot before Veterans Day
The Baseball Hall of Fame's newly constituted Veterans Committee released its ballot of 10 executives and 10 umpires/managers.
World Cup time!
The baseball World Cup that is. It's being held in Taipei.
The case of the disappearing downloaded games
I'm sure that some people have already encountered this problem or run across it on their own, but due to some format changes, telecasts of baseball games that were downloaded through MLB.com in 2006 are not viewable anymore.
Instead of me getting out of my depth and trying to understand the intricacies of digital rights management (DRM, and I'm darn proud I knew what that stood for), I would refer you to this post from The Joy of Sox, which does the best job of explaining the issue.
I've only bought one game to download in my life which was the Dodgers 2004 NL West clinching game. Which I found out I could only view on a PC at the time. And my PC was getting old and I was about to give it away. I don't think I ever watched the game a second time.
MLB.com's superior customer service, which rivals that of an East German grocery store in 1975, is right on top of the case it appears.
Hey, hurry it up in there!
No specific rule change proposals were given although it is believed that batters would be limited to stepping out of the box once per at bat, catchers would be able to go out to talk to pitchers just once per inning, and fewer fielders would be able to go visit the mound.
Rule changes would require the owners and players to agree and also, most importantly, getting the umpires to enforce them.
Another rule change will allow Kevin Youkilis only 10 foul balls per at bat before being called out because people want to go home.
AL Gold Gloves / NL Gold Gloves
The little press conference that nobody loved ...
Ended up introducing John Russell as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The article identifies Russell as the "38th manager" of the Pirates. For some reason, there's been a trend in putting ordinal numbers in front of managers now. As if they are presidents or popes or some other job with a lot of responsibility.
And teams that switched leagues early in their history don't seem to want to count those managers. The Pirates aren't counting their years in the American Association from 1882-86. That drops their total from 46 to 38.
I have no idea why teams like the Pirates and Dodgers and Cardinals don't count their American Association years. Is it for convenience?
Do they think the teams were completely remade when they switched leagues?
They're not much different.
However, today's Milwaukee Brewers have moved from the AL to the NL seamlessly.
So why do I care about such matters? Maybe I'm just a fan of the historical record. The 19th Century American Association was a legitimate major league. No one would disagree with that. Do I not have ancestors just because they were born in a different state or country than me? Does a company's history start over if it switches from private to public?
Oh well, my complaining matters for little in this area. Actually, little would be overstating my influence in this area. Perhaps I can go back to my original theory I wanted to espouse and that was that most sports teams are run by people who have little idea that anything existed prior to 1995.
So sorry fans of the Dodgers, no extra league championship for you for 1889. And Cardinal fans, you don't get anything for 1885-88 either. Your PR departments can't be bothered with such trivialities.
For your continued offseason viewing pleasure
The following video is the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game of the 2006 Pacific League playoffs between the Nippon Ham Fighters and the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. I was at the game and blogged about it here.We now return you to discussion of Joe Torre's press conference.
And the final out of the 2007 baseball season
When the Chunichi Dragons won the Japan Series back on November 1, professional baseball in the world (or at least the parts of the world that play it well) ended.
To tide you over, here is video of the final out (of a perfect game no less) of the 2007 Japan Series.
Reports point to Russell getting Pirates managerial post
The AP, among other news outlets, is reporting that John Russell will be named as the Pirates new manager on Monday.
For those scoring at home, Russell will be the 44th manager in Pirates franchise history.
I didn't go to the Naval Academy. And I have some very good friends who are Notre Dame fans.
But I guess every goat has his day.
The Middies should be heading to the Poinsettia Bowl now! No school in Annapolis Monday!
These guys really need to use middle initials
In today's New York Times, there is an op-ed piece by Michael Lewis about how baseball's revenue sharing isn't working as it was intended.
On October 28, Michael Lewis penned a lengthy piece for the New York Times (I'm guessing he might have used a computer instead of a pen) about kickers in the NFL.
So, is Mr. Moneyball busy? No.
It's just that the New York Times is using two Michael Lewises.
The one who wrote about revenue sharing is a marketing professor at Washington University (the school in St. Louis, not the University of Washington in Seattle.)
Joe Morgan's nemesis wrote about NFL kickers.
At least I think so.
Number 32 and Number 30
According to Jack Curry in the New York Times, Joe Girardi is being billed as “The 32nd Manager of the New York Yankees.” And as long as you don’t count the two seasons when the Yankees were in Baltimore and you don’t use Grover Cleveland style counting that is the correct total. Leaving out the Baltimore years leaves two Hall of Famers off the list of Yankee managers: John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson.
Dragons win Japan Series in perfect fashion
Daisuke Yamai pitched eight perfect innings and Hitoki Iwase pitched a perfect ninth inning as the Chunichi Dragons won their first Japan Series title in 53 years with a 1-0 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters Thursday at the Nagoya Dome.
The only run of the game was scored in the second. Tyrone Woods singled, Norihiro Nakamura (the series MVP) doubled Woods to third and Ryosuke Hirata hit a sacrifice fly to score Woods.
The Fighters, who had won the Japan Series last year, finished the five game series with a team batting average of .147. The Dragons didn't hit well, but well enough, batting .228 for the series.
Chunichi manager Hiromitsu Ochiai receives the traditional doage after the Dragons win.
Norihiro Nakamura (wearing #99!)
Pictures from Yahoo! Japan.
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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