Baseball Toaster The Griddle
Monthly archives: July 2006


Comings and goings: a summary
2006-07-31 23:13
by Bob Timmermann

From the last seven days (July 25-31), the following players changed teams (or organizations) because of trades, old players in italics, new players in bold.

Angels: No one
Astros: No one
Athletics: No one
Blue Jays: No one
Braves: Wilson Betemit, Jorge Sosa, Danys Baez, Willy Aybar
Brewers: Carlos Lee, Jorge De La Rosa, Nelson Cruz, Wilfrido Laureano, Tony Graffanino, Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix, Julian Cordero, David Bell
Cardinals: Hector Luna, Rich Scalamandre, Ronnie Belliard, Jorge Sosa
Cubs: Todd Walker, Greg Maddux, Cesar Izturis, Jose Ceda
Devil Rays: Julio Lugo, Joel Guzman, Sergio Pedroza
Diamondbacks: No one
Dodgers: Odalis Perez, Blake Johnson, Julio Pimentel, Danys Baez, Willy Aybar, Cesar Izturis, Joel Guzman, Sergio Pedroza, Elmer Dessens, Wilson Betemit, Greg Maddux, Julio Lugo
Giants: Shairon Martis, Mike Stanton
Indians: Ben Broussard, Ronnie Belliard, Shin-Soo Choo, Hector Luna
Mariners: Shin-Soo Choo, Ben Broussard
Marlins: No one
Mets: Xavier Nady, Roberto Hernandez, Oliver Perez
Nationals: Mike Stanton, Shairon Martis
Orioles: No one
Padres: Jose Ceda, Todd Walker
Phillies: Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Rheal Cormier, Sal Fasano, David Bell, Hector Made, Wilfrido Laureano, C.J. Henry, Matt Smith, Jesus Sanchez, Carlos Monastrios, Justin Germano
Pirates: Craig Wilson, Sean Casey, Kip Wells, Roberto Hernandez, Oliver Perez, Shawn Chacon, Xavier Nady, Jesse Chavez, Brian Rogers
Rangers: Francisco Cordero, Gerald Laird, Laynce Nix, Julian Cordero, Bryan Corey, Jesse Chavez, Joselo Diaz, Carlos Lee, Nelson Cruz, Luis Mendoz, Miguel Ojeda, Matt Stairs, Kip Wells
Red Sox: Luis Mendoza, Bryan Corey
Reds: Justin Germano, Zach Ward, Rheal Cormier, Kyle Lohse
Rockies: Miguel Ojeda, Ryan Shealy, Scott Dohmann, Jeremy Affeldt, Denny Bautista
Royals: Elmer Dessens, Tony Graffanino, Jeremy Affeldt, Denny Bautista, Matt Stairs, Odalis Perez, Julio Pimentel, Blake Johnson, Jorge De La Rosa, Ryan Shealy, Scott Dohmann, Jose Diaz
Tigers: Brian Rogers, Sean Casey
Twins: Kyle Lohse, Zach Ward
White Sox: No one
Yankees: Hector Made, C.J. Henry, Matt Smith, Jesus Sanchez, Carlos Monasterios, Sal Fasano, Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Craig Wilson

In non-trading news
2006-07-31 19:31
by Bob Timmermann

Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 32 games in the Phillies' 15-2 loss to the Marlins.

And, Boston must beat Cleveland tonight in the return of David Wells to hold on to the yellow jersey in the AL East. A loss gives the yellow jersey to the Yankees. But the Red Sox won on a 9th inning, 3-run homer by David Ortiz to maintain the yellow jersey. The Yankees hold on to the checkered jersey.

If the Red Sox lose, they may have to share the checkered jersey with the White Sox, who are playing the Royals tonight.

Finally, in the AL West, Oakland and Los Angeles play showdown game for the yellow jersey. Dan Haren takes on Ervin Santana. Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke tabbed the Angels as the team to beat in the AL this year on today's "Around the Horn" on ESPN.

Update - The checkered jersey of Team Croatia had its first trip through the washing machine. I can tell you this: These colors don't run

FCC to hold hearings on Nationals telecasts
2006-07-31 17:10
by Bob Timmermann

The Federal Communications Commission ordered a hearing to be held over Comcast's "reluctance" to air Washington Nationals games on its cable systems.

The unforeseen consequence of this for Nationals fans is that if the FCC rules against Comcast and orders more Nationals game to be shown in the DC market, then people in DC will actually have to watch the Nationals play.

Anonymity is the Nationals best marketing ploy right now.

Make it stop! Sosa dealt to the Cardinals
2006-07-31 14:42
by Bob Timmermann

The foundering Cardinals acquired Jorge Sosa from Atlanta for minor leaguer Rich Scalamandre.

Sosa was 3-10 with a 5.46 ERA.

All Pirates must go! Wells to the Rangers
2006-07-31 14:37
by Bob Timmermann

The Rangers acquired Kip Wells from Pittsburgh for a minor leaguer.

And I had just bought a Kip Wells replica jersey.

Mets makes deals
2006-07-31 13:59
by Bob Timmermann

The New York Mets picked up pitchers Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez from Pittsburgh in exchange for outfielder Xavier Nady.

The Mets will also be without Duaner Sanchez for an extended period (likely the rest of the year) after Sanchez suffered a separated shoulder in a taxicab accident in Miami.

And as Ken reported in the comments, the Mets then flipped Perez and Heath Bell to the Padres for Scott Linebrink.

Or maybe not as it seems that Linebrink is staying in San Diego.

I've been watching far too much of ESPNnews for my own good.

Rockies and Royals deal
2006-07-31 13:45
by Bob Timmermann

The Rockies, who are playoff contenders because they are listed under "NL West" in the standings, acquired Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista from Kansas City in exchange for Ryan Shealy and Scott Dohmann.

Bautista will go to the minors.

Dodgers acquire Maddux and Lugo
2006-07-31 13:30
by Bob Timmermann

According to this report the Dodgers acquired Greg Maddux from the Cubs in exchange for Cesar Izturis and Julio Lugo from the Devil Rays in exchange for Joel Guzman and Sergio Pedroza.

See Dodger Thoughts for further caterwauling.

Stairs gets sprung from Kansas City
2006-07-31 13:20
by Bob Timmermann

The Ranges continued their midseason redesign and picked up Matt Stairs from the Royals in exchange for minor league pitcher Joselo Diaz.

Pirates continue clearance sale, send Wilson to New York
2006-07-31 13:19
by Bob Timmermann

This rudimentary story reports that the Pirates have traded Craig Wilson to the Yankees in exchange for Shawn Chacon.

Padres grab Walker
2006-07-31 13:15
by Bob Timmermann

The San Diego Padres, needing a third baseman, made a deal to acquire Todd Walker from the Cubs in exchange for minor league pitcher Jose Ceda.

Not that Todd Walker plays third base.

Wake up, wake up, Brian Corey!
2006-07-31 10:33
by Bob Timmermann

The revenue officer is a comin' and he's sending you to Boston.

The Rangers also acquired catcher Miguel Ojeda from the Rockies in a separate deal.

Old news, but catching up (Belliard trade)
2006-07-31 10:17
by Bob Timmermann

The Cardinals declared the Aaron Miles/Scott Spiezio experiment at second to be a noble failure and acquired Ronny Belliard from Cleveland in exchange for Hector Luna.

This happened yesterday.

Reds acquire Lohse
2006-07-31 10:07
by Bob Timmermann

The revamping of the Reds bullpen has continued as they acquired Kyle Lohse from the Twins in exchange for minor leaguer Zach Ward.

Lohse is 2-5 with a 7.07 ERA.

Casey, Cormier supposedly dealt
2006-07-31 07:26
by Bob Timmermann

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Tigers will announce today that they acquired Sean Casey from the Pirates for a minor league pitcher to be determined. Who turned out to be Brian Rogers. Chris Shelton was sent down to Toledo.

Also, according to Rosenthal, Cincinnati will acquire Rheal Cormier from the Phillies in exchange for Justin Germano.

Random Game Callback, July 31, 2003
2006-07-31 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Carlos Zambrano was happy. Barry Bonds felt disrespected. And Sammy Sosa was just generally ticked off at everybody. And ultimately, the Cubs beat the Giants, 9-4 before a crowd of 39,422 at Wrigley Field.

The defending National League champions had lost their manager, Dusty Baker, to Chicago in the offseason and Felipe Alou was now in charge. Alou had Jim Brower starting. Baker started the often hot-tempered Zambrano.

The Cubs, perched in third in the NL Central behind Houston and St. Louis, went right to work on Brower. Center fielder Kenny Lofton led off with a single. Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek reached on a bunt single. And right fielder Sosa doubled home Lofton with Grudzielanek going to third. Left fielder Moises Alou doubled to score Grudzielanek and Sosa. Alou went to third on a ground out by first baseman Eric Karros, but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder by third baseman Aramis Ramirez. But shortstop Alex Gonzalez walked and catcher Damian Miller singled in Ramirez with the Cubs fourth run.

In the fifth, the Giants loaded the bases for Bonds. Catcher Yorvit Torrealba singled and second baseman Ray Durham and shorstop Rich Aurilia walked to load the bases. After center fielder Marquis Grissom flied out to shallow center, Zambrano got Bonds to line out back to the box to end the inning. Zambrano pumped his arms and shouted in jubilation as the inning ended. Meanwhile Bonds fumed and complained after the game that the 22-year old Zambrano was not showing him enough respect.

The Cubs added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Karros to score Grudzielanek, who had singled, stolen second and moved to third on an error by Torrealba.

The Giants finally scored in the sixth. First baseman Andres Galarraga singled and third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo homered.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jason Christensen came in to pitch for San Francisco. Gonzalez and Miller singled and Lofton walked to load the bases. Christiansen then threw a wild pitch to score Gonzalez and bring in Matt Herges. Grudzielanek grounded to Aurilia who threw out Miller at the plate. Apparently still upset about something, Christensen was tossed from the game by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook. Herges didn't seem to react well to the delay as he gave up a 3-run homer to Sosa to make it 9-2 Cubs.

The Giants scored twice more in the eighth. Jose Cruz scored left fielder Tom Hammonds (who had replaced Bonds) with a ground out and Zambrano would balk home Galarraga. Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for the Cubs.

Sosa's homer was his 13th in the month of July and 23rd overall. Sosa had missed half of May after being suspended for using a corked bat. Arizona first baseman Mark Grace would taunt Sosa on a trip to Wrigley in June by taking batting practice with a wine cork taped to his bat. Sosa was not amused.

The Giants would win the NL West easily in 2003. They finished with a 100-61 record and beat the Dodgers by 15 1/2 games. The Cubs were able to parlay a 19-8 September to vault over Houston and St. Louis for first place, although with just an 88-74 record.

Both teams would lose in the playoffs to eventual World Series champion Florida. The Giants lost in the Division Series in four games to the Marlins and the Cubs lost a seven-game NLCS that was out of Dickens or Tolstoy.

Bonds would win the MVP for the third straight time. He hit 45 home runs and had an OBP of .529 and OPS of 1.278 thanks to 148 walks, 61 of them intentional.

Kerry Wood of the Cubs led the league in strikeouts with 266. Mark Prior went 18-6 with a 2.11 ERA. And at no time has three years seemed so distant to Cubs fans of today.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Chicago Tribune

Colored jersey recaps
2006-07-30 08:20
by Bob Timmermann

On Friday, the Angels took over the yellow jersey in the AL West from the Athletics. But they wore it for just a day as Oakland reclaimed it with a win Saturday while the Halos lost.

Meanwhile, the checkerboard jersey of the wild card was in the Bronx for two days, but now it's back in Chicago. The Twins have dropped two straight to the Tigers and have fallen back in the peloton.

As for the NL, it's quiet. The only race right now is in the NL West and I hear that the DBacks are waiting for a time trial to make their move since they haven't done as well on hills since Jason Grimsley "retired." The Reds are making a few attempts to catch the Cardinals, but they seem half-hearted. The Mets are just doing tricks on their bike now in a vain attempt to get Mom to look at them.

Random Game Callback, July 30, 1990
2006-07-30 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The defending National League champion San Francisco Giants had two passed balls in the sixth and two errors in the ninth that led to four unearned runs as the Houston Astros beat the Giants, 6-1 before a crowd of 17,980 at Candlestick Park.

The Giants, under manager Roger Craig, were hot, having just swept first place Cincinnati over the weekend and sending the Reds into an eight-game losing streak that tightened the pack in the NL West. Craig started lefty Trevor Wilson on the mound. Houston, managed by Art Howe, started Danny Darwin at pitcher.

The game was scoreless until the sixth. Darwin appeared to have struck out against Wilson, but catcher Terry Kennedy let the pitch get away on a passed ball and Darwin reached first. Center fielder Eric Yelding attempted to sacrifice and the Giants tried to get Darwin at second, but the throw was late and two were on with no out. With second baseman Bill Doran up, Kennedy allowed another passed ball to move the runners up. Doran popped out to second, but third baseman Ken Caminiti hit a sacrifice fly to score Darwin.

The Giants tied the game in the seventh when pinch hitter Ernest Riles, batting for shortstop Jose Uribe, hit his fourth homer of the season.

In the ninth, the Giants disintegrated. Steve Bedrosian came in to relieve Wilson. Right fielder Glenn Wilson flied out to lead off the inning, but catcher Craig Biggio singled. Terry Puhl pinch hit for left fielder Mark Davidson and walked. First baseman Franklin Stubbs drew another walk to load the bases. Craig decided it was time to try a lefty in Mark Thurmond. Shortstop Rafael Ramirez hit a fly ball to right fielder Mike Kingery, who dropped it, allowing Biggio to score and the bases remained loaded. (Ramirez was still credited with a sacrifice fly.) Carl Nichols pinch hit for Darwin and singled to score Puhl and Stubbs. The runners moved up on a ground out by Yelding. Then Doran hit a grounder to third baseman Matt Williams, who couldn't handle it, and Ramirez and Nichols scored on the error. Caminiti popped out to end the misery and the Astros led 6-1. Dave Smith pitched the ninth for Houston.

The Giants were just 5 1/2 games out of first on this day, but that was around where they would stay all year. The Giants would finish third in the NL West, six games out of first with an 85-77. The Reds won the division, leading wire to wire, with a 91-71 record. The Reds would lose Game 1 of the NLCS to Pittsburgh, but then win the next three and win in six games. The Reds then shocked Oakland with a four game sweep in the World Series.

The Astros finished tied for fourth with San Diego at 77-85, 16 games out of first. Houston would be even worse in 1991 as would the Giants. The Reds would pick up Doran for the last month of the season, but he got hurt before the playoffs and missed the postseason. Seldom-used Billy Bates would take his place and get a pinch single and score the winning run in Game 2 of the World Series against Dennis Eckersley.

Williams, in his first season in the majors as a fulltime starter, led the NL in RBI with 122. But the rest of the Giants were able to keep up their torrid hitting from 1989 as Kevin Mitchell and Will Clark, still hit well, but not in a spectacular way. The Giants pitching also suffered, especially as 41-year old starter Rick Reuschel finally started to wear down and went from being "crafty and rotund" to "old and fat."

As for Houston, Darwin led the NL in ERA at 2.21 as he just eked out the necessary 162 innings to qualify (162 2/3 innings to be precise!). Mike Scott, who had gone 20-10 in 1989, was a meager 7-13 in 1990 and injuries drove him out of baseball early in the 1991 season.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Houston Chronicle

Random Game Callback, July 29, 1939
2006-07-29 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Cincinnati Reds got some good pitching in the first game and some big hitting in the second game as they swept a doubleheader at Crosley Field against the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-0 and 9-2. A crowd of over 17,000 came to see the first place Reds stretch their lead in the NL to 11 1/2 games over Pittsburgh.

The Phillies, who were in the midst of one of their worst stretches of play, were managed by Doc Prothro. Prothro tried Hugh Mulcahy in the opener and Ike Pearson in the nightcap. Mulcahy would finish his career with a record of 45-89 and was nicknamed "Losing Pitcher." The Reds, under the direction of Bill McKechnie, started Junior Thompson in the opener and Whitey Moore in the nightcap.

Thompson, who started just 11 times in 1939, pitched a complete game four-hitter against the Phillies. Thompson also had an RBI double in the first game to score catcher Ernie Lombardi with the game's first run. First baseman Frank McCormick drove in another and another run scored on an error.

In the second game, the Phillies managed to briefly hold on to a lead when Cincinnati second baseman Bill Werber dropped a throw from catcher Willard Hershberger on a steal attempt and shortstop George Scharein was credited with a steal of home.

But in the fifth, Cincinnati broke through for five runs on just four hits. Then in the sixth and eighth innings, shortstop Billy Myers would hit two-run homers, scoring right fielder Nino Bongiovanni each time.

1939 would be a big year for Cincinnati as the Reds won their first pennant in 20 years. The Cardinals would get hot down the stretch, but the Reds had enough of a cushion that the cruised home with a 4 1/2 game edge and a 97-57 record. The Yankees would sweep the Reds in the World Series.

The Reds placed seven players on the NL All-Star team: Lombardi, McCormick, second baseman Lonny Frey, outfielder Ival Goodman, and pitchers Paul Derringer, Johnny Vander Meer, and Bucky Walters. Walters would win the NL MVP award with a 27-11 record and a 2.29 ERA. Walters tied with Claude Passeau for the league in strikeouts with 137. Derringer finished third in the voting and McCormick was fourth.

In a sign of the times for baseball in 1939, Stan Hack of Chicago and Lee Handley tied for the NL lead in stolen bases with 17. The Cubs led the league in steals with 61. But there wasn't much power either as league leader New York hit just 116 home runs and league leader Johnny Mize had just 28.

The Phillies did not fare as well in 1939. They finished in last place with a 45-106 record, 50 1/2 games behind the Reds. The team's star was outfielder Morrie Arnovich, who batted .324, but hit just five home runs. No Phillies player hit more than nine home runs. The lowest ERA of any pitcher with enough innings to qualify was Boom-Boom Beck at 4.73. Beck earned his nickname for giving up numerous line drives off the wall. Beck got his career extended as he avoided military service in World War II. And the Phillies did use a pitcher named Jennings Poindexter.

Prothro would manage the Phillies for three seasons and won just 138 games while losing 320 for a winning percentage of .301. The Phillies would lose over 100 games from 1938-1942. Then they lost 90 and 92 games in 1943 and 1944 before cratering to 108 losses in 1945.

Sources: New York Times, Retrosheet,

Because Their Roster Wasn't Quite Old Enough Yet
2006-07-28 17:08
by Ken Arneson

The Giants have acquired Mike Stanton from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Class A pitcher Shairon Martis.

Martis is best known for throwing a no-hitter in the WBC for the Netherlands against Panama.

Rangers Get Carlos Lee
2006-07-28 09:18
by Ken Arneson

The AL West just got a little more interesting, as the Texas Rangers acquired Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, and Laynce Nix.

Erik Siegrist thinks the Brewers got robbed.

Random Game Callback, July 28, 1983
2006-07-28 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Pittsburgh Pirates pounded Craig Swan early and got a big defensive play from center fielder Marvell Wynne in the ninth to hold on for a 6-2 win over the New York Mets before a crowd of 12,233 at Shea Stadium.

The Mets at this point were managed by Frank Howard, who had taken over for George Bamberger on June 3. Pittsburgh was managed by Chuck Tanner and were finishing up a red-hot July where they would go 22-10 and take over first place in the NL East, despite being outscored on the season to that point. The Pirates started lefty Larry McWilliams.

Swan, who had led the NL in ERA in 1978, was bad from the outset. He walked Wynne to lead off the game. Wynne had been acquired out of the Mets minor league system on June 14 and put into the Pirates leadoff spot. Second baseman Johnny Ray singled Wynne to third. Third baseman Bill Madlock bounced into a 5-4-3 DP that let Wynne score. First baseman Jason Thompson singled and right fielder Dave Parker doubled Thompson to third. Left fielder Mike Easler hit another double to score Thompson and Parker to make it 3-0 Pirates.

In the second, McWiliams had a one-out single and Wynne doubled to right and McWilliams scored when Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez, acquired in a controversial trade from St. Louis on June 15, dropped a relay throw. Howard sent Swan to the showers and brought in lefty Carlos Diaz, who gave up another run on a single by Madlock.

The Mets scored a run in the third when third baseman Hubie Brooks singled in shortstop Jose Oquendo. But McWilliams struck out Hernandez and left fielder George Forster with a runner on third to end the inning. The Mets got another run in the fifth when Brooks hit into a double play that let pinch hitter Tucker Ashford score from third.

Pittsburgh stretched its lead to 6-2 in the seventh when Thompson singled to score Wynne who had singled and stolen second.

The Mets mounted a rally in the ninth. Right fielder Dave Kingman singled to lead off and McWilliams was replaced by Kent Tekulve. Second baseman Bob Bailor bounced to Ray, who booted the ball for an error to put runners on first and second. Danny Heep came up to pinch hit for catcher Junior Ortiz (part of the Wynne deal). Heep hit a deep drive to left-center that Wynne made a spectacular running catch on to retire Heep. Rusty Staub pinch hit for Oquendo and walked to load the bases. This brought up the pitcher's spot and Howard called on rookie Darryl Strawberry to pinch hit. Tanner countered with lefty reliever Rod Scurry, who got Strawberry to strike out and then center fielder Mookie Wilson to hit into a force play to end the game.

The Pirates lack of run scoring caught up with them and they finished second in the NL East with an 84-78 record, six games behind the Phillies. The Mets finished in last place at 68-94.

In 1984, the two franchises would see their fortunes reverse as the Pirates would fall to last place and the Mets, under new manager Davey Johnson, would move up to second.

Strawberry, a much heralded prospect out of Los Angeles, would be named Rookie of the Year in the NL in 1983 by hitting 26 home runs in 122 games. Strawberry took over for Kingman in right field in August and September. Kingman was released in the offseason.

The Mets rotation in 1983 included veterans Tom Seaver and Mike Torrez, but they would be replaced in 1984 by the likes of Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, and Sid Fernandez.

The Pirates meanwhile would lose Parker to free agency and his place in right would be taken by Doug Frobel.

Sources: New York Times, Retrosheet,

Random Game Callback, July 27, 1920
2006-07-27 09:04
by Bob Timmermann

Brooklyn used an almost unheard of 15 players in the game, but it was all for naught as the defending World Series champion Cincinnati routed first place Brooklyn, 8-3, before a crowd of about 12,000 at Ebbets Field.

Cincinnati manager Pat Moran started lefty Dutch Ruether. Brooklyn manager Wilbert Robinson countered with another southpaw, Rube Marquard.

The Reds used a walk, an error, and two hits to score three times in the first. Center fielder Edd Roush singled in one run and shortstop Larry Kopf doubled in the other two.

The Dodgers got on the board in the third with a single run that was a monument to wasted opportunities. Marquard led off with a single. Shortstop Ivy Olson followed with another single. Marquard tagged up and went third on a fly out by third baseman Jimmy Johnston. Right fielder Bernie Neis hit a grounder to Kopf who forced Olson at second, but second baseman Morrie Rath threw the relay away and Marquard scored and Neis went to second. Left fielder Zack Wheat then got an infield single, but Neis was out rounding third. So Brooklyn had three hits and an error and could only get one run.

Cincinnati scored again in the fourth when Kopf had his second double and scored on a single by right fielder Greasy Neale. Brooklyn countered with a run on the fifth when Neis tripled in Olson.

The first three Reds batters reached in the sixth on hits, with a run scoring, and Robinson took out Marquard and replaced him with Al Mamaux. Kopf was up and he popped up a bunt for the first out. Neale walked to load the bases. Moran pinch hit Ivey Wingo for catcher Nick Allen and Wingo came through with a 2-run single. Cincinnati led 7-2 after 5 1/2 innings.

The Reds scored their final run in the seventh when Roush had his third hit of the day to score third baseman Heinie Groh. Brooklyn scored once more in the eighth on a double by Wheat and an RBI single from first baseman Ed Konetchy.

Robinson would use four pitchers for Brooklyn in the game: Marquard, Mamaux, George Mohart, and Clarence Mitchell. This was a very high number for the era, especially since Brooklyn employed just nine pitchers all season and only seven of them started.

Brooklyn would hold on to its first place lead, winning the pennant with a 93-61 record. The Dodgers were 23-6 in September and October and beat out the GIants by seven games. The Reds finished in third at 10 1/2 games. Brooklyn would lose to Cleveland in the World Series in seven games, five games to two. Marquard would be embarrassed during that World Series when he was arrested for ticket scalping in Cleveland.

The Dodgers had only one player who led the NL in any major offensive category. Outfielder Hy Myers led in triples with 22. Rogers Hornsby won his first batting title, playing for the Cardinals, and he would dominate NL hitting categories in the 1920s. Wheat, the Dodgers best player, had the fourth highest batting average in the league at .328. Pitcher Burleigh Grimes went 22-13 with a 2.22 ERA in over 300 innings of work.

The Reds would not win the pennant again until 1939. The Dodgers would not win again until 1941. Starting in 1921, the National League would be dominated by the Giants and Cardinals, with occasional murmurs of protest from the Cubs and Pirates.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times

A new team takes over the checkered jersey
2006-07-26 21:18
by Bob Timmermann

Thanks to the Yankees dramatic 8-7 win over Texas and the White Sox 7-4 loss to the Twins, the checkered jersey emblematic of wild card supremacy has passed over to the Men of The Bronx.

I may not be able to get in all the possible leader changes over the coming weekend as I will actually will try to be sociable this weekend.

Save your rain checks if you're going to Titan
2006-07-26 17:05
by Bob Timmermann

Looks like any baseball game planned tonight on the moon Titan will be postponed by methane rain forecast to fall intermittently.

The game between the Rhea Realtors and the Titan Titans will likely have to be made up as a doubleheader later in the season or possibly moved to a neutral moon such as Ganymede.

Brou(ssard) traded for Choo
2006-07-26 14:48
by Bob Timmermann

The Indians and Mariners made a swap.

Going to Seattle is Ben Broussard and heading to Cleveland will be Shin-Shoo Choo.

(Pre)historic changes in Seattle and a minor one in New York
2006-07-26 12:44
by Bob Timmermann

The Mariners have DFA'd Carl Everett and brought up Chris Snelling as his replacement. Snelling is expected to be part of Seattle's DH platoon with Eduardo Perez.

And, in a move of greater news to the Bronx Banter folks, Kelly Stinnett had met Everett's fate and the Yankees new Jorge Posada caddy is the inimitable Sal Fasano, acquired in a trade for minor league infielder Hector Made.

With Snelling, the Mariners now have players from seven different countries: USA, Japan, Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Australia.

Discuss the status of Puerto Rico amongst yourselves and report back to me.

The mathematician of luck passes away
2006-07-26 09:41
by Bob Timmermann

I noticed this in King Kaufman's column. Kaufman wrote about the passing of mathematician Frederick Mosteller.

Mosteller had an obituary in the Washington Post.

Toward the end was this paragraph:

Among the works in his prolific output were several articles on magic tricks and bridge. One of Dr. Mosteller's early papers, the first known academic analysis of baseball, showed that even a strong team relies heavily on luck in a short, seven-game series. He wrote the piece after the Boston Red Sox, his favorite team, lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946.

In 1946, St. Louis was 98-58 (winning a playoff against Brooklyn), while Boston finished 104-50. It was a World Series that featured Stan Musial and Ted Williams.

Musial batted .222 in the series. Williams, bothered by an injury, batted .200. Neither man homered.

Mosteller likely went through the streets of Boston after the series ended yelling, "Sample size! Sample size!"

The Wild Card leader jersey
2006-07-26 09:29
by Bob Timmermann

I have decided that the currrent holder of the wild card position in the standings will get a checkerboard jersey:


(Picture cropped severely to remove my head and its seven chins.)

There could be changes today in the AL side as the White Sox lead the Yankees by a half game and the Twins by one game.

The Reynolds affair, Part Two
2006-07-26 09:20
by Bob Timmermann

Harold says he's sorry in this New York Post report.

The yak had no comment.

Dead to me and On notice lists
2006-07-26 09:07
by Bob Timmermann

In a homage to my favorite part of the Colbert Report, I present to you my "Dead to Me" and "On Notice" lists regarding baseball and other matters (although I will leave out politics so we doesn't get too heated.)

Continue reading...

Random Game Callback, July 26, 1898
2006-07-26 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Boston's Ted Lewis pitched a complete game 3-hitter as the Beaneaters took the rubber game of a 3-game set, 6-1, against Brooklyn before 1500 at Washington Park.

Lewis was the least renowned of manager Frank Selee's staff. Most of the big games were started by either Kid Nichols or Vic Willis, two men who would eventually make the Hall of Fame. Brooklyn, managed by future owner Charlie Ebbets, started Joe Yeager, who pitched as well as playing in the field.

The game story in the Boston Globe said that Lewis threw a two-hitter, but the boxscore showed three hits in the game for Brooklyn.

Boston scored twice in the second. Second baseman Bobby Lowe singled and scored on a double by catcher Marty Bergen. First baseman Dave Pickett singled to score Bergen.

Right fielder Hugh Duffy singled to lead off the third and then stole second and third bases and scored on Bergen's second RBI of the game to put Boston up 3-0. Brooklyn scored its only run in the bottom of the third. Catcher Jack Ryan reached on an error by Boston third baseman Jimmy Collins. After two outs and a walk, second baseman Bill Hallman grounded to Collins who threw wildly to first and Ryan scored.

Boston scored twice more in the fourth when Duffy doubled to score Lewis and shortstop Herman Long. Duffy was picked off second right after the play. Duffy doubled in Boston's final run in the sixth to score Long who had singled and stole two bases.

When the game was over, one of the two umpires, George Wood, found out that he had been fired. Wood claimed that Cincinnati owner John T. Brush had it in for him. The Reds were in first place at the time and Brush was an influential owner (he would eventually take own the New York Giants), so Wood probably wasn't making that up.

After the game, Boston headed to St. Louis for a four game set and they only took 11 players on the trip. Jack Stivetts was signed this day and would head off to join the team in St. Louis also. Boston's fourth pitcher, lefty Fred Klobedanz, was left back east by Selee because the manager thought he was too heavy. Klobedanz weighed a reported 182 lbs.

Boston wouldn't need much help in the series at St. Louis as the Browns were the worst team in the league, en route to a 39-111 record. Boston would three of the four games in St. Louis and would eventually catch Cincinnati (who would finish third) and win the NL with a 102-47 record, 6 games better than Baltimore. It would be Boston's second straight pennant and fifth overall under Selee's leadership.

Brooklyn would finish in tenth in the 12-team NL at 54-91, 46 games out of first. The next season, Brooklyn would improve by 47 games and win the pennant, thanks in part to the NL's syndicate ownership. Owners were allowed to own multiple teams and Brooklyn and Baltimore shared an ownership group and manager Ned Hanlon opted to move to Brooklyn and took the best players with him.

Sources: Retrosheet, Baseball-reference, Boston Globe

Ryan Madson joins Walter Johnson in the record books
2006-07-25 21:28
by Bob Timmermann

Ryan Madson of the Phillies tied Walter Johnson and a few other pitchers with four wild pitches in one inning, the third, against Arizona. That ties a regular season record.

Two Hall of Famers have had innings with four wild pitches: Johnson, in 1914, and Phil Niekro in 1979.

Rick Ankiel threw five wild pitches in an inning in a Division Series game against Atlanta in 2000.

Royals wheel and deal again
2006-07-25 21:20
by Bob Timmermann

In an quest to obtain a full complement of pitchers who are only ostensibly good, the Royals have acquired Jorge de la Rosa from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for utility infielder Tony Graffanino.

De La Rosa was 2-2 with an 8.60 ERA.

What color jersey does the wild card team get?
2006-07-25 17:43
by Bob Timmermann

So I'm going to ride the yellow jersey metaphor for division leaders for the rest of the year until we drop dead of exhaustion.

But what about the team in the lead for the wild card?

What color jersey should I use?

I'm open to suggestions.

Royals and Dodgers swap pitchers
2006-07-25 12:16
by Bob Timmermann

There will be more discussion of this at Dodger Thoughts, but for our non-L.A. readers, there is news of a trade between the Royals and Dodgers.

The Dodgers acquired erstwhile swingman Elmer Dessens in exchange for disgruntled lefthander Odalis Perez and minor leaguers Blake Johnson and Julio Pimentel.

Harold Reynolds loses ESPN job with bonus criticism of Steve Phillips
2006-07-25 08:33
by Bob Timmermann

ESPN "Baseball Tonight" analyst Harold Reynolds was apparently let go by the network according to the New York Post.

No reason was given, so speculate wildly, but avoid libelous statements.

I think Reynolds was fired because he insisted on bringing his pet yak into the studio. And the yak wasn't housebroken.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News also examines the odd and likely quite biased viewpoints of Steve Phillips.

Random Game Callback, July 25, 1986
2006-07-25 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Boston Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak as Roger Clemens fired a 2-hitter against the California Angels with a 7-1 win before a crowd of 50,688 at Anaheim Stadium.

The Red Sox were in first place thanks in part to Clemens outstanding season. He started the game with a 16-2 record and a 2.59 ERA. On April 29 at Fenway Park, Clemens set a major league record by striking out 20 Seattle batters in a 9-inning game. The Angels, managed by Gene Mauch, were also in first. Lefthander John Candelaria got the call.

Boston scored three times in the third inning. Shortstop Rey Quinones walked and center fielder Kevin Romine doubled him to third. Second baseman Marty Barrett walked to load the bases. Third baseman Wade Boggs scored Quinones with a sacrifice fly. First baseman Bill Buckner doubled in Romine and Barrett.

The Red Sox broke it open in the fifth. Barrett led off with a single and Boggs followed with a walk. After Buckner flew out to center, Barrett moved to third. Mauch took Candelaria out at this point and brought in Vern Ruhle. But the Red Sox kept on hitting. Left fielder Jim Rice singled to left to score Barrett. Designated hitter Don Baylor hit into a force play and right fielder Dwight Evans drew a walk to load the bases. Then catcher Rich Gedman unloaded with a grand slam to put the Red Sox ahead 8-0.

The Angels didn't get a hit off of Clemens until the fifth when designated hitter Reggie Jackson led off with a double. Jackson would score the Angels only run eventually on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Brian Downing.

Clemens went the whole way, striking out seven. The only other hit the Angels got was another double, this one by catcher Jerry Narron in the seventh.

After the game Mauch spoke to Gene Wojciechowski of the Los Angeles Times, "Their guy's good, I hope we get another crack at him before it's over."

Mauch would get his wish. The Red Sox won the AL East by 5 1/2 games over the Yankees and the Angels won the West by 5 games over the Rangers. The Angels faced Clemens in Game 1 of the ALCS and routed him, 8-1. In Game 4, the Angels would win an 11-inning thriller, 4-3, after scoring three runs in the ninth. But in Game 7, Clemens would finally get his first postseason win with an 8-1 win that sent the Red Sox to the World Series. I was told that Game 5 was exciting too.

In his 23-year career, Clemens is 29-9 against the Angels in the regular season and is 14-4 in Anaheim.

Clemens won the Cy Young and MVP award in the AL in 1986. He went 24-4 and had a league best 2.48 ERA. He finished seven strikeouts behind Mark Langston for the league lead with 238. Boggs would lead the AL in batting average at .357.

The Red Sox would go on to NOT win the World Series in 1986.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Retrosheet,

Extra set of yellow jerseys ordered
2006-07-24 22:53
by Bob Timmermann

The Angels beat Tampa Bay 8-4 in St. Petersburg, while the Athletics lost to Boston 7-3 at home.

So the Angels and Athletics are tied for first in the AL West at 51-48.

Angels demote Morales
2006-07-24 20:40
by Bob Timmermann

Kendry Morales was optioned to AAA Salt Lake City Monday by the Los Angeles Angels. 37-year outfielder Curtis Pride was called up from the minor.

Robb Quinlan and Howie Kendrick are expected to share first base chores for the Angels.

Guillen out for the season
2006-07-24 15:01
by Bob Timmermann

Jose Guillen that is. Carlos and Ozzie are fine as far as I know.

Guillen is having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Thanks to Griddle correspondent Sam in our DC bureau.

Encroachment again: Cubs Lee to the DL
2006-07-24 14:38
by Bob Timmermann

The ill-fated 2006 season of Derek Lee continues as he has gone back on the DL with "post-traumatic inflammation of the wrist" according to

Ryan Theriot will take his spot on the roster.

Any Dodgers, Rockies, or Athletics news I can jump on for anybody?

Great MacDougaly moogly!
2006-07-24 14:06
by Bob Timmermann

The Chicago White Sox pulled the trigger on another deal today picking up former All-Star reliever Mike MacDougal from Kansas City in exchange for minor league pitchers Tyler Lumsden and Daniel Cortes.

Encroachment time: King Kaufman on A-Rod
2006-07-24 09:27
by Bob Timmermann

Sorry for stepping on to Alex and Cliff's turf, but King Kaufman's column today (you have to watch a brief ad first) on the idiocy of the Yankees trading Alex Rodriguez is well worth reading because he just doesn't poke holes in ESPN's illustrious "Baseball Tonight" crew, he impales the talking heads with a pike staff.

That's right, future G.M.'s, listen and learn. The advice here is: Sell low.

John Kruk disagreed. That's how crazy the idea the Yanks "need" to trade A-Rod is -- an idea illustrated with video of Rodriguez this week becoming the youngest player ever to hit his 450th career home run. John Kruk is the voice of reason. That crazy.


Demonstrating the kind of oracular vision he demonstrated when trading for washed-up veterans Jeromy Burnitz, Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn as general manager of the New York Mets, [Steve] Phillips concluded, "His play won't come back, and he's not ever going to win over the fans in New York. I think it's time to move him before it's too late."

Rare company indeed
2006-07-24 07:39
by Bob Timmermann

From the Pirates notebook in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Florida's current rotation is one of 10 in the past 50 years to have three rookies with eight or more victories, now that Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen and Ricky Nolasco each has that many. The 1993 Pirates were one of those with Steve Cooke, Blas Minor and Paul Wagner.

Random Game Callback, July 24, 1903
2006-07-24 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The last place and banged up Washington Senators managed to eke out a 5-4 win over the defending AL champion Philadelphia Athletics at the Senators home field, American League Park.

The Athletics, with Connie Mack in his third of 50 years on the job as manager of the team he owned, started Chief Bender on the mound. The Senators, managed by Tom Loftus, started Highball Wilson. Whether Wilson got this name because of his style of pitching or for a fondness for alcohol isn't known. Well, maybe it's known, I just didn't bother to find out. His real name was Howard. Bender, who was part Chippewa, was actually named Charles.

With regular first baseman Boileryard Clarke out with an injury, Loftus had to start pitcher Al Orth in his place. Orth batted third in this game. Orth was not a bad hitter, finishing with a .273 batting average in 14 seasons.

Wilson served up a steady of diet of offspeed pitches to Philadelphia and Wilson ran into a 3-0 deficit after four innings. Right fielder Socks Seybold had a big triple to score a couple of runs. Philadelphia got another run a throwing error where the ball ended up in the seats, although a spectator tried to throw it back on the field in the hopes that the umpire wouldn't notice. The umpire noticed.

Washington scored its first run in the fifth. Left fielder Kip Selbach singled and went to second on an error by Seybold. Center fielder Jimmy Ryan singled in Selbach.

In the sixth, Washington third baseman Bill Coughlin led off with a lineout to first, but second baseman Barry McCormick doubled. Catcher Malachi Kittridge walked. Wilson struck out, one of eight strikeouts for Bender on the game. Selbach followed with a triple after Seybold slipped while chasing his deep drive. Ryan then got a single when his line drive hit the umpire, James Hassett. There was only one umpire in this game and with a runner on base, Hassett was calling the action from the center of the field.

Washington tallied another run in the eighth. McCormick singled to get things started. Kittredge tried to sacrifice the runner over, but Philadelphia first baseman Harry Davis threw the ball into the outfield to put runners on second and third. McCormick scored one batter later on a fielder's choice when Davis threw late to the plate in an attempt to retire McCormick.

Philadelphia had a chance in the ninth. Seybold led off with a single. Left fielder Danny Hoffman lined a ball to McCormick at second that he couldn't handle, but he deflected it over to shortstop Rabbit Robinson for a force out. One out later, shortstop Monte Cross reached on an infield single. Catcher Ossee Schreckengost singled and Hoffman scored. That brought up Bender and Mack opted to let him hit and he grounded out to end the game.

On the same day of this game, AL president Ban Johnson and Cincinnati owner Gerry Herrmann were meeting behind closed doors, presumably to hammer out more of the details of the "peace accord" between the two leagues. The two leagues had agreed in January of 1903 to respect each other's contracts (and the reserve clause). One rule change the AL agreed to in 1903 was the foul strike rule. The NL made the first two foul balls strikes in 1901, but the AL didn't adopt the rule until 1903. The league batting average dropped from .275 to .255.

Philadelphia would not repeat its AL championship and finished in second place, 14 1/2 games behind Boston. Washington would finish in last place with a 43-94 record, 47 1/2 games out of first.

In 1904, the schedule would lengthen to 154 games. This would not be good news for the Senators. They turned in a 38-113 record in 1904 which included a 15-61 road record.

Sources: Washington Post,, Retrosheet

Another change of the yellow jersey
2006-07-23 17:09
by Bob Timmermann

The Padres have reclaimed first place in the NL West with a 6-5 win over the Giants in 12 innings at AT&T Park.

Terrmel Sledge homered in the ninth off of Armando Benitez to tie the game after the Giants had taken the lead with a 3-run eighth. Pinch hitter Eric Young had a sacrifice fly to score Mike Cameron with the game-winning run.

A steamy night at Chavez Ravine
2006-07-23 09:47
by Bob Timmermann

I was going to craft an interesting story, but it's too hot and I have stuff to do today.

But I got a chance to sit in the renovated bench seats in the first row of Dodger Stadium along the third base line. That's aisle 31B, row 1, seat 5 to be precise.

Before the game, Rafael Furcal wonders which rules he needs to obey:

At least somebody likes Kenny, it could be Kenny:

The Dodgers give their top pitching prospect a chance to throw out the first pitch:


Albert Pujols thinks to himself "I'm only at third? What did I do wrong this time? Did Jose Oquendo give me my Frequent On Base Points? I'm close to Premier status. If I get there, then Oquendo has to give me two bags of peanuts once I get to third."


Sorry this one is a little blurry, but it's interesting that in Antioch, California, Aaron Miles Day comes the day after Veterans Day. It's probably a cheap attempt by the people there to get an extra day off. I'm asking for Aaron Miles Day off this year at my job.


From this angle, what do I have more of? Chins, ears, red squares on my shirt, or white squares?


Random Game Callback, July 23, 1926
2006-07-23 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The St. Louis Cardinals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and had little trouble disposing with the New York Giants, picking up a 6-1 win at home in Sportsman's Park.

For the Giants, it helped to have your name start with "Mc" this day. Manager John McGraw started pitcher Hugh McQuillan and catcher Hugh McMullen. Rogers Hornsby was the player/manager for the Cardinals. Hornsby took over the managerial duties after Branch Rickey decided to stay in the front office in 1925. Hornsby had lefthander Bill Sherdel on the mound.

The Cardinals got a run in the first without hitting the ball out of the infield. Left fielder Ray Blades led off with an infield single. One out later, Hornsby reached on a throwing error by third baseman Fred Lindstrom and first baseman Jim Bottomley reached on a throwing error by second baseman Frankie Frisch. Blades scored on that play.

St. Louis got three more runs in the third on consecutive run scoring doubles from right fielder Billy Southworth and third baseman Les Bell.

The Giants notched their lone run in the sixth when left fielder Irish Meusel doubled home Lindstrom. Other than that, Sherdel wasn't tested much.

Southworth singled in a run in the seventh and Bell drove in a run with a scoring fly ball in the same inning to make the final score, 6-1.

The Cardinals were tied for third on this day with Chicago, 3 1/2 games behind first place Cincinnati. Defending World Series champion Pittsburgh was in second.

However, the Cardinals would go 22-8 in August and led Cincinnati by a 1/2 game going into the last month of the season. Pittsburgh was a game back. The Cardinals played their last home game on September 1 and had to finish the season with 24 road games.

But in 1926, the other "western" teams in the NL were spending much of September on the road. The Cardinals would go 13-11 on their long road trip and that would be enough to edge out Cincinnati by two games. The Cardinals would stay out on the East Coast and open the World Series against New York at Yankee Stadium, where they would split the first two games. They finally returned home to St. Louis on October 5, but the Cardinals dropped 2 of 3 to the Yankees and had to return to Yankee Stadium for the final two. And the Cardinals became the second team to win a seven game series by winning the final two games on the road. The 1909 Pirates pulled off the feat at Detroit. The 1979 Pirates were the last team to do it. It's also happened in 1934, 1952, 1958, and 1968.

Although Hornsby managed the Cardinals to their first World Series win, he was far from universally loved. He didn't hit particularly well by his standards, hitting just .314 with 11 home runs. Catcher Bob O'Farrell won the MVP award, edging out Hughie Critz of Chicago. Under the rules of the time, Hornsby was ineligible for the award anyway.

More importantly, Hornsby alienated Rickey. For starters, Hornsby refused to make a late season stop for an exhibition game, depriving Rickey and the Cardinals of some cash. Rickey didn't care for that much. Hornsby was also openly dismissive of Rickey's advice. When the season ended, Rickey sent Hornsby to the Giants in exchange for Frisch and pitcher Jimmy Ring. The deal was complicated by the fact that Hornsby owned stock in the Cardinals. Because of this, baseball instituted a rule prohibiting players and managers from owning part of a club.

Sources: New York Times, Retrosheet,

Change the yellow jerseys
2006-07-22 23:09
by Bob Timmermann

Shamelessly stealing an idea from my brother Tom, I believe the San Francisco Giants should have to wear yellow jerseys tomorrow after taking over first place in the NL West with a 4-3 win over San Diego at home Saturday night.

Each of the five teams in the National League West has been in first place at some time between June 1 and today. Although I haven't verified it, I believe all the teams but the Dodgers have been in fifth in that same timespan.

Wakefield finally goes on DL
2006-07-22 13:42
by Bob Timmermann

The Red Sox put Tim Wakefield on the disabled list with a stress fracture in a rib. The move is retroactive to July 18.

To replace him the Red Sox have called up Kason Gabbard from Pawtucket.

Gabbard is the first major leaguer to have either of those names. His middle name is listed as "R."

Nats sale update
2006-07-22 10:24
by Bob Timmermann

The headline reads "Paperwork Done for Nationals Sale".

Apparently they can't seem to find a notary. And the Nationals don't have a photocopier either so there's only one copy. And I think it's low on toner.

And now there is just one Angry Man left
2006-07-22 07:33
by Bob Timmermann

Now, not a rant.

RIP Jack Warden.

This means that there is only one of the 12 actors from the film version of "12 Angry Men" still alive: Jack Klugman.

Random Game Callback, July 22, 1916
2006-07-22 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox split a tense doubleheader before 26,162 fans at Fenway Park with the Tigers winning 4-3 in the first game and the Red Sox winning the second game 1-0. The split moved the defending World Champion Red Sox to within 1 1/2 games of the first place New York Yankees.

The Tigers, managed by Hughie Jennings, were in fifth place at the time although they were over .500. Jennings had righthander Willie Mitchell starting in the first game and lefty Bill James pitching the second. There were two Bill James in the majors at this time. This one was "Big Bill" as opposed to "Seattle Bill." Boston, managed by Bill Carrigan, had Ernie Shore and Dutch Leonard starting in both ends of the doubleheader. (There were two Dutch Leonards too, this one had the real name of Hubert.)

Detroit started out well. Third baseman Ossie Vitt led off with a single. Shortstop Donie Bush tried to sacrifice, but catcher Hick Cady tried for the force at second, but was too late and both men were safe. First baseman George Burns did sacrifice successfully. Center fielder Ty Cobb hit a grounder to second baseman Jack Barry who threw over to first baseman Del Gainer, who dropped the throw and two runs came around to score. Gainer got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first on an RBI single to score right fielder Harry Hooper.

Boston tied the game up in the second on a double by center fielder Tilly Walker and an error by Burns on a grounder hit by Boston shortsop Everett Scott.

Detroit reclaimed the lead in the sixth when Mitchell singled to score second baseman Ralph Young. This came against Carl Mays, who had relieved Shore in the fourth inning.

Rube Foster was pitching the ninth for Boston and gave up a single to Burns and then a triple to Cobb to make it 4-2.

The Red Sox mounted a rally in the ninth. Gainer had a one-out double and he scored on a single by Walker. Pinch hitter Bill Carrigan singled to move Walker to second, but Mitchell got Scott to fly out to center and Cady to pop out to second to end the game.

In the nightcap, the only scoring came in the second inning. Dick Hoblitzell, Boston's other first baseman walked and Walker followed with a single. Third baseman Larry Gardner bunted the runners over. Scott then grounded to Burns who tried to throw out Hoblitzell at the plate, but he was not in time and the game's only run scored. Such was the economy of the Boston Globe typesetters at the time, that they did not bother to print a line score for Detroit since they had all zeros.

Leonard held Detroit to just four hits, three of them singles. In the ninth, Cobb led off with a single and went all the way to third on a sacrifice by left fielder Bobby Veach. Leonard got right fielder Harry Heilmann to pop out to first and Young lined out to left to end the game.

The Yankees would start to slide in late July and into August and the Red Sox were able to catch them and ended up winning the AL by two games over Chicago. The Yankees fell all the way to fourth 11 games out. Detroit finished in third, four games out. The first six teams in the AL were at .500 or better. The seventh place team, Washington, was just one game under. This of course meant that the last place team, Philadelphia, had to be really bad. And they were, the A's were 36-117.

The Red Sox would win the World Series for the second straight year and for the third time in five seasons. Boston got past Brooklyn in five games. The Red Sox would win the World Series again in 1918 before having a bit of a drought.

Surprisingly, Boston still was able to win even though they had traded away one of its stars, center fielder Tris Speaker, to Cleveland before the season started in exchange for Sam Jones and Fred Thomas. Speaker would lead the AL in batting average, OBP, and slugging percentage in 1916. The only category of any note that a Boston player led in was shutouts. Babe Ruth had nine to lead the AL. Boston was sixth in the AL in runs scored, but they did allow the fewest.

Sources: Boston Globe, Retrosheet,

Astros switch pitchers
2006-07-21 10:50
by Bob Timmermann

Well you came and you left because you were tanking
So I sent you to Triple-A, oh Wandy.
Well you pitched to me and stopped the batters from taking
We don't need you today, oh Wandy.

AP story

And yes, I know the syllables are off a bit.

Solution for Mueller?
2006-07-21 10:18
by Bob Timmermann

According to this report Dodgers third baseman Bill Mueller's knee problem cannot be solved by any known therapy.

But has he called David Wright yet?

Orioles call up third baseman from the minors
2006-07-21 10:14
by Bob Timmermann

And Chan Ho Park breathes a sigh of relief, as he knows that Fernando Tatis won't be able to hurt him from Baltimore.

Unless of course the Orioles and Padres meet in the World Series.

Random Game Callback, July 21, 1994
2006-07-21 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The California Angels lost ground in what turned out to be a pennant race that wasn't when the New York Yankees scored six times in the fifth and beat the Angels, 11-7 before a crowd of 20,479 at Anaheim Stadium.

The Yankees, managed by Buck Showalter, were sitting in first place in the AL East in baseball's new three division alignment. Showalter started lefthander Jimmy Key, who was 14-2. Marcel Lachemann, who had replaced Buck Rodgers earlier in the year, had the Angels in third place, but that was still only five games behind first place Texas. The Angels came into the game 12 under .500 (42-54). Lefty Chuck Finley got the start for California.

The Angels led three different times early in the game. In the second inning when catcher Chris Turner singled home first baseman J.T. Snow. The Yankees tied the game up in the third when left fielder Paul O'Neill singled in first baseman Don Mattingly. The Angels took the lead again in the bottom of the third when leftfielder Bo Jackson homered.

The Yankees tied the game in the fourth when shortstop Mike Gallego homered off of Finley. But the Angels went back ahead in the bottom of the fourth when third baseman Spike Owen singled in Turner who had gotten to second on an infield hit and throwing error by Gallego.

In the fifth, the Yankees offense exploded. With one out, right fielder Danny Tartabull walked. Designated hitter Jim Leyritz doubled to left and Tartabull came all the way around to score to tie the game at 3-3. O'Neill walked. Third baseman Randy Velarde was caught looking by Finley, who appeared to be getting out of the jam. But Gallego came up with a double to score Leyritz and send O'Neill to third. Second baseman Pat Kelly singled to score O'Neill and Gallego. Kelly stole second and scored when center fielder (and leadoff man) Bernie Williams singled. Williams stole second and then went to third on a single by Mattingly. Only then did Lachemann relieve Finley with Scott Lewis. Catcher Mike Stanley greeted Lewis with a double to score Williams before Tartabull made the last out. The Yankees now led 8-3.

The Angels tried to peck away in the fifth. Jackson singled and then scored on a double by second baseman Damion Easley. But Key retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Leyritz had a 2-run single in the seventh to score Williams and Mattingly. This drove Lewis out of the game and lefty Joe Magrane came in to relieve.

Xavier Hernandez relieved Key in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a homer to Snow to make it 10-5. The Angels scored another run in the eighth off of Hernandez when second baseman Harold Reynolds singled, went to second on a wild pitch and then on to third when Stanley threw the ball away trying to catch Reynolds. Center fielder Chad Curtis singled in Reynolds. Bob Wickman relieved and struck out center fielder Jim Edmonds and Jackson to end the inning.

Each team got a run in the ninth. Tartabull doubled home Stanley in the top of the inning and Reynolds had an RBI groundout in the bottom of the ninth. Wickman ended up with the save.

Although the Yankees would be in first when the last game was played, they didn't win the AL East. A players strike after August 10 led to the cancellation of the rest of the season and the cancellation of the playoffs. The Yankees AL best 70-43 record went for naught. The Angels finished in fourth at 47-68, although that was just 5 1/2 games behind first place Texas, which was 52-62.

Key, who was 18-6 for the Yankees in 1993, had another good year in 1994 with a 17-4 record. Key had a 3.27 ERA, easily the best among Yankee starters. The team leader in saves was Steve Howe with 15. O'Neill won the AL batting title with a .359 average. He also led the team in home runs with 21. Showalter was named Manager of the Year.

The Angels were a mixture of young players, like Edmonds, Snow, and Tim Salmon. And older or injured players like Reynolds, Owen, and Jackson. The latter was playing with an artificial hip. Finley was the best of a mediocre pitching staff with a 10-10 record and a 4.32 ERA. Joe Grahe led the team in saves with 13, but had an ERA of 6.65. One pitcher from that staff is still active, Russ Springer.

The only active playees from the 1994 Yankees team are Williams and Wickman. To be precise, Williams refers to Bernie, but Gerald Williams was on the 1994 team also.

The players would come back to play in 1995 in an abbreviated season. The Yankees ended up making the playoffs as a wildcard, while the Angels blew a big lead late in the year and lost a one-game playoff to Seattle.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Los Angeles Times

The Hillenbrand Saga, part three
2006-07-20 20:30
by Bob Timmermann

Today, Toronto manager John Gibbons admitted that he challenged Hillenbrand to a fight.

"He had a chance yesterday to defend himself in front of his coaches and his teammates. He chose not to," Gibbons said.

Gibbons said someone was done in Toronto -- him or Hillenbrand.

"If the front office felt differently than he wins and I lose, and I would be one out of here," Gibbons said. "I mean it. It was either him or me."

Asked if Hillenbrand did it because he wanted out, Gibbons said: "I know he wanted to get out. That's no secret. To be honest I don't think he really wanted to be here for the last two years."

A long day in Brooklyn
2006-07-20 18:24
by Bob Timmermann


Oneonta and Brooklyn played the longest game in New York-Penn League history at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn.

Story from

Also story from AP.

Deik Scram of Oneonta had the go-ahead single in the 26th to score two runs. Scram had been 0 for 11 prior to that hit. Brooklyn was using an outfielder, Mark Wright, as the pitcher at the end of the game.

Braves add some heft to their bullpen
2006-07-20 11:49
by Bob Timmermann

However, the Braves didn't add talent. All they did was pick up Bob Wickman from Cleveland. The Braves sent minor leaguer catcher Max Ramirez to Cleveland.

Fausto Carmona is likely to become Cleveland's new closer. Fausto's teammates like to call him "Goethe" for kicks.

Almost a rainout and a debris-out in the Mound City
2006-07-20 09:27
by Bob Timmermann

The Cardinals and Braves game last night in St. Louis was delayed until 9:22 Central time as a severe storm hit the area blowing debris from the adjacent construction into the stadium.

Portable concession stands were flipped, and a 40-pound section sign crashed down. A 60-foot tear in the tarp covering the field allowed water to seep through to the field, further delaying the game even after the storm ended. At least five people were taken from the stadium in ambulances with various injuries. None appeared to be serious.

Water was shin-deep in the dugouts and neck-deep in nearby walkways. Fox Sports had set up a temporary studio but the wind destroyed it, turning over the desk and scattering the lights.

The storm has also knocked out power to over 400,000 people in Missouri and Illinois and may not be restored for a couple of days. Temperatures in the 100s are expected today in St. Louis today. The Cardinals are off today as they are headed to the West Coast. Where it's only going to be in the high 80s and low 90s.

L'affaire Hillenbrand, part deux
2006-07-20 08:59
by Bob Timmermann

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun has more on the acrimonious departure of Shea Hillenbrand from the Blue Jays.

It had a lot to do with Hillenbrand writing: "This is a sinking ship" on the chalkboard where batting practice times are written.

The team was having a players-only meeting, called by Vernon Wells, when in stormed irate manager John Gibbons.

According to one unnamed Blue Jay: "The manager said: 'You're gone! I'll be gone before you ever play another game in this organization.'


"He was a cancer in this clubhouse," another player said. "Shea's day went the way the lineup card went. If he was in the lineup, everything was fine. If he wasn't he'd sulk. Sometimes he wouldn't even come out to hit."

Random Game Callback, July 20, 1906
2006-07-20 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Harry Steinfeldt, a man who would live on in baseball lore as "the other guy", had a big 2-run triple in the eighth inning as the Chicago Cubs rallied to beat the New York Giants, 6-3, before a crowd of about 12,000 at the West Side Grounds in Chicago.

Steinfeldt was the third baseman for the Cubs for much of the time when the shorstop, second baseman, and first baseman were Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance. Tom Simon has a biography of Steinfeldt's life.

The first place Cubs, five up on the Giants, were managed by Chance, who had taken over for Frank Selee in 1905. Chance started what amounted to his #5 starter (or at least the pitcher with the fifth most starts), Jack Taylor. The Giants, led by the famous John McGraw, had Christy Mathewson on the hill.

Taylor got off to a bad start, hitting leadoff man and right fielder Roger Bresnahan with a pitch. (Bresnahan is better known as a catcher, but he played all over the diamond and pitched as well). Left fielder Spike Shannon hit into a force play. Center fielder Cy Seymour singled and first baseman Dan McGann walked to load the bases. Third baseman Art Devlin singled in Shannon and Seymour. Shortstop Bill Dahlen walked to load the bases and second baseman Sammy Strang hit a scoring fly ball and the Giants were up 3-0 before the Cubs got a chance at bat.

Chicago benefited from a hit batter to score its first run. Steinfeldt was hit by a Mathewson offering to lead off the inning. Tinker hit a grounder to Dahlen that he couldn't handle and two were on with no outs. Evers sacrificed and catcher Johnny Kling hit a scoring fly ball of his own to make it 3-1 New York.

Left fielder Jimmy Sheckard provided Chicago's next run. He drew a walk from Mathewson, stole second and came around to score on a single by Chance. Meanwhile, Taylor had shut down the Giants after the first.

In the top of the eighth, the Giants got runners to second and third with no outs, but failed to score. Two runners were thrown out at the plate on ground balls to the infield.

Center fielder Jimmy Slagle led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Sheckard sacrificed. Right fielder Frank Schulte lined one back to the box that Mathewson was able to snare for the first out. Chance drew a walk to set the stage for Steinfeldt.

Steinfeldt got ahead in the count against Mathewson and drilled a 3-1 pitch from Mathewson up the gap in right-center. Seymour and Bresnahan desperately tried to cut the ball off, but it rolled all the way to the seats and Slagle and Chance scored while Steinfeldt chugged into third. Tinker and Evers followed with singles combined with an error by New York catcher Frank Bowerman to let two more runs come in to make the score 6-3. Taylor retired the Giants in the ninth for the win and the Cubs had stretched their lead to six games.

There wouldn't be many tough games for the Cubs in 1906. They won the National League pennant by 20 games over the Giants with an otherworldly 116-36 record, a .763 winning percentage. Last place Boston finished 66 1/2 games out of first, the worst mark of the 20th century. No other National League has ever come within five games of that total. (The 1909 Pirates won 110 games.) Only the 2001 Seattle Mariners matched that total and they played in 10 extra games.

The Cubs had a staff ERA of 1.75 in 1906 with Hall of Famer Mordecai Brown going 26-6 with a 1.04 ERA. Taylor pitched in just 17 games, but he had a 12-3 record with a 1.83 ERA. The Cubs lead the league in scoring with 705 runs and gave up just 381. From August 1 until the end of the season, the Cubs were 52-8. Steinfeldt led the league in hits with 176 and RBI with 83 (tied with Jim Nealon of Pittsburgh). Steinfeldt finished 12 points behind Honus Wagner in the batting race with a .327 mark.

The Giants had won the World Series in 1905, but they were no match for the Cubs this season. Mathewson had what was a subpar season for him with a 22-12 record and a 2.97 ERA. The league ERA was 2.62. Seymour, who had one of the greatest seasons of the decade with Cincinnati in 1905, had just been acquired a week before this game after falling into disfavor there as his numbers declined. Seymour played well for the Giants in 1906, but not well enough this season.

It would have been fitting if the team with the best winning percentage of the 20th Century wrapped up their season with a win in the World Series. But that didn't happen. The Cubs faced their crosstown rivals, the White Sox, a team dubbed "the Hitless Wonders" because of its .230 team batting average and seven home runs. But the White Sox took the series in six games. After getting just 11 hits in the first four games, the White Sox had 26 of them in the last two games. A fill-in third baseman, George Rohe, was the surprise hero for the White Sox with 7 hits in 21 at bats, including a double and two triples.

The Cubs would go on to win the pennant again in 1907, 1908, and 1910 and win the World Series over Detroit in 1907 and 1908, but lose to Philadelphia in 1910. The 1906-08 Cubs hold the major league record for most games won in a 3-year span, 322.

Sources: Chicago Tribune,, Retrosheet, SABR Bioproject.

Bah, they would scoff at Clemens and Maddux
2006-07-19 22:12
by Bob Timmermann

Tonight at Wrigley Field, Roger Clemens picked up career win number 343 as the Astros beat the Cubs, 4-2. The losing pitcher was Greg Maddux who remains "stalled" at 325 wins.

So two starters who came in to the game with a combined 667 wins is no mean feat, but it's not the highest total for any two starters.

I'm pretty sure the record was set in this game back on September 12, 1911 when Cy Young of Boston (with 508 wins) faced off against Christy Mathewson (with 283 wins). That's 791 combined wins.

The fact that Young and Mathewson were facing each other that day was not a big deal. The New York papers were more interested in the Giants maintaining their lead over the Cubs in the pennant race. Young didn't make it out of the third inning is one of his final appearances. There will be more about the Boston Rustlers (as they were called) of 1911 in a couple of weeks.

They were really bad. Really, really, really bad.

They could have at least sent a card
2006-07-19 16:42
by Bob Timmermann

Toronto first baseman/DH Shea Hillenbrand let loose with a profanity-filled tirade that he thinks will get him traded. Hillenbrand was upset that no one from the Blue Jays organization congratulated Hillenbrand and his wife for adopting a child.

I sent the Hillenbrands a cradle made out of ebony that I shaped myself in my own garage.

I'm still waiting for a thank you.

Update As you probably know the Blue Jays designated Hillenbrand for assignment today after he refused to sit on the bench.

Sosa thinks he can come back
2006-07-19 16:36
by Bob Timmermann

Sammy Sosa tells ESPN's Enrique Rojas that he return to baseball if he's given the right offer.

Sosa rejected the Washington Nationals in the offseason. So who else is going to spend waste flush down the toilet money and playing time on Sammy?

Anybody need a third baseman?
2006-07-19 13:43
by Bob Timmermann

The Padres have released Vinny Castilla in order to bring up pitcher Mike Thompson.

Will the Padres still be able to win the NL West without Castilla's .579 OPS?

The linked story indicates that the Padres players are not happy with the move. Apparently Castilla provides more than his extraordinarily putrid stat line indicates. Maybe he springs for dinner after games frequently.

But with Castilla's production, the Veteran Presence® he provides should be able to light up PETCO Park.

1-0, 1-0
2006-07-19 12:48
by Bob Timmermann

The Red Sox have defeated the Royals the last two days at Fenway Park by scores of 1-0.

According to the AP story about the game, the last time the Red Sox won consecutive 1-0 games at Fenway was on June 22 and 23, 1916. Babe Ruth beat the Yankees on the 22nd and Ernie Shore beat the Athletics on the 23rd.

Justice delayed is not justice denied for Maddux
2006-07-19 11:45
by Bob Timmermann

Eight weeks after the game ended on May 24, the Cubs have finally successfully appealed a scoring rule and got Greg Maddux's ERA dropped from 4.99 to 4.60.

A fifth inning play was changed from an infield hit for Hanley Ramirez of Florida to an error on Ronny Cedeno.

Meanwhile, the travesty of Jae Seo not getting a save for the Dodgers on June 23 against the Pirates has not been remedied.

Who will take up arms and fight the powers that be over this? We can storm the no longer impregnanble castle walls that surround baseball's official scorers! We can take over.

Or maybe I should get Bob Dylan to write a song about Jae Seo, something along the lines of "Hurricane." But maybe with a jazzier beat.

Managerial evaluations
2006-07-19 08:47
by Bob Timmermann

Chris Jaffe of ran a two-part series based on his presentation at the SABR convention in Seattle on evaluating managers. Remember it's two parts.

Checking back in with the star of the WBC
2006-07-19 07:25
by Bob Timmermann

The Digital Chosunilbo checks back in on Korean WBC star Seung-Yeop Lee, who plays in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants.

Lee leads the Central League in a bunch of offensive categories, including home runs.

The Giants got off to a quick start, but are in the middle of a stretch where the team has lost 28 of 33 games and they have fallen all the way back to fifth place, 13 1/2 games behind first place Chunichi.

A sidebar on the link on top passes on the "news" that the Yankees are interested in Lee, but that seems more like an idea out of the Yankees' marketing department, not the scouting department.

Random Game Callback, July 19, 1890
2006-07-19 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The visiting Chicago Pirates (batting last in this game) pushed across a run in the bottom of the ninth at Boston's Congress Street Grounds for a dramatic 7-6 win in a battle between two of the best teams in the Players League. 8,142 spectators looked on in windy and rainy weather.

1890 marked the year of one of baseball's biggest labor disputes. The players of the time had formed a union, called the Brotherhood, and in 1890, many of the top players, in an attempt to get rid of the reserve clause, formed their own league. Chicago was managed by Charlie Comiskey, who was one of the best first basemen of the day. Boston was managed by King Kelly, probably the most famous player of the era.

Comiskey started 22-year old Silver King at pitcher. King had been a star for Comiskey at St. Louis in the AA. Kelly had Matt Kilroy pitching. Kilroy struck out 513 batters in his rookie year with Baltimore of the AA in 1886, the highest total ever recorded in major league history. Nolan Ryan's 383 strikeouts are considered a separate record because Kilroy was not pitching from 60'6". He was throwing from a spot around 50 feet away. Pitchers were able to move around a bit at the time. The 60'6" distance wasn't established until 1893.

Center fielder Tom Brown led off for Boston and walked against King. He moved around the bases on an error by Comiskey, a passed ball by Duke Farrell, and then scored on a ground out.

Chicago picked up three runs in the third. Right fielder Hugh Duffy tripled and then scored when third baseman Billy Nash couldn't handle the throw in from the outfield. Left fielder Tip O'Neill singled and scored on a triple by center fielder Jimmy Ryan. Comiskey squeezed home Ryan for the third run.

Boston got one run back in the fifth when Kelly, playing shortstop this game, singled and then came around to score on an error and a sacrifice by second baseman Joe Quinn. Then in the seventh, Boston took the lead with a pair of runs on singles by left fielder Hardy Richardson and Nash,. Quinn sacrificed the runners over and they scored on a single by catcher Morgan Murphy. Boston led 4-3.

But Chicago was not out of it. With one out, Farrell singled and third baseman Arlie Latham singled. Kelly dropped the relay throw from the outfield and Farrell came around to score the tying run. King then singled to left and Nash dropped the relay throw at third base and Latham was safe. Duffy then doubled and Latham and King scored to give Chicago a 6-4 lead.

Boston tied it up in the ninth. Nash walked and Quinn tripled him home. Kilroy singled to score Quinn with the tying run. But in the bottom of the ninth, Chicago second baseman Fred Pfeffer singled and shortstop Jack Boyle did the same. Farrell then came up and doubled and Pfeffer came home with the winning run.

Ultimately, it would be Boston who would win the first, and last, Players League pennant. Boston beat out Brooklyn by 6 1/2 games for the flag. Chicago finished in fourth, 10 games out. The Players League was woefully undercapitalized and it ceased operations after just one year and the stars went back to their old teams in the NL and AA for the most part.

The Players League was probably the highest quality "third" league in baseball's history, the other two being the Union Association of 1884 and the Federal League of 1914-15. One of the best offensive players of 1890 was Roger Connor of the New York entry in the PL. He had an OPS of .998, the best in baseball and hit 14 home runs. Besides stars like Comiskey and Kelly, the Players League also had John Ward playing in Brooklyn and three future Hall of Famers playing in Pittsburgh: Ned Hanlon, Jake Beckley, and Pud Galvin. John Tener, who would go on to serve as a Representative from the state of Pennsylvania, then governor of Pennsylvania as well as President of the National League, played for Pittsburgh as well.

Besides its legacy of owner-player labor acrimony, the Players League left one other legacy. The PL was the first league to use the infield fly rule. However, the National League did not adopt it until 1895. But the Players League gave millions of baseball pedants the opportunity to show off their knowledge of a surprisingly tough rule to understand for some people.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Chicago Tribune

Buck O'Neil at the bat
2006-07-18 21:00
by Bob Timmermann

Buck O'Neil, age 94, managed to get two trips to the plate in the Northern League All-Star Game in Kansas City.

O'Neil was given an intentional walk by each team. He was traded after the end of the first inning, so he could play for both teams.

So that's how it's described now?
2006-07-18 13:01
by Bob Timmermann

From the Washington Post's notebook about the Washington Nationals.

Another move is pending Tuesday, when lefty Mike O'Connor is scheduled to be recalled to start against Florida. Utility player Damian Jackson, who has spasms in his esophagus, is expected to be placed on the disabled list to make room, club officials said Monday night.

Emphasis is mine. Doesn't that just mean Jackson is vomiting or has heartburn?

Random Game Callback, July 18, 1959
2006-07-18 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Bob Shaw and Gerry Staley combined on a six-hitter as the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees for the fifth straight time on the season, 2-1 before a crowd of 33,744 at Yankee Stadium.

Shaw, a Bronx native, was given the start by manager Al Lopez, who had gotten the surprising White Sox in to first place. New York manager Casey Stengel, plagued by inconsistent pitching, was in an unfamiliar spot, fourth place. Don Larsen got the start for the Yankees.

The Yankees got half of their hits in the game in the second inning, an inning that would prove fateful. Left fielder Norm Siebern singled and third baseman Hector Lopez did the same and Siebern went to third. Shortstop Gil McDougald scored Siebern with a sacrifice fly and Lopez moved up to second on the throw. Second baseman Bobby Richardson singled to left and Lopez tried to score from second but Chicago's Al Smith gunned out Lopez at the plate. Larsen lined out to third to end the inning.

Smith got the White Sox rally started in the fourth. With one out, Smith singled to left. Third baseman Billy Goodman drew a walk. Right fielder Jim McAnany doubled to score Smith and Goodman held at third. Shaw singled to left to score Goodman with the White Sox second and final run.

Larsen bobbed and weaved for eight innings, giving up 10 hits, but never gave up any runs aside from the two in the fourth. Duke Maas pitched a scoreless ninth for the Yankees.

Shaw was sailing along though until the ninth. He retired center fielder Mickey Mantle to lead off the inning, but catcher Yogi Berra singled and Bobby Shantz ran for him. Siebern singled to right and Shantz went to third. Lopez called on his veteran reliever, the 38-year old Staley, who made the long walk in from the visitors bullpen.

The walk to the mound was longer than Staley's stay there. Lopez hit Staley's first pitch to second baseman Nellie Fox who flipped it to shortstop Luis Aparicio and then on to first baseman Earl Torgeson for a double play to end the game.

1959 would be a memorable year on the South Side. The White Sox won their first AL pennant since 1919 with a 94-60 record, although that joy was tempered by the team's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series in six games.

Shaw would have one of his best years with an 18-6 record and a 2.69 ERA. Staley would share bullpen chores with Turk Lown. Staley saved 14 games and Lown saved 15. Staley would later be traded by the White Sox as part of an 8-player deal with Kansas City in 1961 that included Larsen. You can read about that here.

As for the Yankees, they would finish a distant third, 15 games behind the White Sox at 79-75. The Yankees had won every AL pennant from 1947 through 1958 with the exception of 1954, when Cleveland, managed by Lopez, won 111 games to take the flag. Fifteen different pitchers made starts for the Yankees.

But the Yankees wouldn't stay down for long. In the offseason, Larsen, Hank Bauer, Siebern, and Marv Throneberry (the starting first baseman on this day) were traded to Kansas City for Joe DeMaestri, Kent Hadley, and Roger Maris. Maris would win back-to-back MVP awards and the Yankees would win the AL pennant for the next five seasons.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Chicago Tribune

Oh has stomach operation
2006-07-17 22:33
by Bob Timmermann

Japanese baseball legend and the current manager of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, Sadaharu Oh had what was described as successful surgery to remove his entire stomach because of tumors in it.

Oh is expected to leave the hospital in 10 days and may even be able to resume his managerial duties according to some other accounts.

But it's been a rough time for Japanese baseball heroes, one of Oh's teammates from his Yomiuri Giants glory days, Shigeo Nagashima, suffered a severe stroke in March 2004 and has had some paralysis on the right side of his body.

The ball that stole people's souls
2006-07-17 13:43
by Bob Timmermann

On the sports blog Eric Wilbur sums up the ongoing saga of the baseball that was the final out of the 2004 World Series.

The issue has come up as the Royals are in Boston and Doug Mientkiewicz makes his triumphant return to Fenway Park. Mientkiewicz has said that he had received death threats.

Also, Keith Foulke is saying that he wanted the ball.

Did I have to sit through a series of three three-hour plus movies on this sort of thing? Is New Zealand involved?

Gammons update
2006-07-17 12:45
by Bob Timmermann

Peter Gammons has left the hospital where he had his brain surgery to repair an aneurysm and is moving to a rehabilitation center.

The trading deadline won't be the same without him. Get well soon. story from AP.

Random Game Callback, July 17, 1967
2006-07-17 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Despite losing two of its best players in recent days, the St. Louis Cardinals still had enough firepower left to beat the New York Mets, 6-4 before a crowd of 25,540 fans (17,857 paid) at Busch Stadium.

Cardinals pitching ace Bob Gibson had suffered a broken leg on July 15 and Curt Flood suffered an ankle injury on July 6. Manager Red Schoendienst was going to have to find someone to fill the void, but Gibson's spot in the rotation wasn't up yet. Dick Hughes started on the mound for the Cardinals and Bobby Tolan was filling in for Flood in center field. The Mets, managed by Wes Westrum, had Don Cardwell starting on the mound.

Mets second baseman Jerry Buchek, a St. Louis native, got things rolling in the second inning. He doubled with one out and scored on a single by catcher Jerry Grote to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Cardinals tied it up in the bottom of the second after catcher Tim McCarver singled and scored on a double by third baseman Mike Shannon.

The fourth inning was the big one for the Cardinals. McCarver, who would go 4 for 4 in the game, led off with a single and Shannon followed with his seventh home run of the year. Second baseman Julian Javier singled and shortstop Dal Maxvill followed with another single that Javier was able to come all the way around to score on. Don Shaw came in to relieve Cardwell and got out of the inning.

New York got two runs back in the fifth. Shaw drew a two-out walk and shortstop Bud Harrelson singled. Center fielder Larry Stahl doubled to score Shaw and Harrelson. But left fielder Tommy Davis struck out to end the inning.

St. Louis kept its attack going. Right fielder Roger Maris singled and McCarver singled him over to third. Shannon hit a sacrifice fly to score Maris. It was now 5-3 St. Louis.

In the sixth, the breaks kept coming for the Cardinals. Maxvill hit a liner to center and Stahl tried to make a diving catch on it, but missed it, and the ball rolled all the way to the wall in dead center, 412 feet away. Maxvill made the full circuit for what would be his only home run of 1967. It was Maxvill's first homer since 1962. He would just six in his whole career, in which he just .217 in 1423 games.

The Mets threatened twice more. In the sixth, first baseman Ed Kranepool singled and third baseman Ed Charles doubled, but Hughes retired the next three batters to get out of the jam. Then in the ninth, Buchek led off with a home run. Pinch hitter Tommie Reynolds reached on an error by Shannon with one out. With two outs, Harrelson singled and Schoendienst called on Joe Hoerner to relieve. Westrum countered with pinch hitter Bob Johnson, who singled to load the bases. Cleon Jones ran for Johnson. Nelson Briles came in to pitch and he was able to get Davis to foul out to end the game.

The Cardinals and Mets were nearly mirror images of each other in 1967. St. Louis won the pennant easily with a 101-60 record. New York finished in last at 61-101. The Cardinals would win the World Series over the Boston Red Sox in seven games with Gibson winning three games and Briles winning the other.

Cardinals first baseman Orlando Cepeda won the MVP award, batting .325 and leading the NL in RBI with 111. McCarver, who was leading the league in hitting on July 17 at .355, wore down as the season went on and batted .295. Shannon would hit just 12 home runs. Hughes led Cardinal pitchers in wins with a 16-6 mark. Hughes would suffer an injury in 1968 and never pitch in the majors again.

While the Mets had gone through another bleak season, help was on the way. Tom Seaver won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1967 with a 16-13 record, 2.76 ERA, and 170 strikeouts. Jerry Koosman would get called up at the end of the year. Grote would bat .195 in 1967, but in 1968 he improved all the way to .282 and was establishing himself as one of the top defensive catchers in the game. Toward the end of the year, Westrum was fired and Salty Parker finished the season. Gil Hodges would take over as manager in 1968. And by 1969, the fortunes of the two franchises would change.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times

Some divisions are not off to a good start
2006-07-16 20:37
by Bob Timmermann

In the first weekend after the All-Star Break:

NL Central teams have gone 14-7 (.667)

NL East teams have gone 10-6 (.625)

NL West teams have gone 3-14 (.176)

A Grand Day Out for the Mets at Wrigley
2006-07-16 19:12
by Bob Timmermann

Cracking good home runs, Gromit!

In the sixth inning today at Wrigley Field, Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran both hit grand slams.

This was the seventh instance of that in major league history:

  1. Tom Burns and Malachi Kittridge for Chicago against Pittsburgh on August 16, 1890. 5th inning.
  2. Bob Allison and Harmon Killebrew for Minnesota against Cleveland on July 18, 1962. 1st inning.
  3. Denis Menke and Jim Wynn for Houston against New York on July 30, 1969. 9th inning.
  4. Cecil Cooper and Don Money for Milwaukee against Boston on April 12, 1980. 2nd inning.
  5. Larry Sheets and Jim Dwyer for Baltimore against Texas on August 6, 1986. 4th inning.
  6. Fernando Tatis twice for St. louis against Los Angeles on April 23, 1999. 3rd inning.

In 1986 the Orioles lost the game despite scoring 11 runs.

Blue Jays truly clean house
2006-07-16 12:33
by Bob Timmermann

The Toronto Blue Jays have cleaned things up in their clubhouse.


After having to put a second player on the disabled list because of a staph infection, Ty Taubenheim joining Alex Rios, the Blue Jays disinfected the clubhouse in conjunction with health inspectors.

Bonds's attorneys NOT expecting an indictment
2006-07-16 12:25
by Bob Timmermann

The attorneys for Barry Bonds say now that they are not expecting their client to be indicted for perjury or income tax evasion.

It's nice to know that Barry and I have something in common.

Random Game Callback, July 16, 1909
2006-07-16 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

In the longest game of its kind in the history of the American League both then and now, the last place Washington Senators and first Detroit Tigers met at Bennett Park in Detroit and played an 18-inning 0-0 tie halted because of darkness.

The two-time defending AL champion Tigers, managed by Hughie Jennings, were a star-filled squad led by Ty Cobb. Ed Summers got the start on the mound for Detroit. Washington, managed by Joe Cantillon, was a terrible squad that had never finished higher than sixth in its history. The only real star on Washington was 21-year old flamethrower Walter Johnson. And he didn't pitch in this game. The starting pitcher was lefty Dolly Gray.

Gray was pitching the game of his life, holding the Tigers to just one hit, a leadoff single in the first by leftfielder Matty McIntyre, before leaving the game in the ninth with a strain in his side. (Probably what we would call an oblique strain in this day.) Bob Groom came in to relieve and finished up.

Washington had a chance to score against Summers in the third when Gray hit a one-out double. Left fielder George Browne followed with a screaming liner that Detroit shortstop Donie Bush gloved and then got up and made a diving tag on Gray to double him off.

In the ninth, Washington got its first two men on when Browne walked and center fielder Clyde Milan reached on a bunt single. Left fielder Jack Lelivelt fled out to left. Second baseman Bob Unglaub then popped one up behind first that Detroit first baseman Claude Rossman caught and he was able to sprint back to first to double off Milan.

Twice in extra innings (which inning it was is left unclear by the Washington Post correspondent), the Tigers had good chances to score. Detroit had second and third with one out in one instance with Cobb at bat, but he grounded back to Groom who threw out the runner at the plate. In another inning, the Tigers loaded the bases with none out. Groom got Bush to pop out and then center fielder Sam Crawford rolled a ball out in front of the plate that Groom threw to catcher Gabby Street for a force. The Tigers thought the run had scored. The Senators thought the run had scored. However, umpire John Kerin called the runner out and Groom worked his way out of trouble.

After three hours and fifteen minutes of play, Kerin ruled that it was too dark to continue, despite the newspaper account insisting that there was still enough light for an inning or two more. Washington finished with just seven hits in 18 innings and Detroit had six. Cobb had an 0-for-7, which was likely a rarity in his career. Fans in Washington were able to follow the game as the Post had set up a board in a public square and used telegraph reports to have people position batters and runners and announce balls and strikes. As the game dragged on, more and more fans gathered to follow it. Apparently, not many people cared that it was a scoreless tie.

The 18-inning scoreless tie would remain a major league record until September 11, 1946 when Cincinnati and Brooklyn played a 19-inning scoreless tie at Ebbets Field. On October 2, 1965 the Mets and Phillies played an 18-inning scoreless tie in the second game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. Which meant that the teams had to make up the game with another doubleheader on the last day of the season.

The Tigers would end up winning their third straight AL flag in 1909 with a 98-54 record, 3 1/2 games better than Philadelphia. The Tigers would lose to PIttsburgh in the World Series in seven games, the first World Series ever to come down to an ultimate game. Cobb would lead the AL in batting average (.377), OBP (.431), slugging (.517), OPS (.947), hits (216), home runs (9), RBI (107), stolen bases (76), and total bases (296). Crawford led in doubles with 35 and Bush led in walks with 88. Summers won 19 games, third best on the team behind George Mullin (29) and Ed Willett (21).

Washington finished in last at 42-110, 56 games out of first and 20 games out of seventh. Washington scored just 380 runs, 286 fewer than league leader Detroit. And despite having Walter Johnson on staff, the team ERA was 3.04, which was very high for the era. Detroit's staff had a 1.93 ERA. Johnson was 13-25. Groom was 7-26. Gray went 5-19. Cantillon was fired at the end of the year, although he would be remembered more for giving Johnson his start in the big leagues than his poor record as a big league manager.

Sources: Washington Post, Retrosheet,

A Day Without a Save
2006-07-15 23:28
by Bob Timmermann

Thanks to a tip from King of the Hobos, I see that Saturday in baseball was A Day Without a Save.

There were 15 games played. And nary a save.

There were six blown saves.

Two of them in Cincinnati's 3-2 win over Colorado. One by Cincinnati's Gary Majewski and another by Colorado's Brian Fuentes, which resulted in a loss.

Two were in Pittsburgh's 7-6 win over Washington. Damaso Marte of the Pirates and Roy Corcoran of the Nats with the honors.

Brandon League of Toronto had a blown save in the Blue Jays 7-6, 14 inning win over Seattle. Chad Bradford of the Mets had the other in Cubs 9-2 win over New York. Minnesota had a close call, but scored two runs in the eighth to beat Cleveland 6-2.

The last day there was a full slate of games with no saves was September 15, 1978 when the 26 teams in the majors played 14 games. Texas and Oakland played a doubleheader.

That day featured five complete game shutouts: Dave Rozema of Detroit, Ron Guidry of New York, Alan Wirth of Oakland, Pete Comer of Texas (in the doubleheader), and Don Sutton of Los Angeles.

There were three blown saves: by Randy McGilberry of Kansas City (against the Angels), Tom Bruno of St. Louis (against Chicago), and Tug McGraw of Philadelphia (against the Mets).

Another Junior in the NL Central
2006-07-15 23:00
by Bob Timmermann

The Brewers put Corey Koskie on the disabled list with "post-traumatic concussion syndrome" (which sounds incredibly unpleasant) and recalled outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Gwynn the Younger was drafted by the Brewers in 2003. He joins Prince Fielder in the elite group of "Guys on the Brewers who had fathers who played well in the big leagues despite being really fat."

Justice has been served!
2006-07-15 15:26
by Bob Timmermann

Back on July 3 I had a post about an error in a William Rhoden column about the 1957 All-Star game.

Finally, the New York Times admitted the error and ran a correction. That link should only work Saturday and Sunday though.

The Sports of The Times column on July 3 about fan voting for baseball's All-Star teams referred incorrectly to events in 1957, when Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes. Seven, not eight, players for the Reds were voted to the National League's lineup. Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, not Cincinnati's George Crowe, won the balloting as the starting first baseman.

Quixotic battle #324 is over!

Hasn't anyone figured out that he's done?
2006-07-15 13:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Mets have signed Edgardo Alfonzo to a minor league contract and assigned him to AAA Norfolk.

In 18 games with the Angels this year, Alfonzo batted .100. Then the Angels cut him and the Blue Jays picked him up. He played 12 games and batted .162.

Alfonzo's home runs by season: 4, 4, 10, 17, 27, 25, 17, 16, (goes to San Francisco) 13, 11, 2, 0.

The March of the Prospects in Arizona
2006-07-15 08:39
by Bob Timmermann

Arizona has recalled its 2004 #1 draft pick Stephen Drew from AAA Tucson after Craig Counsell suffered a broken rib in Arizona's 4-3 win over Milwaukee.

Stephen is the younger brother of Dodgers outfielder J.D. Drew.

Random Game Callback, July 15, 1999
2006-07-15 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Texas left fielder Mark McLemore hit bases-loaded, 3-run double with two outs in the ninth to give the Rangers a dramatic 3-2 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks at the Ballpark in Arlington before a crowd of 33,328.

Arizona was in just its second year of existence and manager Buck Showalter had a high-priced roster to work with in an attempt by Arizona owner Jerry Colangelo to seek quick success. Showalter started Arizona's prize free agent acquistiion, Randy Johnson, who had gone through a run support drought that rivaled the Atacama Desert in Chile. In Johnson's last four starts, the Diamondbacks had failed to score a run and been no-hit once (by Jose Jimenez of St. Louis) and also lost a one-hitter and a two-hitter.

The Rangers, managed by Johnny Oates, were in first place and were aiming for their third AL West in four seasons. Rick Helling made the start for Texas.

Arizona finally scored a run for Johnson in the top of the first. Right fielder Tony Womack walked, stole second and scored on a single by third baseman Matt Williams. Womack looked to have scored another run in the third, but he was called out at the plate on a close trying to score on a single by left fielder Luis Gonzalez. Second baseman Jay Bell hit his 25th homer of the season in the eighth to make it 2-0.

Johnson sailed through eight innings, striking out eight, giving up six hits and walking two. But in the ninth, Showalter opted to bring in Matt Mantei to relieve. Mantei had been acquired from Florida on July 8 in an attempt to patch up the bullpen problems that had been plaguing Arizona all season. Arizona sent Brad Penny, Abraham Nunez, and Vladimir Nunez to Florida.

Mantei started the ninth by striking out third baseman Todd Zeile and getting rookie center fielder Ruben Mateo to bounce out back to the mound. With Johnson out of the game, Oates called one of the lefties on his bench that he was resting, Rusty Greer, to pinch hit for shorstop Royce Clatyon. Mantei got Greer to a 1-2 count, but Greer fought off several pitches and worked a walk.

Oates went to the bench again and called on Rafael Palmeiro to bat for second baseman Luis Alicea. Palmeiro walked and Scarborough Green ran for him. Feeling lucky, Oates called on lefty Lee Stevens to bat for first baseman Jon Shave, a career minor leaguer getting a call this night to face Johnson. And Mantei walked Stevens to load the bases. The Rangers tied a major league record with their three consecutive walks by pinch hitters.

Mantei got two strikes on the next batter, McLemore, but couldn't put him away and McLemore lined a pitch into right-center that brought home all three runners to give Texas the win. It was the 11th walkoff loss for Arizona in the season at this point. Mantei became the eighth different Arizona pitcher to blow a save. And Johnson's drought of wins continued even though his ERA in this stretch had gone down from 3.36 to 2.86.

At this point in the season, Arizona was 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco. However, Arizona would finish the season strong, going 41-16 from August 1 until the end of the season to finish with 100 wins. The Giants stumbled home at 30-28 over the same stretch and finished 14 games out of first. The DBacks were in the playoffs in just their second year, but they would be knocked out in the Division Series by the wildcard New York Mets in four games.

The Rangers, who led by five games at this point, increased their lead as the season went on and beat out Oakland by eight games to win their third AL West title. Texas would end up getting knocked out of the playoffs by the New York Yankees for the third time, losing in three straight. In the Rangers three trips to the playoffs, all against the Yankees, they were 1-9 and won only Game 1 of the 1996 Division Series. Texas has not made it to the postseason since then.

Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez would be a somewhat surprising choice to win the 1999 AL MVP. Pudge hit .332 with 35 home runs. Rodriguez beat out Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez who went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts. Martinez had an ERA+ of 245, a figure he would actually surpass in 2000 at 285.

Johnson would win the NL Cy Young Award with a 17-8 mark, 2.48 ERA and 364 strikeouts. Surprisingly, Houston's Mike Hampton got 11 votes as voters were impressed by his 22-4 record, pitching in a much more favorable park for pitchers, the Astrodome. Jose Lima finished fourth in the voting, so go figure.

Mantei would eventually settle down to get 22 saves for Arizona, which led the team. Mantei did give up a home run to New York's Todd Pratt in the fourth game of the Division Series to end that series. Arizona fell to third place in 2000 at 85-77 depsite the acquisition of Curt Schilling to join Johnson and Showalter was fired in the offseason and replaced by Bob Brenly, who somehow managed to win the World Series in 2001 despite being one of baseball's dopiest managers.

Sources: Arizona Daily Star, Retrosheet,

Friday night in San Diego
2006-07-14 23:45
by Bob Timmermann

San Diego0140031021012


17 pitchers in the game, eight for the Braves, nine for the Padres. Eight home runs overall.

Three blown saves in the game, two by the Braves (Barry and Sosa) and another by Trevor Hoffman of the Padres. Scott Linebrink gets a pat on the back for a hold. Tyler Yates of Atlanta got his first career save.

The Giants outfield tonight: The 40-year old version
2006-07-14 20:47
by Bob Timmermann

Starting in tonight's game in San Francisco against Philadelphia, the Giants had:

Left fielder Barry Bonds (born July 24, 1964)
Center fielder Steve Finley (born March 12, 1965)
Right fielder Moises Alou (born July 3, 1966)

Bobblehead giveaway in Baltimore postponed because of color
2006-07-14 11:44
by Bob Timmermann

The Orioles were planning to give away 20,000 Brian Roberts bobbleheads Saturday, but they were rejected and sent back to the manufacturer because they were delivered with Roberts being depicted as being black.

Or possibly dark blue.

Or some other hue that Brian Roberts is not.

I once bought a generic Dodgers bobblehead that was 50% off. It was the "Asian" Dodger. I know this because there was a label on the bottom that said so. However, the "Asian" Dodger doesn't much resemble my Norihiro Nakamura bobblehead. If interested, I will try to bring a camer in sometime and take pictures of the two "gentlemen" for comparison sake.

I'm not anticipating a lot of interest though.

Brocail back with Padres
2006-07-14 10:26
by Bob Timmermann

San Diego reliever Doug Brocail is back with the Padres after missing much of the year after having to undergo two angioplasties.

Brocail is 39 years old. Scott Cassidy was sent back to AAA Portland.

Matos takes a ride on the BW Parkway
2006-07-14 10:21
by Bob Timmermann

The Nationals claimed erstwhile Orioles outfielder Luis Matos off of waivers and jettisoned Marlon Byrd.

The National Park Service is responsible for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. That must be why it seems so scenic when you're stuck in traffic on it.

A's reactivate Bradley, send down Johnson
2006-07-14 07:54
by Bob Timmermann

Acting in loco Arnesonis here...

The Oakland Athletics reactivated outfielder Milton Bradley from the disabled and sent Dan Johnson to Sacramento. Nick Swisher will take over first base for Oakland.

Random Game Callback, July 14, 1915
2006-07-14 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Chicago Whales scored a pair of runs in the sixth and the ninth to defeat the host St. Louis Terriers 4-1 at Handlan's Park to move into a tie for first place with the Terriers. The third place Kansas City Packers were just .002 behind.

The Whales were managed by former Cub star Joe Tinker, who started George McConnell on the mound. The Terriers, managed by Fielder Jones, started Bob Groom at pitcher.

Groom held Chicago hitless for the first three innings before left fielder Max Flack singled. Shortstop Jimmy Smith singled in the fifth, but that was all the offense for Chicago through the first five innings.

In the sixth, catcher William Fischer hit a two out double. Jones opted to intentionally walk center fielder Dutch Zwilling, who is the last man in alphabetical order in the history of major league baseball. Third baseman Harry Fritz lined a triple into the gap to score Fischer and Zwilling to give the Whales a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Second baseman Bobby Vaughn reached on an error and went to second on a wild pitch. Center fielder LaRue Kirby singled to score Vaughn and it was 2-1 Chicago.

In the eighth, St. Louis had a chance to tie the game, but was foiled by two fine defensive plays by the Whales. Kirby hit a liner to center that Zwilling ran down in deep center to lead off the inning. First baseman Babe Borton followed with a sharp grounder that looked like it would go through, but Smith grabbed it and threw Borton out at first. Ward Miller and Grover Hartley followed with singled and then pulled off a double steal. Shortstop Ernie Johnson hit a deep fly to center, which Zwilling made another running catch on to end the inning.

In the ninth, Zwilling led off with a single, but was erased at second on a force play off the bat of Fritz. First baseman Fred Beck singled and Fritz went to third. Right fielder Les Mann singled home Fritz and Smith doubled home Beck to make it 4-1, which held up as the final score.

The 1915 Federal League would have the closest pennant race in history. Chicago would win the pennant over St. Louis by .0008. The Whales finished 86-66 (.5657) and St. Louis was 87-67 (.5649). Chicago had two rainouts that were not made up. Third place Pittsburgh was 86-67. Fourth place Kansas City was 81-72 and 5 1/2 games out and Newark was 80-72 and 6 games out. The last place Baltimore Terrapins helped things out by going 47-107.

When the season ended, the Federal League owners decided to close up shop and sued the AL and NL in Federal Court for antitrust violations. The case would eventually make it to the Supreme Court. And in 1922, the Court ruled that baseball was entertainment and not commerce and not governed by antitrust laws. And, more or less, that antitrust exemption remains in place.

Another legacy of the Federal League is the home park of the Chicago Whales. The Whales opened play in 1914 at Weeghman Park. When the Federal League shut down, the Cubs moved into the park and renamed it Cubs Park and in 1927 the stadium was rechristened as Wrigley Field.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Retrosheet,

Nats and Reds have big swap
2006-07-13 13:39
by Bob Timmermann

Sheesh, I guy goes out for his veggie burrito and a big trade goes down. What would have happened if I had gotten chicken instead of veggie?

Anyway the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds pulled off an eight-player trade.

Going to Washington are:
Austin Kearns
Felipe Lopez
Ryan Wagner (and in turn optioned to New Orleans)

Going to Cincinnati are:
Gary Majewski
Bill Bray
Brendan Harris
Royce Clayton
Daryl Thompson

Somebody made a trade and wanted Royce Clayton?

Chris Denofria and William Bergolla were called up from Louisville to fill in for the Reds tonight as Clayton, Majewski, and Bray aren't expected to join the Reds until Friday. Harris was sent to Louisville and Thomson was sent to Sarasota of the Gulf Coast League.

2006-07-13 07:49
by Bob Timmermann

Dan Levitt looks at bunting empirically at Baseball Analysts. If you wish to skip all the math, Levitt believes that managers don't try to bunt and sacrifice nearly as often as we perceive it.

On the other hand, Maury Wills in Orange County Register thinks there should be bunts for everybody!

Sometimes I think Maury is like my parents who refused to buy a color TV set until the late 1970s because they weren't sure if the technology would catch on.

Throw like Mike Marshall. Pitch longer?
2006-07-13 07:40
by Bob Timmermann

1974 NL Cy Young award winner Mike Marshall, excuse me, Dr. Mike Marshall, Ph. D., Michigan State, 1978 in Exercise Physiology, says he has a way to keep baseball pitchers from getting hurt.

He claims that some changes in the basic throwing motion can pitchers from hurting their shoulders and elbows. However, major league baseball is not interested. This article from the St. Petersburg Times details Marshall's plan. The second link is to Marshall's own website.

Random Game Callback, July 13, 1888
2006-07-13 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Brooklyn held off a late rally by host Kansas City at Association Park and held on to first place in the American Association.

Bill McGunnigle was in his first year of managing Brooklyn and he was the first to get any measure of success out of this franchise. Although his team was ravaged with injuries and illness, pitcher Bob Caruthers was still healthy enough to start. Kansas City player/manager Sam Barkley started Tom Sullivan at pitcher.

The Brooklyn Eagle account of the game said that backup pitcher Al Mays was out with cholera while first baseman Dave Foutz had a bad knee. Shortstop Germany Smith had a bad leg and third baseman George Pinkney and outfielder/pitcher Adonis Terry were struggling with the 99 degree heat in Kansas City. Backup catcher Bill Holbert was ruled out for the game because of the heat as well.

Kansas City opted to bat first and took a 2-1 lead after one inning. Brooklyn's run scored on an RBI double by Caruthers, who was batting third. Caruthers was a good hitter in 1887, but in 1888 he hit just .230, but his reputation preceded him apparently.

In the second, Brooklyn used a walk by Sullivan to rightfielder Bill McClellan, a single by catcher Doc Bushong, a triple by Foutz and some poor fielding by Kansas City allowed four runs to score to give Brooklyn a 5-2 lead. Brooklyn stretched the lead to 8-4 going to the ninth. Kansas City scored two in the ninth, but it wasn't enough.

Kansas City would win the next day against Brooklyn 5-4 in a game that was ultimately ruled a forfeit when one of the umpires for the game, Brooklyn's Terry, walked off the field rather than continue because the Kansas City players were mad at him.

Brooklyn would eventually be caught in the pennant race by St. Louis, which won the American Association flag for the fourth straight year. St. Louis would finish 92-43, 6 1/2 games ahead of Brooklyn. Kansas City finished in last place at 43-89.

There weren't a lot of powerful hitters in the Brooklyn lineup. Bushong batted .209 and second baseman Jack Burdock hit .122 with 30 hits in 246 at bats. First baseman Dave Orr led the team in batting at .305 in just 99 games. Caruthers led the team with 29 wins. In 1889 Brooklyn would win its first pennant and then in 1890 would shift to the NL and win the pennant there, becoming the only team to ever win consecutive pennants in different leagues.

Kansas City lasted just two seasons in the AA and finished in eighth and seventh. One of the few notable players to come along in Kansas City was future Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton making his debut. He would go on to score 1690 runs in just 14 seasons. He also was credited with 912 stolen bases although many of them came under a scoring rule of the day that players stolen bases for taking an extra base on a hit. Hamilton batted .344 in his career.

After the AA Kansas City team disbanded, major league ball would not return there until 1914 when the Federal League placed a team there. The Philadelphia Athletics would move to Kansas City in 1955 and then leave for Oakland in 1968. The Kansas City Royals would take up the banner for Cowtown in 1969.

Sources: Brooklyn Eagle, Retrosheet,

'Feeding the Monster': the Nomar Saga
2006-07-12 22:26
by Bob Timmermann

Here's a link to an excerpt from Seth Mnookin's Feeding the Monster. It is Mnookin's chapter about how the Red Sox and Nomar Garciaparra parted ways.

From reading this I wonder if anyone ever leaves the Red Sox just because they want to, or does there have to a dramatic backstory developed for it?

If you're say, Jhonny Peralta, and you leave Cleveland would it be that big of a deal?

Wait! There's another All-Star game!
2006-07-12 15:23
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Fifth Third Park in Toledo!

It's the AAA All-Star game. The Pacific Coast League takes on the International League.

Tony Gwynn is playing in this one. Tony Gwynn, Jr. that is. You can see other top prospects in action like: Stephen Drew, James Loney, Howie Kendrick, and Tom Gorzelanny to name a few.

You can also see Kevin Witt, Jorge Velandia, AND Ernie Young!

The game will be webcast for free!

Upton moves to third base, and possibly up to Tampa Bay
2006-07-12 14:55
by Bob Timmermann

The Tampa Devil Rays are shifting top prospect B.J. Upton from shortstop (where he has 28 errors this season and 53 last year) to third base at AAA Durham. If Upton feels comfortable at the position, the Devil Rays would likely call him up and place him at third base to replace Aubrey Huff, dealt to Houston today.

Huff puffs off to Houston
2006-07-12 09:00
by Bob Timmermann

The Houson Astros acquired Aubrey Huff from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in exchange for two minor leaguers: pitcher Mitch Talbot and infielder Ben Zobrist.

Jason Lane was sent down to AAA Round Rock and utility man Joe McEwing was designated for assignment.

Baseball teams in California and Colorado celebrate
2006-07-12 08:48
by Bob Timmermann

Bob Melvin has agreed to a 2-year contract extension to manage the Diamondbacks.

83-year old man strikes out in minor league game
2006-07-12 08:42
by Bob Timmermann

83-year old Jim Eriotes struck out on four pitches for the Sioux Fall Canaries against the St. Joe Blackhawks.

Giants GM Brian Sabean signed Eriotes to a 4-year deal to play the outfield and serve as Barry Bonds and Moises Alou's backup.

Random Game Callback, July 12, 1955
2006-07-12 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Stan Musial led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a home run off of Frank Sullivan as the National League beat the American League, 6-5 in the All-Star Game at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

AL manager Al Lopez had this lineup to work with: Harvey Kuenn, SS; Nellie Fox, 2B; Ted Williams, LF; Mickey Mantle, CF; Yogi Berra, C; Al Kaline, RF; Mickey Vernon, 1B; Jim Finigan, 3B (yes, that Jim Finigan!); Billy Pierce, P. NL manager Leo Durocher went with: Red Schoendienst, 2B; Del Ennis, LF; Duke Snider, CF; Ted Kluszewski, 1B; Eddie Mathews, 3B; Don Mueller, RF; Ernie Banks, SS; Del Crandall, C; Robin Roberts, P.

Roberts got off to a rocky start. He gave up a leadoff single to Kuenn and Fox followed with another to send Kuenn to third. Roberts threw a wild pitch and Kuenn scored the first run of the game. Williams followed with a walk and Mantle parked a home run to center field to put the AL up 4-0.

Pierce sailed through his three innings of work for the AL, facing the minimum nine batters. Schoendienst led off with a single, but was out trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt that Berra managed to smother.

Early Wynn followed Pierce and he tossed three shutout innings as well, allowing just three hits. Harvey Haddix took over for Roberts in the fourth and he went three innings and allowed just one run when Vernon grounded out to score Berra. The AL led 5-0 after six innings.

The National League didn't get its offense started until the seventh when Whitey Ford came in to pitch. Wilile Mays, who had taken over for Snider in center, led off with a single. Kluszewski and Randy Jackson (Mathews' replacement at third) made outs. Henry Aaron, who had taken over for Mueller, walked. Johnny Logan, the new shortstop, singled to score Mays. Stan Lopata pinch hit and grounded to Chico Carrasquel at shortstop, who went for the force at second, but his throw went past Bobby Avila, and Aaron scored to make it 5-2 American League.

Ford got the first two batters out in the eighth, but Mays kept things going with a single. Kluszewski singled to right and Mays went to third. Jackson singled to score Mays and knock out Ford. Lopez brought in Sullivan to relieve. Aaron greeted him with a single to right to score Kluszewski. Kaline tried to throw out Jackson going to third, but replacement third baseman Al Rosen dropped the throw and Jackson came around to score to tie the game at 5-5.

The game went in to extra innings. The AL got two runners on in the 11th against Joe Nuxhall, but Berra, who caught the entire game, grounded out to end the inning. Milwaukee's Gene Conley came in to pitch the 12th and he struck out Kaline, Vernon, and Rosen to retire the side in order.

Then in the bottom of the 12th, Musial lined a home run to right field to give the National League a 6-5 win. It was Musial's fourth All-Star home run at the time. He would hit six of them in his distinguished career. Musial appeared in 24 All-Star games overall, helped by the fact that there were two of them from 1959 through 1962.

Sullivan's All-Star appearance in 1955 was the only one of his career. He would win 18 games for Boston that season, the best of his career. In 1960, Sullivan would be traded for the winning pitcher in this game, Conley.

Conley appeared in three All-Star games: 1954 and 1955 with Milwaukee and once again in 1959 with Philadelphia. Conley also played six seasons in the NBA, four with Boston and two with New York. He played on three NBA champions and one World Series champion in his career.

Perhaps the most puzzling choice among all the starters was Finigan. The Kansas City third baseman had a good rookie year, batting .302 in 1954. But in 1955, he was down to . 255 and after 1959, he was out of the majors. Why George Kell or Ray Boone didn't make the team at third base is just one of those things.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Chicago Tribune.

Answers to August 16 quiz
2006-07-12 00:46
by Bob Timmermann

A = at bats
O = outs made by hitter
R = runs
B = hits
T = total bases
L = left on base
F = forced out
G = bases on errors
C = fly balls caught
M = fly balls muffed
P = putouts
H = assists
E = errors committed

All-Star game chat
2006-07-11 14:16
by Bob Timmermann

Live from PNC Park in Pittsburgh!

(It will be, just give it time.)

The American League and National League duke it out to see who Mom likes best. (If my mom were still alive she would be rooting for the NL as she just didn't do the AL.)

I've heard stories that this game counts. So I'll be checking the standings tomorrow to see who's ahead.

But let's all enjoy the All-Star Game and its pointless spectacle in a spirit of comity! Let our AL brothers and our NL brothers shake hands and come out playing fair. No head-butting!

Scooter lives on! TV contract news - updated
2006-07-11 12:28
by Bob Timmermann

The Fox Network has renewed its contract with MLB to televise the World Series, All-Star Game, one of the league championship series, and Saturday afternoon games.

TBS won the rights to show the Division Series and in 2008, TBS will show some regular season games.

Fox's contract is for seven years, starting in 2007.

Update - Mediaweek has more details. TBS will start broadcasting a national game of the week on Sunday afternoons in 2008. ESPN looks to be shutout of the postseason after this year. And if there is a tiebreaker needed to decide any playoff spot this season, it will be on TBS.

Meanwhile, my cat, Casey, was stunned by the news when I told him he would have to listen to Tim McCarver for seven more years. He could not stand up.


Random Game Callback, July 11, 1972
2006-07-11 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Marty Pattin of the Red Sox came within two outs of a no-hitter, but had to settle for a one-hit shutout as Boston defeated the Oakland A's 4-0 before a crowd of just 5,539 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The Red Sox, managed by Eddie Kasko, were in third place at the time in a season that saw its opening two weeks cancelled by a strike. Oakland, managed by Dick Williams, was in first place. Joe Horlen started for the A's.

Rookie catcher Carlton Fisk supplied Pattin with the only run he would need with a solo homer in the second. Fisk had another RBI single in the eighth. First baseman Danny Cater drove in a run with a ground out and another run scored on a wild pitch.

Meanwhile, Pattin was mowing down the A's. He did walk three and hit Oakland third baseman Sal Bando with a pitch that forced Bando to leave the game. Marty Martinez finished up at third base.

In the ninth, Pattin struck out left fielder Joe Rudi to start the inning. Next up was center fielder Reggie Jackson, but he had a clean single to break up Pattin's bid for the no-no. First baseman Mike Epstein and rightfielder Bill Voss fouled out to end the game.

Pattin had his best season of his career in 1972, going 17-13 with a 3.24 ERA. The Red Sox had acquired Pattin from Milwaukee prior to the season as part of a 10-player deal with the principal players switching teams being Tommy Harper (going to Boston) and George Scott (going to Milwaukee). 1967 hero Jim Lonborg was also moved to Milwaukee in the deal. Pattin would be traded to Kansas City after the 1973 in exchange for Dick Drago and would pitch through the 1980 season for the Royals as a spot starter and reliever.

The games that were cancelled at the beginning of the season would come back to haunt the Red Sox, who missed out on the AL East title by 1/2 game to Detroit. The Tigers played one more game than Boston and nosed out the Red Sox with an 86-70 record to Boston's 85-70.

Oakland won the AL West with a 93-62 record, 5 1/2 games ahead of Chicago. Oakland would beat Detroit in the ALCS in five games and then win the franchise's first World Series since 1930 in a seven-game series against Cincinnati. Oakland would go to win three consecutive World Series.

Despite their success, the A's had a very unsettled lineup. Williams didn't like any of his second basemen and used 11 different players at the position, including Gene Tenace and Curt Blefary. The outfield was a bit of a jumble. Rudi was a fixture in left, but Jackson jumped between center and right. Angel Mangual and George Hendrick saw a lot of time at the position.

The A's strength was pitching with Catfish Hunter winning 21 games with a 2.04 ERA and Rollie Fingers winning 11 games and saving 21 out of the bullpen. Vida Blue, who had won the Cy Young and MVP in 1971, was just 6-10 after missing part of the season because of a contract dispute with Oakland owner Charlie Finley.

Fisk would win the AL Rookie of the Year award after hitting 22 home runs and batting .293. Surprisingly, no Boston regular batted over .300. The team batting average was .248 which was the third highest in the AL and the Red Sox led the AL in slugging at .376. All of those figures in the AL would go up in 1973 when the designated hitter rule was adopted.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times

The Oakland 'Voice of God' on the sidelines
2006-07-10 19:40
by Bob Timmermann

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle interviews Roy Steele, the Oakland A's PA announcer from 1968 through 2004, who has been sidelined with a rare and severe esophogeal disorder called achalasia.

Always be wary of an illness that causes you to lose 139 lbs.

He'll bat drunk and strike out five times
2006-07-10 19:35
by Bob Timmermann

Bode Miller has signed a one-game contract with the Nashua Pride of the CanAm League.

Baseball's New Face?
2006-07-10 19:33
by Bob Timmermann has this headline Big Papi is baseball's new face".

The article is accompanied by a photo.

Of Jonathan Papelbon.

Welcome to Home Run Derby! - chat thread
2006-07-10 15:13
by Bob Timmermann

Mark Scott here with another episode of Home Run Derby!

Today's contest includes:

Miguel Tejada
Lance Berkman
Miguel Cabrera
Troy Glaus
Jermaine Dye
David Wright
David Ortiz
Ryan Howard

Sadly, I know when this starts (5 pm PT) unlike the World Cup Final which I was off by an hour on.

Although if the first pitch of this gets thrown at 5 pm PT, I will be very surprised. You need at least 15 minutes of pointless introductions and perhaps they need to hire someone to carry Chris Berman's ego to PNC Park. And Joe Morgan needs to be there to provide expert commentary like "To hit a home run, you really need to hit the ball in the air."

Late addition All-Stars
2006-07-10 12:53
by Bob Timmermann

For the NL:
Jose Reyes (cut on finger)
Tom Glavine (pitched Sunday)
Pedro Martinez (bad hip)
David Eckstein
Chris Capuano
Roy Oswalt

For the AL:
Manny Ramirez (Give him a while, he'll think of something)
Jose Contreras (pitched on Sunday)
Magglio Ordonez
Francisco Liriano

What's it like to get the call to the Show
2006-07-10 09:18
by Bob Timmermann

I saw this link in King Kaufman's column on It's to the personal website of newly arrived major league reliever Pat Neshek who made his major league debut Friday for the Twins. It's an interesting perspective on the game.

Neshek's minor league career.

WC 2006: I promise, it's the last one
2006-07-10 07:38
by Bob Timmermann

And the MVP of the tournament was:

Continue reading...

Random Game Callback, July 10, 1922
2006-07-10 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The Random Game Callback doesn't take an All-Star Break. All-Star Breaks are for the weak!

The New York Giants scored 23 runs and had 38 hits in a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field, but all they managed was a split, winning the opener 19-2, but losing the second game 5-4 before a crowd estimated at 15,000.

The Giants were the defending NL and World Series champs under the generalship of John McGraw. He had Art Nehf and Rosy Ryan starting each game. The Pirates, under new manager Bill McKechnie, who had taken over on July 1, started Earl Hamilton and Hal Carlson.

New York got to Hamilton early in the first game, scoring three times in the first on a 2-run double by third baseman Frankie Frisch and a single by rightfielder Irish Meusel. In the second, centerfielder Bill Cunningham reached on an error and scored on a triple by catcher Frank Snyder. After that, McKechnie brought in Whitey Glazner, who took one for the team in this doubleheader.

In six innings of work, Glazner gave up 11 runs (just six of them earned) and 18 hits. Glazner gave up just one home run, to Meusel in the fourth, and that one bounced over the fence, which was a home run under the rules of the day, not a double.

Every Giants starter had a hit. Shortstop Dave Bancroft went 5 for 5, Frisch was 4 for 6, Snyder was 3 for 6 with 5 RBI, and even Nehf was 3 for 6. Meusel was 4 for 4 with six RBI. Nehf wasn't particularly sharp, giving up 11 hits, including a home run to Max Carey, but he had a big margin of victory. The Giants scored in every inning but the third and eighth and in both of those innings they had two hits.

In the ninth inning of the first game, the Pirates sent up 20-year old Art Merewether to pinch hit. It would be his first at bat in the majors. And it was also his last. Merewether grounded out to short. Merewether outlived all the players in this game by a wide margin though, passing away in 1997 in New York at age 94.

The Giants struck early in the nightcap, scoring a run in the second on an RBI double by centerfielder Casey Stengel to score rightfielder Ross Youngs. In the bottom of the second, Youngs robbed Pittsburgh rightfielder Ray Rowher of a home run by snatching his fly ball as it was going over the fence. The Giants led 4-2 going to the bottom of the eighth.

In the eighth, Carey led off with a walk and with one out, he stole second and came home on a triple by third baseman Clyde Barnhart, who was filling in for Pie Traynor this day. Second baseman Jewel Ens singled home Barnhart with the second run. Jewel was Ens's real first name. His middle name was Winklemeyer.

The Giants failed to score in the ninth. Pirates catcher Johnny Gooch led off with a single. Carlson, trying for a sacrifice, got a bunt single instead. But leadoff hitter, shortstop Rabbit Maranville grounded into a 6-4-3 DP. But Carey hit a grounder to Bancroft at short, who had no play on the speedy Carey at first and Gooch scored the winning run.

New York was in first place on this day and they would stay there, finishing 93-61 and beating out the Reds by seven games. The Pirates finished tied for third with St. Louis, eight games out. The Giants went on to win their second straight World Series, defeating the Yankees in five games, with the AL team managing only a tie.

The Giants had an excellent pitching staff, leading the NL in ERA at 3.45 and had three players in the top five in ERA in leader Phil Douglas (2.63), 2nd place Ryan (3.01) and 5th place Nehf (3.29).

Thanks in part to Frisch's long tenure on the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, the 1922 Giants had a lot of Hall of Famers: George Kelly, Frisch, Bancroft, Youngs, Stengel (chosen as a manager), 18-year old rookie Travis Jackson, and pitcher Jesse Barnes. Manager John McGraw would also be inducted into Cooperstown. The Pirates had Hall of Famers in Traynor, Maranville, Carey, and manager McKechnie.

The 38 hits by the Giants in this doubleheader is not close to the major league record for hits in a doubleheader. That record is 47 and it was set by the Pirates later in the 1922 season. On August 8, the Pirates beat the Phillies at Baker Bowl, 19-8 and 7-3. Outfielder Reb Russell had eight hits that day.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times

Today in Chicago
2006-07-09 16:51
by Bob Timmermann


Updated! It's over! I could have updated while doing laundry as my laundromat offers free wi-fi!

Futures Game chat
2006-07-09 14:06
by Bob Timmermann

The Futures Game in Pittsburgh

For those interested, here's a spot to chat about it. The US Futures are ahead 5-1 in the 3rd.

WC 2006 Match Chat: Azzuri vs. Les Bleus, 11 am PT
2006-07-09 10:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Berlin!

If I don't get my football back,
I'm going to get my dad on you.
I only knocked it over the fence,
And broke a silly gnome or two.

And so here it is. Match 64. The championship. And it's a battle of two European powers. Italy has three World Cups to its credit (1934, 1938, and 1982) and France has one (1998).

I could write a lengthy preview, but I'll just link to my brother's since he knows more about this stuff and he gets paid for things like this.

Italy has given up just one goal in the whole tournament and that was an own goal against the USA. France has given up just two (against Korea and Spain). But the Swiss didn't give up any goals and they went home after the Round of 16!

The Italians have scored 11 goals and by 10 different players. Germany leads the tournament with 13 goals. France has scored 8 goals.

As for the all important Griddle Team Togo t-shirt contest, it's down to just two contestants. Penarol1916 wins the shirt if France wins. Minxtscore wins it if Italy wins. And as someone supposedly told Queen Victoria when she asked who finished second to the schooner "America" at the race around the Isle of Wight back in 1851, "Madam, there is no second."

Personally, I think this match is going to end early when a lady yells from her window, "¡José! ¡A casa!"

One and done teams
2006-07-09 09:58
by Bob Timmermann

The Seattle Mariners today are the 1969 Seattle Pilots. Of course, you can't honor the Seattle Pilots from any other year since that was their only year in existence as they moved to Milwaukee in 1970.

There have been a few other franchises that played one year in a city and then moved. There is one other team playing today that also played just one year in a city. And that would be the Baltimore Orioles who played their first season in the American League, 1901, as the Milwaukee Brewers, before moving to St. Louis.

Less celebrated would be the one-year wonder Indianapolis Hoosiers who won the Federal League pennant in 1914 and moved to Newark for the Federal League's final season in 1915.

An obscure American League team playing north of Philadelphia and south of Boston, played its first two seasons as the Baltimore Orioles.

Random Game Callback, July 9, 1978
2006-07-09 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The defending NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers went into the All-Star break on a down note as their nemesis, J.R. Richard of Houston, stuck out 12 and gave up only four hits as the Astros beat the Dodgers 5-1 before a crowd of 30,285 at the Astrodome.

The Dodgers, came into the game in second place in the NL West behind San Francisco. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda sent Don Sutton to the mound in an attempt to get his 200th win of his career. Houston was in sixth place with Bill Virdon managing the team.

Houston scored first in the opening frame on doubles by centerfielder Terry Puhl and rightfielder Jose Cruz. They added another run in the third when third baseman Enos Cabell singled home Puhl. The Dodgers scored in the sixth on an RBI double from first baseman Steve Garvey to score shortstop Bill Russell.

The Astros broke the game open in the sixth. First baseman Art Howe singled in a run and Richard singled in two runs after an error by Russell extended the inning.

Richard did walk six Dodgers, but he was able to go the distance. It was Richard's third win of the season over the Dodgers, but he would face them just once more in 1978 and got a no decision. Richard was 15-4 in his career against the Dodgers with a 1.86 ERA and struck out 218 Dodger batters in 208 innings and threw five shutouts against Los Angeles. Richard's career would be cut short in the middle of the 1980 season when he suffered a stroke.

The Dodgers would play well down the stretch and won the NL West by 2 1/2 games over Cincinnati and the Giants fell to third. The Dodgers would beat the Phillies in the NLCS in four games, but lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series in six games. The Astros finished in fifth at 74-88.

Home runs told the difference between the Dodgers and Astros. Both teams played in pitchers parks, but the Dodgers still managed to lead the NL in home runs with 149. The Astros were last with 70. Reggie Smith led the Dodgers with 29 with seven players in double figures. The Astros were led by Bob Watson with 14 home runs and Cruz was the only other player to reach double figures and he had just 10.

Richard would lead the NL in strikeouts with 303, a total he would better in 1979 with 313. Gaylord Perry of San Diego won the Cy Young Award with a 21-6 record and a 2.73 ERA.

Although the Dodgers were led in 1978 by their veteran core of Garvey, Davey Lopes, Russell, Ron Cey, Smith, Dusty Baker, Sutton, and Tommy John, they also had some rookies making first impressions. Bob Welch came up in June and had a 2.02 ERA in 111 1/3 innings. Pedro Guerrero and Dave Stewart made their Dodger debuts in 1978. 1979 Rookie of the Year Rick Sutcliffe came up for two brief appearances at the end of the year.

In 1979, the Dodgers would be plagued by injuries and drop to third at 79-83 while the Astros finished 1 1/2 games out of first behind Cincinnati.

Thanks in part to winning the pennant in 1977 as well as a close pennant race in 1978, the Dodgers became the first team in major league history to draw over 3 million fans with 3,347,845 fans supposedly going through the turnstiles at Dodger Stadium.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Los Angeles Times

Meanwhile in Denver
2006-07-08 19:54
by Bob Timmermann


VCR/TiVO/DVR alert 'Baseball's Secret Formula'
2006-07-08 19:48
by Bob Timmermann

The Discovery Science Channel will be airing a show on sabermetrics Monday, entitled "Baseball's Secret Formula".

The show will have multiple airings.

WC 2006 Match Chat: Germany vs. Portugal, noon PT plus miscellaneous info
2006-07-08 10:04
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Stuttgart!

If you're a compulsive gambler, you'll enjoy today's third place match between Germany and Portugal. I'll be missing. Or more precisely, just not watching it.

About the only allure of this game is to see if Miroslav Klose can cement his Golden Boot award (gee that sounds quite gangsterish doesn't it). He leads the tournament with five goals. The next best is three and only two of those players, Lukas Podolski of Germany and Thierry Henry of France, are still playing.

The third place games tend to produce a few more goals than other matches since the stakes aren't as high. There is no extra payout for finishing third instead of fourth.

If no one produces a hat trick in this match, this will likely be the first World Cup ever without one. There has only been one in a final and that was by Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final. And Germans will likely tell you that one of those goals never crossed the line.

Turkey won the 2002 third place game over Korea, 3-2.

Rookie Pitcher Day in Flushing
2006-07-08 09:25
by Bob Timmermann

Today at Shea Stadium, the Marlins and Mets are scheduled to play a doubleheader.

Starting for Florida will be Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. Starting for New York will be John Maine and Mike Pelfrey.

For Pelfrey, the Mets first round pick in the 2005 draft, it will be his major league debut.

Jose Lima was told by the Mets that his services are no longer required after last night's debacle, which included serving up a grand slam to Dontrelle Willis.

Short notice quiz to win tickets to Saturday's Dodgers-Giants
2006-07-08 09:00
by Bob Timmermann

A kind reader has sent me a pair of tickets for Section 6 of today's Dodgers-Giants game along with free parking.

The first person to email me with the correct answer to this question wins the tickets.

The email address is on the sidebar.

Who are the only two players to make the All-Star team as a member of the San Francisco Giants and as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Contest over: The correct answer was Tom Haller and Jeff Kent. Remember that San Francisco was part of the question, not New York.

A devout fan and an earnest scout are gone
2006-07-08 07:56
by Bob Timmermann

The Los Angeles Times has the story of Marine Cpl. Jason Morrow a lifelong Angels fan, who was killed in action in Iraq. Morrow proposed to his wife at home plate behind home plate at a game last year and was later invited to throw out the first pitch before a game in ALCS.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes about Brian Wilson, a scout for the Reds, who died of a heart attack at age 33 back on June 17. Passan writes about Wilson's love of the job and his native West Texas.

I give my best to the families of both men, although it's a very small thing compared to what has been lost.

Random Game Callback, July 8, 1921
2006-07-08 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

An unearned run in the ninth inning was the only tally at the Polo Grounds as the New York Giants stayed 4 1/2 games out of first with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The game was a matchup of two of the NL's top pitchers. Chicago, managed by Johnny Evers, started Pete Alexander (aka Grover Cleveland Alexander), who had won 27 games for the Cubs the previous year and had also led the NL in strikeouts and ERA. New York's John McGraw started Art Nehf, who had won 21 games the previous season.

Both pitchers were on their games. Nehf allowed just three singles the whole game and had no walks. Rightfielder Max Flack, second baseman John Kelleher, and centerfielder George Maisel accounted for all of the Chicago offense.

The Giants were able to create a bit more offense, with seven hits against Alexander and three walks. All but one hit was a single, a two-out triple by catcher Earl Smith in the fifth. But Nehf couldn't get him home.

The New York Times story had this passage:

If Alexander was going fast, you couldn't see Nehf at all because of his blinding gait. He had everything -- pace, accuracy, and bewildering shoots. He ate up the guests as if they had been freshly-made doughnuts and he a hungry hobo.

It took some gifts from Alexander for the Giants to win it. With one out, second baseman Frankie Frisch walked. Right fielder Ross Youngs singled Frisch to third. First baseman Mike Gonzalez was due up (Gonzalez was filling in for George Kelly), but McGraw opted to send newly-acquired Casey Stengel up to pinch hit. Alexander walked him and the newspaper account considered it intentional. Centerfielder Curt Walker grounded to Kelleher, who booted it while trying for a double play and Frisch scored the winning run.

The Giants were able to flag down the Pirates as the season went on. The Giants would win 16 of 22 games against Pittsburgh, including a five-game sweep at home in August. The Giants were 94-59 and beat out the Pirates by four games. The Cubs finished in seventh at 64-89, 30 games out. The Giants went on to beat the Yankees in the last best of nine World Series, 5-3. All eight games were played at the Polo Grounds. The Giants would win the NL each season from 1921-24.

New York had the best offense in the NL, leading the league with 840 runs. The Giants offense got a boost when Walker was traded to Philadelphia for Irish Meusel, who would play against his brother Bob Meusel in the World Series. Nehf would go 20-10. While Babe Ruth was hitting 59 home runs in the AL, the Giants hit just 75 on their own. Kelly led the NL with 23 homers.

As for Chicago, the team was a mess. Alexander had his worst season to date in the majors. He went just 15-13 with a 3.39 ERA and struck out just 77 batters, down from 173 the season before. The rest of the pitching staff was far worse and the Cubs had the seventh highest ERA in the league at 4.39. Evers lost his job as manager in August and catcher Bill Killefer took over.

Alexander had a great career, but a sad life. He was one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the National League, winning 373 games, including three straight seasons where he won 30 games. But he was bothered by epilepsy in his adulthood (possibly an aftereffect from a head injury he suffered in the minors) and turned to drinking to cover it up, which was not unusual at the time. Jan Finkel wrote a profile of him as part of the SABR Bioproject.

Sources: Retrosheet,, SABR Bioproject, New York Times

WC 2006: Slate's contrarian view on the World Cup announcers
2006-07-07 19:54
by Bob Timmermann
Grimsley salary dispute nearing resolution
2006-07-07 13:59
by Bob Timmermann

According to Tim Brown of the Los Angeles Times, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Jason Grimsley are close to agreeing on what to do with the balance of Grimsley's salary that he is owed for 2006. The solution appears to be to donate it to charity.

Since Grimsley was released on June 7, the Diamondbacks have gone 6-22.

For comparison purposes, the Kansas City Royals have been 16-12 in the same stretch and the Pirates have gone 7-23.

Early look at 'Feeding the Monster'
2006-07-07 10:49
by Bob Timmermann

Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe got a sneak peek at Seth Mnookin's new book Feeding the Monster about the front office machinations in recent years in Boston. This is, of course, worthy of a book, because it happened in the one of three cities (New York and Chicago are the other two) which people write baseball books about. For all we know, Terry Ryan could go on a murder spree in Minnesota and no one would be the wiser.

The book will apparently have lots and lots of info about the interrelationship among owner John Henry, president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and general manager Theo Epstein. As well as these bits.

Manny Ramírez asked Henry to be traded on the first day he met the new owner in spring training, 2002: ``Look, man, you gotta get me out of here," Ramírez told Henry. ``I hate the pressure. I hate the manager [Joe Kerrigan, at the time]."

Other Ramírez tidbits: stat analyst Bill James did a study in the 2003 season in which Ramírez was cited for half of the 60 instances in which Sox players did not hustle, and this spring, after the Sox did not trade him yet again after he'd asked to be dealt, Ramírez directed a rant at the owners in which he referred to them as ``[expletive] white devils."

During the 2005 season, as the Sox struggled without Pedro Martínez, Lucchino walked around Fenway Park humming the tune to Simon and Garfunkel's song, ``Mrs. Robinson," changing the lyrics of the song to: "Where have you gone, Pedro Martínez, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

Random Game Callback, July 7, 1892
2006-07-07 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Jesse Duryea of Washington limited Chicago to just four hits as the Senators beat the Colts 2-0 before a crowd of about 650 at Chicago's South Side Park in a matchup of two of the NL's tailenders.

Washington was managed by Arthur Irwin, who had taken over for Billy Barnie early in the season. Chicago was managed, as it had been since 1879, by first baseman Cap Anson. Anson was 40 years old and he would stay on the job in Chicago through the 1897 season at age 45. Anson started Ad Gumbert as his pitcher.

The game was scoreless until the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Washington left fielder Charlie Duffee (Chicago chose to bat first in the game) got a two-out single. Duffee stole second and then decided to give third a try also. Chicago catcher Pop Schriver's throw skipped past third baseman Bill Dahlen and Duffee came home with the first run.

In the bottom of the eighth, Washington got back to back one-out singles from right fielder Paul Radford and second baseman Tommy Dowd. Center fielder Dummy Hoy flied out, but first baseman Henry Larkin singled past Dahlen at third to score Radford to make it 2-0 Washington.

Chicago got two runners on base in the ninth as Duryea hit Dahlen with a pitch and Anson drew a walk with a force out by center fielder Jimmy Ryan in between. Right fielder Pat Luby hit a hard grounder to shortstop Danny Richardson who managed to snare it and feed it to Dowd for the force play to end the game.

The National League had expanded to 12 teams in 1892 as the American Association had gone out of business and four teams, including Washington, had joined the National League. In an attempt to keep fan interest going in a long season, the National League decided to go with a split season. Also the National League allowed Sunday baseball, although it still wasn't legal in every city.

Boston won the first half with a 52-22 record and Cleveland won the second half with a 53-23 record. Boston would go on to beat Cleveland 5-0-1 in a postseason series. Chicago finished ninth in the first half and seventh in the second half and seventh overall. Washington finished eighth in the first half and in twelfth in the second half and tenth overall. Chicago was 70-76 and Washington went 58-93.

Chicago drew just a little over 100,000 all season, 11th best (or second worst) in the league. Washington drew a few more to home its park and was 10th in attendance.

Neither team had much in the way of offense. Chicago batted just .235 all season and Washington hit .239. Chicago pitcher Bill Hutchison led the league with 75 appearances and 622 innings pitched and tied Cy Young of Cleveland for the league lead in wins with 36. Hutchison also lost 36 games. Once the pitching distance was moved back to 60'6" the following season, Hutchison's effectiveness would decline, although Hutchison was not a young guy and didn't start in the majors for good until he was 29 and he pitched until he was 37.

Dahlen, who was playing third base this day, would go on to greater fame at shortstop and would go on to star in New York and Brooklyn. Dahlen would also manage Brooklyn from 1910-13.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Washington Post

WC 2006: Man in the middle for Sunday chosen
2006-07-06 20:22
by Bob Timmermann
Don't ask me for a loan
2006-07-06 14:42
by Bob Timmermann

Despite driving past Foremost Liquor Market in South Pasadena every day on the way to work. I have never stopped in to buy a lottery ticket.

So don't ask me for a few bucks to tide you over until pay day.

I've never bought a lottery ticket for myself ever actually.

In non-police related matters with the Reds
2006-07-06 14:17
by Bob Timmermann

Cincinnati acquired Eddie Guardado from Seattle in exchange for Travis Chick and cash.

The Reds plan on making Guardado their closer.

So here's the contest, rank the NL Central closers:

Jason Isringhausen, Eddie Guardado, Derrick Turnbow, Brad Lidge, Ryan Dempster, Mike Gonzalez.

And one of them is going to the All-Star Game!

Overall, Wayne Krivsky had a busy day:

Acquired LHP Eddie Guardado and cash in exchange for Minor League RHP Travis Chick from the Seattle Mariners; Recalled LHP Michael Gosling from Triple-A Louisville; Selected the contract of OF Dewayne Wise from Louisville; Reinstated 3B Edwin Encarnacion from the 15-day disabled list; Optioned LHP Brian Shackelford to Triple-A Louisville; Designated OF Quinton McCracken for assignment; Optioned RHP Elizardo Ramirez to Single-A Dayton.

Reds pitcher arrested in Milwaukee
2006-07-06 08:51
by Bob Timmermann

Cincinnati reliever Brian Shackelford was arrested early Thursday morning in Milwaukee on suspicion of third degree sexual assault.

The Reds have since moved on to Atlanta.

The Reds released a terse press release on the matter, in part to avoid running into the problems that the Phillies did with the Brett Meyers situation.

Random Game Callback, July 6, 1910
2006-07-06 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Many years before a New York-Boston doubleheader would have been regarded as an eight-hour holy war, the two teams could play a pair of games that wouldn't draw much more attention than any other game in the American League. Instead the fans at Hilltop Park in New York saw the Highlanders and Red Sox split a twinbill, with New York winning the opener 3-2 and Boston winning the nightcap 5-3.

The Red Sox were managed by Patsy Donovan, who was unsurprisingly born in Ireland. He started Eddie Cicotte in the first game and Frank Arellanes in the second game. New York was managed by George Stallings, who didn't wear a uniform. He started Jack Quinn and Tom Hughes.

Quinn had celebrated his 27th birthday the day before. 1910 was just his second season in the bigs, but he would pitch in the majors until he was 50. His last game was on July 7, 1933. Cicotte had had a cup of coffee with Detroit in 1905, but didn't come up for good until 1908 with Boston. Cicotte would be sold to the White Sox in the 1912 season where he would achieve his greatest fame and infamy for his role in the 1919 World Series.

Both pitchers started the game with seven shutout innings. In the top of the eighth, right fielder Harry Hooper singled and third baseman Clyde Engle tripled him home for the first run of the game. New York answered in a similar fashion in the bottom of the eighth. Third baseman Bert Daniels singled and scored on a triple by right fielder Harry Wolter. First baseman Hal Chase singled home Wolter to give New York a 2-1 lead.

In the ninth, Boston first baseman Jake Stahl tripled and scored on a single by second baseman Larry Gardner. Left fielder Duffy Lewis sacrificed and shortstop Heinie Wagner singled to send Gardner to third. Donovan tried a squeeze play with catcher Bill Carrigan up, but the bunt didn't go down and Gardner was out at the plate to end the threat.

Center fielder Birdie Cree led off the ninth for New York with a walk from Cicotte and shortstop John Knight doubled Cree to third. Catcher Jeff Sweeney walked to load the bases for the pitcher Quinn, who hit a fly ball deep enough to score with the winning run.

In the second game, Hughes got off to a rocky start, giving up four runs in the first. Three runs came on a bases-loaded triple Gardner and Lewis hit a fly ball deep enough to score Gardner.

Arellanes lasted just three innings and change for Boston however. He gave up six hits in three innings and left with the bases loaded as Charlie Smith relieved. New York would score just one run.

Boston scored a fifth run in the fifth when Engle singled and stole second and came home on a single by center fielder Tris Speaker. New York got RBI singles from left fielder Frank LaPorte (normally the second baseman) in the fifth and another by Cree in the eighth.

The Highlanders would finish second in the AL a distant 14 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia A's. Boston finished in fourth, 22 1/2 games out. Stallings managed New York until September 20 before he was fired/quit as he lost a power struggle with Chase for control of the team. It is believed that Chase threw games to make Stallings look bad although there isn't any specific evidence. Stallings did want to suspend Chase at times during the season for his suspicious play. New York would play .500 ball during Chase's one year in charge and the next year Chase went back to being just a first baseman in 1912. That year, Boston won its second AL pennant and its second World Series. Donovan would manage Boston in 1911, but would be replaced in 1912 by Stahl. Stahl led the AL in homers in 1910 with 10.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times

Ties! Ties! Ties!
2006-07-05 22:53
by Bob Timmermann

The National League West is right now a 3-way tie among San Diego, Los Angeles, and Colorado. The teams are all 44-40.

The other second place teams in the NL are Cincinnati (44-41) and Philadelphia (38-45). So right now, the wildcard would come from the West.

But who would it be? How would this be determined? If there are two teams tied for first and both would make the playoffs, then the team with the edge in the season series gets the division title as was the case in 2005 with the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL East.

However, you couldn't do this in the NL West as there is no provision for a team to miss the postseason because of a tiebreaker.

My guess is that in the unlikely case of such a tie occurring at the end of the year, the three team playoff method would be held. The teams are seeded by their records against the other two teams. Presently that would be

  1. Los Angeles, 10-7
  2. San Diego, 9-8
  3. Colorado, 9-11

So, first Colorado would play at San Diego. The winner of that game would then host Los Angeles to decide the division winner. Presumably then, the loser of the second game would play the loser of the first game to determine the wildcard.

I can only dream...

There is still another half of the season to go.

WC 2006: Early look at the final
2006-07-05 14:40
by Bob Timmermann

In the renewal of a very, very, very old rivalry in Europe, France will take on Italy in the championship of the World Cup on Sunday in Berlin.

Italy will be aiming to join Brazil as the only nation to win four World Cups (Brazil has five). Italy won the championship in 1934, 1938, and 1982. Italy lost in the final in 1970 and 1994, both times to Brazil.

France is looking for its second World Cup, winning in 1998. France lost in the semifinals before in 1958 and 1982.

If France wins, they would be the first team to win the Cup without winning its first group since Italy in 1982. That was actually the third straight time that the winner hadn't won its group as neither Argentina in 1978 nor West Germany in 1974 finished atop their groups.

Both nations have hosted the World Cup twice. Italy was the host in 1934 and 1990. France hosted in 1938 and 1998.

In World Cup play, Italy beat France in 1938 (3-1) and in 1978 (2-1). France beat Italy in 1986 (2-0) and on penalties in 1998. France won the last meeting between the two nations in the Euro 2000 tournament, 2-1 in overtime.

The first meeting between the two countries was in 58 B.C. when Julius Caesar and a sizeable chunk of the Roman Legion and started the conquest of Gaul. The whole process took about nine years as penalty kick tiebreakers hadn't yet been developed.

Right now, Marcelo Lippi is trying to divide the French defense into thirds.

Canseco demands trade
2006-07-05 14:39
by Bob Timmermann

After one game with the San Diego Surf Dawgs of the Golden Baseball League, Jose Canseco has asked to be traded.

Before you think that Canseco is being an extreme flake, the reason appears to be that Canseco's child custody agreement requires him to be in the Los Angeles area more and Canseco should be playing for the Long Beach Armada in short order.

And although Canseco insists that more big name players will be testing positive or have had results suppressed, MLB says Poppycock!

WC 2006 Match Chat: Portugal vs. France
2006-07-05 11:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Munich!

Italy's opponent in the final Sunday will be decided in this one. The loser plays Germany in the 3rd place game Saturday.

France has seemingly risen from the dead in this tournament. After opening the tournament with a scoreless draw against Switzerland, France got a tie with Korea. This left France needing to beat Togo by at least two and hoping that Korea or Switzerland did not tie. And that's what happened. France beat Togo 2-0 and Switzerland did the same to Korea.

Portugal has made it to the semifinals for the first time since 1966, when they lost to England 2-1. Portugal went 3-0 in group play, defeating Angola, Iran, and Mexico. Then the Portuguese won a yellow card filled match over the Netherlands in the Round of 16 and then got past England on penalties in the quaterfinals.

And if you think the Portuguese got a lot of yellow cards before, keep in mind that the man in the middle today is Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda, a man who red carded three players in the USA-Italy match.

For those curious, FIFA rules strongly suggest that teams stop playing if they can't put out more than seven players.

Contest standings:
1) Penarol1916 - 15
2) yankee23 - 11
3t) minxtscore, Phil Birnbaum - 10
5t) Los Longhorns, ddger - 9
7t) Abreck, humma kuvala, John Matthew - 8
10t) adg, Sam DC - 7
12t) jen, Ken Arneson, ravenscar, Suffering Bruin - 6
16) Mr. Customer - 5

minxtscore has Italy winning the final which is worth 8 points. Nobody else can earn any more points. So the Team Togo t-shirt (it's a lovely green) is either headed to Chicago or to wherever minxtscore lives. And I really hopes it's within the U.S. so I don't have to pay more for shipping.

There were 32 possible points in the contest and it looks like, at best, only one person will get over 50% of them.

If you don't wish to scroll down, I had this post earlier linking to a WSJ article about Dave O'Brien and company.

JP Dellacamera and John Harkes are calling the action today.

Oh takes leaves of absence from Hawks
2006-07-05 10:44
by Bob Timmermann

Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, who managed Japan to the championship in the World Baseball Classic and is the current manager of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, is taking a leave of absence from his job to have what is described as a "tumor" in his stomach. The report does not indicate if the tumor is cancerous.

Stomach cancer is relatively common in Japan, especially compared to the U.S. Let's hope for the best here.

Does the batting order matter?
2006-07-05 10:33
by Bob Timmermann

Dave Smith of Retrosheet tried to address this question in his presentation at SABR 36 in Seattle.

You can read the pdf version of his presentation here.

From 1957 through 2005, teams score the most runs per inning when the #1 hitter leads off, .55 runs per inning. Teams score the fewest runs when the #7 hitter leads off, .40 runs per inning.

The first inning is the run-scoringest inning of all. (That's a new word created by me.)

I found it interesting that in Dave's study, that there has been one game in the majors since 1957 where the leadoff hitter in the batting order did not bat leadoff. That was in this game in 1961 when the Angels #8 hitter, Gene Leek, thought he was supposed to bat first and lead off the game. Since he made an out, the Red Sox didn't care. The Angels figured it out by the second inning.

WC 2006: The continuing discussion of the ESPN announcers
2006-07-05 09:36
by Bob Timmermann
The best and the worst teams, according to Forbes
2006-07-05 08:30
by Bob Timmermann

And Tom Van Riper.

The method used here is to rank each team by how many standard deviations they were better than an average team. Which apparently isn't a .500 team.

Anyway, the 1975 Reds win out as the best team. The 1973 Padres take home the title of worst team.

Random Game Callback, July 5, 1934
2006-07-05 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The first place New York Yankees saw first baseman Lou Gehrig drive in seven runs as the defending AL champion Washington Senators were pounded 8-3 at Yankee Stadium.

The visiting Senators were managed by shortstop Joe Cronin, who had Lefty Stewart starting. (Yes, he was lefthanded as ironic nicknames have never caught on.) Joe McCarthy picked Johnny Broaca to start. Broaca pitched at Yale and had just come up to the majors on June 2.

Washington scored in the first on a double by right fielder John Stone and a single by Heinie Manush. But the Senators would soon get buried.

Shortstop Frank Crosetti singled and third baseman Jack Saltzgaver followed with another. Right fielder Babe Ruth walked to load the bases. Up came Gehrig and he hit his 22nd homer of the year and the Yankees led 4-1. Gehrig added another homer, a 2-run shot in the fifth to make it 6-1.

Washington had two scoring opportunities snuffed out by some good fielding by the 39-year old Ruth. In the fifth, Manush came up with two outs and second baseman Buddy Myer on base. Manush lined a drive into the rightfield corner that Ruth was able to flag down to end the threat. In the seventh, after a Myer homer, the Senators had another runner with two outs and Cronin up. The shortstop drilled a ball to deep right that Ruth made a running catch on to end the inning.

The Yankees scored a pair of runs in the seventh, with Ruth and Gehrig driving in the runs. Broaca pitched all nine innings and got the win despite giving up 12 hits and striking out just one.

Washington had won 99 games in 1933, but dropped all the way to seventh place at 66-86 in 1934. The pitching staff was mostly at fault. The team ERA was 3.82 in 1933 and it went up to 4.68 in 1934 despite playing in one of the league's best pitcher's parks in Griffith Stadium. The franchise would never finish higher than fourth after the 1933 pennant except for two seasons during World War II.

The Yankees had won 91 games in 1933 in finishing in second place and would win 94 in 1934, but that would still only get them second place, seven games behind Detroit.

Gehrig would win the Triple Crown with a .363 batting average, 49 home runs, and 165 RBI (only the fourth highest total in his career.) Gehrig also had an OBP of .465 and slugged .706. However, Detroit player/manager Mickey Cochrane won the MVP award. Gehrig finished in FIFTH. Teammate Lefty Gomez actually finished ahead of Gehrig (3rd) as he won the Triple Crown of pitching with a 26-5 record, 2.33 ERA, and 158 strikeouts.

1934 would be the last season in New York for Ruth. The Bambino played in 125 games and hit 22 home runs, his lowest total for the Yankees, and batted .288, also his lowest in New York. In the offseason, the Yankees and Ruth parted ways and Ruth played out his final season as a member of the Boston Braves. Ruth batted .181 and hit six home runs for Boston.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Washington Post

WC 2006 Match Chat: Germany vs. Italy, noon PT
2006-07-04 10:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Dortmund!

Germany and Italy meet for the fifth time in the World Cup and for the second time in the semifinals. The last time they met at this stage was in 1970 in Mexico City and Italy won 4-3 in overtime in what FIFA has dubbed "The Match of the Century". The teams also met in the 1982 Final and Italy won that time 3-1. They have also played two scoreless draws: in 1962 and in 1978. The two sides have each won three World Cups.

Overall, the two national teams have faced each other 13 times, with Italy winning five times, Germany three times, and five draws. Italy beat Germany 4-1 in a friendly in Florence on March 1.

Each team will be missing one player. Germany will be without midfielder Torsten Frings, who was suspended for his postmatch actions after Germany's PK win over Argentina. Italy is without Daniele De Rossi, still serving a suspension for elbowing Brian McBride of the USA in the face.

Germany is a slight favorite in this match with the home crowd advantage. However, the Italians are not easily intimidated.

The road to here for both teams:

For Germany:

  • Germany 4, Costa Rica 2
  • Germany 1, Poland 0
  • Germany 3, Ecuador 0
  • Germany 2, Sweden 0
  • Germany 1, Argentina 1, Germany wins on penalties 4-2

For Italy:

  • Italy 2, Ghana 0
  • Italy 1, USA 1
  • Italy 2, Czech Republic 0
  • Italy 1, Australia 0
  • Italy 3, Ukraine 0

It could be Lima Time ... Again!
2006-07-04 09:52
by Bob Timmermann

According to the New York Daily News, the Mets are considering recalling Jose Lima from AAA Norfolk to help them with their pitching problems, especially in light of Pedro Martinez's sore hip and the meltdowns of Alay Soler and John Maine.

In 14 1/3 innings earlier in the season, Lima had an ERA of 8.79 and was 0-3.

Someone sticks up for Mark Redman
2006-07-04 09:42
by Bob Timmermann

Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star sort of sticks up for the selection of Mark Redman for the All-Star Team. In the sense, that Posnanski says it's not Redman's fault he got picked, but Ozzie Guillen's.

Posnanski argues that David De Jesus, Mark Grudzielanek, or Reggie Sanders would have been a better choice.

Grudzielanek's selection was hurt by the policy that after the starter, the next player taken should be the winner of the player vote (if that player didn't make it to begin with). And the players thought that Robinson Cano of the Yankees was better. And when Cano got injured, they went down the list to the next guy: Jose Lopez of Seattle.

As for another Polish-American player, I like the White Sox campaign for A.J. Pierzynski to gain the lost spot. Its theme is Punch A.J.! Remember that last year, the White Sox were able to mount a campaign to get Scott Podsednik on the All-Star team. Oh, and Ozzie Guillen thinks Joe Crede should be on the All-Star team. And he's thinking hard about Chris Widger and Pablo Ozuna too. Maybe even Brian Anderson.

Random Game Callback, July 4, 1912 - no hitter edition
2006-07-04 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

All 16 teams in the majors played doubleheaders on this holiday. Normally a doubleheader between the sixth and eighth place teams in the American League would have gone unnoticed, but Detroit pitcher George Mullin threw the first no-hitter in the history of the Tigers franchise, shutting out St. Louis 7-0 in the second game of the doubleheader. Mullin's masterpiece finished a sweep of the Browns as the Tigers won the opener 9-3 at Navin Field in Detroit.

Mullin was a 32-year old righthander, celebrating his birthday this day, whom the Tigers had tried to get rid of on waivers a couple of weeks earlier. Mullin had won 20 games five times for the Tigers and was the staff ace for the 1909 pennant winners when he went 29-8 with a 2.22 ERA. 1909 was the third of three consecutive pennants for Detroit and the Tigers came close in 1910 and 1911, but 1912 was a disaster.

Outfielder Ty Cobb was suspended indefinitely by American League president Ban Johnson after attacking a fan in the stands in New York in May. Cobb's teammates protested by refusing to play their game in Philadelphia on May 18. So manager Hughie Jennings rounded up a group of players in the Philadelphia area and tried to play the game and the Tigers were destroyed 24-2. With threats of further reprisals by Johnson and a plea from Cobb, the Tigers went back on the job the next day, but age and injuries to the Tigers key players had consigned them to the second division.

In the opener, St. Louis manager and first baseman George Stovall started 20-year old George Baumgardner. Jennings started Ed Willett. The Tigers got 10 hits in the game as Cobb went 3 for 3 with a home run, a stolen base and he was hit by a pitch. The Browns got three hits from second baseman Frank LaPorte.

The second game featured what was supposed to be the lesser pitchers on the staff in Mullin for Detroit and 21-year old Willie Adams for the Browns.

The Tigers offense scored single runs in each of the first three innings to take the pressure off of Mullin. But Mullin didn't need much help as the Browns failed to hit anything hard off of him all day.

Mullin wasn't perfect as he walked five batters, including Browns center fielder Burt Shotton three times. Browns third baseman Jimmy Austin walked twice.

Mullin also came close to treating the fans to a no-hitter with a triple play in it. At one point in the game (the newspaper account doesn't say which inning), Laporte reached on an error by Detroit shortstop Donie Bush. Austin followed with a walk. This brought up left fielder Willie Hogan who hit a low liner that Mullin snared and then he threw to second to double off Laporte and then Bush fired to first baseman George Moriarty for the apparent triple play. But the baseline umpire, Jack Sheridan (there were two umpires used this day), ruled that Laporte was safe at second although Austin was out at first. So Mullin had to settle for an unusual 1-6-3 line drive double play.

In the ninth inning, Shotton drew his third walk of the game. Right fielder Heinie Jantzen flied out and first baseman Joe Kutina fouled out. The last man in the way of the no-hitter was shortstop Del Pratt. Although Shotton stole second during the at bat, Mullin was not deterred and he got Pratt to fly out to Cobb in center field. The wire service account made an allusion to Cobb possibly being angry at Mullin for sending a congratulatory telegram to Cleveland star Nap Lajoie at the end of the 1910 season, congratulating him on winning the batting title. That was one of baseball's most contentious batting races and you can read about it here.

No Tigers pitcher would throw another no-hitter for nearly 50 years when Virgil Trucks threw one on May 15, 1952.

Detroit and St. Louis would finish sixth and seventh in the AL in 1912. The Tigers were 69-84 and the Browns were 53-101. The New York Highlanders were last at 50-102. Boston won the pennant at 105-47 and won a thrilling 8-game World Series over the New York Giants (there was one tie game.)

Despite the suspension, Cobb still led the AL in hitting at .409. Cobb also had 23 triples (second to Cleveland's Joe Jackson who had 26). Cobb was third in stolen bases with 61. Mullin finished 1912 with a 12-17 record and a 3.54 ERA. Mullin would be sold to Washington in 1913 and he pitched in the Federal League in 1914 and 1915 for Indianapolis and Newark.

Sources: Washington Post, Retrosheet,

Mr. Clemens meet Mr. Keefe
2006-07-03 22:22
by Bob Timmermann

With Houston defeating the Cubs tonight 7-2, Roger Clemens won his 342nd game in his career, tying him for eighth on the alltime list with Tim Keefe.

Keefe, pitched for 14 seasons in the 19th century, with Troy of the NL, and the New York entries in the AA, NL, and PL, as well as Philadelphia. Keefe got off to a tremendous start in 1880 when he gave up just 27 runs in 105 innings and only 10 of them were earned. Keefe won 41 games for New York in the AA in 1883. By the time the pitching distance was moved back to 60'6", Keefe was 36 and he was likely either too old or burnt out to be effective and he stopped pitching in the majors after that year.

If Clemens wants to pitch in 2007, he could catch the next guy on the list, Kid Nichols, who won 360 games (according to AP) or 361 games (according to the link above).

WC 2006: The best semifinal I ever saw
2006-07-03 21:13
by Bob Timmermann
Time for another edition of 'Home Run Derby'
2006-07-03 16:05
by Bob Timmermann

Hello, this is Mark Scott, welcoming you to Home Run Derby!

This year's contestants should be: David Ortiz, Ryan Howard, David Wright, Jermaine Dye, and Troy Glaus!

Oh and three other guys that they haven't been able to sucker in to this yet.

Carlos Zambrano says he's up for it.

WC 2006: Meet the semifinalists
2006-07-03 15:28
by Bob Timmermann

There are just four teams left. The semifinals start tomorrow at noon, PT in Dortmund as Germany takes on Italy. The other semifinal between France and Portugal is Wednesday at noon, PT in Munich.

Background on the the nations left.

1. Germany, population estimated at 82 million people. Winner of three World Cups (1958, 1974, and 1990). Loser of two World Wars (Numbers I and II). Team is coached by Jurgen Klinsmann and country is run by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

2. Italy, population estimated at 58 million people. Winner of three World Cups (1934, 1938, and 1982). Split two World Wars (won Number I, lost Number II). Team is coached by Marcello Lippi and the country is run by Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

3. France, population estimated at 60 million. Winner of one World Cup (1998). Split two World Wars (won Number I, lost in Number II). Team is coached by Raymond Domenech and country is run by President Jacques Chirac along with Premier Dominique De Villepin.

4. Portugal, population estimated at 10 million. Winner of no World Cups and sat out both World Wars of the 20th Century. Team is coached by Luis Felipe Scolari and country is led by Prime Minister Jose Socrates.

Match these present day countries with their former colonial overlords listed above:

A) Libya
B) Namibia
C) Lebanon
D) Mozambique

Stuffing the ballot box
2006-07-03 13:16
by Bob Timmermann

William Rhoden had a piece in today's New York Times that I can't link to since it's an extra special "Times Select piece". But Rhoden decried ballot box stuffing in the All-Star game. He brought up the example of 1957 when Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot box.

In 1957, Ford Frick, the baseball commissioner, stepped in after Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes and voted eight Reds to the N.L. starting lineup. Frick removed the Cincinnati players Gus Bell, George Crowe and Wally Post from the lineup, replacing them with Stan Musial, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

"Yeah, I thought it was unfair," Crowe, a first baseman, said yesterday from his home in California, referring to Frick's decision. "The fans voted me in, I thought I should have been there. My feelings weren't hurt. We had a system that was in place, and I thought they should have abided by it."

Actually, in 1957, Cincinnati fans were able to get starters voted in at seven of the eight positions. The only Cincinnati player on the ballot who did not win the vote at his position was George Crowe. Musial outpolled him by about 90,000 votes.

The Los Angeles Times story about the voting is headlined "Musial Elected by Fans Despite Cincy Vote".

Ahh, fact checking, it's so hard to do. It took me about, oh, I'd say, 45 seconds to verify the fact that Crowe hadn't been elected.

Choo to the majors, Reed to the DL
2006-07-03 11:14
by Bob Timmermann

Mariners centerfielder Jeremy Reed broke a thumb in Sunday's game in Seattle and is going on the DL. Shin-Soo Choo has been called up to replace him. The info is found in this press release on the Tacoma Rainiers site announcing a replacement for Choo on the PCL All-Star team.

The Griddle is becoming all Tacoma, all the time.

The Tacoma Hall of Varying Standards
2006-07-03 09:46
by Bob Timmermann

Two pairs of plaques in the Tacoma Baseball Hall of Fame at Cheney Stadium.

I think the word we are looking for is: juxtaposition

Tacoma Baseball Hall of Fame members

Pair #1

Another pair

Pair #2

Random Game Callback, July 3, 1873
2006-07-03 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

On a swelterlingly hot day marked by thunderstorms, the Mutual Club of New York edged the Washington club, 2-1 in a game shortened to six inning because of rain. A crowd estimated at 400 braved it out at the Union Grounds in Brooklyn.

In an era long before players wore gloves and pitchers threw particularly hard and a curve ball was a novelty, this low-scoring affair was unusual. But both teams managed to field well and kept the extra runners on base to a minimum.

Washington was managed by Nick Young, who would later become president of the National League. He used one of the two pitchers he had available, Bill Stearns, as his starter. The Mutuals, managed by third baseman John Hatfield, had their workhorse starter, Bobby Mathews, pitching. Mathews started all but one of the Mutuals' 53 games in 1873.

The Mutuals scored in the bottom of the first on a single by second baseman Dick Higham and a double by first baseman Joe Start, the man with the perfect last name when asked if he wanted his backup to play.

In the third, the Mutuals lost catcher Nat Hicks when he took a foul tip off the head and suffered a cut over his eye. In 1873, real catchers didn't wear masks! Higham took over at catcher, right fielder Candy Nelson moved to second base, and Phonney Martin came off the bench to play right field. These changes led to a run as an error by left fielder Count Gedney and a passed ball by Higham allowed Stearns to score the tying run for Washington.

In the fifth, Mathews tripled and scored on a single by Gedney to put the Mutuals or "Mutes" up 2-1. After the sixth inning, a heavy rain stopped the game and the umpire, Jack Chapman, called the game. The Mutuals were going to be facing the pride of Brooklyn, the Atlantics, on July 4 and the teams wanted to keep the field in decent shape with a big crowd expected for the holiday game.

As they did in four of the five seasons of the National Association, Boston would win the flag. The Mutuals finished in fifth place at 29-24, 11 games out. Washington finished in seventh at 8-31. Last place Baltimore came out of the gate at 0-6 and decided to stop playing in the NA. Baltimore had been outscored 152-26 in those six games.

Boston players dominated the leaderboards in both pitching and hitting. One notable exception was in strikeouts. Mathews led the NA with 75, 44 more than the next best pitcher. Stearns, despite pitching in just 32 games, led the league in home runs allowed with 8. And there were just 51 home runs hit all season.

A sign of the times: in the New York Times story about the upcoming Brooklyn-New York game, there was mention that betting pools would be available at the game.

Sources: Retrosheet, New York Times,

The perils of writing baseball fiction
2006-07-02 19:17
by Bob Timmermann

John Thorn penned this essay in the Sunday New York Times Book Review about baseball fiction and its problematic relationship with the people who should like it: baseball fans.

And there's the rub, or at least the first of two. If the best writing about the game is grounded in detail about double switches and squeeze plays, this is a good description of baseball journalism, which has truly been the game's literary glory. While we still want our baseball novelists to get the details of the game right — it fatally impugns their authority to do otherwise — we need more from them in the way of creating memorable characters. Then there's the other problem: we crave realism from the imaginative renderings of an activity that itself is not real. Play is metaphoric action. Like novelists who write about theater or film, the writer tackling baseball always starts off at one remove from reality, and is always playing catch-up.

Thorn was the winner of the Bob Davids Award at the SABR convention, which is SABR's highest award. He was presented the award by last year's recipient, Dave Smith of Retrosheet.

Better defense through bruising - Sean Forman's award winning SABR presentation
2006-07-02 18:43
by Bob Timmermann

Sean Forman of won the Doug Pappas Award for the best presentation at the recently ended SABR convention in Seattle.

Here is a link to Sean's work.

Oh, it's time for the All-Star Game again
2006-07-02 16:48
by Bob Timmermann

The starters and reserves

Teams that would make the playoffs right now (July 2) that have only one representative:

Oakland (AL West) - Barry Zito
San Diego (NL West) - Trevor Hoffman
Cincinnati (NL Wildcard) - Bronson Arroyo

SABR 36 Recap plus a trip to Tacoma!
2006-07-02 10:32
by Bob Timmermann

The final day of the 36th annual SABR convention was Saturday in Seattle. Some interesting speakers and a trip to Tacoma to boot!

Continue reading...

Random Game Callback, July 2, 1964
2006-07-02 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

Jim Maloney threw a four-hit shutout as the Cincinnati Reds routed the Chicago Cubs, 7-0 and sent Ernie Broglio to his third straight defeat since joining the Cubs in a trade from St. Louis on June 15. The game was played before a crowd of 6,814 at Crosley Field.

Maloney, a hard-throwing righthander, was Cincinnati manager's Fred Hutchinson's aces and he was one of the best pitchers in the NL during a time when pitchers reigned. In an era when Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, and Don Drysdale, got most of the notoriety, Maloney was another dominating presence on the hill. Maloney threw a 10-inning no hitter against the Cubs in 1965. He also threw nine no-hit innings against the Mets on June 14, 1965, but eventually lost in 11 innings, 1-0. Maloney got another no-hitter in 1969 against Houston.

Broglio had been acquired from the Cardinals at the trading deadline of the day, June 15. The trade is one of the most infamous ones in Cubs history as St. Louis got Lou Brock in exchange. (Bobby Shantz, Doug Clemens, Jack Spring, and Paul Toth also changed teams). Brock had been an erratic fielder in Chicago, who never put up good numbers. Broglio had won 21 games in 1961 and 18 in 1963. Brock would still be an erratic fielder, but in St. Louis he would become a good hitter, a great base stealer and put up some of the best performances in the history of the World Series.

On this day, Broglio did not make it out of the third. He walked catcher Johnny Edwards to lead off the inning. Third baseman Steve Boros grounded out and Edwards went to second. Maloney grounded out to first and Edwards went to third. But Broglio never got the third out of the inning. Second baseman Pete Rose singled to score Edwards. Right fielder Marty Keough walked. Center fielder Vada Pinson singled to score Rose and Keough went to third. Left fielder Frank Robinson tripled to score Keough and Pinson. Shortstop Leo Cardenas singled home Robinson and Cubs manager Bob Kennedy took out Broglio and brought in Wayne Schurr.

Rose singled in Boros to put Cincinnati up 6-0 in the fourth. Keough homered in the seventh off of Sterling Slaughter for the Reds' seventh run. Maloney struck out eight in the win and didn't give up a hit until Cubs catcher Dick Bertell singled to lead off the sixth. Bertell would be the only Cubs batter to reach third.

When the Cubs made the trade for Broglio on June 15, they were at .500 and 5 1/2 games behind the first place Giants and Phillies. When the season ended, the Cubs were in 8th place at 76-86, 17 games out of first. The Reds finished tied for second with Philadelphia, one game behind the Cardinals, in one of the wildest pennant races in NL history.

Coming into play on September 21, the Phillies led the Reds and Cardinals by 6 1/2 games with just 12 left to play. That night, the Reds would beat the Phllies, 1-0, with the only run coming on a steal of home by Chico Ruiz. The Phillies would lose nine more in a row, three of them to the Reds, four to the Braves, and three to the Cardinals. The Phillies would rally to beat the Reds in the last two games of the year and that allowed the Cardinals to sneak in for the pennant.

Reds manager Fred Hutchinson would not be around for the end of the season as he was battling cancer. He stepped down for good in August and Dick Sisler took over as manager. Hutchinson passed away on November 12, 1964 at age 45. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle is named in his memory.

Maloney would be one of the top pitchers in the NL through the 1969 season. Early in 1970, Maloney tore an achilles tendon running the bases and was out of baseball after the 1971 season at the age of 31.

Sources: Retrosheet,, Chicago Tribune

SABR 36 in Seattle report for July 1, Contest standings
2006-07-01 16:43
by Bob Timmermann

Wait until July 2. I will be soon be getting on a bus to head to Tacoma for a game between the Rainiers and Grizzlies and then have to get going around 4:15 am to catch my flight home. I'll process all the photos and such then.

I will say that Mike Marshall (the pitcher, not the outfielder) is an interesting guy and I can see why he's never been given a job in baseball. He's not exactly conventional.

As for the Griddle World Cup contest, here are the standings. Entries in italics cannot earn any more points.

1T) yankee23, Penarol1916 - 11
3) Phil Birnbaum - 10
4T) ddger, Los Longhorns - 9
6T) Abreck, humma kuvala, John Matthew - 8
9T) adg, Sam DC - 7
11T) jen, Ken Arneson, mintxscore, Ravenscar, Suffering Bruin - 6
16) Mr. Customer - 5

If Germany beats Italy, Phil Birnbaum wins.
If Italy beats Germany and wins the final, minxtscore wins
If Italy beats Germany, but loses in the final, Penarol1916 wins.

The Griddle contest entries were very heavily in favor of England and Brazil.

WC 2006 Match Chat: Brazil vs. France, noon PT
2006-07-01 10:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Hamburg Frankfurt!

Tournament favorites Brazil, who have won eleven straight matches in the World Cup, take on the last team to beat them, France.

It was back in the championship game in Paris in 1998 when France used a pair of goals from Zinedine Zidane to win 3-0. It was the third meeting between the two teams in World Cup play. Brazil beat France in the 1958 semis, 5-2. The two teams met again in the 1986 quaterfinals in Mexico. It was a 1-1 draw, but France advanced on penalties. Then came the 1998 final.

But in 2002, Brazil won it all, while France couldn't score a goal in three matches and went home early.

France did not score a goal in its opening match against Switzerland (a draw) and then played a 1-1 draw with Korea and beat Togo 2-0. The French were expected to bow out against Spain in the round of 16, but the French showed that they aren't dead yet with a 3-1 win.

Brazil has wins over Croatia, Australia, Japan, and Ghana. France should be the toughest opponent Brazil has faced.

No entrant in the Griddle contest picked France to win. Not everyone had Brazil. There were a few choices for Spain.

Hey, Nats, it's your funeral
2006-07-01 09:51
by Bob Timmermann

Stan Kasten, incoming president of the Washington Nationals, announced Saturday that general manager Jim Bowden will be retained once the ownership change is finalized.

Bowden, though, is a polarizing figure in baseball. He can be alternately gregarious and short-tempered, and his mood swings have left some players, coaches and front-office members wondering which character they'll encounter on a day-to-day basis. Fiercely competitive, he has a reputation for being impulsive and living in the moment, a quality that could be tempered by Kasten's plea for patience.

"Polarizing figure" is a euphemism I use to describe people who are incredibly annoying.

WC 2006 Match Chat: England vs. Portgual, 8 am PT
2006-07-01 04:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Gelsenkirchen!

It what should be a hard-hitting quarterfinal, Portugal and England could literally end up duking it out in Gelsenkirchen.

Portugal has not made it to the semifinals of a World Cup in 40 years. And then the Portuguese lost to England, 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on a pair of goals by Bobby Charlton.

Since then, the Portuguese have had better success against the English, beating them at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, 1-0 and winning two matches in the European Championships: 3-2 in 2000 and in a 6-5 penalty kick tiebreaker after a 2-2 tie in Euro 2004 in Portugal.

England last made it to the semifinals in 1990 before losing to Germany.

The English have won three of their four matches in Germany, beating Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, and Ecuador in the Round of 16 and drawing with Sweden in group play.

Portugal is 4-0 after wins over Angola, Iran, Mexico, and finally over the Netherlands in a brutal match which saw 16 yellow cards issued and four red cards. The most notable Portuguese player who will miss action will be Deco.

Both countries tend to have fatalistic attitudes about their teams. And with good reason most years. But one will move on to the semis.

Six entries have England as the winner of this one. Two have Portugal. Everybody else had the Netherlands!

If Portugal were to win, Yankee23 would catch Penarol1916 for the lead going in to the semis. If not, Penarol1916 will be the leader.

Random Game Callback, July 1, 1885
2006-07-01 03:59
by Bob Timmermann

The visiting New York Metropolitans of the American Association scored in six of the eight times they batted at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia and defeated the Athletics, 12-11, in a game marked by a high quality temper tantrum by Philadelphia starter Phenomenal Smith, who might be the only major leaguer player to ever pull off the schoolyard gambit of picking up his ball and going home.

Jim Gifford managed New York and he chose Doug Crothers to start. Philadelphia manager and first baseman Harry Stovey started the newly signed Smith, who was just 20.

Smith had pitched one game for Pittsburgh in 1884 and another for Philadelphia and lost both of them. Brooklyn had taken a chance on him in 1885 and started him against first place St. Louis at home on June 16. Apparently, the Brooklyn players didn't like him as the New York Times reported that the Brooklyn players deliberately made errors behind him. The boxscore scored showed 14 of them. St. Louis won 18-5 and Brooklyn owner Charlie Byrne apologized to Smith for the way he was treated by his teammates. Nevertheless, Smith didn't return to Brooklyn and he signed with Philadelphia.

On July 1, Smith had struck out seven in the first four innings, but he had also given up seven hits and seven runs. To start the fifth, Smith walked the first two Brooklyn batters and complained about the calls from the umpire, Nat Hicks.

Smith's decision was not to continue arguing, but rather to just walk off the mound in protest. He also complained that catcher Jack O'Brien was not giving him sufficient support. So Smith quit. And walked away and he wouldn't be back in the 1885 season. O'Brien said he wasn't feeling well and he asked to leave the game as well and Jocko Milligan came in to catch. Gifford and the rest of the New York team complained about the substitutions, which weren't unlimited at the time, but Hicks allowed them. 17-year old Ed Knouff came in to pitch. Apparently, Smith left the ball.

When it was over, New York held on for a 12-11 win. Crothers pitched a complete game, giving up 13 hits and 11 runs and five strikeouts. Philadelphia right fielder John Coleman had a home run and three doubles.

Philadelphia finished fourth in the AA with a 55-57 record, 24 games behind first place St. Louis. New York finished in seventh at 44-64, 33 games out.

Stovey was the AA leader in home runs with 13. New York's Dave Orr led the league in triples with 21. Bobby Matthews of Philadelphia won 30 games.

Smith's career was far from over despite his tantrums. He pitched in three games for Detroit in the NL in 1886 and finally stuck with a team, Baltimore of the AA, in 1887 and pitched in 58 games. He eventually went on to pitch for Philadelphia in the AA again as well as the NL Phillies and a brief stop in Pittsburgh. Smith passed away in Manchester, New Hampshire on April 3, 1952 at the age of 87. The phenom finally was able to take his ball and go home for good.

Sources: Retrosheet,, New York Times

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.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote