Monthly archives: December 2007
Weekly puzzle #3
Day 10 of the Long March: Six bowls to end 2007 chat
The Powers That Be in college football bowldom have scheduled six games for today and six more for New Year's Day. Can anyone watch all of them? Two of them will be played at the same time and another will be on the NFL Network, which is available only in Cuba and the Maritime provinces of Canada.
Day 9 of the Long March: Independence Bowl chat
Oh come on, you are going to be watching this game? A pair of 6-6 teams, Alabama and Colorado duking it out in scenic Shreveport.
Here is a brief clip from the greatest Independence Bowl ever, back in 2000:
But if you choose to watch tonight, you can go root on Nick Saban, college football's most beloved coach and his Crimson Tide, or perhaps see if Dan Hawkins can avoid starting out at CU with back-to-back losing seasons.
Alabama will be playing in its 55th bowl game and is 30-21-3 in earlier appearances. The Crimson Tide lost to Oklahoma State in last year's Independence Bowl, 34-31. They beat Iowa State, 14-13, in the 2001 Independence Bowl.
Colorado is appearing in its 28th bowl and is 12-15 in earlier games.
Alabama and Colorado have played each other twice in their history, both times in bowl games. The Buffaloes beat the Crimson Tide 47-33 in the 1969 Liberty Bowl and Alabama beat CU, 30-25, in the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl.
A brief history of baseball: 1876-2007
Do you want to catch up on the history of baseball but don't have the time to do things like read books or you know, learn stuff? Well, here's the history of baseball from 1876 to the present in year-by-year format for people with short attention spans. Of course, it does cover 132 years, so maybe you need a longer attention span.
Day 8 of the Long March: Meineke, Liberty, and Alamo Bowl chats
Patriots-Giants on two networks! Bah, no time! There's more minor bowl action to watch!
It starts at 10 am PT with the Meineke Car Care Bowl (formerly the Continental Tire Bowl) from Charlotte. This year's edition matches a pair of teams better known for basketball: Connecticut (9-3) and Wake Forest (8-4). The Huskies were co-champs of the Big East with West Virginia.
UConn has appeared in just one other bowl game, the 2004 Motor City Bowl, a 39-10 win over Toledo. Wake Forest has appeared in seven bowls and is 4-3, losing last year to Louisville in the Orange Bowl. Their last bowl win was over Oregon in the 2002 Seattle Bowl.
UConn and Wake have played each other twice and they have split the two games with the road team winning each time, once in 2003 and again in 2006.
The Big East is 1-0 in bowl games so far with Cincinnati picking up a win over Southern Miss in the Papajohns.com Bowl. The ACC is 1-1 in bowl games with BC winning and Maryland losing.
Day 7 of the Long March: Champs Sports, Texas, and Emerald Bowl open chat
A tripleheader of bowls although one game will likely be seen by few people since it will be shown on the NFL Network only. And CBS and NBC aren't going to show it either.
The action gets underway at 2 pm PT at the Champs Sports Bowl from Orlando, the first of two bowl games from there this week. #14 Boston College (10-3) faces unranked Michigan State (7-5).
When it comes to bowl games, BC is on a roll winning their last seven (Utah won its seven straight last week in the Poinsettia Bowl). The Eagles have played in 18 bowls and have gone 12-6. BC's bowl winning streak has not been in the biggest series of games however: Aloha, Music City, Motor City, San Francisco, Continental Tire, MPC Computers, and Meineke Car Care.
The Spartans are playing their 18th bowl game and have gone 7-10 in the previous ones. They have not played in a bowl game since losing to Nebraska 17-3 in the 2003 Alamo Bowl. Their last win was in the 2001 Silicon Valley Football Classic over Fresno State.
BC and Michigan State have met five times with BC winning three times, Michigan State once, and one tie. They last played each other in 1995 in East Lansing and Michigan State won 25-21.
Michigan State will be the second Big Ten team to play a bowl game. Purdue beat Central Michigan 51-48 in the Motor City Bowl. BC will be the first ACC team to play in a bowl this year.
Jim Beauchamp, 1939-2007
Jim Beauchamp, who spent 50 years in organized baseball, 10 as a player in the majors and 22 years as a coach with the Atlanta Braves, passed away Tuesday in Atlanta at the age of 68 of leukemia.
Beauchamp was Bobby Cox's bench coach from 1991 through 1998.
Day 6 of the Long March: Holiday Bowl open chat
Nothing says, "Your college football team is pretty good, but not really special" more so than a trip to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego (with the noted exception of the 1984 BYU National Championship team). The 2007 edition kicks off at 5 pm PT and matches #12 Arizona State (10-2) and #17 Texas (9-3).
The Sun Devils had a better than expected year thanks in part to a favorable schedule and a penchant for comebacks. The Longhorns had a worse than expected year mainly because they lost to BOTH Oklahoma and Texas A&M.
Arizona State will be appearing in its 24th bowl game and is 12-10-1 in previous bowl games. They are 0-2 in the Holiday Bowl, losing to Arkansas 18-17 in 1985 and falling to Kansas State 34-27 in 2002.
Texas will be appearing in its 47th bowl game and its fourth Holiday Bowl. Texas lost to Oregon 35-30 in 2000, beat Washington 47-43 in 2001, and lost to Washington State 28-20 in 2003. Texas is 23-21-2 overall in bowl games.
Texas and Arizona State have never played each other previously. The Sun Devils will complete the circuit of Pac-10 teams for Texas. ASU has played nine other Big XII schools and still has not played Iowa State or Kansas.
You can choose to cheer on ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter, the pride of
Day 5 of the Long March: Motor City Bowl open chat
What do you open the day after Christmas? The doors to Ford Field in Detroit for the Motor City Bowl!
It's a matchup of the Purdue Boilermakers (7-5) and the Central Michigan Chippewas (8-5). Central Michigan was the champion of the Mid-American Conference, while Purdue happened to be one of the 10 teams in the Big Ten+1 with a winning record. While this game may not seem attractive, it will likely draw a big crowd. There were over 54,000 at the game last year.
Central Michigan played in this bowl last year against Middle Tennessee State in a game that had just one hashmark used right in the middle of the field to make everyone happy. Central Michigan is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, a city that is guilty of false advertising with both parts of its name.
Purdue beat CMU earlier in the season, 45-22. But that was back when Purdue was considered good. The Boilermakers lost five of their last seven. Central Michigan gives up lots of points. The Chippewas gave up 52 to Kansas, 70 to Clemson, and 48 to Eastern Michigan.
Central Michigan has played in just three bowls and its only win was last year. The other losses were to San Jose State in the 1990 California Bowl and to UNLV in the 1994 Las Vegas Bowl.
Purdue is 7-7 alltime in bowls and have lost six of their last seven bowl games. Purdue is 3-0 alltime against Central Michigan.
Willie Mays Aikens that is.
From the Griddle's Capital Bureau comes this Washington Post story by Darryl Fears about how the U.S. Sentencing Commission's decision to stop charging criminals convicted of possession of crack cocaine with longer sentences than people charged with possession of powdered cocaine.
Another holiday classic coming to a theater near you
And don't forget to Weill away the hours with the weekly puzzle.
Weekly puzzle #2
Opening in limited release for Oscar consideration
From Ken Levine's blog, an inspired movie trailer version of one of America's Christmas classics:
The new free agents: sportswriters
Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times reports on the trend for online sites such as ESPN.com and Yahoo! Sports to hire away writers from what would normally be considered the top print publications.
ESPN.com has recently hired Howard Bryant, Mark Fainaru-Wada, Rick Reilly, Selena Roberts among many others. Yahoo has gone for cheaper names, but has hit the Los Angeles Times hard after hiring David Morgan of the Times to run its sports operation.
Day 4 of the Long March: Hawai'i Bowl chat
What better way to get ready for the holidays than with some exciting minor bowl action from the 50th state?
Normally, the University of Hawai'i would play in this game if they had a winning record, but the 'Bows spoiled things by going undefeated and going to the Sugar Bowl. So instead it will be last season's favorite underdog, Boise State (10-2), facing East Carolina (7-5).
A crowd of invited guests is expected. Boise State finished its regular season with a loss at Hawai'i, so it's not like its fans are motivated to make another trip out to the islands. And East Carolina's fans probably won't be coming out in big numbers either. Mostly because they can't figure out which state they're really in.
Boise State has played in seven bowl games at the Division 1-A level and is 5-2 in those games and three of those wins came at home.
East Carolina is 4-4 in 1-A level bowls, including an epic 64-61 loss to Marshall in 2001. The Pirates are 3-2 in lower division bowl games, losing the 1952 Lions Bowl played in Salisbury, North Carolina and the 1954 Elks Bowl played in Greenville, South Carolina. They did beat Northeastern in the 1963 Eastern Bowl in Allentown, Pennsylvania and won the 1964 and 1965 Tangerine Bowls (over UMass and Maine), which has since morphed into the Capital One Bowl.
Can you measure grittiness?
Apparently, you can measure grit. Flotsam Media gives us G.R.I.T. (General Requirements of Intangible Talents). I think it should just be GRIT, but I suppose these people like the New York Times style.
The alltime grittiest season belongs to Ron Hunt in 1971. The least gritty season came from Barry Bonds in 2004. Craig Biggio is the career leader and Barry Bonds again pulls up the rear.
G.R.I.T. is determined by a complicated formula that breaks down to (Dirt + Determination - Talent) / Opportunity.
The Phillies have signed former Cardinal outfielder So Taguchi to a one-year deal with a club option for 2009. Billy Wagner awaits more chances to have Mets fans boo him.
Does this officially count as a denial?
You've seen it before, but it's always worth another look: Masafumi Yamamori's famous catch in 1981.
Day 3 of the Long March: PapaJohn's, New Mexico, Las Vegas Bowl open chats
A tripleheader of bowl games that you will neither remember or forget!
It kicks off at 10 am PT with the PapaJohn's.com Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. Why is this game played in Birmingham named after a pizza company headquartered in Louisville? It's best not to think about such things.
Anyway, Southern Mississippi (7-5) and fired its longtime coach, Jeff Bower (he still gets to coach this game), takes on Cincinnati (9-3). Southern Miss has played in 15 bowl games in its history and is 8-7. The Golden Eagles also have played in four other postseason exhibitions including the 1946 Cigar Bowl against Havana University. Southern Miss won that one, 55-0.
Cincinnati has played in eight bowls if you don't count the 1949 Glass Bowl against Toledo, which apparently was just a fancy name for a regular season game. The Bearcats are 4-4 in bowl games. Southern Miss and Cincy used to be in the same conference and have played each other 14 times and split those games. This one should settle the score!
At 1:30 PT comes the New Mexico Bowl. It's played in Albuquerque, which the last time I was there, was in New Mexico! Brilliant idea! And one of the teams playing in it is New Mexico. The Lobos will be playing the Nevada Wolf Pack. Bring your own lycanthrope! New Mexico was 8-4 and Nevada was 6-6 this season.
New Mexico has played in ten bowl games and is 2-7-1 and last won in the 1961 Aviation Bowl (in Dayton, Ohio, at treat for anyone) against Western Michigan. They also won the 1946 Sun Bowl against Denver.
Nevada is 3-4 in bowl games and lost won one in 2005 when they squeeked by Central Florida 49-48 in the Hawai'i Bowl.
Surprisingly, the two schools haven't played each other since 1942 (a scoreless tie). New Mexico beat Nevada in 1941. But for over 60 years, these two teams have seen neither hide nor hair of each other.
And to put the cherry on the sundae, at 5 pm, it's the Las Vegas Bowl, from well, Las Vegas. Brigham Young (10-2) and ranked 19th takes on one of the two teams that beat them this year, UCLA (6-6). Toward the end of this game, you may wonder how UCLA actually beat BYU. (Tulsa handed BYU its other loss.)
BYU will be playing in its 26th bowl game and is 8-16-1. The Cougars lost to UCLA in the 1986 Freedom Bowl in Anaheim.
UCLA will be in its 28th bowl game and is 13-14-1. UCLA has played BYU eight times and won seven of the matchups. And the two teams will play again on September 13, 2008 in Provo.
If you watch all three games in their entirety today, you will receive a special commendation from Congress. Or possibly a subpoena. I know a guy.
Day 2 of the Long March: New Orleans Bowl open chat
Really, you're going to watch this? Memphis (7-5) versus Florida Atlantic (7-5). Good for you.
Florida Atlantic, in its third season of Division I-A football, won the Sun Belt Conference this year and that gave them a spot in the first of three bowl games to be played in the Lousiaina Superdome this season. The Owls, in their brief history, have won only one game against a team from a BCS conference and that was Minnesota this year. Florida Atlantic also beat Hawai'i in 2004.
Memphis is 5-1 alltime in bowl games. Their first win was in the 1952 Burley Bowl (burley is a type of tobacco grown in the area) over East Tennessee State. That was played in Johnson City, Tennesee. Then there was the Tigers trip to Pasadena in 1971 to play in the Rose Bowl. Except it wasn't for the Rose Bowl, but rather the Pasadena Bowl on December 18, and Memphis (then Memphis State) beat San Jose State, 28-9.
The Tigers won the New Orleans Bowl in 2003 over North Texas State, then lost to Bowling Green in the 2004 GMAC Bowl, and beat Akron in the 2005 Motor City Bowl.
Tommy Byrne, 1919-2007
Byrne appeared in four World Series (1949, 1955, 1956, and 1957). Byrne pitched the 8th and 9th innings of Game 7 of the 1957 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves and Casey Stengel allowed Byrne to bat with two outs in the ninth inning and the Yankees down 5-0. Byrne singled, but Bill Skowron followed with a forceout to third to end the game. That at bat was Byrne's last appearance in a big league game.
Day 1 of the Long March: Poinsettia Bowl open chat
I really don't expect much chatting, but since I have little to write about this time of year, I am going to post a chat thread for all 32 college football bowl games (days with multiple games will get one thread). Why? I do not know. Perhaps because it is there. Once I used to make it a goal to see at least one minute of each bowl game just because I do things like that. But now that some games are on the NFL Network that will never happen. And some days I will actually go out and socialize with people over the holidays.
But for tonight, enjoy Utah (8-4) versus Navy (8-4) in the Poinsettia Bowl at 6 pm PT from San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. It's the first ever meeting between the Utes and the Midshipmen.
Utah has won its last six bowl appearances defeating Fresno State, USC, Southern Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, and Tulsa. Navy's
A bit of history gone to the dogs
Jonathan Papelbon claims that his dog, Boss, chewed on the baseball that he used to record the final out of the 2007 World Series and that the ball is pretty much destroyed.
Doug Mientkiewicz has sued the dog.
Phillies bring Geoff Jenkins aboard
The War for Jenkins' Ear, plus the rest of him, is over as the Phillies are going to sign the former Brewer to a 2-year contract.
Bonds, they're A Bonds
One of the two major bond rating service, Fitch Ratings, has announced that it is not changing its rating for the bond issues from Major League Baseball (called the Major League Baseball Trust) in light of the Mitchell Report. They were A and they will remain A. The highest rating from Fitch is AAA.
I don't know what the Moody's (really Mergent) rating is, but from my experience of working as a librarian in the Business Department of the library for several years, is that when someone asks a questions about bond issues, the best way to answer the question is to crawl under the desk and hide and hope that the person asking the question believed that you died. It proved to be an unsuccessful tactic.
Schilling talks about the Mitchell Report, Clemens, et al. (for a a very long time)
Curt Schilling at his 38pitches.com blog goes on at length about the Mitchell Report and some of the players involved.
The most interesting part is about Roger Clemens.
It's the one halfway between first and third base
Weekly puzzle #1
In a compromise to satisfy the people who liked them and the people who hated them (I really don't care about people who had no opinion about them), there will be one rebus puzzle per week. Unless otherwise specified, the puzzles will have a baseball theme. The answer will not be provided with the puzzle.
Don Chevrier, 1938-2007
Don Chevrier, the first TV broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays back in 1977, passed away at his home in Palm Harbor, Florida Monday at age 69. The cause of death was a blood disorder.
In addition to baseball, Chevrier covered numerous other sports in Canada and the U.S. He may be remembered most recently for calling the rock-by-rock action in Olympic curling for NBC along with Don Duguid.
In 1980, Chevrier called the USA-USSR "Miracle on Ice" hockey game for ABC Radio.
Chevrier worked for the Blue Jays for 20 years.
Stan Kasten wants you to buy American
The Washington Nationals will debut their new stadium, Nationals Park (until someone pays them for a better name), for regular season action on March 30, 2008 against the Braves in the first ESPN Sunday Night game of the year.
State Department employees and embassy workers are not welcome.
The Lion King returns to Yomiuri
Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop has agreed to return to the Yomiuri Giants for a second year, but agreed to a 20 million yen (about $177,000) pay cut. He will still make 630 million yen (about $5.5 million).
Kennedy High alumni update
Jack Cassel has signed with Houston.
Terrmel Sledge is joining the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Jon Garland has joined Garret Anderson on the Angels.
I am presently sitting on my couch.
Today's Kennedy High trivia question: What is the name of the school's largest building?
Day 5 of the ESPN/Viņa impasse (UPDATE)
It's Day 5 since the Mitchell Report named Fernando Viña as a user of PEDs and the ESPN commenter has not appeared on ESPN to address the matter.
This leads to several questions:
UPDATE - Viña speaks on the matter.
Connie Mack ties the knot!
I'll take that section over on the first base side
According to a Palm Beach Post story, the Florida Marlins drew approximately 50 fans to the first two hours of their season ticket "Select a seat" day at Dolphins Stadium.
The Marlins marketing slogan for 2008 is "You Gotta Be Here!"
Pettitte fesses up
According to an AP report, Andy Pettitte has acknowledged that he did indeed use HGH in the past, but he says it was only on two occassions back in 2002.
"If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize," Pettitte said Saturday in a statement released by his agent. "I accept responsibility for those two days."
No, he's not retiring
According to Ken Davidoff of Newsday, Roger Clemens is planning to come back to pitch again in 2008. Houston and Boston are expected to be the teams Clemens is interested in.
Edmonds departs Mound City
The St. Louis Cardinals have reached a deal with the San Diego Padres to ship Jim Edmonds to San Diego in exchange for minor leaguer David Freese, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. There will be cash involved also.
Will it last longer than the Mark McGwire Highway?
The Kentucky General Assembly has voted to name part of U.S. 60 outside of Ashland, Kentucky in honor of native son Brandon Webb. It should run from approximately where the arrow is in this link until you hit the Ohio River.
It's official, it's been cataloged!
Library catalogers have taken their look at the Mitchell Report.
News comes to a crawl
In a sign of how information is disseminated now, ESPN is trying to summarize the Mitchell Report in a news crawl that appears underneath the action of the NCAA women's volleyball semifinals.
There's no better way to learn complex information than in crawl form. I'm going to go out and buy a newspaper tomorrow and have someone cut out each line and then paste them together horizontally and then have them pulled right to left in front of me.
Would I have learned more in college if all my textbooks had been presented to me in a similar way?
And not appearing in the Mitchell Report...
David Eckstein has signed a one-year deal for $4.5 million with the Toronto Blue Jays. Eckstein is expected to bat leadoff in 2008 for Toronto.
Mitchell Report Thread
At 11AM PT, MLB.com will broadcast the press conference and make downloads available from its Mitchell Report home page. You can now download the report. Will this Mitchell Report be as controversial and have as much implications for the future of mankind as the last one?
The final rebus
Book Review: Breaker Boys by David Fleming
With new baseball books not titled “The Mitchell Report” not coming out for a couple of months, I took a stab at a recent book written about one of the obscure parts of the history of the NFL. That is, the controversial championship decision of 1925, which is officially recorded as belonging to the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals, but one that many think should belong to the long defunct Pottsville Maroons. Pottsville’s story is recounted by ESPN.com writer David Fleming in his new book: Breaker Boys.
Pottsville had little else going for it except pro football and back in 1925, that was akin to saying that your town was notable for having the second-highest murder rate in the country. Football in the 1920s was a sport played by proper college men, not mercenaries paid by the game and rounded up each week to entertain the masses.
Tejada to the Astros for lots of players
The Baltimore Orioles have traded shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for five players.
We are GSHS!
The Tampa School Board has voted to name a new high school in the city of Lutz, Florida after New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. (Insert joke here.)
Actually, that part of the linked article from the St. Petersburg Times is the least strange part. If you keep reading further down, you get to this:
That's the problem with democracy. It lets people say things. And usually most of us don't have anything worth saying.
An early Christmas present from Retrosheet
Dave Smith of Retrosheet has announced the release of two new data sets. One is the play by play data for the 2007 season. Now you can relive the Padres-Rockies one-game playoff. Or Clay Buchholz's no-hitter. Or Jose Guillen reaching first on catcher's interference on September 30!
Also 1956 play by play is available. Here is the play-by-play of the NL pennant clinching game by Brooklyn. Did you know that in 1956 there were two only two catcher's interference calls all year in the AL? And Joe Collins of the Yankees had both of them. There were only two in the NL. One was by Sandy Amoros in the Dodgers' 153rd game of the season. Andy Seminick of the Phillies had the other one.
One year on a December 10 in the future, Dave Smith and Retrosheet will be honored in Stockholm.
Should I stay or should I go?
Warning: Babelfish translation and the Japanese is almost guaranteed to be way off.
Nats pick up heart, soul, anima, superego, and archetype
Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals and Paul Lo Duca have agreed on a one-year, approximately $5 million contract.
Happy 30th Birthday to Dan Wheeler! (UPDATED)
And a different year birthday for me.
Current status for me: not dead. What more can you ask for?
I can't promise that this status will always be accurate. I'll check back in the morning to see if is.
8:22 a.m. PT - status: still not dead. Woo hoo!
11:14 a.m. PT - status unchanged!
Posnanski interview with BBWAA President Bob Dutton
Joe Posnanski has a long interview with Bob Dutton, Royals beat writer for the Kansas City Star, about the status of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), which has been in the news recently over its decision to allow writers from internet sites in to the association. However, ESPN.com's Rob Neyer and Keith Law were excluded.
This decision led to one of the longest threads I'd ever seen at Rich Lederer's Baseball Analysts. There was also a monstrously long thread at Baseball Think Factory that started out on topic and then devolved into something else. I sort of gave up in the 200s. I'm sure the Mets were involved in it.
But will anyone else get to see perfection?
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has seen the home movies that Saul Terry, formerly of Scottsdale, Arizona (and now deceased) took on a trip with his wife, Elise, to New York City back in 1956. One of their stops: Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
Terry's family rejected MLB's initial offer to buy the film. There are parts of the original NBC broadcast still existing, but they have only been shown to a small audience.
Many famous sporting events don't exist on tape or film in complete form. Super Bowls I and II are examples of this. For Larsen's perfect game, most of us will still have to settle for watching newsreel footage of Yogi Berra jumping into Don Larsen's arms after a recreation of umpire Babe Pinelli calling out pinch hitter Dale Mitchell to end the game.
Texas is Bradley's newest home
The Texas Rangers have reached a preliminary agreement on a 1-year, $5 million contract with free agent outfielder Milton Bradley, according to an AP report.
Texas will be Bradley's sixth stop after playing in Montreal, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego. Bradley will DH and play the outfield after his injured knee allows it.
Fukudome headed east, destination unknown
Several news outlets, an example being The Canadian Press, are reporting that Japanese free agent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome has turned down the Yomiuri Giants contract offer. And since Fukudome, who has played his whole career for the Chunichi Dragons, has said that he would play in Japan for the Giants or no one, the right fielder should be on his way to MLB.
The Cubs, White Sox, and Padres are all making strong plays for Fukudome.
And if you don't trust me, you can read the story from Nikkan Sports.
Fay Vincent really does not like Bowie Kuhn in the slightest
Erstwhile Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent flays, filets, and purees the Baseball Hall of Fame's selection of Bowie Kuhn in an op-ed piece for the New York Times. Vincent goes on to champion former Players Association executive Marvin Miller.
Yankees DFA Kiheimahanaomauiakeo
Ahh, the beauty of cut and paste.
Just sound it out. Or ask Jim Leahey.
Gagne headed back to NL with Brewers
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that free agent reliever Eric Gagne has reached an agreement in principle with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers lost closer Francisco Cordero as well as setup man Scott Linebrink, but have replaced them with Gagne, Salomon Torres (who says he might retire), and David Riske.
Trust me, it's safer to just ask me
I've often thought that the typical Slate.com article should be headlined "You should crawl under a rock and die because you're so wrong about everything", but this article about Yahoo! Answers and it's ... um... interesting use of the word "answer" is a bit more my style.
No one has yet answered this question about why individual season statistics in baseball don't carry over when a player changes leagues. But will anyone have the courage to come up with the answer of, "That's the way it's always been done. The leagues were considered separate entities for decades."
The headline of the article is "Why Yahoo! Answers is a librarian's worst nightmare." It's not my worst nightmare. My worst nightmare involves Joseph Biden, Russ Ortiz, and an oversized peach.
Cleveland finds player to get them over the top
However, Cleveland wasn't able to get that player.
Instead, they picked up Jamey Carroll from the Rockies for a player to be named later. Colorado supposedly is interested in signing Tadahito Iguchi.
They could have been big, they could have been contenders
But now they are just Yokohama BayStars. The Kyodo News Service reports that Yokohama has added former Met pitcher Dave Williams, former Baltimore/Colorado/St. Louis outfielder Larry Bigbie, and Red Sox minor league reliever Travis Hughes have all signed with Yokohama.
The trio will get to play in one of Japan's smaller parks, at least in terms of seating, Yokohama Municipal.
It's a relatively easy poke to hit the ball completely out of the park.
BBWAA acknowledges existence of 21st Century
From Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts comes news that the Baseball Writers Association of America for the first time has admitted 16 writers for web sites.
I believe that all 16 who were admitted had all written for newspapers prior to moving to sites such as ESPN.com or Yahoo, e.g. Peter Gammons, Jayson Stark, Tim Kurkjian, Tim Brown, and Steve Henson.
The story that never happened?
Getting tough on players, but easier with the puzzles
It's simpler when the puzzle doesn't accurately reflect what happened.
Will he be ready for spring training?
New (Greek letter nu)
Knee (Knights who say "ni" from "Monty Python & the Holy Grail.)"
Late development from Nashville
This will teach me never to take time to go read a book.
A surprisingly large contract
Another deal at the winter meetings
Whiteside honored with Spink Award (and other BBWAA news)
Larry Whiteside, a former Red Sox beat reporter for the Boston Globe who passed away June 15, was honored with the J.G. Spink Award by the Baseball Writers Association of America, presented annually at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.
Nick Peters of the Sacramento Bee and Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune also received consideration.
And from the comments there is word that the BBWAA is trying to take action about the potential for BBWAA votes to trigger incentive clauses in contracts.
The fans have spoken (Frick Award)
Fan voting through MLB.com has added three candidates to the Hall of Fame's Ford Frick Award ballot. The three men added were Joe Nuxhall, Bill King, and ... JOE MORGAN!
JOE FREAKIN' MORGAN!
Pictures cannot express my disapproval at this development.
Thanks to Diane Firstman for the tip.
Smaller deal, fewer pictures
Big deal of the day? (Picture 5 changed but meaning same)
Pete Hamill's obligatory O'Malley column
Many people were wondering when New York Daily News columnist would come out with a piece about how bad it was that Walter O'Malley was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
I think that Hamill must have had this saved up on his computer and just hit F9 + O to send it in.
If Dick Young were James Madison, we would have had no constitutional right to root for Tom Seaver on the Mets.
Minor league team changes mascot name (a story told with words!)
The new Lehigh Valley IronPigs, which will begin play in 2008 as the Phillies AAA affiliate, had to quickly get rid of the original name for its mascot, a furry pig, from PorkChop to Ferrous, after receiving complaints from local Latino groups that "pork chop" was a derogatory term to refer to Puerto Ricans.
"It is common for ferrous materials to be highly magnetic," said Director of Community Relations Sarah Marten, "so we feel fairly certain that this name will stick!"
Dancing Homer did not wear a number, but I presume it would have been 92 or 94.
Five-year old Kylie Shimkus of Easton, PA, was chosen among the 32 "PorkChop" entries in a fan contest to pick the mascot name for the IronPigs. Kylie will still receive her prizes.
Today's other Hot Stove deal
Quiet day in the Hot Stove League
Veterans Commitee selections
Avoiding free agency?
Will he or won't he?
Pitcher changing cities
A player who will always find a home
An expected free agent signing
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
About the Toaster
Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
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