• A-Rod’s Love For The Mets

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2012 · Comments (9)

    Via Andrew Marchand -

    The apprehensive 13-year-old approached Keith Hernandez. Like any other kid meeting his idol, a “super nervous” feeling rushed though his body. Finally, with his courage up, the youngster addressed the player he had spent so many nights watching on TV.

    “You are my favorite player,” Alex Rodriguez recalled saying. “I hope to be drafted one day.”

    The funny thing about that chance meeting in 1988 is that Hernandez remembers it, too. Hernandez, the former MVP, was rehabbing a hamstring injury at Florida International University when this kid — who had yet to hit any of his 640 homers — walked up to him.

    What sticks out most in Hernandez’s mind was not Rodriguez’s “imposing physique,” but his intensity.

    “He was very intent to listen,” said Hernandez, now an analyst on the Mets’ network, SNY. “He asked questions.”

    Rodriguez has shown some chameleon tendencies during his career, claiming this place or that place was always his dream spot. But, in reality, on the eve of the latest Subway Series, Rodriguez knows it wasn’t Texas, despite the money, or the Yankees, despite the history, that tugged at his heart.

    It was the Mets.

    Growing up in Miami in the ’80s, there were three main outlets for Rodriguez to watch baseball. There was WGN for the Cubs, WTBS for the Braves and WOR for the Mets.

    He didn’t have much affection for anyone at Wrigley. He loved Dale Murphy during the years that preceded the Braves’ glorious run in the ’90s. But A-Rod’s favorite team was the Mets, cemented by the fact that they added Hernandez in 1983.

    “Him and [Gary] Carter were the finishing two pieces of furniture to create the perfect house,” Rodriguez said. “And they got the championship in ’86.”

    Fourteen years later, the Mets would return to their next World Series. By that time, A-Rod, just 25, had already nailed 241 homers — 79 more than Hernandez had in his entire 17-year career.

    Rodriguez, on the verge of hitting the market as possibly the most celebrated free agent in baseball history, famously showed up at Shea Stadium for the Subway Series, hoping he would emulate his idol and one day lead the Mets to a World Series title.

    Rodriguez wanted to be a Met so bad that one person close to him still insists he would have taken less than the $252 million the Texas Rangers ended up forking over.

    Instead, in the first of A-Rod’s many public relations disasters, a back-and-forth between his then-agent, Scott Boras, and the Mets resulted in the Mets failing to even bid on A-Rod. All he got from his favorite team was the “24-plus-one” tag pinned on him like a scarlet letter by then-GM Steve Phillips.

    I knew about the crush that A-Rod had on Mex. The first time A-Rod wore white spikes in an All-Star game, he said that he did it because Hernandez did it as well.

    I wonder how things would have played out different, for the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox and A-Rod, had Rodriguez signed with the Mets instead of the Rangers. That would have been very interesting.

    Johnny Damon Leading The Indians

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2012 · Comments (1)

    Via the AP -

    Fresh from the shower, Johnny Damon strolls through the Indians’ clubhouse wearing a terry cloth bathrobe with his number 33 and last name on the back.

    The garment, a replica of Cleveland’s home uniforms, is identical to the ones he gave as gifts to his new teammates, some of whom have been watching the veteran play since they were kids.

    Although he looks a bit like Hugh Hefner – minus any playmates – as he walks to his locker, Damon exudes an unmistakable aura, one that demands respect and attention.

    ”He’s just a leader,” Indians outfielder Michael Brantley said.

    In less than two months, Damon, who signed with Cleveland in April, has established himself as one of the team’s point men. The 38-year-old outfielder is providing needed guidance and advice to a young Indians team leading the AL Central and hoping to play deep into October.

    And lately, after a horrendous start at the plate, Damon has been coming through with clutch hits.

    Johnny on the spot.

    On Wednesday night, Damon’s two-run homer in the fourth inning set the tone for Cleveland’s offense as the Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the interleague series. It’s the most recent example of Damon delivering for the Indians, who were off Thursday and open a 10-game trip in Houston on Friday.

    After being under .200 for most of the past month, Damon has bumped his average to .203 by hitting .400 (6 for 15) in his last six games. But he’s been slowly building with a .295 average over his past 16 games with eight RBIs and 10 runs.

    To this point, he’s given the Indians more quality than quantity.

    ”He’s gotten so many big hits that go unnoticed just because of the batting average,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. ”Johnny got that two-run double the other day to beat Detroit. Johnny got the big homer to give us a cushion against the St. Louis Cardinals when everybody just remembers the three-run homer that Jason Kipnis hit. Everybody forgot that it was Johnny who started the rally with a single off their closer.

    ”His concentration level when the game is on the line has been a tremendous teaching tool to these young guys.”

    Damon missed all of spring training, which may account for his early struggles. He wasn’t ready for major league pitching, although Damon didn’t want to use the lack of swings in Arizona as an excuse.

    ”It’s not that I got too far behind,” he said. ”It’s just a matter of scuffling a little bit at first. I came here ready to go, but the hits didn’t come and I started changing my stance a little to overcompensate when I actually didn’t have to worry about anything. The hits just weren’t coming. Sometimes as players that’s what you do first, but I feel like I’m in a good spot now.

    ”But obviously good at-bats don’t always translate into hits.”

    Shortly after joining the Indians, he handed out the bathrobes.

    ”It’s something I started doing a few years ago in Detroit and Tampa Bay,” he said. ”The guys always thought it was cool and I thought why don’t I take care of the players.”

    Since arriving, Damon has been taking care of Cleveland’s youngsters. He’s offered them tips on hitting, baserunning and just being a professional. And because he does it in such a genuine, humble manner, the Indians have listened and learned.

    ”He came in and was talking to the young guys right away,” Brantley said. ”He’s given us a little perspective on what it takes to stay here, the mental grind. He’s just always real positive. We always admired him and looked up to him, watching him on TV and how hard he played.

    ”He plays the game the right way and to have him in the same locker room, just being able to ask him firsthand questions is phenomenal.”

    Acta said Damon’s leadership by example has been instrumental to the Indians’ success. He hasn’t griped about playing time or being taken out of left field in the late innings for defensive purposes. He kept working during his slump, taking extra batting practice to find his lost stroke.

    ”The way he carries himself and the way he hasn’t allowed the struggles to show or change the way he goes about his business, that’s something that is priceless to teaching these guys,” Acta said. ”He’s been a pro, man. It’s very easy to be a nice guy and a good leader when things are going good. But when things are going the wrong way, it takes a high-character guy to show up every day with the same face and treat his teammates the way he does.”

    I know that bringing in Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira were part of the Yankees making the World Series in 2009. But, I also think that having guys like Damon, Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui were part of it as well. There are superstars – and then there are guys who always seem to be doing something that helps you win a game.

    Seems like Damon is still that kind of guy.

    Mets Discounting Tickets

    Posted by on June 22nd, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Via Ken Belson -

    The Mets have had a surprisingly good run so far this season. Despite a wave of injuries and some notable misadventures by their relievers, they are six games over .500 as the midway point of the season approaches and in second place in the National League East.

    But as they head into a weekend series with the Yankees at Citi Field, they are still working to overcome their drop in attendance in recent seasons.

    That may partly explain why the Mets announced Wednesday that they still had tickets available for this weekend’s Yankees series — normally a coveted matchup for fans — and that, more significantly, they were discounting the prices on some of the seats still available.

    The discount offer came disguised as a gimmick. In honor of the temperature hitting 93 degrees on Wednesday, the Mets said that left-field reserve seats for Friday night’s game — Andy Pettitte vs. Jon Niese — were available for $93, $22 less than their face value. For Sunday night’s game, in which R. A. Dickey will try to follow up on two straight one-hitters in a marquee matchup against C. C. Sabathia, the Mets were offering an even larger discount. Field box seats that cost $136 were available for $93.

    The release the Mets sent out to reporters inadvertently included e-mail exchanges between members of the club’s marketing department in which they discussed which seats for this weekend’s games should be discounted. The exchanges cited 59 outfield reserved seats for Friday’s game and 165 field box seats for Sunday, just a small portion of the roughly 42,000 seats in Citi Field.

    A search on Mets.com revealed that small numbers of other tickets for this weekend were available in other sections of Citi Field, although not at a discount.

    For the 36 home dates this season, the Mets have averaged 28,279 fans a game, according to the team. That is a decline of 3 percent compared to the first 36 home dates a year ago, according to figures compiled by Baseball-Reference.com.

    The Mets’ attendance dropped 19 percent in the 2010 season, the second year at Citi Field, and an additional 8 percent in 2011, when the Mets drew 2,352,596 fans. So this year’s decline, to date, is notably smaller. Last October, the Mets announced they were cutting ticket prices for 2012, the third consecutive year they had done so.

    I have a lot of thoughts on this topic. On one hand, I think it’s great/smart of teams to discount tickets near the date of the game to try and sell the seats. It’s good for the team and good for the fans. But, on the other hand, I would be pissed if I paid full price for my seat and the guy sitting next to me got into the game for less than I paid. Yet, I guess that’s the way this rolls…you pay for the security of having the ticket and you benefit by waiting until the last minute.

    Of course, this is where I also wonder if teams are using the secondary market to try and fill seats without bringing attention to themselves for discounting ticket prices. It would be very easy for someone in the ticket office, under instruction by the club, to open an account on StubHub and then sell the seats and give the team the money.

    All Is Fun In Family And Fouls

    Posted by on June 21st, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Great story.

    Kevin Long: Lack Of Commitment & Conditioning Led To Yanks Trading Melky Cabrera

    Posted by on June 21st, 2012 · Comments (33)

    Isn’t that the same cover up that the Red Sox used when they sold Babe Ruth?

    Via Joel Sherman -

    On Tuesday, Melky Cabrera overtook Ryan Braun to gain third place in voting among outfielders for the NL All-Star team and then overtook Willie Mays to become the fastest San Francisco Giant to 100 hits in a season. He needed 291 at-bats. Mays needed 295 in 1958.

    He went into his game last night against the Angels with 101 hits and an MLB-best 302 — 10 more than anyone else — since the beginning of last season. Cabrera was hitting .369 this year with a .945 OPS, moving Long to say, “He’s a hell of a player. He has totally gotten committed to his career. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t take anything for granted any more. His personal trainer is with him all the time. When you go all in and have talent, this is what happens — and it is evident he has the talent.”

    Long said it was clear Cabrera had talent before he was traded to Atlanta, but was “pudgy” and not as diligent about his career.

    “If Melky committed himself to the Yankees as he does now, he would still be a Yankee,” he said. “And he would say the same thing. He made himself tradeable then.”

    Some Sites Have All The Luck

    Posted by on June 21st, 2012 · Comments (3)

    Via Peter Kafka:

    Bleacher Report and Turner, which have been circling each other for months, are edging closer to a deal. People familiar with both companies say they haven’t agreed on final terms, but are now negotiating exclusively and have agreed on a price: If the transaction goes through, Time Warner’s cable network unit is set to pay more than $200 million for the sports site.

    The logic for the deal is that Turner has a small presence in online sports — it manages sites like PGA.com and NBA.com, but doesn’t own them — and Bleacher Report’s nine-million-plus visitors will help fix that.

    But it’s worth nothing that, up until this spring, Turner used to have a much bigger presence in online sports, via an arranged marriage that didn’t seem to make either participant very happy: For the last couple years, Turner managed Sports Illustrated’s Web site on behalf of Time Warner’s Time Inc.

    Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is famously uninterested in corporate synergy, so I’m not quite sure why he thought having the cable guys sell ads for the print guys would work. And from what I could tell, no one on either side liked the deal. The guys who made the content for the site thought the ad guys didn’t do a bang-up job, and vice versa*.

    But that pairing ended in divorce this quarter, and Turner’s sports group has said it was going to create its own “branded digital destination.”

    Perhaps they’ve decided that buying is easier than building. As it turns out, Bleacher Report’s traffic matches up almost precisely with SI.com’s, according to comScore.

    Hey, Turner, if you’re interested, you can have this site for…well…make me an offer.

    Baseball’s Best Big Toe

    Posted by on June 21st, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Famke Janssen, er, I mean, Amy K. Nelson, rocks…

    Yankees-Mets Series @ Citi, Who Is Going To Sweep?

    Posted by on June 21st, 2012 · Comments (2)

    If you look at the Mets last four series, they have swept or have been swept.

    Date   Opp Rslt
    Jun 8 @ NYY L,1-9
    Jun 9 @ NYY L,2-4
    Jun 10 @ NYY L,4-5
    Jun 12 @ TBR W,11-2
    Jun 13 @ TBR W,9-1
    Jun 14 @ TBR W,9-6
    Jun 15   CIN L,3-7
    Jun 16   CIN L,1-4
    Jun 17   CIN L,1-3
    Jun 18   BAL W,5-0
    Jun 19   BAL W,5-0
    Jun 20   BAL W,4-3
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/21/2012.

    .
    So, what’s going to happen in this upcoming series with the Yankees? Are the Mets going to sweep this one, or, are they going to get swept? Or, will it be something else?

    Pitchers Using Pine Tar

    Posted by on June 20th, 2012 · Comments (7)

    Via the Tampa Tribune -

    For the second time in less than four weeks, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon called out an opposing manager for an act he thought crossed the line of sportsmanship.

    Maddon took aim at Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson after Johnson asked the umpires to check Joel Peralta’s glove and hat for a foreign substance during the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 5-4 Rays victory at Nationals Park.

    The umpires did and found what home plate umpire and crew chief Tim Tschida called “a significant amount of pine tar” inside Peralta’s glove.

    Peralta, who spent part of the 2010 season with the Nationals, was ejected from the game will face a suspension that could be as long as 10 games.

    Maddon was angry over the incident after the game. He didn’t deny that Peralta had pine tar on his glove but implied that using pine tar is a common practice among pitchers.

    “I promise you one thing – you’re going to see brand new gloves throughout the major leagues starting (Wednesday) with pitchers on every particular major league ball club, and furthermore, if you want a reaction to the entire event, I would go talk to the National players and see what they think,” Maddon said, indicating Washington players, particularly pitchers, would be upset that their possible secret to success was uncovered thanks to their boss.

    Maddon didn’t stop there.

    As he did when he called out Boston manager Bobby Valentine for ordering Franklin Morales to hit Luke Scott with a pitch during the ninth inning of a game May 25 in Boston, Maddon took aim at Johnson.

    “It’s kind of a common practice that people have done this for years,” Maddon said. “To point one guy out because he had pitched here a couple of years it’s probably common knowledge based on that.

    “So I thought it was a real cowardly – and I’ve used that word twice this year – it was kind of a (wimpy) move to go out there and do that under those circumstances. I like the word (wimpy) right there.”

    O.K., so, sunscreen combined with rosin is allowed. But, not pine tar?

    I know, I know…and I get it. We cannot allow pitchers to apply something to baseballs in any manner. But, it just seems strange to not allow one thing when there are other things, with the same effect, that don’t get flagged.

    66 Games Into HIs 2012 Season, A-Rod Has A Slugging Percentage Of .412

    Posted by on June 20th, 2012 · Comments (38)

    Paging Dr. Galea…

    Paging Dr. Anthony Galea…

    Lowest SLG% in A.L. through yesterday’s games, for players sans catchers and middle infielders, min. 200 PA:

    Rk Player SLG PA Age Tm G
    1 Casey Kotchman .351 222 29 CLE 59
    2 Michael Young .353 284 35 TEX 66
    3 Carlos Pena .365 287 34 TBR 67
    4 Justin Smoak .366 267 25 SEA 64
    5 Brennan Boesch .368 268 27 DET 65
    6 Eric Hosmer .370 268 22 KCR 64
    7 Ichiro Suzuki .378 297 38 SEA 68
    8 Delmon Young .389 238 26 DET 59
    9 Alex Gordon .396 301 28 KCR 66
    10 Michael Brantley .397 272 25 CLE 64
    11 Adrian Gonzalez .398 290 30 BOS 67
    12 Denard Span .398 277 28 MIN 61
    13 Jeff Francoeur .405 268 28 KCR 64
    14 Alejandro De Aza .406 294 28 CHW 67
    15 Wilson Betemit .412 205 30 BAL 55
    16 Alex Rodriguez .412 284 36 NYY 66
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/20/2012.

    .
    And, Alex Rodriguez plays his home games at Yankee Stadium. Then again, I guess it could be worse. Check out that Boston Red Sox first baseman this season…

    But, still, just because someone else sucks, it doesn’t mean that A-Rod should get a buddy pass here…

    When someone as big as Alex Rodriguez is slugging close to four hundred, you have to wonder what’s going on.

    Happy 166th Birthday, Organized “Cartwright” Baseball

    Posted by on June 19th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    On June 19th 1846, the first officially recorded, organized baseball match was played under Alexander Cartwright’s rules at Hoboken’s Elysian Fields. (The New York Base Ball Club defeatied the Knickerbockers, 23-1.)

    And, no, Jamie Moyer did not pitch in that game.

    The Cubs, Padres, Rockies & Mariners

    Posted by on June 19th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    You can pretty much stick a fork in these four teams, already, this season…no?

    If The 2012 Season Ended Today

    Posted by on June 19th, 2012 · Comments (5)

    In the A.L., the O’s and Rays play for the wildcard.  And, in the N.L., the Mets and Giants play for the wildcard.

    Then, in the junior circuit, the wildcard winner faces the Yankees whereas the White Sox and Rangers face-off in the ALDS.

    And, in the senior circuit, the wildcard winner faces the Dodgers whereas the Nationals and Reds face-off in the NLDS.

    So, is this the way it’s going down this post-season?  If so, who wins it all?  And, if not, which of these teams will not make the post-season and who will make it in their place?

    Gregg Zaun Let’s Loose On Baseball America

    Posted by on June 19th, 2012 · Comments (7)

    Wow.

    I’ve been a Baseball America subscriber for something like 22 years now.  I enjoy reading it.  And, I would deeply miss it, if they stopped publishing it.  But, I do see where Zaun has a point here…

     

    Yankees Win 41 Of Their First 66 Games

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    Other teams since 1918 to win exactly 41 of their first 66 games in a season prior to the 2012 Yankees:

    Rk Tm Year 5 #Matching
    1 NYY 1919 41
    2 CHW 1919 41
    3 PIT 1923 41
    4 PIT 1925 41
    5 PIT 1927 41
    6 WSH 1930 41
    7 NYY 1930 41
    8 NYY 1933 41
    9 STL 1936 41
    10 CHC 1936 41
    11 PIT 1938 41
    12 NYG 1938 41
    13 CLE 1938 41
    14 CIN 1939 41
    15 BOS 1939 41
    16 BRO 1949 41
    17 BRO 1951 41
    18 MLN 1953 41
    19 NYY 1957 41
    20 PIT 1960 41
    21 NYY 1961 41
    22 PHI 1964 41
    23 BAL 1964 41
    24 SFG 1966 41
    25 STL 1968 41
    26 SFG 1971 41
    27 PIT 1971 41
    28 PIT 1972 41
    29 CIN 1972 41
    30 CIN 1976 41
    31 BOS 1977 41
    32 CIN 1978 41
    33 MON 1979 41
    34 BOS 1979 41
    35 HOU 1980 41
    36 OAK 1981 41
    37 LAD 1981 41
    38 CIN 1981 41
    39 BOS 1982 41
    40 TOR 1984 41
    41 TOR 1985 41
    42 TOR 1987 41
    43 STL 1987 41
    44 NYY 1987 41
    45 CHW 1990 41
    46 DET 1993 41
    47 CLE 1994 41
    48 ATL 1995 41
    49 CHW 1996 41
    50 ATL 1996 41
    51 SFG 1998 41
    52 SDP 1998 41
    53 ATL 2000 41
    54 MIN 2001 41
    55 CHC 2001 41
    56 SEA 2002 41
    57 SFG 2003 41
    58 CHW 2006 41
    59 LAA 2007 41
    60 TBR 2010 41
    61 NYY 2010 41
    62 LAD 2012 41
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/18/2012.

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    There’s some great teams, and some not-so-great teams, on this list.

    Yankees Win 10 In A Row

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (3)

    This evening, the New York Yankees won their 10th straight game this season.

    Teams since 2003 (other than the 2012 Yankees) with win streaks of 10 games or better:

    Rk   Strk Start End Games Opp
    1 DET 2011-09-02 2011-09-14 12 CHW,CLE,MIN
    2 TEX 2011-07-04 2011-07-19 12 BAL,OAK,SEA,LAA
    3 BOS 2006-06-16 2006-06-29 12 ATL,WSN,PHI,NYM
    4 HOU 2004-08-27 2004-09-08 12 CHC,CIN,PIT
    5 TBD 2004-06-09 2004-06-22 12 SFG,COL,SDP,ARI,TOR
    6 ARI 2003-06-18 2003-06-30 12 HOU,CIN,DET,COL
    7 PHI 2010-09-12 2010-09-24 11 NYM,FLA,WSN,ATL
    8 CHW 2010-06-15 2010-06-26 11 PIT,WSN,ATL,CHC
    9 TEX 2010-06-12 2010-06-24 11 MIL,FLA,HOU,PIT
    10 COL 2009-06-04 2009-06-14 11 HOU,STL,MIL,SEA
    11 BOS 2009-04-15 2009-04-27 11 OAK,BAL,MIN,NYY,CLE
    12 COL 2007-09-16 2007-09-27 11 FLA,LAD,SDP
    13 LAD 2006-07-28 2006-08-08 11 WSN,CIN,FLA,COL
    14 MIN 2006-06-22 2006-07-03 11 HOU,CHC,LAD,MIL,KCR
    15 MIN 2003-09-13 2003-09-24 11 CLE,CHW,DET
    16 COL 2010-09-03 2010-09-12 10 SDP,CIN,ARI
    17 PHI 2009-07-08 2009-07-21 10 CIN,PIT,FLA,CHC
    18 SDP 2009-05-15 2009-05-25 10 CIN,SFG,CHC,ARI
    19 TOR 2008-08-30 2008-09-09 10 NYY,MIN,TBR,CHW
    20 CLE 2008-08-17 2008-08-27 10 LAA,KCR,TEX,DET
    21 NYM 2008-07-05 2008-07-17 10 PHI,SFG,COL,CIN
    22 MIN 2008-06-17 2008-06-27 10 WSN,ARI,SDP,MIL
    23 OAK 2006-06-08 2006-06-18 10 CLE,NYY,SEA,LAD
    24 WSN 2005-06-02 2005-06-12 10 ATL,FLA,OAK,SEA
    25 NYY 2005-05-07 2005-05-17 10 OAK,SEA
    26 BOS 2004-08-24 2004-09-03 10 TOR,DET,ANA,TEX
    27 PIT 2004-06-26 2004-07-05 10 CIN,STL,MIL,FLA
    28 SFG 2004-05-20 2004-05-31 10 CHC,MON,ARI,COL
    29 OAK 2003-08-23 2003-09-02 10 TOR,BAL,TBD
    30 MIL 2003-08-19 2003-08-28 10 PHI,PIT,CIN
    31 LAD 2003-05-14 2003-05-25 10 ATL,FLA,COL,MIL
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/18/2012.

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    By my quick scan, the 2004 Red Sox are the only team since 2003 to win 10+ games in a row during a season and then go on to win the World Series.

    R.A. Dickey Throws Second Consecutive One-Hitter

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    The story keeps getting better.

    This evening, Dickey became the first pitcher to throw back-to-back one-hitters since Dave Stieb in 1988. (Stieb threw three one-hitters that season!)

    Amazing.

    Roger Clemens Verdict Reached

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (15)

    Stay tuned.

    Update:  Another win for Clemens.

    And Thome Makes Four

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    Via the Philly Inquirer -

    It’s entirely possible that Jim Thome made his final Phillies start on Sunday. He made it a memorable one.

    With a second-inning blast to right field as a designated hitter, Thome became the fourth player in baseball history with at least 100 home runs for three teams.

    Thome homered in the second inning of a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.

    The others who have hit at least 100 homers for three teams are Alex Rodriguez (Seattle, Texas, New York), Reggie Jackson (California, New York, Oakland), and Darrell Evans (Atlanta, San Francisco, Detroit).

    And, for the record, at this moment, only Reggie is in the Hall of Fame…

    Cano To A-Rod: Take Your Stinkin’ Paws Off Me

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (10)

    Any idea what this is all about?

    The Yankees Love June & Inter-League Games

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (8)
    • The New York Yankees are 13-2 (so far) this month and that includes going 9-0 in their inter-league games (to date) this June.
    • Last year, in June, the Yankees went 18-8 and that included going 9-4 against the National League.
    • In June of 2010, the Yankees went 16-10 and that included going 10-5 against the National League.
    • In June of 2009, the Yankees went 15-11 and that included going 9-6 against the National League.
    • In June of 2008, the Yankees went 16-12 and that included going 10-5 against the National League.

    Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

    Batters 2+ Games With 5+ K’s

    Posted by on June 18th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Since 1918, here’s the list -

    .
    There’s still time for about a dozen active players to join this club…

    Happy Father’s Day

    Posted by on June 17th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    They Were All-Stars In 2008…Four Years Later…Not So Much

    Posted by on June 16th, 2012 · Comments (6)

    This evening, my 8-year old son and were watching the 2008 All-Star Game.

    Hey, that’s how me and my boy roll. We like watching baseball. (And, yes, I recorded it back in oh-eight. Com’on, the last one in the old Yankee Stadium. How could I not record it?)

    Viewing it, tonight, what amazed me the most was how many players in this game were “All-Stars” then and now are very much no longer All-Star type players. Man, a lot can change in baseball in just four years.

    They Can’t Beat The Yankees

    Posted by on June 16th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    The New York Yankees are 38-25, this season, so far.

    Also, to date, this year, the Yankees are 11-0 when playing the A’s, Mets, Red Sox and Braves.

    But, all of those four teams will play the Yanks again this season.

    Will they ever be able to beat the Bronx Bombers?

    The Remaining Survivors Of The 2004 Yankees

    Posted by on June 16th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    There  are only seven players from the 2004 Yankees who have appeared in a major league game in 2012:

    Rk Player G Year Age Tm Lg
    1 Derek Jeter 61 2012 38 NYY AL
    2 Alex Rodriguez 61 2012 36 NYY AL
    3 Jason Giambi 29 2012 41 COL NL
    4 Miguel Cairo 26 2012 38 CIN NL
    5 Jose Contreras 17 2012 40 PHI NL
    6 Hideki Matsui 11 2012 38 TBR AL
    7 Mariano Rivera 9 2012 42 NYY AL
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/16/2012.

    .
    It seems sort of fitting that A-Rod will probably be the last active player to remain from that team someday…

    All-Star June 15th Birthday Boys

    Posted by on June 15th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Nice group:

      Born ASG
    Tim Lincecum 1984 4
    Tony Clark 1972 1
    Andy Pettitte 1972 3
    Wade Boggs HOF 1958 12
    Brett Butler 1957 1
    Lance Parrish 1956 8
    Dusty Baker 1949 2
    Billy Williams HOF 1938 6
    Babe Dahlgren 1912 1
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/15/2012.

    .

    Kayden Porter

    Posted by on June 15th, 2012 · Comments (1)

    Should he have been drafted this year?

    I think it’s a reach to say he was a Top 30 guy. Maybe more like Top 400, if you believe this from Baseball America:

    Porter has a big, sturdy frame at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Although he’s been up to 94 mph in the past, he pitches more in the 89-92 mph range. He’s a slow-twitch guy who lacks athleticism, has some effort to his delivery and has trouble throwing consistent strikes. His secondary stuff (a soft curveball and a changeup with split action) is below average and scouts seem content to give him three more years at North Carolina to figure things out. Porter shows light-tower power from the right side of the plate. He broke the Utah high school record for career home runs this season and will play both ways if he winds up in Chapel Hill.

    Golden Boys: Baseball Portraits, 1946-1960

    Posted by on June 15th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    This is the book.

    But, before you check out that link, read this from Ron Kaplan.

    Jurinko was very talented. This one is worth checking out.

    Chass Not Piazza’s Champion

    Posted by on June 15th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    (No Sam pun intended.) Here’s what Murray Chass has recently offered on Mike Piazza and his new book -

    The moment of truth is set for Mike Piazza. His book, “Long Shot,” is scheduled for publication next February, the publisher, Simon & Schuster, said Thursday.

    About six hours after my column about Piazza and other steroids suspects was posted on this site, an aide to Bob Bender, the book’s editor, called with the answer to the question I asked a day earlier. Because the book had been in the works for three years or so, I sought to learn its status.

    Now I know, and while I am not a conspiracy theorist, I smell a conspiracy here.

    The only question relevant to pre-publication is does Piazza write about steroids and if so, what does he write? No one is giving away that information. But sometime last year a Piazza associate said he would cover his entire career, whatever that means.

    It seemed unlikely that the former catcher would admit to steroid use and jeopardize, even for an $800,000 advance, his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame. The publisher, however, will not issue the book until after the Hall of Fame results are known.

    I wonder what the Hall of Fame would do if something negative, like PED use, was disclosed after a player was elected? I’m guessing that there’s not much that they would do? In fact, maybe they would welcome it? Once there’s a known PED user in the Hall, then it makes it easier down the line for others with this in their history to get in…

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