Tagged: diamondbacks

Fire The Manager!

Your team is struggling, inefficiencies at the upper levels of management have resulted in these struggles.  You are the team president and co-acting general manager, you need to fix this, and you don’t know how to fix this personnel wise.  What do you do?  You fire yourself because you’re an idiot the manager!!!!!!!!  Yes this is what team president Stan Kasten, and the Washington Natinals Nationals

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plan to do on Monday.  Soon to be ex-manager Manny Acta, I feel for you, none of this is your fault.  Hopefully the players will stand up for you, just like the Rockies’ did for Clint Hurdle.

( I detailed the Nationals problems here)

This Day In Baseball History


1876-Philadelphia Athletic George Hall becomes first major league player to hit for cycle. The Englishman will also become the first player to be banned, along with others for throwing 3 1/2 game lead with 12 games to go 1877.


1940-At the Polo Grounds, Harry Danning hits for the cycle becoming the last player to have an inside-the-park homer as part of this rare feat. The Giant catcher is able to circle the bases because the ball gets stuck behind the Eddie Grant memorial and Pirates’ center fielder Vince DiMaggio cannot free it in time.


1963-In a 10-3 win over the Reds at Crosley field, Met outfielder Duke Snider hits his 400th career homer off of Bob Purkey.


1965-At Crosley Field, Jim Maloney no-hits the Mets for ten innings but loses 1-0 when Johnny Lewis connects for a homer in the eleventh.


1969-Hitting two home runs, two doubles and a single, A’s Reggie Jackson drives in ten runs as Oakland routs the Red Sox, 21-7.


1979-Giant first baseman Willie McCovey hits his 513th round tripper establishing him as the National League all-time left-handed home run leader.


1996-Cal Ripken sets a new consecutive games world record by playing in his 2,216th consecutive game The previous mark of 2,215 was held by Hiroshima Carp third baseman Sachio Kinugasa playing in the Japanese Central League.


2002-Due to 14 interleague contests all played in
National League parks, a designated hitter is not used in a full slate of major league games for the first time since 1972. Visiting hurlers will get plenty of opportunities to swing the bat as there isn’t a home game scheduled in American League park for the 10 consecutive days.


2006-Russ Ortiz (0-5, 7.54) becomes the highest paid player ever to be cut by a major league team. Although the team still owes $22 million of the $33 million of the four-year deal signed in December 2004, the Diamondbacks designate the 32-year old righty for assignment, meaning the club has 10 days to trade, waive or release the pitcher who is 1-14 record in his last 19 starts.

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Glavine The Complainer, And A Marathon

  • When Will The Tom Glavine Drama End?

Tom Glavine is moaning that the Braves released him for purely financial reasons, and is demanding an apology.  Sure there was some financial motivation, minor league salary over 5 million dollars.  But who would you rather have, a 43-year old pitcher who’s averaging 82 mph on his fastball, or a 22-year old with a blazing fastball, and one of the top pitching prospects ever.  The Braves have tried to cling to the past for too long, it’s time for Atlanta to move on.

  • D-backs 9   Padres 6

A win is a win, or so it is said.  A comfortable 5 run, traditional 9 inning win; is different from a 18 inning marathon, where you can’t score until you’re opponent has to bring in an infielder to pitch.  Arizona better hope that their starter goes the distance tomorrow, or they’re in trouble.

  • MLB Draft Notes
  1. Stephen Strasburg will break the bonus slot system
  2. The Padres are fools if they take Donovan Tate at number 3
  3. Redrafts Aaron Crow, and Tanner Scheppers will be top 10 selections

This Day In Baseball History

1927-Tony Lazzeri becomes the first Yankee to hit three home runs in one game, including a ninth inning blast that ties the game. The four-bagger closes a five-run deficit, and New York goes on to beat the White Sox in the 11th inning at the Stadium, 12-11.

1961-Becoming the first major league team to accomplish the feat, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas hit four consecutive home runs for the Braves in the seventh inning off Reds’ pitchers Jim Maloney (2) and Marshall Bridges (2) at Crosley Field. Despite the home run barrage which also included another by Mathews and one by Warren Spahn, Cincinnati still manages to win the game, 10-8.

1965-In the first major league free-agent draft of students and sandlot players, the A’s select Arizona star Rick Monday making him the first player ever to be drafted.

1968-Don Drysdale’s scoreless streak ends at a record 58 2/3 consecutive innings as Phillies’ Tony Taylor is driven in by Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. It will be Bedell’s only RBI for the season.

1979-Future NFL stars, Dan Marino (4th) and John Elway (17th), are selected by the Kansas City Royals during the free-agent baseball draft.

1989-After the Pirates take a 10-0 lead in Philadelphia by sending 16 batters to the plate in the first inning, Pirates’ broadcaster Jim Rooker announces if the Bucs lose the game he’ll walk back to Pittsburgh. True to his word, the radio by-by-play man organizes a charity walk from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh after the season as a result of the Phillies comeback win over the Pirates, 15-11.

2001-Damion Easley becomes the ninth player in Tiger history to hit for the cycle, and the first Detroit player since 1993 when Travis Fryman accomplished the feat. The New York City native’s eighth inning right-field triple completes the deed in the 9-4 victory over the Brewers.

2007-In the third inning of a 10-3 loss to Boston at Chase Field, a surprised Alberto Callaspo is tagged by Julio Lugo as he dusts off his uniform taking a lead from second after Chris Snyder’s base hit. The Diamondbacks’ third baseman is the victim of the hidden ball trick as he doesn’t realize the Red Sox shortstop had never returned the ball to the pitcher.

The Dan Haren Trade Revisited

Before I get to the main subject of today’s post,  a few quick notes…

  • Congratulations To Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester For Taking A Perfect Game Into The 7th

Jon Lester is a success story to many.  A miraculous recovery from cancer, pitching again, winning the last game of the 2007 World Series, and finally pitching a no-hitter in 2008.  Lester’s story runs almost parallel with another player’s: Dave Dravecky.  At the beginning off the 1988 season, Dravecky had a cancerous desmoid tumor removed from his pitching arm, along with half of the deltoid muscle, and freezing the humerus bone.  On August 10, 1989, Dravecky made a remarkable return to the majors, pitching 8 innings, and giving up three runs.  However tragedy struck in his next start, Dravecky’s humerus bone snapped while he was delivering a pitch, ending his career.  Let’s hope that Lester’s career won’t mirror Dravecky’s that closely!

  • Chad Tracy, Stephen Drew, Chris Young, and Eric Byrnes, You Should Be Ashamed

Diamondbacks pitcher Max Scherzer has a .667 OPS, horrible, right?  What else would you expect from a pitcher?  Four D-back starters, 1B Chad Tracy, SS Stephen Drew, CF Chris Young, and RF Eric Byrnes, have lower OPS’s than Scherzer!  The D-backs offense should be ashamed.

Now the main topic, the Dan Haren trade Revisited
On December 15, 2007, the Oakland A’s traded RHP Dan Haren to the D-backs for six players, LHP’s Dana Eveland, Brett Anderson, and Greg Smith, OF’s Carlos Gonzalez and Aaron Cunningham, and 1B Chris Carter.  
After the 2008 season, in which they failed to impress, Smith, and Gonzalez were used as part of a package for Matt Holliday.  They will be left out of the analysis
How has Haren done for the D-backs?  Through 44 starts, Haren has gone 20-12 with a 3.09 ERA, and 284 strikeouts, including a career high of 206 in 2008, and a 1.06 WHIP.  Ace numbers.
But the A’s certainly received an ace’s haul for Haren.
LHP Eveland was one of the A’s starters in 2008, and at the beginning of 2009, he was solid in ’08, but with the A’s glut of young pitchers, I don’t see Eveland in the team’s longterm plans.
LHP Anderson, just 21 years old, has had a rocky start to his major league career, his minor league numbers are fantastic however, and he should be dominating in 2010.
Cunningham will take over in LF for 2010, he projects as power-speed combo, perhaps 15 HR’s, and 20 steals, with a high .OBP.
Chris Carter will defensively end up a 1B, or a DH.  But his hitting ability cannot be questioned, Carter is a slugger who gets on base a ton.  He projects as a 25-30 homerun bat in the majors.
All in all, Haren could have been a young veteran anchor in an even younger rotation, but with the potential of Anderson, Cunningham, and Carter, the A’s made the right move.  The D-backs paid a king’ s ransom to get a second ace, Haren’s been great, but the D-backs offense hasn’t put them in the playoffs yet.
This Day In Baseball History

1938-In a game against the Red Sox, Indians’ pitcher Johnny Allen storms off the mound and doesn’t return when he is ordered by ump Bill McGowan to cut off his distracting dangling sweatshirt sleeve. The shirt ends up in the Hall of Fame but the Lenoir, North Carolina native doesn’t.

1982-Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games.

1983-Steve ‘Lefty’ Carlton of the Phillies strikes out Cardinals’ outfielder Lonnie Smith for his 3,522nd career strikeout to pass Nolan Ryan as the all-time strikeout leader.

1989-For the first time in major league history, the same game is played partly outdoors and partly indoors as the Blue Jays beat the Brewers, 4-2 in a contest which features the closing of the SkyDome’s retractable roof in the fifth inning due to inclement weather.

1998-Dave Burba becomes the first Cleveland pitcher to homer in 26 years in a 6-1 victory over the Reds at Cinergy Field. Ironically, the right-hander was scheduled to be the Opening Day pitcher for Cincinnati but was traded to Cleveland the day before for Sean Casey.

2006-With the Yankees 10-3 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Joe Torre wins his 2,000th game as a manager. The former Brav
es (257), Mets (286) and Cardinals (351) skipper becomes the first person in big league history to have to reached the milestone and also have at least 2,000 hits as a player.

2007-With two outs in the bottomof the ninth inning at Network Associates Coliseum, Shannon Stewart lines a single to right field to break up Curt Schilling’s no-hitter. Thanks to a first inning home run by David Ortiz, the Red Sox beat the A’s,1-0.

Early NL Cy Young Candidates

Sorry, I didn’t have internet access yesterday, so no post.  On to the NL’s top pitchers…

1. LHP Johan Santana, Mets

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Santana had some bad run support at the start of the season, but has put up stellar numbers none the less.  He leads the NL in Strikeouts (86), and Wins (7), he is second in ERA (1.77), and fourth in WHIP (1.09).  He should maintain these rates, as is BABIP is average.  Santana is one of the best pitchers in baseball, yet he manages to be underrated; maybe fans are just taking this production for normal.  They certainly have a right to, Santana is the frontrunner for the NL Cy Young.
2. RHP Josh Johnson, Marlins

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Josh Johnson is one of many pitchers who have Cy Young talent, but just can’t stay healthy.  He’s among the league leaders in ERA (2.67), WHIP (1.10), Strikeouts (59), and Innings Pitched (67.1).  He has an average BABIP.  Durability will be the number one concern for Johnson, he just can’t seem to stay healthy.
3. RHP Dan Haren, D-backs

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I’ll start this off by saying that Dan Haren won’t win the Cy Young.  Then why am I including him?  Simply this, Dan Haren has excellent peripherals, a 2.57 ERA, a league-leading 0.91 WHIP, he averages 7 IP per start, he strikes out a batter an inning, hardly ever gives up a walk, and leads the NL in SO/BB rate.  His BABIP is on the low side, so his ERA and WHIP will go up, but he will still dominate.  If I could choose one pitcher to build a team around, Haren would be a top possibility.  Than what’s his problem?  The D-backs have a poor offense.  What’s that got to do with anything?  Haren has received no run support, in fact, he has a losing record.  He won’t win the Cy Young, because he won’t put up a flashy, (and meaningless), win total on the D-backs.  Danny Haren deserves much better.
4. RHP Chad Billingsley, Dodgers

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I consider Chad Billingsley a darkhorse candidate for the Cy Young, he will catch voters’ attentions with gaudy win totals, produced not by Billingsley, but by the Dodgers offense.  Billingsley has received an average of almost 6 runs per game in support, he’s not a Dan Haren.  Billingsley has a good 2.67 ERA, and a solid 1.19 WHIP, he also has a BABIP a sliver on the high side.  Billingsley rarely gives up homeruns, but his glaring weakness, not illustrated by his WHIP, is walks, he walks 4 batters per 9 innings, he offsets this somewhat, by striking out a batter an inning.

Haren has the best peripherals, Billingsley has undeserved win totals, Santana has the “dominate” numbers that voters will look for.

Interleague “Rivalry” Matchups

  • Geographical Interleague “Rivalries”

I understand that MLB is trying to create local rivalries, and some, like the Subway Series, and the Windy City Series are actually interesting, but others, such as the Battle Of The Beltway, the Rays-Marlins Series, and the Rangers-Astros Series are ridiculously one-sided.  For the 2010 season maybe MLB should try something different, perhaps Classic World Series matchups, like Red Sox-Cardinals, Twins-Braves, or Orioles-Pirates.

Yesterday’s Best Games

  • Mets 3  Red Sox 2

What does it take for a injury-depleted team working with a two-man bench to beat one of the best closers in the game?  Answer: A miracle

And that’s what happened last night in Boston… 
In the top of the 9th inning, with left fielder Gary Sheffield on first base after leading off the inning with a walk, and two outs, Mets rookie catcher Omir Santos, an injury replacement for Brian Schneider, crushed a first pitch fastball from Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon just over the Green Monster in left field, his hit was originally ruled a double, but was ruled a 2-run homerun following instant replay, and in the bottom of the inning, J.J. Putz shut down the Red  Sox, sealing the series win for New York.
  • Diamondbacks 8  A’s 7

This game turned out to be a thriller at the Oakland Coliseum, the D-backs scored four runs in the 8th inning on key hits by Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy, tying the score at 5-5.  The game went into extra innings, and the D-backs appeared to seal the game when they scored 3 runs in the top of the 11th inning, but Oakland came back in the bottom half, scoring a pair of runs off D-backs closer Chad Qualls, and had runners at the corners with one out, when Jack Hannahan grounded into a double play to end the game.  The Diamondbacks won their third straight, but are still 10 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.

  • Two More Interleague Shutouts

White Sox 4  Pirates 0

Cardinals 5  Royals 0
Game Of The Day Preview coming soon…