Tagged: tigers

Do You Know How To Count To Three?

Milton Bradley doesn’t.  In the eighth inning of yesterday’s game, he caught a deep fly ball near the warning track, and tossed the ball into the stands, assuming that he had caught the third  out.  Now there was minimal impact on the play, Nick Punto had already scored via the sacrifice fly.  But runner Brendan Harris was able to move up to third because of the gaff, and if Alfonso Soriano had missed Justin Morneau’s fly ball, then well…. uh….. uh…. uh…. aha! The Cubs would have lost 8-4, instead of 7-4.  Now, Milton

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how can we teach you to count to three?  Three is the fourth number when you’re discussing outs in baseball.  The numbers for outs go 0, 1, 2, 3.  Or perhaps you prefer zero, one, two, three.


Let’s revisit that inning yesterday, when Nick Punto singled, there were 0 outs, when Luis Ayala bunted, and Punto advanced to second, there was 1 out, when Brendan Harris singled, and Punto moved up to third, there was still 1 out, when Joe Mauer hit a fly ball to you, and you caught it, there were 2 outs, and when Justin Morneau flew out to Alfonso Soriano, then there were 3 outs, and the inning was over.

A quote from Uncle Milton:

“The other fly ball [in the eighth], I turned my back to shade the sun some,” he said. “I caught it. I exhaled, and I was still seeing purple and green spots because I was looking into the sun. I sensed that something wasn’t right. My heart was in the right place, I tried to give a souvenir. It was messed up.”


At least it’s not screaming at umpires, or storming the broadcast booth, some of Bradley’s earlier exploits.



This Day In Baseball History


1905-Giants’ hurler Christy Mathewson pitches his second career no-hitter defeating the Cubs, 1-0.


1913-In the top of the ninth inning with no outs at New York’s Polo Grounds, Christy Mathewson strands a runner on third base to record his 300th career victory as the Giants edge the Cubs, 3-2. During his 17-year major league career, ‘Big Six’ will compile a 373-188 record.


1924-After Bob Meusel get hit with a pitch in his back in the top of the ninth, the Yankee outfielder hurls his bat at Tiger pitcher Bert Cole, and charges the mound. The resulting melee, including players, fans and police, lasts for nearly 30 minutes and when ump Billy Evans is unable to clear the field, he forfeits the game to New York, 10-6.


1948-With the crowd of 49,641 singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to the Babe, the Yankees celebrate the silver anniversary of Yankee Stadium by holding ‘Babe Ruth Day’. With members of the 1923 team (the first team to play in the stadium) looking on, the dying superstar’s uniform number 3 is retired and sent to Cooperstown.


1957-Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams becomes the first American Leaguer to have two three-homer games in one season. The ‘Splendid Splinter’ drives in five runs helping Boston to defeat the Indians, 9-3.


1957-At Comiskey Park, an ugly brawl, precipitated by an Art Ditmar pitch behind Larry Doby’s head, breaks out when the White Sox infielder takes exception to being the target of the bean ball and punches the Yankee hurler. Billy Martin, Walt Dropo, Bill Skowron and Enos Slaughter all actively participate in the melee.


1973-The Dodgers infield which will be together 8 1/2 years, setting a major league record for longevity, play together the first time. First baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, third baseman Ron Cey and shortstop Bill Russell are in the line up in the 16-3 defeat to the Phillies.


1994-At the age of 34, Cub second baseman Ryne Sandberg suddenly retires walking away from $16 million.


1998-The first triple play ever completed at Dodger Stadium is turned by Darren Dreifort, Eric Young, Jose Vizcaino and Bobby Bonilla.


1999-With his Astros ahead 4-1 in the 8th inning, the game is suspended when Houston manager Larry Dierker can’t speak, falls and begins shaking violently due to a gran mal seizure.


2003-On his fourth attempt, Roger Clemens becomes the 21st pitcher and the first since 1990 to record 300 career wins as the 40-year-old righty goes 6 2/3 innings in the Yankees’ 5-2 inter-league victory over the Cardinals. In the second inning when Edgar Renteria swings through full-count fastball, the ‘Rocket’ also joins Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Steve Carlton (4,136) as just the third hurler to record 4000 career strikeouts.



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Crawling Back

A few days ago, I considered writing about how David Ortiz’s career was over because of his hitting troubles.

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Guess not.  With 3 homeruns in the past week, and pushing his BA above the Mendoza Line, Papi’s proving everyone wrong.  Slowly but steadily, Ortiz is crawling back.


  • Interleague Play Again

Some hitters and pitchers primed for big days today:

Alex Rodriguez- 10-16, 3 HR, 2.122 OPS against Livan Hernandez


Vladimir Guerrero-7-16, 3 HR, 1.533 OPS against Chad Gaudin


Paul Konerko-14-34, 2 HR, 1.105 OPS against Jeff Suppan


Ian Snell against Tigers


Vicente Padilla against Dodgers


Roy Halladay against Marlins


This Day In Baseball History


1907-The Yankees commit eleven errors and lose to the Tigers,14-6.


1939-In front of a record crowd of 23,864 fans at Ruppert Stadium, Lou Gehrig plays his last game as a Yankee during an exhibition game against the Kansas City Blues, their AA farm team. Playing only three innings and batting eighth, the’ Iron 71-Horse’ grounds out weakly to second base in his only at-bat.


1939-The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.


1940-In a trade which stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers and $125,000; the deal signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.


1941-The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act sending Lloyd to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings; ‘Big Poison’ Paul will stay in Boston.


1954-Braves’ hurler Jim Wilson pitches the season’s only no-hitter as he blanks the Phillies, 2-0.


1959-Despite giving up a hit in the sixth, Giant Mike McCormick was credited with a no-hitter when the game is rained out later in that same inning.


1967-In a 22-inning game which takes six hours, 38 minutes and ends at 2:43 in the morning, the Senators defeat the White Sox at R.F.K. Stadium, 6-5. The marathon causes the American League to adopt a curfew stating that no inning may begin after 1 00 a.m.


1970-Dock Ellis throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego during the first game of a twin bill. The former Pirates’ right-hander, later an adovocate of anti-drug programs claims he was under the influence of LSD while tossing the most memorable game in his career.


Dock Ellis died on December 19, 2008     R.I.P.


1971-Padre Clay Kirby one-hits the Giants; the no-hitter is spoiled by a Willie McCovey homer.


1981-Major League Baseball’s first strike which begins after the start of a season cancels thirteen regular-season games.


1983-Hall of Famers Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg have their uniform numbers retired by Detroit in a ballpark ceremony. The digits 2 and 5, respectively, will join Al Kaline’s #6 (1980) as the only numbers retired by the Tigers.


1983-Before the game against the Giants, Dale Murphy visits with a six-year old in the stands who recently lost both arms and a leg due a power line accident and is asked by the girl’s nurse if he could hit a home run for the injured child. The outfielder modestly answers “Well, Okay”, and then proceeds to hit two homers in the 3-2 Braves victory at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.


1988-Mike Scott’s attempt for his second career no-hitter is spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning by a Braves infielder Ken Oberkfell’s line drive single down the right field line. The right-hander, who settles for a 5-0 one-hitter, tossed a no-no in 1986 which clinched the Nation League West division for the Astros.


1997-After 126 years of major league play, the first interleague games in history are played as the Giants defeat the Rangers, 4-3, at the Ballpark in Texas. Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter.



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 Indians Are Done

It’s still early in the season, but when your offense can’t score, when your marquee player is injured, and when this happens you’re sunk…

  • Indians demote Fausto Carmona to Rookie League to “Work on his mechanics and mental approach”

What has happened to the 2007 version of Fausto Carmona?  As a quick reminder, that year, Carmona went 19-8, with a 3.06 ERA, and pitched 215 innings, more than he’d ever pitched in a single season.  Carmona’s performance came with an abnormally low BABIP.  What could be so bad in his mechanics to justify sending him down to Rookie league.  Sending a player to Rookie League to work on something, not rehabilitation, but i.e. mechanics, does not motivate a player, to try harder, it makes him feel insulted, and work less.  Back to the main question, what was his mechanical problem?

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  • Grady Sizemore’s injury

Elbow inflammation+possible hamstring injury = bad.  Now he may have surgery and miss six weeks .  I’ts time for Cleveland to sell players like Mark Derosa, and Cliff Lee.

This Day In Baseball History


1920-The Cardinals play their last game at Robison Field (renamed Cardinal Field in 1917), their home field since 1893, beating the Cubs, 5-2. One of new owner Sam Breadon’s first decisions is to agree to a ten-year lease for $20,000 annually allowing his team to move six blocks to share Sportman’s Park with the Browns, and then using the money from selling the aging ballpark to finance Branch Rickey’s idea of establishing a farm system by investing in a club afflilation with a minor league team in Houston, Texas.


1925-White Sox Eddie Collins, at the age of 38, becomes the sixth major leaguer to collect 3000 hits when he doubles off Washington’s Walter Johnson.


1934-Myril Hoag becomes first Yankee in franchise history to collect six hits in one game, a major league record of six singles. The 26-year old outfielder’s 6-for-6 performance helps the Bronx Bombers rout Boston at Fenway Park, 15-3.


1939-Bert and George Bebble and Carl Stotz form the Little League organization in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The three youth teams in the league have uniforms thanks to a $35 donation.


1940-Warren Spahn, who will become the winningest left-hander in baseball history with 363 victories, signs a contract with the Boston Bees (Braves). Due to a clash with manager Casey Stengel and his enlistment in the U.S. Army, the 19-year old southpaw will have to wait six years before he gets his first major league win.


1941-The New York Giants become the first team to wear protective headgear as they don plastic helmets in a game against the Pirates.


1957-After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to poor visibility.


1958-Osvaldo ‘Ossie’ Virgil becomes the first black player to appear in a Tigers’ uniform. The versatile Dominican will eventually play every position but pitcher during his nine major league career.


1965-Tom Tresh hits three consecutive home runs as the Yankees blast the White Sox, 12-0.


1976-After a storm drops seven inches of rain causing floods in Houston, twenty fans canoe to the Astrodome to get rain checks for the canceled game at the enclosed stadium.


1986-Before the game against the Braves, Padres’ skipper Steve Boros tries to give ump Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play from the previous night and is ejected prior to the first pitch of the game.


1992-Eddie Murray drives in two runs against the Pirates to surpass Mickey Mantle (1,509) as the all-time switch-hitter RBI leader.


2002-The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission agrees to drop its lawsuit against the Twins and Major League Baseball. The deal settles a lawsuit blocking baseball’s contraction plan and removes the Twins from consideration for elimination for the 2003 season.


2006-When Eric Gagne, who will earn his first save in over a year, throws his first pitch to his receiver Russell Martin, the pair become the first All-French-Canadian battery in major league history. The pitcher and catcher both attended Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit High School, one of the few schools in Montreal which had a baseball program.


2007-At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.


On Pace, Who’s Gonna Keep It Going

1. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Padres, is on pace for 67 Homeruns

Will he keep it up?  No.  No one is allowed to hit more homeruns than Sammy Sosa!!!!!!!
2. Chris Davis, 1B, Rangers, is on pace for 250 Strikeouts
Ouch!  Will he keep it up?  Probably not, but I can see him challenging the strikeout record, 204, set last year by Mark Reynolds.
3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays, is on pace for 168 RBI
Will he keep it up?  Slim chance, Manny Ramirez had 165 in 1999, and Alex Rodriguez had 156 in 2007, but I don’t consider Longoria that talented a player, yet…
Pitching coming later…
This Day In Baseball History

1891-Charles Garder Radbourn wins his 300th game beating the Beaneaters at South End Grounds in Boston, 10-8. ‘Old Hoss’, who will finish 484 of the 497 games he starts, will end his 11-year career this season with 309 victories.

1918-Facing only 28 batters, Dutch Leonard tosses his second career no-hitter as he holds the Tigers hitless in the Red Sox 5-0 victory at Navin Field. ‘Hub’ had also pitched a no-no against the Browns two seasons ago at Fenway Park.

1935-Babe Ruth announces his retirement from baseball.

1951-Due to the poor lighting during a Alabama-Florida League contest at Peanut Stadium in Headland, Alabama, Ottis Johnson of the Dothan Browns fails to get out of the way of a fastball thrown by Jack Clifton. The 24-year-old Class D minor League outfielder undergoes surgery and spends eight days in the hospital before dying on June 10 as a result of being hit by Dixie Runners hurler’s pitch.
R.I.P.

1987-Using their the number one pick overall in the draft, the Seattle Mariners select Ken Griffey, Jr. The signing of ‘Junior’, son a major leaguer Ken Griffey, will play a major role in Seattle’s success in the mid-1990’s.

1990-Randy Johnson becomes the first Mariner to pitch a no-hitter as the ‘Big Unit’ shuts out the Tigers, 2-0. The southpaw strikes out eight while walking six in the first no-hitter ever thrown in the 14-year history of the Kingdome.

1999-In the first-year player’s draft, the Devil Rays select North Carolina prep star Josh Hamilton as the top pick. It is the first time since 1993, when Alex Rodriguez was selected, that a high school player has been chosen first.

2000-With the Tigers visiting Wrigley Field for the first time since the 1945 World Series, Cubs’ reliever Rick Aguilera pitches a perfect ninth inning for his 300th save to nail down a 2-0 Chicago victory.

Braving A Dilemma

The Braves’ outfield is a complete mess, they could pick three guys of the street who would play better than what they have now.  Where is the root of their problems?

Could it be that CF Jordan Schafer is hitting like what he is, a minor leaguer?  Or is RF Jeff Francoeur still swinging at everything?  Maybe it’s because LF Garrett Anderson can’t hit anymore?  Whatever the cause maybe, the Braves’ outfield is hitting, .237/.288/.327 combined, Matt Diaz and Greg Norton won’t be the solution to this problem; Josh Anderson’s playing in Detroit, Atlanta doesn’t have any outfield prospects, no good outfielder is available.  The Braves are in trouble, big trouble.

Early AL Cy Young Candidates

Today, I am going to examine the three leading candidates for the AL Cy Young Award, but first…

  • Another Day, Another Mets Injury

This was the Mets’ lineup last night, Angel Pagan CF, Luis Castillo 2B, David Wright 3B, Gary Sheffield LF, Fernando Tatis 1B, , Fernando Martinez RF, Omir Santos C, Ramon Martinez SS, Livan Hernandez P.  Besides Daniel Murphy getting the night off, starters Brian Schneider (C), Carlos Delgado (1B), Jose Reyes (SS), Ryan Church (RF), and the newest starter to go down, Carlos Beltran, (CF).



  • Early American League Cy Young Candidates
  1. RHP Roy Halladay, Blue Jays

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Halladay matches up almost completely with another Cy Young candidate, the Royals’ Zack Greinke.  Halladay is tied with Greinke in Wins (8), Winning Percentage (.889), and Innings Pitched (75.0).  However, Halladay is second in ERA, WHIP, Complete Games, and Shutouts, in all of which he is second to Greinke.  Halladay has Cy Young caliber numbers, and if Greinke fell over the edge of the Earth, Halladay would win easily.

2. RHP Justin Verlander, Tigers

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Just one year after leading the league in losses, Verlander has seemingly rediscovered his strikeout power that enabled him to be the 2006 AL Rookie Of The Year, and one of the top 5 pitchers in the AL in 2007.  Verlander even has a flukily high BABIP (batting average on balls in play) working against him, and has surely contributed to his 3.55 ERA.  Verlander’s strikeout numbers will appeal to the average awards voter, but right now, this race is between Halladay, and Greinke.

3. RHP Zack Greinke, Royals

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What is there to say about Greinke?  Through 10 starts he has an ERA under 1, he leads the majors in every major statistical category; if voting was today, he’d win the Cy Young easily, and maybe the MVP award as well.