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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moose Skowron: ‘Fire ‘em’

Moosehaven: City of Contentment!

Bill “Moose” Skowron says baseball Commissioner Bud Selig should take a tougher stance with steroid abusers.

“I played when we didn’t have none of that stuff. God gave me ability to become a ballplayer,” Skowron, 80, said Sunday at the Chicago Tribune-sponsored White Sox PressPass event in the Stadium Club at U.S. Cellular Field.

“I did the best I could. But now with the steroids … if they get caught and they are not supposed to do it, fire ‘em, get rid of them,” said Skowron, who hit 211 home runs with the Yankees, Dodgers, Senators, Angels and White Sox. “I think Commissioner Selig should take a bigger stance. Instead of giving them 50 days off, suspend them for life. See how fast they will stop all ...

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Repoz Posted: August 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, steroids, white sox, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2011

Youngstown Vindicator, August 30, 1911:

It is probable that Boston base ball fans will witness today one of the most interesting pitching duels in the history of baseball.

Opposed to each other in one of the games of the double header between Boston and Pittsburgh will be Marty O’Toole, the youngster for whose release from St. Paul the Pirates recently paid $22,500…and Young, the “Grand old man of Baseball,” veteran of more than 800 games and 500 victories.

It will be O’Toole’s debut for Pittsburgh, an event eagerly watched for since he joined the club.

As it turns out, O’Toole didn’t face Young.  The kid pitched the first game of the doubleheader, Cy went in game two.

O’Toole’s line: (W, 1-0) 9 5 4 2 10 9   2.00 

Yowza. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2011 at 09:21 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Neyer: Is Ian Kennedy A Viable Cy Young Candidate?

Ian Cy hunter: One of the boys.

Cy Young voters focus on three statistics: wins, ERA, and strikeouts. Last year when Félix Hernández was the American League’s Cy Young winner with only 13 wins, it was hailed as some sort of victory for the pointy-headed sabermetricians ... but Hernández led the league with a 2.27 ERA and was just one strikeout behind league-leader Jered Weaver in that category. I’m not saying sabermetrics didn’t make a difference; without a doubt, some of the voters looked at WAR, and most of them don’t obsess over a pitcher’s wins like they used to. I’m just saying that the old stats do still matter.

With that in mind, Kennedy might be one of only four legitimate Cy Young candidates. That’s how Bill James’s Cy Young ...

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Repoz Posted: August 30, 2011 at 06:06 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, awards, projections, sabermetrics

Royals.com: Francoeur is double-threat player in KC

CLEVELAND - Right fielder Jeff Francoeur, in his first season for the Royals, has already matched his career high in doubles at 40.

Francoeur’s double in the second inning of Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Indians equaled his total for 162 games in 2007 with the Braves. That might have been his best all-around season as Francoeur also batted .293 with 19 homers and 105 RBIs.

This season, Francoeur has 15 home runs and 19 stolen bases, thus joining a select list of six Royals who had seasons with 40 or more doubles, 15 or more homers and 15 or more steals. The others: Amos Otis, ‘76; Hal McRae, ‘77; George Brett, ‘79; Johnny Damon, ‘00; and Carlos Beltran, ‘02.

“I hope I’m not going to stop at 40,” Francoeur said. “I give a lot of ...

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Tripon Posted: August 30, 2011 at 04:36 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ruff going at Citi

Deadspin brought this to my attention: Stray dogs around CitiField are “menacing” fans as they leave the ballpark. If only I had a Silver Age comic book cover that could show this adequately…

~~~edit zzzap~~~

image

Gamingboy Posted: August 29, 2011 at 10:17 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Billy Crystal Making (Another) Sports Movie

View at Your Own Asterisk.

A near-capacity crowd packed a minor league ballpark in Fresno, Calif., over the weekend for a chance to see Crystal in his latest project. The veteran actor plays Artie Decker, the radio voice of the Fresno Grizzlies.

The Fresno Bee reports the film “Us & Them” spent one day filming in the California city. In the film, Crystal and his wife travel to Atlanta to take care of their grandchildren while their daughter is on vacation.

Most of the film will be shot in Georgia, beginning in October.

Crystal threw out the first pitch, introduced to the 12,500 fans on hand as his Artie Decker character. Right-hander Shane Loux, whose previous claim to fame was being part of the horrible Detroit Tigers of 2003, caught ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 10:08 PM | 194 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, minor leagues

Yahoo: Rangers’ [Nelson] Cruz expected out 3 weeks with hamstring

Texas slugger Nelson Cruz is expected to miss about three weeks with another hamstring injury.

The AL West-leading Rangers say an MRI exam on Monday revealed a grade 1 strain of Cruz’s left hamstring. He is expected to get an injection from team physician Dr. Keith Meister that is intended to stimulate the healing process.

Cruz got hurt when running out a double in Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angles.

Dallas Morning News: Lance Berkman among Rangers’ options while Nelson Cruz is out

St. Louis’ Lance Berkman is the top alternative should the Texas Rangers decide they need an outfielder to fill in for the injured Nelson Cruz.
...
Berkman is playing out a one-year contract. His salary for one month would be $1.33 million. ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 29, 2011 at 09:53 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

Heyman: Curtis Granderson and Ryan Braun are my MVP picks

Stats are most assuredly a major part of the equation. But they shouldn’t be completely determinative. Otherwise, let’s just run the numbers through a computer. And rename the award Most Outstanding player. Because there’s no way to put a number on the value of leading a team into the postseason, which should be everyone’s goal.

Like people, stats are imperfect. Even WAR, which I agree is a very useful stat, is imperfect because it depends on the value placed on other statistics by the person who devises the formula. The ultimate goal of any player is to win, so the value of the individual accomplishments that lead to a pennant should be viewed in that context.

So while Bautista has been the most outstanding player in the league whether ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 05:14 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, fantasy baseball, projections, sabermetrics

Dusty Baker talks about his Reds lineups

Baker, 62, does not do Twitter or other social media. But Baker knows the critics are out there because, for one thing, he hears them during games. Batting orders, pitching changes, you name it. Everyone is an expert.

“Nothing works all the time, I don’t care how you do it,” Baker said. “This game is basically about matchups and the odds.”

Making a lineup can take several hours, Baker said. Reams of scouting reports are available, and Baker well knows the strengths and weaknesses of his players. Baker also tries to gauge his players’ physical and mental conditions, things unknown to the average fan.

“Sometimes it wakes me up at 4 o’clock in the morning, with a thought about changing the lineup,” Baker said. ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 05:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, reds, sabermetrics

Huntington Beach Ocean View wins Little League World Series in dramatic fashion

Reporting from South Williamsport, Pa.—Bases loaded, two outs, a 12-year-old boy digs his foot into the batter’s box and there it is, a moment youngsters from all over the world dream about.

The scene might have taken place in the mind of any kid standing in a backyard or on a sandlot field, but on Sunday it played out before a national television audience and a crowd of 11,950 at Lamade Stadium, youth baseball’s Mecca.

And Nick Pratto, the confident son of a coach, delivered in a very real way.

His two-out single in the bottom of the sixth and final inning was the difference as Ocean View of Huntington Beach defeated a team from Hamamatsu City, Japan, 2-1, to win the championship of the Little League World Series.

Gamingboy Posted: August 29, 2011 at 02:51 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, international, japan

THT: Jaffe: 10 things I didn’t know about managerial match-ups

Chris explains..."The hook: going by the numbers at Baseball-Reference, this Saturday's Reds-Cards game will be the 200th time LaRussa and Baker face off. They'll be only the 2nd pair of managers in the entire divisional era to do it."
1. Tony LaRussa and Dusty Baker are the greatest managerial rivals of our time ...Last, but certainly not least, Baker and LaRussa don’t seem to like each very much. Not at all, in fact. They have very different styles. Baker is the nice guy, and LaRussa the red ass. Their teams have constantly had to go up against each other in the same division, heightening any rivalry they had. But here’s an interesting thing: Baker once played for LaRussa. Yeah, LaRussa’s been managing a while, hasn’t he? ...
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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 01:31 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats:

Steven: Baseball in Washington During the Civil War

The Civil War helped facilitate the spread of the “New York game” as soldiers idled away time in camp, prisons, and even the front lines. Just as other social organizations, such as fireman units, enlisted together, so to did some baseball clubs.  On April 5, 1861 the Jefferson Base Ball Club demonstrated their dedication to the Union by erecting a flag pole at their regular Franklin Square playing grounds at 14th and I Streets NW.

Amongst the thousands of New York troops arriving in Washington in 1861 were baseball players who brought their New York game with them.  Naturally, matches between regiments soon ensued.  An item in the Washington National Republican on June 28, 1861 announced a game to be played between New York units and ...

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Stormy JE Posted: August 29, 2011 at 01:05 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, history

Crashburn Alley: What the Phillies and Rays Learned About BABIP

...and the rest of my Fantasy League has not. HA!...take that Absecon Arse-To-Gobbers!

As strange as it may sound, Cole Hamels and James Shields have a lot in common. While one earned a championship ring and World Series MVP honors in 2008 and the other did not, both have strongly benefited and suffered from the effect of BABIP. BABIP is a stat that many analysts use to infer how much of a pitcher’s successes and failures are due to factors outside of his control, such as randomness and quality of defense. Generally speaking, the average BABIP is around .300 and tends to regress back to that over longer periods of time. For example, Adam Eaton‘s career average BABIP is only .005 higher than that of Roy Halladay, .298 to .293. Over the ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: history, phillies, projections, rays, sabermetrics

Stan Isaacs: A Time of Mickey Mantle, Me and J. Edgar Hoover

or…Daily Pafkos at the Wall.

In the summer of 1998 CBS’ Channel 2 in New York broke the story that the FBI had investigated Mantle. It cited some 1969 correspondence between President Nixon’s domestic adviser, John Erlichman, and the FBI. New York Times sports media columnist Richard Sandomir noted that I was listed along with Mantle, Billy Martin and Mrs. Branch Rickey.

It turned out to be in connection with the 1969 baseball All Star Game in Washington. Nixon invited a large group of baseball people, executives, former players and the press to a reception the afternoon preceding the night game. The White House had asked for an FBI check on the guests who would be attending the affair and a CBS correspondent had used the Freedom of ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, yankees

McGrath: With Hendry Gone, the Next Step Is Clear

Which, hopefully…will be more successful than The Next Step Beyond.

Thus did Mike Quade become a big-league manager. The Milton Bradley signing was reason to question Hendry’s sanity; the Quade hire raised doubts about his judgment.

That said, firing Hendry was not an easy call for Ricketts. He liked him — hard worker, down-to-earth guy, clearly loves baseball — and as he spoke of “recommending” that some top aides be retained, Ricketts seemed to be softening the impact of the firing: Jim wasn’t that bad; look at the people he hired.

But the chairman can’t let his affection for a good guy cloud his judgment concerning what has to be done now: Hire someone with a well-defined plan, the power to enact it and the gumption to ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, history, projections

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-29-2011

Pittsburgh Press, August 29, 1911:

[Larry] McLean, the eminent tragedian, was sleeping soundly up in his room, when the sinners of the team told the night clerk that Lary (sic) had a bunch of Indians up in the apartment, playing poker.  The clerk fell for the stuff, went up, and pounded on Lary’s door.

...

Then the joshers routed the Eminent Dodo [Clark Griffith?] from his sleep, and gave him the same story.  The Eminent Dodo, justly enraged at such a breech of training rules, thereupon hustled into his raiment—some of it anyway—went to Lary’s door, and thundered on the panels.

...

“A joke’s a joke,” roared Mr. McLean, “but when it comes to waking a guy two times in half an hour, it’s way past the limit, and any jury would acquit me if ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 29, 2011 at 10:42 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

ESPN: Schoenfield: Where Chipper ranks among all-time 3B

Frank Malzone Ratings sees things differently!

I would hope everyone recognizes by now that Jones is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Last week, I exchanged Twitter messages with readers on where Jones ranks among the greatest third basemen of all time. Six names came up in that discussion, and with apologies to Home Run Baker and Ron Santo, here is my ranking of them.

2. CHIPPER JONES

...Chipper’s game was consistent excellence over a long time. His peak seasons may not quite match those of Brett or Mathews, but he’s never had a bad season. He’s had some injury issues later in his career, but through age 32 he averaged 153 games per season. Brett, meanwhile, battled injuries throughout his career (the turf in Kansas City didn’t ...

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Repoz Posted: August 29, 2011 at 04:01 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, sabermetrics

MLB.com: Hill, Cowgill back Kennedy’s NL-best 17th win

Sunday afternoon, 5,000 kids walked into Chase Field and were handed Ian Kennedy Growth Charts. Three hours later, 27,564 fans walked out of Chase Field after Kennedy and the D-backs handed the Padres a series sweep in a 6-1 victory.
...
Kennedy’s seven innings of one-run baseball propelled the D-backs to their sixth straight win, their largest division lead all season—four games—and Kennedy to the top of the NL with 17 wins.
...
Tied with the Phillies’ Roy Halladay and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw entering the game, Kennedy allowed one run on six hits, struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk to trail only the Tigers’ Justin Verlander (20) for the Major League lead in wins.

NTNgod Posted: August 29, 2011 at 02:56 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, game recaps

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Salvador Perez `hard to take out of the lineup,’ Yost says

Salvador Daily…natch.

Rookie catcher Salvador Perez didn’t play Sunday in the series final against the Indians after starting 15 of the 17 previous games since arriving from Class AAA Omaha.

This is how it figures to be for Perez over the next several years: Days off will be rare.

“He’s like (shortstop Alcides) Escobar for me,” manager Ned Yost said. “He’s hard to take out of the lineup. So, yes, he’ll play 140 games (a year) because one, he’s young; two, he’s very athletic; and three, I think he’s very durable.

...It’s been a remarkably rapid ascent for Perez, a 21-year-old who had not played above Class A until this year. He was cited last week as a Texas League All-Star after spending most of this season at ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 11:18 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

David Price strikes out franchise-high 14 in Rays romp

Price struck out a franchise-record 14 in seven dominant innings, Desmond Jennings hit a pair of solo home runs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Toronto 12-0 on Sunday.

“Hitting is hard enough already,” Rays catcher John Jaso said. “What David brought today made it pretty much impossible.”

It wasn’t just Price’s stuff, but a stiff wind blowing out to center field that made him so effective, giving his fastball extraordinary movement.

“I’ve never had that much movement before so it was pretty cool,” Price said. “The wind kept blowing and it was making my eyes watery all game. I knew it was blowing pretty good and I just kept throwing it.”

Jaso and Price felt strong gusts pushing them as they walked in from the bullpen beforehand, but didn’t ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, game recaps, rays

Seattle Times: White Sox players hit the waters of Puget Sound for salmon

From the pics, it seems like a close-knit grouper.

Baseball players rarely find free time during the long season. But when they do, they take advantage of it.

That was what Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, and pitchers Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Zach Stewart did on Thursday afternoon by booking a salmon fishing charter trip on Puget Sound. ...

This isn’t the first fishing outing the White Sox have pursued on an off-day this summer. Back in July, a group went walleye fishing on Lake Erie.

“When we had an off day in Cleveland, and caught our limit of walleyes trolling around with night crawlers,” Ball said. “We like to make it an effort on these off days to go fishing.”

The group managed to catch nine pink salmon, and ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: August 28, 2011 at 10:34 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics, white sox

Showalter says Yankees’ complaints were “disrespectful to Flanny”

Manager Buck Showalter knows that the Yankees are chafed at the Orioles for refusing to schedule a doubleheader on Friday and costing them the Sept. 8 off-day. And he really doesn’t care.

Showalter spoke calmly today, but he didn’t pull any punches while addressing the topic with reporters before Game 1. He also referenced the tragic death of former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan.

“The way I understand, I think they approached Andy (MacPhail) less than 24 hours before,” he said. “First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny, quite frankly. That didn’t sit well with me very well. I can tell you that. I think we had an April rainout there and they just told us when we were playing. We were OK with that. ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 09:52 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, yankees

NYT: Joe Buck’s Voice Lands on the D.L

Buck Buck…PILE ON!!!

“People say just rest your voice and don’t talk, but that doesn’t do anything,” said Buck, who first revealed his ailment to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “This is a nerve issue. It’s not like I have polyps or a strained vocal cord. I’m waiting for one of the longest nerves in the body to recover. Nobody has said this is something that won’t come back, but they told me it could take 6, 9 or 12 months.”

...Buck will not work again until the N.F.L. regular season, alongside Troy Aikman, on Sept. 11. He said football takes less out of his voice than baseball does.

“Baseball is more storytelling,” he said. “There can be four or five foul balls, stuff going on in between. Football is more ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 02:29 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, television

South Side Sox: Omar Vizquel’s free pass to your 2011 White Sox

“dull, conscientious, dependable, and loyal” Oh, wait…that was said about Omar Bradley not Vizquel.

I know Vizquel is a really nice guy.  I’m sure he’s awesome in the locker room.  I don’t doubt that he offers solid mentoring to the young players.  He definitely has the intangibles.  However, coaches can be in the locker room.  And they can also mentor.  Using an active roster spot on an intangibles player is a luxury for a team.  And, at some point, a sub-.500 team should realize they can’t afford luxuries that don’t clearly show up in the box score.  Those teams need production.

And Vizquel is simply not productive.  Pick your poison.  His triple slash is .252/.285/.303.  His OPS+ is 60.  His wOBA is .257.  So the offense is ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 02:14 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

Walters: Twins have no more help down on the farm in Rochester

Great Garagozzo’s! What happened to the “by far, the best organization in baseball” (closes Plesac-lunch bag of tricks)...?

The Red Wings are 50-85. Last year, they finished 49-95.

“It’s a mess,” one baseball insider said. “It’s embarrassing.”

...Dave St. Peter is the Twins’ president who oversees the franchise’s operation for Jim Pohlad, who represents ownership.

...“One of the lessons for everybody to learn is that payroll in and of itself is not a prerequisite to winning. To be honest, what we need to do is get back to playing our brand of baseball, and ultimately that comes down to players. It doesn’t come down to paychecks.”

St. Peter said Pohlad is taking this season “in stride. Jim Pohlad is like all of us; he’s a fan. He’s ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 01:17 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

LAT (Simers): Dodgers’ treatment of Andre Ethier is baffling

Ask Ethier if he should still be playing on a right knee that will require off-season surgery, and he says, “If you’re expecting me to do what I’ve done in the past, no, there’s no possible way I can do that right now. You can say tough it out and give it your best shot, but it’s not going to happen.

“It’s only going to get worse from this point. I’ve dealt with it all season long, but as the season goes on my body wears down. That’s just the way it is — I keep getting put in the lineup, so what am I supposed to do?

Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 28, 2011 at 04:14 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, media

SoSD: Ten questions with Ted Leitner

The Leitner system…full of spaced-out repetition.

Q: Outside of Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman, do you have a favorite all-time Padre?

A: “It has to be, just for a selfish reason, Ken Caminiti. In his usual stalking fashion, he came up to me his first year, when I was still on Channel 8 (as the sports anchor) and said, “I really appreciate the kind things you say about me on the air.” Here’s this tough warrior, a great leader and for him to thank me? That hasn’t happened with five players, ever.

Q: Who’s your all-time favorite baseball player?

A: Mickey Mantle. Just like Bob Costas says, he carries a Mickey Mantle baseball card on him because everyone should have a religious artifact on themselves at all times. To us Baby ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 03:04 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, history, media, padres, television, yankees

Joe Mauer calls criticism of his toughness ‘unfair’

He was the best player on the team…until a powerful conspiracy turned everyone against him!

“I think that’s part of why I’ve kept a lot of things to myself,” he said. “But I (also) understand that’s part of the frustration, and I think in the future, I think we all, maybe, need to be a little more honest with what’s going on. But when I stub a toe, everybody gives their two cents on it, and a lot of times the truth gets clouded.”

“I understand that me being a guy that’s been around here for a long time, and one of the leaders, that I’m going to take a lot of heat. But a lot of it has been unfair and things like that, but it is what it is.”

...“I think when I say ‘unfair’ it’s more like, you know, like the other day - questioning ...

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Repoz Posted: August 28, 2011 at 01:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

The Sports Poscast with SI’s Joe Posnanski: Michael Schur Interview—Aug. 23, 2011

Discussion of expanding the baseball playoffs; Tiger Woods, schadenfreude, Peyton Manning, being the best; and most importantly, this week’s draft: Sports announcer cliches!


Michael Schur: Postgame interview question “What were you thinking when…”

Joe Posnanski: “He didn’t like what he saw out there” after quarterback calls timeout

Schur: “Defense wins championships”

Poz: “Perfect shot” in golf

Schur: “He’s got a good” [name of sport] “IQ”

Poz: [Team or individual] “will not quit”

Schur: “He [just has fun]/[is like a kid] out there”

Poz: A hockey goalie “stands on his head”

Schur: Games that start slowly “are like a heavyweight fight… they’re feeling each other out”

Poz: “Stranger things have happened” ...Read More...

The District Attorney Posted: August 28, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, baseball geeks, media

Saturday, August 27, 2011

MLB.com: Verlander’s 20th victory doesn’t come easy

Justin Verlander is baseball’s first 20-game winner this season.

It won’t go down as one of his best starts, and it did not come easy, but Verlander picked up his eighth straight victory Saturday as the Tigers beat the Twins, 6-4, at Target Field.

Making his 29th start, Verlander was the first pitcher to record 20 wins before the end of August since Curt Schilling did so in 2002 with the D-backs. Verlander is the fifth pitcher to reach the 20-win mark in August over the past 20 years, joining Roger Clemens (1997), John Smoltz (‘96) and Jack McDowell (‘93).
...
He finished with four runs allowed on eight hits over six-plus innings, with three walks against six strikeouts.

Yahoo: Verlander wins 20th game for Tigers

NTNgod Posted: August 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers, twins

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