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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Montreal Gazette: Riding with the Spaceman

Wadda ride with Bill Lee! More fun than a mesced-up Mint 400 off-road motorbike race!

As Bill Lee often says, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And the crowning achievement of the former Expos pitcher’s rather eventful journey may very well be a planned feature film about his life.

Have Glove, will Travel is scheduled to start shooting next year. Filmmaker Brett Rapkin has already written the script, adapted from two Lee biographies.

This week, Rapkin and Lee, along with Lee’s ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, history, media, red sox

Here are some more possible reunions for Mariners to orchestrate

The Mariners, ... seem to have hit on a winning formula. On their last homestand, they brought back members of the 116-game-winning 2001 M’s team for a stirring ceremony, and tonight at Safeco Field they’ll be honoring the legacy of the Seattle SuperSonics.
 
When you’ve got a team on the field fresh off a 17-game losing streak and once again buried in the basement, you need to be creative to put butts in the seats…. So in that spirit, I’ve decided to helpfully suggest a few more reunions the ...

Read More...
The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: July 30, 2011 at 06:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

10-year-old fighting cancer sings anthem at Braves’ game

Anderson was singing the anthem as part of Thursday’s “Rally Night” at the ballpark. Before the game, catcher Brian McCann met with “Rally Kids,” children who are battling cancer, and funds were raised in the fight against the disease.

According to PrayforLilyAnderson.com, Lily was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in 2009 and has had to go through difficult rounds of chemotherapy and surgery.

rr Posted: July 30, 2011 at 03:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

MLB: Pence pulled, reportedly traded to Phillies

Pence pulled. Sounds painful.

The Astros reached a deal to send All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence to the Phillies in exchange for four players, including Philadelphia’s top two Minor League prospects, a person close to the negotiations told MLB.com. The deal, which is subject to the approval Major League Baseball, is expected to be finalized on Friday.

Pence was pulled from the field in the middle of the fifth inning of the Astros’ game against the Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park.

The ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 30, 2011 at 02:22 AM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, phillies

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bergeson: A Protestant in Cooperstown

Stone Boy is sacrificing himself!

image

My first childhood baseball hero, Bert Blyleven was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., last Sunday.

I couldn’t bring myself to watch or care.

...I knew Cooperstown was supposed to be a sacred site, a religious experience, the baseball equivalent of St. Peter’s Square. I waited to be entranced.

But the baseball shrine with its statues and relics left me flat. And, I thought, who are humans to think they can determine who is ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 10:18 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, memorabilia, special topics

Matt Moore: Tipping Pitches? Now With Video!

Essentially, my theory is that Moore tips his pitches somewhat by pumping his hand into his glove on fastballs and keeping his hand still on off-speed pitches. I have no idea if hitters could even pick up on this from their angle, but I could see it from the CF camera.

Diamond Research Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:14 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

L.A. Times: Welcome to zee old ballgame

Parisian teenagers take in a Dodgers game on their U.S. tour arranged by French-Jew’rney.

Selfless in ways even I don’t pretend to understand, I treat them to pretzels and red licorice and ask them how they like our little city.

“I prefer New York,” one of them says.

“Really?”

“I prefer Israel,” says another. “My second favorite place in zee world is California. The first is Jerusalem.”

So, maybe not so typical after all. They are all Parisians, sent over by French-Jew’rney, an ...

Read More...
Tripon Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:06 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, international

The Matador Sports: Top 10 Worst MLB Owners of All Time

1.  Harry Frazee, Red Sox

Baseball has always been a business, as evidenced by Frazee’s tenure as owner of the Sox. He bought the team for $400,000 in 1917 and sold it for $1.5 million in 1923, peddling his best players in the meantime to finance his theatrical investments. His favorite trade partner was the Yankees, who received Carl Mays, Herb Pennock, Everett Scott, and infamously, Babe Ruth. After Ruth’s departure in 1919, the team wouldn’t reach .500 again until 1934, while the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 08:12 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, dodgers, expos, mariners, miami, orioles, phillies, rangers, red sox, reds, royals

“Baseball Tonight”: Theme poll: Good Charlotte vs. Staind

It’s…it’s…it’s as if Crocus Behemoth never ####### existed!

ESPN enlisted the help of notable musicians to provide their distinctive interpretations of the “Baseball Tonight” theme song during the 2011 season. We’ve already featured these versions of the song on air and in the ESPN Music section, but now we want you to help us crown the best version of them all.

For the next 11 weeks, we’ll have two artists square off in a poll for you to vote on. The winner will then face the next artist on ...

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Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 07:23 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, music, television

Ugandan Little League Team Denied Visas

The U.S. Department of State declined to give a reason for the decision, other than to say that the team’s documentation “contained discrepancies,” officials at Little League headquarters in South Williamsport, Pa., said Friday in a statement.

According to Little League officials, the last time a team that qualified could not make the trip was 1959, when a squad from then-West Germany composed of dependents of U.S. Army personnel didn’t have enough money to travel.

I’m not a fan of the LLWS ...

Read More...
Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 29, 2011 at 07:16 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur

Megdal: Doing It Right: The Feliciano-Fulmer Affair

“Puts Profumo to shame.” adds Howard.

The Feliciano role has been taken up by Tim Byrdak this year. Byrdak is holding lefties to a .671 OPS this year, a fine job. Feliciano posted a .574 mark against lefties in 2010, .594 in 2009, and .575 in 2008. So no question, Feliciano was a bit better against lefties. (Byrdak from 2008-2010 was .644, .700 and .469.) But the overall margin is extremely slight. And Byrdak is earning $900,000 this year, on a one-year commitment. That’s $3.1 million saved ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 06:19 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets, sabermetrics, yankees

Report: Astros told Hunter Pence last night he was being traded

A source told SI.com’s Jon Heyman that Hunter Pence was told he was being pulled from Thursday’s game due to a trade, only to get left in the game afterwards.

Judging by Heyman’s followup tweet, there’s a suspicion that Astros management agreed to a deal and ownership vetoed it.

That tweet reads, and I quote:

#astros mid-game mind change on pence trade re-raises question about whether ownership wants to deal him .

The District Attorney Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:53 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rumors

Gazette: Group interested in bringing Expos

Last Friday, on radio station CKAC, Brulotte said he has been approached by an unnamed business group interested in trying to bring baseball back to the city - and we’re not talking about the minor leagues.

Brulotte also posted the news on his RDS blog and was a guest Tuesday afternoon on Mitch Melnick’s radio show on The Team 990. Brulotte said he had rebuffed the group of investors several times over the last couple of years before finally taking them seriously.

Brulotte says the fact that ...

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Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 04:32 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, international, rumors

Focus Taiwan: Parties planned for Wang’s first majors start in two years

Dial Dial! Primer road trip!

Baseball fans in the Taipei area have the option of getting up early on Saturday to enjoy an exciting live broadcast of Washington Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang’s first MLB start in two years, complete with free treats.

Citizens have been invited to gather at Taipei City Hall to watch a live stream of the Nationals home game against the New York Mets live at 7 p.m. EST (7 a.m. Taiwan time), Taipei city government announced Friday.

The city government will ...

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Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 12:47 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: history, international, mets, nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-29-1911

[Pittsburgh] Gazette Times, July 29, 1911:

The Boston Club today is a joke, and it has been made so by its owner, a man who does not know a ball player from a jack salmon.

...

Today there is just one player with the Bostons who measures up to National League form, and his name is Sweeney, neither euphonious nor yet a poetic cognomen, yet he can play ball at all stages.

...

Now, I suppose that bunch of Beanbakers will turn right around and down the Pirates.  They will—I do not think.

Holy ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Joe Posnanski: Saving Bonds

Pos, Bonds and the transfixed rate of Bob Costas.

My friend Bob Costas left a message for me yesterday. It was a very nice message—Bob is a great guy—but he also had a slight disagreement. Bob and I are very often on the same page when it comes to baseball, but he was reading a small essay I wrote in the magazine this week and he noticed this line:

”(Barry) Bonds and (Roger) Clemens are two of the best who ever played the game. If not for the steroid noise that surrounds them, you could make ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 572 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, hall of fame, history, media, sabermetrics, television

Hagen: Phillies: A scout’s dissenting view of Astros’ Hunter Pence

A Plummering, He Will Go.

And now, speaking for the opposing standpoint, Rob Plummer . . .

He’s a successful agent who has focused his efforts on talent-rich Latin America. He watches baseball through a scout’s eyes. He’s also a Philadelphia native who unabashedly wishes nothing but the best for the Phillies. And his dispassionate assessment of the cost-benefit ratio is that getting Pence would be a huge mistake that will ultimately backfire badly. His scouting report:

Not a fast bat . . . ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, phillies, scouting

Brown: Tigers teammates Penny and Martinez argue with each other

Hi, my name is Penny! (mindless ramble to follow)

In the heat of a particularly frustrating afternoon for the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, right-hander Brad Penny and catcher Victor Martinez squabbled with each other in plain sight in front of more than 30,000 fans at Comerica Park.

The Angels roughed up Penny for seven runs over 3 2/3 innings, his worst statistical outing with Detroit, in a 12-7 victory for Los Angeles. Perhaps the ugliest detail: home fans booing their own team in the fourth ...

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Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:46 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, tigers

Rico Brogna: Either You Are A Hall Of Famer Or You Are Not!

“Piazza! Piazza!” Little RICO Act.

Barry Bonds in recent years has been a heated debate. Should he or shouldn’t he get in the HOF? And if the answer is yes, should Barry be a first ballot HOF? C’mon man! This guy was unbelievable, PED’s or whatever! There is one thing you need to ask yourself, “Is Barry Bonds and his performance on the field during his career worthy of HOF entry? As my son would say (he’s 8 years old), “Duh!” ‘Nuff said. Barry is simply one of the best to ever ...

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Repoz Posted: July 29, 2011 at 09:33 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, steroids

Jamie McCourt-Ron Burkle ‘deal’ is denied

MLB initially claimed Frank McCourt had diverted more than $100 million from team revenue for personal use.

In a generally unrelated filing in divorce court, attorneys for Frank McCourt dismissed that claim as “patently false.”

“Even taking the commissioner’s false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value,” the filing read, “it is difficult to understand how the commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year ...

Read More...
The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 06:37 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Astros’ failure to launch no reason to deal

A contrarian view from David Schoenfield as the trade deadline approaches:

It all fell apart for the Houston Astros on … well, on Opening Day.

...

This has led to speculation that the club is shopping around two of its three best players, All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence and lefty starter Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros, after all, have little talent on the big-league roster and a farm system widely considered one of the most barren in the majors. They may as trade a couple of their few ...

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Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 29, 2011 at 05:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rumors

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Electric Dock Ellis Acid Test: An Attempt To Recreate His Drug-Addled No-Hitter, On Xbox

Turn on, tune in, Doumit.

I took my first strip of the stuff… at approximately 12:30 in the afternoon and it took about 30 minutes for the first burst of spastic wooziness to arrive. The games began, with an MLB2K11 custom-generated Dock Ellis leading the 2011 Pirates against the 2011 San Diego Padres, a considerably less fearsome offensive bunch than the woeful ‘70 Pads, who at least had homer-thumping Nate Colbert in the cleanup spot… We’d agreed in advance that once I gave up a hit, I’d start ...

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The District Attorney Posted: July 28, 2011 at 08:11 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, history, pirates

MSNBC Hardball Talk: Hideki Irabu found dead; suicide suspected

If indeed true, RIP.

This is just breaking and, at present, we only have links to stories in Japanese, but apparently former Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead at his California home yesterday.  Suicide is suspected.

Irabu has had a troubled post-baseball career. He was arrested in Gardena, California last year for drunk driving.  Back in 2008 he was arrested for assaulting a bar manager in Japan after allegedly consuming 20 glasses of beer.

After achieving stardom in Japan, ...

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AndrewJ Posted: July 28, 2011 at 07:36 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, yankees

Rasmus’ dad blasts Tony La Russa

“Colby Rasmus family blames Cards manager for trade”

Tony Rasmus didn’t throw the first stone, but he was firing back.

In June of 2010 the father visited his son in St. Louis and worked on hitting: “We didn’t do anything serious. Colby told Tony about it. After last June that was the end of that,” said Tony Rasmus, who said four weeks ago the Cards and Colby were involved in talks on a four-year deal.

“Evidently Tony (La Russa) has absolutely made that stuff up. He’s got it on ...

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Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:23 PM | 140 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardinals

Fukudome heading to Indians for prospects

The Cubs will deal outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians on Thursday for two Minor Leaguers.

The two sides were close to finalizing a deal with only minor details still being worked out. A source indicated that Cleveland expected Fukudome to waive his no-trade clause to approve the deal to the Indians.

Details were still being finalized as to which Minor Leaguers were to go to Chicago in the deal.

Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:11 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians

Vecsey: An Underachieving Symbol of the Mets’ Lost Decade

Why do they always misspell Beltran…Minaya?

As the Beltran era ends, he was not the only one caught up in the miasma of underperformance. Omar Minaya, brought back to run the club after the 2004 season, brought in not only Beltran but Pedro Martinez, Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez, all of them now gone except for Santana, who is trying to pitch again after surgery.

The managers were Willie Randolph, who was sabotaged by the front office — not Minaya — and by some ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 02:29 PM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, sabermetrics

Healey: Peter Nash Way Off Base With Barry Halper Smear

Checking Most Viewed | Top Rated on Epic Rap Battles of History now. Back in 5.

The newspaper industry is in enough trouble these days without printing smear jobs written by “journalists” who have a conflict of interest about the very subject they are writing about.  But this past week, the New York Post did just that by publishing this gem by Peter J. Nash about deceased baseball memorabilia collector Barry Halper.

What the New York Post doesn’t tell you is that Nash is involved in a ...

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Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 01:23 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, memorabilia, site news, special topics

NC Times: Sean Burroughs is back, but not his old habits

Burroughs, now 30, had it all, going from Little League World Series star to hitting .286 as the Padres’ third baseman in 2003. But from that station he morphed into a Las Vegas druggie, addicted to the bright lights and his next buzz. It was a combination that extinguished his baseball career for nearly four years and Burroughs said, “left me on death’s door.

“I wanted to be a rock star in Las Vegas, even though I didn’t play an instrument or sing. I went there for the party and I lived it ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, history, padres

Grainy 39-second film offers rare glimpse of famed black baseball player John Wesley Donaldson

The first time Pete Gorton met Rich Oxley, Oxley told him not to say a word.

“Just watch,” Oxley said as he turned on a film projector at his house in White Bear Lake.

The grainy 39-second black-and-white film that followed showed a loose and limber fireballer hurling a fastball in 1925.

...Oxley realized he had a key piece of Donaldson’s story in his basement. Those 39 seconds of film - the only known reel ever shot of Donaldson - were carefully preserved in a dark-green metal film ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media

Stolen Car Containing Willie McCovey Memorabilia Recovered in California

Please be a stretch limo, please be a stretch limo…bah!

When a man in Walnut Creek, California had his car stolen from the parking lot while he ran into a McDonald’s for coffee, he was obviously having a bad case of the Mondays. The man left his keys in the ignition when he went inside the restaurant. When he returned, his car was gone. However, the stolen Hyundai was not even the worst part for the owner.

In the back seat of the car were several balls and bats from former Giants Hall of ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history, memorabilia

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