Duane Kuiper remembers the moment he first called Brandon Belt the Baby Giraffe.
“First flyball in the outfield in Milwaukee,” Kuiper said. “He looked like he just fell out of the mama giraffe.”
Now, it’s become a thing. The nickname has caught on. A fan in the stands Wednesday night actually wore a giraffe hat. On Thursday, Belt’s fan mail included an ivy and moss giraffe topiary created by a Marin County florist. Belt is rolling with it. It’s nothing new.
Flaherty: (dronishly) “Early on, Michael, it looks like A.J. has his good stuff.”
Michael the K: (parmingly) “HE HAS ELECTRIC STUF...great stop by Martin on a ball in the dirt!”
As much as the Yankees’ brass was hoping their large investment could bounce back last night against the woeful Orioles at Camden Yards, even the decision makers have to agree with a talent evaluator who witnessed Burnett’s second straight brutal outing.
The greatest sports broadcaster ever, back for at least one more season.
Almost coincidentally, before the game Scully had stopped by a table in the press room to visit with a few reporters, which he does almost nightly. Naturally, he told several amusing stories, spent nearly 10 minutes chatting with the local scribes.
“If I do come back next year, this will be a big reason why,” Scully said. “I love these visits.”
Maybe we should have had an inkling of what was to come when he started to ...
United States District Court Judge Susan Illston, who presided over Bonds’s trial that ended in April, ruled after hearing arguments from prosecutors and Bonds’s lawyers on Thursday regarding the charge. ...
Bonds’s lawyers had argued that Bonds was improperly convicted for obstructing justice when he rambled for 75 seconds during his grand jury testimony, which was related to a federal investigation of performance-enhancing drug use among elite athletes. He also gave an evasive but not ...
Something about the Angels brought out the beast in the slumbering Rangers on Friday night.
Nelson Cruz and David Murphy took care of the heavy lifting, and Rangers southpaw Derek Holland outshone Dan Haren in an 11-7 setback that kicked off the weekend’s American League West showdown in front of 38,256 at Rangers Ballpark.
Cruz homered twice, doubled and singled, driving in six runs. Murphy knocked home four with one swing, launching his second career grand slam to end Haren’s night during a ...
Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham each hit two-run homers during a six-run fourth inning that carried the Oakland Athletics to a 15-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Friday, denying Tim Wakefield’s bid for his 200th win.
Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington each had three hits, and Willingham drove in four runs for the Athletics, who won for the seventh time in nine road games after losing 30 of their previous 37 away from home.
To the important stuff:
OF Darnell McDonald - 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, ...
Jim Thome went hitless but was warmly welcomed in his Cleveland homecoming after nearly a decade away and the Indians stopped their slide in the AL Central with a 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Thome went 0 for 4 and struck out twice in his first game back with Cleveland since 2002, when he disappointed Cleveland fans by leaving as a free agent. The slugger waived a no-trade clause to return to Cleveland and a chance to help the Indians get back to the postseason. A ...
Chris Capuano pitched the game of his life, tossing a two-hitter and striking out a career-high 13 as the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 Friday night in their final matchup before taking a break because of Hurricane Irene.
Capuano (10-11) slowed down the NL wild-card leaders and handed them their second loss in nine games. He had Atlanta hitters taking terrible swings all game, didn’t walk any of them and faced just one batter over the minimum.
Dennis Riordan, a lawyer for Bonds, argued that Bonds was improperly convicted of obstructing justice when he simply rambled for 75 seconds and gave an evasive but not false statement to a question he eventually answered.
Prosecutors, who still have not decided whether to retry Bonds on the three deadlocked counts, argued that the conviction should stand. They said the jurors voted to convict him based on the entire evidence put forth at the trial.
The days of simply playing ball with your friends is over. It’s a different world out there for the preteen athlete, with “Elite” and “Select” commonly turning up in the names of our youth sports teams and leagues. We’re having tryouts for 10-and-under traveling baseball teams, and we’ve got 10-and-under basketball teams traveling the country playing against other fourth-graders at God knows what cost to the parents’ bank accounts and the kids’ psyches. All in the name of … what? Trophies? ...
Bill James has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to baseball statistics. In short, he’s made a life out of breaking down numbers and how they affect the game of baseball. Now, he’s back at it.
James recently explained to NESN’s Tom Caron his newest statistic, temperature gauge. The statistic, which starts at room temperature—72 degrees—goes up or down depending on what a hitter does at the plate over a period of time. For example, if a ...
In a surprise move, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost has unexpectedly retired and the club has hired YOU as the manager. After the thrill of being named manager of your favorite team has subsided you quickly get to the manager’s office to begin the first day on your arduous journey to turn this franchise around.
You walk into the office and see an antiquated-looking computer sitting on the desk in the corner. You approach it and are surprised to see it is still left on. It reads:
Here are all of the players since 1961 to hit .160 or worse in at least 200 plate appearances:
1. Roy Oyler: .135 in 247 PA (1968 Tigers)
2. Brandon Wood: .146 in 243 PA (2010 Angels)
3. Bob Uecker: .150 in 221 PA (1967 Phillies & Braves)
4. Jim Mason: .152 in 251 PA (1975 Yankees)
5. Al Weis: .155 in 213 PA (1966 White Sox)
6. Nate Colbert: .156 in 260 PA (1975 Tigers & Expos)
7. Dick Tracewski: .156 in 240 PA (1968 Tigers)
8. Andruw Jones: .158 in 238 PA ...
How did you spend your Thursday night? Or the wee small hours of Friday morning?
The Greensboro Grasshoppers played a 19-inning, 5-hours-and-9-minutes marathon against the West Virginia Power. On the final Thirsty Thursday of the season at NewBridge Bank Park, the beer taps were shut off for the last 11 innings.
The game ended after midnight when Christian Yelich—who sent it to extra innings with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth—lifted the Hoppers to a 5-4 victory by hitting an ...
Willson, a power-hitting, left-handed hitter, will report to Toronto’s minor-league complex in Dunedin, Fla., at the end of the spring semester. Willson can play either first base or the corner outfield spots.
As part of his deal, Willson received a signing bonus that will be spread over three years, which allows him the flexibility to pursue a football career after college, if he chooses.
The baseball contract will not affect Willson’s remaining two years’ football eligibility.
Born in Minnesota, owner of batting titles and an MVP award, Mauer could become the most popular athlete ever to play a sport in Minnesota. But that won’t happen if the perception continues to build that he’s soft. It might not be the case. Mauer just might be as tough as Cuddyer. But whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, titanium tough is not how he is viewed.
Mauer has missed 60 of the Twins’ 130 games this season with injuries or days off - mostly injuries. The perception is he takes ...
This line — that it’s easier to put up numbers without pennant pressure — is a lot like that. Nobody can possibly believe this. First of all, there’s the obvious flaw: If it was easier to put up numbers in non-pressure situations, then players would consistently and obviously have better years on lousy teams than they do on good ones. Does this ring even the slightest bell of truth? Does anyone believe Derek Jeter would have put up better numbers had he played for Kansas City? Does ...
Ichiro!, in a tighter jammy than Shubunka’s moral storm…and that ain’t no day at the beach!
It’s no longer a record that means much to the so-called “thinking fan.” 200 hits is just an arbitrary round number, reserved for spinsters and singles hitters—who, in the post-modern world of swing-from-the-heels offense, have been made pretty much equivalent.
And let’s face it—as a total package Ichiro! Suzuki ain’t exactly Rod Carew, or Wade Boggs, or even Tony Gwynn. Despite setting baseball’s ...
I’m not sure Marty Barrett, the former Rancho High star who spent 10 seasons and played 941 games in the major leagues, all but 10 with the Red Sox, will see “Moneyball” before it hits cable. Barrett doesn’t seem like a Brad Pitt sort of guy. He seems more like a Willie Keeler sort of guy.
...With the Red Sox, he usually batted second, in front of good RBI guys such as Bill Buckner and, later, Wade Boggs. And with the Red Sox, he played ...
[Brien] Taylor’s family and the Yankees reached agreement this evening on a one-year minor league contract worth $1.55 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Although the contract exceeds by $350,000 the precedent-setting agreement reached by Todd Van Poppel and the Oakland Athletics last summer, it is not the three-year major league contract that the family had insisted upon.
Now that Brien Taylor’s in the fold, mark my words: The Yankees ...
A few hours later, in the sixth inning of a horrendous baseball game, [Mike] Pelfrey hung a slider inside to Placido Polanco. Polanco wears an elbow guard, and Pelfrey thought he leaned into the pitch. He shared his feelings with Polanco.
Polanco jawed with Pelfrey and Josh Thole. Some Phillies rose to the top step of their dugout. On television, Phillies broadcaster Gary Matthews - father of Gary Matthews Jr., whom the Mets released last year - called the team “crybabies.”
Sports discourse has become strictly a numbers game. The only acceptable way to make a point in a sports discussion these days it seems is with a decimal point.
Whatever happened to the good, old-fashioned eye test or context? Formulating an opinion has been replaced by formulas when it comes to dissecting and discussing the games we love. Statistics have overrun sports the same way weeds spread through a deserted parking lot.
If the 1950s-‘60s-era debate about who was a better player Mickey ...