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Thursday, July 28, 2011

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 players in the clubhouse, too. Jerry Manuel was decent but diffident, as if awaiting the chop.

Now that era is over, and Beltran has his name attached to it because he lasted more than six and a half seasons, and personified the time with one ...

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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 long-running litigation with a memorabilia auction house that represented Barry Halper, has admitted in publicly-filed court papers to committing fraud against that very same auction house, and has an outstanding warrant for arrest related to 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 for a couple of years. I was hanging out with people and putting myself in situations ... just doing stupid things.’‘

...“You never know,’’ said Kevin Towers, who drafted him in San Diego and threw him a lifeline in Arizona. “You think you get to know ...

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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 canister.

Oxley’s grandfather, W.T. Oxley, a professional photographer in Fergus Falls, Minn., in the early 1900s, shot the footage with a hand-cranked 16mm movie camera.

It is believed to have been shot during an Aug. 16, 1925, game at the Fergus Falls ...

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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 Famer, Willie McCovey, as well as an autographed uniform patch. A security camera got a shot of the suspect taking the car and the pictures were quickly distributed through the police department’s Facebook page. Police received a call in Concord, ...

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

Father Raymond J. de Souza: Honouring Roger Maris, baseball’s moral champion

ABANDON THE WAY OF HATRED!

Bonds, McGwire and Sosa put up six seasons between them with more than 61 home runs, the old record held by Maris. Absent the steroid era, Maris would still have the record. If Maris were in the Hall, while the steroid triplets were kept out, it would be fitting way to honour the real home run record — held by a decent man who brought honour to the game.

Yet Roger Maris is not in the Hall of Fame, despite his record, despite being a two-time league MVP, despite various campaigns and petitions to get him inducted. Four years ago I wrote that inducting Maris would be a correction to the steroid era. In the intervening years, baseball’s steroid stain has only spread. Maris is needed now more than ever.

...
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Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2011

Thomas Busch, “Searching For Victory”:

Sometime in late March or early April, 1911, Charley [Faust] set out for Wichita, Kansas (the nearest “big city”), in search of some diversion from the drudgery of farm routine. There he found a fortune teller who, for five dollars, told him he would become the greatest pitcher the world had ever known if he would join the New York Giants. Three times she told him this, and added that when he had established himself and helped the Giants to win a pennant, he would meet a girl named Lulu, marry her, and become the father of future generations of baseball stars.
...

On the morning of July 28, 1911, Charley wandered into the Planter’s Hotel in St. Louis and asked to see John McGraw, manager of the New ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, dugout, history, projections

Wolfman-Arent: How Roger Goodell Burned Baseball, and Buried the Past

The day I stopped gambling was the day I stopped watching football.

Mark it down, carve it in granite, encase it in flowing eulogies.

On July 25, 2011 the National Football League finally laid baseball to rest. Not only did players and owners agree to a new collective bargaining agreement, but they did so with emphasis - as if to prove one last time that football, not baseball, is now America’s game.

Whether it was a power play or mere coincidence I do not know, but it is clear the timing of the NFL agreement savagely undermined the usual excitement surround Major League Baseball’s trading deadline. During the last week of July, in a period of summer doldrums usually dominated by baseball news, the NFL announced a triumphant conclusion ...

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Repoz Posted: July 28, 2011 at 04:08 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: rumors

Weeks Headed to DL

Weeks injured his left ankle running out an infield hit in the second inning. His foot hit the bag at an odd angle and he tumbled over the base and into foul territory.

Weeks was helped off the field and X-rays proved negative. But a magnetic resonance imaging exam was being performed Wednesday night to check for ligament damage.

“He’s going to be out a while,” said Roenicke, who indicated Weeks would go on the disabled list. “This isn’t going to be a couple days.

Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 28, 2011 at 03:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Isaacs: I Take Me Out To The New Ball Park

Doug Siskiyou chipmunks are go! Stan Isaacs finally gets around to visiting Citi Field for the first time…

I was back in New York recently for my first look at the Mets’ new ball park, the second-year Citi Field. My first reaction was that-like all the new ball parks-it seemed as if as many people were at the food stands eating as were in the stands watching the game.

...The Mets hit three balls off the outfield fences against the Phillies for doubles; they would have been home runs in just about every ball park in the big leagues. It emphasized what a disaster the distant fences are for the excitement quotient at this ball park. Citi Field lacks the live feeling of such as Fenway Park and the Phillies’ field where the short fences ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, mets

Seattle PI: Rick Kaminski, ‘The Peanut Man,’ dies at 67

Anyone who has ever been to a Mariners game will remember Rick. With the death of Dave Niehaus last year, and The Peanut Man this year, the two most loved figures associated with the team who never wore the uniform are now gone…

Rick Kaminski, known to generations of Mariners fans as The Peanut Man, working games since the team’s first season in 1977, has died.

Kaminski, 67, was hospitalized this week after a brain aneurysm. His partner, Candi Mindt-Keener, announced Wednesday that he died overnight at Evergreen Medical Center.

Kaminski was famous for his humor and his accurate arm tossing bags of peanuts to fans, often behind his back. He was a fixture at the Kingdome and later Safeco Field while also working other local games.

...Read More...
vortex of dissipation Posted: July 27, 2011 at 10:11 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Angels’ Ervin Santana throws no-hitter against Cleveland Indians

Ervin Santana turned in a performance Wednesday that won’t soon be forgotten, pitching a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians in a 3-1 Angels win.

Santana was as efficient as he was dominating, needing just 105 pitches—76 of them strikes—to give the Angels their first complete-game no-hitter since Mike Witt’s perfect game at Texas in 1984. And the Indians came close to a hit just once, when Howie Kendrick made a sliding, back-handed stop of Jason Kipnis’ ground ball leading off the sixth and threw out the runner from his knees on the grass behind second base.

The only other close call came with two outs in the seventh when designated hitter Travis Hafner lined an 0-2 pitch down the left-field line. But the ball landed several feet ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 07:49 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, indians

Yankees Talking To Several Teams About Robinson Cano: ‘He’s Good And We’re Going To Keep Him’

I guess this is one rumor we can put to bed:

“Brian Cashman called me up this past week and asked what we’d be willing to give up for Robinson Cano, but before I could even answer, he said, ‘Whatever it is, it wouldn’t be enough, because we just love the guy,’” an executive within the Blue Jays organization told reporters.

Good thinking.

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:49 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: rumors, yankees

Beltran to Giants

@TBrownYahoo Tim Brown
Looks like Beltran is indeed going to SF, according to source. Logistics being worked out.

The newest star of The Franchise!

Gamingboy Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:48 PM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mets

espn.com: Yankees HOPE Week makes big splash

The Yankees signed autographs, posed for the pictures with the kids, and even engaged in a couple games of ping pong.

But then things really got interesting. After taking a big group photo—including all the Yankees, and all the children—water balloons were distributed to everyone. Now, I had seen the buckets of water balloons earlier, and (naturally?) assumed we were going to play a harmless game of water balloon toss—you know, to see which pair could toss and catch the balloon the longest without breaking it…

Next thing I knew, Rivera was…. using a young girl as a shield… drilled in the left shoulder from point-blank range…. bucket of ice water over his head… screaming children.

OK, so there was some selective quoting in that last ...

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Guapo Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:29 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

White Sox trade Jackson, Teahen to Blue Jays; Rasmus Toronto-bound?

CHICAGO—The Chicago White Sox have traded starting pitcher Edwin Jackson and infielder Mark Teahen to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for reliever Jason Frasor and minor leaguers, which is expected to be the precursor of a deal that would send Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus to Toronto.

No word on the prospects.

JJ1986 Posted: July 27, 2011 at 04:01 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardinals, rumors, white sox

Is it Rasmus or La Russa in St. Louis?

Soap operas are being taken off network TV, but at least we still have baseball.

By the way he’s portrayed, you’d expect St. Louis center fielder Colby Rasmus to be the guy with the badly dyed goatee and have ominous music every time he appears on screen. That’s at least the way Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (speaking of bad dye jobs) keeps playing it.

The latest barb? Speaking to KSDK-TV in St. Louis, La Russa said Rasmus doesn’t listen to the team’s coaches.

“No, he doesn’t listen to the Cardinal coaches much now, and that’s why he gets in these funks, in my opinion,” La Russa said, according to MLB.com. “If he would just stay with [basically] what they teach, he would have … but I actually feel concern for him, because he hears ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 02:57 PM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, media

Kernan: Yankees’ Sabathia looks twice the ‘Cys’

Those who ignore history are bound to repeat Kernan.

Sabathia won his major-league-high 15th game. That is what aces do, and this is why Sabathia has the edge over all other AL starters this year, including the incredible Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander.

You can point to Verlander’s statistical advantages over Sabathia, and the Angels’ Jered Weaver is rolling, but give CC the edge. If Verlander or Weaver outduels CC the last nine weeks, give ‘em the Cy Young, but right now it is Sabathia.

...Sabathia was 21-7 last season and finished third in Cy Young voting behind winner Felix Hernandez, who starts today for the Mariners, and the Rays’ David Price.

Getting beat by King Felix can happen, but Hernandez had 13 wins last year and ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 01:50 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, awards, projections, sabermetrics, tigers, yankees

Kilgore: The Nationals, in last place and Davey Johnson’s close to a ‘boiling point’

Beat the NL? They can’t even Beat Takeshi!

image

One month ago today, on an idyllic day in Southern California, Davey Johnson walked into the Washington Nationals dugout and managed his first baseball game in 11 years. He loved every minute, he said afterward, even though they lost. He savored the challenge and could not wait for more.

After the 10-game stretch coming out of the all-star break, some of that verve, at least outwardly, has drained from Johnson. It is hard to love every minute of recording five hits in two games, or of falling into last place. His record is 9-15, which is the fourth-worst record in the majors over that span.

“I have a high boiling point,” Johnson said after last night’s loss. “And I’m getting closer ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 01:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Baseball kissed by Marilyn Monroe and signed by Joe DiMaggio to be sold at auction

Monkey Business starring Miss Lois L’oreal! (and look for the blonde bombshell in the sequel The Sixty Year Pitch!)

It’s been locked in a box and stored in a closet for the best part of half a century. But this baseball is expected to fetch at least $20,000 when it is sold at auction

This is no ordinary baseball. Not only is it signed by the New York Yankees baseball team – including legend Joe DiMaggio – it also still bears the lipstick of Marilyn Monroe from when the blonde bombshell kissed it in 1952.

...The ball is one of 15 signed by the 1952 World Champion Yankees, which were then given to the players of a softball team who won a league organised by film studios 20th Century
Fox.

This particular ball was given to sound ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 12:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, yankees

Schoenfield: We have a new worst call ever

Last night’s Meals on Weals game that will forever leave a mark on Pirate fans…

Did I stay up until 2 a.m. watching the Pirates-Braves game that ended on the most controversial call since Jim Joyce ruined Armando Galarraga’s perfect game?

Yes, I did.

And it was something.

Twitter exploded immediately, with sympathy coming from across the country for America’s team. A Pirates fan who has lived in Italy for 19 years was watching the game and tweeted me in horror. Other Pirates fans called it the worst Pirates loss since the “Sid Bream Game” in 1992. Page 2 writer and Pirates fan DJ Gallo wondered just exactly where home plate umpire Jerry Meals had to go at 2 a.m. Joe Sheehan wrote that baseball is a wonderful game that deserves better ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM | 276 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, game recaps, pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-27-2011

Deseret News, July 28, 1987:

The longest winning streak in professional baseball history is history at 29 games.  The Billings Mustangs…outlasted the [Salt Lake Trappers] 7-5 Monday night in Cobb Stadium before 4,219 fans.

...

The Trappers are now a remarkable 32-4 in the Pioneer League.

The Trappers actually had a losing record that year in games not played during the 29-game streak.  Other odd facts about the 1987 Salt Lake Trappers:  They pulled off the streak without the benefit of a Major League affiliate to provide players, and not a single player from that team made it to The Show.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 27, 2011 at 11:35 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

Sullivan: Brendan Ryan Delivers Heroics In Mariners’ Latest Loss

Remember July 5th?  That is the last time the Mariners won a game.

At some point later in the game, I happened across the following tweet from Joe Posnanski:

You get the feeling the Mariners will remember Loss No. 17 as the “time we got that hit off C.C. Sabathia.”
...
That single felt like a win. Of course that sounds stupid. Of course that sounds humiliating. But the loss was already all but official, and for me it was the first triumphant moment in weeks. It felt better than Miguel Olivo’s game-tying grand slam. The only victory was that the Mariners avoided being no-hit, which generally isn’t so much an achievement as an expectation, but it was an achievement tonight. Lately the Mariners haven’t achieved a lot of positive things.

...Read More...
The George Sherrill Selection Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

N.Y. Times: Sandomir: Trustee for Victims of Madoff’s Scheme Hones Arguments Against Mets’ Owners

The high-stakes arguments — the trustee is seeking $1 billion from Wilpon and Katz — are set to be heard, and perhaps decided, by Judge Jed S. Rakoff in United States District Court in Manhattan on Aug. 17. ...

Picard’s argument appears to result in part from the successful effort by Wilpon and Katz to transfer the trustee’s lawsuit from bankruptcy court to district court — a procedural victory for them.

Wilpon and Katz wanted the change so their dealings with Madoff might be judged under securities law, not the federal bankruptcy code. Seen merely as individual investors, they argued, they were under no special obligation to check out the trustworthiness of Madoff’s investing.

In a 25-page filing, though, Picard’s ...

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bobm Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets

Clippers: Germano throws perfect game against Chiefs

27 up, 27 down!

[Justin] Germano had a 5.65 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Columbus after struggling in the Indians bullpen this season. He gave up a Clippers’ season-high 12 hits in six innings during his start on Thursday.

Those woes didn’t affect him tonight. Germano, a 28-year-old righthander, threw a perfect game in Columbus’ 3-0 win at Syracuse. He struck out seven, including getting Corey Brown looking with his final pitch, in winning his first game of the season.

It is the first perfect game in Clippers history and only the fifth perfect game in the International League. The last Clippers no-hitter was in 2002.

Guapo Posted: July 27, 2011 at 03:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, indians, minor leagues, nationals

Reds trade Gomes to Nats, promote Alonso

It was clear from the moment he was drafted that prospect Yonder Alonso’s bat would eventually force the Reds’ hand into getting him to the Major Leagues.

That time came on Tuesday when the Reds traded veteran left fielder Jonny Gomes to the Nationals for two Minor League players. In a corresponding move, Alonso—a left fielder and first baseman—was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.

“We actually had a couple of clubs that inquired about Jonny’s services, but Washington was probably the most persistent,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “For us, it’s a tough move to make in some ways. Jonny was a big part of our club last year and he’s obviously a guy we all think highly of as a person and as a player. It gives us an opportunity ...

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Repoz Posted: July 27, 2011 at 02:39 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, reds

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fox Sports Net adds web features to Reds TV broadcasts

Like Brennamanna from heaven…

Here’s something that could make your experience watching the Cincinnati Reds on TV even better.

No, it’s not a guaranteed 10-game winning streak. Or even three, for that matter, which the Reds haven’t done since June 15.

This comes to you courtesy of Fox Sports Net Ohio, the Reds’ TV broadcast network. It just launched Game Connect.

It features live stats for each player, including batter vs. pitcher career info. It also offers a built-in Twitter feed, so you can satisfy your craving to talk baseball with your fellow fans. And it has a setup that allows fans to interact with the broadcasters doing the game. So if you have a problem with one of Thom Brennaman’s comments, you don’t have to limit ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 10:21 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, reds, television

Statis Pro Baseball: An Instruction Manual

Eleven is the age at which athletics begin to evolve from a communal gathering into a selective pursuit. At 11, Little League is nearing its end and giving way to real baseball, with 90 feet between the bases and 60 feet, six inches to home plate, and those of us who possess the desire but lack the physicality and coordination are shunted aside. And so we seek substitutes, a way to replicate the experience that is still somehow tethered to reality. In the modern age, of course, this is the purpose of fantasy baseball and video games; but during my childhood, Rotisserie sports were the domain of New York editors, and Atari baseball featured pixelated stick figures with monikers invented by Japanese software engineers. What was the point of ...

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the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:56 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, fantasy baseball

‘Duk: Yes, someone just compared Bryce Harper to Jackie Robinson

Woo-hoo! Can’t wait for the Bryce Harper: Rookie on Trial comic book to come out!

Straight from the files of Terrible Perspective 101 comes this unbelievable gem: Two members of the Washington Nationals organization tell Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci that Bryce Harper is baseball’s most scrutinized prospect since ... Jackie Robinson.

Let’s go to the tape, shall we?:

  Nats director of player development Doug Harris: “This is really unfair and it’s totally different, but if I can make a comparison to one guy that has been scrutinized like this, it would be Jackie Robinson. And it’s unfair because it was a different standard. He was under a microscope in an era when we didn’t have Internet, didn’t have cellphones. Now, Jackie ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:06 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, history, minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

Gleeman: Astros fall down a lot in loss to Cardinals, blame U2 and Bono

Or…Bono anti-Bourgeois!

U2 had a concert at Busch Stadium on July 17 and in preparation for the event the Cardinals had to strip the field and then afterward bring in new grass from Colorado, with the recent high temperatures making the re-sodding effort very difficult.

Before last night’s game groundskeeper Bill Findley told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the new grass “wasn’t healthy enough to put a pattern on it” and then during the game the visiting Astros fell numerous times on a surface Goold described as “bare and the dirt exposed to the drying and cracking heat.”

Here’s how Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle described the issues:

  Hunter Pence fell coming in on a fly ball that turned ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 07:48 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, media, music

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