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Posts Tagged "MLB"

Boston is officially in denial.
Boston got absolutely destroyed last night in their game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The game was, in effect, over after the 2nd inning when the Rays, who were 1-8 entering the game, led the Red Sox 7-0. 
The game ended up being a 16-5 shellacking as the Rays had something named Sam Fuld almost hit for the cycle (he actually did better than a cycle, as he had two doubles instead of a double and a single).
Anyway, the Boston Globe apparently said the Red Sox won 16-5. In reality, the Sox lost and they are now tied for last place in the division, looking up at the first place (!) Baltimore Orioles.

Boston is officially in denial.

Boston got absolutely destroyed last night in their game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The game was, in effect, over after the 2nd inning when the Rays, who were 1-8 entering the game, led the Red Sox 7-0. 

The game ended up being a 16-5 shellacking as the Rays had something named Sam Fuld almost hit for the cycle (he actually did better than a cycle, as he had two doubles instead of a double and a single).

Anyway, the Boston Globe apparently said the Red Sox won 16-5. In reality, the Sox lost and they are now tied for last place in the division, looking up at the first place (!) Baltimore Orioles.

Japanese MLB players donate millions to relief efforts

The recovery in Japan from the massive earthquake and the resulting tsunami continues and will continue for a long, long time. The estimates on how much damage was done is in the hundreds of billions and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went even higher.

Most of the news seems to be concentrating on the damaged Fukushimi Daiichi power plant and the fact that whole communities have been wiped out by this disaster seems to have been lost a bit. This is a disaster of epic proportions.

Anyway, Japan’s biggest sporting export is, in my opinion, baseball players. And those players who have come to the United States are pitching in (no pun intended) to help with the relief efforts in Japan.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has donated $1 million to the Japanese relief efforts via the Red Cross, according to Peter Abraham of theBoston Globe.

Last week Ichiro Suzuki reportedly donated 100 million yen(approximately $1.2 million) and Hideki Matsui donated 50 million yen (approximately $600,000) to help support their home country following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Anyway, thought this was a cool little thing to point out. Also, NBA players donated to help out in the relief effort though significantly less.

Flashback to Ripken’s streak ending

Before Brett Favre, there was Cal Ripken, Jr. Well, only in that Ripken an Favre both had record-breaking streaks of consecutive games-played. 

Here is how the Associated Press wrote about Ripken’s streak ending:

On his own terms and own turf, the Baltimore Orioles' third baseman sat out of Sunday night's game against the New York Yankeeswith just one week left in the season, telling his manager: “I think the time is right.”

"I was going to take the last day of the season off in Boston, but I thought about it a long time and decided if this is going to end, let it end where it started in Baltimore," the 38-year-old Ripken said after the game, a 5-4 victory by the Yankees.

Ripken had made up his mind days earlier to end the streak in the Orioles’ final home game of the season. Afterward, he looked back on the night with the same sense of awe he experienced when he broke Lou Gehrig’s seemingly unreachable mark of 2,130 straight games on September 6, 1995.

"This shouldn’t be a sad moment. I look at it as a happy moment, a celebration," Ripken said.

Greatest court document ever

Crossposted at the sports section of this blog.

I can objectively say that these are the greatest court documents that I have ever seen. 

A Dallas lawyer filed a motion for continuance* so that he could go watch a couple of baseball games. And he did it in the most amusing way possible.

* Basically pushing back the hearing. I’m sure lawyers will tell me how this is completely wrong, but that’s how I understand it. I am obviously not a lawyer. Though this lawyer makes me want to be one just so I can write such a motion. 

The Hard Ball Times has the story and the continuance is embedded below.

Anyway, Dallas lawyer Darrell Cook has a case going on in Irving, Texas, and he had to file a Motion for Continuance yesterday. His reason: he’s a big Rangers fan and he has tickets to Games 1 and 2 in San Francisco so he can’t make today’s hearing.

Cook detailed his love for the Rangers and the unusual circumstances that came to putting them in the World Series. With extensive footnotes.

For example:

10. Darrell went to all three games played in Arlington against the Yankees[5] and cried [6] in teh stands ast he Rangers defeated the Evil Empire known as the New York Yankees[7].

Here are the footnotes for that:

[5] The series was not close. However you dissect it, the Rangers annihilated the Yankees in October like no team had before. The Rangers hit .304, the Yankees .201. The Rangers had a 3.06 earned run average, the Yankees 6.58. If that seems like an unprecedented split, it is.

[6] Not really sobbing, more like a good “Sports Cry”. Still, it was enjoyed with his son, sot he beat goes on, father to son.

[7] IT sould be pointed out that ARod a/k/a AFraud took a called third strike to end the series and secure the Pennant for the Rangers. It has no significance to this Motion other than the fact that Darrell likes to point it out as much as possible.

And so on. 

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MLB defensive play of the season on Opening Day?

Even though every team has 161 games left (well, some teams that haven’t started their first games yet have 162 left), we may have already seen the best play to happen all season.

Mark Buehrle, a pitcher that is great to watch because he doesn’t take much time between pitches, kicked a comebacker towards the first baseline and ran to get it.  Then, when he got to it… well, you can see the video here.*

Buehrle might have also won himself the Gold Glove with this one play, because it will be seen on highlight packages all year. 

* While MLB is great on some online things (MLB.TV is pretty awesome despite its flaws), the fact that they don’t have embeddable videos really sucks.

The presidential first pitch

Today is opening day in baseball — for my money, the second best time for a sporting event behind the first weekend of the NCAA tournament — and President Barack Obama took part in one of the oldest traditions in sports.

Obama took the mound in Washington DC and threw out the first pitch.

The New York Times described the first pitch:

He got a healthy round of boos when he donned a White Sox hat and took the mound to pitch to Nats favorite Ryan Zimmerman.

The pitch was a little high and outside. But he cleared the plate.

NPR has a little more color.

The setting — freshly cut grass, a brilliant sun and clear skies — was a picture-postcard quality introduction to a new Major League Baseball season. And the lanky Obama, appearing in khakis and a Washington Nationals warmup jacket, was the star attraction for a moment.

He took a short windup and hurled a high, arcing pitch that Zimmerman speared. The president, an unabashed fan of the Chicago White Sox, wore a Sox baseball cap. He shook a few hands and then walked off the field as fans awaited the real first pitch.

I think it is cool when politicians don’t try to make everyone happy and just admit that they have a favorite team. I am reminded of when Gov. Bill Richardson said that he was a fan of both the Yankees and the Red Sox; the two are heated rivals.

The “Bats” blog at the New York Times has a history of presidential first-pitches as does the Christian Science Monitor

From the CS Monitor article:

This year marks the 100th anniversary of presidential first pitches. Baseball fan William Howard Taft inaugurated the practice in 1910, throwing out the ball at the Washington Senators home opener.

Presidents prior to Mr. Taft had liked baseball, too. But most had thought that actually tossing a ball looked, well, unpresidential.

Taft saw it as good politics.

“The game of baseball is a clean, straight game, and it summons to its presence everybody who enjoys clean, straight athletics,” he said.

Now it is almost unthinkable that a politician WOULDN’T take the opportunity to throw out a first pitch, whether it is for an MLB game or the AA team down the road.

Quick Update:

From CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller on Twitter:

Obama joined announce team for an inning of Nats/Phillies game. Explained his high & outside pitch: “I was intentionally walking the guy.”

"Sweet Caroline" and the Boston Red Sox

Today is opening day for Major League Baseball. All around the country, people will go outside to watch 18 men hit a ball on a field. 

The Boston Red Sox played last night against the New York Yankees*, and NPR had a story from 2005 about one of the most mysterious and catchy gameday traditions — why the Red Sox played “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

Listen to it, it’s pretty interesting.

* The fact that they have a team playing the night before opening day is a travesty. All teams should play their first game on the first Monday of the season. It’s tradition in the sport that most thrives on tradition.

A classic sports April Fool’s Day prank

On April 1, 1985, Sports Illustrated wrote about an amazing pitcher — one that would change the game forever. His name was Sidd Finch, and George Plimpton wrote about the strange man’s prospects for the New York Mets.

On St. Patrick’s Day, to make sure they were not all victims of a crazy hallucination, the Mets brought in a radar gun to measure the speed of Finch’s fastball. The model used was a JUGS Supergun II. It looks like a black space gun with a big snout, weighs about five pounds and is usually pointed at the pitcher from behind the catcher. A glass plate in the back of the gun shows the pitch’s velocity—accurate, so the manufacturer claims, to within plus or minus 1 mph. The figure at the top of the gauge is 200 mph. The fastest projectile ever measured by the JUGS (which is named after the oldtimer’s descriptive—the “jug-handled” curveball) was a Roscoe Tanner serve that registered 153 mph. The highest number that the JUGS had ever turned for a baseball was 103 mph, which it did, curiously, twice on one day, July 11, at the 1978 All-Star game when both Goose Gossage and Nolan Ryan threw the ball at that speed. On March 17, the gun was handled by Stottlemyre. He heard the pop of the ball in Reynolds’s mitt and the little squeak of pain from the catcher. Then the astonishing figure 168 appeared on the glass plate. Stottlemyre remembers whistling in amazement, and then he heard Reynolds say, “Don’t tell me, Mel, I don’t want to know….”

A very tall tale, and the subhed itself gave a clue to the fact that it was a prank.

It read, “He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd’s deciding about yoga—and his future in baseball.” 

Go ahead and read the first letters of it — “HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY”