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Category:MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 2:03 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2010 2:18 pm
 

Rose legacy takes another hit


A detailed investigation by Barry Petchesky of Deadspin.com indicates that Pete Rose used corked bats during his 1985 chase for baseball's all-time hits record.

A photo accompanying the story shows an X-ray of a game-used bat with a clear area of foreign material about six inches long in the barrel. The bat is purportedly part of a batch of about 30 Mizuno bats Rose had specially made for him in 1985, when he was player-manager of the Reds and chasing down Ty Cobb's record of 4,191 hits.

Bat-corking is intended to make a bat lighter without a sacrifice in power. The practice is called "corking" even though various materials have been used to fill hollowed-out spaces over the years. The benefit corking has been widely debated and tested, and the results indicate that the edge is dubious at best. In fact, a 2007 experiment by the TV show Mythbusters showed that corking actually causes a notable decrease in how far a ball will travel off a bat (video here ). Any benefit is probably mental.

Nevertheless, it's explicitly against the rules. It has never been clear how widespread corking is, and only six players have been disciplined for the practice: Graig Nettles, Billy Hatcher, Albert Belle, Chris Sabo, Wilton Guerrero and Sammy Sosa. Rose has repeatedly denied corking his bat and challenged anyone to produce a bat he used that was corked (he didn't respond to Deadspin's requests for comment). Of course, Rose repeatedly denied betting on baseball, too, until he figured out he could benefit from admitting it.

The point isn't whether altered bats helped Rose get the hits record. The point is that, if this report is true, Rose knowingly cheated. The Hall of Fame looks further away than ever.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com


Category: MLB
Tags: Pete Rose, Reds
 
Posted on: June 8, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Ramirez jumps to All-Star vote lead

An update was released on National League All-Star voting today, and the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez was the only new position leader, moving ahead of the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins. Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley was the leading overall vote-getter, just ahead of Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

Perhaps the most notable development was the surge by Brewers rookie Jason Heyward, who jumped to second among outfielders and will be a starter if he stays in the top three. Heyward is batting .266 with 10 homers and 39 RBI.

Starting rosters will be announced on July 4.

Posted on: June 8, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Solis, Allie lead Round 2

The Nationals have selected left-hander Sammy Solis of the University of San Diego with the first pick in the second round of the draft.

With the second pick, the Pirates took one of the most intriguing prospects, strong-armed right-hander Stetson Allie out of Ohio's St. Edward High School.

University of Texas right-hander Brandon Workman, who might have dropped due to reports he was looking for a big signing bonus, was finally taken at No. 57 by the Red Sox.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com


Posted on: June 8, 2010 12:18 pm
 

Pressure building on Teixeira

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is getting defensive about his lousy season, turning to "the back of my baseball card says it all" as an argument when speaking with reporters at the conclusion of a weekend series that saw him go 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts.

Sure, the back of Teixeira's baseball card looks great, because it doesn't include this year's stats. For a while it was easy to write off his struggles as a slow start to the season, but the season is more than a third over and a guy who started last year's All-Star Game is batting .211.

Apparently the pressure is getting to Teixeira.

"I don't know how many times I have to tell you guys, I had a great May," Teixeira told the New York Daily News in what was described as "an exasperated, defensive tone."

Well, kind of. He actually had a great couple of weeks at the start of May, batting .339 with five homers and 20 RBIs in the first 15 games of the month. Throw out those 15 games and his season numbers would be truly ugly: a .162 average with three homers and 14 RBI.

At this point, the hot streak is looking like the anomaly. An "anti-slump" in a bad season. If Teixeira is going to turn it around, he'd better hurry, because the pressure in New York is only going to increase.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 11:20 am
 

Four Boras clients in top seven picks

In case you're curious about the signability of your team's top pick, Sports Agent Blog has a list of representatives for the 50 players taken on the first day of the draft.

Scott Boras represents four of the top seven picks: Top pick Bryce Harper (C/OF, Nationals), No. 3 Manny Machado (SS, Orioles), No. 4 Christian Colon (SS, Royals) and No. 7 Matt Harvey (RHP, Mets). Boras is expected to seek a signing bonus for Harper in excess of the record $15.1 million he got top pick Stephen Strasburg minutes before last year's deadline.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 11:09 am
 

Draft just getting started


Last night was the big splash for baseball's First-Year Player Draft, with the first 50 picks -- the first round and the sandwich picks -- made on national television. Today the work gets tougher and faster in draft rooms around the country.

Rounds 2-30 take place today, beginning at noon EDT, with rounds 31-50 happening Wednesday. Teams have only a minute to make a pick once they're on the clock. The Nationals have today's first pick.

There's still plenty of heralded talent left on the board, with 15 of Baseball America's pre-draft Top 50 still available. They include University of Texas ace Brandon Workman , who most expected to be gone by now, and Ohio high school pitcher Stetson Allie , who is reported to have hit 100 mph.

Follow the action as it happens with the CBSSports.com Draft Tracker .

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Posted on: June 8, 2010 10:03 am
 

Happy Strasburg Day!


The day phenom David Clyde made his major league debut for the Rangers, Tom Vandergriff, the mayor of Arlington, said, "From now on, time here shall be marked from June 27, 1973."

Now that's pressure. Clyde, just 19 days out of high school, held his own in the most hyperbolically promoted debut in major league history, and went on to an undistinguished career. The Washington Nationals, like the 1973 Rangers a transplant franchise struggling to put fans in the seats, are hoping to get a more lasting impact from Stephen Strasburg, who, in case you hadn't heard, makes his major league debut tonight against the Pirates.

More than 200 media members are expected to be on hand at Nationals Park, which is lucky on most nights to get that many fans (exaggeration alert!). The Nationals are selling standing-room tickets, and even those are being sold at a premium online.

"He needs to take a step back, take a deep breath and kind of soak in the moment because you only debut once in your career. It's a special day for him, also," general manager Mike Rizzo told The Associated Press .

Strasburg is certainly ready. He went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings in Double-A and Triple-A. In fact, you might wonder what took the Nationals so long to call up the right-hander. Murray Chass got Washington president Stan Kasten to acknowledge that "one of the factors" in the timing was controlling Strasburg's service time.

By delaying a player's debut six weeks or so, a team keeps the player from being credited with a full year of major league service time in his first season. Down the line, it delays the player's eligibility for salary arbitration and free agency. The Nationals can now control Strasburg for seven seasons, rather than six, before risking losing him to free agency.

It's a common practice and doesn't violate labor laws. That doesn't mean the players' union is happy about it.

"We are paying attention to that and I would expect arbitration eligibility will be an issue in collective bargaining," union head Michael Weiner told Chass. "It has become so obvious."

The game, which starts at 7:05 EDT, will be shown on MLB Network with Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and John Smoltz in the booth.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 9:14 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:23 am
 

Obama: Selig right in not overturning call


Commissioner Bud Selig has taken a lot of heat in the past week, but perhaps he can take comfort in having the support of the leader of the free world.

President Obama said in an interview today that Selig did the right thing when he decided not to overturn the call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Obama said baseball should look at instant replay.

The president also commended the display of sportsmanship by umpire Jim Joyce, who admitted and apologized for his mistake.

"I thought that showed something about sportsmanship that you don't see enough of in America today," Obama told Matt Lauer on "The Today Show".

Details and clip here .

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com


Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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