Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:00 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 10:32 am
By Matt Snyder
With the Rays climbing to within two games of the Red Sox in the AL wild-card race, it's going to be a fun final two weeks for baseball fans. Some interesting perspective on the drama comes from current Red Sox and former Rays' left fielder Carl Crawford.
Crawford played nine seasons and 1,253 regular-season games for the Rays. He's easily the best player in the history of the young franchise at this point, but he walked this past offseason for a seven-year, $142 million deal and signed with the Red Sox. And he's now having the worst season of his career, from an individual standpoint.
In a diary entry for ESPN.com, Crawford notes that hears the boos from "haters" when the Red Sox visit Tampa Bay and that those fans need to realize he's going to be coming back for six more years. Two more entries of note:
"If Tampa makes a miracle comeback and takes the wild card from us, I will be devastated. I definitely wouldn't want to lose to those guys and watch them get into the playoffs while we go home. That would just be devastating to me."
"I want to end the diary saying something to the fans of Boston. I just want to say I'm sorry for the year I've had. You guys have been really supportive and I appreciate that. Hopefully when we get into these playoffs, I can be the real Carl Crawford that I know I am. We'll see."
I love seeing that kind of accountability from someone who could easily just blow everyone off and count his millions.
Ironman: Speaking of the Rays, Johnny Damon has now tied Pete Rose and Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Hank Aaron with an impressive streak. Damon has now played in at least 140 games in 16 different seasons, making it a four-way tie atop the all-time record book (TampaBay.com). Does anyone doubt Damon can do it again next year and set the record? I sure don't.
More from Damon: This is funny, and true. Damon points out that Red Sox fans have to root for the Yankees now. “They’re going to have to root for them if they want a chance at the postseason,” Damon said (BostonHerald.com). “They couldn’t root for me when I played in New York. Now they have to root for the whole team.” Man, how much are Yankees fans relishing this?
Happy Birthday: Hall of Famer Joe Morgan turns 68 Monday (Hardball Times). The two-time MVP is widely considered the best second baseman to ever play the game (and was also a broadcaster for years, but we'll leave that alone, being his birthday and all ... )
While we're here: Speaking of Joe, he just led the world's largest chicken dance. Check it out (via Big League Stew):
Sigh: Tigers manager Jim Leyland says he isn't an "on-base percentage guy." (MLB.com) Look, Leyland knows a lot more about baseball than I do, which is quite an obvious fact. But that doesn't mean he can't be wrong about certain things. I just don't understand what it is with the so-called "old-school mentality" that prevents people from grasping that OBP is the percentage of times batters don't make an out. I don't get how you can not be an OBP guy. You go to the plate with a bat. The main object is to not make an out. It's very, very simple. Leyland, thankfully, doesn't say he likes batting average, but instead slugging. Slugging percentage is much more important than average, but OBP is much more important. Think about it. Even if you're just churning out singles and walks over and over, you're still scoring runs. Slugging is very important, too, which is why OPS has gotten more and more run in recent years.
Humbled Ozzie: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen recently made a trip to the Negro Baseball League Museum in Kansas City and came away with a renewed appreciation for everything he has. "It’s so different, and sometimes you shake your head at what these guys went through all this stuff for baseball to be better now than then," he said (Chicago Tribune).
Shoot him up: Phillies slugging first baseman Ryan Howard has bursitis in his left ankle, and he'll have a cortisone shot to help him deal with the issue the rest of the season. (MLB.com)
Johan 'felt good:' Mets ace Johan Santana threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday and he "felt good." (ESPN New York)
Johnson wants Wang back: Chien-Ming Wang has been a bit inconsistent in his return to the hill this season, but he's shown flashes of being solid -- like in his quality-start win Sunday. It will be tough to squeeze into the Nationals' rotation next season, especially if they land a free agent like C.J. Wilson, but current Nats manager Davey Johnson says he'd bring Wang back. "As far as I'm concerned, he's a keeper," Johnson said (MASN Sports).
Don't rush: Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery June 3, but he's looking to be back by opening day of next season. That wouldn't be unheard of, but it would be just 10 months after a procedure which typically has a 10-14 month recovery period. So it would certainly be a quick recovery. Jim Tracy, his manager, wants De La Rosa to be patient. “I told him (De La Rosa) about Dr. Jobe and the importance of following the program and don’t try to deviate,’’ said Tracy (DenverPost.com). “Don’t try to speed it up. If you do that and you follow the program and you don’t try to speed it up, you’ll feel like you have a bionic arm. Because it will completely heal and you’ll basically have a brand new elbow.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, Carl Crawford, Chien-Ming Wang, Davey Johnson, Jim Leyland, Jim Tracy, Joe Morgan, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Jorge De La Rosa, Matt Snyder, Mets, Nationals, NL East, NL West, Ozzie Guillen, Pepper, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox, Rockies, Ryan Howard, Tigers, White Sox, Yankees
Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:12 am
By Evan Brunell
Wanted: more offense -- Carlos Beltran has enjoyed his time in San Francisco, but it could only last a few months.
The free-agent outfielder told the San Jose Mercury News that playing for the Giants would be fantastic with its pitching staff, plus the returns of Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez should boost the offense next season. But that's not enough.
"I believe there should be a little bit more than that," he said, referring to the offense.
But where should the team upgrade? Catcher, second base and third are spoken for. Aubrey Huff will be in his final season while Brandon Belt is ready to play full-time, so split first base and left field between the two players. If Beltran comes back, that's right field sewed up. That leaves shortstop, with no real internal candidate, and center field.
Of course, Jose Reyes has gotten a lo of attention as the marquee free agent, but the Giants will have to pay a pretty penny for Reyes' services. In center, the team might as well keep Andres Torres if its next-best option is Coco Crisp, although Grady Sizemore could be attractive if the Indians decline their club option.
But the Giants have to worry about money, too. They have $80 million committed to just six players next year, one of which won't be playing for the team in Aaron Rowand. To resign Beltran and bring in another top-flight hitter to please Beltran? That's pushing it.
"You want to be in a lineup where you are around players that will make the lineup better, you understand?" Beltran said. "Right now we have missed a leadoff batter here, and that's huge. That's something, to me, they should address that area, before me."
Weak Central: Jim Leyland has a lot of expletive-filled thoughts as to the AL Central being so weak, the Tigers' accomplishments may be hurt. “You're looking for something to take something away from them,” Leyland complained to MLive.com . “I don't want to talk about that. That's [expletive]. That's total [expletive]. Let me remind you of something. It was three months ago, two months ago, that the [expletive] Cleveland Indians were the talk of baseball. Everybody was saying they were pretty [expletive] good. Now, all of a sudden, because we beat them they're [expletive]? That's not fair. That's unfair.”
Moving to right: Carlos Gonzalez will be the team's right fielder next season, Rockies manager Jim Tracy says, citing Gonzalez's arm as the reason why. He's already made the move and has 12 assists in just 34 games. (MLB.com)
Staying in Japan? Phenom Yu Darvish is re-thinking whether or not he will come to America for 2012,. His team, Nippon Ham, is eager to post Darvish and reap the profits but Japan's best pitcher is unsure the time is right to make the leap. (NPB Tracker)
Humidor time: The Rockies love everything about their Triple-A franchise...except the fact that it's a launching pad for hitters, robbing pitchers of development time. As a result, a humidor will be installed next season. (Denver Post)
The story of Trayvon: Seattle's newest outfielder, Trayvon Robinson, had a tough upbringing with a home in south-central Los Angeles, split between warring gang factions and attending the high school featured in Boys N The Hood. It's a feature well worth reading. (Seattle Times)
Setback: Dodgers ex-closer Jonathan Broxton has suffered a setback in his recovery from an injured elbow. Broxton will become a free-agent and will have to look around for a one-year deal to rehabilitate his value. (MLB.com)
One year later: A year ago, a baseball bat pierced Tyler Colvin's chest. What could have been a serious incident has now passed and Colvin is back in the majors -- albeit struggling. (MLB.com)
Jays resurgence: Part of Toronto's resurgence has been the successful adding of young players both inside and outside of the organization. More help is on the way as indicated by the Jays making the minor-league postseason with five of seven teams. But will Toronto make its move in the offseason or wait for more help to arrive? (Canoe.ca)
No diamond: The city of Detroit has nixed an offer from Chevrolet to preserve the diamond at Tiger Stadium, which is mostly demolished these days. Why did the city do that? Because it's trying to keep the space open for significant redevelopment, which the city would jump at to improve its flagging revenues. (Detroit Free Press)
Still playing: Aaron Cook won't retire, but the Rockie who receives his final start in Colorado on Wednesday also certainly won't be back. (Denver Post)
Morgan or Sandberg? Reds announcer Marty Brennaman believes that Morgan was the better second baseman than Sandberg, which the author terms a "controversial" topic. Really? (Chicago Tribune)
Still playing: Amir Garrett, who was picked in the 22nd round of the MLB draft, hopes to play basketball as a freshman this winter after being declared ineligible by the NCAA. Garrett signed a $1 million deal with the Reds and is expect to join the team after college basketball is over. (Eye on College Basketball)
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Cook, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Amir Garrett, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Cubs, Detroit, Dodgers, Evan Brunell, Giants, Japan, Jim Leyland, Joe Morgan, Jonathan Broxton, Mariners, MLB Rumors, NL Central, NL West, Pepper, Reds, Rockies, Rockies, Ryne Sandberg, Tigers, Toronto, Trayvon Robinson, Tyler Colvin, Yu Darvish
Posted on: July 8, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:09 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to talk about Derek Jeter, but also notes these games against the Yankees are not just big for Jeter's chase of 3,000 but also vital for the Rays. There's also the Braves-Phillies series, but Danny points out why that may not be as big of a series.
Phillips didn't start using Twitter until this offseason, but has embraced the technology, holding contests for fans and also taking suggestions on restaurants and off-day activities. Earlier this season, a teen asked Phillips to come to his baseball game on a day the Reds were off, and Phillips stopped by. He also sent a pair fans to spring training and then another pair to San Francisco for the Reds' games at AT&T Park.
He has even won over some Cardinals fans, an amazing feat considering Cardinal nation's distaste for the Reds second baseman, who last year used not-so-nice words to describe Tony La Russa's club.
LAST ONE THE TOUGHEST: George Brett told the Associated Press he thought the last hit would be the toughest for Derek Jeter in his quest for 3,000. Of course, Brett reached the mark with a four-hit game. Brett also said he wasn't sure how many more players would reach the milestone.
GOTTA BE THE SHOES: Jeter will be wearing special shoes for his 3,000th hit, and you can get a matching pair. Yahoo!'s Big League Stew has all the details on the details of the shoes.
JETER'S BALLS: One more Jeter entry -- a look at the special baseballs that MLB will use to try to track Jeter's 3,000th hit. [BizofBaseball.com]
CARDS LOCK UP GARCIA?: There are reports from the radio station partially owned by the Cardinals that say the team has reached a four-year deal with two option years with left-hander Jaime Garcia. The deal would cover all three arbitration years and one year of free agency for the 25-year-old Garcia. He's 8-3 this season with a 3.23 ERA and is 22-12 with a 3.07 ERA in his career. [MLB.com]
ALL-STAR SWITCH: Royals right-hander Aaron Crow may have made the All-Star team as a reliever, but Kansas City manager Ned Yost sees the team's former first-rounder as a starter down the line, as soon as next spring. [MLB.com]
DOCTOR MAY NAME NAMES: Canadian Dr. Anthony Galea has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States to treat athletes, and he may be pressed to give the names of athletes he treated and gave illegal drugs. Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran of the Mets are among the players who have been treated by Galea in the past. [New York Times]
BORAS SPEAKS AT SABR: Super-agent Scott Boras talked of his love of baseball at the Society for American Baseball Research's annual conference on Thursday. Boras talked about his first superstar -- a cow on his family's farm. [Orange County Register]
SCHILLING TALKS PEDS: Former All-Star Curt Schilling went on a Philadelphia radio station Wednesday and said that no "team in the last 20 years that's won clean." Schilling said he thinks the recent decline in offensive numbers are because of MLB's testing policies. [SportsRadioInterviews.com]
NO TAPE MEASURE NEEDED: Ever wonder how they calculate home-run distances so quickly? There's a chart, of course, but how is that chart made? Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has that story.
CRADLE OF MANAGERS: The Kansas City A's didn't produce a lot of wins, but they did produce their fair share of managers. Tommy Lasorda, Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog, Joe Morgan (not the Hall of Famer, but the former Red Sox manager), Dick Williams, Hank Bauer, Dick Howser and Tony La Russa all played for the A's in KC. Two of the game's more successful coaches, Dave Duncan and Charlie Lau, also played for the A's during their stint in Kansas City. [Joe Posnanski]
SLUGGER EMPATHY: Twins designated hitter Jim Thome said it wasn't his place to comment on Adam Dunn's struggles, but said he did empathize with the struggling Chicago DH. "As a guy who swings and misses and has struck out a ton, it's hard," Thome told the Chicago Tribune. "When you can have success and are blessed to play a long time and [then go through] those periods, it's tough."
NO STARS FOR ALL-STARS: Major League Baseball has added stars to the uniforms of All-Stars, but apparently the designations are purely optional, as the Cardinals' three All-Stars declined to take part to keep their uniforms uniform. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
STARLING UNDECIDED: The Royals took a gamble when they picked prep outfielder Bubba Starling with the fifth overall pick in last month's draft, as Starling is also a top-flight quarterback committed to Nebraska. Starling told the Kansas City Star he hasn't decided whether he's going to play football for Nebraska or sign with the Royals for millions of dollars. Starling said he's going to Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday and will work out with the team, but won't enroll in classes for the summer.
SAVES RECORD: You need more evidence they keep stats for everything? Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has set the record for most first-half saves by a rookie. Kimbrel's 27th save Thursday broke the record of 26 set by Boston's Jonathan Papelbon in 2006. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
LAWRIE PROGRESSING: Just before he was scheduled to be called up in May, Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie suffered a broken hand after being hit by a pitch. Lawrie began hitting off a tee earlier this week, and he's improving. The team doesn't expect him to be able to play in games until August. [MLB.com]
ROYAL SHAME: The Royals have once again taken the cheap route in their tribute to the Nergro Leagues, ditching the vintage uniforms. While there are many good signs for the Royals' future, this is a reminder that David Glass is still the owner. [Kansas City Star]
MYTHBUSTER: Scientists are using a lab at Washington State to measure some baseball physics. Among the findings, corked bats don't work, humidors do, and the balls from 2004 performed the same as a ball from the late 70s. [Popular Mechanics]
REMEMBERING BUDDIN: Former Red Sox shortstop Dan Buddin died last week. He's remembered mostly for not being very good -- he averaged 30 errors a year and didn't hit very well, either. A really good remembrance by FanGraphs.com's Alex Remington on the man Boston booed.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Aaron Crow, Adam Dunn, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Angels, Billy Martin, Blue Jays, Brandon Phillips, Braves, Brett Lawrie, Brewers, Bryce Harper, Bubba Starling, Cardinals, Cardinals, Carlos Beltran, Charlie Lau, Craig Kimbrel, Curt Schilling, Dan Buddin, Dave Duncan, David Glass, Derek Jeter, Dick Howser, Dick Williams, George Brett, Hank Bauer, Jaime Garcia, Jim Thome, Joe Morgan, John Axford, Jose Reyes, Logan Morrison, Marlins, Matt Moore, Mets, Mike Trout, Nationals, Ned Yost, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Rays, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Scott Boras, Tommy Lasorda, Tony La Russa, Twins, White Sox, Whitey Herzog, Yankees
Posted on: November 22, 2010 9:13 pm
When the Sunday Night Baseball booth team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan were sacked recently after 21 years, Morgan was, in baseball parlance, given his unconditional release. Miller was outrighted to the minors, with an offer to continue to work with ESPN on the radio side.
Miller has refused the assignment and elected free agency. Miller told the San Jose Mercury News he'll work calling Giants games full-time for the first time since joining the team in 1997. He previously had missed most weekend games.
"I appreciated [ESPN's] offer, but ultimately after talking with my wife and my family, the best thing for me and for all of us was to just do the Giants,'' he said.
-- David Andriesen
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 7:13 pm
Before the All-Star Game "counted," Pete Rose proved it mattered.
Or, at least, it did matter to Rose. But every game mattered to Rose. In the 1970 All-Star Game, he showed the rest of the country, if they didn't know already, that he'd do anything to win.
In what has become an essential part of Rose lore, he ran over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning of the 1970 game. (Box score)
The game was not only hosted by Rose's Reds, but also in his hometown of Cincinnati, where to this day, he is more remembered for 4,192 than his later gambling scandal.
Played July 14, 1970, it was just the 12th game at the new Riverfront Stadium. The Reds were Red, but they were yet Big or a Machine. In fact, Joe Morgan was in the game as an Astro, not a Red.
It was in the middle of a seven-game winning streak by the National League, and it appeared the AL would finally get a win, as Catfish Hunter entered the game with a 4-1 lead in the ninth and facing Dick Dietz, Bud Harrelson and Cito Gaston to seal the victory -- none of the trio would join Hunter in Cooperstown, and it's likely nobody expected them to do so.
Dietz, though, led off with a homer, followed by a single by Harrelson. After Gaston popped up, Morgan singled to right and that was it for Hunter, replaced by Fritz Peterson, who immediately gave up a single to Willie McCovey, scoring Harrelson and putting the tying run on third.
That was it for Peterson, replaced by Mel Stottlemyre, in to face pinch-hitter Roberto Clemente. Clemente lined out to center, but Morgan scored. Rose had a chance to win it, but struck out, sending the game to extra innings.
Rose wouldn't waste his second chance, singling to center with two outs in the 12th, advancing to second on Billy Grabarkewitz's single.
The next batter, Jim Hickman, singled to center and third-base coach Leo Durocher waved Rose home.
Rose was rounding third and saw Amos Otis fielding the ball and in a good to position to beat him with a throw home.
As he got closer to the plate, Rose leaned forward, ready to dive head-first into the plate, but Fosse had the plate blocked and Rose did what Rose would always do -- anything necessary to score.
With a full head of steam, Rose ducked his left shoulder into Fosse before the ball arrived, sending Fosse backward as the ball rolled harmlessly away.
In the difference between then and now, even the American League manager defended Rose.
"That's definitely the only way to play," Earl Weaver said. "You play to win. You don't compromise."
Pete Rose always played to win and never compromised, even in an exhibition.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie; 1999: The Kid steals the show; 1949: First integrated edition; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.