Tag:Juan Marichal
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:22 am

Santo among Hall of Fame's Golden Era candidates

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo is among eight former players and two former executives will be voted upon by the 16-member Golden Era Committee at the Winter Meetings and announced on Dec. 5.

On the list are Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant.

The finalists are voted on by a 16-member board -- they are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Billy Williams; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Rolan Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees) and Al Rosen (retired); as well as media members Dick Kaegel (MLB.com), Jack O'Connell (BBWAA) and Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune).

The Golden Era Committee currently uses a three-year cycle of consideration for managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players by era.

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 5:13 pm

R.I.P. Dontrelle's leg kick

Dontrelle Willis

Dontrelle Willis had one of the most distinctive pitching motions in baseball, one that was long-credited with his success, but no more.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted today from Willis' live-BP session and said his "high leg kick is gone."

With Willis' recent struggles, it seems like it's time to try something.

Once one of baseball's great ambassadors, Willis and his funky pitching motion burst onto the scene in 2003, winning 14 games as a rookie and appearing in the All-Star game. Two years later he won 22 games and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting.

In his first four seasons, Willis was 58-39 with a 3.44 ERA; the last four seasons, he's gone 13-24 with a 5.81 ERA. 

Fay reported positive results from Willis' round of BP (yeah, we know, way too early to draw any conclusions), but yet it made me sad for one of my favorite windups.

Other great ones:

Tim Lincecum -- a don't try this at home for kids, but when it looks this cool (and the results are like this), it's tough not to try it.

Tim Lincecum

Orlando Hernandez -- a similar high leg kick as Willis, but his hands are low instead of high and he would look backwards, like Luis Tiant. Add to that an arm slot as predictable as Lost, well, it's always fun to see what El Duque had on tap.

Orlando Hernandez

Hideo Nomo -- loved the throw-back with the hands high over his head motion.

Hideo Nomo

Of course, further back you have great ones in Dan Quisenberry, Luis Tiant, Fernando Valenzuela, Bob Feller and Juan Marichal. 

UPDATE: Fay followed up on his tweet, talking to Reds pitching coach Bryan Price about the lack of leg kick.
“That was pretty much gone when I started working with him,” Price said. “He had been working on that in Detroit. He wasn’t a reclamation project. We just really working on tightening things up.”
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: October 31, 2010 8:40 pm

Marichal helps Jimenez reach new heights

Jimenez Ubaldo Jimenez first caught legend Juan Marichal's attention when the youngster lost Game 2 of the 2007 World Series to the Red Sox.

"I liked everything I saw about him as a young pitcher: his height, his physical build, his arm," Marichal told the Denver Post . I say to myself then, 'This kid is going to go a long way in this game.'"

It took a couple more years for Jimenez' head to get screwed on straight, but he put together a dominating season in 2010, partly due to a talk with Marichal before spring training. With Marichal the only Dominican pitcher in the Hall of Fame, his words hold a lot of weight and Jimenez listened.

"I told him, 'When you get somebody out pitching inside, that's the spot you have to keep the ball. You know he has a hard time hitting that ball," Marichal said, using a particular at-bat against Ryan Howard in the 2009 postseason as an example. Jimenez pounded Howard inside in his first two at-bats, retiring the slugger. In the third at-bat, Jimenez decided to change things up.

"Ubaldo started throwing the ball away from him and he hit a double to the opposite field. Then same thing in his next at-bat," Marichal said. "I reminded Ubaldo of this occasion."

Jimenez agreed, then went out and did something that put him smack dab in the company of Marichal.

Jimenez got the season off to a 9-1 start along with an 0.88 ERA. Since 1961 -- the advent of the expansion era -- the only pitcher to win nine of his first 10 starts with an ERA under 1.00 was one Juan Marichal.

And now Ubaldo Jimenez, who finished 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 221 2/3 innings. Only the sky appears to limit Jimenez' potential, and Marichal counts himself among a fan.

"He has more control now than when I first saw him. He knows the strike zone better," said Marichal. "This is a sport that you have to work hard to be in top condition. That won't be a problem for Ubaldo. He's so very popular in the Dominican. Everybody loves him because he represents us well and he's so humble."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:30 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:58 am

1999: the Kid steals the show

In anticipation of the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim on Tuesday, July 13, the CBS Sports MLB Facts and Rumors blog looks back at some of the more memorable editions of the All-Star Game. Today looks at the 1999 All-Star Game.

I sat slack-jawed with a tape recorder rolling and no questions in my head, just a desire for the answers to never stop coming.

It was a hotel ballroom in Boston, and Warren Spahn and I were among four or five stragglers in there. He was telling the story of his epic 16-inning, complete-game performance against Juan Marichal and the Giants at Candlestick Park in 1963. It was at least the second time Spahn had told it that day and likely the 10th, and I'd even heard it once before, but I listened again. Just as he mentioned Willie Mays' homer, someone walked into the room and said it was time for Spahn to go.

He apologized, said he could go on for hours and I told him I could listen for more. An hour before, the room had been full of the greatest major-league players in history. Mays was there, so was Marichal, not to mention Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson -- pretty much everywhere I turned, I bumped into a Hall of Famer.

While All-Star Games are naturally filled with All-Stars, the 1999 game was different. It was filled with bigger stars than just the usual names, even in this, the summer following the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa slugfest before it lost its luster. They were there, as was Ken Griffey Jr. at the height of his popularity. Pedro Martinez was making hometown fans think the curse may be bunk. But still, among all the All-Star Games in the history of the exhibition, this was less about the game and the current players than any other.

The 1999 game was not only at one of the country's most historic ballparks, Fenway Park, it was also coming at the time of an endless stream of best-of-the-century lists. But baseball's list, its Team of the Century, was kicked off in a different fashion than any other.

While other places talked of history, it was on display in Boston. Most people didn't see this part, because it was before MLB had 24 hours a day to fill with TV programming, but baseball announced its 100 greatest players of the 20th century in a news conference with the vast majority of the living members of that club in attendance in a hotel ballroom in Boston.

It was an amazing display of the game's greats, and after an entertaining hour-or-so, the players were brought into another room for one-on-one interviews. It was an hour of baseball geek bliss. At 23, I was slightly intimidated and more than happy to listen in on the conversations of the likes of Willie McCovey, Robin Yount, Mike Schmidt and Yogi Berra, among others.

Ted Williams, Pete Rose and Sandy Koufax weren't there, but it was hard to complain about their absence -- or the two from the dais that skipped the one-on-ones, Stan Musial and George Brett, although with Missouri roots, those were the two I'd hoped to interview more than the others.

Ted Williams By the time the all-time greats were introduced on the field the night of the game, I thought I was goose-bumped out. Until, right in front of my seat in the right field auxiliary press box, came Williams in on a golf cart. He did a lap and ultimately was the center of attention as he prepared to throw the first pitch.

It was a moment. A moment for baseball, a moment for baseball fans across the country to share their memories with another generation of fans -- to share their own stories of seeing Mays or Mantle play. In short, it was the rare moment when the ceremonial first pitch outshines the real first pitch. Even future Hall of Famers like Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn seemed to grasp the special nature of the moment. We all did -- those at Fenway and even those watching at home.

Martinez went on to become the first All-Star pitcher to strike out the side in the first inning, fanning Barry Larkin, Larry Walker and Sosa to start the game. He then struck out McGwire to lead off the second, bringing to mind Carl Hubbell's 1934 feat of getting Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin consecutively. It was an impressive display, even after Matt Williams broke Martinez's strikeout streak, reaching on an error. Martinez would win the game and the MVP, but even before he faced Larkin, the game had earned its spot in history.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie ; 1949: First integrated edition ; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com