Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

Jim Joyce

January 8, 2011

Excellent feature article on Jim Joyce, the umpire whose blown call cost a Tigers pitcher a perfect game last June:


Complete League Division Series Schedule

October 5, 2010

As per usual w/ these sports schedules this info is from

Major League Baseball has announced the start times for the first four nights of the division series. All games will air nationally on TBS unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, October 6
1:30: Texas @ Tampa Bay (game 1)
5:00: Cincinnati @ Philadelphia (game 1)
8:30: NY Yankees @ Minnesota (game 1)

Thursday, October 7
2:30: Texas @ Tampa Bay (game 2)
6:00: NY Yankees @ Minnesota (game 2)
9:30: Atlanta @ San Francisco (game 1)

Friday, October 8
6:00: Cincinnati @ Philadelphia (game 2)
9:30: Atlanta @ San Francisco (game 2)

Saturday, October 9
5:00: Tampa Bay @ Texas (game 3)
8:30: Minnesota @ NY Yankees (game 3)

Sunday, October 10 (tentative)
1:00: Tampa Bay @ Texas (game 4)
4:30: San Francisco @ Atlanta (game 3)
7:00: Philadelphia @ Cincinnati (game 3, TNT)**
8:00: Minnesota @ NY Yankees (game 4)

**will shift to 8:00 on TBS if MIN-NYY ends in 3 games

Monday, October 11 (tentative)
5:00: Philadelphia @ Cincinnati (game 4)
8:30: San Francisco @ Atlanta (game 4)

If only one of these games are necessary, it will start at 7:30.

Tuesday, October 12 (tentative)
5:00: Texas @ Tampa Bay (game 5)
8:30: NY Yankees @ Minnesota (game 5)

If only one of these games are necessary, it will start at 8:00.

Wednesday, October 13 (tentative)
6:00: Cincinnati @ Philadelphia (game 5)
9:30: Atlanta @ San Francisco (game 5)

If only one of these games are necessary, it will start at 8:00.

Announcers for the division series are as follows:

  • Texas-Tampa Bay: Don Orsillo, Buck Martinez
  • Minnesota-NY Yankees: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, John Smoltz
  • Philadelphia-Cincinnati: Brian Anderson, Joe Simpson
  • Atlanta-San Francisco: Dick Stockton, Bob Brenly

League Division Series Schedule & Announcer Pairings

October 3, 2010

TBS has released the announcer assignments for the 4 Division Series, as well as the daily schedule thru Saturday, ie the days where none of the games on the schedule are “if necessary.”  This info courtesy of Fang’s Bites:

The Major League Baseball (MLB) Postseason gets underway on Wednesday, October 6 with exclusive Division Series coverage on TBS starting with tripleheader action featuring the best of the American League (AL) and National League (NL).  At 1 p.m. (ET), TBS will air the pre-game show TBS MLB On Deck featuring Matt Winer (host), Dennis Eckersley (analyst), Cal Ripken (analyst) and David Wells (analyst).  The network will also conclude the day’s action with the post-game show Inside MLB. (All times EST)
1:30 p.m. Tampa Bay Rays (AL East Division Champions) will host the Texas Rangers (AL West Division Champions) at 1:30 p.m. (ET)Don Orsillo (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) and Marc Fein (reporter) will call the action.
5:00 p.m. Philadelphia Phillies (NL East Division Champions) host the Cincinnati Reds (NL Central Division Champions) at 5 p.m. (ET)Brian Anderson (play-by-play) will call the game alongside Joe Simpson (analyst) with David Aldridge reporting.
8:30 p.m.               New York Yankees (AL Wild Card winner) will travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Twins (American League Central Division Champions) at 8:30 p.m. (ET)Ernie Johnson will handle the play-by-play duties; Ron Darling and John Smoltz will serve as game analysts with Craig Sager reporting.
MLB Postseason action continues on Thursday, October 7 with another tripleheader.  TBS MLB on Deck will preview the games with Winer, Eckersley, Ripken and Wells at 2 p.m. (ET). Following the final game of the day, Inside MLB will wrap up the day’s results.
2:30 p.m.              Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays, Game #2Announcers: Don Orsillo (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) and Marc Fein (reporter)
6 p.m.                   New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins, Game #2Announcers: Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst), John Smoltz (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)
9:30 p.m. Atlanta Braves (NL Wild Card winner) will travel west to face the San Francisco Giants (NL West Division Champions) in their NLDS Game #1 at 9:30 p.m. (ET) with Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Bob Brenly (analyst) and Tom Verducci (reporter) calling the game.
MLB Postseason action continues on Friday, October 8 with a doubleheader.  TBS MLB on Deck will preview the games with Winer, Eckersley, Ripken and Wells at 5:30 p.m. (ET). Following the final game of the day, Inside MLB will wrap up the day’s results.   6 p.m.                   Cincinnati Reds @ Philadelphia Phillies, Game #2Announcers: Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Joe Simpson (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)
9:30 p.m.              Atlanta Braves @ San Francisco Giants, Game #2Announcers: Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Bob Brenly (analyst) and Tom Verducci (reporter)
MLB Postseason action continues on Saturday, October 9 with another doubleheader.  TBS MLB on Deck will preview the games with Winer, Eckersley, Ripken and Wells at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Following the final game of the day, Inside MLB will wrap up the day’s results.
5 p.m.                     Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers, Game #3Announcers: Don Orsillo (play-by-play), Buck Martinez (analyst) and Marc Fein (reporter)
8:30 p.m.               Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees, Game #3Announcers: Ernie Johnson (play-by-play), Ron Darling (analyst), John Smoltz (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

Trade Deadline Moves

July 31, 2010

I like the moves the Pirates made today.  First of all, they got rid of Ryan Church.  Moving both he and Bobby Crosby (along with Carrasco who is more significant) when they were sitting on the bench not doing anything and getting a very useful catcher in return was a deft move.  Snyder’s offensive numbers are off his career average but he is coming off of injury and he’s very good defensively.  Catcher has been a position of liability for the Pirates this year as Ryan Doumit, when healthy, hits .250 and might be the worst defensive catcher I’ve ever seen.  The Pirates got a starting pitcher for Octavio Dotel who I was not anxious to get rid of but probably wasn’t going to still be here the next time the Pirates are good.  And in Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek the Pirates have other guys that can close.  We even got a AA player for Javier Lopez from the Giants.  We shall see how the moves play out, but I like them.  During the pregame this evening Bob Walk was talking about Doumit playing right field when he comes off the DL.  God I hope not.  Tabata is on an 11 game hitting streak and Milledge is hitting great with runners in scoring position and is rounding into form now that Russell finally wised up and started playing him every day the last few weeks.  As far as I’m concerned Doumit can be the reserve outfielder and 3rd catcher behind Snyder and Kratz.  If his power was more frequent he would need to be in the lineup.  But it isn’t.  If he hit .300 instead of .250 it would be different.  He doesn’t.  If he wasn’t so injury prone it would be different.  But he is.  And he’s a defensive liability.

I am less upbeat about the moves the Indians made.  One prospect for Westbrook, a solid starting pitcher?  Cash or the vaunted PTBNL for Kerns?  They weren’t going to get a ton for Kerry Wood of course, but they didn’t get much a couple days ago for Peralta either.  These trades feel more like dumping their veterans than actually getting value.  I hope I’m wrong, but its what it looks like to me.

Which lineup would you fear more, the Yankees are the rest of AL All-Stars.  Of course, good pitching could still shut that down in October, but adding Berkman and even Kerns to that lineup that already existed . . . wow.  I am a bit surprised that Adam Dunn didn’t go anywhere; the Nationals have to know they won’t have him back in 2011, right?  Red Sox and Mets didn’t make any big moves because they know they’re out-gunned this year either way?  Should be a fun last 2 months of the season.

John Kerry Endorses Kevin Youkilis for All Star Game

July 6, 2010

Got the following e-mail from the 2004 Democratic nominee this afternoon:

Hello Adam,

Hope you had a terrific Fourth of July — and I hope you’ll afford me what the Senate calls a “point of personal privilege.” All 3 million of you in the community have done incredible work these last seven years on some of the biggest fights of our lives. This isn’t one of them. But it’s not small potatoes either if you’re a Red Sox fan. (If you’re a Yankees fan, read no further.)

Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox is an All Star in anyone’s book. He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played, he hustles, he has a great bat and a glove to match, and he brings with it the kind of intensity we respected for years in guys like Trot Nixon. Youk deserves to be in the All-Star game — while the team has grinded it out in spite of injury after injury, he’s been a rock. But now he needs to win a fan vote to make it to Anaheimn next week.

You can vote for him by clicking here.

The stakes are also just a little personal: in the fan voting, currently Nick Swisher of the Yankees is in first place. Swisher’s having a fine year, but Youk is better in just about every category, batting average, slugging, homeruns, everything and he plays Gold Glove defense to boot. Please don’t let anyone say that Swisher beat Youkilis because Sox fans have gone a little soft after ’04 and ’07. Let’s show we’re still the most ravenous fans in baseball.

Please vote Youkilis in.


Sorry John, not a member of Red Sox Nation.

I Say Call It a Perfect Game

June 3, 2010

I am of course referring to the game last night in Detroit with the now infamous blown call by umpire Jim Joyce that denied Tigers hurler Armando Gallaraga a perfect game.  Frankly, I don’t think that Commissioner Selig has to “overturn” the call on the field or anything like that.  The runner was ruled safe leave that be.  Just have the game entered into the history books as a perfect game anyway.  Make it a 9 inning, 28 batter perfect game.

Sound crazy?  Its not really.  This is Major League Baseball’s record book we are talking about here.  This is the place where for decades the single season home run record was 60, even though there was a guy that had hit 61.  This is the record book where the single season RBI record was bumped from 190 to 191 something like 70 years after Hack Wilson played.  This is the record book where no hitters were removed years/decades later because the pitcher didn’t work 9 innings, removed even though it was a complete game under the rules.  This is a sport where a 9th inning was re-played after the American League President re-decided an umpire’s decision that George Brett had pine tar too far up his bat.

And, this would not even be the first imperfect perfect game in the record books.  I remind you of Ernie Shore who once pitched a perfect game when the 1st runner of the game reached base by walking.  Babe Ruth walked that hitter and got ejected for arguing the call.  Shore came in, picked the runner off, and then retired all 26 batters he faced.  The minimum number of batters (in a losing effort and a full game*) appeared, but a runner reached base which would fail it as a perfect game.  Yet its a perfect game.  No reason Galarraga’s game last night can’t be too.

Of course, this all could have been prevented if MLB had replay for more than the odd disputed home run call.  Baseball will be dragged kicking and screaming but a more expansive use of replay I think is a fait accompli; we just need to have the details worked out.

*the home team could win a 9 inning game with 25 batters appearing.  Tied at zero the minimum number of batters thru 8 and then the leadoff hitter in the 9th hits a walk off home run, or at least reaches base and scores before the 2nd batter of the inning puts the ball in play

Vin Scully

April 7, 2010

Interesting Q&A w/ the legendary voice of the Dodgers:

Mark McGwire Admits to Using Steroids

January 11, 2010

And in other shocking announcements on Monday January 11, 2010 it was suggested the sun rose in the East this morning and Congress spends money too freely.

Which is to say, I was less than surprised to learn this.  It doesn’t change my opinion of Big Mac, because I already had ‘roid usage factored in.  Also I have long since grown weary of the steroids in baseball discussion.  When Mac played MLB had no formal testing regime.  Now they do.  You cannot punish the random people from his era that we know used because for everyone we know used there are doubtless dozens of players that used that we have never suspected.  If Tim Laker was using anyone could have been.  Put another way, he was hitting of off pitchers that were using too.  The only sensible way to treat this, quite frankly, is pretend it didn’t happen, just like we’ve never worried too much about the rampant amphetemine use the decades prior to that.  Compare players in that era to their colleagues, decide Hall of Fame enshrinement and other accolades on the basis of those comparisons, be thankful that we have testing in place for now and presumably the future and just move on with life already.  There are worse injustices in the world than a slugger that used chemical enhancement.

Peter Gammons Leaving ESPN for MLB Network

December 8, 2009

Wow I must say that caught me by surprise to see. I had noticed he had not been on his usual Friday 7:25am spot on Mike & Mike in the Morning, but I just assumed it was a post-World Series hiatus. There are just some things you kind of assume will always be the case, and people like Gammons and Vitale working for ESPN is one of those things. Hopefully the MLB-N gig works out for him; I get that channel on my cable system and maybe now I’ll watch it more often.

Steve Phillips Update

October 26, 2009

Word is that ESPN has terminated the employment of Steve Phillips in light of his affair with a production assistant at the network. It is unfortunate; he was a good analyst. But its certainly not surprising from a public relations standpoint, and its not like they don’t have 3,000 other MLB analysts to pick up the slack. I’m sure he’ll land at MLB Network or TBS or Fox if he wants to. Or maybe get back into working for someone’s front office.