Giants Fan Bryan Stow's Attackers Sentenced: Two California men were sentenced to prison Thursday for the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants fan after a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011. Marvin Norwood, 33, and Louie Sanchez, 31, were sentenced to four years and eight years, respectively. The men were harshly criticized by Judge George Lomeli. Sanchez smirked during the judge's admonishment. "You show no remorse whatsoever," Lomeli said. Stow is disabled and unable to care for himself, said his father, David. Caregivers and family members shower, dress and feed Stow, who takes 13 medications a day, said his sister Bonnie Stow.
Derek Jeter to Retire From Yankees After 2014 Season: Shortstop Derek Jeter, entering his 20th season with the Yankees, announced Wednesday on his official Facebook fan page that 2014 would be his final year playing professional baseball.
Tracy McGrady Takes the Mound: Former NBA scoring champ Tracy McGrady is hoping to make the roster of the Sugar Land Skeeters, a minor league baseball team in Texas, as a pitcher. He has hit 90 mph on the radar, according to Roger Clemens, who is mentoring him. McGrady retired from the NBA last August after 15 seasons, seven as an All-Star in Orlando and Houston. He last played baseball as a junior at Auburndale High School in Florida. "I've thought about this since high school," McGrady told ESPN. "For 16 years, I've told people I'm a baseball player and how much I love baseball. We have an independent league team right here in my backyard. I'm five minutes away from the stadium. So I had to give it a shot."
MLB approves expanded instant replay. : Beginning this season, each manager will start a game with one challenge. If it is upheld, he retains his challenge but can never have more than two in a game. If the manager exhausts his challenges before the start of the seventh inning, he is out of luck, adding a new element of strategy to the game. Beginning in the top of the seventh, the crew chief is empowered to institute a review.
Dodgers Drive Money Truck to Kershaw's House: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw have agreed on a seven-year, $215 million deal, the largest in baseball ever given to a pitcher. Kershaw, 25, won two of the last three National League Cy Young Awards. He has an out clause after five years.
Rangers' Holland Tears Knee on Stairs: Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland blames his dog Wrigley on the knee injury he suffered on stairs Tuesday, which tore cartilage and required surgery Friday that will keep him out until midseason. "He was running up the stairs and clipped me," Holland said.
Baseline Cherrypicker: lets you find out who led what stat for which time period in baseball history, so you can win those very important internet arguments. For example: Greg Maddux led all pitchers in wins between 1947 and 2013.
Hall of Fame Admits Maddux, Glavine, Frank Thomas: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas have been chosen by the Baseball Writers' Association of America to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, each by large margins. Craig Biggio fell two votes short of the 75 percent required to get in. Joining the three from the managerial ranks are Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa.
Former Major Leaguer Paul Blair dies: One of the best baseball players to ever use a glove. Ever.
Texas Rangers Land Shin-Soo Choo: The Texas Rangers and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo have reportedly agreed to a seven-year, $130 million deal, according to the Dallas Morning News. The New York Yankees also wanted Choo and offered him $140 million for seven years, but that works out to less money than Texas factoring in state taxes. Choo, 31, will likely become the Rangers leadoff man and left fielder
Three managers unanimously elected to Baseball Hall of Fame:
At the end of the 1981 season, these three managers had a combined career managing record of 705-912, with only two winning seasons (out of 11+ seasons managing) between them. Fast forward 32 years, and a 6853-5159 record with 63 winnings seasons (out of 78+) between them, and Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony LaRussa were inducted into the HOF by the Veteran's Committee.
Baseball Hall of Fame ballot released.:
With a maximum of 10 spots allowed on a ballot (and an average of only 6.6 spots used per ballot in last year's voting), the baseball HOF logjam begins in earnest.
Tigers and Rangers Swap Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler: the move allows Detroit to move Cabrera to first and call up a prospect to play third and clears up a logjam in the middle of the infield for Texas.
Atlanta Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb County: “We didn’t take this decision lightly,” said Schuerholz, the Braves’ president. “We’ve played in our current facility for quite some time (since 1997), and it was with mixed emotions that we made this decision because we have many great Braves baseball memories that occurred for all of us … in that facility. But we are quite enthused about where our new facility will be.”
Cubs to Hire Rick Renteria as Manager: The Chicago Cubs are hiring Rick Renteria to succeed Dale Sveum as manager, signing him to a three-year contract. Renteria, 51, was bench coach for the San Diego Padres the past two seasons. He speaks Spanish and served eight seasons as a manager in the Marlins’ and Padres' farm system. The news comes as the Cubs are angling to end the team's TV contract with WGN, which would end a relationship that began in 1948.
Red Sox Write Love Letter to Cardinals: The Boston Red Sox have bought a full-page ad in St. Louis praising the Cardinals, their fans, the Red Sox and their fans. "We're both home to the most loyal fans in the game," states the ad. "We look forward to seeing you again next August. Let's hope that it's just a prelude to meeting again in October."
Brad Ausmus Is Your New Detroit Tigers Manager: Former Tigers catcher Brad Ausmus has never been a manager — in the major leagues or the minor leagues. But all signs pointed this morning that Ausmus would become the Tigers’ next skipper.
St. Louis Cardinals Radio Signal Going, Going ...: At a time when other newspapers have trouble keeping enough staff to cover city council meetings, during game 4 of the World Series the New York Times had David Waldstein try to outdrive the signal of 50,000-watt blowtorch KMOX 1120 AM, the St. Louis station that helped turn a wide region of listeners into Cardinals fans. "The signal for the pregame show is strong and clear as I leave the parking lot," Waldstein writes at the start of the project. "Certainly no other baseball writer in the country is heading away from Busch Stadium at this moment." Hours later: "Reception is still strong as I head back across the Mississippi south of Memphis, 288 miles from home plate. The game is in the eighth inning."
Red Sox Win Game 5, Go Home to Fenway: Jon Lester outdueled Adam Wainwright and graybeard David Ross hit a go-ahead double, putting the Boston Red Sox over the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 and just one game from a World Series crown. The Red Sox go home to Fenway leading the series 3-2, with two chances to be the first Boston team to clinch at home since 1918. Just how hard is the task ahead for the Cards? "'It will be legendary if we go into Boston and win two games," Wainwright said.
Red Sox Even World Series at 2: Left fielder Jonny Gomes, a late lineup addition, hit a three-run homer off reliever Seth Maness in a 4-2 Boston Red Sox win over the St. Louis Cardinals, evening the World Series at two games apiece. "If I'm fortunate enough to get a mistake, the bat's going to come through the zone hot and it worked out," Gomes said.
Cards Win Game 3 Through Game-Ending Obstruction Call: The St. Louis Cardinals took a 2-1 World Series lead over the Boston Red Sox, winning game 3 by a 5-4 score when Will Middlebrooks was called for obstruction at third base on Allen Craig. "It was the first time in World Series history that a game ended on an obstruction call, but third-base ump Jim Joyce absolutely got it right," writes Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Fellow scribe Jon Heyman offers more on the call.
Cards Win, Even World Series at 1-1: An error by Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Breslow helped the St. Louis Cardinals score three runs in the seventh in a 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox to even the World Series at a game apiece. Michael Wacha got the win, Carlos Martinez threw two innings of relief and Trevor Rosenthal earned the save, giving the Cards a second postseason victory in a row thrown entirely by rookies. Carlos Beltran played despite his rib contusion and had two hits and an RBI. The next three games are in St. Louis.
Red Sox Take Game 1 Over Cards: The Boston Red Sox opened the 2013 World Series with an 8-1 home thrashing of the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports called the game "an infinity-to-one beatdown that showcased the absolute worst in the Cardinals." In one indicator of how the night went, Cards outfielder Carlos Beltran stole a grand slam from David Ortiz and it might be the worst news of the night for St. Louis. He suffered a right rib contusion hitting the wall and left the game. (On local radio in Jacksonville, orthopedic surgeon Kevin Murphy described the cartilage bruise as the kind of injury that will hurt for three months.) David Lennon of Newsday writes, "Beltran had played 22 games at Fenway Park, but Wednesday night was his first in right, where the chest-high bullpen wall can be dangerous to the uninitiated."
Red Sox Advance to Face Cardinals in World Series: The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, the two teams with the best regular-season records in their leagues, will be meeting in the World Series. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes of the Fall Classic that begins Wednesday at Fenway Park, "We're getting the two best teams. ... Both teams are a joy to watch. Both teams play the game the way it should be played. For once, the Series will be a meeting of the most deserving postseason qualifiers rather than the culmination of a crapshoot."
Card Trick: Rout sends St. Louis to World Series: It's a common scene in October and one that's becoming a habit for a Cardinals team that is making its fourth World Series appearance since 2004. "Coming back here and doing it in front of our home fans, we gave them another game to watch at Busch Stadium. Seeing that confetti on the field, getting that big platform out there, getting that trophy presented in front of our home fans, that's a special moment," Adam Wainwright said. At the end of the day, the Cardinals are winners. And they don't appear likely to go into a slump any time soon. The more you see the Cards play, the more you get the picture. This is a winning organization. Other teams may have higher payrolls or higher profiles. This team is the NL's best once more. These were the Cards that we were used to seeing: Hitters working deep counts, coming up with two-strike hits, a relentless, grinding attack that finally broke the will, if not the spirit, of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in a 9-0 victory on Friday night. Carlos Beltran: "Thank God I got the opportunity to play with this team. There's a lot of winners on this ballclub."
An oldie but a goodie: Gene Mack's annotated sketches of all the major league parks, as they appeared in the 1946-47 Sporting News.
Cal Ripken's Mom Thwarts Carjacking: Violet Ripken, the mother of baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., foiled an armed carjacking Tuesday in a bank parking lot in Aberdeen, Md., when she hit the panic button on her car's keys. The man fled but a suspect was arrested two hours later after being seen on an ATM's security video. In a July 2012 incident, Violet Ripken was kidnapped and held captive 24 hours by an armed man who showed up at her home. That crime has not been solved.
Steve Bartman, 10 Years Later: Ten years ago today, Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman reached out for a foul ball and became the most infamous fan in team history. The New York Times catches up with the incident -- but not Bartman, who continues to reject all interview requests. "He's happy and healthy and he's still a Cubs fan," said Frank Murtha, a longtime friend. "He values his privacy."
A laughing stock no more: A few years ago when the Pirates set the record for most losing seasons in a row among the 4 "major" sports I took the opportunity to rant on this page. Last year when the streak hit 20 I did again. After 20 years of memories of Sid Bream beating Bonds throw from left I would like to thank the Pirates for giving me something to cheer about again. The Pirates finished the year 94-68. I number no one would have guessed at the start of the season. Players from the minors moved up and made an impact(Cole last night among others). The team made moved at the deadline to add offense not dump salary. They were run like a real franchise this year. Most importantly they made a city care again. PNC Park packed and rocking is amazing. After 20 years of frustration we finally have a winner. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and we wont have to wait another 20. This team has a solid young core and some real good pitching. As long as ownership doesnt trade it all away Pirate baseball is back!
Girardi Spurns Cubs, Signs 4-Year Deal with Yankees: The Chicago Cubs' search for a manager will take another direction after the New York Yankees announced that Joe Girardi agreed to a four-year contract through 2017. Girardi, a former Cubs player and Illinois native, was the focus of the Cubs' managerial search after Dale Sveum was fired Sept. 30. Possible hires include former major league managers Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch and San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria.
Reds Fire Manager Dusty Baker: The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Dusty Baker, despite three playoff appearances and two NL Central titles over the past four seasons. Baker's Reds went 90-72 in 2013, losing the wild card game to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Potential successors include Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, former major league manager Jim Riggleman and Chicago Cubs third base coach David Bell.
Marlins sell tickets from no-hitter...sort of.:
Did you forget to go to the baseball game on Sunday, September 29th, and miss Henderson Alvarez's no-hitter? Well, now is your chance to purchase a ticket from that game for $15.
Cubs Fire Dale Sveum: The Chicago Cubs have fired manager Dale Sveum after two seasons and are expected to make a run at New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, whose contract is up in October. The Cubs were 70 games below 500 in 324 games with Sveum at the helm. In other managerial moves, the Minnesota Twins have extended Ron Gardenhire for two more years and Davey Johnson is ending his managerial career, leaving an opening at the Washington Nationals.
Rays, Rangers Meet in One-Game Playoff for Wild Card Spot: The Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians all finished the regular season on a high note, with the Indians winning 10 in a row, the Rangers seven and the Rays eight out of 10. The Indians earned the AL's top wild card spot, one game ahead of the Rangers and Rays, who play tonight in a one-game playoff for the other. Nelson Cruz returns from suspension after 50 games and is eligible to play.
'A Zen Master with a Mean Cutter': "The son of a fisherman, he grows up playing baseball on a beach in Panama with a milk carton for a glove, a stick for a bat and whatever was available for a ball; after being signed by a Yankees scout for $3,500, he does his apprenticeship in the minors, joins the Yankees and struggles at first, and then suddenly hits his stride." The Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times literary critic Michiko Kakutani closes the book on Mariano Rivera.
Closing Scene: Hugs and Tears in Rivera’s Last Home Game: It was supposed to be a meaningless game, the first at Yankee Stadium in 20 years, but there was nothing meaningless about it for Mariano Rivera or the announced crowd of 48,675 that came to say goodbye to an icon.
Yankees Out of Playoff Contention: For only the second time in 19 years, the New York Yankees will not be a part of the Major League Baseball postseason. The Yankees trail the Cleveland Indians for the final wild card spot in the American League by six victories with four games remaining. Any retooling for next season will occur without starting pitcher Andy Pettitte or closer Mariano Rivera, who are both retiring, and Alex Rodriguez is facing a season-long suspension over allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. "It's extremely disappointing," manager Joe Girardi said. "And it's back to the drawing board."
Japan Professsional Baseball: Balentien sets new single-season home run record: September 15, 2013: Wladimir Balentien of the Yakult Swallows set a new single-season home run record for Japan Professional Baseball, hitting #56 in the first inning off Hanshin pitcher Daiki Enokida for a two-run shot, and then extending his own record with #57, a solo shot (also off Enokida), in the third inning. The former record of 55 had been set by world homerun champion Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants in 1964 and then equalled by Tuffy Rhodes (Kintetsu Buffaloes) in 2001 and Alex Cabrera (Seibu Lions) in 2002. Since the end of the 1985 season, when the record was first seriously challenged by Randy Bass (Hanshin Tigers), Oh's mark has sometimes been labelled the phoniest record in professional baseball because of the extent to which Japanese pitcher and coaches had gone to prevent foreign players in particular from surpassing it. Unlike Bass, Rhodes and Cabrera, Balentien's chase has not been frustrated by a similar chain of intentional walks as he has closed in on 55. Further, his accomplishment comes with 19 games still remaining on Yakult's schedule, so it will be interesting to see how far he can extend the new record.
Ryan Braun Admits Using PEDs, Lying to Cover It Up: Ryan Braun has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during his NL MVP season in 2011. "Now that the initial MLB investigation is over, I want to apologize for my actions and provide a more specific account of what I did and why I deserved to be suspended. ... I have disappointed the people closest to me -- the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone."