Phillies Toss Combined No-Hitter vs. Braves: Four pitchers for the Philadelphia Phillies combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves on Labor Day. Starting pitcher Cole Hamels threw six innings and was relieved for one inning apiece by Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon. The Phillies won 7-0. Hamels had thrown 108 pitches and walked 5 when he was sent to the showers.
New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball: "If Mike Trout walked into your neighborhood bar, would you recognize him?" Ben McGrath asks in The New Yorker. "When was the last time baseball's reigning king was a cultural nonentity, someone you canít even name-drop without a non-fan giving you a patronizing smile?"
Red Sox owner Tom Werner has become a dark horse candidate to be baseball's next commissioner: Co-owner John Henry says, "Tom is one of the most popular owners because he's very passionate about baseball, has a sense of duty, as evidenced by his work with veterans and the Red Sox Foundation, and because he is trusted by everyone who knows him. You won't find a more popular person in the television industry." Left unsaid: the Red Sox and a few other teams don't want Selig's lieutenant Rob Manfred taking over because they feel he will make them pay their fair share of TV revenues.
Hunter Pence signs are going viral.:
After starting in New York, the trend to bring silly Hunter Pence signs has spread to Milwaukee.
It's all in good fun, and the subject of the signs is getting into the act as well on Twitter.
Let's all root against the Diamonbacks: "But the Diamondbacks donít play the game 'the right way', not even close. And they offered another painful reminder of that this weekend, retaliating for an accidental hit-by-pitch by beaming Andrew McCutchen squarely in the back."
Holy Sidd Finch! Minnesota Twins Sign Unknown with 100-Mph Fastball: The Minnesota Twins have signed a 24-year-old who throws a 100-mph fastball but has never been drafted. Brandon Poulson of the Healdsburg Prune Packers, a collegiate summer league team, got a $250,000 deal. He's a 6-foot-6 right-hander and fitness freak who was timed at a 6.6-second 60-yard dash in his socks and has a 40-inch vertical leap. "He's a physical specimen. He's got the best pure arm strength I've ever seen," said Twins scout Elliott Strankman.
Baseball Hall of Fame Announces Changes to Voting Process for Recently Retired Players:
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museumís Board of Directors today announced changes to the rules for election for recently retired players, reducing the length of stay on the ballot for players from a maximum of 15 to 10 years...
Bartolo Colon Has Perfect Game Through 6 Innings: New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon has a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners through six innings Wednesday afternoon. Colon has thrown four strikeouts with 50 strikes on 73 total pitches. The 41-year-old threw a one-hitter in 2000 for the Cleveland Indians against the New York Yankees. The Mets lead 2-0.
Padres' Odrisamer Despaigne Throwing No-Hitter Through 7: In just his fifth Major League start, San Diego Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne is throwing a no-hitter against the New York Mets through seven innings.
Pitcher Freaks Out Because of Bunt in 2-Run Game: Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis has added a new entry to baseball's unwritten rulebook: Don't bunt to reach base with two outs and nobody on when your team is leading by two runs in the fifth inning. Colby Rasmus did that in a 4-1 Toronto Blue Jays victory Saturday. "I don't think that's the way the game should be played," said Lewis, who yelled at Rasmus after the play. "I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average."
Tim Lincecum Throws 2nd No-Hitter Against Padres: San Francisco Giants hurler Tim Lincecum has thrown another no hitter against the San Diego Padres. He had six strikeouts and only one walk Wednesday in the 4-0 victory. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw his first no-no against the Padres last July.
Alex Torres First Pitcher to Wear Protective Cap: San Diego Padres reliever Alex Torres became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to wear the new protective padded cap in a game. The league has been testing different protection since Oakland A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy was struck by a line drive and suffered life-threatening brain injuries 17 months ago. The look inspired comparisons to Dark Helmet and Super Mario on Twitter, but Torres said, "It doesn't feel like how it looks on my head."
MLB Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn has died at age 54.:
The 15-time all-star passed away from cancer. Known for his hitting (8-time NL batting champ), his greatest season (1994) was shortened by the player's strike.
He played 20 seasons with the Padres, and always had an OPS over 100+, and never struck out more than 40 times in a season.
Chicago Cubs Honor 100-Year-Old Lifetime Fan: The Chicago Cubs honored Louis Reinhart on Sunday. The centenarian lifelong Cubs fan -- described as "still too young to have seen the Cubs win a World Series" -- was born the year Wrigley Field opened.
Don Zimmer was truly a baseball man: Don Zimmer was married at home plate at Dunn Field in Elmira, N.Y., between games of a doubleheader on Aug. 16, 1951. What more do you need to know?
Josh Beckett Throws First Dodgers No-Hitter Since Nomo: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon. The 34-year-old gave up three walks and had a pitch count of 128 in the 6-0 road victory. It's his first no-no and the 24th for the franchise. The last was by Hideo Nomo against the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 17, 1996. It's the second no-hitter ever at Citizens Bank Park, following Roy Halladay's playoff no-hit victory for the Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds on Oct. 6, 2010. The last visitor to throw one in Philadelphia was Bill Stoneman of the Montreal Expos on April 17, 1969, at Connie Mack Stadium.
Video: Ryan Braun Hits Jean Segura with Bat in Dugout: The Milwaukee Brewers lost Jean Segura to injury Saturday after he was hit in the head by Ryan Braun recklessly swinging a bat on the top step of the team's dugout. "No concussion, no fracture but he was laid open pretty good," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
The Borders of Baseball: Using Facebook likes data, the New York Times has created a map that shows the territory held by each baseball team. See where the Munson-Nixon line dividing New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox fans lies, and the precise street-level split in Chicago between the Cubs and White Sox.
Yankees' Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar on Neck: New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox because of a foreign substance on his neck that he was applying to the baseball. Red Sox manager John Farrell asked home plate umpire Jerry Davis to check Pineda, and a shiny schmear of pine tar or a similar substance was obvious on the game broadcast.
Albert Pujols Hits 499th, 500th Homer: Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols homered twice at Nationals Park Tuesday to become the 26th member of baseball's 500-home run club. In the first, Pujols crushed a 1-1 changeup from right-hander Taylor Jordan well over the fence in left field for a three-run homer that gave his team the early lead. In the fifth, he took a 1-2 sinker from Jordan and lined one to left-center field, just to the right of the Angels' bullpen, to give the Angels a 6-2 advantage. Pujols, the first player to hit 400 homers in his first 10 seasons, has now homered off 316 pitchers in 36 different ballparks and against 29 of the 30 teams (St. Louis being the lone exception).
Photo of Delino DeShields Jr. After Fastball Rearranged His Face: Houston Astros prospect Delino DeShields Jr. was hit in the face by a 90-mph fastball in a game for Double A Corpus Christi. He suffered a "a non displaced maxillary sinus fracture (left cheek)," according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The photo he tweeted shows what that experience is like.
Bench-Clearing Brawl Between Pirates, Brewers: A slow home run trot on what turned out to be a triple sparked a bench-clearing brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers Sunday. A deep fly to center by Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez stayed in the park and Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole said something to him after he was safe at third. When Pirates outfielder Travis Snider left the bench and said something to Gomez he began throwing haymakers. Gomez, Snider and Brewers coach Jerry Narron were ejected. The game is tied 1-1 in the 8th.
Brewers' Maldanado Knocks Cover Off the Ball: Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldanado hit a grounder that knocked the cover off the ball in Friday's win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez fielded it and threw to first, but in the words of one announcer, "it flew like a napkin" and Maldanado was safe.
Braves' Aaron Harang Has No-Hitter Through 7: Atlanta Braves pitcher Aaron Harang has a no-hitter through seven innings tonight on the road against the New York Mets. Harang has thrown 121 pitches and walked six. The Braves lead 1-0.
Doug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Driveway: Former Major Leaguer and current ESPN analyst Doug Glanville has written an essay for The Atlantic about a troubling experience: "It was an otherwise ordinary snow day in Hartford, Conn., and I was laughing as I headed outside to shovel my driveway. ... The snow had finally stopped coming down and this was my mid-afternoon window of opportunity. Just as I was good-naturedly turning all this over in my mind, my smile disappeared. A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction."
Chris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World.:
I went looking for these videos in search of a pattern; maybe a pattern of pitch location, or pitch type. What I found was something far more fascinating.
Yankees Go Around the Horn for Triple Play: In the second inning of Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees completed an around-the-horn triple play -- third baseman Yangervis Solarte to second baseman Brian Roberts to first baseman Scott Sizemore. Rays batter Sean Rodriguez, who hit the grounder, also hit into a triple play against the Boston Red Sox in 2011.
Secret Service Once Threatened to Kill Mr. Met: "We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen. Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. Nobody will bother you. But approach the president, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?" -- Secret Service agent in 1997 to Mr. Met, as related in Yes, It's Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots
Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers: What was this gladiator-size man, with the Popeye forearms and the XXL chest, actually worthóto the people bankrolling his defection from Cuba
Steinbrenner: We Don't Need Stephen Drew: New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said the team's infield injuries have not changed his mind about signing free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who's looking for a multi-year deal at $14 million per year. "I'm pretty content with our infield right now," he said. "I think guys like Anna and Solarte have been pleasant surprises." David Lennon of Newsday writes, "The Yankees are playing a dangerous game with their lack of infield depth. "But it's only mid-April, and the Yankees seem to be banking on the best-case scenario for their hurting infield."
Rays' Matt Moore to Have Tommy John Surgery: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore has scheduled Tommy John surgery for next week, ending his 2014 season and making it a challenge for him to be ready by the start of 2015. Moore, 24, has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He left the game April 7 with elbow soreness. He was a 17-game winner and All Star for the team last year.
MLB Admits Error in Calling Gwynn Out at Home: A play at the plate in Sunday's Philadelphia Phillies-Miami Marlins game was decided incorrectly, Major League Baseball officials said. Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis illegally blocked the plate before he had the ball on a Tony Gwynn Jr. slide home Sunday (see the video). Gwynn was called out and it was upheld by replay. The Phillies won 4-3. The new rule states, "unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score."
Red Sox Manager Rips Replay After Ejection: Boston Red Sox skipper John Farrell has become the first to be ejected for arguing a replay decision. A day after Major League Baseball announced that a replay call against the Red Sox was decided incorrectly, Farrell watched an inning-ending double play be reversed, putting a Yankees run on the board. He thought the replay of a close play at first against Yankees runner Francisco Cervelli was inconclusive. "It's hard to have any faith in the system," Farrell said.
Video: Ball Girl Saves Run in Baltimore: A Baltimore Orioles ball girl made a terrific play on a sharp drive down the line by Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday. Unfortunately, it was a fair ball, resulting in a ground rule double that put runners on second and third. Toronto won 11-3.
Chicago Cubs Decide to Start Seeing Other Closers: Two blown saves from Jose Veras were all the Chicago Cubs needed to see. Headline 17 hours ago: Cubs' Renteria stands by Veras. Headline 5 hours ago: Veras loses closer role.
Granderson Touched by Fan While Making Play: New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson angrily confronted a fan who touched him on the back as he was making a play during Friday night's loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Granderson made a catch in the right field corner, then was throwing the ball back as the incident occurred. "Say whatever you want to say. Boo, cheer, clap, cheer for your team, cheer for the other team. But just don't physically touch the players," he said.
Was Michael Pineda caught cheating: It looked brown and sticky and it was all over Michael Pineda's right throwing hand at some point during Thursday's game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. But what, exactly, was it?
A's Demote Closer Jim Johnson After 8 Games: Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jim Johnson, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles to be the A's closer this season, has been demoted from the job. Manager Bob Melvin said Thursday morning he's "going to give Jim a break." ESPN's David Schoenfeld notes, "Johnson has faced 26 batters so far and 16 of them have reached base.
Exceptionally Small Crowds Greet New Baseball Season: The New York Times has a 10-photo slideshow today with tens of thousands of fans disguised as empty seats at Major League ballparks in Kansas City, Cleveland, Toronto, Miami and New York City. The paper calls the attendance, even for the spring when colder weather keeps some fans at home, "especially bleak."