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."
Ichiro reaches 4,000 hit milestone between Japan (1,278) and MLB (2,722 and counting).: While his production is a shadow of those early Mariners years when he was a 200+ hit machine for more than a decade (just LOOK at that rookie spike of 242 hits, or the record-setting 262 hit season), the 39-year-old Yankee outfielder continues to produce at a decent if unremarkable level.Questions arise over how long Ichiro will continue to suit up (he's signed with the Yankees through the 2014 season), but even at his reduced performance level, if he can stay an every day player into the 2015 season he'll almost surely eclipse the 3,000 hit mark in MLB.
Alex Rodriguez attorney accuses Yankees of hiding MRI results: Joseph Tacopina, the attorney representing Rodriguez in his appeal of a 211-game suspension for his involvement with Miami-based Biogenesis and performance enhancing drugs, said the Yankees hid MRI results from Rodriguez that showed a torn labrum in his hip in October 2012, an injury that would eventually require offseason surgery and sideline the third baseman for the first four months of the 2103 campaign. Rodriguez hit just .120 (3-for-25) during the 2012 playoffs for the Yankees, who lost the ALCS to the Tigers.
Jack Clark, co-host fired from radio gig after Albert Pujols-PED flap: Former major-league slugger Jack Clark recently used his talk-radio forum to level a pretty serious accusation at Angels first baseman Albert Pujols -- namely that he, at least at one time, used performance-enhancing drugs.
Baseball Suspends A Rod Through 2014, 12 Others for 50 Games: New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended for a record 211 games on Monday for alleged doping offences. The 12 players given 50-game bans are Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Philadelphia Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, New York Mets outfielder Jordany Valdespin, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Seattle Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, New York Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello, San Diego Padres pitching prospect Fautino De Los Santos, Houston Astros pitching prospect Sergio Escalona and New York Yankees outfield prospect Fernando Martinez.
Rangers' Garza Tells A's Player to Shut His Wife Up: Newly acquired Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Garza, angry that Oakland A's second baseman Eric Sogard laid down a safety squeeze bunt that scored a run in the A's 4-2 defeat of the Rangers, posted several sexist messages to Sogard's wife Kaycee on Twitter. They included "@KayceeSogard tell your husband to speak up so his wife doesn't have to do it for him ... Chumps! ... Hahaha!" and "Certain people can't shut there woman up!" Garza and the Rangers have apologized. Sogard responded with class: "Obviously it's something you want to leave on the field and move on when the game ends," he said, adding added that he and his wife "took it as a joke, and that's how we'll continue to look at it."
J.B. Shuck Makes Home Run-Stealing Catch: Los Angeles Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck made one of the plays of the year Friday night, going into the left field stands to rob Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Bautista of a two-run homer. The Angels won 7-5.
Angels Paying Heavily for 10-Year Gamble on Pujols: Two years into Albert Pujols' 10-year, $240 million contract, the Los Angeles Angels are paying a heavy price for making such a long bet on the 33-year-old, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Pujols is likely to miss the rest of the season with a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot. "I saw him earlier this season, and it hurt me to watch him run," said one major league scout.
David Ortiz Ejected After Crushing Dugout Phone: After arguing a 3-0 strike call on with umpire Tim Timmons, David Ortiz struck out, flipped out, took out his anger on a dugout phone and was thrown out in a 7-3 Boston Red Sox win over the Baltimore Orioles Saturday. The phone, crushed by Ortiz swinging his bat and sending pieces flying, still worked afterwards. "It rang," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Somebody called down."
Tim Hudson's Ankle Broken Covering First: Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson was stepped on by Eric Young Jr. as he covered first base Wednesday night against the New York Mets, causing a gruesome ankle injury. Speeding down the line, Young extended his foot to reach the bag and accidentally stepped on Hudson's lower leg, driving his right ankle into the ground.
MLB suspends Ryan Braun for remainder of season: The suspension takes place immediately, so Braun will be suspended for the final 65 games of the season, beginning with the Brewers' game Monday night at Miller Park against San Diego. The sanction came as a result of MLB's investigatiion into the infamous Biogenesis clinic, which was exposed as having sold PEDs to players after documents were released to various news agencies earlier this year. The suspension also exposed Braun as a liar because he has stated many times that he never used PEDs and never wavered from that stance. He recently told reporters, "The truth hasn't changed," referring to ongoing speculation that he would be suspended for PED use.