Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.: A landmark Hall of Fame election, with a message for the steroid era but no real surprises.
The Better Part of Pete: The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is planning an 11-month, 2000 square foot exhibit celebrating the playing career of Pete Rose. Notoriously banned from consideration by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he is not a member of the club's Hall either. There is no formal statement regarding Rose's eligibility on their list of inductees page, but it does say that there was no induction from 1989 until 1998, and after that the election process was handed over to the Baseball Writers Association of America. Are the writers executing their own ban of Charlie Hustle?
Morneau is your AL MVP: What makes this even more impressive is that he was splitting votes with a teammate, Joe Mauer. That has hurt past candidates, including David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Morneau is the second Canadian-born player to win the MVP.
The "Cancer Sucks" Ball Park Tour: Jeffrey Newbauer, Jr. succumbed on Wednesday to recurrent Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. His battle was chronicled by his mother, and the family has vowed to continue the fight with ""NEWBEginnings," dedicated to taking children with cancer and their families out to the ballpark.
mlb.com reports handshake labor deal: The primary issues have been increased revenue sharing and a competitive balance tax. If it goes through, this will be the first time ever a deal has been reached before the active collective bargaining agreement expired. Nobody is confirming anything yet, because the deal has to be written up and signed -- and if you're wondering why that takes so long, here's the most recent CBA [pdf].
Piniella finds a wallet in Chicago.: Cubs bypass Joe Girardi and Bruce Bochy, grabbing Piniella for the bargain rate of $3 mil/season for 3 years.
"The Red Sox were in the playoffs every year from Mohegan Sun to Citgo.": ...selling the naming rights to a season may be one of the next money-raising gambits by financier John Henry’s business savvy ownership group...
A-Rod Agonistes: "Joe wants to see you."
You Have Just Witnessed Possibly The Greatest "Do Not Erase" TiVO Moment in Dodgers History: (Unless you're Kevin Towers, who was busy making out his Christmas card list.)
Superhumans.: (Well, that explains that.)Washington University put Albert Pujols through a series of sensory tests. Result? He's good. Columbia University did the same with The Babe in 1921 (a test that is referenced in the Pujols article). He was good, too. These are not mere mortals we're dealing with. [via]
MLB is holding a Hometown Hero ballot for each franchise.: The press release lists all of MLB's selected candidates. Thought we could post our thoughts here on who we would pick, and who were the most glaring omissions from the ballot.
Double your pleasure: Double your fun. For the first time in major league history, two games went 18 innings on the same day. It was the longest game in Rockies history, and the Cubs set a record by using all 25 men on their active roster.Nothing spoke more to the Rockies' offensive absurdity than this: Jamey Carroll drove in Colorado's lone run on a double play groundout, the highlight of his 0-for-8 game that featured a combined 124 at-bats, including 61 for the Rockies. After Carroll's out, nearly 100 batters had an opportunity and came up empty. Gas prices, meanwhile, presumably rose 3 cents per gallon.
Minor-league skipper gets major-league gift: Major Leaguers are spoiled, self-absorbed thankless jerks. All of them. Except maybe Joe Crede. Get ready to be a Crede fan (and maybe take that stereotype down a notch).
Manager? You? Really?: LivePlanet and MSN are putting you in the driver's seat. Their plan will test the wisdom of this book, whose author discussed the issue tangentially during this discussion about this old book, which you should also read, if you're going to be managing and all. Also, don't forget that you can't tell the players without a scorecard. Whew... you've got some reading to do.
First In War, First In Peace… : Washington is no longer last in the American League. Not that you would notice.
Top 10 Baseball Records: If the biggest name in baseball can hit his 715th home run and nobody outside the 415 area code even claps, that should tell us something...It's time to reevaluate the home run and what it means in our culture. And it's time, especially, to reevaluate what we've always looked on as our favorite records in the record book.
Baseball By The Dumbers: Part I: What happens when people with too much time try to invent statistics.
Blues' incredible streak is over: Last night, the St. Louis Blues officially ended a run of post-season appearances that began in the 1979-80 season. Oddly, a pretty extensive search revealed only this story about the Blues' sale to Dave Checketts, which mentions the streak in a footnote.
Soriano refuses to play outfield for Nationals: "The player refused to take the field, which we believe is a violation of his contract," Bowden said. Soriano, a four-time All-Star second baseman, was listed as batting leadoff and playing left field on a lineup sheet posted in the Nationals' clubhouse before Monday night's 11-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. But when the Nationals took the field in the top of the first, Soriano wasn't out there. With play just about ready to start, left field was empty.
Leiter calls it quits: One of baseball's best big game pitchers, an enthusiatic competitor, and one of the game's really good guys is moving on.
Mexico's Ayala Out For Season: Finally, the thing MLB dreaded the most. Washington's bullpen takes a hit as one of the best setup men in the game needs Tommy John surgery. To complicate the matter, Washington had pleaded with MLB to keep Ayala from playing because he had surgery during the off-season, and they didn't think he was strong enough to pitch in game situations.
Stink-o de Marcho: USA goes back to MLB business as usual after stunning loss to Mexico.
Manny: Red Sox In, WBC Out: "I'm not ready, so I'm not going to go out there and make a fool of myself," he said. I was eatin' chowdah when I read this, and I laughed so hard a clam shot out my nose.
MLB takes a step toward bringing inner-city youths back to baseball: The Urban Youth Academy has opened in Compton. "Make no mistake about it we lost a generation of inner-city players along the way," (Joe) Morgan said. "I think that starting today, with the opening of this field, we will stop the erosion of inner-city players."