Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rockies And Padres Play Playoff Game Monday

And the Beat Goes On! There will be a one game playoff game on Monday between the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies to decide who will go to become the National League Wild Card representative. Colorado trailed San Diego by two games going into Saturday's action, but the Padres lost both of their last two games to the Milwaukee Brewers, while the Rockies won their two last games against the National League West Division winners the Arizona Diamondbacks. Colorado defeated Arizona Sunday 4-3 their 13th win in 14 games. San Diego meanwhile lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, who were themselves eliminated just days ago from contention for the American League Central title by a score of 11-6. The Chicago Cubs have won the Central Division crown. The game will be held at Coors Field in Denver on Monday.
© Copyright 2007

Phillies Surge While Mets Collapse Philadelphia Wins N.L. East

Dependent on which side of the fence you were on the last 18 days of the MLB season were either exhilarating or torturous. You either saw your team make an incredible comeback, or suffer through one of the most cataclysmic meltdowns in the history of the National Pastime! September 12, 2007 the New York Mets appeared to have the National League East Division completely wrapped up as they led the second place Philadelphia Phillies by a seemingly insurmountable 7 game margin. The thought inside the Phillies clubhouse was if they would have any shot at all at making the MLB Playoffs that it would have to be done via the wild card.

One reason that cliche become so overused is because the statements they make are absolutely correct. In baseball on of the biggest cliches is "that's why they play the games." Never was that statement proven more accurate than the month of September in the National League East. The Philadelphia Phillies who were counted out probably by everyone but their immediate families are the National League East Division Champions as they defeated the Washington Nationals Sunday 6-1. The Mets who came into the final game of the season tied with the Phillies were knocked out of the race in the first inning as they lost to the Florida Marlins 8-1.

The man who epitomizes the phrase "cagey veteran" Jamey Moyer was on the mound for Philadelphia Sunday. Moyer went 5 1/3 innings allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and striking out 6 to end the regular season with a record of 14-12. Ryan Howard who was the National League MVP last year and a strong candidate for this year's award hit home run number 47 of the campaign.
New York starter and future Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine will not have this game on the highlight DVD when they induct him into Cooperstown. The man who won his 300th career game during the 2007 season never made it out of the first inning. He retired just one batter, allowing 7 runs all earned on 5 hits and 2 walks. New York never even mustered a challenge as they limped out of the 2007 season.

For Philadelphia, a trip to the NLDS hosting an opponent still to be determined as I write this. For New York a winter of discontent and second guessing for Mets fans, I would say General Manager Omar Minaya is definitely secure in his position. I am not sure however that the same can be said for Mets skipper Willie Randolph. He will be ripped apart in the coming days in the New York tabloids and talk shows. It will be interesting to see how New York management will handle this especially because as the Mets were sinking, their crosstown rivals the New York Yankees made a Lazarus like rise and captured the American League Wild Card!
© Copyright 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Phillies And Mets Tied In East Head Into Season Finale

Although two divisions in the National League the N.L East and the Wild Card spot have still not been settled as the MLB regular season concludes on Sunday. The Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks clinched the Central and West Divisions respectively with wins on Friday night. San Diego has clinched at least a share of the Wild Card spot but failed to lock it up Saturday as they lost Milwaukee Saturday 4-3.

However the most intriguing situation in all of baseball is in the National League East where after 161 games the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets have identical records of 88-63. Philadelphia, after trailing New York all season long caught up to the Mets Thursday night and then actually surpassed them Friday night as they defeated the Washington Nationals, while the Mets lost to the Florida Marlins. Well on Saturday cries of "Remember the Maine" were shouted in Queens probably for the first time since the Spanish American War in 1898. But this Maine wasn't a battleship, or maybe he was as New York starter John Maine led the battle against the Florida Marlins on Saturday by a 13-0 margin. Maine allowed one hit and that was with 2 out in the eighth breaking up his bid for the Mets first No Hit Game in franchise history. Maine also struck out 14 as his record grew to 15-10.

Meanwhile in the City of Brotherly Love the Phillies could not handle prosperity as they lost to the Nationals 4-2. Matt Chico the Nationals starter had the Phillies on their heels all game long. Philadelphia did not score until they put up single runs in the bottom of the seventh and the eighth while Washington had already scored all four of their runs.

© Copyright 2007

Dice-K Leads Red Sox To Division Crown Beat Twins 5-2

The last two months had been tough for Boston Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka. Earlier in the season he had been dominant against American League teams, but he had gone since early August with only one win. Well the man known as Dice-K won the Boston fans back Friday night as the Boston Red Sox clinched the American League East title beating the Twins 5-2. That combined with the New York Yankees losing in 10 innings to the Baltimore Orioles 10-9 gave Boston their first A.L. East title in 12 years. Matsuzaka went 8 innings allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits and striking out 8. Minnesota rookie pitcher Kevin Slowey, one of a group of talented young pitchers that the Twins have got his first loss of the season as his record 4-1.

Alex Rodriguez hit his 54th home run of the year as well as RBI 155, but Mike Mussina looked like the guy who was having problems getting batters out in August in the start against Baltimore. The Moose went just five innings allowing 6 runs on 11 hits. New York will go into the Post Season as the Wild Card team, and the Post Season matchups have been confirmed with Cleveland beating Kansas City Friday night 5-3. New York will travel to Cleveland and Boston will host A.L. West winner the L.A. Angels.

© Copyright 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cubs Clinch National League Central Beat Reds 6-0

The Chicago Cubs clinched the National League Central Division Friday night as they blanked the Cincinnati Reds, while the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the San Diego Padres 6-3. Carlos Zambrano the fiery pitcher who got into an altercation with a former teammate earlier in the year, pitched 7 innings of scoreless ball giving up only six hits. Zambrano ends the regular season with an 18-13 record. Chicago left fielder Alfonso Soriano set the tone by leading off the game with a homer off of Reds starter Bronson Arroyo who ends the season with a 9-15 mark. Chicago is back in the Post Season for the first time since 2003.

Meanwhile the Milwaukee Brewers who led the division for a good portion of the season before they faded down the stretch lost to Greg Maddux and San Diego in front of their home fans. The loss eliminates them from the Post Season, while San Diego assured themselves then no worse than a tie for the Wild Card with the win.

© Copyright 2007

Phillies Mount Amazing Comeback Tied With Mets In East

Baseball fans of a certain age (mine coincidentally!) talk about three huge collapses during pennant races that all took place in a 15 year span. Working backwards chronologically, they are the 1978 Boston Red Sox who saw a 14 game lead evaporate, and lost a one game playoff to eventual World Series winners the New York Yankees. The second team is the 1969 Chicago Cubs who had what looked like an insurmountable lead only to lose to the "Amazin' Mets." And the third team and actually the first of the three is the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies who under the late Gene Mauch lost a big lead in about a week to the ST.Louis Cardinals. Well coincidentally, two of those teams, one former winner, and one former loser are now embroiled in another amazing comeback, or devastating meltdown dependant on whom you are rooting for. The Philadelphia Phillies who trailed the New York Mets on September 12, were tied with them by the end of September 27, after they beat the Atlanta Braves Thursday 6-4. At the same time the Mets lost to the ST. Louis Cardinals 3-0. Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell each went deep for Philadelphia. Each team has three games left, the Phillies play host to Washington while Florida goes to Shea Stadium to play the Mets. Philadelphia has won 11-14 games.

© Copyright 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yankees Officially In Playoffs Paste Tampa Bay 12-4

For the 13th consecutive season the New York Yankees clinched a playoff spot Wednesday night, as they beat up on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 12-4. With New York in the Post Season, all four playoff spots in the A.L. are now locked up. The only question that remains is if the Boston Red Sox will remain on top of the East, and New York comes in as the Wild Card or if the tables will turn ending up with New York on top. Boston now holds a 3 game lead over the Yankees in the East. Yankees Ace Chien Ming-Wang saw his record grow to 19-7 as he threw six innings giving up two runs on seven hits, and striking out six. J.P. Howell took the loss for the D-Rays' record is now 1-6. New York was powered by shortstop Derek Jeter with his 12th homer of the season, and Robinson Cano who hit home run number 19 and had 5 RBI. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, said that the team was like Lazarus coming back from the dead. And the usually stoic New York Skipper Joe Torre actually shed tears.

© Copyright 2007

Ecko Looking For His 15 Minutes To Send Bonds Ball to Hall

Sorry, I do not know the first thing about fashion, so up until a few days ago I had never heard of Mark Ecko. Apparently, Mr. Ecko is a fashion designer, and has an interest in Baseball, or at least baseballs, specifically one ball. Ecko was the high bidder on the ball that San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds hit for his record breaking 756th home run. Now, while I will not go as far as Barry did last week, and call this man an idiot, I will say he is doing an idiotic action. Ecko put up some kind of survey or poll up on the Internet asking fans what to do with the ball; Survey Says: put an asterisk on the ball and send it to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Now as I said at the top, I have no idea who this man is, if he is a Baseball fan, or just some publicity seeker looking for his "15 minutes of fame." For all I know he could be very famous in his field. But as some one who loves and respects the Game of Baseball in spite of it's flaws, and there are many, I just find this degrading. Degrading to the Sport, and just catering to the lowest common denominator. Here is hoping that when Cooperstown gets the ball they file it in the circular file AKA the wastebasket.
© Copyright 2007

MLB Suspends Umpire Winters In Bradley Brawl

Well it turns out that San Diego Padres outfielder Milton Bradley has been vindicated by MLB. The Commissioners office announced on Wednesday they have suspended umpire Mike Winters for the rest of the season for allegedly using a profanity against Bradley during Sunday's contest between San Diego and the Colorado Rockies. The result was Bradley going nuclear and having to be wrestled to the ground by San Diego manager Bud Black causing Bradley to tear his ACL. The Padres organization say that Winters was trying to bait Bradley, and MLB apparently agrees hence the suspension. Now, two things, first of all "suspended for the season" in this case is not too dramatic, the season ends this Sunday, we are not talking 100 games here! Secondly, I want to publicly apologize to Milton Bradley for assuming the worst and that the responsibility lay with him. It turns out Milton, that this time you were provoked, but the bottom line still is who lost worse? By allowing this "bully" to get a rise out of you, you fell right in to his trap, you knocked yourself out of the postseason, and who knows what long term ramifications your injury will have on your career? Milton, again as I said in my first article on this incident, you can not allow the moment to master you, you have to master the moment.
© Copyright 2007

Bo-Sox Beat A's 7-3 "Magic Number" 3

The Boston Red Sox are not taking anything for granted, but there is definitely a more comfortable feeling around Fenway park than there was a week ago. Boston beat the Oakland A's Tuesday night, and that combined with the New York Yankees loss to Tampa Bay gave the Red Sox a three game lead with just five games left play. Coincidentally Boston's "magic number" is also three. Things seem to be gelling perfectly right now for Boston, Kevin Youkalis was back after missing 7 games and the "Man-Ram" Boston favorite was back in the lineup Manny Ramirez . All that and Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling was just what the doctor ordered. Schilling went six frames allowing one run on six hits. . Offensively the big guy 's were Big Papi David Ortiz who hit home run number 23, J.D.Drew went 3-4 driving in a run and scoring one as well. Drew, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Lowell all hit doubles for the Red Sox .

© Copyright 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rocket Grounded For Balance Of Regular Season

That cruel couple Mother Nature and Father Time catches up with all of us eventually! This Summer Roger Clemens found out he was only mortal after all as his body could not stand the rigors at 45 that it had in the past. Tuesday the New York Yankees announced that the Rocket was being shut down for the rest of the regular season, the next time he could possibly see action would be in the playoffs. Clemens who had elbow problems earlier this month is now being plagued by a balky left hamstring, he was originally supposed to pitch Tuesday night against Tampa Bay. Clemens who is 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA has only made two starts this month, he took cortisone injections in his elbow for the first time in his career. New York is almost officially in the American League Playoffs,after getting very comfortable leads against Seattle, and Detroit. The only thing left to be determined is whether Boston or the Yankees win the East or get in via the Wild Card Slot. Boston last week guaranteed that they will be playing in the Post Season.
© Copyright 2007

Pirates Name Huntington General Manager

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been trying to get back to being a competitive team since losing Andy Van Slyke, Bobby Bonilla, and Barry Bonds in the early 1990's. They may have finally started heading in the right direction! The Pirates on Tuesday named long time Cleveland Indians advance scout Neal Huntington as their new General Manager replacing Dave Littlefield who was dismissed earlier this month. Huntington who was also a former Assistant General Manager to Cleveland G.M. Mark Shapiro filled a wide spectrum of positions during his tenure with the team. Huntington who is 38, is widely known for his talent evaluation, he was a major factor in Cleveland's rebuilding process that culminated this season into an American League Central Division Championship. Huntington is only the twelfth man ever to be a Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager.
© Copyright 2007

Bradley Out For Year With Torn ACL

The late Bobby Bonds was an angry and bitter man when he was playing in the Major Leagues, he had a chip on his shoulder and just dared you to knock it off. A few years before his untimely passing, in a very candid interview Bonds said that he looked back on his playing days with regret. He told his interviewer that he had wished that he had not allowed the anger to rule his life the way it had. He said because of it he had not enjoyed his career the way he should have. He feared that his son Barry was consumed by the same demons, and though he talked with his son it seemed to have no effect.

I don't know if the late Mr. Bonds ever met San Diego Padres outfielder Milton Bradley, but Bradley certainly would have benefited from talking with him. As I have said many times on this site, I have never met Barry Bonds, perhaps the only big named athlete in MLB, NFL, or the NBA that I have not had even a brief interview with. But I know Milton Bradley covering him on a daily basis while he was with the Cleveland Indians. I would find it hard to believe that Barry could be any more disgruntled than the man I have labeled "The Angriest Man In Baseball."

Bradley got caught up again in the moment and tore his ACL as a result ending his season. I realize that the preceding sentence looks bizarre, let me explain. The Padres were playing the Colorado Rockies when Bradley came to the plate in the eighth inning. The home plate umpire, Brian Runge asked Bradley if he had flipped his bat at the official after he called the outfielder out on strikes in the fifth. Bradley says he told Runge that it was ridiculous, and asked him what prompted the query. Runge told him that the other umpires had told him that Bradley had done it. Bradley then hit a single, and when he got to first asked first base umpire Mike Winters if he had told Runge that he flipped his bat at him, and Winters confirmed he did. At that point Bradley and Winters got into an argument, Bradley was ejected from the game and imploded. San Diego first base coach Bobby Meacham tried to restrain Bradley, but the outfielder wriggled out of the coaches grasp. At that point Padres manager Bud Black ran from the dugout and wrestled Bradley to the ground, tearing the ACL in the process.

Naturally Bradley is blaming everybody but himself, the umpire, a fan who supposedly heckled Winters from the stands, and who knows maybe a popcorn vendor. Milton, I am sincerely sorry you are hurt, but unfortunately you have only yourself to blame. You got yourself run out of Montreal where you were known as a can't miss prospect. You blamed Eric Wedge for your demise in Cleveland, and Jeff Kent for your troubles with the Dodgers. Earlier this year you were released by the Oakland A's. Milton you have two major problems, first is your fragility, you get hurt every year. But so does Ken Griffey Jr. in Cincinnati, but he has over 500 home runs. Mike Sweeney is on the D.L. on an annual basis in Kansas City, but he is one of the classiest athletes in all of sports. But to be fragile and angry is a deadly combination and you are running out of teams Milton. It's time for you to see that the only enemy you have is the man you see in the mirror.

© Copyright 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Indians Win A.L. Central Beat A's 6-2

The Cleveland Indians won their first American League Central Division championship since 2001, as they defeated the Oakland A's Sunday at Jacobs Field 6-2. The win culminated a rebuilding process that had begun in 2002, after Cleveland had a run of success from 1995-2001, winning the Division each year except for 2000. Cleveland General Manager Mark Shapiro and Indians manager Eric Wedge went back to the original Cleveland blueprint of success. Build from within, starting with a strong farm system and then eventually augmenting with key veteran acquisitions. Cleveland currently has two 18 game winning pitchers, in C.C. Sabathia, and Fausto Carmona. And a journeyman reliever Joe Borowski came into the Cleveland bullpen and seized the closers role, right now leading the Majors in saves. Cleveland right now has the best record in the American League as they lead Los Angeles in the loss column by one game. At this point, their mission for the remainder of the regular season is to try to keep the best record to have home field advantage in the playoffs.

© Copyright 2007

Angels Clinch West Beat Mariners 7-4

The Los Angeles Angels Sunday won their third American League West Division Championship in the last four seasons as they defeated the team that trailed them and challenged them for a good portion of the season the Seattle Mariners 7-4. Angels starter John Lackey saw his record grow to 18-9, as he went 7 innings allowing only 2 runs on 7 hits and striking out 7 as well. Los Angeles closer K-Rod Francisco Rodriguez got his 38th save. Former Angels starter Jeff Weaver took the loss for the M's, he went five and a third, giving up five runs on five hits. His record is now 7-13.

© Copyright 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bo-Sox Clinch Playoff Spot Score Two In Ninth Beat D-Rays 8-6

The Boston Red Sox became the first team in 2007 to clinch a Post Season berth in MLB by beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays Saturday night 8-6. Boston went into the top of the ninth knotted up at 6-6 with the D-Rays but Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo each went yard for the Red Sox. Eric Gagne got the win in relief, Boston's closer Jonathan Paplebon got save number 36 of the year. The Sox "magic number" is now down to six to win the American League East. The New York Yankees kept pace in the playoff hunt beating Toronto 12-11in ten innings to remain 2.5 games behind Boston for the division lead. The Saturday win assures Boston that the worst they could be is the Wild Card, if they can not stave off New York for the division title.

© Copyright 2007

Brewers Slip-Sliding Away In N.L. Central Lose To Braves 4-3

September is quickly coming down to its last days, as is the MLB season, and time right now is the Milwaukee Brewers biggest enemy. The Brewers who were in first place in the weak National League Central almost all season long now find themselves 2.5 games behind Division leading Chicago Cubs after falling to the Atlanta Braves Saturday 4-3. Milwaukee actually came from behind in this game tying the game at 2-2 in the sixth. It would stay that way until the top of the tenth when Milwaukee's Corey Hart hit a homer giving the Brewers a 3-2 lead. But Milwaukee closer Francisco Cordero blew his 7th save of the year allowing a long ball to Braves pinch-hitter Scott Thorman to tie the game again. The Braves won the game in the 11th off reliever Seth McClung. Milwaukee's record is now at 79-75, falling further behind Chicago who won Saturday beating up the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5. Milwaukee, has no shot at the Wild Card in the National League, they trail the current Wild Card leader the San Diego Padres by 6.5 games.

© Copyright 2007

Beckett Stops Bo-Sox Skid With Win #20 Beat D-Rays 8-1

Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett became MLB's first 20 game winner since 2005, and the Red Sox stopped their losing skid as they defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-1. That combined with the New York Yankees 5-4 gave Boston back a cushion of 2.5 games in the American League East. Their "magic number" is now down to 7 games. David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, and Mike Lowell all went deep for Boston. Beckett went six innings allowing one run on just four hits.

© Copyright 2007

Carmona, Is 18 And He Likes It Tribe Tops A's 4-3

The Cleveland Indians Friday night saw the second pitcher on their staff attain win number 18, as Cleveland defeated the Oakland A's 4-3. The pitcher who reached the mark against Oakland in the first game of their weekend series, Fausto Carmona who suffered through an badly thought out plan to try to turn this natural starter into a closer. The move last year, was made out of necessity when the Indians traded closer Bob Wickman to the Atlanta Braves last year just before the trade deadline. Carmona as badly suited as he was as a reliever has shown much success as a starter, beginning when he had an incredible year at the Class A Indians minor league team the Lake County Captains. With the win and Detroit winning as well Cleveland's "magic number" is now down to 2 games. If Cleveland wins and Detroit loses on Saturday the Indians will clinch their first playoff berth since 2001. The other Cleveland pitcher with 18 wins is southpaw C.C. Sabathia who got number 18 Wednesday against Detroit.

© Copyright 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Giants Will Part Ways With Bonds At End Of Season

San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan basically set the tone for the news on Friday when he kept saying during Barry Bonds chase for the career home run title of MLB that the club was being distracted by the media circus. Hence it came as no surprise to even the most casual baseball observer that the Giants have informed Bonds they will not need his services starting next season. Magowan told Bonds the news Thursday night in a face to face meeting. Magowan said that he thought Bonds seemed disappointed but not surprised. In a statement released to the media Magowan said that while it is always tough to say goodbye, the team thought it was time to move in a different direction.

In a statement released on his website Bonds said he had every intention of playing next year, in search of that World Series Title that has always been just out of his grasp. Bonds who is 43 has hit 28 home runs this year driving the career record now to 762. He has not played a game since September 15, because of an injured toe. With the team telling Bonds that he is not in their future, it is tough to determine whether he will play again this season or not. But rest assured he will be playing in the Majors next year, you can bet the house on it! There will always be a team for him to go to, Pittsburgh where he started his career, Tampa Bay, or Washington who have histories of picking up veteran players. And Baltimore owner Peter Angelos, and Angels owner Arte Moreno are probably already talking with their people. Now if I were Barry Bonds, and I really wanted to get back at MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, for the lack of respect he received from him this year, there is a perfect solution. Stay in MLB until you hit 1,000 Home Runs a record no one could ever break!

© Copyright 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pettitte Gets 200th Win Yanks Cut Lead to 1.5 Beat Birds 2-1

The New York Yankees winners of 12 of their last 14 games, are in line to pull off easily the biggest comeback in Pro Sports in the new millennium. The Yankees who at one time this season trailed American League East Division leaders the Boston Red Sox by 14.5 games Wednesday night cut the lead to 1.5 games. With the Red Sox in a monumental tail spin losing Wednesday night to Toronto 6-1 the Yankees faced the Baltimore Orioles with Andy Pettite on the mound. All Pettitte did was go seven and two thirds, allowing just one run on seven hits as the Bombers beat the Birds 2-1. It was Pettittte's career win number 200, and there have not many that came in more clutch situations. The Orioles who are in a tailspin themselves have lost 22 of their last 28 games.

© Copyright 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

C.C. Gets Number 18 Tribe Sweep Tigers Win 4-2

Leyland Concedes Division

Remember how everyone said last year that Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland with "his never say die attitude" shook the team up and led them to the World Series on his sheer force of character and willpower? Well, that Jim Leyland was nowhere to be found Wednesday afternoon as a beaten and contrite Detroit Skipper addressed the media after his Tigers lost to Cleveland 4-2, sweeping the three game series. The Tigers now find themselves 7.5 games behind Cleveland in the American League Central, and the Indians "magic number" is now down to 3. Even though his team is mathematically alive, Leyland blew taps on the season after the game saying to reporters "They're going to be the Central Division Champions, obviously. They did what a championship team does." Jim, while I admire you giving the Indians the proper respect, I am shocked that you have conceded the division while you still have life left in the season. Is that really the message you want to convey to your team, when the going gets tough just give up? I can assure you after covering Indians manager Eric Wedge from his rookie season as manager in 2003 through the 2006 season, if the roles were reversed there would be no concession. Eric Wedge has far too much pride for that.

As for the game Indians Ace C.C. Sabathia is back in contention for the Cy Young as well as winning 20 for the first time in the Majors after seeing his record grow to 18-7. Sabathia, should have reached 20 earlier this season but lack of run support cost him many games he should have won. Sabathia went 7 allowing 2 runs on 5 hits. Joe Borowski got save number 42 of the campaign. Offensively for the second time in three games MLB's most underrated player Indians third baseman Casey Blake got the key hit a homer in the bottom of the third. It was a key point for the Indians because Sabathia had given up 2 runs in the top of the frame, and they answered back by cutting the lead in half.

© Copyright 2007

Shades Of '78 Boston's Lead down to 2.5 Over New York In East

If there is a great ballpark in the sky, right now Catfish Hunter and Thurman Munson are probably joking around playing catch, and Billy Martin is standing on the edge of the diamond smoking a big old cigar, and beaming from ear to ear. Why do I imagine then having such a good time? Because right now on good old Terra firma, the New York Yankees are playing very much like that 1978 team that the three of them were on. That team came back from a 14 game deficit, to end up with a tie with Boston at the finish of the regular season. An elimination playoff game was held between the two teams at Fenway, the legend of Bucky Dent was born and the Yankees went on to the big dance. Well the 2007 edition of the Bronx Bombers look like they may be up to repeating that feat as they have whittled down what was a 14.5 game lead by Boston to just 2.5 games! New York won their eleventh game out of their last thirteen Tuesday night behind a re energized Mike Mussina, and former Boston first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz hit a three run homer as the Yankees beat up on the Baltimore Orioles 12-0. Boston lost their game to Toronto 4-3 their fourth consecutive loss.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Casey Clutch In Comeback Win Tribe Top Tigers 6-5

The Cleveland Indians won the first game of their three game series against the Detroit Tigers in dramatic fashion storming back from a 5-2 deficit in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game and eventually win the game in the eleventh 6-5. Cleveland who led second place Detroit in the American League central by 4.5 games, got the game winning hit a walkoff homer by Casey Blake to increase their lead to 5.5 and their "magic number" shrinks to 7 games. Rafael Bettancourt got the win in relief Detroit reliever Zach Miner got the loss. The Indians are looking to get back to the post season since 2001.

© Copyright 2007

Big Hurt Hits 3 Jacks Jays Top Bo-Sox 6-1

There was a reason why back in his prime with the Chicago White Sox Frank Thomas was referred to as the "Big Hurt". Thomas who is now the DH for the Toronto Blue Jays showed Monday night that every once in a while he can each back to those days and still put a big hurt on his opponent. Thomas hit three home runs against the Boston Red Sox, and led the Jays to a 6-1 victory over Boston. The three jacks put him ironically in a three way tie for 18th place in MLB history with 512. He is tied with former Braves Hall of Fame player Eddie Matthews, and "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks. Toronto starter Dustin McGowan had Boston off balance all game going the distance allowing just one run on five hits, and striking out nine. Red Sox veteran Tim Wakefield did not have great command of his knuckle ball allowing four runs on seven hits in just six innings. Boston has now seen their lead in the American League East shrink to just 3.5 games over the Yankees as New York beat Baltimore Monday night 8-5.

© Copyright 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jeter Hits One Over Green Monster Yanks Beat Bo-Sox 4-3

The New York Yankees took the weekend series, the season series, and are now just 4.5 games behind Boston as they defeated the Red Sox Sunday night 4-3. The game was tied at 1-1 in the top of the eighth when Boston starter Curt Schilling gave up a three run homer to New York shortstop Derek Jeter giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead and gave Schilling the loss. Boston scored solo runs in the bottom of the eighth and ninth but fell short. Yankees Cult Hero Joba Chamberlain got the win in relief of the Rocket Roger Clemens who made his return to the starting rotation. Clemens had a good start going six allowing just one run on two hits, but could not hold on for the decision.
© Copyright 2007

Thome Hits Number 500 As A Walk Off Chi-Sox Top Halos 9-7

Chicago White Sox Designated Hitter Jim Thome has been looking forward to the opportunity to hit career home run number 500 for the last few weeks. He knew it would be a significant personal milestone, but he had no idea how much It would help his team. Sunday, Thome came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth tied at seven each with the Los Angeles Angels. Teammate Darin Erstad was on first with nobody out, and Thome worked Angels reliever Dustin Moseley to a 3-2 count and then hit a two run jack into left center. White Sox win the game 9-7, Thome gets his 28th homer of the year and number 500 of his career. Thome becomes only the 23rd player in MLB history to reach the mark, and ironically the third player this season all from the American League. Earlier this year Toronto Blue Jays DH Frank Thomas, and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez broke the 500 plateau.

© Copyright 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bonds Historic HR Baseballs Auctioned Off

The baseballs that Barry Bonds hit home runs numbers 755 and 756 were auctioned by Sotheby's/SCP Auctions on Saturday. The baseballs were put up for auction by the two men who recovered them. The ball that broke the record, number 756 got $752,467 for it's owner 21 year old Matt Murphy. Ironically, Murphy is a Mets fan who happened to be in San Francisco on a layover back to New York from Australia. Murphy purchased a $12.00 ticket for $100.00 but seems to have gotten a nice return on his initial investment. Number 755 fetched $186,750 for it's owner 34 year old plumber Adam Hughes from LaJolla, California. Bonds hit that home run in San Diego in a game against the Padres.
© Copyright 2007

Beckett Gets # 19 Bo-Sox Bomb Yanks 10-1

It was billed as a game between dueling Cy Young candidates. Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett and New York Yankees hurler Chien-Ming Wang both went into Saturday's contest at Fenway Park with identical 18-6 records. Boston fans expected to see a classic pitchers duel take place in front of them. But as so many of these over hyped matchups turn out, this one did not meet the fans expectations. Beckett held up his end of the bargain, going seven innings giving up just one run on three hits. But Wang did not deliver for New York making his way into the sixth with two out but giving up five runs on nine hits. Boston won the game 10-1, pushing their lead back up to 5.5 games and shrinking their magic number down to nine. Any combination of Boston wins and or New York losses that add up to nine would give Boston the A.L. East Division title. New York has won the division for nine straight years. Beckett goes to 19-6, Wang drops to 18-7. Eric Hinske went 2-4 for Boston with a double and a homer, Coco Crisp and David Ortiz also had a two bagger for Boston. The win evened the series at a game apiece.
© Copyright 2007

Yankees Pull Off Come Back Beat Red Sox 8-7

The Boston Red Sox were sailing along pretty happily Friday night as they ended seven innings leading the New York Yankees 7-2. It looked as if they were going to increase their lead over New York to 6.5 games, giving them a pretty comfortable margin as the season starts to wind down. But reliever Hideki Okajima suffered a meltdown in the top of the eighth, allowing four runs all earned on three hits and a walk while getting out only one batter. Boston went to their closer Jonathan Paplebon, who blew his third save of the season as he gave up an additional two runs and the Yankees beat Boston 8-7. Paplebon's record falls to 1-3, and New York is now just 4.5 games behind Boston.

© Copyright 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Terry Ryan Resigning As Twins General Manager

The man who brought the Minnesota Twins back to respectability, and may have saved the franchise from being contracted will be stepping down at the end of the season. Minnesota General Manager Terry Ryan announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down from his current position at the end of the regular season. Ryan will remain with the team in an advisory capacity, he has been the team's G.M. for the last 13 years. Ryan said basically that he felt it was time to ease back, that the losses were starting to hurt a little too much, and he wasn't getting the elation he used to feel from the wins. Ryan took a team that was a perennial bottom feeder, and made them division winners. The Twins won the American League Central in three consecutive years from 2002-2004, and then made a dramatic second half surge to win the division in 2006. All while dealing with one of the lower payrolls in all of MLB. Back a few years ago when Commissioner Bud Selig was threatening contraction of 2-4 teams, Minnesota was mentioned prominently. Ryan's reconstruction project took the Twins name off any future list.
© Copyright 2007

Thome Hits 499 Chi-Sox Beat Tribe 7-4

Chicago White Sox DH Jim Thome hit career home run number 499 as the Chi-Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 Wednesday. Thome got the round tripper against former Indians teammate Jake Westbrook in the bottom of the fourth. It was Thome's 27th home run of the 2007 campaign. Thome who was on the disabled list for 30 games this season would become the 23rd MLB player to reach 500 home runs. Earlier this year Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez hit the historic mark. The win ended a three game losing streak for Chicago, and also ended a four game winning streak for Cleveland who are leading the American League Central Division. Westbrook got the loss Javier Vasquez picked up the win for the White Sox. Chicago is off on Thursday, but Thome will then have a three game series in front of the Chicago fans as he pursues number 500. The White Sox will host the Los Angeles Angels.

© Copyright 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tribe Tops Halos 6-2 Leads Detroit By Six

Okay, this is getting strange! I move out of Cleveland, and the Cavaliers make the NBA Finals for the first time in their history, and now the Cleveland Indians look like they are going to make the MLB Playoffs for the first time since 2001! Could I have been the curse of Cleveland? {Actually I only moved there in 1992, they had 28 years of heart ache before I arrived. And the Indians didn't make the Post Season until my first year covering the team which was 1995. So if I take the blame, I would have to take the credit also. I have a big ego but not that big!} Cleveland saw their lead grow to six games over second place Detroit in the A.L. Central as they beat the L.A. Angels Sunday 6-2. Indians rookie starter Aaron Laffey saw his season mark improve to 3-1 as he went five innings against the Angels allowing 2 runs on six hits. Los Angeles starter Jarrod Weaver took the loss he also went five but allowed six runs on nine hits. His record now is 11-7.

© Copyright 2007

Brewers Slug Their Way Back To First Spank Reds 10-5

The Milwaukee Brewers started off their game Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds with a bang, three bangs to be exact! Milwaukee became only the third team in MLB history to start off a game with three consecutive home runs as they toppled the Reds 10-5. The Brewers gave a rude welcome to Cincinnati starter Phil Dumatrait, as Richie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, and Ryan Braun all went yard to lead off the game. Dumatrait never made it out of the first giving up hits to the first five batters he faced, getting nobody out and leaving responsible for four runs. The Brewers weren't done after the first as Weeks and Braun both went deep again and Hardy had a pair of two-baggers, before the fourth inning was over. Ben Sheets got the win for the Brewers seeing his record improve to 12-4. The win put Milwaukee in sole possession of first place in the N.L. Central leading the Chicago Cubs by one game. The Cubs lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates ironically by the same score: 10-5.

© Copyright 2007

Pedro Goes Five Mets Beat Astros 4-1

New York Mets starter Pedro Martinez is now 2-0 in the 2007 campaign, and New York now leads the N.L. East by six games after they defeated the Houston Astros Sunday 4-1. Martinez threw five scoreless frames giving up six hits and striking out four. Roy Oswalt took the loss for Houston, his record now sits at 14-7. The Mets lead second place Philadelphia, and take on the third place Atlanta Braves next in a three game series. The Braves currently are 8.5 games behind New York.

© Copyright 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ankiel, Glaus, Reportedly Received Drug Shipments

Two different publications are naming two different MLB players as receiving shipments of performance enhancing drugs in the last few years. The New York Daily News is reporting that they have documented evidence that former starting pitcher turned outfielder Rick Ankiel member of the ST Louis Cardinals, received a 12 months supply back in 2004 of Human Growth Hormone, or as it is more commonly known HGH. The newspaper says that he received the substance from Signature Pharmacy located in Orlando, Florida which is alleged to be part of an illegal prescription drug distribution ring that was said to have been run on a nationwide level. Ankiel, who has been of the few "feel good" stories in Sports during the Summer of 2007, met with reporters Friday along with Cardinals General Manager Walt Jockety. They both strongly denied any wrong doing on Ankiel's part.

The other players named on Friday was Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus who according to SI.COM was the recipient of numerous shipments of testosterone, and nandrolone. According to the website, Glaus received the performance enhancing steroids between September 2003 through May 2004 also allegedly through Signature Pharmacy. Glaus has not commented on the matter at this time. MLB Spokesman Rich Levin says the league will look into the allegations.

© Copyright 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fan Strikes Out At Minute Maid Park

Maybe I have just spent too many years in MLB press boxes, but when ever the Cleveland media covered an Indians game, and they showed a fan proposing to his girlfriend, we would scream at the image on the Jumbotron "Turn him down!" Not once did we ever have our wish granted. Well I did not get to see it, but according to USA Today Sports Weekly, it happened at Minute Maid Park in Houston on August 20, during an Astros game. During a break between innings, the Astros showed the "Kiss Cam" on the stadiums Jumbotron monitor. A fan got down on one knee and proposed to his female companion presenting her with a ring. According to the report, the woman at first appeared shocked, then angry, then dumped he popcorn on the poor sap and walked out of the stadium. The Astros say this was not a stunt, and the cost for the the tickets putting them on the big screen , and a "keepsake video" was $300.00. Sir maybe next time try a more secluded spot. I would imagine getting turned down would be embarrassing enough, not to mention having it done in front of more than 30,000 baseball fans.
© Copyright 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rocket To Get Cortisone Injection In Sore Elbow

Reports out of New York Monday said that Yankees 45 year old veteran starter Roger Clemens will receive a cortisone injection in his sore right elbow. Clemens made an early exit on Monday as New York lost to the Seattle Mariners 7-1. Clemens pitched only four innings allowing five runs, and after the game he had a MRI on the troubling elbow. The Yankees said that the MRI showed inflammation, Clemens alluded to reporters that it might be more serious than that. Clemens will travel to Houston to be examined by their team physician Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff and will probably get the injection at that time. Clemens says he has never had a cortisone shot in his elbow before but would be willing to undergo a series of them if necessary. The Rocket is expected to miss one start, Mike Mussina who relieved Clemens in Monday's game will get the nod.
© Copyright 2007

Pedro's Back Mets Beat Reds 10-4

New York Mets starter Pedro Martinez made his first start of the 2007 campaign, and although he was not vintage "Pedro" he was good enough to get the win as the Mets swept the Cincinnati Reds by winning the final game of their series 10-4. Martinez who had shoulder surgery last October, was on a strict pitch count, which he actually exceeded by one pitch. Perdro threw 76 pitches in five innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out four and walking three. Martinez also recorded his career strikeout 3000 becoming only the 15th pitcher in MLB history to accomplish the feat. New York torched Reds Ace Aaron Harang who went 5.2 innings, allowing six runs on ten hits, as his record fell to 14-4. New York has increased their lead back up to five games in the N.L. East, after seeing Philadelphia pull within two last week.

© Copyright 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ichiro Rocks Rocket M's Spank Yankees 7-1

Yankees fans had visions back in May when Roger Clemens originally announced he was coming back to pitch once again for New York, of the Roger of yore who would charge onto the mound and lead the team to a World Series Championship. Well if New York does make the postseason, and eventually the World Series, it certainly will not because of the dominance of Clemens. The Rocket fell to a pedestrian 6-6 Monday, as Ichiro Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners 7-1 going only four innings and giving up five runs. Seattle centerfielder Ichiro had three hits including a homer off Clemens in the third his sixth of the year. Ichiro also collected hit number 200, his seventh consecutive season reaching the mark. Felix Hernandez kept New York off balance all game as he went seven frames giving up one run on five hits. The 21 year old starter is now 11-7.

© Copyright 2007

Sweet 16 For C.C. Tribe Beat Twins 5-0

Cleveland Indians Ace C.C. Sabathia threw eight scoreless frames Monday night as the Tribe defeated division rivals the Minnesota Twins Monday 5-0. Sabathia gave up six hits and struck out six as well to see his record improve to 16-7. Cleveland knocked out Twins starter Johann Santanna after six, he also only gave up six hits but four runs all earned. For whatever reason Cleveland has been able to figure Santanna out this year, the two time Cy Young award winner is 14-11, five of his losses have come against the Indians. With the win Cleveland now holds a six game lead in the American League Central over second place Detroit.

© Copyright 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Yankees Lose To D-Rays 8-2 Fall Six Back In East

"Team Schizophrenia" has resurfaced again as the New York Yankees are back to their Jekyll and Hyde ways. After sweeping the Boston Red Sox in a three game series to pull within five games of the lead in the A.L. East, they lose two out of three to the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays losing the series finale 8-2. New York starter Andy Pettitte who looked like he was back in his salad days against Boston was turned into cole slaw by Tampa Bay. Pettitte never made it out of top of the seventh after giving up a three run jack to D-Rays first baseman Carlo Pena number 34 of the campaign. Tampa Bay got what they needed out of rookie starter Jason Hammel the 24 year old went five strong innings giving up five hits, one run and striking out seven. Hammel with the win sees his record improve to 2-4, Pettitte drops to 12-8. The Yankees fall to six games behind Boston who defeated Baltimore Sunday 3-2.

© Copyright 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Boston's Bucholz Beats Birds With No-No Bo-Sox win 10-0

As we head into September the underlying story of the American League East has been that Boston has just done enough to be better than New York. Even though the Yankees swept the Red Sox in their three game series in the Bronx, Boston still walked out of Yankee Stadium with a five game lead. Saturday was another example of Boston just going one rung on the ladder higher than New York. Saturday afternoon, Yankees rookie starter Ian Kennedy who had been just called up from Triple A defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 9-6 in his first MLB start. Kennedy, had a memorable start allowing only five hits in seven innings giving up three runs but only one was earned. A great start especially in your MLB debut. However Boston outdid the Yankees again Saturday night. Red Sox rookie starter Clay Bucholz who had just been called up from Triple A threw a no hitter in his second MLB start defeating the Baltimore Orioles 10-0. Bucholz who had been with the parent team for a spot start on August 17, as he beat the Angels 8-4 is the first Red Sox rookie to ever throw a no hitter. He is only the third pitcher in MLB history to throw a no hitter in his first or second start. It was the first Boston no hitter since former Boston pitcher Derek Lowe in April of 2002. The win broke Boston's four game losing streak.

© Copyright 2007

Yankees Rookie Starter Kennedy Tops D-Rays 9-6

The New York Yankees trotted out another rookie starter to make his MLB debut against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Ian Kennedy was up to the task. Kennedy flew through the Yankees minor league system this year starting out at A ball in Tampa and going 12-3 at three levels. Kennedy dominated the D-Rays going 7 frames scattering five hits and giving up three runs but only one earned. The Yankees held on for a 9-6 win. Kennedy joins a string of successful rookie pitchers that have been instrumental in putting the Yankees back in the American League pennant race. Kennedy replaced Mike Mussina for the start, who had tough outings in his last three appearances. New York rookie pitchers Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain have turned into overnight heroes in the Bronx. The win evened the series at a game a piece after Tampa took game one Friday night.

© Copyright 2007

Pedro To Be Back With Mets On Monday

New York Mets manager Willie Randolph released some news that Mets fans have been waiting to hear all season long, New York starter Pedro Martinez is back. Randolph announced the news before the Mets game against the Braves on Saturday. Martinez who has been on the disabled list all season long recovering from rotator cuff surgery will take the hill Monday night in Cincinnati as he gets the start against the Reds. Martinez who had the surgery on October 5, had a successful 53 pitch bullpen session which was his final test before the Mets would reactivate him. The Mets after Friday night had a two game lead in the N.L. East over Philadelphia.

© Copyright 2007

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