Tuesday, April 22nd
Casey Blake
went 4 for 4 with 2 Runs, 2 Doubles, a HR, and 6 RBI.  Aaron Miles, Dustin Pedroia, and Edgar Renteria, Miguel “Cocoon” Tejada, and Jerry Hairston, Jr. also had four hits each.  Skip Schumaker, Troy Glaus, Prince Fielder, Kosuke Fukudome, Erick Aybar, Jacoby Ellsbury (with 2 HRs), Jorge Cantu, Joey Votto, Eric Hinske, Dionner Navarro, Adrian Gonzalez, Johnny Peralta, Johnny Damon, Pedro Feliz, Fred Lewis, Bengie Molina, Craig Monroe, and Mike Lamb each collected three hits.  Ronny Cedeno and Bobby Abreu each blasted Grand Slams. 

C.C. Sabathia
punished those who dropped him prematurely with 6 shutout innings allowing 4 hits with 11 Ks.  John “Imagine” Lannan pitched 7 shutout innings to beat John Smoltz, who allowed 1 run in 7 innings with 10 Ks.  What a shame.  Ted Lilly went 6 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits with 4 Ks for his 1st win.  Justin Verlander allowed 1 run in 6 innings for his 1st victory.  Paul Maholm threw 6 innings of four-hit, 1 run ball with 6 Ks for his first win.  Edison Volquz gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 7 innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA.  James Shields allowed 2 earned runs in 7 innings for his 2nd win of the year.  Felix Hernandez went 7 innings allowing 2 runs with 7 Ks, but took a no-decision.  Brandon Webb went 6 innnings allowing 3 runs with 7 Ks to become baseball’s first five-game winner.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Dougvantyle, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Maury Wills.  Here are my findings. 

The Numbers
1942 Games
7588 At Bats
.281 Batting Average
1067 Runs
2134 Hits
177 Doubles
77 Triples
20 HRs
458 RBI
586 SB (19th All-time)

Playoffs: 21 Games, 19 for 78 (.244), 6 Runs, 3 Doubles, 4 RBI, 6 SBs

1962 MVP
1962 All-Star MVP
5 All-Star Appearances
2 Gold Gloves
MVP Votes in 8 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Twice
Games – Once (Led league in 1962)
At Bats – Seven Times (Led league in 1961 & 1962)
Runs – Three Times
Hits – Five Times
Triples – Five Times (Led league in 1962)
Stolen Bases – 11 Times (Led league in ’60, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’65)

Maury Wills was an amazing basestealer, but he didn’t do enough of anything else.  His double total is pathetic for such a speedy runner.  He hit .300 twice and scored 100 runs twice.  His style of play did help the Dodger win three World Series titles so I have no problem with him being in the Dodgers Hall of Fame.  I can put him in a Basestealing Hall of Fame, but Cooperstown is a nice place for him to visit.

Baseball Reference

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb
John Franco

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |


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So if you’re checking out my site, I encourage you to hop on over to KFFL and Hoopsworld when you’re done.  Tell them Lesters sent you.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB, NBA, NFL | Tagged: NASCAR |

Monday, April 21st

Miguel “
Cocoon” Tejada must have found the Fountain of Youth as he went 4 for 5 with 3 Runs, a Double, a HR, 3 RBI, and a SB.  Julio Lugo went 4 for 4 with 2 Runs, a Double, an RBI, a Walk, and a SB.  Ivan Rodriguez pounded out 4 hits as well.  Cristian Guzman, Matt Diaz, Dan Uggla, Andre Ethier, and Pat Burrell each had 3 hits.  Nomar Garciaparra, James Loney, Lance Berkman, Yorvit Torrealba, and Big Papi each drove in 3 runs. 

Clay Buchholz pitched 6 shutout innings allowing 5 hits and striking out 6 batters for his first win of the year on Patriots Day.  Armando Galarraga fired 5-1/3 innings of three-hit shutout baseball with 4 Ks.  He’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA.  Tim Hudson allowed 1 earned run in 6-2/3 for his 3rd win despite allowing 10 hits.  Carlos Zambrano pitched 7 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 4 Ks to improve to 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA.  Mark Hendrickson gave up 3 earned runs in 8 innings to move to 4-1 on the year.  Brad Penny allowed 1 run in 6 innings to improve to 3-2 with a 2.67 ERA.  Adam Wainwright and Carlos Villanueva each allowed 2 runs in 7 innings as they took no-decisions.  Roy Oswalt continued to rebound as he went 7 innings allowing 3 runs with 6 Ks for his 2nd win.  Micah Owings improved to 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA after going 6-1/3 innings allowing 2 runs with 4 Ks.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB | Tagged: Cocoon |

A look back at the past week in baseball to bring you the surprising stars. 

John Danks - Not a Royal this time, but I’m staying within the division.  I’m heading East to the Windy City.  There resides a one Mr. John Danks who threw 14-2/3 scoreless innings last week to pick up a couple of victories.  He struck out 12 and had a WHIP of 0.68.

Chad Moeller - Jorge Posada’s shoulder and Jose Molina’s hamstring injuries opened the door for Moeller, and he hasn’t missed his opportunity to shine.  Last week he went 7 for 20 (.350) with 5 Runs, 2 Doubles, a HR, and 3 RBI.

Corner Infielder

Conor Jackson –
Conor has been swinging a sizzling bat lately.  Last week he went 12 for 25 (.480) with 10 runs, 2 Doubles, 2 Triples, 3 HRs, 10 RBI, and a Stolen Base.

Middle Infielder
Adam Kennedy – Kennedy is working on a career revival after hitting .219 last year.  Last week he went 8 for 15 (.533) with 2 Runs, a Double, 2 RBI, and 2 SBs.

Skip Schumaker – Back-to-back Cardinal Outfielders.  Skip went 9 for 20 (.450) last week with 6 Runs, a Double, a HR, 5 RBI, 3 Walks, and 2 SBs. 

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB | Tagged: Fantasy Baseball Weekly Wonders |

Sunday, April 20th

Chase Utley
was the star Sunday going 3 for 3 with 2 Runs, 2 HRs, and 4 RBI.  Clete Thomas, J.J. Hardy, Mark Teixeira, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe, Brendan Harris, Bengie Molina, Bobby Crosby, and Khalil Greene, and Conor Jackson each had 3 hits.  Hanley Ramirez smacked a pair of HRs.  Jim Thome went 4 for 5 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, and 3 RBI.  Ryan Theriot and Aramis Ramirez also had four hits.

John Danks pitched 7 shutout three-hit innings with 8 Ks for his second win.  Andy Pettitte threw 7 four-hit shutout inings to improve to 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA.  Scott Olsen went 7 innings with 1 run on 3 hits  to improve to 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA.  Oladis Perez pitched well (6 innings, 1 unearned run and 7 Ks), but took a no-decision.  Aaron Harrang (8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 8 Ks) and Yovani Gallardo (7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run) battled to no-decisions.  Jair Jurrjens pitched 7 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits with 8 Ks for his 2nd victory.  Hiroki Kuroda (6 innings, 2 runs) pitched well in defeat.  Kevin Millwood gave up 10 hits, but only allowed 2 runs in 6 innings with 7 Ks and a no-decision.  Paul Byrd (7 innings, 1 run) and Scott Baker (7 innings, 1 run, 8 Ks) locked up in a pitchers’ duel, but they each took no-decisions.   Jonathan Sanchez pitched five scoreless innings for his first victory. Miguel Batista threw 7-2/3 shutout innings with 8 Ks for his 2nd win.   Dana Eveland fired 5-2/3 innings with only 1 run allowed to improve to 2-1 with a 1.90 ERA.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Saturday, April 19th

Jose Reyes
was the star going 2 for 4 with 2 Runs, a Double, a HR, 2 RBI, and a Stolen Base.  Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez, Aaron Rowand, Daric Barton, Hank Blaylock, Todd Helton. Mike Jacobs,  Jorge Cantu, B.J. Upton each pounded out three hits.

Andy Sonnanstine was Saturday’s Star throwing a Complete game shutout.  He allowed just 3 hits and struck out 4.  Dustin McGowan went 7 innings allowing 2 run for his first victory of the year.  Jason Marquis went 6 innings allowing one run with 7 Ks for his first win.  Jeff Suppan (6-2/3 innings, 2 runs) and Johnny Cueto (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 5 Ks) locked up in a bit of a pitchers’ duel.  Tim Lincecum threw 7 scoreless innings tom improve to 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA.  Nick Blackburn pitched 7-2/3 shutout innings for his first win.  Chuck James worked 5 innings allowing 1 run for his first victory.  Oliver Perez threw 5-2/3 shutout innings with 7 Ks for his secon win.  Jamie Moyer took the loss, but he went 6 innings allowing just 2 runs.  Brian Burress (5-2/3 innings) and Jim Johnson (3-1/3) combined to shutout the Yankees.  Jason Jennings allowed 2 runs in 6 innings.  Aaron Cooke went 7 innings allowing 1 earned run for his second win of the year.  Chris Young went 6 innings allowing 2 runs for a no-decision.  Ervin Santana threw 8 innings of three-hit ball to improve to 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA.  He struck out 8.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Friday, April 18th
Three-way tie for top batter honors.  Conor Jackson went 4  for 5 with 3 Runs, 2 Triples, a HR, and 4 RBI.   Chipper Jones did it again.  He smacked two more HRs as he went 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 4 RBI.  Finally, Bobby Crosby went 3 for 4 with 3 Runs, 2 Doubles, a HR, a Walk, and 5 RBI.  David Wright went 4 for 4 (2 Doubles & a Triple).  Nick Markaki, Brian Schneider,  Felipe Lopez, Clint Barmes, Hunter Pence, Justin Upton, Torii Hunter, Emil Brown, and Ryan Sweeney each had three hits.  Big Papi hit a Grand Slam.  He finished with 5 RBI.  Nick Johnson and Albert Pujols drove in 4.  Richie Sexson smacked a pair of HRs and drove in 4.

Cliff Lee pitched 8 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and racking up 8 Ks.  Rich Hill went 5 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits to earn his first victory.  Daniel Cabrera allowed 2 runs in 6 innings for his first win.  Johan Santana allowed 3 runs in 7 innings while striking out 10 (40th career double-digit K game) to improve to 2-2.  Ben Sheet pitched 5 scoreless innings (4 Ks) before getting hurt.  Tim Redding struck out 10 in 6 innings (although he allowed 4 runs).  Javier Vazquez went 6-2/3 innings allowing 2 runs for his 3rd victory of the year.  Jeff Bennett pitched 4-2/3 shutout innings for Atlanta.  Todd Wellemeyer threw 7 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits with 8 Ks to improve to 2-0 on the year.  Dan Haren went 7 scoreless three-hit innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA.  Chad Gaudin pitched 7 strong innings allowing 1 earned run and tallying 8 Ks.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Thursday, April 17th

Chipper Jones carried the biggest stick last night going 4 for 4 with 3 Runs, a Double, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI.  Manny Ramirez also went yard twice.  Chris Coste went 4 for 5 with a Run, a Double, a HR, and 3 RBI.  Ryan Ludwick and Reed Johnson also collected 4 hits.  The Liar Miguel Tejada, Craig Counsell, Ian Kinsler, David Murphy, Jose Lopez, Raul Ibanez, Willy Taveras, and Matt Holliday each had three hits.  Joey Votto drove in 5 runs.

Jake Peavy was a monster with 8 shutout innings with 11 K’s.  He took a no-decision since they took 22 innings to sort out a winner.  Wilfredo Ledezma worked 5 scorless innings of relief and Kip Wells provided 4 of his own for the victory.  Brett Myers pitched 7 innings of five-hit, 1 run ball.  He struck out 8 batters in earning his 2nd victory.  Kyle Lohse went 7 innings allowing 2 runs for a no-decision.  He added two runs with his bat. Seth McClung pitched three scoreless innings of relief.  Edison Volquez allowed run 1  run in 5 innings while striking out 7.  Gavin Floyd allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in 6 innings.  Fausto Carmona went 6-2/3 innings allowing 1 run to improve to 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA.  Vincente Padilla went 7 innings allowing 1 run to improve to 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA.  Roy Halladay pitched his second straight complete game, although he took the loss.  John Smoltz struck out 10 batters in 5 shutout innings to improve to 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA.  John Lannan, the Working Class Hero, struck out 11 in 6 innings as he allowed 1 run on 3 hits in a pitchers’ duel with Nelson Figueroa (7 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 7 Ks).  Jon Garland went 6 innings allowing 2 runs for his 2nd victory.  Carlos Silva went 7 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits to improve to 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Friday Tidbits 4/18/08

18 April 2008

Jason Kidd notched his 100th career triple-double.  Carmelo got popped for a DUI.  Nice distraction as your team is battling for the final playoff spot.  The Wolves won back-to-back games.  The Sonics won what is most likely their last home game.  Indiana and Golden State lost to eliminate their playoff chances.   Ramon Sessions had 20 points to go along with his 24 assists.  The Lakers took top seed in the West. LeBron won the scoring title.  Boston finished with 66 wins.  The Bulls showed Jim Boylan the door.  Milwaukee did the same for Larry Krystkowiak.

Chris Chelios played in his 248th playoff game, which set an NHL record.  Pittsburgh (over Ottawa) and the Rangers (over the Devils)  jumped out to 2-0 series leads.  Minnesota even their series with a win over Colorado.  Washington took Game 1 against Philly.  Robert Nilsson signed a three-year deal with Edmonton.  Detroit (Nashville) Dallas(Anaheim), and Montreal (Boston) jumped out to 2-0 leads.  Martin Biron and the Flyers blanked Washington to even the series at 1-1.  Boston (Montreal) and New Jersey (Rangers) showed some life by taking game 3.  Calgary stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 2-1 series lead.  Unlike the NBA, the NHL can make rule changes when they want to.  Sean Avery’s stick in Brodeur’s face to distract him was deemed unsportsmanlike.  Instead of waiting until the end of the year to address it, the NHL decided it’s against the rules.  I like it.  Pittsburgh beat Ottawa 4-1 to take a 3-0 series lead.  Nashville scored 3 in the third to take Game 3.  Minnesota used OT (yet again) to take a 2-1 lead over Colorado.  Montreal’s Carey Price shutout Boston 1-0 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.  Philadelphia took Game 3 of their series with Washington for a 2-1 lead.  Anaheim fought back with a 4-2 victory Dallas, who leads 2-1.  San Jose evened their series at 2 with a 3-2 win over Calgary.  Colorado blasted Minnesota 5-1 to even their series at 2 apiece.  Carolina signed Sergei Samsonov to a three-year deal worth $7.6 million.  Vancouver fired GM Dave Nonis.  Pittsburgh swept Ottawa away.  The Rangers buried the Devils to take a 3-1 series lead.  Nashville knocked off Detroit to even their series at 2.  Boston peppered Montreal 5-1 to stay alive.  Montreal has a 3-2 lead.  Philly beat Washington in Double OT to take a 3-1 series lead.  Dallas beat Anaheim in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead.  Colorado beat Minnesota in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.  San Jose took game 5 and a 3-2 series lead over Calgary.

Randy Johnson’s 285 victory was blown by his relievers.  Hey, at least he was back and pitched well.  The Yankees drew first blood on the Red Sox behind Chien-Ming Wang’s two-hitter.  Carlos Pena, Raul Ibanez, and Jeremy Hermedia hit a pair of HRs last Friday.  Dontrelle Willis hyperextended his knee.  Jeff Francoeur smashed 2 HRs on Saturday.  Roy Halladay fired a complete game.  Dave Roberts had knee surgery and will be out a few months.  Barry Bonds’ last HR ball sold for $370K,  The problem is, there is still a chance someone picks him up to DH later this year or next, making that ball virtually worthless.  Tom Glavine hurt his hamstring in the first inning of his start vs. Washington on Sunday.  Paul Konerko and Joe Crede cranked Grand Slams in the same game. Zack Greinke threw a complete game on Monday to improve to 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA.  Joe Borowski and Eric Bedard landed on the DL.  Ken Griffey, Jr. hit HRs #595 &596.  A-Rod tied and passed Ted Williams and Willie McCovey on the all-time HR list.  Alfonso Soriano landed on the DL.  Edgar Renteria cracked a Grand Slam.  Carlos Zambrano had three hits in a game.  C.C. Sabathia got rocked..again.  Miguel Tejada not only lied about steroids, evidently he lied about his age.  Manny Ramirez and Chipper Jones each smacked a pair of HRs.  Colorado beat San Diego in 22 innings.

Steve McNair is retiring.  It was a good run.  Chad Johnson has demanded a trade.  Housh said Cincy should trade him.Darrell Jackson and Samie Parker signed with the Denver Broncos.  Deuce McAllister reworked his deal to remain a Saint.  Cato June had his DUI charges dropped.  The Chargers will be without LB Stephen Cooper for 4 games due to a substance abuse violation.  Duane Starks signed with the Raiders.  Arizona NT Gabe Watson broke his kneecap when he fell off a treadmill.  Guess he won’t be getting any “Dancing with the Stars” invites.  Jared Allen will visit Minnesota and Tampa Bay, who are speculated to be suitors via trade.  Terrell Suggs showed up for minicamp.  The G-Men are still waiting to hear what Strahan decides.  The Packers will retire Brett Favre’s #4 in the season opener with Minnesota.

Michael Beasley is turning pro.  Derrick Rose will join him.  They figure to be the top two picks in the draft.  Florida F Jonathan Mitchell will transfer.  Tyler Hansbrough won the Wooden Award.  Kentucky G Jodie Meeks had a sports hernia surgery.  Former Duke F Taylor King is transfering to Villanova.  Tennessee Guard J.P. Prince had shoulder surgery.  John Calipari signed an extension with Memphis.  Butler’s Brad Stevens signed a seven-year deal, but I would guess if he continued his success, he’d be moving on.  Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo is turning pro.  Kansas State Coach Frank Martin signed a five-year extension.  Psst.  He doesn’t have Beasley anymore.  Kevin Love is turning pro…mistake.  Kansas’ Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur will turn pro.

Penn State suspended DT Phil Taylor.  Teammate Sean Lee (LB) will miss the year with a torn knee.  Duke suspended OT Cameron Goldberg for a rule violation.

Trevor Immelman earned the Green Jacket by winning the Masters.  What a failure for Tiger Woods as he finished second.  To get sympathy (kidding), he underwent knee surgery, which means he’ll likely miss The Players Championship.  So much for that Grand Slam. 

Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500 after his crew chief  gambled on his fuel.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

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