Thursday, April 3rd
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Alex Gordon set the table for Kansas City’s sweep of Detroit with a two-one home run in teh 4th inning, which would prove to be enough for the victory.  For the game he went 2-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBI.  Christian Guzman, Lastings Milledge, Jesus Flores, Geoff Jenkins, Garrett Atkins, Scott Hairston, and Chipper each had three hits.

On the mound Johnny Cueto was marvelous.  He struck out 10 in seven innings of work.  He didn’t walk a single batter, and the only hit he gave up was a HR to Justin Upton.  Not a bad MLB debut.  John Danks (6.7 innings, 1 run on 2 hits) won a pitchers’ duel with Jake Westbrook (7.3 innings, 2 runs).  Brad Thompson struck out 6 in 6.7 shutout innings.  Zack Greinke fired seven innings allowing just one hit.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Friday Tibits 4/4/08

4 April 2008

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The Celtics were the first to reach the 60 win mark.  Kobe exploded for 53 but lost to Memphis.  Al Thornton kept it rolling with 39 of his own as the other LA team actually beat Memphis.  Miami made just 17 FGs in a lost to Boston.  That’s just sad.  Minnesota beat Utah.  Jermaine O’Neal made his return.  Amare Stoudemire had 41 points as Phoenix overcame a 22 deficit to beat Denver.  Steve Nash had 18 assists, but Denver got revenge against Phoenix.  Well, it seems that the Knicks lost the game of chicken with the Timberwolves (McHale) and the Lions (Millen).  They hired Donnie Walsh to take over, which all but seals Isiah Thomas’ fate.  Dirk, Arenas, and Gasol all returned on Wednesday.  Larry Brown is bored and wants to coach again. 

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Pittsburgh won the Atlantic Division.  This Week’s Shutouts:  Nashville’s Dan Ellis vs. Columbus, Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom vs. Vancouver, Boston’s Tim Thomas vs. Ottawa, Washington’s Cristobal Huet vs. Florida, Detroit’s Dominik Hasek vs. Nashville, Atlanta’s Kari Lehtonen vs. Tampa Bay, Montreal’s Carey Price vs.Ottawa, and NY Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist vs. the Islanders.  Montreal will be without Saku Koivu for the rest of the season and possibly some of the playoffs. Carolina’s Chad LaRose recorded a hat trick against Tampa Bay.  Antoine Vermette  did the same against Toronto.  The Wild won the Northwest Division.  Ovechkin broke the single-season record for goals scored by Winger (64).  Detroit won the Presidents’ Trophy…again.

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Kosuke Fukudome made a splash his Cubs’ debut.  He went 3 for 3 with a HR and 3 RBI.  Arizona’s Doug Davis will have surgery for thyroid cancer.  He’s expected to miss about a month.  Good luck Doug. Jeff Conine officially retired.  Washington opened their new ballpark, as well as baseball in the United States, with a win over Atlanta.  The Orioles cut Jay Gibbons.  It’s unclear if he catches on with another team if he’ll have to serve his 15 day HGH suspension.  Johan Santana took care of business in his Mets’ debut striking out 8 and picking up the win.  Jim Thome and Xavier Nady smacked two HRs in the season opener.  RP Rudy Seanez signed with the Phillies.  Tampa signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with Dan Wheeler.  Pedro pulled his hammy.  J.J. Putz landed on the DL with bad ribs.  Dodger 3B Coach Larry Bowa got suspended three games for arguing after he left the coach’s box.  Then he goes on record saying that he got suspended while confessed steroid users didn’t.  Pretty ballsy.  Kevin Youkilis broke the record for consecutive games at 1st without an error.  The Braves put Mike Hampton on the DL…big surprise.  The Royals swept Detroit.

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Henry was cut by the Bengals after yet another arrest.  Instead of giving him a contract extension, the Jets have decided to guarantee the final two years on Laveranues Coles’ contract.  Matt Leinart got into some hot water (puh dum pah) because of some pictures that made their way to TMZ.com.  One he was helping a girl do a beer bong.  In another he was sharing a hot tub with four women.  I fail to see the problem.  Wasn’t Broadway Joe known for doing the same thing.  Chris Jacksonville signed  Jack Del Rio to a contract extension.  James Harrison had the charges dropped against him.

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#10 Davidson continued its impressive roll knocking off #3Wisonsin to move into the Elite 8.  Stephen Curry led the way with 33 points.  It was his fourth straight 30+ point tournament game dating back to last year.  Joining them are #1 Kansas (who beat Villanova), #1 Memphis (who beat Michigan State), and #2 Texas (who beat #3 Stanford).  #1′s UCLA (over Xavier) and UNC (over Louisville) punched their tickets to the Final Four last Saturday.  On the following Sunday #1′s Memphis (over Texas) and Kansas (sadly over Davidson) made it the first all-one seed Final Four ever.  Tyler Hansbrough, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, D.J. Augustin, and Chris Douglas-Roberts were named First Team All-Americans.  None of them are seniors, which is the first time that happened.  Stanford will be losing a pair of Redwood trees as Robin and Brook Lopez will test the NBA waters.  Robin should have stayed in school.  Cal’s Ryan Anderson will join them.  Indiana hired Tom Crean to be their new basketball coach.  Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson had ankle surgery.

Cincinnati suspended DT Terrill Byrd one game for smoking some weed.  He was double-fisting Oreos when he got caught (just kidding).  Mississippi State kicked LT Michael Brown and DT Quinton Wesley to the curb after being arrested for a “campus incident involving two handguns.”  Classy.  Florida will be without WR Percy Harvin this spring because of a heel injury.

Andres Romero won the Zurich Classic.

Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville.

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.

Thanks again for supporting my blog. Be sure to check out My Links.  There are some amazing site over there.

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Edgar Martinez was suggested by Oregon Tailgater, a friend of mine from Sporting News.  Here are my findings. 

edgar-martinez.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
2055 Games
7213 At Bats
.312 Batting Average (91st All-time)
.418 On-base % (22nd All-time)
.515 Slugging % (67th All-time)
.933 OPS (36th All-time)
1219 Runs
2247 Hits
514 Doubles (37th All-time)
15 Triples
309 HR
1261 RBI
1283 Walks (38th All-time)
838 Extra Base Hits (74th All-time)
3718 Total Bases

Playoffs: 34 Games, 34 hits in 128 At Bats, 16 Runs, 7 Doubles, 8 HR, 24 RBI, 19 Walks

Awards
2004 Roberto Clemente Award
5 Silver Sluggers
7 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 5 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Seven times (Batting Crowns in 1992 & 1995)
On-Base % – 11 times (Led league in ’95, ’98 & ’99)
Slugging % – Six times
OPS – Eight times (Led leage in 1995)
Runs – Three times (Led league in 1995)
Hits – Three times
Doubles – Five times (Led league in 1992 & 1995)
Home Runs – Once
RBI – Three times (Led league in 1995)
Walks - Eight times
Extra Base Hits – Four times
Intentional Walks – Four times
Total Bases – Four times
Games – Once (Led league in 1995)

There is some debate as to whether or not Edgar should go in the hall because he played roughly 75% of the time as a DH.  Well, I’ve known DHs all my life and I’ve always been a bigger fan of the American League so I don’t have a problem with DHs as MVPs (David Ortiz) or Hall of Famers.  I know what you’re thinking, I shot down Harold Baines.  Well, Harold Baines was good, not great.  He didn’t have five 100+ run seasons, five 40+ double seasons (or two 50+), six 100+ RBI seasons, or ten .300 or better years.  He didn’t do all of that, but Edgar Martinez did.  He was easily one of the best pure hitters of his era.  Just like the closer, the DH is a position.  Just because it wasn’t always around doesn’t mean that we have to ignore it.  If it’s a position then the very best to play that postion are Hall of Fame eligible.  Edgar was one of the very best.  I would have liked to see him get a few more hits (2400 would have been nice), but I’m not holding that against him.  If the Hall of Fame people came knocking, I would tell them to let Edgar in.

References
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

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Happy Birthday Carol!

Wednesday, April 2nd
lance-berkman.jpg
Lance Berkman
played the hero role on Monday.  He hit what would be the game-winning HR off Trevor Hoffman.  He went 3-5 with three runs, three RBI, two doubles, and that HR.  He even added a stolen base.  Edgar Renteria had all of Detroit’s three hits.  Also collecting three hits were Brian Giles, Blake DeWitt, Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church, Jeff Keppinger, A.J. Pierzynski, Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera, Vernon Wells, Ryan Braun, and Jason Kendall.

On the mound Tim Redding (7 shutout innings of one-hit ball) beat Cole Hamels in a pitcher’s duel.  Hamels gave up just one run in 8 innings.  Brian Bannister also fired a gem.  He went seven shutout innings yielding two hits and no walks.  He picked up four strikeouts along the way.  Carlos Silva earned his hefty contract (at least one game’s worth) allowing one run on three hits in seven innings of work.  Joe Saunders (8 shutout innings – four hits) outdueled Nick Blackburn (7 innings, 1 run, 6 Ks).  Oliver Perez fired six shutout innings striking out 8.  Fausto Carmona game up one run in 7 innings. Jon Lester fired 6.7 innings of shutout ball allowing just three hits.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Mike Cuellar was suggested by ravinraven, a friend of mine from Sporting News.  Here are my findings. 

mike-cuellar.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
379 Starts
2808 Innings
185-130
.587 Winning %
3.14 ERA (League average 3.43)
1.197 WHIP
1632 Strikeouts
172 Complete Games
36 Shutouts (63rd All-time)
11 Saves

Playoffs: 12 Starts, 85.1 innings, 4-4, 2.85 ERA, 56 Ks

Awards
1969 Cy Young
4 All-Star Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 3 Seasons
MVP Votes in 4 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins - Six times (Led league in 1970)
ERA – Twice
WHIP – Six times
Win-Loss % - Four times
Strikeouts – Three times
Complete Games - Eight times (Led league in 1970)
Shutouts – Seven times
Starts – Three times (Led league in 1970)
Innings Pitched – Four times

Cuellar didn’t really get started until he was 29 years old.  From 1969-1974 he was one of the most dominating pitchers in the game, averaging over 20 wins per game during that six year stretch when he was 32-37 years old.  Pretty impressive.  It’s unfortunate he didn’t catch sooner or this would be an easy decision to make.  I mean 15 more wins and I’d put him in for sure.  I’ll put him in the Hall of Shoulda Been a Hall of Famer Given Different Circumstances, but I just can’t quite put him in Cooperstown. 

References
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

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Tuesday, April 1st
vladimir-guerrero.jpg
Vladimir Guerrero was the April Fool’s Day star at the plate.  He beat up the Twins going 3-4 with a run, a double, a walk and 3 RBI.  Also picking up three hits were Garrett Anderson, Howie Kendrick, Delmon Young, Brian Schneider, Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Youkilis, Khalil Greene, Ichiro, and Andre Ethier.  Yuniesky Betancourt collected four hits. dice_k.jpg
On the mound Daisuke Matsuzaka had his second strong outing allowing one run on two hits in 6-2/3 innings.  He struck out 9 without walking a batter.  Jon Garland had a great debut for the Angels going 8 innings and allowing 1 run on six hits.  Chien-Meng Wang went 7 innings for the Yanks allowing just 2 runs.  Felix Hernandez allowed five hits and one unearned run in seven innings of work.  He struck out three.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Jerry Koosman was suggested by Ark_Razor, a friend of mine from Sporting News.  Here are my findings. 

jerry-koosman.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
527 Starts
3839.3 Innings (47th All-time)
222-208 (71st All-time)
.515 Winning %
3.36 ERA (League average 3.70)
1.259 WHIP
2556 Strikeouts (28th All-time)
140 Complete Games
33 Shutouts (87th All-time)
17 Saves

Playoffs: 7 Games, 6 Starts, 40.1 innings, 4-0, 3.79 ERA, 31 Ks

Awards
2 All-Star Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 2 Seasons
MVP Votes in 3Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins - Five times
ERA – Six times
WHIP – Three times
Win-Loss % - Three times
Strikeouts – Eight times
Complete Games – Five times
Shutouts - Four times
Starts – Four times
Innings Pitched – Four times

I’m afraid that with Koosman we’re talking good-not great.  He racked up a lot of victories, but he was never one of the very best pitchers in the game.  He only won 20 games on two occasions.  The most strikeouts he had in a season was 200.  The highest he ever finished for Cy Young voting was 13th.  He never led the league in any major pitching category for a season.    He had an amazing World Series for the Miracle Mets, but it’s going to take a miracle to make me change my mind on Koosman.  I give him a little credit because he was born in Minnesota, but I can’t put him in.  I have no problem with Koosman in the Mets’ Hall of Fame.  That’s just as far as it goes.

References
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

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Sunday, March 30th
Xavier Nady was the top dog offensively on Opening Day.  The Pirate had four hits in seven at bats (.571)  Three of those four hits were for extra-bases (1 double, 2 HR).  He scored four runs and drove in four in a 12-11 win over Atlanta.  Nate McLouth, Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Doumit, Yunel Escobar, Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos Guillen, Kosuke Fukodome (some debut), Dioner Navarro, Jermaine Dye, Franklin Gutierrez, Rafael Furcal, Michael Young, Casey Kotchman, and Tadahito Iguchi each had three hits.  Jim Thome blasted two HRs.

Jake Peavy took top honors for pitcher hurling seven shutout innings in a win over Houston.  He struck out 4, and allowed only three hits.  He wasn’t perfect as he walked three batters, but a strong outing for the defending Cy Young champ.  Carlos Zambrano (0 runs, 5 Ks in 6.7 innings) and Ben Sheets (0 runs, 7 Ks in 6.3 innings) were locked up in a pitcher’s duel.  Brad Penny fired 6.7 scoreless innings with three Ks.  Johan Santana was great in his Mets’ debut.  He struck out 8 in seven innings allowing two runs on three hits and a pair of walks.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Boog Powell was suggested by Favre_is_overrated_2007, a friend of mine from Sporting News.  Here are my findings. 

boog-powell.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
2042 Games
6681 At Bats  
.266 Batting Average
889 Runs 
1776 Hits 
270 Doubles 
11 Triples
339 Home Runs (82nd All-time)
1187 RBI 
3085 Total Bases 

Playoffs:  33 games, 33 hits in 126 at bats, 17 runs, 4 doubles, 6 HRs, and 18 RBI.

Awards
1970 MVP
4 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 6 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Three times
On-base % – Four times 
Slugging % - Five times (Led league in 1964)
OPS – Five times
Runs - Four times
Hits – Once
Doubles – Five times
Home Runs – Seven times
RBI – Seven times
Walks – Five times
Total Bases – Three times
Intentional Walks -Nine times
Extra-base  Hits – Three times
 
I’ll give him credit for a cool name.  He had some great seasons.  Four seasons he hit 35+ HRs (when 35 HRs were a big deal) and drove in 100+ in three years.  His finest stretch was 1969 & 1970 when he averaged .300, 36 HRs, 118 RBIs.  I’m afraid his highs weren’t enough to get him into Cooperstown.  He never scored 90 runs, he never had 170 hits, and while he displayed good HR power he never had 30 doubles.  While, I’d love to try his Boog’s BBQ, I can’t justify placing him in the Hall of Fame.

boogs-bbq.jpg

References
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

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Sunday, March 30th
Well, baseball kicked off in the states as the Washington Nationals opened Nationals Park with a victory over Atlanta.  The offensive hero was Ryan Zimmerman, whose 9th inning heroics (game-winning HR) stole the show.  For the game he was 1-4 with a run and a RBI (obviously).  Nobody had multiple hits from either team.  Chipper Jones had a HR for the Braves.

Although he didn’t get the win because his bullpen didn’t protect the 2-1 lead he left the with, Odalis Perez was great for Washington.  He went five innings allowing one run on four hits with a walk.  His ERA was 1.80 and his WHIP was 1.00.  Honorable mention goes to Tim Hudson who earned a no-decision while allowing two runs in seven innings on three hits.  His ERA was 2.57 with a WHIP of 0.43.  Niether dominated with Odalis only strking out a pair and Hudson stiking out three batters.  Saul Rivera pitched two solid innings and Jon Rauch earned the win.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

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