Wednesday, April 23rd

Prince Fielder
hit a pair of HRs and drove in 4 runs.  Carlos Guillen went 3 for 4 with 5 RBI.  Torii Hunter, Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, and Jorge Posada each went 4 for 5.  Dan Uggla, Darin Erstad, Hunter Pence, and Orlando Hudson each had three hits.  Gary Matthews, Jr. and Matt Stairs each hit a pair of HRs.

Chad Gaudin pitched 7 shutout innings to improve to 2-1 with a 3.37 ERA. He allowed 4 hits and struck out 4 batters.  Chris Sampson pitched 7 innings allowing 2 runs with 6 Ks for his first win.  Aquilino Lopez pitched 3 scorless innings of relief for the Tigers with 3 Ks.  His ERA is 0.52.  Andrew Miller allowed 1 run in 5 innings for his first win.  Johan Santana allowed 2 runs in 7 inning while striking out 4 for his 3rd win of the year.  He added two doubles at the plate.  Roy Halladay took the loss, but he threw yet another complete game.  Cole Hamels didn’t pitch extremely well (5 runs in 7 innings), but he did strike out 11.  Mike Mussina went 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits for his 252nd career win (2nd on the season).  Matt Cain took a no-decision despite 7 innings of one run ball with 7 Ks.  His counterpart, Greg Maddux, fired 7 shutout innings allowing 4 hits with 5 K’s.  He also got a no-decison and was denied win #350.  Daniel Cabrera lasted 8 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits with 5 Ks to improve to 2-0.  Carlos Silva allowed 2 runs in 6 innings.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Time for the 19th installment of the NFL Free Agent Report.  Click here for a link to earlier reports.

Jared Allen
Obviously the big news was the trade and signing of Jared Allen, who led the league in sacks last year.  The Vikings traded their first round pick along with two third round picks for Allen.  He signed a six-year $74 million deal to join the Purple. 

Rashied Davis
The WR/Special Teams star signed a three-year deal with the Bears.  Not bad for a former Arena league player.  He had 17 catches for 165 yards last year and 11 tackles on Special Teams

Pacman Jones
The other big news was the Pacman trade.  He is going to Dallas for a 4th round pick.  If he plays this year, Tennessee could get an additional pick.  If he isn’t reinstated, Dallas will get a 4th round pick next year.  Pacman settled a contract issue with Tennessee where instead of repaying money owed to Tennessee he has to “make it rain” $500K on a charity.  He has also restructured his deal with Dallas so he has no guaranteed money.

Matt Stewart
Arizona signed the LB to a one-year deal.  He didn’t play last year, but in 2006 he had 20 tackles and a sack.  My guess is he’ll be be a Special Teamer.

Nate Washington
Nate signed a one-year deal to remain with Pittsburgh.  Last year the wideout had 29 catches for 450 yards.  He had two 2 TD games last year. 

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

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

Third Stone From the Sun, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Sherry Magee.  Here are my findings. 



The Numbers

2087 Games
7441 At Bats
.291 Batting Average
1112 Runs
2169 Hits
425 Doubles
166 Triples
83 HRs
1176 RBI
441 SB

Awards
7th in MVP Votes in 1914

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Twice (Led league in 1910)
On-base % – Five Times (Led league in 1910)
Slugging % – Eleven Times (Led league in 1910 & 1914)
OPS – Eight Times (Led league in 1910)
Games – Four Times (Led league in 1905)
At Bats – Three Times
Runs – Seven Times (Led league in 1910)
Hits – Six Times (Led league in 1914)
Double – Ten Times (Led league in 1914)
Triples – Nine Times
Home Runs – Seven Times
Total Bases – Nine Times (Led league in 1910 & 1914)
RBI – Nine Times (Led league in 1907,1910, 1914, 1918)
Walks – Once
Hit By Pitch – Six Times
Stolen Bases - Six Times

His numbers aren’t that impressive overall, but you have to consider that he played in the Dead Ball Era.  He was easily one of the best hitters in his era, finishing in the top ten in virtually ever offensive category for a decade.  He ranks 44th on the All-time Black Ink test and 34th on the Gray Ink test to determine his Hall of Fame worthiness.  It’s a wonder to me how he escaped entry into the Hall of Fame this long, but if I were in charge he wouldn’t have to wait one more day.

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
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb
John Franco
Maury Wills

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

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 |

Wow, what a lame headline.  I don’t know why I think of that Subway guy when I hear the name Jared, but hopefully that will all change as I watch Jared Allen punish QBs for the Purple and Gold.  The Vikings have been on the other side of blockbuster trades recently (Moss & Culpepper) so it’s weird to see the shoe on the other foot.  The bounty was a little steep (#17 & two 3rd rounders), but it’s a nice, bold move for Minnesota (as well as a necessity for Kansas City). 

The Vikings generated little-to-no QB pressure last year.  They were going to draft a defensive lineman in the draft.  Instead of taking a chance on a prospect, wait for them to develop, and hope they pan out, Minnesota went with the present.  It would be nicer if they had a QB that was ready to lead a playoff contender, but that’s a whole different story.  Jared Allen teams with Kevin & Pat Williams to form one of the best defensive fronts in the league.  His main concern is the bottle.  If he can keep his nose clean, this should work out well.  I tried to avoid it, but here goes.  Let’s hope it works out far better than the Herschel Walker deal.

For the Chiefs, it was a no-brainer.  They have gotten old. Real old.  They needed to inject some youth into their team.  Now with their pick they can go after a top tier defensive end to groom to replace Allen.  With their second first round pick (if they are wise) they will address their pathetic offensive line. With a couple of extra 3rd round picks they can get some depth in their secondary and their wide receiver corps. 

It took a little while to hammer out the details, but I’m glad this deal got done.  It adds some excitement to the draft.  I wish both teams well.  This is a bold move.  Let’s hope we have two winners

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
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

Awards
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.

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
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb
John Franco

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

  

I want to let all of you in cyberspace know that when you are on LestersLegends.com and are looking for up-to-the minute news in the NFL, MLB, NBA, or NASCAR you need not look any further than my sidebar.  KFFL was so kind to allow me to post their world-renowned “Hot off the Wire” feed.  Now NFL, MLB, and NASCAR news is a mere click away .  Hoopsworld will provide you NBA news, info, and insight.

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. 

Pitcher
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.

Catcher
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.

Outfielder
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 |

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