Category Archives: Major League Baseball
End of an Era: Retiring Yankees legend Derek Jeter gives fans a final goodbye; delivers game winning hit in his final game in NY:
Via Yahoo Sports:
NEW YORK – The New York Yankees exist to make gods, to turn humans superhuman by virtue of their defining characteristics, real or imagined. Babe Ruth was the larger-than-life caricature, Lou Gehrig the classy figure felled by tragedy, Mickey Mantle the purest talent possible, Joe DiMaggio the essence of gracefulness, Yogi Berra the human malaprop. They live on in Monument Park, the center field homage at Yankee Stadium, to which people travel from around the world, as though on Hajj, to pay respects.
Derek Jeter arrived here with the No. 2 on his back, anointed before he’d taken a single swing with a single-digit number, which only Yankees greats wear. Before long, his sobriquet was clear: Derek Jeter, the epitome of clutch, the sort of legend that grew in his salad days and waned as the vagaries of time took with it most of his game. Read the rest of this entry
Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan on the fallout and saga of the 162 game Alex Rodriguez PEDS suspension ruling:
Alex Rodriguez is a sad, desperate man, and sad, desperate men do sad, desperate things like blame their sad, desperate circumstances on a beloved, deceased man. Of the many layers of pathetic A-Rod has peeled back in trying to excuse his own wretched choices, never had he spoken ill of the dead, not until Monday when his failing defense found a new nadir.
Smack dab in the middle of the lawsuit he filed against Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to overturn his suspension for all of 2014 came the attack on Michael Weiner, the late leader of the union and inarguably the most respected person in baseball before cancer took his life in November. Though admiration alone does not a make a good man, nobody inside the union or out ever questioned Weiner’s virtue or willingness to fight for players. He argued for those who flouted the doping rules to which they had agreed. He helped Ryan Braun escape unscathed from a positive test. Even Alex Rodriguez, a liar, a manipulator, a narcissist, everything Weiner wasn’t, would still receive his best effort because he was part of a union, and a union’s strength goes south to north.
Sports Illustrated’s MLB Insider Tom Verducci on David Ortiz’s Epic World Series MVP Performance for Boston Red Sox:
BOSTON — It was after two o’clock in the morning when David Ortiz bounced out of the Red Sox clubhouse for the first time as a three-time world champion. He was surrounded by a phalanx of friends and fans that grew with nearly every step as he walked underneath Fenway Park. Ortiz does not walk alone, no more than does a rock star or a five-star general, and he exhibits qualities of both at all times.
A trio of admiring police officers brought the entourage to a brief stop. One of them, Chief Jeffrey Silva of the Westwood, Mass., Police Department, pulled out his cell phone to take a picture. His eight-year-old son had one question for him when he left for work that day to assist the Boston P.D. in keeping the peace for what would be one of the biggest nights in the city’s sports history, Game 6 of the World Series, the first opportunity for the Red Sox to win the series at home since 1918. “Dad,” his son asked, “can you get me Big Papi’s autograph?”
Entertainment Mogul/Rapper Jay-Z is at it again, expands Roc Nation into professional sports representation:
Via NY Times:
When Robinson Cano rejected the offer of a substantial contract extension from the Yankees before spring training, he was still being represented by Scott Boras, baseball’s most formidable and challenging negotiator. It is Boras, after all, who consistently takes big-name players to free agency so they can obtain every last penny possible in a new contract.
But on Tuesday, Cano announced that he had fired Boras and replaced him with a new agency headed by Jay-Z, the entertainment mogul and Yankee fan.
For the Yankees, who have been battered with bad news lately, Cano’s surprising decision could only be seen as a heartening development.
Jay-Z for Boras is a trade they would probably make any day of the week because it would seem to increase their chances of reaching a new deal with Cano, their 30-year second baseman, before his current contract expires after the 2013 season and before other teams can begin efforts to take him away. Read the rest of this entry
Giants dominate Tigers, Sweep World Series 4-0, Sandoval MVP:
Way back in spring training, Hunter Pence hit a wicked grounder that smacked Miguel Cabrera in the face. A few months later, Pablo Sandoval launched a bases-loaded triple off Justin Verlander in the All-Star game.
Here they all are again, with everything at stake.
Tigers-Giants in the World Series.
A driven team from Detroit, loaded with power bats and arms, guided by wily Jim Leyland and coming off an impressive sweep of the Yankees. A surging squad from San Francisco, boosted by its rotation and talented catcher Buster Posey, fresh from a Game 7 win over defending champion St. Louis.
A Triple Crown winner in Cabrera vs. a perfect game pitcher in Matt Cain. The Motor City vs. the City by the Bay, starting with Game 1 on Wednesday.
Detroit Tigers Slugger Miguel Cabrera Does The Near Impossible; Wins Baseball’s Triple Crown, AL MVP Likely
Sports Illustrated’s Ted Keith on baseball’s highest achievement, Tigers Miguel Cabrera wins the coveted Triple Crown:
It is part of baseball’s endless charm that history can be made anywhere at anytime by almost anyone. Who, when this season began back in March halfway around the world, could have imagined that a pitcher who had to win his job in spring training and lost it by mid-season would throw a perfect game? Or that a slugger who missed most of last season with injury would do something Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth never did and hit four home runs in one game? Or that a team that had been in first place only one day before, more than six months ago after playing in Japan while 28 other teams were still in camp, would become the first ever to make up a five-game deficit with nine games to go and win a division title?
In a season that will be remembered for its surprises, we probably should have seen the last and most long-awaited piece of history coming long before Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera left Wednesday night’s game in Kansas City with insurmountable leads in the American League for batting average (.330), home runs (44) and RBIs (139), the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.
Reuters Ronald Grover discusses the potentially costly new Fox Sports and LA Dodgers T.V deal which could be in excess of $3B:
Fox Sports and the Los Angeles Dodgers began preliminary talks in May on a multi-billion dollar cable TV deal, a person familiar with the talks said, the latest in a string of rich cable TV contracts for teams in the largest U.S. TV markets.
The talks would give the Dodgers the financial firepower for big player deals and began weeks before the major league baseball team went on a spending spree that included a high-profile August 25 trade with the Boston Red Sox in which the Dodgers assumed four player contracts valued at more than $260 million through 2018.
The Dodgers and Fox, a unit of News Corp, cannot formally begin talks until October 15, under terms of their existing TV contract, but the renewal being discussed includes joint ownership of English and Spanish language channels.
Fox would not comment. Representatives of the Dodgers and Time Warner could not be reached.
No financial terms were discussed, the source said, but both sides have acknowledged that any agreement would almost certainly exceed the 20-year, $3 billion agreement that former owner Frank McCourt struck with Fox in 2011.
Winners and Losers From Major League Baseball’s Trade Deadline: Dodgers, Yankees and Giants Re-Loading
Scott Miller of CBS Sports baseball details the busy trade deadline as MLB’s playoff chase begins with several trades:
State of California: Last year was the first time since 1999 that none of the five California teams played in the postseason. This July, with the Dodgers, Giants, Angels and Athletics contending, it was as if someone tilted the country so the best trade chips could roll west. Zack Greinke (Angels), Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers), Shane Victorino(Dodgers), Hunter Pence (Giants) all rolled into the Land of Fruits and Nuts and Playoff Potentials.
Angels: First-year GM Jerry Dipoto hit it out of the park again, as he did with Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last winter: Greinke was the biggest single impact player available, and the Angels boxed out AL West rival Texas to get him.
Dodgers: Aiming for “spectacular,” the Dodgers landed at simply “great” at the trade deadline. They didn’t get the starting pitcher they wanted when the Ryan Dempster Trade Circus failed to make a tour stop at Dodger Stadium, but GM Ned Colletti adding Ramirez to Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the middle of the lineup was stellar. Victorino isn’t the player he used to be, but with Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu clomping around in left field like a herd of elephants, his athleticism makes the Dodgers better. Brandon League adds bullpen depth. Now, having failed to land a starter,Chad Billingsley must step up. Where have we heard that one before?
ESPN Baseball Insider Buster Olney on Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton’s torrid pace to begin the season:
“Josh Hamilton has 18 homers in the Rangers’ first 34 games, something nobody has ever done in the history of baseball. But here’s another number that is a little stunning: Hamilton has just 13 walks, with five of those being intentional.
How unusual is that 18-to-13 home run-to-walk ratio Hamilton currently has?
Well, consider the number of walks drawn by the greatest single-season home run leaders in history:
1. Barry Bonds, 2001: 73 homers, 177 walks
2. Mark McGwire, 1998: 70 homers, 162 walks
3. Sammy Sosa, 1998: 66 homers, 73 walks
4. McGwire, 1999: 65 homers, 133 walks
5. Sosa 2001: 64 homers, 116 walks
6. Sosa, 1999: 63 homers, 78 walks
7. Roger Maris, 1961: 61 homers, 94 walks
8. Babe Ruth, 1927: 60 homers, 137 walks
9. Ruth, 1921: 59 homers, 145 walks
The pitchers have always reached a tipping point in dealing with a hitter as good as Hamilton is right now, when they decide the risk of facing the hitters behind Hamilton is lower than it would be to throw a pitch to the slugger.
Tyler Kepner of the New York Times on the successful debut of Nationals rookie Bryce Harper:
“Once it was Willie Mays playing stickball in Harlem. Now we have Bryce Harper playing softball by the Washington Monument.
It happened on Monday, the day before Harper’s home debut for the Washington Nationals, a mostly uneventful 5-1 loss to Arizona. Steven Marcus, a gift-planning officer for the World Wildlife Fund, was pitching at a field on the National Mall when a 19-year-old left-hander in jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt stepped to the plate.
“I said, ‘This guy looks vaguely familiar,’ with his funny haircut and all,” said Marcus, 34. “My first baseman said: ‘You might want to back up. That’s Bryce Harper.’ When he was taking that big swing, I was terrified. If he connected and that came right back at me, I’d be in a little bit of trouble.”
Harper whiffed on Marcus’s first pitch before lifting a fly ball to right. By the time Harper met reporters at Nationals Park on Tuesday, his first — very unofficial — at-bat in Washington was growing into legend.