Monthly Archives: July 2010

Today in history 1984 …..Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb’s single hits record.

The record at that time was 3,053.   Pete Rose has a lot of major league records.   He’s the all time Major League leader in hits (4,256), in games played (3,562) in at-bats (14,053) and in outs (10,328).   Rose went on to hit another 162 singles and still holds that record of 3,215.  Pete Rose is one of baseball’s most controversial figures after publicly admitting in 2004 that he had bet on baseball and on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds. 

On  August 31, 1989, after weeks of  legal wrangling, Commissioner Bart Giamatti permanently bans Pete Rose from baseball for his alleged gambling on major league games. Although the five-page document signed by both parties includes no formal findings, Giamatti says that he considers Rose’s acceptance of the ban to be a no-contest plea to the charges

But here’s what’s interesting.   Rose played from 1963 to 1986.  That’s 24 years.  And these records plus others listed below still hold.   We’ve seen lots of talent in the past 50 years and still, Pete Rose holds all these records.  Think of baseball greats like Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Cal Ripken, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Rickey Henderson, Carl Yazstremski, Ken Griffey, Brooks Rob inson, and on and on.   I guess that’s why I find this day in history interesting and just a little disturbing.   I’m thinking particularly of  Baseball’s Hall of Fame.  Take a look at the following records that Pete Rose holds today:

Major League records:

    • Most career hits – 4,256
    • Most career outs – 10,328
    • Most career games played – 3,562
    • Most career at bats – 14,053
    • Most career singles – 3,215
    • Most career runs by a switch hitter – 2,165
    • Most career doubles by a switch hitter – 746
    • Most career walks by a switch hitter – 1,566
    • Most career total bases by a switch hitter – 5,752
    • Most seasons of 200 or more hits – 10
    • Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits – 23
    • Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats – 13 (1968–1980)
    • Most seasons with 600 at bats – 17
    • Most seasons with 150 or more games played – 17
    • Most seasons with 100 or more games played – 23
    • Record for playing in the most winning games – 1,972
    • Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions – 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595)
  • National League records:
  •  
    • Most years played – 24
    • Most consecutive years played – 24
    • Most career runs – 2,165
    • Most career doubles – 746
    • Most career games with 5 or more hits – 10
    • Modern (post-1900) record for longest consecutive game hitting streak – 44
    • Modern record for most consecutive hitting streaks of 20 or more games – 7

The National Baseball Hall of Fame honors  persons who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport.  The Hall’s Motto:  “Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations”.    I don’t know about you, but I don’t think history’s meant to be “selective”.   I don’t have a problem with the asterisk crowd ~ oh, okay, go ahead and put an asterisk by the name and list what you want,  but for pete’s sake (no pun intended) list the accomplishments as accomplishments, and the small stuff  if you must.   But fame is fame and if the Hall of Fame is to be truly a Hall of Fame shouldn’t it  include those records and achievements that are so substantial they remain as unbeaten records 26 years later?

Baltimore Orioles…..Finally! Something to cheer about.

Geez, I know, it sounds kinda harsh.   And they may not be the worst team, but they sure have the worst record, by far the worst record.    I really like the Orioles.  I like everything about them.   They have one of the best ballparks, best ballpark food, and

Oriole Park

some of the friendliest fans on earth.  But honestly!   When we were there a few weeks ago they were playing the Washington Nationals who have one of the best rookies in the game this year.   So even though the Orioles can’t get anyone to turn out for their games,with the Nationals playing only 30 miles from their hometown, they should have had a sellout crowd, but they didn’t and I was embarrassed for them.

So when I saw this video today, I totally understood it.  I guess it’s just that the fans in Baltimore don’t have a lot to cheer about!   I didn’t watch the game, but Minnesota beat them 5-0 last night and with the rousing cheers this guy was getting running around the field you can imagine the excitement threshold of the game was pretty lacking at least from an Oriole fan’s perspective.   One can only imagine what craziness might have ensued if he’d decided to streak……and in that Baltimore heat it wouldn’t have been a complete surprise! 

Thanks for indulging me this morning.  I just returned from vacation and wanted to blog, but not about anything heavy.    Boy,  I sure lucked out huh?  I’m just trying to cut the poor Oriole fans a little slack for cheering on  bout the only thing they’ve had to cheer about this season.   It’s okay dudes!   We’ve all been there but thank you God, not this year!

All stars and Steinbrenner….who cares?

   
  It’s always been a puzzle to me how they can pick the All Stars halfway through the season when they’re still bringing up the kids from the minors and switching around players between positions and teams.  There’s a lot of players who probably deserve to be All Stars but since voting starts somewhere around February, March, April, there’s no way they’ll be able to make the team.  The problem is that each team has to front an All Star no matter what and that seems a bit patronizing.   Some of the teams are so far in the cellar they have no prayer of getting out and nothing’s going to help them.   The voting’s complicated and the system involves the fans, managers and players with a final player selected from, all things, the internet!  I guess when you take into account the high powered moneyed teams like the Yankees it’s probably one of the safeguards they decided on, to mandate one player from each team.  It seems kinda nuts since some teams don’t have even one player who can legitimately be considered an “All Star”, but like I mentioned above,  they’ve decided over the years this is the most fair way of deciding.  I guess with the moneyed teams if you didn’t do this, you could end up with the American League fielding nothing but Yankees and Red Sox on their roster against the National League.  So be it. 
One of the highlights this year for me was the interchange in the last couple  innings  between the pitcher and batter where the duel was on.  One power pitch followed by one foul ball, back and forth.  At one point, the pitcher obviously gave it everything, the batter swung mightily and missed, but came around with a big grin on his face, obviously acquiescing to the pitcher.  The pitcher responded with a chuckle and big smile, obviously enjoying the exchange.  It was something to see and the camera caught it beautifully.  Rarely do you see this in league play.  It made me smile too and in the end the batter struck out, which was appropriate.   The pitcher and batter, worthy opponents.  So that was the highlight of the game for me.  That and the fact the National League finally won,  and now gets home field advantage in October.
“The only bad thing about winning the pennant is that you have to manage the All-Star Game the next year. I’d rather go fishing for three days.” -
My knowledge of George Steinbrenner is personified in a shirt I bought for my brother-in-law, Tom, a few years ago.  The shirt had a lot of graphics, but the gist of it was “New York Yankees…..Best Team Money can Buy”.    Tom hates the Yankees!  Almost everyone I know hates the Yankees.  Or they love the Yankees.  There’s really no in-between.  But I’m in-between.  I love the idea of winning all the time.   My dad hated the Yankees!  Back in the late 50’s when the Yankees were winning all the time, dad thought they ought to give someone else a chance to win.  That logic has always escaped me.  Good grief!   Shouldn’t the best team win?  In the case of the Yankees, they’ve paid mightily for the “best” team.  A few years back there was a player,  Dave Winfield, who refused to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee, no matter how much money he’d made playing for them.  He was, instead, inducted as a San Diego Padre.  There were a lot of rumors and press involved in this, but I’ve always admired his decision, based on a principle.  But because of Steinbrenner, they’ve got the money.  How many sports stadiums have been built without public financing?  Yankee Stadium was.  How many stadiums can be sold out when the home team’s losing?  Yankee Stadium was. Let’s give credit where it’s due and one thing for sure,  George Steinbrenner deserves credit for bringing the New Yankees back from a really dry spell.  He loved his Yankees and he loved to win, and he did win.  The game of baseball is better for it.

This Day in History ….. July 10, 1932

  • Connie Mack 1887

    “1932 – To save train fare for the single-date appearance, Connie Mack takes along just two A’s pitchers to Cleveland. Lew Krausse the A’s starting pitcher, gives up four hits in the first inning and his replacement, Eddie Rommel pitches 17 innings in relief, giving up a record 29 hits, but wins 18-17.  

    I had no idea whatsoever of blogging this morning.  Need to clean house after my 8 day baseball tour left things in a bit of shambles here, but this little ditty brought up all sorts of stuff that’s been on my mind anyhow so I wanted to share some of it with you.

  • The Giants are my home team and this is particularly relevant to them, but it’s going on everywhere lately and frankly I think the fans are getting a little tired and fed up with it.  Probably the pitchers are too.  It relates to a relief pitcher coming in and throwing

    Juan Marichael

    one or two pitches and the coach pulls him out – or worse, the starting pitcher throws a bad pitch inthe 4th or 5th inning  and is pulled out only to have the relief guy come in and walk the next three.  I was listening to a great interview with Bob Costas and Juan Marichal a few weeks ago and Juan talked about pitching 15 innings with a pitch count of over 227 pitches back in the 70’s.   The game was between the SF Giants and Milwaukee Braves and both Marichal and Warren Spahn pitched scoreless innings until the 16th when Willie Mays homered to end the game 1- 0.  Just this week the Giants took along a huge arsenal of pitchers on their road trip.   And at one point in one game they’d pretty much used them all, at least all the eligible ones.  Maybe the problem is they have to pay so much for a pitcher nowadays, they can’t afford to use him more than a couple pitches a game, at least the relief pitchers.  Or maybe they’re worried they won’t be able to get the job done.  Who knows.  But c’mon coach.  Get real.  For the amount of money these guys make, if the coach puts them in a game after 4-5 days off-time and they can’t even make it through one inning, how

    Dusty Baker 2002 World Series

    valuable are they to the team anyway?   Maybe the coaches (includes managers) should have a little more faith in their pitchers, both starters and relievers.    Remember in the 2002 World Series ….. with the Giants leading 5–3 going after the bottom of the 7th inning of Game 6?   Giants Manager Dusty Baker took pitcher Russ Ortiz out of the game and brought in relief pitcher Felix  Rodriguez who almost immediately gave up a 3 run homer to Scott Spiezio  for the Angels.  A win for the Giants would have given them the lead in the Series.   Instead, Anaheim went on to win the game 6-5 and eventually the 2002 World Series.   To this day I can hardly look at Dusty Baker without feeling he was trying to throw the game.  Probably a little reactionary on my part,  but that’s how I feel.  When I read about Eddie Rommel this day in history it brings back all those gut feelings of maybe, just maybe, the managers and coaches should be trusting our pitchers a little more.  Isn’t that after all what they’re getting paid to do?   If they don’t trust them to get the job done, what are they doing there in the first place?    Just one person’s opinion after sitting through

    Scott Spiezio

    too many games watching the pitcher get yanked before he gets  a chance to finish the job he’s hired to do.   At least that’s the way I see it.   Okay, back to cleaning the house! 

    Here’s a synopsis of that infamous Game 6 Saturday, October 26, 2002 at Edison International Field of Anaheim in Anaheim, California

    Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    San Francisco 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 0 0 5 8 1
    Anaheim 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 X 6 10 1

    WP: Brendan Donnelly (1–0)  LP: Tim Worrell (1–1)  SV: Troy Percival (2)  
    HRs:  SF – Shawon Dunston (1), Barry Bonds (4)  ANA – Scott Spiezio (1), Darin Erstad (1)

    Back to New York, Yankee Stadium & the Mariners …..

    Whew!   Finally getting back to finishing my June 29 blog.   It was Day 4 of our baseball tour, Mariners vs. Yankees.   I took time to post the stats and final score after the schlocking  the Mariners gave the Yankees, much to the thrill of our Pacific Northwest and Canadian fans onboard, but  fell asleep at 2:30 AM…….so here it is again, continued…..

    Sitting in the Yankee Dugout!

     

    Just wanted to take a minute to comment on the New Yankee Stadium.   Naturally, I’d expect it to be the best and the greatest since the Yankee organization has the money to do all these things.   But I can’t tell you how great it is to sit your bum on a ballpark seat that’s actually “comfortable”!  Who knew?    They were leather (seemed like it) padded seats with wriggle room to cross your legs.   It’s state of the art in every way.  Our seats were next to the Mariner bullpen and we spent a good deal of time watching Cliff Lee warm up.  This was great stuff whether a Yankee or Mariner fan!

    This was a night game so we had the day to run around New York City, all by ourselves on the subway.  Whatta hoot!  We found our

    Roxy's Reuben & Potato Salad

     

    way to 42nd and Broadway street and were able to interact with some great street performers.  After getting some much needed help from one of NYPD’s finest, really, we ended up in the heaven of heavens, “Roxy’s Delicatessen” @ 46th and Broadway.  Our waiter was “Jess” and

    Jess @ Roxy's Deli

     

    he was the  ultimate New York City greeter!  Great service and sense of humor.   In downtown New York City.  Who knew?   

      Back at Yankee Stadium we had taken a tour of the park and

    "We Remember" Plaque

     

    one of the highlights was the “Gallery of Plaques” that included baseball history of course but also a plaque commemorating September 11th.   It was appropriate.  I remember cheering for the Yankees in 2001, just because, and this brought it all back to me.   New York and Yankee Stadium were one of my favorite parts of the trip.  That’s why I wanted to spend a little more time on this blog.  Fans either love or hate the Yankees, there’s rarely an in-between.   But the stadium as usual was packed!  Of course, we were thrilled to see the Mariners who are having a really lousy season, step up to the plate and sock it to em, but down deep I’ll always have a special place reserved for those dang Yankees.   Probably goes back to my Mickey Mantle  high school locker days (see my very first post).   All in all,  Tuesday, June 29, 2010, was a really great day!

    Whew! 7 Days of Baseball and 10 Different States…..

    Who wouldn’t love this?   Never mind the early mornings, late nights, blisters, junk food and sunburns!   Looking back who’ll remember any of this stuff?   What I’ll remember is getting to sleep on the bus (our reward for getting up on time and actually making it to the bus) and those great movies (Corner Gas?  Who Knew?) and great food and the comraderie of great baseball fans gathered together for the experience of  baseball, ballparks, and ballpark food.    And that’s exactly what we did!   We could ask Dan anything and if he didn’t have the answer, our driver, Mark, did.  A pool of knowledge from these two!   And the best part was sharing their baseball experiences  with us.  The time flew by and now I’m safely home just in time to cheer my home team out of a 7 game losing streak ~ sure glad I could help!    There’s something very special about baseball fans.  When you’re sitting in a stadium with 40,000 fans cheering and clapping for whichever team, there’s a common bond that says it really doesn’t matter, just for today, what’s wrong with the economy.  And just for today I’ll let BP worry about that oil mess and I’ll let someone else solve the world problems because today I’m watching grown men throw baseballs around a field shaped like a diamond, hopefully hitting  more baseballs and scoring runs, just because they can.  Well, I can’t explain it, but there’s something very special about baseball fans!  

    We’ve waited all winter, withstood snow and cold
    Thru free agent signings for millions in gold.
    “Play ball”, “Batter up”, the umpire will yell,
    Peanuts and crackerjaks the vendors will sell.
    Like Bogey has said with panache and glitz,
    “A hot dog at the ballpark beats roast beef at the Ritz!”
    Baseball: ‘Ode to Opening Day by Mark H. Young ©

    Day 7. Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs!

    Friday, 7/2/2010.  1:20PM Game time   Left our hotel and boarded the bus this morning at 7:00AM so we’d have time to tour around Wrigley Field before the game started.  This is a very old and historic field with lots to do and see.   When we left for the tour one week ago I was told to be sure and try the “Italian Beef” roll at Wrigley, that ‘s the only place you can get the original “Italian Beef” so I set out to be sure and do just that.  And I did!   Whatta treat!   You can load it up with sweet and/or hot peppers and condiments of all kinds, but I chose to take just the beef on a bun with sweet peppers, because that’s what I was told to do!   It was exactly as described to me and I’ll be sure and thank those who recommended it. 

    The most popular food at Wrigley I’m told, and it must be true if you look at the fans waiting in line, is the Chicago Dog!  But the dogs here are Ballpark Franks unlike the Nathans used at Yankee stadium and I think there’s a difference.  Maybe I was just a little more hungry at Yankee Stadium or could it possibly be that I’d already eaten that huge Italian Beef?    But officially the Chicago Dog is the food of choice at Wrigley Field!   Also prices are better here.  Hot dogs are $4.75 vs $5 – $7.50 at Yankee Stadium.

    I really have to spend just a bit of time talking about the ballgame today.   Final score Cincinnati 12 – Chicago 0.  Ugghh……. Reds scored 8 runs in the 7th inning alone!    The  Reds went through their entire lineup in the 7th inning with only one hit before it all broke loose (this included 5 walks)!   What’s interesting here is the Cubs have lost 20 of their last 30 games but you’d never know it by looking in the stands.  Over 40,000 in attendance cheering as if this was a game of monumental importance in the standings.   Cubbie fans have a reputation of being rough and rowdy and I’ve experienced this before.  But not today.  Today these were  just loyal fans hoping for better from their beloved team.   It wasn’t there.   But I’ll bet tomorrow they’ll be back at the ballpark cheering the team on.    Lots of parks are losing attendance and it’s usually because the team is doing poorly, i.e., Baltimore Orioles.  The Oriole game we just saw  had around 25,000 in attendance.  This was a beautiful park with the visiting team (Washington Nationals)  located only a few miles away.  The stadium should have been packed.  So you have to hand it to the Chicago Cub fans.  They’re definitely not fair weather fans.   They love their Cubs!

    I’ve always had this stereotype of Chicago in my mind that resembles inner-city slums and poverty.  Perhaps of recent we’ve been made to believe that or maybe it’s just the politics of the whole thing that slanted me in that direction.  In any event, don’t believe it.  Chicago has some beautiful areas and I tried to capture a few thru the bus windows as we were driving the Lakefront area on the way to the park.   That, along with the incredible skycraper landscapes, puts a whole new idea of Chicago in my mind.  Here are a few so you can get the idea.  If you’ve been to Chicago you already know this.   So there you have it!   We leave tomorrow morning for home and I’ll write some final notes on our trip!