A weblog of baseball news and analysis
Thursday, July 10, 2003
George Sullivan on Braves Field. "At times, there was Fenway-style magic, electric moments still fresh in the minds of some Bostonians: the beginning of the careers of Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews and Warren Spahn, Jim Tobin hitting three consecutive home runs while pitching the Braves to a win in 1942 -- along with his two no-hitters in 1944 -- the stands filled to their 40,000 capacity during the 1948 Braves-Indians World Series. The smell of beer, cigars, and hot dogs. The crunch of peanuts and Crackerjacks. The echoing crack of a wooden bat, the thump of ball in glove, and the music of the Three Troubadours, who strolled through the stands entertaining fans." (Bostonia)
Alan Schwarz on Milton Bradley.
Too see his boxscore lines -- the ones that have read 4-1-2-2 and 5-2-3-1 a lot lately -- is to have no idea that the Indians center fielder might very well be the angriest player in baseball. Even as Bradley blossoms into one of American League's most talented young players, a switch-hitting powderkeg who is batting .341 (third in the AL), a cloud of negativity swirls around him like the dirt on Pig Pen. He alienates opponents and teammates alike with his icy glare and smarmy strut. He runs out ground balls as indifferently as Albert Belle. Even his own hitting coach, Eddie Murray, says, "He'll bark at you for no reason at all. I don't like the way he treats people."(ESPN.com)
Buster Olney on Melvin Mora's breakout season. (ESPN.com)
Martinez irked at Steinbrenner's comments.
"Soriano is my kid from the Dominican, there is no way I want to hurt him," Martinez said to the New York Post. "Jeter's another nice guy, there is no reason to hurt him. He's had plenty of at-bats against me. I've never hit him, not that I remember. If I wanted to hit them, I could hit them with one pitch. I know how to do that."(ESPN.com)
Jim Caple takes in a game in Montreal. "I'll give Olympic Stadium this -- its seats are interesting, at least the ones above the VIP section. They're of a design that I suppose seemed 'mod' three decades ago, when designers thought we would all be wearing slick, polyurethane boots and zipping around town on jetpacks, but here in the real 21st century, the chairs look like they were salvaged from the corporate headquarters of Spacely Sprockets." (ESPN.com)
Gregg Rosenthal takes in a game in Fresno. (Gregg's Baseball, etc.)
Al: "You're in the bottom of the ninth, behind but your team is rallying, possibly toward a stirring come-from-behind win. And you have two left-handed hitters on the bench who could potentially hit a game-winning HR off the righty reliever who has nothing today. And your choice for pinch-hitter is Lenny F. Harris? (And I think you can guess what the "F" stands for.)...Dusty is insane, I'm sure of it. He might be a great motivator of men and loved by his players, but this move just proves what Giants fans warned us about before the season -- that his lineup selection and in-game strategies bordered on the bizarre." (and another thing!, July 8)
Allen Barra: "Every baseball fan knows that the home run that [Mickey] Mantle hit on April 17, 1953, off the Senators' Chuck Stobbs traveled 565 feet, the longest recorded home run in baseball history...According to William J. Jenkinson, a baseball historian and researcher for the Society of American Baseball Research, 'There is no authenticity to the story. Absolutely zero.'" (Opinion Journal)
Bi-Weekly Review: A.L. West. "The AL West has a surprising amount of depth at third base, with Anaheim's Troy Glaus and Oakland's Eric Chavez both among their team's most valuable players, but youngster Hank Blalock has outshone them so far. Blalock is hitting .330/.383/.540; his .923 OPS leads AL West third basemen easily." (Baseball Primer)
Prospectus Triple Play: Braves, Twins, Devil Rays. "Since June 13th, the Minnesota Twins have been living the Detroit Tiger Experience--losing 17 of their last 23 games, good for a .261 winning percentage--despite facing such juggernauts as the Royals, Brewers, White Sox, Rangers, and Indians. That's exactly one team playing better than .500 baseball, for those of you scoring at home. The problem, you see, has been pitching." (Baseball Prospectus)
Twins simply not using their talent correctly. Rob Neyer faults them for stockpiling young hitters instead of trading some of them to plug holes at 2B and SS, and also for misusing Johan Santana. (ESPN.com)
Life With the Mets: How to survive the summer at Shea Stadium by Josh Levin.
This year's Subway Series tally—GM: 6, Olds: 0—doesn't do justice to how far apart the two teams really are. For the Mets and their unfortunate loyalists, the 2003 season has swan-dived into a yearlong anniversary celebration of the 1993 team. That outfit, led by luminaries like Chico Walker and Met-again Jeromy Burnitz, was so unimaginably dreadful that it inspired a book called The Worst Team Money Could Buy. Not only did those Mets lose 103 games, they did so while producing an unstinting stream of evil deeds. Take July 24, for example. Relief pitcher Anthony Young loses his record 27th consecutive game. In the post-game celebration, Vince Coleman throws a firecracker into a group of kids. Let's play two!(Slate)
New weblog: John's Dodger Blog.