December 11, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
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Nationals make great deal for Fister (2)
Transaction Analysis Lightning Round: Pierzynski, Nathan, Ellsbury, and more (1)
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Yankees 14, Indians 1: "Man, where are the Yankees going to get any offense with all of their big hitters on the DL?" no one is asking today like they asked so much last week. I guess nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say, but nothin' comes out when they move their lips -- just a bunch of gibberish -- and Yankee haters act like they forgot about Cano (4 for 6, 5 RBI).
Astros 16, Mariners 9: Meanwhile, in the other west coast park with a shorter porch, two teams not known for offense combined to hit eight homers, including two from Chris Carter and another one -- a baseball-leading sixth -- for Mike Morse. That 16-spot from Houston goes a long way toward covering up some overall offensive ineptitude on the stat sheet.
Phillies 8, Mets 3: Everything else may be going sideways, but Cliff Lee is still Cliff Lee. Two earned runs in eight and two-thirds with six strikeouts. Ryan Howard and Michael Young went back-to-back in the third inning, each their first homer of the year. Miguel Cabrera had his first homer of the year yesterday too, so you can totally say that Howard and Young are on an MVP-pace if you're so inclined.
Nationals 8, White Sox 7: Adam LaRoche went 0 for 15 until hitting two straight homers in this one. Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth hit bombs too. All needed given some overall sloppiness and bad bullpen play in this one.
Padres 9, Dodgers 3: Will Venable drove in four for the Padres, who are happy to finally be home after ugly series in New York and Colorado. The new fences in Petco Park gave Juan Uribe a homer that would have been an out last year.
Tigers 7, Blue Jays 3: Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with four RBI and that homer I mentioned. It's almost like he's awesome or something. Worst start since 2004 for the new-look Jays.
Braves 3, Marlins 2: Kris Medlen's second start looked a lot more like his 2012 second half. I guess facing the Marlins helps (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). Justin Upton didn't go yard, but he did hit a looong RBI double which would have been out in all but two or three parks. Homer for rookie Evan Gattis, who is making it pretty difficult for the front office to figure out what to do when Brian McCann comes back.
Rangers 6, Rays 1: Rangers' fifth starter Nick Tepesch makes his major league debut and all he does is go seven and a third allowing one run on four hits.
Royals 7, Twins 4: Jeremy Guthrie won his seventh straight decision, getting all the run support he needed in a five-run first inning. The Royals are 5-3, by the way. It's the 10th anniversary of that Mike Sweeney-led Royals team which made everyone think they were back in contention, only to falter later. Same thing going on again, or have they truly turned the corner and become the 2012 Orioles, redux?
Cubs 6, Brewers 3: Kiwicricket sent me the part of the box score which makes your head explode: "W: Marmol (1-1, 12.27) ; L: Axford (0-2, 24.30) ; SV: Fujikawa (2)." Always fun to see a game come down to a battle of Proven Closers. And Axford wasn't even closing.
Athletics 9, Angels 5: Five runs in the seventh for Oakland, led by John Jaso's pinch-hot three-run homer. A seesaw game, as Oakland had a 4-0 lead once, fell behind 5-4 and then this rally. Josh Hamilton went 0 for 4 and is now hitting a cool .138. The Angels join the Jays in 2-5 land. I guess winning the Hot Stove League doesn't carry over.
Cardinals 5, Reds 1: The new-and-improved Lance Lynn struck out 10 in six innings while allowing only one run. Bronson Arroyo cruised into the sixth and then gave up a pinch hit homer to Matt Adams.
Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 5: Garrett Jones had three hits and two RBIs. The Pirates had 11 hits overall, winning their second straight game and finally waking up on offense. Brandon McCarthy has surrendered 19 hits in 11 and two-thirds innings thus far.
Giants 9, Rockies 6: Tim Lincecum was shaky as all get-out for one inning, acceptable for four others, but overall allowed six runs in six innings while walking four. The Giants' bats rescued him, however, led by a Brandon Crawford three-run homer in the sixth and then some general hit-parade fun. Lincecum got the win in his first outing last week despite walking the park and a no-decision here despite melting down for a while. You feel like he's walking on the edge of a knife, though.
Forty years ago today, a new baseball stadium hosted its first game—Royals Stadium in Kansas City. (Okay, it’s now called Kaufmann, but we’ll stick with the original name because that’s what it was called 40 years ago today.) We’ve all become so accustomed to the Generation Camden Yards places that’s it's easy to forget what a reputation Royals Stadium had—and still has.
To understand its reputation, we’ve got to put Royals Stadium in context. The first wave of real stadiums began over 100 years ago with the construction of Shibe Park. That’s when you had places like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, Comiskey Part et al go up.
After that, there were no new stadiums going up until the 1950s/'60s, when relocation and expansion opened a new door. By and large, this became the heyday of the multipurpose stadium—one facility that could host baseball and football games. By the early 1970s, even most of the surviving old line stadiums still in use were either torn down (Crosley Field and Forbes Field, to name two examples, were replaced by Riverfront and Three Rivers Stadiums) or reconstructed to the point of that they essentially were new stadiums (Yankee Stadium).
By and large the era of the multipurpose stadium has come under harsh critical assault. They’re seen as impersonal places that put the fan too far from the action. They lack the special little oddities that gave the old places their charm. Generation Camden, the third wave of stadiums, is largely a move away from then.
Okay, but a little known secret is that as much as people now like to vilify the multipurpose places, they actually had a nice reputation when they began. They lacked charm? Well they didn’t lack concessions and bathrooms like the old places did. Impersonal and too far removed from the action? Well the old places put so many so close to the action that they ended up with tons of obstructed seats from the overhanging upper decks. Eventually people got sick of the multipurpose places, but that took a while.
That takes us to Royals Stadium—the subject of this entry. Anyhow, while people prefer to pillory multipurpose places, Royals Stadium gets a pass. Of all the places that went up between Yankee Stadium in the 1920s and Camden Yards in the 1990, Royals Stadium is one of two places with a positive reputation. (The other is Dodger Stadium.) Not so coincidentally, Royals Stadium and Dodger Stadium were the only single purpose stadiums built in their era.
In fact, when the White Sox debuted the last of the pre-Camden places, Comiskey II (as U.S. Cellular Field was originally called), the club made a point to say that it was hoping to get a feel similar to Royals Stadium in the new place.
Aside from always being a baseball-only place, Royals Stadium has one distinctive feature: a fountain behind the fence in right. That’s a nice touch.
As for the game itself 40 years ago today, typical of the Royals of the day, it was a victory. In fact, it was a 12-1 drubbing of the Texas Rangers. Texas would have a terrible season behind rookie manager Whitey Herzog, who went on to considerable success with the Royals. (The Royals manager was also a rookie: Jack McKeon, who was still around two years ago.) It’s a good thing the Royals gave the fans something to cheer about, because the 39-degree weather wasn’t warming them up.
The Royals could warm them up and the new stadium could make them feel good—and it was a new stadium 40 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something occurring X-thousand days ago) today. Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim.
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