December 5, 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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10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski trade (15)
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Braves 6, Royals 3: I suppose the Braves will lose again at some point. I just don't know when that point is. The team has 25 homers in 13 games.
Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 2: I wasn't watching this, but as I was going to bed people on Twitter were noting that Mariano Rivera was coming into the game and saying stuff about the 2001 World Series. Which, sure, I guess I understand. But holy mother of heck, that was nearly 12 years ago. Think about your life 12 years ago and ask yourself how relevant anything that was happening to you then is now. Then ask yourself whether you honestly think someone like Rivera is really affected by the 2001 World Series in April 2013.
Rangers 4, Cubs 2: Craig Gentry made a diving catch with two outs in the ninth inning and the bases loaded on a Darwin Barney shot to left that would have at least tied it if it weren't caught and would have likely won it if Gentry had dived and totally missed. Craigs are pretty clutch, though, so he had it the whole way.
Orioles 5, Rays 4: It wasn't pretty but Jake Arrieta got his first win since last June. Tampa Bay has lost four in a row and seven of eight.
Rockies 8, Mets 4; Rockies 9, Mets 8: A freezing, snowy doubleheader? Mmm, sounds like a total blast. David Wright had two blasts in the opener in a losing cause. Jordan Pacheco had the game-winning hit in the 10th in the night cap. I'm going to guess that this is the most miserable pair of games the Mets have endured in ages, simply because of weather and crap.
Red Sox 7, Indians 2: Ubaldo Jimenez was, like, 15-1 to start the season a couple of years ago. It's true. I remember it. If the Indians were smart he'd end this year 0-2, having never thrown another pitch. Because something ain't right with this guy (1.2 IP, 2 H, 7 ER, 5 BB).
White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: The White Sox rallied for two in the ninth then held off as the Jays tried to claw back in the bottom of the inning. After the game Paul Konerko said "It was a gritty win." After which he was sued for copyright infringement by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Marlins 8, Nationals 2: Ryan Zimmerman's defensive problems continue, as his throwing error in the fourth led to four unearned Marlins runs. Those four runs were more than the Marlins had scored in all but one of their previous 13 games. Zimmerman has had four errors in the past five games.
Twins 8, Angels 6: Joe Mauer is 8 for 10 in this series so far after going 4 for 5 with three RBI in this one. Talk to some random Twins fans, though, and they'll still say he's a problem for some reason that eludes me entirely.
Brewers 10, Giants 8: Just when we finally get the Barry Zito bandwagon all booked up with passengers, gassed up and onto the on-ramp, it throws an engine rod. Two and two-thirds inning, eight hits, nine runs for Barry, including a grand slam to Yunieskey Betancourt for cryin' out loud.
Athletics 4, Astros 3: Remember that stuff about how the NL Central teams are gonna miss having the Astros to kick around this season? The A's here are the other side of that coin, as they've beaten Houston five times already. Meanwhile, AL East and AL Central teams have to face real baseball teams as they compete with AL West teams for the wild card. Because the unbalanced schedule is so fair.
Tigers 6, Mariners 2: Miguel Cabrera drove in four and Doug Fister gave the Mariners another reminder that, welp, maybe they shouldn't have traded him away (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER).
Padres 9, Dodger 2: Alexi Amarista drove in four and Jason Marquis tied the Dodgers up. Look, when you face that kind of star power, you're just not gonna win often, Dodgers fans. On the bright side I suppose there's a decent chance that Vin Scully got to fill time with more legends and tales from the ancient and classical canon, so there's that.
Phillies 0, Reds 0: SUSPENDED: This game will be picked up where it left off, scoreless in the ninth inning. They should make all the players stay in uniform on the field in the exact positions they were sitting/standing when the game was called. That would be bitchin'.
Cardinals vs. Pirates: POSTPONED: Nothing that happened in the two innings they got in will actually count. It's like it never happened. For example, if Andrew McCutchen had murdered Yadier Molina in the first inning, he would do no jail time for it and Molina would have been resurrected. THAT'S how this rule works.
Twenty years ago today, the Orioles hit into an utterly preposterous double play. It was something so bizarre, it’s hard to believe it had ever happened before, though something close to it once had.
On April 17, 1993, the Orioles battled the Angels in Baltimore. It was a close game, with California nursing a narrow 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. In that frame, the Orioles threatened to rally for the victory, and by all rights they should have—but tripped themselves up in a memorable display of dumb baseball.
First, the good news. Baltimore loaded the bases with one out thanks to two hits, an intentional walk, and a fielder’s choice. The tying run was just 90 feet from scoring and a cleanly hit single could give Baltimore the lead.
At the plate stood veteran outfielder Mike Devereaux. Though not a feared hitter, Deveraux was solid, and sure enough he stroked the ball into shallow center field. Would this fall for a hit?
Angels outfielder Chad Curtis charged in to try to catch it. The runners dared not advance too far for fear of being doubled off the bag. Curtis dove and—the ball ended up in his glove. Was that a trap or a catch? Actually, it was a trap, so there was no chance to double anyone up. One run should come around and there should be only one out.
Only it didn’t end up with a tie score, bases loaded and one out. The inning would end on a double play.
The first problem was lead runner Jeff Tackett. He had no idea if Curtis caught it, but assumed it had been caught and went back to third. This is confounding because he could be forced at the plate for not advancing. Though it was a trap, it’s tough to really excuse Tackett here. After all, the other runners figured out what was going on. Baltimore star Brady Anderson knew, and advanced from second to third—just in time to greet the out of place Tackett.
But maybe the strangest base running came from Chito Martinez on first base. He recognized the ball had been trapped and so advanced, but he completely forgot there were runners ahead of him. Martinez went to second and, seeing a chance to gain an extra base, went on his way to third. This is just plain bad baseball. Really—couldn’t he have noticed not one, but two runners at third in front of him? Guess not.
So the Angels relayed the ball to the plate, where catcher John Orton had it. Instead of stepping on the plate, he advanced to third where he played it safe and tagged everyone.
Umpire Terry Craft had a fun situation to figure out: Three guys on one bag. Clearly two were out, but who? As a general rule, the lead runner has position, but in this case that wasn’t true. With the bases loaded and a live ball, Tackett needed to advance, but didn’t, so he was out.
As for the others, Anderson was safe and Martinez out. Anderson advanced to his base ashe was supposed to, but Martinez advanced to someone else’s base. Anderson was the guy who didn’t screw up. But it didn’t matter—the double play ended the inning. Baltimore would lose, 7-5. There’s no way that play should happen, but it did.
It harkened back to the 1930s Daffiness Boys Dodgers, when Babe Herman once doubled into a double play. He doubled with the bases loaded, and while the lead runner scored, the second runner pulled up at third, the trailing runner advanced to third, and Herman himself—not paying attention—slid into third. That bizarre play seemed impossible to duplicate, but danged if the bird-brained Birds hadn’t just done it.
It was baseball at its strangest in Baltimore—and it was 20 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that happens X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim.
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