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!
And here's the full roster.
THT's latest e-bookThird Base: The Crossroads is THT's new e-book, available for $3.99 from the Kindle store. The good news is that anyone can read a Kindle book, even on a PC. So enjoy the best from THT in a new format.
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Let’s discuss the THT Annual (7)
It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014 (8)
10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski trade (15)
25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letter (4)
Putting the knock on pitching changes (2)
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Monday, June 10, 2013
Cardinals 11, Reds 4: I'll take "Improbable scores for an extra-inning game for $200, Alex." It was already 7-4 in the top of the 10th when Matt Holliday came to the plate but he hit a grand slam off Curtis Partch to truly ice the game. J.J. Hoover was charged with six of the seven runs scored by St. Louis that inning. I wonder if anyone in Cincinnati can think of clever and/or crude ways to describe Hoover's performance in this one that incorporate his name somehow.
Rangers 6, Blue Jays 4: The Rangers avoid a sweep and move back into first place by a half game. Homers from Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy.
Tigers 4, Indians 1: Jose Alvarez makes his MLB debut in a spot start, allows one run in six innings, gets the W and is sent back down. Such is life when you play for a veteran-laden, first place team. Don Kelly hit a three-run homer to break the 1-1 tie in the sixth.
Marlins 8, Mets 4: The Marlins have 18 wins. Eight of them have come against the Mets. The Mets made news after this one by sending down a few players and calling up a few in their place. Thing is, there are still a bunch of minor leaguers in talent and essence on this club.
Nationals 7, Twins 0; Nationals 5, Twins 4: Jordan Zimmermann tossed seven two-hit shutout innings in game one while Anthony Rendon doubled in two and singled in one. In the nightcap it was the bullpen that did the heavy lifting as Nathan Karns didn't have much but the pen held the Twins scoreless for the final six innings.
Red Sox 10, Angels 5: Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit two homers. David Ortiz hit a three-run job. The Sox took two of three, have won six of eight overall and are sitting on top of the AL East by a game and a half.
Brewers 9, Phillies 1: Kyle Lohse was strong and got his first win in eight starts and the Brewers take three of four. But Ryan Braun came out of the game as his thumb continues to bother him, and he's probably gonna hit the DL soon.
Orioles 10, Rays 7: Baltimore: unimpressed by Matt Moore. The racked up nine runs on 12 hits off him, with J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis each driving in two. Oh, check out this play by Casilla. That's some Neo-from-Matrix crap right there.
White Sox 4, Athletics 2: Alex Rios and Tyler Flowers homered as the Sox earn a split against one of the hottest teams around. Sure, it comes after a stretch that put them in last place and gave new meaning to the word "punchless" but it's at least something.
Cubs 4, Pirates 1: Cody Ransom hit a three-run homer. Which I heard on the radio while riding in a cab in Chicago. Which was kind of cool. I had a pretty sweet weekend up there. I'll offer a couple of mini ballpark reviews of both Wrigley and U.S. Cellular, each of which I hit on Friday, later today.
Braves 8, Dodgers 1: Two homers for Dan Uggla. Homers have basically been his whole season. He's on pace for 33 this year. He's on pace for butt in basically every other offensive category. Yasiel Puig went 3 for 5. He's 13 for 28 to start his career.
Royals 2, Astros 0: Look at Kansas City, winners of five straight. Sure, those wins came against Houston and Minnesota, but they still count. Luis Mendoza and Lucas Harrell had quite the duel going here, each tossing seven shutout innings. Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer each singled in runs in the eighth.
Rockies 8, Padres 7: The Rockies were down 7-4 entering the bottom of the ninth before rallying off Luke Gregerson. Dexter Fowler scored the tying run that frame and drove in the winning run in the tenth. Carlos Gonzalez was the man, though, making two fantastic catches and driving in two on a ninth inning double.
Yankees 2, Mariners 1: Story of Felix Hernandez's life: one runner over seven innings but a no decision because his team's bats couldn't do anything. David Phelps held them at bay and then Chris Stewart drove in the go-ahead run on with a ninth inning single.
Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2: Chad Gaudin threw up during the third and sixth innings but coughed up only two runs in the fourth against the D-backs. Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers probably yelled at their team for not being truly gritty compared to Gaudin after this one.
15,000 days ago, one of the great monster shots in baseball history took place. Phillies slugger Greg Luzinski hit one of the great blasts in the history of the City of Brotherly Love.
It was May 16, 1972, and the Phillies hosted the Chicago Cubs at Veterans Stadium. Still a relatively new place, the multi-purpose Veterans Stadium had a touch of Philadelphia in its outfield. Beyond the fence in center, the stadium had a replica of the Liberty Bell. After all, the real one is in City of Brotherly Love.
Anyhow, it’s way out there. It wasn’t just in center field, it was up in the 400 seats. That’s quite the distance, which means it was unlikely anyone ever would hit the ball far enough to “ring” the Veterans Stadium Liberty Bell. And sure enough, in its decades of service, only once did a slugger smash a ball that far. That one time came off the bat of Greg Luzinski.
The blow came in the bottom of the fourth frame against Cubs pitcher Burt Hooton. Whatever the pitch was—I’m guessing a fastball—it clearly didn’t fool Luzinski, and he made some damn solid contact with it. Over the mound, over the infield, beyond the fence, over the fans in the stands, and into the bell, approximately 500 feet away. Yeah, that isn’t easy to do.
As it happens, that was the only bad pitch Hooton threw all day. He allowed just three hits in a complete-game, 8-1 win over the Phillies.
Playing in just his 62nd major league game, this titanic blast cemented Luzinski's reputation as one of the best longball hitters in baseall, and he'd keep that rep for the rest of his days. When Luzinski joined the White Sox late in his career, he hit a record number of roof-shot home runs in old Comiskey Park. Admittedly, that was in part because the Sox moved home plate closer to the outfield before the year began, making it easier to launch balls onto the roof. That said, Luzinski had plenty of power.
In retirement, Luzinski even appeared in a comical beer commercial lampooning his power. He was on a golf course and hit a ball so far that it landed in Japan. The commercial makers picked Luzinski because he was known for having so much power, and no shot better demonstrated his impressive strength than the Liberty Bell long ball he belted in Philadelphia precisely 15,000 days ago.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that occurred X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim.
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