December 6, 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)
10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski trade (15)
It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014 (8)
25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letter (4)
Putting the knock on pitching changes (2)
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Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Brewers 4, Reds 3: Holy moly that was a crazy game-ending catch for Carlos Gomez, robbing Joey Votto of a walkoff home run. Just incredible.
Rays 7, Twins 4: The Rays continue to roll, winning their ninth in 10 chances. Joe Maddon talked about his team going 10 games over .500:
"The thing I like is that we're 10 games over," Maddon said. "You've got to go to 10, then you've got to go to 15, etc., etc. The major takeaway from tonight is the fact that we're 10 games over."
That's the baseball version of the "this one goes to 11" thing from "This is Spinal Tap."
Rangers 8, Orioles 5: Scott Feldman's second start for the Orioles was not as good as his first as his old mates from Texas pounded him for seven runs, chasing him in the middle of their six-run sixth inning. Ian Kinsler had four RBI including a bases-clearing double. Baltimore stranded 10 runners and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring condition.
Phillies 3, Nationals 2: John Lannan had a way better against-his-former-mates performance than Feldman did as the Phillies continue to take it to the guys in front of them in the NL East. Dan Haren, meanwhile, looked better than he had following a couple of weeks on the disabled list but was outdueled. If he had won it would have given him a win against every major league team in his career. Oh well, maybe next time.
Athletics 2, Pirates 1: Bartolo Colon keeps on rolling along, allowing one run in seven innings and improving to 12-3 with a 2.69 ERA. Jeff Locke—another surprise ace this year—lost for the first time since his first start of the season. Coco Crisp had a cool diving catch to record the last out while Colon was in the game.
Tigers 4, Indians 2: Victor Martinez's two-run double in the 10th helps Detroit wrap up the series by taking its third of four from the upstart Tribe. Max Scherzer's no-decision keeps his loss-free record intact. It was the first Indians loss in extra innings this year.
Braves 7, Marlins 1: When a game goes 14 innings you don't expect it to end with a six-run spread, but this one did. Chris Hatcher came in for the Marlins in the top of that inning and gave up a two-run double to Justin Upton, a two-run single and a single to Gerald Laird which led to an error allowing in the unearned final run.
Royals 5, Yankees 1: Jeremy Guthrie came back despite an hour rain delay and pitched into the seventh. Alex Gordon, David Lough and Johnny Giavotella had RBI doubles, Alcides Escobar had an RBI triple. The Yankees' lineup may have been the most anonymous one they've fielded since the first Bush administration.
Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1: Zack Greinke tossed seven shutout innings allowing only two hits -- one less hit than he himself had at the plate -- as the Dodgers end the D-backs' winning streak and pull to within three and a half. The white-hot Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 19 games. No brawls to report.
Cubs 8, White Sox 2: Matt Garza continues to build his trade value, allowing one earned run over seven innings. Alfonso Soriano is a perpetual trade candidate and that ship may have already sailed, but he added three hits—including a homer—four runs and a steal. The battle of Chicago has zero playoff significance, but I'm sure people in Chicago enjoy it. Maybe. I dunno.
Rockies 4, Padres 2: Tyler Chatwood took a comebacker off his leg, stayed in the game and still took a shutout into the seventh. The Padres dropped their 10th in a row. In other news, yesterday I bought tickets to a Padres game in late September which I am now realizing will have very little significance in the grand scheme of things. But hey, I'll be on a weekend trip to California and that's its own reward.
Mariners 11, Red Sox 4: King Felix allowed two runs over seven and got a bunch of run support, including a home run from Raul Ibanez, who is giving me some hope as I sit here, five days away from my 40th birthday. Jon Lester's one-run performance against San Diego last Wednesday now looks like a mere blip on an otherwise craptacular stretch of pitching.
Mets 4, Giants 3: A 16-inning, five-hour, 26 minute game in which the winning run scored on an error? Sounds absolutely riveting. Nine shutout innings from the Mets pen and nine earned run-free innings from the Giants pen is pretty impressive though. This was the fourth 15-inning (or more) game the Mets had played this year and their first win in said contests.
Ten years ago, one of the greatest and most bizarrely humorous controversies ever to hit 21st-century baseball happened. It involved one of the game’s best recent traditions, and it added an extra level to silly to a fun seventh-inning stretch diversion.
On July 9, 2003, Pirates player Randall Simon interfered with Milwaukee’s traditional sausage race.
As hopefully everyone out in reader-land knows, for the last 20 years the good people of Milwaukee have given the sporting world a gloriously goofy way to celebrate the seventh-inning stretch. They have a handful of people dressed up in these giant foam rubber outfits meant to resemble various sausages, and they race around the edge of the field.
There's an Italian sausage, a Polish sausage, a brat, and a hot dog. It’s to reflect the culinary and ethnic variety of Milwaukee. (And if you’ve ever attended a baseball game there, you know damn well these are a people who take their tailgating seriously.)
Anyhow, by 2003 the sausage race was already a well-established and rightly beloved fixture of Milwaukee baseball. (Of course, it’s since been imitated by several other teams, most successfully the Washington Nationals and their presidents’ race.) But 10 years ago today, a villain entered the picture: Randall Simon.
Normally the Pirates' starting first baseman, on this night Simon had the game off. Well, he wasn’t in the starting lineup at any rate. The team did call on him to pinch hit with two out in the top of the seventh, just before the seventh-inning stretch. He made a routine out to end the frame and retreated back to the dugout. So far, so normal.
But then the fun began. The sausages came out and, as sausages like to do, they started running around the infield. And here was Simon back in the dugout, but still with his bat in his hands.
Apparently, he was in a mischievous mood. I can’t imagine that he actually meant any malice. (Maybe he had money on the brat!) But the world’s most famous distance-running delicacies went past the visitor’s dugout, and Simon had his moment of notoriety.
With the bat still in hand, Simon tapped the top of the Italian sausage with his bat. Down goes Italian sausage! Down goes Italian sausage! Those foam rubber customs are unwieldy, after all.
Sure enough, to the surprise of the 22,490 in attendance, Simon knocked out one of the racers. In fact, he knocked out two of them. When the Italian sausage fell, it landed on the hot dog, taking it down, too. I told you those things were unwieldy. The Polish sausage stopped to try to help them up, but the brat saw this as an opportunity and motored home to glory, winning the race with ease.
There was some controversy about Simon’s actions hitting the sausage, but there was no malice and no damage to any racers. It wasn’t nearly as massive as several years later when Jayson Werth led the Nationals in an attempt to beat up all non-Teddy Roosevelt racing presidents.
It was definitely the strangest moment in the folklore of meat racing, and it happened 10 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that happened X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim.
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