December 8, 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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Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Twenty years ago today, Frank Tanana entered the inner circle of ultimate baseball trivia. He did something that made him half of the answer to my all-time favorite baseball trivia question:
Who are the only two pitchers to surrender home runs to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. And yes, Frank Tanana is half of the answer.
Really, it’s amazing that Tanana ever allowed a homer to either of them. He spent nearly his entire career in the wrong league. In his 4,188.1 innings pitched, more than 4,000 took place in the AL. Both Hank Aaron and Bonds were longtime NL players.
Yeah, but Tanana was in the right place at the right time with the wrong pitch with both of them.
As a 22-year-old fireballer with the Angels in 1976, Tanana faced an aged Hank Aaron. This was the final phase of Aaron’s career. After 21 years as a Brave, from 1975-76, he went to the AL as a Milwaukee Brewer, and that’s when Tanana faced him. Specifically, on June 14, 1976 Tanana battled Bad Henry and lost, as Aaron clocked home run No. 748 of 755.
Tanana spent the rest of 1976 as an Angel, and the next 16 seasons with various AL teams. Finally, in 1993, he switched to the NL, pitching for the Mets. Bonds was in his first year the Giants, one in which he hit 46 homers. If it wasn’t for Tanana, it would’ve been 45. Twenty years ago today, on July 17, 1993, Bonds smacked a solo shot off Tanana in the seventh for his 201st career home run.
The other pitcher in the club is Big Daddy Rick Reuschel. Well, he makes more sense. Like Aaron and Bonds, Reuschel spent nearly his entire career in the National League. On June 16, 1973, Reuschel served up a pitch that Aaron turned into career homer No. 691. (A year later, Reuschel gave up Hank Aaron homer 725.)
Reuschel was actually a Pittsburgh teammate of Bonds when Bonds first made the majors, but in 1989 Reuschel went to the Giants, four years before Bonds did lik—ewise. Reuschel didn’t allow a homer to Bonds that year, but he did on May 27, 1991. Actually, Reuschel allowed three homers in that gameand never allowed another one after it. He went on the DL after that game and didn’t come back until September, and pitched only 15 innings then. He pitched barely over 10 innings in 1992 before calling it a career.
So those are the two guys who surrendered home runs to the two greatest homer hitters ever—and one of them joined the club 20 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which are things that happened X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim through things.
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Major League Baseball’s intent to suspend the players linked with the Biogenesis investigation raises some interesting questions. I reviewed some of them in this piece. I also discussed the logistical difficulties with suspending 20 or more players at the same time in a second, concluding that these cases are best heard in the offseason. This article will describe the actual burdens of proof that the clubs must meet in order to have any grievances over suspensions for violating the Joint Drug Agreement (JDA) and other potential charges denied.
There are multiple types of violations of the JDA. Under Section 7(A) of the JDA there are violations that are based upon a positive test (frequently referred to as analytic violations—although not in the JDA) and violations for use or possession (non-analytic violations). There are violations for conviction or possession of a prohibited substance as well as violations for participation in sale or distribution of a prohibited substance. There are violations for refusing to take a test without good cause and for adulterating a specimen. There are also violations for failure to comply with evaluation and treatment plans, but those are for drugs of abuse.
Finally, there is the additional possibility for a just cause discipline for something not specifically referenced in the JDA.
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