December 12, 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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Monday, August 12, 2013
Yankees 5, Tigers 4: If I told you that Mariano Rivera blew two saves in a three-game series you'd probably assume the Yankees had a bad series. Except in this case they won both of the games Mo blew. Baseball is weird. Miguel Cabrera homered off of him again on Sunday -- he's only the third right-hander with two career home runs off Rivera -- but the Yankees pulled it out in the ninth with a Brett Gardner walkoff.
Mariners 2, Brewers 0: King Felix was his usual dominant self, tossing eight scoreless and striking out nine. Wily Peralta was almost as good but he gave up one gopher ball and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. The game lasted a mere two hours 11 minutes. It was like friggin' 1914 or something out there.
Reds 3, Padres 2: Joey Votto with a sac fly in the bottom of the 13th. It's gonna be awesome when Votto finishes the year with something like his current .322/.437/.509 batting line and gets almost no MVP love because he doesn't have 100 RBI.
Braves 9, Marlins 4: The wining streak ended with a 1-0 loss on Saturday but the Braves got back on the horse Sunday and handed Miami its sixth loss in seven games. Four hits for Jason Heyward, three for Evan Gattis, a three-run homer for Freddie Freeman and the go-ahead RBI for B.J. Upton. Just so many contributors right now.
Nationals 6, Phillies 0: Stephen Strasburg shuts 'em out on 99 pitches -- it's a Maddux! In other news, is there anything more depressing than being a Phillies fan at the moment?
Rangers 6, Astros 1: The Rangers are surging. Seven straight wins, in fact. Martin Perez had a shutout into the ninth. It was broken up by a Chris Carter solo homer, but Perez still finished the complete game, allowing only four hits while striking out eight.
Royals 4, Red Sox 3: The Royals keep on rolling, upping their record to 18-5 since the break. They're 4.5 back in the Wild Card.
Twins 5, White Sox 2: Kevin Correia pitched seven shutout innings, Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer each homered and the Twins take three of four. They, like a lot of teams, admittedly, have owned the White Sox this season.
Athletics 6, Blue Jays 4: Bob Melvin picks up the 700th win in his managerial career thanks to Alberto Callaspo's tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth. The A's stay a game back of the Rangers.
Indians 6, Angels 5: The Angels had a five-run lead heading into the bottom of the sixth and they woofed it away, thanks in part to a pair of two-run homers from two-run homers by Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles in the sixth. With it the Indians snap their six-game losing streak that put them way the heck back in the AL Central. An awful week but not a bad salvage job.
Cardinals 8, Cubs 4: St. Louis ends a four-game losing streak and avoids a sweep. Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig each had three hits and drove in a run. Jon Jay and David Freese each drove in two.
Rockies 3, Pirates 2: Chad Bettis allowed two runs early but settled down and the Rockies' pen pitched three scoreless. Jeff Locke walked four batters in five and two-thirds. He's not been going very deep into games lately. You have to wonder if he's getting a bit tired.
Dodgers 8, Rays 2: Clayton Kershaw is awesome, which, well, duh. But how come every time I click on a Dodgers box score there's some random Ellis doing cool things? Ellises are the new inefficiency.
Mets 9, Diamondbacks 5: This was an ugly-fest. Lots of unearned runs and a dude has his hip dislocated. But Andrew Brown had a three-run pinch hit homer, and that's uplifting, yes?
Orioles 10, Giants 2: J.J. Hardy hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning, but then the Orioles piled it on. Ron-Burgundy-Boy-That-Escalated-Quickly-Dot-Tumblr.com.
75 years ago today, longtime A’s manager Connie Mack achieved a milestone that no one had ever achieved before, no one has achieved since—and no one is likely to do in the foreseeable future.
On Aug. 12, 1938, Connie Mack notched his 3,000th win as a manager with a 5-4 win over the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader.
Yeah, 3,000 is kind of a lot. That is equal to 30 seasons of 100 wins—except only two other managers in baseball history have managed 30 seasons worth of games, and then only barely. Tony LaRussa managed 5,097 games, which works out to 31.5 seasons in a 162-game schedule. John McGraw led 4,769 games, which in the 154-game season of his era is equal to a hair under 31 seasons.
Mack, of course, managed quite a bit more than 30 seasons worth of games. In fact, despite having that many wins, he was just a bit over .500 at that point, with a record of 3,000-2,871 (and it became 3,000-2,872 when he lost the nightcap to the Yankees 75 years ago today).
Famously, Mack lasted forever because he bought his way into ownership of the A’s. He didn’t fire himself from the job, and so hung around until 1950, by which time he’d run the team for exactly 50 seasons. By that time, his record was fully under .500: 3,731 wins versus 3,948 losses. That means that over the last dozen years of his career, Connie Mack went 731-1,077, a rather gruesome final stretch.
That said, Mack’s career mass wasn’t just a product of how long he lasted but how early he began. Back in the early days, baseball was a young man’s game. Not only were the players young, but so were the skippers and even, sometimes, the owners. Mack started out as a player-manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was just 31 years old when he wrote out his first of 7,755 lineup cards. To be exact, Mack was 31 years, eight months, and 12 days old.
Let’s put that in perspective. 31 years, eight months and 12 days did we say? Well, as of Aug. 12, 2013, that’s almost exactly as old as Francisco Rodriguez and Dontrelle Willis are. Leaving baseball behind, NBA flame-out Gilbert Arenas is a tad younger than Mack was in his first game, and Hollywood actress Sienna Miller is a tad older.
So the early start helped. Without it, he couldn’t have lasted over a half-century. Let’s see, 75 years ago today, Mack was 75 years, seven months, and 22 days old. That’s about a month older than Curt Flood would be if he hadn’t passed away years ago. It’s almost exactly as old as former Marlins owner Wayne Huzienga is now. Huzienga sold his team in a hissy fit when taxpayers wouldn’t give him the stadium deal he wanted about 15 years ago—but he’s just now as old as Connie Mack was when Mack won No. 3,000. (And Mack still had 12 years more to motor).
Just to finish up this theme, when Mack managed his last game, he was 87 years, nine months, and nine days old. Well, a person born on Nov. 3, 1925 would be that old now.
You know who nearly fits that? Robert F. Kennedy. He was born Nov. 20, 1925. So Mack was 17 days older in his last game than RFK would be today.
Gene Mauch is also close. He was born Nov. 18, 1925. Mauch himself is a longtime manager who still ranks eighth on the all-time games managed list. But he left the dugout over a quarter-century ago. Others who would be close in age today as Connie Mack was when he managed his last game: Johnny Carson, Jonathan Winters, Rock Hudson and Angela Lansbury.
No wonder he’s No. 1 in wins—and he had a milestone win 75 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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