Thursday, October 1, 2015

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As the baseball season heads into it's final days, we are reminded that the month of October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Make sure to take the time out of your busy life to get yourself checked, hug a Breast Cancer Survivor, and remember all those who lost their battle to this horrible disease.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kershaw and Grienke should be Co- N.L. Cy Young Award Winners

Tuesday night in San Francisco, the best pitcher in baseball the past three years, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, shut out the defending World Series Champion Giants, and the Dodgers won their third straight National League West Division Title.

The Dodgers 8-0 win eliminated the defending champions, and they will now face the New York Mets in the N.L. playoffs.

The past few weeks there has been a lot of talk about the annual Cy Young Award voting amongst the radio, television, and Internet media members, as they discuss who should be this years winner between Kershaw, his teammate Zack Greinke, and Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs.

All three pitchers have the credentials to win, starting with Kershaw, the reigning N.L. Cy Young and Most Valuable Player.

For me, all 700+ plus members of the BBWAA  need to get together and make sure the Cy Young is awarded to both Kershaw and Grienke. 

Yes, you read that right... Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke need to be co-Cy Young winners...with all due respect to Jake Arrieta.

Kershaw got off to a slow start in 2015, and Greinke was there to mow down hitters while the Dodgers struggled to score runs and Kershaw figured out his delivery.

Kershaw got it together, and as of tonight is 16-7, with a 2.16 era after his 13 strikeout shutout over the rival Giants on Tuesday.

Kershaw leads baseball with 294 strikeouts.

Grienke leads the league in ERA at 1.68, and Arrieta leads in wins, with 21.

Senior Circuit batters hit just .188 vs Grienke this year, .187 against Arrieta, and .201 against Kershaw.

Arrieta also no-hit the Dodgers this year.

You could go on and on with the stats of all three pitchers, and you can make a case for all three of those marvelous pitchers.

2015 N.L.pitching stats/

For me, the Dodgers duo of Kershaw and Grienke are the best 1-2 pitching combo in baseball, a duo who took their sluggish teams offense and shaky bullpen on their broad shoulders and led them to the team's 3rd consecutive division championship.

Seriously, this needs to happen...something that has happened in baseball before...splitting a Cy Young Award between two pitchers.

In 1969 the Detroit Tigers Denny McLain won his 2nd consecutive Cy Young Award, sharing the honor with Mike Cuellar of the Baltimore Orioles.

Also, in 1979,  the National League MVP Award was shared, by Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Keith Hernandez of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I get it if you think I'm totally nuts, but hey, that's just fine, that's why baseball is so great, the passion of the game, the way we see our great game.

Cubs fans are obviously going to be horrendously upset, and if I were a fan of the Cubbies, heck, I'd be mad as well.

Understand, this isn't in any way a negative vote against Jake Arrieta, what he's done this year for the Cubs has been sensational for a young ballclub that's made a remarkable run to the playoffs.

To me, Kershaw and Grienke have been there in tandem nearly all year, together on back to back nights, the the two of them, leading the Dodgers to the National League West Division...and that division title has to trump, in my opinion, the Cubs winning the second Wild Card spot.

If somehow the Cubs, under new manager Joe Maddon, had managed to catch the Pirates and Cardinals to win the N.L. Central, with Arrieta on the mound for the clinching win, well, then that would be a clincher for the Cubbies right hander.

So, call me silly, tell me I'm crazy to think that will happen, but its something I think...I believe...should happen.

Well, yeah, hey, maybe this old school baseball fan is crazy, maybe all those new fangled stats guys will tell me it's vlear cut for Arrieta...or the numbers are in favor of just Grienke...or just Kershaw..

I say OK, if those guys are your choices over a Kershaw /Grienke winners ballot, I respect your opinion.

For me, I saw all I needed to see tonight from Kershaw, and from another stellar start Monday Night by Grienke ... my vote...when I cast my annual Baseball Bloggers Alliance ballot of the group vote will be a Double Dodger Dog of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

Play Ball!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (1925-2015)

The greatest winner in baseball history, Yogi Berra, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90.

Lawrence Peter Berra was born on May 12th, 1925...  it was an honor to write his 90th Happy Baseball Birthday earlier this year.

No player in baseball history won more championships than Yogi Berra, winning 10 World Series while the catcher of the New York Yankees.

Yogi was a great ballplayer and an even better person, and we we miss him dearly as he passes on to the greatest baseball team ever in Heaven.

Tonight the Yankees will start to honor Yogi by wearing his retired #8 (with Bill Dickey), on the left sleeve of their road uniforms when they play the Blue Jays.

                               From the @Yankees Twitter page.

My heart goes out to the entire Berra family, and all the great Yankees fans out there on the loss of Yogi.

God Bless Yogi Berra.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Milo Hamilton (1927-2015)

Legendary baseball broadcaster Milo Hamilton passed away today, at the age of 88.

Milo's signature call came on the radio on April 8, 1974, when Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run, passing  Babe Ruth.

Milo Hamilton was a marvelous broadcaster... I remember him from the early 1980s doing Chicago Cubs games, and, as a member of the Houston Astros broadcasting team since 1985.

It seems as many of the great broadcasters of my youth are slowly fading away, passing to that great booth in baseball heaven.

At age 55, sometimes I forget that these great baseball story tellers were already in their 30s or 40s when I started listening to them call ballgames on the radio and television.

My thoughts and  prayers are going out to Milo and his family tonight.

May God Bless Milo and his family.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This Week's Sports Illustrated... "Wrigleyville"

The red hot Chicago Cubs are one of this weeks Sports Illustrated regional cover stories, "Wrigleyville is Winnerville."

Through Monday's ballgames the Cubs are 72-51, third place in the National League Central Division, but also a solid 2nd in the N.L. Wild Card standings, 6.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants.

The Cubs begin a West Coast road trip with a three game series in San Francisco.

This is a second consecutive week with baseball on the S.I. cover,  following the Jason Heyward and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals, with baseball's best record at 79-45, lead the Pittsburgh Pirates (75-48), by 3.5 games in the N.L. Central, followed bt the Cubbies.

The way the N.L. Central teams are playing we could see a baseball three-peat next week if the Pirates stay hot as well.

We always like it when our National Pastime gracesmagazine covers.

Play Ball!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Today in Baseball.. Bill Freehan's 200th Home Run

Thirty-Nine years ago today, August 24, 1976, Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan hit his 200th, and final, big league home run.

The home run was, fittingly I suppose, Freehan's 100th at Tiger Stadium, to go with his 100 on the road.

It's hard to imagine that my hero on the baseball diamond played his final season in the big leagues 39 years ago.

I know those Bill Freehan stats upon request... 200 HRs, .262 lifetime batting average, 5 consecutive gold gloves, .993 lifetime fielding percentage, 11 All-Star games, 1968 World Series Champion, and, of course... his uniform #11.

Play Ball!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Time for the 2015 Little League World Series

 It's time for the 76th Annual Little League World Series.

16 teams from the United States and around the World meet once again in the beautiful Pennsylvania town of Williamsport to crown a Little League champion.

Day one was washed out by bad weather, and so every team was in action on Friday.

The highlight of the day was the team from the Southeast beating the team from New England, 7-1, behing a no hitter from Alex Edmondson.

All your LLWS information can be found at Little League Baseball World

I never had a chance to play in the LLWS, but I did enjoy playing Little League Baseball growing up in Michigan.

The LLWS is being broadcast over the ABC/ESPN family of networks.

Happy Baseball Birthday...Randy Wolf

Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday! of veteran big league pitcher Randy Wolf. 

Randall Christopher Wolf   is spending his 39th Birthday today in Detroit, Michigan, were, around 7pm tonight, he'll step onto the mound at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers and face the Texas Rangers.

It will be the first time in a year that Wolf, a second round draft pick in 1997 by the Philadelphia Phillies, has pitched in the big leagues.

Last season Wolf pitched for the Miami Marlins, going 1-3 in 6 appearances for the Fish.

Wolf was pitching for Triple -A Buffalo for the Blue Jays, and the Tigers went back to Toronto for pitching help after Daniel Norris, traded by the Blue Jays to Detroit in the David Price deal, went on the 15 day disabled list.

The Tigers also put RHP Anibal Sanchez on the DL, so the team looked around for someone to take Saturday's start, and Wolf was called on to help by his former teammate, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

Wolf and Ausmus played together in Houston in 2008, and for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009.

Wolf told Mathew B. Mowrey of the Oakland Press "...I didn't want to look back with any regrets.." when asked why he was still hanging on in baseball, pitching and riding buses in the minors, after 15 years and Tommy John surgery.

Randy Wolf was born on August 22, 1976, in Canoga Park, California, grew up in Woodland Hills, attended El Camino Real High School, and then played college baseball at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

On June 11, 1999 Wolf made his big league debut with the Phillies against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tonight will be Wolf's 373rd big league start, now in his 16th big league season.

Wolf will also be reunited with his fellow Buffalo Bisons teammates Norris and Matt Boyd in Detroit.

Wolf has a career record of  133-120, with a 4.31 ERA in 382 big league apperances.

Wolf has won at least 11 games eight times in the big leagues, with a career high 16 wins in his only All-Star season of 2003, with the Phillies.

As a Tigers fan I hope Randy Wolf has a outstanding Happy Baseball Birthday!

Welcome to Motown Randy!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Week's Sports Illustrated cover...Jason Heyward and the Cardinals

The great game of baseball is back on the cover of  Sports Illustrated this week, featuring Jason Heyward and the St. Louis Cardinals. 

The Cardinals have the best record in baseball at 76-43, and have a 5 game lead over the oncoming Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central Division. 

Jason Heyward is in hitting .287 this year with 11 home runs and 47 RBI, however, in his last 30 ball games Heyward is hitting .330, with a. 391 on base percentage. 

The Cardinals are at home tonight vs. the San Francisco Giants before heading on a West Coast trip to San Diego,  Arizona, and San Francisco for a rematch with the Giants. 

Have a great week and enjoy our National Pastime!

Play Ball!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Milt Bolling

Today we celebrate the Happy Baseball Birthday! of former big league infielder Milt Bolling.

Milton Joseph Bolling was born on August 9, 1930, in Mississippi City, Mississippi.

Milt attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, where he played baseball with his brother Frank.

Milt signed as an amateur free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 1948 and made his big league debut at the age of 22 on September 10, 1952.

As in high school, Milt gets the chance to play with brother Frank, with the Detroit Tigers when he's sent to the Tigers in 1958.

For 24 games he and Frank were the double play combo at second base and shortstop.

In his big league career Milt Bolling played in exactly 400 ballgames, batting .241, with 19 home runs, 50 doubles, 7 triples, 280 hits, in 1,181 games.

Milt played his final game in the big leagues on July 28, 1958 with the Detroit Tigers.

Milt passed away at the age of 82 on January 19, 2013, in Mobile, Alabama.

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday ballplayers...

59 baseball related people have birthdays today, beginning with Jake Wells, a 5' 11" 167 lb catcher who was born on August 9, 1863, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jake played two big league seasons, in 1888 with the defending World Series Champion Detroit Wolverines, and in 1890 with the American Association St. Louis Browns.

Other notable big league ballplayers born on August 9 include Ralph Houk, Claude Osteen, Tommie Agee, Ted Simmons, Steve Swisher, Troy Percival, and Steven Moya, born August 9, 1991.

A big Happy Baseball Birthday! to Milt Bolling and all the big league ballplayers born today!