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Congrats to Phil Humber of the White Sox on his perfect game today.   Didn’t get to see it, but these are always special.

Coverage of the perfect game is available here.

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Cool MLB “Generational” Video

MLB has had some fun with video trickery and made this commercial for themselves where a ton of greats from all eras of baseball are “together” on the field. Yeah, it’s obviously video trickery, but it’s still a pretty cool video just the same.
You’ve probably seen this if you’re a regular watcher of MLB Network, but if you’re not, then you may not have seen it. Definitely worth a watch.

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2009 Playoff Predictions (Yeah, I’m late)

I meant to do this the day the playoffs started, but I forgot. We’re three days in, but I’m doing them anyway. Yeah, I’m doing them based on the fact that all the series have two games played now. Sue me. :)
ALDS: Angels over Red Sox in 4, Yankees over Twins in 3
ALCS: Yankees over Angels in 6
NLDS: Phillies over Rockies in 4, Dodgers over Cardinals in 4
NLCS: Phillies over Dodgers in 7
World Series: Yankees over Phillies in 6
Obviously, my first choice would be for my Phillies to repeat. But failing that, I want the World Series to be Dodgers vs Yankees, so TORRE CAN BEAT STEINBRENNER!
Also, bases loaded with nobody out an nobody scores? Yeah, you got screwed on a foul ball call Twins, but come on. Bases loaded and you don’t score any? Yeah, you don’t deserve to win. I originally was going to call that series as Yankees sweep in 3, but then in the middle of Game 2, I thought the Twins could make it a series. But after that no run scoring fiasco, no. You need to go home Minnesota. Not that the Tigers would have done any better there anyway.

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Tiger Stadium Dies, finally

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Bad Pennsylvania Baseball

If you’ve been following my site for awhile, you know I’m also a Phillies fan. I grew up in Philadelphia, so I still follow my home town team a lot. It’s gotten a lot easier to do so in the last 5 years or so with the proliferation of Internet coverage, but I’ve always sort of paid attention to them. Also, my wife is from Pittsburgh. While she’s a major epic level Steelers fan, she only superficially paid attention to the Pirates. She kind of stopped around the time Barry Bonds left there.
I bring this up, because something happened today which gave both of my home town Pennsylvania teams something notorious.
The one for the Phillies happened on July 15, 2007. That was the day the Phillies lost their 10,000th game in franchise history. No other professional sporting team anywhere in any sport has done that. Granted, the team has been around since 1883, so they had 124 years to work on that record. Anyway, it’s pretty impressively awful. BTW Rangers fans – your connection to this was the losing pitcher for the Phillies that day – Adam Eaton :)
The other thing happened with the Pirates today. Today was the day they lost their 82nd game of the 2009 season. This now officially makes it 17 seasons since the Pirates last had a winning record, which would have been 1992′s incarnation, who went 92-70, and lost to the Braves. Right after that, Barry Bonds went to the Giants as a free agent, and the Pirates haven’t won since. Makes you wonder if the Pirates should sign Bonds back as a publicity stunt, and stick him out there to break the Bonds curse. :) Seriously, though – 17 in a row doesn’t seem nearly as bad as 10,000 losses though, but 17 years in a row with a losing record is pretty bad.
And whose record did the Pirates break tonight? That’s right, the 1933-48 Phillies!

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Rusty Greer has been dethroned

It looks like Rusty Greer’s diving catch to save Kenny Rogers’ perfect game has been dethroned as one of the best catches to save a perfect game. DeWayne Wise made this fantastic catch to save Mark Buehrle’s perfect game.

The Youtube video above will probably get removed, as MLB tends to get that stuff offline quickly, if it is gone, go here. Stupid mlb not allowing embedded clips. :(
I haven’t watched the detail on the MLB Network or Baseball Tonight as I write this, but what do you need to know? Perfect game – 27 up, 27 down. Good for him. I also really got a kick out of the story of Barack Obama calling him up for congrats.

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All-Stars Among Us

I don’t know about you, but I rather liked that intro video in front of the All-Star Game last Tuesday. Found it on Youtube. Here it is. If you can’t see the video below, click here to see it (in HD).

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Nelson Cruz and the Home Run Derby

When it was announced that Nelson “Sail Around the World” Cruz was going to be in the 2009 Home Run Derby, I don’t think anyone expected much out of him. I mean look at who he was playing against. Ryan Howard, Albert Freakin’ Pujols, Prince Fielder. Not that Nelson Cruz is a slouch – he’s having a great power season. But come on, he’s not Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols. I think just about everyone EXPECTED Pujols to win the thing before it started.
Nelson came out, and showed some power in the first round. He tied Prince Fielder for most in the first round with eleven home runs. He also seemed to love the “Big Mac Land” sign in left field. First, he hit the thing, making a quite audible bang. A few later, he hit a ball right over the sign, and then the next swing after that one he hit it WAY above the sign, up into the fourth and upper deck. Quite a titanic shot. They only said it went 440 ft, but it looked a heck of a lot longer than that!
He had some that were quite impressive, and I enjoyed seeing Cruz perform. Obviously because I’m a Rangers fan I liked that, but I think I would have enjoyed that performance had I not known him ahead of time.
In round two, Nelson only had five home runs, but it was enough to give him second place after the second round, putting him in the finals against Prince Fielder. Nelson seemed a little out of gas, although when he did connect, it was good. Check out this chart of where all his hit balls went:

There’s a video montage of Cruz’s home runs via this link over at mlb.com. Stupidly, they don’t allow you to embed video remotely, or I’d do that. Anyway, the ball that hit the Big Mac sign was his second home run. The one that went over the Big Mac sign was the eighth home run (roughly 1:34 into the video clip), and then the titanic shot was right after that at time mark 1:39.
Again, I liked seeing him get as far as he did, and I don’t think there’s anything bad with him second. Was a nice showing for him on the national stage.
Now that’s the nice-y stuff. Here’s the complaints…
1) TOO FREAKIN’ LONG! – Nelson Cruz didn’t come up to bat until the show was already about twenty minutes long. They had this silly thing first where someone came out, and pointed where he wanted Albert Pujols to hit a home run – and he tried. Twice. Didn’t get it. Pujols took like a dozen balls before he swung it seemed. Wow. I don’t really have a problem with this in theory, but given the problems this event has with being peceived as too long… Waiting 20 minutes to actually start is stupid. Perhaps this could have been after it was over, or inbetween rounds 1 and 2 or something like that? Come on.
2) TIME SLOT – This is more a TiVo/DVR thing, but.. Does anyone believe it will stay within it’s time slot of two hours? Come on – this hasn’t ended in under two hours in like, ever… Even before it started, I padded it by an hour, and you know what? It didn’t even fit. My TiVo recording ran out (to record something else at 10PM) when Fielder was batting in the final round. Fortunately, I immediately flipped over to my iPod touch and the MLB At Bat app, which was showing the derby live streamed. I was able to see the end of it that way, but when the Derby doesn’t fit within a three hour allotment of time (one of which was a grant from me), that’s just STUPID. If I remember right, they finished the first round just a few minutes before the two hour mark. Good lord, that’s nuts.
3) Chris Berman: I know a lot of people dislike Chris Berman. I like him a lot – but for football. I’ve never been a fan of his baseball commentating. Even saying that, I’ve always kind of liked him in the HR derby. But not anymore. I think it’s time for a change – his shtick needs to go. I think they should put someone else in there. But NOT Joe Morgan. I could do another entry on why he needs to be replaced, too. ESPN has enough guys on their roster, they could stick someone else in there. Put John Kruk there, we could see the Randy Johnson / John Kruk footage every year. :)
4) Talking over at bats: I believe it was Joe Mauer this year, but it seems there’s always a player that is up at bat, and the announcers are busy talking to some baseball player or exec or something during that player’s Derby atbat. But they don’t talk about the guy at the plate – they’re talking about anything BUT him. While I’m not a Twins or Joe Mauer fan, if I was one, I’d be pissed they weren’t talking about my guy, and talking about anything else. That kind of stuff should be between rounds, not DURING them. Shut up! What would be nice would be using the alternate language feed TV stations almost never use to let me hear what’s going on in the stadium, but shut off the announcers.
I’m undecided about ESPN’s home run tracker thing. The “put a trail on the ball” as it flies out of the park. I kind of thought that the NHL tried that some years ago with “Superpuck“, and it went away when the real fans started a revolt over the idea. I expect the same thing will happen here. If they try bringing it in on their regular coverage, I might have to have a stronger reaction.
On the positive side, I am so glad they stopped having some sideline reporter accost the player when they come out of the box. They always asked them stupid questions like “What did it feel like when you hit home run #4?” I mean come on – who cares? That was auto skip stuff on the TiVo. At least it’s gone – last night they just sent a kid with Gatorade and a towel, which is what it should be.
Overall, I think the derby is fine. I know a lot of people rag on it, but I think it’s just minor tweaks and it can be OK. Does anyone remember the last home run derby that wasn’t led by Chris Berman?
And for a laugh, check out this link, which is a drinking game based on the 2009 Home Run Derby. Made me chuckle for sure.

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All Star Game Bonuses

Read an article over at bizofbaseball.com today about the breakdown over who gets what bonus for being named to the All Star team. Here’s what I found for the three Rangers players named:
Michael Young – $50,000
Josh Hamilton – $10,000
Nelson Cruz – He wasn’t listed, so it’s probably zero.

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All Star Game Stuff

Well, Ian Kinsler lost both the main vote to Dustin Pedroia in the main vote at second base. He was then put up for the final vote. He was also screwed there and lost that vote by some unstated “very small number”.
That left our regular All-Star votes of Josh Hamilton voted in as a starter, and Michael Young selected as a backup. That was our contingent. Which is OK, for a team that’s not known for being all that great overall. I thought Kevin Millwood should have been on the pitching staff, but until we win, we’re not getting that kind of respect.
Today it was announced that Nelson Cruz was named to the All-Star team as a replacement for Torii Hunter, who went on the DL today. I also read that Ian Kinsler could still possibly be added as a replacement for Pedroia, whose wife is having some sort of pregnancy problems. That’s something that needs to be prayed for – new life is always good.
Back to baseball, though. If Ian gets added, it will be slightly amusing from the aspect of he didn’t get voted in – twice, and would end up starting anyway. :)
Over in the NL, I was rather excited to see that Jason Werth was added to the NL roster in place of Carlos Beltran. Also Shane Victorino made it in on the final vote, so there’s four Phillies on there, and we could have four Rangers if Kinsler ends up on there anyway.
Looking forward to Tuesday.

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Angels Pitcher Nick Adenheart Killed

As much as sports fans like to trash other teams and all that (I participate in that a lot being an Eagles fan living in Dallas), there’s certain things that just make you want to break down and cry. The Anaheim Angels lost their best pitching prospect last night in a car crash after he pitched. Nick was born August 24, 1986, and was killed last night by a drunk driver (he wasn’t the only one killed in this accident, actually). He was their number one prospect, and probably could equate (baseball wise, not human life wise) to us losing a Matt Harrison or someone of that caliber.
According to the report I read a minute ago (from TMZ, as this news isn’t on the major sites as I write this)…

Cops say someone driving a minivan blew through a red light, causing the Mitsubishi that Adenhart was riding in to hit a light pole. Three people were killed in the crash: Nick, another man and a woman. Cops say the person driving the van fled the scene — but was later caught and charged with felony hit-and-run. The suspect is currently being treated for injuries in a local hospital. We’re told one of the other men killed in the crash was also affiliated with the Angels organization.

His final pitching performance ever was quite a good one. Six innings pitched, seven hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. But most importantly for Nick and the Angels, no runs scored. His bullpen lost the game for him, but he was stellar. It was just his fourth major league start.
As a Rangers fan, it’s sad to read this. The human cost is far greater than anything we might gain as an opposing baseball team – that shouldn’t even matter. One of God’s children was really tragically taken for a stupid friggin reason. Drunk driving.
Baseball is not important, but God is. And to that, I offer up this piece of scripture which seems (in my mind, anyway) to fit the circumstance. I don’t know Nick, nor do I know if he knows God at all, but he was given a gift by God of being able to throw a baseball. To that, I offer up 1 Peter 1: 17-21:

Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

And my own prayer:
Our Father in Heaven, I lift up your son Nick, who was tragically taken from us. Only you know why these things happen, I cannot begin to comprehend it. Whatever it is, may his death serve a good that will in time be known to us. I do not know this man, but you do, and since I trust you, I trust that you will comfort and help through the pain his family at this time. I pray that anger not enter into their families reactions, as anger is not of you, it is of the devil, and has no place in the thoughts of a righteous man. Lord, raise up Nick, and keep his family in your arms at this time. In your son’s name I pray, Amen.

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)


UPDATE: The Angels site “Halo’s Heaven” has a lively commentary from not just Angels fans, but other team fans too. You can read that here. Also, someone there came up with another good piece of scripture I didn’t think of: Romans 12: 9-10

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

UPDATE 2: There’s an official story about it on the Angels site now. Go there and read the details.

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George W. Bush

Saw a link the day before Barack Obama was inagurated as President about the baseball history of George W. Bush. I forgot to post it, but I wanted to get it out there so people might see it.
It shows a lot of first pitch pictures of Dubya, and it reminded me. He never threw one out as President for the Texas Rangers. He may yet do that, but as a sitting president, I’m still kind of surprised he never did it for the team he used to own. Heck, Dick “I’ll shoot you in the face” Cheney did – I was there.
That issue aside, this article is a nice look back and some of the baseball related things of the 43rd President of the United States.

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Bob Costas joins MLB Network

In a move I really like, Bob Costas has joined the regular group of on-air talent over at MLB Network. This is a really cool thing, as I like Costas a lot. He hosted the first thing ever aired on MLB Network, a replay of the Don Larsen perfect game. He’s also in there as the channel is running Ken Burns’ Baseball.
However, this new deal will be original programming. The first thing he’s doing today is interviewing Joe Torre about his book, it will air in Thursday.
This is a guy I’d like to see become commissioner when Selig eventually retires (or even before!). I doubt the owners would go for that. They’ll probably put someone like George W. Bush in there.
There’s a story about this over at bizofbaseball.com – check it out.

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The Angels are vulnerable?

Saw an article on ESPN by Jayson Stark. In it he talks about the A’s additions this off season (pretty much Giambi & Matt Holliday). It should definitely help their offense.
However, the teaser for this article on the ESPN site has this text:

The A’s added both Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday, hoping to not only improve an offense that was 27th in runs but also close the gap on the vulnerable Angels in the AL West.

Vulnerable? The loss of Frankie Rodriguez is a big one for sure, but I don’t see them as “vulnerable”. Do you?

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“My MLB” on MLB Site

Saw something tonight on the MLB website which appears to be some sort of personal portal page concept they’re putting together. It’s called “My MLB”. It’s a page which you can customize with information about yourself, and about your favorite team. I went and customized mine a bit, you can see it this screen capture I took below.

I’m guessing MLB will eventually offer this as a “Home Page” on mlb.com. Each season since MLBAM took over control of all the sites, they have a refresh and/or upgrade of the site features right before the season starts. I’m guessing this is going to be part of 2009′s refresh. Don’t have any info to back that up, but it seems like a logical move.
I found this when I commented on a news story, and when I read the comment, I saw my profile name was clickable, so I clicked it, and found the page. Given the way to see this isn’t overtly in your face, my guess is that it’s not ready for a full blown test. I did find a way in this way. The link here will go to an account for you, the link in the thumbnail above goes to my profile page.
You appear to be able to add friends here, but I can find no mechanism to do so. If you know of a way to add friends here, please let me know. Something else that’s interesting is a section in your profile for your favorite teams (for me, Rangers, Phillies, & Pirates), and your least favorite teams (Yankees, Mets, Red Sox). The least favorite show up on your profile as “Rivals”, although they’re defined as “least favorite” in the edit profile screen. You can also pick your favorite active players, too. That shows up on a lower part of the profile page, which you can see here.

If you have a blog at mlblogs.com, stories from that show up here, too. I experimented with one back in 2006, and I stopped using it ages ago, but it shows up here. Wish there was a way to get rid of that. Next three games for your favorite team is here, it has some good potential. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
Tonight is the first time I’ve seen this feature; has anyone else spent any time poking around with it? I would like to know how to add friends there.

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Big Unit Just Says No Again

Looks like Randy Johnson won’t be coming to Texas again. For the second time, he turned down Texas, this time to take a job with the San Francisco Giants. I really thought it could have worked here from a mentor standpoint and a #4 or 5 spot.
I guess he wanted to subject the world to more of his batting attempts, staying in the NL.

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The Phillies win the World Series!

Yeah, I was pretty excited about it, being a Phillies fan, too. Probably would have jumped up and down, if it wasn’t for this leg brace I’m in. :)
They don’t call him the Flyin Hawaiian for nothing..

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There goes Mr. Nice Guy

Saw a report this morning that Joba Chamberlin was arrested for DUI, and open alcohol in his car. A lot of what made this guy special was his “nice guy” attitude. Well, there goes that feeling. DUI pretty much destroys any goodwill one might build up.
LINCOLN, Neb. — New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence, speeding and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deborah Collins said Chamberlain was stopped for speeding on U.S. 77 near his hometown of Lincoln at about 1 a.m. Saturday.
Collins said Chamberlain was taken to the Cornhusker Place Detox in Lincoln, which she said is the normal protocol.
Chamberlain was lodged at the center on charges of driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol and speeding.
Collins said the county attorney likely would file formal charges Monday.
An e-mail sent to Chamberlain’s agent Saturday was not immediately returned.

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Philly in the World Series

My Phillies are going to the World Series! I’ve been doing this Rangers since since December of 1998, so you know I follow the Rangers, but I grew up in Philly. So it’s pretty cool my “other” (or original) team is going to the World Series. I got my HDTV at the right time! :)
However, I won’t be watching Game 1 next Wednesday – I’ll be in a hospital bed. I’m having surgery to remove a bone cyst in my left leg next Wednesday morning. I’ll probably be too drugged up to be able to watch the game, unfortunately.
Nobody tell me what happens. :)

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Go Phillies!



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I’m with Buck

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Yankees Building New Vacation Stadium In The Hamptons


Yankees Building New Vacation Stadium In The Hamptons

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Alex Rodriguez & Derek Jeter

I know if you read my little old site here, you subscribe to Jamey Newberg’s newsletter/site/blog/everything else he does… Anyway, I just read his report for today. There was a remark in there that I wanted to draw out into the light in case you missed it.

Alex Rodriguez met with the media in the clubhouse in the sixth inning Tuesday night, having already changed into a suit and tie. His teammate, Derek Jeter, was right there nine innings after he’d been lifted from the game himself, the first (along with Kinsler) to congratulate Young on the field after his 15th-inning game-winner. Sort sums up the difference between Jeter and A-Rod.

Isn’t that the truth.

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All Star Game Update

The two final All Stars “were announced”:http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080710&content_id=3107903&vkey=allstar2008&fext=.jsp within the last hour. One of the guys I was voting for got in. That was Rays 3B Evan Longoria. The other was Corey Hart of the Brewers.
I can just see the jokes from Chris Berman on these guys. You’ll have your Desperate Housewives joke, and you’ll have your Sunglasses at Midnight joke, I’m sure.
Anyway, I’m glad to see Longoria get in. I’m not upset about Hart, although I would have preferred Burrell. Looking forward to the game on Tuesday, I’m thinking this one will be a bit more than the usual boring All Star Game.

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Gary Matthews Sr likes Alyssa Milano

Well, truth be told, who doesn’t? A Google Image Search for her should take care of that if you don’t know who she is. ;)
Anyway, if you didn’t know, Gary Matthews Sr is one of the TV/radio guys in Philadelphia. The Phillies do their announcing slightly differently than us. The Rangers guys are segregated. It’s always Josh & Tom on TV, and always Vic & Eric on radio. In Philly the teams rotate. For a few innings they’ll be on TV, then on radio for a few and back and forth and all that.
Anyway, Alyssa Milano was in Philly a few days back pushing her line of baseball clothing when Gary Matthews Sr was in the TV booth. It was then when Sarge Sr put his foot in it with Alyssa when they were talking about tattoos. Check it out.