Results tagged ‘ yankees ’
Yesterday ESPN.com had an article about possible schedule realignment and inter-league play next season. You can read the short article here.
We know that there will be a change to the schedule next year for sure because the Houston Astros will be moving to the American League. Each league will now have three divisions of five, for an odd numbered total of 15. It makes all the divisions equal in number, but it also creates a situation in which there will be inter-league play on every day of the season, from Opening Day right through to the last game of the season.
Personally, I have no problem with inter-league play every day, if it’s good enough on May 18th, why not September 18th? And I think most people feel the same. However, if I’ve heard one beef about it though, it would be playing against the other league down the stretch of the season all the way to the last game. Most people like the idea of division games that last week, and I do to, but it rarely works out to be the 1st and 2nd place teams playing each other anyway. On the last day of the season this year, Minnesota will be playing Toronto, Atlanta is at Pittsburgh, San Diego at Milwaukee; Not exactly heated division rivalries, but I didn’t hear any complaints about that scheduling when it was posted.
If you read the ESPN article, you know the real gist of it was about the possible reduction in “Rivalry Games” like Mets-Yankees, Cubs-Sox, and Reds- Indians.
Good! I say.
I don’t need the Cubs to play the Sox 6 games each year in a home and home matchup.
MLB has a real opportunity to make the schedule right for the foreseeable future. But because I don’t trust them to come up with the correct plan……….I’m going to give it to them .
Every team plays 18 games against the other 4 teams in their Division: 72 Games Total
Every team plays 6 games against the other 10 non-division teams in its League: 60 Games Total
Every team plays 30 inter-league games. 6 games against each of the 5 teams in one of the three divisions in the other league. All the teams in your division will play the same other league division as you. Each year the division that they play will rotate: 30 Games
That’s a total of 162 games. It’s really that simple.
The only “flaw”, natural rivalry games (Cubs-Sox/NY-NY etc.) are reduced to happening only every three years. And that’s perfectly fine with me. The Cubs went from 1901 to 1997 without ever playing the Sox in the regular season and nobody had a problem with it. If MLB really needs the Cubs and the Sox to play against each other every year, they should have put them in the same division….. then it would REALLY be a rivalry, but until then I’m happy to play against the Cardinals every year and the Sox once every three years.
So there it is, so simple that it will never happen.
But hey Mr. Commissioner, if you are reading this and want to talk about it, just leave a comment down below or feel free to email me.
Side Note: I’m taking WrigleyRegular on the road; I will be in Cincinnati tomorrow. You can look for a trip and game review with pictures coming soon.
I went to the Mall today. You know, the once a year mad dash
to get some of those last minute Christmas presents.
As I walked around looking and shopping and looking some
more, I actually started to think of the other shoppers as opponents. Do they
want what I want? Will they get their first? Do they have more money than I do?
What’s the best deal for my money?
And then I started to think about general managers of
baseball teams shopping for free agents during the off season.
It’s different than my shopping because the players don’t
come with a set price tag, but they still have to get the most for their money
and beat the other shopper to the punch.
Some teams are just rich and don’t have to worry about the
price, as they say…..if you have to ask, you can’t afford the price. But most
teams are just like you and I, they must try and live inside the budget.
The Cubs are in a strange spot because they are a rich team
but are confined to a budget this year which mandates they cut about $10M or so
from last season’s balance sheet.
So far the Cubs have bought two new toys. First they picked
up Carlos Pena for $10M, certainly they paid full price. But with just one year
on the contract, Pena becomes a rent-to-own type player that will need to
produce big numbers this year to get full price next year.
The Cubs second buy is Kerry Wood. At $1.5M, Wood was definitely
bought using their ‘previous customer ‘ discount
and is without doubt a great bargain compared to similar models that have
already been sold. ( Jenks $6M, Putz $5M, Downs $5M).
Anyway, I know my head hurts after shopping at the mall all day;
I hope Jim Hendry doesn’t feel the same.
Volume 2 - Don Larsen
Most people know of Don Larsen; they know he pitched for the
Yankees, and of course, most know that he threw a perfect game in the fifth
game of the 1956 World Series. But most people don’t really know much about the
totality of his career.
Don Larsen signed with the St. Louis Browns as an amateur
free agent and played his first professional season in 1947 with Aberdeen of
the Northern League. From 1947 to 1950 Don played for 5 different teams in the
Browns minor league system. He was 36-29 during that time.
Following the 1950 season, Don started active duty in the
military with the Army. Over the next couple years Larsen was based in Hawaii
and he played with the Army baseball team.
Don returned from active service before the 1953 MLB season
and made the St Louis Browns despite not having pitched with the franchise in
over two years.
During his rookie season Don pitched in 38 games, starting
22 of them. He went 7-12 for the last place 54-100 Browns. For the 1954 season the Browns moved to
Baltimore and became the Orioles. The change of scenery did little to help the
team or Don. The newly minted Orioles went 55-99 and Don led the league in
loses, posting a 3-21 record.
Following the 1954 season, Don was traded to the New York Yankees
in what would eventually become a 15 player trade after everything was
During the next five seasons with the Yankees, Don made 128
regular season appearances, starting 90 games. He was 45-24 with a 3.50 ERA. He
also appeared in four World Series during this time. He made 7 starts, going
3-2. Of course, Don’s most famous game happened during the 1956 WS. Don pitched
the only perfect game in post-season history against the Brooklyn Dodgers on
October 8th winning 2-0.
After a 6-7 1959 season, Don was traded to the Kansas City
A’s. One of the players the Yankees received in return was Roger Maris.
Don struggled in the 1960 season. He went 1-10 with a 5.38
ERA and spent some time back in the minors.
Over the next 6 years Don Larsen played with 5 different
teams including the Giants, White Sox, and the Astros.
After playing with Baltimore for the second time in his
career, Larsen was released by the Orioles on April 11, 1966. He signed with
Phoenix of the PCL and pitched the entire year in the minors.
For the 1967 season he signed with the Chicago Cubs. He pitched with the
Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs AA team before being called up to pitch with the Cubs
Don made three appearances for the Cubs. He pitched in
relief on July 3rd, 4th, and 7th. He was 0-0
in four innings. He had 2 walks, 1 K, gave up 4 runs, including a HR to Mack
Jones, and finished with a 9.00 ERA.
Don pitched the 1968 season with two different Chicago Cubs
minor league teams, but he never made a major league appearance again.
Don Larsen finished his major league career with an 81-91
record and a 3.78 ERA.
Don was never a HOF type pitcher. But for one day in October
of 1956 he was perfect, and for that he will always be remembered.
If I’m the Cubs, I call the Yanks and offer Carlos Zambrano.
After losing out on Cliff Lee, you know the Yankees would
love to make a move to get another starting pitcher. Rumors are that Zack Greinke is available out
of Kansas City, but considering Greinke’s past history with anxiety disorder, I
don’t see any way that he goes to New York.
The Cubs are under the weight of some heavy salaries right
now and could shed a few pounds. Zambrano has two years remaining at $35M.
Zambrano had a very good second half last year and the
chances of trading him will never be better.
And if I remember correctly, the Yankees have had past
interest in Big Z.
Once again, one of the most underrated, unappreciated
players of all-time was relegated to being a footnote today.
Ted Simmons was among the
players, owners, managers and executives not voted into the Baseball HOF today
under the Hall’s new veteran’s committee configuration. This year the committee
looked at candidates from the expansion era (1973-present).
For those not familiar with Simmons, here is a short summary
of his stats.
8 Time All-Star
The next couple of stats are for players that played 50% or
more of their games at Catcher:
248 HR’s , 10th all-time
1389 RBI’s , 2nd all-time behind Berra (ahead of
Bench, Piazza, Fisk, Carter)
2472 Hits, 2nd all-time behind I Rodriguez (ahead
of Fisk, Berra, Carter, Bench)
No… he never won a Gold Glove, but you gotta remember, he
was playing at the same time in the same league as Johnny Bench. Let’s face it;
Bench was one of the best defensive catchers all-time. It’s hard to criticize a
guy for not being as good as Bench.
Ted Simmons will never go into the HOF without a ticket, but
he should at least be mentioned when the best catchers of the seventies are
I don’t know about you, but the one thing that is really
turning me off from watching game 3 between Texas and New York Monday night is
I know Pettitte has had a stellar post-season career.
I know we need drama.
But ever since some tv director called for a tight shot of
Andy Pettitte peering over his glove to get the sign from the catcher, we’ve
had to endure that shot 10 times an inning for the last 14 years.
I hope Pettitte gets knocked out of the game in the first
inning just so I don’t have to see it all night.
Pettitte Pic: NJ.com
Last week I made my predictions for the divisional round of
the MLB playoffs. I was 4 for 4 naming the correct winner, but only 1 of 4 in
guessing the number of games to be played in each series.
So……. This time I’ll only predict the winner on each series.
In the NL I’m going to go with the Phillies. They just have
too much pitching for San Francisco to handle and plenty of offense. I can’t
see any reason why they won’t be going to their third consecutive World Series.
In the AL I’m going with Texas. I think it would be
interesting to see a WS rematch between NY and Philadelphia, but I just think
that the Rangers have a better all-around team and with home field advantage, they
will be playing in the World Series.
So there it is, you’re 2010 World Series matchup will be……
Texas vs Philadelphia
On Aug 22nd the Chicago Cubs lost 16-5 to the
Atlanta Braves. It was the same score against the same team that they lost to
on Opening Day. It was also the last game that Lou Piniella managed the Cubs.
Back in July Piniella announced that 2009 would be his last
with the Cubs. He cited the need to spend time with his family. Unfortunately, the
ill health of his mother forced Lou to take a couple days off in early August
and then step away for good on the 22nd.
In what I thought was a surprise move, the Cubs named Mike
Quade the interim manager over bench coach Alan Trammell. Trammell had filled
in for Piniella during his earlier absences and he had previous major league managerial
experience with the Detroit Tigers. However, Cubs GM Jim Hendry had already
ruled out Trammell as a candidate for the 2011 manager job.
So here is Quade, first time managing a big league club
going on the road for six games. The Cubs win his first three games and come
home from the trip 4-2. It’s a good start and it turns out to be representative
of the way the Cubs will finish out the season under Mike Quade.
From Aug 23rd until the end of the season, the
Cubs go 24-13. In fact, during that time span the Cubs have the best record in
the NL Central by 3 games and the second best record in the major leagues
overall, second only to Philadelphia.
The question now is, who will manage the Cubs in 2011?
In my mind, despite the excellent showing Mike Quade, there are only two candidates for this job, Ryne Sandberg and
Joe Girardi. Quade has been great, and I hope he gets a manager job
somewhere, but it won’t be with the Cubs.
Chicago owner Tom Ricketts has essentially said that he
expects the next Cubs manager to be a life-long hire. He means that it will be
someone that has a long connection to the Cubs organization and someone that he
expects to have sitting in the third base dugout for the next 20 years.
I personally believe he wants Girardi and will give Joe
every opportunity to take the job. But in order to do that he has to wait for
the Yankees to complete post-season play. Girardi’s contract with New York ends
after the season and he will be free to negotiate with any team he wants.
Would Girardi really want to leave the Yankees, especially
if they win another World Series? I don’t know. But he is a Chicago guy and
Ricketts is going to give him the chance.
If the answer is no, then Ryne Sandberg is the man. Let’s
face it, Sandberg has said he wants the job, he has earned his stripes over the
past four seasons in the minors, and the fans love him.
But if Ryne was the number one choice for Ricketts and Hendry, he’d already
have the job.
I actually would be happy with either guy. And I really like
the idea of one manager for the next 20 years. Of
course, they still gotta win.
I haven’t checked in for a while. I’m just trying to step
back from the season for a couple days before I begin the post- mortem.
Actually, I’ve been waiting since Sunday night for Chicago
GM Jim Hendry to give me a call so that we can discuss the 2011 Cubs. But since
it doesn’t appear as if he is going to call, over the next couple of days I
will be posting my “If I were GM” thoughts.
In the meantime; even though the playoffs have already
started (and it’s always easier after they start), I will give you my picks for
Texas in 4
Yankees in 4
Philadelphia in 3
San Fran in 5
San Diego Padres played their first game as a franchise on April 8, 1969 at San
Diego Stadium (later named Jack Murphy Stadium and now called Qualcomm) in
front of 23,370 fans.
Dick Selma went the distance for the Padres;
he struck out 12 Astros’ while allowing just five hits and one run in a 2-1
victory. The next night the Padres once again beat Joe Morgan (yes, that Joe Morgan) and the Houston
Astros 2-0, but good luck finding anyone that saw the game in person as just
4,218 showed up. After winning their third straight game on April 10th,
it would be the last time the Padres would be in first place at any point of
any season for the next four years.
Since their inception, the Padres have been essentially a
nondescript ballclub, and I’m not just talking about the jerseys. Over the past
41 years the Friar’s have just 14 winning seasons and currently have the second
worst winning percentage (.436) of any franchise in baseball, just ahead of the
Yes they have been to the World Series twice, which is two
more times than the Cubs have made the series in the last forty years; but they
are 0-2, winning just 1 game and losing 8.
Their first appearance in the World Series is probably the
one most remembered by Cubs fans. In 1984 the Cubs and Padres met in the NL
Championship Series for a chance to play the Tigers in the WS. The Cubs won the
first two games in the best of five series before losing the final three to the
Padres. San Diego advanced to the World Series where they lost to Detroit 4
games to one.
The Padres also made it to the WS in 1998, they were swept
in four games by the New York Yankees.
Why go through a brief history of the Padres? To illustrate
that the Padres are not a team of pedigree.
Yesterday the Cubs lost to the Padres for the fourth
straight time in Wrigley Field. Over the last 41 seasons no matter how bad or
good either the Cubs or San Diego has been, San Diego has never swept a four
game series at Wrigley. Never. And I was there to see it. Well some of it anyway.
I took my daughters to the game and one of them wasn’t feeling well so we left
after three innings.
I really have avoided writing about the team recently
because they are just hard to watch.
Over the years I’ve seen some bad Cub teams, we all have.
But this is a team that I really thought had a chance to make the playoffs. That’s what makes it so frustrating. I know we can’t expect
postseason every year, they didn’t make it last year, but that team still had a
winning record. This may be the worst Cub team I have seen because of the
expectations that I and other fans had. Maybe we were just being blind to the
facts, but this really is bad.
Anyway now that they have lost 10 of the last 11 at Wrigley,
the Atlanta Braves and Derrek Lee come into town.
So………………………Let’s go get ‘em!
Here are a few pictures from yesterday.