Here are the Mariner moves with former Rattler players in bold (some have already been mentioned):
Signed RHP Cha Seung Baek
Released RHP Everett Collis
Released RHP Willson FentonReleased
RHP Nelson Figueroa
Released RHP Jesse Foppert
Released RHP Justin Jordan
Released RHP Ari Kafka
Released RHP Cory Koliscak
Released RHP Haley Winter
Released LHP Jaime Cerda
Released C Paul Keck
Released 1B Curtis Ledbetter
Released SS Marcos Villezcas
Released SS Matt Vogel
Released OF Jason Grove
Released OF Stanley Posluszny
Released OF Tony Torcato
Traded 2B Robby Hudson to White Sox for cash considerations
Traded SS Matt Rogelstad to Nationals for future considerations
Checking other organizations:
Released RHP Edgar Guaramato
Released OF Jamal Strong
Released RHP Jeffrey Gilmore
Released RHP Enmanuel Ulloa
Signed RHP Aquilino Lopez
Released LHP Kendall Bergdall
Released C Craig Kuzmic
Signed OF Sheldon Fulse
Released RHP Juan Ovalles
You remember Voyagers! right? A time travel show that kids were supposed to watch because it was supposed to teach history in a fun way. I seem to remember that it was recommended by the Scholastic Book Club or some other such organization that promoted learning.
Voyagers! only lasted one season. NBC decided to run it against 60 Minutes on Sunday nights. Not a great idea. But, to tell the truth it wasn't a very good show. There have only been two really good time travel television shows Quantum Leap and Dr. Who.
Anyway, I had one of those flashbacks after hearing Dick Enberg read that promo. The one where you go, "Wasn't there this one episode where...." This one ended with "Wasn't there this one episode where Babe Ruth meets Cleopatra?"
Yes, you read that right. Babe Ruth meets Cleopatra. A quick trip to youtube and -- wonder of wonders -- some sick, twisted, gloriously weird person posted that entire episode.
Prepare yourself for Cleo and the Babe:
Part One with the totally 80's faux-John Williams music for the opening credits:
Part Two with an incredibly bad accent by the guy playing Lucky Luciano and a vanishing Yankee Stadium:
Part Three with William Lucking as a Babe Ruth who doesn't want to hit.
Part Four with the most ridiculous hiding in an alley scene in television history:
Part Five with the stars of the show...oh, heck just watch it:
It had to be 1979. The vendor was selling a glass bottle in a stadium full of Sailor fans. Sailor fans really turned ugly after they lost the pennant in 1983. By then, they had all been made peppers.
Two things that blew my mind:
Mike Caldwell gave up 14 hits in 8-1/3 innings and only allowed four runs...and got the win.
Another day game for a World Series
Three things that I remembered that I shouldn't have forgot:
The 1982 version of Robin Yount was really, really good
Gorman Thomas and Charlie Moore were pretty good defensive outfielders
Joe Garagiola, Dick Enberg, and Tony Kubek were a great broadcast team
Two things that I am trying to figure out if it was better or worse in 1982:
The screen didn't have a bunch of graphics
Replays were saved for big moments. There weren't a lot of replays of a routine grounder to Ken Oberkfell at third base.
* The 10th anniversary of the 1997 Mariners
* The 25th anniversary of the 1982 Brewers
* The 50th anniversary of the 1957 Braves
With a little help from retrosheet, I'll post links to the box score of each game that season for each team on the day of that game. If there are any stories or other things of note relating to those teams that are stumbled across on the web, those will be posted as well.
The 1997 Mariners opened their season on April 1. The 1982 Brewers opened their season on April 9. The 1957 Braves opened their season on April 16. Just a little something to kill time...er, that might be of interest to you.
Watched the game on WGN last night. During the pre-game I learned that Lou Pinella doesn't like blackjack because he doesn't have the patience to sit around that long and the Cub coaching staff was very well taken care of at Joe's Crab Shack at dinner on Thursday night.
In the game, ex-Rattlers in action for the M's:
Juan Sandoval (WI '03): 2IP, 4H, R, 0BB, 2K
JJ Putz (WI '00): IP, 0R, 0H, BB, 0K
Julio Mateo (WI '00): IP, 0R, 0H, 0BB, K
Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
In the earliest Opening Day ever, the Mariners sail past the White Sox in 12 innings, 3–2 in Seattle. Randy Johnson sticks out 14 Sox in seven innings, but serving up a 2-run homer to Frank Thomas. Five M's pitchers strike out 21 batters, including Ron Karkovice five times, while the Sox use seven pitchers in the loss. The American League unveiled its new colorful red polo shirts for the umpires, part of the "What a Game" campaign to lure fans back to the parks. The last sartorial change was in the 1970s when AL umps wore red blazers for several years. Al umps will wear red and blue polo shirts for the season; National League umps will stick with traditional blue.
I miss the red blazers.
The Senators send young prospect Lou Piniella to the Orioles for Buster Narum and cash. Piniella will play briefly for the O's before going to minors until the resurfacing with the Indians in 1968. The Seattle Pilots will draft him in 1969 and trade him to Kansas City where Sweet Lou, with his 5th team, finally wins Rookie of the Year honors.
Wow. Never knew that Lou bounced around so much before his Rookie of the Year award.
Before clicking realize that there is a some rough language in the following clip. As you might expect in a rumble between two street gangs...even if one gang is wearing face paint and baseball uniforms and the other is wearing leather vests.
Warriors! Come out to play!
The letter today is from 1993 when I was between WKTS in Sheboygan and going back to school at UW-Superior. It's from, well, I'll let it be a surprise for the end.
I received your resume for future employment consideration with __________. Thank you for your interest!
Unfortunately, we have no suitable positions available at the present time and I do not anticipate any changes in our staffing needs in the near future. However, I will gladly keep your resume on file for six months should we at some point require an individual with your experience and qualifications. Please keep me informed of any changes in your address or phone number, in the event an opportunity arises at a later date.
Thank you again for your interest in WEST MICHIGAN BASEBALL; I hope we will have the opportunity to meet at some point in the future!
Yep, a rejection letter from the team that would become the West Michigan Whitecaps. The ALL CAPS were my touch in the last paragraph. The two exclamation points in the letter were not mine. Who puts two exclamation points in a rejection letter? One that is followed by the word "Unfortunately" is bad enough! Isn't it!?!?!
Perhaps it's bad karma to do a column like this, but another mistake I made, this one not so humorous, was pointed out to me just after I wrote this blog today. It involves a newspaper story I wrote yesterday about Mariners minor leaguer Chris Minaker, whose honors thesis at Stanford was about the pressures athletes there feel to take peroformance enhancing supplements.
The survey taken by Minaker asked athletes about the substances they had taken. Only one question -- the one on steroids -- asked them solely about the pressure they had felt to take that substance. Not whether they took them or not. Nine of 89 athletes, including five baseball players, admitted they had felt pressure to take steroids. This is obviously different from those same athletes admitting they took steroids, as I wrote in my story.
Minaker has no idea whether or not those nine athletes actually succumbed to the pressure to take steroids. For that, I am sorry, both to him and to Stanford. More to him, because the last thing I wanted to do was diminish the importance of the work he did.
This is how you should handle mistakes and errors.
San Diego beat the Mariners 6-1. Ex-Rattlers in that game for Seattle:
Brent Johnson (WI '05): 1-for-4
Luis Valbuena (WI '06): 1-for-2, run, 2 walks
Jon Nelson (WI '03): 0-for-4
Jeff Clement (WI '05): 0-for-1
Adam Moore (WI '06): 0-for-1
Matt Tuiasosopo (WI '05): 0-for-3
Johan Limonta (WI '06): 0-for-2
Jeff Dominguez (WI '06): 0-for-2
San Francisco beat the Mariners 4-0. Ex-Rattlers in this game for Seattle:
Adam Jones (WI '04): 0-for-1
Michael Saunders (WI '06): 0-for-1
Sebastien Boucher (WI '05): 0-for-1
Justin Leone (WI '00) went 0-for-1 for the Giants.
Seattle is on WGN-TV tonight as they play the Cubs in Las Vegas. Game time is 9:00pm CDT.
A trade that turned out pretty good for the Cubs?
The Yankees trade new author and veteran 3B Graig Nettles to the Padres for rookie P Dennis Rasmussen and a minor leaguer to be named later. Nettles's controversial book Balls, in which he criticizes Steinbrenner, will be not be officially published until April 30th, but the bound books available now make his days in pinstripes numbered.
There are now 205 used copies of Balls available for $2.95 at Alibris.com.
A holdout from the Browns, SS Vern Stephens signs a 5-year deal with the Pasquel brothers to play in Mexico. The Giants dismiss Roy Zimmerman, George Hausmann, and P Sal Maglie for dickering with the Pasquels, and the trio departs for Mexico. One day later Mickey Owen of the Dodgers signs to manage the Mexican club in Torreón. Stephens will play a couple of games in Mexico, then jump back. Owen announces he will return and then changes his mind again.
There are so many juicy details in this entry, but the one that gets focused on today is this one: Who in the heck held out from the Browns?
In an exhibition game in Dallas between the Giants and Tigers, Ty Cobb slides into second bases and slashes Buck Herzog's leg with his spikes. Herzog jumps on Cobb and the two fight fiercely until separated. Herzog challenges Cobb to a fight and says he'll be in Cobb's room at 10 p.m. and both will be accompanied by one teammate. Herzog and Heinie Zimmerman show up, but Cobb has eight teammates on hand. Herzog knocks the Tiger star down with his first punch but Cobb gets up and hammers the New Yorker until the two are finally separated. Cobb refuses to play the remaining games with the Giants, and at the end of the week the New York players send him a postcard: "It's safe to rejoin your club; we've left."
Cobb was not a nice man. I'm surprised that he got eight teammates to join him.
Ex-Rattlers in action for the M's:
Felix Hernandez (WI '03): 5IP, 7H, 2R, BB, 4K -- Winning Pitcher
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (WI '06): 1/3IP, 0H, 0R -- Save
Former Appleton Fox Raul Ibanez was 0-for-4 with an RBI
2000Technically, the new millennium didn't start until 2001, but it can slide for this purpose.
The Cubs open the major league season in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, by defeating the Mets, 5-3, in the first big league game ever played outside of North America. Jon Lieber gets the victory and new ace Mike Hampton takes the loss. Shane Andrews hits the first home run of the new millennium. Mark Grace and Mike Piazza also homer.
Never liked this idea.
Picture taken from this post at Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb? on the Designated Runner, another of Charley O's ideas.
After the Cubs go 5–15 in spring training, Phil Cavarretta gives Cubs owner Phil Wrigley an honest assessment of the team's chances, and is fired for his "defeatist attitude." He's the first manager to be given the gate during spring training. Stan Hack replaces him. Cavarretta is right; the Cubs will drop to 7th.
A defeatist attitude in a Cub manager? Who'd a thunk it? The lesson here is, of course, never be honest, kids.
Well, that anniversary happened to be yesterday.
Not even going to provide a link to an unfunny opening to a slightly informational blog. Maybe next year. But, probably not.
To paraphrase The Who: Meet the new blog year; same as the old blog year.
Rivera out, Burke in
The first big move of camp has yet to be officially announced, but Mariners backup catcher Rene Rivera was packing his bags here this morning. That's because the team is taking Jamie Burke north to be the backup behind regular catcher Kenji Johjima.
Burke had still yet to be officially told about the move when I spoke to him. But he saw Rivera leave with his duffel bag like we all did. He can sense he's about to be delivered the biggest news of his playing career. The native of Roseburg, Ore., a town of roughly 20,000 about an hour south of Eugene, is about to "begin'' his career at age 35.
Farther down in that same post was an update with this information:
REED, O'FLAHERTY SENT DOWN
The Rivera move was just made official moments ago and joining him on his way to Class AAA will be outfielder Jeremy Reed and lefty reliever Eric O'Flaherty. Sean Green will be headed out as well, no big surprise there.
Gantner doubled [Oglivie scored (unearned), Money to third]; BAIR REPLACED LAPOINT (PITCHING); Molitor walked;Yount singled to right [Money scored (unearned), Gantner scored(unearned), Molitor to third]; KAAT REPLACED BAIR (PITCHING);Cooper singled [Molitor scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher), Yount to second]; Kaat threw a wild pitch [Yount to third, Cooper to second]; LAHTI REPLACED KAAT (PITCHING);Simmons was walked intentionally (walk was charged to Kaat);Thomas singled [Yount scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher), Cooper scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher),Simmons to third, Thomas to second (on throw to 3b)]; Oglivie was walked intentionally; Money flied out to left; 6 R (3 ER), 5H, 1 E, 3 LOB. Cardinals 5, Brewers 7.But, I bring this up not to point out how much fun County Stadium looked like during that game.
The point here today is this: I'm sure that everyone gets annoyed when FOX has the stars of their new fall lineup in attendance during playoff games and points a camera at them to promote the show. Well, thy weren't the first.
Dick Enberg, Joe Garagiola, and Tony Kubek were the announcers of the game and during an early part of the game, the camera focused on Rock Hudson. Dick Enberg then mentions that Hudson will be starring in The Devlin Connection, this fall on NBC.
The show lasted eleven episodes.
From Mr. Baseball
Jack Elliot: Just let them have a little fun.
Uchiyama: Baseball is work. Not fun.
Jack Elliot: Baseball is grown men getting paid to play a game. When you were a kid, I bet you didn't pick up a bat and ball because you were dying to work. A player's career is short enough. Let them enjoy it.
But what do you expect,
When you raise up a young boy's hopes
And then just crush 'em like so many paper beer cups.
Year after year after year
after year, after year, after year, after year, after year
'Til those hopes are just so much popcorn
for the pigeons beneath the 'L' tracks to eat.
Minor-leaguer busts steroids myths
The one thing Mariners minor-leaguer Chris Minaker won't be doing as a professional ballplayer is touting his sport's party line on steroids.
That's the one where Major League Baseball officials publicly — but a lot more vigorously in private — campaign about how their sport isn't as steroid-ridden as, say, professional football and can't be held responsible if younger athletes imitate their players. Their nudge-nudge, wink-wink suggestion is that the sport is socially responsible and simply being victimized by a congressional and media witch-hunt on steroids and other performance boosters.
But these complainers, and there are many, ought to talk to Minaker. The well-spoken, 23-year-old infielder from Lynnwood graduated last June with a master's degree in sociology from Stanford University, achieving a perfect score on an 86-page thesis about the social pressures athletes face to take performance-enhancing drugs.
His paper was strictly about college athletes at Stanford, but some of its conclusions about steroids won't have baseball executives or union officials grinning with glee.
"If the need for steroids is broken down by sport, it becomes clear that baseball has the biggest problem with steroids," Minaker writes, citing results of a confidential, written survey he took of 91 male varsity athletes at Stanford. "It is also baseball that has had the most well-publicized steroid problem of all of the professional team sports. It seems that the problem of the professional ranks has trickled down into the collegiate ranks."
The last thing Major League Baseball wants is a minor-leaguer writing that college-level players are, at best, being influenced by their perceptions about big-leaguers or, at worst, copying them. After all, the argument that big-league steroids are morally corrupting youth is the biggest one cited by those crying for a government crackdown.
Minaker hit .315 with four homers and 17 runs batted in over 40 games with Class A Wisconsin last season. The 10th-round pick by Seattle hopes for a long baseball career, but has deferred a $10,000 scholarship just in case he wants more schooling down the road.
Regardless of what happens with his career, he said, he'd like to pursue his work on this topic.
"I think there is a need for that in our culture," he said. "So, definitely, I'd like to look at this further."
That is how quickly things can get away from you.
The April 1st issue of Sports Illustrated contains a fictitious article about a Mets pitching prospect named Sidd Finch, whose fastball has been timed at 168 MPH. Author George Plimpton offers bogus quotes from real-life members of the Mets, as well as several staged photos, and fools readers nationwide.
Go to the Museum of Hoaxes entry for Sidd. It's a good read. For an even better read, Plimpton's original article is on-line at SI.com.
The Scoreboard is only partly finished.
The new sign over the main entrance has been progressing nicely today, too:
Do you realize that next week at this time Fan Fest will have been going on for almost three hours? Well it will be.
The number 9 is represented by Ted Williams:
If you want to kill about three hours today, just go to www.tedwilliams.com and root around there for information about his baseball, fighter pilot, and angling careers.
And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, you do the walk of life.
I'm going to start wearing on of those Mark Knopfler knit headbands. The 80's are coming back, baby.
The Reds won 5-0 over the Red Sox and Bobby received a no decision. Here is his line: 5IP, H, 0R, BB, 4K
MILB.com took notice of Livingston's performance and had this story:
Livingston tightens Reds' No. 5 race
Considered for rotation with Belisle, lefty matches Matsuzaka
Livingston more than held his own against the Red Sox and Japanese superstar Daisuke Matsuzaka on Monday. The lefty allowed one hit over five scoreless innings but received a no-decision in the game won by Cincinnati, 5-0. Livingston issued one walk and struck out four.
"I was really happy with the way I pitched," Livingston said. "I think I could have thrown my curveball a little better. But I threw my other pitches well, and I thought I hit my spots well today."
Livingston's most challenging inning was the third, when he allowed a single before walking Matsuzaka. He got out of it with a ground-ball double play and a strikeout.
In five spring games, Livingston has a 1.23 ERA, having allowed two earned runs over 14 2/3 innings.
"He gives us a lot of confidence in him that [will be evident] if not in the beginning of the season, definitely some time during the season," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "That's great to see."
In need of relief help, the Cubs trade RHP Julian Tavarez and three prospects to the Marlins for reliever Antonio Alfonseca and RHP Matt Clement. The three prospects -- C Ryan Jorgensen, and pitchers Jose Cuetro and Dontrelle Willis -- are rated among the Cubs' top 20 prospects. Alfonseca, nicknamed El Pulpo (octopus) because he was born with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, will replace the injured Tom Gordon.
Willis pitched for Kane County in 2002 and the Rattlers didn't do very well against him that season.
The Phillies trade outfielders Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier and pitcher Porfi Altamirano to the Cubs for reliever Bill Campbell and catcher Mike Diaz. Matthews was the MVP of the NLCS last season, while Campbell led the National League with 82 appearances. Dernier will win a Gold Glove in CF for Chicago and help them reach the playoffs. His 45 steals will be the most by a Cub since 1907.
There was some othe ex-Phillie on that Cub team in 1984. Named Sandberg. Wonder what happened to him.
Denver A's just doesn't sound right.
Ex-Rattlers in action for Seattle:
Adam Jones (WI '04): 2-for-4, 2 runs, RBI
Brent Johnson (WI '05): 1-for-1, RBI
Jon Nelson (WI '03): 0-for-3
Yung Chi Chen (WI '05): 2-for-2, run
Rob Johnson (WI '05): 2-for-2, 2 runs, RBI
Voters in San Francisco vote 2-to-1 in favor of a privately-funded stadium to replace Candlestick Park, the windy 36-year-old home of the Giants. The passage of the measure, the first step towards building the 42,000 seat bayside park, exempts the Giants from the waterside height restrictions. Plans call for the park to be ready for Opening Day, 2000.
Privately-funded stadium? There's a novel idea.
In an exhibition game at USC, Mickey Mantle propels a homer estimated at 654 to 660 feet. The shot clears Bovard Field and then goes the width of a practice football field before landing. Mantle has two homers, a bases loaded triple, and drives in seven runs as the Yankees flunk the collegians, 15–1.
The Mick had some pop in his bat.
So, I'll go with john Fogerty's Centerfield.
Put me in, Coach. I'm ready to play today.
Today, about five thousand Americans a year are diagnosed with ALS. Scientists still don't know what causes the disease, and they still ddon't have a cure. Most patients die within two or three years of diagnosis. In other words, not much has changed since 1941. The biggest difference, perhaps, is that the malady is now widely referred to in the United States as Lou Gehrig's disease. Gehrig helped lift this rare and poorly understood malady from obscurity. Countless millions of dollars have been raised for scientific research thanks in part to his good name.
Many neurologists still hang pictures of the ballplayer in their offices and examination rooms. When they break the news to patients with ALS, they almost always invoke his name. "It hits them like a fastball between the eyes," says Dr. Anthony J. Windebank of the Mayo Clinic. "Everyone knows Gehrig died young." But after the initial shock, patients often reflect on Gehrig's response to his diagnosis rather than the outcome of his illness.
ALS is a disease of weakness, but Lou Gehrig's disease is associated with strength -- the strength of a stricken man who said he felt lucky.
Ex-Rattlers in action for the M's:
Jon Nelson (WI '03): pinch ran in the game
Adam Jones (WI '04): 0-for-1
Rob Johnson (WI '05): pinch ran, scored a run, and went 0-for-1
Yung Chi Chen (WI '05): 0-for-0, walk, run scored
Eric O'Flaherty (WI '05): IP, 0R, H, K, winning pitcher
Arizona P Randy Johnson kills a dove with a pitch during the Diamondbacks 10-6 exhibition win over the Giants. The dove makes the mistake of darting in front of a 95 MPH fastball.
Yes, there is video.
An Illinois judge rules that state and city laws which effectively ban night baseball at Chicago's Wrigley Field are constitutional. After being forced to give up a home game during the 1984 NLCS, and threatened with playing future post-season games at another stadium entirely in order to accommodate network television's prime-time schedules, the Cubs had sued to overturn the laws.
Nothing gets karma on you side like suing someone.
In New Orleans, Babe Didrickson takes the mound again, this time for the New Orleans Pelicans against split squad of the Cleveland Indians. She throws two scoreless innings and lines out in her only plate appearance. In nearby Lafayette, Louisiana, manager Walter Johnson pitches for the other Indian squad against the KC Blues.
Babe Didrikson was probably a better athlete than most of the ballplayers of that era. Her web page is HERE.
And how can you not like an episode that begins with this scene:
At Moe's Tavern, the gang beg Homer to tell his story...
Homer: There's only one thing worse than being a loser. It's being one of those guys who sits in a bar telling a story of how he became a loser, and I never want that to happen to me.
Barney: Please, Homer?
Moe: Yeah, come on, Homer.
Homer: Well, okay.
That scene is from this site that has pretty much the whole episode transcribed.
One of the better early episodes of the show.
And I got up in front of them. I felt an intoxication that had nothing to do with alcohol. It was the intoxication of being a public spectacle! -- Homer
Homer: Don't fill up on those vegetables, kids. Save room for your nachos!
Lisa+Bart: All right!
Marge: [disapprovingly] Mmm.
Bart was strangely quiet. Later, he explained he was confused by feelings of respect for me. It wouldn't last. -- Homer
Homer: I wonder why stories of degradation and humiliation make you more popular.
Moe: I dunno. They just do.
The number 12 is represented by Jose Mendez.
Before you go all "Who is Jose Mendez?" at your computer screen, here is the entry from a history of uniform numbers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame website:
Now Batting, Number “12.” José Mendez, Number “12.”
The earliest photographic evidence of the use of uniform numbers comes from a 1909 Chicago Daily News picture of pitching great José Mendez. A legendary Cuban ballplayer, Mendez was a member of the inaugural class of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. In the photograph, Mendez is seen in his Cuban Stars uniform with a number "12” on his left sleeve.
We've seen our share of ups and downs
Oh how quickly life can turn around
In an instant
It feels so good to realize
What's in yourself and within your mind
Let's find peace there
When you are with me I'm free
I'm careless, I believe
Above all the others we'll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
I just want to say hello again.
I just want to say hello again.
To the baseball season.
Creed videos are weird, eh?
Opening Day is going to be here shortly and there are other duties that I need to take care of to keep being able to do this.
Rattler Radio will continue to be updated daily, but it will depend on when I can find time to do the posts.
Today, for example, the baseball music video and the Opening Day countdown will be posted shortly. The Baseball on TV and the Field photo posts will have to be later this afternoon. There are a few personal things to do before heading into the office for a few of the duties.
Just so you know, there have probably been people at the office already this morning while I am working on my therapy, er, the blog.
Thank you for your interest in WRTA.
We are a very busy sports staff, but at this time,
we are running at full capacity.
We don't anticipate any openings in the near
future, but I'll keep your tape and resume on hand just in case.
I wonder if that tape and resume are still at WRTA of if the guy who wrote this letter took it with him across town to WFBG, the Big 1290.
Oh, and the letter was single-spaced to take up even less space on WRTA letterhead, I guess.
Go to the link to find out the last time a pitcher even close to Felix's age made an opening day start.
PEORIA, Ariz. — A friendly slap near the belly of Felix Hernandez was more than just his manager's way of telling him he'd be starting on opening day.
The sixth-inning gesture by Mariners manager Mike Hargrove was a fitting symbol, since Hernandez's shrunken midsection is a major reason he was anointed the No. 1 starter. Hargrove mentioned Hernandez's maturity level several times in announcing his decision to make the Venezuelan native the youngest opening-day starter in a generation.
Hernandez tried his best not to show his age in the clubhouse afterward, maintaining a stoic disposition for as long as possible before a giddy grin kept pushing its way through.
"He told me, 'Good outing!' " Hernandez said of Hargrove's words after he jogged off the field during Seattle's 10-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. "I said, 'Thank you.' Then he said, 'Let's try to do that on opening day.' I was so proud."
Ex-Rattlers in action for Seattle:
Jon Nelson (WI '03): 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter
Adam Jones (WI '04): defensive replacement
Rene Rivera (WI '03): 0-for-2
Rob Johnson (WI '05): 0-for-1
Felix Hernandez (WI '03): 6IP, 7H, 4R, 0BB, 4K -- Winning pitcher
Julio Mateo (WI '00): IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
Fernando Valenzuela ends his holdout and reports to the Dodgers' spring training camp in Vero Beach, Florida. After earning just $42,500 while winning the National League Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year Awards last season, the 21-year-old lefthander had asked for a raise to $1 million in 1982. The Dodgers unilaterally renewed his contract for a reported $350,000 instead.
The stadium that would be Shea.
The minor league season opens with the California League in San Francisco and Stockton. This year's new rules include the first legal substitution rule and the reduction of balls for a walk from five to 4. The substitution rule, which allows a team to designate one man to be put into the game at the captain's discretion at the end of any inning, would soon be modified.
I should hope so.
Technically this is the end result of the first tarp pull of 2007. Don't worry, there is no rain in the forecast. This is just a chance for the grounds crew to check for any damage to the tarp that will need to be repaired before we really need the tarp.
Only one radio announcer made a fool of himself during the pull. He did this by getting his foot caught in one of the handles mere seconds after he had warned everyone else to look out for the handles.
What a guy.
The number 13 is represented by Ralph Branca:
Branca gave up the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" to Bobby Thompson that gave the Giants the NL Pennant in 1951.
ESPN Classic showed the Classic Battlelines episode about this game recently and a story that Branca told struck me. It went something like this:
After the game, he went out to dinner with his soon-to-be wife and her cousin. The cousin was also a priest and Branca asked him the question most of us ask at one time or another during the day (or half hour as the case may be).
"Because God knew that your faith would be strong enough to bear this cross," was the response.
13 doesn't seem so unlucky today.
Finally figured out how to post the really cool cover art:
And they have been there ever since. But, there are some changes on the way.
I have the same understanding on parking tickets with the city of Madison. Well, not really an understanding. More like, if I ever get one, I pay it.