Tagged: Ballgames

Giants 20-20

The Giants won in the 12th inning off a wierd bounce off first base on a hit by Randy Winn.  The victory showed some character after losing a heartbreaker in extra innings the night before on a walk off by Carlos Lee.  The win allowed them to avoid the sweep in Houston before returning to the bay area to play Oakland in the rivalry series this weekend, where Barry Zito will face his former team in the opener.  Rookie Tim Linecum pitched another outstanding game and is looking like another bright spot in the rotation.

Moose Abuse

The here-to-fore winless O’s bested the boys in pinstripes 6-4 at vaunted Yankee Stadium Friday.  Former Oriole Mike “Moose” Musina gave up all six runs and lasted only four innings.  The Moose abuse was loosed with the very first Oriole, as Brian Roberts opened the game with a double.  Melvin Mora then singled on a perfect bunt, before Nick Markakis hit the first of his two doubles, driving in two runs.

The Moose really had no excuse as it was an ideal night for pitchers, cold with the wind blowing in.  Adam Lowen threw five strong innings, a hopeful sign for Baltimore, who has had little to cheer about so far.  Kevin Millar, who as a former Red Sox has plenty of experience with the Yankees, noted before the game that the Orioles needed to arrive with a swagger and dominate in Yankee Stadium.

The O’s did.  At least for one game.  The two teams play ball again today with Steve Trachsel matched up against Kai Igawa.

Meanwhile, the teams’ two Triple A clubs are battling it out elsewhere in New York, with the Orioles affiliate Norfolk Tides losing to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 6-3 to even the series at one apiece.

And the Nats fell short after falling behind again…

— Michael Norton

Nats Spanked in Opener

The Nats lost to the Marlins 9-2, and it wasn’t as close as it sounded.  I was fresh out of surgery and singing with sister morphine (this is true), and it was still painful to watch.  John Patterson got lit up early and often.  Unfortunately thanks to the random gods Patterson is also on my MLBlogs League fantasy team, so I got doubled up.

Tonight it is the Nats number two starter, Shawn Hill (limited MLB statisical info), followed by Matt Chico (no MLB statistical info).  Most minor league staffs have more MLB experience.  If memory serves, George Will tells the story of another Washington team that announced “the fans like homeruns, and we’ve assembled a pitching staff to please our fans.”  This could get ugly.

Too bad they didn’t send any of that morphine home with me.  I’m definitely going to need the heart medications before this year is through.

— Michael Norton

Mister Rogers Excuses Himself to Wash His Hands

FOX Sports - MLB - La Russa: ’I don’t believe it was dirt La Russa: ’I don’t believe it was dirt’

LaRussa broadcasts to the Tigers he doesn’t believe a word of it. On the other hand, he doesn’t complain too loudly. Why? Jason at Baseball & the Boogie Down Bronx points to a clue. Remember, we’re talking about the same LaRussa that managed both Canseco and McGwire in Oakland, and never suspected a thing.

Of course controversy sells newspapers, and tickets. But the great circus here is the lies. No one’s story matches up. Ultimately baseball protects its own.

So why isn’t Rogers as hated as that other "cheater", Bonds? How much evidence do you need for a cheat? The same clump of dirt, in three different games? A head three hat sizes too large? And are some accomplishments so much more significant than others that fans will accept skewed results for one, but not the other.

Maybe Mister Rogers will have his own reality show on ESPN next year.

My O My

Matt from Diamondhacks misses nothing.

Rumor has it I’ve been traded.

In his comments on the Mets clinching, Matt penned a mock letter from the owner of the Baltimore Orioles. His reference was to my hometown Norfolk Tides choosing not to renew the player development contract with the Mets. It appears a relationship that has existed since the Miracle Mets of 1969 is soon to be no more.

Ironically it is the club the Mets vanquished in that historic series that is destined to usurp their role in Norfolk. I’ve written on the switcheroo in my column for Spike’s Ballparks, so I won’t repeat all the gory details here. But here is the essence: The Tides president, Ken Young, is part of an ownership group that purchased three Orioles farm clubs over the summer. The Tides management have kept up appearances that they were entertaining consideration by the Nationals, Orioles, Mets and even Yankees, but my suspicion is this deal was done months ago.

The Nats got smart and, realizing Norfolk was going to the Birds, signed up with Columbus. The Mets got caught with their pants down and are now swamped in New Orleans. The spin is laughable: "We are excited to relocate our top Minor League operation to New Orleans to become a part of the rebirth and renaissance of one of America’s great cities," said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. Right. Having an affiliate in the PCL (Pacific Coast League) is a disadvantage for eastern seaboard clubs. That is why the Nats wanted out of New Orleans.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. It may not be a bad thing. The Orioles are a rich team but they cannot compete via free agency. They must develop through the farm system. So I don’t know how to feel. I do know I wish they had the decency to wait until after the season. Suddenly I am not really a Met. Now I know how Xavier Nady felt. Of course the fans’ voice was not even a consideration. Baseball is a business.

Think I’ll go golfing.

Bosox Buttox

Here is why David Ortiz is not MVP material:

During the Sunday night edition of the Boston Massacre, Game Four, David Ortiz steamrolled down to second on a hit that got past the first baseman in the bottom of the ninth after the Yankees had tied the game in the top half of the inning. His hustle was widely praised. It was also utterly foolish. First, he could have been thrown out. More importantly, he took the bat out of the hands of arguably the best hitter in the game, Manny Ramirez. They walked Manny-of course. Ortiz was thrown out at third on the sacrifice bunt, and the lower end of the Red Sox order couldn’t get the job done.

I said then the season was over for Boston. One of the differences between baseball and football is the role of will in determination of the outcome. Yes, the will to win played a part in the dramatic 2004 Boston championship run. There was also a large element of luck. Boston has been struggling with that ever since. Luck evens out. You’ll more often die than live by the dramatic slugger. More often than not, Casey strikes out.

Jeter plays baseball. He understands the game in a way Ortiz does not. Ortiz thinks the guy who “hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that’s the guy you know helped your team win games”. It is all about gaudy stats.

He really wants that trophy, doesn’t he? Check out Cappiello’s Yankee Corner for an excellent analysis.

— Michael Norton

Back

Well, we’re back. No, I didn’t just refer to myself in divine plural: my son also writes here, just less frequently considering he is defending our country, attending college and raising a family. We were ruminating last night that it has been one busy, busy summer for both of us.

But I’m taking a long weekend after a brutal software project. Last night my son and I headed to a Tides game. There was a Beatles tribute band before the game, Beatlemania Again. Check them out if you get a chance. They replay the evolution of the Fab Four from lads in suits through Sgt. Pepper to hippies, with an authentic sound and equipment.

It was good to be at Harbor Park again-ah, the grass looks so green! The hot dogs just taste better in August for some reason. We had seats behind home plate, which was fortunate because Oliver Perez pitched a masterpiece, carrying a no hitter into the seventh. Even with special guest Reggie, the purple mascot that looks something like the Philly Phanatic, diverting the crowd, Perez received a huge ovation when the no hitter was broken up. Again I was reminded that Norfolk has great fans who actually pay attention to the game.

Oh and by the way, the Tides won, 1-0. — Michael Norton