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Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

Wakefield Finally Gets Milestone

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 14, 2011

After trying the entire month of August and half of September, Tim Wakefield finally nailed down his 200th career victory last night.  It’s hard to imagine a more satisfying – and Wakefield-like – win for a team that entered the game on a 5-game losing streak and suddenly in the midst of a Wild Card race long thought to have been done.  I have long been a Wakefield admirer, if for no other reason that I think it’s fun to watch a knuckleballer in action.  That admiration went to a new level last month after I finished his biography, Knuckler, that details one of baseball’s most unusual careers.

The book won’t win any major awards, but it’s a very good read for any baseball fan.  You don’t have to be a Sox fan, a Pirates fan, or even a Wakefield fan to enjoy the book.  It’s simply a good book that tells a great story of a utility infielder on his way out of baseball when a minor league coach noticed that Wakefield threw a knuckleball for fun during warmups.

Wakefield got his first victory as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992, en route to a sensational rookie campaign.  Win number 200 comes twenty years later for a team that needed him to do exactly what he did – eat innings and keep it close.  An interesting tidbit about last night’s game.  Red Sox backup shortstop, Jose Iglesisas, was just 16 months old when Wake won his first game.

For those wondering, Wakefield is not the last of his kind.  R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets developed a knuckleball a few years ago, and he has settled into a very nice career.  Playing at Citi Field, Dickey has a chance to put together a successful, long career.

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Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Trout Named Player of the Year

Posted by Brett Kincaid on September 7, 2011

We take a quick break from non-stop football coverage to congratulate former Arkansas Traveler Mike Trout on being named the Baseball America 2011 Player of the Year.  This is quite a prestigious honor for Trout, as the annual winner of this award has turned in solid-to-stellar MLB seasons the following year.  The last five winners are:

  • 2010 – Jeremy Hellickson, SP Tampa
  • 2009 – Jason Heyward, OF Atlanta
  • 2008 – Matt Wieters, C Oakland
  • 2007 – Jay Bruce, OF Cincinnati
  • 2006 – Alex Gordon, OF Kansas City

That’s not a bad list for an aspiring MLB superstar.  From the Baseball America story:

Most baseball speedsters are like Ferraris. They’re small, compact and built to go from home to first in the blink of an eye. But watching Trout was like watching a massive Mercedes with a big engine under the hood. He looked like a power hitter, but when you pulled out the stopwatch, you realized he was faster than all those Ferraris.

I got to see Trout this year at Dickey-Stephens Park, and I came away very impressed.  He looks effortless in the field, and he legged out a triple that 99% of ballplayers would never have attempted.  After a rocky start in his major league debut, Trout has settled into a nice rhythm in Anaheim.  He currently sports a .238 batting average with 5 HR and 14 RBI while scoring 17 runs.  Clearly his average needs to improve, but that will come as he sees more major league pitching.

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Irene No Care-a

Posted by Brett Kincaid on August 26, 2011

If Jim Cantore comes to your town, you need to leave.  Living by this rule will save your life one day.

Hurricane Irene is barreling towards the U.S. eastern seaboard after ripping through Bermuda the Bahamas earlier this week.  The force of the store – currently a Category 3 – is projected to inflict billions of dollars of damage from North Carolina to Massachusetts.  The sports world is not immune to the potential damage and certain disruption.

Both the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies have altered their home series this weekend, moving Sunday games to day-night doubleheaders on Saturday.  The Giants-Jets NFL preseason game has been moved from a 7:00pm start to a 2:00pm kickoff in order to give fans more time to get home safely before the bulk of the storm hits.

The U.S. Open – the final Grand Slam tennis event of the year – also has been forced to make contingency plans as it prepares to ramp up in Flushing Meadows, New York.  The MLS and PGA have their eyes on the sky this weekend, too.

For our fans in the eastern United States – I’m as surprised as you are to learn we have fans – get your hurricane survival kit ready.  Don’t ignore the lessons from Katrina & New Orleans.  You need plenty of drinking water, flashlights/lamps with batteries and backup bulbs, ready-to-eat foods like granola bars and fruit, and a fully charged cell phone with battery backup if possible.  Also, make sure you have a portable radio with multiple batteries.  You will almost certainly lose power at some point.

As for me… I’m off to buy stock in Energizer and Duracell’s parent companies.

Posted in News, Sports | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

RIP Sparky Anderson (1934-2010)

Posted by Brett Kincaid on November 4, 2010

The first manager to lead baseball teams to World Series titles in both the American and National Leagues passed away today.  George Lee “Sparky” Anderson died just one day after it was announced he had entered hospice care at his Thousand Oaks, California, home.  Anderson had been suffering from dementia.

Sparky Anderson is one of the most under-appreciated managers of the past 40 years.  He led the Cincinnati Reds and their “Big Red Machine” to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.  Anderson then managed the Detroit Tigers to a dominating 1984 World Series title over the San Diego Padres.  That ’84 Tigers team is generally considered one of the three best teams of the 1980s, going wire-to-wire as AL East champions and winning 104 ballgames in the regular season.

Rest in Peace, Sparky

Posted in Sports | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on RIP Sparky Anderson (1934-2010)

 
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