One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Former Expo Michael Barrett signs Minor League Contract with Jays

As the title suggests, Michael Barrett, the former Expo (Cub and Padre), has been signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to a minor league contract, which includes an invite to Blue Jays Spring Training.

The last two seasons, especially last year he has missed many games due to being on the disabled list.

He had five complete seasons with the Expos, 1999 - 2003. His MLB debut came September 19, 1998. He then had three full seasons with the Cubs 2004 - 2006. He played in 57 games, starting 52, in 2007 with the Cubs before being traded to San Diego along with cash considerations for Rob Bowen and Kyler Burke. He then played in 44 games with the Padres, starting 31 to finish 2007.

Last year he managed to play in only 30 games, due to an elbow injury (missed 42 games), and broken nose (missed the last 76 games).

He is a fairly respectable catcher, I preferred him over Brian Schneider, when they were together as Expos teammates, not based on stats, just generally. He can put up respectable numbers as a catcher too, both offensively and defensively. MLB doesn't seem to have a percentage for runners he caught stealing (just the SB and CS), but I believe he is alright in that category. The scouting report says he is typically slow for a catcher. He put up some good RBI numbers with the Cubs, as it states in the same scouting report he is a proven run producer. The most games he started as a catcher came in 2001 with the Expos starting 129, then 119 in 2004, and 114 in 2005 both with the Cubs.

I believe if he has a good spring he'll definitely be competing with Rod Barajas for the number one catching position for the Jays. Rod Barajas had a really good year after taking over the number one job from Gregg Zaun who missed 55 games due to injury (fractured right thumb, 39, and right elbow inflammation 16). Zaun was unhappy how he wasn't even told he lost the number one catcher job, and the Blue Jays have no intention of resigning him, as he is a free agent.

Meanwhile, Brad Wilkerson remains a free agent.

I have probably mentioned this before, but Gregg Zaun was a Montreal Expo during Spring Training 2004. (January 13, 2004, Expos signed him to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. April 4, Montreal reassigned him to minor league camp. On April 8 he declined and opted for free agency. April 9 the Blue Jays signed him to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Syracuse. April 27 the Blue Jays purchased his contract from Triple-A Syracuse. During that time with Syracuse he played in 7 games, and had 23 ABs (he went 7 for 23 with 2BB).)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


A.J. Burnett five years worth a reported $82.5 million.

Mark Teixeira eight years worth a reported $180 million.

I think I should just go pay all my attention to minor league baseball. That, and await a Selig free MLB. The Blue Jays seemed like they had a chance last year, with the Yankees not signing Johan Santana, and they probably would have done much better if they had more consistent offense. Anyway, not that they don't now, but it won't exactly be easy.

Read more: Yankee Signings of Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett Move Salary Figures to Cartoonish Levels, and The Anatomy of a Yankees Spending Spree.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Classic 2009 at Wrigley Field

There is plenty going on this baseball offseason, but the baseball news I am most looking forward to at this moment is the second NHL Winter Classic, taking place New Year's Day at Wrigley Field!

It is the second regular season NHL game to be played outside in the US, and third overall. The first was Montreal at Edmonton in 2003, it was dubbed the Heritage Classic. It will face the Detroit Red Wings against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Both teams are part of the Original Six. (From Wikipedia: The Original Six is a well-known term for the group of six teams that composed the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 25 seasons between the 1942-43 season and the 1967 NHL Expansion.) And as Wikipedia states, there were other teams prior, and during that time, however those are the ones still around. The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks were both founded in 1926. The Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) folded, and the Portland Rosebuds became the Chicago Black Hawks (They were known as the Black Hawks from 1926 until 1986), and the Victoria Cougars became the Detroit Red Wings. The Portland Rosebuds, of Portland Oregon were originally the Regina Capitals for the short time the WCHL existed, but moved to Oregon for what would end up being their final season. The Victoria Cougars were from Victoria, British Columbia.

As last years Winter Classic (Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres), they'll be wearing vintage jerseys. Chicago's dates back to 1937 (till 1955), and Detroit's dates back to 1926, as an alternate logo. They were know as the Detroit Cougars from 1926 to 1930, and the Detroit Falcons from 1930 to 1932. Thus being the Red Wings from 1932 to the present.

I wouldn't normally post videos in this blog but this is worth it. The sweet commercial for the Winter Classic, using "Take Me Out to the Ball" Game as background music. See the game on NBC in the US, CBC or RDS in Canada January 1st at 1PM EST. (NHL Send me a Winter Classic jersey for the plug!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yankees and Mets continue spending spree

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia 7 year $161 million = $23 million per year.

New York Mets, Francisco Rodriguez 3 year $37 million = $12.33 million per year.

2008 payroll:

New York Yankees, $209,081,579
New York Mets, $138,293,378

2007 payroll:

New York Yankees, $195,229,045
New York Mets, $117,915,819

2006 payroll:

New York Yankees, $198,662,180
New York Mets, $100,901,085

2005 payroll:

New York Yankees, $208,306,817
New York Mets, $101,305,821

2004 payroll:

New York Yankees, $182,835,513
New York Mets, $100,629,303

2003 payroll:

New York Yankees, $180,322,403
New York Mets, $116,253,927

2002 payroll:

New York Yankees, $138,423,649
New York Mets, $102,863,303

2001 payroll:

New York Yankees, $114,457,768
New York Mets, $93,125,240

2000 payroll:

New York Yankees, $95,285,187
New York Mets, $82,246,383

I think Phil Rizzuto sums it up well, holy cow!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Atlanta Braves Acquire Javier Vazquez

Javier Vazquez has returned to the NL East after five seasons outside the NL East. He played six full seasons with the Montreal Expos. Then 2004 with the Yankees, 2005 with the Diamondbacks, and 2006 to 2008 with the White Sox. He has still played more games with the Expos (192) than outside the NL East (163).

Bobby Cox gained an appreciation for him while being the manager of the All-Star team that toured Japan in 2000. Read the full article here. Not surprisingly, the article has no mention of the Montreal Expos. They do make reference to another former Expo though:

Since the start of the 2000 season, Livan Hernandez is the only Major League pitcher to have thrown more innings than Vazquez, whose 208 1/3 innings this past season were 20 more than any Braves pitcher completed.

The Braves also acquired LHP Boone Logan (sounds like his name should be reversed as Logan Boone!).

Here is the official transaction from the Braves perspective:

Acquired RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for C Tyler Flowers, INFs Jonathan Gilmore and Brent Lillibridge and LHP Santos Rodriguez.

Based solely on his win loss record, looks like 2007 was his best year to date. Then looking at his ERA, it would look like it would be 2003 then 2001 and 2007. I recall he was pitching well in 2003, surely much better than his record would show. And of course if the Expos didn't have to travel to San Juan for 22 games... well, that is another story.

Looks like he'll be in the middle of the Braves rotation.

In other Braves news, Braves make offer to Burnett.

Also I'll try to post more with the 2008 Baseball Winter Meetings coming up December 8th through to the 11th.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Free Agents on First Day Eligible

I am not a professional athlete, but find it interesting to see who has filed for free agency on the first day eligible. I suppose the main reason would be to test the market, see what offers come up. Which I suppose is true, however reasons you will not hear from players, at least the vast majority (read everyone save for Manny Ramirez!), would be that they are no longer happy where they are, do not like their current team, or are looking for more money.

65 players filed for free agency on the first day possible, the day after the World Series ended.

Topping the list is Manny Ramirez. Jason Varitek is on the list too. Ryan Dempster and Jim Edmonds from the Cubs are on the list. They obviously want a chance at a championship! Some more Red Sox and former Red Sox are on the list including Alex Cora, David Ross, Kevin Millar, and Eric Gagne.

Former Montreal Expo Brad Wilkerson is on the list as a Blue Jay.

My source is here. Numerous players have become free agents since the first day. See more here and here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

World Series game 5 Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies parts 1 and 2

The official delay was 30 minutes, which is true, as that was the length of the rain delay until it was officially suspended.

All of that happened after Tampa Bay tied it at 2, once the visiting half of the 6th ended. That only amounted to Evan Longoria getting an AB, and flying out to CF Shane Victorino.

Who knows what exactly would have happened if TB did not tie the game. Surely they would have had to suspend and continue later, as that would have been worse than the ASG that ended up as a tie! Anyway, the tie was the obvious reason to suspend with good reason. Not to forget there were lakes out there! With the conditions in mind, numerouse things could have gone wrong for both clubs, especially Upton's stolen base.

Regardless of the delay and the suspended and two days later resumed game, it made for an exciting finish.

Dioner Navarro singling with one out off of Brad Lidge and then Fernando Perez pinch running for Navarro felt like Dave Roberts in game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Both bases were stolen successfully, but unfortunately Perez was not able to plate the tying run.

As I stated in my previous entry, I could go either way, rooting for either team. The main reason, actually the reason I wanted Philadelphia to win was because Matt Stairs is with them. He of course is Canadian! And I don't know how much hockey he plays or played, but he still coaches some youth hockey. Also he seems quite down to earth. He was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, but raised in nearby Fredericton, NB.

So hats off to Matt Stairs (and the Phillies I suppose!), the game four hero in Los Angeles, hitting the game winning 2 run home run, on Canadian Thanksgiving no less!
The Curse of Billy Penn has ended, while a certain Curse of the Billy Goat remains! (Mind the Wikipedia links, I am too lazy to look for other sources!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

World Series game 3 Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies

Well, turned out to be a good ending to game 3.

As everyone who watched it knows, Eric Bruntlett, LF in for Pat Burrell in the top of the 7th, was HBP, then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Grant Balfour, and a throwing error by Dioner Navarro. This was with Shane Victorino trying to bunt Bruntlett to second. With the count 1-1, no outs, and Bruntlett on third, the obvious move is to intentionally walk Victorino, and the next batter too, as the only runner that counts is at third, allowing the force at any base. Maddon did so. The latter being Greg Dobbs who was pinch hitting for Pedro Feliz.

Maddon then brought Ben Zobrist in for the 5 man infield. Zobrist who has played most of his games at SS, played just behind second. 2-2 count, and Carlos Ruiz just got a piece of it, sending it down the third base line. Longoria over tossed to home, and the Phillies are ahead 2 games to 1.

Having played some baseball, and making some bad errors, you kinda feel bad for him, solely based on that play. Until you realise how much money they rake in. Anyway, I can go either way, so in the end, I hope for a good series, that comes down to something like that in a game 7. Would be nice to see the Rays, a small market club win it. They have plenty of fair weather fans, but that is the case I suppose for many teams. Whereas Matt Stairs, the Canadian and former Expo/Blue Jay is with the Phillies, so would be nice to see him get the World Series. Speaking of former Expos, Cliff Floyd is with the Rays, but that was before I was really following baseball.

One final play of note was the steal and pick off of Jayson Werth. It did not come back to haunt them, but instead of being 1 out and a runner at second, it was 2 out, and no one on base. This was with Chase Utley batting, so there was a shift on for him, and it was Evan Longoria who fielded the throw from Navarro. Longoria being the 3B. Jason Bartlett, the Rays shortstop fielded the throw from pitcher J.P. Howell to pick off Werth.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Local coverage.

Rays beat Red Sox to reach World Series - St. Petersburg Times

Rays Chase Demons, And Red Sox, To Claim First Pennant - The Tampa Tribune (Tampa Bay Online)

Rays stop Red Sox’ bid to repeat -

Onto the World Series!

Tampa Bay got it done, albeit eventually, in seven games. It definitely made for a good baseball game. I thought Tampa would win it in game 6 after the huge Boston comeback, I was wrong. I sort of have the feeling the Rays wanted it more, as Lester was pitching very well to start the game, a perfect first three innings, until Akinori Iwamura singled to leadoff the fourth inning. They then went on to tie the game at 1. Garza settled in to the game, only allowing the Dustin Pedroia solo home run, and only allowing two hits while striking out nine over his 7 IP.

Like my sister said, the Red Sox have had their time, so the Rays deserve it. Deserve it after being a losing team for so long, not to mention being a small market team with the second smallest payroll in the league this year.

Payroll wise, the Phillies are in 13th place, with just over 98 million.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On with the LCS

The League Championship Series have already started.

Not much to say about the League Division Series. The Cubs are out again, the Brewers went down quickly, the Angels are out again unfortunately, and so on.

My most interesting game was the Angels finally beating the Red Sox in game 3 in 12 innings. Not to mention having the chance to tie the series in game four in the top of the ninth, when a suicide squeeze went wrong with one out. I was thinking with one out to try and get the run in on a base hit, or even wild pitch, etc., but apparently not what Mike Scosia was thinking.

My highlight play, or moment was from game 3 of Tampa at Chicago when someone bunted, or hit a single down the line, it was fielded by the pitcher, who held on to the ball as the runner mowed into the pitcher. The out was made, but when they got up, or one them, the Tampa player gave the clenched fist touch thingy with the pitcher. So it was nice to see good sportsmanship. They obviously compete, and want to win and all, but do not want to hurt eachother.

Friday, September 26, 2008

More rain woes?

Keeping with the rain theme from two mid September posts, looks like rain may play havoc yet again. The major threat is with the NL races. Rain is a possibility for New York, where the Mets host the Marlins. Rain may also affect the Boston New York games, however Boston have already clinched a playoff berth, so all that would matter is the division, and as soon as Tampa Bay win, it is theirs.

I'll keep this entry short, and let the MLB article do a better job. Rain threatens key NL matchups.

Walk off (to the postseason?)

Three interesting walk offs tonight with postseason implications. Starting with the most interesting.

That creepy guy in Milwaukee would have gone done that slide, as Ryan Braun hit a walk off grand slam to beat the Pirates 5-1 in the bottom of the tenth. Luckily people would have had something better to do, cheer as the Brewers remain tied for the NL Wildcard.

Next, possibly equal, or better, as far as importance goes, in that it moved them into the lead in the AL Central, the Twins topped a five run (down 6-1 at the end of the visiting half of the 4th) comeback with Alexi Casilla hitting a walk off single in the bottom of the 10th to take a 0.5 game lead. I was basing my decision on walk off hit, grand slam beating a single. Come to think of it, I should have chose this over Milwaukee, as I prefer the Twins, but oh well.

Finally, the Mets did it in the bottom of the 9th. Carlos Beltran singled on a line drive to right field, but not before being deflected by Micah Hoffpauir. So the Mets still have a chance at the division.

The Astros still have the slimmest of chance. At 3.5 games behind Milwaukee and New York, they'd have to win all four remaining games, while the Brewers and Mets would have to lose all three. The Astros have a rain delayed game on hand to play, if necessary (see my previous post).

So really all the teams are set save for either Minnesota and Chicago. And of course the match ups.

Kansas City visit the Twins for the final three games, while Cleveland visits the White Sox. The White Sox also have one game on hand, as they had one rain delayed game moved to the 29th as well (hosting Detroit).

So looks like the Los Angeles Angels will host Boston while the Rays will host either the White Sox or Twins. The Cubs will host the Brewers, Mets, or Phillies, and the Phillies or Mets could host the Dodgers.

So much for a brief post (as usual).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The havoc of rain

Rain, the very rain as described in my last blog post played havoc once again for the White Sox. Their Saturday doubleheader will be today (Sunday) instead. That will leave one game unplayed between the White Sox and Tigers. They will make up the final game once the regular season is over, if necessary. Former Expo (Yankee and Diamondback) was set to start the first game of the doubleheader Saturday, but will instead do so today on four days rest, as opposed to three. He'll be up against Justin Verlander. Game 2 of the split doubleheader will be John Danks (10-8, 3.44) versus Kenny Rogers (9-13, 5.49). Both lefties.

The Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs are in a similar situation, however this is thanks to Hurricane Ike. The two (really three) postponed games will be played Sunday night and Monday afternoon in Milwaukee!

So the Astros will have travelled to Milwaukee from Houston. While it seems the Cubs never were in Houston. So they'll have had to travel from Chicago to Milwaukee. Which driving is only an hour and forty five minutes. The Cubs played in St. Louis Thursday, while Hosuton was at home hosting the Pirates.

Monday the Cubs go back to Chicago to host the Brewers and the Astros have to travel to Miami Gardens to play the Marlins.

The third makeup game of the series will be in Houston, Monday the 29th. The Astros will already be in town after six home games (three Cincinnati, three Atlanta), and the Cubs will travel from Milwaukee to Houston to end the regular season there.

This neutral site scenario reminds me of something similar that happened to the Expos in 2004. With the threat of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, the Marlins hosted the Expos for two games at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. These games happened September 13 and 14. I remember it as the Cubs fans would have been rooting for the Expos, to keep the Marlins away from the wildcard, and the White Sox fans would have been rooting for the Marlins, for obvious reasons, so the Cubs wouldn't win. Thus it made for an interesting game, as it would have been populated by Chicagoan's, rooting for alternating teams that were not their main team. The White Sox fans Marlins prevailed, as they won both games, 6-3 and 8-6 respectively.

For the Milwaukee residents that decide to go see either or both games, it should be interesting in who they root for, as they are sandwiched between the Astros and Cubs.

Currently it looks like this:

NL Central

               W-L      %     GB
Chicago        88-58   .603
Milwaukee      83-65   .561   6.0
Houston        80-67   .544   8.5

NL Wildcard

               W-L      %     GB
Milwaukee      83-65   .561   
Philadelphia   81-67   .547   2.0
Houston        80-67   .544   2.5
St. Louis      78-70   .527   5.0

Since Milwaukee has the wildcard, they'll more than likely be rooting for the Cubs to keep the Astros away from the wildcard. Milwaukee plays the Cubs three more times, in Chicago, so they could still win the division. Therefore if they want to win the division, they'll root for the Astros.

The Brewers have 14 games remaining, the Cubs have 16, and the Astros have 15. While the Phillies still have a chance at the division or wildcard have 14 remaining.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Five rain delays (Two postponed)

Was watching a bit of the start of the Nationals at Marlins, as the Jays Red Sox game is rain delayed, and the announcer brought up all the rain delays. So I thought I'd write a brief post about it.

Minnesota at Baltimore (7:05)
St. Louis at Pittsburgh (7:05)
Tampa Bay at New York (7:05)
Toronto at Boston (7:05)
Atlanta at New York (7:10)

All of the above are rain delayed games, and below are the postponed games.

Milwaukee at Philadelphia (7:05) has been postponed
Chicago at Houston Friday and Saturday (7:05 CDT and 6:05 CDT) both postponed due to Ike.

Edit 2:25 AM EDT:

Of the five rain delayed games above, they were all postponed save for the Toronto at Boston game. It was delayed 41 minutes, and in said game rain came down steadily until the seventh or so. Toronto and Boston already has a doubleheader slated for Saturday, a makeup for an August 15 rain postponed game. The Tigers at White Sox (7:11 CDT) ended up being postponed as well.

Turns out it isn't quite a record:

It was the most major league postponements in one day since six games were wiped out on April 15, 2007. Prior to that, there hadn't been that many since April 12, 1997, when eight games were postponed, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.



It also set up an unusually full slate of games for Saturday. If the schedule holds, there will be 12 games in the American League for the first time since Aug. 8, 1985, and 20 games in the majors for the first time since Aug. 4, 1974, according to Elias.


In New York, both the Mets and Yankees were postponed, setting up two doubleheaders Saturday. According to Elias, only twice before have Mets and Yankees both played two games at home on same day - on Sept. 21, 1982, and April 13, 1997.

More for the baseball mind at said tsn link above.

Official MLB news pieces:

Rain drops fallin', onto doubleheaders
Six games postponed Friday; six twin bills set for Saturday (here)
Baseball reigns with 20-game day
Fifteen of the games will have postseason implications (here)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Quick words on the postseason

To be different, I'll start with a division that doesn't get talked about very much. At least compared to a certain right coast American League division.

NL West is a crapshoot, could be Arizona or Los Angeles. However only the division winner will make the postseason as .500 is not good enough for the wildcard.

NL Central, moving along, could very well be the Cubs (Completely Useless By September). They have started September well for said acronym (0-3). However at this rate two teams could make it from this division. Unless Philadelphia, St. Louis or Houston start gaining more ground. Looks like Houston may have a chance.

NL East will probably only have one postseason team, I think the Mets will probably hold on from what little I know about them recently.

AL West, Los Angeles is what's happening.

AL Central probably has the best race, as they are teams with better than .500 records. Despite that, looks like it will be only Minnesota or the White Sox, as .550 for the Twins amounts to 5.5 GB in the AL Wildcard

AL East, the division no one talks about, is Tampa Bay, Sox could challenge. I'd like to see the Twins gain in the wild card, so only the Rays are in from the AL East. I am sort of indifferent about the White Sox, since Orlando Cabrera is with them, then okay, but mostly I would not mind seeing them fall out of postseason contention, but that would mean the Yankees would have to win the wildcard, or the Jays. I'd rather see the White Sox in the postseason than the Yankees (and Red Sox). Jays (and Yankees) could still make the postseason, but would pretty much have to win every game, and hope Boston and Minnesota (or CWS) lost most.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

National League game in the American League

Saturday night I was watching the Rays at the Mariners. The Rays went on to win it on a Dioner Navarro sacrifice fly.

Seattle blew a 5 run lead (Tampa went ahead 7-5), and then tie the game again in the bottom of the eighth. Seattle ran out of position players by the tenth, so getting to the eleventh might have meant that the Seattle pitcher (Miguel Batista) would have to have a plate appearance if it got to him. Hence the title of this blog entry. It did not come to that, as the Rays went down one two three in the bottom of the eleventh, giving Troy Percival his 26th save.

In the bottom of the tenth, the Mariners had the bases loaded with only one out. At that point Joe Maddon had B.J. Upton, the centre fielder, play in the infield, right in front of second. So there were 5 infielders, and two outfielders. The OFers were playing essentially centre and right. Adrian Beltre (batting right) was up, and he managed to hit into a double play after fouling five off (the count was 1-2). It went to third baseman Willy Aybar to catcher Dioner Navarro to first baseman Carlos Pena (5-2-3).

Being that I am rooting for the Jays, I was rooting for the Mariners to win, as to somewhat aid the Jays in making some ground in the AL East. Since that didn't work out it was an entertaining ballgame nonetheless.

The Mariners went 4-6 on this particular homestand. They won a couple against the Twins and were one game shy of the sweep, and managed a win against Baltimore and Tampa Bay. Ichiro was a hit machine in the particular game I blogged about, going 4-6, with 3 RBI.

In the three consecutive wins the Mariners posted, Raul Ibanez was an RBI machine, hitting 14 in those three games (August 3-5). In the last two he had 6 and 5 RBI respectively! In the August 4th game, the Mariners came back from a 6-0 deficit scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the seventh! In that inning Raul Ibanez got all six of his RBI (a club record), hitting a grand slam, then singled to score two.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Theoren Fleury to play with the Calgary Vipers

Being a Canadian, this is of interest, as I am a hockey fan.

Former Calgary Flame (and other teams) Theoren Fleury will play for the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League starting August 10.

I found a good article which touches on it, but focuses more on independent baseball in Canada, and the Vancouver Canadians, the last MLB affiliated baseball tam in Canada (single A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics). There's a new reality for baseball's Boys of Summer.
Minor-league clubs forced to seek different revenue streams

Read the more recent article at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some Kinda All Star Game! Part 2

So indeed, some kinda All-Star Game it was! And our buddy Allan 'Budward' Selig didn't stop to declare it a tie! Otherwise, I'm not sure how 'This Time it Counts' would have worked!

I believe it really started getting interesting in the bottom of the 8th, and onwards as it was tied. The game up to the top of the 5th was actually moving along quite quickly, until the scoring started, and it turned it into the longest MLB All-Star Game by time ever, at 4 hours and 50 minutes. The 1967 game in Anaheim also went 15 innings.

It actually really started getting interesting in the bottom of the 10th. Two Fielding errors, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs. Dan Uggla made the two errors to start the inning, but made sure to get the force out at home for the first out. Michael Young was forced out at home. Cristian Guzmán playing threw from third to Russell Martin for the second out, forcing out Carlos Quentin. It was Guzmán's first time playing third in his MLB career! Normally a shortstop, so same side of the field, but still. Miguel Tejada made the next highlight reel play to get the third out, off of Justin Morneau's ground ball. I am reminded of the first out I believe it was. After forcing out Michael Young, Russell Martin threw to first to try and get the double play, not in time, but Adrian Gonzalez made a game saving play, catching Martin's throw on an in between hop close to the ground.

The next big play came at the bottom of the very next inning, the 11th. With runners on first and second (J. D. Drew and Dioner Navarro respectively), Michael Young singled to center fielder Nate McLouth, who went on to throw Navarro out at the plate for out number two. Cristian Guzmán once again deserves credit for getting the third out. Carlos Quentin grounded out, Guzmán fielded to first.

The NL had a nice chance to win it in the top of the 12th. They had runners on first and second with no outs, and then second and third with one out after a sac bunt by Russell Martin. Tejada was then intentionally walked. Uggla, and Gonzalez both struck out to end the threat.

Aaron Cook deserves quite a bit of credit, pitching three innings, and not allowing a run. His defense put managed to put him into a jam, but then helped him out. Since he is a Rocky, and Clint Hurdle was managing, surely that was why he was out as long as he was, as the announcers pointed out.

In the end Michael Young was the hero, sac flying to right fielder Corey Hart (not wearing his sunglasses) who was just a few milliseconds too slow with his throw, and Justin Morneau plated the game winning run. Earlier in the bottom of the 11th, Nate McLouth throwing out Navarro could have been called either way. Obviously he was out. I'm not sure the unwritten rules exactly, but sometimes situations like that it is up to the umpire to give the benefit of the doubt. Martin was the one who received it, as far as the tag being applied versus touching home, but the throw was definitely in there in time.

So all in all, an entertaining ballgame at Yankee Stadium, the fourth and final All-Star age at that incarnation of Yankee Stadium. Old stars, and new stars alike shone. Although I have moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays, my heart is still in the National League, so I actually found myself rooting for them, including Cristian Guzmán, and Dan Uggla (whose third error should not have been as the ball took a nasty hop/in between hop). With that said, time for the Blue Jays to take hold of the second half, and take home field advantage! I'm sure most would agree four possible contenders in the AL East would be even better than three!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Kinda All Star Game! Part 1

As the title says!

15 innings
4 hours 50 minutes
National League pitching: 248 pitches (145 Strikes)
American League pitching: 205 pitches (140 Strikes)
Total pitches: 453
Most batters faced: Aaron Cook (NL - Col), 16
Least batters faced: Brian Wilson (NL - SF), and Francisco Rodriguez (AL -LA), 2.

Part 2 in a day or two.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kudos to Justin Morneau, hats off to Josh Hamilton

Justin Morneau, the Canadian, won the 2008 Home Run Derby. He more than likely won thanks to conserving his energy, or not being as powerful, and/or dialed in as Josh Hamilton. Regardless, he is deserving of his win, as Hamilton would have been as well.

We all know Josh Hamilton's story, and if not, it can easily be found, especially now. He sure put on a clinic in the first round, hitting 28 long, long, long balls! His second round was a mere 4 homers to stay loose, walking away after 4 or so outs (for once I am not bothering to fact check this blog entry, just going off the top of my head!). Maybe he should have skipped the second round altogether as he didn't need it to advance to the finals. Regardless, he, and Justin Morneau are now part of Yankee Stadium history.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

St. Louis Cardinals reunion in Toronto

Round 2 of interleague play is now underway.

In Toronto a small Cardinals reunion is happening now through Sunday. Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen and David Eckstein were teammates in St. Louis. Edmonds now playing with the Cubs, while Rolen and Eckstein are playing with the Blue Jays. Of note, another little reunion is Reed Johnson now with the Cubs, coming back to Toronto for the first time after being released by the Jays.

I wrote a blog entry about Jim Edmonds earlier this season. He was acquired by San Diego, and released about a month and ten days into the regular season after struggling offensively and defensively. He was signed by the Cubs 5 days later. Edmonds signing with the Cubs takes the load of Reed Johnson somewhat. The respective news pieces from Padres part ways with Edmonds, and Cubs make it official with Edmonds.

Jim Edmonds hit .178 in 90 at-bats with San Diego. With the Cubs, he is hitting .288 in 59 ABs. He has only 1 less hit with the Cubs than he did with the Padres. That is with 8 less games.

He went 2 for 3 (doubled and singled) in Toronto yesterday with 1 RBI.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A couple former Expos player hero role for the Mets (Mets ripe with Expos)

On Wednesday May 28th, Fernando Tatis doubled in the bottom of the 12th to bring in the winning run, not to mention the tying run immediately before that. A few innings prior to that, in the bottom of the 9th, former Expo Endy Chavez hit a solo homer to tie the game at 5 and send it to extra innings. The Mets were down 5-4 before Endy's homer. They were then down 6-5 in the 12th. David Wright walked, Carlos Beltran singled (David Wright to third), and the Fernando Tatis doubled to left, winning the ballgame for the struggling Mets.

Fernando Tatis spent three years with the Expos, 2001 - 2003. Montreal being his third MLB team. He started off in Texas, then went to St. Louis. He was dealt along with Britt Reames to the Expos for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline. He was granted free agency at the end of the 2003 season. January 6, 2004, he was signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and then released March 24. Two seasons went by with no playing time in the majors. He was then signed by the Orioles November 25th, 2005. He played in 28 games for Baltimore in 2006, only starting 11 fielding, and 4 as a DH. At the end of the 2006 he became a free agent. He was then briefly with the Dodgers (minor league contract) before the season started in 2007. He then signed a minor league contract with the Mets in 2007. He played the entire season with the triple A New Orleans Zephyrs. Opted for minor league free agency at the end of 2007, only to be re-signed by the Mets in early 2008. More on the re-signing later.

Endy Chavez started off with the Royals, at least where he started playing, as he was signed as a non drafted free agent by the New York Mets in 1996. The rest will look better in points than in sentences (okay maybe sentences and paragraphs!).

Four years, or five seasons later, after playing in the Mets farm system, he was selected by the Kansas City Royals from the Mets in the rule 5 draft.

2001 was split between double A, triple A, and the big club, the Royals, where he saw his MLB debut with them May 29th, 2001, in Texas. For the trivia nuts, he started the game in CF, grounded out in his first AB to third base, fielded by Ken Caminiti. Of interest, Carlos Betran was with KC at the time, he was leading off that game, his fourth year with KC. Thus former teammates reunited. Endy's next AB was his first hit, a single to left.

He was claimed off waivers by two teams (Detroit December 20, 2001, and New York Mets February 1, 2002) before being claimed off waivers by Montreal February 22, 2002.

He was then traded from the Washington Nationals to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Marlon Byrd, May 14, 2005. He was granted free agency at the end of the 2005 season (December 21, 2005)

Two days later he was signed by the New York Mets to a one year contract. (End of Endy Chavez timeline!)

The very next day, Thursday May 29, Claudio Vargas, the former Expos pitcher earned the victory in his start, going 5.2 innings. He gave up 4 ER, but had enough run support for the win.

Claudio Vargas (RHP) started his MLB career in Montreal after being drafted by the Florida Marlins. He danced around the Florida Marlins minors until being traded by the Marlins along with OF Cliff Floyd, IF Wilton Guerrero (yes, Vlad's brother) and cash to Montreal in exchange for RHP Carl Pavano, LHP Graeme Lloyd, IF Mike Mordecai, RHP Justin Wayne, and a player to be named later (RHP Donald Levinski, August 5, 2002).

For the last part of this post relates to the blog post title in brackets. With Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, and Claudio Vargas, as mentioned above, that makes three former Expos who played with the Expos. One of whom started their playing career in the majors with Montreal (Vargas).

With the acquisition of catcher Brian Schneider, and outfielder Ryan Church, that brings the total former Expos to five. They were acquired November 30, 2007 in exchange for outfielder Lastings Milledge. The total that started their careers in Montreal is at three, as both Schneider and Church began in Montreal.

That is the end of the current 25 man roster, but counting the full 40 man roster, Pedro Martinez, and Moises Alou can be included. Orlando Hernandez, as I have mentioned before in this blog spent the entire 2003 season with Montreal playing a grand total of 0, yes, zero, innings. He was injured the entire season. At least he surely got to spend time with his brother, Livan. It might have been a good deal had he played, otherwise the Expos lost Bartolo Colon for next to nada (Sorry Rocky!).

So all in all, 8 players with the Mets now were once with the Expos, 3 of which started their careers in Montreal (not counting draft choices, and minors). Another trivia tidbit, Moises Alou started out in Pittsburgh, and was the 'player to be named later' in a deal that sent Willie Greene to Montreal, in exchange for Zane Smith. He was the player to be named later eight days after the initial trade. Moises only had two games with the Pirates, starting the second, going 1 for 5, and grounding into a double play. Another brief trivia tidbit, in his first MLB game (July 26, 1990) he came into the game replacing Barry Bonds in left! Oh and finally (yes), he joined his father in Montreal, who would eventually become manager.

So going back to mentioning the re-signing of Fernando Tatis. It is no coincidence that the Mets are ripe with former Expos, as Omar Minaya was with Montreal as GM (2002 - 2004) in between being with the Mets.

Oh, and today's game, May 31, Fernando Tatis drove in the game winning RBI to go ahead 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the eighth, after being down 2-0 most of the game. Wright doubled, and Delgado hit a two run home run to tie the game before that with no outs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wild pitch on Intentional Base on Balls.

The Angels almost won the game in an interesting fashion. They went on to win in the end.

In the bottom of the tenth inning in a scoreless game that no one could capitalise runners in scoring position, Torii Hunter singled to left. Once pitcher Freddy Dolsi got the ball back, Hunter stole second. This was while Dolsi was standing on the mound. He started going towards second, but no one was covering, so Hunter was in safely. Apparently not the first time he has done this too! With first base open now, they decided to intentionally walk Garret Anderson. A wild pitch on the intentional base on balls allowed Hunter to get to third. This of course is when the catcher stands up, and calls for the pitch intentionally way outside, to catch it, and get the intentional ball. Upon finishing the IBB, once at first, Anderson got to second on the diffensive indifference. Mike Napoli then grounded out to first to end the threat. So it wouldn't have been the very ending, but how it got that way.

The Angels went to to win by loading the bases, and Garret Anderson drew a four pitch walk to win the game in the bottom of the twelfth. They won with only one out having been recorded. Bobby Seay replaced Freddy Dolsi to face Anderson. Dolsi was credited with the loss, as it was Bobby Seay who inherited Dolsi's three runners, and allowed one of them to score.

Gary Sheffield had two at bats, and left the game with oblique spasms. He is now on the 15 day DL with a left oblique strain.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Interleague 2008

Interleague play starts up again today for all teams save for the Cubs and Pirates.

Could this be the year the National League will get more interleague wins than the American League? Time will tell. It hasn't happened since 2003.

The New York Yankees have the best interleague record overall at .589 (113-79). The Florida Marlins are the best in the NL with a .565 record (105-81).

Many interesting games are scheduled. Such as the start of what could be the final Subway Series in the current Yankee Stadium. The Freeway series resumes in Anaheim, as the Angels host the Dodgers. A.J. Pierzynski returns to San Francisco. The Lone Star Series resumes as well, in Arlington, and the A's battle (okay not very creative) in Atlanta, as the Braves host the Athletics.

I always enjoy seeing AL pitchers bat.

It'll be the first time David Purcey for Toronto swings the bat at the MLB level, as he made his MLB debut only April 18.

Jeremy Sowers with Cleveland is 1 for 1 with a single, and a BB. He made his MLB debut June 25, 2006.

Brett Tomko with Kansas City has had plenty of batting experience having played mostly in the NL. Career he is batting .157 in 451 at bats, and drew 19 base on balls. He made his MLB debut May 27, 1997 for the Reds.

Dana Eveland with Oakland has had no hits in his 8 ABs, 4 being strikeouts. His MLB debut was July 16, 2005 for the Brewers.

Andy Sonnanstine with Tampa Bay has had 2 hits, including 1 RBI, in 5 ABs, including 2 strikeouts. He made his MLB debut June 5, 2007 with the the Devil Rays.

It'll also be the first time Nick Blackburn swings at the MLB level with Minnesota. He made his MLB debut September 3, 2007.

Jeremy Bonderman with Detroit could use the some more time at batting practice, as he is only 1 for 25 (.040), with 15 Ks. His only hit came last year, and he came around to score after the base hit. His MLB debut was April 2, 2003.

Finally Gavin Floyd with Chicago (AL) isn't doing much better than Jeremy Bonderman. He is 2 for 42 (.048), with 22 strikeouts. Both hits were base hits with the Phillies (2005 and 2006), and he didn't score a run either time. He made his MLB debut September 3, 2004 with the Phillies.

Plenty more coverage at

Friday, May 09, 2008

Brad Wilkerson signed to the Blue Jays

To my surprise upon tuning into the Jays at Indians, I heard Jamie Campbell mention Wilkerson at the end of the 7th, after the Indians scored 6 runs. I headed online to check if he was now an Indian, and did not see him on their lineup. So I went to the Jays lineup, and saw him there.

Brad Wilkerson of course is the former Expo, playing four seasons in Montreal, and one in Washington. He then had a couple years with the Rangers, and most recently a short stint with the Mariners. Signed as a free agent by the Mariners January 31st, and played in 19 games, starting 18 with them. He was DFA (Designated for Assignment) April 30th, the day after going 3 for 3 in Cleveland. Ironically starting with his new team, the Blue Jays, in Cleveland, going 1 for 3 with a K (looking).

Obviously signed by the Jays today, May 9th.

Since Leaving the Expos, not counting the Washington team, he hasn't been quite been his best. Possibly coming back to Canada, that is, a Canadian team, will help. The Blue Jays could definitely use his help. Not to mentions Kevin Mench's help too, as he was acquired from the Rangers for cash considerations.

To make room on the 40 man roster, the Jays DFAed LHP Gustavo Chacin, who had a few good years with the Jays, most notably 2005 and 2006 going 22-13 over those two years. He was with the big club since 2004, and working his way back up after only 5 games in 2007 due to a left elbow injury. INF Sergio Santos was also DFA.

Joe Inglett was optioned to Triple A Syracuse a single day after being recalled from said Triple A club. He made his mark in a game the night he was recalled (May 8), against the Rays in Toronto. He pinch ran for Lyle Overbay, and scored when Aaron Hill singled to CF. His run scored was the tying run, tying the game at 3, after the Jays were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. The Jays were unable to cash in Alex Rios after his leadoff triple in the bottom of the 10th. Like the monotonous Rance Mulliniks said, you're not going to win all those types of games, but should definitely win most to be a successful ball club. Something the Jays have not been able to do very well so far.

That's about it, so much for being a short post. More posts are brewing in my head, so stay tuned, or not!

Blue Jays pick up pair of outfielders (05/09/2008 8:10 PM ET)
Mariners ask for waivers on Wilkerson (05/08/2008 11:20 PM ET)
Promising prospects get a promotion (04/30/2008 7:49 PM ET)
Mariners batters must hit, or sit (04/29/2008 8:17 PM ET)

Monday, April 21, 2008

A couple updates (or three)

Jason Kendall also bats bare handed, I thought I saw an old articles where he started wearing gloves, but if he did, he isn't now with the Brewers. Also, Gregg Zaun now has one batting glove, on his bottom hand on the bat. He is a switch hitter, so that could be either hand, right hand batting left, or left hand when batting right.

Frank 'The Tank' Thomas, as they called him in Toronto has been released from the Jays on April 22nd, only to be picked up by the A's two days later. The Jays bigwigs didn't feel like they could afford waiting for him to get out of his slow start in the AL East. They will fill his spot from within. Adam Lind should be in the lineup once his strained neck gets better. The A's are in rebuilding mode, but with their good start to the season, they still plan on making a run for the postseason.

Other players released this month include the Giants releasing LHP Steve Kline, and the Reds releasing LHP Mike Stanton.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Batting bare handed.

I was watching the end of the Jays game, and Gregg Zaun came in for Matt Stairs defensively, after Stairs pinch hit for Barajas. Anyway, he was batting with gloves, and had been this season, I only noticed after the play by play announcer mentioned a game or two ago. So he lost his bat tonight swinging, second time I have seen him do so. Apparently more than those two times too. So, after losing his bat he got rid of the batting gloves, to bat bare handed. Prior to this season, Zaun has normally batted bare handed, so it should be interesting to see what he does in coming at bats.

Another catcher I know off the top of my head that bats bare handed is Jorge Posada. Vladimir Guerrero also bats with no gloves. A short article I found.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sweeping the Sox

So I won't go into too much detail about game three, as I watched it on television.

Game three of the series of Boston at Toronto had Josh Beckett up against Roy Halladay, making for a good potential pitcher's duel. The only difference was Josh Beckett was just off the disabled list with a lower back strain, so he would have had a limited number of pitches he could throw. In the end he threw 92 pitches, 59 for strikes, which amounted to four and two thirds innings.

Boston scored first thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury's first home run, a solo homer. That was in the top of the third, and in the bottom of the fourth, Vernon wells gave the Jays the lead with a two run homer. The next inning, Boston tied it up again with another solo home run, this time from Jason Varitek. In the Jay's half of the fifth inning, Frank "The Tank" Thomas hit a grand slam, to give the Jays the lead that would end up being enough to sweep the series.

All in all very well played baseball from the Blue Jays. If they keep it up they could definitely be up there in the AL East. I saw Frank Thomas comment how the Japan travel does takes its toll for about a week after returning, so no doubt the Red Sox were somewhat tired and fatigued.

David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were both silenced for the most part during the series. David Ortiz went 1 for 11, getting his first hit on Sunday. He drew 2 walks, and struckout twice. Manny did a little better going 3 for 11. He drew one walk, and struckout three times. Both only got a single RBI each.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boston Red Sox (Game #6 Road #6) at Toronto Blue Jays (Game #5 Home #2)

The Blue Jays second home game of 2008 was another good game for the Jays. It was actually a close game until the bullpen took over for Boston. It was 4-2 in favour of Toronto when Kyle Snyder came in to replace Clay Buchholz.

It was the bottom of the 4th when the Jays took the lead, and kept it. Aaron Hill laid down a perfect bunt, which not only advanced Lyle Overbay into scoring position, but he safely got himself on with a bunt single. After Scutaro walked, Gregg Zaun singled on a ball that Sean Casey could not handle, allowing Overbay and Hill to score. That allowed Toronto to take a 3-2 lead. If the error didn't happen, it would have been 2 outs with runners on 2nd and 3rd, and only one run in.

The bottom of the 6th was when the hounds were released on Red Sox pitching, as they needed three pitchers to get through the inning, going through two, Kyle Snyder, and Bryan Corey both only recorded one out. Kyle Snyder was designated for assignment the next day. His performance was said to have nothing to do with the decision, as it had already been made.

Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch went 5 innings as well, with a respectable performance, and enough to be credited with the win. The next four inning saw the Jays use a new pitcher each inning. Brian Tallet, Brian Wolfe, Jason Frasor, and Randy Wells went the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th respectively. They combined to allow 3 hits, 1 walk, and got a couple strikeouts. It was the first appearance of 2008 for Frasor and Wells. Tallet was credited with a hold, as he entered the game in what would be a save situation.

Hold as defined by MLB:

A relief pitcher is credited with a hold any time he enters a game in a save situation, records at least one out and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. A pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save in the same game.

Something I forgot to notice on the home opener was the shift for David Ortiz, as there is so much to watch for in baseball, so I made sure to remember on Saturday. Scutaro, the third baseman went over to play a deep second, while Hill, the second baseman was just about between first and second, but halfway to the right field wall, and Overbay, the first baseman, played deep at first. David Eckstein, the shortstop, just played slightly deeper. I was sitting in the 500 level, around the back of third, as I am just any other baseball fan, and I don't have the money for the big seats! Anyway, it was the perfect vantage point to see the David Ortiz shift.

Toronto Blue Jays Home Opener (Game #4, Home #1)

Opening Week started at Skydome hosting the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, April 4th, 2008.

Festivities started by honouring Roberto Alomar Jr., and then Paul Beeston, who I suppose deserved it, but it is not too often management gets honoured unless they are very special. Anyway...

I was sitting in the 200 level, in right centre field. It was pretty much a pitcher's duel until the bottom of the 6th, when Tim Wakefield gave up 3 earned runs, starting with a solo home run by Canadian Matt Stairs. The very next inning, in the top of the 7th, the Red Sox responded with J.D. Drew hitting a three run home run to right field. The Jays responded right back with 2 runs in their half of the 7th. Frank Thomas got out of his mini slump to start the season, by hitting a 2 run double off Manny Delcarmen.

The Blue Jays added a little insurance, who knows if it would have been needed, but good to get runs regardless, with David Eckstein getting an RBI single. A couple batters before that, Marco Scutaro was out on a sac bunt that advanced Aaron Hill to second.

All in all, another good home opener, especially with the announced 50,171 waving the rally towels that were given out to start the game!

Of note:
The last 3 Blue Jays runs were with 2 outs.
Alex Rios and Marco Scutaro both got their third stolen bases.
I'm sure 99.8% of people would agree ballgames are better in person, among many reasons, it is what you can't see on television, such as pigeons roaming the outfield while the game is going on! Maybe the Detroit Tigers could sign them!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Back from Toronto!

I'm back from Toronto, after catching the first two Toronto Blue Jays home games. I got back early this morning, and just watched the Blue Jays sweep the Red Sox! So soon I'll write a post about the first two games in person, including some pictures, and the third game that I watched on television. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Free games Saturday on

So every year improves their site somewhat around the time the regular season is about to start. This year is no different, and today, Saturday the 29th, they'll have three free games. They'll be perfect for eating bandwidth, as they'll be available in new 1.2MB quality. In other words, quite a bit closer to tv quality as opposed to streaming web video quality. I subscribed to at the end of 2004, to watch the end of the Expos season, and even then the quality was not that bad. I had broadband, so may be a different story with dial up, or dsl/cable lite (sic), or whatever the ISP's call the lowest broadband option these days.

The three games will all be at the home teams proper home ballpark. The games are Indians at Braves at 1:10 p.m. ET, Orioles at Nationals at 6 p.m. ET, and Padres at Angels at 9:05 p.m. ET. As the articles states, it is the first game at the new Nationals park between MLB clubs. They had the Blue Jays listed as one of the free games, but no longer, however it still does say it will be free on the Blue Jays site.

In addition to the free games, will be airing the Civil Rights Game. Pregame is 4 p.m. ET, and the game is at 5 p.m. ET. It will be the White Sox at the Mets, played in Memphis, Tennessee, at the AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds, triple A affiliate of the, yes you guessed it, St. Louis Cardinals.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Japan game 2 (Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics at Tokya, Japan)

Canadian Rich Harden (Victoria, B.C.) got it done to split the Japan series. Provided he stays healthy this year, looks like he should be a very welcome part of the starting rotation. He only allowed 4 hits over 6 IP, and his only run given up was a home run to Manny Ramirez. As Joe Blanton noted in his latest blog entry, Fun not lost in translation, they'll get you eventually. You referring to pitchers of course.

Emil Brown made up for his baserunning blunder by hitting a three run homer. In hockey terms he'd be credited with the game winning goal, but the game winning run went to Mark Ellis, as he was run number 2 to score for the A's, and that's all they needed.

Both teams return to play today, Friday the 28th, albeit as Spring Training games. Oakland, who 'hosted' the Red Sox in Japan, will play against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park (formerly SBC Park, formerly Pacific Bell Park) Friday and Sunday, and Saturday will be at McAfee Coliseum also against the Giants. The Red Sox will be playing vs the Dodgers, Friday at Dodger Stadium, Saturday at L.A. Memorial Coliseum, and back to Dodger Stadium Sunday to conclude spring training 2008. All away games for Boston. The L.A. Memorial Coliseum game is to mark 50 years since they began play there. They played there from 1958-1961.

From Wikipedia:

In the meantime, the Dodgers played their home games from 1958 to 1961 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a gargantuan football and track-and-field stadium that had been built to host the 1932 Summer Olympics. The Coliseum's dimensions were not optimal for baseball, and the only way to fit a diamond into the oval-shaped stadium was to lay the third-base line along the short axis of the oval, and the first-base line along the long axis. See picture. This resulted in a left-field fence that was only some 250 feet from home plate, and a 40-foot screen was erected to prevent home runs from becoming too easy to hit. Still, the 1958 season saw 182 home runs hit to left field in the Coliseum, while only 3 were hit to center field and 8 to right field. Dodgers outfielder Wally Moon, newly acquired for the 1959 season, became adept at launching lazy fly balls over the screen, which became known as "Moon shots."

Should be quite interesting, Now with added seats, to left field it will be 201 feet, and a 60 foot high screen! Just seeing the above photo reminded me of the fourth incarnation of Polo Grounds, thanks to the oddity of the dimensions. More than 115 000 are expected! Might just have to write a blog entry for that game!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics at Tokyo

Thought I'd make a post about the opening series taking place in Tokyo, Japan.

So, since the games are in Japan, at 7PM Japan Standard Time, they are take place at 6AM Eastern Daylight Time. I managed to hit snooze way time many times (what else is new), so I got up in time to catch the 9th, and 10th innings.

The hero of the game, Brandon Moss, was not supposed to play, as he replaced J.D. Drew who had lower back stiffness. He pulled a 2-2 pitch just a few feet over the right field wall, off of Oakland's closer Huston Street. He was credited with the blown save (1), and loss (1), as he also gave up a double off of Manny Ramirez that scored two. One being David Ortiz, who received his first intentional walk of what I am sure will be many in 2008.

Oakland probably could have tied the game again, but Emil Brown got a little greedy going for third, and was thrown out trying to stretch a RBI double into a triple with only 1 out. So instead it was 2 down, and no one on base. Despite that, they still almost rallied, as Bobby Crosby, and Jack Hannahan both singled, but the game was over after Kurt Suzuki grounded out to Kevin Youkilis, score it 3-1.

Game two is a mere few hours away. It'll be Jon Lester versus Rich Harden. Go here for complete coverage of "Opening Series Japan 2008".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Major League Baseball Local Coverage (updated)

So I got around to updating, and slightly adding to the local coverage links section. Thought I'd post all the links in their own post. So here are all the links. If there are any mistakes, or anything to add, post a comment.

Arizona Diamondbacks - (Arizona Daily Star)
Arizona Diamondbacks - East Valley Tribune
Atlanta Braves - Atlanta Journal- Constitution
Baltimore Orioles - (The Sun)
Baltimore Orioles - Washington Post
Boston Red Sox - (The Boston Globe)
Boston Red Sox - Boston Herald
Chicago Cubs - Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Cubs - Chicago Tribune via
Chicago Cubs - Chicago Tribune
Chicago White Sox - Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago White Sox - Chicago Tribune
Cincinnati Reds - (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
Cincinnati Reds - The Kentucky Post (online only)
Cleveland Indians - (The Plain Dealer)
Cleveland Indians -
Colorado Rockies - The Denver Post
Colorado Rockies - Rocky Mountain News
Detroit Tigers - Detroit Free Press
Detroit Tigers - The Detroit News
Florida Marlins -
Florida Marlins -
Houston Astros - Houston Chronicle
Kansas City Royal - (The Kansas City Star)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - L.A. Times
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim- LA Daily News
Los Angeles Dodgers - L.A. Times
Los Angeles Dodgers - LA Daily News
Milwaukee Brewers - Milwaukee Journal Sentinal
Minnesota Twins - Star Tribune
New York Mets - New York Times
New York Mets - New York Post
New York Yankees - New York Times
New York Yankees - New York Post
Oakland Athletics - San Jose Mercury News
Oakland Athletics - (San Francisco Chronicle)
Oakland Athletics - Inside Bay Area (The Oakland Tribune)
Philadelphia Phillies - (Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer)
Pittsburgh Pirates - Pittsburgh Tribune- Review
Pittsburgh Pirates - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
San Diego Padres - (Union Tribune)
San Diego Padres - North County Times
San Francisco Giants - San Jose Mercury News
San Francisco Giants - (San Francisco Chronicle)
San Francisco Giants - Inside Bay Area (The Oakland Tribune)
Seattle Mariners - The Seattle Times
Seattle Mariners - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
St. Louis Cardinals - (St.Louis Post-Dispatch)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - (St. Petersburg Times)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Tampa Bay Online (The Tampa Tribune)
Texas Rangers - (The Dallas Morning News)
Toronto Blue Jays - Toronto Star
Toronto Blue Jays - Toronto Sun
Toronto Blue Jays - The Globe and Mail
Washington Nationals - Washington Post

I was going to add a digg link for this single post, but that didn't work out so well, so anyway, feel free to 'digg' this post, or delicious it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Livan Hernandez lit up.

This entry will be short for a change, as I am only commenting of what I read about his performance.

So, former Expos pitcher, ace when he was at his best, was lit up, yet the Twins still went on to win the game against Baltimore by a score of 8-7 in front of a crowd of 7779. Livan allowed 6 runs over three innings, 5 earned. His counterpart didn't fare that well either, Daniel Cabrera allowed 5 runs, however only 2 earned in the bottom of the first. Daniel Cabrera faced 12 batters while Livan Hernandez faced 20.

Elsewhere in spring training, the Dodgers beat the Red Sox with a 3 run rally to tie the game, and a grand slam by Jason Repko off of Lee Gronkiewicz was the insurance. I saw the video of the grand slam featured on the main page of

Both games interestingly enough that I wrote about were played in Fort Myers, Florida. The Boston game just a little ways north of the Twins Bill Hammond Stadium, at City of Palms Park. What better time than to throw a plug in for my MLB Spring Training Google map!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Twins at Yankees March 5th 2008.

I had the chance to see the Twins at Yankees spring training game on television from the third inning or so on. Anyway, I don't get the chance to see many Spring Training games, as I have to see them when they are televised. I had subscribed to towards the end of the 2004 season to be able to see the Expos games I wouldn't normally see, and the subscription went to the end of 2005 Spring Training. Point being it is nice to catch spring training games, as we are able to see the players we all already know well, but also to see the upcoming talent that we may or may not be familiar with, or that may or may not have major league baseball experience.

So for both Minnesota, and New York, it was their 6th spring training game, 3rd away for Minnesota, and 3rd home game for New York. Minnesota had one rained out game, the day before this game.

So I'll write about the game, and what I remember.

I tuned in, and the Yankees were ahead 4-1. One thing I was thinking was wondering exactly how much teams compete in spring training. Seems they actually do compete, while getting many different players in the game, I am sure there's also the aspect of playing well in order to get as much playing time on the major league club. Minnesota scored first, but once down 4-1, they managed to tie the game up, and then take the lead and keep it to earn their third spring training victory, and third straight. Their record is now 3-3, while the Yankees fell to 3-1, as their first game was an exhibition game against the University of South Florida, and they tied one game too, neither of which show up in the standings.

So, the two run fifth was thanks to a home run hit by Garrett Jones, he managed to hit it well out of the park, not quite literally out of Legend's Field, but very close! It was hit off of Joba Chamberlain, who will definitely be seeing playing time with the big club as the announcers said.

Pat Neshek pitched for Minnesota in the seventh, and he has a crazy side arm delivery! He worked a fast and efficient perfect inning, he got former Blue Jay Chris Woodward to ground out, Jason Lane popped out, and Gregory Porter, in for Arod, struck out. Neshak later was credited with the win for Minnesota.

Both Jason Lane, and Morgan Esnsberg, former teammates in Houston, are most likely both trying to get the final spot on the 25 man roster, the announcers said (Gary Thorne, and Rick Sutcliffe). Both are signed by the Yankees to minor league contracts, and are listed as non-roster invitees.

The Twins scored three in the top of the eighth, the runs the Yankees never got back, save for one. Shelley Duncan looked promising hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth. He made his mlb debut last July 20th, and appeared in 34 games, totaling 74 at bats. He hit .295 in 91 games last year for the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and 25 homers. Also as it says on the mlb game wrapup/box score that brings his spring training rbi total to nine, which is tied for the spring training lead with Jolbert Cabrera of Cincinnati. Jolbert, who is the older brother of former Expos shortstop, now with the White Sox, Orlando. Jolbert hasn't played in the big leagues since 2004 with Seattle. He is currently signed to a minor league contract, and is at spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Alright, so I guess that is about it. Here is the press release for spring training games ESPN will be televising.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Not just another Spring Training

So, 2008 brings not just another Spring Training. That is to say there's plenty of stories from the diamond, and off, to go around this spring (check the link out at the end).

The biggest story being the Mitchell Report, or the Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball. I'll avoid wasting space on it, save for stating the obvious that there has been illegal drug use going on in baseball, and in many players.

Numerous other stories include the new Washington ballpark opening up soon, again, reminding us of what we could have had if the situation wasn't badly mishandled. Also, it is the last year for Yankee Stadium. The Marlins have a stadium deal pretty much set...

The movement of many players also makes for an interesting story. Since I no longer have the Expos, this being the start of the fourth year without them (time flies), I follow the Blue Jays, as they are the only remaining Canadian team. It would have been the fortieth (40) year of the Expos. Whereas this is the start of the thirty second (32) year of the Blue Jays. Anyway, I'll soon post about where ex Expos are these days.

So since I follow the Jays, The move I am most interested in is the acquisition of David Eckstein. Since watching him most as a Cardinal, I think he makes for a quality shortstop, possessing a cannon for an arm. Also the trading of third basemen makes for an interesting story. The Blue Jays get Scott Rolen, and the St. Louis Cardinals get Troy Glaus, in a direct trade. I'm happy with said trade, as Troy Glaus had been implicated in using enhancement drugs. As with everyone, they are innocent until proven guilty, but if the name does come up, something has to be up, regardless, it will probably be one less distraction too. Their 2007 stats are quite similar, with Glaus having hit a few more home runs, but Rolen struck out less.

I haven't been following baseball too much during the offseason, so lately I've been reading up on some baseball blogs, and finding out some new stuff I didn't know about, and finding some good blogs too. With that said, I'll hope to add some new blog links soon. Also, it has been a while since I posted, but hope to get back to it again.

Anyway, another deal that caught my eye is that Jim Edmonds is now a Padre. He waived his no trade clause to have the chance to play closer to his home, and not knowing how he was going to fit in the Cardinals future. An article I read as well was that he went though quite a training program in the offseason. Read about it here, and here.

It doesn't go into great detail, but gives a good idea of what he went through. He had the help of Jim Moss, a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department SWAT team. It reminds me of the workout the guys did to get in shape for the movie 300. Beyond that, it is also a good insight into getting into baseball shape.

So that leaves three players in the shadow of a great CF in St. Louis, or three players to fill that spot on defense, and so on. They are Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumaker, and Brian Barton according to at the moment.

So that is about it for the moment, I'll keep it shorter as to post on a more regular basis.

Finally, however I'll self promote a bit. Since Spring Training is well underway, if there's anyone down in Florida, or Arizona, checking out the Grapefruit League, or Cactus League respectively, then you may enjoy a little Google Map I put together with Spring Training stadium locations, along with their respective teams. It is also good just out of curiosity, as that is why I made it, maybe eventually I'll get down there some spring. So anyway, Major League Baseball Spring Training 2008!