Current Arizona Diamondbacks backup catcher Rod Barajas was also the Diamondbacks backup catcher when the team won the World Series in 2001. Barajas, then a 25-year-old rookie, batted just .160/.191/.274 in the regular season but stepped up and went 2-for-5 with a homer in the seven-game triumph over the New York Yankees.
Four years ago, Barajas lost his World Series ring, but now he’s finally found it. The real story, though, is how he found it. It involves Brajas’ wife, Stacie, and the recent death of her beloved grandmother.
Before leaving the couple’s home in San Diego, Stacie tried on a pair of shoes she had not worn in years. She tried one foot on, determined it matched her outfit and packed both shoes for the trip.
While getting ready at the hotel just before the funeral, Stacie put on both shoes for the first time. Only there was a problem with the one she hadn’t tried on before she left. There was something in the toe blocking her foot.
“I was getting ready and my wife yelled out, ‘Guess what I just found?’” Barajas said. “We’re in a hotel room and I’m like, what could you find in a hotel room?”
As it turns out, you can find a 2001 World Series ring and pendant.
“She walked out with the ring and pendant and we both looked at each other and I said, ‘That was your grandmother. Your grandmother grabbed that and put it there for us. One last gift that she gave us before she left,’” Barajas said.
Former major league infielder Josh Booty has won a reality television show by throwing the best knuckleball, and will go to spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Booty is set to report to camp Friday with a non-roster invitation.
The show on the MLB Network was called “The Next Knuckler.” Booty met Thursday with Diamondbacks announcer Tom Candiotti, a longtime knuckleballer in the majors.
Despite being new to the knuckleball, this won’t be Booty’s first Spring Training. He was the fifth-overall pick by the Florida Marlins in the 1994 First-Year Player Draft and appeared in 13 Major League games for the Marlins from 1996-98. He also played quarterback at LSU.
Booty was among five former college quarterbacks in the competition. His brother, John David Booty, was joined by Doug Flutie, David Greene and Ryan Perrilloux.
MLB Network is debuting a new series next week called “The Next Knuckler.” The concept: several former college quarterbacks are going to learn to throw a knuckleball under the instruction of former Boston Red Sox knuckler Tim Wakefield. The best knuckleballer at the end of the series will get an invite to Arizona Diamondbacks spring training in hopes of making the team.
The quarterbacks: John David Booty, Josh Booty, Doug Flutie, David Greene and Ryan Perrilloux.
Don’t count out old man Flutie in this one, as he plays in a pretty hardcore over-30 baseball league, in which he’s actually really good.
The show debuts on Wednesday, February 13th at 8PM.
MLB umpire Jim Joyce has made plenty of key calls in his life, but this was his most important and most timely when he performed CPR on a Arizona Diamondbacks employee before the Miami Marlins game. He tended to her in the tunnel that leads to the umpires dressing room at Chase Field about 90 minutes before first pitch.
“It was non-normal. I don’t know what word to put on it. It’s obviously never happened to me before.”
The umpire says he learned CPR in high school and had used it before, but not in several years.
The rest of his crew Lance Barrett, Jim Reynolds and James Hoye saw the woman on the ground having a seizure. Joyce, 56, continued administering CPR as paramedics arrived.
Brothers Justin Upton and B.J. Upton both hit career homer No. 100 on Friday night, just about an hour apart and in different leagues.
Justin Upton connected for Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning at Philadelphia off Phillies Kyle Kendrick. Then it was his older brother’s turn. B.J. Upton went deep in the fourth inning for Tampa Bay Rays against Baltimore’s Orioles Tommy Hunter.
“It was cool. I’m happy for him,” Justin Upton said after Arizona’s 4-2 win. “It’s a big night for the family.”
B.J. Upton joins Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Cesar Cedeno, Lloyd Moseby, Eric Davis and Hanley Ramirez as the only players to amass 100 homers and 200 steals before age 28. Upton turns 28 on Aug. 21.
“I was just texting him,” B.J. Upton said after the Rays beat Baltimore 2-0. “He said he got his before mine, but it’s all good. It was cool to do that on the same day.”
The Upton brothers also both hit their 99th homer in games on July 20.
“It was mentioned after the last game,” Justin Upton said. “I definitely wanted to beat him to it.”
Arizona Diamondbacks 18 year old prospect Stryker Trahan is officially ready for the big leagues after laying out Seattle Mariners prospect Joseph DeCarlo.
Billy Beane, Bruce Bochy, Buster Posey are impressed
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has often been criticized by Chicago fans and media for his nonchalant demeanor, stone-faced expressions and overall lack of personality.
On Saturday, during the Chicago Cubs game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cutler had a chance to warm up to Chicago fans by throwing out the first pitch and singing during the seventh-inning stretch. Cutler’s pitch was on the money, but his singing was horrendous.
Maybe next time he should bring fiance Kristin Cavallari out for a duet.
Karl Kissner picked up a soot-covered cardboard box that had been under a wooden dollhouse in his grandfather’s attic. Taking a look inside, he saw baseball cards bundled with twine. They were smaller than the ones he was used to seeing.
But some of the names were familiar: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner.Then he put the box on a dresser and went back to digging through the attic.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that he learned that his family had come across what experts say is one of the biggest, most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting, a discovery probably worth millions.
The cards are from an extremely rare series issued around 1910. The few known to exist are in so-so condition at best, with faded images and worn edges. But the ones from the attic in the Ohio town of Defiance are nearly pristine, untouched for more than a century. The colors are vibrant, the borders crisp and white.
“It’s like finding the Mona Lisa in the attic” Kissner said.
Sports card experts who authenticated the find say they may never see something this impressive again.
“Every future find will ultimately be compared to this,” said Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator.
The best of the bunch — 37 cards — are expected to bring a total of $500,000 when they are sold at auction in August during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. There are about 700 cards in all that could be worth up to $3 million, experts say. They include such legends as Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack.
Kissner and his family say the cards belonged to their grandfather, Carl Hench, who died in the 1940s. Hench ran a meat market in Defiance, and the family suspects he got them as a promotional item from a candy company that distributed them with caramels. They think he gave some away and kept others.
“We guess he stuck them in the attic and forgot about them,” Kissner said. “They remained there frozen in time.”
After Hench and his wife died, two of his daughters lived in the house. Jean Hench kept the house until she died last October, leaving everything inside to her 20 nieces and nephews. Kissner, 51, is the youngest and was put in charge of the estate. His aunt was a pack rat, and the house was filled with three generations of stuff.
They found calendars from the meat market, turn-of-the-century dresses, a steamer trunk from Germany and a dresser with Grandma’s clothes neatly folded in the drawers.
Months went by before they even got to the attic. On Feb. 29, Kissner’s cousin Karla Hench pulled out the dirty green box with metal clips at the corners and lifted the lid.
Not knowing whether the cards were valuable, the two cousins put the box aside. But Kissner decided to do a little research. The cards were at his office in the restaurant he owns when he realized they might have something. He immediately took them across the street and put them in a bank vault.
Still not knowing whether the cards were real, they sent eight to expert Peter Calderon at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, which recently sold the baseball that rolled through the legs of Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series for $418,000.
Calderon said his first words were “Oh, my God.”
“I was in complete awe,” he said. “You just don’t see them this nice.”
The cards are from what is known as the E98 series. It is not clear who manufactured them or how many were produced, but the series consists of 30 players, half of them Hall of Famers.
The experts at Heritage Auctions checked out the family’s background, the age of the home and the history of the meat market. They looked at the cards and how they were printed.
“Everything lines up,” said Chris Ivy, the company’s director of sports auctions.
They then sent all the cards to Professional Sports Authenticator, which had previously authenticated fewer than 700 E98s. The Ohio cards were the finest examples from the E98 series the company had ever seen.
The company grades cards on a 1-to-10 scale based of their condition. Up to now, the highest grade it had ever given a Ty Cobb card from the E98 series was a 7. Sixteen Cobbs found in the Ohio attic were graded a 9 — almost perfect. A Honus Wagner was judged a 10, a first for the series.
Retired vintage sports card auctioneer Barry Sloate of New York City said: “This is probably the most interesting find I’ve heard of.”
In a measure of what baseball cards can be worth, the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks paid a record $2.8 million for a rare 1909 Honus Wagner. Another version of the card brought $1.2 million in April.
Heritage Auctions plans to sell most of the cards over the next two of three years through auctions and private sales so that it doesn’t flood the market. In all, they could bring $2 or $3 million, Ivy said.
The Hench family is evenly dividing the cards and the money among the 20 cousins named in their aunt’s will. All but a few have decided to sell their lot.
“These cards need to be with those people who appreciate and enjoy them,” Kissner said.
The defending National League West champion Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a rough start this year. They currently sit four games under .500 with a 26-30 record. With the Diamondbacks nine games out of the division lead frustrations in the desert are mounting.
Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick went on a rant in which he took on shortstop Stephen Drew and right fielder Justin Upton in an interview on Prostopreps.com.
He questioned Drew’s commitment to returning to the field this season and calling Upton an “enigma.”
Drew is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment for Class AAA Reno on Thursday after suffering ankle and ligament damage last July 20.”I think Stephen should have been out there playing by now. I for one am disappointed,” Kendrick said.
“I’m going to be real candid and say Stephen and his representatives are more focused on where he is going to be a year from now than going ahead and supporting the team that is paying his salary. All you can do is hope that the player is treating the situation with integrity. We have our concerns.”
The Diamondbacks are paying Drew $7.75 million this season and the sides have a mutual $10 million option with a $1.35 million buyout for 2013, and it doesn’t sound as if Kendrick would be willing to pick up the option.
Drew’s agent Scott Boras said Kendrick’s suggestion that Drew was focused on free agency “makes no sense.”
Upton finished fourth in the NL MVP voting last season is now hitting .243 with five home runs and 20 RBIs this season.
“I think Justin is an enigma at this point,” Kendrick said on Prostopreps.com. “I know he had an injury. It was something of a nagging injury, but he’s played.
“He’s certainly not the Justin Upton he has been in the past, and we would expect of him. He’s 24 years old. It’s time for him to be a consistent performer, and he’s not been that.”
Barry Bonds is publicly referring to himself as a convicted felon these days, and he’s quick to point out that conviction was never for steroid use.
He appealed his obstruction of justice conviction from April 2011 on one count of giving an evasive answer to a 2003 grand jury investigating illegal steroids distribution.
“I went through the system. And that’s what it is,” Bonds said at Monday’s Arizona Diamondbacks-San Francisco Giants game while doing charity work through Big Brothers and Sisters of the Bay Area. “And that’s what I got. I went through the system. I’m in an appeal process right now. I was never convicted of steroids.”
The slugger said he met recently with Giants president and CEO Larry Baer about working for the club in some capacity, and Bonds has a personal services contract the Giants have said could go into effect once his legal proceedings were in the past.
When asked if he regrets any connection to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, Bonds said: “Do I have any regrets? What happened happened. It’s there. It is what it is. I live with it. I’m a convicted felon for obstruction of justice, and that’s who I am. I live with it.”
The 47-year-old home run king, looking especially lean at about 212 pounds from his new love for cycling, also spent a stint in the broadcast booth during San Francisco’s 4-2 win.
“It’s always a treat when he comes around,” winning pitcher Barry Zito said. “I love Barry.”
While Bonds will long be remembered for his surly nature and mighty swing, he acknowledges he brought on many of his issues himself. Still, dealing with all of the court dates and speculation of his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs did take a toll.
“I gave my life and soul to that game. That’s what’s heartbreaking. That’s the hard part of it,” he said. “My (reputation) was kind of iffy anyway. I created that guy out there for entertainment only. Whether you hated me or liked me, you were there. And I only wanted you there. I just wanted you to see the show. That was it. All I ever wanted was for people to have a good time and enjoy it. It was fun to come out and people would boo or yay or whatever. They all showed up to see whatever would happen next and it motivated me to play hard.”
It’s unclear when Bonds might begin work with the Giants, though he doesn’t figure the timing would work this season.
He said he would expect his job to be different from the varying roles of former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow.
“I think my role is a little higher than that,” he said, laughing. “I love J.T. a lot, though.”
Bonds said if struggling two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum sought his advice, he’d provide it.
“If Lincecum wants the answers, I’ll give them to him,” Bonds said.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he would welcome Bonds’ input if he takes a job with the club.
“We have a great hitter here who has really accomplished so much,” Bochy said.
The seven-time NL MVP is busy rehabilitating from two surgeries over the past six weeks — one for a disk injury in his lower back sustained while running and also a procedure on his hip and quadriceps area. He is scheduled to be examined by doctors Tuesday.
“I work out every day. That never changed,” he said. “I’m going to die training. That’s what I love to do more than anything in the world.”
Bonds hasn’t played since 2007 and sees no reason to formally retire just yet — and insists his Hall of Fame chances are far from his mind.
“That’s up to the writers to worry about that stuff. I’ll be at home having a good time with my life and my kids. That’ll take care of itself,” he said. “I don’t try to predict the future or analyze how other people are thinking or how it’s going to turn out. I face my opponents as they come. It would be very sad if it didn’t happen. That’s why I don’t need to comment on it. There’s really no need.”
He said the legal issues he has faced in recent years will always stay with him.
“It’ll never go off your mind,” he said. “You don’t ever forget those things. You move on. I’ll never forget it.”
Former NBA player Thunder Dan Majerle was enjoying his food and game just beyond the outfield wall in pool area at Chase Field when Arizona Diamondbacks Gerardo Parra hit a ground rule double and right into Thunder Dans hand.
What’s lies ahead in the 2012 Major League Baseball season, well no one knows for sure but Opening Day is upon us and it’s time to roll out a few predictions. If you happened to listen to our live show this past week then you already heard six segments of in depth breakdown in each division of each league but here is a cheat sheet to those predictions.
Should be an interesting year with another added Wild Card team to the postseason mix and one can only hope this season has a magical finish like last year. Enjoy opening day, enjoy the season. I know I will.
American League East winner: New York Yankees
American League Central winner: Detroit Tigers
American League West winner: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
American League Wild-Card winner: Tampa Bay Rays
American League Wild-Card winner: Kansas City Royals
American League Pennant winner: Tampa Bay Rays
National League East winner: Washington Nationals
National League Central winner: Cincinnati Reds
National League West winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
National League Wild-Card winner: Miami Marlins
National League Wild-Card winner: San Francisco Giants
National League Pennant winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
American League Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
National League Rookie of the Year: Drew Pomeranz, Colorado Rockies
American League Manger of the Year: Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
National League Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
American League MVP: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
National League MVP: Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks
American League Cy Young Award: James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays
National League Cy Young Award: Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
The new Adam Eaton is a 23-year-old outfielder prospect for the Diamondbacks. The old Adam Eaton is a 34-year-old former big-league pitcher, last playing for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Somehow the new Eaton was confused with the old one and began to receive his gamed day checks. Arizona’s Eaton was sitting in the clubhouse earlier this spring when he was handed six checks from the union’s licensing program worth at least $20,000 apiece.
Eaton couldn’t believe his eyes. The checks were from MLB’s licensing department, but what had he done, he wondered, to deserve this kind of cash? A 19th-round pick in the 2010 draft, Eaton hasn’t played above Double-A. And as a minor leaguer, he isn’t even a part of the players’ association.
Teammate Cody Ransom happened to see Eaton flipping through the checks and realized what had happened.”Cody’s like, ‘Those aren’t yours,’” Eaton recalled. “I’m like, ‘What do you mean they aren’t mine? They’re in my name.’ He goes, ‘That’s the other Adam Eaton. Do you live there?’ It had the address on the front. ‘No.’ I go, ‘Do I have to give them back?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah. You have to give them back.’ I thought it over and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got to give them back.’”
Arizona’s Eaton said he was “on top of the world for a good 30 seconds.” Old Eaton is relieved to get $120,000 returned to him “it was like finding a twenty dollar bill in your jeans you thought you spent.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp is two home runs shy from entering the 40/40 club tonight in his final game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. But seriously after the breakup from R&B singer Rhianna didn’t we all think we were done seeing images like these. The soon-to-be National League MVP posed all soaking wet for Flaunt Magazine.
Kobe Bryant is impressed.
Arizona Diamondbacks Ryan Roberts did his best Kirk Gibson impression, pumping his fist in triumph as he rounded the bases in one of the most amazing moments of the teams improbable season. Roberts grand slam capped a six-run 10th inning that gave the Diamondbacks the most stunning of their 48 come-from-behind victories this season, a 7-6 triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks for winning the National League West Division after consecutive 90 loss season and back-to-back last place finishes. The Diamondbacks defeated the reigning World Series champions and division rivals the San Francisco Giants 3-1 to achieve their first NL West crown in four years. The Diamondbacks completed their worst-to-first turnaround by rallying to beat the Giants something that has been very common for them all season long.
Arizona started the season on a downturn, already 6.5 games out of first by the end of April then went through a magnificent May, closing the month 15-3 to take the NL West lead, and stayed near the top through July. The Diamondbacks seized control of the division at the end of August into September, going up by as much as 9.5 games before San Francisco came charging back with an eight-game winning streak now a year after going 65-97, Arizona is 91-66 and heading to the playoffs.
Congratulations Arizona Diamondbacks you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
Major League Baseball, which banned illegal performance-enhancing drugs and amphetamines, now has several teams restricting the use of energy drinks. Teams are discouraging the use of Red Bull and other energy drinks, with most banning it in the minor leagues.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros have stopped providing energy drinks in their clubhouse on the big league level and the Milwaukee Brewers have removed them throughout their minor league system. All clubs are citing harmful effects but can’t ban the beverages because they are not prohibited in the collective bargaining agreement.
“We take the same education approach with the energy drinks that we take with supplements,” said Ross Atkins, vice president/player development of the Cleveland Indians. “We ask why a player is using it, is there something else natural he could to improve his energy levels?”
The Astros began taking precautions in 2009 when reliever Wesley Wright was taken to a hospital and treated for dehydration. He said he drank several cans of Red Bull and soft drinks before pitching that afternoon.
“We’ve had a couple of issues regarding dehydration,” Astros General Manager Ed Wade said, “and our people think they can be traced to misuse, overuse of energy drinks. It just seemed that we shouldn’t be creating an environment where we’re almost facilitating the effects of dehydration.”
This of course has caused several players to speak out.
Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan, who typically consumes two Red Bull drinks a day, said: “I don’t see why it should be banned. You’ve got to go out there 162 games. You’re playing 21 games in a row, and switching time zones, and you want to be mentally and physically ready. If fans can sit in the stands and drink it, why can’t we drink it during games? We’re human, too.”
“It’s asinine,” Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz said. “What are they going to ban next, coffee? Soft drinks? It’s so bizarre.”
Last night during the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies game I saw this play made by Gerardo Parra out in left field. However it was the Philadelphia beer vendor that caught my eye more than anything. Not sure what he’s doing but hey they love their teams in the city of brotherly love.
They say if you watch enough baseball your bound to witness things you have never witnessed before on the diamond. That happened on Sunday watching the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks game when in the fourth inning Arizona’s newly acquired pitcher Jason Marquis plunked Mets Josh Thole with a pitch in the leg. However both players crumpled to the ground simultaneously.
Turns out Marquis suffered a broken right fibula after taking an Angel Pagan line drive off his shin in the previous inning and eventually took an at-bat as he stayed in the game.
“I thought it was just tightness from a bruise,” Marquis said. “The pain was enough I could deal with to stay out there. I just felt something pop and team physician Dr. Michael Lee said it completed the break.”
Marquis will be out for four to six weeks. Click HERE to see the highlight.
If you haven’t heard the news, power hitting left fielder Wily Mo Pena is back in the big leagues for the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been since June 21. Pena has been out of pro baseball since July 13, 2008 but last night his comeback trail concluded when he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4.
Just before Pena geared up for the game winning moment he spit into his helmet and then stepped into the batters box for his pinch hit at-bat. Here’s the MLB Network studio crew of Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, and Dan Plesac reacting to it and even adding a Clubber Lang aka Mr. T mumbling impression into the mix.
It never ceases to amaze me how insane people go for a ball that you can buy at Academy for $3.
Back on February 9, we posted the report that umpire Jim Joyce and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Armando Galarrage would be co-authoring a book together about the famous near perfect game entitled “Nobody’s Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History.” In the post I raised the question that they now being business partners should Joyce be allowed to umpire any game in which Galarraga is involved in.
Turns out yesterday a day before the anniversary of the near perfect game, MLB has banned Joyce from umpiring “any series in which Galarraga’s team plays.”
Although the ruling wasn’t official Joyce had already been replaced by another umpire when his crew worked a Diamondbacks series in early May. It’s a similar arrangement with umpire Jim Wolf and his brother, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf. Wolf is allowed to umpire games involving his brother’s team, but is not allowed to call balls and strikes when his brother is pitching.
It’s not all good though for Galarraga these days as he currently is in Triple-A for the Reno Aces after posting a 5.91 ERA in eight starts for the Diamondbacks. and overall since the game is 5-12 with a 5.10 ERA in 29 starts.
The book, “Nobody’s Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History,” written with Daniel Paisner, is due out Thursday.
Robert Seamans, a 27 year old man, who was critically injured when he fell from a stairwell leading to the center field seats at Coors Field during the opener of a doubleheader Tuesday between the Colrado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks has died. According to other fans that witnesses the accident, the man was “attempting to slide down the staircase rails when he lost balance and fell over the rail striking his head on his concrete stairs.”
Seamans was at the game with his girlfriend, Shelby Elliot, when the accident occurred. Unfortunately Elliot bore witness to the horrific scene, which took place in stairwell 12 on the concourse level of the stadium.
Three days ago Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for stealing $59.88 worth of merchandise from a local Macy’s. The Reds decided to leave Leake in his scheduled start for pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday. Leake went out and pitched pretty well, surrendering three runs in seven innings for a 7-4 Reds win and his third on the season.
The heckling over his shoplifting expericene didn’t end just in the sports headlines as we learned from his teammate Brandon Phillips, who was impressed with Leake’s composure.
“I really tip my cap off to him. He went out there, he did his job regardless of what happened or whatever, but you know – I love him to death but it feels good for him to steal a win like that.”
Phillips didn’t make an accidental pun either as he instantly started to crack up as soon as he finished saying it.