The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates had “We Are Family” and last year the New York Yankees had “Empire State Of Mind” but this year the San Francisco Giants are getting every bodies juices flowing with this hit.
This should be in Blu-Ray….102 years now and counting.
Former big-league catcher Matt Walbeck was recently named Double-A manager of the year and nearly two weeks after guiding the Altoona Curve to the Eastern League championship he was fired by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Walbeck has a .543 winning percentage, four manager of the year awards, and three championships in six seasons as a minor league manager and the 41-year-old has made it clear that he’d like to move up the organizational ladder.
The Pirates apparently had issues with Walbeck in terms of his communications with staff and players. That was the No. 1 influencing factor here. No specific examples were given, but it’s always been very important to this management team to have cohesion in the area of instruction and development, so that prospects can progress steadily through the system without having to adjust to new styles or terminology. The team feels it can do better in that regard, so it made the move.
“It’s funny in this business where you think you’re in, and then you’re out” Walbeck said.
The one rare winning sight in a losing organization is now gone and is definitely an honorable mention for Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown of the week.
The New York Times uncovered the story of recently found full TV broadcast reel of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar thought to be lost forever.
Crosby, who was part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hired a company to record Game 7 by kinescope an early relative of the DVR, because he was too nervous to actually watch it and thought he would jinx the Series against the New York Yankees. He and his wife left for Paris as it when it was played. Crosby who died in 1977, kept a half-century’s worth of records, tapes and films in the wine cellar turned vault in his California home.
Thought of as one of the best games ever to be played in World Series history the five-reel set, found in Crosby’s home is the only known complete copy of the game, in which Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit a game-ending home run to beat the Yankees, 10-9.
MLB Network reached agreement with Crosby’s estate to televise the game in December with interviews and other programming around it as Bob Costas will be the host. MLB also plans to sell DVDs of the game.
The summer heat can make people do odd and strange things but what Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan has been putting on display in Major League Baseball the last couple of weeks hovers on the level of crazy. For Morgan it all started to boil over two weeks ago in Philadelphia when he got into a heated exchange with a fan in the stands. When the eight inning came to an end he threw the ball into the crowd and hit a different fan that he was having the heated dialogue with in the face.
MLB handed down a fined and suspended him seven games for his actions which he appealed the suspension and played against the Chicago Cubs later that day. Then came an incident at home plate against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. The game well out of reach in the eighth inning for the Cardinals saw Morgan run straight toward St. Louis catcher Bryan Anderson, who had stepped a two feet in front of the plate, and lowered his shoulder for a hockey cheap shot check.
Then came Tuesday night in Florida, in the top of tenth inning Morgan gave Marlins catcher Brett Hayes a season ending dislocated shoulder when he crashed into him at home plate. Hayes hung onto the ball and Morgan was called out. However he was back at it again with the fans in the bottom of the tenth inning once again screaming obscenities at the stands, which is the above video.
The Marlins seeking some kind of on the field justice Wednesday night, took the matters into their own hands and plunked him. Marlins right-hander pitcher Chris Volstad was still on the mound in the sixth inning and threw behind Morgan and that started a bench clearing brawl. Morgan ran out to Volstad and threw a punch to the pitcher’s face, then was clothes-lined by Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez. Volstad got a few shots in on Morgan before Nationals third base coach Pat Listach jumped on the right-hander and held him to the ground. Morgan was ejected and screamed once again at the Marlins fans, pumping his chest in pride as he exited.
I’ve been a Morgan supporter since his rookie year in Pittsburgh and never have witnessed anything remotely close to what we’ve seen from Morgan the last two weeks but these recent actions are quickly ruining his credit report. There’s some serious issues going on in Morgan’s head right now and could cast a shadow over the rest of his career.
State College Spikes, affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, manager Gary Robinson has a minor league meltdown that onlyWally Backman would not be impressed with. Robinson argues a call, then continues to cover home plate with dirt, steal first base, autographs it and then gives it to a fan. Pretty awesome.
You would think there’s not much for fans or the Pittsburgh Pirates announcers much to be excited about when the club is 39-72 or had 17 straight sub .500 season but when highly touted rookie Pedro Alvarez hits a walk off home run to beat the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, Greg Brown and Steve Blass celebrate as if it was 1979 all over again.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have 17 consecutive seasons of finishing under .500 for various reasons but now their fans have taken their frustrations out on Jolly Roger. Fans still love them, follow them, but they gotta make fun of the situation.It’s about time the Pirates started to steal some talent for wait till next year is a saying in Pittsburgh that has fallen onto deaf ears.
When your the talk of the baseball world like Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg for over a year before even making a big league debut and then in his first career start goes out and strikes out 14 while walking zero, the stardom train is leaving in a hurry.
Strasburg already has had his rookie baseball card sell for over $16,000 and with TV executives switching previous schedule games in favor of Strasburg starts, how much would a signed baseball from his first game go for?
Major League Baseball has jumped on the train as they authenticated all the baseballs used by the rookie phenom in his major league debut and put some for sale on their auction site. In the second inning Strasburg struck out Pittsburgh Pirates Garrett Jones and MLB snagged the ball.
They put it up for sale with a starting bid of $300, the bidding rose quickly and the final price came in from user Merkle923 for $20,010. Merkle923 is baseball enthusiast and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. Over the last few years Olbermann has, using the Merkle923 account, bid on a number of baseball items through MLB and other auction sites.
His next start is tomorrow against the Chicago White Sox and will be broadcast on the MLB Network instead of it’s original Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers game.
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 Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg who lived up to the early hype and won both of his Major League Baseball debuts at home and away which simply is BLAZIN.
Strasburg entered the major leagues surrounded by so much hype and in his first game struck out 14 but more importantly walked none at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. For his follow up performance in Cleveland against the Indians, which TBS switched from a Boston Red Sox vs Philadelphia Phillies matchup, he struck out another 8 batters while walking 5. Strasburgh did give up a home run in both games but did walk away victorious in both starts. He now carries a 2.19 ERA and a rookie card that sold for over $16,000.
Congratulations Stephen Strasburg you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
It’s just 3 days away from Opening Day and its time for a bonus edition of the outfield position for those still to have their fantasy baseball draft this weekend. As stated in part one of the outfield rankings this is where you will find players who will gather the most points for you through out the season in five categories. Those categories being hitting for average/home runs/RBI’s/scoring runs and stealing bases. Guys like Cleveland Indians Grady Sizemore, St. Louis Cardinals Matt Holliday and Philadelphia Phillies Jayson Werth are the best at this and will be sure to be taken early so lets go deeper.
Breakout Player: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
- McCutchen surely will be on quite a few radars since he led all rookies with 47 extra base hits and showed plenty of speed on the bases paths. As with any sophomore there is the potential for a slump but McCutchen can rely on his legs to help avert long slumps. In 511 career minor league games he hit .286 and stole 105 bases and his 2010 numbers should resemble 100 runs, 20 home runs, 60 RBI’s and 30 stolen bases with a similar batting average to last year.
Sleeper Pick: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
- Can you be a sleeper pick if the Oakland Athletics where hesitant on trading you away for Matt Holliday, the answer is yes because he’s still 24 and has only 508 at bats under your belt. He has all the tools to rack up points in the five categories and is very similar to McCutchen in Pittsburgh. Gonzalez will have the benefit in playing in a hitter friendly home ball field but he is as equal threat on the base paths. See his 2010 numbers to reach about 25 steals, 18 home runs, 75 runs and 90 RBI’s.
Risky Player: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
- I can say this since I was on the come back Hamilton band wagon back in 2007 when the Cincinnati Reds gave him a chance in April. That success lead me to draft him far earlier than anyone would have anticipated in 2008 and he rewarded me with 32 home runs, 132 RBI’s and 190 hits but I watched as he hit a wall towards the end of the year when national jumped on his band wagon. I speak from watching 246 games of his before he became the 2009 spring training hot topic. Hamilton suffered more than one setback in 2009 when photos surfaced of him drinking and taking shots off women who weren’t Mrs. Hamilton. Then he endured a back injury that limited him to only 89 games. Can Hamilton repeat 2008, yes of course, but the back problem should be taken into account. I said he is of risk, not saying he’s undraftable.
Slipping Player: Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
- Soriano can thank Milton Bradley for being a Cub last year as if wasn’t for the disastrous season Milton had on and off the field, Alfonso would have taken the majority of the heat for his lackluster performance. One main reason for Soriano’s downfall over the years is injuries have plagued him and they have cut back his ability to steal bases and hit home runs which is what made him such a threat earlier on in his career. Soriano missed time in September with knee problems and add to the fact he has never been a selective hitter the evidence is showing its ugly head he is slipping. For the third year in a row his numbers in the runs, hits, home runs, RBI, stolen base, and hitting for average departments have been worst than the previous year.
Tim Lincecum the right-handed stoner of the of the San Francisco Giants repeated as the National League Cy Young Award winner, besting St. Louis right-handers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the vote conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“The Freak” became the first pitcher ever to win the Cy Young in his first two full seasons in the big leagues and the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson who won four in a row for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1999-2002. Lincecum (15-7, 2.48 ERA, 261 strikeouts) received 11 first-place votes and 100 points. Carpenter (17-4, 2.24 ERA, 144 strikeouts) finished second with nine first-place votes and 94 points, followed by Wainwright (19-8, 2.63 ERA, 212 strikeouts), who had 12 first-place votes and 90 points.
The six-point margin between Lincecum and Carpenter equaled the third-closest NL Cy Young election since the ballot was expanded from one to three pitchers in 1970. The closest vote occurred in 1987, when the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian beat the Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe, 57-55.
Although “The Freak” was fourth in wins he clearly improved overall. The 25-year-old trimmed his ERA by 0.14. Opponents hit .206 off him this season, compared to .221 in 2008. After walking 84 in 227 innings a year ago, he improved to 68 walks in 225 1/3 innings this season as well as leading the NL in strikeouts for the second year in a row, the first Giant to do so since Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (1907-08). Lincecum also ranked second in ERA and tied teammate Matt Cain for the league lead with four complete games.
“The Freak’s” season was highlighted by four complete games, two shutouts and eight double-digit strikeout performances, due in large part to that ridiculous curve-ball and near unhittable changeup and a mid-90s fastball isn’t too bad either. July 27 also highlighted his season by striking out 15 against Pittsburgh.
Lincecum topped Wainwright and Carpenter in several other statistical categories, including opponents’ batting average, strikeouts per nine innings and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Dock Ellis (3-11-1945 – 12-19-2008) pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1968-1975, and he won 19 games during the team’s 1971 World Series season. He’s remembered for three incidents inside baseball.
He beaned Reggie Jackson in the face, allegedly in retaliation for Jackson’s home run at the 1971 All-Star game.
In 1974, Ellis attempted to hit every batter in the Reds lineup before being removed because,he felt “that his teammates had lost their aggressiveness and were too easily intimidated.”
But he most famous incident was on June 12, 1970 he threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres while on LSD.
“Ew I just made a touchdown”
Most baseball players either play winter ball or enjoy the few months off but not former Princeton and current Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Russ Ohlendorf. He decided to transition from his breakout 2009 season into an internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He’s writing a blog about his experience:
In addition to learning about USDA, I have been afforded some great opportunities through my internship. This week I went to a Tribal Leaders Reception for the National Congress of American Indians. I met several interesting people, both tribal leaders and people who work in other departments of the government. The reception was held in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. It was my first time visiting the museum and reminded me of all the great museums and government buildings in Washington, DC. I have been to a few of them now, with my favorite two being the Library of Congress and the National Archives. I’m looking forward to more great experiences in the weeks to come.
Heck of a way of to spend the off season, better to give back to this wonderful country instead of giving your time back like Ahmad Bradshaw.
The rights to the improbable story of two young men from Indian villages, who without knowing the rules of baseball won a pitching contest and were eventually drafted, have been acquired by Sony Films. Rinku Singh and the runner-up Dinesh Patel both signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The two are the same playing fields with people who have been playing baseball for their entire lives currently have pitched 20 innings combined of rookie-A baseball this season.
Jeff Bernstein of Seven Figures Management, who founded the Million Dollar Arm contest and has served as a father figure of sorts to the two pitchers, negotiated the deal and will be portrayed in the film. The producers are slated to be Mark Ciardi of Mayhem Pictures who was behind inspiration sports stories that have made it to the big screen, including “Invincible,” “The Rookie,” “Miracle,” and “Secretariat,” which is expected to be released in the fall of 2010.
Bernstein said the rights fee was “extremely generous,” but that it was more important to go with a team of people who he thought could create the most authentic reproduction. Although the two grew up in agrarian villages and not slums, Bernstein said that the success of Slumdog Millionaire certainly led to more interest in their story.
“If ‘Slumdog’ had not been so popular, it might have been harder for us,” Bernstein said. “But that story was something that could have happened. Our story did happen.”
Although Indian actors will play the two, Rinku said he wanted the Rock to play him and Dinesh said he’d like to be portrayed by Jason Bourne, also known as Matt Damon. In addition to the movie, Bernstein said he is also in negotiations for a book and a television documentary as well that will come out around the same time as the movie.
Bernstein, Singh and Patel head back to India today for the first time since they left in March 2008 partly to promote the second year of Million Dollar Arm, which will begin in November and run through May. Bernstein said the goal is to draw 1 to 3 million kids in the contest that seeks to find the Indian pitcher who can throw the fastest fastball.
Oh it’s postseason time in baseball and that means it’s time to hand out some awards on the baseball diamond here at Sports Grind Entertainment.
Starting off with the senior circuit, the National League MVP couldn’t have been any easier. Don’t get it twisted that since Albert Pujols plays for the only professional sports origination in all of sports that I truly care about, that this vote wasn’t hands down his. Yes, if the race was close and I went with Pujols I could understand your concern but the 2009 season produce no one within a mile.
- NL MVP Award: The Cardinals first baseman leads his league in on-base percentage and slugging percentage plus homers, runs scored, total bases, grand slams and extra-base hits. He’s second in batting average with men in scoring position. Third overall in batting average and in RBI’s. Crazy as it sounds Pujols lead the Cardinals in stolen bases. Pujols also has an NL-record 184 assists from first base.
- NL Cy Young Award: There was a three-way choice between San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and St. Louis teammates Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. They’re 1-2-3 in ERA and 1-2-4 in wins.
- Carpenter has been the most brilliant and dominant, but he’s not in the top 10 in the NL in innings pitched because of early-season health issues. Lincecum has the lowest OPS allowed, but he plays in a great pitcher’s park. Wainwright leads the league the league in wins.
- Carpenter still took the ball against the other team aces so he gets it by a hair over Wainwright.
- NL Rookie of the Year: Was loaded with fresh new propest that made a mark in the 2009 season, with Philadelphia’s J.A. Happ, Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson, Randy Wells of the Cubs, Milwaukee’s Casey McGehee, Florida’s Chris Coghlan, Colorado’s Dexter Fowler and Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen.
- As far as position player Coghlan (229 total bases, 82 runs scored and .319 average) is as good of a choice as any but it came down to the two pitchers that came to show earlier and never fell off all season. Happ (12-4, 2.85 ERA) vs. Hanson (11-4, 2.89 ERA).
- While Hanson is a terrific prospect, Happ threw 164 innings and the Phillies would have been in big trouble without him.
- NL Manager of the Year: There are a few good candidates. Fredi Gonzalez kept the Marlins in contention for 25 weeks. Tony La Russa had little in his lineup other than Pujols for the first three months. Charlie Manuel got the Phillies back on top, as did Joe Torre with the Dodgers.
- But this award is a no brainier for Colorado Jim Tracy, they have gone 74-41 since he took over for Clint Hurdle. That’s the equivalent of a 104-win season.
- AL Cy Young Award: When the Cy Young is discussed many see a losing team and figure there is no way a pitcher from such team would win the award over someone on a contending team, but that’s not what the Cy Young is about. On any squad the best pitcher is not responsible on how well or bad the team plays on his days off.
- And that makes Kansas City’s Zack Greinke is the best pitcher in the AL. Period. He lead the league with a 2.16 ERA on a bad defensive team. He had 6 complete games, 3 shutouts and was second in strikeouts with 242. Greinke had a 15 strikout performance and on his next outing threw a one hitter. He was the best pitcher in both leagues. Period.
- Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia are great. And if Greinke wasn’t around, it would be a three-way debate. But this year, that debate is about second place.
- AL MVP Award: Joe Mauer leads the American League in batting, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And he’s a catcher. Mauer leads the AL in batting average at home, on the road, against right-handers and in night games. He is second in average with runners in scoring position, third in average in day games and fourth in average vs. lefties.
- If Mauer was playing in New York, he’d be everywhere. He would be on every billboard, every magazine cover.
- Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Kendry Morales had very nice years. Very nice.
- Considering the lack of protection in his lineup as compared to the others in the debate, it Mauer as the choice. Also since the only protection he had in teamamte and former MVP Justin Morneau is sidelined for the year. That forced Mauer to put the team on his back as they got back into contention of the AL Central Divison to force a one game playoff with the Detriot Tigers.
- AL Rookie of the Year: What a great season for rookie talent, in both leagues. The White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham, who has hit well. Baltimore outfielder Nolan Reimold who leads Beckham in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and homers. Texas’ Elvis Andrus, meanwhile, has played all season excelling at shortstop with acceptable production at the plate for a 20-year-old.
- Comparing position players against pitchers is comparing apples to oranges. Oakland’s Andrew Bailey with his .168 opponents’ average, Detroit’s Rick Porcello, Toronto’s Ricky Romero.
- Tough call, but Porcello is 20, and he made 30 starts while pitching in a pennant race to the finish and he went 14-9 with a 4.04 ERA.
- AL Manager of the Year: Great job by Ron Washington to help make the Rangers relevant. But Mike Scioscia didn’t just guide the Angels to another division title. He kept the team from falling apart through a rough first few months, not only because of a rash of pitching injuries but also because of the death of Nick Adenhart. Managing a team is about managing people, and Scioscia did a great job this year. Joe Girardi managed his team to 103 wins and probably wont get a sniff at the award is tough but that how things play out sometimes.
As a huge Major League Baseball fan that lives in a top 10 major city that does not have a big league club, stories like what happened in Cincinnati, Ohio really angers me. It’s hard enough being a fan that knows San Antonio would support such product and when a team like the Florida Marlins come to my town and use it as a pawn so the city of Miami can end up approving a new stadium deal so they wont move, today’s news again angers me even more.
In what was a makeup game from an April 10th rain out between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ball Park drew fewer than 2,000 fans for the first game of day-night doubleheader. The game was basically played in red seat echo chamber. Fans could hear the players banter and the players could hear the fans chatter. In between the fourth inning, the video board showed one fan surrounded by empty seats and played Eric Carmen’s song “All By Myself.”
“You could hear everything, I think that makes it harder to focus when you can hear every individual comments,” Darnell McDonald said.
“I saw one guy who was missing a finger catch a foul ball, and I could hear him say, ‘That hurt like hell,’ but he caught it. That’s one of those days where everyone could get a foul ball and a T-shirt,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
It was a match up of the National League Central Division bottom dwellers and a lot of unfortunate things have happened since the original games was to be played in April. The Pirates went on another trading spree, only Ryan Doumit and Adam LaRoche are left from the lineup that manager John Russell wrote out that night .Every starter from that game for the Reds has been sidelined in the season with injuries and 18 players overall have gone on the disabled list.
Whether the big league club is trading away pieces or injuries have hit the club, people in that city don’t realize how good they have it by being able to watch Major League Baseball and that makes me extremely jealous but it pisses me off.