The Starting Five

Baseball

Stadium baseball

by on Sep.11, 2013, under Baseball

When the Hagerstown Suns played Savannah on Tuesday night at the Stadium and the last pitch was made and the last out recorded, was it indeed the last one ever for the Suns?

This is the South Atlantic League championship series, the remainder to be played in Savannah, Georgia.

I think it is obvious, with all the back-and-forth yip-yapping about the Suns, a new Stadium etc. etc., that you know what? People really don’t care anymore if there is a team playing here or not.

That is obvious by the attendance counts. Not even making the SAL finals can get fannies in the seats, and this is a pretty good team out there.

The end is near.

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The boys meet

by on May.02, 2013, under Baseball, Pro Sports

Thursday night in the South Atlantic League, two pitchers with hope for the future clashed at Delmarva.
Hagerstown’s Christian Binford, a Mercersburg Academy grad, went up against Frederick’s Branden Kline, a Virginia grad.
Neither came away with a decision as Lexington won 3-2 in 10 innings.
Binford went five innings, giving up six hits and two runs. He walked two and struck out six. He avoided the loss when Lexington scored in the ninth inning for a 2-2 tie.
Kline kept Delmarva in the game with a six-inning effort allowing just three hits and one run. He walked only one and struck out five.
Kline has already made one stop in Hagerstown while Binford is looking forward to May 23-26 when Lexington comes to town, hoping the rotation falls his way for a start during the visit.

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They got it right

by on Jan.09, 2013, under Baseball, Pro Sports

The baseball writers charged with the voting and selection of Hall of Fame players for 2013 hit it on the head this year.
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds failed to get the necessary 75 percent to gain induction. In fact, they were far from having a chance. Clemens received 37 percent and Bonds 36. Evben Sammy Sosa had but 12 percent. Craig Biggio had 68 percent of the vote to lead all vote-getters.
Bonds has denied he knowingly used PEDs and Clemens was acquitted of perjury charges and Sosa tested positive in 2003.
Do they belong in the Hall of Fame? Now, their agents are going to cry foul ball! Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, has already cried “unimaginable” that Bonds wasn’t a unanimous first-ballot selection.
Well, this is how I look at it and I certainly am no Cincinnati Reds fan ….. but none of them belong in the Hall of Fame until MLB abolishes the ban on Pete Rose. … Then, after he gets put in the HOF, the others can follow.

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Major League mess

by on Nov.17, 2011, under Baseball

So, on Thursday Major League Baseball announced that the Houston Astros would shift to the American League West Division beginning with the 2013 season. In addition, two teams could be added to the wildcard mix in the playoffs possibly for the 2012 season.
With 15 teams in each league that means interleague baseball will be played every day of the year. Can’t wait to see how screwed up the schedules will be in 2013. It’s bad enough how the schedule-makers have been over recent years and now they’ve got to figure this out.
I am a baseball purist. I don’t like having 30 major league teams but that’s the way it is. More than ever with interleague play looming every day, I think it is imperative that Major League Baseball revert in one aspect — get rid of the designated hitter. Let’s get back to pitchers hitting. And if they don’t, then it’s got to be unified everywhere with 100 percent use in all games. But I prefer the eliminating the DH.

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Baseball beauty

by on Sep.29, 2011, under Baseball, Pro Sports

So you say watching baseball on television is boring? At times it maight be, but Wednesday night was not one of them. What a night for baseball to end the regular season. Drama everywhere and in a short period of time, even though it required extra innings.
It got be late. St. Louis was already clinching at least a wildcard tie in the National League with a win over Houston. Philadelphia and Atlanta were going at it with Atlanta needing a win.
In the AL, Boston and Tampa Bay were tied going into the finale. It looked like Tampa Bay was in the coffin, down 7-0 to the Yankees. And Boston was looking good with a one-run lead over the Orioles before a rain delay.
Alas, Atlanta is dumped from the wildcard when Philly wins. And while the Red Sox-Orioles are in the delay, Tampa Bay mounts a comeback against New York, getting to 7-7 in 9 innings.
Then, Baltimore puts the knocker on the Red Sox with Reimold’s game-winner and only moments later, Evan Longoria homers for Tampa Bay to make it official on the Red Sox — gone.
What a night …. That was baseball ….

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Memory never forgotten

by on Jun.10, 2011, under Baseball, Pro Sports

It was 52 years ago today (June 10, 1959), yes, 52 years ago, in which Rocky Colavito hit four home runs in one game for the Cleveland Indians against the Baltimore Orioles at old Memorial Stadium.
I was about to become 8 years old two days later. I lived in Dover, Ohio at the time and could go back to the house and the same room and relive that evening I spent with my dad watching the game on television. Back in the old days, it was an event to watch an away game on TV because the televised schedules were very limited.
It became a very special evening as Colavito knocked four straight out of the park on a hot, humid night in Baltimore. I was also treated to a sip, or two, of what would become my icon beer later in my teen years — Carling Black Label. Yes, it was all in fun having a sip of the cold stuff.
At any rate, Colavito is one of 15 players in Major League history to hit four homers in one game. The last to do it was Carlos Delgado in 2003. Some observers of MLB think it is one of the greatest feats a player can accomplish.
Colavito was a Cleveland icon. Suddenly, Indians GM Frank “Trader” Lane sent him off to Detroit just prior to the start of the 1960 season for 1959 batting champion Harvey Kuenn, who did nothing for the Indians while Colavito continued to flourish. We were devastated in Cleveland and it really became what was known as the “Curse of Rocky Colavito” as the Indians floundered for many years until winning a pennant in 1995. The “curse” had finally been lifted, but I’ll guarantee you Frank Lane was never forgiven.
Colavito eventually went on to Kansas City before he finally returned to the Indians in 1965 and 1966, only to be shuffled off to the White Sox in 1967.
In my mind he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
When my daughter got her first puppy, I even convinced her to name him “Rocky.”
Never forgotten, especially on June 10.

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The ‘Spark’ is gone

by on Nov.04, 2010, under Baseball, Pro Sports

George “Sparky” Anderson died today at age 76 because of complications from dementia.
As I grew up in Ohio and a Cleveland fan as you all know, we lived through the success of the Cincinnati “Big Red Machine” in the 70s.
It was Anderson who molded all those stars — Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, Joe Morgan and others — into one of baseball’s great teams.
He was a student of the game, thorough as ever but gruff as could be.
He spent 9 years as the manager of the Reds before he moved on to to Detroit to manage the Tigers for 17 years. He won two World Series titles with the Reds and one with the Tigers.
Even though he spent so much time in Detroit, Sparky Anderson will always be remembered wearing the red uniform from Cincinnati.

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Thome’s career

by on Jul.03, 2010, under Baseball, Pro Sports

It is so hard to believe that Jim Thome will be 40 in August.
Saturday, he hit two home runs for Minnesota to reach 10th place on the all-time Major League home run list with 574, surpassing Harmon Killebrew.
I can remember Thome when he made his debut in 1991 for the Cleveland Indians. He was a slender third baseman and the scouts said Thome was a sure thing. They touted that he always would have some pop in his bat, and I don’t mean cork.
He hit only 1 homer in 1991 — against the Yankees in October — but it was just the beginning as he became a huge part of success the Indians had through the 1990s before he left town after 12 years for Philadelphia.
I had the pleasure of talking with him several times during the years I was working in Cleveland. He always seemed grounded in his outlook on life and baseball.
Even though he left Cleveland, I still pay attention to what he has done elsewhere. I hope he at least has the opportunity to reach 600 homers. Not a bad career.

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Workout day

by on Jun.16, 2010, under Baseball

Thursday is a workout day (not for me) for Clear Spring’s Brandon Glazer.
It won’t be at a local Gold’s Gym or anything like that … it will be at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Brandon and his father, Ron, flew to Kansas City on Wednesday to be part of the group of invited high school players that Kansas City recently drafted.
They were to take the field Thursday in front of the KC brass.
Glazer was a 24th round pick of the Royals.

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Will it always be Strasmus Day?

by on Jun.09, 2010, under Baseball, Pro Sports

You win some, you lose some.
In major league baseball, the draft is a crap shoot and you just hope your top picks are the guys that are going to fit the bill — immediately or in the future.
Stephen Strasburg’s debut with the Washington Nationals was a superhuman effort.
If you’re just waking up you missed his 14 strieouts in seven innings performance in a win against Pittsburgh on Tuesday in front of a sold out Nationals Park.
Will this be the one player that alone becomes the face of the franchise for more than just one game?
Only time will tell.
There are many examples to fall back on that would make you reserve total judgement for another time.
(continue reading…)

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