The blame for last night’s loss falls squarely on Manager Joe Girardi. From AP-
When Derek Jeter led off Game 3 with a homer into the bullpen, this AL Championship Series seemed uncomplicated. Power hitting and steady pitching appeared to be driving New York to the World Series.
About 261 minutes, 14 pitchers, six homers and several big blunders later, a winning hit by a backup catcher left only one thing certain in this cuckoo series: The Los Angeles Angels won’t be trampled by the mighty Yankees.
Jeff Mathis drove home Howie Kendrick with a two-out double in the 11th inning, and the Angels survived a second straight ALCS thriller, beating New York 5-4 Monday to trim the Yankees’ series lead to 2-1.
“There was a lot of great baseball on that field this afternoon,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “There were a lot of twists and turns, and both teams played a terrific game. We just got it done at the end.”
Kendrick, himself a part-time infielder, homered and tripled before singling with two outs in the 11th off rookie Alfredo Aceves. Mathis followed with his drive up against the left-field wall, and Kendrick slid home well ahead of a desperate throw, setting off an on-field celebration of the backups’ bonanza.
Mathis, a .211 hitter in the regular season, came up with his third late-inning, extra-base hit of this outlandish series, just two days after the clubs’ 310-minute, 13-inning icy epic in Game 2.
Besides taking reliever David Robertson out of the game when he was pitching well, Girardi went through seven relievers in four innings. He also made the comical decision to replace outfielder Johnny Damon with DH Jerry Hairston after already taking out starting Designated Hitter Hideki Matsuki. With Damon’s removal, the Yankee pitchers were then required to hit.
I’m sure Yankee fans are howling about all of this right now. They should remember their team is still up 2 games to 1 and are still favored to win this series. If the Yankees win the World Series, the dumb moves of Joe Girardi in last night’s game will be forgiven if not forgotten also.
I thought teams with Pennant hopes made deals to acquire more pitching, not trade it away. From AP-
The Los Angeles Angels, looking to bolster their rotation for the last five weeks of the season and in October, acquired left-hander Scott Kazmir of the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
“This is a surprise. I had heard rumors before, but it’s hard to believe that it is now official,” Kazmir said after Tampa Bay’s 6-2 loss to Detroit. “It’s a disappointment because of all the relationships I’ve built in the organization and the city, but you can’t control the business side of the game.”
The Angels and Rays had extensive conversations before the trade deadline about Kazmir, who is 8-7 with a 5.92 ERA.
Tampa Bay receives two minor leaguers — left-hander Alex Torres and infielder Matt Sweeney — and a player to be named later in the deal.
“We’re very excited about the player that we can’t name yet, but also about the other two,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “The lefty has a great arm, and Sweeney is one of the best hitters in the minors.”
Kazmir leaves Tampa as the franchise all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, and several other pitching categories. Tampa has a record of 69-58 and are still in the playoff hunt for a wild card spot. So why trade Kazmir.
John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times fills us in-
The Rays just got better in 2010. And 2011, for that matter.
And all it may have cost them was a chance for the playoffs in 2009.
That’s pretty much what this Scott Kazmir trade means. By getting out from under Kazmir’s overpriced contract, the Rays will have a better chance to keep the core of their team together in the next couple of seasons, and that, absolutely, is a good thing.
But there’s no way to spin this trade to make you believe the Rays have a better shot at defending their American League pennant today. Not by taking their No. 3 starter out of the rotation. And not by sending him to the team the Rays would most likely face in the first round of the playoffs if they somehow beat the odds and win the AL wild card.
For now, this trade stinks. There’s no other way to paint it. You could say the Rays have Andy Sonnanstine and Wade Davis in Triple A, and so the rotation is not without options. But if those guys were better than Kazmir, they would have already been with the team.
Whatever carpe diem means, this is the opposite.
Other than for financial reasons, the trade makes no sense. I bet there are a lot of irate baseball fans in Tampa right now.
There must be a ‘I need another ancient relief pitcher’ virus going around the offices of MLB teams at this moment. From the St. Petersburg Times-
The Rays had interest in adding veteran Russ Springer to their bullpen anyway. After going through two extra-inning games in four days, they believed it was even more important to make a move.
The 40-year-old right-hander was claimed on waivers from Oakland, with the Rays assuming the nearly $1 million remaining on his $3.3 million contract.
Springer was 0-4 with a 4.10 ERA in 48 games with Oakland but had a 1.61 ERA over 25 games since early June.
The addition of Springer required Tampa to make another personnel move.
The Rays’ decision to designate IF Joe Dillon for assignment to make room for Springer wasn’t cut-and-dried. Ultimately, the Rays decided to go with eight relievers and three bench players in large part because they had played two extra-inning games this week.
Though Dillon rarely got off the bench, Maddon said he didn’t like having to cut him loose. In addition to being a fan of Dillon’s approach to the game, Maddon will have to be especially creative with the way he uses his bench.
That’s an understatement. Only three bench players severely limits a manager’s options. One of those backups has to be a catcher, the most likely player to get injured in any given game. Managers are a cautious lot, and will be cautious in using their only backup catcher. That limits a team’s strategy moves with only three bench players even more.
Springer, like the recently traded David Weathers, has been all over the major leagues for fifteen plus years. He is a decent reliever, but for the reasons I already stated, I don’t understand why Tampa needed this guy.
He was killed by a drunk driver only hours after he made his MLB debut. The Angels have had their share of tragedies in their almost 50 years as a baseball franchise. Chico Ruiz, Mike Miley, and one other player were killed in 1970′s auto accidents. Lyman Bostock was shot to death, and Donnie Moore committed suicide. Tragic and RIP.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others were killed by a suspected drunk driver Thursday, a shocking end to the life of a rookie who had overcome major elbow surgery to realize his big league dreams. The accident in neighboring Fullerton occurred hours after the 22-year-old pitcher made his season debut with his father in the stands, throwing six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics. The Angels ultimately lost the game, 6-4.
The team postponed Thursday night’s game with Oakland, the final one of their season-opening series.
“It is a tragedy that will never be forgotten,” manager Mike Scioscia said at an Angel Stadium news conference.
Adenhart’s father, Jim, a retired Secret Service agent, walked onto the field in the empty stadium Thursday and spent several moments alone on the pitcher’s mound. Wearing a red sweatshirt, the Angels’ color, he briefly covered his eyes with one hand.
Jim Adenhart also spoke during a closed-door meeting of players and team officials.
“He just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity, thank you for raising his kid in minor league ball on up through the system in the Angels’ organization,” outfielder Torii Hunter said.
Nick Adenhart was a passenger in a silver Mitsubishi Eclipse that was broadsided in an intersection about 12:30 a.m. by a minivan that apparently ran a red light, police said.
The impact spun around both vehicles, and one then struck another car but that driver was not hurt, police said.
The minivan driver fled the crash on foot and was captured about 30 minutes later. Police identified him as Andrew Thomas Gallo, 22, of Riverside, and said he had a suspended license because of a previous drunken driving conviction.
Preliminary results indicated Gallo’s blood-alcohol level was “substantially over the legal limit” of .08 percent, police Lt. Kevin Hamilton said.
Gallo was interviewed by investigators before he was booked in jail Thursday on three counts of murder, three counts of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and felony driving under the influence of alcohol, Hamilton said. Gallo was being held without bail.
A spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office said charges against Gallo likely wouldn’t be filed Thursday because police were still investigating. Hamilton said he didn’t immediately know if Gallo had an attorney.
Adenhart died in surgery at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Henry Nigel Pearson of Manhattan Beach, a 25-year-old passenger in the car, and the driver, 20-year-old Courtney Frances Stewart of Diamond Bar, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Stewart was a student at nearby Cal State Fullerton, where she was a cheerleader in 2007-08.
Another passenger, 24-year-old Jon Wilhite of Manhattan Beach, was in critical condition at UC Irvine Medical Center, although he was expected to survive, a hospital spokesman said. Wilhite played baseball from 2004-08 at Cal State Fullerton.
Stewart’s mother said her daughter and Adenhart had known each other since last season but were not dating as far as she knew, Hamilton said.
The mother said Adenhart and the others had gone dancing at a club about a block away from the crash site, although the crash scene appeared to indicate the car was heading in the direction of the club, Hamilton said.
At the ballpark Wednesday night, Adenhart did his job. He scattered seven hits over six scoreless innings and escaped twice after loading the bases in just his fourth major league start.
“I battled early and it felt good to get out of some jams,” he said.
Adenhart left with a 4-0 lead before the bullpen gave away what would have been his second major league victory.
During Thursday’s closed-door session, “we were just kind of reminiscing about what Nick brought to the team, to the clubhouse,” Hunter said as he drove out of the players’ parking lot.
“He was a very funny kid and he’s going to be missed,” he said. “Every time you come to the stadium and you go in that clubhouse, you’re looking at Nick Adenhart’s locker.”
“A lot of these guys in here have never lost anybody in their family that’s close to them. I hate that this happened, but this is part of life. This is the real deal,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got to kiss your kids, kiss your family every day when you get up in the morning and before you leave for work.”
Adenhart had made a slow climb to reach the majors.
He hurt his pitching elbow two weeks before the June 2004 major league draft, when he was projected as a top-five pick out of Williamsport High in Maryland.
But the setback dropped him to the 14th round, where the Angels selected him. He underwent Tommy John surgery â€” a reconstructive operation on an elbow ligament â€” later that month and spent most of next four seasons in the minors.
Adenhart struggled with a 9.00 ERA in three starts for the Angels last season, but Scioscia said last month the right-hander had worked hard over the winter and arrived at spring training with a purpose.
He was made the No. 3 starter as the season began this week because of injuries to John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Kelvim Escobar, all of whom are on the disabled list.
Adenhart’s father had flown out from Baltimore to attend the game.
“He told his dad that he’d better come here, that something special was going to happen,” said Scott Boras, Adenhart’s agent, who wept at the stadium news conference.
After the game, “He was so elated … he felt like a major leaguer,” Boras said.
The agent said he spoke with Adenhart and his father, in the clubhouse lobby until about 11:30 p.m. The pitcher and his father were staying at a nearby hotel.
Adenhart’s mother, Janet, was flying to Anaheim. His parents were divorced.
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He was the first ever manager of the San Diego Padres. Before that he worked in the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodger organization and had a very brief career as a player. RIP
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Preston Gomez, who managed the expansion San Diego Padres and later guided the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs during a six-decade career in baseball, died Tuesday. He was 85.
Gomez died in Fullerton, Calif. He never fully recovered from head injuries sustained last March when he was hit by a pickup truck while walking to his car in Blythe, Calif.
Gomez worked for the Angels for more than 25 years, and was on his way back from the team’s spring training camp in Tempe, Ariz., when he was struck. The Angels announced his death.
Before the accident, Gomez had been a fixture around the ballpark and had been in the Angels’ organization since 1981, most recently as an assistant to the general manager. Angels manager Mike Scioscia annually invited Gomez to instruct in camp.
“Preston had an incredible passion for baseball and was a mentor for all of us who were fortunate to spend time with him,” Scioscia said. “He will certainly be missed, but I know his presence will be felt every time we take the field because of the knowledge and wisdom that he imparted to us.”
The Cuban-born Gomez played eight games in the major leagues. He played and managed in the minors and served as coach, manager and executive in the big leagues for decades.
Gomez was the third-base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1965-68, a span when they won two NL pennants and a World Series title.
“The man spent his entire life in baseball,” Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda. “He came from Cuba and got the opportunity to work for the Dodgers.
“He managed three major league teams and was a credit to the game. We are very sorry to see him pass away. He wore the Dodger uniform with pride and dignity. He has helped a lot of people in our game and he will be missed.”
Gomez managed seven years in the majors, going 346-529 in a span from 1969 to 1980. He never had a winning season, coming the closest at 81-81 in 1974 in the first of his two seasons with the Astros.
In his first three years as a big league manager, the expansion Padres finished in last place every season. It was a feat that wouldn’t be repeated by a manager for 15 years.
Amid those forgettable seasons came some memorable moments.
On July 21, 1970, Gomez pulled pitcher Clay Kirby for a pinch-hitter after eight no-hit innings against the Mets. To this day, the Padres haven’t had a pitcher throw a no-hitter. And they lost that game 3-0.
Gomez was fired by the Padres just 11 games into the 1972 season, one of the earliest dismissals in major league history. But he would still find four more seasons of work as a manager, next relieving Leo Durocher in Houston.
Gomez was born Pedro W. Gomez Martinez on April 20, 1923, in Central Preston, Cuba.
At age 21 he played in eight games for the Washington Senators, going 2-for-7 with a double and two RBIs.
He spent a decade after that playing in the minor leagues, then spent another decade as a minor league manager, working in the systems of the Cincinnati Reds, the New York Yankees and the Dodgers.
Pitcher Billy Muffett, who played for Gomez for the Yankees’ farm club in Richmond, Va., recalled an encounter with the manager after he had given up a couple of long home runs.
“Preston comes out to the mound and says, ‘What did he hit?’ I said, ‘Preston, I believe it was a Rawlings,’” Muffett recalled in 1990.
“Well, he didn’t think it was too funny. He said, ‘Next time, throw fastballs’ and walked back to the dugout.”
Four years after becoming a Dodgers coach, Gomez moved to the Padres. He was hired by former Dodgers vice president Buzzie Bavasi, who had become president and part-owner of the newborn Padres. San Diego lost 110 games in Gomez’s first season.
Gomez joined the Angels in 1981 as third-base coach and became a special assistant to the GM in 1985.
“The Angels family has lost one of its invaluable members, and one of baseball’s truly great ambassadors,” Angels general manager Tony Reagins said. “His influence and impact on so many throughout the industry is impossible to measure. Though he will be missed, Preston’s legacy will forever remain a part of this organization.”
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A hard throwing lefty, he was on two world series rosters with the Los Angeles Dodgers but never appeared on the mound. Two interesting notes about his career.
He was sold and repurchased by the LA Dodgers in less than seven months.
More notably, he was traded by the California Angels to the New York Mets in 1967 for Jack Hamilton. This set in motion the beaning of Boston Red Sox slugger Tony Conigliaro later in the season. Jack Hamilton was the pitcher whose pitch helped destroy that promising player’s career. Thought I would share that trivia. RIP Nick.
Nick Willhite, a hard-throwing left-hander for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 67.
Willhite, who grew up in Denver and starred in baseball and football at South High, died Sunday at the home of his son Monty in Alpine, Utah, the son said Friday.
Jon Nicholas Willhite pitched for the Dodgers from 1963-66, and was a member of their World Series championship teams of 1963 and 1965 along with Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Willhite also had stints with the Washington Senators, California Angels and the New York Mets, finishing with a career record of 6-12 in 58 appearances.
Monty Willhite said his father struggled with alcoholism over the years, but ultimately became a Utah-based alcohol counselor and a coach at a youth baseball program at Brigham Young University.
A native of Tulsa, Okla., Willhite also had minor league coaching jobs with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees.
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I hope this works out better for the Mets than their signing of Pedro Martinez back in 2004. From AP-
Francisco Rodriguez and the New York Mets completed their $37 million, three-year contract Wednesday.
Rodriguez saved 62 games for the Los Angeles Angels this year, five more than the previous big league mark set by Bobby Thigpen of the Chicago White Sox in 1990, and then filed for free agency.
Rodriguez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, had hoped to get a five-year contract, possibly equaling the $15 million average salary Mariano Rivera is earning from the New York Yankees.
But with baseball executives worried about the national recession, Kinzer accepted a more modest deal. The Mets were a natural fit because they were one of the few big-market teams looking for an elite closer this offseason.
Because Johan Santana wears No. 57, Rodriguez will switch to No. 75.
Baseball history has shown few relievers(Mariano Rivera is an obvious exception. On the other hand how many of you remember Mark Davis?) able to stay at the top more than 2-3 years, so I deem this a risky move.
He also played professional hockey and had two brief stints a major league baseball player. RIP.
Tom Burgess, who played briefly in the major leagues before serving as a coach under Joe Torre and Bobby Cox, has died. He was 81.
A member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Burgess died Monday at his Lambeth home after a battle with cancer, Baseball Canada said.
Burgess spent most of his professional playing career in the minors but had two short stints in the big leagues as an outfielder and first baseman. He went 1-for-21 (.048) at the plate with the 1954 St. Louis Cardinals and didn’t get back to the majors until eight years later, when he batted .196 with two homers and 13 RBIs for the 1962 Los Angeles Angels.
After his playing career ended, Burgess managed at many levels for St. Louis, Atlanta, the New York Mets, Texas and Detroit. He was third base coach for the Mets under Joe Frazier and Torre in 1977 and for Atlanta under Cox in 1978.
Burgess also coached and managed for Baseball Canada and Baseball Ontario.
“Tom could not give enough back to baseball,” Tom Valcke, president of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a phone interview Thursday. “He would teach anyone, anytime, everything he knew, as long as they wanted to learn and to work.”
As well as the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Burgess also is a member of the London, Ontario, sports Hall of Fame and the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame.
Where’s OSHA when you need them? From AP-
There are all kinds of ways to get hurt playing baseball. Just ask Jered Weaver, who proved this week that even the comfort of the dugout bench is no safe refuge from danger.
The Los Angeles Angels right-hander managed to cut the tips of his middle and ring fingers on his pitching hand while pushing himself up off the bench in the visitor’s dugout at Detroit’s Comerica Park on Tuesday night.
The cuts will not require stitches, but Weaver will miss his scheduled turn in the rotation on Friday night and will next pitch against the New York Yankees on Monday. Dustin Moseley, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday, will start in place of Weaver against the White Sox on Friday.
Just bizzare. We’ll have to wait some time before knowing if this becomes as infamous as John Smoltz burning himself with an iron or Pascual Perez getting lost on a Atlanta freeway.
Last night you might have heard that Angels pitcher Jered Weaver and JosÃ© Arredondo pitched a no-hitter against the LA Dodgers – and lost.
Here’s how the run scored:
Weaver (7-8) was victimized by his own fielding error with one out in the fifth inning that allowed Matt Kemp to reach first.
Kemp’s spinning squibber rolled to the right of the mound and Weaver rushed toward first base to grab the ball, but bobbled it. The ruling on whether it was a hit or an error was a close one, since Weaver would have had to field the ball cleanly — and first baseman Casey Kotchman was off the bag. Official scorer Don Hartack ruled it an error.
“I believe if he just picked it up with his bare hand and flipped it, he gets him by a good step and a half,” Hartack said. “So my thinking was, it really wasn’t a bang-bang play. I looked at the replay once and it looked like Kemp was a good seven steps away, so my thinking was Weaver had plenty of time to make the out.”
Kemp completely agreed with the scoring.
“I hit it off the end of the bat and it had a little funky English on it,” he said. “He could have made the play, but he just dropped the ball. It was an error. I mean, if they’d have given me a hit, I’d have been happy. But it was an error by far.”
Kemp stole second and continued to third on catcher Jeff Mathis’ throwing error, then scored on Blake DeWitt’s sacrifice fly.
This was the fifth time in baseball history that a team pitching the no-hitter lost. The complete list:
Allowed 0 Hits, Lost Game
||J. Weaver, J. Arredondo
||S. Barber, S. Miller
Last night’s game does not count as a no-hitter as MLB changed the rules to only count it as no-hitter when the pitcher(s) pitch at least 9 innings and complete the game.
I knew that the Orioles had once lost a no-hitter to the Tigers 2 – 1 but I just saw that the worst such loss was suffered by Andy Hawkins of the Yankees. He lost to the White Sox 4 – 0 on July 1, 1990.
Hawkins suffered the defeat when a two-out fly ball hit by Robin Ventura with the bases loaded was dropped in left field by a Yankee rookie, Jim Leyritz, allowing three runs to score. Ventura scored another run when Jesse Barfield, blinded momentarily by the sun, dropped a fly ball hit to right by Ivan Calderon.
Hawkins wasn’t certain how to separate his emotions afterward. Fans cheered him when the game was over and his teammates applauded him when he entered the clubhouse, but he never allowed himself to smile.
”I’m stunned; I really am,” he said, still standing on the field. ”This is not even close to the way I envisioned a no-hitter would be. You dream of one, but you never think it’s going to be a loss. You think of Stewart and Fernando, coming off the field in jubilation. Not this.”
The next year, Hawkins was a little more philosophical.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad.
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