Archive for April, 2009

This Day in Baseball History: April 30th, 1990

April 30, 2009
Still, Mets fans wouldn’t be happy when the Mets didn’t re-sign him instead of trade him in 1992.

On April 30, 1990:

David Cone argues in two runs.

In the bottom fourth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves, David Cone let things get out of hand, just not in the usual way. He struck out Jim Presley to begin the inning, and everything was going along smoothly for Cone, who was trying to bounce-back from a two-run third. Dale Murphy came up a laced a single to center, and then, he took second while Ernie Whitt batted. Whitt would go on to take a walk, putting men on first and second anyway. The next batter was Andres Thomas, and he hit a deep flyball to left-center, but Mark Carreon tracked it down for out number two. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Mark Lemke, the Braves second baseman, came up. On the 1-2 pitch, Lemke rolled over the pitch and hit it to the second baseman. Because the first baseman had come to get the ball as well, Cone had to cover first. The umpire called Lemke safe, but Cone disagreed. Actually, he really disagreed. Instead of paying attention to anything else, Cone began to argue with first base umpire Charlie Williams. While he argued, Murphy and Whitt came around to score without a throw. Even as everyone yelled for Cone to pay attention, he ignored them, continuing to argue with the umpire.

Cone was not ejected, and he pitched another inning and gave up another run. After the game, the umpire stated, “I told him that another runner just scored while you argued with me.” Why Cone didn’t turn around is a mystery. Cone responded to the question with the pathetic excuse that he “snapped emotionally”. I don’t know how that happens. You’re playing the worst team in baseball, have two outs anyway, and have not allowed that third run of the game to score.

Cone, a 27-year old veteran, went on to have a pretty good season. He went 14-10 with a 3.23 ERA and a league-leading 233 strikeouts.

Trivia Time
How many Cy Young Awards did David Cone win?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Mickey Mantle with an astounding 42 runs (Yogi Berra is second with 41)


This Day in Baseball History: April 29th, 1930

April 30, 2009
Hack Wilson drove in 191 runs (or was it 190?) in 1930. Bizarre year.

On April 29, 1930:

123 players cross home plate in one day.

Holy crap. Remember, there are only 16 teams at this point, and only 14 played (it seems the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals were rained out). That means there were 7 games played. For those non-math majors out there, 123/7 = 17.57 runs per game. Here are the scores:

Cleveland 6, St. Louis Browns 4
CHI White Sox 8, Detroit 6
Philadelphia A’s 9, Boston Red Sox 5
Washington 11, NY Yankees 8

Brooklyn 19, NY Giants 15 (ding, ding, we have a winner — geez)
Philadelphia Philles 8, Boston Braves 2
Pittsburgh 13, CHI Cubs 9

If you were a pitcher, you hopefully took a sick day.

The most runs scored in one game by one team is the Chicago Colts (now Cubs) against the Louisville Colonels (how’d I know they’d be involved) with 36 on June 29, 1897. The Rangers set the modern-era record with 30 against the Orioles on August 22, 2007. The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies have the most runs scored in one game between the two teams when they battled 26-23 (Cubbies win) on August 25, 1922.

6 players have scored 6 runs in a game, but Mel Ott is the only one to do it twice. Billy Hamilton holds the season record with 196 in 1894 with the Phillies, but Babe Ruth holds the modern record with 177 in 1921.

Just some fun trivia for you.

Trivia Time
Who holds the World Series record in runs scored and with how many?

Yesterday’s Answer –> False, but they did go 14-15 in August.

This Day in Baseball History: April 28th, 1988

April 28, 2009
I can’t even imagine the frustration they experienced. That’s a lot of futility. Even the Nationals have lucked into a few victories here and there.

On April 28, 1988:

The Baltimore Orioles lose for the 21st consecutive game.

The Baltimore Orioles didn’t just lose for the 21st consecutive game. They lost the 21st consecutive game to open the season. That’s a pretty impressive feat. Actually, it’s the longest losing streak to start a season. Though that streak is impressive, the Philadelphia Phillies were the most impressive (or I guess gruesome) when they lost 23 straight from July 26 to August 20 in 1961.

Coming into the 1988 season, the Orioles weren’t exactly expecting great things. They had just lost 95 games the previous season, including losing 42 of their last 56, but they spent the off-season ridding themselves of anything that reminded them of that season. Only 11 players remained from the previous season. Even with a set of new players, there was no guarantee. The team did have Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Fred Lynn, but there wasn’t too much to get excited about.

The season started off pretty ominously as the Milwaukee Brewers waltzed in and blitzed the Orioles 12-0 in front of 50,000+ fans and the governor of Maryland. Five more losses into the campaign, and manager Cal Ripken, Sr., was gone. He lasted a grand total of six games before Frank Robinson was brought in to fix the team. It didn’t work. The next two games, they took a 6-1 and 9-3 loss before their first big chance of the streak. Two screwed up sac bunts, three errors, and a couple balks left the Orioles short, 4-3, to the Kansas City Royals. A storm came in the next night, making the conditions cold and horrible, and to match, the Orioles suffered another close loss, 3-2, this time to the Cleveland Indians. 10-0.

The 11th game was even tougher to take. The Orioles took the Indians to the 11th before dropping the game 1-0. Two days later, the Orioles tied the 1904 Washington Senators and 1920 Detroit Tigers with 13 straight losses to open the season, and one night later, the Orioles put them in the rear-view mirror. One night later, the Orioles lost their 15th straight, a franchise record. Blow outs poured more depression on the Orioles and fans. Before the 19th game, President Ronald Reagan called the team to offer some encouragement, and maybe I’m wrong, but that had to make things more difficult. They got close in game 20, but they fell 4-3.

Game 21 started well. Murray drove in the game’s first run in the first. Kent Hrbek got things going, though, with his fourth homer of the season, making it 2-1 in the fourth. A double in the bottom of the sixth made it 4-1, and things were looking grim again. But in the next half inning, the Orioles made a move. Four walks were issued, and the bases were loaded with one out and the game at 4-2. Fittingly, a strikeout and a line drive to left ended the inning. Deflated, six of the next seven got out, ending the game. Although they didn’t know it, their luck would change the next game.

Actually it didn’t really change much. The Orioles went on to lose 107 games. Cal Ripken, Jr., and Eddie Murray were bright spots, but nothing could help a team last in the AL in runs scored and ERA. Their longest winning streak? Four.

For every agonizing defeat of the streak, go here.

Trivia Time
True or False? The Orioles had a winning month in 1988.

Yesterday’s Answer –> Johnny VanderMeer in 1938 with the Cincinnati Reds

Stolen Bases

April 27, 2009
It was pretty cool.

After watching Jacoby Ellsbury steal home, I stood up and clapped along with the fans at Fenway, but it was more because they were then ahead of the dreaded Yankees than Ellsbury actually stealing home. I’ve seen replays of stealing home, but I’ve never seen it live (on TV or in person). I thought it was cool. A couple things about it before I get to the actual post. One, did anyone else laugh at the awkward trip/slide of Ellsbury? People have kind of bypassed that, but he looked like he thought he was going to get in standing before realizing he had to dive. In the meantime, he just kind of tripped into home. Two, why did the announcers (I think it was Miller) keep blaming Posada? He needs to be paying attention to the pitch and not Ellsbury in the off chance he might steal home. And how was he supposed to come out to get the pitch? Drew did back up, but Drew could have easily thrown a lazy swing to hit Posada for catcher’s interference. Posada couldn’t do anything else. Sorry, but that was all Pettite. You just don’t expect someone to steal home these days. Anyway, on to the post.

Stolen bases have been around since the beginning of the game, but they weren’t exactly in the form they are now. The first modern stolen base was in 1865 by Eddie Cuthbert, but that wasn’t the only way to get a stolen base. In those days, a stolen base was simply added to the “total bases” category (not its own) and could be credited when one took the extra base on a hit. Say you are on first and the batter hits it into right. When you take third on the single, it counts as a steal because you only had to move one base. It wasn’t until 1877 that stolen bases even received any statistical recognition. In 1887, the stolen base finally received its own column in the box score. The modern stolen base rules were finally implemented in 1898.

From the beginning of the game to Babe Ruth, stealing bases was an essential strategy that was perfected by guys like Ty Cobb, Max Carey, and Honus Wagner. When Babe Ruth came-a-callin’, the game changed into a power sport focused on the home run. The stolen base wouldn’t really reappear until the late 1950’s when rules favoring pitchers began to force teams to find any way possible to score. Before that, Dom DiMaggio was famous for leading the AL in 1950 with 15 stolen bases. Luis Aparicio and Maury Wills took the lead in the 1960’s, and Lou Brock took over in the following decade. Stolen base king Rickey Henderson came in during the 1980’s, and Vince Coleman was his heir to the throne. Then came the 1990’s and the massive spikes in home runs, making the stolen base seemingly unnecessary. Lately after the steroid scandal, many wonder if the stolen base will make a comeback, and while I think it will to an extent, I don’t see it becoming a baseball-wide strategy, especially with sabermetrics essentially discrediting it.

As for career leaders in the category, we know Rickey Henderson is the leader, smashing the competition by almost 500 steals. Kenny Lofton is technically the active leader with 622, and oddly enough, Barry Bonds is second at 514. While they are still “active”, the actual active leader is Juan Pierre at 430. I imagine Carl Crawford (308) and Jose Reyes (294) will blow past him eventually, though Pierre did nab 40 last season (really?).

As for the almighty steal of home, Ty Cobb holds the record with 54. Max Carey holds the NL record with 33. 11 players have stolen home twice in one game, but unbelievably, neither Cobb nor Carey ever did it. No active player even has 10, and Paul Molitor is the most recent to have 10. Why? Well, a few places have speculated that there are two main reasons. The first is the turn away from steals all together, and the second is that modern pitchers don’t really go to the windup very often with a man on third. They used to almost as a rule (allowing more steals of home), but you rarely see it anymore. Personally, I don’t think I’d do it with Ellsbury on third, but that’s just hindsight.

But what about a rarer feat — stealing all the bases in one go? Ty Cobb did it a major-league record 4 times, and Honus Wagner did it an NL-record 3 times. Eric Young on June 30, 1996 was the last to do such a thing.

Fun fact: Rickey Henderson is not the single-season leader with 130 stolen bases … technically. Hugh Nichol stole 138 in 1887, but those were not all strict steals in the sense that we know them today. Remember the pre-1898 rules.

This Day in Baseball History: April 27th, 1983 and 1988

April 27, 2009
Some remember him a bit more for this famous incident.

On April 27, 1983 and 1988:

Nolan Ryan broke Walter Johnson’s strikeout record, and five years later, he narrowly missed out on his eighth no-hitter.

In 1983, Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton were approaching Walter Johnson’s strikeout record. Johnson’s impressive total of 3,509 strikeouts was about to be eclipsed by one of the two pitchers. Johnson had accomplished his feat in an era where strikeouts were not common, but he also pitched more innings, giving him more opportunities. Regardless, toward the end of the 1982 season, Ryan and Carlton were switching places on the all-time list with each passing start. Neither were spring chickens, but Ryan (36) was two years younger than Carlton (38) and figured to pitch longer. Little did anyone know, Ryan would go on to pitch 10 more seasons while Carlton only threw 5 more.

On April 27, 1983, Ryan won the race. In a game against the Expos, Ryan would take down Brad Mills for his 3,510th strikeout. Carlton sat at 3,480, 30 behind. Neither pitcher would go on to win the Cy Young that season, but both pitched fairly well. Ryan went 14-9 with a 2.98 ERA, and Carlton went 15-16 with a 3.11 ERA. Pitching in 8 more games, Carlton won the strikeout title with 274 K’s, and Ryan finished with 183. Of course, Ryan went on to strikeout 2,204 more hitters to end his career as the only man with more than 5,000 strikeouts with 5,704. Randy Johnson, at 4810, is the closest. Ryan retired at the age of 46, and Johnson is now 45.

Five years later, Ryan had already broken the record for most no-hitters with 5, beating Sandy Koufax’s record, but he wasn’t done. On April 27, 1988, he went into the top of the ninth inning with a no-hitter on the line. He had already walked four, so he was not in line for a perfect game. Greg Gross hit a ball to second, but the second baseman booted it for an error. Juan Samuel came up and sat back down as Ryan’s ninth strikeout victim. Then walked up Mike Schmidt. Schmidt had walked twice already and flied out, but he would come through with a nice single to center to end the no-hit bid. A Lance Parrish double would bring in two unearned runs, and the Phillies came back to win the game in the 10th. Ryan would go on to record two more no-hitters, but he was within two outs (would have been one if not for the error) of an eighth.

Sometimes, it’s just hard to fathom how dominating he was and for how long.

Trivia Time
Who is the only player to throw no-hitters in consecutive starts?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Aaron won 10-9

Rounding the Bases

April 26, 2009
The Catcher is back, and you’re gonna be in trouble. Hey ya, hey ya, The Catcher is back.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past week. With two weeks remaining, school has me by the balls. I have had several tests and papers due over the past couple of weeks. This week looks a little better. Political Science and Spanish will throw some work my way, but I should at least get some “This Day …” posts up. Actually, I’m mad at myself for not getting them up over the past week, but after doing all the other stuff, you just don’t feel like it sometimes. Regardless, this week should be better and finals week will actually be great considering I have my A’s pretty much sewn up. On to some baseball.

– Minnesota gets Joe Mauer back on Tuesday. Considering the Twins are only a half-game back, the other teams didn’t do enough to pull ahead and the Twins didn’t do enough to kill themselves at 9-9. Look for the Twins to stay mediocre for a week while Mauer gets back into it, but they’ll take off after this.

– Another reason to like the Twins going forward — Francisco Liriano can’t be this bad all season. At 7.06, his ERA is horrible, but his 4.95 FIP shows he hasn’t been that bad. His 50% LOB% is really low, and I imagine that will go up significantly. His .313 BABIP is also a little high. What might worry some is that his walks have gone up to 3.79, but I imagine his control and command have been his main issue. Once he gets that back, he will be just fine, making the Twins harder to beat.

– Kevin Youkilis is having a quietly spectacular season at .444/.551/.794 with 5 HR and 13 RBI with 20 runs. However, Victor Martinez just isn’t getting his due. A .405/.468/.676 line isn’t as good as Youk’s, but the Indians have to love the comebacks being made by Martinez and Travis Hafner, whose .298/.388/.586 line is promising. Now, can they keep it up, and can the Indians pitch (29th in ERA)?

– We love Aaron Hill’s defense, but it’s been a topsy-turvy season so far for Hill. He’s hitting .376/.407/.624 (career .289/.342/.419), but his defense has slipped (-.8 UZR). Just goes to show you how early in the season it is. For every one and every team, don’t freak out or get too excited.

– The Mets starting rotation sucks after Johan Santana. Santana has a slick 0.70 ERA in almost 26 innings. After that, you have to muliply his ERA by 10 to get to the next-best starter. Pelfrey sits at 6.32, Hernandez is at 7.31, Maine has a 7.47, and Ollie rounds out the rotation with a 7.80 ERA. They’ve taken advantage of being at home with a combined 3.25 ERA, but they’ve been devastated on the road with a 5.47 ERA. Overall, they’re 15th with a 4.39 ERA. How? A nice 2.87 ERA from their relievers. Brian Stokes (0.00 ERA in 8.1 IP), Bobby Parnell (1.86 ERA in 9.2 IP), Francisco Rodriguez (2.70 in 6.2), and JJ Putz (3.00 in 9) have been the stalwarts saving the day and keeping the Mets at a respectable 8-9.

– Telling? The Red Sox are 9-2 at home but 2-4 on the road. Even more telling? The Giants are 6-2 at home but 2-6 on the road.

– The Dodgers are cooking at 13-5, and they’re +42 run differential is impressive. As for the guys ridiculing me for taking Chad Billingsley in the fantasy draft — eat it (4-0, 2.05 ERA, and 26 K in 26 IP). Of course, that means Billingsley will get hurt next week and the Dodgers will lose 90. But geez, they’re doing the damage aren’t they? Then again, they’ve played the NL West and Houston.

– We can now say Kosuke Fukudome is a quick starter. So far, he’s .345/.458/.603 with 3 HR and 6 2B. Last season, he was .305/.416/.421 by the end of April. Of course, he faltered after the break. Let’s see how this season goes.

– Most dominating closer? Jonathan Broxton gets my vote. 8 games, 9.1 IP, 6/6 in saves, and 15 K’s all while allowing a whole three baserunners (2 hits and a walk). Yeesh. If not for a Mark Reynolds triple and Augie Ojeda sacrifice fly, he’d look even better (note: that appearance was in a 11-2 blowout of Arizona; maybe he just wasn’t focusing).

– Honorable Mentions for above are Heath Bell and Ryan Franklin. Both have perfect 0.00 ERA’s. They’ve both only given up 3 hits and 2 walks in about 8 IP. Both have 8 K’s. Bell has 7 saves with Franklin having 5 saves and a hold. Kind of eery really.

Sunday Frivolities

April 26, 2009
The One-Game Wonder. At least he wasn’t a one-hit wonder.

After writing last week’s post, I realized that John Paciorek had a really good game, but he never received another chance, which seemed odd. Here’s the story.

Born on February 11, 1945, John Paciorek is the older brother of two other major league players, Tom and Jim. Both of his brothers spent more time in the majors than John, with Tom spending a considerable amount of time longer, but young John was the first.

Coming into the last game of the 1963 season, John Paciorek would get his chance. Two days earlier, the Houston Colt .45s had used an all-rookie lineup, but he wasn’t in it. Actually, he probably didn’t deserve to be in the lineup when he was. Paciorek was only 18, and he hadn’t performed well in the minors. In 78 games at A-level Modesto, he hit .219 with a .401 SLG with 94 strikeouts in 274 at-bats. With 9 home runs as well, he was the “Three True Outcome” player. Still, he was really young, but he parlayed a strong Spring Training performance into a debut.

The Colts were staggering in 1963. By September 29, they were 65-96 and 34 games back. This is part of the reason that manage Harry Craft could use an all-rookie line-up a couple days earlier. On September 29th, Paciorek would make his debut against the New York Mets, who were actually much worse than the Colts at 51-110 at 48 games back.

Paciorek laced a single down the third base line, drove a ball past the shortstop, and bounced a single deep into the 5-6 hole for another single. Even better, he mixed in two walks in front of the 4,000 fan crowd who cheered him on. In his five plate appearances, he scored four times and drove in three runs in helping his team win. He had a 1.000 BA and OBP and a 2.000 OPS for the day. In Major League history there are 79 career 1.000 hitters. 69 are 1-for-1. 9 are 2-for-2. Only one is 3-for-3, and he is John Paciorek.

The next day, the headline read that Paciorek “was here to stay”, but that turned out to be a false prophecy. During the 1963 season, Paciorek had suffered a back injury supposedly due to his dedication. The 18-year old figured to overcome the injury and played through it. However, even after a few months off, the injury didn’t heal. His next Spring Training was not near the impressive one he had the year before, and he was sent down to Class-A Durham. Disappointed, Paciorek struggled with his bat and his back, and by midseason, he had back surgery and would spend the next 10 months in a back brace.

Paciorek made a comeback attempt in 1966, but he continued to struggle. He seemed to right the ship in 1968 with a .268 average and 20 HR. However, during the following season, he suffered a shoulder injury, and he retired from baseball at the ripe young age of 24. It is believed the shoulder had as much to do with his retirement as his back, which really hadn’t healed all the way.

This Day in Baseball History: April 26th, 1959

April 26, 2009
Update: Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes hit his 450th homer in Japan last night. How coincidental.

The “Flamingo”. He started his swing like this. It’s not just a Paul O’Neill leg kick.

On April 26, 1959:

Yomiuri Giant Sadaharu Oh hits his first home run.

Most of us don’t really pay attention to Japanese baseball, and most of us have no idea when it started or any other trivia nugget. The only things we know are Kosuke Fukudome, Hideo Nomo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and maybe, just maybe, Sadaharu Oh. He is the Babe Ruth of Japanese baseball. Oh is a legend in the international baseball community, but because he played in Japan, most people generally don’t know who he is. Therefore, I figured I would take the time to talk about him.

Signed in 1959 by the Yomiuri Giants, Oh was originally a pitcher, but he wasn’t really good enough to stick in the big leagues. The team moved him to first base and began working on his hitting. In his first three seasons, he wasn’t very good, but he was improving every season. With his distinctive “Flamingo” kick that resembled Mel Ott (though he had no idea who Mel Ott was), Oh became the greatest home run hitter in baseball history. Oh would go on to win 15 home run championships and 13 in a row. In total, he hit an amazing 868 home runs in his 22-year career.

But Oh was more than just a home run hitter. He won two Triple Crowns. He was a lifetime .301 hitter with a .446 OBP. Oh won 9 MVP Awards and made 18 All-Star Games. How valuable was he to his team? The Giants won 11 championships while he was there.

One of the biggest records that Oh set was his single-season record of 55 home runs in 140 games in 1964, but that record has led to hostility toward Oh than praise. Several players have come close to breaking his record, but each time, the player had to face Oh’s (while he was manager) team at the end. Randy Bass had 54 home runs in 1985 coming into the last game, and Oh’s pitchers intentionally walked him all four times. Karl Rhodes tied the record in 2001, but when he played Oh’s team late in the year, they walked him every time. A year later, Alex Cabrera hit 55, and he was walked during a final series. Oh always maintained that he never ordered the intentional (or “unintentional”) passes, but there has been a lot of skepticism. The pitchers and catchers of the teams often said they just didn’t want a foreigner to break Oh’s record.

Trivia Time
Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh competed in a home run derby to decide who was the best home run hitter in 1974. Who won?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Pitcher Rene Arocha in 1991 (interesting article)

Braves-Reds Pictures

April 25, 2009

Just a couple from the day.

Yeah, Chipper! He was pulled in the seventh or eighth (I stopped keeping score — sorry) with the eight-run lead. Good decision. I suggested taking him out after the home run in the second. Considering his two strikeouts after the first two hits, it was a better idea than the Reds fan in front of me thought it was.

Kenshin Kawakami. He was throwing with Rafael Soriano. Soriano launched one over his head and acted as if Kawakami was the one who screwed up. Hilarious.

My view from my seats. Not bad.

The strength and conditioning coach. He was the opposite of agile. Great, look out Chipper.

Mike Gonzalez but no whirling dirvish.

The sluggers at the cage. They actually put on quite a show. We went out to left, but we didn’t catch any balls.

A Beatdown, the Shyster, and a Nasty Sunburn

April 25, 2009
There he is. Does this make us more than “internet friends”, or do we have to hold hands first?

I live near Cincinnati (Louisville) and go to school near Cincinnati (Lexington), but I’m not a Reds fan. Hence, I rarely go to Cincinnati to watch a game. However, my family and I usually go up for a game or two when the Braves come to town, and that was the case today. My brother and sister-in-law found a 50% discount on seats, and they asked if I wanted to go. I said sure, but I didn’t really get back to them. Therefore, I had to get on later than them and get tickets in the next section over, and because the Reds website is dumb, you can’t pick your seat. Anyway, I went to the game.

And boy am I glad I did — for several reasons. The first is the beatdown the Braves gave the Reds. The final score was 10-2, and it started early for the Braves against Bronson Arroyo (in the three games I have seen in Great American Ballpark, he has pitched all of them). In the first, Kelly Johnson walked (a bad omen), Yunel Escobar doubled (bringing in Johnson), and Chipper Jones singled (bringing in Escobar) to make the score 2-0. Going into the bottom half, Derek Lowe made quick work of the Reds, but he hit Joey Votto. Normally, this isn’t too big of a deal, but the umpire jumps out and warns both benches. Friday night, benches cleared in a beanfest, but I didn’t realize that at the time (I wasn’t home to watch the game).

A half inning later, David Ross singled, Derek Lowe walked (yet another bad omen — Arroyo only walked two but they were bad walks), Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice to erase Lowe, Escobar singled in a run, and Chipper finished it off with a bomb to right-center to make it 6-0. Lowe gave couple back in the bottom of the inning when Alex Gonzalez hit a 2-run shot, but I’m still not sure how that happened considering he seemingly flipped his bat at it and got it out. Oh well, that’s all they got. Lowe settled in, and besides a slightly chaotic fifth in which Arroyo tried to sacrifice Hannigan to third but ended up on second when Ross got greedy and threw to third which caused a rundown which the Braves poorly executed leaving both men on, he was really good going 7 innings. Escobar would add a nice home run in the sixth.

Also worth mentioning is the ejection of Jerry Hairston, Jr. and Dusty Baker. On a borderline third strike pitch, Hairston said the magic word and was ejected. It must have been a special one because it only took about three seconds before he was sent to the showers. Baker came out to argue, was thrown out after he used a special word, and decided to increase his intensity for the pleasure of the fans. After refusing to leave the dugout, he finally did and the patiently-waiting Joey Votto finally got to hit. Fun times.

Besides that, I got to meet the Shyster himself, Craig Calcaterra. He had mentioned on Friday that he was going to the game Saturday, so I shot him an email telling him I would be there as well. So we met up around the sixth/seventh inning and chatted for a minute before the stupid usher told us we were in the way and had to move. While walking back to my seat, my brother and sister-in-law were in my section looking for me, and it seemed as though they wanted to go. So the Shyster and I said good-bye, but my brother and sister-in-law were just coming to make sure I was okay. I was making fine friends with the Braves couple next to me and the Reds fans in front, but oh well. Anyway, I hope to make it up to Cleveland for an Indians game (I’ve never been to Jacobs/Progressive Field) later this summer, so maybe we shall meet again.

Now, I just have a nice sunburn from coming out of hibernation and into the sun for five hours.

Things worth noting:
– I’m more positive towards GAB than before, but I’m not really a fan of it.

– Who in their right mind pays $7.50 for a beer, much less a Bud Select? I guess I could justify it if it was something good, but Bud Select? The genius in front of me bought three. Maybe it’s just that I’m not much of a beer fan, but seriously, $7.50? At GAB?

– There was a bunch of trash on the field during the game (several plastic bags). It’s not the grounds crew’s fault. It’s the fans. If you bring it in, take care of it. Don’t let it get on the playing field.

– There was a nice little video tribute between innings to the 1990 Reds and Jose Rijo for pitching in two of the games, including his retiring of 20 straight. I thought it odd considering the recent scandal, but after thinking about it, I’m glad they did. The 1990 World Series was about much more than Rijo, and even if it wasn’t, Rijo should be commemorated for a fine pitching performance and career, regardless of what he’s done since. In a similar situation and for the same team, Rose, as a player, should be celebrated even if he wasn’t the best off the field.

– Francoeur broke two bats and a third almost took out Lowe. Jason is fuming somewhere in New York.

– Garrett Anderson (don’t really care) and Brian McCann (crap) went on the DL today. As for Anderson, he’s not really worth keeping around, though Matt Diaz really isn’t the answer either considering his poor (at best) defense. As for Brian, I guess it’s good that David Ross is rolling right now. It’s not a good thing that Kotchman is the clean-up hitter.

– If you bring a glove to the game and are over the age of (let’s say) 12, you should catch the damn ball. Five (FIVE!) missed home run balls during BP while wearing gloves. If you miss it with your bare hand, that’s fine, but if you have a glove, god help you. Also, if you’re going for the ball, go for it. Some lady got herself underneath it only to run away at the last second. Luckily, someone else got the ball.

– Would have liked to see Bobby get tossed but didn’t. I’ve seen the wobble and toss happen once in person. Craig mentioned it as well when we talked because there was that play where Arroyo bunted and hell broke loose that Bobby could have argued. As Craig said, it was the perfect day for Bobby to get tossed — hottest day in like 8 months, large lead, and something to %^^&* about, but he restrained himself. Damn.