Tag:Carl Pavano
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:22 pm
 

Beyond the closer -- baseball's best facial hair



By C. Trent Rosecrans


When it comes to baseball facial hair, all the glory seems to go to the closers -- from Rollie Fingers to Rod Beck to the modern-day duo of Brian Wilson and John Axford. Wilson's beard has made him baseball's version of Peyton Manning -- appearing in more commercials than games. And then there's Axford, the Brewers' closer won the title of Mustached American of the Year from the American Mustache Institute, despite the fact he's Canadian.

Well, why should closers have all the fun? We need to get back to the glory days of the 70s and 80s when mustaches weren't just for the closers, they were for everyone in baseball. So, with that in mind, here is some of baseball's best mustaches, beards and other facial hair variations that are sported by players other than closers.

The outfielder -- Toronto's Eric Thames

 

Thames gets bonus points for versatility, changing his facial hair throughout the season, from simple stubble to some fantastic sideburn-mustache combos. Kudos to Thames for several of his combinations and his sheer willingness to experiment. A true All-Star in terms of facial hair.

The infielder -- Seattle's Brendan Ryan

 

Ryan finished the season clean-shaven, but hopefully he's using the offseason to get this glorious 'stache back in shape for spring training. Ryan also knows how to sport some awesome stirrups, so the man knows his style.

The starter -- Minnesota's Carl Pavano

 

Pavano's 'stache has its own Facebook page, as well it should.

The middle reliever -- Cincinnati's Sam LeCure

 

LeCure used his mustache to raise money for prostate cancer as part of the Movember movement. While a native of Missouri, LeCure went to college at Texas, so he's taken note of the great gunslingers of the old west for inspiration for his 'stache.

The manager -- Seattle's Eric Wedge

 

Like Ryan, Wedge shaved late in the 2011 season. Let's hope Wedge brings back the mustache -- which just commands respect. 

The bench coach -- Tampa Bay's Dave Martinez

 

Martinez didn't shave his beard, but he did give it a good trim late in the season. But you've got to give the guy credit for keeping that glorious monster alive during a Florida spring and summer. Sure, Tropicana Field is air conditioned, but you've got to leave the ballpark sometimes and that humidity is deadly.

The umpire -- Jim Joyce



Joyce became a household name for the way he handled his blown call costing Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010, but his mustache screams authority and confidence, meaning we believe him now when he says out or safe -- no matter what's happened in the past.

The mascot -- Mr. Redlegs

 

Mr. Met is probably the best mascot in the game, but the Reds took the Mr. Met template and one-upped him with a handlebar mustache -- which is like the bacon of facial hair, it makes everything better.

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: December 13, 2011 12:24 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Boston Red Sox



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

One of the main reasons we came up with this exercise was because of the massive amount of fighting in the comments sections over who "buys" their teams instead of drafting and developing their own talent. In some cases, the accusations are true. In others, they aren't. While these Red Sox don't have Adrian Gonzalez or David Ortiz or Josh Beckett, you'll certainly see several key, familiar names.

Lineup

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. David Murphy, LF
6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
7. Jed Lowrie, SS
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Josh Reddick, RF

Starting Rotation

1. Jon Lester
2. Clay Buchholz
3. Justin Masterson
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Carl Pavano

Bullpen

Closer - Jonathan Papelbon
Set up - Daniel Bard, Rafael Betancourt, Frank Francisco, Hideki Okajima
Long - Kyle Weiland, Daisuke Matsuzaka? (Not sure I could stomach that ... )

Notable Bench Players

Ryan Lavarnway, Lars Anderson, Freddy Sanchez, Engel Beltre

What's Good?

The top of the order is sick. If Hanley Ramirez had one of his good years, that's a top four that few in baseball could match. The entire pitching staff is really, really strong, too. Lester as an ace works fine and Masterson and Sanchez are pretty darn good in those slots. There was one point last season (May) when Sanchez was almost as good as anyone. Then you move into the bullpen and the back-end is what it was in 2011, with Bard and Papelbon. Here, though, we get to add Betancourt and Francisco to the mix. That's quite a bridge to Papelbon, and remember, this with a good rotation.

What's Not?

The lineup thins out quickly. It's not awful by any stretch, because Lowrie, Shoppach and Reddick are a decent 7-9, but Murphy isn't good enough to be a fifth hitter in a great lineup and we still can't be sure how Rizzo pans out. Also, there is no depth, either on the bench or in the bullpen. The onus is entirely on the main guys to shoulder the entire workload.

Comparison to real 2011

Let's avoid all the off-field crap and just focus on the issue at hand. Is this team better than the one that was in the AL playoff race until the final out of the season? The offense isn't as good, that's for sure. Most of the other spots are at least close, but the Rizzo/Gonzalez gap at first base is gigantic. Pitching-wise, though, this group is better, top to bottom. There's no Josh Beckett, but there also isn't a full season of John Lackey with mixed in Dice-K and then the spare-part injury replacements they had to use for most of the season. The real-life Red Sox won 90 games and this group feels like a similar one in terms of wins. It's not elite, but it's pretty good.

Next: Detroit Tigers

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Posted on: November 24, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Reports: Yankees, Freddy Garcia agree to new deal

Freddy Garcia

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Could the Yankees' rotation for 2012 bear a striking resemblance to 2011?

The team has agreed to a one-year deal with right-hander Freddy Garcia, ESPN.com's Buster Olney writes, noting the team may not add another starter -- or at least one it will count on to make its rotation. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets the deal is worth $5 million.

With Garcia's expected signing, the Yankees could pencil in a rotation of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett, Garcia and Phil Hughes. That's not too much different from 2011, although the team could still look through the scrap heap like it did last offseason when it signed Garcia and Bartolo Colon.

While the Yankees' rotation was its weak spot, it wasn't so weak that it stopped New York from winning baseball's toughest division. The team could go into the 2012 season with this rotation and look to acquire a starter at the deadline. Some of the more interesting names scheduled for free agency after the 2012 season -- meaning they could be trade bait at the deadline -- include Zack Greinke, Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano, while another group has team options, including Dan Haren, Jake Peavy, Ervin Santana, Fausto Carmona, Jorge De La Rosa, Tim Hudson and James Shields.

It will be interesting to see how the new free agency compensation rules change the way teams approach their free-agent players.

New York offered Garcia arbitration on Wednesday. The 35-year-old was 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA in 26 games in 2011, including 25 starts. Garcia struck out 5.9 batters per nine innings (96 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings) and had a 4.36 xFIP (fielding independent pitching, normalized for park factors). He made $1.5 million in 2011.

Follow the latest free agent moves with the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker.

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Posted on: September 29, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Pepper: Scutaro stumble costs Red Sox

Scutaro

By Evan Brunell


The Red Sox authored an unimaginable collapse, riding a 7-20 September all the way toward falling out of the playoffs at the last moment. As Boston fell to Baltimore 4-3, the Rays walked off against the Yankees 8-7 in an amazing end to the season. There's one play that stands out when looking back at how Boston blew Game 162 against the Orioles, and it appears to have been influenced by Red Sox Nation invading Camden Yards.

The setting: Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro is on first base in the eighth inning with Boston up 3-2. Carl Crawford at the plate. He slices a line drive to left fielder Nolan Reimold, who dove in an attempt to catch the ball. Scutaro, rounding second, heard cheers from the crowd. Scutaro, having briefly lost sight of the ball, paused, thinking cheers meant Reimold had made the catch. Except that Camden Yards is sometimes called Fenway Park South and it was no exception Wednesday. So the cheers actually meant Reimold had missed the ball.

"I heard the screaming, but I don't know if it was their crowd or our crowd, so I don't know if he made the play or not," Scutaro told the Providence Journal. "I just got a bad read. I should have just kept going."

Scutaro picked it back up once he realized what happened, and third base coach Tim Bogar tried to send him home anyways. The ball took a few hops to reach Matt Wieters, but it reached him before Scutaro did. Out.

Who knows if the Orioles would still have tied the game up or won in the ninth, but that extra insurance run and the wasted opportunity will haunt the dreams of Red Sox players all offseason.

"It seems like, the whole September, nothing works out for us," Scutaro said. "Everything went different ways and everything was against us, pretty much. I guess it was our destiny to be out of the playoffs. Nothing worked out. We didn't play good enough. What can I say? That's baseball."

Wakefield returning: Tim Wakefield has decided he wants to play another year and intends to return to the Red Sox. “I’ve definitely made up my mind that I definitely want to come back next year,” Wakefield told Fox Sports. “I have another goal in front of me that I’d like to accomplish, and that’s the all-time record for the Red Sox in wins. I’m only seven away. I think the fans deserve an opportunity to watch me chase that record. We’ll see what happens.”

Pavanostache: Carl Pavano had a mustache in 2010 that drew all manner of attention and was dubbed the Pavanostache, and enjoyed one of his best seasons. He didn't rock it at all in 2011 -- until Wednesday's final game, where he tossed his first shutout of the year, throwing a five-hitter. Does the mustache have some mystical power we don't know about? (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Payroll rising: The Marlins' payroll will rise, but president David Samson reined in expectations, saying that it won't reach as high as $100 million. The Marlins will set a record for payroll at the very least, he says, but payroll figures to top out at $80 million. (Miami Herald)

Moneyball: The controversy over Moneyball continues, and the subject of both the book and movie finally weighed in. GM Billy Beane responded to allegations from manager Art Howe that Beane had a hand in crafting Howe's negative portrayal in the movie. "I was wondering who was going to be the first guy to think I produced, wrote or directed this movie," Beane told the San Jose Mercury News, saying he wasn't involved in making the movie. "Now I have my answer. [Howe's] comments are completely misguided."

Skippering: Davey Johnson wants to return to the Nationals in 2012, but Washington is going to continue with interviewing other internal candidates. It still appears likely Johnson will return. (MASN)

Arrested: Milton Bradley has been arrested for the second time this year after allegedly swinging a bat at his wife and missing. He was booked on felony assault, released on bail and is due back in court Oct. 18. (Los Angeles Times)

Affair: Yankees GM Brian Cashman has just been caught up in what could be a messy affair. He is alleged to have entered into a relationship with a woman in 2009 who was married. (Deadspin)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: August 23, 2011 1:39 am
 

Twins won't blame fan

Joe MauerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Former Twin J.J. Hardy made the most of his second chance on Monday, giving the Orioles the lead in the fifth inning with a solo homer off of Carl Pavano. However, it looked as if Hardy would be retired when he fouled off the second pitch he saw  near the stands on the first-base side when a fan in a Joe Mauer jersey had the ball bounce off his hands as the real Mauer tried to lean over the railing to make the catch. Four pitches later, Hardy launched a fastball into the seats in left field for a 2-1 Baltimore lead.

Even though fans booed both Hardy and the fan for setting up the home run, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire refused to blame the fan. From Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune:

"The ball was in the stands," Gardenhire said. "If you're a fan, you've got two choices: reach up and catch the ball, or let it hit you in the head and hope that Mauer catches it.

"C'mon. If you're sitting there in the stands, you're going to try to catch the ball. It's the same way with [Steve] Bartman. You're going to try to catch the ball if you're a fan.

"You can't blame our fans for reaching up and catching the ball. You can boo him, like I heard, but they're going to try to catch it. Joe would have caught the ball. He had a chance to catch the ball, but that's not why we lost the game."

Hardy said he appreciated the help.

"Someone was saying he had a Hardy jersey on," Hardy joked to the Associated Press. "Any time you get a second chance, it's nice."

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 4:51 pm
 

On Deck: Sox, Twins on fire, Marlins sinking

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


LatosLatosSCORCHING HOT: The Red Sox have won 14 of their last 16, and a lot of that success is thanks to their bats. Last night, Boston went off for 14 runs against the Padres, a total that includes a 10-run seventh inning. The Sox have scored at least 14 runs in a game for the sixth time in their last 29 games. The only other Major League team to do that in a single-season span of less than 30 games was the 1930 Yankees, Elias reports. Those Yankees did it seven times in a 20-game stretch in June. They'll throw spot starter Alfredo Aceves, going in place of the ill Josh Beckett, against San Diego's 23-year-old ace. Mat Latos posted a 2.92 ERA in 31 starts last season, but he has struggled with mechanics and is currently at 4.06 through 13 starts, walking 27 and striking out 68 in 75 2/3 innings. Padres vs. Red Sox, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

MarlinsDEEPER AND DEEPER
: Even Jack McKeon couldn't stave off the Marlins' newfound propensity to lose: Florida lost to the Angels by a 2-1 score last night and fell to 32-41. In McKeon's second night, Hanley Ramirez will likely be in the lineup after being benched last night for a lack of hustle. Florida doesn't really have a great option in Javier Vazquez to halt the 11-game losing streak the team is on as he boasts a 6.85 ERA on the year. He's been better of late, but facing an AL team is a tall task. The Angels still have a solid offense and will be backed by Ervin Santana, pitching much better than Vazquez with a 4.25 ERA, but yet sharing an identical 3-7 record. At least Florida gets Mike Stanton back from a three-day absence (eye infection). Angels vs. Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

GiantsPavanoMORE, PLEASE
: The Twins are on fire. The club is in San Francisco for the game and has won seven straight, including winning 14 of 16, much like Boston. That's pulled them up to a 31-39 record. There's still a ways to go, as first-place Cleveland is at 39-32, but you can't count the Twins out. They're sending Carl Pavano to the mound. Pavano has turned around a horrid start and has wrestled his ERA all the way down to 4.20. The Giants will counter with 21-year-old lefty Madison Bumgarner with his 3.21 ERA. The Giants have a streak going of the bad kind, losing their last four, clinging to a half-game lead over Arizona for first in the division. Twins vs. Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 2, 2011 12:10 am
Edited on: May 2, 2011 12:21 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Marlins muscle up



By Matt Snyder


3 UP

Florida Marlins' offense. Hanley Ramirez started the fun in the first inning with his first home run of the season, snapping an incredibly long drought for himself. The Marlins weren't done with the long ball, though -- far from it. Before the day was over, they'd connecting on five home runs. Greg Dobbs and John Buck went deep. Mike Stanton hit a mammoth blast to center. Even the light-hitting Emilio Bonifacio knocked one out, and it was his first career home run that wasn't of the inside-the-park variety. Meanwhile, the Marlins won 9-5 and continue to claw at the heels of the mighty Phillies in the NL East. They are certainly one of the most fun teams to watch. Too bad so few do in person. Maybe (hopefully) it changes in the new yard next season.

Bud Norris, Astros. Even if they aren't always consistent, the Brewers have some pretty good hitters, led by superstars Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. Norris stymied the whole team for almost eight innings Sunday, working 7 2/3 innings and only allowing three hits. He did walk three, but also struck out 11 without allowing a single run. He's now thrown 13 2/3 shutout innings in his last two starts and has a 1.05 ERA in his last four starts (25 2/3 innings) after a rough first two outings.

Carl Crawford, Red Sox. There are no words that could possibly describe how abysmal the start in Boston has been for Crawford after signing his gargantuan contract. Sunday, we moved to a new month and Crawford knocked in the game-winning run in walk-off fashion against the Mariners. He got to celebrate with his teammates and hear the home crowd cheer him. I love stats, but one thing stats can't measure is the human element. Now that Crawford has had a weight lifted off his chest, the bet is he gets going. When he does, you'll hear that it was simply a regression to the mean from many, but it has to start somewhere. Breaking through with a big hit like this is something that sets a player's mind at ease.

BONUS UP: The Phillies fans -- along with a decent amount of Mets fans -- in attendance Sunday night in Philly. When news of Bin Laden's death spread through the stadium, fans stopped worrying about team allegiances and chanted "USA! USA! USA!" (There's a good video of it here , but I'm not sure it lasts too long before MLB sees it and pulls it). It's a nice reminder that, while we might bicker amongst ourselves, we're still Americans. Pass along some of that camaraderie this week.

3 DOWN

Ryan Franklin's fortunes, Cardinals. Franklin took the loss and the Cardinals' late-inning bullpen woes continued. If you look only at the surface of what happened, that's what you'd see. But remember, you can learn a lot by actually watching games. Not only did Ryan Theriot drop a pop-up to let Alex Gonzalez on base -- who scared the game-winning run -- but the Brooks Conrad single to win the game for the Braves was a blooper with eyes. Anyone who blames Franklin for this doesn't know a lick about baseball.

Matt Harrison, Rangers. So much for that hot start. Remember, after Tax Day, Harrison was 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Then he had a decent outing (6 2/3 innings, three earned runs) and took the loss. Since then he's been dreadful, and that may even be an understatement. In his past two starts, including Sunday's debacle against the slap-hitting A's, Harrison has allowed 14 hits, 11 earned runs and five walks in 4 2/3 innings. He couldn't even make it through two innings Sunday. Worse yet for Harrison is the fact that Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Brandon Webb are making progress in recovery from injuries -- not to mention how well Alexi Ogando is throwing the ball. Harrison could very well be pitching himself out of a job. Who woulda thought that a few weeks ago?

Carl Pavano, Twins. He's in such a bad stretch, he can't even properly throw a temper tantrum. After being rocked by the Royals to the tune of 12 hits and six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, Pavano went nuts on something in the corner of the dugout with a bat (watch it on MLB.com by clicking here ). To use one of my favorite lines from Seinfeld, Pavano failed at failing, because he was trying to break the bat: "That's why I kept wailing away, because that [expletive deleted] wouldn't break." (Twins Now via Twitter)

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:47 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/19: Shields goes distance

By Matt Snyder

There really wasn't enough room here tonight with lots of really good and really bad performances throughout the baseball world. Apologies to Brett Anderson, the Orioles, the Braves, Randy Wolf and a host of others who brought it.

As for those who were spared, it was a long list, too. Among them: Tigers' pitchers, Paul Maholm, Hideki Okajima and Mother Nature.

It's just that we only have three spots in this subjective endeavor.

3UP

James Shields, Rays. He said after the game it had "been a long time," which was true -- as Shields hadn't thrown a complete game since June of 2008. That's exactly what he did Tuesday against the White Sox, netting his first win of the year. He struck out nine while only allowing four hits and an earned run. He's actually been dominant at home so far, sporting a 1.54 ERA in three starts -- adding 20 strikeouts.

Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old utility man is making it impossible for Kirk Gibson to leave him out of the lineup. After going 2-3 with two home runs, two runs and three RBI in a 5-4 win at Cincinnati, Roberts raised his season average to .382 with four home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs in just 39 plate apperances. His on-base percentage is .462.

Angels' offense. Mark Trumbo went 3-5 with a double, home run, two runs and four RBI. Peter Bourjos went 4-5 with a double, home run, three runs and three RBI. The team as a whole battered the Rangers' pitching staff for 15 runs on 15 hits and drew six walks. Meanwhile, the Angels have now won 10 of 13 games and have tied the once red-hot Rangers for first in the AL West. Oh, and the cherry on top? Vernon Wells went 2-5 with a double. He's now hit safely in his past six games. He's also seven for his last 17 (.412) with two doubles and a triple.

3DOWN


Carl Pavano, Twins. I guess we aren't going to have any middle ground here. Pavano is either stellar (16 innings, one earned run in his two good starts) or awful (8 2/3 innings, 14 earned runs in his two bad starts). Tuesday it was the Orioles' offense inflating their stats against Pavano, knocking him around for eight hits and seven runs in 4 2/3 frames.

Kenley Jansen and Ramon Troncoso, Dodgers. The Dodgers entered the top of the ninth with some hope of winning the game. It was only 2-1 Braves. Sure, flamethrower Craig Kimbrel was awaiting the lower part of the order for the bottom half, but you never know. It was only one run. Well, then Jansen and Troncoso happened. Here's how the top of the ninth read, play-by-play: walk, home run, walk, fly out, single, single, homer, double, single, single, single ... and, mercifully, double play to end it. All told, that's eight runs on eight hits and two walks. There was a wild pitch in there. And the hits weren't cheap. Everything was hit hard. Freddie Freeman's double was of the ground-rule variety. Frankly, I'm glad it ended when it did, because it was getting uncomfortable to watch.

Adam Dunn, White Sox. There's no way of knowing if there is a correlation between Dunn's struggles and coming back very quickly from an appendectomy. But after Shields made him look pretty dumb Tuesday night (0-4 with three strikeouts), Dunn is now 2-23 with 14 strikeouts since making his return.

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