Tag:Johnny Bench
Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 9:41 pm
  •  
 

Reaction to the death of Gary Carter

Gary Carter

Gary CarterBy C. Trent Rosecrans


The passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has brought an outpouring of emotion from those in and around baseball.

We'll collect many of the statements from those around baseball here.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig:
"Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time. 'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises.  Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the '86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Sandy, their daughters Christy and Kimmie, their son D.J., their grandchildren, his friends and his many fans."

Statement from Mets chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon:
"On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family -- his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.  His nickname 'The Kid' captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes.  He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did."

Former Mets general manager Frank Cashen:
"The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons."
 
Former Mets manager Davey Johnson:
"Gary was a one-man scouting system. What people didn’t know was that he kept an individual book on every batter in the National League. He was the ideal catcher for our young pitching staff."

Gary CarterFormer Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry:
"What he added to the team was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped each of us understand what it took to win."

Former Mets teammate Dwight Gooden:
"I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn’t have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field."
 
Former Mets teammate Wally Backman:
"He was like a big brother to me.  I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you."
 
Former Mets teammate Tim Teufel:
"The baseball community has lost a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person. He was a good man and will be missed terribly."

Former Mets teammate Mookie Wilson: 
"The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench (on Twitter):
"I am so sad! The Kid has left us. I started calling him Kid the first time I met him. He was admired and loved. Thank you for our past"

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda:
"Gary Carter played for me with so much respect and enthusiasm for the game he loved. He was a Hall of Famer as a player and as a man. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, we love him and will miss him."

MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner:
"We are saddened by the news of Gary Carter’s passing. Gary was one of the greatest players of his generation and his enthusiasm and passion for the game will live on in the hearts and minds of those of us fortunate enough to have watched him play. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gary’s family, his former teammates and his legion of fans in the U.S. and Canada.”

Former Expos teammate Steve Rogers:
"Learning of Gary’s passing feels as if I just lost a family member. Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos we were as close as brothers, if not closer. Gary was a champion. He was a 'gamer' in every sense of the word – on the field and in life. He made everyone else around him better, and he made me a better pitcher. His contributions to the game, both in Montreal and New York, are legendary and will likely never be duplicated. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, and children, Christy, Kimmy and D.J., and to his many friends and fans."

Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven:
"We both grew up in Southern Cal, though he was 3-to-4 years younger than I was. He was a great ballplayer and a tremendous family man, and I'll miss him."
 
Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk:
"We had a lot in common, from family to our profession. He endured a lot as a catcher, as did I. And making it to the Hall of Fame was over the top for Gary, as it has been for me. We knew each other for more than 30 years, he meant a lot to me. I'm crushed by his passing."
 
Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver:
"Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. For a catcher to play with that intensity in every game is special."
 
Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams:
"Johnny Bench was the No. 1 catcher of the 70s. Gary Carter (was) the No. 1 catcher of the 80s."

Hall of Fame Jane Forbes Clark:
"It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. Gary’s enthusiasm, giving spirit and infectious smile will always be remembered in Cooperstown. Our thoughts are with Sandy, Christy, Kimmie, DJ and the entire Carter family on this very sad day."

Current Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese, who played for Carter in the minors:
"The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back. That's what I’ll take from my two years with him."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Pujols won't join exclusive Hall of Fame club



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols will most likely wear a St. Louis Cardinals hat when he's ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame, but there still may be a question. We just don't know at this point. There are those players who go into the Hall without a doubt of which hat they'll wear, because it's the only one they ever wore. 

While the Hall of Fame is an elite club, there's a more elite club -- one of Hall of Famers who played their entire career with one organization. Currently there are 47 such players in Cooperstown, with the possibility of one more joining their ranks if Barry Larkin is voted in when the next class is announced in January.

It seemed like Pujols would be one of those guys -- there was even talk of a statue being built at Busch Stadium while he was still active. That statue will have to wait -- and it could be a long time before he's honored like that in St. Louis. 

So, if Pujols isn't going to join that club, who may? Here's four who may be able to claim they spent all of their entire major league career with one team.

Both Derek Jeter and Mariano River are first-ballot Hall of Fame players, both are nearing the end of their careers and both received new contracts with the Yankees last season. Jeter, 37, has two more years on his contract, plus a player option for 2014. He may play after he turns 40, but there's an almost zero percent chance the Yankees let him do it in another uniform. The same can be said for Rivera, 42. The all-time saves leader is under contract for 2012 and is unliekly to play anywhere else.

The third guy is Chipper Jones, who will turn 40 on April 24 and is under contract through 2012 with a club option for 2013 that becomes guaranteed if he plays 123 games this season. Jones has been on the verge of retiring the last two years. Like Jeter and Rivera, it seems unthinkable he'd ever wear another uniform as a player.

And that leads us to the fourth player, who will not only have an asterisk on this list if he does go into the Hall with his current team, but also the one of this group most likely to play for a different team (but even that chance seems slight -- but not as slight as the other three), and that's Ichiro Suzuki. The asterisk is that of course he played the first half of his career for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan before coming to the Mariners in 2000. Some will debate whether he'd be in the Hall if he retired today, but I find it hard to believe he could be left out. Suzuki is in the final year of his five-year extension he signed in 2007 and with the Mariners going through a rebuilding phase, he may not fit into their plans. Another team could be interested, or he could return to Japan. However, it's been suggested he really wants to get to 3,000 hits in the United States. He's at 2,428 right now and would need at least three more years to get there -- that could be two with a different team.

There are some other players that aren't sure-fire Hall of Famers that could still get there and do it with one team, but there's still a lot to be proven. The closest to the end of his career is the Rangers' Michael Young, who would need to get to 3,000 hits before he had a shot at the Hall. Young, 35, has 2,061 hits, so even that seems unlikely. Then there are the young, talented players who have a lot more to prove before getting there. However, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria and Matt Kemp all have one thing in common -- long-term contracts with their current team. 

Here's the list of Hall of Famers who played for just one team, sorted by team:

Yankees: Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto.

Dodgers: Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson.

Giants: Carl Hubbell, Travis Jackson, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Ross Youngs.

Pirates: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Pie Traynor.

Red Sox: Bobby Doerr, Jim Rice, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski.

Indians: Bob Feller, Addie Joss, Bob Lemon.

Orioles: Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson.

White Sox: Luke Appling, Red Faber, Ted Lyons.

Cardinals: Bob Gibson, Stan Musial.

Reds: Johnny Bench, Bid McPhee.

Tigers: Charlie Gehringer, Al Kaline.

Brewers: Robin Yount.

Cubs: Ernie Banks.

Padres: Tony Gwynn.

Phillies: Mike Schmidt.

Royals: George Brett.

Senators: Walter Johnson.

Twins: Kirby Puckett.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 11:00 pm
 

Derek Holland does Will Ferrell doing Harry Caray

By C. Trent Rosecrans

So much for reverence… in the World Series we now get bad impressions of Will Ferrell as Harry Caray from Rangers pitcher Derek Holland. But hey, anything that keeps Tim McCarver from talking can't be all bad.

Still, it was pretty not good -- even though he appears to be getting a lot of mileage out of it. Holland was the in-game guest of McCarver and Joe Buck, as the two regurgitated a tidbit they'd read in a tweet or blog post in the last 12 hours in some sort of Chirs Farley Show interview stylings.

Here's Holland channelling Ferrell:

Holland was 11 when Caray died, but does have a dog named "Wrigley" so perhaps he has actually heard Caray call a game. He also closed out his inning of national television doing a bad impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Even if his Caray and Schwarzenegger skills are a little subpar, his Ron Washington is pretty entertaining. Check it out:

The one thing Holland has done has solidified his future as a go-to guy for broadcasts -- and the next postseason without the Rangers, expect to see him employed, even with the creeper mustache. But hey, the mustache is still better than A.J. Pierzynski's highlights. That said, Rich Little's job is safe.

For the record, here's the real Caray:

 
And here's what Holland -- and Ryan Dempster (video), Johnny Bench and tons of others do -- is actually imitating:

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

Posted on: June 4, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Torre: Rule change on collisions unlikely

By C. Trent Rosecrans

So, I guess it's about time for the day's Buster Posey update -- I'll resist a "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" joke -- and this one is from Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations.

Joe TorreTorre, a former catcher, says it's unlikely baseball will change any of its rules as a result of Posey's injury.

"I think it's safe to say that I don't anticipate any changes, but I'm willing to listen," Torre told MLB.com.

Torre said he's talked to Giants general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy about the play on May 25.

Torre said he didn't see anything dirty about the play and didn't believe Scott Cousins was trying to hurt Posey.

"I spoke to Brian Sabean [Friday] and Bochy [Thursday], and I told them I'd be willing to sit with them and whoever they want to invite to discuss it," Torre said. "I told them that I didn't see anything that had to be changed, but I certainly would be open to listening to them. I think they just what discussion."

Another former catcher spoke up on the play, as perhaps the best catcher ever, Johnny Bench, told the Tulsa World that Posey "put himself in such a bad position" on the play.

"I teach my kids to stay away from the plate when you don't have the ball so the runner actually sees home plate and his thought is, 'slide,'" Bench told the newspaper. "But Buster is laying in front of home plate, and it's like having a disabled car in the middle of a four-leaf highway. You're just going to get smacked. Show them the plate. You can always catch the ball and step, or step and catch the ball, as long as you've got the runner on the ground. And if you have the runner on the ground, there's less of a chance of any severe collision."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:30 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:58 am
 

1999: the Kid steals the show

In anticipation of the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim on Tuesday, July 13, the CBS Sports MLB Facts and Rumors blog looks back at some of the more memorable editions of the All-Star Game. Today looks at the 1999 All-Star Game.

I sat slack-jawed with a tape recorder rolling and no questions in my head, just a desire for the answers to never stop coming.

It was a hotel ballroom in Boston, and Warren Spahn and I were among four or five stragglers in there. He was telling the story of his epic 16-inning, complete-game performance against Juan Marichal and the Giants at Candlestick Park in 1963. It was at least the second time Spahn had told it that day and likely the 10th, and I'd even heard it once before, but I listened again. Just as he mentioned Willie Mays' homer, someone walked into the room and said it was time for Spahn to go.

He apologized, said he could go on for hours and I told him I could listen for more. An hour before, the room had been full of the greatest major-league players in history. Mays was there, so was Marichal, not to mention Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson -- pretty much everywhere I turned, I bumped into a Hall of Famer.

While All-Star Games are naturally filled with All-Stars, the 1999 game was different. It was filled with bigger stars than just the usual names, even in this, the summer following the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa slugfest before it lost its luster. They were there, as was Ken Griffey Jr. at the height of his popularity. Pedro Martinez was making hometown fans think the curse may be bunk. But still, among all the All-Star Games in the history of the exhibition, this was less about the game and the current players than any other.

The 1999 game was not only at one of the country's most historic ballparks, Fenway Park, it was also coming at the time of an endless stream of best-of-the-century lists. But baseball's list, its Team of the Century, was kicked off in a different fashion than any other.

While other places talked of history, it was on display in Boston. Most people didn't see this part, because it was before MLB had 24 hours a day to fill with TV programming, but baseball announced its 100 greatest players of the 20th century in a news conference with the vast majority of the living members of that club in attendance in a hotel ballroom in Boston.

It was an amazing display of the game's greats, and after an entertaining hour-or-so, the players were brought into another room for one-on-one interviews. It was an hour of baseball geek bliss. At 23, I was slightly intimidated and more than happy to listen in on the conversations of the likes of Willie McCovey, Robin Yount, Mike Schmidt and Yogi Berra, among others.

Ted Williams, Pete Rose and Sandy Koufax weren't there, but it was hard to complain about their absence -- or the two from the dais that skipped the one-on-ones, Stan Musial and George Brett, although with Missouri roots, those were the two I'd hoped to interview more than the others.

Ted Williams By the time the all-time greats were introduced on the field the night of the game, I thought I was goose-bumped out. Until, right in front of my seat in the right field auxiliary press box, came Williams in on a golf cart. He did a lap and ultimately was the center of attention as he prepared to throw the first pitch.

It was a moment. A moment for baseball, a moment for baseball fans across the country to share their memories with another generation of fans -- to share their own stories of seeing Mays or Mantle play. In short, it was the rare moment when the ceremonial first pitch outshines the real first pitch. Even future Hall of Famers like Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn seemed to grasp the special nature of the moment. We all did -- those at Fenway and even those watching at home.

Martinez went on to become the first All-Star pitcher to strike out the side in the first inning, fanning Barry Larkin, Larry Walker and Sosa to start the game. He then struck out McGwire to lead off the second, bringing to mind Carl Hubbell's 1934 feat of getting Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin consecutively. It was an impressive display, even after Matt Williams broke Martinez's strikeout streak, reaching on an error. Martinez would win the game and the MVP, but even before he faced Larkin, the game had earned its spot in history.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie ; 1949: First integrated edition ; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com