Posted on: February 22, 2012 2:59 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
When Albert Pujols was in St. Louis, he made it clear he didn't like being called by the nickname "El Hombre," even asking fans not to call him by the monicker in 2010.
Pujols said he felt it was a disrespect -- not a clever play -- of Stan Musial's nickname, "The Man." That's why it was a surprise, in St. Louis especially, when the Angels put up billboards in Southern California with Pujols' picture next to the words "El Hombre."
On Wednesday, Pujols made it clear he still doesn't like the name and didn't authorize the billboards.
"Like I say, I haven't talked to them, but I prefer not to use [El Hombre]," Pujols told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I still have the same respect for [Musial] as I had, not just waht he's done in baseball, but for what he did for his country. That's something you have to appreciate."
Musial served in the Navy during World War II and last season was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama.
According to the Angels, there are 20 such billboards in Southern California.
Hat-tip: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:06 pm
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.
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.
Tags: Addie Joss, AL Central, AL East, Al Kaline, AL West, Albert Pujols, Barry Larkin, Bid McPhee, Bill Dickey, Bill Mazeroski, Bill Terry, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Bob Lemon, Bobby Doerr, Braves, Brewers, Brooks Robinson, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cal Ripken, Cardinals, Carl Hubbell, Carl Yastrzemski, Charlie Gehringer, Chipper Jones, Cubs Ernie Banks, Derek Jeter, Dodgers, Don Drysdale, Earle Combs, Evan Longoria, George Brett, Giants, Ichiro Suzuki, Indians, Jackie Robinson, Jim Palmer, Jim Rice, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Bench, Lou Gehrig, Luke Appling, Mariano Rivera, Mariners, Matt Kemp, Mel Ott, Michael Young, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Padres, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, Phillies, Pie Traynor, Pirates, Rangers, Rays, Red Faber, Red Sox, Reds, Reds, Roberto Clemente, Robin Yount, Rockies, Ross Youngs, Roy Campanella, Royals, Ryan Braun, Sandy Koufax, Senators, Stan Musial, Ted Lyons, Ted Williams, Tigers, Tony Gwynn, Travis Jackson, Troy Tulowitzki, Walter Johnson, White Sox, Whitey Ford, Willie Stargell, Yankees
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:07 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 2:10 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
ST. LOUIS -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has repeatedly said he doesn't like to intentionally walk batters -- but he ordered three free passes in Wednesday's 4-3 Game 3 loss to the Cardinals, two to Albert Pujols. All three worked.
"I think when it really makes sense, we'll do it. I don't want to just put him on to put him on. You saw we put him on with a guy on third base. Next thing you know, it's second and third instead of first and third. They get a base hit there, they are scoring two runs instead of just one," Roenicke said. "We are going to pick our spots where we think we need to do it. If it comes up, you know, where it makes sense, then we'll try to put him on. But you know, he's scary when he's hitting everything, and we make good pitches and he's still hitting them. He's done a lot of damage to us."
Pujols had hits in both at-bats in which the Brewers threw to him.
Cardinals right fielder Lance Berkman was asked if he would pitch to Pujols right now: "Maybe. It would just depend on match ups. I don't think anybody thinks as highly as I do in terms of where he ranks in the history of the game, I think he's probably the greatest hitter ever -- doing it in this ballpark and in this era. It's a worldwide game, you have players from all over everywhere," he said. "That being said, I'm having a hard time walking anybody to get to Matt Holliday. This guy's won a batting title, he's been an LCS MVP. So, you might get him a couple of times, but you better be careful, because if you keep doing it, he's going to make you pay."
Holliday was 0 for 3, so he didn't. He has three hits in the series, but all three have been singles.
Other things overheard after Game 3:
• Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter on Albert Pujols: "I was very fortunate to watch this guy play of rate last nine years. And when you are that type of player at that level, the expectations from you, me, I'm sure his family, his kids' friends, I mean, anybody that's out there, the expectation levee for what he's supposed to do is unbelievable. That being said, he continues to amaze me every single year. Every year, you can't believe the things that he does, the games that he has, the pressures that he deal with, distractions that he deals with.
"Coming int this season, free agent, how much money he is going to get, best player in baseball, is he going be here? Is he not going to be here? And he comes in, just like the same old Albert, and works hard in spring training, starts off a little slow, everybody is questioning whether or not it's because of his contract situation. No, he continues to grind, he continues to play and continues to do the things that amazes every single one of us every single day. So what he's doing now, does that -- it's him. That's who he is. He's an exceptional player, exceptional hitter. He's got the mind of stone. Nothing bothers him no matter what the situation he's in -- and that's what makes him great."
• Brewers infielder Craig Counsell on the Cardinals bullpen: "They've struggled with their bullpen, but they've got guys in the roles they want them in now. They've turned the corner."
• Mark Kotsay on Chris Carpenter: "He didn't have a feel for his curveball. He left some pitches on the plate that we took advantage of. But he made his pitches when he had to, got out of a couple of jams ... it was interesting that Tony took him out there with the pitcher's spot coming up in the fifth, but Tony (La Russa) obviously knows Carp, he knows his bullpen and he did a great job."
• Cardinals third baseman, and Missouri native, David Freese on Stan Musial's pre game appearance: "It's unreal. Every time Stan Musial comes around the clubhouse, we take time to go say hi to him. And when he gets on the field, whether it's tonight or opening day, all of the guys that are in the Hall come out and join him. It's just special to be a part of."
• Carpenter on Octavio Dotel and Arhtur Rhodes: "I think Doti and Arthur have brought a lot of confidence to some of these younger guys to not care; to go out, not be concerned about what's going to happen. Let's go out and give it our best and see what happens. If it works, it works; if it doesn't, it doesn't, and we'll go get 'em the next day."
• Tony La Russa on Yovani Gallardo: "He's got all of the pitches. We got him before he got sharp, but he's the real deal and he showed it. We had a couple of great chances to add, which normally come back to haunt you, but our pitching staff prevented that. But let me tell you, he's a handful, and he's every bit as good as a No. 1 starter is supposed to be."
• Corey Hart on the Freese double in the first inning: "It just kind of carried off, but I still had to go after it. I knew I was close to the track. It was like his home run [in Game 2] the other day, it just kept going. He's a strong kid."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 9, 2011 12:50 pm
By Evan Brunell
MORE MANNY: Stop me if you've heard this before, but Joe Posnanski has written a great story. And as you may have gathered by now, it's about Manny Ramirez. Here's Poz:
In my own romantic view of baseball and the world, I tended to see Manny as baseball’s Mozart — an often vile personality who did one thing so beautifully that you could not turn away. ... [I]t was clear that these tough old baseball men who had no respect at all for the way Ramirez treated the game were almost absurdly awed by his talent. They talked of games he would play with pitchers during spring training to set them up later in the year. They talked of adjustments he would make pitch-to-pitch that were so remarkable they could only compare it to chess grandmasters. Bill James ... insisted that Manny Ramirez would purposely get into 3-2 counts with a runner on first so that the runner would be on the move with the pitch and could then score on the double MannyBManny planned to hit.
There's no question that Manny's legacy is stained beyond repair. He's effectively failed three drug tests now, and we're all left to wonder just how long this has been going on. But despite steroids, Manny was a revelation. After all, how many people took steroids to get ahead and how many turned out like Manny? While there's no excuse for Ramirez's actions, it's always been clear that he had an incredible, uncanny ability to hit, both mentally and physically. Those talents come along once in a generation and while Ramirez deserves every ounce of blame for sullying his magical talent, you can't help but marvel at what he's done in the game. (Sports Illustrated)
OWNERS NARROWED: The Mets have narrowed their search for a new minority owner to eight candidates. "They are very happy with the numbers they're seeing. There's a range - the low end is marginally acceptable and the high end is very acceptable," a source said of the Wilpons, who are expected to bring in the new owner by July. (New York Daily News)
LOVING BASEBALL: The president of Harvard University takes to the newspaper pages to write about why she loves baseball. (Philly.com)
PLANE SCARE: Tony La Russa and four players were flying to a charity event for La Russa when their plane's cabin failed to pressurize. The plane returned to the airport and did not climb above 10,000 feet. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
ESCOBAR IMPROVING: Yunel Escobar is taking encouraging steps back from a mild concussion suffered Wednesday. He could be back in the lineup as early as Sunday, but new concussion guidelines means he must undergo a final round of testing Saturday before he can take the field. (MLB.com)
ALZHEIMER'S: No matter who you are or what you did, no one deserves the agony of Alzheimer's. Yet, that's what Stan Musial is battling as a new biography of Stan the Man details. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
NO MORE HAT FOR LONGORIA: The New Era commercial with Evan Longoria losing his hat was rather popular last season, but this year New Era is going forward with Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock and John Krasinski from The Office, creating another solid commercial. (Big League Stew)
Posted on: April 8, 2011 9:57 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
With two hits Friday against the Phillies, Atlanta's Chipper Jones reached 2,500 career hits, but tells Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he doesn't expect to play long enough to reach 3,000 hits.
"I think I walk too much," Jones said before Friday's game. "If I played four or five more years, yeah, but I don't see that being all that realistic either."
In the last three seasons, Jones has 373 hits. He turns 39 on April 24.
Jones said he values a career on-base percentage better than .400 more than he does 3,000 hits.
"There's no doubt that if I'd been a little more aggressive throughout the years, 3,000 might have been a possibility," Jones said. "But I'm more proud of the fact that I got a .400 on-base percentage throughout 18 years in the big leagues."
Jones entered Friday's game with a .405 career on-base percentage, 45th best in baseball history.
Of the 27 players in baseball history with 3,000 hits, only seven have a career on-base percentage better than .400. They are Ty Cobb (.433), Stan Musial (.417), Tris Speaker (.428), Eddie Collins (.424), Paul Waner (.404), Rickey Henderson (.401) and Wade Boggs (.415).
Jones doubled in three runs in the in the fourth inning off of Cliff Lee and singled to left in the sixth inning against Antonio Bastardo to reach 2,500. The Braves stopped the game to honor him, playing the theme from The Natural while the feat was acknowledged. Jones' manager for 2,440
With three RBI in the game, Jones is three short for 1,500 in his career, another nice number.
Posted on: April 5, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: April 5, 2011 1:05 pm
By Evan Brunell
Scott Kazmir's job could be in danger.
After going through what Kaz termed "boot camp" in the offseason, the hope was that the former top left-hander would move on from his 5.94 ERA from 2010, the highest among pitchers who tossed at least 140 innings. However, the former Rays ace had an awful spring training and imploded in his first start of the season on Sunday against the Royals.
Manager Mike Scioscia was already unhappy with Kazmir's progress, and his outing Sunday only made things worse. One has to seriously wonder if Los Angeles is considering releasing Kazmir and the $14.5 million left on his contract. It's certainly been a long fall from grace for Kazmir and unfortunately it appears as if whatever made him great in the past is gone for good.
The skipper had no easy answers for Kaz's slow start, saying that he has no velocity or command. "Kaz is a little more complicated, a little more baffling," he said. The Angels do have starting pitcher Joel Pineiro on the way back from injury along with reliever Scott Downs, so Kazmir could lose his rotation spot in quick order.
The only question is: is he moved to the bullpen or do the Angels cut ties entirely? (Los Angeles Times)
GOING YARD: Will Texas' Nelson Cruz go yard again on Tuesday to have homered in five consecutive games? That's a question Eye on Baseball blogger C. Trent Rosecrans attempts to answer in MLB Today. (CBS Sports)
PETE ROSE MANAGING: That's Junior, not the Hit King. The son of Pete Rose is now managing the White Sox's rookie-level squad after long stints as a minor-league and indy-ball player. (Chicago Sun-Times)
KID REPLACING IDOL: Over in Washington, Wilson Ramos has the tough task of replacing his idol behind the plate in Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge has graciously accepted a reduced role, while the Nats are excited about the potential Ramos has. (Washington Times)
TAKING NO LIP: The judge in the upcoming perjury trial for Roger Clemens has had enough of the Rocket and his accuser, Brian MacNamee, taking to the media to spread their own opinions of the trial. Judge Reggie Walton has since reminded the two that they are not allowed to talk about the case. (New York Times)
STEROIDS OUT: Brian Giles' potential use of steroids has been disallowed in a pending palimony trial against his ex-fiance, who is accusing him of owing her over $10 million as well as abusing her. His links to steroids would have been used to attempt to establish that he did, in fact, abuse her. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
BEER VIA TWITTER: A Mariners beer vendor may be onto something here as he will take beer orders via Twitter for the Mariners' home opener on Friday. Seems like it could be abused, but it's hard to imagine anyone sitting at home sending a beer vendor fake orders from fake seats, even in this day and age. This is definitely a service that could end up becoming common in all stadiums depending how well it is executed. (CNBC)
MORE RESTRICTIONS: In light of the abominable beating two Dodgers fans put on a Giants fan, the L.A. County supervisor is calling for additional security at Dodger Stadium as well as more restrictive limits on sales of booze. (Los Angeles Times)
THERE'S ALWAYS HOPE: Austin Kearns' son was diagnosed with autism at 14 months back in 2009. His son is doing well, however, receiving treatment at a Cleveland hospital that was also the main reason why the outfielder returned to the Indians after signing with the team for 2010 and being traded halfway through the year to the Yankees. (MLB.com)
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Of the potential bidders to become minority owner of the Mets, one has the executive producer of Entourage footing the bill. If Doug Ellin ended up with the team, it could mean a jolt of starpower as quite a few of the actors on the show are Mets fans and could show up to games. (New York Daily News)
FREEZE! A rather interesting story that Stan Musial actually froze his appendix inside his body back in 1947. This allowed Stan the Man to stay on the field and finish out the year before having an appendectomy after the year. You don't usually hear about frozen appendixes, so it's quite a fascinating story. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
SEVENTH INNING FOR JOBA: Joba Chamberlain appears to have a lock on the seventh-inning relief gig. 'We love the way he threw the ball in spring training," manager Joe Girardi said. Interesting given GM Brian Cashman and other Yankee brass were displeased with how out-of-shape Chamberlain was in spring training. (MLB.com)
IS BASEBALL DYING? Sobering news -- 43 percent of MLB fans are age 50 or older in a 2009 survey, tops among all big four sports plus MLS and NASCAR, while a low 28 percent of the coveted age 18-34 demographic prefer baseball. Plus, children are leaving baseball in droves. (BizofBaseball.com)
NAME THAT TEAM: The Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate is moving into a new stadium in Pensacola, Fla. next season. There's a contest being held to determine the nickname of the club, and you must also include why you think it's a good name. (Pensacola News Journal)
NICKNAMIN': Ever wonder how each baseball team got its nickname? All set. (Delaware County Daily Times)
ON THE WAY BACK: Mat Latos tossed a simulated game on Monday and came through it with flying colors. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday, and it's possible the right-hander could be activated as soon as Friday. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL East, AL West, Angels, Austin Kearns, Brian Giles, Brian MacNamee, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Ivan Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, Jr., Mariners, Mat Latos, Mets, MLB, MLB Rumors, Nationals, Nelson Cruz, NL Central, NL East, NL West, NL West, Padres, Pete Rose, Rangers, Reds, Roger Clemens, Scott Kazmir, Stan Musial, White Sox, Wilson Ramos, Yankees
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:05 am
Edited on: February 15, 2011 10:10 am
Welcome to Morning Pepper, a roudup of news and notes from around baseball.
* Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz tweeted this photo of the team's workout room at the newest spring training facility, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Man, that place needs a nickname immediately. Anyway, the facility isn't too shabby, as you can see in this video tour with the Denver Post.
* Albert Pujols went to high school and college in Kansas City and has ties there. You don't suppose ... no, not going to happen.
* A look at the tie Stan Musial will wear today when he receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom (it seems the Cardinals are missing a good chance to at the very least make some money by selling those ties -- I'd buy one)
* The great Joe Posnanski on the most interesting winners of Gold Gloves
* Daniel Bard, who bears a strong resemblance to one of the guys in Lady Antebellum, reflects on his "Grammy win" and whether he might have to give up baseball for music.
* Grady Sizemore still shooting for opening day.
* Don't expect a quick answer to the Yankees' rotation.
* Jim Leyland looks at Patrick Leyland as a player in camp, not a son.
* Kerry Wood: I started with the Cubs, I want to end here.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans and David Andriesen
Posted on: February 14, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: February 14, 2011 1:49 pm
We now have an exact time for the Albertgeddon -- noon on Wednesday.
Because Cardinals legend Stan Musial will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday in Washington, the Cardinals proposed Albert Pujols postpone his deadline from Tuesday to Wednesday. Pujols agreed, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets .
Still, it's unlikely Pujols agrees to a long-term deal in the next 48 hours.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans