Tag:Ted Williams
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.

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Posted on: September 27, 2011 10:43 am
 

Pepper: McKeon praises Ozzie; Moneyball ripped



By Evan Brunell

Ozzie: The dominant story Monday night and today is obviously Ozzie Guillen, who was released from his contract after Monday night's game.

It looks as if Guillen is headed to the Marlins to become their skipper, and that's just fine with outgoing manager Jack McKeon, who plans to retire (again) from managing. Guillen served under McKeon back in 2003, so the octogenarian has familiarity with the former White Sox infielder.

"I like Ozzie," McKeon told MLB.com. "I think he's a very, very intelligent manager. I think he was a very smart player. I think he'll do well. He's done well. I think he's a good man. I like him. He's a good baseball man."

McKeon continued, praising Guillen's ability to interact with players.

"I liked the way he was able to control the players, especially the Latin players," McKeon said. "He wasn't afraid to jump on them and encourage them, but also try to help him. He wasn't worried about being their friend. He'd tell it like it is. And that's Ozzie. That's what reminds me of another guy [Jack McKeon]. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't."

In a separate story, the Chicago Tribune wonders whether Guillen moving to the Marlins could open up a Carlos Zambrano deal to Florida. Zambrano and Guillen are close friends, and the Marlins are looking to jack up payroll and raise fan interest heading into a new stadium and a new identity. It's certainly feasible -- the Marlins will have money to spend and a desire to upgrade the pitching.

Ripping Moneyball:
Honestly, I'd rather not even waste time giving Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone publicity for this, but here goes: the two White Sox announcers ripped Moneyball despite not having read the book or seen the movie to CSNChicago.com. Credibility: out the window.

Hey, it's totally OK to rip things you disagree with. But to rip something with zero knowledge is ludicrous. (And no, being familiar with the "concept" of it or hearsay does not count.) Billy Beane isn't a perfect GM and he's made his share of mistakes, but that doesn't nullify the basic idea of Moneyball, which continues to be sadly unnoticed these days instead of the popular narrative of "Moneyball is about poor teams who love statistics and OBP and hate everything else!" Why are we still doing this in this day and age?

Oh, and according to Harrelson, playing like a kid is way better than putting up good statistics.

"You take Mark Buehrle, he has never lost his childlike qualities. That’s one reason he can go out there and throw an 86 miles-per-hour fastball and still compete and win."

Uh-huh. Or maybe Buerhle is really good at commanding the ball and inducing weak contact.

Nahhh.

Ted Williams movie? Could a movie be made about Ted Williams? Given the wealth of content of the Hall of Famer's life, a movie about Williams would be entertaining. John Underwood, who was a friend of Williams and wrote for years at Sports Illustrated, is developing a treatment he hopes can turn into something. With the success of Moneyball at the box office and Broadway wrapping up a play about Vince Lombardi, the time might be right. (Washington Times)

No charges: Juan Carlos Oviedo, a.k.a. Leo Nunez, will not face charges in the Dominican Republic for falsifying his identity. Given Oviedo came forward with the admission and cooperated with officials, he is getting a free pass. Only time will tell, though, if MLB will allow Oviedo back for 2012. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Moved
: Phil Hughes admits he isn't pleased with pitching out of the bullpen for the Yankees. The righty has struggled through a difficult year for the Yankees, with a recent back issue prompting the move to the 'pen. Even if Hughes would understandably prefer to start and although it depletes the Yanks' thin rotation, Hughes has a chance to make a major impact in the bullpen in October. In 2009, he was a lockdown reliever setting up Mariano Rivera. (MLB.com)

Signed: Omar Infante has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Marlins, worth $8 million. In his first year with the Marlins after coming over from Atlanta in the Dan Uggla deal, he hit .279/.317/.385 in 574 plate appearances. (MLB.com)

Returning: The Reds want to bring closer Francisco Cordero back, and he's pleased to hear that. There is a $12 million option on the closer's remaining deal, and it's not clear whether or not Cincy will pick the option up. A return for Cordero isn't surprising following a solid season in which he notched 35 saves. (MLB.com)

Back to Washington: If Jonny Gomes has his way, he'll be back with the Nationals after coming over from Cincinnati in a trade. Gomes hasn't quite impressed, but could be a strong bat off the bench for Washington next season. Gomes for his part says he would probably accept arbitration if the Nats offered it and believes the team will be "friggin' good." (Washington Post)

Where's Coco?
Coco Crisp wouldn't mind returning to the Athletics, but Oakland's free-agent machinations will depend on the outcome of the A's prospects of building a new stadium in San Jose. The A's will have competition if they want to bring Crisp back -- two sources say that San Francisco is expected to make a run at Crisp. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Looking ahead: Joe Mauer can't wait to put 2011 behind him, as the year represented a disappointment for both the club and Mauer, struggling with injuries and poor play. "You always want to do well when you put the uniform on," Mauer told MLB.com. "For me, my biggest goal is just to come back and be healthy. It's been a frustrating year. I haven't been healthy. Hopefully, we can do that as a whole. I'm talking about myself, but this whole room, we've kind of got the same thing going [with injuries]. My No. 1 goal is to just get healthy and just get ready for next year."

Lost season: Peter Moylan, a reliever for the Braves, missed months with a back injury. Finally back, Moylan got lousy news once more as he'll need surgery for a torn rotator cuff and labrum, which will be his third major surgery in four years. Moylan will miss about six months worth of time, so may not be ready for Opening Day. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:58 am
 

Ted Williams rounds out baseball All-Stars stamps

By Evan Brunell

Ted Williams is the fourth baseball great who will be honored with a commemorative Forever stamps set.

Joining Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby and Willie Stargell, Williams is part of an initiative by the United States Postal Service to try to bring back stamp collecting, and MLB is part of the initiative with an All-Stars collection. DiMaggio, Doby and Stargell had their stamps previewed earlier this summer, with Williams unveiled on Friday.

"I am incredibly proud and honored to have the U.S. Postal Service commemorate my father in such a beautiful and lasting way," Williams' daughter, Claudia, said. "Dad would be completely humbled to know he was chosen to represent the U.S. in this way. His love and commitment to this great country is well-known, having served in the US Marine Corps during two wars, and performing at the highest level playing America's pastime. The artwork captures all the grace and determination of his best swing."

Check out the stamps below:



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Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Pepper: ChiSox may move from six- to four-man

Buehrle

By Evan Brunell

WHAT ABOUT FIVE? The White Sox had a six-man rotation for much of the season, fitting in Phil Humber after his strong start into the rotation when Jake Peavy returned from the disabled list. Now that Edwin Jackson is a Cardinal, that means the White Sox can go back to five members in the rotation, right?

Not so fast. Rookie starter Zach Stewart has made a start in the still-continuing six-man rotation and will draw another one, but after that Chicago expects to end the six-man rotation. Except instead of going back to five, the ChiSox are entertaining the thought of a four-man rotation. It would allow Mark Buerhle, who has been hot as of late -- and with the White Sox having won four in a row and pulling to within five of the division, the team needs as much improvement as it can get.

"You're tempted to say, 'Let's run [Buerhle] out there,' " pitching coach Don Cooper said. "If we keep playing good ball, it's an option we have to look at it. Get the hottest guys out there.

"We have something down on paper but nothing official," Cooper added. "We have to see how it goes. If we have a good week, and we ain't had a good week …. if we get hot, you never know." (Chicago Tribune)

HYPNOTIZED
: Giants manager Bruce Bochy, along with several other members of the staff, have finally quit dipping. How did they do it? By seeing a hypnotist, who explained the dangers of continuing to dip and using relaxation techniques. Bochy says that the cravings vanished almost immediately. Others remain skeptical. "Follow my finger. Do not smoke," bench coach Ron Wotus said jokingly. "You're cured. Next! ... A hypnotist, come on. Good for them. The mind is a powerful thing." (San Jose Mercury News)

SPRAINED WRIST: Carlos Beltran sprained his wrist in Monday's game, but the good news is that he might be ready to play Tuesday night. There's a quick turnaround to Wednesday afternoon, though, so it would come as no surprise if the Giants decided to keep Beltran out of the lineup until Wednesday. (Fox Sports)

'ROADIE DAD': Todd Zeile, as he put it, has gone from baseball player to producer to roadie dad as 17-year-old son Garrett's band, Jetstream, is touring with the Stone Tempe Pilots. Pretty cool, but also interesting is that the producer part of Zeile's life involves helping Charlie Sheen's show, Anger Management, get off the ground. (ESPN New York)

WHERE DO OLD SHORTSTOPS GO? San Francisco. Think about it -- the Giants had Omar Vizquel, moved to Edgar Renteria, then tabbed Miguel Tejada this season. When that didn't work out, GM Brian Sabean turned to Orlando Cabrera. No Giants shortstop who leads the team in games started over the past decade has been in his 20s. (San Francisco Chronicle)

STAMPING: The United States Postal Service is unveiling stamps with four major-leaguers commemorated. The first is Joe DiMaggio, but who else will make the list? That's unknown, but Joe Posnanski runs through the rules involving who will and won't be on the stamp and settled on Ted Williams as the most obvious choice. His most likely candidates to round out the other two stamps? Larry Doby and Carl Hubbell. (JoeBlogs)

WELCOME TO THE SHOW: The Jays are calling up a 21-year-old to fill the vacant rotation spot. Henderson Alvarez has a 2.86 ERA and could skip Triple-A so Toronto can see what it might have in the promising left-hander. (National Post)

HIRED: Former Astros hitting coach Gary Gaetti will be named the first manager of the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent club in the Atlantic League. (Houston Chronicle)

PHONE CALL: A nice story about Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel, who called a Navy seaman battling cancer after the 2008 World Series. " It wasn't one of those "sorry you're sick, hope you feel better" calls, it was two baseball fans talking to each other about a sport they both loved," brother Scott Andrews wrote in. (Big League Stew)

SABR: Interested in what the top 40 events in baseball are since the SABR era (1971-present)? You're in luck. (SABR.org)

BREAK IT DOWN: The NPB (Japan's version of MLB) is meeting with MLB to discuss the breakdown of revenue from the World Baseball Classic. (Yakyubaka.com)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn speaks on Jeter's 3,000



By Evan Brunell

Tony Gwynn was at Fan Fest on Tuesday, representing Pepsi Max in its promotion to bring baseball legends to a fan's hometown to play a game, and chatted with CBSSports.com about Derek Jeter's chase for 3,000 hits.

As a fellow member of the 3,000-hit club, Gwynn knows all too well the exhausting grind that leads up to 3,000 hits, saying that it's difficult to get over the hump and get that final hit because of all the attention and pressure -- especially since Jeter plays in New York.

Regarding Jeter's absence from the All-Star Game, Gwynn was conflicted about the Captain's choice to both pull himself out of the starting lineup and not attend the festivities. He noted that he completely understood how Jeter would need some time to regroup and prepare for the second half, but felt that you have some responsibility to attend or play the Game if voted in by fans. He also waxed nostalgically about the 1999 All-Star Game, in which he was voted in by fans and was able to meet Ted Williams, calling the atmosphere electric.

Click on to hear Gwynn's thoughts on Jeter, as well as if it's easier to get 3,000 hits as opposed to 300 wins.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 1:56 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Damon ties Williams on hit list

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Johnny DamonJohnny Damon's sixth-inning blooper off of Reds starter Edinson Volquez on Wednesday tied him with Ted Williams on the all-time hit list at 2,654.

"It seems whoever I pass right now, it's somebody very good," Damon told the Tampa Tribune on Tuesday. "I'm just proud of the fact that I've been able to have this long of a career, but Ted Williams is sentimental to me, because I was with the Red Sox when he passed (2002), and we honored him on the field, and at the time my son was, I believe 3, and he was able to be on the field with me wearing a Ted Williams jersey."

Damon played four seasons with the Red Sox and did something Williams was never able to do, win a World Series title.

It should be noted, of course, Williams missed three full seasons due to World War II and most of two more to serve in the Korean War.

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Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:51 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 2:56 pm
 

Iconic Updike column on Ted Williams honored

Ted Williams ... This was almost certainly [Ted Williams'] last time to come to the plate in Fenway Park, and instead of merely cheering, as we had at his three previous appearances, we stood, all of us—stood and applauded. Have you ever heard applause in a ballpark? Just applause—no calling, no whistling, just an ocean of handclaps, minute after minute, burst after burst, crowding and running together in continuous succession like the pushes of surf at the edge of the sand. It was a sombre and considered tumult. There was not a boo in it. It seemed to renew itself out of a shifting set of memories as the kid, the Marine, the veteran of feuds and failures and injuries, the friend of children, and the enduring old pro evolved down the bright tunnel of twenty-one summers toward this moment. ...

Understand that we were a crowd of rational people. We knew that a home run cannot be produced at will; the right pitch must be perfectly met and luck must ride with the ball. Three innings before, we had seen a brave effort fail. The air was soggy; the season was exhausted. Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the future.

... [Doug] Fisher threw the third time, Williams swung again, and there it was. ...

Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs—hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn't tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted "We want Ted" for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back. Our noise for some seconds passed beyond excitement into a kind of immense open anguish, a wailing, a cry to be saved. But immortality is nontransferable. The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he never had and did not now. Gods do not answer letters. ...

-- John Updike, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu"
The last at-bat of Ted Williams' (photo above circa 1955) career will go down in infamy -- not just for one of the best hitters of all time cranking a home-run in his final at-bat, but the eloquent prose of one John Updike that captured the moment and framed it in history for all time, providing an impossible ideal for future journalists to live up to.

Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu That moment happened on September 28th, 1960 -- making Tuesday the 50th anniversary of the original moment. Even more special about the moment was that everyone knew it was Williams' final at-bat. He would not be making the three-game trip to New York to wrap the season up and was replaced in the top of the ninth with Carroll Hardy. Incidentally, Hardy is the only player in baseball history to ever pinch-hit for Ted Williams (Williams was pinch-hit just once in his career, coming September 20th of 1960 when Williams fouled a ball off his foot and left the game) and Carl Yastrzemski, becoming the only player to pinch-hit for two future Hall of Famers. Hardy also pinch-hit for Roger Maris.

The Library of America (courtesy photo) is honoring the feat by re-releasing John Updike's epic column (read the column in full here ) in a commemorative edition which the author prepared just months before his January, 27, 2009 death. He has an autobiographical preface and an extensive afterword in the quaint book that deserves to be a staple of every baseball fan's collection. (The book can be purchased here .)

The Red Sox are also getting in on the action and will honor the moment on Friday, October 1 prior to the night's game against the Yankees. The ceremony will include footage of the home run and appearances by Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky and Updike's son, David. 150 free copies of the book will also be distributed to fans.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 10, 2010 9:47 pm
 

Cabrera becomes third AL player with 30 IBB

The designated hitter changes many things -- but no record seems to have a bigger split among leads than the one for intentional walks.

The Major League and National League record is 120 -- set by Barry Bonds in 2004. The American League record is nearly a fourth of that -- 33, done twice -- by John Olerud in 1993 and Ted Williams in 1957. It should be noted, of course, that this statistic wasn't kept until 1955, so Babe Ruth isn't on it (but he had some pretty decent protection in the Yankees lineup).

Miguel Cabrera On Friday, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera became just the fourth American League player to ever receive 30 intentional walks in a season. In addition to Olerud and Williams, George Brett was intentionally walked 30 times in 1985.

It's a different story in the National League, where Barry Bonds had nine different season with 30 or more free passes, and Pujols has three.

MLB.com's  Jason Beck had a good article on this today, with this great statistic -- entering Friday's game, one in every 14 intentional walks in the American League have been to Cabrera.

"Believe me, I don't care who hits behind Cabrera," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said told Beck. "I will walk him. We did it three times in Chicago [in mid-August]. We did it [Wednesday] night. We only failed once."

The fact the Tigers have had injuries and nobody near as fearsome as Cabrera in their lineup has led to the free passes. And that's why it worked for the Orioles on Friday.

After Austin Jackson tripled to lead off the seventh ina tie game, David Hernandez struck out Will Rhymes and got Johnny Damon to pop up before giving the free pass to Cabrera. Ryan Raburn then struck out to end the inning before the Orioles scored two in the eighth to take a lead.

"I try to impress upon him to just take it as the highest compliment you can get," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

So far this season, only one National League player, Albert Pujols, has more than 30 intentional walks. He's been given 34 free passes. Adrian Gonzalez is the only other NL player with more than 12, with 26. In the AL, Ichiro Suzuki and Joe Mauer are tied for second with 13 intentional passes.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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