As you can see from the pictures below, I spent an entire Red Sox game last night wearing a Yankee hat.
(Sox defeat Orioles, 10-1)
No doubt by now many of you know that David Ortiz last night hit two home runs to get to his 500th home run, a ‘feat’ accomplished by 27 other major league players.
Here are a few other bits of information for you:
"Angels of Fenway", "Before This World", "You've Got a Friend", and Storen, Arnie Beyeler, Big Papa, Boston Red Sox, Brian Butterfield, Familia, Fenway Park, Jackie Bradley Jr., James Taylor, Joe Kelly, Jordan Zimmerman, Matt Harvey, Mets, Mookie Betts, Nats, Nieuwenhuis, NY Mets, Papelbon, Red Sox, Rick Porcello, Rivero, Rusney Castillo, Ryan Zimmerman, Sox, The Washington Nationals, Trieinen, Tyler Clippard, Werth, Xander Boegarts
Angels of Fenway
No. I’m not referring to the new Sox outfield of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Rusney Castillo, tho “Angels of Fenway” might be an apt way to talk about to those three young, exciting players (see more below).
But I am talking about that Fenway and someone familiar to most Sox fans.
baseball, Beantown, Betts, Bradley, Bryce Harper, Castillo, Cherrington, Dombrowski, Don Orsillo, Hanley Ramirez, Jerry Remy, Mets, MillersTime Baseball Contests, MLB, Nats, NESN, New Rules, Orioles, Red Sox, Son Orsillo, Sox, Yankees, Yunkees
In no particular order, here are some comments, thoughts, observations, and perhaps even an occasional insight at this point in the 2015 baseball season: ** For those of you who can remember back to preseason, I wrote about the new baseball rules for shortening games and predicted they’d work (see: It’s Gonna Work – Betcha). At the All Star break this year, roughly the halfway mark of the season, the average length of the games was down almost exactly 10 minutes. The rule about batters having to keep one foot in the batter’s box accounted for half of the reduction in game time. Calling for a play challenge from the dugout and limiting the time between innings, probably make up the other half. Recently, however, the game time has crept up a bit. (It seems to me that batters are staying out of the box more now than they did at the beginning of the season, perhaps because MLB and the Players Union agreed not to use the financial penalties that were supposed to kick in in May?) ** If you think there are more no-hitters this year than last, you’re right (six already versus five for all of last year). And there were 33 no ‘hitters’ thru 6 innings (better than all of last year), 17 through 7 innings and 10 through 8 innings. But pitchers on the whole are doing worse than last year. The ERA of all the Major League teams is up over 2014, from 3.74 (full season) to 3.82 (thru 8/31/15). Batters are doing better (makes sense if ERA is up) in all categories: Ave. – 254/.251, OBP – .315/.314, SLG. – .402/.386, and OPS – .718/.700. Fielding PCT is virtually unchanged (.985/.984). ** What’s up with the Sox? They have been out of it for most of the season, largely because of weak pitching and weak hitting. (Outgoing GM Cherrington should’ve listened to me when I said stay away from Hanley Ramirez). They have done well over the past several weeks as they have settled into what is likely to be an outstanding outfield — Bradley, Betts, and Castillo (photo below) — for next year and beyond, tho it’s not clear yet which position each will play in that outfield. Their hitting is up and so is their starting pitching; relief pitching, however, has worsened, especially with the loss of Uehara for the remainder of the season. They have a modest chance of avoiding last place if they continue at their present pace. Everyone is on their toes trying to prove to their new president of baseball operations Dombrowski that they deserve to play next year.
Caylor Arnold/USA Today Sports
LeBron James tweet:
Check out this story: LeBron James will pay for more than 1,000 kids to go to college.
James has said, “I promise to never forget where I came from.”
I can’t imagine a better way to give back to one’s community.
Final available tickets to join me at a Nats’ game.
Let me know by Thursday, August 20th by email or in the Comments’ section of this post if you’re interested in a particular game or games.
First choice will go to ‘fans’ who haven’t been to a game with me this season.
MillersTime 2015 Baseball Contest # 5: Predict who will lead the AL and who will lead the NL in getting the most All Star votes in 2015. Which of the two will receive more votes?
No one got this contest exactly right.
Mostly it’s bad news for Red Sox fans, and it doesn’t seem as if it’s going to get too much better. Other than having a few young players who could be future stars — Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Eduardo Rodriquez — there’s not much to like about this season.
However, there is one bit of good news: Ellen Miller is getting interested in sports’ photography. At least baseball photography.
We (foolishly) went to a Sox vs Orioles game the other night, with the usual result. But Ellen brought her camera and long lens, and here are a few examples of her first serious baseball pictures.
I know I haven’t seen you in a couple of weeks. I’ve been traveling a bit and was with your Auntie Elizabeth in California, Oregon, and Washington. We got to see three Red Sox games, and they won two of the three. Not too bad.
Then when I returned, your Washington Nationals were playing two games against that *#!^x* Yankee team. So, of course, I had to go to those two games, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. The Nats won both games by close scores (4-3 and 3-2).
In fact, the Nats are playing really well and with the victories over the Yankees they are now in first place in their Division.
That’s pretty good because in their first 20 games, they only won 7 and lost 13 and were in last place. Then, in their next 21 games they won 17 and only lost 4. So they have gone from last place to first place.
And your favorite player, Bryce Harper, has been a big part of both their losing at the beginning of the season and winning now. In fact, he is now doing so well he has been named “Player of the Week” two weeks in a row. That rarely happens. But he’s been “on fire”, hitting lots of home runs, knocking in runs, and getting on base with a lot of walks.
But that’s where there’s a bit of bad news too.
I’m not sure if the contestants in this year’s 2015 MillersTime Baseball Contests are geniuses, fools, frustrated writers, or wannabe comedians (see #s 28, 32, and 43, for example).
Judging by previous years in this contest, at least 10 of the predictions below — Question #2 in this year’s contest — will come true.
Which 10, of course, is the question.
If you predict how many actually come true, you will also receive a prize — a t-shirt proclaiming you a MillersTime Baseball Contest Winner. Send your guess (the number of predictions that will come true) to me at email@example.com or put the number in the Comments section of this post. Multiply winners are possible, but you only get one guess/prediction.
It was fun going with you to the baseball game Thursday. And I’m glad we stayed until the very end of the game, even if your favorite team, the Nats, lost.
You always have to stay until the end of the game. No matter how bad or how good it might seem for your team.
Yesterday was a good example of why it’s so important to understand the game is never over until the final out.
Last night in Yankee Stadium, it was the bottom of the 9th inning, and my heroes the Sox were ahead 3-2. There were two outs. One more and they’d beat the Evil Empire (the Yankees).
Instead of the final out, the Yankees hit a home run to tie the game.
Nothing much happened for the next seven innings, although Friday had turned into Saturday. Then, in the 16th inning, Big Papi, the great David Ortiz, hit a home run and put the Sox ahead 4-3.
Then, the Yankees got a home run in the bottom of the 16th when one of their players, Mark Teixeira, who was 34 years old when the game started and had turned 35 by the 16th inning, hit a home run.
Bummer. The game tied again, 4-4.
In the top 18th inning, again the Sox went ahead, 5-4.
And wouldn’t you know it, again the Yunkees tied it. Score now 5-5.
Then, in the 19th inning, after more than seven hours, the Sox went ahead 6-5.
This time, the bad guys didn’t tie it in the bottom of the inning, and the Sox won.
And that’s why you never, ever leave a game until the final out is made.
Never give up.
Well, the votes are all in, and, according to the MillersTime baseball prognosticators, here are the results of two of the six contests:
Contest #1. Favorite Team Record and how far they’ll go:
a. Sox – 89.5-72.5 – lose in ALCS
b. Nationals – 99-63 – win WS
c. Os – 92.5-69.5 – lose in ALCS
d. Dodgers – 92.5-69.5 – lose in WS
e. Yankees – 86-76 – no playoffs
f. Royals – 83-79 – no playoffs
Contest # 6: Who will play and who will win the WS:
Overwhelmingly Nats win WS over the Angels.
In my humble opinion, the Nats fans have bought the hype and don’t understand that while pitching is most important, you need some hitting and good defense. Nats may make the playoffs but will be a disappointment (and disappointed) again.
The other predictions above are pretty good, I think, tho the Sox fans may be disappointed too, as my heroes, if they do make it into the playoffs, are unlikely to get very far.
Hopefully, one of you readers will remind all of us of these predictions at the end of the season.
PS – Lots more predictions to come, including some ‘remarkable views’ of what might happen in MLB this year.
Baseball’s Rule 21(d): “Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.
Pete Rose: Player 1963-86 and Manager 1984-89 broke this rule, betting on baseball games, including games he managed. After lying about his betting on baseball for 15 years, he signed a deal in 1989 with MLB Commissioner of Baseball Bart Giamatti that banished him from the sport forever.
Hall of Fame: A permanently ineligible player cannot be considered for the Hall of Fame. Had Rose not bet on baseball and not been banned, he would have easily been elected to the HOF. See His Accomplishments if you doubt that.
Rose has sought ‘parole’ in the past (5 times?), but neither Commissioners Fay Vincent nor Bud Selig ever considered rescinding the banishment. Now, 25 years later, there is a new Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manifred, and it is likely he will have to decide if Rose should be reinstated. (Reinstatement would not mean automatic entrance into the HOF as Rose would still have to be voted into the HOF in the usual manner by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America.)
1. Rose has served his time and should be reinstated.
2. Rose broke a cardinal rule and should not be allowed back in baseball.
3. Rose should remain out of baseball but be voted in or out of HOF by the BBWAA just as any other rule breaker (PEDs, etc.).
Two articles that address these issues that are worth your time:
Tyler Kepner, NYT: Pete Rose’s Statistics: 4,256 Hits and a Big Error, where in Mike Schmidt says Rose has served his time and should return to baseball. Paul Molitor disagrees.
Thomas Boswell, WaPo: Consider Pete Rose for HOF, but don’t let him back in baseball, where in Boswell says ‘No Way’ Rose should be let back in, but he could/should be considered for the HOF.
My thinking on this ‘debate’ has changed, particularly after reading the Boswell article. I agree with his reasoning and conclusion that Rose should not be reinstated. Not so sure about the HOF issue, however.
Where do you stand? Please so state in the Comment section of this post.
Reminder: If you haven’t submitted you picks for the 2015 MillersTime Baseball Contests, tempus fugit.