Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-4-25

4/25/2006
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Top of the 1st
WHY THE YANKS DON’T WIN AT NIGHT
So, I mentioned in yesterday’s Billy-Ball that the Yankees had improved their record in day games this season to 8-0, but they’re 1-8 at night, with their only p.m. victory coming in their season opener at Oakland. That’s when reader Mark Penzel started speculating on the reasons for this disparity.

So, go ahead and blame Mark, but here are Billy-Ball’s Top Ten Reasons why the Yankees don’t win at night:

10. Worried about getting home safely on the subway.
9. Too focused on “American Idol” (they have Kellie McFeever)
8. Acid Reflux from Ron Guidry’s Cajun cooking
7. Waiting to get that $800,000 from Paraguay like it said in the e-mail
6. They have trouble playing in their jammies
5. Too few greenies, too much Red Bull
4. Werewolves, werewolves, werewolves
3. Concerned that the girlfriend and the wife are sitting together and comparing notes
2. Tired from getting up early to write Billy-Ball

And the number one reason why the Yankees don’t win at night:
1. They figure George is asleep, so what does it matter?

Top of the 2nd
PRINCE ALBERT CAN
The Albert Pujols legend continues to grow. Last night, he Cardinals, behind Chris Carpenter, beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-2. Albert Pujols hit another 1st inning homer, his third on the season and the second in the last four days. It was the 12th home run of the season for Pujols and by hitting it in the Cardinals’ 19th game, it tied Pujols for the second-fewest games needed to reach a dozen homers. Mike Schmidt did it in 15 games for the 1976 Phillies; Ken Keltner did it in 19 games for the 1948 Indians. The major league record for homers in April is 13, shared by Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) and Luis Gonzalez (2001). Pujols has six games left to play this month.

In addition, Pujols added a run-scoring double to give him a major league leading 28 RBI he also leads in runs scored with 21. He’s hitting .344 this season with a slugging percentage (TB divided by AB) of .969 and an on-base percentage (H + BB + HBP) divided by (AB + BB + HBP + SF) of .482. He also ranks first with an OPS (On-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of 1.451

Top of the 3rd
ROX SEEK ROGER CLEMENS
The Brockton Rox want Roger Clemens to join their Can-Am League team and are prepared to pull out all the stops to get him.

Brockton President Jim Lucas announced that the Rox will make an offer to Clemens to join their team when their season begins Thursday, May 25 versus the New Haven Cutters. Lucas said, “Everybody knows Clemens is coming back and it makes sense for him to play for us. A future Hall of Famer deserves an Opening Day start and of all the teams going after him, we are the only ones who can offer that.”

Starting Opening Day is just one of the many perks the Rox are prepared to offer Clemens. For example, Clemens is known to want to spend more time with his family and the Rox are fine with that. “He only has to show up for games he’s pitching,” declared Rox GM, Andy Crossley. The Rox are prepared to pay for round-trip air tickets (coach only) for Clemens to go home and appear for his starts. In addition, the Rox have assigned an intern to carry his bags and are ready to provide Roger with a private parking space at the Brockton High School lot.

Money is no object. The Rox will offer Clemens the maximum monthly salary of $3,000 on Opening Day (May will be pro-rated). As for living quarters, the Rox will offer him accommodations with a host family in Brockton where he can stay free of charge and will arrange for a special rate for his family, when they come to visit, at the local Country Inn and Suites.

Clemens can have his choice of uniform numbers, although numbers 21 and 22 have been claimed by other players on the roster. In addition, Rox hats have a “B” on them a letter he is familiar with from his Red Sox days. In the locker room, Roger will have a corner locker and his own rocking chair that will have “Roger” printed on it (on removable duct tape). Lucas adds, “As a special promotion, we will produce a special bobble called `The Brocket’ showing `The Rocket’ in a Brockton uniform.”

There are a number of other advantages that pitching for the Rox can offer:
* Clemens will be the first player to pitch high school, college, minor leagues, major leagues, Olympics, World Baseball Classic, and independent ball.
* He can pitch for the Rox and still maintain his five-year waiting time for Hall of Fame eligibility in 2010.
* He has a really good chance of breaking his record of 20 strikeouts in a game and throwing his first no-hitter…every time on the mound.
* If he needs Red Sox tickets, the Rox know people.

The Rox look forward to speaking directly with Clemens agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, and while they don’t have a video like the Red Sox they have some excellent pictures from a digital camera of Campanelli Stadium.

Top of the 4th
WOULDN’T IT BE NICE?
The San Francisco Giants designated right-handed reliever Tyler Walker for assignment and purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Brian Wilson from Triple-A Fresno. Felipe Alou has “good vibrations” about Wilson.

The Giants defeated the Mets last night, 6-2. Moises Alou went 3-4 with a homer and 5 RBI. Bane went 0-1 with 3 walks. Tom Glavine took the loss for the Mets.

Top of the 5th
SURPRISES
Ervin Santana struck out 10, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 victory over surprising Detroit, ending the Tigers’ five-game winning streak. While the Tigers have not won six in a row since June 2004 they are 12-8 on the season only a game and a half behind the White Sox. That’s for you, Will!

The ChiSox eight-game winning streak ended last night as the Mariners stopped their 4-game losing streak, 4-3 in 11 innings. Ichiro went 2-5 and his average has climbed from .177 to .261 in six days. The White Sox still share the major leagues’ best record with Houston at 13-6.

Nomar Garciaparra hit a go-ahead grand slam off Astros closer Brad Lidge for his first RBI with the Dodgers, sending Los Angeles to a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros. It was his sixth career slam and first since June 22, 2004, with Boston against Minnesota. Lidge had been 7-for-7 on save opportunities this year. The Dodgers snapped the Astros’ three-game winning streak. Houston had won seven of eight.

Cincinnati improved to 13-7 with its 4-2 win at Washington last night. It is the Reds’ best 20-game start since they were 14-6 in 1994. The Reds have won five of six. Washington fell to 1-5 at home this season, and the announced crowd of 19,264 was the smallest at 46,382-capacity RFK Stadium since baseball returned to the capital. If this trend continues, MLB is considering moving the franchise to Montreal.

Top of the 6th
THE LOE DOWN
Rangers pitcher Kameron Loe has a 7-foot boa constrictor he keeps in a cage in the home clubhouse. He likes to amuse teammates by feeding the snake rats and other snacks before games. The snake’s name is Angel, but Loe says what he’d really like to feed his pet is the Rally Monkey.

Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers, 3-2 ending it’s four-game winning streak. Niether Loe nor his boa pitched.

Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 4/25/2006
Thirty years ago today, this Cubs center fielder rescued the American flag from two trespassers who tried to set it on fire in the outfield at Dodger Stadium.
KID ACRONYM

BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA – 4/25/2006
Colorado’s Jose Mesa is the third reliever in major league history to register a 30-save season for three different teams. Name the other two.
Send your answers to Bill@billy-ball.com

Bottom of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM ANSWER – 4/25/06
Happy Birthday, Larry
PRINCE JOSEPH – Chipper Jones

BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA-ANSWER – 4/25/06
Three New York Yankee first baseman have won Gold Gloves. Don Mattingly is one and Joe Pepitone is another. Who is the third?
Chris Chambliss

TWO BONUS TRIVIA ANSWERS:
1) Who played RickVaughn in the movie, “Major League”? Charlie Sheen
2) Who sang the original hit, “Wild Thing”? The Troggs

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, the Cincinnati Reds usually go through about nine to ten dozen baseballs a game.

Top of the 9th
SHOPPACH A PROUD .100
In last Wednesday’s 18-9 Indians loss to the Orioles, rookie Kelly Shoppach, pinch-hitting for Victor Martinez, singled to center in the 9th inning. It was his first big-league hit and ended a 0-for-17 slump dating back to last year with Boston. “Any awards I’ve won in college or the minors, I’ve given to my parents,” said Shoppach. “I’m going to keep this ball for myself. When you’re growing up, you don’t dream about getting hits in the college or the minors. You dream about getting hits in the big leagues.”

Shoppach went 1-2 on Sunday and is now 2-20 on his career and 2-5 this season.

Bottom of the 9th
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Have a great day!

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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports, espn.com, sportsline.com, mlb.com and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.