Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-4-6

4/6/2006
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on a curveball

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Top of the 1st
EARL, BARRY, AND THE O’S
Periodically this season we will look at selected notes about an organization through the eyes of their media guide and today seems a very logical day to cast a glance at the Baltimore Orioles. Why the O’s I hope you are asking. Well, on April 6, 1979, Baltimore manager Earl Weaver picked up his 1,000th career victory in the Orioles opening day victory over Chicago.

Weaver’s teams won at least 90 games in 11 of his 14 full seasons, excluding the strike-shortened 1981 campaign and 1979 was not an exception. That win picked up by Jim Palmer was the first of 102 won that season by the Orioles. The Orioles won the AL pennant but lost to the Pirates in seven games in the World Series.

That momentous victory for Weaver must have been a good birthday present for Barry Levenson, the successful writer-director-producer of such hits as Diner, Rain Man, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Wag the Dog. Levinson is a proud Baltimore native who sits on the Orioles Board of Directors and turns 64 today. Levinson is also a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., which proudly boasts Billy-Ball, Jerry and Irv amongst other notable alumni.

I’m sure you know that Peter Angelos is the CEO of the Orioles, but you may not know that Tom Clancy, the author of numerous #1 bestsellers including “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger” serves as the Orioles’ Vice Chairman Of Community Projects & Public Affairs.

The Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Baltimore Orioles, Inc. support many civic and charitable organizations. Since the ownership group headed by Peter Angelos purchased the team, the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Baltimore Orioles, Inc. have donated $7.75 million to support various organizations in the Orioles community. That comes out to about $600,000 a year.

The Orioles, from their inception in 1954 (they were the St. Louis Browns) have a home record of 2,235-1,858 .546 and a road record of 2,045-2,075 .496. They have had two homes in Baltimore at Memorial Stadium they were 1686-1310 .563, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, they have been 549-548 .500.

Four different Orioles have had at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the same season:
1969 – Paul Blair (HR-26, SB-20)
1975 – Don Baylor (HR-25, SB-32)
1976 – Reggie Jackson (HR-27, SB-28)
1992 – Brady Anderson (HR-21, SB-53)
1996 – Brady Anderson (HR-50, SB-21)
1999 – Brady Anderson (HR-24, SB-36)

Only Brooks Robinson–Jul 15, ’60–at Chicago [5 hits…2 singles] and Cal Ripken–May 6, ’84–at Texas [4 hits] have hit for the cycle.

The O`s have out-grand slammed their opponents, 210-159, in their 52-year history (including post-season). Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally are the only 2 major league pitchers to hit grand slams in post-season play, and both did it in `70 with the Orioles. Milt Pappas gave up 6 bases loaded homers as an Oriole, most by any O’s pitcher while Jim Palmer never allowed a slam in 558 games spanning nearly 4,000 innings.

Although they have not had one in the past 21 seasons, Oriole pitchers have produced 24 20-win seasons in the past 37 years (starting in ’68), more than any other major league club. The A’s (17), Yankees (14), White Sox (12), Braves (12), Red Sox (11), and Dodgers (10) are the only other teams with more than nine in that time.

Oriole pitchers have thrown five no-hitters:
* Hoyt Wilhelm, vs NYY, 9/20/58
* Steve Barber – Stu Miller, vs Det, 4/30/671 [O’s lost 2-1 when Detroit scored twice in top of 9th inn on wild pitch and error]
* Tom Phoebus, vs Bos, 4/27/68 (H)
* Jim Palmer, vs Oak, 8/13/69 (H)
* Bob Milacki – Mike Flanagan – Mark Williamson – Gregg Olson, vs Oak 7/13/91 (A)

Yankees Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, who retired in 1967, has beaten the Orioles more than any other pitcher. He was 30-16 against the Birds and is one of 14 pitchers to have posted 20 or more wins lifetime against the O’s. “Catfish” Hunter, the 2nd biggest lifetime winner vs. Baltimore, also is the biggest lifetime loser (24 losses). At one time, Hunter had a 23-16 mark vs. the O’s but lost 8 of his last 11 decisions against them from ’76 thru ’79 to finish 26-24.

The Orioles have executed 12 triple plays and hit into 16 in 52 seasons.

The Orioles have won a total of 58 Gold Gloves, more than any American League team since the awards were created.

Two sets of brothers and five father-son combinations have played for the Orioles. The brother combos are the Ripkens, Cal (1981-2001) and Bill (1987-92 & 1996); and catcher Dick Brown (’63-’65) and his brother Larry (’73), an infielder. The father-son duos are third baseman Bob Kennedy (’54-’55) and his son, catcher Terry (’87-’88); outfielders Don Buford (’68-’72) and his son Damon (’93-’95); pitchers John O’Donoghue Sr. (’68) and John Jr. (’93); outfielders Dave May (’67-’70) and his son, Derrick (1999); and outfielders Tim Raines Sr. and his son Tim Jr. (2001).

The Orioles have played host to two All-Star Games…The 25th was held at Memorial Stadium in 1958, and the 64th All-Star Game was held at Camden Yards in 1993.

Orioles righty Moe Drabowsky struck out 11 Dodgers in relief in Game 1 of the 1966 World Series, the only reliever to fan more than 9 batters in a World Series game. Harvey Haddix holds the Orioles regular season record for strikeouts by a reliever in a game, also with 11, on June 15, 1964 vs. Chicago.

The 11 modern Orioles in the Hall of Fame are: Robin Roberts (’76, 87%) George Kell (’83, VCS+) Jim Palmer (’90, 93%) Lee MacPhail (’98, VCS+) Frank Robinson (’82, 89%) Luis Aparicio (’84, 85%) Reggie Jackson (’93, 94%) Eddie Murray (’03, 85%) Brooks Robinson (’83, 92%) Hoyt Wilhelm (’85, 84%) Earl Weaver (’96, VCS+)
+Veterans’ Committee Selection

To contact the Orioles by mail:
333 West Camden Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

By phone: 410-685-9800

On-line: www.orioles.com

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT
Chairman of the Board/Chief Executive Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Peter G. Angelos
Vice Chairman/Community Projects & Public Affairs . . . . . . . . . . .Thomas L. Clancy, Jr.
Vice Chairman/Chief Operating Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joseph E. Foss
Executive Vice President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .John P. Angelos
BASEBALL OPERATIONS
Executive Vice President/Baseball Operations . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mike Flanagan
Vice President/Baseball Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jim Duquette
Asst. GM/Director, Baseball Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Scott Proefrock
Asst. GM/Director, Professional, Major League and International Scouting . .John Stockstill
Traveling Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Philip E. Itzoe
Executive Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Lange
Baseball Operations Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kevin Ibach
Player Development
Asst. GM/Director, Minor League Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .David Stockstill
Assistant Director, Minor League Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tripp Norton
Administrative Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Maria Arellano
Scouting
Director/Scouting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Joe Jordan

Last night, Jay Gibbons homered and drove in four runs, as Baltimore defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 16-6. As a result, the Orioles are 2-0 for the first time since 1997 and stand alone atop the AL East after totaling 25 runs on 30 hits, including seven home runs, in two wins over Tampa Bay.

Top of the 2nd
ROLLINS KEEP ROLLIN’
Jimmy Rollins stretched his hitting streak to 38 games last night with a double in the 1st off of the Cardinal’s Mark Mulder. Rollins grounded a 1-0 pitch from down the left-field line to extend his hitting streak, the longest in the majors since 1987, when Paul Molitor hit safely in 39 consecutive games. No player has started a season with a hitting streak of at least 20 games since Steve Garvey did it in 1978 (21 games).

Joe DiMaggio holds the record for longest hitting streak in the majors and in the AL with his 56-game streak in 1941. Pete Rose (1978) and Willie Keeler (1897) share the NL mark at 44 games. However, Keeler got a hit in his final game of 1896, so his run of 45 games overall is the longest hitting streak spanning two seasons. The old Phillies franchise record of 31 was set by Ed Delahanty in 1899. Rollins’ last game without a hit was Aug. 22, when he went 0-for-4 against San Francisco.

Meanwhile the Phils keep losing as Yadier Molina’s two-out RBI single off Tom Gordon in the 9th, gave the Cards a 4-3 victory.

Top of the 3rd
JUNIOR TOPS YANKS AND CUBS
Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 537th career homer moving him past Mickey Mantle for 12th on the career list. It also provided his 1,538th RBI, moving him ahead of Joe DiMaggio for 31st on that list, which doesn’t include anything before 1920, when RBI became a statistic.

Bronson Arroyo pitched into the seventh inning and hit his first career homer in his first at-bat, leading the Reds to an 8-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The only other pitcher to homer in his first at-bat after moving from the AL to the NL was Dave Eiland (April 10, 1992).

Top of the 4th
IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE (BIG) HOUSE?
Dwight Gooden was sentenced to a year and a day in a Florida state prison today for violating his probation by using cocaine. Mr. Gooden was on three years’ probation for trying to evade a police officer who stopped him on suspicion of drunken driving. In pleading guilty last November to a felony count of fleeing the police, a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and to an unrelated charge of hitting his girlfriend, he apologized to the court. But he admitted on March 22 that he had violated his probation by using cocaine, the substance that first started his downward spiral two decades ago.

Doc will be sent to a prison with a substance-abuse treatment program and could be freed in seven or eight months with credit for time already served (pitching for the Devil Rays).

Top of the 5th
NOT THAT IT MATTERS
Not that it matters, but Steven Novers who’s been covering sports gaming in Las Vegas since 1984 says that the four players for fantasy players to avoid at all costs are: Mike Lowell (no bat speed); Bronson Arroyo (will be an ERA and ratio killer in a hitter’s park); Dontrelle Willis (Marlins figure to be the worst team in the NL and Willis, will go up against all the opposing aces); and Troy Glaus (extremely injury prone and his batting average can sink you).

Now he tells me.

Top of the 6th
PRIDE GOETH BEFORE THE FALL
It had been expected that former Boston Red Sox and Brockton Rox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd would be joining the Can-Am League Nashua Pride for the 2006 season. Now it appears that he will not.

Pride manager Butch Hobson confirmed yesterday that talks with the former Red Sox pitcher, which have been going on for the past few weeks, have broken off, “Oil Can is going through some life issues that are very difficult right now,” Hobson said. “It was best for us to move in another direction.”

Boyd, 46, was indicted in a federal court in Mississippi of five counts of threatening to injure. He is accused of making five telephone calls threatening a former girlfriend and her son, and faces a sentence of up to 25 years in prison if convicted. The case has not been settled.

“We wanted to make sure Oil Can could take care of some things that are pending,” Hobson said. “Dennis has a lot of issues that prohibit him from being able to focus on (playing baseball).”

Perhaps the Can will be facing Doc in an intramural game.

Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 4/6/2006
On this date in 1977, the Seattle Mariners made their debut losing to this pitcher and the Angels, 7-0.
AN ANT FAN ARK

BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA – 4/6/2006
Who hit the only walk-off home run in Reds Opening Day history?
Send your answers to Bill@billy-ball.com

Bottom of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM ANSWER – 4/5/06
On this date in 1998, he won the Arizona Diamondbacks’ first game.
DENY BEANS – Andy Benes who defeated the Giants, 3-2 outpitching Shawn Estes.

BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA-ANSWER – 4/5/06
What did Frank Robinson do in the first at-bat of his major league debut at Crosley Field on Opening Day 1956?
He doubled off the centerfield wall off of Vinegar Bend Mizell

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
What a difference a year makes…Washington erased a 4-0 deficit in its 9-5, 10-inning victory at New York. Last season, the Mets were 25-0 in home games in which they led by at least four runs.

Top of the 9th
MORE ON B*NDS
Have you seen the latest New Yorker cover?
Check it out at http://billy-ball.com/bullpen.asp

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.