Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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The only spin here is on a curveball
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Top of the 1st
I FIND IT ODD…
* That Oscar Villarreal of the Braves is 7-0.
* That the 1948 Boston Braves wore satin jerseys to improve visibility in night games.
* That John Lackey of the Angels has thrown 79.1 innings and 8 wild pitches.
* That Josh Beckett of the Red Sox has allowed 16 homers this season…all on the road.
* That Curt Schilling of the Red Sox has allowed 13 homers this season…all on the road.
* That Clarence Mitchell was not only the National League’s only lefthanded legal spitballer after 1920, but he was the guy who hit the line drive to Bill Wambsganss that turned into the only unassisted triple play in World Series history.
* That Hank Greenberg was born on 1/1/11.
* That Alfonso Soriano leads all National League outfielders with 10 assists.
* That on August 4, 1982, Joel Youngblood played for the Mets in a day game and singled off future Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins and then was traded to the Expos in 4th inning and took a plane to Philadelphia where he singled for his new team off of future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.
* That because Ichiro draws very few walks (18 so far), he already has 265 official at bats.
* That many people think that the 1985 World Series, between the Cardinals and the Royals, was the first all-Missouri series, but actually the first was in 1944 when the Cards and the Browns squared off.
* That the Braves 29-32 record is worse than people realize because they are 3-0 against the Cubs and 6-1 against the Marlins.
* That on April 22, 1959, the White Sox, scored 11 runs in the 7th inning on three errors, 10 walks, a HBP, a stolen base, and one hit, a single.
* That from 2001-05, Curt Schilling had just 26 no-decisions in 137 starts.
* That yesterday Orlando Hernandez threw a complete game victory over the Diamondbacks. The last pitcher with a complete game win over a team he had pitched for earlier that season was Woody Williams, who did it for the Cardinals against the Padres in 2001.
* That Steve Finley has 316 stolen bases and 299 home runs and Reggie Sanders has 301 stolen bases and 299 home runs. Don’t wake me when they become members of the 300-300 club.
* That surely you knew that Reggie Sanders full name is Reginald Laverne Sanders
* That Alicia Hollowell led Arizona to its 7th National Championship on Tuesday in the Women’s College World Series by throwing her third consecutive shutout. In six games, she fanned 64 batters to break the WCWS record for strikeouts. Why haven’t the Yankees signed her?
* That Americans, Canadians and Puerto Ricans are eligible in the draft of first-year players, while everybody else can simply go to the highest bidder.
* That if you add a player’s at-bats, double plays, caught stealings, and sacrifice flies, then subtract their hits, you get a statistic called Outs Created and that Omar Moreno holds the record with 560 Outs Created in the 1980 season. The only five-time member of this club is Cal Ripken, Jr.
* That Jason Grimsley was 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA in 19 appearances this year for Arizona and that’s with “performance enhancing” drugs.
Top of the 2nd
Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer, and first-place Cincinnati extended its best streak in seven years, beating the Chicago Cubs, 7-1, for its eighth straight victory, their longest streak since they won 10 in a row in 1999, the last time they made a run at the postseason. Cincinnati lost a one-game playoff to the Mets for the NL wild card that year.
The Reds opened the month of June five games behind St. Louis in the NL Central, but jumped a half-game ahead of the idle Cardinals with their latest win. At 36-24, the Reds are 12 games over .500 for the first time since June 6, 2004.
Bronson Arroyo (8-2) beat the Cubs for the third time this season, and is now 4-0 in six starts at Great American Ball Park. Arroyo leads the staff in victories, and his earned run average of 2.31 is the league’s second-best.
Chicago has lost three in a row and have lost 11 of their last 16 overall, falling 12 1/2 games out of first place. At 23-36, they’ve matched their season low mark of 13 games under .500.
Top of the 3rd
NOT ABOUT B*NDS
This is about ESPN who has cancelled “Bonds on Bonds.” In a statement, ESPN said: “B*nds’ representatives wanted creative control for the final episode, which Tollin/Robbins Productions (the company that produced the show) and ESPN have been unwilling to give throughout the project.”
In addition, B*nds refused to wear a microphone claiming “he’s no squealer.”
Top of the 4th
STINKING OUT THE JOINT?
If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, this may be the time. On June 27, the Blue Jays host the Washington Nationals and it’s Chacin Cologne Night. The first 10,000 fans exiting Rogers Centre will receive a sample of “Chacin Cologne.” The cologne samples will come in a 1.75 inch vial, and the actual fragrance will be personally designed by Gustavo Chacin, Gord Stellick and Don Landry that smells of warm, spicy, citrus, and a bit of amber.
I’m waiting for Bartolo Cologne.
Top of the 5th
ROCKY HITTING BETTER THAN EVER
Harry Robelen, a 61-year-old New Orleans resident, used one of Ron Swoboda’s autographed bats to fend off an attacker in his home which doubles as a sports memorabilia shop. Robelen, a Baptist minister who was born in New York, said the would-be thief arrived at his home at around 10 a.m. on May 21. The man walked around the shop, then asked if Robelen had any baseball jerseys. Robelen said he had one in the back and turned around to find it. The man followed, and began striking Robelen with a metal pipe and demanding money. Robelen grabbed the Swoboda bat and the attacker took off running.
Swoboda, who played for the Mets from 1965 through 1971, is working for a minor league team in New Orleans lives with his wife, Cecilia. They have two grown sons and six grandchildren.
“When you’re a .242 lifetime hitter, it’s just nice to know someone finally put your bat to good use,” said Swoboda.
Top of the 6th
ANOTHER REASON WHY WE LOVE MEREDITH VIERA
Think you will miss the sassy Katie Couric on the Today Show? Don’t worry you will have the inquiring mind of Meredith Viera who interviewed Mike Piazza in the Mets locker room and asked him, “Who has the biggest bat in here?”
Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 6/9/2006
Happy birthday to this bespectacled former outfielder and manager
BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA – 6/9/2006
Who gave up Hank Aaron’s final home run?
Send your answers to Bill@billy-ball.com
Bottom of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM ANSWER – 6/8/06
RIP to the pitcher who finally looked back
A PIGLET ACHES – SATCHEL PAIGE
BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA-ANSWER – 6/8/06
Who did Willie Mays hit his first home run off of?
Willie Mays hit his first Major League home run off of Warren Spahn.
Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
In 1913, when the St. Louis Browns concluded spring workouts, they didn’t have enough money to pay the rent they owed on the Montgomery, Ala., ballpark where they’d trained. So they gave the local minor league team a rookie infielder named Clyde Ellsworth “Buzzy” Wares to satisfy the bill.
Top of the 9th
JULIO FRANCO’S TEAMMATES
We’re tracking Julio Franco’s career year by year using his teammates as a frame of reference.
In 1990, with the Rangers, Franco’s teammates included Ruben Sierra, Harold Baines, Charlie Hough, and Kevin Brown.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Bottom of the 9th
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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.