Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-10-10

10/10/2006
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

Billy-Ball – From the diamond to your desktop…

Subscribe to Billy-Ball – it’s free – www.billy-ball.com

Happy birthday, Gene Tenace

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Top of the 1st
A BREAK IN THE ACTION
It feels great to be physically able to write a daily column again, however the basis of Billy-Ball is sharing commentary on what goes on on the field of play. Consequently, I would like to give you a complete report as to how the ground crews are preparing the fields of play for the action that will not resume until tomorrow.

Before baseball was totally dictated by television, I’m sure that the breaks in between games had a greater degree of flexibility, being able to adjust for series that ended early. But, I can see how fans and networks would be inconvenienced by this consequently we get baseball coverage highlighted by Joe Girardi’s interview with the Cubs.

Joe received a warm welcome by the Cubs, I don’t know what refreshments were served, but I’m sure they were tasty as well. I can tell you that the Cubs remain interested in San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy. The biggest concern in sign Bochy would be finding a cap that would fit him.

For those of you don’t know, Bochy has the biggest head in baseball. We are not talking ego, we are talking actual size. Cap sizes are measured in eights because the size differential between human heads are so minimal that an eight of an inch here or there will suffice. The average cap size is 7 3/8. Bruce Bochy’s cap size is Jack-o-lantern like 8. Bpcy was a catcher when he played and both his helmets were specially made in 1975, his first year in A ball with the Covington Astros. The batting lid was so huge that when he made a game-winning hit late in the ’86 season, his Padres teammates celebrated by filling it with ice and a six-pack.

It is interesting to note that the Cubs, like the San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals all have Lou Pinella high on their of potential managers, but nobody can really do anything about Pinella until the Yankee braintrust decide if Joe Torre is going to stay or go. Or if Mr. Torre himself decides to stay or go.

On can assume that if Torre is let go it is because the Yanks have worked out a deal with Pinella. I also assume that if Torre is let go, he will not jump back in immediately to the bench of some other team. The practice now appears to take a year or so off and let other job openings develop. To me the team that will most likely get Torre as their manager are the Boston Red Sox. This is not in any way for me calling for the head of Tito Francona, who does not deserve to be on the hot seat, it’s just a hunch.

So much for the Girardi story and the cascading rumors that follow it. Or was it the Torre story? Or the Pinella story?

Or was it simply too much copy to fill.

Back tomorrow with more or les of the same.

Top of the 2nd
POST-SEASON SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
AL DIVISION SERIES
Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 Tue. Oct. 3 @ MIN OAK 3, MIN 2
W: Zito L: Santana S: Street
2 Wed. Oct. 4 @ MIN OAK 5, MIN 2
W: Calero L: Neshek S: Street
3 Fri. Oct. 6 @ OAK OAK 8, MIN 3
W: Haren L: Radke
OAK wins 3-0

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 Tue. Oct. 3 @ NYY NYY 8, DET 4
W: Wang L: Robertson
2 Wed. Oct. 4 @ NYY Ppd.
2 Thu. Oct. 5 @ NYY DET 4, NYY 3
W: Walker L: Mussina S: Jones
3 Fri. Oct. 6 @ DET DET 6, NYY 0
W: Rogers L: Johnson
4 Sat. Oct. 7 @ DET DET 8, NYY 3
W: Bonderman L: Wright
DET wins 3-1
NL DIVISION SERIES

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 Tue. Oct. 3 @ SD STL 5, SD 1
W: Carpenter L: Peavy
2 Thu. Oct. 5 @ SD STL 2, SD 0
W: Weaver L: Wells S: Wainwright
3 Sat. Oct. 7 @ STL SD 3, STL 1
W: Young L: Suppan S: Hoffman
4 Sun. Oct. 8 @ STL STL 6, SD 2
W: Carpenter L: Williams
STL wins 3-1

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 Wed. Oct. 4 @ NYM NYM 6, LA 5
W: Mota L: Penny S: Wagner
2 Thu. Oct. 5 @ NYM NYM 4, LA 1
W: Glavine L: Kuo S: Wagner
3 Sat. Oct. 7 @ LA NYM 9, LA 5
W: Feliciano L: Broxton
NYM wins 3-0

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 Tue. Oct. 10 @ OAK 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Robertson vs. Zito
2 Wed.. Oct. 11 @ OAK TBD (FOX)
Rogers vs. Loaiza
3 Fri. Oct. 13 @ DET 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Haren vs. Verlander
4 Sat. Oct. 14 @ DET 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
Harden vs. Bonderman
5* Sun. Oct. 15 @ DET 4 p.m. ET (FOX)
Zito vs. Robertson
6* Tue. Oct. 17 @ OAK 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Rogers vs. Loaiza
7* Wed. Oct. 18 @ OAK 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Verlander vs. Haren

NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
St. Louis Cardinals vs. N.Y. Mets
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 Wed. Oct. 11 @ NYM TBD ET (FOX)
Weaver vs. Glavine
2 Thu. Oct. 12 @ NYM 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Suppan vs. Trachsel
3 Sat. Oct. 14 @ STL 4 p.m. ET (FOX)
Maine vs. Carpenter
4 Sun. Oct. 15 @ STL 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
5* Mon. Oct. 16* @ STL 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
6* Wed. Oct. 18* @ NYM 4 p.m. ET (FOX)
7* Thu. Oct. 19* @ NYM 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
* – If necessary

Top of the 3rd
NUMBERS
St. Louis is 20-5 all-time in the NL Division Series, a .800 winning percentage, which is the best of any team that has played at least nine Division series games.

Top of the 4th
A LITTLE HISTORY
In the only previous playoff matchup between the A’s and Tigers, Oakland won the ’72 American League Championship Series, three games to two, to reach the World Series and launch a streak of three titles.

The first player acquired by Billy Beane in 1997, when he took over as general manager of the A’s, was Kenny Rogers .

Top of the 5th
GREAT LINE
From Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, “The A’s are full of surprises.

Like the festive red, white and blue stuff hanging from the Coliseum railings. I thought the A’s didn’t believe in bunting.”

Top of the 6th
GOOGLE TO BUY A-ROD
Coming off their purchase of YouTube yesterday, Google has decided to purchase Alex Rodriguez from the New York Yankees. Originally just looking at buying ARod.com the owners of Google found that the Yankees were more than willing to sell all of Rodriguez, not just his website.

“This deal looks pretty compelling for Google,” said Standard & Poor’s analyst Scott Kessler. “Google has been doing a lot of things right, but they are not sitting on their laurels.”

“This is the next step in the evolution of the Internet,” Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said during a conference call Monday when asked about the propriety of purchasing human beings.

In other news, former Met Darryl Strawberry will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the opener between the mets and the cardinals. Tonight, Mrs. Strawberry will throw Darryl out of the house.

Top of the 7th
ON THIS DATE…
On October 10, 1964, Jim Bouton and Curt Simmons battled to a 1-1 tie through eight innings in Game Three. Mickey Mantle homers on Barney Schultz’s first pitch in the ninth, and the Yankees win, 2-1. Everybody who was watching or listening to that game “called” Mantle’s homer.

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
The Indians finished 78-84 despite outscoring their opponents by 88 runs over the course of the season. That’s the best run-differential in major league history for a team with a losing record. The previous best was plus-77, by the 1955 Reds, who went 75-79.

Top of the 9th
AND WHAT ABOUT UNCLE FLOYD?
Cliff Floyd’s injured left foot will be the focus when the New York Mets work out today.
Floyd reinjured his foot during Saturday’s first-round clincher at Los Angeles when he ran hard to score from first on a double. While the Mets described the injury then as a strained left Achilles’ tendon, Minaya said the team’s medical staff treated Floyd’s ankle on Monday. Right after the injury, Floyd was unsure whether he’d be able to play in the NLCS, which opens tomorrow night.

“He’s feeling better,” Minaya said Monday during a telephone conference call. “We won’t know about Cliff until he goes out there tomorrow in the workout and we get a feel for where’s he at.”

Floyd, bothered by the foot for much of the season, batted .444 (4-for-9) with a home run and two RBIs in the three games against the Dodgers. If Floyd is dropped, Endy Chavez appears to be the most likely replacement in the starting lineup, and Ricky Ledee or rookie Lastings Milledge would fill his roster spot. New York must finalize its 25 players for the second round by Wednesday morning.

Bottom of the 9th
VISIT-BILLY-BALL-WORLD
* Share your thoughts with the rest of Billy-Ball-World at the Forum – www.billy-ball-forum.com
* There’s always something new going on in the Billy-Ball-Bullpen, where blown saves are just a pitch away – http://billy-ball.com/bullpen.asp
* Catch up with Billy-Ball: http://billy-ball.seo-blog.org
* Add Billy-Ball to your Yahoo: http://add.my.yahoo.com/rss?url=http://www.seo-blog.org/5998_billy-ball/feeds/rss20
* Trivia questions are often from the creative minds of T. Scott Brandon
t_scott_brandon@msn.com and D. Bruce Brown bbrown8870@aol.com and you are always encouraged to get their e-mailings.

Have a great day!

Support Billy-Ball via PayPal (on the home page) or Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/paypage/PBANN9XCMMFSH. The donations are anonymous to protect those of you who are too embarrassed to be seen giving to such a seedy enterprise.

Your Amazon purchases support Billy-Ball – www.billy-ball.com

Do you want to snail mail?
Billy-Ball
258 Harvard Street, #145
Brookline, MA 02446

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.