Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-10-25

10/25/2006
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Happy birthday, Pedro Martinez

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Top of the 1st
CARPENTER SHOCKER
(With all due respect to the brilliant Andy Borowitz)
Last night, Chris Carpenter threw an outstanding eight-inning three-hitter in the Cardinals’ 5-0 win in Game 3 of the World Series. The win gave the Cards a 2-1 edge over the Tigers.

But today controversy reigns – How did Chris Carpenter do it? Unlike the Tigers Kenny Rogers who was outstanding for Detroit in Game 2, Carpenter performed this feat smudge free.

“The way he dominated tonight … I definitely think it would be tough for another pitcher to top that,” said Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein, “unless you threw a no-hitter.” Or David, unless Chris Carpenter was totally covered in a mysterious, clear substance that had Super-Glue like tendencies.

Carpenter threw only 82 pitches in eight innings of work, not reaching a three-ball count on any of them which leads me to suspect that Carpenter had iron microfibers on his pitching hand and catcher Yadier Molina had a magnet in his glove. This way all Molina had to do was place his glove directly in the strike zone and Carpenter’s ball would fly in that direction, no matter where he threw it. This would explain why Carpenter only made it past ball one to nine of the Tigers and threw 15 first-pitch strikes.

I just want to know why Jim Leyland was not out there complaining to the umpires about Carpenter. Could it be that Old Jim had eschewed his usual Marlboros for the wacky weed? I mean his players were practically begging him to investigate, “He was locating the ball great,” said Tigers leadoff man Curtis Granderson, who went 0-for-4. “A lot of late movement. I hit a changeup, and I didn’t even know it was a changeup until afterwards. When a pitcher can do that — have guys second-guessing what pitch it was they just swung at — he’s going to be effective. And he did that all night.”

“And he did that all night.” Is that not ballplayer code for a man who has taken enough pharmaceuticals to keep him awake through an entire hideous episode of this season’s Saturday Night Live?

The Tigers didn’t stand much of a chance against Carpenter and did everything they could to make his life easier. Carpenter needed just four pitches to get three outs in the 2nd inning and just four Tigers extended an at-bat beyond four pitches in any at bat in any inning.

This leads me to another theory: Carpenter is one of those guys like in the NBC show “Heroes.” On that show there are a bunch of characters who thought they were like everyone else… until they woke with incredible abilities. C’mon, does that not sound like Chris Carpenter? He was no great shakes against the Mets and now all of a sudden he’s Bob Gibson. On the show one guy can fly, a high school cheerleader is totally indestructible and there’s an artist who can paint the future. Now there’s a Carpenter who can pitch like hell.

According to the fine folks at Elias, Carpenter became the first Cardinals World Series starter to throw at least eight innings, allowing no walks and no more than three hits. Only two other pitchers over the last 20 World Series have had such performances: Greg Maddux (a nine-inning complete game) in Game 1 of the 1995 Series and Roger Clemens (eight innings) in Game 2 of the 2000 Series.

All of which leads me to believe that the big news coming from St. Louis today will be the “Great No-Smudge Controversy.”

In other news, Detroit manager Jim Leyland believes his players may be suffering from too much rest, consequently he plans to keep them all night until they reach the point of exhaustion.

Top of the 2nd
POST-SEASON SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
AL DIVISION SERIES
Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins
OAK wins 3-0

Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees
DET wins 3-1
NL DIVISION SERIES

St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres
STL wins 3-1

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets
NYM wins 3-0

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
DET wins 4-0

NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
St. Louis Cardinals vs. N.Y. Mets
STL wins 4-3

WORLD SERIES
STL vs. Detroit Tigers
Gm Date Site Time (TV)/Result
1 STL 7-2 @ Detroit WP – Reyes, LP – Verlander
2 DET 3-1 @ Detroit WP – Rogers, LP – Weaver
3 STL 5-0 @ STL WP – Carpenter, LP – Robertson
4 Wed. Oct. 25 @ STL 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Bonderman vs. Suppan
5 Thu. Oct. 26 @ STL 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
Verlnder vs. Reyes
6* Sat. Oct. 28 @ Detroit 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
7* Sun. Oct. 29 @ Detroit 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX)
* – If necessary

All games can be heard on ESPN Radio

Bottom of the 2nd
ST. LOUIS WEATHER FORECAST
* Today: Considerable cloudiness. Occasional rain showers developing this afternoon. High 49F. Winds SE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
* Tonight: Cloudy with periods of rain. Low 44F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around a half an inch.
* Tomorrow: Rain diminishing to a few showers by afternoon. High 52F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch.
* Tomorrow night: Periods of rain. A few rumbles of thunder possible late. Low 47F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
* Friday: Rain with a few rumbles of thunder. Highs in the low 50s and lows in the low 40s.

Top of the 3rd
GIRARDI A NO-GO
The Washington Post reported that Joe Girardi has eliminated himself as a candidate for the Nationals’ managerial job, saying he did not want to relocate his wife and three children, who are 7, 4 and 2 months.

“Do you know how badly I want to manage?” he said. “I want to manage so badly. But I don’t want to move my family a third time in three years.”

Upon hearing the news Massachusetts Senator John Kerry threw his hat into the ring.

Top of the 4th
DELGADO AN EXCELLENT CHOICE FOR CLEMENTE AWARD
The New York Mets star first baseman Carlos Delgado is the winner of the 2006 Roberto Clemente Award, given to the major league player who best combines community service with excellence on the field.

“This is a great honor for me,” Delgado said. “This is something really special, just because I’m Puerto Rican — 34 years after Roberto has passed, his legacy is still very much alive.” Delgado joined former Seattle star Edgar Martinez (2004) as the only players from Puerto Rico to win the Clemente Award. Players are eligible to win only once.

Billy-Ball favorite, Delgado, who wears No. 21 as a tribute to Clemente, was chosen from 30 nominees, one from each big league team. He joins a list of previous winners that includes 11 Hall of Famers, such as the late Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield.

“He’s an icon,” Delgado said. “I’m a fan before anything. When they talk about Clemente, I’m a fan. I [said], ‘When I grow up I want to be like that.'”

Just a couple of seasons ago, Delgado was scorned by some for refusing to stand on the field for the playing of “God Bless America” in protest of the U.S.-Iraq war. I only wish more of our elected officials had the courage to do what Delgado did at that time.

“I just go on with my life. I think I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s opinion. I have my opinions, and I try to be a good citizen, it’s as simple as that,” Delgado said.

Five years ago, Delgado started Extra Bases, a charity based in Puerto Rico designed to help underprivileged children. He has donated $500,000 to the foundation. For the past two years, he also sponsored two four-year college scholarships and trips to New York for top students in Puerto Rico.

On the field, Delgado batted .265 with 38 home runs and 114 RBI during his first season in New York, and surpassed 400 career homers. He also hit .351 with four homers, three doubles and 11 RBI in the first postseason of his 14-year career. Delgado, who hit four homers in a game in 2003 with Toronto, is one of only four players in major league history to hit 30 home runs in 10 straight seasons.

“I’m blessed with health and energy and passion for the game of baseball, and also to help children,” Delgado said. “So once again, this is a very special day for me and my family and the whole Extra Bases family. Everybody at home is pretty fired up, very happy. We had a hard time not telling everybody when we found out last week.”

Delgado is scheduled to have surgery again next Monday to repair tennis elbow in his left arm.

Carlos Delgado is truly a baseball hero. And that’s no joke.

Top of the 5th
A LEFT-HANDED COMPLIMENT
Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo’s efforts to enter the baseball Hall of Fame is getting a pitch from Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin. In a letter to the Hall’s Veterans Committee, Durbin says Santo was great — and probably would have been better if he hadn’t played for 15 seasons with diabetes and also played for the Cubs.

Santo is among 27 players on next year’s Veterans Committee ballot for the Hall of Fame. Their decision will be announced Feb. 27. In 2005, he fell eight votes short of election to the Hall by the Veterans Committee vote.

“We can’t know how much better Ron Santo’s statistics might have been had he not played his entire career with a life- threatening illness, in an era that suppressed the long ball, for a team that, God bless them, never once saw post-season action,” wrote Durbin.

I hope that Senator Durbin is spending most of his time fighting for the re-election of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich

Top of the 6th
WHY WE LIKE ANDY VAN SLYKE
Detroit coach Andy Van Slyke is really pleased that neither the Mets and Yankees made it to the Series.

“It’s a great baseball story, absent the New York teams, which some people are going to find hard to accept,” said Van Slyke. “It’s well worth sitting through every commercial with Tommy Lasorda.”

Top of the 7th
ON THIS DATE…
On October 25, 1986, the New York Mets rallied for three runs with two outs in the 10th inning against the Boston Red Sox to win 6-5 and push the World Series to a decisive Game 7. The tie-breaking run scored on Boston first baseman Bill Buckner’s error on Mookie Wilson’s slow grounder.

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Ivan Rodriguez is now in an 0-23 streak, the second-longest streak of that sort within a single postseason since the American and National League champions first met in 1903. Kelly Gruber went hitless in 23 straight at-bats with Toronto in 1992, and Bobby Bonilla suffered through a run of 24 consecutive hitless at-bats with Baltimore in 1996.
Rodriguez’s longest hitless streak consisted of 21 at-bats from June 29 to July 5, 1993.

Bottom of the 8th
FROM DAVID LETTERMAN
Top Ten Signs a Baseball Player Is Cheating
10. Tested positive for uranium
9. Always asking fans for clean urine
8. After each win, receives congratulatory phone call from Balco founder victor Conte
7. Name on back of his uniform is “Bonds.”
6. You can find him in the club house corking himself.
5. Distracts opponents by throwing out the frozen head of Ted Williams.
4. Somehow got 3 RBI’s during the seventh-inning stretch.
3. You haven’t seen someone with that much Vaseline on them since the last Paris Hilton video
2. Pete Rose called him a disgrace to the game.
1. His nickname is “Needle (Butt).”

Top of the 9th
LOOK WHAT’S UNDER THE TREE
Royals third baseman Mark Teahen, who missed the last month of the season following shoulder surgery, is rehabbing and making progress in his recovery. “This past week I started doing strength exercises, so that’s coming back pretty quick. If there are no setbacks or anything like that, I should be able to throw full bore before Christmas the way I see it.”

This is good news for the Royals who should enjoy unprecedented success in games from Christmas to the start of Spring Training.

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.