Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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The only spin here is on a curveball
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Top of the 1st
THEY SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY
I wasn’t going to write today but my goodness look at the birthdays:
For you Hall of Fame fans, it’s Ernie Banks and Nolan Ryan’s birthday.
For you Royals fans, it’s KC of KC and the Sunshine Band’s birthday.
For you Bob Newhart (and gravelly voice) fans, its Suzanne Pleshette’s birthday.
For you Sex Pistols (and Kansas City Royals) fans, it’s Johnny Rotten’s birthday.
For you Playground 10 fans, it’s Etta’s birthday.
For the literati, it’s Norman Mailer’s birthday.
For all you ”Arrested Development” fans, it’s Portia De Rossi’s birthday.
For all you hunk fans, it’s Justin Timberlake’s birthday.
And, Hello Dolly, it’s Carol Channing’s birthday.
And happy day to all of you Yuniesky Betancourt fans as you celebrate his birthday as well.
Top of the 2nd
TODAY IS JACKIE ROBINSON’S BIRTHDAY
Jackie would have been 88 today. Might I suggest that one way to celebrate this great man’s birthday is to jot down on your calendar that on Showtime tomorrow night is the premiere of “Pride Against Prejudice – The Larry Doby Story.” Doby is one of baseball’s least appreciated heroes. Doby was signed by the Cleveland Indians by owner Bill Veeck in 1947 (son Mike Veeck appears in the special), eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Dodgers in the National League, and became the first black to appear in the AL. Might I add, that suffered through many of the same taunts, indignities and racial slurs that Robinson did without any of the glory. Brilliant sports documentarian Bud Greenspan put this together and should be worth viewing.
Top of the 3rd
STILL GOT THE SPARK
Sparky Anderson commenting on Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame said, “”I think if he doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame then what are we doing with it? If you have more hits than Ty Cobb, you belong in the Hall of Fame.”
Commenting on Mark McLiar and his 583 home runs, 1,626 career hits and his .263 lifetime average, Anderson said, “I can honestly say this, I have never looked at his records other than I know he has 500 or more home runs. The other part I don’t believe is really startling.”
Top of the 4th
WHAT WERE THEY EVEN THINKING ABOUT?
As intimated in the last Billy-Ball, Todd Helton is not going to the Red Sox, but you can see why the Rockies were pushing the deal..
Year: 2003. Salary: $10.6 million. Numbers: Hit .358 with 33 home runs and 117 RBI.
Year: 2004. Salary: $11.6 million. Numbers: Hit .347 with 32 home runs and 96 RBI.
Year: 2005. Salary: $12.6 million. Numbers: Hit .320 with 20 home runs and 79 RBI.
Year: 2006. Salary: $16.6 million. Numbers: Hit .302 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI.
Salary remaining on contract
2007: $16.6 million
2008: $16.6 million
2009: $16.6 million
2010: $16.6 million
2011: $19.1 million
Top of the 5th
KING OF THE DODGERS
Charles Littleton, 22, was tasered by police after refusing to remove his Los Angeles Dodgers cap at a Saginaw, Mich., City Council meeting last November, despite a rule banning hats for men inside, and then resisted police when they tried to remove him from the meeting resulting in a broken finger for Saginaw Chief of Police Gerald H. Cliff. “It means more than just a hat,” he said of the cap. “It’s like my crown. It’s like asking a king to remove his crown.”
Top of the 6th
PLAYERS WHO TALK CRAZY
Tom Glavine on his status for 2008, “I think that if, knock on wood, I stay healthy and I win my 300th game, then I think it becomes really hard for me to pitch next year,” Glavine told the New York Post. “But if I do all that and I have a good year, if, like last year, I win 15 or more games, then it’s going to be hard to walk away…It’s going to take something bad happening or something really, really good happening for me to pitch next year.” Okay, Tom now say it again for me real slowly because what I think you said is, uh, I have no idea.
Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the now departed Alfonso Soriano. “Our lineup is going to be just as effective as it was last year,” he told the Washington Post. Zimmerman went on to say that he will be able to drive in just as many runs with Felipe Lopez and Cristian Guzman hitting in front of him. “If I’m hitting third and I have those two guys in front of me, I’m going to be a pretty happy guy,” he added. Ryan is also a consultant to the Bush administration.
Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson on his second baseman Jose Castillo, “Everything I said that night, I’ve been saying to Jose for three years. And I don’t regret it,” Wilson. “But I do want people to understand,” Wilson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “because here we are, all of a sudden, with a chance for the Pittsburgh Pirates to be competitive with the lineup we have…(Castillo) can be a Jeff Kent-type of offensive player and Pokey Reese with the glove. Jose can be better than both, actually. He has that type of potential.”
Jeff Weaver is now with the Mariners, his sixth team in six years.
“Change is good, so I’m glad to be here to start something of a new venture,” Weaver said. Good lord, Jeff, change is good but big dollars are even better. You’re not gonna get that long-term big contract again until you stop stinking out the joint and start pitching consistently well, not just when people have given up on you.
Top of the 7th
WHAT YEAR IS THIS?
Former Tigers and Phillies pitcher and current senile Senator from Kentucky, Jim Bunning has announced that he will seek re-election — in 2010.
Bunning narrowly defeated state Sen. Dan Mongiardo, D-Hazard, in 2004 to win a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate. During that campaign, rumors about Bunning’s health were rampant, and the senator fueled them by limiting his campaign appearances.
Bunning, 75, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, expects his age to be a factor in 2010, and he made his early announcement to dispel rumors that he would retire. If he’s re-elected, he will be 79 when he is sworn in to his third term, and 85 at the end of that term at which point he plans to audition for “American Idol.”
Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Never, ever, never.
Harmon Killebrew played 2,435 games and was never ejected from any of them. He also never laid down a successful bunt.
Top of the 9th
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs announced that all 72 of their home games will be televised; it’s believed to be the first time a minor league baseball franchise has ever had all its home games on TV.
IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes, ”We want to offer our community and fans as many major league amenities as possible,” said in a statement.
Do you think you might start by considering a change of names?
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.