Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-9-19

9/19/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Happy birthday, Duke Snider

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Top of the 1st
ARRRRGH!!
Ahoy, me scallywags, wenches, rascals and beauties! Ye’ll be wantin’ ter know that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

So shiver your timbers and learn 13 things about yer friends from Pittsburghhhhh:
1. The last time the Pirates finished over .500 was in 1992 when Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot ran for U.S. President as an independent, along with George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
2. The last time the Pirates were in the World Series was in 1979 when Rod Stewart asked the musical question “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” No remains the answer.
3. The last time the Pirates finished under .400 was in 2001. Appropriately enough that was the same year that Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium was imploded.
4. The last time a Pirate led the league in batting was when Freddy Sanchez hit .344 in 2006, the same year Helen Mirrin won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “The Queen.”
5. The last time a Pirate led the league in homers was when Willie Stargell hit .414 in 1971. On January 18, of that year, Ivan Koloff pinned Bruno Sammartino to win the WWF World Title, ending the longest reign ever of a pro wrestling heavyweight championship.
6. The last time a Pirate led the league in runs batted in was when Ralph Kiner drove home 127 in 1949. The first secretary of defense James V. Forrestal resigned in March of that year suffering from nervous exhaustion and depression. He entered Bethesda Naval Hospital, and jumped from a window there May 22, dying at age 57
7. The last time a Pirate led the league in being hit by a pitch was when Craig Wilson was kerplunked 30 times in 2004. Attorney General John Ashcroft resigned following the November 2 election, succeeded by Alberto Gonzales.
8. The last time a Pirate pitcher led the league in lowest earned run average was in 1977 when John Candelaria had an ERA of 2.34. Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 831.17 on December 31, down from 1004.65 at the end of 1976.
9. The last time a Pirate pitcher led the National League in wins was in 1990 when Doug Drabek had 22. That year, oil prices soared following Iraq’s seizure of Kuwait. US gasoline prices as of August 25 were $1.33 per gallon.
10. The last time a Pirate reliever led the league in saves was in 1971 when Dave Giusti had 30. That year, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on July 1 and it lowered the U.S. voting age from 21 to 18.
11. The last time a Pirate pitcher led the league in strikeouts was in 1964 when Bob Veale had 250. On February 9, 1964 the Beatles appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
12. The last time a Pirate hurler led the league in losses was in 2005 when Kip Wells had 18. On August 29 of that year, Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast.
13. The last time the Pirates had the oldest player in the National League was when Diomedes Olivo pitched for them at the ripe old age of 44 in 1963. On June 26 in a speech in West Berlin, President Kennedy declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

Today, we all can declare, with a swagger and a sneer, that we’re pirates!

Arrgh!

Top of the 2nd
POST HASTE
As we hurry to the end of the season, we rush to judgment:

American League
Eastern W L % GB Home Away Div Streak
Boston 90 62 .592 — 47-28 43-34 40-28 Lost 3
NY Yankees 87 64 .576 2 1/2 49-27 38-37 32-29 Won 3
Toronto 76 75 .503 13 1/2 46-31 30-44 29-32 Won 2
Baltimore 64 86 .427 25 32-42 32-44 32-33 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 63 89 .414 27 35-40 28-49 26-37 Lost 2

Central W L % GB Home Away Div Streak
Cleveland 89 62 .589 — 48-28 41-34 45-23 Won 2
Detroit 83 69 .546 6 1/2 41-34 42-35 31-31 Lost 2
Minnesota 74 77 .490 15 39-38 35-39 26-40 Won 2
Kansas City 65 85 .433 23 1/2 33-43 32-42 25-36 Won 1
Chicago WSox 65 86 .430 24 34-41 31-45 32-29 Lost 1

Western W L % GB Home Away Div Streak
LA Angels 89 62 .589 — 51-25 38-37 28-19 Won 2
Seattle 80 70 .533 8 1/2 44-31 36-39 25-24 Won 2
Oakland 74 79 .484 16 39-38 35-41 23-30 Lost 3
Texas 70 81 .464 19 42-32 28-49 24-27 Lost 2

National League
Eastern W L % GB Home Away Div Streak
NY Mets 83 67 .553 — 40-34 43-33 30-31 Lost 5
Philadelphia 82 69 .543 1 1/2 43-32 39-37 35-27 Won 6
Atlanta 78 73 .517 5 1/2 40-36 38-37 37-31 Won 3
Washington 68 83 .450 15 1/2 39-37 29-46 27-34 Won 2
Florida 65 86 .430 18 1/2 32-42 33-44 29-35 Lost 3

Central W L % GB Home Away Div Streak
Chicago Cubs 79 73 .520 — 40-37 39-36 39-33 Lost 1
Milwaukee 78 72 .520 — 47-27 31-45 41-34 Won 4
St. Louis 70 80 .467 8 40-36 30-44 37-33 Lost 3
Cincinnati 69 82 .457 9 1/2 38-37 31-45 35-37 Won 1
Pittsburgh 66 85 .437 12 1/2 35-40 31-45 36-38 Lost 4
Houston 65 86 .430 13 1/2 39-38 26-48 29-42 Lost 2

Western W L % GB Home Away Div Streak
Arizona 85 67 .559 — 47-30 38-37 32-33 Won 1
San Diego 83 67 .553 1 45-31 38-36 38-28 Won 5
Colorado 79 72 .523 5 1/2 46-30 33-42 32-29 Won 3
Los Angeles 79 72 .523 5 1/2 41-34 38-38 31-30 Lost 3
San Francisco 67 84 .444 17 1/2 36-38 31-46 26-39 Lost 1

x – clinched playoff berth
y – clinched division title

Major League Baseball Wild Card Standings

National League
Team W L PCT GB
San Diego 83 67 .553 —
Philadelphia 82 69 .543 1.5
Colorado 79 72 .523 4.5
Los Angeles 79 72 .523 4.5
Milwaukee 78 72 .520 5.0
Chicago 79 73 .520 5.0
Atlanta 78 73 .517 5.5
American League
Team W L PCT GB
New York 87 64 .576 —
Detroit 83 69 .550 4.5
Seattle 80 70 .533 6.5

AL EAST
Headline: No fat lady in sight
* J. Burnett came within one out of a complete game and Russ Adams drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run double in the 8th inning, off the self-destructing Eric Gagne, leading the Toronto Blue Jays past the Boston Red Sox, 4-3. Boston has lost three straight and is 1-4 in its last five games, two of those losses coming via blown saves by the bullpen. Boston led, 2-1, in the 8th when Frank Thomas drew a two-out walk off Gagn