Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-10-19

10/19/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Friday, October 19, 2007

Top of the 1st
BASEBALL TO THE 18TH POWER
Yesterday, two more sobriquets were entrenched in our memory bank:

“The former Yankee skipper”

“Postseason ace”

I am, of course, talking about Joe Torre and Josh Beckett.

Mr. Torre, in essence, told the Steinbrenner family, “take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more,” while Mr. Beckett told all of Cleveland that while the temperature in Boston may be in the 60s, this is not yet an Indian Summer.

There is no question that this is the time of the year when there are moments of baseball drama on, and off, the field of play, but October 18 seems to be the sport’s Ides of March.

Take these examples:
The Tall Tactician, Connie Mack, managed for fifty years and was the last manager to wear a suit in the dugout, yet he chose October 18, 1950 to retire.

The “Ol’ Perfessor” Casey Stengel, like Joe Torre, was left twisting in the wind following Bill Mazeroski’s Game 7 walk-off (this was, by the way, before the term “walk-off” had found its way into baseball lexicon) and was ceremoniously fired (at the Savoy Hilton Hotel, no less) by the New York Yankees on October 18, 1960.

On October 18, 1967, “Charley O” Finley finally convinced the other owners that baseball had no future in Kansas City so they allowed him to decimate the Giants market by allowing the A’s to move to Oakland. Then, in their infinite wisdom, they awarded awards new franchises to Seattle and, of course, Kansas City.

Thirty years ago last night, on October 18, 1977, Reggie Jackson forever became known as Mr. October when he hit three home runs on three successive pitches leading the Yankees to the Championship.

Finally, there was the October 18 magic of 2004. On that night, unbeknownst to their adoring Red Sox Nation and the entire world of those who support the underdog, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Yes, I know the Sox had to win seven more games to make it official but in a game that began on October 18, but actually ended on October 19, 5 hours and 49 minutes after it began, on pitch number 471 of the looong night, David Ortiz hit a two-out 14th inning single into center scoring Johnny Damon from second at Fenway Park. The Sox would not lose again that post-season.

This brings us back to the events that occurred yesterday. It remains to be seen how the events of October 18, 2007 will ultimately unfurl. We do know however, two things: first, yesterday the Yankees 2008 season began; and second, yesterday, the Red Sox 2007 season did not end.

That’s October baseball to the 18th power.

Top of the 2nd
THE POST-SEASON
NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Gm Date Site Time ET (TV)
1 Thurs., Oct. 11 @ARI COL 5, ARI 1
W: J. Francis (2-0) L: B. Webb (1-1)
2 Fri., Oct. 12 @ARI COL 3, ARI 2
W: M. Corpas (1-0) L: J. Valverde (0-1)
3 Sun., Oct. 14 @COL COL 4, ARI 1
W: J. Fogg (2-0) L: L. Hernandez (1-1) S: M. Corpas (4)
4 Mon,. Oct. 15 @COL COL 6, ARI 4
W: M. Herges (1-0) L: M. Owings (0-1) S: M. Corpas (5)
Rockies win series 4-0

AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox
Gm Date Site Time ET (TV)
1 Fri., Oct. 12 @BOS BOS 10, CLE 3
W: J. Beckett (2-0) L: C. Sabathia (1-1)
2 Sat., Oct. 13 @BOS CLE 13, BOS 6
W: T. Mastny (1-0) L: E. Gagne (0-1)
3 Mon., Oct. 15 @CLE CLE 4, BOS 2
W: J. Westbrook (1-1) L: D. Matsuzaka (0-1)
Tues., Oct. 16 @CLE CLE 7, BOS 3
W: P. Byrd (2-0) L: T. Wakefield (0-1)
5 Thurs., Oct. 18 @CLE BOS 7, CLE 1
W: J. Beckett (3-0) L: C. Sabathia (1-2)
* 6 Sat., Oct. 20 @BOS 8:00 (FOX)
* 7 Sun., Oct. 21 @BOS 8:00 (FOX)
Indians lead 3-2
* if necessary

WORLD SERIES
Gm Date Site Time (TV)
1 Wed., Oct. 24 AL hosts FOX
2 Thurs., Oct. 25 AL hosts FOX
3 Sat., Oct. 27 Colorado FOX
4 Sun., Oct. 28 Colorado FOX
* 5 Mon., Oct. 29 Colorado FOX
* 6 Wed., Oct. 31 AL hosts FOX
* 7 Thurs., Nov. 1 AL hosts FOX

Top of the 3rd
THE ROCKTOBER REPORT

ROCKIES-AT-A-GLANCE
Overall Record: 90-73
Home Record: 51-31
Road Record: 39-42
Standing: 2nd, -0.5
Homestand: 3-1
Last 5 Games: 4-1
Last 10 Games: 9-1
All-Time Record: 1115-1253
All-Time at Home: 649-534
All-Time at Coors Field: 584-460
All-Time on the Road: 466-719
Under Clint Hurdle: 442-508

The latest 19 to 21 by the eloquent John Shiffert take on the Rockies is now posted and ready for your review – http://billy-ball.com/19to21.htm

Top of the 4th
BECKTOBER
Last night, when the Cleveland Indians led off the 1st with a Grady Sizemore double and followed with an Asdrubal Cabrera single and then could only tie the score on a Travis Hafner double play, I hope the word was sent to Tribe clubhouse to keep the champagne on ice and pack up for Boston because the game ended then. If a team is lucky, they have one shot to do damage to Josh Beckett, if they blow it, like the Indians did in the 1st, they are toast.

Beckett allowed no runs on two hits for the next seven innings using a blistering fastball with a curveball that irreparably broke and a changeup that had batter so far in front that their hips took twenty seconds to catch-up. He struck out 11, unbelievably walked one and gave up five hits. He had gone 16 2-3 innings without a walk this postseason before issuing one in the 2nd.

Beckett is now 3-0 this postseason, and in complete command. His 1.17 ERA is as a result of allowing only three runs in 23 innings. He has 26 Ks and then there is but one measly walk.

This is no accident either. In nine post-season games Beckett’s ERA is 1.78, that helps explain his 5-2 lifetime record. He’s pitched 65 2/3 innings pitched and allowed only 34 hits while striking out 73. Somehow 13 batters have drawn walks.

Right now there is no greater force on the post-season mound than Josh Beckett and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an all-hands-on-deck Game 7, long after Dice-K considers seppuku, Josh Beckett picks up either a win or a save as the legend of Becktober continues to grow.

Top of the 5th
TORRE, TORRE, TORRE
Joe Torre’s Managerial Record

Year League Team Age G W L WP Finish

1977 NL East NewYorkM 36 117 49 68 .419 6 Player/Manager
1978 NL East NewYorkM 37 162 66 96 .407 6
1979 NL East NewYorkM 38 163 63 99 .389 6
1980 NL East NewYorkM 39 162 67 95 .414 5
1981 NL East NewYorkM 40 52 17 34 .333 5 First half of season
1981 NL East NewYorkM 40 53 24 28 .462 4 Second half of season

1982 NL West Atlanta 41 162 89 73 .549 1
1983 NL West Atlanta 42 162 88 74 .543 2
1984 NL West Atlanta 43 162 80 82 .494 3

1990 NL East St.Louis 49 58 24 34 .414 6
1991 NL East St.Louis 50 162 84 78 .519 2
1992 NL East St.Louis 51 162 83 79 .512 3
1993 NL East St.Louis 52 162 87 75 .537 3
1994 NL Cent St.Louis 53 115 53 61 .465 3
1995 NL Cent St.Louis 54 47 20 27 .426 4

1996 AL East NewYorkY 55 162 92 70 .568 WS 1
1997 AL East NewYorkY 56 162 96 66 .593 2
1998 AL East NewYorkY 57 162 114 48 .704 WS 1
1999 AL East NewYorkY 58 162 98 64 .605 WS 1
2000 AL East NewYorkY 59 161 87 74 .540 WS 1
2001 AL East NewYorkY 60 161 95 65 .594 AL 1
2002 AL East NewYorkY 61 161 103 58 .640 1
2003 AL East NewYorkY 62 163 101 61 .623 AL 1
2004 AL East NewYorkY 63 162 101 61 .623 1
2005 AL East NewYorkY 64 162 95 67 .586 1
2006 AL East NewYorkY 65 162 97 65 .599 1
2007 AL East NewYorkY 66 162 94 68 .580 2

Atlanta 486 257 229 .529
NewYorkM 709 286 420 .405
NewYorkY 1942 1173 767 .605
St.Louis 706 351 354 .498

TOTAL 3843 2067 1770 .539

Top of the 6th
BUSH LEAGUE BASEBALL
“I made my arguments and went down in flames. History will prove me right.”

Yes, those are the words of George W. Bush, no joke –
http://billy-ball.com/BUSHLEAGUEBASEBALL.htm

Top of the 7th
WHICH OUTFIELDERS HAVE ROBBED HITTERS OF THE MOST HOME RUNS?

John Dewan has the answer and we have John Dewan:
http://billy-ball.com/JohnDewan.htm

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Casey Stengel’s Yankee record was 1,149-696. Torre’s was 1,173-767.

Top of the 9th
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND
Before I thank everybody for all their wonderful support and fun this week, I must wish a happy early birthday to the E-Man! I wish you nothing but continued happiness and health and may you always remember you are really lucky to have me as a friend.

As for me, I continue to be lucky to have you all as member of the Billy-Ball community. I am always happy to get your e-mails and hopefully this weekend I will be able to catch up and write back.

Enjoy the two (?) games this weekend. I think Saturday night calls for the fabulous sushi from Sam at Super Fusion brought in and I will mix a pear martini or two and we will watch as Mr. Schilling attempts to pitch himself into the Hall of Fame.

Remember to visit the Billy-Ball-Mall and support our efforts to bring you the best of baseball.

Keep yourself and keep your planet cool and I will see you on Monday.

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.