Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-10-23

10/23/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Top of the 1st
THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW
I’m killing time waiting for tomorrow and trying to learn about Colorado, another state I have never visited. A Colorado tourism site lists what to do if you meet a black bear with the first piece of advice being STAY CALM. If you see a bear and it hasn’t seen you, calmly leave the area. Sure, I really see that happening.

Here are 10 other things I learned:

1. Colorado means “colored red” which explains why the Rockies have purple as their team color.
2. The world’s largest flattop mountain is in Grand Mesa, Colorado. I would think they would be rooting for Jason Varitek who has baseball’s most prominent flattop.
3. Denver lays claim to the invention of the cheeseburger. Boston lays claim to the invention of the Fenway Frank.
4. Colorado has the highest mean altitude of all the states. Massachusetts altitude is nice.
5. Colorado is home to the Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel, the highest auto tunnel in the world. Massachusetts is home to the Ted Williams Tunnel, the best hitting auto tunnel in the world.
6. The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been in continuous operation since 1881. The Railroad continues to provide year round train service and has appeared in more than a dozen movies including “How the West was Won.” This year it should appear in “How the West was Wild Card.”
7. Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,430 ft. above sea level. First off, during the 60’s there were many cities higher than Leadville, moreover, doesn’t lead sink?
8. Hundreds of thousands of valentines are re-mailed each year from Loveland, CO, yet there are not that many idiots in Marblehead, MA.
9. Dove Creek is the “Pinto Bean” capital of the world and per capita the largest consumers of Gas-X.
10. Rocky Ford has been dubbed the “melon capital of the world”. Pamela Anderson finished second.

Tomorrow the World Series starts – I love tomorrow.

Top of the 2nd
THE WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE
Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies
Gm Date Site Time ET (TV)
1 Wed., Oct. 24 @BOS 8 p.m. (FOX)
COL: J. Francis (2-0) BOS: J. Beckett (3-0)
2 Thurs., Oct. 25 @BOS 8 p.m. (FOX)
COL: U. Jimenez (0-0)
3 Sat., Oct. 27 @COL 8 p.m. (FOX)
4 Sun., Oct. 28 @COL 8 p.m. (FOX)
* 5 Mon., Oct. 29 @COL FOX
* 6 Wed., Oct. 31 @BOS FOX
* 7 Thurs., Nov. 1 @BOS FOX

AMERICAN LEAGUE 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)
4 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 BOS 12, CLE 2
W: C. Schilling (2-0) L: F. Carmona (0-1)
7 Sun., Oct. 21 @BOS BOS 11, CLE 2
W: D. Matsuzaka (1-1) L: J. Westbrook (1-2)
Red Sox win series 4-3

NATIONAL LEAGUE 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

Top of the 3rd
THE ROCKTOBER/SOXTOBER REPORT
Stuff you should know if you want win something free at a bar or restaurant:

ROCKIES MINOR LEAGUE AFFILIATES
AAA – Colorado Springs Sky Sox AA – Tulsa Drillers A – Asheville Tourists – Visalia Oaks – Portland Rockies – Tricity Dust Devils R – Casper Rockies

CLOSERS ARE IN THE AISLE NEAR THE FIDDLE FADDLE
The Rockies closer is Manny Corpas who is from Panama. He was signed by the Rockies’ international scout Tim Ireland, who has never been to Panama. Ireland met Corpas at a convenience store in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, during the world junior championship eight years ago. They then went to meet Corpas’ coach, a bullpen session was arranged and Corpas’ fifth pitch was an 85-mph fastball and Ireland gave Corpas a $17,500 US signing bonus and that’s what you can get at 7-11 these days.

GIVE `EM HELTON
In 11 seasons this is Todd Helton’s third winning season, his team’s overall are a combined 56 games under .500. Helton, 33, played in 1,578 games before making his first post-season appearance but seemed destined to make the Series this year as he was almost dealt in the off-season to the Boston Red Sox.

HELTON THE QB
To say that Todd Helton is the quarterback of the Rockies is no lie. Helton was a first-round pick of the Rockies in 1995. But in college he was a quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers baking up starter Jerry Colquitt. When Colquitt was hurt in the season opener, Helton took over in a 25-23 loss to UCLA. He started the next game, a 41-23 win over the Georgia Bulldogs, then lost 31-0 to the Florida Gators. He injured a medial collateral ligament in the first half of a 24-21 loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs. At that point, the freshman who Helton beat out for the number two slot took over. His name was Peyton Manning.

Backup outfielder Seth Smith, meanwhile, backed up Eli Manning in three seasons at Ole Miss but never took a snap. MattHolliday was ranked among the top high school quarterbacks — with Carson Palmer, Ronald Curry and Michael Vick — and was recruited to play for the Oklahoma Sooners.

IN WINNING THE FINAL THREE GAMES
The Red Sox outscored the Indians 30-5 while winning the final three games. In those wins, the Red Sox went 17-for-35 (.486) with runners in scoring position, including 7-for-13 in Game 6 and Game 7.

NO HOLLIDAY FOR PITCHERS
Colorado left fielder Matt Holliday is the real deal. This season, Holliday hit 36 homers, and led the NL in average (.340), hits (216), RBIs (137), extra-base hits (92) total bases (386) and doubles (50). He passed Larry Walker’s franchise record by reaching base in 38 consecutive games. Walker’s record was 35. Holliday’s .332 career average is second only to Ichiro Suzuki among active players.

Holliday is the son of North Carolina State Wolfpack associate head baseball coach Tom Holliday, the brother of Arizona State Sun Devils assistant coach Josh Holliday, and his uncle is Dave Holliday, a Rockies scout.

HOME, HOME ON THE FENS
At Fenway Park, the Red Sox are 56-31, including 5-1 in the postseason. Boston lost two of three to the Rockies there June 12-14, winning the first game 2-1, then losing 12-2 and 7-1. After the series, the Rockies were 33-33.

THE WEATHER
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the coldest World Series game – The Marlins were playing the Indians and it was 38 degrees. The game was not being played in Florida. It’s expected to be a balmy evening in the upper 50s tomorrow night at game time at Fenway tomorrow night, slightly chillier Thursday night. It should be around 60 this weekend in Denver. It should be noted that 19.1 inches of snow fell during a 24-hour period Oct. 24-25, 1997.

TU-LO
Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hit 24 homers, driving in 99 runs and batting .291 this season for the Rockies. He was the seventh pick in the 2005 draft having played two all-American seasons with the Long Beach State Dirtbags.

BOOMER
Game 1 starter Jeff Francis is nicknamed “Boomer.” While David Wells I’m sure is flattered, Francis who is from North Delta, B.C., was nicknamed “Boomer” by his grandpa after former Montreal Canadiens great Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion

Another thing he does not have in common with Wells is that Francis had a SAT score of 1210 and a 4.0 grade point average. He attended the University of British Columbia.

ROCKIES CRASH
Tens of thousands of Rockies fans unable to get tickets yesterday for the World Series will get another crack at lunchtime today as nearly all of the estimated 54,000 tickets reserved for the general public, about 18,000 a game, are still available. The team said in an 8 o’clock news conference last night that “an external and malicious attack” paralyzed its ticketing operation yesterday, locking out all but a few hundred fans and forcing the Rockies to halt sales. The club said its Web site fielded more than 8.5 million hits in just 90 minutes, and just 500 tickets were sold. The team will stick to its plan of selling tickets solely through its Web site — coloradorockies.com.

One observer said scalpers could be to blame for the collapse. Many use advanced software that inundates ticketing sites, occasionally overloading them.
“The scalpers obviously have become very sophisticated, and I think they are a part of the reason the system crashed,” said Karl Case, economics professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.

The Rockies World Series ticketing system, run by Irvine, Calif.-based Paciolan, buckled under the pressure shortly after sales began at 10 a.m. Officials from Paciolan referred all questions to the Rockies. Paciolan, which provides ticketing networks to Major League Baseball and 700 college and professional teams, was “amazed and overwhelmed” with the traffic. The crash affected the company’s entire North American system.

RED SOX FANS SITTING PRETTY?
Jordan’s Furniture, the Warren Buffett-owned local furniture chain, earlier this year promised free furniture – including sofas, dining tables, beds, and mattresses – to customers who bought between March 7 and April 16, so long as the Sox win the World Series. The chain took almost 30,000 orders during the contest. One customer stands to get back $40,000.

COLORADO ROCKIES
First year: 1993.
First at-bat: Eric Young April 9, 1993, leadoff homer in front of 80,227.
Previous post-season appearance: 1995, lost 3-1 to Atlanta.
2007 attendance: 2,376,250 (28,978 average).
Team batting average: .280 (1st in NL).
Team ERA: 4.32 (8th in NL).
Fielding: .989 (1st in NL).
Injuries: Lost three of their starters — Rodrigo Lopez (arm injury) July 27,
Jason Hirsh (fractured leg) Aug. 8 and Aaron Cook (oblique strain) Aug. 11.

GM: Dan O’Dowd.
Owners: Charles and Richard Monfort (ConAgra Foods).

ROCKIES CAREER LEADERS
Homers: Todd Helton 303.
RBIs: Helton 1,087.
Wins: Jason Jennings 58.
Award winners: Larry Walker, MVP 1997, batting champ 1999, 2000, 2001, seven-time Gold Glove winner.

RED SOX WORLD SERIES RESULTS
2004 World Series St. Louis Won 4-0
1986 World Series New York Mets Lost 3-4
1975 World Series Cincinnati Lost 3-4
1967 World Series St. Louis Lost 3-4
1946 World Series St. Louis Lost 3-4
1918 World Series Chicago Cubs Won 4-2
1916 World Series Brooklyn Robins Won 4-1
1915 World Series Philadelphia Won 4-1
1912 World Series New York Giants Won 4-3-1
1903 World Series Pittsburgh Won 5-3

ROCKIES WORLD SERIES RESULTS
Nada.

Top of the 4th
MARINERS SEEKING FATHER FIGURES?
New York Yankees third base coach Larry Bowa has been offered a job coaching third for the Mariners in 2008 and is addressing a personal matter before accepting. Bowa has been in daily contact with Mariners manager John McLaren.

McLaren’s new staff will be, for the lack of a better word, old. McLaren, who is 56, will be joined by Jim Riggleman, 55, as bench coach, Jeff Pentland, 61, remaining as hitting coach, Bowa, who is 61, Mel Stottlemyre, 65, as pitching coach, Eddie Rodriguez, 49, at first base, and youngster, Norm Charlton, 45, as bullpen coach.

Top of the 5th
CARDINALS REHIRE LA RUSSA
Tony La Russa has agreed to a two-year contract to stay in St. Louis, confident the Cardinals can still be contenders. The 63-year-old La Russa never courted offers from other teams.

Top of the 6th
PAGE 6
Billy-Ball loves it when the New York Post’s gossip Page 6 has a baseball item and they recently reported that their spy in the lobby of the Shore Club in Miami early Sunday morning spotted “two scantily clad women screaming at the front desk because they had spent the night at Jeter’s penthouse and were then charged for parking.”

“The girls were wearing what looked like the same clothes they wore the night before – a tight cocktail dress and a mini-skirt. They were making a huge scene because they were asked to pay for parking.

“Obviously, they’d spent the night there,” giggled the onlooker, who noted that one of the overnight guests was screaming into the phone, “After last night, he’d better [bleep]ing take care of it!”

After a bit of insistence, “they eventually left happy. I assume he paid for their parking after all,” said our snitch.

Jeter was spotted Friday night dining at Nobu, then partying it up with Timbaland at Skybar. “They took over the table in the back and drank Grey Goose all night,” said a fellow reveler. “Five girls were dancing around him, but he didn’t seem interested.”
Jeter was spotted acting equally detached later that night at Set, where he was “surrounded by throngs of women five rows deep. He was hanging with a guy friend, though, and didn’t seem to take much interest in the hordes of ladies.”

Top of the 7th
ROX SEEK JOE TORRE
The Brockton Rox want Joe Torre to manage their Can-Am League team and are prepared to offer him a two year contract. Newly appointed Brockton General Manager Brian Voelkel announced today that the Rox will make an offer to Torre to manage their team when their season begins next May. Voelkel said, “I was looking to make a splash with my first major announcement and I think this will be it. Mr. Torre would be a perfect fit for Brockton and Brockton would be a perfect fit for Mr. Torre.”

Money is no object according to primary Rox owner, Van Schley, “Joe indicated that money was not the issue with the Yankees, the issue was commitment and trust — because you can’t have one without the other — to manage the ball club. The Rox are totally committed to Joe and have $7.5 million worth of trust in him.”

Exact terms of the contract still need to be negotiated, but the Rox are willing to offer in the “high five figures” according to a Rox president, Jack Yunits. Voelkel said, “Torre has free range to pick his pitching coach and anyone else he’d like to bring along.”

There are many perks available to Torre if he chooses to join the Rox including the fact that like Yankees, Rox uniforms sport the thinning pinstripes. Additionally, unlike George Steinbrenner whose sons are now seemingly running the show, Van Schley’s daughter Hannah, holds Joe Torre in the highest regard.

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
When Babe Ruth retired in 1935 he held the records for home runs (714) and strikeouts (1,330). Since then two players have beat his home run record, while over 60 have struck out more.

Top of the 9th
FOX LIKES BASEBALL
Fox Sports has sold out advertising time for the first five games of the World Series at a record rate of $400,000 a spot, Variety reports. Its broadcast of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians averaged 11.6 million viewers, up 49% from a year earlier. The matchup between Boston, which has a large national following, and the Rockies, a great Cinderella story has caught the attention of advertisers, who shell out big bucks to reach young adults for DVR-proof programming like live sports.

Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports, said, “Advertisers are lined up so deep to buy time that my sales guys are asking me if we could come up with a Game 8.”

Nielsen estimates that 19 million viewers watched the Boston Red Sox defeat the Indians in Game & of the ALCS on Sunday making it the most-watched program of the night — besting “Desperate Housewives” on ABC and “Sunday Night Football” on NBC. For the entire American League Championship Series, Fox averaged 11.6 million viewers — 49% over last year (7.8 million for Detroit-Oakland).

From Fox’s perspective, one of the big advantages this year is that the first game will take place on Wednesday instead of Saturday, as in previous years, Goren said. Viewing levels are higher on Wednesday than Saturday, and “we’ll get more of a sports-page buildup to the Series because baseball is not competing directly with weekend college football and the NFL,” he said.

Goren said that Fox exceeded its ad-revenue projections for the 26 regular-season Saturday-afternoon games, as well as for the All-Star Game and the American League Championship Series, which went seven games this year. TBS’ ratings were subpar for the National League Championship Series, in which Colorado drubbed Phoenix in four games, but Goren said TBS will be able to sell next year’s series off the Fox’s American League ratings: TBS and Fox alternate the league games each season, so TBS gets the American League in 2008.

Boston led all metered-markets with a 52.9 rating/71 share. Providence came in second with a 42.6/56, followed by Cleveland (37.9/53), Hartford (25.6/39), Columbus (18.7/29), St. Louis (15.7/22) and New York (14.9/23).

If there’s a fifth game of the best-of-seven World Series, Denver sports fans will be forced to choose between the Broncos and Rockies: Fox’s baseball coverage would directly oppose ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Broncos and Green Bay Packers — with both games played in Denver.

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.