Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-4-23

4/23/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Top of the 1st
“TOP OF THE HEAP” VERSUS “THE TODDLING TOWN”
It was all New York against Chicago yesterday as the Cubbies faced the Mets, the White Sox faced the Yankees, and Sen. Obama of Illinois faced New York Sen. Clinton battled in Pennsylvania.

The Mets and Yankees were in Chicago at the same time for the first time since 1980. The Cubs topped the Mets, 8-1, while the Yankees topped the White Sox. Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, Chicago’s Barack fell to New York’s Hillary by 10 points.

In other news, Ray’s topped Uno’s in a battle of pizzas. Saturday Night Live defeated the Second City. The Chrysler Building bested the Tribune Tower, while the Empire State Building fell to Sears Tower. Grant Park edged Central Park, but the Magnificent Mile fell short of Fifth Avenue. Grand Central defeated Union Station but the Buckingham Fountain topped the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel. Millenium Park overwhelmed Madison Square, but the Lincoln Zoo fell to the Bronx Zoo. The Michigan Ave. Bridge could not keep up with the Triboro but the Chicago River outran the Hudson. Chinatown beat Chinatown and the Oak Street Beach beat Jones Beach.

I’ll continue to keep you posted.

Top of the 2nd
IN CASE YOU ARE CURIOUS
The Cubs now have 9,999 wins.

Name them.

Top of the 3rd
BILL JAMES DAILY MATCH-UPS
Every day, my publishers, the fine people of ACTA Sports will be providing an updated chart of how the hitters on each team have fared lifetime against the pitchers from the other team for all the games being played in the major leagues that day.

Each day, this stats will be updated overnight and then posted at www.billjamesdailymatchups.com. You will be able to go there and download a pdf file for whatever game or games you want for that day for $.99 each or 10 for $5.00. Or, if like you only care about one team, you can subscribe for $29.95 and have every one of your favorite team game for the entire season (including postseason games) delivered to your email box each morning.

However, to get this going, Acta Sports making these reports available free through the rest of this month and once they have you hooked, they can go to other playgrounds. You can go to www.billjamesdailymatchups.com right now and download any or all of the today’s games.

So, download your favorite team right now. If you like it, tell all your friends about it. Download as many as you wish. Send me feedback and I’ll share it with ACTA.

Top of the 4th
REDS MAKE A MOVE
The Cincinnati Reds have fired general manager Wayne Krivsky and replaced him with former St. Louis Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty.

The Reds are off to their worst start in five years, 9-12. Krivsky knew his job was in trouble when owner Bob Castellini hired Jocketty as a special consultant in January. The two were friends from Castellini’s days in the Cardinals’ ownership group.

Krivsky, who was hired before the 2006 season, was in the final year of his contract.

Top of the 5th
GIMME FIVE
Brandon Webb – 5-0
Barry Zito – 0-5

My, oh my.

Top of the 6th
BILLY-BALLBALL-SITE-OF-THE-DAY
The http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/ is a really nice site – I hope they like this special recognition.

Top of the 7th
PROBABLE PITCHERS
AL
Angels (Jon Garland) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka), 7:05
Rangers (Luis Mendoza) at Tigers (Kenny Rogers), 7:05
Blue Jays (Roy Halladay) at Rays (Jason Hammel), 7:10
Indians (Fausto Carmona) at Royals (Brett Tomko), 8:10
Yankees (Mike Mussina) at White Sox (Javier Vazquez), 8:11
Twins (Boof Bonser) at A’s (Chad Gaudin), 10:05
Orioles (Daniel Cabrera) at Mariners (Carlos Silva), 10:10

NL
Marlins (Andrew Miller) at Braves (Jeff Bennett), 7:00
Cardinals (Todd Wellemeyer) at Pirates (Ian Snell), 7:05
Astros (Chris Sampson) at Reds (Bronson Arroyo), 7:10
Mets (Johan Santana) at Nationals (Tim Redding), 7:10
Phillies (Cole Hamels) at Brewers (David Bush), 8:05
Cubs (Rich Hill) at Rockies (Franklin Morales), 8:35
Giants (Matt Cain) at Padres (Greg Maddux), 10:05
Diamondbacks (Dan Haren) at Dodgers (Derek Lowe), 10:10

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Jason Giambi is now all the way up to .120 this season going 6-50. Giambi does have three homers, two doubles, but only one measly single.

Top of the 9th
HALL OF FAMER?
Yesterday I wrote about John Smoltz who last became the 15th pitcher all-time to reach 3,000 Ks.
John Smoltz has a lifetime record of 210-146 with 154 saves and a 3.25 ERA.

Hall or Famer, yes or no?

Billy-Ball votes Yes.

One of our regulars, John Shiffert, votes “Maybe.”

This is an issue I’ve debated back and forth on with a lot of people, notably in conjunction with Schilling’s status. His credentials and Smoltz’ are very similar (Eckersley doesn’t figure in here at all… he was clearly the greatest relief pitcher of his generation, and that’s how he got in), even to the fact that they’ve both been very successful in the post season. My current take is that they’ll both get in at some point, but that Schilling will be elected after a relatively shorter waiting period. I don’t think either one will be a first ballot, no questions asked inductee, though my personal opinion is that Schilling should be.

Why? It’s simple. He’s famous. Isn’t that what a Hall of Fame is supposed to be about? Start with the Bloody Sock and work back through the three 20-win seasons, the three 300-strikeout seasons, all the other big wins, all the way back to game five of the 1993 World Series, and, he’s famous. Smoltz isn’t. He had one big year, but he’s never been the go-to guy, never had any really memorable wins (in fact, the only memorable win in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Glavine, game six of the 1995 World Series), and he was always the number three starter.

Maybe more importantly, he doesn’t have something mnemonic like the Bloody Sock to hang his candidacy on. Unless he goes on for another five years and wins another 60 games or so (pretty bloody unlikely) he is neither as good a candidate as Schilling, nor as worthy a candidate (two different things.) He doesn’t have Schilling’s charisma or personality, and that counts a lot among the voters. How do you think Lefty Gomez, Dizzy Dean and Rube Waddell got in?

For my money, Schilling is a no-brainer, and Smoltz is very marginal.

Bottom of the 9th
BUY THE BOOK
Bill Chuck is the creator of Billy-Ball.com and, with Jim Kaplan, is the author of the book, “Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales,” with a Foreword by Jon Miller available now from ACTA Sports.

Autographed first editions are available by contacting, Bill@billy-ball.com or order directly from Acta Sports, http://www.actasports.com/detail.html?&id=3427 or from your favorite bookstore worldwide.

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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.