Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-7-30

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

Billy-Ball – From the diamond to your desktop…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Top of the 1st
Summer time is baseball time and music time and it’s time for some baseball dedications:

Here’s one from 1967 when my buddy Rico and Jim Lonborg and the rest of the Sox were so Happy Together. Going out to Manny and the BoSox. Here are the Turtles:

The year was 1972 and for Reggie Jackson, Bert Campaneris, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers and Vida Blue everyday was like Saturday In The Park. Going out this year to the Cubbies AND the White Sox because Chicago sings it:

It was the year of the Miracle Mets, the summer of ’69 when Tom Seaver, Eddie Kranepool and company had Hot Fun In The Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone –
To the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans who are having so much fun this summer.

It was a hit in the summer of ’63, Sandy Koufax was only 25-5 with an ERA of 1.88 each of his pitches were a Heat Wave. Here’s Martha and the Vandellas
From all you Derek Jeter and Grady Sizemore fans to the men you love.

The year was 1958 and the Casey and The Mick made sure that the rest of the AL and then the Milwaukee Braves knew about Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues –
Going out to all my friends in Seattle, who are suffering from the Mariner blues this summer

In summertime 1966 we had Brooks, Frank, Boog, Moe and Mitch Ryder singing Devil with the Blue Dress —
Going out to the Tampa Bay Rays, minus the Devil.

In 1965, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale and all those California Girls by The Beach Boys –
Going out to the Los Angeles Angels – the only team in California really having fun this summer.

Of course there’s “Summertime, Sumertime” by The Jamies – Going out to the fans at Fenway Park because it was written by the famous former public address announcer there, Sherm Feller. Have a listen to this 1958 classic:

It was the summer of 1966 and the Orioles were cookin’ with a summer in the city of Baltimore. Here’s Summer in the City by John Sebastian and the Lovin’ Spoonful –
Going out to the Mets and Yankees playing in the greatest city of them all.

In 1976, the Big Red Machine was having a great summer and an even better fall. Here’s one for all you fans whose teams are overachieving: Elton John and Kiki Dee with ”Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” –

In 1967, Bob Gibson was doing everything but groovin’ pitches. Here are the Rascals Groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon going out to the Orioles who finally won on Sunday.

In 1978, the Yankees were the team you wanted, here’s a song by John Travolta and Olivia Newton who sing in “Grease” for all those GMs seeking a big trade. ”You’re the One that I Want”

In 1966, The Troggs sang Wild Thing, but no one can ever think of this song without thinking of Charlie Sheen’s character in “Major League.”-
Going out to Jonathan Paplebon and all the other wild thing relievers out there.

In 1985, John Fogarty wrote this song after watching the All-Star game from the bleachers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. His seat was behind Centerfield, going out to Torii Hunter who plays it so very well. IF YOU ONLY WATCH ONE VIDEO, MAKE IT THIS ONE –

All I have to say is “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”

Summertime for me always means Billy-Ball, the Beach Boys and baseball. And to all of you, thanks because we’ve been having fun All Summer Long –

Top of the 2nd
Carlos Zambrano (12-4) pitched eight brilliant innings, striking out a season-high nine while scattering five hits and two walks to lift the Cubs to their sixth win in the last eight games in Milwaukee in the North Siders 7-1 victory. Chicago pushed its division lead to three games as the Brewers, losers of four of their last five, lost two straight with their pair of aces CC Sabathia and Sheets on the mound. Chicago got to Sheets (10-4) with seven straight hits to start the sixth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate to break open a 1-0 game.

Zambrano is now 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in four starts against the NL Central contenders: the Cardinals and Brewers.

Meanwhile, the South Siders were not faring as well.

Justin Morneau’s bases-clearing double in the five-run 5th inning helped the Twins rally from four runs down to beat the Chicago White Sox 6-5. The Twins have won four straight following a five-game losing streak. Morneau now has 14 RBIs in his last 10 games.The Twins moved within a half-game of Chicago, which has been atop the AL Central since May 17. Minnesota can move into first place for the first time since May 14 with a win in the third game of this four-game series tonight.

However, Twins’ second baseman Alexi Casilla is now on the DL with a tear in his right thumb ligament. Adam Everett will be activated from the disabled list to replace Casilla. Everett’s 20-day rehab assignment from a shoulder injury ended yesterday, and the Twins originally asked the veteran shortstop if he would accept a demotion to Triple-A Rochester. With Casilla now out indefinitely, Everett will be kept on the big league club.

Top of the 3rd
There is an East Coast bias in sports journalism (this reporter is no exception). For those of us who stay up to watch an East Coast team play and then return to the computer the following morning at 6, it’s hard to be watching games that begin at bedtime. That’s why when there are discussions about the best team in baseball too frequently the Angels are forgotten.

They won’t be any longer.

After dominating the Red Sox the last two days, today, and for the remainder of the season, they will feature Mark Teixeira in their line-up. Yesterday, they boldly went where the Angels usually didn’t go by picking up a three-month rental (they will go after signing this Scott Boras client) in Teixeira in exchange for Casey Kotchman and minor league reliever Stephen Marek.

Teixeira, is a 28-year-old middle-of-the-order switch-hitter with Gold Glove defensive skills. He is familiar with AL pitchers and has averaged about 35 homers and close to 40 doubles per full season since 2004, with a .291 batting average, .381 on-base percentage, .546 slugging percentage and .927 OPS. Over the past 162 regular-season games, only Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard has more RBIs than Teixeira.

“He’s a presence for sure,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “When he’s hitting in the middle of the lineup, he can make guys around him better. He’s a difference-maker.”

Why is this deal bad for the Yankees?

Two reasons, one, if the Yankees do manage to make it to the post-season, the Wild Card team will be playing the AL team with best record. It’s hard to imagine that won’t be the Angels. Secondly, and more importantly, making the post-season just got a lot harder for the New Yorkers because the Yankees face the Angels 10 more times this season.

Top of the 4th
Extra innings in the upcoming Summer Olympics will be a travesty. Starting in the 11th, each team’s at-bat will begin with runners on first and second, and teams may start at any point in their batting order.

Thanks, International Baseball Federation for giving Bud Selig an idea for the All-Star Game.

Top of the 5th
Little League Baseball will use instant replay at this year’s World Series to review questionable home runs and other close plays at the outfield fence, beating the major leagues in instituting a system to review some disputed calls. The limited replay system would be in place on an experimental basis when the 2008 tournament begins Aug. 15 and be reevaluated following the series, Little League president Stephen Keener said Tuesday.

Replay would be used “to overturn an obvious wrong,” said Dennis Lewin, chairman of Little League’s Board of Directors.

The rule limits replay to instances in which a batted ball “leaves the field of play at or near the outfield fence, or should have been ruled out of the field of play” at or near the fence. A Little League “game operations replay official” would need “clear and convincing” evidence to overturn an umpire’s ruling on the field, according to the rule.

Little League signed a new contract with ESPN last year that allowed all 32 games of the 10-day tournament to be televised for the first time. Keener said it was important for all games in a tournament to have access to replay if the rule was going to be implemented. Little League revisited the issue again this past summer and went to ESPN recently to iron out technicalities before deciding to use replay this year. Up to 12 cameras are used at each of the two Little League World Series stadiums for games. A home run call might have about four or five different available replay angles, said Tim Scanlan, ESPN’s vice president of event production.

Players, managers or umpires on the field can not request a review; that responsibility will rest with the Little League replay official and an umpire in the booth under the stands at Lamade Stadium. The replay umpire would consult the Little League official, though it would ultimately be up to the Little League official alone to uphold or overturn the call on the field.

Top of the 6th
They describe themselves as “the #1 independent website for your Chicago Cubs! Here you will find unique and in-depth coverage and analysis of the Chicago Cubs major and minor league teams.” You can be the judge for yourself as North Side Baseball is our site of the day –

Top of the 7th
Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays, 12:37 pm
(R) Edwin Jackson (6-7) vs. (R) Scott Richmond (0-0)
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees, 1:05 pm
(R) Dennis Sarfate (4-1) vs. (R) Joba Chamberlain (3-3)
Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics, 3:35 pm
(R) Brian Bannister (7-9) vs. (R) Sean Gallagher (1-0)
LA Angels of Anaheim at Boston Red Sox, 7:05 pm
(L) Joe Saunders (13-5) vs. (R) Josh Beckett (9-7)
Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians, 7:05 pm
(L) Nate Robertson (6-8) vs. (L) Cliff Lee (14-2)
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers, 8:05 pm
(R) Miguel Batista (4-11) vs. (R) Vicente Padilla (12-5)
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins, 8:10 pm
(R) Gavin Floyd (10-6) vs. (R) Livan Hernandez (10-7)

Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:05 pm
(R) Aaron Cook (13-6) vs. (L) Zach Duke (4-8)
New York Mets at Florida Marlins, 7:10 pm
(R) Mike Pelfrey (9-6) vs. (R) Josh Johnson (0-0)
Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals, 7:10 pm
(L) Jamie Moyer (9-6) vs. (R) Tim Redding (7-5)
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves, 7:10 pm
(R) Chris Carpenter (0-0) vs. (R) Jair Jurrjens (10-5)
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers, 8:05 pm
(R) Ryan Dempster (11-4) vs. (L) Manny Parra (9-3)
Cincinnati Reds at Houston Astros, 8:05 pm
(R) Edinson Volquez (12-4) vs. (L) Wandy Rodriguez (6-3)
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres, 10:05 pm
(R) Dan Haren (10-5) vs. (R) Cha Seung Baek (3-4)
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:10 pm
(L) Jonathan Sanchez (8-6) vs. (R) Chad Billingsley (10-9)

Top of the 8th
Ichiro picked up his 1,722nd hit in the major leagues yesterday for the Mariners. Why do we care? Because combined with the 1,278 he had in the Japanese League he has reached the 3,000-hit milestone.

Why do we care? I don’t know.

By the way, if you do care, please note that Hall-of-Famer Al Kaline ended his career with 399 major league homers while Tuffy Rhodes had 415 career homers, 403 of them in Japan.

Top of the 9th
While John Lackey lost his no-hit bid against the BoSox last night with one out in the 9th, Doug Davis, who underwent surgery for cancer this season, was perfect before allowing Brian Giles’ two-out single in the 7th inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Davis was making his 13th start since coming off the disabled list following surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid.

Davis was opposed by San Diego’s Chris Young, who made his first start since sustaining a broken nose and fractured skull when St. Louis’ Albert Pujols hit a line drive off his face on May 21. In five innings, Young allowed two hits while striking out eight before leaving the scoreless game when he came close to his 90-pitch limit.

Davis (4-5) settled for a combined two-hitter with two relievers. “I was conscious about it the whole time,” Davis said. “I was trying to challenge the hitters. I was just thinking throw strikes and let them hit it. That’s what I was thinking the whole game.”

Arizona remained one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat San Francisco 2-0. The Diamondbacks, 24-30 on the road, have won four of their first five games on a 10-game road trip.

Bottom of the 9th
Bill Chuck is the creator of 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, or order directly from Acta Sports, or from your favorite bookstore worldwide.

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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports,,, 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.