Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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Thursday, April 27, 2006
Top of the 1st
Lat night, I had terrific time with Ed Berliner on “Sports Pulse”. For those of you in New England, I truly urge you to watch Ed on CN8, The Comcast Network in New England, Monday – Thursday from 10:00-11:00 PM for truly interesting conversation (even when Billy-Ball is not on). Anyhow, I presented a challenge last night on the air; I contend that entire Red Sox infield (and everyone who plays the four positions) will not hit as many home runs this season as David Ortiz. Right now, Big Popi has 9 while the infielders have 3. I may even consider throwing catchers into the mix, which would bring the total to 4.
After the show, I started thinking of other challenges and as always I would love for you folks to chime in (firstname.lastname@example.org) –
Which will be higher, the Royals winning percentage or the American League batting champion? Right now, Miguel Tejada leads the AL at .424 and Royals are at .250.
Jeffrey Lauria, owner of the Marlins insists that his two remaining stars will not be traded. My challenge to you is who do you think will be traded first, Dontrelle Willis or Miguel Cabrera?
Which state will have the most wins? Now I know California has five teams, so we will take their total and divide by two and a half. The California teams right now have 51 wins giving them 20.4 wins. Pennsylvania has 14 wins, NY has 25, Missouri has 20, Texas has 26, Illinois has 26, Ohio has 27, Florida has 15, and Maryland/DC has 19.
Who will have more strikeouts Orlando Hernandez, who leads the NL with 35 or Adam Dunn who leads the NL with 30?
Who will have more stolen bases, Jose Reyes (7) of the Mets or the Oakland A’s (3)?
Who will walk more, Seth McClung of Tampa Bay (22) or Jason Giambi (22)?
Who will win more games this season, the top three 20-year old pitchers, the top three 30- year olds or the top three 40-year olds?
Supposedly, greenies have been banned, how many players will play in all their team’s games this season?
Those should be enough to get you started, but feel free to send in your guesses and other challenges and we’ll track them this season.
Top of the 2nd
Do you want to know how good Red Sox starter Josh Beckett was last night? Indians’ left fielder Jason Michaels struck out all three times up against Beckett on only 11 pitches.
Do you want to know how bad Red Sox starter Josh Beckett was last night? Indians’ first baseman Ben Broussard drove in a career-high eight runs as the Tribe beat Boston,15-3.
“I didn’t hear it,” Broussard said about the fans’ chanting “Ben-ny, Ben-ny,” each time he came to bat after hitting his fourth career grand slam in the first inning. “I was locked in. It’s probably good that I didn’t hear them. I would have probably started to overswing.”
Broussard didn’t overswing. Besides his grand slam, he had a solo homer and went 4-for-5 as Cleveland won the final two games of a three-game series.
Boston has lost five of its last seven. Beckett (3-1) gave up six hits and eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first loss since Aug. 28 when he was with the Florida Marlins. Broussard’s slam was the first allowed by Beckett in 638 career innings.
“It was one of those nights, just brutal, brutal, brutal,” Beckett said.
Top of the 3rd
IF THE SHOE FITS
Kevin Mench may have the biggest head in baseball, his size-8 cap being the largest in the major leagues (and he came by it naturally), but his brain hadn’t been able to figur out his shoe size. Mench has been wearing size-12 shoes since he was 15, but after missing five games because of a sprain in the second toe of his right foot, the Rangers sent him to a foot specialist who found that his shoes were a half-size too small.
Sinch Mench put on bigger shoes, Mench had two RBIs in the series finale against the Mariners on April 20, the next night, Mench hit a grand slam and then homered and had at least two RBIs in all six games that followed including another grand slam. All in all, he has set a Texas Rangers record with home runs in six straight games, including two grand slams, and 20 RBIs in a week.
“I’m hoping next year he goes to 13s,” manager Buck Showalter joked.
Top of the 4th
Major League Baseball is not planning any celebration for Barry B*nds if and when he tops Babe Ruth’s mark of 714 home runs, commissioner Bud Selig said yesterday. “Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record,” Selig said. “We don’t celebrate anybody the second or third time in.”
“No party? What should I do with my presents?” asked BALCO founder Victor Conte
Top of the 5th
CHECK YOUR JOHNSON
Billy-Ball’s been following how Oakland’ Dan Johnson has been doing this season and he’s been hot this past week having gone 7-20. Johnson is now up to .145 on this season which is terrific since he started 1-35.
Top of the 6th
YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG
Tampa Bay prospect Delmon Young was suspended indefinitely by the International League on yesterday, a day after throwing a bat that hit a replacement umpire in the chest. The 20-year-old Young, brother of Detroit star Dmitri Young, was ejected in the first inning following a called third strike in the Durham Bulls’ Triple-A game at Pawtucket, R.I. When Young took his time leaving the batter’s box, the umpire tossed him. Young then flipped his bat underhand and it sailed end over end, striking the umpire.
Young claims he was only trying to prove to the ump that his bat wasn’t corked.
Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 4/28/2006
In the 1956 World Series, this birthday boy six-hit the Dodgers in Game Four to pull the Yankees even at two games each.
BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA – 4/28/2006
Which active MLB player has the most career stolen bases?
Send your answers to Bill@billy-ball.com
Bottom of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM ANSWER – 4/27/06
Happy birthday, Rajah.
SORRY HERB SONG – Rogers Hornsby, who once said, “I don’t want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to go chase it.”
BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA-ANSWER – 4/27/06
Who is the only player in Angels’ franchise history to ever win an AL batting title?
Alex Johnson, in 1970, he and Carl Yastrzemski each hit .329 to share the league’s batting championship.
Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Here’s something that I find amazing – Garrett Atkins’ tiebreaking two-run homer in the 8th inning helped the Colorado Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-3. That’s not so amazing other than the fact that the Rockies are now 7-3 on the road this season. What is amazing is that the Rockies Brian Fuentes successfully converted his 21st consecutive save opportunity. Fuentes has the second-longest current save streak in the majors, behind Ryan Dempster, who has converted 25 save opportunities in a row for the Cubs.
Top of the 9th
THANKS FOR A GREAT WEEK AND A GREAT MONTH
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you in May!
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.