Nine to Know: July 15

It feels as if baseball has been away for a month.

Between intergreed play, the awkward four game series in the week leading to the break, the homage to the steroid-era derby, the all-unknown All-Star Game, then the flaccid schedule yesterday, I was losing the will to live.

It makes me understand why the NFL orchestrated their so-called “lockout;” it kept them in the news every single day!

Here’s an alert everyone: it’s not really a lockout, it’s called the “off-season.”

Let’s get to the second-half of the baseball season, well actually the last 45% of the season.

Here’s your Nine to Know:

1. First inning walkoff – Note to self: when it is my turn to be President for a day, find five minutes to fire Roger Clemens prosecutors Steven Durham and Daniel Butler who caused a mistrial basically in the 1st inning of presenting their case. Now the judge won’t decide whether the case should be continued until sometime in September. I’ve got a solution. Have no trial and just have Clemens light his pants on fire and call it a day.

2. The ratings are in – The TV ratings for Tuesday’s All-Star Game are in, and it  was the lowest-rated baseball All-Star Game in television history (at least back to 1967, the first year Nielson Co. started measuring All-Star Game viewing). The Disorder of the Phoenix drew a record-low rating for the second straight year. The National League’s 5-1 win on Fox earned a 6.9 rating and 12 share. That’s down 8 percent from the 7.5/13 in 2010. Before last year, the previous low was an 8.1/14 in 2005. NBC’s America’s Got Talent was up 18% versus last year when it also ran against the MLB All-Star Game.

 

Not me

3. The Moneyball lineup  – The movie based on Michael Lewis‘ outstanding 2003 book Moneyball looks like it is going to be outstanding. Brad Pitt plays A’s GM Billy Beane, Philip Seymour Hoffman as manager Art Howe, and Jonah Hill as a composite of front-office execs. It is directed by director Bennett Miller (“Capote”) and reunites producers Scott Rudin and Michael De Luca, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, all of whom worked together in last year’s hit, The Social Network. The movie is slated to premiere Sept. 23.

4. A World Scully?The Daily Stache is a Mets blog website, but rather than spending time pitying the team of writers there for their allegiance, let’s salute them for their hard work and dedication. But let us take our hats of to them for creating a petition urging Fox to replace Joe Buck with Vin Scully for the World Series this year. It is very unlikely that without such a petition we would get to hear Scully’s brilliant game description. In addition, the absence of Buck would remove him from broadcasting a sport that he has clearly lost interest in compared to the NFL. Not surprisingly, Buck was supportive of the idea, “Personally, I’d love it,” Buck is quoted as saying. “We’ve always toyed with the idea of having the hometown guy involved in a World Series broadcast. I’m from that camp. In my dad’s era, we paid a nod of tribute to the greats. And there’s no one like Vin, or close to Vin.

“I’d happily step aside to hear his voice (on the World Series). I would not fight that at all. That’s just how I grew up.

My hope is that after Scully, Bob Costas and Al Michaels could do a Series as well. When I signed the petition I suggested that Tim McCarver be replaced by dead air. The petition can be found here.

5. Yankees suffer from Colonitis – The Toronto Blue Jays scored eight times in the 1st inning and beat Bartolo Colon and the New York Yankees, 16-7. The Yanks made three errors including one in the 1st by Alex Rodriguez‘s replacement, third baseman Eduardo Nunez, that led to five unearned runs. Colon (6-5) has lost consecutive starts for the first time this season. Colon joins an elite group of Yankee pitchers who have given up 8 runs in less than an innings work:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER
1 Bartolo Colon 2011-07-14 NYY TOR L 7-16 GS-1 ,L 0.2 6 8 3
2 Orlando Hernandez 2000-06-18 NYY CHW L 4-17 GS-1 ,L 0.2 6 9 9
3 Andy Hawkins 1989-09-26 NYY BOS L 5-9 GS-1 ,L 0.1 5 8 8
4 Bob Kammeyer 1979-09-18 NYY CLE L 3-16 4-4 0.0 7 8 8
5 Allen Russell 1919-07-05 (2) NYY WSH L 5-11 0.2 6 8 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/15/2011.

6. It must have been the All-Star Slide – Padres closer Heath Bell had not allowed a homer run for a franchise-record stretch of 99 games and 102 at-bats when Aubrey Huff  led off the 9th inning for the Giants with a tying drive into the right-field seats, and San Francisco scored four times in the 12th to defeat San Diego, 6-2. The Padres wore 1983 throwback brown uniforms as a tribute to Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who  managed the Padres from 1982-85, and died July 7.

7. Dutch treat for Texas – The Texas Rangers’ Derek Holland tossed a five-hitter and defeated the Mariners,5-0. It was the Rangers eighth straight victory. It was the second straight shutout for Holland who now has four career complete game, all shutouts. It was his third blanking this season. He went the route in his previous outing July 7 against Oakland, a 6-0 decision. Mike NapoliJosh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz each homered for Texas. The Mariners have lost six straight; stick a fork in them.

8. Crazy eights in Baltimore – The Tribe’s Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana each homered in the 1st and Justin Masterson won his 8th game of  the season as the Indians beat Baltimore, 8-4 . The Orioles’ losing streak is now… you guessed it:  eight games.  Masterson (8-6) improved to 3-0 in his last three starts. He has a 2.80 ERA this season. The Orioles struck out a season-high 13 times, including five straight to end the game.

 9. Scoreboard, Standings, and Schedule: July 15

Yesterday’s scores–

AL

  • Indians 8, Orioles 4
  • Blue Jays 16, Yankees 7
  • Twins 8, Royals 4
  • Rangers 5, Mariners 0

NL

  • Marlins 6, Cubs 3
  • Rockies 12, Brewers 3
  • Giants 6, Padres 2 (12)

Standings–

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

  1. Red Sox      55   35  .611  –
  2. Yankees      53   36  .596   1.5
  3. Rays         49   41  .544   6
  4. Blue Jays    46   47  .495  10.5
  5. Orioles      36   53  .404  18.5

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

  1. Indians      48   42  .533  –
  2. Tigers       49   43  .533  –
  3. White Sox    44   48  .478   5
  4. Twins        42   48  .467   6
  5. Royals       37   55  .402  12

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

  1. Rangers      52   41  .559  –
  2. Angels       50   42  .543   1.5
  3. Mariners     43   49  .467   8.5
  4. A’s          39   53  .424  12.5

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

  1. Phillies     57   34  .626  –
  2. Braves       54   38  .587   3.5
  3. Mets         46   45  .505  11
  4. Nationals    46   46  .500  11.5
  5. Marlins      44   48  .478  13.5

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

  1. Cardinals    49   43  .533  –
  2. Brewers      49   44  .527   0.5
  3. Pirates      47   43  .522   1
  4. Reds         45   47  .489   4
  5. Cubs         37   56  .398  12.5
  6. Astros       30   62  .326  19

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

TEAM         W    L   PCT  GB

  1. Giants       53   40  .570  –
  2. Diamondbacks 49   43  .533   3.5
  3. Rockies      44   48  .478   8.5
  4. Dodgers      41   51  .446  11.5
  5. Padres       40   53  .430  13

 Today’s schedule–

AL

NL