November 16, 2011 · 23:53
“You win pennants in the off season when you build your teams with trades and free agents.” Earl Weaver
The World Series is in the past but the baseball world is abuzz with awards, trades, free agent offers and the possibility of a reorganization of the Major Leagues and even a new five year Collective Bargaining Agreement deal between the players union and the league. Baseball it seems has become the model of stability and sensibility in the American sporting world. Even as I write the Owners and GMs are meeting in Milwaukee and the Winter meetings are just over the horizon. This is where teams are built and where the seeds of future pennants are planted.
One has to admit that the 2012 baseball season was something to behold. The record comebacks of the Rays and Cardinals and epic collapses of the Braves and Red Sox in the final month of the season that led to one of the most if not the most memorable regular season endings in baseball history. The storybook season of the Arizona Diamondbacks going from worst to first in the NL West was another amazing story.
Awards for outstanding achievement are being given out; Tigers Pitcher Justin Verlander won the American League Cy Young Award on a unanimous ballot. Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson won the National League Manager of the Year award for leading his team to a Division Championship and Rays Manager Joe Maddon who brought his team back from the abyss to reach the playoffs on the last day of the regular season won the American League Manager of the Year. The National League Rookie of the Year award went to the Atlanta Braves reliever Craig Kimbrel and Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson took the American League award. The National League Cy Young still remains as well as the Most Valuable Player awards.
The Cubs and Red Sox are still shopping for managers while the Cardinals chose former catcher Mike Matheny to fill the shoes left by Tony LaRussa who retired after the miraculous finish that led to a Word Series Championship. Pitching Coach Dave Duncan, LaRussa’s long time right hand man remains as does Hitting Coach Mark McGwire. Former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona announced today that he will not manage in 2012 something that most baseball experts agree is a good choice. I agree considering how exhausted Francona appeared after the end of the season and his firing. The Orioles have a new General Manager, Dan Duquette who replaced Andy McPhail and Red So GM Theo Epstein went to the Cubs in the hopes of reversing the curse. There are reports tonight that the Cubs will sign Dale Sveum as their new Manager.
It looks as if the sale of the Houston Astros will go through and with it the team’s move to the American League. This will balance the leagues at 15 teams each and allow for year round inter-league play and is part of the new CBA which reportedly could be signed as early as Friday. The CBA is actually remarkable considering the great consternation caused by the NFL lockout and the probable loss of an entire NBA season due to failures to resolve collective bargaining agreements. The baseball negotiation process has been fireworks free and negotiators from the owners and player’s union seem to remember the damage caused by the 1994 strike and what happened in the NFL and NBA seems to have learned the lessons of history.
Some of the big free agents look like they could be on the move and one, Red Sox Closer Jonathan Papelbon signed a contract with the Phillies while the Miami Marlins are making serious bids for St Louis First Baseman Albert Pujols and Met’s Shortstop Jose Reyes. Brewers First Baseman Cecil Fielder is on the market and the Yankees appear to be looking for pitching support to complement their ace C C Sabathia who the re-signed. Plenty of other big name free agents remain to be signed and it will be interesting to see where they all land.
Even though there are no games being played in the Major Leagues baseball is making news and in the process showing how important the off season is to the regular season. This is going to be an exciting off season for baseball and bodes well for the upcoming regular season. What a great game.
Filed under Loose thoughts and musings
Tagged as 2011 mlb season, albert pujols, andy mcphail, arizona diamondbacks, astros to american league, atlanta braves, boston red sox, c c sabathia, craig kimbrel, cy young award, dale sveum, dan duquette, dave duncan, free agents, houston astros, jeremy hellickson, joe maddon, jonathan papelbon, jose reyes, kirk gibson, manager of the year award, mark mcguire, mike matheny, mlb, mlb cba, mlb realignment, mlb rookie of the year, nba lockout, new york yankees, nfl lockout, philadelphia phillies, st louis cardinals, tampa bay rays, terry francona, theo epstein, tony larussa, world series
April 20, 2010 · 16:29
Jake Arrieta pitched 6 strong innings for the Tides
Well sports fans I didn’t get the post off in time the other night so both Sunday and Monday’s games are covered in this post.
On Sunday evening in Durham the Tides bats went silent and Durham’s bats caught fire again. Tides starter Chris Tillman was stung for 4 runs in the top of the fourth and suffered from control issues giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, hit Ryan Shealy with a pitch and tossed 2 wild pitches and was not helped by a passed by catcher Adam Donachie. Tillman threw 43 pitches and was removed at the end of the first being replaced by reliever Jeff George. George threw 4 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits, the run coming in the bottom of the 5th when Justin Ruggiano doubled to right to drive in Desmond Jennings. Andy Mitchell came into the game and was hit hard by the Bulls giving up 3 runs in the sixth inning and 2 more in the 7th. The damage in the sixth came as the Bulls got 4 hits, drew a walk and were aided by 2 stolen bases. In the seventh Mitchell could not stop the bleeding and gave up 2 runs on three hits including a double by Alvin Colina. Frank Mata came into the game in the 8th and retired the side in order. The Tides bats were silent. The only Tides run came from a Rhyne Hughes homer in the top of the first. Bulls starter Jeremy Hellickson (3-0 1.42) who has dominated both Gwinnett and the Tides gave up just 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 8 and walking just 1 in 7.2 innings. Brian Baker closed out the game allowing no runs on no hits. For the Tides Chris Tillman (0-3 8.38) got the loss giving up 4 runs on 3 hits. Chris George gave up 1 run on two hits and Andy Mitchell was rung up for 5 runs on 6 hits.
Tides Manager Gary Allenson was tossed just prior to the start of the bottom of the Third
On Monday the Tides came home to face their old rival the Gwinnett Braves, a rivalry that has cooled since the Braves left Richmond two years ago. The Tides started Jake Arrieta (1-0 0.50) who is rapidly becoming the ace of this staff. Jake got his second no-decision of the season pitching 6 innings giving up 2 runs, only one of which was earned on 5 hits striking out 5. I would not be surprised if Jake continues to mature as fast as he has if he ends up on the Orioles 40 man roster soon. Ross Wolf (0-1 2.61) got the loss for the Tides giving up 2 runs neither of which was earned on 3 hits in 2 inning s work. Wolf too has also come a long way since last year and is becoming a reliable middle reliever for the Tides. Alberto Castillo came in to finish the game for the Tides giving up nothing to the Braves.
Rhyne Hughes singled to up his hitting streak to 11 games
The Tides lost a chance in the third inning when following the ejection of Tides Manager Gary Allenson before the first pitch of the inning arguing a call from the top half of the inning. Allenson must have questioned third base umpire Lance Barrett’s parentage as well as his eyesight and well after the toss was chewing on Barrett’s ear and if he had been any closer he would have “Van Gough’d” Barrett. Allenson was relieved as third base coach by Hitting Coach Richie Hebner. With Joey Gathright on first Robert Andino doubled to deep right center. Hebner held Gathright at third even though it was obvious that Joey with his great speed would have been safe and up at the concourse hot dog stand before the throw came in. Instead both Gathright and Andino were left on base on second and third with no outs when the middle of the order could muster nothing to drive them in.
Joey Gathright singles in the bottom of the 6th. Joey went 2-3 with 2 walks and the RBI
The Tides runs came in the bottom of the sixth when Jonathan Tucker doubled to score Josh Bell and Joey Gathright drove in Tucker. Gathright then stole second and third but was left at third when Robert Andino struck out swinging.
Jake Arrieta rushes to field a bunt
The Tides Roster has seen some changes in the past several days. Lou Montanez was called up to Baltimore to replace Felix Pie in the outfield with Pie on the DL. Kam Mickolio went up to replace injured Mike Gonzales, Justin Turner to replace injured Brian Roberts and Orioles starting pitcher Brad Bergeson was optioned to Norfolk after a series of poor outing the last against the Mariners where he gave up 7 runs in the 3rd inning.
Braves catcher Gregor Blanco goes down avoiding a high and tight pitch from Arrieta
The Orioles broke their 10 game losing streak in Oakland on Sunday defeating the A’s 8-3 behind the pitching of rookie Brian Matusz who got his second and the Orioles second win of the season. Ty Wiggington provided much of the offensive punch driving in 4 runs and hitting his fourth home run of the season. On Monday night in Seattle starter Brad Bergeson gave up 7 runs in the bottom of the fourth and the O’s went on to lose to the Mariners 8-2. The O’s offense once again was provided by Ty Wiggington who hit his 5th home run of the year a solo shot in the top of the 9th against Mariner’s reliever Shawn Kelly.
Tides Left Fielder Jeff Salazar races to make a catch on Monday at Harbor Park
The other run came in the top of the 7th when Luke Scott doubled to break up Seattle starter Doug Fiester’s (2-0 1.42) no hitter and was driven in by catcher Matt Wieter’s. After the game Bergeson (0-2 12.19) was sent down to AAA Norfolk for a tune up. No related call up from the Tides has been announced. Tonight Tides starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (1-0 2.00) will go against Gwinnett’s Todd Redmond (1-1 1.93). I’ll see you there from my pew in Section 102, Row B seat 1. Later in the evening the O’s will send up David Hernandez (0-2 4.91) will face Jason Vargas (1-1 5.56) at Safeco field.
Filed under Baseball, Batlimore Orioles, norfolk tides
Tagged as adam donachie, alberto castillo, alfredo simon, alvin colina, andy mitchell, baltimore Orioles, brad bergeson, brian matusz, brian roberts, chris tillman, desmond jennings, doug fiester, durham bulls, felix pie, frank mata, gary allenson, gregor blanco, gwinnett braves, harbor park, jake arrieta, jeff george, jeremy hellickson, joey gathright, jonathan tucker, josh bell, justin ruggiano, justin turner, kam Mickolio, lance barrett, lou montanez, luke scott, matt wieters, mike gonzales, norfolk tides, oakland athletics, rhyne hughes, richie hebner, robert andino, ross wolf, ryan shealy, seattle mariners, shawn kelly, todd redmond, ty wiggington, van gough'd