Tag:Duke Snider
Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:46 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 12:42 am
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Ethier halfway to DiMaggio; streak at 28

Andre Ethier

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Dodgers' Andre Ethier has extended his hitting streak to 28 games -- halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record.

After being called out on strikes in the first and grounding out in the third inning against Cubs left-hander James Russell, Either stuck his bat out with two strikes for a little looper to short, which bounced off Starlin Castro's glove, scoring Jerry Sands from third.

It was clearly a hit, although with Castro's arm, a good play would have made it interesting. It was Ethier's only hit of the night, finishing 1 for 4, dropping his average to .374.

On the call, Vin Scully noted it's the fourth time Ethier has extended his streak on an infield single.

With it, he broke a tie for third for longest streak in Dodgers history with Duke Snider and Ducky Medwick. Zack Wheat hit in 29 straight games in 1916 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, while Willie Davis holds the franchise record with 31 games.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:20 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:33 am
 

Pepper: Opening day excitement

Yankee Stadium
By C. Trent Rosecrans

No day in the year probably evokes as many cliches as opening day. Several times today you'll hear of hope and optimism and that's total crap.

There's no reason for the Pirates fans or Astros fans or Royals fans to think 2011 will be any different than 2010. But the thing is, the beauty of the baseball season isn't that every team has a chance. It's that there are 162 games and no matter how bad the team, they'll still win three times out of every eight games. 

Even watching the Mariners for 162 this season, you'll still have walk-off wins, reasons for hope, shutouts thrown, home runs hit and a whole lot of baseball. It's a beautiful thing.

And then there's a team that you don't think has a chance that somehow stays atop the standings. Sure, they may not win it all, or even make the playoffs, like the Padres last season. But they still bring some excitement and reasons to watch through August and September. The ride isn't half the fun, it's all the fun.

Even without a spot at the top of the standings, there's a reason to go to the ballpark -- heck, going to the ballpark is reason enough. A hot dog, a beer and an afternoon game in the bleachers? Heaven, even if two also-rans are on the field.

Then there's rookies to watch and dream about their potential or the veteran to remember him in his prime.

Yeah, baseball is full of the cheesy cliches, but that's another part of the fun. I'm cheesy about the start of baseball season and I just don't care. (Of course, this is coming from someone who spent the last minutes leading up to a NCAA National Championship game back in the media room watching a Royals opener on TV right up until tipoff when I reluctantly went to my courtside seat to the game, so I may be a little messed up in the head.)

TENSION: Imagine going into the last day of the exhibition season unsure of your fate and then throwing a pickoff move into right field with two outs and a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning that leads to the losing runs. That can't feel good.

And then, well, being called into the manager's office right before the final cuts are announced. Really, really not good.

Except, after A's manager Bob Geren went over Bobby Cramer's gaffe, he then congratulated him on making the team.

Cramer, a 10-year minor league veteran, made his first opening day roster and will be the A's long reliever. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TICKETS AVAILABLE:  The guys who brought you last year's Mets help wanted video with not-John Ricco, are back trying to sell Mets opening day tickets.

While not as good as their last Mets video, it's still pretty good.

 

MO BETTER: We know Mariano Rivera has been really good for a really long time, but check out his run as the Yankees' closer against all the other closers since he took over in New York in this great graphic from the Washington Post.

HOPEFUL HAPP: Astros lefty J.A. Happ still hopes to get back to pitch on his turn in the team's rotation, Sunday against the Phillies. The former Phillie, Happ, would be facing former Astro, Roy Oswalt in the final game of the opening series. (Houston Chronicle)

VIVA ANAHEIM: I think I've already named about three "best promo ever" winners, but this is my current favorite -- the Angels' Mexican wrestler mask. I so wish I could be in SoCal in May, instead I'll be in Ireland. Oh well. (Orange County Register)

MEET THE METS: The Mets are trying to embrace their blogging community and hosted a conference call with manager Terry Collins on Monday. (Networked Blogs)

BURNETT SICK: Yankees starter A.J. Burnett is dealing with the flu, but says he still expects to make his scheduled start on Saturday. (New York Daily News)

BASEBALL HEALING: I lived in Japan for a couple of years and I've told people many times about the high school baseball tournament and the best way I've been able to describe it is the NCAA basketball tournament -- but only better, because it's baseball. It's even more important this year. (Associated Press)

PIRATES LIKELY TO BEAT PREDICTION: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey doesn't have high hopes for the Pirates this season. That's understandable. That said, I think they'll do better than his 9-153 perdecition.

TATER TROT RETURNS: Larry Granillo is bring back the Tater Trot Tracker. For those of you who missed it last year, the blogger tracked the time of every home run trot i the majors last season. He's doing the tracker for Baseball Prospectus this year, check out what he learned last season.

UNIWATCH: The always awesome Uniwatch baseball preview. There aren't too many changes this year, except for the Dodger throwbacks and the end of the Blue Jays' powder blues.

SAFETY FIRST: MLB is taking steps to help protect players against concussions, but the players can choose to do more, and Justin Morneau is doing that. Morneau will wear the Rawlings S100 helmet this year. The oversized helmet offers more protection for a batter's head, but is the subject of ridicule by other players and fans. Some players, such as David Wright, have worn it briefly only to go back to a regular helmet after hearing the jokes. Morneau apparently doesn't think concussions are funny, and he's right. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

BACKPEDDLING: Andre Either's agent says he'd love to stay in Los Angeles long-term. Of course he would. (Los Angeles Times)

AN APPLE A DAY: One of the most injured teams last season, the Red Sox are hoping prevention can help them beat injuries. (Boston Globe)

EXPRESS LINE: Putting aside the vogue bigger, badder, fatter concessions, two minor league clubs -- Richmond and Lehigh Valley -- are going with faster, allowing you to use your smartphone to preorder and pay for your concessions. (Ben's Biz Blog)

PREVIEW: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper were on display at NatsFest at Nationals Park. Strasburg said he's hoping to start opening day 2012 for the Nats. Harper said his ankle is fine, even though there's still concern he may miss his minor league team's April 7 opener. (Washington Post)

SPEAKING OF PROSPECTS: The Kansas City Star's baseball preview section is mostly about the Royals of 2012 and beyond, instead of this year's team. Bob Dutton asks if the Royals' influx of talent means Kansas City can return to its winning ways of the 70s and 80s. And then Tod Palmer looks at how it could go wrong -- like the Pirates of the late 90s.

REMEMBERING THE DUKE: The Dodgers will wear a No. 4 patch on their uniforms to honor the late Duke Snider. (MLB.com)

DONE GOOD: Kudos for Dan Haren for his work in helping fund a Miracle League field, allowing special-needs kids a place to play baseball. (Arizona Republic)

MUST READ: This graphic novel biography of Roberto Clemente looks awesome. (Atomic Books)

WELCOME BACK: Hard-core baseball fans wept when MinorLeagueSplits.com was shut down, but a replacement has been founded -- mlsplits.drivelinebaseball.com/mlsp
lits
. Let's just say it's already been bookmarked.

LOW AND AWAY: Our friends the Baseball Project have let us use their music for our podcast, and to celebrate opening day, Yep Roc Records has the MP3 download of their album, Vol. 2: High and Inside on sale for $3.99. (Yep Roc Records)

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Posted on: March 5, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: March 5, 2011 10:57 am
 

Pepper: Yanks have healthy squatter



By Matt Snyder


When Francisco Cervelli went down with a broken foot Friday , a lot of eyeballs started to peer in the direction of uber-prospect Jesus Montero. Of course, if Montero was ready to join the big-league club out of camp defensively, he'd already be slotted on the roster. By all scouting accounts, his bat is ready. It's just that he threw out only 23 percent of would-be base-stealers last season in Triple-A, which fits in line with his 15 passed balls and six errors.

There's a reason the Yankees brought in Russell Martin. And Friday, there was encouraging news in his health.

Martin, who is recovering from knee surgery, caught five full innings behind the dish and felt "good."

"Honestly, I wouldn't have been out there if I did feel anything," he said after the game. (MLB.com )

Martin has greatly regressed in the past two seasons, but he's still only 28. In each 2007 and 2008 he caught at least 145 games while hitting well enough (.811 OPS) to be an All-Star both seasons. Assuming no setbacks, here is your everyday catcher for the Yankees when the 2011 season opens.

JOSE JOSE JOSE JOSE:
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is entering the final year of his contract and it seems like he's one of the offensive centerpieces for the team, but SI.com's Jon Heyman reports he'll need to improve his OBP to get a multi-year deal. That's fair. Reyes is a speedster, so if he's only getting on base at a .321 clip (last year's OBP), that's an issue for the money he'll likely command. Of course, from 2006-2009 he was over .350 each season. The guess here is he gets it back to that range and signs an extension with little drama. That is, of course, assuming the Mets' financial woes don't interfere. (Heyman Twitter )

SHEEN-CO DE MAYO: Charlie Sheen jokes and references are beginning to get a bit overplayed by this point, but here's something interesting -- at least I think so. The Lake Elsinore Storm, a minor-league baseball team, are having a promotion this season called "Charlie Sheen-co de Mayo (click here to see the logo ). Among the festivities will be a taco-eating contest, Sheen bobblehead, a "Wild Thing" glasses giveaway and retirement of the number 99 -- the latter two homages to Sheen's Rick Vaughn character in Major League . It's also "Thirsty Thursday," which means $1 beer and coke products. I think I'm feeling a road trip ... (MLBlogs )

DOGGIE ETIQUETTE: While we're on the topic of fun things relating to the ol' ballpark, why not talk hot dogs? After all, the American Meat Council reports there were 21,378,064 dogs sold at major league stadiums last season. Here are some things the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council provide as etiquette in eating your dog:

- Toppings don't go between the bun and the dog; they go on top of the dog.
- Condiment order: 1. wet (ketchup, mustard); 2. chunky (onions, relish); 3. Cheese; 4. Spices
- Do not use utensils
- No china, paper plates are preferred
- No ketchup after you turn 18.

Really? What's wrong with ketchup? And I'm 32 ... (Orlando Sentinel )

MUSCLING UP: Talk about having a career day. Austin Glorius is a senior in high school, and Thursday he hit five home runs in a game. Oh, he also had 17 RBI. He would have had 18 RBI, but one of his teammates missed a base and was called out. So allow me to digress: How does that ever happen? I played baseball until I was 22 and have watched it since I was about four. I cannot understand how a player ever misses a base. Ever. I didn't get it at age six and still don't get it now. You should never, ever miss a base as a baseball player at any level. (Obviously we're talking about missing a base while rounding it, not sliding in to avoid a tag). (Orlando Sentinel )

FLASHBACK FRIDAYS:
The Angels are going to wear some throwback uniforms this season for every Friday night home game. You can see the five different uniforms by clicking here , but I'll warn you it's a bit disappointing. All of the uniforms look pretty similar to the current ones, aside from a few of the hats. What was wrong with the '97 alternate ? Or even the home ones -- those were horrifically awesome. (OC Register )

HONORING DUKE: The Dodgers will wear a patch to honor recently-deceased Duke Snider this season. It marks the sixth time in franchise history the team has done so. The previous ones: Jim Gilliam, Don McMahon, Tim Crews, Pee Wee Reese and a combination patch for Don Drysdale and Roy Campanella. (LA Times )

FUN WITH VIDEOS: BABIP explained through a video. Pretty funny stuff. (Fangraphs )

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Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Dodgers great Duke Snider passes

Snider By Evan Brunell

Hall of Famer Duke Snider has passed away at age 84, the Baseball Hall of Fame revealed Sunday. Snider was battling an undisclosed illness at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, Calif. 

"Duke was not only a great player but he was a great person too," said Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who had cups of coffee with the 1954-55 Dodgers and thus had Snider for a teammate. "He loved his family and loved the Dodgers. He was the true Dodger and represented the Dodgers to the highest degree of class, dignity and character. He was my teammate and friend, and I will really miss him."

The "Silver Fox," as he was known -- along with "Duke of Flatbush" -- spent 16 years with the Dodgers, the final five out west in Los Angeles. He signed with the club as a 17-year-old, had a brief career in the minors and the Navy, then began his Hall of Fame career. Snider would end up with 407 total home runs, all but 18 with the Dodgers. Snider spent his penultimate season back in New York with the Mets during their brutal 51-111 campaign in 1963 as the center fielder struggled to career-worst numbers for the season. He returned to California the next year, earning 167 at-bats for San Francisco. A major part of his career was chronicled in Roger Kahn's iconic book about the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boys of Summer .

In his heyday, Snider was a feared hitter. He had five consecutive seasons of at least 40 home runs -- nine straight of at least 20 -- leading the NL with 43 in 1956, along with OBP and slugging percentage. His home-run streak began at age 22 after two years of apprenticeship. Snider was left off the World Series roster in his rookie season of 1947 and was then demoted to the minors in May of 1958 after he kicked the season off with a .158 batting average. Then-GM Branch Rickey challenged Snider to force Rickey's hand in bringing him back to town. In early August 1948, Rickey had seen enough, as Snider told Dodgers Magazine .

"After the doubleheader, he came into the clubhouse and said, 'You played very well tonight,'" Snider recalled. "I said, 'Thank you, Mister Rickey. Don't you think the numbers I put up are enough to make you call me back?' He said, 'I'm glad you brought that up because I want you to pack your uniform, catch tomorrow morning's plane and fly to Brooklyn. You're my center fielder tomorrow night in Brooklyn.' My mouth flew open, of course. Everybody heard it and went over and congratulated me. I went there and became the regular center fielder."

From that point on, Snider was simply great. While an MVP award proved elusive, Snider finished second in voting in 1955 when he hit .309/.418/.628 with 42 blasts and 136 RBI. He finished second to teammate Roy Campanella by just five points and could have very well won the entire thing. According to Wikipedia , Snider's Duke of Flatbush book details the story of an ill baseball writer from Philadelphia who submitted his ballot with Campanella both at No. 1 and No. 5. It is felt the writer intended to write Snider into one of these places. However, the Baseball Writers Association of America decided to keep Campanella at No. 1 and count the No. 5 spot as a blank ballot. Even inserting Snider into the fifth spot would have been enough to edge Campanella. Despite that, Snider helped the Dodgers win a World Series -- but not before a bad experience in the 1949 World Series when Brooklyn lost to the Yankees. Snider struck out eight times in five games, tying a World Series record.

Snider But Snider was no stranger to postseason greatness, winning the pennant six times and bashing 11 World Series home runs, four in both 1952 (another loss to the Yankees) and 1955. (Photo, right, shows Snider crossing the plate on his second home run.) His 11 home runs remain the most any NL player has ever hit in the Fall Classic. He would also earn another World Series ring in 1959 in the Dodgers' second season out west. His legacy marches on as he remains franchise leader in home runs (389), RBI (1,271) and led baseball in these categories during the entire decade of the 1950s.

Commissioner Bud Selig, who was 21 at the time of Snider's World Series victory in 1955, released a statement that called Snider "a key player during a special era in baseball, joining Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle to form New York City's unparalleled triumvirate of center fielders - Willie, Mickey and The Duke. Then the Los Angeles native went home and helped usher in a new part of baseball history with great class. I have many fond memories of watching Duke play, and I will be forever grateful for getting to know him well in the ensuing years."

"We shed a tear in Cooperstown for the man affectionately tabbed by his fans, 'The Duke of Flatbush,' " added Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "There was no one classier or more easy going than Duke Snider. He was nationally renowned for his smooth fielding and powerful bat -- as evidenced by hitting more home runs in the 1950s than anyone else. He is still today revered by Brooklynites everywhere for patrolling center field in Ebbets Field with grace and dignity, leading the underdog Dodgers to five pennants and their only World Series title in New York, in 1955. Above it all, he was a fan favorite for his style of play, personality, accessibility, and fondness for playing stickball with kids in the street of Brooklyn."

Snider's legacy is intact, as he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 on his 11th ballot. His No. 4 was retired in a stirring ceremony in 1980, when both DiMaggio and Mays accompanied him.

"He was an extremely gifted talent and his defensive abilities were often overlooked because of playing in a small ballpark, Ebbets Field," Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said. Scully  began his broadcasting career with Brooklyn in 1950, Snider's second year as a full-time player. "When he had a chance to run and move defensively, he had the grace and the abilities of [Joe] DiMaggio and [Willie] Mays and of course, he was a World Series hero that will forever be remembered in the borough of Brooklyn. Although it’s ironic to say it, we have lost a giant."

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