Happy Birthday–November 20

Joe Sommer (1958)
Kenesaw Landis (1866)
Clark Griffith (1869)
George McBride (1880)
Leon Cadore (1890)
Larry Benton (1897)
Jay Ritchie (1936)
Herm Starrette (1938)
Jay Johnstone (1945)
Rick Monday (1945)
Ron Cash (1949)
Alex Arias (1967)
Gabe White (1971)
J. D. Drew (1975)
Sam Fuld (1981)
Brock Peterson (1983)

Kenesaw Landis, as I'm sure you know, was the first commissioner of baseball, holding the job from 1920 until his death in 1944.

Pitcher Clark Griffith was a star for the Cubs before jumping to the White Sox when the American League was formed. Later, of course, he was the owner of the Twins franchise while it was still in Washington. His adopted son, Calvin, brought the team to Minnesota.

Ron Cash was drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round in 1969, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 20

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-six


Date:  Tuesday, May 21.

Batting stars:  David Ortiz was 4-for-5 with a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-5 with a double and a home run (his twelfth), driving in five.  Denny Hocking was 2-for-3 with a home run and a double.

Pitching stars:  Eric Milton struck out seven in six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks.  Mike JacksonJ. C. Romero, and LaTroy Hawkins each pitched a scoreless inning.

Opposition stars:  Rafael Palmeiro was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his ninth.  Juan Gonzalez was 2-for-5.  Carl Everett was 2-for-4.

The game:  Again, it appears that there was nothing wrong with the Twins that playing Not the Yankees couldn't fix.  The Twins scored two in the first, getting one run on a Hunter sacrifice fly and another on a Dustan Mohr RBI single.  They added two more in the second, with Hunter doubling home one and Ortiz singling in another.  There was no more scoring until the fifth, when Hocking homered to make it 5-0.  Palmeiro hit a two-run homer in the sixth to get the Rangers on the board at 5-2.  In the eighth, Hunter put the game out of reach with a three-run homer.

WP:  Milton (6-3).  LP:  Ismael Valdez (3-5).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bobby Kielty was again at first base, going 2-for-4 with a walk.  He was batting .333...Jay Canizaro was again at third and went 0-for-3 with a walk.  Hocking played second...Hunter raised his average to .335...Dustan Mohr was 1-for-4 with a walk and was batting .322...Jackson's ERA was 0.95...Romero's ERA was 0.34...Hawkins' ERA was 2.10...Future Twin Mike Lamb was used as a pinch-hitter and went 1-for-1...Hunter's eighth-inning homer came off Todd Van Poppel.  Van Poppel was drafted by Oakland in the first round in 1990 and was hyped as the Next Big Thing.  His minor league numbers are not particularly impressive, but because he was the Next Big Thing he kept getting promoted.  He made one start for Oakland in 1991, sixteen in 1993, and then was in the majors for full seasons from 1994-96.  By the end of that time, he was 20-33, 5.39, 1.53 WHIP in 343.2 innings.  He was also no longer with Oakland, having been waived in August of 1996 and claimed by Detroit.  He bounced around all over the place, as teams apparently were convinced that they could unlock the potential they believed he had.  He was with Anaheim, Kansas City, and Texas in 1997, moved on to Pittsburgh from the middle of 1998 through the end of 1999, and was with the Cubs from 2000-2001.  That was where he had his only major league success.  Used out of the bullpen, he went 8-6, 2 saves, 3.18, 1.42 WHIP in 161.1 innings.  His FIP was about a run higher each season, but still, not bad.  That was as good as it would get, though.  He was with Texas from 2002 to June of 2003, was with Cincinnati for the rest of 2003 and all of 2004, then signed with the Mets in 2005 but did not play for them.  He had injury problems along the way, which didn't help, but given his minor league numbers, one wonders if he was ever really all that in the first place.  His final big league numbers were 40-52, 5.58, 4 saves, 1.55 WHIP.

Record:  The Twins were 26-20, in first place, one game ahead of Chicago.

2002 Rewind: Game Forty-five


Date:  Sunday, May 19.

Batting star:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  Mike Jackson pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.  J. C. Romero pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Roger Clemens struck out thirteen in eight shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks.  Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-4.  Robin Ventura was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, his eleventh, and a walk.

The game:  Derek Jeter singled home Soriano in the first inning, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead before anyone was out.  It stayed 1-0 until the sixth, when Ventura hit a two-run homer.  The Twins had men on second and third in the second and on first and third in the fourth.  They also got the tying run to the plate with two out in the ninth, but Mariano Rivera struck out pinch-hitter Brian Buchanan to end the game.

WP:  Clemens (7-2).  LP:  Matt Kinney (1-4).  S:  Mariano Rivera (13).

Notes:  Kielty again played first base, going 1-for-4 to make his average .324.  David Ortiz was in the lineup as the DH...Jay Canizaro was at third, with Denny Hocking at second...Kinney struck out six in 5.1 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk...Torii Hunter was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .331...Mohr raised his average to .324...A. J. Pierzynski was 0-for-2 with a walk, making his average .303...Jackson's ERA fell to 1.00...Romero's ERA was 0.36...Future Twins Rondell White was in the lineup for the Yankees, going 0-for-3.

Record:  The Twins were 25-20, in first place by a half game over Chicago, who had gone 3-7 over the last ten games just as the Twins had.

Happy Birthday–November 18

Deacon McGuire (1863)
Jack Coombs (1882)
Les Mann (1892)
Gene Mauch (1925)
Roy Sievers (1926)
Danny McDevitt (1932)
Cal Koonce (1940)
Jim Shellenback (1943)
Steve Henderson (1952)
Luis Pujols (1955)
Mike Felder (1961)
Jamie Moyer (1962)
Dante Bichette (1963)
Ron Coomer (1966)
Tom Gordon (1967)
Gary Sheffield (1968)
Shawn Camp (1975)
David Ortiz (1975)
Steve Bechler (1979)
C. J. Wilson (1980)

Roy Sievers was a star for the franchise when it was in Washington in the 1950s.

There are seventy-six current and former major league players born on this day. I'm pretty sure that's the most on any day.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–November 18

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.