1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty-one

MINNESOTA 2, CHICAGO 1 IN MINNESOTA

Batting stars:  Kirby Puckett was 1-for-3 with a home run, his twenty-fourth.  Tim Laudner was 1-for-3 with a home run, his sixteenth.

Pitching star:  Frank Viola pitched a complete game, striking out nine while giving up one run on six hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Gary Redus was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eleventh.  Ivan Calderon was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dave LaPoint pitched five innings of relief, giving up one run on one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.

The game:  Redus led off the game with a home run to put the White Sox ahead 1-0.  That was it for the White Sox offense, although they did get a man to third base in the third and sixth.  White Sox starter Richard Dotson apparently was injured, as he pitched only one inning.  The second Twins batter, Randy Bush, hit into a 1-6-3 double play, which may have been the play on which Dotson was injured.  At any rate, the Twins did not get a hit until the fourth, when Puckett hit a two-out homer to tie the game.  Gene Larkin drew a two-out walk in the fifth, but the Twins did not get another baserunner until the ninth, when Laudner hit a leadoff walkoff home run.

Of note:  Chris Pittaro, a September call-up, made his first start of the season, leading off and playing second base in place of Steve Lombardozzi...Randy Bush batted second and played right field, with Tom Brunansky in left.  In the fourth inning, however, Dan Gladden replaced Bush and played left, with Brunansky moving to right...Puckett kept his average at .325...The Twins had only two hits, both solo home runs, and won the game, so I guess solo home runs can hurt you.  I wonder what the highest number of hits (and runs) is in a game where all of your hits were solo home runs.  Or, for that matter, just where all your hits were home runs.

Record:  The Twins were 75-66, in first place by three games over Oakland, which defeated Texas 11-7.

Tift Merritt — Virginia, No One Can Warn You

Tift has been around for 15 years now and this is her first single. She's never been popular; her debut album barely made the country charts. But she makes a pretty good living. She comes to Minneapolis every other year or so. If I went to concerts ever, I'd go see her for sure. Friends have and have said great things. Some have compared her music stylings to Emmylou Harris, whom I've gathered is pretty popular round these parts.

2 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 102 votes, average: 7.50 out of 10 (2 votes, average: 7.50 out of 10)
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Happy Birthday–February 21

Jouett Meekin (1867)
Dummy Taylor (1875)
John Titus (1876)
Tom Yawkey (1903)
Mark Scott (1915)
Joe Foy (1943)
Jack Billingham (1943)
Tom Shopay (1945)
Charley Walters (1947)
Rick Lysander (1953)
Alan Trammell (1958)
The birthday list (2009)

Tom Yawkey was the owner of the Boston Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1978.

Mark Scott was the host of “Home Run Derby”.

I've been doing this for eight years now.  How time flies.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 21

Barenaked Ladies — Some Fantastic

So apparently I'm the first one to lay down a Barenaked Ladies song. Some find them gimmicky--and they are at times--but I find overall they're brilliant  writers and musicians. One problem is they're famous for some of their weaker songs, including the tiresome "If I Had $1,000,000" and the nonsensical and overplayed "One Week."

My favorite songs are "Brian Wilson," "The Old Apartment," and "Life, In A Nutshell." Though today you get my fourth favorite, "Some Fantastic," because they decided to sing that one in their bathroom.

7 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 107 votes, average: 6.29 out of 10 (7 votes, average: 6.29 out of 10)
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1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Forty

CHICAGO 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, September 8.

Batting stars:  Gary Gaetti was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-ninth) and a double, scoring twice.  Don Baylor was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Pitching star:  Bert Blyleven pitched a complete game, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  Gary Redus was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer (his tenth) a double, and a stolen base (his forty-seventh), scoring twice.  Floyd Bannister pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.  Ivan Calderon was 2-for-4 with a triple and a run.

The game:  Baylor's RBI double in the second put the Twins up 1-0.  Greg Walker singled in a run in the fourth to tie it 1-1, but Gaetti led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.  Mark Davidson delivered a run-scoring single in the fifth to make it 3-1.  A sacrifice fly cut it to 3-2 in the sixth.  With a man on second and two out in the seventh, Blyleven left a pitch up to Redus, who homered to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead.  The Twins tried to rally in the ninth.  With one out, Gene Larkin singled, Kent Hrbek walked, and Randy Bush had an infield single to load the bases.  Roy Smalley then hit a fly ball to center field and pinch-runner Al Newman was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

Of note:  Steve Lombardozzi was put in the leadoff spot in this game in Dan Gladden's continued absence...Davidson batted second and played left...Kirby Puckett was 0-for-4, dropping his average to .325...Larkin played first base, with Hrbek used as a pinch-hitter in the ninth...Redus hit twelve homers in 1987 and ninety for his career.  I would not have guessed he had that many.  He stole fifty-two bases in 1987 (a career high) and 322 in his career.

Record:  The Twins were 74-66, in first place by three games over Oakland, which lost 12-1 to Texas.

Happy Birthday–February 20

Sam Rice (1890)
John Wesley Donaldson (1892)
Muddy Ruel (1896)
Pete Monahan (1902)
Tommy Henrich (1913)
Frankie Gustine (1920)
Jim Wilson (1922)
Roy Face (1928)
Shigeo Nagashima (1936)
Clyde Wright (1941)
Bill Gullickson (1959)
Shane Spencer (1972)
Livan Hernandez (1975)
Ryan Langerhans (1980)
Justin Verlander (1983)
Jose Morales (1983)
Brian McCann (1984)

John Wesley Donaldson pitched in the Negro Leagues and averaged nearly twenty strikeouts per game for the All Nations team in the 1910s.  He pitched three consecutive no-hitters in 1913.

Pete Monahan played in the minors from 1921-1940, batting .301 and collecting 2,462 hits, but never played in the major leagues.

Third baseman Shigeo Nagashima played for the Yomiuri Giants from 1958-1974 and is considered by some to be the greatest player in the history of Japanese baseball.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 20

Clyde Stubblefield – Funk Thing

You don't have to do no soloing, brother, just keep what you got... Don't turn it loose, 'cause it's a mother. - James Brown to Clyde Stubblefield

Some drummers are all pyrotechnics. Some are all power. Others are rock-solid consistent. Not many could play one little twenty second break immersed in a ten-minute impromptu vamp and make an irresistible, booty-shakin' force that changes the landscape of music forever. There are probably more people in the world today who have – whether they realize it or not – heard a Clyde Stubblefield break or vamp than people who haven't. The Funky Drummer laid the rhythmic foundation of five decades and counting of the most popular music the world has ever known.

Bonus: Clyde and Jabo solo, together.

2 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10 (2 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)
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1987 Rewind: Game One Hundred Thirty-nine

MINNESOTA 8, CHICAGO 1 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, September 7.

Batting stars:  Tom Brunansky was 2-for-2 with a home run (his twenty-seventh), a double, and two walks, scoring twice and driving in two.  Gary Gaetti was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases (his eighth and ninth), scoring twice and driving in two.  Tom Nieto was 1-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.

Pitching stars:  Jeff Bittiger pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks with five strikeouts.  Juan Berenguer pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Harold Baines was 2-for-3 with a home run (his eighteenth) and a walk.  Ray Searage pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout.

The game:  In the first inning, Kirby Puckett hit a ground ball back to White Sox starter Dave LaPoint.  LaPoint was apparently injured on the play, coming out of the game after facing only three batters.  His replacement, Scott Nielsen, gave up an RBI single to Gaetti to put the Twins up 1-0.  RBI singles by Gaetti and Don Baylor made it 3-0 in the third and a two-run homer by Brunansky made it 5-0 after five.  Baines homered with one out in the sixth, but the Twins scored three runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Of note:  Gladden remained out of the lineup.  Greg Gagne replaced him in the leadoff spot and Mark Davidson, batting second, replaced him in left field...Puckett was 0-for-4 with a walk, dropping his average to .328...This was the Twins debut for Jeff Bittiger.  He had appeared in three games in 1986 for Philadelphia, signed as a free agent with the Twins for 1987, and was in AAA Portland all year, where he went 12-10, 3.40, 1.27 WHIP.  Given how weak the back end of the Twins' rotation was, it seems odd that we didn't see Bittiger other than as a September call-up.  It seems even odder, given how well he did, that this was his only start for the Twins.  He appeared in only two more games, both in relief, and pitched only 1.1 more innings.  That was his entire Twins' career:  he was released after the season, spending parts of the next two seasons for the White Sox.  He was twenty-five years old in 1987.  I'm not suggesting Bittiger would've been a candidate for the Cy Young Award or even Rookie of the Year.  He might not have been any good at all.  I am suggesting, though, that given the list below, it might have behooved the Twins to give him a chance.  It's hard to see how he'd have done much worse.

1987 stats as starter:

Mike Smithson, 20 starts, 4-7, 6.15, 1.52 WHIP
Joe Niekro, 18 starts, 4-9, 6.26, 1.66 WHIP
Mark Portugal, 7 starts, 1-2, 8.60, 2.01 WHIP
Steve Carlton, 7 starts, 1-5, 6.70, 1.79 WHIP

Record:  The Twins were 74-65, in first place by three games over Oakland, who defeated Texas 2-1.

Happy Birthday–February 19

John Morrill (1855)
Dick Siebert (1912)
Hub Kittle (1917)
Russ Nixon (1935)
Dave Niehaus (1935)
Jackie Moore (1939)
Walt Jocketty (1951)
Dave Stewart (1957)
Keith Atherton (1959)
Alvaro Espinoza (1962)
Miguel Batista (1971)
Juan Diaz (1974)

Hub Kittle’s baseball career spanned 68 years.  In 1980, he became the oldest player to appear in organized baseball, pitching a perfect inning for AAA Springfield on August 27 at age 63½.

Jackie Moore is a long-time major league coach and minor league manager.  He also was the manager of the Oakland Athletics from 1984-86,

Walt Jocketty was the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1995-2007 and was the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 2008-2015, when he became president of baseball operations.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 19

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.