November 22, 2014

Curt Schilling, Creationist

Barry Petchesky, Deadspin:
Heavy-tweetin' ESPN baseball writer Keith Law has been noticeably silent for the last couple of days. That's no coincidence — he's been given a Twitter timeout by ESPN, and we're told that it's for loudly and repeatedly defending Charles Darwin from transitional fossil Curt Schilling, his Bristol colleague.

Schilling, the former pitcher who rejoined ESPN as a baseball analyst in September after eight months away to deal with mouth cancer, took to Twitter on Nov. 12 to rail against evolution and in favor of creationism.
An earlier link: Curt Schilling Has Disproved Evolution

I'm a little scared to look too closely at this "debate".

(Though, as usual, the Deadspin comments on both articles are top notch.)

November 18, 2014

Those Stanton-To-Boston Rumours Can Finally Stop

Giancarlo Stanton and the Miami Marlins agreed to a 13-year contract worth $325 million. It also includes an early opt-out clause.

$25/year seems reasonable for Stanton, but ... 13 years? Stanton turned 25 ten days ago, so this will take him through his age-38 season. ... Business Insider calls it "a genius move".

November 13, 2014

Schilling Posts Picture Of Stitched-Up 2004 Ankle

Curt Schilling shared a post-surgery picture of his stitched-up right ankle - from the glorious 2004 postseason - on his Twitter account yesterday.

It's a bit more graphic than the swollen ankle shot featured in Don't Let Us Win Tonight!

November 7, 2014

P-Rod

Welcome back, Slappy! Let the circus begin.

New York Daily News, November 6-7, 2014:
Alex Rodriguez urinated on a wall of his cousin Yuri Sucart's home to send a message and mark his territory, the cousin's wife told the Daily News in an explosive interview at the couple's Miami home.

Carmen Sucart, whose husband, Yuri Sucart, is A-Rod's estranged cousin and alleged steroid mule, blasted Rodriguez for accusing her deathly ill husband of trying to extort the troubled Yankee superstar.

"He is the devil," she said Thursday. "He is evil."




November 6, 2014

Truck Day: February 12, 2015

Gordon Edes has information on the Red Sox's 2015 spring training schedule.

Opening Day is against the Phillies on Monday, April 6 in Philadelphia.

October 30, 2014

Red Sox, Uehara Agree On Two-Year Extension

The Red Sox and Koji Uehara have agreed on a two-year contract extension (2/18). The announcement came on the one-year anniversary of Uehara striking out Matt Carpenter for the final out of last season's World Series.

Ben Cherington:
So we had a chance to obviously examine Koji at the end of year and spend quite a bit of time talking to him and looking at what happened in late August and early September. After that, we really felt comfortable with where he was and where he will be going forward from a health and performance standpoint.
Also: Kevin Youkilis - the Sultan of Sweat - announced his retirement.

Bumgarner

Some random facts about Madison Bumgarner's extraordinary postseason:
                      IP    H   R  BB   K
1001 NLWC    at PIT   9     4   0   1  10
1006 NLDS 3  vs WAS   7     6   3   1   6
1011 NLCS 1  at STL   7.2   4   0   1   7
1016 NLCS 5  vs STL   8     5   3   2   5   NLCS MVP
1021 WS 1    at KCR   7     3   1   1   5
1026 WS 5    vs KCR   9     4   0   0   8
1029 WS 7    at KCR   5     2   0   0   4   WS MVP
         7 games     52.2  28   7   6  45
Elias:
Bumgarner is the second pitcher to toss a shutout and have a relief appearance of five or more scoreless innings in a single World Series. The first to do so was the Indians' Duster Mails in the 1920 World Series against the Dodgers. Mails pitched 6.2 scoreless innings of relief in Game Three; he then earned the win and allowed just three hits in a shutout in Game Six to give Cleveland a four games-to-two advantage in that best-of-nine series. ...

Bumgarner is the second pitcher with five or more scoreless innings of relief in a winner-take-all World Series game. The first was the Yankees' Joe Page in Game Seven of the 1947 World Series versus the Dodgers, earning the win and allowing one hit in a five-inning outing.

Bumgarner retired 14 consecutive Royals batters at one point in his relief appearance on Wednesday night. He is the fifth pitcher to have a streak of that length in a winner-take-all World Series game, joining the Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling (16 straight batters retired in 2001 vs. Yankees), the Yankees' Ralph Terry (17 in 1962 vs. Giants), the Cardinals' Murry Dickson (14 in 1946 vs. Red Sox), and George Earnshaw of the Athletics (15 in 1931 vs. Cardinals).
Jayson Stark, ESPN:
His career World Series ERA was down to 0.25, the lowest by any pitcher in history with at least 25 innings pitched. His ERA in this postseason, over a record 52.2 innings, had shrunk to 1.01, the best of any pitcher with 40 or more innings in any postseason.

His five-inning save was four outs longer than any save in World Series history.
2 Wins, 20 IP, Sub-0.50 ERA In A World Series
Christy Mathewson    1905 Giants
Waite Hoyt           1921 Yankees
Carl Hubbell         1933 Giants
Harry Brecheen       1946 Cardinals
Sandy Koufax         1965 Dodgers
Madison Bumgarner    2014 Giants
2 Starts and 3+ Innings of Relief in a World Series
Cy Young             1903 Americans
George Mullins       1909 Tigers
Madison Bumgarner    2014 Giants
ESPN's David Schoenfield asks if Bumgarner's performances in Games 1-5-7 was the greatest by a pitcher in World Series history? ... SI's Cliff Corcoran includes Bumgarner in his list of top five World Series pitching performances.

Bumgarner's World Series resume (he turned 25 in August):
4-0, 0.25 ERA, 1 save. 36 innings, 14 hits, 1 run, five walks, and 31 strikeouts. 0.528 WHIP.

World Series 7: Giants 3, Royals 2

Giants - 020 100 000 - 3  8  1
Royals - 020 000 000 - 2  6  0
The San Francisco Giants are the champions of baseball for the third time in the past five seasons.

It is only the second time in the history of the National League that a team has won three titles in a five-year span (Cardinals, 1942, 1944, 1946).

Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout in Game 5, came out of the bullpen on two days rest to throw five scoreless innings of relief (5-2-0-0-4, 68), allowing only two singles and receiving credit for a save. The 25-year-old Bumgarner, who was named the NLCS MVP, was an easy choicee as WS MVP.

Bumgarner pitched a record 52.2 innings during the postseason. ... He became the third pitcher to win 2+ games as a starter and pitch 3+ innings as a reliever, joining Cy Young (1903) and George Mullins (1909). ... Bumgarner's 0.25 ERA in the World Series is the lowest in history among pitchers with at least 20 innings.

Pablo Sandoval (3-for-3, 2 runs scored) and Michael Morse (1-for-3, 2 RBI) led the offense. Hunter Pence had two hits, giving him 12 for the World Series and tying a Giants record held by Buck Herzog (1912).

Sandoval was grazed on the right elbow by a Jeremy Guthrie (3.1-4-3-0-3, 49) pitch to start the second inning. He made no attempt to evade the pitch; indeed, he sort of steadied his elbow prior to contact. Nevertheless, he was awarded first base. Pence followed with a groundball single to left and Brandon Belt drove a hard single to right, loading the bases with no one out. Morse lined out to Nori Aoki in right and Sandoval scored, with Pence advancing to third. Pence's hustle was key because when Brandon Crawford flied out to center, he was able to come home.

The Royals tied the score in the bottom half of the inning against Tim Hudson (1.2-3-2-1-1, 28). Billy Butler singled to left-center and came all the way around to score on Alex Gordon's first-pitch double to the gap in right-center. Salvador Perez was drilled in the left thigh near the knee and as the Royals' trainer talked with Perez on the field, the Giants' bullpen got busy, with Jeremy Affeldt warming up. Mike Moustakas flied out to left and Gordon was able to tag and race to third. He then scored on Omar Infante's line drive sacrifice fly to center. Alcides Escobar singled, moving Perez to second, and ending Hudson's night. Giants manager Bruce Bochy called for Affeldt, who got a grounder for an inning-ending fielder's choice. Hudson's 1.2 innings was the shortest outing by a starter in a Game 7 in WS history.

Kansas City caught a tough break in the third. Lorenzo Cain singled to right. Eric Hosmer sent a ground ball towards right-center. Giants second baseman Joe Panik dove to his right and gloved the ball, then flipped it to shortstop Crawford for the force at second. Crawford's relay to first arrived at almost the exact same time that Hosmer dove head first into the bag. Hosmer was originally called safe, but the Giants challenged the play, and it was overturned, and ruled a double play. (None of the angles shown on Fox provided a definitive view. The Royals radio announcers pointed out that Hosmer likely would have been safe if he had run through the bag at full speed. They noted that in track and field events, sprinters run through the tape and do not dive head first across the finish line.)

The Giants took the lead in the next half-inning. Again, Sandoval led off and got on base, this time on an infield single as Infante moved to his right and slipped while trying to throw. Pence singled to center. Belt flied to left field and Pence went to third. Ned Yost then went to his bullpen, calling on Kelvin Herrera. Morse fouled off two pitches before breaking his bat and dropping a single into shallow right field. Sandoval scored what turned out to be the Series-deciding run.

Affeldt plunked Gordon in the back with a curveball to start the bottom of the fourth. But Perez chased the first pitch and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end any thought of a KC rally.

After that, it was Bumgarner time. Not having as much time to warm up as he usually does as a starter, he might have been a little rusty in his first inning. Infante lined a single to right to start the fifth and Escobar bunted him to second. Aoki lifted a fly ball to the opposite field and Juan Perez ran a long way towards the line and hauled it in. Cain ended the inning by striking out on a high fastball.

Bumgarner retired the side in the sixth (P6, F8, F8), seventh (F9, 5-3, K), and eighth (K, 6-3, P4).

He started the bottom of the ninth by striking out Hosmer (again, on high fastballs) and getting Butler on a foul pop to first. Gordon lined a 0-1 pitch to left-center. Gregor Blanco came in, but decided to play the ball on a hop rather than attempt a dive for it. But the ball skipped past him for an error, rolling to the wall. Perez came over from left to help out, but he booted the ball on the warning track. By the time the ball was returned to the infield, Gordon was standing on third, the game-tying run only 90 feet away.

All of the Royals' hopes rested on Perez's shoulders. Bumgarner threw him nothing but high fastballs and Perez could not stop himself from chasing them. He swung and missed the first one, took a ball, then swung and missed the third pitch. He laid off the fourth for ball 2, then fouled off the fifth. He popped up the sixth pitch into foul territory where Sandoval made an easy catch - and then collapsed on his back on the grass as his teammates flooded out of the nearby dugout in celebration.

Factoids: It was the first time in a WS Game 7 that neither starter went more than 3.1 innings. ... Pence and Belt became the second pair of teammates to hit safely in all seven games of a World Series, joining Hank Bauer and Billy Martin of the 1956 Yankees.