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Friday, August 11, 2006

Pickoff Moves

Today's Birthdays

Bubba Crosby LAN b. 1976, played 2003. Can you believe he was a first-round draft pick? It's been a long way between those 25 homers for Rice and real success in the majors. Well, thanks for the memories, Bubba.

Rex Hudson LAN b. 1953, played 1974

Mike Huff LAN b. 1963, played 1989. One of five Dodgers to call Hawaii their natal state; the others are RHP Carlos Diaz, two-time All-Star (with the Mets) RHP Sid Fernandez, the homophonically named knuckleballer Charlie Hough, and righty reliever Onan Masaoka.

Dennis Lewallyn LAN b. 1953, played 1975-1979. The Dodgers have been fooled plenty of times by the affects of the thin air parks of the PCL (see Sid Bream and Billy Grabarkewitz), but here's one that happened in reverse: Lewallyn was a PCL star in the mid/late 70's, winning the 1980 PCL MVP award following a season in which he posted a 2.13 ERA as a 27-year-old; the Dodgers had no room for him in their rotation, and so traded him to Texas at the end of that year, for Pepe Frias, an aging utilityman with one career home run. He pitched two more mediocre seasons, shuttling back and forth between the majors and minors, before retiring after 1982.

Andrew Lorraine CAL b. 1972, played 1994

Carlos Martinez CAL b. 1964, played 1995

Bobo Newsom BRO b. 1907, played 1929-1930, 1942-1943, All-Star: 1938-1940, 1944, d. 1962-12-07. Enormous, jinx-plagued, and well-traveled, he spent time in a PCL Angels uniform where he was the team's 1933 MVP. Called Bobo because that was what he called everyone else — he rarely stuck around on a team long enough to learn everyone's name — he played with Brooklyn for parts of four seasons, and also for the Cubs, Senators, Browns, Red Sox, A's, Tigers, Yankees, and Giants. Like I said, he was jinx-plagued: his father saw him pitch the opener of the 1940 World Series — and died shortly thereafter. He dedicated his next start to his father and won it. He lost his next start, though, and the Tigers went on to lose the series. He was on the 1947 Yankee squad that beat Brooklyn in that year's World Series, despite losing his only start.

Luis Olmo BRO b. 1919, played 1943-1945, 1949

Vada Pinson CAL b. 1938, played 1972-1973, All-Star: 1959-1960, d. 1995-10-21. Came up with the Reds as a 19-year-old, and what a phenom he was, too: he hit for power and average in the minors, and belted a grand slam in his second major league game. His comps include Steve Garvey, Steve Finley, and Hall of Famer Zach Wheat; he manned center for the Reds over an 11-year span, at the end of which he was traded to the Cards. He broke his leg while in St. Louis' employ, and bounced through the Indians, Angels, and Royals, a shadow of his former self, age and injury having taken their toll. At the time he died, he was one of only six players to have more than 250 home runs and 300 stolen bases, but that group has expanded to 11; the others are (in descending order of home runs hit) Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, Bobby Bonds, Steve Finley, Ricky Henderson, Eric Davis, Ryne Sandberg, Joe Morgan, and Craig Biggio. Three of those eleven (Mays, Sandberg, and Morgan) are in the Hall of Fame, Henderson is a lock to get in once eligibility kicks in, Barry Bonds is a near-certainty to get in (steroids allegations notwithstanding), and there are a couple borderline cases (Finley and Biggio) playing out the end of their careers who might squeak in with some luck. It's quite a cohort, especially considering the era in which Pinson played. He died of a stroke at the far-too-young age of 57.

The Come-From-Behind Save: Dodgers 4, Rockies 3

Did it seem to anyone else that Kenny Lofton's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth was all about the outfield picking up Takashi Saito, who got tagged with a hard-luck blown save thanks to a hard-hit ball over Jason Repko's head that his misplay turned into a triple, and Jeff Kent's bad throw turned into a inside-the-parker that tied the game? A little grace from a well-worn outfielder whose best days are clearly behind him, and the Dodgers go into first place all on their ownsomes. Hurrah, and a tiger for them.

Update: Drew Bienhoff explains how Clint Hurdle lost the game, inserting lefty Ray King despite Manuel Corpas's better record against either lefties or righties, and employing Jose Mesa in a tie game.


Ouch: Indians 14, Angels 2

In case you were wondering, the Angels' bullpen is awful. The only good news is that nothing's broken on Santana, but who knows whether he'll make his next start. What scares me is seeing the bullpen depleted like this in the middle of a long road trip; didn't we see that last year just before a long losing streak?


Roster Notes

Saunders did already face the Yankees once, last year and pretty much domintated them, if I remember correctly. So I wouldn't worry about him.

I think that this carry on restriction is probably largely temporary (and temporary measures to curb immediate threats are obviously fine). As far as the security measures go, I can't help but think that it would be way better to let each airline perform their own security protocols. Then people will be able to decide how much security they want (vs. time and cost). Obviously, that means that planes from a low security airline could be run into buildings if terrorists get control, but then you can just give pilots and flight attendants the means to take care of those guys.
And for the record, now that I have read those analyses on the liquid explosive deal, I definitely agree with the last two guys that believe it is feasible. First of all, just because Mr. Chemistry knows about particular peroxide reactions, it doesn't mean that other ones don't exist and are easy to use/really powerful. I do know some about peroxide and nitro chemistry (although, I am no organic chemist, so I don't care that much about them), and those are certainly two types of molecules that are extremely explosive in the right conditions. TNT is TriNitroToluene, for instance (trinitro referring to the fact that it has three nitro groups). I don't think it would be that difficult to get a liquid and/or powder of nitro and/or peroxide compounds onto a plane and then perform some process to finish the explosive and set it off.
There are highly placed people in both the US and the UK who think they're permanent, Josh. I agree with you that as a short-term way of capturing a man who possibly escaped the net, or preventing such an attack, this might work, but not in the long term.
On the baseball issue, Saunders never faced the Yankees. You're thinking of Chris Bootcheck, who actually had a pretty good start against them last year at Yankee Stadium, in a game that the Angels would otherwise just as soon forget.

Oh, you are right. Man, there are too many young starters the Angels have been throwing up there the last two years.
Onan Masaoka was a lefty pitcher.

But he batted right handed!
Biggio's a "borderline case" who "might squeak in with some luck"? You're high.

There are five second basemen who've had 30 or more Win Shares in at least six seasons -- Collins, Morgan, Lajoie, Hornsby, and Biggio (adjusted to 162 games).

He has 961 extra base hits. Not only is that more than any other 2B except Hornsby (1011); it's more than Robin Yount, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Willie McCovey, and all but 31 other players in major league history.

He's 19th all time in runs scored, 9th in doubles, made 7 All-Star teams, was top-16 in the MVP vote 5 times, and he's played about 2500 games at 3 of the 4 most challenging & important defensive position (2B, C, CF).

By my lights he's more deserving, at the least, than Ryne Sandberg, Rod Carew, Frankie Frisch and Roberto Alomar, to say nothing of Herman, Grich, Gordon, Kent, Fox, and the less-deserving who're already enshrined.
The links to the analysis of the airline plot don't work -- they go to an "interestingpeople.com" site that has links on it, but no text.
Christ, Matt, I'm going from memory, here. Easy.

Al, the domain appears to have been eaten.

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