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Monday, January 29, 2007

Pickoff Moves

Today's Birthdays

Mike Aldrete CAL b. 1961, played 1995-1996

Hank Edwards BRO b. 1919, played 1951, d. 1988-06-22

John Habyan CAL b. 1964, played 1995

Ray Hayworth BRO b. 1904, played 1938-1939, 1944-1945, d. 2002-09-25. Hayworth was mostly a reserve catcher, having his best years in Detroit, where he was also a teammate of Ty Cobb. By the time he retired in 1945, he was something like Brooklyn's third string catcher in a year where the team had four of those at various times.

Steve Sax LAN b. 1960, played 1981-1988, All-Star: 1982-1983, 1986, 1989-1990. One of my sister's favorite players on the 1980's teams, he was around for the title-winning 1981 and 1988 clubs. He was also a five-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year in 1982. In 1983, his fielding mechanics suddenly disappeared, and he started making errant throws on routine plays to first; fans sitting behind the first base dugout wore batting practice helmets as protection to mock him. This led to a famous exchange between Tommy Lasorda and Pedro Guerrero, the latter playing third in one of the Dodgers' more dubious position shifts:

Tommy: Pedro, what do you think about when the ball is hit?
Pedro: First I think, `I hope they don't hit it to me.' Then I think `I hope they don't hit to Sax.'
Sax is tied for eighth all-time on the Dodgers' franchise single-season hits list (210 in 1986, with Steve Garvey's 1975), seventh in doubles (43 in 1986, a three-way tie), fifth in career stolen bases (290), and second in single-season (30, 1983) and career (126) caught stealing.

Pitchers And Molinas Report

Here's a fun New York Times bio piece by Jack Curry about the Molina brothers, who by themselves have provided Puerto Rico one-third of that island's major-league representation:
“Nobody thought we’d all make it,” Yadier said of himself and his brothers in a recent telephone interview. “Everybody said we were too fat, we couldn’t move fast enough and we couldn’t play this game. We shut them up.”

Vero Beach Mayor Interview

Mayor Tom White of Vero Beach on the Dodgers' now-certain relocation:

Q: Are there any other teams showing interest or are there any other new plans for filling the vacancy at Dodgertown?

A: Even if there was, I couldn't say anything. A lot of them don't want anyone to know, and I think that it kind of ruined it for the Orioles when it got out they were looking ... Dodgertown is a baseball facility, but if push comes to shove and we don't get a major league baseball team, we could use it for something else. Don't forget, many years ago the New Orleans Saints used to train here, so we could turn it into a football facility if we wanted.

Q: How soon do you think we will know what is going to happen with Dodgertown?

A: The thing is, it's still not a done deal for the Dodgers. It's close, but if something falls through in Arizona, they are still going to be here. That's what makes it difficult because we can't start negotiating things until we know when they are leaving. Hopefully, we will have the answer to when they are going by the end of this year.


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