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Posts under ‘Baseball’

Rob Manfred to succeed Bud Selig as MLB Commissioner

There will be a changing of the guard for Major League Baseball. Rob Manfred was elected baseball’s 10th commissioner Thursday, winning a three-man competition to succeed Bud Selig and given a mandate by the tradition-bound sport to recapture young fans and speed play in an era that has seen competition increase and attention spans shrink. […]

Maybe the Hall of Fame voting procedure changes aren’t so bad

I admit, when I heard the news that the MLB Hall of Fame changed its voting procedures to reduce eligibility from 15 years to 10, I was outraged. That’s my usual reaction to things the HOF does, since most of them are indeed outrageous. But Joe Sheehan has just about convinced me that maybe this […]

More MLB-to-San-Antonio rumors

Believe them at your peril. Could the Oakland A’s find a home in San Antonio? At least one Oakland elected official thinks so, but Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says San Antonio sports fans shouldn’t hold their breath. “There’s nothing happening over here,” Wolff said. “Our name’s been thrown out, but we went through that […]

“The luckiest man on the face of the earth”

Seventy-five years ago today, Yankees great Lou Gehrig said farewell to baseball and the fans at Yankee Stadium with one of the most memorable speeches of sports history. Here’s an old newsreel of Gehrig’s career and a clip from his farewell speech, on July 4, 1939. Sports On Earth has the full text of Gehrig’s […]

Somebody doesn’t like something about the Astros

I’m still not sure what we’re supposed to conclude from this long but mostly unsourced screed about how the Astros are running their team. The Astros have become one of baseball’s most progressive franchises as they try to rebuild and avoid a fourth consecutive 100-loss season. But general manager Jeff Luhnow’s radical approach to on-field […]

Ralph Garr

On the anniversary this week of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, the Chron profiles his teammate and resident of nearby Richmond, Ralph Garr. With Henry Aaron sitting on 714 career home runs as the Braves prepared to play the Dodgers on April 8, 1974, Atlanta leadoff hitter Ralph Garr badly wanted to be on base […]

Still dreaming about MLB in San Antonio

From The Rivard Report, a grassroots group in the Alamo City is keeping hope alive. If you’ve been a San Antonio sports fan for any length of time, you’ve heard it. It’s the label that the Alamo City has been saddled with for decades. Whenever the topic of a new sports franchise in San Antonio […]

Lance Berkman

Former Astro and Rice Owl Lance Berkman hung up his spikes this week. Lance Berkman, who starred at Rice before becoming one of the most clutch hitters in Astros history, is retiring after a 15-year career in the major leagues. “He’s going to go down as one of the great players in Astros history,” said […]

MLB adopts expanded instant replay

Excellent. Baseball’s replay age has finally dawned, thanks to Thursday’s unanimous approval by owners of what commissioner Bud Selig called a “historic” expansion of replay to correct missed calls. The new system, which will go into effect this season, will give managers most of the power to trigger reviews, by providing them with one challenge […]

No BGO for HOF

Missed it by one vote. One of the most majestic induction classes in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame was set on Wednesday with the announcement that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected by eligible writers of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, all of them by big margins. […]

Hall calls for Torre, Cox, and LaRussa

Congratulations to the newest members of the Hall of Fame. The first wave of inductees for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame class have been announced. The Veteran’s Committee has decided to induct managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa: The newest members of the @BaseballHall of Fame: pic.twitter.com/BUaGGvtBGl — MLB Public Relations […]

Time to ponder how the Hall of Fame voters will screw things up this year

Pinstripe Alley reviews this year’s Hall of Fame ballot and heaves a sigh. If I was given a ballot and asked to name at most 10 players for induction, I would first complain that I can’t add more, then submit the following ballot: [Greg] Maddux, [Frank] Thomas, [Mike] Mussina, [Tom] Glavine, [Barry] Bonds, [Roger] Clemens, […]

Crane sues McLane

This ought to be fun. Jim Crane’s Astros ownership group filed a state court lawsuit Thursday against former Astros owner Drayton McLane, Comcast and NBC Universal, accusing them of fraud and civil conspiracy and accusing McLane’s corporation that owned the Astros of breach of contract in conjunction with Crane’s 2011 purchase of a 46 percent […]

Bye-bye, Bud

Can’t say I’m sorry to see the tenure of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig come to a close. Bud Selig said Thursday that he plans to retire as baseball commissioner in January 2015 after a term of more than 22 years marked by robust growth in attendance and revenue along with a canceled World Series and […]

Better bats

Technology marches on. As part of new MLB regulations, manufacturers use ink to test bats’ stability. If the dot bleeds more than a quarter inch, indicating low density, that wood isn’t major-league caliber. Thanks to that practice and more implemented since 2008 when bat breakage has been studied by the U.S. Forest Service, the rate […]

On wins and losses

This story about CC Sabathia and his chances of winning 300 games in his career got me thinking along some slightly different lines. CC Sabathia won his 200th career game [last] week against the Minnesota Twins, becoming the 114th pitcher in major league history to do so. While wins are an overrated stat for pitchers, […]

You have a strange definition of “only”, Bud

Or maybe it’s your definition of “logical”, I’m not sure. But while first-year manager Bo Porter continues to fire up his players and general manager Jeff Luhnow oversees year one of a complete organizational overhaul, many longtime Astros fans continue to criticize the club’s impending American League debut. MLB commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday he […]

Hall of Fame elects nobody

Truly, utterly, ridiculous. Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were denied entry to baseball’s Hall of Fame, with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades. Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens 37.6 and Sosa 12.5 in totals announced Wednesday by the Hall […]

The Hall of Fame and guilt by association

John Royal hits on one of the least admirable traits of Hall of Fame voters. There are some voters out there once again claiming that Jeff Bagwell used ‘roids, and these same folks are claiming that Craig Biggio used them as well. How do they reconcile these statements with the truth that there’s no evidence […]

Biggio on the ballot

Former Astros great Craig Biggio will make his debut on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. Ballots for the 2013 Hall of Fame class will be issued this week to media members; candidates will officially be announced Wednesday. Results will be disclosed Jan. 9 for a controversial list of names that will include first-timers […]

RIP, Marvin Miller

Marvin Miller, whom Red Barber said was “one of the two or three most important men in baseball history, along with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson”, has died at the age of 95. It is impossible to overstate Miller’s impact on Major League Baseball. While some — including Hall of Fame voters — have long […]

Mills and Clemens

Enjoy your paid time off, Brad Mills. General manager Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane see no reason to wait until the season ends to begin the search for the next Astros manager after Brad Mills was fired and replaced by interim skipper Tony DeFrancesco. Some candidates might not become available until after Oct. 3 […]

Why I hold the Hall of Fame voting process in contempt

This story has the best distillation of why the Baseball Writers Association of America should have had the Hall of Fame voting privilege taken away from them years ago. Former BBWAA president Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer didn’t need a jury to help him with his decision. “I wasn’t going to vote for […]

Clemens cleared

The saga ends. A federal jury today acquitted baseball superstar Roger Clemens on charges of lying to Congress about the use of performance enhancing drugs in a stinging rebuke to a four-year campaign by legislators and federal prosecutors to turn the legendary pitcher into a cautionary icon for baseball’s doping scandal. The 49-year-old Houstonian, winner […]

Calling a ball a ball and a strike a strike

Bobby Valentine says that’s the way he wants it. A day after being ejected, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was still steamed about umpiring, and said technology should be used to eliminate human error in calling balls and strikes. “I want a ball called a ball and a strike called a strike. Figure out […]

Retire #50!

I was enjoying this story about JR Richard, was was inducted into the Astros Walk of Fame at Minute Maid on Friday night, until I got to these paragraphs: The Astros have been more liberal than most teams in retiring numbers, and the list of pitchers so honored includes Larry Dierker, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott […]

More replay for MLB, please

They’re thinking about it, but don’t rush them. Major League Baseball currently is exploring the expansion of instant replay with the World Umpires Association, and no timetable has been specified for any adjustments to the current policy. The owners and the MLB Players Association agreed in collective bargaining last year for a new Basic Agreement […]

No, San Antonio will not be getting an MLB team any time soon

You are right to be skeptical. It’s a development that has become as predictable as yellow pollen in the spring. A Major League Baseball franchise, struggling financially, seeks a new stadium deal, a new location, a new life. In the midst of resulting contention, options are explored. Such as relocating to another area. San Antonio, […]

Two wild cards are one too many

I don’t care for this. Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild card in each league. The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World […]

No more Not-Stros

Glad we got that settled. New owner Jim Crane ended a week of speculation and rare attention on a national level and anticipated backlash among Houstonians, saying he would not change the name of the club – a possibility he floated last week. “You asked for change and we added several fan friendly initiatives last […]

The Houston Not-Stros

Oh, hell no. Even more drastic changes could come next year, when the [Astros move] to the American League. Possible transformations include new uniforms and logos, changes to the playing field and “Tal’s Hill” in center field, and even a re-evaluation of the name “Astros,” which the team has used for the last 47 years […]

Larkin elected to Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Barry Larkin on his Cooperstown call. I just wish he had some company for the dais. Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop and current ESPN analyst Barry Larkin was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday, getting 86.4 percent of the vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. A player needs at […]

MLB labor deal calls for more use of replay

This overview of what’s in the proposed collective bargaining agreement for Major League Baseball has the following interesting tidbit: MLB wants to expand replay to include fair-or-foul calls, “whether a fly ball or line drive was trapped” and fan interference all around the ballpark. Umpires still must give their approval and it’s uncertain whether the […]

Skeeter mascots

Meet Swatson and Moe, the mascots of the Sugar Land Skeeters. I guess when your franchise is named for a winged pest, your options for cuddly anthropomorphic representations are somewhat constrained. Be that as it may, the Phillies Phanatic comparison works pretty well for them. What do you think?