Roy Halladay Loves the Postseason

With his no-hitter today against the Reds Roy Halladay now has pitched a no-hitter in every post season appearance he has made. Of course this is his first appearance after the initial 162 games. How do you top that? I kept reading going into the day that he might have jitters going into the game. I think that I like how he looks when he has the jitters. Continue reading

Doc is Just What the Cubs Ordered

I normally am much more timely when updating the blog, but this has been a long week already and it is only Wednesday. Sunday night I was in Chicago to see the Sunday night baseball game between the Cubs and the Phillies. I went to the game with a friend, some of his family. Those family members were from Kansas, and made the trip to Chicago just to see a couple of games at Wrigley. It just goes to show you what a draw Wrigley really is, and sometimes how we take it for granted. It was ten years ago that I took my camera to Wrigley for a Cubs game against the Phillies. I got lucky and took a couple of pictures, and that started my need to take pictures whenever I go places. I guess filling up my memory card at the game was a good way to celebrate that anniversary. Continue reading

Who To Root For in the Playoffs (2009 Edition)

Last season I tried to find a team to root for in the playoffs once the White Sox were eliminated. This year I can try this from the start. Here are the eight teams that have made the postseason this season.

American League
New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Angels

National League
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies
Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers

I will start my process by picking the teams that I have seen play this season in person. This eliminates the Bronx Bombers, the Phillies (who were my 2009 pick), and the Rockies. The other five teams I was able to watch live this season. It is a lot easier to root for a team that you have seen play. Now comes the hard part. How do I get these five teams down to one that I can root for? Well, I root for the White Sox so I can just check the 40 man rosters of each of these teams to find players that once played for the palehose. The team with the most former Sox players wins.

Minnesota Twins (3)
Jon Rauch
Joe Crede
Orlando Cabrera

Los Angeles Angels (0)
None. But I feel as though Chone Figgins is a former player the way his name is batted around each offseason.

St. Louis Cardinals (0)
I still may root for them a little.

Los Angeles Dodgers (3)
Jon Garland
Charlie Haeger
Jim Thome

Boston Red Sox (1)
Brian Anderson

So here is where we stand right now. The Cardinals and Angels have zero former Sox players on their team. What are they thinking? The Red Sox have one, and it is even a member of the White Sox this season in Brian Anderson. The Dodgers have three which ties them for first, and they have a player that was a member of the Sox this season in Jim Thome. They also have one of my favorites in Jon Garland. That just leaves the Twins. They have three former Sox players as well. Orlando Cabrera did not make many friends in Chicago last season, but he is a winner. Joe Crede will always be one of my favorite Sox players of all-time. He was clutch. How do I break this tie for my loyalty? They are in separate leagues so I guess I am rooting for a Twins/Dodgers series. If that does happen I have one way to break the tie. I have seen the Twins three times this season including once in their stadium. I saw the Dodgers a couple of days after that trip in Milwaukee. That is a 3-1 vote for the Twins. Also the Twins have a former Irish pitcher (Jeff Manship), and one of the coolest MLB bloggers out there (Pat Neshek). I think we have a winner. The team that I will root to win it all is the Twins? Can a White Sox fan do this? I guess we will see. It is easy to root for them now as they are facing the Yankees. Nobody wants them to win. Well maybe a few. When it comes down to it though can I be a Twins fan for a couple weeks? Stay tuned.

Where Have You Gone Pete Rose?

Visiting Cincinnati this weekend brought back a lot of great memories from my childhood. To the right is the scorecard and the bat from the night that Pete passed Ty Cobb for the most hits in baseball. That moment will always be etched in my memory. The picture to the left of Pete at the peak of his career really shows how much he loved this game. As a kid my father pointed out Pete Rose as a player who I should emulate. Heck he even bought me the book ‘Pete Rose on Hitting’ which I still have on my bookshelf today. His nickname said it all. “Charlie Hustle” played the game hard. Who can forget his headfirst slides into various bases? Or bowling over Ray Fosse to win an All Star game? Pete Rose has more hits than any other player in Major League baseball history (4256). He also made more outs than any other player (10,328). Pete had a profound effect on the game, and was a sure fire lock to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame if their every was one. Pete Rose was a man that played the game the right way. This man knew how to do only one thing. That was to win. He was part of perhaps one of the greatest teams ever. He had the world on a string. What went wrong?

In 1989 the luster started coming off of this man. Rumors started swirling that Pete had bet on baseball. He refuted these rumors to any and all who would ask. When Bart Giamatti became the Commissioner of baseball he kept the pressure on Rose. Sports Illustrated ran the now famous story about Pete later in 1989 that shocked the baseball world. Did Pete bet on baseball? If he did bet on baseball was his own team involved? I was still a young kid, but I did not want to believe any of this. For years I denied it despite the evidence. Pete could not have done such a thing. In August of 1989 Pete accepted a ban from baseball in return for baseball not making a formal finding of his actions. In 1990 he was placed in jail for income tax evasion. In 2004 fifteen years after initially denying betting on baseball he released a book in which he admitted betting for his team every night. By then it was like the recent finding that Sammy Sosa tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. We all knew he did it, we just wanted him to come clean. He did come clean, but so far has not been reinstated. Last year at the Hall of Fame I couldn’t help but look at the class of 1992 and wonder what could have been? He was a first ballot Hall of Famer that has now missed his window entirely. His only chance would be to someday be voted in by the Veteran’s Committee. Before that happens though he would need to be reinstated by Major League Baseball. The Reds cannot retire his number 14 because of that ban either. Well they won’t formally retire it. The only Red to wear that number since Pete left the team was his own son Pete Jr. If Pete wanted to enter the Reds Hall of Fame or Great American Ballpark he would have to pay his way in. It makes me sad to see such a great player fall so hard. The Reds clearly still love Pete by the way he is shown in their Hall of Fame. They would love to honor this man I am sure before he leaves us. His own arrogance though may make that impossible. I would like to think that sometime in my lifetime he will get his just due. He has made some enemies in high places in baseball right now though. It would take something short of a miracle to get him reinstated. Maybe someday down the road Pete will have the public behind him much like ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson does today. Even support like that has not helped Joe get into the Hall. It seems as if this was only the begining of players that I looked up to in baseball that would not gain entry into the Hall despite having the numbers to do so. As the full extent of the steroid issue becomes public knowledge I have a feeling I will lose a lot of faith in many players I loved to watch growing up.