News and Views

 

 

 

NEWS: Mariano Rivera tears his ACL

UH OH! First let me say I feel very badly for Mariano as he is the greatest closer of all time and from all you read and hear he’s a first class guy and I won’t criticize him or the Highlanders for allowing him to shag fly balls in batting practice since he has been doing this his whole career but as a Mets fan I have to say if this were Johan Santana or R.A. Dickey who suffer this freak injury the Mets would be eviscerated from every keyboard and microphone in the NY sports media universe.

It’s the same as the Bronx Bastards keeping Nick Swisher on the active roster with bad hammy, remember how the Mets and Omar Minaya were smacked upside down for actions like this but Pee Wee Cashman never gets hammered for any of his bone head moves in this town. NYC sports media is Shillsville.

Just to show how fair and balanced I am when it comes to the New York Highlanders, I received a copy of Marty Appel’s new book   Pinstriped Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to after the Boss (Published by Bloomsbury USA) and I cannot wait to read it. I have had the pleasure of meeting Marty and various SABR events and have read all his books so I know Pinstriped Empire will be a winner.

NEWS: Mets Need A 5th Starter……

And it won’t be Matt Harvey. Or Jeurys  Familia or Zack Wheeler so says Sandy Alderson and of course that’s the correct course of action. Right now there are three choices to fill Big Pelf’s spot (did you ever think at any time in your Metsfandom life you say to yourself “WOW I miss Mike Pelfrey”? ) Miguel Batisita is one of the choices and quite frankly I’ve seen enough of Batisita and his total ineffectiveness so why not send up Jeremy Hafner and give him the next shot or even better how about Alderson doing some good old fashion GM’ing and make a deal for a pitcher as I said yesterday Jason Marquis would be a great fit.

NEWS: NY Knickerbockers go down 0-3 to the Miami Heat

As many of you know I am not a Knicks fan, my allegiance is to the Boston Celtics. Since my C’s didn’t play last night I watched the Knicks-Heat game and my question to Knicks fans is how do you root for Carmelo Anthony ? My God, how overrated is this guy ? Again being a fan of the Celtics I’m spoiled watching Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen drag their old bones up and down the court for one last run at Banner 18 but the hype for Carmelo Anthony just escapes me.    

 

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R.A. DICKEY TO RECEIVE THURMAN MUNSON AWARD

R.A. Dickey will be awarded the Thurman Munson Award for his charitable works at the annual Thurman Munson Dinner on January 31st at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan . Here are some details about the dinner and write up about the good deeds of R.A. Dickey:

New York Mets standout pitcher R.A. Dickey joins New York Yankees and Mets beloved Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, Yankees star first baseman Mark Teixeira, and newly-inducted Basketball Hall of Famer and former St. John’s and N.B.A. star guard Chris Mullin as the honorees at the 32nd Annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, January 31, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, it was announced today.  The gala, which remembers the late, great Yankees catcher and captain, benefits AHRC-New York City Foundation. Berra will receive the Munson Legend Award in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 World Champion Yankees, and Dickey, Teixeira and Mullin will each receive “Thurmans.” For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner call 212-249-6188.

About R.A.Dickey
R. A. Dickey, the right-handed knuckleballer for the New York Mets, has become a mainstay in the starting rotation with his cagey performances in the past two seasons. The veteran hurler is a leader and refreshing presence in the locker room. He has also pitched for the Rangers, Mariners, Twins and Brewers., Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers organizations. In recent years, Dickey has since made the transition to becoming a knuckleball pitcher, and is one of just two knuckleballers on active rosters, the other being Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox.

Dickey was an English Literature major at the University of Tennessee, where he earned a 3.35 GPA and was named Academic All-American.

Dickey first signed a minor league contract with the Mets in 2010, was assigned to Buffalo, but joined the big league club in May. He has pitched well ever since. His second start was a 8-0 shutout of the Phillies, going seven innings and striking out seven. He also flirted with a non hitter with against the Phillies later that season, on August 13, throwing a complete game one-hit shutout, the only hit a single by pitcher Cole Hamels. He finished the 2010 season with a very strong ERA of 2.84, which was 7th best in the National League and 10th in all of baseball. In  2011, he continued to flourish with a 3.28 ERA that ranked 12th in the NL while posting career bests with 32 starts, 208.2 innings and 134 strikeouts.

Dickey and his wife Anne have two daughters, Maria Gabriel and Lila Anne, and a son, Van.  A born-again Christian, he helps operate the Ocala, Florida-based Honoring the Father Ministries which provides medical supplies, powdered milk and baseball equipment to the impoverished in Latin America.

This January, Dickey will scale Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds for the Red Light District Outreach Mumbai, which combats human trafficking in India.  He got his inspiration to climb the mountain from Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” which he read in eighth grade.  Makes numerous appearances at hospitals to cheer up children.

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BBA ANNOUNCE THEIR 2011 ALL STAR SELECTIONS

Here is the press release from the Baseball Bloggers Alliance announcing the BBA’s selections for the NL an AL starters for the 2011 All Star Game:


BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE NAMES 2011 ALL-STARS

 

Outfielders Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers led their respective leagues in balloting for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game as conducted by members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and announced today.

Bautista, who has an American League-leading 1.133 OPS to go along with his 24 home runs, was named on 50 ballots, not including one ballot that placed him at third base.  Bautista was joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees, who received 48 votes, and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, who tallied 23 votes.

There were few close races in the AL voting by the BBA.  The tightest was at third base, where Yankee Alex Rodriguez outpolled Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers 30-16.  All other races were decided by at least twenty votes save the nod for starting pitcher.  Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander won that 16-6 over Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels, but many bloggers did not designate a specific starter so fewer votes were cast in that category.

Other American League nods were to Tigers catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians.  Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was selected at that position.

Over in the National League, Kemp’s stellar first half–he sits second in batting average, first in home runs, second in RBI and has 21 stolen bases to boot–earned him mention on 54 ballots.  Accompanying him in the outfield was Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As in the junior circuit, the closest race in the NL was at the hot corner.  Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco edged out Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres 21-14, with Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones receiving 10 votes.

The other races were not a contest, as Braves catcher Brian McCann, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks, and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes all won their slots by at least 25 votes.

Starting the contest for the NL was Roy Halladay, who easily outpolled his Philadelphia teammate Cole Hamels for the honor.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  As a secondary goal, they vote on various awards throughout the year.  In January, they recommended Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for the Baseball Hall of Fame and in March, they created a new award to honor the top internet writer and then named it after the first recipient, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski.  You can find the BBA at their website or on Facebook.  You can follow the Alliance at @baseballblogs on Twitter or via the hashtag #BBBA.

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IRISH-AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ANNOUCES 2011 NOMINATIONS

What better day to announce the nominees for the Irish-Amercian Baseball Hall of Fame than St. Patrick’s Day.The Hall and the ceromonies are held at one of my favorite places in all of the city, Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant (run by Shaun Clancy and his dad John, two great men of County Cavan) 18 W 33 St across from the Empire State Building. SO if you are at the parade today stop by Foley’s as I’m sure the joint will be jumpin’ for sure.

Here are the nominees :

HALL OF FAMERS and LEGENDS

Big Ed Walsh – Baseball’s All-Time ERA Leader

Wee Willie Keeler – A .341 lifetime hitter who shares the longest ever NL hitting streak (44 games) with Pete Rose

Mighty Casey of the “Mudville Nine” – Character in Ernest Thayer’s famous poem

 

CURRENT LIVING EX-PLAYERS

Nolan Ryan – Baseball’s All-Time Strikeout Leader, now president of the Texas Rangers

“Super Joe” McEwing – Popular versatile player, now a White Sox minor league manager

Jeff Nelson – Four-time World Series champion, now a broadcaster with MLB Network

 

MANAGERS

John McGraw – Legendary New York Giants manager

Tom Kelly – Minnesota Twins two-time World Series champion manager

“Walpole Joe” Morgan – Former Boston Red Sox manager

 

TEAM EXECUTIVES

Gene Monahan/Steve Donohue – Longtime New York Yankees trainers

Mike Kindle – President of Baseball Ireland (Dublin)

 

ENTERTAINERS

John Fogerty – Writer/Singer of “Centerfield”

Terry Cashman – Writer/Singer of “Talking Baseball” (30th anniversary this year)

John Fitzgerald – Filmmaker of “The Emerald Diamond”

 

“The nominating committee has come up with some intriguing names this year,” said Shaun Clancy, owner of Foley’s, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia outside of Cooperstown.  “We believe it is significant that baseball’s all-time strikeout king and its all-time ERA leader are both of Irish descent and have New York connections.  So do the legendary manager John McGraw, players Wee Willie Keeler, Joe McEwing and Jeff Nelson, Yankees trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donohue, and songwriter Terry Cashman.”

 

With the blessing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers of Irish descent.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of factors, including impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, connections to the Irish community, and, of course, ancestry. 

The game of baseball has welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage.  Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and managers Connie Mack and John McGraw.  Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan, Canada, and elsewhere.

 

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities.  He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

McGraw has to be a lock to be named to the Hall. I will always have soft spot for McGraw for if it wasn’t for him I might be a Highlander fan today. When my father and one of my uncle’s decided to leave Boston after a living there a year when they arrived from County Sligo, they both had jobs laying gas pipes in Canarsie for Brooklyn Union Gas. On a day off they both decided to take a trip to the Bronx to see Babe Ruth and the Highlanders. When they got the Stadium, there were surprised by the lack of people around. That was because the Highlanders were on the road they were told by the cop on the beat. The cop told them if they wanted to see a baseball game, take a walk over the bridge to the Polo Grounds and go watch the Giants. So off they went.

As they took their seats they noticed a guy barking orders at players, they asked who he was, a fan told them “That’s McGraw, he runs the team” They looked at each ‘What ? An Irishman is the boss?” That was it my dad and uncle became die hard NY Giants fans, even though they lived in Brooklyn and stayed in Brooklyn to raise families in the heart of Dodger country. When the Giants left town both of them and the Mets were born they became Mets fans as did my brothers and my cousins. Things happen for a reason who knows, if the Highlanders were home that day, this site might have been The Tom Tresh Society. I hope Mugsy gets elected to the Hall with a landslide vote.

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BOB MURPHY ELECTED TO IRISH-AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

 

 

Bob Murphy, Tim McCarver, Brian Cashman, Bill James, and Mike “King” Kelly to Be Inducted in Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010

 

Housed in Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant Recognizes Players, Executives, Journalists and Entertainers of Irish Descent

 

New York, NY (July 1, 2010) – The Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (www.irishbaseballhall.com) today announced its inductees for 2010: New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman, veteran TV analyst and former player Tim McCarver, longtime New York Mets announcer Bob Murphy, famed statistician and Boston Red Sox executive Bill James, and Mike “King” Kelly, baseball’s first superstar.

The honorees will be inducted on Friday, August 6 at Noon, when their plaques will be unveiled at a ceremony held at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant ( 18 W. 33rd St. ), which houses the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.  Voters include past inductees and a panel of baseball historians. 

“This deserving group includes successful executives, a beloved voice of the New York Mets, a four-decade player and Emmy-winning broadcaster, and an early legend that time has nearly forgotten,” said Shaun Clancy, president of Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame and owner of Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant, which features one of the country’s most extensive public displays of baseball memorabilia. 

With a blessing from Cooperstown, Foley’s, a popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, media and fans, created the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize players, managers, executives, journalists, and entertainers.  Inductees are chosen based on a combination of four factors: impact on the game, popularity on and off the field, contributions to society, and ancestry/connections to the Irish community.  The 2010 honorees are:

1.     Tim McCarver (Former Player/Broadcaster)

Born in Memphis , TN , Tim McCarver signed with the St. Louis Cardinals right out of Christian Brothers High School and was a two-time All-Star selection (1966, 1967) and World Series champion (1964, 1967).  During a career that spanned from 1959 until 1980, McCarver also played for the Phillies, Expos and Red Sox.  He was the favorite catcher for two Hall of Fame pitchers: Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. 

After retiring as a player, McCarver became a six-time Emmy-winning broadcaster.  He has called games for the Phillies (1980-82), Mets (1983-98), Yankees (1999-2001), and Giants (2002).  Beginning with the 1985 Fall Classic, Tim McCarver has provided color commentary for more World Series games on TV than any other announcer in history.  He is frequently paired with Joe Buck as the lead team on FOX network broadcasts and also hosts The Tim McCarver Show, a nationally syndicated interview program now in its ninth season.

2.     Brian Cashman (Executive)

A native of Rockville Center , NY , Brian Cashman began his career with the New York Yankees as an intern in 1986.  He moved up the ranks and eventually succeeded Bob Watson as General Manager in 1998.  During Cashman’s tenure as GM, the Yankees have won six AL pennants and four World Series championships (1998-2000 and 2009).  Brian Cashman graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1985 and The Catholic University of America in 1989.  He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.  

3.     Bill James (Executive)

Born in Holton , KS , Bill James has authored more than two dozen books on baseball history and statistics.  He coined the term “sabermetrics” for his innovative statistical analysis of player performances.  James’ statistical measures gained widespread acceptance when Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane applied sabermetric principles in running his low-budget, small market team (chronicled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball).  In 2003, James became a senior advisor for the Boston Red Sox and is credited with advocating moves such as the team’s emphasis on on-base percentage.  Bill James is a Viet Nam era veteran, a graduate of the University of Kansas , and was one of TIME magazine’s “Time 100” most influential people in 2006.  He is proud of his predominantly Irish heritage with grandparents named Burks, Yates, McCool and James.

4.     Bob Murphy, (Broadcaster)

A transplanted Oklahoman, Bob Murphy was a TV and radio announcer for the New York Mets from their inception until his retirement in 2003.  Beloved for his sunny disposition and “happy recaps” of Mets’ victories, he and colleagues Lindsey Nelson and Ralph Kiner described both the ineptitude of the 1962 Amazin’s and the ecstasy of the 1969 World Series.  From 1978 onward, Murphy served primarily as the Mets’ radio voice.  He welcomed fans to the team’s first game and called the thrilling post-season wins in ‘69 and ‘86.  Bob Murphy received the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame and is a member of the New York Mets Hall of Fame.  He died of lung cancer in 2004. 

5.     Mike “King” Kelly (Hall of Famer/Legend)

Widely regarded as the game’s first superstar, Mike “King” Kelly was a colorful catcher, outfielder and manager.  Born in Troy , NY , to Famine immigrants and raised in Paterson , NJ , Kelly’s baseball skill and Irish charm made him one of America ‘s first sports celebrities.  He was the subject of a hit song, Slide Kelly, Slide, and a Vaudeville star.  A two-time batting champion and daring base runner, historians credit Kelly with developing the hit-and-run, the hook slide, and the catcher’s practice of backing up first base.  However, his greatest contribution was the popularity he brought to the game in the 1880s and ‘90s.  He was the first player to sign autographs, the first to publish his autobiography, and his trade from Chicago to Boston for $10,000 was one of the biggest deals in early baseball history (thus solidifying baseball as a business).  King Kelly was elected posthumously to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.

The game of baseball has long welcomed immigrants from its earliest days, when an estimated 30 percent of players claimed Irish heritage.  Many of the game’s biggest stars at the turn of the 20th century were Irish immigrants or their descendants, including Michael “King” Kelly, Roger Connor (the home run king before Babe Ruth), Eddie Collins, Big Ed Walsh and NY Giants manager John McGraw.  Today, major league teams regularly sign players born in Latin America, Japan , Canada , and elsewhere.

Shaun Clancy, an amateur baseball historian, created the Hall after learning about the rich heritage of Irish Americans in the sport dating from its infancy – a legacy that has been overshadowed in recent years by other ethnicities.  He decided to celebrate his roots and those who helped make the game great by creating a shrine to Irish Americans in baseball in 2008.

About Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

A popular destination among baseball players, executives, umpires, fans, and media Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant is located at 18 W. 33rd St. , across from the  Empire  State  Building .  The “Irish Bar with a Baseball Attitude” is adorned with 2,100 autographed baseballs, hundreds of bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts.  Foley’s is home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (www.irishbaseballhall.com) and is considered one of the best sports bars in America . 

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BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE ANNOUCES IT’S ALL STAR SELECTIONS

CANO, LONGORIA HEADLINE ALL-STAR VOTING BY BASEBALL BLOGGERS ALLIANCE
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was the leading vote-getter in All-Star Game ballots cast by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, outpacing Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.  Cano received a whopping 45 votes, with only Longoria and Texas’s Josh Hamilton also reaching the 35-vote level in the American League.  Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies led the National League with 36 votes.
Cano was the clear choice at second base by the BBA, with only the one vote received by each of Seattle’s Chone Figgins, Texas’s Ian Kinsler, and Boston’s Dustin Pedroia keeping Cano from an unanimous decision.  Longoria’s 39 votes outpaced Boston’s Adrian Beltre (with six), with Michael Young of the Texas Rangers a distant third with two votes.
The rest of the American League infield, if selected by the BBA, would feature Minnesota’s Justin Morneau, who just edged out Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera by two votes for the first base nod, and New York Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter at shortstop, as he more comfortably finished ahead of Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Alex Gonzalez of the Toronto Blue Jays.
While the Rangers were close with many of their infielders, it is in the outfield that they finally break through, as Hamilton led all outfielders with his 35 votes.  He would be joined in the outfield by Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford and Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who used a late surge to surpass Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox for the final slot.  Texas also would be honored with the designated hitter, as Vladimir Guerrero easily outpolled the Red Sox’s David Ortiz for that position.
The battery for the American League was Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and David Price of the Rays.  Mauer won handily over Boston’s Victor Martinez, while Price got the nod to start over the Mariners’ Cliff Lee.
Races in the National League were a little more competitive.
The closest race was in the middle of the diamond.  As of right before the deadline, Philadelphia’s Chase Utley and Atlanta’s Martin Prado were tied with 16 votes apiece.  The late votes pushed Utley over the top 19-16.
Other close races included third base, which saw New York’s David Wright take out Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman by four votes and Cincinnati’s Scott Rolen by six, and the last outfield slot.  Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Andre Ethier were overwhelming picks, receiving 30 votes each, but Chicago’s Marlon Byrd slipped past Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen by two votes in the last surge of voting to take the final position.
Rounding out the National League selections were Colorado catcher Miguel Olivo, St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols and Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez.  Jimenez was the overwhelming choice to take the ball for the senior circuit, receiving over 30 more votes than his closest competitor.

All members of the BBA were eligible to make their selections.  Bloggers were allowed to vote for either the American League, the National League, or both leagues if they so desired.  Ballots were published on the individual blogs as a show of transparency.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 and numbers 184 blogs covering all major league teams and various other aspects of baseball among its members, as well as blogs and sites that have affiliated as Friends of the BBA.  The official website of the BBA is located at www.baseballbloggersalliance.com.  The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  Members of the BBA may be heard at Blog Talk Radio each Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk.

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