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Some interesting facts about the late Bob Forsch

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Two years ago today, longtime Cardinals RHP Bob Forsch passed away at age 61. Just a week earlier, Forsch threw out the ceremonial first pitch for game 7 of the 2011 World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers. He pitched 16 seasons in the big leagues, nearly 15 of them for St Louis. He won 163 of his 168 games in a Cardinals uniform and pitched for them in 3 World Series (1982, 1985, 1987). Though he won 20 games for the Cardinals in 1977, his best year was probably the strike shortened 1981 season. He made 20 starts and was 10-5, 3.18 with the lowest WHIP and hits per 9 IP numbers of his career. Forsch was the younger brother of Ken Forsch, who pitched 16 years in the major leagues for the Astros and Angels. Bob is known for throwing two no hitters for the Cardinals, in 1978 and 1983. Here are some other facts about the pitcher who has the third most wins in the history of the St Louis Cardinals.
Bob Forsch was one of the better hitters of his generation. For his career, which included 893 ABs, Forsch hit .213 with 12 HR and 84 RBIs. He hit .308 in 1975, .298 in 1987 and .295 in 1980, having 88, 84 and 71 plate appearances, respectively. He had 45 2Bs during his career, including 7 in 1978. He also managed 8 career triples, with a high of 3 in 1975. He had just 7 postseason plate appearances, but 4 of them came during his 1982 complete game shutout against the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. He went 2-3 in that game with a sacrifice fly as the Cardinals won game 1 7-0. He won the Silver Slugger Award in 1980 and 1987.
In spite of his shutout in 1982, Forsch was not a very good postseason pitcher. Forsch made 12 appearances during the NLCS and World Series in 1982, 1985 and 1987. He finished with a 3-4, 5.79 record in 12 games, 5 starts. He gave up 24 earned runs in 37 1/3 IP. While that does not look horrible, though not good, if you take away his first game, the CGSH against the Braves, he gave up 24 ER in his next 28 1/3 IP from the 1982 WS through the 1987 WS. Forsch lost games 1 and 5 of the 1982 WS, giving up 7 ER in 12 2/3 IP. He got a no decision in game 5 of the 1985 NLDS against the Dodgers, where he gave up 2 runs in 3 1/3 IP. The Cardinals won that game 3-2. He was given the ball in the 1985 World Series with the team up 3 games to 1 against the Royals. He could not make it out of the 2nd inning as the Royals scored 4 against him in a game the Royals won 6-1. Forsch would get into game 7, a 11-0 blowout loss, but did pitch 1 1/3 IP of scoreless relief. In 1987, Forsch was used exclusively in relief. While he would pitch 2 scoreless innings in relief to get the win in game 3, he gave up 4 runs in his 1 inning of relief to get the loss in game 5. In the World Series, he pitched 3 innings of relief in game 1, giving up 4 runs in a loss. He relieved Greg Matthews in game 4, giving up 1 run in 2 2/3 innings. He gave up 2 runs in 2/3 IP in game 6 as the Twins would win games 6 and 7.
While Forsch did not become the best postseason pitcher, he was given the ball in the 2nd to last game of the season in 1974. At the time, the Cardinals needed a win to remain tied for first place with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Forsch took a no hitter into the 7th inning and finished with a 3 hit shutout.
In the 1987 NLCS against the Giants, there was a budding feud growing between Giants OF Jeffrey Leonard and the Cardinals. Leonard was disliked for his HR trots, as well as running the bases with “one flap down.” Forsch would hit Leonard in the back, raising the tension between the two teams. However, Forsch denied that he threw at Leonard, claiming he was “just trying to pitch inside.”
Like I mentioned before, Forsch ranks 3rd amongst all Cardinals pitchers with his 163 wins. Only Bob Gibson 251 and Jesse Haines 210 had more while wearing a Cardinals uniform. Gibson was the best pitcher to ever put on a Cardinals uniform, pitching in the 1964, 1967 and 1968 World Series. The left handed Haines, who pitched for the Cardinals from 1920-1937, was a 3 time WS Champion (1926, 1931, 1934). Both pitchers are in Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Oddly enough, Forsch was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the last minute. Longtime Cardinals manager and Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog was asked to throw out the pitch, but he was not given the clearance by his doctors due to his health. Just a week later, Forsch died of a chest aneurysm. RIP

Leo Durocher’s long journey through the major leagues

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To say that longtime MLB player and manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher had a long and interesting run through many different cities would be an understatement. He would make his MLB debut on October 2, 1925 as a pinch hitter for the New York Yankees. After he made an out that day, he got into the following game as a pinch runner, scoring a run in the process. His final game came as a MLB manager on September 7, 1973 as he led the Houston Astros to the second winning season in the team’s history. He was also part of the first, being at the helm for the final 31 games of the 1972 season. That concluded a 48 year run as a player, manager, coach and once a broadcaster.
Twenty-two years ago, Durocher passed away at age 86 in Palm Springs, California. While several stories existed painting him as a thief (stealing money from Babe Ruth during his time with the Yankees), a gambler (he was suspended for the 1947 season as manager of the Dodgers for his association with gamblers) and had issues getting along with umpires and the media, there is no doubt that he knew the game of baseball. He won World Series twice as a player (1928 Yankees and 1934 Cardinals), once as a manager (1954 Giants) and won two more Pennants in 1941 for the Dodgers and 1951 for the Giants as a manager. His playing career lasted 17 seasons between 1925 and 1945, playing for four teams, Yankees, Reds, Cardinals and Dodgers- the same amount of teams he would manage. He started his managerial career in 1939 with the Dodgers, serving as a player/ manager through the 1941 season and returning to play for parts of the 1943 and 1945 seasons.
Durocher led the Dodgers to the first NL playoff series in the league’s history in 1946. They lost a best of three to the St Louis Cardinals 2-0, with the Cardinals advancing to face the Boston Red Sox. He was planning to integrate Jackie Robinson onto the 1947 Dodgers team. Owner Branch Rickey had signed Robinson, who spent the 1946 season playing for the Montreal Royals. Durocher was the right manager for Robinson to play for, as his tough demeanor generally commanded his players’ respect. The following was Durocher’s quote to his player in the spring of that season: “I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin’ zebra. I’m the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What’s more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.”

His suspension had a lot to do with his falling out with former Dodgers GM Larry McPhail, who was at this point with the Yankees. An argument over coaches McPhail hired led to a confrontation, with both men accusing the other of associating with known gamblers. Durocher was suspended for the 1947 season, with Burt Shotton managing the team to the 1947 NL Pennant. While Durocher returned for a part of the 1948 season, his days as manager for the Dodgers were pretty much done. He managed the first 73 games for the Dodgers, before Shotton took over for him again. He took over the New York Giants the same season, managing the final 79 games after he replaced Mel Ott. That means Durocher was behind the bench for 152 of 154 games played that season.
Durocher would enjoy his best success as manager of the Giants. Managing from 1948-1955, he led the team to two NL Pennants and the 1954 World Series, the team’s first since 1933. Of course, the Giants would not win another World Series until the year 2010. The 1950s were about teams moving and baseball taking over territory in the central and western parts of the country. After the Dodgers and Giants moved to California, he joined the LA Dodgers as a coach under manager Walter Alston in the early 1960. This was after he spent some time as a broadcaster for the “Game of the Week” for NBC in the late 1950s.
He returned to managing for the 1966 season with the Chicago Cubs. After finishing in last place that year, he led the Cubs to six straight winning seasons before he was let go in the middle of the 1972 season. The Houston Astros quickly picked him up and he managed them through the 1973 season. Durocher managed a total of 24 seasons, winning 2008 and losing 1709. He was also on the coaching staff of LA Dodgers teams that won the World Series in 1963 and 1965.
Durocher was not perfect. He was not loved by everybody. He was known to have made a lot of enemies in his life. But he was a winner. He won as a player, manager and a coach. The teams he was a part of were better because he was there. As a player, he had a fire to him that was contagious. As a manager, he demanded his players play the way he did when he played. He was a Hall of Famer before his death in 1991, but he never got the call. He should have been selected years before he died. He is a Hall of Famer now, since 1994, posthumously.
Durocher probably would not be able to handle being a manager in this generation. The overpaid players would tune him out, knowing they are staying likely longer than the manager anyways. When Durocher managed, he could give his players that motivation by challenging them. Also, he had control of what players he could keep and what ones to get rid of. It is safe to say there will not be another like him. I don’t think baseball will allow it.

The possibility of Bo Porter leaving Houston for Washington after this season

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During the 2012 offseason, the Houston Astros made the choice to go with Washington Nationals coach Bo Porter as the team’s new manager. With the Astros going through a complete rebuilding process and the team joining the previously competitive AL West, the Astros are expected to struggle for the next couple seasons. This year, as expected, they have the worst record in all of major league baseball and are expected to have the first overall pick in the 2014 amateur player draft for the third consecutive season. Porter was expected to land a job as a MLB manager as his stock had risen throughout the game. He had grown close to Nationals manager Davey Johnson and was a candidate to replace Johnson when he chose to step down. How that Johnson has just about declared 2013 to be his last season managing, Porter misses out managing in Washington by one season, right?
It used to be almost impossible for another team to get a manager out of his contract. While it has happen before, there has been a sort of etiquette which has kept teams from prying away other team’s managers. The only time a manager ends up going to another team or gets traded is when it is the manager’s choice to do so. In other words, the manager is the one who wants to go to the other team and only then does his employer decide to seek compensation. In fact, in the case of Art Howe wanting to manager the Mets, the Athletics simply just let Howe out of his contract.
Some examples of managers getting out of their contracts to switch teams are John Farrell, Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen. Piniella and Guillen were returning home and Farrell always wanted the chance to manage in Boston. Compensation was sent in each prior case.
Porter, 41, played in the big leagues for the Cubs, Athletics and Rangers from 1999-2001. After his playing career ended, he managed two seasons in the Florida Marlins minor league system (2005-2006) before getting a job on the coaching staff for the 2007 season. He remained there through 2009 and took a job as 3rd base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2010 season. When Kirk Gibson became manager mid season, Porter became bench coach. After he was let go after the season, He joined the Washington National coaching staff and was the 3rd base coach in 2011 and 2012. The Astros hired him after 2012 to be their manager, but Porter was also a finalist for the Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates managerial vacancies after the 2010 season.
It obviously has the most to do with what Porter wants to do. I doubt it would be a decision about the talent level of the Astros and Nationals, but it could be. I am sure Porter was 100% on board with the Astros rebuilding process and would like to see it through. But what if he had Washington on his mind? What if he had been given the thought he had a chance to succeed Johnson? I would assume he would have turned down the Houston job since odds were Davey Johnson would manage his last season in 2013. This is why I think Porter will stay in Houston. In my opinion, the Porter ties to Washington are not as serious as the Farrell/ Boston ones. All the time Porter took to familiarize himself with the Astros organization would be enough for him to stay. There is also a report that, while Porter did not necessarily have any say in the players the Astros most recently drafted, he may have been confided in a little bit. Both Porter and the Astros are probably set for Bo to be around for the next several seasons. But then again, would it surprise anybody if Nationals GM Mike Rizzo made an inquiry?

What the 2014 MLB draft order would be if season ended today

As the month of September has started, the teams competing for a playoff spot or division race have made their last adjustments before going for it. Justin Morneau was traded from the Minnesota Twins to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Michael Young was moved from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the last minute of August 31st. The Phillies also moved SS John McDonald to the Red Sox, giving the 14 year veteran to play for 4 MLB teams this season. Teams not competing for playoff spots are playing out the stretch run and likely looking at particular players to see how they may fit into the team’s plans going forward.
The 2014 MLB draft is something that should at the bottom of the list for most struggling teams to think about at this point, but this is the 1-30 draft order if the season ended today. Playoff teams are re-ordered based on where they finish their postseason season. In addition, games that have not ended yet are not included. However, there is a decent idea of what the top ten would look like with some spots to be determined this month.
1. Houston Astros 45-91 (won today 2-0 vs Seattle): The Astros are almost a lock to gain the top pick in the draft for the 3rd consecutive season.
2. Miami Marlins 49-85 (game in progress at Atlanta): The Marlins were expected to challenge the Astros for the worst team in baseball, but at the moment, are 5 games ahead.
3. Chicago White Sox 56-79 (lost today 7-6 at Boston): The White Sox struggles are a bit of a surprise. The White Sox having the 3rd overall pick in next year’s draft is a huge surprise.
4. Chicago Cubs 58-78 (won 7-1 vs Philadelphia): The Cubs probably expected a top 5 pick and could finish as low as 3. This north vs south battle is much less intriguing than a pennant race for either team.
5. Milwaukee Brewers 59-77 (lost vs LA Angels): The Brewers have been doomed this season with injuries and Ryan Braun’s steroid abuse. Still a chance that some good play can get them out of the top 10.
6. Minnesota Twins 59-76 (won at Texas): The Twins, on paper, seem to have the 3rd or 4th worst team in all of MLB. Manager Ron Gardenhire has this team playing slightly above their heads, but not enough to be close to contending at any point this season.
7. (tie) San Diego Padres 60-75 (GIP vs LA Dodgers): It is not a surprise that the Padres are not contending, though some people (myself included) thought this team could surprise. If they finish as high as 3rd (still quite possible), they will be well out of the top ten.
7. (tie) San Francisco Giants 60-75 (GIP at Arizona): The defending World Series Champions have a legit chance of getting a top ten pick.
9. (tie) Philadelphia Phillies 62-75 (lost at Chicago Cubs): One possible silver lining of an absolutely disastrous 2013 season for the Phillies is a top free agent protected 1st round draft pick.
10. (tie) Toronto Blue Jays 62-75 (lost vs Royals): The Blue Jays made some aggressive moves this past offseason. If the season were to end today, the Jays would have the last of the protected 1st round picks.
11. Seattle Mariners 62-74 (lost at Houston): The Mariners are still very much in the race to gain a top ten pick. Only a half of game out as we speak.
12. New York Mets 62-72 (game tonight at Washington): The Mets saw their number 10 overall pick last year drop out of the top ten due to the Pittsburgh Pirates inability to sign 2012 number 7 overall pick Mark Appel. A typical Mets September could move them back into top ten status.
13. Los Angeles Angels 63-72 (won at Milwaukee): The Angels continue their unbelievable plunge from grace.
14. Colorado Rockies 64-73 (GIP vs Reds): The Rockies had the number 3 overall pick in 2013 and got off to a very good start this season. They will be battling with the Padres and Giants for 3rd place in the NL West. The finish will obviously affect the draft positions.
15. Washington Nationals 68-67 (game tonight vs New York Mets): While this season has been an epic failure, the Nationals should know they will not have a lower pick than 15 due to the amount of games they are ahead of the next worse team.
16. Kansas City Royals 70-66 (won at Toronto): The Royals were one of the hottest teams in all of baseball for a stretch last month. They have plateaued as they look for a strong finish.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks 69-65 (GIP vs San Francisco): The Diamondbacks are the only NL team not in playoff position that has a chance to make a move. After making some bold trades of some key players, they have done respectable this season.
18. New York Yankees 72-64 (lost vs Baltimore): The Yankees lost a chance to sweep the Orioles this weekend and are currently on the outside looking in.
19. Cleveland Indians 72-64 (won at Detroit): The Indians tied themselves back with the Yankees with their win in their last at bat in Detroit.
20. Baltimore Orioles 72-63 (won at New York Yankees): In addition to the Orioles, Yankees and Indians race to be in AL Wild Card position, all three teams are jockeying for the 18-20 picks in next year’s draft.
The following ten teams are in position to get into the postseason. Once in, the draft order will determined by how each team performs in October.
21. Cincinnati Reds 76-60 (GIP at Colorado)
22. Tampa Bay Rays 75-59 (GIP at Oakland)
23. Oakland Athletics 77-58 (GIP vs Tampa Bay)
24. (tie) St Louis Cardinals 79-57 (won at Pittsburgh)
24. (tie) Pittsburgh Pirates 79-57 (lost vs St Louis)
26. Texas Rangers 79-57 (lost vs Minnesota)
27. Detroit Tigers 80-57 (lost vs Cleveland)
28. Los Angeles Dodgers 80-55 (GIP vs San Diego)
29. Boston Red Sox 82-56 (won vs Chicago White Sox)
30. Atlanta Braves 83-52 (GIP at Miami)

8/27/2013 Glenn Wilson interview (Passed Ball Show)

Glenn Wilson interview

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The 1981 postseason, if there was no split-division titles

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Because of the baseball player’s strike, the 1981 season was interrupted, and in doing so, resulted in a postseason which was different than any other in the history of MLB. In fact, since 1968, it was the first time where the postseason did not exist in the same format. Fans of baseball now could relate to the postseason of 1981, as for the first time ever, there were divisional rounds in each league. Once the strike was concluded, it was agreed that there would be a split season, with the four teams who led their division being allowed into the postseason as first half champions. The second half put all teams at 0-0 and whoever was ahead at the end of the season would be crowned second half champions. The first half division winner would play the second half division winner in the AL and NLDS. The AL and NLCS would consist of the winners of the division series with the World Series starting after the completion.
One of the biggest issues of this format was the fact that the first half winners were going to the postseason and needed not to play the second half games. The Yankees, Athletics, Phillies and Dodgers were guaranteed spots in the division series and it didn’t matter how they did in the second half. Of course, had any of the before mentioned teams won the division title in the second half as well, they would have gotten a bye in the first round of the 1981 postseason. That did not happen, as the Athletics finished 2nd, the Phillies 3rd, Dodgers 4th and the Yankees 6th. This cleared way for the Brewers, Royals, Expos and Astros to make it into the postseason as well. The Yankees would beat the Brewers, the Athletics swept the Royals, setting up an ALCS of Yankees-Athletics, where the Yankees won the AL Pennant. In the NL, the Expos beat the Phillies with the Dodgers finishing off the Astros, setting up a Expos-Dodgers NLCS where the Dodgers won the NL Pennant. In fact the only 1st half division winner not to make the LCS was the Phillies.
The MLBPA and MLB agreed to the split season. However, for the exception of the Expos going to the NLCS, the rest of the LCS competitors were determined by the 1st half winners. Another suggestion would have been to the have the teams with the best overall record make the postseason. This would have severely affected the standings and the teams in the LCS. In fact, neither of the World Series teams, the Yankees or Dodgers, would have qualified for the playoffs with this format. Only the Athletics, who won the AL West in the first half of the season, and the Brewers who won the AL East in the 2nd half of the season, would have made the playoffs.
Two teams in the National League had the privilege of finishing with the best records in their respective divisions. In a combined season, the Cardinals (59-43) and the Reds (66-42) would have been division champions. In fact, the Reds finished with the best record in all of baseball but did not make the playoffs. The Cardinals were in the first season with Whitey Herzog as manager and GM. Garry Templeton was the starting SS and for the most part, this was a veteran team that to that point, was not Herzog’s team with his stamp on it.
The Reds, still led by John McNamara, had won the NL West in 1979, losing to the Pirates in the 1979 NLCS. Tom Seaver was 14-2, leading the NL in wins and finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting to Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers. Though many of the key contributors of the big Red machine were gone, Johnny Bench, George Foster and Dave Concepcion were still around. Overall, they finished 4 games ahead of the Dodgers in the standings. The Cardinals finished ahead of the Expos by 4 games as well, but the Expos played 6 more games. I thought the Reds had a little bit more pitching, so I would give them an edge in a NLCS matchup against St Louis. Perhaps six games with Seaver closing it out.
On the AL side, there did not seem to be a stronger team during the duration of the season than the Oakland Athletics. Led by Billy Martin and a rookie named Rickey Henderson, this team seemed to be the best all around team in the league. The Brewers, still managed by Buck Rodgers, were an offensive heavy teams who had many of the same top offensive players that led them to the World Series in 1982. Pete Vukovich led the team with a 14-4 record and newly acquired closer Rollie Fingers only finished with a 1.04 ERA, a league leading 28 saves and won the AL Cy Young and MVP. Though the Athletics got passed the Royals, I would have favored the Brewers to win the series. The Brewers could hit and a couple of the Athletics top pitchers Steve McCatty and Rick Langford, were starting to wear down. I’d pick a 7 game series, with the understanding that the series could go either way.
If the 1981 World Series was Reds-Brewers, the Brewers would have gotten to 2 straight World Series. The Reds would have had one more postseason appearance under the big Red machine team. But there would have been no Fernando-mania. A lot of what made that season so special was the performance of Fernando Valenzuela. The Dodgers had the reigning NL Rookie of the Year in Steve Howe. Valenzuela won both the ROY and NY Cy Young and was exciting to watch, especially in the postseason. I am glad the season turned out how it did, especially with the Dodgers getting their revenge on the NY Yankees, who had beat them in the 1977 and 1978 fall classics.

With just a few deals completed this July 31st, a recap of some prior deals on this date in MLB

Another July 31st MLB trade deadline has come and gone. A couple of moves were made with the San Diego Padres acquiring RHP Ian Kennedy from the Arizona Diamondbacks for LHP Joe Thatcher, Baltimore adding RHP Bud Norris, the Royals adding OF Justin Maxwell. Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox added RHP Jake Peavy in a deal that sent SS Jose Iglesias to the Tigers and OF Avasial Garcia to the White Sox and the Oakland Athletics got infielder Alberto Callaspo in a separate deal with the Angels. Over the past several seasons, the trade deadline has been a busy affair, since more teams consider themselves in a race for a potential playoff berth. In spite of three top starting pitchers being moved, it was has to be a deadline that has to be considered slow in regards to trades.
Perhaps a bigger issue could be the deals that were not made. The Phillies still have 3B Michael Young, the Giants still have OF Hunter Pence, the White Sox still have OF Alex Rios and 2B Gordon Beckham and the Mets still have OF Marlon Byrd. And, as expected pitchers Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum are exacty where they expected to be: in Philadelphia and San Francisco, respectively. Potential moves regarding these players did not happen for a number of reasons. While we look ahead to the month of August, where players can be traded once they clear waivers, here is a little excerpt from a post I made at last year’s trading deadline.
July 31st has only been a landmark day since really 1989; prior to that, many deals were completed before that. The trading deadline was started by Kenesaw Landis after a late season 1922 trade brought Joe Dugan to the Yankees which allowed them to win the AL Pennant. The deadline was originally June 15th and it stayed that way from 1923-1985. It became July 31st for the 1986 season.
The first major July 31st trade was when the New York Mets acquired LHP Frank Viola from the Minnesota Twins for five players, including RHP Rick Aguilera and Kevin Tapani. While the Mets were making a push to return to the postseason, it was the Twins who reaped the benefits of this trade, winning the World Series just two years later.
Just five years ago, one of the more significant trades was made with time winding down. The Atlanta Braves added 1B Mark Teixeira from the Texas Rangers, giving up SS Elvis Andrus, LHP Matt Harrison, RHP Neftali Feliz and C Jarrod Saltalamacchia in a 5 for 1 trade. The Rangers owe part of the credit for their consecutive World Series appearances to that trade. In 1997, the Boston Red Sox acquired RHP Heathcliff Slocomb from the Mariners for C Jason Varitek and RHP Derek Lowe. It is possible the Red Sox do not have their success for the next 10 + seasons without that trade, among other things.
While the last trade gave the Red Sox two important pieces for their championship runs, it was the 2004 trade of star SS Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs; the four team deal that brought the Red Sox SS Orlando Cabrera and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, that may have been the turning point of the Red Sox fortune.
Several sluggers have been moved on July 31st. The Yankees acquired Cecil Fielder from the Tigers in 1996, and Greg Vaughn was moved from the Brewers to the Padres on the same day. Mark McGwire was moved from Oakland to St Louis exactly one year later. 2008 saw Ken Griffey, Jr move from the Reds to the White Sox and Manny Ramirez move from the Red Sox to the Dodgers. And for good measure, Seattle traded future HOF LHP Randy Johnson to the Astros for INF Carlos Guillen, RHP Freddy Garcia and LHP John Halama on July 31st of 1998.
Another interesting trade was made in 1997, when the Chicago White Sox threw up the white flag when they traded LHP Wilson Alvarez, RHP Roberto Hernandez and RHP Danny Darwin to the San Francisco Giants for six players, including Bob Howry and Keith Foulke. This resulted in 3B and current White Sox manager Robin Ventura to say, “I didn’t know the season ended August 1st!”
Many teams have made minor tweaks on the last day before players have to clear waivers before they can be traded. This works until August 31, afterwards no player added can be part of a team’s postseason roster. As the time runs down today, it will be interesting to see what deals, if any will be made today.

7/25/2013 Chris Donnels interview (Passed Ball Show)

Chris Donnels interview

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7/9/2013 Bob Watson interview (Passed Ball Show)

Bob Watson interview

Bob Watson

Breaking down the catagories of pitchers with 2 or more no hitters

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Homer Bailey became the 31th pitcher in the history of major league baseball to throw a second no hitter as the Reds beat the Giants 3-0 on Tuesday 7/2/2013. In the history of the Reds franchise, he joins Jim Maloney (8/19/65, 4/30/69) and Johnny Vander Meer (6/11/38, 6/15/38) as the only Cincinnati Reds pitchers to throw multiple no hitters. Bailey’s last no hitter came on 9/28/12 and was the last no hitter thrown in MLB. The last pitcher to throw the last two no hitters in baseball was Nolan Ryan with the Angels on 9/28/74 and 5/1/75. Ryan, of course, threw 4 no hitters for the Angels (also on 5/15 and 7/15/73). Later on, Ryan would throw one for the Houston Astros on 9/26/1981 and two for the Rangers (6/11/90 and 5/1/91). Among active pitchers, Bailey joins Roy Halliday (5/29/10, 10/06/10), Justin Verlander (6/12/07, 5/7/11) and Mark Buehrle (4/18/07, 7/23/09) as the only ones to have more two no hitters.
The first well known pitcher in MLB history to throw more than one no hitter was Cy Young, who threw his first on 9/18/1897, pitching in the National League for the Cleveland Spiders. However, he was not the first to throw two, or even three. He would throw two more: on 5/5/1904 and 6/30/1908, both pitching for the early Boston franchise of the American League. Christi Mathewson of the New York Giants was next, throwing his two in 7/15/1901 and 6/13/1905. White Sox RHP Frank Smith, a known spitballer, threw his two no hitters on 9/6/1905 and 9/20/1908. Next would be the positive part of what would be a sad story, and that was Cleveland’s RHP Addie Joss. Within a year of his second no hitter, he was dead of typhoid fever. Joss threw his two no hitters on 10/2/1908 and 4/20/1910.
Dutch Leonard was one of a series of talented pitchers the early Red Sox teams had. He threw his two on 8/30/1916 and 6/3/1918; both years the Red Sox would win the World Series. It would be nearly 20 years until a pitcher would throw his second career no hitter. It would happen in historic fashion. The legendary Vander Meer would throw his back to back no hitters for the Cincinnati Reds on 6/11 and 6/15/1938; something that has never been matched.
In the history of MLB, there have been five pitchers (including Vander Meer) who have thrown two no hitters in the same season. After Vander Meer, the next was Allie Reynolds of the Yankees, who threw his two on 7/12 and 9/28/1951. The next year, the same feat was accomplished by Detroit’s Virgil Trucks, who threw his on 5/5 and 8/25/1952. Nolan Ryan threw two no hitters for the California Angels in 1973 (5/15 and 7/15) and Roy Halliday threw his two for the Phillies in 2010 (on 5/29 and in the postseason on 10/6).
Next is the pitchers who pitched two no hitters, but combined with relievers to finish one of them. Of course, the rules changed over the past ten years, making an official no hitter being 9 complete innings of no hit baseball. Many pitchers previously credited with no hitters had theirs taken out of the record books. The first pitcher who threw a no hitter with some help was Athletics LHP Vida Blue on 9/21/1970. He pitched 5 innings and with the help of 3 relievers gave up no hits. A little over 5 years later, on 9/28/1975, Blue finished his own no hitter, giving him credit for 2 in his career. The same happened for Kent Mercker of the Atlanta Braves. His first no hitter was on 9/11/1991, when he combined with 2 relievers after pitching 6 no hit innings. On 4/8/1994, he did it himself, throwing the 2nd one of his career. Kevin Millwood threw a no hitter for the Phillies on 4/27/2003. Just last season, while pitching for the Seattle Mariners, he combined with 4 relievers to throw a no hitter on 6/8/2012.
Then there are the pitchers who threw no hitters for two different teams. Cy Young was the first to do that, throwing one for the Cleveland Spiders of the National League and two for the Boston team of the American League. Ryan, of course, threw no hitters for 3 different teams. Millwood threw his two pitching for two different teams. Hideo Nomo threw his first one for the Los Angeles Dodgers on 9/17/1996 and his second for the Boston Red Sox on 4/4/2001. Randy Johnson threw his first for the Seattle Mariners on 6/2/1990, then his perfect game for the Arizona Diamondbacks on 5/18/2004. Jim Bunning threw his first on 7/20/1958 pitching for the Detroit Tigers, then his second (also a perfect game) came for the Phillies on 6/21/1964.
And now on to those who have thrown more than two. We all know about Ryan and his seven (5/15/73, 7/15/73, 9/28/74, 5/1/75, 9/26/81, 6/11/90, 5/1/91). I mentioned Young’s three (9/18/1897, 5/5/1904, 6/30/08). It is amazing that I have spoken about no hitters and not mentioned Sandy Koufax, who threw four: on 6/30/62, 5/11/63, 6/4/64 and 9/9/65. He is the only pitcher in MLB history to throw a no hitter in four consecutive seasons. Larry Corcoran pitched for the Chicago National League club in the 1800s and threw three (8/19/1880, 9/20/1882 and 6/27/1884). Corcoran became the first MLB pitcher to throw two, then three no hitters. Bob Feller threw his three for the Indians on 4/16/40, 4/30/46 and 7/1/51.
Interestingly enough while touching on pitchers who pitched no hitters for more than one team, there is the other aspect in regards to those who have pitched one in both the American and National Leagues. Young was the first to do that, and has been joined by Randy Johnson, Hideo Nomo, Kevin Millwood and Jim Bunning.
Those who have pitched more than one no hitter, that I have not mentioned, include Hall of Famers Warren Spahn (Milwaukee Braves 9/16/60, 4/28/61) and Pud Galvin (Buffalo Bisons 8/20/1880, 8/4/1884). Others include Carl Erskine of Brooklyn on 6/19/1952 amd 5/12/1956, the Cubs Ken Holtzman on 8/19/69 and 6/3/1971, Bill Stoneman of the Montreal Expos on 4/17/69 and 10/2/72, Don Wilson of the Houston Astros on 6/18/67 and 5/1/69, Steve Busby of the Kansas City Royals on 4/27/73 and 6/19/74 and Bob Forsch of the Cardinals on 4/16/78 and 9/26/83. Oddly enough pitchers with the same names, Sam Jones threw no hitters. “Sad” Sam Jones threw one for the New York Yankees on 9/4/22 and Sam “Toothpick” Jones pitched one for the Chicago Cubs on 5/12/1955. In the history of major league baseball, only the San Diego Padres remain as the only team to not have a no hitter thrown for them.

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