There are many things that can be debated. Ryan and I debate thousands of topics, both on and off the air, during the course of a season. However, there is one thing that is beyond argument… Yoda is the best Halloween costume of all-time:
* The silly season has begun in Major League Baseball. 148 players filed for free agency including Jim Thome, Kosuke Fukudome, and Chad Durbin.
* The Tribe have declined the club option of Grady Sizemore, but picked up the option on Fausto Carmona. Sizemore is now a free agent. Our man, Jordan Bastian has more on MLB.com.
* The Indians have also acquired veteran Derek Lowe from the Braves for minor league pitcher Chris Jones. Paul Hoynes has the scoop in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
* The trade for Lowe makes the 2012 Indians rotation likely Masterson, Jimenez, Carmona, Lowe, and Tomlin. However, as we broadcasters like to say, “stay tuned” because a lot can happen by April.
* Justin Germano’s Perfect Game was selected as the MILB.com “Game of Year”. Benjamin Hill has more on the remarkable night in Syracuse here.
* With Tony LaRussa announcing his retirement, the Baseball Hall of Fame “Class of 2013″ could include LaRussa, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Lou Piniella.
* Speaking of managers, Charlotte Knights skipper Joe McEwing has joined the White Sox staff. McEwing and former Clippers manager Torey Lovullo were not considered to be favorites for the Boston Red Sox vacancy, according to ESPN.
* Congrats to former Indian Jeff Manto, who was named Hitting Coach for the the Chicago White Sox. Manto was the Sox minor league hitting coordinator for the past four years and played for the Tribe for parts of five seasons (’90-’91, ’97-’99).
* The Toledo Mud Hens and Detroit Tigers have renewed their affiliation through the 2016 season.
* Clippers season tickets are NOW ON SALE! Call Scott or Eddie at 614-462-5250 for full or partial plans!
RING YOUR BELL!
When David Freese blasted the walk-off homer to force a World Series Game #7 in St. Louis Thursday, it got my jumbled brain thinking about the most memorable games played on the greatest stage in baseball. I immediately think of Game #6 in the ’75 series when Carlton Fisk waved the ball fair at Fenway Park to face a winner-take-all against Sparky Anderson’s “Big Red Machine”. I am too young to remember it, but the good folks at ESPN refuse to let anyone forget (even though Cincinnati won the series).
I thought it over (and did a little research), so here are my picks for the most memorable World Series games:
1960 – Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off blast
Obviously I don’t remember this one, but I’ve heard enough old-timers talk about it to realize it’s importance. It’s the only time a homer ended a World Series in Game #7. It was against the Yankees at legendary Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The ball sailed over the ivy-covered wall in left to give the Pirates the World Championship.
The ones I remember…
1991 – Kirby crushes the Braves
Kirby Puckett smacked a game-winning 11th inning homer to tie the Twins and Braves at three games apiece. Jack Morris pitched a gem the next night and Minnesota took home the hardware.
1993 – Joe Carter sinks Phillies
Not since the Mazeroski swing had a homer ended a series, but Carter’s Game #6 gopher ball against Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams gave Toronto reason to celebrate. With Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor on base, Carter turned a 6-5 deficit into an 8-6 victory to win the series.
1995 – Tom Glavine outduels the Tribe
It pains me to bring back a memory like this one, but the Indians were on the losing end of Bobby Cox’s only World Series title as Braves skipper. That’s because Glavine pitched one of the most dominating games I can remember (eight innings of one-hit baseball) and Mark Wohlers delivered the ninth inning finishing touches. Atlanta won the series 4-2.
1997 – “Oh no, Jose Mesa”
If the last memory was painful, this one will make us cry. The Tribe turned to their shut-down closer in Game #7, nursing a 2-1 lead. Mesa was 46 of 48 in save opportunities with a lights-out 1.13 ERA. It was a career year that would be derailed in one inning. Moises Alou singled and later scored on a Craig Counsell sacrifice fly to send the game to extras. Edgar Renteria’s game-winning hit off Charlie Nagy ended the game in the 11th inning, keeping Indians from their first title since 1948.
Other World Series games worth noting:
Kirk Gibson’s one-legged homer (Game #1, 1988)
Reggie Jackson homers three times (Game #6, 1977)
Don Larsen’s Perfect Game (Game #5, 1956)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the most memorable World Series games in history. Send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
- U.S. Representative Steve Stivers recently stopped by the Clippers office to recognize the organization for another championship.
- The Clippers Cargo Shop is holding a 20% off “Halloween Hat Sale” until November 1st. Enter the promotional code “SPOOKY” to get the discount.
- MLB Trade Rumors has posted its’ Cleveland Indians Off-Season Outlook.
- The Indians have announced the re-signing of Luke Carlin to a minor league contract and an invitation to major league spring training. The Clippers catcher is responsible for two of the biggest homers in Clippers history, a walk-off in the 2010 playoffs, and a game-tying three run blast in this season’s Triple-A National Championship Game.
That’s all for now. Thanks for checking back!
There have been thousands of players to wear the Clippers uniform since the franchise started in 1977. One of the neat things about following the minors is watching those guys “graduate” to the majors. The best part of Triple-A baseball is the high percentage of players that make it to “The Show”.
I enjoy reading about major league players that I’ve watched in Columbus….
* The late Mike Coolbaugh played in Columbus (1999 & 2000), but also left a legacy with the two organizations in the World Series. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com wrote a tremendous story about how this series is helping the Coolbaugh family heal.
* The Bleacher Report says the Cleveland Indians need to acquire former Clipper Carlos Pena.
* Some of you have already asked how the Clippers roster will look in 2012. The dominos could start falling in place in a few days.
The Indians can announce their intentions for Grady Sizemore and Fausto Carmona (both have suited up as Clippers) as early as three days after the World Series. The team owns a $9 million option on Sizemore, but could elect for a $500,000 buyout and send him to the free agent market. The club option for Carmona is $7 million and if declined, Carmona would be arbitration-eligible.
Jordan Bastian has the story on MLB.com.
* The Clippers and President/GM Ken Schnacke were honored at the October 24 Columbus City Council Meeting.
* Happy Birthday to my broadcast partner and co-blogger, Ryan Mitchell. When Ryan joined the team in 2009, I knew we were creating a better broadcast, but he’s also become one of my best friends. I picked up the tab on lunch for his birthday, don’t let him tell you otherwise!
* The Clippers Cargo Shop has some championship gear still available!
*Cory Burns finished the season in the Clippers’ bullpen, but MILB.com has named him the Double-A “Relief Pitcher of the Year” for his record-setting accomplishment as Akron’s closer.
* Gearing up for Halloween? Check out these Clippers pumpkin stencils.
That’s all I have for now… Have a great day!
The Governors’ Cup and Triple-A National Championship trophies are on display in the Clippers office!
I enjoy writing on this blog and wish I had more time to dedicate to it. The biggest reason is the tremendous feedback I get from the baseball fans that read it.
Recently, I asked for some of your favorite sets of “baseball brothers”… here are some of the top responses:
Joe, Vince, and Dom DiMaggio – Probably the most famous set of brothers to every play the game. Joe, the Yankees Hall of Famer from 1936-51, Vince, who played for five National League teams from 1937-46, and Dom, the Red Sox center fielder and potential Hall of Famer had not been for four seasons lost while serving in World War II.
Phil and Joe Niekro – The knuckleball brothers. Phil, a Braves Hall of Famer who pitched until the age of 48. Joe, the Astros’ ace in the 70′s and 80′s. They combined to win 539 games, most by any set of brothers.
Felipe, Jesus, and Matty Alou - Felipe is a member of the 2,000 hit club. Jesus and Matty joined Felipe in the Giants lineup in 1963, making MLB history.
Sandy Jr. and Robbie Alomar – Sandy Jr. helped lead the Tribe to a pair of AL Championships and Robbie is a Hall of Fame second baseman.
Ramon and Pedro Martinez – Ramon won 135 games and Pedro is a soon-to-be Hall of Famer with three Cy Young Awards.
Gaylord and Jim Perry – They were Indians teammates for two seasons in the 70′s. Gaylord pitched for 22 years and earned induction into the Hall of Fame. Jim won over 200 games, mostly with the Twins.
Paul and Lloyd Waner – The only set of brothers in the Hall of Fame. They combined for 5,611 hits with Pittsburgh in the 1950′s.
Livan and Orlando Hernandez – Half-brothers that defected from Cuba. Orlando, “El Duque” is a former Clipper (1998 & 2002), who won 90 games over nine seasons. Livan won 174 over 16 years.
Hank and Tommie Aaron - They have the most homers hit by brothers (768), with Hank (755) doing most of the heavy lifting.
Jeff and Jared Weaver – Clippers media relations guru Anthony Slosser’s favorite set of brothers. Once highly touted prospects, they’ve pitched against each other and Jeff was once replaced by Jared on the Angels’ roster.
* The Clippers were honored as the Triple-A “Team of the Year”.
* The Clippers have teamed with Huntington Bank and MasterCard to create a Clippers MasterCard. Call 1-888-810-1381 to get your card!
* MILB.com has recognized some Clippers in the Cleveland Indians Organization All-Stars
* Clippers pitcher Josh Judy will host a live chat at 8:00pm on Monday and Tuesday at TheClevelandFan.com
* Happy Birthday (10/24) to Clippers/WMNI radio producer Rob “BaRob” Mutchler! He’s the man “spinning the dials” for the Clippers afternoon games each season.
* The 2012 Clippers schedule is complete with away times. I took a deeper look and here is what I found:
Fridays at home: 13
Saturdays at home: 10
Sundays at home: 9
The Clippers are on the road for just about every in-season holiday (with the exception of Easter)
Easter (4/8 vs. Louisville, 4:05pm)
Mother’s Day (5/13 at Pawtucket, 1:05pm)
Memorial Day (5/31 at Buffalo, 10:35am)
Father’s Day (6/17 at Gwinnett, 2:05pm)
Independence Day (7/4 at Toledo, 7:00pm)
Labor Day (9/3 at Toledo, 1:00pm)
IL West Division games
Games against Toledo: 22 (11 home, 11 away)
Games against Louisville: 21 (11 home, 10 away)
Games against Indianapolis: 21 (10 home, 11 away)
The most interesting part of the schedule is in May, when the Clippers play Scranton Wilkes-Barre in Rochester. That’s because the Yankees are without a home field during the 2012 season while PNC Field is being renovated.
That’s all for now.
My six-year-old son has discovered the video gamimg world, in a big way. He’s addicted to his Nintendo Wii and portable DS to the point where he’d rather play games than anything else. He reminds me of myself a bit. He likes everything from “Mario Brothers” to “Chicken Blaster” (a game were players shoot egg-throwing, flying chickens out of the sky).
I remember playing A LOT of Nintendo (and later Super Nintendo) in my youth, mostly sports games. There were plenty of great baseball games to occupy my time during hot summer days spent in the air conditioning.
Some of my favorites included “RBI Baseball” and “Ken Griffey Jr. presents Major League Baseball”.
I remember that the players in RBI reminded me of weeble-wobbles. When the failed to successfully field a ground ball, they would squat down and cry (at least that’s the way it looked).
Ken Griffey’s game didn’t have approval from the MLB Players Association, so the players represented real individuals, but with fake names (first initial and last name). One of my favorites was Deion Sanders, referred to as D. Neon.
There was a game called “Baseball Simulator 1.000″ where you could “upgrade” players to have super powers like a “bomb hit” or a pitcher could develop a “stopper ball” (the ball would literally stop halfway to the plate).
I also fondly recall a game called “Baseball Stars” where you would earn money after each victory, which could be used to enhance your roster.
The latest video games are more advanced with better graphics, but I’m too busy with life to enjoy them, so I’ll always remember the games of my youth as the best.
This site compiled a list of the 50 Greatest Baseball Video Games. It names “MVP Baseball” as the #1 game ever, it came along after my glorious video gaming career had ended.
* The Indians outrighted RHP Mitch Talbot and OF Jerad Head from the 40-man roster. Talbot will be a free agent and Head could also be, if he chooses. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian has more here. Here is the Indians current 40-man roster.
* Former Indians hurler Jake Westbrook has made the Cardinals’ World Series roster. Surprisingly, Westbrook was not on the Redbirds LCS roster. He’s also a former Clipper also, having pitched in Columbus as a Yankee farm hand in 2000.
* Clippers fan Tim Wisecup was the winner of the Pepsi Max “Field of Dreams” promotion.
Next spring, Tim and his friends will play ball with his hand-picked Dream Team:
C – Johnny Bench
1B – Frank Thomas
2B – Rod Carew
SS – Cal Ripken Jr.
3B – Mike Schmidt
OF – Tony Gwynn
OF – Ken Griffey Jr.
OF – Reggie Jackson
DH – Edgar Martinez
SP – Randy Johnson
RP – Dennis Eckersley
The Columbus Dispatch has the story here.
Tim will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s World Series Game #2 in St. Louis.
That’s all for now.
I was listening to Chris Duncan chat on the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN Radio today, Chris is the son of longtime Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. He’s also the brother of Clippers/Indians slugger Shelley Duncan. Chris, who sounds extremely intelligent and colorful (maybe has a future in broadcasting), was an outfielder who played in the International League in 2009 (Pawtucket) and 2010 (Syracuse). He and Shelley crossed paths in an early May series last season at Huntington Park, both discussed how competitive they are with each other, and it showed. It was the only time they played in the same games in professional baseball.
This wasn’t the first time the Clippers hosted a brother vs. brother showdown, outfielder Bronson Sardinha played against older brother Louisville catcher Dane in 2006.
There have been other Clippers sibling stories, like Aaron Boone in 2008, of course he’s the younger brother of Bret and son of Bob, from a pretty famous baseball family.
The International League has plenty of brother stories too, like when the Rochester Red Wings were managed by Stan Cliburn and his twin brother Stu was pitching coach. I remember that Reds prospect Todd Frazier faced his older sibling, Jeff, when he was in Toledo.
According to Baseball Almanac, there have been over three-hundred and fifty combinations of brothers in the major leagues. I can think of plenty: Jose & Ozzie Canseco, Tony & Chris Gwynn, Sandy & Robbie Alomar, Cal & Billy Ripken, Pedro & Ramon Martinez, Phil & Joe Niekro, B.J. & Justin Upton, Jayson & Laynce Nix, etc., etc., etc.
Who is the greatest combination of brothers in baseball history? E-mail your thoughts to email@example.com
* The Cleveland Indians not only named the Major League staff for the 2012 season, but also hired Alan Zinter as the minor league hitting coordinator. Zinter has worked in the Arizona Diamondbacks system for the last four seasons.
* Clippers playing in winter leagues include: OF Jerad Head (Dominican), INF Juan Diaz (Dominican), LHP Eric Berger (Venezuela), RHP Paolo Espino (Venezuela), INF Luis Valbuena (Venezuela), RHP Steven Wright (Panama).
* RHP Hector Rondon continues on the comeback trail from last August’s Tommy John surgery. He will play in the Venezuelan Winter League.
* Tony Lastoria of Indians Prospect Insider reported that INF Jason Donald was playing CF in the Advanced Instructional League in Arizona (AZPL). Donald will be vying for the utility infield job in spring training, but could be transitioning to a “super utility” role with the outfield as an option. Follow Tony on twitter (@TonyIPI) to keep tabs on other Indians minor league news.
* Paul Sokoloski of the Time Leader writes that the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees may not be the “Yankees” much longer.
* Congratulations to former Clippers coach Scott Radinsky on his appointment to the Indians pitching coach role. Radinsky, 43, served as Cleveland’s bullpen coach for the last two seasons. He is an excellent coach and very interesting person. Scott owns a skateboarding park and museum in his hometown of Simi Valley, CA and serves as the lead singer for the band “Pulley”.
* Indians manager Manny Acta will serve as a World Series analyst for Fox Sports Deportes.
My last entry asked about sporting events/scenarios that you miss, I received several excellent responses. Here are a few: Major League teams playing in-season exhibition games against their Triple-A clubs, The “Ohio Cup” in Columbus every March between the Indians and Reds, The AL vs. NL “Hall of Fame Game” (before interleague play), the Chicago College All-Star Football Game (played between college all-stars and the NFL champions).
Thanks for the great responses!
Talk to you soon.
The Cleveland Indians have announced changes to the coaching staff for 2012. Sandy Alomar Jr. moves from 1B coach to bench coach and his former duties are taken over by Tom Wiedenbauer who will also coach the outfield/base running. Scott Radinsky moves from the bullpen coach role to pitching coach and Dave Miller who was the minor league pitching instructor takes over as bullpen coach.
Radinsky was the Clippers pitching coach in 2009. Wiedenbauer was with the Astros for 35 years before coming to Cleveland as a minor league field coordinator last year.
With the announcement, there was no word on the Clippers coaching staff, but obviously Columbus could have the entire staff return for 2012. Mike Sarbaugh was the IL manager of the Year, Ruben Niebla earned rave reviews for his work and Lee May Jr. coached one of the most potent offenses in the IL. While it is probably a disappointment for those men to not be on the Major League staff, they will certainly be welcome in Columbus for another run at defending the title. From a broadcasters perspective, I’ve never had a better group to work with.
I was recently in Montgomery, Alabama to broadcast a college football game and saw the above banner on display at the airport. It’s from the Blue-Gray Football Classic, a college all-star game played annually in Montgomery on Christmas Day. As a child, I used to watch this game every year.
I watched because I’m a sports junkie (nerd) and because there were no other sports on television. This was before the NFL, NCAA bowl games, and the NBA invaded Christmas Day. It was also mostly played by players from teams with losing records (not bowl eligible) or non-Division I players. I like that sort of thing (see previous “nerd” reference).
Eventually, the Blue-Gray Football Classic went extinct because of poor attendance and struggling television ratings.
My thoughts of the Blue-Gray game led me to think about other sporting events that have faded into oblivion. My father talks of afternoon World Series games, sneaking his transistor radio into school to follow the action. I wish there was at least a World Series game or two during the day each October, but it will probably never happen again.
How about the scheduled double-header? I’ve said in the past, only half-joking, that every Saturday should be a day-night twinbill. In the minors, you could take every Tuesday off (usually the least attended night of the week) and substitute it for an extra Saturday crowd. It makes good business sense, but would be very problematic for a pitching rotation.
Speaking of pitching, we’ll also never see the four-man rotation become the norm again, will we?
What other sporting events or scenarios of the past are gone forever? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Don’t forget, Clippers 2012 season tickets go on sale November 1st!
* MLB.com has a post-season look at the Indians’ farm system.
* Jeanmar Gomez was named Tony Lastoria’s “Pitcher of the Year” on Indians Prospect Insider. Chen-Chang Lee picked up “Reliever of the Year” and Beau Mills was the “Comeback Player of the Year”.
* Indians MLB.com beat writer Jordan Bastian has opened his e-mail Inbox for Tribe questions.
Speaking of Q & A, feel free to e-mail any Clippers questions or tweet them to @Scott_Leo.
Check back soon with more off-season fun!
I remember talking on the Clippers broadcast, in late August, about how disappointing the MLB races were. We assumed the Red Sox and Braves had locked up the wild card spots and both collapsed, resulting in an amazing finish to the regular season. Now, the momentum has carried into the post-season with three of four Divisional Series’ going the distance. We’re now down to the “Final Four” and it should be a fun couple of weeks.
* The only former Clippers player that I can think of left in the MLB playoffs is Cardinals pitcher Octavio Dotel, who pitched five games in Columbus during the 2006 campaign as a Yankee. There may be more, if so, e-mail them to me at email@example.com. I’ll also be consulting with smokin’ Joe Santry, the Clippers historian, to see if he has any others.
* Baseball America has compiled its’ post-season Top 20 International League prospects, there are a couple of Clippers mentioned.
* Jim Massie of the Dispatch writes “Clippers fans unlikely to see Tribe’s top prospects in 2012″
* You’ve asked for it and now you have it! 2012 Clippers season tickets are on sale November 1st! Check out the schedule.
* Former International League managers Larry Parrish (Toledo) and Ron Johnson (Pawtucket) have been relieved of their MLB coaching jobs with Atlanta and Boston, respectively.
* Don’t forget to download the Clippers app for your iPhone or Android!
* Happy Birthday the Clippers front office staffer Yoshi Ando. Yoshi is somewhere between 25 and 45 years old, and he’s the only Japanese-Canadian-American on the staff… He’s one of our favorites!
* The Mets have promoted Buffalo manager Tim Teufel and pitching coach Ricky Bones to the major league staff.
* The Clippers Cargo Shop has a new shipment of Triple-A Championship t-shirts and hats! Order them here.
Check back soon for more!
October means the Major League playoffs are underway, and once again there are former Clippers playing some serious roles. Clippers historian Joe Santry will tell you that a former Columbus player has participated in almost every World Series in history!
The most noticable former Clippers are obviously wearing pinstripes for Joe Girardi’s Yankees. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Robinson Cano are all searching for yet another championship. I’ll compile a full list of former Clippers once the league championship series’ roll around…
Other items of note…
* The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees have solved their stadium problems. They’ll play “home” games for next season. They’ll play at various sites while PNC Field is undergoing renovations.
* The Arizona Fall League is starting Tuesday. Clippers on the Phoenix Desert Dogs roster include Chad Huffman, Tim Fedroff, Tyler Sturdevant, and Cory Burns.
* Joe Martinez has been named the International League Pitcher of the post-season by MILB.com.
* The Carolina Mudcats are now the Advanced-A affiliate of the Indians, replacing Kinston.
*The Akron Aeros will remain the Aeros.
* Clippers National Championship gear is now available online!
* I’ll be joining Fred McBride on WBNV 93.3FM in Cambridge for a special “Tribe Time” discussion on Tuesday morning… tune in!
Keep checking back!