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Posted in Baseball on April 25, 2018
I had the opportunity to talk baseball with Rob Fai last Thursday (April 19) as Vancouver Canadians Game Day made its 10th season debut. It wasn’t my best effort, but it’s always exciting to talk baseball.
Thanks to Rob for having me on in the first segment*. I strive to do better in future appearances.
*Not sure how long these links stay online, but I have downloaded a copy of the audio for my own collection.
This day in knuckleballing history: April 4, 1989: In a matchup of the two winningest pitchers in the majors over the past seven seasons, it was the knuckleballing Charlie Hough who outpitched Tigers ace Jack Morris, a future Hall of Famer, as the Texas Rangers beat Detroit 4-0 on Opening Day.
From 1982 to 1988, Hough had recorded 111 victories with a 3.58 ERA and 84 complete games. Morris, meanwhile, had logged 126 wins with a 3.55 ERA and 97 complete games during that same stretch.
But in this opening-day matchup, it was Hough who pitched just a bit better with a complete-game five-hitter with two walks and five strikeouts.
“Charlie’s my idol,” Morris, who fired a six-hitter with eight strikeouts, told USA Today afterward. “Just once in my life I’d like to pitch a game without sweating the way he does. Just once before I die, that’s all I ask. It must be great.”
Posted in Baseball on April 3, 2018
Okay, so recently I was researching something on YouTube and came across an upload that was a documentary about the 1990s Cleveland Indians. This documentary, titled “The Dynasty that Almost Was,” was produced and originally shown on MLB Network.
I have to say, that documentary was a nice look-back at those Indians teams, but a couple of things made me think the writers/producers were full of it.
In the early part of the documentary, the narrator said that Joe Carter was the only major-league star on those Indians teams in the late 1980s. Okay, I understand the context. They were trying to say that the Carter trade brought them Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Carlos Baerga. I get that.
But to say that Joe Carter was the only major-league star on that team? C’mon. What about Brett Butler, Doug Jones, Greg Swindell, and Tom Candiotti? What about Julio Franco?
Yes, I get that they’re trying to emphasize the trade that brought the team Alomar and Baerga. But to say Carter was the “only major-league star”? Ridiculous.
Yes, yes, when the others departed, the Indians got nothing, or got the likes of Jack Armstrong or Glenallen Hill or Mark Whiten, none of whom were part of those powerful Tribe teams. But c’mon.
The other thing that was questionable was how they didn’t even mention the Steve Olin/Tim Crews/Bobby Ojeda boating incident. That was a huge story. How could they not even mention it?
I will say, though, overall it was great to see those former players reminisce about those days. It was awesome to hear Kenny Lofton’s thoughts about the dismantling of the club that began the year after they got to the World Series the first time.
Here’s a review from Boston Globe‘s Bob Ryan:
Orel Hershiser IV…Kirk Gibson…the irrepressible Tom LaSorda…you know all about them. But Rick Dempsey, Mickey Hatcher, and Danny Heep—aka “The Stuntmen”—not so much. Now, thanks to K. P. Wee’s The 1988 Dodgers: Reliving the Championship Season, you will. This is the story of a very improbable and, yes, lovable bunch, the last LA Dodger squad to win a championship.
— Bob Ryan, Boston Globe, ESPN
The book is due to be released in August 2018, but all you sports fans out there can pre-order now! What a great gift for the baseball fan in your family!
Posted in Baseball on December 19, 2017
Happy birthday to former Milwaukee Brewers RHP Bill Wegman, who was born on Dec. 19, 1962.
Wegman would pitch for 11 seasons in the majors, with his best year coming in 1991 when he was 15-7 with a 2.84 ERA in 193.1 innings.
What’s notable on alifeofknuckleballs.com too regarding Wegman is that he was one of the three young pitchers the Brewers chose to keep in 1986 instead of Tom Candiotti, who was released and went on to sign with Cleveland.
The Brewers kept Wegman, Juan Nieves, and Chris Bosio – and had high hopes for the trio as the three youngsters were expected to make up the back end of the rotation behind Teddy Higuera, No. 2 man Tim Leary, and Danny Darwin.
Instead, Wegman (5-12, 5.13), Nieves (11-12, 4.92), and Bosio (0-4, 7.01) combined to win the same number of games as Candiotti (16-12, 3.57) did in Cleveland in 1986.
While Candiotti would go on to win 151 games, Bosio turned out to be the winningest out of that Milwaukee trio. He went 94-93, pitching a no-hitter for Seattle in 1993 and helping the Mariners to the playoffs in 1995.
Wegman, our birthday boy today, finished his career with an 81-90 record, winning his final major-league game on August 8, 1995 against Toronto.