Tagged: Reds

Size Matters: Top 10 “Biggest” In MLB History

Anyone who says size does not matter has clearly missed out on some key moments in baseball history.

In the early 1900’s, President Roosevelt borrowed an old African proverb by stating, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” And while he may not necessarily have been referring to baseball, the saying seems to have made impact on the sport anyway.

The following is a list of the top 10 “big” moments, statistics and feats in baseball throughout the years.

The Biggest Bat

Babe Ruth played in the major leagues for 22 seasons, from 1914 to 1935. The 714 home runs he hit in that time span were smacked using the biggest bat in baseball history.

The 52 ounce bat swung by Ruth is the largest recorded bat size ever. Most players today use bats that average around 34-36 ounces in weight.

The Biggest Paycheck


A-Rod1.jpgBig is always better, especially when money is involved. Third baseman for the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, signed the biggest baseball contract in MLB history in 2007.

The 10-year, $275 million contract broke A-Rod’s previous record of $252 million.

The Biggest Stature

The tallest player in Major League history is relief pitcher Jon Rauch, who measures six-feet, eleven inches in height.

Currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Rauch first took the field on April 2, 2002. This year, Rauch will be competing for the closer role with the Jays.

The Biggest Mass

In 2005, first baseman Walter Young crushed the competition, weighing in at a whooping 322 pounds with a body mass index of 38.2, also the biggest in baseball.

Officially the heaviest player ever to grace a major league field, Young played only 15 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and batted .303.

Young played in the minor leagues until 2009.  Currently, Young serves as a shift sergeant at the county jail for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department in his home state of Mississippi.

The heaviest current MLB player is pitcher CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees who weighs in at 290 pounds.

The Biggest Home Run


509px-Mantle_ny.jpgA topic of much debate, the biggest home run in major league history was said to have been hit by New York Yankee Mickey Mantle on September 10, 1960.

Considered “the longest home run ever,” this ball is estimated to have travelled around 643 feet and was hit against the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.

However, the longest verifiable home run distance is about 575 feet, which was hit by Babe Ruth on July 18, 1921, to straightaway center field at Tiger Stadium (then called Navin Field). It landed across the intersection of Trumbull and Cherry.

Since 1982, when the technology for accurately measuring home runs was put in place, the longest homer stands at 535 feet. That ball was hit by Adam Dunn against Jose Lima of the Dodgers on August 10, 2004.

The Biggest Dollar Amount Ever Shelled Out For A Baseball

Mark McGwire’s 70th home run baseball, which was hit on September 27, 1998 off pitcher Carl Pavano, fetched a gigantic $3,054,000 dollars at Guernsey’s auction house in New York City.

Sold on January 12, 1999 to action figure and comic book creator Todd McFarlane, his collection also includes McGwire’s #1, 63, 67, 68 and 69 home run Balls, along with Sammy Sosa’s #33, 61 and 66 home run balls.

The over $3 million dollar payment is the most money ever shelled out for a baseball.

The Biggest Payroll

In the year 2010, the New York Yankees continued their streak of breaking the bank with a total team payroll of $206,333,389.

The next closest payroll was that of the Boston Red Sox at $162,447,333. That is a difference of almost $44 million dollars.

The Biggest Arm

Prior to the 2010 season, the fastest reliable recorded speed which a baseball had ever been pitched was 100.9 mph by Nolan Ryan of the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium in California on August 20, 1974.

Since that time, Ryan’s record was broken by Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman on September 24, 2010 at PETCO Park in San Diego. That pitch was clocked at 105.1 mph.

The Biggest Hitting Streak

Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees began an unprecedented hitting streak on May 15, 1941.  56 games later on July 16, the streak ended.  This record still stands today.

The only other player who came close was Pete Rose in 1978.  His 44 games hit streak lasted from June 14 to August 1, just 12 games short of the record set by DiMaggio.

The Biggest Determination

He is not called the “Iron Man” for no reason. Third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. set the record for the most consecutive games ever played with 2,632. The streak lasted from May 30, 1982 until September 19, 1998, spanning 16 seasons.

This feat blew away the previous record which was set by Lou Gehrig from 1925 to 1939 with 2,130 consecutive games.

Ripken played his entire career with the Orioles and retired after the 2001 season.

 

A-Rod photo by Jenn Zambri Photography; Mantle photo by Wikimedia Commons

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

NLCS Rotation Announced

Manager Charlie Manuel has announced the Phillies starting rotation for the NLCS which is set to begin on Saturday.  There are really no surprises here:

Game 1:  Roy Halladay

Game 2:  Roy Oswalt

Game 3:  Cole Hamels

Game 4:  Joe Blanton

Game 5:  Roy Halladay

Game 6:  Roy Oswalt

Game 7:  Cole Hamels

Manuel could have switched Oswalt and Hamels, but there should not be much difference.  Also, Hamels usually pitches well on the road.  The Giants have named their first 3 starters: Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain. Lefty Madison Bumgarner is penciled in as the 4th starter.

I was thinking about the Game 1 match-up of Halladay and Lincecum and realized, if you look beyond the stats, these are two very different individuals.  Take a look at the comparison:

Halladay

Lincecum

Age – 33

Age – 26

230 pounds

170 pounds soaking wet

Short, cropped hair

Long, wild hippie hair

Is an awesome Daddy

Has an awesome Daddy

Super polite

Drops F-Bombs on camera

Loves kids

Is a kid

Thinks “pot” is something you cook noodles in

Thinks about “pot” and wants to eat lots of noodles

Has a web page dedicated to him called “I Want To Go To The Zoo With Roy Halladay.”

Has a baby monkey named after him at the SF zoo (see photo)

Nickname – “Doc”

Nickname – “The Freak”

Most spoken phrase/word – “Win”

Most spoken phrase – “I don’t know”  In 1 Q&A session, he said it 8 times.

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And if you enjoyed that, here is another fun tidbit.  During the NLDS against the Reds, the Phillies players were so relaxed, that even the usually serious Roy Oswalt had a little fun in front of the camera’s during an in-game interview with pitching coach Rich Dubee:

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Yes, that is Oswalt cheesing it up for the viewing public.  Nicely done, Roy 2.0.

 

Zoo photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

Phillies Will Meet The Giants In The NLCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Braves last night to advance to the NLCS against the Phillies.  This match-up promises to be a hard-fought duel to the death between two great pitching staffs.  The season series between the two teams ended in a draw with 3 wins each out of 6 games.  These teams are very closely matched.

The real drama will unfold in Game 1 on Saturday when two Cy Young winners face off.  Tim Lincecum of the Giants has won the award the past two years and Roy Halladay of the Phils is the favorite to win the award this year.  Halladay already has won the award once before.


Halladay Lincecum.jpgIn 2010, Halladay finished the year with a 21-10 record and a miniscule 2.44 ERA.  Lincecum went 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, a disappointing year by Lincecum standards.  But in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, Lincecum pitched a complete game 2-hitter.  He was outdone only by Halladay who pitched a no-hitter in his postseason debut against the Reds.  A slight edge goes to Halladay with this match-up, but only by a hair.  The deciding factor is likely to be the offense of both teams.

Here are some stats for the last 5 years of Phillies batters vs. Lincecum and Giants batters vs. Halladay:

VS. Lincecum

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Dobbs, Greg

.200

5

0

0

Gload, Ross

.400

5

0

0

Howard, Ryan

.250

16

2

4

Ibanez, Raul

.143

7

0

0

Polanco, Placido

.500

2

0

0

Rollins, Jimmy

.167

18

0

0

Ruiz, Carlos

.250

8

0

0

Schneider, Brian

.000

5

0

0

Utley, Chase

.118

17

1

1

Victorino, Shane

.222

18

1

2

Werth, Jayson

.500

6

1

1

 

VS. Halladay

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

Burrell, Pat

.333

18

0

1

Fontenot, Mike

.333

3

0

0

Huff, Aubrey

.238

42

0

2

Renteria, Edgar

.286

7

0

0

Ross, Cody

.250

4

0

1

Sanchez, Freddy

.333

3

0

0

Uribe, Juan

.167

12

0

0

 

For the Phillies, Jayson Werth and Placido Polanco have the best shot at rattling Lincecum.  And for the Giants, our old pal Pat Burrell has done well against Halladay in 18 at-bats.  However, several big guns for the Giants like Pablo Sandoval and rookie Buster Posey have never faced him.  So, there is no telling how they may fare.

Another possible factor in the game is the lengthy lay-off before the series begins.  However, both teams will be dormant for almost the same amount of time; the Phillies ended their NLDS on Sunday and the Giants ended on Monday.  The same concern was expressed back in 2008 and the Phils won the World Series that year.  Also, I think the time-off will be good for the Phils who have a lot of banged up players like Polanco with his bum elbow and Jimmy Rollins, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

My biggest personal concern is the Phillies having to play 3 games in San Francisco.  They lost 2 of 3 there this year and 3 of 4 the year before, with their only win coming in Cliff Lee’s Phillies debut.  I was there for the entire series and can tell you, this team does not like playing in AT&T Park.  It is bitterly cold, windy, the ballpark is huge with odd dimensions and the bullpens are uncomfortably close to the field.  Not to mention the visitor’s clubhouse is cramped and awkward…I know; I have been in there.  In short, it is a hostile environment.


P9213064 Burrell2.jpgThe Phillies will need to use the home field advantage to jump on the Giants quickly.  Fans can help out by bringing their usual fervor and enthusiasm to the ballpark.  Feel free to give Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand their proper welcome back, but after that, all bets are off. 

Burrell should not be allowed to get too comfy coming back home because he can really hurt the Phillies; he loves hitting in Citizens Bank Park.  And yes, it pains me to think of heckling Burrell; he helped bring us the 2008 championship.  But fans need to suck it up and treat him like the enemy!  After the series, we can all give him a group hug to make up for it ;o)

 

 

Photo and head shots by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Phillies Advance To NLCS With Sweep Of The Reds

The third game of the NLDS between the Phillies and the Reds was not terribly action packed.  Both teams pitched well and hits were at a premium.  But while the game was not super exciting, the outcome certainly was.  With a victory, the Phillies swept the Reds right out of the playoffs.

As the chosen starter for game 3, Cole Hamels was anxious to show what he could do after an unbelievable no-hitter by Roy Halladay in Game 1.  Hamels pounded the strike zone all night and sent Reds back to the dugout one by one.  He allowed 5 hits while striking out 9 batters for a complete game shut-out.  No quite a no-hitter, but Hamels was amazing.  Plus, the final out was made by ex-Phillie Scott Rolen; icing on the cake.

P7115073x.jpg

As for the offense, the Phillies got off to an early lead thanks to another Reds error.  As a team, the Reds have committed 7 errors in 3 games of this NLDS.  Tonight it was an Orlando Cabrera throwing error after Jayson Werth put the ball in play that cost them a run.  Cabrera had a sore rib cage and was not supposed to play.  But after some magic massages today, Cabrera was in the line-up.

About the massages, Cabrera said, “The guy’s name is Andy. I don’t know his last name.”  Do you think afterwards Cabrera left a few dollars on the bedside table and left?  Poor Andy must feel cheapened by the encounter ;o)  But we are all thankful that Cabrera felt well enough to play.  Thanks, Andy…you deserve some credit as well.

The other run for the Phillies came off the bat of Chase Utley who sent the ball to right center; it snuck over the wall for a homer.  Replay was used to verify the homer as the Reds claimed a fan interfered but ultimately, the run counted.

With Hamels holding down the Reds, the two runs were all they needed.  With the 2-0 win, the Phillies will advance to the NLCS against either the Giants or the Braves, depending on the outcome of that series.  The Giants currently lead the series, 2-1.

 

Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Oswalt Falters But Phillies Pull Off The Comeback Win

Polar Opposites.jpg

The Phillies started the postseason with 2 pitchers named Roy in the first 2 games.  In each of those games, the 2 Roy’s were polar opposites in terms of performance and results.  Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter in his first ever playoff game.  Roy Oswalt on the other hand, with prior playoff experience, did not pitch well at all.  But all is well that ends well as the Phillies went on to win anyway. 

At the start of the game, Oswalt looked pretty bad.  He threw balls right down the middle of the plate and the Reds did not miss them.  Oswalt surrendered 3 earned runs and 1 unearned on 5 hits and a walk.  Chase Utley made 2 throwing errors in the 2nd inning, which is very odd for Utley, and that cost Oswalt the unearned run.

Between the errors, ineffective pitching and lack of hitting, things looked grim for the Phillies early on.  They were not able to scratch out any runs until the bottom of the 5th when 2 Reds errors plus an Utley single scored 2 runs.  Utley redeemed himself and, making him feel even better, the Reds equaled his screw-ups.  Even better, one of the errors was from ex-Phillie Scott Rolen, which the fans enjoyed a lot.  Rolen has been booed mercilessly these past two games.  No love lost between him and Philadelphia…

Things got stranger in the 6th; Carlos Ruiz was hit in the knee with a pitch by another ex-Phillie, Arthur Rhodes.  Ruiz seemed to be fine and Rhodes was lifted from the game.  Pitcher Logan Ondrusek replaced Rhodes and only 3 pitches later, he nailed pinch-hitter Ben Francisco in the head to load the bases.  Luckily for Francisco, he moved his head quick enough that the ball hit the brim of the helmet.  So although it looked very scary, he was okay.  Shane Victorino walked next to score a run.

So while all this was pretty entertaining, the Phillies were still down 4-3 going into the 7th.  Utley was hit by a pitch for the 3rd erroneous toss by a Reds pitcher.  Things began to go seriously downhill for the Reds when, with 1 out, they brought in their flame throwing rookie, Aroldis Chapman.  With 100+ mph balls flying, it was the Reds fielders who got rattled instead of the Phillies batters…

P8177631AW.jpg
Jay Bruce
missed a fairly easy fly ball off the bat of Jimmy Rollins and then Brandon Phillips dropped the relay throw, allowing 2 runs to score.  Ruiz hit into a fielder’s choice a little later, but it scored another run.  Also in this inning, Mike Sweeney made his postseason debut as a pinch hitter and singled to left.  Having waited 16 years to reach the playoffs, that hit had to feel amazing for Sweeney.  By the way, join us at my “I Want A Hug From Mike Sweeney” Facebook page for more Sweeney fun :O)

So the Reds had 4 errors through 7 innings in this game, which the Phillies then led by a score of 6-4.  Ryan Madson erased the Reds in the top of the 8th.  In the bottom half, Utley singled and stole a base, still determined to erase the errors from everyone’s minds.  Jayson Werth knocked him in to add on an insurance run for a 7-4 lead.

That set up the 9th for Brad Lidge.  Despite walking the first batter he faced and making the fans grumble, Lidge buckled down and got the next 3 batter out to put the Phillies up 2 games to none in the NLDS.  The Phillies are one win away from advancing!  Cole Hamels will pitch in Cincinnati on Sunday at 7:00pm.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

Halladay’s Historic No-Hitter Opens Phillies Postseason

After 13 years in the big leagues, Roy Halladay finally got his first taste of postseason play today against the Reds.  He wasted no time taking full advantage of the opportunity.  Halladay pitched a no-hitter and ended just 1 walk shy of his second perfect game of the season.  The no-no was only the second ever in baseball history to be thrown in the postseason.  And Halladay also became the first pitcher to ever throw a no hitter in both the regular season and the postseason.

1006 Halladay.jpg

Prior to the game, there were face painters, games, food and music from Mr. Greengenes:

1006 greengenes.jpg

That was followed by batting practice, player introductions and the ceremonial first pitch thrown by former Phillies pitcher, Scott Eyre.  And of course, rally towels:

1006 pregame.jpg

As the game began, Halladay relied on his defense as he followed the lead of Carlos Ruiz, who called an amazing game behind the plate.

1006 defense.jpg

Halladay was so good in this game, that he actually had more hits in the game than the Reds batters did.  With two outs and two men on in the 2nd, Halladay smashed an RBI-single to left.  Shane Victorino followed that up with 2 more RBI before Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez was pulled from the game with less than 2 innings pitched.  With one run in the first on a Chase Utley sac fly, these four runs total were all Halladay needed.

1006 offense.jpg

After mowing down Reds hitters, both Halladay and the Phillies walked away with a huge win in Game 1 of the NLDS.  The no-hitter was the icing on the cake.

1006 celebration.jpg

I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to witness this extraordinary feat.  It is a game I will never forget.  The energy and excitement in the stadium was so thick you could feel it on your skin like thousands of goosebumps.  Strangers celebrated with each other uninhibited, as if they were long time friends.  I personally high-fived more people after the game then I ever have in my entire life combined.  A woman later showed me her hands, which were bright red, and said she had high-fived so many people that her hands actually hurt.  Of course, she was not that upset about it.

Today was an amazing start to the Phillies postseason, but there are still 10 more wins ahead to reach the ultimate goal.  The team will be off tomorrow to soak in this win and then it is back to work again on Friday.  Roy Oswalt gets the ball next; he has a very tough act to follow.

Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game.  And this is a few shot video clips from the 9th inning, basically to show how loud it was in there.  Sorry about the head…had some 6’5″ dude in front of me and I could not reach too well over him.

 

Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

NLDS Roster Announced


6a00e5513d181b8834013487fe1fcf970c-350wi.pngThe Phillies announced today who will be on the 25-man roster for the NLDS and there are really no surprises.  Those notable players who did not make it include Kyle Kendrick, Danys Baez and David Herndon.  Here is the breakdown:

Pitchers

Roy Halladay

Roy Oswalt

Cole Hamels

Joe Blanton

Brad Lidge

Ryan Madson

Jose Contreras

 J.C. Romero

Chad Durbin

Antonio Bastardo

 

Catchers

Carlos Ruiz

Brian Schneider

 

Infielders                            Outfielders

Ryan Howard

Jayson Werth

Chase Utley

Shane Victorino

Jimmy Rollins

Raul Ibanez

Placido Polanco

Ben Francisco

Wilson Valdez

Ross Gload

Mike Sweeney

Domonic Brown

Greg Dobbs

 

 

Going with 10 pitchers instead of 11 allows the Phillies to add more fire power to the bench.  They expect the 3 starters to go deep into games so extra long men in the pen will likely not be necessary.  Blanton will fill the role if needed.

As for Ruiz and Romero, manager Charlie Manuel says both players are fine and ready to play after suffering minor injuries on Sunday.

If you are going to the game tomorrow, here is the information about pre-game festivities and other highlights:

2:00 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Party begins on Citizens Bank Way. Features music by Mr. Greengenes; Highlights include an inflatable obstacle course for children, face painters, an extreme rock wall climb and a Velcro race.

2:35 p.m.
Ashburn Alley opens.

3:05 p.m.
All gates open. Rally towels for all fans, compliments of StubHub.

3:30 p.m. – Phillies Postseason Rally on Citizens Bank Way! Special guests include former Phillies Scott Eyre and Greg “The Bull” Luzinski, Comcast SportsNet analyst Ricky Bottalico, the Phillie Phanatic and Phillies Ballgirls. Music provided by Mr. Greengenes; Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs, will emcee.

4:40 p.m. – On-field pre-game ceremony begins.

4:44 p.m. – Introduction of Cincinnati Reds.

4:48 p.m. – Introduction of Philadelphia Phillies.

4:54 p.m.  – National Anthem: Sung by country singer Catherine Raney, niece of Tim McGraw, who will be representing the Tug McGraw Foundation.

4:56 p.m.  – Color Guard introduced.

4:58 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Phillies alumnus Scott Eyre.

5:07 p.m.  – Play ball! Phillies vs. Reds game begins.

5th Inning – “Lady PhaPha” makes her postseason debut.

7th Inning – God Bless America: Sung by national recording artist Lauren Hart, a Philadelphia native whose songs have been heard on television series and soap operas.

See you there!