Congratulations to Ron Gardenhire for winning his 1000th game as manager of the Minnesota Twins. Only ten managers have done that with the same team. [FoxSports]
Not an MLB story, but interesting nonetheless. Auburn pitcher Jay Wade was supposed to issue an intentional pass to Austin Anderson of Ole Miss. He didn’t. The video captures the rest of the story. [FoxSports]
Will Middlebrooks heads to the DL with a calf strain. An MRI is forthcoming. Meanwhile, Brock Holt gets some time with the parent team. Holt came through the Pirates chain and has had two previous trips to the bigs (Pittsburgh and Boston), hitting .250 in 124 at bats. He’s a contact hitter, some speed but not a ton, and not a lot of power. That makes him, what, a poor man’s Bill Mueller? [MLB]
Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira heads to the DL with a right hamstring pull. Austin Romine will get his spot on the roster. [SI]
Scott Hairston heads to the DL with a left oblique strain, which means that backup outfielder Tyler Moore returns to the Nationals. [MLB]
Yasiel Puig injured his thumb sliding into first base on an infield single. He stayed in the game – even forgot how many outs there were on a late game fly ball… Anyway – he expects to get an xray soon. [MLB]
Speaking injured thumbs – Ryan Braun has been struggling with a thumb injury for nearly a full year now, and even the rest he got while sitting out last year for steroid usage didn’t help. [ESPN]
National third baseman Ryan Zimmerman may have reinjured his shoulder on an awkward throw in Saturday’s game against the Braves. [MLB]
Jon Niese returns to the Mets after his turn on the DL.
Cole Hamels, Chris Stewart, Dane De La Rosa, Brian Wilson, Craig Gentry, Jake Arrieta, and J.A. Happ head off to minor league rehab assignments.
(1903) Mickey Cochrane – Hall of Fame catcher – probably the greatest one prior to the arrival of Yogi Berra.
(1908) Ernie Lombardi – one of the best hitting catchers, a two-time batting champ, and another member of the Hall of Fame.
(1937) Phil Regan – earned nickname, “The Vulture”, because he would swoop in as a reliever and take wins at the end of the ballgame.
(1943) Marty Pattin – I’ve probably written this before. The first time that I bought my own pack of baseball cards was when I was probably six years old. I took a quarter down to a corner store near where my grandparents lived on Sacramento in Chicago and bought a pack of Topps baseball cards. There were no Cubs in that pack, and no other stars that caught my attention. The one guy who stood out, to me, was Marty Pattin.
Pattin was born in the western suburbs of Chicago. When his career – a good one – wound down, he would become the manager of the Kansas Jayhawks baseball team – but he left one year before I started broadcasting their games. I believe he still lives in the Lawrence area, and I wonder if he ever heard my call.
Anyway – whenever I see his name, I think back to that first pack of cards.
(1951) Bert Blyleven – Hall of Fame pitcher and, like Jack Morris, the topic of enormous debate as to whether or not he was actually good enough to get the nod. Chris Berman gave too many players nicknames in the 1980s and 1990s – but of the Bermanisms, Bert “Be Home” Blyleven was the best.
(1964) Kenny Williams – outfielder turned GM.
(1969) Bret Boone – another cheater, had some very big seasons in the 1990s.
(1971) Lou Merloni – my memory of Lou is that he was the guy who said that the Red Sox trainers used to give lessons in proper steroid taking…
(1909) Doggie Miller
George Frederick Miller was born 15 August 1864 and with just a year of minor league ball was playing for Pittsburgh. Miller was an agile catcher, a good hitter, and decent baserunner – which should have been enough to endear him to a generation of fans. However, he had something uniquely special – and that was a remarkably loud voice. So, when given the opportunity to coach the baselines, Miller would be heard all throughout the grounds – if not outside the grounds and a few blocks away.
His coaching voice was so loud it earned him the nicknames of Foghorn and Calliope. The other nickname – Doggie – had to do with his rather unique batting stance. A short, thin player – he propped himself even lower, and then he would kick forward with his front leg – almost like a dog taking a leak – before he would lean forward and slash at the ball. Having been teased, Miller actually tried to hit without kicking his leg out, but it was ingrained into his routine. He couldn’t hit without the kick.
Like many of the players of the 1880s and 1890s, he endured regular changes in the rules and equipment. One change he didn’t necessarily take to was the chest protector. A good enough player early in his career, Miller was often playing other positions to stay in the lineup – as his career wound down, he would eventually become the first player (and still only player) to play at least 20 games at every non-pitching position.
When his major league career ended in 1896, he wound up playing and managing in the minors, Sadly, Miller contracted Bright’s Disease, however, and left this world before his 45th birthday.
(Summary thanks to my new favorite book – Major League Player Profiles – 1871 – 1900.)
(1975) The Astros purchased Joe Niekro from the Braves.
(1973) Ron Blomberg becomes the first designated hitter, drawing a walk off of Luis Tiant. The second DH was Orlando Cepeda, who batted in the second inning of the same game.