Tag Archives: boston

The Longest Major League Baseball Game Ever

The game of baseball is the only professional American sport without a clock to time the play.  In the vast history of baseball many games have gone on for hours while some have been completed in less than an hour.  One game holds the Major League record for most innings played.

The game took place on May 1st, 1920 in Boston at Braves Field.  The teams that day were the Brooklyn Robins (Later known as the Dodgers) and the Boston Braves.  This record setting game consisted of 26 innings and ended in a tying score of 1-1.  The game was called due to darkness.  The starting pitchers were Leon Cadore for the Robins and Joe Oeschger for the Braves.  Both pitchers played the entire game which by today’s standards is a heroic feat.

While it holds the record for the most innings it does not hold the record for actual time.  The game was called at 4 hours and 50 minutes after the first pitch.  In the history of the Major Leagues games have gone past 22 innings less than ten times.  The most recent of those was in 1989.  It is safe to say that this game has stood the test of time and will continue to hold this amazing record for many decades to come.

Ron Blomberg Was The First DH 40 Years Ago Today

Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)

Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)

He may not be a household name but he has become a great trivia fact.  On April 6th, 1973 New York Yankee Ron Blomberg became the first Designated Hitter (DH) in baseball history.  This first came in game against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Blomberg was walked in his first home plate appearance against pitcher Luis Tiant.  Blomberg finished the season with a .321 batting average in 301 plate appearances.  His career ended with the Whit Sox after the 1978 season.

To this day the DH remains exclusive to the American League.  The DH position has caused mush controversy and excitement over the years.  Many have debated through the years that the DH position hurts the game.  Most feel that in the game of baseball the pitcher should be in the hitting lineup.   The DH has been criticized for taking away from baseball’s tradition.  40 years later I think it is safe to say that it has become apart of the tradition, at least in the American League.

Babe Ruth: Hall Of Fame Pitcher?

Babe Ruth is by far the greatest Icon in American sports history.  Some would even argue he is the greatest American Icon period.  Everyone from Grandma to your 5 year old niece or nephew knows who Babe Ruth was.  Most people associate Ruth with his legendary slugging days with the New York Yankees.  Ruth even held the Home Run record in Major League Baseball until Hank Aaron broke that record in the 1970’s.  What many people don’t know is that Ruth had a history before the all of those home runs and before the Yankees.

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth made his Major League debut on July 11th, 1914 for the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth won that game; it was the beginning of Ruth’s pitching career.  His pitching career spanned from 1914-1919, all of those seasons with the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth did however pitch 5 games with the Yankees years later and won all 5.  He made the starting rotation for the Sox in 1915 and won 18 games in his first full season.   Ruth started batting in the lineup when not pitching halfway through his time with the Sox.  He had signs of being a great offensive player but was still used primarily as a pitcher.
He went on to have a very respectable pitching career.  He helped pitch the Red Sox to 3 World Series Championships in just 6 seasons.  When Ruth retired he had 94 career wins and a career ERA of 2.28 with 488 strikeouts.  Babe Ruth would be sold to the Yankees in a deal that changed the face of American Sports history.
The Yankees played Babe Ruth in the Outfield and all but ended his pitching career.  There are many people who feel that Ruth could have gone into the Hall Of Fame based on his pitching stats alone.  There is no arguing that Ruth was a great pitcher, but his time in that position pales in comparison to his slugging years.
It really makes you wonder how American Sports would be different if Babe Ruth had not gone to the Yankees and become a baseball hero.  The fact of the matter is as big of an icon Ruth became there would have been no way he would have become so without his years with the Yankees.  The Yankees gave him a grand stage and opportunity to become the Icon he became.  They also surrounded him with other legendary players.

It should not be forgotten just how great Babe Ruth was as an all around baseball player.  While not the most athletic player to grace a baseball field, he was by far the most dynamic.  Ruth was and forever will be America’s first sports legend.

Can David Wright Finish Above .400?

The baseball season is about to complete its second month.  There is a potential story brewing that could dominate the sports media this summer.  David Wright and the possibility that he could end the season with an above .400 batting average.  While the New York Mets have been average this season and have not had a great season in a couple of years,  David Wright could vault the team into the sports media mainstream for the next few months.

New York Mets Third Baseman David Wright
(Marc Serota/Getty Images North America)

Wright has played in 38 games as the Third Baseman for the Mets this year, and  as of May 22nd is batting .415.  Wright has been incredibly hot and extremely valuable for a Mets team that has fallen down a bit over the last couple of years.

The Mets are currently 22-20 and are 3.5 games back in the very tough N.L. East.  Whether the Mets will contend this year is hard to say but based on the recent past looks unlikely.  The Mets caught a lot of flack last season after it was found out the their new stadium might have been paid for by many people who’s live were ruined by the fraudulent financial scams of Bernie Madoff.  Wright could help the team move on and put that in their past this season.  The New York Mets need a player like David Wright at this point and need him to do well and that is exactly what he is doing.

The .400 single season batting average is one of the most elusive marks in all of sports.  The last man to hit above .400 in one season was Boston Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Ted Williams.  Williams hit .406 in 1941.  Since then no one else has done it,  Tony Gwynn did come close in 1994 when he finish with .394 in 1994 but that is a mute point given the fact it was a strike shortened season.  Royal’s Hall of Famer George Brett finished with a .390 batting average in 1980.

Wright will have to continue to be hot through what is  a very long and grueling baseball season.  As Wright continues toward the .400 mark and the season gets further along the media pressure will heat up.  That could be and has been something that has affected many players going towards not only this mark but all records in baseball.  The Mets are positioned in one of the biggest sports markets in the country and you have to know it will be like a zoo towards August if Wright can still be close to the mark by then

Not very many players have had a batting average this high at this point in the season.  So it is definitely time to start watching the Mets and David Wright to see how this progresses.  David Wright is an amazing player and really deserves to reach such a mark.  His stock has already risen and we are not even half way through this season.  So as the season moves along into the summer keep an eye out for David Wright he might just shock the sports world.

The Celtics Are Playing Hot, But don’t Get Too Excited

The Boston Celtics are making a strong push towards the playoffs.  It was made really clear on Tuesday that they are really hot.  The Celtics defeated the Miami Heat on Tuesday night by a score of 115-107 in Miami.  This victory marks the second time the Celtics have beaten the Heat in the last 10 games they have played this season. The first victory of the two came on the 1st of April when the Celtics beat the Heat 91-72. On Tuesday Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were the stars of the game scoring 27 and 24 points respectively.  It was a huge win for an aging Celtics team, and should motivate them heading into the playoffs in a couple of weeks from now.

The Celtics’ Kevin Garnett drives to the hoop through the Heat’s Chris Bosh on Tuesdays game versus Miami.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Celtics are currently holding a season record of 33-24.  They are on a three game winning streak having beaten the Pacers, 76ers and the Heat in those three games.  The Celtics are currently slated to be placed in the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.  Many of the Celtics fans are getting excited and ready for the playoffs.  To that I say settle down!

The Celtics will be going into the playoff facing some tough competition.  If the playoffs started today the Celtics would be squaring off against the Atlanta Hawks.  A series I totally believe they could win in probably 5 or 6 games.  But when you look beyond the first round thats when it becomes doubtful.  Yes, they have beaten the powerful and likely NBA Finals Contenders the Miami Heat twice in the last 10 games, but could they outlast them in a best of seven series.  I think they would not be so successful.  If not the Heat they could play the Magic or Chicago, two more teams they would have a really hard time against.  The playoff picture the the Celtics looks bleak.

This is a team that was built to be contenders about 5 years ago.  As we all know that plan worked and brought a NBA title back to Boston in 2008.  Their frist NBA title since Larry Bird led the team in 1986.  The team was built for the late 2000’s but not the 2010’s.  The Celtics have Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, three incredible stars.  Those stars have gotten older though and as a unit don’t have what it takes anymore to make it through a grueling NBA Playoffs all the way to an NBA Title anymore.  They are just too old, and the competition is too tough.  The bright spot the team has is Rajon Rondo, who is super talented and young but he can’t do it without reliable support.

The team needs to look next season to rebuild for the future before they are left with nothing.  I will be watching the playoff intently to see what they can do, but I think I already know.  They are talented and have done well during the season.  I just don’t feel they will hold up during the tough competition this year in the Playoffs.  We will no longer have to wait because the playoff will be here really soon and all of the questions will be answered once and for all.

The Highs And Lows From The First Weekend of Baseball

Johan Santana throws out the first pitch on Opening day for the Mets in New York.
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Baseball is back and the first weekend is complete.  It was an exciting and surprising weekend for many teams.  If you missed any of the action here are some of the highlights and low lights.

For the first time since 1966 both the Yankees and Red Sox started off the season 0-3.  The Yankees were swept by the Rays in Tampa, beating them 3-0 on Sunday.  No need to fear Yankees fans.  The last time the Yankees started 0-3 was 1998, and they ended up winning 114 games and the World Series title.  The Red Sox lost an extra inning game on Sunday 13-12 to complete the sweep by the Detroit Tigers.  The Tigers proved to be as powerful as everyone thought going into the season.  Point proven when Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera both homered in the 10-0 during Saturday’s gave versus the Red Sox.  The Tigers scored a combined 26 runs during their first three games.   I expect both teams to bounce back from their sweeps this week.

The Pirates Andrew McCutchen celebrating on Sunday after a walk off RBI single against the Phillies.
(Getty Images)

Another shocking thing came from this first weekend,  The Pirates took two out of three from the Phillies.  Both of the victories were of the walk-off type.  The first happened on Saturday in extra innings when Rod Barajas drove in Alex Presley for the 2-1 victory.  The second came on Sunday after the Pirates tied the score at 4-4.  Andrew McCutchen drove in the winning run lifting the Pirates over the Phillies by a score of 5-4.  The Pirates could be interesting to watch if you base any value on this first weekend.

The “new” every thing Marlins began the season with a surprising 1-3 start.  They started their first two games with no offense and loses to the Cardinals and the Reds.  The first lose was to the Cardinals in their brand new ballpark in a 4-1 effort.  On Saturday in their third game the offensive power showed up in a 8-3 victory over the Reds, the fish had three home runs in that game.  Sunday brought their third lose of the season when the Reds rallied in the bottom of the ninth.  Scott Rolen came in as the pinch hitter and drove home the winning run to give the Reds the 6-5 victory over the Marlins.  It will be interesting to see how the Marlins play in Philadelphia this week against what many consider to be the best rotation in the league.

Opening Day history was made on Thursday when the Blue Jays went to the 16th inning with the Indians.  J.P. Arencibia hit the game winning three run homer to put the Blue Jays on top of the Indians 7-4 in that game.  The game broke the previous opening day record of 15 innings held by the Tigers and Indians from 1960 and another 15th inning game between Philadelphia and Washington in 1926.  There is something really special about seeing records broken that have stood for so long.

Albert Pujols went 0-3 in his debut for the Angels in their 5-0 victory over the Royals on opening day.   The Royals ended up taking 2 out 3 games from the Angels this weekend.  Pujols has a .143 batting average to show for his first weekend with his new team.  The Angels have to be surprised how this first series ended with Pujols slumping.  I have no doubt he will continue to be the most feared slugger in the game though.

The A's Yoenis Cespedes going long.
(Getty Images)

There is an emerging star in Oakland.  The high paid Cuban Yoenis Cespedes, has played incredibly during his first series in the Major Leagues.  He is batting .308 with 3 home runs, 7 RBI’s and 3 runs.  He goes against everything “Moneyball” GM Billy Beane has been able to do in the past with little money allowed to him for the A’s.  This year he was able to get big money for this highly touted free agent.  It appears that Cespedes will be worth the money spent if he keeps producing like he the past four games.

The Mets played better than expected by sweeping the Braves in three games.  Its is the first time the braves have started the season 0-3 since 2003.  The Mets were expected to occupy the cellar in the N.L. East and still very well could, but they are looking pretty good coming out of the first weekend.

The Mariners Brandon League celebrates after getting the save against the A's on Saturday.
(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Oh yeah, there was good pitching also.  Kyle Lohse had a solid 7.1 inning game against the Marlins on Wednesday and picked up the win.  The Nationals Stephen Strasburg had a great 7 inning game with 5 k’s in Thursdays victory over the Cubs, although he did not get the win.  The Mets Jonathon Niese had a no hitter going into the 7th inning against the Braves on Sunday.  The no-no was ended though, it would have been the first no hitter in the Mets 51 season history.  The Mariners Brandon League picked up 2 saves this weekend.  League could end up being one of the best closers in the A.L. if the M’s can continue to produced solid games for him to finish.  Other than Niese’s possible no hitter there were no amazing moments by any pitcher,  just a lot of solid pitching throughout both of the leagues.  Some experts are calling this season “The Year Of The Pitcher III”, but I think we will have to wait and see about that.

If you take a look at the standings right now there are 5 teams that started the season 3-0.  Those teams are Orioles, Rays, Tigers, Mets and D Backs.  The season is very long though and as we all know a lot of teams fall off by July.  So no one should get too excited or upset at this point.  This first weekend has been very exciting and if its any indication of what is to come I think it will be a great year for the fans.