MLB The Show Post Season podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Rays and Yankees fought this one out right to the end; Dodgers say Astros crying victim

The Tampa Bay Rays celebrate their win in game 5 of the ALDS over the New York Yankees on Fri Oct 9th at Petco Park in San Diego to advance to the ALCS against the Houston Astros (photo from yahoo.sports.com)

On the MLB The Show podcast with Jeremiah:

#1 Jeremiah the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays were tied up in the series on Friday night at two games a piece and both teams fought for the last rites to get into the AL Championship at all costs necessary with the Rays just beating the Yankees out to get to the AL Championship winning 2-1 on Friday night.

#2 The Yankees Aaron Judge hit another home run against the Rays on Friday night he was very key for the Yanks throughout the playoffs for Judge that doesn’t matter very much to him.

#3 The Yankees also honored former Yankee pitching great Whitey Ford who pitched for the Yankees in the 50s and early 60s and had a career record of 236-106 with an ERA of 2.75 passed away at 91 on Friday night. Ford also had his number retired by the Yankees.

#4 The Los Angeles Dodgers say the Houston Astros are playing the victim in light of being accused of being cheaters and that fans, media and others teams are picking on them. Is this all part of the bad blood between the two teams or the Dodgers are right the Astros are playing victim.

#5 The Dodgers have won the NLDS and are headed to the Championship game against the Atlanta Braves and are the favorites to get to the World Series if they do match up against the Houston Astros how ugly could this series be or will they just battle by playing this one out?

Join Jeremiah each Saturday for the MLB The Show Post Season podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

Yanks Cole gives up back to back homers throws 87 pitches against Mets

The New York Yankees pitcher Gerritt Cole threw against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon in pre season baseball. Here in photo Cole throws in an intersquad game featuring the Yankees split squad team (newsday.com photo)

By Jessica Kwong

NEW YORK—The New York Yankees played their final intrasquad game at Yankee Stadium on Friday evening, with new virtual crowd noise, before facing the New York Mets for an exhibition game ahead of Opening Day.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole threw 87 pitches in his final practice before Opening Day Thursday of the abbreviated 2020 MLB season. The Yankees’ new starting pitcher gave up homers to Mike Ford and Miguel Andújar in the fourth inning, but those were the only runs he allowed in 5 2/3 innings. Cole struck out seven and walked none.

Ford hit into the right-field bullpen. Andújar hit an opposite-field shot in the same direction.

“The back-to-back homers were undesirable from my perspective, just kind of got into a position there where I was spraying some breaking balls and just kind of became noncompetitive,” Cole said. “And I got in some fastball situations where I had to challenge, guys.”

Cole said the intrasquad game “presented a few challenges” but he “absolutely” feels ready for the Opening Day matchup against Max Scherzer and the World Series champion Washington Nationals.

All games leading up to Opening Day are part of MLB’s July Summer Camp and do not count toward the 60-game regular season.

On Friday, the Yankees welcomed back infielder DJ LaMahieu, who tested positive for Covid-19 before Summer Camp. LaMahieu warmed up on the field and got a workout in the weight room before the intrasquad game.

“Obviously everyone is very excited to see the machine back in the building,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Coaches have started putting a plan together for La Mahieu’s return to play, but when he will return is still to be decided based on evaluations.

“I don’t want to commit one way or the other, we’ll see how we are then next couple off days,” Boone said. “It would be a pretty quick turnaround obviously. First and foremost, we want to make sure we bring him back safely and smartly and when he’s back, he’s ready to roll.”

Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames said LaMahieu is a “baseball rat, he knows the game, he knows the swing, he knows what guys are trying to do to him, but he’s still human” and needs to get some at bats and rest before he returns.

The Yankees’ pitchers have been ahead of the hitters. Thames acknowledged that the hitters “have a little ways to go” but that the players at bat have been better.

Players tend to put more pressure on themselves with the shortened season, but Thames said the coaches have been trying to keep them loose and taking one bat at a time.

“We have real pros, we’re going to make sure they’re … ready for the first game against Washington,” Thames said.

As the roster gets decided, outfielder Clint Frazier said he has learned not to worry about where he will be placed.

“I think it’s pretty natural to let your mind wander to those areas but something I’ve learned is to stop trying to play GM,” Frazier said, “I have a role, I don’t know what the role is going to be, I guess we’ll find out what all of our roles will be, but hopefully it’s one I can play a big part in.”

Frazier also confessed that his decision to wear a mask has drawn a lot of positive, as well as negative feedback. He said the criticism isn’t bothering him because he and his teammates need to stay safe to accomplish their goal.

“We want to win the world seri and the way to do that is to be healthy,” he said.

The Yankees play the Mets at Citi Field on Saturday and again on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, before wrapping up Spring Training with an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Opening Day against the Washington Nationals will reportedly happen at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., instead of alternate sites that were explored due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

First pitch for Saturday’s exhibition game against the Mets is set for 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field in Flushing NY.

From Yankee Blue to Cardinal Red — Roger Maris Gets New Leaf on Baseball Life feature story by Daniel Dullum

Former New York Yankee Roger Maris October 1, 1961 steps in before launching his 61st home run of the 1961 season breaking the single season home run mark held by Babe Ruth since 1927 (WPIX TV 10 New York still)

By Daniel Dullum

Understandably, the seven seasons Roger Maris spent in New York as a Yankee outfielder are the most documented of his 12-year major league baseball career. Breaking a sacred home run record while playing for one of the legendary dynasties of professional sports will do that.

The two seasons Maris spent in St. Louis (1967–68) often seem like a footnote to his more celebrated days in Yankee pinstripes. With the Cardinals, there were no records, no major awards, and the big home run days were behind him.

As it turned out, that suited Maris fine. In St. Louis, he attained personal and professional tranquility, along with two more trips to the World Series.

Maris, who was contemplating retirement after the 1966 season, found a refuge of sorts when the Yankees dealt him to the Cardinals. In the April 29, 1967, edition of The Sporting News, Maris told reporter Neal Russo, “This is a new league, a new park and a new season. Maybe I’ll destroy that home run image. I’m really just a line drive hitter and all I want are base hits.

“I would like to be liked rather than disliked. Just wearing a different uniform seems to have made some difference.”

In his first homestand as a Cardinal, Maris went 8-for-17 (.471) with two doubles and a triple, and the Fargo, N.D., native didn’t have to wait long to find out what kind of welcome he would receive in St. Louis. In his first days as a National Leaguer, the Cardinal faithful treated him to one rousing ovation after another during the season-opening series at Busch Stadium against San Francisco — a far cry from his tumultuous final days in New York.

In his Cardinals debut on April 11, 1967, Maris went 2-for-5 against Giants ace Juan Marichal with a bunt single and a double. Maris told Russo, “The reception was far beyond my expectations. … It was nice to hear a reaction like that for a change. It’s been a long time. I couldn’t believe it was for real.”

Occasionally, a trade can provide a player with a new lease on life. And, for the first time in years, Roger Maris was enjoying baseball.

How Maris wound up in the National League is a story in itself.

Beginning with the successful pursuit of Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record in 1961, baseball in a Yankee uniform had evolved into a high-stress occupation for Maris. From 1962 through 1964, he returned to a level of productivity that was actually much closer to his norm. However, many critics and fans felt otherwise. The criticism stung.

In 1965, a serious knee injury and a broken hand kept Maris out of the lineup for all but 46 games. His 1966 season wasn’t much better, as the hand injury permanently robbed him of any consistent home run power. For that matter, things weren’t going well for the Yankees, either.

By the end of the 1966 season, two years had passed since the Yanks appeared in the World Series, but for the team and its fans, that stretch seemed much longer. A combination of age, injuries, abrupt managerial changes and a surprisingly thin farm system brought hard times to the Bronx Bombers. New York’s sixth-place finish in 1965 (its lowest since 1925) was merely a precursor to further woes.

The slide that began in 1965 reached its lowest ebb when the once-proud Yankees finished dead-last (10th place) in 1966, something that hadn’t happened since 1912 — their final season known as the Highlanders. For an organization that played in all but two World Series between 1949 and 1964, this was uncharted territory.

CBS, which purchased the Yankees in 1964, was not amused, as the team’s descent was a factor in the demise of the network’s “Yankee Game of the Week” for the team’s 1965 Saturday home games. Changes were on the way.

Toward the end of the 1966 season, Michael Burke, a CBS career man, took over as team president. One of his first moves was the fire Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber. No one was sure exactly how much Red had to do with the Yankees losing 89 games, but an incident on September 22 may have contributed to Burke’s decision. That was the day 413 fans showed up at Yankee Stadium, and Barber insisted that the TV cameras pan the rows of empty seats.

More changes came during the off season. Lee MacPhail took over as general manager, ex-GM Ralph Houk returned to managing full time, centerfielder Mickey Mantle and first baseman Joe Pepitone swapped positions, third baseman Clete Boyer was traded to Atlanta, second baseman Bobby Richardson retired, as did pitching ace Whitey Ford two months into the 1967 season. Most of Maris’ teammates from the World Series days were long gone.

During that same period, things weren’t quite as bad for the Cardinals, who, after beating the Yankees 4-games-to-3 in the 1964 Series, were stuck in the middle of the National League pack in 1965 and 1966 while trying to rebuild. Ken Boyer, Clete’s older brother and the 1964 NL Most Valuable Player, was sent to the New York Mets for third baseman Charley Smith and Al Jackson — a tough left-hander who was the Mets’ winningest pitcher in their early expansion days.

Smith led the Metropolitans with 20 home runs in 1964 and hit 16 more in 1965, yet neither Smith, Phil Gagliano, Ed Spezio or Jerry Buchek could make fans forget the popular, but declining, Ken Boyer. Their collective lack of offensive output made third base a trouble spot the Cardinals needed to address.

Seeking a solution, one part of the equation had Mike Shannon moving from right field to third base. The other was a proposed deal prepared by General Manager Bob Howsam that would send pitchers Nelson Briles and Steve Carlton, and outfielders Alex Johnson and Bobby Tolan to the Chicago Cubs for All-Star outfielder Billy Williams.

St. Louis sportswriter Bob Broeg explained how the Cardinals chose to solve their dilemma in his article “Musial and Schoendienst: How a Friendship Built a Winner” from the December 1967 issue of Sport:

“As an alternative, Mark Eagleton, a St. Louis lawyer on the ballclub’s board of directors, suggested that if the Cardinals really needed an outfielder, why not try to get one without giving up so much strength? Roger Maris for example.

“Howsam agreed and sent Charley Smith to the Yankees for Maris, making Mike Shannon’s successful conversion almost imperative.”

That was the deal the Yanks and Cardinals agreed to on December 8, 1966 — Maris for Smith, straight up. It turned out the be Howsam’s last good deed before leaving St. Louis for a similar position with the Cincinnati Reds.

Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray wrote of the transaction in a March 31, 1967, commentary: “The Yankees didn’t really trade him, they uncaged him … The Yankees had so little of his affection left they were glad enough to get a player named ‘Smith,’ if that’s his real name, for him. Some say they didn’t even ask the fellow’s first name.”

In an April 24, 1967, feature for Sports Illustrated, William Leggett wrote: “After the trade was announced few defended him, but the late Johnny Keane, the deposed manager of the Yankees, was one. ‘I liked Roger Maris,’ Keane said the day after the trade. ‘He is a high-class man who has gone through a lot of injuries. If the Cardinals can get him interested in playing baseball again and he can stay healthy, they will have a heck of a good player — one who can make them a strong team.’”

For the record, Smith never recaptured his power stroke with the Yankees, hitting nine home runs in 1967 and one in 1968 before a knee injury enabled (future Hall of Fame manager) Bobby Cox to beat him out of the third base job. Smith — who also saw duty with the Dodgers, White Sox and Phillies — later drifted on to San Francisco, who swapped him to the Chicago Cubs during spring training in 1969. After two hitless at-bats for the Cubs, he was out of baseball for good following a nondescript Triple-A stint with Tacoma.

Adding further salt to the Yankees’ third base wound, Clete Boyer took advantage of Fulton County Stadium’s cozy fences and clubbed 26 home runs and 96 RBIs in his first season with the Braves.

Leggett addressed the on-field doubts that surrounded the Cardinals in the spring of 1967 in the October 7, 1968 edition of Sports Illustrated:

“With the addition of Roger Maris in 1967, St. Louis went to spring training as a team with an outside chance to win the pennant. The questions were: Could (Red) Schoendienst get the most out of Maris and a shaky pitching staff? What would he do for a third baseman?

“To answer the last first, Schoendienst went to work converting Mike Shannon, an excellent outfielder. There were days when Shannon’s chest was black and blue from the balls that bounced off of it and Shoendienst’s hands swollen from hitting them to him. But in the end, Shannon was a third baseman.”

When Maris joined the Cardinals, his new teammates were understandably curious about the team’s newest acquisition. Their questions, and doubts, were answered quickly.

Left-hander Steve Carlton, a rising star in the Cardinals’ rotation, recalled, “Coming from New York, he had that air of professionalism. We were a bunch of guys playing baseball out in St. Louis, we were the Midwest guys, and we didn’t seem to have that air of sophistication that Roger seemed to bring.

“He was a great leader by example, a good man, and everyone was a friend to Roger on the Cardinals. He was a very good fielder, fundamentally very sound with a really good, above-average arm. He did everything, a very well rounded ballplayer.”

Carlton said that when Maris came to the Cardinals to play the right field position previously occupied by Shannon, the two “became best friends.”

“When Roger came to the team, he was playing right field so Mike Shannon had to move over to third base and learn how to play it; he’d never been an infielder in his life. So here’s Shannon at third base, taking a lot of balls off his chest and learning how to play that position. But Mike was a gutsy kind of a guy, hard-nosed, and he learned how to play it pretty well.”

Shannon said, “We became such good friends when he came over from the Yankees. I got some security by moving to third, but more importantly, I got to meet a fellow that became one of my closest friends, and my dearest friends, and that’s Roger Maris.

“The friendship that developed between us, I’ll remember and hold dear to my heart.”

Among other angles of his TSN report on the Cards’ new rightfielder, Russo addressed what he called “the old tug-of-war’ between Maris and the New York media, saying the writers still insisted that “Maris’ bad attitude was the cause of his difficulties. Rog contends it was the writers’ attitude that caused all the trouble that led to ‘six years of misery.’”

Relief pitcher Wayne Granger, who spent his rookie season with the Cardinals in 1968, was called up in May and found himself wanting to separate truth from fiction when it came to Maris.

“When he played for the Yankees, Roger had the reputation of being a rebel rouser and I thought that about him over the years before I joined up with him in St. Louis,” Granger said. “When I met him, I said, ‘You’re not Roger Maris — you’re too nice of a guy!’ He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.”

From the book “From Ghetto to Glory — The Bob Gibson Story,” Gibson wrote (with Phil Pepe):

“We all read and heard so much about him. Was he really the brooding, sullen, unapproachable ogre he was made out to be? … Now we would see for ourselves just what kind of monster he was.

“I guess I had a preconceived idea of what he would be like from all the derogatory things I read about him. I expected him to be snobbish. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“From my personal firsthand experience, I can only say that Roger Maris is one hell of a guy, easy to get along with and a real team player. I think he’s great. He was mistreated and abused so badly he became bitter, but he was not at like that with us. I don’t think he ever got a fair shake from the press when he was in New York.”

Curt Flood was the centerfielder during Maris’ stay in St. Louis. In 1972, Flood wrote (with Richard Carter) “The Way It Is,” a nonfiction work that explained his history-making challenge of the reserve clause, along with his observations of the business of baseball.

Flood said of Maris: “Instead of being lionized (for the home run record), he was represented to the public as an egocentric grouch. Anyone with the dimmest curiosity or sensitivity might have been able to understand Roger’s frame of mind during that pressure cooker of a year. But those qualities were in short supply, and Rog came off with an almost uniformly bad press.

“His problem had been one of trying to maintain personal equilibrium — including his powers of athletic concentration — while being hounded by reporters and fans. To rebuff one reporter was enough to launch chain reactions of outrage. To accommodate all fans and all reporters was physically and mentally impossible. … I think (after hitting 61 homers) he was psychologically incapable of exposing himself to another ride on that particular merry-go-round.

“We were apprehensive about him when he joined us in 1967. Would he fit in? He turned out to be a great guy. He loved the Cardinal atmosphere. He joined our revels with great enthusiasm and although he was a hard-used 33 years old, hampered by the after-effects of many injuries, he was as instrumental as anyone in our victories in 1967 and 1968.”

Russo observed in TSN, “The once glum-faced Maris had a happy spring training. He meshed well with his new teammates, joining them in barbecues and chatting and joking often with them at the club’s motel.”

Dick Sisler, the Cardinals’ hitting coach, told Russo, “I’ve found that a lot of the things written about Roger just don’t hold water. I read that he was a loner and wouldn’t cooperate. But I often see him with the other players and signing autographs politely, no matter where he is.

“People should know that he really is very friendly and warm. He showed great desire to get into shape and have a good year. I think he’ll do it on desire alone.”

Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst concurred with Sisler, “Rog worked hard in Florida in every way. After playing five or six innings, he’d do a lot of hard running and do his pickups. He got into good shape and he was swinging the bat pretty well.”

Leggett reported in the April 24, 1967, edition of Sports Illustrated that when Maris arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida, for spring training, Schoendienst told his new right-fielder, “We know that you are a pro and we know what you can do, because you’ve already proved it. Just get yourself in shape and don’t worry about the hits in the spring. Get in shape. We’ve got a heck of a bunch of guys on this team, and they’ll make it easier for you. Don’t throw hard in the outfield. We’ll leave it up to you, but we want you in the best shape you can get yourself in.”

In a not-so-thinly veiled swipe at the Yankees’ CBS ownership, Maris told Russo in TSN, “I’m happy as a meadowlark. Maybe it’s because baseball men are running things on this club — Red Schoendienst and Stan Musial. But I’ve found a relaxed atmosphere. This seems to be a fairly well-knit organization, closer than most.”

Maris’ new teammates were impressed with more than just his work ethic and easy-going manner. Little things like his baserunning and the ability to break up a double play, or the strength and accuracy of his throwing arm, didn’t go unnoticed. During spring training in 1965, Tony Kubek, the former Yankee shortstop, heard a common observation from many players.

“It was interesting when Roger went from the Yankees and played with the Cardinals on their pennant-winning teams. The next spring (after the ’64 Series), we were down in Florida and saw some of the Cardinal players like Ken Boyer, Dick Groat, Bob Gibson and Mike Shannon. They all said, ‘You know, we knew he could hit home runs. We didn’t have any idea he could run and do all these other things!’” Kubek recalled. “For seven or eight years, he was as good as anybody in the game, and I include the players I played with and against — Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson or Roberto Clemente.”

Shannon, a long-time Cardinals broadcaster, felt Roger’s subtle contributions to the St. Louis pennant winners “showed what a ballplayer Maris was,” saying, “he no longer had the power to hit home runs, but what a complete player he was. In the two years he played for the Cardinals, I never saw Roger make a mistake in the outfield. He never threw to the wrong base. I saw him make errors, but I never saw him make a mistake on throwing the ball or playing a guy out of position.”

Granger recalled, “Roger was a great hitter, not just a power hitter. He was a wonderful hitter. He hit the ball to the opposite field, a good defensive ballplayer. He was just aces to me. I was totally impressed with Roger.”

Maris batted .261 in 1967 while playing 118 games in right field — in both cases his best in three years. He had nine home runs, 55 runs batted in, and of the Cardinal regulars, only Lou Brock and Tim McCarver struck out fewer times than Roger’s 61 in 410 at-bats.

“We have a great club and Maris is a great guy. More important, Maris is happy in St. Louis. That’s what counts. I know because Roger has been doing a great job, 100 percent all the time,” Orlando Cepeda, the 1967 National League MVP, said in the January 1968 issue of Pro Sports magazine.

Shannon explained that the top of the St. Louis batting order — leftfielder Lou Brock, centerfielder Curt Flood and rightfielder Roger Maris — was a key factor in returning the Redbirds to the October Classic.

“We had Lou Brock, he’d get on, steal second base. Curt Flood would hit a ground ball to the right side, and then Maris would drive (Brock) in. It was 1–0,” Shannon said. “I’ll bet we started off 50, 60, maybe even 70 games 1–0 in the first inning because of that combination. Maris was the best I’ve ever seen at getting a guy home from third with less than two out.

“Roger had the great knack of being able to pull the ball, he’d have the second baseman back, Brock would score and we’d be leading 1–0.”

A prime example of what Shannon spoke of can be found in the first game of the 1967 World Series at Fenway Park in Boston. St. Louis won the game 2–1 behind Gibson’s pitching and single runs in the third and seventh innings scored by Brock. Both were driven in by Maris — on ground balls to the right side.

The Associated Press preview of the 1967 World Series stated: “Roger Maris, both at bat and in the field, has a wide edge in right field over either Ken Harrelson or Jose Tartabull. Maris’ backup men, Bob Tolan and Alex Johnson, rate on par with Harrelson and Tartabull.

“Who knows what Roger Maris will do in the World Series? But it’s nice to think that Maris will be in it. Just because Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961, people expected too much of him. He joined the Cardinals with a .260 career average, but in the Series, he’ll be the most feared .260 hitter ever to play in one.”

Statistically, the ’67 World Series was Maris’ best:

· His .385 average was a personal high in postseason play and fourth overall in the Series, behind the Red Sox’s Dalton Jones (.389) and Carl Yastrzemski (.400), and Brock’s .414 clip.

· Maris’ seven RBIs, also a personal postseason best, was tops for both clubs.

· In the sixth inning of Game 3, after Brock bunt-singled and moved to third on pitcher Lee Stange’s wild pickoff throw, Maris drove him in with a single to right. In the eighth, Maris scored on a Cepeda double to insure the Cards’ 5–2 win.

· Maris’ two-RBI double (scoring Brock and Flood) and run scored (on a Tim McCarver single) keyed a four-run first inning in Game 4, won by St. Louis 6–0.

· Maris’ sacrifice fly drove in the Cardinals’ fourth run of Game 7 and helped chase Boston starter (and AL Cy Young Award winner) Jim Lonborg in the Series-clinching game. St. Louis won 7–2.

· Roger also homered off Lonborg in the Cardinals’ 3–1 loss of Game 5 at Busch Stadium. Maris’ round-tripper came with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

“Everything about the trade that sent me to St. Louis has turned out great. The trade is the best thing that could have happened to me,” Maris told The Associated Press on October 8, 1967, after Game 4. “After all the abuse I took in New York, it gives me great satisfaction to do well in the World Series.”

Following Game 7, Shirley Povich of The Washington Post wrote: “The Series finally returned Roger Maris to the company of gifted athletes he finally belongs with.

“In all the welter of champagne, shaving cream and beer foam in the Cardinals’ clubhouse, the man dressed hurriedly with the spiked hair is the only one who already has his pass to the Hall of Fame.

“The Cardinals had an edge at several positions, but their edge in right field was the widest of all.”

Maris decided to play another season with St. Louis, but injuries again plagued him early in the 1968 campaign. With Bobby Tolan and Ron Davis filling in at right field, Maris’s timely pinch-hitting helped get the Cards rolling toward a second consecutive National League championship. However, as Flood observed in “The Way It Is,” Maris was “a hard-used 33.”

Though his batting average dipped only six points (to .255), the cumulative effect of a career’s worth of injuries had finally taken its toll. Maris played in 100 games in 1968, 84 of them in the outfield while hitting five home runs along with 45 RBIs. He announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season, on August 5.

Maris said he decided to make his announcement before the end of the season because “I did not really care to be bothered by the press after this season.”

The Cardinals went on to win the last National League pennant prior to divisional play, finishing with a nine-game lead over second-place San Francisco. Before the ’68 World Series against the American League champion Detroit Tigers, Frank Skaff, a Tigers scout, told Bob Addie of The Washington Post, “As for Roger Maris, we think he’s lost it. We plan to jam him — although he still can be dangerous.”

As a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 5 at Tiger Stadium, Maris struck out with two on in a 5–3 loss to eventual Series MVP Mickey Lolich. However, Maris did have his moments, like when he scored two runs in the Redbirds’ 7–3 win in Game 3.

In a 13–1 loss to Detroit’s 31-game winner Denny McLain in Game 6, Maris was 2-for-4 and scored the only St. Louis run. Roger’s ninth-inning hit off McLain turned out to be the last of his career. Playing in six of the seven games, Maris hit .158 with one RBI in the ’68 Fall Classic.

Detroit battled back from a 3-games-to-1 deficit and defeated the Cardinals 4–1 in Game 7 at St. Louis. Maris played right field, batted sixth, and went 0-for-3 against Lolich in his final major league game.

And while the Tigers celebrated their triumph on the Busch Stadium infield, Roger Maris quietly hung up his uniform for good on October 10, 1968, bowing out with two National League pennants and a World Series championship in two seasons as a Cardinal. In 12 major league seasons, Maris played in seven World Series.

When Maris announced his retirement two months earlier, he said of his stay in St. Louis, “It’s a pleasure playing where people like you. These were probably two of the most enjoyable years of my career.”

Daniel Dullum hosts Headline Sports each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Brady starts to look for a new team; Severino the first Yankee out with injury; plus more

lasvegasjournalreview.com photo: Simulated photo of Tom Brady as he would like as quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 This will be the first time in quarterback Tom Brady’s career that he will be a free agent to choose what team he will go to.

#2 The New York Yankees continue to have those beginning of the season injuries as Yankees pitcher Luis Serverino will have Tommy John surgery on his elbow and will be out for the rest of the season

#3 The Olympic games in Tokyo are under threat from the Coronavirus epidemic. The IOC is close to canceling the games scheduled for July 24th

#4 The Sacramento Kings have won three straight game as they face Oklahoma City and Memphis. Although the Kings are unlikely to make post season they’re playing some consistent ball right now.

# 5 Spring training is here as the Giants will be looking at prospects that have shown their ability to hit many say they Giants will not be competitive this season.

London Marq does Headline Sports podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Manfred says Astros disciplined enough; Fans miss most of outdoor hockey game because of traffic; plus more

photo from bleacherreport.com: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will not punish any of the current players on the Houston Astros and is investigating if the 2019 Boston Red Sox stole signs under former Red Sox manager Alex Cora 

On Headlines podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara big league players are upset that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred did not discipline any of the Houston Astros players for the sign stealing scandal how much of a consequence will this be for MLB?

#2 Manfred said that in a perfect world the Astros players would face suspension of some type but he said he and MLB were satisfied with the suspension of former manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow and that should be enough discipline for now

#3 The game started at 6:00PM for an outdoor hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy’s Air Force Base fans said they missed a large portion of the game due to bad traffic conditions. Some fans left at 3:30 to get to Colorado Springs and didn’t get in until after the first period ended

#4 The Stanford Cardinal are on a four game losing streak their latest loss came against Arizona a home loss 69-60 the Wildcats are noted for their physical size and offense.

#5 Gerrit Cole pitcher for the New York Yankees is getting attention for his hard work and attention to detail and was a 20 game winner for the Houston Astros last season

Barbara Mason is a sportswriter for areagrande.com and does Headlines podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

 

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Sign-Stealing Scandal–Politician calling for Congressional Oversight Hearing

congress.gov photo: Illinois Rep Bobby Rush is calling for an official congressional investigation into the sign stealing scandal involving MLB general managers, managers, players and front office staffs
Sign-Stealing Scandal:  Politician calling for Congressional Oversight Hearing
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
Amaury Pi-González
Representative Bobby Rush from the State of Illinois wants an official Congressional Oversight hearing on the current scandal. He had said so in a letter to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which is in charge (among other things) of oversight of major league sports. So now the government might get involved as major league baseball is going to an unprecedented crisis.
Last time Washington D.C. got involved in a baseball scandal was 2005. The Mitchell Report – (steroids era) some players had to testify in public open hearings among those were Mark McGwire,Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro. During that scandal Barry Bonds and Bret Boone were Implicated, while others like José Canseco and Ken Caminiti admitted their use of steroids.
As the Office of the Commissioner of baseball continues this wide investigation others aside from Representative Bobby Rush are also voicing their opinions. The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote in a resolution urging MLB to recall the World Series trophies awarded to the Astros in 2017 and Red Sox in 2018 and award them to the Dodgers instead.  Pitcher CC.Sabathia, who announced his retirement last season,said that the Yankees got cheated by the Astros and Manfred should take their away their title.
Looks like Dusty Baker is getting interviewed this Monday by the Houston Astros for their open managerial position. Good luck to a good genuine baseball man.
The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum will be participating again at the Oakland Athletics Fanfest this next Saturday the 25th from 9:30AM to 3:00PM at Jack London Square. Admittance if Free. All are welcome to visit our new bilingual website https://www.hhbmhof.com/
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice of the Oakland A’s and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: A’s and City of Oakland get a Kumbaya on Coliseum property sale

photo from San Francisco Chronicle: Artists rendition of the Oakland A’s new ball park at Howard Terminal.

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1  How important is it now that the city of Oakland has dropped it’s lawsuit against the Oakland A’s regarding the sale of the Oakland Coliseum property?

#2 Will the dropping of the lawsuit clear the way for the A’s to build at Jack London Square?

#3 The Los Angeles Angels could very well be the next home for pitcher Gerrit Cole. Cole is from Orange County and the Halos are looking to contend in 2020.

#4 Stephen Stasburg could be a New York Yankee. The Angels and Padres have been mentioned in interests for Strasburg. The Nationals are trying to find a way to re-sign Strasburg.

#5 Madison Bumgarner’s name has been floated by the New York Yankees as someone they’d like to sign for the 2020 season. The Yankees consider Bumgarner a fit for their pitching staff.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio talent for Oakland A’s radio at 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: 2019 World Series? Jose Altuve, God given talent

photo from Houston Chronicle: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) is picked up at home plate after hitting a game-winning, two-run, walk-off home run to win Game 6 of the American League Championship Series in the ninth. Altuve, a 5-foot-6 sparkplug touted as Houston’s heart and soul, didn’t let this one get away.

By Amaury Pi-González

Within seconds of José Altuve’s walk off home-run from Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning of Game 6, which sent the Astros to their second World Series in the last three years, Yankee fans’ hope of winning their 28th World Series banished into the heavy Texas night.

A ‘high and outside’ slider might have been a ball, not a strike if he didn’t swing. But Altuve is one of the best bad ball hitters in baseball. He has not won three batting titles by walking. He comes to the plate looking to hack, most of the time.

This ability to hit pitches that are not strikes is also attributed to some great Hall of Fame players like Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Vladimir Guerrero as well as future member of the Hall of Fame, Adrian Beltré and Albert Pujols and others. Without going that far back in history among great bad ball hitters, the Astros’ current first baseman Yuliesky (Yuli) Gurriel fits that category. Pitchers who know best will tell you the Cuban-born first baseman is one of the toughest outs.

You can analyze all you want about “discipline at the plate,” which is taught in baseball since Little League. I mean, no coach when you are 12 years old tells you to hit a pitch that is ‘head high,” or bouncing two feet before the plate.

These guys are basically born with that ‘God given talent.” You cannot teach these types of guys plate discipline because they just see the ball and hit the ball, regardless where the ball is. They are abundant in talent, talent to hit pitches that many others can only dream of hitting.

These quotes below are courtesy of the Houston Astros Productions.

José Altuve speaking about his faith as a Christian.

“Faith has always been something very important to me and to my family.”

“When my brother and I were growing up, our parents always reminded us to give thanks to God.”

“When we go on a road-trip and I am not with my family, the Bible has always been helpful to me as a Christian. It is like I am born like that, just like being hungry, it is to me to open and read the Bible.”

“Many other players are friends who also are Christians and share the same experiences with me like Robinson Chirinos and Albert Pujols.”

“Nobody tells me what to do, it is a call I have to read the Bible.”

“My favorite verse of the Bible is John: 14.6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

In 2017, after the Astros defeated the Dodgers to win the World Series, Altuve — one of the smallest men in baseball, but one of the biggest talents — was as humble as ever as he said: “I give all the glory to God.”

All of Altuve’s 5’6″ and 165 pounds will be at second-base for the Astros when they face the National League Champion, Washington Nationals, in the 115th edition of the World Series.

World Series
Tuesday, October 22
Game 1
FOX National TV (Bay Area KTVU CH 2)
Time: 8:08 ET
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Pitchers: Nationals TBD

Astros: Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA)

Amaury Pi-González is a pioneer in establishing Spanish Major League Baseball broadcast in the Bay Area since the mid-1970’s with the Oakland A’s. Also, most recently, the Spanish voice of San Jose Sharks hockey and one of the most recognizable voices in multiple sports in Spanish in the country. Pi-González is a longtime contributor to this site.

MLB The Show Fall Classic 2019 podcast with Daniel Dullum: Nats-Astros, whose going to win the whole thing?; MLB to make changes to minor league rules; plus more

illustration from mlb.com

On the MLB The Show Fall Classic 2019 podcast with Daniel:

1 ALCS — Yankees and Astros, Nationals standing by after sweeping St. Louis in NLCS

2 MLB wants to make sweeping changes to minor leagues

3 Yankee fans taunting Astros’ Zack Greinke for his mental health issues

4 Giants managerial rumor of the week

5 Jeopardy host not a fan of the Phillie Fanatic

MLB The Show podcast ALCS 2019 with Matt Harrington: Hicks blast keeps Yanks in series; NY has a chance to tie series tonight in Houston

photo from chron.com: The New York Yankees Aaron Hicks goes deep off Astros starter Justin Verlander in the first inning of game 5 in Yankee Stadium on Friday night in the ALCS

On the MLB Post Season podcast with Matt:

#1 The New York Yankees LeMahieu hit a home run to right on a 1-0 count to put the Yanks on the scoreboard in the first inning

#2 Aaron Judge hit a single to left, then Torres hit a double to left, and Hicks with a three run home run to the left of the right field foul pole scoring Torres and Judge ahead of him 4-1 Yankees

#3 You know what they say about good pitching the Yankees got a great start from Jim Paxson going six innings, one earned run, and nine strike outs for the win

#4 The Houston Astros starter pitched well except for that four run first inning going seven innings, five hits, four runs earned, and nine strike outs.

#5 The Astros lead the series 3-2 can the Yankees pull another ace from their sleeve in tonight’s elimination game in Houston in game six?

Join Matt for the MLB podcast now and through the World Series at http://www.sportsradioservice.com