Charlie Finley was never the most popular owner in baseball.
He, however, was one of the shrewdest.
Never was it more evident than 50 years ago when Major League Baseball held its first draft of amateur players.
The A’s wound drafting 10 future big leaguers, including three players who were instrumental in the building of the team’s `70s championship run of five AL West titles (1971-75) and three consecutive world championships (1972-74).
The A’s had the first choice and selected Arizona State outfielder Rick Monday. In the sixth round they took Monday’s Arizona State teammate Sal Bando, and in the 20th round they landed Gene Tenace.
They were among 16 home-grown players on the A’s 1973 World Series roster, which was the third of the five teams to win AL West titles and the second of the three consecutive world champions.
In addition to Monday, Bando and Tenace, the A’s signed Reggie Jackson and Dave Hamilton out of the 1966 draft, and Vida Blue out of 1967.
They also made an impact in 1964, taking advantage of the last year without a draft. They players they signed that year included outfielder Joe Rudi, and pitchers Catfish Hunter, John Blue Moon Odom, and Rollie Fingers.
Other free agent signees included Dick Green in 1960, Bert Campaneris, Allen Lewis and Ted Kubiak in 1961, and Paul Linblad in 1963.
White Sox pitcher John Danks shutout the Astros 6-0 despite allowing 10 hits. He became the 155th pitcher since 1914 to allow at least 10 hits in a nine-inning complete-game shutout, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Milton Gaston of the Washington Senators set the 9-inning record with a 14-hit, 9-0 victory against Cleveland in the second game of a July 10, 1928 doubleheader.
Two pitchers have 13-hit, nine-inning shutouts on their resumes: Jim Mudcat Grant pitched Minnesota to a 6-0 victory against the Senators on July 15, 1864, and Bill Lee pitched the Cubs to a 4-0 win over the New York Giants in the first game of a Sept. 17, 1938 doubleheader.
There have been 12 pitchers allow 12 hits in a nine-inning, complete-game shutout, 34 allow 11 hits and 106 allowed 10 hits.
Danks is the first pitcher to do it since Carlos Silva 11-hit the Angels in a 10-0 victory for the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 3, 2004.
For the complete list from Baseball-Reference.com:
The Royals advanced to the post-season a year ago for the first time since 1985, losing the World Series in seven games to the Giants.
Fans have recaptured their fascination with franchise in a hurry. Royalmania is reminiscent of that decade from 1976-85 when the Royals advanced to the post-season in seven seasons, twice appearing in the World Series, and winning the world championship in 1985.
The first announcement of All-Star voting was made on Tuesday, and the Royals have five players who would be in the AL starting lineup if voting ended today.
The Royals have four players who are leading vote getters at their position — catcher Salvador Perez, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, third baseman Mike Moustakas and shortstop Alcides Escobar — and a fifth player, Alex Gordon, who is third in outfield voting, which would give him a start slot.
In their previous 46 seasons, the Royals have had as many as three players in the starting lineup only once — 1979 with George Brett, Darrell Porter and Frank White. They have had 15 players earn All-Star starts, 13 voted by fans plus Danny Tartabull, selected as the DH in 1991 before that position was put on the fan ballot, and Bret Saberhagen, the starting pitcher in 1987.
Catcher Salvador Perez started in 2014, the first Royals player to draw a start since Jermaine Dye in 2000.
As well as the five All-Stars in 1972 and 1982, the Rockies have had four players on an All-Star team twice, three nine times, two eight times and one player 25 times.
Brett is the team’s all-time All-Star leader with 13 selections, including nine starts (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982,1983, 1984 and 1985). Amos Otis, Mark Sweeney and Frank White were five-time selection, Cooke Rojas a four-time All-Star with the Royals, and Hal McRae, Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry three times each.
Royals All-Star starters:
2014 C Salvador Perez
2000 OF Jermaine Dye
1991 DH Danny Tartabull
1989 OF Bo Jackson
1987 SP Bret Saberhagen
1985 3B George Brett
1984 3B George Brett
1983 3B George Brett
1982 3B George Brett
1981 3B George Brett
1979 3B George Brett, C Darrell Porter, 2B Frank White
1978 3B George Brett, SS Freddie Patek
1977 3B George Brett
1976 3B George Brett
1973 John Mayberry, Amos Otis
Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie gave up 11 runs in the first inning against the Yankees on Monday, the seventh pitcher in big-league history to give up 11 or more runs in an inning or less, according to Baseball-Reference.com. He’s only the third starting pitcher, and the other two also allowed 11 runs. Luke Hudson, also starting for the Royals, retired one batter and gave up 11 in an Aug. 13, 2006 game against Cleveland. Jason Jennings, with the Astros, retired two batters in an 11-run Padres first inning on July 29, 2007.
Reliever Bubba Harris of the A’s allowed 12 runs in the midst of a 14-run seventh inning of a 19-5 loss to the Red Sox on July 4, 1948. Billy Keller was charged with 12 runs in the eighth inning of the Phillies 21-2 loss to the Cubs on May 5, 1939.
Relievers who allowed 11 runs in an inning or less were Reggie Grabowski for the Phillies in a 21-4 loss to the Giants Aug. 4, 1934, and Pete Appleton in th Indians 18-6 loss to the Senators Aug. 10, 1930.
With a tip of the hat to Stats, Inc.:
Seattle is 23-12 on Memorial Day, a .650 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in Major League Baseball. Tampa Bay is 4-10, a .286 winning percentage that ranks No. 30. The two teams open a series in Florida today.
Cincinnati is 4-22 scoring fewer than four runs, but 14-3 scoring four or more.
Toronto has allowed a major-league leading 88 runs with two outs, tops in the majors. Colorado leads the NL with 87 two-out runs allowed.
Seattle OF Nelson Cruz has hit a g leading 52 home runs on the road since 2013, most in the majors. Miguel Cabrera of Detroit and David Ortiz of Boston have each hit 46.
Houston is in first place on Memorial Day for the seventh time. The Astros have advanced to the post-season in four of the previous seasons — 1986, 1007, 1998 and 1999. They didn’t get to the post-season in 1972 and 1996.
Florida outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has enjoyed facing Pittsburgh at home (.404, 5 HR, 15 games in Miami), but PNC Park hasn’t been much fun for him. He has hit .220 in 11 games and his only home run at PN came in his final plate appearance a year ago.
San Diego outfielder Justin Upton drove in six runs Sunday. He became the 2,022nd player to have six or more RBI in a game since 1912, according to Stats, Inc. The record is 12 RBI in a game set by Jim Bottomley on Sept. 16, 1916, and equaled by Mark Whiten on Sept. 7, 1993.
Chad Bettis worked 8 1/3 innings in the Rockies 11-2 victory against the Giants at Coors Field on Sunday.
That was the 1,633rd game played at Coors Field, which opened in 1995.
Bettis’ effort marked the 46th time a Rockies pitcher worked 8 1/3 innings or more. A visiting pitcher has done it only 35 times.
Aaron Cook did it seven times, more than any other pitcher. Pedro Astacio did it four times.
Three times: Mike Hampton, Jason Jennings, Kevin Ritz, Mark Thompson and John Thomson.
Two times: Roger Bailey, Jhoulys Chacin, Ubaldo Jimenez and Darryl Kile.
One time: Chad Bettis, Brian Bohanon, Frank Castillo, Jeff Francis, Marvin Freeman, Bobby Jones, Byun Kim, Jason Marquis, Tyler Matzek, Bryan Rekar, Julian Tavarez and Jamey Wright.
There have been at least 83 managerial changes in the first 50 games of a season. Only four times has one of those teams advanced to the post-season.
The 2003 Marlins won a World Championship after Jack McKeon took over for Jeff Torborg. The 1982 Brewers won the AL pennant and lost to the Cardinals in the World Series after Harvey Kuenn took over for Buck Rodgers. The 1989 Blue Jays won the AL East after Cito Gaston took over for Jimy Williams. And the 2009 Rockies claimed the NL wild-card after Jim Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle.
The 83 changes and how the team finished the sesason:
There was a special moment for Rockies assistant farm director Chris Forbes on Monday night.
Tommy Field was called up earlier in the day by Texas, found himself in the starting lineup and hit his first big-league home run in the game. It was Field’s 34th big-league game. He played in 33 games with the Rockies and Angels from 2009-11.
Field was signed to his first pro contract by Forbes.
Same Chris Forbes who on Dec. 7, 1999 was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, and 24 days later was diagnosed with two inoperable brain tumors. Same Chris Forbes who the following March, after receiving his regular cancer treatment at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., was gutshot during an attempted car jacking at a stoplight a mile from the hospital.
Same Forbes who during his recovering from the gunshot decided he had nothing to lose when he uncovered a doctor that agreed to remove the brain tumors.
And the same Forbes who was diagnosed with secondary leukemia in October of 2007, which doctors said was a residual from the radiation treatement he underwent in his earlier battle against cancer. Forbes won that battle, too.
“And you know what,” he said. “I signed a big-leaguer during all that, Tommy Field.”
The Rockies are one loss away from their fourth double-digit losing streak in history.
To avoid it they need a victory on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
History says that will be a challenge.
The Angels hold a 26-8 (.714) inter-league edge on the Rockies in inter-league play. It’s the most lopsided inter-league series of at least 25 games, according to Stats Inc.
The Mets have a 21-9 (.700) edge on the Orioles. Boston is 20-10 (.667) against the Marlins. The Tigers are 19-10 (.655) against the Cardinals. The White Sox are 17-9 (.654) against the Pirates.
Notice a trend? Four of the five teams with the best record in an inter-league series are AL teams.
The Rockies, meanwhile, have lost nine in a row for the sixth time in franchise history. The only longer losing streaks were 10 games April 24-May 7, 2005; 11 games July 4-July 17, 2000, and 13 games July 25-Aug. 6, 1993.
During the streak the Rockies have hit .253 and scored 31 runs, striking out 69 times. The staff ERA is 8.96. The rotation has worked only 41 2/3 innings, and Jordan Lyles is the only starter to survive six innings in the nine games. He worked seven innings against Arizona last Wednesday.
Kyle Kendrick, who starts the opener in Anaheim, has a struggle that dates back to his second start of the season. Kendrick worked seven shutout innings at Milwaukee to open the season. since then he is not only 0-4 in five starts, but he has an 11.08 ERA, and has given up 10 home runs in 26 innings. He has allowed 32 runs, the most for a Rockies pitcher in a five-start stretch since Darryl Kyle allowed 33 Aug. 25-Sept. 17.
Left With Hope
Lefty C.J. Wilson starts tonight for the Angels. Rockies Troy Tulowitzki (.825) and Wilin Rosario (.651) have two of the four highest slugging percentages against left-handed pitchers since the start of last season, according to Stats Inc. Tulowitzki ranks No. 1 followed by Victor Martinez (.686) and Nelson Cruz (.684). Rosario is fourth, and Adam Jones (.645) is fifth.
The Rockies rainouts of home games against the Diamondbacks on Monday and Tuesday marked just the fourth time the Rockies have had back-to-back games postponed and the fifth time they have had games on back-to-back days postponed.
The oddity was May 11-12, 2010 when the Rockies were rained out of a May 11 game against Philadelphia, played the scheduled game on May 12, but a second game on that day, which was to make up the May 11 rainout, was postponed.
The back-to-back days of postponements:
April 10, 1997 vs. Cincinnati and April 11, 1997 vs. Montreal, both snow.
April 20-21, 1999 vs. Montreal, Columbine shooting.
April 27-28, 2005 vs. Florida, snow
May 4-5, 2015 vs. Arizona, rain
The Rockies have had 40 postponements at home — the two because of the Columbine shootings, 14 because of snow and 24 because of rain, according to a search of Rockies media guides.
The Rockies season-high for postponements in four, which occurred four times:
1997: April 10 vs. Cincinnati (snow), April 11 vs. Montreal (snow), June 6 vs. Florida (rain) and Sept. 4 vs. St. Louis (snow).
1999: April 14 vs. San Diego (snow), April 16 vs. Atlanta (snow), and April 20-21 vs. Montreal (Columbine shootings).
2004: April 20 vs. Atlanta (snow), May 12. vs Pittsburgh (rain), Aug. 18 vs. New York Mets (rain) and Sept. 21 vs. Arizona (rain).
2010: April 23 vs. florida (rain), May 11 vs. Philadelphia (rain), May 12 Game 2 vs. Philadelphia (rain) and May 14 vs. Washington (rain).
The Rockies had three postponements in 2013, all within an eight-day stretch and all because of snow: April 15 and April 15 vs. the New York Mets, and April 22 vs. Atlanta.
The Rockies did not have any postponements at home in 1994, 1995, 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2012.
The strangest postponement came on Sept. 13, 1993 when the Rockies were snowed out against the Houston Astros. The high temperature in Denver on Sept. 12, 1993 was 92 degrees. The high on Sept. 13 was 50 degrees with a low of 33, according to Weather Underground, but 5.4 inches of snow fell that day. The Rockies played a doubleheader with the Astros on Sept. 14, 1993 when the high temperature was 66 degrees.
The first postponement in Rockies history was April 12, 1993 against the Mets. The Astros game was the only other home postponement in the Rockies first three seasons of play.
Twenty-five games into his fifth season as the manager of the Brewers and Ron Roenicke was out of work.
The Brewers were 7-18 prior to Roenicke dismissal Sunday afternoon.
Roenicke had been given an extension through next season, but the fade in the final weeks of last season plus the slow start this season led to the change.
A year ago, the Brewers became the first team to spend 150 days in first place during a season and not advance to the post-season.
They went from a 71-55 record and 2 ½ game lead on Aug. 19 last season to an 82-80 finish, which left them in third place in the NL Central, eight games out of first place in the division, and six games short of one of the two NL wild-card spots.
Add in the 7-18 start to this season and the Brewers were 18-43 in Roenicke’s final 61 games.
That’s why Roenicke became the 24th manager in history to be replaced within the first 25 games of the season, the 19th to be fired.
The five exceptions among early season managerial changes were:
–Cy Young, 1907 Red Sox, who was replaced after six games and a 3-3 record. Young was an emergency hire when Red Sox manager Chick Stahl committed suicide on March 28. Young was the first of four regular-season managers for the Red Sox this year. Deacon McGuire had the longest tenure – 106 games, which included 45 wins.
— Clyde Sukeforth, 1947 Dodgers, who was 2-0 before Burt Shotton replaced him. Sukeforth was given the job when Leo Durocher was suspended for one year for conduct detrimental to the game, but refused to take in on a full-time basis. Durocher did return in 1948, but was fired after a 35-37 start and replaced on a full-time basis by Shotton.
–Eddie Sawyer lost the season opening game with the 1960 Phillies and resigned. “I’m 40 and I want to live until I am 50,’’ said Sawyer, who had managed the 1950 Phillies to the World Series, and after six years 9ut of managing had returned in 1959 with a Phillies team that went 64-90.
–El Tappe managed the first 20 games of the 1962 season for the Cubs, losing 16 of the games, before being replaced, but he wasn’t going to have the job longer-term anyway. It was the second year of the Cubs experiment with the College of Coaches replacing a manager.
—Al Lopez was 8-9 when he was resigned as manager of the 1969 Chicago White Sox because of chronic stomach problems.
Managers fired quicker than the 25 games that led to Roenicke’s dismissal this season:
Cal Ripken, Sr., 0-6 with 1988 Baltimore Orioles
Phil Garner, 0-6 with 2002 Detroit Tigers
Jimmie Wilson, 1-9 with 1944 Chicago Cubs
Preston Gomez, 4-5 with 1972 San Diego Padres
Nick Leyva, 4-9 with 1991 Phillies.
Kid Nichols, 5-9 with 1905 St. Louis Cardinals
Maury Willis, 6-8 with 1981 Seattle Mariners
Bob Lemon, 6-8 with 1982 Yankees
Larry Rothschild, 4-10 with 2001 Tampa Bay Rays
Davey Lopez, 3-12 with 2002 Milwaukee Brewers
Yogi Berra, 6-10 with 1985 New York Yankees
Malachi Kittridge, 1-16 with 1904 Washington Senators
Bill Norman, 2-15 with 1959 Detroit Tigers
Charlie Grimm, 6-11 with 1960 Chicago Cubs
Vern Rapp, 6-11, 1978 St. Louis Cardinals
Charlie Dressen, 4-16 with 1957 Washington Senators
Johnny Keane, 4-16 with 1966 New York Yankees
Tony Muser, 8-15 with 2002 Kansas City Royals
Ron Roenicke, 7-18 with 2015 Milwaukee Brewers