Craig Biggio was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, representing the Houston Astros. A first round draft choice of the Astros in 1987 out of Seton Hall University, he is one of 10 players to collect 3,000 hits and spend his entire career with one team.
Biggio, however, almost wasn’t an Astro for life. He was a free agent after the 1995 season and was ready to sign with the Colorado Rockies. Biggio was a favorite of the late Jerry McMorris, the original managing general partner of the Rockies, and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle intrigued his wife.
In fact it was Patti Biggio’s feelings about the Rocky Mountains that played a role in Flynn Kile being so strongly behind her husband Darryl sgning with the Rockies as a free agent after the 1997 season.
The Rockies negotations with Kile were so serious that then Astros owner Drayton McLane told Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that he was in Europe at the time, but was aware of the seriousness of the Rockies neogtiations, and personally called Biggio from Spain, Portugal and Poland.
Derek Jeter, the face of baseball, has retired.
Who replaced him?
That’s a problem for baseball — a good problem.
Think about it:
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.