Entries Tagged as 'Good guys'

Catholic nuns can’t appreciate inherit beauty of Wagner card

Good news for the Baltimore-based order of Catholic nuns who was bequeathed a Honus Wagner baseball card.  They found a buyer.

Doug Walton of Knoxville, Tennessee, will pay $262,000 for the rare card which was auctioned off this week.  This figure exceeded analysts expectations up to 100%.

Walton didn’t mind paying the extra dough, according to The Sporting News:

“To be honest with you, we probably paid a little bit more than we should have,” he said Friday. “But with the back story, and the fact that it’s going to a really good charity, to us it just seemed worth it.”

The nuns plan to put the money to good work.  They plan to use it in their ministries to the poor in 35 countries.

Griffey a rarity in a cynical age

My thoughts on Ken Griffey who retired last week:

As I read through some of articles about Griffey’s retirement, I noticed many had an inset of the top ten homerun hitters of all time.  Griffey lands fifth on that list with 630… a notable accomplishment indeed.  But as I read through the list, it occurred to me how rare Griffey really was.  This top ten list is scandal-ridden.  If some of these players weren’t involved in some scandal or suspected of wrong-doing, others were out-and-out jerks.

Rank Player HR
1 Barry Bonds 762
2 Hank Aaron 755
3 Babe Ruth 714
4 Willie Mays 660
5 Ken Griffey 630
6 Sammy Sosa 609
7 Alex Rodriguez 591
8 Frank Robinson 586
9 Mark McGwire 583
10 Harmon Killebrew 573


There are exceptions.  Hank Aaron, of course.  As far as I know, Harmon Killebrew was just guilty of having thick arms.  And Frank Robinson did have the gun thing in 1961 but I think I’ll give him a pass.

True, some players’ “scandals” are pretty minor by today’s standards.  But in the day, MLB took Willie Mays and his casino dealings very seriously.  

And yeah, I’m putting Babe Ruth in the jerk category. 

Point being, there aren’t many players like Ken Griffey Jr let alone players of his caliber.  And when things went a little south for Junior, he didn’t resort to methods outside the game to embellish his talents. 

Indeed, the worst we can say about Griffey is that he took a nap during a game.  Embarrassing.  I submit it is embarrassing certainly not of Griffey but for the media and those who enabled that circus.  For a man who gave his life to the game the way he did, he deserved a few winks. 

I’ll close this out by posting a few quotes about Junior sent to me by dear reader DonS.  These quotes are by respected members of the baseball community who are most qualified to speak on the topic of Ken Griffey Junior. 

“To play with him is a treasure I will keep deep in my heart,  I have played 19 years in professional baseball and I can say he was one of my best teammates and my best friend.”

-Ichiro Suzuki

“It’s like winning the lottery of baseball,  You get to play with one of the greatest.”

-Chone Figgins

“Junior was one of the finest young men I’ve ever had the opportunity to manage,  When we were in Seattle together, I believe he was the best player in baseball and it was truly an honor to be his manager.”

-Lou Piniella

MJ at bat

Here’s a neat picture of basketball legend Michael Jordan as a 13 year old kid swinging a baseball bat.

Hat tip to Andy Gray at #si_vault.

Albert Pujols: Give him the ‘00s NL Triple Crown

Not only did Albert Pujols win three MVP awards this decade, he also can lay claim to the ‘00s Triple Crown according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark.  He lead all National Leaguers in batting average, homeruns and rbis for the decade. 

The last person to do that was Ted Williams in the 40s.

Leyland shows what he’s got for charity

MLive.com should get an journalistic award or something for managing to use “Jim Leyland” and “Sexy” in the same headline.

The article was in reference to Leyland taking off his shirt to support Tiger OF Curtis Granderson’s charity event called “Passport to the Wines of the World” which supports his Grand Kids Foundation.

Midway through the event was when things got a tad seedy.

(Comedian Jeff) Dye mentioned that Jackson, like Perry, had tattoos. Jackson’s tattoos could only be revealed by removing his shirt, so he asked his manager’s permission.

"You take your shirt off, I’ll take mine off," Leyland yelled from the middle of the room.

Jackson obliged by removing his shirt and showing off his tattooed back and arms. He then demanded his manager keep his word. Leyland came up to the stage and said he would remove his shirt as long as the picture did not end up on TV or in the newspaper.

Thank goodness for that.

Pujols vs Chicago: Is he a Cub beater?


With the upcoming Chicago St Louis series almost upon us, let’s take a look at how Albert Pujols has done against the Cubs. 

As it is, Pujols has played pretty much the equivalent of a near-full season against Chicago.  He has 503 at-bats and 590 plate appearances versus the good guys.

How has he done?

138 503 92 147 25 1 39 104 6 4 72 59 .292 .385 .579 .963


A pretty solid “year” I’d say though I will point out his averages are all down from his total career numbers.  Still nothing to sneeze at.  And that homerun figure of 39?  That’s the highest number he’s hit against any opponent.  NL Central opponents Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Houston are all very close, though.  Milwaukee, however has only surrendered 26 to Albert.

For what it’s worth, his Wrigley numbers are .282/.369/.563. 

Washburn one-hits the Orioles… and wins

The Seattle Mariners defeated the Orioles last night behind a classic one-hitter pitched by Jarrod Washburn.  The good pitching by Washburn was not necessarily out of character this season.  The 9-0 win was.

After a few iffy seasons, Washburn has pitched well in 2009.  He sports a 3.08 allowing 7.7 hits per 9 innings and has a WHIP of 1.10.  Much improved compared to the last few years.  Unfortunately for the Mariners, they haven’t been able to capitalize on his success on the mound.  Despite the fancy-dancy stats, Washburn only has a 5-6 record. 

Some are rumoring that Washburn will be tradebait considering this is his last year of his contract.  The LA Dodgers are considered high on that list.

Orioles spot Red Sox 9 run lead then bats take over

As hard as it may seem to believe, Rich Hill’s ERA jumped a full point in his start against the Red Sox last night.  Hill allowed 9 hits 9 runs in 3 plus innings.

Fortunately for Baltimore, the Oriole bats were working overtime.  They achieved the biggest comeback in franchise history saving Hill from being the goat.  Baltimore won by the score of 11-10. 

It was also the biggest comeback by a last-place team over a first-place team.

George Sherrill the young stopper for Baltimore, got his 17th save of the year. 

"One-run saves are tough.  I haven’t been part of a winning team yet, so I guess when we get to 83 wins, that will be more exciting. Until then, this is probably one of the biggest."

One-run saves are indeed tough.  That’s why the good ones get paid the big bucks.

By the way, I’m don’t follow the Red Sox too closely but why is Julio Lugo leading off and Jacoby Ellsbury batting eighth?  Lugo seems to be one of those players that just won’t retire.  And I’m not sure if I mean that in a good way or a bad way. 

Magglio selling his hair for a good cause


Want Magglio Ordonez’ chopped hair clippings?  Me neither.  But somebody does.  Ordonez cut his hair and it’s being sold on Ebay for a good cause. 

If you are itchin’ (poor choice of words, I know) to run your fingers through Mags’ locks, be prepared to pony up because the current bid is $5100. 


Magglio post-haircut

The proceeds will go to Imerman Angels which is a foundation which in their words “connects a person fighting cancer today ("cancer fighter") with someone who has beaten the same type of cancer ("cancer survivor"). The relationship provides a fighter the opportunity to ask personal questions and receive encouragement from someone who is uniquely familiar with the situation.”

The auction winner also gets 18 tickets in his skybox for the September 15th game plus an autographed bat.  Act now!  The listing will only be up for 10 days. 

just how good could Albert be?

Offensively, Albert Pujols pretty much single-handedly won the game for the Cardinals today against the Indians.  They had some good pitching from Brad Thompson and their committee of relievers they trotted out there who kept Cleveland to just one run. 

But Pujols went 3 for 4 with a double and two homeruns.  That gives him 22 for the year.  If you take the trouble to pro-rate that out for 2009, he would have somewhere around 57 homeruns at this pace.  That would eclipse his current career record by eight. 

I was playing APBA baseball against my buddy Mike, who is a Cardinal fan while watching today’s game.  We talked a bit about Pujols’ future and even hypothetically wondered to ourselves, “still in his 20s, would Albert get in the Hall if he retired today?”

Putting aside the 10 year requirement, you really could have a case.  With 341 homers, 1304 rbis, 997 runs and a .334 batting average, those numbers put him up there.  His rbi numbers are already above the average HOFer though admittedly Evers, Maranville and company do adjust the curve a bit. 

But Pujols won’t retire and at age 29, he does have the potential to break some serious records. 

Food for thought.

Disclaimer:  don’t get the wrong idea… the author is a Cub fan