After 35 one-hitters, the Mets finally broke through with their first no-hitter as Johan Santana stymied the Cardinals. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Good things come to those who wait. The entire Mets organization and their fan base as waited through exactly 8,019 games to see a Mets pitcher throw a no-hitter.
The wait is over. The Mets will own all of the headlines in New York city for at least one day. This has to be the most joyous day in Mets history to date and may only be topped by a World Series championship.
The cause for celebration…
Johan Santana has thrown the first no-hitter in the history of the New York Mets. The 33-year-old ace of the Mets’ staff went the distance against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field without surrendering a hit in a 8-0 win.
Santana struck out seven and walked five. It didn’t come easy down the stretch for Santana. He faced the heart of the Cardinals’ order in the top of the ninth, retiring Matt Holiday, Allen Craig and David Freese in order to make history tonight in Queens. All told, he threw 134 pitches in the outing. It was his tenth start of the year. His previous season high pitch count total was 108 and his previous career high for pitches thrown in a single game was 125.
Last week, while speaking at an event for his foundation, longtime New York Yankee Jorge Posada publicly acknowledged the end to his tenure with the only organization he’s ever known.
“I don’t think there’s even a percentage of a chance that I can come back, … It’s not going to happen.”
Posada doesn’t exactly know what he wants to do next season. Right now he’s trying to decide to retire or play for another team. He began working out on November 1 – as he always does – and said that 5 or 6 teams have contacted him.
“I will always be a Yankee, The Yankees for me is my second family. It would be tough to put on another uniform for real and learn another set of rules and all that stuff, but that’s one of those things. I have to see if I want to keep playing… Do I want to do it for somebody else? Do I want to leave home? Do I want to do it all over again without knowing anybody? It would be tough. I’ve got great people, great friends and great teammates and it would be tough to learn new people again.”
Posada said he’s not upset with the Yankees. He understands what’s happening, and he understands why it’s happening. He called his relationship with the organization, “a great partnership” and said the first check that came into his foundation for last week’s event was from the team.
Posada has found common ground with his former teammate and longtime friend Bernie Williams who went through a similar situation with the Yankees back in 2006.
If Posada decides to play next season, he guesses that he won’t make up his mind until closer to February but says he won’t let the decision linger.
“I’m not one of those guys that’s going to linger around and wait. I’ll tell you.”
- Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped at gunpoint in his native Venezuela outside his mother’s home and in captivity for 48 hours. The gang who kidnapped Ramos had carefully planned the abduction and told him they were going to demand a large ransom.
As part of the rescue mission, once nce investigators thought they had found the general area where Ramos might be, President Hugo Chávez personally authorised an aerial search mission and teams also set out on foot in the mountainous area. Teams searched most of the day on Friday and finally came upon the remote house where Ramos was being held.
Ramos said he was thankful to be alive and described his “hair-raising” final moments as a prisoner during the rescue on Saturday, when soldiers exchanged heavy gunfire with the kidnappers in the remote area where he was being held.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get out of it alive, It was very hard for me. It was very hard for my family.”
Albert Pujols’ former team, the St. Louis Cardinals have named former catcher Mike Matheny manager. The Cardinals will hold a press conference tomorrow morning to officially announce the move. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that Matheny received a two-year deal with a club option for 2014.
Florida Miami Marlins are wasting no time and are trying to make some noise in the free agent market this winter. The team has already made ‘substantial offers’ to both Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes and have also offered a contract to Mark Buehrle. The team met with Pujols on Friday, Reyes on Wednesday and Buehrle on Tuesday. They’re also showing interest in Carlos Beltran.
Matheny, 41, doesn’t have managerial experience but is no stranger to the game. His Major League career spanned 13 seasons, including five with the Cardinals from 2000-2004. Several candidates interviewed for the job, with former Red Sox manager Terry Francona presenting Matheny’s most notable competition. Others included Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg and Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.
The move figures to be a popular one for many in the organization,the Cardinals players and pitching coach Dave Duncan “love Matheny” and that they view him as the “ultimate leader.” That likely includes pending free agent Albert Pujols, who has “a ton of respect” for Matheny. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact, if any, this decision has on Pujols’ decision.
Three days after winning the World Series, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is retiring.
The 67-year-old manager announced his retirement at a news conference Monday at Busch Stadium.
The World Series win over Texas was the third of La Russa’s 33-year career. The manager guided the Cardinals to the championship despite losing ace starter Adam Wainwright for the season in spring training and despite being 10 1/2 games behind Atlanta on Aug. 25.
La Russa retires third on the all-time wins list, just 35 behind John McGraw. In addition to this season, he won championships in Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006.
More to come.
Right up until the moment that it became great, Game 6 of the World Series was… well, not great. Yes, it was close, but both the Cardinals and the Rangers were all over the place to the point where the game resembled nothing so much as a weirdly well-attended Little League game featuring an unusually high number of bearded participants. But sometime after the last of the game’s five errors, and several innings after St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese whiffed on a pop-up that would be caught 99 times out of 100 in a hungover Sunday afternoon softball game, things got good. A little while after that, they got great. By the time Freese’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th gave Joe Buck the opportunity to echo his father’s famous run call from the 1991 World Series—you know this one—one of the goofiest World Series games in recent memory had become one of the greatest.
In that way, Game 6 was a microcosm of baseball’s whole hysterical, unpredictable and relentlessly surprising end-of-season. It was also just about as much fun as any World Series game in a long time.
Last night’s game sets up a winner take all game 7 tonight at Busch Stadium tonight (8:05 EST/FOX) but after last night I’m still finding new ways to say wow.
When the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers faced off in Game 5, the weather couldn’t have been anymore perfect. Game time temperatures were in the neighborhood of 80 degrees, clear skies and low humidity. Furthermore, on Tuesday’s travel day there were sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-80s.
Tonight game 6 takes place in St. Louis where the weather is forecasted to be anything but ideal. skies are expected to turn rainy and colder by the time the two teams are scheduled to take the field for Game 6.
Forecasters are calling for anywhere between a 50% and 80% chance of rain tonight, which could in turn force Major League Baseball to make a difficult call on whether or not to even try to start the game.
It could also impact the strategy the two managers employ should the Cardinals push the Series to a seventh game.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa says he and pitching coach Dave Duncan have “a really positive feel” about how they would use their pitching staff in a potential Game 7, but that “we need to get there first and then we can talk about it.”
If both teams stuck to their current pitching rotations, Kyle Lohse would start Thursday’s game for the Cardinals and Matt Harrison would get the call for the Rangers.
However, a rainout would push the two Game 6 starters back a day and allow for the possibility that Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, who threw 101 pitches on Monday, could be available for Game 7 on three days’ rest — either to start or pitch out of the bullpen.
Carpenter told the Dallas Morning News he would be willing to start a Game 7 if a rainout moved it to Friday.
With weather a factor, Yahoo Sports reports that officials from the Cardinals and Major League Baseball plan to meet at 2 p.m. ET to discuss postponing Game 6 early.
I would think an early postponement would help the Cardinals, who trail the Rangers 3-2 in the Series, bring back Chris Carpenter on short rest for Game 7 — which hypothetically would happen Friday with a rainout today and a St. Louis victory in Game 6.
However, no one really knows which team would benefit more from an early rainout.
(perhaps you can discuss it amongst yourselves in the comments)
Bah bah bah baaaahhhhh…dun dun dun dun…
My singing may not be as good as the Baltimore Ravens but it certainly isn’t as bad as the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is the Monday Night Football game for tonight. The Ravens travel to Jacksonville with a lot of confidence, swagger, and supposedly over 25,000 traveling Ravens fans. Many believe this will be a battle of the running backs, as it pits the Ravens all-around offensive threat, Ray Rice against the Jaguars all-around offensive threat, Maurice Jones-Drew. I predict a defensive struggle in the first half by both teams but I do see the Ravens putting up numbers in the second half and running away with a 28-10 victory in Jacksonville.
Here are my Top Three Performances from NFL Week 7:
1. QB Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints): What a mess Sunday night was for the Indianapolis Colts. Not only did their offense turn the ball over three times but their defense gave up 62 points in front of an amped up crowd at the Superdome in New Orleans. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees could be held accountable for over half of those points, as he threw for 325 yards and five touchdowns. Brees efficiency was also a key factor, as he completed 31 of 35 passes and led the Saints to a 62-7 home victory.
2. RB Arian Foster (Houston Texans): With star wide receiver Andre Johnson out for the Houston Texans, it seemed as if the Texans once again had to find their rhythm on offense. Texans running back Arian Foster’s numbers the last few games haven’t been too impressive, especially on the ground. Against a stout Tennessee Titans defense, Foster found the rhythm that made him the league’s leading rusher in 2010. Foster totaled for 234 yards of offense, 115 on the ground, 119 through the air, and scored 3 touchdowns to lead the Texans to a 41-7 victory in Tennessee.
3. Kansas City Chiefs Secondary: Let’s be honest, we all know quarterback Kyle Boller was going to suck for the Oakland Raiders. I just didn’t expect the Raiders second half quarterback Carson Palmer to be just as bad. The Kansas City Chiefs secondary just destroyed the Raiders offense and set up the field position needed for a Kansas City 28-0 victory at Oakland. Kyle Boller and Carson Palmer each threw three interceptions, six overall, with two interceptions returned for touchdowns by Chiefs players Kendrick Lewis and Brandon Flowers.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols’ legendary performance on Saturday night in Texas definitely earned him a place amongst the baseball greats. Pujols hit three home runs and six RBI’s in a 16-7 Cards Game 3 victory over the Rangers, making him only the third player in Major League history to hit three home runs in a World Series game. The other two guys? Oh, only two Hall of Famers named Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth. Although we can’t put it in the bag for St. Louis just yet, as the Rangers evened the World Series at 2 games a piece after a 4-0 Game 4 victory in Texas.
It has been an impressive run for the Washington Capitals in the early part of the 2011-12 NHL season. The Caps hold a comfortable 7-0 record in the Southeast Conference, the best start in their franchise’s history. But the most impressive statistic of all is that their leading scorer is not the team’s leader and all-star, Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin has scored three goals in the first seven games but he is down one goal to fellow teammates Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera, who each have four. The Caps are enjoying a well deserved break until Thursday night, when they face the Edmonton Oilers on the road.
Here are my rants for the weekend in college football:
I’ve been very impressed with #1 LSU and their showing against #20 Auburn which resulted in a 45-10 victory, yet I still believe that when LSU goes to the SEC title game, they will suffer their first loss and get knocked out of the BCS title picture.
#16 Michigan State is looking like a legit threat in the Big Ten following their 37-31 victory over then #6 Wisconsin, I do see this team in the Big Ten title game either in a rematch against Wisconsin (#15) or Michigan (#18).
Everything is falling into place for #6 Stanford and their quarterback Andrew Luck. Stanford going to the BCS title game and Luck winning the Heisman trophy are looking like two accurate possibilities at this point.
Thank you for reading my blog this week! Hopefully the Ravens win big tonight and the Caps continue on their impressive winning streak. Feel free to check me out on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any information regarding my blog and future projects. Enjoy your Monday night, I am out.
“Come along with me, misery loves company. You’re welcome… at the home of the blues.” – Johnny Cash “Home of the Blues
That song probably best describes the emotions of the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and their respective nations.
The Atlanta Braves dejected after losing to the Philadelphia Phillies and the Wild Card to the St. Louis Cardinaks
The Atlanta Braves are getting a reprieve for the most part, at least outside of the Atlanta area. On the other hand, the Red Sox are getting slammed all over, especially in Boston and the greater New England area, deservedly so.
We all know how dreadful the Sox started the season, 0-6 to start the season and 2-10 after the first 12 games of the season. For the four months following the dreadful start, the Sox were considered one of – if not the – best teams in the American league or perhaps all of baseball.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona
“September happened”. said GM Theo Epstein.
Star left handed ace Jon Lester was asked what he would remember most about the 2011 season.
That’s a 7-20 final-month implosion, a blown nine-game lead and the worst September collapse to squander a postseason spot in baseball history.
Do the ’04 and ’07 Red Sox teams have to give back their World Series rings now, too? No, no, it wasn’t quite that bad. But it was close.
On this night of a 4-3 after-midnight walk-off loss to the Orioles, the dishonors belong to exhausted Jonathan Papelbon (blown save, defeat), Carl Crawford, whose trapped liner on Robert Andino’s game-winning two-out single is his trademark defensive mistake, and all the brain-dead base runners from David Ortiz to Marco Scutaro who killed innings with their crazy feet.
Now, lets turn to the Tampa Bay Rays who, minutes after the Red Sox had blown a 3-2 lead and lost, won this AL wild-card race for the ages with a walk-off homer by Evan Longoria in the 12th inning against the Yankees. We have a few words for you guys, too. First, gentlemen, please return the thousand-mile magic carpet, the perpetual pixie-dust machine and the vat of voodoo juice. The rest of mankind needs all of ’em back. Now.
Don’t get greedy. You just burned several lifetimes of joy. Those computers claimed your chances of catching the Red Sox were down to nine-tenths of one percent when the month started. Now, go get ready for October.
What’s next for the Red Sox and Braves?
By now, we’ve seen all the heads pointed toward the ground or shaking slowly from side to side. Those images are almost routine, even as epic as this month’s collapses of the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves are.
But don’t some of those heads have to roll? Isn’t that what’s expected by fans still seething with anger and-or speechless with frustration? They want blame. They want accountability. And sometimes those sentiments extend to teams’ front offices or even ownership.
So, realistically, what’s in store after two of the most monumental meltdowns in baseball history?
The Red Sox and Braves are quite different stories, Boston expensively and aggressively built to win — to win now and win big — and Atlanta still grasping at a return to previous glory.
That said, still…collapses of this magnitude are unheard of and carry some blame. Question is, who do you blame it on? In Boston’s case, buzz around Boston amped up last week when general manager Theo Epstein felt compelled to refute speculation of “a disconnect” between him and manager Terry Francona.
Disconnect or discontent, the blame game became a preemptive strike in Atlanta, where fans were asked to select scapegoats — BEFORE Wednesday’s galling 13-inning loss.
It’s all real now — the results and the inevitable search for solutions.
After Wednesday’s season-ending shock in Baltimore, GM Theo Epstein couldn’t deny his team collapsing.
“We can’t deny this month happened. just because it was preceded by four months of being the best team in baseball. We have to take a very close look at everything that’s not right. We have to fix things and that includes the whole organization.”
Epstein and Francona have been together eight seasons and are the only men in their positions to have delivered World Series championships to Boston in nearly a century. They’ve also helped create the expectations that are difficult to meet.
But the guaranteed portion of Francona’s contract is over, though the Red Sox have two option years that have not been addressed. And Francona’s name surfaced this week as a possible candidate for the Chicago White Sox vacancy. Francona began his managing career in the White Sox minor league system.
Adrian Gonzalez,one of the marquee acquisitions that made this Red Sox team appear invincible spoke to defend his manager.
“You can’t blame the manager who kept us on an even keel the whole time, He did his job. Us, the players, just didn’t get it done.”
The Red Sox will look long and hard at their pitching, which was as the center of their collapse. That could be trouble for Curt Young, in his first year as pitching coach after John Farrell left to become Toronto manager.
But the only key pitcher not under contract for next year is closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had his strongest season in five years. Erik Bedard and Tim Wakefield, who both failed as stopgap starters after injuries to the rotation, especially Clay Buchholz, also are free agents.
The bigger contract decisions will come on offense, where DH David Ortiz, right fielder J.D. Drew and catcher Jason Varitek can leave. But the Red Sox already are locked into more than $125 million in contract obligations for next year. That makes shakeups more difficult.
And then there’s Epstein himself, whose name has surfaced in talk about the vacant Chicago Cubs GM job. Tampa Bay GM Andrew Friedman also has been mentioned for that job. Who knows how last night’s events might have tilted that situation.
The Braves didn’t have nearly the expectations, especially in a division with the other pre-season “sure thing.” Atlanta probably belonged in the wild-card race. That’s the race usually reserved for good teams but just-flawed-enough teams that they can’t quite keep up with the elite — in this case the runaway Phillies who spent the last three nights reminding the Braves of their qualitative differences.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez was in the unenviable position of following legendary Bobby Cox. Gonzalez will take plenty of fan heat but, then, so did Cox for the pereceived underachieving of teams that won 14 division titles but just one World Series.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chipper Jones thought the criticism was unwarranted.
It’s cruel, because probably nobody in Atlanta sports is probably under as much scrutiny as he is filling in for Bobby Cox.”
Both the Red Sox and Braves are well-positioned to be very good next year. But there’s no guarantee everything will look the same.
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina argues with home plate umpire Rob Drake after being called out on strikes during the 10th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
I was sitting at home last night taking full advantage of my MLB Extra Innings package when I flipped the channel at the perfect moment. I casually flipped the channel and saw the St. Louis Cardinals/Milwaukee Brewers game and Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina was batting in the top of the tenth inning. A few seconds later, he was called out on strikes after a border line pitch. Just as he was called out by home plate umpire Rob Drake, that’s when all hell broke loose.
Yadier Molina bumped – and apparently spit on – home plate umpire Rob Drake after arguing a called third strike. Drake wiped his face at least twice during the argument. Molina, who was ejected, had to be held back by teammates and coaches before finally being ushered to the clubhouse.
The umpire declined to comment after the game but Molina spoke to reporters. Molina said he didn’t intentionally spit at Drake and believed the umpire bumped him first.
“He was pushing at me, I would never spit on any face of a man. That’s not me. I was so sweaty, my face was so sweaty and I was yelling, yelling at him. I would never spit on anybody’s face.”
Whether it was spit or sweat, Molina is likely to face a suspension for bumping the umpire.
Interestingly, the incident comes just ten days after Roberto Alomar – the most famous spitter in baseball history – was elected into the Hall of Fame.
This got me thinking: What are some of the most infamous spitting incidents in sports? Here, have a look for yourself.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa – one of the most intense managers in the game – took things one step further by saying Brewers fans went too far when a fan told him he hoped he would get shingles again and that others took insults too far in St. Louis’ 8-7, 11-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. The 66-year-old La Russa struggled with shingles for over a month earlier this season, missing six games because of the condition.
- St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols grabs his left wrist after colliding with Kansas City’s Wilson Betemit on Sunday. (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will be out for 4-6 weeks with a fractured left forearm.
The team announced the results of an MRI and CT scan Monday, a day after Pujols was injured during a home game against Kansas City. The team said Pujols has a non-displaced fracture of his left radius and his arm is in a splint.
The three-time NL MVP and crown jewel of the 2012 free agent market was hurt after Wilson Betemit hit a chopper up the middle off Cardinals starter Jamie Garcia.
After the game, Puljols did his best to describe the situation:
“He hit me on my wrist and my shoulder. He kind of jammed me back. It’s the toughest play to make as a first baseman. It’s a bang-bang play. I saw the replay a couple of times, but I didn’t really want to look at it.” - Albert Pujols
As for the other player involved in the play, Kansas City third baseman Wilson Betemit said there was no way to avoid Pujols.
“I was running hard and the ball arrived at the same time I got to the base, I couldn’t do anything about it. He hit me on my left arm, that’s why he dropped the ball. I hit him and then I saw him on the ground. That’s part of the game. I couldn’t do anything about it.” - Wilson Betemit
Pujols is hitting .279 this year, starting to heat up after a slow start. The team said his left shoulder was sore, but no structural damage was found.
As Albert Pujols explained, the play he was involved in is indeed the toughest play for a first baseman. Cliff Floyd was never the same after he suffered a similar injury and the same could be said for Derrek Lee who currently plays first base for the Baltimore Orioles. Lee suffered an injury almost identical to Puljols’ injury and has struggled mightily to regain his form prior to the injury.
ESPN’s Buster Olney echoed similar sentiments in regards to Pujols’ injury but he also floated the idea that Pujols’ wrist could cause the Cardinals to lower their initial contract offer to the free agent-to-be, which, in Olney’s doomsday scenario, would snowball into Pujols leaving town.
**photos and quotes courtesy of the Associated Press
Yesterday was Opening Day for Major League Baseball and we were treated to six games on day one. The other teams get the call Opening Day today. One of the best things about the season being underway is that all of the predictions and projections—we can finally get some real numbers to chew on. All teams have their aces on the mound and every team has a new beginning For me, there’s really no better feeling than Opening Day.
I’m not sure how you all feel about Opening Day occuring in March, but New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixierra loves it.
“I’ve been petitioning the league to start in March for years now, finally they let us start in March because everyone knows about my Aprils.” - Mark Teixeira
Something else that stuck out to me on a positive note, the Cincinnati Reds. The walk off win to be exact. I mean, is it just me, or do the Reds always seem to come back in games? This could be the toughest team in all of baseball. Down 6-3, the Reds loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. At the time, they were 0-for-8 with RISP and had stranded 10 men on base.
John Axford was in to close it out for the Brewers, but it was not to be. Jay Bruce struck out, and Jonny Gomes hit a sac fly to bring the Reds closer.
Still down 6-4, Ramon Hernandez strolled to the plate. Already 3-for-4 on the day, Hernandez clubbed a walk-off, three-run home run to right field to give the Reds the 7-6 win on Opening Day.
Could this be a Red October, anyone?
Not so good was the Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson struck out 170 times, the most in the AL. While he did finish second in AL Rookie of the Year voting, batting .293 with 27 stolen bases and 103 runs scored as Detroit’s leadoff man, it would be nice to see him improve his .345 OBP by cutting down on the strikeouts.
He didn’t look very good today against the Yankees’ CC Sabathia. Jackson went 1-for-4 with a run scored and three strikeouts in the Tigers’ 6-3 loss. It’s still early, of course—very early, in fact—but it’s not good to see Jackson striking out three times, especially not when facing a lefty like Sabathia.
In St. Louis, it was not a good start for the hometown Cardinals. More importantly, the bullpen for the Cards was dreadful.
Ryan Franklin only had a one-run lead to protect, but he couldn’t get the job done. After Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead solo homer to right-center, Franklin gave up a two-out, game-tying home run to Cameron Maybin.
With the loss of Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals are going to have to score runs and make sure those runs stand up in the late innings. That means Franklin needs to have a good season. Unfortunately, he’s not off to a good start. The boo birds were out in force in St. Louis.
It wasn’t all due to the bullpen woes though. The boo birds were out for the Cardinals soon-to-be free agent slugger Albert Puljols who had a day to forget by going 0-4 and grounding into three double plays. If Pujols has a rough start to the season, fans will be quick to point to his contract situation as the cause. The only question will be if they’ll blame the Cardinals front office or Pujols himself.
Those were some notable happenings from Opening Day. Now, we have another Opening Day to sit back and enjoy and I’m ok with that.