September 1, 2014

What Sunk the Braves

October 2, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Good teams don’t fold for no apparent reason. Though buried by the publicity piled onto the Boston Red Sox, who also slipped out of the playoff picture in September, the Atlanta Braves should have seen their slide coming. Plagued all season by an inability to score runs, the Braves plodded through the 2011 season by […]

No Retirement in Site for Ageless Milo

July 23, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

As a broadcaster, Milo Hamilton doesn’t have to worry about his arms or legs giving out. He can still read his voluminous notes and talk about baseball with the best of them. Plus his voice still projects the dulcet tones that accompanied his call of Hank Aaron’s record 715th home run on April 8, 1974. […]

Koufax or Ryan? Tough choice for Torborg

July 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Don’t ask Jeff Torborg to choose between Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan. The only man to catch no-hitters thrown by both can’t make up his mind. A former back-up catcher for the Dodgers and Angels, Torborg caught a perfect game thrown by Koufax in 1965 and no-hitters thrown by Bill Singer in 1970 and Ryan […]

Spahn-Marichal Marathon: Best-Pitched Game?

July 2, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Long before pitch counts, five-man rotations, and an array of relief pitchers became the backbone of baseball philosophy, two future Hall of Famers locked horns in a 16-inning marathon that both completed. According to author Jim Kaplan, who chronicled that July 2, 1963 match in a book called The Greatest Game Ever Pitched, it will […]

Fearless forecast for 2011 flag chases

March 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The first rule in making baseball predictions is to expect the unexpected. Don’t go with last year’s winners, popular favorites, or big-money ballclubs. Unless they deserve it, of course. Now that we’ve gotten past the obvious rules, there are the string of unknowns that can pop up anywhere during the course of a 162-game schedule, […]

Braves endure schizophrenic campaign

September 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

No wonder Bobby Cox is retiring: he can’t stand the schizophrenic play of his ballclub. The Atlanta Braves have had a nine-game losing streak. They have also had a nine-game winning streak. Their long-time icon, Chipper Jones, said he would retire at the end of the season if he didn’t hit better than he did […]

Don’t Believe the Hype

July 5, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

While making the media rounds to promote The 300 Club, my book on two-dozen pitchers won 300 games, I was asked about Stephen Strasburg several times — once after he had only one win in one appearance. I told my inquisitor that he needed only 299 more wins to make the next edition. We both […]

MLB perpetrates All-Star fiasco

June 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

“Vote early and vote often.” In the biggest electoral fraud since the 2000 presidential election, Major League Baseball and its 30 teams are telling fans to choose All-Star Game lineups by voting up to 25 times. They can do it on the internet or at the ballpark. It really doesn’t matter. The Yankees even show […]

Cox preaches patience on Bad-News Braves

April 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

After making more errors than runs during a three-game disaster at CitiField this past weekend, the Atlanta Braves are poisoning the well of good will left by the pending retirement of manager Bobby Cox. Meeting with reporters before Sunday’s game in Flushing, Cox probably felt like applying the local name to most of the men […]

Why the Braves Will Win

April 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

On the eve of the 2010 season, the National League East race seems like it might be decided by the disabled list. The Philadelphia Phillies, seeking their third straight divisional crown, sent three key players to the DL: closer Brad Lidge, set-up man J.C. Romero, and No. 3 starter Joe Blanton. The New York Mets, […]

Dan’s daring predictions for diamond action

March 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Predicting the future — in any venue — is difficult even for Alison DuBois or others blessed with psychic powers. That is especially true when it comes to baseball, where teams play nearly 200 games and face each one without knowing who will get hot, who will get hurt, or who will perform above or […]

Spring flings from Florida camps

March 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Leo Mazzone, pitching coach for the Braves during their entire 14-year string of divisional titles, tells a story about a mistake he made in 1991, the year the streak started. The usually-reliable Tom Glavine got into trouble, prompting a mound visit from Mazzone. Just a few minutes later, he indicated a slight injury, causing the […]

Fresh squeezes from the Grapefruit League

March 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Making baseball predictions public is always a bad idea. Somebody always gets hot, or gets hurt, and players can stumble into hot streaks or slumps — some of them lasting a full season. Media types who predicted the Washington Nationals to revive in 2010 were greeted this spring with 11 consecutive exhibition game defeats. That’s […]

Musings from the Manager’s Office

March 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Where to go on a rainy day in spring training? The manager of the Atlanta Braves, always a congenial host, held court with a half-dozen journalists before the rained-out exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Now that he’s a self-proclaimed lame duck, Bobby Cox has answered everything two, three, […]

Dan’s Diary from Disneyball

March 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

While liquid sunshine continues to wreak havoc with spring training schedules, there’s no better alternative than writing about baseball. These are the latest tidbits from the camps around the Grapefruit League: Andruw Jones, signed for only $500,000 by the Chicago White Sox, might turn out to be the best free-agent acquisition of the winter. Once […]

News and Notes from the Grapefruit League

March 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Like the Army, baseball is filled with Hurry Up & Wait situations. That’s especially true for writers, who arrive hours before gametime in an often-frustrating effort to pin down players or managers for interviews. There’s competition for each player, with the biggest stars commanding the most attention from media types, and a pecking order that […]

300-Win Club is Closed for Good

March 9, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Put it in ink: the 300-game winner has gone the way of the buffalo nickel and Sunday doubleheader. The late-winter retirements of Randy Johnson and Tom Glavine mean that none of the 300-win pitchers are still active, although 10 are still alive: Steve Carlton, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux,  Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Tom […]

Milo: I’ll stay active through 2012

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Milo Hamilton, whose big-league broadcast career started with the 1953 St. Louis Browns, plans to stay on the air for three more seasons. The venerable voice of the Houston Astros wants the chance to broadcast from the newest ballparks, including Yankee Stadium this June and Minnesota’s Target Field — depending on future interleague games that […]