At 6’5 and 200 pounds, right-handed Paul Hartzell personified a classically built pitcher. He was chosen by the California Angels in the 10th round of the 1975 MLB draft after having attended Lehigh University. The Angels were helmed at the time by future Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams and pitchers Frank Tanana and Nolan [...]
Since Nolan Ryan became president of the Texas Rangers in 2009, they have become known as one of the tightest run organizations in baseball; combining savvy roster building with cultivating a deep farm system. Because of Ryan’s Hall of Fame pedigree as a pitcher, he has added pressure to develop a stable of dominant young [...]
Headlined by Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays have become known in recent years as a power hitting team, finishing in the top 5 in the American league in home runs in each of the past 3 seasons. With their impressive collection of hitters, there is no indication that they are going to let up [...]
A year ago I started a project on my blog of asking people to name their favorite obscure baseball figure from the past: not exclusively players, but anyone employed by the game. The volume of responses (many came from the now-defunct Baseball-Reference blog) surprised me, and led me to start the project up again this [...]
Prince Fielder was always one of the impact players in this year’s free agent class, but he is still out there and according to the “industry analysts” the table continues to tilt increasingly toward Washington as his landing spot. This morning Adam Kilgore in the Washington Post summarized the case, saying he is “Washington’s to [...]
Texas is best known for producing great beef and the best football in the world, but they have another commodity that they export with similar regularity; pitchers. Highlighted by the likes of Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and Greg Maddux, the Longhorn State has had 431 pitchers appear in a major league game. One of the [...]
Hockey is the most popular sport in Canada, but every now and then, some of their youngsters get hooked on baseball. One of those kids was Pete Craig, who was born in LaSalle, Ontario. A large, 6’5 220 pound right-handed pitcher, Craig showed enough promise that he was signed by the Detroit Tigers in 1963 [...]
This past winter baseball lost one of its treasures in Paul LaPalme. He was never a star, nor did he have great accomplishments in the game, but he was a great ambassador for baseball. He passed away in February, 2010 at the age of 86, and left behind a strong connection with baseball, the game [...]
This past week baseball lost Roy Smalley, Jr., another member of the World War II generation that has been rapidly slipping away in recent years. He was a player, a manager, an armed services veteran, and the father of Roy Smalley III, also a major leaguer. He was part of a vanishing generation that played [...]
Former outfielder Tom Shopay had the pleasure and the misfortune to play for either veteran or very good major league teams during his career. It allowed him to have some great teammates and experience a winning environment, but it also invariably meant that he never got much of an opportunity to establish himself as an [...]
Baseball requires a player to master a lot of athletic skill and precision. Most successful players focus on a specific position, either as a hitter or pitcher, so they can consistently improve on the necessary abilities. Thus it must be daunting for those about to enter professional baseball to be asked to completely change what [...]
The recent collapse of the Red Sox has brought into question the leadership of the team. Even though Terry Francona will not be returning as manager, it is clear that areas that the front office of Boston are secure in from year to year are drafting and developing their farm system. Each year they stock [...]
Sunday afternoon, embattled starter A.J. Burnett, with his postseason life largely on the line, toed the rubber against the freefalling Boston Red Sox. Seven and two-thirds of an inning later, Burnett moseyed toward the Yankees dugout, having struck out six, allowed but two earned runs, and driven another nail into the quickly closing coffin surrounding the Red Sox season. With the capacity crowd on its feet loudly cheering his name, Burnett ambled to the bench with all the alacrity of Mo Vaughn heading to a salad bar, clearly trying his hardest to make that moment last forever.
The Yankees had clinched everything they possibly could, they had the Sox under their boots, and the quixotic Burnett had thrown a gem.
Unfortunately, for Joe Girardi, that’s the worst thing that could have happened.
The recent tragic passing of Mike Flanagan served as a sad reminder of the great Baltimore teams of the late 1970′s and early 1980′s. Looking at their recent results, it is hard to fathom how far the once proud franchise has fallen over the past couple of decades. The term dynasty should not be thrown [...]
Jorge Cordova was born to coach. You can tell that after spending a only few minutes with the man, or watching him counsel young players on the field. He combines his vast knowledge of the game with one of the friendliest personalities I have ever come across. It is hard to imagine that Jorge would [...]
With all due respect to the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, the 2010 World Series wasn’t exactly one for the ages, although I’m happy for the city of San Francisco, the Giants and their fans. Don’t get me wrong, I commend both teams for their efforts, but the 2010 Fall Classic had me scouring [...]
I was thinking that it’s about time someone compared the careers of current and recent GM of the Mets, Omar Minaya and Steve Philips.
One thing that I always find fascinating to follow when it comes to the MLB Draft is seeing young kids drafted who have some relation to a current or former Major League player, coach, or executive. This yearâ€™s draft has had a number of such cases that I thought Iâ€™d take a look at. Some [...]
Any Seamheads reader should know by now that thereâ€™s a lot of good information at baseball-reference.com. In particular, in the Play Index. For instance: in the last decade, Miguel Tejada led the majors with 223 groundball double play, 28 more than runner-up Paul Konerko. That is only one ground ball short of Jim Riceâ€™s 224 [...]