In some cases, baseball's on-field etiquette seems clear, but there is often more to the story than either we or the players know.
On August 11 in Toledo, the Durham Bulls’ Will Rhymes hit a second-inning, two-run home run off of Toledo Mud Hens starter Drew Smyly. (If you watch the video above, you’ll see a replay of Rhymes’ homer partway through.)
The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.
Not a subscriber?
Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.
With the Fall Classic now upon us, the staff at Baseball Prospectus shares their most memorable World Series moments.
Every baseball fan has a special World Series memory, whether it's Willie Mays' catch, Bill Mazeroski's home run, Brooks Robinson's defense, Kirk Gibson's limp around the bases, or Derek Jeter becoming the first-ever Mr. November. With the World Series opening tonight at AT&T Park in San Francisco with the Giants facing the Texas Rangers, many of our writers, editors, and interns share their favorite memories of the Fall Classic.
The Twins and Yankees meet yet again in the first round of the postseason but Minnesota has home field advantage this time.
As they did last year as well as 2003 and 2004, the Twins run squarely into the Yankee juggernaut in the first round. Unlike those other three meetings, they have home field advantage this time around, as they won the AL Central going away thanks to a league-best 48-26 second-half record. The defending world champion Yankees, who held the majors' best record for most of the season, were forced to settle for the wild card due to a sluggish 13-17 showing against a very tough schedule in September and October. Despite the relative temperatures of the two clubs, it's important to remember that late-season records aren't predictive of October success—or failure.
Interim manager Kirk Gibson would like a full shot at turning around the Diamondbacks, along with other news and notes from around the major leagues.
Everything is lining up for Kirk Gibson to have the "interim" removed from his title and continue as the Diamondbacks' manager past the end of this season. The Diamondbacks' search for a permanent general manager is down to two, with interim GM Jerry Dipoto and former Padres GM Kevin Towers the finalists and a decision likely to come this week. Dipoto will keep Gibson, who was promoted from bench coach to interim manager on July 1 when A.J. Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes were fired, and Towers is expected to do the same if he is hired.
Various people throughout baseball talk about the importance of the Tigers' long-running double play duo.
“Tram” and “Sweet Lou." The longest-running double-play combination in baseball history, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker played 1,918 games together from 1977-95, the most ever for American League teammates. During that time they combined for 11 All-Star berths, seven Gold Gloves, seven Silver Slugger awards, 4,734 hits, and 429 home runs. They were, quite simply, the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers for nearly two full decades.
Examining those pitchers who have been in the upper echelon over the past decade.
People love groups, plain and simple. There is something innately fascinating about grouping together people, places, or things in order to express a point or frame an argument. In baseball especially, representative groupings are important given the very large quantity of available information.
The Twins' slugger reflects upon a career that includes 564 home runs.
This season, Jim Thome will likely pass Harmon Killebrew and move into 10th place on the all-time home run list. The Hall of Fame-bound slugger needs just 10 long balls to surpass the 573 put up by the Twins legend, and it is fitting that he could do so in a Minnesota uniform. Much like the former player whose mark he is chasing, Thome has gone about his business with a humility and grace that is far too seldom found in an era of big money, egos and, at least until recently, performance-enhancing drugs. Now in his 20th season, and his first with the Twins, Thome has a career slash line of .277/.404/.557.
A conversation with the Indians closer about his career and his transition from starting to the bullpen.
In the eyes of many, Kerry Wood has never lived up to expectations. The 32-year-old right-hander doesn't agree with that assessment, but there is no denying that the sky seemed to be the limit when Wood struck out 20 Houston Astros in just his fifth big-league start on May 6, 1998. His historic performance elicited comparisons to Roger Clemens and Nolan Ryan, but despite ranking second all-time in K/9 with a mark of 10.382, Wood hasn't achieved the Hall of Fame-level brilliance that so many envisioned. Plagued far too often by injuries, the native of Irving, Texas has nonetheless had a successful career since being taken as the fourth overall pick in the 1995 draft. Now the closer in Cleveland, after 10 seasons with the Cubs, Wood has a career record of 80-64 with a 3.67 ERA, and 54 saves in 334 appearances. Wood sat down with BP when the Indians visited Fenway Park on the last weekend of the season.
A conversation with the well-traveled Marlins outfielder about a frenzied debut and his peregrinations around the game.
Cody Ross is genuine. The Marlins outfielder may not be a superstar, but he personifies what fans love to see when they look beyond a player's statistics: Ross is not only humble and hard-working, he has a sincere appreciation of what it means to hold down a spot on a big-league roster. Now 28 years old and with his fourth organization, Ross was given his first opportunity to play full-time last season, and he responded by hitting a workmanlike .260/.316/.488 with 22 home runs. Originally drafted by the Tigers, the native of Portales, New Mexico is putting up solid numbers again this season, leading the Marlins in extra-base hits and ranking second on the team in home runs. Ross talked about the path he followed to Miami, some of his best memories along the way, and why he doesn't like hearing his name mentioned in trade rumors.
The past might be a foreign country, but at the moment, where 756 is concerned, we're still well within its borders. What does the gang think of Barry Bonds' achievement?
Maury Brown: There ought to be one word that comes to mind when taking in Bonds' place as the all-time home run king. Maybe that word is 'confused.' Or cloudy, muddy, murky... take your pick. In the history of sports, I don't think anyone has ever faced the dilemma of asking whether or not a record was legitimately set or not. Barry Bonds has forced us to look at that issue with arguably the most revered and sacred of records in baseball. After all, the record has been achieved, and controversy be damned, he hasn't failed a drug test, nor has he been indicted by the Feds, nor has some mountain of evidence landed in George Mitchell's lap that makes one think that Bonds is going to be the focus of his soon-to-be published report.
The Transaction Analysis you have been waiting for. Saunders. Izturis. Guzman. Cormier. Hernandez. Reyes. The names are all here, and only Christina can sort out the right from wrong, and the stupid from the just obtuse.