Sometimes starters get sick, and they start a game anyway. After that, things often get ugly. We should celebrate their sacrifice.
Earlier this year, 28-year-old pitcher Paul Phillips of the Atlantic League Somerset Patriots was scheduled to start a game against the Camden Riversharks. Phillips, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2005 and bounced around Toronto’s and Tampa Bay’s systems until last season, entered that game with a league-leading 1.76 ERA. Phillips was Somerset’s ace, if the Atlantic League has aces. But Phillips wasn’t feeling well.
He pitched anyway. And predictably, he pitched poorly. He lasted three innings and threw 93 pitches, allowing four walks and five runs. When asked to comment on his subpar start, Phillips said:
Remembering the late Don Mincher with a look back at the second part of his BP interview from last year.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
First baseman Don Mincher died on Sunday at age 73. In his memory, we're re-running David Laurila's two-part interview with him, which originally ran as a two-part "Prospectus Q&A" column on January and 11th and 12th, 2011.
Is Goose Gossage right to say that Mariano Rivera has it "easy?"
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Kevin Baker is a novelist and historian who is currently at work on a social history of New York City baseball, to be published by Pantheon.
One of the greatest hitters of a generation belatedly hangs up his spikes.
Gary Sheffield officially announced his retirement on Thursday, not that it was a huge surprise. The 42-year-old slugger did not play in 2010, though he probably still had something to offer, coming off a .276/.372/.451 season in a part-time role with the Mets in 2009. In the same breath with which he made the announcement, Sheffield made his case for Cooperstown. "I am sure it will be mentioned and debated, but from my standpoint I know who is in the Hall of Fame," he said. "A lot of them don't belong in the Hall of Fame. If someone wants to debate me, check the stats."
The former Red Sox ace and longtime pitching coach reflects on a lifetime in the game.
Bill Monbouquette is as old-school as they get. The 74-year-old “Monbo” spent 50 years in the game -- 11 as a big-league right-hander and many more as a pitching coach -- and few have been more hard-nosed. Three years after being diagnosed with leukemia, he remains every bit as feisty.
The Brewers' closer discusses his path to the majors, film, and social networking.
When most baseball fans think of John Axford, they think of a hard-throwing right-hander who came out of nowhere to replace Trevor Hoffman as the Brewers’ closer last season. Many also look at him as the guy with the cool mustache, but there is far more to Axford than the 24 saves and the facial hair that is approaching cult status. A 27-year-old native and resident of Ontario, Canada, Axford teetered on the brink of baseball oblivion before making his mark in Milwaukee. He underwent Tommy John surgery while earning a film degree at Notre Dame, and subsequently found himself going from indie ball in western Canada to a minor-league stint with the Yankees, who released him after just one season. Signed off the scrapheap by the Brewers in 2008, he is now a bona fide big-leaguer and burgeoning online sensation.
The Southern League president discusses the toughest pitcher he ever faced, his career highlights, and reflects on his accomplishments.
In Part II, Don Mincher talks about the toughest pitcher he ever faced, getting hit in the face by a Sam McDowell fastball, how the 1965 Twins compare to the 1972 Oakland A’s, and more. You can view Part I here.
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.
It's a series that will feature superb pitching staffs, and one team will come away with a long-awaited title.
In baseball as in literature, archetypes tend to be formulaic, proof that fiction falls short of reality when it comes to the power to describe any one thing in shorthand. The need, indeed one of the great benefits of the human mind is to identify patterns, and to peg things that fall within those patterns, or to re-evaluate the pattern as a whole to create some new rubric, some new way of explaining things. Take our current post-season slate: instead of a much-anticipated rematch between the Evil Empire and the Phillies' a-bornin' senior-circuit dynasty, last week we got the pleasure of witnessing imperial ambitions utterly overthrown in both leagues.