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Thread: Baseball 2007

  1. #81
    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    Casey Blake hits a walk off homer in the bottom of the 11th for a 6-5 win over Detroit as the Tribe increases their Central Division lead to 5 1/2 over the Tigers. Go Tribe!
    Cleveland was down 5-1 and came back to win.

  2. #82
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    The Indians win 4 - 2 today to sweep the Tigers and take a 7 1/2 game lead in the Central Division. The magic number is now 3.

  3. #83
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    The Tribe beats Oakland to lower the magic # to 2. Detroit won so the Tribe stays out front by 7 1/2.

  4. #84
    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    Bonds cut by Giants at end of year

    Giants tell Bonds they are moving in different direction, letting slugger go - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
    Giants tell Bonds they are moving in different direction, letting slugger go
    By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer
    September 21, 2007

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Barry Bonds is finished in San Francisco.

    The Giants told Bonds they will not bring him back next season, ending a 15-year run in which he set the single-season and all-time home run records and became a lightning rod for the steroids debate in baseball.

    "It's always difficult to say goodbye," Giants owner Peter Magowan said Friday. "It's an emotional time for me. We've been through a lot together these 15 years. A lot of good things have happened. Unfortunately a lot of bad things have happened. But there comes a time when you have to go in a different direction."

    On his Web site, Bonds said he wasn't done.

    "There is more baseball in me and I plan on continuing my career. My quest for a World Series ring continues," he said.

    The 43-year-old Bonds did not join Magowan and general manager Brian Sabean at the news conference. Asked whether he had anything to add, Bonds said, "I already made my statement."

    Bonds had always said he wanted to finish his career in the comfort of his hometown, where his father, Bobby, played alongside his godfather, Willie Mays. Bonds talked with Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey and took batting practice in the cage before Friday night's game against Cincinnati.

    Bonds hasn't played since Sept. 15 because of a sprained right big toe and was out of the lineup again. Manager Bruce Bochy said he thought Bonds could play this weekend. The Giants' final homestand ends Wednesday night.

    Magowan said he and Sabean recently decided about Bonds' future. Magowan personally told Bonds in a 90-minute meeting during Thursday night's game against Cincinnati.

    "I think he knew the decision was coming," Magowan said. "I don't think it was surprising to him. I think, naturally, he was disappointed, maybe somewhat saddened," Magowan said. "But he was really very respectful."

    Bonds broke Hank Aaron's record with his 756th home run on Aug. 7. Bonds helped revitalize a struggling franchise that nearly moved to Florida before he signed with the Giants as a free agent in December 1992.

    Bonds has spent the past 15 seasons of his 22-year big league career with the Giants. Re-signed as a free agent in the offseason, he made $19.3 million in a one-year contract, including $3.5 million in bonuses.

    Shadowed by steroid speculation for the past few years, Bonds has hit 28 homers this season, raising his career total to 762. The seven-time NL MVP is batting .279 with 66 RBIs and a major league-leading 132 walks.

    "He can still play," Sabean said. "He's still one of the biggest threats of any No. 4 hitter in the National League."

    Prior to the toe injury, he had been mostly healthy, playing 125 games. The left fielder has 2,935 career hits and has said that reaching 3,000 is a goal of his.

    "This is a guy who plays every day and is still leading the National League in some league categories, which is amazing," teammate Barry Zito said. "He's really done special things this year being at the age that he is. If Barry has the opportunity to go be a DH somewhere I'm sure that's only going to prolong his career."

    Despite Bonds' personal achievements, the season has been a disappointing one for the Giants, who are mired deep in last place in the NL West.

    "We've heard for a long time that the Giants are an old team and want to get younger, so we're not surprised," said Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris. "Barry is their oldest player, but qualitatively, he's their best player."

    "He's still planning on playing next year, irrespective of whether it's an AL or NL team," he said.

    Bonds has long denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but fans across the country have greeted him with placards inscribed with asterisks -- baseball-fan shorthand for the belief that his record is hopelessly tainted by allegations of steroid abuse.

    Even the person who paid $752,467 for Bonds' historic 756th home run has threatened to stamp it with an asterisk.

    Fashion designer Marc Ecko revealed himself this week as the winning bidder for the ball and has posted a Web site giving visitors a chance to vote on what he should do with the ball: donate it to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.; brand the ball with an asterisk in reference to the steroid allegations against Bonds; or blast the ball into space.

    After parting ways with Bonds, San Francisco will be free to scrap a win-now philosophy in which Sabean surrounded the slugger with aging veterans every year to maximize Bonds' chances to win his first championship. San Francisco came within five outs of winning the World Series in 2002, but hasn't been back to the postseason since 2003.

    "It is certainly unprecedented for an organization, especially a general manager, to replace a player like this, which will be nearly impossible," Sabean said.

    In his statement, Bonds said he believes the Giants made the decision long ago not to bring him back for next season.

    "Although I am disappointed, I've always said baseball is a business, and I respect their decision," Bonds said. "However, I am saddened and upset that I was not given an earlier opportunity to properly say goodbye to you, my fans, and celebrate with the city throughout the season as I truly believe this was not a last-minute decision by the Giants, but one that was made some time ago."

    "I would have loved nothing more than to retire as a Giant in the place where I call home and have shared so many momentous moments with all of you," he said.

    Bonds' presence helped the Giants build their waterfront ballpark that is on pace to draw more than 3 million fans for the eighth straight season since opening. Bonds was the biggest draw but Magowan said he was not concerned about how his absence would affect attendance.

    "I think we pride ourselves as an organization on knowing what our fans think. On this issue the fans are divided, Magowan said. "We listen to our fans carefully, but they don't make the decisions. They are made by the baseball people."

    San Francisco is where Bonds became entangled with federal prosecutors and with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the lab at the center of the steroids scandal in professional sports.

    The perjury investigation is focused on whether Bonds lied in 2003, when he told the federal grand jury investigating BALCO that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

    Bonds said his personal trainer told him he was taking flaxseed oil and arthritis balm.

    His childhood friend and trainer, Greg Anderson, has spent nearly a year in prison for refusing to testify to the grand jury investigating Bonds' alleged perjury.

    On the field, a championship is about the only thing missing on Bonds' resume.

    He played in his 13th All-Star game this summer, an event held in his home ballpark.

    Bonds has reached the postseason seven times, and a World Series title barely eluded him in 2002. The Giants were just five outs from the title in Game 6 against the Anaheim Angels, but they lost that lead and also got beaten in Game 7. Bonds hit .471 in those seven games with four home runs, and the Angels walked him 13 times.

    A day after last season ended, Magowan said that Bonds would no longer be the centerpiece of the organization and that the team would change its formula for winning.

    Bonds then checked out the free-agent market, and a couple of teams -- including St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego -- showed early interest. But there seemed to be a pervasive feeling around baseball that Bonds would ultimately rejoin the Giants and he did for one final season that was a disappointment for the team.

    "The fact that we failed doesn't mean that Barry failed the Giants in some fashion," Magowan said. "He did all that we could have reasonably expected or anticipated he could do when we signed him."

    AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker in New York contributed to this report.
    I bet he could get a job as a pharmaceutical salesman.

  5. #85
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    My husband and I heard the announcement last night on Olberman's Countdown. Mixed emotions. For fifteen years he was our Bay Area hero. He brought pride and excitement back to the Giants that we hadn't had since the days of his dad and Mays, McCovey, the Alou's, Cepeda and all. Increased attendance with Bonds built our new stadium. We knew he was an arrogant ass**** and so did he. We could overlook that because he was a superstar and led the Giants back into contention in our league and close to The Big Show a few times.

    And now he's this tarnished hero. So disappointing. I guess the fans who loved Pete Rose for so many years must have felt this way.

    And yet, I opened my SF Chronicle today and his picture took up the whole front page. Like when Montana, Young and Rice left the Niners, or one of our Super Bowl wins. "BYE-BYE BARRY" reads the headline. We'll always love him because he gave us so much.

    And for you critics:


  6. #86
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    Indians Win Central Division!

    I'm so stoked.
    Cleveland 6, Oakland 2

    By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
    September 23, 2007

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- From shoveling snow to spraying champagne.

    The Cleveland Indians, who slipped and slid around April's home opener during a freakish spring storm, capped an unforgettable season at Jacobs Field on Sunday with a sun-soaked championship.

    Jake Westbrook struck out a career-high nine and Grady Sizemore had four hits as the Indians, fourth-place finishers a year ago, clinched their first AL Central title since 2001 with a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.

    The Indians became the second team in the majors to clinch. The Boston Red Sox assured themselves of at least the AL wild-card spot Saturday night.

    When reliever Rafael Betancourt struck out Oakland's Mark Ellis for the final out and his second save, the crowd of 40,250 erupted as one and the right-hander jumped into catcher Victor Martinez's arms as the Indians poured onto the infield to celebrate.

    Moments later, led by ace C.C. Sabathia, the club walked to center field and watched as a 2007 championship banner was hoisted atop the center-field scoreboard.

    Overlooked as a contender in one of baseball's toughest divisions, the Indians overcame a strange start and recaptured a crown they won six times in seven years from 1995-2001.

    But for these Indians, little went as planned.

    Their first homestand in April was postponed by snow, forcing the club to play three "home" games in Milwaukee's Miller Park against the Los Angeles Angels. Three other games against Seattle were made up at the Jake.

    Technically, Cleveland still has one "home" game remaining -- on Wednesday, 2,000 miles away at Seattle's Safeco Field as part of a doubleheader with the Mariners.

    The Indians, who finished 18 games behind Detroit last year, began 2007 with question marks around the diamond. They moved into first place on Aug. 15, stayed there by going 27-9 and running away from the defending AL champion Tigers, and now have a chance to finish with the best record in the majors.

    And while much of their lineup looks as it did in April, the Indians made some major changes to snap them out of a midseason slump that threatened to spoil a season filled with thrilling comebacks.

    Cleveland Indians' Fausto Carmona, right, and teammates soak each other with champagne after the Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 6-2 to clinch in a baseball game to clinch the Central Division title, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007, in Cleveland.

    Rookie second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, one of three players who began the season at Double-A Akron, became a spark after Josh Barfield was benched. The Indians also got unexpected contributions from reliever Rafael Perez and outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Ben Francisco.

    The guys Cleveland was counting on came through, too.

    Sabathia, a rookie in '01, developed into a Cy Young candidate and anchored a strong pitching staff that included 18-game Fausto Carmona, who went 1-10 as a rookie and had a disastrous tryout as a closer last season. He was only on the staff because of injuries to Westbrook and Cliff Lee.

    Paul Byrd bounced back from a subpar year to win 15 games and Cleveland's bullpen, a nightmarish collection in recent years, finally solidified behind Betancourt and Joe Borowski, who only got the job because Keith Foulke retired before reporting to training camp.

    While not equal to the powerful lineups in New York or Boston, the Indians have balance, depth and timing. Martinez was an All-Star and the club's steadiest hitter all season, and his power numbers helped compensate for designated hitter Travis Hafner's unexpected decline.

    Cleveland has 43 come-from-behind wins, including 13 in their final at-bat at home.

    The late-inning heroics also prompted a new tradition at the Jake as Trot Nixon would surprise teammates being interviewed on TV following home wins with a whipped-cream pie to the face.

    "We are a team -- in the truest sense of the word," manager Eric Wedge said. "In how they go about their business and how they win and how they care about each other, and that's a credit to everybody in that locker room.

    "These guys do a good job of walking the walk. They don't just talk about it. They live it."

    After failing to clinch before a sellout crowd on Saturday, the Indians didn't want to disappoint on Fan Appreciation Day.

    Cleveland scored four runs in the fourth and opened a 6-0 lead against Dallas Braden (1-8).

    Jhonny Peralta and Jason Michaels singled to open the fourth and both scored when Casey Blake, whose 11th-inning homer against Detroit on Monday sealed the Tigers' fate, hit a double.

    Sizemore followed with an RBI triple and came in when Cabrera singled.

    The six-run cushion was plenty for Westbrook (6-9), who along with Sabathia and Kenny Lofton are the only players still around from '01 when the club last made the postseason.

    Westbrook allowed a two-run homer to rookie Daric Barton in seven innings and won for the first time since Aug. 28.

    If the Indians were feeling any pressure it didn't show as they slipped into their white jerseys beforehand.

    Blake dug out a favorite videocassette of pitching coach Carl Willis getting plunked on the knee with a ball while conducting a clinic for high school pitchers a few years back. The sight of Willis crumpling and his off-camera comments had the Indians, who had gathered around the clubhouse's big-screen TV, howling in laughter.

    Sabathia played a game of catch in the outfield grass with his 4-year-old son, C.C. III.

    The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the second off Braden, who was filling in for the injured Rich Harden. Michaels hit an RBI groundout and Sizemore fisted a run-scoring single with two outs.


  7. #87
    FORT Fogey Blues Songstres's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Punkin;2582207;
    And yet, I opened my SF Chronicle today and his picture took up the whole front page. Like when Montana, Young and Rice left the Niners, or one of our Super Bowl wins. "BYE-BYE BARRY" reads the headline. We'll always love him because he gave us so much.

    And for you critics:

    I feel you. I grew up with the Giants during the Mays, McCovey, Bonds era and have followed them all these years, even though I have lived in Southern California for 24 of those years. Barry Bonds is perhaps not a perfect hero, but a hero nonetheless to Giants' fans.

    I was recently traveling around the country and was in a bar in Boston. A guy that sat at our table started talking trash about Bonds. I told him that I had come there to have a good time, and that I wouldn't consider it a good time if the police were taking me away in handcuffs because I had shoved a glass down his throat. He shut up.

    Wish Bonds the best.

    [F/A Edit]

    Oh, and by the way, a big high-five to the Angels!!!
    Last edited by Unklescott; 09-26-2007 at 11:42 PM.

  8. #88
    FORT Fogey Punkin's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Blues Songstres;2586638;
    I was recently traveling around the country and was in a bar in Boston. A guy that sat at our table started talking trash about Bonds. I told him that I had come there to have a good time, and that I wouldn't consider it a good time if the police were taking me away in handcuffs because I had shoved a glass down his throat. He shut up.
    I certainily didn't expect to get a positive response to my defense of Bonds. Tonite is his last night on the field with the Giants and I expect the fans will give him a big, fond, bittersweet sendoff.
    [F/A Edit]
    Last edited by Unklescott; 09-26-2007 at 11:42 PM.

  9. #89
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    Red Sox Clinch A.L. East....Thank You Orioles aka "Fenway South"

  10. #90
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    Re: Baseball 2007

    So, I didn't pay much attention to baseball because this has been a weird summer. I just check scores and my Cubbies are the NL Central Champs!!!!
    Last edited by dagwood; 09-30-2007 at 06:28 PM.

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