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June 5, 1996 | VINCE KOWALICK
Memories of watching the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., have never left Nathan Kaup, even though he and his family left the Midwest for California five years ago. Kaup, born in Sioux City, Iowa, and a former resident of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, recalls traveling with his family to Omaha each year to watch the climax of the college baseball season. Most vividly, Kaup recalls one year in which Oklahoma State rallied for a dramatic victory. "I was about 8 or 9, I guess," Kaup said.
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August 24, 2013 | By Tim Hubbard
Since the early days of fantasy baseball, sluggers like Dave Kingman were enticing to owners for their prodigious power and tape-measure home runs. But those who coveted the long ball more often than not got shortchanged when it came to batting average. Staff writer Tim Hubbard looks at a few current players who fall into that all-or-nothing category. Adam Dunn DH | Chicago White Sox Dunn cemented his spot in the power-pig hall of fame when he hit 41 home runs while batting just .204 last season.
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June 10, 1989 | CLAIRE SMITH, The Hartford Courant
The New York Mets may have bullied the Chicago Cubs and Rick Sutcliffe for 10 runs in one game this week. But when they fell back in form Thursday by losing to Chicago, 5-4, in 10 innings, they offered yet more proof that big-run games are more often teases than trends. Unlike the recent years gone by, the Mets' offensive tap has more often been off than on this season. Because it is, the Mets find themselves stumbling about in third place in the National League East, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs, who outscored the Mets, 33-21, in taking three of the four games in this series.
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July 21, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Mark Trumbo was hitting .270 with a .344 on-base percentage, .506 slugging percentage, 15 home runs and 45 runs batted in June 14, looking very much like a slugger who would garner his second consecutive All-Star berth. Then came a lengthy drought that assured that Trumbo, like all of his teammates not named Mike Trout , got four days off last week. The first baseman hit .173 (18 for 104) with a .216 OBP, .375 slugging percentage, six home runs and 12 RBIs in 27 games from June 15 through Friday, a slump that dropped his average to .242.
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December 6, 1991 | BOB NIGHTENGALE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Joe McIlvaine, Padre general manager, listens to the rumblings in the community. They grow louder and angrier by the day. While their counterparts in the National League West continue to strengthen themselves, the Padres have been stagnant. Instead of showing signs of distress, McIlvaine actually looks relaxed. It's almost as if he's bemused by everyone's concern.
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May 16, 1991 | BRENDAN HEALEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Pat Huston is playing too well to turn professional. Huston, Pierce College's sophomore third baseman, is neither a high-priced holdout nor a waffling two-sport standout, but he is in a pleasantly paradoxical situation. The more successful he and Pierce are now, the longer Huston's professional career is delayed. Having been drafted by the Chicago Cubs last June, Huston can turn pro when Pierce's season ends, but, thanks in large part to Huston, the Brahmas (23-13) are still in the playoffs.
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March 25, 1994 | JASON H. REID, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mike Brambilla stopped packing his bag and sat upright on the bench in front of his gym locker as he pondered the loaded question last season. Several members of the Brea-Olinda High baseball team asked Brambilla, their hot-hitting junior catcher, if he was going to hit a home run against Orange League archrival Valencia that day. Although Brambilla was swinging the bat well, he did not want to jinx himself with lofty predictions.
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August 12, 2011 | By Bill Shaikin
In an era of drug tests and amphetamine bans, when teams are starved for power, Russell Branyan can't find a decent job. Branyan took Mariano Rivera into the third deck at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, as a pinch-hitter. The Angels started him Friday, for the first time in 20 days. The Angels entered play ranking next-to-last in the American League in runs, with five home runs from their third basemen, and Branyan has played third base more than any other position in the major leagues.
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December 10, 2006 | Bill Plaschke, Bill Plaschke can be reached at bill.plaschke@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Plaschke, go to latimes.com/plaschke.
"Can you hear me?" Yes. "CAN YOU HEAR ME?" Um, yes, I can hear you. "Oh, oh, OK," Ned Colletti says. "Just walked out of the store with this new cellphone. I have no idea how it works." A new cellphone? "Cracked my old one in the Dominican Republic a couple of weeks ago," he says. "Kept it together during the winter meetings with Scotch tape." So buying a new one means you plan to keep pounding the tiny keys and looking for a giant bat? "If I can ever figure out how this thing works," he says.
SPORTS
February 13, 1988
Why are the Dodgers asking Tom Lasorda to play Pedro Guerrero at third base in 1988? Don't they remember three years ago when Guerrero showed what happens when you play a wedge of Swiss cheese, with lots of holes, at third base? The Dodgers should do what every other major league team has down with a power hitter who can't field: Play him at first base, trade him for a quality third baseman or wish you had the designated hitter rule. THOMAS D. FOURNIER Torrance
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May 5, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - Adrian Gonzalez emerged as one of the finest power hitters in baseball during his final four seasons with the San Diego Padres. He hit 30 home runs every year - and 40 one year - while playing in cavernous Petco Park. His days as that kind of power hitter are gone. BOX SCORE: San Francisco 4, Dodgers 3 That is not a whisper from an anonymous scout. That is the word from Gonzalez himself, who says he has been unable to recover the swing that made him an elite power hitter.
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August 12, 2011 | By Bill Shaikin
In an era of drug tests and amphetamine bans, when teams are starved for power, Russell Branyan can't find a decent job. Branyan took Mariano Rivera into the third deck at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, as a pinch-hitter. The Angels started him Friday, for the first time in 20 days. The Angels entered play ranking next-to-last in the American League in runs, with five home runs from their third basemen, and Branyan has played third base more than any other position in the major leagues.
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July 10, 2011 | By Dylan Hernandez
Perhaps for the first time this season, Andre Ethier looked like the power hitter he says he still considers himself to be. Ethier had his first multi-home run game this season in the Dodgers' 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday, hitting solo homers in the fifth and eighth innings. "I'm not going to say it isn't nice," Ethier said. The home runs were Ethier's eighth and ninth of the season. He was homerless in his previous 15 games. Ethier said recently that he hasn't felt entirely comfortable at the plate this season, something he reiterated Sunday.
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June 6, 2011 | By Mike DiGiovanna
The Angels did not let a little shoulder tear deter them from their top target in the first round of Monday's draft, using the 17th overall pick to select college slugger C.J. Cron . The 6-foot-4, 230-pound first baseman hit .434 with 15 home runs, 26 doubles and 59 runs batted in as a junior at Utah despite playing the entire season with a tear in his right (throwing) labrum. Cron, 21, said the injury "didn't affect my swing much," but when asked on a conference call if it would require surgery, Cron said, "Yeah, something will have to be done eventually.
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May 12, 2011 | Bill Dwyre
What you see now is what you are going to get from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The symmetry for their 2011 baseball season is now in place, whether they like it or not. Fittingly, they are in Texas for a three-game weekend series with the Rangers, who came of age in the American League West last season at the expense of the perennial playoff participant Angels. The Rangers went to the World Series and the Angels went home to watch on TV. They hadn't been postseason couch potatoes since 2006.
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August 6, 2010 | By Bill Shaikin
Vicente Padilla took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. That was not a big story, not this year. In April, Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the Colorado Rockies. On July 26, Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays, the fifth in the first four months of the season. The outbreak of no-hitters reflects a larger change in the national pastime. After an era in which the home run was celebrated above all, pitchers have gained the upper hand.
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May 10, 2008
I wish that Dodgers fans would show some class and not boo their own players for simply not performing to expectations. Remember, Andruw Jones is a power hitter who usually strikes out a lot. The hits will come, but he needs at-bats for it to happen. Let's be patient and save our boos for those who deserve them. D.G. Artis Woodland Hills This is supposed to be sacrilegious, based on what I've read from L.A. Times readers and people employed by The Times, but I really like Juan Pierre.
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February 4, 2006
So just to recap the Angels' off-season: After their starting five pitchers carried the team to a Western Division championship without any offensive help last year, two have been discarded and two are coming off major injuries. To "bolster" the staff, Bill Stoneman acquired a reliever who was hated in Minnesota. On the offensive side, not one power hitter has been acquired to protect Vlad. Their Gold Glove catcher and most clutch hitter is gone. Darin Erstad has no replacement if he gets hurt playing outfield.
SPORTS
May 10, 2008
I wish that Dodgers fans would show some class and not boo their own players for simply not performing to expectations. Remember, Andruw Jones is a power hitter who usually strikes out a lot. The hits will come, but he needs at-bats for it to happen. Let's be patient and save our boos for those who deserve them. D.G. Artis Woodland Hills This is supposed to be sacrilegious, based on what I've read from L.A. Times readers and people employed by The Times, but I really like Juan Pierre.
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April 10, 2007 | Bill Shaikin, Times Staff Writer
Dodgers fans might fret that their team has won one playoff game since 1988, but at least the Dodgers got to the playoffs last year. The Colorado Rockies got there in 1995, won one game, and that's their entire playoff history. They haven't finished within 10 games of first place in the National League West since 1997. And now for something completely different -- a new recipe on offense, and a chance to win too.
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