July 13, 2012 |
Billy Hamilton shifted his weight from one foot to the other, a little bit of a dance solo as he stared at the pitcher. He wanted to run. Billy Hamilton always wants to run. It was the bottom of the ninth inning of a scoreless tie and he had already stolen second and third base. Now he could almost feel the pull of home plate. The batter popped up weakly; the second baseman retreated slightly to make an easy over-the-shoulder catch. That's when Hamilton improbably broke for home, scoring the winning run without a tag. "I'd never seen that one before," said Bakersfield Blaze Manager Ken Griffey, who has been in professional baseball for almost 40 years.
May 29, 2013 |
The last we saw of Jered Weaver, the Angels ace was corkscrewing his lanky 6-foot-7, 210-pound frame into the mound at Texas on April 7, his left elbow buckling as he hit the ground to avoid a wicked line drive off the bat of Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland. Weaver was considerably more upright Wednesday night, standing tall and sturdy on the Angel Stadium mound in his first game back after missing seven weeks because of a left elbow fracture. A 20-game winner last season, Weaver gave the Angels a huge shot in the arm, yielding one run and five hits, striking out seven and walking none in six innings of a 4-3 victory over the Dodgers.
October 4, 2013 |
Albert Pujols wasn't bluffing. The Angels slugger followed through on his threat of legal action, filing a defamation lawsuit Friday in Missouri against Jack Clark for his accusation that Pujols used performance-enhancing drugs. In the suit, Pujols accuses Clark of disseminating "malicious, reckless and outrageous falsehoods" about him, and says Clark's accusations were "an outrageous ploy to generate attention and ratings" for Clark's new sports-radio talk show. Clark, whose show began airing on WGNU in St. Louis early in August, based his accusation on conversations he said he had with Chris Mihlfeld, Pujols' former personal trainer.
November 2, 2013 |
Unless Clayton Kershaw signs a new contract with the Dodgers, he will become a free agent at the end of the 2014 season - something he admitted to being curious about Saturday. "I think any player, that's the reward of baseball, to make it to that point," Kershaw said. "I think any player gets curious when you get close, for sure. " That doesn't mean Kershaw will ever test the open market. Co-owner Magic Johnson said last month that he was confident the Dodgers and Kershaw would come to an agreement on a multiyear deal this winter.
October 26, 2013 |
Nobody wants the party to stop after two consecutive title parades, so you do what you can to keep the confetti on back order. Sometimes it means surrounding your passel of superstars with a veteran beset by questionable knees and a forward who, despite his athletic upside, just doesn't seem to get it. Miami's Greg Oden and Michael Beasley? Well, yes, but it was also the means to a championship for the 2001-02 Lakers, the last NBA team to win a third consecutive title. Those Lakers added Mitch Richmond and Samaki Walker to the core that had partied at 11th and Figueroa the previous two summers.
November 11, 2013 |
ORLANDO, Fla. - When the general managers' meetings started Monday, the Dodgers and Angels still didn't know if or when one of their primary targets, Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, would be available this off-season. Some clarity on the issue is expected in the coming days. Japanese baseball officials are reportedly close to agreeing on a new set of rules governing the transfer of players from their professional league to the majors. The later the new rules are implemented, the later Tanaka will be auctioned, and teams such as the Dodgers and Angels could be forced to decide whether to delay their pursuit of other rotation candidates while waiting for him to become available.
September 11, 2013 |
Like many great romances, Major League Baseball's love affair with AstroTurf was born in experimentation, applied in desperation and appreciated best in moderation. Now comes its expiration. After five decades in which artificial grass was often as ubiquitous - and in some places as loathed - as the designated hitter, professional baseball is going natural. Where once a dozen stadiums featured faux fields, this season there are only two: Toronto's Rogers Centre, where the Angels will finish a three-game series Thursday, and Florida's Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.
October 19, 2013 |
ST. LOUIS - As reality was starting to sink in that the Dodgers had been eliminated, Adrian Gonzalez consoled himself with the idea that he should soon get another chance to reach the World Series. "We're definitely going to have the team again next year," Gonzalez said. Hanley Ramirez is under contract for another year. Clayton Kershaw won't be eligible for free agency until after next season. Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Zack Greinke, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford have multiple years remaining on their contracts.
October 22, 2013 |
BOSTON - As the Boston Red Sox boarded their buses and headed to the airport, they had a sense this season could be something special. They had just swept the Tampa Bay Rays. The season was barely two weeks old, but a team that finished last season in last place had started this one in first place. As the buses rolled along the streets of Boston, word spread among the players that something bad had happened. Something about the marathon. But cellphone service had been interrupted, and the team flight took off for Cleveland before the players were fully informed.
October 15, 2013 |
A guide to baseball's odd and endearing nomenclature, for those who watch the game only in October: Pitchers' duel: Low-scoring game where pitchers are so dominant that it renders the other players (and fans) inconsequential. Considered by many to be the highest form of baseball. Slugfest: Opposite of pitchers' duel, where lots of runs are scored. Snoozefest: See "pitchers' duel. " Seventh-inning stretch: Point at which fans attempt to stand after consuming too much oink.