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.
January 28, 2013 |
The Dodgers officially announced their new television contract with Time Warner Cable on Monday, with the team-owned "SportsNet LA" channel starting in 2014. The deal, pending the approval of Major League Baseball and the possible intervention of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, covers 25 years and is believed to be worth between $7 billion and $8 billion to the team. The Dodgers declined to comment beyond prepared statements that did not say what non-Dodgers programming the channel might carry, sports or otherwise.
September 21, 2013 |
As the calendar turned to September, with the Oakland Athletics in the heat of a pennant race, their general manager was half a world away. Billy Beane was in Prague, and not on a scouting trip. Baseball's most unconventional operation has done it again. The A's will be crowned champions of the American League West for the second consecutive year, perhaps Sunday. Beane has run the A's for 16 years. Oakland is about to win the AL West for the sixth time in his tenure. The Angels have won five times in that span, the Texas Rangers four times, the Seattle Mariners once.
June 5, 2011 |
Last December, Bobby Wilson married a woman he met in 2004 while playing minor league baseball in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. But the Angels' reserve catcher readily admits she was not his first love. Wilson wistfully recalled that his first soul mate had a nice tan, leathery skin and a musky scent he found intoxicating. The two were inseparable for five years. And his wife isn't even jealous. That's because the object of Wilson's affection was a Rawlings infielder's mitt he got when he was 5 years old. "I don't think that glove left my side for five years," says Wilson, 28. "I carried it to school with me. As soon as we got home, we played baseball until dinner.
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.
February 16, 2013 |
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Fear not, Angels fans. Mike Trout assures you he is not fat. Yes, the 21-year-old outfielder reported to spring training at 241 pounds, about 10 to 15 pounds more than he weighed in 2012 and five pounds heavier than slugger Albert Pujols , who checked in at 236. And, yes, with his thick neck and muscular build, the reigning American League rookie of the year looks more like an NFL fullback than a major league leadoff hitter,...
August 21, 2013 |
Glenn Burke was just doing what came naturally. Dusty Baker's home run blast to left field on the last day of the regular season, Oct. 2, 1977, was history-making. It was his 30th, meaning the Dodgers became the first team to have four players hit 30 home runs in a season. As Baker rounded third to the roar of the Dodger Stadium crowd, Burke, a rookie outfielder, ran from the on-deck circle, jumped up and gave Baker an over-the-head hand-slap in celebration. And, the high-five was born.
October 10, 2013 |
ST. LOUIS - Mark McGwire is family here. No one saw that coming, not at the beginning. The St. Louis Cardinals rented him for the pennant stretch in 1997, and surely the California kid would serve out his two months, then go home in free agency. He stayed, for the rest of his career. He electrified the city, home run after home run after record-breaking home run. In 2001, when he could no longer play, he walked away from the Cardinals, and from the $30 million they had guaranteed him. In 2010, when he admitted he had used steroids, St. Louis gave him a big hug and welcomed him back to the Cardinals, this time as the hitting coach.
August 1, 2012 |
Didn't spot it at first outside the place where Jackie Robinson grew up, where he learned to run, threw oranges from neighbors' trees, first fired a baseball under the tutelage of three older brothers, one of whom would star in the most famous Olympics of all. Didn't spot it till it was mentioned by Robinson's sister-in-law Delano, who still lives in that same working-class area between the Rose Bowl and John Muir High. "Did you see the plaque?" she asked. Well, no, even looking for it. Maybe not for a plaque exactly, but something designating this as one of the most historic streets in America.
February 15, 2013 |
PHOENIX - His face is shadowed under an oversized baseball cap. His gaze is often averted to the ceiling or floor. His handshake is distant, his voice is small, his sentences trail off into awkward silence. The first impression of Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke is that, despite having just signed a $147-million deal with a team in baseball's second-largest market, he simply wants to run away and hide. It is a daily act of courage that he does not. "I didn't think there was anything wrong with me," he said Friday.