Tag:Babe Ruth
Posted on: January 7, 2009 4:59 pm

Teixeira Deal a Fitting Finale for Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees won yet another biding war against the Boston Red Sox when first-baseman Mark Teixeira agreed to an eight-year, $180 million contract in December. Teixeira was formally introduced to the press Tuesday and his Bronx debut was heralded as the last major event at Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium bows out after 85 years of memories. The Yankees clinched nine World Series titles at the Stadium, and it has also seen three perfect games (including Don Larson's gem in the 1956 World Series). It held arguably the two of the most memorable home runs in baseball history, with Babe Ruth's unprecedented 60th shot of the 1927 season, and Roger Maris' record-breaking 61th homer on the final day of the 1961 season.

Inspiring and saddening memories of Lou Gehrig delivering his "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" speech on Independence Day in 1939 and the game in August of 1979, held just hours after the team attended the funeral for Thurman Munson. Or, the three games of the 2001 World Series against the Diamondbacks, just six weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, complete with a ceremonial first pitch by President George W. Bush, accompanied by hundreds of members of the NYPD and FDNY.

So, after nearly a century of unforgettable memories in a ballpark that cost only $2.5 million to build, it seems only fitting that its last show will be the parade of a man paid $180 million to play baseball, right?

(If you hear the crickets too, you're not alone.)

Yankee Stadium is the forgotten partner of a long line of deals that have changed baseball. All of its history, all of its awe, is warped and distorted by the win-at-all-costs mentality that currently keeps the Yankee Machine afloat. While sports fans should, and in most cases would like to remember the Yankees for the history that is epitomized by The Stadium, the lasting impression of The House that Ruth Built will in fact bear little resemblance to anything that the Bambino did during his tenure in New York.

Yankee Stadium should be respected for its meaning, tradition and its importance in the history of baseball. Sadly, it has been crudely distorted.

Posted on: May 7, 2008 12:12 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2008 12:14 pm

Red Sox Recap 5-6-08

The Red Sox won their fifth straight game behind an excellent start by Tim Wakefield. Some thoughts on the game:

Tim Wakefield delivered his best start of the year thus far, throwing strikes early and often, and dominated the Tigers’ stagnant offense. The Tigers took an approach to Wakefield that the Rangers took earlier this year, as they swung early in the count and did not wait for Wakefield to throw too many pitches. In the game against the Rangers, Wakefield gave up eight hits and five runs, but the Tigers were much less effective making contact. Tonight was the only other night, besides the Rangers game, that he did not yield a walk. Even though his delivery does not change with runners on base, almost anyone can steal a base against him, and with the occasional passed ball, a runner on first who reached on a walk can easily come around to score without the opposing team recording a hit. Wakefield settled in and worked fast as he normally does, and retired at one point 16 straight Tigers. Wakefield lowered his ERA to 3.33, and now Josh Beckett (4.19 ERA) is the only starter with an ERA above 4.00. With the back end of the bullpen a little taxed, Wakefield’s eight innings were that much more helpful. It also allowed for a rare occurrence, as both pitchers for the Sox tonight were both over 41 years old, since Mike Timlin pitched a scoreless ninth for the Sox fourth shut-out this season.

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz went back-to-back in the seventh inning to provide most of the offense. Ramirez has been in a mini-slump, entering the game with just 5 hits in his last 32 at-bats. But, more importantly, he broke out of a bad power slump, as his home run was his first since April 20. A lot of players tend to be pressing when they get close to a milestone, and with Ramirez on the edge of one of the most historic milestones in all of baseball, he has been racking up the strikeouts with alarming frequency. Alex Rodriguez went through a similar funk last year as he approached 500 home runs, but after a week or so, the great players tend to get back in their groove. Ramirez had an excellent batting practice session today, and the home run capped a very good offensive night. It is very encouraging to see Ortiz drive the ball with explosive force, and his home run was likely between 440 and 450 feet. He has been given a few days off over the past few weeks, and he has responded well going 11-25 (.440) with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI over his last six games. Since he really seems to be having trouble with his knee, look for him to be given more frequent off days, especially after Sean Casey comes back off of the disabled list, which he is eligible to do on Friday. Also, Ramirez and Ortiz have now hit home runs in the same game an astonishing 45 times in their career with the Red Sox, and seeing as they have only played together for a little over five seasons, that number is even more impressive. Not only are they the “gold standard,” as ESPN commentator Joe Morgan refers to them, for productive 3-4 hitters in the game today, but they may be the best of all time.

The Sox entered the Tigers series with a very surprising statistic: they had had as many home runs as they did stolen bases (26). The Sox also recorded two stolen bases in one game recently, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the only time such an event has occurred for the Sox for at least the last 50 years. With Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, and Julio Lugo, the Sox may have more speed now than they ever have, and we would have to go back to the 1910s-1920s with Sox teams that included Hall of Famers like Tris Speaker. If he starts to play more regularly, Ellsbury may break Tommy Harper’s club record of 54 steals. But, if not this year, then the Sox may as well already begin penciling in Ellsbury’s name.

There was a poll on today's recap about where Ramirez and Ortiz stand in history in terms of 3-4 combinations. 
I'll throw some other combos out there to keep in mind:

Look for this recap after tomorrow’s game as the Sox try to make it three straight against the Tigers. (To view all previous recaps, follow this link.)

Obviously, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth.

Willie Mays and Willie McCovey

Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. (although Maris did not sustain the numbers that Mantle did)

Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons

Hank Aaron and Eddie Matthews (hold the record for most times two players for the same team hit a home run in the same game, 75)

Fred Lynn and Jim Rice

These are just a few, to get the juices flowing...(no pun intended)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com