Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Win a Free Copy of Out of the Park Baseball 18

Out of the Park Baseball 18 will soon be released and once again the fine people from Out of the Park Developments are allowing me to give away a free early release copy of the game. Last year we had a blast reading the submissions from Out of the Park Baseball fans on what type of dynasty they would begin if they won a copy of the game. This year's contest is much more straight forward and very fitting considering some of the new features of Out of the Park Baseball 18.

The contest this year will focus on the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO. I have yet to go but it is definitely on my bucket list.

In case you haven't heard, Out of the Park Baseball 18 will now feature the data base for the Negro Leagues. You can check out more details about that feature right here.

So how can you win a free copy of the game? By simply getting the word out about the Negro League Baseball Museum. How do you do that? Simple. Go to my twitter page and look for this tweet pinned to my profile:

Simply retweet that tweet and follow @nlbmprez. and you will be eligible to win a free copy of Out of the Park Baseball 18. Happy re-tweeting and good luck.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Genius of Ronald Reagan the Baseball Broadcaster

Long before Ronald Reagan became President of the United States he was a baseball radio broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs.

Reagan worked for radio station WHO out of Des Moines, Iowa and one day his Western Union telegraph feed stopped working making it impossible for him to update his listeners on the game. So what did Reagan do? Here is Reagan describing the situation that John Thorn wrote about in his blog:

"There were several other stations broadcasting that game and I knew I’d lose my audience if I told them we’d lost our telegraph connections so I took a chance. I had Billy Jurges hit another foul. Then I had him foul one that only missed being a home run by a foot. I had him foul one back in the stands and took up some time describing the two lads that got in a fight over the ball. I kept on having him foul balls until I was setting a record for a ballplayer hitting successive foul balls and I was getting more than a little scared. Just then my operator started typing. When he passed me the paper I started to giggle — it said: “Jurges popped out on the first ball pitched.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dwight Evans and Cooperstown: A New Hope

"Dewey or Don't He? Thank God He Does!" was written on a sign being held up by a fan at Fenway Park during the 1990 season. It was perfect because it always felt like Dewey came through when the Sox needed him most.

If you are a Red Sox fan over the age of 40, chances are the real #24 in your heart for the Boston Red Sox belongs to Dwight Evans. Evans is arguably the greatest right fielder in Red Sox history, but will he ever get into the Hall of Fame?

 Dwight Evans appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot three times. In 1997 he received just over 5% of the vote barely hanging on to be on the 1998 ballot where he received his highest number of votes at just under 11%. 1999 would be his last year on the ballot as he received just 3.8% of the votes. While most feel his very slim chances of induction died in 1999, some feel the Veteran's Committee could vote him in. ESPN Senior Writer David Schoenfield is one of those people. Schoenfield wrote a piece for ESPN where her predicted each HOF classes through the year 2045. He predicts Evans will make his way to Cooperstown in the year 2023 along with Jeff Kent. Schoenfield writes this about Evans and his Hall of Fame chances:

 Dwight Evans? OK, let's talk Dwight Evans. Criminally underrated. Better in his 30s than his 20s, he wasn't viewed as a future Hall of Famer while active. Won eight Gold Gloves, with one of the strongest right-field arms you'll ever see. More runs scored than Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, Barry Larkin or Andre Dawson. More RBIs than Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza, Duke Snider or Roberto Clemente. A higher career WAR than Dawson, Snider, Dave Winfield, Billy Williams, Willie Stargell or Jim Rice, just to name a few Hall of Fame outfielders who have been elected by the BBWAA. There's a sound sabermetric case for him.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Foulke You! Remembering the Good and the Bad of Keith Foulke

The 2003 season made it clear that the Red Sox needed to upgrade their pitching. They did just that in the offseason acquiring Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke. The closer by committee theory was dead as Keith Foulke was now the closer.

 Foulke was good in the regular season in 2004 but he was great in the postseason. The Red Sox don't win it all without him yet when Sox fans call out the heroes of that postseason he is often forgotten. Foulke pitched 14 innings in the 2004 postseason, gave up 7 hits, struck out 19 batters and only gave up 1 run. He finished 8 games in that postseason including all four World Series games. The final out of Game 4 will live on forever. Here is the clip.

The 2005 season for Foulke wasn't a good one. His ERA ballooned to 5.32. It all came crashing down on June 28th against the Indians. The Red Sox had an 8-5 lead going into the 8th inning. Foulke entered the game with one out in the 8th inning and over the next inning and two-thirds he would give up four hits and five runs. The Red Sox would go on to lose 12-8. You can view the boxscore here.

It was a bad night in what was a tough start to the season for Foulke. He was booed off the mound which led to this quote which would only make his stay in Boston tougher:

"I'm more embarrassed to walk into this locker room and look at the faces of my teammates than I am to walk out and see Johnny from Burger King booing me."-Foulke

He made Johnny from Burger King famous. Foulke would never be the same but it doesn't take away what he did in 2004.

Feeling nostalgic for that 2004 Red Sox team I started a 2004 season on Out of the Park Baseball. I am taking the role of Tito Francona to see if I can lead those idiots to the World Series title. 

Opening Day didn't go as planned especially for Keith Foulke. Can you imagine if this is how he started his career with the Red Sox? Below is the write up of the simulated game. All that was missing was a great quote from Foulke.

Boston Red Sox (0-1)000000110280
Baltimore Orioles (1-0)01001002X490

The Baltimore Orioles ushered in the 2004 season with a win versus the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The final score was 4-2. Starting Pitcher Sidney Ponson was named player of the game. Baltimore reliever Todd Williams picked up the win, bumping his record to 1-0.

Keith Foulke was collared with the loss. Baltimore took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, catcher Javy Lopez hit a solo home run that set the crowd abuzz.

 "We cashed in when we had the chance," said Baltimore manager .

J. Damon CF5000003.00000
B. Mueller 3B5000020.00000
D. Ortiz DH4121000.50011
M. Ramirez LF4020010.50000
N. Garciaparra SS3121111.66711
T. Nixon RF4010004.25000
K. Millar 1B3000101.00000
J. Varitek C4010003.25000
M. Bellhorn 2B3000113.00000
Doubles: J. Varitek (1, 2nd Inning off S. Ponson, 0 on, 1 out) T. Nixon (1, 4th Inning off S. Ponson, 0 on, 0 outs)
Home Runs: D. Ortiz (1, 7th Inning off S. Ponson, 0 on, 2 outs) N. Garciaparra(1, 8th Inning off M. DeJean, 0 on, 0 outs)
Total Bases: J. Varitek 2 , M. Ramirez 2 , D. Ortiz 5 , T. Nixon 2 , N. Garciaparra5
2-out RBI: D. Ortiz
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: M. Bellhorn , T. Nixon , J. Damon 2
Team LOB: 7

Double Plays: 2 (Bellhorn-Garciaparra-Millar, Bellhorn-Garciaparra-Millar)
B. Roberts 2B3000112.00000
L. Bigbie LF4021002.50001
M. Mora 3B4000013.00000
J. Lopez C2111210.50011
M. Tejada SS4121001.50011
R. Palmeiro 1B4121002.50011
L. Matos CF4000012.00000
J. Gibbons RF4010011.25000
D. Newhan DH2110111.50000
Doubles: L. Bigbie (1, 5th Inning off P. Martinez, 1 on, 2 outs) R. Palmeiro (1, 8th Inning off K. Foulke, 0 on, 1 out)
Home Runs: M. Tejada (1, 8th Inning off K. Foulke, 0 on, 1 out) R. Palmeiro (1, 2nd Inning off P. Martinez, 0 on, 2 outs) J. Lopez (1, 8th Inning off K. Foulke, 0 on, 1 out)
Total Bases: L. Bigbie 3 , M. Tejada 5 , R. Palmeiro 6 , D. Newhan , J. Lopez 4 , J. Gibbons
2-out RBI: L. Bigbie , R. Palmeiro
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: L. Bigbie , M. Mora 2 , L. Matos , J. Gibbons
GIDP: M. Tejada , R. Palmeiro
Team LOB: 7

SB: D. Newhan (1)
P. Martinez7.1622451123732.45
K. Foulke L (0-1)0.2322012181027.00
Game Score: P. Martinez 59
Batters Faced: P. Martinez 30, K. Foulke 5
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: P. Martinez 9-6, K. Foulke 0-1
Pitches - Strikes: P. Martinez 123-73, K. Foulke 18-10 
S. Ponson7.0711331111701.29
M. DeJean BS (1)0.0111001110.00
J. Parrish0.1000000220.00
T. Williams W (1-0)0.2000000950.00
B. Ryan SV (1)1.000002015100.00
Game Score: S. Ponson 59
Batters Faced: S. Ponson 31, M. DeJean 1, J. Parrish 1, T. Williams 2, B. Ryan 3
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: S. Ponson 14-4, M. DeJean 0-0, J. Parrish 1-0, T. Williams 2-0, B. Ryan 0-1
Pitches - Strikes: S. Ponson 111-70, M. DeJean 1-1, J. Parrish 2-2, T. Williams 9-5, B. Ryan 15-10 
Player of the Game: Sidney Ponson
Ballpark: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Weather: Clear skies (46 degrees), wind blowing in from center at 10 mph
Start Time: 7:05 pm EST
Time: 2:42
Attendance: 48507