— Dodgers 14, Angels 11:
Dodgers led 13-0 in the top of the 6th; after seven innings, it was 14-11, but the Angels didn’t get a baserunner in the last two innings, as they fall to 14-18.
— No major league team has ever won a game after trailing by 13+ runs; three teams have won after trailing by 12 runs— those games were in 1911, 1925, and 2001, a Mariners-Indians game in Cleveland.
— Speaking of Cleveland, there have been five no-hitters already this season; Zach Plesac of the Indians was the losing pitcher in two of them.
— To me, the 7-inning no-hitter thrown by Madison Bumgarner counts, since the game was scheduled for seven innings, and he didn’t allow any hits. Put an asterisk next to it in the record book, but its a freakin’ no-hitter.
— Dodgers lost seven of their last nine games; they scored 16-14 runs in the two wins.
— Saturday was May 8th, the 53rd anniversary of the perfect game Catfish Hunter threw in Oakland, the A’s first season there. I was 8 years old back then, in third grade; remember waking up the next morning and seeing a note about the perfect game next to my lunch.
My third grade teacher was probably confused as to why this skinny kid with glasses was babbling about a baseball game 3,000 miles away all day long.
— The perfect game was against Minnesota; Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew. Some good bats in that lineup. He struck out 11 guys in a game that was scoreless after six innings; Catfish also drove in three of Oakland’s four runs that night. The DH was still five years away.
— Crowd was 6,298 that night; some things never change.
— Rick Monday was the A’s CF that night; 53 years later, he is the Dodgers’ radio announcer.
— You may wonder how I became an A’s fan; or maybe you don’t wonder why, but I’m going to explain it anyway.
I got baseball cards as gifts when I was a kid; I loved baseball cards, and I’d read all of them, front and back. Rookie cards had four prospects from the same team on them; their minor league stats were on the back.
Growing up in upstate New York, 15o miles north of New York City, there weren’t many fans of out-of-town teams here back then. No internet, no ESPN, just newspapers and once a week, the Sporting News.
When I was five, I’m reading thru my baseball cards, and one card had four guys on it, but one of the guys didn’t have any minor league stats on the back— he had been shot in a hunting accident and never played minor league ball. They also spelled his name wrong on the card.
Walked into the living room and announced to my dad, “This guy is my favorite player, and this is my favorite team” Jim Hunter of the Kansas City A’s; what were the odds that this guy with no minor league stats would become a Hall of Famer?
At that point, my dad just looked at me like, “You’re a weird kid” He had grown up in Brooklyn, was a huge Brooklyn Dodger fan and then had converted to the Mets. I learned very early never to mention the Los Angeles Dodgers; he wasn’t fond of the O’Malley family, who had bolted out of Brooklyn with the Dodgers, taking them west.
So anyway, baseball has always been a big part of my life; with that in mind, here are some ideas I have about baseball’s future.
— Geographic realignment: Baseball needs more rivalry games, so we re-align geographically.
— Expansion— To make up the money baseball lost last year, they’re going to add two teams, lets say Nashville and Montreal. Eight teams in a division, four divisions.
Division A: both New York teams, Red Sox, Phillies, Orioles, Nationals, Montreal, Toronto
Division B: both Chicago teams, Reds, Indians, Tigers, Brewers, Twins, Pirates
Division C: Braves, Astros, Royals, Marlins, Nashville, Cardinals, Rays, Rangers
Division D: Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mariners and the five California teams.
— Travel costs would be less, attendance would go up because of more rivalry games
— They could have two All-Star games, pitting the four divisions against each other. More TV money, that usually makes the owners say yes to an idea.
— As far as changes to the actual rules:
a) get rid of 7-inning doubleheaders. Bad idea.
b) I’ve softened on the extra inning rule; I don’t care either way, as long as the players like it. My preference would be back to the old way of extra innings, but either way would be fine.
c) Universal DH for everyone is a must. No one wants to see pitchers bat.
d) Ban shifts; two infielders on each side of the infield.
e) All four infielders should be on the infield dirt, not in the outfield.
This would create more line drive hits, more action. Action is a good thing.
— I’d suggest a salary cap, but I don’t want to get too crazy. Have a nice day.