November 25, 2003
Warren Spahn Dies
Schilling to the BoSox??
Alonzo Mourning Forced to Retire
Bill Cartwright Fired
Former Survivor New Host on The View
American Idol Christmas
SPAHN AND MORE SPORTS SHORTS
Yesterday, the great Warren Spahn passed away at his home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma at the age of 82. His career 363 wins are the most of any left-handed pitcher in major league history.
When I went to the Hall of Fame in 2001, Warren Spahn was there. Before that time, I had done some reading up on many of the Hall of Famers, especially those that were living and those that would be in attendance at the Induction Ceremony. That was when I realize just how good Warren Spahn was. Sure, I had heard the saying ďSpahn and Sain and pray for rain,Ē but what did it mean to me. Actually seeing him in person made it all so real. It made all of those great players real. (so yes, I would encourage everyone to go to a Hall of Fame Induction Weekend!)
But back to the career of Mr. Spahn. At the age of 21, two years after signing, Spahn made his major league debut with the Boston Braves in 1942. He was 0-0 with a 5.74 ERA in four games (2 starts). The next year, Spahn joined the Army and fought in World War II, specifically in the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
In 1946, at the age of 25, Spahn returned to the major leagues with the Braves. In 1947, he won 21 games and pitched 289 2/3 innings. From that season through the 1963 season, Spahn averaged 20 wins a season (over 17 seasons). He had thirteen 20 win seasons over that time frame and never had less than 14 wins. Each of those seasons, he completed more than half of the games he started and never pitched less than 245 innings in a season.
So, for his 21 year career, he ended with a record of 363-245 with 29 saves and an ERA of 3.09 (compared to the league average of 3.65).
∑ 14 All-Star games,
∑ 6 Top-10 finishes in MVP voting,
∑ 8 times led the league in wins,
∑ 4 times led the league in strikeouts
∑ 9 times in complete games
He wasnít overly dominant in terms of strikeouts. He only averaged a strike out every other inning for his career. He just won. That does mean something! He just won. He won more than any other left-handed pitcher in major league history. He is 6th overall in Major League history in Wins. Here are the Top 10:
1.) Cy Young - 511
2.) Walter Johnson - 417
3.) Grover Cleveland Alexander - 373
4.) Christy Matthewson - 373
5.) Pud Galvin - 364
6.) Warren Spahn - 363
7.) Kid Nichols - 361
8.) Tim Keefe - 342
9.) Steve Carlton - 329
10.) John Clarkson - 328
Aside from Steve Carlton, none of the others on this list were still playing when Spahn debuted in 1940. As a matter of fact, six of these players were done playing before Spahn was born, in 1921. The game was different pre-1930. I think that makes me appreciate the career of Warren Spahn even more.
If you have any questions or comments or stories or anything on Warren Spahn, please e-mail me.
Just a couple of quick notes. First, 47 year old lefty Jesse Orosco, who spent September with the Twins, signed yesterday with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Twins signed RHP Seth Greisinger last week to a minor league contract. He was highly thought of earlier in his career but has struggled. Heís basically a guy that has stuff that Iím sure the Twins are hoping will do well at AAA and maybe then contribute at the big league level. The Twins also signed former Cubs utility infielder, Augie Ojeda, and added him to the 40 man roster. Heís a career .196 hitter. But he will go to camp with a shot at replacing Denny Hocking.
Schilling to the BoSox???
ESPN is reporting that a deal has been worked out between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox. Curt Schilling could be headed to Boston in exchange for Casey Fossum and three minor league prospects. (OK, theyíre Boston ďprospectsĒ so are they really prospects? My apologies to the friends and families of Brandon Lyon, Jorge De La Rosa, and Michael Goss.)
The deal is done. There is just one set back; Schillingís No Trade Clause. Because that is part of his contract, he can say no. Schilling is set to make $12 million next season, with incentives that number could increase to $14 million. Schilling wants a contract extension beyond next season, and I can understand why. If he was to stay in Arizona, he would become a free agent at the end of next season and could chose to play wherever he wants. I assume one factor is that he wouldnít want to uproot his family for the 2004 season, with the possibility of moving again for the 2005 season. As he said, he might as well just stay in Arizona another year. Expect some resolution to this deal by the end of the week, maybe even before Thanksgiving.
Imagine the Red Sox rotation next season with Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Curt Schilling! Thatís pretty intimidating to anyone! They do need a lefty in the rotation though. HmmmÖ where could they get one of those?
How good was Schilling during the 2001 and 2002 seasons? Over that period, he was 45-13. In 516 innings, he walked just 72 while striking out 609 batters! Thatís pretty remarkable. He was just 8-9 last year due to an injury. Donít be fooled by the sub-.500 record, his ERA was 2.95. Heís still a very good pitcher!
There were rumors that this would be a three team trade, including the Brewers trading Richie Sexson to the Diamondbacks, but that appears to be on hold for now.
Now this is big stuff! I would think that in the week or two after Thanksgiving some of the other big names will start falling into place. And once that happens, the second-tier players will start signing more quickly!
Any thoughts on the Schilling Trade? Good for the Sox? Good for the D-Backs in any way? E-mail me.
Zo Forced to Retire
In one of the saddest stories I have read in a long time, Alonzo Mourning was forced to retire by his doctor from the game of basketball for good. Mourning was told that the kidney situation was just getting worse and worse and was actually being hurt even more by playing. The doctor told him that he couldnít wait the season out, he couldnít even play another couple of weeks. He will need a kidney transplant, soon!
He worked so hard and has kept himself so strong physically despite his physical ailments. When he decided to come back during the offseason, he was clearly in physical condition to play. Enough so that the New Jersey Nets signed him to a 4-year deal. There isnít a more fierce competitor (aside from the freakiness of Ron Artest) than Alonzo Mourning. He always played with that grimace. He always played mad. I think that gave him a bad name and people assumed he was a bad guy. I think that off the court, Mourning has proven himself to be one of the truly good people in the game of basketball.
My first thought though when I heard about this was that I really hope that Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson really feel terrible about the comments they made to and about Mourning and his kidney situation last week. Martin even got in the face of Mourning and the two had to be separated. I wish that some of these younger, tough-guy NBA players would just shut up and show even the slightest bit of respect for the players that played before them. And no, not just those like Oscar Robertson or Dr. J or Michael Jordan that have retired, but a guy like Alonzo Mourning who experienced so much success that had he remained healthy, itís scary to think how dominant he would be. Of course, Martin came from Cincinnati, so maybe thatís part of it.
Any thoughts on Mourning or this whole situation, send me an e-mail.
Bill Cartwright Fired by the Bulls
The team got off to a 4-10 start, so the Bulls management fired their head coach, Bill Cartwright. In my mind, it is unfortunate. Despite adding veterans such as Scottie Pippen and Kendall Gill, this teamís success is really based on the successes (and failures) of their youngsters. Jamal Crawford and Tyson Chandler both have missed games with injuries, and have been up and down when they have played. Eddy Curry isnít there yet. All that put together and Bill Cartwright becomes the fall guy.
The Bulls named Pete Myers their interim head coach. Of course, he is best remembered as being the guy to replace Michael Jordan at shooting guard for the Bulls the first time MJ retired. That didnít go so well for him. He was a journeyman as a player who later got into coaching with the Bulls. This is a chance for him to succeed. Hopefully heíll have a little more success and a longer tenure as their coach than he did as a player!
Any thoughts on the Bulls, the firing, or the choice of Pete Myers as the interim coach? Who will be the next Bulls coach? E-mail me.
Kentucky Law Mandates Bathing Once a Year
Iím sorry. Thatís not related to baseball or sports or anything that I normally write about. But that headline caught my attention. I just think itís funny. Check out the link because there are other very strange laws in Kentucky. One more example:
No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club. (later amended to include) ÖThe provisions of this statute shall not apply to females weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it apply to female horses.
Good to know! So, if youíre ever driving around in Kentucky and see a woman in a bikini walking along the road, be sure toÖ I donít knowÖ
FOOTBALL AND DAYTIME TV
Tim Hasselbeck played very well in relief of starter Patrick Ramsey in the Washington Redskins one-point loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night. Monday was a big day for his wife too.
You may remember Elisabeth (Filarski) Hasselbeck from Survivor: The Australian Outback. She and Tim were married the next year. Yesterday was her first day as a host on ABCís The View.
American Idol Christmas
And finally, donít forget to watch tonightís American Idol Christmas concert on Fox at 7 p.m. All of our favorites, from Kelly Clarkson to Clay Aiken to Ruben Studdard to the American Juniors will be participating. It should be great to watch, and you may even want to tape it!
Thatís it for today! Have a great Tuesday! Any questions or comments, send me an e-mail, and Iíll get back to you! Thanks!
Back to Archives Home