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National Pastime Archive: July 2008


  • Deadline Day deals analysis

    So let me get this straight: A 600-home run hitter, a member of the 500-home run club who also happens to be a former World Series MVP and a two-time All-Star change teams in the last few hours before the trade deadline? That's what I like to hear! Normally the trade deadline is a letdown, with plenty of talk but little action. Not this year. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 31 2008

  • KILL - Amateur Hour - Stars shine on Cape

    Team USA geared up for the Beijing Olympics, while College World Series MVP Tommy Mendonca of Fresno State and his National Team teammates finished up a perfect summer by beating Japan to take their third straight FISU title. Meanwhile, some of the brightest stars in college baseball showcased their skills in the Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game. By Tom Stad. Published July 31 2008

  • KILL - I've been everywhere, man

    Well, maybe not everywhere, but a whole lot of places. The ballpark is pretty much my favorite place to be. I enjoy everything about it - the atmosphere, the food, the action on the field, being outdoors on a pleasant summer evening ... I could go on and on. Combine all that with the fact that I also like road trips, and the end result is that I've been to a ton of different major league and minor league parks during my 28-plus years on this planet. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 31 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Gorkys Hernandez, Atlanta Braves

    Gorkys Hernandez is just 20 years old but has already put together an impressive resume, earning Gulf Coast League Post-Season All-Star honors in 2006 and Midwest League Post-Season All-Star and MVP honors last season. The speedy Venezuelan, who was acquired by the Braves along with right-hander Jair Jurrjens last fall in the deal that sent Edgar Renteria to the Tigers, has also appeared in the past two Futures Games. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 31 2008

  • Cooperstown Bound? - Mark McGwire

    "I'm not here to talk about the past." Those now-famous words spoken by one-time home run king Mark McGwire at a congressional hearing for reform radically changed public opinion of him and led many to believe he took performance-enhancing drugs. His refusal to directly answer questions about his alleged steroid use that day was taken as an admission of guilt by fans, the media, and most importantly for this column, Hall of Fame voters. By Nick Leco. Published July 30 2008

  • KILL - Cooperstown Bound? - Mark McGwire

    "I'm not here to talk about the past." Those now-famous words spoken by one-time home run king Mark McGwire at a congressional hearing for reform radically changed public opinion of him and led many to believe he took performance-enhancing drugs. His refusal to directly answer questions about his alleged steroid use that day was taken as an admission of guilt by fans, the media, and most importantly for this column, Hall of Fame voters. By Nick Leco. Published July 29 2008

  • My Five: Superbad Awards

    The Oscars, the Grammys and the VMAs are all among the most watched TV events every year. As you know by now, I'm a man of the people if nothing else so I've decided to hand out a trophy of my own this week - the Superbad Award! Despite being named in honor of last year's best comedy, this award is no joke. The concept is simple - he who will best channel their inner McLovin' and forever stamp their footprint on this season, wins. By Sean Raposa. Published July 29 2008

  • KILL - My Five: Superbad Awards

    The Oscars, the Grammys and the VMAs are all amongst the most watched TV events every year. As you know by now, I'm a man of the people if nothing else so I've decided to hand out a trophy of my own this week - the Superbad Award! Despite being named in honor of last year's best comedy, this award is no joke. The concept is simple - who will best channel their inner McLovin' and forever stamp their footprint on this season? By Sean Raposa. Published July 28 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Nick Weglarz, Cleveland Indians

    Growing up in Ontario, Nick Weglarz looked up to the Expos' Larry Walker and later the Twins' Justin Morneau because they were Canadians who rode their sweet left-handed strokes to big league stardom. Now that Weglarz is following in the footsteps of his countrymen as a top prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, kids in the land up north may soon be looking up to him for the very same reasons. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 28 2008

  • Nationals' Alaniz ahead of schedule

    Adrian Alaniz has never been highly regarded in prospect circles, primarily because his fastball only reaches the high 80s. However, the fact is that 249 players were selected before the Nats took Alaniz in the eighth round of the 2007 draft, and one year later, the 24-year-old righty is further along in his journey to the big leagues than all but a select few of them. He's gone 17-5 as a pro and reached double-A well ahead of schedule by mixing his four pitches, changing speeds and hitting the corners. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 26 2008

  • Amateur Hour - Team USA; Cape stars

    With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, Team USA finalized its roster and learned which national squads will stand in the way of its quest for a gold medal. Meanwhile, the Cape Cod Baseball League chose its All-Stars and Home Run Derby participants and the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee met to discuss ways to speed up play. Read about all that and more in this week's Amateur Hour. By Tom Stad. Published July 25 2008

  • KILL - Prospect Q&A - Beau Mills, Indians

    Indians prospect Beau Mills - son of former Expos infielder and current Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills - grew up around baseball, and when you watch him play, it's obvious he was paying attention. Scouts rave about Mills' makeup and his feel for the game, and he understands the level of dedication needed to succeed in pro ball. Better yet, the 6' 2", 220 pounder can mash with the best of 'em. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 24 2008

  • KILL - Prospect Q&A - Nick Weglarz, Indians

    Growing up in Ontario, Nick Weglarz looked up to the Montreal Expos' Larry Walker and later the Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau because they were Canadians who rode their sweet left-handed strokes to big league stardom. Now that Weglarz is following in his countrymen's footsteps as a top prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization, kids in the land up north may soon be looking up to him for the very same reasons. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 24 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

    Jordan Zimmermann wasn't even on the prospect radar just a few short years ago. But since the Nats made him a second-round pick in June 2007, the 22-year-old righty has breezed through their minor league system, befuddling hitters every step of the way and recently earning Mid-Season All-Star honors in the double-A Eastern League. His next promotion could be to the big league club, and it could come soon. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 24 2008

  • KILL - Nats' Alaniz ahead of schedule

    Adrian Alaniz has never been highly regarded in prospect circles, primarily because his fastball only reaches the high 80s. However, the fact is that 249 players were selected before the Nats took Alaniz in the eighth round of the 2007 draft, and one year later, the 24-year-old righty is further along in his journey to the big leagues than all but a few of them. He's reached double-A well ahead of schedule by mixing his four pitches, changing speeds and hitting the corners. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 24 2008

  • KILL - Prospect Q&A - Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

    It's hard to believe now, but Jordan Zimmermann wasn't even on the prospect radar just a few short years ago. But in just a little over a year since the Nationals made him a second-round pick out of Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the 22-year-old righty has breezed through Washington's minor league system, befuddling hitters every step of the way. His next promotion could be to the big league club, and it could come soon. By Jay LeBlanc. Published July 23 2008

  • Cooperstown Bound? - Alan Trammell

    The 1984 Detroit Tigers will go down as one of the great teams of all-time. But while there were many stars on that World Series-winning squad, so far none of them are in the Hall of Fame; the only member of that team who currently has a plaque in Cooperstown is the manager, Sparky Anderson. We have already outlined ace Jack Morris' case for the Hall of Fame. This week we'll take a look at the player with perhaps the next best case for induction, shortstop Alan Trammell. By Nick Leco. Published July 23 2008

  • KILL - Cooperstown Bound? - Alan Trammell

    The 1984 Detroit Tigers will go down as one of the great teams of all-time. But while there were many stars on that World Series-winning squad, so far none of them are in the Hall of Fame; the only member of that team who currently has a plaque in Cooperstown is the manager, Sparky Anderson. We have already outlined ace Jack Morris' case for the Hall of Fame. This week we'll take a look at the player with perhaps the next best case for induction, shortstop Alan Trammell. By Nick Leco. Published July 22 2008

  • My Five - Financial blunders

    While watching the Angels sweep the defending champion Red Sox this past weekend, the presence of the Halos' brilliant free agent acquisition, Torii Hunter, stood out. So it got me to thinking: Who are the anti-Toriis, and shouldn't I bash them a little since My Five has been a love-fest for eight weeks? The answers: There are plenty to choose from, and absolutely. Let the roast begin. By Sean Raposa. Published July 22 2008

  • KILL - My Five - Financial blunders

    While watching the Angels sweep the defending champion Red Sox this past weekend, the presence of the Halos' brilliant free agent acquisition, Torii Hunter, stood out. So it got me to thinking: Who are the anti-Toriis who would leave the Guinness guys speechless, and shouldn't I bash them a little since My Five has been a love-fest for eight weeks? The answers: There are plenty to choose from, and absolutely. Let the roast begin. By Sean Raposa. Published July 21 2008