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National Pastime Archive: June 2008


  • Devaluing the Kid?

    In case you missed it, Ken Griffey Jr. slugged his 600th career home run on Monday, becoming just the sixth player to reach that mark. Why do I get the feeling that this great moment in baseball history has been, well, rather downplayed? By Nick Leco. Published June 15 2008

  • First-day surprises in Omaha

    Imagine a world where black is white, up is actually down, left is right and so on. Everyone at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha must have felt that way yesterday after the first two games of the College World Series. By Tom Stad. Published June 15 2008

  • College World Series preview

    It all comes down to this. College baseball's best have battled all season for the right to compete for the national championship at Omaha's historic Rosenblatt Stadium. With the first pitch just hours away, National Pastime college baseball writer Tom Stad profiles the Elite Eight squads that still harbor hopes of making history. Published June 14 2008

  • KILL - College World Series preview

    It all comes down to this. College baseball's best have battled all season for the right to compete for the national championship at Omaha's historic Rosenblatt Stadium. With the first pitch just hours away, National Pastime college baseball writer Tom Stad profiles the Elite Eight squads who still harbor hopes of making history. Published June 13 2008

  • Catching up with Randy Tomlin

    Randy Tomlin didn't have overpowering stuff, but he got the most out of his abilities as a left-handed starter with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early '90s. Now, as pitching coach of the advanced Class A Potomac Nationals, he's helping some of Washington's best young prospects do the same. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 13 2008

  • PUBLISHED - Prospect Q&A - John Ely, White Sox

    As the Chicago White Sox slumped toward their eventual 70-92 record last summer, the team realized it would need an influx of good young pitching to compete in the A.L. Central going forward and took pitchers with their first six picks in last June's MLB draft. With three big-league caliber pitches in his repertoire and outstanding command, third-rounder John Ely looks like he'll be ready to help the big league club sooner rather than later. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 12 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - John Shelby III, Chicago White Sox

    John Shelby III spent a lot of time around big leaguers as a kid, and when you watch him play, it's obvious he kept his eyes and ears open. The son former major league outfielder John Shelby brings solid baseball instincts and a good work ethic to the park each day in addition to his wide array of skills. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 12 2008

  • Cooperstown Bound? - Omar Vizquel

    The mention of Omar Vizquel's name does not immediately invoke thoughts of a plaque in Cooperstown, but a closer look at his numbers and accomplishments indicates that the 11-time Gold Glover may in fact be Hall of Fame material. By Nick Leco. Published June 11 2008

  • On to Omaha

    When the dust settled Monday night, the field of 64 had been pared down to the eight teams that will make the journey to Omaha for the College World Series. There were few surprises in the Super Regionals, but we didn't get to this point without some serious drama. By Tom Stad. Published June 10 2008

  • My Five - MLB's best bullpens

    Great starting pitching and a solid meat of the order are important components of a winning team, but to really compete in the bigs you need a lights-out bullpen to seal the deal. This week in My Five, I'm in search of a back end that would make Jessica Biel proud. By Sean Raposa. Published June 10 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Greg Golson, Phillies

    Greg Golson is hitting .294 in double-A this season. While that's a solid average, it's nothing to get overly excited about on its own merits. But in Golson's case, it could represent the final piece of the puzzle in his evolution as a five-tool prospect. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 9 2008

  • The insert craze

    In the early '90s, the baseball card companies decided the response to overproduction would be manufacturer-induced scarcity. And with that, a whole new genre - the insert card - was born. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 8 2008

  • PUBLISHED - Prospect Q&A - Jason Donald, Phillies

    Even with reigning National League MVP Jimmy Rollins blocking his path, Phillies shortstop prospect Jason Donald's solid all-around game and baseball smarts give him a good shot of reaching the majors sooner rather than later. The 2006 third-round pick is an above-average defender and provides surprising pop for a middle infielder, and looks ready to help the big league club whenever he's called upon. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 7 2008

  • The '07 draft's top 10, one year later

    As teams begin the process of trying to sign their picks from Thursday's 2008 draft, let's take a look at the top 10 selections from last year's draft - held exactly one year ago today - and see what kind of progress they're making. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 7 2008

  • It's crunch time in college baseball

    By Monday night, we'll know which eight teams will be packing their bags for the College World Series at Omaha's historic Rosenblatt Stadium. Here's all you need to know to follow along during this weekend's Super Regionals. By Tom Stad. Published June 6 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Jake Arrieta, Orioles

    The Orioles may have gotten the steal of the 2007 draft in right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta, who has been nothing short of dominant thus far in his first pro season. By Jay LeBlanc. Published June 5 2008

  • KILL - The '07 draft's top 10, one year later

    As teams begin the process of trying to sign their picks from Thursday's 2008 draft, let's take a look back at the top 10 selections from last year's draft - held exactly one year ago today - and see what kind of progress they're making so far. Published June 4 2008

  • Cooperstown Bound? - Jack Morris

    The winningest pitcher of the 1980s has four World Series rings and will forever be remembered for his epic, 10-inning Game 7 performance that clinched the 1991 title for the Twins, but is he Hall of Fame material? By Nick Leco. Published June 4 2008

  • My Five - The Power Alleys

    Last week I kicked things off by ranking the top starting rotations in baseball, but this week I'm going on the offensive in My Five. Good pitching is the foundation for championship teams, but you can't win unless you score. By Sean Raposa. Published June 3 2008

  • Prospect Q&A - Adrian Alaniz, Washington Nationals

    Adrian Alaniz has an uncanny talent for flying under the radar. But if he keeps dominating minor league hitters with his four-pitch arsenal, the people he needs to take notice - like Nats GM Jim Bowden - will. Published June 2 2008