Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, Oct. 1.
There were technical difficulties with the site earlier in the day, so this column will be somewhat limited in scope. It’s official, the Red Sox are in the playoffs again. This is becoming commonplace, considering they won the World Series in 2004, 2007, 2013 and now are in another postseason. What happened to the good old Dead Saux, as their tolerant fans called them in the years between 1918 and 2004? David Ortiz had a home run and 3 RBIs last night to offset a two-run jack by Jose Bautista and lead his team to a 5-3 win in Boston. The Red Sox’ star pitcher Rick Porcello got the win to finish the regular season 22–4 with a 3.15 ERA. The Mets and Giants both won to stay where they are in the wild card hunt-the Mets first, Giants second. The Orioles buried the Yankees and have the lead for first wild card in the AL. The Jays are in second, but since they lost the Tigers and Mariners aren’t sunk yet. The Cardinals’ Matt Holliday, who I broadcast as a minor leaguer hit a pinch-hit home run which will likely end his Cardinals’ career. St. Louis won 7-0 and are still on life support chasing the Giants. Saturday’s games are well underway, so I’ll cut directly to Oct. 1 birthdays.
The Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts is 24 today. He reached the majors before his 21st birthday with the Red Sox. By the end of October 2013 he was part of their victory parade. After two last-place finishes the Sox are in the hunt again. Bogaerts is from Aruba, and as such represented Holland in the 2013 World Baseball Classic as did another major leaguer from Curacao, another Dutch territory. This year was the first time Bogaerts was selected as an All-Star.
Pitcher Matt cain is 32 today. Like the former Giant star Willie Mays, he came off the sandlots of Alabama. He was the Giants’ first pick in the 2002 draft. Cain pitched for Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League in 2003, a year after I left the Charleston RiverDogs of that league. In AAA in 2005 he faced such pitchers as R.A. Dickey and Adam Wainwright before his call-up. Cain has been been with the major league Giants since 2005. He was an All-Star 3 times but the last was in 2012. His Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. He pitched a perfecto in June of that 2012 season. Such have been his struggles since that he now has a 101-107 record and didn’t pitch during the 2014 postseason.
Mark McGwire is 53 today. He hails from pomona, California. He and Jose Canseco, now both disgraced for steroid use were known as the Bash Brothers.
Hall of Famer Rod Carew is 71 today. A native of the Panama Canal Zone, he racked up an amazing .328 batting average between 1967 and 1985. He got just past the magic 3,000 hit mark. He played for just two teams, the Twins and Angels. The late Ron Luciano told a funny Carew story in his first book “The Umpire Strikes Back.” He said he missed a call on a third strike to Carew. After the game he did the unthinkable-he apologized to Carew for missing one. To which Carew said, “I knew you missed that one, but did you see the other two?” His point was, he’d swung on two bad pitches which he shouldn’t have, so he never should have left it up to Luciano to call strike 3. After his playing days he spent a decade as a coach split between the Twins and Brewers. As a player he was an All-Star no less than 18 times. He won Rookie of the Year in 1967 and MVP a decade later. He copped 7 batting titles, 4 in a row from 1972-75. His number 29 is retired by both the Twins and Angels. His given name, Rodney Cline Carew, was given in honor of the doctor who delivered him.