The Art of Taking Pitches

Many of the changes in baseball that are most lamented -- the increasing times of games, the demise of the complete game -- can be attributed to a bigger emphasis on "working the count."

Graphic

Patience at the Plate »

It was once a discipline belonging only to a select few hitters, but the last 20 years has seen a steady rise in pitches per plate appearance, as more players learn to work the count.

Ex-Senators

Nats swept by Twins, currently hosting Rangers in a week of games against former D.C. nines. Nostalgic fans flock to Nationals Park to fondly recall the 1972-2004 era.

Sir Sidney

RHP Ponson, dumped by Rangers for insubordination, re-signs with Yanks. Hate to break it to you, Sid, but pinstripes are really not all that slimming.

Hard Rock Cafe

New Yankee Stadium to have iconic, anti-foodie restaurant in RF. At least Yankees fans are well acquainted with overpriced, overhyped offerings.

audio When It Clicked
Ryan Speier, P, Colorado Rockies When It Clicked

Press play to listen to Rockies pitcher Ryan Speier talk about what it took for him to go from being an undrafted reliever to a major league player. Read the article »

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Series to Watch

Cubs at White Sox

Friday-Sunday, Chicago

After duking it out this weekend on the North Side, these division leaders and cross-town rivals head to the South Side for three more.

News & Notes

This Season, Trade Deadline Could Actually Be a Big Deal

The circumstances of this season have made this year's trade climate particularly conducive to big-name pitchers changing teams. Read More »

The List

The Mets were criticized for the way they fired manager Willie Randolph and two coaches - specifically, for flying them to Anaheim, Calif., then canning them (and announcing it at 3:14 a.m.). But was it really any worse than these botched ax-jobs?



Click an item on the list for more:


1. Frank Wren
Orioles, 1999 »
Only Peter Angelos could throw his most popular player under the bus while firing his GM. In an ill-advised press release (authored by lawyers at his firm, not the team's PR staff) announcing Wren's firing, Angelos revealed that months earlier Wren had ordered the team plane to leave without superstar Cal Ripken -- who, to say the least, was not pleased at his mention in the release.
2. Clyde King
Yankees, 1983 »
George Steinbrenner probably could fill all five spots on this list, but his handling of King's firing was his worst. King, a longtime Yankees scout, had managed the team admirably for the final 62 games of the 1982 season, but when Billy Martin became available after he was fired by Oakland, Steinbrenner immediately dumped King, who found out about it when he opened his paycheck to discover he had been returned to his previous salary as a scout.
3. Joe Altobelli
Orioles, 1985 »
As in the case of King, Altobelli was kicked to the curb when something better came along -- in this case, Earl Weaver, who wanted to return to the dugout. As the news came down, Altobelli, who had led the Orioles to the World Series title in 1983, was reduced to wandering around the team's front offices asking people if he had been fired.
4. Dave Bristol
Giants, 1980 »
Bristol was in the middle of the annual managers' luncheon at the winter meetings -- the salad course, to be specific -- when a Giants PR staffer interrupted to summon him to the suite of owner Bob Lurie, whereupon Bristol was informed that he was fired. He did not go back to the luncheon to finish his meal.
5. Yogi Berra
Yankees, 1985 »
Another Steinbrenner doozy. He axed Berra only 16 games into the 1985 season, and he didn't even do the dirty deed himself, instead dispatching a top a lieutenant to do it: Clyde King.

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