Tim Brown

  • Rockies trying to become more than the kings of April

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 14 hrs ago

    LOS ANGELES – The Colorado Rockies had won seven of their nine games, and what they knew for sure Friday afternoon – from here, from this moment – is there’d be batting practice soon and a ballgame soon after that followed by a bus ride back to the downtown hotel.

    Anything beyond that was unknown, and possible, and very likely to be different than what they could dream up, here, in the still of the afternoon, on Day 12, sitting on a 7-2 record and first place in the NL West.

    The Rockies have been here plenty in recent years, one reasonably competent April after another after another, only to have every single one of those Aprils shoveled into a pyre of injuries, flat sliders, short rosters, road misery and other injuries. For four Aprils before this one, they have won nearly 60 percent of their games. For the five remaining months, they’ve lost nearly 60 percent. So, from a 94-win pace to a 93-loss pace, again and again.

    “Health?” Troy Tulowitzki said. “I’m not sure, standing here, I have an answer for you.”

    But, you know, onward. Pitch better. Try to stay upright. Maybe put better players on the field so that the whole thing wasn’t wrapped around two guys. Keep showing up.

  • MLB Power Rankings: That Royal feeling

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    On the horses in St. Louis, Brett Lawrie’s imperfect game, Yasiel Puig’s schedule and so-obvious issues with metal detectors at Coors Field:

    The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):

    1. Kansas City Royals (7-1; Previous: 17) – After 10 days, Royals halfway to PECOTA wins projection.

    2. Detroit Tigers (8-1; Previous: 5) – Tigers come out of Masters week thinking they need more work off the tee, but short game feels good.

    3. Boston Red Sox (6-3; Previous: 8) – Clay Buchholz misunderstands pace-of-play letter from MLB; league actually asked him to please hurry out of box.

    4. Los Angeles Dodgers (6-3; Previous: 3) – Yasiel Puig is so early for Dodgers game everyone just assumes he was really late for the previous game.

    5. Colorado Rockies (7-2; Previous: 28) – Many fans miss start of home opener because of slow lines through metal detectors. To be fair, promotion “Bring Your Silverware to the Park” wasn’t greatest idea.

    6. Toronto Blue Jays (5-4; Previous: 15) – Russell Martin batting .043, but it only looks bad because of the exchange rate.

    7. San Diego Padres (6-4; Previous: 11) – Padres are hitting at home, and locals call off research into gravity shears in downtown San Diego.

  • MLB's only black manager pauses to remember Jackie Robinson's impact

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – If not a bridge in Selma, then a bus in Montgomery, a lunch counter in Greensboro, a ballpark in Brooklyn, or on a thousand streets in a hundred towns.

    It is worth the thought, "Who would I have been then?"

    Lloyd McClendon, 56-year-old manager of the Seattle Mariners, star in 1971 of what is believed to be the first all-black team to reach the Little League World Series, product of the tough, steel town of Gary, Ind., pushed his chair back slightly.

    "Hmm," he said. "That's a great question. Yeah, I have given it a lot of thought. I'm not sure I want to share that with you. But I will say this: My mom always thought I was going to be a preacher."

    He laughed and drew a crackling spirituality into his voice, "Probably fire and brimstone more than anything."

    He is the only black manager in Major League Baseball. African-Americans make up less than 10 percent of big-league rosters.

    This is who he is.

    All white, it was observed.

    Without turning in his chair, McClendon said, "Not all of them."

    "Rube Foster," McClendon said. "He did it all."

    "A pretty bright guy," McClendon said.

    More MLB coverage:

  • Tuesdays with Brownie: Prospects, drugs and pace of play

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    (A weekly look at the players, teams, trends, up shoots and downspouts shaping the 2015 season.)

    On stanozolol 4, pace of play, and two 20-year-olds in Toronto:

    A new drug wave? I don’t get all of my information from Wikipedia, but these two mentions caught me eye:

    • “Veterinarians may prescribe [stanozolol] to improve muscle growth.”

    • “Stanozolol has been used in U.S. horse racing.”

    Presumably not by the jockeys, though you never know.

    On March 27, David Rollins, a Rule 5 pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, was suspended 80 games after testing positive for stanozolol. In the prior year, MLB suspended five others – all minor leaguers – for the same. If it seemed odd at the time that a dangerous and easily detectable anabolic steroid would be discovered in Rollins’ system, we were just getting started. Within two weeks, MLB announced the suspensions of three more pitchers – big leaguers Arodys Vizcaino, Ervin Santana and Jenrry Mejia – for stanozolol.

    That’s nine in a year, all pitchers, eight of them from the Dominican Republic along with Rollins, a Texan who played winter ball in the offseason but in Puerto Rico, not the Dominican Republic.

    The overlap? Hit and win.

    And pitch and win.

  • The Angels have turned their back on Josh Hamilton when he needs them most

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – The ballpark on Gene Autry Way is a workable enough facility that, while not always intended solely for baseball, has been renovated into a building that suits the game fine. It ain't AT&T Park. It ain't Camden Yards. But, it's, you know, fine. We're talking about baseball, not brunch at Ivy at the Shore.

    Angel Stadium is surrounded by parking lots and beyond those condominiums and then just enough spots to get a burger or sandwich before the game and a beer afterward. The people inside are generally friendly, the men on the field used to win a lot and last season won the division, and there's hardly anything that resembles – or qualifies as – a press box, which is not a knock; the best reporters seek to view the game from unusual and interesting angles and, well, there you go.

    So, if this is supposed to be like home and the people here are supposed to be like family, what's all this about Josh Hamilton supposed to be at Angel Stadium?

    If Hamilton didn't have far larger issues with which to concern himself, he might wonder why his organization would turn its back on him today, of all days, when he needs it most.

    More MLB coverage:

  • Dodgers' Brett Anderson is determined to put bad luck, injuries behind him

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Brett Anderson has played in 30 baseball games over the past 3½ years and 43 over the past 4½. It'd be more if not for the injuries, mishaps and other unfortunate incidents, not the least of which was the Tommy John surgery, all of which has convinced him that as much as he loves sharks, and he really does love sharks, that he should not ever allow himself to be dipped into the ocean in a shark tank, much as he would love to be dipped into the ocean in a shark tank. Because he does love sharks.

    See, there's a point, after the elbow, the oblique, the ankle-foot thing, the back, the finger, all the missed days and weeks and months, when a young man may decide he's not altogether invincible. Or even particularly lucky. So, yeah, people climb into cages and lower themselves into chummed waters and emerge with cool photos and shark breath on their clothes and still all of their limbs. They love sharks too.

    "Me?" he said. "I'd probably have my arm bit off."

    In that case, 30 baseball games over 3½ years would seem like a solid workload.

    "I like sharks," he said. "So I read about sharks."

  • Adrian Gonzalez becomes first MLB player with five home runs in first three games

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Andrew Cashner took one last shot with his fastball against Adrian Gonzalez on Wednesday night and Gonzalez hit that, too, into the bleachers, and so Gonzalez, in spite of himself, arrived at home plate with something of a bemused grin, which matched those of his teammates. He'd hit three home runs in the game and four home runs over 10 pitches across two nights, and five home runs in a team's – in this case, the Los Angeles Dodgers' – first three games for the first time in history.

    "I was just looking 'hard,' " Gonzalez said shortly after receiving an on-field hug from Dodgers owner Mark Walter. "He kept throwing it in the same spot."

    "I'm still not a home-run hitter," he said. "I'm trying to hit line drives. If they go over the fence, they go over the fence."

    "It's more like, 'Ride the wave,' " Mattingly said. "Not, 'Hit the homer.' 'See a pitch, hit it hard, don't let this get away.'

  • Padres come up short in first shot at playing Dodgers’ game

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – For a good 10 minutes Monday afternoon, maybe more, Wil Myers stood near the on-deck circle at Dodger Stadium. Before him, there was ceremony. Music. Guys throwing first pitches. Derek Norris, one of his new teammates, walked up and stood beside him for a while, lost his patience, and circled back to the dugout. Myers wore a batting helmet, held his bat by the barrel, shifted his weight from his right leg to his left then back. He waited for pictures to be taken. He waited for the handshakes to end.

    “I usually don’t stand right there for so long,” he said.

    At some point, he was sure, they were going to play this game, the first of the year, the first for the new San Diego Padres. He would lead off against Clayton Kershaw. You know, at some point. Assuming the game was going to start. He looked over his shoulder and Norris, who’d hit behind him in the two-hole, was back. He, too, was waiting. Staring. Ready.

    “I get it,” Norris said. “But when it comes down to it, we get a little restless. We just couldn’t wait to get in there.”

    “Yeah,” he said. “I learned you don’t throw Jimmy Rollins a 3-2 heater in.”

    There was that.

    “Yeah,” he said. “It was gone.”

  • Padres, Braves continue transformations with Craig Kimbrel trade

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    It would be of little coincidence the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves would discover – and rediscover – each other this offseason, considering they would cross each others’ paths on the way to and from 2015 relevance.

    Given two rebuilt front offices and two rosters in various states of repair, the Padres and Braves on Sunday evening struck their second major deal in less than four months, and this time elite closer Craig Kimbrel moves from Atlanta’s ninth inning to San Diego’s in a six-player trade.

    Already a legitimate contender in the National League West, the Padres also receive outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. – he’ll join his brother, Justin, whom the Padres acquired from Atlanta in December – in a clear salary dump. Melvin Upton, 30, is due $46.4 million over the next three seasons. He hit .198 in two seasons with the Braves. Kimbrel, who has led the National League in saves the past four years, is guaranteed $34 million over the next three seasons.

    Hart could have his eye on next winter’s free-agent class, which could offer starting pitchers Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price, Jeff Samardzija and Jordan Zimmermann, among others.

     

  • Angels embarrassed themselves in response to Josh Hamilton situation

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago

    So the Los Angeles Angels are “disappointed.” I’m sure they are. Because Josh Hamilton – the man, the father, the addict and, somewhere distantly after that, the ballplayer – would have been better served, in their view, to have been disciplined for being every bit the person they scouted, researched, interviewed and hired.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Arte Moreno’s organization went in a slightly different direction.

    “It defies logic,” team president John Carpino told reporters, “that Josh’s reported behavior is not a violation of his current program.”

    That would be the Angels openly rooting for Josh Hamilton to be suspended (without pay) and then being disappointed he wasn’t.

    “The Angels,” their statement read, “have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and behavior …”

    That would be the Angels throwing a fit over the union’s support of Hamilton (possibly to Hamilton’s detriment) and an arbitrator’s ruling that basically handed Hamilton back to the Angels with a note, “He’s all yours.”

    So what does Arte Moreno do?