Inside Pulse » World Series A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:00:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » World Series 2010 San Francisco Giants: The Official World Series Film – Blu-ray Review Sun, 12 Dec 2010 18:00:18 +0000 2010 World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers gives a good sense of how the victory parade ended up in the land of Rice-A-Roni. ]]>

The San Francisco Giants weren’t the glamourous pick as World Series champs. Even when they arrived for the big game, they were overshadowed by the Texas Rangers that had been hyped hard on MLB Network during the season. The Giants were relatively unknown in a world where ESPN likes to make it all about Red Sox-Yankees. The West mentions were about Manny and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants did get notice because of Tim Lincecum, their two-time Cy Young winning pitcher. Even then it was mostly about his amazing mullet. They were nearly unknown to casual viewers when they challenged the high profile Texas Rangers. 2010 World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers gives all the background on the team of misfit winners that play by the Bay.

The World Series was hyped as the coronation of the game’s biggest hitter and pitcher: Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and Cliff Lee. Hamilton had the emotional tale of kicking a major drug problem during his early years. His team celebrated the ALCS title by spraying him with ginger ale for fear the taste of champagne might cause him to fall off the wagon. Lee’s lined up to be the highest paid pitcher when he became a free agent after the Series. This was going to be a celebration before his payday. The Rangers were the hot team of destiny after the legendary Nolan Ryan bought them mid-season. They were spunky, plucky and Yankee killers. Fans didn’t count on the unexpected chance that their future Hall of Famers would cool off.

The strangest aspect of the series was that Texas Ranger catcher Bengie Molina was going to get a World Series ring no matter who won. He had been traded by the Giants at mid-season. But he was hoping to be able to celebrate with his new team as he caught the monster Cliff Lee. The pitcher had already shut down the Yankees. He was undefeated in his post season career. He was a lock pick until game one started. His pitching duel with Lincecum was fierce at first, but Cliff Lee got knocked out of the game in the fifth inning by coughing up 3 runs. There was a sense that the inevitable had been completely derailed. The second game was close early until the Giants busted it open with seven runs in the eight inning. The Giants were leading 2-0, but Texas had three games back in Arlington. It wasn’t over.

Game Three showed the Rangers weren’t going to be swept. Josh Hamilton finally got his homer. They seemed ready to tie it up in game four with the first pitch thrown by former Presidents George W. Bush and George W.H. Bush. Instead of being inspired at the ex-Commander in Chiefs, the Rangers became ice cold. They were shut out. There was little fear of them losing the title at the Ballpark since Cliff Lee was back on the mound. He couldn’t go bad two games in a row. Giants had little fear of him since Lincecum had their backs. While everyone looked at Hamilton and other Rangers to be home run threats, it was the Giants’ Edgar Renteria that delivered a fatal long ball. Renteria had been injured most of the season and declared he was retiring after the Series. He went out clutching the MVP trophy as part of the Champions.

2010 World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers gives a good sense of how the victory parade ended up in the land of Rice-A-Roni. This was a team filled with personality when finally given camera time. The most colorful character is Giants reliever Brian Wilson and his dyed black beard. He looks like a Billy Mays impersonator on the mound. Perhaps the freakish facial hair distracted hitters as he closed down games. Rob Schneider serves as the narrator. That’s right, Deuce Bigalow charts the journey of his hometown heros. But don’t let this put any fear in you. The audio engineer adds a little echo on Schneider’s voice to transform him into Barry White’s nephew. He unloads a serious voice that sounds like he’s making ransom demands and not sucking up to Adam Sandler for a role. The casting of Schneider is appropriate since like the Giants, they’re both misfits that found unlikely success no matter how embarrassing the haircut.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic 1080i. The game footage mixes broadcast video with exclusive MLB camera action. Things look nice for live action. The whole project was shot in HD so there’s no issues in the frame. The audio is DTS-HD. Most of the time it’s sound of the games mixed with Rob Schneider’s narration. The levels are fine so you should have to adjust the volume once you’ve found your perfect notch.

A DVD containing everything on the Blu-ray.

This Week in Baseball : Focus on Buster Posey (4:18) covers the arrival of the rookie catcher in mid-season. The kid is focused on being part of the team.

Giants Clinch NL West: Final Out (1:03) ends with Brian Wilson striking out a Padre.

NLDS Game 5: Final Out (0:46) ends with Brian Wilson getting a Brave to ground out.

NLCS Game 1: Cody Ross’s Home Runs (1:58) gives both of his long strokes against the Phillies.

NLCS Game 6: Juan Uribe Home Run (1:21) just goes over the wall.

NLCS Game 6: Final Out (2:02) show Brian Wilson striking out Ryan Howard.

World Series Game 1: Juan Uribe Home Run (1:32) goes deep into the crowd.

World Series Game 2: Edgar Renteria Home Run (1:52) is another nasty swing.

World Series Game 4: Freddie Sanchez Defensive Plays (1:36) is a montage of snags.

World Series Game 5: Lincecum’s Strike Outs (2:12) is the Freak at his finest.

World Series Game 5: Edgar Renteria Home Run (1:30) is the moment of truth.

World Series Game 5: Final Out and Celebration (4:48) another Brian Wilson shut down.

World Series Parade in San Francisco (2:41) is highlights of the team in trolley cars.

2010 World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers has the ability to appeal to the non-hardcore fans. This might still be painful viewing for Rangers fans. But for viewers were were intrigued by the various freakish haircuts worn by the Giants, this give the rest of the story. The biggest winner is Rob Schneider. He clinched a second career narrating sports documentaries.

Shout! Factory and MLB Productions present 2010 World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers. Starring: Rob Schneider, Brian Wilson, Nolan Ryan and Josh Hamilton. Running time: 87 minutes. Released on Blu-ray and DVD: December 7, 2010.×120.jpg

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The San Francisco Giants win the World Series Wed, 03 Nov 2010 21:24:52 +0000 As you have probably heard, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, the first ever for the team from San Fran. They won it because of excellent pitching, timely hitting—and because the Texas Rangers’ offense did not show up.

I had predicted a World Series win for the Giants in seven games, because the Giants would outpitch the Rangers and their pitching would prevail over the Rangers’ incredible offense. I definitely got the pitching part right—the Giants posted a team ERA of 2.45 to the Rangers’ 5.86.

What allowed the Giants to win the Fall Classic in five games was, unlike my prediction, the Rangers offense was absolutely atrocious. I was certain they would challenge the Giants’ pitching staff, but they managed a paltry .190 team batting average. Josh Hamilton, who hit .350 in the ALCS, batted only .100 in the World Series. Likewise, Vladimir Guerrero, who batted .269 in the ALCS, hit only .071 in the Fall Classic.

The Giants offense performed as expected—well, but not fantastic. They hit only .249 as a team, but they got the hits when they needed and that led them to a World Series victory. They vastly out-powered the Rangers—the Rangers hit three home runs in the Series, while the Giants hit seven.

Congratulations to the Giants and their fans. This is a win that is a long time coming. Enjoy it, savor it and most of all—never forget it.

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10 Thoughts On Rangers vs. Giants 2010 World Series Game 1 Thu, 28 Oct 2010 03:54:21 +0000 1) I don’t know if it’s possible to have wound up with a better game one than this series offered. Best pitcher in the NL vs. best pitcher in the AL vs. the likely AL MVP. While the Phillies and the Yankees were favored to be here, I don’t think anyone can honestly say they were robbed.

2) I’d like someone to explain to me what Lincecum was doing in the third inning as he walked Michael Young back to third instead of throwing someone out. If the answer is “he took a huge bong rip before the first inning” that’s acceptable.

3) I defy any person to tell me once the Giants were down 2-0 that they weren’t working under the assumption this was going to be a four-game sweep. I admit, the idea even occurred to me. The problem is, aside from this pitching match-up, doesn’t the pitching favor the Giants?

4) Lee’s previous post-season starts caused me to watch the sixth inning unfold in total disbelief. Cliff Lee starts barely involve four hits in the entire starts, much less in one inning.

5) Cliff Lee’s line: 4.2IP, 8H, 7R, 6ER, 1BB, 7K. We could call this terrifying, or we could just assume it’s a hangover from Tony Romo’s shoulder getting shattered by the Giants’. Let’s assume, for now, it’s the latter.

6) Lincecum had a rough night for him: 5.2 IP, 4ER, 3K. However, he helped hold Josh Hamilton to an 0-fer on the evening. That, my friends, is a recipe for success.

7) Not a recipe for success: 4 errors by the Rangers.

8) Both the line-up/defense issues were apparent in this game. In the first case, Juan Uribe made three key plays, including the first-inning double play to get Lincecum out of trouble, which may or may not have been made if Pablo Sandoval was manning third. On the other side, two miscues by an aging Vlad in right extended two innings. In this game, the lack of Sandoval didn’t hurt, but ironically both teams’ best line-ups happen in the AL park.

9) If anyone had asked Vegas to give them odds on a 25-hit shootout between these two starting pitchers, they probably would have got a fortune. Not at all the game anyone was expected, likely including the outcome.

10) Obviously, nobody can count the Rangers out… they fought back from a brutal game one loss to the Yankees in the ALCS. However, the Giants jumping on Cliff Lee in game one is an immeasurably huge boost for the team and a tough blow to the Rangers. With Matt Cain matching up with C.J. Wilson, Dallas’s sports woes are looking to continue through at least Saturday.

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Pulse Alumni World Series Picks Thu, 28 Oct 2010 01:16:47 +0000 LCS Results (and Totals)

Tom: 2-0 (6-0)
Aaron: 1-1 (5-1)
Eugene: 0-2 (1-5)*

*EDIT: Or as Carrie quipped on Twitter — “Luckily for Eugene, the domain ’16percentsports’ is still available!”

In lieu of playing the safety so I can be guaranteed the win, I’m going against the other two because, well, I think I”m right.

Texas Rangers v. San Francisco Giants

Aaron: Texas manager Ron Washington is a former coach with my Oakland A’s, sounds JUST like pro wrestling personality Theodore Long and inspired the phenomenal “UncleRon” hash tag/theme on Twitter. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was at the helm of the Padres when I first moved to San Diego in 1995. He was underrated and underappreciated by fickle locals who expected him to consistently win with Dennis Tankersley and Ruben Rivera, but still guided the Friars to four playoff appearances and an NL pennant. Yet, Bochy’s postseason pedigree will endure another World Series defeat.

In 11 playoff games this year, the Rangers have scored less than five runs just twice. The Giants have scored more than five runs just once in their 10 playoff games. San Francisco’s pitching could steal one or two wins at home – without the DH – but, to paraphrase legendary manager C. Montgomery Burns, the only way the Rangers lose this series is if all nine of their hitters fall victim to nine separate misfortunes and are unable to play in the Series. But that will never happen. Three misfortunes, that’s possible. Seven misfortunes, there’s an outside chance. But nine misfortunes? I’d like to see that! Pick: Rangers in 6.

Eugene: Call this the precursor to defeat for the Rangers, but I like them better in this series. Their hitters have been more consistent in October and they have the luxury of throwing Cliff Lee 3 times — on short rest, he could pitch games 3 and 7 each on 3 days rest — if the series goes the full 7 games. I think the Giants would be a little more hesitant to do that with Lincecum. Either way, Bengie Molina wins; he’ll be getting a ring and playoff share either way. Pick: Rangers in 6.

Tom: I’ll go ahead and say that if Ron Washington didn’t pitch Cliff Lee on 3-days rest against the Yankees, I don’t see any reason that he’s going to suddenly decide to do it in the World Series. The funny thing about the Giants going in to the World Series is that, in the first season the NL has won the All-Star Game in forever, their best line-up/defensive combo is the one that gives them the opportunity to have Pablo Sandoval hit and Juan Uribe play third base… and in every other year they’d be able to get that line-up four times.

Personally, I was excited to see this series because it’s the best pitchers in the NL vs. the best hitters in the AL. I don’t know if I buy the argument about the Rangers’ post-season run totals for this reason: The Yankees’ and the Rays’ games are based on having one ace and a bunch of slightly-above mediocre pitchers who win by the offense beating the bejesus out of the opponents. The Yanks were the top run scorers in the AL and the Rays were 3rd. That’s not the Giants’ game. The Giants’ game is to scrape out a run and shut down the opposing offense. Isn’t that the perfect format to face Cliff Lee and a bunch of other pitchers we’ve retconned in to aces? If the Giants scrape out two or three runs a game against guys not named Cliff Lee, you’re telling me I should bet on Lincecum, Sanchez, or Cain giving up 4+ runs in multiple starts? In a ballpark where Josh Hamilton has to pull the ball 9,000 feet to hit a home run? Why? Because The American League Is So Much Better? We’ll see, I guess. Giants in 6.

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The Big Orange Guy’s Top 5 – Worst World Series Ratings Ever Wed, 27 Oct 2010 09:59:23 +0000 Did you hear that thud?  That was the sound of the executives of FOX jaws hitting the ground when they realized that the World Series would feature Texas versus San Francisco.  Now, this does have the Number 5 market (Dallas Ft. Worth) against Number 6 San Francisco (approximately 5.1 million homes combined).  The two teams that did not make the series were the #1 and #4 markets (approximately 10.6 million homes).  There are Yankees fans throughout the country and Yankees haters also.  People watched them to see them win, or to hope they lose.  The Phillies had two of the top pitchers in all of baseball and offensive players that have become household names over the past three seasons.   Instead, we have “The Freak” and Buster against Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton.  There are other baseball stories with these two teams, but no baseball history between them.

Since I have never spoken to executives from Fox, I do not know what would ratings number make this World Series successful .  Since there have been major changes in the television viewing patterns over the past forty years, we cannot compare the World Series of the 19702 and 1980s to that of today.  However, I will take a look at the past 15 seasons (since the 1994 cancellation).  The Top 2 rated World Series in that time frame were the Red Sox/Cardinals of 2004 (the Red Sox breaking the curse) and Diamondbacks/Yankees of 2001 (six weeks after 9/11).  These two World Series were special for different reasons, but were also drawing card for Americans to watch.  There have been many reasons to watch the World Series, but over the past five seasons, there have apparently been many reasons not to.  Today’s Top 5 is, The Big Orange Guy’s Top 5 Worst rated World Series on Television.

Note: A ratings point is defined as the percentage of TV households in the US are watching.  Since 2006, a national point represents approximately 1,114,000 homes.  A “share” is the percentage of televisions in use at the time watching the specific event.

#1 2008 – Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays (#4 market vs. #14 market, 4.6 million homes in combined markets)  The 2008 World Series was the first appearance ever for Tampa Bay and the first appearance for the Phillies since 1993.  This series went five games, many were close but it was not watched by many at all.  The series had a 8.4 rating and a 14 share.  People would have watched to see the upstart Rays or the historic Phillies.  In the end, it was the worst rated series ever.

#2 2006 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers (#21 market vs. #11 market, 3.2 million homes in combined markets) The 2006 World Series brought together two historic franchises, both in the Midwest.  These two franchises have been around for decades and was a replay of the 1968 World Series won by the Tigers.  This series went five games.  It featured some of the best young pitchers of that season, but it did not grasp the rest of the country.  Until 2008, this was the worst rated World Series with a 10.1 share and a 17 share.

#3 2007 – Boston Red Sox vs. Colorado Rockies ( #7 market vs. #17 market, 4.0 million homes in combined markets) if the Red Sox did not just win a series a few seasons before, more people in the country would have watched.  The Colorado Rockies were written off as dead in July and pulled off an amazing run in September to make the playoffs.  The feeling going into the series was that the Rockies did not have a chance against the Red Sox and they were swept, losing the first game 13-1.  The series had an 10.6 rating and a 18 share.

#4 2005 – Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros (#3 market vs. #10 market, 5.7 million homes in combined markets) This World Series brought together two franchises with very little combined history.  This series did have a large market versus a team in Texas and had a chance to be successful.  Four close games was the entire series as it was swept by the White Sox.  The Astros had Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, The Killer B’s (Berkman, Bagwell and Biggio), but the White Sox had the trophy.  The series had an 11.1 rating and a 19 share.

#5 2009 – New York Yankees vs. Philadephia Phillies (#1 market vs. #4 market, 10.6 million homes in combined markets) This was the return to the World Series for the Yankees versus the reigning champions.   This was a series that went six games and had many underlying stories including the return on Pedro Martinez to Yankee Stadium and the Core Four of the Yankees.   As you have seen from the previous four World Series, the ratings were still relatively low.  This series had an 11.7 rating and a 19 share.

In today’s society, there are too many channels and too many distractions for a television viewer.  You can watch a game on the internet or listen to it numerous ways.   From 1968 to 1982, there were three major television networks.  There was no internet and cable television was in its infancy.  As a result, during this time the lowest share for the World Series was a 46 share and anywhere between 20% and 33% of all televisions during these years were watching World Series baseball.  Knowing the present and the past, the World Series starts tonight.  Are you going to watch?  Whether or not you will, thanks for reading my Top 5.

Have a good week all, see you on the other side.

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MLB News: Why the Giants will win the World Series Tue, 26 Oct 2010 10:16:38 +0000 Don’t you hate it when a guy makes a prediction without any scientific or mathematical basis—a prediction on a whim, more or less—and runs with it, sticking to it no matter what? Me too, but that is exactly what I am doing here.

Well, not exactly. I did do some very basic mathematical finagling to help me determine my prediction, but it is not based on some super-complicated formula or anything. I just looked at the teams’ basic regular season outputs in home runs, runs, winning percentage, et cetera and gleaned my guess, er, prediction from that. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be using regular season statistics to gauge the postseason. Whatever.

Now, why do I think the Giants will win the World Series? Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Giants had a better pitching staff than the Rangers, with a team ERA of 3.36 to the Rangers’ 3.93. In addition, the Giants had the second-best bullpen ERA in the big leagues at 2.99—the Rangers ‘pen ERA was 3.38. Pitching wins ballgames, so it seems like the Giants have the upper hand. Though if the Giants’ pitching staff is that much better, then they should be able to win it in less than seven games…

…but to counter the Giants better pitching staff, the Rangers have the better hitters overall. While the Giants posted a team OPS+ of 95 (meaning they were below average), the Rangers posted a team OPS+ of 102 (meaning they were above average, though barely). Sure the Giants have sluggers like Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe (whose bat has been pretty silent this postseason), but the Rangers have Vladimir Guerrero and—oh yeah—Josh Hamilton. With that said, however, the Giants offense isn’t putrid or bad or anything—it is still pretty formidable and, though it isn’t better than its adversary’s, it won’t crumple like a used tissue against the opponent, either.

Overall, I believe pitching will prevail, though just barely. The 2010 Fall Classic will be fought valiantly by both teams to the very end—with the team from San Fran coming out on top.

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2K Sports Uses Major League Baseball 2K10 To Predict 2010 World Series Champion Mon, 18 Oct 2010 20:57:40 +0000 2K Games sent out their simulation results, saying that MLB 2K10 has predicted that the San Francisco Giants will defeat the New York Yankees to win the World Series!

In the simulation, the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in 6 games to advance to the fall classic, and the Yankees bowled over the Rangers in 5 games.

In the World Series, the Yankees were up 3-1 going into game 5, and the Giants won each of the last 3 games to clinch their first World Series Championship since 1954. Cody Ross hit the game winning Home Run in game 7, leading him to win the World Series MVP.

Back in April, 2K Sports simulated the entire season, and accurately predicting that the Giants & underdog Rangers would win their respective divisions.×120.jpg

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Reds Memories: The Greatest Moments in Cincinnati Reds History – DVD Review Thu, 27 May 2010 13:00:31 +0000 Reds Memories: The Greatest Moments in Cincinnati Reds History is the perfect gift for a young fan wanting to discover the past glories of the Big Red Machine.]]>

The first professional baseball team was not formed in New York City or Boston, but in Cincinnati, Ohio. They were known as the Red Stockings and had a perfect season while playing in the summer of 1869. Oddly enough they also became the first team to clash with management over salaries. The players moved to Boston. However Cincinnati remained baseball crazy with new teams that maintained the Reds name. Reds Memories: The Greatest Moments in Cincinnati Reds History covers the plight of the team from the pioneer days to the glory era of the Big Red Machine to the gang now playing in the Great American Ballpark.

The documentary has plenty of baseball writers to describe the various teams that used the Reds name in the early decades of baseball. The best story is the team that switched leagues to sell beer and play on Sundays. The Reds won the 1919 World Series over the Chicago White Sox. After the upset, it was discovered the White Sox players were bribed by gamblers to throw the Series. Although during the documentary Reds player Edd Roush recounts how their pitcher was also approached by a gambler to lose. Was this game so fixed by gamblers on both sides that it was fair? The rightful focus of the film is the ‘70s when the Big Red Machine ran Riverfront Stadium. It was a glorious time on the AstroTurf with Johnny Bench behind the plate, Pete Rose at third, Joe Morgan at second, Tony Perez at first and Dave Concepción in the shortstop hole. The outfield was Ken Griffey, Cesar Geronimo and George Foster. It was an all-star team in the field. They finally claimed the World Series title in ’75 except the highlight was the Redsox’s Carlton Fisk waving his hit into a home run. The next year they trounced the New York Yankees for a second title. There’s plenty of tales about how this team came together and Sparky Anderson made them champions.

Pete Rose must be extremely pleased at how he’s profiled in Reds Memories since it’s a positive piece that would please any press secretary. He gets to boast of his hard playing ways and most hits record. He doesn’t have to answer why he’s banned from baseball including entering the Hall of Fame with many of his teammates. Pete was caught betting on baseball including his own games. He kept claiming he was innocent until he had to sell an autobiography with a confession of guilt. Former owner Marge Schott also gets treated kindly with no mention of her troubles. Instead we get to hear about the surprising 1990 Reds that swept the highly touted Oakland A’s for the World Series. Who really wants to talk that much about her?

Reds Memories has plenty of vintage footage for fans of the Reds to enjoy. The crucial highlights are captured. They even have interviews with Pete Rose where he doesn’t make you cringe with him begging to be put in the Hall of Fame. The documentary does a fine job of explaining the passion Cincinnati has for their team and how the team returns the love on the field.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. They’ve cropped the original 1.33:1 image to fit the widescreen. For the most part this isn’t annoying since there’s not many heads being cut off. The image varies depending on the archival source of the material. Worse is old videotape. Audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. The levels for the interviews are fine.

Tom Browning Perfect Game 9/88: Final At Bat (2:53) is a nail biting battle with the hitter.

1990 Reds Player Billy Bates Races a Cheetah (1:03) is a great freak show moment. Billy gets a head start on the cat.

Ken Griffey Jr: 500th HR At Bat/600th HR At Bat (4:45) is two swings from the player that should have been the greatest home run hitter of all time.

Johnny Bench Night Home Run (Final Of Career) (1:28) is a great ending to a hall of famer’s playing days.

Pete Rose Passes Ty Cobb Hit Record (8:28) gives the disgraced player his big ovation.

Tom Seaver No-Hitter: Final At Bat (3:25) is another tough out.

Johnny Vander Meer Feature (5:37) tells us about the pitcher who threw consecutive no-hitters.

Johnny Bench 1989 Hall of Fame Speech (5:34) reminds us that he wanted to be a major league catcher.

Reds Memories: The Greatest Moments in Cincinnati Reds History is the perfect gift for a young fan wanting to discover the past glories of the Big Red Machine. It covers all the major moments in the team’s history so they can easily keep up with an Uncle’s rambling of what it was like when he went to Riverfront to watch Charlie Hustle plow over catchers. The lack of a critical view of the team’s low lights will also make young kids feel good instead of shocked.

Shout! Factory presents Reds Memories: The Greatest Moments in Cincinnati Reds History. Starring: Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin and Sparky Anderson. Running Time: 74 minutes. Released on DVD: June 8, 2010. Available at×106.jpg

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Red's Weekly Top 5: Months of the Year for Sports Fri, 19 Mar 2010 10:35:53 +0000 Top 5

Top 5 Months for Sports

1)  April – This month is spectacular for the sports nut – I think all the biggies are represented.  For starters, it’s the traditional Opening Day for the Major Leagues and the NCAA will crown both a men’s and women’s champ at their respective Final Fours.  The NBA and NHL playoffs are getting started and a new Green Jacket will be given at Augusta National.  Even NASCAR gets in on the act as they’re in full swing and oftentimes both Bristol and Talladega, two of the most exciting tracks on the circuit, are scheduled in April.  It’s fantastic – glad it’s only a couple weeks away!

2)  November – Gets the nod over October because the Major League Baseball season keeps getting longer which has shoved the Fall Classic into turkey month (which is another reason to like November, the food, but that’s another list for another day).  The glory that is NCAA football is deep into conference play and those Thanksgiving NFL games are always something to look forward to.  Both hockey and hoops are under way and NASCARs chase will crown another champ – lots of great stuff!

3)  February – The Super Bowl and the Daytona 500, what else do you need? – add in a full slate of hoops and hockey and you’ve got a lot of great sports in the year’s shortest month.  Plus, All-Star lovers should note that both the NFL Pro-Bowl and the NBA’s All-Star game are February activities.

4)  October – I love the Major League Playoffs, especially with the addition of the Wild Card (thank you Bud Selig) – and those League Championship Series’ are always drama filled – you can also enjoy great mid-season pro and college football plus Halloween marks the start of the NBA season

5)  December – College Football rules all, so a month of Conference Championships and Bowl Games is my virtual candy store – I also look forward to the Christmas NBA specials each season, the league does a great job of matchups for that game – and for the really hardcore…Baseball Winter Meetings, anyone?

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Who Would You Rather Be? – Hall of Famer vs. World Series Champion Fri, 29 Jan 2010 11:00:09 +0000 One of the best things about baseball is that there are so many potential debates and conversations that you can have regarding the game. People love to debate which is the greatest of all-time, who is the best at this or that and which players would you rather have on your team. I love the debates and the questions. So, today I propose a new question to you, “Who would you rather be? One of the all-time greatest in the Hall of fame or someone with four World Series rings?” Read below and let me know who you would rather be. One note, money is not part of the consideration. The money that the players earn today far outweighs the money that the players of yesterday. So, take money out of the equation and ask yourself, “Who would you rather be?”

Ernie Banks, “Mr. Cub”, played with the Chicago Cubs from 1953 to 1971. He was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility with 83.8% (321 of the 383 ballots) of the votes. Banks started his baseball career with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League in 1950 and played there for one season. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, 1951 and 1952, and after a short return to the Monarchs he signed with, and played for the Cubs in 1953, their first black player. He was the shortstop for the Cubs until 1962, where he moved to first base. Until Cal Ripken Jr. broke his record, Banks had the record for the most number of home runs by a shortstop (345). He ended his careen with 512 home runs. Banks still holds the record for the most games played, at-bats and total bases while in a Cubs uniform.

Ernie Banks was named to 11 All-Star Teams, from 1955 to 1969. He is a two-time Most Valuable Players awards, in 1958 and 1959. He also finished in the Top 6 of the MVP voting three other times. His career Slugging Percentage is .500, which ranks as 105th in the history of baseball. He finished in the Top 10 in runs scored five times, finishing his career with 1,305 runs scored 115th overall. He has more hits than all other major league players, except for 79 others with 2,583 career hits. His extra base hits are just as impressive. As mentioned before, he hit 512 home runs in his career which is still ranked twenty-first all-time. He ranks 150th overall in career doubles, 208th overall in careen triples and 31st overall in total bases. He is also ranked 28th overall in career runs batted in.

Ernie Banks has the unofficial distinction as being the first black manager. In 1973, while a coach for the Cubs, Banks took over as manager for the game when Cubs manager Whitey Lockman was ejected during the course of the game. It may have been for a portion of the game, but Banks did manage. This happened two seasons before Frank Robinson was considered the first black manager.

In 1999, Banks was named to the All-Century team and was ranked as the 38th best player in the history of major league baseball by the Sporting News. He is widely considered one of the best players in the history of the game and is still well-respected by those within the game and those that follow it. However, with all of his accolades, Banks was never on a World Series winner.

Tino Martinez retired from baseball after the 2005 season. During his career, Martinez played for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals. He was a first round draft pick of the Mariners in 1990 (#14 overall) and was chosen ahead of Royce Clayton, Charles Nagy, Marquis Grissom, David Weathers, Eric Karros, Jim Edmonds and Pat Listach among others.

In 1988, Martinez, Jim Abbott and Robin Ventura led the United States to a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

After a few years with the Mariners, he was involved in a four-team trade with the New York Yankees, replacing Don Mattingly as the Yankees first baseman. Martinez signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001, replacing another popular first baseman, Mark McGwire. He was then traded to make room for a kid named Albert Pujols.

In his career, Martinez batted .271, collected 1,925 hits with 339 career home runs and 1,271 runs batted in. He was a two-time all-star and finished second the 1997 MVP voting, a season where he hit 44 home runs and drove in 141.

Tino Martinez played in 21 career playoff series, winning 16 and losing 5. He has played in nine Division Series, winning seven. He has played in seven Championship Series, winning five. He has played in five World Series, winning four. In the one World Series that he did not win, 2001, he hit a dramatic home run in the ninth inning of Game 4, sending the game into extra innings (a game that I attended). He also hit a Grand Slam in the 7th inning of Game 1 of the 1998 World Series (another game that I attended).

After returning to the Yankees in 2005, Martinez retired at the end of the season. Since them Martinez has worked as an analyst on ESPN and has also been a Special Assistant to the General Manager of the New York Yankees in 2008.

There you go, Ernie Banks and Tino Martinez. One is a Hall of Famer and one of the All-Century Team members. The other has four World Series rings. So I ask you, “Who would you rather be?”

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