December 8, 2016
• June stats have finally been calculated and finalized, and teams are currently being updated on the SP78 site. All National League teams are complete, and American League teams have been updated through the Kansas City Royals, with seven AL teams left to fill out. After that, work will begin on July stats.
• Giants veteran Willie McCovey drilled his 499th home run in a game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 12th. McCovey connected off LA reliever Rick Sutcliffe, a solo shot in the eighth inning that gave the Dodgers some insurance in an eventual 4-2 win. McCovey also had two singles in the game to complete a 3-for-4 night.
• The Brewers have lost five in a row, and have dropped to five games back of the first-place Yankees in the AL East.
• A’s rookie pitcher Tim Conroy, an eighteen-year-old fresh out of Monroeville High School in Pennsylvania, was called up from the Vancouver Canadians of the PCL on August 13th and pitched his first major league game the next day, a 5-3 victory in the second game of a twinbill against the Twins. Conroy lasted five innings, allowing three runs on five hits, and picked up the win thanks to a tie-breaking 2-run home run from Mitchell Page in the fifth.
• Manager Ken Boyer of the Cardinals, having to choose between two hot-hitting shortstops—Garry Templeton and newcomer Todd Benefiel—and finding it difficult to sit either one of them, will experiment with moving the rookie to left field for the next few weeks, a position that has been deficient in the St Louis hitting department all season. Though he was batting .389 going into the August 14th game against the Astros, Benefiel went 0-for-3 in his outfield debut, with a walk and a run scored. “Give it time,” Boyer told skeptical reporters. “It’s only the first day, for chrissake.” Benefiel will once again be in left when the Cards face the Astros on Tuesday.
• With ace Scott McGregor going for his 18th win for the Orioles, rain postponed their August 14th game against the Yankees at Memorial Stadium after three innings. The game will be replayed as part of a doubleheader on August 30th.
• During an October trip to San Diego to take part in my friend’s wedding, I played a trio of SP78 games at two new California sites: my friend Durand’s house in Poway (SD9), and the Marriott Marquis & Marina near Seaport Village in downtown San Diego (SD10). The first game, at SD9, was perhaps the first-ever SP78 game to be played on a bed.
• Without any starters rested for their game against Cincinnati on August 13th, the Padres made an emergency call-up from their AAA affiliate in Hawaii, bringing right-handed pitcher Mark Wiley up to the parent club to start against the Reds that afternoon. In six innings pitched, Wiley allowed four runs on four hits (three of which were home runs) in a 4-2 loss. Wiley last pitched in the major leagues in 1975, as a member of the Twins.
Fans! August 19th is J. C. Penney Team Jersey Night
at Anaheim Stadium!