Tag Archives: August

Busby Gets Emergency Call-Up to KC

Needing a rested starter for their Friday night game against the Rangers, the Royals called up pitcher Steve Busby from their AAA affiliate in Omaha, where he’ll meet the team at Arlington Stadium in time for their 7:35 pm match-up against division-rival Texas.

Busby is currently 3-7 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 starts for Omaha this season, and though his numbers aren’t necessarily worthy of promotion, he represents the most well-rested starter currently on the Omaha roster, after last pitching on August 20th against Oklahoma City. Another draw for KC manager Whitey Herzog are his five years of major league experience with the parent club, where he went 22-14 in 1974 and hurled a pair of no-hitters in 1973 and 1974.

After making his emergency start tonight, Busby will fill the bullpen void left by struggling reliever Doug Bird, who was sent to Omaha to make room for Busby. Bird was 2-4 with one save and a 5.06 ERA in 23 games for the Royals this season; he will likely return to Kansas City when major league rosters are expanded to 40 players on September 1st.

TWISP Notes #76

TWISP Notes
December 13, 2021

• There are seven days and 82 games remaining in the August schedule.

• Tigers second baseman Steve Dillard was placed on the 30-day disabled list after he collided with outfielder Ron LeFlore in Game 1 of a twinbill between Toronto and Detroit at Tiger Stadium. LeFlore was also injured on the play, and will be out for at least a week.

• The Reds will experiment with a new lineup on August 25th, when they’ll revert back to one that was used during their 4-game sweep of the Yankees in the 1976 World Series. Dan Driessen will now bat clean-up, George Foster will be bumped down to fifth, and Johnny Bench will bat sixth, with Cesar Geronimo returning to center field on an everyday basis. If the experiment is a success, the lineup will continue to be used for the remainder of August, and possibly into and through September.

• The stage has been set for the final Guidry-Palmer match-up of the season, on August 31st at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. It will the fourth time the two have squared off against each other this season, with New York winning two of the three contests.

• Phillies outfielder Garry Maddox became the second player in the NL – and the eighth overall – to steal home this season, doing so against Rick Rhoden of the Dodgers on August 24th.

• While managing in a game during a recent visit to Arizona, my friend Steve P created his ‘Legends of Statis Pro’ list of his most memorable players from my SP78 season. On the list were Steve Ontiveros (CHI-N), Julio Cruz (SEA), Reggie Smith (LA), Sixto Lezcano (MIL), Ron Guidry (NY-A), Mike Caldwell (MIL), and Lou Whitaker (DET).

• Rangers outfielder Al Oliver extended his current SP78-leading hitting streak to 16 games.

• Outfielder Charlie Spikes of the Evansville Triplets was called up by the Tigers to fill the roster spot left vacant by the month-long injury to second baseman Steve Dillard. He’ll platoon with Tim Corcoran in center field until Ron LeFlore returns from injury at the end of the month.

• Dave Chalk of the Angels was suspended one game by the AL office for using an illegal bat during the NY-CAL game of August 23rd, and will serve the suspension on August 25th. He’s the fourth Angels player to be charged with illegal bat use this season, but only the first to be suspended.

• The Cardinals swept their 3-game series with the Reds this week, and by doing so have taken sole possession of fifth place in the NL East, dropping the Mets a game back after their extra-inning loss on Sunday. The Cards have now set their sights on the fourth-place Expos (five games ahead) and third-place Cubs (six games ahead).

Hey Fans! August 26th is Hardee’s Backpack Nite at Memorial Stadium!

Jim Rice and the First BD-2 HR

There are two things to know about the home run Red Sox slugger Jim Rice hit against the Mariners on August 22nd, in the fourth inning of their game at the Kingdome in Seattle. First, it was his 19th home run of the season, a 2-run shot that gave the Sox a temporary 2-1 lead in a game they’d eventually lose to the lowly M’s. But second, and more importantly, it was the first-ever BD-2 home run hit during my SP78 Replay season…a streak that lasted forty years and over 1,600 games played.

Hard to believe perhaps, considering the number of BD cards that are turned during an average SP78 game, but it’s true; I can’t say for certain whether one was hit in the first few years of my season (after some research, it appears unlikely), but once I began paying attention to the possibility of such an occurrence—probably in 1988, when my statkeeping efforts improved—I’d never had one take place until now. But what makes a BD-2 in particular so special is that Rice is one of just two players in the game to possess such a rating, the other being a slugger from the National League who’s also well known for his home run hitting prowess:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what exactly is a BD home run? For those uninitiated with the ‘clutch batting’ aspect of the game, each player in the league possesses a BD rating of either 0, 1, or 2 (don’t ask me why Avalon Hill chose to use ‘BD’ instead of the more logical ‘CB’ designation), signifying how well a particular batter does in clutch situations, when one or more runners are on base. These ratings allow the player, when a certain Fast-Action card and number are drawn, to connect for a double, triple, or home run, with any of these options succeeding in clearing the bases of  all runners.

What’s also amazing about Rice’s recent home run is the simple fact that he hit one at all; during the actual 1978 season, he led both the AL and NL in homers (46), games played (163), hits (213), triples (15), runs batted in (139), and slugging percentage (.600), all helping him to earn AL MVP honors. But in my SP78 season, he’s nowhere near those lofty totals, even with that devastating Statis Pro player card at his disposal: currently his 19 home runs are well behind the 34 he’d hit at this juncture in 1978, while more than a dozen other players already have more triples, and his current batting average (.249) will never catch up to the one he finished the ’78 campaign with (.315).

And here’s another odd aspect to the situation: I understand why Rice was awarded BD-2 status, since he led the AL in home runs, total bases, and slugging percentage in 1978, but why Luzinski? If those three categories are to be considered the deciding criteria for BD-2 status, then Luzinski is definitely a no-go: he was second in the NL in home runs behind Reds outfielder George Foster, and just sixth in total bases and slugging percentage, well behind Dave Parker of the Pirates. Either one of those players should’ve been bestowed with a BD-2 classification instead, especially since both are having far better seasons offensively right now than Luzinski.

Anyway, there you have it…a BD-2 home run has finally been struck after all these years, leaving only a triple play, a perfect game, and a postponement due to insect infestation left to accomplish on my SP78 ‘to-do’ list. As Rice told reporters after the historic game, “I don’t know why you’re talking to me…you should be asking Greg what’s taking him so long.”

August Injury Report – Week 3

The following is a list of injuries to players which occurred between August 16th and August 23rd of the SP78 season, with injuries noted by date, team, player, and number of days or weeks missed. (Note: there were no injuries on the 16th)

August 17

NY-N: In the second inning of their game against the Padres, Mets third baseman Lenny Randle aggravated a prior injury to his hip when he stumbled into the visitor’s dugout chasing a foul ball off the bat of Fernando Gonzalez; he would leave the game and be out of action for the next five days.

TEX: In the top of the eighth inning of the Chisox-Rangers match-up at Arlington Stadium, Alan Bannister’s sinking line drive to center fell for a triple when Texas center fielder Juan Beniquez misjudged his diving attempt to make the catch and landed awkwardly on the outfield grass, straining his wrist. The injury would force him to miss the next seven games.

August 18

STL: Cardinals batter Mike Phillips suffered contusions to his right hand when he was struck by a pitch from Braves reliever Dave Campbell during the eighth inning of their game at St Louis. He was replaced by a pinch-runner and would sit out the next four games, but would return in time to participate in the SP78 40th Anniversary game on August 22nd.

August 19

LA: Citing a sudden tightness in his pitching shoulder, Dodgers starter Doug Rau asked manager Tommy Lasorda to remove him from their afternoon contest against the Mets after just one inning of work, after he surrendered a walk to batter Bobby Valentine on four pitches. Rau would miss his next start, and will probably miss one more before returning to the starting rotation later this month.

MIL: Brewers starter Lary Sorensen was the second SP78 pitcher lost to injury today, after he went 4.1 innings before developing a blister on his pitching hand and leaving the game, two outs before he would’ve qualified for the victory in an eventual 7-1 Milwaukee win over Detroit. The blister was deemed serious enough to keep him out of action for at least another start.

August 20

OAK: A long fly ball off the bat of Boston’s Jack Brohamer resulted in a collision between Oakland center fielder Glenn Burke and the outfield wall at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, resulting in a triple for Brohamer and a separated shoulder for Burke, who would be placed on the 30-day disabled list the following day. It would be his second month-long stint on the DL this season, after a collision with teammate Mike Edwards resulted in a thirty-day absence back in April.

August 21

LA: While charging in on a short pop fly off the bat of Montreal’s Ellis Valentine, LA left fielder Dusty Baker clipped shortstop Bill Russell as he backpedaled to make the catch; the ball dropped untouched, allowing Valentine to race to second with a double, while both defensemen remained prone on the outfield grass. Russell was not injured and remained in the game, but Baker was helped off the field with an unspecified leg injury, and will likely be out the rest of the month.

SF: The Giants also lost an outfielder to injury after a collision with a shortstop, as Terry Whitfield will be out for at least a week after running into teammate Roger Metzger as they converged on a shallow fly ball during the fourth inning of their game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. Whitfield was replaced by Jim Dwyer, while Metzger was unscathed and continued the game at short.

August 22

DET: Tigers outfielder Steve Kemp will miss the next few games after landing roughly on the hard Metropolitan Stadium turf while diving for a line shot by Roy Smalley in the fifth, which skipped past him and went to the wall for a triple. X-rays were taken of his right wrist and elbow as a precaution, but no breaks or fractures were found.

August 23

DET: After losing an outfielder to injuries yesterday, the Tigers will be without the services of two more players, after center fielder Ron LeFlore and second baseman Steve Dillard were both hurt when they collided during the second inning of their Game 1 match-up against the visiting Blue Jays. The batter, Roy Howell, made it to second on the play; LeFlore is expected to return to the lineup soon, but Dillard will be placed on the 30-day DL due to his injuries, which have yet to be specified by the team.

MIN: In the first game of a doubleheader between Texas and Minnesota, with Mike Hargrove batting in the sixth, Twins third baseman Mike Cubbage was injured when he chased a pop-up into foul territory and slammed into a metal railing near the Ranger dugout. Not only did he fail to make the catch, but his left knee struck the rail in the process, prompting his immediate departure from the game. There has been no report on what type of injury he suffered, but sources say he will be out for at least a week.