Tag Archives: Lou Whitaker

TWISP Notes #72

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TWISP Notes

January 11, 2020

• In the August 20th game against the Yankees at the Kingdome in Seattle, M’s second baseman Julio Cruz stole his 91st base of the season, a sixth-inning theft of second off NY pitcher Bob Kammeyer, leaving him just five short of tying Ty Cobb’s AL record of 96.

• Steve Garvey and Reggie Smith of the Dodgers connected for two home runs apiece in LA’s 11-2 win over the Mets at Los Angeles. The four round-trippers came at the expense of four different New York pitchers: Nino Espinosa, Paul Siebert, Dwight Bernard, and Dale Murray. It was the second time this season two NL players on the same team had connected for two HR’s in the same game; Ellis Valentine and Larry Parrish each hit two against the Reds on July 18th, while Ben Oglivie and Gorman Thomas of the Brewers accomplished the feat in the AL on July 1st at Seattle.

• The Blue Jays have lost six games in a row, while the Mariners and Red Sox have lost five. Continue reading

TWISP Notes #71

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TWISP Notes

October 1, 2019

• LA starter Doug Rau was forced to leave the August 19th game against the Mets in the second inning with what Dodgers pitching coach Red Adams called ‘stiffness in his left shoulder’. Rau has been listed as day-to-day, but will likely miss his next start.

• With the Blue Jays extra-inning loss to the Twins on Saturday, which saw them without a left-handed reliever when the Twins sent four left-handed batters to the plate in the extra frame to win it, Toronto manager Roy Hartsfield will be looking to Syracuse for a southpaw to add to his all-righty bullpen. The likely candidate is Mike Willis, who in 17 games with the Jays earlier this season was 0-0 with one save and an unfortunate 7.64 ERA.

• The resurgent Pirates have suddenly found themselves in second place in the NL East, having won 10 of their last 13, which included three wins in a four-game series against the division-leading Phillies. For the moment, however, the Phils can rest easy; the Bucs are still 14½ games back.

• With voting on Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker’s return to major league action stalling at 13 votes (11 for his return, and two for keeping him suspended), the commissioner’s office will now make a decision regarding Whitaker’s status, taking into account the preferences of SP78 voters as well as the input of other AL team administrators. No date has been set for this announcement. Continue reading

A Dilemma in Detroit

As many of you know, I stopped following major league baseball in 1994, when the players went on strike mid-season and basically killed my enthusiasm for the sport. Luckily I had my Statis Pro season, video and audio tapes of old games, and the minor league Lake Elsinore Storm to quench my thirst, but I would never again be a fan of baseball—current baseball—after that season.

Of course, someone had to pay the price for this indiscretion, and when I saw a newspaper photo during the strike of Lou Whitaker emerging from a limousine, smartly dressed with several gold chains hanging from his neck as he headed for a players meeting, he became that someone, and I immediately suspended him for the remainder of my SP78 season. Fair or not, he became my scapegoat, and since that day he’s missed 62 games of the Tigers season, and with Detroit in a tightly-contested AL East pennant race, he’ll not only miss the remainder of the regular season, but possibly some post-season games as well.

It’s now been twenty-five years since the players went on strike and—along with the owners—ended the ’94 season; obviously it’s also been that long since Whitaker last played an SP78 game (his final appearance was on June 10, 1978). Until he was suspended, Whitaker was batting .303, with six errors in 48 games played. During his absence, utility infielders Mark Wagner and Steve Dillard have platooned at second, batting a combined .276 with only five errors over 62 games; for the month of August, however, they’re both hitting under .200, and have turned just 33 double plays with shortstop Alan Trammell since June, compared to the 31 that had been turned by Whitaker and Trammell before the suspension, in a fewer number of games. Continue reading