Tag Archives: Lou Whitaker

TWISP Notes #74


TWISP Notes

November 7, 2020

• Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker makes his long-awaited return from the SP78 suspended list on August 23rd, and will start the second game of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Tiger Stadium that night. It will mark the first time in 64 games – since June 10, 1994 – that the Detroit rookie has seen major league action. Steve Dillard and Mark Wagner, the two utility infielders who took over for Whitaker during his suspension, will split second base duties in Game 1 of the twinbill.

• To make room for Whitaker on the team’s 25-man roster, the Tigers have sent slumping third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez to their AAA club at Evansville. Rodriguez, hitting just .224 in 84 games this season, will return to the parent club on September 1st, when all clubs expand their rosters to forty players. Until then, Phil Mankowski will take over at third for Detroit.

• Mike Caldwell of the Brewers became the first pitcher this season to reach the 20-win mark, doing so August 22nd against the Indians at County Stadium. Caldwell (20-4)  topped the Tribe 9-1, and saw his ERA drop to 1.46.

• With an infield single in his fourth and final at-bat against the Red Sox on August 22nd, Seattle catcher Bob Stinson reached the 100-hit mark in a season for the first time in his 12-year career.

• A’s pitcher Steve Renko returned from the 15-day disabled list on August 22nd and started in that day’s match-up against the Orioles, where he pitched an outstanding game, allowing just four hits and one run over 6.2 innings, but came out on the losing end of a 1-0 O’s shutout.

• Tigers outfielder Steve Kemp was injured when he dove awkwardly for a fly ball off the bat of Twins hitter Hosken Powell in their August 22nd game at Metropolitan Stadium; the ball fell for a triple, and Kemp left the game with minor injuries. He’s expected to return to action in a few days.

• Bobby Murcer of the Cubs and Al Oliver of the Rangers will take 13-game hitting streaks into their respective games on August 23rd. Both are currently the longest active streaks in the SP78 season.

• The White Sox are the first SP78 team this season to lose 80 games.

• The Cubs activated outfielder Greg Gross from the 21-day disabled list, and sent outfielder Gene Clines to their minor league affiliate in Wichita.

• Even after his 6-3 win over the Padres on August 22nd, Phillies starter Jim Lonborg (5-9) is still the only pitcher on the squad who has a losing record.

Fans! August 24th is 7-Up Junior Padres Night at San Diego Stadium!

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