Hello there. Come on in and have a seat as we make our weekly rundown of stories from Major League Baseball that might have slipped through the cracks or not caught your attention.
This week, we move "Did You See That?" to a new day where you will find it every week. The weekly recap article will come to you every Monday right here on More Hardball.
It seems foolish to point this out because it was everywhere this week and is not exactly a story that slides through any cracks. However, I feel that not acknowledging it would be negligent as it was easily the top story in baseball this week.
Good-Bye To The Boss
He was one of those "Larger Than Life" figures in sports. George Steinbrenner was the guy that fans of other teams hated, fans of the Yankees loved, and owners across professional sports everywhere modeled themselves after. Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones might be owners that overstep their bounds, get involved where they do not need to be, and manipulate the media to accomplish their own agenda, but somewhere today George Steinbrenner is watching them with a smirk and saying, "Keep trying, you will never be me".
The Yankees Have Another Scare
Steinbrenner passes days after legendary public address announcer Bob Sheppard departed this world. On Saturday the Yankees played host to their annual "Old Timers Game" and brought out the great players of yesterday to play an exhibition in front of young and old fans alike. Easily one of my favorite moments in any baseball park, this classic event brought a large amount of concern to an already disheveled Yankee Nation when the position behind the plate was not manned by Hall-Of-Famer Yogi Berra. Yogi, at age 85, had fallen in his home and was admitted to the hospital for observation. While the family reports that his condition is satisfactory and he is recovering at home, the Yankee Family holds it's breath a little in concern.
The Heat Is On
Those players, fans, and residents of the area will tell you that St. Louis heat and humidity are nothing to joke about. With temperatures that reach into the 100's on the thermometer, the humidity and heat index will cause the field to feel like it is more like 120 degrees. Players get dehydrated, fans beg for the frozen lemonade and cold drink vendors to come to their seats more often, and managers keep a close eye on their players to not over exert themselves. On Saturday, James Loney appeared to pull a hamstring on a swing that produced a weak pop fly to first base. In a show of sportsmanship, Yadier Molina immediately held the Dodger firstbaseman up on his feet while trainers assisted him off the field. At the time of this article being written, Loney is scheduled to play on Sunday, showing that the cramp was a byproduct of the heat. In addition, Cardinal superstar Albert Pujols will take the day off Sunday, yielding to rookie Allen Craig for the day.
Tony Gwynn, Jr. Homers The Hard Way
San Diego has quietly put together a solid season yet again and find themselves in the playoff hunt after the All Star break. The season started with speculation of where Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell would be playing by season end and has now turned to discussion of who the Padres may be picking up to solidify their season. In the midst of this season, Tony Gwynn, Jr. has put together an impressive season that has seen him hit three (3) home runs. What do you mean, three home runs is not impressive? I say they are. Two of them are inside the ball park jobs, the most recent coming Saturday. Impressed now? I thought so. After a diving attempt in left field by Diamondback Rusty Ryal let the ball trickle into the corner, Gwynn would motor around the bases and slide into home with a face first slide that resembled more of a exhausted moment of rest then it did a player beating a throw. Gwynn joined his father as one of only three players in Padres history to have multiple inside the park home runs in a career. The other is Gene Richards, who also had two in a season in 1982.
There it is, your rundown for the week. I know it is not easy to keep up with all things baseball during the week, but that is why I am here. I got your back.
Bill Ivie is the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com and Executive Editor of their affiliate site, i70baseball.com. You can find him on BlogTalkRadio hosting the I-70 Baseball show every Monday night at 10 p.m. CST.