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Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

MLB attendance slightly down in 2014

(courtesy MLBpressbox.com)

For the second straight season, Major League Baseball attendance has slightly dropped.

According to the commissioner’s office, the 30 teams drew 73,739,622 for an average per game attendance of 30,458. That is a 0.2 percent dropoff from 2013′s average of 30,515.

The total attendance of 73.74 million was down from 73.03 million last year and 74.86 million in 2012, but still ranks seventh highest in MLB history.

Before the Great Recession, MLB was at a peak average of 32,785 fans per game.

 

PORTIONS OF ARTICLE DERIVED FROM MLB PRESS RELEASE

 

Astros improved by 19 games in 2014 under Bo Porter but ownership turns to Hinch to win championships

A.J. Hinch

The Houston Astros stunned the baseball world when they fired manager Bo Porter on September 1 in only his second season on the job and turned to Tom Lawless as the interim manager.

The team was very competitive in 2014. They made a 19-game improvement in wins over 2013 and they had the American League batting champion in Jose Altuve.

By finishing at 70-92, the Astros ended up fourth in the tough AL West and ended their streak of three straight 100-plus seasons.

On Monday, one day after the MLB regular season ended, the Astros became the first team to name a new manager.

They have hired A.J. Hinch,  a member of the bronze medal-winning 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, a former catcher, former manager and front office executive. As the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 & 2010 encompassing 212 games, his record was 89-123.

The 40-year-old Hinch, brings more than 20 years of playing, managing and front office experience in Major League Baseball to the Astros organization. This is his second managerial post, as he served as Arizona’s manager for parts of two seasons from 2009-10. Hinch also played parts of seven Major League seasons with Oakland (1998-2000), Kansas City (2001-02), Detroit (2003) and Philadelphia (2004). A former catcher, Hinch played in 338 career Major League games after being selected in the third round of the 1996 draft. His career totals include a .219 average with 32 homers and 112 RBI’s.

Hinch joins the Astros after coming from the San Diego Padres, where he most recently served as the club’s Vice President and Assistant General Manager for three years (2011-14). In that role, Hinch oversaw all aspects of the club’s professional scouting and medical departments, while assisting with the club’s roster composition, player acquisitions, talent evaluations and contract negotiations.

Hinch, who retired as a player in 2005, joined Arizona’s front office in 2006 and was eventually named the team’s Director of Player Development later that season. He held that role until being named the Diamondbacks manager in 2009.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow believes that Hinch is the man to lead Houston back to the success it had in the 90′s and early to mid 2000′s. “I feel A.J. Hinch will be the manager that is going to be here when we win the World Series.”

Says Hinch, “The goal is always to win championships. It is easier said than done. We have alot of work to do to get back to the success that the organization has had in the past.”

 

PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE TAKEN FROM HOUSTON ASTROS PRESS RELEASE; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn dies of cancer at age 54

Tony Gwynn in 2006 (photo by Ewen & Donabel via wikipedia commons)

Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn has passed away at 54 years old.

Gwynn died today, Monday, June 16, 2014, of cancer of the salivary gland.

He is survived by his wife, Alicia, daughter Anisha and son Tony Jr., an outfielder with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Hall of Fame outfielder, spent all 20 of his MLB career with the San Diego Padres, had been on a medical leave since late March from his job as the head baseball coach at his alma mater San Diego State.

One of the greatest contact hitters to ever play the game, Gwynn amassed 3,141 hits, a career .338 average and won eight NL batting titles. He excelled at hitting singles the other way, between third base and shortstop, which is considered the “5.5 hole”.

Gwynn had three procedures to remove noncancerous growths from his parotid gland since 1997. In 2010, Gwynn was diagnosed with cancer of a salivary gland and had both lymph nodes removed. Gwynn said his cancer was due to the habit of dipping tobacco that he had since playing rookie ball in Walla Walla in 1981.

Gwynn’s second surgery was complicated, with surgeons removing a facial nerve because it was intertwined with a tumor inside his right cheek. They grafted a nerve from Gwynn’s neck where he  eventually was able to regain facial movement.

Gwynn’s other accomplishments included:

2 World Series appearances

15-time All-Star

8-time Batting Champion

5-time Gold Glove Award Winner

7-time Silver Slugger Award Winner

1999 Roberto Clemente Award Winner

Number 19 jersey retired by San Diego Padres retired in 2004

.338 career batting average

135 career homers

1,138 career RBI’s

Played with the Padres from 1982-2001.


Ohio State gets another basketball transfer in Trevor Thompson

Trevor Thompson (courtesy Virginia Tech)

Ohio State head basketball coach Thad Matta has had some good news the past two weeks.

First, he received word that Temple University forward Anthony Lee would transfer.

On Sunday, Virginia Tech freshman center Trevor Thompson said that he would be coming to Ohio State as well.

The two players add height and depth to the frontcourt. Lee is 6’9, Thompson is 7’0.

Trevor’s dad is former MLB outfielder, Ryan Thompson, who played nine years with the Mets, Cleveland, Houston, the Yankees, Florida and Milwaukee. Now 46 years old, Thompson won a World Championship with the Yankees in 2000.

With Virginia Tech during the 2013-2014 season: 2013-14: Played in 30 games, making ten starts … Named to the All-ACC Academic team … Made collegiate debut in the win over West Virginia, scoring five points, grabbing five rebounds and blocking three shots … Recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds against Western Carolina … Grabbed six rebounds and blocked five shots against VMI … Grabbed eight rebounds and added four points off the bench against VCU … Scored four points and blocked a shot in just three minutes of action against UNCG … Brought down four rebounds and added eight points against UMES … Made the first start of his career against No. 2 Syracuse, scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds … Recorded the second double-double of his career with 10 points and 12 rebounds against Wake Forest … Scored seven points and added four rebounds against Maryland … Scored six points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots at Florida State … Had eight points and six rebounds at Pittsburgh … Grabbed 12 rebounds and scored eight points in the win over Miami … Neared a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds against NC State … Matched his career best with 15 points, adding three steals and six rebounds at No. 6 Duke … Scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds against No. 19 North Carolina … Led all players with 10 rebounds, also adding six points, at Maryland … Scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in ACC Tournament game against Miami.

 

**2013-2014 INFORMATION COURTESY OF VIRGINIA TECH SPORTS INFORMATION

Dallas coach Lindy Ruff gets career win 600 against old club, Buffalo

Lindy Ruff (photo by Arnold C. Buchanan-Hermit via wikipedia commons)

When Lindy Ruff was an NHL hockey player for the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers, he gained a reputation as a player for his toughness, character and hard work on the ice as a left winger/defenseman.

He brought that same mentality behind the bench as one of the top coaches in the league.

Monday night, his Dallas Stars team defeated his former club, the Sabres, 3-2. The win earned the 54-year-old Ruff his 600th career win. Overall his record as a coach is 600-454-88 in 16 years.

Ruff was the head coach at Buffalo for 15 years, from the 1997-98 season until the middle of the 2012-2013 season. On February 20, 2013, the Sabres announced that Ruff had been relieved of his coaching duties. That ended his tenure as the NHL’s longest active-serving coach with one team and he was second only to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA as one of the longest-employed coaches in all of the four major sports in North America (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB).

 

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