Happy Birthday, Orlando!

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Orlando Cepeda with the Giants in 1962

Orlando Cepeda turns 82 today. Born on September 17, 1937, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Cepeda made his MLB debut on April 15, 1958. Between 1958 and 1974, the right-handed first baseman played for San Francisco (1958-66), St. Louis (1966-68), Atlanta (1969-72), Oakland (1972), Boston (1973), and Kansas City (1974). He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1959, an 11-time All-Star, and the 1967 NL MVP.

Whenever I hear Cepeda’s name, I think of this song by Danny Kaye – even though its about his Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants and Orlando Cepeda are an important part of the tale:



~ baseballrebecca




Eight . . .


Manny Machado with the Dodgers in 2018. Photo by Ian D’Andrea (via Wikipedia)

Opening Day is just eight days away!! Two of my all-time favorite players have worn no. 8: Cal Ripken and Manny Machado. And since Manny is no longer an Oriole (or a Dodger, where he wore no. 8), I’m a San Diego Padres fan this year. (I already have my tickets for when they play more former team, the O’s!)

~ baseballrebecca

Stat-urday, 8/4/2018

CbhLwDZWwAALH2jI found a cool stats tool the other day when doing research on Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop. You can get game by game stats on ESPN.com. On the left side pull down menu, click on MLB and at the top click More and then select Players. From there you can search by player or team. For each player, you can see a variety of stats, including the “Game Log,” which gives you daily stats. There are so many fun things we can analyze with this!

This will be a longer term project, but I’d love to figure out how well Manny and Jonathan did in games there played together versus games where they did not play together. For example, as a Dodger, Manny has been batting .268 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI (in 14 games through Thursday). Prior to being traded, his batting average was .315 and he had 24 home runs and 65 RBI (in 96 games). Jonathan was batting .244 with 17 home runs and 40 RBI in 85 games as an Oriole. In his first two games with Milwaukee he went 0-for-8.

This may not be a sufficiently large sample size, but, so far, they were better together, than apart.

~ baseballrebecca


Machado and Schoop

Last night, former Orioles Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop faced each other for the first time as members of their new teams. It was a heartbreaking reunion for Os fans everywhere. (And to torture us further, MLB Network showed us the end of a one-sided Cubs win over the Pirates instead of showing us the beginning of the game featuring the reunion we longed for in the Dodgers-Brewers match-up.)

I’m sad that they’re no longer teammates but happy they’re on good teams. My Manny Dodgers shirt is on the way; I need a Jonathan Brewers shirt now. I’ll always love my former Bowie Baysox. Good luck Manny and Jonathan.

~ baseballrebecca 

Missing Manny

13 - Machado 2Wednesday was a hard day in Birdland. The rumors of Tuesday turned to doubts Wednesday morning, with headlines that the trade of Manny Machado was far from a done deal. I’d almost come to terms with the fact that Baltimore’s Beloved Manny would be going to Los Angeles, but the gut-wrenching fear that he could still end up in one of my not-favorite teams started all over again.

A little after 7 pm Wednesday night, however, it finally became official: Manny Machado had been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for Manny. He deserves a better team. But I’m sad for Baltimore and Orioles fans. We deserve a better team, too.

Manny Machado was supposed to be the second coming of Cal. The heir-apparent to Cal Ripken was signed in the first round of the 2010 draft. He played a handful of games in 2010 in the rookie leagues and short season A before being assigned to the Orioles low- and high-A affiliates in 2011. He spent most of 2012 in double-A before being promoted to the Orioles on August 9, 2012. After that point Manny and O’s fans never looked back (except for the 3-game rehab stint with the Frederick Keys in 2014).

MachadoBaltimore loved Manny. We still do. That’s why its so hard to say goodbye.

I was irritated with the O’s in 1992 when they released Billy Ripken, but I understood. I was sad in 2001 when Cal retired, but he’d earned it. I was annoyed in 2013 when the O’s traded Jake Arrieta, but I got over it. I was mad in 2014 when the they failed to re-sign Nick Markakis, but I forgave. I was angry when they traded or failed to resign  prospect after prospect, but each time I let it pass. But this time, I’m furious.

This time it feels like the team that we’ve stood by for the last three decades, while they pulled themselves up from their 54-107 1988 season (which included that 21-game losing streak through most of April) really doesn’t care about the fans. The astounding lack of decent pitching, while constantly signing outfielders, is bad enough. Signing aging guys who were good on other teams is annoying. Constantly bringing guys up and sending them down again is frustrating. But trading Manny away is almost enough to make me give up on them once and for all. It might very well be unforgivable.

IMG_1602This time, the Orioles are going to have to work really hard to make it up to us – as well as to the remaining players. Because they deserve better, too. Yes, we still have Adam and Jonathan and Trey. But don’t they deserve to play on a good team, too?

Have the Orioles relied on the fans’ good will for too long? Has it become painfully obvious that they never loved us, like we loved them? Is it time to break up with them once and for all?

Its definitely time for a break. At least for the next few months, I’m totally a Dodgers fan.

Next year, I might have to follow the Yankees. (That’s how mad I am.)

~ baseballrebecca



Wally Moon


Wally Moon, 1961

Today would have been Wally Moon’s 88th birthday;  he passed away earlier this year, on February 9th. Wallace Wade Moon was born in Bay, Arkansas, on April 3, 1930, and made his MLB debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 13, 1954. He was 24 when he made his debut, having already earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Moon was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 1958 season. Moon’s first season with the Dodgers was their second season in Los Angeles and in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (the Dodgers played at the Coliseum from 1958 to 1961). According the author William McNeil (quoted by the Baseball Almanac), right field at L.A. Coliseum “was death for left-handed hitters.” The left field fence was 251 feet from home plate, right field was 300 feet away, and center field 420 feet away. After the 1958 season, Commissioner of Baseball Ford Frick ordered the Dodgers to add a 42-foot wall behind left field to prevent pop flies from turning into home runs.


L.A. Coliseum during the 1959 World Series (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Moon, however, found a way to overcome the wall. As a left-handed batter, Moon knew that the Coliseum would be a tough place for him. After consulting with his mentor and friend, Stan Musial, Moon adjusted his batting stance to emphasize hitting to left field.  Moon’s high fly balls that dropped behind the wall became known as “Moonshots,” coined by none other than Vin Scully. During the 1959 season, Moon batted .302 with 19 home runs (14 of them at home) and his team won the World Series. The next season, Moon would bat .299  – and appear on an episode of Wagon Train!

Moon played with the Dodgers until his retirement at the end of the 1965 season. Moon was a 3-time All-Star, a member of three World Series championship teams, NL Rookie of the Year in 1954, and a Gold Glove winner in 1960. He was inducted into the Texas A&M University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1967. After his retirement from the Dodgers, Moon went on to become a batting coach for the San Diego Padres (1969); the athletic director and baseball coach at John Brown University (1966-77, except for 1969); coach, manager, and owner of the San Antonio Dodgers (1976-80); manager of the Prince William Yankees (1987-88); the second manager in Frederick Keys history (1990-91); and hitting instructor for the Baltimore Orioles. He was named the Carolina League Manager of the Year in 1990.

Thank you for your contributions to baseball and the baseball lexicon, Wally. Rest in peace.

~ baseballrebecca