BIG D BRINGS BIG DOLLARS: Dallas Cowboys, the NFL’s two billion dollar ‘boys | Texas now has a billion-dollar MLB team | Former Microsoft CEO buys Clippers
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday (Thursday) that the Los Angeles Clippers will be sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling had stated in a cover letter Tuesday responding to NBA charges that he had “received offers in excess of $2.5 billion” to purchase the team, which would have set a new record in U.S. pro sports.
The reported winning bid for the Clippers is a bit less than the Dallas Cowboys were valued at by Forbes in 2013. The business magazine appraised America’s Team’s value at $2.3 billion in 2013, up $200 million from the previous year, when it became the first American sports franchise to be worth more than $2 billion.
$2.3 billion Forbes appraisal keeps Dallas Cowboys ranked No. 1 among NFL teams
OXNARD, Calif. — Fresh off the announcement that the Dallas Cowboys will build a new headquarters and practice facility in Frisco with the expectation it will open in 2016, Forbes announced that America’s Team is the NFL’s most valuable.
NFL LOST LEGEND: Sportscaster Pat Summerall (1930-2013)
Pat Summerall died Tuesday. He was 82.
That’s how Summerall, almost a decade ago, said he would craft the first sentences of his obituary — short and to the point.
The legendary sports broadcaster died in his hospital room at Zale Lipshy University Hospital, where he was recovering from surgery for a broken hip, a family friend said.
Summerall’s comment about his obituary was made at his Southlake home after a 2004 liver transplant that saved his life. He was serious.
Typical … succinct … vintage Summerall.
His minimalist staccato style coupled with a deep, authoritative voice was his trademark as the pre-eminent NFL voice for a generation of television viewers.
Summerall worked 16 Super Bowls in a network career that began at CBS in 1962 and ended at Fox in 2002.
LOST LEGEND: Stan Musial, St. Louis Cardinals great, dies at 92
In this June, 1949 photo, St. Louis Cardinals player Stan Musial kissed his wife, Lillian, at the ballpark in St. Louis. The Cardinals said Lillian Musial died on Thursday, May 3, 2012. She was 91.
Editors Note: Occasionally The Boys Are Back blog will feature a special post not directly related to the Dallas Cowboys. Stan Musial was an unusual personality in the sports world. His passing marks an end to a truly remarkable era. Mr. Musial was a class act, on and off the field.
Courtesy: Mark Feeney | Boston Globe | January 19, 2013
Stan Musial, “Stan the Man,” who was the National League’s preeminent player in the decade after World War II and whose 22 seasons playing the outfield and first base for the St. Louis Cardinals earned him a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame, died at his home in Ladue, Mo., at the age of 92, according to the Cardinals.
“We have lost the most beloved member of the Cardinals family,” said William DeWitt Jr., chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals in a statement posted on the team’s website. “Stan Musial was the greatest player in Cardinals history and one of the best players in the history of baseball.”
In a 1952 article, the legendary Hall of Fame outfielder Ty Cobb wrote, “No man has ever been a perfect ballplayer. Stan Musial, however, is the closest to being perfect in the game today.”
For all that Mr. Musial may have approached perfection, he never had a mystique, the way his slightly older counterparts Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams did, or the somewhat younger Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. Mr. Musial played far from the New York media spotlight. He had no hallowed statistic attached to his name, like DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Williams’ .406 batting average in 1941.
Mr. Musial, the sportswriter Jimmy Cannon said, “plays ball with a methodical gaiety and does not surrender to the moods which govern the other great ball players.” Among those alien moods was anxiety. An enthusiastic harmonica player, Mr. Musial performed the national anthem at opening day in St. Louis in 1994 with the conductor of the St. Louis Symphony’s pops concerts. Mr. Musial confided to him it was the first time he had ever felt “nervous on the field.”
The most distinctive thing about Mr. Musial was his batting stance, a coiled crouch once compared to “a man peeking around the corner.” What made Mr. Musial extraordinary was what he did, not who he was. There was nothing flamboyant or colorful about him, either on the field or off. It was no small irony that “Stan the Man” inspired one of the most memorable baseball nicknames of the 1970s when a teammate dubbed the notably eccentric relief pitcher Don Stanhouse “Stan the Man Unusual.”
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins
It’s finally coming to an end.
The Miami Dolphins visit the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium tonight to close it out.
Here’s a preview.
Stephen McGee vs. Rudy Carpenter: The Cowboys are thinking about going with two quarterbacks. Tony Romo and Kyle Orton have guaranteed roster spots. After that, McGee, the third quarterback since 2009, and Carpenter, who is trying to make the active roster, will get a shot Wednesday night. McGee has been inconsistent this summer in camp practices and in three preseason games. Carpenter has led the third unit on a touchdown drive. McGee is the better talent, but roster issues could force the Cowboys to go with just two quarterbacks, unless someone emerges.
Claiborne and Spears should play: First-round pick Morris Claiborne and veteran defensive end Marcus Spears should play a little on Wednesday. Here’s why. Claiborne, who missed the first preseason game with a knee sprain, needs to get more snaps before getting ready for the New York Giants on opening night. Spears is getting snaps with the second team and will most likely get a few snaps just to either keep him sharp or see if the Cowboys still want him on the team.
What’s uncertain?: The third quarterback for one thing. And in reality, it doesn’t matter who the No. 3 receiver is. Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley will make the team, but who gets the sixth receiver spot is the question. Andre Holmes? Danny Coale? Tim Benford? The swing tackle is Jermey Parnell, but who out of Pat McQuistan, Daniel Loper, Derrick Dockery and Ronald Leary make the team? Orie Lemon, Shaun Chapas, Jamize Olawale, Adrian Hamilton, Lance Dunbar and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah are competing for a some of the final three or four roster spots.
The series with the Dolphins: The Cowboys lead the preseason series 4-2 and lost the last meeting 17-3 in South Florida. In that game, Sept. 1, 2011, receiver Raymond Radway fractured his leg on a pass in the end zone at the end of the game. Radway missed the regular season. He was cut this week by the Cowboys.
Connections: Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland was a former executive with the Cowboys, and Brian Gaine, the Dolphins’ assistant general manager, worked in the personnel department with the Cowboys. At one point the Dolphins had many former Cowboys. Now, there are only a few. Linebacker Kevin Burnett, for one, plays for the Fins.
Parking, parking, parking: For the second consecutive time, the Cowboys and Texas Rangers are playing at nearly the same time. Rangers first pitch is around 6:05 p.m. CT. Kickoff is scheduled for around 7:30 p.m. CT. Cowboys Stadium parking lots open at 2:30 p.m. East Plaza is open at 3:30 p.m. and stadium gates to all plazas open at 5:30 p.m. Fans who have pre-purchased parking in the Ranger Lots A-B and M will have their passes honored. Stadium officials ask fans to get their early due to the Rangers game.
By the way: Regular season starters like Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Brandon Carr and Sean Lee won’t play. Just telling you.
Local TV and radio: The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m., on KTVT/Ch. 11 (CBS).
In many markets, you can listen to ‘The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”, Brad Sham on The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network for pregame, play-by-play action, and post game interviews and analysis.
In the Dallas area, tune to 105.3 FM. In all other cities, click HERE for more information.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Baseball cards found in grandfather’s attic worth millions
Karl Kissner picked up a soot-covered cardboard box that had been under a wooden dollhouse in his grandfather’s attic. Taking a look inside, he saw hundreds of baseball cards bundled with twine. They were smaller than the ones he was used to seeing.
But some of the names were familiar: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner.
Then he put the box on a dresser and went back to digging through the attic.
It wasn’t until two weeks later that he learned that his family had come across what experts say is one of the biggest, most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting, a discovery worth perhaps millions.
The cards are from an extremely rare series issued around 1910. Up to now, the few known to exist were in so-so condition at best, with faded images and worn edges. But the ones from the attic in the town of Defiance are nearly pristine, untouched for more than a century. The colors are vibrant, the borders crisp and white.
”It’s like finding the Mona Lisa in the attic,” Kissner said.
Sports card experts who authenticated the find say they may never again see something this impressive.
”Every future find will ultimately be compared to this,” said Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator.
The best of the bunch – 37 cards – are expected to bring a total of $500,000 when they are sold at auction in August during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. There are about 700 cards in all that could be worth up to $3 million, experts say. They include such legends as Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack.
Kissner and his family say the cards belonged to their grandfather, Carl Hench, who died in the 1940s. Hench ran a meat market in Defiance, and the family suspects he got them as a promotional item from a candy company that distributed them with caramels. They think he gave some away and kept others.
”We guess he stuck them in the attic and forgot about them,” Kissner said. ”They remained there frozen in time.”
After Hench and his wife died, two of his daughters lived in the house. Jean Hench kept the house until she died last October, leaving everything inside to her 20 nieces and nephews. Kissner, 51, is the youngest and was put in charge of the estate. His aunt was a pack rat, and the house was filled with three generations of stuff.
They found calendars from the meat market, turn-of-the-century dresses, a steamer trunk from Germany and a dresser with Grandma’s clothes neatly folded in the drawers.
Months went by before they even got to the attic. On Feb. 29, Kissner’s cousin Karla Hench pulled out the dirty green box with metal clips at the corners and lifted the lid.
Not knowing whether the cards were valuable, the two cousins put the box aside. But Kissner decided to do a little research. The cards were at his office in the restaurant he owns when he realized they might have something. He immediately took them across the street and put them in a bank vault.
Still not knowing whether the cards were real, they sent eight to expert Peter Calderon at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, which recently sold the baseball that rolled through the legs of Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series for $418,000.
Calderon said his first words were ”Oh, my God.”
”I was in complete awe,” he said. ”You just don’t see them this nice.”
The cards are from what is known as the E98 series. It is not clear who manufactured them or how many were produced, but the series consists of 30 players, half of them Hall of Famers.
The experts at Heritage Auctions checked out the family’s background, the age of the home and the history of the meat market. They looked at the cards and how they were printed.
”Everything lines up,” said Chris Ivy, the company’s director of sports auctions.
They then sent all the cards to Professional Sports Authenticator, which had previously authenticated fewer than 700 E98s. The Ohio cards were the finest examples from the E98 series the company had ever seen.
The company grades cards on a 1-to-10 scale based of their condition. Up to now, the highest grade it had ever given a Ty Cobb card from the E98 series was a 7. Sixteen Cobbs found in the Ohio attic were graded a 9 – almost perfect. A Honus Wagner was judged a 10, a first for the series.
Retired vintage sports card auctioneer Barry Sloate of New York City said: ”This is probably the most interesting find I’ve heard of.”
In a measure of what baseball cards can be worth, the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks paid a record $2.8 million for a rare 1909 Honus Wagner. Another version of the card brought $1.2 million in April.
Heritage Auctions plans to sell most of the cards over the next two of three years through auctions and private sales so that it doesn’t flood the market. In all, they could bring $2 million or $3 million, Ivy said.
The Hench family is evenly dividing the cards and the money among the 20 cousins named in their aunt’s will. All but a few have decided to sell their share.
”These cards need to be with those people who appreciate and enjoy them,” Kissner said.
St. Louis Cardinals win World Series, beat Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7
A day after an epic Game 6 that saw them twice within one strike of elimination, the St. Louis Cardinals captured their 11th World Series crown. After a whole fall on the edge, Tony La Russa’s team didn’t dare mess with Texas, or any more drama.
Freese’s two-run double tied it in the first inning against loser Matt Harrison and Allen Craig hit a go-ahead homer in the third.
Pitching on short rest, Carpenter improved to 2-0 in the Series and 4-0 in the postseason. St. Louis Cardinals coach La Russa won his third Series title.
VIDEO: Jason Garrett Press Conference – Friday practice; prep for Philly
Garrett Press Conference: Friday
Jason Garrett spoke to the media before his team wrapped up their final preparations for the Eagles on Sunday.
The Boys Are Back BONUS video — FILM SESSION with Judd Garrett
Judd Garrett takes a look at the Philadelphia Eagles running game, and what the Dallas Cowboys defense will need to do to stop LeSean McCoy.
RIVAL NEWSPAPER: Reasons are many for loathing the Dallas Cowboys
It’s nice that the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys typically play on Sundays. That way if I want to light a votive candle and pray that Miles Austin develops scurvy, I don’t have to make a special trip to church.
Wish I understood my Dallas Cowboys aversion. All I know is that as a real Philadelphian, they inspire the same kind of animus as Super Pretzels. And for exactly the same reason: They’re both tasteless.
People often ask me why I dislike the Cowboys so. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a Dallas cheerleader until pantaloons above the ankle prompted her resignation, once wrote, let me count the ways:
Tom Landry’s hat. Did he think he was hiding his baldness? The Cowboys first coach wore fedoras right through the Age of Aquarius, shielding his head while the rest of us were expanding ours. I could maybe see the need for one on a December Sunday in Green Bay. But indoors in New Orleans? Or Miami? It was an affectation of the arrogant.
DALLAS COWBOY LIVING LEGEND: Roger Staubach shares who would be on his Dallas-area Mount Rushmore of sports
ARLINGTON — After throwing out the first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series on Monday night, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach chatted with media members about several topics, including who would be on his Dallas area Mount Rushmore of sports figures.
One criteria, he could not name himself.
The Dallas Cowboys legend stayed with his former team for his first answer, naming fellow former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman.
“You’ve got Troy up there, you’ve got to have Dirk Nowitzki up there, and if you’re a hockey fan you’ve got [Mike] Modano,” Staubach said. “Nolan Ryan is up there, and Kenny Rogers [who caught Staubach’s pitch before the game] pitched his perfect game here with us. There’s a good list. There’s only four people up there on Mount Rushmore, isn’t there?”
Not a bad list.
Roger ‘The Dodger’ Staubach said it was a thrill to be asked to throw out the first pitch. He was in Washington D.C. for a Naval Academy Foundation meeting when he got the invite from Nolan Ryan.
Staubach, who has never thrown out a first pitch before a World Series game, responded to Ryan by saying: “Gee, yeah, that would be great.”
And of course, before Roger Staubach exited the interview room at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, he fielded a question about the Dallas Cowboys.
Staubach was asked if rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 253 yards on Sunday, could possibly be the missing piece for the current Dallas Cowboys team.
“I think Tony [Romo] has got the receivers. They do need a running game, and I’m hoping that this is a good sign,” he said. “They’ve got a young offensive line, but they need a running game. And there’s definitely hope that they have it now.”
WORLD SERIES: Rangers beat Cardinals in Game 5, one win from title
(Reuters) – The Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Monday to move within one win of claiming their first World Series title since the franchise was born in 1961.
The victory gave Texas a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
A two-run double by Mike Napoli in the bottom of the eighth inning snapped a 2-2 tie to lift the Rangers over a Cardinals team that squandered a multitude of chances, leaving 12 men on base while hitting 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The series shifts to St. Louis for Game Six on Wednesday, with the Rangers starting Colby Lewis against Jaime Garcia.
RELATED: Napoli, Rangers move 1 win from World Series crown
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A long drive by Mike Napoli, a lucky bounce near the mound and suddenly the Texas Rangers were on the brink of their first World Series championship.
Napoli delivered the biggest hit of his charmed season, lining a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning that sent the Rangers past the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Monday night for a 3-2 edge.
The slugging catcher then capped off his night of double duty, throwing out a would-be base stealer in the ninth as Albert Pujols struck out.
“Pujols is going to put it in play, he’s a good contact hitter,” Napoli said, “and they were just starting the runner, 3-2. As soon as I got it, I just got rid of it and put it on the bag.”
Texas will try to wrap it up in Game 6 on Wednesday night in St. Louis.
If the Rangers eventually do win that elusive crown, the Texas fans who stood and chanted Napoli’s name may forever remember his two-run hit.
“Just trying to get something to the outfield, you know, get a sac fly, get that run across the board,” Napoli said. “I was trying to stay short and I got a pitch I could handle over the middle of the plate and put it in the gap.”
If the Cardinals lose, there’s no doubt which play will stick with manager Tony La Russa for a long, long time.
It was 2-all when Texas put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, and reliever Marc Rzepczynski was summoned. David Murphy followed with a bouncer back to the mound, a possible inning-ending double play in the making.
But the ball appeared to glance off Rzepczynski’s knee and trickled harmlessly away for a single that loaded the bases. In the dugout, La Russa immediately threw his hands to his head, a true “Oh, no!” moment.
Napoli, who came close to a three-run homer in his previous at-bat, sent a drive up the alley against the pitcher with the nickname “Scrabble.” The double off Rzepczynski sure spelled good things for Texas, with excitable manager Ron Washington waving the runners around from the dugout.
Darren Oliver earned the win and Neftali Feliz closed for his second save of the Series and sixth of the postseason.
After a travel day, the Series will resume at Busch Stadium with Colby Lewis facing Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia. The weather forecast in St. Louis is daunting, calling for rain and temperatures around 50.
Rival Newspaper: Fans from Cardinal Nation find themselves in football country
Nick Benbrook (left), a Cardinals fan, and Will Head, a Rangers fan, keep an eye on the Rams game while watching batting practice before Game 4 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers Sunday, October 23, 2011 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Laurie Skrivan
ARLINGTON, Texas • The hulking Cowboys Stadium casts a Texas-sized shadow over Rangers Ballpark.
As the lesser-known brick-face ballpark next door prepared to host the Cardinals in the World Series on Sunday, Cowboys Stadium welcomed the St. Louis Rams.
St. Louis fans in town on Sunday clamored to get tickets to see both of their hometown teams collide in the same city, but the reaction here to the coincidental contests punctuated what everyone already knows: This is football country.
Star outfielders Lance Berkman of the Cardinals and Josh Hamilton of the Rangers were on the football field as guests for the ceremonial coin-toss. They represented cities who are as different as the two sides of the coin: Dallas loves the Cowboys like St. Louis loves the Cardinals.
STL HOMERS: Rams coach, players attend World Series game Saturday night
With help from the Cardinals, Spagnuolo along with his wife and all the players on the trip attended Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night. The team was staying at a hotel a short drive away for their game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, whose stadium is a few hundred yards from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
“We would normally have meetings right now,” Spagnuolo said a few minutes before the first pitch just outside Section 317 in the top deck of the ballpark, ‘so this is our meeting for tonight. It worked out good because we have a 3 o’clock game tomorrow, so we have time to do the meetings (in the morning). I thought it would be a good thing for team bonding. … I thought it would be a great experience for the guys. How often are you going to get a chance to go to a World Series game?”
Spagnuolo said he’d been to one World Series game before, in 2004 at Fenway Park when the Cardinals played the Red Sox. Then, Spagnuolo was an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles who went because he was a native of Massachusetts and didn’t personally know the people involved. But now, because of his friendship with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, this game feels different.
“This is special,” said Spagnuolo, wearing a red shirt for the occasion. “I’m close friends with Tony. I think the world of their team and what they’ve done this year. I think it’s a great reflection of what you can do when you persevere and hang in there. They fought their way back there, so we’re proud of them.”
And for a Rams team that is off to an 0-5 start, a team that came back from 10½ down is a good role model.
“It’s early yet for us,” Spagnuolo said, ‘so we’ll see what happens.”
TOM TIMMERMANN | St. Louis Post Dispatch | Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011
HISTORIC: Honorary Texas Ranger and St Louis Cardinal to join Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams coin toss
Sluggers Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers and Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals will be down the street a few hours before Game 4 on Sunday taking part in the pregame coin toss for the game between their cities’ NFL teams.
Hamilton will represent the Dallas Cowboys, and Berkman the St. Louis Rams when the referee makes the flip.
Kickoff is at 3:15 p.m. The Rangers are scheduled to take batting practice at 4:15 p.m., and the Cardinals at 5:15 p.m.
PHOTO: Limited edition coin used in the 2011 Super Bowl, hosted by Cowboy Stadium in North Texas.
WORLD SERIES 2011: Cardinals outduel Rangers in Game 1
ST. LOUIS (AP)
Texas manager Ron Washington joked about not being able to match wits with Tony La Russa.
Who can, these days?
The St. Louis boss looked like a genius once again in Game 1, especially when Allen Craig pinch-hit for ace Chris Carpenter and delivered a go-ahead single that sent the Cardinals past the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Craig’s slicing hit with two outs in the sixth inning fell inches in front of sliding right fielder Nelson Cruz. Game 1 was just that tight throughout a cold, damp evening.
It was a game perfectly suited for La Russa – lots of bunts, intentional walks and pitching changes. And in a postseason in which he’s made all the right moves, the 67-year-old manager was at the top of his game.
”It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said. ”But I feel like we have to win the National League-style games if we’re going to win this thing and tonight was a National League-style game — 3-2, good pitching, good defense, timely hitting.
”I don’t think that we want to get into a gorilla ball-type series with these guys. We’ll see what happens when we add the DH and go to the American League ballpark, but I think when we have the National League style and we have the advantage we have to capitalize.”
The Cardinals did, barely. A sliding stop by first baseman Albert Pujols helped prevent Texas from taking the lead on Carpenter’s final pitch in the sixth.
St. Louis even won without its Rally Squirrel. There were no sightings of the elusive critter still roaming Busch Stadium — good thing for the rodent, too, because La Russa probably would’ve devised a way to catch him.
Game 2 is Thursday night, with Jaime Garcia starting for the Cards against Colby Lewis. Texas has not lost two straight games since Aug. 23 to 25.
Who will win the 2011 World Series?
PREVIEW – 2011 World Series – Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals weren’t even sure there was a spot for them in these playoffs heading into the final day of the regular season.
But, here they are back in the World Series for the third time in the last eight seasons, as they kick off the 107th Fall Classic against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on Wednesday.
The Cardinals, though, went 23-8 to close the season and secured the wild card when the Philadelphia Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Braves with a dramatic extra inning win on the final day of the season.
“I just know that we hung tough when a lot of things were going against us, and then we put together this run,” said manager Tony La Russa. “And even in this run, we had some losses that will break your heart. And the next day they came out [saying], ‘Hey, let’s go get ’em again.’ … We had some help here and there, but we made a lot of it ourselves.”
St. Louis then shocked the baseball world by taking out the 102-win Phillies with a heart-pounding 1-0 win in a decisive Game 5 at Citizens Bank Park, as Chris Carpenter tossed a three-hit shutout to outduel Roy Halladay.
2011 World Series is set: Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
And so it’s all set: The St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers will play in the 2011 World Series!
Game 1 of the World Series is Wednesday night from Busch Stadium in the heart of downtown St. Louis. It’ll be the Rangers’ top gun C.J. Wilson (0-2, 8.04 ERA) against the Cards’ ace Chris Carpenter (2-0, 3.71).
The Rangers wrapped up their second consecutive American League title with a 15-5 route in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. The Cardinals, who clinched the NL wild card on the last day of the regular season, put a similar Game 6 beating on the Milwaukee Brewers, 12-6, Sunday night.
Interestingly enough, the Cardinals can thank their World Series Game 1 opposing pitcher as well as LCS foe Prince Fielder for owning the home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.
Of course, everyone knows that home-field advantage is determined by the All-Star Game. The National League won it this season, 5-1, therefore the Cards have it, meaning they’ll get Games 1 and 2, and, if necessary, 6 and 7 at their park.
Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, Game 5 will be played in Arlington on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
So, just how did the NL take the Mid-Summer Classic?
Well, in the fourth inning, Fielder, the Brewers’ left-handed slugger, faced Wilson, the Rangers’ No. 1 starter. On a 2-2 count, Wilson fired a fastball. Fielder swung and launched it 410 feet to center field for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead. Wilson took the loss and now the Cardinals, who eliminated the Brew Crew Sunday night, are the happy beneficiaries.
It’s doubtful Albert Pujols will send either Wilson or Fielder a thank you note.
An oddity in this World Series are the pitching staffs. The Cardinals needed seven innings of relief work to close out Game 6 and its bullpen actually pitched more innings in the NLCS than the starting rotation. The Rangers had similar issues with no starter going deeper than six innings in the ALCS while bringing a combined 6.59 ERA in the series. That’s the second-worst rotation ERA in the ALCS by any team that won the series to advance to the World Series.
Both bullpens are ready and so are two explosive batting orders.
This should be fun
Texas Rangers returning to the World Series
After waiting until their 50th season to reach their first World Series, the Texas Rangers are going right back.
Nelson Cruz had one more big blast, Michael Young caught the final out long after hitting a pair of doubles in one of the highest-scoring postseason innings ever and the Rangers became the American League’s first repeat champion in a decade.
The team that lost Cliff Lee in free agency and held onto Young after his offseason trade request finished off the Detroit Tigers with a 15-5 romp Saturday night to win the AL championship series in six games.
”This a great trophy, we’re real proud of it,” said Young, who walked off the field with the AL championship trophy in his hands. ”But we’re looking forward to the one with all the flags on it. … Happy, but not satisfied.”
MLB: Matchups are set to determine the 2011 World Series UPDATED
2011 MLB Postseason Schedule**
|Gm 1||DET @ TEX||Sat||Oct. 8||TEX WON||FOX|
|Gm 2||DET @ TEX||Sun||Oct. 10||TEX WON||FOX|
|Gm 3||TEX @ DET||Tue||Oct. 11||DET WON||FOX|
|Gm 4||TEX @ DET||Wed||Oct. 12||TEX WON||FOX|
|Gm 5||TEX @ DET||Thu||Oct. 13||DET WON||FOX|
|Gm 6||DET @ TEX||Sat||Oct. 15||TEX WON||FOX|
|Gm 1||STL @ MIL||Sun||Oct. 9||MIL WON||TBS|
|Gm 2||STL @ MIL||Mon||Oct. 10||STL WON||TBS|
|Gm 3||MIL @ STL||Wed||Oct. 12||STL WON||TBS|
|Gm 4||MIL @ STL||Thu||Oct. 13||MIL WON||TBS|
|Gm 5||MIL @ STL||Fri||Oct. 14||STL WON||TBS|
|Gm 6||STL @ MIL||Sun||Oct. 16||STL WON||TBS|
|Series||Date||Match-Up||Network||Air Time (ET)|
|Game One||Wednesday, October 19||AL Champion at NL Champion||FOX||TBA|
|Game Two||Thursday, October 20||AL Champion at NL Champion||FOX||TBA|
|Game Three||Saturday, October 22||NL Champion at AL Champion||FOX||TBA|
|Game Four||Sunday, October 23||NL Champion at AL Champion||FOX||TBA|
|Game Five*||Monday, October 24||NL Champion at AL Champion||FOX||TBA|
|Game Six*||Wednesday, October 26||AL Champion at NL Champion||FOX||TBA|
|Game Seven*||Thursday, October 27||AL Champion at NL Champion||FOX||TBA|
Detroit heading BACK to Texas on Oct 8th … who will win this time? UPDATED
Here we are … bored to death on the Dallas Cowboys week #4 bye. No substantive football news. So, I decided to digress … a little. The Dallas area Texas Rangers … and the Detroit Tigers have advanced to MLB’s American League Championship Series (ALCS). The timing couldn’t be worse! We’re all still reeling from the Dallas Cowboy loss to the Detroit Lions just days ago! Now … once again … Detroit is coming onto “our” turf … looking for a win! Romo can’t bounce back … Rob Ryan can’t blitz … and worst of all … Jerry Jones has his hands tied! Not even a sideline “thatta boy”, a cheering “go get ’em”, or a jersey tug can be expected this weekend from our fearless owner/general manager. Detroit, of all places, is due back in Arlington. A stones (or baseballs) throw from the house that Jerry built … Cowboys Stadium. Detroit, the Mo Town Tigers, walking on our grass … breathing our air … all of them, with a gleam in their eyes … in search of ANOTHER win on Texas soil!!! Surely, Texas pride will prevail. Right? I’m hoping for a Dirk Nowitzki’s tweet to the Texas Rangers … he’s got time. That’s just good use of the NBA Dallas Mavericks stars resources … keep them thumbs limber! Last year we had G ‘Dub and his father, the first President Bush out there … cheering on the Texas Rangers. This year, we need to pull out all of the stops! This is serious. We CAN’T let Detroit advance. It’s a matter of principle. Bring down the Texas legends … Nolan Ryan, Doak Walker, J.R. Ewing, and even Elvis (it’s on his way to Vegas from Memphis). I’m pretty sure The King is a Texas Ranger fan, and naturally he’s a fan of America’s Team … who isn’t? So. let’s get ready for another Dallas and Detroit battle. I think the Texas Rangers can take ’em down. But for God’s sake … don’t let Romo pitch in the bottom of the 9th!
Oh yes. Almost forgot. There’s a poll below. Be sure to vote!
Originally published OCT 7, 2011 … updated Oct 9, 2011 … updated Oct 12, 2011 … updated Oct 13, 2011 … updated Oct 15, 2011 … Updated October 16th, 2011.
Game 1 Detroit @ Texas Saturday, October 8 … Texas Rangers win 3-2
Game 2 Detroit @ Texas Sunday, October 10 … Texas Rangers win 7-3
Game 3 Texas @ Detroit Tuesday, October 11 … Detroit Tigers win 5-2
Game 4 Texas @ Detroit Wednesday, October 12 … Texas Rangers win 7-3
Game 5 Texas @ Detroit Thursday, October 13 Detroit Tigers win 7-5
Game 6 Detroit @ Texas Saturday, October 15 Texas Rangers win 15-5
WOW … TEXAS RANGERS WIN THE NLCS! They’re going to the World Series! I’m hoping for the St. Louis Cardinals to win the ALCS … will be the perfect matchup! My two favorite teams!
October 16th: St. Louis wins the ALCS! They’ll face the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series! EXCELLENT!
MLB: Texas Rangers win Game 2 on a historic walk-off grand slam
Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz, right, reacts as he passe the Detroit Tigers’ dugout after he hit a grand slam home run in the 11th inning of Game 2 of baseball’s American League championship series to beat the Tigers 7-3, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. Charlie Riedel/AP Photo
ARLINGTON, Texas — Nelson Cruz hit the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history, lifting the Texas Rangers over the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in 11 innings Monday for a 2-0 lead in the AL championship series.
Cruz doubled early, then hit a tying home run in the seventh inning. His second homer of the game was a high drive to left field off Ryan Perry with nobody out in the 11th, and came after a misplay in the Detroit outfield loaded the bases.
“It was amazing,” Cruz said. “First two pitches, I was too aggressive. I hit the ball — foul ball, foul ball. So after that, I told myself just slow down and try to hit a fly ball to the outfield.”
Cruz, hit on the wrist by a pitch in the ninth, connected for the fourth grand slam in the playoffs this year. Ryan Roberts and Paul Goldschmidt of Arizona and Robinson Cano of the Yankees also hit them.
STATS LLC confirmed that Cruz’s shot was the first slam to end a postseason game — with a postscript. Robin Ventura sent a tiebreaking drive over the fence to finish a New York Mets victory against Atlanta in the 1999 NLCS, but was swarmed by teammates between first and second.
Ventura never made it around the bases and was officially credited with a single. His 15th-inning drive for a 4-3 Mets win in Game 5 came to be known as “the grand slam-single.”