Time Magazine recently announced that this decade was the Worst.Decade.Ever. Who cares right? How was 2000-2009 for baseball? Actually it was possibly the worst decade ever for baseball too: steroids, ties in all-star games, Yankees book-ending championships, etc. Today we look at 2007.
January 9 - Since the past is no longer relevant to him, Mark McGwire falls well short in his first effort to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn, meanwhile, are elected easily. Billy Ripken is hunting quail.
January 11 - The New York Daily News reports that Barry Bonds had tested positive for amphetamines at some point during the 2006 season. Testing rules established in 2006 had required that first positive tests must remain confidential. Whoops! It sucks when bad things happen to good people.
April 10–12 - In a case of life imitating art, the Cleveland Indians, displaced by a freak spring snowstorm, play a series against the Los Angeles Angels in Milwaukee. Most of the game action in the 1989 film Major League, in which the Indians were the featured team, was actually filmed in Milwaukee at the Brewers' home at that time, County Stadium. You trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?
April 15 - To celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first major league game, dozens of players wear his league-wide retired number, 42. The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of six teams whose entire roster wears number 42 for their games. Douglas Adams fans become very confused.
April 18 - Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox pitches a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, becoming the team's first pitcher since Wilson Alvarez in 1991, and the 16th in franchise history, to throw a no-hitter. He totally peaked there.
April 22 - Chase Wright of the New York Yankees gives up four consecutive home runs in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox, joining Paul Foytack to become only the second player to accomplish this dubious feat. Manny Ramírez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek hit the home runs. Chase Wright was fatally beaten immediately following the game. Don't believe me? Have you heard of the guy since? Didn't think so.
April 23 - Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees hits two home runs, his 13th and 14th of the season, in a 10-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, surpassing the American League record and tying the Major League record for most home runs hit in the month of April. I missed you you always awful Devil Rays!
April 29 - Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies performs the 13th unassisted triple play in MLB history, catching a Chipper Jones line drive, tagging second base to force Kelly Johnson out off the bag, then tagging out Edgar Rentería in the 7th inning of an 11-inning 9-7 Rockies victory over the Atlanta Braves. A TP for TT.
May 13 - Fred Lewis of the San Francisco Giants hits for the cycle at Coors Field in a 15-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies. He led the game off with a double in the 1st, then hit a three-run home run—the first of his career—in the 4th, an RBI triple in the 5th, and capped the cycle off with a single in the 7th.
Guess the humidifier wasn't working that day.
May 21 - In the Hall of Fame Game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, the Baltimore Orioles defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 13-7 with five home runs, including two by minor league catcher Brian Bock. Bock's success completely went to his head, to the point where he spent hours following the game at the Hall of Fame figuring out where his plaque would go.The Orioles end up leaving without him.
June 6 - In the San Diego Padres' 5-2 win over the Dodgers, closer Trevor Hoffman becomes the first pitcher to record 500 career saves. Hoffman starts to think he'll never get the chance to start.
June 16 - The Cubs and Padres each collect only two hits as Russell Branyan's home run in the ninth inning gives San Diego a 1-0 win. The Cubs' Carlos Zambrano takes a no-hitter into the eighth, while Padres starter and Ivy Leaguer Chris Young allows no hits before being ejected in the fourth following a brawl. Typical Princeton way of getting out of a tough situation.
June 20 - Sammy Sosa becomes the fifth major leaguer to hit 600 home runs when he connects against Jason Marquis in the Texas Rangers' 7-3 win over the Cubs. It is his first home run against his former club, giving him at least one against every major league team. Marquis commented after the game on how much he hopes to be a Met someday.
June 27 - Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the fastest player in major league history to reach 100 career home runs, taking only 325 games to do so. Coincidentally he's also the fastest to reach 100 strikeouts. That took him 2 games.
June 28 - Frank Thomas becomes the 21st player in major league history to record 500 home runs. Meanwhile Craig Biggio becomes the 27th player in major league history to record 3,000 hits with a seventh-inning single – his third hit of the game – against the Colorado Rockies at Minute Maid Park. Biggio becomes the first member of the 3,000 hit club to be called out at the end of his milestone hit, having been caught trying to stretch the hit into a double. What a scrub. Back to the minors you go.
July 10 - American League wins the All-Star Game. This happens a lot. Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners is named MVP after hitting the first-ever inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history. That doesn't happen a lot.
July 15 - The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2, making the Phillies the first team in professional sports history to lose 10,000 games. I brought this up a lot, and karma came my way big time.
July 20 - Cuba defeats the United States 3-1 to win its 10th consecutive gold medal at the Pan-Am Games. They still play those?
July 22 - Mike Coolbaugh of the Texas League Tulsa Drillers is killed when he is struck in the neck by a line drive foul ball while coaching at first base.If you feel like being sad for the next couple of hours, read S.L. Price's article about it.
August 5 - Tom Glavine becomes the 23rd pitcher, and just the fifth left-hander, to earn 300 career wins as the New York Mets defeat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 at Wrigley Field. Glavine said later he was able to accomplish this by imagining he was pitching for the Braves the last few seasons.
August 7 - Barry Bonds surpasses Hank Aaron's record of 755 career home runs with a fifth-inning shot off Washington's Mike Bacsik.Mike Bacsik will tell his grandchildren about this in between their downloaded meals, because Mike Bacsik is a loser.
August 14- Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox is ejected by umpire Ted Barrett at the end of the fifth-inning after arguing a called third strike against Chipper Jones at Turner Field. The ejection is Cox' 132nd of his career, breaking a record he had shared with John McGraw. Barrett took Cox's celebration of the historic moment as some form of sarcasm and ejected him for the next game too.
August 22 - In the first game of a doubleheader, the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 30-3, setting a new record for runs scored by a single team in a game in the modern (post-1900) era, and the American League all-time record. The Rangers' 30 runs were the most in a game since the Chicago Colts beat the Louisville Colonels 36-7 on June 29, 1897. Peyton Manning passed for 426 yards in that game. The Rangers of course won the second game. It's hard not to lose to a team wearing paper bags over their heads.
September 16 - David Wright of the Mets hits his 30th home run of the season to go with 31 stolen bases, becoming only the fifth player in major league history to become a member of the 30-30 club before the age of 25, in a 10-6 loss to the Phillies. I was at this game. I didn't like that they kept losing...
September 21 - Barry Bonds announces that his tenure (1993-2007) with the San Francisco Giants has ended, after the team indicates it will not sign him for 2008. The other 29 teams immediately look down at their respective shoes. In other news Moisés Alou extends his hitting streak to 25 games, breaking the Mets single-season record shared by Mike Piazza and Hubie Brooks. Two days later, Alou surpasses David Wright's overall club mark of 26 games, which spanned two seasons. The streak ends at 30 games on the 26th, a new major league record for a player over 40. Lot of good that did.
September 25 - Jimmy Rollins joins David Wright as the second member of 2007's 30-30 club when he leads off the bottom of the first inning with his 30th home run of the season off Braves pitcher Chuck James. Wannabe.
September 27 - Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard strikes out for the 196th and 197th times of the season, surpassing Adam Dunn's single-season record of 195 strikeouts in 2004. He ends the season with a new record of 199 strikeouts.Mark Reynolds gets a determined look in his eye.
September 29 -In his second-to-last major league game, Craig Biggio plays at his original position of catcher for the first two innings, playing behind the plate for the first time in 16 years after spending his first four seasons there. Why two?
September 30 - The New York Mets lose to the Florida Marlins 8-1, completing one of the worst collapses in major league history by squandering a 7-game lead with 17 games remaining in the NL East race, and finish the season one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies, who defeat the Nationals 6-1 to clinch the division title for the first time since 1993. Thanks Tom Glavine.
October 1 - The Colorado Rockies defeat the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings in the 2007 NL Wild Card tie-breaker to secure the last of the eight MLB playoff spots, completing a run in which they won 14 of their last 15 games, tying the best 15-game finish in major league history. The bizarro Mets, basically.
October 2 - Dmitri Young of the Washington Nationals is named the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Carlos Peña of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays is named the AL Comeback Player of the Year. The bizarro Mets, basically.
October 18 – After the New York Yankees offer him only a one-year contract at a base salary one-third less than what he earned in 2007, Joe Torre leaves after 12 seasons as manager. Crybaby.
October 28 - The Boston Red Sox complete a 4-0 sweep of the Colorado Rockies to win the 2007 World Series. The Bosox' Mike Lowell is named MVP. During the early innings of Game 4 of the World Series, Scott Boras, the agent for Alex Rodriguez, announces that A-Rod will exercise his option to void the remaining four years of his contract with the Yankees and will become a free agent.Rodriguez would fire Boras and later it would leak that he took steroids. Hmm.
October 30 – The Yankees sign Joe Girardi to a three-year deal as their new manager. In the meantime, amid rumors that Torre will be hired as the team's new manager, Grady Little resigns as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.Grady Little will stick with something for too long or give up prematurely. Find a middle ground man.
November 8 - General managers decide to mandate first- and third-base coaches to wear head protection during games starting in 2008. It looks weird for the first 10 seconds of the first game of Spring Training. Also, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays officially drop the "Devil" from their name, becoming the the Tampa Bay Rays. Their taste in music immediately becomes one hundred times worse. Seriously, what good will changing your nickname do?
November 12 - Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers edges Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies in the closest balloting since 1980 (128-126) for the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox is a clear choice in the AL. How many rookies of the year do you know that can't hit an inside fastball?
December 13 - George J. Mitchell releases his long-awaited (409-page) report, 20 months in the making at an estimated cost of $40 million, on use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, naming 89 current and former players. This was the day my faith in Todd Pratt died.