A-Rod, Manny slugging their way toward history
AP Photo/Steve Nesius
By Mark Simon, ESPN ResearchSome home run history was made on Monday, as both Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez matched baseball immortals in career home runs.
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Rodriguez did so first, hitting his 521st to tie Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 15th all time. However, on this night, it was teammate Robinson Cano who hit the more important one, the one that put the Yankees ahead for good after their bullpen blew a late lead against the Rays. Rodriguez had four hits on a night when the Yankees' offense mustered its best output of the season. He may never match Williams' mark as baseball's last .400 hitter or the majesty of some of McCovey's monstrous shots, but he's in the process of carving out as big, if not a bigger, legacy than either.
Ramirez has his own special legacy. He went a little better in Boston's marathon win over the Indians (one that wiped out the early edition of Monday's "Baseball Tonight"), tying Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 24th all-time with his 493rd career home run. This one gave the Red Sox an unlikely win in a game they trailed entering the ninth inning. And even though it's early, the victory allowed the Red Sox to keep pace with the Yankees (and Orioles) in the AL East race.
|Tied For 15th in HR All Time|
|HR||AB per HR||Most HR, season||Seasons|
|Alex Rodriguez||521||14.2||57 (2002)||15|
|Ted Williams||521||14.8||43 (1949)||19|
|Willie McCovey||521||15.7||45 (1969)||22|
|Tied For 24th in HR All-Time|
|HR||AB per HR||Most HR, season||Seasons|
|Manny Ramirez||493||14.4||45 (1998, 2005)||16|
|Lou Gehrig||493||16.2||49 (1934)||17|
|Fred McGriff||493||17.8||37 (1993)||19|
42 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JACKIE ROBINSON
By Mark Kelly, ESPN Research
|1||MVP award and Rookie of the Year award won|
|2||Number of World Series HRs|
|3||Number of ABs in his first game|
|4||Number of sports lettered in at UCLA|
|5||The youngest of 5 children|
|6||Number of World Series appearances|
|7||Number of seasons he scored 99 or more runs|
|Inning that he stole home in Game 1 of 1955 WS|
|8||More runs than strikeouts in World Series career|
|9||Number of times he was hit by a pitch in rookie season|
|10||Number of seasons in MLB|
|11||Lifetime BA of .311|
|12||Number of HR in his rookie season|
|13||Traded by Brooklyn Dodgers to N.Y. Giants on Dec. 13, 1956. Robinson retired rather than play for the Giants|
|14||Most times he was hit by pitch in a season (1952)|
|15||Made his debut on April 15, 1947|
|16||Number of home runs in his MVP season|
|17||Dodgers play Montreal Royals on March 17, 1946, with Robinson in the lineup marking the first appearance of an integrated team in organized baseball this century|
|Named first-ever Rookie of the Year on Sept. 17, 1947, 11 days before the last game of the regular season|
|18||Number of All-Star ABs|
|19||Career high for HRs set in 1951 and 1952|
|Number of times he stole home in his MLB career|
|20||Family moved to Pasadena in 1920|
|21||Number of World Series walks|
|22||Number of World Series runs|
|23||Branch Rickey announces signing of Robinson on Oct. 23, 1945|
|Selected for MLB HOF on January 23, 1962|
|Inducted into MLB HOF on July 23, 1962|
|24||Number of more points he had than runner-up Larry Jansen in ROY voting|
|25||Number of years after his major league debut that he threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2 of the 1972 World Series|
|26||Years it had been since a NL player stole their way around the bases, which he did in 1954|
|27||Number of extra-base hits in his final MLB season|
|28||Age he was when he made his MLB debut|
|29||Stolen bases in rookie year|
|30||Played in first World Series game on Sept. 30, 1947|
|31||Number of doubles in his rookie season|
|32||Number of postseason hits|
|33||Price of postage stamp in 1999 when U.S. Postal Service issued a Jackie Robinson stamp as part of their "Celebrate the Century" program|
|34||Average number of strikeouts per 162-game season|
|35||Age when he stole his way around the bases in 1954|
|Number of Negro League players in HOF|
|36||Number of strikeouts in his rookie season|
|37||Age during final season|
|38||Number of postseason games|
|39||Entered UCLA in 1939|
|40||Career-high for strikeouts set in 1952|
|41||Played pro football for Honolulu Bears in 1941|
|42||His number retired by MLB|
NEWS AND NOTES• The Angels expect to be without 2B Howie Kendrick for several games after Kendrick sustained a strained left hamstring in the seventh inning of Sunday's 10-5 victory at Seattle. • Angels RHP John Lackey's rehab from a strained right triceps continues with a bullpen session scheduled on Wednesday in Anaheim. • Boston DH David Ortiz snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a first-inning single. • Detroit CF Curtis Granderson, who is on the DL, is expected to take batting practice Tuesday. • Tigers RHP Fernando Rodney is scheduled to have Dr. James Andrews examine his injured shoulder Wednesday. • New York RHP Joba Chamberlain went on the bereavement list to be with his hospitalized father in Nebraska. • Rays LHP Scott Kazmir (left elbow) pitched two innings in an extended spring training game. He could rejoin the team early next month. • The Yankees purchased the contract of C Chad Moeller from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. With backup C Jose Molina slowed by a left hamstring injury, Moeller was in the starting lineup Monday. • The Elias Sports Bureau confirmed that John Bowker became the first Giant in franchise history -- not just the San Francisco era -- to homer in his first two games.
BBTN ON THE AIR: TUESDAY
|10 p.m. ET
|Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: Peter Gammons
John Kruk, Buck Showalter
|12 a.m. ET
|Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk
BASEBALL TONIGHT MINUTE: JACKIE'S DAY
By Karl Ravech, ESPNThe designated hitter was put into play in 1973. Ron Blomberg was the forefather for the likes of David Ortiz and, before him, Harold Baines and Edgar Martinez. The debate about which league is best -- the National, by letting the pitcher hit, or the American, which uses the DH -- will rage until there is some uniformity. I propose a new wrinkle. I'd like teams to be able to use a designated fielder.
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MONDAY'S NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES
|Nate McLouth hit a two-out, three-run home run off Dodgers closer Takashi Saito as the Pirates rallied to a 6-4 victory. McLouth also extended his season-opening hitting streak to 13 games.||BAD|
|The Twins' bullpen was called on to preserve a 9-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, but it didn't happen. Matt Guerrier and Pat Neshek surrendered seven runs over the final few innings as Detroit came up for an 11-9 victory.||UGLY|
|It was a third straight poor start for Jason Jennings, who allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings as the Rangers fell to the Angels 7-4. Jennings is now 0-3 with an 8.79 ERA.|
JOHN KRUK: THREE THINGS TO KNOW
FORWARD THINKING: TUESDAY
• A's at White Sox, 2:05 p.m. ET: Could these two teams be leading their divisions? Yes, indeed. The pitching matchup is a pair of lefties -- Dana Eveland (1-0, 0.68 ERA), who's been a surprise for Oakland, against John Danks (0-1, 8.00 ERA), who's coming off a rough outing against the Twins (seven runs in 2 1/3 innings).• Blue Jays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET: Shaun Marcum (1-0, 2.57 ERA) is the No. 4 starter in Toronto's rotation but he's pitched like a No. 1, turning in successive quality starts. He'll be pitching against Baltimore's Steve Trachsel (1-1, 3.00 ERA). • Reds at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET: So far, so good for Ryan Dempster (1-0, 0.69 ERA) in his return to being a starting pitcher. Opponents are hitting .095 against him in two starts. He'll pitch against the Reds' Josh Fogg (1-1, 7.00 ERA). • Complete list of Tuesday's pitching probables
FANTASY: PREVIEW OF TUESDAY'S GAMES
Will Harris examines the pitching matchups in store for the 15 games on Tuesday's schedule in the American League and National League.Will also looks at current injuries and details player reports that could help shape the way you put together your roster for Tuesdays slate of games. Daily Notes
THIS DATE IN MLB HISTORY (APRIL 15)
Facing Johnny Sain, Jackie Robinson goes hitless in three trips to the plate in his debut but handles 11 chances at first base, a new position for him, in a 5-3 Brooklyn win over the Braves.
• 1976: Remodeled Yankee Stadium makes its debut.
• 1993: The Tigers best Oakland, 3-2, giving manager Sparky Anderson his 2,000th career win.
• 1997: The 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier in baseball is celebrated before 54,047 at Shea Stadium during a game between the Mets and the Dodgers. President Bill Clinton and Jackie's widow, Rachel Robinson, both speak during the 35-minute presentation, but the surprise of the evening occurs when acting commissioner Bud Selig announces that the No. 42 will be retired in perpetuity for every team, but those currently wearing it could continue to do so for the rest of their careers.
• 1998: The Yankees defeat the Angels, 6-3, in an afternoon game played at Shea Stadium. The Mets defeat the Cubs, 2-1, in a night game, marking the first time in history that American and National League games are played in the same park on the same day. The Yankees are forced to come to Shea Stadium after a beam falls into the stands at Yankee Stadium on April 13.
• 2000: The Orioles defeat the Twins, 6-4, as Cal Ripken Jr. gets the 3,000th hit of his illustrious career. Ripken goes 3-for-5 in becoming the 24th player to reach the milestone, and the seventh to get 3,000 hits and 400 HRs.