03 Aug

around the horn

The San Diego Padres, as you might have heard, made some big moves the past couple days. They also made some smaller ones of local interest: Former Mississippi State star Brent Rooker, playing in Triple-A, was traded to Kansas City for catcher Cam Gallagher. Outfielder Rooker, acquired from Minnesota just before the season, got only seven at-bats with the Padres. He was hitting .272 with 19 homers at El Paso; he has been assigned to Triple-A Omaha by the Royals. The Padres also sent ex-Ole Miss standout Drew Pomeranz on a rehab assignment to the Arizona Complex League. The veteran lefty, 33, has been on the injured list since Aug. 11, 2021, with an arm injury that required surgery. He posted a 1.75 ERA in 27 games last season. … MSU product Adam Frazier continued to provide spark to Seattle’s offense, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and an RBI on Tuesday in the Mariners’ 8-6 win vs. the New York Yankees. Frazier is batting .345 in his last 15 games for an M’s club battling for a playoff spot. … MSU alum Chris Stratton, looking sharp in a St. Louis uniform, worked a scoreless ninth inning in his Cardinals debut, a 6-0 win against the Chicago Cubs. Stratton was acquired from Pittsburgh on Monday. … Davis Bradshaw, the ex-Meridian Community College and McLaurin High standout, has been promoted to Double-A Pensacola in the Miami system. He was batting .310 in A-ball this season and is a .301 career hitter in four pro seasons. … Former Mississippi Braves star Joey Meneses (2016-17), called up by Washington to replace Josh Bell at first base, homered in his MLB debut on Tuesday as the Nationals beat the New York Mets 5-1 in Jacob deGrom’s return to The Show. Meneses, a Mexico native, is a .281 hitter in a long minor league career. … A footnote, duly recognized in MLB Network’s touching tribute, on the brilliant career of Vin Scully: Mississippi native Red Barber, a legendary radio broadcaster in his own right, gave Scully his start with the Dodgers in Brooklyn in 1950 and mentored him in the early days of his career. Scully became the Dodgers’ primary voice when Barber left the team after the 1953 season, and he kept the job through 2016. So sad that he is gone.

07 Aug

fun with figures

JaCoby Jones, who has not played a game since Sunday, was tied for the major league lead in OPS – that abstruse stat everyone seems so in love with these days – with a 1.212 entering Friday’s action. The former Mr. Baseball from Richton High had a .419 on-base percentage and a .793 slugging percentage for a Detroit club that, because of COVID-19 issues, had been idle for four days before taking on Pittsburgh Friday night. Jones, in his fifth MLB season, is a career .216 hitter (.663 career OPS) but made some swing adjustments in 2019 that seem to be paying dividends. He is batting .379 with three homers and seven RBIs. … Lance Lynn, the ex-Ole Miss star, was leading MLB in ERA with a 0.49 through 18 1/3 innings over three starts for Texas. He is 1-0 for a 3-8 team. His next start is slated for Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels. … Jarrod Dyson, the McComb native and Southwest Mississippi Community College product, has the green light to steal whenever he’s on base for Pittsburgh. Problem is, the 35-year-old Dyson hasn’t been on much. He is 2-for-26 (.077). But he showed what he can do with his wheels on Thursday, drawing a walk, stealing second and third base and scoring – his first run of 2020 — on a ground out. Said Pirates manager Derek Shelton: “I tell him all the time he’s one of the oldest guys in baseball, and one of the things about it is his speed has not deteriorated. We knew that coming in.” … What in the world is wrong with Craig Kimbrel? The ex-Mississippi Braves standout has allowed seven runs on six hits (two homers), five walks and an HBP in 2 2/3 innings over four games for the Chicago Cubs. He has two strikeouts. He recorded 346 saves and a 2.15 ERA over his first 10 MLB years. … On this date in 1978, Columbus native Red Barber and Mel Allen become the first recipients of the Ford C. Frick Broadcasting Award. They were selected by the National Baseball Hall of Fame voters to receive the honor recognizing excellence among broadcasters. P.S. The Hattiesburg Black Sox semi-pro team bowed out of the National Baseball Congress World Series on Thursday night with a 5-4 loss to the Hutchinson Monarchs. Hinds CC alum Pablo Lanzarote homered for the third straight game, and Jackson State’s Jaylyn Williams had three hits and an RBI. Former Delta State star Tre Hobbs started and took the loss for the Sox, who trailed 5-0 after five innings. Williams and J.T. Hall, the 36-year-old Southwest Mississippi CC alum and ex-minor leaguer, both hit .385 over the club’s three games in Kansas.

22 Oct

remembering red

On this date in 1992, Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber, a Columbus native, died at the age of 84. Barber called major league games on the radio for 33 years, including stints with the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. Best known for his many pet phrases – “sittin’ in the catbird seat,” “tearin’ up the pea patch,” “tied up in a croker sack” — Barber also broadcast Jackie Robinson’s historic debut season with the Dodgers in 1947. Barber was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978. P.S. The Jackson Mets, who produced a boatload of big league talent in their time, left Mississippi in 1990, 10 years before the New York Mets made their last World Series appearance. For the record, there was a JaxMets alumnus on the New York club in 2000. Left-hander Rich Rodriguez, who played in Jackson in 1986 and ’88, appeared in 37 games that season but was not on the postseason roster. Drafted by the Mets in 1984, he first made the big leagues in 1990 with San Diego, one of eight clubs he pitched for. Also with the ’00 Mets was ex-Jackson Generals star Melvin Mora, who did play in the Series loss to the Yankees. … Former JaxMets standout Ron Gardenhire has interviewed for Washington’s managerial job. He also interviewed in San Diego. Gardenhire won over 1,000 games and directed six playoff teams in a 13-year stint as Minnesota manager.

17 Apr

junk and stuff

On this date in 1934, Columbus native Red Barber called his first game on the radio, doing play-by-play for the Cincinnati Reds in a 6-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Crosley Field. It was the first major league game Barber had ever seen. He would go on to make the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster best known for his work with the Brooklyn Dodgers. … It’ll be interesting to see how Bobby Bradley fares this season. The former Harrison Central High standout, only 18, has been placed by Cleveland in the Class A Midwest League to start his second pro season. He is one of just two 18-year-olds on the Lake County roster. Bradley, a left-handed hitting first baseman, was drafted in the third round by the Indians in 2014 and stamped himself as a true prospect by batting .361 with eight homers and 50 RBIs in the rookie Arizona League. He even got into a big league spring game in March. Through his first seven games for Lake County, Bradley is 4-for-20 with a homer and a triple. “His swing is pretty sound, especially for his age,” Captains manager Shaun Larkin said in a story on an Indians blog site. … Stan Cliburn, the former big leaguer out of Forest Hill High, will manage the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the independent Atlantic League this season. On the Blue Crabs’ roster are Fred Lewis, a Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College product, and 39-year-old Daryle Ward, onetime Jackson Generals standout. Both Lewis and Ward are big league vets who played in the APBL last year. Opening Day in the league is April 24.