Jim Fanning 1927-2015

Jim-FanningJim Fanning, who can reasonably be called the “father” of the Montreal Expos franchise, has died at the age of 87.

Fanning had been working in the Braves’ organization when the Commissioner’s office hired him in 1968 to start up MLB’s first scouting bureau. Fanning had only just arrived in the Commissioner’s office when John McHale, another MLB employee with whom Fanning had worked with the Braves, was named President and CEO of the newly christened Expos. McHale tapped Fanning to be his new GM, the first of many positions in which Fanning would serve the Expos for most of the franchise’s  36 seasons in “La Belle Province”. Included were two brief stints as the on-field manager, the first when taking over from Dick Williams in the final month of the 1981 season and guiding the Expos to their only NL East crown.

I can’t add much to SABR’s excellent biography by Norm King (except to say that Fanning is the first Illinois-born player to die in Ontario, Canada), so I will just commend  the article to your reading pleasure.

Game Notes – AL Midweek Recap

White Sox@Orioles – Orioles win most unusual game

  • The unrest in Baltimore resulted in the postponement of the first two games of the series and the finale being played in an empty stadium.
  • ESPN reported today that the pace of play rule changes have resulted in average 9-inning game times dropping by more than 7 minutes from the same point in the schedule last year. That effect may have been enhanced by the empty stadium as the Orioles thumped the Sox 8-2 in just 2:03, the shortest 9-inning Oriole home game when scoring 8+ runs since the O’s beat the Tigers 8-1 on Sep 24, 1975 (a game similarly lacking in onlookers, with fewer than 5,000 on hand).

More after the jump.

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Game Notes – NL Weekend Recap

Giants@Rockies – Teams split shortened series

  • Colorado took the opener as 7 players carded an extra-base hit in a 6-4 win. Those 6 runs are the fewest by the Rockies in 56 home games with 15+ hits, including 8 for extra bases.
  • The Giants evened the series with a 5-4 win in 11 innings, after Santiago Casilla couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the 9th. The Giants are now 10-4 in games in which Casilla blows a save, winning the last 4 in a row and 7 of the last 8.
  • San Francisco tallied two home runs, two stolen bases and four doubles in their game 2 win. The 5 runs scored are the fewest in 25 Giant road games with those markers.

More after the jump.

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Circle of Greats: Redemption Round #8 Part 1

This Circle of Greats (COG) vote is not to induct anyone into the Circle, but only to select two players who will be restored back on to the main ballot after having been previously been dropped from eligibility. This part one of our eighth “redemption round” (we’ve been holding such redemption rounds interspersed among the regular voting rounds every tenth voting round or so) gives voters a chance to reconsider past candidates who have previously fallen off the regular induction ballots.

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COG Round 91 Results: Grove finds Greats groove

The 91st round of voting for the Circle of Greats inducts Hall of Famer Lefty Grove, one of a select few to win election in their first round on the COG ballot. Grove, who was already 25 when he debuted in the majors, was the anchor of the Philadelphia Athletics rotation in their championship seasons of 1929-31. During his time with the A’s, Grove compiled 7 consecutive 20-win seasons, a streak that included three consecutive 25-win campaigns, both records in the live ball era. When Connie Mack traded away his stars after the A’s dynasty had run its course, Grove landed in Boston only to encounter a dead arm that signaled the end of his days as a fireballer. No problem – Grove reinvented himself as a finesse pitcher and recorded over 100 wins with the Red Sox, the last number 300 of his career.  

More on Lefty Grove after the jump.

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Game Notes – NL Weekend Edition

Here’s a look at some of the NL action this weekend.

Marlins@Mets – Mets sweep second straight series

  • It was the best of times – the Mets now 8 game win streak is tied with the 1986 world championship team for the earliest streak of that length in franchise history, both starting in the 6th game of the season.
  • It was the worst of times – the Marlins, touted by some as NL East favorites, have stumbled to a 3-10 start; their only worse beginnings were at 2-11, two seasons ago en route to a 13-41 mark on May 30, and in 1998 after their post-championship fire sale

More after the jump.

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