Oct 31, 2015
Umberto Francesa Molinaro was born on June 24th 1919 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In English his name translates to Francis Albert Molinaro which he became known as Al. He was one of ten children born to Italian immigrants, who were prominent in the Italian Community of Kenosha. His father owned a restaurant / tavern & helped fund hundreds of Italian immigrants in coming legally over to America.
After getting married he moved to California & worked as a collection agent as well as a realtor. A real estate investment that became a large retail shopping mall made him wealthy enough to peruse his dream as an actor.
In the sixties he had minor roles on Bewitched (1971 episode- Bewitched, Bothered & Baldoni. where he plays a guide in Rome), Green Acres (1969-1970 / three episodes), Get Smart (1969 as agent 44 / two episodes) That Girl (1971 as Marv in Chef's Night Out) Love American Style (1972-1974 three episodes) & in the short lived series Name of the Game (1969 where he played the owner of a head shop).
In 1970 he met Penny Marshall at an improv class which led him to her brother Gary Marshall who was producer of the TV show the Odd Couple. Al landed the part as the classic dim witted but loveable NYPD officer; Murray Greshler, aka- Murray the Cop.
He played Murray for all five seasons of the Odd Couple (1970-1975). He was one of Felix & Oscar's best friends, always the butt of nose jokes usually from Oscar. (Nose' Feliciano, Nosenstien, when "Greshler looks up it looks like a two car garage"
He always had the patrol car double parked outside the Cental Park Apartment building & was certainly New Yorks most dim witted bumbling officers. But with that puppy dog face, Al was a loveable character especially when he used his classic line " Oscar I'm a police man...." usually followed by something that made no sense.
Who could forget when he went undercover as a woman in Central Park to catch muggers & Oscar said "And YOUR THE BAIT". Or when he told Oscar to trick Felix into saving his life by choking on a chicken bone.
When Oscar says he used boneless chicken he replies "wont work without a bone Oscar". In his spare time Murray plays poker, the ukulele & likes female roller derby. He was married to his wife Mimi.
In 1976 Garry Marshall had another big hit with Happy Days & he hired Molinaro to replace Pat Morita, as Al owner of Arnold's Malt Shop (later renamed Big Al's). Al played on Happy Days for seven more seasons (1976-1982) where his classic lines were "yup yup yup" & "did I ever tell you about Rosa Colleti?"
Everyone liked Al, the Fonz & Ritchie would confide in him as well as the teens who hung at Arnolds. Al was always welcome into the Cunningham Family & was an extended member.
Quote's: Molinaro once said: "Molinaro said, "I spent twenty years here before I got anything going, and from that I got lucky. It takes a lot of luck in show business. You've just got to be lucky and in the right place at the right time."
He would also play roles in Laverne & Shirley (1976) as Father Delvecchio, a role he also played on Happy Days when he Baptized the Fonz.
He also appeared on Love Boat (1977) Fantasy Island (1979 & 1982) Freaky Friday (1976) Gridlock (1980) Joanie Loves Chachi (1982) Punky Brewster (1985) Family Man (1990-1991 a regular role in the short lived series) Step by Step (1992) & the Weezer video Buddy Holly (1994).
Molinaro also did a series of commercials from the late eighties to the early 2000's for Mr. Big, Cortaid & On Cor products.
Passing: He retired from the business in the nineties & passed up roles offered to him by Marshall because he didn't want to be in anything with curse words in it.
He passed away in Glendale, California at age 96 in October 2015.
Oct 27, 2015
2015 Mets Pitching Leaders
14 Jacob deGrom
14 Bartolo Colon
13 Matt Harvey
205 Jacob deGRom
188 Matt Harvey
166 Noah Syndergaard
0.979 Jacob deGrom
1.000 Jeurys Familia
1.019 Matt Harvey
1.019 Hansel Robles
1.047 Noah Syndergaard
1.85 Jeurys Familia
2.54 Jacob deGrom
2.67 Sean Gilmartin
2.71 Matt Harvey
3.24 Noah Syndergaard
76 Jeurys Familia
59 Carlos Torres
57 Hansel Robles
31 Bartolo Colon
30 Jacob deGrom
29 Matt Harvey
29 Jon Niese
194 Bartolo Colon
191 Jacob deGrom
189 Matt Harvey
176 Jon Niese
150 Noah Syndergaard
Walks per 9 Innings
1.1 Bartolo Colon
1.8 Jacob degrom
1.8 Matt Harvey
Strikeouts per 9 Innings
10.2 Hansel Robles
10.0 Noah Syndergaard
9.9 Jeurys Familia
9.7 Jacob deGrom
8.9 Matt Harvey
In the National League Mets pitchers ranked second in walks (381) third in saves (49) fourth in innings (1462) fourth in ERA (3.45) fifth in wins (89) fifth in runs (613) & earned runs (557) & sixth in strike outs (1323)
27 Lucas Duda
25 Curtis Granderson
17 Yoenis Cespedes
16 Wilmer Flores
14 Daniel Murphy
73 Lucas Duda
73 Daniel Murphy
69 Curtis Granderson
59 Wilmer Flores
44 Yoenis Cespedes
.283 Daniel Murphy
.263 Wilmer Flores
.263 Ruben Tejada
.259 Michael Cuddyer
.259 Michael Cuddyer
.259 Juan Lagares
.259 Juan Lagares
33 Lucas Duda
32 Curtis Granderson
23 Ruben Tejada
22 Wilmer Flores
66 Lucas Duda
38 Ruben Tejada
31 Daniel Murphy
26 Eric Campbell
67 Lucas Duda
56 Daniel Murphy
55 Wilmer Flores
47 Juan Lagares
.352 Lucas Duda
.341 Ruben Tejada
142 Juan Lagares
137 Wilmer Flores
In the National League Mets hitters ranked first in doubles (293) fourth in HRs (176) sixth in slugging% (.400) total bases (2201) & at bats (5500) seventh in runs (682) & walks (486) eleventh in hits (1346) & on base% (.312) thirteenth in average (.245) fourteenth in triples (17) & fifteenth in steals (51)
ROYALS TEAM LEADERS
Lorenzo Cain .307
Eric Hosmer .297
Kendrys Morales .290
Mike Moustakas .284
Alex Gordon .271
Kendrys Morales 22
Mike Moustakas 22
Salvador Perez 21
Eric Hosmer 18
Lorenzo Cain 16
Kendrys Morales 106
Eric Hosmer 93
Mike Moustakas 82
Lorenzo Cain 72
Salvador Perez 70
Eric Hosmer 178
Lorenzo Cain 169
Kendrys Morales 165
Alcides Escobar 157
Mike Moustakas 156
Kendrys Morales 41
Mike Moustakas 34
Lorenzo Cain 34
Eric Hosmer 33
Salvador Perez 25
Lorenzo Cain 101
Eric Hosmer 98
Kendrys Morales 81
Alcides Escobar 76
Mike Moustakas 73
On Base %
Alex Gordon .377
Eric Hosmer .363
Kendrys Morales .362
As a team the 2015 Royals staff first in wins (95) second in saves (56) HRs (155) third in ERA (3.73) runs (641) & sixth in hits (1372)
Edinson Volquez 13
Yordano Ventura 13
Chris Young 11
Wade Davis 0.94
Ryan Madson 2.13
Kelvin Herrera 2.71
Chris Young 3.06
Franklin Morales 3.18
Yordano Ventura 156
Edinson Volquez 155
Danny Duffy 102
Edinson Volquez 200
Yordano Ventura 163
Jeremy Guthrie 148
Edinson Volquez 72
Yordano Ventura 58
Danny Duffy 53
Greg Holland 32
Wade Davis 17
Ryan Madson 3
Oct 24, 2015
Oct 12, 2015
Remembering The 1973 N.L. Champion Mets: The Drama of A's Second Baseman Mike Andrews in the 1973 World Series
Remembering the 42nd Anniversary of the 1973 N.L. Champion Mets
Michael Jay Andrews was born July 9th 1943 in Los Angeles; California. In 1966 the six foot three infielder, he came up with the Boston Red sox, under manager Dick Williams.
Andrews was the REd Sox main second baseman in their 1967 "Impossible Dream” club that won the pennant& lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a fine defensive second baseman and hit pretty well for infielders of his time. In that 67 season h batted .263 with 8 HRs 20 doubles 40 RBIs & 79 runs scored. In the World Series he hit .308 (4-13) driving in a run in the Sox 8-4 win at Fenway Park.
In 1969 he hit .293 with 15 HRs & 26 doubles making the AL All Star team. He followed up with career bests in HRs (17) doubles (28) hits (149) runs (91) & RBIs (65) in 1970.
After Dick Williams had left Boston as manager, Andrews found himself traded to the Chicago White Sox, along with Luis Alvarado for Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio, who was at the end of his career. Andrews would lead the AL secondbaseman in errors three straight seasons from 1971-1972. In April 1973, he became the first official designated hitter in White Sox history, but was released that July.
|A's Manager Dick Williams at Shea Stadium: |
1973 World Series
In 1973 Andrews hit only .190 in 18 games, and got into two games of the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles going 0-1. In Game #2 of the 1973 World Series against the New York Mets, he pinch hit in the 8th inning grounding out for the third out. He went to second base as a defensive replacement for Green, in the ninth, with the Mets ahead 6-4. The A’s tied thescore in a wild game that just got crazier in extra innings.
In the top of the 12th Bud Harrelson doubled off Rollie Fingers and Mets pitcher; Tug McGraw got on with a bunt base hit. Fingers got the next two outs, but then Willie Mays singled with the last hit of his career, to score Harrelson, putting the Mets ahead.
The drama was just starting for Mike Andrews; with the bases loaded, Manager Williams removed fingers & brought in Paul Lindblad. He pitched to John Milner, who hit a ground ball to Andrews at second base. The ball went right through Andrews’s legs, as McGraw & Mays both scored.
The next batter, catcher Jerry Grote also hit a grounder to Andrews. He fielded it cleanly and threw to first base. But the throw pulled first baseman Gene Tenace off the bag, it was charged an the error, but certainly could have gone either way. Andrews set a World Series record making back to back errors in the same game. The Mets scored four runs in that inning, three due to Andres errors.
|A's Owner Charlie Finley & His |
Three World Series Trophies
Finley had an orthopedist doctor examine Andrews and pressured the player to sign a paper saying he had injured his shoulder. Finley then placed Andrews on the disable list and attempted to activate second baseman Manny Trillo.
The rest of the Oakland players were waiting almost an hour on the team bus for the airport, as Andrews & manager Williams were in this meeting. They eventually learned about what happened to Andrews on the flight to New York, with no Andrews aboard. The team was outraged at the antics of the owner.
Team Captain Sal Bando later said: "Andrews was no different in the World Series than he had been in the second part of the season. He just happened to make a couple of errors that day." The next day, an off day between Series games, the A's honored Andrews by taping a make shift #17 to their uniforms, during the work out at Shea Stadium.
According to player rep Reggie Jackson, some players threatened not to play in disgust of their teammate being humiliated. Not only did his players rally behind him, all of America followed the story and supported Andrews. The news came out in the media frenzy of New York City during a World Series, it was a major story.
|Bowie Kuhn & Marvin Miller|
Manager Dick Williams finally had had enough of Finley’s antics, he had been quiet about the incident for two days but before Game #3 at Shea Stadium, he met with his team. He told his players behind closed doors he would be resigning at the end of the series "win, lose or draw".
The A's went out & won Game #3 in extra innings, Catfish Hunter believed the situation made the team play a bit harder. Sal Bando said all the hype made the A's forget they had to face Tom Seaver.
Andrews phoned Reggie Jackson & learned the team supported him 100%. He was now reactivated & joined the team in New York for Game #4, in which the Mets won 6-1.
Manager Williams showed Charlie Finley who was really in charge, shoving it in his face in the 8th inning when he sent Andrews up as a pinch hitter. The New York fans cheered giving Andrews a standing ovation for all his troubles. He grounded out to Wayne Garrett at third base and on his way back to the dugout, received another standing ovation. Finley sat in his box quietly, swallowing the moment giving a phony applause.
Andrews thanked New York in the press saying he was shocked; "I don't think I've ever had a standing ovation in my life. To me it meant everything."
Mike Andrews retired at the end of the season, in an eight year career; he was a lifetime .258 hitter with 803 hits 66 HRs 140 doubles 316 RBIs & a .353 on base %.
He played 787 games at second base (.973%) 39 games at first base & a few games at short as well as third base.
Retirement: He started the Mike Andrews baseball camp, along with his brother, former Major leaguer Rob Andrews. Andrews is the chairman of the popular Jimmy Fund charity in the Boston area since 1984
In the 7th inning, with one out & two men on, Bartolo Colon (on in relief) threw what looked like a possible double play ball to Howie Kendrick.
As Utley came into second to break up the play, he was no where near the base. He gave a dirty tackle /slide/ then collided with Mets short stop. Ruben Tejada. Tejada landed & broke his fibula. Although Utley took a knee to the head it still knocked no sense into him. It was the that rocked the baseball world, the biggest in Mets playoff history since Pete Rose & Bud Harrelson went at it 42 years ago.
The umpires blew the call & it led to the Dodgers winning 5-2 to even the series. But now some justice has been served. MLB has suspended Chase Utley for Game 3 & 4 of the series.
The MLB man in charge of discipline Joe Torre said: "After thoroughly reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley's action warrants discipline. While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada, and was attempting to help his Club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a) (13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base.
The determination of whether a base runner has intentionally interfered with a player attempting to turn a double play is left to the judgment of the Umpire on the field, and that judgment call is not subject to review. I should add that determining where to draw the line between an illegal slide and a legitimate hard play is an extremely difficult call for our Umpires."
Second base umpire Chris Guccione blew the call by not calling Utley out & having the inning end with a double play.
Hopefully Mets fans will let him hear it & it's nice to know he's got two days to think about how he'll be greeted in New York.
The Mets said in a statement: "The Mets feel this was the appropriate course of action. With this decision behind us, the team and our fans can now focus on playing winning baseball."
Apparently Utley apologized to Tejada through a text to David Wright. Wright said after the game he had a problem with the play on a number of different levels.
Mets manager Terry Collins said, the Mets players are angry.
Dodger Manager Don Mattingly cried that if it had been Wright who made the slide, it would have been ok with Mets fans. What's that all about???
Matt Harvey said he'll take care of business in Game #3 & hopes there won't be no pre game warnings.
So now it's Wilmer Flores back in the spot light once again, Lets go Mets, win it for Ruben!!
** update: Utley appealed & will be available to play Game #3. In fact a centerfieldmaz friend who works at Citi saw Utley enter the stadium with four security guards earlier on 10/12/15.
Oct 11, 2015
Collabello went to high school in Massachusetts & attended Assumption College there but was not drafted by any MLB team. He began a baseball career in the Independent Cam Am League from 2005 - 2011. In 2012 he signed with the Minnesota Twins as a free agent playing at AA New Britain.
In 2013 he was the AAA Player of the Year hitting .352 with 24 HRs & 76 RBIs in 89 games. He had a short stay in the big leagues with the Twins that season as well. He made his MLB debut in May of 2013 & hit .194 in 55 games at that level.
He started getting offers from the Korean Baseball League but did not want to give up his dream to play in the USA Big Leagues. That year he played for Team Italy just like his dad, in the WBC.
In 2014 he had a great start making the Twins starting line up & breaking Kirby Puckett's Twins record of 26 RBIs in a month. His production fell off to .229 average on the year & was placed on waivers at the end of the season. In December 2014 he was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays.
In 101 games for the AL Eastern Champion Blue Jays, he hit 15 HRs with 19 doubles 54 RBIs & a .367 on base % while playing at first base, out field & DH. In the first two months of the season he hit 5 HRs & drove in 30 of those runs.
He got the start at first base in NLDS Game #2 against lefty Cole Hamels & the Texas Rangers. He hit a ground rule double in the 2nd inning & scored the tying run after Kevin Pillar grounded into a double play.
How does MLB have rules not to run over catchers who are wearing protective gear & not have any rules to protect infielders from dirty plays like what happened in Game #2.
Oct 8, 2015
He pitched in organized ball until he was 18 years old, against his parents' wishes he signed a contract with the New York Giants who out bid his home town Cleveland Indians.
He earned the nickname "Rube" because he looked like the great pitcher Rube Wadell. The six foot three inch, pitcher threw left handed but batted right handed. He was tall & so skinny, one paper commented, that he looked like the number one on that mound. He arrived with the Giants in late 1908 just in time to witness the famous “Merkles Boner” game from the bench.
He made his debut a few days later at the Polo Grounds. He hit the first batter he faced, walked the next two & then gave up a grand slam HR. It was not a good start & the fans let him have it. He was quickly labeled "the $11,000 lemon". The Giants finished second that year after losing a make up game (which was really like a one game playoff) to the Chicago Cubs.
In his first full year in 1909 he went 5-13, posting a strong 2.60 ERA as the Giants fell to third place. He followed with a -4 year but turned it all around by 1911. He know controlled his good fastball, added a forkball & change up.
Marquard went on an incredible record setting winning streak & had one of baseball best ever pitching seasons. He got the Giants Opening Day start in 1911 and beat the rival Brooklyn Dodgers. He went undefeated in all of that April & got stronger in May winning seven straight games.
In June he won eight more games besting himself to 18-0. At the start of July he notched another victory over Brooklyn, setting a post 20th century MLB record of 19 straight wins.
He had actually won twenty straight games but a relief win wasn't credited to him at the time. The streak ended in Chicago On July 8th, when he was beaten by the Chicago Cubs. During the win streak he had beaten every team in the league at least twice, He beat Brooklyn three times, Boston & Philadelphia four times each.
By the time he was 19-0, only two other pitchers in the league had as many as ten wins. Marquard pitched 16 complete games in the stretch allowing only 49 runs, 41 of which were earned. He went out & celebrated buying an opal stick pin, but then friend told him opal was bad luck, so he went & threw it into a river. Bad luck or not the win streak ended and he went 7-11 the rest of the season.
He finished the Giants Pennant 1911 season winning 24 games (24-7) leading the league in winning percentage (.772) & strike outs (237) posting a 2.05 ERA.
The Giants staff that season also featured Christy Mathewson (26-13) Doc Crandal (15-5) Hooks Wiltse (12-9) & Red Ames (11-10). John McGraw's Giants won 99 games but lost the World Series to Connie Mack's Philadelphia A’s. Marquard was the losing pitcher to Eddie Plank in Game #2, he pitched into the 8th inning allowing three runs.
In Game #4 at the Polo Grounds he gave up three runs in the third inning & was relieved by Coc Crandall. The Giants went on to a 4-3 win with Marquard earning no decision. Over all he pitched in three games of the Series, allowing six runs only two earned runs over 11 innings of work taking going 0-1.
|Actress Blossom Seely|
Soon he married singer/actress Blossom Seeley who had some hits records & was part of a famous vaudeville act. He teamed up with her in a skit called "Breaking the Record" & They did a dance called the Marquard Glide.
In 1913 they did an act called "The Suffragette Pitcher," in which Rube put on a dress and pitched for Blossom's all-girl team. In 1912 he had another great season, leading the league in wins (26-11) with 175 strike outs & a 2.57 ERA. The Giants won the pennant that year too but lost a heart breaker World Series to the Boston (Pilgrims) Red Sox.
Post Season: Marquard had a fine Series that year, starting out with a complete game victory in Game #3 at Boston's Fenway Park.
In Game #6 Marquard took the mound in the Polo Grounds and allowed two runs on seven hits, beating the Red Sox 5-2 in another complete game outing.
In the 1912 World Series he was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA, striking out nine batters in 18 innings. He allowed 14 & two walks hits but kept them in check, baring down with runners in scoring position.
In 1913 he won twenty games for the third straight season, 23-10 with 151 strike outs while posting a 2.50 ERA. He pitched in 288 innings only walking 49 batters. That season McGraw's Giants went to their third straight World Series but this time losing again to the Philadelphia A’s. Marquard took the loss in the Series opener, getting hit hard for five runs on eight hits in five innings pitched. In Game #4 he came in to relieve Al Demaree in the 5th inning, he allowed two more runs earning no decision in the 6-5 loss in Philadelphia.
In 1914 he dropped to 12-22, the second most losses in the league, while posting a 3.06 ERA. The next season he threw a no hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers in April and had a better year, going 9-8 but finding it harder to strike guys out.
Toward the end of the year he was traded to the Brooklyn Robins and would spend the next six seasons there (1915-1920). He made a comeback to win 13 games for the first place Robins in 1916 (going 13-6) but lost two games to the Boston Red Sox in the 1916 World Series.
In 1917, although the Robins dropped to seventh place, he won 19 games (19-12). Marquard posted a 2.55 ERA, striking out 107 batters, while pitching over 200 innings, for the second of three straight seasons. Strangely the next season he fell off to lead the league in losses with 18 (9-18) but still posted an ERA of 2.64.
He got into another World Series with Brooklyn , in 1920 after pitching a 10-7 season. In the World Series he took a 3-1 loss in the opener to the Cleveland Indians. He was sent to Cincinnati where we won 17 games for the Reds in one brief season.
Marquard then was off to the Boston Braves where he had two 11 win seasons but both years lost more games than he won. He missed most of the 1924 season due to illness & in 1925 pitched in 26 games, making eight starts going 2-8 at the age of 39.
He ended his 18 season career at 201-177 (110th most wins all time-79th most losses all time) with 1593 strike outs (162nd all time) and a 3.08 ERA (189th all time) pitching in 3306 innings (89th all time) over 536 games. He made 407 starts (119th all time) with 197 complete games (142nd all time) & 30 shut outs (110th all time).
Retirement: After baseball he was a coach, a scout and a manager at the minor league level. He was even an umpire for a brief time. For years he then worked at mutual betting windows at racetracks in Florida and Maryland.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown by the Veterans committee in 1971. He lived until 93 years of age, passing in Baltimore Maryland in 1980.