Athletics

Odds against Bill King for Frick Award in '13

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Odds against Bill King for Frick Award in '13

The Baseball Hall of Fame issued its latest list of candidates for the Ford Frick Award, which is a plaque that has a bunch of baseball broadcasters names on it, and two things stick out.Bill King, the longtime Oakland As voice, is on the list of 41, which will eventually be whittled to three by that bane of our existence, internet voting.

And so are Ray Fosse, Hank Greenwald, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow.This suggests that yet again, King is in the process of being crowded out by a populace whose memories are of people theyve seen on television rather than radio. King belongs on this list; frankly, truth told, he belongs on the plaque. But he isnt, and unless InternetWorld has grown a conscience or an interest in research, hes going to miss again because fewer and fewer people remember him or his work.REWIND: The late Bill king up for Ford C. Frick Award
But Kuiper and Krukow being on the ballot together raise a different issue namely, since only one can be plaque-ified in any one year, who goes first? How does a voter separate the two, since they clearly have been, are, and will always be considered a singular menu item?It would be promoting Penn without Teller, Burns without Allen, Omar without Marlo.Well, I think weve strained that analogy about as well as we can. Now back to the subject.As for Fosse and Greenwald, their candidacies speak for themselves, but somehow one suspects their time is not yet upon us, and were only making that case because voters gravitate toward the biggest names they can think of, and Fosse has toiled in relative cover in Oakland while Greenwald has retired.So for purposes of this discussion alone, we are covering the most prominent oversight in King, and the hot flavors in Krukow and Kuiper.If King has a prayer, it is only a faint one. He doesnt work any more, what with having died and all, and his last tenuous link to the short-attention-span voter was his voice in MoneyBall. This, in addition to the fact that only worked radio for almost all of his career with the As, and the fact that its the As, makes him a poor candidate to advance unless there is an enormous ballot-stuffing attempt this time around.RELATED: Vote here for the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award
And we can presume there will be campaigns for the other 40 candidates as well. After all, the Internet not only stands for democratization but voter fraud at the same time.The fail-safe here is that the fan vote will place three names on the final 10-person ballot, with the other seven named by a committee that includes among others, Jon Miller and Lon Simmons, of whom you may have heard.But the fail-safe has never worked in Kings benefit before, so the voter fraud part is a thin reed.Indeed, the only way that King has a decent shot this time is if Kuiper and Krukow go out of their way to promote King to voters, as in, Wed love to be in one day, but lets clean up this Bill King oversight first. We suspect Greenwald and Fosse would promote King on their own, given their personal relationships, but again, theyd like to be on the plaque someday, too.Weve seen the way Giant voters can abscond with an All-Star Game, so it wouldnt be an empty gesture but a cry to action. One word from Kuiper and Krukow, and they are mobilized.On the other hand, it means Krukow and Kuiper would be (a) voting against their own self-interests), and (b) voting for an As figure at a time when the Giants stated management policy is that the As really are better off back in Philadelphia, and only if utter nonexistence is not an option.They could do it anyway, using their inherent popularity to buck management, but thats a tough ask a very, very tough ask. Plus, we dont even know if they were overly fond of King one way or the other. Were not saying they werent, we just dont know if they were.Even that wouldnt get him out of the final committee, of course. Tom Cheek was the long-time voice of the Toronto Blue Jays. Richie Ashburn was much beloved in Philadelphia. Ron Santo just got into the regular Hall of Fame, Eric Nadel has been the voice in Texas for years upon years, and Joe Nuxhall was Cincinnatis broadcasting mascot for even more years than that.In short, its a tough field, and getting to 10 is a difficult achievement.But for King, it is only getting more difficult the more he fades into the memories of those who dont tend to vote 50 times on their computers. At this point, hell need outside help from insiders, and one wonders if thats more help than anyone can comfortably provide.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'

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USATSI

Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'

C.C. Sabathia couldn't save the Yankees' 2017 season. And now he has a decision to make.

After nine seasons in New York, the 37-year-old hits the free agent market this winter.

With career earnings nearing $250 million and a 2009 World Series ring already on his resume, would the Vallejo-native consider coming home to play for the A's? That's a question that was posed to NBCSportsBayArea.com Insider Joe Stiglich last week.

While it's a possibility, based on comments after Saturday's ALCS Game 7 loss to the Astros, it sounds like Sabathia doesn't want to leave The Bronx.

“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great. This is my home, and I want to see this thing through," Sabathia told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series

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USATSI

Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON -- Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis off Sabathia which made it 1-0.

Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of "MVP" rained down on him.

Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.

Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles after that before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann's two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.

It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who dropped Game 7 to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS 13 years ago today.

Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.

Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston's lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird's cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.

A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.

Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh inning.