Carl Pavano

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Posted by pompos 04/17/2009 @ 14:07

Tags : carl pavano, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Carl Pavano: Waiver-Wire Fodder or Ace with Bad Luck? - Bleacher Report
by Jordan Gillis (Contributor) Do you remember in the winter in 2004 when Carl Pavano was being courted by many teams after the Florida Marlins decided to just cut ties, and the prize ace free agent landed in pinstripes after George Steinbrenner wined...
With win over Sox, Tribe looks solid - MLB.com
Carl Pavano turned in a start that was much more effective than his final line (four runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings) would indicate. And Mark DeRosa made a stellar defensive play that kept the White Sox from making a game of it....
Pavano sparkles: Wood saves the day in Tribe victory over Tigers - The Queensberry Rules
By James Pete The Cleveland Indians rode the arms of Carl Pavano and Kerry Wood to victory last night, as the Tribe beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 at Detroit's Comerica Park Friday Night. The Indians signing of Carl Pavano to an incentive-laden,...
How the Indians became the majors' worst team - SportingNews.com
The most telling statement about the pitching is that righthander Carl Pavano has been the Indians' most productive starter. Pavano had three of the club's last four wins entering Wednesday's play; Pavano had nine wins in the previous four seasons with...
Sports Minute: Clemens talks....Cavs, Mavs, 'Hawks and Caps win ... - WIS
3 starter, Carl Pavano (pah-VAH'-noh) has become the ace of the Cleveland pitching staff. The washed-up New York Yankees hurler was signed in the offseason and last night he won his third straight as the Indians beat Chicago 9-4 to snap a four game...
Twins ride Slowey's dominance to win - MLB.com
The Minnesota right-hander had the advantage of working with a lead from the very first pitch that he threw, after the Twins scored one run off Indians starter Carl Pavano in the first. Minnesota took a 1-0 lead when Alexi Casilla singled to center,...
Pavano confounds Red Sox - Boston Globe
By Adam Kilgore In 1994, the Red Sox selected a pitcher named Carl Pavano in the 13th round of the amateur draft, and over the next 14 years, he brought the organization joy in strange and indirect ways. The Sox traded him and a player to be named...
Pavano notches third straight victory - Rotoworld.com
Carl Pavano picked up a win against the White Sox on Monday night, allowing four runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Not a dominant outing, obviously, but his control was sharp as he avoided issuing a walk and threw 67 of 87 pitches for strikes....
Pavano steady as Indians cruise at Fenway - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
BOSTON – Carl Pavano endured four injury-plagued years in which he gave the New York Yankees little for their $39.95 million. So far he's been a big bargain for Cleveland. Pavano pitched his third strong game in three weeks, Victor Martinez hit a homer...
Seeking relief, Indians' Shapiro makes changes - USA Today
The Indians dismantled the Boston Red Sox, 9-2, behind starter Carl Pavano, with former starter Aaron Laffey pitching three scoreless innings for his first career save. The Indians hardly are ready to call the move a success, but when you're 11-17 and...

Carl Pavano

Carl Anthony Pavano (born January 8, 1976 in New Britain, Connecticut) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. Pavano is known for being injury-prone, spending the majority of the 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons on the disabled list.

Pavano was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 13th round of the 1994 amateur draft. He came out of Southington High School located in Southington, CT. In November 1997, he was sent to Montreal, along with pitcher Tony Armas, Jr., in the trade that brought Pedro Martínez to Boston. Pavano debuted with the Expos in 1998 and was traded to the Florida Marlins in the middle of the 2002 season in a trade that included Cliff Floyd. Pavano gave up Mark McGwire's 70th home run in the 1998 season.

Despite having been plagued by injuries, Pavano became an important part of Florida's starting rotation and had a highly successful postseason in 2003 for the World Series-Champion Marlins. He started Game 4 of the Series against the Yankees, holding New York to one run over eight innings in a game the Marlins would go on to win, 4-3, in extra innings.

In a nine year career with Montreal, Florida, and the New York Yankees, Pavano compiled a 62-64 record with 677 strikeouts and a 4.27 ERA in 1049 innings. At the plate, he was a .139 hitter with two home runs and 14 RBI in 166 games.

Pavano followed up his playoff exploits with his best season to date in 2004, posting an 18-8 record and a 3.00 ERA. He became a free agent following the season and, despite receiving bigger offers from Boston and Cincinnati, chose to accept a four-year contract worth $39.95 million with the New York Yankees on December 20, 2004.

In 2005, Pavano began the season with quality starts in seven of his first 10 appearances, compiling a 4-2 record and a 3.69 ERA. However, in June of that year, he injured his right shoulder and went on the disabled list. Pavano made 17 starts and finished 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA. The Yankees expected him to be healthy for the 2006 season, but Pavano began the season on the disabled list after bruising his buttocks in a spring training game. He did not pitch at all in the Majors in 2006, making only minor league rehab starts. On August 15, 2006, he broke two ribs in an automobile accident. However, he did not tell the Yankees until August 28, the day they informed him that they planned for him to come off the disabled list to play that Thursday.

In spring training in 2007, Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina said that Pavano needed to prove that he wanted to pitch for the team. Mussina said he does not believe he is the only Yankee who feels this way. "It didn't look good from a player's and teammate's standpoint," Mussina said of Pavano's injuries. "Was everything just coincidence? Over and over again? I don't know." Manager Joe Torre explained that the amount of work Pavano needed to do in repairing his clubhouse image was "sizable." Later that season, after ace Chien-Ming Wang injured his right hamstring late in spring training, the Yankees chose Pavano to start on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium. On April 15, 2007, Pavano was placed on the 15-day DL with what was described as an "elbow strain". On May 23, 2007, it was reported that Pavano would opt for Tommy John surgery in his elbow.

In December 2007, the Yankee organization asked Pavano to accept a minor league contract to clear space on their 40-man roster, Pavano's agent, Tom O'Connell, stated that he would consider the request, but he later turned it down. O'Connell also stated that Pavano's rehabilitation is going faster than expected and he might be available to pitch at the Major League level by mid-summer 2008. By refusing the minor league contract and remaining on the roster the entire season, Pavano guaranteed himself a share of the Yankees' post-season bonus money, which would have been worth up to $300,000 had the Yankees won the World Series.

On July 29, 2008, Pavano made his first rehab start since his Tommy John surgery for the Charleston RiverDogs, allowing one hit and one walk in two scoreless innings.

Pavano made his first start of the 2008 season during the Yankees series against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday August 23, 2008, pitching 5 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 7 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts in the Yankees 5-3 win. He made his second start of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 29 and was victorious pitching 6 innings in the Yankees 2-1 win.

Since his first stint on the disabled list, Pavano did not endear himself to his Yankee teammates and has stated that he will not visit the team when they play in Tampa Bay, near where the pitcher is rehabilitating. Meanwhile, Pavano's agent Tom O'Connell – the fourth agent the right-hander has gone through in his career – believes that Pavano would still be a desired commodity on the free-agent market this winter, even with his injury history. "Carl's a 1-2 starter. Those guys don't grow on trees. Those guys are very rare, 200-inning guys are very rare in this game, and they're the ones that make the money. And he did it two years in a row, before he got hurt, and I'm sure he's going to do it again," O'Connell said.

On January 6, 2009, Pavano signed a one year deal with the Cleveland Indians.

Many observers were surprised that Pavano received any guaranteed money given his history of bizarre injuries.

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Boston Red Sox

RedSoxPrimary HangingSocks.svg

The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox are a member of the Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Since 1912, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park. The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature.

The club was founded in 1901, as of the American League's eight charter franchises. They were a dominant team in the new league -- defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. They won four more championships by 1918, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history, which ended in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series Championship. Since 2003, the Red Sox have competed in four ALCS, have won two World Series, and have emerged as arguably the most successful MLB team of the last decade.

The Red Sox led all MLB teams in average road attendance in 2007, while the small capacity of Fenway Park caused them to rank 11th in home attendance. Every home game since May 15, 2003 has been sold out—a span of over five years and an MLB record.

The name Red Sox, chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season, refers to the red hose in the team uniform beginning 1908. Actually, Sox was adopted by newspapers needing a headline-friendly form of Stockings, as "Stockings Win!" in large type would not fit on a page. The Spanish language media sometimes refers to the team as Medias Rojas for Red Stockings.

The name originated with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1867-1870 member of the pioneering National Association of Base Ball Players. Managed by Harry Wright, Cincinnati adopted a uniform with white knickers and red stockings, and earned the famous nickname, a year or two before hiring the first fully professional team in 1869. When the club folded after the 1870 season, Wright was hired to organize a new team in Boston, and he did, bringing three teammates and the "Red Stockings" nickname along (Most nicknames were then only nicknames, neither club names nor registered trademarks, so the migration was informal). The Boston Red Stockings won four championships in the five seasons of the new National Association, the first professional league.

Boston and a new Cincinnati club were charter members of the National League in 1876. Perhaps in deference to the Cincinnati history, many people reserved the "Red Stockings" nickname for that city with the Boston team commonly referred to as the "Red Caps" today. Other names were sometimes used before Boston officially adopted the nickname "Braves" in 1912; that club is now based in Atlanta.

The National League club, though seldom called the "Red Stockings" anymore, still wore red trim. In 1907, the National League club adopted an all-white uniform, and the American League team saw an opportunity. On December 18, 1907, Taylor announced that the club had officially adopted red as its new team color. The 1908 uniforms featured a large icon of a red stocking angling across the shirt front. For 1908, the National League club returned to wearing red trim, but the American League team finally had an official nickname, and would remain "The Red Sox" for good.

The name is often shortened to "Bosox" or "BoSox," a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (similar to the "ChiSox" in Chicago or the minor league "PawSox" of Pawtucket). Sportswriters sometimes refer to the Red Sox as the Crimson Hose, and the Olde Towne Team. However, most fans simply refer to the team as the "Sox" when the context is understood to mean Red Sox.

For years many sources have listed the early Boston AL team as the "Pilgrims", but researcher Bill Nowlin has demonstrated that the name was barely used, if at all, at the time.

In 1901, the minor Western League, led by Ban Johnson, declared its equality with the National League, then the only major league in baseball. Johnson changed the name of the league to the American League, leading teams in his league to be christened with the unofficial nickname "Americans". This was especially true in the case of the new Boston franchise, which would not adopt an official nickname until 1908.

The upstart league placed franchises in Baltimore, Maryland and Buffalo. After looking at his new league Ban Johnson decided that he would need a team in Boston to compete with the National League team there and so cancelled the Buffalo club's franchise, offering one to a new club in Boston. Playing their home games at Huntington Avenue Grounds, the Boston franchise finished second and third before capturing their first pennant in 1903 and repeating the next year. Those teams were led by manager and star third baseman Jimmy Collins, outfielders Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty and pitcher Cy Young, who in 1901 won the pitching Triple Crown with 33 wins (41.8% of the team's 79 games), 1.62 ERA and 158 strikeouts. His 1901 to 1904 seasons rank among the best four-year runs ever.

In 1903, Boston participated in the first modern World Series, beating the favored Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of the NL pennant by six and a half games, winning the best-of-nine series five games to three. Aided by the modified chants of "Tessie" by the Royal Rooters fan club and by its stronger pitching staff, the Americans managed to overcome the odds, and win the World Series.

The 1904 club was almost as good as the previous team, but due to the surprise emergence of the New York Highlanders, the Boston club found itself in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. A predecessor to what would become a storied rivalry, this race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub. The climax of the season occurred on the last, dramatic doubleheader at the Highlanders’ home stadium, Hilltop Park. In order to win the pennant, the Highlanders needed to win both games. With Jack Chesbro, the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, and the score tied 2-2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro and Lou Criger scored the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history.

Unfortunately, the NL champion New York Giants declined to play any postseason series, fearing it would give their New York rivals credibility (they had expected the Highlanders to win), but a sharp public reaction led the two leagues immediately to make the World Series a permanent championship, starting in 1905.

These successful times soon ended, however, as Boston lost 100 games in 1906. However, several new star players helped the newly renamed Red Sox improve almost immediately.

By 1909, legendary center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, and the team worked their way to third place. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season, finishing with a club record .691 winning percentage. Anchored by an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game—Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis—and superstar pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, the Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4-3-1 in the classic 1912 World Series best known for Snodgrass’s Muff. From 1913 to 1916 the Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin, who signed Babe Ruth, soon the best-known and one of the best players ever. Another 101 wins in 1915 propelled the Red Sox to the 1915 World Series, where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one. Following the 1915 season, Tris Speaker was traded to the Cleveland Indians. His departure was more than compensated for, however, by the emergence of star pitcher Babe Ruth. The Red Sox went on to win the 1916 World Series, this time defeating the Brooklyn Robins. In 1918, Babe Ruth led his team to another World Series championship. This time over the Chicago Cubs.

Harry Frazee bought the Red Sox from Joseph Lannin in 1916 for about $500,000. A couple of notable trades involving Harry Frazee and the Yankees occurred before the Babe Ruth sale. On December 18, 1918, outstanding outfielder Duffy Lewis, pitcher Dutch Leonard (who'd posted a modern record 0.96 ERA in 1914.), and pitcher Ernie Shore were traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ray Caldwell, Slim Love, Roxy Walters, Frank Gilhooley and $15,000. As all three players were well-regarded in Boston — Lewis had been a key player on the 1910s championship teams, Shore had famously relieved Babe Ruth and retired 27 straight, and Leonard had only four years before set a modern record for earned run average — this trade was regarded as a poor one in Boston, Then, on July 13, 1919, submarine-style pitching star Carl Mays was traded to the Yankees for Bob McGraw, Allan Russell and $40,000. Mays would go on to have several good years for the Yankees, but had been a discipline problem for the Red Sox.

On December 26, 1919, Frazee sold Babe Ruth, who had played the previous six seasons for the Red Sox, to the rival New York Yankees (Ruth had just broken the single-season home run record, hitting 29 in 1919.) Legend has it that Frazee did so in order to finance the Broadway play No, No, Nanette. That play did not actually open on Broadway until 1925, but as Leigh Montville discovered during research for his book, The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth, No, No, Nanette had originated as a non-musical stage play called My Lady Friends, which opened on Broadway in December 1919. My Lady Friends had, indeed, been financed by the Ruth sale to the Yankees.

During that period, the Red Sox, Yankees and Chicago White Sox had a détente; they were called "Insurrectos" because their actions antagonized league president Ban Johnson. Although Frazee owned the Boston Red Sox franchise, he did not own Fenway Park (it was owned by the Fenway Park Trust), making his ownership a precarious one; Johnson could move another team into the ballpark. His club was in debt, but Frazee felt the need to purchase its playing site (which he did in 1920). Further, providing the Yankees with a box office attraction would help that mediocre club, which had sided with him against Johnson and "the Loyal Five" clubs. Finally, Ruth was considered a serious disciplinary problem, a reputation he amply confirmed while playing for the Yankees. Frazee moved Ruth to stabilize Red Sox finances and cut distractions. It was a straight sale, no players in return.

New York achieved great success after acquiring Ruth and several other very good players. Boston, meanwhile, did poorly during the 20s and 30s, and the sale of Babe Ruth came to be viewed as the beginning of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, widely considered the "Greatest Rivalry on Earth" by sports journalists.

After deciding to get out of baseball, Frazee began selling many of his star players. In the winter of 1920, Wally Schang, Waite Hoyt, Harry Harper and Mike McNally were traded to the Yankees for Del Pratt, Muddy Ruel, John Costello, Hank Thormahlen, Sammy Vick and cash. The following winter, iron man shortstop Everett Scott, and pitchers Bullet Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones were traded to the Yankees for Roger Peckinpaugh (who would be immediately shipped to the Washington Senators), Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, Bill Piercy and $50,000. On July 23, 1922, Joe Dugan and Elmer Smith were traded to the Yankees for Elmer Miller, Chick Fewster, Johnny Mitchell, and Lefty O'Doul, who was at the time a mediocre pitching prospect. Acquiring Dugan helped the Yankees edge the St. Louis Browns in a tight pennant race, and the resulting uproar helped create a June 15 trading deadline that went into effect the next year. Perhaps an even more outrageous deal was the trade of Herb Pennock, occurring in early 1923. Pennock was traded by the Red Sox to the Yankees for Camp Skinner, Norm McMillan, George Murray and $50,000.

Over an eight-year period from 1925 to 1932, the Red Sox averaged over 100 losses per season. One of the few bright spots on these teams was Earl Webb, who set the all-time mark for most doubles in a season in 1931 with 67. The BoSox’ fortunes began to change in 1933 when Tom Yawkey bought the team. Yawkey acquired pitcher Wes Ferrell and one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, Lefty Grove, making his team competitive once again in the late thirties. He also acquired Joe Cronin, an outstanding shortstop and manager and slugging first baseman Jimmie Foxx whose 50 home runs in 1938 would stand as a club record for 68 years. Foxx also drove in a club record 175 runs.

In 1939, the Red Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Ted Williams from the minor league San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League, ushering in an era of the team sometimes called the "Ted Sox." Williams consistently hit for both high power and high average, and is generally considered one of the greatest hitters of all time. The right-field bullpens in Fenway were built in part for Williams' left-handed swing, and are sometimes called "Williamsburg." Before this addition, it was over 400 feet (120 m) to right field. He served two stints in the United States Marine Corps as a pilot and saw active duty in both World War II and the Korean War, missing at least five full seasons of baseball. His book The Science of Hitting is widely read by students of baseball. He is currently the last player to hit over .400 for a full season, batting .406 in 1941.. Williams feuded with sports writers his whole career, calling them "The Knights of the Keyboard," and his relationship with the fans was often rocky as he was seen spitting towards the stands on more than one occasion.

With Williams, the Red Sox reached the 1946 World Series, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in part because of the use of the "Williams Shift," a defensive tactic in which the shortstop would move to the right side of the infield to make it harder for the left-handed-hitting Williams to hit to that side of the field. Some have claimed that he was too proud to hit to the other side of the field, not wanting to let the Cardinals take away his game. His performance may have also been affected by a pitch he took in the elbow in an exhibition game a few days earlier. Either way, in his first and only World Series, Williams gathering just five singles in 25 at-bats for a .200 average.

The Cardinals won the 1946 Series when Enos Slaughter scored the go-ahead run all the way from first base on a base hit to left field. The throw from Leon Culberson was cut off by shortstop Johnny Pesky (for whom the right field foul pole in Fenway is named "Pesky's Pole)," who relayed the ball to the plate just a hair too late. Some say Pesky hesitated or "held the ball" before he turned to throw the ball, but this has been disputed.

Along with Williams and Pesky, the Red Sox featured several other star players during the 1940s, including second baseman Bobby Doerr and center fielder Dom DiMaggio (the younger brother of Joe DiMaggio).

The Red Sox narrowly lost the AL pennant in 1948 and 1949. In 1948, they finished in a tie with Cleveland, and their loss to Cleveland in a one-game playoff ended hopes of an all-Boston World Series. Curiously, manager Joseph McCarthy chose journeyman Denny Galehouse to start the playoff game when the young lefty phenom Mel Parnell was available to pitch. In 1949, the Red Sox were one game ahead of the New York Yankees, with the only two games left for both teams being against each other, and they lost both of those games.

The 1950s were viewed as a time of tribulation for the Red Sox. After Williams returned from the Korean War in 1953, many of the best players from the late 1940s had retired or been traded. The stark contrast in the team led critics to call the Red Sox' daily lineup "Ted Williams and the Seven Dwarfs." Jackie Robinson was even worked out by the team at Fenway Park, however it appeared that owner Tom Yawkey did not want an African American player on his team at that time. Willie Mays also tried out for Boston and was highly praised by team scouts. Ted Williams hit .388 at the age of 38 in 1957, but there was little else for Boston fans to root for. Williams retired at the end of the 1960 season, famously hitting a home run in his final at-bat as memorialized in the John Updike story "Hub fans bid Kid adieu." The Red Sox finally became the last Major League team to field an African American player when they promoted infielder Pumpsie Green from their AAA farm team in 1959.

The 1960s also started poorly for the Red Sox, though 1961 saw the debut of Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski, Williams' replacement in left field, who developed into one of the better hitters of a pitching-rich decade.

Red Sox fans know 1967 as the season of the "Impossible Dream." The slogan refers to the hit song from the popular musical play "Man of La Mancha." 1967 saw one of the great pennant races in baseball history with four teams in the AL pennant race until almost the last game. The BoSox had finished the 1966 season in ninth place, but they found new life with Yastrzemski as the team went to the 1967 World Series. Yastrzemski won the American League Triple Crown (the most recent player to accomplish such a feat), hitting .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. He finished one vote short of a unanimous MVP selection, as a Minnesota sportswriter placed Twins center fielder César Tovar first on his ballot. But the Red Sox lost the series — again to the St. Louis Cardinals, in seven games. Legendary pitcher Bob Gibson stymied the Red Sox winning three games.

An 18-year-old Bostonian rookie named Tony Conigliaro slugged 24 home runs in 1964. "Tony C" became the youngest player in Major League Baseball to hit his 100th home run, a record that stands today. However, he was struck just above the left cheek bone by a fastball thrown by Jack Hamilton of the California Angels in August 1967. Conigliaro sat out the entire next season with headaches and blurred vision. Although he did have a productive season in 1970, he was never the same.

Although the Red Sox were competitive for much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, they never finished higher than second place in their division. The closest they came to a divisional title was 1972, when they lost by a half-game to the Detroit Tigers. The start of the season was delayed by a players' strike, and the Red Sox further lost a game to a rainout that was never replayed, which caused the Red Sox to lose the division by a half-game. On October 2, 1972, they also lost the second to last game of the year to the Tigers, 3-1, when Luis Aparicio fell rounding third after Yastremski hit a triple in the third inning, Aparicio tried to scamper back to third but this created an out as Yastremski was already on third.

The Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1975. The 1975 Red Sox were as colorful as they were talented, with Yastrzemski and rookie outfielders Jim Rice and Fred Lynn, veteran outfielder Dwight Evans, catcher Carlton Fisk, and pitchers Luis Tiant and eccentric junkballer Bill "The Spaceman" Lee. Fred Lynn won both the American League Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award, a feat which had never previously been accomplished, and was not duplicated until Ichiro Suzuki did it in 2001.. In the ALCS, the Red Sox swept the Oakland A's.

In the 1975 World Series, they faced the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds, also known as The Big Red Machine. Luis Tiant won games 1 and 4 of the World Series but after five games, the Red Sox trailed the series 3 games to 2. Game 6 at Fenway Park is considered among the greatest games in postseason history. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Red Sox pinch hitter Bernie Carbo hit a three run homer into the center field bleachers off Reds fireman Rawly Eastwick to tie the game. In the top of the eleventh inning, right fielder Dwight Evans made a spectacular catch of a Joe Morgan line drive and doubled Ken Griffey at first base to preserve the tie. In the bottom of the twelfth inning, Carlton Fisk hit a deep fly ball which sliced towards the left field foul pole above the Green Monster. As the ball sailed into the night, Fisk waved his arms frantically towards fair territory, seemingly pleading with the ball not to go foul. The ball complied, and bedlam ensued at Fenway as Fisk rounded the bases to win the game for the Red Sox 7-6. Footage of the Fisk home run is shown again and again on ESPN classic.

In 1978, the Red Sox and the Yankees were involved in a tight pennant race. The Yankees were 14½ games behind the Red Sox in July, and on September 10, after completing a 4-game sweep of the Red Sox (known as "The Boston Massacre"), the Yankees tied for the divisional lead.

For the final three weeks of the season, the teams fought closely and the lead changed hands several times. By the final day of the season, the Yankees' magic number to win the division was one — with a win over Cleveland or a Boston loss to the Toronto Blue Jays clinching the division. However, New York lost 9-2 and Boston won 5-0, forcing a one-game playoff to be held at Fenway Park on Monday, October 2.

The most remembered moment from the game was Bucky Dent's 7th inning three-run home run in off Mike Torrez just over the Green Monster, giving the Yankees their first lead. Reggie Jackson provided a solo home run in the 8th that proved to be the difference in the Yankees' 5-4 win, which ended with Yastrzemski popping out to Graig Nettles in foul territory with Rick Burleson representing the tying run at third.

Carl Yastrzemski retired after the 1983 season, during which the Red Sox finished sixth in the seven-team AL East, posting their worst record since 1966. However, in 1986, it appeared that the team's fortunes were about to change. The offense had remained strong with Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Don Baylor and Wade Boggs. Roger Clemens led the pitching staff, going 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA, and had a 20-strikeout game to win both the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. Clemens became the first starting pitcher to win both awards since Vida Blue in 1971, and no starting pitcher has won the MVP award in either league since.

The Red Sox won the AL East for the first time in 11 seasons, and faced the California Angels in the AL Championship Series. The teams split the first two games in Boston, but the Angels won the next two games home games, taking a 3-1 lead in the series. With the Angels poised to win the series, the Red Sox trailed 5-2 heading into the ninth inning of Game 5. A two-run homer by Baylor cut the lead to one. With two outs and a runner on, and one strike away from elimination, Dave Henderson homered off Donnie Moore to put Boston up 6-5. Although the Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox won in the 11th on a Henderson sacrifice fly off Moore. The Red Sox then found themselves with six- and seven-run wins at Fenway Park in Games 6 and 7 to win the American League title.

The Red Sox faced a heavily favored New York Mets team that had won 108 games in the regular season in the 1986 World Series. Boston won the first two games in Shea Stadium but lost the next two at Fenway, knotting the series at 2 games apiece. After Bruce Hurst recorded his second victory of the series in Game 5, the Red Sox returned to Shea Stadium looking to garner their first championship in 68 years. However, Game 6 would go down as one of the most devastating losses in club history. After pitching seven strong innings, Clemens was lifted from the game with a 3-2 lead. Years later, Manager John McNamara said Clemens was suffering from a blister and asked to be taken out of the game, a claim Clemens denied. The Mets then scored a run off reliever and former Met Calvin Schiraldi to tie the score 3-3. The game went to extra innings, where the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th on a solo home run by Henderson, a double by Boggs and an RBI single by second baseman Marty Barrett.

After recording two outs in the bottom of the 10th, a graphic appeared on the NBC telecast hailing Barrett as the Player of the Game, and Bruce Hurst had been named World Series MVP. A message even appeared briefly on the Shea Stadium scoreboard congratulating the Red Sox as world champions. After so many years of abject frustration, Red Sox fans around the world could taste victory. With two strikes, Mets catcher Gary Carter hit a single. It was followed by singles by Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight. With Mookie Wilson batting, a wild pitch by Bob Stanley tied the game at 5. Wilson then hit a slow ground ball to first; the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs, allowing Knight to score the winning run from second.

While Buckner was singled out as responsible for the loss, many observers — as well as both Wilson and Buckner — have noted that even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, the speedy Wilson probably would still have been safe, leaving the game-winning run at third with two out.

The Red Sox returned to the postseason in 1988. With the club in fourth place midway through the 1988 season at the All-Star break, manager John McNamara was fired and replaced by Joe Morgan on July 15. Immediately the club won 12 games in a row, and 19 of 20 overall, to surge to the AL East title in what would be referred to as Morgan Magic. But the magic was short-lived, as the team was swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. Ironically, the MVP of that Series was former Red Sox pitcher and Baseball Hall of Fame player Dennis Eckersley, who saved all four wins for Oakland. Two years later, in 1990, the Red Sox would again win the division and face the Athletics in the ALCS. However, the outcome was the same, with the A's sweeping the ALCS in four straight.

Tom Yawkey died in 1976, and his wife Jean R. Yawkey took control of the team until her death in 1992. Their initials are shown in two stripes on the Left field wall in Morse code. Upon Jean's death, control of the team passed to the Yawkey Trust, led by John Harrington. The trust sold the team in 2002, concluding 70 years of Yawkey ownership.

In 1994, General Manager Lou Gorman was replaced by Dan Duquette, a Massachusetts native who had worked for the Montreal Expos. Duquette revived the team's farm system, which during his tenure produced players such as Nomar Garciaparra, Carl Pavano and David Eckstein. Duquette also spent money on free agents, notably an eight-year, $160 million deal for Manny Ramírez after the 2000 season.

The Red Sox won the newly-realigned American League East in 1995, finishing seven games ahead of the Yankees. However, they were swept in three games in the ALDS by the Cleveland Indians. Their postseason losing streak reached 13 straight games, dating back to the 1986 World Series.

Roger Clemens tied his major league record by fanning 20 Detroit Tigers on September 18, 1996 in what would prove to be one of his final appearances in a Red Sox uniform. After Clemens had turned 30 and then had four seasons, 1993-96, which were by his standards mediocre at best, Duquette said the pitcher was entering "the twilight of his career." Clemens went on to pitch well for another ten years and win four more Cy Young awards.

Out of contention in 1997, the team traded closer Slocum to Seattle for catching prospect Jason Varitek and right-handed pitcher Derek Lowe. Prior to the start of the 1998 season, the Red Sox dealt pitchers Tony Armas, Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Montreal Expos for pitcher Pedro Martínez. Martínez became the anchor of the team's pitching staff and turned in several outstanding seasons. In 1998, the team won the American League Wild Card, but again lost the American League Division Series to the Indians.

In 1999, Duquette called Fenway Park "economically obsolete" and, along with Red Sox ownership, led a push for a new stadium. Despite support from the Massachusetts Legislature and other politicians, issues with buying out neighboring property and steadfast opposition within Boston's city council eventually doomed the project.

On the field, the 1999 Red Sox were finally able to overturn their fortunes against the Indians. Cleveland took a 2-0 series lead, but Boston won the next three games behind strong pitching by Derek Lowe, Pedro Martínez and his brother Ramón Martínez. Game 4's 23-7 win by the Red Sox was the highest-scoring playoff game in major league history. Game 5 began with the Indians taking a 5-2 lead after two innings, but Pedro Martínez, nursing a shoulder injury, came on in the fourth inning and pitched six innings without allowing a hit while the team's offense rallied for a 12-8 win behind two home runs and seven RBIs from outfielder Troy O'Leary. After the ALDS victory, the Red Sox lost the American League Championship Series to the Yankees, four games to one. The one bright spot was a lopsided win for the Red Sox in the much-hyped Martinez-Clemens game.

In 2002, the Red Sox were sold by Yawkey trustee and president Harrington to New England Sports Ventures, a consortium headed by principal owner John Henry. Tom Werner served as executive chairman, Larry Lucchino served as president and CEO, and serving as vice chairman was Les Otten. Dan Duquette was fired as GM of the club on February 28, with former Angels GM Mike Port taking the helm for the 2002 season. A week later, manager Joe Kerrigan was fired and was replaced by Grady Little.

While nearly all offseason moves were made under Dan Duquette, such as signing outfielder Johnny Damon away from the Oakland A's, the new ownership made additions after their purchase of the team, including trading for outfielder Cliff Floyd and relief pitcher Alan Embree. Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramírez, and Floyd all hit well, while Pedro Martínez put up his usual outstanding numbers. Derek Lowe, newly converted into a starter, won 20 games—becoming the first player to save 20 games and win 20 games in back-to-back seasons. The Red Sox won 93 games but they finished 10½ games behind the Yankees for the division and 6 behind the Angels for the AL wild card.

In the off-season, Port was replaced by Yale graduate Theo Epstein. At the age of 28, Epstein became the youngest general manager in the history of MLB up to that point. He was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The "Idiots" of 2004 arose out of the "Cowboy Up" team of 2003, a nickname derived from first baseman Kevin Millar's challenge to his teammates to show more determination. In addition to Millar, the team's offense was so deep that 2003 batting champion Bill Mueller batted 7th in the lineup behind sluggers Manny Ramírez and the newly acquired David Ortiz.

GM Theo Epstein, noticing that Mueller was hitting very well in a limited role, traded Shea Hillenbrand to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Byung-Hyun Kim. Receiving much more playing time following the trade, Ortiz contributed significantly in the second half of the season. The trade ended up greatly benefiting the team, as the Red Sox broke many batting records and won the AL Wild Card.

In the 2003 American League Division Series, the Red Sox rallied from a 0-2 series deficit against the Oakland Athletics to win the best-of-five series. Derek Lowe returned to his former relief pitching role to save Game 5, a 4-3 victory. The team then faced the Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. In Game 7, Boston led 5-2 in the eighth inning, but Pedro Martínez allowed three runs to tie the game. The Red Sox could not score off Mariano Rivera over the last three innings and eventually lost the game 6-5 when Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone hit a solo home run off Tim Wakefield.

Some placed the blame for the loss on manager Grady Little for failing to remove starting pitcher Martínez in the 8th inning after some observers believe he began to show signs of tiring. Others credited Little with the team's successful season and dramatic come-from-behind victory in the ALDS. Nevertheless, Boston's management decided a change was in order and did not renew Little's contract. He was replaced by former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry Francona.

During the 2003-04 offseason, the Red Sox acquired another ace pitcher, Curt Schilling, and a closer, Keith Foulke. Expectations once again ran high that 2004 would be the year that the Red Sox ended their championship drought. The regular season started well in April, but through mid-season the team struggled due to injuries, inconsistency, and defensive woes.

Management shook up the team at the MLB trading deadline on July 31 with a blockbuster four team trade. They traded the team's popular yet often injured shortstop Nomar Garciaparra with outfielder Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs sent Brendan Harris, Alex Gonzalez and Francis Beltran to the Montreal Expos, and minor leaguer Justin Jones to the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox received first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins, and shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Expos.

Boston began the postseason by sweeping the AL West champion Anaheim Angels in the ALDS. However, Curt Schilling suffered a torn ankle tendon in Game 1 when he was hit by a line drive. In the third game of the series, Vladimir Guerrero hit a grand slam off Mike Timlin in the 7th inning to tie the game. However, David Ortiz hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to win the game. The Red Sox advanced to a rematch in the ALCS against the Yankees.

The series started very poorly for the Red Sox. Schilling, pitching injured, was routed for six runs in three innings and Boston ended up losing Game 1. In the second game, with his Yankees leading 1-0 for most of the game, John Olerud hit a two-run home run to put New York up for good. Following this, the Red Sox were down three games to none after a crushing 19-8 loss in Game 3 at home.

Up to this point, no team in the history of baseball had come back to win from a 3-0 series deficit. In Game 4, the Red Sox found themselves facing elimination, trailing 4-3 in the ninth with Mariano Rivera in to close for the Yankees. After Rivera issued a walk to Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came on to pinch run and promptly stole second base. He then scored on an RBI single by Bill Mueller, sending the game into extra innings. The Red Sox went on to win the game on a two-run home run by David Ortiz in the 12th inning. Game 5 would last 14 innings, setting the record for the longest ALCS game ever played. Both sides squandered many opportunities, until Ortiz again sealed the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 14th.

With the series returning to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, the comeback continued with Schilling pitching on a bad ankle. The three sutures in Schilling's ankle bled throughout the game, making his sock appear bloody red. Schilling only allowed one run over 7 innings to lead the Red Sox to victory. In Game 7, the Red Sox completed their historic comeback owing to the strength of Derek Lowe's pitching and Johnny Damon's two home runs (including a grand slam in the second inning). The Yankees were defeated 10-3. Ortiz, who had the game winning RBIs in Games 4 and 5, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders as the only professional sports teams in history to win a best-of-seven games series after being down three games to none.

The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. The Red Sox began the series with an 11-9 win, marked by Mark Bellhorn's game-winning home run off Pesky's Pole. Game 2 in Boston was won thanks to another great performance by the bloody-socked Curt Schilling. Pedro Martínez (in his first World Series performance) shut out the Cardinals for seven innings and led Boston to a 4-1 victory in game 3, and Derek Lowe and the Red Sox did not allow a single run in game 4. The game ended as Edgar Rentería hit the ball back to closer Keith Foulke. After Foulke lobbed the ball to Mientkiewicz at first, the Red Sox had won their first World Championship in 86 years.

Boston held the Cardinals' offense to only three runs in the final three games and never trailed in the series. Manny Ramírez was named World Series MVP. To add a final, surreal touch to Boston's championship season, on the night of Game 4 a total lunar eclipse colored the moon red over Busch Stadium. The city of Boston held a "rolling rally" for the team on October 30, 2004. Red Sox Nation packed the streets of Boston that Saturday to celebrate as the team rode on the city's famous Duck Boats. The Red Sox earned many accolades from the sports media and throughout the nation for their incredible season. In December, Sports Illustrated named the Boston Red Sox the 2004 Sportsmen of the Year.

After winning its first World Series in 86 years, the club re-signed Jason Varitek and named him team captain. The 2005 AL East would be decided on the last weekend of the season, with the Yankees coming to Fenway Park with a one-game lead in the standings. The Red Sox won two of the three games to finish the season with the same record as the Yankees, 95-67. However, a playoff was not needed. The Yankees had won the season series, 10-9, thus they won the division, and the Red Sox settled for the Wild Card. Boston was swept in three games by the eventual 2005 World Series champion White Sox in the first round of the playoffs.

On October 31, 2005, general manager Theo Epstein resigned on the last day of his contract. On Thanksgiving evening, the Red Sox announced the acquisition of pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell from the Florida Marlins, while sending several prospects including Hanley Ramírez to the Marlins. Fan-favorite Johnny Damon broke the hearts of Red Sox Nation by signing a four-year, $52 million deal with the Yankees. The team filled the vacancy in center field left by Damon's departure by trading for Cleveland Indians center fielder Coco Crisp. However, Crisp fractured his left index finger in April and would end up missing over 50 games in 2006. In January 2006, Epstein came to terms with the Red Sox and was once again named General Manager.

The revamped Red Sox infield, with third baseman Mike Lowell joining new shortstop Alex Gonzalez, second baseman Mark Loretta, and first baseman Kevin Youkilis was one of the best-fielding infields in baseball. The Red Sox committed the fewest errors in the American League in 2006, and on June 30, Boston set a major league record of 17 straight errorless games. One of the brightest spots of the 2006 season was the emergence of new closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon ended up setting a Red Sox rookie record with 35 saves and earning an All-Star appearance. Also, David Ortiz provided a late-season highlight when he broke Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record by hitting 54 homers. Down the stretch, the Red Sox wilted under the pressure of mounting injuries and poor performances. Boston would compile a 9-21 record in the month of August. Injuries to Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, and Manny Ramírez severely hurt the offense. Also, injuries to Tim Wakefield, rookie Jon Lester (diagnosed with lymphoma), and Matt Clement left the rotation with major holes to fill. The Red Sox finished 2006 with an 86-76 record and third place in the AL East.

Theo Epstein's first step toward restocking the team for 2007 was to pursue one of the most anticipated acquisitions in baseball history. On November 14, MLB announced that Boston had won the bid for the rights to negotiate a contract with Japanese superstar pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston placed a bid of $51.1 million and had 30 days to complete a deal. On December 13, Matsuzaka signed a 6-year, $52 million contract.

Fan favorite Trot Nixon filed for free agency and agreed on a deal with the Indians. With an opening in right field, the Red Sox signed J.D. Drew on January 25, 2007 to a 5-year, $70 million contract. Free agent Shortstop Álex González was replaced by another free agent, Julio Lugo. Second baseman Mark Loretta also left via free agency for the Houston Astros, opening a spot for rookie Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox moved into first place in the AL East by mid-April and never relinquished their division lead. While Ortiz and Ramirez provided their usual offense, it was the hitting of Lowell, Youkilis, and Pedroia that anchored the club through the first few months. While Drew, Lugo, and Coco Crisp struggled to provide offense, Lowell and Youkilis more than made up for it with averages well above .300 and impressive home run and RBI totals. Pedroia started badly, hitting below .200 in April. Manager Terry Francona stuck with him and his patience paid off as Pedroia finished the first half over .300.

On the mound, Josh Beckett emerged as the ace of the staff and was 12-2 at the all-star break. His success was needed as Schilling, Matsuzaka, Wakefield and Tavarez all struggled at times. Meanwhile, the Boston bullpen, anchored by Papelbon and Hideki Okajima, was there to pick up the starters often. Papelbon served as the stopper, and the rise of Okajima as a legitimate setup man and occasional closer gave the Red Sox more options late in the game. Okajima posted an ERA of 0.88 through the first half and was selected for the All-Star Game.

By the All-Star break, Boston had the best record in baseball and held their largest lead in the American League East, 10 games over the Blue Jays and Yankees. In the second half, more stars emerged for the Red Sox as they continued to lead the AL East. Beckett continued to shine, reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career. At one point, veteran Tim Wakefield found himself atop the AL in wins and finished with a 17-12 record. Minor league call-up Clay Buchholz provided a spark on September 1 by pitching a no-hitter in his second career start. Another call-up, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, was thrust into the starting lineup while Manny Ramírez rested through most of September. Ellsbury played brilliantly during the month, hitting .361 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Mike Lowell continued to carry the club, hitting cleanup in September and leading the team with 120 RBI for the season. Eventual 2007 Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia finished his outstanding first full season with 165 hits and a .317 average. The Red Sox became the first team to clinch a playoff spot for the 2007 season and the Red Sox captured their first AL East title since 1995.

The Red Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS. Facing the Indians in the ALCS, Josh Beckett won Game 1 but the Red Sox stumbled, losing the next three games. Facing a 3-1 deficit and a must-win situation, Beckett pitched eight innings while surrendering only one run and striking out 11 in a masterful Game 5 win. The Red Sox captured their twelfth American League pennant by outscoring the Indians 30-5 over the final three games, winning the final two games at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox faced the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series. Beckett set the tone in game 1, pitching seven strong innings as the offense provided more than enough in a 13-1 victory. In Game 2, Schilling, Okajima, and Papelbon held the Rockies to one run again in a 2-1 game. Moving to Colorado, the Red Sox offense made the difference again in a 10-5 win. Finally, in Game 4, Jon Lester took Wakefield's spot in the rotation and gave the Red Sox an impressive start, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings. The Rockies threatened, but thanks to World Series MVP Mike Lowell and aided by a home run by Bobby Kielty, Papelbon registered another save as the Red Sox swept the Rockies in four games, capturing their second title in four years.

Following their World Series victory, the Red Sox were forced to address a few personnel questions in the hopes of repeating as champion. The team re-signed free agents Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield and Mike Timlin. The Red Sox also added veteran first baseman Sean Casey to back up Kevin Youkilis.

Injuries to Schilling, Timlin, and Josh Beckett landed each pitcher on the disabled list before the season began, putting added pressure on young starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox began their season by participating in the third opening day game in MLB history to be played in Japan, where they defeated the Oakland A's in the Tokyo Dome. Boston played well to start the season, settling into a top position in the AL East. However, the surprise Tampa Bay Rays took over the top of the division with a sweep over the Red Sox in early July. On May 19, Lester threw the 18th no-hitter in team history, beating the Kansas City Royals 7-0. During the season, Lester emerged as an anchor in the Red Sox rotation, leading the team in starts and innings pitched while compiling a 16-6 record and a 3.21 ERA. Buchholz meanwhile struggled mightily in 2008 to a 2-9 record, ending up back in the minors. Injuries would take a toll on the Red Sox offense during the season. David Ortiz missed 45 games with an injured wrist , Mike Lowell missed weeks with a torn hip labrum, and after a blistering performance in June, J.D. Drew aggravated a back injury that shelved him for much of the second half of the season. Down the stretch, outfielder Manny Ramirez - playing in the final year of his eight year contract - became a distraction to the team. His disruptive behavior included public incidents with fellow players in the dugout (shoving Kevin Youkilis), team employees (pushing the team's 64 year old traveling secretary to the ground), criticizing ownership, and not playing due to laziness and nonexistent injuries. The front office decided to move the disgrunted outfielder at the July 31 trade deadline, shipping him to the Dodgers in a three-way deal with the Pirates that landed them Jason Bay to replace him in left field.

With Ramirez gone, and Bay providing a new spark in the lineup, the Red Sox found new life. Kevin Youkilis had career highs in home runs (29) and RBIs (115). Closer Jonathan Papelbon set a career high in saves with 41. Daisuke Matsuzaka improved on his 2007 performance and led the team in wins, finishing with an 18–3 record. However, it was Dustin Pedroia who emerged as not only a team leader, but an American League MVP candidate. Pedroia hit over .340 in the second half, finishing the year at or near the top in the AL in batting average, hits, runs, and doubles. Despite Boston's 34-19 record following the trading deadline, the Rays held onto the AL East lead and captured their first division title in franchise history.

Boston still made the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. Behind the strong pitching of Jon Lester (two games started and no earned runs allowed), the Red Sox defeated the Angels in the ALDS three games to one. The Red Sox then took on their AL East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS. Down three games to one in the 5th game of the ALCS, Boston mounted the greatest single game comeback in ALCS history. Trailing 7-0 in the 7th inning with elimination pending, the Red Sox came back to win the game 8-7. They tied the series at 3 games apiece before losing Game 7, 3-1, thus becoming the eighth team in a row since 2000 not to repeat as world champions.

Former left fielder Mike Greenwell is from Fort Myers, Florida and was instrumental in bringing his team to the city for spring training. City of Palms Park was built in 1992 for that purpose and holds 8,000 people. It is also the home of the Red Sox Rookie team, the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, from April through June.

Perhaps the most memorable game played at City of Palms was on March 7, 2004. This was the first game played between the Red Sox and New York Yankees since Aaron Boone hit the home run that eliminated the Red Sox from the playoffs the previous October. Boone's replacement at third base, Alex Rodriguez was the high profile key acquisition of the off season for the Yankees, and he was savagely booed by the 7,304 in attendance.

Currently, the flagship radio station of the Red Sox is WRKO, 680 AM. Joe Castiglione, in his 25th year as the voice of the Red Sox, serves as the lead play-by-play announcer, along with the rotating team of Dave O'Brien, Dale Arnold and Jon Rish. Some of Castiglione's predecessors include Curt Gowdy, Ken Coleman, and Ned Martin. He has also worked with play-by-play veterans Bob Starr and Jerry Trupiano. Many stations throughout New England and beyond pick up the broadcasts. In addition WEEI 850 AM, WRKO's sister station and former Red Sox flagship station, broadcast all day games and Wednesday night games.

All Red Sox telecasts not shown nationally on FOX or ESPN are seen on New England Sports Network (NESN) with Don Orsillo calling play-by-play and Jerry Remy, former Red Sox second baseman, as color analyst. NESN became exclusive in 2006; before then, games were shown on such local stations as WBZ, WSBK, WLVI, WABU, and WFXT at various points in team history.

The Red Sox previously had a requirement that the player "must have finished their career with Red Sox," but this was reconsidered after the election of Carlton Fisk to the Hall of Fame. Fisk actually retired with the White Sox, but then-GM Dan Duquette hired him for one day as a special assistant, which allowed Fisk to technically end his career with the Red Sox. After that, with the anticipation that there might be other former Red Sox players who would be denied the chance to have their number by the club (a prime example would be Roger Clemens), the team dropped the rule. Some would argue that the rule still exists de jure, as Wade Boggs' number has not been retired by Boston even though he meets the official requirements (Boggs finished his career with the Tampa Bay Rays). It should be noted that Boston did honor Boggs by voting him into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004, the year before he was enshrined into Cooperstown.

The only exception that has been made to date is for former Boston shortstop Johnny Pesky, whose number 6 was retired on 28 September 2008. Pesky neither spent ten years as a player nor was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; however, Red Sox ownership cited "... his versatility of his contributions - on the field, off the field, in the dugout...," including as a manager, scout, and special instructor and decided that the honor had been well-earned.

The number 42 was officially retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, but Mo Vaughn was one of a handful of players to continue wearing #42 through a grandfather clause. He last wore it for the team in 1998. On April 15, 2007, the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, Major League Baseball invited players to wear the number 42 the day in commemoration of Robinson, players Coco Crisp (CF), David Ortiz (DH), and DeMarlo Hale (Coach) all wore 42. Given the same opportunity on April 15, 2008 Crisp, Ortiz and Hale again wore #42 for one game.

Until the late 1990s, the numbers originally hung on the right-field facade in the order in which they were retired: 9-4-1-8. It was pointed out that the numbers, when read as a date (9/4/18), marked the eve of the first game of the 1918 World Series, the last championship series that the Red Sox won before 2004. After the facade was repainted, the numbers were rearranged in numerical order.

There is also considerable debate in Boston media circles and among fans about the potential retiring of Tony Conigliaro's number 25. Nonetheless, since Conigliaro's last full season in Boston, 1970, the number has been assigned to several players (including Orlando Cepeda, Mark Clear, Don Baylor, Larry Parrish, Jack Clark and Troy O'Leary). Number 25 is currently worn by the team's third baseman, Mike Lowell, who coincidentally won the Tony Conigliaro Award in 1999.

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Florida Marlins

Florida Marlins Insignia.svg

The Florida Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami Gardens, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins play their home games at Dolphin Stadium, also home to the Miami Dolphins.

The Marlins are notable for winning the World Series twice (1997, 2003) during the only two times they've made it to the postseason. They won despite never winning first place in their division, advancing to the playoffs both times as the National League Wild Card winner. They are the only team to have won all of their postseason series to date.

In recent years, the Marlins ownership has pushed for a new stadium and recently agreed to a plan with Miami-Dade commissioners and the city of Miami to build a $515 million ballpark on the site of the legendary Miami Orange Bowl. As part of the deal, the Marlins in the future will be known as the "Miami Marlins." Their final season in Miami Gardens will be the 2011 season.

On March 7, 1990, H. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, announced he had purchased 15 percent of the NFL's Miami Dolphins and 50 percent of the Dolphins' home, Joe Robbie Stadium, for an estimated $30 million. Huizenga stated his intention to aggressively pursue an expansion franchise. MLB had announced a few months earlier that it intended to add two new teams to the National League. It was a foregone conclusion that one of them would be placed in Florida; the only question was whether Huizenga would beat out competing groups from Orlando and Tampa Bay. On June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a Miami-based franchise to Huizenga for a $95 million expansion fee. One name considered early on was the Florida Flamingos.

Huizenga immediately announced plans to convert Joe Robbie Stadium (later Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium and now Dolphin Stadium) from a football-only stadium into a multipurpose stadium. The renovation cost only $100 million, largely because Dolphins founder Joe Robbie had anticipated that baseball would eventually come to South Florida and built the stadium with a wider field than is normally the case for the NFL. Purists feared the result would be similar to Exhibition Stadium in Toronto; when the Toronto Blue Jays played there from 1976 to 1989 they were burdened with seats more than 800 feet from the plate. However, Huizenga decided to cut down capacity from 67,000 to just over 43,500, in order to create a more intimate atmosphere. Aside from this, many of the upper deck outfield seats would have been too far from the field. The stadium's baseball capacity has been reduced even further in recent years, and it now seats just over 36,500. However, the Marlins usually open the upper level for postseason games. Huizenga eventually bought the Dolphins, and the stadium, in 1994.

Huizenga also sought, and received, a waiver from ESPN and MLB allowing him to play games on Sunday nights. The Marlins schedule nearly all of their games during the summer months (late May to mid-September) at night due to South Florida's hot and humid summers (with frequent afternoon rain). The Texas Rangers already had a similar waiver; until the Marlins' inception, the Rangers played in the hottest stadium in the majors.

In November 1991, the Marlins hired Fredi Gonzalez as the Marlins first Minor League manager.

Marlins selected catcher Charles Johnson of the University of Miami with their first-ever first round draft pick in the amateur draft of June 1992. Later that year Marlins President Carl Barger collapsed during an owners meeting at the baseball winter meetings in Louisville, Kentucky, and died a few hours later in Humana University Hospital. The Marlins later retired the number 5 in honor of Barger's favorite player, Joe Dimaggio.

The Marlins' first manager was Rene Lachemann, a former catcher who had previously managed the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, and who at the time of his hiring was a third base coach for the Oakland Athletics. The team drafted its initial lineup of players in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft.The Marlins defeat the Houston Astros 12-8 in their inaugural Spring Training game. Jeff Conine hit Florida's first homer before a crowd of 6,696 at the Cocoa Expo Sports Complex. The Marlins won their first game on April 5, 1993, against the Dodgers. Charlie Hough became the marlins first starting pitcher in the teams history. Jeff Conine went 4-4 in this game, making him an immediate crowd favorite, and by the end of his tenure with Florida, he would earn the nickname "Mr. Marlin." Gary Sheffield and Bryan Harvey represented the Marlins as the club's first All-Star Game selections, and Sheffield homered in the Marlins first All-Star Game at-bat. The team finished the year five games ahead of the last-place New York Mets and with an attendance of 3,064,847. In that season, the Marlins traded their young set-up reliever Trevor Hoffman and two minor-league prospects to the San Diego Padres for third baseman Gary Sheffield. While Sheffield helped Florida immediately and became an all-star, Hoffman eventually emerged as the best closer in the National League. After the 1993 season, Donald A. Smiley was named the second President in club history. The Marlins finished last (51-64) in their division in the strike shortened season of 1994 and fourth (67-76) in 1995. Lachemann was replaced as manager midway through the 1996 season by director of player development, John Boles.

The Marlins had some bright spots on the mound and behind the plate in 1996. The team's 3.95 ERA ranked third in the NL, thanks in large part to newcomer Kevin Brown, who finished the season with a 17-11 win-loss record and an impressive 1.89 ERA. On May 11, Al Leiter pitched the first no-hitter in Marlins history. Catcher Charles Johnson led the league with a .995 fielding percentage, threw out a league-high 48 percent of base runners, and collected his second straight Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence. After a slow start, the Marlins finished the year with an 80-82 win-loss record to place third in their division. Boles returned to his previous position as director of player development, and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland was hired to lead the club in 1997.

In addition to hiring Leyland as manager, the Marlins signed third baseman Bobby Bonilla, outfielder Moisés Alou, and pitcher Alex Fernandez to lucrative free-agent contracts, raising expectations to levels far beyond what they had ever been in franchise history. The Marlins' franchise got its second no-hitter from ace Kevin Brown on June 10, 1997. Brown nearly had the perfect game, but he hit the Giants' Marvin Benard with a pitch in the 8th inning when Benard attempted to bunt. With Brown, Leiter and Fernandez heading the rotation, and Robb Nen closing out games, the Marlins' staff was almost systematic during their regular season run. In 1997, the Marlins finished nine games back of the Division Champion Atlanta Braves. But despite this shortcoming, they earned the wild card. Veteran additions such as LF Moisés Alou, 3B Bobby Bonilla, and trade-deadline additions Darren "Dutch" Daulton and Jim Eisenreich added experience and clutch hits. Talented young stars and starters Luis Castillo (2B) and Edgar Rentería (SS) were one of the best double play combos in the League. Castillo did not perform to expectations offensively, and was replaced by Craig Counsell before the playoffs began. They swept the San Francisco Giants 3-0 in the National League Division Series, and then went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in the National League Championship Series, where the Marlins overcame the loss of Alex Fernandez to a torn rotator cuff, and Kevin Brown's missing two scheduled starts due to a virus. His place was taken in Game 5 by rookie pitcher Liván Hernández, who had earned a spot in the rotation in the second half of the season, but was not in the rotation during the postseason until circumstances made it necessary. Hernandez would proceed to strike out 15 Braves and outduel multiple Cy Young award-winner Greg Maddux to a 2-1 victory and a 3-2 series lead. Brown would return to the mound for Game 6, pitching a complete game victory to secure the Marlins their first-ever National League pennant. The underdog Marlins went on to face the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, and won in seven games. In Game 7, Craig Counsell's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at 2, then, with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Edgar Rentería's soft liner glanced off the glove of Cleveland pitcher Charles Nagy and into center field to score Counsell and give the Marlins the win.

Following the World Series victory, Huizenga dismantled the team, claiming financial losses despite winning the World Series. He traded most of the club's best players in one of the biggest fire sales in sports history; one so infamous, it has come to synonymize the term "fire sale" in the baseball world. The first deal came days after the World Series, when outfieldler Moisés Alou was traded to the Houston Astros for pitchers Oscar Hernandez, Manuel Barrios, and Mark Johnson. The Marlins then traded Kevin Brown to the San Diego Padres. In May 1998 season they dealt Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, both of who would be gone via trades by midseason. This ended the dismantling of the 1997 World Series champs. On the flip side, these trades brought promising youngsters Derrek Lee and A.J. Burnett.

The Marlins' 1998 slumped to 54-108, the worst record in the major leagues that year—still the most losses in franchise history. They are the only team to lose 100 games a year after winning the World Series. Leyland resigned as manager in October 1998, and was replaced by John Boles. Moreover, Huizenga soon sold the club to John Henry, a commodities trader from Boca Raton, during the off-season. The Marlins had the second overall pick in the 1999 draft and drafted Josh Beckett from the state of Texas. The Marlins finished the 1999 season with the worst record in baseball at 64-98, and traded World Series MVP Liván Hernández to the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins also drafted P Johan Santana from Houston in the Rule 5 Draft but traded him to Minnesota in a prearranged deal for P Jared Camp.

A month prior to the regular season, the Marlins hired David Dombrowski as the third President in club history, making him both President and General Manager. After posting the worst record in baseball for the 1999 season, the Marlins had the first overall pick in the 2000 first-year player draft and selected first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a 16-year-old native of Bonita, California. The Eastlake High School product agreed to terms with the Marlins that same day. The Marlins went on that season to finish 79-82 and third place in the NL East. This was thanks to the emergence of OF Preston Wilson who had 31 home runs and 121 RBIs. Derrek Lee and Luis Castillo broke out this year as well, as Castillo posted a .334 batting average and Lee had 28 homers in his first full season. Antonio Alfonseca posted a then-club record 45 saves.

The club slowly worked its way back to respectability with a third place finish in 2000, driven by young stars such as A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Preston Wilson, Luis Castillo, and Mike Lowell. Burnett pitched the Marlins' third no-hitter on May 12 against the Padres, 2001. In a truly extraordinary performance, he walked nine batters and threw 129 pitches, 65 of which were strikes. Three weeks after the no-no, Manager John Boles was fired and Hall of Famer Tony Perez was named interim manager for the rest of the season. The club finished 76-86 and in fourth place, thanks to Brad Penny's and A.J. Burnett's emergence.

The offseason following the 2001 regular season included an overhaul of the ownership and front office. Tony Perez resigned and returned to his previous role as the front-office Baseball Operations assistant. About a month later, David Dombrowski resigned as President and General Manager of the Florida Marlins and accepted the position as President of the Detroit Tigers. Entering the new year, Henry sold the Marlins to Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria, clearing the way for him to buy the Boston Red Sox. Loria brought the entire Expos management and coaching staff to the Marlins. David Samson became team president, Larry Beinfest became General Manager and Jeff Torborg became manager.

Prior to the 2002 season, the Marlins traded RHP Matt Clement and RHP Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for RHP Julian Tavarez, LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Jose Cueto and C Ryan Jorgensen. The Marlins had their ups as Luis Castillo had a team record 35 game hitting streak and Kevin Millar had 25 game hit streak. Around the all-star break they made their second big trade sending OF Cliff Floyd to the Expos for RHP Carl Pavano, RHP Justin Wayne, INF Mike Mordecai, LHP Graeme Lloyd, RHP Don Levinski and INF Wilton Guerrero. The same day, the Fish dealt RHP Ryan Dempster to the Cincinnati Reds for OF Juan Encarnacion and LHP Ryan Snare. The Marlins finished 79-83, second best season in team history up to that time, but the their fifth straight losing season since winning the World Series.

Nonetheless the Marlins showed promise entering the offseason as they had a rotation of Josh Beckett, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, and A.J. Burnett.

During the offseason, the Marlins signed free agent catcher Iván Rodríguez - a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner - and acquired speedy outfielder Juan Pierre from the Colorado Rockies hoping to offset the loss of sluggers Cliff Floyd and Preston Wilson. The Marlins did acquire P Mike Hampton but dealt him and his hefty contract to the Braves for P Tim Spooneybarger.

The Marlins struggled in the opening stages of the season, going 16–22. During that span, Florida lost its top three pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, and Mark Redman. On May 11, Florida replaced manager Jeff Torborg with 72-year-old Jack McKeon. On May 22, the Marlins hit bottom with a major league worst record of 19-29, having lost 6 straight games. However, help was on the way.

On May 9, the Marlins called up high-kicking southpaw Dontrelle Willis from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats and helped carry the injury-plagued Marlins with an 11–2 record in his first 17 starts. Miguel Cabrera (also from the Mudcats) filled in well, hitting a walk off home run in his first major league game, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Pro Player Stadium. Both Willis and Cabrera would later prove to be essential parts of the Marlin's playoff success. Jeff Conine - an original Marlin and member of the 1997 World Series team - returned from Baltimore, and closer Ugueth Urbina arrived from the Texas Rangers. These acquisitions helped to keep the team in contention, and although they finished ten games behind the Braves, the Marlins captured the NL wild card.

The Marlins won the Division Series against the favored San Francisco Giants three games to one. The series ended with a dramatic collision between Marlins catcher Rodríguez and Giants first basemen J.T. Snow, making it the first postseason series ever to end with the potential tying run being thrown out at the plate.

On October 15, the Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs four games to three in the Championship Series, coming back from a three games to one deficit. A Beckett complete-game shutout in Game 5, "The Inning" incident with Steve Bartman in Game 6, and a come-from-behind win in Wrigley Field in Game 7 helped the Marlins capture their second NL pennant.

In the 2003 World Series, the Marlins defeated the heavily favored New York Yankees in six games, winning the sixth game in Yankee Stadium. Shortstop Álex González helped the Marlins in Game 4 of the series with a walk off home run in extra innings. Josh Beckett was named the Most Valuable Player for the series after twirling a five-hit complete-game shutout in Game 6. Skipper Jack McKeon became the oldest manager ever to win a World Series title. The Marlins became the first opposing team to win a Series championship on the field at Yankee Stadium since the 1981 World Series, when the Los Angeles Dodgers did it. The Marlins are also the last team to win a World Series at the 1923 Yankee Stadium. The Marlins won the series despite scoring fewer runs (17) than the Yankees (21). The Marlins also became the first team since the creation of the Division Series to win the World Series without ever having home-field advantage during their entire post-season.

The offseason after their second World Series title, the Marlins made a questionable cost-cutting move as Derrek Lee was traded to Chicago Cubs for Hee Seop Choi and pitcher Mike Nannini. The Marlins also lost key parts of their second championship team, Ugueth Urbina and Iván Rodríguez left via free agency (signed by the Detroit Tigers). The Marlins did get good news though as Dontrelle Willis was named NL Rookie of the Year and Jack McKeon named Manager of the Year.

The Marlins opened the 2004 season with expectation for another World Series title, minus Rodriguez, Lee, and Urbina but with rotation intact. They hoped newly acquired 1B Hee Seop Choi would emerge and that the combination of Ramon Castro and Mike Redmond would also come to life, as well as promising outfielder Miguel Cabrera and high kicking pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

The Marlins started the '04 season with a record of 30-20 but struggled in June with an 11-16 record. 5 of the 11 June wins came from pitcher Carl Pavano, who had the best month of the season. They entered the all-star break with a 45-43 record but went 11-14 in the month of July.

These struggles prompted the Marlins to make one of the biggest trades in club history as Los Angeles got P Brad Penny, 1B Hee Seop Choi and Double-A left-hander Bill Murphy in exchange for P Guillermo Mota, C Paul LoDuca and OF Juan Encarnacion. This trade really didn't pan out for either side that season as Penny's season was cut short after a great first half, Choi struggled in his tenure with the Dodgers, Lo Duca had his usual second half outage, Encarnacion was injury prone, and Guillermo Mota had his share of struggles.

The Marlins had a great August, which included a nine game winning streak into September, and then went on a 15 game stretch in which they played two double headers, going 7-8 in 13 days. This led to call-ups and emergency starts by relievers as well as fatigue. A three game home series with the Cubs was rained out, and one of three was played in Chicago's Comiskey Park, although it was considered a home game. The attendance for that third game did not count for either team.

Afterwards the Marlins lost 6 straight, including games to division rivals the Phillies and Braves who were also in contention. They swept the Expos to make up some ground but lost 3 of 4 games to the Philles to fall out of contention. Despite missing the playoffs, 21 year old Miguel Cabrera had 33 home runs and 112 RBIs, numbers that started to draw comparisons to Albert Pujols.

The Marlins posted a winning record of 83-79 (only their third winning season of their history), but finished 13 games back of the division champion Atlanta Braves). They became the fourth consecutive major league team not to repeat as World Series champions since the New York Yankees in 2000.

While losing All-Stars Carl Pavano and Armando Benitez in the off-season, the Marlins signed P Al Leiter and 1B Carlos Delgado. Delgado's contract was the biggest in franchise history at $52 million over 4 years, with an option for a fifth year. Meanwhile, play-by-play TV broadcaster Len Kasper was also lost to the Chicago Cubs and replaced by Rich Waltz (who had previously been with the Seattle Mariners), and radio announcer John "Boog" Sciambi was replaced by Roxy Bernstein.

With the addition of Delgado, many sportswriters expected the Marlins to finish the 2005 season in either first or second place in the NL East. However, at the All-Star break they were 44-42, and the NL East was unusually competitive, as all five of its teams had a winning record at the break. While Cabrera, Willis, and several others posted very good first-half numbers, Lowell was one of the least productive regular major-league starters, and Leiter went 3-7 with an ERA of 6.64 before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 15 for a player to be named later. Additionally, Guillermo Mota, who was acquired by Florida in 2004 along with Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnacion and was expected to be their closer, was inconsistent, and the Marlins gave the closer job to veteran Todd Jones, whom they signed in the offseason. However, the Marlins did send four players to the All-Star Game (Willis, Lo Duca, Castillo, and Cabrera), tying a team record.

The club was expected to be quite active at the trading deadline (July 31), as Burnett was slated to be a free agent after the season and had already declared his desire to test the market like Pavano did. Burnett was mentioned in possible trades with the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers, with many rumors also including Lowell or Encarnacion. The Marlins did not make a huge move at the deadline, instead trading minor-leaguers Yorman Bazardo and Mike Flannery to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed pitcher Ron Villone.

The Marlins did have some pleasant surprises during the season. Dontrelle Willis became the 13th member of the Black Aces when he defeated the Washington Nationals to earn his 20th win. He finished the season 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA, and he was considered a favorite to win the Cy Young Award for much of the season. Also, Jones, a journeyman who had been signed as a setup man, had one of the best years of his career as a closer; he earned 40 saves and had a 2.13 ERA. In addition, late-season call up Jeremy Hermida, a highly-regarded prospect who has been compared to the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur, hit a grand slam in his first major-league at-bat and a game-tying two-run homer in the last game of the season.

The Marlins led the NL wild-card race as late as September 13, then lost 12 of their next 14 games. The Marlins closed the season by sweeping the Braves, and their final record for the season stood at 83-79.

The 2005 offseason would prove to be one of busiest for the Marlins in years, Jack McKeon announced his retirement on October 2 after the Marlins' last game of the season. Former Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, Braves third base coach Fredi González (who previously managed in the Marlins' farm system), New York Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi, and even Yankees manager Joe Torre who most thought could have been let go after a short stint postseason. were named as possible replacements for McKeon. On October 19, Girardi was hired as the new manager. Girardi, who was hired at age 41, became one of the youngest current managers in the major leagues.

Few of the coaching staff, aside from infield/first base coach Perry Hill and bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault, were expected to return. Pitching coach Mark Wiley and bullpen coach Luis Dorante came under fire during the season due to the late-season struggles of Burnett and the season-long struggles of the Marlins' bullpen. Similarly, hitting coach Bill Robinson was often blamed for the Marlins' offensive woes throughout the season, and in particular for his failure to get Pierre and Lowell out of season-long slumps. Girardi hired Jim Presley as a replacement for Robinson, and also hired Rick Kranitz as the new pitching coach and Bobby Meacham as the new third-base coach.

On October 3, the first day after the end of the regular season, the Marlins made their first offseason moves, releasing relief pitchers John Riedling and Tim Spooneybarger. Riedling had a 4-1 record and a 7.14 ERA during the season; Spooneybarger, who had not played since 2003 due to rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, had to have the surgery a second time during the season and missed the 2006 season as well. Screwball specialist Jim Mecir retired following the Marlins' last game of the season.

Closer Todd Jones, pitchers A.J. Burnett, Brian Moehler, Ismael Valdéz, Paul Quantrill, first baseman Jeff Conine, infielder Lenny Harris, outfielder Juan Encarnación, and shortstop Álex González were among the Marlins' players whose contracts expired following the 2005 season. Burnett signed a five-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $55 million and Jones signed for two years with the Detroit Tigers, while Moehler elected to remain with the Marlins. The team declined to offer arbitration to Conine, Valdez, Quantrill, Encarnacion, Damion Easley, and Mike Mordecai, effectively ending their tenures with the club. Soon after announcing a plan to relocate (see below), the Marlins started to shed payroll by dealing their highest-paid players for minor league prospects, in a series of moves reminiscent of the "fire sale" in the 1997 offseason. In response, the club announced that it was, in their opinion, of a "market correction," brought about by the lack of a stadium deal. On November 24, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota were traded to the Red Sox for four minor-league prospects: shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and pitchers Aníbal Sánchez, Jesús Delgado, and Harvey García. The trade left Dontrelle Willis as the only remaining member of the team's 2005 Opening Day rotation. The Marlins filled most of the remaining rotation spots with young pitchers such as Jason Vargas, Josh Johnson, and Scott Olsen, all of whom they had recalled from their Class AA affiliate during the 2005 season.

On November 23, the Mets and the Marlins agreed on a deal to move Carlos Delgado to the Mets for first baseman Mike Jacobs and pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit. Also, the Marlins would have to pay $7 million of Delgado's remaining contract. When the deal was made official the next day, the Marlins also received minor-league infielder Grant Psomas. According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins passed up the Mets' offer to give them center fielder Lastings Milledge, who was at the time ranked the Mets' top prospect according to Baseball America. Combined, the two trades allowed the Marlins to reduce their 2006 payroll by $27 million.

However, the Marlins were not yet done reducing payroll. Paul Lo Duca was traded to the Mets for two players to be named later, with the Marlins sending pitcher Gabriel Hernandez and outfielder Dante Brinkley to New York to complete the deal. Longtime second baseman Luis Castillo was traded to the Twins for pitchers Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler, and Juan Pierre to the Cubs for pitchers Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto. Of the seven players that the Marlins acquired in these three deals, only Mitre and Bowyer had any major-league experience when they came to the Marlins. To replace Castillo, the Marlins signed veteran Pokey Reese, but Reese was released during spring training after going AWOL, and was replaced by Dan Uggla, who had been selected from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft. Uggla played in the Arizona organization at the Class AA level in 2005.

At the start of the year, the Marlins had a team salary close to $21 million. Not only was it the lowest team salary in all of MLB, but New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez himself made more money than the entire team. The Marlins made MLB history when they started six rookies in their Opening Day lineup.By May 22, they reached a record of 11 wins and 31 losses. Although the Marlins kept losing games, Miguel Cabrera and rookie Dan Uggla were selected to the All-Star Game. Though Uggla did not play in the All-Star game, he became the first Rule 5 draftee to be selected for an All-Star team in the next year after he was taken in the Rule 5 draft. Uggla, Josh Willingham and Mike Jacobs are the first rookie teammates in NL history to hit at least 20 home runs in the same season.

After the All-Star break, the Marlins began to break both franchise and MLB records. They came back from 11-31 to reach the .500 mark at 68-68. No team has come back to the .500 mark from being 20 games under since 1899. Then, on September 4, 2006, the Marlins rallied from down five runs to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5. This improved the Marlins' record to 69-68, marking the first time in Major League history a team that was 20 games under .500 went back over .500 in the same season. Additionally, as of September 8, 2006, three of their rookie starting pitchers (Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, and Ricky Nolasco) have each won at least eleven games; the Marlins joined the 1934 Philadelphia A's and the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers in accomplishing this feat.

On September 6, rookie Aníbal Sánchez pitched the fourth no-hitter in franchise history. During September, the Marlins advanced to within one game of the NL wild-card lead, but they were eliminated from contention after losing to the Cincinnati Reds on September 26. However, on the next day, Sánchez won his tenth game as a Marlin against the Reds, giving the Marlins four rookie starters who had each won ten or more games: Sánchez, Nolasco, Johnson, and Olsen. The 2006 Marlins were the first team in major-league history to have four rookie pitchers accomplish this feat. Because, as of September 27, Willis has won 12 games, the 2006 Marlins also had five ten-game winners for the first time in franchise history.

Shortly after the 2006 season ended and following months of speculation, Marlins manager Joe Girardi was fired on October 3, 2006 not long after winning the National League Manager of the Year award. This was due to a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in the year in which Girardi did not challenge a call that pitcher Taylor Tankersley thought was a strike and this prompted owner Jeffrey Loria, who was in the stands and a few feet away from the dugout, to call out Girardi who refused to listen to him. This wasn't the only thing that triggered the feud; earlier in the year Girardi reportedly wanted 1B Mike Jacobs to start off the year in triple A, Willingham to start at catcher, Miguel Cabrera to start at first base. This was just of the few of the other things that got Girardi fired from the Marlins. Within hours, Atlanta Braves third base coach Fredi González was named his replacement and was signed to a three year contract. On October 28, 2006, first baseman Wes Helms and pitchers Matt Herges and Brian Moehler filed for free agency. The next day, closer Joe Borowski filed. On December 29, 2006, the Marlins signed a one-year contract with infielder Aaron Boone. The Marlins also made some minor signings as they signed Lee Gardner and Justin Miller in hopes of rejuvenating their careers with the Fish.

The Marlins opened the 2007 season with high hopes after a successful 2006 season in which most expected they would lose 100 or more games. The underdog Marlins had remained in the Wild Card race until mid-September before finishing a respectable 78-84. The 2007 rotation included Dontrelle Willis, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, Sergio Mitre, and Ricky Nolasco, and the Marlins entered spring training with hopes that this rotation would blossom into one of the best in the National League. Willis was a Cy Young runner up in 2005, Sanchez threw a no-hitter in 2006, and Olsen led the team in strikeouts in 2006. The Marlins also banked on starter Josh Johnson to come back from an arm injury suffered the season before. Things got worse for Johnson entering spring training as MRI's discovered he had nerve damage in his throwing arm. Eventually, Johnson was put out for the remainder of the season after Tommy John Surgery. The Marlins got even more bad news as spring training went on. INF/1B coach Perry Hill retired, leaving the Marlins with a huge hole as Hill was considered to be one of the best defensive coaches around and was credited for the previous defensive success of Gold Glovers Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell. The Marlins' injuries took a toll as they lost OF Jeremy Hermida when an MRI of his right kneecap revealed a deep bone bruise for a month. Opening Day center fielder, Alejandro De Aza had an ankle sprain, P Sergio Mitre had a blister problem and P Ricky Nolasco had a sore elbow. In May, Marlins sent struggling P Anibal Sanchez to the minor leagues, where he was put on the Minor League DL with shoulder tendinitis. He then went out for the remainder of the season due to a tear in his labrum. The Fish also put promising pitcher Henry Owens on the DL as well as 1B Mike Jacobs. They sought bullpen help, dealing Jorge Julio, who amassed 2 blown saves and 2 loses in his tenure, to the Rockies for P Byung-Hyun Kim.

As injuries amassed for the Marlins, they traded P Randy Messenger to the Giants for P Armando Benitez who became a middle reliever instead as Gregg was the closer. In the June Draft, the Marlins selected 3B Matt Dominguez out of high school; it marked the first time since 2002 that the Fish got a position player rather than pitcher in the first round. The team entered the All Star break with more injuries: SS Hanley Ramirez had a hamstring injury, Miguel Cabrera missed the Home Run Derby with a shoulder injury, and Aaron Boone was out for the remainder of the season. The Marlins sent only one player to the All Star game as Miguel Cabrera went for a franchise record fourth time and fourth straight overall. The team had a record of 42-47 at the break.

After the All-Star break, the Marlins fell apart. After a July 20 game against the Reds, Scott Olsen was arrested by Aventura, Florida police and booked on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest with violence and fleeing and eluding a police officer. After completing the Reds series at 48-51, the Marlins sunk dramatically to last place in the NL East with a record of 23-40 the rest of the way and a 71-91 record overall. The Marlins had to deal with the struggles of both Willis and Olsen, the teams' top starters who both finished with ERAs north of 5.00 carrying 15 losses a piece. The Marlins did have some bright spots on offense as they set club records for runs scored (790), hits (1,504), doubles (340), home runs (201), RBIs (749) and slugging percentage (.448).

The Marlins offseason began with trying to get better on defense and pitching. Two players formally filed for free agency, Aaron Boone and Armando Benitez.

The Marlins filled their pitching coach vacancy by hiring Mark Wiley, formerly the pitching coach in the 2005 season and scout for the Rockies in 06' and 07'.

The focus of the 2007 offseason, however, was that the Marlins were officially listening to offers for slugger Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The team that seemed to be leading was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They felt that they had worked out a deal for Cabrera not once, but twice. Angels owner Arte Moreno said that each time, the Marlins came back after he felt a trade had been completed and asked for more to sweeten the trade. The San Francisco Giants expressed similar sentiments about the asking price the Marlins wanted, saying that the Marlins were asking for 4 players, with 3 of the 4 being pitchers and 2 of the 4 being major league players, not minor leaguers. Talks with both teams fell apart, but most still felt the Marlins would complete the trade with the Angels when MLB's annual Winter General Manager Meetings took place in Nashville.

On December 5, 2007, the Marlins agreed to the terms of a trade with the Detroit Tigers. The trade would surprisingly send not only Cabrera, but also Willis, to the Tigers. In return, the Marlins did not receive four players, but six. The Marlins received center fielder Cameron Maybin, catcher Mike Rabelo, and pitchers Andrew Miller, Eulogio De La Cruz, Burke Badenhop, and Dallas Trahern.

With a vacancy at third base, the Marlins signed infielders Jorge Cantu and Dallas McPherson. They've also added veterans Luis Gonzalez and pitcher Mark Hendrickson.

The Marlins began 2008 on a positive note. Analysts expected a lackluster performance on the field, citing the low payroll and loss of Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera during the offseason. However, in the first few months of the season, the Marlins were off to one of best starts in team history. At one point in the season, the Marlins jumped to (30-20), moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since September 14, 2005. They jumped atop of the National League East in April and May and for the first time with a lead that late in a season since 2002. The good start was attributed to powerful offensive production from their core of Mike Jacobs, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Josh Willingham, and Jorge Cantu and quality pitching by southpaws Andrew Miller and Scott Olsen along with right-hander Ricky Nolasco.

The team also received great and encouraging news after injured pitcher Josh Johnson made a fast recovery from Tommy John Surgery and Anibal Sanchez coming back from a torn labrum in the shoulder; leaping into the rotation right away along with calling up prized prospect Chris Volstad. In addition, the Marlins sent two players, Hanley Ramirez, who started the game at Shortstop for the National league, and reserve Dan Uggla to the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. In addition to surprises, the Marlins signed star shortstop Hanley Ramirez to a 6 year, $70 million dollar deal making him the richest Marlin in history.

The Marlins hot start made them a rare buyer at the July trade deadline where they were involved in talks on a three-way deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox which could have brought Manny Ramirez to the South Florida. The Marlins backed out at the last second when it involved their coveted power-hitting prospect, Michael Stanton. Instead, Manny Ramirez headed up with the Dodgers and the Marlins wound up trading for Arthur Rhodes.

The team struggled in the month of August where they went 11–16 due to lack of offense which they had the earlier months. In September, the Marlins surprised some when they tied the franchise-record nine game win streak which was contributed in part by prized prospect, Cameron Maybin. Unfortunately, the fish lost four straight afterwards eliminating them from playoff contention but they managed to eliminate the New York Mets for the second consecutive season on the final day.

The team finished the season setting a franchise record for most home runs in a season at 208. Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu made MLB history by becoming the first foursome of infielders to hit at least 25 homers in a season.

Just a day after the World Series concluded, the Marlins began wheeling and dealing. They traded first baseman Mike Jacobs to the Royals for reliever Leo Nunez, who the Marlins hope can become a setup-man in late innings.

Around a couple of weeks later, the Marlins traded power hitting outfielder Josh Willingham and southpaw Scott Olsen to the Nationals for utility player Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers. Soon after the Marlins traded closer Kevin Gregg to the Cubs for relief prospect Jose Ceda.

On April 1, 2009 the Marlins traded shortstop Robert Andino to the Baltimore Orioles for right-handed pitcher Hayden Penn, the trade was completed just before the two teams took the field in a spring training game against each other.

A few weeks before the regular season, the Florida Marlins' 15-year quest for a permanent home became a reality by agreeing to bankroll a big share of a $634 million stadium complex to rise on the grounds of the old Orange Bowl site. The Marlins hope to open at the new stadium on Opening Day 2012 with a new name; Miami Marlins.

The Marlins kicked off the new season with the youngest team in baseball and with the lowest payroll for the fourth consecutive season. New leadoff man Emilio Bonifacio stole the show on Opening Day. He hit the first Opening Day inside-the-park home run since Carl Yastrzemski did it for the Boston Red Sox in 1968 and had three stolen bases to go along with four hits. Hanley Ramirez hit his first career grand slam as the Marlins went on to score 12 runs, the most ever in franchise history on Opening Day. The Marlins started the 2009 season hot by sweeping the Washington Nationals, only the second time they started the season with sweep since the 1997 Marlins team. They also opened up the season winning their first four games for the first time in franchise history. After sweeping the Nationals the Marlins went on to take two out of three from the New York Mets and all three from the Atlanta Braves, their best start since 1997.

The Marlins are the first team in Major League Baseball to have a dance/cheer team: "The Marlins Mermaids". Debuting in 2003, the "Marlin Mermaids" quickly gained national exposure, and have influenced other MLB teams to develop their own cheer/dance squads.

A few years later, the Marlins created an all-male dance team: "The Manatees". This unique group consists of several overweight men, who "show off their own moves" for home crowds during weekends.

The Florida Marlins (soon to be Miami Marlins) hope to begin construction of a new, state-of-the-art stadium at the Miami Orange Bowl site. The now approved stadium was the subject of a protracted legal battle. A lawsuit by local automobile franchise mogul and former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman contested the legality of the deal with Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. However, Miami-Dade County Judge Beth Cohen dismissed all the charges in Braman's lawsuit. Braman is likely to appeal, but there is only a slight chance of the appeal being heard, so construction will begin soon. When completed, the seating capacity will be 37,000, making it the second smallest stadium (in capacity) in the MLB. Set to open in April 2012, the stadium would become only the sixth MLB stadium to have a retractable roof, joining Rogers Centre, Chase Field, Safeco Field, Miller Park, and Minute Maid Park. The Marlins will share Dolphin Stadium with the NFL's Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes football team starting in the 2008 season until 2010 when the Marlins' current lease runs out. The new stadium will not be ready until 2012, but Dolphin Stadium has said they would extend their lease with the Marlins if a stadium deal was in place.

These statistics are current as of September 30, 2008. Bold denotes a playoff season, pennant or championship; italics denote an active season.

As of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame election, no inducted members have played for the Marlins. Tony Perez, inducted in honor of his playing career, briefly worked as interim manager of the Marlins after his induction.

The Marlins' flagship radio station from their inception in 1993 through 2007 was WQAM 560 AM. Although the Marlins had plans to leave WQAM after 2006, they ultimately remained with WQAM for the 2007 season. On October 11, 2007, it was announced that the Marlins had entered into a partnership with WAXY 790 AM to broadcast all games for the 2008 season. Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner split the play-by-play assignment.

Games are also heard in Spanish on WQBA 1140 AM. Felo Ramirez, who calls play-by-play on that station along with Luis Quintana, won the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Marlins games are televised by FSN Florida and Sun Sports. FSN Florida's slogan of this year is "You Gotta Be Here". There are no games available over-the-air; the last "free TV" broadcast of a game was on WPXM in 2005. Rich Waltz is the play-by-play announcer and Tommy Hutton is the color analyst.

Marlins pitchers have issued four no-hitters in team regular-season history.

No Marlin has ever hit for the cycle in history. But the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate had two cycles in one week in August 2008.

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History of the New York Yankees

Original Baltimore Orioles logo

At the end of the 1900 season, the American League reorganized, and decided to assert itself as a new major league under the driving force of AL president Ban Johnson. The league was known as the Western League until 1899, when the AL carried over five of its previous locations and added teams in three East Coast cities, including Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore had lost its National League team in 1899 when that league eliminated four teams. The original plan was to put a team in New York City, but the NL's New York Giants had political connections with Tammany Hall and kept the AL out.

The team was known as the Baltimore Orioles and began playing in 1901 with John McGraw as manager. McGraw feuded with Johnson, who rigidly enforced the rules about rowdiness on the field of play, and jumped leagues to manage the Giants in the middle of the 1902 season. A week later, the owner of the Giants gained controlling interest of the Orioles and raided the teams for players. The AL stepped in and took control of the team, still hoping to move the team to New York.

In January 1903, a "peace conference" was held between the two leagues to settle disputes and try to find a way to coexist. One of the results of the conference was that the NL agreed to let the "junior circuit" establish a franchise in New York. The Orioles' new owners, Frank J. Farrell and William S. Devery, found a ballpark location not blocked by the Giants, and Baltimore's team moved to New York.

The new ballpark for the new team was constructed at 165th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, one of the highest points on the island. Formally known as "American League Park", it was nicknamed "Hilltop Park" or "The Hilltop", and was significantly smaller than the Polo Grounds, the Giants' home just a few blocks away. Publisher William Randolph Hearst's New York Evening Journal referred to the new club as the "Invaders" in 1903, but switched in the spring of 1904 to the name that would stick for several years: the New York Highlanders. The name was a reference to the team's location and also to the noted British military unit The Gordon Highlanders, which fit as the team's president from 1903 to 1906 was Joseph Gordon. By 1904, the team was also being called the "Yankees", a synonym for "Americans", but initially "Highlanders" was the most common unofficial nickname of the new team.

As the Highlanders, the team enjoyed brushes with success only occasionally, finishing second in 1904, 1906 and 1910, with 1904 being their closest approach to a league title. Much of the team's Hilltop Park days were spent in last place. Its somewhat corrupt ownership and a few questionable activities by some of the players (most notably first baseman Hal Chase) raised suspicions of game-fixing. Such suspicions have never been proven, although Chase was eventually banned from baseball for corruption.

The high point (and low point) of the Highlanders' existence came on the last day of the 1904 season at Hilltop Park. New York pitcher Jack Chesbro threw a wild pitch in the ninth inning that allowed the eventual pennant-winning run to score for the Boston Americans. This had historical significance in several ways. The presence of the Highlanders in the race led to the Giants' announcement that they would not participate in the World Series, claiming they would not play a "minor league" team. Although Boston had won instead, the Giants stuck by their word and still refused to participate. The resulting backlash by the press caused Giants owner John T. Brush to take a stance and lead the committee to formalize the rules governing the World Series. This would be the last time until the strike-truncated year of 1994 that the World Series would not be played. It would also be the last time for a full century that the Boston AL team, who would later formally become the Boston Red Sox in 1908, would beat the New York AL team in a pennant-deciding game.

In 1911, the Polo Grounds was mostly destroyed in a fire, and the Highlanders let the Giants play in Hilltop Park while the Polo Grounds was being rebuilt. Relations between the two teams began to warm, and the Highlanders would move into the newly rebuilt Polo Grounds in 1913 after their agreement to play in Hilltop Park ended.

Now playing on the Harlem River, a far cry from their former high-altitude home, the name "Highlanders" had no meaning. The name "Yankees" was occasionally applied to the club as a variant on "Americans". On April 7, 1904, a spring training story from Richmond, Virginia carried the headline "Yankees Will Start Home From South To-Day." The New York Evening Journal screamed: "YANKEES BEAT BOSTON". The name began to be used more frequently through the decade, and in 1913, the New York Highlanders became known solely as the New York Yankees which continues to be the team's name until present day.

By the mid 1910's, owners Farrell and Devery had become estranged, and they were both in dire need of money. At the start of 1915, the duo sold the team to Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston. Ruppert inherited a brewery fortune and had also been tied to the Tammany Hall machine, serving as a congressman for eight years. He was later quoted as saying, "For $450,000, we got an orphan ball club without a home of its own, without players of outstanding ability, without prestige." However, they now had an owner possessing deep pockets and a willingness to dig into them to produce a winning team. The Yankees were on their way to acquiring more prestige than Ruppert could have ever envisioned.

In the years around 1920, the Yankees had a détente with the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. The three were called the "Insurrectos" due to the way their actions antagonized League President Johnson, as opposed to the other five teams of the league, who were known as "the Loyal Five". This détente paid off well for the Yankees, as the two new owners would begin to enlarge the payroll. Many of these new players who would later contribute to the team's success came from the Boston Red Sox. The owner of the Red Sox, theater impresario Harry Frazee, had bought the team on credit and needed to pay off his loans and purchase Fenway Park from the Fenway Park Trust. If Frazee didn't own Fenway, Johnson could easily put another team in. The Red Sox were also the strongest of the "Insurrectos" and faced a large amount of costly legal battles.

From 1919 to 1922, the Yankees acquired pitchers Waite Hoyt, Carl Mays and Herb Pennock, catcher Wally Schang, shortstop Everett Scott and third baseman Joe Dugan, all from the Red Sox. However, pitcher-turned-outfielder Babe Ruth was the most talented of all the acquisitions from Boston. The Babe accumulated 2,213 RBIs over his career (ranking second in Major League history), totaled 1,971 as a Yankee (ranking second in Yankee team history), and was the owner of the single season home run record in 1919. Ruth came to New York in January of 1920. Frazee cited Ruth's demand for a raise after being paid the highest salary in baseball as the reason for the trade. Frazee also wished to aid the Yankees, who had taken his side in the legal battles against Ban Johnson. The situation was not helped by the fact that Ruth was regarded as a problem, a carouser. This would continue in his Yankee years, but the New York ownership was more tolerant as long as he brought fans and championships to the ballpark. The outcome of the trade would haunt the Red Sox for the next 86 years. They would not win a World Series after 1918 until 2004, often finding themselves eliminated from the hunt as a result of the success of the Yankees. This phenomenon was known as the Curse of the Bambino as the failure of the Red Sox and the success of the Yankees seemed almost supernatural, and all seemed to stem from that one trade.

Other important newcomers in this period were manager Miller Huggins and general manager Ed Barrow. Huggins was hired in 1918 by Ruppert while Huston was serving in Europe with the American army. This would later lead to a break between the two owners, with Ruppert eventually buying Huston out in 1923. Barrow came on board after the 1920 season, and, like many of the new Yankee players, had previously been a part of the Red Sox organization, as their manager since 1918. He would act as general manager or president of the Yankees for the next 25 years, in which the Yankees had a lot of success. He was especially noted for development of the Yankees' farm system.

The home run-hitting exploits of Ruth proved so popular with the public that they began drawing more people than their landlords, the Giants. In 1921, when the Yankees made their first World Series appearance, which was against the Giants, the Yankees were told to move out of the Polo Grounds after 1922. John McGraw was said to have commented that the Yankees should "move to some out-of-the-way place, like Queens." Instead, to McGraw's chagrin, the Yankees broke ground for a new ballpark in the Bronx, right across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds. In 1922, the Yankees returned to the World Series, losing to the Giants for the second straight year. Meanwhile, the construction crew moved with remarkable speed and finished the new ballpark in less than a year.

In 1923, the Yankees moved to their new home, Yankee Stadium at East 161st Street and River Avenue. This site was chosen because the IRT Jerome Avenue subway line (now the NYCTA's number 4 train) had a station stop practically on top of the stadium's outfield walls. It was the first triple-deck venue in baseball and seated an astounding 58,000. In the first game at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth hit a home run, which was fitting as it was his home runs and drawing power that paid for the stadium, giving it its nickname "The House That Ruth Built". He ended the year with "only" 41 home runs, but was walked a then record 170 times, and batted .393, still the highest batting average for a Yankee in Yankee Stadium. The Yanks finished first in the AL once again and faced the Giants for the third straight year in the World Series. Giants outfielder Casey Stengel, who even then was being called "Old Case", hit two home runs to win two games for the Giants. In the end, however, the Yankees finally triumphed. Stengel would later come to the Yankees as a successful manager.

In the next two seasons, the Washington Senators won the American League pennant as the Yankees finished in second and seventh, respectively. The slump would not last for long, though, as the 1926 team finished 91-63 and landed back in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Babe Ruth put up big numbers in the series, hitting three home runs in game four (which the Yankees won 10-5). The Cardinals would take the series in seven games though after winning the final two games on the road at Yankee Stadium.

The 1927 Yankees lineup was so potent that it become known as "Murderers' Row", and some consider the team to be the best in the history of baseball (though similar claims have been made for other Yankee squads, notably those of 1939, 1961 and 1998). The Yankees won an AL record 110 games with only 44 losses, and swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series. Ruth's home run total of 60 in 1927 set a single-season home run record that would stand for 34 years. He also batted .356 and drove in 164 runs. Meanwhile, first baseman Lou Gehrig had his first big season, batting .373 with 47 round-trippers and 175 RBIs, beating Ruth's single-season RBI mark (171 in 1921).

Ruth hit third in the order, and Gehrig hit cleanup. Right behind them were two more sluggers: Bob "The Rifle" Meusel, who played either of the corner outfield positions, and Tony Lazzeri, who played second base. Lazzeri actually ranked third in the league in home runs in 1927 with 18, and he hit .309 with 102 RBIs. Meusel hit .337 with 103 RBIs. Speed was another weapon used by both: Lazzeri stole 22 bases while Meusel was second in the league with 24. These numbers were all due, in part, to center fielder and leadoff man Earle Combs. He hit .356, had a .414 on base percentage, and led the AL with 231 hits that year (a team record until Don Mattingly broke it in 1986 with 238). The team's overall batting average in 1927 was .307. The Yankees would repeat as American League champions in 1928, fighting off the resurgent Philadelphia Athletics. They would then go on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series. Ruth got 10 hits in 16 at-bats, his .625 average setting a new single-series record. Three of these hits were home runs. Meanwhile, Gehrig went 6 for 11 (.545), with four home runs. In the next three years, the Athletics would take the AL pennant and two world championships.

In 1932, Joe McCarthy (no relation to the senator of the same name) came in as manager, and would restore the Yankees to the top of the AL. They met the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, sweeping them and bringing the team's streak of consecutive World Series game wins to 12 (a mark which would stand until the Yankees bested it in the 2000 World Series). This series was made famous by Babe Ruth's famous "Called Shot" in game three of the series at Wrigley Field. This would be a fitting "swan song" to his illustrious postseason career, as Ruth would leave the Yankees, going to the NL Boston Braves after 1934, and would never see the postseason again.

The Yankees' run during the 1930s could also be called the "McCarthy era", after the man who would guide the team to new heights. With Ruth leaving in 1934, Gehrig finally had the chance to come out of his shadow. However, there was no "Gehrig era". After one season as the main force of the Yankees, a new titan appeared, Joe DiMaggio. The young center fielder from San Francisco had an immediate impact, batting .323, hitting 29 homers, and driving in 125 runs in his rookie season of 1936.

The team reeled off an unprecedented four consecutive World Series wins in the years from 1936 to 1939 behind the bats of DiMaggio, Gehrig, and Frank Crosetti. They were aided by the pitching staff, led by Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez, and the whole team was anchored by catcher Bill Dickey. For most of 1939 they had to do it without Gehrig, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis forcing his retirement and saddening the baseball world.

During this stretch, the Detroit Tigers were the Yankees' main competition. Once they had the pennant, however, they had little trouble. During Game 2 of the 1936 Series, they pounded the Giants 18-4, setting the record for most runs scored in a World Series game, a record which still stands today. They took the Giants 4–2 in the series, and beat them again 4-1 the next year. They swept the Chicago Cubs in 1938 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1939.

July the First, you know Since then he's hit a good 12 more Joltin' Joe DiMaggio Joe, Joe DiMaggio We want you on our side.

The last game of the streak came on July 16 at Cleveland's League Park. The streak was finally snapped in a game at Cleveland Stadium the next night before a huge crowd at the lake front. A crucial factor in ending the streak was the fielding of Cleveland third baseman Ken Keltner, who stopped two balls that DiMaggio hit hard to the left. Modern baseball historians regard it as unlikely that anyone will ever hit .400 again, barring a change to the way the game is played, and that it will be extremely difficult to approach DiMaggio's 56-game streak, which is far beyond second place (44) and a modern day phenomenon.

The Yankees made short work of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1941 Series. Then, two months and one day after the final game of the Yanks' four-games-to-one win, the Pearl Harbor attacks occurred, and many of the best ballplayers went off to World War II. The war-thinned ranks of the major leagues found the Yanks in the post-season again, as the team traded World Series wins with the St. Louis Cardinals during 1942 and 1943.

After 1943, the team went into a bit of a slump, and McCarth was let go early in the 1946 season. After a couple of interim managers came and went, Bucky Harris was brought in, and the Yankees righted the ship again, winning the 1947 pennant and a hard-fought battle against the Dodgers in a Series that took the Yankees seven games to win and was a harbinger of things to come for much of the next decade.

Despite finishing only three games behind the pennant-winning Cleveland Indians in 1948, Harris was released and the Yankees brought in Casey Stengel to manage. Casey had a reputation for being somewhat of a clown and for managing bad teams, such as the mid-1930s Boston Braves. Understandably, this selection was met with skepticism. His tenure, however, would prove to be the most successful in Yankees history up to that point. The 1949 Yankees team was seen as "underdogs" who came from behind to catch and surprise the powerful Red Sox on the last two days of the season, a face off that fueled the beginning of the modern Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. The post-season proved to be a bit easier, as the Yankees knocked off the Dodgers four games to one.

By this time, the great DiMaggio's career was winding down. It has often been reported that he wanted to retire before he became an "ordinary" player. His retirement was also hastened by bone spurs in his heel. 1951 was the curtain call of the "Yankee Clipper." However, it also marked the arrival of the "Oklahoma Kid", Mickey Mantle, who was one of several new stars that would fill the gap.

Bettering the clubs of the McCarthy era, the Yankees won the world series five consecutive times under Stengel (1949–1953), which continues to be the major league record. Led by players like center fielder Mickey Mantle, pitcher Whitey Ford, and catcher Yogi Berra, Stengel's teams won 10 pennants and seven World Series titles in his twelve seasons as Yankee manager. Casey Stengel was also a master at publicity for the team and for himself, even landing a cover story in Time magazine in 1955. The 1950s was also a decade of significant individual achievement for Yankee players. In 1956 Mantle won the major league triple crown, leading both leagues in batting average (.353), home runs (52), and RBIs (130). A Yankee claimed ownership of the American League MVP six times in the decade (1950 Rizzuto, 1951 Berra, 1954 Berra, 1955 Berra, 1956 Mantle, 1957 Mantle). Pitcher Bob Turley won the Cy Young Award in 1958, the award's third year of existence.

The team won over 100 games in 1954, but the Indians took the pennant with an AL record 111 wins. In 1955, the Dodgers finally beat the Yankees in the World Series, after five Series losses to the Yankees in '41, '47, '49, '52 and '53. But the Yankees came back strong the next year. On October 8, 1956, in Game Five of the 1956 World Series against the Dodgers, pitcher Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history. Not only was it the only perfect game to be pitched in World Series play, it also remains the only no-hitter of any kind to be pitched in postseason play. The Yankees went on to win yet another World Series that season, and Larsen earned World Series MVP honors.

The Yankees lost the 1957 World Series to the Milwaukee Braves. Following the Series, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers left New York City for California, leaving the Yankees as New York's only team. In the 1958 World Series, the Yankees got their revenge against the Braves, and became the second team to win the Series after being down three games to one. For the decade, the Yankees won six World Series championships ('50, 51, '52, '53, '56, '58) and eight American League pennants (those six plus '55 and '57). Led by Mantle, Ford, Berra, Elston Howard (the Yankees' first African-American player), and the newly acquired Roger Maris, the Yankees burst into the new decade seeking to replicate the remarkable success of the 1950s.

During the ownership of Arnold Johnson, the Kansas City Athletics traded many young players to the Yankees for cash and aging veterans (much the same way the Red Sox had done under Frazee). When he'd bought the then Philadelphia Athletics from the family of Connie Mack in 1954, he was already the owner of Yankee Stadium, but the American League owners forced him to sell the Stadium as a condition for the purchase. He was also a longtime business associate of then-Yankees owners Del Webb and Dan Topping.

Trades between the A's and Yankees were so heavily weighted in the Yankees' favor that many fans, reporters and even other teams frequently accused the A's of being little more than a Yankee farm team at the major league level. Ironically, the Yankees' top farm team had been based in Kansas City from 1936 until they made way for the A's.

Nevertheless, the Johnson/Webb/Topping relationship significantly improved the Yankees' future prospects. In December 1959, a young outfielder named Roger Maris was acquired in one such trade, and in 1960, Maris led the league in slugging percentage, RBIs, and extra base hits, finished second in home runs (one behind Mantle), and total bases, and won a Gold Glove and the American League MVP award. All of this, however, was a prelude to the year that would follow.

The year 1961 would prove to be one of the most memorable in Yankee history. Throughout the summer, Mantle and Maris hit home runs at record pace as both chased Babe Ruth's single-season home run record of 60, and the media and the fans began referring to the duo as the "M&M Boys". Ultimately, a severe hip infection forced Mantle to leave the lineup and bow out of the race in mid-September with 54 home runs. Maris would continue the race though, and on October 1, the final day of the season, he sent a pitch from Boston's Tracy Stallard into the right field stands of Yankee Stadium, breaking the record with 61. However, Commissioner Ford Frick decreed that two separate records be kept, as Ruth's record-setting season was 154 games, and Maris hit 61 in 162 games. It would be 30 years before an eight-member Committee for Historical Accuracy appointed by Major League Baseball did away with the dual records, giving Maris sole possession of the single-season home run record until it was broken by Mark McGwire in 1998. Maris still holds the American League record.

The Yankees won the pennant with a 109-53 record and went on to defeat the Cincinnati Reds in five games to win the 1961 World Series. The 109 regular season wins posted by the '61 club remains the third highest single-season total in franchise history, behind only the 1998 team's 114 regular season wins and 1927 team's 110 wins. The 1961 Yankees also clubbed a then-major league record for most home runs by a team with 240, a total not surpassed until the 1996 Baltimore Orioles hit 257 with the aid of the designated hitter. Maris won his second consecutive MVP Award while Whitey Ford captured the Cy Young Award. Because of the excellence of Maris, Mantle, and World Series-MVP Ford, a fine pitching staff, stellar team defense, the team's strong depth and power, and its overall dominance, the 1961 Yankees are universally considered to be one of the greatest teams in the history of baseball, compared often to their pinstriped-brethren, the 1927 Yankees, the 1939 Yankees, and the 1998 Yankees.

In 1962, the sports landscape in New York changed dramatically. A new expansion team was added to the National League, and it was put in New York to fill the hole left when the Giants and Dodgers moved to California. The new team was the New York Mets, and they moved into the Polo Grounds, which would be their home until 1964, when they'd move to the current home, Shea Stadium, 10 miles to the southeast of Yankee Stadium in Flushing, Queens. That year the Mets would lose a record 120 games while the Yankees would win the 1962 World Series, their tenth in the past sixteen years, defeating the San Francisco Giants in seven games.

The Yankees would again reach the Fall Classic in 1963, but they were swept in four games by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Behind World Series-MVP Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Johnny Podres, the Dodgers' starting pitchers threw four complete games and combined to give up just four runs all Series. This was the first time the Yankees were swept in a World Series. Feeling burnt out after the season, Houk left the manager's chair to become the team's general manager and Berra, who himself had just retired from playing, was named the new manager of the Yankees.

The aging Yankees returned for a fifth straight World Series in 1964 -- their fourteenth World Series appearance in the past sixteen years -- to face the St. Louis Cardinals in a Series immortalized by David Halberstam's book, October 1964. Despite a valiant performance by Mantle, including a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth of Game Three off of Cardinals' reliever Barney Schultz, the Yankees fell to the Cardinals in seven games, and Berra was fired. It was to be the last World Series appearance by the Yankees for 12 years.

After the 1964 season, CBS purchased 80 percent of the Yankees from Topping and Webb for $11.2 million. However, Topping and Webb stayed on as president and vice president, respectively. Jokesters at the time wondered if Walter Cronkite would become manager, perhaps with Yogi Berra doing the newscasts.

The Yankees finished in the second division for the first time in 40 years in 1965. Worse yet, the introduction of the major league amateur draft in 1965 also meant that the Yankees could no longer sign any player they wanted. Webb sold his 10 percent stake to CBS before the year was out. In 1966, the Yankees finished last in the AL for the first time since 1912. Johnny Keane, the winning Cardinals manager who joined the Yankees to manage in '65, was fired during the season, and GM Ralph Houk had to do double duty as field manager until the end of the year. Topping sold his 10 percent stake to CBS at the end of the season. who had stayed on as 10-percent owner and team president, quit at the end of the season and sold his share to CBS. CBS executive Mike Burke took over as president.

The Yankees were next-to-last in the 1967 season, during which former farm director Lee MacPhail returned to the organization as GM. The team's fortunes improved somewhat, but they would not become serious contenders again until 1974. Various reasons have been given for the decline, but the single biggest one was the Yankees' inability to replace their aging superstars with new ones, as they had done consistently in the previous five decades. As mentioned above, the draft meant that the Yankees could no longer simply outbid the other teams for the best young talent. Also, Topping and Webb decided as little as possible in order to make the team more attractive to buyers when they put it on the market in 1961. Their "special relationship" with the Athletics may have been a way to mask this problem. By the mid-60's, the Yankees had little to offer in terms of trades, while Finley had taken the A's in a new direction. A more controversial theory is that the Yankees paid the price for bringing black players into the organization later than other teams.

Also during this period the Yankees lost two of their signature broadcasters. The team fired legendary "Voice of the Yankees" Mel Allen after the 1964 season. Years later, Allen said that he was fired as a cost-cutting move by the team's longtime broadcast sponsor, Ballantine Beer. Two years later, Red Barber, a former Dodgers voice who joined the Yankees broadcast team in 1954, was also let go. Some blame Barber's firing on his on-air mention of a paltry showing of 413 fans (Yankee Stadium held 67,000 at the time) during a September 1966 home game against the White Sox. Sports biographer David J. Halberstam (different from the author of October 1964) also noted Barber's less-than-happy relationship with Joe Garagiola and even Phil Rizzuto, ex-major leaguers with whom he shared the booth.

Topping and Webb had owned the Yankees for 20 years, missing the World Series only five times and going 10-5 in the ones they participated in. By contrast, the CBS-owned teams never went to the World Series.

A group of investors, led by Cleveland-based shipbuilder George Steinbrenner, purchased the club from CBS on January 3, 1973 for $8.7 million. Mike Burke stayed on as president until he quit in April. Within a year, Steinbrenner bought out most of his other partners and became the team's principal owner, although Burke continued to hold a minority share into the 1980s.

One of Steinbrenner's major goals was to repair the Stadium, which had greatly deteriorated (along with the surrounding area) by the late 60's. CBS had suggested renovations, but they would require the team to play elsewhere, and the Mets refused to open up their home, Shea Stadium, to the Yankees. There were even plans to move the team to a new stadium in the Meadowlands, in nearby New Jersey. In mid-1972, Mayor John Lindsay stepped in, and announced the city would buy Yankee Stadium for $24 million (ten times the amount it took to build) and lease it back to the Yankees. The renovations were then carried out, a two-year process that modernized the look of the stadium, and reconfigured some seating. The left field wall, which was approxomately 60 feet farther than the right field wall, was brought in, and the bullpens were moved to behind this wall. The monuments, plaques, and flagpole that were once in the deepest point of left field were moved behind the fences in a new area between the bullpens named Monument Park. As the city also owned Shea, the Mets were forced to allow the Yankees to play there during the period.

After the 1974 season, Steinbrenner made a move that started the modern era of free agency, signing star pitcher James Augustus "Catfish" Hunter away from Oakland. Midway through the 1975 season, the Boss made another move, hiring former second baseman Billy Martin as manager. With Martin as the helm, the Yankees reached the 1976 World Series, but were swept by the Cincinnati Reds, the famed Big Red Machine.

Steinbrenner continued his buying of high-priced free agents, by signing star outfielder Reggie Jackson, who had been traded from the Athletics to the Baltimore Orioles at the beginning of the season, for a then record $600,000 per year. Steinbrenner, Martin and Jackson would repeatedly feud throughout Jackson's five-year contract. Nevertheless, in Game Six of the 1977 World Series, Jackson proved his worth by hitting three home runs - on the first pitch - against three different Dodger pitchers to wrap up the Series for the Yankees, earning himself the nickname "Mr. October".

Throughout the late '70s, the race for the pennant often came to a close competition between the Yankees and the Red Sox, and for fans of both clubs, every game between the two became important and added to a rivalry that was often bitter and ruthless, with brawls frequently erupting between both players and fans from the two clubs.

The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry came to a head in the 1978 season. On July 14, 1978, the Yankees were 14.5 games behind the Red Sox. The Yankees then went on a tear, and by the time they met up with the Sox for a pivotal four-game series at Fenway in early September, the Yankees were only four games out. In what would become known as the "Boston Massacre", the Yankees swept the Red Sox, winning the games 15-3, 13-2, 7-0 and 7-4. The third game was a shutout by Ron Guidry, who would lead the majors with nine shutouts, 25 wins (against only three losses) and a 1.74 ERA. Guidry also finished with 248 strikeouts, but Nolan Ryan's 260 strikeouts deprived Guidry of the pitching Triple Crown.

After beating the Kansas City Royals for the third consecutive year in the ALCS, the Yankees faced the Dodgers again in the 1978 World Series. They lost the first two games on the road, but then came home to win all three games at Yankee Stadium before wrapping up their 22nd World Championship in Game Six in Los Angeles.

The 1970s would end on a tragic note: on August 2, 1979, Yankees catcher and team captain Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash. Four days later, the entire team flew to Canton, Ohio for his funeral, only to return to New York later that day to play the Baltimore Orioles. In a game that was televised nationally, the emotional contest was highlighted by Bobby Murcer driving in all five of the team's runs in a dramatic 5-4 victory. Munson's uniform number (15) was retired, and his locker has been unused since his death.

The post-Munson era began with a bang as the Yankees won 103 games in 1980. Reggie Jackson hit .300 and 41 home runs. He finished 2nd to George Brett in the MVP voting. However, Brett's Royals would sweep the Yankees.

The strike-shortened 1981 season had the Yankees finish first in the first half. They would defeat the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1981 ALDS in five games. Then they would sweep Billy Martin and the Oakland A's in the 1981 ALCS. The run would end on a sour note as the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in the 1981 World Series in six games.

Following the team's loss to the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series, the Yankees would go into their longest absence from the playoffs since 1921. From 1989 to 1992 they had a losing record, having spent large amounts of money on free-agent players and draft picks that did not perform up to expectations.

During the 1980s the Yankees, led by their All-Star first baseman Don Mattingly, had the most total wins of any major league team, but failed to win a World Series (the first such decade since the 1910s). The Yankees consistently had powerful offensive teams - besides Mattingly, its rosters included, at one time or another, Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson, Mike Pagliarulo, Steve Sax and Jesse Barfield -- but their starting pitching rarely matched the team's performance at the plate. After posting a 22-6 record in 1985, arm problems caught up with Ron Guidry, and his career went into a steep decline in the next three years. Dennis Rasmussen, who won 18 games the following year, never matched his 1986 performance. Rick Rhoden, acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987, won 16 games that year but only went 14-14 in 1988.

The Yankees came close to winning the AL East in 1985 and 1986, finishing second behind the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, respectively, but fell to fourth place in 1987 and fifth in 1988, despite having mid-season leads in the AL East standings in both seasons. 1988 would be the last season the Yankees had a winning record until 1993.

By the end of the decade, the Yankees' offense was also on the decline. Henderson and Pagliarulo had departed by the middle of 1989, while back problems caught up with both Winfield (causing him to miss the entire '89 season) and Mattingly (he missed virtually the entire second half of 1990). Winfield's tenure with the team ended when he was dealt to the California Angels in May 1990. That year, the Yankees had the worst record in Major League Baseball, and their first last-place finish since 1966. The Bombers would finish at or near the bottom of the division until 1993. On July 1, 1990, pitcher Andy Hawkins became the first Yankee ever to lose a no-hitter, when the third baseman (Mike Blowers) committed an error, followed by two walks and an error by the left fielder (Jim Leyritz) with the bases loaded, scoring all three runners and the batter. The 4-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox was the largest margin of any no-hitter loss in the 20th century. Ironically, the Yankees (and Hawkins) were again no-hit for six innings in a rain-shortened game with the White Sox eleven days later.

Mattingly had the unfortunate distinction of beginning his career (1982) and ending his career (1995) in years bracketed by Yankee World Series appearances (1981 and 1996).

The poor showing in the '80s and early '90s would start to change when management was able to implement a coherent acquisition/development program without interference from Steinbrenner, who had been suspended from day-to-day team operations by then-Commissioner Fay Vincent for hiring Howard Spira to uncover damaging information on former Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield. Under general managers Gene Michael and Bob Watson and manager Buck Showalter, the club shifted its emphasis from buying talent to developing talent through its farm system - and then holding onto it. The first significant sign of success came in 1994, when the Yankees had the best record in the AL before the season was cut short by the players' strike, which left the Yankees, their fans, and people in the Bronx embarrassed, ashamed, outraged, and shaken to their core, because of how the team was doing. It also brought, anger, disbelief, and indescribable grief to them that Fall, as they were deprived of a division title, playoffs, and possibly, a World Series. A year later, the team reached the playoffs as the wild card and were eliminated only after a memorable 1995 American League Division Series series against the Seattle Mariners where the Yankees won the first two games at home and dropped the next three in Seattle.

Shaking it up once again, Steinbrenner replaced Showalter and his staff with manager Joe Torre, who brought with him Don Zimmer as bench coach and former Yankees pitching star Mel Stottlemyre as pitching coach. Torre's managerial tenure is now by far the longest under George Steinbrenner's ownership. One of Showalter's coaches, popular former Yankee second baseman Willie Randolph, was retained by Torre as a third base coach. Initially derided as a retread choice ("Clueless Joe" ran the headline on the New York Post), Torre's smooth manner proved to be what the team needed. Going 8–0 on the road in the three playoff series that year, the Yankees won the 1996 World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves in six games (after losing the first two games at home by a combined score of 16-1), and ending their 18-year championship drought. Homegrown shortstop Derek Jeter was named Rookie of the Year, an auspicious start to his association with the Yankees.

After their first World Series win since 1978, the Yankees signed lefties David Wells and Mike Stanton to improve the pitching staff. They also allowed closing reliever (and Series MVP) John Wetteland to leave as a free agent, and named setup man Mariano Rivera as the team's new closer.

General Manager Bob Watson was dismissed when the Yankees lost in the 1997 ALDS to the Cleveland Indians. He was replaced by Brian Cashman, a former Yankee intern. Cashman made many key acquisitions to improve the team, through the acquisitions of third baseman Scott Brosius, second baseman and leadoff man Chuck Knoblauch, outfielder Darryl Strawberry and starting pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.

On May 17, 1998 David Wells, who would later claim to have been hungover that day, pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins. A year later, on July 18, 1999, which was "Yogi Berra Day" at the Stadium, David Cone pitched a perfect game against the Montréal Expos. In an amazing coincidence, Don Larsen, who pitched the perfect game in the 1956 World Series, was in attendance and had thrown out the ceremonial first pitch to Berra, his catcher for that storied game. An even more amazing coincidence is that Larsen and Wells both attended Point Loma High School in San Diego, California.

The 1998 Yankees are widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest teams in baseball history, having compiled a then-AL record of 114 regular season wins against just 48 losses en route to a Series sweep of the San Diego Padres. The '98 Yankees went 11-2 during the playoffs and finished with a combined record of 125-50. Their 125 wins is a major league record, though their AL regular season record was surpassed by the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who went 116-46 before losing to the Yankees in the ALCS.

After the 1998 season, fan favorite David Wells was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roger Clemens, who had just completed two consecutive Cy Young Award and pitching triple crown seasons. After winning the Eastern division and defeating the Texas Rangers for the third time in the 1999 American League Division Series, the Yankees met up with the their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in the next playoff round. Clemens, a former Red Sox pitcher, started the third game of the ALCS against the Sox who blasted him 13-1 in what had been a highly anticipated pitching match up between Clemens and Pedro Martínez, the winner of the Cy Young Award and the pitching triple crown that season. However, it was the only game the Red Sox won, as the Yankees won the ALCS four games to one, and then went on to sweep the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 World Series, with Clemens winning the clincher in Game Four in the Bronx. This gave the 1998-1999 Yankees a 22-3 record (including four series sweeps) in six consecutive postseason series.

In 2000, the Yankees met up with the crosstown New York Mets for the first Subway Series since the 1956 World Series. To get there, they defeated the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS and then the Seattle Mariners in the ALCS. By winning the first two games of the Series, the Yankees won a total of fourteen straight World Series games from 1996 to 2000, breaking their own record of twelve (in 1927, 1928 and 1932). When the Mets scored a run against Mariano Rivera, they snapped his string of postseason consecutive scoreless innings at 34 1/3. Prior to Rivera's streak, the record had been held by Whitey Ford, who had broken Babe Ruth's scoreless World Series pitching streak. The win ran the Yankees' postseason series winning streak to nine and gave them a 33-8 record during that run. The Yankees are the most recent major league team to repeat as World Series champions and after the 2000 season they joined the Yankee teams of 1936-1939 and 1949-1953, as well as the 1972-1974 Oakland Athletics as the only teams to win at least three consecutive World Series.

In the emotional times of October 2001, following the September 11 attack on New York's World Trade Center, the Yankees dramatically defeated the Oakland A's three games to two in the ALDS behind Derek Jeter's incredible "Flip Play" in Game 3, and then the Seattle Mariners, who had won 116 games, four games to one in the ALCS. By winning the pennant for a fourth straight year, the 1998-2001 Yankees joined the 1921-1924 New York Giants, and the Yankee teams of '36-'39, '49-'53, '55-'58 and '60-'64 as the only dynasties to reach at least four straight pennants. The Yankees had now won eleven consecutive postseason series over a four-year period.

However, the World Series starters for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling (later named the World Series co-MVPs), kept them in check, starting Games One, Two, Four, Six and Seven; the Diamondbacks won all four games at home, including Game Seven where Yankee star closer Mariano Rivera uncharacteristically lost the lead - and the Series - in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After the 2001 season, fan favorites Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius retired. Tino Martinez and Chuck Knoblauch left for free agency. The Yankees had a lot of reconstructing to do; they needed to rebuild the offense that was shut down by the Johnson-Schilling duo in the 2001 World Series. They did it by signing slugger Jason Giambi and outfielder Rondell White, as well as trading David Justice to the Mets for third baseman Robin Ventura. The team also brought back fan favorite David Wells to bolster the pitching staff. The Yankees finished the 2002 season with an AL best record of 103-58, winning the division by 10.5 games over the Red Sox. The season was highlighted by Alfonso Soriano becoming the first second baseman ever to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season, as well as Giambi's 41 home runs. In the ALDS, the Yankees lost to the Anaheim Angels in four games.

In 2003, the Yankees once again had the best league record (101-61), defeated the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, and then defeated their longtime rival Red Sox in a tough seven-game ALCS, which featured a bench-clearing brawl in Game Three and a Series-ending walk-off home run by Aaron Boone in the bottom of the 11th inning of the final game. The Yankees were then defeated by the Florida Marlins - a team with a payroll a quarter of the size of the Yankees' - in the World Series, four games to two.

After the 2003 season, the Yankees hoped to add more power to a lineup which was shut down in the previous year's Series. They gained two sluggers, signing free agent Gary Sheffield, and trading second-baseman Alfonso Soriano to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez. With Jeter as the Yankees All-Star shortstop, Rodriguez, who had played the position his entire career, agreed to move to third base. Throughout 2004, however, the Yankees' weakness was their starting pitching. Despite this, they managed to win over 100 games with their powerful lineup, the third straight year they had done so, and reach the playoffs. In the ALDS, the Yankees once again met and defeated the Twins three games to one.

In the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, the Yankees became the first team in professional baseball history, and only the third team in North American pro sports history (it happened in the NHL twice), to lose a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 series lead. The Yankees thought they needed to improve their pitching, which faltered in their loss to the Red Sox, and they signed free-agent pitchers Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright and acquired dominant lefty Randy Johnson from Arizona. However, none of the three performed up to expectations; Pavano pitched in only 17 games in 2005, missed the entire 2006 season and pitched only 2 games on the 2007 season due to a variety of injuries, Wright was traded after starting only 40 games over two seasons, and Johnson suffered from back problems which resulted in surgery in October, 2006.

The 2005 season started slowly for the Yankees, and they spent most of the season chasing the Boston Red Sox for the division title. The Yankees, however, won the division, clinching it in the second-to-last game of the season against the Red Sox. Alex Rodriguez won the American League Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first Yankee to win the award since Don Mattingly in 1985. Giambi was named Comeback Player of the Year, as voted by fans, and second baseman Robinson Canó was runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Another highlight of the season was the record-setting pitching by journeyman Aaron Small, who became just the fourth pitcher in history to win at least ten games without a loss.

In the 2005 American League Division Series, the Angels defeated the Yankees in five games in the first round of the postseason, marking the second time in four years that the Angels beat the Yankees in the first round. Alex Rodriguez, the American League's 2005 MVP, had a poor series, hitting .133 with no home runs and no RBIs.

In the 2005-2006 offseason, general manager Brian Cashman was given more control of the direction of the Yankees, and in December 2005, the Yankees signed center fielder Johnny Damon from the archrival Red Sox. The Yankees also signed Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Myers, Octavio Dotel and Ron Villone to improve their bullpen, which had been a weak point during the 2005 season.

On August 16, 2006, the Yankees officially broke ground on the New Yankee Stadium, which is slated to open next to the current Yankee Stadium in 2009. It should also be noted that Harold Z. Steinbrenner played a major role in facilitating the key specifics of this new facility.

Despite losing starting outfielders Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield to injuries early in the season, the Yankees finished the first half of the 2006 season with 50 wins and 36 losses, three games behind the Red Sox. But they caught up to the Red Sox, and on August 18, the Yankees entered Fenway Park with a 1.5 game lead for a five game series. The series opened up with a doubleheader that the Yankees swept 12–4 and 14–11, echoing the Boston Massacre of 1978, and prompting the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy to dub the doubleheader sweep the "Son of Massacre". The Yankees went on to sweep all five games (calling the series the "Second Boston Massacre"). They outscored the Red Sox by a combined score of 49–26, and left them 6.5 games out of first place. The Red Sox would eventually end the season in third place in the AL East behind the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, making it the first time since 1998 that the Red Sox did not finish in second place behind the Yanks.

The division win was the ninth consecutive AL East title for the Yankees. When the New York Mets won their division (snapping the Atlanta Braves' eleven-year stranglehold on the NL East), it marked the first time ever that both New York teams won their respective divisions in the same year. Their 97–65 record tied the Mets for the best record of the year, giving New Yorkers hopes for another Subway Series. However, the Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers in four games in the ALDS, while the Mets lost the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

On October 11, 2006, days after the ALDS was over, tragedy struck when pitcher Cory Lidle died in a plane crash. It has yet to be determined if Lidle or his co-pilot, Tyler Stanger, who was also killed, was piloting the plane which crashed into a highrise apartment building on East 72nd Street on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Lidle was the second active Yankee to be killed in a crash of his own private plane, following Thurman Munson's death in 1979.

Changes during the 2006-2007 off-season included the trading of Gary Sheffield and Jaret Wright, and the signings of Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa and former Yankee Andy Pettitte, who left the Yankees after 2003. The Yankees also re-signed pitcher Mike Mussina to a two year deal.

The start of the 2007 season proved to be very tumultuous for the Bombers. The Yankees fell well below .500 and in last place, 14.5 games behind their arch-rival Boston Red Sox. Ace starter Chien-Ming Wang was injured to start the season and the team saw extended stints on the disabled list for Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Jason Giambi. Centerfielder Johnny Damon was also playing hurt. The team saw a record number of rookie pitchers starting for the injury plagued Yankees that included Tyler Clippard, Darrell Rasner, Matt DeSalvo, Chase Wright, Jeff Karstens and highly touted prospect Phil Hughes. The rotation would later get a lift from Roger Clemens, who had decided to come out of retirement and rejoin the team he won his only World Series champinships with. It saw the breakout years of homegrown talents of Melky Cabrera, Andy Phillips and Shelley Duncan. Prized prospect Joba Chamberlain was also brought up after the All Star break. Despite the team's slow start, the Yankees managed to win the AL Wild Card, only to lose in the ALDS to the Cleveland Indians, making it the third consecutive year the Yankees lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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Tony Armas, Jr.

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Antonio José Armas (born April 29, 1978 in Puerto Píritu, Anzoátegui State, Venezuela), better known as Tony Armas, Jr., is a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher who is currently a free agent. Previously, he played with the Washington Nationals née Montreal Expos from (1999-2006), Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, and New York Mets in 2008.

Armas is the son of former All-Star outfielder Tony Armas, and a nephew of former first baseman Marcos Armas. Tony's father broke into the Majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1976.

Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1994, Armas was traded to the Boston Red Sox in 1997, and was sent to Montreal later the same year along with pitcher Carl Pavano to complete the deal for Pedro Martínez.

Armas uses a low-90s moving fastball and a sharp-breaking curve to establish what he wants to do with each hitter. He'll mix in an effective slider, a splitter and a changeup to keep opponents out of balance. His slide step has improved to the point where opposing baserunners no longer take him for granted.

However, few starting pitchers have had as much bad luck as Armas. Various injuries held him back until 2003, when he was the team's Opening Day starter, shutting down the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, 10-2. But the strong start turned into a breakdown weeks later, after he was diagnosed with injuries in his arm and shoulder which required season-ending surgery. At that time, Armas was off to a fine start with a record of 2-1, 23 strikeouts and a 2.61 ERA, while allowing barely more than a baserunner per inning (1.065) and not allowing a home run until his fifth and last start.

Armas worked out in 2004 spring training, and his recovery was proceeding. Although the team initially hoped he could be ready for the start of the season, the rehabilitation was slower than expected. He finished the season with a 2-4 mark in 72 innings.

In a nine-year career, Armas has a 52-65 record with 674 strikeouts and a 4.62 ERA in 917.3 innings. At bat, he is a .098 hitter (26-for-265) with ten RBI.

During the 2006 season, Armas had a 9-12 record in 30 starts. Armas missed one month with arm problems, but in his second game back from the disabled list he pitched seven innings, allowing only one run on three hits.

On October 29, 2006, Armas filed for free agency. On February 1, 2007, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a one year $3.5 million contract with a 2008 mutual option. After starting the 2007 season 0-3 with an 8.92 ERA, Armas was removed from the rotation.

On February 11, 2008, he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the New York Mets. He re-signed with the Mets in January 2009. However, he was released on March 31 after not making the team.

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Pedro Martínez

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Pedro Jaime Martínez (born October 25, 1971 in Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has won three Cy Young Awards and is considered to be one of the top pitchers of his era. As compared to the prime of any pitcher's career, Martínez is arguably the most dominant pitcher of all time. At the time of his 200th win in April 2006, Martínez had the highest winning percentage of any 200-game winner in modern baseball history (he has since slipped .006 behind Whitey Ford). In 2007, Martínez became the 15th pitcher to reach 3,000 career strikeouts.

Officially listed at 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) and 193 pounds (88 kg), Martínez is unusually small for a modern-day power pitcher, and he is believed to be somewhat smaller than his officially listed height and weight.

Martinez is atypical in that he has many "out" pitches upon which he can rely. His fastball, curveball and circle changeup are all well above average; combined with his historically excellent control, they prove to be an overpowering package. Martínez throws from a low three-quarter position that hides the ball very well from batters, who have remarked on the difficulty of picking up Martínez's delivery.

Early in his career, Martínez's fastball was consistently clocked in the 95–97 mph range; used in combination with his devastating changeup and occasionally mixing in his excellent curveball, he was as dominant a pitcher as the game has ever seen. In recent years, as injuries have taken their toll, Martínez has made the adjustment to rely more on guile than power. His fastball now is usually in the 85–88 mph range, although he is still able to occasionally hit 90 mph on his fastball when the need arises. He now uses his curveball, circle changeup, and an occasional slider, along with his fastball. With his command of the strike zone, he continues to be a top strikeout pitcher even though he does not throw as hard as he once did. Baseball historian Bill James describes Martínez as being exponentially more effective than his pitching peers due to his variety of pitches, arm angles, pitch speeds, pinpoint control, and numerous modes of deception.

Martínez's career started with Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 as a relief pitcher. After a brief September assignment in 1992, he turned in a strong season as the Dodgers setup man in 1993, going 10–3 with a 2.61 ERA,119 strikeouts, in 107.1 IP in 65 games. Although Pedro's brother Ramón Martínez, then a star pitcher for the Dodgers, declared that Pedro was even better than himself, manager Tommy Lasorda believed that Pedro Martínez was too small to last as an effective starting pitcher at the Major League level. With the Dodgers in need of a second baseman after a contract dispute with Jody Reed, Martínez was traded to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields before the 1994 season.

It was with the Expos that he developed into one of the top pitchers in baseball. On June 3, 1995, Martinez pitched nine perfect innings in a no-decision against the San Diego Padres. In 1997 Martínez posted a 17–8 record for the Expos, and led the league in half a dozen pitching categories, including a 1.90 ERA, 305 strikeouts and 13 complete games pitched, and won the National League Cy Young Award. Pedro Martínez was also the first right-handed pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts with an ERA under 2.00 since Walter Johnson in 1912.

The 13 complete games were tied for the second-highest single-season total in all of baseball since Martínez's career began (Curt Schilling had 15 in 1998; Chuck Finley and Jack McDowell also reached 13 in a year). However, this 1997 total is by far the highest in Martínez's career, as he has only completed more than 5 games in one other season (7, in 2000).

Approaching free agency, Martínez was traded to the Boston Red Sox in November 1997 for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas, Jr., and was soon signed to a six-year, $75,000,000 contract (with an option for a seventh at $17 million) by the Sox general manager Dan Duquette, at the time the largest ever awarded to a pitcher. Martínez paid immediate dividends in 1998, with a 19-7 record, and finishing second in the American League in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and the Cy Young voting.

In 1999, Martínez delivered one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time, finishing 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts (earning the pitching Triple Crown), unanimously winning his second Cy Young Award (this time in the American League), and coming in second in the Most Valuable Player ballot.

The MVP result was controversial, as Martínez received the most first-place votes of any player (8 of 28), but was totally omitted from the ballot of two sportswriters, New York's George King and Minneapolis' LaVelle Neal. The two writers argued that pitchers were not sufficiently all-around players to be considered. (However, George King had given MVP votes to two pitchers just the season before: Rick Helling and David Wells; King was the only writer to cast a vote for Helling, who had gone 20-7 with a 4.41 ERA and 164 strikeouts.) MVP ballots have ten ranked slots, and sportswriters are traditionally asked to recuse themselves if they feel they cannot vote for a pitcher. "It really made us all look very dumb," said Buster Olney, then a sportswriter for the New York Times. "People were operating under different rules. The question of eligibility is a very basic thing. People were determining eligibility for themselves." The Times does not permit its writers to participate in award voting.

In the end, Pedro Martínez finished second to Texas Rangers catcher Iván Rodríguez, by a margin of 252 points to 239. Rodríguez had been included on all 28 ballots.

In 1999, Martínez became just the 8th modern pitcher to have a second 300-strikeout season, along with Nolan Ryan (6 times), Randy Johnson (third time in 1999, three more times since), Sandy Koufax (3 times), Rube Waddell, Walter Johnson, Sam McDowell, and J.R. Richard (Curt Schilling achieved the feat in 2002). An anomaly in power pitching annals, Martínez is the only 20th-century pitcher to notch 300 strikeouts in a season without being at least six feet tall.

Between August 1999 and April 2000, Martínez had ten consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts. Only three pitchers have had as many as seven such starts in a row, and one of those was Martínez himself, in April–May 1999. He averaged more than 15 strikeouts per nine innings during his record 10-game streak.

Martínez was named the AL Pitcher of the Month in April, May, June, and September 1999, an unprecedented feat for a single season. Martínez punctuated his dominance in the 1999 All-Star Game start at Fenway Park, when he struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Jeff Bagwell in two electrifying innings. It was the first time any pitcher struck out the side to start an All-Star Game, and the performance earned Martínez the All-Star Game MVP award.

Martínez was a focal point of the 1999 playoffs against the Cleveland Indians. Starting the series opener, he was forced out of the game after 4 shutout innings due to a strained back with the Red Sox up 2–0. The Red Sox, however, lost the game 3-2. When the Indians also won the second game, it appeared that Martinez had thrown the last pitch of his wondrous 1999 season. Boston won the next two games to tie the series, but Martínez was still too injured to start the fifth and final game. However, neither team's starters were effective, and the game became a slugfest, tied at 8-8 at the end of 3 innings. Martinez entered the game as an emergency relief option. Unexpectedly, Martínez neutralized the Cleveland lineup with six no-hit innings for the win. He struck out eight and walked three, despite not being able to throw either his fastball or changeup with any command. Relying totally on his curve, Martinez and the Red Sox won the deciding game 12-8. Other than his 9 perfect innings in 1995 , this performance is often cited as Martínez's greatest.

In the American League Championship Series, Martínez pitched seven shutout innings to beat Red Sox nemesis Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees in Game 3, handing the World Champions their only loss of the 1999 postseason.

Following up 1999, Martínez had perhaps his best year in 2000. Martínez posted an exceptional 1.74 ERA, the AL's lowest since 1978, while winning his third Cy Young award. His ERA was about a third of the park-adjusted league ERA (4.97). No other single season by a starting pitcher has had such a large differential. Roger Clemens was the AL's runnerup in the category, with a 3.70 ERA, more than double that of Martínez. Martinez also set a record in the lesser known sabermetric statistic of Weighted Runs allowed per 9 innings pitched (Wtd. RA/9). Martinez posted a remarkably low 1.55 Wtd. RA/9. He gave up only 128 hits in 217 innings, for an average of just 5.31 hits allowed per 9 innings pitched: the third lowest mark on record.

Martínez's record was 18-6, but could have been even better. In his six losses, Martinez had 60 strikeouts, 8 walks, and 30 hits allowed in 48 innings, with a 2.44 ERA and an 0.79 WHIP, while averaging 8 innings per start. Martinez's ERA in his losing games was less than the leading ERA total in the lower-scoring National League (Kevin Brown's 2.58). The Yankees' Andy Pettitte outdueled the league's best pitcher twice; Martinez's other four losses were each by one run. Martinez's first loss of the year was a 1–0 complete game in which he had 17 strikeouts and 1 walk.

Martinez's WHIP in 2000 was 0.74, not only breaking a 87-year-old modern Major League record set by Walter Johnson, but also the former all-time Major League record set by Guy Hecker, who had a 0.77 in 1882. The American League slugged just .259 against him. They also had a .167 batting average and .213 on base percentage both establishing Major League Baseball records in the modern era. Martinez became the only starting pitcher in history to have more than twice as many strikeouts in a season (284) as hits allowed (128).

In the span of 1999 and 2000, Martínez allowed 288 hits and 69 walks in 430 innings, with 597 strikeouts, an 0.83 WHIP, and a 1.90 ERA. Some statisticians believe that in the circumstances — with lefty-friendly Fenway Park as his home field, in a league with a designated hitter, during the highest offensive period in baseball history — this performance represents the peak for any pitcher in baseball history.

Though he continued his dominance when healthy, carrying a sub-2.00 ERA to the midpoint of the following season, Martínez spent much of 2001 on the disabled list with a rotator cuff injury as the Red Sox slumped to a poor finish. Martínez finished with a 7-3 record, a 2.39 ERA, and 163 strikeouts, but only threw 116 innings.

Healthy in 2002, he rebounded to lead the league with a 2.26 ERA, 0.923 WHIP and 239 strikeouts, while going 20–4. However, that season's American League Cy Young Award narrowly went to 23-game winner Barry Zito of the Oakland A's, despite Zito's higher ERA, higher WHIP, fewer strikeouts, and lower winning percentage. Martínez became the first pitcher since the introduction of the Cy Young Award to lead his league in each of those four statistics, yet not win the award.

Martínez's record was 14–4 in 2003. He won his fifth ERA title with 2.22, also led in WHIP for the fifth time at 1.04, and finished second to league leader Esteban Loaiza by a single strikeout. Martinez came in third for the 2003 Cy Young Award, which went to Toronto's Roy Halladay.

Martínez went 16–9 in 2004, despite an uncharacteristic 3.90 ERA, as the Red Sox won the American League wild card berth. He pitched effectively in the playoffs, contributing to the team's first World Series win in 86 years. Martinez again finished second in AL strikeouts, and was fourth in that winter's Cy Young voting.

The seven-year contract he received from the Red Sox had been considered a huge risk in the 1997 offseason, but Martinez had rewarded the team's hopes with two Cy Young Awards, and six Top-4 finishes. Martinez finished his Red Sox career with a 117–37 record, the highest winning percentage any pitcher has had with any team in baseball history.

After Boston's World Series triumph in 2004, Martinez became a free agent and signed a 4-year, $53 million contract with the New York Mets. In 2005, his first season as a Met, Martinez posted a 15–8 record with a 2.82 ERA, 208 strikeouts, and a league-leading 0.95 WHIP. It was his sixth league WHIP title, and the fifth time that he led the Major Leagues in the category. Opponents batted .204 against him.

Martinez started the 2006 season at the top of his game. At the end of May, he was 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA, with 88 strikeouts and 17 walks and 44 hits allowed in 76 innings; Martinez's record was worse than it could have been, with the Mets bullpen costing him two victories. However, during his May 26 start against the Florida Marlins, Martinez was instructed by the umpires to change his undershirt. He slipped in the corridor, injuring his hip, and his promising season curdled. The effect was not immediately apparent; although Martinez lost the Marlins game, his following start was a scintillating 0–0 duel with Arizona's Brandon Webb. But after that, beginning on June 6, Martinez went 4–7 with a 7.10 ERA in a series of spotty starts interrupted twice by stays on the disabled list. A right calf injury plagued him for the last two months of the season. After Martinez was removed from an ineffective September 15 outing, television cameras found him in the Mets dugout, apparently crying. Subsequent MRI exams revealed a torn muscle in Martinez's left calf, and a torn rotator cuff. Martinez underwent surgery which sidelined him for most of the 2007 season.

On September 3, 2007, Martinez returned from the disabled list with his 207th career win, allowing two earned runs in five efficient innings and collecting his 3000th career strikeout. "I thought I was going to have butterflies and like that," said Martinez, "but I guess I'm too old." Martinez's comeback was considered a great success, as the right-hander went 3-1 in five starts with a 2.57 ERA. But his last start was a crucial 3–0 loss to St. Louis in the final week of the 2007 Mets' historic collapse; Martinez provided a good pitching performance (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 8 K) but his teammates failed to score.

Martinez became just the fourth pitcher to reach 3,000 strikeouts with fewer than 1,000 walks (in Martinez's case, 701). Ferguson Jenkins, Greg Maddux and Curt Schilling had previously done likewise. Martinez also joined Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson to become the third 3,000-strikeout pitcher to have more strikeouts than innings pitched, and is also the first Latin American pitcher to have 3,000 strikeouts.

His unexpectedly strong finish in 2007 raised hopes, but 2008 was a lost season for Martinez. He was injured just four innings into his first game of the season, an April 1 no-decision against the Florida Marlins. He later told reporters he'd felt a "pop" in his left leg. Martinez was diagnosed with a strained hamstring and did not return to action for more than two months. Following his return, his fastball typically topped out in the 90-91mph range, a lower velocity than he'd had during his prime but slightly higher than in recent seasons. Martinez finished the season on a low note, losing all three of his decisions in September en route to a 5–6 record, the first losing record of his career. (Martinez was 0–1 in two appearances in 1992.) His 5.61 ERA and 1.57 WHIP were also Martinez's worst ever, and for the first time in his career, he failed to strike out at least twice as many batters as he walked (87–44).

During his four-year Met contract, Martinez was 32–23 in 79 starts, with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

On April 13, 1994, in his second start as a Montreal Expo, Martinez lost a perfect game with one out in the eighth inning when he hit Cincinnati's Reggie Sanders with a pitch. An angered Sanders charged the mound, and was later ridiculed in the press for assuming that a pitcher would abandon a perfect game in order to hit a batter intentionally. Martinez allowed a leadoff single in the ninth inning, breaking up his no-hitter, and was removed for reliever John Wetteland (who loaded the bases, then allowed two sacrifice flies, thus saddling Martinez with a no-decision).Three years later, in 1997, Martínez had another one-hitter against the Reds; that hit came in the 5th inning.

Martínez has come about as close to throwing a perfect game as possible without actually getting credit for one. On June 3, 1995, while pitching for Montreal, he retired the first 27 Padres hitters he faced. However, the score was still tied 0-0 at that point and the game went into extra innings. The Expos scored a run in the top of the 10th, but Martínez surrendered a double to the 28th batter he faced, Bip Roberts. Expos manager Felipe Alou then removed Martínez from the game, bringing in reliever Mel Rojas, who retired the next three batters.However, Martínez officially recorded neither a perfect game nor a no-hitter. Until 1991, the rules would have judged it differently; however, a rule clarification specified that perfect games, even beyond nine innings, must remain perfect until the game is completed for them to be considered perfect. This retroactively decertified many no-hit games, including Ernie Shore's perfect relief stint in 1917 and Harvey Haddix's legendary 12 perfect innings from 1959 (lost in the 13th).

Martínez also came close to the feat on September 10, 1999, when he beat the New York Yankees 3–1. He faced just 28 batters while striking out 17 and walking none (Martinez hit the game's first batter, Chuck Knoblauch, but he was then caught stealing). Only a solo home run by Chili Davis separated Martínez from a no-hitter. The Davis home run came in the second inning, eliminating any suspense, but this may have been Martinez's most dominant day on the mound. Sportswriter Thomas Boswell called it the best game ever pitched at Yankee Stadium.

On October 11, 1999, Martinez threw six hitless innings in relief to win the final game of the ALDS, a performance detailed above.

On May 28, 2000, Martinez and Roger Clemens had a dramatic duel on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast. The two pitchers both shone, combining to allow only 9 hits and 1 walk while striking out 22. A 0-0 game was finally broken up in the 9th inning by Trot Nixon's home run off Clemens. In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees loaded the bases against a tiring Martinez, but New York could not score, as Pedro completed the shutout.

In the testy Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, after allowing single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings, Martinez hit Yankees right fielder Karim Garcia near the shoulders with a pitch, sparking a shouting match between Martinez and the New York bench. Directing his attention at Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, Martinez jabbed a finger into the side of his own head, which some interpreted as a threatened beanball, including an enraged Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer. Emotions remained high in the bottom of the inning, which was led off by Boston slugger Manny Ramírez. Ramirez became irate over a high strike from Roger Clemens, and both benches cleared. During the ensuing commotion, the 72-year-old Zimmer charged towards Martínez; Martínez deflected Zimmer's charge and Zimmer fell to the ground. Later, Martinez claimed that he was not indicating that he would hit Posada in the head, but that he would remember what Posada was saying to him.

Martínez was also on the mound for Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS versus the Yankees. With the Red Sox ahead 5-2 at the start of the 8th inning, a tiring Martinez pitched his way into trouble. He was visited on the mound by manager Grady Little, but was left in to pitch, in a controversial non-move. The Yankees tied the score against Martinez in that inning on four successive hits, leading to a dramatic extra-inning, series-ending victory for New York.

After a comparatively lackluster season in 2004 (though still a solid season by general standards), Pedro Martínez got the win in Game 3 of the World Series. He shut out the St. Louis Cardinals through seven innings, recording his final 14 outs consecutively.

With the Mets on August 14, 2005, against the Dodgers, Pedro pitched 7⅓ hitless innings, but ended up losing the no-hitter and the game.

In June 2006, the Mets played an interleague series against the Red Sox, which was Martinez's first appearance at Fenway Park since leaving the team. The Red Sox gave their former ace a two minute video tribute on June 27, but showed no courtesies to Martinez the following night. In his June 28, 2006 start, Martinez lasted only 3 innings, and was rocked for 8 runs (6 earned) on 7 hits, losing his worst game as a Met just before going onto the disabled list. The Red Sox are the only Major League team against which Martinez does not have a victory.

Martínez is a very controversial pitcher, both on and off the field. He refuses to yield the inside part of the plate, and has a high number of batters hit as a result. His career rate for hitting batters is historically high, particularly for a pitcher otherwise noted for his exceptional control.

Following the Red Sox' win in the 2004 World Series, Martínez dedicated part of the win to the fans of the Montreal Expos, his former team. Martínez said they deserved recognition after having the 1994 World Series taken away from them, and their team taken away in 2004. The Expos had an MLB-best 74–40 record at the time of the strike; the Montreal franchise was relocated to Washington D.C. following the 2004 season.

Martinez faced criticism in 2008, after a YouTube-linked video made known his involvement at a cockfighting tournament two years earlier. The event had taken place in the Dominican Republic, where cockfighting is legal.

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Mark McGwire

Mark mcgwire.jpg

Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963) is a former Major League Baseball player who played the majority of his major league career with the Oakland Athletics before finishing his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the highest at bats per home run ratio in baseball history (Babe Ruth is second at 11.80). In 1987, he broke the single-season home run record for rookies, with 49. In 1998, McGwire broke the single-season home run record by hitting 70.

McGwire worked hard on his defense at first base and resisted being seen as a one-dimensional player. He was regarded as a good fielder in his early years, even winning a Gold Glove in 1990. In later years his mobility was reduced, and his defense declined as a result.

McGwire's total of 363 home runs with the Athletics is that franchise's record. He was selected or voted to nine American League All-Star Teams while playing for the A's, including six consecutive appearances from 1987 through 1992.

McGwire's batting average, .289 as a rookie, plummeted over the next three seasons to .260, .231, and .235, respectively. In 1991, he bottomed out with a .201 average and 22 homers. Manager Tony LaRussa sat him out the last game of the season so his average could not dip below .200. Despite the declining batting averages during this time of his career, his high bases on balls totals allowed him to maintain acceptable on-base percentages. In fact, when he hit .201, his adjusted OPS (OPS+) was 103, or just over league average.

McGwire stated in an interview with Sports Illustrated that 1991 was the "worst year" of his life, with his on-field performance and marriage difficulties, and that he "didn't lift a weight" that entire season. With all that behind him, McGwire re-dedicated himself to working out harder than ever and received visual therapy from a sports vision specialist.

He changed his clean-cut look and grew a mullet, a mustache, and a goatee to look more fearsome. The "new look" McGwire hit 42 homers and batted .268 in 1992, with an outstanding OPS+ of 175 (the highest of his career to that point), and put on a home run hitting show at the Home Run Derby during the 1992 All-Star break. His performance propelled the A's to the American League West Division title in 1992, their fourth in five seasons. The A's lost in the playoffs to the eventual World Series champion, the Toronto Blue Jays. Mark smashed a game winning homer in the 9th inning to win the game. But running the bases, he hurt his foot.

Foot injuries limited McGwire to a total of 74 games in 1993 and 1994, and just 9 home runs in each of the two seasons. He played just 104 games in 1995, but his proportional totals were much improved: 39 home runs in 317 at-bats. In 1996, McGwire belted a major league leading 52 homers in 423 at-bats. He also hit a career high .312 average, and led the league in both slugging percentage and on base percentage.

In 1997, he hit a major league-leading 58 home runs for the season, but did not lead either league in homers, as he was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 31, when he had hit 34 homers for the A's. It was widely believed that McGwire, in the last year of his contract, would play for the Cardinals only for the remainder of the season, then seek a long-term deal, possibly in Southern California, where he still lives. However, McGwire signed a contract to stay in St. Louis instead. (It is also believed that McGwire encouraged Jim Edmonds, another Southern California resident, who was traded to St. Louis, to sign a contract with the Cardinals.) There was much media speculation as to where Maris' record would be broken in 1998, and a debate as to who would break it, Ken Griffey, Jr. or McGwire.

As the 1998 season progressed, it became clear that McGwire, Griffey, and Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa were all on track to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record. The race to break the record first became a media spectacle as the lead swung back and forth. On August 19, Sosa hit his 48th home run to move ahead of McGwire. However, later that day McGwire hit his 48th and 49th home runs to regain the lead. Griffey had injury problems and dropped out of the competition, leaving Sosa and McGwire to battle it out to #62.

On September 8, 1998 at 8:18 p.m. et, McGwire hit a pitch by the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. The fact that the game was against the Cubs meant that Sosa was able to congratulate McGwire personally on his achievement. Members of Roger Maris' family were also present at the game. Memorably, the ball was freely given to him in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it.

McGwire finished the 1998 season with 70 home runs, four ahead of Sosa's 66, a record that was broken three seasons later by Barry Bonds. Since Babe Ruth had hit 60 home runs in 154 games during 1927, and Roger Maris hit 61 in 161 games in 1961 (not breaking the record until after the 154 game mark), some had quibbled whether the single-season record was actually broken. With McGwire breaking the record in his team's 145th game, he laid to rest the issue of the extended season.

Although McGwire had the prestige of the home run record, Sammy Sosa (who had fewer HR but more RBI and stolen bases) would win the 1998 NL MVP award, as his contributions helped propel the Cubs to the playoffs (the Cardinals in 1998 finished third in the NL Central). Many credited the Sosa-McGwire home run chase in 1998 with "saving baseball," by both bringing in new, younger fans and bringing back old fans soured by the 1994 Major League Baseball strike.

In 1999, McGwire hit 65 home runs and drove in a league-leading 147 runs while only having 145 hits, the highest RBI-per-hit tally in baseball history. Sammy Sosa again was right on his tail, hitting 63 home runs.

In 2000 and 2001, McGwire had reduced numbers as he played in a reduced amount of games (32-HR in 89 games, and 29-HR in 97 games, respectively).

McGwire ended his career with 583 home runs, which was then fifth-most in history. He led Major League Baseball in home runs five times. He hit 50 or more home runs four seasons in a row (1996-1999), leading Major League Baseball in homers all four seasons, and also shared the MLB lead in home runs in 1987, his rookie year, when he set the Major League record for home runs by a rookie with 49. McGwire had the fewest career triples-- 6-- of any player with 5,000 or more at-bats.

In 1999, the The Sporting News released a list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. The list had been compiled during the 1998 season and included statistics through the 1997 season. McGwire was ranked at Number 91. That year, he was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team (though he received fewer votes than any other selected player). In 2005, The Sporting News published an update of their list and McGwire had been moved up to Number 84.

However, in the 2007 and 2008 balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, McGwire failed to attain election, receiving 128 of the 545 cast, 23.5% of the vote. He received the same exact amount of votes both years. It is widely conceded that this was related to the steroid scandal and McGwire's less than forthcoming testimony (see below).

A portion of Interstate 70 in St. Louis and near Busch Stadium was named "Mark McGwire Highway" to honor his 70 home run achievement, along with his various good works for the city.

Although McGwire has never admitted to or been convicted of any steroid use, many of his accomplishments, particularly his historic home run surge late in his career, have come into question due to his connection to the steroid scandal in Major League Baseball. Despite being under a cloud of suspicion for years, McGwire has repeatedly refused to discuss his involvement, or lack thereof, with steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. McGwire was not identified by name in The Mitchell Report, but he has been accused by former teammate Jose Canseco, who said he personally injected McGwire with steroids.

In 1998, after an article written by Associated Press writer Steve Wilstein, McGwire admitted to taking steroid-precursor androstenedione, an over-the-counter muscle enhancement product. Rumors surfaced later that McGwire admitted to the use of androstenedione to throw off the scent of the steroids he was allegedly using. While legal at the time under U.S. law and for use in MLB, it had already been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the NFL and the IOC.

In 2005, McGwire and Canseco were subpoenaed to testify at a congressional hearing on steroids, along with five other baseball players and four baseball executives. Canseco had released Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, a book in which he spoke positively about steroids, and made various claims—among them, that McGwire had been using performance enhancing drugs since the 1980s. During his testimony on March 17, 2005, McGwire declined to answer questions under oath when he appeared before the House Government Reform Committee.

While no legal action has been taken against McGwire, in baseball or out of it, his testimony cost him public affection and support. In 1999, McGwire was voted to the All-Century Team, and upon his retirement in 2001, he was uniformly characterized as "a future Hall of Famer." However, when his Cooperstown eligibility began in 2006–07, McGwire received less than a quarter of the vote. Several of these sportswriters indicated that they were casting a protest non-vote in McGwire's first year of eligibility, or that they wanted more time to consider the developing steroid story in baseball; some noted that McGwire's relatively low career batting average (.263) and the fact that he did not attain 2,000 hits during his career as deciding factors to abstain. It is unclear where McGwire's true level of ballot support will end up leveling off.

On January 22, 2009, McGwire's brother Jay circulated a book proposal entitled The McGwire Family Secret: The Truth about Steroids, a slugger and Ultimate Redemption. The book proposal alleged that Jay was the one that introduced Mark to steroids in 1994 and was the first one to inject him with Deca-Durabolin. Jay also stated that McGwire used HGH during his baseball career.

McGwire was born in Pomona, California. He attended Damien High School in La Verne, California where he started playing baseball, golf, and basketball. He played college baseball at the University of Southern California under legendary coach Rod Dedeaux.

His brother Dan McGwire was a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins of the NFL in the early 1990s, and was a first round draft choice out of San Diego State University, where he was teammates with Marshall Faulk.

McGwire married Stephanie Slemer, a former pharmaceutical sales representative from the St. Louis area, in Las Vegas on April 20, 2002. They reside in a gated community in Shady Canyon Irvine, California and together created the Mark McGwire Foundation for Children to support agencies that work with children who have been sexually and physically abused to help come to terms with a difficult childhood.

McGwire currently avoids the media. He spends much of his free time playing golf. He is currently working as a hitting coach for Major League players Matt Holliday, Bobby Crosby, Chris Duncan and Skip Schumaker.

McGwire appeared on an episode of the sitcom Mad About You, playing a ballplayer infatuated with Helen Hunt's character.

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Source : Wikipedia