Major League Baseball

Cleveland Indians shortstop Jay Bell & MLB’s rookie one-swing wonders

Imagine waiting three years for your one big opportunity. Then imagine knocking it out of the park on the very first pitch.

Jay Bell on 1988 Topps card #637

Jay Bell on 1988 Topps card #637

That’s how the first Major League Baseball swing played out for Cleveland Indians shortstop Jay Bell in 1986 when he connected for a homer off Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven in his first trip to the big league plate.

It turns out that after being called up from the instructional league in September of that year Bell got some solid advice from future Indians manager Mike Hargrove, who advised the struggling hitter on the way to the airport to swing at the first pitch he sees as it would likely be a fastball.

The irony was likely not lost on the baseball fans in attendance that day.

After being taken with the No. 8 overall pick out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 1984 Bell was part of a minor league package shipped to Cleveland in exchange for Blyleven.

Cleveland also received pitcher Curt Wardle and outfielder Jim Weaver up front in the deal, and later pitcher Rich Yett. The man affectionately known as the Frying Dutchman would go on to help the Twins win a championship in 1987 just as Bell’s career was getting started.

Can you imagine how rare it must be to hit a major league home run off of the first pitch hurled your way?

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Adrian Gonzalez off to monster MLB start with Los Angeles Dodgers

There’s one player that stands head and shoulders above the rest less than a week into the Major League Baseball season. On Wednesday, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez blasted three home runs in his first three at-bats to help the host Los Angeles Dodgers take two of three from the San Diego Padres.

Perhaps even more impressive is that Gonzalez has opened the season batting 10-for-13 with 5 homers, 7 RBI, 7 runs scored and 27 total bases. In just three games.

Gonzalez finished 4-for-4 Wednesday after going 3-for-4 on Tuesday and 3-for-5 on Monday.

Six different players have recorded six hits so far this week while five others have each connected on two home runs.

It’s to be noted that announcer Vin Scully mentions in the video above that the last player to start a Dodgers season with homers in his first three games was Jimmy Wynn, who played in L.A. from 1974-75.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Ernie Banks passes, changes in MLB, Klay Thompson sets record, Orlando Magic struggle, legacy of Mike Krzyzewski, potential strike in MLS

Cliff Bell of CRB Entertainment and Open Mike producer Mike Venditti joined the show Saturday morning to talk about a number of different topics in the world of baseball, basketball and soccer.

Check the links below to listen in on the conversations.

– We got things started by paying our respects to “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks before talking about the proposed pitching changes Major League Baseball plans to experiment with at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this coming year.

– We then talked about the NBA record-setting night put together by Klay Thompson during a 37-point third quarter outburst and how the Orlando Magic continue to struggle against the worst teams in the league. Shout out to Brian for calling into the show to share his thoughts on the Magic.

– The show finished up with a rundown of the top pro and college basketball games scheduled over the next few days, talk about legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski chasing his 1,000th win and about how a potential strike in Major League Soccer could impact the start of Orlando City Soccer Club’s professional debut.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Talking baseball & football hall of fames

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio each were named to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week despite the arrogance of the very people that have covered the sport over the years. The Pro Football Hall of Fame also announced the 15 finalists for its Class of 2015, which will be finalized on Jan. 31.

( – Click to listen to J.C. and Chris talk about baseball & football halls of fame – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: My son puked on me while watching playoff baseball & other Orlando sports happenings

As if being a first-time parent wasn’t tough enough, my 22-month old son greeted me with a new surprise in the world of parenting last week while we sat on the recliner together to watch afternoon postseason baseball. I’m still not sure if it was the actual act of puking, or the clean-up that followed, that nearly made me sick to my own stomach.

( – Click here for the story of J.C. being puked on and hear him talk about Orlando sports – )

The segment continues with talk about the pedestrian expectations of the Orlando Magic and the overwhelmingly huge payout for one Orlando City Soccer Club player.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: MLB postseason, NCAA football & NFL updates

On Saturday Chris Vazquez and I talked about Major League Baseball’s postseason as well as upcoming college football and National Football League games. Vazquez also provided his weekly picks for fantasy football players and Baltimore Orioles fan Ryan McCall joined us to talk about his visit to Camden Yards on Friday.

( – Click here for MLB playoff talk and to hear from O’s fan Ryan McCall – )

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk upcoming college football matchups – )

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk fantasy football and NFL matchups – )

 

Kansas City Royals win first postseason game since 1985

As if getting to the postseason for the first time since 1985 wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, the Kansas City Royals won their wild card matchup against the Oakland Athletics in dramatic fashion late Tuesday night.

Salvador Perez hit a walk-off shot along the line in left field with two outs in the bottom of the 12th to plate Eric Hosmer, giving the Royals a come-from-behind 9-8 win over the A’s. Oakland led 7-3 after seven innings before Kansas City started chipping away at the deficit and eventually tied the game in the bottom of the ninth.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Derek Jeter and the MLB Postseason

On Saturday we relived the exciting Thursday night effort turned in by Derek Jeter in his final home game at Yankee Stadium. We also touched on the Kansas City Royals making the postseason for the first time since 1985 and updated the final playoff push for MLB teams as the regular season winds down this weekend.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris Vazquez talk Major League Baseball – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Jameis Winston, NFL injuries, Orlando City Changes, MLB Postseason, Giancarlo Stanton injury

The Carnahan Chronicles weekly radio show on AM 740 The Game got back up and running this week with a number of topics from the world of football, soccer and baseball.

Producer Chris Vazquez joined in on the conversation about the Jameis Winston suspension and college football weekend, along with recent injuries in the National Football League. We also talked about the injury to Giancarlo Stanton and the postseason races in Major League Baseball after answering a call from Austin about the Orlando City Soccer Club interview with Dennis Chin.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk Jameis Winston and college football – )

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk injuries in NFL and upcoming schedule – )

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk MLB postseason and take call about OCSC – )

Michael Cuddyer Hits For the Cycle For Second Time in MLB Career

It’s hard enough for players to hit for the cycle at least once in their Major League Baseball careers, never mind becoming just one of three big-leaguers ever to do so in both the American and National leagues. What makes the only cycle of the 2014 season so interesting is the familiarity involving a couple players and a pair of games.

Late Sunday night Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer accomplished the feat with a huge grin on his face when he belted a double down the third base line off of Manny Parra in the eighth inning of a 10-5 win at home over the Cincinnati Reds.

While with the Brewers on May 22, 2009, Parra gave up three of the hits Cuddyer would need for his first cycle (while with the Minnesota Twins) before going on to finish it off at the Metrodome with a triple off of Jorge Julio, who had played for the Rockies two years earlier.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: August 16, 2014 Edition

On Saturday I took to the AM 740 The Game airwaves to talk about a number of topics for the past week alongside producer Chris Vazquez. Check out each segment listed below.

Click here to listen to us talk about the sports movie Robin Williams appeared in and the dirt-track racing accident involving NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

Click here to listen to us talk about Blake Bortles and pro football teams in Florida along with other NFL preseason topics.

Click here to listen to us talk about the 2014-15 Orlando Magic schedule and the Team USA Basketball squad.

– Click here to listen to us talk about the Orlando City Soccer Club, Major League Baseball and other odds and ends to close out the show.

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Bobby Cox and the MLB Hall of Fame

I was fortunate to be granted the experience of being a part of the grounds crew at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee during Houston Astros spring training games before the start of the 2004 and 2005 seasons. There was plenty of excitement surrounding that club at the time as they would make a run at the World Series before being swept by the Chicago White Sox.

Aside from working in the trenches with some great people, I was granted front row access to be around Astros players such as Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, among many others. Not to mention the random run-ins with Nolan Ryan and high-profile players and managers from opposing teams.

As a life-long supporter of the New York Mets since way back in the late 1980s, I never got too excited about the Atlanta Braves making the crosstown trek to Osceola County Stadium to play the Astros. I could do without seeing Mets-killer Chipper Jones and manager Bobby Cox. But then one afternoon Cox softened me up a bit while his team took batting practice under the bright Florida sun. I’ve never been able to see him in the same way as I once did ever since.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. talk about Bobby Cox and the MLB Hall of Fame – )

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Carnahan Coverage: U.S. Men’s National Team Finishes Preparation for World Cup in Jacksonville

If you’ve ever wondered what’s become of former Major League Baseball shortstop Rafael Furcal I’ve got some news to pass along to you.

I spent the past weekend in Jacksonville covering the U.S. Men’s National Team for Major League Soccer, where I wrote a number of stories over the course of Friday and Saturday. But I did other things while I was there as well, such as attending a Jacksonville Suns baseball game before walking across the street to EverBank Field for the soccer match.

Below are the links to all eight soccer stories about the USMNT from the weekend. The first story created quite a bit of buzz among soccer fans and media members alike, which makes interest in a Furcal comeback pale mightily in comparison. But while I was at the park…

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