This Day In Baseball February 3
Events for February 3
The Mets tell a surprised Tim McCarver that he will not be returning to the team’s broadcast booth. The franchise’s pitching legend Tom Seaver, who was in the television booth for the Yankees from 1989 to 1993, will replace the highly regarded, but outspoken 57 year-old broadcaster, who spent 16 years with the team doing local telecasts.
Miguel Tejada hits a three-run home run to help the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers rally past Mexico’s Mazatlan Reindeer, 10 – 6, in the Caribbean World Series. In the second game, Marco Scutaro hits a grand slam to propel the Caracas Lions of Venezuela to a 6 – 1 victory against Puerto Rico’s Carolina Giants. Scutaro and his Caracas teammates are 2-0 in round-robin play. The Dominican Republic is also undefeated after two games.
The Boston Red Sox finish up their deal for slick-fielding shortstop Alex Gonzalez, plugging their last big hole after a major offseason upheaval. Gonzalez, who spent his first eight major league seasons with the Florida Marlins, will reportedly get a one-year contract worth $3 million. An All-Star in 1999, Gonzalez also helped the Marlins win the World Series in 2003. He committed 32 errors in the last two seasons (16 each), compared to the 30 committed by Edgar Renteria in his only season with the Red Sox.
The San Francisco Giants rename their stadium as a result of continuous changes in the corporate world that pay handsomely for sports naming rights, giving the stadium its third identity since its opening in 2000. The Giants’ ballpark is changing its name to AT&T Park beginning in March. The stadium was originally called “Pacific Bell Park” and was later renamed “SBC Park”. The ballpark is scheduled to host the 2007 All-Star Game.
A rocky start from Andrew Lorraine gives the Aguilas Cibaeñas two runs as Lorraine is wild from the get-go, walking leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal on four pitches. The Aguilas go on to a 3 – 1 win over the Tigres de Aragua behind six different pitchers. Francisco Cruceta gets the win and Arnie Munoz the save.
The 23rd Cuban All-Star Game is held in front of over 28,000 fans at Guillermón Moncada Stadium. The Occidentales (Westerners) top the Orientales (Easterners) in an exciting 6 – 5 game. The 2007-2008 Serie Nacional home run leader, Alexei Bell, clouts a three-run 1st-inning shot off Yulieski González, to get the Orientales going. The Occidentales rally with five runs in the bottom of the 3rd, with two RBI apiece by Eriel Sánchez and Ernesto Molinet. The game is 5 – 5 entering the bottom of the 9th, when Yosvany Peraza hits a walk-off home run against Jorge Longa. Peraza wins MVP honors. Alexei Gil is the winning pitcher.
The Tigres del Licey top the Yaquis de Obregón in a 11-inning, 2 – 1 contest in the 2008 Caribbean Series. Center fielder Jose Bautista homers in the 2nd and hits a sacrifice fly in the 11th to score Yordany Ramirez, driving in both of Licey’s runs. Nelson Figueroa throws over 9 innings of work for the Yaquis in their upset bid before he is finally yanked in the 10th.
Justin Verlander (11-17, 4.84) agrees to a one-year contract worth $3,675,000 to stay with the Tigers, a dramatic increase from last season. The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year’s original five-year contract, which slated the right-hander for a $600,000 salary in 2009, could be terminated if he had enough service time to become eligible for arbitration.
Nelson Figueroa strikes out 8 in a complete game 7 – 1 victory, leading Escogido over Hermosillo on the second day of the 2010 Caribbean Series. A solo home run by Carlos Valencia is the only blemish on Figueroa’s record, while his teammate with the Mets last season, Fernando Martinez, hits a two-run homer for the winners.
In a SRO news conference at Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte becomes the first ‘Core of Four’ teammate, a group which includes shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, and closer Mariano Rivera, to announce his retirement. The 38 year-old southpaw, who compiled a 240-138 record during his sixteen years in the major leagues, tells the reporters, “my body would get to where it needs to be, but my heart’s not where it needs to be.”
2011 – All four teams have a 1-1 record following the second day of games in the 2011 Caribbean Series. The Toros del Este beat Anzoátegui, 6 – 5, in the first game, as Kevin Barker homers and drives in three runs. In the second game, Caguas defeats Obregon, 7 – 3. 3B Agustín Murillo commits two errors, giving him four in two games, that lead to five 1st-inning Puerto Rican runs off Rolando Valdez. Juan Padilla pitches four scoreless innings in relief of starter Dylan Owen for the win.
2012 – Escogido improves to 2-0 in the 2012 Caribbean Series with a 5 – 2 win over Aragua in 13 innings. Andy Dirks breaks the deadlock with an RBI single, and Erick Almonte follows with a two-run double as Merkin Valdez picks up the win. In the other game, Obregon shuts out Mayagüez, 2 – 0, behind the pitching of Randy Keisler, who goes seven innings without allowing a run; Dan Serafini and Luis Ayala then finish the day’s work.
In Day 3 of the 2013 Caribbean Series, Escogido remains unbeaten with a 6 – 5 win over Obregón in 11 innings. Miguel Tejada hits a two-run homer in the 3rd for Escogido, extending his home run record (14) in his 12th Caribbean Series, however closer Fernando Rodney blows a save opportunity in the 9th, forcing extra innings. Ricardo Nanita then ends the game with a single against Luis Ayala. In the other contest, Magallanes defeats Caguas, 3 – 1, as the Puerto Ricans remain winless. Ken Ray allows only one run over 6 innings to get the win over Zack Segovia; Jose Castillo goes 2 for 4 with a homer and 2 runs scored.
Six new members are inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame. The big name is Fernando Valenzuela (who won 173 games in the majors). Joining him are three other Mexican former major leaguers: Frank Estrada, who won one Caribbean Series as a player and two as a manager, Houston Jiménez (who hit .330 in four Caribbean Series) and Ever Magallanes (twice the All-Star 2B in a Caribbean Series; .358 Caribbean Series average). Executives Renato Vega and Arturo León Lerma round out the class.
In a matchup of unbeaten teams at the 2014 Caribbean Series, the Navegantes del Magallanes knock Naranjeros de Hermosillo starter Nate Reed out in the 2nd inning, up 4 – 0, with Ezequiel Carrera scoring and driving in runs. Carlos Zambrano winds up the victory in a 6 – 3 win. Mexico is down, 4 – 3, with Jon Weber on third in the 6th but Luis Ramirez retires cleanup man Zelous Wheeler and #5 batter Daryle Ward. Ramón Hernández hits a two-run insurance homer off Jose Lopez. In the other game, Villa Clara again falls flat, losing, 9 – 2, with Jon Leicester of Licey tossing 7 shutout innings of three-hit ball.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announces four new members: Murray Cook (the second Canadian to be a General Manager for a major league team), Jim Ridley (long-time scout and manager of the Canadian 1988 Olympic team), Dave Van Horne (Montréal Expos announcer for over 30 years) and Tim Wallach (Expos All-Star third baseman).
The Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame inducts six new members, four from Puerto Rico and two from Cuba. Roberto Clemente, Héctor Villanueva (1993 Caribbean Series MVP), Bernie Williams and Juan González (6th in average in Caribbean Series history) are the Puerto Ricans selected; the latter two had been on the “Dream Team” in the 1995 Caribbean Series. The Cubans are Nap Reyes and Connie Marrero, regulars in the 1950s Series; Marrero had a 1.59 Series ERA and Reyes was the first man to manage consecutive Series champions. They are the first Cubans inducted in nine years.
The Cuban representatives continue to struggle at the 2015 Caribbean Series. After Villa Clara finished last in the tournament in 2014, Pinar del Río drops to 0-2 with a 6 – 1 loss to the Gigantes del Cibao. Rafael Perez is the winner over Norge Luis Ruiz while Willy Garcia hits a two-run homer. In the second game, Culiacan beats Santurce, 3 – 2 as the Puerot Rican hosts also fall to 0-2. The Cubans get more bad news off the field when they learn that two of their players, SS Dainer Moreira and P Vladimir Gutierrez have decided to defect.
At the 2016 Caribbean Series, Mazatlan improves to 3-0 and clinches a semi-final slot with a 6 – 4 win over Aragua behind the pitching of Alejandro Soto and a two-run double by Yuniesky Betancourt. In the other game, Santurce romps past Ciego de Ávila, 12 – 1, in a battle of winless teams. Adonis Garcia, Dariel Alvarez and Jose Martinez all collect three hits, while Rene Garcia has four RBIs and Kennys Vargas hits a homer and drives in three.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame also names its 2016 class of inductees. Former major league pitchers Pat Hentgen and Dennis Martinez, who starred the Toronto Blue Jays and Montréal Expos, respectively, Blue Jays broadcaster Tony Kubek and executive Howard Starkman, Team Canada executive Wayne Norton, and pioneer William Shuttleworth compose this year’s class.
The Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame adds four new inductees. Luis Polonia (all-time Caribbean Series leader in games and hits), Gerónimo Berroa (one of only three players to twice win Caribbean Series MVP), Tony Peña and Felipe Alou (manager of the 1990 Caribbean Series champs) are the new selections.
2017 – At the 2017 Caribbean Series, Sebastian Valle hits a game-winning grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to lead Aguilas de Mexicali to a 5 – 1 win over Tigres de Aragua. Alazanes de Granma also wins for the second time, defeating Criollos de Caguas, 6 – 1, as William Saavedra homers and drives in three runs.
2018 – In the second day of the 2018 Caribbean Series held in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Caribes de Anzoátegui roll to a 15 – 4 victory over Aguilas Cibaenas as Balbino Fuenmayor explodes for 5 hits, including a pair of homers. Rafael Ortega and Rene Reyes also go deep for the Venezuelans. In a puzzling development, it’s the 11th straight loss for a Dominican team at the Caribbean Series. In the second game, Alazanes de Granma improve to 2-0 with a 5 – 4 win over Tomateros de Culiacán. Pinch-runner Yoelqui Cespedes scores the go-ahead run in the 8th on a sacrifice fly by Raúl González.