Baseball 101: Incentive often affects outcome

Jul 31, 2001 3:02 AM

Bettors should consider emotions when a player is traded or rumored to be dealt.

Shortstop Neifi Perez hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the Colorado Rockies in Monday’s 8-2 win over San Francisco. After the game, Perez was traded to Kansas City as part of the Jermaine Dye move to Oakland. In his first game with the Royals, an inspired Perez doubled and scored a run.

No Bull From Pen:

The name is Ben Weber, of the Anaheim Angels, and you won’t believe how this guy throws a baseball.

Weber tossed a scoreless inning Saturday night against Baltimore, which is no great feat. However, the way he did it was.

The 31-year-old right-hander has a delivery that looks like a tidal wave. First, there is this double-clutch at the beginning of his motion, followed by a rapid forward motion of arms and legs that seems to cut in half the 60-foot distance between the mound and home plate. Weber’s style invokes memories of Dick “The Monster” Radatz, Boston’s ace reliever of the 1960s, and Phil “The Vulture” Regan, who enjoyed a successful career in the 1980s.

Maybe Weber will gain a nickname when he doesn’t pitch at midnight on the East Coast. Weber will have to settle for a 6-1 record and a 2.68 ERA. Weber adds more depth to a bullpen that features All-Star closer Troy Percival, Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Al Levine.

Trivial pursuit

Two reasons why Cleveland caught Minnesota in the AL Central ””Jim Thome and some unkind scheduling. Thome is hitting .327 with 29 HR and 75 RBI since May 1 for the Indians. On the flipside, the Twins have had an uphill battle with Seattle and Oakland in back-to-back, consecutive home-and-home matchups.

The Chicago Cubs are just 10-35 when they score fewer than four runs, which adds more credence for acquiring Fred McGriff from Tampa Bay”¦There hasn’t been a Los Angeles Dodgers-New York Yankees series in nearly a quarter century, but both teams are now playing the best ball in the majors.

Arizona may still need another pitcher. Albie Lopez, acquired from Tampa Bay, lost 11-4 in his first start.

Major Medical

The Boston Red Sox hit the trifecta over the weekend. Bret Saberhagen came off the disabled list Friday and tossed a three-hitter over six innings against Chicago for his first victory in 22 months. Then outfielder Carl Everett was activated Saturday. Finally, shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, Boston’s heart and soul, homered and had the game-winning hit in his first game Sunday. Now, if Pedro Martinez can heal a tired elbow by September, the Red Sox just might be able to beat the surging Yankees in the American League East.

Money Market

Call last week “ap-pauling” if you weren’t on the upset victories in starts from Paul Wilson (Tampa Bay) and Paul Byrd (Kansas City).

Byrd tossed a complete-game six-hitter against Seattle and helped his own cause with a double. Wilson, an emergency starter, allowed just three hits, struck out five and walked none in his first start since May 31. Both are testimonials to perseverance.

Here is the list of losing high-priced favorites.

Sunday, July 22 (favorites 9-6-1)

Darryl Kile (—190) ”” Pittsburgh 2, Arizona 0

Monday, July 23 (favorites 6-5)

Tom Glavine (—210) ”” Cincinnati 5, Atlanta 4

Tuesday, July 24 (favorites 9-5)

Freddy Garcia (—255) ”” Kansas City 6, Seattle 1

John Burkett (—200) ”” Cincinnati 11, Atlanta 3

Wednesday, July 25 (favorites 9-7)

Aaron Sele (—255) ”” Kansas City 5, Seattle 1

Thursday, July 26 (favorite 6-6)

Curt Schilling (—215) ”” San Francisco 11, Arizona 3

Friday, July 27 (favorites 7-6)

Shane Reynolds (—160) ”” Pittsburgh 3, Houston 2

Saturday, July 28 (favorites 8-7)

Tim Hudson (-250) ”” Kansas City 9, Oakland 3

NL teams on the upswing: Los Angeles (+425), Cincy (+400) and SF (+215). Going down: Colorado (- 365), Arizona (- 260) and Montreal (- 255). Bullish in AL: NY Yanks (+700), Kansas City (+595) and Chicago (+200). Headed south: Detroit (- 495), Baltimore (- 480) and Toronto (- 455).

JULY 28

NL Money Line Record

Los Angeles  

+1145

Philadelphia  

+1130

Chicago  

+1030

San Diego  

+800

Arizona  

+455

San Francisco  

+385

Florida  

-160

Houston  

-275

St. Louis  

-555

Atlanta  

-680

Montreal  

-905

Milwaukee  

-940

Pittsburgh  

-1075

Cincinnati  

-1255

New York  

-1380

Colorado  

-3015

AL Money Line Record

Seattle  

+3750

Minnesota  

+1645

New York  

+795

Anaheim  

+585

Boston  

+130

Chicago  

-355

Cleveland  

-420

Oakland  

-545

Detroit  

-575

Kansas City  

-635

Baltimore  

-835

Toronto  

-1260

Texas  

-1550

Tampa Bay  

-2280

(Based on $100 ML bets for each game of the season)

Darn Lefties

There seems to be an untapped pool of talented left-handers on the Busch Stadium assembly line.

Bud Smith, is the toast of St. Louis, after posting a 3-0 record and 2.60 ERA in place of lefty phenom Rick Ankiel. Smith’s last outing was a five-hit, one-run gem over seven innings July 26 against NL Central leader Chicago. Opposing batters are hitting just .228 against the 21-year-old California native. Meanwhile, Ankiel is pitching well in Class A-ball as he tries to recapture the control that had him regarded as baseball’s finest young pitcher.

Sterling Hitchcock, who recently rejoined San Diego after a lengthy stint on the DL, would be quite a catch for a team fighting for a playoff shot. Hitchcock, a noted “big-game pitcher, is 2-1 with a fine 3.32 ERA in 19 innings.

You make the call

The E stands more for E-mails than errors these days. Bettors should note the quotes to several umpires from Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations. The comments may affect their home plate assignments in future games, particularly those immediately occurring.

To 14-year veteran ump Jim Joyce: “Why so many pitches in this game? And why did it take so long? Hunt for strikes low and in.” The ”˜over’ is 11-9 with Joyce behind the plate.

To Angel Hernandez, a nine-year vet.: “Just saw that your game in Cincinnati was 300 pitches. The major league average for a nine-inning game is 283. You must get your pitch count down per game.” Hernandez has seen 13 of his 23 home plate assignments finish ”˜under’ the posted run total.

To fifth-year ump Fieldin Culbreth: “I continue to be concerned about your strike zone. You are not calling enough strikes from game to game.” Culbreth has seen the ”˜over’ go 12-10, but five of his last six home plate games have been ”˜under’ the posted total.

Over

Gibson 14-7, Fichter 10-4, Schrieber 12-6, Cousins 15-8, Kulpa 14-8, Rapuano 14-8, Reynolds 12-7, Foster 12-7, A. Fletcher 12-7, Everitt 13-9, Davis 13-9.

Under

Marsh 12-3, Meriwether 16-4, Meals 15-5, J. Hirschbeck 14-6; Miller 15-8, Cuzzi 14-7, M. Hirschbeck 13-7, Gorman 13-7, Iassogna 14-8, Eddings 12-8, Reilly 12-8. (Statistics provied by National Sports Services, Inc.)