Caught Looking recaps the most memorable moments and accomplishments from the 2010 season. Here are moments six through ten.

10. Cliff Lee‘s blanking the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS
With the American League Championship Series tied at one game apiece, the Yankees were looking to get a leg up on the Rangers with the series shifting to Yankee Stadium. Cliff Lee had other ideas. Lee was on his own stratosphere when he took the mound for Texas in Game 3 as he fired 8.0 shutout innings with just two hits, one walk while striking out 13 Yankees on the night. The Yankees missed out on acquiring Lee mid-season, and they realized the consequences quickly in that Game 3. The Rangers won by the score of 8-0 to take a 2-games-1 lead, and the Yankees never recovered in the series and were promptly sent home in six games.

9. The National League finally wins an All-Star game.
It only took 14 years and a 12-game winning streak by the American League before the NL finally broke through with a victory in the All-Star game. The NL defeated the AL 3-1 on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim to break the amazing AL streak. Braves catcher Brian McCann ripped a three-run double in the seventh inning to give the NL all the runs needed in this one and was named the game’s MVP. The game would feature the AL’s only run as unearned along with some questionable managing by Joe Girardi in the ninth inning.

8. Ken Griffey Jr. announces his retirement
Following two months of the 2010 season, Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement in early June. The man who was destined to break Hank Aaron‘s home run record never reached that accomplishment due to various injuries that derailed Griffey’s career from the premier power hitter he was in the mid-90’s. If you grew up watching baseball in that decade, that’s the guy you wanted to be when you played baseball in the backyard. Despite the injuries, Griffey still played 22 seasons with a total of 630 home runs. He was a 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner and will soon be a Hall of Famer.

7. Trevor Hoffman opens the 600 save club
Thanks to some poor pitching to start the season and some poor decision-making by the Brewers coaching staff, it took Trevor Hoffman almost a full season to record nine saves in 2010 to total 600 saves for his career. But he eventually got there. On September 7 against the Cardinals, Hoffman finally had the opportunity to close the door again and tossed a scoreless ninth inning to become the first closer with 600 career saves. It’s a terrific accomplishment that was sort of overshadowed by the Brewers decision to not allow Hoffman to sniff a save chance for the majority of the season after some blown saves earlier in 2010 despite the Brewers being out of contention long before September. At any rate, Hoffman will be remembered for his stellar career and being the first to the 600-save club.

6. A-Rod hits home run No. 600, Ichiro’s and Pujols milestone
Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez went into a little home run drought (12 games) between number 599 and 600, but he eventually joined the 600-home run club with a blast off of Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum on August 4 in Yankee Stadium.

The hit machine Ichiro Suzuki continued to pile up his list of accomplishments as he became the first player to record 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons in 2010. Like A-Rod, Ichiro’s milestone also came against Toronto with a single on September 23.

A-Rod hit home run number 600, but one day he will be joined in that club by Albert Pujols. Pujols hit his 30th home run of the season on August 15 against the Cubs to become the first player to record 10 straight seasons of 30 or more home runs to start a career. Yep, that’s more than Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, Barry Bonds…OK, you get the picture—Pujols stands alone in this category. He later hit his 400th career home run in the season.


One weekend back from the All-Star break and we’ve seen some surprises already in the second half, including the Indians four-game sweep of the Tigers, the A’s are suddenly on a five-game winning streak and sitting at .500, the Pirates followed up a 17-hit performance with 19 hits on Sunday and it may be time to start believing in the Padres in the NL West. Let’s head into the weekly recap with some unfortunate sad news…

Don’t give me this ole’ bullshit!
“How would you like to manage the Cleveland Indians?”
“Aaaah, I dunno.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is a chance to manage in the big leagues.”
“Lemme think it over, will ya Charlie? I got a guy on the other line about some whitewalls. I’ll talk to you later.”

I’m laughing while the typing that conversation from the movie Major League. James Gammon, who played Indians manager Lou Brown in that classic movie, died at the age of 70 on Friday. He was one of the characters that made Major League the cult classic it is today. It’s hard to go to the ballpark without hearing someone quote a line or two from Major League (especially my friends). This is definitely some sad news this week.

This weekend featured a crucial AL East showdown between the Rays and Yankees in Yankee Stadium where the Yanks won two-of-three to increase their division lead to three games over Tampa. The Rays are going to have to step it up if they are planning on giving New York a run for their money in the second half. The defending champs look ready to roll their way to 100 plus wins. Thankfully the Rays have plenty of games to catch up with 10 games remaining against the Yankees—seven of them in September. Then again if their starting pitcher looks like what showed up this weekend, they may be wishing they didn’t face the Bronx Bombers so frequently in the second half. Speaking of the Rays, Rocco Baldelli is back after turning in his suit from the front office job for a minor league contract. The story says Baldelli is finally healthy. Sure he is….

Stupid injuries. He did what?!
Within one week, Padres pitcher Mat Latos sneezed and ended up on the disabled list, Mariners slugger Russell Branyan bruised his toe when a coffee table fell on it in his hotel room at 5 a.m. and Yankees pitcher AJ Burnett cut his palms after slamming open a pair of wooden doors on his way to the showers and lied about it in the process. Excellent. The sneezing one is still the best with shades of Sammy Sosa. Look, I’ve never played professional baseball, but I’ve sneezed a couple thousand times in my life and never was injured from it. Unreal.

Questionable managing
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who questioned Joe Girardi’s decisions in the ninth inning of the All-Star game last Tuesday as Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports discusses the terrible non-moves.

The Angels and “Ran Fan”
The Halos are 3-1 since Scott O’Leary randomly picked them as his new franchise to root for in Major League Baseball. Read how Scott’s adventure landed in Anaheim.

And last, but certainly not least, the National League finally broke the streak and won the All-Star game last week! Get ready for a ton of trade talk and rumors all around the game in the next two weeks.

I swear I will stop talking about Stephen Strasburg sooner or later, but he seems to be in the news daily. When he’s not starting every fifth day, the media loves to ramble on and on about how he should be an All-Star! This is getting ridiculous.

The rookie pitcher has made six starts in his career. Yes, he’s looked dominant at times and human more recently, but he’s pitched in only six games. Stop with the All-Star complaining, baseball media. Charlie Manuel may have lost his mind taking Omar Infante to Anaheim, but he made the right call leaving Strasburg at home. He’s 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA with a 5.30 K/BB ratio (53-10), but it doesn’t matter if he was 5-0 with five complete games.

There’s a thing in the major leagues called respect and earning credibility by going about your work on the daily grind over the course of a season and a career. Strasburg is six starts removed from starting in the minors. His All-Star game was his first start, which was one of the most hyped regular season games of all-time.

Let the summer classic showcase the players that have earned the spot and been producing since Opening Day (and Infante). I’m sure Strasburg will only have about 10 other All-Star games to take part in, so the media needs to put a cork on whining about MLB missing a huge opportunity to feature him. They already did that. He’ll most likely be there next year, so let’s just move on.

After a busy weekend in the league, let’s take a look at what’s been going on in the world of baseball.

Edinson Volquez is outta here. Volquez was suspended 50 games for violating MLB’s drug policy. This makes sense because he’s currently on the 60-day DL and players were known to take some illegal substance to quickly recover from an injury. Here’s the part that doesn’t make sense—Volquez isn’t expected back until July at the earliest, but he can serve the 50 games while on the DL. Who thinks this is fair? His 50-game suspension should begin once he is healthy and activated from the DL. At any rate, he will lose 50 games worth of pay.

Just three days after one of best performances in Rockies history, awful news hits MLB as Rockies president Keli McGregor was found dead in a hotel room in Salt Lake City. No word yet on the cause of death, but it doesn’t appear to be foul play or anything like that. You never expect to see something like this. Just shocking and sad news out of Colorado today.

Moving onto the field now, how about the start for the Rays? Tampa Bay currently holds first place by themselves in the AL East thanks to a seven-game winning streak that was anchored by stellar pitching. The Rays ERA during this win streak is 2.39 (64.0ip/17er). They are also coming off a four-game sweep of the Red Sox in Boston that was so convincing, it made the Sox look they like couldn’t compete in the division. Boston’s 4-9 start will be harder to turn around with the announcement today of Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury both heading to the DL.

During last weekend’s 20-inning marathon at Busch Stadium between the Cards and Mets, “genius” Tony LaRussa made some bizarre double switches and moves in the extra frames. I’m not going to get into the moves, but Big League Stew does a good job of breaking them down.

Vin Scully has been calling games for the Dodgers for 60 years now. An amazing feat for a Hall of Fame broadcaster. Scully is one of the reasons I purchase the MLB Extra Innings package each year. I enjoy tuning into a late-night Dodgers game in Dodger Stadium with Scully announcing and listen to his stories of each player.

Today marks the ridiculous day you can begin voting for the All-Star game…on April 20. The season started on April 4. We are only two weeks into the season yet you can vote for the top players. Does anyone else see a problem with this? Since the All-Star game isn’t held until mid-July, voting should not be allowed until at least mid-May with more toward the end of May. I also think fans shouldn’t be allowed to vote, but that’s another long topic for another day.

Speaking of things that are ridiculous, the Orioles tailspin has run them down to a 2-12 record already. At this rate, they might reach 10 wins by July. Not only are the O’s struggling, but they had a horrible homestand as they went 0-6 at Camden. Obviously, this can’t continue…right?