Some great stories about Sparky Anderson

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My memories of Sparky Anderson — and the memories of anyone younger than 40 or so — are of him managing the Tigers.  But while he had longevity and success in Detroit, he had even more success in Cincinnati, and that gives us a good reason to turn to this story from the Cincinnati Enquirer recounting a number of little known Sparky anecdotes.

There’s some good stuff about his minor league playing days and his version of why he was fired by the Reds which I somehow missed when he told it a couple of years ago.  The best one, though, is about why he would always have his hands in his back pockets when he came out of the dugout for pitching changes or arguments with the umps.

Great stuff about a great guy. Check it out.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.