January 4 – The New York Mets announce the official signing of Jason Bay to a four-year, $66 million contract, which includes a fifth-year vesting option. The two sides originally agree on the deal on December 29, 2009, however, it is not official until after Bay passes his physical.
300 win club member Randy Johnson announced his retirement in January 2010.
I wish it never came into my life. But we're sitting here talking about it. I'm so sorry that I have to. I apologize to everybody at Major League Baseball, my family, the Marises, Bud Selig... Today was the hardest day of my life.
Lincecum and the Giants agree on a 2-year, $23 million deal
Tom Glavine retires after 22 major league seasons and accepts a front office job with the Atlanta Braves. The 300-game winner pitched at the major league level in 2008, and became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2014, alongside longtime Braves teammate and fellow 300-game winner Greg Maddux.
After sitting out the entire 2009 season, Frank Thomas announces his official retirement from baseball.
Texas Rangers pitching prospects Omar Beltré, 28, and Alexi Ogando, 26, are granted visas, and allowed to attend Spring training, arriving in the U.S. on the 16th. The two players had previously confessed to involvement in a human trafficking ring in the Dominican Republic in 2004, and had been subsequently banned from entering the United States for five years, limiting them to winter ball, the Dominican Summer League and international tournaments.
Johnny Damon joins the Detroit Tigers, signing a one-year, $8 million contract.
British rugby league player Terry Newton is the first professional athlete suspended for testing positive for human growth hormone. The blood test has been in existence since the 2004 Summer Olympics, but baseball officials say that its validity is not universally accepted by the scientific community, until now. Bud Selig introduces a plan to test minor leaguers for HGH shortly afterwards.
February 25 – The Texas Rangers void the contract of off-season acquisition Khalil Greene, who does not report to Spring training due to social anxiety disorder. Greene went on the disabled list twice during the 2009 season while with the St. Louis Cardinals due to his disorder.
February 26 – Female pitcherEri Yoshida, formerly of the Kobe 9 Cruise in the Kansai Independent Baseball League in Japan, is drafted by the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League. She is introduced as a member of the team on May 7, less than two weeks after graduating from high school and only a few hours after she lands in San Francisco following a flight from Tokyo. She becomes the first woman to play at the professional level in an American baseball league alongside men since Ila Borders and the first to play in professional baseball in two countries.
Garciaparra, with the Red Sox in 2002, retired as a member of the Red Sox during Spring training 2010
Though John Smoltz has yet to officially retire, Turner Sports announces that Smoltz will serve as one of their guest analysts for national broadcasts and will serve the same role for the 45 Atlanta Braves games that Peachtree Television will broadcast this season. Smoltz also joined the MLB Network's on-air roster the same day.
Former major league infielderChuck Knoblauch pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault on his common-law wife. Knoblauch entered his plea in exchange for deferred-adjudication probation. He was also fined $1,000.
March 17 – Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington calls a press conference apologizing for using and testing positive for cocaine during the first half of the 2009 season. A day later, Washington admits to having smoked marijuana and taken amphetamines during his playing career.
March 21 – Reigning American League MVP Joe Mauer signs an eight-year, $184 million contract extension with the Minnesota Twins that will take him through the 2018 season.
Dwight Gooden is charged with driving under the influence of drugs and leaving the scene of a two-vehicle accident around 9 A.M. in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Gooden had a child in his vehicle at the time of the crash.
April 7 – San Francisco Giants outfielder Eugenio Vélez enters the seventh inning of the Giants' 10–4 victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park wearing a jersey with a pair of letters transposed. No one noticed his uniform read "San Francicso" until after the game had already ended.
The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals play eighteen innings at Busch Stadium without scoring a run. In the nineteenth inning, the Mets finally score a run on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Francoeur, only to have the Cardinals tie the game in the bottom of the inning on a double by Albert Pujols and a RBI-single by Yadier Molina. The Mets score again in the twentieth on a sacrifice fly by José Reyes to win the game, 2–1. The Mets use 24 of the 25 men on their roster. The only player not used is the previous day's starter, Óliver Pérez, while the Cardinals use 22. Mets closer Francisco Rodríguez blows the save, but is credited with the win. Mets starter Mike Pelfrey earns his first career save, and the losing pitcher is Cardinals left fielder Joe Mather.
April 21 – The Chicago Cubs confirm reports that manager Lou Piniella is moving struggling starter Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, in a move that may not be temporary. Zambrano is 1–2 with a 7.45 ERA in four starts, and the move makes room for Ted Lilly, who is returning to the Cubs' starting rotation after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. Piniella announced the movement one day after a 4–0 loss to the New York Mets, in which Zambrano pitched six innings and gave up two earned runs, while the Cubs bullpen gave up two, bringing the bullpen's ERA to 6.15.
Ryan Howard signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Phillies on April 26
April 24 – Ted Lilly pitches six shutout innings in his season debut, Carlos Zambrano made his first appearance out of the bullpen in almost eight years, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 5–1, at Miller Park. Lilly struck out four and walked two after being activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He was out while recovering from left shoulder surgery in November. Zambrano gave up a run in 11⁄3 innings and had a sacrifice fly in Chicago's three-run eighth.
April 26 – The Philadelphia Phillies sign Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million contract extension that will keep Howard with the Phillies through 2016. It is the largest contract in Phillies history, and the third-largest average annual value of a contract ($25 million per year) in baseball history.
April 28 – Commissioner Bud Selig's special committee for on-field matters expands All-Star rosters again, with each team bringing 34 players, with 13 pitchers per team, to the July 13 game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, as part of several changes. Another change is that a pitcher who starts on the final Sunday before the All-Star break will be ineligible to pitch in the ASG and will be replaced on the roster. In addition, a designated hitter will be used in the ASG every year, including in National League cities; the AL's starting DH will continue to be elected by fans, and the NL's starting DH will be chosen by the NL All-Star manager. Under a change that runs contrary to normal baseball rules, each manager may designate a position player who will be eligible for re-entry to the game if the final position player, at any position, is injured.
April 29 – A new report shows Major League Baseball equaled its best grades for racial and gender diversity hiring, even as the percentage of African American players dropped again in 2009, from 10.2 percent to 9 percent. The sport had made a small stride since reaching a low of 8.2 percent in 2007, but the latest data indicates a steady rise in the percentage of black players might be years away.
May 2 – Minnesota Twins catcher Wilson Ramos goes 4-for-5 with a double in his major league debut, to become the only Twin besides Kirby Puckett in 1984 to collect four hits in a major league debut, as well as the only catcher in modern history since 1900 to collect four hits in his MLB debut. Ramos followed his debut by going three-for-four and driving in his first run on May 3.
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Canó and Minnesota Twins starter Francisco Liriano are named the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month for April, respectively. Canó hit a Major League-best .400 batting average, including eight home runs, 21 runs scored and 18 RBI. Liriano went 3–0 and finished as the only AL starter with a sub-1.00 ERA (0.93) in 29 innings, which included a 23-inning scoreless streak.
During the eighth inning of the Phillies-Cardinals game, 17-year-old Steve Consalvi is tasered after storming the field at Citizens Bank Park.
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson and Colorado Rockies starter Ubaldo Jiménez are named the National League Player of the Month and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for April. Johnson hit .313 with 17 runs scored and 18 RBI, and also led the league with nine home runs and a slugging of .750. Jiménez, who posted a 5–0 record with 31 strikeouts and a 0.79 ERA in 341⁄3 innings of work, also hurled the first no-hitter in Rockies history.
At Citizens Bank Park, Jamie Moyer becomes the first pitcher to throw a shutout in four separate decades, giving up only two hits in the Philadelphia Phillies's 7–0 victory over the Atlanta Braves. At 47 years, 170 days old, Moyer is also the oldest pitcher to throw a Major League shutout, eclipsing Phil Niekro's record by almost a year. At 46 years, 188 days old, Niekro, while pitching for the New York Yankees, tossed a four-hit shutout against the Toronto Blue Jays on October 6, 1985; the shutout was also Niekro's 300th career victory.
Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs becomes the first player born in the 1990s to play in the majors. Castro arrives in historic style, hitting a three-run home run in his first at-bat and a bases-loaded triple, sliding head-first into the record books with six runs batted in, the most ever in a modern-day debut. Chicago defeats the Cincinnati Reds, 14–7, while the 20-year-old rookie becomes the youngest shortstop in Cubs history, surpassing Marty Shay, who was 100 days older when he made it to the majors in 1916.
May 27 – The New York Mets complete a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in which Philadelphia is shut out all three games. The last time the Mets accomplished such a feat was September 26–28, 1969 also against the Phillies.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and starting pitcher Jon Lester earn American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for May. Ortiz hit .363 (29–80) in 23 games, including four doubles, 10 home runs, 16 runs and 27 RBI. He also posted a Major League-best .788 slugging percentage and a .424 on-base percentage. Lester, who posted a perfect 5–0 record in six outings, allowed just 24 hits through 44.0 innings of work while leading the Majors with 45 strikeouts. His 1.84 ERA, was the lowest of any AL pitcher with more than 27 innings pitched, while his five wins in May boosted his career record to 48–18, and his .727 winning percentage is the best in ML history (since 1901) among pitchers with at least 50 decisions and the ninth-best winning percentage ever through a pitcher's first 100 starts. It is the fourth career Player of the Month Award for Ortiz and the third Pitcher of the Month honor for Lester. It marks the first time that the two AL monthly awards were captured by teammates in the same month since June 2006, when Joe Mauer and Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins won the honors.
Atlanta Braves first baseman Troy Glaus and Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Ubaldo Jiménez are selected National League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for May. Glaus led the NL with 28 RBI, while hitting .330 (34–103) with six home runs, 17 runs and a .534 slugging percentage. The 2002 World Series Most Valuable Player finished the month riding a six-game hitting streak. Jiménez became the first pitcher in the majors to win the monthly award in April and May since Pedro Martínez of the Boston Red Sox did it in 1999. He also is the first NL pitcher to repeat the feat since John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves did it in 1996. Jiménez ranked first in the NL in ERA (0.78) and was tied for first in victories (5) and innings pitched (46.0) for the month. On May 3 he struck out a career-high 13 batters in 7.0 innings of work against the San Diego Padres, and ended the month with 26.0 consecutive scoreless innings. This scoreless stretch marks the second time this season that Jiménez has pitched 25 or more consecutive innings of shutout ball.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga comes within one out of throwing a perfect game. With two outs in the ninth inning, Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald hits a soft ground ball to Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who tosses the ball to Galarraga covering first base. Though video replay showed that Galarraga beat Donald to the bag, first base umpire Jim Joyce calls Donald safe. Joyce is heckled by Tigers players and coaches for several minutes afterward, almost causing a brawl. The next batter, Trevor Crowe, grounds out to Brandon Inge, ending the game in a 3–0 victory for the Tigers. Later on Fox Sports Detroit's Tigers Live post-game show, Galarraga said Joyce apologized to him and gave him a hug.
June 8 – Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg makes his big league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates, striking out fourteen, including his last seven, and not walking any over seven innings. The 2009 Major League Baseball draft #1 overall pick wins his MLB debut, 5–2.
Jorge Posada clubs his second grand slam in two days in the New York Yankees' 9–5 victory over the Houston Astros. Posada becomes the first Major Leaguer to hit grand slams in back-to-back contests since Carlos Beltrán in 2006 and the first Yankee since Bill Dickey in 1937.
In an Interleague meeting between the two Chicago teams at Wrigley Field, both starting pitchers carry no-hitters into the seventh inning. The White Sox's Gavin Floyd has his bid for a no-hitter broken up with two out in the seventh by an Alfonso Soriano double. Soriano scores on Chad Tracy's single one batter later for the game's lone run. Ted Lilly's is broken up in the ninth by Ex-Cub Juan Pierre with a leadoff single. After Pierre's single, Lilly is relieved by Carlos Mármol, who loads the bases but hangs on for the save. Lilly would have been the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter at Wrigley Field since Milt Pappas in 1972.
June 15 – The Oakland A's acquire outfielder Conor Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Minor League pitcher Sam Demel.
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Seattle Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee earn American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for June. Hamilton led all Major League batters with a .454 average. That, combined with 10 doubles, nine homers a club-record 49 hits and a 23-game hitting streak, secured the honor for Hamilton. He capped his monster month by officially hitting the longest home run in the history of Rangers Ballpark, in a June 27 game against the Astros. Lee, who posted a 4-1 record with a 1.76 ERA, struck out 36 batters while walking only two. At one point, he completed a streak of 381⁄3 innings without giving up a walk.
New York Mets third baseman David Wright and Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson are voted National League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for June. Wright led the league with a .404 average and 29 RBI, placed second in slugging (.683) and on-base percentage (.447), and was tied for third in doubles (11), while hitting six home runs and swiping four bases in 26 games. He also became the first player in Mets history to hit at least .400 with 25 or more RBI in a calendar month while recording a 29-RBI month for the second time in his career (June 2006). Johnson compiled a 3-1 record in five June starts with a 1.18 ERA, while striking out 38 in 38.0 innings and walking just six. His ERA was second-best among N.L. starters on the month while placing third in strikeouts. Johnson allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his starts this month and has not allowed more than two earned runs in nine-consecutive starts (dating back to June 13).
Cliff Lee & Mark Lowe go to the Texas Rangers for Justin Smoak & 3 pitching prospects
The Texas Rangers acquire ace starting pitcher Cliff Lee and reliever Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak and three Minor League pitching prospects.
July 16 – In the Texas Rangers' 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Bengie Molina becomes the eighth player since 1900, and the first catcher, to hit a grand slam and hit for the cycle in the same game. His triple to complete the cycle comes in the eighth inning; he hits a fly ball to the deepest part of the park in center field, into the triangle, the ball glancing off center fielder Eric Patterson's glove. Molina becomes the first catcher to hit for the cycle since Chad Moeller on April 27, 2004, and the first visiting player to hit for the cycle at Fenway Park since Cleveland's Andre Thornton on April 2, 1978.
July 20 – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is accused of intentionally hitting Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants and ejected from the game. Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer argue the call and are also ejected. The next day, Kershaw is suspended five games while Torre and Schaefer get one day suspensions.
July 23 – Yankee catcher Jorge Posada records his 1,000th career RBI.
July 31 – Carlos González hits a game-ending home run to complete the cycle, and the Colorado Rockies rally to beat the Chicago Cubs, 6–5, after blowing a three-run lead in the eighth inning. It is the fourth straight game for González with a homer, while his cycle is the sixth in Rockies history and fourth in the majors this season. Besides González, just four other players in MLB history have completed a cycle with a walk-off home run: Ken Boyer (1961),César Tovar (1972),George Brett (1979) and Dwight Evans (1984).
National League Player of the Month Buster Posey
At Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees hits his 600th home run, becoming the seventh player in Major League history to do so, in a 5–1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The shot comes in the first inning against the Jays' Shaun Marcum and three years to the day of Rodriguez' 500th home run. Rodriguez also becomes the youngest player to hit his 600th home run, at 35 years, 8 days; Babe Ruth had held the previous record at 36 years, 196 days.
San Francisco Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey and Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay are voted the National League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for July. Posey led the NL with 43 hits and ranked third with a .417 average (43-for-103). His 24 RBI were tied for third-best in the N.L., while his .466 on-base percentage and .699 slugging percentage ranked fourth and fifth in the league, respectively. He belted seven home runs, while his 21-game hitting streak from July 4–29 marked the longest streak in the NL this season. In five July starts, Halladay went 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA. His 39 strikeouts were good for second in the National League while his 41.0 innings pitched ranked fourth. He notched his Major League-leading eighth complete game of the season, while his 158 strikeouts and 2.17 ERA rank second in the Majors and his 13 wins are tied for fourth.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista and Minnesota Twins designated hitter Delmon Young are voted the American League Players of the Month for July, while Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month for July. Bautista led the Majors with 11 home runs during July, marking the second time this season he has recorded the most home runs in a single month (12 in May). He also led the AL with a .765 slugging percentage and ranked third with 29 RBI while posting a .347 batting average with eight doubles and 20 runs scored, including a 10 multi-hit efforts during the month. Young paced the AL with 46 hits during the month, batting .434 (46-for-106), and tied for the league-lead with 12 doubles. He also finished second in the league with 30 RBI and collected six home runs with 17 runs scored while slugging .736, hitting safely in 23 of 26 games, and had multi-hit performances in 16 contests. Floyd posted a Major League-leading 0.80 ERA en route to a 3–1 mark over five starts in July. In 33.2 innings pitched, he allowed just three earned runs on 28 hits with seven walks and 25 strikeouts while holding opposing hitters to a .228 batting average. He earned victories in back-to-back home starts to begin the month, allowing just one earned run in each start. He later tossed 15 shutout innings and not allowed more than two earned runs in 11 consecutive outings. In addition, his 1.06 ERA since June 8 ranks first in the Majors ahead of San Diego Padres' Mat Latos (1.57).
August 6 – In Detroit, the Angels' Torii Hunter gets ejected for arguing a strikeout. In a fit of rage, he throws a bag of balls on to the field. The next day, he is suspended four games.
August 7 – The Blue Jays hit eight home runs in a 17–11 victory over the Rays. Leading the way is J. P. Arencibia with two in his Major League debut. Arencibia becomes the first player in the modern era to have four hits and two home runs in his major league debut.
August 8 – At Rogers Centre, Brandon Morrow of the Toronto Blue Jays tosses his first shutout, first complete game with a career-high 17 strikeouts in a 1–0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. A two-out RBI-single by Vernon Wells in the first inning marks the difference. Morrow only allows a two-out single by Evan Longoria in the ninth inning. It marks the fifth time this season the Rays have taken one or zero hits in a single game, including a perfect game and one no-hitter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the most such games in a single season in the live ball era (since 1920). Eleven other teams have four such games in a season. Only twice in the modern era (since 1900) has a team been held to one hit or fewer in more than five games in a season. In 1910, the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Browns both had six such games. To date, Dave Stieb has pitched the only no-hitter in Blue Jays history (September 2, 1990).
August 18 – At Fenway Park, the Red Sox defeat the Angels, 7–5. By striking out the side in the ninth inning, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon becomes the first pitcher to notch at least 30 saves in five consecutive major league seasons.
August 19 – Former major league pitcher Roger Clemens is indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of lying to Congress over his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
August 22 – Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who had previously announced that he would retire at the end of the season, announces his immediate retirement in order to care for his ailing mother.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista and Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz earn the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for August. Bautista led the league in home runs (12), runs batted in (24), slugging percentage (.724) and total bases (72), and tied for the lead in extra-base hits (18). This is the second career monthly award for Bautista, who shared last month's honor with Delmon Young of the Minnesota Twins. Buchholz went 4-0 with a 1.03 earned run average and 28 strikeouts over six August starts. He finished the month second in ERA, tied for second in wins, tied for third in innings pitched (43.2), and also led the majors with a 2.21 ERA on the season. This is the first career monthly award for Buchholz.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and Atlanta Braves starter Tim Hudson are voted the National League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for August. In 26 games last month, Pujols batted .379 (39-for-103) and led the circuit with 11 home runs, a .777 slugging and 29 runs scored while driving in 23 runs. On August 26, Pujols clubbed his 400th career home run, his 34th of the season, becoming the first player to reach the 400-homer plateau in his first 10 Major League seasons. This is the fifth career monthly award for Pujols, the most recent being earned in June 2009. Hudson went 4-0 with a 1.71 earned run average in six starts and struck out 35 while walking only nine in 42 innings of work. On August 28, he notched his 1,500th career strikeout and his 600th for Atlanta in a 12–3 victory over the Florida Marlins. This is the second career monthly award for Hudson and his first since winning American League honors in September 2000 with the Oakland Athletics.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu hits two solo home runs in the Angels' 6–3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Abreu now has collected nine seasons with at least 20 homers, 20 stolen bases and 30 doubles, for the third most in major league history. He is surpassed only by Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds, who accomplished the feat 10 times.
September 24 – Cincinnati Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman throws the fastest pitch ever recorded in a major league game at 105 M.P.H. to the San Diego Padres' Tony Gwynn, Jr..
September 25 – Texas Rangers' rookie closer Neftalí Feliz acquires his 38th save of the season against the Oakland Athletics, setting a record for most saves by a rookie in a single season. He surpasses the previous record of 37 held by former Seattle Mariners' closer Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2000. Feliz's total for the year is at 40 saves. The win by the Texas Rangers also clinched their first AL West division title since 1999.
Lotte Giants slugger Lee Dae-Ho wins the third Triple Crown in the 29 years of the Korea Baseball Organization, after hitting a .364 average with 44 home runs and 133 runs batted in. Lee also becomes the first multiple Triple Crown winner, having turned the feat in 2006.
September 30 – MLB players and owners agree to free agency changes. Under the deal announced on this date, players no longer have to file for free agency but automatically are set free. The exclusive period for teams to negotiate with their free agent-eligible players is cut from 15 days to five. The deadline is moved up for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents, as is the deadline for teams to offer contracts for the following season to players on their 40-man rosters. In addition, teams, players and agents will be restricted in their ability to conduct free-agent negotiations in the media.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are selected American League and National League Players of the Month, respectively, for September. Rodriguez provided a bright spot for the Yankees down the final stretch run, leading the American League in RBIs (26) and slugging percentage (.667), while tying for second with nine home runs. He also reached safely in 18 of 22 games for his team, propelling the Yankees to their 15th postseason berth in the last 16 years. Tulowitzki provided plenty of support for Colorado, leading the Majors with 15 home runs, 40 RBIs, 30 runs scored and an .800 slugging percentage. Tulowitzki finished the season ranked first among Major League shortstops in home runs (27), RBIs (95), batting average (.315), slugging percentage (.568) and OPS (.949), to become the first player to lead all National League shortstops in both slugging percentage and fielding percentage (.984) since Jay Bell accomplished the feat in 1993 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays and Derek Lowe of the Atlanta Braves are voted the American League and National League Pitchers of the Month, respectively, for September. Price was instrumental in the Rays winning their second AL East Championship in club history, as he posted a 4–0 record with 33 strikeouts and a 1.67 ERA over six starts. Lowe was equally impressive for the Braves, who secured the NL Wild Card for their first trip to the playoffs since 2005, collecting a perfect 5–0 in five September starts, with a 1.17 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 29:3. Lowe also pitched on three days' rest, winning a critical game against the Florida Marlins on September 29, and finished the regular season with a 16–12 record and a 4.00 ERA, with 136 strikeouts in 193 2⁄3 innings of work.
October 29 – The New York Mets name Sandy Alderson their new general manager.
October 31 – In Game 4 of the World Series, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants become the first all-rookie battery in a World Series game since 1947. Bumgarner combines with Brian Wilson to three-hit the Texas Rangers in a 4-0 San Francisco victory. Combined with a 9-0 loss to the Giants in Game 2, the Rangers become the first team to be shut out twice in a World Series since 1966. It is also the Giants pitching staff's fourth shutout of the postseason, tying a Major League record.
A lawsuit is filed against Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, Saul Katz and various entities affiliated with the New York Mets and Sterling Equities Associates to recover money for the victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. The civil suit, brought by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, alleges that the partners in Sterling knew or should have known that Madoff's investment operation was a fraud.
December 8 – The National Baseball Hall of Fame announces Dave Van Horne as the 2011 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. He will receive the award alongside Conlin on July 23, 2011.
December 11 – Outfielder Carl Crawford signs as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox for seven-years and $142 million.
December 15 – Pitcher Cliff Lee returns to the Philadelphia Phillies, signing a five-year, $120 million contract with a vesting option for a sixth season in 2016, which would increase the value of the deal to $135 million.
December 16 – The New York Yankees sign free agent catcher Russell Martin.
Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees agree on a new three-year, $51 million contract that includes a player option for the 2014 season.
December 20 – Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and four friends are arrested in the Bahamas and charged with raping two seventeen-year-old girls at the Atlantis Resort & Casino on Paradise Island. Wittels and two friends were released on $10,000 bond apiece after a court hearing on the 23rd.
Pitcher Rich Harden rejoins the Oakland Athletics, signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
December 23 – The Houston Astros send relief pitcher Matt Lindstrom to the Colorado Rockies for pitchers Jonnathan Aristil and Wes Musick.
December 30 – Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew reveals in a statement that he has recently been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and is being treated by a team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic.
January 3 – Bobby Wilkins, 87, shortstop for the 1944 and 1945 Philadelphia Athletics.
January 4 – Rory Markas, 54, play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Milwaukee Brewers.
January 12 – Hillis Layne, 91, third baseman for the Washington Senators in the 1940s, who also led the Pacific Coast League hitters in 1947 with a .367 average.
John Purdin, 67, relief pitcher who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers between the 1964 and 1969 seasons.
April 2 – Mike Cuellar, 72, 4-time All-Star pitcher for the Cincinnati Redlegs, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and California Angels between 1959 and 1977; won 1969 AL Cy Young Award and 1970 World Series; and was one of four 20-game winners on the 1971 Baltimore Orioles
April 3 – Jim Pagliaroni, 72, catcher for the Red Sox, Pirates, Athletics and Pilots, who set a Pirates all-time, season-record for catchers with 17 home runs in 1965
April 7 – Hermina Franks, 95, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player
April 9 – Bill Moisan, 84, relief pitcher for the 1953 Chicago Cubs, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany in early 1945, earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart
April 15 – Takuya Kimura, 37, Japanese player for the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Toyo Carp, and Yomiuri Giants from 1992 to 2009, and a member of the 2009 Japan Series champion
April 20 – Keli McGregor, 48, President of the Colorado Rockies and a former tight end in the National Football League
Pete Castiglione, 89, third baseman who hit .255 in eight seasons with the Pirates and Cardinals
Dick Kenworthy, 69, backup infielder who hit .215 in 125 games with the Chicago White Sox from 1962 to 1968
April 29 – Penny O'Brian, 90, Canadian outfielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
May 6 – Robin Roberts, 83, Hall of Fame pitcher and a seven-time All-Star in 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, who led the National League in wins from 1952 to 1955, innings pitched from '51 to '55 and complete games from '52 to '56
May 8 – George Susce, 78, middle relief pitcher who posted a 22–17 record with a 4.42 ERA and three saves in 117 games for the Red Sox and Tigers from 1955 to 1959
May 10 – Terry Rukavina, 78, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League infielder/outffielder for three teams in parts of three seasons spanning 1950–1953
June 14 – Oscar Azócar, 45, Venezuelan outfielder for the Yankees and Padres in the early 1990s.
June 16 – Bob Hartman, 72, left-handed pitcher who had brief stints with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 and the Cleveland Indians in 1962.
July 1 – Andrew 'Pullman' Porter, 100, Negro League Baseball pitcher whose 22 year career included stints for several teams all over the country and even outside its borders, in Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela, who at the time of his death was the second oldest living Negro League ballplayer after Emilio 'Millito' Navarro.
Clint Hartung, 87, pitcher and outfielder for the New York Giants from 1947 to 1952, who became the 11th player in major league history whose first home run came as a pitcher and later homered as a position player.
Maje McDonnell, 89, Philadelphia Phillies coach from 1951 to 1957, and a World War II veteran who earned five battle stars and a Bronze Star.
July 9 – Frank Verdi, 84, shortstop who played briefly for the Yankees in the 1953 season and later managed in the minor leagues.
Ed Palmquist, 77, relief pitcher who played from 1960 to 1961 with the Dodgers and Twins.
Johnny Van Cuyk, 89, relief pitcher who played on the 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers team that won the National League pennant.
July 21 – Ralph Houk, 90, third-string catcher for the New York Yankees who went on to win three straight American League pennants and two World Series championships in his first three seasons as their manager.
July 22 – Larry Fritz, 61, pinch-hitter for the 1975 Philadelphia Phillies.
July 26 – Jake Jacobs, 73, outfielder who played from 1960 to 1961 for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins.
August 7 – Keith Drumright, 55, second baseman for the 1978 Astros and the 1981 Athletics.
August 9 – Gene Hermanski, 90, outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1943 to 1953, who also was a World War II veteran.
August 21 – Satch Davidson, 74, National League umpire who worked behind the plate when Hank Aaron hit his historic 715th career home run as well as when Carlton Fisk hit his memorable homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
August 26 – Cal McLish, 84, All-Star pitcher with a 15-season career for five teams, who set a major league record with 16 consecutive road wins over the 1958–59 seasons, which stood for 36 years until Greg Maddux surpassed it over the 1994-95 seasons.
September 1 – Don Lang, 95, infielder for the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.
September 9 – Eddie Phillips, 80, pinch-runner who scored four runs in nine games for the 1953 St. Louis Cardinals, but never batted or fielded a ball in the majors.
September 16 – Wayne Twitchell, 62, 1973 NL All-Star pitcher who posted a 48-65 record in ten seasons with the Brewers, Phillies, Expos, Mets and Mariners.
September 18 – Ray Coleman, 88, outfielder and World War II veteran, who hit a .258 average in five seasons for the St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox.
September 20 – Al Pilarcik, 80, outfielder and Korean War veteran, who hit .256 in 668 games for the Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox.
September 23 – Bob Shaw, 77, who spent eleven years in the majors pitching for the Tigers, White Sox, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves, SF Giants, Mets and Cubs, and beat Sandy Koufax in 1959 World Series.
November 10 – Dave Niehaus, 75, Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners since their inception in 1977 to their final game of the 2010 season.
November 13 – George Binks, 96, outfielder/first baseman who hit .253 in 351 games for the Washington Senators, Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns from 1944 to 1948. Hit .300 for the 1938 Tyler Trojans of the East Texas League.
November 20 – Danny McDevitt, 78, pitcher who posted a 21-27 record and a 4.40 ERA in six seasons, who is most remembered for starting the Dodgers' last home game in Brooklyn, hurling a 2–0 shutout victory over the Pirates.
December 15 – Bob Feller, 92, Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame pitcher who threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in MLB history in 1940.
December 17 – Walt Dropo, 87, who played 13 seasons in the majors and won the 1950 American League Rookie of the Year award with the Boston Red Sox, after batting .322 with 34 home runs and a league-best 144 RBI in 136 games.
Phil Cavarretta, 94, three-time All-Star who won the National League MVP in 1945 to lead the Chicago Cubs to their last World Series appearance.
Ann Cindric, 88, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher.
December 25 – Karl Olson, 80, outfielder who hit .235 with six home runs and 50 RBI in 279 games for the Red Sox, Senators and Tigers from 1951 to 1957.
December 28 – Bill Lajoie, 76, general manager who played an integral role in building the Detroit Tigers into a World Championship team in 1984 and a division title winner in 1987.
December 29 – Steve Boros, 74, former player, coach and manager for more than four decades in baseball.
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