The 2008 Major League Baseball season began on March 25, 2008, in Tokyo, Japan with the 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox defeating the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome 6–5 (in 10 innings) in the first game of a two-game series, and ended on September 30 with the host Chicago White Sox defeating the Minnesota Twins in a one-game playoff to win the AL Central division. The Civil Rights Game, an exhibition, in Memphis, Tennessee, took place March 29 when the New York Mets beat the Chicago White Sox, 3–2.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays shortened their name to Tampa Bay Rays.
The All-Star Game was played on July 15 at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City, with the AL winning 4 to 3 in 15 innings. The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series 4 games to 1 over the Tampa Bay Rays. This was Philadelphia's second championship, and also the first World Series appearance for the Rays.
|2008 MLB season|
|League||Major League Baseball|
|Duration||March 25 – October 29, 2008|
|Top draft pick||Tim Beckham|
|Picked by||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Season MVP||AL: Dustin Pedroia (BOS)|
NL: Albert Pujols (STL)
|AL champions||Tampa Bay Rays|
|AL runners-up||Boston Red Sox|
|NL champions||Philadelphia Phillies|
|NL runners-up||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Runners-up||Tampa Bay Rays|
|World Series MVP||Cole Hamels (PHI)|
|League Championship Series
Note: Major League Baseball's playoff format automatically seeds the Wild Card team 4th. Normally, the No. 1 seed plays the No. 4 seed in the Division Series. However, MLB does not allow the No. 1 seed to play the 4th seed/Wild Card winner in the Division Series if they are from the same division, instead having the No. 1 seed play the next lowest seed, the No. 3 seed. Hence, Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs did not face each other in the NLDS.
* – Game suspended 10/27; completed 10/29
|Baltimore Orioles||Dave Trembley||In his first full season as Orioles skipper, Trembley was given a one-year extension for the 2009 season with an option for 2010.|
|Boston Red Sox||Terry Francona|
|Chicago White Sox||Ozzie Guillén||In his fifth season as Chicago White Sox skipper, Guillén led his team to the American League Central Division title in a one-game playoff against the Minnesota Twins on September 30, 2008.|
|Cleveland Indians||Eric Wedge|
|Detroit Tigers||Jim Leyland|
|Kansas City Royals||Trey Hillman||Former Nippon Ham Fighters skipper joined Royals in his first MLB managerial job.|
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||Mike Scioscia|
|Minnesota Twins||Ron Gardenhire|
|New York Yankees||Joe Girardi||Replaced Joe Torre with three-year, $6 million deal after being TV analyst for YES and WWOR-TV in 2007.|
|Oakland Athletics||Bob Geren|
|Seattle Mariners||John McLaren||Was in first full season as Mariners' manager until he was sacked June 19; Jim Riggleman replaced McLaren as interim manager for the remainder of the season.|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Joe Maddon||Lead the Rays to their first playoffs. Won the AL Manager of the Year Award.|
|Texas Rangers||Ron Washington|
|Toronto Blue Jays||John Gibbons||Fired June 20; Cito Gaston returned to dugout as replacement. Following season, Gaston was given a contract extension.|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Bob Melvin|
|Atlanta Braves||Bobby Cox|
|Chicago Cubs||Lou Piniella||Led the Cubs to the NLDS, won NL Manager of the year.|
|Cincinnati Reds||Dusty Baker||After one year at ESPN, Baker returned to dugout with Reds.|
|Colorado Rockies||Clint Hurdle|
|Florida Marlins||Fredi González|
|Houston Astros||Cecil Cooper||First full season as Astros' skipper.|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Joe Torre||Walked away from Yankees after rejecting one-year deal valued at $7.5 million to join Dodgers.|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Ned Yost||Fired on September 15; Dale Sveum named interim manager for remainder of season, and led team to wild card. Ken Macha was hired to manage the 2009 season on October 30; Sveum, who was third base coach in 2008, will become hitting coach in 2009 under Macha.|
|New York Mets||Willie Randolph||Sacked June 17 in middle of night. Jerry Manuel named replacement.|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Charlie Manuel||Led team to first World Series win in 28 years.|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||John Russell||Former catcher had his first season as an MLB manager.|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Tony La Russa||La Russa signed a new two-year contract October 22, 2007, through 2009.|
|San Diego Padres||Bud Black|
|San Francisco Giants||Bruce Bochy|
|Washington Nationals||Manny Acta|
|Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards|
|BBWAA Award||National League||American League|
|Rookie of the Year||Geovany Soto (CHC)||Evan Longoria (TB)|
|Cy Young Award||Tim Lincecum (SF)||Cliff Lee (CLE)|
|Manager of the Year||Lou Piniella (CHC)||Joe Maddon (TB)|
|Most Valuable Player||Albert Pujols (STL)||Dustin Pedroia (BOS)|
|Gold Glove Awards|
|Position||National League||American League|
|Pitcher||Greg Maddux (SD/LAD)||Mike Mussina (NYY)|
|Catcher||Yadier Molina (STL)||Joe Mauer (MIN)|
|1st Base||Adrian Gonzalez (SD)||Carlos Peña (TB)|
|2nd Base||Brandon Phillips (CIN)||Dustin Pedroia (BOS)|
|3rd Base||David Wright (NYM)||Adrián Beltré (SEA)|
|Shortstop||Jimmy Rollins (PHI)||Michael Young (TEX)|
|Outfield||Nate McLouth (PIT)
Carlos Beltrán (NYM)
Shane Victorino (PHI)
|Torii Hunter (LAA)|
Grady Sizemore (CLE)
Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)
|Silver Slugger Awards|
|Position||National League||American League|
|Pitcher/Designated Hitter||Carlos Zambrano (CHC)||Aubrey Huff (BAL)|
|Catcher||Brian McCann (ATL)||Joe Mauer (MIN)|
|1st Base||Albert Pujols (STL)||Justin Morneau (MIN)|
|2nd Base||Chase Utley (PHI)||Dustin Pedroia (BOS)|
|3rd Base||David Wright (NYM)||Alex Rodriguez (NYY)|
|Shortstop||Hanley Ramírez (FLA)||Derek Jeter (NYY)|
|Outfield||Ryan Braun (MIL)
Matt Holliday (COL)
Ryan Ludwick (STL)
|Josh Hamilton (TEX)|
Carlos Quentin (CHW)
Grady Sizemore (CLE)
|Month||National League||American League|
|April||Chase Utley (PHI)||Josh Hamilton (TEX)|
|May||Lance Berkman (HOU)||Josh Hamilton (TEX)|
|June||Hanley Ramírez (FLA)||J. D. Drew (BOS)|
|July||Ryan Braun (MIL)||Miguel Cabrera (DET)|
|August||Manny Ramirez (LAD)||Melvin Mora (BAL)|
|September||Ryan Howard (PHI)||Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)|
|Month||National League||American League|
|April||Brandon Webb (ARI)||Cliff Lee (CLE)|
|May||Todd Wellemeyer (STL)||Scott Kazmir (TB)|
|June||Dan Haren (ARI)||John Lackey (LAA)|
|July||CC Sabathia (MIL)||Jon Lester (BOS)|
|August||CC Sabathia (MIL)||Cliff Lee (CLE)|
|September||Johan Santana (NYM)||Jon Lester (BOS)|
|Month||National League||American League|
|April||Geovany Soto (CHC)||David Murphy (TEX)|
|May||Blake DeWitt (LAD)||Aaron Laffey (CLE)|
|June||Jair Jurrjens (ATL)||Evan Longoria (TB)|
|July||Ian Stewart (COL)||Chris Davis (TEX)|
|August||Geovany Soto (CHC)||Alexei Ramírez (CHW)|
|September||Joey Votto (CIN)||Scott Lewis (CLE)|
The first to end its run was Holman Stadium, longtime home to the Los Angeles Dodgers. On March 17, the Dodgers played their last game in Vero Beach; they lost to the Houston Astros, 12–10. It has been rumored that the Baltimore Orioles might move into the facility.
The next stadium to close its doors was Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, home of the Cleveland Indians. On March 27, they lost their final game in the stadium to the Tampa Bay Rays, 9–7 in 10 innings. Both the Dodgers and the Indians left their longtime Florida homes for new stadiums in the Cactus League in Arizona.
The oldest of them all, Progress Energy Park, home of Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, was retired on March 28 with the Tampa Bay Rays losing to the Cincinnati Reds 6–3. The Rays, unlike the other teams to close stadiums before them, are staying in Florida; they are relocating their spring training home to the Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, where they spent $20 million to rebuild its main stadium. The site of Progress Energy Park was connected to plans to build a new retractable roof stadium for the Rays to replace the fixed-dome Tropicana Field, but was eventually withdrawn from consideration by team ownership in favor of a more thorough study.
On March 15 and 16, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres played a 2-game exhibition series at Wukesong Stadium in Beijing, China, which would later be the baseball venue for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The series marked MLB's first games played in China. The first game ended in a 3–3 tie, and the second ended in a 6–3 win for the Dodgers.
On March 29, as part of the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers' relocation from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, the Dodgers hosted an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers' home stadium from 1958 to 1961. Proceeds from the game were donated to the Dodgers' official charity, ThinkCure. The game saw a sellout crowd of 115,300, which broke the Guinness World Record for the largest crowd to ever attend a baseball game. The previous record was an estimated 114,000 for a baseball demonstration during the 1956 Summer Olympics at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Washington Nationals began the domestic portion of the 2008 season in their new US $611 million home, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. with a nationally telecast ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game (in a rare one-game series) against the Atlanta Braves on March 30 in the first official baseball game stateside. President Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch while being booed by some of the crowd that night, and joined Jon Miller and Joe Morgan in the broadcast booth for the third and part of the fourth inning of the game telecast. Fittingly, Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off home run to give the Nats a 3–2 win. Nationals Park replaced their temporary home, RFK Stadium. Unlike RFK, Nationals Park has been considered to be fair to both hitters and pitchers. Additionally, there was an exhibition game March 29 against their beltway rivals, the Baltimore Orioles, in which season ticket holders were admitted free. The first game, however, was on March 22, when local university George Washington played a home Atlantic 10 college contest against Saint Joseph's at Nationals Park. The Colonials sent their fans home happy by defeating the Hawks 9–5.
This season also marked the last season in New York City for two historic stadiums where the Mets and Yankees reside. Shea Stadium closed in Flushing Meadows, Queens on a down note September 28 with the Mets being eliminated from postseason play for the second consecutive season by the Marlins, 4–2, while Yankee Stadium closed after 83 seasons (the Yankees played at Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975 while Yankee Stadium was refurbished), with the final home game played on September 21 as the Bronx Bombers defeated the Orioles, 7–3. The teams will move into new ballparks near their current homes – Citi Field for the Mets and New Yankee Stadium for the Yankees – in time for their 2009 home openers on April 13 against the San Diego Padres (Citi Field) and 16th against Cleveland Indians (New Yankee Stadium) respectively. With the closing of these ballparks, Dodger Stadium becomes the largest seating capacity park (56,000) and third oldest baseball stadium (after Fenway Park and Wrigley Field) starting in 2009, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim (built in 1966) and Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (first baseball game in 1968; stadium was built in 1966) become the fourth and fifth oldest baseball stadiums, respectively.
Starting with the 2008 season, the Cleveland Indians' home field was renamed Progressive Field – after the insurance company based in suburban Mayfield Heights – in a deal valued at US$57.6 million over the next sixteen seasons. The new name replaces Jacobs Field, named for former team owner Richard Jacobs.
Another naming rights agreement concerned a stadium still under construction. The Minnesota Twins and Minneapolis-based retail giant Target Corporation announced on September 15 that the Twins' new stadium set to open in 2010 will be named Target Field. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Target Field is located not far from another facility of which the discount retailer owns naming rights: Target Center the home of the NBA's Timberwolves.
On September 19, the naming rights contract owned by McAfee for Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum lapsed; McAfee declined a new contract offer. The Coliseum, home to the Oakland Athletics since their 1968 relocation from Kansas City, reverted to its old name after 10 years, during which it was originally known as Network Associates Coliseum, then McAfee Coliseum when the company changed its name in 2004. The A's played their last home series after the stadium reverted its name.
As a consequence of Hurricane Ike damaging the Houston area, two games between the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs were relocated to Miller Park in Milwaukee. Although Milwaukee was picked as a "neutral" site whose retractable roof would ensure the game would be played in the event of inclement weather, Miller Park's location 90 miles (140 km) from Chicago – and well over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from Houston – resulted in a decidedly pro-Cubs crowd in a series where Houston was officially designated as the home team. Adding to the controversy from the Houston perspective was the fact that Turner Field in Atlanta had been suggested by the players' union as a potential neutral site. This would mark the second time in as many years that a series was moved to neutral Miller Park due to weather, as a series between the Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians was relocated there one year earlier as a consequence of snow storms in northern Ohio.
During last season, especially the ALCS, several plays were deemed to be considered controversial on whether or not balls were ruled home runs. During a game in the annual interleague Subway Series between the Mets and the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, a home run was taken away and ruled a ground rule double. This led to discussions about introducing instant replay to Baseball games, especially on balls that are ruled fair or foul and home runs. In August, all 30 parks have been wired to send feeds similar to a video goal judge in the NHL, where all video feeds are sent to a central control room at Major League Baseball Advanced Media's home office in New York City to be reviewed, and correct any errors. On August 20, MLB and the World Umpires Association, the umpires union, agreed to start reviews based only on whether or not a ball that is ruled a home run was fair or foul, or whether or not balls that clear walls are home runs according to each team's ground rules. This practice started August 28.
The first official use of the Instant Replay system occurred on Wednesday, September 3 in a game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, when Alex Rodriguez hit a home run in the top of the ninth inning with two outs remaining. Tampa Bay catcher Dioner Navarro and manager Joe Maddon initially protested in order to reverse the call as it appeared to be foul. Television replays showed the ball hit Tropicana Field's D-Ring catwalk on the foul side of the attached yellow post; however, the ball was still in fair territory when it left the playing field (passing over the foul pole) and was therefore a home run. Umpire crew chief Charlie Reliford agreed to the review and after a delay of 2 minutes and 15 seconds, the ruling on the field was upheld and remained a home run.
Replay made its National League debut on September 9 at Minute Maid Park in a game between the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates. Houston right fielder Hunter Pence hit a fly ball to right field that bounced off the top of the fence and back onto the field of play. The umpires on the field ruled a live ball, and Pence was credited with a double. Houston manager Cecil Cooper argued the ball bounced beyond the fence before bouncing back onto the field and was therefore a home run. After a discussion among the umpires, crew chief Tim Welke allowed the review and reviewed the play with his brother Bill Welke, the home plate umpire. After the review the call was upheld as a double.
The first call to be reversed by instant replay occurred on September 19, and again involved the Tampa Bay Rays in a game against the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field. A fly ball hit by Rays' first baseman Carlos Peña, the umpires ruled, was interfered with by a fan sitting in the front row of the stands, when the ball hit the hands of the fan and fell back onto the field of play. The umpires originally ruled that the fan reached over the wall to touch the ball. After Rays manager Joe Maddon requested the umpires hold a conference to discuss the play, the umpires, headed by Gerry Davis, decided to look at instant replay. Replays showed that the fan did not reach over the wall; the ball was over the wall when he tried to catch the ball, and the ball bounced back onto the field. Just over four minutes later, Davis returned to the field and signaled that the ball was a home run.
The use of replay created a statistical anomaly September 26, in which San Francisco Giants catcher Bengie Molina hit what was ruled a single off the high wall in right field at AT&T Park in San Francisco, in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Once he reached base, Molina was replaced by pinch runner Emmanuel Burriss, while Umpires conferred on whether the ball had actually hit the roof and bounced back, which would make it a home run. After a replay review, the umpires reversed their call, awarding Molina the home run. Giants manager Bruce Bochy then attempted to retract Burriss from the game, and put back Molina, under the logic that he wouldn't have pulled Molina had the correct call of home run been made in the first place. After a 15-minute delay, the umpires denied Bochy, citing the replacement rule. Burriss was told to complete the home run circuit, making it a two-run home run in which Molina, who had hit it, didn't score.
For the 2008 season, TBS switched from doing Atlanta Braves games (who telecast 45 contests on WPCH-TV a/k/a "Peachtree TV" locally in Atlanta) to a national Sunday afternoon Game of the Week format (though some games have involved the Braves). In addition, the Time Warner-owned cable channel also carried the one-game AL Central playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox on September 30 as well as the entire League Division Series and the American League Championship Series this season, with TNT possibly carrying some games when there are time conflicts.
Disney-owned ESPN continued to televise games on Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, and (through the first week in August) Monday nights, switching to Friday nights for the remainder of the season, plus multiple afternoon and prime-time games on the traditional Opening Day (March 31) and the annual State Farm Home Run Derby on July 14. Certain games aired on ESPN2 due to scheduling conflicts with the parent network.
FOX Sports continued with a weekly regional Saturday Game of the Week, the All-Star Game, the National League Championship Series, and the World Series. The Game of the Week was expanded in 2007, as for the first time FOX was allowed to air Saturday games for all 26 weeks of the season, marking the first time since 1989, when NBC ended their iconic run of televising America's Pastime on a weekly basis, that a network covered games on a week to week basis for the entire season. Also, all games on FOX were televised in high definition; in previous years, only the primary (or "A") game was in HD.
The limits for telecasts per season (starting in 2008) that any team can make are as follows:
ESPN Radio continued as the national radio carrier for Major League Baseball, airing Sunday night games throughout the regular season as well as Saturday afternoon games after the All-Star break, the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, along with selected Opening Day and holiday games, and the entire postseason.
The biggest change in local rights came as the San Francisco Giants switched their terrestrial telecast rights from longtime home KTVU (Cox Communications-owned Fox affiliate) to NBC Universal-owned KNTV after fifty years, one of the longest in televised sports history. KTVU will continue to air some Giants games as part of the Fox Sports' Saturday afternoon Game of the Week package if the team is competitive.
Baseball games – mostly involving the Toronto Blue Jays – were televised on Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, and CBC. RSN airs Fox and ESPN/ESPN 2 feeds if they do not conflict with the Toronto Blue Jays games, as well as the All-Star Game and the entire post-season.
Several teams wore special uniforms to honor military serving overseas:
Through the 2008 All-Star break, there had not been an official game called that was not suspendable. As of the break, every win and loss in the standings for every team represented a game played to its legitimate nine-inning (or more) completion. The streak ended on August 4 in Chicago, however, when the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros were unable to complete their game due to a rainstorm. The Astros were leading the game 2–0 in the 8th inning, and since that was the score when the inning started, the game was not resumeable to the next day and the Astros were awarded the "win". This was the only game to be rain shortened until September 26, when the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles in a game curtailed to seven innings, 2–0. The next day, the Jays lost another rain-shortened game against the O's, 2–1 after 6 innings.
Both the Astros and the Cubs were also involved in a rare "rain-in" due to Hurricane Ike postponing the first two games of their three-game series on September 12 and 13; the city of Houston had been evacuated so they were not able to play at the retractable-roof Minute Maid Park. The last rain-in was on June 15, 1976, when the Astros' game at the Astrodome against the Pittsburgh Pirates was called due to heavy flooding in the Houston area. Two of the games were played at Miller Park in Milwaukee on September 14 and 15, the remaining game was canceled outright, one of three games that would be outright canceled, the first being the Oakland Athletics scheduled to play the Orioles on September 7; however, the game was switched due to a conflict with the Baltimore Ravens' NFL season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. This game was moved to September 6 as part of a day/night doubleheader. However, the remnants of Hurricane Hanna called off the afternoon game, and because both teams were not in the pennant races, the game was not made up, in spite of the fact that both teams still had two common off days.
In another weather-related note involving a team playing in an indoor venue, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Tampa Bay Rays had either postponed or canceled a home game on a Sunday in September of a presidential election year three consecutive times due to hurricanes. The streak started on September 17, 2000, and continued on September 5 and 26, 2004. The streak ended when the Rays played their game against the Minnesota Twins as scheduled on September 21, 2008. They played at home on the final day of the 2000 season, but that game was on October 1, not September.
The 2008 season also marked the first time Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies and Busch Stadium, home to the St. Louis Cardinals made it through an entire season without a game either being canceled or shortened. The Washington Nationals came close, but their home finale at Nationals Park was canceled on September 25.
On September 29, one day after the scheduled final day of the season, the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox made up a game postponed from two weeks earlier, the first such game since 1981, as in 1908 and 1973. The game needed to be played because the White Sox trailed the Minnesota Twins by a half-game in the AL Central standings following play on September 28, and even then, rain was a problem as the contest was delayed for three hours and four minutes.
On October 27, Game 5 of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies was suspended in the bottom of the 6th with the score tied 2–2 and the Phillies leading 3–1 in games. This marked the first time in World Series history that a game was suspended. The game finished with the Phillies winning 4–3, at home on October 29. However, the official records will indicate that the game was played on October 27, the game's original date.
The 2008 American League Central tie-breaker game, commonly known as the Blackout Game, was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2008 regular season, played between the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins to determine the champion of the American League's (AL) Central Division. It was played at US Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois, on September 30, 2008. The White Sox won the game, 1–0, on a home run by Jim Thome, the lowest-scoring game in MLB tie-breaker history. The Sox advanced to the 2008 AL Division Series, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 3 games to 1; the Twins failed to qualify for the postseason.
The game was necessary after both teams finished the season with identical win–loss records of 88–74. The White Sox won a coin flip late in the season which, by rule, awarded them home field in the game. The tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game by both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.2008 American League Championship Series
The 2008 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 2008 American League playoffs, was a best-of-seven series matching the two winners of the American League Division Series. The AL East Division champion Tampa Bay Rays, who had defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, were paired with the wild-card and defending world champion Boston Red Sox, who had defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in the ALDS. Tampa Bay held the home field advantage.
The Rays won the series four games to three, becoming the first team since the 1992 Atlanta Braves to win a seventh game after blowing a 3–1 lead. The series began at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on Friday, October 10, 2008, and was broadcast on TBS. Game 7 was played on Sunday, October 19. This was the Rays' first appearance in the ALCS while the Red Sox were making their fourth appearance in the last six seasons and ninth overall. The two teams hit a combined 26 home runs—a record for league championship series.The Rays would go on to lose to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.2008 American League Division Series
The 2008 American League Division Series (ALDS), the first round of the 2008 American League playoffs, consisted of two best-of-five series. They were:
(1) Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Western Division champions, 100–62) vs. (4) Boston Red Sox (Wild Card qualifier, 95–67): Red Sox win series, 3–1.
(2) Tampa Bay Rays (Eastern Division champions, 97–65) vs. (3) Chicago White Sox (Central Division champions, 89–74): Rays win series, 3–1.Since the Twins and the White Sox completed the regular season with identical records (88–74), the two teams played against each other in a one-game playoff. The White Sox defeated the Twins, 1–0, and thus became the AL Central champions.2008 Atlanta Braves season
The 2008 Atlanta Braves season was the 43rd in Atlanta and the 138th overall. The Braves attempted to reclaim a postseason berth for the first time since 2005. They were once again skippered by Bobby Cox, now in his 19th season (of his second stint) managing Atlanta. As a result of John Schuerholz taking the position of team president, the Braves entered the offseason with Frank Wren as their general manager.
The team wore a patch on the right sleeve "BEACH" in honor of former Braves player and bench coach Jim Beauchamp, who had died after the previous season ended. 2008 saw the departure of two of the team's longtime radio and television announcers. Skip Caray died on August 3, while Pete van Wieren announced his retirement on October 21. Both men had been broadcasting for the team since 1976.2008 Boston Red Sox season
The 2008 Boston Red Sox season was the 108th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished in second place in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses, two games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox qualified for the postseason as the AL wild card, and defeated the American League West champion Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS. The Red Sox then lost to the Rays in the ALCS in seven games.
In late March, the team started the regular season playing in Tokyo against the Oakland Athletics for MLB Japan Opening Day 2008. In July, seven Red Sox players were selected for the AL All-Star team, with outfielder J. D. Drew being named the game's MVP. In September, the team officially retired uniform number 6 in honor of Johnny Pesky.2008 Chicago Cubs season
The 2008 Chicago Cubs season was the 137th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 133rd in the National League and the 93rd at Wrigley Field. The season began at home on March 31 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs were champions of the National League Central Division for the second year in a row, accumulating 97 regular season wins—the most since 1945. It was the first time since 1908 that the Cubs made postseason appearances in consecutive seasons.At the All-Star break in July, the Cubs led the NL Central and were tied with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the best record in the major leagues. They tied a National League record with eight players selected to the All-Star team.On September 20, the Cubs clinched the NL Central championship with a 5–4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite their regular season success, the team did not advance past the first round of the playoffs; they were swept 3–0 by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series.
Lou Piniella, in his second year as the Cubs' manager, won the National League's Manager of the Year Award in 2008. In addition, catcher Geovany Soto won the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year Award.2008 Detroit Tigers season
The Detroit Tigers 2008 season was the team's 108th season in Major League Baseball's American League. After being picked by many to win the AL Central Division and the World Series, the Tigers started the season a disappointing 0–7 after being swept by the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. Their first victory of the season came against the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers did not reach a .500 winning record until their 80th game of the season.
Although they were eliminated from the pennant race by the season's final day (September 29), they nonetheless had to play a makeup game against the White Sox (who were trailing the Minnesota Twins by half a game), which Detroit had lost 8–2. The Tigers finished the season in last place in the AL Central, trailing the White Sox (who won the division by beating Minnesota in a one-game playoff the following day) by 14.5 games.
Despite the disappointing performance, the Tigers drew a franchise-record home attendance of 3,202,645 for the season. The team ranked third in the American League and eighth in Major League Baseball for home attendance in 2008.2008 Houston Astros season
The Houston Astros' 2008 season was the 47th season for the Houston Astros. The Astros attempted to return to the postseason, after missing the past two postseasons. This was the last season where the Astros finished the season above the .500 mark prior to the post season run in 2015.2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 79th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City, home of the New York Yankees, on July 15, 2008 and began at 8:47 p.m. ET. The game ended at 1:38 a.m. ET the following morning. The home American League won 4–3 in 15 innings, giving home field advantage in the 2008 World Series to the AL champion, which eventually came to be the Tampa Bay Rays.
By length of time, this was the longest MLB All-Star Game in history (4 hours and 50 minutes), and it also tied the mark for the longest game by innings played at 15 with the 1967 All-Star Game. Second baseman Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins committed three errors, an All-Star Game record, none of which resulted in a run. J. D. Drew of the Boston Red Sox was named Most Valuable Player due to his two-run game-tying home run in the seventh inning. Drew won a Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid and the Ted Williams Trophy. It was the second All-Star Game in which the winning run was batted in by the Texas Rangers' Michael Young.2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby
The 2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby (known through sponsorship as the State Farm Home Run Derby) was a home run hitting contest in Major League Baseball (MLB) between four batters each from the American League and National League. The derby was held on July 14, 2008, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City, the host location of the 2008 MLB All-Star Game. ESPN televised the event live at 8:00 PM EDT, with ESPN Radio and XM Satellite Radio handling radio broadcasting duties.Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins defeated Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, 5–3, in the final. In the first round, Hamilton set an MLB record for most home runs in one round of a Derby with 28, hitting 13 of them with eight outs.
The eight participants were Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros, Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins, Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians, Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins.
Vladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was originally going to participate to defend his 2007 title, but he ultimately declined the invitation in order to spend time with his family. Morneau became the first Canadian player to win the derby since its introduction in the 1985 MLB season.2008 Major League Baseball draft
The 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continued Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, and was held on June 5 and 6, 2008.2008 Milwaukee Brewers season
The 2008 Milwaukee Brewers season opened with optimism as the team attempted to build on the success of the 2007 season – their first winning season since 1992.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season, manager Ned Yost was fired and replaced with bench coach Dale Sveum. Under Sveum, the team completed the regular season 7-5, finishing second place in the National League Central with a record of 90-72 and winning the NL Wild Card. With the Wild Card berth, the team clinched its first playoff berth in 26 years.
In the NLDS, the Brewers were defeated 3-1 by the Philadelphia Phillies, who went on to win the World Series.2008 National League Championship Series
The 2008 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2008 National League playoffs, was a best-of-seven baseball game series. The series matched the NL West Champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the NL East Champion Philadelphia Phillies, who had home field advantage for this series due to their better regular-season record. The teams split their season series, with the home team sweeping their two four-game series in August.
The Phillies won the series, four games to one.
The series opened on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, with the series being telecast on Fox.
This series marked the first postseason meeting for the Phillies and Dodgers since the 1983 NLCS, which Philadelphia won 3–1 en route to a loss to Baltimore in the World Series. It also marked the first NLCS for both teams since the Division Series was instituted in 1995. Overall, this was the fourth time these two teams had met in the postseason. Prior to the 1983 NLCS, the Dodgers had defeated the Phillies 3–1 in the NLCS during both the 1977 and 1978 post-seasons.
The Phillies would go on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series in five games.2008 National League Division Series
The 2008 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 2008 National League playoffs, began on Wednesday, October 1 and ended on Sunday, October 5, with the champions of the three NL divisions and one wild card team participating in two best-of-five series. They were:
(1) Chicago Cubs (Central Division champions, 97–64) vs. (3) Los Angeles Dodgers (Western Division champions, 84–78): Dodgers win series, 3–0.
(2) Philadelphia Phillies (Eastern Division champions, 92–70) vs. (4) Milwaukee Brewers (Wild Card qualifier, 90–72): Phillies win series, 3–1.The underdog Dodgers swept the Cubs to advance to the NLCS, while the Phillies defeated the Brewers by three games to one. The series marked the first postseason series victory for the Dodgers since winning the 1988 World Series, and the first such victory for the Phillies since the 1993 NLCS.2008 San Diego Padres season
The 2008 San Diego Padres season was the 40th season in franchise history. The Padres were attempting to win the NL West for the 3rd time in 4 years.2008 San Francisco Giants season
The 2008 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 126th year in Major League Baseball, and their ninth at AT&T Park. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with a 72-90 record, 12 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. 2008 marks their 50th Anniversary in the Bay Area since moving from New York in 1958. It is also their first since 1992 without all-time home run champion Barry Bonds, who was not re-signed following the 2007 season. At the end of the season, Tim Lincecum was voted the 2008 National League Cy Young Award winner.2008 Washington Nationals season
The Washington Nationals' 2008 season was the fourth season for the franchise in the District of Columbia, and the 40th since the original team was started in Montreal, Quebec, in 1969. It also marked the first season the Nationals played at Nationals Park. The team finished in last place in the National League East with a record of 59–102, the worst record in Major League Baseball.MLB China Series
The Major League Baseball China Series, or MLB China Series, were two 2008 spring training games between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers played in the People's Republic of China. It marked the first time Major League Baseball teams played in China, part of an effort to popularize baseball in that country. The games were played on March 15 and 16 at the now-demolished Wukesong Baseball Stadium in Beijing. During the series, both teams visited the Great Wall of China and the Padres held a clinic for the students at Fengtai School.MLB Japan Opening Series 2008
The Major League Baseball Opening Series Japan 2008, or MLB Japan Opening Series 2008, was played on March 25 and 26, 2008, in Tokyo, Japan. The 2007 World Series champion Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics split a two-game series played at Tokyo Dome. These were the first games of the Major League Baseball (MLB) 2008 regular season.
2008 MLB season by team