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Thursday, April 25, 2019

You Are Cordially Invited to SOFTBALL IN THE CITY

Permit application process has been started, with any luck we’ll be frolicking in the North Meadow of Central Park some sunny Saturday in July or August.* Attendance will be taken! Those not in attendance will be talked smack of!

Further details will be posted as they become available, or as I remember them. If you’re in contact with primates (or other beings) who don’t regularly visit the site, make sure to let ‘em know! They don’t need to be good, there are already enough of you who make me look bad.

RSVP before game time, whenever that turns out to be. Or just show up.


*Okay, I requested 11 - 2 on July 20, we’ll see what happens
**Per post #42 below, we’re now aiming for Saturday, August 10, 11 - 2. I’ll try to keep the info up ...

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Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bruce Markusen: #CARDCORNER: 1979 TOPPS GENE TENACE

Tenace turned in his gaudy, green-and-gold Oakland polyesters for the even gaudier brown-and-yellow threads preferred of the Padres. Making the transition to the National League, Tenace hit 15 home runs, but his patient hitting style drew the ire of Kroc.

“Tenace kept saying if he played every day he’d improve,” Kroc complained to the Sporting News. “Well he’s been in there every day and he hasn’t done a damn thing. All he wants to do is walk. Well, we can’t win games waiting for walks. He’s being paid to hit, and he can’t hit.”

In reality, Tenace did hit that season, putting up an OPS of .824.

He would follow that up with three more productive seasons in San Diego, but the Padres failed to make the postseason during ...

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Fiore Gino Posted: May 18, 2019 at 10:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, gene tenace, oakland a's, san diego padres



Bundle up! 2020 MLB opening day is March 26, earliest ever

NEW YORK (AP)—The 2020 Major League Baseball season will open March 26, the earliest big league opening day.

The Texas Rangers announced Friday they will play the St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition on Monday, March 23 as the first game involving major league teams at Globe Life Field, their new ballpark with a retractable roof.

A person familiar with the schedule then said the season will open on Thursday, March 26. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized.

And yet they wonder why so many early games suffer due to the cold…..

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: march madness, opening day

Hal Steinbrenner pleased with injury-decimated team’s play

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is pleased with the performance of his injury-decimated team.

“Considering the adversity we’ve faced in the first two months of the season, it’s phenomenal the job these guys have done,” Steinbrenner said Friday at a Yankees extended spring training game.

The Yankees have put 17 players on the injured list for 18 total stints. Still, they entered a three-game home series against AL East-leading Tampa Bay with a 26-16 record, a half-game behind the Rays.

Domingo Germán, inserted into the starting rotation after ace Luis Severino got hurt, leads the major leagues with eight wins. Clint Frazier, who began the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, it hitting .280 with six ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hal steinbrenner, injuries, yankees

Column: Penny-pinching Rays manage to keep up with big boys

They play in an architectural nightmare of a ballpark.

They are treated like pariahs in their own community.

They have to get by with one of baseball’s stingiest payrolls.

Yet, somehow, the Tampa Bay Rays make it work.

Point of order! In an environment where half the teams at any given time seem no longer to be trying to win, “penny-pinching” is no longer meaningful as a description!

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Andrew McCutchen’s league-best eye and extra work making the Phillies a better team

This was the Andrew McCutchen game.

The Phillies would not have snapped their three-game skid without his bat, his arm or his eye.

McCutchen was on the field at Citizens Bank Park around 3 p.m. Friday doing extra work. Specifically, he wanted to hit slow curveballs off the pitching machine to slow himself down, to force himself to stay back and utilize the whole field.

“Felt like I’ve been muscling up quite a bit on the ball as opposed to waiting,” he said.

Mind you, his offense performance is actually worse than it had been for the Giants last year, and remember how that ended….

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, phillies

Angels block Dodgers’ attempt at doing something cool

There’s an interesting story in the Los Angeles Times today about a neat idea the Dodgers had a couple of years ago. The idea: converting a dying mall in the San Fernando Valley into a small minor league ballpark and moving their single-A California League team there.

The plan would cost taxpayers nothing as the Dodgers and the existing landowners would foot the entire bill. It would not add to traffic, parking or zoning problems in the area — L.A.’s mayor said it would have less impact than if a Costco opened on the same property. It would provide cheap, accessible entertainment for an area of the city which is home to almost two million people for whom simply bopping down to Dodger Stadium is a tremendous headache given the ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, minor leagues

Ian Kinsler shouts f-bombs at hometown fans

Padres infielder Ian Kinsler went into last night’s game against the Pirates hitting .171/.230/.316. He’s gotten a lot of heat from Padres fans for that. Some players let that kind of thing get to them, some don’t. Kinsler’s behavior last night made it pretty clear that it’s been getting to him.

We know this because when Kinsler hit a go-ahead three-run homer in last night’s game against the Pirates he flipped his bat — and it was a pretty sweet flip — and when he crossed the plate he raised both hands up, looked into the crowd and dropped some f-bombs which seemed to be aimed directly at the hometown fans:

....

I can’t read lips well, but it seems to me he’s saying “F*** you, f*** all you” as he crossed the ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: ian kinsler, obscenities, padres

MLB roundup: Bryant hits three homers in Cubs’ win

Chicago’s Kris Bryant slugged three home runs and drove in five runs, and the Cubs hit six homers in a 14-6 rout of the host Washington Nationals on Friday.

Bryant clubbed his third homer — and fourth hit — in the ninth inning. He went deep in each of the final three frames, joining Sammy Sosa (2002) as the only Cubs players to homer three innings in a row. Bryant, 27, also had a three-homer game in Cincinnati on June 27, 2016.

Cole Hamels (4-0) tossed five innings of two-run ball as the Cubs broke a two-game losing streak behind an 18-hit attack.

Bryant went 4-for-6, Willson Contreras had four hits including a two-run homer, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber hit two-run blasts, and Javier Baez extended his career-high hitting ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, home runs, kris bryant

Jacob deGrom, Mets fall to Marlins as Mickey Callaway’s seat gets hotter

MIAMI — Already, the speculative whispers outside the organization — from fans, from national and local media, from those with other teams — have grown to a steady murmur: Is Mickey Callaway in danger of getting fired?

If this keeps up, those conversations will be happening inside the organization, too.

The Mets lost to the Marlins, 8-6, on Friday night. They are 20-23 and only treading water during what is supposed to be an easy chunk of their schedule. Jacob deGrom was bad, giving up seven runs (six earned) in five innings to by far the worst-hitting team in baseball. Pete Alonso homered twice and J.D. Davis once, but multiple late rallies weren’t enough.

In the seventh, Robinson Cano jogged, barely, toward first base on a ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, mickey callaway

Announcer lives everyone’s dream by providing epic call of own foul ball grab

We’ve all imagined that moment.

We’re at the ballpark, the batter swings and the baseball is launched in our direction. We’ve played that scenario over and over in our minds, and we’ve even added some imaginary commentary to help describe how great our inevitable catch would be good.

For Marc Schwartz, the play-by-play voice for the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League, this typical dream scenario became his reality earlier this week.

Schwartz was on the call when a foul ball came flying toward his broadcast booth. Without missing a beat, Schwartz caught the ball and provided live commentary of his play.

The sort of thing that, were it not for the recordings, we wouldn’t believe it.

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, atlantic league, foul balls

Pennsylvania Mobile Sports Betting Will Bring Wagers Inside MLB Ballparks

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board expects the state’s first online sportsbook to begin live testing sometime in the next two weeks. That means, before the end of May, either Pittsburgh’s PNC Park or Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park will become the first MLB stadium to host fans legally betting on baseball from their seats.

Mobile sports bets are already being accepted in New Jersey, Nevada, and West Virginia, but none of those states are home to major league franchises. Now, either the Phillies or Pirates are set to make history.

Major League Baseball is often held to a different standard than other sports because of its traditional image as national pastime. Fairly or not, the memories of the 1919 Black Sox scandal and Pete ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: betting on baseball, philadephia, pittsburgh

Robinson Cano blames scoreboard error for not running out a double-play grounder

Robinson Cano’s not-very-great debut season for the New York Mets got a little worse on Friday, entirely by his own hand.

Facing Miami Marlins pitcher Adam Conley with men on first and second and one out in the seventh inning, Cano tapped a hard grounder back to the pitchers mound. It was an easy double play ball, and that’s exactly what happened with Cano out at first by at least 15 feet.

As the Mets’ broadcast put it, “Cano didn’t even bother trying to run, just jogged slowly down to first.”

And this is why you need to be able to keep score without a scorecard!

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: hustle, robinson cano, scoreboard

Money and Modern Strategy: How the Depleted Yankees Kept Winning

It is not just the Yankees’ financial might (though their $204 million opening day roster constructed by General Manager Brian Cashman, the second largest in the major leagues, is certainly a significant aspect) but also their embrace of the modern baseball smarts that now pervade the game — along with sprinkles of opportunity and luck.

“When you have the resources that we do to go out and acquire high-end free agents but at the same time give yourself the options in AAA or AA to help cover for injuries like we are right now, it’s important,” Yankees relief pitcher Zack Britton said. “A lot of times you think about only spending money at the major league level and neglect having backups or replacements, and obviously Cashman ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: al east, yankees

Friday, May 17, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-17-2019

New York Sun, May 17, 1919:

Herman (Germany) Schaefer, who succeeded Arlie Latham as the jester of the national game, died suddenly yesterday at Saranac Lake, after an illness of several months. Tuberculosis was the cause of his demise…
...
Schaefer’s comedy was clean and wholesome, albeit athletic. One of his performances was an imaginary tight rope walk, using the chalk line on the field as the rope. His narrow escapes from falling were provocative of merriment.

He also was in the habit of staging a wrestling match in which he threw himself after a desperate struggle.

Schaefer is remembered as a clown, but he was a pretty good player. He was mostly a second baseman but played every position except catcher, had a career OPS+ of 97, hit ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 17, 2019 at 09:55 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Cubs and Cardinals are reportedly set to play in London next year

Back in February, the rumor started floating around that the Cubs and Cardinals could be one of the rivalries to head to London in 2020 for a series.

That appears to now be a reality, as USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reported Thursday evening:

....

The Yankees and Red Sox are set to play in London this summer (June 29-30).

No word yet on which team — the Cubs or Cardinals — would be the “home” team in London or who would lose a series at their home ballpark.

Wait- I thought the point of these games was to increase the popularity of baseball in Europe, not damage the sport.

 

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 04:00 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, london, neutral site games

LEADING OFF: Greinke exam, Turner tagged, CC faces Rays

Arizona ace Zack Greinke is set for an MRI after making an early exit in his last start.

Greinke pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning against the Pirates until leaving in the eighth inning because of abdominal tightness.

“It’s not too bad,” Greinke said. “Just didn’t seem like a good idea to try to push it.”

Greinke (6-1) has a 1.09 ERA in his last six starts, allowing five earned runs in 41 1/3 innings.

I thought that loads of people spent hours at the gym to obtain abdominal tightness….

 

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, c.c. sabathia, hit batsmen, justin turner, zack greinke

Keon Broxton frustrated by lack of playing time

Mets backup outfielder Keon Broxton got three at-bats during Thursday afternoon’s game against the Nationals, a welcome change for the five-year veteran if under unfortunate circumstances. Michael Conforto got the start in right field but collided with teammate Robinson Canó attempting to catch a fly ball, suffering a concussion.

Broxton replaced Conforto in right field and went 0-for-3 on the afternoon. The backup outfielder is now batting .143/.208/.163 on the season in 53 trips to the plate.

Does this mean that Operation Shutdown II is coming soon to a baseball team near you?

 

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: keon broxton, playing time

Fan runs onto field in Atlanta and gets destroyed

This has turned into a lively little discussion on Twitter, so let’s share it here. Bonus: it involves one of what I am well aware is one of my more unpopular opinions, so it gives a good many of you a chance to yell at me about it. Yell all ya want.

Last night, at the Cardinals-Braves game in Atlanta a fan who, I’m gonna guess anyway, was either over-served or under-brained, decided to run out onto the field like a moron. It happens.

As also happens, especially these days, he was utterly creamed by the SunTrust Park security team. Watch as he’s slammed into the wall and then dog-piled. Bonus: I am about 85% sure that the guard who did the slamming is the one who fell down just before, which shows that he has some serious recovery ...

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QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:49 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fans, pitch invasions

Jon Sciambi tells the hilarious story of the time he gave Chipper Jones hitting advice, and Jones stared up at the booth after it failed

Before Jon “Boog” Sciambi was a baseball play-by-play announcer for ESPN, he was the play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Braves on SportSouth and FSN South (from 2007-09).

And before a Braves-Padres game in San Diego in 2009, Sciambi spoke with Chipper Jones, Atlanta’s third baseman at the time. Jones was going through a bit of a slump at the plate, and Sciambi noticed that the star was swinging at the first pitch frequently, while not seeing many strikes while doing so. So, Sciambi pointed this tendency out to Jones, and asked Jones why he’s doing this. Jones explained that he thought it may be the only time he’d see a fastball in the at-bat, so he liked attacking the first pitch.

Strange- I assumed all Boogs would have good ...

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QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, bad advice, chipper jones, jon "boog" sciambi

Jerry Seinfeld and Keith Hernandez to Reunite at Mets’ ‘Seinfeld Night’

Jerry Seinfeld and Keith Hernandez are taking a new step in their friendship.

The two will reunite at Citi Field on July 5 for the Mets’ “Seinfeld Night,” according to Newsday’s Tim Healey. The Mets promotion will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the comedy show’s July 5, 1989, premiere. The first 25,000 fans in attendance will get a Seinfeld bobblehead, and everyone is encouraged to watch every episode of the show before attending the special game.

Hernandez played for the Mets for seven years during his 17-year career and won the 1986 World Series with New York over the Red Sox.

Somehow, the Mets and Seinfeld seem perfect together- but I’m not sure which fanbase will get more offended if I explain my reasoning….

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, promotions, seinfeld

Padres set MLB record as no-hitter drought reaches 8,020 games

When the San Diego Padres took the field for the first time on April 8, 1969, no one could have imagined this moment would come.

Yet here we are, 50 years, one month and eight days later, still waiting on the franchise’s first no-hitter.

It wasn’t to be again on Thursday.

Left-hander Eric Lauer couldn’t get anywhere near the elusive finish line. When he allowed a third-inning single to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Adam Frazier, the Padres’ streak without a no-hitter reached 8,020 games.

Somewhere, one can hear Mets fans popping corks- they might not have a better excuse anytime soon….

 

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:34 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: no-hitters, padres, streaks

Will there be a worse MLB play this season than this Orioles blunder?

It doesn’t get much more O’s than this.

The American League’s worst team put on a clinic in defensive incompetence Thursday in a 14-7 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Trailing 9-7 in the seventh inning, Baltimore Orioles reliever Richard Bleier took the mound with the bases loaded and one out.

He induced a ground ball from Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis that bounced directly to Orioles second baseman Hanser Alberto, a perfect situation for an inning-ending double play.

I’m trying to remember- headlines that seem designed to get you to say no are an exception to Betteridge’s Law, aren’t they?

QLE Posted: May 17, 2019 at 03:32 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: errors, orioles

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-16-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, May 16, 1919:

Scoreless for twenty-seven innings and averaging exactly five hits to the last four games, the A’s now are experiencing one of the worst slumps the Shibe firm has suffered since Mack tore down his championship ball club after the world’s series of 1914. That is saying considerinable, for the Mackmen have had some SLUMPS in the three years.
...
“The proper spirit is lacking,” said Mack. “They don’t have the necessary fight, the get-up-and-go that makes the ball club battle from the drop of the hat. I don’t mean to say that they aren’t taking the game seriously, but conditions have been against them.

Namely that they’ve been facing Major League ballclubs, a situation for with they were ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: bad teams, dugout, history

Rosenthal: The lack of movement on Kimbrel and Keuchel; a Cubs revival; the Reds’ dangerous spot; more notes – The Athletic

I can’t see why any team would sign them this close to the draft. Later, maybe, but not before.

The Phillies, in theory, should be all over free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel. Four of their relievers — Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, Edubray Ramos and David Robertson — are on the injured list. And Robertson, who is not a lockdown closer even when healthy, will be shut down at least three more weeks with a right flexor strain.

On a one-year deal in particular, finances should not be an issue for Team Stupid Money, even after its commitment of $403 million to Robertson and outfielders Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen in free agency. The sacrifice of a draft pick should not be an issue, either — the signing of Kimbrel would cost them only ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2019 at 06:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, pay site

Sarris: MLB moving from Trackman to Hawk-Eye tracking system – The Athletic

Maybe now we’ll be able to get some infield defensive metrics.

Five years after it was installed in an effort to measure the previously unmeasurable, radar-based player- and ball-tracking system Trackman looks like it’s on its way out as the technology of choice for Major League Baseball. Multiple sources inside front offices across the league confirm that Hawk-Eye’s optical technology — known to tennis fans as the basis of the automated serve tracking system — is currently being installed in baseball stadiums across the country for a two-month run-up that should end in a full change in technology for the 2020 season.

MLB offered no comment on the scope of the upcoming deal with Hawk-Eye. Hawk-Eye and Trackman representatives had ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, technology

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