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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 ...

Read More...
Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Kenley Jansen executed a rare intentional balk last night

Last night, Kenley Jansen recorded a save against the Cubs in a 5-3 win for the Dodgers. He surrendered a baserunner on a Matt Beaty error but otherwise was dominant and he struck out three.

Before the final strikeout, however, he did something I hadn’t seen before. With Jason Heyward on second apparently annoying him, Kenley intentionally balked him to third so he could just focus on the batter and/or to prevent Heyward for relaying pitch and/or location to Victor Caratini.

He yells out “I’m going to balk”.

I’ve never seen such a thing. Have you?


2019 College World Series chatter

The ping of the bat.  The roar of the crowd.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 15, 2019 at 04:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: college world series


Wilson Ramos Learns Wife Is Pregnant While in On Deck Circle

Wilson Ramos stepped into the on-deck circle to prepare for his second at-bat. He headed to the plate with his third child on the way.

In a 10-year career encompassing more than 800 games and nearly 3,000 at-bats, Ramos’ otherwise ordinary exercise resulted in a massive surprise when his wife, Yeli, walked up to the protective netting behind home plate and held up a sign toward the Mets catcher, alerting him that she was expecting.

“We’re pregnant! Wilson, this is your 3rd child. We love you!” the sign read.

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 15, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pregnancy, spring training souvenir

Dodgers add fuel to Giants feud with custom t-shirts

The Los Angeles Dodgers have added more fuel to the fire in their on-going feud with Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.

Days after infielder Max Muncy coined the phrase “Go get it out of the ocean“ after hitting a home run into McCovey Cove against the Giants ace, Muncy and teammate Enrique Hernández were spotted sporting t-shirts with the same phrase prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, max muncy

Friday, June 14, 2019


‘I gave them blood’: Adam Jones opens up on industry perceptions, blocking trades and learning to embrace change – The Athletic

The headline doesn’t mean what you might think.

In an age of cliched quotes and players who are polished PR-machines, Jones is as authentic as they come. On a European vacation after one of his first years, he collected addresses on Twitter to send fans personal postcards. He hosted random giveaways. When he inked a six-year, $85.5 million extension with the O’s in 2012, he gave more of himself. Literally.

“I cut my finger signing that contract,” Jones said. “I gave them blood.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, diamondbacks, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-14-2019

Columbus Dispatch, June 14, 1919:

The Czecho-Slovakian mission [in Paris] has been studying sports and has caught the baseball fever. The members will carry home with them a number of baseball outfits and will seek to introduce the game in the new republic.

And that’s the origin of the term “Czech swing”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The most improved pitchers of 2019 

The All-Star Game is only a few weeks away, and baseball’s top starters have thrown nearly 100 innings apiece. It’s far enough into the season that we can take a look at which pitchers have taken a huge step forward from last year, and more important, try to figure out why. (We did this last year around this time, identifying Justin Verlander and Tyler Glasnow at the top of the list.)

Since we’re trying to get at underlying skills here, it’s not good enough to look at ERA, which can be negatively affected by one terrible start or poor defense or relievers. (Look no further than Max Scherzer for that; he’s held his strikeouts steady, lowered his walks and homers ... and has seen his ERA increase.)

Instead, we’ll look at the Statcast ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: player development

MLB In Omaha Shows Potential Of Better Partnership With NCAA

The question remains what is to come of this arrangement. MLB and the NCAA haven’t been able to find common ground on much in the past, though the relationship has improved since Rob Manfred became commissioner. Will MLB in Omaha become an annual event the way the Little League Classic has? Will Manfred get his ultimate wish of holding the draft in Omaha just across the street from TD Ameritrade Park at CHI Health Center Convention Center? Or will the two entities continue to struggle to find common ground?

Thursday night was a good start. But there’s a lot that can be accomplished if MLB and the NCAA can find a way to improve their working relationship. The draft’s position on the schedule remains a thorn in the side of all parties ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball

Boston Red Sox’s Dave Dombrowski assesses team’s mediocre start: ‘I don’t think any of us are happy with where we are’ - masslive.com

The team can still salvage the season.

“I know people have a tendency to point out this or that saying, ‘This is the problem’ or ‘That’s the problem,’” he said. “And really the issue is, there are some players having some very fine seasons, but there are other guys not doing as well. The reality is, as a collective group, we’re not having as good of a year as we’d like.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox


Ice Cube Is Making A Movie About Dock Ellis’ LSD No-Hitter

One of baseball’s most famously outrageous games is headed to the big screen with the help of Ice Cube.

On June 12, 1970 — exactly 47 years ago — pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while high on LSD. You’ve heard the story before, but now we’ve learned that Ice Cube plans to retell it as a motion picture with his son in the starring role.

Bote Man Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dock ellis, lsd, movies, pirates

Is Chris Archer Broken? - MLB Trade Rumors

As much as Archer has struggled this season, his pre-Pittsburgh track record earns him some benefit of the doubt. Considering what he accomplished as a Ray, it would be unwise to say Archer’s never going to rebound. However, it doesn’t appear his new sinker-heavy approach is working, nor does his once-bargain contract look all that appealing anymore. With $20MM in team options over the next two years ($9MM in 2020, $11MM in ’21), Archer’s not going to crush the Pirates’ payroll structure. However, as a low-budget team, they can’t afford to have one of their most expensive players continue to falter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chris archer, pirates

Mize exits start early for Erie | MiLB.com News

The top Tigers prospect left Thursday’s appearance after throwing a season-low 2 1/3 innings in Double-A Erie’s contest at Reading. According to MLB.com, Mize was pulled due to right shoulder soreness.

Mize (6-0), making his ninth start in the Eastern League, had to wait nearly two hours two take the ball due to a rain delay. But he set down five of the first six hitters—notching a pair of strikeouts—before experiencing issues in the third.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, tigers

Fortunes ‘shift’ in worst way possible for Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom

More silliness.

“You make a pitch and feel like it’s an out and nobody’s there, I was frustrated,’’ deGrom said later. “I think anybody would be, the goal is not to give up runs. I thought I was out of the inning.’’

Because Frazier had to guard the runner, he wasn’t able to cover more of the shortstop area, so the shift was not optimum — even though Shift Apologists will never admit that.

“I did go in and look and he does not hit the ball there very often, I think it’s been a year since he hit a ground ball to short, so I think that’s the mindset behind it,’’ deGrom said of Carpenter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:58 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets

Rosenthal: It’s not baseball, it’s Bludgeon Ball. And the frequency of home runs is nothing short of numbing – The Athletic

The statistical context of the game shifts and so does the evaluation of its players. I get not liking the style of play. The claim that the current style and statistical context prevents the accurate evaluation of the game’s current players is a silly argument.

The same kind of adjustment is now necessary. Fans love homers. Children, and many adults, love sugar. But at some point, enough is enough. How can teams accurately evaluate hitters in the current environment? How can they accurately evaluate pitchers? Statistics determine how players are paid. And every night, often several times a night, something happens that is just . . .  not . . . normal.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:40 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: commentary

Thursday, June 13, 2019


KC Royals sign No. 2 overall pick Bobby Witt Jr., commentary | The Kansas City Star

High expectations.

He walked into his introductory press conference on blue carpet, not water, which is the first sign yet that the hype of Bobby Witt Jr. may be exaggerated in some corners.

He is tall, strong, athletic and somehow still apparently humble. That’s a heck of a combination, and at some point you start to see how a high school star becomes a folk hero and how a folk hero becomes perhaps the best prospect in Royals history and without question a central part of the franchise’s attempt to climb up from the bottom one more time.

Before he even finished his high school career, Witt Jr. was rated the second-best shortstop prospect in more than 30 years by MLB.com — behind only Alex Rodriguez, and ahead of Chipper Jones, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby witt jr., royals

Keep calm and mash: How the relaxed Twins are rewriting HR-hitting history

On Sunday, Nelson Cruz homered again. It was his fourth straight game in which he went yard, in his first five games back from the injured list. No big deal for a guy who came into this season with 203 home runs over the previous five seasons, right? Back in December, the Minnesota Twins signed the 38-year-old designated hitter to provide this kind of power. But what they didn’t necessarily anticipate was that Cruz would be just one slugger among many, because today’s Twins are putting on an unprecedented display of power at the plate, virtually a season-long Home Run Derby.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-13-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, June 13, 1919:

Manager Hugo Bezdek received a telegram from the National League officies just before the game began yesterday instructing him that he had been suspended indefinitely for his actions toward Umpire Charles Rigler on the previous day.
...
Officials of the Pittsburgh club stated last night that they thought Bezdek was the victim of rather severe treatment. Hugo is a man who refrains from the use of profanity, and they seemed to be at a loss to know why he should draw this punishment.
...
[Rigler:] “I want it understood that I like a fighting ballplayer and one who can make it kick without trying to make the umpire look as if he didn’t know his business. Bezdek did not swear when he addressed me on the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 13, 2019 at 09:46 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

6 suspects, including gunman, arrested in Ortiz shooting – Boston Herald

Read the article for more information.

An alleged gunman and five accomplices have been detained in the shooting of former Red Sox superstar David Ortiz, Dominican officials said Wednesday, while providing no information about why a group of young men would try to kill their country’s most beloved sports hero.

Four other suspects were also being pursued in the shooting, which witnesses said was carried out by two men on a motorcycle, assisted by two other groups of people in cars.

“At this moment, they are being interrogated and we will continue deepening the investigation to get to the truth about what happened,” Chief Prosecutor Jean Alain Rodríguez said.

“Nobody involved in this unfortunate episode will escape justice, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:23 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz

Brewers vs. Astros - Verlander Strikes Out 15 - ESPN

Verlander Ks 15.

On a night when the Milwaukee Brewers struck out again and again, piling up a season-high 24 K’s against the Houston Astros, one big swing by Mike Moustakas made all those whiffs way easier to swallow.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, justin verlander

Sources: Tigers open to dealing big-name vets

The Tigers are positioned to be one of the most intriguing sellers in baseball ahead of the July 31 Trade Deadline, and sources said this week the team is open to moving virtually any veteran on its roster.

In other words, now that the Draft is over, the Tigers will listen to offers for starter Matthew Boyd, closer Shane Greene and right fielder Nicholas Castellanos, among others.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Hunter Pence hits a bizarre, uncontested inside-the-park home run at Fenway

Tuesday night’s game between the Red Sox and Rangers at Fenway Park was basically a clinic in weird baseball. It saw a starter need more than 70 pitches to get through three innings. It saw both managers get ejected. It saw an inside-the-park home run, and a pretty bizarre one at that.

Taps Posted: June 13, 2019 at 05:57 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: boston red sox, texas rangers

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-12-2019

Washington Herald, June 12, 1919:

Major League Players Preparing for Strike

Another baseball war is imminent. Like a bolt from a clear sky comes the report that professional baseball, in the midst of what surface indications pointed to the most successful and most peaceful season in its history, in reality tottering on the brink of its most trying moment and with its very existence threatened. The Bolsheviki movement has hit the players of the two majors and three Class AA organizations.

Contending that they and not the club owners are paying and will continue to pay in settlement of the $240,000 suit of the Baltimore Federal league club…these players have recently been organizing and planning warfare of a most destructive sort.
...
The ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 12, 2019 at 10:00 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Navy draft pick embraces double challenge—Duty first, Red Sox soon

By the time junior year arrived, as more scouts trickled into the stands for games, Navy’s coaching staff and Song’s family began realizing he had a chance to also play baseball professionally. The velocity had steadily increased over the previous two seasons to 95 and 96 mph, while he added in a slider, which would be a major strikeout pitch during his senior season. Song entered the draft after his junior season, but he told teams he would not sign unless he received a seven-figure signing bonus, which he would need to help repay the government for his collegiate education. Signing after his junior year would also require him to forgo his service—the reason he had come to the Naval Academy in the first place.

“I told him that if he got ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2019 at 09:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: noah song, red sox

Mets must get out of .500-area limbo to be true contenders

This headline deserves to be mocked.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2019 at 09:28 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Edwin Encarnacion hits AL-leading 21st HR | Seattle Mariners

Where the best fit? What can the Mariners get in exchange?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2019 at 06:17 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, mariners

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