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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Longtime Rangers fan dies with team one win from title

The 76-year-old from Red Oak, Texas, was a big Rangers fan who had been battling cancer for several months. She was recently profiled in the Dallas Morning News and was quoted by the paper when telling her doctors that she had only one dying wish:

“I only want to live long enough to see the Rangers win the World Series,” she said.

Unfortunately, the paper reports that Short passed away on Wednesday night, when the Rangers might have clinched their first title had it not been for the rain ...

Read More...
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 27, 2011 at 10:36 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, rangers

Matthews: Robinson Cano deal unlikely

That’s because he’s no Dustin Pedroia (ducks flying leftover Melky disco shoe).

Robinson Cano wants a new deal, but the New York Yankees say the All-Star second baseman will have to wait his turn.

“Highly, highly unlikely,” is how a baseball official with knowledge of the situation termed the chances of the Yankees tearing up Cano’s contract—which calls for team options at $15 million for 2012 and $14 million for 2013—and negotiating a new long-term deal.

Cano’s agent, Scott Boras, has been ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 09:12 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, yankees

Baker (The Atlantic): The Myth of the Home Run That Drove an Angels Pitcher to Suicide

For the rest of his life, he would go back and forth about taking responsibility for the loss. He did admit in the clubhouse that same afternoon, “Every time I throw, my arm hurts,” but—realizing he had broken the ballplayers’ unwritten code—adding, “that’s not why I lost the game. I was horseshit.”

“I’ll shoulder the blame. Somebody’s got to take the blame, so I’ll take it…I threw that pitch. I lost that game,” he said after the final loss in Boston. Later he pointed out: “I don’t believe ...

Read More...
JE (Jason) Posted: October 27, 2011 at 08:48 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, special topics

ESPN: Caple: Don’t throw that home run ball back!

I had a mega-bargument over Eric Hosmer’s 1st HR being tossed back by an interlocking interloper at Yankee Stadium.

The baseball gods gave Jordan Hartsell a piece of history during Game 3 of the World Series. And due to the worst tradition in baseball, she threw it back in their faces.

Or more accurately, she threw it onto the field.

Off Base

Hartsell was sitting in the stands in left-center at Rangers Ballpark during the ninth inning Saturday night when Albert Pujols hit his record-tying ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 08:05 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Strauss: Pujols defends hit-and-run play

This article just cost Pujols…

“I don’t have a problem with that play,” Pujols said during an impromptu news conference at his locker. “I know there was a lot of discussion about ‘If he put the play on why didn’t he swing?’ Look at the pitch. It was high and away and I wouldn’t have been able to touch it. If I would have been able to put the bat on it, I would have swung at the ball.’‘

Pujols called the play on an 0-1 pitch and recognized that flailing at it would have left him in an inferior ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 07:42 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, sabermetrics

New player in Yanks RF derby: Beltran

Not long ago, it was considered a slam-dunk that the Yankees would pick up Nick Swisher’s $10.25 million option for 2012, despite another miserable postseason performance.

Now, it’s not so clear.

The reason? Carlos Beltran, a free agent after seven up-and-down, and mostly down, seasons with the Mets. Beltran is being shopped hard by his agent, Scott Boras, and his name came up in discussions at the Yankees organizational meeting in Tampa on Wednesday… it seems as if the Yankees front office ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: October 27, 2011 at 07:26 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: rumors, yankees

Alvaro Aristy Faked Age, Identity For $1 Million Bonus

The Padres signed the player known as Aristy out of the Dominican Republic when the international signing period opened on July 2, 2008, believing he was 16. In reality, his name is Jorge Leandro Guzman, and he’s nearly two and a half years older than he said—two weeks away from his 19th birthday when he signed.

Dan Mullin, the vice president of Major League Baseball’s department of investigations, said MLB got a tip about Aristy’s identity in January 2010. Investigators brought Guzman into ...

Read More...

NPR: Noe: Baseball Umpires Aren’t Perfect, OK?

Phew! I haven’t seen this much over-thinking since…okay, since whenever the Cardinals last played.

What interests us is whether players succeed or fail, whether they achieve or get lucky. The judgment that a ball is a strike is, really, the judgment that a pitcher delivered a a pitch that the batter ought to have hit. This is not so much a judgment about where the pitch was located, as it is a judgment about whether the pitcher or the batter deserves credit. It is, in the original sense of the ...

Read More...
Mattbert Posted: October 27, 2011 at 07:16 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks

Deadspin: The Last Act Of The Notorious Howie Spira

Reminds me of the time Howie was in that barbershop quartet in Skokie, Illinois….

He should have realized flacking for Winfield was a rotten deal when Frohman refused to pay him for his work. (The Daily News reported Howie’s hiring as a publicist, but Winfield and his lawyer said later that Howie was never an actual employee.) Or when he heard Frohman talk about fudging the charity’s finances. Or on the flight back from Los Angeles during the 1981 World Series. The Yankees were losing to the ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 27, 2011 at 06:01 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

ESPN/Shelburne - Dodgers: Bryan Stow shares blame

if you wondered how low Frank McCourt can go, wonder no more..

“One of the things the jury will be asked to do is to determine what percentage of fault various individuals have for this event,” McCourt’s attorney Jerome Jackson told ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“You’re saying to the jury, ‘They (the Stow family) are saying we’re 100 percent liable. But does that mean (Marvin) Norwood and (Louis) Sanchez, who beat this guy up, have no liability? And, does it mean Mr. Stow himself has no liability?’ “

...Read More...
The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: October 27, 2011 at 05:46 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers

Neyer: Royals Hire Dave Eiland As New Pitching Coach

Non-dead Eiland.

After the season the Royals fired Bob McClure, their pitching coach of six seasons. Today they’ve hired Dave Eiland, who spent this season working in the Rays’ front office after three seasons as the Yankees’ pitching coach…

the Yankees fired [Eiland] after three seasons because their pitching staff had under-performed, which looks only more true after a 2011 in which the staff’s ERA jumped from seventh in the American League to fourth.

The District Attorney Posted: October 27, 2011 at 05:17 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Big Hurt’s a brewer

JC: Will players drink it in the clubhouse during games?

FT: [Laughs] I hope not until after, but trust me, it’s a great beer. .?.?. It’s got a Canadian feel to it and can sneak up on you.

Sneak up on you like moose, or sneak up on you like firemen?

scotto Posted: October 27, 2011 at 01:43 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, white sox

Jim Kaat: MONEYBALL and Game 7

Oh no! Oh no! Gold Glove Award #14 musta fallen off the shelf and konked Kitty Kaat in the head! Again.

Tim McCarver and I had a discussion recently about ‘money-ballplayers and moneyball players. There’s a difference. Yogi Berra and Kirby Puckett were money-ball players not necessarily moneyball players.

...A moneyball player may get on base more than some free swingers and score a fairly high number of runs but will they get the key hits to win close games.??  In the movie Peter Brand ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 01:25 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, athletics, history, media, sabermetrics, television, yankees

Hoffman: Key for Phillies is to build a better bullpen

And wouldn’t all of them benefit from a touch less work? And wouldn’t the entire operation be better served if the organizational approach to stocking the bullpen consisted of one word: more?

Bullpens in baseball are like defensemen in hockey. In the NHL, come playoff time, you want to have so many defensemen available that they are sleeping on cots in the hallway - because you never know, and you can’t do without them. It is the same with bullpens. Relief pitchers defy predictability, and so ...

Read More...
ColonelTom Posted: October 27, 2011 at 01:03 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: general

2011 World Series Game 6 CHATTER (TAKE TWO!)

Let’s try this again:

Rangers (Lewis) at Cardinals (Garcia). 8:05. FOX.

Rangers lead series 3-2.

Gamingboy Posted: October 27, 2011 at 12:48 PM | 1811 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Joe Maddon: Any potential ban on beer ‘asinine’

Oh, some bozo from Brooklyn was skunked on beer playin’ backyard bombardier…

“I’m not into knee-jerk reactions,” the Rays’ manager told WEEI.com. “If somebody had all of these wonderful thoughts prior to this happening I may be more on board with it, or more empathetic to it. But all of this knee-jerk stuff that occurs in our game absolutely drives me crazy. If you want to be proactive about some thoughts, go ahead be proactive and I’m all for that. But to say a grown-up can’t have a beer ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, special topics

Thomason:  Keltner List: Joe Torre

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

Yes, other than an embarrassing stint managing the Yankees.

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, hall of fame, mets, yankees

De Luca: Hey, Cubs fans, baseball execs aren’t rock stars

Yeah, right…like Roy Hamey didn’t have that whole suave-de-frump Crocus Behemoth look going on.

So before we start plotting Cubs championship parade routes, let’s step back and take a deep breath.

Epstein just arrived. He’s wrapping up his first week on the job in a cramped, decaying office at Clark and Addison, and we’ve seen no real change. For all of his talk at the news conference and press stops, he really hasn’t said anything of substance. His new partners — executive vice ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 10:04 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, red sox, sabermetrics, scouting

La Russa no fan of ‘Moneyball’

Look, just because Hollywood didn’t come through with that Richard Harrow mask during your shingles mingle is no reason to…

As for “Moneyball,’’ La Russa said he went once already and walked out on it.

“It’s our tribute to all the scouts and baseball people that were dissed by ‘Moneyball,’ ’’ he said. “That’s why I walked out of ‘Moneyball.’ ’’

Why is he down on the concept?

“On-base percentage is one of the most dangerous concepts of the last seven, eight ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 27, 2011 at 09:31 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, sabermetrics, scouting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-27-2011

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, October 27, 1961:

Joe Cambria, a baseball scout who has signed more than 500 youngsters to professional contracts, wishes he had latched on to just one more.
...

Fidel Castro, a right-handed pitcher who since has been accused of left-handed political leanings, was rejected by Cambria in the mid-1940s.

“Castro had a good curve ball, but not much of a fast ball” Cambria told Bill Tanton of the Baltimore Evening Sun.

In retrospect, as a fringy right-handed soft tosser, ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 27, 2011 at 09:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, dugout, history, international

NYT (G.  Vecsey):  Pujols Won’t Find Unconditional Love Anywhere Else

The legion of elders who saw Musial play from 1941 to 1963 maintain that he would have higher recognition today as a career .331 hitter if he had played in a coastal city like New York, Boston or Los Angeles. What is overlooked is that the East Coast media hectored Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams in ways large and small — in a kinder and gentler time before the 24-hour gnawing of the carpenter ants of blog land and Twitter land.

Srul Itza Posted: October 27, 2011 at 02:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Taiwan “All-Star Series” will be on MLB Network

Good news, everyone! There will be more live baseball being shown on TV! Even if it’s just the barnstorming “All-Star” (although it’s really a “Three to Five All-Stars and then some other guys” team) series in Taiwan…..

Gamingboy Posted: October 26, 2011 at 11:27 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Angell:  EXPLAINING TONY

In an informal press conference early this morning, while feeding the clustering denizens of his Himalayan Marmot ranch in Alton, Illinois, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa offered further explanation of his notorious relief-pitcher mixup in the late innings of Monday’s Game Five of the World Series, which may have led to a go-ahead late two-run rally by the Texas Rangers, and their 4-2 victory. “Probably you won’t believe this,” La Russa said, “but just listen.” He then allowed ...

Read More...
Fat Al Posted: October 26, 2011 at 09:43 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

MLB: Davey Johnson expected to remain Nats manager

The Nationals are expected to retain Davey Johnson as their manager, according to a baseball source. An announcement would be made after the World Series ends.

Johnson took over the position on an interim basis on June 26, three days after Jim Riggleman resigned. Washington went 40-43 under Johnson, finishing third in the National League East—their highest finish since the team moved from Montreal after the 2004 season.

Teams are asked by Major League Baseball not to make major announcements ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 26, 2011 at 09:16 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Dewan: Andrus and Kinsler

I haven’t seen teamwork like this… since Elvis and Larry Geller!

These plays [in Game 5 of the 2011 World Series] are an extension of what [Elvis] Andrus and [Ian] Kinsler have been doing all season. Defensively, they are the best double play combination in the game. And on the base paths they were baseball’s two best baserunners in 2011.

Here are the Defensive Runs Saved totals for the top five shortstop-second base combos in 2011:

Combo            Team      2B Runs Saved SS Runs Saved ...
Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: October 26, 2011 at 08:27 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

CBS: Bernstein: Time For Cubs Fans To Grow Up

New Chicago language? This is so sharp…I thought it was written by the other Dan Bernstein!

Stop getting over-attached to individual players to the point where you overvalue them. Players are people, but they are property: assets to be cultivated, and promoted or traded as needed. Just because you like a guy, it doesn’t mean anybody really thinks he’s any good, or that your team wouldn’t be better served flipping him for someone better. Your Ryan Theriot jersey-shirt makes you look ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 26, 2011 at 08:19 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, media, red sox, sabermetrics

Cronin: Did Topps turn down a deal on Maury Wills because he was such a bad prospect?

Send Me No Five Dollars. (obligatory Kappelhoffonian riff)

It was during this tryout that Topps employee Turk Karam was visiting the Tigers training camp signing new players to Topps contracts (which, again, were $5 for any minor leaguer who looked like he had a chance at the Majors). Karam did not offer Wills a contract. Sy Berger, the Topps executive in charge of player relations, questioned Karam as to why he did not sign Wills. After all, Wills was in the Tigers’ Major League training ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 26, 2011 at 07:51 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media, memorabilia

ESPN: Rubin: What to do with David Wright?

Love, then tragedy strikes the town!

In one respect, losing Reyes would seem to all but cement Wright remaining a Met in 2012. After all, with the Mets starving for revenue, the double hit of losing Reyes and Wright—even with the promise of building for a better future—would lead to a more desolate Citi Field in 2012, a further revenue drain, and losses Fred Wilpon and family seemingly could not withstand.

But if the Mets had owners with deep enough pockets to absorb a short-term revenue ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 26, 2011 at 06:06 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

Full Count—So about that Starbucks sighting of Theo Epstein…

Mystery solved.

“When I’m somewhere when I don’t want to be recognized and someone recognizes me, I have a couple standard lines I always go to,” he acknowledged. “‘Oh, no, that’s not me, but I guess I kind of look like him. I get that a lot.’ Or, I say, ‘Theo Epstein, who’s that?’ I was so excited to be in Chicago, and so surprised to be recognized, that I dropped both lines on this guy without stopping to think that they really don’t work very well in concert with one ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2011 at 05:23 PM | 237 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Bruce Jenkins: La Russa should see humor in situation he made

Captain Jenks phones one in…

With Game 6 of the World Series tonight in St. Louis, I’d suggest that Tony La Russa arrive as a telephone repairman, complete with the proper outfit, a nifty hat and a set of tools. Anything to lighten the mood around a club that suddenly appears dismantled.

If humor is the proper tonic, this will be quite a trick. La Russa’s reputation is that of a man wound too tight, a bit strong on the rage and paranoia. Although he has won two World Series, there were 12 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 26, 2011 at 04:41 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

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