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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sydney Herald: Hey dude, don’t dis the curveball

I hear this all started in a Toowoomba bar…

A STORY in Wednesday’s Herald, reporting on the Higher School Certificate English exam - a test of the way in which NSW students read and write their native language - was led by an idiom born in the USA. ‘‘Year 12 students,’’ your correspondent wrote, ‘‘were thrown a curve ball yesterday …’‘

...Baseball phrases such as ‘‘struck out’’ and ‘‘hit a home run’’ are at least as deeply embedded in Australian English as ‘‘caught behind’’ or ‘‘hit for ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 20, 2011 at 01:19 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: international

N.Y. Post: Potential Astros owner Jim Crane wants $50M discount to move team to A.L.

From “character issues” and “hurdles” to a $50 million discount. Scott Boras has nothing on Jim Crane ...

Sources told The Post that Crane—who reached a deal in May to buy the Astros from Drayton McLane for $680 million—is asking for a price reduction in the $50 million range to make the move.

On that front, the two sides are in the “ballpark” on the price, although a deal is far from certain, sources said.

[...]

Now Selig is pushing baseball owners to approve Crane as the new owner of ...

Read More...
Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, rangers, rumors

FanGraphs: Klaassen: When to Walk Pujols

As my old down in the vermouth barbud, Toe-Knee Arm-Ass, used to say…“ALL THE ####### TIME!”

It seems to happen every year — a good hitter gets especially hot in the playoffs and people start talking about how he should get the “Barry Bonds Treatment,” i.e., walking the batter almost every time he is up. It is generally a bad idea to give a free pass to any hitter that often, but if any current player deserves that treatment, it is Albert Pujols. A comparison of Pujols and Bonds as ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

Olbermann: For Heavens’ Sake: Replay!

Adrian of Nick-O-Media: The Beltre foul ball incident.

We will never know what would’ve followed: Adrian Beltre could have popped up on the next pitch, or homered igniting a 15-run rally, or torn his ACL running out a grounder, or anything in between.

But replays, taking less than sixty seconds of real time to watch, showed conclusively that Beltre fouled a ball off his foot with one out in the ninth against Jason Motte of the Cardinals in Game One of the 2011 World Series, and, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 20, 2011 at 10:06 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, media, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2011

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, October 20, 1911:

There was a rumor yesterday afternoon that Snodgrass had been shot by Baker or a friend of Baker. The report spread like all evil reports do, and it cost newspapers some money in hunting it down. The result was that it was discovered Snodgrass was not even half shot. He was found in his hotel smoking a big cigar with his feet in the air and his face stuck into a newspaper. He looked surprised when he was asked whether he was shot dead.

There’s no such ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 20, 2011 at 09:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rumors

MLB announces Fan Cave to return in 2012

Oh good…maybe I’ll watch it for the first time next season.

The MLB Fan Cave will be back in 2012, and signups are under way for those interested in watching every regular-season game as Major League Baseball’s next Dream Job winner.

MLB made the announcement Wednesday night during the Cardinals’ 3-2 victory over the Rangers in Game 1 at the 107th World Series. On hand to offer applicant advice were 2011 MLB Dream Job winner Mike O’Hara and wing man Ryan Wagner, an example of the perks of the ...

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Repoz Posted: October 20, 2011 at 09:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, television

Ars Technica: Placebo-ball: the science of baseball’s magical necklaces

As fans celebrate and detractors deride, baseball is a sport ridden with superstition. Playing 162 games per season will do that, leading to all manner of lucky hats (bats, chew tins, gloves, you name it), pregame rituals, and many other entreaties to the world of the magical. To make matters worse (if you’re a believer in this sort of thing), your opponents aren’t empty-handed either. You might be trying to placate the Lords of Batting Average, but the player on the mound answers to the Greek ...

Read More...
Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 20, 2011 at 09:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Cardinals edge Rangers to open World Series

Nelson Cruz sprinted over to the foul line, desperately trying to run down Allen Craig’s tailing liner. The right fielder came up just short, and so did the Texas Rangers.

Craig’s pinch-hit drive landed an inch or two in front of Cruz’s outstretched glove for a go-ahead single off reliever Alexi Ogando in the sixth inning that carried the St. Louis Cardinals over the Rangers 3-2 Wednesday in a chilly World Series opener.

On a night when all the runs were driven in with opposite-field hits to ...

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Repoz Posted: October 20, 2011 at 03:40 AM | 105 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, game recaps, rangers

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leo Durocher memorabilia to be auctioned in Belleville

Oh, please. Oh, please…let a cultural crossover William Bendix watch be part of the loot.

Divorce papers, lawsuits from his mother, love letters and a lot of baseball pictures and autographs are among the items in a collection of the stepdaughter of baseball great Leo Durocher to be auctioned Tuesday night in Belleville.

...One document details the agreement that Durocher signed in 1935 to pay his mother $500 a month as long as he was making at least $6,000 per year in baseball.

There also ...

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Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:30 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia

Forbes: Baseball and the Marriage Premium

According to OPS, the secret ingredient is… love??  Who’s been screwing with this thing???

In honor of the World Series, which starts tonight*, I dug out a research paper I’ve been sitting on for a while.

The paper, ‘Productivity, Wages, and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball‘ looks at the wages of baseball players and identifies a 16% gap between the wages of married players and unmarried players.

Economists have been documenting the marriage premium – the income boost ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: October 19, 2011 at 09:52 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics

S&P LCD: Dodgers’ core legal issues remain intact, despite McCourt’s new pact

The showdown begins on Halloween! LCD is a pay site but I believe this article is free for nonsubscribers. Their coverage of bankruptcy issues is first-rate.

The divorce settlement announced earlier this week by Frank McCourt, owner of the L.A. Dodgers, and his estranged wife Jamie may lift the spirits of Dodgers’ fans more interested in baseball than judicial proceedings, but it is not likely to have much of a direct impact on the specific legal disputes facing the company in bankruptcy ...

Read More...
Kyle S at work Posted: October 19, 2011 at 07:38 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, media, television

ESPN: Dirk Nowitzki denied throwing out first pitch

Uwe Blab, Blab, Blab.

The Texas Rangers nominated Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki to throw out a first pitch before one of their home games in the World Series, but sources with knowledge of the team’s plans say that the recommendation has been nixed by Major League Baseball.

Unlike regular-season games, all first-pitch assignments in the World Series have to be approved from a list of candidates by the league office.

Sources told ESPNDallas.com that—with the NBA in the midst of a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 07:31 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

Baseball America: 2011 Draft Report Card Chat With Jim Callis and John Manuel

Nick (Long Island): Bradley Marquez sounds like the 2nd coming of Jose Reyes. Provided he sticks with baseball, will he hit enough to play everyday and what position do you see him playing?


Jim Callis: Marquez does draw those Reyes comparisons, though he ultimately may be more of a center fielder than a shortstop. He has the tools to hit, but he’s going to lose some at-bats while playing football at Texas Tech.


Chuck (Wichita): How does Bubba Starling compare to Mike Trout in terms of ...

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Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 07:13 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Selig to retire to Madison to write memoirs on UW campus

Oh, the Humanities!

Allan H. “Bud” Selig has charmed the UW-Madison history department, paid a million-plus for a professor to teach the history of sports and had scholarships created in his honor. His new office in the Humanities Building is cozy and modest. The effect of his presence will be the opposite.

No word on if the History Department is threatening to move out of state unless they get a new building.

The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: October 19, 2011 at 06:56 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, history

WSJ: Futterman: ‘LaRussaball’ Conquers All

This post-season has marked the full flowering of a form of baseball that’s best described as LaRussaball—a philosophy that emphasizes the systematic and frequent (some would say overzealous) use of a team’s relief pitchers. It’s a style of baseball that makes the role of the pitcher who starts the game less important while it elevates the profile and stature of the pitching specialists who come out of the bullpen to quell rallies in the later innings.

[...]

Coming into this World Series, ...

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Mattbert Posted: October 19, 2011 at 04:36 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

The Atlantic: Inside Baseball: The Boston Red Sox and Sports Journalism

So now the world knows what beat reporters evidently have long known: that [Terry] Francona is going through a divorce. So what? I don’t think anything less of Francona for that. But I do think less of all the reporters who kept that fact hidden from me all season why I was wondering why Francona seemed so helpless at the beginning and end of the season. What did all these reporters know and when did they know it?

Meanwhile, if I were a Red Sox season ticket holder, you’re damn right I would ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: October 19, 2011 at 03:52 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: media, red sox

The Atlantic: Rustbelt Baseball Fans: A Little Less Miserable?

Looks like I could use some company….

Over the past four decades, during which their economies were ravaged by deindustrialization, these three Rustbelt metros combined for just three World Series Championships—two for St, Louis and one for Detroit.  For the most part, the World Series has been a bi-coastal affair during this time, with just three metros—New York, L.A. and the Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland)—accounting for 16 out of the past 40 crowns. The Rustbelt has fared somewhat ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2011 at 02:00 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business, cardinals, media, tigers

Sherman: Sabathia talks with Yankees could push limits

You don’t pull no punches, but you don’t push River Avenue. And then there’s this…

On open market, C.J. Wilson can’t play the ace card

The Yankees are not the only team showing a lack of fervor for C.J. Wilson, though he has gone 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA the last two years and is left-handed. In supply and demand, this should make Wilson the top free-agent starter on the market — and once the bidding begins, all the talk of caution usually vanishes.

But I have yet to find a baseball ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 01:43 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: business, projections, rangers, sabermetrics, yankees

Sports News Baseball: Darvish ready for major league challenge

TOKYO (Kyodo)—The Yu Darvish sweepstakes are set to begin.

Nippon Ham Fighters ace Darvish, long said to be Japanese baseball’s next biggest export to the majors, is ready to make a move stateside through the posting system this offseason, Kyodo News learned through several sources on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Darvish, the highest paid player in Japanese baseball at an estimated 500 million yen per season, is expected to officially ask the Fighters to put him up for bidding after the ...

Read More...
Gamingboy Posted: October 19, 2011 at 01:22 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: japan

Boswell: Texas Rangers show blueprint for hitting homers in a football town

Filip Filipovi?tory is ours!

Now, with the 40th anniversary of Bob Short’s escape in the rearview mirror, it’s time to go all the way and let the last of the bygones be gone.

How times change. The Rangers are not only the Series favorite over the miraculous Cardinals — “Rangers in six” is the chalk pick and mine, too — the Texas franchise has become a fine team-building model for other clubs from prosperous cities that are football crazy but not yet addicted to baseball.

Now, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 01:16 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, rangers, scouting

WORLD SERIES Game 1 CHATTER

Rangers (C.J. Wilson) at St. Louis (Chris Carpenter). 8:05. FOX.

4 to 7 games to glory.

Gamingboy Posted: October 19, 2011 at 12:21 PM | 412 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Morrissey: Baseball GMs becoming celebrities

Morrissey: Something is squeezing my skullduggery!

With baseball turning more and more into a numbers game, Epstein has become a superstar among those who have a difficult time separating their love of baseball from their love of math.

And that cultural phenomenon partly can be explained by another one: fantasy baseball leagues.

Everyone thinks he’s a GM now. Everyone thinks he can put together a winning team, provided he has the right statistics to help him make an accurate evaluation of ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, history, red sox, sabermetrics

Doc Gooden: I missed ‘86 parade in drug haze

Hey Barra…here’s one of those written tributes to the 1986 Mets you were looking for.

Gooden, in an interview with ESPN, said he used drugs at a team party shortly after the Mets won Game 7 against the Red Sox and wound up leaving the party and eventually missing the parade. The team’s original excuse, that Gooden simply overslept, was tossed aside years ago.

“When the party started winding down, for myself, a lot of times I get to a certain point of using drugs, the paranoia sticks in,” ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets

Whitey Herzog forecasts a ‘strange, strange Series’

Whitey remembers…and that’s a good thing. (well…except for the Joe Lovitto being a good young player jazz)

Herzog also has a current link with the Rangers in team president Nolan Ryan. In 1971, Ryan was a young fireballer with the New York Mets and Herzog was that club’s farm director. As such, he got a call from Mets general Bob Scheffing after that season.

“Scheffing called me and said, ‘Would you call (young outfielder) Leroy Stanton and tell him that we traded him for (Jim) Fregosi?’’ ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, rangers

Bill McClellan: A last hurrah for a great sport

And who used my 100-box top “Swerdlocs love Kix ‘cause they’re fun ta catch” t-shirt as a dust rag?!

I am reminded of that night as St. Louis hosts the World Series. The crowds will be large and festive, and Cardinals fans will be in a celebratory mood, but just beneath the surface of our collective consciousness is the realization that an era is passing.

Baseball was once the national pastime. Literally. Kids got up early on summer mornings and played baseball all day long. They no longer ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-19-2011

New York Times, October 19, 1911:

His mind unbalanced as a result of the feverish interest displayed in the outcome of the Giant-Athletic contract while watching the bulletin board returns here yesterday, Allen McGyre, 14 years old…disappeared from his home last night.
...

Shortly after the result of the eleventh inning was posted the boy left the bulletin board downcast, and later was found lying across a trolley track by E.H. Low, who took him home.

When Edgar Renteria ended the ‘97 World ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, dugout, history

Occupy St. Louis to show commercial-free World Series

And to think, only about a month ago…the Cards were a 99 to 1 shot to win the World Series.

Occupy St. Louis invited baseball fans on Tuesday to watch the World Series for free on a big screen at its campsite, and said it would stream its message against economic inequality between innings.

The group, part of the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, said it would show the opening game of the series, which starts on Wednesday at Busch Stadium, at its Kiener Plaza campsite.

“Come watch the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 04:47 AM | 171 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

NYT:  Great From Day One, Pujols Draws Superlatives on and Off the Field

McGwire’s last season was Pujols’s first. McGwire said he had never heard of Pujols in spring training 2001, when Pujols had played only briefly above Class A. But McGwire said he could tell, instantly, that Pujols was destined for stardom. He understood the strike zone, hit for power to all fields, and did it with a demeanor that belied his 21 years.

The Cardinals did not plan to put Pujols on the roster, but McGwire was adamant. He told La Russa that if Pujols was sent to the minors, it ...

Read More...
Srul Itza Posted: October 19, 2011 at 02:47 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: general

NYT:  Rangers Turn to Wilson, Their Ace and Student of the Game

When he was 13, Wilson read Seaver’s book “The Art of Pitching,” an analytical study of various approaches to pitching, from which Wilson can still recall specific passages and illustrations.

*  *  *

Despite being left-handed, Wilson holds Seaver in such great esteem as a pitcher that he still cannot forgive the five voters out of 430 who did not put Seaver on their Hall of Fame ballot.

“Who’s the jerk that didn’t vote for him?” Wilson said. “That’s what I want to ...

Read More...
Srul Itza Posted: October 19, 2011 at 02:44 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peters: From Francona to La Russa, why there’s no such thing as the best manager in baseball

And check out the everyday, everyday, everyday Tony La Russa rewrote the book companion piece.

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool baseball guy. I went to my first major league game in 1949 at Griffith Stadium to watch the Washington Senators play, and still upon occasion nostalgically don my No. 3 Mickey Vernon itchy, all-wool replica jersey. In 1954 I attended the glorious welcoming parade for the former St. Louis Browns, turned Baltimore Orioles—and subsequently listened to every inning of the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 11:44 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

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