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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

AL Wildcard race: September 12, 2011

BOS 85-61 [2-9 in SEPT]
TBR 82-64 [8-3 in SEPT] (3 GB)

MLB.com: [B.J.] Upton leads charge in fifth straight win

Ben Zobrist drove in three runs and Jeff Niemann rebounded from consecutive poor outings with a strong 7 2/3 innings as the Tampa Bay Rays continued their winning ways with a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

B.J. Upton walked twice and hit two doubles in his first four at-bats, extending his streak of reaching base in consecutive plate appearances to nine, establishing ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 13, 2011 at 02:10 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

Monday, September 12, 2011

Posnanski: Wins and WAR and MVPs

Oh’Connell. Ohhh’Connell…

I wouldn’t want people to use WAR lazily, to put any emphasis on a two tenths of a point difference, to just blindly follow. But, to be blunt about it, I really don’t think that’s much of a problem. People who go to the effort to use WAR, to understand it, generally seem to know that it’s a tool, like all statistics. It’s adaptable. You can use your own defensive observations pretty easily, just as an example. And it will get better. It will get more precise. Even now ...

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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, projections, sabermetrics

BBTIA: The Future Of C.J. Wilson

Or as F.U. Barnald points out…“All these first initial pitchers end up sucking like A.J. Burnett”.

And on the ‘cons’ side, we have the fact that he has only two years of full-time starting experience (which, again, may be a virtue in his case, since that has helped depress the number of innings put on his arm), some conjecture about him possibly rubbing some of his teammates the wrong way, a few supposedly-controversial-but-not-really quotes about the fans and atmospheres in other cities, and ...

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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 09:47 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

Red Sox calling up Joey Gathright

Wonder if he can leap over an imperial walker…

According to a tweet from MLB Network and NESN analyst Peter Gammons, the Red Sox will add Joey Gathright to their major league roster.

“From Independent ball to Boston, welcome back Joey Gathright,” Gammons tweeted.

Gathright was acquired from the independent league Yuma Scorpions on Aug. 31 and assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Gathright was 3-for-8 with a walk and a steal in four games for the PawSox before the playoffs. The 30-year-old last ...

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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 09:31 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, red sox

Affeldt Injures Hand; Out for Season

Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt’s season came to an end Thursday at a backyard barbecue, of all places, when he punctured his right hand with a knife while trying to separate frozen hamburger patties, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Affeldt’s wound was so deep that he suffered nerve damage and had to undergo surgery to repair it.

“I should have used hot water,” Affeldt said in a phone interview with a pool reporter from The Associated Press. “If I had used a butter knife, nothing would have ...

Read More...
My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 12, 2011 at 08:38 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Bennett Miller, ‘Moneyball’ Director, On His Non-Baseball Baseball Movie

My #### didn’t work in the Battle of Camlann!

Which is why Miller made the film in the first place.

“I think had they gone to the World Series and won the World Series, there would be no movie there for me. I think it’s, you know, a perfect world as it happened,” he said, continuing, “I was not interested in the convention or the trope of the big victory, of the bright and fast burn of the ultimate triumph of them winning the game, and the excitement and just that ephemeral catharsis. This is ...

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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 01:30 PM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, history, media

WSJ: A.J. Burnett Makes a Pitch for History

...Burnett Ames fires…It’s in the dirt! Runners will advance! (tears into unsuspecting Alliant Sweet Chopped Onion packet)

Burnett already has 23 wild pitches this year, which puts him on a historic pace. Since 1901, only five pitchers have finished a season with more than 23 wild pitches, led by Red Ames’s 30 for the Giants in 1905. Since World War I, only three players have surpassed Burnett’s wild pitch total.

Burnett’s entire career has been marred by wild pitches. In the first 12 seasons ...

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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 10:06 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, yankees

Thoma: Fixing the Twins starts with defense

Thoma land security: A concerted effort to prevent runs.

When everything’s broken, what do you fix first?

In the case of the 2011 Twins, little went right, and much went horribly wrong. Only one team in the American League (Seattle) has scored fewer runs; only one team (Baltimore) has allowed more.

Offense and defense — the latter of which should be subdivided into pitching and fielding. Three interconnected aspects of baseball, because what you do with one affects the others.

...
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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 09:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics, twins

Rogers: Ricketts willing to wait on Epstein

Around baseball, there’s a belief Ricketts might hit a home run, possibly even persuading Epstein to leave the Red Sox after nine seasons and two World Series parades. It’s easy to see the downside with an organization that last won it all in 1908, but the perception outside Chicago is different.

“People in baseball talk about it like it’s the Holy Grail right now,’’ one major league executive said. “You have a chance to break a curse that’s longer than the one the Red Sox ended. You can ...

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Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 09:33 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, media, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-12-2011

Toledo News-Bee, September 12, 1911:

Pitcher [Joe] Hovlik, occupying a berth opposite [Joe] Benz, awoke at 8 o’clock in the morning and immediately tapped the other Joe on the shoulder.  Rousing him from his dreams, a ghastly expression on his face, Benz chirped: “What are you taking me out for; ain’t I pitching good ball?”

At the time, Hovlik was one of two active MLB players who had been born in Austria-Hungary.  That has nothing at all to do with Joe Benz’s dream; I just found it interesting. ...Read More...


STL Post-Dispatch: Cards, Carpenter agree on two-year extension

Intent on transacting as much business as possible before dealing with Albert Pujols looming free agency, the Cardinals have reached agreement with 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter on a two-year contract extension worth about $21 million, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The club intends to announce the deal later this week after finalizing formalities associated with the deal.
...
The extension rolls the clubs $15 million option on Carpenter for 2012 into a ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 12, 2011 at 05:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

AP: Mets denied right to wear special [9/11 first responder] caps

Major League Baseball denied the New York Mets’ request to wear baseball caps Sunday night honoring New York City emergency service departments for their game against the Chicago Cubs on the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations, told The Associated Press the decision was made to keep policy consistent throughout baseball and that “certainly, it’s not a lack of respect.”

The Mets wanted to wear caps honoring ...

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bobm Posted: September 12, 2011 at 04:02 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Rays to call up Matt Moore

The 22-year-old left-hander registered a superb 1.92 ERA and 210/46 K/BB ratio in 155 innings this season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.

I was a skeptic until I saw him pitch for the first time. But he’s the real deal.

Mike Emeigh Posted: September 12, 2011 at 01:25 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, rays

Sunday, September 11, 2011

MLB.com: Pirates extend GM Huntington’s contract

Speculation about general manager Neal Huntington’s job security can now be put to rest, as the Pirates announced on Sunday that Huntington has signed a three-year extension to remain in Pittsburgh. The contract also includes a club option for 2015.

Huntington’s previous contract was set to expire at the end of this season.

“I’m very excited to be able to continue to build what we have been working so hard on for the last four years,” Huntington said. “We’re on the right path. [Things] may be ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

AL West race: September 11, 2011

TEX 83-64 [6-4 in SEPT]
LAA 80-66 [7-3 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)

MLB.com: Big days from Wilson, Beltre carry Rangers

The Rangers rode the steady pitching of C.J. Wilson, a milestone homer from Adrian Beltre and two big innings to an 8-1 win on Sunday against the A’s at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Wilson was masterful, pitching eight scoreless innings and striking out 11 to earn his 16th win of the season.

MLB.com: Angels can’t shake off lead-changing error

In a game in which neither starting ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2011 at 11:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

Former pitcher Loewen hits first HR for Blue Jays

Lookin’ for my Loewen. Behold!

Adam Loewen once tried to prevent home runs as a Baltimore Orioles pitcher. On Sunday, he drilled a game-tying shot against his original team.

A converted pitcher now playing the outfield, Loewen hit his first major league homer to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Orioles 6-5.

“I know so many of the guys over there, it was special to do it against them,” said Loewen, who was both a pitcher and position player in high school and junior college.

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 11, 2011 at 10:30 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, game recaps, history, orioles

AL Wildcard race: September 11, 2011

BOS 85-61 [2-9 in SEPT]
TBR 81-64 [7-3 in SEPT] (3.5 GB)
LAA 80-66 [7-3 in SEPT] (5 GB)

MLB.com: Rays lower broom, in thick of Wild Card race

Desperately needing to sweep the Red Sox to have any chance at reaching the postseason, the Rays did exactly what the doctor ordered, coming away with a 9-1 win Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field to complete the weekend sweep.

The Rays (81-64) entered the weekend 6 1/2 games behind the American League Wild-Card leading Red Sox (85-61), and after three ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2011 at 10:08 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

NL Wildcard race: September 11, 2011

ATL 84-63 [4-8 in SEPT]
STL 79-67 [7-3 in SEPT] (4.5 GB)

MLB.com: Cards right back in playoff hunt after sweep

The Cards took advantage of an uncharacteristically shaky Tim Hudson en route to a 6-3 win over the Braves on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of Wild Card-leading Atlanta. Yadier Molina’s three-run double highlighted a five-run third inning against Atlanta’s ace, and the homestanding Redbirds held on from there.

The win pulled the Cardinals within 4 1/2 games of the Braves, who ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps

TampaBay.com: Upton brothers make history

Best Upton news since Bell and Bob Lobell reunited on Talk1200!

B.J. Upton’s fifth-inning grand slam earned him a rare curtain call from the Trop crowd, and a piece of history.

Upton and younger brotehr Justin, an outfielder for the Diamondbacks, are now the first set of brothers to go 20-20 - that’s 20 homers and 20 steals - in the same season.

AndrewJ Posted: September 11, 2011 at 08:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, history, rays

Yankees Catching News Catch-All Thread

First, Frankie Brains got brained.:

After being run over by Nick Markakis on Thursday, Cervelli has been in the Yankees lineup two days in a row, only to be scratched each time. Girardi said Cervelli has some concussion symptoms, and he was sent for an ImPACT test tonight.

Then, Russell Martin hurt his thumb:

X-rays are negative on Russell Martin’s thumb, but Joe Girardi said he’ll be out a day or two

So, Jorge Posada donned the tools of ignorance for the first time this year:

He ...

Read More...
The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 11, 2011 at 06:52 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, yankees

Red Sox, Rays Flirting With Historic Collapse, Comeback

Or as Red O’Flush drooled out at the bar last night…“OMG! Fred Stanley meets Grady Little!”

The Red Sox held a nine-game lead over the Rays on Sept. 3. Based on coolstandings.com, which simulates the remainders of seasons one million times to determine playoff chances, Boston finished that day with a season-high 99.6 percent chance of making the postseason.

Essentially, the site’s engine calculated that if the rest of the season was played out a million times, the Red Sox would make the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 11, 2011 at 03:29 PM | 172 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, rays, red sox, sabermetrics, yankees

McDonnell: With Mike Trout in the lineup, the Angels usually win

The Hatcher Act of 2011…in violation of something or another!

The 20-year old, who had never played above Double A until he was promoted in early July. He hit just .163 with one homer and six RBI, but the Angels went 9-3 in the dozen games he started. Since his August 19th recall, he’s again started twelve times and the Halos have triumphed in eleven. Obviously he’s a player who can do everything on the field—offensively and defensively—and do it well. But how has he been able to have the ...

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Repoz Posted: September 11, 2011 at 01:14 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, fantasy baseball, projections

Bickley: Randy Johnson seems at peace, ready for Diamondbacks reunion

This is the land of Grace and Schilling and Bierbrodt. They won’t fall for that!

Johnson turned 48 on Saturday, and the change in his personality seems profound. Retirement has muted his legendary intensity. Time has soothed most of the anger he felt toward the organization, although he still hasn’t forgotten how they rebuked his offer of a 50 percent pay cut, forcing him to reach a treasured milestone (300 victories) and end his career in a different uniform (Giants).

“It was (Jeff) Moorad ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 11, 2011 at 12:21 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, hall of fame, history

Image of the day: Memorial in Monument Park

Creative Commons by JVarghese81.


Image of the Day usually only makes in-season appearance for special occasions or remembrances. And today, on the tenth anniversary of the 9-11-01 attacks, here is a picture of a memorial to the victims put up in Monument Park in old Yankee Stadium, which I presume was moved over to the new stadium as well.

Gamingboy Posted: September 11, 2011 at 11:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics

NY Times: Big League Anxiety on the Baseball Diamond

Sunday Book Review of THE ART OF FIELDING By Chad Harbach

Chad Harbach makes the case for baseball, thrillingly, in his slow, precious and altogether excellent first novel, “The Art of Fielding.” “You loved it,” he writes of the game, “because you considered it an art: an apparently pointless affair, undertaken by people with a special aptitude, which sidestepped attempts to paraphrase its value yet somehow seemed to communicate something true or even crucial about the Human ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: September 11, 2011 at 06:07 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: books, fantasy baseball

AL West race: September 10, 2011

TEX 82-64 [5-4 in SEPT]
LAA 80-65 [7-2 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)

MLB.com: Rangers burned by grand slam in loss to A’s

The Rangers trailed by five runs going into the bottom of the sixth before launching a comeback that fell one hit short in an 8-7 loss to the Athletics on Saturday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington.

MLB.com: Haren blanks Yanks as Halos climb up West

A more efficient Haren outlasted Sabathia, foiling the Yanks’ ace in his bid for a 20th win, and the Angels prevailed, 6-0, with some ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2011 at 04:03 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

AL Wildcard race: September 10, 2011

Braves and Brewers (both having played Phillies/Cards this past week) are also making things more interesting than they’d both probably like, and may also be showing up soon.

BOS 85-60 [2-8 in SEPT]
TBR 80-64 [6-3 in SEPT] (4.5 GB)
LAA 80-65 [7-2 in SEPT] (5 GB)

MLB.com: Behind Longoria, Rays trim Wild Card deficit

But in the 11th, Desmond Jennings hit a ball to right-center off Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard that Jacoby Ellsbury couldn’t catch. Jennings made it to third, and then after B.J. ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2011 at 03:10 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rays, red sox

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guillen wants to lead White Sox ‘next 20 years’

Yeah, and I want to lead Die Jungen for the next 20 years…but that whole one-man-band thing kinda gets in the way.

Ozzie Guillen hopes 2011 won’t be his final season with the White Sox. In fact, Guillen said Saturday he expects his managerial tenure in the city to extend well beyond the present decade.

“I expect to be back here next year,” Guillen told ESPN 1000’s “Talkin’ Baseball” on Saturday. “I expect to be back here for a long time. I think I’m shooting for the moon, but I think my ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 10, 2011 at 11:07 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Joel Horlen, former OSU baseball player

Catching up with the traceable Joel Horlen.

Horlen, now 74, is believed to be the only person to play on teams that won the Pony League World Series, the College World Series and the major league World Series.

We had a good pitching staff. Led the league in four or five different categories. I still didn’t get pitcher of the year award.

I faced a bunch of good hitters. Tony Oliva won the batting title every year. That’s about the only guy I can remember that I really didn’t like facing. I ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 10, 2011 at 10:56 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: college, history, reds, white sox

Sullivan: LaHair hopes to be given chance to make Cubs in ‘12

Lots of interesting little tidbits in this one:

LaHair credited Iowa hitting coach Von Joshua for changing his hand slot and helping renew his confidence. He hopes to be given a chance to make the Cubs in 2012, though the organization appears to be leaning toward re-signing Carlos Pena.

Dusty watch: Reds manager Dusty Baker said the hardest part of managing the Cubs was the lack of patience in Chicago.

“They keep reminding you of the 100 years,” he said, referring to the 103-year ...

Read More...
McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 08:04 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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