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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Leave the JUGS gun. Take the deditos de novia.
In less than two weeks with the Mets in spring training, Jose Valverde has emerged as the leader of, what the reliever calls, the team’s “Dominican Mafia.”
The members include young pitchers Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Rafael Montero and Gonzalez Germen, and meetings are held in a corner of the clubhouse near Valverde’s locker. Another veteran Dominican pitcher, Bartolo Colon, also presides.
“It feels like we are brothers here,” ...
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM | 50 comment(s)
The following question came before the American body politic Tuesday: Should Congress designate baseball’s opening day as a federal holiday?
To which fans responded: You mean it’s not?
The first day of the baseball season is already a day of mass miracles, when hundreds of thousands of invalids who call in sick at 8:30 a.m. are healed in time to be at the ballpark by the first pitch at 1:05 p.m. Maybe it should be a religious holiday….
Like many great ideas, the movement to create ...Read More...
The Yankees made them do it. That’s the time-honored explanation for the American League’s decision to move the Philadelphia Athletics to Kansas City in 1954. After strong-arming the rest of the league to install a friendly, compliant owner in Kansas City, the Yankees looted the Athletics franchise, acquiring such key players as Roger Maris, Ralph Terry and Clete Boyer in return for nobody in particular.
That conventional wisdom has been disputed recently by historian Bill Deane, who ...Read More...
The race to sign Big Six is heating up.
Milwaukee Sentinel, February 26, 1914:
Christy Mathewson, the Giant star pitcher, who has been offered the berth of manager of the Federal league Brooklyn club left [Los Angeles] on Wednesday for Marlin Springs, Tex., the spring training camp of the New York Giants.
He carried with him his unsigned contract to play with the Giants and while reiterating his intention to seriously consider the Federal offer, declared he was confident of coming to terms ...
83-year old Jerry Izenberg, on Monte Irvin’s 95th birthday.
The last Eagle will be 95 years old this morning. Monte Irvin broke the New York Baseball Giants’ color line in 1949 and played in two World Series for them. He was the first African-American to work as an aide in the office of the Commissioner of Baseball. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
That’s for the résumé.
But for me, he will always remain a Newark Eagle.
...Now, after all those years home and abroad ...
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 08:00 AM | 17 comment(s)
Hello…Manuel, no longer in Chavez Ravine…you’re on the air!
Larry King bleeds blue for his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers and even celebrated his 80th birthday at the stadium last November.
Now, the lifelong fan will become one of the faces of the team as he hosts Larry King at Bat, a new series premiering March 18 at 7 p.m for the SportsNet LA channel, which launched today.
A season ticket holder and a fan since the Dodgers played in Brooklyn (they moved to L.A. in 1957, which shows what a ...
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 06:33 AM | 10 comment(s)
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Great Gutzons! Garry Templeton is on Ozzie Smith’s Mount Rushmore of shortstops!
For now, Jeter already has a special place in history in Smith’s eyes. When asked to name his shortstop Mount Rushmore, Smith was quick to include him.
“Well, of course Cal would be on there. Derek would be on there. Omar Vizquel would be on there. The guy I got traded for actually would be one of those guys because he was a true five-tool player,” said Smith.
Also, naturally: “And of course, I’d put myself on ...
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:16 PM | 177 comment(s)
From the person who brought us Gregg Zaun as a drunken mini-boss, we have the (unpatched) 2014 Blue Jays adventure!
About a year ago I uploaded an 8 bit video game adventure surrounding the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays.
Needless to say, things didn’t work out as the game predicted.
I took a stab at predicting the 2014 season, but for some reason I can’t get it to work correctly.
Good cripple hitter
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 03:25 PM | 10 comment(s)
Even Pretzels Getzien and his 1.95 ERA don’t see the logic in this!
He delivered his message quiet matter-of-factly, as if he were discussing the everyday, the mundane, the fully expected. With neither fanfare nor a deep breath to preface his quiet announcement, Jose Fernandez calmly said, “My goal this year is to have a 1.95 ERA.” There.
Oh, 1.95? Well, of course? Why not? Why not 1.90?
“I think I can,” Fernandez said with an earnestness that is delightful and disarming. His response to his ...
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 36 comment(s)
Shouldn’t it have been Kuiper’s card?
Toledo News-Bee, February 25, 1914:
The White Sox and Giants were aboard the Orontes, nearing the equator. Half the party had been summoned on deck to watch the crossing of the line. Joe Benz thought he saw it in the distance, but Steve Evans declared it was high water and the equator was submerged.
An argument arose and the matter was appealed to Umpire Klem.
“Is it in or out at this season?” demanded Steve.
“I cannot make a decision,” replied Klem; “I didn’t see it.”
This has to be ...Read More...
Major League Baseball’s attempt to enact a rule to protect catchers from injury and possible concussions in home-plate collisions resulted in some experimental legislation announced today. But some of the bite was taken out of it, as far as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was concerned.
“I did think we were making some pretty good progress and then the progress was stopped,” said Matheny. “After talking with people from the players’ association and with Major League Baseball, I think we have ...
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:45 AM | 17 comment(s)
Adam Dunn seen here with his acting/hitting mentor Chuck Connors.
Dunn, an investor in the Oscar-nominated film “Dallas Buyers Club,” has an invitation to attend the Academy Awards show Sunday in Los Angeles. Dunn has a cameo role as a bartender in the movie, which was produced by his friend Joe Newcomb, founder of Truth Entertainment.
“I’m still debating whether I want to do it,” Dunn said from Chicago’s spring training camp in Glendale. “I don’t know yet, but the offer is there. How many ...
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:52 AM | 21 comment(s)
And stop wearing your shirttails backwards…and tuck in those caps in your pants!
On Monday, Robinson was in Sarasota, Florida to speak with Oriole players at spring training. Among those in attendance was Josh Hart, who was selected by the team in last year’s amateur draft. As Robinson made his way around the facilities, Hart had the opportunity to meet the former All-Star. The minor problem was, the 19-year-old had no idea about the man with whom he had come face-to-face.
Eduardo A. ...Read More...
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:23 AM | 171 comment(s)
We’ve all had Wheels to take ourselves away…
Phillies team president David Montgomery found Wheeler before the game.
“[He] told me on Sept. 21 that I wasn’t going to be back to do the games,” Wheeler said. “I did the last nine games knowing I was a lame duck. And that was a little difficult . . . Leaving the booth that Sunday, I caught myself looking around as I walked to the bus.”
...Wheeler is back in Clearwater this spring, going about his business as if nothing has changed. Although he ...
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
The new rule, 7.13, states “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate).” A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.
And there are a lot more rules, too. If a catcher blocks the plate with the ball, a collision is still legal. If a catcher blocks the plate without the ball, the runner is automatically safe.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Let’s see if I can make the biggest mess yet with this thread!
LAKE WORTH — Lake Worth city officials think they have a home run of an idea to help revitalize their city and save spring training on Florida’s east coast: A baseball stadium on the shores of Lake Osborne in John Prince Park.
They just need Palm Beach County, which owns the land, to buy into the idea. And that might not happen anytime soon.
...Still, city officials say they are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of ...
New “rule” being implemented in regards to blocking the plate, doesn’t really look like it does much though.
For this year, the rule being implemented will prohibit the “most egregious collisions” at the plate. The rule states that a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher or anyone else covering the plate. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the ...
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
Now that the Olympics are over it’s time for the important Hockey to restart.
We interrupt your daily curmudgeonliness for the following:
This is Hank the dog. Hank is a stray who wandered into the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training facility last week, and has since become the team’s unofficial mascot. Hank is the best dog. Why is Hank the dog so great? Well, before arriving at Brewers’ camp, he was wandering the streets of Phoenix after having been hit by a car.
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 35 comment(s)
Eat your heart out, Kerouac!
Yes, it’s a provocative title but a startling new find has me believing it’s true. Like the protagonist in Robert Coover’s 1968 novel The Universal Baseball Association, J. Henry Waugh, Prop., the 14-year-old Thomas Woodrow Wilson—known as Tommy—created a whole universe of players, statistics, and a pennant race, with or without the aid of dice. But unlike Waugh—who invented a table game using three dice, a “Stress Chart,” and an “Extraordinary ...
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM | 155 comment(s)
Trosty Icepick says…“To Yankee fans, those philosophies are sacred!”
It symbolizes the Yankee front office waking up to what’s been happening around them over the last 5 or so years and realizing that a team full of mashers isn’t going to get it done. Pitching wins championships, and elite defense behind any kind of pitching can elevate a team’s chances to win just as much as a bunch of 30-HR hitters can. That’s the kind of defense that Ellsbury and Gardner will provide. Another ...
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 50 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Press, February 24, 1914:
The world touring players, now in London, have come in for considerable panning as a result of their failure to play ball in the rain in Paris. The London papers gave great space to their arrival, but did not take kindly to the remarks of John McGraw that baseball would be a betetr [sic] game than cricket for England if that country wished to take the lead in sports. The Pall Mall Gazette suggested that “Mr. McGraw keep these impertinences to his friends at ...
A prevailing view of how far baseball fans were willing to go with integration was identified by a sportswriter named John Lardner in the 1950s. The view was described in Roger Kahn’s 1955 article “Ten Years of Jackie Robinson.” Kahn described Lardner’s view of a “50 percent color line.”
As long as a team fielded at least five white players, Lardner observed, it would remain predominantly white. That was a line that even progressive owners like Rickey preferred not to cross.
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 65 comment(s)
Albert productions: The basics.
As a three-time MVP, a .321 career hitter with 492 home runs and a certain Hall of Famer when he retires, Albert Pujols has no need to listen to critics, especially those ripping on his huge contract.
Oh, but how he would love to silence them.
Pujols, who is trying to bounce back from the two worst seasons of his career, said he avoids reading stories about himself and doesn’t have time to indulge those who say he’s an old 34 and will never reach his previous ...
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
Joey Votto, changing the constitution one wRC+ point at a time.
Becoming the face of baseball’s new metrics
And on some level, Votto’s WLW fireside chats have been something of a lecture, as well. He’s the tenured professor, educating and exposing people to new ideas.
At one point Votto explained wRC+, or Weighted Run Created Plus, sending a flood of traffic from southeastern Ohio to the servers at FanGraphs.com.
Votto’s become the face of a certain argument between new-school and ...
Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:41 AM | 15 comment(s)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Or as David Ben Ogilvy once said…“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of baseball immortals.”
Baseball’s new analytics — and a Greek chorus of bunt-loathing fans and media — will tell you that the sacrifice bunt is the most self-defeating tradition in baseball.
In fact, a member of the spring training media tried to tell Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington just that Sunday morning. Washington wasn’t angered by the question. But as often is the case with Wash, a ...
Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM | 27 comment(s)
The Yankees announced Sunday that they had signed Gardner, 30, to a four-year contract extension worth $50 million, with a club option for a fifth year.
A $2 million buyout clause if the Yankees decide not to exercise the option brings the total value of the deal to $52 million. Gardner does not have a no-trade clause, but the Yankees are obligated to pay him an additional bonus of $1 million in the event they do trade him.
So with big commitments to Ellsbury, Beltran and now Gardner, does ...Read More...
Joyful Calculus Instructor
Posted: February 23, 2014 at 06:58 PM | 51 comment(s)
Strauss auto pilot…
“The church of advanced metrics” actually has good things to say about Lynn. Though, unfortunately, they don’t quite put him in the same echelon as Wainwright and Kershaw. According to xFIP, an ERA retrodictor that uses the league average home run rate, Lynn has finished at 3.60 and 3.66 in 2012 and ’13, respectively. Both marks fell below his ERA, 3.78 and 3.97, respectively.
FanGraphs puts Lynn at six WAR over the past two seasons, an average of three per season. ...
Posted: February 23, 2014 at 05:22 PM | 12 comment(s)
Supposedly the Angels are haggling for 6 years, low $140-million range, and Trout wants a little more.
If I were the Angels I would stop haggling immediately, agree to whatever Trout wants and throw in a new car, and then send the entire organization on a celebratory trip to Bermuda for a week.
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