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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of ...

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QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, hunter pence, rangers

Triple-A Game features 33 runs, cycle, four-homer game from Yasmany Tomás

The Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) and Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) played a wild one on Monday. The game featured 33 runs on 39 hits and 16 walks with 10 homers. Four of those homers were hit by Yasmany Tomás. Matt Szczur hit for the cycle while Kevin Cron knocked in six runs and hit a pair of homers, giving him 21 on the season. Reno won 25-8, by the way.

The Triple-A hitting boom of this season, epitomized in one game.

 

QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting for the cycle, home run derby, matt szczur, triple a, yasmany tomas

Angels’ Simmons sprains ankle; X-rays negative on Ohtani’s hand

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons left Los Angeles’ Monday night game against the Minnesota Twins in Anaheim, Calif., due to a left ankle injury in the eighth inning.

Los Angeles manager Brad Ausmus said that X-rays were negative, but Simmons was diagnosed with a sprained ankle. An MRI exam is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury.

Simmons was trying to beat out a grounder into the hole between first and second when he landed awkwardly while stretching for the first base bag and then tumbled to the ground. He had to be helped off the field and couldn’t put any pressure on the ankle.

Do you suppose Mike Trout has any regrets?

 

QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:32 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: andrelton simmons, angels, injuries, shohei ohtani, the ship be sinking

APNewsBreak: Yanks, Red Sox play on artificial turf London

The traditional rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will take a radical twist when they meet in London next month: They will play on artificial turf for the first time in more than 2,200 games over a century.

Major League Baseball has access to Olympic Stadium for 21 days before the games on June 29 and 30, the sport’s first regular-season contests in Europe, and just five days after to clear out. The league concluded there was not enough time to install real grass.

Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics . The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league ...

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QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: artificial turf, london, neutral site games, red sox, yankees

Monday, May 20, 2019

Cody Bellinger’s speed is key to his .400 batting average | MLB.com

Cody Bellinger is pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 08:27 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers

Cespedes Suffers Ankle Fractures in Ranch Accident

Given the headline I was hoping to he’d slipped on some spilled salad dressing. But per Tweet from Anthony DiComo:

Cespedes suffered a “violent fall” and twisted his right ankle in a hole, per GM Brodie Van Wagenen. He was not riding a horse, the GM said, but it was a non-baseball related activity. Van Wagenen did not elaborate further, and did not offer a timeline for Cespedes’ recovery.

That’s a lot less funny than I’d hoped.


Rangers Hall of Fame to induct Josh Hamilton, Mayor Richard Green

Josh Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, and Richard Green, the Arlington mayor when Globe Life Park was built and opened, will be inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame this summer.

The Rangers announced the selections Monday at lunchtime, and the induction ceremony will be held before their Aug. 17 game against the Minnesota Twins.

The Rangers have a Hall of Fame?  You’ll have to excuse me for not knowing.  Arlington isn’t much of a baseball town.



Sandy Alcantara pitches first career shutout | Miami Marlins

Nice game by Alcantara.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, sandy alcantara

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-20-2019

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, May 20, 1919:

Big Chief Meyers, manager of the New Haven team, had better win more games than his team has copped in the past six days or one of these fine mornings he may find himself on the outside of a ball park looking in.
...
Up to yesterday the New Haven players had not engaged in one single practice together. There seemed to be no desire on the part of the pilot to take out his team for a couple of hours each morning and instruct the players to go through some sort of drill.
...
“Red” Torphy has several times attempted to get the boys onto the ball field, but only a few have responded. Big Chief doesn’t seem to care.

Unsurprisingly, Meyers didn’t make it through the season as the manager. He stuck around as ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive indifference, dugout, history

Texas Rangers: How Willie Calhoun’s renewed mindset after starting season in minors has given Rangers a much-needed offensive injection | SportsDay

“It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of him,” manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s pretty special to see a kid who obviously wasn’t happy, but basically accepted what was going on and said ‘I’m going to be better because of the circumstances I’ve been put in.’ It didn’t affect him. He did everything he needed to do. It’s just a testament that he embraced our conversations. Hopefully, he knows that regardless of what happens moving forward, he’s done everything to belong here. I can’t make any promises to any player, but he’s made an impact in every game we’ve played.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, willie calhoun

Is Angels owner Arte Moreno just playing Long Beach for leverage or what? | Field of Schemes

So the question now becomes: Did Angels execs finally start returning Long Beach’s phone calls because they were seriously interested in moving there, or because they were seriously interested in Anaheim officials thinking they were seriously interested in moving there? In other words, is this a genuine possibility, or just a savvy negotiator trying to create leverage?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, stadium deals

Rays’ Yandy Diaz says Yankees hit him intentionally; Daniel Robertson relieved he wasn’t hurt

“At first I thought I might have broken my wrist,’’ he said. “Of course it’s frustrating. There isn’t anything you can do about it. It happened.

Diaz said he “hopefully” will get the chance for revenge.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yandy diaz, yankees

Gene Collier: The injured list that’s eating baseball | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Nobody is 100 percent sure how close they’re coming to problems, but we’re much better at estimating it and much more business savvy about it. No one wants to find out that Pitcher X can’t pitch 225 innings without damaging himself; we’d much rather fall just short of it.”

It’s almost to the point of embarrassment that the baseball media spends so much time in the spring fretting over who the fifth starter is, who’ll nail down the final bullpen slot, who’ll get the last utility role, because this isn’t about 25 guys anymore. It’s about the organization’s next 25 guys, or 35. More than ever, players are going to get hurt, and some who don’t are going to get shut down anyway because you don’t want them to get ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: injured list

Javier Baez injures his right heel as the Cubs hold off the Nationals 6-5 - Chicago Tribune

Manager Joe Maddon and Baez, who has started in all 44 of the Cubs’ games at shortstop, said he could return as soon as Monday night’s game against the Phillies at Wrigley Field.

“As of right now, I’d imagine that he can,” Maddon said. “But I want to double check.”

Said Baez: “I’m good.”

“It was right before I caught it,” Baez said. “I didn’t twist it. I just went too hard to the ground. My heel kind of got jammed a little bit. All good. It depends on how it goes (Sunday night), and I want to play (Monday). Joe is going to decide whether I play or give me a day. But I hope I don’t need it. I’ll be playing (Monday), hopefully.”

Baez, who had played 395 2/3 consecutive innings at shortstop to start the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Mickey Callaway’s greatest sin: Telling Mets GM what he wants to hear

Blood is in the water.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:09 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, mickey callaway

Bullpen failure wraps up rough trip for reeling Cardinals | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

The Mets aren’t the only team taking on water.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Pirates’ Josh Bell proving critics wrong with breakout season

It’s like vacationing in Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, traveling to San Francisco without seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, or traveling to the Grand Canyon, without, well, looking into the canyon.

Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, a Texas native, spent his entire past winter in Newport Beach, California ... and never went to the beach.

Snubbed the nightclubs.

Skipped the fine dining.

Oh, but he can tell you all about the batting cages, workout facilities, practice fields and health-food spots in Southern California.

“I didn’t go there on vacation,’’ Bell told USA TODAY Sports. “I went there for work.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:06 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: josh bell, pirates

Mets’ Syndergaard goes off: Mickey Callaway firing talk is ‘bulls—t’

If the players want to keep Callaway around they need to play better.

“I think we have dug ourselves into a little bit of a hole,” Syndergaard said after the Mets lost 3-0 and were swept three games by the worst team in the major leagues. “Before anybody starts pressing the panic button, I just think everybody should be reminded of where we were in 2015.

“There were a lot of guys on this team that weren’t there then, but we were in a lot lesser shape and it was later in the season and we had some pretty good results that season.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 08:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard


Judge gives Miguel Cabrera break on child support, but affair cost Tigers star millions

Under an amended final judgement, Cabrera will now pay $14,000 a month in child support to the woman he secretly fathered two children with, instead of the $20,000 a month that was originally ordered in March.

That may sound like chump change for a man who makes $30 million a year. But Cabrera got frugal during the case and scored some points with the judge, who tweaked his original order to Cabrera’s liking.

Hank Gillette Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cabrera

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Bruce Markusen: #CARDCORNER: 1979 TOPPS GENE TENACE

Tenace turned in his gaudy, green-and-gold Oakland polyesters for the even gaudier brown-and-yellow threads preferred of the Padres. Making the transition to the National League, Tenace hit 15 home runs, but his patient hitting style drew the ire of Kroc.

“Tenace kept saying if he played every day he’d improve,” Kroc complained to the Sporting News. “Well he’s been in there every day and he hasn’t done a damn thing. All he wants to do is walk. Well, we can’t win games waiting for walks. He’s being paid to hit, and he can’t hit.”

In reality, Tenace did hit that season, putting up an OPS of .824.

He would follow that up with three more productive seasons in San Diego, but the Padres failed to make the postseason during ...

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Fiore Gino Posted: May 18, 2019 at 10:28 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, gene tenace, oakland a's, san diego padres



Bundle up! 2020 MLB opening day is March 26, earliest ever

NEW YORK (AP)—The 2020 Major League Baseball season will open March 26, the earliest big league opening day.

The Texas Rangers announced Friday they will play the St. Louis Cardinals in an exhibition on Monday, March 23 as the first game involving major league teams at Globe Life Field, their new ballpark with a retractable roof.

A person familiar with the schedule then said the season will open on Thursday, March 26. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized.

And yet they wonder why so many early games suffer due to the cold…..

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: march madness, opening day

Hal Steinbrenner pleased with injury-decimated team’s play

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is pleased with the performance of his injury-decimated team.

“Considering the adversity we’ve faced in the first two months of the season, it’s phenomenal the job these guys have done,” Steinbrenner said Friday at a Yankees extended spring training game.

The Yankees have put 17 players on the injured list for 18 total stints. Still, they entered a three-game home series against AL East-leading Tampa Bay with a 26-16 record, a half-game behind the Rays.

Domingo Germán, inserted into the starting rotation after ace Luis Severino got hurt, leads the major leagues with eight wins. Clint Frazier, who began the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, it hitting .280 with six ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hal steinbrenner, injuries, yankees

Column: Penny-pinching Rays manage to keep up with big boys

They play in an architectural nightmare of a ballpark.

They are treated like pariahs in their own community.

They have to get by with one of baseball’s stingiest payrolls.

Yet, somehow, the Tampa Bay Rays make it work.

Point of order! In an environment where half the teams at any given time seem no longer to be trying to win, “penny-pinching” is no longer meaningful as a description!

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Andrew McCutchen’s league-best eye and extra work making the Phillies a better team

This was the Andrew McCutchen game.

The Phillies would not have snapped their three-game skid without his bat, his arm or his eye.

McCutchen was on the field at Citizens Bank Park around 3 p.m. Friday doing extra work. Specifically, he wanted to hit slow curveballs off the pitching machine to slow himself down, to force himself to stay back and utilize the whole field.

“Felt like I’ve been muscling up quite a bit on the ball as opposed to waiting,” he said.

Mind you, his offense performance is actually worse than it had been for the Giants last year, and remember how that ended….

 

QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, phillies

Angels block Dodgers’ attempt at doing something cool

There’s an interesting story in the Los Angeles Times today about a neat idea the Dodgers had a couple of years ago. The idea: converting a dying mall in the San Fernando Valley into a small minor league ballpark and moving their single-A California League team there.

The plan would cost taxpayers nothing as the Dodgers and the existing landowners would foot the entire bill. It would not add to traffic, parking or zoning problems in the area — L.A.’s mayor said it would have less impact than if a Costco opened on the same property. It would provide cheap, accessible entertainment for an area of the city which is home to almost two million people for whom simply bopping down to Dodger Stadium is a tremendous headache given the ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, minor leagues

Ian Kinsler shouts f-bombs at hometown fans

Padres infielder Ian Kinsler went into last night’s game against the Pirates hitting .171/.230/.316. He’s gotten a lot of heat from Padres fans for that. Some players let that kind of thing get to them, some don’t. Kinsler’s behavior last night made it pretty clear that it’s been getting to him.

We know this because when Kinsler hit a go-ahead three-run homer in last night’s game against the Pirates he flipped his bat — and it was a pretty sweet flip — and when he crossed the plate he raised both hands up, looked into the crowd and dropped some f-bombs which seemed to be aimed directly at the hometown fans:

....

I can’t read lips well, but it seems to me he’s saying “F*** you, f*** all you” as he crossed the ...

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QLE Posted: May 18, 2019 at 08:02 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: ian kinsler, obscenities, padres

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