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Friday, August 26, 2011
The days of simply playing ball with your friends is over. It’s a different world out there for the preteen athlete, with “Elite” and “Select” commonly turning up in the names of our youth sports teams and leagues. We’re having tryouts for 10-and-under traveling baseball teams, and we’ve got 10-and-under basketball teams traveling the country playing against other fourth-graders at God knows what cost to the parents’ bank accounts and the kids’ psyches. All in the name of … what? Trophies? ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM | 20 comment(s)
Slideshow lists the top 15 managers named in a poll of 291 players.
AL domination in the top seven.
The center of Boston, Mass coordinates.
Bill James has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to baseball statistics. In short, he’s made a life out of breaking down numbers and how they affect the game of baseball. Now, he’s back at it.
James recently explained to NESN’s Tom Caron his newest statistic, temperature gauge. The statistic, which starts at room temperature—72 degrees—goes up or down depending on what a hitter does at the plate over a period of time. For example, if a ...
There was the Swine Flu thread, so why not the Hurricane thread. Isn’t that right, New York Mets and the rest of the Northeast teams?
The New York Mets say they have postponed Saturday and Sunday’s games against the Atlanta Braves because of Hurricane Irene.
Both games will be rescheduled as a single-admission doubleheader on Sept. 8 beginning at 4:10 p.m.
Major League Baseball already had moved Sunday’s games at Philadelphia and Boston to Saturday to make them part of day-night ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 08:49 PM | 912 comment(s)
In a surprise move, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost has unexpectedly retired and the club has hired YOU as the manager. After the thrill of being named manager of your favorite team has subsided you quickly get to the manager’s office to begin the first day on your arduous journey to turn this franchise around.
You walk into the office and see an antiquated-looking computer sitting on the desk in the corner. You approach it and are surprised to see it is still left on. It reads: ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 08:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
Because Twins fans here demanded it!
Here are all of the players since 1961 to hit .160 or worse in at least 200 plate appearances:
1. Roy Oyler: .135 in 247 PA (1968 Tigers)
2. Brandon Wood: .146 in 243 PA (2010 Angels)
3. Bob Uecker: .150 in 221 PA (1967 Phillies & Braves)
4. Jim Mason: .152 in 251 PA (1975 Yankees)
5. Al Weis: .155 in 213 PA (1966 White Sox)
6. Nate Colbert: .156 in 260 PA (1975 Tigers & Expos)
7. Dick Tracewski: .156 in 240 PA (1968 Tigers)
8. Andruw Jones: .158 in 238 PA ...
How did you spend your Thursday night? Or the wee small hours of Friday morning?
The Greensboro Grasshoppers played a 19-inning, 5-hours-and-9-minutes marathon against the West Virginia Power. On the final Thirsty Thursday of the season at NewBridge Bank Park, the beer taps were shut off for the last 11 innings.
The game ended after midnight when Christian Yelich—who sent it to extra innings with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth—lifted the Hoppers to a 5-4 victory by hitting an ...
Willson, a power-hitting, left-handed hitter, will report to Toronto’s minor-league complex in Dunedin, Fla., at the end of the spring semester. Willson can play either first base or the corner outfield spots.
As part of his deal, Willson received a signing bonus that will be spread over three years, which allows him the flexibility to pursue a football career after college, if he chooses.
The baseball contract will not affect Willson’s remaining two years’ football eligibility. ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 02:58 PM | 12 comment(s)
Born in Minnesota, owner of batting titles and an MVP award, Mauer could become the most popular athlete ever to play a sport in Minnesota. But that won’t happen if the perception continues to build that he’s soft. It might not be the case. Mauer just might be as tough as Cuddyer. But whether he wants to acknowledge it or not, titanium tough is not how he is viewed.
Mauer has missed 60 of the Twins’ 130 games this season with injuries or days off - mostly injuries. The perception is he takes ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 01:49 PM | 35 comment(s)
This line — that it’s easier to put up numbers without pennant pressure — is a lot like that. Nobody can possibly believe this. First of all, there’s the obvious flaw: If it was easier to put up numbers in non-pressure situations, then players would consistently and obviously have better years on lousy teams than they do on good ones. Does this ring even the slightest bell of truth? Does anyone believe Derek Jeter would have put up better numbers had he played for Kansas City? Does ...
It appears the days of Derek Jeter-to-Minka Kelly, one of the great sports-and-Hollywood double play combinations of this era, is no longer intact.
People reports that a representative of the Friday Night Lights actress has confirmed the split, but adds that it’s an amicable one. Jeter, 37, and Kelly, 31, had been an item for about three years.
Hide your daughters and hide your wives, the Captain has gone sailing again!
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 12:40 PM | 104 comment(s)
Ichiro!, in a tighter jammy than Shubunka’s moral storm…and that ain’t no day at the beach!
It’s no longer a record that means much to the so-called “thinking fan.” 200 hits is just an arbitrary round number, reserved for spinsters and singles hitters—who, in the post-modern world of swing-from-the-heels offense, have been made pretty much equivalent.
And let’s face it—as a total package Ichiro! Suzuki ain’t exactly Rod Carew, or Wade Boggs, or even Tony Gwynn. Despite setting baseball’s ...
Kantowski. Kantbuntski. Kantdotracerski (too busy).
I’m not sure Marty Barrett, the former Rancho High star who spent 10 seasons and played 941 games in the major leagues, all but 10 with the Red Sox, will see “Moneyball” before it hits cable. Barrett doesn’t seem like a Brad Pitt sort of guy. He seems more like a Willie Keeler sort of guy.
...With the Red Sox, he usually batted second, in front of good RBI guys such as Bill Buckner and, later, Wade Boggs. And with the Red Sox, he played ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 11:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
Bah! Felix and these newfangled analyzing tricks have made a messmer of everything!
No matter the naysayers. No matter the haters. No matter the Philadelphia Phillies fans who whistle at him like drunken sailors eyeballing a young woman.
Tim Lincecum, baseball’s little big man, deserves to be in the Cy Young Award conversation as a leading contender – not just as an afterthought.
You’ve heard of doing more with less? Lincecum does more with almost nothing.
His 12-10 won-lost record proves ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM | 12 comment(s)
New York Times, August 27, 1991:
[Brien] Taylor’s family and the Yankees reached agreement this evening on a one-year minor league contract worth $1.55 million, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. Although the contract exceeds by $350,000 the precedent-setting agreement reached by Todd Van Poppel and the Oakland Athletics last summer, it is not the three-year major league contract that the family had insisted upon.
Now that Brien Taylor’s in the fold, mark my words: The Yankees ...Read More...
A few hours later, in the sixth inning of a horrendous baseball game, [Mike] Pelfrey hung a slider inside to Placido Polanco. Polanco wears an elbow guard, and Pelfrey thought he leaned into the pitch. He shared his feelings with Polanco.
Polanco jawed with Pelfrey and Josh Thole. Some Phillies rose to the top step of their dugout. On television, Phillies broadcaster Gary Matthews - father of Gary Matthews Jr., whom the Mets released last year - called the team “crybabies.”
A while after ...
The District Attorney
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 06:34 AM | 33 comment(s)
Sports discourse has become strictly a numbers game. The only acceptable way to make a point in a sports discussion these days it seems is with a decimal point.
Whatever happened to the good, old-fashioned eye test or context? Formulating an opinion has been replaced by formulas when it comes to dissecting and discussing the games we love. Statistics have overrun sports the same way weeds spread through a deserted parking lot.
If the 1950s-‘60s-era debate about who was a better player Mickey ...
Guess Nails showed those women more than his nails:
More trouble for Lenny Dykstra—this time the troubled baseball great has been charged with indecent exposure for allegedly whipping out his dong for women he met on Craigslist.
According to the L.A. City Attorney, Lenny allegedly went to Craigslist and posted ads for a personal assistant or housekeeping services ... but when the women arrived, Dykstra would “inform the women that the job also required them to give a massage and would expose ...
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 12:32 AM | 59 comment(s)
Jim Thome has swung back to the Cleveland Indians.
The slugger accepted a trade from Minnesota on Thursday night to return to the Indians, who are hoping their career leader in home runs can help them catch first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
Thome spent 12 seasons with Cleveland from 1991-2002, hitting a team-record 334 homers and helping the Indians get to two World Series. ...Read More...
“What If?” team president Mark Shapiro tweeted, using the team’s 2011 motto. “Jim Thome came home.”
Posted: August 26, 2011 at 12:11 AM | 36 comment(s)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Grand slams galore! The Yankees scoring 15 unanswered runs after being down 7-1! Jorge Posada playing second base!
Russell Martin’s sixth-inning grand slam fueled a historic Yankees rout, as the Bombers rallied to post a 22-9 victory over the Athletics on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Robinson Cano also belted a fifth-inning grand slam for New York, which avoided a series sweep by overcoming a poor start from Phil Hughes, who served up six runs in just 2 2/3 innings. Curtis Granderson’s ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 11:19 PM | 36 comment(s)
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts is wasting no time gathering information on potential general manager candidates, talking this week to people in and around baseball about current GMs Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays and Ned Colletti of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to sources.
While Colletti is viewed by many as cut from similar old-school-GM cloth as Jim Hendry, one attraction to him, a source said, is the likelihood he would try to bring Ryne Sandberg back to the organization as the ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 09:40 PM | 22 comment(s)
With Bob Costas! This could be a riot…(the “Plesac Flies…And How REAL Sabermetricians Feel About Him/Them” seggy looks especially interesting!)
MLB Network will air “Behind the Seams: The Stat Story” at 10 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, September 18, 2011.
The hour-long program, narrated by 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, will document the evolution of statistics in the National Pastime and the rise of sabermetrics — the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball.
“Behind the Seams: ...
Wait…I thought the Anheuser-Busch defamation lawsuit was settled?
Let’s be honest, the last time Maris was good was when Mantle was great, in 1964, the last time the Yankees went to the World Series until 1976. Maris was 29 in ’64, and should have had at least five more productive years, yet he stunk after Mantle stopped being, well, Mantle. It was the Mick’s last .300 season (.303), with 35 homers and 111 RBI. Once Mantle tanked, Maris followed. From 1965 through ’68, Maris batted ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 08:39 PM | 12 comment(s)
hall of fame
Oh, Lemaitre d’! Lemaitre d’!
Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos has been one of the most underrated players in baseball this season, combining exceptional defense with surprisingly strong hitting to rank 11th among AL position players in Wins Above Replacement.
Ozzie Guillen came to appreciate Bourjos after the Angels swept a two-game series against the White Sox this week, heaping praise on the 24-year-old center fielder:
Oh my god, he can be my favorite player. I’ve never seen a ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 08:06 PM | 97 comment(s)
B-: Better than Damnation Alley, worse than Beirut. Time to get out the pitchforks?
There are some fundamental aspects of the ESPN Sunday baseball broadcast that work. They look good, with minimal frippery, aside from the live K-Zone (which I could certainly do without). I do miss Jon Miller—who has a way of making even routine fly balls sound like a wondrous surprise—but Shulman has a rich, Al Michaels-like voice, and a refreshingly professional demeanor. In tonight’s game, he peppered ...
in Mike Flanagan’s honor, I’ve come up with the Crafty Lefty Hall of Fame. To find my first Crafty Lefty class, I came up with what I consider the quintessential Crafty Lefty performance… I’m looking for lefties who pitched AT LEAST 7 1/3 innings, scattered AT LEAST 8 hits, gave up AT MOST 3 runs, and struck out AT MOST 3 batters. Mike Flanagan did this 11 times, tying him with other crafty lefties Bob Knepper, Ken Brett and his one-time teammate Mike Cuellar.
Here are the crafty lefties who ...
Whoops… forgot some of this stuff was free now!
Time and time again, announcers refer to a first baseman’s ability to save errant throws by scooping them out of the dirt, but the baseball community has had no way of objectively confirming commentators’ observations.
Bill James devised an answer to this problem and related questions with the Good Fielding Plays and Defensive Misplays systems. Baseball Info Solutions’ video scouts now track 28 categories of Good Fielding Plays (GFP) and ...
The District Attorney
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:50 PM | 11 comment(s)
Being stuck in the AL East has hurt the Blue Jays for years. It’s hard to keep up with New York and Boston’s all-star teams and the Rays have been building up to this point. How are the Blue Jays and Orioles expected to compete?
The Blue Jays are in a tough spot; They have one of the best hitters in the game, Jose Bautista. So if they rebuild with prospects they will be wasting Bautista’s talent. What Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has done is target talented players that have worn out ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:03 PM | 6 comment(s)
Ooooooooooooooooooooo….Do The Continental Catwalk!
As odd as the ending to Wednesday’s game was, manager Joe Maddon said it couldn’t have been more fitting that Sean Rodriguez’s extreme hustle was the key to the Rays’ win.
That’s because Tuesday, Rodriguez was getting yelled at by Detroit starter Brad Penny and possibly some other Tigers for hustling too much running hard on an infield pop out.
“For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,’’ Maddon ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 02:17 PM | 58 comment(s)
Reminds me of the time I went to see the Yankees play and I…was…the…only…one…there! (okay..so it was Jon Tiven’s Yankees)
Marlins fan Justin Cohen noticed a few empty seats at Sun Life Stadium -not exactly a rarity - on a sunny Wednesday afternoon for Game 1 of a doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds.
He decided he would count the number of fans in attendance.
He then posted his unofficial findings on Twitter…347 die-hards in the building.
Just in case you were wondering, Sun ...
Posted: August 25, 2011 at 01:29 PM | 40 comment(s)
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