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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Wooooooo! The Nature Boob speaks!
Just don’t make the mistake of talking to him about velocity.
“Why do you guys care about velo so much, man?” an agitated Papelbon said at his locker Thursday. “Is that—does that matter? You think that matters? I don’t understand that. I mean, if a ball has life at the plate and you are throwing 88 miles an hour as opposed to 98 miles an hour, it doesn’t make one damn bit of difference. Whether you throw 93 or 94 or 84. I just, I don’t get it man.” ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 01:42 PM | 11 comment(s)
Games averaged two hours and 56 minutes in 2011 and three hours flat in 2012. They tacked on four more minutes last year — even as runs per game fell, to 4.17 from 4.32 the year before. And games this year, with the advent of instant replay, have added another three and a half minutes on average, through Sunday.
The pace is slowing. The average break between pitches was 21.6 seconds three years ago, 22.1 seconds two years ago and 22.6 seconds last year, according to FanGraphs. Taking into ...
Cesar buried! Unfair shake! Speared in the back! I need a cocktail!
It was a scene straight out of the Steinbrenner Yankees playbook, circa the late 1900s: a young reliever, having suffered through a horrendous outing, suffering one more indignity.
That is what fell on Cesar Cabral just moments after the domed roof of Tropicana Field fell in on him Friday night. Less than a half-hour after Cabral had been tossed from the game by home plate umpire Joe West after hitting his third ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:44 AM | 23 comment(s)
From the beginning, baseball promised that if its new rules warranted adjustments, those adjustments would be made.
Two such adjustments are likely to occur, according to sources with both Major League Baseball and the players union.
The first, at minimum, would be a guideline in which catchers will be asked to give the runner a lane to the plate in their initial positioning, further reducing the possibility of collisions at home plate.
The second would be a less strict interpretation of the ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 11 comment(s)
Cox collecting. Who knew?!
But for Bobby Cox, the cards of him as a player are limited. Topps issued one for him in 1969 (#237) after his only full major league season as a Yankee third baseman and then he disappeared from cards until he became manager of the Braves in 1978.
Cox, who debuted in the big leagues at age 26 after being acquired from Atlanta in December of 1967, was basically was a one-season wonder for the Yankees who used him as a starter in 1968 and then replaced him with ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
The one where Dennis Menke becomes Dennis Mickey.
BL: Johnny, you’re working with the Topps baseball card company. Do you remember receiving your first card after you reached the majors?
JB: Surely you jest. Of course I do, my goodness gracious. That’s what made you a major leaguer. So I loved it. I thought it was the greatest thing ever. Now I say “Look at me.” You could carry ‘em around, “Here, have my card.”
BL: In the 1970s the Reds went to the World Series four times, ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
Mets players received statistical breakdowns of their 2013 performances centered upon Bases Per Out, an internally developed metric that seeks to measure a player’s overall offensive production.
Players with less than three years of service time were told that their BPOs would determine bonuses tacked onto future salary offers. Each base—one for a walk or single, two for a double—would earn them $200 more than what they would otherwise receive. Each out would slice off $100.
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:35 AM | 22 comment(s)
Friday, April 18, 2014
Mr. Met, the mascot for baseball’s saddest franchise, received a stern warning from the Secret Service in 1997, when President Clinton visited Shea Stadium: “Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot.”
Former Mr. Met AJ Mass recounted the death threat in his new book, Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots.....
“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen. Like I said, do whatever it is you ...
I had to make sure Zack Thornton wasn’t Zach Stewart, but does it matter?
A long-awaited deal has finally been struck, as the Mets officially dealt first baseman Ike Davis to the Pirates in exchange for minor league righty Zack Thornton and a player to be named later…
For New York, the departure of Davis means that the club will move ahead with Lucas Duda as its regular first baseman, a role that he had taken on early in 2014. It also marks the end to an ultimately disappointing tenure in New ...
OAKLAND—The Athletics have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle on a new five-year contract for the 2014 through 2018 seasons. The agreement also includes club options for both the ‘19 and ‘20 seasons.
The A’s have always gone for these long-term contracts for young pitchers, but I think this is the first time they’ve done it with a reliever. Along with Johnson’s $10M signing the A’s seem to be shifting away from “relievers are fungible”. Who knows what the terms are, of ...Read More...
Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone call from Jack O’Connell.
Brain Kenny led a panel discussion on MLB Network yesterday about whether Carlos Beltran has a shot at the Hall of Fame. The consensus was yes. My immediate reaction was that Beltran was benefiting from having his hitting compared to center fielders, that if he were compared to right fielders like Hank Aaron then Beltran would have more difficulty.
While Beltran have may a few years to go, right now he is included among ...
Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:58 AM | 44 comment(s)
With nary an Ex-Ray Barker on the horizon.
This all raises the question of why nobody on the Yankees in spring training looked around and saw an injury prone first baseman, three veteran outfielders vying for time in right and DH—center field and left field are occupied by Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, two of the Yankees best players—and thought to give one of the veterans a first baseman’s glove. First base is generally considered the least demanding defensive position to play, but it is ...
Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:22 AM | 58 comment(s)
El Paso Herald, April 18, 1914:
The worst luck in the world follows the sight of a cross eyed person, according to the ball players. However this “jinx” may be broken by spitting in your hat immediately. In procuring bat boys to carry the clubs from the home plate back to the bench and kepe them neatly piled in order, baseball managers, as a rule pick out the worst looking youth to be found. He is retained as long as things go well, but when the time arrives that the team hits a slump another ...
But..but..Miguel Cabrera has none.
Of all the elements of the young Angels season that have not gone according to expectations, there might be nothing as surprising as this: It took Mike Trout 14 games to even attempt a stolen base.
This is a guy, after all, who stole 49 bases as a rookie, a guy whose value is accentuated by his combination of power and speed.
Stealing bases, however, is about more than speed. It’s about opportunity, and that has been the obstacle for Trout since the start ...
Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
Thursday, April 17, 2014
A Secret Service agent threatened to put some high heat in the Mets mascot’s oversized dome if he ventured too close to former President Bill Clinton during a 1997 game at Shea Stadium. “We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent warned. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. But approach the President, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”
AJ Mass, the man inside the Mr. Met outfit from 1994-97, recounted his brush with ...
The natural question, now that Jim Johnson has thrown five consecutive scoreless innings, is whether the $10 million reliever soon will return to the closer’s role.
Well, what if the Athletics refuse to entertain the notion?
What if they take a wrecking ball to traditional bullpen roles and use their best relievers in the highest-leverage situations, regardless of inning?
If ever there was a general manager who would be willing to defy baseball’s conventional wisdom, it’s Billy Beane. ...Read More...
The Montreal Expos (French: Expos de Montréal) team started in 1969 and never changed their logo. For almost 40 years the team held on to this awesome mark because it was smart and looked great. Expos de Montreal Baseball. That is the secret behind this logo. Interwoven script pieces all come together to abbreviate the full name of the team. This logo is a little dated looking, but I can imagine this being modernized and still looking amazing without significant change. That is how you know ...
Infinite Joost (Voxter)
Posted: April 17, 2014 at 05:09 PM | 79 comment(s)
Fascinating look into Puig’s journey from Cuba to the Dodgers:
In a no-tell motel on Isla Mujeres, eight miles off the coast of Cancún, Yasiel Puig’s escape had come to a halt. Confined to a corner room at the end of a shabby horseshoe-shaped courtyard, he could only wait and hope, for his value to be appraised, his freedom to be bought. There was nothing personal about it, no loved one vowing to pay any price, only the calculus of a crude business. What was this gladiator-size man, with ...
Matheny Math: Minimal polynomial (Busch field theory).
Matheny studies the individual splits closely. His interpretation of those numbers might be typical in some cases, but it might also be surprising in others.
What works for Matheny in either case is his essential belief in his players.
“You know, when I see a guy who’s had even just a couple of at-bats against a pitcher, but has had success, there’s usually knowledge on both sides,” the manager said. “I don’t use the opposite side very ...
Posted: April 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM | 8 comment(s)
Last year [the New Zealand pop singer Lorde] told VHI that she saw a photo in National Geographic “of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’ It was just that word. It’s really cool.”
Hey, at least they’re not the Baltimore Rabbits.
Have you heard?! Have you heard?! There’s a billboard promoting Orioles tickets near the D.C.-Maryland border and it’s rubbing some Nationals fans the wrong way.
...Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier spent a segment discussing the billboard, which is located seven miles from Nationals Park, yesterday on 106.7 The Fan. On the LaVar and Dukes Show, Chad Dukes conceded that the billboard makes good business sense before going on a rant against ...
Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM | 27 comment(s)
Madison Bumgarner’s grand slam in his last start against the Colorado Rockies was a hell of a statement. But the exclamation point came at the end of his trip around the bases – when the pitcher placed his left index finger on his nose, and emptied the contents of his right nostril near home plate.
As the lefty gets ready to take the mound again tonight, I have a hard time explaining why the Bumgarner snot rocket is pretty much my favorite thing in Bay Area sports right ...
Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
As some of you may know, I am quite fond of ridiculously lopsided batter-pitcher match-ups. The match-up that everyone’s been freaking out about lately is Paul Goldschmidt vs. Tim Lincecum, and rightfully so. It’s completely ridiculous. Anyway, I was recently checking out Starlin Castro’s most lopsided match-ups. Sure enough, there was Resop. Castro is 6-8 with three home runs, zero walks, zero strikeouts, and one hit-by-pitch against Mr. Resop. Interesting! Sorta. Using our buddy Daren ...Read More...
Hugh Fullerton via Toledo News-Bee, April 17, 1914:
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the man who soaked Standard Oil $29,000,000 for violating the balk rule, has been named to decide the most important part of the baseball war.
Whether or not they know it, Judge Landis is the most eminently qualified man in the world to decide any question that may arise in the damage suit that has been brought by the Philadelphia National league team against the Federal league leaders.
Fortunately for the ...
I will never be mistaken for Cal Ripken, or Lou Gehrig, or even Prince Fielder. Still, here’s the Omnichatter. 12 games, including appearances by SALE, VERLANDER, PRICE, WAINWRIGHT and so on.
Posted: April 17, 2014 at 12:13 AM | 131 comment(s)
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Only four position players in MLB history — Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner and Lou Gehrig — had more WAR between the ages of 29 and 34. Numbers like that are why, despite Robinson’s short career, James ranked Robinson as the fourth-best second baseman ever in “New Historical Baseball Abstract.”
So much for sabermetrics underappreciating Robinson’s skills.
WAR can measure Robinson’s terrifying impact on the basepaths (he generated 31 more runs than an average player). WAR ...
Posted: April 16, 2014 at 08:49 PM | 35 comment(s)
Commenter: “I hear the Mets are going to have a related promotion at Citi Field where they score about nothing.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Seinfeld” starting on NBC the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, are hosting a “Seinfeld Night” at the ballpark on July 5.
Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that the first 2,500 fans will get a Keith Hernandez bobblehead depicting him from the “Magic Loogie” episode of the show. Some other ...
I once started an “Unpredictable! Unpredictable! Unpredictable!” Johnny Rodz chant after Clay Bellinger’s first career HR. Just never caught on.
The Pirates and Reds grappled in an absolute homerfest Monday in Cincinnati, launching an absurdly entertaining 10 long balls before rain halted the game after six innings. A half-dozen of those long balls came courtesy of Pittsburgh batters, leading the Bucs to adopt a new team celebration.
After years of the Dude, Where’s My Car-inspired Zoltan, ...
Posted: April 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM | 189 comment(s)
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