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Friday, March 10, 2017
Then came May 20, 2008. A day that forever changed the course of Church’s baseball career, and subsequently his life. In the second game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, the Mets found themselves down to their final pair of outs at Turner Field. As he was trying to break-up a game-ending double play off the bat of Damien Easley, Church’s head viciously collided with the knee of Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar. The impact knocked off Church’s helmet, where his head then slammed ...
Chicago Eagle, March 10, 1917:
Did you ever hear about one pinch-hiter who retired two pitchers with one swing of his mace?
His name is Tom Clark, the Rhinelander backstop. On June 13, 1916, the Reds and Braves battled to a 16-inning scoreless tie. Toney started the game for the Cincinnatians and Rudolph did likewise for the Bostonians. But neither finished it, because Clark finished both of them in the twelfth.
Cholly Herzog, then piloting the Red skiff, decided to send Clark to back in ...
So there’s a game baseball fans like to play (and by “fans” we also include anybody, anywhere, who has ever written any words, at any time, about the sport). The game is to rank the best player who ever lived at every position…
The best first baseman of all time is Gehrig. Always has been.
But here’s a thought: What if… he’s not?
What if the easiest question in the history of baseball is about to get a different answer?
What if Albert Pujols – not Lou Gehrig – is the ...Read More...
“I’m not going to hold any grudges against them,” says McCutchen, a five-time All-Star. “I mean, I have people who say it should be my choice because of the sacrifices I’ve made and the things I’ve done for the organization. But l ’m not going to be angry.
“I’m just going to go out and play my game because that’s my job. I work for them. They are my bosses.
“They ask me to do something, it means I have to do it.”
Posted: March 10, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 12 comment(s)
So, John Farrell is tinkering with the idea that Andrew Benintendi might hit third, sliding Mookie betts down to the cleanup spot…
Some of the initial reaction when Ken Rosenthal first surfaced this notion late Wednesday focused on the concern over Betts, the American League MVP runner-up, potentially not getting to the plate in the first inning.
But understand that cleanup hitters more times than not actually do hit in the first, which means they are coming to the plate with runners ...
Scherzer, early in his career, struggled to identify the proper off-season throwing program.
“I had problems up to 2012,” Scherzer said. “It all stemmed from one thing — taking time off.
“The baseball book says don’t throw a ball until Jan. 1. And that’s what I did. I never touched a ball in October, November, December. Then, when I would start my throwing, my shoulder would kill.”
So after ’12, Scherzer stopped shutting down his arm once the season ended, playing catch on ...
Posted: March 10, 2017 at 07:45 AM | 3 comment(s)
One big hit did in Australia.
Veteran outfielder Alfredo Despaigne’s fifth-inning grand slam provided Cuba with all its runs in a 4-3 win that broke Australia’s hearts again. The Australians have played in the World Baseball Classic all four times it has been held but have never made it out of the first round. This time they believed they really had a chance.
Posted: March 10, 2017 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Mallex Smith knows how his bread is buttered. Speed is his game.
Given that fact, the new Rays outfielder tries to do everything he can to incorporate his speed into the equation. Which is why he spends an inordinate amount of time laying ‘em down.
If you see a Rays player working on his bunting skills, there’s a good chance the player you see is Smith.
Posted: March 09, 2017 at 05:07 PM | 3 comment(s)
Washington Times, March 9, 1917:
Manager Griffith today ordered carboys of spring water placed in the rooms occupied by his players, and spring water will also be served at the dining tables.
The Old Fox is most serious over conditions of the [Augusta, Georgia] water supply. “I had no idea the water here was so bad,” said he today. “I am not going to have any of my players made sick drinking this dark brown stuff, and so have ordered spring water for all of them.
And ever since the day Clark ...Read More...
I’m just not a fan of attempts at creating a be-all, end-all stat. Doing so just limits your stat because you have to make too many compromises to make the data work. Why not have one metric that looks back and another that looks forward?
On another note, does anyone know if DRA has separate components for pitching in the stretch and in a full wind up? Some old research suggested the difference can have a significant impact on runs allowed.
Two years ago, I wrote the first DRA essay, focusing ...
Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
Remember when the Red Sox said they wouldn’t sign any more older, expensive free agent starters?
The Boston Red Sox gave Price the most money ever for a pitcher, $217 million over seven years, when he was 30 years old. He had a good but not great first year in 2016, leading the American League in innings. But now with the uncertainty over Price’s elbow, the Red Sox don’t know what they’ll get out of him in Years 2 and 3, when he would have theoretically been at his best for Boston, before the ...
Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 54 comment(s)
Although I can appreciate the idea the current state of affairs can be laid at the feet of owners, it’s also true the MLBPA could help cut away a slice of their pie to help minor leaguers.
In response, the suit was narrowed to players who played at least seven days in either California, Florida or Arizona. The certified collective under the new decision will be “any person who, while signed to a Minor League Uniform Player Contract, participated in the California League, or in spring training, ...
On the SNY telecast, Ron Darling couldn’t resist:
“That’s the first standing ovation I’ve ever seen for hitting into a double play.”
And so it went.
In truth, the only surprise on Wednesday was that Gentleman Tim made it so obvious when he disagreed with Addition, the home plate umpire, staring at him on at least four occasions, twice on called third strikes.
Tebow managed to annoy Keith Hernandez, who practically lectured him on TV in his final at-bat of the day.
“You can’t ...
Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 59 comment(s)
I’m not sure this is the right breakdown. As he said, “how can you make a great play if the opportunity to make a great play doesn’t exist first? Of those 116, 44 didn’t make a single Five-Star play.” Wouldn’t a better look be percentage of five-star catches in five-star opportunities be a better comparison?
For this sample, we’re looking at the 116 outfielders who had at least 100 total outfield chances and at least 10 Five-Star chances, because, after all, how can you make a great play if the ...
Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
“If you see something you like, be aggressive,’’ Tebow said of the major lesson of the day.
Also, this is not football. Call your manager Terry or TC. Not coach.
Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
I would rather have more good athletes play baseball.
“You’d just like to see our very good athletes playing, where it’s less of a marginalized sport … It’s a quick, fun, accessible game. There’s less money and less time needed to play than in other sports. I’d like to see it become more popular.”
Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
I guess his agent isn’t big on honesty.
“It was confusing, and it was tough at times,’’ Bautista says, “but you can’t take it personally. You can’t feel like it’s necessarily a direct vendetta against you or a group. I know markets have their ups and downs, but I can’t explain what happened to me.
“I’m not complaining about the deal I got. Could it have been better a couple of years ago? I guess. You can expect things, and think about what happened in the past, but at the ...
Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
The start of “T-Shirt Wars”. See it on the History Channel in March 2018!
“I think we have T-shirts somewhere that say something about winning at home,” Matheny said in his office after the win.
That’s a great line. Deserved. Well-timed.
That couldn’t be ...
Posted: March 08, 2017 at 07:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
Harrisburg Telegraph, March 8, 1917:
Japanese baseballs or baseballs made in any other country no longer will be able to masquerade in America as American productions.
The Secretary of the Treasury, who has ample power in the matter, has issued an order requiring that hereafter all imported baseballs be indelibly stamped with the name of the country of their origin, such identification marks when placed on cartons being considered insufficient.
This was all part of the Pink Hawley-Homer Smoot ...Read More...
“It’s basically an All-Star team. It really is. You’ve got to be on top of your game. You’ve got to be able to throw strikes, and against a lineup like that, you can’t throw too many strikes. If you just live in the zone against those guys, they’re the best in the world and the best from the Dominican Republic. They’re very good.”
Gausman was, too. And he had to be.
The top of the visiting team’s lineup read like a who’s who of the game’s brightest stars. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, Gausman’s ...
A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.
There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.
The fastball fixation is nothing new. You can fairly trace pitching history through baseball’s rapidly spinning seams, from Walter Johnson to Bob ...
Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
“I was working on a new pitch, a split-finger fastball,” Madson revealed after his Cactus League debut Tuesday. “Either I overdid it, threw too many, or it’s just a nasty pitch on my elbow.”
Madson, 36, is a key part of the A’s bullpen plans. He saved a team-high 30 games last season — albeit with seven blown saves — and is in the late-game mix this season, though manager Bob Melvin hasn’t announced a closer.
Why try to add a split-finger fastball?
“I’m always trying to ...
Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
In a roster bind for much of this winter, the Cardinals removed Harris from the 40-man roster and every other team in baseball had a crack at him. The Cardinals lost players Jeremy Hazelbaker, Tim Cooney and Dean Kiekhefer this past offseason through waivers, but Harris passed through without being claimed. Like the free agent Maness, Harris is listed as having elbow surgery, and for most that’s Tommy John and a 12-month absence. Having cleared waivers, Harris remained with the Cardinals, the ...
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