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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Bill Madden: Unprecedented rise in strikeouts is sapping power and fun out of game

Bill Madden probably hasn’t been this upset since the untimely death of Oscar Randolph Fladmark Jr.!

If you’re among the ever-dwindling Mets fan base grown weary of watching your Flushing lads striking out in record numbers while killing rally after rally in what has too often been unwatchable baseball, there is this consolation: You are not entirely alone.

In fact, what we are seeing in baseball — the huge spike in strikeouts accompanied by an alarming, steady decline in runs and homers ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: April 06, 2014 at 05:39 AM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: history

OMNICHATTER for April 6, 2014

Today’s games:

Minnesota (Nolasco) at Indians (Masterson)
Yankees (Sabathia) at Toronto (Hutchison)
Baltimore (Tillman) at Detroit (Verlander)
Cincy (Simon) at Mets (Niese)
SD (Kennedy) at Miami (Eovaldi)
Atlanta (Alex Wood) at Washington (Jordan)
Milwaukee (Gallardo) at Boston (Lester)
St. Louis (Wainwright) at Pittsburgh (Volquez)
Texas (Darvish) at TB (Cobb)
White Sox (Sale) at KC (Shields)
LA of Anaheim (Jered Weaver) at Houston (Feldman)
Philly (Burnett) at Cubs (Villanueva)
Seattle ...

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Gamingboy Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:35 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Fighting Over the Field of Dreams

Its this heaven? No, its a zoning board hearing.

Filming ended in early August. Renamed Field of Dreams, the movie opened 25 years ago this month, in just 22 theaters nationwide. Mary Ungs-Sogaard, the publisher and general manager of the Dyersville Commercial, attended the premiere in Dubuque, as did others from the area. “Oh gosh, no, we didn’t think it would become big,” she says now, sheepishly. The “love letter to Iowa,” as Jarvis describes it, quickly reached the box-office top ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 05, 2014 at 10:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in film, field of dreams, iowa

Barry Tompkins: When did opening day at the ballpark get so pricey?

And we have a new era in get off my lawning!

SO, ARE YOU going to the Giants’ home opener on Tuesday? If so, make sure you bring your suntan lotion, panda hat, scorecard and — if you must — that big sponge rubber orange finger declaring that the home team is No. 1. Oh, and one more thing: A bucket full of cash that numbers somewhere around the national debt.

This is not your father’s opening day, kids. This is baseball circa 2014, where the leaguewide average price for a family of four to ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: April 05, 2014 at 09:29 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: history

NY Post: Davidoff: High cost of Citi visits helping to keep Mets fans away

the Mets — whose attendance has dropped each of the past five years — own the 19th-largest payroll in the game ($91,849,508) and they charge the seventh-highest price for a family experience at the ballpark. [...] At No. 19 on payroll and No. 7 on FCI, let’s call that a minus-12 rating, right? That ranks as the fourth-worst in baseball. Lower than the Mets are the Marlins (29 and 9, for minus-20), the Cubs (22 and 3, minus-19) and the Astros (13 and 30, for a minus-17). It’s no ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: April 05, 2014 at 06:41 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, mets, payroll

Braun: ‘Counterproductive’ to play right now

A nicer guy, etc.

Here’s a transcript of what Ryan Braun had to say about his absence from the Brewers’ lineup today because of a mixture of pain and numbness in his right thumb…

Is the trouble the pain? That he can’t grip the bat? Can’t feel it?

“All of the above,” Braun said. “The analogy is like, if you touch a hot stove, no matter how badly you want to keep your hand there, the natural reaction will be to take your hand off of it. That’s kind of what happens every time I ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 05, 2014 at 06:04 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, injuries, ryan braun

Fred Claire: New Zealand could be field of dreams

“Weird Culture Weird Custom”

New Zealand needs to get a team operating in the Australian Baseball League, says an American World Series-winning executive tasked with developing the Kiwi game.

Fred Claire, who has been involved in baseball in the United States for over 30 years, hopes to bring an upward swing in the growth of the game in New Zealand.

His passion, knowledge and energy for baseball is surpassed by few others. He wants baseball to succeed, here and internationally.

Claire will ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:21 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Thorn & Palmer: The Hidden Game of Baseball: A Revolutionary Approach to Baseball and Its Statistics

From John Thorn: “Thirty years ago this month Pete Palmer and I put out “The Hidden Game of Baseball.” A fine publisher has proposed a reissue for next spring, with a new intro and guest foreword.”

“I wonder whether BBTF readers might comment upon their reactions to the book way back when, or their view of it all these years later. I’ll have to write an intro to the reissue touching upon these themes and, of course, the rise of sabermetrics generally.”

hg ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:50 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, site news

Yankees place Mark Teixeira on DL

Time to trot out…Mike Francesa: “The day the Yankees signed Mark Teixiera is the day the Yankees distanced themselves from the Red Sox for the next decade.”

The New York Yankees placed first baseman Mark Teixeira on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

The Yankees made the move prior to Saturday afternoon’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Catcher Austin Romine was recalled from Triple-A Scranton to replace Teixeira on the roster.

Teixeira suffered the injury during ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:41 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

OMNICHATTER for 4/5/14

Well, after fixing some technical difficulties of my own, I’m back. Thanks to Eso!

Match-ups today:
Minnesota (Gibson) at Cleveland (Carrasco)
NY Yankees (Pineda) at Toronto (Dickey)
Baltimore (Bud Norris) at Detroit (Porcello)
Cincy (Cueto) at NY Mets (Gee)
White Sox (Danks) at Royals (Chen)
Phillies (Lee) at Cubs (Samardzija)
Seattle (King Felix) at Oakland (Straily)
SF (Bumgarner) at LA Dodgers (Maholm)
Atlanta (Teheran) at Washington (Strasburg)
STL (Kelly) at Pittsburgh (Liriano)
LA ...

Read More...
Gamingboy Posted: April 05, 2014 at 12:46 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Friday, April 04, 2014

A’s-Mariners game postponed — tarp was left off infield

It just became official. Tonight’s A’s-Mariners game was called off because the field at the Coliseum is unplayable.

It’s an embarrassing situation all around, and the fans who showed up booed — and had every right to do so — when the PA man announced the cancelation at about 15 minutes after the 7:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch.

Apparently, the tarp was left off the field overnight, and the rain soaked the field. The grounds crew has worked on the dirt for hours, especially where ...

Read More...
theboyqueen Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mariners, oakland coliseum

Duda’s power surge lifts Mets to first victory

Officially named the Mets’ starting first baseman Friday despite his .000 average and skittish plate approach through three games, Duda launched two-run homers off Mike Leake in the fourth and sixth innings, giving the Mets an early lead and later extending it. The result was the fifth multi-homer game of Duda’s career.

Still, the scattered thousands who stayed until the end on a cold, rainy night at Citi Field could not be assured of victory until the final out. New York’s bullpen absorbed ...

Read More...
Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 04, 2014 at 10:38 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Tardy Yasiel Puig scratched from Dodgers’ home opener

He doesn’t feel tardy…

Yasiel Puig was scratched from the starting lineup after arriving late for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home opener on Friday.

The rest of the team was already on the field stretching before batting practice while Puig was getting dressed in the clubhouse. He had been slated to start in right field for the afternoon game against the San Francisco Giants.

Instead, Matt Kemp replaced Puig after manager Don Mattingly had earlier said Kemp wouldn’t start. Kemp came off the ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 05:52 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Indians Extend Jason Kipnis

Can’t wait to see him on the Mets (after this contract is up, of course.)

The Indians announced that they have signed second baseman Jason Kipnis to a six-year extension that runs through the 2019 season and contains a club option for the 2020 campaign. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (via Twitter) that Kipnis is guaranteed $52.5MM over the life of the deal… The option… is worth $16.5MM and contains a $2.5MM buyout…

The new contract buys his final pre-arbitration season, all ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 05:18 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, jason kipnis

Baseball’s Best Farm Systems: How Much Do They Matter?

He found an effect similar to what Andrecheck observed: The best farm system was worth 41 more nonmarket WAR than the worst farm system over the subsequent five seasons.

But Swartz also underscored the risk involved in banking on prospects. A team’s organizational ranking didn’t explain anywhere near as much of its subsequent nonmarket WAR as its payroll explained its future auction-market WAR. Or, as Swartz wrote, “Payroll … can tell you about four times as much as about the ...

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Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 04, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball america

Deadspin: Miami Marlins Owner’s Insane Book About Peanuts Will Melt Your Brain

Payroll Advice: Five Cents

It’s clear that, by 1967, Jeffrey Loria was manifestly the squarest motherf*cker on planet Earth. He was barely a quarter century old and had already fast-forwarded spiritually to twice that age, becoming the kind of embittered husk who laments the broken legacy bequeathed to The Children. The lessons to be drawn from What’s It All About, Charlie Brown? read like the bilious, reactionary resentments of a pomaded junior Nixon. Woodstock hasn’t happened yet, and, at the ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 01:53 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: books, cartoons, comic strips, jeffrey loria, marlins

OMNICHATTER: 4/4/14

Today’s lineup:

1:05pm: Braves (Hale) at Nationals (Zimmermann)
1:08pm: Orioles (Gonzalez) at Tigers (Sanchez)
2:05pm: Brewers (Estrada) at Red Sox (Peavy)
2:20pm: Phillies (Hernandez) at Cubs (Wood)
3:05pm: Twins (Pelfrey) at Indians (Salazar)
4:10pm: Diamondbacks (Delgado) at Rockies (Nicasio)
4:10pm: White Sox (Johnson) at Royals (Guthrie)
4:10pm: Giants (Vogelsong) at Dodgers (Ryu)
7:05pm: Cardinals (Miller) at Pirates (Cole)
7:07pm: Yankees (Tanaka) at Blue Jays (McGowan)
7:10pm: Reds ...

Read More...
Esoteric Posted: April 04, 2014 at 12:25 PM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

HACKING MASS Competition 2014

Remember all those articles about how Billy Hamilton could revolutionize the game?...

HACKING MASS, our competition to pick the least dangerous hitters and least effective pitchers in the majors, returns for the 2014 season!... You’ll have a full week to enter (the deadline is April 11, 2014, at midnight PST), but it’s easy to change players, so feel free to go all in on Darwin Barney on the entry form today, then switch to Ryan Goins next Friday morning…

Your 10 players will be:

one each at ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, sabermetrics

NYT: Kepner: Era of Squiggles

“In the ‘80s, we started to have people basically say, ‘Oh, handwriting’s not important, because in five or 10 years everything in the world will be computerized,’ ” [handwriting instructor Kate] Gladstone said. “But I don’t think we’re yet at the stage of typing our names onto baseballs.”

Kepner adduces Harmon Killebrew as a model signer of baseballs, and I happen to have one signed by him on my desk – a very legible autograph, for sure, but suspiciously similar to a ...

Read More...
BDC Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: collecting, memorabilia, twins, yankees

Facebook Fandom Map

This map displays Facebook fans of all of the MLB teams across the U.S.  Each county is color-coded based on which official Facebook team page has the most likes …

Apologies to Canada, first off :)  There are some obvious patterns here and some surprises.  And some awkward and counterintuitive color choices: the Delaware Valley, for instance, seems to have slud into the ocean.

BDC Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fans, history, social media

Jeff Pearlman: A Reporter’s Tale: The John Rocker Story 15 Years Later

John Rocker! Jeff Pearlman!! Bleacher Report!!! Where the fuktuggle is Murray Chass?!

Nearly 15 years have passed. Which—as anyone who has watched one-and-a-half decades fly by can attest—is weird and confusing and a bit jarring.

Over the course of that span, I’ve written for Sports Illustrated, left Sports Illustrated, written for Newsday, left Newsday. I’ve published six books. I got married, bought a house, had two children. I’ve seen friends and relatives die, other friends and ...

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Repoz Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:12 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-4-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 4, 1914:

Armando Marsans, left fielder of the Cincinnati Reds, deserted the team [yesterday] following a clash with Manager Herzog.
...
On Wednesday Marsans was slightly injured sliding into a base, and was unable to take part in the contest against Louisville on Thursday. [Yesterday] afternoon Herzog ordered Marsans to play left field, but the Cuban stated that he was not in condition to play.

“Go out and play just the same,” said Manager Herzog. “I’m tired of ...

Read More...

Are Jays fans more drunk, boorish and entitled than ever?

The Royal Blue Hysteria…

But musician, author and Jays fan Dave Bidini suggests that over the last few years, the people filling the blue plastic seats are increasingly drunk, boorish and entitled. “Guys with reversed baseball caps with wrap-around sunglasses coming in from Oshawa or Whitby…who act like jerks and then leave”, is how the Etobicoke native describes the problematic fans responsible for “a lot of vomit, a lot fighting” in the stands. Bidini suggests the Jays’ own ...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: April 04, 2014 at 05:21 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Time Warner Cable says talks with DirecTV for Dodgers channel are over

With more than 1.2 million subscribers in Los Angeles, DirecTV has an almost 30% share of the market. Not having DirecTV on board is a big blow to the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable, which launched the channel in February.
No other major area distributors have been signed by Time Warner Cable, but Witmer said negotations with them are ongoing. About 70% of the market is without access to Dodgers games.
DirecTV has previously indicated that the price Time Warner Cable is seeking for the Dodgers ...

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Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 04, 2014 at 02:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cubs considering sale of minority stakes

The Ricketts family, which bought the team and stadium in 2009, is weighing whether to sell minority shares to help fund $300 million in fix-ups to the park plus a $200 million neighborhood redevelopment.

SteveM. Posted: April 03, 2014 at 11:57 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: broke ass, chicago cubs, over their heads

Blue Jays players were willing to alter contracts to land Santana

It was as if the Toronto Blue Jays passed around a hat, trying to collect enough money to sign free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana.

Several Jays players discussed deferring portions of their salaries to clear payroll for Santana last month, according to major league sources.

The discussions, which apparently did not progress past the conversation stage, raise new questions about the Jays’ payroll flexibility for 2014.

Paul D(uda) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 11:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ervin santana

Eduardo Nuñez asked for release and got it from Yankees

Hopefully Yangervis’ nickname is “Never Nervous.”

Eduardo Nuñez figured the Yankees had had enough of him, so he asked for his release and got it.

The Yankees, needing to make a move on their 40-man roster to get Yangervis Solarte on it, designated Nuñez for assignment before Tuesday night’s season opener, ending the 26-year-old’s career with the club…

The Yankees have 10 days to either trade or release Nuñez, who will have interested parties. The Cubs, in need of infield help, could be ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2014 at 10:40 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: eduardo nuñez, transactions, yangervis solarte, yankees

Cubs outfielder plays first inning in wrong uniform

At least the Mets all know to wear the same uniform.

The same can’t be said for the woeful Cubbies, whose left fielder Junior Lake played the first inning of Chicago’s game in Pittsburgh Thursday wearing the team’s wrong road uniform.

bobm Posted: April 03, 2014 at 10:10 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, uniforms

Four Strikes And You’re Out

Ahead in the count with one ball and two strikes, Thornton froze Peralta with a slider on the outside half of the plate, a couple inches below the belt. For a pitch like that, the umpire, Bruce Dreckman, would normally call a strike — 80 percent of the time, the data shows. But in two-strike counts like Peralta’s, he calls a strike less than half the time.

This article goes on to give a quantification of the count dependent strike zone.

TL;DR version: On two strike counts, boarder line ...

Read More...
Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 08:21 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: nate silver

MLB toughens drug agreement provisions

This happened while the servers were on the highway:

Major League Baseball and the players union, alarmed over findings in the Biogenesis case last summer, ratified an agreement Friday to strengthen their drug testing program in hopes of eradicating performance-enhancing drugs from the game.

Baseball not only stiffened its drug penalties, but for the first time will use the expensive Carbon Isotope Mass Spectrometry (IRMS), with at least one specimen from every player. The test, which costs ...

Read More...
Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: April 03, 2014 at 07:23 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, steroids

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