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Monday, April 21, 2014
How fair is it for Latin and black players to be criticized for playing the game the wrong way? Is the right way really “the white way?” Who keeps track of the “unwritten rules?”
Just a few years ago, for the first time, more professional players were under contract (counting all baseball players at the major and minor league levels) who had been born outside the United States than were born inside the country. Most of those players are Latinos, prominently from Venezuela, the ...Read More...
You go to a Colorado Rockies game now, you see a lot of people sucking on mints, gum drops and lollipops. They’re not kids with a sweet tooth. They’re adults with a hash habit. It’s edible marijuana.
There’s a story going around town about a “representative” from a visiting MLB team (read: equipment guy) walking into a shop with a “grocery list” and walking out with an “armful” of stuff. There’s no limit for out-of-state residents on edibles, only smokables.
For ...Read More...
Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of Field of Dreams:
I replied that to me, writing a novel was akin to a baker baking a loaf of bread: So long as the buyers pay for the bread, they were free to do with it as they chose. If they made dainty sandwiches, fine. If they fed it to their gerbils, fine. I realized that most books optioned for movies became gerbil food. I’ve never understood authors who are proprietary with their work, fighting any changes of plot or character. All I care about is ...
And Kyle Farnsworth is the new closer. Richard Hidalgo is available…
The Mets have officially brought up Bobby Abreu to their major league roster, optioning down outfielder Andrew Brown as a corresponding move.
Abreu will serve as as a left-handed hitter off the bench…
Abreu hit .395 in 15 games at Triple-A in Las Vegas.
“He’s played very well at Vegas,” [GM Sandy] Alderson said. “And he’s a great hitting role model for our players. He’s a professional hitter and I think our guys can ...
BTW, the recent Schur/Poz draft of superheroes went (Schur first): Batman; Superman (Schur had the usual problems with him); Thor; Hulk; Dr. Manhattan (Poz had never heard of him or Watchmen); Wonder Woman; Aquaman (Schur blamed his kid, but good God); Spider-Man (finally); Professor X; Captain America
the Kansas City Royals single season home run record is 36, and Steve Balboni set it almost 30 years ago…
only seven team home run records survive from pre-1996. Six of the seven are impressive ...
Gamble in huff: The Sound Of Prostanozol.
Pujols is an interesting case. He’s never failed a drug test (that we know of) and before Miguel Cabrera went Triple Crown crazy, was considered the elite hitter in the game. Just 25 ballers in MLB history have ever hit 500 homers in their lifetime. His countdown to 500 should be a fan-frenzied, anticipated event. But there’s a massive legion of baseball fans, it doesn’t resonate with, because Pujols did it in the heart of the Steroids Era. We have ...
Posted: April 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM | 53 comment(s)
British Pathé, apparently seeking a permanent end to workplace productivity, recently uploaded an enormous amount of material, much of it previously unseen by the public, to Youtube.
Some 85,000 old newsreel clips have been posted to their Youtube channel. Feel free to use this space to posts your finds of any sports or poultry-related material.
Milwaukee Sentinel, April 21, 1914:
According to Charlie Barrett, [Yankees rookie Tom] Burr throws a natural curve on account of a bend in his right arm. This bend is not the result of a break, but is simply due to the fact that the young man’s arm chose to grow in a curve rather than in a straight line.
The drop, which most pitchers find difficulty in throwing, is easy for Burr. His team-mates have christened him ‘The man with the bowlegged arm.’
Burr never did pitch in the majors, though ...Read More...
Evol not Love.
Sorry, everyone. I must have been busy waiting for Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales to sign when this transaction came across the wire:
NATIONAL LEAGUE—Named Gerrit Cole as Special Baseball Ethics Instructor to Carlos Gomez, succeeding Brian McCann.
Look, I can’t support everything Gomez does. Sunday’s bat toss and trot to first on what he thought was a home run probably cost the Brewers a run. With his speed, he could have had an inside-the-park homer if he had sprinted out ...
Posted: April 21, 2014 at 06:26 AM | 58 comment(s)
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez hit what he apparently thought was a home run and it actually ended up being a triple. Pirates starter Gerrit Cole didn’t appear to appreciate how Gomez reacted and told him so. And it was, as they say, on:
Posted: April 20, 2014 at 03:17 PM | 133 comment(s)
Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has been diagnosed with a serious elbow injury, the Yankees announced Sunday morning, putting him in jeopardy of requiring season-ending surgery.
Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM | 16 comment(s)
In April 1903, a writer for Sporting Life described what might have been a baseball first: “Manager McGraw has originated a new plan,” the paper said, referring to John McGraw, the successful skipper of the New York Giants. “He will use two pitchers in every game, one being in the points five innings and the other four. No manager but one who has originality and nerve would attempt any such innovation, but McGraw has both.”
The team soon abandoned this idea, wrote Peter Morris, author ...
Posted: April 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
Zander Hollander, a journeyman journalist who rebounded from the merger of his newspaper in the mid-1960s by becoming what Sports Illustrated called “the unofficial king of sports paperbacks” — particularly a once wildly popular series of encyclopedic yearbooks — died on Friday in a nursing home in Manhattan. He was 91.
The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Phyllis, said.
Before televised sports were pervasive and the Internet a nonstop gusher of sports trivia, Mr. Hollander ...
Why wOBA Works
Let’s say you have a player, let’s call him Al Trout, who has hit six singles in 10 plate appearances (making an out every other time) and the league, on average, hits three singles every 10 plate appearances (again, making an out every other time). To use linear weights to figure out how many more runs Al contributed above the league average, you’d…
Calculate the extra runs Al contributed by hitting more singles, which equals the difference in singles times the run ...
Posted: April 20, 2014 at 05:27 AM | 1 comment(s)
As a Met fan used to tell me…“It wasn’t just us…he Bordicked everybody.”
When he walks the streets of Manhattan he sees faces staring back at him. Phillips wonders what they are thinking, good, bad, or indifferent. “But what they are thinking,” Phillips said, “says more about them than it does about me.”
The nature of sportstalk radio, and the media in general, requires commentators to pass judgment — quickly — on athletes who find themselves in trouble. Whether it be for drugs, ...
Posted: April 20, 2014 at 05:12 AM | 8 comment(s)
As Lord Byron Browne once noted…“All baseball farewells should be sudde…”
Who started this fairly new trend of farewell tours for retiring baseball players?
I’d like to choke them.
This is the third consecutive year Major League Baseball fans have to endure the nauseating, endless stream of tributes, gifts, videos and photos of opposing retiring players by the teams they root for. First it was Chipper Jones, then Mariano Rivera and now it is Derek Jeter.
Don’t take it the wrong way. As a ...
Posted: April 20, 2014 at 04:47 AM | 58 comment(s)
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Last night’s game featured some strangeness, with Astros manager Bo Porter getting bent out of shape about Jed Lowrie’s bunt attempt against the shift in the first inning and the A’s up 7-0. Consensus around the Oakland clubhouse: The first inning is way too early to get upset about a guy bunting – plus, if you put the shift on, you’re inviting the bunt. Why would you then get upset about it?
“I’m really flabbergasted by the reaction,” Lowrie said of Porter’s ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:04 PM | 28 comment(s)
Footage of Babe Ruth’s first game back in 1925 is interesting, but perhaps not worth blogging about. However, it was not this portion of the film that excited me. Instead, it was other footage, shot earlier that same day, that caught my attention. This pre-game footage showed Ruth taking batting practice, tossing the ball around and posing for the camera in front of the Yankees dugout. Here’s are a pair of frames from this section of footage [...]
Behind Ruth, at far left, is a familiar ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 05:43 PM | 4 comment(s)
If only someone had done this with Yaz when he was 21…
Nationals wunderkind Bryce Harper was pulled from Saturday’s game and benched for a “lack of hustle,” manager Matt Williams told reporters. Harper grounded out back to pitcher leading off the sixth inning but did not run hard down to first base.
...Yeesh, tough call by Williams. He’s clearly using Harper to set an example for the rest of the team. I don’t think any player would run out that ball hard.
More...“We made an agreement,” ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 05:10 PM | 130 comment(s)
In 2009, Lukas posted a link to a photograph estimated to be from around 1915 of Maranville wearing a cap with a swastika on it. A few months later, Tom Shieber, the senior curator of the Baseball Hall of Fame, analyzed the uniform and the ballpark’s background in the picture and concluded on his Baseball Researcher blog that the photograph was taken on April 14, 1914, opening day at Ebbets Field between the Braves and the Dodgers. The ballpark was in its second season as the home of the ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 02:34 PM | 11 comment(s)
Wow! Who knew the dizzying vapors from Uncle Eddie Savitz’s apartment were still lingering around Philadelphia!
Utley isn’t the hitter the great Williams was — no one in history was — but Utley entered his 12th major league season as hot as Las Vegas in July. Even after the Phils’ 12-1 loss to the Rockies on April 18, Utley’s stats are amazing:
In 14 games, he leads the National League with a .429 average with 14 hits in 56 at-bats, seven doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs, a .484 on ...
Posted: April 19, 2014 at 02:02 PM | 74 comment(s)
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)
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