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Thursday, April 25, 2019

You Are Cordially Invited to SOFTBALL IN THE CITY

Permit application process has been started, with any luck we’ll be frolicking in the North Meadow of Central Park some sunny Saturday in July or August.* Attendance will be taken! Those not in attendance will be talked smack of!

Further details will be posted as they become available, or as I remember them. If you’re in contact with primates (or other beings) who don’t regularly visit the site, make sure to let ‘em know! They don’t need to be good, there are already enough of you who make me look bad.

RSVP before game time, whenever that turns out to be. Or just show up.


*Okay, I requested 11 - 2 on July 20, we’ll see what happens
**Per post #130 below, it’s Saturday, August 10, 11 - 2 on North Meadow field #4. I’ll try to keep the ...

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Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 141 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-25-2019

I’m on vacation this week and don’t have a ton of time to dig around in old newspapers. So let’s go back 33 years instead of 100:

[Allentown] Morning Call, June 26, 1986:

The Steve Carlton era is over.

It became official at 10 a.m. yesterday [June 25] at a press conference at Veterans Stadium: Phillies President Bill Giles, appearing alone, his voice cracking and his eyes filled with tears, told the hastily-gathered media that, after trying unsuccessfully to convince the brilliant 41-year old lefthander to retire voluntarily, he had decided to release him.

I can understand why a competitor like Carlton would have wanted to avoid retirement. But he was pretty much done at this point.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 25, 2019 at 09:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Nationals, Orioles have all-time bad MLB bullpens | SI.com

Relief pitching has reached a tipping point.

For half a century, ever since the mound was lowered in 1969, relief pitchers posted a lower ERA than starting pitchers. That no longer is true.

As managers go to bullpens earlier and earlier, and as the use of openers grows, workload is catching up to bullpens.

Relievers have a higher ERA (4.50) than starters (4.44) for the first time since 1969. Only three years ago, relievers’ ERA was almost half a run better than that of starters (3.93 to 4.34).

Bullpen ERA this year is the second worst in the past 69 years (only 2000 was worse) and the eighth worst of all time. And it’s getting worse as the workload piles up. Monthly bullpen ERA this year: 4.37 in April, 4.45 in May and 4.72 in ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 25, 2019 at 06:25 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Monday, June 24, 2019

Cardinals’ reliever Hicks has torn ligament in elbow, could miss rest of season | Cardinal Beat | stltoday.com

An MRI examination Monday revealed that the 22-year-old Hicks has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

A Cardinals press release states that the team is determining the next course of action but it seems unlikely that Hicks would pitch much, if any, the rest of the season. Tommy John surgery certainly would rule him out for the rest of this season and part of the next season.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 06:27 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, jordan hicks, tommy john surgery

After the Miracle: The Myths and the Men | The Hardball Times

Good stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:34 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mets


Buy or sell? This might be time for makeover of underperforming Red Sox - The Boston Globe

Maybe they are playing with the same flair and sense of purpose but just aren’t playing as well.

Their bullpen is not deep enough and several important players — Mookie Betts and J.D Martinez in particular — are not playing with the same flair and sense of purpose they showed a year ago. Even fiery Chris Sale has been meandering along.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 09:47 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Youngest MLB, Minor League Players By League In 2019

The next big thing in prospects is now the youngest player in LoA.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 08:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, wander franco

Adam Eaton: Actually, The Financial Struggles Of Minor League Players Are A Good Thing

But it’s not like Eaton is making his argument from either of those perspectives. As is usually the case, he’s projecting his own thoughts and feelings from his time as a minor league players onto everyone else who’s still in that system. He thinks that struggle is good for those players because it was good for him. He thinks that those players should have it rough because he had it rough. With this logic, it’s to assume that he thinks minor leaguers would get complacent with more hospitable conditions because that’s likely what he would have done if he were in that position.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 08:06 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: adam eaton, minor league pay

Newsday’s Tim Healey explains incident with Mets manager Mickey Callaway | Newsday

Mets bedlam. I don’t see how Callaway survives much longer.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 07:55 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: jason vargas, mets, mickey callaway

Will Smith makes it 3 rookies in a row to walk it off

The Rockies came to LA 10 games back, a sizable deficit, but one we’ve seen overcome plenty of times. Here is how the three games ended:
Matt Beaty walk-off home run
Alex Verdugo walk-off home run
Will Smith walk-off home run
Three rookies, three home runs, three walk-offs, 13 game lead. This was only Will Smith’s 7th major league game and he already has two walk-off home runs.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, home runs, rookies, walkoff wins

Dietrich hit record-breaking 6th time in series

Dietrich didn’t budge, and the pitch hit him on the right arm. It was the sixth time he was hit by a pitch in the series, which set a new Major League record.

During Friday’s 11-7 win over Milwaukee, Dietrich was hit by pitches three times, and it happened twice more on Thursday during a 7-1 victory. According to Elias, he became the first player to be hit by pitches five times in a series of any length since Washington’s Jake Stahl in 1904.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell argued Friday that Dietrich was leaning into the pitches rather than trying to avoid them.

The left-handed Claudio was brought in specifically to face the lefty-hitting Dietrich and threw only two pitches. Brewers fans booed upon the record-breaker. Meanwhile, ...

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Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:18 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hit by pitch

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Mets coach Chili Davis getting it done, sticking it to Cubs

There were many happy Mets, but the happiest may have been hitting coach Chili Davis, who was fired by the Cubs after last season and subsequently hired by the Mets.

The Cubs are still paying him so this is a win-win for the Mets.

“It is nice, I won’t lie about it,’’ Davis told The Post of bludgeoning the Cubs. “It’s nice to come in here and win a couple games and we got one more to go. Try to come in here with the same focus and intensity on Sunday.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: June 23, 2019 at 06:59 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: chili davis, mets

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas suspended 80 games for positive PED test

Oakland Athletics starter Frankie Montas was suspended 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He can return in late September but is ineligible to pitch in the postseason.

The suspension comes on the heels of Thursday’s dramatic 5-4 win in which Matt Chapman hit a two-out, three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays to clinch Oakland’s fourth straight win. Montas started the game, allowing just one run on four hits in eight innings with nine strikeouts.

“I am deeply saddened to confirm that MLB recently notified me I have tested positive for Ostarine, a prohibited substance under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement,” Montas ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2019 at 12:48 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: frankie montas, peds

Clayton Kershaw Isn’t His Old Self ... but Hyun-Jin Ryu Is Clayton Kershaw’s Old Self.

Ryu is a prolific commercial pitchman, and this noodles spot is his masterpiece, notable for two reasons. First is the hysterically ersatz Kershaw cheering Ryu on in the dugout, with a fake beard so outrageous there’s about a 6 percent chance it’s not a caricature of Kershaw at all, but instead an homage to Jan Rubes in Witness. Second, when Ryu takes an overhand scoop into the pot of noodles, he does it with his right hand, not his left. That’s because Ryu, like Billy Wagner, Michael Vick, and Rich Hill before him, throws with his left hand but does everything else—including eating—with his right. Ryu is putting on a historically great command pitching performance, and he’s doing it with his nondominant hand.

It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 22, 2019 at 12:38 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

The balls aren’t juiced: MLB explains rise in home runs

Manfred cited last year’s report, written by a committee of scientists and data specialists, which identified the pill at the center of the ball playing a factor. If the pill is not perfectly centered, the ball wobbles when hit and creates more drag.

“We think one of the things that may be happening is they’re getting better at centering the pill, [which] creates less drag,” Manfred said. “In addition to that, there’s all these man-made issues: hand-stitched, where it’s stored after it’s made, where it’s stored at the ballpark, who puts the mud on the ball, how much mud they put on the ball. It’s really difficult to isolate any single cause. But we do think it’s a drag issue.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2019 at 12:38 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs


Friday, June 21, 2019

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to Participate in Home Run Derby

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will follow in his father’s footsteps and participate in the Home Run Derby next month in Cleveland, MLB Network’s Hazel Mae reports.

The Blue Jays’ rookie third baseman is the son of Hall of Fame outfielder Vlad Sr., who played for the Montreal Expos for the first eight years of his 16-year MLB career. The senior Guerrero won the 2007 Derby at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Guerrero Jr. has hit seven homers since the 20-year-old made his highly-anticipated MLB debut in April. He is batting .249 with 17 runs. He was ranked the No. 1 prospect in Major League Baseball before his debut and has been a spectacle all season since his first at-bat.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2019 at 09:44 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: vladimir guerrero jr.

Phillies’ Maikel Franco has fallen out of Gabe Kapler’s favor for second straight year

“I think when he is performing like Maikel Franco is capable of performing, he’s a lot better than that. And right now he is still trying to find his way and we’ll look for opportunities to give him an opportunity to get going. Right now we have other guys we are going to see ahead of him,” Kapler said. “The value is directly related to his performance. Maikel Franco has a tremendous amount of value playing to his potential. Right now he’s struggling to reach that potential.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2019 at 09:10 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies

Blue Jays want ‘strong foundation’ for Bichette before promotion - Sportsnet.ca

“We’d really like to see some time in triple-A and have him get his legs under him and have a good strong foundation before we have that discussion,” Atkins said. “But his spring training was extremely impressive and what he’s done in the minor leagues thus far, the teammate that he is, the effort that he has, it’s really a lot to get excited about.”

Because he missed six weeks with a fractured bone in his left hand, Bichette has played just 21 games at triple-A. Through 89 plate appearances, he’s batting a respectable .250/.307/.450 with three home runs.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2019 at 08:26 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, bo bichette


Thursday, June 20, 2019

John Sickels’ Top 100 prospects (UPDATED) – The Athletic

Sickel’s latest.

Here’s the current Top 100, with updated ranking and grade. Note that this does NOT include 2019 draftees.

1) Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade A: Previously number 4; hitting .326/.396/.514 in Low-A; best position player long-term still in the minor leagues.

2) Mackenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres, Grade A: Previously number 8; completely dominant in High-A with 1.21 ERA in 60 innings, spectacular 83/14 K/BB.

3) Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros, Grade A-: Previously number 11, got off to a slow start in AAA but has been on a tear recently, now up to .282/.356/.633 with 23 homers, 17 steals in 66 games.

4) Casey Mize, RHP, Detroit Tigers, Grade A-: Previously number 9; insane 0.92 ERA in 78 innings, 75/12 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:48 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, prospects

Dave Eiland dismissed by Mets | MLB.com

The Mets are a trainwreck. Again.

The Mets have dismissed pitching coach Dave Eiland, a source told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. Bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez was also let go, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. The club has not confirmed.

Entering Thursday, the Mets had a 4.67 ERA, which ranked 20th in the Majors. The team has finished a season with a higher mark just twice in its history: in 1962, in the team’s inaugural season, and in 2017.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:42 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pitching coach

Mad Max dominates with broken nose, black eye

“He’s probably the best pitcher in our generation ... “, said second baseman Brian Dozier.

Lest we forget Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:25 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: generational best, kershaw, mythical, scherzer

Sources: Rays to explore playing in Montreal

The Tampa Bay Rays received permission from Major League Baseball’s executive council to explore a plan in which they would play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and the remainder of the year in Montreal, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

While the plan is in its nascent stages, the Rays have embraced the two-city solution as the most feasible to saving baseball in the Tampa Bay area after years of failed attempts to build a new stadium in the region, according to sources.



Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-20-2019

Broadus [Montana] Independent, June 20, 1919:

“The amount of money that is wagered on baseball,” says Arnold Rothstein, “is grossly exaggerated…There is little or no money bet on the American league race. A few small bets have been made that the Yankees will finish higher than the White Sox. Baseball is not a good betting proposition, which may be just as well for the game.”

“...so don’t worry about me. I’ll just be over here not gambling on baseball. And I super won’t put money on someone beating the White Sox. There’s nothing to see here.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


David Ortiz shooting motive: Big Papi was not intended target, Dominican attorney general says - masslive.com

Red Sox legend David Ortiz was not the target of the attack that left him with a gunshot wound to the lower back last Sunday, Dominican attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez told reporters (including ESPN’s Marly Rivera). Rodriguez said the target was Ortiz’s friend, Sixto David Fernandez, who was sitting at the same table at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2019 at 05:40 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Carig: In lashing out at Manny Machado, umpires’ union reveals itself to be tone deaf – The Athletic

More stuff.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2019 at 09:35 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado, umpires

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