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Friday, September 30, 2011

ESPN: Offense drops to two-decade low

Be it better pitchers, more stringent steroid testing, changes in ballparks or lots of wet weather, batters haven’t had it this tough since the Bush administration—the first Bush administration—an era when multipurpose stadiums were common, the Internet wasn’t well-known and cell phones were just starting to spread.

Teams averaged 4.28 runs per game this season, the lowest since 1992’s 4.12 and down from a Steroids Era peak of 5.14 in 2000. And the home run average was down to 0.94 each team ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Sabean: Don’t count on big-ticket additions

Salary Cap Peterson ($8,500), would be proud!

The Giants payroll was $124 million this year and it won’t go down, Sabean said. But with Tim Lincecum heading a list of 13 arbitration-eligible players, not all of whom will be offered contracts, plus raises built in to others such as Matt Cain, the math becomes elementary.

“Our pitching’s going to get expensive,” Sabean said. “That’s the punch line and we have to take care of that first.”

Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged glaring ...

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Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goldstein: Why Moneyball Is Off Base

Thanks for the hardcore plugging! Huh…oh, Aaron Goldstein.

image

Well, Bill James’ work begat a generation of “sabermetrician” organizations like Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Think Factory and The Hardball Times.

On base percentage (OBP) statistics are to sabermetricians what images of 38 DDs are to adolescent boys. As it was put in the movie by Peter Brand (a fictional character based on then Athletics assistant general manager Paul DePodesta, played by Jonah Hill), “Your goal shouldn’t be to ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 09:40 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, sabermetrics

Sickels: Player Profile: Dan Johnson, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays

The scouting guru looks back on yesterday’s Moneyball hero, who apparently didn’t look good in jeans.

Dan Johnson was a successful slugger at the University of Nebraska, hitting .368/.482/.849 with 21 homers in 55 games for the Cornhuskers in 2000, then .361/.507/.752 with 25 homers in 2001. Although his left-handed power bat was attractive, his other physical tools were mediocre, he looked too fat, and scouts felt his swing was too long to guarantee success in pro ball. Still, his college ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: September 29, 2011 at 09:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, minor leagues, prospect reports, rays, sabermetrics, scouting

Kubatko: Showalter on Andino

An-freakin-dino.

image

Manager Buck Showalter arrived a month ahead of Andino and could only judge him by the reports left on his desk. He valued the input of officials more familiar with the infielder, but he also needed to trust his eyes.

“Robert’s always had the skills,” Showalter said, dismissing the notion that Andino is the club’s most improved player this season. “I’ve got to tell you, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s always been there.

“The one thing people kept telling me last year when I ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:51 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Wyers: The Problem of Pain

I once had a Filet o’ Fish that presented a Problem o’ Stomach Pain.  Hi-yo!!!!

I remember the first moment when I fully realized that I could die, and in fact could die very soon. I don’t think anyone ever forgets that sort of moment—at least, the ones who live to talk about it. Not at all coincidentally, this occurred only a few minutes after what I believe was the start of hostilities in the Iraq War…

I stayed behind in Kuwait for the march up to Baghdad as part of the rear command ...

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The District Attorney Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, red sox

Red Sox Executive Is Keynote For Tunxis Community College Foundation Event

Tunxis? They should all be in ####### straightjackets by now!

Tunxis Community College Foundation invites the public to “Beyond the Green Monster: Business Strategies for Major League Results,” with Sam Kennedy, president of Fenway Sports Management and executive vice president/chief operating officer for the Boston Red Sox, on Nov. 10, 7:30-9 a.m. at the Hartford Marriott Farmington.

...Kennedy helped conceive and execute the successful sales and marketing plan for the “Legends Suite” at ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:17 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, red sox

Megdal: Mets Win Legal Battle But Still Might Lose Reyes

So a best-case scenario still has the Mets in need of more than $300 million in the relatively near term. That doesn’t cover any subsequent reversals that increase their exposure with Picard, nor does it begin to cover the $500 million in loans that the team is due to pay by June 2014, the loans of around $450 million to the affiliated SNY network due back a year after that, or the roughly $600 million still due in debt payments on Citi Field.

Ask yourself this: Exactly how does that leave any ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:02 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

Grantland: King: Red Sox Nation: F@#$ These Guys

Frank and several other Sox fans I’ve talked to over the past 12 or so hours are relieved for two reasons. First, we don’t have to pretend to root for these ######## anymore. Second, the old kick-in-the-balls feeling is back! We get to go back to our favorite pastime: complaining about this shitty team and its shitty GM and what the #### is wrong with Crawford and did you hear what this guy told me about what John Lackey did when he was at that bar in the Back Bay? When I woke up this morning, ...

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The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 07:16 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, red sox

N.Y. Times: Rosenheck: For Rays to Win, They Need Moore

An argument to use Matt Moore ahead of Jeremy Hellickson in Tampa Bay’s postseason rotation.

Matt Moore is quite probably the Rays’ best pitcher. It should be no surprise if he wins a Cy Young award next year…The Rays cannot afford to limit Moore to a few choice innings, any more than the Yankees would hold back C.C. Sabathia to make sure they could get out tough left-handers in the eighth inning. The more Moore Tampa uses, the fewer runs they will allow.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:27 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general

The Economist: Never say never

The magazine’s take on the odds of Game 162’s simultaneous comebacks, and why the Rays besting the Red Sox is good for baseball.

There was something on the order of an 0.5% chance the Red Sox would blow their nine-game lead over the Rays, and a 2% chance the Braves would lose their seven-and-a-half-game edge over the Cardinals. Then in tonight’s matchups, there was a 13% chance the Phillies would come back to beat Atlanta, a 5% chance the Orioles would come back to beat Boston, and an 0.3% ...

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David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:06 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Playoff Prediction Thread

American League
Detroit at New York
Tampa Bay at Texas

National League
St. Louis at Philadelphia
Milwaukee at Arizona

Let the bold and absolute certainty prognosticating resume.


Posnanski: Baseball Night in America

Are we sure that Mariano Melgar would pitch any worse than Luis Ayala?

Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That’s what you get most of the time. You stand in driver’s license lines, and watch Alfredo Aceves shake off signals, and sit through your children’s swim meets, and see bases loaded rallies die, and fill up your car’s tires with air and endure an inning with three pitching changes, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk.

But then, every now and again, something happens. ...

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The District Attorney Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:03 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, history

Eric Wilbur: Splat

Just two championships in the last eight seasons and 90 win seasons in eight of the last night = failure. Red Sox fans are becoming what they have loathed for so long…YANKEES FANS!

The fact that it was Crawford dropping that ball last night provided the perfect parallel to all that is wrong with this team. John Henry and the baseball ops team, including digital darling Carmine, are so hell-bent on stats and mathematical formulas that they’re increasingly ignoring what is was that made them ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 02:59 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, red sox

Grantland: Simmons: A Running Diary of Game 162

Their body language grew progressively worse as the month dragged on, with their manager seeming more hopeless and desperate than anyone. They blew basic baseball plays, botched fly balls, dropped relay throws, ended games by getting caught stealing, threw meatballs, ####### at each other, admitted to being scared … you name it, they did it. They choked away Game 162 by getting three guys thrown out on the basepaths, by blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth, by botching a season-deciding fly ball, ...

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Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 02:33 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Ted Berg: Then we came to the end

And the batting point Reyes lighthouse shall lead them…maybe.

I can’t speak for those booing, but I suspect some of the disappointment upon Reyes’ departure stemmed from the knowledge that neither art nor science has yet figured a way to capture the way fans feel seeing Reyes round second and slide headfirst into third, the thrill of the dash and the joy upon its completion. We knew we needed to relish it Wednesday — just like we did Tuesday — because we might never have it again. And ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 02:06 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets

Verducci: Drama of Game 162 never seen before and likely never will again

They will go down as the most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history. Never before and likely never again—if we even dare to assume anything else can be likely ever again—will baseball captivate and exhilarate on so many fronts in so small a window the way it did September 28, 2011.

Starting at 9:56 PM Eastern, the grand old game, said to suffer by comparison from football’s siren sisters of gambling and violence, and said to suffer from America’s shrinking attention span and capacity to ...

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Gamingboy Posted: September 29, 2011 at 01:01 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, orioles, phillies, rays, red sox, yankees

NYTimes:  Silver:  Bill Buckner Strikes Again

It’s hard to describe just how epic the Red Sox’ collapse was — something on the order of Mr. Buckner’s play multiplied by itself two or three times over….

The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:

  # The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.
  # The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance ...

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Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-29-2011

Pittsburgh Press, September 29, 1911:

The Detroit Tigers may lose the spectacular “Ty” Cobb.  The Detroit star has been quietly figuring for the past year for a minor league franchise, figuring on being a joint owner, manager and player.  Last night Paul Cobb, right fielder for Lincoln and younger brother of the “Georgia Peach,” wired “Ty” advising the latter to buy the Lincoln franchise in the Western league.

I’ve never shot eighteen under par and I still don’t know where all those balls are, ...

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Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hall of fame, history, minor leagues, rumors

Papelbon: Moment won’t define my career

Define define, Papelbon voyage.

Moments after allowing two runs in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ season-ending, 4-3 loss to the Orioles Wednesday night at Camden Yards, Jonathan Papelbon talked about the fall-out from blowing the save, and how he will be approaching his future.

“I think this organization is obviously an organization I want to play for,” Papelbon said. “I have to let the offseason dictate that and whatever happens, happens. This isn’t going to define me. You look at some of ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 09:45 AM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Loverro: Why punish ‘The Capital Punisher’?

Everybody gets dead lettered. It was Frank Howard’s turn…

It is stunning and embarrassing that Howard has not been part of the Nationals’ organization. There is something purporting to be a statue of Howard on the center-field plaza of Nationals Park. Yet save for the occasion appearance before private groups, the Nationals failed to step up and make Howard part of the organization.

“I would have loved to,” Howard said when asked why he was not part of the Nationals’ organization. “But ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history, nationals

SI.com: Hitless in last 46 at-bats, Velez sets dubious mark

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Eugenio Velez has broken a modern-day major league record for a non-pitcher by going hitless in his final 46 at-bats.

Velez grounded out to second as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the regular-season finale Wednesday night. He broke the record of 45 straight at-bats that belonged to Pittsburgh’s Bill Bergen (1909), Dave Campbell of San Diego and St. Louis (1973) and Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell this season.

NTNgod Posted: September 29, 2011 at 07:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

ESPN: Evan Longoria homers in 12th as Rays storm into postseason

It’s over!

The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL wild card with a stunning rally Wednesday night, overcoming a late seven-run deficit and then beating the New York Yankees 8-7 on Evan Longoria’s home run in the 12th inning.

The Rays’ win came four minutes after Boston blew a one-run lead in the ninth at Baltimore and lost 4-3. The Red Sox, who held a nine-game lead over the Rays in early September, and Tampa Bay began the final day of the regular season tied for the wild card.

NTNgod Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:22 AM | 165 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays

MLB.com: Go Wild, folks: Cards headed to the postseason

The Cardinals have won the National League Wild Card.

As the Braves and Phillies played a cliffhanger, Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals did their part at Minute Maid Park. Carpenter dominated the Astros and his offense gave him five runs before he even took the mound in a 8-0 drubbing of Houston. Atlanta then lost, 4-3, to Philadelphia in 13 innings to give St. Louis the Wild Card.

NTNgod Posted: September 29, 2011 at 03:49 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, game recaps

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Former Dodger Milton Bradley Arrested Again

The checkered game of Milton Bradley’s life contines…

Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley was free on $30,000 bail Wednesday after being arrested in Encino on suspicion of felony battery, according to City News Service.

Bradley, 33, was booked at the Van Nuys jail following his arrest at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to Sheriff’s Department records. He was released on bail about eight hours later, and was tentatively scheduled to appear in court in Van Nuys on Oct. 18.

Los ...

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Repoz Posted: September 28, 2011 at 08:56 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Biz of Baseball: Analysis: Frank McCourt’s Blood-Bath with Major League Baseball

Adds Maury…“Just in time for Halloween. Starring Sissy Spacek and John Travolta.”

So the “fishing” expedition is really saber-rattling. For one, it’s not just MLB that McCourt is trying to put on trial, it’s all sports leagues that have their own rules that they apply to clubs. Why not have McCourt go after the NFL, or NBA, or NHL? Where does it stop? The court has to remember the precedent that would be set with such a ruling.

But, that doesn’t mean McCourt isn’t going to lawyer ...

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Repoz Posted: September 28, 2011 at 08:23 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, media

BPP: Putterman: Undeserving Hall of Famers

Putterman here is the world’s foremost appraiser of vintage HOF’s…

Every once in a while a career WAR total seems completely counterintuitive. This list features both players whose WAR is surprisingly high and players whose WAR is surprisingly low. Amos Rusie is statistically one of the most baffling players in Cooperstown. Rusie, both standout pitcher and mediocre outfielder in the late 19th century, was alternately impressive and underwhelming throughout a ten-season career on the mound. So ...

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Repoz Posted: September 28, 2011 at 08:02 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

TRACER: Bill Veeck’s Satchel Paige vs Joe Dimaggio anecdote

Bill Veeck was known for telling some wonderful tales and so I decided to see if one of his tales was actually true.

Joe Dimaggio had trouble hitting Satchel Paige, partly-I suppose-because Satch made him wait. Satch once committed the ultimate insult of walking a man deliberately to get at Joe, and then getting Joe to pop out. It was DiMaggio’s temperament to be a solid professional, to show no emotion, but you knew that Joe burned inwardly at the gratuitous slap and was hurting to get back ...

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McCoy Posted: September 28, 2011 at 07:40 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, cardinals, hall of fame, history, indians, negro leagues, orioles, yankees

Trib: Mercy! Sox extend Harrelson through 2015

You can put him in the booth, YES!

Chicago White Sox fans will be treated to four more years of “He Gone” and “Mercy!” after announcing Wednesday that television play-by-play announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson agreed to a four-year extension through 2015.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: September 28, 2011 at 07:37 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, television, white sox

Jose Reyes Might Have Won The Batting Title ...

... yet the Mets still figured out a way to make a PR mess out of it. Reyes bunted for a single in the first inning of Wednesday’s game. The crowd went nuts. Then he was pulled for a pinch-runner in what might be his final game as a Met… Instead of leaving to cheers, the crowd boos the move.

Frozen heads are exploding as we speak.

The District Attorney Posted: September 28, 2011 at 05:44 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leagues

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