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Monday, March 10, 2014
Add the designated hitter to the National League!
Wouldn’t you rather see one of these guys hit than continue to watch the Cardinals send the likes of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez to the plate? I would but maybe I’m biased, because I grew up watching American League games, not worshiping at the altar of the double-switch and that predictable daily double—the No. 8 hitter being walked to get to the pitcher, and the pitcher giving up an out with a bunt.
Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:58 AM | 113 comment(s)
The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade. But there is no joy in Melville…
Playing in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 14,770 at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Sunday, Braun refuses to succumb, just as he has this spring from opposing fans at Brewers’ home games.
“Dude, say what you want about me, but I am strong,’’ Braun says in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports. “Mentally, and emotionally, I am strong.
“This doesn’t bother me. People may have something new to yell now, but it’s ...
Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Last week, Jeff Zimmerman at the Hardball Times released infield shift data for 2013. These data considered a shift to be on when the defense had three players on the same side of the infield (as in the Jays-Red Sox example above). The data that were made available included how often teams had a shift on when hitters put the ball in play, and the players that hit into the most shifts. Here, I am focusing on the former. Keep in mind that these data exclude home runs, strikeouts, walks ...
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:16 PM | 15 comment(s)
Cardinals limited roster space get even more limited…. Anyone have projections for Diaz yet?
The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a four-year, major-league deal with shortstop Aledmys Diaz, a Cuban who defected from the country and had to wait out a years suspension before being eligible as a free agent. The team announced the deal Sunday afternoon.
“Out here survival is everything!”
Phillips isn’t talking to me, C. Trent Rosecrans, Mark Sheldon and Hal McCoy because he says we wrote that he struggled in the second half without mentioning he was playing hurt.
Phillips can talk or not talk. That doesn’t matter to me. There will be 24 players on the roster who will talk. But the notion that we didn’t write about his injury is blatantly false.
It was mentioned over and over again. This is from when I picked him as the club’s first-half ...
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 16 comment(s)
A swooning ode to the late inventor of Tommy John surgery asks why fans treat it so differently than steroid use.
A mere whiff of steroid use is enough to sully the reputation of any athlete, whereas players who recover from TJS are praised for their perseverance. But what could be more unnatural, or provide a bigger advantage, than cutting a tendon out of a wrist or leg and inserting it into an elbow?
X crawls to Mark Mulder’s doorstep and writes in his own blood “DHEA”.
Player X: “I was never an angel when it came to the drug policy. Androstendione was legal at the time. I used Winstrol after coming off rotator cuff surgery. The benefits were amazing. The physical gains of steroids are a given, but what I didn’t expect were the mental gains. The confidence boost the added testosterone gave me was exponential. I went from “I hope they don’t hit this pitch” to “Try and hit this, ...
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:40 AM | 54 comment(s)
Among the first drills new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus worked on with his club in February was a rarely attempted pickoff move to third base.
Honestly, it felt like a disaster waiting to happen when Ausmus introduced the drill, and on Friday night a perfect example of just how disastrous it can be played out when a little bit of miscommunication led to a game-ending balk in Detroit’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees.
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
My 1969 Macmillan shocker: Debs Garms.
He batted .370 the rest of the way. Turned out, he batted .385 in September. He finished at .331, 10 points ahead of Johnson, 60 points higher than his career average, 47 points better than he’d ever hit. On the final day of the season, he could let it go again, free of the drama, the thrill, the achievement, the bouts of weirdness in the batter’s box. And it could just be glorious.
“Oh, it’s extremely special,” he said. “To have your name in the history ...
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:05 AM | 31 comment(s)
Operation Ivie: Turn it around!
When you’re a first round selection in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, there are expectations. When you’re the overall #1 pick, those expectations are high. In 1970, Mike Ivie was that #1 pick, but he never lived up to the expectations, not in two stops with pro clubs in California, not with the Houston Astros, nor in a final, last-ditch trial with the Detroit Tigers. As a result, the once promising prospect’s career was over at the age of 30. ...
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 11 comment(s)
Doesn’t Madden know that the Mariners finished 2nd in HR’s…and that his Yogi Yorgesson record needs flipping?
What is interesting is Cano’s sudden discovery that the team he chose to cast his lot with is not very good. It is the exact same scenario to what his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez discovered his first year in Texas in 2001 after signing his then-record $252 million deal with the Rangers. Back then, Tom Hicks, the idiot Texas owner who gave A-Rod more than $100 million more than ...
Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:03 AM | 147 comment(s)
Saturday, March 08, 2014
I have a curare solutin’ BB gun at my ready for the first writer that pulls a Killer B’s for Billy Beane/Billy Burns.
Back in the Moneyball Summer, Billy Beane used to say, “whoever hits the most homers usually wins,” and could live without stolen bases. But while the movie was superb, it was, in reality, fiction, or semi-fiction. “All movies are,” Beane said when the film was released. “Thirteen Days” wasn’t the way it really was, either.
“In our market (and a park that ...
Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
There is precedent for teams building temporary stadiums. In 2010, Empire Field was erected in Vancouver to house the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for the 2010 season and part of 2011. The 27,528-seat venue was built by the Nussli Group in just three months at a cost of $14.4 million, during the time when a retractable roof was being installed at the Lions’ permanent stadium.
Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
Give him some high praise and we’ll go and pound some Bud…uhh, Bowie Kuhn.
Writers never changed their stripes. Bouton and his editor Leonard Shecter were called “social lepers” by New York Daily News columnist Dick Young, a man who was conflicted by his career. Young was taking money from Major League Baseball teams in writing program pieces and promotional material but was also a journalist. Young often sided with the owners and by 1977 was so embedded with baseball ownership that his ...
Posted: March 08, 2014 at 04:04 PM | 68 comment(s)
A pitcher with injury concerns signing with the Jays. What could go wrong?
The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM. Santana has until recently been represented by Proformance, although there have been recent reports about the possibility of Santana ending his relationship with that agency.
Santana pitched 211 innings ...
Which brings me to the slew of questions I had for Foster, the starting left fielder and prolific slugger for the Machine.
“You say the auction is happening this April? Wow,” said Foster over the phone from the Reds’ spring training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., where he is involved in one of the many charitable groups that he runs.
So I started there: Given the mega bucks that will be involved next month in the auction for the Fisk ball, and given that Foster surely could use some of those ...
Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:20 PM | 28 comment(s)
Joe Saunders was the opposing pitcher who helped end the Texas Rangers’ last playoff appearance two seasons ago.
Now the veteran left-hander will get a chance to earn a spot in the Texas rotation after finalizing a one-year contract that guarantees him the $500,000 minimum.
Saunders’s salary would increase to $1.5 million if he makes the team. He can earn performance bonuses in addition to his salary under the deal completed Tuesday.
With injured lefty Derek Holland expected to be out at ...
Oliver LOOGYs are signed now.
The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-hander Oliver Perez on a two-year, $4.25MM deal, pending physical. Perez, a client of Scott Boras, will earn $1.75MM for the coming year and $2.5MM in 2015.
Perez, 32, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons as a reliever with the Mariners. He has tallied a 3.16 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 31.8 percent ground-ball rate in 82 2/3 innings in that time. Opposing left-handers have batted ...
B.J. Upton’s swing has changed some, but whether it’s the dramatic difference he needs remains to be seen.
Upton’s 2013 was a perfect storm of bad habits rolled into a swing that was all arms and generated no lower-body help. It led to slow bat speed, whiffing through velocity and not being able to drive anything up the middle.
I wrote in October that Upton’s 2013 swing had little load, a very slow trigger, a stiff front side and no lower-body torque. He didn’t generate any momentum ...
May her memory be for a blessing.
Carmen Berra died Thursday night in West Caldwell, not far from the couple’s longtime home in Montclair. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke earlier this year.
She was in some ways the classic baseball wife, known publicly as the woman at Yogi’s side for yet one more bow at Yankee Stadium. In private, she might gently tease him for the lore that grew around him, but she relished the fans’ affection that came his way.
Asked to explain the longevity of ...
JE (Jason Epstein)
Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
“Respect the game above all else”
Though it was merely a spring game, Friday’s 15-4 loss to the Orioles had it all: lack of hustle on defense, a pitching implosion and dismal hitting. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has said all spring he does not like losing games, even if they are Grapefruit League contests; Friday’s affair certainly frustrated the skipper.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Sandberg said.
The Phillies’ defensive fundamentals – something Sandberg has stressed mightily during his short ...
Posted: March 08, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 17 comment(s)
Friday, March 07, 2014
The 35-year-old pitcher saw his comeback attempt go awry when he was released by the Royals on Friday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. And while performance certainly played a part in Kansas City’s decision — Penny gave up four runs and eight hits in two innings in a spring start against the White Sox on Thursday — apparently Penny’s temper did too.
“One reason Brad Penny was released: He injured his non-throwing hand punching a wall on Thursday, source says.”
(Barney) Phillips: You can’t spell RBI without eye!
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips isn’t talking to the Cincinnati media, but he’s willing to talk to the national media and willing to talk to the national media about why he’s not talking to the Cincinnati media.
Case in point, this Phillips quote to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com:
I don’t have nothing to say to those cats. They know what the deal is. They just talk about how I was falling off and declining. How the ...
Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
WHO DO YOU THINK BELONGS IN THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS HALL OF FAME?
VOTE NOW FOR TWO REDBIRDS LEGENDS!
The Cardinals and Edward Jones have teamed up to honor the greatest players in the club’s history. The new Hall of Fame will recognize these figures for their achievements and impact on the organization during their careers.
Each member will be permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame gallery at Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium.
Vote for your top 2 players.
Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:06 PM | 24 comment(s)
hall of fame
The Only Nolan pitched in 101 games as a 19-year-old, so yeah, what was Gary’s problem?
then the pain climbed to a higher plane. It was too much. [Gary Nolan] couldn’t handle it. The reporters asked him how much it hurt. “Enough to make you cry,” he said. Teammates rolled their eyes. Letters to the editor in the Cincinnati papers questioned his manhood.
“When’s Nolan going to pitch again?” reporters asked Sparky Anderson.
“Hell, I don’t know. Ask him,” Sparky barked angrily. ...Read More...
The Red Sox did not send out a great team. The Marlins, however, did send out a much better lineup. With the knowledge that most veterans don’t usually make this type of trip, aren’t the Marlins more culpable?
For the first and only time this spring, “super premium” ticket pricing was in effect for a Miami Marlins’ Grapefruit League home game. Thursday, fans per ticket paid $12 more for field box seats, $11 more for loge and $10 more for bleachers than they would for a weekday game. ...Read More...
Toledo News-Bee, March 7, 1914:
One of the best yarns the returning world touring baseballers brought home hinged on the fact that Big Jim Thorpe of the Giants, world’s champion athlete, is a redskin.
Thorpe, the tourists said, was a big disappointment to the English because he didn’t wear feathers and scalps.
“What do they call you among the Indians—your sobriquet, I mean?” said one monocled peer to whom Thorpe was introduced in London.
“Bench Warmer,” said Thorpe. And he never cracked a ...
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