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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chris Rock delivers seven-minute monologue on MLB’s diversity problem

NSFW

The decline of African-American players in Major League Baseball has been a hot-button topic for a few years.

In 2014, just 8.3 percent of big league players were African-American.

Comedian Chris Rock took on this matter in a hilarious, yet poignant seven-minute monologue for the latest edition of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

Rock managed to explain his concerns while also dropping gems like this:

“Baseball isn’t 20 percent black anymore. It’s eight percent and falling ...

Read More...

Yasmany Tomas makes his first career start with Arizona Diamondbacks

Is he yelling something about bovine or equine feces here?

Aside from a two-base fielding error in the third inning, [Yasmany] Tomas acquitted himself quite well at third base and was even better at the plate in the D-backs’ 7-1 series-opening loss to the Texas Rangers at Chase Field Tuesday night…

Tomas, whom the D-backs signed to a six-year, $68.5 million contract in the offseason, singled to right field in the second, grounded out to shortstop in the fourth and legged out an infield hit in ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 22, 2015 at 01:47 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, yasmany tomas

Agent Scott Boras wants panel to rule on readiness of players prior to end of spring training

My opinion? Well, you know how some people are “on your side”, but you really, really wish they weren’t?...

Baseball agent Scott Boras wants “panels” consisting of baseball experts to help decide if a first-year player is worthy of making the team out of spring training…

“The union or somebody may come in and say they’ve made a claim that this player is major league-ready, and to place him in the minor leagues would not be appropriate from a skills standpoint. Then, all of a sudden, it’s ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 22, 2015 at 11:16 AM | 100 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, rookies, scott boras, shifts

A Look at Statcast’s Broadcast Debut | FanGraphs Baseball

I thought it was a good first game. The game shouldn’t be Statcast centric anyway. What I found missing was context. A player runs 17 MPH to a play. Great! What does it mean though? How fast are the average players? Who are the fastest players? Same thing with other defensive plays. How often do similar plays get made? How often does the player make similar plays compared to average players? Who are the most similar players? Some of this stuff will take time to build the right databases. Right ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2015 at 10:38 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statcast

4-22-15 OMNICHATTER

The “3 Grand Slams In A Game” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: April 22, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 180 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

The Economist: One Swing is All You Need

Hold off on the glue.

However, the sabermetric canon also includes a caveat to “Voros’s law” about the volatility of small sample sizes. Although the overwhelming majority of events that can transpire in baseball over a brief time period cannot be distinguished statistically from random variation, a handful of accomplishments are so rare that even a single game can contain impressive predictive power. Bill James, the father of modern baseball analysis, called this principle “signature ...

Read More...
JE (Jason) Posted: April 22, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, oldwarhorse, yankees

Nationals Walk-Off Win Caps Stat cast Debut

Lots of video in the article. Some interesting stuff.

Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 22, 2015 at 09:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mlb network, nats, stats

NY Times: On the Night Willie Mays Hit No. 660, It Was Just Another Number

The number held no significance at the time. Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron had reached that total, but both men then zoomed passed it. Aaron reached 660 in 1972 — also against the Reds — but by the time Mays reached it, Aaron had passed 700. Ruth reached 660 in 1933 at age 38. In 2004, Barry Bonds became the fourth player to reach and pass 660.

Now Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees is poised to join them. Rodriguez hit his 658th career home run on Friday night and is two short of that gleaming 660 ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: April 22, 2015 at 08:42 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, mets, willie mays

NY Times: Persistence of a Steroid Bedevils Baseball

While no major leaguers had failed a test for stanozolol in about seven years, according to M.L.B., minor leaguers have been testing positive for it with disturbing regularity.

During the past six seasons, the number of minor leaguers caught using the drug could fill nearly five major league rosters. That’s almost 125 players who decided to take the great and increasing risk of being caught.

The stanozolol positives accounted for one-fourth of all of M.L.B.’s drug violations in that ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: April 22, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: stanozolol

NY Times: Statcast Arrives, Offering Way to Quantify Nearly Every Move in Game

Now M.L.B. is ready to show off Statcast, and it started Tuesday night on the MLB Network broadcast of the Cardinals-Nationals game from Washington, with Bob Costas, John Smoltz and Tom Verducci calling the game. Statcast’s myriad metrics — many of them describing defensive work — can be deployed live, but more likely they will be seen during replays. Statcast will be used exclusively on MLB Network for several weeks until it is made available to Fox, ESPN and TBS, and local regional ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: April 22, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-22-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 22, 1915:

[Pirates] Manager Fred Clarke has released two more of his youngsters and the fact was made known at Pirate headquarters yesterday. Joe Leonard, who was in his second year with the Pirates goes to Columbus…“Dazzy” Vance, the big pitcher, goes back to St. Joe under an optional agreement.
...
“Dazzy” must go back through no fault of his own. Clarke could not make room for Vance and hold down to the seven pitchers’ limit to which he must hold or weaken ...

Read More...
Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 22, 2015 at 08:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dazzy vance, dugout, history

As Beltran struggles, Chris Young could be answer for Yankees | New York Post

An old player is playing like an old player. Who could have seen this coming?

Beltran, coming off a terrible 2014 in which he battled a serious right elbow injury and off to a ghastly, .171/.222/.268 start this year, deserves more rope to climb out of his hole in his second Yankees season. He doesn’t deserve endless room for error, however, especially when you see how superior the Yankees’ lineup and outfield appears with Young joining Ellsbury and Gardner.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos beltran, chris young, yankees

Velocity’s Relationship with Pitcher Arm Injuries – The Hardball Times

When will the game get serious about preventing these injuries? Stop pitchers from throwing so hard, MLB! THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!

Earlier this year, Fleisig acknowledged to Grantland’s Jonah Keri that velocity could be an issue:

Velocity is a factor. All things being equal, throwing 95 miles per hour is more stressful than throwing 90. But throwing 95 miles per hour with good mechanics is less stressful than throwing 90 miles per hour with bad mechanics. Throwing 95 miles per hour with ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: tommy john surgery

Mets Win 9th in Row, Newcomer Plawecki and Niese Beat Braves - NYTimes.com

Anthony Recker better not get too comfortable.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin plaweck, mets

Think Cubs should trade Castro with Addison Russell here? Think again | Chicago

Castro has looked great this year.

Castro has always seemed to genuinely want to become a great all-around player, and tried to follow the leads of each new manager, infield coach and hitting coach that came through the Cubs turnstile during his career.

Maybe the communication is better with this manager and staff. Maybe the obvious influx of better talent and the real intention of trying to win again has made a difference.

Whatever it is, Castro said he does more daily work before games in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2015 at 06:38 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, starlin castro

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Naval Academy grad Harris called up to majors by Cardinals

Cards could use the veteran presence.

During his stint in the Persian Gulf on a Navy carrier, Mitch Harris kept his pitching arm - and his hopes of eventually making it to the majors - in shape by tossing a baseball on the flight deck.

‘‘We actually had a cook ... who grew up playing baseball his whole life,’’ Harris recalled. ‘‘He was about the only person I truly trusted to throw with, because I was scared I’d hurt anybody else.’‘

Harris, a 2008 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, told ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2015 at 08:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, military, mitch harris, naval academy, veterans

WSJ: What constitutes batting around in an inning?

By the way, the Brian Mangan in the article is me!

When the question was posed to New York Mets captain David Wright, he didn’t hesitate. “Ten,” he said. As far as Wright was concerned, nobody could disagree. To prove as much, he called over his teammate, John Mayberry Jr. Mayberry said nine, just as emphatically. Wright was stunned.

As the debate spread beyond the Mets’ players and fans, so did the divide. Colorado Rockies relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, a 42-year-old in his 21st ...

Read More...
thetailor Posted: April 21, 2015 at 05:51 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: batting around, history, vin scully

TNR: The Future of Binge TV Belongs to America’s Oldest Sport

MLB Advanced Media, which has arguably the country’s most extensive and experienced broadband network for streaming live video, has been around since 2000 and is equally owned by the 30 MLB clubs. In addition to streaming most baseball games (more on that later), it handles the back-end duties for myriad other major sports. BAM, as it’s known in industry parlance, powers ESPN’s watch-anywhere app. It runs Turner Sports’ March Madness streaming. The World Wrestling Entertainment Network ...

Read More...
The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 21, 2015 at 05:03 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dying, mlbam

After a decade in the minors Royals rookie Paulo Orlando is demolishing triples records

[Paulo] Orlando tripled Monday night against the Twins, giving him five triples through his first seven career games. No other hitter in MLB history has more than three triples through seven career games.

Orlando has played just seven games and logged just 29 plate appearances, yet by himself he’d be tied for the most triples by any team this season…

Orlando is very fast and doesn’t hit many homers, so he did rack up a lot of triples in the minors. He totaled 14 triples in 286 games at ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: April 21, 2015 at 03:05 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: paulo orlando, records, royals, triples

Branch Rickey’s Residual Legacy | The National Pastime Museum

Throughout baseball history, general managers have tended to leave positions because they were removed or forced out, and that tended to happen because their teams were bad. The result was a low, and often even negative, residual value confronting the incoming administration.
That was never Branch Rickey’s way. In fact, Rickey’s most overlooked legacy to the franchises he operated was a booming residual value of talent upon which a succeeding administration could fashion ongoing success. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 02:16 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey

Minor League Baseball returns to CBS Sports | MiLB.com

CBS Sports Network is broadcasting ten minor league games this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 01:41 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball

Jeremy Guthrie: Let’s Make International Baseball Awesome

Step 1: Use the World Cup as the model
The World Baseball Classic is great, but who wouldn’t want to see it go to the next level and approach the hype of soccer’s World Cup? Right now, the WBC takes place in March during spring training, so the best players in the world have a bunch of easy (and good) excuses for why they can’t participate. As commissioner of MLB, I want to grow the game globally by showcasing the sport and giving players from around the world the chance to compete ...

Read More...

Royals Fans Upset at Being Served Moldy Hot Dogs

The quality of food they say they got at the concession stands on Buck Night was unacceptable. This comes just a month after a food safety manager was fired for allegedly speaking out against health violations at Kauffman Stadium.

Fans sent KCTV5 News dozens of pictures from Friday night’s game. One shows a normal stadium hot dog beside one of the dollar dogs. Fans weren’t happy with the blackened franks on soggy, discolored and squashed up buns. One photo even showed mold on the bun. ...Read More...

You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 21, 2015 at 10:14 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: revenue sharing, wal-mart

Jonathan Lucroy suffers broken toe in Brewers’ loss

Things aren’t going the Brewers way so far this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, jonathan lucroy

red sox - Bradford Files: How Manny Ramirez helped his neighbor, Hanley Ramirez - WEEI | Rob Bradford

Manny needs to give Hanley some tips on playing the Green Monster. First tip: when you feel the warning track under your feet as you slowly approach the wall, put your right hand back to feel for the wall.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 08:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, hanley ramirez, manny ramirez, red sox

Nicolai Bonds | Jeff Pearlman

Jeff Pearlman interviews Barry Bonds’ son. It’s an interesting read.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-21-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, April 21, 1915:

Jack Pfiester, who was formerly a pitcher on the team of the Chicago Nationals, was a witness in his own behalf in the Circuit court [in Chicago] on Tuesday in the suit brought against the Western Union Telegraph company, seeking to recover $2,500 in alleged damages in connection with a telegram sent him by the Milwaukee baseball club. Pfiester charged that on May 3, 1912, a telegram from the Milwaukee club, reading: “Will give you $300 per month,” signed ...

Read More...
Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 21, 2015 at 08:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jack pfiester

TBL: Fan at Cubs-Pirates Taken Off on Stretcher After Foul Tip Hit Her Head Through Screen [UPDATE]

Scary. Very scary.

The Pirates-Cubs game Monday night was delayed in the top of the second inning for 23 minutes after a fan walking behind the home plate netting was struck by a foul tip off the bat of Starlin Castro. This one is very rough to watch and, fingers crossed, the fan is okay. The ball did not go through the netting, per reports. ...

UPDATE: The Pirates updated the fan’s status and said she was conscious and thanking the caregivers when taken to the hospital:

JE (Jason) Posted: April 21, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fans, pirates

Power display erases Valbuena’s slow start | astros.com

Silly.

After starting the season 0-for-10, Valbuena is hitting .323 with five homers and seven RBIs in the past eight games. He’s hit safely in seven of those games, including three multihit contests.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 06:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, luis valbuana

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