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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 ...

Read More...
Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 133 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Monday, June 17, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-17-2019

El Paso Herald, June 17, 1919:

[Ping Bodie on why he’d rather play center field than left field:] “Center field is easy on the eyes, like September Morn or something. Now, get me, what I mean to say is that in left field you are always looking into the sun and you get razzle-dazzled in the vision…I figure that playing left field knocks about 25 to 30 per cent off an outfielder’s hitting.”
...
Ping’s argument is a sound one, to say the least. Even with smoked glasses to wear when the sun is burning down at its brightest the left fielder, unless he has an abnormal pair of “glims,” must find things looking hazy after he has peeped into the eye of Old Sol a couple of times, only to be called on a romp in to the bench, pick up a bat and face ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, razzle dazzle

Padres, Rockies set new modern era record with 92 combined runs in four-game series

Along with 92 runs, the Padres and Rockies combined for 131 hits of which 17 were home runs. Charlie Blackmon had four hits in the first three games and three hits on Sunday, overall going 15-for-24 with four homers and 10 RBI.

CraigK Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: colorado rockies, general, san diego padres

Angels designate former closer Cody Allen for assignment amid disastrous season

The Angels on Saturday designated right-handed reliever Cody Allen for assignment, which means they’ll have a few days to decide whether to trade or release Allen or persuade him to accept an outright assignment to the minors. Very likely, he’ll be released.

Allen, as you might have guess, has struggled badly this season:

In terms of FIP, which is fielding-independent pitching (i.e., what a pitcher’s ERA should be given average luck and defensive support), Allen checks in with a grisly mark of 8.33. That largely flows from the fact that he’s walked 20 batters, all unintentionally, in just 23 innings this season and allowed nine home runs over that same span. Along the way, he’s lost a good bit of fastball velocity.

...Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cody allen

For love and the game: How his brave son, baseball family inspire Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo

But there is one photo Montoyo keeps hidden from view, a framed 4-by-6-inch image inside of his armoire. He takes the picture out when others aren’t around, he says, as a reminder to himself.

The photograph shows Alex, just before his fifth birthday, lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit, a stream of tubes and IVs protruding from his body and his head. He is sedated, mouth open, eyes closed, a peaceful expression on his face.

“I keep this picture here to remind me how lucky I am,” Montoyo says.

The photo also brings perspective: of what he has lost throughout his journey in baseball—namely, time with his family—but also of what he has gained in an extended family that stretches far beyond the field. ...Read More...


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Brodie Van Wagenen’s Mets take doesn’t match what we’re seeing

an Wagenen noted the potential to climb with home-and-home series approaching against the Braves and Phillies, interspersed with four games at Wrigley Field and two home games against the Yankees. That takes the Mets to the All-Star break. It feels make-or-break.

And even if it doesn’t break these Mets, what can we expect in the second half? The Athletics were 34-35 through June 14 last year, then went an MLB-best 63-30 to earn a wild card. But Oakland in this century has regularly surged: the A’s have six of the 65 best second-half records since 2001. The Mets have none.

Will this team with bad defense, terrible pen, meh offense and thin rotation find .600 ball between here and the finish line?

“I don’t think we are looking at ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:54 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Olney—Yankees can overpower all rivals after Encarnacion trade

1B DJ LeMahieu
LF Aaron Judge
CF Aaron Hicks
C Gary Sanchez
RF Giancarlo Stanton
SS Didi Gregorius
DH Edwin Encarnacion
2B Gleyber Torres
3B Gio Urshela

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Rays Tales: Could this be their best team ever?

Rays news.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Letting teams trade picks is MLB Draft’s path out of obscurity

I’m not buying his argument interest in the draft increasing because of pick trading.

The benefits of interest — perhaps being able to sell the draft to ESPN or DAZN because interest would rise — would make the risk of loopholes worth facing. Perhaps MLB and the union could partner on a sale of the TV rights with the union, say, being able to direct the money toward better pensions as a reason to accept hard slots in the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:47 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

Yanks acquire Encarnacion from M’s

While the Yankees hope to get sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back from injury soon, it hasn’t stopped the team from adding another slugger to the mix. New York bolstered its lineup Saturday, as the Yanks announced they have acquired Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners.

The Yanks are sending 19-year-old right-hander Juan Then—their No. 27 prospect, per MLB Pipeline—and cash considerations to Seattle. A source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that the Mariners will pick up about half the money still owed to Encarnacion (he’s owed more than $15 million in salary and buyout).

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 08:56 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, mariners, trade, yankees

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Kenley Jansen executed a rare intentional balk last night

Last night, Kenley Jansen recorded a save against the Cubs in a 5-3 win for the Dodgers. He surrendered a baserunner on a Matt Beaty error but otherwise was dominant and he struck out three.

Before the final strikeout, however, he did something I hadn’t seen before. With Jason Heyward on second apparently annoying him, Kenley intentionally balked him to third so he could just focus on the batter and/or to prevent Heyward for relaying pitch and/or location to Victor Caratini.

He yells out “I’m going to balk”.

I’ve never seen such a thing. Have you?


2019 College World Series chatter

The ping of the bat.  The roar of the crowd.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 15, 2019 at 04:57 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: college world series


Wilson Ramos Learns Wife Is Pregnant While in On Deck Circle

Wilson Ramos stepped into the on-deck circle to prepare for his second at-bat. He headed to the plate with his third child on the way.

In a 10-year career encompassing more than 800 games and nearly 3,000 at-bats, Ramos’ otherwise ordinary exercise resulted in a massive surprise when his wife, Yeli, walked up to the protective netting behind home plate and held up a sign toward the Mets catcher, alerting him that she was expecting.

“We’re pregnant! Wilson, this is your 3rd child. We love you!” the sign read.

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 15, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pregnancy, spring training souvenir

Dodgers add fuel to Giants feud with custom t-shirts

The Los Angeles Dodgers have added more fuel to the fire in their on-going feud with Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.

Days after infielder Max Muncy coined the phrase “Go get it out of the ocean“ after hitting a home run into McCovey Cove against the Giants ace, Muncy and teammate Enrique Hernández were spotted sporting t-shirts with the same phrase prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, max muncy

Friday, June 14, 2019


‘I gave them blood’: Adam Jones opens up on industry perceptions, blocking trades and learning to embrace change – The Athletic

The headline doesn’t mean what you might think.

In an age of cliched quotes and players who are polished PR-machines, Jones is as authentic as they come. On a European vacation after one of his first years, he collected addresses on Twitter to send fans personal postcards. He hosted random giveaways. When he inked a six-year, $85.5 million extension with the O’s in 2012, he gave more of himself. Literally.

“I cut my finger signing that contract,” Jones said. “I gave them blood.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, diamondbacks, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-14-2019

Columbus Dispatch, June 14, 1919:

The Czecho-Slovakian mission [in Paris] has been studying sports and has caught the baseball fever. The members will carry home with them a number of baseball outfits and will seek to introduce the game in the new republic.

And that’s the origin of the term “Czech swing”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The most improved pitchers of 2019 

The All-Star Game is only a few weeks away, and baseball’s top starters have thrown nearly 100 innings apiece. It’s far enough into the season that we can take a look at which pitchers have taken a huge step forward from last year, and more important, try to figure out why. (We did this last year around this time, identifying Justin Verlander and Tyler Glasnow at the top of the list.)

Since we’re trying to get at underlying skills here, it’s not good enough to look at ERA, which can be negatively affected by one terrible start or poor defense or relievers. (Look no further than Max Scherzer for that; he’s held his strikeouts steady, lowered his walks and homers ... and has seen his ERA increase.)

Instead, we’ll look at the Statcast ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: player development

MLB In Omaha Shows Potential Of Better Partnership With NCAA

The question remains what is to come of this arrangement. MLB and the NCAA haven’t been able to find common ground on much in the past, though the relationship has improved since Rob Manfred became commissioner. Will MLB in Omaha become an annual event the way the Little League Classic has? Will Manfred get his ultimate wish of holding the draft in Omaha just across the street from TD Ameritrade Park at CHI Health Center Convention Center? Or will the two entities continue to struggle to find common ground?

Thursday night was a good start. But there’s a lot that can be accomplished if MLB and the NCAA can find a way to improve their working relationship. The draft’s position on the schedule remains a thorn in the side of all parties ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball

Boston Red Sox’s Dave Dombrowski assesses team’s mediocre start: ‘I don’t think any of us are happy with where we are’ - masslive.com

The team can still salvage the season.

“I know people have a tendency to point out this or that saying, ‘This is the problem’ or ‘That’s the problem,’” he said. “And really the issue is, there are some players having some very fine seasons, but there are other guys not doing as well. The reality is, as a collective group, we’re not having as good of a year as we’d like.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:23 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox


Ice Cube Is Making A Movie About Dock Ellis’ LSD No-Hitter

One of baseball’s most famously outrageous games is headed to the big screen with the help of Ice Cube.

On June 12, 1970 — exactly 47 years ago — pitcher Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while high on LSD. You’ve heard the story before, but now we’ve learned that Ice Cube plans to retell it as a motion picture with his son in the starring role.

Bote Man Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dock ellis, lsd, movies, pirates

Is Chris Archer Broken? - MLB Trade Rumors

As much as Archer has struggled this season, his pre-Pittsburgh track record earns him some benefit of the doubt. Considering what he accomplished as a Ray, it would be unwise to say Archer’s never going to rebound. However, it doesn’t appear his new sinker-heavy approach is working, nor does his once-bargain contract look all that appealing anymore. With $20MM in team options over the next two years ($9MM in 2020, $11MM in ’21), Archer’s not going to crush the Pirates’ payroll structure. However, as a low-budget team, they can’t afford to have one of their most expensive players continue to falter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chris archer, pirates

Mize exits start early for Erie | MiLB.com News

The top Tigers prospect left Thursday’s appearance after throwing a season-low 2 1/3 innings in Double-A Erie’s contest at Reading. According to MLB.com, Mize was pulled due to right shoulder soreness.

Mize (6-0), making his ninth start in the Eastern League, had to wait nearly two hours two take the ball due to a rain delay. But he set down five of the first six hitters—notching a pair of strikeouts—before experiencing issues in the third.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 06:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, tigers

Fortunes ‘shift’ in worst way possible for Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom

More silliness.

“You make a pitch and feel like it’s an out and nobody’s there, I was frustrated,’’ deGrom said later. “I think anybody would be, the goal is not to give up runs. I thought I was out of the inning.’’

Because Frazier had to guard the runner, he wasn’t able to cover more of the shortstop area, so the shift was not optimum — even though Shift Apologists will never admit that.

“I did go in and look and he does not hit the ball there very often, I think it’s been a year since he hit a ground ball to short, so I think that’s the mindset behind it,’’ deGrom said of Carpenter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:58 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets

Rosenthal: It’s not baseball, it’s Bludgeon Ball. And the frequency of home runs is nothing short of numbing – The Athletic

The statistical context of the game shifts and so does the evaluation of its players. I get not liking the style of play. The claim that the current style and statistical context prevents the accurate evaluation of the game’s current players is a silly argument.

The same kind of adjustment is now necessary. Fans love homers. Children, and many adults, love sugar. But at some point, enough is enough. How can teams accurately evaluate hitters in the current environment? How can they accurately evaluate pitchers? Statistics determine how players are paid. And every night, often several times a night, something happens that is just . . .  not . . . normal.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 05:40 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: commentary

Thursday, June 13, 2019


KC Royals sign No. 2 overall pick Bobby Witt Jr., commentary | The Kansas City Star

High expectations.

He walked into his introductory press conference on blue carpet, not water, which is the first sign yet that the hype of Bobby Witt Jr. may be exaggerated in some corners.

He is tall, strong, athletic and somehow still apparently humble. That’s a heck of a combination, and at some point you start to see how a high school star becomes a folk hero and how a folk hero becomes perhaps the best prospect in Royals history and without question a central part of the franchise’s attempt to climb up from the bottom one more time.

Before he even finished his high school career, Witt Jr. was rated the second-best shortstop prospect in more than 30 years by MLB.com — behind only Alex Rodriguez, and ahead of Chipper Jones, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby witt jr., royals

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