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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ohtani hits 1st HR of season for Angels in 5-4 win vs. Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One week into Shohei Ohtani’s return to the Los Angeles Angels, the lineup is looking sharp.

Minnesota ace Jose Berrios bore the brunt of their batting success on Monday night.

Ohtani hit his first home run of the season, a towering two-run shot in the third inning against Berrios, and Tommy La Stella hit the go-ahead homer in the sixth to give the Angels a 5-4 victory over the Twins.

“I’ve been hitting the ball in the air recently,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “I think it showed today that I’m improving.”

For those of you curious as for how Ohtani is doing, now that he’s playing again….

 

QLE Posted: May 14, 2019 at 03:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, shohei ohtani

Monday, May 13, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-13-2019

Chattanooga News, May 13, 1919:

Pitcher Urban Shocker, of the St. Louis Browns, late yesterday, filed suit for divorce against his wife, Minerva. He charges she tried to ruin his professional career by telling false stories about him to managers of baseball clubs.

That’s just weird. There’s gotta be more to that story, but I can’t find much about it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 13, 2019 at 10:49 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB rumors: Red Sox hoping for All-Star Game return to Fenway Park in this year

The 1999 MLB All-Star Game at Fenway Park was an iconic event.

Not only did Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez dazzle fans with an MVP performance, Major League Baseball honored its All-Century Team before the game, including a special moment featuring Boston legend Ted Williams.

Red Sox fans have been wanting another All-Star Game at Fenway Park for some time, and according to The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham, the club is hoping to get one by the end of the next decade.

“The Sox are hoping to host the game in 2029 to mark the 30th anniversary of the last time,” Abraham writes. “But they’re flexible on the year.”

It’s rare that an article this short can hit on seemingly every reason why the sports fans of a certain city are so ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:22 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game, fenway park, red sox

Triple-A batters smashing it since MLB ball is put into play

Balls are flying out of Triple-A ballparks like never before, coinciding with a switch in baseballs to the major league model.

The El Paso Chihuahuas have hit 89 home runs in their first 37 games — the most in professional baseball and more than half the 142 they slugged in 139 games last season. The Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs combined for 15 homers in a game last month. Overall, 26 of the 30 teams in the Pacific Coast League and International League are on pace to exceed their 2018 totals, most by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, this is the first year Triple-A has played with the same ball used in the majors. The big league ball is said to be harder, more tightly wound at its core and with slightly lower seams, ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, juiced baseballs, triple a

George Springer hits 29th career leadoff homer

Astros outfielder George Springer is on absolute fire. Since April 30 and prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rangers, Springer was batting .381 with five homers and 11 RBI in 51 plate appearances. Of those five homers, two led off the Astros’ half of the first inning.

Springer kept it going on Sunday, belting a leadoff home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning off of Adrian Sampson. That marked Springer’s 29th career leadoff home run and his third in just the last week. In just his sixth season, he is more than halfway to Craig Biggio’s Astros record of 53 leadoff dingers. Springer would hit successfully in his next three trips to the plate as well, adding an RBI single in the second, and two more singles ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:13 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: george springer, home runs, leadoff

Report: Rays are still interested in Craig Kimbrel

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays are still in communication with free agent closer Craig Kimbrel, for whatever that’s worth at this point in the season. Topkin doesn’t reveal exactly how far along any potential discussions between the two sides might be, but it’s probably safe to say the Rays aren’t close to offering a formal deal just yet.

The bigger question: Is he still interested in them?

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cold stove, craig kimbrel, rays

Padres temporarily lost Twitter handle after changing it to ‘Madres’ for Mother’s Day

If you’re running a major brand account, it’s never a good idea to temporarily change your Twitter handle - even if there is coordination with Twitter itself. The San Diego Padres learned that the hard way on Sunday.

The Padres’ social team had an interesting idea in celebration of Mother’s Day. They opted to do away with their “@Padres” Twitter handle for a day in favor of “@Madres.” That made sense, I guess. It’s Mother’s Day - let’s give the moms a shoutout across the #brands for #engagement.

But the Padres didn’t change their display name - they changed their actual handle. And, evidently, someone forgot to lock down the handle on a separate account. This was what their Twitter page looked like on Sunday.

That presented an ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mother's day, padres, social media, twitter

Stephen Strasburg gets thrown out from right field while attempting to break up no-hitter

No-hit bids usually end when a batter makes contact like Stephen Strasburg did in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.

With Dodgers starter Hyun-jin Ryu mowing down the Nationals lineup, Strasburg stepped into the box hoping to get his team’s first hit of the day. That seemed to have happened when Strasburg poked a low line drive down the right-field line that bounced in the outfield.

And then Dodgers right-fielder Cody Bellinger did this.

Question, for those viewing the play:

Does this reflect positively on Bellinger, or negatively on Strasburg?

 

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:49 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, outs, pitchers hitting, stephen strasburg

Madison Bumgarner And Yasiel Puig Are Making Their Long-Distance Hatred For One Another Still Work

It hasn’t been easy for Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig to continue hating each other as fiercely as they once did now that Puig has moved away to the Midwest. The former in-state proximity between the two players allowed them to share an angry bond built on bat-flipping and batter-beaning. With Puig in Cincinnati, it wasn’t clear if they were going to be able to keep that intensity going. But on Sunday, the two showed that there were still was some sparks left in their feuding relationship.

It started on Puig’s end in the top of the sixth inning. With nobody on and nobody out, Puig smoked a 92-mph fastball from Bumgarner into the left-field seats. Knowing what he had just done, the Red decided to take some time to admire that ...

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QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, feud, madison bumgarner, yasiel puig

Examining Félix Hernández’s Hall of Fame case after 2,500 strikeouts

Seattle Mariners starter Félix Hernández joined elite company on Saturday when he reached 2,500 career strikeouts. Among the 35 other players to do so, 22 are in the Hall of Fame and five more — Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia and Max Scherzer — likely to join them before long.

Even more impressively, Hernández is the sixth youngest player to do so at 33 years at 33 days old. That only trails Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Seaver and Bert Blyleven.

But one day after reaching the milestone, Hernández landed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain. That’s the way things have been going lately for the one-time Cy Young Award winner.

Once considered a ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 03:43 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, hall of fame, strikeouts

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cavalry arrives: New troops give ailing Yankees healthy lift

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Tauchman reported to the New York Yankees for the first time before an exhibition game at Washington, three days before opening day and two days after he was acquired from Colorado in a trade.

“Aaron Judge came over during batting practice, said, ‘Hey man, you’re here to help us win. You need anything, let me know.’” the outfielder recalled. “That’s such a little thing. It took maybe 15 seconds, but it’s great to know these guys really made me feel like part of a team from the minute I stepped in the clubhouse.”

Little did Tauchman and the Yankees know how much the club would need him.

New York already has placed 16 players on the injured list this season, four shy of its disabled list total for all of last ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fresh meat, yankees

Mickey Callaway’s unique message to Mets seems to have worked

Heading into last night’s contest against the Marlins, the Mets desperately needed a spark. They had lost five games on their six-game road trip, and Mets COO Jeff Wilpon saw a glimpse of the 2018 freefall and called a meeting with Mickey Callaway and Brodie Van Wagenen to figure out what the team could do better.

Callaway, then, gave a message to his team that he reiterated to reporters at Citi Field. And the inspiration behind his message comes from a little book called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F—k.”

“There comes a point where you just got to forget it,” Callaway said. “Whatever has happened, if you are not injured, you are the same player you were two weeks ago when you were raking.

“The only thing different is your mindset ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 04:22 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets being mets, mickey callaway

Video: Félix Hernández records his 2,500th career strikeout

Mariners right-hander Félix Hernández passed a notable career milestone during Saturday’s start against the Red Sox, becoming just the 36th pitcher in major-league history to record at least 2,500 strikeouts.

The auspicious strikeout arrived in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on the corners and no outs, Hernández worked a 1-2 count against Michael Chavis, who then missed a 92-m.p.h. sinker right on the edge of the strike zone for a called strike three. (In the next at-bat, the right-hander induced a swinging strikeout from Jackie Bradley Jr. for strikeout no. 2,501, too.)

Per the club’s PR department, Hernández is the sixth-youngest MLB pitcher to reach this particular mark. The 33-year-old trails Hall of Famers ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 04:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, strikeouts

MLB roundup: Pujols hits 2 HRs, ties Winfield in hits

Albert Pujols hit two home runs, and the visiting Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-2 on Saturday.

It was the 59th career multi-homer game for Pujols, who homered in the first and fourth innings, and his first since July 12, 2018, against Seattle. He was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs.

The two homers and a single gave Pujols 3,110 career hits, tying him with Dave Winfield for 22nd place on the all-time list.

Luke Bard (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for the Angels, who have won 10 of 14. Dylan Bundy (1-5) took the loss, giving up three runs on four hits over five innings.

Next up: A-Rod.

QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 04:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, dave winfield, hits

Holland rips Giants’ front office, says he faked injury

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Giants pitcher Derek Holland has criticized San Francisco’s front office and claims he faked an injury that led to a recent stint on the injured list.

Holland was demoted to the bullpen following a 5-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, then said he has “no idea what they’re doing” in the front office.

The veteran left-hander allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings Thursday during a 12-11 loss to Colorado, his first outing after going on the IL with a left index finger bone bruise.

Isn’t this the sort of behavior most likely to lead to the exact opposite of whatever Holland is trying to accomplish?

QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 04:00 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: derek holland, fake injury, front office, giants

‘The Natural’ at 35: Here’s how Robert Redford hit that explosive home run

Thirty-five years ago, Robert Redford stepped into the batter’s box in a Buffalo stadium, and smashed a home run that immediately entered the Sports Movie Hall of Fame. Held aloft by composer Randy Newman’s soaring score, and director Barry Levinson’s literally explosive imagery, the climactic scene of The Natural is on instant replay in the minds of moviegoers who saw it in theaters on May 11, 1984 or in its three-decade afterlife as a home entertainment and cable staple.

The Natural had a regular place in my family’s VCR in the mid-’80s, and I’d rewind the final scene multiple times in order to watch Redford’s blast shatter the stadium lights, and then take his victory lap through a shower of sparks. I wasn’t what ...

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QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 03:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: anniversaries, home run, the natural

The entire 2019 Kentucky Derby could have been run between these two MLB pitches

Since taking office on Jan. 25, 2015, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred’s top priority has been improving MLB’s pace of play.

Since then, we’ve seen numerous changes made that were geared toward speeding up the game. We’ve even heard talks of MLB adding a pitch clock to keep things moving.

If you’re wondering why Manfred might think a pitch clock is necessary, look no further than this incredible sequence during Friday’s Braves-Diamondbacks game in Arizona.

Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke took his sweet time between pitches to the Braves’ Ozzie Albies during the seventh inning.

Even more alarming: it would have taken only a half-inning or so to replace the entire dispute over the Derby results….

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, pitching

Blue Jays trade for Edwin Jackson, who could set a new MLB record by playing for his 14th different team

The Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics have made a minor trade with potentially historic significance.

On Saturday, the Blue Jays acquired veteran righty Edwin Jackson from the A’s in a cash trade, both teams confirmed.

...

The trade is potentially historic because, if Jackson ever does suit up for the Blue Jays, he’ll set a new MLB record by playing for his 14th different team. Jackson and Octavio Dotel currently share the record by playing for 13 different teams. Here, for posterity, is Jackson’s career timeline:

Dodgers: 2003-05
(Devil) Rays: 2006-08
Tigers: 2009
Diamondbacks: 2010
White Sox: 2010-11
Cardinals: 2011
Nationals: 2012
Cubs: 2013-15
Braves: 2015
Marlins: 2016
Padres: 2016
Orioles: 2017
Nationals (again): 2017 ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 03:45 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, edwin jackson, milestones

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Report: Bumgarner submits 8-team no-trade list

Leverage to do what? If he doesn’t sign in SF, it’s clearly in his best interest to get traded.

Now, the fact that those teams are on Bumgarner’s list doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to avoid them. Rather, it’s a way for Bumgarner to gain some leverage over his situation, as the eight teams are all contenders that could be interested in acquiring him before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

As Rosenthal notes, Bumgarner will likely be motivated to approve a trade because players who are dealt during the season are not eligible to receive a qualifying offer in free agency the following offseason.

Up until the next year’s MLB Draft, teams need to forfeit one or more picks to sign a free agent who rejected a qualifying offer, which ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2019 at 10:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner

The Marlins Are Sending Everyone to Spanish Class. Even Derek Jeter.

¿Pero conseguirán una cesta de frutas?

Teaching English to minor league players from Latin America has understandably become commonplace. Nearly 30 percent of players in the major leagues — and even more in the minors — were born in that part of the world. The Marlins, however, are among the few teams also doing the inverse: conducting Spanish classes for English speakers throughout the organization, from players to coaches to top executives.

Even Jeter. He has been going to class, too.

“If you don’t speak Spanish in Miami, there are certain places you go and can’t even order food,” he said. “And if we’re going to preach it to our players, we should preach it to the front office.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2019 at 12:09 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins


James Loney retires

James Loney has announced his retirement from baseball at the age of 35. Loney had been playing for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

Loney’s best full season probably came in 2011 when he hit .288/.339/.416 with 12 homers for the Dodgers. In his first two years in the bigs — partial seasons in 2006 and 2007 — he broke out with a line of .321/.372/.543 with 19 homers and 85 RBI in 144 games.  He would never match that initial promise, but he was a fixture at first base for L.A. for the following four seasons.

QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:54 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: james loney, retirement

“Who is Scott Boras?”

It’s a slow news day so I’m going to tell you a story about a conversation that I had this morning.

My brother, Curt, who lives in San Diego, called me at 6AM his time. I was worried that, at that hour, it was some sort of an emergency. I answered.

“Who’s Scott Boras?” he said. He pronounced it with the accent on the wrong syllable — “Scott borAS” which made it pretty clear he had literally no idea. I explained that he is baseball’s most famous agent and that he’s kind of a big deal in my world.

“Oh, OK, that makes sense,” he said. “He’s blowing up in K-Pop circles right now.” K-Pop, referring to pop music coming out of South Korea, is my brother’s world.

Would that that were a question many of us could ...

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QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: k-pop, scott boras

MLB roundup: Verlander, Astros stifle Rangers

Justin Verlander allowed one hit over seven strong innings, and the Houston Astros belted three solo homers while overcoming an injury to star Jose Altuve to beat the visiting Texas Rangers 3-0 on Friday night for their third consecutive victory.

Verlander, who improved to 6-1 with a 2.51 ERA, struck out eight and yielded only Asdrubal Cabrera’s single to lead off the fifth inning as the Astros won for the sixth time in seven games. It’s the third time in Verlander’s career that he has allowed just one hit in a start against the Rangers.

However, Houston’s latest victory might have come with a price as Altuve exited with left hamstring discomfort in the bottom of the first after beating out an infield hit. The team listed him as ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jose altuve, justin verlander, rangers

David Wright staying involved with the Mets but ‘at an arm’s length’

SAN DIEGO – David Wright navigated the premises in a polo shirt, a stark difference from the jersey or pullover he would have been wearing the previous 15 seasons.

This is life after baseball for Wright, now a part-time special advisor for the New York Mets.

“I miss it. I miss a lot of the aspects of the game, the camaraderie, the clubhouse, the shenanigans. Competing,” Wright told Yahoo Sports. “I even miss the preparation, the game planning, the ins and outs. The one thing I don’t miss is physically the way I felt. I feel knock on wood better physically than when I played, just completely different lifestyle. A lot more of the aspects of the game I miss than I don’t miss but I definitely don’t miss the physical part of ...

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QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, front office, mets

Angels’ Mike Trout goes deep after young fan requests a homer

On a rainy Friday night in Baltimore, the Orioles and Angels opened a three-game series at Camden Yards. The Halos hammered Dan Straily (LAA 8, BAL 3) and won for the seventh time in their last 10 games.

If the Angels scored eight runs, there’s a pretty good chance Mike Trout had something to do with it, and sure enough he clocked a two-run home run in the third inning Friday night. He also doubled in a run in the fifth. Here’s the home run, which was very nearly robbed by O’s center fielder Stevie Wilkerson

...

Trout’s home run Friday was not an ordinary home run. It was a request home run. As David Ginsburg of the Associated Press writes, Trout met a young fan before the game who requested he go deep.

Feels like the sort of thing ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, mike trout

Even when Tim Tebow is hitting .131, his Triple-A team is drawing fans in droves

We are now a month into Tim Tebow’s Triple-A career, and it’s pretty hard to overstate how horrifically the former football player is performing.

Through 26 games for the Syracuse Mets this year, Tebow is hitting .131/.198/.179 with zero home runs and a 37 percent strikeout rate. He currently has only 11 hits on the season, 12 if you count the time he accidentally kicked his first-base coach in the groin. After saying in February that an MLB call-up was his goal for the season, the 31-year-old outfielder currently ranks last in the entire Triple-A level in OPS (.376) and wRC+ (-4).

Those latter two numbers are on pace to be the worst marks the Triple-A season has seen in the last decade, per Fangraphs. And, keep in mind, Tebow plays ...

Read More...

Friday, May 10, 2019


Cubs 2B Russell on boos at Wrigley: ‘That’s on them’

Chicago Cubs second baseman Addison Russell returned from a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy on Wednesday and heard a chorus of boos from the home crowd at Wrigley Field.

“I’m a baseball player for the Chicago Cubs,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m one of the dudes in this clubhouse. I’m one of the guys who goes out there and puts his (body) on the line. We do it because we love it. We want to win, and we want to bring another championship to Chicago. And if hometown fans want to boo someone that’s trying to help bring the team a World Series again, then that’s on them.”


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