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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Jonah Keri checks in from spring training.
Every team wants to develop its own Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. Not every team tries to do that in the same way, however. To better understand baseball’s competing prospect philosophies, we hit the spring training circuit.
Sometimes sabermetrics just confirms what we already know.
Prized outfield prospect Oscar Taveras, who had right ankle surgery last season, is sidelined indefinitely with a tight hamstring in the same leg. And Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Taveras won’t come north with the team if he can’t show he can be 100 percent and play appreciably by the end of camp in just more than two weeks, which seems unlikely.
Posted: March 12, 2014 at 07:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
Frank Chance on the essential qualities of a good ballplayer, from the Toledo News-Bee, March 12, 1914:
Clean living is the first essential for a ball player…Be moderate in your smoking, don’t drink and go to bed early.
Get all the education you can. That is as necessary for a ball player as for a doctor or lawyer. The best students make the best ball players.
Natural ability is a most valuable asset for a ball player. Few players without natural ability ever develop into professionals and ...
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Clip lasts 3:35 and as far as I know it’s still going on. 5 times they show the play…enjoy your extended NFL season.
It’s the Angels and Mariners, it’s an out call at second base reviewed under the new expanded replay system. But wait! That’s not all ...
...Let the historical record show that the new replay system has officially yielded fruit. Here’s the word from on high ..
...Let us first release balloons and then build a monument in the town square: for on this day, history hath been ...
Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:57 PM | 21 comment(s)
Statements about “the greatest mascot in sports” do not necessarily represent the opinion of this author.
Mascots playfully taunting one another — on the Internet and in real life — is hardly new. But in an effort to “welcome” the greatest mascot in sports to Twitter, Royals mascot Sluggerrr stepped way, way over the line.
Hey @MrMet welcome to Twitter! BTW, can you ask Mrs. Met why she won’t call me back? http://t.co/MnKEbagKLQ—
(@Sluggerrr) March 10, 2014
My original idea for this story was a simple article discussing how Cumpton was getting advice from Morton and was working on improving his sinker. Add in some numbers from Cumpton last year, and it would be an easy story that I could file away as I tried to get ahead during the early weeks of Spring Training. But after talking with both players, I quickly realized that there was so much I didn’t know about the sinker, and about what players discuss when they’re talking to each other about ...
I should have ran this earlier but I was in complete comment shock for over a week. “Crucially, the 1-2 hitters—Bobby Richardson and maybe Tony Kubek, if I remember correctly—were on base a lot, despite having modest averages in the .270 range.”
My ideal lineup would have three players at the top who are known for their OBP (on-base percentage). If we used the Yankees as an example, I’d place Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter in the top three spots since those three are known to ...
Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:27 PM | 50 comment(s)
And let’s just forget Denny McLain’s “fantastic” 1965 season while we’re at it!
Denny McLain had two fantastic seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher. In 1968, with the Detroit Tigers, he won 31 games (the last pitcher in MLB to win at least 30) and lost six; the next season, also with Detroit, he went 24-9. In 1968 he was voted Most Valuable Player for the American League, and in both years he won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the league. McLain’s other eight seasons with ...
Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 106 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Press, March 11, 1914:
One afternoon, [Rube] Waddell chanced to be in the [Pirates] office. The phone bell sounded. Next to a fire alarm there is nothing Rube admires more than a phone call. He raced to the receiver, yanked it from its perch with a loud “Hello. What’s the matter?”
Waddell listened to a mortal at the other end of the line and then glanced into a corner of the room. “Wait a minute,” yelled [Waddell] into the transmitter. With a bound he darted to that corner, grapped ...
“Mom’s not happy.”
In Monday’s spring training game between the Mets and Marlins, Chris Young laced a ground-rule double into the right-center field gap, and as the ball rolled into a picnic area, one fan let go of a wagon holding his kid and tried to retrieve the ball.
The wagon went rolling down the hill and crashed into the fence. The fan didn’t even come away with the ball, either.
Interface adapters & converters needed for Robothal.
Bonds, 49, took a major step Monday, returning to baseball for the first time since 2007 to begin a weeklong stint as a special hitting instructor with the Giants.
Naturally, a reporter asked him if he belonged in the Hall. Naturally, Bonds did not hesitate with his answer.
“Without a doubt,” he said.
...I struggle with the idea that some of the best players of this generation might never be enshrined in Cooperstown. I question whether ...
Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:56 AM | 51 comment(s)
Take that Michael the Kay and your daily “pitchers sometimes throw harder after Tommy John surgery!” jive.
Major League Baseball players who undergo Tommy John surgery are less likely to regain the performance level they had before surgery, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.
The study is the first to show a link between the surgery and declining pitching performance at the professional level. It also involved the largest cohort of professional pitchers to date to examine the issue. ...
Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:36 AM | 56 comment(s)
tommy john surgery
Monday, March 10, 2014
Sung-min Kim is a mother, father, gentleman.
Suk-min Yoon has inspired a comics writer in Korea to compose this comic. Sung-min Kim was kind enough to provide a translation for us.
Since the Lehigh Valley IronPigs put their new, bacon-themed merchandise on sale, they have been as popular as ever. . . On Feb. 24, the team announced its players would wear uniforms for Saturday games featuring a wavy strip of bacon on the hats, jerseys and pants. Since then, the team has sold almost 3,300 of the bacon hats and 1,500 bacon-strip scratch-and-sniff T-shirts that promise to smell through at least 10 trips in the washing machine.
. . .
[T]he team will continue the theme at the ...
UPDATE: Medlen has been diagnosed with a right forearm strain, the Braves announced. He will be examined further on Monday. Forearm strains are known to be indicators of an elbow problem.
So why has baseball been so slow to adapt in that area?
“(Laughs) Baseball’s been kind of slow to adapt to a lot of things, huh? It’s a very traditional game. If you ever read the book, ‘Men at Work,’ by George Will, the polycracy involved for years in professional baseball, as opposed to democracy or meritocracy, he called it. It was ruling by old friends. Slow to change! There’s no question about it. And don’t get me wrong, we have (an analytics) group here, Sam Mondry-Cohen and the guys ...
Posted: March 10, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 10, 1914:
[Newly-acquired Pittsburgh pitcher] Bob Harmon only has one grievance against the Cardinal management. “That is the fact that they wouldn’t give me a few hours off to get married,” laughed the violinst. “The ceremony was to be at 6. We were playing a double-header with the Browns in the city series and Sallee and I were to pitch the two games. I wanted to work in the first game and allow them to use Sal in the second, but they made me pitch the second. ...
Plus their cut on Mayhem & Psychosis Vol 2 was boss!
In 1944-45, the height of the wartime talent depletion, some hitters had good years far above their career norms. Which ones were the most out of context?
This, of course, is “the Snuffy Stirnweiss question.” His first two full years in the majors, 1944-45, were both excellent offensive seasons for any hitter, and — because he was also a slick keystone fielder — rank second all-time in WAR for a player’s 2nd & 3rd years combined. ...
Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:27 AM | 4 comment(s)
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 04:58 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 04:26 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 08:16 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 10:06 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 09:40 AM | 54 comment(s)
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