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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Brandon Moss and the anatomy of a slump

What follows is a conversation that took place in the Oakland clubhouse with Brandon Moss. There are a couple salty words — that can happen in the clubhouse — but they’ve been left in to better represent the lively tone of the interaction. Also, despite the legendary straight face, this author is mostly sure that most of what Adam Dunn interjects is in jest. There was no malice intended here.

The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 25, 2014 at 11:54 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland a's

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-25-2014

Rock Island Argus, September 25, 1914:

BOSTON WINS AGAIN AND NOW HAS A 7 GAME LEAD

The Braves had another double bill with the Cincinnati Reds yesterday. They took advantage of the occasion by winning one game and in going eight innings to a 2-to-2 the score in the second...Seven games now separate the Braves from their pursuers.

New York lost the fifth straight game yesterday when it fell before St. Louis, the score being 4 to 3.

I think the Giants’ collapse is often overlooked in the story ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 25, 2014 at 10:32 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OMNICHATTER 9-25-2014

4 gamedays remain (including today). Today is the final Thursday of the regular season.

CLINCHED TEAMS:
Angels (AL West Champions)
Orioles (AL East Champions)
Nationals (NL East Champions)
Dodgers (NL West Champions)
Cardinals (Clinched Playoff Spot)
Pirates (Clinched Playoff Spot)
Tigers (Clinched Playoff Spot)

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: September 25, 2014 at 10:25 AM | 253 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Hector Olivera Leaves Cuba - BaseballAmerica.com

Will Cuba have any good players left? Isn’t it time for the Cuban government to officially sanction their players coming to America?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2014 at 06:44 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, international free agents

Diamondbacks set to offer pitching great Dave Stewart the GM job - CBSSports.com

The Diamondbacks have decided to make pitching great Dave Stewart an offer to become their next GM, sources close to the team said.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2014 at 06:42 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, diamondbacks

Clayton Kershaw Is A Goddamn Wizard

He certainly is.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2014 at 06:18 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Clayton Kershaw ties career high with 21st win as Dodgers win NL West

LOS ANGELES—Clayton Kershaw tied a career high with his 21st victory, Yasiel Puig homered to highlight a four-run sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West title with a 9-1 victory over the second-place San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
...
Kershaw allowed one run and eight hits in eight innings, struck out 11 and walked none in his last start of the regular season, having won his final seven starts. He became the first player to lead the major leagues in ERA (1.77) in ...

Read More...
Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 25, 2014 at 01:50 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mitch Williams sues MLB Network, Deadspin, Gawker for defamation

According to the complaint, MLB Network, which is owned by Major League Baseball and Comcast, threatened to terminate Williams unless he signed an amendment to his contract that would have prohibited him from attending the youth sporting events of his five children, including those of his 11-year-old autistic son. He was fired after refusing, costing him about $2 million in the balance of his contract.

The lawsuit claims MLB Network ignored both written and video evidence contradicting the ...

Read More...
Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: legal

Phil Hughes sets the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio record

PHIL HUGHES         2014    11.63
Bret Saberhagen    1994    11.00
Cliff Lee          2010    10.28
Curt Schilling      2002      9.58
Pedro Martinez      2000      8.88
Greg Maddux         1997      8.85
Pedro Martinez      1999      8.46

Harry Balsagne, anti-Centaur hate crime division Posted: September 24, 2014 at 08:43 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: phil hughes, records, twins

Bill Plaschke apparently only hates acts of aggression when Yasiel Puig is involved

This morning we saw Bill Plaschke get the vapors over Yasiel Puig “clearing benches, raising tempers, risking everything” in “a first-inning plunking incident that nearly started a brawl.” This was bad, see, because the brawl could’ve injured someone or gotten someone suspended and represented an irresponsible loss of cool. Bad, Puig. BAD, BAD Puig!


Baseball Past & Present: Vote: The 25 Most Important People in Baseball History.

Organized baseball history dates more than 150 years, with more than 17,000 men having played in the majors and countless other individuals having helped in other capacities. Baseball history being what it is, a lot of people have made noteworthy contributions to the sport over the years.
Who then has been most important?
I wrote a post last week offering who I considered to be the 10 most important people in baseball history. My research for the post and subsequent reader response has led me ...

Read More...
Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: September 24, 2014 at 08:15 PM | 283 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball history, executives

ESPN: Phil Hughes 1 out shy of $500K bonus

Phil Hughes likely lost $500,000 because of a persistent rainstorm.

Hughes pitched eight innings Wednesday in the Minnesota Twins’ 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, a game that was delayed 66 minutes due to rain.

It was the final start of the season for Hughes, who fell one-third of an inning short of triggering a $500,000 innings bonus in his contract with the Twins. The right-hander has thrown 209 2/3 innings this season; his contract stipulates that he would receive the bonus ...

Read More...
CraigK Posted: September 24, 2014 at 07:36 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: phil hughes, twins

30 for 30 Shorts: ‘Fields of Fear’

Welcome back to our 30 for 30 documentary short series.

Mackey Sasser was an exceptional catcher for the New York Mets in the late 1980s and early ’90s. He could hit. He could manage a pitching staff. He could nail you trying to steal second base. But one day, there was something Sasser couldn’t do. He couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher. Suddenly the most basic act for a catcher was next to impossible for Sasser. What happened? This film explores the mental side of the game and ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2014 at 05:19 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: 30 for 30, film, mackey sasser, mental issues, mets

Good-bye, Mr. November: Taking Stock of Derek Jeter’s Divisive Legacy

Jeter ranks in the top five. He’s fourth among all shortstops according to FanGraphs’s Offensive Runs stat, and third per Baseball-Reference… Put on the spot, I’d probably rate Jeter somewhere in the middle, as the fifth-best overall shortstop of all time, behind Wagner, A-Rod, Ripken, and Vaughan.

If we’re ranking the greatest Yankees, there’s just no way we can justifiably put Jeter above the big four: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio, in that order… The ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 24, 2014 at 02:31 PM | 182 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, yankees

OT: Sad News to Share

[Batter’s Box’] own John Northey has recently lost his wife due to complications from childbirth. John now has four young children, including a newborn, to look after.

We don’t know if any of you have had to go through something like this. We don’t know if any of you are single parents. But John is looking for any advice you might have. The old saying is a problem shared is a problem halved so we hope some of you might be able to help.

mathesond Posted: September 24, 2014 at 01:49 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: family, tragedy

Dodgers beat Giants after Bumgarner hits Puig and benches clear

Although the Giants came back against Zack Greinke in the third inning when Bumgarner hit a two-run homer, they got no closer in a 4-2 victory for the Dodgers, who lowered their magic number to 1 to clinch the NL West. Cy Young contender Clayton Kershaw can lead the Dodgers to their fifth division title in 11 seasons Wednesday in the series finale.
...
Puig hit the dirt when the pitch hit his foot, looked at Bumgarner, then the two exchanged words and the scrum was on. Puig had been hit by a ...

Read More...
Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 24, 2014 at 01:43 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, fake tough guy, giants, madison bumgarner, yaisel puig

medium.com: The Outfield Assist: An Appreciation

Nowadays, the outfield assist is an afterthought on the diamond; a throwaway stat that’s never even been good enough for a baseball card. Few of the advanced or sabermetric stats give the assist much weight.

And for good reasons probably, but they’re always fun to watch. If a team can find a good enough center fielder to make up for the [probable] hitting deficit, they probably should for the purposes of providing an entertaining team to watch.

manchestermets Posted: September 24, 2014 at 10:56 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding

OMNICHATTER 9-24-2014

5 gamedays remain (including today). Today is the final Wednesday of the regular season.

CLINCHED TEAMS:
Angels (AL West Champions)
Orioles (AL East Champions)
Nationals (NL East Champions)
Dodgers (Clinched Playoff Spot)
Cardinals (Clinched Playoff Spot)
Pirates (Clinched Playoff Spot)

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: September 24, 2014 at 08:58 AM | 100 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-24-2014

Harrisburg Telegraph, September 24, 1914:

Manager Mack and his players spent an idle day [in Chicago], not being scheduled to play, but were entertained by Armour & Co.

After an inspection through the packing departments and stockyards, the world’s champions enjoyed a novel luncheon. The menu and special dishes were designed especially for the occasion.
...
While in the stockyards, “Home Run” Baker gave an exhibition of his strength by knocking out several steers with a heavy mallet.

“What did ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 24, 2014 at 07:50 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, home run baker

The Pirates’ Sabermetrics Road Show «

Another great piece by Ben Lindbergh at Grantland.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2014 at 06:59 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: people, sabermetrics

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Brisbee: Adam Wainwright and the Jan Bradys of years past

Everyone’s [Clayton] Kershaw this and Kershaw that, as they should be. But what of [Adam] Wainwright? He’s the second fiddle. Again.

Which brings us to a search for the best second fiddles since 1980…

C - Javy Lopez…
1B - Kent Hrbek…
2B - Lou Whitaker…
SS - Alan Trammell…

I’ve written about this extensively here, but there’s no greater second fiddle than Trammell…

LF - Tim Raines…
CF - Kenny Lofton…
RF - Larry Walker…
SP - Mike Mussina…
RP - Trevor Hoffman

...Read More...

Romo, Dunston involved in shouting match at Dodger Stadium

Wild Card fever is tearing this family apart.

Multiple sources confirmed that right-hander Sergio Romo and coach Shawon Dunston exchanged heated words with raised voices, causing Bruce Bochy to emerge from his office to intervene. The air was cleared – as was the clubhouse – but Romo stretched with teammates a few minutes later and remained available to pitch in Monday night’s series opener, sources said.

Bochy praised Romo as recently as Friday in San Diego, saying the right-hander was ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2014 at 03:42 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fights, giants, sergio romo, shawon dunston

Vance Worley member of All-Surprise Team

These guys put the “talent” in “Freely Available Talent.”

Steve Pearce, Orioles
Pearce began the season with the Baltimore Orioles (they had originally claimed him off waivers from the New York Yankees in 2012) but only appeared in three games before they released him on April 27. The Toronto Blue Jays actually claimed Pearce, but he had the right to refuse the deal and instead become a free agent and apparently had an agreement to sign back with Baltimore. Two days later, with Chris ...

Read More...

MLB’s Metal Detector Policy is What ‘Terrorists Winning Looks Like’

Maybe if all fans were armed with guns, we’d be safer.

Security measures have been on the rise all across sports for years now, of course — who can forget the Yankees’ attempts to keep their fans safe by banning umbrellas and sunscreen? But last winter MLB significantly upped the ante, ordering every team to either install walkthrough metal detectors or place security staff with wands at all entrances by the start of the 2015 season. According to an MLB spokesperson, most teams are ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: 911, metal detectors, security, terrorism

Old Cuban stars don’t begrudge ballplayers who defect - The Boston Globe

Speaking of power, Chavez laughed when he describing playing with Cuba’s Maximum Leader.

“Fidel was a good pitcher,” he said. “He threw the ball in different styles. A fastball, screwball, everything.

“It was funny because when we were younger, the Cuban national team sometimes played with Fidel. They’d mix the team up and play together. But it was difficult because if Fidel was losing the game, the game wasn’t ended.

“Fidel would say, ‘We have to continue playing.’ We ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-23-2014

New York Tribune, September 23, 1914:

The dauntless Cincinnati Reds go about their task of playing baseball with a grim determination worthy of a better cause. It took ten innings, brimful of action, for them to lose to the Brooklyn Superbas at Ebbets Field yesterday afternoon. The score was 5 to 4.

It was their eighteenth consecutive defeat, and their slogan is, “Twenty-six or bust.” To all appearances, the Reds are out to break the National League record of twenty-six straight defeats, ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 23, 2014 at 08:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

VIDEO: Jose Altuve leaves his feet to hit a high fastball

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve came into Monday leading all of baseball with 220 hits. No one else had more than 193, so he’s way ahead of the pack.

Altuve is also 5-foot-6, so sometimes getting to a high pitch can be a challenge. On Monday night, he literally left his feet trying to reach a high fastball.

Weird.  I assume this was part of a hit and run attempt, but since this was an Astros-Rangers game surely no one was watching so I guess we’ll never know for sure.

This is also ...

Read More...
Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 23, 2014 at 05:26 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jose altuve

Calcaterra: If Bobby Cox has anything to say about it, Fredi Gonzalez will manage the Braves for a long time

It’s possible Cox has the ulterior motive of boosting his own legacy as Braves manager by ensuring that an underwhelming successor stays in place for a long time. It worked for Casey Stengel. It’s also possible that Cox has been brainwashed, Manchurian Candidate-style, by the Nationals. Because all I know is that the Nats fans in my Twitter feed were thrilled to hear this.

I guess we’ll see how much juice Bobby has these days.  Braves fans, yea or nay on showing Fredi the door?

I vote ...

Read More...
Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 23, 2014 at 05:18 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby cox, braves, please make it stop

OMNICHATTER 9-23-2014

6 gamedays remain (including today). Today is the final Tuesday of the regular season.

CLINCHED TEAMS:
Angels (AL West Champions)
Orioles (AL East Champions)
Nationals (NL East Champions)
Dodgers (Clinched Playoff Spot)
Cardinals (Clinched Playoff Spot)

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: September 23, 2014 at 12:21 AM | 118 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mets near extension with GM Alderson

The Daily News was first to report that the Mets plan to give Alderson a three-year extension on his current deal, which expires after this season. Alderson and manager Terry Collins, who is under a guaranteed contract next season, both came aboard before the 2011 campaign.

Alderson, 66, has guided the Mets to a 301-341 record over his first four seasons in the front office. Best known for his work with the A’s of the 1980s and ‘90s, Alderson has reduced the Mets’ payroll from more than $140 ...

Read More...
Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 22, 2014 at 07:52 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

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