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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Matthew Boyd takes up goal of ending sex slavery by caring for 36 girls in Uganda

Many athletes take the money they make from their talents and, admirably, give some to charitable causes. Few go above and beyond like Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd, who is “essentially adopting” 36 girls in Uganda in an effort to protect them from human trafficking. Boyd’s efforts were featured in a story in the Detroit Free Press on Saturday.

According to a State Department report from 2018, Uganda “does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.”

Boyd is an unexpected contributor to those efforts. It started last year, when he and his wife, Ashley, found out about a woman in Uganda named Dorothy who was caring for 36 girls, but was ...

QLE Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: human trafficking, matthew boyd, uganda

Bryce Harper walks up to ‘Fresh Prince’ theme song during first at bat

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WPVI)—Bryce Harper walked up to the plate to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song during his first at-bat for the Phillies.

Harper drew a walk Saturday in his first spring training plate appearance.

He noted that he is still getting into form after missing the first part of spring training.

Something tells me Bryce wouldn’t fare well in West Philadelphia- including the area around the University of Pennsylvania.

QLE Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, philadephia, walk up music

Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez Get Engaged

Count da ringz.

Alex Rodriguez finally put a ring on it and proposed to Jennifer Lopez.

Rodriguez announced the news on Twitter on Saturday night with a picture of a giant diamond on Lopez’s finger. He simply captioned the photo with “She said yes.”...

The pop star and three-time American League MVP have been dating for around two years and recently attended the 91st Academy Awards together in late February.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez

Royals to sign catcher Martin Maldonado

The Royals have reached an agreement with free-agent catcher Martin Maldonado, according to multiple reports Saturday.

Maldonado will sign a one-year contract reportedly worth $2.5 million. Maldonado must pass a physical before the deal becomes official. The contract also provides for $1.4 million in incentives, according to the Athletic.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: martin maldonado

Saturday, March 09, 2019

For the sixth year in a row, most Dodgers fans can’t watch their team on television

The Dodgers are about to start their sixth season off the air in the majority of Southern California homes. They have won the National League West for six consecutive years — for the first time in franchise history — and yet they remain blacked out among a significant part of their fan base.

“Everybody hoped it would get solved by now,” said Davis, entering his third season as the Dodgers’ television voice.

While local baseball fans can see Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani just about every night on the Angels’ Fox Sports West broadcasts, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner appear sporadically to fans without the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA broadcasts.

Those fans are assured of seeing the Dodgers for 26 games this season: 10 on KTLA, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2019 at 02:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Historical Market Price Points For Dallas Keuchel - MLB Trade Rumors

Would it really be that unimaginable for Keuchel to settle on a pillow deal? In some ways, yeah, it’s tough to see how that could come to pass. But it wouldn’t be without precedent. Ervin Santana ran up a 3.24 ERA in 211 frames in 2014 and entered the ensuing offseason at 31 years of age. He reputedly sought too big a deal early on and then rejected lower-AAV, mid-range deals later in the winter. He ended up securing a one-year, $14.1MM contract — the exact value of the qualifying offer he had previously rejected — when the Braves finally ponied up because their rotation fell apart in camp. That’s the most directly relevant case to Keuchel’s, though others have ended up in similar situations. Jackson, for instance, settled for ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dallas keuchel, free agents

Carl Yastrzemski looks at this Red Sox outfield and sees a group for the ages – The Athletic

When I was a kid, you tried to hit like Yaz.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2019 at 07:39 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: carl yastrzemski, red sox

The Mets Picked A Bad Year To Try To Win The NL East

After a long winter spent changing general managers and retooling a roster which went 147-177 the previous two years, the New York Mets are now gearing up for what may be a season at the crossroads, even by the standards of baseball’s most star-crossed franchise. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen hasn’t been shy about proclaiming his team the one to beat in the National League East. But that was before the rival Philadelphia Phillies added free-agent OF Bryce Harper — to say nothing of the existing talent base in Washington or the emerging one in Atlanta. This division race should be merciless, and New York is right in the thick of it, for better or worse.

It’s possible the Mets have improved more than any other MLB team over the ...

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, nl east

MLB Grit: High school girls playing games in big league park

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Before Ila Borders became the first female pitcher to start a college baseball game or pitch professionally in an independent league in the 1990s, the lefty felt almost like she was in a fight just to be on the field.

“When I was playing, they tried to do everything possible to not let me play, or they didn’t want the media attention, and it was an uphill battle,” Borders said Friday. “Now I feel like people are searching and looking and trying to develop that talent. For me, that’s an awesome feeling and it’s great to see.”

Borders is one of the coaches this weekend for MLB Grit, an inaugural high school invitational baseball tournament for 64 teenage girls from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico that ...

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: high school, ila borders, mlb grit, tournament, women's baseball

Stay down or come up: Vlad Jr. not sweating service-time drama

DUNEDIN, Fla. — The second hop is the unpredictable one, the devilish one that demands whole commitment before plotting its escape.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on Friday morning shook his glove at the beast. He jabbed at it, sassed it, made amends, caressed it, cradled it, glared at it and then into the sky.

Nearing noon, his shadow beginning to pool beneath him, he stood at third base and introduced himself again and again to the second hop, the darting, top-spinning, infield lip-seeking evil that, for all we know, brought the protective cup to the masses.

The fungoes drew him to his backhand side, to the bag, and he hung back or he charged, and the second hops stayed down or came up depending on their mood, and young Vladdy asked his eyes ...

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

Manny Machado: ‘I will always be the villain, no matter what’

San Diego Padres infielder Manny Machado knows money won’t fix his reputation. While the 26-year-old Machado has a lot to be happy about after signing a 10-year, $300 million deal in the offseason, he also knows many fans will still view him as a villain moving forward, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Machado isn’t sure why that’s the case.

“I always will be the villain, no matter what,” Machado said. “I don’t know why. That is just stuff I have to deal with and I have been okay dealing with that situation. That doesn’t bother me.”

Having come to this realization, Machado decided he might as well lean fully into it, and excused himself so that he could tie ladies to the railroad tracks.


QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:38 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado, villain

Ex-All Star Pitcher Esteban Loaiza Sentenced in Drug Case

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for felony drug possession after more than 40 pounds of cocaine were found in his rented townhome in Imperial Beach, California.

Loaiza, 47, pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of cocaine with intent of distribution in August 2018 in San Diego County.

His sentence of three years in prison and five years on probation was far less than the minimum prison sentence of 10 years he faced but, ahead of the sentencing, his lawyer was confident his penalty would be reduced.



QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: esteban loaiza, prison

Felix Hernandez’s historic opening day streak is coming to an end

All good things must come to an end.

For longtime Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, that includes his decade-long streak of making opening day starts.

According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, manager Scott Servais has informed Hernandez that he will not be getting the ball when the Mariners open up the regular season against the Oakland Athletics on March 20 in Japan. The Mariners have not decided who will make the start. They just know that for the first time since 2008, it won’t be “King Felix.”

The King appears to be facing the threat of being deposed.


QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:32 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners, opening day

Why Cy Young winner Blake Snell won’t get much of a raise from the Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE — So much was right about Blake Snell winning the Cy Young award for his dazzling 2018 breakout season.

And here’s one thing that’s very wrong:

Snell’s job done spectacularly well for the Rays is not going to get him much of a raise.

And they wonder why no one wants to remain on the team….


QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, dollah dollah bills, y'all, greed, rays

LA Times: Bryce Harper Will Save Tens Of Millions In Taxes By Spurning Dodgers & Giants

For Major League Baseball players, three teams are at the bottom of the standings on state taxes: the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants. That’s because California is in a league of its own on personal income taxes. We’ve got by far the highest state rate in the nation, topping out at 13.3%.

By contrast, Pennsylvania has a low flat rate for every taxpayer regardless of income. It’s just 3.07%. That’s one reason why superstar slugger Bryce Harper signed an eye-popping 13-year, $330-million contract last week with the Philadelphia Phillies, spurning the Dodgers and Giants.
.  .  .
Harper will save tens of millions in taxes by signing with the Phillies instead of a California team. “With a contract of ...


Friday, March 08, 2019

Amazon Said to Team Up With Yankees in Bid for YES Network

Amazon is coming to New York — to grab a piece of the Yankees sports network.

Jeff Bezos’ tech giant has teamed up with the storied baseball organization in an effort to buy the YES Network from its majority owner, 21st Century Fox, according to two people close to negotiations who declined to be identified because the deal wasn’t yet official. If it goes forward in its current form, the deal is expected to take a few months to close.

The Yankees will become the largest shareholder in the channel, a regional sports-focused network serving the New York metropolitan area that has been valued at just under $3.5 billion, the people said. That’s less than the approximately $4 billion it was worth five years ago, when 21st Century Fox ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2019 at 06:14 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: yes network

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-8-2019

El Paso Herald, March 8, 1919:

The meat packing trade has been quite active of late years in financing baseball and has poured a lot of money into various clubs. Now these same packers are going to take something out of the game. Paddy Driscoll and George Halas, according to Chicago report, have been signed by the Armour company for positions in South America, where the Armours have big interests…Halas is the youngster signed by the New York Yankees…Umpire Billy Evans has declared him to be the best baseball prospect he has seen in years.

If things had worked out a bit differently, George Halas may have been a packer and not a Bear.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 08, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Why Traditional MLB Batting Practice Is Dying a Slow Death

Pull the screens out, grab a guy who can toss it about 60 mph over the heart of the plate, and let it rip.

On-field batting practice is a time-honored tradition in Major League Baseball, taking place like clockwork before every game. The ritual dates all the way back to the late 19th century, but back in those early days, starting pitchers would actually throw BP. That practice died decades ago, and while modern hitters can expect to face mid-90s heat and filthy breaking balls when the bullets are live, in BP, they’re typically facing a middle-aged coach or staff member. BP pitches come straight as an arrow, yet a fraction as fast. While the throwers usually pitch well ahead of the rubber to try to make up for the massive discrepancy in ...

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: batting practice

Carlos Gomez rejoins Mets, 3½ years after trade fell through

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Carlos Gomez is back with the Mets, 3½ years after a trade fell through that would have sent him from Milwaukee to New York.

The outfielder agreed to a minor league contract and will report to big league spring training, the Mets said Thursday.

A two-time All-Star, the 33-year-old Gomez hit .208 with nine homers and 32 RBIs in 118 games last year for Tampa Bay. After striking out in Miami on July 4, he took three swings at a cooler in the dugout and punched another cooler, which sent cups flying over the dugout railing.

Clearly, once the Mets get it into their heads to obtain a player, they don’t give up, regardless of what logic may say….

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:20 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos gomez, mets being mets

Even in nice weather, spring training can be a grind

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Earlier this week, Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire left several of his top players out of the starting lineup. It was a rainy morning, but that wasn’t the only reason. Gardenhire said some were dealing with aches and pains.

“I talked to a number of our guys,” Gardenhire said Tuesday. “Because of these hard fields in spring training, they get little hips and groin soreness, and I just said — weather, hips and groin, that’s not good. So I just changed the whole lineup.”

It may look like a few weeks of relaxed fun in the sun, but make no mistake: Spring training can be a grind. Pitchers need to build up their arms slowly, and position players face their own challenges. At this time of year, Florida and Arizona ...

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:14 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, weather

A look at some spring training standouts

The item in this article that caught my eye:


The three-time Most Valuable Player started with seven hits in 12 at-bats, including a double and a home run. The 39-year-old’s production has declined over the past several seasons and he hit .245 with 19 homers in 117 games last year, a season cut short by knee surgery in August.

Small sample size at play, or a possible dead-cat bounce?


QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:10 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Brock Stewart to endure another option year with Dodgers

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 2019 season will constitute a fourth option year for Dodgers pitcher Brock Stewart. Teams typically have three option years with their players, meaning they can yo-yo the players between the minors and majors an unlimited amount of times. Because Stewart hasn’t logged five full seasons in professional baseball — he appeared in only 17 games in his rookie season in the minors — the Dodgers have a fourth option year as prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement.

Does this mean he’s been subjected to the dreaded Option J?


QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brock stewart, dodgers, options

Report: Astros have made one- and two-year contract offers to Dallas Keuchel

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros have made one- and two-year contract offers to free agent starter Dallas Keuchel. The offers, however, were not what the lefty is looking for. What Keuchel is looking for is not specifically known yet.

Keuchel, 31, finished with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings last season with the Astros. He’s been mostly terrific over the last five years, including winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2015. However, his age and a shaky 2016 effort in which he posted a 4.55 ERA may have teams balking at committing to him beyond one or two years.

They have also given Mr. Keuchel his choice of the box, or whatever Carol Merrill has behind the curtain.

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dallas keuchel, hot stove

Boston’s Pedroia plays 1 inning in first game since May

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Dustin Pedroia’s first game in nearly 10 months couldn’t have gone much better — even if it lasted just one inning.

Pedroia cleanly fielded a two-out grounder by Minnesota’s Jake Cave, then singled off Kohl Stewart leading off the bottom half of Boston’s 12-1 loss Thursday.

“It made me happy to run around the bases,” Pedroia said. “It was really fun out there.”



QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Statcast Game Preview: New York Mets at Washington Nationals - 2019-03-07 | |

More good stuff from the Statcast wizard.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 08:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statistics

Baseball Cop - Eddie Dominquez exposes trafficking, theft, fraud, and gambling in the major leagues

“Details the shocking revelations [Dominguez] discovered as a Resident Security Agent for the Red Sox and as a member of baseball’s Department of Investigations—gambling, age and identity fraud, human trafficking, doping, domestic violence and disturbing cover-ups at the top of baseball’s hierarchy.”―New York Daily News

Hall of Fame Pitcher Tom Seaver Diagnosed With Dementia, to Retire From Public Life

Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia, the Seaver family announced in a statement from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Tom will continue to work in his beloved vineyard at his California home, but has chosen to completely retire from public life,” the Seaver family said. “The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy. We join Tom in sending warmest regards to everyone.”

Former New York Mets teammate Art Shamsky detailed Seaver’s health issues in his book, After the Miracle. Shamsky, 77, wrote that Seaver was suffering from short-term memory loss.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 05:05 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: tom seaver

Former MLB Outfielder Jacque Jones Ordered to Pay $67,000 in Revenge Porn Case

Former MLB outfielder and Nationals assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones was forced to pay a San Diego woman $67,000 in late February after a judge ruled he violated California’s revenge porn law. The woman, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, filed against Jones in October 2017. Doe will also ask a San Diego court to have Jones handle her attorney fees, according to Deadspin.

“No matter how famous you may be, you will be held accountable,” Doe’s lawyer Rory Pendergast told NBC 7 in San Diego. “And when strong women, like Jane Doe, stand up for what’s right, despite getting humiliated, called a liar, a cheat, and all sorts of other names, justice can be served.”

Jones and Doe reportedly began an “intimate and sexual” relationship ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:50 PM | 226 comment(s)
  Beats: jacque jones

Would moving the mound back be baseball’s worst rule experiment?

They interview a guy who thinks that this would be good for pitchers.

Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 07, 2019 at 11:04 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: 1893, field conditions

The Separate Paths of Craig Kimbrel and the Red Sox | FanGraphs Baseball

Not even a mention of Darwinzon Hernandez? That’s a pretty big oversight. If he doesn’t break camp with the team, it won’t be too long before he’s making a real impact on their bullpen. Lakins and Shawaryn I expect will provide some depth as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2019 at 10:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen, craig kimbrel, red sox

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