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Monday, May 14, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Colorado Rockies

The westernmost park I’ve ever visited. My one night there, I watched Aaron Cook throw a 79-pitch, four-hit, no-walk shutout against the Padres in a nifty one hour, 58 minutes. I haven’t been paying attention: Does it still play as such a severe pitcher’s park?

Truthfully, it’s behind only PNC on my personal favorite list. Just a beautiful place in a really nice setting. And that’s something coming from me, as I don’t like spending time west of the Mississippi, or south of the ...

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SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:02 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, stadium names

Taking Back the Ballparks - Baltimore Orioles

Oriole Park at Camden Yards remains the template for the modern park, in all the right ways. Place it in a convenient, central city location? Check. Incorporate the surrounding area into the design? Check. Offer the customer new ways to enjoy the game beyond what was previously available? Got that.

Only two problems. They almost got the name perfect, but the Oriole Park part was simply unnecessary. Without its useless appendage, Camden Yards would be on the Mount Rushmore of baseball park ...

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SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:02 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, stadium names

Taking Back the Ballparks - Milwaukee Brewers

Of all the paid-for ballpark names, this one probably works the best. The title sponsor’s name is short and kind of generic, so we aren’t dealing with something that’s obviously corporate. Miller’s ties to the city run long and deep. And, of course, the team’s nickname pulls from the very industry of the brand. You could argue that Miller Park would be one of the best names for the park even if the brewery wasn’t forking over the dough for the privilege.

The park itself is a blend ...

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SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:02 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, stadium names

OTP 2018 May 14: Political leadership, fans needed to bring baseball to Portland: Guest opinion

Today I’m not writing to promote the virtues of Major League Baseball or Portland as a baseball city. I’m writing from the perspective of one who worked on the last successful effort to bring a professional sports team to town—the Portland Timbers—and as someone who has worked in state and local politics for nearly 30 years. Few situations are fraught with as much politics as bringing a professional sports team to a community. If you look closely at cities that have experienced these debates, ...

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Bad day for Mariners as they lose Robinson Cano, series finale in Detroit

All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano was struck on the hand by an 88-mph fastball from Tigers starter Blaine Hardy in his second at-bat. The ball rode up and in on Cano, who couldn’t get out of the way. It made a sickening sound as it struck the back of Cano’s hand flush against the bat, fracturing the fifth metacarpal below his pinky finger.

“It was a rough day,” manager Scott Servais said. “It’s a freak accident. I don’t know how long he’s going to be out or where we’re ...

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Wainwright likely headed back to DL after difficult start, loss to San Diego

From the beginning, it was clear that Wainwright did not have his best feel for pitches or the velocity expected.

After the game he said he lacked “snap.”

His fastball hovered below 90 mph, and there were times he had a cutter at 84 mph or 82 mph. His changeup, which usually would be in that range, slipped into the 70s mph. He was able to get outs with his curveball and find a way through two scoreless innings. In the third, a single with the bases loaded produced the Padres’ first run and ...

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A walk-off win at Angel Stadium, another Sunday with Shohei Ohtani

Scioscia has refrained from using Ohtani the days directly before and after his starts and the player said his has physically responded well to the schedule.
...
His condition has made the Angels wonder if it’s possible for them to get more out of him, with Scioscia already saying he will likely pitch once every six days at some point this season.

“In the big picture of where I think we will need to be with our rotation, it’s going to be very helpful if he can come back and pitch on that sixth ...

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Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 14, 2018 at 03:15 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, shohei ohtani

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Padres’ Chase Headley experiment is over

“Chase has been great to this organization for a long time,” manager Andy Green said. “This has been a tough start to the season, and he got very limited opportunity. It got to the point where it was probably best for everyone involved to make that move. … Nothing but gratitude for the way he went about his job, the professionalism. He showed up every day, (he made) an investment in these guys. He was trying to make an impact every day.”

Headley had spoken in recent weeks of his ...

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Twins special assistant Jim Kaat wants to see baseball go to 7-inning games

Kaat’s primary points about the change include the fact it would restore the importance of starting pitchers, with the starter going five and then the setup man and closer taking over; the size of pitching staffs could be reduced (clearly this has no chance of flying with the union); and teams could bring back four-man starting rotations.


We interrupt this Minor League contest to bring you a real, live snake on the field

[T]he Double-A San Antonio Missions—like all great Minor League clubs, really—are innovators. They weren’t just content to trot some bird or woodland creature out there while locked in a tight game against the Frisco RoughRiders on Friday night. No, they enlisted the help of an enormous and terrifying snake:



Friday, May 11, 2018

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer long wondered if he’s related to JFK. At 72, he learned the truth.

Spoiler: He’s not. But this is an interesting read anyway.

Perry Posted: May 11, 2018 at 08:38 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dna, genealogy, jim palmer, orioles


Diamondbacks’ Yoshihisa Hirano riding splitter to big-league success

Sometimes his splitter dives straight down. Other times it behaves almost like a slider, darting down and to his glove side.

He can bounce it, which he did multiple times to the Dodgers’ Kyle Farmer on Tuesday night, striking him out on a splitter in the dirt with the winning run on third in the 10th inning. He can also throw it for strikes, something he did to freeze the next batter, Chase Utley, to end the inning in a game the Diamondbacks went on to win.

 

shoewizard Posted: May 11, 2018 at 12:46 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, japanese baseball, pitching

Ex-Reds starting pitcher Kyle Lohse announces retirement

After 16 seasons in Major League Baseball, former Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Kyle Lohse announced that he’s calling it quits after the Kansas City Royals released him on Thursday.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-11-2018

Photo caption in the Washington Times, May 11, 1918:

Here’s Roger Hornsby, the star shortstop of the St. Louis Cardinals, who is now playing his third and last major league campaign. He will receive $350,000 for Texas oil properties he owns and plans to get out of baseball.

Hornsby did get out of baseball. When the Reds fired him as manager. In 1953.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 11, 2018 at 10:35 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Joy From Eloy: Fast start for Jimenez catches the attention of White Sox fans

Outfield Eloy Jimenez is enjoying an incredible start to his season with the Double-A Barons of the Southern League, and this comes after he suffered a minor pectoral strain at the end of workouts in Glendale for Spring Training.

Activated from that injury on April 19th, Jimenez has been on a tear ever since.

At age 21, Jiminez is the youngest player on the Birmingham Barons.  He will likely be up a level (or two) at some point in the summer.

Nasty Nate Posted: May 11, 2018 at 09:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Thursday, May 10, 2018

White Sox prospect Jake Burger tears Achilles tendon for 2nd time

Hahn said the long-term prognosis remains positive and he expects Burger to have “no restrictions” once his leg heals. Hahn said the latest injury occurred at Burger’s home in Arizona.

“He was walking in his backyard and took a step and unfortunately felt a pop,” Hahn said. “It appears nothing could have been done to prevent this, much like the first one.

“Doctors are very optimistic that this repair, the second repair, will take, especially with the graft-tissue attachment. ...

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Ned Colletti Goes Inside Baseball

Controversy surfaced when the question of “juicing” or steroid use came up. Colletti mentioned legendary hitter Barry Bonds, saying, “It hurts me that Barry’s not in the Hall. He was one of the greatest, smartest players I’ve been around —genius.”

While commenting that he never saw any drug use, Colletti did say that of course it was suspected, but that management’s hands were tied because the players’ union did not allow drug testing for athletes. He claims, though, he ...

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From Atlanta to Athens, organist Matthew Kaminski keeping baseball’s music tradition alive

When Kaminski decided on a whim to audition for the Braves organist position in 2009, he got the job. Two years later, he was contacted by the Georgia athletic association, which asked Kaminski to play a few games in Athens.

What started as a dozen or so games the first year turned into a seven-year long relationship between Kaminski and the Bulldogs. Whenever the Braves are out of town, or their season has not yet started, Kaminski can be found at Foley Field. The difference in crowd size ...

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Many Twins players embrace extra-innings rules changes, but not what’s happening in the minors

“Doesn’t seem fair,” said Duffey, the Twins righthander who is currently back at Class AAA. “Doesn’t seem like baseball.”

That’s a common complaint as minor league baseball implements the experimental rules, designed to address what some consider a scourge and others view as a blessing: extra innings.

Interesting to see some feedback on the recent changes.


Here are the DII baseball records we think will never be broken

Not a question I had ever considered asking, but some of these are pretty neat. One example:

The final score was 71-1 and that was after only four innings. St. Francis, a dual member of the NAIA and DII baseball, jumped all over Robert Morris, and they did it quickly forcing them to surrender after four innings. Here are just some of the more eye-popping numbers from that game that still stand as single-game records:

  10: Triples in a game
  11: Bases on balls in an inning
  26: Runs in ...

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Rafael Palmeiro Making a Comeback in Pro Baseball in Cleburne

A familiar face is making a comeback in professional baseball in North Texas, with a few grey hairs to show for his time off. Rafael Palmeiro signed on Wednesday with the independent Cleburne Railroaders, who play in the American Association.

Now 53, Palmeiro played 20 years for the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, and he won’t be making the trip to Cleburne alone.
[...]
“Wherever you go, I’m gonna go with you because we’re gonna do this together,” said Palmeiro’s older son Patrick.

...
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Tony Pérez book is first about only Cuban Major Leaguer in National Baseball Hall of Fame

Pérez grew up in the little sugar mill town of Violeta, learning to hit pebbles with a stick, playing his way out of the mill through that narrow window just before the Bay of Pigs (when the window closed permanently). The “140-pound string bean with the fluorescent smile” signed with the Cincinnati Reds. His bonus? A $2.50 visa and a plane ticket to Tampa.

DanG Posted: May 10, 2018 at 12:46 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban players, hall of fame, reds, tony perez

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-10-2018

Toledo News-Bee, May 10, 1918:

Babe Ruth had on his clouting clothes on Thursday and had one big day at the bat. He poled a triple, three doubles and a single in five times up. He hit in the cleanup position.

Does anybody know anything about this Ruth guy? I guess he’s a pitcher too. He almost sounds like an American Shohei Ohtani.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 10, 2018 at 10:36 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Baseball Bugs (Bunny) Offers to Help the Birds

Hey @Orioles, just make the call! I’m available, Docs!

NattyBoh Posted: May 10, 2018 at 09:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore orioles, bugs bunny, worst team in baseball

Orioles Game of Thrones and the Way Forward

The Orioles are one of the worst teams in baseball and it’s clear this team needs to be rebuilt…Looking at this whole situation, it appears the dust is starting to settle, and the winner of this interesting saga looks to be Brady Anderson. Anderson has been quoted as saying he wasn’t seeking out new responsibilities, but if they were to come he would take them on.

NattyBoh Posted: May 10, 2018 at 09:55 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brady anderson, buck showalter, dan duquette, orioles, peter angelos

Trade to Reds Might Be Worst-Case Scenario for Matt Harvey

The Matt Harvey saga is officially over in New York, but it’s just beginning in a new and unlikely place. On Tuesday evening, the Mets announced they were trading Harvey, who was designated for assignment last Friday, to the Reds in exchange for catcher Devin Mesoraco. The deal is essentially a swap of broken-down former All-Stars, though for Harvey, the move to Ohio can charitably be described as a worst-case scenario.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 10, 2018 at 09:55 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets

ESPN: Reds acquire Matt Harvey, ship Devin Mesoraco to Mets

The Reds agreed to pay the Mets $5,788,978 as part of the trade, which made the deal come out nearly even financially. Harvey is making $5,625,000 on a one-year contract. Mesoraco gets $13 million in the final season of a four-year, $28 million deal.

This would have been a blockbuster deal a few seasons ago. Unfortunately, both players are now washed-out, former All-Stars. I realize that the Reds are desperate for starting pitching, but I don’t understand why they want to pay $13M for a ...

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Hochman: Ex-Cardinal Lynn jaded by free-agency experience

“Maybe I’ll just go on and be a hired gun the rest of my career, I don’t really care,” Lynn said in his monotone voice. “If somebody gives me a chance to pitch, I’m going to go do it, I’m not worried about anything else. It’s kind of been who I’ve been my whole life. I’m going to take the ball and I’m going to try to help the team win.

“That’s kind of the unfortunate business part of baseball now. I was here for seven years and there’s no loyalty in the game. So as ...

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