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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NYT: In the Belly of the East

The glass case in the lobby of the Toronto Blue Jays’ executive office holds World Series trophies from 1992 and 1993. Between them is a small stand, just a few inches high, with a $1 coin. Cito Gaston, the manager of those teams, gave the coin to the receptionist for good luck when he retired two years ago. She displays it as a placeholder for the next trophy, because the coin is dated 1993.

Oh, for those days at the SkyDome, when every night was a party. The Blue Jays averaged more than ...

Read More...
Paul D(uda) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles

Keith Law: Moneyball

I’m sorta reminded of the time Effin’ Stink Lad (non-LOSH) cruised a dump on D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage because he was too close to the action.

Moneyball, the movie, is an absolute mess of a film, the type of muddled end product you’d expect from a project that took several years and went through multiple writers and directors. Even good performances by a cast of big names and some clever makeup work couldn’t save this movie, and if I hadnt been planning to review it, I would have walked ...

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Repoz Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM | 326 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, media, reviews, site news

Salisbury: Manuel airs out Phils after loss to lowly Astros

Leapin’ Lamabe’s! Have the Astros officially changed their name to Lowly Astros?

Manuel had strong words for his team during a clubhouse meeting after it played another sloppy game in a 5-2 loss to the lowly Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

“We had a little talk,” Manuel admitted. “Not a big talk.”

The message:

“Just be more alert and play the game how we can,” he said.

Manuel was soft-selling the meeting. Word from the clubhouse was he rattled some cages pretty soundly.

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:22 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, phillies

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-14-2011

AP, September 14, 1986:

Bo Jackson will no doubt remember his first major-league home run.  The way he hit it, others will remember it, too.

“That ball was hit well over 500 feet,” said Royals interim manager Mike Ferraro after Jackson’s prodigious homer Sunday triggered the Royals to a 10-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.  “I was in awe.  It was simply amazing.”

Officials said that Jackson’s 475-foot drive high onto a grassy knoll in left-center field was the longest hit at Royals Stadium. ...Read More...

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: September 14, 2011 at 09:59 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB.com: Enter 600-man: Mo marks milestone

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera recorded his 600th save on Tuesday, preserving a 3-2 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field and becoming just the second pitcher in history to reach that plateau.

Rivera joins Trevor Hoffman in the 600-save club as the 41-year-old right-hander inches closer to the all-time record. He needs just one more to tie Hoffman, who retired after last season.
...
“It’s a good number. There’s only one guy that has that, and that’s Trevor,” Rivera said. “It’s a good number ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 14, 2011 at 05:34 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, history, yankees

AL West race: September 13, 2011

TEX 84-64 [7-4 in SEPT]
LAA 81-67 [8-4 in SEPT] (3 GB)

MLB.com: Slugging Rangers keep pressure on Angels

David Murphy hit two home runs and Josh Hamilton smashed his 20th of the season in leading the Rangers to a 10-4 victory over the Indians on Tuesday.


MLB.com: Kendrick homers twice as Angels keep pace

Looking for an elixir after a pair of demoralizing losses, the Angels turned to Howard Kendrick, and he delivered a pair of two-run homers on Tuesday night to power a 6-3 victory over the ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 14, 2011 at 05:32 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

MLB.com: Verlander’s 23rd win cuts magic number to four

Justin Verlander won his 11th straight start to lead the Tigers to a 5-0 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday, the club’s 11th straight win overall. The 11-game team winning streak is the longest for the Tigers since an identical run from Sept. 9-21, 1968, and lowered the Tigers’ magic number for clinching the division to four.

Verlander (23-5) became the first Tigers starter to win 11 straight starts since at least 1919, holding the White Sox scoreless in his seven ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:49 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers

Tim Wakefield wins #200

It took a Major League-record nine tries, but Wakefield is now part of an elite group of 108 who have done it all-time. Only 89 have reached the mark since 1900, and just 69 have done it since 1920.

In a game that swung back-and-forth early, Wakefield went six innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks. He fanned six and allowed a pair of home runs.

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:42 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

AL Wildcard race: September 13, 2011

So the Red Sox are now 3-1 this month when they score in double digits, 0-8 otherwise.

BOS 86-61 [3-9 in SEPT]
TBR 82-65 [8-4 in SEPT] (4 GB)

MLB.com: Pedroia, Ellsbury help Wake get win No. 200

Led by Pedroia and the scorching hot Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox cruised to an 18-6 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Tuesday, lifting the Major League’s oldest player to his 200th career win.

MLB.com: Rays miss chance to keep pressure on Sox

The Rays couldn’t hold a late one-run lead as the ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:22 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

NL Wildcard race: September 13, 2011

ATL 85-64 [5-9 in SEPT]
STL 80-68 [8-4 in SEPT] (4.5 GB)

MLB.com: McCann’s clutch dinger sparks Braves’ rout

With one mighty swing of his bat at Turner Field on Tuesday night, McCann erased doubts concerning his health and once again proved capable of putting his team on his shoulders when necessary. His three-run, sixth-inning homer off Brad Hand sparked a sputtering offense and allowed the Braves to snap a four-game losing streak with a 7-1 win over the Marlins.

MLB.com: Punto delivers ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Griffin: AL’s most valuable has to be Verlander

Whitfield/Strong ~ Witless/Weak

I was discussing with my wildly worldly colleague Cathal Kelly, as we often do when we get together, the state of the global economy, of fashion, shoes, sports, the newspaper biz and the importance of good hygiene and social networking, when the topic of AL MVP arose.

Now, as regular readers know, I am a baseball traditionalist from way back, while Cathal is more of a VORP, WAR, WHIP, OPS guy. Thus it was no surprise to hear him preach confidently about how the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, tigers

Bob Costas narrates the evolution of statistics in Behind the Seams: The Stat Story

Fluck…I just noticed my ‘68 Mantle card is smeared with some weird Costasian assgrease smeglemmer!

From awarding a player a base hit to the rise of sabermetrics, the evolution of statistics in Major League Baseball is the focus of Behind the Seams: The Stat Story, a special produced for MLB Network by MLB Productions, premiering Sunday, September 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Behind the Seams: The Stat Story will feature statisticians and experts, including Elias Sports Bureau’s Steve Hirdt, MLB’s ...

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Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, history, media, projections, sabermetrics, television

ESPN: Baseball in Europe is about to take off

The unmistakable crack of a Louisville Slugger rings out over the Danube, that bluest of European rivers, snaking east from here all the way to the Black Sea after splicing up Vienna and Budapest and Belgrade and Bucharest. On the other bank lies Regensburg, a town of 130,000 that was founded in A.D. 90 as a Roman fort on the very edge of civilization, where the empire ended and barbarian wilderness began. The city is situated in the heart of the southeastern German state of Bavaria, tucked up ...

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Gamingboy Posted: September 13, 2011 at 10:11 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: international

MSC: Baseball Greats Cruise

Boat

image

Enjoy interactive question-and-answer session with the players, player-hosted trivia games, a lively story-telling session in which the players share candid revelations about some of the “characters” of the game. There are also pitching, hitting, and defense strategy clinics and a lively passenger pitching contest. The host and MC for all of the onboard activities on each cruise is former Yankee star Stan Bahnsen. At the finale of the cruise there is also a COMPLIMENTARY AUTOGRAPH ...

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Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 09:49 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fantasy baseball, media, memorabilia

SI.com: Verducci: Rivera’s Career a Study of Poetry in Motion

BBTF needs Mo’ poetry:

Like the stillness of a deep mountain lake under moonlight or the rustle of a breeze through treetops, there is a natural harmony to Mariano Rivera that is so quiet as to be easily missed. What distinguishes the great Rivera is as much the absence of features as it is what he possesses. Absence of effort, absence of ego, absence of extraneous motion, even absence of facial hair and the accoutrements of fending off fear used by the modern, highly-caffeinated, ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 13, 2011 at 07:58 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, yankees

Seamheads.com Negro League Database

Welcome to the Seamheads.com Negro Leagues Database, powered by The Baseball Gauge. We are creating the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of the great black baseball teams and leagues that operated behind the color line in the days of Jim Crow segregation.  The database also collects a vast amount of biographical information about these players, much of it previously unpublished.

Among the injustices visited upon the ballplayers of the Negro leagues, the lack of a statistical record ...

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Dan Hirsch Posted: September 13, 2011 at 07:34 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: history

HardballTalk: Gleeman at the movies: “Moneyball” review

A Gleebert-length review.

As a hardcore baseball fan who paid close attention to Billy Beane and the A’s during the period portrayed in the film there were a lot of specifics that stood out as questionable, particularly in terms of the movie’s time lines and exaggerated portrayals of certain characters (although the book is guilty of the latter as well).

However, what the movie lacked in historical accuracy it made up for in witty dialogue, likable characters, and a surprising amount of ...

Read More...
Greg Franklin Posted: September 13, 2011 at 04:43 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, baseball geeks, books, business, media, reviews

La Russa hates losing, loves overmanaging

Now Dotel is murder on right-handers, but struggles against lefties. So La Russa is setting himself up for a multiple-pitcher inning, no matter how Dotel fared against right-handers Andrew McCutchen and Derek Lee. Dotel got McCutchen, but walked Lee. Lefty Marc Rzepczynski was brought in to face switch-hitting Ryan Doumit. Like Dotel, Rzepczynski has a big platoon split (.491 OPS against lefties, .717 against righties). Doumit doubled into the right-field corner to tie the score.

Now came the ...

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ColonelTom Posted: September 13, 2011 at 02:30 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general

McCarron: Experts debate meaning of save No. 600 - Mariano Rivera

Experts, yes…but then they bring in Mitch Williams.

Some, however, believe that saves are an overvalued, overhyped stat that has created a class of wealthy relievers, pitchers who maybe wouldn’t have been as successful had they been starting pitchers.

...But one study, by Dave Smith of the website retrosheet.org, shows that winning percentages for teams carrying a lead into the ninth inning have not changed much over the years, including in one-run games. In other words, using a closer has ...

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Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:23 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

McCoy: Francisco’s 502-footer, four Reds homers not enough

The Real McCoy – Accept No Limitations!

When they designed and built Great American Ball Park, they had no idea they were building a comedy stage.

But they did. And the place is a joke. Balls fly out GABP like exploding atoms. They probably need a humidor here, too, like the one in which they place baseballs before games at Colorado’s Coors Field.

...SO NOW THE Reds have a league-leading 169 home runs. What good does it do? They are in third place and they are one loss or one Milwaukee ...

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Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 01:11 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, sabermetrics

Puma: Selig: Mets never threatened over cap flap

A red-faced Bud Selig called the Mets on Sunday night, the commissioner of baseball irate that the organization had thrown his office “under the bus” in divulging MLB was responsible for the decision that banned players from wearing caps honoring emergency services workers during the 9/11 game at Citi Field.

“[Selig] got embarrassed by it,” a Mets official said before last night’s 3-2 loss to the Nationals. “The game got moved into prime time because of 9/11, and [MLB] ended up getting ...

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JE (Jason) Posted: September 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Sullivan: Felix Hernandez Silences Yankees Trade Chatter By Getting Blasted By Yankees

You’ll laugh so hard your fantasy ERA/WHIP sides will ache…

And we built some narratives around it. Felix became a big-game pitcher. He became a guy who reached back for something extra whenever he went up against pinstripes. He became the Evil Empire’s worst enemy, an ace for whom they just didn’t have an answer.

Well, Felix might still be a big-game pitcher. I think he is still a big-game pitcher. And he might still reach back for something extra whenever he goes up against pinstripes. But ...

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Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mariners, sabermetrics, yankees

Haudricourt: Brewers have built record by beating lesser teams

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin noted there are many caveats to the presumption that his club can only beat bad teams. First of all, there are only six winning records among the 16 NL clubs, meaning you’re likely to be playing a losing team much of the time.

“So, there’s only five other teams because we’re one of them,” said Melvin. “The other (first-place) teams are doing the same thing. We’ve won the games you have to win.”

Melvin also pointed out that some teams the Brewers beat ...

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Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, projections

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-13-2011

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 13, 1911:

James R. McAleer, manager of the Washington American League baseball team, has gone to Youngstown, O., to complete financial arrangements that will enable him to close the deal for the Boston American league team at his conference with Owner John I. Taylor in Boston, next Thursday.

...

Everything has been arranged for the transfer from Mr. Taylor to Manager McAleer excepting the minor details, it was said here today.

McAleer owned the Sox for less ...

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Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: September 13, 2011 at 09:07 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, red sox

MLB.com: Tigers thump White Sox for 10th straight win

Detroit routed the White Sox for the second time in eight days on Monday, beating Chicago, 14-4, to extend its winning streak to 10 games and its division lead to a season-best 11 1/2 over both the White Sox and Indians. The 10-game run, which started with a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Detroit, is the team’s longest since an 11-game streak from Sept. 9-21, 1968.

“I don’t even think about stuff like that,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s nice to read in the newspaper and for ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 13, 2011 at 05:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers

AL West race: September 12, 2011

TEX 83-64 [6-4 in SEPT]
LAA 80-67 [7-4 in SEPT] (3 GB)

MLB.com: Angels’ East Bay troubles continue

Needing a high-octane performance in their pursuit of the Rangers in the American League West race, the Angels had trouble getting in gear on Monday night. Southpaw Gio Gonzalez frustrated them for 6 2/3 innings, and the A’s hammered out a 6-3 decision that pushed the Angels to three games behind idle Texas.

NTNgod Posted: September 13, 2011 at 05:25 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

NL Wildcard race: September 12, 2011

ATL 84-64 [4-9 in SEPT]
STL 79-68 [7-4 in SEPT] (4.5 GB)

MLB.com: Braves can’t capitalize, fall to Marlins in 12

Attempting to rebound from their just-completed road trip, the Braves returned to Turner Field on Monday night and extended their recent woes with a 5-4, 12-inning loss to the Marlins. Mike Stanton came off the bench to deliver the decisive blow with a single off Cristhian Martinez.

MLB.com: Bullpen can’t protect lead in loss to Bucs

The Pirates rallied for three runs against three ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 13, 2011 at 03:32 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, game recaps

Former MLB Outfielder Manny Ramirez Arrested in Fla.

and stopped me from ‘shrugging’
I don’t need you today, oh Manny

Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez was arrested by Weston police Monday on one charge of domestic battery.

His wife Juliana Ramirez told police she and her husband were both on the couple’s bed when he struck her with an open hand during an escalated domestic dispute, according to a police report by Officer Jose Campos.

The blow caused her to hit her head on the headboard of their bed, she told police.

According to Campos, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 13, 2011 at 02:14 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: history, indians, red sox

AL Wildcard race: September 12, 2011

BOS 85-61 [2-9 in SEPT]
TBR 82-64 [8-3 in SEPT] (3 GB)

MLB.com: [B.J.] Upton leads charge in fifth straight win

Ben Zobrist drove in three runs and Jeff Niemann rebounded from consecutive poor outings with a strong 7 2/3 innings as the Tampa Bay Rays continued their winning ways with a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

B.J. Upton walked twice and hit two doubles in his first four at-bats, extending his streak of reaching base in consecutive plate appearances to nine, establishing ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 13, 2011 at 02:10 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rays, red sox

Monday, September 12, 2011

Posnanski: Wins and WAR and MVPs

Oh’Connell. Ohhh’Connell…

I wouldn’t want people to use WAR lazily, to put any emphasis on a two tenths of a point difference, to just blindly follow. But, to be blunt about it, I really don’t think that’s much of a problem. People who go to the effort to use WAR, to understand it, generally seem to know that it’s a tool, like all statistics. It’s adaptable. You can use your own defensive observations pretty easily, just as an example. And it will get better. It will get more precise. Even now ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, projections, sabermetrics

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