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Monday, March 03, 2014
Don Coffin was originally intended to manage Kane the Undertaker.
Hey, Bill, would you agree with me that HOF voters have spent a lot of time debating Jack Morris’ candidacy to the Hall and because of that they have overlooked more qualified candidates? I am talking about Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Alan Trammell or Edgar Martinez. Look, I don’t believe that Morris belongs to the HOF, but who am I? Fact is, I have read every argument on behalf of Morris while I haven’t heard the bandwagon for ...
Jon Singleton is considered the top first base prospect in baseball — a big, dynamic left-handed hitter with power and composure who can use the entire field.
He’s one of the players expected to help the Astros back to respectability after three straight 100-loss seasons.
All that despite a couple of very public setbacks. And for the first time publicly, he’s opening up about his battle with an addiction to marijuana and monthlong stay at a rehabilitation center.
“At this point ...
Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:58 PM | 55 comment(s)
And down the Shooty Babitt hole we go…
The new replay system for the 2014 season is being used in spring training games. Monday, there were two reviews within just a few minutes of each other, marking the first uses of the new system.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the on-field call that the runner was safe due to the first baseman’s foot being off the bag. The review took around two minutes—per a Twins beat writer—and upheld the on-field ruling of the runner being safe.
Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:15 PM | 39 comment(s)
as Murray Chass is waiting for him to be out of uniform.
Mike Piazza is back home this week.
The 45-year-old Piazza, the all-time leader in homers by a catcher, is serving as a guest instructor this week at New York Mets camp. It marks his first time back in uniform with the organization since his playing days.
Piazza said chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon invited him to spring training last September, when he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at Citi Field. Piazza also serves as ...
Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 40 comment(s)
Rather than identifying a single strike zone and giving binary credit for each pitch relative to that strike zone’s borders (i.e., strike or no strike), our model gives partial credit for each pitch based on that pitch’s likelihood of being called a ball or a strike. To determine that, we created a probability map of likely calls… To reflect what is best known about the way the size and position of the strike zone shifts from count to count and batter to batter, we ran individual models for ...
(a) fun baseball!
(b) Worth pointing out Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs has been doing a great job picking out interesting things from 2013 and writing brief recaps with gifs and pictures. He’s been doing this for a while and deserves some credit for highlighting (a).
Last season, there were three bunt doubles, each of them different but each of them inarguably bunt doubles. FanGraphs has no record of a year with more bunt doubles. One was pulled almost like a line drive. One ...
Washington Herald, March 3, 1914:
The baseball war soon will be over and the Federals will be in organized baseball, is the rumor being circulated…
The plan that will end the war, according to the rumor, is this:
The Federals will abandon their plans for an eight-club league this year, and will drop Chicago and St. Louis, making it a six-club organization for 1914. Charles Weeghman, owner of the Chicago Federal team, will be allowed to purchase the Chicago Cub franchise and Otto Stifel, the ...
Read the link. Even if you don’t officially submit, I’m sure we could have some fun guessing his rankings (set to begin Wednesday).
FYI, 51 was Junior Griffey.
Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:40 AM | 43 comment(s)
Barring major surprises this year, the 2015 season will begin with no active player owning 3,000 hits. That’s not unusual (see end of post), but it naturally makes us wonder who’ll be the next to that milestone. Who do you think has the best shot at 3,000 hits?
Miggy ranks 10th all-time in hits through age 30, and 14th in hits through 11 seasons. But he still needs 1,005 hits; and of the nine above Cabrera by age 30, only three got 3,000 (with A-Rod hanging fire). Falling ...
Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:55 AM | 50 comment(s)
Kill the Edwin–loss record.
It’s hard to imagine a Cubs player more irritated by Saturday’s two rained-out exhibition games than pitcher Edwin Jackson, whose spring debut got postponed to Sunday.
“When you have a [expletive] season, naturally, as an athlete and a competitor, you want to come back and play the way you know how to play,” Jackson said.
The sooner the better.
“Clearly, I don’t think I’m an 18-game-losing pitcher,” said Jackson, who was among the worst starting ...
Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
Sunday, March 02, 2014
As Steven Taffy Wright once said…“I intend to play forever. So far, so good.”
Despite being pushed into a part-time role at age 40, Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is not planning to retire after the season or anytime soon for that matter. Here’s what he told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:
“Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about,” he said.
Asked how many more seasons he thought he could play, Ichiro laughed. “Not just a few,” he said. “Many. For ...
Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:39 PM | 22 comment(s)
But defensively, we’re not talking about potential. He should be a major upgrade over Shin-Soo Choo in center field. After the two-error game in St. Louis, Choo caught everything he got to. But he didn’t get to a lot of balls because of his lack of speed.
According to fangraphs.com, Choo was the worst center fielder in Major League Baseball in terms of Ultimate Zone Rating at -16.1. Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez was the best at 26.4. A rating of 0.0 is considered average. Hamilton should be ...
Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:33 PM | 22 comment(s)
The texts lit up Matt Silverman’s phone before 7 am Wednesday, when Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist asked a guest for a ground hog World Series prediction and the first two words of the answer were “Tampa Bay.” The Rays president knows that February promises won’t get a ballpark built or even a profit turned, but that “it’s good for people to be reminded what this team has done in this division, in this market and with our payroll.”
“People need to be ...
Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 34 comment(s)
Lots of great games this month and a lot of good mid-week action. Make or break time for Arsenal, Barcelona and Napoli.
March 5th: Ukraine vs USA
March 8th: Seattle vs Sporting KC as MLS gets started, Chelsea vs Tottenham, Arsenal vs Everton in the Cup
March 9th: Man City vs Wigan in the Cup and in Italy Juventus begin have the first of their three battles in the span of two weeks and Napoli host Roma
March 10th: CONCACAF CL begins with Alajuense taking on Arabe Unido. Feel the excitement! ...Read More...
Robbie the Reboot.
The Seattle Mariners made some big improvements this winter but appear to have left themselves with some obvious holes as well. The biggest enhancement, of course, was signing superstar second baseman Robinson Cano, who brings the middle-of-the-order impact bat the team craved, and also maybe just a few more opinions and a little more assertiveness than is recalled from his many years in New York.
Cano, by all accounts, is thoroughly enjoying his first days inside a lively ...
Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:58 AM | 30 comment(s)
By the year 2000, even though he had been a full-time regular for only as long as Jeter (since 1996), there were already advocates for A-Rod staking a claim to being perhaps the best player ever once the final chapter of his career was written. Little did anyone know then that so many chapters in A-Rod’s epic saga would be sordid and career-diminishing. And Nomar was the model of consistency at better than an All-Star level of performance from 1997 to 2003, averaging between 6.1 and 7.4 ...
Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
As my old polidented coach Mickey McGripe used to say…“Son, you’re my second cleanup hitter. You’re hitting 8th.”
And while the presumption is that the team acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in order to give Goldschmidt lineup protection, that may not necessarily be the case.
“I just think that we have a pretty solid lineup regardless of who we put behind (Goldschmidt),” Gibson said. “There’s going to be a lot of protection. As far as the lineup construction ...
Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:32 AM | 18 comment(s)
Saturday, March 01, 2014
I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: whether civilization peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the reign of Jimmy Carter.
This week Bovada.lv revealed its over/under win total for the Mets at 73.5 and — lo and behold — not long after that it was leaked publicly that general manager Sandy Alderson had gathered the team’s movers and shakers and insisted the Mets possessed 90-win potential. The team’s patriarch, Fred Wilpon, weighed in with (a threat? an inspiration? a prod?) — “we better win 90.”
Now is a good time for a recent history lesson: In 2010, Bovada pegged the Mets at 81.5, the Mets said ...
Posted: March 01, 2014 at 05:39 PM | 19 comment(s)
The Reynolds Effect…a dimensionless quantity? We shall see.
Reynolds and Verducci seem chosen specifically to erase all lingering McCarverism. First off, each of them are 20 years younger than McCarver; Reynolds is 53, Verducci 47. They at least carry the aura of youth—they’re youthish—which will come in handy in making people forget McCarver. They’re also both very likable guys who are new enough in the business that they’ve shown they’re willing to adjust and change depending on what’s asked ...
Posted: March 01, 2014 at 02:57 PM | 18 comment(s)
boom! (Eye Test) ~ BOOM! (Actual Measurement)
Baseball is a game of inches, and those inches will be measured in a brand new way.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media on Saturday introduced a revolutionary plan for in-ballpark infrastructure designed to provide the first complete and reliable measurement of every play on the field and answer previously unanswerable analytics questions.
The announcement was made by MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman at the eighth annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics ...
Posted: March 01, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 66 comment(s)
Miguel Sano’s worst fears came true on Saturday morning.
The highly-touted third base prospects has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John surgery. Sano will fly to Minnesota next week to have the surgery.
Sano was injured during Thursday’s intrasquad game when he rushed a throw to retire Kurt Suzuki.
The ordeal goes back to the minor league season, when the elbow bothered him while he played for Class AA New Britain. It continued to bother him while he played for ...
Posted: March 01, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 27 comment(s)
George Will: Slacker.
Political pundit George Will says baseball’s opening day shouldn’t be a federal holiday because it would take the fun out of the age-old tradition of cutting class or skipping work to go to the ballpark’s first game of the season.
“Part of the fun of Opening Day is skipping work,” Will said in an interview with The Hill. “If they make it a national holiday, there will be no work to skip.”
Will’s comments were echoed by a handful of baseball-loving lawmakers, who said ...
Posted: March 01, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 74 comment(s)
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Darkness and the howling fantods