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Monday, August 19, 2019

As other 2015 Royals heroes have exited, Alex Gordon set to finish career in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY – Had Jeurys Familia not thrown a quick pitch to Salvador Perez in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 2015 World Series, perhaps that series plays out differently.

The Mets may have been the ones being honored down the Canyon of Heroes. The Royals could have been defeated in the World Series in back-to-back years.

And Alex Gordon may not have delivered one of the most clutch hits in Royals history.

Despite all the film that Gordon and the Royals had pored over leading into that game, they really were not all that aware of the quick pitch in Familia’s arsenal.

Thoughts on what it means when you stay on and the rest of the team doesn’t.

 

QLE Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, kansas city royals

Brian Snitker Pulls Ronald Acuna Jr. for Lack of Hustle: ‘You’ve Got to Run’

Ronald Acuna Jr. is one of the most talented young players in baseball, but he had to be taught a hard lesson Sunday.

The outfielder hit a long fly ball off the wall in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers but failed to run it out, thinking it was a home run. It ended up being a single, and he failed to score in the inning.

Manager Brian Snitker decided to pull him from the game to teach him to hustle on every ball in play

...

“You’ve got to run. That’s not going to be acceptable here,” Snitker said, per David O’Brien of The Athletic. “...The name on the front is a lot more important than the name on the back.”

Isn’t this sort of passive-aggressive warring against your best player usually the sort of thing that sabotages ...

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QLE Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: brian snitker, hustle, ronald acuna

Pete Alonso Smashes 40th Home Run to Break NL Rookie Record as Mets Beat Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pete Alonso hit his 40th home run to break the National League rookie record, capping a late outburst by the New York Mets in their 11-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Michael Conforto hit a long homer in the first inning and drove in four runs. Amed Rosario put the Mets ahead 6-4 with a two-run single in the seventh, and Alonso went deep in the ninth on an 0-2 pitch. He snapped a tie with Cody Bellinger, who launched 39 long balls for the Dodgers in 2017 on the way to winning Rookie of the Year honors.

Back in the thick of a crowded NL wild-card race thanks to a second-half surge, New York completed a 3-3 road trip and improved to 24-10 since the All-Star break.

Alonso also had an RBI double and ...

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QLE Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, pete alonso, records, rookies

Boswell - Dave Martinez Did Sean Doolittle No Favors

For 50 years, managers usually have called on their closers when they led by three runs or fewer. That is, except for the thousands of times when the closer was not the closer because the manager decided to be the manager.

Ever since the Nats bolstered their bullpen, Martinez should have been looking for every way to give Doolittle a lighter load instead of using him eight times in 14 games. The reasons are longer than a fungo bat.

Doolittle was on pace to throw 21 percent more pitches than he ever has in his career — 930 so far this season compared with 1,020 in 2013, the only full season in his career when he has stayed off the IL.

#FireDeivi

Bote Man Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: closers, injuries, managers, nationals

Dave Martinez did Sean Doolittle no favors, and now the Nats’ closer is on the injured list

Three times in nine days, the Nats led by three runs in the ninth inning. Any solid pitcher will have a high save percentage with such a cushion if previously used in that role. Hudson, Strickland and Rodney fit that description. Yet Martinez picked Doolittle all three times.

In those three games, Doolittle got only six outs while allowing 10 runs on 13 hits, including five home runs. The Nats lost two of those three, victories they may dearly wish they had back come September.

Hank Gillette Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: davey martinez, sean doolittle, washington nationals

Sunday, August 18, 2019

‘Summer of Rivera’ closes with Yankee Stadium celebration

NEW YORK (AP) — Taking his familiar position on the Yankee Stadium rubber, Mariano Rivera wound up and delivered his famed cut fastball to his son, Mariano Jr.

It was high and outside, but no one seemed to mind.

The pitch came Saturday during a pregame celebration for baseball’s greatest closer and capped off the “Summer of Rivera.” It’s stretch that saw him hit an inside-the-park homer and get a save during his debut in the New York Yankees’ annual Old-Timers’ Day game and be inducted into the Hall of Fame as the first unanimous selection.

“I’m glad I did OK,” Rivera told the crowd.

And I thought the increasing number of retirement tours we’ve been getting lately have been obnoxious enough…..

 

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariano rivera, yankee stadium

LEADING OFF: Cubs-Pirates in Williamsport, CC faces Indians

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

LITTLE BIG LEAGUE

Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs take on Josh Bell and the Pittsburgh Pirates in prime time at the MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Cubs left-hander José Quintana (10-7, 4.11 ERA) is 6-0 in eight starts since his last loss on June 22. Mitch Keller (1-1, 7.94) will make his second start for Pittsburgh since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. The 23-year-old rookie picked up his first major league win in four starts Monday against the Angels.

For those of us who get a kick out of neutral-site games.

 

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: llws, neutral site games

Video: Player’s Weird Batting Stance Goes Viral During LLWS

On Saturday afternoon, the Little League World Series rolled on with a contest between Venezuela and Australia in an elimination game.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, a player from the Venezuelan team came up to bat as the team held a 1-0 lead.

In an apparent attempt to throw the pitcher off of his game, the player crouched down in the batters box. He made his strike zone as small as possible by squatting down to his heels, but still maintained a batter’s stance – kind of.

Bill Veeck would have been proud.

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:21 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: batting stance, llws

This year’s crop of major free-agent relievers has been a $250 million disaster

If any fans feel annoyed this offseason about their team not spending to strengthen the bullpen, they might want to look at what is happening this year across Major League Baseball.

A long rehab for Philadelphia Phillies reliever David Robertson got much longer on Saturday as the 34-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery. The dreaded surgery will cost Robertson, who went on the injured list back in May, the rest of 2019 and likely the entire 2020 season as well.

Robertson signed a two-year, $23 million contract with Philadelphia in free agency last offseason, and now it looks like he’s going to spend all but a month of his Phillies tenure on the injured list. In that month, he had a 5.40 ERA. The Phillies didn’t exactly get great ...

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Aaron Boone, two Yankees players thrown out in win against Cleveland

NEW YORK – The war between the New York Yankees and league umpires escalated again on Saturday.

Manager Aaron Boone, outfielder Brett Gardner and pitcher CC Sabathia were all thrown out when tempers flared in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The disagreement began after Cameron Maybin took a borderline called third strike and questioned home plate umpire Ben May in a 6-5 win against the Indians.

That play was the last straw for Boone, who was unhappy with calls throughout the game. The Yankees manager had already gone down the tunnel when Gardner and Sabathia came rushing onto the field. Gardner insisted that he didn’t deserve an ejection, while Maybin placed some of the blame on the home plate ump.

On the one hand, this does make it ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 04:14 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, brett gardner, cc sabathia, ejections

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to undergo MRI after leaving game vs. Mariners

Toronto Blue Jays rookie sensation Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will undergo an MRI after leaving Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners, manager Charlie Montoyo revealed to reporters post-game.

“He felt a little tweak in his knee so we took him out just in case. So he’s going to get an MRI to make sure he’s fine. I’ll know more about it tomorrow,” Montoyo said.

Montoyo added that he would pull anyone that complains about an injury as a precautionary measure, especially considering where the team is at this juncture of the season.

I have to wonder- is it his build that seems to be making him susceptible to injury, or something else?

 

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 03:55 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: knee, vladimir guerrero jr.

Royals DFA Billy Hamilton

The Kansas City Royals have designated Billy Hamilton for assignment.

You’re heard the phrase “that’s what speed do?” Well, Hamilton is a living example of what having only speed do: makes it really hard for you to stick on a big league roster.

So, where does he run off to now?

 

QLE Posted: August 18, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: billy hamilton, designated for assignment, speed

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Zach Zagger on Twitter: Minor League Baseball players alleging they should be paid minimum wage and

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2019 at 10:50 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay

A pair of altercations between players and coaches highlights the Pirates’ fraying clubhouse ($)

On July 21, the day before he was to be activated off the IL, Kela triggered an altercation with performance coach Hector Morales. The incident was loud and was witnessed by several players and team employees.

Hurdle moved in to defuse the situation and, according to sources, was berated by Kela. While it is not uncommon for a manager to step into such an incident, it is rare for a player to so directly disrespect his manager.

In a press release the next day, the Pirates said Kela was suspended for two games due to violation of his contract. When Kela was asked if he thought his suspension was warranted, he said, “The narrative is what the narrative is. I know the truth, so I’m not really worried about it. I’m not going to sit here ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 17, 2019 at 08:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Is a lingering oblique injury contributing to Aaron Judge’s slump?

NEW YORK — Despite being mired in an awful slump, New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge says he’s fine physically.

“It doesn’t affect me at all,” Judge reiterated Thursday to Yahoo Sports of the oblique injury that cost him 54 games earlier this season.

Yet something is clearly wrong.

Because when No. 99 is on, he’s one of the best players in the world.

And right now, he’s off.

And yet he’s still a substantially better player than a certain Phillies outfielder…..

 

 

QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 04:20 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, injury, slump

Josh Hamilton Says Holy Spirit Spoke to Him Before 2011 World Series Home Run

Josh Hamilton’s 28 dingers in the 2008 Home Run Derby are forever etched in baseball lore, but the former Ranger has a special memory attached to another famous homer.

Hamilton is set to be inducted into the Rangers’ Hall of Fame on Saturday alongside Texas greats Nolan Ryan, Pudge Rodriguez, Ruben Sierra, Michael Young and more. Ahead of his induction, Hamilton reflected on his career with the franchise in a piece for the Players Tribune, where he said the Holy Spirit told him that he would hit a home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

“I’m in the on-deck circle, in extra innings, and I’m telling you, out of nowhere….I hear the Holy Spirit talking to me,” he said. “This is the honest truth. For real.

There are thoughts I have on ...

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QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: josh hamilton, world series

Pirates clubhouse has been a mess lately

The Pirates season has been a disappointing one with injury and underachievement marring any chance they had at being competitive. At the moment they’re mired in last place, have the second-worst record in the National League and, since the All-Star break, are a dreadful 6-25.

But it’s even worse than that. As Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports today, the clubhouse has been in turmoil for much of the season, with “rifts caused by envy, charges of favoritism, and overt insubordination against manager Clint Hurdle and his staff.”

For those curious as to what self-destruction looks like….

 

QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clubhouse culture, pirates, the ship be sinking

Padres star rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. will ‘most likely’ miss rest of year with back injury

PHILADELPHIA – San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with a back injury that “most likely” will end his season, according to manager Andy Green.

The 20-year-old Tatis, a Rookie of the Year candidate, is batting .317 with 13 doubles, 22 homers and 53 RBI in 84 games. Green said the injury was the result of “common usage” and that it would require rest to heal.

“It’s disappointing, obviously,” Green said. “We’re going to do what we can to take care of him, and we expect him to be a huge part of what we’re doing going forward. It’s been really tough for him the last couple of days to swallow. It’s a tough blow.”

Green said Tatis will be re-evaluated in ...

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QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: back, fernando tatis jr.

Bryce Harper, the clutch god

- Harper with runners on base in 2019 had a pre-Thursday slash line of .345/.439/.645.

- With runners in scoring position this season, he batted .378/.484/.653.

- With runners in scoring position and two outs, he batted .410/.540/.744.


I admit I was wary when the Phils signed Harper, but if he keeps the momentum flowing he’ll wind up with a fine first campaign in the City of Brotherly Love.

Lest we forget Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, clutch, god

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone Says MLB Should Consider Adding Mercy Rule

The New York Yankees have been on both ends of blowouts this season, and manager Aaron Boone thinks adding a mercy rule in MLB “might be ... worth exploring.”

“I think there would be a benefit to that,” Boone said Friday, according to the New York Post’s George A. King III. “You would probably eliminate a lot of the unwritten rules, people running or swinging. It would be like, if you get to this point after seven innings or whatever, there might be something to that and worth exploring.”

Boone’s team lost 19-5 to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night—a game in which he used designated hitter Mike Ford at pitcher for the last two innings.

“It is not fun to obviously put a position player in that situation,” Boone added.

Why on ...

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QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, mercy rule


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Athletic (Paywall) - Another Door Opens for Matt Hobgood

This story could have gone in so many directions.

Deep depression. Extreme bitterness. Uncontrollable addiction.

That it stopped at the intersection of self-realization and normalcy is a credit to Hobgood.

...

Still, he’ll never turn away from the game. He had a batting cage installed in his backyard. He can’t wait to pass his passion for the national pastime onto his four kids — all age 4 or younger. He looks forward to the time when he can coach all of them.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 16, 2019 at 05:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, retired players

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 16, 1919:

When Babe Ruth, the slugger extraordinary, made a home run off Dick Kerr, the young southpaw, at Comiskey Park on Thursday, he shattered an American League record that stood for nearly seventeen years.

Back in 1902 “Socks” Seibold, then a member of the Athletics, made sixteen circuit smashes during the course of the season. Ruth’s homer on Thursday was his seventeenth of the 1919 campaign and his thirty-seventh in the American League.

Ruth has still a little way to go to reach Cravath’s mark, made in 1915. The new manager of the Phillies made twenty-four homers that year. The National League record is twenty-five, held by Buck Freeman.

Ruth: “Hold my beer and watch this. No, seriously, ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

From 12 games under to 10 over, Nats lead NL wild-card race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Right now, 19-31 is just a distant memory for the Washington Nationals.

Even without Max Scherzer for all but one game over the past month-plus, even with recurring bullpen issues, even though they dug themselves quite a hole, the Nationals are suddenly 65-55 — 10 games over .500 for the first time in 14 months.

What’s more, they’re leading the NL wild-card standings as they head into Friday’s opener of a three-game series against one of the clubs chasing them for a playoff berth: reigning league MVP Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Winning the NL East presents more of a challenge, because Washington entered Thursday trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves by six games. The rivals play each other ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, nl wild card

In Venezuela, young baseball players still have big dreams

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — More than 100 boys train daily on a baseball field next to the biggest slum in Caracas, using old bats, balls and gloves in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal: a professional baseball career in the United States and an escape from Venezuela’s hardship.

Chances are small, and getting remoter. Major League Baseball’s teams have shut down their academies in Venezuela and no longer send scouts. Sometimes, local trainers say, a player faints on the field because he hasn’t had enough to eat, a sign of how nationwide shortages of food, medicine and other necessities inflict a heavy toll.

A junior team from Maracaibo is participating this week in the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: venezuela, youth baseball

Jameson Taillon undergoes second Tommy John surgery

A couple of weeks ago we learned that Pirates starter Jameson Taillon had to undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right flexor tendon. At the time it was reported that he did not need Tommy John surgery.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. During Taillon’s flexor tendon surgery on Tuesday the surgeon determined that he also needed Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and performed the procedure. It was the second time Taillon has had TJ surgery. He also missed time in 2017 due to testicular cancer. The guy has just been unable to catch a break.

Sincere question: How often can one have Tommy John surgery? That it’s been performed multiple times on several pitchers is apparent- but how often can an elbow go through that ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, tommy john surgery

Yankees first baseman Mike Ford’s pitching performance provides comic relief

NEW YORK — You wouldn’t think that when a team gets pummelled, 19-5, as the New York Yankees did by the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night, that any of the pitchers for the losing team would leave the mound to an ovation.

Especially not in Yankee Stadium, where winning brings not pleasure, but relief and championships are treated as a birthright. They don’t often raise the nice-try flag in the Bronx.

But when the “pitcher’’ is a 27-year-old rookie first baseman/designated hitter who is on the roster only because his team has been decimated by injuries, and on the mound only because the real pitchers have been decimated by the Cleveland hitters, even a Yankee Stadium crowd can be moved to recognize an effort above and beyond ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:12 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: mike ford, position players pitching, yankees

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Old School Approach Failed José Ramírez

Ramírez altered his approach to try and beat the shift, an approach some broadcasters implore players to take, and it failed miserably. Ramírez went away from his strength to try and pick up so-called easy hits and he lost his power and didn’t even get those easy hits. Hitting the ball is an extremely difficult task, and Ramírez had been very successful beating the shift by hitting the ball very hard, often over the fence without concerning himself with to the opposite field. Now that he’s embraced his old shift-beating ways, Ramírez is back to being one of the best hitters in the game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:31 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: shifts


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 15, 1919:

Three members of the board of directors of the American League, constituting a majority of the board, ordered Pitcher Carl Mays reinstated at a special meeting [in New York yesterday], thus nullifying the action of President Johnson in suspending him.

The directors, after reviewing the case, adopted resolutions declaring that the “alleged suspension was without authority and void and against the best interests of and detrimental to the welfare of baseball,” and forbade Johnson from taking similar action against any other player in the American League “without a hearing and an opportunity to be heard given to the player and club involved for any alleged offense.”

I think they might be a little bit ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2019 at 09:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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