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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Statis Pro Baseball: An Instruction Manual

Eleven is the age at which athletics begin to evolve from a communal gathering into a selective pursuit. At 11, Little League is nearing its end and giving way to real baseball, with 90 feet between the bases and 60 feet, six inches to home plate, and those of us who possess the desire but lack the physicality and coordination are shunted aside. And so we seek substitutes, a way to replicate the experience that is still somehow tethered to reality. In the modern age, of course, this is the ...

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‘Duk: Yes, someone just compared Bryce Harper to Jackie Robinson

Woo-hoo! Can’t wait for the Bryce Harper: Rookie on Trial comic book to come out!

Straight from the files of Terrible Perspective 101 comes this unbelievable gem: Two members of the Washington Nationals organization tell Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci that Bryce Harper is baseball’s most scrutinized prospect since ... Jackie Robinson.

Let’s go to the tape, shall we?:

  Nats director of player development Doug Harris: “This is really unfair and it’s totally different, but if I can make a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:06 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, history, minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

Gleeman: Astros fall down a lot in loss to Cardinals, blame U2 and Bono

Or…Bono anti-Bourgeois!

U2 had a concert at Busch Stadium on July 17 and in preparation for the event the Cardinals had to strip the field and then afterward bring in new grass from Colorado, with the recent high temperatures making the re-sodding effort very difficult.

Before last night’s game groundskeeper Bill Findley told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the new grass “wasn’t healthy enough to put a pattern on it” and then during the game the visiting Astros fell ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 07:48 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, media, music

ESPN: Szymborski: Cheap relief key for Bucs and Tribe (INSIDER)

While they're not among the best teams in baseball, you'll be hard-pressed to find fans of the Cleveland Indians or Pittsburgh Pirates who are disappointed with how the season has gone so far. Neither club was expected to be serious contenders yet now find themselves in striking distance of a trip to the playoffs. Other than being rebuilding franchises, one thing both have in common is that they have put together inexpensive, overachieving bullpens that have done a lot of fuel their teams' ...
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Dan Szymborski Posted: July 26, 2011 at 06:19 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, pirates

Remarks by the President in Welcoming the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants

And then there’s the guy with the beard.  Where’s he?  (Laughter.)  I do fear it.  (Laughter.)  Have you guys seen the SportsCenter ad where it’s—ESPN—where it starts doing a dance?  (Laughter.)

Now, underneath Brian’s beard, and the spandex tuxedo—(laughter)—and the sea captain costume, and the cleats with his face on them—is also one of the most dominant closers in baseball.  (Applause.)  And I do think, Brian, you should know that Michelle was very relieved that the press was going to ...

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Guapo Posted: July 26, 2011 at 02:10 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

CSTB: Consider If You Will, What “A Movie About The YES Network” Might Possibly Entail

I’d tilt heavily toward Tom Woodruff Jr. myself…

image

image

Wait, those are my choices?  Is this the moment where for the first time in human history, we actually wish to see Frank Caliendo doing something besides running from an angry mob?

Smug, bloated, ferociously unfunny.  But enough about Vince Vaughn…

Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, television, yankees

Cuddyer pitches: First time for Twins position player in 21 years

“Cuddyer Mak’er is All In!” I’ll say!

“It was probably the worst I’ve had here as a manager as far as runs scored against us,” said Ron Gardenhire, the Twins manager since 2002.

Kinsler had four of the Rangers’ league-best 27 hits as Texas became the first team to score 20 runs since Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh 20-0 on April 22 last season. The Rangers had 18 runs by the fifth inning as they scored three runs in each of the first three innings. Texas added five in the fourth and four in the ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, history, rangers, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-26-2011

AP, July 26, 1936:

In a riotous doubleheader that saw Umpire Bill Summers felled and injured by one of more than a hundred missiles hurled upon the field by enraged fans, the New York Yankees overpowered the Chicago White Sox twice today.

..

A pop bottle hurled by an unidentified fan in the upper grandstand back of third base, where Summers was stationed, hit him in the groin and he collapsed.

That could have been one of the great viral videos of all time.  Only thing that could have made it ...

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Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Dave Parker still believes he should be in Hall of Fame

Yeah…and I still believe I should be reviewing sizzlin’ punk 45’s for the New York Rocker’s Disques Du’ Mondo column.

“I figure I was the most dominant player through my era,” he said. “I’m not in the Hall of Fame, but all the Hall of Famers know what I brought to the table. My numbers are as good as most Hall of Famers who went in over the last five or six years. I just hope I get in while I’m vertical.”

...The knock on Parker most likely dates to his part in a drug scandal. He ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 11:22 AM | 196 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, pirates, reds

OTM: Botched: Red Sox Fail Spectacularly, Fall To Royals In Fourteen

The first eight innings of the game were bad enough, but what transpired was truly the stuff of legends. Pathetic, pathetic legends.

Let’s review RISP we had that could have won the game at any time:
9th inning: Navarro on third, 1 out
11th inning: Gonzalez on second, 2 out
12th inning: Reddick on third, 1 out
13th inning: Ellsbury on third, 1 out
14th inning: Reddick on second, 1 out

And I will tell you what you must already know when I say not a one of those batters scored.

...But really, ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, red sox, royals

Stats Geek: How does Karstens do it?

And O’Neill…hiding within the Post-Gazette without me finding him.

Jeff Karstens shouldn’t be this good. All the cool stats say so.

Look beyond Karstens’ 8-5 record and 2.28 ERA, second-lowest among National League starters. Take his strand rate, for instance.

That’s the percentage of guys Karstens leaves on base. It’s 86.6 percent. That’s just ridiculous. It’s the lowest among all of baseball’s starting pitchers. The only one close is former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong, now making the greatest ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 10:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, projections, sabermetrics

Hall of Fame sticking with five-year waiting period for potential inductees

HEADLESS BODY IN POST SPORTS SECTIONED!

Contrary to a report in Monday’s New York Post, the National Baseball Hall of Fame is not considering dropping the waiting period for players to be eligible for induction from five to three years.

Post columnist Kevin Kernan didn’t quote anyone from Hall but wrote: “One reason Hall officials would want to shorten the waiting period is to make it a more ‘immediate’ event. There is a lot to be said for that because, why should sure-fire, first-ballot Hall ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:47 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media

Stone: Is this the most embarrassing point ever for Mariner franchise?

Why…is today’s game rained out?

To answer my original question, I’d say that this is indeed the low point for the franchise in my memory. Perhaps you can point to off the field moments involving their long, painful quest for a new stadium, when it looked for sure like they were headed out of Seattle. But as far as the product on the field, I can’t think of anything to match this. There have been painful losses in the past, to be sure, but those were in the context of successful seasons that ...

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Repoz Posted: July 26, 2011 at 09:38 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mariners

Mariners lose 16th in a row with little suspense

What are you talking about? There was a lot of suspense! Do the Mariners lose by 5 runs? 6?

Seattle loses 10-3 and drops No. 16 in a row. That ties the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers for the eighth longest streak in baseball history (seventh-longest if you go 1900 and later) and leaves them one away from the 1962 New York Mets at 17 in a row.

The George Sherrill Selection Posted: July 26, 2011 at 04:21 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Monday, July 25, 2011

Megdal: Play Bay Everyday, Though Play in Disarray, Due to Pay, Resume

Deal. May I.

Increasingly, it has become fashionable to ask the question, in columns and on Twitter, “How long can the Mets go on playing Jason Bay on a regular basis?”

The answer, of course, is: for the rest of the 2011 season, at least.

As usual, the question is usually framed in a binary fashion: Bay, or no Bay? From that perspective, the answer seems easy. Bay has been just awful this year, with a .632 OPS in 307 plate appearances. That would be terrible at any position, but ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:14 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, sabermetrics

Ryan: Finding a colorful solution for the Hall of Fame

I liked it better when Bob Ryan just used to see pink elephants…

Hear me out. I am proposing that those voted into the Hall of Fame be divided into three categories, as follows:

1. Red plaques Precede: There was a period of time, from roughly 1990 through the early 21st century, when performance-enhancing drugs invaded baseball. The following players are either admitted users, accused users, or, in the face of overwhelming circumstantial evidence, so strongly suspected of being users that ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:47 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Singer: Brian Wilson excels in situations with smallest margins for error

The Jerome Holtzman effect is a fictional non-scientific phenomenon in the baseball universe!

Nevertheless, not all saves are created equal. In an attempt to distinguish quality from quantity, a sliding points scale was used for rating closers: 5-3-1 for one-, two- and three-run saves.

...Of course, calling any save “easy” is like calling any doughnut low in calories; it just isn’t. Yet saves’ varying degrees of difficulty correspondingly differ in how they impact the closer and his team.

A ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:23 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history, projections, sabermetrics

Granillo: The Joy of Catching a Foul Ball

My Fritz Peterson foul ball from 1966…(had to beat 5,896 others in attendance that day to the ball!)

image

But the best group is, far-and-away, the children. When a little kid catches a ball (or is the first to pick it up), that pride and excitement that you see on their faces is fantastic. They’re excited when a parent or adult gives them a ball that they caught, but catching the ball themselves is the best. The Giants and Diamondbacks had two interesting moments this week, when young fans were ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:26 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia

Champions Japan threaten WBC boycott over revenue

“We are not saying we don’t want to take part,” union president Takahiro Arai said. “But we will not be able compete under the current conditions, which are unfair.”

Japan won the first two editions of the WBC in 2006 and 2009. However, the Japanese players received only 13 percent of total revenue from the last tournament, compared to the 66 percent the MLB and its players took.


If memory serves, they did something similar back before the ‘09 Classic. Highly doubt they will actually pull ...

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Gamingboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:15 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan

Image of the Day: Cal Ripken League Stadium FROM SPACE

Here’s a space view of the stadium where the Cal Ripken World Series. As you can see, it’s based heavily on Camden Yards. Zoom around a bit and you’ll find other ballfields that are scaled-down versions of Fenway, Yankee and Wrigley. The stadium where the Aberdeen Ironbirds play is to the south.


View Larger Map

Gamingboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics

Kernan: Baseball Hall of Fame may lower induction wait to 3 years

“The Post has learned” (trembles)

Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera could become Hall of Famers much faster than expected after they retire. The waiting time is currently five years after a player retires to be named to the ballot. The National Baseball Hall of Fame, though, is considering making the waiting period only three years, The Post has learned.

That would be a great move.

...One reason Hall officials would want to shorten the waiting period is to make it a more “immediate” event. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 06:59 PM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: announcements, hall of fame, history

Gammons: Gillick, Alomar belong in Hall together

Really more of just a Gillick column, but whatever.

It’s Trade Deadline week, so it’s appropriate to go back to the ‘93 deadline. Gillick had two deals going, one with Oakland for Rickey Henderson (Steve Karsay and a player to be named later), one with Seattle for Randy Johnson (Karsay and Mike Timlin).

He wanted the Johnson deal, but Pat couldn’t find Woody Woodward, who was playing golf. Sandy Alderson called and took the Henderson deal.

Problem was, Rickey being Rickey, he wanted money to ...

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Guapo Posted: July 25, 2011 at 06:42 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, astros, athletics, blue jays, cubs, hall of fame, history, mariners, orioles, padres, phillies, yankees

Dave Cameron: When Statistics Are Not Helpful

Here on USSM, we talk a lot about probability and likely outcomes. When making a decision, we think it’s generally wise to understand historical precedent, and to learn from history rather than repeat it.

But, there are times in life that you’re not making a decision, and knowledge of the probability of outcomes just doesn’t help at all. You are just rooting for one specific result, even if you don’t have any control over whether it occurs or not.

I’m now in one of those situations. ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 12:56 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: site news, special topics

Don Malcolm: WHEN SWOBODA WAS A STAR…

Or as the non-Fillpot faced Quaid brother said in Frequency...“Man, I’ll love Ron Swoboda till the day I die.”

You will read that headline, and think that we have ingested some mind-altering (make that mind-destroying) substance.

Ron Swoboda. A star? Clearly some kind of in-poor-taste joke served up by someone named Shirley. Ron Swoboda? The guy nicknamed “Rocky” (and this was well before Sly Stallone gave that name some cachet—“Rocky” was a nickname for the state of Ron’s career). He was up ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, sabermetrics

Bethel: Concepcion being overlooked by Hall of Fame

FIRE B.J. BETHEL
Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

Concepcion isn’t — and for reasons that remain rather dubious. ESPN motor mouth Skip Bayless has this saying of “this isn’t the Hall of Very Good,” but Concepcion was beyond good. He was a star at his position. He was one of the two best during his prime, something which would normally guarantee admission.

He’s hurt considerably from the large shadow cast by his Big Red Machine teammates and one Ozzie Smith, who was always ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 12:16 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, reds, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2011

Nashua Telegraph, July 25, 1911:

The control of the Boston National baseball club passed into the hands of President William Hepburn Russell Monday.  The announcement that neither “Ned” Hanlon of Baltimore, Md., nor anyone else, can buy the club, followed the transfer of stock.

...

Baltimore will not obtain a franchise in the league without precipitating a baseball war between the leagues, according to Edward Barrow, president of the Eastern league, who issued a statement criticizing certain ...

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Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thoma: Baseball Hall of Fame approaches a crossroads

Make Ed Thoma a BBWAA Chapter Chairperson!...Or at least let him walk Yogi around on stage or something!

But here’s the thing: Nobody’s numbers should be taken at face value. All baseball stats are creatures of context.

The National League — the entire league, pitchers included — hit .303 in 1930. In the American League in 1968, no regular player hit better than .301. An outfielder in the 1930 NL who hit .290 wasn’t helping; an outfielder in the 1968 AL who hit .290 was a star.

...
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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, rumors, sabermetrics, steroids

FanGraphs: Slowinski: Ryan Howard and the RBI

While the barriers between traditional and advanced baseball analysis are falling every day — hearing David Cone cite FanGraphs during a Yankees-Rays broadcast this week was awesome — there are still certain players who are a wedge between non-saberists and saberists. It’s always the same pattern: one side thinks Player X is awesome, the other doesn’t. Flame wars ensue. Each side cites statistics to back up their position, then declares that the other side’s statistics are worthless. ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: history, phillies, projections, sabermetrics

Hofmann: Hall of Fame induction speech was 100% Bill Conlin

Oh, I like you too, and to tell you the truth
That was my bill1chair after all…

My endangered industry faces far more complex problems. Unlike major league baseball, newspapers are not awash in money. We’ve been shot at and hit. The way we did things for centuries literally vanished in a few mouse clicks.

We came late to the party, trying to keep pace with a technology so powerful a government can be toppled by a thousand protesters with smart phones, Facebook accounts and a common cause. ...

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Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, site news, special topics

Mike Trout’s first big league homer helps Angels pull away from Orioles

BALTIMORE—Even if 19-year-old Mike Trout hits hundreds of home runs during his big league career, he will never forget the first.

Everything went right for Trout on Sunday, whose three-run drive in the eighth inning helped secure a 9-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

With family and friends in attendance, Trout hit a 3-1 pitch from Mark Worrell into the left field seats to turn a 3-2 lead into a four-run cushion. He got the silent treatment upon returning to the dugout before being mobbed ...

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