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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Tales from QuesTec School…
After the game in Tampa I asked Mussina why he’d gotten so angry. He patiently explained that when an umpire consistently misses pitches, especially when you’re older, you become convinced those extra pitches you have to throw will come back and get you sooner or later.
“A lot of guys think C.B. Bucknor should be a Double-A umpire,” I said.
“That,” Mussina said, “would be an insult to Double-A umpires.”
Mussina is now retired; Bucknor is still in ...
Posted: August 21, 2011 at 01:09 PM | 30 comment(s)
Whistling Bill Smith past the graveyard…
Players and managers have bad years. So do front offices. The Twins’ front office is having a terrible year. Not only have there been a series of questionable personnel moves, but Smith also probably has botched any chance of re-signing potential free agents Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel.
He has handled their situations abysmally. Remember that glut of outfielders everyone was talking about? Well, it looks like the Twins will be down to Ben Revere ...
Cowie-Zowie! I wonder if Colletti and Mattingly ever thought about flip-flopping their jobs?!
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti endorsed OPS as a worthy tool for gauging offense because it takes into consideration power as well as the ability to reach base.
Don Mattingly, the Dodgers’ manager and a former American League batting champion, said he preferred runs scored.
“Think about it,” Mattingly said. “You have to be on base to do it; you have to be getting yourself in position [to ...
All sabermetrics people unite!
He went on to praise the team’s owner, Arte Moreno - “definitely the best owner in baseball who runs what was voted in an ESPN poll as baseball’s top organization” - and went on to reflect on his lengthy career that in recent times has caught the attention of those who passionately embrace sabermetrics. This is a term derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research and was coined by Bill James, one of the pioneers of ...
“The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.”
Postseason awards have no relevance inside a pennant race. The conversation makes Kirk Gibson cringe.
“Do I care if Justin Upton gets his MVP right now? Hell, no,” Gibson said. “Do I care if Ian Kennedy gets his recognition? Hell, no. All I care is if we come out every day and go after our goal, which is a team thing. It’s really dangerous when you start to look for credit.”
...“Part of this whole ...
Posted: August 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM | 17 comment(s)
The Pirates finished Saturday in fourth place, 14 1/2 games behind the Brewers, while the third-place Reds ended the day 13 1/2 games back. Still, 37,826 fans bought tickets, cheered when Andrew McCutchen scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and booed when they thought a runner was safe or a called strike three was a bit inside.
The Pirates are two sellouts away from matching PNC Park’s record of 19, which occurred in 2001, when the park opened. They’re now just 19,282 fans away from ...
Posted: August 21, 2011 at 03:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
In his worst outing of the season, and perhaps his worst as a Yankee, Burnett surrendered seven runs on a combination of five hits, three walks and two wild pitches as the Minnesota Twins pounded the Yankees, 9-4, at Target Field.
...That brought Girardi from the dugout, and when he took the ball, television cameras caught Burnett expressing anger — anger he later attributed to his being upset with a pitch call by an umpire and was not directing his anger at Girardi.
Girardi appeared to ...
Posted: August 21, 2011 at 03:17 AM | 12 comment(s)
What each team spent on draft bonuses in 2011. The figures below don’t include additional guarantees included in major league contracts.
Team 2011 Bonuses
White Sox $2,786,300
Average ...Read More...
After being called up from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day and returning from exile, Brandon Inge said he was going to make sure that the Tigers had more fun.
Inge and the Tigers had plenty of fun on Saturday, as they defeated the Indians, 10-1, and extended their lead in the American League Central to 3 1/2 games with help from Inge, who went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
Inge led off the second inning with a 380-foot blast to left field on the third pitch he saw, drawing an ...
Posted: August 21, 2011 at 03:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
Jose Altuve hit an inside-the-park drive for his first major league home run, a leadoff shot that sent the Houston Astros over the San Francisco Giants 7-5 Saturday night.
Altuve had three hits and fellow rookie J.D. Martinez homered, doubled and drove in four runs as the Astros matched a season high with their fourth straight win.
Aubrey Huff homered and Cody Ross and Pablo Sandoval each drove in two runs for the Giants, who have lost three in a row and 16 of 22.
Altuve opened the bottom ...
Posted: August 21, 2011 at 03:04 AM | 20 comment(s)
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wow! I haven’t seen a Crane exposed like this…since “Take Off Your Clothes and Smile” was first scripted!
Mike Quade is not going to be the manager on the North Side next season, so why drag on the inevitable? Then there’s the 190-pound clown in the room that is team president Crane Kenney. To hear Ricketts talk about Kenney doing a “good job’’ running the business end of things for the organization was one of those throw-up-in-your-mouth moments. Kenney a liability, too
The business ...
Posted: August 20, 2011 at 11:02 PM | 2 comment(s)
Chipper Jones said he will return to play for the Braves in 2012, ending speculation that the 39-year-old third baseman might retire after this season and walk away with a year left on his contract.
Unlike petitioning for Jason Heyward to play through injuries that obviously hurt him at the plate, Chipper made some comments about something he is qualified to make comments on. Chipper critiqued Heyward’s swing and spoke of ways he feels he can improve it at the plate.
Posted: August 20, 2011 at 03:26 PM | 9 comment(s)
The Beauty of Short Hops Heard Round the World.
As if Jews haven’t suffered enough, it turns out that Ralph Branca is a member of our tribe. The man who served up Bobby Thompson’s Shot Heard Round The World in 1951 recently learned that his mother was a closeted Jew. The full story, told in poignant detail in a recent New York Times article by Joshua Prager, suggests that Branca’s hidden religion may have had major ramifications for baseball.
Thompson’s home run completed the ...
Posted: August 20, 2011 at 01:52 PM | 197 comment(s)
I got as far as “ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, one of the more astute radio talk show hosts around.” when my head had a mega-splosion. Costco’s Kirkland Signature to the rescue!
Joe Sheehan maintains that using advanced statistics — FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and xFIP (advanced FIP) — indicates that “Burnett is the team’s third best starter behind Sabathia and [Bartolo] Colon.” This strikes me as intolerably fancy. “There’s an argument,” Sheehan writes, “to be made that Burnett isn’t ...
roen·i·ckes: Sound made while hocking every loogy.
No left-handers in the bullpen? No problem, says Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
He remains all right with the Brewers’ all-righty relief corps, and said there is a strong chance they will go without a lefty reliever until rosters expand Sept. 1.
“I like our bullpen the way it is,” he said. “I just can’t imagine our bullpen being any better than what it has been, so why have a left-hander in there? If it’s a lights-out lefty, that’s ...
Posted: August 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM | 35 comment(s)
Mischief. Mayhem. Dope.
Edward Norton is a fine actor who starred in such films as “Fight Club,” “Primal Fear” and “Rounders.” He is also a Columbia native and one of the most famous people to admit in public that he is still an Orioles fan.
Norton turned 42 today. What does he want for his birthday? For Cal Ripken to come save his Orioles.
“Thanks for all the nice messages. People have been asking what I want for my birthday. This:” Norton wrote on Twitter, linking to a site asking for ...
Posted: August 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM | 30 comment(s)
McClelland…and?...and?...and?...and?...and…just ####### say it!
Even so, I find this widespread attempted canonization of Thome somewhat laughable, as if there’s no way he could ever have been involved with performance-enhancing drugs.
Maybe he used HGH. There was no testing. Or maybe, unlike dopey Manny Ramirez, he was just smart enough not to get caught. And maybe, because he was such a “nice guy,” some who cover baseball for a living are giving him a free pass.
Because that’s the ...
Bryce Harper likely will not play again this season, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Friday.
Harper, the Nationals’ top prospect, was carried off the field on Thursday night in Akron after suffering a strained right hamstring while running from first to third base.
“He probably won’t play the rest of the year, as far as I know,” Johnson told MASN. “There’s only a few days left. You take a chance of aggravating it and it becomes more of a serious injury.”
Takes the pressure off the Nats ...Read More...
Friday, August 19, 2011
“I have a contract and a commitment to the Dodgers,” Colletti said. “Until somebody tells me otherwise, that is where my focus is and where my efforts will be.”
Colletti, who has been the Dodgers GM since November 2005, signed a long-term contract extension in October 2009. The actual length of that extension has never been made public, and while Colletti does have an escape clause, it doesn’t kick in until after next season.
However, with the Dodgers presently in bankruptcy and a question of ...
Posted: August 19, 2011 at 11:36 PM | 11 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata has signed a contract extension for six years, a source close to the negotiations told ESPNdeportes.com on Friday.
Tabata’s new deal with the Pirates is guaranteed through the 2016 season and includes a restructuring of his contract for 2011. The team has options for 2017, 2018 and 2019 for a total of $37.25 million.
His salary increases to $500,000 this season, along with a $1 million signing bonus in 2011. Tabata will make $750,000 in 2012, $1 ...
Posted: August 19, 2011 at 11:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
Ruth’s name appeared on 75.6 percent of the 55,834 fan ballots cast from Aug. 8-18. DiMaggio garnered 46 percent of the vote to finish second, Gehrig was third at 43.4 percent and Mantle fourth with 42.8 percent.
Robinson, the only non-Yankee inductee, got 41.2 percent of the vote to easily outdistance Lawrence Taylor, Willie Mays and Joe Namath for the fifth and final spot.
Looks like an Engelberg 930 Autopantsload special to me.
Fortunately for me I am not a baseball fan, or I would be digging deep in my pockets for Joe DiMaggio’s shotgun, which will be auctioned at James D. Julia’s in Maine this October. See, it’s a Winchester Model 21, which is the American double I yearn for – although I’m not sure why I want a 21 instead of a Fox or a Parker. I just do.
But there’s more: this isn’t just any Winchester Model 21 belonging to Joe DiMaggio. It’s ...
Posted: August 19, 2011 at 07:28 PM | 32 comment(s)
Mike Silva catches up with Kevin Mitchell…
Mitchell doesn’t express many regrets about what happened on the ball field. When I asked him one of his favorite memories it wasn’t the World Series, winning the MVP, or the barehanded catch; it was playing shortstop, a position he manned 24 times in his career. Looking back he does wish he went to college, and understands and accepts what happened throughout his career. He is involved with a charity called Athletes for Education, which assists ...
Posted: August 19, 2011 at 07:19 PM | 25 comment(s)
Not exactly baseball related but I’m guessing I’m not the only one who remembers him as a 12 year old baseball player.
While playing for Trumbull, Conn., Drury pitched a complete-game five-hitter and drove in two runs to lead his hometown team to the 1989 Little League World Series title. It seems only fitting that he announced the end of his athletic career while this year’s Little League World Series is being played in Williamsport, Pa.
All this and Snooki too! (so ‘H8R’ doesn’t stand for ‘He Ate Ruth’)
Barry Bonds will try to rehabilitate his tarnished image by confronting a fan who hates him on the upcoming reality show “H8R.”
On the show, the MLB home-run king will watch a tape of one of his biggest detractors chewing him out, and then confront his “H8R”—who won’t know the slugger has been watching him—face-to-face.
It’ll be up to Bonds to convince the guy that he isn’t so bad, after all.
...“H8R” host ...
The Chicago Cubs relieved Jim Hendry of his duties as vice president and general manager on Friday, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Hendry was hired in 1996 as director of player development. He was promoted to scouting director the next season. The 55-year-old Florida native was promoted to general manager in 2002 after serving as assistant to then-president Andy MacPhail.
Under Hendry, the Cubs hired two high-profile managers in Dusty Baker in the fall of 2002 and Lou ...
Posted: August 19, 2011 at 03:21 PM | 170 comment(s)
Dunno, but as soon as I finally find out who are the mystery girls...I’ll get on it!
*After Tuesday’s loss, La Russa spoke of the 30th home run and gave a sarcastic take to Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch: “He’s definitely had a (lousy) year. I wonder where all the experts are now?” And after Wednesday’s win, Pujols told Hummel: “Sometimes, it’s easier to write a story than it is to go out there and hit a baseball. Most (critics) probably never even played the game. They probably never threw ...
Another entertaining piece from Sam Miller
It is a legitimate possibility that the Rangers could lose either one of those guys at any moment, and while losing one player for six weeks isn’t usually enough to blow a six-game lead, Hamilton and Cruz are fairly irreplaceable and it would help. The Angels, meanwhile, have had quite a run of health this year, with, basically, only Kendrys Morales on the DL right now. But even if they did lose a player to an injury, you almost wouldn’t notice. ...
Posted: August 19, 2011 at 02:09 PM | 4 comment(s)
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