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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Former Red Sox player, scout Sam Mele dies at 95

Former Red Sox player and longtime instructor and scout Sam Mele died last night at his home in Quincy. He was 95.

Born Sabath Anthony Mele, he signed as an amateur free agent with the Red Sox prior to the 1946 season. He went on to play 1,046 games over 10 seasons, including parts of five with the Sox (1947-49, 1954-55). He hit .278 for Boston over that span, including .302 as a rookie in 1947.

Mele went into coaching after his playing career and managed the Minnesota Twins for parts of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 10:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, red sox, sam mele, twins

Chris Sale throws behind Manny Machado in latest edition of Red Sox feud with Orioles

It did not end there, however, as Dylan Bundy drilled Mookie Betts in the hip Monday in the first game of a four-game series at Fenway Park. So naturally, with Chris Sale on the mound Tuesday, this pitch happened in the first inning.

The benches were warned after Sale’s inside pitch to Machado, though Machado and Orioles manager Buck Schowalter appeared to have some choice words for the umpires and the Red Sox dugout after the incident.

The inside pitch did not set Sale back at all, however. ...

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Re-grading MLB offseason moves

Three that earn D or F grades through the first month


Jose Bautista (one-year, $18.5 million deal with the Blue Jays)

The Blue Jays were hoping to collect a draft pick had Bautista signed elsewhere during the offseason. When that scenario failed to transpire, they took the plunge and bet that he would have a bounce-back year at age 36.

Not so far. Toronto is off to a 9-17 start, and Joey Bats has five extra-base hits in his first 94 at-bats. Maybe the Jays can trade him at the deadline, but ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 05:23 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, greg holland, jose bautista, wade davis

Could Ichiro Have Been a Power Hitter?

But it does remind us of another great response Ichiro provided — one that gave life to the idea that he would be a great Home Run Derby entrant. “If I’m allowed to hit .220, I could probably hit 40 [homers],” he told Bob Nightengale back in 2007. “But nobody wants that.”

Ben Lindbergh once looked at the hypothetical shift in Ichiro’s outcomes if the player had attempted to hit for power, but now that we have even better batted-ball data, we can maybe take a look and see if he ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 05:19 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki

A’s prospect Casey Thomas dies unexpectedly at age 24

Athletics minor leaguer Casey Thomas has died suddenly, the team announced Tuesday. He was 24.

Thomas was the son of A’s pro scout Tom Thomas.

“We were devastated to hear of this tragedy within the A’s family,” A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Tom and his family on their loss; Casey was a wonderful young man and teammate, and will be missed by all in the A’s organization.”

Thomas, who was with the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 05:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, obituaries


Mock Draft: Twins grab McKay, Greene to Reds

1. Twins
Callis: Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville. While Minnesota is considering as many as seven candidates, most teams at the top of the Draft believe McKay will be the pick. Whether it’s as a first baseman or a left-handed starter remains to be seen.
Mayo: McKay. It’s still unclear whether he’ll be drafted as a hitter or a pitcher, regardless of what team takes McKay, but it does seem almost certain he’ll go in the top few picks.
2. Reds
Callis: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (Sherman ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:54 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay, draft, hunter greene, jim callis, mock draft, reds, twins

The Yankees played before their smallest crowd in 13 years last night

Last night the Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays. Paid attendance: 25,566.

That’d be fine for some teams — nine teams are averaging less than that per game so far this year — but it was a dubious record for the Yankees. Indeed, it was their smallest home crowd since they moved into the new Yankee Stadium back in 2009 and their smallest crowd overall since 2004.

For the season, the Yankees are averaging 35,588, which is the sixth best in baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:48 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, yankees

The untold story of ‘It’s a Long Way to October,’ a groundbreaking, forgotten baseball documentary

Torre’s attention and instruction certainly proved helpful, even if Murphy felt a tinge of embarrassment when it played out publicly in the documentary.

“Not because of what he did or said — it’s just because it was on TV,” Murphy said with a chuckle. “It was cool and hard to watch at the same time.”

Sometimes, the audio setup provided accidental, but made-for-TV entertainment.

During a crucial game against the Dodgers, Torre went ballistic over an umpire’s decision to send ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:30 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dale murphy, documentary, joe torre

Bregman apologizes for Tweet about Rangers

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman apologized Monday night for sending out a tweet prior to the start the Lone Star Series that served as bulletin-board material in the Rangers clubhouse before Monday’s game, which the Astros won, 6-2.

The tweet said “opperation (sic) BTSOOTR”

“I made a rookie mistake,” said Bregman, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored. “I shouldn’t have tweeted that out. It was more of just trying to fire up our team. I shouldn’t have put it on social media at all. They have ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:17 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, astros, bulletin board, rangers, social media

MLB Welcomes Girls to Bat At First-Ever Girls’ Youth Tournament

Major League Baseball is teaming up with USA Baseball to hosting the first-ever Trailblazer Series, girls’ youth tournament, encouraging girls to pursue traditionally dominated male sports.

On April 15, the inaugural Trailblazer series became what is hopefully going to be the first of many girls’ baseball events.

“I didn’t know girls played baseball,” said Ja’nae Wray, a 12 year old from Douglasville, Ga., and one of the 100 girls to travel to Compton for the tournament, The Huffington Post ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball, youth baseball

Honoring a Fellow Fan, One Ballpark Bathroom at a Time

The New York Mets were leading the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, after two innings when Tom McDonald stood up from his upper-deck seat at Citi Field.

Nature was calling, and so was his obligation to his childhood friend and fellow Mets fan Roy Riegel, whose death nine years ago left Mr. McDonald, 56, vowing to honor their baseball bonds in an unconventional way: by disposing of Mr. Riegel’s ashes in ballparks across the country.

Even more unusual was his chosen method: flushing them down ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 08:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: ashes, stadium

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-2-2017

Harrisburg Telegraph, May 2, 1917:

President Ban Johnson, of the American League, announced here yesterday afternoon that in case the war continued until next spring there would be no attempt to open the 1918 pennant season.

Ban to newsman: Plan will stand if enlisted man’s span near the Gaugin clan doesn’t end.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 07:28 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Monday, May 01, 2017

Orioles’ Adam Jones berated by racist taunts at Fenway Park

Baltimore Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones was berated by racist taunts at Fenway Park while a bag of peanuts was thrown at him Monday night, calling it one of the worst cases of fan abuse he has heard in his career.

“A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me,’’ Jones said, “I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.’’

Jones, one of just 62 African-Americans on opening-day rosters this year, said he has been subjected to racist ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 11:33 PM | 134 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, orioles, racism, red sox

‘Pitch’ Officially Cancelled After One Season at Fox

Though “Pitch” was one of the most hotly anticipated new series of the 2016-2017, the cancellation is not a surprise. Despite the early buzz, the baseball drama never connected with viewers, averaging a 0.8 live-plus-same day Nielsen rating in the 18-49 demo and 3 million total viewers per episode. Following its first 10 episodes, Fox did not go forth with a back-order, signaling the imminent cancellation.

Premiering in September 2016, “Pitch” last aired in early December of last year. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 09:56 PM | 188 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in television, padres, women in baseball

Man Flushing Cremated Friend’s Ashes Down Various Ballpark Toilets

The New York Mets were leading the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, after two innings when Tom McDonald stood up from his upper-deck seat at Citi Field.

Nature was calling, and so was his obligation to his childhood friend and fellow Mets fan Roy Riegel, whose death nine years ago left Mr. McDonald, 56, vowing to honor their baseball bonds in an unconventional way: by disposing of Mr. Riegel’s ashes in ballparks across the country.

Even more unusual was his chosen method: flushing them down ...

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PreservedFish Posted: May 01, 2017 at 09:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: death, plumbing, roadtrips

The Worst Offensive Month in Royals Team History

By OPS compared to the average, the Royals just finished April at 68%. That’s their worst-ever mark by five percentage points, beating out August 2005. The Royals had never hit so poorly. Don’t get me wrong, the Royals had hit very poorly, but this was probably their worst calendar month. And this is not a ballclub with a short history. It took some effort to come out this bad.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was one of the worst months of all time. Shifting to the more familiar wRC+, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 06:30 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: poop, royals

Angels’ Tyler Skaggs to miss 10-12 weeks with oblique strain

Tyler Skaggs has a grade 2 right oblique strain, which will cause him to miss the next 10 to 12 weeks, the Angels announced on Monday.

The latest setback for a pitching staff beset by injuries came from Skaggs’ evaluation on Monday by Angels doctors and imaging. Skaggs received a platelet-rich plasma injection to help the healing, the Angels said.

Daniel Wright is expected to take Skaggs spot in the rotation, starting on Thursday in Seattle.

Skaggs had allowed just three runs in 19 innings ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 06:30 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, tyler skaggs




A.J. Preller discusses building Padres’ core | MLB.com

MLB.com: Daniels once referred to you as “a tremendous talent evaluator.” That’s not something you can learn in school. How did you develop your ability to evaluate baseball talent?

Preller: In general, any evaluator, it comes down to two things. There’s a certain level of feel that you have to have; a feel for people, a feel for ability. Then it comes down to work ethic. If you have guys that merge those two areas together in terms of a feel for looking at people, reading people and players ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2017 at 02:17 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. preller, general managers, padres

Before Baseball-Reference, Statheads Relied On The ‘Big Mac’

For diehard baseball fans, a world without Sean Forman’s Baseball-Reference.com is difficult to imagine. But the site is relatively new; it didn’t grace the Internet until 2000. Before that, for seamheads interested in baseball statistics there was only … print. Print? Yes, print. You remember print.

One of those print compendiums of baseball information was a 6.5-pound behemoth nicknamed “Big Mac,” and it changed how people think about the sport. A world without the Big Mac might ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reference, rob neyer

Dustin Pedroia: I don’t do anything different because of small hands

Have you always had small hands?

Pedroia: Yes, but I’ve always hand great hand-eye coordination. Even as a kid, I was always able to make solid contact. The strength in my hands started to come when I was in high school. But it wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I could really feel the strength in my hands. I was constantly doing hand-strengthening exercises and exercises for my forearms.

What player’s hand did you shake, and were stunned by the size of his hands?

Pedroia: The ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 01:17 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-1-2017

Pittsburgh Press, May 1, 1917:

Philadelphia expert claims that Connie Mack knows baseball backwards. Is that so?
Well, that’s the way the Athletics play it.

Where do you think the Reds will finish this year?
In July.

Zing!

Also on the same page of the same newspaper, the inmates at Eastern penitentiary have formed a baseball team and are looking to play home games only, Germany Schaefer says it’s not his fault the country named after him is at war with the United States, and Pittsburgh ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 12:30 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Noah Syndergaard has partial tear of right lat | MLB.com

I guess he really doesn’t know himself very well.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2017 at 11:54 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Fenway Park rejection shows why scoreboard proposals are a terrible idea | MLB | Sporting News

There was some serious drama going on in Fenway Park, and we’re not talking about the Cubs-Red Sox matchup.

Fans in attendance at Sunday night’s game were forced to witness the spectacle of what appeared to be a failed scoreboard proposal.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2017 at 11:17 AM | 175 comment(s)
  Beats: love lost, red sox

Jon Daniels on why Rangers demoted Jurickson Profar to Triple-A

In the space of a week, Jurickson Profar has gone from losing a role to losing a job.

Before the start of their 5-2 loss to Los Angeles Sunday, the Rangers claimed infielder Pete Kozma off waivers from the New York Yankees, then sent Profar to Triple-A Round Rock after the game. Kozma, 29, is a middle infielder and dyed-in-the wool bench guy. The Rangers still believe Profar’s ceiling is higher than that, so they are sending him to play every day.

“The way the rotation is in left field and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: jon daniels, jurickson profar, peter kozma, rangers

Aprils best Statcast Catch Probability catches | MLB.com

These catches are pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive plays, statcast

Friends swore he would be the next Derek Jeter, but Brandon Martin is now charged in three killings - LA Times

It wasn’t the money. Sad story.

“You can’t even fathom what that money does to an 18-year-old mind,” said Justin Hayes, a former clubhouse attendant for the Inland Empire 66ers who was one of Martin’s roommates and his closest friend.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: human interest story

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