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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Posnanski: The Uggla Duckling

or…Why Hitting Streaks Continue To Matter (Sort Of).

Many people have asked: What’s statistically less likely — DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or Ted Williams’ 84-game on-base streak?

Williams reached base 84 straight games in 1949. He also reached base every game from July 20, 1941 to the end of the season. That guy was pretty good at getting on base.

So to figure the 84-game on-base streak … one more time, we need to figure out the odds of Williams reaching base in a game. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 14, 2011 at 04:17 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, red sox, sabermetrics, yankees

Murray Chass on Baseball: NEO-NUMBERS MAY HAVE TO BE OLD NUMBERS

image

Maybe much could change in the last six weeks of the season to change this outlook, but from the looks of things now, the neo-number guys are going to have a tough time pulling an American League Cy Young award winner out of their computerized hat.

Last year they came up with Felix Hernandez, whose 13-12 record belied everything the award had ever meant. The neo-number guys told us that wins don’t mean anything, that it’s the last thing on which to judge a pitcher. Forget Tom Seaver, ...

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Repoz Posted: August 14, 2011 at 03:40 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, projections, sabermetrics

Cohn: Pirates manager Hurdle is guided by history

But before trying to reinvent the Pirates, Hurdle had to reinvent himself.

“I’ve gone through an obstacle course and come out the other side bigger, stronger and better,” he said. “I’ve learned and lived, on and off the field.

“Usually behind leadership you hope to have good judgment,” Hurdle said, sitting at his desk inside PNC Park. “And good judgment’s needed in times of adversity. How do you get good judgment? Through experience. And how do you get the experience? Through bad judgment.” ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: August 14, 2011 at 03:11 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pirates

Guzzardi: Paul Fagan: The Owner Who Banned Peanuts From the Ball Park

During the 1950s, San Francisco Seals were the most fortunate players in baseball. Paul Fagan, their generous owner, spared no expense to make his squad comfortable….

One of the most innovative minds in baseball, Fagan introduced concession stands, upgraded the Seals Stadium ladies room with a million dollar investment and built a spring training facility on Maui. Fagan, whose personal fortune came from his family’s banking businesses and Hawaii real estate made sure his players always ...

Read More...
Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:15 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Topps Sues Leaf Over Mickey Mantle Card

Yeah, like the unnerving 1960 Leaf Mass Card Set has no history of its own!

image

The Topps Company has filed a lawsuit in NY against Leaf Trading Cards—claiming Leaf is using ICONIC Topps baseball cards—including the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card—to promote a new Leaf product.

It’s sorta weird—Leaf has a new line of cards called “2011 Best of Baseball” ... and in every pack, collectors will get 1 new, original Leaf card and 1 bonus card which, depending on your luck, could be a pre-1970 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 14, 2011 at 01:49 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia

MLB.com: Reds blast seven homers in fourth straight win

Bruce hit another homer. The two-run shot was his 25th of the season and second in as many nights. But the barrage didn’t end there. The Reds hit a season-high seven homers in an 13-1 victory, their fourth straight. It’s the first time the Reds have won that many in a row since they had a five-game winning streak from May 13 to May 17.

Five of the homers came early and often against Padres starter Tim Stauffer, who left with the loss after three innings, having allowed nine runs on seven hits. ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 14, 2011 at 03:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, padres, reds

Sun-Sentinel: Marlins option Morrison, release Helms after loss to Giants

I think the Brewers should pick up Helms for another go-around, just for Harveys’ sake…

The clubhouse door stayed shut for several minutes after the Marlins’ 3-0 loss to the Giants on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. The aftermath? Veteran Wes Helms was released and left fielder Logan Morrison was shipped to Triple-A New Orleans.

Helms, 35, was batting .191. Morrison 23, was hitting .249 with 17 homers and 60 RBI, the third most among the regulars.
...
Vazquez (7-10), the Marlins’ most ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:57 AM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: miami

Yahoo: Mariners place 1B Justin Smoak on disabled list

Wily Mo playing OF in Safeco probably would be quite comical, although unlikely to occur.

Justin Smoak was placed on the disabled list by the Seattle Mariners on Saturday for a non-displaced fracture of his nose.

Taking his place on the roster is much-traveled OF/DH Wily Mo Pena. He was selected from Triple-A Tacoma and was in uniform for Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, one of four teams Pena has played for in his career.

Smoak was hit in the face by a bad-hop grounder in the ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 14, 2011 at 02:05 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Chicago Tribune: Cubs banish Carlos Zambrano to disqualified list

In related news, the dugout Gatorade dispenser has just been taken off the 90-day DL.

“This was the most stringent penalty that our club could inflict without a release,” general manager Jim Hendry said. “There’s not much worse than running out on your teammates in the middle of a ballgame, unpacking your locker, announcing your retirement. I think that is a tremendous problem with the other 24 guys, and something we as an organization could not tolerate.” [...]

In a virtual reenactment of the ...

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Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 14, 2011 at 01:52 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, obituaries

NY Times: Posada’s Power Display and Hughes’s Solid Start Boost Yankees

For five games, Posada sat patiently and waited and his opportunity finally came Saturday when Girardi put him back into the lineup as the D.H., batting eighth. The results were nothing less than remarkable.

With the fans giving him a rousing ovation as he went to the plate for the first time in the second inning, Posada rewarded their faith with a two-run single.

But that was merely the appetizer for what would follow three innings later. In one of the memorable moments of the season — at ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 14, 2011 at 12:13 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, yankees

Saturday, August 13, 2011

MLB.com: Giants place [Andres] Torres on DL, recall Belt

The Giants placed outfielder Andres Torres on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a contusion in his lower right leg. Brandon Belt was recalled from Triple-A Fresno to take Torres’ spot on the roster.
...
The 23-year-old Belt was hitting .309 with eight homers and 32 RBIs in 49 games with the Grizzlies. The Giants’ top prospect has spent time at first base and the two corner outfield positions.

This marks the fourth time Belt, who was the Giants’ Opening Day first baseman, has been with San ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Yahoo: [Marco] Estrada, 4 relievers pitch Brewers past Bucs, 1-0

Johnny WholeStaff pitches the three-hit shutout, helped by some horrible ABs in the ninth by Andrew McCutchen and Matt Diaz.

Marco Estrada pitched five innings in a spot start, combining with four relievers on a three-hitter, and Yuniesky Betancourt homered to carry the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers to a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, who earned his 34th save by working around a lead off triple in ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:28 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, game recaps, pirates

Livingston: To his credit, Jim Thome approaches 600 home runs the old-fashioned way

So Thome stood both on the brink of history and of suspicion. The former he earned, the latter he did not.

As in track and field with doping, so with baseball: Awe yields to doubt. Genuine accomplishments are more tainted than they would have been had a ball-and-chain of asterisks clattered after them. It is hard to prove a negative, that Thome did not take steroids. That is particularly true because his body thickened during his first years with the Tribe.

The rebuttal is to look at a photo ...

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Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:22 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, indians, sabermetrics, steroids, twins

MLBTR: Cubs To Retain GM Jim Hendry

The Cubs will hold onto general manager Jim Hendry, barring a change of thinking among the the team’s owners, the Ricketts family, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).

Smoke the Objective pipe for Jim Hendry.

Tripon Posted: August 13, 2011 at 10:58 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Baxter: Ranking baseball’s best and worst fans

Standing ‘O’

Team (average home attendance); comment

1. Boston (37,666) Red Sox Nation not only fills Fenway, where there have been 690 consecutive sellouts, but the team’s fans travel, too.

2. St. Louis (38,023) Downtown is a sea of Cardinals red on game days. The fans understand and respect the game, politely cheering good plays by the opposition.

3. New York Yankees (44,739) Old Yankee Stadium drew more than 4 million fans in each of its last four years. The crowds are large, loud and ...

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JE (Jason) Posted: August 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Yahoo: Diamondbacks sign Overbay, put Nady on 15-day DL

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed free agent infielder Lyle Overbay and placed infielder Xavier Nady on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left hand.

Arizona designated pitcher Juan Jaime for assignment.

Nady was injured Friday night when he was hit by a second-inning pitch from the New York Mets’ Dillon Gee.

The 34-year-old Overbay was released Tuesday by Pittsburgh after hitting .227 with eight homers and 37 RBIs in 103 games. Overbay was drafted by Arizona in 1999 and played ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 13, 2011 at 09:42 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, pirates

Brochu: We may dream, but time has passed the Expos by

Where even the Montreal Brochure gets cut short…

MLB would have difficulty justifying the location of a franchise in a city that would require revenue sharing subsidies from the beginning. A new franchise would need to be a contributor to revenue-sharing, not a recipient. Given our levels of disposable income and wealth in Montreal, and the knowledge that the Toronto Blue Jays receive significant revenue-sharing support, the bar would be set very high for potential Montreal investors looking ...

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Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 01:13 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: business, expos, history, media

BtB: World Series Win Probability Added Leaders

Knowing that everyone would dig some Jeter-free WS WPA while Tim McCarver…

image

Look at all the Yankees! Yes, there are quite a few Yankees. This does have to do with the Yankees being in a lot of World Series. But some of the all time lowest scores are also Yankees. The Yankees have been given more opportunities to succeed, which would bump their WPA up. They also have many opportunities to fail, which would drag it down. There are also opportunities to do both, which would keep it around zero. ...

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Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Hardball Talk: MiLB.com launches free “Triple-A” app

Using an interface modeled after the MLB At Bat 2011 app, minorleaguebaseball.com is now offering the free Milb.com Triple-A app, providing scoreboard and pitch-tracker information for every Triple-A game over the rest of the season.

The app also features a customizable home screen that can be set up with one’s favorite affiliate, archived box scores from the 2011 season, roster information and schedules.
.

Tripon Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:37 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, minor leagues

Kevin Millar: ‘Kevin Youkilis is an MVP candidate’

“violent in the show ~ violent in the show”

image

However, it was Kevin Youkilis who Millar called an “MVP candidate.”

“What I’m saying now is I wasn’t into the guy taking 2-0 and 3-1,” Millar said of his initial impression of Youkilis’ overly-patient batting style. “You work to get those counts in the show. Those are your moneymaker counts in the show, 2-0 and 3-1. By god, and you’re taking those counts.

“And Youk, the first time we saw him, you know, we heard about “The ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, awards, history, media, red sox, television

Angry Aramis Ramirez fires back at Todd Hollandsworth

Aramissile lands!

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez took exception to former teammate Todd Hollandsworth calling him out publicly Friday for lack of ­effort and for failing to be a positive influence on younger players, and he took his own shot in response.

...Ramirez, who has done some behind-the-scenes work with Castro in particular, was not happy.

‘‘One thing I got to say is I’ve never seen him in the clubhouse, so I don’t know how he comes up with that,’’ Ramirez said. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, cubs, media

Joe Sports Fan: Finally, video of the infamous Mike Laga foul ball…

We’ve been over this before: Mike Laga is a legend.

In addition to having one of the most prolific baseball cards in Cardinals history, he hit a ball out of Busch Stadium.  Out of Busch Stadium.  Now, a few weeks ago, we postulated that this notorious event never happened; since footage seemed nonexistent and details of the feat are always presented as folklore.

Today, we eliminate that doubt.  While the Cardinals may have trashed their archives, the Mets (the opposition that night), ...

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DCW3 Posted: August 13, 2011 at 04:18 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Cashman on A.J. Burnett: ‘Smoke the objective pipe’

And he’ll still deserve an early hookah!

In the eyes of many, Burnett (8-9, 4.60 ERA) hasn’t pitched well enough to keep his spot in the rotation. But Cashman sees things a bit differently. He thinks everything has been overblown.

“I encourage everybody to just break it down,” Cashman said. “Break it down. Compare him to other people. Look at his start-by-start. Look at his run support. If you smoke the objective pipe, I think the coverage on him would be a little smoother, more accurate.”

...
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Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:54 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Chicago Tribune: Big Z ejected in 10-4 loss, cleans out locker

Carlos Zambrano had a rough night, serving up five home runs and trailing 8-1 in the fifth before being ejected by plate umpire Tim Timmons for allegedly throwing at Chipper Jones. The Cubs lost 10-4.

After the game, Zambrano’s locker was already cleaned out and the pitcher told a team trainer that he had retired.

Cubs manager Mike Quade says Zambrano “walked out” on the team. Quade said he is “really disappointed” in Zambrano and said “he’s talking about retiring.” Said Quade: “I can’t have ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:26 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, game recaps, rays, yankees

ATL Journal-Constitution blog: Legendary Braves broadcaster [Ernie] Johnson dies

A day meant to celebrate Bobby Cox’s induction into the Braves Hall of Fame, turned bittersweet on Friday evening when word came that legendary Braves broadcaster and fellow Braves Hall of Famer Ernie Johnson Sr. died. He was 87.

His son Ernie Johnson Jr, also a sports broadcaster for Turner Sports, confirmed the news to Braves broadcasters Joe Simpson and Chip Caray, who began spreading the word during Friday’s broadcast of the Braves-Cubs games.

The gentle-voiced and kind-hearted ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 13, 2011 at 02:08 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, obituaries

Dodgers challenge lawsuit filed by family of beaten fan

The team also challenged the relevance of “all allegations relating to gang activity at Dodger Stadium and purportedly rough neighborhoods surrounding the stadium.” The Stows, in their lawsuit, claim that security officers and stadium managers knew about the threat and neglected to take steps to protect innocent people like Stow, including not hiring a security chief for six weeks before Opening Day.

Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 13, 2011 at 12:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, August 12, 2011

Posnanski: Why Hitting Streaks Matter (Sort Of)

Yeah, just to give Waldling another chance to say…“Who’s Heinie Manush?”

Which brings us to: Hit streaks. Obviously hit streaks are on the mind these days because Dan Uggla is doing something so utterly unlikely that we can’t help but be drawn to it (or repelled by it, I suppose). Uggla was well on his way to the lowest batting average in the history of the National League when he began this hitting streak. And the streak is at 31 games now, more than halfway to the magic number, 25 games ...

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Repoz Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: history, miami, projections, sabermetrics

Yahoo: Phillies sign Cust to minor-league deal

The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a minor-league deal with Jack Cust.

Cust, a left-handed hitting outfielder, was released by Seattle earlier this month after hitting .213 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 225 at-bats. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
...
Cust is a career .242 hitter with 105 homers and 323 RBIs in 10 seasons with six teams.

NTNgod Posted: August 12, 2011 at 10:43 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mariners, phillies

Hollandsworth rips Ramirez for lack of effort

I believe it was French tragedian turned Chicago tragedian, Juan Pierre Corneille, that said…“The greater the baseball effort, the greater the baseball glory.”

Todd Hollandsworth, who played in two seasons (2004-05) with the Cubs as part of a 12-year major-league career, serves as a Cubs studio analyst for Comcast SportsNet. Despite Ramirez’s improving statistics (.287 average, 21 homers, 71 RBIs), Hollandsworth took the veteran third baseman to task Friday for failing to be a positive ...

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Repoz Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:11 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, cubs, fantasy baseball, history, media

CStB: Cosloy: Mushnick Accuses ESPN, MLB Of Exploiting 9/11 (Less Successfully Than The NFL)

Conflict records!

For the New York Post’s sports media critic Phil Mushnick, few social issues have raised his ire over the years nearly as much as sporting events being played in prime time, particularly those that might actually end after 10pm eastern time.  With only the deepest concern for the ticket holders and viewers in their 80?s teens, Mushnick once again attempts to flog this particular dead horse, except this time he can do so against the backdrop of the 10th anniversary of ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 12, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, history, media, mets, television

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