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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sam Miller: The beauty (in the eye of the beholder) of the Strikeout Era

Suspended in time and space of the noodle-hitting 60’s for a moment, your introduction to Mr. Sam Miller, who lives in a very private world of darkness, a baseball universe whose home plate dimensions are no longer the size, thickness, length of a swath of bandages that cover his face.

I would never presume that I could convince Rob Neyer that those things I find appealing should be appealing to him, too. Matters of taste are matters of taste. It won’t matter to him that I love to watch a ...

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Repoz Posted: August 19, 2014 at 01:13 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Malloy: Out at Home

1887 was a watershed year for both the International League and Organized Baseball, as it marked the origin of the color line. As the season opened, the black player had plenty of reasons to hope that he would be able to ply his trade in an atmosphere of relative tolerance; by the middle of the season, however, he would watch helplessly as the IL drew up a written color ban designed to deprive him of his livelihood; and by the time the league held its offseason meetings, it became obvious that ...

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BP (Levine): Will a pitcher ever be suspended for hitting a batter again?

Just saw a headline about Kirk Gibson being back, so we’ll probably find out!

In 2006, 12 players were suspended multiple games for beanballs alone… This year, beyond bat-tossin’ Manny Machado, the only players to get multiple games for anything were Martin Maldonado, Carlos Gomez, and Travis Snider for their roles in that dumb Pirates-Brewers fight. Nobody has been suspended for the hit by pitches that have sparked cultural debates and, at times, have really hurt. Only once this year has it ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, hit batsmen, sabermetrics, suspensions

Minor League manager undresses during epic home plate tirade

Would a robot ump have vaporized him with its heat ray?

Joe Mikulik, the manager of the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans is arguably the most fiery managers in all of Minor League Baseball.

On Sunday, the bombastic skipper lost his mind, and part of his uniform during an epic tirade with the home plate umpire during his team’s game against the Salem Red Sox.

The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 11:46 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: ecdysiasm, joe mikulik, minor leagues, rangers

Rusney Castillo rumors: Decision imminent for Cuban outfielder

With concerns about calcium, shouldn’t he think about heading to Milwaukee?

Praise has been far from faint for Rusney Castillo, who is considered to be the latest in a long string of impact players imported from Cuba. The highly regarded 27-year-old outfielder seems to be nearing a decision on where he will play, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes report that Castillo is expected to “declare his intentions any day now.”...

Castillo should be in line for an ...

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Mooney: Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks aren’t showing any nerves with Cubs

With Monday’s 4-1 victory over the New York Mets, Hendricks (5-1, 1.66 ERA) became the franchise’s first rookie to put together six consecutive quality starts since Kerry Wood in 1998.

“I reserve the right to (not) pigeonhole him or compare him to anybody,” Renteria said. “I think he’s establishing himself. I know it’s a short snippet, but he’s been very, very good. He is Maddux-like, a little bit, in his execution, his approach.”

Hendricks – who’s posted a 0.97 WHIP ...

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McCoy Posted: August 19, 2014 at 09:49 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rookie of the year

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2014

Washington Times, August 19, 1914:

Russell Ford, famous spitball artist and leading pitcher of the Federal League, may be permanently lost to baseball, owing to an injury to his spine. Bonesetter Reese has been unable to help Ford, and an operation may be undertaken later.

The injury to Ford’s spine was caused by diving into shallow water at Long Beach, California, in 1912. Recent pitching by Ford has irritated the old injury to such an extent that he has been unable to work through an entire ...

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The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2014 at 08:18 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, russ ford

Angels beat Red Sox and extend their AL West lead

The Halos have sole possession of first place for the first time since May 11, 2011.

“Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit consecutive RBI doubles, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their AL West lead with a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night.

With two runners on and none out in the ninth, Jepsen threw a well-executed changeup to Ortiz that moved off the plate and got Big Papi to swing and miss wildly.

‘I wanted to give him a pitch he thinks he can drive, but it fades out of the ...

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still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: August 19, 2014 at 03:24 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wired—Baseball Bat With an Axe Handle Brings More Power, Fewer Injuries

The Axe Bat is more than a Frankenstein-style meshing of an axe handle and a baseball bat barrel. The key lies in the bat’s final few inches near the handle. That’s where the design gracefully curves from the standard round shape to a asymmetrical oval before tapering to an angled knob at the end.

The results, as reported in a recent study (PDF) by UCLA engineering professor Dr. Vijay Gupta, show that the Axe Bat is more comfortable, delivers more power and speed, and reduces injuries when ...

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Zach Posted: August 18, 2014 at 03:26 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bats, general

Speier: Red Sox send down Jackie Bradley Jr., call up Mookie Betts

Jackie 0-for-35…

The Red Sox announced that they have optioned Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and called up Mookie Betts from the PawSox. Bradley has struggled to get his head above water offensively this year, hitting .216 with a .288 OBP and .290 slugging mark in 112 games… In 45 games in Pawtucket, [Betts is] hitting .335/.417/.503…

In sending Bradley down now, it’s possible that the Sox could allow him to catch his breath in Triple-A before returning to the roster in September. ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 03:17 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley, jr., mookie betts, red sox, transactions

Passan: Breaking down the schedules for all 19 MLB playoff contenders

What if they gave a postseason and no team was good?

Baseball’s two richest teams find themselves at the opposite end of the scheduling spectrum. Presenting, then, a complete breakdown of the stretch schedules for all 19 – 19! – playoff contenders, going from hardest to easiest, and starting with the ...

1. New York Yankees… 2. Tampa Bay Rays… 3. Cincinnati Reds… 4. Miami Marlins… 5. Los Angeles Angels… 6. Toronto Blue Jays… 7. Seattle Mariners… 8. Milwaukee Brewers… . Washington Nationals… ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:43 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff passan, playoffs, sabermetrics

Gawker: Time Inc. Rates Writers on How “Beneficial” They Are to Advertisers

Here you see an internal Time Inc. spreadsheet that was used to rank and evaluate “writer-editors” at SI.com… Most interesting is this ranking criteria: “Produces content that [is] beneficial to advertiser relationship.” These editorial employees were all ranked in this way, with their scores ranging from 2 to 10.

Anthony Napoli, a union representative with the Newspaper Guild, tells us: “Time Inc. actually laid off Sports Illustrated writers based on the criteria listed on that chart. Writers ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:42 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sports illustrated

Brisbee: Jedd Gyorko’s 31 homers isn’t the saddest team record

[Jedd] Gyorko’s 31 homers as a second baseman in his Padres career is a franchise record. Total. For any second baseman’s entire Padres career. That’s a sad record.

But is it the saddest record? As in, what’s the lowest total for a franchise leader at every position? With the help of Baseball-Reference.com, we can find out…

C - Rays (Toby Hall, 44 home runs) and Pirates (Jason Kendall, 66)..
1B - Diamondbacks (Paul Goldschmidt, 82) and Angels (Wally Joyner, 116)...
SS - Astros (Adam Everett, ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:32 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: grant brisbee, jedd gyorko, padres, sabermetrics

Neyer: Grains of salt

Get that dunce cap off your head and put it on Pedro Guerrero’s!

If I gave you a choice of any non-Kershaw major leaguer for the rest of the season, who would you choose?

Right: Mike Trout. Get that dunce cap off your head and move a little closer to my desk, right this minute.

And your second choice?

I’m not going to make you put the dunce cap back on if you don’t immediately think of Alex Gordon. But by this measure, he’s actually been the best player in the major leagues this season... ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, angels, mike trout, rob neyer, royals, sabermetrics

Speier: Are Red Sox too dependent on David Ortiz?

Hey, go back to 1891 and get 39-year-old Papi Anson also leading the league in RBI! (Don’t call him that to his face, though.)

[David] Ortiz leads the major leagues in RBIs on a team that ranks last in the American League and 24th in the majors in runs scored. He’s driven in 91 of the team’s 475 runs (19.2 percent), the highest percentage of any team’s runs driven in by a single player in the big leagues. He’s hit 28 of the team’s 92 homers (30.4 percent), accounting for the second-highest ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:02 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: alex speier, david ortiz, red sox, sabermetrics

Kapler: 75% of the time, line-drive percentage works 100% of the time

And apparently 67% of the time, you’ll get hurt and look like making you that rich was a mistake…

I’m dubbing Nick Castellanos Kid Linea.

“Linea” is Spanish for line. More relevantly, it’s how you’ll hear line drives described in the dugout vernacular. Unless you’re facing Kershaw, an inning won’t pass on the bench without someone uttering, “That was an f’ing linea.”...

“A line drive won’t necessarily be the hardest balls in play, but they do end up being hits at a lofty ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 01:52 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, nick castellanos, tigers

WaPo, Boswell: Nationals’ success during stars’ down years shows team will contend for years to come

All fans want a team that might, somehow, win a World Series. But there is another baseball gift to a city, one that keeps giving cumulative pleasure, that competes with titles in its satisfaction. It’s the kind of sustainability that provides winning or contending teams for a decade, or in a few lucky cases, 20 years or more. Such marvels don’t just appear in New York or Los Angeles. Fans in St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, Baltimore and others can tell about it, even if ...

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TerpNats Posted: August 18, 2014 at 01:48 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Nationals Sign Nate Schierholtz

Schier curation.

The Nationals have inked outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a minor league deal, the club announced on Twitter. The left-handed-swinging 30-year-old was recently released by the Cubs, who will owe him the remainder of his $5MM salary — less whatever he earns in Washington (presumably, at the league-minimum rate).

Schierholtz has had a tough year thus far, posting a meager .192/.240/.300 line with six home runs over 341 plate appearances. But he entered the offseason coming off a ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 01:01 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: nate schierholtz, nationals, transactions

Ringolsby: Helton’s numbers stack up against the best

Percy Helton having a visor is one thing…Todd Helton having an adviser is another.

Hall of Fame type numbers?

“Obviously, that would be a great honor, but there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said. “You have the vote.”

Just one, he was told.

“Well,” he said with a smile, “put in a good word for me.”

...And here’s something else to consider.

As dominant as he was at Coors Field, Helton outplayed the bulk of Hall of Famers on the road.

There are 116 position players in the Hall of Fame ...

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Repoz Posted: August 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, rockies

Steve Sax: “Nothing Wrong With Pedro Alvarez”

Sax - Alvarez: Soul to Soul.

“There’s nothing wrong with Pedro Alvarez. There’s nothing wrong his arm, there’s nothing wrong with his mind. He does not have a mental block,” Sax said. “What it is, it’s a confidence issue. Once he gets over that and gains his confidence back, he’ll be 100 percent outstanding like he was before.”

Pompeani asked Sax how he was able to fix things.

“I made every ground ball in practice like it was a game. So what I did was essentially I ...

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Repoz Posted: August 18, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pirates

Lucroy drives in five runs as Brewers sweep Dodgers

The season series finale was a 7-2 Brewers rout on a sun-splashed Sunday at Dodger Stadium, with Lucroy logging five RBIs in the first two innings and Peralta working six scoreless innings to tie for the Major League lead with his 15th victory.

The National League Central-leading Brewers defeated the NL West-leading Dodgers five times in six games over a span of 10 days, with Dodgers aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke starting four of the games for Los Angeles. The Brewers took two of three ...

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Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 18, 2014 at 08:01 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, jonathan lucroy, los angeles dodgers, milwaukee

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2014

[New York] Evening World, August 18, 1914:

After yesterday’s accident it is likely that spectators will stop the very dangerous practice of throwing balls from the stand directly to the plate. Some one threw a ball from the stand during the latter part of the second game that struck Catcher Nunamaker on the head, while his back was turned, and knocked him senseless. The ball was thrown with great force too. It is believed that the shot was intended for Umpire Chill, who had the fans “on him” all ...

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The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: August 18, 2014 at 07:59 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, les nunamaker, ollie chill

OMNICHATTER 8-18-2014

The blown-save OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 18, 2014 at 12:52 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gammons Notes - 8/17/14

PLEASE, please, please tell me Selig didn’t make people watch him poop.

There is no question Rob Manfred can be a very good commissioner, as Tim Brosnan would have been, and so would Bob Iger had baseball been willing to look outside their house…

Manfred is not going to have the hammer [Bud] Selig held over owners, and utilized like Lyndon Baines Johnson. Which is why, as the storm fronts collide between now and 2016, he needs Bill DeWitt to hold together the center. DeWitt was approached early ...

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Xander Bogaerts’ growing pains at shortstop proving costly

I guess it could be worse. He could have gangrene on his face.

Much was made after the Red Sox‘ 8-1 loss to the Astros Sunday over a single ruling at second base that proved to be a game-changer.

With two on and one out in the top of the second inning, Marwin Gonzalez hit a ground ball that was fielded by Xander Bogaerts at short for what appeared to be a routine double play.

Bogaerts ran to second [and] threw to first… Astros manager Bo Porter challenged that the ball left Bogaerts’ ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 11:02 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, xander bogaerts

Jedd Gyorko sets a very sad Padres record

The Padres have never thrown a no-hitter. Not a single Padres hitter in history has ever hit for the cycle. They’ve gone to two World Series, had one MVP winner (Tony Gwynn never won an MVP award, for the record) and yet they’ve never had a second baseman hit over 30 home runs. In an entire San Diego CAREER.

THAT ALL CHANGED YESTERDAY, THANKS TO SECOND-YEAR PLAYER HAMMERIN’ JEDD GYORKO.

NattyBoh Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:38 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: jedd gyorko, offense, padres, records

Can Wilmer Flores turn out to be a success story at shortstop for Mets?

Oh, I love it when we sign pricey, big-bopping outfielders! Great track record.

[Wilmer] Flores will never be a great defensive shortstop, but the Mets hope the 23-year-old will hit enough for his bat to carry his glove.

Or, as manager Terry Collins put it Saturday night: “You’re not going to make Wilmer Flores into [Andrelton] Simmons. He’s not going to be that kind of player.”... But he’s younger and can come cheaper than… potential free agents. He is a lot cheaper than Troy Tulowitzki, who ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 07:07 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, wilmer flores

Here’s Derek Jeter’s face in a 5-acre N.J. corn maze

There are two different paths you can take through the Jeter maze. The first is shorter, and includes an anti-bullying message from Spookley the pumpkin. The longer route is for the more adventurous types, and it might take an hour to get through the words “THANKS CAPTAIN CLUTCH” or Jeter’s No. 2 on a pinstripe background.

NattyBoh Posted: August 17, 2014 at 04:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, retirement tour, yankees

Bill James Mailbag - 8/8/14 - 8/17/14

Could we get Elway wrestling, Eisenhower playing quarterback, and Randy Savage as Supreme Allied Commander?

Is there any systematic account available of the changes over the years in player movement and roster utilization, both team to team and majors to minors, both the rules governing this stuff and the actual practices? I know in general terms that things have changed immensely since I was a newbie baseball fan about the same time you were. The tipping point for me came in 2010 when I ...

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OT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about wrasslin’, but with their own thread, they won’t detract from what this site is really about:  the demographic appeal of Swisher Sweets and Grant Brisbee’s taste in porn.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 17, 2014 at 01:15 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: off-topic, wrasslin', wrestling

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