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Friday, September 09, 2011

Vanity Fair: Excerpt from “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

I prefer Mazeroski Hornsby, myself.

The door marked 405 stood slightly ajar, and bleepy, bloopy music came through the gap.  Henry lingered nervously in the stairwell. He didn’t know how many roommates he’d have, or what sort of roommates they might be, or what kind of music that was. If he’d been able to imagine the students of Westish College in any specific way, he imagined twelve hundred Mike Schwartzes, huge and mythic and grave, and twelve hundred women of the sort Mike Schwartz ...

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The District Attorney Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:29 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: books

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Shaughnessy: Neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees will win World Series

But the Sox and Yanks are on a collision course in 2011. Bursting with self-importance, last week they needed four hours and 21 minutes to play a nine-inning game in which six runs were scored. The Sox will be back in New York for the final weekend of the regular season. It’ll be Athens-Sparta, Ali-Frazier, Russell-Chamberlain and Brady-Manning. Deep into the night. Every night.

It’ll be Seabiscuit-War Admiral, Palmer-Nicklaus, Godzilla- Mothra, Jefferson-Adams, India-Pakistan, Japan-Korea, ...

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Gamingboy Posted: September 08, 2011 at 08:53 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

BPP: Any player/Any era: Will Clark

Thrill jockey: The fiery furnace!

Era he might have thrived in: Clark was a career .303 hitter playing from 1986 to 2000. Had he played in the 1930s, a Golden Age for first basemen in the American League, I suspect Clark might have hit .325 lifetime and earned his spot in Cooperstown decades ago.

...Having his career peak in the greatest time for hitters in baseball history, there’s no telling what Clark might have done. Seeing as he inspired comparisons to Ted Williams as a young player ...

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Repoz Posted: September 08, 2011 at 08:27 PM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

Tony La Russa shakes maracas for Carlos Santana

Bourbonletta!

image

¡Oye como va! It’s not hard to make out the blurry figure with his arms raised behind the percussionst. That’s St. Louis Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa providing a little backup for legendary musician Carlos Santana at a recent show.

Citizen Ben Weixlmann thought that some might not believe him, so he tweeted a photo of La Russa, (pretty much) plain as day on stage at the historic Fox Theatre in St. Louis during Santana’s concert Tuesday night. La Russa reportedly scooted ...

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Repoz Posted: September 08, 2011 at 08:04 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, music

Joe Morgan to lead Oktoberfest chicken dance

Reds great and Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan will lead the annual World’s Largest Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest next Saturday.

Morgan, a 10-time All-Star and MVP in 1975 and 1976 when the Reds won back-to-back World Series titles, is the second former Red to lead the Chicken Dance, joining Joe Nuxhall, who did it in 2007.

“Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati has long been regarded as the largest Oktoberfest celebration in North America and the second largest in the world,” said Patrick Sheeran, ...

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Repoz Posted: September 08, 2011 at 07:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Caple: Why baseball is better than football

The NFL season begins this week amid so much unavoidable hype you’d think Will and Kate either were going to compete on “Dancing With the Stars” or had just signed as free agents with the Packers. With the NFL’s overwhelming publicity machine turning the propaganda dial up to 11, it’s time for my more-or-less annual column on why baseball still is at least a three-point favorite over football:

He forgot that football can’t be used as a metaphor for sex! And how every football field is ...

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Gamingboy Posted: September 08, 2011 at 01:09 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tomase: Doubting Big Papi gets old

Doubting Tomase: The Incredulity of Saint Papi.

Ortiz is only 35, but seeing what (Edgar) Martinez did when he was three and four years older got us thinking. Is there any reason Ortiz couldn’t maintain Martinez-like production into his late 30s? And if so, how valuable does that make him to the Sox going forward?

...“As long as I’m healthy, I can do it,” Ortiz said with a shrug while walking to the batting cages at the Rogers Centre yesterday, before hitting his 30th homer and going ...

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Repoz Posted: September 08, 2011 at 10:05 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-8-2011

Toledo News-Bee, August 8, 1911:

Yesterday Mr. Herrmann received word from Chattanooga that the famous Rube Benton, who has been recalled by the Reds to help out the pitching staff, is in the hospital, having been hit in the groin by a fast line drive.

My reaction upon reading about Benton’s injury was something like this.

Mr. Benton, Josias Manzanillo feels your pain.  Literally.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: September 08, 2011 at 09:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Nyjer Morgan takes his taunting of Cardinals to Twitter

CREEP: Plush fund.

Shortly after Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols offered up a complimentary view of Nyjer Morgan as a talented player who “sometimes goes a little overboard,” the Milwaukee Brewers center fielder had something to say about Pujols on Twitter.

It started by calling him “Alberta.”

In the ninth inning of the Cardinals’ 2-0 victory Wednesday at Busch Stadium, Morgan had one of the best at-bats of the game against Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter. The Cardinals’ ace had been ...

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Repoz Posted: September 08, 2011 at 09:16 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, media

Francoeur throws batter out at first from right field

OAKLAND, Calif. | Sure, the Royals lead the majors with 48 outfield assists, but Oakland rookie Michael Taylor learned Wednesday that there are times when you need to run on those arms — and run hard.

Taylor drove a two-out pitch to right field in the second inning for what appeared to be a sure single until Jeff Francoeur came up gunning. The result was an out at first — a rare 9-3 play in baseball’s statistical shorthand.

Zach Posted: September 08, 2011 at 06:51 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, royals

AL West race: September 7, 2011

TEX 81-63 [4-3 in SEPT]
LAA 78-65 [5-2 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)

MLB.com: Rangers fall despite Kinsler’s homers

But despite Ian Kinsler making things interesting when he hit his second solo homer of the game in the ninth inning off Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth to give the Rangers life, Mark Lowe could not keep Desmond Jennings from ending things, as the rookie outfielder hit a walk-off homer in the 10th on the first pitch he saw to give Texas a 5-4 loss.

MLB.com: [Maicer] Izturis’ late double sparks ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 08, 2011 at 04:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

Yahoo: Brown: Mayberry and the Mermaid

John Mayberry(notes) will apparently do anything for a date with a mermaid.

Yes, somebody has playfully betrayed the young Philadelphia Phillies outfielder and leaked a series of emails that expose his diabolical plan to have his agent set him up with actress and model Antoinette Nikprelaj, who played an underwater seductress in the most recent “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.

Unfortunately for Mayberry, this mermaid is taken, as she is already married and has a daughter.

Another reason ...

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Don Malcolm Posted: September 08, 2011 at 02:10 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Saxon: Trout named Minor League Player of the Year

The best minor-leaguer is no longer a minor-leaguer, which is not surprising when you think about it.

Baseball America named Angels outfielder Mike Trout its Minor League Player of the Year after he batted .326 with a .414 on-base percentage, 18 doubles, 13 triples, 11 home runs and 33 steals for Double-A Arkansas.

Trout, 20, is the first Angels prospect to win BA’s award since Tim Salmon in 1992. The following season, Salmon won the Rookie of the Year award. This has been a good season ...

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Philly.com: LeMar, Phillies Part Ways

Talk on Chicago sports radio is that LeMar might end up as the new Cub GM, as recent moves by Chicago owner Tom Ricketts make it harder to get anyone really high profile. (Plus people don’t think much of Ricketts in general).

Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: September 07, 2011 at 10:35 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Mariners Blog | Coming soon to a theatre near you: the Steve Delabar story

Delabar was a 29th round draft pick of the Padres in 2003 who’d played five seasons of pro ball and topped out at Class A.

He then pitched in the independent leagues in 2008 and 2009. His arm was tiring in 2009, but his coach, despite Delabar’s protests, insisted he was needed to finish off a game. He heard his elbow pop while throwing a pitch, then saw the bone jutting out from his skin as he stared at the painful fracture.

“There was a point when I first went to the High A team…I’d given ...

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gimme five bees for a STEAGLES Posted: September 07, 2011 at 09:06 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Tango: The 2011 Scouting Report - By the Fans, For the Fans

Break out those Spooners and stogies…it’s that time of year again!

Welcome to the Eighth Annual Fans’ Scouting Report. For those looking for past results, go here (2008 and prior) and here for 2009, for 2010.

Baseball’s fans are very perceptive. Take a large group of them, and they can pick out the final standings with the best of them. They can forecast the performance of players as well as those guys with rather sophisticated forecasting engines. Bill James, in one of his later Abstracts, ...

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Repoz Posted: September 07, 2011 at 08:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: media, scouting, site news, special topics

Bill James Online: Mr. Pederson’s Legacy

How would a greenie feel, Mr. Pederson?

Disortes, Nebraska, population 416, although a few years ago we were up close to 500… it is a thriving town, unlike so many around us, and this is Mr. Pederson’s Legacy.  Sterling Pederson came here to teach in 1958…

On the first day of school in the fall of 1965, Mr. Pederson announced to his classes that students who did well in his class would be rewarded with small amounts of cash… It wasn’t much money, but Pederson was surprised at how much ...

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The District Attorney Posted: September 07, 2011 at 06:18 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids

TFT: Donatiello: Derek Jeter, the Yankees, and the Death of Sabermetrics

Son, you’re gonna’ drive me to drinkin’
If you don’t stop and bring back that Faster Times Lincoln!

Why has Jeter been able to defy expert opinion, including New York Yankees staff members, hitting like it’s 1999 to close the season?  Does it mean the death of sabermetrics?  I sure hope so.

As one of the all-time clutch players in baseball history, it’s hard to say the pressure of 3,000 hits got to the all-time Yankees hits leader, but maybe it did.  Perhaps Derek Jeter just needed some ...

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Repoz Posted: September 07, 2011 at 05:50 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, scouting, yankees

Fangraphs. Q&A: Ken Singleton

Ken Singleton agrees with the Internet.

DL: In the eyes of many, you were an underrated player. Who did you play with, or against, who was underrated?

KS:  One person who comes to mind is Dwight Evans. First of all, he was probably the best right fielder in the league when we played. He was an excellent fielder. His on-base percentage was good, because he drew a lot of walks. He also hit a lot of home runs, well over 300. I think he was underrated maybe because there were so many star ...

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Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 07, 2011 at 04:22 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks

Trumbo a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year

Only because…Johnny Giavotella got his pop gun!

Along with his 26 bombs, Trumbo has driven in 80 runs, collected 55 extra base hits and has a .486 slugging percentage percentage, leading the team in all four categories. And he came up with probably the Angels’ biggest hit of the season against the Rangers on August 18, when he slammed a two-run homer off reliever Mike Adams to give his team a 2-1 win, and keep them within six games of the leaders. Without the shot, LA is swept by Texas, falls ...

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Repoz Posted: September 07, 2011 at 03:07 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, awards, music

Brown: Yankee Stadium all wet on proper replay angle for Cervelli homer

“Well, there you have it”

A long night. A soggy night. Fun and amusing, but long and soggy. And what did we learn? That Yankee Stadium needs to get its camera angles in order, because they showed nothing conclusive about Cervelli’s homer.

The ball appeared to be interfered with by two fans reaching over the left-field fence, but would it have gone over anyway? Umpire Paul Emmel ruled that way at the time, and that was the case made by YankeeCaster Ken Singleton, and I tend to agree. ...

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Repoz Posted: September 07, 2011 at 12:44 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, yankees

Griffin: Against all odds, McGowan makes it back to pitch for Jays

This was kinda special to watch…save the Dave Cockrummy drawn sideboards.

With his wife Jillyanne looking on from a private box, McGowan climbed the hill and as he stepped onto the rubber for the first time in three years seemed to momentarily lose his balance, quickly righting himself. This had a distinct air of familiarity, but at the same time was so very different. He could look around the diamond, into the dugout and out to the bullpen and see just Adam Lind, Jesse Litsch and Shawn Camp ...

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Repoz Posted: September 07, 2011 at 12:07 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, history, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-7-2011

Toledo News-Bee, September 7, 1911:

[Silk] O’Loughlin was working the plate.  A foul tip struck his mask, near the top, sailing into the grandstand with terrific speed.

To everyone it seemed that the ball struck O’Loughlin on the top of the head and while he delayed the game momentarily to recover his wits, there came from the St. Louis bench, [Paul] Krichell’s voice: 

“Nice work, Silk.  That’s putting the wood to it, old boy.”

Zing!

Krichell, of course, became one of the greatest scouts in ...

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Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2011 at 09:25 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, scouting

AL West race: September 6, 2011

TEX 81-62 [4-2 in SEPT]
LAA 77-65 [4-2 in SEPT] (3.5 GB)

MLB.com: [C.J.] Wilson blanks Rays for first career shutout

The Rangers could have given a game ball to a plethora of players after Tuesday’s 8-0 win over the Rays. But the player most deserving was C.J. Wilson.

With the Rangers needing a win on Tuesday, Wilson stepped up in a big way, firing his first career shutout to help Texas maintain its slim lead over the second-place Angels in the American League West.

MLB.com: Angels see ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 07, 2011 at 05:09 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

MLB.com: Strasburg tosses five scoreless in return

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday night. After more than a year of rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow, Strasburg pitched the way he always has—like the ace of the Nationals.

He pitched five shutout innings and allowed two hits before leaving the game with a 3-0 lead over the Dodgers. Los Angeles rallied off the Washington bullpen for a 7-3 victory.

Strasburg struck out four hitters and walked none. He threw 56 pitches, 40 strikes. His fastball was clocked as ...

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NTNgod Posted: September 07, 2011 at 04:59 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, nationals

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

MLB.com: MONEYBALL movie premiere sweepstakes

Because if a Primate wins this, the world will be a slightly less terrible place.

THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER AND ONE (1) LUCKY GUEST WILL RECEIVE:

- Two (2) tickets to attend the Moneyball movie premiere in Oakland, CA
- Two (2) Oakland A’s regular-season home-game tickets
- A three (3) day/two (2) night trip including roundtrip air transportation and hotel accommodations.

MONEYBALL
A new motion picture starring Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, and Jonah Hill. Based on the true ...

Read More...
Lassus Posted: September 06, 2011 at 11:42 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Fox Sports Houston - Sources: Crane’s stance on AL holding Astros sale

There are strong indications that the stumbling block in the Astros’ sale to Jim Crane is Crane’s reluctance to move the team to the American League.

We have been wondering out loud about this issue in this space from the start. Now we hear that is, in fact, the case.

...

More than one source has indicated to FoxSportsHouston.com that Crane’s stance on the club switching leagues is a hurdle in the approval process. When asked about the topic last week, McLane firmly denied that the league ...

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Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 06, 2011 at 10:55 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, rumors

Passan: Rethinking the five-man starting rotation

The Tigers could’ve done something opening day to save at least a few of those miserable outings from even happening.

It would have been wild. Unconventional. Part of the evolution back to the proper usage of pitchers instead of the anxiety that pervades the game today.

A four-man rotation.

How very novel.

And how very rational.

“That,” Dombrowski said, “is a long conversation.”

It’s one, in fact, that happens annually in major league front offices. Even in the most ...

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still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: September 06, 2011 at 08:37 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tigers

Post Game: Yankees Fans Fighting Moammar Gadhafi?

PLEASE SAVE ME A COPY OF THE GREEN BOOK, MR. PRESIDENT

A baseball cap can make a powerful statement, even in a war zone.

Nearly 5,000 miles from the Bronx, a rebel fighter showed his loyalty to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.

...Rebel fighter Anas Ahmed El Houderi, wearing a New York Yankees cap, spoke with ABC’s Kofman on the front line over the weekend. Fifty seconds into the story, speaking near-perfect English, El Houderi said, “We want a peaceful resolution to this ...

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Repoz Posted: September 06, 2011 at 07:50 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, yankees

Empire Invades AT&T Park for San Francisco Giants’ Star Wars Day

Its a trap!

And the team went all-out. Fans got a pre-game costume contest, a post-game screening of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back in the stadium, Stormtroopers guarding the field during the “Star-Spangled Banner,” giveaway statues of Giants closing pitcher Brian Wilson — frozen in carbonite, Han Solo-style — and the opportunity to generally geek out throughout the game.

“We don’t even know what the score is,” said 33-year-old Ryan Flores, above right, who came in a ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2011 at 05:25 PM | 1033 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, giants

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