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Friday, May 16, 2014

Witnesses: Mitch Williams Called Child “A Pussy,” Ordered Beanball

Here’s video of an incident that happened in the fifth inning, when the SJ Titans pitcher came to bat in the leadoff position. Watch as Williams says something to his catcher, after which the catcher goes out to the mound to say something to his pitcher. SJ Titans coaches and players overheard this interaction, and report that Williams ordered his pitcher to intentionally hit the SJ Titans batter with the first pitch. One witness told us it was in an attempt to knock the SJ Titans pitcher out of the game.

Sure enough, the first pitch hits the SJ Titans player square in the ribs. (The home plate umpire, who had been made aware of the upcoming beanball, warned both benches.) One SJ Titans assistant coach confronted Williams about the pitch after the game, and reported that Williams stated, “I told him to throw it inside.”

Mitch Williams sounds like a really classy dude.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:44 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, general

Thursday, May 08, 2014

EPA to test soil at baseball complex near Bridgeton landfill

Cold War-era nuclear waste is buried at West Lake Landfill, which is adjacent to the Bridgeton Landfill, where underground smoldering has created an odor problem. Many residents also worry about what could happen if the smoldering reaches the nuclear waste, though landfill operators say safeguards will prevent that from happening. Operators are spending millions of dollars build in blockades to keep the smoldering from the nuclear waste, and to address the smell.

The EPA testing comes after Bridgeton residents organized private tests that found high radiation levels in drainage areas near the ball fields. That caused a youth baseball tournament featuring nearly 100 teams to relocate elsewhere in St. Louis County last weekend.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, general, st. louis

Monday, May 05, 2014

Alberta teen banned from baseball team over long hair

Mackenzie has been coaching the team for seven years and says his decision comes down to basic respect for the game.

“To me, the hair issue is part of the uniform,” he said. “It’s like the hat. It’s like the jersey. It’s all part of the appearance and that’s important to me, to have respect for yourself and for your other team mates.”

The kid says that he’s growing it out to donate to a cancer charity. I’ll leave you to make your own decisions about the respect and moral values there.


Monday, January 16, 2012

NYT: Puerto Rico Traces Decline in Prospects to Baseball Draft

The league’s struggles are merely the most vivid manifestation of a more profound, and surprising, phenomenon playing out here: the general decline of baseball in a place where it was long considered the national pastime, if not a religion. After decades of populating major league rosters with All-Star players at every position, Puerto Rico had only 20 players on Major League Baseball rosters on opening day last season. Only two of them made the All-Star team. (By contrast, the 1997 All-Star Game included eight Puerto Ricans.)

and

“From a socioeconomic standpoint, things have changed quite a bit in Puerto Rico,” Alderson said. “There are lots of other ways to spend your time. In the Dominican Republic, on the other hand, unfortunately, poor kids who are playing ball and who are from the lowest economic strata in that country, baseball is a way to escape, so there’s a greater concentration of players and effort. I think they’re just very different dynamics than Puerto Rico.”

Obvious solution: expansion of poverty! Why are you guys making this so hard?

 

Cris E Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:35 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, international

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2011

Pittsburgh Press, December 29, 1911:

STRIPED UNIFORMS TO BE THE STYLE IN 1912

Stripes will be the rage in amateur baseball uniforms next season. Plain gray, white or blue uniforms will be work only by teams which find their 1911 suits good enough to wear again.

Along with the stripes, fashionable ballplayers will wear a hundred-dollar shine on a three dollar pair of shoes.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2011 at 03:19 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, dugout, history

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Moment to Reflect on North Korea’s Website

Last January, I became moderately obsessed with North Korea, thanks to this book, this graphic novel, and these photos. North Korea is both terrible and completely bizarre—in this day of hyper-connectedness, it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that a country actually exists where millions of people have no light, not to mention no internet, phones, or non-programmed radios and TVs.

Illustrating North Korea’s strangeness is its official website, which is down today, the day that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has also ceased to exist. Though it’s North Korea’s official website, it’s a very simple page with early-90s cyberspace graphics. It links to a CafePress shop, which is still up and where you can buy such items as an official North Korea baseball tee:
Strange.

Tripon Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:02 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, business, fantasy baseball, international, media, special topics

Saturday, December 17, 2011

ESPN: Munson - Light Bonds sentence raises questions

The investigation into Bonds and BALCO, the lab that produced and sold undetectable designer steroids, is the most important investigation ever undertaken into the use of performance-enhancing drugs…

...The federal judge who presided over the Bonds trial is Susan Illston. She is a San Francisco Democrat and a bit of an enigma.

Throughout the BALCO investigation, she made a series of decisions that were difficult to explain. Early in the prosecutions, when she was sentencing Greg Anderson on perjury charges, Anderson admitted under oath that he had sold steroids to numerous elite athletes. At that point, Illston could have, and should have, asked Anderson to name the athletes. She, however, did not ask him to name the athletes, passing up a chance to do something important for the sports industry and the nation.

jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:35 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, steroids

Monday, December 12, 2011

Texas A&M-Kingsville pitcher Travis Madden dies in fall

Travis Madden had a bright future at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The Inez native and Industrial graduate was a freshman majoring in chemical engineering and had just completed his first season of fall baseball.

But Madden died Sunday morning at the age of 18.

Kingsville police responded to a call just after 9 a.m. found Madden unconscious at the bottom of a stairwell at an apartment complex on the 1400 block of West Santa Gertrudis Street, about a block away from the campus, according to a police department release.

The release said Madden had been dead for several hours… Madden had reportedly left a party off-campus the night before and was walking to his dorm on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus. There is no known connection between Madden and the apartment complex where he was found, the release said.

The police department is awaiting the result of an autopsy and the investigation continues.

The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, college

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Zen Master And Amateur Baseball Players

You know, I’ve found that anger is the enemy of instruction.

Wow. Five more years of labor peace ensured, zero public rancor between the owners and the players, and yet all anyone’s talking about in the TwitterBlogoSphere is how terrible the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is…

One thing that everyone seems to forget about labor negotiations (and politics, and just about everything else): they’ve got nothing to do with right and wrong. They have everything to do with interests and leverage.

Of course the new CBA shifts money from draft picks to union members. The owners made it very clear that they wanted to save money (that’s an interest) and the union members didn’t want it coming from their pockets (that’s another interest). Both sides have leverage, of course, so the obvious solution was to find someone with no leverage at all: amateur baseball players, both in the States and beyond international borders.

Tough darts. It’s too bad for them, but that’s the way the world has always worked and always will…

Leaving aside the morality of the new rules about amateur players, there’s been an incredible rush to judgment regarding the practical impact… If Major League Baseball loses just one extra player to football or basketball, the scouts and the draft experts will be pained. I don’t blame them. I don’t want to lose any great players to other sports, either. But I suspect the number of great players who will actually be lost is being greatly exaggerated today.

It’s been said many times today that the new rules hurt the Royals and the Pirates, who have been spending a great deal of money in the draft in recent years. But what if they can get the same players they’ve been getting, while spending less money? Doesn’t that actually help them?

I’m not saying I have all the answers. We both know I don’t. But I think it’s far too early for say exactly what effect the new rules about amateurs will have on competitive balance and quality of play, generally.

My guess, though? Whether positive or negative, the overall impact will be small enough that it’s difficult to measure.

Sure, maybe it’s the end of the world. But we can’t know that yet. Today, I feel fine.

And I’m reminded, as I so often am, of the story about the Zen master and the little boy.

The District Attorney Posted: November 23, 2011 at 02:42 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, business

Monday, November 14, 2011

Olney: Latest on CBA Talks

Continuing in MLB’s plan to make sure that two-sport athletes never choose baseball over football ever again:

• There will be slot recommendations for the first 10 rounds. No team is required to honor the individual recommendations, but there will be a cumulative number—a bonus ceiling—based on those recommendations assigned to each team for the first 10 rounds.

• If a team goes over its cumulative slot recommendation, there will be a tax for the first time, and the second time they will lose a high draft pick, perhaps in the first or second round.

• In return, the players would get this concession from the owners—there will be no first-round pick draft compensation. In recent years, teams have become increasingly reluctant to sign free agents tied to first-round draft picks, which has impacted the market for those players. There will continue to be draft pick compensation, but in some other form—either in later rounds or in supplemental rounds.

CraigK Posted: November 14, 2011 at 09:57 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

MJS: Former Brewers pitcher Sanders helps sell ‘Field of Dreams’

Nobody give this guy’s number to McCourt.

On Sunday, the Lansings announced that an offer had been signed for the property. Mike and Denise Stillman, operating as Go the Distance Baseball LLC, plan to preserve the site. A purchase price was not disclosed.

On other acreage, however, the Stillmans say they plan to develop “All-Star Ballpark Heaven,” a baseball and softball tournament facility.

The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: November 02, 2011 at 12:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

washingtonpost.com: Washington Nationals step it up in the leadership department

Some high quality sportswriting and editing going on here.

In a professional sport like baseball, where player talent and organizational characteristics are very comparable among the many teams, innovation can make the deciding difference. Tony LaRussa’s management of his bullpen, Charlie Phillips’ starting rotation decisions for Philadelphia, and Ray Washington’s lineup shifts for the Rangers demonstrate how agility can control the outcome.

Johnson’s version of this was to make savvy adjustments in the outfield and at first base, and to develop new strategies in the set-up and closer positions for the Nationals. La Russa, Washington, Leland, Phillips—they’re all accomplished leaders and managers. Yet even with his young team, Davey Johnson has earned the right to join this elite club. His players, like McGraw’s, played with the look of eagles.

Guapo Posted: October 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, cardinals, nationals, phillies, rangers

Beer in Red Sox dugout?

Lester admitted Monday that he and other pitchers had an “occasional beer” in the clubhouse during days they were not scheduled to pitch, but on Tuesday WHDH-TV in Boston cited Red Sox employees as saying that Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey drank beer in the dugout during games.

The sources said that the trio would leave the dugout around the sixth inning, walk back to the clubhouse and fill cups with Bud Light. They would then return to the dugout and watch the game while drinking beer. One Red Sox employee told the station that the pitchers were “bored on nights they weren’t pitching and this is how they entertained themselves.”

According to the report, another Red Sox employee said: “Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it’s about that time’. Becket was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him.

“It was blatant and hard not to notice what was going on with all three guys leaving at once.”

Bud Light?

Now, that’s unforgiveable!

The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 18, 2011 at 10:53 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, obituaries, red sox

Friday, October 14, 2011

Adam Dunn: Not easy being a one percenter

I hear the OccupyChi people are now forming an OccupyJackass group.

“It’s tougher than people think, being a one percenter,” Adam Dunn told us this morning. “For starters, you gotta figure out what to do with all that dough, which is stressful.”

The White Sox designated hitter is a bona fide one percenter, and we’re not talking about his batting average. Dunn made $14 million this season, and his contract guarantees him three more years at that rate. “But that’s not net, it’s whachacallit,” he said. “By the time you pay your taxes and your agent, you’re lucky if you walk home with eight mil.”

The Occupy Chicago and Occupy Wall Street protests have condemned the wealthiest one percent of Americans, and have called for reforms that would more equitably distribute the nation’s wealth. Dunn said he’d seen some TV coverage of the protests, but hadn’t followed them closely. A native of Texas, he said he opposed repeal of the Bush tax cuts out of loyalty to fellow Texan Bush. Regarding forgiving student loan debt, he said, “Sure, I’d forgive ‘em. I didn’t even know they’d done nothin’ wrong.” He wanted to consult with his agent before venturing an opinion on eliminating corporate personhood. As for the proposed Buffet rule, Dunn said he wasn’t familiar with the proposal but generally favored buffets.

Repoz Posted: October 14, 2011 at 08:25 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, white sox

Thursday, October 13, 2011

HBT: McKeon locked FLA clubhouse door to keep Josh Beckett out during games

Here’s more from McKeon:

“In between innings they’d go to the clubhouse to get a drink or hang out. I said, ‘Hey, I got no rule against going up if you have to go to the bathroom or something, but get back.’ A couple of times I looked down the bench to talk to somebody and they weren’t there. They were in the clubhouse. So I went up and got them out and said, “OK, boys that’s it. We’ll lock the door.”

Florida won the World Series that season and a 23-year-old Beckett was named World Series MVP.

Just a drop in the Beckett, apparently…

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: October 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, miami, red sox, rumors

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Murray Chass: JEFF WILPON’S WILFULNESS [sic] HURTS METS, OTHERS

Talking to a baseball executive recently, I expressed the thought that David Samson, the president of the Florida Marlins, was probably the most disliked executive in baseball. I was thinking about Samson because I had just written about the Marlins’ questionable treatment of their rookie left fielder, Logan Morrison, in demoting him to the minors.

However, my executive friend disagreed. If not Samson, I asked, who? Jeff Wilpon, he said.

Wilpon is the New York Mets’ chief operating officer and son of Fred Wilpon, the team’s principal owner. Jeff Wilpon is the first of those descriptions because of the second. He did not studiously work his way up to his executive position, but he has earned his reputation of most disliked executive.

What has son of Fred done lately? He has deprived the economically struggling city of Newark, N.J., and the area’s baseball fans of a 2012 season of first-class AAA minor league baseball, refusing to waive the Mets’ right to block a team from playing in territory it shares with the Yankees.

Borrowing from my favorite author, Dr. Seuss, Wilpon is the Grinch who stole baseball from Newark.

We can’t blame Fred Wilpon for the decision because he told Jeff to handle it. ...

Internally, within the Mets’ organization, that is, Wilpon has veto rights by nature of his position. But according to executives of other teams, Wilpon exercises poor judgment and often makes life difficult for the team’s general managers. ...

Sandy Alderson, Minaya’s successor, is completing his first season in the job, and I have already heard that he is growing tired of Wilpon’s suffocating presence.

Sons of wealthy owners seldom make competent baseball executives. But their fathers are blind to their shortcomings. I would guess that no other owner would hire Jeff Wilpon as his chief operating officer, even if he had played baseball and knew the difference between home plate and the pitching rubber.

bobm Posted: October 08, 2011 at 07:13 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, mets, miami, yankees

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daily Titan: Athletics barely hanging on to Division I Status

Budget cuts, tuition increases and insufficient revenues have left Cal State Fullerton athletics barely clinging on to Big West Division I status.

The NCAA requires a university to maintain seven priority sports and fund them at 80 percent in scholarships in order to be considered Div. I.

The seven sports that are considered priority by the Big West conference out of CSUF’s 15 are men and women’s basketball, men and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and women’s volleyball. CSUF is currently Div. I defending champions in both baseball and women’s volleyball.

CSUF is now at the bare minimum seven priority sports and is in jeopardy of being bumped to Div. II if its expenditures continue to exceed the current budget.

“We have some issues in terms of whether or not we can meet our minimum funding at the Div. I level,” said Steve DiTolla, associate senior athletics director. “In the NCAA, the Div. I level is defined, outside of men and women’s basketball, you need to have 50 scholarships, full scholarships, and we are dangerously close to not being that far.”

The full scholarships are split evenly between the men and women’s priority sports, DiTolla explained. The CSUF athletics budget barely covers these fees even after terminating both men’s wrestling and woman’s gymnastics during spring in order to meet budgetary obligations.

The budgeted athletics scholarship fund for 2011-12 is about $2.1 million and was not increased to accommodate the additional 12 percent tuition fee increase that affected every student on campus.

“When we are issuing scholarships, we pay the school for our student athletes,” DiTolla said. “So as each one of you got hit (with tuition fee increases) we got hit to the tune of about $90,000.”

Tripon Posted: September 27, 2011 at 10:05 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, angels, business, college

What U.S. plays: Softball, football, hockey, baseball down over decade

The latest authoritative Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association annual report on U.S. sports participation, based on about 15,000 individual surveys and 24,000 households surveys, found that about 2.1 million Americans say they competed in wrestling last year—down 44% from 2000.

Other drops in total participants over the past decade even as the U.S. population steadily expanded: slow-pitch softball (-38%), football (-16%), ice hockey (-12%), fast-pitch softball (-11%) and baseball (-8%).


Baseball is doomed! Softball is doomed! Hockey is doomed! Football is doomed! Wrestling is doomed! Soon, we will all be playing soccer and hoops and nothing else, because we’re doomed! Doomed!

Gamingboy Posted: September 27, 2011 at 08:36 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur

Sunday, September 25, 2011

MLB.com:200,000th MLB game: Colorado at Houston

It seems like BBTF should mark this occasion even if the participants in the historic game were underwhelming representatives:

The 200,000th regular-season game in Major League Baseball history was recognized Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, where the milestone was announced after the Rockies-Astros game became official.

At about 8:45 p.m. ET, Colorado and Houston were tied at 2 after five innings. MLB officials then checked with Elias Sports Bureau for a final authentication, and then notified the Rockies and Astros that they were in the history books. The teams made the most of the honor, playing 13 innings as Colorado finally won, 4-2.

BaseballReference.com has of course been tracking this milestone for a while.

John Thorn notes how the totals were calculated—National Association games were not counted:

In accordance with its new definition of the first game, in 1976, MLB celebrated its centennial year as the nation celebrated its bicentennial. Omitting the 1,086 National Association games meant that MLB would celebrate its 200,000th game not on July 4 of this year, but on Saturday.

puck Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:38 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, astros, history, rockies

Alfonso Soriano no fan of seventh spot

“I’m not a guy that fights with people,” Soriano told ESPNChicago.com. “The way they treat me this year, I don’t like it. The way they have me hit in the No. 7, 5 and 6 spots, I have trouble concentrating on the job hitting in those different spots. But (Mike) Quade is the manager and does his best to try to make the team better.

...

Asked why he didn’t go to Quade earlier in the season to voice his displeasure about his spot in the lineup, Soriano said: “I don’t think I should go to his office because I’m not like that. That’s not me. He puts me in the seventh spot, and he thinks we can win like that then I’m OK with that.”

The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:02 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, cubs

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sportsnet.ca: Davidi: Head of the class

The Toronto Blue Jays’ latest foray into developing Canadian baseball at the grassroots level comes in the form of a scout school for a handful of coaches from the country’s top amateur teams this weekend at the Rogers Centre.

The two-day session, which kicked off Friday morning, is being led by amateur scouting director Andrew Tinnish and is both selfless and a touch selfish in motivation.

By divulging some of the club’s philosophies on both player evaluation and development, the Blue Jays are hopeful that some key messages will trickle down to elite-level players before many of their habits on the field become set.
...
But there is also an element of self-interest at play, as well, as the scout school should help the Blue Jays deepen ties with coaches from coast to coast, allowing them to potentially identify players earlier in their careers, gain a better understanding of them as they grow, and use that information to their benefit at draft time.

Boileryard Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, blue jays, scouting

Monday, August 29, 2011

Huntington Beach Ocean View wins Little League World Series in dramatic fashion

Reporting from South Williamsport, Pa.—Bases loaded, two outs, a 12-year-old boy digs his foot into the batter’s box and there it is, a moment youngsters from all over the world dream about.

The scene might have taken place in the mind of any kid standing in a backyard or on a sandlot field, but on Sunday it played out before a national television audience and a crowd of 11,950 at Lamade Stadium, youth baseball’s Mecca.

And Nick Pratto, the confident son of a coach, delivered in a very real way.

His two-out single in the bottom of the sixth and final inning was the difference as Ocean View of Huntington Beach defeated a team from Hamamatsu City, Japan, 2-1, to win the championship of the Little League World Series.

Gamingboy Posted: August 29, 2011 at 02:51 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, international, japan

Steven: Baseball in Washington During the Civil War

The Civil War helped facilitate the spread of the “New York game” as soldiers idled away time in camp, prisons, and even the front lines. Just as other social organizations, such as fireman units, enlisted together, so to did some baseball clubs.  On April 5, 1861 the Jefferson Base Ball Club demonstrated their dedication to the Union by erecting a flag pole at their regular Franklin Square playing grounds at 14th and I Streets NW.

Amongst the thousands of New York troops arriving in Washington in 1861 were baseball players who brought their New York game with them.  Naturally, matches between regiments soon ensued.  An item in the Washington National Republican on June 28, 1861 announced a game to be played between New York units and hinted at the future NY Yankees/Giants-Brooklyn Dodgers rivalries:

“BASE BALL MATCH- There will be a match played at Camp Wool on tomorrow afternoon at 4 o’clock, between the first nine of the Baldwin B.B. Club (Co. D) and the first nine of the Steers B.B. Club (Co. E).  Those interested in the noble game of base ball are invited to witness the contest.  As the above clubs are composed of some of the best players of Brooklyn and New York, it is expected that the game will be very interesting.”

There were also matches between various New York units and the local Washington clubs The New Yorkers usually won these matches by lopsided scores such as when members of the New York 71st Regiment beat the Nationals 42 to 13 on July 12, 1861.  However, the Nationals got revenge a year later, defeating the 71st 28-13 on August 7, 1862.  The rematch brought out a large number of spectators, including a number of women, and guards from the regiment were posted to keep the crowds from encroaching on the playing field.

For civilians, watching a base ball match in the capital had the added advantage of being a wee bit safer than holding a picnic during the fireworks at Bull Run!

H/T Sarah S.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 29, 2011 at 01:05 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, history

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Almonte can’t steal Oceanside’s spirit

All the hype in 2001 was about Almonte, but 10 years later, Almonte’s baseball days are over. Meanwhile, two Oceanside players—the two smallest—are in the minor leagues.

Matthew Cerda, Oceanside’s 4-foot-10 catcher, grew almost a foot and became one of the best hitters to come out of Oceanside High School. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Chicago Cubs in 2008, and he’s now an infielder for Class A Daytona in the Florida State League, hitting .282.

Bobby Shore, who was limited to pinch-hitting during the LLWS because of an arm injury, pitched in the College World Series for Oklahoma, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and is now pitching for the Rookie League Pulaski (Va.) Mariners in the Appalachian League.


Oh, uh, if anybody wants to use this as a chatter for the LLWS, go ahead.

Gamingboy Posted: August 27, 2011 at 03:17 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur

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