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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 compared with traditional bats.

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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Mound Becomes a Summit:  Mo’ne Davis Dominates at Little League World Series

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — An unmistakable electricity ran through Howard J. Lamade Stadium on Friday as a team from Pennsylvania faced a team from Tennessee on the second day of the Little League World Series.

Outside the stadium, fans and family members were enjoying a pleasant afternoon. But inside, there was the energy of championship Sunday, a sense of expectation that went beyond partisan cheering. Something special was happening.

Mo’ne Davis was on the mound for the first time since her suffocating performance in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship, when she shut out Delaware-Newark National to lead Taney Youth Baseball Association of Philadelphia to the Series. Most of the announced 15,648 in attendance recognized the potential for something historic to unfold.

Could she live up to the hype?

Yes.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 16, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: general, little league

Friday, August 08, 2014

Jennings takes liner off head in Marlins loss to Pirates

In one seventh-inning instant, the game became secondary.

The Marlins and Pirates played through a horrific episode that saw lefty reliever Dan Jennings take a Jordy Mercer liner off the left side of his head. The ball went straight up and into the glove of shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

A shocked and disoriented Jennings went down and got up immediately. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia arrived and helped him down to a knee. PNC Park went silent. Jennings’ teammates gathered and Mercer in a catcher’s crouch looked on from the infield grass between first base and the mound.

It sounds like he’s going to be OK, but man, that was scary.


Decline of the Curve

The fans laughed at the batter as he slunk back to the dugout, where he was greeted with his own teammates’ laughter and derision. Steineke shouted toward the opposing team’s bench, “That’s all right, Sonny. It ain’t over for you yet. You still got time to call Daddy, tell him you’ll be home in time for bailing hay, because, #######, Daddy, I ain’t never gonna be able to hit that f—-ing pitch.”
[...]
In early March, I drove down to Orlando, Fla., on an expedition to discover how, why and when the Unfair One became extinct. Who killed it? What killed it?

Even by Pat Jordan’s standards, this is a very good piece.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 08, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: general, history, pitches, pitching

Did The Enquirer Take Down a Castellini Arrest Story?

Robert S. Castellini, the 46-year-old son of Reds owner Bob Castellini, and his wife Deanna were arrested and charged with domestic violence for fighting in front of their children.

Crime reporter Kimball Perry was all over the story, as he has a long history of detailing the crayist of the cray in Hamilton County courtrooms, reporting on Monday that both Robert and Deanna went in front of a judge that morning and how court documents described “visible scratch marks around the neck of Ms. Castellini” and Robert having “visible scratches around his neck and shoulder.

Despite such drama and intrigue — three Castellinis work in the Reds front office and Robert’s lawyer is Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou — The Enquirer appears to have pulled the story from its website as of Tuesday afternoon.


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Paul Goldschmidt has fractured left hand, goes on DL

PHOENIX (AP) — The Diamondbacks’ dismal season got worse Saturday with the news that All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a fractured left hand.

Goldschmidt, who finished as the runner-up in the National League MVP voting last season, was hurt when he was hit by a pitch from Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning of Friday night’s 9-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Diamondbacks have placed Goldschmidt on the 15-day disabled list, and there was no word on how long he is expected to be sidelined.

Well, time to play for that number 1 pick.  %$#& !!!

shoewizard Posted: August 02, 2014 at 09:16 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general, injury

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Detroit Tigers’ Evan Reed charged with sexual assault

The charges against Reed carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. He’s charged under the theory that he committed sexual penetration through force or coercion, knowing that the woman was unable to consent, according to the news release.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The 30: Center of Attention

A lot of good stuff in Jonah Keri’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general, sabermetrics

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Rosenthal: Yankees acquire RHP McCarthy from D-backs

The New York Yankees have acquired right-hander Brandon McCarthy from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for left-hander Vidal Nuno, FOX Sports 1 Insider Ken Rosenthal reports.

The benefit for the Yankees here seems fairly obvious. I’m a bit more quizzical about the Diamondbacks’ perspective - maybe they were primarily motivated by a desire to unload McCarthy’s salary, and plan to stick Nuno into the LHRP slot just vacated by Thatcher?


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Diamondbacks send Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels

The Diamondbacks’ are on the verge of making the first of what could be many trades this month, agreeing to a deal that will send left-hander Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels.

In exchange, the Diamondbacks are receiving a pair of minor leaguers, right-handed reliever Joey Krehbiel and outfielder Zach Borenstein.

I know it’s not a trolling article about sabermetrics from an old fogey sportswriter, but we need to fill the front page with something, and I guess actual baseball transactions make as much sense as anything.


Thursday, July 03, 2014

SC Featured: Toe Nash - ESPN Video - ESPN

The story of Toe Nash.

Edit: Removed dopey ESPN video which was intent on autoplaying. Jim

Jim Furtado Posted: July 03, 2014 at 06:52 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Twitter: Mitchell Lichtman

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2014 at 06:56 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Baseball Helps….Sometimes

Lindsey Adler, a BuzzFeed sports intern, noted that the unpredictability of baseball holds her attention as she has anxiety and depression. The simplicity of the game keeps it stress free for Adler.

“I’ve found baseball to be really effective in curbing my anxiety/depression,” Adler said. “Watching upwards of 150 games over the course of the season serves as a major distraction from my anxieties. It creates a routine for me, in which I spend approximately four hours every night focusing almost solely on the game.”

Poster Nutbag Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

D-backs’ GM Kevin Towers: ‘I don’t want to be a pseudo-GM’

For Towers, right now it’s business as usual and he’s hoping his duties and responsibilities don’t change much.

“I certainly don’t want to be a pseudo-GM,” he said. “The front office role will be new to him and I’m hoping I can help him too, like the daily calendar and what’s important in June and July. These are some of the good players in our system—no different from what Jerry Dipoto did for me in my first year here.

“I’m hoping that we help one another and as we get to talk that he’ll have the confidence in the very near future to let me run the club as I have been but everything will go through him and be shared with him. You’d like to think that our vision and everything is on the same page.”

shoewizard Posted: May 21, 2014 at 07:29 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general, general managers

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

Chris Getz retires from baseball

“I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve played and will always be passionate about the game,” Getz said. “I’m starting a family, and I’m interested in other endeavors both inside and outside of the game.”

Getz: Back where he once belonged.


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

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Jackson St. University baseball team’s bus destroyed by fire on I-20/59 in Birmingham

A Jackson State University bus carrying the men’s baseball team caught fire while traveling through Birmingham on Interstate 20/59 Monday, ABC 33/40 has learned.

According to police, everyone on board escaped the burning bus unharmed, but they will have to find a new ride as the bus was completely destroyed in the fire. It is unknown at this time what caused the blaze.

Be sure to click the link for the photos - it looks like a pretty impressive fire.

(Jackson State is a D-1 program, a historically black college in Mississippi. It has produced nine MLB players, most notably Oil Can Boyd, Dave Clark, and Wes Chamberlain.)

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: college, general, travel

Monday, May 05, 2014

6-year-old burn victim Owen Mahan joins UIndy’s baseball team

February 11, 2014. The scene was surreal. Cameras were clicking as the young boy signed his letter of intent to join the University of Indianapolis baseball team. Once he slipped his new jersey over his shirt, it was clear he belonged.

Owen Mahan, No. 1.

“He was very timid when he first walked in,” baseball coach Gary Vaught said. “But then I said, ‘Owen, are you ready to put that Greyhound uniform on?’ It was like a light switch went on. We put that jersey on him and it was like, ‘Hey, I’m a part of this team. I’m on this ballclub now.’”
[..]
He’s a part of the team. So much so that the coach gave him the nickname “Big Daddy Jack Rabbit” to join the ranks of other Vaught disciples: “Big Chief,” “The Hawk,” “Bull.” So much so that Asalon said, “He’s just like one of us. He’s just another guy on the team.”

Nice story out of Indiana. I think I have something in my eye…

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:04 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: college, general, injuries

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.


From No. 1 draft pick to prison inmate: The Matt Bush story

I interviewed Bush at Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper, Florida, close to the Georgia line. He has been incarcerated since the spring of 2012 and our crew represented his first visitors.

Bush was tired and moving slowly when he showed up in the room selected for our chat. We conversed intimately in an old, exceptionally hot, minimally ventilated, out-of-service infirmary. The prison staff had neglected to alert Bush of our impending arrival, he said.

An interesting jailhouse interview with Matt Bush. Kapler has been doing some really good work lately.


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Ohio State freshman pitcher Zach Farmer diagnosed with leukemia

Zach had not been feeling good for approximately a week when he went to see our team doctors on Monday,” [Ohio State coach Greg] Beals said. “Blood tests were drawn as doctors originally suspected mono. The tests came back negative for mono, but abnormalities in the blood count showed leukemia. Further blood tests were done to led us to this diagnosis.”

Farmer, a lefthanded starter from Piketon, had a 6-4 record with a 3.28 ERA in nine starts this season. In 49.1 innings, Farmer had held opponents to a .234 batting average. While at Piketon High, Farmer was a four-year letterwinner and three-time first team All-Ohio selection. He went 10-1 with a 0.52 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 81 innings as a senior.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Pitcher Clay Hensley will retire from baseball

Hensley spent parts of seven seasons in the majors with the Padres, Marlins, and Giants, finishing his career with an even 4.00 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 271 games and 517 innings pitched. He last played in the majors in 2012, and was most recently pitching for the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

NY Times: The Upshot: Up Close on Baseball’s Borders

Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated has called the line running through Connecticut that separates Yankee fans and Red Sox fans the Munson-Nixon line. Mr. Rushin came up with the name — in honor of the late Yankee catcher Thurman Munson and the retired Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon — in 2003, and he had to guess where the line ran: “north of New Haven but south of Hartford, running the breadth of central Connecticut.”

We don’t have to guess anymore.

Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook. Using aggregated data provided by the company, we were able to create an unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes. We can now clearly see that both Hartford and New Haven are in fact Yankee outposts. We can also determine the precise Chicago neighborhoods where White Sox jerseys stop being welcome and the central California town where the Dodgers cede fan favorite status to the Giants.

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 24, 2014 at 12:31 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, general

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