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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Astros Are Hitting Like The 1927 Yankees

[The Astros] feature one of the most loaded lineups in major league history, performing something like the Yankees’ Murderers’ Row of the 1920s. In fact, by some measures, the only more effective offensive club in the HISTORY of the sport is the storied 1927 New York club.

The Astros finished the regular season with the second-best mark in weighted runs created plus (wRC+), which adjusts for era and ballparks, of all time. The ’27 Yankees produced a 126 mark as a team, meaning they were 26 percent above league average run-production efficiency. The ’19 Astros finished at 125 — and that’s the top of the list. For context, erstwhile Nationals star Bryce Harper produced a 125 wRC+ for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. The Astros are a TEAM of Harpers. MLB has rarely seen anything like it. ...

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 30, 2019 at 09:13 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, general

Friday, October 25, 2019

Feds probe whether White Sox insider involved in sale of thousands of complimentary game tickets on StubHub

Even in the age of StubHub, the sheer number of tickets that one man was selling to Chicago White Sox games through the online resale forum was mind-boggling.

Over the course of three seasons from 2016 to 2018, Bruce Lee sold more than 35,000 tickets to Sox home games through StubHub, generating nearly $1 million in revenue, according to federal records unsealed this week.


Kannapolis Intimidators drop name honoring Dale Earnhardt. Why they picked this new one

The Kannapolis Intimidators replaced their name made famous by hometown hero Dale Earnhardt with the new moniker “Cannon Ballers” Wednesday night.

“Cannon” pays homage to the former sheet and towel maker Cannon Mills that for decades employed thousands and dominated life in the city.
[...]
The team doesn’t own “and therefore cannot confidently build around the Intimidator name” as it moves to the city of Kannapolis’s new “Sports and Entertainment Venue” in 2020, team officials wrote, The Charlotte Observer reported at the time.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How Popular Is Baseball, Really?

Major League Baseball and its fans have raised alarms in recent years over a perceived decline in the popularity of baseball in the United States. Falling attendance, poor World Series ratings and a lack of nationally recognized stars are often cited as evidence of the sport’s impending collapse.

However, if viewed through the lens of total tickets sold and local television ratings, a somewhat more optimistic picture emerges: one of strong, local fan bases — and a national following that could have a lot more room to grow.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 23, 2019 at 06:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Astros Staffer’s Outburst at Female Reporters Illustrates MLB’s Forgive-and-Forget Attitude Toward Domestic Violence

More than an hour after José Altuve won the Astros the pennant, the party in the Houston clubhouse still raged. Rightfielder Josh Reddick was crushing vodka Red Bulls. Starter Gerrit Cole smoked a cigar. Shortstop Carlos Correa gazed lovingly at the American League championship trophy.

And in the center of the room, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman turned to a group of three female reporters, including one wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet, and yelled, half a dozen times, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f———glad we got Osuna!”

The outburst was offensive and frightening enough that another Houston staffer apologized. The Astros declined to comment. They also declined to make Taubman available for an interview.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Former Pirate Bobby Del Greco remembered as ‘hero,’ ‘bigger than life’

About 30 years ago, Bobby Del Greco Jr. was working out at a health spa with a friend when he heard a disturbing report.

“It came over the news that former Pittsburgh Pirate Bob Del Greco was missing and, possibly, dead,” his son remembers.

(After he retired from baseball, Del Greco Sr. drove a newspaper delivery truck, a job he held part-time during his player career while raising eight children with his wife, Catherine.)

The news report was sparked after his truck was found tipped over in the river.

“I ran down and called him and he said, ‘Hello,’ Del Greco Jr. said.

“Dad? Is it you?

“Yeah.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m eating fried bologna on pita bread, watching the Stooges.”

“Are you sure.”

“I’m positive.”


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Report: Wife, child of Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens murdered in Virginia

The wife and child of Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens were killed in a triple homicide in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports.

Bivens’s wife’s 18-year-old brother Matthew Thomas Bernard of Keeling, Virginia has been charged in all three murders, according to the report. The identity of the third victim was not noted in the report.

The third victim was Bivens’s mother-in-law. Bernard also reportedly killed the family dog.

Just a senseless tragedy.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

‘Homeless Minor Leaguer’ Ty Kelly Retires and Jokingly Jabs Andrew Luck for Stealing His Thunder

It looks like Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck wasn’t the only big name to walk away from their game last night.


Utility player Ty Kelly, who bounced around the MLB for parts of three seasons, announced that he would retire after his brief pro career


Monday, June 17, 2019

Padres, Rockies set new modern era record with 92 combined runs in four-game series

Along with 92 runs, the Padres and Rockies combined for 131 hits of which 17 were home runs. Charlie Blackmon had four hits in the first three games and three hits on Sunday, overall going 15-for-24 with four homers and 10 RBI.

CraigK Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: colorado rockies, general, san diego padres

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Phillies’ Odubel Herrera Arrested At Golden Nugget Hotel And Casino For Allegedly Assaulting Girlfriend, Police Say

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera was arrested Monday for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at an Atlantic City hotel and casino, police say. Herrera, 27, was taken into custody without incident at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino around 8:30 p.m. He has now been placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball.

Atlantic City police officers responded Monday night to the Golden Nugget for a domestic violence incident report.

When they arrived, they found a 20-year-old woman, of Philadelphia, with visible signs of injury to her arms and neck after allegedly being assaulted by Herrera.


Sunday, January 22, 2012


Saturday, January 21, 2012

It’s a power luncheon with Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh

And Bonds won’t be heir to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune either! (even though Benes gave up HR #100 to Bonds)

Though (Barry) Bonds escaped more serious charges — the jury deadlocked on three counts of perjury — most consider his record of 762 homers tainted and believe Aaron to be the true standard bearer.

“There is a player who hit more home runs than I did — I feel like it’s his record, and that’s the end of it,” Aaron said. “Records are made to be broken, and it just so happens Barry broke mine. Whatever things he has to live with other than that, that’s his problem. I have no other problem with it.”

(Frank) Robinson does.

“In my mind, Hank is the home run king, no question,” said Robinson, who ranks ninth all-time with 586 homers. Asked to elaborate, Robinson said, “I don’t want to get into that.”

Aaron, who is walking with the help of a cane, has tread lightly on the topic of Bonds, at least publicly.

...Aaron on Saturday declined to answer a question about players snubbed by Hall of Fame voters for admitted (Mark McGwire) or alleged (Rafael Palmeiro) steroid use, but made clear his opinion about cheaters when asked what he tells kids.

“The No. 1 thing you want to instill in them is there are absolutely no short cuts in life,” Aaron said. “If they start thinking that to be successful you have to do something crazy like drugs and all this other stuff … there are no short cuts.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, January 20, 2012

Astros Sign Catcher Chris Snyder

Catcher Chris Snyder signed by Houston Astros. 1 year deal with mutual option.

Tricky Dick Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:24 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Roher: The Verducci Effect Is Overworked And Broken Down

Every study I could find on the Verducci Effect suggests that it at best doesn’t exist and at worst is backwards. David Gassko’s 2006 study focused on the possibility of a decline in performance, and found an increase:

Jeremy Greenhouse’s 2010 follow-up focused on injuries and also found nothing. JC Bradbury came up empty. Brian Burke used a card game to show how randomness, not overuse, is the likely culprit. Tom Tango expressed his concerns (there’s elaboration in the comments.) Scoresheetwiz found nothing too.

Deadspin is still a leaking boil of a website, but someone pointed me to this and it was pretty interesting.  Maybe someone can ask Verducci about it.

Lassus Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Gary Carter’s fight with cancer takes turn for the worse; new tumors found on Hall of Famer’s brain

Gary Carter’s fight with brain cancer has turned from brave to extremely grave.

On Thursday, Carter’s family received a phone call from the doctors at Duke University who have been treating the Mets Hall of Fame catcher informing them that the most recent MRI revealed “several new spots/tumors on his brain,” Carter’s daughter, Kimmy Bloomers, wrote on the family website.

In recent weeks, Carter’s condition was visibly worsening, and Carter began complaining of severe headaches, fatigue and balance problems that resulted in a fall on Christmas Day in which he tore his rotator cuff.

This past week, Carter spent almost all of his time at his home in Palm Beach Gardens and was too weak Monday to even attend his annual charity golf tournament a few miles away.

According to a family source, the doctors are now deciding whether to cease giving Carter any more treatment.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:52 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: general

StL Today - An ‘Idol’ moment for ex-Cardinal Joe Magrane

The Cardinals and former pitcher Joe Magrane received a shout out from the judges during the debut of American Idol on Wednesday night.

Magrane’s daughter, Shannon, 15, from Tampa, Fla., was auditioning. She mentioned that she was a volleyball player and said that she had an athletic family.

When she explained that her father was Joe Magrane, who pitched for the Cardinals in the 1987 World Series, the Idol judges immediately became impressed and asked to meet her family.

The entire Magrane family came out, and Joe shook hands with the judges.

There was a bit of an awkward moment when Joe asked Steven Tyler how things were in Beantown.

Tyler responded, “Hot, humid and happening - just like your daughter.”

Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: general

The Economist: Whirling Darvish

Will Yu be the next Dice-K?

Mr Darvish’s Japanese statistics are significantly better than Mr Matsuzaka’s were. He has allowed just 47% as many earned runs over the last five years as an average NPB pitcher would have in the same number of innings. In contrast, Mr Matsuzaka gave up earned runs at 60% of the league-average rate during his final four years in NPB.

Moreover, Mr Darvish has much more of a classic pitcher’s build than does Mr Matsuzaka. At six feet, five inches (1.96m) and 216 pounds (98kg), he throws on a sharp downward plane, forcing batters to hit the ball on the ground—a particularly valuable asset in the Rangers’ stadium, where the hot, humid air transforms harmless fly balls into towering home runs. His size may also help his body hold up to the wear and tear of pitching every five days in MLB, rather than the six that is customary in Japan. Mr Matsuzaka, who stands a comparatively modest six feet and weighs 185 pounds, induced far too few ground balls and broke down in just his third season in Boston.

Finally, Mr Darvish is likely to find the transition to America easier than Mr Matsuzaka did. He comes from a multicultural family: his Iranian father attended high school and university in the United States, where he met Mr Darvish’s mother. The family spoke English at home until their son was three, and Nolan Ryan, the Rangers’ CEO and an iconic pitcher of the 1970s and 80s, reported that Mr Darvish “understands a lot of English” after meeting him earlier this month. And Mr Darvish is already comfortable in the spotlight. Thanks both to his success on the field and his marriage to Saeko, a famous Japanese actress (which ended on January 19th), he has been a celebrity in his home country for years, and frequently poses for magazine covers.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, January 13, 2012

OT: PGA Tour Thread, Winter 2012

This is a test of sorts. Actually I expect little but derision, but that has never stopped me.  Given that we have OT threads on hoops and football and soccer going, and that there’s a pro-bowling obituary up this morning, I wonder if there are any Primates interested in the start of the PGA Tour season in Maui this weekend.  After one round, defending Tournament of Champions Champion Jonathan Byrd leads by one stroke. 

This year’s PGA Tour season faces a number of challenges, many of them unforeseen byproducts of there being “too much money” in the global sport even in the teeth of a worldwide recession.  The opening Tour event in Maui, designed as an elite event involving last year’s tournament winners, has shrunk to a small field, because most of the major stars have been playing all winter in places like Thailand and the Persian Gulf for huge purses, and a purse of a mere $5.6 million isn’t going to get them on the plane to flipping Hawaii to play golf.  Indeed, ordinary weekly events on the PGA Tour, once the center of the golf world, are now mostly optional for the major stars: sponsors are worried that the tournaments will fill with obscurer touring pros (though paradoxically, once an obscure touring pro wins a couple of these ordinary weekends, he becomes a big star and gets to play for millions year-round).  It’s a bloated economic phenomenon, but still a beautiful sport.  Reminds me of baseball :)

BDC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:24 AM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Report: Bud Selig to get a two-year extension

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Gamingboy Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: general

NY Mag: The Met Who Blames Everything on the Wilpons

Let the wild guessing on identity begin!

It hurts me to say this, because I’ve always liked Fred Wilpon. I know in his heart how much he wants the Mets to succeed. He’s always lived and died with the team. But there comes a time when it’s no longer possible to be in charge. Fred doesn’t have enough money to make it work.

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Long Hall of Fame Review

My predictions so rarely come true that I find it comforting, when I actually get one right, to pause and be awed by the sheer unlikeliness of it. This time around, I predicted that Jack Morris would take a huge jump forward in the Hall of Fame voting in 2012—I said his vote total could even get into the high 60s.

Well, sure enough, Jack Morris jumped from 53.5% of the vote in 2011 all the way up to 66.7% in 2012. High 60s. I was hardly the only person to make this prediction, but, again, I’m going to bask in it. I think Morris did enough this year—I really believe he will get elected to the Hall of Fame next year. I will get into all that in a few minutes.

First, I’m going to give you more than wanted to know about Hall of Fame voting. I find Morris’ climb in the voting—from a low of 19.6% in his second ballot all the way up to the shadow of the Hall of Fame in his 13th—absolutely fascinating. And it made me go back and look at some of the other players who climbed from low vote totals to the Hall of Fame. That led me to look at every Hall of Fame ballot since 1966, when the writers went back to voting every year. And THAT look back led me to break down the Hall of Fame votes player by player in a way that would get me locked up in a padded cell in most countries.

But, hey, I did it, so I might as well share what I found. I’ll warn you again: It’s more than wanted to know.

Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:42 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Manny Ramirez: I’ll be a role model

Early last season, Manny Ramirez abruptly retired from baseball after a second violation of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug rules, choosing to walk away from the game rather than serve a 100-game suspension.

Now, Ramirez wants to land a tryout with a major league team for spring training, hoping that his filing for reinstatement and having his ban shortened from 100 games to 50 games will show teams that he’s changed.

“I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing,” Ramirez told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez in an interview. “And to show people that I still can play. I don’t want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don’t quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you’re going to leave, leave the right way.”

Ramirez, who’s currently working out in Florida, taking swings in a batting cage and getting in shape by working out in a pool, believes he can be a role model if a team gives him a chance.

“A bunch of guys are going to look at me and say hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn’t quit. Look how he finished. He did the right thing and came back,” Ramirez told Gomez.

Thanks to DT.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:35 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hall debate spawns a new stats superhero, Saberboy

I saw this erupt on Twitter yesterday.

The Splash Hit blog chronicles some of the back-and-forth between Miller, Parker, ESPN’s Keith Law and others that devolved into the difference between batting average and on-base percentage and led to the

money post from Miller to Parker:

Ah, I think after being a baseball beat writer for 16 years that I know what OBP is, Saberboy

And so, at 7:32 p.m. ET ... Saberboy was born.

scareduck Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Clubhouse Confidential: HOF Roundtable

Video is at the link.

Brian Kenny hosts.  Jay Jaffe, Joe Sheehan, and Jon Heyman are members of the roundtable.

Xander Posted: January 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, January 06, 2012

Verducci: My Hall of Fame Ballot

Larkin,
Bagwell,
McGriff, and
Raines

Strongly considered Jack Morris, but wait til next year

Ephus Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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