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Thursday, July 05, 2018

2-time World Series champion Shane Victorino officially announces retirement from MLB

“I think it’s time to hang it up and call it a career. I’ve been blessed with that opportunity as a baseball player, as a little boy growing up in Maui, getting an opportunity to represent my state, represent my people, so it’s about that time,” he said. “It’s time for me to say, it’s time for me to move on, time for me to enjoy retirement. Officially, Aug. 3 will be the date. I’ll go back to Philly and probably sign a one-day deal, and hang it up and call it a career.”

His announcement puts a close to the most prolific and decorated career in Hawaii baseball history.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Woman charged, accused of breaking into home of Royals pitcher Danny Duffy

Duffy watched the video feed as an unknown woman walked around inside his home.

When police arrived, they found the woman walking down the stairs in Duffy’s clothing. The woman told police she thought his home was an Airbnb.

Not safe at home, then?


Monday, May 21, 2018

Jordan Hicks, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. among the MLB’s youth surge

Hicks has a little giddyup in his game.

1. Jordan Hicks is redefining what a hard-throwing pitcher can be. Ever since the Cardinals took him in the 2015 draft — with, naturally, the 105th pick — he has tantalized the organization with his athleticism. Nobody saw this.

Even with a velocity jump last season, which Hicks spent in Low-A and High-A, the prospect of him doing much more than spending this season rounding out his arsenal to remain a starting pitcher seemed far-fetched. Then he came out in spring training busting triple digits and strong-armed the Cardinals into making him part of their opening day bullpen.

And he’s been excellent, with a 2.05 ERA over 22 innings, though Hicks may well be the greatest curiosity in baseball, and not because the world wonders how a 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-hander may throw harder than anyone in history. No, it’s because in this moment, this baseball epoch where striking guys out is easier than ever, Jordan Hicks, he of the 105-mph fastball, has the 235th strikeout rate of the 236 pitchers with at least 20 innings. He has struck out nine batters — and walked 16. Coming into Sunday, Hicks had thrown 229 sinkers and generated swings and misses on just 20, according to Brooks.

Seeing as its average velocity is over 100 mph, Hicks’ two-seamer has the potential to be the rare groundball-heavy swing-and-miss pitch. (See: Zach Britton’s sinker.) For now, it’s just something to ogle. The major league version of what

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:54 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: general, jordan hicks

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Woman who played professional baseball finds new career fighting fires in Oregon

She has an area in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and has been interviewed by some of the greats, but now Ila Borders is saving lives and serving the community of Cornelius.
[...]
The trajectory of her life then changed with a pair of tragic events. Borders lost her grandmother to a drowning and lost her partner to a drunken driver.

She battled serious depression, but found a new life in Oregon.

Borders is now 43 and married again. She is in her third year as lieutenant and paramedic for the Cornelius Fire Department.


Monday, May 14, 2018

How seasoned rookie Brandon Mann achieved his big-league dream after 17 years, a stint in Japan and a suspension

Mann reached his goal after 267 minor league appearances, three seasons in independent leagues, two seasons in Japan and one suspension for use of a banned substance.

“It means everything,” said Mann, who got the final five outs in the Rangers’ 6-1 loss to Houston at Minute Maid Park. “Lots of reflecting on the journey of where it’s been. This is pretty awesome.

“I always told myself I was a big leaguer. To keep grinding for that opportunity, you have to believe that you are.”


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Padres’ Chase Headley experiment is over

“Chase has been great to this organization for a long time,” manager Andy Green said. “This has been a tough start to the season, and he got very limited opportunity. It got to the point where it was probably best for everyone involved to make that move. … Nothing but gratitude for the way he went about his job, the professionalism. He showed up every day, (he made) an investment in these guys. He was trying to make an impact every day.”

Headley had spoken in recent weeks of his being let go being a matter of time for an organization that is invested in seeing who among its young players can stick around for a time when the Padres envision being a contender.


Headley was fairly decent as recently as last year, but Father Time is still undefeated.


Twins special assistant Jim Kaat wants to see baseball go to 7-inning games

Kaat’s primary points about the change include the fact it would restore the importance of starting pitchers, with the starter going five and then the setup man and closer taking over; the size of pitching staffs could be reduced (clearly this has no chance of flying with the union); and teams could bring back four-man starting rotations.


We interrupt this Minor League contest to bring you a real, live snake on the field

[T]he Double-A San Antonio Missions—like all great Minor League clubs, really—are innovators. They weren’t just content to trot some bird or woodland creature out there while locked in a tight game against the Frisco RoughRiders on Friday night. No, they enlisted the help of an enormous and terrifying snake:


Friday, May 11, 2018

Ex-Reds starting pitcher Kyle Lohse announces retirement

After 16 seasons in Major League Baseball, former Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Kyle Lohse announced that he’s calling it quits after the Kansas City Royals released him on Thursday.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

White Sox prospect Jake Burger tears Achilles tendon for 2nd time

Hahn said the long-term prognosis remains positive and he expects Burger to have “no restrictions” once his leg heals. Hahn said the latest injury occurred at Burger’s home in Arizona.

“He was walking in his backyard and took a step and unfortunately felt a pop,” Hahn said. “It appears nothing could have been done to prevent this, much like the first one.

“Doctors are very optimistic that this repair, the second repair, will take, especially with the graft-tissue attachment. It’s a step that’s made to help solidify the strength of the tendon and the repair.

Bad luck for one of the Pale Hose’s top prospects.


Ned Colletti Goes Inside Baseball

Controversy surfaced when the question of “juicing” or steroid use came up. Colletti mentioned legendary hitter Barry Bonds, saying, “It hurts me that Barry’s not in the Hall. He was one of the greatest, smartest players I’ve been around —genius.”

While commenting that he never saw any drug use, Colletti did say that of course it was suspected, but that management’s hands were tied because the players’ union did not allow drug testing for athletes. He claims, though, he suspects 90 percent of players were using amphetamines to keep their energy up after long games, exhaustive plane rides and short turnarounds.
[...]
On a lighter note, Colletti had the audience laughing when relaying a story about Manny Ramirez cutting just two inches of his dreadlocks to appease Dodgers dress code.

Some interesting quotes from the former Dodgers GM.


From Atlanta to Athens, organist Matthew Kaminski keeping baseball’s music tradition alive

When Kaminski decided on a whim to audition for the Braves organist position in 2009, he got the job. Two years later, he was contacted by the Georgia athletic association, which asked Kaminski to play a few games in Athens.

What started as a dozen or so games the first year turned into a seven-year long relationship between Kaminski and the Bulldogs. Whenever the Braves are out of town, or their season has not yet started, Kaminski can be found at Foley Field. The difference in crowd size between the two venues is jarring. SunTrust Park holds over 40,000 fans while Foley Field maxes out at 3,291.

But that’s OK with the baseball organist.

“I like the smaller stadiums better because I can hear the interaction of what I’m doing,” Kaminski said. “I don’t quite feel like I’m in the crowd [at SunTrust], whereas here, you’re so close to it.”


Many Twins players embrace extra-innings rules changes, but not what’s happening in the minors

“Doesn’t seem fair,” said Duffey, the Twins righthander who is currently back at Class AAA. “Doesn’t seem like baseball.”

That’s a common complaint as minor league baseball implements the experimental rules, designed to address what some consider a scourge and others view as a blessing: extra innings.

Interesting to see some feedback on the recent changes.


Here are the DII baseball records we think will never be broken

Not a question I had ever considered asking, but some of these are pretty neat. One example:

The final score was 71-1 and that was after only four innings. St. Francis, a dual member of the NAIA and DII baseball, jumped all over Robert Morris, and they did it quickly forcing them to surrender after four innings. Here are just some of the more eye-popping numbers from that game that still stand as single-game records:

  10: Triples in a game
  11: Bases on balls in an inning
  26: Runs in an inning
  44: Hits in a game
  53: RBI in a game (due to 16 errors, not every run was an official RBI)
  70: largest margin of victory

Brian Mazurek had himself a day to remember. St. Francis got 71 players to cross home plate and only one came via the long ball, which was hit by Mazurek on his way to the cycle. But he entered the DII baseball record books with nine RBI in a single inning.


Rafael Palmeiro Making a Comeback in Pro Baseball in Cleburne

A familiar face is making a comeback in professional baseball in North Texas, with a few grey hairs to show for his time off. Rafael Palmeiro signed on Wednesday with the independent Cleburne Railroaders, who play in the American Association.

Now 53, Palmeiro played 20 years for the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, and he won’t be making the trip to Cleburne alone.
[...]
“Wherever you go, I’m gonna go with you because we’re gonna do this together,” said Palmeiro’s older son Patrick.

He signed with the Cleburne Railroaders on Wednesday too. They’ll hit the field together for opening day next week.

Publicity stunt or not, there’s always something nice about a father having a catch with his son.


Hochman: Ex-Cardinal Lynn jaded by free-agency experience

“Maybe I’ll just go on and be a hired gun the rest of my career, I don’t really care,” Lynn said in his monotone voice. “If somebody gives me a chance to pitch, I’m going to go do it, I’m not worried about anything else. It’s kind of been who I’ve been my whole life. I’m going to take the ball and I’m going to try to help the team win.

“That’s kind of the unfortunate business part of baseball now. I was here for seven years and there’s no loyalty in the game. So as players, you’ve noticed players not having the loyalty anymore either. Until some of the things get cleaned up with the way the game’s going, the direction, that’s how it’s going to be.


Andre Dawson embraces death in new life running funeral home: ‘It’s not for the weak’

The call was urgent, and the emotions raw, when three businessmen pulled into the Little Havana neighborhood in the early afternoon, rang the doorbell, and solemnly walked into the home to get the dead body.

A man directed them to the bedroom where his father had just passed away. He looked up twice and stared intently through his glassy, reddened eyes, as his face contorted in an odd mixture of grief, confusion and thrill.

“The Hawk?’’ he blurted out.

“Yes,’’ Andre Dawson said, “that’s me.’’


Sunday, March 04, 2018

We X-Rayed Some MLB Baseballs. Here’s What We Found.

On top of the fact that the balls became bouncier as the core itself changed, previous research at FiveThirtyEight showed that they also became less air resistant. The decrease in drag is probably a result of a smaller, slicker baseball with lower seams. The change in air resistance could add an additional 5 feet to the travel distance of a fly ball. Combine all these factors together — a lighter, more compact baseball with tighter seams and more bounce — and the ball could fly as much as 8.6 feet farther.

Bored Posted: March 04, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: general, juiced baseballs

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lovullo adjusting to new mound-visit rules

Some interesting points here about the impact to the game of this new rule

shoewizard Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:20 AM | 200 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general, pace of play

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tigers’ Wood nearly lost finger in crossbow misshap

Manager Ron Gardenhire couldn’t resist.

When he found out that left-hander Travis Wood had nearly split the index finger on his right hand in two in a crossbow malfunction, he quipped, “He’s got a split-finger pitch now.”


Tito Francona, a Former Baseball All-Star, Dies at 84

Tito Francona, a former All-Star who played for 15 seasons in the major leagues and was the father of Terry Francona, the Cleveland Indians’ manager, died on Tuesday night at his home in New Brighton, Pa. He was 84.


Joplin-based professional baseball team taking name submissions

President of Ventura Sports Group, Wayne Schuster, says they are looking for a team name that is unique, represents Joplin’s history, and that will create a mascot who local children can embrace. Schuster says they’ve already received more than 200 name submissions and will continue to receive them until March 15th.

This is apparently a team in the Southwest League, a new league planning to start play in 2019. Joplin has had pro teams before: the Miners and the Blasters, as well as a college team from Missouri Southern State University.

Anybody have any good ideas?


DII baseball: Former Cy Young winner Jack McDowell begins a new era at Queens (NC)

So, how did the Stanford graduate and former west coast guy wind up on the small Charlotte, N.C. campus at Queens?

“I married a Wilmington [N.C.] girl,” McDowell said. “We moved here about six years ago. I found out through a friend of mine that Queens was starting up a baseball program. I live a half a mile from the campus, so I contacted them. Our Athletic Director, Cherie Swarthout, told me, ‘thanks for your interest, but we’re not looking to add baseball at this time.’ I was like, ‘dude, why’d you tell me that?’

“Literally a year later, Cherie contacted me, and started talking with me like a consultant. By going through that process we started talking more. I don’t think they were sure that I wanted to coach, and I wasn’t sure if they were looking for me to coach either. After awhile I was like, ‘hey, you guys think I can coach this, right?’”


Ex-A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker retires after career derailed by injuries

At just 29, Jarrod Parker is officially retiring from the game in which he fought so hard to stay after two hideous elbow injuries. He told The Chronicle this week that all that remains is the paperwork.

“I’m not entertaining any offers, let’s put it that way,” Parker said. “I’m just working through the logistical stuff.”

Not surprising, but still kind of a shame. He was a hell of a pitcher before his elbow fell apart.


Padres pitcher Jose Torres facing domestic violence charges

Padres reliever Jose Torres was arrested in December after a dispute in which he allegedly brandished a semiautomatic handgun.

The incident occurred in the home Torres shares with his wife in Phoenix and is being handled as a domestic violence case, according to court documents.

According to the probable cause statement contained in the court report, Torres knocked a door off its hinges and punched a hole in another door. He also pointed the gun at the victim, according to the report.

Torres was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage and making threats or intimidation.

Not a good look for Mr. Torres.


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