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General Newsbeat

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ken Johnson, Only Loser of 9-Inning No-Hitter, Dies at 82

His son Kenneth Jr. said that his father had been bedridden with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and that he died after contracting a kidney infection.

For three seasons in the heart of his career, 1965-67, pitching for the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (the franchise moved after the 1965 season), Johnson was an effective starter, going 43-27 with 26 complete games. It was earlier, however, on April 23, 1964, that while pitching for Houston (then known as the Colt .45s) against the Cincinnati Reds, he claimed his spot in history.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pine Belt Major League Baseball player dies

Walter Young Junior played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005, and since 2011 he worked as a resource officer for the Lamar County School District.
Young was 35 years old.

Much, much too soon.

Young hit the longest home run I’ve ever seen in person. I’ll never forget him.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ex-pro baseball player arrested in Corona double murder

A former pro baseball player was arrested Friday in a double murder case in Corona.

Brandon Martin was being sought after the bodies of two men were found inside a home in the 1000 block of Winthrop Drive Thursday night.

Martin once had a bright future as a pro baseball player. Now, the 22-year-old is suspected of murdering his 64-year-old father Michael Martin and 62-year-old Barry Swanson, a sub-contractor for ADT Security.
Neighbors were in shock over the identity of the suspect. Martin is well-known in Corona sports circles. In 2011, the one-time baseball star was the 38th pick in the Major League draft out of Santiago High School.

Man, I remember that kid. Really good defender. Going from the supplemental first round to a double-murder charge in only four years is one hell of a fall.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

NY Post: Sherman: Forecasting Harsh Fallouts from 10 Most Disappointing MLB Teams

6. Mariners

How can a team invest in Robinson Cano one offseason and Nelson Cruz in another, yet in 2015 be averaging fewer runs than it did in 2013 and the third-fewest in the AL? Even if GM Jack Zduriencik has an answer it might not matter. He is on tremulous ground, and that probably means manager Lloyd McClendon is as well.

Zduriencik has had three top-five picks in the draft — Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino and Danny Hultzen – that have not worked out, nor has the salary infusion. Seattle still has to figure out how to consistently score runs in its big home park as much as Colorado has to determine how to prevent them a mile high.

bobm Posted: August 22, 2015 at 06:19 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Arizona Diamondbacks left draft cash on table

But there was one thing the Diamondbacks didn’t do, something that raised eyebrows for many in the industry: They left a sizeable chunk of their $12.8 million draft allotment unspent, leaving some $1.7 million in pool money on the table. That’s the most unspent pool money by a team in the four years since the current collective bargaining agreement went into effect….

Given some other moves the team has made — blowing up its international pool for only one player (Yoan Lopez) rather than signing several; apparently not getting full value for Touki Toussaint when he was sold to the Braves — it seems fair to wonder if the organization cares about maximizing value.


shoewizard Posted: July 22, 2015 at 11:47 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, draft, general, general managers, scouting

Sunday, July 12, 2015

End the Home Run Derby

Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, set for Monday, is a tedious monstrosity of batting-practice gluttony, a swing-killing relic of the steroid era. It is an elephantine affront to the grace, agility and precision of the game….the allure — along with the ratings, which last year were the lowest recorded since 1997 — is gone….

And mega-stars such as Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Colorado Rockies standouts Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki want no part of it. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon wants young stars Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, who have both been announced as participants, to steer clear, fearing that the derby will disrupt their carefully honed swings.

So the ratings are lousy, the spectacle demeans the sport it supposedly celebrates, the game’s best players are becoming allergic to it, the uniforms are unhinged from the game’s history and the only satisfied customers (and I’m beginning to wonder about them) appear to be the corporate sponsors….

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 12, 2015 at 10:51 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Hardball’s winners and losers at halfway point of MLB season | New York Post

Joel Sherman picks the mid-season award winners.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 05, 2015 at 10:19 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mets MGR Terry Collins on life and his Dad

if you read only one Father’s Day sports story this weekend, make it this one

“Terry Collins moved his father to Florida last winter, but as spring training approached, the old man’s compass pointed back to Midland, Michigan. It’s freezing up there, said Terry. But Loren “Bud” Collins was 95, and knew where he wanted to rest.

“I just think it’s time to go home,” he said.”

Howie Menckel Posted: June 20, 2015 at 10:48 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general, mets

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tampa’s Wilson does it all in marathon win -  Backstop catches 15 innings, hurls two frames, slugs first pro homer

Officially, Yankees prospect Wes Wilson is listed as a catcher. Unofficially, he’s an iron man two-way player, a lights-out closer, a jokester, and after his late-innings exploits Thursday, somewhat of a Tampa hero.

Wilson caught 15 innings behind the plate before tossing two perfect innings of relief and capping his mammoth night with a go-ahead homer in the 17th frame as the Class A Advanced Yankees outlasted the host Bradenton Marauders, 5-4.

It’s not every day that you see a 17-inning game where a position player who’s in the game as a pitcher gives up a game-winning home run to another position player who’s in the game as a pitcher (and throwing knuckleballs, no less).

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Confusion within the Diamondbacks? Prospect Peter O’Brien’s position still undetermined

On Sunday afternoon, the Triple-A Reno Aces’ official account tweeted about a diving catch by Diamondbacks prospect Peter O’Brien, mentioning within the tweet that one day earlier O’Brien had “made the decision” to become a full-time outfielder.

This was news. Only a couple of days prior, O’Brien had been called a potential everyday, big-league catcher by manager Chip Hale. Shortly after the tweet was sent out it was confirmed by a Diamondbacks official….........

Then on Monday afternoon, Diamondbacks General Manager Dave Stewart sounded bothered by the chain of events. He said he hadn’t spoken to O’Brien and that the organization had not made a decision about his future position.

“That was a conversation he had with Phil Nevin,” Stewart said. “We’ve been accommodating to him all spring training and out of spring training.
“We’re never going to let a player dictate to us what he wants to do. We’ll sit down and, as a group, discuss and talk about what we should be doing and what the best direction is for a player. We’re never going to let a player tell us what he’s going to do and what he’s not going to do.”

Oh Brother…what a mess.

shoewizard Posted: June 03, 2015 at 11:52 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general

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

McGriff, and

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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