Friday, October 17, 2014
We’re down 2-1 in Game 7 of the 1985 American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals. Willie Upshaw just smashed a double to right field off left-hander Charlie Leibrandt, scoring our second baseman Damaso Garcia. I’m standing in the on-deck circle. I have a career .303 average and almost 2750 hits in the major leagues, plus three more in this series, including two game-winners – and I’m not looking toward my manager, because I know what’s coming.
The end of my life as a ballplayer.
Posted: October 17, 2014 at 12:11 PM | 15 comment(s)
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
In other news, Sports on Earth is still alive.
The Atlantic League is experimenting with rules to improve the pace of play:
In the eighth inning of a game against the York Revolution on the first weekend in August, Brendan Harris, an infielder for the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks, was intentionally walked. The free pass got an ovation from Ducks fans at Bethpage Ballpark, but the cheers weren’t for the baserunner as much as for the method used to put him there.
Rather than having York pitcher Dan Cortes throw four intentional balls to Harris, the Revolution simply informed the home plate umpire of their intentions, and Harris was awarded first base without seeing a single pitch. Fans weren’t just watching a key moment in a tight game; they were watching the beginning of grand baseball experiment.
Days earlier, the Atlantic League had introduced five new measures (including one that allowed for automatic intentional walks) designed to speed up the pace of play—ones that would be tested for the remainder of the 2014 season and then studied in advance of Opening Day 2015.
In the first 30 days, they’ve cut the average game time by 9 minutes.
Posted: September 10, 2014 at 12:08 AM | 14 comment(s)
length of games
rules of play
Monday, September 08, 2014
Major League Baseball on Monday revealed the 2015 regular-season schedule, which will begin with the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball opener on April 5 (teams TBD) and then, by the following day, if there are no postponements, all 30 teams will have participated in traditional Opening Day games.
Cincinnati, which will host its first All-Star Game since 1988 and its record fifth overall, naturally will be one of those 15 host ballparks on that first Monday of action, when the Reds will face the Pirates. The 15 Opening Day games include 12 divisional matchups and an Interleague contest between the Red Sox and Phillies in Philadelphia. Seven games are scheduled to be played on Tuesday, April 7, before all 30 teams take the field once again the next day.
Posted: September 08, 2014 at 02:45 PM | 19 comment(s)
Friday, September 05, 2014
Stand Up To Cancer, backed from the outset in 2008 by founding donor Major League Baseball and supported year-round by MLB and its 30 clubs, will stage its fourth biennial fundraising telethon live from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles from 8-9 p.m. ET on Friday.
As somebody who knows people who have or had cancer, I’d like to say that this (and the related promotions done during the All-Star Game and World Series) is probably the classiest thing baseball does every year.
Posted: September 05, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Werner Brother: The Longest Most Meaningless Game in the World.
Among the many changes that Werner has in mind, he stressed the importance of pace when talking about the current state of baseball.
“Too many people are leaving games in the sixth and seventh innings because they can’t watch 3½-hour games, so they’re leaving the game at the point where the game should be getting exciting,” Werner told reporters, via the Boston Globe. “You wouldn’t make a 3 1/2-hour movie.”
Werner suggested a pitch clock, saying that he doesn’t consider the idea to be as laughable as some think. “In 1954, the NBA introduced a shot clock, and while it was considered radical at the time, it’s something that stuck through the years,” Werner said. “It would speed up play and it would give fans something to look at. Baseball is too slow and there’s a lot of inaction. If a pitcher is holding the ball for 40 seconds between pitches, you’re losing an audience.”
Eliminating warm-up tosses for relief pitchers would be another way to speed up the game, Werner said, pointing out that bullpen pitchers already throw before coming in. “Does a field goal kicker get to have a practice kick?” Werner said, via the Globe.
Posted: August 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM | 157 comment(s)
Saturday, August 16, 2014
“...Starting with a homestand next week, fans at select Yankee Stadium entrances will go through metal detectors, according to an e-mailed statement. The team is asking fans to budget extra time for the added security…”
Posted: August 16, 2014 at 11:27 PM | 36 comment(s)
Friday, June 13, 2014
DAVID MAY, JR.: Toward the end of his career, Dad tended to be more of a fourth or fifth outfielder, but he gained this reputation for being one of the greatest batting practice hitters in the game. I mean, from what his friends and ex-teammates have told me and what we remember, whenever he wanted to turn it on, Dad turned it on. One of those times was during the All-Star Game in Venezuela. Dave Parker was down there, too. This was during the 1976/1977 offseason. Parker was on the verge of becoming the superstar we all know. So, of the ten players in the contest, it comes down to Cobra and Dad. They go back and forth and Dad finds himself down by seven dingers. He gets into the batters’ box, sets and just goes off on it. He must’ve hit like 15 home runs in a row. Wins the Home Run Derby. It was really here where I understood what guys were saying about his batting practice prowess.
Posted: June 13, 2014 at 02:14 PM | 2 comment(s)
Thursday, June 12, 2014
“Do you have a job,” Dr. Kerlan says, very concerned about your answer.
“Yeah,” you reply earnestly, snapping back for a moment, fighting the inevitability of this conversation’s direction as best you can, “Starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.”
“No, John,” Dr. Jobe interjects, “That’s not what he means.” Dr. Kerlan repeats himself.
“Do you have a job? There’s only a 40% chance you’ll ever throw a baseball again.”
Dr. Jobe and Dr. Kerlan detail the nuances of the surgery. You don’t hear a damn thing for five minutes.
“You may never play baseball again” is the only phrase playing in your mind right now on an endless, somber loop.
All the joy within you dies, and you start to cry.
Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:48 AM | 7 comment(s)
Monday, June 09, 2014
The GM Game is the prediction of the moves that will be made around the organization if YOU were the man in charge. It can look different depending on where you stand and how much information you have, but the above is how it looks if you’re a player.
Don’t play it.
The reason is, if you start trying to figure out why someone else got promoted and you didn’t, you’ll start to get bitter. Professional baseball, for all the joy associated with playing it, can be a very bitter place. That’s thanks in large part to just how crappy minor league life is, and how badly players want to make it to the top. But when you play GM, you start to assign value to your teammates, to yourself, and to your career that might not be accurate. You’ll expect to get promoted based on what little you know, and when it doesn’t happen, you’ll get angry at the situation, your employer, or even your teammates.
Posted: June 09, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 8 comment(s)
Thursday, June 05, 2014
fun project by one of the authors at brewcrewball. thought folks might be interested. if you are just going to nitpick how the lists were constructed go (anatomically impossible act).
Posted: June 05, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 79 comment(s)
Sunday, May 25, 2014
...and he also invented The Steering Wheel of Death for the ‘54 Cadillac Eldorado! So let’s hear it for…..
Although Selig has deliberately and steadfastly avoided endorsing any candidate for his successor, it has stood to reason his No. 2 man, MLB COO Rob Manfred, would naturally evolve to the position by virtue of having been the point man for much of Selig’s legacy — as the chief labor negotiator for three collective bargaining agreements that were completed without a work stoppage; the drug sheriff who brokered with the players union the most comprehensive joint drug program in all of professional sports and successively prosecuted all the guilty parties, most notably Alex Rodriguez, in the Biogenesis case last summer; and the commissioner’s emissary who navigated through the courts in the takeaway and sale of the Dodgers from ruinous owner Frank McCourt.
Or as one baseball executive said to me Friday: “We’re coming off nearly 20 years of the most successful commissionership of all time and Rob’s been a very big part of it. If he’s seen as an extension of Bud, what’s so wrong with that?”
Nevertheless, there is a small cadre of owners, headed by White Sox board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and the Angels’ Arte Moreno, that evidently does not view Manfred as the right and natural choice to succeed Selig.
...Reinsdorf has made no secret of the fact that he wants the owners to take advantage of the seemingly greatly weakened players union, which has lost control of the agents, and push hard for a salary cap in the upcoming labor negotiations. In that respect, however, he has a rather strange bedfellow in Moreno who, more than any owner in baseball other than possibly Detroit’s Mike Ilitch, has contributed to the latest escalation of salaries.
“Believe me,” said another baseball official, “the owners have no stomach for a labor fight. Arte Moreno a champion for a salary cap? What a joke! Who put a gun to his head to give Albert Pujols $250 million and Josh Hamilton $123 million? Even if they got a salary cap — which, even in their present state, the union would never agree to — don’t they realize that would require minimum payrolls of $150 million? How are all those teams like Tampa Bay, Miami, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Kansas City or even Jerry’s White Sox gonna be able to do that?”
Posted: May 25, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 20 comment(s)
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