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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ron Washington Acknowledges Infidelity, Doesn’t Explain Why He Resigned

At a press conference today, Washington offered the tiniest sliver of explanation—and a big red flag that something worse is hanging over his head.

“I made a mistake, and I’m embarrassed more than I’ve ever been in my life,” said Washington, who was accompanied by his wife Geraldine.

“When you put yourself in situations, you own it. Those are the type of things my wife always says to me, I was not true to my wife after 42 years, I broke that trust.

“I’m here today to own that mistake and to apologize to her, and to those I disappointed and those who trusted in me, and I let them down.”

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 18, 2014 at 08:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Keri: How Washington Built a World Series Favorite

Or: How I Learned To Love Them Even Though They Stole My Team

The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch their division this season…. Throughout the 2014 campaign, the Nats have conjured late-inning heroics and convincing blowouts alike while building the best record in the National League, and at 87-64, they’ve still got a shot at matching the 98-win 2012 Nationals for the best record in franchise history.1

That’s a damn miracle, considering that just five years ago this was the worst franchise in baseball, and a way station for the damned.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 18, 2014 at 05:25 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, grantland, jonah keri, nationals

It’s quite the turnaround for Angels and General Manager Jerry Dipoto

“Last year was not a great year. From a roster-building standpoint, I made a lot of mistakes. From a quality-of-product-on-the-field standpoint, the first five months of the season were awful.”

That the Angels emerged as the team with the best record in the major leagues this season — and that Moreno picked up Dipoto’s 2015 option two months ago — is yet another reminder to ignore the headlines at the winter meetings. Winning the winter wins you nothing.

The inspiring story of how one man spent millions of another man’s money, then spent even more to correct the mistakes he spent money on before.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mariners

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2014

(Syndicated columnist) Hal Sheridan via the Toledo News-Bee, September 18, 1914:

Another afternoon with the Reds and the Giants will have the Cubs on their hands at the Polo grounds to distract their attention from the watchful waiting for reports of an explosion in Boston, indicating that the Braves have scattered themselves over the landscape.

The McGrawites have now won two games in a row from the Reds, which adds nothing to their glory, but has prevented the Braves from adding anything to their lead while they have been tearing into the Cards.
...
The consistent winning of the Braves has gotten on the nerves of the New York gang and the harder they watch for the cracking and the break, the further it seems away.

Don’t bother waiting. It’s not coming. Including the World Series, Boston finished the season with 25 wins in 29 games.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

RASMUS OPENS UP ABOUT JAYS TENURE, FUTURE, PAST

TSN.ca: Baseball has been such a huge part of your life. The Little League World Series tape is famous. There you are doing your thing, playing way back in the day and you worked so hard at it even at a younger age. How would you describe your relationship with the sport? How do you feel about baseball?

RASMUS: It’s a love-hate relationship, no doubt. A lot of times I just feel like I want to be able to enjoy it but it’s so hard for me now to just flip that switch. I don’t know how to. Last year I started getting back into that feeling like I was having fun and enjoying it but man, some people who have done this longer than me and there are better players than me and I realize that but it’s been a crazy ride as far as the game goes and just the countless hours of working and trying to get better. I like to say that I worked out harder than most people because when I was growing up my focus was I know there are guys working out in wherever, all over the world trying to get better. My focus was always to be as good as those guys and make sure I did the extra reps, the extra swings in the cage. You know, taking 300, 350 swings a day in the cage. Working out on top of that, running, running hills, sleds, just all the workouts that we did were some crazy workouts. My dad on us all the time to be better, drinking four protein shakes a day filled with the nastiest stuff just bubbling and at the top, you know raw eggs and things like that. It was just crazy. Fifteen-hundred calorie shakes, four times a day and all that stuff trying to get better.

Paul D(uda) Posted: September 18, 2014 at 06:43 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

McCarthy’s immaculate inning highlights Yankees win

It’s called the “immaculate Inning,” and it stands for complete and utter dominance… New York Yankees right-hander Brandon McCarthy became the sixth different pitcher to throw one this season. That’s a new single-season major-league record.

“I actually didn’t realize what it was until I got inside and I saw what it was on the broadcast,” McCarthy said. “I was just happy it was three strikeouts, but I didn’t realize what kind of an inning it was.”

“It’s something else you can add to your resume when you’re done, and a story you can tell someone that they won’t care about later on,” McCarthy joked. “But at least in the meantime it’s something cool.”

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: September 18, 2014 at 04:26 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

The Jake Peavy-Dee Gordon rivalry seems to be, um, heating up

Peavy: “I’m not going to lie to you. I was just in the shower thinking about Dee Gordon. #outofcontextTuesday
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 17, 2014

Dee Gordon has a great sense of humor, texted Peavy a picture of him in towel holding shampoo.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) September 17, 2014

Ok then.

Dee Gordon has surpassed all my expectations.  .330 OBP with 62 steals, he’s a fun guy to have around.  The price paid to rent Peavy was steep but he’s been everything they could have asked for.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 18, 2014 at 02:03 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants, please make it stop

OMNICHATTER 9-18-2014

11 game days remain (including today)!

Gamingboy Posted: September 18, 2014 at 12:17 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jays pitcher Stroman suspended 6 games

Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman has been suspended six games for throwing behind the head of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph on Monday night.

The rookie right-hander is appealing the suspension and with the Jays headed to New York for a four-game weekend set against the Yankees, it is expected that the hearing will be at major league baseball headquarters on Thursday or Friday. Stroman’s next scheduled start is Saturday in the Bronx. The 23-year-old Long Island native was also fined an undisclosed amount.

Paul D(uda) Posted: September 17, 2014 at 07:15 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, suspensions

Joe Girardi put Derek Jeter’s farewell tour ahead of the team

Jon Heyman raining on Derek Jeter’s parade, oh my:

“In Cal Ripken’s final season at age 40, when he had a .637 OPS (a bit higher than Jeter), he started at 42 times at No. 7 in lineup, 37 times at No. 6, 44 times at No. 5, and twice at cleanup in 2001. The Orioles were also-rans with 63-98 record that year, but there was nothing sentimental about his placement in batting order by manager Mike Hargrove, who made the tough calls.

It might be more understandable, at least in Girardi’s regard, if Jeter batting second was a directive from above, but that isn’t the case. As with everything else, the Yankees met and discussed the situation. But in the end, it was Girardi’s call.

Anyway, against all reason, Jeter kept batting second.”

Howie Menckel Posted: September 17, 2014 at 06:59 PM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

William Blake, Color Analyst For the Atlanta Braves

By the furnaces of Los! So mightily driven was that sphere that it made war on Heaven, Joe! But Bonifacio, lover of both Heaven & Hell, and eager to bring them into harmony, rose on beating wings into the starry bosom of Albion for a splendid catch! Attaboy Emilio!

kthejoker Posted: September 17, 2014 at 05:06 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: atlanta braves

Rudman: Clutch hitting the key to Mariners’ playoff hopes

Every team, every announcer, every fan…nuff of the Randomness In Scoring Position.

No statistic more defines the Mariners – Mike Blowers emphasizes it constantly during Root Sports telecasts – than what they do, or don’t do, with runners in scoring position. And what they do, or don’t do, with RISP over the season’s final dozen games will be the determining factor in whether they can slip past Kansas City and snatch the American League’s second wild card spot.

The past week has provided another graphic illustration of how RISP affects Seattle’s bottom line, wins and losses.

From Sept. 9 through Monday, the Mariners lost five of six games — a pair to Houston, two to Oakland and one to the Angels. In the five losses, the Mariners went 2-for-24 with RISP, an average of .083. That stretch included an 0-for-13 with RISP in a 4-0 loss to the Athletics Sunday, when Seattle left 13 runners on base and dropped its second consecutive home series.

...As a club, the Mariners are hitting .268 with RISP, which ranks ninth in the majors and fifth in the American League. This is the primary reason why they are still chasing a postseason berth after their .228 mark with RISP last year (14th in the AL) pretty much doomed them by midseason.

With decent clutch hitting, the Mariners still have a chance at the playoffs. But any more 0-for-18 or 2-for-24 stretches will be their downfall. Trouble is, they run hot and cold. All year, and for no apparent reason, they have had prolonged RISP slumps followed by spectacular surges. For the next 12, they need to continue what they started in Anaheim Tuesday night.

Their fate depends almost entirely on one task.

Repoz Posted: September 17, 2014 at 05:00 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, sabermetrics

Joe Girardi: ‘Pitch the right way’

After a loss that saw three New York Yankees ejected and the benches clear, a “pissed” Joe Girardi accused the Tampa Bay Rays of pitching inside incompetently.

What made Girardi ultimately erupt was when Derek Jeter was hit by inexperienced reliever Steven Geltz in the eighth inning.

It marked the fifth time a Yankee had been hit by a Ray in the past four games, while the Yankees have not hit any Rays. Jeter has been hit twice, and Chase Headley ended up in the hospital after being hit on the chin.

“If you are going to pitch inside, pitch the right way,” Girardi said after the 6-1 loss to the Rays. “If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside. We are not pincushions.”

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: cry baby

Umpire ejects Braves fan for heckling Bryce Harper

At least one Braves fan didn’t get to enjoy the postgame concert or boo the Nationals as they celebrated their National League East title on Tuesday at Turner Field because he was ejected by the home plate umpire for shouting obscenities at Bryce Harper earlier in the game. Good job, guy.

The incident occurred in the sixth inning, when Harper came to the plate after Ian Desmond’s two-run homer to the moon gave the Nationals the lead. Harper paid no mind as a fan near the Braves dugout stood and shouted obscenities at him. You can hear the fan in this video.

With an 0-1 count on Harper, home plate umpire Tim Welke had heard enough.

“Hey, hey, hey, get rid of that guy,” Welke yelled to an usher as he pointed at the fan. “Get rid of him now. Get rid of him.”

“Wow, we had a fan, an unruly fan hollering at Bryce Harper, and the home plate umpire, Tim Welke, is having that fan ejected,” Braves broadcaster Chip Caray said. “I think [longtime Turner Field usher ] Walter Banks is escorting that man up the aisle.”

Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: September 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bryce harper, nationals

MASNSports (Kubatko): Orioles remember Monica Barlow on the day they clinch

Basically impossible not to read this without getting choked up:

I was collecting mental snapshots in the clubhouse following last night’s clincher. Better than exposing my iPhone to the champagne being sprayed.

The moment that probably meant the most occurred when Zach Britton walked over to me with two beers, handed one to me, tapped them together and said, “This is for Monica.”

I needed a few minutes to compose myself. Just a beautiful, heartfelt gesture, and more evidence that Monica Barlow, the former PR director who passed away on Feb. 28, remains close to this ballclub. [...]

“I just doused [Monica’s husband Ben]. I just got him,” said reliever Tommy Hunter. “He came in here and I gave him a big hug. Chris (Davis) had her picture up the whole year, Buck’s got her picture up over there. She’s finally smiling. She’s a special person.

“Man, it’s awesome. It’s not awesome, but it’s awesome. I don’t know how to explain it. It brings a tear to your eye. I mean, I wish she was here. I do. Everyone does.

“To see her husband in here and be able to throw a beer on his head and give him a big hug right afterward, it meant a lot. I’m glad I got to do it. She was special.”

No matter who I talked to about Monica over the past few days, they all had the same reaction. Such a coincidence that I brought up her name, since they were just thinking or talking about her.

Esoteric Posted: September 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore orioles, f--k cancer

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-17-2014

Toledo News-Bee, September 17, 1914:

They keep telling us how baseball improves, yet the other day at Pittsburg, Rog Bresnahan, coaching at third, yelled for the ball and Pitcher Mamaux threw it to him, Rog dodging and letting it go to the stands. Sheckardiski used to work that in the Nile Valley league during the reign of Seti I.

After the inning, back in the dugout, Mamaux fell for the “tap on the left shoulder from someone behind you on your right” trick, then got booped in the nose after someone asked him what was on his shirt.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: September 17, 2014 at 08:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: al mamaux, dugout, history, roger bresnahan

With 8-2 win Tuesday, Orioles clinch first American League East title since 1997

“...Even though this was the Orioles’ ninth division title in franchise history, it was a first for the city of Baltimore. In this 60th anniversary season of Orioles baseball, it marked the first time in club history that they celebrated a division title at home while needing a win to clinch. Back in 1969, the Orioles won the AL East on a day in which they won, but had already sealed the division before their game ended…

 

NattyBoh Posted: September 17, 2014 at 04:35 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: al east, orioles, playoffs

Ryan Zimmerman Watches Nats Celebrate From Afar

Most of the Nationals celebrated in Atlanta last night.

Congratulations?

“Thanks,” Zimmerman said by phone. “I guess.”

Zimmerman is rehabilitating his torn hamstring, and playing in instructional league games in Viera, Florida while his teammates commemorated the 2014 National League East championship is an annoying necessity.

“It sucks,” he said. “Hopefully, I’m helping us get to the point where we have a few more celebrations like that. But those are not just my teammates, but my friends. It’s hard to see them celebrate and not be there with them. We’ve all devoted so much of our time together.”

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, nationals, rehab, ryan zimmerman

The Numbers Behind the Nationals’ Division Title Celebration

You won’t find these numbers on B-Ref.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:38 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, nl east

Chris Davis Rescues Man Pinned Under Truck

Chris Davis was on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, heading toward the airport, when a pickup truck ahead of him overturned. One passenger was thrown from the truck, but another was stuck underneath the vehicle. Davis pulled over and, with the help of some other Good Samaritans, was able to lift up the truck, enabling the rescue of the accident victim.

Word has it that he was really planning his route for the upcoming Baltimore-Washington World Series run.

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:34 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, heroes, orioles

Barry Svrluga, WaPo: Washington Nationals can celebrate the present — and their future

Maybe this is a good time to remind everyone that 10 years ago this very night, Washington did not yet have a baseball team. And that in the winter of 2004-05, the franchise had its accounting operations in Montreal, its baseball operations in Florida, its upper management at a Georgetown law firm and the guts of a fly-by-night, do-everything staff in trailers in the parking lots of RFK Stadium. Until now, the idea of sustained baseball success in Washington was somewhere between a blind hope and an abstract theory, with obstacles to overcome that should not soon be forgotten. ...

There has, too, been a major development off the field. Now, there are fans — curly W-wearing, watch-every-game-till-they-have-to-go-to-bed fans — who aren’t scarred by 33 years without baseball, who never needed to travel up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to see the “home” team, who will one day be able to tell their kids they watched Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in their primes at old Nationals Park, passing stories down without a gap that left an entire generation without baseball.

TerpNats Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, washington

OMNICHATTER 9-17-2014

12 game days remain (including today)!

Gamingboy Posted: September 17, 2014 at 12:13 AM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pedro pens a letter to Clayton Kershaw

It can’t be easy to train your whole life to compete against baseball’s best, only to show up at the ballpark, look at the opposing lineup, and see Alexi Amarista again. Yet you still find a way to stay focused.

Lars6788 Posted: September 16, 2014 at 06:26 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw

Bryan Cranston’s One-Man Baseball Play Inspired By ‘Looney Tunes’ Is Incredible

This is friggin’ brilliant.

As a pitiful Mets fan, I’ve long since stopped caring about baseball. Sammy Sosa could have returned from the dead and started manning right field for the…wait, he’s not? I don’t believe you. Anyway, I do know the MLB regular season is wrapping up soon, but only because Bryan Cranston told me in a fantastic commercial for the playoffs. It’s more inspiring than a million Derek Jeter speeches.

 


New approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season

Can the Pirates get over the final Hurdle?

In this spartan space, first-year hitting coach Jeff Branson summoned the Pirates’ batters early this spring for a meeting…

Branson outlined parameters he and manager Clint Hurdle wanted universally accepted. They wanted more competitive at-bats, better two-strike approaches and competence against off-speed pitches.

The Pirates won 94 games last season because their defense turned an extra 2 percent of batted balls into outs. But despite the Pirates’ pitching and defense regressing this season, the Pirates are in contention because their offense has improved at avoiding outs by an additional 2 percent.

The Pirates ranked 18th in baseball in on-base percentage last season (.313). This season, they are tied for first with the Detroit Tigers with a .331 mark. By getting more runners on base the Pirates are scoring more runs. They ranked 20th in runs scored in the majors last season (3.9) and now rank ninth overall and third in the NL (4.3).

Just as the Pirates improved their run-prevention abilities with few acquisitions in 2013, they have improved their offensive efficiency with nearly an identical cast.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 16, 2014 at 05:25 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: clint hurdle, hitting philosophies, jeff branson, pirates

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