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Thursday, March 01, 2018

BBTF ANNUAL CENTRAL PARK SOFTBALL GAME 2018

Date: August 11
Time: TBA
Field: TBA
Post-game meetup: TBA

I will update the above as we get more details. I don’t know who JE is booking the field, nor when we’ll know. But let’s start talking softball.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Hader’s feats generating All-Star, Cy Young buzz

In the wake of Hader’s latest strikeout special, a 2 1/3-inning outing Saturday in which he struck out the final six batters he faced for a 5-4 win over the Twins, here are some of the more eye-popping things about the left-hander’s start to the season:

• Ninety-five hitters have dug in against Hader. Fifty-six of them have struck out. That 59-percent strikeout rate would shatter the all-time record (min. 25 batters faced) set by the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman in 2014, when he struck out 52.5 percent of hitters. The only other pitcher in history to strike out more than half of the hitters he faced was then-Braves closer Craig Kimbrel at 50.2 percent in ‘12.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 21, 2018 at 04:08 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, josh hader, so hot right now


Whitey Herzog Offered Hernandez to the Mets in 1980, 2+ Years Before Trade

SN: Did you know that Whitey offered you to the Mets and asked for Tim Leary, Doug Flynn and Neil Allen?

KH: I didn’t know that. Who did he ask for?

History and sabermetrics haven’t been kind to Flynn, the Mets’ 1980 starting second baseman and only the most diehard Mets fans of the day remember what great hopes the franchise held for Leary. Neil Allen was a valuable trade chip but not crucial to the team’s success, with rookie Jeff Reardon who could’ve easily slid into the fireman role in the Mets’ bullpen (Reardon would go on to pitch 16 seasons and is currently 10th on the all-time saves list.)

SN: Neil Allen, Tim Leary, and Doug Flynn.

KH: He offered to trade me in 1980? Wow. If he wanted that deal, Whitey was out of his mind. Interesting.

djordan Posted: May 21, 2018 at 12:43 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: keith hernandez, mlb trade rumors

Cardinals’ Jordan Hicks throws MLB’s fastest pitch of the year, clocking 105 mph twice

You can’t help but notice the violent armside run. It’s there because Hicks throws sinkers rather than four-seam fastballs. Yes, he touches 105 with a sinker.

In an era when every team has guys coming out of nowhere and getting more than a strikeout per inning, Hicks only has 9 K’s in 22 innings despite his monster velocity.  Hitters only have two measly extra-base hits against him, both doubles.

Nasty Nate Posted: May 21, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: jordan hicks, st. louis cardinals

Kevin Cash keeps thinking outside the box with use of Sergio Romo

It was a strategic decision made possible in part because of the Angels’ right-handed-heavy lineup. With Shohei Ohtani not hitting either day, the only lefty in the lineup on Saturday was Kole Calhoun, and the starting nine on Sunday were all right-handed. Romo, with his sub-90s fastball and big, sweeping slider, has always been much better against righties, and his platoon splits have been even wider in recent seasons.

Romo was the starting pitcher on both Saturday and Sunday, although only one of those was a Rays’ “bullpen game.”  On Saturday, Ryan Yarbrough pitched 6+ innings in relief.  Will close Alex Colome get a GS this year?

Nasty Nate Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tampa bay rays

Posnanski: Modern Romonce

Is this the future of baseball?

Now, let’s say right off that I’m quite sure this Romo strategy is a winning one. Many of us have been talking about it for years; Joe Sheehan most prominently. Teams rarely use fewer than three pitchers in a game; they average about four pitchers per game. There have been 17 complete games all season. Seventeen. The concept of a starting pitcher as we knew it in the 1970s and 1980s and even 1990s has been blown to smithereens, so the question has been obvious for a while now: When will a team just finish the job and reinvent the whole pitching order of a game?

Baldrick Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:39 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: game theory, pitching, posnanski, traditions

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 | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: general, jordan hicks

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-21-2018

New York Sun, May 21, 1918:

With two out and the bases full in the fourteenth inning to-day Merlin Kopp of the Athletics stole home, beating Detroit by 5 to 4. Kopp had reached third on a pass, a steal, and Gardner’s single.

That would melt people’s brains if it happened now.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago today, Babe Ruth will be out of commission for a few days after fainting in a drug store on his way to the ballpark.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

VHS via Leitch: Phillie broadcast commenting on impending rain delay

Leitch:

This clip explains Midwestern weather to East Coasters better than anything I’ve ever seen.

Best fans thunderstorms in baseball.

Stormy JE Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:21 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, broadcasts, cardinals, phillies, rain delay

OTP 2018 May 21: President takes British royalty to a baseball game, May 15, 1991

The 65-year-old queen, dressed in a below-the-knee blue and red dress, black gloves and three strands of pearls, entered the Orioles dugout along the third base line. She formed a receiving line with her husband and the president, clad in a navy blazer, and Barbara Bush. The first lady wore a blue and white floral print dress.

While the VIP guests took their positions designated by their names on 3-by-5 cards, the song “Brown-Eyed Girl” played over the stadium’s public-address system. Their images appeared on the video screen in right-center field.

“I’ve been playing baseball for 10 years, and I’m used to a normal atmosphere,” said Cal Ripken Jr., the Orioles shortstop, after exchanging handshakes. “This is a lot different. There’s a lot of excitement.”


Dan Duquette, Orioles Understand Trading Manny Machado Seems Inevitable

“Usually, we try to go to Memorial Day and see where you are on Memorial Day and see what the strength and weaknesses are of the team are and how we can supplement what we need to compete,” Duquette said. “I am not sure we will be in that position this year.”

The asking price for Machado will be steep. Shortstop Addison Russell and outfielder Ian Happ are the two Cubs who have often found their names tied to Machado trade rumors, and as cost-controlled young players under contract for quite some time, they represent the type of return the Orioles are seeking.


Saturday, May 19, 2018


Friday, May 18, 2018


Pirates set to recall outfield prospect Meadows

Meadows was the Pirates’ first-round pick, the No. 9 overall selection, in the 2013 Draft. He is the club’s No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and the No. 42 overall prospect in MLB. He has been held back in previous years by injuries, including oblique and hamstring strains, but he has long been viewed as one of the Pirates’ future building blocks in the outfield.

“It’s been a tough road, but I feel like that’s behind me now,” Meadows said earlier this year. “I’ve really learned a lot. I’ve ventured out, learned a lot about myself and my body.”

Pittsburgh is in first place, with series against the bottom-dwelling Padres and Reds before a 10-game test against the Cardinals and Cubs starting later in the month. Starling Marte is injured, so it’s likely that Meadows will get starts in CF.

Nasty Nate Posted: May 18, 2018 at 11:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pittsburgh pirates


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-18-2018

Toledo News-Bee, May 18, 1918:

Customs officials caused the International League game, scheduled for [Toronto] on Friday, with Binghamton, to be postponed. They held up the Toronto players, refusing to allow them to enter Canada at Niagara Falls, because of dissatisfaction with the standing of some of the American players in the selective service. Players expect to secure necessary papers to allow them to pass today.

I blame Ban Johnson.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, Cy Williams, who retired from baseball in the spring to become a farmer, “left his potatoes and corn yesterday” and went to Philadelphia to meet with Phillies brass. He’s expected to rejoin the team in a few days. (Spoiler alert: He does so.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 18, 2018 at 10:05 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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.



Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-17-2018

Toledo News-Bee, May 17, 1918:

Baseball players who land exempted “bomb proof” jobs were assailed [in Chicago] on Friday by President Ban Johnson of the American League. The dash by Joe Jackson of the White Sox to find a shipbuilding job after being placed in Class 1 roiled Johnson’s patriotism.

A number of major leaguers in munition plants devote a portion of their time to baseball and are said to approximate their old-time salaries.

“I don’t impugn motives of players in this war work,” said Johnson, “but if they take it up to avoid the trenches I hope Provost Marshal General Crowder grabs them.”

So you’re impugning their motives. Got it. Must have been tough for Ban to avoid all those German bombs and bullets from his office in Chicago.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 17, 2018 at 10:42 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Braves fans flooded MLB’s Twitter after controversial replay ruling erased a run

The Atlanta Braves were on the wrong side of two controversial calls in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Tuesday. Most of all, it included an apparent missed call after a replay review.

Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: May 16, 2018 at 03:16 PM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, replay


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-16-2018

Lake County [Indiana] Times, May 16, 1918:

There was nothing startling in the announcement from Boston that several offers of very high figures had been made to Harry Frazee for services of George Ruth, elephantine southpaw of the Red Sox. In fact, the announcement that Frazee had been offered $100,000 for his star port flinger caused little astonishment in the inner circles of baseball.

As baseball values have come to be known of late the price offered for the big flinger is low indeed, for it is extremely doubtful if there is a player in baseball so valuable [as Ruth].

$100,000 was extremely low, but that’s what Frazee got for Ruth after the 1919 season. (Well, that and a $300,000 loan secured with the mortgage on Fenway Park.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 10:26 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Davey Johnson Thinks All This Launch Angle Talk Is “a Bunch of Crap”

Playing for the Dodgers primarily in a bench role from 1973 to 1979, Mota batted .312 in 652 plate appearances, as well as a .376 OBP. Tango believes that a talented batter is just that, regardless of whether it’s coming in after the seventh inning with the game on the line or hitting in the starting lineup. Davey Johnson concurs.  

“Yeah, I think they’re just good hitters,” Johnson agrees. “When the situation arises and you look for your pitch, it’s about being aggressive.  They can talk about launch angles all they want, but getting a pitch in your zone, you can call it clutch hitting, I call it a guy who knows what he likes to hit. There are guys who take first pitch fastballs right down the middle. I never took a first pitch right down the middle. I may not get that pitch again. But yeah, all this talk about launch angles is a bunch of crap.”

djordan Posted: May 16, 2018 at 07:58 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: clutch hitting, davey johnson

Fortnite Addiction Is Becoming a Problem for Major League Basebal

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price, missed his Wednesday start against the team’s hated rival New York Yankees because of mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome. And after questions have arisen about how frequently he gets a Fortnite fix, the pitcher said he’s hanging up his controller, at least around the ballpark, reports MLB.com.

You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2018 at 06:48 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: gaming

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