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Monday, August 14, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Rangers voting thread

So, we’re down to four.

The overwhelming choice in the nominees was some kind of return to the original name for the Rangers joint, though opinion seemed divided on the full name or the half-measure. So, we’re leaving both options available.

Choose between any of the four selections. However, if you prefer Choice A), then please follow it up with 1) the naked version or 2) the full throw-back to the Ballpark in Arlington.

For those who don’t like either of these options, you’d probably better head to the still-open nominating thread to coalesce behind a single alternative among the expected also-rans.

A) The Ballpark
    1) The Ballpark (by itself)
    2) The Ballpark in Arlington
B) Lone Star Stadium
C) The Stockade
D) Vandergriff Park

Voting will be open until this time next Monday, at which point we’ll announce the BTF choice, then throw out our third team.

SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, stadium names

Saturday, August 19, 2017


MLB.com: O’s/Angels hit 10 home runs; Manny caps it off with Walk-Off Grand Slam

After an early five-run deficit, Machado—who had already homered twice—came up with the bases loaded and did the unthinkable: blasting a grand slam to catapult Baltimore to a 9-7 walkoff win over the Angels.

Chris Fluit Posted: August 19, 2017 at 10:40 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, grand slam, manny machado, mike trout, orioles, walk-off

MLBTR: Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson

The Dodgers fortify the postseason roster while the Mets receive a few shekels to help meet the bankers’ demands.

Granderson, 36, gives the Dodgers yet another interesting piece to work with. The timing of his addition is particularly notable given that Los Angeles just welcomed veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez back from the DL, which seemingly left breakout young star Cody Bellinger slated for at least some additional time in the outfield. Then again, it may turn out that Gonzalez will function mostly as a bench bat.

Both Gonzalez and Bellinger hit from the left side, as do Granderson and the struggling Joc Pederson. It remains to be seen how things will be sorted, but this move could push Pederson out of his semi-regular role in center. Regardless, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts will have options. The club has three right-handed hitters capable of playing the outfield in Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, and Enrique Hernandez — the latter two are also infield options — so there are loads of different ways the team can line up depending upon the situation.

Despite his age and early-season struggles, Granderson is a significant addition. he has destroyed opposing pitching to the tune of a .273/.395/.596 slash in his last 250 trips to the plate. It doesn’t hurt that he’s still capable of manning center field, giving an alternative to Pederson. It’s worth noting that, like Pederson, the new addition has been far more effective this year (and over his career) when hitting with the platoon advantage. The Dodgers will surely continue to mix and match heavily.

It’s not yet clear how the teams have sorted out the remainder of Granderson’s $15MM salary — just under $4MM of which remains to be paid. He had previously cleared revocable waivers. It’s worth noting, too, that the move seemingly makes it unlikely that the Dodgers will end up assigning a significant role to veteran Andre Ethier when he finally returns later in the year. Los Angeles also announced that it designated righty Dylan Floro for assignment to open a 40-man spot for the addition of Granderson.

For the Mets, the swap brings an end to a productive four-year tenure for Granderson. He joined the team on a four-year, $60MM pact and largely performed to expectations after a middling first year. All told, he produced a .239/.341/.444 slash with 95 long balls over his time with the Mets — while also serving as a respected clubhouse member through occasionally tumultuous times.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: curtis granderson, dodgers, madoff, mets, money, ptbnl

Friday, August 18, 2017


‘Skunk in the outfield’: How the most epic trick play in history broke baseball

There were 16 plays, with a page or two of explanation for utilizing and defending each. A lot of the plays were clearly cheating, such as the runner going from second to home, skipping (or “cutting”) third base when the umpires were looking the other way. Some were just plain baseball, stuff every team did, like a delayed steal. Some didn’t seem likely to work, and some didn’t seem realistic. Then there was a play called “skunk in the outfield.”

That’s how it came to be that a Portsmouth sophomore named Johnny Pedrotty stood in right field in Game 2 of the Rhode Island state championship series, that a crowd of a thousand fans erupted into profane chaos, that a star infielder almost blacked out from the stress, and that Ulmschneider found himself unsure of how to stop what he’d unleashed. It’s how, for two minutes and 32 seconds, baseball broke.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: August 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hidden ball trick, skunks, trick play

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 18, 1917:

The pennant winner of the Southern association is to play a post-season series of games with a team composed of the best players from clubs that finish second, third and fourth, according to an announcement by R.G. Baugh, president of the league.

That’s a cool idea. I like that a lot.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 18, 2017 at 09:03 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB Commissioner says approval for sale of Miami Marlins is on track | Miami Herald

Is the removal of the sculpture a condition of the sale?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2017 at 08:03 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: franchise sale, marlins

Twins Byron Buxton evolving as a hitter | MLB.com

If Buxton never learns how to hit, the glove alone—depending on your metric, he’s one of the best outfielders in baseball along with Ender Inciarte and Mookie Betts—makes him useful. If he’s a league-average hitter, he’s a star. If Buxton is actually the dangerous hitter we saw last September and are seeing now, the sky is almost literally the limit.

We’re a long way from that, of course. Buxton is only 23. He’s been poor at the plate more this year than he’s been an asset. But when a player has all the tools, you’re just looking for signs that the talent is breaking through. We are most certainly seeing those signs from Buxton.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2017 at 08:02 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Summer Top-100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

New top ten

1. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox
2. Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
3. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
5. Ronald Acuna, CF, Atlanta Braves
6. Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees
7. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
8. Victor Robles, CF, Washington Nationals
9. Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox
10. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2017 at 07:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

Nomar Mazara has five RBIs for Rangers | MLB.com

The Rangers are in it.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 18, 2017 at 07:46 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, wild card hunt

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Red Sox want to do away with ‘racist’ legacy of famed Yawkey Way

Henry said he would like to see it changed to David Ortiz Way or Big Papi Way, in honour of the Dominican Republic-born Red Sox great who retired following last season. A portion of the street was named David Ortiz Drive in his honour this past June.

winnipegwhip Posted: August 17, 2017 at 08:24 PM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: limousine liberalism, phony outrage, red sox, steroid heroes

Pitching through pain

The story of Danny Hultzen (#2 overall in 2011). I have to ask where the coaches/managers were. On the bright side, he signed for $8.5 million and the story doesn’t suggest any financial troubles. Best of luck on the long-shot comeback.

Walt Davis Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:09 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, danny hultzen, mariners

Arthur: Buster Posey Has Quietly Become A Lock For Cooperstown

The Giants’ record might make Posey easy to overlook, but his combination of hitting and defense makes him almost a lock to one day join the Hall. In fact, despite being only 30 years old, Posey might already have a Hall of Fame résumé if he retired today.

538’s baseball coverage hasn’t been great, has it?

Baldrick Posted: August 17, 2017 at 03:57 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, fivethirtyeight, hall of fame


Mets’ Gsellman irritates GM Sandy Alderson with ‘I don’t care’ comment

Robert Gsellman has done himself no favors with how he’s pitched this season, and he didn’t help himself Tuesday with a brash comment.

When asked if he had heard that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he needed to pitch better, Gsellman responded: “No. I don’t really care.”

Alderson made it clear Wednesday he was not pleased with the 24-year-old’s comment, and reiterated that Gsellman needs to pitch better down the stretch.

“I’m going to give him a pass on that for the moment,” Alderson said before having spoken to Gsellman. “I hope that he reflects on the implications of that statement and the potential consequences of that statement. It’s a better response the next time out.”

Alderson said he gave Gsellman a pass since he was starting the third game of Subway Series game, and Gsellman produced a solid outing in his return from the disabled list. He held the Yankees to three runs (two earned) in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-3 loss.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: August 17, 2017 at 12:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, robert gsellman

Skunk in the Outfield

First-and-third situations are breeding grounds for gimmick plays in high school. Often, the runner on first will attempt to steal second, hoping to draw a throw that will allow the runner to score from third. But defenses will rarely make that throw, so offenses have designed ways to tempt the defense into going after the trail runner while letting the lead runner sneak home. Sometimes, when the pitch is delivered, the base stealer will stop halfway and try to get in a rundown. Sometimes he’ll start walking to second base while the pitcher still has the ball. There’s a balk/steal play, where the runner takes off sprinting once the pitcher gets set, the goal being to startle the pitcher so that he’ll make an illegal move off the mound in reaction.

These plays—and “skunk in the outfield”—all have the same paradoxical premise: It’s more valuable to the team that’s at bat for the runner to be on first base. If he wanted to go to second, he could just steal. But as long as he’s on first—or, at least, not yet on second—he might be able to ignite something weird. When Ulmschneider had his team run the play in practice for the first time just before the championship series, his pitcher on the mound—Solecki, coincidentally—immediately balked and then started yelling that the runner can’t do that.

“Bobby Downey [of East Greenwich] is one of the best coaches I’ve ever coached against,” Ulmschneider says now. “If we do a walk-off steal there, if we steal a base and slide short, get in the rundown—they’ll defend it.” Indeed, East Greenwich practiced their reactions to these plays all the time. “I go, ‘If Solecki’s reaction is what it was, what’s to say Bracey’s won’t be?’ So I gave the sign.”

Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:55 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: high school, ryan westmoreland, trick play

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-17-2017

Lake County [Indiana] Times, August 17, 1917:

One of the features of the trips taken by the White Sox this year has been their singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.” After marching around the field under the sirection of Sergeant W.S. Smiley they would line up before the stand and sing two verses of the anthem.
...
One of the Sox players told of their first rehearsal. “Rowland got us together in the clubhouse and asked if any of us knew the words of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’,” he said. “There were only three—Benz, Scott and Weaver. The rest knew only short snatches.

“Rowland then told us to sing the two verses as well as we could and those who didn’t know the words could make a bluff until they learned them by singing ‘Hum-hum-hum’.”

“After our first appearance Gandil came into the clubhouse after the game and approached Rowland. ‘I can’t help it, boss,’ he said. ‘I’m a hum-hum-hummer.’”

I think just about everybody would be a hum-hum-hummer on the second verse these days.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 17, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

First pitch astray at Fenway | Red Sox

This first pitch is a bit nutty. Sorry, it had to be said.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2017 at 07:52 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Olney: Baseball must end its beanball legacy

Late in Palmer’s career, in 1982, he remembers how rookie Cal Ripken—whose father was a longtime player and coach in the Orioles’ organization—batted in the first inning against Britt Burns of the White Sox in a July game. A pitch in that at-bat prompted Ripken to say out loud, “When is somebody going to protect somebody around here?”

Palmer wasn’t thrilled about Ripken’s tone, which was unusual for a rookie, but he noticed that Carlton Fisk was due to lead off the next inning. Palmer disliked how Fisk wore his uniform and, fixated on that, he hit Fisk on purpose. The score was 0-0 at the time, as the box score shows, and Palmer noted that in conversation. He hit the leadoff hitter in a 0-0 game. The issue of winning or losing the game had become secondary to the retaliation.

Palmer paused, and added: “My one moment of stupidity in 20 years.”

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 16, 2017 at 05:42 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, cal ripken jr, orioles, unwritten rules

Pearlman: The Fallout From Sportswriting’s Filthiest Fuck-Up

At first glance, it is a curious addition to my collection of misfit items, the others of which have obvious personal resonance. The headline, INEXPERIENCE FACES GREEN WAVE SOCCER, suggests nothing beyond some sort of small-town newspaper sports preview story, and the byline (Nick DeLeonibus) is that of a name that rings unfamiliar to most. Upon closer inspection, you can ascertain that the piece appeared in the Gallatin (Tenn.) News Examiner in the winter of 1997.

“With March 11th quickly approaching,” it begins, “Gallatin soccer head coach Rufus Lassiter wants to take things day-by-day.”

The ensuing 10 paragraphs add little to explain why anyone would want to read. Even now, two decades after publication, much of the article reads as flatly as it surely did on the Friday it hit newsstands. Like many of its ilk, this is an article written primarily for the 20 or so members of the Gallatin High boys soccer team and their families. It exists so that, when they ultimately have children and grandchildren of their own, Daniel Sanders and Randall Carter and Michael McRae and the other Green Wave players can blow dust off the ol’ scrapbook and say, “See, I was once something…”

The information provided is standard local fare. Coming off a mediocre 7-7-2 season, the Green Wave of 1997 will likely struggle even more with the loss of seven seniors. Sanders and Carter will split time in goal, but at least Lassiter will have five veterans to turn to. There’s McRee, there’s Farrell, there’s Sparkman and Watson and, of course, there’s Bubba Dixon.

Writes DeLeonibus in the tenth paragraph: “Sparkman started last year and will be back on defense. He plays a very physical, tough-nosed brand of soccer.”

Yawn.

Writes DeLeonibus in the eleventh paragraph: “Watson started last year as a defensive player. He works very hard and has good speed.”

Yawn.
Writes DeLeonibus in the twelfth paragraph: “Dixon sucks donkey dicks and doesn’t wipe the #### off before practice. We like to keep him at the sweeper position so his sperm breath will stop people from penetrating to the goal. Speaking of penetrating, he prefers tall, red-headed guys. Told me to tell Kris he said ‘hello.’”

Wait.

What?

What?

Yeah, better read the whole thing.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 04:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: goofballery, newspapers, sportswriting

Jered Weaver Announces Retirement | MLB.com

He had a great career.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2017 at 02:35 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jared weaver, padres

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2017

Tucumcari News, August 16, 1917:

For the present it may be all right that baseball continue. At least it is not mandatory that it cease…but it may be just as well to suggest to the American people that professional baseball is likely to be an incongruity next year.

An American newspaper will sacrifice a great deal of self-respect if it has to print, or does print, box scores and casualty lists in the same issue, says Chicago Tribune.

Baseball already is getting on the nerves of a great many people who know that catastrophic times are ahead or who fear that they may be ahead.

It is fiddling while Rome is burning.

I guess people got used to it.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2017 at 10:01 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Buxton’s catch at the wall | MLB.com

This Buxton guy is pretty good.

Since he’s returned from the DL his bat is showing some life as well:

 

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins, video

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