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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2014

Pittsburgh Press, October 2, 1914:

Umpire Klem established what is believed to be a precedent in baseball yesterday in the game between the Boston and New York National league teams. In the seventh inning, while the Giants were at bat, Klem took exception to what he regarded as unusually loud talk on the New York bench. He ordered the players to lower their voices.

Deciding presently that he had not been obeyed, Klem directed that the bench be cleared of everybody except Acting Manager Mike Donlin and the batboy. Christy Mathewson headed the banished players and they marched single file, hands on one another’s shoulders, across the field to the club house, imitating in their progress the so-called lockstep required of convicts in some prison.

If this were school, he’d have just flipped the light switch a few times.

Also, I wonder what would have happened if someone had gotten hurt. Does he allow one of the banished players to return? Does the batboy get to play?

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 02, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Change is all the rage in affiliation shifts | MiLB.com

The affiliate shuffle is on.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2014 at 10:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minors

For old fans of Senators, Washington baseball success is a contradiction in terms

At Chevy Chase Elementary School in the early 1960s, my friend Alan Alper heralded every baseball season’s opening day by predicting confidently that the Washington Senators would have a winning season and maybe go to the World Series.

He was always wrong. Drastically so. The Senators were so bad that their woes inspired a best-selling book and Broadway musical.

It never stopped Alper. He was committed, devoted, a true believer.

“I didn’t think about how they were so bad — I just knew they were my team,” Alper, 61, who lives in Northwest Washington, recalled….

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2014 at 09:45 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general, nationals

Kovacevic: For Pirates, the sickening sound of silence DK on Pittsburgh Sports

I read a couple of tweets about how unfair the Wild Card system is to the fans. The complaint was, it’s a coin flip. No kidding. It’s not a bug. It’s a feature. If you don’t want your season ended on a playoff “coin flip”, win your division.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2014 at 06:39 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pirates, wild card

LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES 2014 DAY ONE OMNICHATTER

ALDS Game 1
Tigers (Scherzer) at Orioles (Tillman), 5:30 PM, TBS

ALDS Game 1
Royals (Vargas) at Angels (Weaver), 9 PM, TBS


All times eastern.

 

Gamingboy Posted: October 02, 2014 at 12:02 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

KC’s Baseball Writing Royalty

But Neyer didn’t just turn me on to baseball writing. He turned me onto the Kansas City Royals.

Now, I am not a Royals fan: I am a Cardinals fan, which is not quite the opposite of a Royals fan, but it’s close. But Neyer was a fan of the Royals, which was something else that was new. I hadn’t read many sportswriters who openly admitted they were cheering for a particular team; my college journalism professors had told me that was against the rules. (They were wrong, by the way.) But Neyer was passionate about his team—it was easier to be passionate back about the Royals then; it had only been a decade or so since they’d last made the playoffs—and because I was passionate about reading his work, I learned about them as well. And then I realized, that, jeez, there were a ton of baseball writers who were either Royals fans, or wrote for the Kansas City Star, which had one of the best sports sections in the country.

Neyer led me to James, of course (and he was a Royals fan too), but also Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus (which led me to Joe Sheehan and Nate Silver and Christina Kahrl and Clay Davenport, none of whom were Royals fans but all of whom were brilliant) and my former colleague here at Sports On Earth, Joe Posnanski. These were all wonderful writers, but they were also wonderful writers about the Royals.

And the best part was that these devoted Royals fans and/or observers is that they were all so smart in a way that the team was so dumb.

No love for Lee Judge?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2014 at 11:45 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, joe posnanski, rany jazayerli, rob neyer, royals

BP: 2014 Internet Baseball Awards

This year’s Internet Baseball Awards voting is open.

Last year’s winners: AL Player of the Year - Mike Trout; AL Pitcher of the Year - Max Scherzer; AL Rookie of the Year - Wil Myers; AL Manager of the Year - John Farrell; NL Player of the Year - Andrew McCutchen; NL Pitcher of the Year - Clayton Kershaw; NL Rookie of the Year - Jose Fernandez; NL Manager of the Year - Clint Hurdle

The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2014 at 10:55 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, baseball prospectus, internet baseball awards

The Baseball Show with Rany Jazayerli and Joe Sheehan - 9/29/14

Missed (understandably, I think).that this has been posted. It also seems to have all sorts of audio issues, including eventually becoming totally unsynced. I don’t think even Rany and Joe talk over each other that much. Anyway.

  • Unsurprisingly, the two discuss Rany’s team, the Royals. They go over the strange set of circumstances—expanded playoffs, exceptional parity, and second-half swoons—that helped the Royals advance to the postseason with 89 wins. They move on to the squad itself, and its unusual strengths of low-strikeout hitters and a superb defensive outfield.

  • Rany describes what it was like to be at the game (at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field) where the Royals clinched the postseason.

  • They discuss Ned Yost’s managerial acumen. Rany admits that Yost is a poor tactical manager, and has failed to develop the Royals’ vaunted minor league hitters, but also cites the dismissal of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer as a factor in the latter. Rany thinks that, even despite his tactical mistakes, Yost deserves some credit for the superlative performances of his pitchers. Rany: “Ned Yost clearly, in my mind, has a positive impact on the clubhouse stuff that you and I are in no position to quantify, and may not exist.” Joe is not a Yost fan. He thinks Ron Washington illustrates that we might mistake managing a specific clubhouse well for a more general “good clubhouse guy” skill.

  • One manager whom they do both like is Buck Showalter; they express their admiration for winning 96 games with the Orioles’ roster. They also praise Joe Girardi.

  • Joe doesn’t think that the Royals’ level of success justifies the high price paid for James Shields. Rany admits that he was previously vocally against the trade and is afraid of being seen as stubborn at this point if he sticks to that. But he praises Shields’ pitching so far, and believes that the Royals’ postseason performance this year also factors into the calculus.

  • They do a little playoff discussion and prediction. Both like Kansas City over Los Angeles, and Washington over the wild card. Rany likes Baltimore over Detroit, Dodgers over Cardinals; Joe is opposite.
The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2014 at 07:42 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: joe sheehan, ned yost, podcasts, postseason, rany jazayerli, royals

How Jarrod Dyson stole the biggest base of his life

Aggressiveness was part of the Royals’ game plan, as they tied a playoff record with seven steals. There’s blame going the way of Derek Norris, who replaced an injured Geovany Soto, and to be sure, Norris could’ve had a better game. But something we’ve really come to understand in the past few years is that steals are more off of pitchers than catchers, and this wasn’t so much the Royals taking advantage of Norris as it was the Royals taking advantage of the batteries. The Royals read and the Royals ran, and there was no bigger stolen base than Jarrod Dyson‘s arrival at third in the bottom of the ninth.

Zach Posted: October 01, 2014 at 07:41 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, baserunning, detectives believe speed was involved, royals, wpa

Posnanski: The Beauty of Belief [Royals win Wild Card, headed to ALDS]

The Royals really are the closest baseball thing to a Coen Brothers movie. With two outs, the Royals tried some sort of double-steal with Billy Butler at first and Eric Hosmer at third. If I got the play right, and can write this without breaking down in convulsions, Butler was supposed to get hung up between first and second, distracting the A’s long enough to allow Hosmer to steal home. This, of course, ended in humiliation, with Hosmer being thrown out at the plate by 800 million steps, but as is often the case the spectacular ineptitude of the play was doubled or trebled by the Ned Yost explanation, where he explained that Butler left early and Hosmer left late and, otherwise, the Royals would have score a run.

Any comedian will tell you that you can’t explain comedy, and every effort to do so will just dig you deeper into anti-comedy, and maybe that’s why the straight-laced Yost always comes across so absurdly in these situations. Eric Hosmer is a generally lumbering first baseman, and Billy Butler might be the slowest player in baseball, and any complicated running play with these two is destined to become a Will Ferrell movie. It would have made me feel so much better if Yost had not given a considered answer on how that madcap scheme might have worked but instead said, “Yeah, that was crazy, right? Woo hop! Brain cramp! Hey, it’s the first postseason for me too!”

Esoteric Posted: October 01, 2014 at 04:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kansas city, oakland, playoffs, royals

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: JETER

The District Attorney Posted: October 01, 2014 at 04:32 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

Fangraphs (Sullivan): How Jarrod Dyson Stole The Biggest Base Of His Life

An absolute must-read from Jeff Sullivan, with illustrative .GIFs showing exactly how Jarrod Dyson, a veteran basestealer, marked his man in Sean Doolittle, learned his “tell,” and took advantage. There’s more explanatory insight into the in-game situational awareness required to be a great basestealer than anything else I’ve ever read.

I want to talk about the biggest steal of the game. Maybe the biggest steal of the season? When Jarrod Dyson stole third base in the bottom of the ninth, it was worth .133 WPA to the Royals. When Josh Willingham opened the frame with a single, it was worth .133 WPA. When Aoki brought Dyson home, it was worth .133 WPA. Stolen bases are usually incremental factors, but Dyson got himself to third with one out in a one-run game, and the numbers tell you how important that was. Now let’s look at how Dyson stole the base off Doolittle, leaving Norris almost helpless.

Dyson led the American League this year in swipes of third, with ten. He was topped in the majors only by Billy Hamilton, and Hamilton was caught one more time than Dyson was. Dyson was rather famously picked off at second by Joe Nathan just a few weeks ago, but that wasn’t representative of his skills. Also, Dyson had just been inserted into the game, for a rather obvious purpose. Also, it happened before Dyson could get a good read. When Dyson was caught stealing this year, it was within the first one or two pitches. When he moved up to third, it was always after observing multiple pitches, sometimes several of them. Dyson got to see a lot of Doolittle before he finally took off.

Again: read, read, read.

Esoteric Posted: October 01, 2014 at 04:17 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kansas city, oakland, poker tell, royals

Baseball Will Test Out Six New Rules To Speed Up The Game

1. Hitters must keep at least one foot inside the batter’s box at all times, barring exceptions like foul balls, wild pitches, or if the umpire grants him time out.
2. Pitchers must throw a pitch within 20 seconds of receiving the ball. Clocks posted in each dugout will count down the 20 seconds.
3. There will be a maximum break between innings of 2:05, with a clock keeping track. Hitters must be in the batter’s box by 1:45. If the hitter’s not ready, the umpire can call a strike. If the pitcher doesn’t throw a pitch by 2:05, the umpire can call a ball.
4. Teams will have a maximum of 2:30 to change pitchers, with the clock starting as soon as the reliever enters the playing field.
5. Teams are limited to a maximum of three mound visits per game, not including pitching changes. This applies to trips to the mound by managers, coaches, and catchers.
6. Pitchers no longer have to deliver four balls for an intentional walk. The manager can simply signal to the umpire.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 01, 2014 at 04:00 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: rules

Peter Gammons: Royals steal A’s thunder, giving baseball its first taste of the postseason

Vintage Gammons.

Yost has been skewered for bringing Yordano Ventura into that sixth inning situation, and with the depth of his bullpen and the fact it was not a clean situation, it might well have been a questionable move, a move Buck Showalter may well make against the Tigers with Kevin Gausman, just as Brad Ausmus will use Anibal Sanchez for the third relief appearance of his career before the end of the ALDS.

These are no computer rotisserie games. They are now October games played beneath second decks. Bill Buckner was a better first baseman than Dave Stapleton, Gene Mauch knew at noon in Milwaukee in 1982 that Sanchez was going to pitch to Cecil Cooper and not Andy Hassler, the Mark Langston pitch to Tino Martinez was a strike, and in Game Six of the 1985 NLDS Tommy Lasorda went to the mound and reminded Tom Niedenfuer of Jerry Stephenson’s scouting report that read, “with men on base, never throw Jack Clark a fastball.” Niedenfuer threw one, anyway.

Gone.

And if Niedenfuer hadn’t gotten too smart, the Royals might never have won that World Series and now wouldn’t have a four game post-season winning streak.

 

Guapo Posted: October 01, 2014 at 03:18 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history, royals

WSJ: Scoring in Baseball Is Down. Blame the Umpires A Study Found That Umpires Have Expanded Their Strike Zone in Recent Years

The rate of correct strike calls has increased 9% from 2007 to 2013, Mills found, while the correct ball rate has increased 2.63%. According to Mills’s analysis, these shifts can account for as much as 40% in the decrease in ERA over that span. And it isn’t just that umpires are calling more strikes; they’re doing it more accurately. In particular, umpires have been calling lower strikes, by the batter’s knees. The odds of getting a hit on one of those pitches, Mills said, are 27% lower than other pitches.

bobm Posted: October 01, 2014 at 02:51 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: strike zone, umpires

A’s wild swing of a season ends in wild-card loss to Royals

Dunn, playing for a postseason team for the first time in his 14-year career, did not come to the plate. He was still fully dressed at 1 a.m. Central time as the A’s clubhouse had all but emptied out.

At the age of 34 and with 462 career homers, Dunn said he still plans to retire.

“This is probably it,” he said.

Dunn waited 14 years and 2,001 career games to get to the playoffs, longer than any other active players, and then he did not make it into the game.

“It’s not disappointing at all,” he said. “We had our chances to win and we didn’t.”

 

Good cripple hitter Posted: October 01, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: adam dunn, bob melvin, oakland a's

UNR study: Temperature affects baseball scores

“It could be beneficial for managers of MLB teams to take game day temperature into account when setting their lineups,” Koch said.

“For instance, if a manager is having difficulty choosing between two players for his starting lineup, and one player is a more patient hitter and tends to draw more walks than the other player, the manager might benefit from starting the patient hitter in cold temperatures,” Koch said.

Link to the full study here: http://bit.ly/YJceAp

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 01, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: general, research, stadia, weather

Dog eats baseball playoff tickets

the Royals’ ticket delivery system.

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“I went outside and I found basically this, scattered all over the place,” he said holing up shredded cardboard and papers.

Breslaw’s seven-month-old 80 pound Burmese mountain dog names Fezzik got to the tickets first, chewing at them like they were a T-bone steak.

“I guess when that friendly man in the blue shirt put this new toy over the railing, it was irresistible,” Bredlaw said.

On the bright side, it’s still better than the Royals’ ticket delivery system.


New manager should have Mauer catch again

What will the Twins’ next manager do about Joe Mauer?

Here’s a thought: Let him catch again.

The reason he was told to pack away his catcher’s mitt was because he kept getting hurt and there was a belief sticking him at first and having him DH would mean fewer injuries and more games played.

Well …

Mauer played in 113 games and had 445 at bats while still a catcher in 2013. This season, no longer catching, he played in 120 games and had 455 at bats. Yep, a difference of seven games and 10 at bats.

He had 11 home runs in 2013, just four this season. He had eight more doubles and a .324 batting average in 2013. He hit .277 in this just-completed debacle of a season and injuries hijacked about a fourth of the games he could have played in if healthy.

Face it, the guy is brittle wherever you play him.

I usually don’t believe in posting bad articles for people to mock… but in this case, I’m willing to make an exception.


OT:  October 2014 - College Football thread

Georgia Institute of Technology will be the first university in the world to integrate bitcoin payments into its stadium concession sales and student dining and shopping credit system, announced Wednesday by BitPay, the world’s leading bitcoin payment processor.

Bitcoin point-of-sale devices will be located in the student section of Bobby Dodd Stadium, and the Barnes & Noble store in Tech Square will be home to a bitcoin-enabled point purchase terminal for student credit BuzzCards. Students who use bitcoin will now be able to purchase food and goods at almost all locations on the Tech campus.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 01, 2014 at 12:17 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, off-topic

FOX (Rosenthal): Kansas City Royals exorcise city’s three decades’ worth of demons

Worth clicking on for nothing more than the video of a thoroughly endearing clubhouse interview with Cristian Colon and basestealing hero Jarrod Dyson:

Players and former players texted me that Yost should be fired after he pulled right-hander “Big Game” James Shields in favor of rookie righty Yordano Ventura in the sixth inning. Yost chose Ventura, a starting pitcher, over a bullpen full of accomplished relievers. Moss hit a three-run homer, his second of the game, triggering a five-run rally.

At that point, I started writing a column comparing Yost to former Red Sox manager Grady Little, who was fired after sticking too long with Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series.

Red Sox fans, who at that point were still waiting for the “Curse of the Bambino” to end, would not have tolerated Little’s return. And I’m not sure Royals fans would have tolerated Yost’s return if the night had ended in bitter defeat.

But it did not.

Esoteric Posted: October 01, 2014 at 10:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kansas city, oakland, playoffs, royals


Adam Dunn, 34, calls it a career

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Adam Dunn trekked 14 seasons and 2,001 games just to get to the postseason. But when his one and only playoff chance arrived Tuesday, he never got off the bench, and afterward he said he will retire.

The Oakland Athletics designated hitter, 34, told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez that he has played his final game.

“I guess the computer got me,” Dunn said, referring to the A’s “Moneyball” tactics.


The Players’ Tribune

Jeter’s got a brand new bag.

I do think fans deserve more than “no comments” or “I don’t knows.” Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.
So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel.  We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.

I am working with other athletes, with editors and with producers to create a platform that gives us a chance to say what’s on our minds. It’s called The Players’ Tribune. Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing a strong core of athlete editors and contributors who will shape the site into an online community filled with first-person stories and behind-the-scenes content.

My goal is for the site to ultimately transform how athletes and newsmakers share information, bringing fans closer than ever to the games they love.

Fat Al Posted: October 01, 2014 at 09:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees


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