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Thursday, March 30, 2017

CENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA

I think this year we should make t-shirts.

The Central Park field for 10 AM on July 1st has been submitted for approval to the Parks Department, but not yet assigned.  We’re waiting to hear back.  It’s never been a problem as yet, so hopefully it won’t be this year as well.

Note: This is the same weekend as the massive SABR extravaganza in NYC.  I would expect all connections and all favors to be called in to get some retired MLB players or broadcast and basement-dwelling notables to come by.  Rob Neyer, Tommy Lasorda, Benny Agbayani, Robothal, Pete Rose, no target too high.  Or too low.  So maybe Calcaterra could make it.

Let’s hear it, who’s coming?

Lassus Posted: March 30, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Angels Notes: Garrett Richards shifted to 60-day DL

Richards, the erstwhile ace of the Angels’ staff, departed in the fifth inning of his only start April 5 and hasn’t picked up a baseball since. He was said to be “making progress” from his biceps injury as recently as Friday, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

However, “his most recent assessment and exam showed mild improvement in biceps strength and also irritation of the cutaneous nerve, which is contributing to his strength deficit,” the Angels said Saturday in a statement while announcing Richards’ move to the 60-day DL.

When Richards first suffered his injury, the Angels said he was pulled from the game as a precautionary measure, and that he wouldn’t even miss a game. Then, he was put on the 10-day DL as a precautionary measure. Then, he was going to be left on the DL just a little longer as a precautionary measure.

At some point, the Angels are going to have to own up to the truth, that Richards’ injury is far worse than they had let on. This drip-drip-drip of bad news strung out over weeks as they are constantly forced to revise their ridiculously — and falsely — optimistic assessments of Richards’ health does no one any good, not the team, not the fans, not Richards. Moreover, this pattern of dishonest spin was exactly how they revealed Richards’ UCL injury last year. For Angel fans, the injury is disappointing. For hardcore fans and those of us who actively blog and podcast the Angels, the injury is disappointing, and it’s downright infuriating to be basically lied to on a daily basis.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2017 at 10:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, garrett richards

Tempers flare in Tigers-Twins; Matt Boyd, Miguel Sano ejected

Tempers flared in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game in Minnesota after Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd threw behind Twins first baseman Miguel Sano.

Sano pointed at Boyd. Tigers catcher James McCann came up and exchanged words with Sano, who reacted by landing a punch to McCann’s protective gear.

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos came running in, yelling at Boyd. Both teams came into the field before order was restored.

Boyd and Sano were both ejected. It was the first career ejection for Boyd and second for Sano.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2017 at 05:24 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, tigers, twins


Rangers’ Joey Gallo hits hardest homer of 2017 | MLB.com

He doesn’t get cheated.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 09:06 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers

Maybe We Were All Wrong About The Yankees Rotation

The Yankees have played really well so far. As I’ve been telling my friends who are Yankees fans, I don’t believe it’s a fluke.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:59 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Red Sox coaches still don’t want hitters thinking about hitting for power - providencejournal.com

Just 208 homers?

Led by Davis, who went deep 47 times, Baltimore hit more than 250 home runs last season, far and away the best in the American League. The Orioles still scored fewer than 750 runs, however. Conversely, the Red Sox hit just 208 home runs but scored nearly 900 runs.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Gary Sanchez’s popularity just reached another level | New York Post

They aren’t selling jeans; they are selling jerseys.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sanchez, yankees

Dodgers’ quartet of pitching prospects can bring the heat – Orange County Register

White said he pitched about 20 innings as a high schooler in San Jose. He went undrafted after his senior year, was barely recruited by colleges, and didn’t have much of a choice when he chose to attend Santa Clara University. He’s still thrown fewer than 200 innings in his life, by his own estimate.

By contrast, Buehler was a 14th-round draft pick out of Henry Clay High in Lexington, Ky., in 2012. He chose not to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates and attend Vanderbilt University instead. Two years later, Buehler was a College World Series champion and a big-name prospect.

Santana was primarily a shortstop until he turned 18. His $170,000 signing bonus didn’t tab him as a marquee name, but after becoming a pitcher he shot through the Dodgers’ system quicker than many of his peers.

And then there’s Alvarez, who left Cuba at age 18. By the time he turned 21 in March, he was already married with a young daughter. (They were in Rancho Cucamonga, Alvarez said, when he pitched Monday in Lancaster.) He’s already used his $16 million signing bonus to purchase four cars: a Lamborghini, a Porsche, an Audi S8 and a Chevy Tahoe. It seems the rest of his life is merely trying to keep pace with his fastball.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 07:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, prospects

Friday, April 21, 2017

Giants Place Madison Bumgarner On 10-Day DL After Dirt Bike Accident

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is headed to the 10-day DL after injuring himself in a dirt bike accident, the team announced. He is said to have suffered bruised ribs along with “a grade one or two left shoulder AC sprain.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:42 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, injuries, madison bumgarner

Take the pledge: Let’s banish pitcher wins, losses from baseball conversations

So let’s stop talking about pitcher wins and losses, OK? Please? Let’s be better. Baseball statisticians have spent the past few decades giving us better options, and the tide has been turning. Advanced statistics are more a part of the baseball conversation now than ever before. But we haven’t wiped out the individual W/L quite yet. 

And, look, I’m not under any delusions that these blights of baseball statistics are completely going away. They’ve long been ingrained in baseball history — the 20-win season and 300-win career have been benchmarks forever — because in the early days of the sport, they were considered the best way to evaluate a pitcher’s contribution to a team’s victory. Those days are long gone, though.

Even if you’re not a fan of advanced metrics such as WAR, FIP or DRA (you should be, but whatever), there are better traditional ways to evaluate a pitcher’s value to a team, such as ERA (though that’s flawed, too). Individual pitcher wins/losses might literally be the worst of all options. 

Because even if you refuse to accept those newfangled stats, you have to admit there are just too many other things that happen during a baseball game to rationally award a decision to one individual player, starting with this: If a pitcher’s team doesn’t score, he won’t get a “W” for the day. In 1967, for example, Gaylord Perry threw 16 shutout innings against the Reds, but finished with a no-decision because his Giants didn’t win until the 21st inning. Four times in his career, Nolan Ryan threw at least nine full innings, allowed zero earned runs, struck out at least 12 and got a no-decision (including a 15-strike out, 0-walk 10-inning gem in 1990).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:39 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: wins

Brock Holt goes to the disabled list with vertigo

The Red Sox activated Jackie Bradley Jr. from the DL today. The corresponding move: putting utilityman Brock Holt on the disabled list. But it’s not due to a hamstring or anything like that. It’s due to vertigo.

Vertigo is a medical condition where a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they’re not. A spinning, swaying or dizziness. It can be caused by an infection, a concussion or any number of other things and the severity can vary as well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:35 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: brock holt, red sox, vertigo

Major League Baseball in Las Vegas? Commissioner says it’s an option

Major League Baseball would be open to having a team in Las Vegas, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

With two existing franchises — the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays — struggling to secure financing for new stadiums, the option of relocating a team to Las Vegas is very much on the table.

“If we were looking at relocation,” Manfred said, “Las Vegas would be on the list.”...

Manfred didn’t rule out the possibility of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, but added that “until the Tampa Bay and Oakland situations are settled, I can’t see talking about expansion.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays, relocation

A’s president Dave Kaval zeroed in on four sites for Oakland ballpark

“We’re down to three to four sites. They’re all in Oakland, but they are in different locations,” Kaval said. “I think baseball needs some new energy, and I think Oakland can be kind of the shining star for that new model.”
No word on whether one of those sites is on the water, an idea a fan floated last month.

A major announcement on the stadium can be expected this calendar year, Kaval said.

“We’re spending a lot of time on the transit and traffic plans, making sure any site that we pick, people can get to easily whether it’s public transportation, driving, parking, that kind of stuff,” Kaval said. “Especially in the Bay Area, there’s so much traffic for the fans. You’ve got to have an easy in-and-out, because if you don’t, people won’t come 81 times. That’s a critical part of the process.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:18 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Rangers release Josh Hamilton following another knee injury

It appears the baseball career of Josh Hamilton is, once and for all, done.
Hamilton, rehabbing from a left knee surgery, injured his right knee during rehab and will undergo surgery to repair it. The Rangers on Friday released him from his minor league contract.
Hamilton did not say he definitively planned to retire, but the reality is he will be a free agent at the end of this year, 36 years old and without a major league at-bat for two full seasons.
“I am disappointed but not discouraged that my knee problems have not allowed me to play this season,” Hamilton said in a statement. “I plan to have surgery on my right knee and then evaluate the situation. I want to thank the Rangers and all of the great fans for the support and encouragement. I really appreciate it.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:58 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton, rangers

Jon Lester offers Cubs fan his seats at Wrigley Field | SI.com

Oh, so his dad’s seats aren’t good enough!!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester

Favorites to sign Cuban outfielder Luis Robert | MLB.com

Out of the running
The Angels, Blue Jays, Cubs, D-backs, Dodgers, Rays, Red Sox, Royals and Yankees are limited to signing a player for $300,000 or less during the current signing period, putting those teams out of the running for Robert.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:02 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, luis robert

What’s Wrong With Carlos Martinez? It Ain’t The Hair. He Isn’t “Disinterested.” Two Words: Throw Str

Hint: It isn’t because Martinez is “disinterested.”
Over Martinez’ last two starts, we’ve heard team TV broadcasters refer to him as “ambivalent” and “disinterested.” During Martinez’ poor start against the Brewers Thursday night, Al Hrabosky said something about “slapping” Martinez to “wake him up.”
This is so awful on so many levels, it just about leaves me speechless.
But not quite speechless.
Disinterested? In his last two starts Martinez has struck out 33.3 percent of his batters faced. Presumably that strikeout rate would be 70 percent if Martinez only had more interest in pitching and competing. Martinez was wrecked by two long homers from the Brewers — they’ve crushed 32 already this season — but at one point he retired 11 consecutive hitters. Martinez must have been interested when he set down 11 in a row.
This junk has been going on since Martinez came to the majors.
When Martinez is animated and bouncing around … well, he’s too emotional and needs to mature.
Ah, but when Martinez is struggling to control the strike zone, and he’s low-key and focused and serious about getting out of jams … of course that means he’s disinterested and needs to be slapped.
Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.
——————–
So what’s the problem?
It’s pretty easy to explain, actually.
Martinez isn’t commanding the strike zone.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:38 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, carlos martinez

Francisco Lindor turned down Indians’ offer | MLB.com

According to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci on Thursday, the Indians’ offer to Lindor during the spring was around $100 million, but the rising star turned down Cleveland’s proposal. There have been no indications that negotiations have continued into the season.

The Indians have the 23-year-old Lindor under contractual control through the 2021 season. The shortstop will not be eligible for arbitration until 2019, putting him on target to hit the open market ahead of his age-28 season in ‘22.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 02:22 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, indians

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-21-2017

Chicago sportswriter Harry Neily, quoted in the Pittsburgh Press, April 21, 1917:

Last winter [Honus Wagner] got married. Reports are conflicting, persons friendly to the owners saying that Honus went into the club’s offices and announced in loud voice that he couldn’t take so much money from the club because he couldn’t earn it, due to the infirmities of old age. Others declare that Barney Dreyfuss, president of the Pirates grew frugal and cut Wagner’s pay. Whichever is correct, Wagner quit.

Immediately, the bottom fell out of the Pirates. The fans here are about as enthusiastic as was the proprietor of the dollar-fifty pants emporium five minutes after the insurance adjusters got around to discover the oil can in the basement.

I’d like to hear more about this $1.50 pants emporium.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:03 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thank God It’s OMNICHATTER

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 169 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Brewers’ Eric Thames adjusts to attention | MLB.com

He is used to this kind of attention. In South Korea, where Thames averaged 41 home runs over three seasons, fans nicknamed him “God.” He still has a pile of T-shirts somewhere with that word written on them in Korean, a gift Thames sheepishly accepted. He went on a date one night and was out on the street kissing a girl when a fan tapped him on the shoulder and asked for an autograph.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 08:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why MLB’s best young stars will strike it wildly rich in ‘resetting of the market’

The Cleveland Indians tried to extend the contract of shortstop Francisco Lindor before Opening Day, but not even dangling what one source said was a package around $100 million did the trick.

The Chicago Cubs made runs at extending several of their young players this winter, including third baseman Kris Bryant, but according to one source, every one of those efforts “got nowhere.”

cmd600 Posted: April 20, 2017 at 11:54 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

A Creative Theater Production Knits Baseball and Politics

Safe at Home is a unique production, staged at St. Paul’s CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints, an independent baseball team known for its creative and wacky promotions and for being one of the best fan experiences in baseball. The Saints lent their three-year old park in the heart of St. Paul for Safe at Home. Groups of roughly 25 audience members were brought through nine areas of the stadium, with a seven-minute scene unfolding at each stop along the way. I attended the production Saturday, March 11, the fifth of the production’s six-night run.

CHS Field, a 7,210-seat stadium, serves as a stand-in for San Diego’s PETCO Park. The night of the play, the park is set to host Game Seven of the World Series between the Padres and the Rangers, creating a scenario in which a first-time champion is guaranteed. But in the play’s first scene, a bombshell is dropped at the Padres manager’s pre-game press conference: San Diego’s Game Seven starter, 25-year-old Dominican sensation Victor Castillo, is considering a monumental protest, in the form of refusing to pitch.’

As the audience moves through the stadium, the story reveals itself. A conversation between a young Dominican churro vendor and a veteran white beer vendor reveals the difference in perceptions of Castillo among San Diego’s racial communities. A trip to an out-of-the-way media room reveals the club owner’s attempt to bribe the reporter pushing the boycott story. In the men’s bathroom, two friends argue over one’s decision to wear the rivals’ colors in blatant disrespect of the man who provided the tickets. The next stop, the luxury suite of the Democratic candidate for President, reveals the implications of Castillo’s decision go far deeper than just the result of Game Seven.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 10:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, st. paul, theater

Brad Ausmus: Tigers fielders to blame after being confused by fan

Two seemingly harmless fly balls fell for hits in the first three innings of the Rays’ 8-7 victory as Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones, right fielder Tyler Collins and second baseman Ian Kinsler were confused by the shouts from the Tropicana Field stands.

The source of the Tigers’ confusion wasn’t miscommunication between the fielders. If anything, it was overcommunication on the part of a fan in the Tropicana Field stands yelling “I got it!”

“It’s fair game, if you’re a fan. I’m not the blaming [the] fan or anything. He’s within his rights to do that. We have to make the adjustment,” Ausmus told reporters Thursday, according to mlive.com.

Since outfielders have the right to call off infielders on fly balls, Kinsler assumed his teammates were doing so Wednesday night and backed off.

“I just got out of the way,” Kinsler said, according to mlive.com.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:18 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ausmus, fans, tigers

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