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Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Washington Nationals

Part 5: Nationals Park

The rare modern stadium without a corporate sponsor. Alas, Nationals Park doesn’t exactly ring out as requiring a lot of deep thought, though it is a nod to the place that predated old Griffith Stadium.

One would think the club’s D.C. location would offer ample naming opportunities for the ballpark. Then again, one would think the club’s D.C. location offered the architects ample opportunities for exciting backdrops, and they failed miserably in what’s an otherwise OK park, as I recall from my one visit there.

If nothing else, can we try to keep this thread from going all OTP: Politics, please?

Ballpark History


Built: 2008

Capacity: 41,339

Name: Nationals Park (2008-present)

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: RFK Stadium 2005-07. Previous DC teams played at Griffith Stadium, 1911-1965, Boundary/Nationals Field, 1895-1911

Distinctive Features: A sliver of the crowd can get a glimpse of the Capitol. Cherry blossoms line the leftfield pavilion.

Ballpark Highlights: Randy Johnson beat the Nats 5-1 to win his 300th career game while pitching for the Giants.

President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch to kick off the 2010 season, a toss that proved conclusively that baseball was not his sport.

In 2010, top pick Stephen Strasburg was absurdly dominant in his closely watched Major League debut, striking out 14 Pirates* and walking none in seven innings. 

In 2012, after almost seven full seasons of futility that bore striking similarities to another famous Washington outfit, the Generals, Teddy Roosevelt won the President’s Race.

Jayson Werth’s ninth-inning home run off Lance Lynn gave the Nats a 2-1 victory in Game 4 of the NLDS, the first time Washingtonians had seen the home nine win a postseason game in 79 years.

*At the time, the equivalent of fanning 11 major league hitters.


TBtB Selections To Date:


San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2017 at 10:28 AM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: stadium names, washington nationals

Monday, September 25, 2017


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-25-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 25, 1917:

Cases against George Weaver and Fred McMullin of the Chicago American League club were dismissed in the [Boston] Police Court [yesterday]. They were charged with assaulting Augustine J. McNally of Norwood during a disturbance on the ball field during a previous visit of the Chicago club to this city…The complainant and his witnesses failed to appear.

Obviously Buck Weaver and Fred McMullin were fine, upstanding ballplayers who would never commit any sort of misconduct on a baseball field.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 25, 2017 at 10:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP 25 September 2017: CC Sabathia won’t visit the White House if the Yankees win the World Series

Ballplayers, however, will likely continue to speak up. The latest: Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who was asked yesterday whether he would visit the White House if the playoff-bound Yankees won the World Series. From the Daily News:

“Never. I just don’t believe in anything that is Trump. So there wouldn’t be any reason for me to go at all. I just think it’s stupid. I just think it’s dumb that he’s addressing players and stuff that he shouldn’t be. But it is what it is, and that’s the country we live in these days . . . I’m proud of the way that everybody has Steph’s back and just athletes in general these days, the way everybody has been stepping up has been great.”

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 25, 2017 at 07:41 AM | 392 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, politics, yankees

Please enjoy Jayson Werth as Jon Snow and Bryce Harper as his trusty Direwolf | MLB.com

I guess winter is coming.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Cubs’ Jose Quintana silences Brewers bats

2 1/2 back.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 06:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Angels come from behind to beat Astros, snap losing streak at 6

4 1/2 back.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 06:25 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

DeWitt Q-&-A: Matheny is ‘right guy to lead us into the future’

I completely wrote off this team earlier this year. Although they might fall short in their playoff push, they still proved me wrong.

DG: The team hasn’t made a deal like that where it packages a group of prospects for a single player since 2009, for Holliday. Are you more reluctant to make a deal like that?

BD: I think clubs who have premium players have high expectations in terms of prospects. They want your best prospects, the very top. And multiples of them. Even close to the major leagues prospect. Everybody was looking to get (Alex) Reyes and (Luke) Weaver from us, and those guys are major-league ready. Where would we be without Weaver?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 06:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

24 years ago, Nolan Ryan pitched in his final game - Houston Chronicle

My favorite player. My eldest son’s name is Ryan. It’s not a coincidence.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 06:19 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nolan ryan

Dodgers’ Dave Roberts keeps Yasiel Puig on bench after baserunning blunder - LA Times

After a season filled with positive press, a crack in the narrative is exposed.

“When I put a player in the lineup, every situation, every pitch, every out is important,” he said. “It’s important that I guys I write in the lineup, I can trust them. So that’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Puig took off for second base with two outs in the ninth inning but was thrown out when he didn’t slide, saying he felt something in his left ankle as he neared the base. Roberts said Puig was not treated by the trainers for any injury.

The manager said it wasn’t the first issue he has had with Puig.

“There’s been some things that I kept notes of,” Roberts said.

Roberts said before Sunday’s game that he hadn’t spoken to Puig about the mistake before indicating that his actions delivered the message he wanted to send.

“He’s not in the lineup. So whatever message he gets from it, I’m putting the guys out that I feel gives us the best chance to win today,” the manager said.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 06:17 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

The Braves in 2018: Snitker could return, but much will change | Mark Bradley blog

How next year won’t be like this year: “I think we’re going to see a younger team. We’ve got arguably the best prospect in the game (outfielder Ronald Acuna) pushing his way up to Atlanta. He’s going to be given every opportunity in spring training. When he’s ready, nobody’s going to stand in his way. I said the same thing about Ozzie Albies this spring, and it’s the same way. You saw where we moved Brandon Phillips to third base. We will move other people to make way for this young player because he is that special.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 05:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Olney: Derek Jeter must make impossible decision about Giancarlo Stanton’s future - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN

Others who have seen the Marlins’ books all say the same thing: The unpopular franchise is saturated with debt. The club’s current television contract runs out in a few years, and it’s unclear how much growth the Marlins can expect, given the club’s struggles on the field. A lot of Miami baseball fans have been unhappy with the way that the team’s relatively new ballpark was funded, and they have stayed away from a place that isn’t easy to access before games and isn’t easy to leave on those rare nights when a sizable crowd appears.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 05:56 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Diamondbacks Clinch Playoff Berth

Go Diamondbacks!

Jim Furtado Posted: September 25, 2017 at 05:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Jacob deGrom reaches significant 200-inning plateau for first time in career

Jacob deGrom has been the last ace standing for the Mets for most of this season, pitching more innings than Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz have thrown combined.

Coming off of season-ending elbow one year ago, it is of no small significance that deGrom reached the 200-inning plateau for the first time in his major-league career on Sunday. DeGrom tossed another six strong frames, despite suffering the defeat to Washington ace Max Scherzer in a 3-2 loss to the Nationals.

“It’s definitely big for me,” deGrom said of his innings total. “We’ve got plans to hopefully go to the World Series next year, and I think that’s something I wanted to get to, to know what it’s like to pitch that many innings in a year.

“You never know what to expect coming off of surgery, so being healthy this year definitely has been a big plus for me.”

DeGrom gave up a two-run homer to Trea Turner in the third inning and an unearned run in the fifth, but he finished the game with 11 strikeouts, his 11th double-digit outing of the season.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: September 24, 2017 at 10:32 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets

Francona ... points to Tomlin in rotation for ALDS

Francona: Clevinger going to bullpen “to be a weapon.” Indians leaning toward 4-man rotation for ALDS.

Francona didn’t name the 4th starter, but sure points to Tomlin in rotation for ALDS, if Game 4 needed. Team still weighing Salazar’s role.

cmd600 Posted: September 24, 2017 at 05:51 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: genius, homers, indians, postseason

Electronic device speeds Byron Buxton’s hand recovery

Wherever he goes these days, Byron Buxton has a new constant companion: A rectangular blue box called the True Wave that helps speed his recovery from a bone contusion in his left hand.

“That’s my best friend,” Buxton said Saturday afternoon as he sat at his Comerica Park locker.

In between baseball activities at the park and during his down time at the hotel or while flying from city to city, Buxton has found relief in hooking up a small, oval-shaped electrode patch to the back of his hand and letting the electronic stimulator work its magic.

“You don’t feel anything” while it’s on, Buxton said, but that changes once he removes the patch and holds his hand down by his side.

“I feel a rush of blood,” Buxton said. “It’s like a tingling feeling but it feels good.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 04:19 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryon buxton, twins

The case for Jose Altuve as the American League MVP, and a look at the rest of the contenders

Nick Cafardo embraces WAR.

WAR numbers can also vary based on the formulas used to calculate them. Defensive metrics are also getting more refined and accurate. And there are these things called your eyes. If you’ve followed a player all season you understand his value regardless of what the numbers say. Usually the numbers back up the eyes and the instincts.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Travis Shaw and the Brewers are Sneaky Good | FanGraphs Baseball

When I first wrote about Matt Olson, he was 20 years old and wrapping up a season where he led the Pacific Coast League with 37 home runs. Three years later, he’s showing off his prodigious power in an Oakland uniform. Since being called up by the A’s in mid June, the sweet-swinging first baseman has gone deep 24 times in 210 plate appearances. His slash line is a McGwire-esque .262/.357/.667.

The bridge between those aforementioned seasons included an impactful mechanical adjustment. Olson has always been strikeout prone, and last September he went just 2 for 21 in his first taste of big league baseball. Some tightening up was in order.

“When I got up here last year, they wanted to address some issues, and my way of addressing them was to move my hands out in front of my body more,” Olson told me recently. “Before, when I would get loaded, I would tuck them back. That was causing me to cut myself off — I was swinging against my body — so I moved them out to where I can go directly to the ball, as opposed to having to kind of spin off to get my barrel there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:41 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Yankees look ahead after postseason clinch | MLB.com

I’m giving this the thumbs down!

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

ASK BA: Can A Team Promise Otani A Lucrative Extension? | BaseballAmerica.com

The CBA says, “The Commissioner may impose strict penalties on any Club that attempts to circumvent the system.” What exactly would the Commissioner do? Loss of pick(s)? Fine? Spanking? Would any team blow through the cap to sign Otani?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:03 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: international signings

A’s Bruce Maxwell kneels for anthem | MLB.com

Baseball players join the movement.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:02 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bruce maxwell

Saturday, September 23, 2017

How the Astros’ trade for Justin Verlander came together | SI.com

If you are interested in trade discussions, this is a must read.

“The reality is that any economic modeling that includes projections is not going to like a deadline deal, where you’re trading what could be an enormous amount of future value for a decent amount of present value,” says Luhnow. “The math does not support these types of deals. It’s a matter of using your best judgment.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, justin verlander, tigers

Bellinger blasts Giants, Dodgers clinch NL West

“You know, I could play Otani every day,” he said, with a faint smile. “Oh, I’d put him out there. Trust me.”

The Giants will make every effort this winter to court Shohei Otani, a generational talent from Japan who conjures comparisons to Babe Ruth with his 102 mph fastball and his ability to turn them around at the plate.

Maybe next year the Giants will have Otani on their side. Maybe they will have Giancarlo Stanton’s chiseled form in the middle of their lineup.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants, shohei otani


Arizona Diamondbacks had a dinosaur throw out the first pitch - SBNation.com

Don’t worry; it wasn’t a real dinosaur.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

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