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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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

CC Sabathia went from lowest low to highest high in two weeks | New York Post

From retirement to rescue, all in a 12-day span for CC Sabathia.

If it didn’t quite match Homer Simpson going through the five stages of grief in less than 60 seconds (Season 2, when he eats the poison blowfish), well … that was make-believe. This actually happened.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: c.c. sabathia, yankees

Sunday Notes: Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield is Playing to Win | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Jake Arrieta is pitching like an ace again — just in time for free agency - Chicago Tribune

“We’re just trying to win this division, that’s what we’re focused on,” Cubs President Theo Epstein said Friday when asked about Arrieta’s future. “Offseason stuff, we’ll deal with it when the time comes. Nothing has been determined, and that story is not written yet.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

Charlie Morton’s secret to pitching: throw harder - Beyond the Box Score

Morton hasn’t always been a hard-throwing righty, either. His average velocity on both his four-seam fastball and his two-seam fastball (or sinker) are at career-highs this year, at 96.0 mph and 95.4 mph, respectively. Morton touched 99.1 mph with the two-seamer earlier this year. “Charlie Morton can throw 99 mph” is not a sentence I expected to write when beginning this piece.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, charlie morton

Jeffrey Loria has ‘no sad feelings whatsoever’ about selling the Marlins - Sun Sentinel

Marlins fans share his sentiments. Without all the cash, though.

“I have no sad feelings whatsoever,” Loria said. “I love this game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

MLB umpire protest: Umps unlikely to get sympathy from fans | SI.com

She’s got that right.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:54 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: umpires

MLB World Umpires on Twitter: ”

Bad umpires of the world UNITE!

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:38 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: umpires

Gregg Olson: Orioles’ emphasis on talented, structured bullpens is nothing new - Baltimore Sun

“I’m a firm believer in people knowing what their jobs are and what they’re roles are,” Olson said, “and the times that I really struggled were times when I was in bullpens and I didn’t know when the phone rang that it was me. So, I wasn’t spending the 30 minutes before that preparing for who’s coming up, how I want to face them, what situations I’m walking into.

“My five years here, I knew what the situation was when the phone rang and I took off my coat.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens, orioles

Roberto Osuna is in a better place after openly discussing anxiety issues - LA Times

In the culture of professional sports, where players try to play through injuries and sometimes consider talking about injuries a sign of weakness, it is remarkable that Osuna is willing to talk openly and comfortably — and in a second language — about what happened in those dark days.

“I was just feeling lost,” he said. “I didn’t feel like myself. I was feeling dizzy. I wasn’t sure where I was. It was really weird.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Mets have only themselves to blame for cheap shots | New York Post

There is nothing wrong with saving some cash by getting rid of expensive players who aren’t in your plans for the next season. As long as the money gets put back into the team. Mets fans don’t have a lot of trust in the Wilpons to do it.

He explained how slicing salary now allows him to prove to ownership that it can be done. He said that allows ownership to loosen its purse strings in the winter. He admitted he couldn’t swear that every dollar saved this year will automatically go toward bettering next year.

And all the while insisting, “This was not a salary dump!”

And all the while implying, “This was absolutely a salary dump!”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Daren Willman:“Breaking down the quality of contact chart (exit velocity / launch angle)

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Reusse: Twins’ altercation in 1967? Part about a gun on team bus was avoided

The “by-play” among Ted Uhlaender, Tony Oliva, and Dave Boswell on the Twins team bus from the Detroit airport to the hotel is evidently a euphemism for gunplay.

Then, Tony took the copy of the Star’s front sports page, looked at the headline – “Ermer’s Strong Hand Calms Twin Squabble’’ – and offered the slight smile that indicates he’s interested in something.

“There was a part of this that no one would talk about, and the writers didn’t write,’’ he said. “Boswell had a gun on the bus.

“It was an exhibition game, and I don’t know – there was probably a lot of drinking by some players, if they weren’t playing, or after they left the game. We were on the way in from the Detroit airport, and Boswell started waving around a gun, above his head, like he was going to shoot a hole in the roof.

“I don’t know if the gun was loaded or not. I told Boswell to put the gun away, that it was not funny, it was dangerous.

“That’s when Uhlaender got involved.’’

Greg Franklin Posted: August 19, 2017 at 01:58 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alcohol, guns, history, twins


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 | 18 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 | 26 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 | 27 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 | 111 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

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