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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Toronto Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman gets no defence from his manager after nearly hitting a batter in the head

Gibbons is like school on Saturday: no class.

Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles

Terrance Gore scores from second on Lorenzo Cain’s walk-off infield single as Royals beat White Sox 4-3

Gore scored on a walkoff infield single by Lorenzo Cain. He raced all the way home from second base. In a way, he replicated the path blazed by Jarrod Dyson, his pint-sized, elder counterpart.

The final sequences were hard to fathom. Catatonic for most of the evening, the Royals came to life in the final frame. Gore and Dyson catalyzed the scoring. Dyson replaced Mike Moustakas at second base after an opposite-field double with one out. With two outs, Dyson swiped third base and raced home on a wild pitch by closer Jake Petricka.

From there, it was up to Cain. He did not hit the ball particularly hard. But the White Sox failed to field it cleanly. Gore was a streak around the bases.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-16-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, September 16, 1914:

How to raise revenue to run the government without putting a war stamp on baseball tickets:

1 - Tax the Braves every time they wallop the Giants.
2 - Tax Eddie Collins every time he makes a base hit.
3 - Tax Cravath every time he hits a home run.
4 - Tax the Cubs every time they sign a new manager.
5 - Tax Marty O’Toole every time he loses a game.
6 - Tax Heine Zimmerman every time he is bounced from the field.
7 - Tax Charles Ebbets every time he discovers a new holiday.
8 - Tax [Federal League President] James Gilmore for every organized baseball star he fails to sign.
9 - Tax Jack Knight every time he returns to the big league.
10 - Tax Ty Cobb for every fight he gets into.

Speaking of #1, the Braves picked up another game on the Giants “yesterday”, and woke up on the morning of September 16, 1914 with a 3.5 game lead in the National League.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: September 16, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OMNICHATTER 9-16-2014

13 game days remain including today.

Orioles can clinch AL East title today if they defeat Toronto.

Nationals can clinch NL East title today if they defeat Atlanta.

Wow, awfully nice how those series lined up…

Gamingboy Posted: September 16, 2014 at 12:04 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lonestarball: Jonathan Papelbon suspended for 7 games

Phillies reliever Jonathan Papelbon has been suspended for seven games for his actions last night, which included grabbing his crotch as he was being booed while being removed from the game, an action that resulted in him being ejected by umpire Joe West.

Well, that escalated quickly.

spike Posted: September 15, 2014 at 09:18 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan papelbon

Steven Matz, other top minor league Mets to be honored at Citi Field on Monday

Long Island’s Steven Matz finally got called to Citi Field.

Though it’s only to accept an award.

For now.

Matz, who was born in Stony Brook and attended Ward Melville High School, is scheduled to be honored prior to Monday’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Marlins with the Sterling Pitcher of the Year award as the Mets’ best minor league pitcher.
Matz, 23, is the top lefthanded pitching prospect in the Mets’ system. He had a 2.21 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 12 starts with Single-A Advanced St. Lucie before a promotion to Double-A Binghamton. In 12 starts with the Binghamton Mets, Matz had a 2.27 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He helped lead the team to an Eastern League championship, even taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning of the title clincher.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 15, 2014 at 06:52 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, prospects

A’s lose Triple-A Sacramento affiliate

A source tells The Chronicle that Triple-A Sacramento has filed to end its longtime affiliation with the A’s, as I first reported was likely in May. That ends a fruitful 15-year relationship, and the River Cats could announce a new affiliation – overwhelmingly expected to be the Giants – as soon as tomorrow.

This move was entirely precipitated by the River Cats, not the A’s, who would prefer to keep their Triple-A affiliate 90 miles away.  Sacramento was the entity to file to end the agreement.

The A’s, meanwhile, have been eyeing Nashville, which has a brand-new stadium opening for the 2015 season.

Clearest sign yet the A’s are moving to Knoxville, home of the 1982 World’s Fair.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2014 at 05:27 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, minor league affiliations, sacramento

Bowman: A year’s worth of struggles leads reason to wonder what changes are in store for the Braves

Obviously the offense has been the primary problem throughout this frustration-filled year for the Braves. But long before scoring became a nightly struggle, this organization started to experience some of instability that seemingly marked the start of the struggles that have followed.

Highly-regarded scout Dom Chiti and notable pitching guru Dave Wallace both left the Braves to join Buck Showalter’s coaching staff in Baltimore. While both benefited financially by going to a Major League coaching staff, Wallace had indicated in the past that he was not interested in going back to the big leagues. But his mindset changed as he butted heads with members of the front office.

Then of course, the Braves nearly made the mistake of allowing pitching coach Roger McDowell go to the Phillies. President John Schuerholz stepped in at the last minute to keep McDowell, whose value extends far beyond what he does for the pitching staff.

A few weeks later, when Schuerholz hired his good friend John Hart to serve as a senior advisor in the baseball operations department,there was obvious reason to wonder about Wren’s job security.  There is still reason to wonder a year later. But it does seem like Hart like his other ventures, especially as an MLB Network analyst, to assume the position on a full-time basis.

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 15, 2014 at 05:23 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, frank wren, the walking dead

Heyman: Mariners have decided not to retain the ice-cream buying scout

While the story was that Baccala sent Montero an ice cream sandwich in the dugout after yelling to him on the field to move faster, others with knowledge of the situation insist it was actually an ice cream helmet. In either case, Mariners people were not pleased by the stunt.

[...]

In an interview shortly after the incident, Baccala told Baker that the episode wasn’t portrayed exactly right. He also suggested at first that he didn’t send an ice cream sandwich, instructing Baker to find out whether ice cream sandwiches were sold at the Everett stadium.

“It’s not what is being portrayed,” Baccala told Baker. “Of course I wasn’t [trying to instigate Montero]. Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I’ve worked my … off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn’t even close to the intention.”

Baker called the park and fond out that ice cream sandwiches are indeed sold at the park. But as it turns out, the ice cream in question may actually have been contained in a miniature helmet.

Good cripple hitter Posted: September 15, 2014 at 01:02 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bizarre alibis, jesus montero, mariners, scouts

Ned Yost Is The Worst Manager, Except For All The Other Managers

“Ned Yost is the worst manager in baseball, except all the others.”
-Winston Churchill

On Sunday, with the Royals up 4-3 in the sixth inning and starter Jason Vargas on his way out of the game, Yost brought in Aaron Crow with a man out and two on. Crow walked Yoenis Cespedes to load the bases, struck out Allen Craig, then allowed a grand slam to Daniel Nava to blow the lead and then some. Nava is one of the more extreme platoon bats in baseball — a switch-hitter, he’s got a career 125 wRC+ against righties and merely a 60 against lefties — and he even admitted to being surprised after the game that Yost allowed him to face a righty.

Worse, Yost’s postgame comments defy logic. He chose Crow because he wanted strikeouts, but Crow doesn’t really strike people out, with a K% mark tied for 296th of the 311 pitchers with 50 innings. He found it frustrating that the game was lost before he could bring in Kelvin Herrera, but didn’t actually bring in Herrera because “the sixth inning is Crow’s inning,” whatever that means. Crow’s velocity is way down and he’s having the worst season of his career, yet he was still allowed to face a hitter who had the platoon advantage in the biggest spot of the game, apparently because Yost feared Mike Napoli would pinch hit if he made a move….

Back in May, when Yost had to fend off complaints about his refusal to use Holland in tie games on the road, Jonah Keri did some research and came away with this:

   Since the start of last year, non-Yost managers have used their closer in the ninth inning of tied road games 19 times out of 307 opportunities, a rate of just 6 percent. Even taking mitigating factors like closer fatigue and closer committees into account, that’s still an astoundingly low number. It’s about half the closer usage rate we’d see if managers simply rolled a die to pick which reliever to throw into the fire.

It takes every manager in baseball making that kind of call to get to a 6 percent usage number. In 2012, Dan Lependorf, then writing for The Hardball Times and now working for the Oakland A’s, attempted to come up with a way to come away with “manager’s WPA” in terms of bullpen decisions. While it’s possible to question the methodology, Yost’s 2012 was ranked as the tenth-best overall. That seems crazy, but maybe it’s not. You can see above that he used three of his four best relievers in the highest-leverage situations, and it’s not at all difficult to find examples of other managers doing the same things that drive Royals fans nuts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, ned yost

Vox.com: Major League Baseball’s human-trafficking problem

Cuba is one of the biggest sources of international baseball talent. But, because of the US embargo, most Cuban players have to use smugglers to get themselves to the United States. What’s more, due to a quirk in Major League Baseball rules around contracts, those Cuban players often first have to travel to a third country, like Mexico — a difficult process.

And that’s where traffickers come in. In recent years, some Major League Baseball players have revealed that a variety of criminals have been kidnapping and extorting talented Cuban players before they can get a major league contract — in order to get a cut of their future earnings. Some of these traffickers may even have ties to Mexican cartels.

This issue is only just starting to get attention from courts and investigators — the first conviction of a smuggler for trafficking Cuban ballplayers happened in 2011. These trafficking cases involve dozens of Cuban ballplayers, most of whom never even make it to the major leagues.

This year, Cuban-born Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig became the poster boy for ballplayer trafficking. In his journey to the United States, Puig was kidnapped and extorted — and some of the traffickers he was involved with have even resorted to murder as they try to get a share of his salary. Puig’s lurid story, and his stature as a star, have brought the trafficking issue to the attention of baseball commentators.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2014 at 11:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, human trafficking, yasiel puig

Calcaterra: Derek Jeter got a bucket of crabs and a captain’s hat from the Orioles

Crabs, huh? Got to be more careful with the gift baskets, Derek.

We haven’t checked in on Derek Jeter gifts for a while. But this past weekend marked his last visit to Camden Yards as a player, and here was his haul:

   A U.S. Navy Captain’s hat;
   A bucket of crabs, presented by Boog Powell; and
   a $10,000 check in his name for the Miracle League of Manasota, which is a charity that helps kids with special needs play baseball.

JE (Jason) Posted: September 15, 2014 at 10:59 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, orioles, yankees

Mariners have decided not to retain the ice-cream buying scout

Butch Baccala, the high-ranking Mariners scout who angered Jesus Montero by sending Montero an in-game ice cream treat, will be let go by the team, sources said.
[...]
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, reached by phone Sunday night, shortly after the contending team’s 4-0 loss to the A’s, declined comment on Baccala’s status with the team. The Mariners conducted an investigation to determine what happened but apparently aren’t ready to discuss the findings.


MLB announces postseason plans, with various notable points

Here is where you can find the games no one will watch.

-No World Series games will be going head to head with either Monday or Thursday Night Football. If the series isn’t a sweep, Game 5 will go head to head with the Packers and Saints on Sunday Night Football….

-Five networks will be airing Postseason games this year. The two Wild Card games will air on TBS (AL) and ESPN (NL), while the entire ALDS and ALCS air on TBS. The NLDS will air on Fox Sports 1, though two of those games will show up on MLB Network. As for the NLCS, both game one and game six (if necessary) will air on Fox. The other five possible games air on Fox Sports 1, and the entire World Series airs on Fox.

-Speaking of Fox Sports 1, they’re taking a page out of ESPN’s book for Game 1 of the NLCS. While the game airs on Fox, they’ll be airing a second-screen experience fueled by their new baseball portal, Just A Bit Outside. The broadcast will be branded “JABO presents: NLCS on FOXSPORTS1″, and will be hosted by Kevin Burkhardt. The alternate feed will focus on statistic and sabermetrics, and feature Rob Neyer, Gabe Kapler, and C.J. Nitkowski, among others.

-Fox Sports 1 is also going all-in with ancillary shows, and is providing more than 60 hours of pre, post, and mid-game coverage, including 90 minute episodes of America’s Pregame.

-Keith Olbermann will not return to anchor TBS’s studio coverage of the MLB Playoffs because of scheduling issues. The studio show will instead be anchored by MLB Network Radio host Casey Stern, and feature Gary Sheffield and the long-awaited return of Pedro Martinez as analysts.

 


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-15-2014

A transcript of Chi-Feds manager Joe Tinker berating umpire Ed Goeckel, in the Pittsburgh Press, September 15, 1914:

“You are a fine piece of cheese to be umpiring a ball game. Why don’t you get up close to the plate and call them when they are over?...How about that stuff Saturday when you called the game on account of darkness when the sun was shining brightly?...You are the worst umpire I ever bumped up against and [Federal League President] Gilmore is going to tie the can to you shortly.”

The two had some history. In May 1914, Tinker successfully protested a game as the result of a controversial call by Goeckel.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: September 15, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, joe tinker

Baseball Reference: Span of Games Searches Enhanced in Play Index Game Finders

here’s a few concrete examples of searches that can now be completed: [...]

* Jorge Soler is just the third player since 1914 with an extra-base hit in each of his first five career games.

* Since 1914, only Dwight Gooden had more double-digit K games in his first 83 games than Yu Darvish.

* The most wins by a non-playoff team in the Wild Card Era from Games 82-162 is 52 by the 2006 Angels.

bobm Posted: September 15, 2014 at 02:10 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reference

OMNICHATTER 9-15-2014

There are 14 game days remaining (including today).

Gamingboy Posted: September 15, 2014 at 12:13 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Papelbon blows lead, gets ejected for crotch-grabbing at fans

Papelbon blew the save, but I think we can credit him with a hold…

Guapo Posted: September 14, 2014 at 07:00 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan papelbon

WaPo | The ol’ bull game. Players don’t stink, they scuffle. A bit.

from Gene Weingarten:

As America’s foremost connoisseur of the misuse of the English language, I get sad around this time of the year. That’s because the baseball season is almost over.

Baseball plays itself to physical and emotional exhaustion, with games nearly every day. Therefore, players and managers are wary of saying anything that might dampen morale, which could in turn affect momentum. Momentum, like a dog, is something you definitely don’t want to dampen, lest you stink up the joint. So baseball has developed a vast defensive vocabulary, a way to soften failure gently, if dishonestly.

Hence, the emergence of “scuffling.”

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: September 14, 2014 at 05:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: crash davis

Dave Kreiger: New Baseball Hall of Fame voting rules

A mighty adventure when the HOF’s destiny rides in the saddle bags of the…PONY EXPRESS!

The process is brought into the electronic age with online registration and research materials but remains in the Pony Express days with actual submission of ballots by snail mail. The Heisman Trophy has had electronic voting for some time now, so I assume Ernst & Young will ultimately employ this innovation as well. But not yet.

From the standpoint of voters, the new procedure offers the innovation of confirming receipt, never before available because the BBWAA didn’t open ballots until it was time to count them, by which time it would be too late to replace a ballot lost in the mail anyway.

There is no change to the much-discussed limit of 10 votes per voter. Many voters expressed regret that they could not vote for more than 10 last year. I was one of them. I left Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina off my 2014 ballot because I was not willing to abandon candidates I had supported longer — including Raines, Trammell and Jack Morris.

The 10-year eligibility limit will turn over the names more quickly, reducing this ballot congestion problem to some extent, but off the top of my head I can name more than 10 players I’d like to vote for this year.

Repoz Posted: September 14, 2014 at 04:41 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Sports Bog: Fans Switch From Skins to Nats

Dan Steinberg’s Sports Bog takes an off-beat look at sports and whatever else strikes his fancy at any given moment.

#FTTR Fail To The Redskins

boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: funny, media, nationals, radio

Kapler: Baseball’s next big competitive edge

Really terrific piece. No snark.

However, we are now more than a decade past the publication of Moneyball, and, to put it bluntly, the days of simply adding an analytical genius to the front office and expecting him to tip the scales are over. There’s simply too much information-sharing in today’s world for any club to gain a lasting structural informational edge over their competitors. Proprietary information is becoming harder and harder to come by. While there are certainly frontiers of data not yet fully explored, I believe the next real advantage will come not from which team can acquire the most information, but from which team can best put that information into practice. How efficiently and successfully information is shared with managers, coaches and players will equal wins now and going forward.

Herein lies one of the great challenges of implementing winning, but unconventional, techniques. Players are resistant to change; managers are disinclined to upset habits. Think about the eye-rolls whenever a team says, “We’re going closer by committee.”

A slightly more extreme example came up in conversation last night. Former first-round pick and MLB veteran C.J. Nitkowski alerted me to a piece written by our FanGraphs colleague, Eno Sarris. I had not yet read the article and asked C.J. for an overview.

“Essentially, Eno thinks we should be moving guys around in the outfield during the game based on defensive strength. Crazy! Can you imagine how the weaker outfielder would feel?”

C.J.’s half right. I can think of two dozen major-league outfielders who might have bruised egos, but I can also think of a dozen who’d be cool with it. The difference isn’t (just) player makeup, its institutional buy-in.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: gabe kapler, just a bit outside, sabermetrics

Fraley: Millions in lost revenue from ticket sales will impact Rangers payroll | Dallas Morning News

Not in Fenway.

The rule of thumb is that, conservatively, each ticket sold is equivalent to $35 in revenue. That means the Rangers will lose about $13 million in revenue over last season because of the decline in attendance. That will impact the payroll.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Do base stealers disrupt the pitcher/defense or the batter? | MGL on Baseball

Digging into the details.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Massive Tie Scenarios : baseballmusings.com

If MLB wanted more teams in the playoff hunt, the extra wild card spot seems to be doing the trick. All they need is another playoff team or two and just about every team will be in the hunt, just like hockey.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

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