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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS | MLB.com

The Verlander trade has worked out well for the Astros.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Friday, October 20, 2017

Angell: Bringing the Yankees Home?

Wednesday’s game, at the Stadium, allowed me to continue work on my monograph about Keuchel’s whiskers. Mr. Weirdbeard shows a dense mid-chest curtain of hair depending from spaghetti-strap sideburns that might actually hook over his ears. Further observations offer a different possibility. His long, pale neck is smooth-shaven and stretches up to a high haircut trim close to his cap. The effect, seen from a slight angle astern, suggests a silken Dolce & Gabbana evening bag or, more likely, a black chemise or bit of underwear hanging on the far side of your closet door.

The box score shows that the Yankees struck out thirteen times in Game Five, contributing to their forty-nine strikeouts in the games to date. Shifting to the other league and the other side of the ledger, we come upon the Cubs’ 3–2 win in Game Four, at Wrigley Field, in which all five runs came on solo homers. Amazingly, these were also half of the hits in the game. Totals like this should no longer startle us. Baseball has irremediably altered, accumulating homers and strikeouts in ever-ascending numbers. Aaron Judge’s new rookie record of fifty-two home runs comes along with his record two hundred and eight whiffs. Major-league players hit more home runs this season than ever before, and more of them struck out as well. It’s all about size. At six feet seven and a tautly proportioned two hundred and eighty pounds, Judge is the avatar for this new generation of towering sluggers, while the pitchers, in their leaner and longer fashion, are also stronger than ever before. Launching has replaced hitting, and the batters walk away unflustered when they swing and miss at another hundred-mile-an-hour heater. This altered game is here to stay, and may even suit the distractible, phone-attached modern audience. Almost no one keeps score nowadays, and folks in the seats rise in numbers, shouting for the coming K or wowing for the departing dinger. I’m not a yearner for the past by nature, but maintain a secret fondness for a different baseball moment—a hard single up the right-field side with a man aboard, the baserunner and the relayed white ball now converging on third, and the fractional moment in which we await the call.


OT: Winter Soccer Thread

November 4 Borussia Dortmund v. Bayern Munich
November 5 Chelsea v. ManU
November 9 & 12 - Northern Ireland v. Switzerland/Croatia v. Greece
November 10 &  13 - Sweden v. Italy
November 11 & 14 - Denmark v. Ireland
November 10 & 15 - Honduras v. Australia
November 11 & 15 - New Zealand v. Peru
November 14 - Portugal v. USA (friendly #&!^#&)
December 1 - Napoli v. Juventus
December 10 - ManU v. ManCity
December 11 - Champions League Round of 16 draw
December 20 - Real Madrid v. Barcelona (how contentious will this be given the political climate?)

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 20, 2017 at 05:27 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, soccer

Theo Epstein: Joe Maddon has taken enough heat, don’t blame NLCS on Cubs manager | NBC Sports Chicago

“It’s not manager against manager,” Epstein said. “That stuff just gets under the microscope so much this time of year. It’s players performing. And when you get a lead in the series – and when you’ve got a bunch of relievers throwing well – you can make tactically aggressive decisions. Your strategies tend to work.

“When you’re in a tough spot late in the game – and you’re searching for consistency in the ‘pen – it just puts all managers in tough spots.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:46 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

ALCS Game 6 OMNICHATTER, for October 20, 2017

Yankees lead the Astros, 3-2.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 20, 2017 at 02:27 PM | 148 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Dusty Baker Will Not Be Back as Manager

The Nationals on Friday announced that Dusty Baker would not return as the team’s manager in 2018. Baker this past season led the Nationals to 97 wins a second-straight NL East title. However, the team once again failed to advance past the division series in the playoffs. In two seasons on the job in Washington, the Nationals on Baker’s watch posted a winning percentage of .593.
Baker’s now managed for 22 seasons, and over that span his teams have gone 1,863-1,636. Those 1,863 wins rank 14th all-time, and Baker’s also led four different teams to the playoffs. As well, he’s been named NL Manager of the Year three times. It’s possible, though, that his never winning a World Series will keep him out of the Hall of Fame. At age 68, Baker may also have managed his last big-league game.

Not fired, just simply let him go at the end of his contract. That seems really rare to me, but it’s the third time out of his four stints where the team has simply let him go at the end of his contract.

Greg Pope Posted: October 20, 2017 at 01:59 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dusty baker, giants, nationals, reds

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to advance to the World Series for first time since 1988 - LA Times

I’m not a fan of the Dodgers but I am a fan of the best teams getting to the World Series. The Dodgers were clearly the best team in the NL.

“I’ve always felt like part of the job for the front office of this organization was being the caretaker of the greatest pitcher of this generation,” Zaidi said. “I really believe that’s what he is. Sometimes we all forget he’s 29 years old, because he’s been around for so long, and carried such a burden for this franchise for so long. To be able to build a team around him that’s gotten to the World Series, and for him to get a chance to pitch on that stage, yeah, it feels incredible.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 10:17 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Astros have plans for Ric Flair if Yankees series goes to Game 7 - Houston Chronicle

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message.
Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Severino, Verlander ready for G6 in Houston | MLB.com

Must watch. Hopefully I can stay awake for the whole thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yankees

Baseball News, Scores, Analysis, Schedules

But there is a corollary consideration to such status: the game’s talent is being consolidated increasingly in the teams that are in their championship windows. The distinction between have- and have-not status seems more extreme than it has in some time – at least since the start of this decade, and perhaps beyond – with teams appearing increasingly willing to define themselves in one of those two camps. Zach Kram of The Ringer explored the phenomenon earlier in the month.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: superteams

Heyman | Tigers To Hire Ron Gardenhire

The Detroit Tigers have agreed to hire Ron Gardenhire to fill their vacant manager position, a source tells FanRag Sports. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the news.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, ron gardenhire, tigers

Must C: Hernandez’s trio of HRs | MLB.com

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, kiki hernandez, playoffs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2017

Richmond [Indiana] Palladium, October 20, 1917:

Byron Bancroft Johnson, president of the American league, is preparing today to leave for Washington, D.C., where he will offer his services to the government in any capacity. Johnson will not express preference for any branch of the service, leaving that matter entirely to the government.

Because of the probability that Johnson will be in the service of the country within a short time, the annual American league meeting scheduled for December in Chicago will be held early in November. Johnson said today he had been planning for some time to retire from baseball, but declined ot discuss his probable successor.

I don’t know whether Johnson changed his mind, or if Uncle Sam simply declined the offer of military service from a pudgy 50-something year old, but Johnson kept his job as the head of the American League through 1927.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 20, 2017 at 07:52 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to advance to the World Series for first time since 1988 | LA Times

On a night when a 28-season drought ended, Kershaw reaped the benefits of an offensive bounty. Enrique Hernandez supplied a trio of home runs, including a grand slam in the third inning that transformed Wrigley Field into a tomb and a two-run blast in the ninth that turned the Dodgers dugout into a mosh pit. The Dodgers led by seven runs after three innings and by nine midway through four. Kershaw responded to the largess with six innings of one-run baseball. He will be ready to start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 20, 2017 at 01:07 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, world series

Thursday, October 19, 2017

NLCS Game 5 OMNICHATTER, for October 19, 2017

Dodgers lead the Cubs, 3-1.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2017 at 02:20 PM | 275 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

TBO: Trop Flop Brings Hillsborough Hunt

The devil is always lost in the details.

But broadening the hunt at this point — 22 months after St. Petersburg allowed the Rays to search for a new home away from Tropicana Field — can only be seen as a step backward for an effort many hoped would have been wrapped up by now.

Hagan once expressed optimism he could announce Tampa’s preferred stadium location at the start of 2017. Now it’s unclear if anything will be formalized by the end of this year.

The window for the Rays search closes in January 2019. Rays spokeswoman Rafaela Amador declined to comment.

[H/T to D-Rays Bay blog]

fra paolo Posted: October 19, 2017 at 01:11 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ballpark development, ballparks, rays, stadium deals, stadiums

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-19-2017

New York Sun, October 19, 1917:

That Urban Faber, who pitched the White Sox to victory over the Giants in the deciding game of the world’s series at New York on Monday, collapsed in the clubhouse immediately after the contest was the statement made by Mel Wolfgang, one of the Chicago pitchers, [yesterday].
...
“Faber, who pitched that last game for us, walked off the field as cool and composed as though he were going to church, but just as soon as he got in the clubhouse he collapsed. His jaw dropped, his knees sagged and he fell into the arms of some of the fellows.

Faber was fine, of course. Just exhausted.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:58 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Yankees Thumbs Down Guy is now getting his own bobblehead

Of course he’s a Mets fan.

Blastin Posted: October 19, 2017 at 10:34 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Deadspin: Please Enjoy(?) 21 Years Of Joe Buck Hyping Forgotten Fox Shows

Matthew Callan deserves hazard pay for compiling this video of the last 21 seasons of Joe Buck doing postseason promo reads for Fox’s fall lineups.


Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka take 3-2 ALCS lead | MLB.com

How quickly things can change in the playoffs.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Cubs hold off Dodgers in Game 4 of NLCS | MLB.com

These 9 PM East Coast starts are a killer. I fell asleep around the third inning. It looks like I missed a good game.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

TV Simpsons documentary about ‘Homer at the Bat’ episode to air Sunday

Twenty-five years ago, with the sum of one million dollars on the line, Mr. Burns ordered Smithers to assemble the greatest softball team ever seen so he could beat a rival nuclear power plant’s squad. (“Scour the professional ranks! The American League, the National League, the Negro League!”) Enter: Ken Griffey, Jr., Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, and other MLB studs, though it would be Homer’s head that proved to be the championship game’s MVP. Today, season 3’s “Homer at the Bat” stands as a classic installment of The Simpsons, one that helped to usher in the golden age of the animated Fox comedy. It’s already been memorialized at the National Baseball Hall of Fame — over the summer, the Hall “inducted” Homer into its hallowed edifice for his contributions in that episode. And now, the episode is receiving one of pop culture’s finest honors: the documentary treatment.

Fox will air the “comedic” documentary, titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson, this Sunday, EW has learned. The hourlong special, which satirizes Ken Burns’ seminal documentary miniseries Baseball, will pay tribute to the episode while offering up interviews from eight of the baseball stars who appeared as ringers in the episode, as well as Yankees All-Star Aaron Judge, Nick Offerman, Russell Brand, George Will, Tim Gunn, and Dr. Oz, not to mention sportscasters Bob Costas, Joe Buck, Bob Uecker, and Charissa Thompson. In addition, the documentary includes “interviews” with Homer, Moe, Chief Wiggum, Apu, and Comic Book Guy.

LORD PALMERSTON!

Nose army. Beef diaper? (CoB) Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:30 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: simpsons

How the mob, politics, a burlesque dancer and The Babe shaped the ‘32 World Series

There’s a story here. This building used to be the Sheffield House Hotel, and before that it was the Hotel Carlos, as the baroque carvings on the entryway still announce. All of that, though, was before a reported 53 code violations ended the building’s days as a single-room occupancy hotel. It’s now luxury condos.
Back in the 1930s, the Hotel Carlos was a popular choice for Cubs players seeking a place to live during the season. Shortstop Billy Jurges, who toiled for the Cubs from 1931 through 1938 before being traded to the Giants, was one of those players. He lived in room 509. Jurges’ girlfriend, Violet Popovich, also lived in the Hotel Carlos. On July 6, 1932, not long after Jurges broke things off, she wrote the following note:

A fun read from Dayn.

Meatwad in mourning Posted: October 18, 2017 at 06:59 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, corruption, cubs, wrigley field, yankees

Angell: Yanks Get Even

C. C. will become a free agent this year, and it’s not a certainty that the Yankees will come through with an expensive new contract. He’s a different pitcher these days from what he was when he arrived, in 2009, as a high-strikeout star from the Brewers, and now thrives on angles and corners and a commanding elder presence. He went 14–5 in the regular season, but, like others, I most want to hold onto the look of him out there: the tent-like uni top, the billowing pajama pants. His cap sits askew on his bald head, just above his oddly folded ears. Most of all, at six-six and three hundred pounds, he is enormous, but this Monadnock, set in motion, becomes curved and flowing, and the departing and instantly arriving pitch completes the line and the portrait. His eyes gleam with appreciation as well as attention: he is sharing our fun.


The story behind Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor’s unbelievable season

Adding to the mystery, I’d been told that spectral forces outside the big league ecosystem are responsible for transforming Taylor, 27, from a 4A—too good for Triple-A, not good enough for the majors—player with the Mariners into a revelation. It’s a little dicey; big league coaches are proprietary and for the most part conventional. There’s an ongoing jiu-jitsu between them and the growing number of individual gurus whose teachings often begin on the margins and stray from there.

My search for explanation led to Rancho Cucamonga, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, and Craig Wallenbrock, a 71-year-old hitting consultant who quit the baseball team at San Diego State in the late ‘60s to become “a hippie, pot-smoking surfer living on Mission Beach.” His background has created a mentality that accepts differences and despises labels, and he has to be the only hitting coach in recorded history—well, in baseball, anyway—who teaches based on the precepts of a 374-year-old text. He has a booming voice, a bottomless well of self-confidence and a bum ankle that feels better today after yesterday’s cortisone shot.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2017 at 02:20 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chris taylor, dodgers

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