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Friday, May 02, 2014

BBTF 2014 Softball Game

Time again for Softball!

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 02, 2014 at 03:44 PM | 550 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, softball

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Braves Suspend Dan Uggla For One Game

No, Braves fans, you can’t void his contract for being late.

The Braves have issued a one-game suspension to Dan Uggla, the team announced… Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez declined to comment on the specifics of the suspension but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears it was due to Uggla being late (Twitter links).

... O’Brien speculated yesterday that with [Phil] Gosselin on the way up, the Braves could have designated Ugggla for assignment today.  The suspension gives Atlanta a bit of extra time to decide what they’re going with Uggla over the long run, as the club still owes him approximately $5.42MM for the remainder of this season and $13MM in 2015.

The second baseman hasn’t lived up to expectations since joining the Braves and signing that five-year, $62MM extension in January 2011.  Uggla has a .209/.317/.391 slash line and 79 homers over 1984 PA as a Brave and he’s seen his role decrease as his output has declined — he was left off Atlanta’s playoff roster last fall and saw his starting job usurped by [Tommy] La Stella and Tyler Pastornicky.  Today’s suspension is the clearest sign yet that Uggla’s time with the club is about to end and the Braves will have to eat the remainder of Uggla’s contract.

The District Attorney Posted: July 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dan uggla, phil gosselin

OC Register: Garrett Richards misses out on All-Star Game…again

Garrett Richards came up empty in another opportunity to make the All-Star team tonight, when Seattle Mariners closer Fernando Rodney was named to replace David Price.

Price, one of the players originally selected for the team, had his start pushed back from Saturday to Sunday because of an illness, knocking him out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, in conjunction with major league officials, had the discretion to replace Price.

They took Rodney, who leads the AL with 27 saves and has a 1.98 ERA.

Richards is 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA, including 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA over his past eight starts.

Richards did not make the initial All-Star roster, when he was overlooked by both the players—who voted for five starters—and Farrell, who picked three. Richards then finished second to the Chicago White Sox Chris Sale in the “final vote.” Price’s illness offered him another shot, and he came up empty again.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

OMNICHATTER 7-13-14

The “Last Day Before ASB and also the Futures Game” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: July 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

‘Battered Bastards of Baseball’ review: Portland Mavericks’ story is true to the team’s name

I give it 4.5 Rob Neyer flannel shirts out of a possible 5.

First-time directors Chapman and Maclain Way are the grandsons of Bing Russell, the cowboy actor who founded the independent, minor-league Portland Mavericks in 1973, so “Battered Bastards” is an affectionate family valentine rather than a hard-hitting exposé.  But the Ways’ family connections probably helped convince a number of erstwhile Mavs to sit for interviews, not least of them Bing’s movie-star son Kurt, who rhapsodizes about his dad’s love for the game. The only person more passionate about the team today, it seems, is onetime bat boy (and current Hollywood director) Todd Field, whose profanity-laced nostalgic rants are a highlight….

Reality provided the story of the Mavericks with a somewhat anticlimactic finale, so the documentary runs out of steam a bit towards the end. And some of the recollections are selective. For instance, Kurt Russell tells a story about the Mavericks’ first game being a no-hitter, but he’s probably talking about their sixth game. The Mavericks’ first manager, longtime minor-leaguer Hank Robinson, is given short shrift compared with his successor, Frank Peters, but Peters’ darker, turbulent post-Mavs life isn’t highlighted.

Then again, it probably would have been impossible to shoehorn every memorable Mavericks moment and strange-but-probably-true anecdote into one film. That’s how chock full of stories the team’s brief life was. It might not be true that the Mavericks could only have happened in Portland, but it’s certainly fun to think so.


MLB: Brewers heartbroken by death of Jean Segura’s 9-month-old son

Just awful. Nothing else to say.

MILWAUKEE—Sometimes life trumps losing streaks. Saturday was one of those sometimes for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Players spent the morning trying to focus on an ostensibly big game against the rival Cardinals while hurting inside for shortstop Jean Segura, who was informed following Friday’s series-opening loss that his nine-month-old son, Janniel, had died suddenly in the Dominican Republic. [...]

Segura’s return to the team is open-ended. A player can remain on the bereavement list for a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven.

“He’s emotional, he’s young,” said Roenicke, who fought his own emotion while breaking the news to reporters. “That’s why when I tell you I don’t know what’s going to happen with him, I worry about him.

“He’ll just have to make a decision where he’s at and what he feels like. It’s different with everybody. Some guys might feel like, ‘Hey, I need to get back and I need to play,’ and some other guys just can’t do it.” [...]

Gomez and other Brewers players planned to reach out to Segura during the All-Star break to remind him he was in their thoughts.

“If it was my kids, I probably would stay home. I’m not coming back,” Gomez said. “I don’t know how he’s going to react to coming back. If he’s coming back, we’re going to take care of him and help him to relax and enjoy life again.”

Depressoteric Posted: July 12, 2014 at 10:10 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, milwaukee

Cardinals execute bizarre 5-8 forceout at second base

The ole dropped-bunt-throw-to-center-fielder-covering-second-base. All those drills in practice have finally paid off.

5-8 on a hop is strange.  Really though, something like this should be infield fly rule.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 12, 2014 at 05:09 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, pirates, weird

Aroldis sets MLB record with K in 40th straight game

His streak began on Aug. 21, 2013.

Chapman surpassed Bruce Sutter, who did so in 39 straight games from June 1-Oct. 2, 1977.

Given the current environment, I would have guessed that this record was like five minutes old.  But 1977…that impressive.  I guess.


OMNICHATTER 7-12-2014

The “Last Saturday Before The Break” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: July 12, 2014 at 12:29 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Friday, July 11, 2014

Seinfeld Had Backup Plan In Case Keith Hernandez Couldn’t Cut It On The Set

It turned out the writers and producers had a backup plan if Hernandez’s nerves got to him. If the memorable performance was average, Hernandez could have seen his scene cut. The hour-long double-episode could have been a single episode, with a greater emphasis on George Costanza’s subplot.

Bullet dodged.  I love that episode.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 11, 2014 at 06:29 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: keith hernandez, second spitter, seinfeld, tv

Brooks: Baseball or Soccer?

Is life more like baseball, or is it more like soccer?
...
Most of us spend our days thinking we are playing baseball, but we are really playing soccer. We think we individually choose what career path to take, whom to socialize with, what views to hold. But, in fact, those decisions are shaped by the networks of people around us more than we dare recognize.

If life were anything like that Argentina-Netherlands semifinal, I would have swerved into oncoming traffic years ago.  That was 120 minutes of coaching visits at the mound and guys stepping out to adjust their batting gloves.


Fangraphs: Let’s Imagine a Baseball-Playing LeBron James

Fun with stats!

Obviously, the first step is figuring out James’ single-season value, and this is why we’ll have two approaches. One idea: last year, James was worth about 2.3% of all basketball WAR. Because a baseball season has 1,000 total WAR, that would give us a target of about 23. The other idea: James is projected for about 21 WAR. That’s over an 82-game season, so over a 162-game season, you’d be talking about almost 42 WAR. I don’t know which way to go, so I’ll go both.

thetailor Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:37 PM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: lebron, nonsense

Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto arrested Wednesday on marijuana possession charge


Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto was arrested Wednesday night in Grapevine on a marijuana possession charge.

Soto, 31, was pulled over for speeding around 10 p.m. in the 3500 block of Ira E. Woods Avenue, said Grapevine police spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling.

He has been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana under 2 ounces. Eberling said Soto was cooperative during the arrest.

Soto is free on a $500 bail. The Tarrant County district attorney’s office filed his charges Friday. Soto has not selected a defense attorney.

Texas Rangers officials declined to comment on the arrest.

“We are aware of the situation,” team spokesman John Blake said.

Soto has been recovering from knee surgery and remains on the team’s disabled list.

Maybe it was medicinal?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 02:38 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, geovany soto, marijuana, rangers

CCB: Cubs Wind Landmarks OK for Wrigley Redo

The team finally got the news they’ve been aiming to hear for years.

Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 11, 2014 at 01:39 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs

Adrian Beltre sets a major league record (3B total bases)

1) Yesterday, Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre set the major league record for career total bases by a 3B and he is 8th vs. the league average.

MOST CAREER TOTAL BASES, 3B

1    Adrian Beltre             4272   Dodgers/Mariners/Red Sox/Rangers
2    Brooks Robinson            4270   Orioles
3    Eddie Mathews             4224   Braves/Astros/Tigers
4    Chipper Jones             4171   Braves
5    Mike Schmidt               4112   Phillies
6    Wade Boggs                3915   Red Sox/Yankees/Rays
7    Gary Gaetti                3881   Twins/Angels/Royals/Cardinals/Cubs/Red Sox
8    Aramis Ramirez             3704   Pirates/Cubs/Brewers
9    Ron Santo                  3667   Cubs/White Sox
10   Graig Nettles             3657   Twins/Indians/Yankees/Padres/Braves/Expos

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 11, 2014 at 11:50 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is fun dammit, hall of fame, rangers, third basemen

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-11-2014

Washington Herald, July 12, 1914:

Boston, July 11—The Red Sox took a fall out of the tail-end Naps here to-day, beating them 4 to 3 in a game that was hard-fought all the way. “Baby” Ruth, the $25,000 Baltimore star, opened in the box for the winners, but game way to a pinch hitter in the seventh, when the score was three all. Leonard finished up. Mitchell did the hurling for Cleveland and was hit hard at opportune times by the home team.

Duffy Lewis: The first man to pinch-hit for Babe Ruth in the big leagues.

Jerry Lumpe Rutherford (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 08:29 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

When a bat boy went to a Paul McCartney concert with Mark Fidrych and Tom Veryzer

The Old Red Rose Speedway Barn…ugh. Guess the Death gig was sold out.

On Saturday, May 8, just a few weeks prior to The Bird becoming the most famous player in all baseball (at least all baseball in 1976), I had the good fortune of hanging out with him. Paul McCartney and his newly formed band were in the middle of their “Wings Over America Tour,” and Tiger shortstop Tom Veryzer and I planned to go hear them the night after an afternoon game between the Tigers and the White Sox. We decided to meet at the Lindell AC for a burger and beer before going to Olympia Stadium to hear the famous Beatle in concert. Detroit was one of only six states where the McCartney band was going to appear for more than one night. The show we were headed for was completely sold out, just as it had been the previous night.

...A little more than halfway through the evening, Fidrych said he was going to go to the concession stands to get a beer. We decided to stay put and waited until he returned. Twenty minutes or so went by, and no Bird. Finally, I turned my head around to see if I could spot him making his way back to us, and sure enough, I could see him. However he wasn’t on his way back. He was standing in long line to the girls’ bathroom directly behind the section we were sitting in, and he wasn’t alone. He had found two very attractive blonds who were there all by themselves. Apparently he had started a conversation with them on his way back to our seats on the steps. The ladies were on their way to the bathroom, and he decided to stand in line with them and continue the conversation. It did not end there, either. I watched as the line drew closer to the bathroom entrance, and I could see he was not going to wait outside for them. I tapped Veryzer on the shoulder (he was sitting in front of me) and pointed out what was going on. Tom giggled.

“Watch,” he said. “He will go right into the bathroom with them.” And he did!

Remember, this was 1976, long before girls started going into men’s bathrooms at concerts and sporting events – something they started doing sometime in the ’80s or ’90s, or maybe even later. This kind of thing was taboo back then, and I thought for sure Fidrych would end up with cops going in and carrying him out of there. But, alas, none were around. He disappeared into the bathroom with the girls and reappeared about ten or fifteen minutes later and headed toward us. He sat down behind me as we acknowledged his return. He grinned to us and said, “Got them.”

“Got them, what?” we replied.

“Got both their phone numbers, and I told them I’d be calling one of them tomorrow, but I didn’t tell them which one.”

Veryzer said, “Did you ever think of introducing one of them to us?”

“Nah,” he said. “I’m not sure which one I like better, but when I do I’ll see if the other one would like to meet one of you.” We all chuckled and went back to watching the remainder of the concert.

Repoz Posted: July 11, 2014 at 07:35 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

OMNICHATTER 7-11

The “Insert Lame 7-11 Joke” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: July 11, 2014 at 07:22 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

DMN: After 15-6 loss to Angels, Washington gives ‘fire-and-brimstone’ blistering of Rangers

Manager Ron Washington resorted to a fire-and-brimstone blistering of the Rangers after a 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

In a post-game clubhouse meeting that lasted about 30 minutes, Washington vented his unhappiness at the way his club has been playing in this current dreadful stretch. The Rangers have lost five consecutive games and 19 of their last 22 games.

“I needed to remind them of some things,” Washington said.

Right-hander Colby Lewis, who allowed a club-record 13 runs in 2 1/3 innings, described Washington’s mood as “pissed.”

Said Lewis: “So am I. For every reason. We don’t lose here, and that’s what’s going on. We have to make changes, and it all happens like Wash said in this locker room.”

Washington said the Rangers have “a big group … that doesn’t know what winning is all about.” He hinted some players have let the losing distract them and used third baseman Adrian Beltre as the example of what is expected.

“It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s locked in,” Washington said. “We’re trying to get a lot of these guys locked in like that. It hasn’t happened yet.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:15 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, rangers

Rockies Owner: ‘Maybe Denver Doesn’t Deserve A Franchise’

This guy needs to mellow out.  Anyone know a good way to do that in Colorado?

[A] season ticket holder… sent an email to the Rockies fan feedback line July 5t, writing, “The Monforts have no business owning a baseball team and their missteps in hiring ‘the good old boys’ for front office and management positions is solid evidence of their ineptitude. They have ruined pro baseball in this region while generating millions of dollars in profit.’ ”

... the next day, July 6 at 6:47 p.m., [owner Dick] Monfort personally emailed the fan the following: “By the way you talk maybe Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise, maybe time for it to find a new home. Thanks.”

The message was sent from Monfort’s iPad and in a phone call with CBS4 Thursday night, Monfort confirmed sending the email.

“I sort of remember,” said Monfort. “I do remember that. I was rapid firing it.”...

He went on to explain that, “What I meant to say was maybe we, the owners, don’t deserve a franchise.”

Monfort was adamant that despite what he wrote, he was not threatening to move the team and did not mean to write, “Denver doesn’t deserve a franchise.”....

This marks the second time in a week a controversial email has emerged from Monfort in response to an unhappy fan. A Grand Junction man, Michael Ferguson, emailed the team following a loss July 4 expressing his displeasure with the product on the field, to which Monfort responded, “If product and experience that bad don’t come!.”

The District Attorney Posted: July 11, 2014 at 12:22 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dick monfort, public relations, rockies

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Calcaterra: The first Derek Jeter Publishing title is available for pre-order

Last fall we learned that Derek Jeter was starting his own publishing business in a partnership with Simon & Schuster. The first book is coming out in September. You can pre-order it now. It’s called “The Contract” and it’s for middle school readers. This is the description:

As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of begin [sic] the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts [sic] at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot. And to help him stay focused on school, his parents make him a contract: keep up the grades or no baseball. Derek makes sure he always plays his best game—on and off the baseball field!

Good! Kids need to learn that it’s okay to try things and fail, and that it’s natural to have limitations. You can’t necessarily expect to achieve your wildest, most unrealistic dr…

Wait, he ends up playing where?

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2014 at 09:00 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: books, business, derek jeter, yankees

Sale, Rizzo Win 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote

I assume Keuchel got 0.0 votes.

The creative campaigns are over. Twitter voting ended in a furious rally. And at the end of the four-day online voting program, it is Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs who were chosen by fans as the winners of the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Sale and Rizzo earned the final two AL and NL All-Star Team roster spots through online voting on MLB.com, the individual Club sites and Twitter, where designated player hashtags counted during the final six hours of voting.

On the NL ballot, Rizzo passed Justin Morneau (Colorado) on Wednesday night and ultimately held off both Morneau and the leading Twitter vote-getter, Justin Upton (Atlanta). Rizzo received 8.8 million votes and became the first Cubs player to win the All-Star MLB.com Final Vote. The top three were followed by Anthony Rendon (Washington) and Casey McGehee (Miami)...

Sale held off a late charge from Garrett Richards, who trailed only Upton in Twitter voting. Fellow AL starting pitchers Rick Porcello (Detroit), Corey Kluber (Cleveland) and Dallas Keuchel (Houston) followed Sale and Richards.

This year’s All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian concluded with an incredible sustained average of 65,000 votes per minute across the multiple balloting platforms over the final six hours today, including a dramatic final 10 minutes before the 4:00 p.m. (ET) deadline when Twitter voting accounted for nearly one-quarter of all votes cast.

As noted above, the top two leading Twitter vote-getters were #VoteJUp and #VoteGRich, followed by #VoteKluber, #VoteMorneau and #VoteRizzo in the top five. All of the leading contenders had their hashtags trending in the U.S., worldwide and in their respective local markets, ultimately leading to 52.5 million votes cast.

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:27 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, anthony rizzo, chris sale, cubs, white sox

Oz: Thumb injuries to Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips shake up NL Central

I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of ThD. That’s Doctor of Thumbology.

The news wasn’t good for the St. Louis Cardinals and their cornerstone catcher Yadier Molina. Molina has a torn ligament in his thumb and will miss 8-12 weeks after surgery, according to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak.

Nor was it good for the division rival Cincinnati Reds, who confirmed Thursday that their star second baseman Brandon Phillips also needs thumb surgery to repair a ligament. The Reds say he’ll miss six weeks…

Both injuries figure to shake up the NL Central, where the Cards and Reds had both been making a charge at the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Heading into Thursday’s action, the Brewers were up two games on the Cardinals and two and a half on the Reds…

Unless the Cardinals make a move — A.J. Pierzynski and his smartphone are available — Tony Cruz figures to takeover the everyday catching duties. He’s played in 21 games this season and is hitting .255 in 51 at-bats. He’s been with the Cardinals since 2011 but has never played more than 51 games in a season.

The Reds have utilityman Skip Schumaker listed as their No. 2 second baseman, but back-up shortstop Ramon Santiago played there Thursday against the Cubs….

With the Cardinals and Reds hurting, the Brewers have to feel better about their chances of holding on to their division lead. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates, four and a half back and in fourth place, have to sense a great opportunity in front of them.

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2014 at 08:17 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, injuries, pirates, reds

The Mystery of the Vanishing Screwball

“The word on the street is that the screwball is hard on the arm,” says Don Cooper, Chicago’s pitching coach. “But listen, there’s no documentation on that. Maybe that’s why a lot of people don’t throw it, but I believe no pitch is any more dangerous than any other if you have a good delivery. If you have a bad delivery, every pitch is freakin’ dangerous.”

Among baseball lifers, though, Cooper’s is decidedly a minority opinion. Lurid stories about the pitch are commonplace. “We’d be on the bus and see a guy out the window whose arm was turned out,” McCarver said, “and we’d say: ‘Yup. Old screwballer.’ ”

Jerry Dipoto, the Angels’ general manager, told me that Carl Hubbell used to visit the Giants’ training camp after his retirement. “Legend has it he’d walk in and his arm was backward,” he said. “He couldn’t get it to come back around to the appropriate position because of all the years of pronating from throwing the pitch.”

Just how a screwball causes injury was open to debate. “Too hard on the shoulder,” insisted Arizona’s manager, Kirk Gibson. “The elbow,” said the former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda. Even Santiago acknowledged the possibility: “They told me it’s bad for my wrist.” He keeps throwing the pitch, he said, “because you don’t hear much about pitchers hurting their wrists.”

Never mind all those pitchers who kept using it into their late 30s and 40s, or that Valenzuela, at 53, maintains he can throw it today. When I spoke to players and coaches about the screwball, the expectation of certain injury was never far from the conversation.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 03:35 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, screwball

Bradford: The A.J. Pierzynski problem was worse than anybody could have imagined

Maybe he was sending the pitcher a Yo?

A microcosm of Pierzynski’s approach was mentioned by more than one of the backstop’s former teammates, who revealed his propensity to spend a significant amount of time looking at his phone while at his locker during games. In one instance, after a particularly rough outing in which the starting pitcher had been pulled early in the game, Pierzynski could be found staring at his phone while the pitcher gave off the appearance of being an emotional wreck just a few feet away…

From the dugout, he would yell across the field at the opposition, or ridicule umpires during replay challenges. It made many cringe. This wasn’t the Red Sox way, the one that a World Series run had been built on.

And those flaws in his game that the Red Sox felt could be managed were becoming unmanageable. Pitchers started to express their preference to pitch to David Ross, with Pierzynski perhaps the team’s worst receiving catcher since Javy Lopez swept through town in 2006. He also made little effort to fall in line with the rest of the lineup in regard to seeing at least a few pitches, a frustration that came to a head when he grounded into an inning-ending double play on a first-pitch fastball after the Red Sox had loaded the bases with three walks in Seattle.

But the Red Sox couldn’t hit, and Pierzynski at least represented an opportunity for some offense. Wednesday, it was deemed that dynamic wasn’t worth keeping him around.

Prior to the Sox’ win, a group of about six or so players gathered over by where Pierzynski’s locker used to be, including a few position players. Later, one of the participants revealed it was the first time this year that he had hung out over in the corner, where the lockers of Ross, Jake Peavy and Jon Lester also resided. Listening to voices throughout the room, it was clear the catcher’s exit had opened previously closed doors in that room.

 

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pierzynski, aj pierogi, red sox, technology

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