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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Megdal: Humble shortstop Marty Marion should be in Hall contention

Once during a heated SABR meeting I told a frayed Marionette that Slats had like a 80 OPS+, and he shot back…“No he didn’t, he hit .263 for his career!”

So I raise the case of Marty Marion, aka Slats or Mr. Shortstop, honored last weekend as an inductee into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, not because we’ve discovered some hidden, extra season Marion played at Sportsman’s Park.

Instead, it’s worth reflecting on Marion, a contemporary of often-honored Pee Wee Reese and Phil Rizzuto, for two reasons: His greatness ought to be celebrated by those who experienced it firsthand, and Marion shouldn’t get overlooked because he didn’t believe in touting himself.

Consider for a moment what the following résumé would mean in terms of fame for a player in today’s game: National League MVP in 1944. Two other top-10 MVP finishes. Starting shortstop for four National League pennant winners. Seven All-Star Games.

“He made it easy,” Marion’s double-play partner, Hall of Fame second baseman Red Schoendienst, said last week at Busch Stadium. “Marty made it easy. I think he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

..Schoendienst remembers.

“I’ve seen Rizzuto play, and I’ve seen Pee Wee Reese play, and I’ve seen (Eddie) Miller of Cincinnati play, and I’ve seen so many other ones,” Schoendienst said. “And Marty’s right there with him, no matter what.

“Marty Marion ... when the ballgame was on the line, he always made the big play, and he didn’t make any errors. If he made an error, you were getting beat by 10 runs, or you’re winning by that many.

“If he made any fault at all, it was never in the crucial time of a ballgame. And if his back would’ve held up, I don’t know that anybody would have been any better.”.

Repoz Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Morosi: Scout’s honor: The discovery of David Peralta

Searching for grit mostly just turns up dirt, but it can occasionally unearth a gem.

Chris Carminucci, the Arizona Diamondbacks’™ coordinator of independent league scouting… is why the fourth-place Diamondbacks can claim one of the best stories in baseball this season: David Peralta, the effervescent 27-year-old rookie outfielder from Venezuela…

Peralta, who made his major-league debut June 1, is now the Diamondbacks’€™ everyday right fielder and No. 3 hitter… Peralta’€™s .793 OPS ranks among the top 30 major-league outfielders who have at least 250 plate appearances this year… Peralta’€™s pro baseball career began as a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals’ system. He was released in 2009 after two shoulder surgeries, having never made it out of rookie ball. But Peralta went home to Venezuela, transformed himself into a position player and returned to the U.S. in 2011… As the ‘12 season wore on, two of Carminucci’€™s contacts with a rival team in the American Association €—Laredo Lemurs manager Pete Incaviglia and pitching coach Bill Bryk Jr.—€” reaffirmed his original assessment of Peralta: He’€™s a good ‘€˜A’™ ball player if you need one... “€œHe was calling me every three or four days: ‘€˜I was 2 for 3 with a double. I went 3 for 4,’ ” Carminucci remembered… Finally a roster spot opened at Class A Visalia, and the Diamondbacks purchased Peralta’€™s contract. He had his second chance at affiliated ball—and responded with a .346 batting average in 51 games…

Added to the roster for a spring game because the Diamondbacks needed an extra outfielder, Peralta grounded a single up the middle and hustled to second on a momentary bobble by the center fielder… That one play in spring training stood out in our GM’s eyes, and it stuck with him all year.” [said Carminucci]...

In contrast to massive amateur scouting departments that cost upwards of $4 million per year—€” before signing bonuses—€” only a handful of major-league organizations employ a full-time independent league scout like Carminucci.

Perhaps more of them should.

The District Attorney Posted: August 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david peralta, diamondbacks, independent leagues, scouting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2014

Virginia [Minnesota] Enterprise, August 21, 1914:

Los Angeles writers of the ancient pastime of baseball are wondering over much that a home-run, game-winning swat was recently made out there by a player whose first name is Clarence.

There is nothing in this name thing. “Cactus” Cravath’s first name is Clifford, and the toughest bank blower we ever knew sailed under the label Cyril. Percy Brush was about as explosive a bunch of dynamite as ever tore through an opposing line in the football thing.

In sporting affairs, the Clarences, Cliffords, Percies and Fauntleroys are apt to be tough birds, while the Pats, Georges, Johns, Marmadukes and Hannibals are apt to wear stovepipe model straw hats, smoke Egyptian cigaretts [sic], wear white silk hosiery and have a fondness for grand opera, caviar, Keats and other forms of calm and pacific pastimes.

Heh. Like there could ever be great players with first names like Melvin, Gaylord, Ferguson, or Lynn.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2014 at 09:41 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OMNICHATTER 8-21-2014

Son of OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 21, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

LA Times: Angels’ Garrett Richards Suffers Knee Injury in Win Over Red Sox

He was exciting to watch this season, hope he recovers quickly.

Richards sprinted from the mound toward first to receive a relay from shortstop Erick Aybar, but as he approached the bag, he caught his right cleat in the dirt, and his knee buckled.

Richards crumpled to the ground, where he remained for about eight minutes while athletic trainers worked to mobilize his leg. The entire Angels team circled around the right hander as he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.

Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 21, 2014 at 12:25 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, injuries, pennant race

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Astros slugger Chris Carter: The most 2014 player of 2014

What’s happening is that with strikeouts at historically unprecedented levels, even for non-power hitters, there are fewer productive outs that move runners along and provide chances for runs to be driven home without putting a ball over the fence. That keeps control of the game in the hands of the sluggers, even as raw home run totals drop.

There are those who might say that this is a troubling trend, that by relying more on brute force, baseball loses key strategic elements, and the artistry of both two-strike hitting and making those productive outs. Phooey to that. When you go to the ballpark, are you looking for the game to be decided by a groundout to second base, or by a sweet 450-foot dinger? Furthermore, do you want to see a starting pitcher grind his way through seven innings of balls sprayed all over the place, or do you want to see him mow down the other lineup for 11 strikeouts before turning it over to a couple of flame-throwing relievers?

As far as dramatic value goes, a proportionally high-homer environment with lots of strikeouts and low overall scoring, keeping games close, is about as high as baseball can get.

Jacob Posted: August 20, 2014 at 10:57 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs

Nick Swisher undergoes surgery, is out for the year

Brohio might still be okay with it.

The Indians have announced that Nick Swisher is undergoing surgery on his knees today…

This season has been a disaster for Swisher, as he’s hitting just .208/.278/.331 in 401 plate appearances, with only 8 home runs, after hitting 20+ in nine consecutive seasons. That .208 batting average is second worst in the American League among qualified hitters, as is his .608 OPS. Factoring in his terrible defense this season, and Swisher has a case as the worst player in MLB this season, among starters.

Swisher is owed another $30 million over the next two seasons, and at this moment, I have a hard time seeing that work out well for the Tribe.

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:03 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, injuries, nick swisher

Lester return to Boston a long shot; Cubs, Yankees are likely players

A report out that a free agent won’t automatically sign with one team? Why, what possible motive could he have for drumming up more interest in other teams?

Still, it’s quite a leap from loving his stay in Boston to being likely to return there this winter as a free agent. The reality is, it’s probably the opposite. The strong belief around the game is that Lester is likely to sign somewhere other than the Red Sox.

Most folks around baseball would be surprised if Lester and the Red Sox could agree on a contract at a time other teams will be bidding hard for him. After all, the two sides couldn’t come close to doing it when they had a clear shot at contract. A return by Lester to Boston was dubbed a “long shot” by league officials who have familiarity with the situation.

The Cubs and rival Yankees, among others, look like much more likely landing spots for Lester at this time, in fact. The Yankees have admired Lester’s guts and clutch pitching for years (and especially that career 0.43 World Series ERA) and would surely make a play for the former Red Sox ace. Meanwhile, folks around the game suggest Lester’s old friends Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who picked Lester for Boston and are now running the Cubs, are extremely likely to be in there pitching, as well. Epstein and Hoyer “absolutely love” Lester, is the word from one official who knows Chicago’s top execs well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 03:41 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester, red sox, yankees

Posnanski: The Royals might actually know what they are doing

In a small way, the Royals are back-to-back World Champs.

I And so, more or less from the start, the Royals became a more professional operation under Moore. He hired some excellent people to work with him. He dazzled people inside baseball with the team’s commitment to building a farm system. And, in short order, the Royals were not the joke of baseball. The Royals lost 100 games four times between 2002 and 2006. They have not lost 100 since.

That, though, is not exactly something you brag about on your resume, and while Moore made the Royals slightly more respectable, he and his staff could not do much more. They continued to make horrendous blunders on the Major League roster. Moore hired Trey Hillman to be the manager. He signed Jose Guillen and Gil Meche to team-record contracts. The Royals talked a better game but continued to feature an allotment of aging Jason Kendalls and Ross Gloads and Miguel Olivos and Scott Podsedniks, while mixing in relatively-young versions of Yuniesky Betancourt and Kyle Davies and Luke Hochevar. The results were, in their own way, as depressing as ever…..

In 2011, there were signs that Moore’s work was having an impact. That was the year I wrote my Sports Illustrated story about the Royals’ future dynasty, and the year various people around the sport began gushing about their minor league system. Then, last season, the Royals won 86 games, their most since the strike – a season so promising that even Moore’s ill-advised “In a small way, I feel like we’ve won the World Series” quote at the end did not tarnish the optimism.

And … it is working. Shields has been the good pitcher the Royals expected. And the Royals’ rotation has been altered. Last year, the Royals led the American League in ERA. This year, they have five pitchers who are on pace to throw 170 innings and win 10-plus games. I’m no fan of the pitcher-win statistic, but it is telling that the last time the Royals had five pitchers with 10 wins was, yep, 1985….

And what makes all of this so satisfying for Royals fans because most never saw it coming. They were the same old Royals until, suddenly, they weren’t. They were defined by their blunders until, suddenly, some of their plans actually worked.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 03:37 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, joe posnanski, royals

Curt Schilling Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Mouth Cancer in February, Believes Chewing Tobacco Was the Cause

Get better Curt.

Curt Schilling, the former Red Sox pitcher and ESPN analyst, announced today during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon that he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma—which is cancer in the mouth—in February….

“I didn’t talk about it for two reasons. No. 1, I didn’t want to get into the chewing tobacco debate, which I knew was going to come about, which to me, I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got… absolutely, no question in my mind about that. And the second thing was I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want the pity or any of that stuff because early on… I ended up spending about six months in the hospital because I had a bad reaction. I had a staph infection. I had what’s called C. diff. I had a couple different problems and there was a week there, there’s a week of my life I don’t remember while I was in the hospital going through this.

“The second or third day—I got chemo and radiation for seven weeks—and I came back to the room and my family was sitting there and I thought, ‘You know what, this could be so much worse. It could be one of my kids, it’s not. I’m the one guy in my family that can handle this,’ and so from that perspective it never, ever said ‘Why me? And I never will. I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably that chewing is what gave me cancer and I’m not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing. I will say this: I did for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that had that I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 03:12 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, curt schilling, red sox

Brisbee: The 10 most underrated players in baseball, part 2

Part 1 here.

What is an underrated baseball player?... It’s the Supreme Court definition of obscenity: I know it when I see it. There’s a feeling of je ne sais notice that goes along with the player, good, great or otherwise. The only thing I’m pretty sure of is that players who have won the All-Star voting in recent years aren’t eligible. That’s a clear popularity contest, and the popularity eliminates players from consideration. Sorry, Josh Donaldson.

10. Old Man Jimmy Rollins
9. Kyle Lohse
8. Cody Allen
7. Lorenzo Cain
6. Austin Jackson
5. Jordan Zimmermann
4. Russell Martin
3. Corey Kluber
2. Kyle Seager
1. Ben Zobrist


Sellout Crowd Turns out in AAA Charlotte for Native Son Carlos Rodon

Rodon walked slowly off the mound after compiling these first- inning numbers: 13 pitches, two strikeouts, no hits and one warm ovation from the sellout crowd.

Rodon, 21, was a star at Holly Springs high outside Raleigh. He led the school to the N.C. 4A baseball championship.

He pitched three seasons at N.C. State, helping the Wolfpack to the College World Series.

The Chicago White Sox selected him with the third pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft. After a quick stop in Arizona, and 9 2/3 innings with the Class A Winston-Salem Dash, Rodon drove to Charlotte on Monday and started for the Knights on Tuesday.

In minor league baseball, even in Class AAA, fans go to the ballpark for the sport and the experience. They watch or half-watch a game that, on a late summer night, enables them to sit outside with friends and family.

Tuesday was different. Red N.C. State shirts, caps and jerseys were common. In the fifth-inning, I made a lap around the concourse and encountered 14 fans – on the concourse – wearing Wolfpack garb.

N.C. State associate basketball coach Bobby Lutz had hoped to join them. But he had to stay in Raleigh for a meeting.

Rodon “is the type of player I’d love to coach,” Lutz says Tuesday night. “My favorite story is when he told coach Elliott (baseball coach Elliott Avent) ‘To get off my mound’ when he wanted to bring in a relief pitcher.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/19/4082863_sell-out-crowd-turns-out-to-see.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

madvillain Posted: August 20, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos rodon, white sox

Bryan Cranston was positively giddy for meeting with Vin Scully

Vin Scully is no anti-dentite!

On Tuesday, the curtain pulled back for actor Bryan Cranston, allowing him to meet for the first time the legendary voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully.

A California native and lifelong Dodgers fan who earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Cranston, who probably doesn’t go a day without fielding an autograph request, was awed by Scully’s presence.

“I have been looking forward to this moment for so long,” the “Breaking Bad” actor said. “I’m a little nervous right now.”...

Scully attempted to put Cranston at ease and then surprised him: Cranston got tasked with annoncing the Dodgers and Padres lineups.

Naturally, Cranston, aka Walter White, killed it.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 02:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bryan cranston, dodgers, vin scully

Brewers Form Creative Council

In an effort to better appeal to budding baseball fans, the Brewers this week introduced the “Brewers Creative Council,” a team of young professionals that will help develop and evaluate future promotions and marketing strategies

The council includes David Cohn of the Wisconsin State Golf Association, Josh Derouin of PKWARE, Lauren Hill of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Arthur Ircink of Wisconsin Foodie, Tarik Moody of 88Nine RadioMilwaukee, Andy Nelson of the Pabst Theater Group, Kathryn Reinardy of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Joel Tilleson of Falk Legal Group. 

//someone in orchestra is going to have ideas on how to connect with young people???

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 20, 2014 at 02:09 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, marketing, milwaukee

BP: Moonshot: The Analytic Value of the Crack of the Bat

What’s the frequency, Robert?

I collected several games worth of audio, saving individual audio files for each contact event, and noting the result of that contact in broad terms (fly out, groundout, home run, etc.).

The result of that work was a small sample (5-10) of each event variety…

 

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, sabermetrics

Prado at second base not how Yanks Drew it up

Jeter 267/316/321, Ichiro 276/325/323. (Also, Jeter 8-1 SB-CS, Ichiro 10-2!)

Stephen Drew was back on the bench Tuesday night. And no, Joe Girardi said, there was nothing physically wrong with the player who is supposed to be the Yankees’ starting second baseman.

That was the plan anyway when Brian Cashman acquired Drew in the extremely rare trade with the Red Sox minutes before the nonwaiver deadline on July 31… [but] The Yankees are running out of time, and Girardi can’t afford to be patient. Their best lineup now has Martin Prado at second base, where he was Tuesday night, and Ichiro Suzuki in rightfield… this is turning out to be a lost year for Drew, and it’s not just a lousy 15 games (.157/.204/.235) since the trade.

Drew’s been on a downward spiral from the jump, hitting .170/.241/.302 in 54 games divided between the two teams. The Yankees can cover for that futility to some degree by going with Prado at second now that Carlos Beltran is capable of playing the outfield again.

But it’s not like the Yankees are swimming in DHs, either. That configuration leaves Drew, Ichiro, Francisco Cervelli and Brendan Ryan with whom to mix and match. Which is why Girardi is stuck with few choices beyond using Ichiro in right, Beltran at DH and Prado at second.

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:04 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: martin prado, stephen drew, yankees

Giants plan to protest bizarre loss at Wrigley

A light rain began in the top of the fifth inning, with the Cubs leading 2-0… Then the drizzle turned violent… The Cubs grounds crew had to act swiftly. In their haste, they rolled out the tarp at a bad angle, causing large portions of the infield to be as poorly covered as Jane Fonda in “Barbarella.”...

It rained all of 15 minutes but the damage was done. The next four hours involved more activity than an ant farm, with several dozen bags of clay dumped and spread over the infield to no avail…. the last 90 minutes of the delay involved one man and one rake… After a final check of the field and meeting with both managers just after 1 a.m. Chicago time, [crew chief Hunter] Wendelstedt waved off the game…

Rule 4.12… covers suspensions. There are only six conditions by which a regulation (official) game can be suspended rather than called. One of the conditions describes a “light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment).”

The problem: the Cubs don’t use a mechanical tarp, and precedent had been set on July 23, when the Yankees couldn’t get their manual tarp on the field in time following a sudden rainstorm and were awarded a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers after 4 ½ innings.

Here’s one more snippet from the official rules, under the notes section of Rule 4.12: “If a game is halted by weather, and subsequent light failure or an intervening curfew or time limit prevents its resumption, the game shall not be a suspended game. If a game is halted by light failure, and weather or field conditions prevent its resumption, the game shall not be a suspended game. A game can only be considered a suspended game if stopped for any of the six reasons specified in Rule 4.12(a).”

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 10:29 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, rain delays

Tarp troubles lead to long delay, shortened game

Can’t say I blame the Giants and their fans for being frustrated by this…

Spahn Insane Posted: August 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants

The Shift Episode 14: Saberseminar - August 19, 2014 - Beyond the Box Score

More info about the Saberseminar. I really wanted to attend. I had tickets this year. The venue was 45 minutes away. Unfortunately family responsibilities kept me away. Sometimes being responsible really, really sucks.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sabermetrics Gets Soft «

Good stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

OMNICHATTER 8-20-2014

Bride of OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2014

New York Evening World, August 20, 1914:

The attention of fans the country over appears to be pretty nearly evenly divided between watching the war bulletins and observing how the Giants and Braves make out each day. The Boston Climbers have cut down still another game from the fifteen-game lead the Champions had on them a few weeks ago.

On July 4, 1914, the Braves were in last place at 26-40, fifteen games behind the first-place Giants. If you include the World Series, Boston went 72-19 over the rest of 1914.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Plenty of Pete Rose ahead on ESPN

You can’t spell Ass To Cobb without Bob Costas.

Last week, for example, Mike Greenberg of the “Mike & Mike” ESPN national radio show said that one of the four things he would do on the first day of coming into office would be to “reinstate Pete Rose.” Greenberg then asked his guest, broadcaster Bob Costas, “What do you think?”

“Yes, I think that’s something that should be done,” Costas answered. “And maybe a new commissioner could do it. Maybe Selig felt as if it would have been disrespectful somehow to (former commissioner) Bart Giamatti’s legacy, and Selig was very fond of Giamatti,” who banned Rose on Aug. 24, 1989.

Only eight days after exiling Rose, Giamatti, 51, died suddenly of a heart attack.

“To me, it’s very simple, and has been for a long, long time,” Costas said. “You separate the Hall of Fame from eligibility for other baseball benefits (such as being hired as a manager). … Certainly, Pete Rose deserves to be on the Hall of Fame ballot. If Barry Bonds can be on the Hall of Fame ballot, and the voters can decide yay or nay, why shouldn’t they be able to decide that about Pete Rose?”

Costas articulated what has become a mainstream national opinion on how to handle the Rose case. Almost every national figure believes the Cincinnati native has served more than enough time in exile, and that it would be a healing process for baseball to pardon him. No doubt Selig will have to take some questions on it Friday in Roselawn, especially in the wake of going on ESPN-TV Wednesday to discuss it.

Repoz Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:01 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

John Torres: MLB’s new boss better not whiff on sport’s future

Whiff-a-ree, an-a whiff-a-rye
Gotta keep on whiffin’ until baseball die

Corporations are in it to make money. That’s no big revelation and nothing to be ashamed of.

Baseball, as a corporation, makes money hand over catcher’s mitt for the 30 owners, and newly-elected commissioner Rob Manfred’s main responsibility will be to make sure that continues. But here’s hoping that he turns out to be just a little bit more than just Bud Selig’s hand-groomed protégé.

Let’s hope that despite the profits, he is not only able to identify the major problems with the sport that used to be America’s most popular pastime but has the stomach to do something about it. Because if he doesn’t, those profits will one day start to dwindle.

Let’s hope that he takes a look at the fans in the stands, at the ever-graying clientele who are somehow still able to shell out six bucks for a beer and another five for a hot dog. Maybe he’ll realize that interest among younger fans is waning and he’ll defy the networks and insist on some World Series games being played in the afternoon.

...Let’s hope he is tough on cheaters — tougher than Selig — and decides to do it simply: in addition to a suspension, anyone caught using performance-enhancing drugs becomes ineligible for the Hall of Fame ballot. They will never even appear on one. Simple, straightforward, hopefully effective, and it would also eliminate the debate about putting cheaters in the Hall.

Maybe he’ll be more than a younger version of Selig. Maybe he’ll be his own man. Maybe he’ll care for a little bit more than the profit margin.

Maybe.

Repoz Posted: August 20, 2014 at 07:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: falling, sky

Iwakuma gives Mariners a second true ace

Good idea from KLaw: “Have the Wilson sisters re-recorded ‘Barracuda’ with new lyrics that say ‘Iwakuma’ yet?”

the degree to which [Hisashi] Iwakuma is underrated is almost a crime.

He is easily the most anonymous ace in baseball, and all the proof you need is in this list of qualified American League starters that have a lower ERA than Iwakuma (2.63) since his first MLB start on July 2, 2012:

Yup, that would be no one…

[his] rate of 0.73 walks per nine innings easily leads all major-league starters and puts him on pace to enter the record books.

Only two qualified American League pitchers in baseball history have posted a walk rate that low in a single season: Carlos Silva (0.43 in 2005) and Cy Young (0.69 in 1904)...

The only other pitcher this season with a walk rate of less than four percent, a ground-ball rate of at least 50 percent and a strikeout rate of 20 percent or better is ... Mr. Clayton Kershaw…

thanks to the combination of baseball’s most anonymous ace (Iwakuma) and most deserving ace ([Felix] Hernandez), Seattle is now in prime position to give its fans something besides football to cheer about in October.

The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2014 at 12:02 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hisashi iwakuma, mariners

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