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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WSJ: Playoff Hateability Index

For the second straight year, the New York Yankees have missed the playoffs, abdicating one of their most important social responsibilities: giving America an obvious team to root against in October.

So, as a public service to fans looking for pleasure in the misery of others, The Wall Street Journal has assembled its second-annual Major League Baseball Hateability Index, ranking this year’s 10 playoff teams in order of general loathsomeness. The rankings are based on how many points teams racked up in 10 contempt-worthy categories, such as drug suspensions, ridiculous beards and winning too much. (As with driver’s licenses, points are bad here.)

Cardinals pip Dodgers.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: September 30, 2014 at 05:16 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, playoffs

Spector: Stats incredible! Numbers from the 2014 MLB season will amaze you

John Davidson just keeps following Jesse around.

Victor Martinez finished second in the majors in all three slash-line categories…

Major league strikeout leader Ryan Howard and Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd became the first pair of teammates to each strike out 185 times in a single season…

Reds rookie Billy Hamilton stole 56 bases, but was caught 23 times, the most in the majors since Scott Podsednik stole 59 and was caught 23 times for the 2005 White Sox…

A.J. Burnett finished the season with a major league-high 96 walks, the fourth time in five years that nobody has walked 100 batters. The last time that happened was 1871-81, when far fewer games were played per season…

Yankees outfielder and Hank Aaron Award nominee Brett Gardner, Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller, and Indians infielder Jose Ramirez shared the major league lead with 13 sacrifice bunts. That is the lowest total to lead the majors ever, including strike-shortened seasons…

Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada led the majors with 29 home runs allowed, making this the first time since 1981 that no major league pitcher served up 30 gopherballs, and the first time in a non-strike season since 1976…

The San Diego Padres finished last in the majors in all three slash-line categories, at .226/.292/.342… The Padres did do better than the average hitter facing Clayton Kershaw: .196/.231/.289, but worse than the average hitter facing Cole Hamles: .235/.296/.345.

The District Attorney Posted: September 30, 2014 at 03:37 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: statistics

The Economist: The new market inefficiencies

An explanation of how the A’s, Royals, and Orioles used outstanding bullpens and fielders to make the playoffs despite lacking stars in their lineups and starting rotations.

for the Royals and Orioles to have much hope of winning, they will need to leverage their strength in the bullpen to an unprecedented degree. A typical relief pitcher throws around 4% of his team’s innings in the regular season, but can be used three times as often in short playoff stretches with the season on the line. As converted starters, Mr Davis, Mr Britton and Baltimore’s Andrew Miller might be able to exceed even that workload, and take on a long relief role like the one Tim Lincecum occupied during the San Francisco Giants’ victorious playoff run in 2012. The Chris Tillmans and Jason Vargases of the world are all well and good, but their managers should be ready with a very quick hook if they struggle early.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 30, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014

Philadelphia Evening Ledger, September 30, 1914:

The guy in the silly pointy helmet lost this war too.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 30, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Brown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate

Major League Baseball’s regular season ended on Sunday and with it, paid attendance for the league (the number of tickets sold) came in at 73,739,622 with average attendance per game at 30,346. Year-over-year attendance was ostensibly flat, down 0.3 percent from the 2013 season when average attendance was 30,442. Overall, it ranks as the seventh most-attended season ever behind 2007 (79,503,175), 2008 (78,588,004), 2006 (76,042,787), 2012 (74,859,268), 2005 (74,702,034), and 2013 (74,026,895). This season marks the second consecutive year that attendance has dropped, albeit only slightly since then. Total attendance has dropped 1.5 percent since 2012.

That’s a lot of peanuts and crackerjack.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: September 30, 2014 at 07:38 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, economics

AL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER

HERE WE GO!

Oakland Athletics (Lester) at Kansas City Royals (James Shields), 8 PM Eastern, TBS.

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: September 30, 2014 at 01:28 AM | 1121 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Fangraphs/Cistulli: Post-trade WAR for deadline trades

What follows is a list of all those same players, sorted by their WAR totals from August and September combined — which is to say, the two-month period since the trade deadline:

Small sample sizes alert!

But interesting.  The A’s acquisitions (Samardzija, Lester, Fuld, Hammel, Gomes) added 4.3 WAR so even if you deduct the full 1.3 WAR that Cespedes gave Boston, that’s a 3 win improvement.  The M’s acquisitions (Denorfia, Morales, Jackson) put up -1.1 WAR.  I wonder if they’d like that win back.

The Yanks also did very well despite Drew—he, Headley, Prado and McCarthy totaled 4 WAR.  Price was the other big prize and Peavy and Andrew Miller were good additions.

Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2014 at 12:43 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, deadline trades, mariners, tigers, yankees

Monday, September 29, 2014

MLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.

“If Mike Trout walked into your neighborhood bar, would you recognize him?” The New Yorker’s Ben McGrath raised that question in a provocative essay last month.

I’m reasonably certain that I would recognize the MLB outfielder if he walked into One Star. But McGrath’s point is well-taken. Despite being (as McGrath aptly calls him) a “once-in-a-generation talent,” Trout is relatively anonymous. Based on Google search traffic so far in 2014, Trout is only about as famous as Henrik Lundqvist, the New York Rangers goaltender. He’s one-fifth as famous as Peyton Manning — and one-twentieth as famous as LeBron James or Lionel Messi.

Trout’s also much less famous than Derek Jeter, a shortstop who hit .256, with four home runs, this year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, promotion, superstars, yankees

Remembering George ‘Shotgun’ Shuba, 1924-2014

The 1955 Dodgers were my father’s team. There aren’t many of them left.

HowardMegdal Posted: September 29, 2014 at 09:38 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn dodgers

RBI Baseball, 2014 Playoff Edition

http://postimg.org/image/id46mtw9n/

RBI Baseball NES mod for the 2014 playoff teams.

DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: September 29, 2014 at 06:08 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: games, video games

ESPN: Ron Gardenhire out after 13 Seasons with Twins

Gardenhire joined the organization in 1987 and was added to Kelly’s staff in 1991. His record as Twins manager was 1,068-1,039. He won the AL Manager of the Year award in 2010, the last time the Twins not only made the playoffs but had a winning record.

kthejoker Posted: September 29, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: minnesota twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-29-2014

Pittsburgh Press, September 29, 1914:

C.L. Herzog, manager of the Cincinnati Nationals, was indefinitely suspended by [National League] President Tener because of an “insulting telegram” received at the office of the league in New York from the Cincinnati manager.
...
Gov. Tener…stated that Herzog would remain under suspension until he has made a suitable apology.

“Governor Tener. Stop. You’re a big stinky poopy head. Stop. Your mother wears army boots. Stop.”

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 29, 2014 at 09:57 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: buck herzog, dugout, history

The Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014

So, what do you think is written in the stars this year?

Gamingboy Posted: September 29, 2014 at 12:46 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mets close season optimistic for next year

It was more than a year ago that Harvey emerged from an MRI tube in Manhattan, setting the Mets on their current path. Testing that day revealed a partially torn ligament in Harvey’s right elbow. He underwent surgery. The Mets lost their best pitcher and—though they shied away from admitting it at the time—their greatest chance at a quick return to playoff glory.

They fought anyway. They propped themselves up by signing Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon at the Winter Meetings, trumpeting those players as cogs in their long-awaited salvation. But the thought lingered that without Harvey, their fate had already been cast.

In reality, to pin the Mets’ sixth consecutive losing season on Harvey’s injury would be to dismiss all context. Had Harvey been healthy, the Mets might never have discovered rookie Jacob deGrom, who spent most of the summer putting up Harvey-like numbers. Even Harvey may not have been able to change the luck of New York, which finished as the league’s only sub-.500 team that scored more runs (629) than it allowed (618).

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: September 28, 2014 at 09:30 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Marlins extend manager Redmond through 2017

The team also announced the entire coaching staff will be back. That includes bench coach Rob Leary, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, hitting coach Frank Menechino, infield/first-base coach Perry Hill, outfield/third-base coach Brett Butler, bullpen coach Reid Cornelius, bullpen coordinator Jeff Urgelles and Major League administrative coach Pat Shine.

Good cripple hitter Posted: September 28, 2014 at 06:25 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: florida marlins, frank menechino, mike redmond

Jordan Zimmermann Throws Nats First No-Hitter

Have the Nats peaked too soon???

After having his final regular season start pushed back due to a bruised shoulder – an injury suffered on a line drive that bounced off his arm eight days prior – Jordan Zimmermann took the mound Sunday hoping to dispel any doubts about his health before the playoffs. Boy, did he.

The Nationals right-hander tossed the first no-hitter in club history, a one-walk performance of pure beauty that began with 4 2/3 perfect innings and featured 10 strikeouts…

boteman is here Posted: September 28, 2014 at 05:17 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, no-hitters

Attanasio discusses Brewers collapse, changes coming for 2015

the brewers owner had some frank things to say over the weekend

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 28, 2014 at 03:11 PM | 127 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, collapse, milwaukee

The Captain’s Log: Derek Jeter’s Lady-Killing Past, From ‘Yeah, Jeets!’ to Gift Baskets

Yes, the New York Yankees legend will go down as one of the greatest players in baseball history, but he’s also hit it out of the park when it comes to women.

Derek Jeter’s last professional at-bat is sure to elicit love, admiration, and decades of treasured memories for baseball fans across the country. The 40-year-old Yankee living legend has compiled 3,463 hits (and counting)—ranking sixth all-time—and has contributed too many iconic moments to mention. “The Flip.” “The Catch.” That amazing Seinfeld cameo.

For some of us, however, these nostalgic feelings will be more carnally driven. Baseball is losing not only one of its most revered players, but arguably its biggest heartthrob.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: September 28, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, yankees

As Jeter Ends Farewell Tour, Yanks Plan a Welcome Party

BOSTON — Even before Derek Jeter plays his final game for the Yankees, which is scheduled to take place here Sunday, the focus has turned from Jeter to Alex Rodriguez — from a cherished star to a tarnished one….

With Rodriguez, there never seems to be a question of whether he is working hard. Cashman said Rodriguez had been working out diligently on his own in Miami and at U.C.L.A. and was eager to return. He said Rodriguez did not express an interest in playing winter ball, although Cashman did not seem particularly inclined to have him do it, either.

Cashman would not say what role the Yankees had in mind for Rodriguez next year, whether as third baseman, the first baseman or strictly at designated hitter.

He did say, however, that the hostility of the past had been eliminated and that it was now a matter of getting Rodriguez back on the field.

“It wasn’t a healthy process for anybody involved,” Cashman said of last season’s investigation and suspension. “But the process had finality, and now it’s about moving forward.”

Girardi, discussing who would replace Jeter as the Yankees’ captain and leader, also spoke about Rodriguez….

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 28, 2014 at 11:23 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: general, yankees

The implications of Game No. 162 - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

This year’s playoff race is like a game of hot potato.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2014 at 09:16 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

Yoenis Cespedes unsure about long-term extension

Unlike earlier this year, the Red Sox have a lot of good outfield options going into the off-season.

Asked about the possibility of a long-term future in Boston, Cespedes for his part said he hadn’t thought much about it yet.
“I’m still not sure if I want to sign an extension or if I want to be a free agent,” Cespedes said through interpreter Adrian Lorenzo. “It’s still too soon.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2014 at 08:44 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yoenis cespedes

Joe Girardi criticized New York Yankees in pregame tirade before Derek Jeter’s Yankee Stadium finale - ESPN New York

OK, Joe Girardi said it was all Jeter’s fault and he’s glad Derek will be gone next year.

“I’m not going to go into what I talked about,” Girardi said. “Write whatever you want.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2014 at 08:36 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, yankees

Madden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness

And how dare the post-punk crowd and others try to diminish Joe “Fingers” Carr’s “Portuguese Washerwoman” greatness!

We never get to know Derek Jeter’s innermost feelings, but we know his pride, and that is why it is not hard to imagine, as he slapped that game-winning base hit to right field in his final Yankee Stadium act Thursday night, it was, in his mind, a middle-finger salute to all his Johnny-come-lately critics among the analytics bunch who have deemed his WAR credentials vastly inferior to the great shortstops of all time; all the talk radio yahoos calling him selfish and screaming for Joe Girardi to take him out of the No. 2 hole; and all the mean-spirited, blowhard TV pundits pontificating about how overrated he’s been as a means of getting attention for themselves.

There are always going to be the contrarians eager to tear down and diminish our sports icons because that’s what these people love to do, and if you dig deep enough, you can always find something to render them less-than-mythical. Heaven knows, the sabermetrics crowd has gone out of its way to do that, feverishly calculating all those ground balls Jeter supposedly didn’t get to over the years that cost the Yankees countless runs because of his perceived lack of range. Offensively they point out, because he didn’t hit a lot of home runs, he only once appeared in the top ten in OPS in the American League, so how can he, as essentially a “singles hitter” who never won an MVP, be considered one of the all-time greats? Along with that, the notion that he’s a leader and a winner? Oh, they are able to debunk that too. As one Jeter basher noted affirmatively last week, he won only one world championship after the core players from the 1996-2001 teams, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, David Cone, et al, all left. Please.

... Careful, Bud. In this new generation of self-serving, eager media bashers and ivory-tower sabermetrician critics, you could be laughed off the field throwing that “hero” word around.

But I suspect Jeter has had his fill of these people, and when the cheers in normally hostile Fenway have subsided as he closes his career, he’ll go off into seclusion for a very long vacation from baseball, to which he gave everything, content in knowing that, in five years, his accomplishments will have earned him an overwhelming election to the Hall of Fame. Still, in these past few weeks, all these shots being taken at the best we have for a Stan Musial-like perfect knight have merely reinforced for him why it could never be unanimous.

Repoz Posted: September 28, 2014 at 07:42 AM | 180 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

OMNICHATTER 9-28-2014 (GAME 162)

THE REGULAR SEASON ENDS TODAY!*


*Unless there is one or more Game 163, which will still technically be regular season.

Gamingboy Posted: September 28, 2014 at 12:06 AM | 196 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Posnanski: A Royals Toast

I think of a time when a genial man named Herk Robinson, as general manager, wanted to hire an artist to paint the Royals players in action in order to help the scouts. When told that the scouts already had something called video, which rather precisely transferred reality to a television screen, Robinson said yes, but art, true art, can transcend reality…

The drought wasn’t the thing. Yes, it had been 29 years since the Royals last reached the postseason — and baseball has completely turned upside down in those 29 years. The game has made the divisions smaller, added wildcards, rearranged the schedule, made it all but impossible for a team to NOT go to the postseason at least every now and again. The Royals would not go. But the drought wasn’t the thing — it was the hopelessness surrounding the drought. The Royals did not come close to the postseason. The Royals did things so mind boggling that the postseason seemed as far away as flying cars and trips to another galaxy…

I think of a Royals player falling off first base like a cut down tree, and I think of another climbing the centerfield wall only to see the ball bounce off the warning track in front of him, and I think of two Royals players jogging to the dugout, each thinking the other would catch the ball which landed softly and happily in the grassy area they had left behind. I think of a player not wearing sunglasses, losing a ball in the sun and having it hit him in the face — he wore sunglasses on the plane right home to cover the shiner. I think of a pitcher so frustrated that he complained to the press that he can’t even get no-decisions.

The Royals, those Royals, are going to the playoffs.

The District Attorney Posted: September 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: history, joe posnanski, postseason, royals

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