Since 2000, Major League Baseball Advanced Media has conducted a stealth campaign to take over every team domain, undoing any damage caused by its slow start in registration. MLB and other leagues have tried to snap up team sites not only to attract more traffic and ad revenue, but to avoid the unwanted attention that can come from a site like Cowboys.com, which became an “online dating community for men who enjoy the same country living lifestyle,” after the NFL’s Dallas franchise passed on it at auction.1 Both to streamline the process and to avoid hurting its leverage by letting potential sellers know there was big money behind its overtures, MLBAM has worked mainly through intermediaries like Monte Cahn, the founder of URL registrar Moniker.com and the president/director of RightofTheDot, LLC.2
According to Cahn, some of the URL squatters that MLB hoped to dislodge were “taking advantage of misspells and mistypes of famous brands,” like latter-day Twitter trolls who tweak prominent writers’ handles to break fake trades before the deadline. By placing ads on those sites, owners could profit from the traffic that flowed their way from baseball fans who hit the wrong keys. Most, Cahn says, “were unaware of the actual online domain registration laws vs. traditional trademark laws, so some registered names because they were fans of the teams or felt another fan would come and buy it from them, not knowing it could violate the trademark of the owner.” Still others owned sites with words that weren’t subject to trademark. “If you owned a domain like ‘Cardinals,’ your choice would be to just hold it, build a bird website — not that exciting or lucrative, probably — or sell it to MLB through us or other brokers,” Cahn says.
The decades-long scavenger hunt is close to complete. This February, MLB bought Rangers.com for $375,000. That triumph followed the 2013 purchase of Rockies.com (for an undisclosed price), the 2012 acquisition of Athletics.com, the 2010 addition of Angels.com (which went for $200,000 at auction), and the 2009 addition of Cardinals.com. Between 2004 and 2007, MLBAM acquired 12 team addresses, and had already brought 10 into the fold before that. That brings the total of MLB-owned team sites to 27, leaving three holdouts: Giants.com, Rays.com, and Twins.com.
The ultimate lesson from “Big Data Baseball” seems to be one the Twins have already learned.
“The biggest thing for me was (the Pirates) getting players to buy in and how they did it,” Perkins said, “and not saying, ‘These guys are nerds that have never played the game.’ I think that’s the worst thing you can say about those guys. There’s always a benefit to outside influence. They see the game in a different way than we see the game.”
Recently, Miguel Cabrera hit the 15-day DL for the first time in his HOF-worthy career, and I felt bad. The Tigers (the favorite team of all my Michigan-bred blood relatives) have been the team I rooted for in every October since the 2011 season. I don’t want, at any point, one of the best players in the game to have to take unwanted time off and sit on the bench, recovering, while his teammates are forced to pick up the slack around him.
But I had a different reaction when I heard the Alex Gordon news.
My gut reaction was, “Oh, damn. Wow, that really sucks for the Royals fans.” My immediate response to that was, “This could really help the Twins. The Royals might be without one of their best players and we need to capitalize on that. This could be really good for the standings.”
My reaction to that thought was, “Wait, what am I saying?”....
So while simultaneously feeling bad for one of the game’s most talented, and feeling good about the prospects the Twins have in light of this news, I find myself very largely conflicted about just how I SHOULD be reacting. How much, as a rival fan, am I entitled to the “silver lining” for the Twins? How much, as a fan of baseball as a whole, should I putting any and all “positive” reaction out of my mind?
Dusty Baker would have been banned from this league forever.
Alexandria Blue Anchors manager Al Newman wanted to give his pitcher an opportunity to throw a complete game on Monday afternoon against the Willmar Stingers.
It’s a move that ended up costing him a 14-game suspension and a $1,000 fine from the Northwoods League (NWL). Newman says he thought he was within the legal pitch-count guidelines set forth by the NWL when he sent Angelo State’s Graylon Brown out for the ninth inning on June 29.
“I never even gave it consideration,” Newman said on Thursday morning. “I thought the rule was that he can’t start an inning after 100 pitches. So when he didn’t have 100 pitches, in speaking with the pitching coach [Travis Lawler], we decided kids need to learn how to finish. He was pitching an outstanding game, had not had a stressful inning the whole game. In essence, yes, I broke the rule. I’m not going to say I would do it again because it’s a league rule, but I’m being punished for going past the 110 pitch limit with Graylon Brown.”
Northwoods League pitching guidelines state that a pitcher cannot begin a new inning after throwing 100 pitches and also can’t face a new batter after throwing 110 pitches or more.
It’s Miguel Sano is getting called up by the Twins day!
In a surprising move, the Twins optioned first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Double-A Chattanooga after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Reds. The Twins will make a corresponding move before Thursday’s game, and they are expected to call up top prospect Miguel Sano, according to a source familiar with the team’s decision.
FSN: As far as the decision to bring Buxton up from Double-A, plenty goes into that move. Was that a tough call to make?
TR: “Yeah, it is a tough call because you always want to make sure a guy can handle this situation and this level. I don’t think there’s any question just in the short amount of time he’s been up here that he’s shown he can field it, he can throw it and he can run. Now it’s just a matter of piecing the rest of his game together. The bat’s always going to usually be the question. Rosario, for instance, the biggest question with his promotion wasn’t the bat. It’s just whether or not he was ready to handle the other parts of the game. And Buxton has historically been a bit of a slow starter, and he’s always caught up. I would think that there’s going to be a curve here. Hopefully we’ll see some increments of being able to make that transition. . . . I take it at-bat to at-bat. Every at-bat for me is important with any young player and how they’re going to make the adjustments. He’s capable.
Oliveros’s actions bring up an important question: How far would you, as a fan, be comfortable with your team going to improve itself? To stay them in contention? At the risk of being melodramatic, how much of your soul is a couple of extra wins worth?
Me? I don’t demand that ballplayers be good people. I’ve long ago had the hero-worship beaten out of me by Kirby Puckett and Chuck Knoblauch. But there are lines in the sand that I will not cross. One of those, obviously, is violence against women or kids. Ballplayers are almost exclusively (aside from Bartolo Colon) elite athletes. Big and strong, they could bully and dominate someone smaller than them with ease. I can’t abide that.
Another line for me is the casual enforcement of baseball’s code. The one that nods approvingly at pitchers risking the health and lives of hitters to satisfy their pride. As though giving a man a concussion somehow makes up for allowing a couple home runs. Baseballs, when thrown at that speed, are weapons, as much as a bullet. The fact that the person who was shot was wearing a Kevlar vest doesn’t mitigate the actions of the person who pulled the trigger. And given what we know about the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury, these pitchers are putting another man’s career and quality of life at risk when they go headhunting. It’s unconscionable.
According to Statcast, his speed topped out at 21.39 mph, which is A) fast enough to get you pulled over in a Massachusetts school zone and B) .41 miles faster than Billy Hamilton’s last triple, hit on May 13 against the Braves and maxing out at 20.98 mph. It’s even faster than Jarrod Dyson’s triple on May 10, which clocked in at 21.03 mph.
Welcome back to a blogger with pre-registration Primate notoriety.
In 2015, by contrast to 2014, the Twins have held their opponents to 2 or fewer runs 4 more times than their opponents have and allowed 6 or more runs 7 fewer times. That would put them about 9 games over .500. Very close to where they actually are.
Suspended pitcher Ervin Santana would be ineligible for the postseason should the resurgent Twins make it that far for the first time since 2010.
The Joint Drug Agreement added that provision in 2014 after Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta went from 50-game suspensions to postseason appearances the previous October.
According to Section 7-H-2 on page 41 of the 60-page document, any player suspended for performance-enhancing drugs “shall be barred from participating in the postseason (including, without limitation, being in uniform during his club’s postseason games) during the season in which his suspension commenced even after completion of his suspension.”
Dave Letterman had been hosting The Late Show for only four years in 1985 when he came up with “The First Annual Holiday Film Festival”. The idea was that Dave asked a number of notable figures to make short films, and he played them on the show.
Letterman grew up as a baseball fan in Indianapolis. Because Indiana doesn’t have a MLB team, and Indianapolis sounds like “Minneapolis”, Dave adopted Harmon Killebrew as one of his favorite players. So when “The First Annual Holiday Film Festival” idea came about, Dave called Harm and asked him to make one of the videos.
Harmon said no.
Harmon said, “No, thanks.”
But David insisted, and flew a camera crew out to Idaho along with $10,000 to cover production costs. Harmon gave in, and made a video for the show. The only problem was, Dave’s show went long, and after showing the videos by Bette Midler, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin and Harry Shearer, Harmon’s video got cut.
Letterman was mortified.
Dave called up Harmon and apologized, and promised to dedicate an entire show to Killebrew. Harmon was at this point even more reluctant than he had been earlier, but when Dave promised he would get Harmon’s favorite singer, Charley Pride, to sing for him, Harmon agreed.
On February 26, 1986, Dave Letterman had “Harmon Killebrew Night”.
While today’s Twins-Tigers game was in a rain delay, former Twins pitcher and current analyst Bert Blyleven updated his Twitter followers with photos of the field, and took some cracks at Detroit’s expense in the process.
Guess I ruffled some feathers with my last tweet about download Detroit! Guess all you that responded haven’t seen how ugly your downtown is
The Minnesota Twins introduced the $19 “College Daze Bloody Mary,” which comes garnished with a cold slice of pepperoni pizza in addition to many of the usual fixings one might be accustomed to.
And here’s the full description, courtesy of Hrbeks’.
This Bloody Mary will bring back the memories (or not)! This cool Bloody Mary gets a cold slice of Pepperoni Pizza which is just what you need with a Bloody Mary! If that wasn’t enough you also get all the other fixings! Beef Stick, Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese Cubes, Pepperoncini, Olive, Celery, & a Pickle Spear. Served with a Bud Light Beer Back.
Worst Offseason Move: None. Seriously, the Pale Hose didn’t put a foot wrong this winter. Although, when we spoke a few weeks ago, Hahn getting fired up about a minor league deal for 36-year-old Brad Penny might’ve been a bit much.
I think it would have been fair to place the David Robertson deal here.
the Twins are giving away possibly the best bobblehead introduced thus far this season. The bobblehead will feature pitcher Phil Hughes dressed in jedi robes and holding a green lightsaber. The best part of the whole thing is that the team is using the hashtag #HughesTheForce to promote the event.
Pinto left Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after Adam Jones hit him three times on the follow-through of his swing. All three swings came during the Orioles’ four-run second inning, with the last one striking Pinto on the top of his helmet.
If his sinker was hitting 94, what was his four-seamer hitting?
Gibson, making his second start of the spring, saw his sinker reach as high as 94 mph on the stadium radar gun and he believes he can pitch with increased velocity this season.
Gibson, who posted a 4.47 ERA in 179 1/3 innings in his first full year in the Majors last season, saw his fastball average 91.3 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com.
“I think [throughout] the year I’d like to stay right around there,” Gibson said of reaching 94 mph. “I think I can if I just maintain my body and keep a good workout regimen in between. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to hold that strength throughout the year.”
“(Twins manager Paul Molitor) told me I’m going to start in Double-A,” Sano said. “I’m fine. I’m OK. I’ll go to the other side for work. I’ll have the same plan I had over here. I’m feeling normal and happy. I want to have a good season. I’m really excited to go to the other side. Everything is good.”
How long would Sano, who turns 22 on May 11, expect to be at Double-A, which is where he finished the year in 2013?
“Conversely,” Molitor said, “if he’s not going to be here to start — IF he’s not going to be here to start — then he needs to prepare himself to go down and be extended when his season begins, wherever that might be.”