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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

An automated strike zone’s looming, and the Rockies — like all of baseball — are split on the prospect of a robot calling pitches

What comes first- us turning on the robot umpires, or vice versa?

There’s an evolving opinion in baseball that has come to the forefront once again this month, as it has so often in recent every-pitch-matters, Statcast-tracked Septembers.

The strike zone, many in the game and the Twittersphere say, is not safe in the hands of man.

Such was the uproar after the Rockies’ 4-2 loss to open the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers this past weekend, where Colorado fans ripped the lackluster ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: robots in baseball, strike zone, umpires

Phillies stuck in the mud, figuratively and literally

Probably for the best that the game was called- I’d hate to imagine what the Philadelphia sports fans would do if they got their hands on all that mud, to say nothing about the blowtorches…..

There have been times in recent days when it has looked like the Phillies’ season was stuck in the mud. So the unexpected, and probably avoidable, events of Monday night served as an apt metaphor for what has happened to the team lately.

The Phillies’ scheduled game against the Washington Nationals at ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: groundskeeping, phillies, rain delay

Closer Kenley Jansen rejoins Dodgers, expects offseason heart surgery

Stuck in Los Angeles over the weekend, unable to travel to Denver because of concerns about his heart, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen rejoined the club for Monday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

“To be honest, it was a little boring to be at home,” Jansen said before the Dodgers faced the Reds. “I love my wife. I love my kids. But my mind was really with the team.”

Jansen did not idle during his days away from the team. He maintained his ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, heart, kenley jansen, surgery

Multiple Teams Miffed Over Donaldson Trade

The issue, according to [The Athletic], is the unclear health status of Donaldson, who has not played in the majors since May 28 because of a calf injury. The former American League MVP began a minor league rehab assignment on Aug. 29 and was placed on revocable trade waivers by the Blue Jays that same day. He was traded to Cleveland just before the Aug. 31 deadline, meaning he is eligible to play for the Indians in the postseason.

By rule, a player must be certified as healthy in order to be ...

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My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, indians, red sox, yankees

Varriano: Solving Major League Baseball’s Young Person Problem

put a microphone in the ear or a buzzer in the pocket of home plate umpires that indicates when a pitch is thrown in the electronic strike zone, and the technology is close to doing so accurately. That way hitters come to the plate every game knowing exactly what a strike is and is not, so they swing at more strikes instead of chasing balls incorrectly called strikes, which will result in more contact, better contact and fewer strikeouts despite defensive shifts.

DanG Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, strike zone

Sporting News: Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson talks character clause, PED users and ballot changes

SN: Why is character so central to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in your view?
JI: Probably because we’re such a big part of American culture and history, and character matters in our country. And baseball is a reflection of our country.
Life is full of opinions, and you can determine character however you like. Everyone has a different opinion of how character should be evaluated. The point of that guideline is to ensure that those who are being considered for election didn’t disgrace the ...

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DanG Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: election rules, hall of fame, jeff idelson

The Death Of The Shutout - BtBS

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of a once relevant statistic: the shutout. It’s been in hospice for many seasons, with hardly any pitchers coming to visit. Now, it has finally succumbed to death by singularity. For the first time in history, we may finish the season without a single pitcher accumulating more than one complete game shutout.

The kind reader is reminded that a SO (Shut Out) is only awarded to a pitcher when he pitches a complete game, therefore ...

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Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, rotation

Paul Sullivan - MLB Needs to Change Cubs-Nats Venue for Thurday’s Game

Switching it to a day game in Chicago, or even in Milwaukee if the Nationals are worried about giving the Cubs home-field advantage, makes much more sense. It’s not unprecedented, and it’s obviously doable.

Clearly, rational minds will arrive at a rapid, amicable solution that will please all involved.

Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, hurricane, nationals, pennant race, weather

OTP 2018 September 10: Former executive Neil McMillan reflects on a long career in baseball, politics and mining

Neil McMillan never made it to the big league, but that hasn’t stopped the former politician, financier and mining executive from blaming his success on the time he spent on the pitcher’s mound all those years ago.

“The real difference in my career … has been a function of my attitude, and it starts out as a willingness or a drive to risk failure,” said McMillan, who recently retired from his last job as chairman of the uranium miner Cameco Corp.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 1379 comment(s)
  Beats: canada, off topic, politics

Monday, September 10, 2018


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-10-2018

New York Sun, September 10, 1918:

BOSTON TAKES FOURTH GAME

Victory by 3 to 2 Gives Red Sox Advantage Over Cubs, Three Games to One.

Ruth, nicknamed Babe because he is nothing of the sort, hit a triple this afternoon. It was a good deal like the many other triples which the big fellow had driven out this season, but it will take its place among the prodigious blows of baseball history. It won a world series game for the Boston Americans.

With the score innocent of anything but zeros, with two ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 10, 2018 at 10:24 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Saturday, September 08, 2018


Dodgers just 0.5 games behind Rockies

Dodgers now just 0.5 games behind the Rockies after a 4-2 road victory in Coors Field. The Rockies with 1 game in hand. They clash again today (Kyle Freeland, 2.96 in 170.1 innings, vs Walker Buehler, 2.92 in 104.2 innings) and tomorrow, plus three more times in SoCal in two weeks. Dodgers now healthy, Kershaw back from DL. Dodgers still yet to play @ Cards 3 times, plus they close the season with a tough six games @ Arizona and San Francisco. Rockies will play D-Backs twice more, SF on the ...

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BrokenBat Posted: September 08, 2018 at 11:57 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nl west, playoffs, rockies

Players union criticizes Blue Jays for not calling up Guerrero - Sportsnet.ca

Yesterday on MLB Now, Eno Sarris suggested an idea which could be workable related to service time. He suggested teams get a fixed amount of time for minor and major league service time. I believe he mentioned somewhere around 8 years, dependent on draft age. A more workable timeframe would probably be 10-11 years but I believe with more work, there could be something to the idea. The question is, though, what other compromises on both sides would be needed to get it done. In CBAs there is ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cba, mlbpa, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

Ryan Yarbrough has broken how Fangraphs calculates WAR - DRaysBay

Another reason not to use fWAR for pitchers.

The FIP shown isn’t the FIP that is used to calculate their brand of WAR. One has to add infield fly balls and the home park’s FIP park factor to reach the right calculation. After factoring in the 21 infield flyballs that Yarbrough has induced improves his 102 FIP- to 99 ifFIP- (in other words, he has been 0.8% better than the average American League pitcher).

It all comes down to replacement level. The other pitchers discussed have been used a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:12 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: ryan yarbrough, war

Friday, September 07, 2018

Could a pitching staff built around guys who throw 88-mph balls succeed in today’s MLB?

This is a little old but it’s relevant to some recent events.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 09:10 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, tommy john

Superstition is the way for MLB players, and that includes haunted hotels

Only 80%?

Hawes thinks more than 80 percent of claims of ghostly activity can be disproven. (That percentage might be higher among ballplayers: Bradley’s second book included a chapter on ghost-related pranks.) Still, he warns that players could be at greater risk for ghost-related mishap because they’re a large group who are frequently charged up with emotions from the night’s game. The player’s mood can work against their minds, leading them to believe every little noise or breeze is a ghost’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:57 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ghosts

Braves, Cobb in legal dispute over millions in stadium costs

We can be sure of only one thing…taxpayers will be screwed either way.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:54 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadium deals

White Sox rookie Michael Kopech likely to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss 2019 due to torn UCL

Michael Kopech had recently joined the Chicago White Sox rotation after years of being heralded as a top prospect. Four starts into his big-league career, he’d shown some of why he’s considered a potential future front-of-the-rotation starter.

Unfortunately, Kopech will miss the rest of the season and potentially all of 2019 after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament and likely undergoing Tommy John surgery, per the team:

jobu Posted: September 07, 2018 at 06:45 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: the sky is blue, tinstaapp, tommy john surgery, white sox


2018 Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Year

A year after making their full-season debuts, Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease dominated the Minor Leagues throughout 2018. Guerrero made a run at becoming the Minors’ first .400 hitter in 29 years and Cease was unhittable for much of the season, especially down the stretch.

Guerrero was a no-brainer choice as MLB Pipeline’s Hitter of the Year, and Cease was nearly as obvious a pick as our Pitcher of the Year. They also headline our annual ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 02:35 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

How to fix MLB service time dilemma impacting Vlad Jr. - Sportsnet.ca

So, the owners are going to kick in $60 million *and* have to fund a reestablished MLB Scouting Bureau just so a handful of players get called up a little earlier? Wouldn’t that kind of money be better used by getting controllable players a higher minimum wage and/or expanding pension benefits for players who currently don’t qualify? Unless they flame out, which makes the missing service time irrelevant anyway, guys like Bryant and Vlady will get their big payday eventually. At the same time, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 11:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: service time

What Gary Sanchez can improve | 09/07/2018 | MLB.com

The last couple of days on MLB Network radio Eduardo Pérez has been putting a lot of blame for Gary Sanchez’s defensive problems on the current Yankees coaching staff. Although they might deserve some blame, I’d say the lions share of the responsibility falls on Gary Sanchez.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 07, 2018 at 10:23 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, gary sanchez

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-7-2018

Omaha Daily Bee, September 7, 1918:

The Chicago Nationals put the world’s series on a 50-50 basis [yesterday] by defeating the Boston American, 3 to 1, in a good, old-fashioned game of base ball.

Tyler, pitching for Chicago, was the hero of the contest, for he projected a steady stream of bafflers and capped the climax by shooting a single over second that scored two runs.

All of Chicago’s runs were made in the second, when Bush, on the bridge for the Red Sox, could see periscopes bobbing up ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 07, 2018 at 10:12 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Mark Shapiro says the Blue Jays’ decision to not call up Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. “has nothing to do with business”

Mark Shapiro then went on to say that, despite appearances to the contrary, bears were not going into the woods because they had business to attend to.

Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro appeared on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday. When asked by super-prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. was not called up after rosters expanded on September 1, Shapiro said the decision “has nothing to do with business.”

The full quote:

It has nothing to do with business. It has nothing to do with ...

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QLE Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark shapiro, september roster expansions, vladimir guerrero jr.

Report: John Gibbons and Blue Jays to part ways after this season

So, anyone here considering applying for this job?

Less than a month after John Gibbons said he wasn’t overly interested in going through a rebuild in Toronto, a new report suggests he won’t have to.

The Blue Jays and their manager are set to part ways at the end of the season, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. And while this development won’t shock anyone who has been following the team, it does mean that Gibbon’s second stint in Toronto is all but officially coming to a ...

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QLE Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, john gibbons, managers

Marlins Man prepares epic return to Marlins Park

It’s hard to make jokes when almost every line is its own punchline…..

The best-known fan in sports, Marlins Man, is planning an unforgettable return to Marlins Park. You can be part of it and eat/drink for free.

Laurence Leavy, a lawyer-turned-superfan, will attend his first game of the season at Marlins Park on Monday Sept. 17 against the Washington Nationals.

But Marlins Man is doing it up huge.

QLE Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: and they even alienated him, fans, marlins, the one fan the marlins have left

Sources: Fox Sports Detroit’s Mario Impemba and Rod Allen involved in physical altercation

Sadly, because of Disney’s purchase of FOX, I suspect that we can rule out any airings of When Announcers Attack in primetime in the coming weeks.

When Mickey​​ York and Craig Monroe threw to the booth during Wednesday night’s broadcast of Fox Sports Detroit’s “Tigers Live” pregame show, an unexpected duo appeared on screen — that of Matt Shepard and Kirk Gibson.

Conspicuously absent from the show was the regular tandem of play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba and analyst Rod ...

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QLE Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, detroit, fight, fight, fight, tigers

Rockies’ Trevor Story hit the longest home run in Statcast era on Wednesday

Five hundred and five feet.

That’s how far Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story hit a home run on Wednesday night at Coors Field during a game against the San Francisco Giants.

Zach Posted: September 07, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, tape measure home runs, trevor story

Thursday, September 06, 2018


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