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Sunday, September 22, 2019

How did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?

With a loss to the Rays and an Indians win over the Phillies, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention in a season following their World Series championship.

Boston has won 4 titles in the last 15 years, a mark no other team has matched in the same time frame. But the last two times the Red Sox have won it all, they failed to make it past September the following season.

After winning the World Series in 2013 with a magical bearded run following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox finished with a 71-91 record, which was good for last place in the AL East. They followed up 2004’s championship with a first-round sweep to the eventual champion White Sox and then fell to the Rays in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008.

...
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QLE Posted: September 22, 2019 at 12:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: missing the playoffs, red sox, world series

Braves’ postseason goals grow after another division title

ATLANTA (AP) — One year ago, just winning the NL East was enough for the rebuilding Atlanta Braves.

Now manager Brian Snitiker and general manager Alex Anthopoulos expect more.

Even as players celebrated their second straight division title with beer and bubbly on Friday night, focus shifted.

“Our first goal was to win the East and we did, and I think now that’s not good enough,” Snitker said Saturday. “I think our guys know they’re capable of a lot more than that. The goal now is the big prize. We feel like we have a team that can do that. We are deep enough, strong enough. I think that is a realistic goal, not just to want to get in but to win the whole thing.”

Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz probably would have ...

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QLE Posted: September 22, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, playoffs

Joe West ejects Yankees’ Boone amid clash with rookie ump

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone clashed Saturday with another rookie umpire, and this time, veteran crew chief Joe West stepped in.

Boone was ejected by West, umpiring at third base, for arguing balls and strikes during a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

New York slugger Giancarlo Stanton struck out looking at three low strikes from rookie T.J. Zeuch for the final out of the first inning. Stanton argued briefly with plate umpire Jeremie Rehak — an injury replacement from Triple-A — before heading back to the dugout.

Boone, meanwhile, shouted profanities from the bench, and West signaled his ejection from across the field. Rehak also booted Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames during the exchange.

So, when two men ...

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QLE Posted: September 22, 2019 at 12:21 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, ejections, joe west

Cubs are living to regret Craig Kimbrel’s $43 million contract

Over his first nine seasons in Major League Baseball, no moment seemed too big for Craig Kimbrel.

The flame-throwing closer dominated in stints with the Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox, racking up 333 saves, 868 strikeouts and seven All-Star appearances.

It’s been a different story in 2019.

The now 31-year-old veteran hasn’t just looked human on the hill. He’s looked overwhelmed. As if there were no answers as to why his dominance has disappeared after signing a three-year, $43 million contract with the Chicago Cubs back in May.

Is it just me, or does that title have somewhat unfortunate implications?

 

QLE Posted: September 22, 2019 at 12:18 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, craig kimbrel, cubs

Padres fire manager Andy Green; communication issues cited

There will be a new manager when the Padres are wearing their new brown uniforms next season.

Andy Green was fired Saturday morning, two years before his contract was due to expire and after four seasons with a 274-366 record.

Bench coach Rod Barajas was named interim manager and served in that role Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“When you look at the way the last two months … and what improvements are being made and how things were playing out on a daily basis, it just didn’t feel like we were going to get there with Andy as our manager,” said General Manager A.J. Preller, who several times called Green a friend. “That’s a tough thing to say. Ultimately, we hire a manager and it’s my job to put players on the ...

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QLE Posted: September 22, 2019 at 12:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, firings, padres

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Memories made Globe Life Park special for Rangers fans, but the bricks were a part of ‘The Temple’s’ appeal

The first time I came upon it on a gray January Sunday in 1997 having rolled into Dallas as a resident only a couple of hours earlier, I may have gasped slightly. Occasionally, I still do. It has, as they say, curb appeal.

We don’t grow attached to baseball stadiums because of the bricks and the mortar, but rather the memories contained within, whether it was that first opening day in 1994, Kenny Rogers’ perfect game, the first division title, the first AL pennant, Derek Holland’s World Series masterpiece or Adrian Beltre’s 3,000th hit. Often, it’s something much more ordinary, but more personal, than that. A game with an elderly parent. Your first trip with your own child. A reunion.

Those are the things that make ballparks special. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:53 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

What’s the best WEIRD baseball video game ever?

First, a bit about the games. Base Wars came out first, and features a bunch of robots (a cyborg, flybot, mcycle, or tank) playing standard baseball ... if standard baseball included fisticuffs for every close force-out or put-out. There are literal base wars, and even if you were definitely out, if you win the ensuing brawl, you get the base anyway. Now that’s a concept a big man like myself can get behind.

That’s the main hook, but the game also has a great aesthetic that includes multiple types of robots. The pitching robots fire the ball out of an arm cannon. The catcher is a unicycle robot and it controls like it. The ball moves pretty quickly as, again, it’s robots throwing the ball.

Things get a little Too Real when you ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:53 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: video games

Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa remaining with Red Sox

The Red Sox aren’t fully cleaning house of Dave Dombrowski’s top lieutenants—Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa has agreed to remain with the organization, per an industry source.

La Russa arrived as a special assistant to Dombrowski, but he ingratiated himself to the entire baseball operations department. A constant presence at Fenway Park and a frequent observer on the road, La Russa served not only as a sounding board for manager Alex Cora, but anyone in the organization who wanted to draw on his 56 years of big league experience.

Wait- this doesn’t mean he’ll end up being the one calling the shots in practice, does it?

 

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 01:04 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, tony la russa

CC Sabathia to Pitch Out of Bullpen for Remainder of 2019 Season

Especially with Domingo German out for the rest of the year following the domestic violence incident, it seemed possible that CC Sabathia might make another start for the 2019 Yankees down the stretch.

Well, if it happens, it won’t be in the regular season, as manager Aaron Boone has come out and said that the big lefty will come out of the bullpen for the remainder of the regular season in an effort to prepare for October.

...

Of course, if Sabathia isn’t going to remain stretched out, his only chance of coming into a postseason game is as an opener or long man out of the bullpen.

This is how a career ends
This is how a career ends
This is how a career ends
Not with a bang but with employment as a middle reliever

 

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:58 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen, c.c. sabathia

Nats manager Martinez rejoins team after heart procedure

MIAMI (AP) — Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez has rejoined the team following a heart procedure that caused him to a miss a three-game series at St. Louis.

The 54-year-old was back in the dugout Friday, four days after a cardiac catheterization.

“The bottom line is I feel good to go and I’m very happy and excited to rejoin the team,” Martinez said. “It was hard to watch the games without being a part of it with the guys in the dugout.”

Best wishes for him with his return.

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dave martinez

The Curse of Bunned Meat and Breadsticks: Why the Twins Can’t Beat the Yankees

On April 11, 1961, the Twins played their first game, beating the American League champion Yankees 6-0 in front of Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Toots Shor, who sat beneath that white scalloped frieze at Yankee Stadium, its famous arches suggesting grandeur, antiquity and empire. The new home of the Twins, meanwhile, was a minor league ballyard in a former Bloomington, Minn., cornfield, providing the first of many comparisons between the two teams and the communities they represent in which Minnesota always comes off as a lesser New York—Big Apple vs. Minneapple, Yankees vs. Twinkies, Mickey Mantle vs. Mickey Hatcher.

Even the franchise’s inaugural victory was largely forgotten by the next morning, when Yuri Gagarin became the first ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: breadsticks, curse, rod carew, twins, yankees

Alonso slugs 50th, now 2 away from Judge’s mark

Another night, another powerful statement from Pete Alonso.

The rookie Mets slugger hit his major league-leading 50th home run of the season Friday, sending a towering two-run shot to deep right-center field in the eighth inning to help send New York to an 8-1 victory against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Alonso became the second rookie in major league history to hit 50 home runs, and now is just two shy of the mark set by the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who hit 52 in his first season in 2017. Alonso and the Mets have nine games left in the regular season.

“That’s just mind-boggling to me,” Alonso told SNY. “I’m a huge baseball fan. I’ve always been a baseball fan my entire life and there’s so many great players who played this game. It’s ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, pete alonso

Aubrey Huff, Seth McClung feuding on Twitter

Seth McClung pitched for six seasons for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Milwaukee Brewers. His time in Tampa Bay overlapped with Aubrey Huff’s time with the Devil Rays for several seasons, making them teammates.

It would seem, however, that they did not get along too well. They certainly aren’t getting along very well now if their interaction on Twitter over the past couple of days is any indication.

Yesterday a fan asked McClung who was “the biggest turd” with whom he played. McClung did not hesitate to answer

For those of you who want a reminder as for why most respectable people steer far clear of Twitter….

QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: aubrey huff, feud, seth mcclung, twitter

Postgame: Royals’ starter ejected, said umpire “was after me personally”

  Royals pitcher Mike Montgomery was ejected for arguing about balls and strikes on Friday, crew chief Sam Holbrook said. But Montgomery would take exception to that — it wasn’t the calls that made him mad, it was home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez’s intent.

  “I felt like he was after me personally, and the team,” Montgomery said after a fifth-inning argument with Gonzalez wound up costing him his first career ejection. “He had a bad day. What really just [made me mad] was, he was intentionally trying to screw me over.”

  Montgomery, a five-year veteran who was traded from the Cubs to Kansas City in July, had been complaining about Gonzalez’s strike zone for much of the game, but it boiled over when Mitch Garver led ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2019 at 12:07 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mike montgomery, robot umpires, strike zone, umpires

Friday, September 20, 2019

A’s Jesús Luzardo forced to adapt as a kid. Now his stuff is ‘almost unfair’ - SFChronicle.com

The next, next big thing.

“Growing up, Jesús wasn’t the biggest kid on the team, he was one of the shorter kids, so he had to develop command and feel for the offspeed,” said Luzardo’s father, who also is named Jesús. “I think that was an advantage for him: He learned to pitch without the advantage of the fastball. And then he got the velocity when he grew. He needed a different approach — a lot of the big kids depended on the fastball and he didn’t have that luxury.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 06:13 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jesus luzardo

The 5 tiers of this year’s free-agent class

I’d put J.D. Martinez in the second tier.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:24 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

One way the Dodgers are better built for October than the Astros—and everyone else

Sam Miller’s latest on ESPN.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Statcast Swing Take Tool: Daniel Vogelbach Should Swing More - Lookout Landing

Some new Statcast stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 03:21 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

KC Royals’ Danny Duffy talks bullying, anxiety, depression | The Kansas City Star

Three weeks into his first Royals spring training camp, Danny Duffy spent an early morning shagging fly balls, carrying equipment to the bullpen and fulfilling other rookie obligations.

Anything to get out of the clubhouse.

A group of veterans on the team’s pitching staff had been treating his locker as a garbage can, wrapping food in aluminum foil and stuffing it into his bag. With daily stunts stretching beyond typical rookie hazing, the group of five targeted Duffy, a fast-rising pitching prospect on the verge of taking their jobs. They told him to shut up when he spoke. They called him stuck-up when he ignored them.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:52 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: danny duffy, royals

Gabe Kapler wasn’t people’s choice to lead Phillies, so owner John Middleton must not allow public opinion to decide manager’s future | Scott Lauber

Forget Kapler. Will Matt Klentak be the first of the new wave GMs to get canned?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies


Liam Hendriks’ shift in energy big factor in surging success with A’s | NBCS Bay Area

“For me, it’s just convincing myself that no matter what, I’m better than you,” Hendriks told NBC Sports California. “So it’s not necessarily arrogance, it’s just extreme confidence. But for me, if I have to think ‘Oh I can’t throw it here, because that’s where they’re good,’ that’s where I get in trouble. So for me, it’s just convincing myself that I’m better than whoever is at the plate.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, liam hendriks

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-20-2019

Bridgeport Times, September 20, 1919:

WHITE SOX WILL DEMAND BIG INCREASES NEXT YEAR

When Skipper Gleason of the good ship White Sox starts marshaling his crew for a cruise on the 1920 pennant seas, he faces a task that will make his efforts in landing the 1919 American League pennant pale into insignificance. Almost unanimous will be the demands of his otherwise orderly mates for salary increases commensurate with their efforts in bringing the 1919 pennant to the Windy City.
...
“We’ve given Comiskey and the White Sox our best efforts all season, and some of us suffered a cut in salary over the previous season,” said one of the members of the team, “but there must be a substantial increase in my pay check, and I know I speak for the other ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 20, 2019 at 10:03 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Random notes: Dansby Swanson, so-so shortstop

We say yet again: He’s 25, and he has been unlucky with injuries. Swanson has proved he can hold a job as the shortstop – a key position – on a first-place team. He’s not the worst thing about the Braves. He’s not the best, either. He’s just OK.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:45 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, the athletic


As Andrew Friedman’s contract with Dodgers nears end, an extension is likely – Orange County Register

Stan Kasten doesn’t get enough credit as a baseball executive.

When asked directly if he expects Friedman to return in his current position with the Dodgers in 2020, however, Kasten did offer a direct answer.

“I am completely certain of that. Yes,” he said.

Kasten sounds like a man who knows a contract extension will be negotiated and announced soon enough. Friedman is not likely to reach free agency. It is hard to find a reason for either side not to continue the relationship.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, dodgers

Anthony Rizzo made a dramatic return, the Cubs rallied in the ninth and they still lost … again – The Athletic

Surprise return for Rizzo. Does Theo blow up this team if they fail to make the playoffs?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:24 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rizzo, cubs

Marlins sign Don Mattingly to two-year contract extension, per report - MLB Daily Dish

The Marlins reportedly are in agreement with manager Don Mattingly on a two-year contract extension with an additional option. Daniel Álvarez-Montes of El Extrabase was the first to break news of the deal, and sources such as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and the Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson and Barry Jackson confirmed the reports on Thursday night:

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: don mattingly, marlins

Giants’ Joey Bart hits two homers in first game of Arizona Fall League

There are hot starts, and then there’s what Joey Bart did in his first game in the Arizona Fall League.

The Giants’ top prospect hit not one, but two homers in the Scottsdale Scorpions’ 5-4 win Wednesday night over the Mesa Solar Sox. Batting fourth as the team’s starting catcher, Bart took the second pitch he saw on the night deep over the left-center field wall off Tigers No. 20 prospect Anthony Castro for a two-run shot.

...

Leading off the top of the seventh inning, Bart hit his second homer, a solo shot off rising A’s prospect Jesus Zambrano, who went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA between High A Stockton and Double-A Midland this season. And he knew it was gone right away, too.

...

Bart ended the night 2-for-4 with two homers, three RBI ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona fall league, joey bart

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