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Thursday, April 25, 2019

You Are Cordially Invited to SOFTBALL IN THE CITY

Permit application process has been started, with any luck we’ll be frolicking in the North Meadow of Central Park some sunny Saturday in July or August.* Attendance will be taken! Those not in attendance will be talked smack of!

Further details will be posted as they become available, or as I remember them. If you’re in contact with primates (or other beings) who don’t regularly visit the site, make sure to let ‘em know! They don’t need to be good, there are already enough of you who make me look bad.

RSVP before game time, whenever that turns out to be. Or just show up.


*Okay, I requested 11 - 2 on July 20, we’ll see what happens
**Per post #130 below, it’s Saturday, August 10, 11 - 2 on North Meadow field #4. I’ll try to keep the ...

Read More...
Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 133 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Sinker Paradox | FanGraphs Baseball

I’m left with a sinking feeling about sinkers.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching


Edwin Encarnación and the New York Yankees Are Built for the Modern MLB - The Ringer

Does this qualify as bludgeon baseball?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, yankees

Angel Hernandez’s Lawsuit Against MLB Just Got Really Interesting | FanGraphs Baseball

But Hernandez missed something. Hernandez’s lawyers should have pointed out to the court that whether or not a labor relations privilege exists depends not on the forum state of the lawsuit, but instead based on the law of the state where the communications occurred. If Hernandez spoke with his union in St. Louis, for example, he would have done so in reliance on Missouri law, not New York procedural law. Without that, though, Hernandez was arguing only public policy – what the court should do, not what the court can do. As a matter of public policy, Hernandez had the better argument. As a matter of procedure, MLB had the far better argument. The court heard oral arguments on this issue, and on June 12 decided to side with MLB: the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angel hernandez, angel hernandez sucks

Blue Jays’ Trent Thornton aiming to show Astros what they missed out on - HoustonChronicle.com

He’s alternated brilliant and bad starts with the Blue Jays. Four of his 14 starts have concluded before the fifth inning, but Thornton is striking out 9.4 batters per nine innings. On May 24 against the Padres, he struck out 10 in six innings of three-run ball. He fired seven innings of one-hit ball against the Rangers on May 3.

Thornton pitches with an unorthodox delivery, incorporating a pronounced leg kick. His curveball and splitter each induce ample swing and miss to complement a four-seam fastball that hovers around 94 mph.

“Yeah, there’s a chip on my shoulder that I never had an opportunity with them,” Thornton said. “And I kind of want to show them, yeah, to a certain point what they missed out on.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 11:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, trent thornton

Astros’ Phenom Pitcher Forrest Whitley Won’t Make MLB Debut This Year - The Runner Sports

The info in the article doesn’t really match the headline.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, forrest whitley

California dream? These stars pace MVP races

The Angels’ Mike Trout and Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger remain comfortably atop the latest polls for the American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards as the season nears its halfway point.

Trout and Bellinger each received 30 of 34 first-place votes in their respective leagues when MLB.com reporters were asked to rank their top three choices, with players receiving five points for a first-place vote, three for second and one for third.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors

Royals’ Martin Maldonado wore a tie on his catching gear during Father’s Day game

Rule 3.03(c) of the Major League Baseball rulebook states: “No player whose uniform does not conform to that of his teammates shall be permitted to participate in a game.”

So technically, Royals catcher Martin Maldonado shouldn’t have been allowed to wear a tie* during Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

*Yeah, a tie ... a clip-on, no less

But, c’mon, this was a cool way to commemorate Father’s Day. And, it’s probably never been done in the history of baseball.

Zach Posted: June 18, 2019 at 08:55 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: father's day, martin maldonado, royals, rule 3.03c, uniforms

Monday, June 17, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-17-2019

El Paso Herald, June 17, 1919:

[Ping Bodie on why he’d rather play center field than left field:] “Center field is easy on the eyes, like September Morn or something. Now, get me, what I mean to say is that in left field you are always looking into the sun and you get razzle-dazzled in the vision…I figure that playing left field knocks about 25 to 30 per cent off an outfielder’s hitting.”
...
Ping’s argument is a sound one, to say the least. Even with smoked glasses to wear when the sun is burning down at its brightest the left fielder, unless he has an abnormal pair of “glims,” must find things looking hazy after he has peeped into the eye of Old Sol a couple of times, only to be called on a romp in to the bench, pick up a bat and face ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, razzle dazzle

Padres, Rockies set new modern era record with 92 combined runs in four-game series

Along with 92 runs, the Padres and Rockies combined for 131 hits of which 17 were home runs. Charlie Blackmon had four hits in the first three games and three hits on Sunday, overall going 15-for-24 with four homers and 10 RBI.

CraigK Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: colorado rockies, general, san diego padres

Angels designate former closer Cody Allen for assignment amid disastrous season

The Angels on Saturday designated right-handed reliever Cody Allen for assignment, which means they’ll have a few days to decide whether to trade or release Allen or persuade him to accept an outright assignment to the minors. Very likely, he’ll be released.

Allen, as you might have guess, has struggled badly this season:

In terms of FIP, which is fielding-independent pitching (i.e., what a pitcher’s ERA should be given average luck and defensive support), Allen checks in with a grisly mark of 8.33. That largely flows from the fact that he’s walked 20 batters, all unintentionally, in just 23 innings this season and allowed nine home runs over that same span. Along the way, he’s lost a good bit of fastball velocity.

...Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cody allen

For love and the game: How his brave son, baseball family inspire Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo

But there is one photo Montoyo keeps hidden from view, a framed 4-by-6-inch image inside of his armoire. He takes the picture out when others aren’t around, he says, as a reminder to himself.

The photograph shows Alex, just before his fifth birthday, lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit, a stream of tubes and IVs protruding from his body and his head. He is sedated, mouth open, eyes closed, a peaceful expression on his face.

“I keep this picture here to remind me how lucky I am,” Montoyo says.

The photo also brings perspective: of what he has lost throughout his journey in baseball—namely, time with his family—but also of what he has gained in an extended family that stretches far beyond the field. ...Read More...


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Brodie Van Wagenen’s Mets take doesn’t match what we’re seeing

an Wagenen noted the potential to climb with home-and-home series approaching against the Braves and Phillies, interspersed with four games at Wrigley Field and two home games against the Yankees. That takes the Mets to the All-Star break. It feels make-or-break.

And even if it doesn’t break these Mets, what can we expect in the second half? The Athletics were 34-35 through June 14 last year, then went an MLB-best 63-30 to earn a wild card. But Oakland in this century has regularly surged: the A’s have six of the 65 best second-half records since 2001. The Mets have none.

Will this team with bad defense, terrible pen, meh offense and thin rotation find .600 ball between here and the finish line?

“I don’t think we are looking at ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:54 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Olney—Yankees can overpower all rivals after Encarnacion trade

1B DJ LeMahieu
LF Aaron Judge
CF Aaron Hicks
C Gary Sanchez
RF Giancarlo Stanton
SS Didi Gregorius
DH Edwin Encarnacion
2B Gleyber Torres
3B Gio Urshela

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Rays Tales: Could this be their best team ever?

Rays news.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Letting teams trade picks is MLB Draft’s path out of obscurity

I’m not buying his argument interest in the draft increasing because of pick trading.

The benefits of interest — perhaps being able to sell the draft to ESPN or DAZN because interest would rise — would make the risk of loopholes worth facing. Perhaps MLB and the union could partner on a sale of the TV rights with the union, say, being able to direct the money toward better pensions as a reason to accept hard slots in the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 10:47 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

Yanks acquire Encarnacion from M’s

While the Yankees hope to get sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back from injury soon, it hasn’t stopped the team from adding another slugger to the mix. New York bolstered its lineup Saturday, as the Yanks announced they have acquired Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners.

The Yanks are sending 19-year-old right-hander Juan Then—their No. 27 prospect, per MLB Pipeline—and cash considerations to Seattle. A source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand that the Mariners will pick up about half the money still owed to Encarnacion (he’s owed more than $15 million in salary and buyout).

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2019 at 08:56 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, mariners, trade, yankees

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Kenley Jansen executed a rare intentional balk last night

Last night, Kenley Jansen recorded a save against the Cubs in a 5-3 win for the Dodgers. He surrendered a baserunner on a Matt Beaty error but otherwise was dominant and he struck out three.

Before the final strikeout, however, he did something I hadn’t seen before. With Jason Heyward on second apparently annoying him, Kenley intentionally balked him to third so he could just focus on the batter and/or to prevent Heyward for relaying pitch and/or location to Victor Caratini.

He yells out “I’m going to balk”.

I’ve never seen such a thing. Have you?


2019 College World Series chatter

The ping of the bat.  The roar of the crowd.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 15, 2019 at 04:57 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: college world series


Wilson Ramos Learns Wife Is Pregnant While in On Deck Circle

Wilson Ramos stepped into the on-deck circle to prepare for his second at-bat. He headed to the plate with his third child on the way.

In a 10-year career encompassing more than 800 games and nearly 3,000 at-bats, Ramos’ otherwise ordinary exercise resulted in a massive surprise when his wife, Yeli, walked up to the protective netting behind home plate and held up a sign toward the Mets catcher, alerting him that she was expecting.

“We’re pregnant! Wilson, this is your 3rd child. We love you!” the sign read.

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: June 15, 2019 at 10:18 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pregnancy, spring training souvenir

Dodgers add fuel to Giants feud with custom t-shirts

The Los Angeles Dodgers have added more fuel to the fire in their on-going feud with Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.

Days after infielder Max Muncy coined the phrase “Go get it out of the ocean“ after hitting a home run into McCovey Cove against the Giants ace, Muncy and teammate Enrique Hernández were spotted sporting t-shirts with the same phrase prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, max muncy

Friday, June 14, 2019


‘I gave them blood’: Adam Jones opens up on industry perceptions, blocking trades and learning to embrace change – The Athletic

The headline doesn’t mean what you might think.

In an age of cliched quotes and players who are polished PR-machines, Jones is as authentic as they come. On a European vacation after one of his first years, he collected addresses on Twitter to send fans personal postcards. He hosted random giveaways. When he inked a six-year, $85.5 million extension with the O’s in 2012, he gave more of himself. Literally.

“I cut my finger signing that contract,” Jones said. “I gave them blood.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, diamondbacks, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-14-2019

Columbus Dispatch, June 14, 1919:

The Czecho-Slovakian mission [in Paris] has been studying sports and has caught the baseball fever. The members will carry home with them a number of baseball outfits and will seek to introduce the game in the new republic.

And that’s the origin of the term “Czech swing”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:58 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The most improved pitchers of 2019 

The All-Star Game is only a few weeks away, and baseball’s top starters have thrown nearly 100 innings apiece. It’s far enough into the season that we can take a look at which pitchers have taken a huge step forward from last year, and more important, try to figure out why. (We did this last year around this time, identifying Justin Verlander and Tyler Glasnow at the top of the list.)

Since we’re trying to get at underlying skills here, it’s not good enough to look at ERA, which can be negatively affected by one terrible start or poor defense or relievers. (Look no further than Max Scherzer for that; he’s held his strikeouts steady, lowered his walks and homers ... and has seen his ERA increase.)

Instead, we’ll look at the Statcast ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: player development

MLB In Omaha Shows Potential Of Better Partnership With NCAA

The question remains what is to come of this arrangement. MLB and the NCAA haven’t been able to find common ground on much in the past, though the relationship has improved since Rob Manfred became commissioner. Will MLB in Omaha become an annual event the way the Little League Classic has? Will Manfred get his ultimate wish of holding the draft in Omaha just across the street from TD Ameritrade Park at CHI Health Center Convention Center? Or will the two entities continue to struggle to find common ground?

Thursday night was a good start. But there’s a lot that can be accomplished if MLB and the NCAA can find a way to improve their working relationship. The draft’s position on the schedule remains a thorn in the side of all parties ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball

Boston Red Sox’s Dave Dombrowski assesses team’s mediocre start: ‘I don’t think any of us are happy with where we are’ - masslive.com

The team can still salvage the season.

“I know people have a tendency to point out this or that saying, ‘This is the problem’ or ‘That’s the problem,’” he said. “And really the issue is, there are some players having some very fine seasons, but there are other guys not doing as well. The reality is, as a collective group, we’re not having as good of a year as we’d like.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 14, 2019 at 08:23 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

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