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Friday, September 21, 2018

Hearing WFAN’s John Sterling home run call on WEEI was a weird juxtaposition

For years, it seemed possible that someday Red Sox fans would hear a giddy announcer call a Giancarlo Stanton home run from the Boston radio booth.

After all, in the eight years he spent walloping homers for the usually hapless Florida/Miami Marlins, Stanton’s name often came up in Red Sox trade rumors.

Stanton, who signed a 13-year, $325 million contract extension in December 2014 that practically priced him out of Miami before the ink was dry, never got to call Fenway home.

Unless ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcing, john sterling, red sox, yankees

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter: Don Mattingly ‘under contract’ for 2019

MIAMI—Derek Jeter signaled Thursday that Don Mattingly is expected to return next year as manager of the Miami Marlins, providing some dugout continuity for a last-place team in transition.

Mattingly has one season to go on a four-year contract he signed when he joined the Marlins for the 2016 season.

“Is he going to be back in 2019?” Jeter said. “He’s under contract. Yeah.”

So, what do we suppose Mattingly did that is leading to him being punished so?

QLE Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, don mattingly, marlins

Angels’ Francisco Arcia makes history by catching, pitching, homering in same game

OAKLAND, Calif.—Los Angeles Angels catcher Francisco Arcia began the day behind the plate, did a brief stint on the mound and ended up in the major league record books.

Arcia pitched two innings of relief and hit his sixth home run in the Angels’ 21-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

In doing so, Arcia became the first player to catch, pitch and homer in the same game in the modern era (since 1900), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The things we wind up doing on a night when our ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, catching, francisco arcia, pitching

Shohei Ohtani may prove to be baseball’s future, and what a future it could be

ANAHEIM, Calif. – While everyone else was rethinking the game, he was rethinking the player.

Shohei Ohtani’s season will end on an operating table. His team, the Los Angeles Angels, are, again, in October’s waiting room. They have over the past decade had enough bad coffee to have sated Manifest Destiny’s every wagon train, paced from here to there and back.

So, it all concludes in its usual mess: a few key players being swabbed in Betadine, Mike Trout brilliant and unrewarded, the ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, future, shohei ohtani, two-way players

Hall of Famer John Smoltz says MLB needs an overhaul and proposes drastic changes

Smoltz proposes that MLB adopt a split-season schedule, just as they do in the minor leagues, in a move that he believes will create dramatic division races again, reduce the number of teams tanking for draft picks, and make baseball great again in September.

He also wants to ban shifts. And he’s on the competition committee, folks.

Perry Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dying

Alex Cora Laments Demolition of Caguas Criollos P.R. Stadium Post-Maria

Solá Morales, home for nearly seven decades to the Criollos—one of Puerto Rico’s most storied winter league franchise that rostered more than a dozen MLB Hall of Famers—was among the island’s most damaged sports facilities in the wake of devastating Hurricane Maria, to the point where government officials deemed the stadium unusable. The venue turns 70 on Nov. 7. But celebrations and baseball games will instead give way to padlocks and rubble, as dozens of trucks employed by a company have ...

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Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, hurricanes, puerto rico, stadium issues

Simon - Why Does Bryce Harper Have -25 Defensive Runs Saved?

Sounded some warnings about Bryce Harper’s defense in April. Here’s a revisit as the season nears an end. He’s at -25 Defensive Runs Saved, among the worst totals in MLB this season.


Jordan @metsfansince02
Do you think a move to first base next season is possible? I heard he was taking a lot of grounders there this year.

Mark Simon @MarkASimonSays
I think the money is in the outfield. The move to 1B comes later.

Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, defensive metrics, nationals

The Bullpen Day Turns into a Winning Formula

Ok, it’s behind a pay wall, but we can guess as to the contents.

The Rays currently have 2 real starters (Snell & Glasnow), and 2 pseudo-starters (Yarborough & Chirinos). They use true bullpen days - that is, games in which nobody pitches more than about 2 innings - once or twice or three times per rotation turn. They’re also just about the hottest team in baseball.

PreservedFish Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: strategery

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig burglarized for the fourth time

The home of Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig was burglarized on Tuesday night, the fourth time a police report has been filed on a residence owned by the baseball star in the last 18 months.

It’s the third time Puig’s current house in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley has been burglarized, and the second time this month.

Los Angeles Police Department public information officer Jeff Lee told USA TODAY Sports that a home on the 5800 block of Louise Avenue in the Los Angeles ...

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QLE Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: burglary, yasiel puig

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Diamondbacks hitting coach: Struggles due to improper approach, poor adjustments

When the Diamondbacks began a west-coast trip with a series in San Francisco in late August, hitting coach Dave Magadan recalls feeling pretty good about the state of his offense. It had struggled through the season’s first two months but had mostly found its footing into the middle of the summer, scoring the second-most runs in the league over a 75-game stretch.

And then, as Magadan put it, they came upon a “barren desert” of offensive output.

“Just all of a sudden it was ...

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QLE Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, hitting

Is Red Sox’ slump temporary, or did they come back to earth?

All year, this looked like the revival of the 2016 offense. Some extended drop-offs are starting to make that seem like a mirage.

The Red Sox’ 11 home runs in the month of September are the fewest of all 30 teams. As of midnight going into Thursday, their on-base percentage in September, .317, was middle of the pack at 14th best. Their slugging percentage, meanwhile, was worse than all but four teams, at .362.

“There’s been a few at-bats early in the game, in these two games, that we ...

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QLE Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: overreaction, red sox

Dodgers bash their way to MLB history with record-tying seven 20-homer hitters

Home runs are dramatically up in MLB this season and that means some home run history will inevitably be made. The Dodgers fulfilled that idea Wednesday, entering the history books with a booming homer from Matt Kemp in the second inning of their game against the Rockies.

Kemp’s solo shot bumped his season total up to 20 and gave the Dodgers their seventh 20-homer hitter on the season, tying an MLB record for most 20-homer hitters on a team in a single season. The Los Angeles group now ...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Red Sox division title banner falls off truck; its return may cost them - The Boston Globe

Dopes. I’m sure the vendor just printed up a new one.

“We want to return it, we’re trying to do the right thing, but I’m not just going to hand it to them, know what I mean?” Iacuzzi said.

Asked if he wanted cash from the Red Sox, he said, “Yes, financial [compensation], maybe some tickets, we want something. We don’t know what we want. We want to return it, 100 percent, but we would like to get something.”

Iacuzzi didn’t have a specific asking price in mind as of Wednesday ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2018 at 01:23 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Baseball Therapy: Fixing the Service Time Manipulation Problem - Baseball Prospectus

I guess this is an alternative. I don’t see how this suggestion would be a better system. I also don’t see how the owners or players would agree to such a structural overhaul, which Carleton says would be about a wash. Lastly, he’s underselling the consequences for marginal and veteran players.On top of that, guys like Acuna would be **worse** off, not better off.

But then there’s the Ronald Acuna problem. Acuna made his debut for the Braves in late April and has put up amazing numbers at age ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2018 at 01:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Cain stars in Directional Outs Above Average

Mike Petriello introduces the metric.

The new leaderboard.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:53 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Statcast tool illustrates Adam Engel’s strength, Daniel Palka’s weakness

More interesting work from the Statcast team.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast, white sox

Willians Astudillo Should Be Your New Favorite Player

Just in case you old fogies aren’t aware of this entertaining fellow:

His build can generously be described as “sturdy” and less generously described as “stubby,” all squat and densely packed. Astudillo is 5’ 9” and 225 pounds…

In 20 major league games, Astudillo has been behind the plate scarcely half the time. Otherwise? He’s filled in at second base, third base, left field, and he’s even done a brief stint in center. And, oh, yes, he made a pitching appearance, too…

But ...

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PreservedFish Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Why The Dodgers’ WS Odds are So High

There is no Braves team or Brewers club in the AL playoffs to potentially boost the odds of getting to the World Series. The Brewers and Braves have good teams; on paper, though, they don’t come close to those AL teams. As a result, the Dodgers have the highest odds of any team to make the World Series. They might not be favored if they get there, but getting there provides enough of a boost to their overall odds that they end up with the second-highest championship odds in baseball.

Kind ...

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Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, odds, world series

Snell wins 20th, ties Rays record in 4-0 victory over Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas — For Blake Snell, all the setbacks set up all these victories.

Snell became the major leagues’ first 20-game winner in two years, helping pitch the Tampa Bay Rays past the Texas Rangers 4-0 Tuesday night.

Snell (20-5) threw one-hit ball for five innings and tied the Tampa Bay record for victories in a season. David Price also won 20 in his Cy Young Award season of 2012.

So, how many of you would have guessed that Blake Snell had twenty wins before this was posted?

QLE Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, pitcher wins, rays

Revived offense could provide the best fix for Cubs’ bullpen

PHOENIX—Perhaps the Chicago Cubs found the secret to playing without a true closer: Dominate the opposition at the plate while taking save opportunities out of the equation. There was no need for any ninth-inning nail-biting on Tuesday, as a team in a hitting slump for much of the second half is beginning to wake up.

“We stacked them one on top of the other,” second baseman Daniel Murphy said of Cubs at-bats after a 9-1 win over Arizona. “Sustained pressure on the opposing pitcher. Traffic ...

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QLE Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pitching, scoring

The Orioles became the first professional sports team to wear Braille jerseys

The Orioles hosted the Blue Jays for a regular, regular-season game on Tuesday night. Camden Yards looked as beautiful as always, fans were munching on crab dip and waffle fries and baseball players were playing baseball.

But there was one cool, new added element to the uniforms of the home team. The Orioles had their team and player names spelled out in Braille—becoming the first team in professional sports history to do so.

Fans were also given Braille alphabet cards so they could spell ...

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QLE Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: braille, orioles, uniforms

Dodgers president on Clayton Kershaw’s contract: ‘We expect to work together for a long time’

There are a lot of questions about the Los Angeles Dodgers as we head into the final week of the regular season. Can they win the NL West? If not, can they secure a wild-card spot? Are they a good enough team to sneak into the playoffs, get hot and go on a run?

There’s a bigger question hovering around these Dodgers, though, one that’s been there all season and that, in the grand scheme of things, might be even bigger than a wild-card berth.

What’s going to happen with Clayton Kershaw? ...

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QLE Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, clayton kershaw, contracts, dodgers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-19-2018

Washington Times, September 19, 1918:

A stereotype habit of Boston baseball writers during the bleak winter months is to visit the homes of the various ball-flinging athletes.
...
[Melville Webb tells the story of his visit to Babe Ruth’s house:] “The fire was finally started,” Webb continued, “but after a few minutes Babe took a look at it and was far from satisfied the way it was progressing.

“The big fellow walked over to a corner of the kitchen, picked up a five-gallon can of kerosene and ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 19, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-18-2018

New York Sun, September 18, 1918:

Baseball, under the splendid management of the Anglo-American League, has taken such firm hold on the British public that plans already have been made for the operation of an eight club major league in Great Britain just as soon as the war is over. The new organization will take in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Not only the English but the Scotch as well have become great baseball fans.

Well, good luck with that.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 18, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international baseball

How to fix baseball? Two ways MLB can improve its product without changing the game on the field

Let me start by saying baseball is not perfect. It never will be perfect because everyone has a different idea of what perfect is. Some like small ball. Some like dingers. Some want to return to the glory days when starting pitchers finished what they started. Some like the widespread bullpenning we see today. Everyone has their own platonic ideal of baseball and that is totally cool.

And yet, there seems to be a prevailing narrative in the sports corner of the internet that baseball needs to ...

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Who’s in and who’s out of the MLB postseason?

An exciting part of September baseball is watching teams clinch their berths in the postseason and seeing the stories of the playoffs begin to form throughout the month.

Another fun part, for the more cynical among us, involves watching as teams officially get mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, with not even a whiff of Wild Card chances. More and more of which are revealing themselves as days pass on the final march to October.

We’ll be tracking teams who have clinched their spot ...

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QLE Posted: September 18, 2018 at 09:06 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pennant race, postseason

Orioles match club record with 107th loss, 5-0 to Blue Jays before tiny home crowd

Their dubious destiny nearly set, this year’s Orioles team will very likely go down in history as the worst in franchise history, an ugly distinction for a team that owns a proud 65-year history in Baltimore.

This day sneaked up on no one, and it’s now not a matter of whether they will have that title, but how bad the ending will be over the final two weeks of the season.

In terms of losses, they are there. With their next defeat, the Orioles set themselves apart in a way no one wants ...

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QLE Posted: September 18, 2018 at 09:06 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: futility, losing streak, orioles, things fall apart

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