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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 ...

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Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 180 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Friday, July 19, 2019

2019 Trade Value:

Ronald Acuna is #1!

And here we are at No. 1. Many of you predicted this in the comments, and it seemed pretty obvious from the start to me and everyone I ran this list by. Acuna was being hyped by very reasonable people last year as the next best player in the game, whenever Trout decides to let that happen. That still seems to be the thought around the game, but it’s also important to note that it wasn’t so obvious when last year’s list was written. On that day, Acuna had a 109 wRC+ and a 30% strikeout rate. Since then, he put up a 141 wRC+, 41 homers, and 6.4 WAR in 163 regular season games, good for ninth in all of baseball in that period, all at ages 20 and 21. He didn’t have a great showing in the Braves playoff series loss to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2019 at 03:47 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: trade value

The Five Trends That Could Define Baseball’s Future - The Ringer

Baseball is always evolving, partly through random mutations—like a suddenly supercharged baseball, assuming MLB is being honest about not intentionally tampering with the pill—but largely through the same principle that governs evolution in other cutthroat environments: Traits that aid an organism’s survival tend to propagate and multiply. Right now, we’re witnessing several tactics that used to be relative rarities cross the threshold at which they’ve actually become more common than not for at least a team or two. And if those plans pay off, the clubs embracing them today may be the bellwethers that tell us where the game is going.

Below, we’ll explain why we’re seeing certain teams double down on these tactics; whether ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2019 at 03:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: trends

Deadspin: Baseball Writer Jonah Keri Arrested, Charged With Assault On His Wife

Baseball writer Jonah Keri, who works for The Athletic, Sportsnet, and DraftKings, was arrested Thursday and charged after an alleged assault on his wife, as reported today by CTV Montreal.

Keri faces three counts of assault as well as one count of uttering death threats. He appeared in court today and was granted bail but was told to stay 250 meters from his wife, not have any weapons, and to remove his possessions from their house within 10 days.

The three counts appear to be for separate incidents in July 2018, May 2019, and July 2019, according to the report. The couple married in July 2018…

Keri’s lawyer Louis Morena also provided a statement:

“Death threats are sometimes said in a moment of anger especially when there’s an ...

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The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: July 19, 2019 at 03:01 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: holy &^%, jonah keri, the athletic

How a Gyroscopic Slider Remade Luke Jackson

If it wasn’t for gravity, the pitch would travel on a straight line into the catcher’s glove. But the effect of gravity causes the pitch to “fall off the table” or break downward. While it might look like a curveball to the average viewer, the pitch rotates laterally as opposed to end-over-end towards the hitter. The pitch to Harper that Jackson showed to Hezel was exactly that: a vertical-breaking, gyroscopic slider. He just didn’t know it at the time.

Jackson first learned this slider early in 2018 from his Triple-A pitching coach while fiddling with his “spiked” curveball grip early in 2018. Months later, he arrived at Driveline, looking to understand and develop the pitch to its full potential. “I really wanted to see ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 19, 2019 at 11:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: luke jackson

Let’s make a deal? Assessing the Mariners’ likely trade chips as deadline looms | The Seattle Times

So what does the ultra-active Dipoto think of the reduced trading time?

“I think it’s good and we’ve been probably as or more active than anybody in the second period (waiver trades) in the last few years,” he said. “But I think one trade deadline is good. I think in an ideal world it would be a little further back on the calendar. But hopefully having just one trade deadline gives teams around the league a chance to definitively get in or get out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2019 at 11:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, trade deadline

The moral argument for keeping Barry Bonds out of Cooperstown doesn’t hold up

How can Major League Baseball, which proudly celebrates Robinson’s legacy every season, continue to keep Anson in its most hallowed halls while Bonds remains a pariah? Segregation was far more destructive than performance-enhancing drugs in regards to evaluating talent in baseball. This much is irrefutable. Baseball history would be completely different if players such as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige had been given the opportunity to suit up against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

“If you’re going to have an asterisk in baseball at all — and the commissioners have already ruled you should not,” Thorn said, regarding the assertion that Bonds’ records should be recognized as tainted, “then that asterisk might more easily apply to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 19, 2019 at 11:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-19-2019

Great Falls Tribune, July 19, 1919:

Players of the Los Angeles ball team presented to President Johnny Powers a petition protesting against a wire fence which has been erected inside Washington park here. The fence which was conceived by Jim Morley, manager of the team, ostensibly was built to decrease the size of the field and produce more home runs and spectacular plays. The players declare that it produces too much action and intimated they would strike if it is not removed at once.

“Dear Mr. President, there is too much action nowadays. Please eliminate the wire outfield fence. I am not a crackpot!”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 19, 2019 at 10:29 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Forgotten All-Star Game That Helped Integrate Baseball

The East-West Game was played from 1933 until 1962, and was typically considered the premier event in the Negro Leagues each summer. Marquee names like Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell, and Josh Gibson gathered at Chicago’s Comiskey Park each year, in a game that often drew tens of thousands of fans. Due to the game’s popularity, there were a number of years where the league held a second contest. In 1942, that second game took place on August 18 at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The three Buckeyes players were set to play for the “West” squad in a game where proceeds would benefit the Army-Navy Relief Fund.

It was a disaster. More than 10,000 fans were on hand at the cavernous ballpark to watch the East pummel the West 9-2 in what ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 19, 2019 at 08:23 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: integration

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Price responds as Eckersley dispute resurfaces

Two years ago, Red Sox lefty David Price set up a meeting to apologize to Dennis Eckersley for yelling at the Hall of Famer in front of his teammates on a team flight from Boston to Toronto.

When Eckersley chose not to show up for the meeting, he said he just wanted to “move on.”

And that’s why Price was angered on Wednesday by a profile on Eckersley in The Boston Globe in which the NESN analyst and former closer discussed the incident.

“I didn’t know how to deal with that,” Eckersley said of the incident. “I don’t plan on saying a word to him, I don’t plan on seeing him, never. I don’t really give a [expletive] one way or another. I don’t think he really cares one way or the other.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 18, 2019 at 12:28 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, dennis eckersley, red sox

Angels’ Ramirez suspended for drilling Marisnick

Major League Baseball has suspended Los Angeles Angels reliever Noe Ramirez for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for throwing a pitch Tuesday near the head of Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus was hit with a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine Wednesday stemming from the sixth-inning incident, in which Ramirez drilled Marisnick between the shoulder blades with a 1-1 pitch.

Whatever, man.


Pumpsie Green, First Black Player for Boston Red Sox, Dies at 85

On July 21, 1959, Pumpsie Green made his major league debut as an eighth-inning pinch-runner with the Boston Red Sox, then played at shortstop to finish the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.

Green’s appearance was merely a blip in the box score, but his presence in a Red Sox uniform represented a climactic moment in baseball history.

Green, who died on Wednesday at 85 at a hospital in San Leandro, Calif., was the first black player for the Red Sox, the last of the 16 major league franchises of the time to have remained all white. His family confirmed the death in a statement, adding that he had been ill for five months.

In April 1945, the Red Sox, under pressure from a Boston city councilman, gave a brief tryout at ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2019 at 12:15 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-18-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 18, 1919:

The strike of the Boston Elevated employees was responsible for the third successive day of idleness for the Pirates today. The Pittsburghers arrived at the center of culture just in time to become involved in the unpleasantness. The day was satisfactory for a ball game, but the Brave management figured that the number of fans reaching the park would not be sufficient to make the game worth while.

Elsewhere in unusual Pirates scheduling news, the board of directors of the National League has upheld a protest by the Giants, who claimed the Pirates-Reds game on July 6 violated the league constitution by ending early so the Pirates could catch a train. The ruling throws out a Reds win and forces the two ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:04 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor stoppage

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The NL Central Race Could Be the Tightest in MLB History

The 1994 AL West is an infamous division in baseball history; the Rangers led with a 52-62 record that would convert to a 74-88 mark over a full year. But that season ended early due to the players’ strike, so the division’s placement atop this list comes with a large asterisk. That leaves the 2005 NL East as the closest division of the last half-century. The Braves won 90 games to claim the NL East that year, the last of Atlanta’s 11 consecutive division titles, while the Nationals brought up the rear with a respectable 81-81 record in their first season in Washington. Discounting the 1994 strike year, the 2005 Nationals are the only last-place team in MLB history to finish within single digits of the division winner.


That example ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 06:20 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Mariano for Felix Fermin? Deal almost happened

It was March 1996, and the Yankees’ young rookie shortstop was scuffling during Spring Training. Derek Jeter was expected to fill the position for Joe Torre’s club on Opening Day, but the 21-year-old looked overmatched at times, causing owner George Steinbrenner to grow concerned.

“He was pushing hard,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who was the assistant GM at the time. “Derek Jeter, this up-and-coming young rookie that we’re going to go with at shortstop, didn’t look good in in his Spring Training of ‘96, and so therefore we need to trade for an everyday shortstop. Felix Fermin could be had, and Woody Woodward was the GM of the Seattle Mariners. And the trade partner request was Fermin to the Yankees for either ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 06:17 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mariano rivera

The Transformation of Alex Rodriguez (SI)

This January, Rodriguez spent two weeks as a guest speaker in lecturer Allison Kluger’s class on strategic pivoting and reputation management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. “From crisis comes a decisive moment,” says Kluger. “You can make the moment work for you, or you can crawl into a hole and wait for something else to come. Alex didn’t wait.”

Rodriguez did SoulCycle with the class’s 25 students, and ordered them all a Chipotle dinner (although, as a health nut, he didn’t himself eat a burrito). The highlight of the course, most agreed, was when he narrated his own crisis, though he didn’t get into exactly what substances he ingested or injected, or when or why; he’s never done that, publicly. Even so, ...

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Former Cardinal pitcher Ernie Broglio dies at 83

Ernie Broglio tied for the National League lead in victories in 1960 when he won 21 for the Cardinals in his second big-league season. The righthander also won 18 for the 1963 Cardinals team which challenged for, but fell short of, the National League pennant.

But despite those successes, Broglio forever will be remembered as the other half of the trade that brought future Hall of Famer Lou Brock to St. Louis in June 1964. Broglio, after battling cancer, died at age 83 Tuesday night in San Jose, Calif., according to his daughter, Nancy Broglio Salerno.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 04:11 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

CBSSports: Dodgers’ Justin Turner defends Phillies pitcher who plunked him, telling umpire he shouldn’t be ejected

After Verdugo homered to make the score 12-1, Yacksel Rios hit Turner in the leg with an 84 mph breaking ball and was immediately ejected by legendary blowhard Doug Eddings. Turner started taking off his gloves and shinguard, then turned around and was confused to find Rios had been ejected. The batter (and at least one other Dodger in the dugout) joined Gabe Kapler, Realmuto et al in arguing with the umpire on the pitcher’s behalf!

Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 17, 2019 at 01:48 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, phillies, umpiring


RIP Baseball Prospectus’s Rob McQuown

RIP. A great guy, with whom I was hoping to work more.

Thread with tribute tweets

Ben Lindbergh describes his contributions

The District Attorney Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:35 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, obituary, rip

MLB Targeting International Draft As Soon As 2020

Major League Baseball is discussing a 20-round international draft concept, with a goal of implementing the draft as soon as 2020, with 2021 another possibility.

MLB officials met yesterday with international club personnel in Miami and told them that owners are in support on an international draft and want it in place as soon as possible. MLB solicited feedback from international scouting officials on its draft concept, so a lot of the specifics—including the number of rounds, when a draft would begin and other details—are still likely to change.

An international draft is subject to collective bargaining with the MLB Players’ Association, so once MLB finalizes an internal proposal, the union would need to sign off. The two sides are ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:47 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-17-2019

[Juneau] Alaska Daily Empire, July 17, 1919:

Baseball is bidding for favor in parts of Mexico and may supplant bull fighting and other distinctly native pastimes, according to a Dallas sporting goods concern, which has just made a large shipment of baseball equipment to Monterey, Northern Mexico [sic]. This concern recently sent a salesman through the northern part of Mexico and he reported that baseball was rapidly gaining in favor and predicted it soon would become a national pastime in that country.

Baseball? In Monterrey? It’ll never happen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, mexican baseball, mexico

Video: Disco Demolition Night

In belated commemoration of Disco Demolition Night, I provide this link to footage of over an hour and a half of the goings-on of that evening, including footage from WSNS master tapes that apparently never actually aired.

QLE Posted: July 17, 2019 at 02:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago, disco demolition night, footage, forfeits, television, white sox

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

“I Got Lucky Man” Dennis Eckersley on Surviving His Tough Times

Then on March 30, 1978, near the end of spring training, Eckersley was traded to the Red Sox along with catcher Fred Kendall for an assortment of four players, none of whom wound up altering the Indians’ fortunes.

The same day, his wife Denise, whom he’d married when they were both 18 and with whom he had an infant daughter, Mandee, told him she wanted a divorce. A few months later she told him she wanted to marry his best friend, Indians center fielder Rick Manning….

During a Red Sox-Indians game earlier this season, I saw Eckersley behind the Fenway Park press box gathering intelligence on the Indians from one of the team’s broadcasters. The other guy looked familiar, an ex-ballplayer for sure, a face from a baseball card long ...

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Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: July 16, 2019 at 10:08 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, broadcasters, cubs, hall of fame, red sox


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-16-2019

Toledo News-Bee, July 16, 1919:

Carl Mays, the submarine hurler, has quit the Boston Red Sox.

This followed an argument with Manager Barrow, it is said. Mays left the team, in Chicago, without saying goodby [sic] to Barrow and is now in Boston. However, he is quoted as saying, “Ed Barrow is a fine fellow and a gentleman, but I cannot preserve my self-respect and remain with the Red Sox.”

Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and New York American league clubs are said to be seeking the services of Mays.

It’s a darn shame he didn’t end up with Cleveland. Might have unwittingly saved a life.

From what I’ve read, it seems like this wasn’t a result of a personality conflict; pretty much nobody liked Carl Mays. That was nothing new. Mays had been going ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Report: Advertising patches coming to MLB uniforms within three years

Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal reports that Major League Baseball is working on adding advertising patches to uniforms, not unlike the uniform patches that have created a windfall for the NBA. Advertising patches on uniforms would require approval from the MLB Players Association, likely when the next collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon. The current CBA is set to expire on December 1, 2021.

MLB executive vice president of business and sales Noah Garden said, “We’re examining the patch, but clearly we have things to work through first. I’d say it’s inevitable down the road, but certainly not immediate. This is something that requires a fairly long runway. There are lots of things to take into consideration, but ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 09:59 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: advertising

Lofton: Patches in progress for MLB: Advertising logos are coming to MLB uniforms, but there are questions about cost, location and timing.

Expect advertising logos on MLB uniforms within three years. Such was the buzz among the marketing cognoscenti at last week’s MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland. A handful of MLB teams have already reached out to marketing agencies for evaluations and pricing estimates for the proposed new marketing inventory.

. . .

The math is intriguing, as there are 82 games in an NBA regular season compared to MLB’s 162-game schedule. Baseball also has far more static TV shots than the NBA, which should allow more “exposure opportunities.” Still, Kyle Folts, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment’s vice president of insights, said it would be a fallacy to conclude that MLB ad patches should be worth twice as much as NBA uniform advertising.


Cubs send Mike Montgomery to Royals, receive Martin Maldonado in return

Kansas City acquired lefty Mike Montgomery from Chicago on Monday, the team announced. The Cubs got catcher Martín Maldonado in return.

The Royals signed Maldonado to a one-year deal in March, but the 32-year-old has underperformed at the plate, batting .224 after 73 games with the club.

Meanwhile, Montgomery made 20 relief appearances with the Cubs this season. He is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:59 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: martin maldonado

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