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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Four Soon-to-Be MLB Free Agents Whose Stock Is Rising

The winter’s free-agency freeze induced a wave of anxiety around baseball, leading to a slew of extensions signed early in the season. Brandon Lowe agreed to a six-year deal in Tampa Bay after just 129 MLB at-bats. Eloy Jimenez signed long-term with the White Sox before he ever set foot in an MLB batter’s box. Many players seem either desperate to shed their rookie deals or terrified of entering free agency. The market’s paralysis can deter even the top talents from leaving their current teams. (See Arenado, Nolan and Trout, Michael.)

There remains a sample of quality free agents in the 2019-20 class, however, even if J.D. Martinez and Stephen Strasburg choose not to opt out of their current deals. Expect multiple nine-figure ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:13 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, free agency, gerrit cole, josh donaldson, will smith

MLB Should Threaten Tanking Teams With Relegation

Jumping ahead to the key part of the argument:

How do you fix that, though? Simple: You make losing as painful as possible, and in that vein, there’s no better way to stop tanking in baseball than to borrow a page from the Premier League’s book and institute relegation. At the end of the season, the six worst teams in the majors—three from each league—are sent down to Triple A. If the Orioles aren’t capable of contending at the major league level, then they shouldn’t be here. Nor should the Tigers or the Marlins or the half-dozen other teams seemingly content to waste everyone’s time.

I think this would be entertaining- but, then again, my hometown probably would end up with an MLB team if this rule were applied this ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:04 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, relegation, tanking

Jeter noncommittal on Mattingly’s future as manager

MIAMI (AP) — His club seemingly headed to a second consecutive last-place finish in the NL East, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter isn’t ready to disclose whether manager Don Mattingly will return next season.

“There hasn’t been a decision yet,” Jeter said before Miami hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night. “To be honest with you, we’ve been so focused on the trade deadline and see what we could do with it.”

“At the end of every year, we sit down and evaluate all members of the organization, whether it’s the manager, coaches, player development, scouting, front office,” he said.

Mattingly is in the final year of a four-year contract. The former Dodgers manager was hired by ex-owner Jeffrey Loria prior to ...

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Buster Posey explains why robot umps could call more balls than strike

Robot umps.

Weird thought, right?

But it’s something being implemented and tested in the baseball world. The independent Atlantic League was the first victim to test the newest technology that includes a real-life umpire still manning his or her duties behind the plate while they wear an earpiece connected to an iPhone. That person would then relay the call from the TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar.

That’s at least how plate umpire Brian deBrauwere executed it back in July as he described it to ESPN. And Giants catcher Buster Posey isn’t too sure about this new technology, specifically if these robot umps would call more balls or strikes.

Worse still, they could all end up under the control of Dick Jones, and wind up ...

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Source: A’s sign former All-Star Matt Harvey minor league contract

The A’s are taking a chance on Matt Harvey.

A source confirmed to NBC Sports California’s Ben Ross that the A’s signed Harvey to a minor league contract. Roster Resource first reported the sides were nearing an agreement, and Jon Heyman first reported the deal.

Harvey was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during the first three seasons of his career, making the All-Star Game and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2013. He partially tore his UCL that season and missed all of 2014 after underoing Tommy John surgery, but Harvey returned to form in 2015 and helped lead the Mets to the NL pennant.

And with the minor league season over in a little over three weeks too….

 

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, matt harvey

Indians OF Puig becomes American citizen

Cleveland Indians outfielder Yasiel Puig, who defected from Cuba in 2012, became an American citizen on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old posted a photo on Twitter with the message: “Thank you God for this great opportunity to be an American citizen.”

Puig’s journey to the United States was long, dangerous and complicated. A star on the Cuban national team, he made four attempts to defect from Cuba before being successfully transported out of the country by an alien-smuggling-and-boat-theft ring with links to the Mexican cartel Los Zetas. He subsequently faced death threats and extortion attempts as a result of his escape.

The Outfielder Who Went On Suspension And Came Back A Citizen wasn’t a bad Hugh Grant vehicle, but it was a strange one…. ...Read More...

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: citizenship, yasiel puig

MLB can appeal to a younger audience by embracing what’s behind the curtain

NEW YORK — They’re selling T-shirts that read “Savages in the Box,’’ a slightly-sanitized version of Aaron Boone’s now famous three-week-old tirade, in the Yankee Stadium souvenir shops.

The shirts are $40 a pop and the lady behind the counter told me she can hardly keep them on the shelves.

The players are wearing them in the clubhouse, too, and there is even a sportswriter version, reading “Savages in the Press Box,’’ which goes for a mere $25.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball would like to pretend, at least publicly, that baseball players and managers don’t really talk like that.

I know that this is a losing battle (and that, for various reasons, this site’s a bad place for it even more than many others), but is ...

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QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, decorum, mlb

Jake Arrieta doesn’t expect to pitch again this season

Phillies starter Jake Arrieta has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to bone spurs in his right elbow. It’s an issue he has been dealing with for most of the season and was diagnosed with last month. Arrieta will undergo an arthrogram on Thursday, per Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, which will help the Phillies determine the next step which could involve surgery. For what it’s worth, Arrieta said he doesn’t expect to pitch again this season, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.

Arrieta, 33, posted an ugly 4.64 ERA with 110 strikeouts and 51 walks in 135 2/3 innings of work this season for the Phillies. He was inconsistent for much of the first half of the season, then couldn’t pitch deep into games once he ...

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QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: elbow, jake arrieta, phillies


Pujols stands alone atop foreign-born hits list

ANAHEIM—The milestones keep coming for Albert Pujols, who set another record on Wednesday, as he became the all-time hits leader among players born outside the United States, passing Adrian Beltre with career hit No. 3,167 on an RBI single to right field in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s 7-4 win over the Pirates.

Pujols came to the plate against right-hander Chris Archer with two outs, and scored Mike Trout with a single to right after Trout stole second. The single helped Pujols move into 15th place on the all-time hits list and past Beltre, who, like Pujols, hails from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Pujols went 2-for-4 with three RBIs on the night, adding a two-run single in the eighth.

...

“It’s pretty special. but I give ...

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QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 03:54 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, hits, milestones

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

NCAA Committee Approves Pitch Clock For College Baseball In 2020

After several false starts over the last decade, a 20-second pitch clock is coming to college baseball in 2020, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.

The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the pitch clock after the Baseball Rules Committee last month recommended the measure. The 20-second clock will be enforced before all pitches. If a pitcher violates the rule, a ball will be awarded and a violation by a hitter will result in a strike.

Significantly, it will be optional for schools to install visible pitch clocks. If a school does not have a clock, an umpire will keep the time on the field.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:19 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball

A’s Jurickson Profar told role to be reduced; ‘I’m OK with it,’ he says

With the addition of Corban Joseph to the A’s on Wednesday, Jurickson Profar is being pushed into the background. And it’s official: Manager Bob Melvin has spoken to Profar about his greatly reduced role.

Profar, the A’s primary second baseman much of the season, understands the decision.

“I don’t feel like I’ve been contributing like I’m capable of, so I’m OK with it,” Profar told The Chronicle. “I’ll just keep working and try to find it.”

Profar is batting .205, and his on-base percentage is only .268. He’s also struggled with his throwing all year; scouts believe he has the yips, and while he’s worked hard to improve things, Profar still makes too many big, looping throws to first, some of them painfully ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:15 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jurickson profar

Wild video shows cops pulling guns on Yankees GM Brian Cashman

Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s harrowing run-in with gun-toting Connecticut cops — in which they demand he put his hands up before recognizing him — was captured on newly released police bodycam video.

“Put your hands out the window!” yells an officer from the town of Darien, who stopped the Bombers executive’s car last Friday and drew their weapons, thinking it had been stolen.

Cashman, 52, his heard on the recording trying to explain that the NYPD had recovered the white Jeep Wrangler in the Bronx — and he was driving it to police in Norwalk for an evidence check.

“I picked it up…,” Cashman starts to say.

But he is quickly cut off by the cops, who say: “Understood sir, we’ll talk to you in a second.”

“I know ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:15 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman


How The Little League World Series Became One Of Summer’s Most-Watched Sporting Events

Television networks have long understood the lure of Little League. CBS first aired the Little League championship game in 1953, on tape delay and in black and white. ABC broadcast the game live for the first time in 1960 but then made it a regular Sunday feature of its Wide World of Sports coverage starting in 1963.

ABC took the game live in 1985 while also becoming the first network to mount a small camera on the mask of the home plate umpire.

Shortly after ABC Sports and ESPN integrated in the mid-1990s, the network started covering Little League. In 2000, ESPN aired 12 Little League games before adding the regional championship games the following year.

By 2012, ESPN was broadcasting 66 Little League games, including the girls ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:28 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: little league world series

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-14-2019

New York Tribune, August 14, 1919:

Outgamed, outplayed and outlucked by Pat Moran’s Cincinnati Reds, the Giants lost two melodramatic games at the Polo Grounds yesterday, slumping six and a half games behind the leaders…What is conceded by the oldest inhabitants to be the record baseball attendance witnessed the obsequies. It is estimated that there were something like 40,000 persons looking on.

Experts on high baseball explosives detected an ominous sound during the two games—a sound as of the Giants cracking under the strain.

They just don’t write ‘em like they used to.

Elsewhere in the news 100 year ago today, former Cardinals and Athletics catcher Pete Noonan has reportedly inherited a million dollars.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 14, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Ringer: How Lance Lynn Became the Best Pitcher in the AL

Like all great bits, my effusive adoration for Lynn was grounded partially in the truth—two truths, to be exact. The first is that Lynn specifically was underrated. From 2010 to 2018, 24 starting pitchers had at least three seasons with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and an ERA+ of 120 or better. Ten of them have won at least one Cy Young Award, and another eight have finished third or better. But of those 24 starting pitchers, only Lynn and Hiroki Kuroda have never earned a single Cy Young vote.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 14, 2019 at 08:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: lance lynn, pitching, rangers, war

‘Terrific!’: Trump hails potential congressional run by Curt Schilling

“Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!” Trump tweeted, roughly 45 minutes after a “Fox & Friends” segment about Schilling’s potential campaign.

NattyBoh Posted: August 14, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, curt schilling, politics

The keys to Tigers’ rebuild are ‘right around the corner’ from majors

PORTLAND, Maine — Even with nearly two decades in professional baseball, Mike Rabelo still couldn’t hide his giddy enthusiasm for his current team’s stacked pitching rotation.

The manager at Double-A Erie and former big league catcher gushed over the talents of Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Tarik Skubal and Joey Wentz, who, along with Triple-A Toledo starter Beau Burrows, are at the forefront of the Detroit Tigers’ rebuild.

“I’m not moving the chess pieces, but if I had to say, this is the group. And rightfully so,” Rabelo told Yahoo Sports. “They’re right around the corner from pitching in Comerica [Park].”

The Erie pitchers themselves know it’s a long process and are focused on the here and now. But Rabelo ...

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QLE Posted: August 14, 2019 at 05:07 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, double a, tigers

Manuel, 75, back in Phils’ dugout as hitting coach

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired former manager Charlie Manuel as the team’s new hitting coach after relieving John Mallee of his duties, the team announced Tuesday.

Manuel, 75, last managed the Phillies in 2013. He is the franchise’s winningest manager with a 780-636 mark, leading the team to a 2008 World Series championship and five straight division titles.

“The reason we did this today is because we have 44 more game remaining and we’re two games out of the playoffs,” general manager Matt Klentak said Tuesday. “I know a lot of people are burying us, saying we have no chance and we haven’t played well.

“Part of that is correct. We have not played well. We have not hit well, especially since the All-Star break. But we are not ...

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QLE Posted: August 14, 2019 at 04:58 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie manuel, hitting coaches, phillies

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Michael Schur will also call a White Sox game alongside Jason Benettii

Earlier this week, news came that Bill Walton would be joining Jason Benetti in the White Sox booth when they were in Anaheim to take on the Angels. That was obviously good news (well, unless maybe you’re a diehard White Sox fan, but even then.)...

Now, thanks to The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg, another of the mystery partners has been revealed: television showrunner Michael Schur, executive producer of Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Good Place. Schur wrote for and acted on The Office. Perhaps most relevantly, of course, is Schur’s background as one of the founders of Fire Joe Morgan, a blog dedicated to critiquing bad sports broadcasting and/or journalism.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 11:31 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Red Sox lefty Chris Sale becomes fastest pitcher to 2,000 strikeouts in MLB history

Via Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, here are the six fastest in terms of innings needed to get to 2,000:

Sale, 1626 innings
Pedro Martinez, 1711 1/3
Randy Johnson, 1733 1/3
Max Scherzer, 1784
Clayton Kershaw, 1837 2/3
Nolan Ryan, 1865 2/3

While Sale, Scherzer and Kershaw are (or have been) excellent pitchers, it would be nice if articles like this would point out how much strike outs have increased in the game, for context—and the same holds for articles about home runs

Srul Itza Posted: August 13, 2019 at 10:15 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: history


A-Rod’s valuables taken from car after S.F. game

“ESPN baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez was among a group of people who had valuables stolen from an SUV Sunday night in San Francisco.”

Shame. 

But ...

$500,000 worth of jewelry and other items?  Who keeps those kind of goodies in their vehicle? 

Still, a shame.

Lest we forget Posted: August 13, 2019 at 12:14 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, espn

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-13-2019

Bridgeport Times, August 13, 1919:

Organized baseball is about to receive a thorough housecleaning. Sick and tired of the manner in which the present National Commission has governed the game, the clubowners of both the American and National Leagues, at a recent meeting decided to make a drastic change.

The change will be the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, of Chicago, as supreme head of organized baseball.

They weren’t wrong. It just took about 15 months to happen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 13, 2019 at 10:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Who’s Going to Win the Chaotic NL Wild-Card Race?

The National League wild-card race is a big stupid mess. With Sunday’s games in the books, six teams are within five games of the second spot, with Washington and St. Louis hanging onto postseason positions for dear life. How long they can dig their fingernails into the cliff for the next six-plus weeks depends on whether the group behind them can put together a run. The Mets are the latest of those clubs to get red-hot, but even that blazing stretch has only put them in the thick of the race instead of at the top of the heap.

Is there a favorite, though, in that stew of squads? To find out, let’s dive into each of the eight teams still vying for the two wild-card spots and decide which pair are the better bets to play on into ...

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QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:21 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, diamondbacks, giants, mets, nationals, phillies, reds

Lenny Dykstra to fight ‘Bagel Boss’ Chris Morgan in Atlantic City boxing match

The winding post-baseball tale of Lenny Dykstra has another strange new chapter.

The three-time All-Star and World Series champion is slated to fight “Bagel Boss” Chris Morgan in Atlantic City. The two will square off in a boxing ring at the Showboat Hotel on Sept. 7 in a deal announced Monday.

At the rate it’s going, within the next five years Lenny Dykstra will be fighting his fellow hobos for a can of baked beans under the pier.

 

QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:10 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: fights, lenny dykstra

Even-keeled Twins trying to stay that way in tight race

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The home clubhouse in Minnesota was silent after the final game of the series was lost to Cleveland in distressing fashion, a fifth defeat in the last seven contests for the Twins that let the surging Indians create another tie for the division lead.

As players packed for a road trip, minus the usual upbeat music blaring in the background, the mood in the room was hardly somber or tense. Even having the would-be winning run get thrown out at the plate in the ninth inning and the team’s top relief pitcher give up a grand slam in the 10th did not qualify as a devastating development amid the 162-game grind of baseball.

Particularly not under the supervision of rookie manager Rocco Baldelli, whose perpetually relaxed ...

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QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 05:00 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, rocco baldelli, twins

A retrospective on the lost 1994 season

Twenty-five years ago today, the baseball season abruptly ended as the players went on strike, protesting a major overreach by ownership which attempted to consolidate too much power in the hands of the commissioner. Ownership really wanted to implement a salary cap, which then-union executive director Donald Fehr correctly said would come with no benefit to the players. It wasn’t just about that, though. Ownership had been deceitful many times in years past, so the union was distrustful and resentment festered.

There were no playoffs, no World Series in 1994. Awards were given out, but it was little solace for some of the players and teams in the midst of outstanding, potentially career- or franchise-altering seasons. Let’s take a ...

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The players who crossed the picket line in 1995

When I was a kid (I’m 31 now), the term “replacement player” had a totally different meaning than it does now. To me, back then, it meant a fill-in player in a video game meant to represent somebody else. There were a handful of stand-ins in video games because certain players crossed the picket line in spring training 1995 after the work stoppage. Because the strikebreakers were rightfully not welcome in the union, their names and likenesses could not be used in MLBPA licensed products, including video games. As a result, game developers used fake names and likenesses for those players.

As Craig pointed out to me in a brief chat we had while brainstorming our strike anniversary ideas, in High Heat Major League Baseball 1999, Braves ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 13, 2019 at 04:39 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: 1994 strike, replacement players, scabs

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