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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Baseball, Judgment, and Technocracy

(Alan) Jacobs, a life-long fan, explained why the game was losing its hold on him. Chiefly, it amounted to the triumph of fine-grained analytics dictating team strategy. As Jacobs succinctly put it, “Strangely enough, baseball was better when we knew less about the most effective way to play it.”

This paradoxical point, with which I tend to agree, raises an interesting question. By way of getting to that question, I’ll first recall for us Heidegger’s distinction between what is correct and what is true. What is correct may not yet be true, in part because it may be incomplete and thus potentially if not actually misleading. Perhaps we might similarly distinguish, along the lines of Jacobs’s analysis, between what is correct and ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-3-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, July 3, 1919:

“If I was Mack, I’d tell them guys,” piped the guy in the brown derby, “there ain’t no baseball law, written or unwritten, that prevents them from winnin’ more than two games in a row.”
...
Babe Ruth wants to know if the national prohibition law applies to the American League.

Not much baseball news in the papers of July 3, 1919, as everybody was getting hyped up for the Dempsey-Willard championship fight on July 4.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 03, 2019 at 10:00 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

While Rays pull Rays things, fans left to wallow in embarrassment

Trevor, a University of Florida student who was born and raised in Tampa, said it’s just hard to be a Rays fan, even when they’re winning.

“There was a period from 2008-2010 when everyone was diehard Rays fans,” he said, “but then they got rid of the manager and fired all the players.” Even if that’s not quite right — baseball teams rarely fire their players — it’s indicative of the perception in Tampa Bay that the Rays’ desire to win while sticking to their self-imposed budget trumps their desire to field a team of exciting talent. It’s why they were one of the teams that Players Association filed a grievance against last year for failing to spend sufficiently.

This last point is key. Some people have argued that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 02, 2019 at 03:41 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: rays


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2019

Washington Times, July 2, 1919:

The New York Yankees…are performing at the famous Polo Grounds in the metropolis for their last season. This became known today when advices from New York told of the amitious plans being made by the New York National League club for the improvement of the property.
...
The owners of the Yankees…will have to rustle around and find new quarters before the 1920 campaign gets under way. This move was threatened five years ago, the entrance of the Federal League into the world of baseball causing a postponement.
...
The Giants feel that, after going to great expense of making the Polo Grounds the ideal baseball field in the metropolis, they should be permitted to enjoy it by themselves.

The Yankees got a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2019 at 12:41 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Yankees Are About To Sign a 16 Year Old Superstar Who Is Being Compared To God, Mike Trout, and Mickey Mantle - Barstool Sports

Tomorrow is a special day in the history of mankind. It’s the day Jasson Dominguez becomes a New York Yankee. I normally wouldn’t write a White Sox Dave-esque blog about a prospect because I know you guys don’t really care, BUT Jasson Dominguez might actually be the best baseball prospect in the history of the sport. He is what I like to call a God Child. And no, I will not stand for those saying there’s no way he’s 16 and that he’s actually 25. Brian Cashman is a good man with good values. Also, the rest of baseball better hope he’s 25 because if he’s actually 16 he’s still growing into his body and has limitless potential.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2019 at 10:15 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: ifa, international free agents, yankees

Pirates slugger Josh Bell bashes three homers in rout of Cubs

“Bell is pumped for the chance to step into the batter’s box and swing for the fences with everyone in baseball watching”<

Josh Bell has gotten little ink this year compared to Yelich and Bellinger.  Maybe it’s been the need for bigger and bigger sample sizes to validate his regular season performance, or maybe it’s because those other two’s rate stats were otherworldly for so long.

Half a season in, Bell is on pace for 112 extra base hits.  No way, right? 

Or ... ?

Lest we forget Posted: July 02, 2019 at 10:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: extra base hits, josh bell, pirates, superstars

Mets sorry for having 2 living alums in memorial

Mets being Mets.

Walt Davis Posted: July 02, 2019 at 10:15 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Monday, July 01, 2019

Twitter: MLB issued a statement about the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Sad news.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2019 at 05:14 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, tyler skaggs


Brian Cashman not giving up hope on Luis Severino returning in 2019

Asked if Severino would be back this year, Cashman remains encouraged.

“No, there’s still time for that. It just makes me wonder, obviously, when we’re going to get the lat right,’’ the GM said. “It’s just not healed yet, but it’s close. But it’s unfortunate that he needs more time.”

According to Boone, a scheduled MRI exam this past week showed the lat was almost healed but soreness in the area resulted in Severino being scratched from a bullpen session.

“He had a little bit of soreness and we held off a little bit. He re-MRI-ed which is what we wanted to do before he got back on the mound. He is about 90 percent healed so we kind of slowed it down,’’ Boone said. “He will probably be throwing again, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2019 at 06:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: luis severino, yankees

The Yankees’ brilliance is reaching ridiculous levels

By the time they were done with two games — which lasted a combined 9 hours and 6 minutes, needed 796 pitches to complete, encompassed 50 runs on 65 hits on a turf that played quickly and alleys that welcomed extra-base hits, and extensive foul territory that evoked the unexpected and blinding sun that peeked through the overhang that looped London Stadium — the Yankees had not only won the first MLB games played on this continent, but had furthered galvanized the thought that there is magic about them.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2019 at 06:51 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Red Sox’ Alex Cora in awe of Yankees’ Carlos Beltran

“I was joking with somebody that their biggest free-agent acquisition is [special adviser] Carlos Beltran. I know how he works. He’s helped them a lot. They’re very into details, and we have to clean our details. It was eye-opening, the last two days, from top to bottom.

“I’m not saying devices, all that stuff. It’s just stuff that the game will dictate. And we’ll scream at people, and it’s right there. Throughout the evening, I was looking, and I saw it. And right now they’re doing a lot better than us. So we need to get better.”

Asked specifically whether his pitchers, who got battered for 29 runs and 32 hits over these two games, were tipping what was coming, Cora said, “This weekend, we did everything. We tipped ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2019 at 06:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Red Sox owner John Henry gives idea of Red Sox’ approach at Major League Baseball trade deadline | WEEI

And as frustrating as the two games against the Yankees might have been Saturday and Sunday, in which the Red Sox were outscored 29-21 in two losses, it is Henry’s team’s overall lot in life that offers the true frustration. That much was clear when the Sox’ owner spoke with WEEI.com on the London Stadium field just prior to the series opener.

“I don’t feel good about the way we’ve played thus far,” said Henry prior to seeing his team fall 11 games in back of the first-place Yankees.

Then when asked if the approach heading into July has to still be to wait and see what transpires over the next few weeks, he was quick with his response, “We’ve been waiting and seeing. It’s not wait and see. It’s ‘you expect to pick it up’ in the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2019 at 06:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

2019 All-Stars by league, position | MLB.com

The complete teams.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (July 2019)

No summer doldrums this month — not when there’s a Sundance breakout drama, a new Pagan horror movie from the guy who gave you Hereditary and Quentin Tarantino’s valentine to old-school Sixties Tinseltown on the horizon.


Sunday, June 30, 2019

St. Pete’s futile history with the Rays

Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg is at odds with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. It isn’t the first time the Rays and City Hall have been far apart. Will it be the last?

Bote Man Posted: June 30, 2019 at 10:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ballpark development, extortion, politics, tampa bay rays

ESPN:Miller:Even for homer-happy 2019, offense is out of control at Coors Field

In 2017, the Denver Post profiled Tony Cowell, the Coors Field stadium engineer who…conceived of a humidor that would bring Coors Field’s extraordinary offensive environment to heel.

...It took 18 seasons after Cowell’s miracle cure for altitude, but Coors Field has fought back. Its Park Factor has been steadily rising, and this year it has reached a new post-humidor extreme. Nothing in that park is normal anymore.

Lots of stats in the article, such as oddball stuff like Charlie Blackmon’s splits (1.495 home OPS, .653 road OPS) but also more substantive stuff like this:

Rockies pitchers have a 3.90 ERA on the road, which is the fourth-lowest mark in baseball…Those same pitchers have a 6.45 ERA at home, which is the second-worst home ...

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puck Posted: June 30, 2019 at 10:03 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: bludgeon ball, colorado rockies, coors field

Passan—How Wander Franco became MLB’s next can’t-miss kid

The next big thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2019 at 07:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, wander franco

Saturday, June 29, 2019


Rozner: MLB’s simple answer is they were expendable

The Players Association should help the 630 financially. Exactly how, I don’t know.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 29, 2019 at 09:56 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pensions

Friday, June 28, 2019

Brewers bringing Keston Hiura back

Hiura and Tyler Saladino go to the Brewers. Travis Shaw optioned to AAA. Hernan Perez designated for assignment which was the surprise to Brewers fans as Perez is a fan favorite.

Master of the Horse Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: keston hiura, milwaukee brewers

2019 MLB Futures Game Rosters, Preview

This year’s Futures Game rosters are spectacular. There’s really no other way to put it. The top three prospects in the game—Wander Franco, Jo Adell and MacKenzie Gore—will all be there, as will a scintillating array of the rest of the Top 100. Altogether 36 of the 50 players selected for the Futures Game are currently on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list.

To see full analysis on every prospect playing in the game, click here.

Part of the reason the game was able to collect such vast swath of talent was because of this year’s format switch. Instead of pitting U.S.-born prospects against their counterparts from across the globe, the game will adopt the same format AL vs. NL format as the All-Star Game.

So while all of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: futures game

Phillies are overpriced as long as Bryce Harper is a shell of himself

“It’s possible baseball observers will have to accept that his fantastic 2015 season was a fluke.”

Harper fans can say, “Hey, it’s only half a season.”

Lest we forget Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, buyer's regret, fantasy, judd nelson, phillies

Rays to call up top two-way prospect Brendan McKay to start on Saturday

According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin, the Tampa Bay Rays will promote top prospect Brendan McKay to start on Saturday.

McKay, the team’s No. 2 prospect and the No. 23 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was a two-way star at Louisville, where he earned the Golden Spikes Award. After being selected fourth overall in 2017, he will be the sixth player in his class to make the majors.

McKay has rocketed up the Rays’ system despite having to develop as both a left-handed starter and first baseman/designated hitter. Between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this season, McKay owns a 1.22 ERA in 66 2/3 innings, while slashing .205/.313/.331 at the plate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: brendan mckay

MLB umpire going to bat for teen at center of Lakewood youth baseball brawl

His heart went out to Cordova, the 13-year-old who was umpiring a Bear Creek Junior Sports Association baseball game in Lakewood on June 15 where a brawl broke out among the adults in attendance. Video footage of the scrum almost immediately went viral, and Lakewood police subsequently issued citations for disorderly conduct to a dozen spectators, ranging in ages from 24 to 55, who were reportedly involved in the skirmish.

“So I was sickened, really. I couldn’t believe this happened,” Guccione said. “It is embarrassing. It’s a 7-year-old game with a 13-year-old umpire? Come on.”

Umps have to stick together, and Guccione was so moved by Cordova’s composure under the circumstances that he invited the teen and his family to be ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: umpire

Red Sox Take World’s Most Luxurious Huge Charter Jet to London

Red Sox taking the Crystal Skye Boeing 777 to London, the most luxurious big jet in the world. Six hour trip for up to 88 people in flat first class seats with a full bar costs around $500,000.

PreservedFish Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: travel

Angels try to improve their performance against lefties … by moving a sign

The Angels suspect that an ad, of all things, might have contributed to their mysterious trouble hitting left-handed pitchers over the past several years.

The Angels have the worst batting average in the majors against lefties since 2015, which has been a well-chronicled head-scratcher. Throughout that time, the Angels’ best hitters, including Mike Trout, have been right-handed.

Months of study by the team’s analytics department concluded that a part of the problem might have been an ad on the center field fence, General Manager Billy Eppler said this week.

The ad had been encroaching toward the batters’ line of sight since 2012, moving to its furthest left position, closest to straightaway center, in 2015.

When the Angels ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2019 at 10:05 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels


Thursday, June 27, 2019


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