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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

Monday, July 22, 2019

Baseball card collectors suspected rampant fraud in their hobby. Now the FBI is investigating.

The green stadium seats shown on the baseball card are empty as Stan Musial, wearing a crisp white uniform, grips a bat and digs in. His eyes gaze toward the pitcher over his right shoulder, his white teeth peeking out in a grin. It’s almost as if, on this vividly colored card issued in 1952 by the Bowman Gum Company, “Stan the Man” has spotted a fat fastball.

The card’s lone obvious blemish is a stray black print mark on its white frame. Even with the defect, it sold in an online auction in late 2017 for $2,800.

Seven months later, a 1952 Bowman Stan Musial card without that print mark sold for $28,100. Collectors have since claimed the two cards are in fact the same item, improperly altered to inflate its value and then ...

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jmurph Posted: July 22, 2019 at 11:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2019

Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1919:

The Boston Redsox of the American league are said to be threatening a mutiny because of the reports that Carl Mays, right handed pitching star, is to be sold or traded to the New York Americans.
...
Mays quit the Redsox, with whom he had a $9,000 per year contract in the third inning of a game in Chicago and disappeared, announcing that he was through with baseball and would go on a fishing trip.
...
Instead of suspending him indefinitely or otherwise taking action…Barrow puzzled the critics and fans by beginning negotiations for the disposal of Mays to another club.

Red Sox players and fans were also said to be upset that Mays might end up with the Yankees. They should grab a helmet and strap in, because ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2019 at 10:20 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

For Some Players, Not Reaching the Hall Just Brings More Fame

Baseball has kept certain players at arm’s length because of scandals and accusations, but that often has bolstered the players’ popularity.

“It’s the law of unintended consequences,” John Thorn, the official M.L.B. historian, said in an interview, “that if you want to remove or restrict a man’s eligibility for official fame, you may accord him an unofficial fame that’s even greater.”


Everything you need to know about the new and improved MLB Trade Deadline

For a long time, Major League Baseball had the best, most exciting trade deadline among the four major sports. In recent seasons, that excitement has been eclipsed by the popularity of the NBA, but baseball still stands ahead of football and hockey in terms of in-season movement.

In an effort to shake things up a bit, baseball’s trade deadline underwent some changes in the offseason.

Notably, while July 31 has always been deadline day, in past years it was a bit of a misnomer. July 31 was technically just the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline in years past. The month of August has always allowed trades to be made as long as players pass through waivers. If a player is claimed off waivers, his team can either pull him back, let him go for ...

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QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: manfred is thinking about it, trade deadline, waivers

Six players inducted into National Baseball Hall of Fame

Six players were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, marking the 78th such class of inductees in MLB history. Following their election to the Hall in December and January, Mike Mussina, Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Lee Smith, and Mariano Rivera accepted the honor among an impressive gathering of their peers, while Brandy Halladay accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, Roy.

Mussina, 50, received 76.7% of the votes needed for induction in his sixth year on the ballot. Over an 18-year career split between the Orioles and Yankees, the right-hander was decorated with five All-Star designations and seven Gold Gloves, and led the league with 19 pitching wins in 1995. He capped his lengthy list of ...

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Giants’ relievers have fueled playoff push, but also are valuable trade assets

SAN FRANCISCO – The strength of this San Francisco Giants roster that has kept them in the NL wild-card race is also what makes them such an appealing trade partner.

The Giants’ bullpen, anchored by Will Smith, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson, entered Sunday with the second-best ERA in the National League.

That stout collection of relievers has made up for a poor offense and inconsistent starting pitching, and has them within 2 1/2 games of a wild-card spot.

Yet, those three standout relievers represent a chance for the Giants to infuse talent into a system that needs help.

The Giants are about as close to reaching the playoffs as the Red Sox are- but no one will ever run an article suggesting that they should trade Mookie Betts in ...

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QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 04:12 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, relievers, trade talk

Montgomery traded, but place in Cubs history secure

It took 108 years for the Cubs to end their championship drought, so the final play of that 2016 World Series won’t be forgotten any time soon.

Mike Montgomery, who at that point had no saves in his big league career, got Michael Martinez to hit a weak grounder for the last out of Game 7 in Cleveland. Chicago won 8-7 in 10 innings.

Montgomery was traded to Kansas City this past week in a deal that sent Martin Maldonado to the Cubs, closing the book on the left-hander’s stint in Chicago. Although he hasn’t had a very effective 2019 season, Montgomery’s place in Cubs lore is secure because of his contribution to the title team.

Brian Wilson begs to differ….

 

QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 03:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mike montgomery, trades

LEADING OFF: Skaggs’ funeral, White Sox debut full netting

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

PAYING RESPECTS

Ryan Braun will miss Milwaukee’s home game against the Cincinnati Reds to attend the funeral of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in a Texas hotel room on July 1. Braun and Skaggs were workout buddies. Mike Trout and the Angels have an off day between road series at Seattle and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tyler skaggs

‘I’m going to do the best I can’: Brandy Halladay was perfect in honoring Roy

They are eulogies in those binders they carry to the Sunday afternoon podium in Cooperstown.

Page by page, turned by trembling fingers, they are goodbyes.

Man by man, what they talk about is immortality. Line by line, tear by tear, what they honor, what they examine, what they express, is mortality.

So they find the eyes of their moms and dads, these men, to say thank you again. Sometimes they must pick a place in the sky that seems about right. They search for their children, their wives, their brothers and sisters, their friends, to say the things that got lost in the days. They’d finally written them down so they wouldn’t forget.

Some thoughts on what induction into the Hall of Fame means to those who participate in the ...

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QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 03:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, induction, roy halladay

Castellanos On Comerica: ‘This Park’s A Joke’

DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket)—Nicholas Castellanos saw one pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Blue Jays on Sunday. And that was all he needed to see to end the game, driving a Tim Mayza slider left over the plate into the bullpen—his first career walk-off home run and the Tigers’ fourth home win since the start of June.

It was Castellanos’ 11th homer of the season, just his 3rd at home. Of his 104 career home runs in six years, just 44 have come within the confines of Comerica Park. Surely, part of that can be contributed to the spacious dimensions of the Tigers’ home digs, one of the largest stadiums in the Major Leagues.

Following his walk-off on Sunday, Castellanos opened up on his feelings about Comerica, on a day where ...

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QLE Posted: July 22, 2019 at 03:40 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: comerica park, jokes, nicholas castellanos, outfield

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Andrew Cashner Would Have Sat Out If Traded To Undesirable Team

Back in May, right-hander Andrew Cashner suggested to Dan Connolly of The Athletic that he’d consider sitting out the rest of the season if the Orioles sent him to an undesirable destination by the July 31 trade deadline. Cashner, whom Baltimore traded to Boston last weekend, confirmed to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com that he indeed would have held out through year’s end had the Orioles dealt him somewhere he didn’t want to go.

“I mean what I said,” he told Cotillo. “This is one of the places I would come. It wasn’t a place that I would ever not come to. We’re talking about the World Series champions. Why would you not come here?”

Philadelphia was the only other team that showed reported interest in Cashner before his ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2019 at 02:57 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew cashner

SI: Stephanie Apstein: What Made Roy Fly

Roy Jr. taught Roy III to master two things. Many baseball fans know how the father searched for a house with a basement at least 60 feet, six inches long; charted the son’s velocity; honed his focus. They do not know that the father also passed on another, greater love: for flying.

Those moments in the air brought Roy III such pleasure, but knowing how it all ended, his mother, Linda, wishes he had never had them. She is angry with her son for whatever happened that day, for whatever he did that took him away from her. His sisters, Merinda and Heather, agree. “I’d rather he be here and miserable,” Heather says. Roy Jr. does not traffic in counterfactuals.

“I wish that he had been more careful,” he says, “But I’m not ...

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puck Posted: July 21, 2019 at 08:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, hall of fame, phillies, roy halladay

Aaron Boone Melts All The Way Down, Torches Umpire With Incredible Rant

From the first game of yesterday’s double header against the Rays, but worth the click through just to see Brett Gardner going absolutely nuts in the dugout behind Boone

Aaron Boone did not make it very far into in this afternoon’s Rays-Yankees game. In just the second inning, umpire Brennan Miller had apparently been a bad enough job calling balls and strikes by Boone’s measure that he stormed out of his dugout and absolutely ripped into Miller. Brett Gardner had just struck out on a called third strike, and Boone let Miller have it so as to protect Gardner, who was going wild with a bat in the dugout.


Saturday, July 20, 2019


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 | 16 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 | 13 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 | 151 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 | 3 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 | 55 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 | 23 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 | 12 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 | 28 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 | 10 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

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