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Thursday, June 27, 2019

BBTF SoCal meet up starts here.

The first $50 (that’s at least 2 pies) are on me ...

It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: June 27, 2019 at 09:33 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: pizza

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 | 165 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Monday, July 15, 2019


2019 Trade Value: Intro and Honorable Mentions | FanGraphs Baseball

For those new to the series, it represents an attempt to answer the question “Who would bring back the most in trade if he were put on the market before the deadline?” What’s notable about this list — as opposed to the prospect lists I assemble with Eric Longenhagen — is that my opinion doesn’t matter. The goal here isn’t for me to project anyone’s future value but rather to capture the opinions of the industry and express how it values players in reality, right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 15, 2019 at 12:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: trade value

Red Sox acquire Cashner from O’s for rotation

The Red Sox filled a big need with 18 days to spare before the July 31 Trade Deadline, acquiring righty starter Andrew Cashner from the Orioles in exchange for Minor League infielder Noelberth Romero and Minor League outfielder Elio Prado on Saturday.

Cashner will report to the Red Sox on Sunday and make his first start on Tuesday against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.

The fifth spot in the rotation has been a weakness for the Red Sox since Nathan Eovaldi went down in mid-April with a right elbow injury.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 11:31 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew cashner

Royals trade pitcher Homer Bailey to Oakland for minor-league infielder

The Royals scratched Bailey from the lineup roughly a half hour before his start against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium, and just before first pitch they announced he’d been traded to Oakland in exchange for minor-league infielder Kevin Merrell…..

Bailey, a veteran right-hander, signed a minor-league deal with the Royals in February after having been traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Los Angeles Dodgers and released in what amounted to a salary dump for the Reds. He was part of the trade that sent Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds.

Bailey, 33, has gone 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 18 starts this season. In his past six starts, he’s posted a 3-0 record with a 2.83 ERA.

Bailey, a former first-round pick of the Reds who has ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 11:31 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: homer bailey

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-15-2019

Washington Herald, July 15, 1919:

When Steve Evans came up to the major leagues with the Cardinals some years ago he was a first baseman. Like most young ball players, Steve thought pretty well of his own ability. He was quite satisfied that he would make good as a first-sacker in the big show—and then one day he saw Fred Tenney...[Evans] looked at him in silence for perhaps five minutes, and then, walking to the dugout, he threw down his first baseman’s mitt.

“I thought I was a first baseman,” he said, with a shake of his head, “but I’m not. That bird out there is, though from now on I’m going to devote my time to the outfield.”

It’s a nice story and maybe it’s even true, but the Cardinals were never going to move the best first baseman ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 10:48 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Opportunity Cost | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

“I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t think about it,” Yelich, 27, says. “I don’t think I can say I regret that decision, but I think it’s human nature to think about the what-ifs. But then you go down a whole other thing of what-ifs after you say what if to that one.

“At the time it was the decision that I thought was right for myself and my family. I understood what I was doing. Obviously, now it looks terrible.”
...
Similarly, Paul Goldschmidt primarily was known in Arizona as one of the premier sluggers and nicest men in the game—and for being saddled with the game’s most club-friendly contract. In March 2013, he signed a five-year, $32 million deal after his first full big league season.

“It’s only team-friendly if you play ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:53 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Saturday, July 13, 2019


Texas Rangers: With less than three weeks until the MLB trade deadline, the Rangers will ‘evaluate opportunities’ on both buying and selling | SportsDay

“We are going to evaluate opportunities and see what makes sense,” Daniels said, haltingly. “Sometimes it’s clear cut [on buyer or seller], but I don’t think we necessarily fit either of those categories. We have to figure out what makes the most sense. I’m slow to answer because it’s not black and white. There may be certain situations that don’t fit the buyer or seller characterization.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2019 at 11:49 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Brodie Van Wagenen wrong to hide behind ‘organization’ speak

Brodie Van Wagenen sat in the first-base dugout Friday afternoon at Marlins Park and answered quickly about his soon-to-be 40-51 Mets.

“I think that any time a team struggles it’s on the organization,’’ the general manager began.

“I think that this organization has provided baseball operations with a tremendous amount of support. They’ve given us autonomy to reach a consensus about what baseball moves we think are in the best interests of the organization and then we move forward collectively as one unit. I wouldn’t want to put the blame on players or coaches or scouts or anybody of that matter, but I can tell you that this team that we built was one that was a unified vision and it hasn’t worked. So I accept my ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2019 at 11:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Angels’ Taylor Cole and Felix Pena throw combined no-hitter against Mariners

Angels’ Taylor Cole and Felix Pena throw combined no-hitter against Seattle
Angels’ right-handers Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined on a no-hitter in a 13-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners, the same night they honored the late Tyler Skaggs by wearing his uniform No. 45 and last name on their jerseys. Skaggs’ mother, Debbie Hetman, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, no-hitters, tyler skaggs

Indians acquire Phil Maton from Padres

The Indians acquired right-handed reliever Phil Maton from the Padres, the teams revealed Friday. The Padres will receive international bonus pool allotments in the deal.

Maton, 26, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus shortly after the trade was finalized. He got off to a rough start in San Diego this season, and rounded off his three-year stint with an unsightly 7.77 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, and 7.4 SO/9 across 24 1/3 innings of relief in 2019. He’s expected to fill in as pitching depth in the Indians’ system for the time being, with the hope that he might eventually duplicate his Triple-A 2.89 ERA in the big leagues at some point.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phil maton

Draft signing deadline: Who signed, who didn’t?

The only two players in the first 10 rounds who did not sign pro contracts were Rangers seventh-rounder Brandon Sproat and Cubs ninth-rounder Wyatt Hendrie. A right-hander from Pace (Fla.) High, Sproat is committed to Florida. Hendrie, a catcher from Antelope Valley (Calif.) JC, would play at San Diego State next spring.

The total of two unsigned players from the first 10 rounds matched the record low set in 2016.

The 30 teams combined to spend $316,560,984 on Draft bonuses, eclipsing the record of $294,648,102 set last year. The 34 first-rounders signed for an average of $3,791,729, second all-time to the $3,880,723 average in 2017. No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman’s $8.1 million bonus from the Orioles was the largest in Draft ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Friday, July 12, 2019

Every team’s victory song, ranked

10. Yankees: “New York, New York” - Frank Sinatra

A classic Frank Sinatra jam about how New York helps him get over the “little town blues.” It’s the kind of thing only Yankees fans could love, and every other fan base would find obnoxious, making it a top tier choice….

2. Twins: “Let’s Go Crazy” - Prince

I mean, Prince is from Minnesota. How else could the Twins choose any other artist? This song is also pretty much a party distilled into music form.

1. Indians: “Cleveland Rocks” - Presidents of the United States of America

This song is so good you might actually be convinced that Cleveland does, in fact, rock.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:44 PM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: songs

Moon Magic: The Apollo 11 Landing Wasn’t the Only Fantastical Event of July 20, 1969

Hard to believe that the Moon landing is now closer to the Black Sox scandal than it is to today.

Every so often, in ensuing years, the Perrys and Armstrong would have another casual encounter: Chris played golf with him a few times, and in 2001 the astronaut stopped by Chris’s home in Ohio. Chris and Kathy’s unsuspecting five-year-old, Emily, took her grandpa’s friend by the hand for a tour, showed him a closet, a dead bug, her books—one that happened to be about . . . Apollo 11. “Oh,” she said finally, “your name is Neil Armstrong, too, isn’t it?”

But childlike wonder can’t last forever, especially in adults. Though they won a state high school baseball title together, became the only brothers to win the Cy ...

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ajnrules Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:43 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: gaylord perry, jim perry


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-12-2019

Harrisburg Telegraph, July 12, 1919:

Roger Peckinpaugh, New York, who hit safely in twenty-nine consecutive games…continues to lead the regulars in batting in the American League, his mark, .382, remaining unchanged from last week…Babe Ruth, the big Boston southpaw pitcher and outfielder, bagged two more homers and leads the circuit-drive hitters with 9.
...
Jim Thorpe, the Indian athlete, continued to lead the National League hitters and widened the gap between himself and Gavvy Cravath, recently appointed manager of Philadelphia. Thorpe’s mark is .397 and Cravath’s .356.

The more I read about Thorpe as a baseball player, the more I become convinced that he was a much better player than he’s given credit for. When he wasn’t being jerked ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 12, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

July 31 Trade Deadline FAQ | MLB.com

So can players still be placed on waivers after July 31?

Yes, players can still be placed on outright waivers and claimed by other clubs, but it has to be a straight waiver claim, meaning the new team takes on the player’s remaining contract and no other players are involved.

Sometimes veteran players on costly contracts are placed on waivers in the hope of shedding salary, so it’s possible you might see some high-priced players switch teams on waivers this August for that reason alone.

Are players acquired via waivers after July 31 still eligible for postseason rosters?

Yes. But the Aug. 31 postseason roster deadline still applies. If you are not in the organization before September, you cannot appear in the postseason for them.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2019 at 05:38 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: rules of the game

Thursday, July 11, 2019

MLB hands Jake Marisnick two-game suspension for home plate collision with Jonathan Lucroy

Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Jake Marisnick of the Houston Astros will be suspended two games for colliding with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer of Major League Baseball, was responsible for ruling on the collision, and explained his reasoning in the statement MLB released about the suspension.

“After thoroughly reviewing the play from all angles, I have concluded that Jake’s actions warrant discipline. While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision.”


Phil Coke and the Quest for 512 Wins: An OOTP experiment

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the win statistic is pretty dumb. It largely rewards a pitcher for having a good offense around him. One interesting wrinkle is that starting pitchers are required to pitch at least 5 innings to be eligible for the victory. If the starter is pulled with the lead before the end of the fifth inning, then his replacement is in line for the victory instead. This rule is a major reason why Tampa Bay “bulk guy” Ryan Yarbrough was able to win 16 games in 2018 despite making just 6 starts. I decided to take this rule to the absolute extreme. With the singular goal of maximizing his win total, I believe that even a mediocre relief pitcher could blow past Cy Young’s record of 511 wins.

kthejoker Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:50 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: ootp

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-11-2019

Washington Times, July 11, 1919:

[Terry] Turner has a grievance. You’ll recall the night of July 3 that Turner had been given his unconditional release by the Cleveland club. He was asked to go to Milwaukee for the remainder of the season at the same salary he was receiving from Cleveland, President James C. Dunn agreeing to guarantee his pay. Turner demurred simply because he thought he is still of major league caliber and that he had it coming from the Cleveland club to be carried throughout the remainder of the season.
...
Terry hasn’t been given to talking very much, as fans well know, but he declares that his release can be traced to one thing—Manager Lee Fohl’s dislike for him.

Turner also said the Indians released him at the end of ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Jerry Remy On His Son’s “Unforgivable” Crime

The trial date was set for the fall of 2014, but in May of that year, Jared decided to plead guilty to the charges against him. He told Phoebe that a trial would be a circus and that he didn’t want to put his family through that. He said, “I did this, this is my fault, this is my responsibility.”

He made his decision knowing that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He wasn’t looking for an out. No one was looking to get him out of anything. There was no out for anyone involved. We were just going through the legal process and dealing with everything that came with it. We were trying to deal with our grief as well as protect and do what was best for our grandchildren. What I do know is that it was a tragedy and, for our ...

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It was something about the man-spider and sodomy, Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:58 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: sadness

Extra Innings (1978)

Jim Bouton, former sportscaster, former actor, former author, former 20-game winner for the New York Yankees, arrives at his usual post at the edge of the bleachers’ behind the Richmond dugout. He can’t go on the field and he’s not willing to sit in the stands, so he loiters around the hot dog concession, looking around absently like a man who’s lost his bearings. At the age of 39, Bouton no longer resembles a fresh-faced Army recruit, as he did in 1964 when he won two games in the World Series. The hair is short again, but it’s graying, and the eyes are attracting crow’s feet. To the fans in Richmond, he must look like somebody’s dad trying to get a peek in the bullpen to see if his son is warming up. But it’s his own ...

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Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: July 11, 2019 at 07:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex belth, jim bouton, ted turner

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Ball Four Author Bouton Dies at Age 80

The author of the groundbreaking hardball tell-all “Ball Four” died Wednesday following a battle with a brain disease linked to dementia. The Newark, N.J., native died in the home he shared with his wife Paula Kurman after weeks of hospice care. He was 80.

SoSH U at work Posted: July 10, 2019 at 09:07 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: ball four, jim bouton, obituary

Murray Chass ending his blog that he says is not a blog

BBTF fave Murray Chass has a new project in mind, but exits with a story about the Fernando Tatis family.

Howie Menckel Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:42 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball writers, sabermetrics

Nightengale:  MLB players are furious, willing to strike over economic system: ‘We’re all united’

If all 30 teams were trying to win, it would at least make free agency more interesting, preventing players such as five-time All-Star Adam Jones sitting without a job until mid-March. He eventually signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, accepting a $14 million pay cut.

“I just can’t understand what happened to Adam Jones,” Cole said, “I still can’t wrap my head around that. “If you’re trying to win, that guy knows how to win. If you’re trying to start a franchise, that guy knows how to be an exemplary franchise player.

You know what happened to Adam Jones?  He became a replacement level player.  That $3M contract is an overpay, if anything.

But I get the players’ point, best explained by J.D. ...

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TDF, trained monkey Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:42 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: union

Baseball’s ‘robot umpires’ are here. And you might not even notice the difference.

The Atlantic League, an independent circuit with seven teams on the East Coast and one in Texas, will become the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game on Wednesday night in York, Pa.

“It’s amazing how good these robots look. They look just like the actual umpires,” league president Rick White joked in a phone interview. “I think once people actually see this happening, they’re going to realize it’s not that big a deal.”

League officials have quietly tested software, created by sports data firm Trackman and provided by Major League Baseball, for weeks during real games in New Britain, Conn., and Bridgewater, N.J. For a few innings or an entire game, umpires ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires

If baseball is any indication, the big data revolution is over

. Following the so-called moneyball revolution, which emphasized the value of statistical analysis for player acquisition and strategy, Statcast seemed to promise that there was finally enough data to fundamentally answer the game’s remaining questions.


But will it? History says no. Over the past century and a half, data revolutions have helped fans and managers better understand the game, but each was also deemed woefully inadequate within years of debuting.

The same is likely to happen to Statcast — and sooner than we might think. That’s not because some fatal technological flaw will emerge, but rather because of the nature of data itself. Data are, in essence, the things we rely on to make arguments and answer questions. And ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-10-2019

Washburn [Wisconsin] Times, July 10, 1919:

In a recent Memphis-Birmingham game Red Smith, Memphis catcher, out with injuries, put on a Birmingham spare uniform to work out. Then Manager Barger of Memphis called him in as a pinch hitter in the rival club’s togs. Naturally there was a protest, but Umpire Dan Pfenninger would not allow it.

I’m not sure what the umpire didn’t allow: Smith to play in the opposing team’s uniform or the protest.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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