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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Josh Hamilton Says Holy Spirit Spoke to Him Before 2011 World Series Home Run

Josh Hamilton’s 28 dingers in the 2008 Home Run Derby are forever etched in baseball lore, but the former Ranger has a special memory attached to another famous homer.

Hamilton is set to be inducted into the Rangers’ Hall of Fame on Saturday alongside Texas greats Nolan Ryan, Pudge Rodriguez, Ruben Sierra, Michael Young and more. Ahead of his induction, Hamilton reflected on his career with the franchise in a piece for the Players Tribune, where he said the Holy Spirit told him that he would hit a home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

“I’m in the on-deck circle, in extra innings, and I’m telling you, out of nowhere….I hear the Holy Spirit talking to me,” he said. “This is the honest truth. For real.

There are thoughts I have on ...

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QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: josh hamilton, world series

Pirates clubhouse has been a mess lately

The Pirates season has been a disappointing one with injury and underachievement marring any chance they had at being competitive. At the moment they’re mired in last place, have the second-worst record in the National League and, since the All-Star break, are a dreadful 6-25.

But it’s even worse than that. As Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports today, the clubhouse has been in turmoil for much of the season, with “rifts caused by envy, charges of favoritism, and overt insubordination against manager Clint Hurdle and his staff.”

For those curious as to what self-destruction looks like….

 

QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clubhouse culture, pirates, the ship be sinking

Padres star rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. will ‘most likely’ miss rest of year with back injury

PHILADELPHIA – San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday with a back injury that “most likely” will end his season, according to manager Andy Green.

The 20-year-old Tatis, a Rookie of the Year candidate, is batting .317 with 13 doubles, 22 homers and 53 RBI in 84 games. Green said the injury was the result of “common usage” and that it would require rest to heal.

“It’s disappointing, obviously,” Green said. “We’re going to do what we can to take care of him, and we expect him to be a huge part of what we’re doing going forward. It’s been really tough for him the last couple of days to swallow. It’s a tough blow.”

Green said Tatis will be re-evaluated in ...

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QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: back, fernando tatis jr.

Bryce Harper, the clutch god

- Harper with runners on base in 2019 had a pre-Thursday slash line of .345/.439/.645.

- With runners in scoring position this season, he batted .378/.484/.653.

- With runners in scoring position and two outs, he batted .410/.540/.744.


I admit I was wary when the Phils signed Harper, but if he keeps the momentum flowing he’ll wind up with a fine first campaign in the City of Brotherly Love.

Lest we forget Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, clutch, god

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone Says MLB Should Consider Adding Mercy Rule

The New York Yankees have been on both ends of blowouts this season, and manager Aaron Boone thinks adding a mercy rule in MLB “might be ... worth exploring.”

“I think there would be a benefit to that,” Boone said Friday, according to the New York Post’s George A. King III. “You would probably eliminate a lot of the unwritten rules, people running or swinging. It would be like, if you get to this point after seven innings or whatever, there might be something to that and worth exploring.”

Boone’s team lost 19-5 to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night—a game in which he used designated hitter Mike Ford at pitcher for the last two innings.

“It is not fun to obviously put a position player in that situation,” Boone added.

Why on ...

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QLE Posted: August 17, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, mercy rule


Friday, August 16, 2019

The Athletic (Paywall) - Another Door Opens for Matt Hobgood

This story could have gone in so many directions.

Deep depression. Extreme bitterness. Uncontrollable addiction.

That it stopped at the intersection of self-realization and normalcy is a credit to Hobgood.

...

Still, he’ll never turn away from the game. He had a batting cage installed in his backyard. He can’t wait to pass his passion for the national pastime onto his four kids — all age 4 or younger. He looks forward to the time when he can coach all of them.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 16, 2019 at 05:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, retired players

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 16, 1919:

When Babe Ruth, the slugger extraordinary, made a home run off Dick Kerr, the young southpaw, at Comiskey Park on Thursday, he shattered an American League record that stood for nearly seventeen years.

Back in 1902 “Socks” Seibold, then a member of the Athletics, made sixteen circuit smashes during the course of the season. Ruth’s homer on Thursday was his seventeenth of the 1919 campaign and his thirty-seventh in the American League.

Ruth has still a little way to go to reach Cravath’s mark, made in 1915. The new manager of the Phillies made twenty-four homers that year. The National League record is twenty-five, held by Buck Freeman.

Ruth: “Hold my beer and watch this. No, seriously, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2019 at 10:09 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

From 12 games under to 10 over, Nats lead NL wild-card race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Right now, 19-31 is just a distant memory for the Washington Nationals.

Even without Max Scherzer for all but one game over the past month-plus, even with recurring bullpen issues, even though they dug themselves quite a hole, the Nationals are suddenly 65-55 — 10 games over .500 for the first time in 14 months.

What’s more, they’re leading the NL wild-card standings as they head into Friday’s opener of a three-game series against one of the clubs chasing them for a playoff berth: reigning league MVP Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Winning the NL East presents more of a challenge, because Washington entered Thursday trailing the first-place Atlanta Braves by six games. The rivals play each other ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, nl wild card

In Venezuela, young baseball players still have big dreams

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — More than 100 boys train daily on a baseball field next to the biggest slum in Caracas, using old bats, balls and gloves in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal: a professional baseball career in the United States and an escape from Venezuela’s hardship.

Chances are small, and getting remoter. Major League Baseball’s teams have shut down their academies in Venezuela and no longer send scouts. Sometimes, local trainers say, a player faints on the field because he hasn’t had enough to eat, a sign of how nationwide shortages of food, medicine and other necessities inflict a heavy toll.

A junior team from Maracaibo is participating this week in the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: venezuela, youth baseball

Jameson Taillon undergoes second Tommy John surgery

A couple of weeks ago we learned that Pirates starter Jameson Taillon had to undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right flexor tendon. At the time it was reported that he did not need Tommy John surgery.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. During Taillon’s flexor tendon surgery on Tuesday the surgeon determined that he also needed Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and performed the procedure. It was the second time Taillon has had TJ surgery. He also missed time in 2017 due to testicular cancer. The guy has just been unable to catch a break.

Sincere question: How often can one have Tommy John surgery? That it’s been performed multiple times on several pitchers is apparent- but how often can an elbow go through that ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, tommy john surgery

Yankees first baseman Mike Ford’s pitching performance provides comic relief

NEW YORK — You wouldn’t think that when a team gets pummelled, 19-5, as the New York Yankees did by the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night, that any of the pitchers for the losing team would leave the mound to an ovation.

Especially not in Yankee Stadium, where winning brings not pleasure, but relief and championships are treated as a birthright. They don’t often raise the nice-try flag in the Bronx.

But when the “pitcher’’ is a 27-year-old rookie first baseman/designated hitter who is on the roster only because his team has been decimated by injuries, and on the mound only because the real pitchers have been decimated by the Cleveland hitters, even a Yankee Stadium crowd can be moved to recognize an effort above and beyond ...

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QLE Posted: August 16, 2019 at 04:12 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: mike ford, position players pitching, yankees

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Old School Approach Failed José Ramírez

Ramírez altered his approach to try and beat the shift, an approach some broadcasters implore players to take, and it failed miserably. Ramírez went away from his strength to try and pick up so-called easy hits and he lost his power and didn’t even get those easy hits. Hitting the ball is an extremely difficult task, and Ramírez had been very successful beating the shift by hitting the ball very hard, often over the fence without concerning himself with to the opposite field. Now that he’s embraced his old shift-beating ways, Ramírez is back to being one of the best hitters in the game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2019 at 05:31 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: shifts


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-15-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, August 15, 1919:

Three members of the board of directors of the American League, constituting a majority of the board, ordered Pitcher Carl Mays reinstated at a special meeting [in New York yesterday], thus nullifying the action of President Johnson in suspending him.

The directors, after reviewing the case, adopted resolutions declaring that the “alleged suspension was without authority and void and against the best interests of and detrimental to the welfare of baseball,” and forbade Johnson from taking similar action against any other player in the American League “without a hearing and an opportunity to be heard given to the player and club involved for any alleged offense.”

I think they might be a little bit ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 15, 2019 at 09:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

Read More...
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 ...

Read More...
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 ...

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

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