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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Shohei Ohtani To Undergo Season-Ending Knee Surgery

Angels DH Shohei Ohtani will undergo surgery on his left knee tomorrow, as per a statement from team GM Billy Eppler (Twitter link).  The procedure will focus on Ohtani’s bipartite patella, and it will keep Ohtani on the mend for roughly eight to twelve weeks.



ROTISSERIE: 30 most intriguing fantasy players for 2020 | BaseballHQ.com

Can he stay healthy for a full season?

David Dahl (OF, COL): If he could ever stay healthy for a full season… Dahl, 25, was on his way to a career year (.302/.353/.524) until a severely sprained ankle sidelined him in early August.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 12, 2019 at 11:18 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-12-2019

Washington Times, September 12, 1919:

If Ban Johnson, American League president, has any sense whatsoever of the fitness—or the unfitness—of things he’ll quit his job, was the opinion expressed today by Col. Jacob Ruppert, part owner of the New York Yankees.

Johnson’s throne is about to topple, anyway, according to Ruppert, and abdication now would be a timely act.

The legal action started by the Yankee owners to prevent Ban from interfering with Pitcher Carl Mays ended yesterday with a hearing before Referee George Gillespie. The testimony is now in the hands of Supreme Court Justice Wagner. The final hearing brought a statement from Johnson that he had owned stock in the Boston team, as well as in the Cleveland club.

Jeez, Col. Ruppert. ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 12, 2019 at 10:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Boston Red Sox Team President Dave Dombrowski Fired

The Red Sox are at the top tier of payroll yet ticket demand was pretty soft this year. From what I read they still sold about 97%. What hasn’t been talked about is how soft the secondary market has been. It cost me a lot less money to attend games this year. I paid about 25% to 33% of what I’ve paid in past years for Red Sox tickets. I wasn’t alone. My friends and the people sitting next to me at games have as well. One usher wondered to me, “What happens when season ticket holders get tired of paying full price and sitting next to people paying a lot less for the same tickets?” At the same time NESN ratings are down.

Teams usually get a windfall for a few years after winning a World Series. That’s not the case in Boston right now.

A ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: September 12, 2019 at 06:56 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, red sox

The time is coming to resolve the Mets’ exhausting Noah Syndergaard situation | SNY

Can they get fair value in return? Of course, what is his fair value right now?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 12, 2019 at 06:41 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Juicy stat: MLB sets record for most home runs in a season

Major League Baseball hitters have punctuated a power-packed year by shattering the record for most home runs in a season.

Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles connected Wednesday night for the 6,106th homer. That topped the mark of 6,105 set in 2017.

There are plenty more to come, too — the record was broken with 18 days left in the regular season. The rise in home runs during recent seasons has been tied to changes in the baseballs that have made them fly farther.

Villar’s three-run shot off Caleb Ferguson of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camden Yards was the 22nd home run of the night. It was Villar’s career-high 21st homer.

So, at what point do we think the record will be broken next season?

 

QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:38 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, jonathan villar, records

Baseball Brit’s Cross-Country Trek Is No Walk in the Park

Joey Mellows, a 34-year-old from England, set out six months ago with a straightforward but daunting goal: to traverse the United States from spring until fall, watching 162 baseball games along the way.

Mellows, who has chronicled his travels on Twitter under the handle @Baseball_Brit, quit his job as a teacher in South Korea, spent a few days back home in England and flew to Tokyo for the season-opening series between the Mariners and A’s. He followed the clubs across the Pacific to Seattle and started his North American journey there. He’s been on the road ever since.

The son of a former professional soccer player, Mellows was introduced to baseball when he went to a game in Japan with his parents. The experience inspired him to ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, living the dream, travel

Dallas Keuchel calls out Phillies management after handcuffing Phillies hitters

Skipping ahead to the pertinent section:

The Phillies had starting pitching needs, not to mention a need for a left-hander, and were mentioned throughout the winter and spring as a potential landing spot for Keuchel. In actuality, however, the Phils showed little interest in Keuchel and he signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves, who have won 91 games and are days away from wrapping up their second straight NL East title.

After the game, Keuchel called out Phillies management when he was asked if the Phils’ lack of interest in him fueled any extra motivation leading up to the start.

“I mean, if you don’t come calling what is there for me to be mad about?” he said. “I think a lot of those guys over there in the front ...

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QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dallas keuchel, phillies

Vin Scully’s 1st Broadcasting Contract with Brooklyn Dodgers for Sale at Auction

Baseball fans can own Vin Scully’s first contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

SCP Auctions listed the contract with a starting bid of $4,000 (h/t TMZ Sports).

In a letter dated Dec. 23, 1949, Scully wrote to Dodgers president Branch Rickey, outlining his expectations upon taking over as a Dodgers’ radio and television broadcaster. He asked for a salary of $100 weekly in 1950 and raises of $6,000 and $7,500 for each of the next two years.

Rickey signed the second page of the letter, certifying he agreed to the terms.

It turns out that Branch Rickey was just as cagey with his contracts for off-field personnel as he was for players.

 

QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, vin scully

How Kobe Bryant is trying to bring the Mamba Mentality to baseball

If you’ve been paying attention to Kobe Bryant’s post-NBA career, he’s made it quite clear he’s not interested in just riding off into the sunset as a basketball great. He’s got his sights set much higher.

Heck, he’s already won an Emmy and an Oscar.

Now, he wants to transform the way athletes — particularly young ones — hone their craft. Even those outside of basketball. As strange as it might sound, even baseball players.

This week, Bryant’s Mamba Sports Venture Lab launched its first product. It’s called Mamba RISE. It’s a smartphone app that is part game, part mental exercise, the goal is to bring Bryant’s famous Mamba Mentality to other sports. Included in the launch of Mamba RISE are baseball, football and ...

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QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, pete alonso, snake oil

Why baseball might be approaching a renaissance at the catching position

LAKEWOOD, N.J.—A windy Monday night down the Jersey Shore didn’t provide much excitement.

But venturing beyond the boardwalks to FirstEnergy Park, autograph hounds formed a pack along the third-base line, clamoring to get a glimpse at what could be baseball’s next superstar.

This past June, the Baltimore Orioles made Adley Rutschman the first catcher drafted No. 1 overall since the Minnesota Twins selected Hall of Fame hopeful Joe Mauer in 2001.

Rutschman arrived to the New Jersey beach town wearing his fourth different uniform since the year began. He’s meant to spearhead a rebuild for an organization that will likely finish last in its division for the third consecutive season.

A consideration of the coming generation of ...

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QLE Posted: September 12, 2019 at 04:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adley rutschman, catchers, draft picks, jake rogers, joey bart, shea langeliers

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-11-2019

New York Tribune, September 11, 1919:

Ray Caldwell, the prodigal of the American League, only recently kicked out of the Boston Red Sox, came back yesterday and pitched a no-hit game for the Cleveland Indians against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds.
...
Caldwell, the erratic, the temperamental, the undependable, shut out “Murderers’ Row,” the hardest sluggers in the league, with the might of the arm that they said had gone bad, and with the steel of the nerve that they said he had lost.
...
The crowd was with Caldwell, the prodigal, despite the fact that he was working for Ban Johnson’s team, the Indians, for the prodigal always was a likeable wastrel. Even after he had driven managers to desperation he could win them back with that ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Do We Even Need Minor League Baseball? | FiveThirtyEight

Some people on Twitter have suggested it might be better for players to have fewer players under MLB control. They suggest these players would be better off moving to college and new independent league they feel will spring up. With the scarcity of college scholarships and independent league pay, I question whether their beliefs are true.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told The Athletic in July that “we have to look at the efficiency of the [minor league] system that we’re running right now, how many teams, how many players, what we’re paying players, and all those issues are obviously related.”

What that means for the future of the farm system suggests it could, and perhaps should, look much different than it does today.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2019 at 09:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Why the Dodgers’ handling of Kenta Maeda highlights the potential conflicts of interest with contract incentives - CBSSports.com

If I raise my eyebrows at the suggestion, does it say more about me or the writer of this piece?

The Dodgers have had a brilliant season, and could well soon appear in a third consecutive World Series. They don’t have to operate in a way that raises eyebrows about their true intent, which makes the possibility of suppressing Maeda’s earnings all the more maddening.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2019 at 09:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kenta maeda

As feds probe MLB’s Latin American operations, a flashy scout and contested deal draw interest

Shortly after Olivera’s arrival in the Dominican Republic, court records show, he signed a “representation agreement” with a group of five people. One of them was Santín . None of them was a certified MLB agent.

Instead of charging Olivera 5 percent of his first professional contract — the typical maximum rate for an MLB agent — the contract called for Olivera to pay Santín ‘s group 37.5 percent.

When told of the terms of this deal, Joe Kehoskie, a former agent and expert in the Latin American market, started laughing. It long has been an open secret among baseball scouts and agents that some elite Cuban players have been forced by smugglers to sign away exorbitant portions of their future earnings, as something of an exit toll off ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2019 at 08:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: latin america

Giants fire eight pro scouts, including some key to World Series title runs

Big changes are inevitable in a regime change, and the Giants are no exception.

In the first of what could be many such moves, the Giants fired eight of their 20 pro scouts Tuesday, including some who have been with the organization for more than two decades and provided invaluable information during the club’s three World Series title runs.

The most recognizable names are Brian Johnson, of 1997 home run fame, and Steve Balboni, both of whom served as pro scouts for the past 10 seasons and were relied on heavily during the 2010, 2012 and 2014 postseasons.

Johnson lives in Detroit and saw the Tigers a lot in 2012. Giants officials credited the intelligence he provided with helping them sweep Detroit in the World Series.

This news ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:27 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brian johnson, firings, giants, scouts, steve balboni

Home run robbery by Braves’ Ronald Acuña turns into inside-the-park homer

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. had the chance to make one of his best plays of the season on Tuesday. It turned into an embarrassing lowlight instead.

The play started when Philadelphia Phillies utility man Scott Kingery hit a long fly ball to center field, which Acuña tracked to the wall and made a leaping catch. Acuña appeared to have hauled it in, but didn’t complete the process of the catch and saw the ball leak out of his glove as he hauled it down.

Rather than immediately pick up the ball and throw it into the infield, Acuña spent precious seconds waving his arms to appeal to the umpires that he had still made the catch.

Many of the inside-the-park home runs of the current era are reliant on poor outfield play of one ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: inside-the-park home run, ronald acuna, scott kingery

Tauchman 30th Yankee on IL; Stanton HRs in simulated game

DETROIT (AP) — Outfielder Mike Tauchman became the New York Yankees’ 30th player on the injured list this year, the most in the major leagues in at least 15 years.

The 28-year-old strained his left calf Sunday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. New York made the roster move retroactive to Monday

Acquired from Colorado on March 23, Tauchman hit .277 with 13 homers in 260 at-bats over 87 games. He is New York’s 15th player currently on the IL.

Major League Baseball said the Yankees’ total on the injured/disabled list is the most since at least 2004, topping the 28 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in both 2016 and 2017. Boston had 27 in 2012.

So, how do they keep winning with so many players with the consistency of ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, injured list, mike tauchman, yankees-no-fun-as-usual

LEADING OFF: 9/11 tributes, HR record nears, Yelich injury

REMEMBERING

Major League Baseball pays tribute to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy with a moment of silence before all games. First responders will be among those honored in pregame ceremonies.

Players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear caps that have a side patch of a “We Shall Not Forget” silhouette, which will also be displayed on bases and lineup cards.

The Toronto Blue Jays will wear caps that salute Canada and the United States.

 

QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 04:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: september 11th

Proposed Atlantic League mound distance change creates uncertainty for players and league

Garrett Granitz doesn’t buy into professional baseball’s velocity obsession. In fact, he occupies a niche created by it.

Instead of trying to blow fastballs by batters like many professional pitchers nowadays, Granitz, a Lancaster Barnstormers reliever this season, relies mostly on deception created by strong offspeed pitches and his unorthodox, submarine-style delivery.

So Granitz isn’t too worried about the idea of losing a few miles per hour off his fastball if the Atlantic League moves the pitching rubber back from 60.5 feet to 62.5 feet as part of an agreement with Major League Baseball.

The logistic aspects of the idea, though, cause more uncertainty.

A discussion of a rule change that no one is sure will ever be put into ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, moving the rubber, rule changes

Kelley either with Rangers in ‘20 or retires

ARLINGTON—The Rangers have a $2.5 million option on veteran reliever Shawn Kelley. He is hoping they will pick it up.

If not, Kelley said he will retire.

“If they pick me up, I would love to come back and do another year,” Kelley said. “If not, I will drift off to the sunset. I’ll either play here next year or retire.”

Kelley is finishing his 11th season and has pitched in 486 games. He has worked through a variety of injuries, including two Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgeries. He went on the injured list twice this season, once for a bacterial infection in his throat that required surgery to have benign lumps removed.

I hope that Kelley’s goal is to retire, because, if it isn’t, this feels like something that could ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, retirement, shawn kelley

Dodgers continue their dominance by clinching seventh straight NL West title

Will the Los Angeles Dodgers ever be knocked off their NL West throne?

Based on this season’s results, it’s not looking like that will happen anytime soon.

With Tuesday’s 7-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles, the Dodgers became the first team to clinch a division championship this season. It’s the Dodgers seventh straight NL West title. That’s the longest division championship streak in MLB since the Atlanta Braves won 14 NL East titles in a row from 1991 through 2005.

Although it came against a basement-dwelling team, the continued dominance shown in Tuesday’s clinching victory was fitting of the dominance Los Angeles has shown throughout the entire season, and throughout most of the last decade.

One gets the feeling the ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nl west

Pirates pitcher Crick has surgery after altercation

SAN FRANCISCO—Pirates right-hander Kyle Crick required season-ending surgery on the index finger of his pitching hand after he was injured in a clubhouse fight with fellow reliever Felipe Vazquez.

Crick said punches were thrown and the first punch was thrown by Vazquez, who declined to speak to reporters after Pittsburgh’s 5-4 loss to the Giants.

“One of those clubhouse altercations. A lot of bickering back and forth. Punches were thrown,” Crick said. “You kind of have to at some point stand up for yourself and start throwing back. It’s one of those deals where it’s unfortunate. It’s two losers in this deal. Nobody can win fighting a teammate. It’s just an unfortunate deal.”

Both players were fined undisclosed amounts by the Pirates for ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:43 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: felipe vazquez, fight, fight, fight, injury, kyle crick

Astros commemorate Yordan Álvarez’s mammoth blast with orange seat

Yordan Álvarez’s astonishing home run on Monday will be immortalized forever.

The seat that Álvarez’s ball struck — in the first row of section 337 — was wrapped in orange vinyl on Tuesday afternoon, akin to the commemoration of the three upper deck home runs hit by a Houston player in the Astrodome’s 34-year history.

Eric Anthony, Jimmy Wynn and Doug Rader hit the famous Astrodome homers.

Álvarez’s home run during Monday’s 15-0 win was among his most prodigious of the season. It exited his bat at 113.5 mph — the third hardest-hit ball of his young career — and traveled 416 feet, according to Statcast. Astros historian Mike Acosta disputed Statcast’s measurements, claiming the baseball traveled 431 feet.

Always of interest ...

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QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:39 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, commemoration, home run, yordan alvarez

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Christian Yelich exits with knee injury | MLB.com

All the Brewers could do was look on as reigning National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Christian Yelich sat in pain near home plate during his first at-bat of Tuesday night’s 4-3 win over Miami at Marlins Park. After the game, their worst fears were confirmed: Yelich sustained a broken right kneecap and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 10, 2019 at 10:51 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-10-2019

Toledo News-Bee, September 10, 1919:

Rev. Frederick N. McMillin, Walnut Hill Presbyterian Church, asked all loyal fans on Tuesday to join him in prayer for a pennant for the Reds.

To that end he has written prayer in which the Lord is asked to grant “speed, control and deceptive curves” to the pitchers; frequent and timely hits to the batters; blessings to Pat Moran, manager and good health and safety from accident to tall the players.

Rev. McMillin was the third baseman on the University of Wooster team in 1894, and still occasionally practices with the Reds.

That’s not now this works. That’s not how any of this works.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 10, 2019 at 12:47 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

LEADING OFF: Astros romping, Trout out, long games

CLOCKED

Big league bullpens are full this month, boosted by September call-ups, and a plethora of pitching changes is contributing to longer and longer games.

The Brewers beat Miami 8-3 Monday night in a matchup that took 4 hours, 8 minutes. The game featured 15 pitchers who combined for 14 walks.

On Sunday, the Phillies topped the Mets 10-7 in 4:29 — one minute from matching the longest nine-inning NL game. Each team used eight pitchers and the clubs used up all 16 dozen baseballs that were prepped pregame, forcing another couple dozen to be rubbed up and put in play.

On the one hand, this is the last season for the traditional system of September call-ups- on the other hand, given the general trajectory with both pace-of-play and ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: September 10, 2019 at 01:57 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, mike trout, pace of play

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