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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 | 316 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

Friday, August 23, 2019


Should We Always Deride the Concrete Donut?

Engaging in nostalgic practices for the concrete donut, of course, is to engage in the same sort of practices that eventually gave rise to the neo-retro park, of which many—Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, San Francisco’s Oracle Park and certainly, Camden, for starters—remain magisterial. And of the extant midcentury ballparks, the Emil Praeger-designed Dodger Stadium, always considered a tier or two above the stadiums of the time, is endlessly lauded—and nightly packed. Across the freeway in Anaheim, over 37,000 show up nightly to see the always-maybe-next-year-in-Los-Angeles Angels.

Casting blame or praise solely on design typologies limits and lessens the agency of those responsible for shaping—and challenging—the ways in which our ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 05:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: stadiums

OMNICHATTER 8-23-19

OMNICHATTER loves deadlines.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: August 23, 2019 at 02:32 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: gamingboy memorial formatting, omnichatter

How players are using uniform numbers to break MLB’s unwritten rules

Nontraditional numbers have become the norm in New York, where all but one single-digit jersey is retired by the Yankees. Aaron Judge’s 52-homer, Rookie of the Year run in 2017 helped make his rare No. 99 the best-selling jersey in the country—and on baseball’s most iconic uniform, to boot. Judge was simply handed the number in spring training in 2016—and he has stuck with it ever since. “He’s a create-a-player, like someone that you max out all the stats on and then they’re just wearing No. 99,” said outfielder Clint Frazier, who himself wears No. 77, making him just the second Yankee to do so.

“Numbers that used to be regarded as spring training numbers, numbers in the 70s, 80s and 90s, while they’re not common, they’re no longer ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 01:50 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: uniform numbers

The reason Reymin Guduan was suspended

Dean Deetz is a little bit of a character, and talks a lot of smack. He was giving Reymin Guduan The Bidness about not being able to throw a strike. Guduan responded by throwing a shoe at Deetz and missed (badly, apparently), to which Deetz responded “See?” That is legitimately funny. What happened next is not. Guduan picked up a bat, swung it, and hit Deetz in the head. Guduan apparently didn’t get a great swing on it, but “it definitely dazed” Deetz.

Guduan was removed from the clubhouse, but came back later, this time with a knife. “He didn’t do anything with it, but he stood at his locker and glared at Deetz.” No one called the police, but the Astros did suspend Guduan. That, by any standard of the law, is assault. You’ll notice on ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 01:27 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2019

A masterclass in insensitivity towards people suffering from mental illness in the Chattanooga News, August 23, 1919:

They’ve gone baseball crazy at the Elgin [Illinois] State Hospital for the Insane. But Supt. Ralph Hinton, says baseball dementia is preferable to being just plain crazy and the patients are being cured and improved steadily.
...
I saw Arnold Hauser, former star shortstop with the St. Louis Cards and later a Federal leaguer, make brilliant stops and one-handed catches, bang out a single, triple and home run. Yet he pulled nothing clever in the “inside game.”

Hauser is the star of the team and his mind is improving. He at first was a bad player on the hospital team. He would make a brilliant catch in the field and then just ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 10:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB bans playing in Venezuela amid Trump order

Major League Baseball has banned all affiliated players from participating in the Venezuela winter league this season, a response intended to comply with President Donald Trump’s embargo against the country’s Nicolas Maduro-led government.

“MLB has been in contact with the relevant government agencies regarding the Executive Order issued by President Trump on Venezuela,” the league said in a statement. “MLB will fully adhere to the policies implemented by our government. With respect to the Venezuela Winter League, MLB will suspend its involvement in that league until it receives direction from the relevant agencies that participation by affiliated players is consistent with the Executive Order.”

The potential repercussions of the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 09:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: winter ball

Is Mike Trout really better than Derek Jeter?

Fools. WAR is famously context neutral but context matters. Any fan of baseball from 1995-2014 (the best era for watching baseball) should know who the Captain is. To see who wins the Jeter-Trout debate, let’s go to the tale of the tape….

Did Mike Trout break Byung-Hyun Kim’s spirit on a chilly autumn night to earn the iconic Mr. November title?

Did Trout partner with a 12-year-old boy, psychically guiding young Jeffrey Maier to stick his glove in the perfect position to stop Tony Tarasco from catching his game-tying home run? Maier was a kid; Jeter and Rich Garcia let the kid play. That’s MLB’s new marketing mantra, and commissioner Rob Manfred has complained about Trout not participating in baseball’s ad campaigns. Advantage, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2019 at 06:06 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout

Carl Yastrzemski knows it’ll be ‘emotional’ to see Mike play at Fenway

It took some time—longer than he would have liked—but Mike Yastrzemski finally is making a name for himself at the big league level.

Yastrzemski spent six seasons in the Baltimore Orioles’ farm system before the Giants traded for him in March. Since donning the SF orange and black, he has helped transform the Giants’ outfield from one of the worst in baseball into one of the team’s strengths.

In 74 games for the Giants, Yastrzemski is hitting .259 with 17 home runs, 47 RBI and an .890 OPS. His emergence with the Giants has made one person, in particular, very proud: His grandfather, Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski.

“You know, the main thing is, he’s a great kid,” Carl Yastrzemski told The Athletic’s Steve Buckley. ...

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QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:38 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: carl yastrzemski, grandfathers and grandsons, mike yastrzemski

MLB Power Rankings: How Close Have Teams Performed to Their Preseason Projections?

A sample of what is found inside:

11. Mets (67–60; Last Week: 14)

For all the sturm und drang that surrounds the Mets (both this season and literally forever), and despite a dismal June that led into a brilliant second half, New York is on pace to finish 85–77. FanGraphs’ preseason prediction: 84–78. Accurately guessing the final stop for the runaway train that is the Mets might be both the most impressive bit of prognostication possible and the most perfect example of how water inevitably finds its level.

So, how many of these standings are legitimate surprises, and how many could be anticipated by other methods?

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: power rankings, projections

LEADING OFF: Players get creative, Yanks at Dodger Stadium

NAME THAT NICKNAME

Jerseys will take on a different look during Players’ Weekend, when big leaguers are encouraged to be creative with what goes on the back of their uniforms.

Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig will have Wild Horse, for the way he charges around the bases. Rays pitcher Charlie Morton will use Ground Chuck, for how he induces grounders. Reds first baseman Joey Votto will go with Who — for the “Abbott and Costello” comedy routine of “Who’s on First?”

Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is skipping letters and going with an emoji — of lettuce, to rhyme with his last name.

Yes, folks, it’s time for this again…..

 

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, francisco cervelli, nicknames, players weekend

Ballplayers never know what day it is

Once, in spring training a few years ago, I was talking to a ballplayer — I think it was Jake Lamb, but it might’ve been another Diamondback — and I mentioned something happening “on Wednesday.” The player nodded and said, “wait, what’s today?” I chuckled, he chuckled and said something about how every day in spring training is the same and it’s hard to keep track.

I suspect this connects with our arguments elsewhere involving clutch….

 

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: days, players

VIDEO: When the Astros lose, Las Vegas wins

For those who need a reason why to be wary about MLB’s decision to get so close to bookies….

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, bookies, dollah dollah bills, y'all, las vegas

Alex Rodriguez shares painful details of MLB suspension on Danica Patrick’s podcast

Alex Rodriguez has been open about his season-long MLB suspension five years ago and his personal growth and path to redemption, particularly this summer with his popularity and success reaching new levels. The former New York Yankees slugger has taken responsibility for his actions, including violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, which led to his 162-game suspension in 2014.

And as the first guest on retired race car driver Danica Patrick’s new podcast, Pretty Intense, A-Rod explained that he thought his baseball career was over with the suspension.

“I made mistakes, I doubled down and as a result of that, I served the longest suspension in Major League Baseball history for PED use,” Rodriguez told Patrick. “That ...

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QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:05 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: arod, podcast, suspension

If you want to try the best food from all 30 MLB ballparks, this event is for you

Major League Baseball is giving you another opportunity to taste the most unique ballpark foods from all 30 stadiums in one place. Yep, MLB FoodFest is back and this time it’s returning to New York City.

First launched last year, MLB FoodFest is built for the Instagram generation and is meant to capitalize on all the mouth-watering (but sometimes wacky) foods that are available in modern MLB stadiums.

That means everything from Toasted Grasshoppers (that’s the Mariners’ entry) and Rocky Mountain Oysters (Thanks, Rockies) to more common fare like the Boston Red Sox’s Hot Lobster Roll or the Marlins’ Chicken & Bubble Waffle.

It’s happening Sept. 21 and 22 on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park. Last year, the NYC event sold out in ...

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QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:02 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: food, foodfest

Orioles break MLB record for most home runs allowed in a single season

Just one day after tying the MLB record for most home runs allowed in a season, the Orioles have broken the tie with the 2016 Cincinnati Reds for the most homers allowed by a team in a single season.

On Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Orioles gave up their 259th and 260th home run of 2019. Right fielder Austin Meadows took one long off Orioles starter Asher Wojciechowski in the third inning during the four-game series opener. In the fifth inning, shortstop Willy Adames hit a solo homer, also off Wojciechowski.

So, what other disasters could hit the Orioles, at the rate things are going for them?

 

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 02:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, orioles, records

Judge upholds arbitration ruling that Orioles owed Nationals $296.8 million in MASN TV rights dispute

The Orioles lost the latest round in the long-running MASN television rights dispute Thursday when a New York judge upheld a second arbitration ruling ordering the network to pay the Washington Nationals $296.8 million in additional rights fees for the 2012 to 2016 seasons.

The Associated Press reported that judge Joel M. Cohen refused an Orioles request to reject the award based on a similar conflict-of-interest basis that led to the original award being overturned.

The new arbitration award is almost identical to the one that was thrown out and sent back to a new Major League Baseball arbitration panel, but the gross number is believed to include the reported $197.5 million the network already has paid the Nats for the five seasons ...

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QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 02:57 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: masn, nationals, orioles

Thursday, August 22, 2019

I was a bird-flipping Little League menace—and it’s time to come clean

Fun story about a guy wanting to apologize to an umpire decades later for his behavior as a little league player

Master of the Horse Posted: August 22, 2019 at 05:09 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: little league, umpires

Revisiting whether clutch is a skill

Now that we’ve assessed most of the baselines, we can now get to examining perhaps the biggest question. Is being clutch a repeatable skill? To help eliminate actual hitting skills, we’ll be examining the difference in offensive production between low and high leverage situations and how that difference correlates year-to-year….

Some single examples that can illustrate include 2014-2015 Josh Harrison (207 wRC+ year one, 28 wRC+ year two), 2014-2015 David Ortiz (201 wRC+ year one, 60 wRC+ year two), 2017-2018 Cody Bellinger (187 wRC+ year one, 46 wRC+ year two), and 2018-2019 J.D. Martinez (231 wRC+ year one, 19 wRC+ year two). There is zero consistency in high leverage performance. Considering high leverage situations make up such a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:48 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: clutch

Justin Verlander responds after Astros block Free Press from media session

The Houston Astros blocked a Detroit Free Press reporter from attending Justin Verlander’s postgame media session on Wednesday night, violating Baseball Writers’ Association of America protocol and possibly the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

The Astros blocked Free Press writer Anthony Fenech at Verlander’s request, according to Gene Dias, Astros vice president of communications. Dias said Verlander was “adamant” that he would not speak to any credentialed media while Fenech was present.

Fenech has been the Tigers beat writer for the Free Press since 2015.

On Thursday, Verlander tweeted that the block stemmed from “his unethical behavior in the past.”  Verlander did not mention Fenech by name. It wasn’t immediately ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:46 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2019

New York Tribune, August 22, 1919:

“Who has the hardest wallop,” queries a reader, “Babe Ruth or Jack Dempsey?” It depends on whether they are hitting a baseball or Jess Willard.

Either way, the thing getting hit is knocked into next week.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:01 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


Everything You Should Know About a Weird Day at Fenway

It could take four at-bats, it could take four hours. When it comes to the completion of the Red Sox’ suspended game with the Royals Thursday afternoon there is plenty of mystery…- There isn’t a single member of the Kansas City media who will be making the trip. The team’s television coverage will consist of a feed from NESN.

- There is no media access to the players or managers prior to the game.

- Fans can walk on the warning track between 11 a.m.-noon. Kids will be able to run the bases following the game. Kids under 18 years old will gain free entrance, with adults getting in with $5 general admission tickets. All proceeds will go to the Jimmy Fund.

Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 22, 2019 at 09:27 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, royals, suspended games

Mariners lose on walk-off wild pitch

2019 has not been kind to the Seattle Mariners. After starting the year 13-2, the club has gone 41-71 since, earning last place in the AL West. To give credit where credit is due, however, the Mariners were on something of a roll, entering Wednesday afternoon’s series road trip finale against the Rays on a four-game winning streak. However, the M’s lost Wednesday’s contest in very depressing fashion.

On the bright side, at least it wasn’t a walk-off balk.

 

QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, walk-off, wild pitch

As Clayton Kershaw passes Sandy Koufax in wins, October remains the focus

LOS ANGELES — When the Los Angeles Dodgers weren’t very good and when they were great, when he was skinny and floppy and when he was grown and daunting, in regular seasons and in October, in Vero Beach and Glendale, I got in a car to go see Clayton Kershaw.

Because the baseball was good. Because he cared. Because his standard became everyone else’s. Because the chance for greatness over three hours was more likely than it was not. Because he was better than most everyone else many nights.

Because Sandy Koufax existed in another time, in my mind in black and white, in my ears as a tinny and tenor voice-over, in my eyes as the dignified older gentleman leaning on a bullpen rail, whispering into Kershaw’s ear.

So Clayton Kershaw ...

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QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, sandy koufax

LEADING OFF: Mad Max and Gerrit Cole return, Fenway freebie

WELCOME BACK, MAD MAX

Nationals ace Max Scherzer comes off the injured list to start at last-place Pittsburgh. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 9-5 with a 2.41 ERA in 20 starts but has pitched only once over the past six weeks because of a strained muscle in his back. His 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings lead the NL. Washington holds the league’s top wild-card spot.

FENWAY FREEBIE

The Boston Red Sox are offering free admission to fans under the age of 18 for the 1:05 p.m. EDT conclusion of a game against Kansas City that was suspended on Aug. 7 because of rain. An admission fee of $5 for adults will be donated to the Jimmy Fund. Play will resume in the top of the 10th inning with the score tied 4-all and Josh Taylor working ...

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QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, max muncy, max scherzer, orioles, suspended games

Giants’ Samardzija celebrates 10 years in majors with call for service-time reforms

CHICAGO - The Giants held a private celebration for pitcher Jeff Samardzija on Sunday for reaching 10 years of major-league service time, a milestone that guarantees a full big-league pension and stands as a symbol of endurance.

“I got a shark cake, a lot of butt slaps and a lot of attaboys, but when half your team already has 10 years it’s not really that special,” he joked.

Samardzija got serious, too, when asked if he appreciated the union’s role in getting those pensions and other rights, such as a player’s ability to veto any trade once he reaches 10 years, plus five with the same club.

The 34-year-old, who faces his original club at Wrigley Field on Thursday, turned the conversation toward teams using minor-league options and ...

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QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff samardzija, service time

Why Bryce Harper is rooting for Mookie Betts to beat his $330 million deal

For three weeks during spring training, Bryce Harper was the owner of Major League Baseball’s richest contract ever.

Now the 26-year-old outfielder is hoping he’ll be third on that list come opening day 2021 after offering a ringing endorsement for soon-to-be free agent Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox.

Speaking to NBC Sports Boston this week, Harper made it clear that he includes Betts among the league’s elite class of players. He’s hopeful the 2018 American League MVP will be recognized and paid as such when or even before he’s slated to hit free agency.

The answer seems obvious to me- but, then again, I am not one to court popularity….

 

QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, contracts, dollah dollah bills, y'all, mookie betts

Alex Cora has bold proposal to cut down on position players pitching

There are many segments of fans and analysts who believe that letting position players pitch in blowout losses is a way to cheapen the game. There’s no real way to stop it, but Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has a few ideas.

Cora suggested that any team that uses a position player should be obligated to do it again in the next game to cut down on the practice. He also suggested that a team that uses a position player should not be allowed to hit again during that game.

Sadly, the really sensible ideas, “be brave enough to keep your starters in the game longer”, and “use your relievers under the old-time “fireman” model, instead of playing weird games over how they can be used”, seem not to be included….

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, position players pitching

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