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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

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

‘You’re the guy with the ball to the crotch’: The inside story behind the funniest baseball card

I think the title is pretty self-explanatory…

Keith Comstock played on four major league clubs as a journeyman reliever, but his professional career is most often remembered for one thing: a ball to the crotch. Thirty years ago—in what otherwise would have been a forgotten minor league set—Comstock appeared on one of the most memorable baseball cards ever made. Here’s the story of how it came together, in his words.



Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 21, 1919:

Joseph Wilhoit, outfielder of the [Wichita] Western League club, and who will go to the Boston Americans next month, [yesterday] ended his batting streak in which he set a new world record by hitting safely in 69 consecutive games. The former record of 45 consecutive games was made by Jack Ness of Oakland, Cal., in 1915.

Wilhoit, who formerly played with the Boston Nationals and the New York Giants in the 69 contests prior to [yesterday], was at bat 299 times and secured 151 hits. His percentage was .505. He obtained five home runs, eight triples, 23 doubles and 115 singles.

He hit .505 during a 69 game hitting streak? Nice.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2019 at 09:59 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, nice

Squirrel runs onto field to interrupt play during White Sox-Twins game

In one of the nuttier things to happen at a baseball game this season, a squirrel came onto the field during Tuesday’s White Sox-Twins game.

The squirrel ran onto the field during the bottom of the fifth and the umpire called time to stop play. It ran through the legs of Max Kepler, who was the baserunner at first base for the Twins at the time, straight across the infield and into the White Sox dugout.

Mind you, nowhere near the worse pitch invasion in White Sox history….

 

QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 04:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch invasions, squirrels, white sox

Mariners manager: Hernández to rejoin rotation this weekend

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Pitcher Félix Hernández will rejoin the Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation this weekend.

Manager Scott Servais made the announcement Tuesday.

Hernandez has missed three months with right shoulder stiffness. He pitched 3-plus innings Monday night for Triple-A Tacoma in his fourth rehab appearance, giving up one run on four hits and three walks while striking out five.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

-John Greenleaf Whittier

 

 

QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Welcome to the Pecos League

Sean Kiley wasn’t ready to hang up his glove after college, so he set out to play in the Pecos League, the lowest level of professional baseball in the United States. This is his story.

I see the email from our GM at 6:22 p.m. Welcome to Trinidad! The email mentions details about the 10,000-person Colorado town, including player discounts, which help when you only make $50 a week. This includes 10 percent off everything at her cannabis dispensary.

Welcome to the Pecos League, the lowest level of professional baseball in the U.S.

As a right-handed pitcher throwing 79 mph, I had few offers to play college baseball. I chose Oberlin College in Ohio. I started for four years, and by the end I’d gotten my fastball to top out at 91 mph. ...

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QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 04:01 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: independent leagues, pecos league

Clemens nixes political run, citing ‘climate’

Pitching great Roger Clemens didn’t shy away from many battles in his major league career, but politics is something he’s not willing to take on.

Clemens had been encouraged to run as a Republican candidate for the seat of Texas Republican Rep. Pete Olson, who announced his retirement last month.

The 57-year-old Clemens said he was honored but had “no interest” in running for office.

“The climate in politics at this time is much more than I would want to undertake, along with my family considerations,” Clemens said in a message to Olson that was obtained by ABC News.

So, would a bid for higher office aid Clemens’ HOF chances- or hinder them?

 

QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:53 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, roger clemens

Grudge continues to fester between Braves, Marlins

The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.

In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.

I’m not ...

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QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:49 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, grudge match, marlins

Mike Trout hits career-high 42nd home run

With a two-run home run in the first inning of the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Rangers, Angels outfielder both tied Cody Bellinger for the major league lead in home runs and set a new single-season career-high at 42. Trout’s blast opened the scoring, staking the Halos to an early lead.

Trout is batting .300/.445/.669 on the year. The dinger leaves him two RBI shy of 100 for the year, and he’s already at 101 runs scored. MLB can already inscribe Trout’s name on the 2019 AL MVP Award. Per FanGraphs, he has 8.5 WAR, which is almost a full 3.0 WAR more than his next closest competitor, Xander Bogaerts (5.6). The difference between Trout and Bogaerts at No. 2 is about the difference between Bogaerts and Jonathan ...

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QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, mike trout

Blue Jays minor leaguer T.J. Zeuch throws no-hitter

Toronto Blue Jays minor leaguer T.J. Zeuch tossed a no-hitter for Triple-A Buffalo last night. The feat came in a 3-0 victory over the Rochester Red Wings. He needed 114 pitches to do it while striking out three and walking one. He also hit a batter, giving him only two blemishes in the game.

The last no-hitter for Buffalo came when the club was the Indians’ Triple-A team back on June 20, 1997. The guy who did it: Bartolo Colon.

 

QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, no-hitter, t.j. zeuch

Report: Octavio Dotel And Luis Castillo Arrested In Narcotics Sting In Dominican Republic

Who is ready for a particularly grim session of Let’s Remember Some Guys? Because according to reports coming out of the Dominican Republic, former MLB players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo have been arrested in what authorities have described as “the largest operation against organized crime” in the country

Well, this wasn’t what I was expecting with “drug ring” and former baseball players….

QLE Posted: August 21, 2019 at 03:37 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, luis castillo, octavio dotel, sting

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

WEEI/Red Sox Jimmy Fund Telethon

WEEI (the Red Sox radio partner) has more than a few horrible people working for them and the Sox are not perfect either.  But every year they raise millions of dollars for a truly great cause (Dana Farber at Charity Navigator)

The 18th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation is taking place this Tuesday and Wednesday in support of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Over the span of 36 hours and two Boston Red Sox games, the broadcast will feature inspiring stories from patients, doctors, researchers, and athletes. In 2018, the event raised an incredible $4.4 million to support Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission.

There are any number of ways to try and make our little blue ball hurtling through ...

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Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 20, 2019 at 02:37 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, sick kids


MLB Down The Line Predictions Uncategorized (DO NOT USE) Could Nick Markakis be enshrined? in Cooperstown?

Markakis, now in the midst of his age 35 campaign, has accumulated 2,341 career hits, which leave him only 659 hits shy of reaching the 3,000 benchmark.

That’s right. 659 bloopers, infield chops, or oppo-against-the-shift base hits away from baseball immortality. If you don’t think the 3,000 hits milestone merits induction, ponder this stat: the only Hall of Fame-eligible players to reach 3,000 hits that do not own plaques in the Hall of Fame are Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Rafael Palmeiro. If not for either MLB lifetime bans from the sport or ties to the PED scandals of the early 2000’s, these three would be in the Hall of Fame. Outside of controversies, the 3,000-hit plateau has always been a milestone that assured induction to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 11:04 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: nick markakis

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2019

Seattle Star, August 20, 1919:

Big Bob Meusel, the Vernon star, could learn a lot of baseball that he doesn’t know now better [in the PCL] than he would be able to learn it in the big show…according to Jack Knight, Seattle first sacker.
...
“Meusel has wonderful ability,” says Jack, “but he is far from a finished player. He can be fooled easily and will be fooled more often than he is out here when he goes to the majors. Another year in the Pacific Coast League wouldn’t hurt him any.”

Meusel only hit .328 with 58 extra-base hits for the 1920 Yankees. This was indeed worse than his 1919 output for Vernon: .337 with 67 extra-base hits.

Another cautionary tale of an overmatched kid getting rushed to the majors before his time. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:29 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Home run robbers get praise _ and swag for spectacular plays

It was late in the 2015 season when Baltimore’s Manny Machado smoked a pitch from Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer into center field at Camden Yards.

Kevin Kiermaier sprinted to the wall, turned and leaped high above it before reaching back and snatching the ball . He banged off the wall and landed on his feet with the ball firmly planted in his glove for the out.

The play sent a dejected Machado back to the dugout and left a stunned Archer simply mouthing, “Wow.”

Archer, now with Pittsburgh, was so grateful for Kiermaier’s extraordinary effort that he searched for a fitting way to thank his center fielder for keeping that run off the board.

A consideration of a rather dramatic aspect of fielding.

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:37 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, home runs

How closer Edwin Diaz went from MLB saves leader to bullpen liability

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With each hit, walk, and homer, the aura of invincibility that once surrounded Edwin Diaz has eroded, turning a former relief ace into a giant question mark.

When the New York Mets acquired Diaz last December, team officials boasted about the acquisition. Nine months later, it looks like they made the mistake of buying high off one elite season, failing to recognize the volatility that defines relief pitching.

Diaz, who saved 57 games in 2018, is no longer superhuman. He’s quite vulnerable. The Mets know it. Opponents know it. And, fans at Citi Field and in road stadiums know it, too.

Sources tell Yahoo Sports that Diaz has been affected by the boos that come with failing in New York, but that doesn’t tell the ...

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QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin diaz, mets being mets, relievers are inherently fungible

Report: Athletics calling up A.J. Puk

MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos reports that the Athletics will call up pitching prospect A.J. Puk from Triple-A Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Yankees.

Puk, 24, was selected by the A’s in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2016 draft. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the organization’s No. 2 prospect behind Jesús Luzardo, and No. 43 across the league.

Something for those of us collecting great names.

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:24 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. puk, athletics, great name

Yankees announcer Michael Kay ‘scared’ his return won’t last after vocal cord surgery

New York Yankees TV play-by-play announcer Michael Kay made his return on Saturday after taking six weeks off following surgery that removed a nodule from his vocal cords.

Kay called two of the Yankees’ games against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday and Sunday at Yankee Stadium on the YES Network, his first appearance since June.

His return after the surgery, however, didn’t quite go as well has he had hoped. He said he felt “really nervous” before Saturday’s game, and thinks his voice “didn’t have much.”

“Quite frankly, I’m scared,” Kay said Monday, via the New York Post.

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: announcing, michael kay, surgery

Carlos Carrasco makes first rehab appearance since leukemia diagnosis

AKRON, Ohio—Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco made his first rehab appearance for the Akron RubberDucks on Monday following his cancer diagnosis.

The right-hander threw 16 pitches with a strikeout in one inning for the Double-A affiliate. Lots of fans wore Carrasco jerseys at Canal Park and he received a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout.

“I spent two and a half months away from baseball, just coming back today out of the bullpen feels great,” Carrasco said.

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos carrasco

Monday, August 19, 2019

Freking great?


Al Jackson, an original Met, dead at 83

Al Jackson, a tough left-hander who provided a rare glint of hope in the early days of the woebegone Mets, has died at 83.

His death was announced by the Mets, for whom he worked for 50 years as a pitcher, major league coach, minor league pitching coordinator and front-office adviser. He died Monday at a nursing home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, after a long illness.

The Mets said in a statement it would be “impossible to calculate the number of players and staff he touched and influenced during his career.”

Jackson pitched in the majors for 10 seasons, and no season was more challenging than the one in 1962 when the expansion Mets entered the majors and lost 120 games. “Little” Al Jackson, although he was 5-foot-10, had a record ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:56 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: al jackson, mets, obituaries

In 2019, Team Payroll and Wins Are Closely Linked

What’s interesting here is that there are a decent number of good teams with low payrolls; teams don’t have to spend money to win. Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Cleveland are all pretty good examples of this. The outliers in the upper left are the teams the Commissioner points to when he tries to claim that payroll doesn’t matter. But when we look at the bottom right portion of the graph, that argument rings a little hollow. If money didn’t matter, shouldn’t there be a lot more bad teams spending money? Of the 13 teams with payrolls above average, only two are actually bad this year (Seattle and Colorado), and they are only a little above the average. Every other above-average spender has put together an at least average team. You ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:56 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: payroll

Nightengale: MLB lifers decry the state of the modern baseball: ‘Unwatchable’

Said Gossage: “They got it so an [expletive] coming off the street who doesn’t even know what a damn baseball is can manage our sport. It’s like rotisserie baseball. These [expletives] won their rotisserie leagues at Harvard and all of those [expletive] schools and now they’re general [expletive] managers.”

 

Jack Sommers Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:56 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, homers

Greinke gets 200th win, pitches Astros past A’s 4-1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After earning his 200th win, Zack Greinke hopes he’s on his way to even bigger achievements with the Houston Astros this season.

Greinke reached the milestone with seven smooth innings Sunday, pitching the first-place Astros past the Oakland Athletics 4-1 to avoid a four-game sweep.

Alex Bregman had a three-run homer among his four hits to back Greinke, who won his third straight start since joining Houston from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the July 31 trade deadline to make the Astros a World Series favorite.

“Wins are good. You look back at the end of the year and the team wins a lot and you win a lot, you can’t ask for much more than that,” Greinke said. “I wouldn’t say there’s many pitchers that ...

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QLE Posted: August 19, 2019 at 09:56 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: milestones, wins, zack greinke


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2019

Pittsburgh Press, August 19, 1919:

The baseball war between Franklin and Oil City, situated within eight miles of each other, and baseball rivals since time immemorial, has reached a climax in the signing by Franklin of three members of the Philadelphia American League team. They are Scott Perry and Thomas Rogers, pitchers, and Harry O’Donnell, catcher. Oil City has not been idle, and lately has acquired Gordonier, of the Buffalo International League team, and Carman [sic] Hill of Indianapolis, formerly of the Pittsburg Pirates.

I know that it was a result of lower salaries at the time, but it’s just inconceivable to me that small cities in the (relative) middle of nowhere could sign multiple major league players for their rivalry games. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2019 at 10:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

LEADING OFF: Kluber checked, Ohtani streak, Brewers-Cards

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

CHECK HIM

The Indians will see how ace Corey Kluber is feeling, a day after he was pulled from a Triple-A rehab start because of abdominal tightness.

The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner pitched one scoreless inning for Columbus before exiting as a precaution. The 33-year-old right-hander will be examined in Cleveland.

Archie Bell and the Drells have a lot to answer for….

QLE Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, corey kluber, lorenzo cain, shohei ohtani, trevor bauer, wade miley

Little League World Series 2019: Cubs players go sledding with kids in Williamsport ahead of matchup with Pirates

The Chicago Cubs are having fun during their trip to the Little League World Series this year and went sledding on Sunday with some of the kids at the tournament.

While there is obviously no snow in Pennsylvania in August, the teams got creative and used pieces of large cardboard to slide down a hill behind BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, where the Cubs take on the Pirates in the MLB Little League Classic. Cubs players, along with manager Joe Maddon, are seen with childish grins on their faces looking like they are reliving their youth.

At least it wasn’t using burlap sacks on hot metal slides, which is the closest I came to sledding as a kid….

 

QLE Posted: August 19, 2019 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, llws

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