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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

Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: community, hot town, injury-plagued, meetups, softball

The Athletic: How baseball’s unwritten rules helped awaken a Mets-Phillies rivalry

It​ started in​ the grayest​ of areas, a debate​ Tuesday about​ which team​ has​ the permission​ to concede​​ first in a blowout, and it escalated Wednesday with a 34-second home run trot that sent the clearest of messages.

This dormant rivalry was invigorated by — of all things — baseball’s unwritten rules. A decade has passed since both the Phillies and Mets held conceivable postseason hopes at the same time. Hate slumbers when the games are irrelevant.

“I think that’s what rivalry is,” Rhys Hoskins said after a 6-0 win. “I think there’s always going to be a little bit of bad blood in a rivalry.”

Jake Arrieta, from across the Phillies clubhouse, heard those words. “He said it!” Arrieta ...

Read More...

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-25-2019

Pittsburgh Press, April 25, 1919:

Tincup Signs With Two Teams

Pitcher Ben Tincup, formerly with the Philadelphia Nationals, reported to the Louisville American association club yesterday. Tincup was a free agent and accepted terms of both the Louisville and Little Rock clubs. For this reason he cannot play until his case is acted on by the National commission.

I’m not an expert in contract law, but I think it’s generally frowned upon to sign contracts to play for two teams at the same time.

Little Rock had plenty of motivation to make sure they got Tincup - he threw a perfect game for them in 1917 - but he wound up with Louisville and spent the next dozen years with the Colonels.

(Hat tip to Paul Proia for his excellent biography of ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 25, 2019 at 09:51 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Yankees’ bad luck continues as new injury delays Giancarlo Stanton’s return

For every piece of good news the New York Yankees have received on the injury front this season, it seems they’ve been hit with at least two tough breaks in response.

That was the case again on Wednesday. Shortly after catcher Gary Sanchez was activated from the injured list, manager Aaron Boone revealed that Giancarlo Stanton’s return will be delayed by a new injury.

The Yankees designated hitter has fully healed from the biceps strain that sent him to the injured list on April 1. While that’s encouraging, the bad news is that Stanton’s left shoulder is now sore. The new ailment required a cortisone shot, which guarantees he won’t return on the team’s current road trip.

To make matters worse, there’s a clump of dirt ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:51 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, injury, shoulder, yankees

Félix Hernández passes Don Drysdale on all-time strikeouts leaderboard

Mariners starter Félix Hernández pitched well enough for a win on Wednesday afternoon, but Padres starter Chris Paddack was just a little bit better. Hernández allowed one run on three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in the Mariners’ 1-0 loss. Paddack tossed seven scoreless innings on one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts.

With eight strikeouts on the day, Hernández passed Don Drysdale to move into 36th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time strikeouts leaderboard at 2,488. Max Scherzer currently sits in 35th place at 2,493. Christy Mathewson is Hernández’s next target at 2,507.

I have to wonder: Where would Hernandez be on this list if the last few seasons hadn’t taken the tole that they did?

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: don drysdale, felix hernandez, strikeouts

Angels remove Cody Allen from closer role

Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Cody Allen is no longer the team’s closer, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group reports. Allen is currently on a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Angels.

Somewhere, it is dawning on Mike Trout that he made a truly terrible decision….

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cody allen

Cubs’ Strop loses car, gets save on ‘crazy day’

CHICAGO—Cubs closer Pedro Strophad to cut short talking with the police regarding his stolen car on Wednesday, just in time to secure the save in a wild 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Strop said his car was stolen earlier in the day. The incident disrupted his pregame routine, and he said he was still dealing with it during the game when he told police he had to go.

“I was still giving them my information in the fourth inning, and I told them, ‘I have to go. I might have to pitch,’” Strop said.

All right, which one of you did it?

 

QLE Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cars, cubs, pedro strop

Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to make MLB debut Friday

April 24 (UPI)—Vladimir Guerrero Jr., considered one of the top prospects in baseball, is heading to the MLB.

The Toronto Blue Jays will call up Guerrero on Friday and he is expected to make his major league debut, the team announced Wednesday.

“We plan to call up Vladimir Guerrero for Friday’s game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters. “We’re planning to. Will he play? Yes.

“It’s a big moment for the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s the number one prospect in baseball and he’s coming on Friday. It’s a big moment for us. Hopefully he becomes what everybody thinks he can become and that’s gonna be good for all of us.”

Is this the dawning of the Age of Guerrero?

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, prospects, vladimir guerrero jr.

Why Pete Alonso is literally baseball’s next big thing

Maybe it’s too ambitious to suggest that, just 23 games into his major league career, the rookie first baseman with the prodigious power stroke will be a star, not just because of his production in numbers but in his ability to engage the fans with his energy and enthusiasm.

Maybe it’s simply too much to expect Alonso to keep hitting this way, bashing long home runs and taking a half-swing on a two-strike sinker on the outside corner from Jake Arrieta and still hitting a 98 mph ground ball past the first baseman for an RBI double and then standing at second base, pumping both fists above his head in celebration.

Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the rise of a Padres powerhouse
Just a few weeks ago, Alonso was simply battling in ...

Read More...
Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pete alonso

The most-anticipated debuts in MLB history

Gregg Jefferies, Mets—Sept. 6, 1987

Former Mets manager Davey Johnson once stated that Jefferies could hit .300 standing on his head, and those were the expectations for the California native after the Mets drafted him 20th overall in 1985. Jefferies was the first two-time winner of Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year Award and graced the publication’s cover five times before he reached the big leagues, thanks in large part to his .353/.401/.549 slash line across Class A and Double-A in 1986. The Mets brought Jefferies up from Double-A just 36 days after his 20th birthday, but he found the majority of his success—including two All-Star seasons—later on with the Cardinals and Phillies.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:50 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: vladimir guerrero jr.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Anderson Espinoza undergoes 2nd Tommy John surgery | San Diego Padres

Right-hander Anderson Espinoza underwent his second Tommy John surgery on Monday, a crushing blow for the one-time Padres top prospect, who hasn’t pitched since 2016, but worked his way back from the first surgery to join big league camp this spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 24, 2019 at 07:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: anderson espinoza, injuries, padres, tommy john surgery

LEADING OFF: Sabathia nearing 3,000 Ks, Snell’s toe a go

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

SABATHIA’S STRIKEOUTS

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia needs six strikeouts to join Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as the only left-handers with 3,000 Ks, putting him within reach during a start against the Angels. Sabathia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) would be the 17th player overall to reach the milestone. When he does, he’ll be the first pitcher to do so since John Smoltz in 2008. The 38-year-old Sabathia announced prior to the season that he’ll retire at year’s end.

So, what will he do to celebrate this milestone?

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:08 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: c.c. sabathia, strikeouts

MLB notebook: Rays’ Snell set to return Wednesday

Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell is slated to return from a fractured toe to start Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals.

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner broke a toe on his right foot on April 14 after a decorative granite stand in his bathroom fell over as he was getting out of the shower.

Snell threw 18 pitches off a mound on Saturday and also threw a brief bullpen session on Monday.

“With the bullpen that I threw, felt very comfortable,” Snell told reporters. “Wednesday is a day that all of us believe in, and think I’ll be 100 percent.”

So, is this the sort of injury that shows up on weird injury lists, or is it too mundane for that?

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

Yasiel Puig turns brawl picture into work of art with excellent custom shirt

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig used to be known as the “Wild Horse” with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It didn’t take him long to find a new persona with the Reds.

After seemingly taking on the entire Pittsburgh Pirates team in a brawl in early April, Puig might be angling to be known as “El Guerrero Rojo,” or The Red Warrior, from now on.

How do we know this? Puig sent a pretty clear message with this excellent, custom shirt.

Some people run from their reputations, and others try to pretend that they don’t exist- Puig, on the other hand, chooses to lean right into it…

 

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2019 at 03:42 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: yasiel puig

CBP at JFK seizes Counterfeit Professional & Collegiate Sports Rings

JAMAICA, N.Y. — On March 11, 2019, CBP officers inspecting a shipment from China discovered and seized 177 counterfeit professional and collegiate sports rings worth an estimated manufacturer suggested retail price of $11.7 million, had they been genuine.  The seized rings were infringing on the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) trademarks.

“Every day CBP Officers protect the American public and its economy,” said Troy Miller, Director of CBP’s New York Field Office.  “This most recent interception of counterfeit sports rings demonstrates the ongoing vigilance and commitment to the mission by our CBP Officers and ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: April 24, 2019 at 03:40 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: count da ringz, counterfeits, customs, rings

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Bronx Is Hurting

The Yankees stand out for two reasons. The first is that most of the teams with 13 or more players on the IL at once reached their injury peak near midseason, which makes sense—players’ bodies wear down as the season goes on. The Yankees are one of just two teams since 2002 to put 13 players on the IL in April.

The second reason is the quality of players they have on the shelf at once. Like Judge, their list of IL’d players is not only large, but quite productive. If the Yankees could put together the best 10-player lineup (eight position players, DH, starting pitcher), eight of those players, plus another member of their rotation (Montgomery) and their setup man (Betances), are currently on the IL.

A sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming Posted: April 23, 2019 at 12:45 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, yankees


How The Rays Are Surprising Baseball Again

The Tampa Bay Rays are not supposed to be in first place in the AL East. Since 2008, the Rays have never ranked higher than 20th in payroll. This season, the Rays opened with a payroll $176 million less than the Red Sox and $144 million less than the Yankees. There are underdogs and then there are the Rays.

Yet, it’s a few weeks into the 2019 season, and the Rays are still in first place. And our projections predict that they’ll be a playoff team. It’s still early, of course, and the Rays’ hot start could cool as more games are played — and they did take a tumble over the weekend against the Red Sox. But they’ve been so successful — going into the weekend, their pitching staff had the lowest ERA and fielding-independent ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Mickey Callaway on Mets’ pitching issues: ‘It’s not concerning’

The Mets’ 5.57 team ERA is the third-worst in the majors, better than only the Orioles and Red Sox. But manager Mickey Callaway isn’t ready to sound the alarm.

“It’s not concerning,” Callaway said at Citi Field before Monday night’s game against the Phillies, noting that the sample size is far too small for the team to be worried.

Is Callaway right to not be alarmed? Maybe…

Famous last words….

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, mickey callaway, pitching

For the third time this season, the Orioles have put a position player on the mound

It is rarely a good situation when a team has a position player take the mound. Usually, it’s because one team is losing by plenty of runs, and don’t want to waste a bullpen arm on a game that has already been decided.

For the Orioles, a lot more has gone wrong than right thus far in 2019. They are 1-10 at home, and only two teams in all of baseball have a worse overall record.

On Monday, Baltimore was blown out by the Chicago White Sox, 12-2, behind three different four-run innings. With the game well in hand, the Orioles put catcher Jesus Sucre on the mound to pitch the ninth.

Wondering who this is more telling about- the Orioles, or relievers….

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:35 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, position players pitching

Arenado homers for 1,000th hit, Rockies rally past Nats 7-5

DENVER (AP) — No. 1,000 was nothing new for Nolan Arenado.

Arenado hit a tiebreaking homer for his 1,000th career hit and the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 7-5 Monday night.

Arenado also doubled twice and drove in two to help the Rockies win for the seventh time in eight games. He is the ninth Rockies player to reach 1,000 hits, getting there with a solo shot off Wander Suero (1-2) in the seventh to make it 6-5.

Wondering who the other eight Rockies in question are…

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nolan arenado, rockies

Your first taste of MLB FoodFest 2019, from elote nuggets to fried grasshoppers

Of all the ideas that have sprouted out of Major League Baseball in the past few years, this might be the best one. It cuts through different team allegiances and regional rivalries. It finds the commonality in all baseball fans.

We’re talking, of course, about MLB FoodFest — an event created to take ballpark food out of the ballpark and bring the most delicious or inventive item from each team into one place, so baseball fans and food fans alike can indulge.

MLB FoodFest debuted in 2018 in New York City, but the league has more ambitious plans for it in 2019. It’s happening in NYC again, but also London and Los Angeles. The NYC and London dates will come later this year, but L.A. gets the first taste.

So, any of this make you ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: food

One player, four drafts: The remarkable tale of Dave Winfield’s draft history

Imagine what would happen if a guy like Dave Winfield — a phenomenal athlete drafted by four (!) different pro leagues — showed up in 2019.

Zion Williamson and Kyler Murray would be afterthoughts. NBA Twitter would establish churches in his honor. NFL draft tape-eaters would look for the slightest sign he wasn’t Serious About Football. Baseball fans would praise him as the game-saving messiah. Knicks, Mets and Giants fans would tear New York apart. Sports talk radio and daytime talk shows would fire off takes hot enough to be seen from orbit. It’d be glorious anarchy.

Dave Winfield isn’t walking through that door, even though he’d probably still get drafted if he did. He remains one of the few athletes in American sports ...

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QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: aba, dave winfield, draft, mlb, nba, nfl

Jake Arrieta upset with Bryce Harper for ejection, sounds off on ‘flat’ Phillies

NEW YORK — Jake Arrieta slammed the shelf above his locker at Citi Field, still peeved moments after speaking with reporters.

Arrieta pitched relatively well in the Phillies’ 5-1 loss to the Mets (see observations). The source of his anger was an untimely ejection of the Phillies’ best player, Bryce Harper, in the top of the fourth inning, combined with an overall “flat” performance from the Phillies’ offense.

The 33-year-old former Cy Young winner didn’t mince words. He didn’t rush to defend Harper or belabor the quick hook of home plate umpire Mark Carlson, who tossed Harper for arguing balls and strikes in the Phillies’ dugout.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, jake arrieta, phillies

Plunkings are dumb and bad: The time is now for baseball to get its act together

We’re taught that change is incremental and to expect otherwise indicates naiveté. But sometimes after, or ideally among or even at the outset of, the slow and steady shift in public perception and cultural mores comes a discrete jump in the overarching paradigm. Not a watershed moment per se, which tends to happen organically and can be seen only in retrospect, but rather a conscious decision to do something about it by taking a deliberate step away from how things were and toward how they ought to be. All of which is to say, sometimes the change comes from the top.

For baseball — by which I mean both the governing body as well as the constituent players, who in turn make up the union — the time to do something about retaliatory ...

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QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, beanballs

Monday, April 22, 2019


Mets need struggling Noah Syndergaard to back up his words

Thor can’t close the door.

This strange Sunday could have had a much different ending if not for another poor outing from Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard did enough wrong on his own to merit the loss, but he got little help on defense from shortstop Amed Rosario. Rosario’s second-inning error helped the Cardinals to three runs on their way to the 6-4 victory at Busch Stadium.

The big right-hander allowed six runs, four earned, as his ERA shot up to 5.90. The Mets lost six of the last eight games on this 10-game trip.

“The entire beginning of the season my performances have been unacceptable,’’ Syndergaard said. “I have to be better and I will be better.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Is this the craziest double play ever? Maybe!

A’s center fielder Ramón Laureano has added to his superb defensive reputation with a handful of astonishing plays this season, but Sunday’s tops them all.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ramon laureano

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