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Monday, March 09, 2020

8th? BBTF Central Park Softball Game: October 3

Let’s start planning for this year’s game. First questions:

1. Who is submitting the permit request? (Answer: Hysterical & Useless)

2. What dates should we aim for? (Answer: July 25 October 3)

3. Where is the post-game destination?

Saturday, August 08, 2020

What Happened to MLB’s Elite First Basemen?

The two worst OPS+ for first basemen relative to league splits, at least as full records exist since 1973, have occurred in each of the past two years: 111 last year and 112 in 2018. And the early returns this year are that it’s getting worse. It’s down to 106. First basemen are off to a .226 start.

The last time any other position posted a better OPS+ than first base was 29 years ago–and that “position” was DH. For the first time anybody can remember first basemen have posted a lower OPS than three other positions: shortstop, center field and right field. That just should not happen for a position with low defensive requirements.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2020 at 12:12 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: first basemen

Starting Pitcher Workloads Have Been Significantly Reduced in 2020

Already what sticks out is that this year, for the first time, starters are averaging fewer than five innings per turn, and their per-start average is down more than one full inning since 2015. What’s more, if this trend continues, it would be the biggest year-to-year drop in innings per start in the span, more than double the drop from 2018-19, and more than triple the other year-to-year drops within that span.

Over the years, a number of factors have driven that decrease, starting with deeper pitch counts, which are a byproduct of higher strikeout rates, as you can see in the table. There’s also the increased understanding of a few sabermetric concepts: starters are generally less effective facing batters for the third time in the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2020 at 12:10 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: starting pitchers

Friday, August 07, 2020

Rules for pitcher feats in 7-inning twin bills

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official statistician, neither a team nor an individual pitcher will be credited with a no-no in a scheduled seven-inning game of a doubleheader—unless that game goes to extras. If the contest extends to at least nine innings and that pitcher (or a team’s group of pitchers) has still not allowed a hit, then it goes down in the history books as a no-no.

Elias’ designation follows the tradition of a 1991 ruling by a committee led by then-Commissioner Fay Vincent that stated that in order for a pitcher to be credited with a no-hitter:

“…a pitcher or pitchers had to pitch a complete game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit. Any game of fewer than nine innings ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 11:57 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: no-hitters

Cubs-Cardinals series opener postponed over another positive coronavirus test

Friday’s series opener between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals has been postponed after a St. Louis player tested positive for COVID-19, according to Major League Baseball.

In total, eight Cardinals players have tested positive for the coronavirus since last week.

MLB said the postponed game would allow for additional testing and contact tracing. A source told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that the remainder of the three-game series also was in jeopardy.

The Cardinals have not played since July 29 because of positive coronavirus tests. The team previously announced that it had returned 13 positive tests from its traveling party, with seven of them coming from players.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 03:48 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Former Angels employee Eric Kay charged with distributing fentanyl in Tyler Skaggs case

Former Angels employee Eric Kay has been charged by federal authorities in Texas with distributing fentanyl in connection with the overdose death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, according to court documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

An affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Kay filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth said the longtime member of the Angels’ media relations department and Skaggs had a “history of narcotic transactions” and that Kay would “distribute these pills to [Skaggs] and others in their place of employment and while they were working.”

Kay voluntarily surrendered to authorities Friday, per court records. The complaint, filed last week, was unsealed Friday, as well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 03:47 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: tyler skaggs

Ex-White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen Still Really, Really Hates ‘Fake’ Nick Swisher

Guillen is now an analyst for NBC Sports Chicago, working on the network’s White Sox postgame show. On Wednesday night, host Chuck Garfien teed up Guillen with a doozy of a prompt: “Who did you dislike more? Carlos Gomez or Nick Swisher?” And Guillen did not hold back.

“Oh my god,” Guillen replied. “Nick—nobody can compare that with Nick Swisher. I hate Nick Swisher with my heart.”

Guillen called Swisher “fake” and said his one season in Chicago was “one year too long.”

Swisher’s 2008 season with the Sox was a total mess. He was traded from Oakland to Chicago before the season in exchange for Gio González (then a promising prospect) and Ryan Sweeney (who would go on to be an everyday player for the A’s). He ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:36 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: nick swisher, ozzie guillen

BA: Sources: MLB Views Newest Minor League Proposal As ‘Major Step Backwards’

Sub required.

While the full details of the proposal are not yet clear, the proposal included preservation of Minor League Baseball’s independence with a slimmed-down version of the current league offices in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Supporters of the switch in negotiating teams saw the new proposal as a way to potentially shake loose what have been slow-moving talks. Instead, the move is more likely to slow any progress that had been made.

According to sources close to the negotiations, the new proposal is viewed by Major League Baseball as a major step backward in attempts to complete a deal, as it harkens back to concepts that had been fleshed out a year ago.

MLB has communicated to MiLB that switching negotiating teams just 56 days ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

MLB tightens virus protocols, including masks in dugouts

The memo, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday night, says that repeated or flagrant violators of the protocols could be banned from participating in the 2020 season and postseason.

That includes those who don’t wear face coverings while watching from the dugout. Although such measures were suggested in MLB’s operations manual before Wednesday, some players have continued to not wear face masks, offer high fives, spit and violate the protocols in other ways during games.

Umpires are also being instructed to wear face masks at all times, except when it would make it unfeasible for them to do their jobs.

Compliance officers have been appointed for each team, and they have been charged with enforcing protocols outlined in the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Joba Chamberlain’s belongings, baseball history to be auctioned Saturday

Asouth Lincoln auction Saturday will sell 249 Joba Chamberlain baseball cards, Joba Chamberlain bobbleheads and Joba Chamberlain locker room nameplates — including one from the 2009 World Series-winning New York Yankees.

And all of it belonged, until earlier this year, to Joba Chamberlain.

As did the 21 pairs of new Adidas athletic shoes, nine baseball gloves, six TVs, 24-bun hot dog bun steamer, Jagermeister shot machine, kettlebells and cookware, poker chips and popcorn machines — and hundreds of other items filling the 4,000 square feet of his former home.

Through a trust, Chamberlain bought the house at 9101 S. 53rd St. for $1.15 million in 2014, when the Lincoln Northeast grad and former Husker pitcher was still a couple of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:21 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: joba chamberlain

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-7-2020

New York Evening World, August 7, 1920:

Babe Ruth banged out two home runs, his fortieth and forty-first, in the second game of the Yanks’ series with the Tigers, enabling the New York pennant-chasers to win, 11 to 7.

Babe Ruth produces more homers in a week than Ancient Greece did in a lifetime.

You guys, I’m beginning to think Babe Ruth was good at baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Blue Jays forced to remove pitcher who wasn’t on umpires’ lineup card

A clerical error compounded by a possible umpiring error cost Jacob Waguespack an opportunity to pitch for the Blue Jays on Thursday night.

The right-hander was on Toronto’s 28-man roster for its game against the Braves in Atlanta, but he wasn’t listed on the lineup card that was transmitted to the umpires beforehand. When the Jays called upon him to relieve starter Nate Pearson in the sixth inning, home plate umpire Alan Porter, who had the lineup card in his possession, consulted with third base umpire Marty Foster. The two eventually told the Jays that Waguespack had to leave the game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Los Angeles Dodgers’ defense could be among the best in recent memory

The Dodgers might rank up there with the two best defensive teams I’ve seen in my lifetime: the 2001 Mariners and 2016 Cubs. Now, that’s an opinion open to argument, but here are some numbers to back it up. The Mariners pre-date the DRS era (since 2003), but they have the fifth-best total zone runs saved rating between 1950 and 2002:

1973 Orioles: plus-119
1969 Orioles: plus-114
1990 A’s: plus-107
1984 Twins: plus-106
2001 Mariners: plus-104…

The 2016 Cubs are plus-96 in total zone, so they are close to the 2001 Mariners, but a reason to consider those two clubs as the best of the 21st century is they rank 1-2 in lowest batting average allowed on balls in play since 2000 ... by a large margin:

2016 Cubs: .255
2001 Mariners: .260
2011 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 09:57 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, dodgers

A’s bench coach sorry for ‘unintentionally’ making apparent Nazi salute

Oakland Athletics bench coach Ryan Christenson apologized Thursday for “unintentionally” making a gesture resembling a Nazi salute following the A’s win over the Texas Rangers.

Christenson was seen on camera extending his right arm in the air as the team was making its way off the field, engaging in an elbow bump celebration with coaches.

Closer Liam Hendriks could be seen correcting Christenson’s gesture so it fit what the rest of the team was doing. Christenson then turned around and repeated the gesture.

“No, no straight arm, you have to bend your elbow,” Christenson said Hendriks told him, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “Oh, I see what you mean, oh no, it’s like ‘Heil Hitler.’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2020 at 09:33 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: ryan christenson

Thursday, August 06, 2020

OT - NBA Bubble Thread

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and hopefully none of them get caught leaving the bubble for strip club wings.

Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 06, 2020 at 06:04 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: bubbles, nba, off-topic

Carter Stewart ditched the MLB draft to pitch in Japan. Then came the coronavirus

But while Stewart slowly is picking up the Japanese language through conversations with cashiers, restaurant servers and teammates, he’s still living in a country where he’s one of few Americans adjusting to a drastically different culture. He has bonded with former major leaguer Matt Moore, who’s playing for the big league Hawks, but the reality of isolation often sets in.

“You walk outside and it’s a completely different atmosphere, language—everything,” Stewart said. “[Try to] do your work in another language. My friends will say that they understand the loneliness, but as of right now, I’ll just be like, ‘I get it, you’re lonely, but you’re not lonely, lonely.”

The reprieve from the isolation comes from the 30-minute trips on the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:38 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: carter stewart, japan

The oldest league you never knew about

And for all that time, baseball, George Donnelly’s Sunset League Baseball—an homage to former player and famed Newport sportswriter George Donnelly—has been played inside. As Newport, and the world, has shifted and changed with newer sports, activities and pastimes, the country’s second-oldest continuously-run amateur league in perhaps America’s oldest ballpark has carried on.

“The ballpark has been around as a ballpark, you can go, some people say to the 1880s. Some people say 1909 was the first year,” La Rose says.

That’s older than Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. That’s older than “oldest ballpark in America” Rickwood Field.

La Rose, who took the job of commissioner on a dare nine years ago after boasting he could do it, has since ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sunset league

MLB players on how they’ve had to adapt, from no fans in the stands to no couches in the clubhouse

Rethinking gathering spots

The Los Angeles Angels had their first night off on the road on July 25 in Oakland. The players and coaches ordered food and staged a casual, socially distant gathering. Angels manager Joe Maddon said it was “pretty cool, actually.” The experience prompted Maddon to speak with the team’s traveling secretary, Tom Taylor, about booking two additional large rooms—one for the players, one for the coaches—so they could gather in groups to wind down after road games.

“Maybe that will satiate their desires to go elsewhere,” Maddon said.

Hanging out in the clubhouse

Ideally, players would be dressed in full uniform before their arrival at the ballpark, but MLB understood the unlikelihood of that from the onset. The ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Pete Hamill Assuredly Giving Walter O’Malley an Earful in Afterlife

I was at the New York Daily News in 2007, and when it was announced that Walter O’Malley had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, we knew we had to get Pete Hamill to weigh in.

baudib Posted: August 06, 2020 at 09:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn dodgers, pete hamill

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Facts refute claims Cardinals got COVID-19 at casino

The team has vehemently denied that they have any evidence of the players breaking from protocols while on the road trip. Major League Baseball has concurred with this view, according to two sources outside of the Cardinals organization.

“I have no factual reason to believe that is true and I have not seen any proof of that,” said John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, when asked directly by the Post-Dispatch about the casino report. “If they were at a casino though, that would be disappointing.”

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Wednesday that the team has traced the genesis of the outbreak back to an outside individual who was asymptomatic when he had contact with a member of the club. “Brought it into our clubhouse,” Shildt ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 07:32 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

An Olympic speedskater now plays for Miami

Due to a breakout of COVID-19, the Marlins had to make some roster adjustments to return to play this week. They called up a swath of Minor Leaguers—one of those being infielder Eddy Alvarez. Once he gets into a game, it’ll be his first taste of big league action.

The 30-year-old infielder isn’t unlike many of his Minor League peers—spending time in multiple leagues at multiple levels in multiple cities during the last six seasons. But he does have one thing that’s a little bit different about him: He’s a former Olympic speedskater.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 04:10 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

The Lost Career of Luke Easter

He’s much like the fictional superstar Roy Hobbs in the American Arthurian legend of a baseball book and movie The Natural — a left-handed hitter with incredible power, known for hitting towering home runs whose entry into the majors was delayed until his mid-30s. He’s a bit like Kevin Costner’s Crash Davis of Bull Durham fame, a prolific minor-league home run hitter. He’s even a little bit Satchel Paige, who was always coy about his real age.

baudib Posted: August 05, 2020 at 02:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leaguers, negro leagues

ESPN is bringing back Statcast broadcasts for two August Sunday Night Baseball games

On Tuesday, the network announced that a pair of August Sunday Night Baseball games would have the alternate Statcast-focused broadcast on ESPN2. As in the past, the Statcast feed will be called by the trio of Jason Benetti, Eduardo Perez, and Mike Petriello.

The two games getting the Statcast treatment will be the August 16th Red Sox-Yankees matchup and the August 30th Braves-Phillies contest.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: espn

Osuna Set for Season-Ending Surgery?

It didn’t look good when Roberto Osuna threw a pitch, pointed to the dugout and gestured for the trainer to come to the mound during Saturday’s game against the Angels.

On Tuesday, Astros manager Dusty Baker said the same thing about Osuna’s MRI.

The Astros closer reportedly was recommended to have season-ending Tommy John surgery, a source told Mark Berman, the sports director at Fox 26 KRIV-TV in Houston. Per Berman, Osuna will seek a second opinion before making a decision.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 09:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: roberto osuna, tommy john surgery

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Sources: MLB plans for 28-man rosters for rest of season, postseason

MLB rosters will be reduced from 30 players to 28 starting Thursday and remain at that number for the rest of the season and postseason, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The initial plan had been to reduce the roster to 28 this week before reducing it again to 26 after another two weeks. However the recent outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests led to a change in plans..

The taxi squad will also be expanded from three players to five, sources confirmed.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Twins vs. Pirates game delayed by unauthorized drone flying over Target Field in Minneapolis

The 2020 MLB season—2020 in general—has been anything but typical. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the season to be shortened to 60 games and there are rule changes abound. Universal DH, expanded postseason, seven-inning doubleheaders, you name it. It’s a weird year for baseball.

Tuesday at Target Field, the weird was ratcheted up a notch. The afternoon’s game between the Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates (GameTracker) was delayed approximately five minutes in the fifth inning because a drone hovered over the field. To the action footage:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:22 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: drones

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