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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Miami Marlins postpone trip home amid fear of virus outbreak

The Miami Marlins scratched right-hander Jose Urena from his scheduled start Sunday in Philadelphia and delayed their postgame trip home amid concerns about a possible coronavirus outbreak within the team.

No reason was given for Urena being scratched in the series finale, which Miami won 11-6.

Manager Don Mattingly said the Marlins decided to wait until Monday to leave Philadelphia, and they plan to arrive in Miami hours before their home opener against Baltimore. The trip might be made while multiple players remain in Philadelphia.

“The guys that tested positive are quarantined here in Philly,” Mattingly said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2020 at 06:11 PM | 99 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Ohtani’s return goes awry: 5 runs, no outs

Shohei Ohtani struggled mightily in his return from Tommy John surgery, as the right-hander didn’t record an out in the first inning and surrendered five runs to the A’s on Sunday.

Ohtani, pitching in a Major League game for the first time since Sept. 2, 2018, had trouble with his velocity and his control. His fastball averaged 92.7 mph—and maxed out at 94.7 mph—while only 15 of his 30 pitches were strikes. Ohtani’s fastball averaged 96.7 mph during his rookie season in 2018, when he posted a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts with 63 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2020 at 06:06 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

Astros’ Justin Verlander out for season with elbow injury

The Astros will announce that reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander is out for the season with an elbow injury, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Chronicle on Sunday.

The injury deals a near fatal blow to the Astros’ hopes for World Series contention in this 60-game season. Verlander is the team’s unquestioned ace, the rock around which their starting rotation is formed. He struck out 300 batters last season and posted the third-lowest WHIP in modern major league history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 26, 2020 at 06:06 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Giants’ Sam Coonrod says faith kept him from kneeling during racial justice demonstration

Coonrod, a second-year reliever, did not take part in the ceremony and instead stood behind first base at the edge of the infield dirt. He said afterward it was because he is a Christian and “I can’t kneel before anything besides God.”

Via Alex Pavlovic for NBC Sports Bay Area:

“I meant no ill will by it. I don’t think I’m better than anyone,” Coonrod said after the game. “I’m a Christian. I just believe I can’t kneel before anything besides God — Jesus Christ.

“I chose not to kneel. I feel that if I did kneel, I would be being a hypocrite. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. Like I said, I didn’t mean any ill will toward anyone.”

Coonrod said he didn’t talk to anyone about his decision before the game because he only ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 25, 2020 at 11:14 AM | 170 comment(s)
  Beats: black lives matter

Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks has MLB’s first complete game opener since 2013

Chicago Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks threw the majors’ first Opening Day complete game since 2013 as he shut down the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 on Friday night.

It was also the first Opening Day complete game by a Cub since Bill Bonham accomplished the feat in 1974, and it earned new manager David Ross his first win.

“That’s what means the most to me,” Hendricks said after the game. “I told him I was going to go out there and get his first win.”

Hendricks was masterful, striking out nine without issuing a walk, becoming only the second pitcher in the past 30 seasons to throw a complete game shutout without a walk on Opening Day. He gave up three singles, all to Milwaukee shortstop Orlando Arcia. With two outs in the ninth inning, Ross went to ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 25, 2020 at 11:12 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle hendricks

Friday, July 24, 2020

Christian Yelich, not Mike Trout, is MLB’s best player—and the numbers show it

Mike Trout is not the best player in baseball anymore.

I know—that reads like blasphemous clickbait. After all, Trout already has produced more career WAR (72.8) than Larry Walker, Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn and Ernie Banks. He already has collected more top-two MVP finishes (seven) than Hank Aaron, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones—combined. But Trout is not the best player in baseball entering the 2020 season.

Christian Yelich is. At least he has been for the past season and a half.

Yelich made the 2018 NL All-Star team as a reserve with a batting line (.292/.364/.459) that looked like a facsimile of his career in Miami (.290/.369/.432). And then, seemingly overnight, Yelich transformed into a facsimile of Barry Bonds.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 03:30 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout

Braves lose both their catchers hours before opening day because of coronavirus symptoms

The Atlanta Braves, hours before their opening day game against the New York Mets, are giving us an example of how playing baseball during a pandemic can quickly turn chaotic.

Both Braves catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, won’t be available to play Friday after showing coronavirus symptoms. Mark Bowman of says both players tested negative but are back in Atlanta.

In the meantime, Atlanta’s catchers are now Alex Jackson (28 HR and 118 strikeouts in 306 AAA at-bats last year) and William Contreras (Willson’s brother, has never played above AA). I have no idea what the heck they’ll do if one or both of these guys gets sick.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 02:09 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, coronavirus

Eduardo Rodriguez’s health complication comes into light

According to a source, Rodriguez is dealing with a condition involving his heart.

There seems to be a strong possibility the specific affliction is called “myocarditis” which involves the inflammation of the heart muscle. Myocarditis is a situation that is often brought on by a viral infection and can affect your heart muscle and your heart’s electrical system, reducing your heart’s ability to pump and causing rapid or abnormal heart rhythms.

It explains the need for rest with victims of the disease not able to engage in any sort of activity that would accelerate the heart’s functions.

Treatment includes medication and rest, allowing the inflammation around the heart to subside.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 01:51 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, eduardo rodriguez, red sox

Blue Jays to play home games at Buffalo’s Sahlen Field

The Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their 2020 home games at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi has confirmed.

The team has spent the last week looking for an alternate site for home games since the federal government denied their plan to stage games at the Rogers Centre in Toronto due to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns in the United States.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 12:23 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-24-2020

New York Tribune, July 24, 1920:

The Yankees took the lead in the pennant race from Tris Speaker’s Indians yesterday afternoon by handing the Cleveland outfit its third successive setback. “Babe” Ruth aided the cause by slamming out another homer, and thereby increasing his total for the season to thirty-three.
Bob Shawkey, who was on the mount for the Hugmen, was bumped for twelve hits, but he managed to keep these fairly well scattered and his mates accorded him airtight support.

I’ve always loved the urge sportswriters of this time had to come up with nicknames for teams by combining the manager’s name and “men”. If we still did that, we could have the Los Angeles Madmen, the San Diego Tinglemen, and the Minnesota Baldmen. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 10:39 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Cubs expect deal between Marquee Sports Network and Comcast in time for home opener

In the negotiating equivalent of the bottom of the ninth inning, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney predicted Thursday he would nail down a deal with Comcast in time to allow Cubs fans to watch the home opener Friday night against the Brewers on Marquee Sports Network.

Kenney said he’s determined to finalize carriage agreement with the Chicago area’s largest cable provider, even if he has to work through the night and up until the last minute.

When the Cubs launched their own network, Kenney said there were two groups of distributors: Those who jumped on the bandwagon early, such as AT&T and DirectTV, to assure their customers they would carry Cubs games, and those who chose to hold out in hopes of negotiating better ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2020 at 12:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, marquee network

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What the Mookie Betts Extension Says About MLB Contracts

The most notable thing about Betts’s contract right off the bat is this: The total value starts with a 3 and not a 4, even though the deal is 12 years long. Last spring, Mike Trout signed a 12-year extension worth $426.5 million. Trout is a better player than Betts (perhaps the only better player than Betts), and was the same age Betts is now, but he was also two years from free agency to Betts’s one.

The deal looks even worse for Betts when compared to other recent free agents. (“Worse” being a relative term with almost $400 million in guaranteed money coming in, of course.) Gerrit Cole, who’s two years older and a pitcher, signed for nine years and $324 million this offseason—about $5.6 million a year more than Betts. In ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 11:10 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts

Everything to know about expanded playoffs

The top three seeds (Nos. 1-3) in each league will go to the three division winners (East, Central, West) in order of record.

The next three seeds (Nos. 4-6) will go to the three teams that finish in second place in their division, in order of record.

The final two seeds (Nos. 7-8) will go to the two teams with the next best records, regardless of division and division standing. Because the first- and second-place teams in each division automatically advance to October, the 7 and 8 seeds are the actual “Wild Card teams.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 10:59 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: expanded playoffs

Nationals star Juan Soto tests positive for coronavirus, will miss season opener vs. Yankees

Baseball is back Thursday — but now without one of its brightest young stars.

Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto has tested positive for coronavirus, GM Mike Rizzo has confirmed, and will miss the team’s opening night game Thursday against the New York Yankees. Soto, along the pitching matchup between Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer was to be a long-awaited, star-studded return for MLB. He’ll be sidelined indefinitely, not able to return until he tests negative twice, according to MLB’s protocols.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 02:46 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, juan soto

Mike Trout says he’ll play 2020 MLB season, but plans to leave Angels for birth of child in August

Trout, who turns 29 next month, is expecting his first child with his wife Jessica in August. The due date for the couple’s son is Aug. 3. He previously said that a coronavirus outbreak would make him reassess his status, but he’s encouraged by the health and safety protocols that the league has in place. The three-time AL MVP intends to leave the Angels for the birth of his first child in early August, and then he will have to clear league protocol (two negative COVID-19 tests) before he’s allowed to rejoin the team. 

“Last time I talked I was up in the air. I’m playing,” Trout said. 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 10:34 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-23-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 23, 1920:

The Boston Americans will enter a claim for Shortstop Traynor of the Portsmouth, Va., club, whose purchase for $10,000 by the Pittsburgh Nationals has been reported, Manager Ed Barrow of the Red Sox announced today. Traynor is the property of the Boston club, having been sent to Portsmouth by the Red Sox on condition that Boston would have the pick of the Virginia club, Manager Barrow said. He has written the Portsmouth club officials on the matter.

President Dreyfuss of the Pirates could not be reached last night for a statement on the Red Sox claim.

Sounds to me like the Red Sox done screwed up and they’re trying to save face. Anyway, Traynor landed in Pittsburgh and the baseball world soon ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 10:20 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pies, questionable timing, trainer

Latest On Blue Jays’ Plans For Nate Pearson

The Blue Jays plan to activate standout pitching prospect Nate Pearson on July 29, Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet reports. Pearson is not on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, which is currently full.

Toronto will gain an extra year of control over Pearson by keeping him off its roster during the first week of its season. So, considering the league’s rules on service time, it’s no surprise that the team will open its schedule without the 23-year-old right-hander. But Pearson may wind up as a game-changing addition to the Blue Jays’ roster when he does make his debut, and perhaps someone who could challenge for American League Rookie of the Year honors.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nate pearson

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Marcus Stroman calf issue throws wrench into Mets’ rotation plans

Marcus Stroman’s left calf discomfort is under evaluation by the Mets as team officials prepare to set the 30-man roster.

Manager Luis Rojas revealed Wednesday that Stroman has been dealing with tightness in the calf during camp, saying the right-hander will be reassessed on a daily basis. Stroman last pitched Friday, in an intrasquad scrimmage at Citi Field.

“It’s something that has been there that we didn’t think is anything major,” Rojas said. “We are paying close attention.”

If Stroman opens the season on the injured list, David Peterson and Corey Oswalt would be among the considerations for the rotation spot. Rojas also mentioned veteran Erasmo Ramirez, who has been in camp competing for a job. Rojas indicated that ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 06:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marcus stroman

Report: MLB, MLBPA discussing expanded playoffs

No, this is not a re-run.

Jon Heyman reports that MLB and the MLBPA are discussing expanded playoffs following the 60-game regular season. The current idea is to expand the total number of playoff teams from 10 to 16.

Despite back-and-forth negotiations in May and June, the two sides were unable to successfully renegotiate the temporary March agreement, which set into place many of the details for the 2020 season. As a result, commissioner Rob Manfred enacted the 2020 season at 60 games following a unanimous vote from the owners. The playoffs remained the same as in previous seasons.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 06:03 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: expanded playoffs

Cardinals release veteran reliever Brett Cecil

The Cardinals have released veteran lefthanded reliever Brett Cecil. The club made the announcement on Wednesday ahead of their exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals.

The Cardinals signed Cecil, 34,  to a four-year, $30.5 million contract ahead of the 2017 season.

Cecil missed all of 2019 with an injury and was ineffective in his first two seasons with the Cardinals. In 113 games in St. Louis, Cecil had a 4.86 ERA and a 1.470 WHIP.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 03:31 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brett cecil

Arizona Diamondbacks scout Johan Maya dies from coronavirus

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday that scout Johan Maya died from COVID-19. Maya, 40, worked and lived in the Dominican Republic.”...

Maya played in two seasons (1999-2000) as a minor-league infielder with the Houston Astros organization before transitioning into coaching and scouting roles.

Tampa Bay Rays third-base coach Rodney Linares, himself a former coach with the Astros organization, was among those who paid tribute to Maya on social media. “My Venezuelan brother that Baseball gave me lost the fight against Covid,” his tweet read. “It is with tears in my eyes that I ask you to take care of yourselves this is not a game. Johan brother Rest in Peace. To all your Family my most sincere condolences how much does your ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 11:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, diamondbacks

Batting Average: Baseball’s Forgotten Stat

While hitters such as Williams viewed the title as a goal, there were doubts about batting average’s credibility even when it was a vital statistic. In his 1925 book, Batting, author F.C. Lane interviewed stars of the day, some of whom noted how average failed to reward sluggers or hitters with a knack for working a walk.

In 1954, a famous 10-page article titled, “Goodby (sic) to Some Old Baseball Ideas” appeared in Life Magazine under Branch Rickey’s byline. Rickey suggested new, deeper ways to look at performance, beyond batting average.

Still, the batting title is part of baseball lore. Even as its meaning has shifted from superstardom to something less, the batting crown still tugs at baseball’s psyche, whether via the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 11:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: batting average

MLB Rumors: Mookie Betts Nearing ‘Massive’ Contract Extension With Dodgers

Mookie Betts long has maintained he wants to test free agency, but the 27-year-old might be on the verge of cancelling those plans. WEEI radio host and former Boston Red Sox player Lou Merloni on Tuesday reported that Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing an agreement on a contract extension worth between $350 million and $400 million over 10 or more years.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 11:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2020

Pittsburgh Press, July 22, 1920:

Every season or so Tris Speaker shows young players that one of the things they ought to do, if they expect to succeed in their chosen profession, is to keep their eyes on the ball.

In 1918 Snooks Dowd, now with Buffalo, was put in to run by Connie Mack in a tight game with the Indians, when the A’s needed only one tally to tie…The next batter did his part all right by laying the ball down and Dowd arrived safely at second on the sacrifice. He took a couple steps off the bag and was promptly tagged out by the world’s greatest outfielder, who, deserting his pasture, came in and took Doc Johnston’s throw.

Spoke pulled the same kind of trick on Eugene Bailey of the Redsox in the second inning of the second ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 10:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sources: Blue Jays expected to play MLB home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh

The Toronto Blue Jays are expected to play a majority of their home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh this season, sources confirmed to ESPN, after federal officials in Canada refused to let the team host games at the Rogers Centre.

An official announcement is pending approval from the state of Pennsylvania, according to SportsNet, which first reported the news.

Canada’s government denied the Blue Jays’ request to play in Toronto because the regular-season schedule would require frequent travel from the United States, where COVID-19 cases are surging. The other 29 major league teams plan to play the pandemic-shortened, 60-game season in their home ballparks, without fans.

Toronto begins the season at Tampa Bay on Friday.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2020 at 09:52 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Giants manager Gabe Kapler, players kneel during anthem

Kapler, who is beginning his first season managing the Giants after two disappointing years guiding the Philadelphia Phillies, didn’t say how often he would kneel but noted, “We’re going to have 60 chances in the regular season to make the same decision that we made today, to either stand or kneel or do something different. Right now, it’s another opportunity tomorrow night.”
Kapler has been outspoken about social injustice and racial issues and athletes’ roles in helping spur positive change.
As he has in the past, President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted his thoughts on kneeling during the national anthem.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 22, 2020 at 08:12 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: black lives matter, gabe kapler, giants

Statcast said a Yankees player hit a 680-foot home run on Monday

Here’s a bold prediction for the 2020 Major League Baseball season: no one will hit a ball farther than Mike Ford did on Monday night. At least by Statcast estimates.

Ford, the Yankees first baseman, clubbed a massive home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

There was no doubt it was going to clear the fence at Yankee Stadium.

There is some doubt, however, that the baseball traveled an estimated 680 feet.

Zach Posted: July 22, 2020 at 08:12 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mike ford, tall tales, tape measure home runs, yankees

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