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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?


Monday, September 28, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-28-2020

Seattle Star, September 28, 1920:

EIGHT INDICTED WHITE SOX PLAYERS ARE SUSPENDED FROM GAME

CHICAGO PITCHER CONFESSES ACCEPTING CROOKED MONEY

Details of the “confession” made by Eddie Cicotte, White Sox pitcher, on which eight members of the team were indicted by the Cook county grand jury for crookedness in the 1919 world series, were made public late today. Cicotte told the grand jury that each of the eight men were paid individually by the gamblers. He said he got $10,000, and Joe Jackson, another player, $5,000. “Jackson held out for $20,000 but he only got $5,000,” Cicotte told the grand jury. “They promised to pay Jackson the remainder but they never did.”

The crap had officially hit the fan.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 28, 2020 at 10:33 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

MLB rookie status for 2020 amended

The original rule called for players to be considered rookies so long as they had not (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of the 26-player limit (excluding time on the injured list).

With the season shortened and roster sizes of 28 for the vast majority of 2020, the rule has been amended as follows:

1. Because there was no “September callup” period this year, days of service on the Major League roster will include September 2020. So any player who accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 2020 season or during previous seasons prior to Sept. 1 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 28, 2020 at 09:50 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies

Sunday, September 27, 2020

MLB playoffs: Bracket, dates, neutral-site bubbles, everything else to know about 2020 baseball postseason

And here are the bubble locations for the expanded playoffs:

NLDS: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston
ALDS: Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
NLCS: Globe Life Field
ALCS: Petco Park
World Series: Globe Life Field

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 09:58 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

Los Angeles Angels fire GM Billy Eppler after five seasons

The Los Angeles Angels will have a new general manager next season.

The Angels fired Billy Eppler on Sunday afternoon after five seasons with the organization, the team announced. Eppler’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season.

“The Angels organization would like to thank Billy for his dedication and work ethic over the last five years,” president John Carpino said in a statement. “We wish him and his family all the best.”

Eppler was hired by the Angels after the 2015 season. The team failed to reach the postseason or compile a winning record under his watch. They went just 332-376 in his five years, and finished this season with a 26-34 record after a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday — their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 06:21 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, billy eppler

Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson to undergo Tommy John surgery

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced Sunday that starting pitcher Dakota Hudson will require Tommy John surgery. The news is a blow to the Cardinals rotation not only for the rest of this season, which Hudson was expected to miss anyway after the team placed him on the 45-day IL in recent days, but it’s also an unfortunate hit to the team’s 2021 roster.

Though the Cardinals’ description of Hudson’s injury was inconsistent on whether the problem was with the flexor tendon or the elbow in the days following the initial sign of a problem on September 18. Ultimately, after consultations with team doctors and renowned specialist Dr. James Andrews, “everybody concluded this was in his best interest,” Mozeliak said ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 01:58 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dakota hudson, tommy john surgery

Ron Roenicke let go as Boston Red Sox manager; team will begin search immediately

Ron Roenicke will not return to manage the Red Sox in 2021, the club announced before Sunday’s game. A search for his replacement will begin immediately.

Roenicke was hired as Boston’s manager in February, replacing Alex Cora. The Red Sox are 23-36 this season and will play their final game of the year Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.

“Throughout this difficult season, Ron’s consistency and professionalism kept the environment in our clubhouse productive and gave all of our players room to grow and develop,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a statement. “While we believe that, moving forward, we will benefit from new leadership and new energy, that does not diminish how strongly we feel about Ron. He is a man of the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 01:40 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, ron roenicke

Former San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence announces retirement, ending 14-year MLB career

Veteran outfielder Hunter Pence announced his retirement Saturday, bringing an end to a 14-year MLB career.

“Nothing can really prepare you for this part of your career, when you have say, ‘I am retiring from baseball,’” Pence said in a video on Twitter. “I’ve given it everything I possibly can, and the game has given back to me tenfold.”

Pence, 37, was designated for assignment in August by the San Francisco Giants after hitting .096 with two home runs and six RBIs in 52 at-bats this season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2020 at 11:59 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hunter pence

Saturday, September 26, 2020


Friday, September 25, 2020

Nationals To Extend Dave Martinez

The Nationals have agreed to a contract extension with manager Dave Martinez, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). It’s a three-year, $7.5MM contract that will take effect in 2021, Bob Nightengale of USA Today was among those to tweet. His two-year contract was set to expire at season’s end, and the Nats had yet to formally make a call on Martinez’s 2021 club option or on a lengthier deal. The new contract will make quite the birthday present for Martinez, who turns 56 years old tomorrow.

Typically, clubs seek to avoid having a manager or general manager navigate a season with the dreaded “lame duck” status — i.e. no contract in place for the following year — but the Nationals have repeatedly bucked that trend ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 03:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave martinez, nationals

Thom Brennaman resigns as Reds broadcaster

Over a month after he used a homophobic slur on the air during a Fox Sports Ohio Reds broadcast, Thom Brennaman is resigning as the Reds play-by-play broadcaster.

Brennaman had been suspended since the incident, while also losing his Fox NFL assignments. He was also criticized for his apology after, wherein he claimed to have no knowledge of how hateful the word is. Brennaman also maintained his claim that he never used the word before, a difficult assertion to take seriously considering how easily he tossed it off into a hot mic.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 03:52 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: thom brennaman


Yadier Molina collects career hit number 2,000 Thursday night

Yadier Molina added another feather to the cap filled with his Hall of Fame credentials Thursday night at Busch Stadium.

In the bottom of the seventh inning of the Cardinals game against the Brewers, Molina lined a single into right-center field for the 2,000th hit of his Major League Baseball career. A vintage Yadi base hit, the smile on his face when it left his bat—and the subsequent fist bump as he made his way to first base—suggested Molina instantly knew he’d reached the achievement only attained by 11 other catchers throughout MLB history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 01:53 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: yadier molina

Dodgers’ Mookie Betts unseats Yankees’ Aaron Judge for MLB’s top jersey

Judge slotted second ahead of Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper, who is in the second season of a 13-year, $330 million deal.

Fernando Tatis Jr., a breakout star with the San Diego Padres, ranked fourth, ahead of fellow youngster Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals. It’s the first time two players age 21 or younger cracked the top five since Harper and Mike Trout in 2012.

It’s the first year on the list for Tatis, Soto and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who ranked 19th after signing a nine-year, $324 million deal with New York.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 01:51 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: jerseys, mookie betts

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-25-2020

New York Evening World, September 25, 1920:

Interest in the Grand Jury investigation of alleged crookedness in baseball centres to-day in the identity of the man whose name has been given by witnesses as the person who fixed the 1919 World’s Series for Cincinnati to win. H.H. Brigham, foreman of the jury, says that he has the name.

While reticent as to the matter, Mr. Brigham said that evidence thus far introduced had brought about a decision to call as witnesses Arnold Rothstein of New York, millionaire turfman and controlling owner of the Havre de Grace race track; William Burns, former Chicago (American) and Cincinnati (National League) pitcher; Abe Attell, former featherweight boxing champion, and several other well known sportsmen.

“I ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 25, 2020 at 10:09 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

Thursday, September 24, 2020

WaPo: If baseball keeps these grotesque expanded playoffs, it will have lost its soul

I suppose it’s a sin to submit one’s own piece to the site, but what’s done is done.

With the three gradual expansions of the playoffs over the past half century, postseason outcomes have become more unpredictable due to the unique nature of the game: Your most critical players (starting pitchers) are only available once in a short series, or may be off their game, or maybe the opposing team is using an elaborate series of buzzers and trash cans to steal their signs. In fact, if history is any guide, the Dodgers will probably lose the NL wild-card series when Clayton Kershaw is abducted by aliens during the seventh-inning stretch of Game 3, because it always happens the way you expect it to.

That’s why the regular season, the 162-game ...

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Esoteric Posted: September 24, 2020 at 05:29 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: aliens abduct clayton kershaw, business, history

Blue Jays part ways with staff members Hentgen, Quantrill, Huckaby

The Toronto Blue Jays have parted ways with franchise icon Pat Hentgen, fellow special assistant Paul Quantrill and triple-A manager Ken Huckaby, according to multiple industry sources.

The reasons for the changes weren’t immediately clear.


Hentgen, the club’s first homegrown 20-game winner and a beloved part of the 1992-93 World Series winning teams, was in his eighth season as a special assistant to the club, having also served as the Blue Jays’ bullpen coach in 2011 and ’13.

Quantrill spent six seasons with the Blue Jays, earning an all-star nod in 2001, and joined the team as a consultant in 2013 before serving as a special assistant.

Huckaby was promoted to manager at triple-A Buffalo this past off-season after spending ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 05:19 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays


Trevor Bauer Should Just Admit It

Trevor Bauer, Reds ace and heavy-brained edgelord, told reporters after another pristine start Wednesday night that he has done enough this season to deserve the National League Cy Young award. And unlike the time he mangled his hand by carelessly handling a drone, he’s not wrong. By the standard metrics, Bauer should be the frontrunner: he leads NL pitchers in ERA and strikeouts, and is third in innings, and has nine quality starts in 11 appearances. But there is another metric that says that Bauer, long a critic of dirty rotten cheaters, may now be a dirty rotten cheater. Bauer, in his ninth major league season, is suddenly the God of Spin.

Bauer’s sudden jump in spin rate was noted by Fangraphs at the end of last season, when he ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 03:40 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: trevor bauer

Longtime Royals star Alex Gordon to retire

I’m still his #1 fan.

Longtime Royals star Alex Gordon has decided to retire following the 2020 season, the team announced on Thursday.

Gordon, 36, played 14 seasons, all for Kansas City, starring for the 2015 squad that won the World Series.

Gordon was an All-Star three times and has won seven Gold Glove Awards for his excellent defense in left field, including each of the past three seasons.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:19 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon

MLB’s new $3.75 billion deal with Turner includes big changes

Major League Baseball’s new seven-year deal with Turner Sports is for nearly $3.745 billion at $535 million per season, according to sources.

It is a 65-percent increase over MLB/TBS’ previous contract.

When the extension kicks in during the 2022 season, the league and the network are going to try to make their setup more like the one Turner Sports rode to prominence with the NBA, as it will feature a prime-time weeknight game and a new studio show.

Over Zoom, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Warner Media News & Sports chairman Jeff Zucker discussed the new deal with The Post.

Besides continuing its extensive postseason package that includes an annual league championship series, TBS will create a Tuesday game of the week that will ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 11:42 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: television

MLB Pipeline’s 2020 All-Rookie Team

OF: Kyle Lewis, Mariners
.272/.376/.461, 54 G, 11 HR, 36 R, 28 RBIs

While he’s come back down to Earth a bit after a scorching start, Lewis is still very much at the forefront of AL Rookie of the Year talk as he’s tied among all rookies with 11 homers and tops all of them with 88 total bases, all while playing a solid center field.

OF: Luis Robert, White Sox
.225/.297/.444, 52 G, 11 HR, 30 R, 30 RBIs

The tools have been on display all year – he’s swiped eight bases and played an outstanding defensive center field – while tying with Lewis for the rookie home run lead, leading AL rookies in XBH (19) and trailing only Lewis among all rookies in total bases (83).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 11:41 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-24-2020

Pittsburgh Press, September 24, 1920:

Rube Benton Says Pittsburg Betting Syndicate “Fixed” American Leaguers—Gleason’s Men Threatened

Ban Johnson, president of the American league, will be recalled today, it is expected, to tell the grand jury what he knows about an alleged plot to “blackmail” the Chicago Whitesox into losing the American league pennant this year. George M. Cohan, noted actor, and Mont Tennes, a well-known Chicago gambler, probably will be subpoenaed for questioning regarding reports that between them they lost $110,000 betting on the Whitesox in the 1919 world’s series.
...
The statement by [Ban] Johnson declares that he has been informed that the “Whitesox will not dare to win the pennant in 1920,” and alleges that the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history

How empty ballparks would have changed MLB history—and could alter games this October

A baseball hit at a typical home run trajectory travels farther in warmer air, physicist Alan Nathan has shown. A change in temperature of one degree Fahrenheit affects the distance of a batted ball by about four inches, which means a half-degree would matter for two inches, a quarter of a degree for one inch—and baseball, we all know, is a game of inches. In the biggest moments, it’s often a game of even less than that.

Would 2,500 space heaters running nonstop for 3 hours, 46 minutes and 13 seconds have a collective effect on air temperature in a partially enclosed outdoor stadium by one degree Fahrenheit? “It seems plausible to me,” Nathan tells us. “I can’t say that I know with any authori-”

Let’s stop you right there, Nathan. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 08:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Steve Cohen hiring Sandy Alderson as Mets team president

Steve Cohen went back to the future by announcing his intentions to hire Sandy Alderson as team president if he is approved as Mets owner. That could help Cohen’s ownership candidacy and bode poorly for Brodie Van Wagenen’s job security.

If I am fortunate enough to be approved by Major League Baseball as the next owner of this iconic franchise, Sandy Alderson will become president of the New York Mets and will oversee all Mets baseball and business operations,” Cohen said in a statement.

“Sandy is an accomplished and respected baseball executive who shares my philosophy of building an organization and a team the right way. I am excited to have Sandy in a key leadership role with the Mets if my purchase of the team is approved. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 08:57 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sandy alderson

Rosenthal: Royals’ GM Moore seething over union’s stance on 40-man roster camps [$]

Royals catcher Salvador Peréz missed the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, about half of spring training 2.0 after testing positive for COVID-19 and nearly four weeks during the season because of a fluid-filled particle in his left eye.

So when the Royals offered players the chance to remain in Kansas City for a training camp at Kauffman Stadium after the conclusion of the 2020 season, Peréz was eager for the extra work, according to a source with knowledge of the thinking. In fact, 24 of the players on the Royals’ 40-man roster said they wanted to participate, general manager Dayton Moore said.

But two memos from the Players Association, both of which were obtained by The Athletic, said the union was ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 08:55 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Five broadcast tweaks we’d like to see in the MLB Postseason

Make the most of empty seats
I’ve already railed against virtual fans. I’m assuming that since the final three rounds of the playoffs will be held at neutral sites, there won’t be any fan cutouts in the seats (just what we don’t need: cutouts of Astros fans at a potential Cubs-Braves playoff series). That would lead to a perfect opportunity for the networks to make the most of these empty seats and experiment with new camera angles. I feel like only a few RSNs have taken advantage of the opportunity this year, and if there’s any time to take advantage of it, it’s during the playoffs at neutral site venues.

Even though teams and networks have all this technology at their disposal, the core broadcast itself doesn’t feel like ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 06:07 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting

MLB makes independent Atlantic League its first ‘partner league’

Major League Baseball is making the independent Atlantic League its first “partner league,” a distinction awarded as the expiration nears for MLB’s agreement with the affiliated National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.

On Wednesday, MLB said it will meet regularly with the Atlantic League to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities. The sides extended their agreement through 2023 to stage experiments in the Atlantic League, which tested an automated ball-strike system to call pitches in 2019 and has used other innovations such as limits on defensive shifts and mound visits, larger bases and shorter breaks between half-innings.

“The Atlantic League clubs and players have been great partners to us as we jointly ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 05:46 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league


The AL MVP Battle Could Come Down to Philosophy

Absent an incredible final week that eliminates any doubts about who the MVP ought to be, there are a bunch of philosophical choices that voters will have to make. How much does it matter that Anderson and LeMahieu missed time? If we look at the White Sox candidates, Anderson has been the better player when he’s played, but Abreu has 20% more playing time and that’s tough to ignore. LeMahieu’s case is similar to Anderson’s given the time missed from injury….

There’s a decent possibility that the two best players in the AL this year are playing on a 24-31 Angels team, which some will opt to hold against them. It doesn’t take much to convince me that Mike Trout is having the best season of any player in the AL, and his track ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:40 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mvp

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