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Saturday, May 23, 2020

MLB, players’ union are working to salvage season, and the next two weeks are critical

“ A two-tiered negotiation unlike any in the roughly 150-year history of Major League Baseball or the 54-year history of the MLB Players Association proceeds this weekend on parallel tracks, with nothing less than the fate of the 2020 season at stake. The issues: how to play baseball during a global pandemic and how to divvy up a shrinking pile of money.
Both carry immense challenges — in the case of the former, how to maintain the spirit of the game and some semblance of personal freedoms while keeping everyone healthy; in the case of the latter, how to overcome deep philosophical differences and distrust built up over half a century of contentious coexistence.
And time is running out.
On the other side of Memorial Day, baseball will ...

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majorflaw Posted: May 23, 2020 at 07:30 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: covid-19,

Friday, May 22, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2020

[Indianapolis] Indiana Daily Times, May 22, 1920:

Announcement that the New York Yankees will be permitted to continue playing at the Polo grounds next season and probably for some seasons to come, was received with satisfaction by New York today.

In a recent statement issued by the owners of the New York Giants, it was said that the Yankees would have to seek a new playing field after this season.

[National Commission Chairman] Garry Herrmann, [American League President] Ban Johnson and others then conferred and evidently were able to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Giants which will permit the Yankees to remain.

...until the next time the Giants try to boot them, which if the pattern holds, should be right around mid-July.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 22, 2020 at 10:26 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Where have all the top lefty pitchers gone?

Last year, there were nine 3-WAR southpaws in baseball (Matthew Boyd, Patrick Corbin, Marco Gonzales, Cole Hamels, Kershaw, John Means, Mike Minor, Eduardo Rodríguez, and Ryu; there were 28 from righties). Dating back to the start of divisional play in 1969, so spanning 51 seasons, that’s the third-fewest in a season—with one enormous caveat.

Fewest 3-WAR lefties in a season, 1969-2019

7—1994
8—1981
9—2019
9—1992
10—five seasons tied
11—five seasons tied, including 2018

You see the issue there, right? 1994 was a strike year, where teams averaged 115 games. 1981 was also a strike year, where teams averaged 107 games. WAR is a counting stat, so fewer games played means less time to pile up stats. (Only one hitter in 1981, for example, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2020 at 06:09 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: left-handed pitchers

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

‘The Wild West:’ MiLB Teams On Chopping Block Scramble To Find MLB Partner

When the two sides meet again, there is an expectation that MLB will have a term sheet, laying out which 120 teams will be part of full season baseball in 2021, and which leagues they will play in. They also will spell out the details of the license agreements that they are proposing to replace the current player development contract (PDC) process by which MLB teams and MiLB teams currently form affiliations.

MiLB teams are jockeying for safe landing spots in advance of the expected changes. While no agreement has been reached between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball, both MLB clubs and MiLB owners are nearly universally operating under the expectation that there will be 120 full-season affiliated teams in 2021 whenever an ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league

Oakland A’s haven’t made rent payment, Coliseum exec says

The Oakland Athletics have balked at paying the $1.2 million required under contract to use the Coliseum, the head of the stadium authority confirmed Tuesday.

Henry Gardner, the interim head of the Coliseum Authority, said the A’s informed him they had “no ability to pay” the annual rent due April 1.

“They said because they haven’t used it, they were not able to generate revenue and they have no ability to pay,” said Gardner, who stepped in as Coliseum Authority Executive Director after Scott McKibben’s resignation in August.

“We recognize that we’ve all been upended in a number of ways,” Gardner said. “Maybe there are some things we are willing to negotiate and waive, but we can’t just say no rent.”

The A’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2020 at 09:55 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Inside Major League Baseball’s toughest game yet

On separate occasions in late March, representatives of sports unions, including the Major League Baseball Players Association, were told by administration officials that the threat of the virus was exaggerated and testing “was not the end-all, be-all,” as one union official put it, contradicting the advice of the White House’s own task force.

“We’re having to work to separate fact from fiction to make sure our guys are protected. It’s a very delicate dance,” a union source said….

“I wouldn’t want to put players in Atlanta’s ballpark,” said Beth Blauer, the executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civic Impact, which specializes in the use of data to advise governments and nonprofits on best practices. “You have to determine ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2020 at 06:20 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Bartolo Colon, 46, yearns for one more season in the majors

Even though Bartolo Colon hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since September 2018, the 46-year-old is not thinking about retirement.

Colon hopes to pitch one more big league season, and if given the choice, it would be with the New York Mets.

“I thought that last year maybe I would have the opportunity,” Colon said on a video call with ESPN. “I know that if it didn’t happen last year, this year would be less likely. I’m getting older and the game is all about the young pitchers coming up. When you get older, teams no longer need your services.”

Colon, who has pitched 21 seasons and won 247 games, said his time with the Mets from 2014 to ‘16 held some of his fondest memories. He highlighted the clubhouse environment and the Mets’ young ...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Minor League Baseball Is in Crisis

While MLB has yet to announce whether minor league games will be played this year, the specter of a canceled season looms large within front offices across the country. Season tickets were sold in the offseason, as were sponsorships, and those companies’ names now dot walls in empty ballparks and are stamped on boxed-up bobbleheads.

“All the deposits have come in, and we’ve spent them,” says one owner, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the situation facing minor league teams. He adds that he worries about a Great Depression–like rush among sponsors if the season is canceled. The local auto dealer that paid for a promotional night that never happened, for instance, may well want its cash returned. “They might need ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2020 at 01:16 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: minors

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-19-2020

Prescott [Arizona] Weekly Journal-Miner, May 19, 1920:

Good Kids to See Ball Game Two Days Each Month

The [Sacramento] board of education today accepted an offer of the Sacramento baseball club owners and agreed to dismiss the elementary schools early twice a month during the baseball season. On those days all “good children” will be admitted free to the games.

If I recall correctly, they did a similar thing in Cleveland in the 1980s, but it was actually a punishment for children who misbehaved.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 19, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, May 18, 2020

Leitch/MLB: The best moment in each ballpark’s history

Indians (Progressive Field): Rajai Davis homers ... but the Cubs win the 2016 World Series - Nov. 1, 2016 (World Series Game 7)

Indians fans will always have a soft spot in their heart for Davis, whose game-tying homer off Aroldis Chapman was the stuff of fairy tales. But for the purposes of baseball history, the most significant moment at Progressive Field is the Cubs winning that game and their first World Series in more than a century.

Royals (Kauffman Stadium): Don Denkinger’s call - Oct. 26, 1985 (World Series Game 6)

If they had clinched the 2015 World Series at home—or if Alex Gordon had been sent home and scored at the end of the 2014 Series—maybe that would be the moment here, but Denkinger’s call remains immortal.

...Read More...
villageidiom Posted: May 18, 2020 at 02:55 PM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: history, lists, nothing better to do, stadiums, will leitch

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-18-2020

Rock Island Argus, May 18, 1920:

Gambling’s grip on the major American sports is being loosened by a general pressure on the wrist.

War on the baseball gamblers is working up a good sized casualty list and moans are being heard from several of the big race tracks where the shots of stewards are finding a mark.

Following a policy adopted during the winter when tales of the “fixed” world series were being passed around, the major league club owners are enlisting the aid of city police and private detectives against the professional grand stand gamblers.

Sounds like a good plan. I imagine that by the end of the 1920 season, nobody will even be thinking about allegations of a fixed 1919 Series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 18, 2020 at 10:34 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sunday, May 17, 2020

AP: MLB Projects $640k Per Game Loss With No Fans

The New York Yankees alone would have $312 million in local losses when calculating their earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. New York’s figure includes about $100 million toward the bonds that financed new Yankee Stadium, money that already has been paid for 2020.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were at $232 million in local losses, followed by the New York Mets at $214 million, Chicago Cubs at $199 million and Boston Red Sox at $188 million.

Detroit would have the lowest negative EBIDTA — an accounting measure used to assess profitability — at $84 million, with Baltimore at $90 million, and Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay at $91 million each. Figures exclude distributions from the central office, which projects to ...

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Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 17, 2020 at 05:14 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, mlb, mlbpa

Aspiring MLB team owner Alex Rodriguez thinks players should take revenue-sharing deal to save season

A recent episode of ESPN’s Get Up was a particularly egregious session in which Mike Greenberg and Mark Teixeira extolled the owners’ deal and minimized player concerns. As our Andrew Bucholtz put it, “it’s rather funny to see Greenberg and Teixeira, two people who have been quite enriched by agents’ attempts to get what their labor is “worth,” out here arguing that MLB players should just take whatever owners are proposing to them.”

The same can be said of Alex Rodriguez, who, for many, is the posterchild of enriching one’s self in order to get paid their true worth, and who is now trying to get players to agree to this deal out of a sense of duty to baseball fans.

“It is the people’s comfort food and people are ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2020 at 05:14 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez

Top 10 MLB Organizations At Identifying Undrafted Free Agents

4. Mets

The Mets are the only other team with the Pirates and Phillies to sign five future All-Stars as NDFA’s: Kevin Mitchell, Jeff Reardon, Heath Bell, Heathcliff Slocumb and Jim Bibby. The five combined for 11 all-star appearances, and Mitchell is the only NDFA to win an MVP award. The Mets also found NDFA successes in 15-year big league reliever Greg Harris and popular former utilityman T.J Rivera.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2020 at 05:14 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: undrafted free agents

The L.A. Browns? How one day in ‘41 changed MLB

The Browns were so certain they were moving that they had even set up a news conference in Los Angeles at Lyman’s Cafe. All they needed was for the official vote, which was expected to pass. The Browns would head west, more than 15 years before the Dodgers and Giants ended up doing so.

And so, the vote was scheduled. It was to take place in Chicago on the morning of Monday, Dec. 8, 1941. The news conference in Los Angeles was scheduled for 1 p.m. PT the same day. The Browns would triumphantly introduce themselves to Southern California. Major League Baseball would span coast to coast.

The vote did indeed take place. Each team voted against the move—including the Browns. If you know anything about American history, you know what had ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2020 at 05:14 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: st. louis browns

Rob Manfred estimates $4 billion loss for MLB team owners if no baseball in 2020

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred tried to put a dollar figure on baseball not being played at all this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Manfred told CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Thursday that the 30 clubs could lose about $4 billion combined if there are no games. Cooper did not follow up on how Manfred arrived at that estimate.

Manfred said teams are willing to stage games behind closed doors at the start of the season and not take in revenue from fans. MLB is estimated to be a $10 billion industry.

“Playing in empty stadiums is not a great deal for us economically,” he said. “Our owners are committed to doing that because they feel it’s important that game be back on the field and that the game be a sign of a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2020 at 05:14 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: fake news

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Repeated coronavirus testing key to MLB reopening

We hope that we will be able to convince the vast majority of our players that it’s safe to return to work,” Manfred said. “The protocols for returning to play, the health-related protocols, are about 80 pages in length. They’re extraordinarily detailed.

“So we hope that we’ll be able to convince them that it’s safe. At the end of the day, however, if there’s a player with either health conditions or just their own personal doubts, we would never try to force them to come back to work. They can wait until they feel they’re ready to come.”

The protocols, Manfred said, include everything from the cleanliness of chartered flights between series to reduced exposure by players to stadium workers. But testing will be the key to it all working, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2020 at 10:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Houston Astros Cheating Scandal Docuseries From LeBron James’ Uninterrupted Coming to Quibi

Quibi and LeBron James’ Uninterrupted sports media company are teaming up for a new docuseries about a cheating scandal that has gone down in baseball infamy.

The short-form content platform has ordered “Sign Language” (working title), a series which aims to give viewers an inside look at the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal and its unprecedented fallout.

Per the logline for the series, it will look to “transcend the baseball diamond to explore larger themes of greed, cheating, corruption, sportsmanship, and social media activism.” News of the series comes around two months after it was announced that “Slow Burn” producers Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons are looking to hit a home run with a podcast about the Astros’ ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2020 at 05:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Friday, May 15, 2020

MLB Announces Official Dates For Shortened 2020 Draft

The five rounds of the 2020 MLB draft will be held over two days, June 10 and June 11. Both days will be televised by MLB Network.

On June 10, the first 37 picks (the first round and the first competitive balance picks) will be announced, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

On June 11, the remaining 123 picks (the second through fifth rounds) will be announced, beginning at 5 p.m. ET…..

Teams will be allowed to sign an unlimited number of nondrafted eligible players for up to $20,000, but there will be strict restrictions on talking to nondrafted players about signing during, or in the days immediately following, the draft. MLB went into detail to attempt to limit the possibilities of teams offering any sort of special inducement to convince a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:06 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Proposing A 44-Game 2020 MLB Season, Expanded Playoffs

So here’s our proposal. Instead of an 81-game season and an expanded 14-team playoffs, cut the season even more dramatically to 44 games with a 20-team playoff format.

Is it radical? Absolutely. Is it ideal? Not a chance. Is it the best from an array of bad options? Maybe.

MLB argues that some teams will lose money on regular-season games without fans. Cutting the season from 81 games to 44 reduces those issues, while expanding the playoffs potentially adds to postseason revenues.

For the players, such a proposal doesn’t require tearing up the current deal. Players have already agreed to be paid at a prorated amount based on the number of games played—so if there were a 44-game regular season, players would be paid 27 percent of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 12:48 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Barry Zito unmasked: Ex-MLB star talks ‘Masked Singer’ reveal and which teammate knew it was him

Talk about a curveball! Fans of the FOX competition show “The Masked Singer” got a bit of a surprise Wednesday night when The Rhino was eliminated as one of the show’s final four contestants.

Underneath The Rhino’s mask wasn’t long-time country star Trace Adkins, like some judges had thought. It wasn’t Sam Hunt, either, the college football-player-turned-country singer that some fans had guessed.

It was Barry Zito, the former Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants star. He was a Cy Young winner, a World Series champ and now — in a twist not many people would have seen coming — he outlasted the likes of Bret Michaels, Lil Wayne, Chaka Khan, Tony Hawk, JoJo Siwa and, yes, even Sarah Palin on the popular show.

Zito retired ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 11:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: barry zito

Former MLB manager Art Howe in ICU due to the coronavirus

Art Howe, who managed the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and New York Mets after his major league playing career, is hospitalized in intensive care with the coronavirus, Howe confirmed to Houston TV station KPRC 2 on Thursday.

Howe, 73, told KPRC 2 that he first felt COVID-19 symptoms on May 3 and learned he was positive two days after being tested. After trying to recover at home, he was transported to a hospital by ambulance Tuesday after his symptoms grew worse, and he remained in the ICU on Thursday night.

Howe’s initial symptoms included chills that made him shake “like a leaf,” then he felt “total fatigue” in addition to losing his sense of taste.

“Never experienced anything like it before,” Howe told KPRC 2.

...Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 11:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: art howe, coronavirus

Remembering Bob Watson as an Astros legend

Former Astros great Bob Watson died Thursday at the age of 74 after a long battle with kidney disease.

Watson, who made his big league debut in Houston at 20 years old in 1966, played 14 of his 19 big league seasons with the Astros. His best seasons in Houston came in 1973 and 1975 when he hit .312 with 16 home runs and .324 with 18 home runs, respectively.

Watson, who was known as “Bull” for his 6-foot, 201-pound frame, went on to become the Astros general manager from 1993 to 1995 before leaving to take the same job with the New York Yankees where he became the first African-American general manager to win a World Series title.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, obituary, yankees

Rays’ Blake Snell says MLB players should be fully rewarded for taking the maximum risk

“On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell echoed Clark’s condemnation of the MLB plan, saying he would not play in 2020 if he wasn’t paid the salary laid out in his contract, considering the health risks he would be taking by simply showing up to the ballpark.

“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young winner, said in a video posted to social media. “It’s a shorter season, less pay.. . .

“No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and ...

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majorflaw Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-15-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 15, 1920:

The New York American League baseball club will have to hunt for a new home next season. A statement to this effect was made at Forbes Field yesterday by John J. McGraw, manager of the New York Giants…The Yankees’ leads on the Polo Grounds expires with this season and the Giants are not inclined to renew it.
...
[McGraw:] “The money is secondary…We wish the Polo Grounds to be known exclusively as the home ground of the Giants and therefore must ask the Yankees to get grounds somewhere else.”
...
[Yankees president Jacob Ruppert:] “If the Giants do not want us any longer on the Polo Grounds, there is no use staying around where one is not wanted. I do not know how successful the Yankees will be this ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Nashville group hoping to bring Major League Baseball to town applies for logo trademark

An effort to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville is moving forward despite the coronavirus pandemic, and John Loar, the leader of the small group of investors behind the push, recently filed to trademark a logo.

On April 28 Loar, a recently relocated California businessman, on behalf of Music City Baseball LLC, filed a federal trademark application to register a trademark of three red stars — a large one with two smaller ones on each side — as a logo.

The logo is similar to the one used by the Nashville Stars of the Negro Leagues in the 1940s and 50s. Loar has said his team will also be known as the Nashville Stars and will pay homage to the Negro Leagues.

“What we’re trying to do is honor not only the name and it’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:50 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: nashville

Why this retired slugger might be MLB’s highest-paid player in 2020

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, former Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is in position to hold that distinction if there are no significant changes to the shortened-season pay structure previously agreed to by the owners and players.

Here’s how, per Rosenthal’s report:

Prince Fielder, owed $24 million in the final year of his contract with the Rangers, is to receive his full termination pay under terms of the March agreement between the owners and players regarding a shortened or canceled 2020 season.

The amount Fielder receives might decrease if the parties reach a subsequent deal to reduce the pay of players who were released before the COVID-19 pandemic, but such an ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:50 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: prince fielder

INTRODUCING A DYNAMIC HARD HIT RATE AND “TRUEHIT”

Tangotiger
@tangotiger
·
18h
Oh, this is VERY fascinating.  It basically marries the idea of Barrels (dynamic hard hit rate based on launch angles in a DESCRIPTIVE manner) and the Predictive “Major League Outs” concept into a compelling framework.

Very very fascinating.  I think this is exactly where…I was trying to go and couldn’t figure out exactly how to get there.  Yes, I think this is an excellent path to get there.

Mike Webber Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:25 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: barrels, launch angle, sabrmetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-14-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 14, 1920:

Construction of a sport stadium at Two Hundred and Twenty-fifth street and Broadway which will have a seating capacity of 30,000 was begun [yesterday].

The enclosure will have a six-lap bicycle track, and also will contain a cinder patch for track events. Work on the stadium is being rushed, the owners said, to permit its use for the final tryouts for bicycle racers who will represent the United States at the Olympic games.

This is in Marble Hill, just across the river from Manhattan Island. The Yankees had been talking about building a stadium on this site for about a decade, but it obviously didn’t happen for them. I don’t even think this stadium happened, though I admit I haven’t done exhaustive ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 10:44 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Mets’ three-decade journey to David Wright

I absolutely love trade trees! This one has all sorts of fun connections involved…

TJ Posted: May 13, 2020 at 09:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

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