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Thursday, October 08, 2020

MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For 2020

Viewership Up
Based upon the 25 metered MLB RSNs for 2020 in the U.S., viewership was up 4.2% for the 60-game regular season based on P2+ (people ages 2 and up) from the start of the season on July 23 through September 27. That’s promising news for a league that had to compete with the NBA and the NHL, which pushed their seasons in the wake of the pandemic. Unsurprisingly given their market size, the Yankees and the Dodgers led the way in average viewers per game, followed by the Phillies, and Cubs.

In terms of the largest average viewership increase, the Chicago White Sox led the way with growth of 136% (90,708, compared with 36,040 in 2019), followed by the Oakland A’s, up 108% (44,257, compared with 21,232 last year); the Los ...

Paul d mobile Posted: October 08, 2020 at 06:36 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: nielsen, ratings

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (October 2020)

James Bond pic No Time to Die is delaying its November 2020 release to spring 2021 amid the challenges posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the filmmakers announced Friday.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, the 25th installment in the iconic spy franchise had been set to open Nov. 12 in the U.K. and Nov. 20 in the U.S. It will now open on April 2, 2021 in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.

MGM, Eon Productions and Universal had been intent on sticking to the November rollout but were finally forced to shift course because of continued challenges facing the box office, including cinema closures in certain top markets and re-closures in others.

OT - October 2020 College Football thread

October, when ghosts, goblins, Big Ten and Mountain West come out to play.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 08, 2020 at 06:36 AM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, off-topic

RIP Minor League Baseball: 1901-2020

Today marks the end of the last Professional Baseball Agreement between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball—and with MLB working on a dramatic makeover of MiLB, it’s the end of Minor League Baseball as we know it…Whether or not these changes are a good idea or not isn’t really relevant: MLB has all the power and is in the mode of dictating terms to Minor League teams…

And with the inevitable end of the National Association, so ends a uniquely American institution.

NattyBoh Posted: October 08, 2020 at 06:36 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: contraction, milb, minor leagues

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona had surgeries during season

Indians manager Terry Francona revealed he underwent several surgeries in a four-day span and required an extended stay in intensive care while dealing with major health issues that sidelined him for most of the 2020 season.

Francona missed 48 of Cleveland’s 62 games during the pandemic-shortened season. He initially underwent an operation for a gastrointestinal problem in August that had bothered him for a year.

That was followed by blood clotting that led to more operations and him being admitted to the Cleveland Clinic.

“It was kind of a tough time,” Francona, 61, said Wednesday on a Zoom call from his home in Arizona. “I don’t want to go through that again.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2020 at 05:27 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, terry francona

MLB Allowing Fans in Arlington Is Unsafe–and Unsurprising

Georgia Tech created a tool that estimates, given community spread, the likelihood that a gathering of a given number of people will include someone carrying COVID-19. In Tarrant County, where Globe Life Field is located, the chance that someone at a gathering of 10,000 has the virus is more than 99%. The chance that someone at a gathering of 10 has it is 22%. Hope the bathroom lines are short!

Kathleen Bachynski is a PhD in epidemiology who wrote a dissertation and a book on youth football and now teaches at Muhlenberg College. She believes that MLB became too comfortable after it snuffed out its early outbreaks. No one is rooting for the league to fail and for people to become sick. But sometimes we draw the wrong message from success. ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2020 at 04:26 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-7-2020

Washington Evening Star, October 7, 1920:


Another reel of the autumn world series thriller, entitled “Taking the Third Game,” was thrown this afternoon on the base ball screen with the gonfalon winners of the National and American leagues—Brooklyn and Cleveland—in the leading roles. Some 20,000 or more fans saw the Dodgers and Indians come to grips in the odd game on the Brooklyn’s ball lot before taking the trail westward tonight to engage in a four-ply affair on the Indians’ reservation in Cleveland.

The Dodgers knocked Cleveland starter Ray Caldwell out of the game with two runs in the first inning and made that lead stand. Duster Mails threw 6.2 innings of scoreless relief for Cleveland in a ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 07, 2020 at 10:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

Dick Williams resigns from Cincinnati Reds’ president of baseball operations job

Dick Williams, the Cincinnati Reds’ president of baseball operations, had a meeting with owner Bob Castellini at the end of August where he shared some surprising news:

Williams told Castellini that the 2020 season was likely going to be his last year as the head of the front office, no matter how the team’s season ended.

He was told to keep an open mind after the August meeting, but Williams confirmed his decision in meeting with Castellini this week and resigned from his position Wednesday.

“When we sat down, I told him we were going to make the postseason this year, even though it didn’t look that way at the time,” Williams said. “I am so grateful that came to pass because of the joy it brought to the fans, the players ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2020 at 09:39 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Ex-girlfriend of Sam Dyson speaks out as MLB investigation continues

For the first time since alleging in November Sam Dyson was abusive toward her and her cat, the ex-girlfriend of the former Giants reliever has spoken publicly about her ordeal.

Alexis Blackburn, in an extensive piece by The Athletic, which included police interviews, that was published Tuesday, alleged Dyson had been abusive for years. An incident in which Blackburn says Dyson kicked a kennel that housed her cat and prompted surgery for the cat led to her going public because, she said, proof of violence against the feline would be taken seriously.

Included in the story are pictures of a bruised Blackburn, who alleged multiple incidents of physical violence by Dyson, whom she was frightened of partly because he owns firearms.

“I’m ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2020 at 09:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic abuse, sam dyson

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Disastrous Phillies, Angels, Rockies front offices cautionary tales for Steve Cohen’s Mets

Word is Steve Cohen’s first big expenditure upon being formally approved as new Mets owner will not be on a high priced free agent such as J.T. Realmuto or Trevor Bauer, but rather an investment to beef up the Mets’ analytics department.

It is certainly understandable why Cohen, whose hedge fund entities are all operated with a heavy influence of analytics and data, would want to take that same route in baseball. The Mets’ analytics department — headed up by Adam Guttridge, a Brodie Van Wagenen hire who is said to have played an integral role in the acquisition of J.D. Davis and holding on to Jeff McNeil — is reportedly one of the smallest in baseball. At the same time, it was a smart and safe move on Cohen’s part to install ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2020 at 05:36 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steve cohen

Sorry, But The Yankees Are The Good Guys

It may be difficult to stomach, but at least philosophically and perhaps ethically, the New York Yankees should be the neutral fan’s heroes in their ALDS series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Yeah, sorry, but it’s true! Though it might be traditional to look at the younger team who’s never won a title as the scrappy underdogs and, though it might feel really, really good to despise the institution that is the New York Yankees with all their history, arrogance, and opulence, the reality of this series is that one team is trying its damnedest to win a frickin’ world championship and the other has tried to optimize the work of building a roster so much that the idea of “entertainment” feels like a tertiary concern at best.

While ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2020 at 12:59 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-6-2020

Grand Forks Herald, October 6, 1920:

Burleigh Grimes fitted a fine coat of whitewash on the backs of the Cleveland Indians today and the Brooklyns, champions of the National League, walked off the field with a 3 to 0 victory in the second game of the World’s Series. Grimes’ spitball tied the backs of the Clevelanders in knots, while Brooklyn’s hitting was timely, the National Leaguers getting their hits in clusters which meant runs.
“A wind blown fly was the cause of our downfall yesterday,” said Manager Robinson of the Brooklyns today. “With an even break on luck my club will show the way to victory.”
“We have looked the Brooklyns over and my men feel they can take the majority of the games,” said [Cleveland manager] Speaker today. ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 06, 2020 at 10:09 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

Lou Gehrig confirmed Babe Ruth’s famous ‘called shot’ in the 1932 World Series in recently found audio clip

Unearthed radio sound from Yankees icon Lou Gehrig helps further one of baseball’s most legendary tales: that Babe Ruth called his shot. The Bambino supposedly pointed to the center field fence at Wrigley Field in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, calling that he’d hit a home run in that direction. As the legend goes, he made good on his word and broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth inning. The Yankees would go on to win the game and the World Series.

This clip comes courtesy of Dan Joseph, author of the Gehrig biography “Last Ride of the Iron Horse: How Lou Gehrig Fought ALS to Play One Final Championship Season,” who first heard the audio while researching for his book late last year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2020 at 09:12 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth

Monday, October 05, 2020

Spiders, Speculation and Trademarks — What’s Next in the Cleveland Indians’ Search for a New Franchise Name

Cleveland already owns the rights to the Cleveland Naps, Cleveland Bronchos and Cleveland Blues. (These were all registered in 2010 for merchandise reasons and renewed in 2020.) The team also has two trademarks on “Tribe,” which makes it unlikely the government would grant the “Cleveland Tribe” trademark to anyone else.

In all four of those cases, prior use and registrations would likely mean a quick and relatively easy process with the USPTO, Moskowitz says.

Which, if the Indians want to have a new name for the 2021 season, would be the most cautious and realistic option, given the timeline of the initial review and the fact that it’s already October, she says. Otherwise, something entirely new would mean Cleveland might be waiting ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 05:38 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Rhys Hoskins out 4-6 months after having surgery on UCL

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the UCL in his left elbow this past Friday, the team announced.

The surgery, performed by Dr. Steve Cohen, comes with a recovery timetable of four to six months.

Hoskins missed the final 17 games of the 2020 season after injuring his left UCL attempting to catch a ball thrown into the baseline by catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Phillies were 22-19 in games that Hoskins played in during the 2020 season, but went just 6-13 in games that the first baseman wasn’t in the lineup for.

Hoskins acknowledged late in the season that he had a small tear in his left UCL, but there was hope that it would begin to heal on its own and he could return for the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 04:03 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, rhys hoskins


Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 05, 2020 at 12:27 PM | 206 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Found family: Mike Henneman, former MLB closer, connects with seven long-lost siblings after DNA tests

In June 2017, with Henneman’s now-wife Meredith encouraging him to find out more about his past, he took an Ancestry DNA test. This was new territory for him. His baseball career dealt in facts, in statistics and numbers.

He was drafted three times, signing as a fourth-round pick of the Tigers in 1984 out of Oklahoma State — he helped the Cowboys to two College World Series trips and was named to the Cowboy Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. He saved 193 games in his big league career, including seven seasons of 20-plus saves, and he’s second on Detroit’s all-time saves list. Fred McGriff went 0 for 17 in his career against Henneman, Bo Jackson was 0 for 10 and Joe Carter was 3 for 27. He finished sixth in the American League Rookie ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 12:26 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mike henneman

Why MLB has a brain drain problem in front offices; and how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated it

A former front office type, who had been a senior member of an analytics department, recently recalled when he decided to leave the baseball industry. It was right after he returned home from spring training, which had been shuttered in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I started preparing my résumé that weekend,” he said. “I got home and was like, ‘I’m going to dust off the old thing.’” By the time the season started nearly four months later, he had escaped to an industry situated on firmer ground than that under Major League Baseball’s cleats.

He’s one of countless individuals who departed the industry this summer. Some exits, like his, were voluntary; many were not, and were instead the result of sweeping layoffs. Even ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 10:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, coronavirus

Supreme Court allows minor leaguers’ class action over pay

The Supreme Court is allowing a class-action lawsuit to proceed from minor league baseball players who allege they are being paid less than minimum wage.

The lawsuit involves minor league players in Arizona, California and Florida.

The justices offered no comment Monday in rejecting Major League Baseball’s appeal.

The players first sued major league teams in February 2014, claiming most earn less than $7,500 annually in violation of several laws. A judge had initially allowed only the California players to sue, but the federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled in favor of the players from Arizona and Florida.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 10:41 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: lawsuit, minor league pay

Home away from home: How parks will play

Immediately, the wheels start turning. Instead of the Yankees and Rays holding Game 3 and (if necessary) 4 in the Bronx, with that enticing short porch, they’ll be in spacious Petco Park. Instead of the the Braves and Marlins spending a game or two in the pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, they’ll be taking aim at the Crawford Boxes in Houston.

That’s going to matter. It might not always be so clear how, but you can absolutely guarantee that there’s going to be a big spot where a ball dies at the warning track, and fans will guarantee that it would have definitely gone out at home, if only their team had been there. How do we approach trying to evaluate this kind of unexpected park factor?

Wait, it gets better. Three series—the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: park factors

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-5-2020

Rock Island Argus, October 5, 1920:


The Clevelands, champions of the American league, topples over the Brooklyns by a score of 3 to 1, today in the first game of the world series. The National league champions were helpless before the mystifying slants of the big spit-ball pitcher, Coveleskie. He was given sterling support by the Clevelands, especially Speaker who ranged far and near, robbing the hapless Brooklyns of seeming hits. O’Neill starred at the bat with two doubles. The official attendance was 23,984.


Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 10:11 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For 2020

In a season unlike any other, Major League Baseball saw viewership increase while ratings were down because of a lower number of households being tracked. This is how, in an upside-down season, comparing sports viewership numbers from last year with 2020 is not apples-to-apples. It’s more like apples to apple cider with orange zest.

This year, Nielsen NLSN +0.6% moved to track viewers not just at home but also digitally. This provides a window into true viewership, something that’s been missing for some time as mobile via over-the-top (OTT) has become a large part of the equation. The problem is, not all of MLB’s regional sports networks are part of the paid service now provided by Nielsen. Currently, only 25 RSN MLB teams play ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2020 at 10:03 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: television ratings

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Fair Skies, Foul Balls: How Weather Influences Baseball

Should I have filed this under Primate Studies? Congrats to Mike on appearing in WaPo.

On a late July evening at Dodger Stadium last season, baseball’s best player stood near the visitors’ on-deck circle, preparing to face one of baseball’s best teams. After Mike Trout watched a Los Angeles Angels teammate take a strike to open the game, far above the field, the press box loudspeaker announced, “7:11 start; 83 degrees at game time.”

Trout, a three-time American League MVP, is also a weather geek. And he will tell you that in baseball, temperature isn’t the only meteorological factor that matters. There was, for example, no mention of the humidity, the gentle wind blowing out toward center field, or cotton candy clouds in the ...

villageidiom Posted: October 04, 2020 at 12:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: weather

Former MLB pitcher Charlie Haeger, 37, found dead in Grand Canyon while on the run from police after killing his ex-girlfriend, 34, who’d been seeking restraining order against him’

A former professional baseball player sought in the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend in a Phoenix suburb was found dead Saturday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Grand Canyon, police said.

The body of Charles Haeger, 37, was discovered about 4pm on a trail along the South Rim of the National Park in northern Arizona, Sgt. Ben Hoster, a Scottsdale Police Department spokesman said in a statement Saturday night.

Haeger, who played five seasons in the MLB as a pitcher, was reportedly on the run from police after allegedly shooting to death his 34-year-old ex-girlfriend, Danielle Breed, inside her home in Scottsdale the day prior.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2020 at 09:01 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie haeger

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Former Dodgers lefty Perranoski dies at 84

One of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ greatest left-handed relievers of all-time, Ron Perranoski, passed away at the age of 84 on Friday night at his home in Vero Beach, Fla.

Perranoski, who was born Ronald Peter Perranoski on April 1, 1936, in Paterson, N.J., was instrumental in leading the Dodgers during their string of pennants and World Series championship between 1963 and 1966 as the ace of their bullpen.

“Ron Perranoski played a major role in the success of the Dodgers as a great reliever and a mentor to many great young pitchers over his 30-year career in the organization,” said Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten.

“Perry,” as he was called, played in the Major Leagues from 1961 to 1973, signed with the Chicago Cubs out of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 03, 2020 at 04:47 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: obituatries, ron perranoski

Rangers To Reduce Payroll In 2021

Enjoy your new stadium!

Like many or most other teams, the Rangers are planning to trim their payroll in response to the revenues lost during the shortened 2020 season.  In a session with media earlier this week, managing partner Ray Davis told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and other reporters that “two major factors” will contribute to less spending next year.

“The first is how much baseball is going to lose [financially] in 2020.  And also, the life cycle of our club,” Davis said.  “We have some high-paid contracts rolling off our payroll.  We will have some minimum salary players coming on.  So, it gives a justification, if you will, to not to spend as much.  The economics of baseball has been so sad this year and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 03, 2020 at 04:41 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

The Phillies demote general manager Matt Klentak after five non-winning seasons and no playoff appearances

The Phillies demoted general manager Matt Klentak on Saturday after he failed to build a winning team in five seasons despite carrying one of baseball’s highest payrolls in recent years. He will be assigned to another position in the organization.

John Middleton’s decision to demote Klentak came just 20 months after the team’s managing partner compared the general manager to Hall of Famers Branch Rickey and Pat Gillick. Middleton called Klentak one of baseball’s elite general managers after he acquired five former all-stars before the 2019 season.

And now Middleton will begin his search to hire the 12th general manager in franchise history. The Phillies have a world-champion manager, a superstar right fielder, and an ownership ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 03, 2020 at 04:25 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: matt klentak, phillies

OT - 2020 NFL thread

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive for the coronavirus and is out for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, league sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates.

“Late last night, we received notice that a Patriots player tested positive for COVID-19. The player immediately entered self-quarantine,” the Patriots said in a statement Saturday. “Several additional players, coaches and staff who have been in close contact with the player received point of care tests this morning and all were negative for COVID-19.”

In a statement, the NFL said Sunday’s scheduled game will be played either Monday or Tuesday due to “positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.” A source told Schefter that “Tuesday is more ...


Friday, October 02, 2020

‘Sweet’ Lou Johnson, who hit winning homer for Los Angeles Dodgers in ‘65 World Series, dies

Sweet” Lou Johnson, who hit a key home run for the victorious Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series and scored the only run in Sandy Koufax’s perfect game the same year, has died. He was 86.

Johnson died Thursday night at his home in Los Angeles, according to the Dodgers, who were informed by his wife. He had been in ill health and had recently celebrated a birthday.

Johnson played 17 seasons in professional baseball, including eight years in the majors with the Chicago Cubs (1960, ‘68), California Angels (1961, ‘69), Milwaukee Braves (1962), Dodgers (1965-67) and Cleveland Indians (1968). He hit .258 with 48 homers and 232 RBIs in 677 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2020 at 11:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lou johnson, obituatries

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