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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Former All-Star pitcher Carlos Martínez gets 80-game ban for positive drug test

Former All-Star pitcher Carlos Martínez was suspended for 80 games Friday under baseball’s minor league drug program following a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance ibutamoren, which increases human growth hormone.

The 30-year-old right-hander signed a minor league contract with San Francisco on March 19. He was released and signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox on May 7.

Martínez made a pair of starts for Triple-A Worcester, at Toledo on May 8 and against Rochester on May 14, going 0-2 with a 20.77 ERA in 4⅓ innings. He was released May 17.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2022 at 12:08 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos martinez, peds

Report: Reds OF Tommy Pham slapped Giants’ Joc Pederson over fantasy football disagreement

For a while, it was hard to figure out what exactly what happened before Friday’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants.

We knew a confrontation in the outfield escalated to the point two people had to be separated. We knew it didn’t reach any kind of brawl status, even though the Reds bullpen cleared. We knew Reds outfielder Tommy Pham was scratched from the lineup with no explanation right before a rain delay ended. And that was about it….

According to The Athletic, Pham slapped Giants outfielder Joc Pederson over a disagreement with their fantasy football league. Specifically, Pham reportedly slapped Pederson “Will Smith-style,” and we take that to mean the actor and not the Los Angeles Dodgers catcher or ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2022 at 12:08 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: joc pederson, tommy pham

Friday, May 27, 2022

Baseball’s underground cheesesteak-eating contest

“It wasn’t even a dare,” Young told me in a recent call. “I was just hungry.”

But after eating 11 cheesesteaks over a three-game series in Philadelphia some time in the early 2000s, the Detroit Tigers All-Star unknowingly launched a competition that would continue on for two decades: An underground, cheesesteak-devouring contest in the bowels of Citizens Bank Park—beyond the cheering crowds and behind the double doors of the visitors’ clubhouse. Players, coaches and, most notably, bullpen catchers, have come into town raring to set a new sandwich-eating high.

Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello took down 14 in 2011. A second Mets bullpen catcher, Eric Langill, topped that with 17 in 2013. Two years later, Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2022 at 11:12 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: philadephia

It’s getting difficult to envision the Red Sox without J.D. Martinez

So, why aren’t we knocking down Chaim Bloom’s door when it comes to keeping Martinez around past 2022?

Perhaps it’s because there was an assumption in some corners when Martinez signed his deal that either he wouldn’t see the end of his five-year, $110 million, surely taking one of the three opt-outs. Or if he was around, at the age of almost-34 years old the DH would be limping to the finish line.

Well, here he is. Arguably better than ever, and, arguably, more important than ever.

“I’ve always felt like I was different,” Martinez said. “I’ve always felt … I have an unorthodox way of doing things in the sense of nobody ever recorded BP swings. No one ever brought toy bags to the cage. I was one of the first people to do that. I ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2022 at 09:54 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez, red sox

Thursday, May 26, 2022

MLB, in memo, rebukes clubs for ‘unacceptable’ workplace facilities for women employees

In a pointed letter to teams last week, Major League Baseball said numerous clubs’ stadiums “fall embarrassingly below the high standards” necessary for women who are part of the game’s traveling parties to do their jobs, create an “untenable working environment” and that organizations soon must reconfigure their facilities to fix what the league deemed “unacceptable,” according to a copy of the memo obtained by ESPN.

The letter, sent May 20 by MLB senior vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill to general managers, assistant general managers and some ballpark-operations staff, highlighted the issues a wide array of women—including coaches, trainers, analysts, translators, mental-health professionals, massage therapists, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:12 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball

At long last, a fun new tool at Baseball Savant. Pitch tempo

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 05:14 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch tempo

Gammons: While outsiders wonder about the ball, MLB’s pitching coaches fret about finding enough innings

Sub required.

There are many factors in play, between making velocity programs more important than learning to pitch, leading to multiple operations by the age of 22, to misguided deliveries. Fractured seasons, beginning with 2020, stretching to the HO-scaled 2021 season, and this abbreviated spring training necessitated by the lockout and the belief that playing close to 162 was more important than the physical ramifications of building up pitchers. And, remember, players can only be optioned to the minors five times in a season, which will further add to the physical stress. In mid-May, several stories were justifiably written about how the Padres would utilize the depth of their starting pitching depth; on May 22, Mike Clevinger went ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 04:24 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries

Yankees sign infielder Matt Carpenter

The New York Yankees announced on Thursday that they have signed three-time All-Star infielder Matt Carpenter to a Major League contract and added him to the active roster.

Carpenter, 36, has batted .262 (1,153-for-4,403) with 752R, 301 doubles, 28 triples, 155HR, 576RBI, 699BB and 27SB in 1,329 games over parts of 11 Major League seasons, all with the St. Louis Cardinals (2011-21). The left-handed hitter has appeared defensively at third base (671G/623GS), first base (333G/254GS), second base (246G/229GS), right field (19G/11GS) and left field (7G/3GS) in his career.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 04:15 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: matt carpenter, yankees

How Good Are Those Probabilities on the Apple TV+ Broadcasts?

That’s a mouthful, so let’s take an example. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the count-based model gave a batter a 30% chance of reaching base. If the nVenue probability was higher than that, I had them bet “reach base.” If it was lower, they bet “don’t reach base.” The payout is simple: if the model “bets” on reaching base, the payout is 0.7 if the player reaches base (1-0.3), and -0.3 if the player doesn’t reach base. It’s the same for every pitch; the “payout” is either one minus the odds (for a positive result) or the negative of the odds (for a negative result).

You could rinse my model by gambling against it this way. All you have to do is bet on good outcomes when the batter/pitcher matchup ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 03:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: apple tv

Met Their Match? Infield Defense a Little Off

The Mets haven’t done well at turning ground balls and bunts into outs in their first 46 games. They rank sixth-worst in that stat percentage wise (their out conversion rate is 71%) and in Defensive Runs Saved when combining the skill and positioning of their infielders (-5 Runs Saved).

That 71% out conversion rate is particularly troubling when you consider the expected out rate on those batted balls – 79% (expected rate based on historical out probabilities).

Perhaps the most important thing in this piece is that the gap of 8 percentage points between their actual and expected out rates is the worst in the majors.

If the Mets’ actual out rate matched their expected out rate, they’d have turned 38 more ground balls and bunts ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 02:59 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

OMNICHATTER for Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 26, 2022 at 05:23 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Analyzing the early returns from the Blue Jays’ unorthodox defensive experiment

Not only are the Blue Jays moving fielders around in a general sense, they are making a particular commitment to four-outfielder alignments. In Montoyo’s first year as manager they threw an extra man into the outfield on just 38 pitches, and that number has shot up recently.

While it’s far from the team’s most common defensive alignment, it’s become an important card up the Blue Jays’ sleeve — and they’re by far the league’s biggest proponents of the unorthodox defence. Only six teams haven’t tried it in 2022, and the other five have combined to throw fewer pitches with a four-man outfield (289) than the Blue Jays.

If Toronto is going to be an extreme outlier on the 3-4 defence, it’s worth asking how effective ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2022 at 03:12 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dylan carlson

Who in MLB is must-see TV right now? This season’s most watchable teams and players

If you love the young and brash

Gonzalez: They’re young, they’re fun, and they’re undeniably good. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (23) is already one of the world’s best hitters. Bo Bichette (24) is on a path to stardom. Alek Manoah (24) is flat-out dominant. The Blue Jays boast an exhilarating young core surrounded by an impressive cast of veterans in their prime, a list that includes George Springer, Matt Chapman, Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Jordan Romano and a host of others. They haven’t hit full stride yet, but they will. And when they do, it’ll be a blast.

The Blue Jays are the model team for a sport desperate to appeal to a younger audience—young, likable, loose, explosive and diverse, as is perfectly illustrated on their illustrious home ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2022 at 03:11 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

3 years later, this trade has flipped in a BIG way

Padres received: OF Trent Grisham, RHP Zach Davies
Brewers received: IF Luis Urías, LHP Eric Lauer, a PTBNL or cash

Milwaukee and San Diego will wrap up a three-game series at Petco Park on Wednesday, so it seems like a perfect time to revisit the trade and examine how it’s flipped in favor of the Crew, thanks in large part to Lauer’s breakout.

How it started
When the trade went down, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns described it as a deal that would address the needs of two up-and-coming clubs.

“This is one of those trades—and they don’t come across all that often—where you really are lining up on team needs with another team,” Stearns said. “This isn’t a case of one team in a competitive cycle and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 25, 2022 at 03:08 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: eric lauer, trent grisham

Anaheim City Council votes unanimously to halt the sale of Angel Stadium | LA Times

The Angel Stadium deal is dead.

The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously late Tuesday night to kill the sale of Angel Stadium and the surrounding property, in the process bracing for what city councilmen said could be a long and nasty legal battle with Angels owner Arte Moreno.

Under the terms of the sale agreement, if Anaheim kills the deal, the city could refund the $50 million Arte Moreno already has put into escrow, plus up to $5 million in his “transaction costs” and potential legal fees. However, the city’s preliminary legal position is that the alleged fraud might relieve the city of that burden – and could trigger a court to order Arte Moreno’s company to pay the city’s legal costs.

Arte Moreno, who formed the ...

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 25, 2022 at 06:22 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: anaheim, angels, arte moreno, stadium deal

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ex-Brooklyn Dodgers catcher, New York Mets coach Joe Pignatano dies at 92

The New York Mets said Pignatano died in Naples, Florida, at a nursing home. He had been suffering from dementia.

Pignatano had been the last living coach from the 1969 Mets, who made a remarkable run under manager Gil Hodges to reach the World Series and then startled Baltimore and the baseball world for their first championship.

He remained as their bullpen coach through 1981.

“To me, he was Uncle Joe. He loved the city and loved talking about his days with the Dodgers and with Gil. He was a baseball lifer,” former Mets star Lee Mazzilli said.

Pignatano made his major league debut with Brooklyn in 1957. On Sept. 24, he took over for future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella and caught the final five innings in a 2-0 win over Pittsburgh. It ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2022 at 09:50 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: joe pignatano, obituaries

OMNICHATTER for Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 24, 2022 at 08:25 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Monday, May 23, 2022

Anaheim mayor resigns amid corruption investigation involving Angel stadium deal | Politico

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu has resigned in the face of a growing federal corruption investigation alleging Sidhu sought to wring campaign donations from baseball stadium negotiations.
A federal affidavit released this week has jolted California’s tenth-largest city, laying out evidence that Sidhu sought to turn the city’s prolonged attempt to sell Angel Stadium — home of the major league Angels — to his personal advantage.

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 23, 2022 at 11:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angel stadium, angels, corruption

OMNICHATTER for Monday, May 23, 2022

Hombre Brotani Posted: May 23, 2022 at 04:39 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

These 5 MLB Breakouts Are (Probably) For Real

J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners
The aforementioned established major leaguer, J.P. Crawford graduated as a prospect during the 2018 season. Known for his consistent presence on defensive highlight reels, Crawford’s glove made up the lion’s share of his value as a big leaguer. Coming into the 2022 season, however, Crawford’s offensive output had been on a three-year incline, netting wRC+ marks of 87, 95 and 103 over the past three seasons. That alone earned him a five-year extension.

While Crawford has always shown an above-average skill set when it comes to avoiding strikeouts and drawing walks, with rates near or better than the league average three years running, the best mark he had mustered in weighted on-base average (wOBA) was ...


Look Good, Feel Good, Play Good. Smell Good?

Although a baseball field is perhaps the last place people would expect to smell like concoctions of flowers, fruits and tree oils, the players have their reasons. Among the most cited: They don’t want to smell bad when they sweat, and the emotions attached to their colognes and perfumes — special occasions, a specific frame of mind, positive vibes — are helpful reminders during tense competitions.

“These guys are all physically capable,” said San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler, 46, who was on the receiving end when the former star slugger Manny Ramirez sprayed cologne on his teammates before games when they were on the Boston Red Sox.

“They’re all plenty athletic, plenty strong, plenty talented to have success on the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2022 at 09:25 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: perfume

Sunday, May 22, 2022


And then there’s this, perhaps the single best argument in favor of Votto as a baseball legend. Over the course of his career, he’s led the National League in on-base percentage (OBP) seven times. The list of players in baseball history who have led their league in OBP at least seven times over the course of their career: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb, Votto. That’s it. Even better, Votto led the league in OBP for four consecutive seasons, from 2010 to 2013. In the entirety of baseball history, only three other players have ever done that: Hall of Famers Hornsby, Williams, and Wade Boggs.

Some of you might be thinking, Big deal. All he does is walk. Back in 2013, after Votto had already won a National ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2022 at 11:59 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: joey votto

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Yankees, White Sox benches clear after Josh Donaldson calls Tim Anderson ‘Jackie’ Robinson

“He made a racist comment, Donaldson, and that’s all I’m gonna say,” La Russa said.

Anderson later revealed what Donaldson said to him, telling reporters that the Yankees third baseman called him “Jackie Robinson” on multiple occasions throughout the game.

He just made a disrespectful comment,” Anderson said. “Basically was trying to call me Jackie Robinson, like ‘what’s up Jackie?’ I don’t play like that. I don’t really play at all. I wasn’t really gonna bother nobody today. But he made the comment, and it was disrespectful. I don’t think it was called for.”

Anderson then said that Donaldson called him Jackie “the first time he got on” and later repeated it.

“I spared him that time, and then it happened again,” Anderson continued.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2022 at 10:20 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: josh donaldson, tim anderson

Seattle Mariners sign Justin Upton

Looking to boost their lineup, the Seattle Mariners signed veteran slugger Justin Upton to a one-year contract Saturday.

Upton, a four-time All-Star, was released by the Los Angeles Angels on April 8 heading into the final season of a $106 million, five-year guaranteed contract. Seattle must pay him only a prorated share of the $700,000 major league minimum.

The 34-year-old Upton batted .211 with 17 home runs, 41 RBI and a .705 OPS in 89 games for the Angels last season.

The top pick in the 2005 amateur draft, Upton is a .262 career hitter with 324 homers, 1,000 RBI, 151 stolen bases and an .814 OPS in 15 major league seasons with Arizona, Atlanta, San Diego, Detroit and the Angels. He has won three Silver Slugger Awards.

The ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2022 at 10:19 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: justin upton, mariners

Adley Rutschman, MLB’s No. 1 prospect, called up to O’s

After years of anticipation and weeks of speculation, Adley Rutschman has arrived.

The Orioles on Saturday promoted baseball’s top overall prospect, setting the stage for one of the most anticipated big league debuts in recent memory and marking a milestone in the franchise’s rebuilding efforts. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, he’s been ranked one of baseball’s top two prospects since the summer of 2020 and is currently No. 1.

Rutschman is in the Orioles starting lineup Saturday against the Rays, batting sixth and catching right-hander Kyle Bradish.

“I’d say about as excited as I can be right now,” Rutschman said at Oriole Park on Saturday afternoon. “I mean, this is probably about the coolest thing, the coolest moment ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2022 at 10:18 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: adley rutschman, orioles

Friday, May 20, 2022

Roger Angell, Who Wrote About Baseball With Passion, Dies at 101

Roger Angell, the elegant and thoughtful baseball writer who was widely considered among the best America has produced, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 101.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife, Margaret Moorman, said.

Mr. Angell’s voice was original because he wrote more like a fan than a sports journalist, loading his articles with inventive imagery.

The Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk came out of his crouch, Mr. Angell wrote, like “an aluminum extension ladder stretching for the house eaves.” The Baltimore Oriole relief pitcher Dick Hall pitched “with an awkward, sidewise motion that suggests a man feeling under his bed for a lost collar stud.” Mr. Angell (pronounced angel) described Willie ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2022 at 05:00 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, roger angell, sportswriters

Sports teams love crypto. What happens when their sponsor strikes out?

The Nationals signed a five-year, $38.15 million deal this winter to promote Terra and received all the money up front. The internal debate, according to multiple people with knowledge of the discussions, is centered on whether the organization should honor its agreement with Terra and keep the company’s name on its luxury club behind home plate, where “Terra” is stripped across every seat, and elsewhere in the stadium.

As the fallout from Terra’s crash continues, the Nationals’ predicament highlights the potential pitfalls for athletes, teams and leagues that have tethered their brands to the volatile digital currency.

The terms of the Nationals’ contract with Terra include naming rights to its premier club, signage around ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2022 at 02:30 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cryptocurrencies, nationals

Sports Venues Create Quiet Refuge for Fans with Sensory Needs

Installed in time for a trial run on Opening Day, designers of what is called a “sensory nook” say the space was created for neurodivergent guests—those with autism or ADHD, for example—but is free for anyone like Burns who needs to step away from the action. It’s portable and features an overhead light that shines when the nook is powered on. A tactile board lights up with stars. And it can vibrate if needed for a calming effect.

“People really appreciate that it’s there,” said Eric Petersen, who is director of ticket services for the Mets and chairman of the team’s Accessibility and Disability Alliance. “They’re just grateful to have a space for their family member to go to in case they need to get away for a second.”

At times, people ...

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 20, 2022 at 10:26 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: medical, special needs

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