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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Carlton Fisk kept it fair, but Keith Olbermann’s attempt to sell historic ball is foul

The best thing about Olbermann is his obsession with getting dogs adopted and saving them from death. The former SportsCenter anchor also is a passionate baseball memorabilia collector, and he’s selling the ball from Carlton Fisk’s 1975 World Series home run to raise money to help dogs. That’s great!

What’s not great is Olbermann’s choice of how to sell the Fisk ball, on a “fractional investing platform” called Collectable.

What does that mean? According to Collectable’s website, “fractional ownership allows many people to share ownership in one item. With Collectable, users can purchase ownership shares of high-end sports memorabilia, giving them fractional ownership of that item.”

You may have tried something like ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 12:56 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: keith olbermann, memorabilia

MLB Just Tried a Bunch of Experimental Rules in the Minors. How Well Did They Work?

No experimental rule generated more trepidation this year than the Atlantic League’s MLB-driven decision to move the mound back by a foot from the strangely sacrosanct distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. There were real reasons to think this change would reduce strikeouts and that the decision was long overdue: It’s worked at various points in the past, in the majors and elsewhere, and pitchers are much bigger and harder-throwing than they were when the current pitching distance was set in 1893. There were also some suggestions that pitchers might benefit from increased pitch movement over a farther flight. Finally, there were fears that the change in distance would cause a spike in injuries, a concern that scuttled a plan to push the mound ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 12:06 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts, mound distance, pitch clocks, robo ump

It’s time for the city of Chicago to repeal the Wrigley Field night game ordinance

The Los Angeles Times reported essentially the same thing:

But the vote left irate residents of the Wrigleyville area surrounding the ballpark crying “foul.” They say night games will rob residents of scarce on-street parking spaces and turn the peaceful, tree-lined neighborhood into a summertime haven for drunks staggering out of the ballpark and nearby bars.

“Lights will mean total chaos,” moaned Dennis Kowal, who has lived less than a block from the park for 43 years. “We wouldn’t have no rest, no peace.”

Reality: None of that has happened. Zone permit parking for residents has alleviated parking issues and in fact, the Cubs allow residents to park in one of their lots on non-game days. There hasn’t been vandalism; in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 11:49 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, wrigley field

Out of the bargain bin, will Rangers’ willingness to spend in free agency be rewarded?

“We didn’t start on the first page the past couple of years,” Jon Daniels, president of baseball operations, said Tuesday after the second of three scheduled marathon meeting days. “We kind of flipped past it. It’s been good this year. The [scouts] have a lot of freedom to make recommendations and to really dig into players. It’s definitely been more enjoyable.”

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Rangers plan to spend money this winter. A lot of it. Perhaps not to the extent of the proverbial “drunken sailor” trope. Maybe more like a gently buzzed naval officer.

The point being there are real dollars available. In the first week after the season, Daniels said the Rangers would move back toward a payroll ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 11:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Yankees GM Brian Cashman says club will ‘address’ shortstop and ‘evaluate’ catcher positions

“Shortstop is an area of need. We have to address it,” Cashman said during the press conference to officially announce Boone’s extension, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

The Yankees’ primary shortstop this season was Gleyber Torres, whose defensive shortcomings make him a better fit at second base. Once the Yankees accepted that reality, moving Torres to the keystone late in the year, they turned to third baseman Gio Urshela at the six. (DJ LeMahieu and Rougned Odor took over at the hot corner.) The Yankees’ infield situation was considered to be one of the biggest unanswered questions entering this offseason.

Clearly the Yankees don’t consider that arrangement to be a tenable one heading forward, and that’s perfectly fine. The free-agent ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 11:31 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Justin Turner likely out for rest of postseason with hamstring injury

- His hamstring injured and his season likely over, Justin Turner got to within 25 feet of first base and tried to stop. He throttled back, hobbling at first before slowing enough to turn the hobble to a limp. Slowly, painfully, he worked his way back to the Dodgers’ dugout, wincing with every step, before Albert Pujols helped him down the stairs and through the tunnel that leads to to the clubhouse.

So now, one loss away from an inglorious end to a remarkable season, the Dodgers are faced with overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the National League Championship Series without their All-Star third baseman, who sustained a hamstring injury while hitting into a double-play in the seventh inning of the 9-2 loss against the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 11:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2021

Kenna [New Mexico] Record, October 21, 1921:

Col. John H. Wigmore, dean of Northwestern University School of Law, advocates the establishment of a federal department of sport with a seat in the cabinet, and would like to see Judge Landis the first secretary of baseball.
...
“The sport should be declared a public service and be taken over by the state for management…This can be done by exercising the power of eminent domain.”

This is horrible, this idea.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 08:12 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, dumb, history, stupid ideas

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Where Mets may turn next as Sandy Alderson’s role in search comes into question

Phase 2 of the Mets’ search is underway, with names such as Josh Byrnes (Dodgers), Brandon Gomes (Dodgers), Scott Harris (Giants), Matt Arnold (Brewers) and Peter Bendix (Rays) potentially on the radar, according to sources. But the odds of the big splash team owner Steve Cohen has sought have substantially subsided.

“The Mets are in a tough spot, because I don’t think fans are going to buy into them bringing in another unknown,” a rival executive said Tuesday. “I see some of those names that are mentioned, and nothing against them, but a lot of them are just new guys and you hire new guys, you are going to go through the same thing again.”

Among the questions buzzing through the industry is whether Sandy Alderson is ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2021 at 05:06 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

New MLB CBA should include amnesty clause

In the absence of new rumors on CBA negotiations, allow us to add a new proposal: the introduction of an amnesty clause. To be clear, this is not a report, simply something that would be good for the health of the sport.

The NBA introduced an amnesty clause in December of 2011, which allowed teams to take a bad contract off their books, sort of. Whatever player the team used the amnesty clause on would still be paid the full compensation owed to them in their current contract. However, said player would no longer be part of their current team, and their often gigantic salary wouldn’t count towards the salary cap anymore.

There, of course, is no MLB salary cap, and to this point there isn’t a suggestion that one is coming. With that said, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2021 at 01:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: collective bargaining agreement

Baseball America: If There’s A MLB Lockout In 2022, What Happens To The Minors Leagues?

In the past, when MLB has either locked out the players or the players have struck, Minor League Baseball continued to play. The vast majority of minor league players are not members of the MLB Players Association, and there is no collective bargaining agreement in the minors—rules are simply decreed by MLB without any negotiations with the players.

So any work stoppage at the MLB level does not impact the minor leagues—with one big exception. Players on the MLB 40-man roster are part of the MLBPA, and as such are expected to honor a picket line (in case of a strike) or are part of the group that is locked out by owners….

The timing of the CBA expiration (Dec. 1) means that tendering contracts and 40-man roster protection decisions ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2021 at 10:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues, minor league, rule 5 draft

Nathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox take issue with pivotal ball-strike call in loss to Houston Astros

Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi took two steps toward the dugout when his 1-2 curveball against Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro landed in the glove of catcher Christian Vazquez close to the top-right corner of the strike zone. With two outs already in the ninth inning, Eovaldi momentarily believed he had stranded Astros shortstop Carlos Correa on second base and first baseman Yuli Gurriel on first, but plate umpire Laz Diaz never signaled the punchout that would have left the score tied at 2 heading into the home half of the inning.

Instead, the at-bat continued, with Castro eventually singling to center field, scoring Correa to give Houston a 3-2 lead in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Soon, the wheels fell off for ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2021 at 10:21 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, umpires

Baseball Games Are Still Too Long—and Getting Longer

The extreme game length that caused this overlap and prevented fans from devoting full attention to both crucial contests is not an aberration, however, but the new postseason norm. The average playoff game this postseason has lasted a gobsmacking three hours and 42 minutes.

Remove the 13-inning, five-hour-and-14-minute battle between the Red Sox and Rays, and the average for nine-inning contests is still an absurd 3:38, the highest ever. This graph shows how the average nine-inning playoff game length has changed since 1969, the first season with intraleague playoffs before the World Series.

Game length has almost always increased, but now that increase is accelerating, too. From 1991 to 2001, the average playoff game increased by eight ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2021 at 10:12 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Slugger Leading Off? ‘It’s Not Analytics, It’s Not a Hunch.’

At 6 feet tall and 229 pounds, Schwarber is built more for the home run derby than the Boston Marathon. He has never stolen a base for the Red Sox. Originally a catcher and mostly a left fielder, he was so clumsy around first base in the division series that he raised his arms in triumph after making a routine play.

Schwarber does have a high on-base percentage — .343 for his career, one point better than Ellsbury’s — but that is not the reason the Red Sox bat him first.

“It’s not analytics, it’s not a hunch,” Manager Alex Cora said after Game 3, when Schwarber’s grand slam powered Boston to a two-games-to-one series lead. “It’s just out of necessity, to be honest with you. It feels really good right now with this ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 01:49 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle schwarber

‘All-in’ Dodgers stealing at will in October

The Dodgers, simply put, are gambling in such a way that the odds are hugely in their favor every time they attempt a steal. Through eight postseason games, the Dodgers are 11-for-11 on stolen-base attempts, including six in two National League Championship Series games. They’re the first team to steal multiple bases in three consecutive postseason games since 1999.

It’s not just one player, either. Those 11 steals have come via five Dodgers. As a team, they’re capitalizing on opposing pitchers by getting elite jumps. Against Atlanta, they’ve taken advantage of slower pop times from catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

With those statistical advantages tilted in their favor, the philosophy is more or less the same as it was for Roberts when he ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, stolen bases

Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez mimics Carlos Correa’s watch gesture, drawing rebuke from Boston manager Alex Cora

The new- and old-school ways of baseball etiquette clashed during the Boston Red Sox’s 12-3 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night when Carlos Correa grounded out to second baseman Christian Arroyo to end the sixth inning.

As Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez walked off the mound, he pointed to his wrist, a reference to Correa’s celebration in Game 1 after the shortstop hit a home run off reliever Hansel Robles. The celebration drew an immediate reaction from Boston manager Alex Cora, who screamed, “Hey, no!”

Upon Rodriguez’s return to the dugout, Cora hugged the pitcher and pulled him in for a conversation.

“Don’t do that,” Cora told Rodriguez.

Cora said he did not want Rodriguez to show up Correa for ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:49 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, carlos correa, eduardo rodriguez

Glenn Burke, baseball’s first openly gay player, to be subject of Netflix series produced by Jamie Lee Curtis, Ryan Murphy

Glenn Burke only played four seasons in Major League Baseball. But the outfielder made an impact during his short career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics and lived a fascinating life.

Perhaps the most defining aspect of Burke’s biography is that he was the first major-league player to come out as gay to teammates, coaches, and team ownership. He talked about it with reporters, though none were willing to write about it in the late 1970s. In his 1995 autobiography, Out at Home, Burke revealed that the Dodgers offered him $75,000 to go through with a fake marriage to a woman to dispel rumors of his homosexuality.

By 1980, at the age of 27, Burke was no longer in baseball, believing that he was shunned because of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:48 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: documentary, glenn burke

Ex-major leaguer Matsuzaka walks away from baseball with love for game

Former Boston Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka said Tuesday he is glad he can end his 23-year baseball career still loving the game.

The 41-year-old seven-time Japanese Golden Glove winner pitched one last time for the Seibu Lions, the Pacific League club where he started his career at age 18, at MetLife Dome on Tuesday night.

He took the mound against the Nippon Ham Fighters wearing No. 18, the “ace number” he wore in 1999 when he turned pro straight out of Yokohama High School….

Matsuzaka announced his retirement on July 7 after failing to recover from a cervical spine surgery last year. Before he signed with Seibu for the 2020 season, he was with the Central League’s Chunichi Dragons for two years and saw minimal action in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:46 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: daisuke matsuzaka, japanese baseball

Aaron Boone to return as manager of New York Yankees

Aaron Boone, who has led the New York Yankees to the postseason in each of his four seasons in the Bronx, will return as manager on a new three-year deal with a club option for 2025, it was announced Tuesday.

“We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “As a team and as an organization, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to get better. Period.

“I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron boone, yankees

Monday, October 18, 2021

The Incredible Shrinking Postseason Starter

Back to the table above, it’s worth calling attention to two columns. First, note that the average number of batters faced has fallen towards and now below 18. Managers are making the call to the bullpen right around the time their starters turn over the lineup, giving them fewer chances to get knocked around while going trough the order a third time. This number has been trending downward during the regular season as well, with the average starter facing 22.7 batters in 2018, 22.1 in ’19, 20.4 last year, and 21.3 this year. During the regular season, starters may still face the meat of the order a third time with some regularity, but fewer and fewer are getting that chance in October, even with fifth starters left off the rosters or ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:48 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: reliever usage

Baseball America: Was The 2020 Rule 5 MLB Draft The Best Of The 21st Century?

That group makes a strong case. So far, 11 of the 18 players selected in last December’s Rule 5 draft have stuck with their MLB teams. Nine of them have fulfilled the Rule 5 roster requirements—they were carried on an MLB roster without being optioned for a full season with at least half of that season on the active roster. Another two (Jose Soriano and Dedniel Nunez) spent the entire season on the injured list and still need to spend half a season on the active roster.

Only 34% of Rule 5 draft picks this century have fulfilled the Rule 5 roster requirements with their new teams. In the 2020 class, 50% of the picks have already done so, with a chance to see that number grow to 61% in the future. The 2001 (50%) and 2014 (71%) drafts ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 11:23 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: akil baddoo, garrett whitlock, rule 5 draft

The fans’ way at Fenway: loud, louder, loudest

“When everybody’s yelling, it feels like they have a microphone and they’re . . . right in your ears - it’s electrifying,” Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo said. “And for the opposing team, you’ve got to find a way to get that momentum to come back, and be loud and take the energy out of the stands. Here, it seems like it lasts all nine innings.”

Verdugo’s a novice at Fenway. The only comparable noise he’s heard in a ballpark is at Dodger Stadium, which holds nearly 20,000 more fans than Fenway.

If it takes 56,000 LA fans to match the volume of 37,000 Boston fans, that sounds about right. It also sounds like Fenway is out-shouting the Red Sox’ 2018 title drive, a campaign that felt almost preordained given the team’s 108 regular-season ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:56 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: fenway park, red sox

Arizona Fall League experiments gone awry, plus notes on Spencer Torkelson, Brett Baty and more: Keith Law

Sub required.

Major League Baseball’s plans to test out various ideas for speeding up games in the Arizona Fall League this year have been, through a week of games, a complete flop.

The Saturday night game at Salt River Fields, the spring home of the Diamondbacks and Rockies, exemplifies the entire problem. The game used the automated strike zone, a variable pitch clock and a ban on shifts. The result was a game that was called after seven and a half innings over three excruciating hours because the teams ran out of pitchers. Why did they run out of pitchers in just seven and a half innings, you ask? Because the pitchers they did use walked 22 guys.

I’m an advocate of moving away from a human-called strike zone, which is going to be ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:47 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts, pace of play, pitch clock, robot umpires

Where do the 107-win Giants go from here after early postseason exit?

Second, there’s going to be plenty of money available. Ownership here has proven plenty capable and willing to spend big. The estimated payroll next season right now if they pick up the Posey option and decline Cueto’s is $126 million. They’ve been over $200 million as recently as 2018. They also just went through a successful season which means ticket sales in 2022 will be highly lucrative. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them get up in the ballpark of $210 million. This doesn’t mean only free agency spending. They could also bring on money via trade if other teams are looking to salary dump productive veterans.

To put it simply: Yes, the Giants have a lot of work to do this coming offseason, but they’ll have plenty of money to burn in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:50 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

One of best ever? Astros INF has a case

Over the next five years, Gurriel at first, Altuve at second, Correa at short and Bregman at third have represented excellence on the diamond for the Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series for five consecutive seasons with a core that includes those four on the infield.

When the Astros play the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday at Fenway Park, Gurriel, Altuve, Correa and Bregman will play in their 64th career postseason game together. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the most postseason games played by four teammates at any position in Major League history….

Astros manager Dusty Baker said the foursome will go down as one of the best infields in history, and that’s probably based mostly on what ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:14 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Former Cubs pitcher Chuck Hartenstein has passed away

Those of us of “a certain age” remember Chuck Hartenstein, a capable reliever for the Cubs from 1966-68. He was nicknamed “Twiggy” for his tall, thin build; some of you might remember a British actress named Lesley Hornby from around the same time, also given that nickname for being tall and slim.

Hartenstein passed away October 2 in Texas. He was 79.

I’m posting this mostly to show yet another example of how Leo Durocher wound up ruining the Cubs after he brought them out of a 20-year slumber in 1967.

Hartenstein, signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1964 — the year before the draft was instituted — debuted briefly for them in 1965, but in just one game as a pinch-runner. He spent most of 1966 in the minor ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Major League Baseball to require teams to provide housing for minor league players starting in 2022

Amid mounting pressure from players and advocacy groups, Major League Baseball said on Sunday it will require teams to provide housing for minor league players starting in 2022.

While MLB has yet to outline its plan formally, six team officials told ESPN they are starting to prepare to help house players across each of their four minor league affiliates. In mid-September, owners from the league’s 30 teams agreed unanimously to a plan that would provide housing for certain minor league players, the league said in a statement. Whether they will offer stipends that fully cover housing or provide the lodging itself has yet to be decided, sources said.

Minor league players have grown increasingly outspoken about their working conditions, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:02 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

MLB in talks to launch nationwide streaming service for home games without cable TV

Major League Baseball is in talks to launch a nationwide video-streaming service that would enable fans to watch their teams’ hometown games without a cable-TV subscription, The Post has learned.

The web-based service — which could address a decades-old annoyance for baseball fans that some have partly blamed for the league’s steadily declining viewership — could launch as early as the 2023 season, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said.

The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League are also considering partnering with MLB on the new streaming service, sources said. Insiders say subscription rates would vary by geographic market and could be between $10 and $20 a month — well below the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:02 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: streaming, television

Friday, October 15, 2021

NBA 2021-2022 Season Thread

I estimate there are maybe 10-12 Primates left on this site, and none of us want to post this thread.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 250 comment(s)
  Beats: get me out of philly, nba, off top

2021 LCS OMNICHATTER!

Red Sox vs. Houston. Atlanta vs. Los Angeles.

Four teams, one OMNICHATTER.

Hombre Brotani Posted: October 15, 2021 at 04:33 AM | 585 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mike Shildt out as St. Louis Cardinals manager, per report

One week after losing the NL Wild Card Game to the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals have made a managerial change. Mike Shildt is out as the club’s manager, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The team has not yet confirmed the news but has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Shildt, the 2019 NL Manager of the Year, replaced Mike Matheny on an interim basis in Aug. 2018, then was given the job permanently following that season. The Cardinals went 252-199 in parts of four seasons under Shildt, winning one NL Central title.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mike shildt

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