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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Yahoo: Cards C Molina suspended 5 games for umpire run-in

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina decided not to appeal a five-game suspension for bumping an umpire and spraying him with spittle, saying the punishment was fair.

The Cardinals’ schedule and Molina’s sore hand made the decision easier to sit out now… Molina will return from his suspension Wednesday.

“I was looking at it like, take it right away,” he said. “You want to be part of the race. It’s better to do it now and get it done with and move on.”

Another factor in the decision not to appeal was the bruise on the palm of Molina’s right hand. The injury occurred when he blocked a pitch Wednesday, and he said it likely would have kept him out of two or three games anyway.

NTNgod Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:54 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Minn. man nabbed for fake A-Rod, Pujols jerseys

‘phew’...Good thing Fake Ichiro cornered the market on fake Ichiro jerseys!

The head of a sports memorabilia company in Minnesota is charged with orchestrating a scheme to sell fraudulent merchandise, including jerseys said to be worn during games by baseball players like Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols.

Forty-year-old Steven Jensen of Osseo was arrested Thursday at a sports collectors’ convention outside Chicago. He is charged in federal court in New York with mail fraud and wire fraud.

Jensen is head of Minnesota-based Vintage Sports Authentics. Authorities say he and his company over the last four years auctioned off jerseys purportedly worn by major league baseball players during games.

Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, history, memorabilia

The Messiah is coming

Brett Lawrie has been called up by the Jays.

Travis Snider is headed back to Las Vegas.

Carlos Villanueva is headed to the DL.

Luis Perez is recalled but will pitch out of the bullpen.

Paul D(uda) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 09:26 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, minor leagues

Grantland (Jones): The End of Barry Zito?

Boras then had those numbers printed out on crisp white paper and tucked inside blue binders. Each of them was stamped with silver foil: BARRY ZITO, FREE AGENT PRESENTATION. That binder eventually won Boras and Zito a seven-year, $126 million contract from the San Francisco Giants, then the largest ever for a pitcher. But on that afternoon it was a just a binder, science’s rigid attempt to define the abstract. Boras gave one of them to Zito, who took it back to his house in Hollywood. He put that binder on his kitchen counter and left it sitting out as a reminder of the things that he had done and the things that he would do.

...

That binder destroyed Barry Zito.

Interesting article. I remember reading about Zito’s mind-over-matter ...

Read More...
My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:20 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Gleeman: Rob Dibble will not shut up about Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals

There’s absolutely no reason, other than to sell tickets and to put butts in the seats, to bring Stephen Strasburg back to make a few starts at the end of the season. He’s too valuable. He’s too talented to even think about stuff like that. But in their case, you know, having worked with those people, the only thing I can say is that there are some people there that think they invented the game of baseball. Which they did not.

  And so they think they can do things differently than 29 other teams in the game. That’s the problem I had when I was working there, and now, even when I’ve been working on this channel for the last seven years. It’s pretty simple stuff. You want guys to play 15-20 years, you don’t need to rush a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 05:42 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, nationals, television

FanGraphs: Dan Szymborski Chat, 12 PM EDT

Doing a FanGraphs chat at noon today.
Dan Szymborski Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:41 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Megdal: Jon Niese Reality Check

The Niese

is

was nice?

“The foursome of [Zack] Wheeler, the pitching prospect acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade, [Jeurys] Familia, [Matt] Harvey, and Jenrry Mejia, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, form a nice future nucleus. Throw in Dillon Gee and Jon Niese, perhaps even Mike Pelfrey, and the Mets should have the type of pitching around which to build a contender.” John Harper, NY Daily News

This is not to criticize Harper for this piece, which illustrates nicely the extent to which the Mets are now collecting high-upside pitching prospects. But I think it reflects the way Jon Niese has simply been overlooked. And I’m not sure exactly why that is.

Niese doesn’t have a signature plus-plus pitch, I guess, though an ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 03:23 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, projections, sabermetrics

MLB: San Francisco Giants: Grateful Dead Night

From “Doin’ That Rags” to “John Cumberland Blues”...all shitz, no hitz!

image

Come to the ballpark to celebrate the lives and times of one of the most legendary and coveted groups associated with the San Francisco music scene, The Grateful Dead! Your special event ticket package includes a seat in the “Dead Head” tribute section and a very special limited-edition “Dancing Bears” collectible statue. Grateful Dead tribute bands will perform prior to the game, and members of the Garcia family and the original band will be on hand to throw out the first pitch, perform the National Anthem and much more - stay tuned for further details.

Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:45 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, music

Matthews: Paycheck, not performance, saves A.J. Burnett

Or as Michael the Kay condimented last night…“A.J. looks like a cross between Kramer and Lyle Lovett!”

On the same week that Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova, two young, talented and hungry pitchers, are locked in a one-on-one struggle for one spot in the Yankees’ starting rotation, A.J. Burnett seems to have the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card.

“A.J.‘s starting for us on Wednesday,” Joe Girardi said.

So that’s that.

...And there’s no way anyone else is going to relieve the Yankees of that burden. You can put Burnett on waivers or leave him out with the recyclables for anyone to pick up. You can hang him upside down by his heels in the middle of Times Square.

No one is going to take him, and either he is going to pitch out the remainder ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:36 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: business, game recaps, media, white sox, yankees

McGehee’s three home runs power Brewers over Cards

Three Long Retaliaters!

This is how you respond to a challenge from a fierce divisional rival that wants to see if you’re up to it.

You don’t intentionally throw at the opposing hitters. You don’t woof about their fans or insist your particular brand of justice is the gospel according to baseball. You don’t accuse them of cheating.

You go out and beat that team, soundly if you can.

“We don’t have time for fighting and talking,” said Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee. “We’ve got more important things to do here. We’re going to go out and play baseball.”

That’s what the Brewers did Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park, riding three home runs and five runs batted in by McGehee to a 10-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:08 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals

Schoenfield: Time to start figuring out the MVP races

When the baseball writers hand out their annual league MVP awards, what is the trophy supposed to symbolize? It’s called the Most Valuable Player, but does that mean most valuable to his team, sort of an ambiguous definition used mostly to suggest players on non-playoff teams have no value? Or does it mean the best player in the league, regardless of where that player’s team finishes in the standings?

Now, to me, it’s not that complicated of a debate: Doesn’t “best” imply most valuable to your team? If you’re giving extra credit to a guy on a playoff team, aren’t you potentially rewarding the quality of his teammates? While it’s clear to me, it’s not clear to everyone; this debate rages on every season.

jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 11:35 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Wood: Should Nationals retire a number for Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson?

Long Live Walter Johnson!

image

I know what you’re thinking: “What’s wrong with you? Surely you know that Johnson never wore a number as a player.“True. But he did wear a number - in fact two numbers - as a manager, 23 and 25. One of those would do the trick.

I’ve heard some fans insist that the Twins should be the team to retire his number, since the Minnesota franchise is the original Washington American League ballclub. Johnson, though, never played for the Twins; I’m not altogether certain he ever set foot in the state.

...The day will eventually come when a Nationals’ star has his uniform number retired by the club and hung prominently inside the park. The franchise re-issued the numbers that had been retired in Montreal, since those ...

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Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, memorabilia, nationals, twins

Guthrie absorbs major league-leading 15th loss

Roll On, Norfolkie, Roll On.

Whenever Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound, the Baltimore batters seem to take the day off.

That held true again Wednesday night when the Orioles managed just four hits in a 6-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Guthrie is receiving just 3.3 runs per game, the sixth-lowest support in the American League. In his past 15 starts, the Orioles have scored 47 runs when he was in the game.

“We didn’t mount much offense,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That was the story of the game.”

Guthrie (5-15) yielded six runs on eight hits in seven innings. He leads the majors in losses.

“They were able to string together a couple of hits and then they got a big home run in the seventh,” Guthrie said. “I felt the same as ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 11:21 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, orioles, royals

ESPN LA: Jackson: James Loney’s future in L.A. at risk

Loney are the Brave…or who ever else will take him.

During a pregame media session with Mattingly, I asked him whether, when he thinks about what he wants this team to accomplish over the next few years, he still sees Loney as a part of it. Mattingly’s answer was even less committal than I anticipated.

“I don’t know,” he said. “This probably isn’t the right time to even talk about it. We’re just trying to win a game every day.”

...Throughout his career, Loney has been a stand-up guy, the kind of player Dodgers fans could easily embrace if he wasn’t perceived as the poster child for the team’s maddening lack of offensive punch. The harsh reality, though, is that his time in Los Angeles probably is winding down, that if he ever does ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 04, 2011 at 10:56 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, projections, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-4-2011

Milwaukee Journal, August 4, 1911:

HE WAS THE WRONG O’TOOLE.

PITTSBURG, Aug. 4.—“Marty O’Toole, the $22,500 beauty, will be here at 4 p.m.”, read the sign in front of a pool room on Wylie-av Wednesday.  When Marty O’Toole, policeman, appeared, he almost was mobbed.

Unfortunately, Brandt Andersen didn’t get the memo.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 04, 2011 at 08:38 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

NY Times: The Mets’ Latest Problem: Finding a Position in the Field for [Daniel] Murphy

[Daniel] Murphy’s consistency at the plate, his onslaught of singles and doubles, has buoyed the Mets while they have tried to cope with numerous injuries and several high-profile departures. Entering play on Wednesday, he was fifth in the National League in batting with a .319 average. The fact that he started the season as a role player — and that he missed all of last season with injuries — has made his ascent all the more impressive.

At the same time, he is presenting the Mets with an almost comical quandary. Just where exactly should he play considering his misadventures at any number of positions?
...
In a game in Cincinnati last week, Murphy, again playing first, cut off a strong throw from the outfield that might have nabbed ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:49 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

MLB.com: McGehee satisfies fan’s wish with three homers

Well, at least the kid wasn’t asking Craig Counsell; that would REALLY have been setting himself up for disappointment.

“I’ve got to tell you guys a story before you go,” [Casey] McGehee told reporters. “It was pretty cool.”
...
“This morning, I got to meet a little kid. His name’s Clayton,” McGehee said. “Clayton was being pretty shy, and I kept asking him, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ He wouldn’t ask me anything. Finally, jokingly, his dad asks me, ‘Why don’t you hit a home run for him?’”

McGehee scoffed. He’d hit five home runs all season, none since July 6 and one in his last 63 games.

“If it was that easy, I would have had one by now,” McGehee answered. “How about we just go for I don’t screw anything up for the kid today? ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: August 04, 2011 at 01:45 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Lookout Landing: An Incredible Discovery About Position Players Pitching

Over those 200+ innings, the position players have posted a 7.64 ERA, and a 7.82 RA/9. That ERA is supported by the peripherals, as the position players have generated 77 strikeouts, 157 walks, and 33 home runs. The home runs aren’t laugh-out-loud horrible, but they’re bad, and the strikeout-to-walk ratio is ghastly. Predictably ghastly, sure, but ghastly nonetheless, as position players possess neither command nor putaway pitches.

But there was one statistic that blew me away. One statistic that caught me so off guard that I double-, triple-, and quadruple-checked it to make sure I didn’t screw up the calculation. I looked at the position players’ collective batting average allowed on balls in play (BABIP). I was expecting something in ...

Read More...
hunting for a halo-red october Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:44 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, sabermetrics

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Yahoo News: Ozzie Guillen: Harsh words for actor Sean Penn

Plus his thoughts on Urbina, and the Arizona immigration law.

Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 03, 2011 at 10:37 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: general

ESPN NY: Source: MLB investigates A-Rod

“We’re talking to people involved in the investigation and we’re taking this very seriously,” said an MLB executive who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on condition of anonymity. “Because he had been warned about this before, I would say a possible suspension would be very much in play.”

The allegations, first published by RadarOnline.com, are that the New York Yankees third baseman played in at least two of the games, one of which took place at the Beverly Hills mansion of a record executive at which “cocaine was openly used and a fight nearly broke out when one of the players refused to pay after losing “more than a half-million dollars.”

It is anonymously sourced, and it does not sound like A-Rod did much more than play poker—but since it ...

Read More...
Srul Itza Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:48 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Matt Stairs retires from MLB

Matt Stairs, New Brunswick’s biggest baseball star, is ready to retire after almost two decades playing in Major League Baseball.

Stairs, 43, hasn’t made the official announcement yet but he told CBC News in an interview on Wednesday that his playing days are now done.

And he’s buying the Stairsway to Retirement….

Gamingboy Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:02 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: general

3 from Williamsport Crosscutters injured in bus crash

Three members of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Short-Season Class A team affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies, suffered minor injuries when their bus was involved in an accident on Staten Island.

Police say the accident happened at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, but had few other details.

Gamingboy Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:59 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Legends of the Fuld

At the top, is the head of Sam Fuld, followed by Chuck Norris and the “Dos Equis Guy.”

Diamond Research Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Jilted by the Cubs, Ryne Sandberg has moved on

Who’ll Be The Next In Line…Or The One After That, Or The One After That, Or The One…

‘‘[Cubs general manager] Jim Hendry called me on a Tuesday to say I did not get the job in Chicago,’’ Sandberg said last week before his IronPigs beat the Pawtucket Red Sox. ‘‘Which, later on, I was not surprised about. Because later on, he mentioned I wasn’t even the third or fourth guy in line. There was no other job offering other than, ‘We’d like you to come to spring training, hit a couple of fungoes and walk around.’ At that point, I knew it was time to move on.

‘‘I said I was talking to somebody else that has an appealing job for me to stay on the path I’ve chosen.’’

...Some think Sandberg was spared from the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:03 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history

SI: A firsthand experience with stem cell treatment in pitching arm

CJ could become a stem-cell innovator, but we’ll all still blame him for being all the Tigers could get for David Wells!

Certainly I hope this procedure gives me the results I’m looking for and a chance to do what I love again. But bigger than that is the future of stem cells in sports medicine. I’m fascinated when I think about what’s going on in my shoulder right now.

I asked Jeremy if he thought this therapy could be used proactively. After a few years of professional baseball, all pitchers have tears in their arm to some degree. When I had my first MRI, Dr. James Andrews told me I had a rotator cuff and a labrum tear, but that the labrum tear had been there for years. I was amazed by this; I’d been pitching full speed for years with ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:58 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: business, steroids

MLB.com: Ryan’s Hustle Leads to Unique Basepath Jaunt

The rare “infield triple”:

Ryan beat out a grounder to shortstop Eric Sogard and was behind first baseman Conor Jackson as Jackson held the ball while facing the pitching mound. When Ryan saw no one covering second, with Jemile Weeks having gone over to back up first base, he took off and slid in safely at second without even drawing a throw.

Ryan then popped up and headed for third, seeing third baseman Scott Sizemore had run over toward second and no one was near the bag at third, either, as Jackson continued holding the ball with no one to throw it to. Thus Ryan wound up with what essentially was an “infield triple,” though the official scoring on the play was a single, with the runner advancing to third on a fielder’s choice.

...Read More...
The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:33 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, athletics, game recaps, mariners

Boston Globe: Magnetic Field - MIT program teaches science through physics of baseball

Boston youth resist The Charm of the Highway Strip and don’t Get Lost on The Wayward Bus en route to The House of Tomorrow.

Yogi Berra once said you can’t think and hit at the same time.

However, the New York Yankees legend never attended the MIT Science of Baseball program. It encourages eighth- and ninth-grade inner-city boys to learn baseball-related math and physics each morning and then apply those principles on the ballfield in the afternoon.

[...]

Half of the 30 students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-priced meals at Boston and Cambridge schools. Some worry more about bullets than baseballs; “safe at home” is just a baseball term.

Mattbert Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: college, high school, red sox

NESN: White Sox Slugger Adam Dunn’s Struggles Get Front-Page Treatment From The New York Times

Weak in Review.

Most baseball fans know Adam Dunn is having a really, really bad year. They found out Wednesday just how bad it was.

Dunn’s struggles ranked just below the fallout from the recent debt crisis on the front page of Wednesday’s edition of The New York Times, just below the fold on the nation’s newspaper of record.

“As Chicago’s Designated Hero, Slugger Strikes Out,” reads the headline of the story by Sam Borden.

Historians years from now will look back on Aug. 3, 2011, and come away with two conclusions: Averting a default didn’t solve the U.S.‘s economic problems, and Dunn had a putrid 2011 season.

...Dunn seems optimistic he’ll turn around his performance in the final 54 games and that the White Sox will be glad they ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 03, 2011 at 03:29 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, sabermetrics, white sox

Vote Thurman Munson into the Hall of Fame

I got sent this last night…wonder why.

During his era he was one of the best catchers, Johnny Bench being the best and the other two being Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk, and all are in the Hall of Fame except Munson. An argument can be made that during the years Thurman Munson and Fisk played, Munson was a better all around catcher both offensively and defensively. Munson’s lifetime statistics also compare very favorably to Hall of Fame Catcher Roy Campanella whose career was also ended prematurely. Thurman Munson had a Lifetime Batting Average of .292 and Roy Campanella had a Lifetime Batting Average of .276. In fact Thurman Munson has a higher lifetime batting average then Hall of Fame Catchers Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Johnny ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 03, 2011 at 02:26 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

FanGraphs: Laurila: Q&A: Ron Fairly on Dodger vs. Giants

Great stuff…including…

David Laurila: You had a productive a career that looks even better after accounting for era and park factors. Were you underrated?

Ron Fairly: I think everybody feels that maybe they weren’t appreciated as much as they [should have been] for the contributions they made to ball clubs. I think it goes without saying. A lot of players feel that way.

I think my numbers would certainly be better today. I played in an era — the 1960s — that might have been the most difficult in which to make your living, as a hitter, of any in the history of the game of baseball. I played in Dodger Stadium, which was a big ballpark where the ball didn’t carry very well. It doesn’t take many [lost] hits during the course of a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 03, 2011 at 01:32 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, sabermetrics

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