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Friday, July 22, 2022

San Francisco Giants sign Trevor Rosenthal, who hasn’t pitched in majors since 2020

ight-hander Trevor Rosenthal signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Rosenthal has a chance to pitch in the majors for the first time since 2020. He will be on the injured list with a hamstring strain initially, and manager Gabe Kapler said he’s several weeks away from helping the team.

Kapler called Rosenthal “one of the more effective closers in the game. The talent hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s an electric arm.”

He has the potential to earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses for big league games pitched: $50,000 each for 15 and 18 games; $150,000 for 23 games; $200,000 for 28 games; $250,000 for 33 games; and $300,000 for 38 games pitched. In addition, Rosenthal also could make $1 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 10:56 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, trevor rosenthal

MLB’s international strategy likely to lead to South Korea games

MLB will extend its international reach into a new Asian market, with sources saying that South Korea is the leading location to host a season-opening series in 2024.

That would mark the first MLB regular-season games in that country and add to an international growth plan that has seen the league schedule such games in Mexico City (four two-game series), London (three), San Juan (two) and Tokyo and Paris (one each) between 2023 and 2026.

The push marks the “most ambitious international play plan in league history,” according to Jim Small, MLB’s senior vice president of international.

This would not be the league’s first foray into South Korea. MLB opened an office in Seoul three years ago and set up grassroots programs and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 10:51 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: korean baseball

‘Everybody Needs Some Oxygen’: What It’s Like to Be a Reliever on the Run

There are two parts to every baseball altercation. One is everything that happens on the infield—where the scuffle begins and the dugouts quickly empty out. And the other is the journey through the outfield, long and traditionally futile, in which relievers dutifully cover hundreds of feet from the bullpens just to get a glimpse of the action.

Or put more simply:

“By the time we get down there, it’s all broken up,” says Pirates reliever David Bednar. “And you’ve just gotta walk back. Everybody’s out of breath, and everybody needs some oxygen.”

They realize from the start that all their effort is probably for naught: They often run all the way out there only to turn around for the walk back. While all their other teammates ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 10:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brawls

Thursday, July 21, 2022

What Yankees, Mets refuse to do in Juan Soto trade sweepstakes

Early word is the Nationals may be willing to accept a prospect-heavy package, especially if an acquiring team is willing to take on a “bad” contract, for 23-year-old wunderkind Juan Soto. The seeming interest in prospects over current pennant-race contributors is leading folks to believe Soto has a decent chance to be dealt now.

That might mean a package ask from the Yankees starting with Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza and Jasson Dominguez. And from the Mets a package beginning with Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty and Ronny Mauricio.

There’s no confirmation on any exact request yet. But as to whether the Mets or Yankees would surrender their three top prospects plus more, the answer from folks on both teams was the same: No.

...
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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 08:13 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: juan soto, mets, yankees

Nolan Ryan documentary ‘Facing Nolan’ throws streaming fastball for MLB fans

His record seven no-hitters and 5,714 strikeouts will likely never be matched in baseball.

All aboard the Ryan Express as the documentary “Facing Nolan” hits streaming Tuesday.

“A lot of people wonder why hasn’t there been a Nolan Ryan movie because the guy is such a legend, he played for so many years, broke so many records and he’s such an enigmatic character,” Director Bradley Jackson told WTOP. “A lot of people, especially Texans, I’m from Texas as well, are very thankful the movie is now out in the public.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:12 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: documentarie, nolan ryan

Pablo Sandoval has severe Red Sox regret, and it’s well-earned

In a recent interview, Sandoval told Joseph Bien-Kahn of GQ that he wishes he never signed with the Red Sox and that he should’ve stayed with the San Francisco Giants.

I should have stayed with San Francisco. I know. I learned my lesson. But I’m happy I went through it, man, because I kept my eyes open and learned a lot of things”.

At the time of his signing in Boston, Sandoval was well on his way to becoming one of the most popular and well-liked players in Giants history. He had made two All-Star Games, finished in the top-17 of the NL MVP voting twice, and been a part of three World Series winning teams. He played the game with a ton of energy and seemed to always be having fun.

Then he left.

In November of 2014, Sandoval ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 03:43 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox

Assessing the state of MLB in the 8th year of Rob Manfred’s tenure

MLB, like all entertainment businesses, is trying to grow revenues and add new fans. One big problem: its paying customer base is shrinking unlike other sports.

MLB’s on pace for its worst attendance season in a year not dramatically affected by COVID since 1995 and 1996, when the sport was coming out of a damaging strike.

MLB attendance peaked in 2007 and has been gradually declining since, and that drop has accelerated in recent years.

From 2007-19, attendance declined by about 1% per year on average, and 14% total. But compared to 2019, the last full season without COVID restrictions, attendance is down 7.5% this year.

At the moment, attendance per game is down 13.6% since Manfred’s first full year in 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 01:24 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

What’s the Deal With Major League Baseball’s Bizarre New ‘Official Vodka’?

In early July, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced a sponsorship with vodka brand Distill Brands International (DBI)....

Spirit-loving baseball fans may be eager to get their hands on the products. However, the MLB’s July 8 release states that they won’t be available until early 2023 — and, at that, only in three states. As the sponsorship grows, DBI promises to expand beyond New York, Florida, and California to restaurants and retail locations across North America.

Those looking for a preview on what’s to come via DBI’s prior, non-MLB offerings will come up similarly short. The company’s website showcases only the soon-to-launch branded bags of cocktails and flavored shots, among multiple “coming soon” pages. In fact, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 12:15 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: sponsorships

Boston among teams interested in Mets first baseman Dominic Smith

The Red Sox are among the teams that have discussed first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith in trade talks with the Mets, according to a report from FanSided’s Robert Murray.

Smith, 27, has yo-yoed between Triple-A and the majors this year, appearing in 58 games for New York and 15 for Triple-A Syracuse. In the majors, the lefty swinger owns a .194 average with zero homers, 17 RBIs and .560 OPS in 152 plate appearances. He’s having a down year after also struggling in 2021 but is just two years removed from an excellent 2020 (.316 average, .993 OPS in 50 games). He also had a good offensive season in 2019 (.282, .881 OPS in 89 games).


Smith has split his time in the majors between first base (187 games) and left field (182 games) but ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 11:16 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dominic smith, mets, red sox


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

MLB All-Star Game draws record-low 7.634 million viewers

Fox announced that 7.634 million people watched the game, which is a record-low and the first time that the ASG has drawn under eight million viewers. The good news Fox touted in its release is that the MLB All-Star Game remains the most-watched All-Star Game in sports, ahead of the NFL Pro Bowl (6.69 million), the NBA All-Star Game (6.28 million), and the NHL All-Star Game (1.15 million).

A night earlier, the Home Run Derby drew 6.877 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2.

While baseball has traditionally been the most-watched All-Star Game in the US, its grip on that top spot has been slipping. Per Sports Media Watch’s excellent data, the game hasn’t topped ten million viewers since 2015, and hasn’t exceeded 12 million since ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 20, 2022 at 11:20 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star games, television ratings

America’s favorite family outings are increasingly out of reach

We began with 2022 data from the FanCostIndex, which compiles the average price of tickets, food, beverages, and parking across all 30 MLB teams. Then, we calculated the total cost of the items a family of four typically buys at the ballpark:

Four Tickets
Two Beers
Two Sodas
Four Hot dogs
Parking
At today’s ballgames, the total of these items varies regionally, from a whopping $324 (Boston Red Sox) down to $126 (Arizona Diamondbacks).

But across all teams, the average works out to $204.76 per family.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 20, 2022 at 03:47 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: ticket prices

‘The Kids We’re Helping Are Like Walking Lotto Tickets’

As far as athlete extractions from Cuba go, there’s no manual, no database and, often, no rules. Most athletes turn to smugglers, hiring coyotes often linked with cartels and organized crime syndicates. Some climb on dangerous speedboats.

The athletes assume these risks for a number of reasons. They might not know of an alternative way out. They might know someone who escaped Cuba without harm. Mostly, though, those methods represent the fastest way from their old life to their new one. Still, there are risks. In 2012 outfielder Yasiel Puig was threatened and held for ransom in Mexico by the Zetas cartel. In ’13, José Abreu, a first baseman for the White Sox, used a fake passport to board a flight from Haiti to Miami, but ate it en ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 20, 2022 at 12:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban players

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

MLB expansion? MLBPA chief Tony Clark hopeful league can get to ‘a world of 32 teams’

“We are hopeful ... that we can find ourselves in a world of 32 teams rather than 30,” MLB Players’ Association executive director Tony Clark told reporters Tuesday, including the Los Angeles Times. That comes less than a month after commissioner Rob Manfred said he “would love to get to 32 teams” in an ESPN profile.

MLB last expanded in 1998, when the (Devil) Rays and Diamondbacks joined the league. We are currently in MLB’s longest expansion drought since the league first expanded in 1961. There are no shortage of viable expansion cities (Charlotte, Montreal, Nashville, Portland, Las Vegas, etc.) or prospective owners. Owning an MLB team is very lucrative and many people want in. 

The biggest issue standing in the way of expansion is ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 19, 2022 at 04:20 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: expansion

Rob Manfred called out by advocacy group after ‘rejecting premise’ that minor leaguers aren’t paid living wage

On Tuesday, Manfred spoke with reporters prior to the All-Star Game in Los Angeles, and was asked to explain why many minor-league players are paid below minimum wage. Manfred “rejected” the premise.

“I kind of reject the premise of the question that minor-league players are not paid a living wage,” Manfred said (via Baseball America). “I think that we’ve made real strides in the last few years in terms of what minor-league players are paid. Even putting to one side the signing bonuses that many of them have received, they’ve received housing, which is obviously another form of compensation, so I just reject the premise of the question. I reject the premise that they are not paid a living wage.”

Manfred is not blessed with great PR ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 19, 2022 at 04:19 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, rob manfred

Monday, July 18, 2022

Rob Manfred calls eliminating blackouts a “massive undertaking,” will require “fundamental reordering” of media rights

Prior to Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles, Manfred spoke to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times about a variety of issues, including blackouts.

While Manfred didn’t go deep into details, he said the league office was spending the most time on eliminating blackouts out of any project on the docket, and yes, it is as complicated as it seems.

Q: Let’s say I am a fan who can’t get to the ballpark, and I want to do one thing: I want to watch whatever game I want, wherever I live and I don’t want to get a headache trying to figure out which channel or streaming service has the game I want to watch on any given night. I will happily pay you for this. Can you explain to me how soon I might be able to do that, and what has to happen ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:30 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: blackouts

Details On Spring Extension Talks Between Red Sox, Rafael Devers

Prior to the start of the season, the Red Sox and third baseman Rafael Devers engaged in some extension talks that didn’t yield much progress, as the two sides were reportedly around $100MM apart in their floated prices.  Some more details on the negotiations were shared by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, who reports that the Sox viewed Matt Olson’s extension with the Braves as a possible model for a Devers deal.

Olson signed his eight-year, $168MM extension (with a $20MM club option for 2030) just a day after Atlanta landed the first baseman in a blockbuster trade with the Athletics.  Both Devers and Olson are in the same service-time class, and were under control through the 2023 via a final year of arbitration eligibility.  Back ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rafael devers, red sox

Senate Judiciary Committee asks MLB to explain potential impact of stripping away league’s antitrust exemption on the minor leagues

The Senate Judiciary Committee asked Major League Baseball and commissioner Rob Manfred to explain the potential impact of stripping away the league’s antitrust exemption on the minor leagues.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa sent the letter on Monday and asked for a response from Manfred by July 26. The letter was also signed by Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

“Your answers will help inform the Senate Judiciary Committee’s analysis of this century-old exemption,” the letter reads.

The committee previously sent a letter in late June to non-profit group Advocates for Minor Leaguers, which recommended that Congress create legislation ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:00 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: anti-trust exemption

MLB All-Star Game: League to use Home Run Derby tiebreaker

Monday might not see the only Home Run Derby of MLB All-Star week.

MLB has officially decided to hold a Home Run Derby tiebreaker should Tuesday’s All-Star Game be tied after nine innings, Yahoo Sports confirmed Monday.

The mini-derby will take the form of each manager selecting three batters and each batter taking three swings. Team coaches will throw pitches, and whichever team has the most homers after three rounds (nine swings) wins. If the two teams are still tied after three rounds, teams will send one batter to take three swings until the tie is broken.

MLB and the MLBPA had mentioned the possibility of a Home Run Derby tiebreaker in the new CBA signed last offseason.

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2022 at 10:59 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game


MLB Draft analysis for every first-round pick from The Athletic’s Keith Law - The Athletic $

Keith Law’s analysis. For comparison, here’s his view on the Rocker pick.

3. Texas Rangers: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City ValleyCats

No. 33 on the Big Board

Well, the Rangers just threw a metaphorical grenade into this draft, selecting Rocker with the third pick – so Rocker is probably going to end up with more money this year than he would have gotten had he signed with the Mets last year. Rocker threw a few times for the Tri-City ValleyCats this June, sitting 95-98 mph in his best outing with an above-average slider, working from a lower arm slot than he had at Vanderbilt. This gave his fastball more life, but also at least raises the question of whether this is a result of the shoulder surgery he had in September. Now he joins former ...

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jimfurtado Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb draft

2022 MLB Draft: Day One Recap | FanGraphs Baseball

The Fangraphs’ take, team by team.

On Rocker, ESPN’s coverage talked about the change in arm slot, while MLB’s coverage didn’t mention it. (I’m only part way through ESPN’s version but I’m enjoying it so far. If Karl Ravich let Kiley and the rest talk a bit more it would be better.)

It sounds like Kumar Rocker’s deal is for a little north of $5 million, saving the Rangers about $2.5 million in pool space. Because they don’t pick again until 109, it’s unlikely that they can target any individual player there, and I think they’re more likely to spread that out to many players in the mid-six-figure bonus range. Rocker going this high was a surprise, and it was absolutely delightful to tell the chat and those sitting around me at the ...

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jimfurtado Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb draft

2022 MLB Draft Day 1 complete coverage

Shock pick. It will be interesting to see how the bonus plays out after the Rangers see his complete medicals.

3) Rangers: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Tri-City ValleyCats (Frontier League)
Well we knew this Draft was going to be unpredictable, but we didn’t know it was going to turn like this so quickly. Rocker, of course, was a contender to go No. 1 overall in the ‘21 Draft and went No. 10 to the Mets, who decided not to offer him any signing bonus because of concerns about his medicals. That meant he had to come back to the Draft this year. He pitched well in Independent ball this summer, though it was revealed recently that he had shoulder surgery last fall. The Rangers obviously felt comfortable enough to take him very high—and to come to an ...

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jimfurtado Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb draft

What Scott Boras is demanding in any new Juan Soto deal

Boras also has invoked Alex Rodriguez as the last superstar due to be a free agent at age 25/26, and how as a free agent A-Rod received 40 percent more than the highest previous salary, which at the time was $25.2 million a season to top Kevin Brown’s previous high of $15 million. (Brown, like Scherzer, was an older star pitcher, but fairly, Brown wasn’t quite the pitcher Scherzer is.)

A-Rod set the record at $252 million which at the time was double the value of the U.S. sports record deal of $126 million for Kevin Garnett. It’s clear Boras sees Soto in that category. Remember the original estimated ask of $500 million from a year ago. That may wind up being conservative as an ask.

jimfurtado Posted: July 18, 2022 at 11:16 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: juan soto, scott boras

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Mike Trout will not play in the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium

Angels outfielder Mike Trout has decided he will not play in this year’s All-Star Game because of an injury, but he still plans to attend the event.

Trout sat out his fourth consecutive game because of upper back spasms Saturday. This is the third time Trout has withdrawn from the Midsummer Classic, scheduled for Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, because of an injury.

Hank Gillette Posted: July 17, 2022 at 10:09 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, mike trout

Mariners win 14th in row, Rodríguez key hit to beat Rangers

Julio Rodríguez and Ty France are headed to the All-Star Game, so they won’t be among the Seattle Mariners getting the break their manager says they need.

Yeah, Scott Servais knows that time off thing sounds a little funny.

“It’s hard to say you need a break when you win 14 games in a row,” the Seattle skipper said after a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Sure is.

Rodríguez hit a two-run double and France homered after joining the rookie sensation on the AL team as the Mariners moved closer to the team record of 15 consecutive wins. That streak came during their most recent playoff season in 2001, when they went 116-46.

The 14-game winning streak is the longest going into an All-Star break in major league history. ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2022 at 07:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners


Tigers send struggling rookie first baseman Spencer Torkelson back to Triple-A

The Detroit Tigers announced to reporters Sunday that rookie first baseman Spencer Torkelson has been optioned to Triple-A Toledo.

The demotion continues a trend of disappointment for Torkelson in 2022. He cracked the Opening Day roster for Detroit, but months of struggle followed. In 83 games for the Tigers this season, Torkelson has batted .197/.282/.295 (68 OPS+) with just five home runs. He’s also struck out in 25.5 percent of his plate appearances, which is worse than the league-average figure of 22.3 percent. Perhaps more concerning is that Torkelson simply isn’t driving the ball with any authority. Right now, he ranks in the 39th percentile in hard-hit rate and the 19th percentile in expected slugging percentage.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2022 at 06:40 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: spencer torkelson, tigers

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale suffers fractured left pinkie on comebacker that hits hand

Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale suffered a fractured pinkie finger on his pitching hand when he was struck by a comebacker in the first inning Sunday against the New York Yankees.

With two outs, Aaron Hicks hit a 106.7 mph line drive off Sale’s left hand. The ball deflected into center field as Gleyber Torres scored to give New York a 3-0 lead.

Sale screamed out in pain, immediately came off the field holding up his injured hand and was replaced by Hirokazu Sawamura. The Red Sox announced later Sunday that Sale has a left fifth finger fracture.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2022 at 06:39 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, red sox

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Nationals To Entertain Trade Offers For Juan Soto After He Rejects $440MM Offer

In a somewhat shocking development, the Washington Nationals will now listen to trade offers for transcendent superstar Juan Soto, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The change of heart comes after Soto reportedly rejected a $440MM extension offer.

The Nationals have long held the position that they would not be open to trading Soto, their 23-year-old superstar, who is already firmly listed among the best hitters in baseball. The Nationals have some time to make a decision, as Soto is under team control for another two seasons beyond this one.

That said, they have made consistent efforts to come to a contract extension with Soto’s agent Scott Boras, with no success. For the Nationals’ part, they’ve made an earnest effort. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2022 at 12:34 PM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: juan soto, nationals

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