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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

WCL’s Lefties Sign Ex-NFL Wide Receiver Golden Tate

Today the West Coast League’s Port Angeles Lefties announced that ex-NFL wide receiver Golden Tate has signed as a Lefties player for the remainder of the 2022 season. While Jake Locker and Jordan Poyer both played for WCL teams before their NFL careers, Tate will become the first former NFL player in the league.

“I am extremely thankful,” Tate said, “to the West Coast League and the Port Angeles Lefties for allowing me to join their league. As some might know, I was drafted twice in baseball. As a child, my first love was baseball, so I’m excited about the opportunity to compete against some of the best young players in the league. I look forward to having a lot of fun and exploring baseball more.”

Tate, a Tennessee native, established himself as one of college football’s premier receivers and returners in 2008 and ‘09 with Notre Dame, earning unanimous All-American honors in the latter season. Selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Tate capped his fourth and final season in Seattle with a blowout Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos.

Joining the Detroit Lions in 2014, Tate was named to the Pro Bowl after setting career highs with 99 catches and 1,331 receiving yards. After four-and-a-half seasons with Detroit, Tate played half a season with Philadelphia before finishing his NFL career with two seasons as a New York Giant.

While at Notre Dame, Tate also played baseball for two seasons. As a sophomore, he batted .329 and scored 45 runs in 55 games. He’s been drafted twice: first out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then out of college by the San Francisco Giants; both times he declined to sign a professional baseball contract.

“We’re all excited to see Golden wearing a Lefties uniform,” West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer said. “Considering his ties to the Pacific Northwest and his tremendous NFL career, we know our fans will love watching him. And his teammates will certainly benefit from seeing how hard a world-class athlete works toward the same thing they’re all working toward: a professional baseball career.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2022 at 01:22 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: football, independent leagues

Monday, March 21, 2022

Experimental rules to be tested during 2022 Atlantic League season

Below is a summary of the experimental rules that will be tested to start the 2022 Atlantic League season:

Double-Hook Designated Hitter Adjustment: The double-hook designated hitter will be modified. In 2021, teams lost their designated hitter when they removed the starting pitcher from the game. However, in 2022, if the starter is able to complete at least five innings, the designated hitter will be allowed to remain in the lineup for the entirety of the game. This rule intends to place emphasis on longer outings by starting pitchers.

Dropped Pitch Rule: As in the second half of 2019, batters will be able to advance to first base on any pitch that is not caught in the air by the catcher, even with first base occupied by a runner. Those who get to first base safely will be awarded a hit. This rule will increase the importance of taking care of the baseball (e.g., pitching with command, receiving, and blocking pitches) and reward athletic players who are able to capitalize on wild pitches and passed balls.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2022 at 11:04 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: experimental rules, independent leagues

Friday, January 28, 2022

“I Was Wrong” Why MLB’s Minor League Restructure Was Better Than Expected

“We had a great season, and we had a blast doing it,” Davis says. “You really were hamstrung as an affiliated team ... yes, we loved being an independent team.”

In 2020, before realignment, ESPN spoke to dozens of minor league officials, many of whom predicted disaster as MLB moved to reduce the number of affiliated teams from 160 to 120, four for each major league club. Recently, we reached out to more than 50 teams to see how they fared—especially those teams that lost affiliation.

For some clubs, the reconfiguration was indeed a disaster. Eight teams that lost affiliation either folded altogether or did not play in 2021 (one because of an unfinished stadium), and some of those teams are suing MLB for breach of contract and tortious interference. Officials from teams that remained affiliated expressed general satisfaction, although some said they wouldn’t air gripes publicly for fear of angering Major League Baseball.

I’m a bit skeptical of the positive tone. 7 out of 40 teams folded is a big concern but it’s nice to see something from the positive side of this one.


Monday, January 24, 2022

Frontier League adds sudden-death tiebreaker to extra-innings games in 2022

The exact process: If a game is tied at the end of play (nine innings for a traditional game and seven innings for a doubleheader game), there will be one additional inning of regular play. If still tied, an inning played under International Tiebreaker (ITB) rules will be played. The ITB rules were used by MLB in 2020, where a runner would begin the inning at second base and each side would be given the chance to take the lead.

After the ITB inning, play will shift to a sudden-death tiebreaker. Here’s the description from the MLB Partner League:

Field managers will meet with umpires with the home manager choosing offense or defense. For the team on offense, the player on the lineup card immediately preceding the batter due up will start on first base. The defensive team will have three outs to prevent the offense from scoring. If the team on offense scores they will win the game, while if the defensive team retires the side without scoring a run, they will win. As with the ITB runner, if the runner placed on first base scores, the run will be unearned.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2022 at 06:28 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: extra innings, independent leagues

 

 

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