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Sunday, April 26, 2020

MLB official thought Manfred would nix Hernández for Series

NEW YORK (AP) — A major league official testified he suggested Ángel Hernández be removed from consideration for the 2015 World Series because he did not think Commissioner Rob Manfred would approve the umpire to work baseball’s premier event.

Hernández sued Major League Baseball in 2017, alleging race discrimination and cited his failure to be assigned to the World Series since 2005 and MLB’s failure to promote him to crew chief.

Documents and depositions from pretrial discovery were filed late Friday night and early Saturday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan as part of Hernández’s motion for a partial summary judgment.

A member of the big league staff since 1993, the Cuba-born Hernández worked the World Series in 2002 and 2005. He was not picked after Joe Torre was hired in 2011 to head baseball operations.

A discussion of a current lawsuit involving an umpire of note for all the wrong reasons- and something of interest to read in full, as, even in short form, there are quite a few details of interest that are neither included in the quote or involve that subject.


Friday, April 24, 2020

Should MLB Still Play an Official World Series?

MLB is heading toward a season unlike any other, if it’s heading toward a season at all. We don’t know how many games the league can safely play or even where they can play them.

But no matter the terms of the season, should it still end in a regular, best-of-seven World Series? Do a minimum number of games need to be played to reach the usual endpoint of every other season? Does it even matter when the final series of the year is called? SI’s MLB staff weighs in

How about the Giants and Royals play each other for the 2017, 2018, and 2020 titles?

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, world series

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Wild World Series Tactics: 1990-1993

Last week, I learned an astonishing fact while listening to Effectively Wild. In the 2001 World Series, Byung-Hyun Kim blew a save while throwing 61 pitches. The next day, Bob Brenly sent Kim right back out there, and he blew another save. I knew the back-to-back blown saves part, but 61 pitches! Imagine the uproar if that had happened last year.

This got me wondering: just how weird were baseball tactics 20 or 30 years ago? What else were teams doing that would shock a modern audience? While we wait for real baseball, I decided to find out. Starting with the 1990 World Series, I’m going to hunt for tactical decisions that would look out of place today, and see just how different baseball is.

And, for an example of the sort of tactics being analyzed:

In Game 2, the 1990s of it all started to show. LaRussa batted Carney Lansford second and had him bunt after Rickey Henderson singled and stole second. Piniella deployed a quick hook, pulling starter Danny Jackson in the third inning, but LaRussa went the other way: he let Bob Welch, a thoroughly average starter (who, in fairness, won the AL Cy Young, but did so on the back of his 27-6 record, not his 13% strikeout rate, 79 ERA-, or 110 FIP-), face the Reds lineup for the fourth time with the team clinging to a one-run lead. Welch promptly gave up a leadoff triple to Hatcher and got pulled — whoops!

In the first two games, LaRussa alternated between Dave Henderson and late-season acquisition Willie McGee. In Game 3, with the use of the DH, he left McGee on the bench in favor of Harold Baines. It wasn’t a terrible move — Baines, McGee, and Henderson were roughly equivalent hitters — but imagine a team in 2020 with a 5 WAR bench outfielder. The A’s were thoroughly odd, and by Game 4, they were desperate — LaRussa batted Mark McGwire seventh behind backup catcher Jamie Quirk.

Well, we can’t criticize the tactical moves of current managers in this situation- why not do so for those of thirty years ago?

 

 

QLE Posted: April 16, 2020 at 02:17 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: tactics, world series

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Nationals virtually assemble for World Series Game 7 rewatch ... and one of them brought a trash can

As you might remember, the Washington Nationals won the World Series, and it feels like it happened much more than six months ago.

With all MLB games shut down for the coronavirus pandemic, the Nationals’ television affiliate MASN has been re-airing the team’s championship run over the last few weeks. Tuesday marked the arrival of Game 7 of the World Series, in which the team topped the Houston Astros for the first title in franchise history.

To mark the occasion, several members of the team assembled for a Zoom meeting to commentate on the game and raise money for Nats veteran Ryan Zimmerman’s Pros For Heroes COVID-19 Relief Fund to benefit healthcare workers.

Between the reminiscing and drinking, one of them brought in a trash can, the now-infamous device used by the Astros during their 2017 championship season. The culprit: singing and shirt-removing enthusiast Brian Dozier, now a member of the San Diego Padres.

At a time like this, why not go back to the stand-by targets of yesteryear?

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, dirty rotten cheaters, nationals, trash can, world series

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Clayton Kershaw says possible December World Series would be a ‘little risky’

Clayton Kershaw believes Major League Baseball would be taking a risk if it pushed the World Series beyond Thanksgiving due to the on-going coronavirus shutdown.

In a radio interview this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander explained why he feels there’s a deadline that should not be crossed when discussing potential options to extend the 2020 campaign.

Short offseason create risks

Kershaw doesn’t just have an eye on the 2020 season. While the players are clearly determined to play as many games as possible in what will ultimately be a shortened season, he feels the deeper the season goes the more it will impact the 2021 season.

Someone’s about to get no help in his next contract negotiations…...

 

QLE Posted: March 29, 2020 at 12:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, world series

Thursday, March 26, 2020

World Series on Christmas? With MLB’s COVID-19 delay, that is agent Scott Boras’ plan

Reggie Jackson was Mr. October. Derek Jeter was Mr. November.

Could we get a Mr. December this year?

If super agent Scott Boras has his way, that seems likely. With the Major League Baseball season on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boras shared a plan with the Los Angeles Times that would allow for a full 162-game schedule and the entire playoff structure.

It could culminate with a World Series game being played on Christmas Day. Yep, you’d mix “Ho Ho Ho” with “Play Ball.”

“Winter Classic” doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2020 at 12:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: christmas, scott boras, strange ideas, world series

Friday, February 21, 2020

When It Counted: Retrospective MVP Awards for the World Series, Part 2

Last month, I began this series to select World Series Most Valuable Players for the years when the current award did not exist. I covered the years 1903 to 1928, halting there for reasons of length. Today I’ll cover the rest of the pre-MVP period, from 1929 to 1954.

For anyone new to these articles (including my original one for the League Championship Series), or who wants a refresher on my methodology, I refer you to the introduction to last month’s article. Nothing has changed, except perhaps my willingness to reward players on the losing side. I did it three times in the 1903-28 part of this overview, but though I was close several times this go-round, I never pulled the trigger.

I won’t fill time with any more introductory talk. We have a lot of World Series to revisit, and I’ll start on them right now.

Well, the MMPs are winding down- why not argue about postseason awards?

 

QLE Posted: February 21, 2020 at 01:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, mvp, world series

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka says he feels cheated out of World Series by Astros

Asked Monday at Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla. whether he felt “cheated” out of a potential World Series title by the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Masahiro Tanaka was clear.

“Yeah,” Tanaka said. “You do feel that way. You do feel that way.”

“I don’t know if mad is the right word,” Tanaka added about it. “It’s something that’s out of the rule. They’re obviously not abiding by the rules, so yeah. That’s what I thought.”

The Astros took down the Yankees in seven games in the 2017 ALCS before beating the Dodgers to win the first World Series in their history. In the 2019 ALCS, the Astros beat the Yankees in six games before falling to the Nationals in the World Series.

So, how big do we suppose the Loyal Order of Irate Pitchers is, and how do we suppose they will act in the coming season?

 

QLE Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dirty rotten cheaters, masahiro tanaka, world series

Sunday, January 12, 2020

‘Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time’ is getting higher ratings than 2019 NBA Finals and World Series

“Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” has been a total home run with viewers.

The program, a competition between the three most successful winners in “Jeopardy” history, has aired three installments on ABC so far, and is averaging nearly 15 million viewers in same-day ratings. With today’s fractured viewing habits and the decline of traditional network programming, that’s a pretty big deal.

What’s even more impressive is that “Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time” has bested some of network TV’s most stalwart programming: sports. From The Hollywood Reporter”

“Each episode of The Greatest of All Time has also outdrawn the first four games of the 2019 NBA Finals, the first five games of the 2019 World Series, all but one of ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts and seven of Fox’s 11 Thursday Night Football showcases.”

So, any theories as for why this is the case, either compared to the World Series specifically or to all of these sports broadcasts generally?

 

QLE Posted: January 12, 2020 at 12:49 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, off-topic, ratings, sports television, world series

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Hal Smith, author of his own huge home run in 1960, dies

Bill Mazeroski has always balked when asked if he’d hit the biggest home run in baseball history.

“Heck,” Maz would respond anytime I’d bring this up in Bradenton, “I didn’t even hit the biggest homer in that game”

Hal Smith, whose three-run home run for the Pirates in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series against the Yankees would be overshadowed an inning later by Maz’s legendary shot, died Thursday at age 89 in Columbus, Texas, a small town near Houston.

And yes, it was Mr. Smith’s home run that set the stage and, very nearly, stole it, on that magical fall day at Forbes Field half a century ago.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 11, 2020 at 12:11 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: hal smith, obituaries, pirates, rip, world series

 

 

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