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Friday, May 15, 2020

Proposing A 44-Game 2020 MLB Season, Expanded Playoffs

So here’s our proposal. Instead of an 81-game season and an expanded 14-team playoffs, cut the season even more dramatically to 44 games with a 20-team playoff format.

Is it radical? Absolutely. Is it ideal? Not a chance. Is it the best from an array of bad options? Maybe.

MLB argues that some teams will lose money on regular-season games without fans. Cutting the season from 81 games to 44 reduces those issues, while expanding the playoffs potentially adds to postseason revenues.

For the players, such a proposal doesn’t require tearing up the current deal. Players have already agreed to be paid at a prorated amount based on the number of games played—so if there were a 44-game regular season, players would be paid 27 percent of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 12:48 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Barry Zito unmasked: Ex-MLB star talks ‘Masked Singer’ reveal and which teammate knew it was him

Talk about a curveball! Fans of the FOX competition show “The Masked Singer” got a bit of a surprise Wednesday night when The Rhino was eliminated as one of the show’s final four contestants.

Underneath The Rhino’s mask wasn’t long-time country star Trace Adkins, like some judges had thought. It wasn’t Sam Hunt, either, the college football-player-turned-country singer that some fans had guessed.

It was Barry Zito, the former Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants star. He was a Cy Young winner, a World Series champ and now — in a twist not many people would have seen coming — he outlasted the likes of Bret Michaels, Lil Wayne, Chaka Khan, Tony Hawk, JoJo Siwa and, yes, even Sarah Palin on the popular show.

Zito retired ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 11:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: barry zito

Former MLB manager Art Howe in ICU due to the coronavirus

Art Howe, who managed the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and New York Mets after his major league playing career, is hospitalized in intensive care with the coronavirus, Howe confirmed to Houston TV station KPRC 2 on Thursday.

Howe, 73, told KPRC 2 that he first felt COVID-19 symptoms on May 3 and learned he was positive two days after being tested. After trying to recover at home, he was transported to a hospital by ambulance Tuesday after his symptoms grew worse, and he remained in the ICU on Thursday night.

Howe’s initial symptoms included chills that made him shake “like a leaf,” then he felt “total fatigue” in addition to losing his sense of taste.

“Never experienced anything like it before,” Howe told KPRC 2.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 11:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: art howe, coronavirus

Remembering Bob Watson as an Astros legend

Former Astros great Bob Watson died Thursday at the age of 74 after a long battle with kidney disease.

Watson, who made his big league debut in Houston at 20 years old in 1966, played 14 of his 19 big league seasons with the Astros. His best seasons in Houston came in 1973 and 1975 when he hit .312 with 16 home runs and .324 with 18 home runs, respectively.

Watson, who was known as “Bull” for his 6-foot, 201-pound frame, went on to become the Astros general manager from 1993 to 1995 before leaving to take the same job with the New York Yankees where he became the first African-American general manager to win a World Series title.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, obituary, yankees

Rays’ Blake Snell says MLB players should be fully rewarded for taking the maximum risk

“On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell echoed Clark’s condemnation of the MLB plan, saying he would not play in 2020 if he wasn’t paid the salary laid out in his contract, considering the health risks he would be taking by simply showing up to the ballpark.

“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young winner, said in a video posted to social media. “It’s a shorter season, less pay.. . .

“No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and ...

majorflaw Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-15-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 15, 1920:

The New York American League baseball club will have to hunt for a new home next season. A statement to this effect was made at Forbes Field yesterday by John J. McGraw, manager of the New York Giants…The Yankees’ leads on the Polo Grounds expires with this season and the Giants are not inclined to renew it.
[McGraw:] “The money is secondary…We wish the Polo Grounds to be known exclusively as the home ground of the Giants and therefore must ask the Yankees to get grounds somewhere else.”
[Yankees president Jacob Ruppert:] “If the Giants do not want us any longer on the Polo Grounds, there is no use staying around where one is not wanted. I do not know how successful the Yankees will be this ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Nashville group hoping to bring Major League Baseball to town applies for logo trademark

An effort to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville is moving forward despite the coronavirus pandemic, and John Loar, the leader of the small group of investors behind the push, recently filed to trademark a logo.

On April 28 Loar, a recently relocated California businessman, on behalf of Music City Baseball LLC, filed a federal trademark application to register a trademark of three red stars — a large one with two smaller ones on each side — as a logo.

The logo is similar to the one used by the Nashville Stars of the Negro Leagues in the 1940s and 50s. Loar has said his team will also be known as the Nashville Stars and will pay homage to the Negro Leagues.

“What we’re trying to do is honor not only the name and it’s ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:50 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: nashville

Why this retired slugger might be MLB’s highest-paid player in 2020

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, former Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder is in position to hold that distinction if there are no significant changes to the shortened-season pay structure previously agreed to by the owners and players.

Here’s how, per Rosenthal’s report:

Prince Fielder, owed $24 million in the final year of his contract with the Rangers, is to receive his full termination pay under terms of the March agreement between the owners and players regarding a shortened or canceled 2020 season.

The amount Fielder receives might decrease if the parties reach a subsequent deal to reduce the pay of players who were released before the COVID-19 pandemic, but such an ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:50 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: prince fielder


Oh, this is VERY fascinating.  It basically marries the idea of Barrels (dynamic hard hit rate based on launch angles in a DESCRIPTIVE manner) and the Predictive “Major League Outs” concept into a compelling framework.

Very very fascinating.  I think this is exactly where…I was trying to go and couldn’t figure out exactly how to get there.  Yes, I think this is an excellent path to get there.

Mike Webber Posted: May 14, 2020 at 11:25 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: barrels, launch angle, sabrmetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-14-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 14, 1920:

Construction of a sport stadium at Two Hundred and Twenty-fifth street and Broadway which will have a seating capacity of 30,000 was begun [yesterday].

The enclosure will have a six-lap bicycle track, and also will contain a cinder patch for track events. Work on the stadium is being rushed, the owners said, to permit its use for the final tryouts for bicycle racers who will represent the United States at the Olympic games.

This is in Marble Hill, just across the river from Manhattan Island. The Yankees had been talking about building a stadium on this site for about a decade, but it obviously didn’t happen for them. I don’t even think this stadium happened, though I admit I haven’t done exhaustive ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 14, 2020 at 10:44 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Mets’ three-decade journey to David Wright

I absolutely love trade trees! This one has all sorts of fun connections involved…

TJ Posted: May 13, 2020 at 09:02 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-13-2020

Norwich Bulletin, May 13, 1920:

A drive to eliminate gambling on baseball games in Pacific Coast league parks has been begun by President William M. McCarthy, who issues a statement saying that three “known gamblers” would be denied admission to league parks.

The action has no direct connection with the unconditional release Friday of Pitchers Tom Seaton and “Casey” Smith of the San Francisco club, the statement said, but added “indirectly it has.”

Is the PCL changing policies because its players were throwing games? William McCarthy says “Well, yes, but actually no.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 13, 2020 at 10:41 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

These are MLB’s greatest same-named doppelgangers

Frank Thomas

Forget the Big Hurt, this is the Big Donkey. Were it not for the White Sox slugger’s emergence as an absolute superstar, one who is still hawking countless products today, we’d probably remember this Thomas a little more.

After all, this Thomas—an outfielder and first baseman who played from 1951-66—hit 25 or more home runs six times and was elected to three All-Star Games. He even claimed ownership of the Mets’ single-season home run record until Dave Kingman came along and smashed 36 home runs in 1975.

All this for a player who, were it not for the siren’s call of baseball, was set to become a priest.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2020 at 11:27 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: names

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-12-2020

Pittsburgh Press, May 12, 1920:


In the Yankees’ recent series in Washington, Ruth, for whom the Gotham “kernels” are reported to have paid $125,000 or more, amassed a magnificent batting average of .167 for five games. He didn’t make a single home run, and got only three bingles in 18 times at bat.
One Capitol City scribe remarks that, unless Babe shows some improvement, opposing pitchers will be passing ordinary batsmen in the pinches to bring him to the plate.

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 12, 1920:

Ruth’s spectacular hitting featured New York’s 6-5 victory over Chicago [in New York yesterday]. In four times up, Ruth hit two home runs, a triple and drew a base on balls. One of Ruth’s home runs went into the ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 12, 2020 at 10:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, May 11, 2020

MLB owners approve historic revenue-sharing plan amid coronavirus pandemic

Major League Baseball owners approved a proposal Monday requiring teams to share 50% of their revenue with the Major League Baseball Players Association should plans to play this year proceed, three people with direct knowledge of the proposal told USA TODAY Sports.

The people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to discuss details, said the historic revenue-sharing plan is integral in order to to address revenue losses with an 82-game season being played without fans beginning in July. MLB officials say that teams are expected to lose about 40% of their gross revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking.

The proposal is expected to be rejected by the players, who are fearful owners would then ...

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 11, 2020 at 10:27 PM | 172 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, revenue sharing

How Matt Harvey is trying to fight off the baseball end he fears

After working out for the Blue Jays in Connecticut in February, Harvey wasn’t offered a contract. He’s still looking for a new team — a challenge that’s been heightened by the sport being shut down by COVID-19.

Although he’s only 31 years old and is injury-free, the former ace admits he’s considered the possibility he may not get another chance.

“I have thought about it here and there,” Harvey told The Post by phone in a recent interview. “I haven’t not had a job in 10 years. It’s definitely different, but it’s exciting at the same time because I feel so good mechanically.

“I hope somebody gives me a shot. I feel like I have many more years in me.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2020 at 10:27 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey

Why Matt Williams left the A’s to manage a team in Korea

The desire to manage again ate at him. But the outlook for him was not promising.

“I think that anytime you don’t accomplish what you want to accomplish you feel a little bit of an empty belly,” Williams said last week by phone from Deagu, South Korea, where his team was preparing to play the Samsung Lions. “I wanted to give it another try. And it didn’t seem as if there would be an opportunity in the U.S. to do so immediately. anyway.”

Williams talked it over with his wife and children. He talked it over with Melvin and A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane. Beane told him a managerial job in Korea wouldn’t guarantee the same back home.

“I’m fully aware of that,” Williams said. “But ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2020 at 10:27 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: kbo

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-11-2020

Pittsburgh Press, May 11, 1920:


While it is true that Babe Ruth last season set a new world’s record for home runs in a single season, the Yankee slugger still has a long distance to go before he will equal the lifetime record of Gavvy Cravath, manager of the Phillies, who has been hitting homers and other extra drives since away back in 1903.

His biggest season was 1911 with Minneapolis, when he clouted 29 circuit smashes. With the Phillies in 1915 he made 24…Ruth has been playing professional ball for five seasons, and in that time he has made 49 circuit smashes, including his record, 29 last season. His record was not particularly impressive until 1919, and it remains to be seen just what he will do this ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 11, 2020 at 10:05 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Former Cardinals translator Eugene Koo is talking a different game | St. Louis Cardinals |

Three ways of wearing (or not) wearing a mask.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2020 at 09:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kbo, matt williams

The Chances of a Drafted Baseball Player Making the Major Leagues: A Quantitative Study | Society for American Baseball Research

This study is a few years old but relevant based on the five-round draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2020 at 09:30 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 4 draft

JMLB 2020 season threatened by compensation, DH rule possible

Joel Sherman’s take.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, mlbpa

Bowden: How each National League team would fare with a universal DH for 2020 – The Athletic

Team by team looks, starting with the D’Backs.

Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks have good competition at first base with Christian Walker coming off his best year after slashing .259/.348/.476 with 29 home runs and 73 RBIs that led to a 3.0 WAR and 111 OPS+. Jake Lamb is finally healthy and the left-handed hitter is looking to get back to his 2016-17 form where he averaged 29.5 home runs and 98 runs batted in. However, add the DH rule and suddenly both players have spots in the D-Backs’ lineup and the lineup gets lengthened instantly with better left-right hitting balance.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2020 at 09:26 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, pay site

Will issue of players’ salaries cancel MLB season? | Newsday

As for the debate over a revised salary structure, the genesis of that can be found in the March 26 agreement struck between MLB and the Players Association, which granted a full year’s credit of service time — even if the season is canceled — and a $170 million advance on salaries through the end of May. The latter was critical because of the fact that players’ contracts were suspended once President Trump declared a national emergency.

The agreement also called for players to be paid on a prorated basis depending on the number of games played once the season did resume. Given that MLB’s current proposal calls for roughly 81 games, for example, that would mean a player signed to a $10 million deal for this season would earn $5 ...

Jim Furtado Posted: May 11, 2020 at 09:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, mlbpa

Saturday, May 09, 2020

We Can Show Baseball Reruns, Too

Many old threads have gone into the site archives. They’re so deep in there that even Google can’t find them. Some of them were fantastic, and it’s a shame that we can’t see them any more… Or can we?

MLB to cut amateur draft from 40 rounds to five in cost-saving measure

Major League Baseball will cuts its amateur draft from 40 rounds to five this year, a move that figures to save teams about $30 million.

Clubs gained the ability to reduce the draft as part of their March 26 agreement with the players’ association and MLB plans to finalize a decision next week to go with the minimum, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because no decision was announced.

There will be just 160 players drafted, and the combined value of their signing bonus pools is $235,906,800. The amount of signing bonus pool money eliminated is $29,578,100.

The MLBPA continues to think only of themselves, and sell out the futures of those who come behind ...

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 09, 2020 at 10:08 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap owners

“My Wide World” by Dave Parker

After I became a major leaguer for good with the Pirates in 1973, Saturday afternoon always involved ABC Sports. Before a night game or a quick-pitched nine innings, me and the boys would be at our lockers in the clubhouse at Three Rivers or on the road while auto racing played on the TV. I can almost hear that Scottish dude now — Jackie Stewart, the color commentator for racing. Watching a clip of him today brings me right back to being with the fellas — post-game beers with Willie Stargell, Dock Ellis and Larry Demery, Manny Sanguillen, Rennie Stennett, my manager Danny Murtaugh. Jackie Stewart’s voice is like a damn portal to my past, a glorious Miller Time gone by.

djordan Posted: May 09, 2020 at 09:44 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Friday, May 08, 2020

Sources: MLB shortens 2020 draft from 40 rounds to 5

Major League Baseball will cut its 2020 draft to five rounds, as owners looking to save costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic pushed for fewer rounds over the objection of front-office officials, sources told ESPN.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 08, 2020 at 07:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, minor leagues

Lets Build the Ultimate MLB Career

They took the highest-WAR season at each age from among active players, and stitched them together, Frankenstein-like, into an MLB career.  And they still couldn’t match Ty Cobb.

Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: May 08, 2020 at 04:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cabrera, pujols, trout

Introducing KBO Stats on Fangraphs

Lots of new information.  They’ve got something like wRC+ (although not park adjusted).  Someone who knows about these things, who are the Korean stars that we should be paying attention to?

Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: May 08, 2020 at 04:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fangraphs, korean league

RiverDogs Release Plan To Modify Ballpark Experience In Age Of COVID-19

On Friday morning, the Charleston RiverDogs, the Yankees’ low Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, released a document detailing exactly how they plan to modify operations at Joseph P. Riley Park for the new version of normal created by COVID-19.

There will still be three outs in an inning, three strikes to an out and four balls to a walk, but just about everything else at the park will look and feel markedly different.

Buying tickets, food and merchandise will be an entirely cashless operation. Doing so limits contact between employees and fans, and thus limits one potential avenue for the virus to spread.

The team will also close select ticket windows to help maintain social distancing requirements. These new guidelines ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2020 at 02:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: covid-19

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