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Monday, March 09, 2020

8th? BBTF Central Park Softball Game: October 3

Let’s start planning for this year’s game. First questions:

1. Who is submitting the permit request? (Answer: Hysterical & Useless)

2. What dates should we aim for? (Answer: July 25 October 3)

3. Where is the post-game destination?

Thursday, August 06, 2020

OT - NBA Bubble Thread

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, and hopefully none of them get caught leaving the bubble for strip club wings.

Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 06, 2020 at 06:04 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bubbles, nba, off-topic

Carter Stewart ditched the MLB draft to pitch in Japan. Then came the coronavirus

But while Stewart slowly is picking up the Japanese language through conversations with cashiers, restaurant servers and teammates, he’s still living in a country where he’s one of few Americans adjusting to a drastically different culture. He has bonded with former major leaguer Matt Moore, who’s playing for the big league Hawks, but the reality of isolation often sets in.

“You walk outside and it’s a completely different atmosphere, language—everything,” Stewart said. “[Try to] do your work in another language. My friends will say that they understand the loneliness, but as of right now, I’ll just be like, ‘I get it, you’re lonely, but you’re not lonely, lonely.”

The reprieve from the isolation comes from the 30-minute trips on the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: carter stewart, japan

The oldest league you never knew about

And for all that time, baseball, George Donnelly’s Sunset League Baseball—an homage to former player and famed Newport sportswriter George Donnelly—has been played inside. As Newport, and the world, has shifted and changed with newer sports, activities and pastimes, the country’s second-oldest continuously-run amateur league in perhaps America’s oldest ballpark has carried on.

“The ballpark has been around as a ballpark, you can go, some people say to the 1880s. Some people say 1909 was the first year,” La Rose says.

That’s older than Fenway Park or Wrigley Field. That’s older than “oldest ballpark in America” Rickwood Field.

La Rose, who took the job of commissioner on a dare nine years ago after boasting he could do it, has since ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sunset league

MLB players on how they’ve had to adapt, from no fans in the stands to no couches in the clubhouse

Rethinking gathering spots

The Los Angeles Angels had their first night off on the road on July 25 in Oakland. The players and coaches ordered food and staged a casual, socially distant gathering. Angels manager Joe Maddon said it was “pretty cool, actually.” The experience prompted Maddon to speak with the team’s traveling secretary, Tom Taylor, about booking two additional large rooms—one for the players, one for the coaches—so they could gather in groups to wind down after road games.

“Maybe that will satiate their desires to go elsewhere,” Maddon said.

Hanging out in the clubhouse

Ideally, players would be dressed in full uniform before their arrival at the ballpark, but MLB understood the unlikelihood of that from the onset. The ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2020 at 10:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Pete Hamill Assuredly Giving Walter O’Malley an Earful in Afterlife

I was at the New York Daily News in 2007, and when it was announced that Walter O’Malley had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, we knew we had to get Pete Hamill to weigh in.

baudib Posted: August 06, 2020 at 09:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn dodgers, pete hamill

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Facts refute claims Cardinals got COVID-19 at casino

The team has vehemently denied that they have any evidence of the players breaking from protocols while on the road trip. Major League Baseball has concurred with this view, according to two sources outside of the Cardinals organization.

“I have no factual reason to believe that is true and I have not seen any proof of that,” said John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, when asked directly by the Post-Dispatch about the casino report. “If they were at a casino though, that would be disappointing.”

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Wednesday that the team has traced the genesis of the outbreak back to an outside individual who was asymptomatic when he had contact with a member of the club. “Brought it into our clubhouse,” Shildt ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 07:32 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

An Olympic speedskater now plays for Miami

Due to a breakout of COVID-19, the Marlins had to make some roster adjustments to return to play this week. They called up a swath of Minor Leaguers—one of those being infielder Eddy Alvarez. Once he gets into a game, it’ll be his first taste of big league action.

The 30-year-old infielder isn’t unlike many of his Minor League peers—spending time in multiple leagues at multiple levels in multiple cities during the last six seasons. But he does have one thing that’s a little bit different about him: He’s a former Olympic speedskater.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 04:10 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

The Lost Career of Luke Easter

He’s much like the fictional superstar Roy Hobbs in the American Arthurian legend of a baseball book and movie The Natural — a left-handed hitter with incredible power, known for hitting towering home runs whose entry into the majors was delayed until his mid-30s. He’s a bit like Kevin Costner’s Crash Davis of Bull Durham fame, a prolific minor-league home run hitter. He’s even a little bit Satchel Paige, who was always coy about his real age.

baudib Posted: August 05, 2020 at 02:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: negro leaguers, negro leagues

ESPN is bringing back Statcast broadcasts for two August Sunday Night Baseball games

On Tuesday, the network announced that a pair of August Sunday Night Baseball games would have the alternate Statcast-focused broadcast on ESPN2. As in the past, the Statcast feed will be called by the trio of Jason Benetti, Eduardo Perez, and Mike Petriello.

The two games getting the Statcast treatment will be the August 16th Red Sox-Yankees matchup and the August 30th Braves-Phillies contest.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 10:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: espn

Osuna Set for Season-Ending Surgery?

It didn’t look good when Roberto Osuna threw a pitch, pointed to the dugout and gestured for the trainer to come to the mound during Saturday’s game against the Angels.

On Tuesday, Astros manager Dusty Baker said the same thing about Osuna’s MRI.

The Astros closer reportedly was recommended to have season-ending Tommy John surgery, a source told Mark Berman, the sports director at Fox 26 KRIV-TV in Houston. Per Berman, Osuna will seek a second opinion before making a decision.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 09:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: roberto osuna, tommy john surgery

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Sources: MLB plans for 28-man rosters for rest of season, postseason

MLB rosters will be reduced from 30 players to 28 starting Thursday and remain at that number for the rest of the season and postseason, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The initial plan had been to reduce the roster to 28 this week before reducing it again to 26 after another two weeks. However the recent outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests led to a change in plans..

The taxi squad will also be expanded from three players to five, sources confirmed.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Twins vs. Pirates game delayed by unauthorized drone flying over Target Field in Minneapolis

The 2020 MLB season—2020 in general—has been anything but typical. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the season to be shortened to 60 games and there are rule changes abound. Universal DH, expanded postseason, seven-inning doubleheaders, you name it. It’s a weird year for baseball.

Tuesday at Target Field, the weird was ratcheted up a notch. The afternoon’s game between the Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates (GameTracker) was delayed approximately five minutes in the fifth inning because a drone hovered over the field. To the action footage:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:22 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: drones

Wide NBCUniversal cuts include Hardball Talk

One of the big remaining players in digital sportswriting seems to be slimming down their operations there significantly. That would be NBC Sports, which has long operated a group of “Talk” sites (Hardball Talk, College Football Talk, College Basketball Talk, Pro Hockey Talk, Pro Basketball Talk, Pro Soccer Talk, Motor Sports Talk, Olympic Talk, etc) in the mold of Pro Football Talk (which is actually owned by Mike Florio, but has been partnered with NBC since 2009). With NBCUniversal making wider cuts across their operations, Monday appears to have spelled the end for several of those sites, including Hardball Talk, College Basketball Talk, and College Football Talk. First, Hardball Talk, where editors and writers Craig Calcaterra and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:18 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: craig calcaterra

Epidemiologist Zachary Binney on What’s Gone Wrong with MLB’s COVID Response—and Whether it Can Be Fixed

Tayler: I wanted to go back to contact tracing, that there was an element of how they had defined it and conducted it that you didn’t feel great about.

Binney: According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Marlins tried to use contact tracing as an excuse for playing against the Phillies last Sunday. That really disgusted me, because you should’ve taken a step back and said, “We have four cases, we need to think that there’s an outbreak, we should not be playing this game until we have a stronger sense of whether there is one or isn’t.” Contact tracing works best if you have one case and you want to identify people you needed to immediately quarantine. That doesn’t seem to be what the use was with the Marlins. It was [perverse] to ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 10:57 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, August 03, 2020

MLB’s ‘Field of Dreams’ game in Iowa postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus

If you build it, they won’t come.

Major League Baseball’s “Field of Dreams” game, which was to be played on August 13 in Dyersville, Iowa, has been postponed until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a source familiar with the planning.

The game was scheduled to take place at the site where the iconic 1989 baseball movie was filmed. The source said it was thought to be best to not ask teams to take any additional steps, like extra travel, outside of their normal routines under these extraordinary circumstances.

Originally, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees were scheduled to play in the game. However, when the 2020 season was condensed from 162 games to 60 games because of the pandemic, the St. Louis ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:57 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani strains arm, won’t throw for 4-6 weeks

Shohei Ohtani has a right forearm strain that will prevent the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star from throwing for at least four to six weeks, possibly ending his season as a pitcher after just two starts.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler announced Monday that Ohtani “has a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass” — a collection of muscles and tendons in the forearm near the elbow.

The right-hander reported discomfort in his arm Sunday after he issued five walks and got only five outs in a rough 50-pitch start against Houston.

Ohtani is traveling with the Angels to Seattle, where they open a six-game road trip Tuesday night. The Angels also use Ohtani as their primary designated hitter between his mound starts, and he is ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:53 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

Angels to call up top prospect Jo Adell

The Angels are off to a slow start this season, but they’re set to get a boost with the addition of top prospect Jo Adell, who will be called up by the club, a source told on Monday. The Angels optioned outfielder Michael Hermosillo and infielder Jared Walsh to their alternate site in Long Beach, Calif., as Mike Trout will be reinstated from the restricted list for Tuesday’s game in Seattle.

Adell, ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, is the club’s highest-rated prospect since Trout. The 21-year-old has incredible raw power and can play all three outfield positions, but he has mostly been seeing time in right field with Trout entrenched in center.

The Angels will have to work out Adell’s playing time, as ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jo adell

Soroka tears right Achilles, out for season

Soroka suffered a torn right Achilles tendon during this loss that snapped a five-game winning streak and severely bruised the Braves’ World Series hopes.

What could have been another entertaining matchup against two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom turned disastrous for Soroka when he attempted to come off the mound in response to J.D. Davis’ grounder to the right side in the third inning.

Soroka fell to the ground after pushing off the mound with his right foot. He rose a moment later, limped for a few steps and then went back to his knees, where he remained while being checked by assistant trainer Mike Frostad and manager Brian Snitker.

While continuing to show obvious pain, Soroka put his arms around ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:51 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mike soroka

Derek Jeter blames Miami Marlins coronavirus outbreak on ‘false sense of security’

“Guys were around each other, they got relaxed and they let their guard down,” Jeter said. “They were getting together in groups. They weren’t wearing masks as much as they should have; they weren’t social distancing.”

Jeter said his players were upset by speculation that reckless misbehavior was to blame.

“Our guys were not running all around town in Atlanta,” he said. “We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel. We had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate’s house. There were no other guests on-site. There was no salacious activity. There was no hanging out at bars, no clubs, no running around Atlanta.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:50 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (August 2020)

“I’m on some new shit,” Taylor Swift sings in the opening lines of Folklore, announcing with a smile and a wink that the many Taylor Swifts of her previous seven albums — even the not-quite-year-old Taylor of Lover — can’t come to the phone right now.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says ‘we are playing’ but ‘players need to be better’

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred remains confident the 2020 season can continue, telling ESPN’s Karl Ravech on Saturday that “there is no reason to quit now” despite positive coronavirus tests that have led to the postponement of 17 games in 10 days.

“We are playing,” Manfred told Ravech. “The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”

Manfred acknowledged Saturday that not every team might play all 60 games this season, and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams.

“We’ve got to be flexible on that,” Manfred told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Look, this is one of the reasons that we revisited the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 11:42 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred

Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy ‘resting comfortably’ after heart attack

Brewers general manager David Stearns said the 61-year-old Murphy received a stent and is expected to be released from Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, “in a couple of days.” Stearns said it is too early to estimate when Murphy might be back in uniform.

“The prognosis for a recovery is good, and Pat is certainly going to be back in the dugout at some point,’’ Stearns said Sunday. “I could not venture to guess as to when that is. Right now, the most important thing for Pat is to focus on his recovery and health. We’ll let him focus on that.’‘

Stearns said Murphy started experiencing symptoms while on the Miller Park field and reported them to the team’s medical staff. The staff immediately realized the gravity of the situation ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 11:41 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pat murphy

Mets don’t know where Yoenis Cespedes is, team announces in statement

The Mets released a concerning statement on their star slugger, Yoenis Cespedes, who did not show up to the ballpark for their Sunday afternoon game in Atlanta.

“As of game time, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the ballpark today,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”

The team does not have any reason to believe Cespedes’ safety is at risk, according to one person familiar with the situation.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 02:30 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: yoenis cespedes

Reds’ Joey Votto on IL with reported virus symptoms

he Cincinnati Reds placed veteran first baseman Joey Votto on the injured list Sunday before the opener of their doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Votto self-reported coronavirus symptoms Sunday morning but has not tested positive for it.

The Reds did not disclose a reason for the move but specifically announced that Votto is on the IL—not the 10-day IL. There is no minimum or maximum number of days that Votto must remain on the IL.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 12:01 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, joey votto

What A Year Off Might Do To Baseball Players’ Skills

We don’t have a huge sample to look at. There were 98 players who lost at least one full season to military service between 1939 and 1946. Of that group, there were 30 hitters to reach 150 plate appearances in their first year before service and also in their first season back. There were 15 pitchers to total at least 70 innings in their last year before WWII participation and in their first year playing after the war. All of those players returned in either the 1945, 1946 or 1947 MLB seasons. (There were 343 total MLB players who played in 1944 and 1945, so many returnees were facing players who did not miss time in previous seasons).

The hitters suffered some performance decline, relative to the league average. As a group, their OPS+ ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 09:56 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

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