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Thursday, May 07, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-7-2020

Some grade A snark in the New York Evening World, May 7, 1920:

The reason the Braves aren’t so bad as we thought they’d be is because we thought they’d be terribly bad.

Hughie Jennings of baseball and William Jennings Bryan of politics hold the world’s record for consecutive beatings.

The Tigers would have a better chance of winning if they were playing roulette.

On the evening of May 7, 1920, the Braves were 8-5 and the Tigers were 3-15.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 07, 2020 at 10:06 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley confirms minimum game delivery requirements, which are resolved at the end of a season or calendar year

Here’s the relevant wall of text from Seeking Alpha’s transcript of the call, which includes Ripley saying that Sinclair has continued to pay the teams and distributors have kept paying Sinclair the carriage fees.

The sports rights agreements entered into between our RSNs and the professional sports teams typically include a minimum game delivery obligation. Adjustment provisions in those agreements address shortfalls by teams including rebates tied to the number of games actually deliver. Commercially, certain of our affiliation agreements with distributors also include game delivery minimum.

We can — if we cannot deliver the minimum number of games under the agreements, there is a mechanism for distributors to recoup a portion of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2020 at 10:59 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks

Pete Rose had bats corked in ‘84, former Expos groundskeeper says

“A former groundskeeper for the Montreal Expos recently told the Montreal Gazette that Rose routinely had an Olympic Stadium staffer cork his bats in 1984. Rose played most of the 1984 season for the Expos before he was traded back to his original club, the Cincinnati Reds, that August.

Joe Jammer, then an Expos groundskeeper and now a musician in London, told the Gazette in a telephone interview, “Pete Rose would have his bats corked in the visitors’ clubhouse at Olympic Stadium. I found out he was corking bats.

“Pete was too smart to deal with Expos equipment manager John Silverman [to cork his bats in the Expos’ clubhouse]. So Bryan Greenberg, who worked in the visitors’ clubhouse, did it. He took me into a room, a door to the left, ...

majorflaw Posted: May 06, 2020 at 03:33 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose

Baseball is bracing for an economic hit. The only question is how bad it will be.

..“We’re going to lose billions of dollars this year, no matter what,” said one high-ranking baseball official, who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal matters. “People don’t realize the magnitude of the losses, but they’re huge.”..

...A high-ranking baseball official confirmed the Marlins are “behind the 8-ball” due largely to their debt but predicted all 30 teams “should be okay.” Some teams, the official said, are “maxing out” credit lines and taking on more debt. Forbes reported Friday that MLB “modestly” increased its leaguewide lending capacity for individual teams…

NattyBoh Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:33 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, covid-19, finances

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Royals’ luckiest play vs. 2015 Astros in Game 4? Maybe it wasn’t so lucky after all

Morales’ moment still has always been a bit unsettling. KC deserves so much credit for its comeback, yet the game’s most important sequence — the Royals’ odds of winning the game went from 44% to 78% because of that one play, according to FanGraphs (and would have been at 24% had Correa fielded it cleanly to turn two) — has mostly been attributed to the Royals getting fortunate at the most opportune of times.

And yet ... after further review, I don’t think that’s what happened here at all.

Zach Posted: May 05, 2020 at 11:55 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa, comeback, kendrys morales, playoffs, royals

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

[Juneau] Alaska Daily Empire, May 5, 1920:


A sightless fan sat in the press box listening to the crack of wood on leather as Sacramento won from Vernon, 14 to 4. About the seventh inning he muttered, “thank heaven, I’m blind,” and tapped his way to the outer world.

The only feature of the game was the nerve of Mollwitz, Sacramento first baseman, who was knocked unconscious by a pitched ball but revived and trotted to first, scoring before he retired from the game.

If you can’t see what’s happening, the thunk of a ball against a skull and the resulting groan from the crowd must be incredibly unnerving.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 05, 2020 at 10:40 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Biggest pop culture moments for all 30 teams

Orioles—Veep: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer threw out the first pitch of an Orioles game, and a bunch of the players posed with her and, awkwardly, said “Orioles.” (And Louis-Dreyfus also played an Orioles fan on Seinfeld, where she got in trouble for wearing an O’s cap in comped seats.)

Rays—The Rookie: The heartwarming story of Jim Morris ended with him making his debut in a Rays uniform, and it’s the big climactic moment of this stirring movie.

Red Sox—Good Will Hunting: Lots to choose from here, including that heist scene at Fenway Park in The Town, but a whole generation knows Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair from watching Robin Williams and Matt Damon.

Yankees—Pride of the Yankees: You can also choose Jay-Z rapping ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2020 at 06:22 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: pop culture

Monday, May 04, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-4-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 4, 1920:

Boston and Brooklyn went into the nineteenth inning [yesterday] before Boeckel’s single scored Sullivan with the run which gave Boston a 2 to 1 victory. Fillingim and Smith pitched all the way and honors were practically even until Smith weakened in the nineteenth.

[Yesterday’s] game, following the 26-inning tie between Brooklyn and Boston on Saturday and Brooklyn’s 13-inning game with Philadelphia yesterday gave Brooklyn the new major league record of 58 innings played in three successive games. The previous record was 45 innings played by Pittsburgh and Brooklyn in 1917.

I guess I knew the Dodgers had set this record, but I was today years old when I learned that there was a one-game series against ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:44 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sunday, May 03, 2020

How Shortened Seasons Affect Future Projections

It’s interesting, surprising, and a bit discouraging.  Go read the article and give Fangraphs some traffic.  Click on an ad while you’re there.

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

The shutdown has lasted for less than two months, but in that short time the fallout from the pandemic has brought the film, television, music and theater businesses to their knees. It’s the greatest economic calamity to ever hit Hollywood, Broadway and other entertainment business hubs, dwarfing the wreckage left by such recent catastrophes as 9/11 and the Great Recession. And it’s being felt most acutely by production designers, camera operators, makeup artists, grips, stagehands, ticket takers, casting directors and character actors, whose names may not adorn cinema marquees but whose work forms the backbone of the business.

In February, the Motion Picture Assn. estimated that the film and TV industry directly employs 892,000 ...


Former A’s pitcher, executive Matt Keough dies at 64

Former major league pitcher Matt Keough, a special assistant with the Oakland Athletics, has died, the team announced on Saturday. He was 64.

The A’s did not disclose details on the cause of death.

Keough spent parts of seven seasons with Oakland as a player, ending in 1983, and was named an All-Star as a rookie in 1978. He was also was honored with the American League Comeback Player of the Year award in 1980, and pitched for the Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs and Astros as well.

“Matt was a great baseball man and a proud Oakland A,” executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said in a statement. “He had an incredible passion for the game and we were lucky to have him and his wealth of knowledge alongside us for the years he ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:21 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: matt keough

Ex-Mlb Star Andre Dawson is now a mortician

Dawson, 65, has owned and operated the Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in his hometown of Miami, since 2008. Having retired as a baseball player in 1996, he joined a group of investors his brother organized a few years later to buy a different funeral home, then took an even bigger step into the business.

Dawson did not expect to actually run Paradise Memorial, but “that role sort of fell into my lap,” he told AARP last year. With the same dedication to his craft that enabled a 21-year major league career, Dawson “threw myself into it, body and soul,” despite the unlikely nature of his new line of work.

“Growing up I could have never envisioned this,” he told the AP. “I was actually afraid of the dead when I was a kid.

...
Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:21 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, expos, life after baseball

Guardian: 12-time All-Star Manny Ramirez considers return to baseball at 47

Retired MLB superstar Manny Ramirez is considering a return to baseball in Taiwan at the age of 47 . . .

Ramirez, who turns 48 next month, told the Taiwan Times he would like to return in a player-coach role.

Oakland Athletics history: The forgotten greatness of Miguel Tejada

During the first decade of the century, Tejada was one of the best players in the game, let alone at short. He produced a .297/.347/.481 batting line, hitting 365 doubles and 251 homers. His 1860 hits were the third most of the decade, trailing only Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki, while his home run total led all MLB shortstops. One of the game’s Iron Men, Tejada did not miss a game in over seven years, led the league with 150 RBI in 2004, and twice led the league in doubles.

That production certainly led to a great deal of recognition at the time. Tejada was a six time All Star and won the game’s MVP award in 2005. He was the AL MVP in 2002, and won two Silver Slugger awards.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-30-2020

Associated Press via the Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 30, 1920:

[Walter] Johnson was knocked unconscious on a queer play in the fifth inning. In trying to throw out Bodie at first Third Baseman Shannon hit Johnson on the head with the ball, but the pitcher continued the game.

New York Tribune, April 30, 1920:

In the Yanks’ half of the fifth inning it looked as though Johnson might have to be carried off. Ping Bodie scratched one over to third and River Shannon after making a difficult pick-up tried to get the ball to first by bouncing it off Johnson’s hip. The blow flattened the pitcher for a moment or two but he went back to work.

The second account comes from a reporter who appears to have been at the game, so I’m inclined to believe ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 30, 2020 at 10:18 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

SI: Maury Wills Looks Back on Dodgers Career

Interestingly, Wills had a nearly identical number of stolen base opportunities between two seasons, with 348 in 1961 and 349 in 1962. But he attempted more than twice as many steals in 1962 as he had the previous year, running 33.6 percent of his opportunities. He’d steal 104 bases in all, shattering Ty Cobb’s 47-year-old single-season record of 96.

“I never intended to break Ty Cobb’s record,” Wills said. “I just thought of stealing bases. That became our attack. I would get on and steal second and then I’d steal third. Somebody’d hit a long fly ball (for a sacrifice fly) and Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale would shut ‘em out.”

He also stole with an excellent rate of success in 1962, getting caught stealing just 13 ...

villageidiom Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, los angeles, los angeles dodgers, maury wills, stolen bases

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Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reference, media

Empty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird

So, with the very likely possibility that baseball and basketball — at minimum — will be played to empty stadiums, it begs the question: Will it be as fun?

And before you answer, think about it for a second. No crowd noise. No intensity that builds for the home team or against the away team. Yes, the scoreboard will tell the tale, but the pressure is cranked up when you have a building full of crazy fans screaming their lungs out.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 4118 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fans, stadiums

Mets360: Mets’ all-time defensive fielders by runs saved

Recently there was some chatter about who the best Met defensive players have been.  Marv Throneberry or Keith Hernandez – Bud Harrelson or Rey Ordonez, and so on.  Anecdotally, there are a couple of Mets with tremendous defensive reputations, and Gold Gloves, but were they deserving, given what we have learned from advanced metrics?  Let us look.

From Primate emeritus Chris Dial.

Adam Starblind Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2020

Hal Chase on his future in baseball, Wilmington [Delaware] Evening Journal, April 28, 1920:

“I’m through with baseball as far as the east is concerned. New York sent me a contract for this season. It was a better contract than I had last year. Last season, however, I took a cut of $2000.
A chance came to get into business, so I took it…Yes, I might play ball a little on the coast, but I don’t like the idea of playing every day, maybe a couple of times a week. I want to look at baseball more as a recreation than a business in the future.”

“I definitely haven’t been kicked out of Organized Baseball or anything, but I don’t plan to be a full-time baseball player anymore and that just happened to take place at the same time gambling and ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The harmless practical joke that changed baseball

On Oct. 2, 1983, the Boston Red Sox, their fans and the baseball world said goodbye to Carl Yastrzemski. There was a whole massive production at Fenway Park for his final game, with an hour-long pregame ceremony, the retirement of his No. 8 jersey and a letter, read aloud to the crowd, from President Ronald Reagan. For a team that hadn’t reached a World Series in eight years, and hadn’t won one in 65, it was the biggest Red Sox story imaginable.

But that night, the Boston sports talk radio show “The Sports Huddle” on WHDH wasn’t talking about Carl Yastrzemski. It was talking about a relatively unknown baseball lifer named Vern Rapp. And that little four-hour show was about to change baseball history.

The 1983 Red Sox were not a ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 01:31 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: carl yastrzemski, managers, pete rose, vern rapp

A-Rod, J-Lo and the Mets Ownership Possibilities

At the end of last year, it looked like the Wilpon family might sell the New York Mets to Steven Cohen for around $2.5 billion. The proposed sale was an unusual one. It did not include SNY, the Mets’ regional sports network, which is owned by the Wilpons; the Wilpons were also set to maintain some degree of control of the team for years after the sale. In what didn’t come as much of a surprise given the deal’s unusual nature, things fell apart and the Mets are once again looking for new owners. Enter Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.

As reported by Scott Soshnick in Variety, Rodriguez and Lopez have sought help from JPMorgan Chase to raise funds to purchase the team. The piece notes that A-Rod and J-Lo have a combined net worth of ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 01:15 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, finance, mets being mets, mets mets mets

New Rangers park among possible MLB ideas for season start

North Texas has more to offer than just the new Rangers ballpark should MLB decide to start the pandemic-delayed 2020 baseball season with teams grouped together in different regions.

Among the different plans looked at by Major League Baseball is to use Texas as a mid-American hub.

“Depending upon a variety of the other factors, it makes a lot of sense,” Rangers general Jon Daniels said Monday, when asked about the possibility of Texas being part of such a plan. “Just given the nature of the market, the proximity of a lot of the facilities, the quality of the facilities, the quality of not just baseball facilities, but the hotels in the area and other things that you’d need.”

While the Rangers have had “some involvement, ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, rangers, stadiums

Reds longtime scout , Mariners exec George Zuraw dies at 89

CINCINNATI (AP) — Longtime Cincinnati Reds scout and former Seattle Mariners executive George Zurow has died in Florida. He was 89.

The Reds confirmed that he died Friday. No further details were available.

Zurow started his scouting career with the Pirates and worked for Cincinnati from 1968-88 during the glory years of the Big Red Machine. Players he helped sign included Ray Knight, who took over at third base when Pete Rose moved to Philadelphia.


QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: george zuraw, obituaries, rip

Yankees’ Aaron Judge Turned 28; What is New York’s Slugger on Pace For?

Remember when Aaron Judge made his Major League debut?

At the time, Judge was a top prospect that looked like he belonged on a football field or a basketball court. He homered in his first big-league at-bat, but went on to hit just .179 in 27 games played during his first taste of the Majors. Then, he was just 24-year-old.

On Sunday, the slugger turned 28.

In the last three-plus years since he first donned pinstripes, Judge has ascended to celebrity in the Big Apple both on and off the field. He’s the face of a franchise loaded with talent and a leader in the clubhouse drawing comparisons to Derek Jeter. Not only that, when he’s able to stay healthy, he’s one of the game’s best.


QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 01:01 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, milestones

Passan’s 20 questions: There will be MLB in 2020. It’s just a matter of when, where and how

The MLB season should have turned one month old Sunday. Rather than lament that, let’s instead fill the emptiness with a discussion about when the season will start.

Yes, will. Over the past two weeks, as states have begun to plan their reopenings, nearly everyone along the decision-making continuum—league officials, players, union leaders, owners, doctors, politicians, TV power brokers, team executives—has grown increasingly optimistic that there will be baseball this year.

This optimism is guarded and cautious and laden with caveats. It exists in a reality twisted by the coronavirus—one that acknowledges what seems possible today may not necessarily be tomorrow. There are a million questions. Consider what follows an attempt to answer ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, jeff passan

Today in Baseball History: Barry Bonds joins the 300-300 club

I was initially going to devote today’s baseball history post to a different exclusive club as, on this day in 1971, Hank Aaron hit his 600th career homer in a Braves loss. At the time, there were only two other players in that exclusive club and one of them — Willie Mays — was on the team that beat Aaron’s Braves that day, the San Francisco Giants. The other, of course, was Babe Ruth.

The thing is, though, the 600-home run club isn’t as exclusive as it used to be. Since Aaron joined that club, six other men have joined him, the Bambino and the Say Hey Kid: Barry Bonds (762), Alex Rodriguez (696), Albert Pujols (656 and counting), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), and Sammy Sosa (609).

A lot of that, obviously, is because ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: 300-300, barry bonds, history, home runs, stolen bases

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani: Close to facing hitters

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Sunday during an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that Ohtani is throwing “roughly” two bullpen sessions per week at about “80 to 85 percent” intensity.

Since Ohtani is still completing the rehab process for his elbow following his October 2018 Tommy John surgery, he’s been permitted to receive treatment and conduct his throwing program at the Angels’ facility during the league-wide suspension of play. Eppler estimates that Ohtani is typically throwing around 35 pitches during the sessions and should increase the frequency of them before he’s deemed ready to face hitters in May. Organizing live batting practice sessions in which Ohtani can test himself against hitters could prove to be ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 12:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: shohei ohtani

‘I miss baseball every day’: What a Nolan Arenado game day looks like with MLB on hold

I woke up at 10:30 this morning and ate my usual blueberry oatmeal with turkey bacon. I would have followed that by a couple of episodes of “The Office.” Stick with, like, Season 2 or 5. Those are my favorites. Dwight Schrute is my favorite character. When I wake up, my mind kind of starts going toward the game, so I’m trying to put myself in a good mood.

But it’s not game day. Now thinking about it, I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

Instead of being in Denver, I’m home in California. I still keep the breakfast pretty similar. I usually stick with oatmeal because I always try to keep my body feeling lighter. It makes me feel like I’m ready to go. Like I’m gonna go attack the day. It keeps me thinking positive.

If I had been in my ...

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 12:45 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: first-person narratives, nolan arenado

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