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Monday, June 29, 2020

Aubrey Huff Says He Would Rather Die From Coronavirus Than Wear a Mask

“It’s not healthy to breathe in your own CO2 all the time and it seems like everyone is a coronavirus expert. If I God forbid get the coronavirus, here’s what I do: I go home, I get well and I get back and live my life. I would rather die from coronavirus than live the rest of my life in fear and wear a mask.”

Huff is not new to controversial comments.

NattyBoh Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:34 AM | 155 comment(s)
  Beats: aubrey huff, covid-19, masks

Ballpark Peanuts, a Classic Summer Pleasure, Have Been Benched

Today, most of the 2.3 million pounds of in-shell peanuts consumed during a typical baseball season are languishing in cold storage, waiting — like the fans — for an opening day at the park that is unlikely to come. Baseball teams both minor and major are trying to find a way to schedule a season, but there will be no one in the stands to shell out $4 or $5 for a bag of peanuts.

NattyBoh Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:34 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: concessions, covid-19, peanuts

Inside MLB’s 2020 season plan to play through a pandemic—and where it could go wrong

While the processes in place to handle individual positive cases are dutiful and will be reinforced with even more specificity by each team, the language regarding the actions the sport would take with a deluge of cases is general and vague.
The general wording offers Manfred a wide berth—which makes sense because as commissioner he already wields the best-interests-of-baseball clause. The players, skeptical after months of negotiations had turned ugly, were reticent about rubber-stamping Manfred’s unilateral ability to cancel a season when doing so would immediately end their ability to get paid.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, covid-19,

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Edgar Santana suspended 80 games

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Edgar Santana was suspended 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball on Sunday after testing positive for a banned substance.

MLB said in a statement that Santana, 28, was positive for Boldenone, a performance enhancer.

Santana, a right-handed reliever, missed the 2019 season because of Tommy John surgery.

In 2018, he appeared in 69 games for the Pirates, going 3-4 with a 3.31 ERA. He struck out 74 in 66⅓ innings that season.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: peds

What Randomness Could a 60-Game MLB Season Bring?

In the bottom of the fifth inning of a game against the Orioles on June 6, 2019, Rangers left fielder Danny Santana lifted a one-out fly ball to center. When O’s center fielder Keon Broxton caught it, his Texas counterpart Delino DeShields hurried home from third, scoring what would be the winning run in a 4-3 Rangers victory. With that win in the books, the Rangers’ record stood at 32-28. Through 60 games, they were in wild-card position. “Playoff baseball may come back to Arlington sooner than expected,” Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro wrote that week…

If last season had stopped after 60 games, the Rangers would have won the second wild card. The Cubs would have won the NL Central, and the Phillies would have won the NL ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Top prospects in teams’ 60-man player pools

Rays: Wander Franco, SS (No. 1), Brendan McKay, LHP/DH (No. 2), Vidal Brujan, 2B/SS (No. 3), Shane Baz, RHP (No. 5), Shane McClanahan, LHP (No. 7), Joe Ryan, RHP (No. 8), Josh Lowe, OF (No. 9), Ronaldo Hernandez, C (No. 11), Taylor Walls, SS (No. 15), Kevin Padlo, 3B/1B (No. 16), Randy Arozarena, OF (No. 17), Peter Fairbanks, RHP (No. 24), Lucius Fox, SS (No. 25), Josh Fleming, LHP (No. 28), Esteban Quiroz, 2B (No. 30)

Baseball’s top prospect is among the talent Tampa Bay has included in its player pool, with Franco ready to debut if and when he’s called upon. Whether the 19-year-old phenom cracks the big league roster or has an opportunity to face big league talent in intrasquad games at the Rays’ remote training site in Port Charlotte, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2020 at 08:38 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: club pool

Twins coaches Bob McClure, 68, and Bill Evers, 66, sidelined for season

Citing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Twins will not allow bullpen coach Bob McClure and major league coach Bill Evers to work games this year, according to a source with knowledge of the decisions.

Pete Maki, the minor league pitching coordinator, is in line to step in as the new bullpen coach, while Evers’ role is expected to be filled in the near future.

The decision came after the Twins examined the health histories of their staff members, taking age and any existing conditions into account.

McClure, 68, was entering his first season as bullpen coach, replacing Jeremy Hefner, who was hired as the Mets pitching coach. McClure, who spent the previous two seasons as the organization’s senior ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2020 at 08:37 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Several Rangers employees test positive for COVID-19, less than two weeks after mandate to return to office

Earlier this month, CBS Sports reported that the Texas Rangers had become the first known Major League Baseball team to bring workers back into the office—and had done so despite surging COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County. Not even two weeks have passed, yet CBS Sports can confirm a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that “several members” of the organization have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, according to an internal announcement.

CBS Sports has since obtained and reviewed the internal memo issued to Rangers employees on June 11, days before the mandate to come back went into effect.

The memo, entitled “Front Office Re-Opening Guidelines,” does not explicitly require employees to return to the office, but the section on ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2020 at 09:54 AM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, rangers

Friday, June 26, 2020

Andrew Toles jailed for sleeping behind the Key West airport, police say

A 28-year-old Major League baseball player was jailed this week after police said they found him sleeping behind the Key West airport.

Andrew Alvin Toles was arrested June 22 on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing after he refused to leave the area, according to the arrest report from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Police listed his address as the “streets of Key West.”...

An outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toles spent last year on the restricted list, after leaving the Dodgers’ spring training facility in late May due to a personal matter, according to reports by Because of the pandemic, baseball play is currently suspended until July 1, when teams can report to their spirng training sites for practice.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 04:06 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew toles

K-Pop singer Stephanie rumored to be dating former MLB All-Star Brady Anderson

Baltimore strong.

Singer Stephanie is dating former major league baseball player Brady Anderson, local news outlet OSEN reported on Friday.

According to the report, the two started dating earlier this year after they became friends in 2012 when Stephanie was a part of the Los Angeles Ballet.

Greg Franklin Posted: June 26, 2020 at 12:02 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dating, history, music, orioles

The Obscenely Late, Obscenely Early ZiPS Projected Standings

The teams with the most positive change in their fortunes are the midwestern teams, and the teams that were on the very edge of Wild Card contention, such as the Rangers and the Blue Jays. The league’s basement dwellers’ playoff chances improve as well, but clubs like the Orioles and the Tigers just aren’t good enough to take as much advantage of it, in the sense of a binary playoff/non-playoff result, as these other teams. On the flip side, the elite teams and the coastal teams suffer the most. Every team that has seen their shot at the World Series trophy fade is a 2019 playoff team…or has Noah Syndergaard.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 12:01 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: zips

Are MLB players really headed for another strike?

In addition to the drama between MLB and the union, both sides are dealing with complicated internal dynamics. Manfred has a tough task in holding together his coalition and softening tensions between big- and small-market teams, particularly on the issue of revenue sharing.

“It’s a three-way negotiation,” explains one club lawyer of CBA talks. “The players and the owners and the owners and the owners.”

Agents and club officials speak of the commissioner in remarkably consistent terms: A smart attorney, shrewd negotiator and more capable business mind than his predecessor, Bud Selig—but less of a consensus-builder than Selig.

Owners and executives also agree that while Manfred protects their interests very well, he does not “love” the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 11:59 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-26-2020

New York Tribune, June 26, 1920:

Chalk up two more for Mr. George Herman Ruth, home run king and slugger extraordinary. The “Babe” injected to prodigious circuit clouts into the pastime at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon and thereby increased his total for the season to twenty-two. Only eight more to break his own record, and the campaign is still in its infancy!

It’s still early in the season, but I think the conversion from pitcher to two-way player, and now to full-time outfielder has gone fairly well.

Also in the news 100 years ago today, the people of St. Anthony, Idaho are excited that Chick Gandil has accepted $10,000 to manage their team in the Yellowstone-Snake River League, and the American League is considering measures to ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 26, 2020 at 10:24 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Blue Jays, MLB ask Canadian government for permission to play in Toronto

“The resumption of activities in Canada must be undertaken in adherence to Canada’s plan to mitigate the importation and spread of COVID-19,” Canada Public Health Agency spokeswoman Anna Maddison told Rob Gillies of The Associated Press. “The Public Health Agency of Canada has received, and is currently assessing, a restart plan from Major League Baseball.”

Maddison added that the province of Ontario’s health authorities must also approve the restart plan, according to Gillies.

The MLB players’ association informed agents that the team expects a response in the next day or two, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

If allowed to play in Canada, the Blue Jays will then request to move their spring training from Dunedin, Florida, to the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 04:56 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

The part of fan-free baseball nobody is talking about

Welcome to a very subtle alteration that would seem to be coming in the new world of fan-free big league baseball. (Note: There still may be some teams who host fans at some point during the 2020 season, but the vast majority of clubs will be playing front of empty ballparks to begin with.)

“I think stolen bases in Major League Baseball will be down because guys can hear,” the pitcher explained.

“When I was playing Little League or Pony Ball and it’s just your parents in the stands, literally the first baseman was like, ‘Hey, he’s about to steal.’ And you step off. But in the big leagues you have to be screaming it and the first baseman is the one looking like an idiot yelling, ‘His lead is big! His lead is big!’ Now it’s ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 02:04 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

MLB’s Proposed 120 MiLB Teams For 2021 May Include Some Surprises

Sources confirmed that multiple independent league teams in addition to St. Paul and Sugar Land (which were mentioned in MLB’s initial proposal) have been approached by MLB teams as possible affiliates for 2021 and beyond, with the Atlantic League’s Somerset being the team most likely to be brought into affiliated ball.

“We are very proud of our over two decades as a founding member of the Atlantic League. The Somerset Patriots strive for excellence in everything that we do,” Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer said in a statement to Baseball America. “Our staff, partners, fans and community as a whole have enhanced our reputation that has been recognized throughout professional baseball. To hear our name even ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

MLB could still have expanded postseason in 2020: ‘I’ll be available to discuss it,’ Tony Clark says

Major League Baseball could still expand its postseason format for the 2020 season, MLB Players Association Tony Clark told Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

Though the lack of an agreement between the league and the players about the rules governing the shortened season means the league is likely to move forward with a normal, 10-team playoff format, MLB could still try to make another proposal for an expanded postseason. Clark told Blum he’s open to the possibility.

“I would simply say that if there’s interest to discuss something, I’ll be available to discuss it,” Clark said.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:47 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: expanded playoffs

Will fans be allowed at MLB games in 2020 season? Astros owner says ‘that’s the plan’ in Texas

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was asked about having fans at Minute Maid Park this season on Wednesday and told
reporters (including’s Alyson Footer) “that’s the plan.”

“We still have to go through the player protocol. We’re still focused on that,” Crane said. “I think the intent at some point is to get the fans in the ballpark.” Crane added that having fans purchase tickets as well as concessions and merchandise at the ballpark is the “only thing we can do to counter” financial losses stemming from the pandemic.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently said Chicago could allow fans into Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field this season, with as many as 8,000 fans per venue being allowed (via NBC Sports Chicago).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:32 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-25-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 25, 1920:

A change in the baseball rule, governing balls hit out of the playing fields, will go into effect [today], it was announced by American League headquarters [yesterday].
The rule in question…provides that a ball shall be judged fair or foul “according to where it passes over the boundry line of the actual playing field.”
Under the new ruling if an umpire sees a ball land foul it must be called foul, regardless of whether it passed over the boundary fence fair. The change applies to both major leagues.

Wow. I really hate that rule change. I’m happy it didn’t last.

Also on the same page, the Cardinals are moving to Sportsman’s Park in order to accomodate increased fan interest. They’d stay at ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

Fans ridicule Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field

“Looks like a megachurch married a livestock auction and had a baby.”

Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 25, 2020 at 08:50 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: new-bbq-rig, rangers, stadia, why does it smell like sardines

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs will allow fans to attend games in planned Atlantic League season

The Atlantic League’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, High Point Rockers and Long Island Ducks are working with other professional teams to finalize a 70-game schedule that would start in mid-July and conclude with a five-game championship series in late September, the league announced Friday.
If the 70-game season does proceed, it is not yet clear whether every team’s ballpark will open to fans, [League President Rick] White said.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 25, 2020 at 08:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minors

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

MLB trade deadline moved to Aug. 31, teams can have 30 players on Opening Day roster in latest draft of league proposal

Here are some roster-related highlights of the proposal, which is subject to change before the season begins in late July.

* The trade deadline would move from July 31 to Aug. 31, representing the halfway point of the regular season.

* On Opening Day, teams would be able to carry up to 30 players on their active roster. On the 15th day of the season, the active roster limit would decrease to 28, and it further decrease to 26 players on the 29th day of the season. Teams would then have regular 26-man active rosters for the rest of the season and postseason.

* The transaction freeze that has been in place since March 26 would be lifted at noon on the fifth day prior to spring training, allowing teams to start tweaking their rosters.

* ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2020 at 01:34 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Would MLB Be Better Off in a Bubble? Experts Say ... Maybe

“The Twins and the Rockies have different public health leaders and different public health perspectives and, quite frankly, are in different places in the coronavirus outbreak right now than the Rangers and the Diamondbacks,” says Dr. Dawn Comstock, a sports epidemiologist at the Colorado School of Public Health. “You’re going to have to deal with different public health mandates.”

Compare this to the other major leagues about to start play. The NBA, WNBA, and MLS will have their bubbles in Florida. The NHL is in the process of picking its two hub cities, and the NWSL will be in Utah. These “bubbles” will see players isolated in one environment for weeks or months, with minimal movement in or out, and all basic needs met ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2020 at 11:32 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-24-2020

Washington Times, June 24, 1920:

The great test has been made. Jim Shaw has measured the beaks of Doc Ayers and [Eric] Erickson. A jury has aided him, and still no satisfactory decision has been reached…At the last minute, just before the game, Jim Shaw stood the two pitchers together and considered gravely the shadows cast by their noble brows. He was inclined to call it a dead heat then and there. But Donie Bush claimed it was unfair to overlook the superior bulk of Ayers. He said that, while the shadows might be equal, Erickson did not begin to have as much beak when it came to cubic measurement.

“Where do you get that cubic stuff,” howled Jim Shaw. “This has nothing to do with [Cuban outfielder Jacinto] Calvo. There ain’t no cubes in ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 24, 2020 at 10:35 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, nose

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

MLBPA, owners clear final hurdles; players set to report to camps July 1

The Major League Baseball Players Association and the league ironed out the final details on Tuesday ahead of a return to play, one that will see players report to camps by July 1 and play a 60-game season starting on either July 23 or 24.

The last hurdle—an agreement on health and safety protocols—was cleared Tuesday night, some three-plus months after spring training was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps,” the union tweeted Tuesday night.

The regular-season schedule will feature both divisional and interleague play, for which teams will only play within their corresponding geographical division in order to mitigate travel. The league also said ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 10:15 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: play ball

Charlie Blackmon, two other Rockies test positive for coronavirus following workouts at Coors Field

Rockies players Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani have all tested positive for coronavirus following recent workouts at Coors Field, major-league sources told The Denver Post.

Several Rockies have been working out at Coors Field this month, including taking live at-bats. The positive tests came late last week, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One player was showing symptoms and the other two were asymptomatic.

After the three players tested positive, all of the other players who were working out at Coors Field were tested for coronavirus. Those tests came back negative. Per Major League Baseball protocol, Coors Field has been closed for the week.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 10:13 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

U.S. minor league baseball teams sue insurers for pandemic business losses

Fifteen U.S. minor league baseball teams on Tuesday sued several insurers, including a Tokio Marine Holdings Inc unit, for not paying out claims for business interruption losses after the cancellation of “much or all” of the league’s season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a lawsuit.

The cancellation is a “catastrophic loss” for the teams, which include the Chattanooga Lookouts in Tennessee, the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Indiana and the Amarillo Sod Poodles in Texas, the teams said in a lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court.

They dispute insurers’ claims that their losses are not covered by their policies.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 03:04 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Trevor Bauer, Aubrey Huff engage in ridiculous NSFW Twitter fight

If only Curt Schilling could get involved somehow.

The spat began when Huff responded to a tweet from Bauer about his feelings on the potential agreement for Major League Baseball’s 2020 season, suggesting Bauer “keep quiet” based on career stats.

The back-and-forth quickly devolved as Huff hurled insults at Bauer, calling him a “cuck” with low testosterone. They wound up debating the merits of Bauer’s career WAR (a “nerd stat”) and Huff’s two World Series titles (“participation trophies”).

The 43-year-old Huff, a 13-year veteran who last played in 2012, has found himself at the center of controversies recently for misogynist and bigoted statements he has made on Twitter.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 01:10 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: trevor bauer

Bill James: Why We Need Runs Saved Against Zero

        Absolute values, measured from zero up, create structure to our thought.  Absolute values make analysis possible.  Without reference points, it is very, very difficult to create a map, because every little error magnifies itself over space, creating an uncertain relationship between distant points.  “Surveying” is a matter of accurate measurement, yes, but it is also a system of creating multiple reference points.  Every map starts with a zero point; you don’t know what it is, but the guy who created the map does.  (For Google Earth, by the way, the zero point is in Lawrence, Kansas.  Really.)

        I understand, of course, why fielding is difficult to measure in absolute terms.  It is difficult to measure in all ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 01:00 PM | 178 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james

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