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Sunday, May 03, 2020

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 ...

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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 ...

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

Introducing Baseball’s Premier Research Tool: Stathead

Stathead subscriptions provide access to a suite of tools that allow users to run customized searches through 100+ years of career statistics, season statistics, game statistics, splits and play-by-play. These tools are omnipresent in every press box, broadcast booth, agency and front office in Major League Baseball. We’re happy to offer access to these professional tools for the low cost of $8/month. Even better, for a limited time we’re offering the first month FREE. For more info on Stathead subscriptions, please click here.

Here’s a rundown of some of the tools you’ll have access to as a Stathead subscriber:

SEASON/CAREER FINDERS
GAME FINDERS
SPLIT FINDERS
STREAK FINDERS
EVENT FINDERS
BATTER vs PITCHER
NEUTRALIZED STAT FINDERS
PLAYER ...

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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 | 4476 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 ...

Read More...
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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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

Monday, April 27, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-27-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 27, 1920:

Everett Scott, Boston shortstop, celebrated his new record for consecutive games participated in by hitting a home run with M’Innis on first, culminating a batting onslaught which decided [yesterday’s] game with Philadelphia in the fourth inning. The final score was 9 to 0.
...
Scott [yesterday] played his five hundred and thirty-fourth consecutive game starting June 20, 1916. The previous record of 533 games straight was held by Luderus, first baseman of the Philadelphia Nationals.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Henry Louis Gehrig bides his time.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 27, 2020 at 10:31 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

After slap on the wrist from MLB, Red Sox have a pathway for reunion with Alex Cora in 2021

“ Almost as soon as Major League Baseball’s investigation into sign-stealing allegations by the Boston Red Sox landed on Wednesday — with its near-total exoneration of the team’s management for actions apparently spearheaded by a low-level video-scouting staffer — speculation in Boston began focusing on an intriguing possibility:
Could Alex Cora return as the Red Sox’s manager in 2021 — perhaps without missing so much as a single game?”

majorflaw Posted: April 27, 2020 at 06:33 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, red soxs

Here’s each team’s fiercest rival—right now

Even without baseball so far this year, one thing remains constant among baseball fans: Everybody hates their rival. It is almost as fun to cheer for your team’s rival to lose as it is to cheer for your team to win itself. Baseball rivalries are eternal.

They are, however, dynamic and ever-changing. Sometimes, a team’s rival can ebb and flow; sometimes, circumstances dictate the rival. So, today, we take a look at each team’s most hated rival right now. And what’s interesting is that a team’s main rival isn’t always mutual.

And just to make sure we spread all the anger around: We’ll even give each team a runner up.

Well, at least the pick for the Giants makes perfect sense…..

 

QLE Posted: April 27, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: rivalries

Sunday Notes: The D-Backs’ Run Production Coordinator Has a Good Backstory

Drew Hedman’s title with the Arizona Diamondbacks is Major League Run Production Coordinator. The 33-year-old Pomona College graduate was promoted to that position in January 2019 after spending the previous 12 months as a pro scout. His backstory is interesting, in part because he bypassed business school along the way.

Hedman played four seasons in the Red Sox organization, and while he topped out in Double-A, that alone qualifies an accomplishment. A total of 1,521 players were selected in the 2009 draft, and only three of them went later than Hedman. As a 50th-round pick, the writing was on the wall by the time the ink dried on his first contract. Not that he didn’t give pro ball the old college try.

“I certainly knew the odds ...

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The Latest: Cuomo can envision baseball in NYC this summer

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

___

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he can envision baseball games being played without fans this summer at Yankee Stadium and the Mets’ Citi Field.

“Be creative. Try to figure it out,” the Democrat said during his briefing Sunday. “But if players could get paid more than staying home and owners would get some revenue versus total shutdown, why not? I’d love to watch.”

Cuomo says he has spoken with owners of professional sports teams, but he did not identify which ones. They would have to make the economics work without gate revenue but with broadcast revenue.

For those who wish for a space to discuss the effects of the current situation on ...

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QLE Posted: April 27, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, indians, new york

Alex Rodriguez Weighs In On Michael Jordan’s Baseball Career

It feels like the entire sports world is watching “The Last Dance,” and the numbers don’t lie. Last Sunday’s docuseries on Michael Jordan and the six-time champion Chicago Bulls became the most-watched ESPN documentary ever, averaging just over 6 million viewers.

The documentary caught the eye of Alex Rodriguez, though he has been watching Jordan closely for the past 30 years.

As a child, Rodriguez was in awe of Jordan. He watched from home in Miami as Jordan dominated, capturing his imagination with each dunk. He found himself living vicariously through His Airness in defeats to the Detroit Pistons and celebrations as the Bulls took their place as NBA champions.

The Sunday Night Baseball analyst is now able to relate to Jordan ...

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QLE Posted: April 27, 2020 at 12:22 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, espn, michael jordan

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Dillinger played ball before he robbed banks

Harry G. Leslie couldn’t take his eyes off the shortstop.

As governor of Indiana, Leslie had gotten into the habit of taking in some sports on his visits to the state’s penitentiaries—a former star athlete at Purdue, he believed in the rehabilitative power of organized competition, and he took an interest in inmates who applied themselves and excelled. So it wasn’t unusual that, during a trip to the Indiana Reformatory on a sunny afternoon in 1932, he decided to stop and watch the reformatory’s baseball team take on a local semipro club. And one prisoner in particular kept grabbing his attention.

“His play was marvelous, both in the field and at bat,” the Indianapolis Star later recalled. “He might have been a Major League shortstop the ...

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QLE Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:42 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: john dillinger

Let’s build a roster using the sons of ex-players

Families have bonded over baseball since it became our national pastime. Whether it’s early childhood hitting lessons in the backyard, a trip to the ballpark imprinting a permanent love for the sport or the nightly experience of watching a game together, baseball creates memories that can last a lifetime.

From Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. to Bobby and Barry Bonds, multi-generation families have been a crucial part of MLB’s history. Now, a trio of baseball sons of superstar dads—Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette—are the core of the Blue Jays’ present and future. But these “Baby Blue Jays” are hardly the only ones impacting the game.

It left us wondering: What is the best 2020 roster composed exclusively of active ...

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QLE Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:34 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: fathers and sons, teams

Former Cardinals coach Rich Hacker, a New Athens product like Whitey Herzog, dies at 72

Former Cardinals coach Rich Hacker, a New Athens product like Whitey Herzog, dies at 72

Former major league infielder Rich Hacker, a New Athens, Ill., product who coached for New Athens native Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals teams from 1986-90 and then for two World Series champion Toronto teams when he was there from 1991-93, died late Wednesday night in Fairview Heights, Ill.

Hacker, 72 and suffering from complications from cancer, had been in hospice care.

“The big thing about Rich Hacker was that he was baseball through and through,” Herzog said Thursday. “He was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever, ever seen.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:32 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, rich hacker, rip

Celebrity chef expands meals handouts to stadium complex

BALTIMORE (AP) — Celebrity chef Jose Andres is expanding his humanitarian efforts to feed Baltimore residents during the coronavirus pandemic, with plans to hand out thousands of meals each week near the homes of the Orioles and Ravens.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Andres’ nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, plans to hand out between 10,000 and 20,000 packaged meals every Saturday at the Camden Yards stadium complex.

The Salvation Army also is using the facility to deliver thousands of meals per day to seniors. World Central Kitchen has been negotiating for weeks with the Maryland Stadium Authority and Gov. Larry Hogan’s office to use the Camden Yard complex.

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2020 at 01:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: camden yards, coronavirus, food

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 ...

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Moment of Truth: Why We Need Baseball in 2020

The spread of the novel coronavirus has altered our way of life in a plethora of ways. People are sick. People are dying. There are more important things to worry about than baseball right now. That should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway.

So why push for the return of baseball or sports in general? Why try to rush back when it could backfire in a number of ways? Not only would it be a public relations nightmare, but it could put the health and safety of the players, coaches, executives, and media at risk.

To set the record straight, no sport will return before public health experts deem it safe for the aforementioned parties. Yes, there will probably be drastic measures taken, like potentially having players sit apart ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: April 26, 2020 at 12:34 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, national pastime

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The case for Chase Utley as the most important Phillie from 2007-11

There’s no right answer. But there is a best answer. That’s how I feel when asked to compare Howard, Rollins and Utley. Put any one of that trio on a different team and the golden era of Phillies baseball doesn’t happen. It’s as simple as that. Yet, there is a first among equals in that holy trinity of the infield and it’s Utley.

The passage of time can leave a haze, especially when it comes to recalling the value of athletes. It’s natural to remember only the extremes, a player at his apex or his nadir.
A decade removed from their collective primes, it’s tempting to think that Rollins and Howard played to an MVP level every season because they each have one of those trophies on their respective mantles. But that just wasn’t the case. ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: April 25, 2020 at 01:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, phillies

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