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Friday, October 15, 2021

NBA 2021-2022 Season Thread

I estimate there are maybe 10-12 Primates left on this site, and none of us want to post this thread.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: get me out of philly, nba, off top


Red Sox vs. Houston. Atlanta vs. Los Angeles.

Four teams, one OMNICHATTER.

Hombre Brotani Posted: October 15, 2021 at 04:33 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mike Shildt out as St. Louis Cardinals manager, per report

One week after losing the NL Wild Card Game to the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals have made a managerial change. Mike Shildt is out as the club’s manager, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The team has not yet confirmed the news but has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Shildt, the 2019 NL Manager of the Year, replaced Mike Matheny on an interim basis in Aug. 2018, then was given the job permanently following that season. The Cardinals went 252-199 in parts of four seasons under Shildt, winning one NL Central title.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:51 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mike shildt

Beyond the Selig Rule: Can Baseball Fix Its Pipeline For Managers of Color?

Twenty-two years later, Selig’s goals remain admirable. But evidence suggests that the rule bearing his name has had minimal effect on the makeup of baseball’s top decision-makers. A new study from Arizona State University’s Global Sport Institute examining MLB manager hiring and firing patterns from 2010 to 2019 has found that while managers of color during that time period had the same or more robust playing and coaching experience as their White peers, the managers of color were hired through a more narrow career pathway and within a smaller age range, had shorter tenures, and enjoyed fewer second chances.

During the time period examined:

Eight Black managers were dismissed. Only three were hired.
Thirteen managers with no ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:49 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: minority hiring

Sources: New York Yankees shake up staff under Aaron Boone, won’t renew contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames, 3B coach Phil Nevin

The fallout from the Yankees’ disappointing 2021 season has started, as New York will not renew the contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames and third base coach Phil Nevin, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

The Yankees also are expected to not renew the deal of assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, sources confirm to ESPN.

The moves mark a staff shakeup under manager Aaron Boone, whose job security also has come under scrutiny after the Yankees’ third-place finish in the AL East and loss to the rival Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild-Card Game.

Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is inclined to keep Boone as manager, although the situation remains fluid. Boone has managed the Yankees to the postseason in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:45 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Theft Falls To Historic Lows

The mortal wounds struck to stolen bases weren’t caused by a decline in skills, as the league, as a whole, is better than ever in terms of successfully stealing. In fact, the 75.6% success rate in 2021 was the second-highest mark since 1937 – the highest was 75.2%, all the way back in 2020. No, it’s a lack of trying that’s at the root of the stolen base dying.

Since 1920 (the year that failed attempts started being tracked every season), major league baseball has averaged less than two stolen base attempts per 100 plate appearances in 52 of 102 seasons. Of those 52, 42 came over the 48 years between 1926 and 1973 (with the other six seasons only barely breaking the two-attempt threshold) – a period I’m confident in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:46 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: stolen bases

The mascot created to be hated

And then there’s what the San Francisco Giants introduced during a bleak 1984 season. With fans not having much reason to show up to Candlestick Park that summer, the team and its copywriters introduced the Crazy Crab, a proto-Gritty crustacean designed to be hated.

“So, I’d done a one man show in San Francisco called ‘The Beast of Shame’ about an evangelist, and I got an agent,” actor, dancer, and vaudeville performer Wayne Doba told me in a recent Zoom call from his current home in Quebec. “Then I got booked in commercials and I got this—the crab commercial—because I can do this little crab walk. They booked me for the crab commercial and it became a big hit.”

Before the Giants play the most important home game in their wildly, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mascot

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-14-2021

New York Herald, October 14, 1921:


He stabs drive by Baker; Quick Play to Kelly to Frisch Ends Game.

The Giants are champions. They beat the Yankees 1 to 0 in the eighth and final game.
From [Waite Hoyt’s] chilled fingers slipped two bases on balls in the first inning. This and a blunder by Peckinpaugh, the Yankee captain, produced the only run.

An injured Babe Ruth pinch hit for Wally Pipp to start the ninth inning but bounced out to first. Two batters later, the Giants were world champs.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 08:26 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A’s VP Billy Beane tips his hand about joining Mets front office

The Oakland A’s vice president is on the Mets’ short list of candidates for a new front office executive. And according to SNY’s John Harper, Beane could be interested in the job.

No idea what Steve Cohen is going to do, but in the last few days I’ve now spoken to two long-time friends of Billy Beane who say he’s very much open to the idea of becoming pres. of bb ops for Mets. Would hire a GM to handle day-to-day duties of the job. We’ll see.

Earlier this month, Beane tried to play dumb about a potential job with the Mets. Per WFAN:

“I don’t even respond to newspaper articles,” Beane said. “It’s all speculation… Normally the process [is] they would call the owner, which is how it goes. And it’s happened in the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:28 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: billy beane, mets

Ray Fosse, longtime MLB catcher and announcer, dies at 74 after 16-year battle with cancer

Longtime big-league catcher and broadcaster Ray Fosse died on Wednesday after a 16-year battle with cancer, according to the Oakland Athletics. Fosse was 74 years old….

Fosse enjoyed a 12-year career in the majors as a catcher. He broke into the big leagues with Cleveland in 1967 and he later made the All-Star Game in 1970 and 1971. Fosse’s inclusion in the 1970 contest has become ingrained in the sport’s memory because of Pete Rose’s decision to barrel over Fosse. That collision left Fosse with a fractured and dislocated shoulder—injuries that plagued him the rest of his career, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Fosse would nevertheless go on to enjoy a full career because of his sterling defense. He would make stops with ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, ray fosse

Tampa Bay Rays’ David Hess diagnosed with cancerous tumor in chest, to start chemotherapy

Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher David Hess says he is starting chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumor in his chest.

Hess tweeted Wednesday that he went to an emergency room about a week ago after experiencing chest tightness and shortness of breath.

“After some scans, blood work, and time at the hospital we learned that I had a cancerous germ cell tumor sitting in the center [of] my chest pressing majorly against my heart and lungs,” he wrote. “Today we got the final diagnosis and treatment plan that has chemo starting up on Monday to shrink and hopefully eradicate the tumor entirely.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:44 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, david hess

Chicago Cubs hire Cleveland Guardians executive Carter Hawkins as their new general manager

The Indians over the last several years have done a good job at two things—grooming starting pitchers and front office executives for other teams.

The latest example of that is Carter Hawkins, who has been hired as the Chicago Cubs new general manager. Hawkins just finished his 14th season with the Indians, the last five as an assistant general manager to GM Mike Chernoff.

Hawkins, 37, and James Harris, the Indians vice president of player development, were finalists for the Cubs job. Other finalist included Carlos Rodriguez, Tampa Bay’s director of player development and international scouting and Jeremy Zoll, the Twins assistant GM.

Jed Hoyer, Cubs president of baseball operations, has been looking for a GM since he replaced Theo ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:39 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, cy slapnicka, guardians

Ron Washington? Buck Showalter? Breaking down possible Mets managerial candidates

Buck Showalter
The veteran skipper has not managed since 2018 with the Orioles, and he’s made broadcast TV appearances ever since. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Showalter said he doesn’t consider himself retired and he’s certainly open to managing again. Moreover, Showalter said he would listen if the Mets called about their managerial vacancy.

“I don’t talk about jobs that aren’t currently open, so the ones that are, it’s always an honor just to be mentioned,” he said. “They got a lot of good, qualified people to pick from. I don’t know (if I will be asked to interview). That’s not my decision, but I’d listen if they (the Padres or Mets) called. Like I said, it’s an honor just to be mentioned.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:18 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, carlos beltran, joe mcewing, mets, ron washington

Rays’ Influence Continues in Playoffs Despite Their Elimination

Bloom’s Red Sox won the best-of-five series in four games. It was a sign of just how deeply the Rays’ style has now taken root across MLB. (Consider that the other ALDS featured an Astros team helmed by their former Tampa Bay coworker James Click, while their old boss, Andrew Friedman, was once again leading his reigning champion Dodgers in the NLDS.) It was also, from a personal standpoint, a bit weird.

“Erik’s like my brother,” Bloom said. “We grew up together in this game. We’re extremely close.”

Until recently, their careers took paths that made them look like not just brothers, but twins. They’re the same age, 38, born less than three months apart. Both men started with the Rays as interns—Bloom in 2005 and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Rob Manfred: MLB ‘not sure we see a path to success’ for new A’s ballpark in Oakland

Manfred began by saying it’s “kind of beyond debate at this point” that new stadiums are necessary in both cities, adding: “Oakland, probably critical just in terms of the condition of the ballpark.”

“Particularly in the case of Oakland, we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, just because it’s dragged on so long,” Manfred said. “And frankly, in some ways, we’re not sure we see a path to success in terms of getting something built in Oakland.”

Asked again if relocation is a possibility, Manfred said: “Yeah, (it) is a possibility. Yeah. I mean, they’ve been talking to Las Vegas. It’s gotten a lot of publicity, but there are options in terms of relocation in addition to Las Vegas.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 01:38 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Blatant missed call in the Braves-Brewers game showed how broken MLB’s replay system is

During the fourth inning of Tuesday’s NLDS Game 4, Adam Duvall popped up a foul ball near the backstop. Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez botched the catch, but third baseman Luis Urias came diving in on the backup to make what looked like an awesome heads-up catch.

The problem: The ball hit the ground. Like, it was clear.

Braves manager Brian Snitker signaled that he wanted to challenge the call. The umpiring crew even put on the headset, and moments later, the Truist Park PA announced that the call had been overturned. It wasn’t, though.

The call had to stand because MLB replay rules don’t allow for catch/no catch calls in the infield to be reviewed. It’s fine for plays in the outfield because of course.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:11 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: replay

Qualifying Offer Value Set At $18.4MM

This year’s qualifying offer will be worth $18.4MM,’s Buster Olney reports (via Twitter).  This represents a drop from last year’s $18.9MM figure, and the second time in the history of the qualifying offer that the value has declined from the previous season.  The QO was worth $17.8MM in the 2019-20 offseason, slightly below the $17.9MM price tag for the winter of 2018-19.

The qualifying offer is recalculated annually, as it is determined by averaging the salaries of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball.  The $500K drop from last year therefore looks like a reflection of the slower market of the 2020-21 offseason, as several teams spent less in the wake of reported and claimed revenue losses from the pandemic.

Still, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: qualifying offer

The secret to Atlanta’s defensive turnaround

The formerly shift-averse Braves are moving their infielders around out of nowhere, and largely without notice. If you watched the NLDS, you could see it. You saw it when Avisaíl García smoked a line drive directly to Austin Riley. You saw it when Omar Narváez hit a grounder right at Ozzie Albies, who started a double play. You saw it when Willy Adames, who had been shifted against by Atlanta 19% of the time in the regular season, saw shifts more than 80% of the time in October…

Ask anyone about the Braves’ infield defense, and they’ll invariably start talking about Washington, a legendary infield coach dating back to his days with the A’s in the 1990s. (Yes, the guy from the “Moneyball” scene, if you want to distill decades of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-12-2021

Alaska Daily Empire, October 12, 1921:

The Giants won a nerve wrecking pitcher’s battle from the Yankees this afternoon by a score of 2 to 1. The spitballer Douglas won the decision by a hair line over the underhand slinger Carl Mays.
The series now stands, Giants 4 and the Yankees 3. The series will continue until one team wins five games.

Before the game, John McGraw had speculated that Shufflin’ Phil Douglas might miss his start because of a severe cold, but obviously Douglas came through.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2021 at 08:19 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

Monday, October 11, 2021

Report: Philadelphia Phillies Hire Kevin Long As Hitting Coach

The Phillies have found their new hitting coach for the 2022 season. Kevin Long, who was the Washington Nationals hitting coach last season, will join Joe Girardi’s staff in the same role, The Athletic reported on Monday.

Long will be reunited with Girardi and Bryce Harper. Long worked as the hitting coach of the New York Yankees while Girardi was the manager. He also worked with Harper during his final season in a Nationals uniform in 2018. Before Washington, Long worked with the New York Mets as their hitting coach from 2015-17.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin long, phillies

Projected Arbitration Salaries For 2022

Matt Swartz has created a model to project salaries for arbitration eligible players, which we’ve been publishing at MLB Trade Rumors for 11 years.

In the baseball industry, teams and agents determine arbitration salaries by identifying comparable players. To project the entire arbitration class in this way would take a massive amount of time and effort. So, Matt has developed an algorithm to project arbitration salaries that looks at the player’s playing time, position, role, and performance statistics while accounting for inflation. The performance of comparable players matters, but our system is not directly selecting comps for each individual player.

As a disclaimer, I should note that our projections are not to be used as a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:56 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Fanatics reportedly could enter the sports media world, with many believing Sinclair’s RSN business could go bust

Per SBJ, Fanatics, the merchandising company that has exclusive deals with numerous leagues and has slipped its way into the trading card business, could become a player in the sports media landscape.

As usual, talks are preliminary, and Fanatics is just one company that has been involved.

One of the most intriguing ideas that has been discussed recently involves Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, an executive who has not been known for sports media deals but who has had several meetings in recent months to see if there’s a path for his company to jump into the flagging RSN business.

Rubin’s meetings with league, team, distribution and network executives have been dormant for several weeks and nothing is imminent, as sources say Fanatics ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:46 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks

White Sox’s Ryan Tepera suspects Astros may still be stealing signs at home

Ryan Tepera was happy to be in Chicago for Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday night. He thinks the White Sox will get an honest couple of games there against the Astros.

The right-hander wasn’t very subtle in suggesting that the Astros might still be stealing signs four years after the team put a camera in center field in its home park to spy on catchers and relayed the intel to hitters by beating on a garbage can in the dugout. Houston has been accused of cheating in 2018 and 2019, as well.

“The stadium (Guaranteed Rate Field) was rocking. It’s a different game here at our field, you know,” he said. “You play at Minute Maid (Park in Houston) and they’re doing something over there that’s a little different. It shows you how many swings and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:07 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, sign-stealing

Chicago White Sox’s Yasmani Grandal says he didn’t intentionally get in way of throw to home as Houston Astros claim interference

The Sox were leading 7-6 with runners on first and third and no outs when Grandal hit a ground ball to Gurriel, who attempted to cut down Luis Robert at the plate.

As the Sox’s catcher ran toward first while on the grass to the left of the chalk, he was hit by the ball coming home to Maldonado. It deflected away from the Astros’ catcher, allowing Robert to score and the inning to continue without the Astros getting an out on the play. Houston claimed interference.

“I tried to make the argument that he did get in the way,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

Interference would be called only if Grandal intentionally got in the way of the throw. All six umpires huddled on the infield grass, eventually declaring there was no intention.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:06 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-11-2021

Alaska Daily Empire, October 11, 1921:


Victory perched on the bats of the Giants this afternoon when the Yankees pitching staff caved-in and engulfed the American Leaguers in an 8 to 5 defeat.
Barnes pitching cast a mystical spell over the Yankees, 10 of whom were erased at the plate by strike outs.

The Giants had won three out of the last four to tie the best-of-nine series 3-3. Things fell apart for the American League champions when Babe Ruth scraped his elbow stealing third base in Game Two. The site became infected and forced the Babe out of the lineup for most of the rest of the series.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:19 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history, world series

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Rays’ ground-rule double in 13th causes confusion

Kevin Kiermaier rounded third base, was informed of what had happened out near the right-field bullpens, and threw his hands into the air. So had the umpires, signaling a ground-rule double—one of the most bizarre seen yet at Fenway Park, a century-old venue where odd bounces seem to be a nightly occurrence.

Kiermaier’s drive in the top of the 13th inning would have sent home Yandy Díaz with a go-ahead run, but a fluky bounce—the ball hit the wall, then struck Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe before hopping into the Boston bullpen—turned out to be a crucial moment in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, which was ultimately won by the Red Sox, 6-4, in 13.

With an on-field ruling of ground-rule double upheld following a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:29 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: ground rule double, rays, red sox

John Thorn: 5 rookies

Just as there were famous players before they began to receive bronze plaques marking their fame, there were great freshmen before the Rookie of the Year Award. My friend Bill Deane, an expert on baseball awards of all sorts, went so far as to list hypothetical Rookie of the Year winners for the years 1900 to 1946 (which I have extended, informally, to 1876, when technically everyone was a rookie).
Deane wrote in Total Baseball:
“In 1947 thirty-three baseball writers were asked to name five rookies in order of preference, with votes distributed on a 5–4–3–2–1 basis. Thus, Jackie Robinson became the first nationally recognized winner of the BBWAA Rookie of the Year Award…. In 1948 forty-eight writers [three per club] took part ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:26 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rookie of the year

Tom Carroll, youngest Yankee to appear in WS, dies at 85

Tom Carroll, the youngest Yankee ever to appear in the World Series, passed away on Sept. 22, five days after his 85th birthday.

Carroll was 19 years and 14 days old on Oct. 1, 1955, when he pinch-ran for Eddie Robinson, who had hit for starting pitcher Johnny Kucks, in the sixth inning of Game 1 of the 1955 World Series against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Carroll was stranded on first base when the next two batters flied out to end the inning and Rip Coleman came on to pitch.

Carroll again ran for Robinson the next day in Game 2, but he was forced out when Billy Martin grounded into a double play, with Hank Bauer replacing Carroll when the Yankees took the field in the bottom of the eighth.

“I was 19 ... and you go out there and you ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:24 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, tom carroll

Where did all the stars go? MLB’s brightest lights are out for the playoffs

If you pay attention to baseball, none of this is new or news. MLB is not a star-centric league like the NBA. Starting pitchers might be the quarterbacks for the day, but even the best sit in the dugout something like 80 percent of the time. “Moneyball” was an inflection point. The Tampa Bay Rays exist. In a six-month season, depth is king.

And yet, when we talk about all the ways the sport needs to change to save itself — and boy do we talk and write and pontificate about that — the limited impact of even the best players isn’t on the list. Games are too long, too slow. The league is too stodgy, too old school, deploys too many shifts and the pitchers are too good. But when it comes to the undeniable exciting talent in the game, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:23 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: star power

Friday, October 08, 2021

As Blue Jays ponder off-season moves, focus should be on closing gap to Rays

To that end, Atkins pointed to creating more diversity on offence as a way to complement the current group, noting the difference when Corey Dickerson and Cavan Biggio were in the lineup and contributing.

“It’s not just that they’re left-handed, but how we are attacked and potentially the pitchers that are used is different,” he explained. “Secondarily, we feel it’s important to have balance and not just the same type of hitters up and down your lineup. So some players that are more batting average driven and some players that are more on-base driven with plate discipline. Having both is exceptionally powerful.”

Getting there is, obviously, the tricky part, and worth noting is that before the trade deadline, the Blue Jays took a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 10:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

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