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Monday, September 12, 2022

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Right-hander Edwin Jackson announces retirement after pitching for MLB-record 14 different teams

Longtime big league right-hander Edwin Jackson announced his retirement Friday, which also happened to be his 39th birthday and the 19th anniversary of his MLB debut. Jackson pitched for a record 14 different Major League teams in a career that spanned parts of 17 seasons….

A 107-game winner with a career 4.78 ERA and over 1,500 strikeouts, Jackson was an All-Star with the Tigers in 2009 and he won a World Series ring with the Cardinals in 2011. He also threw a 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter against the Rays on June 25, 2010 while with the Diamondbacks. No pitcher has thrown as many pitches in a game since.

Jackson pitched for at least two teams in every division except the AL West. During his career he suited up for the Dodgers ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 10:18 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin jackson

How Guardians pitching coach Carl Willis mastered the ‘art of the mound visit’

Candlesticks always make a nice gift.

Willis said he tends to remember mound visits that do not work out more than the ones that result in success. He recalled a visit he paid to Danys Baez years ago when the right-hander was facing Reds slugger Russell Branyan.

“I sat back down and the next pitch was a double off the wall that just barely missed being a home run,” Willis said. “It ended up driving in the winning runs. You wear those things a little bit.”

There are times when Willis says he’s cracked a joke just to lighten the mood, because things can get incredibly intense out there.

“It comes down to execution and it also comes down to that building trust and understanding ahead of time,” Willis said. “Nothing in this ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 10:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching coaches

Dragons veteran Kosuke Fukudome to retire after season

Kosuke Fukudome, a former big leaguer and the oldest active NPB player at 45, will retire at the end of the season, the Central League’s Chunichi Dragons said Thursday.

The left-handed hitter spent five years in the majors from 2008 with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, logging a total of 498 hits and 42 home runs in 596 games.

The outfielder joined the Dragons in 1999 as their top draft pick out of the corporate leagues and won the CL batting title twice as well as the league’s MVP award in 2006 before joining the Cubs as a free agent.

He returned to Japan in 2013 with the CL’s Hanshin Tigers before re-signing with Chunichi ahead of the 2021 season.

With less than a month left to go in the NPB season, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 10:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: kosuke fukudome, npb

Cardenal, Hughes, O’Neil inducted into Cubs Hall of Fame

Former Cubs outfielder José Cardenal and broadcaster Pat Hughes were joined by a throng of former Cubs greats Saturday that included Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson for a pregame induction ceremony for the Cubs Hall of Fame…

Cardenal and Hughes joined a third member of the class, pioneering Negro Leagues player and manager Buck O’Neil, who was a scout and coach for the Cubs in the earliest days of MLB integration — and who was honored posthumously this summer with a long-overdue induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hughes, who’s in his 22nd year in the Cubs booth (40th as an MLB broadcaster overall)  is the third Cubs broadcaster in the team’s Hall of Fame, alongside Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray. ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 10:12 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buck o'neil, cubs

‘It’s special, man’: Oakland native Stewart has jersey retired by A’s

As a native of Oakland who grew up in the shadows of the Oakland Coliseum, Dave Stewart vividly recalls the excitement he felt when the A’s moved out west from Kansas City in 1968.

Stewart immediately became a regular at the Coliseum, with the seats down the right-field line his preferred spot so he and his cousins could get a glimpse of Reggie Jackson. With the Swingin’ A’s dynasty that captured three straight World Series titles from 1972-74 forming over the next few years, Stewart developed an affinity for the likes of Bert Campaneris, Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers.

“Every time I walk into that ballpark, I can replay different things on a given day,” Stewart said. “I remember when I was a little kid and Reggie was in right ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 10:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, dave stewart

Former MLB pitcher-turned-Port Authority cop Anthony Varvaro killed on way to Manhattan’s 9/11 service

A former Major League Baseball pitcher who left the mound to become a Port Authority cop was killed in a wrong-way crash Sunday — while headed to work at Manhattan’s 9/11 service, cops and sources said.

Tragic Officer Anthony Varvaro, 37 — a Staten Island native who pitched mainly for the Atlanta Braves during his six-year MLB career — joined the Port Authority Police Department in 2016, starting out at the World Trade Center Command, according to American Police Beat magazine.

The married father of four eventually became an instructor at the department’s police academy, the mag said in February — and a Port Authority source told The Post on Sunday that Varvaro was headed to work at the commemoration of the 21st anniversary ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 05:59 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony varvaro, obituaries

Why San Francisco Giants have gone from 107 wins to sub-.500

Keown: This is what happens when a team built on depth no longer has it. Gabe Kapler is mixing-and-matching and playing the percentages just as he did last year, but the system-wide lack of production—up and down the lineup, in the bullpen—turned last season’s alchemy into this season’s futility.

Olney: In 2021, future Hall of Famer Buster Posey had one of the best seasons of his career—and then retired; at 34, Brandon Crawford had his best offensive showing ever; a 33-year-old Brandon Belt bashed 29 homers and posted an OPS just under 1.000. And all three were very strong defensively. If you didn’t expect a significant regression, well, you weren’t paying attention, and the Giants have taken a big step back, especially on defense.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 05:58 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Friday, September 09, 2022

Twenty years after his World Series moment, Scott Spiezio puts his life back together [$]

Sub required.

It was April 4, 2018. And Spiezio had spent the last 13 years in a self-destructive spiral. Of all the inexplicable decisions he had made in that time, this was perhaps the most mind-boggling. He was ignoring indisputable signs of an at-risk liver.

Over the course of his decade-plus addiction, Spiezio was told numerous times that his liver enzymes were dangerously elevated. He often responded by staying clean just long enough to quell the danger, if not eliminate it. He didn’t take the threat seriously this time, either.

Spiezio saw a doctor who confirmed the suspected diagnosis. It was a disease that, if left untreated, could become extremely serious. He refused to be admitted. In fact, he continued drinking the next ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 09, 2022 at 05:02 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: scott spezio

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Baseball’s new pre-arbitration bonus program includes money based on new version of WAR, according to memo

A memo distributed to teams Thursday outlined the plan to enrich standout players in the early parts of their careers who still make around the major league minimum, which this season is $700,000. The memo, obtained by ESPN, also included the totals for the new version of WAR created by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association to reward players.

The $50 million pool, agreed to in the new collective bargaining agreement and funded by the league, starts by distributing money to players who place high in awards voting. Those who are not yet in arbitration, in which players typically with three to six years of service negotiate their salaries, receive $2.5 million for winning the MVP or Cy Young awards; $1.75 million for second ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 11:19 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: labor deal, war

Major League Baseball competition committee to vote on rules changes Friday with eye on quickening pace of play, sources say

The Major League Baseball competition committee is set to vote on Friday on rule changes that would begin in 2023 which include a first ever pitch clock, the elimination of the shift, bigger bases and a limit to how many times a pitcher can disengage from the rubber, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The goal is to increase action on the field, quicken the pace and reduce the amount of time it takes to play a major league game. The rules changes are expected to pass and include the following:

• A 15 second pitch clock with the bases empty and a 20 second clock with runners on.

• Two disengagements from the rubber - which includes pick-off attempts—per plate appearance.

• A requirement by hitters to be in the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 05:23 PM | 167 comment(s)
  Beats: pickoffs, pitch clock, shifts

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, catcher Yadier Molina tie MLB record for batterymates

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina made their 324th career start Thursday, tying the major league mark set by Detroit’s Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan from 1963-1975.

Wainwright and Molina got a standing ovation from the crowd as they made their way in from the bullpen moments before first pitch against the Washington Nationals.

Wainwright and Molina are scheduled to set the record against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sept. 14.

The duo made their first start together on April 6, 2007, at Houston. Wainwright notched his first of 212 wins as a starter with Molina as his catcher, which is a major league record for batterymates.

Molina, 40, will retire at the end of the season, but Wainwright, 41, has not ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 04:52 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: adam wainwright, cardinals, yadier molina

Prospects Willy Fañas, Keiderson Pavon suing Los Angeles Angels, alleging agreements pulled back by team

Two teenage baseball players are suing the Los Angeles Angels in a Dominican Republic court, alleging that the organization reneged on verbal agreements to sign them, a practice that has grown increasingly common amid a landscape with limited regulation by Major League Baseball.

At an Aug. 31 hearing, lawyers continued to argue the cases of Willy Fañas and Keiderson Pavon, who alleged in court filings that they agreed to deals with the Angels—Fañas for $1.8 million when he was 14 years old and Pavon for $425,000 as a 15-year-old—but that they were not honored following a change in the organization’s front office.

Players from outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are not officially allowed to sign until they are 16 years ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 12:10 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Cards show ‘zero panic,’ score 5 in 9th for walk-off win

The story of the night from Wednesday, of course, was the Cardinals grinding out one grueling ninth-inning at-bat after another to build momentum, until it came to a crescendo with Tommy Edman’s two-run walk-off double for an improbable 6-5 victory over the Nationals at Busch Stadium.

The bigger picture, however, is what this stirring win could do for St. Louis come postseason time next month.

Not long after Edman’s double eluded left fielder Alex Call’s glove and allowed Tyler O’Neill and rookie Ben DeLuzio to come around and score, superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado—one of the heroes of the madcap five-run rally—admitted the Cardinals have shifted their focus in recent days.

Instead of simply trying to whip the slumping ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 10:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Rangers call up 3B prospect Josh Jung for remainder of the 2022 season

The Rangers on Friday will purchase the contract of 2019 first-round selection Josh Jung from Triple-A Round Rock, a person with knowledge of the club’s thinking said Wednesday. The 24-year-old third baseman joins them for the remainder of the season after shoulder surgery nearly wiped out his entire 2022 season. Presumably, this is not just a casual look. The Rangers expect him to be in the majors for good.

Jung was slashing .273/.321/.525/.841 with six homers in 23 games and 99 plate appearances for Round Rock. Ironically, Jung had been in a bit of a slump since September started. He was 1 for 4 on Wednesday against Oklahoma City, but has gone just 4 for 25 with no homers or walks in his last six games. He had 14 strikeouts.

Jung, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 10:53 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: josh jung, rangers

Judge’s run to 60 might be harder than anyone else’s

Judge isn’t playing pre-integrated competition like Ruth did. He’s not playing in an expansion year like Maris, McGwire and Sosa were. Plus, the offensive environment today hardly resembles the high-flying—and controversial, to put it mildly—turn-of-the-21st-century times that saw home run records regularly shattered.

The baseball world has changed considerably since 2001, or 1961, or 1927. Almost all of it has changed in a way to make hitting more difficult, for any number of reasons, most revolving around velocity, pitch movement, and the endless streams of high-octane arms who don’t worry about pacing themselves to go deep into games. This, above all else, is why the strikeout rate keeps going up; the next time a batter from a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2022 at 10:26 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Doug Gottlieb Says Freddie Freeman, Casey Close Conduct He Alleged ‘Did Not Occur’

Close filed a lawsuit against Gottlieb in July alleging libel, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Freeman cut ties with Close and Excel Sports Management in June because he was “angry with how his free-agent negotiations played out,” per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Gottlieb then tweeted that Close intentionally withheld information from his client: “Casey Close never told Freddie Freeman about the Braves final offer, that is why Freeman fired him. He found out in Atlanta this weekend. It isn’t that rare to have happen in MLB, but it happened - Close knew Freddie would have taken the ATL deal.”

Gottlieb said Wednesday this “did not occur” and that “the sources I relied on were incorrect,” and he has deleted the tweet.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 07, 2022 at 12:40 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: freddie freeman

Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays get heated as benches clear in 7th inning

Benches cleared during the seventh inning of Baltimore’s game against Toronto on Tuesday night after Orioles reliever Bryan Baker appeared to make a hand signal toward the Blue Jays’ dugout.

Baker struck out Matt Chapman to end the top of the seventh, then appeared to make a “chirping” signal with his hand. Players from both benches were quickly on the field, and the bullpens joined them, although order was quickly restored.

The Orioles went on to win 9-6 to pull within 3½ games of Toronto for the last American League wild card.

Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said Baker has made similar gestures to the Jays in the past.

“I didn’t understand why Bryan Baker was looking into our dugout after giving up a run on back-to-back ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 07, 2022 at 09:34 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles

In Tribute: Local legend Pete Burnside was professional ballplayer, beloved New Trier educator and ‘invested, kind’ family man

Pete found a calling as a baseball player, earning plenty of success as a left-handed pitcher for New Trier High School. At 19 years old, he signed a professional baseball contract but, thanks to counsel from family friend Jules Herbuveaux, was allowed to attend Dartmouth College while playing baseball for the New York Giants organization in the summer months.

An Ivy League graduate, Pete then served with the U.S. Army while pitching for his base’s team, the Fort Leonard Wood Hilltoppers, who in 1953 won the National Baseball Congress championship.

Pete pitched professionally for 10 more years, including eight seasons in Major League Baseball with the Giants, Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators and Baltimore Orioles. He concluded his ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 07, 2022 at 09:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, pete burnside

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

2022-23 Preseason NBA thread

I estimate there are 10 or 12 clever intros left for this thread, but I can’t think of any.

Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 06, 2022 at 05:25 PM | 304 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, best shape of his life, nba, off topic

Joe Maddon sounds off on analytics in baseball: It’s not the info, it’s the imposition [$]

Sub required.

Maddon: “I want analytical people on my staff. But I don’t want them in the dugout. I don’t want them in the clubhouse. I want them to do their job, give the work to the coaches, let the coaches then teach the players. I don’t need presenters in the dugout, I don’t need presenters in the clubhouse. … It’s getting to the point where their impact or authority is exceeding that of a coach. And that’s what I think is wrong.

“So I’m not arguing against analytics and information. I’m arguing against the methods and the imposition with coaches. Because at the point it is right now … every day we’d get ready for the game and Harry and Alex would come in and they would start talking about how I should use ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2022 at 01:39 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, joe maddon

Former Royals pitcher Mark Littell dies at the age of 69

He only gave up two home runs that 1976 season. The first came on July 10th to Pedro Garcia, a light-hitting second baseman for the Detroit Tigers. The second home run was one of the more infamous home runs in Royals history, the Chris Chambliss 9th inning ALCS walk-off.

I’d asked Mark once about that home run and he said, “I felt good coming out of the pen, but the fans started throwing crap on the field and by the time they got it all cleared off, I’d gotten a little chilly. I threw him (Chambliss) a high fastball and he went up and got it!” Video shows the pitch was high, probably a ball, but no matter. It sent the Yankees to the World Series. Littell, who never met a stranger, harbored no ill feelings about the home run. He ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2022 at 12:24 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mark littell, obituaries

MLB Draft Lottery expected to take place during winter meetings

While nothing has been formally announced, sources tell Prospects Live that Major League Baseball is expected to announce the inaugural MLB Draft lottery will take place on December 6 during the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, California.

The newly-minted draft lottery will be the first of it’s kind for Major League Baseball after being negotiated into the new collective bargaining agreement this past winter.

The lottery will involve only the first six picks in each year’s draft. Every single team that does not qualify for the postseason will be eligible for the lottery and will have a chance at the No. 1 overall pick, with weighted odds assigned based on winning percentage. The three-worst records will have the greatest chance ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:41 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: draft lottery

MLBPA says it has majority support for minor league union, seeks formal recognition from MLB

In just a week-and-a-half’s time, more than 50 percent of minor leaguers have returned signed union authorization cards, Major League Baseball Players Association officials told The Athletic. Now, with that majority’s support, the MLBPA has taken another significant step: it has asked MLB and the 30 teams to formally recognize the MLBPA as the minor leaguers’ collective bargaining representatives, Players Association officials said.

MLBPA deputy executive director Bruce Meyer made that request for voluntary recognition in a letter sent to deputy MLB commissioner Dan Halem on Tuesday morning. The Players Association sent over what’s known as a card-check agreement, where the league would agree to voluntary recognition, contingent ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 06, 2022 at 10:02 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, mlbpa

Monday, September 05, 2022

Sources: Boston Red Sox reach 1-year, $10 million extension with Enrique Hernandez

Center fielder Enrique Hernández and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a one-year, $10 million contract extension Monday, keeping the 31-year-old in the city where he starred in the 2021 postseason, sources told ESPN.

A hip-flexor injury sidelined Hernández for more than two months this season and contributed to his struggles on the field after his career year in 2021. Hernández is batting .219 with a .637 OPS and has only six home runs in more than 300 plate appearances in the final season of a two-year, $14 million contract.

Hernández was due to hit free agency this winter and was coming off a season in which he hit .250/.337/.449, played elite defense in center field and compiled 4.9 Baseball-Reference wins above replacement (and 4.1 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2022 at 11:52 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: enrique hernandez, red sox

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen ties major league record with sixth consecutive scoreless start

Zac Gallen tied the major league record with his sixth consecutive scoreless start on Sunday, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Gallen (11-2) extended his scoreless streak to 41 1/3 innings. He allowed only two singles and a walk in seven innings. He struck out seven and retired the last 11 batters he faced.

Gallen tied Don Drysdale (1968), Orel Hershiser (1988) and Zack Greinke (2015), all with the Los Angeles Dodgers, by not allowing a run in his sixth straight start. Hershiser set the MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings.

In those six games, Gallen is 5-0 with a 0.58 WHIP. He has allowed 16 hits, walked eight and struck out 46 in his scoreless streak. He is two outs away from ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2022 at 12:50 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: zac gallen

Munetaka Murakami’s assault on baseball record book taking Japan by storm

Twenty-two-year-old Munetaka Murakami’s season home run total entered some rarified air Friday when he became the youngest Japan-born player to hit 50 and the first since Hideki Matsui did it in 2002.

Playing for the Central League’s Yakult Swallows on their Tokyo home ground, home run-friendly Jingu Stadium, Murakami broke up a scoreless game off Chunichi Dragons ace Yudai Ono. The lefty missed in the middle of the plate, and Murakami blasted a three-run home run in a 5-0 victory.

I wanted to get the ball in the air and, at the very minimum, get a sacrifice fly,” said Murakami, who wears the same No. 55 that Matsui sported during his time with the rival Yomiuri Giants.

“I’m proud to have achieved something that puts me alongside him ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 05, 2022 at 12:23 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Albert Pujols approaches 700 home runs: Do any other active sluggers have realistic chance at similar run?

After Pujols, the active leaders in home runs are Miguel Cabrera (506 HR, age 39), Nelson Cruz (459 HR, age 41), Giancarlo Stanton (371 HR, age 32) and Joey Votto (342 HR, age 38). Only Stanton has more than a season’s worth left in his career and he can hit them in bunches, but his health track record won’t allow it. Simply getting to 500 is much more realistic. Aaron Judge is potentially looking at single-season homer history in 2022, but the Yankees star is 30 and sits at 209 career homers.

Let’s look at nine other active players who are among the best home run hitters in the game today.

Mike Trout
Trout has 338 career home runs and he’s still just 30 years old. His 162-game average is 40 home runs, but therein lies the rub. I just ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2022 at 05:26 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols

MLB is overdue for a female umpire. One may be on the way.

The first thing to know about Jen Pawol — and listen closely because this is important — is that she would rather no one know much about her at all. Professional umpires are professionally inconspicuous, and women in baseball always have known the key to a life in baseball is the ability to blend.

The second thing to know about Jen Pawol — and this is important, too — is that she someday may become the first woman to umpire a Major League Baseball game. Pawol, 45, would never say that herself. From her perspective, she and the other members of her three-person Class AA umpiring crew are all in the same position, two steps from the majors, on the cusp of living their thankless dreams.

But people like her crewmates Tanner Moore and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2022 at 04:47 PM | 107 comment(s)
  Beats: umpires, women in baseball

‘It was worth it’: Fernando Cruz’s perseverance leads to Reds bullpen, MLB debut

Promoted to the Major Leagues after rosters expanded in September, the 32-year-old Cruz became the oldest Reds player to make his Major League debut in 66 years when he pitched a scoreless inning Friday. He struck out two batters with his slider and was greeted by a long line of teammates ready to high-five him in the dugout….

Cruz’s story is one of incredible perseverance. Looking at the websites that track stats paint a portrait of a guy who never lost faith in himself.

He was a sixth-round pick in 2007 by the Kansas City Royals out of Puerto Rico. He spent four years as a corner infielder and a catcher, but he didn’t advance past A-ball.

“Pitchers started to wear me out,” he said. “I wasn’t doing really good.”

Cruz ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2022 at 04:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

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