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Monday, March 09, 2020

8th? BBTF Central Park Softball Game: 2021?

Let’s start planning for this year’s game. First questions:

1. Who is submitting the permit request? (Answer: Hysterical & Useless)

2. What dates should we aim for? (Answer: July 25 October 3 some time in 2021)

3. Where is the post-game destination?


Friday, May 14, 2021


Developing MLB’s Automated Ball/Strike System (ABS)

The single most important requirement for ABS implementation is the accuracy of the pitch arc being generated. To this end, MLB performs ground-truth testing at every ballpark to evaluate the accuracy and precision of in-stadia tracking systems; the methodology for this was well-covered in an MLB Technology Blog post by Clay Nunnally in December 2019.

Just as important as accuracy for ABS is latency. Currently, there is some intentional delay between when the pitch is received and when the umpire makes their call, which allows the umpire to take a brief moment to make their decision. That brief moment is the window in which ABS must consistently deliver a call to the umpire; anything longer than that and the umpire has to make the call ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2021 at 11:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires

Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes sets record for strikeouts without a walk to start season

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes set the record for strikeouts without a walk to start the season Thursday, extending the mark to 58 before issuing his first pass of the season in the fifth inning of a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Burnes, 26, needed three strikeouts to pass the previous record of 51 strikeouts without a walk held by Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen, set in 2017. Burnes struck out Dylan Carlson in the first inning and then Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader in the second inning to set the record.

“It was pretty cool,” Burnes said of the ovation from the crowd after breaking Jansen’s record. “Whenever you get them standing behind you like that, cheering you on, it definitely gives you some ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2021 at 10:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: corbin burnes

MLB players union seeking $500 million in grievance against league

The MLB Players Association has officially filed a grievance stating that MLB did not act in good faith last year to play as many games as possible, and MLB has filed a counter-grievance, multiple sources told The Post. The players are seeking an estimated $500 million in damages, according to two sources.

The union grievance does not specify exactly how many games more than 60 the 2020 season should have been, which is why they seek about $500 million. That would roughly translate to an additional 20-25 games worth of pay for players.

The union would only confirm to The Post that the grievance has been officially filed. MLB declined comment.

MLB has asked the union to fast-track this grievance, according to multiple sources. The ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2021 at 10:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

ESPN, MLB announce seven-year extension running through 2028

ESPN and Major League Baseball announced a seven-year contract extension Thursday that will see the network carry 30 regular-season games per year plus wild-card games.

The deal, which runs through 2028, allows ESPN to show 25 weeks of Sunday Night Baseball and the MLB Little League Classic. It will also have an Opening Night game and the Home Run Derby around the All-Star Game. ESPN can show alternate versions of each game, such as the popular StatCast broadcasts on ESPN2. All telecasts will be exclusive.

ESPN currently shows one of two wild-card games. In 2022, if MLB expands to eight series, as it did in 2020, ESPN would carry the entire schedule of games. If the wild-card playoffs don’t expand, ESPN would get eight more ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2021 at 09:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: tv rights

Thursday, May 13, 2021


Mayor says MLB has discussed A’s relocation to Las Vegas since 2019

One day after the A’s announced they had received permission from Major League Baseball to explore possible relocation options, the mayor of Las Vegas used social media to reveal that her city has been in talks to bring the team there since 2019.

“Las Vegas has always been open to conversations with major league sport franchises seeking new locations. For over 20 years these talks have included dialogue with league commissioners, and for the Oakland A’s these have been occurring since 2019,” Goodman said in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday. “Las Vegas is excited.”...

Wednesday morning, Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf said she intends to keep the A’s in Oakland, acknowledging that the only way forward is to proceed with the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 13, 2021 at 01:29 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, las vegas

The Caray legacy revisited, 30 years later

MLB.com What did you know about your grandfather?
Chip Caray: He was an orphan. He didn’t know what family life was about. He didn’t prioritize that, in a lot of ways. You know, for Harry, it was beer, babes and baseball, in that order. Family at times really suffered. I think that as I got into the business, and I started doing games and started to make my way up the ranks, as it were, I think he came to understand me in a way that he wasn’t able to understand me, because I was doing something that he could relate to.

Very late in his life, I think he came to understand the importance of family and legacy and all that kind of stuff. Looking back, I wish we’d been able to share some of those moments together in Chicago when I was there, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 13, 2021 at 12:44 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: chip caray, harry caray

Max Scherzer and the Coming Wave of 3,000-Strikeout Pitchers

The strong start increases the likelihood that Scherzer will reach the 3,000 strikeout milestone this year. He entered 2021 needing 216 strikeouts to reach the mark, and with 61 so far, he’s at 2,845. Some quick back-of-the-envelope math suggests that at his current rates of 11.85 strikeouts per nine and 6.59 innings per start, he’ll need another 118 innings over 18 starts, which puts his date with destiny sometime in early to mid-August (calling my shot: August 10 at Citi Field). But whether it’s that date or another, Scherzer will become the 19th pitcher to reach the milestone, and the third in the past three seasons, after CC Sabathia (April 30, 2019) and Justin Verlander (September 28, 2019).

As for who’s next, Zack Greinke ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 13, 2021 at 10:49 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer

Miggy tops in MLB hits for Venezuelan player

The milestones keep piling up for Miguel Cabrera, but his latest feat hits close to home. His fifth-inning RBI single in the Tigers’ 4-2 win on Wednesday night was the 2,878th hit of his MLB career, moving him past Omar Vizquel for 43rd on the all-time Major League list and giving him the most by a Venezuelan-born Major Leaguer.

In a season when every hit seems to be approaching or reaching a milestone, Cabrera admitted this one had been weighing on him for a while.

“I feel like I’m relieved right now,” he said after the game, “because too many people had been talking to me in the offseason, in the past year, and today [that] I’m going to pass this record. That kept in my head. So right now I’m a little relieved I don’t ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 13, 2021 at 10:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel cabrera, venezuela

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Padres players Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers test positive for COVID-19, at least 3 other players out for contact tracing

The San Diego Padres announced a roster move on Tuesday before their game in Colorado due to “health and safety protocols.” And later during the game, two players were removed.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that star shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr. along with Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo all were placed on the injured list.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler announced that Tatis Jr. had tested positive for COVID-19 saying he was currently asymptomatic. Profar and Mateo were both close contacts.

During Tuesday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, players Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer were removed and it was later confirmed by Tingler that Myers tested positive for COVID-19 and Hosmer was removed for contact tracing.

No additional ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2021 at 10:52 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, padres

New York Yankees 3B coach Phil Nevin, 1B coach Reggie Willits positive for COVID-19

New York Yankees third-base coach Phil Nevin and first-base coach Reggie Willits have tested positive for the coronavirus, the team said Tuesday.

Nevin’s status was announced before Tuesday night’s road game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Willits’ positive case and that of a staff member were confirmed after the Yankees’ 3-1 win. Manager Aaron Boone also said the team is waiting for more results.

Two additional cases are considered inconclusive but are expected to be ruled as positives, a source told ESPN, which would bring to five the number of coaches and support staff members who are positive. ESPN earlier reported that there were five positive cases among the coaching staff.

“We’re doing all we can to stay healthy. A little bit of a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 12, 2021 at 09:28 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, yankees

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

With Bob Cousy, Pedro Martinez And More In Attendance, Worcester Red Sox Open Polar Park

Bob Cousy was told to remember two lines, but the 75-year Worcester resident had a lot more to say.

“I’m Bob Cousy, as you’ve just been told,” he informed the crowd at Polar Park in Worcester’s Canal District on Tuesday, gathered for the inaugural Worcester Red Sox home game as they took on the Syracuse Mets.

The crowd roared.

“You’re being nice,” Cousy quipped. “If my name is even fairly familiar to any of you, that probably means you’re receiving your social security check.”


Rays Designate Yoshi Tsutsugo For Assignment

The Rays announced Tuesday that they’ve designated struggling first baseman/outfielder Yoshi Tsutsugo for assignment. He’s in the second season of a two-year, $12MM contract that represented a relatively sizable investment for the cost-conscious Rays. They’ll now have a week to trade him, pass him through waivers or release him. Corner infielder Kevin Padlo is up from Triple-A Durham in his place.

Tsutsugo, 29, was a prominent slugger with the Yokohama DeNa BayStars in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, batting .285/.382/.528 in parts of 10 seasons — including a .293/.402/.574 slash with 139 home runs in the four years leading up to his free agency.

He struggled in 2020 with the Rays but at least showed off some of that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:51 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, yoshi tsutsugo

These Aren’t the Hits MLB Wanted

Mains continues:

There was one batter hit per 96 plate appearances in 2018, a new record. It fell further, to 94, in 2019. Then all the way to 81 in last year’s short, weird season.

This year? Through Tuesday night’s games, it’s down to 74.5. Batters are being hit thirty-eight percent more frequently than in 1901. There are just over eight hit batters for every five just a decade ago. We’re averaging 0.997 hit batters per game in 2021, a single HBP shy of one per game—a level the sport’s never approached. Batters so far have a .309 on-base percentage. Hit batters account for thirteen points of that figure. Ten years ago, there were only eight points of hit batters in MLB’s .321 OBP.

I wanted to take a look at possible ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 02:25 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: hit batters

Oakland Athletics to start looking at relocating elsewhere, sources say

The Oakland Athletics will start exploring the possibility of relocating with the blessing of Major League Baseball, a move that could put pressure on local government officials to greenlight a new stadium project that has spent years in limbo, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

The A’s, who have played in Oakland since 1968, have prioritized building a waterfront stadium in downtown Oakland at the Howard Terminal site. But after years of failed stadium plans—and weeks after the organization asked for the city council to vote on the $12 billion mixed-use development before its late-July summer recess—the long-anticipated specter of the A’s looking into relocation on Tuesday became a reality.

“The future success of the A’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 02:19 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics


The Runner-on-Second in Extras Rule Has Worn Out Its Welcome

If you’re noticing a slight tilt in that graph, with higher percentages of extra-innings games in days of yore, pandemic notwithstanding, you’re not wrong. Before this year, just once since 1992 had the percentage of extra-inning games reached 10%, a level that was far more common in the 1960s and ’70s; that happened in 2013, when teams scored a comparatively meager 4.17 runs per game. As scoring levels drop, the percentage of extra-innings games tends to rise; the lower scoring means a compressed distribution where lower run totals occur more frequently, and fewer teams erupt for run totals that almost never lead to ties after nine innings. The correlation between scoring levels and extra-innings rates from 1961-2020 is -.63, which ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 12:30 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: extra innings rule

Jordan Zimmermann announces his retirement from baseball

It took Jordan Zimmermann more than 12 years in the majors to finally get a chance to pitch for his home-state team, but that lure wasn’t strong enough to continue his long and successful career.

After only two appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Auburndale native announced Tuesday he is retiring from baseball. And, unlike his “two-hour retirement” a couple weeks ago, this time Zimmermann means it.

“I have had the joy of playing the game that I love for the past 15 years,” Zimmermann said in a statement released by the club. “I will forever be thankful to the Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers for allowing me to live out this dream. It has been particularly special to be able to end it all playing for my hometown ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jordan zimmermann

Why I can’t wrap my head around baseball’s embrace of sports betting

“Go big on baseball this season,” DraftKings spokeswoman Jessie Coffield urged. “Bet $1 on your team. Win $100 if they get a hit. One hit. One hundred dollars.”

Bet on your team, I thought, as the Tigers returned to the field. But — isn’t that what earned Pete Rose a lifetime ban from baseball in the 1980s? And weren’t eight members of the Chicago White Sox banished for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series at the behest of bribe-dangling gamblers?

Though Rose proclaimed his innocence for years, he finally admitted in 2004 that he gambled on games as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, including those involving his own team. But he insisted that he only bet on the Reds to win.

The Black Sox, as they were nicknamed, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 10:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling

Monday, May 10, 2021

Seattle Mariners expected to call up top prospect Jarred Kelenic this week, sources say

The Seattle Mariners are expected to call up their top prospect Jarred Kelenic on Thursday, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Kelenic, the No. 6 pick in the 2018 amateur draft, is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in baseball, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

While things can change, the plan is to promote Kelenic, an outfielder, for the first game of Seattle’s home series against the Cleveland Indians.

Kelenic, 21, was sidelined early in spring training by a strained adductor muscle in his left knee. He is batting 9-for-20 with 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 6 runs scored and 2 stolen bases in five games with Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 10:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jarred kelenic, mariners

The State of Baseball: Inside the biggest questions MLB is facing with the future of the sport at stake

Major League Baseball is on a mission to reduce the amount of time it takes to play games. Under Rob Manfred, it’s been close to an obsession. Seven-inning doubleheaders, a three-batter minimum for pitchers, a runner on second to start extra innings—welcome to the only industry intent on persuading its consumers to enjoy less of its product. After all, who among us doesn’t want a raucous extra-inning game settled as quickly as possible by a clumsy schoolyard contrivance? Setting aside the particulars, there’s an inherent conflict: MLB is confusing time of game with pace of play, and its efforts at acceleration run opposite to the skills that teams are prioritizing and incentivizing.

You want to make big league money as a hitter? Hit ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 06:37 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations, pace of play

No MLB Team Is Great, And Fewer Are Awful. Is This The Parity We Wanted?

One quick way to measure how much parity baseball has seen this year — relative to the same stage of previous seasons — is to look at the standard deviation of winning percentages. Through 34 games for each team,1 that number is 0.0747, meaning one standard deviation below .500 lands you on a pace of 69 wins per 162, while a standard deviation above .500 puts you on pace for 93 wins. That may sound relatively ordinary, but early season records usually vary a lot more than that. Through 34 games in 2018, for instance, one standard deviation below .500 would have put a team on pace to win just 60 games, while a standard deviation above .500 meant winning at a 102-victory pace.

Granted, the 2018 season was one of the most imbalanced in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 06:24 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: parity

Whoa – MLB “Expected” to Add Trading of Draft Picks in the Next CBA?!

Buried in a very long (and very good) roundtable-type piece on the state of baseball at ESPN, Kiley McDaniel slipped in this little nugget on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (emphasis mine):

There’s also a cascading set of secondary issues that will greatly affect young players who are increasingly the most valued and important players in the game.


On the simple end of things, changing Super Two arbitration and ending service-time manipulation will change when you see young potential stars on the field (hopefully sooner) and how good your team will be. One step deeper than that, the expected addition of trading draft picks, the addition of an international draft and the trading of picks in that new draft could completely ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 02:08 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-10-2021

Toledo News-Bee, May 10, 1921:

In the mind of [Mud Hens owner] Roger Bresnahan there has been lingering for several months the idea that he could be of greater use to the Toledo ball club…than by merely presidenting in the office or occupying a diamondside seat, during the field performances.
...
Bresnahan chased away the notion, for he felt the fans would think he was breaking in on [manager Bill] Clymer’s provinces, and he did not want that idea to get abroad.

But with the backstopping problem so important to the Mud hens at this time, a call upon Roger for temporary service behind the bat seems the easiest way to induce him to once more appear on the field in Toledo baseball garments.

Pretty handy to have one of the two or three ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 12:50 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


Sunday, May 09, 2021

Dave Roberts baffled by Angels’ blowout bunt attempt, but play helps Dodgers snap losing skid in wild game

To set the scene: the Angels were down by 13 in the fifth inning when right fielder Taylor Ward came to the plate with a runner on first and one out in the frame. Ward push-bunted the first pitch he saw to the right side of the infield. First baseman Max Muncy, the only fielder located on that side because of the overshift, corralled the ball easily and threw to second base for the force out. The Dodgers, for their part, were less-than-amused by Ward’s attempt at beating the shift.

As SB Nation’s Eric Stephen pointed out, Kershaw could be seen on the television broadcast motioning to the scoreboard while telling his dugout “That’s so stupid.” The broadcast then cut to Roberts, who also appeared to disagree with the bunt call, albeit in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2021 at 09:56 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers

Atlanta Braves add some bullpen depth, bring back veteran Shane Greene on a one-year contract

Relief pitcher Shane Greene has signed a one-year contract to rejoin the Atlanta Braves.

Greene, who was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, will need some time to get ready before returns to the majors. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings last season.

Braves relievers began Sunday with a 4.56 ERA that ranked 22nd in the majors. It’s a considerable slip from last year when the bullpen ranked fourth with a 3.50 ERA.

Greene, who was free agent, was used primarily as a setup man for closer Mark Melancon last season and will eventually fill the same role behind closer Will Smith this year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2021 at 09:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, shane greene

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