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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sporting News: The 50 Greatest Seasons in Sports History

With this ranking, we looked through The Sporting News’ long history — we were founded in 1886 — to find the greatest individual seasons in sports history. They might sometimes lack the drama of the moments, but they showcase the level of dominance needed to succeed over the grind of a season.

1. Shohei Ohtani, 2021
Numbers (as a hitter):
46 homers, 100 RBI, 26 SB, 158 OPS+, 4.9 bWAR
Numbers (as a pitcher): 3.18 ERA, 23 GS, 130 1/3 IP, 98 H, 156 K, 4.1 bWAR

‘Much too young’: Tigers first base coach Kimera Bartee dead at 49

Too soon. Too sudden.

Kimera Bartee, 49, died at his father’s home in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday. The death came less than two months after he had been essentially re-hired as the Tigers’ first base coach by manager AJ Hinch.

“Like many across baseball, I was devastated by the news of Kimera’s passing,” Hinch said. “The sport has lost an amazing man, but more importantly his family has lost a loving fiancé, father and son.”

Bartee began his six-year big-league career with the Tigers, wearing the Old English D from 1996 through 1999. His best season turned out to be his rookie year when he played in 110 games, hit .253 and stole 20 bases.

He has the distinction of taking the last Tiger at-bat at old Tiger Stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2021 at 02:00 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: kimera bartee, obituaries, tigers

ZiPS Time Warp: J.R. Richard

ZiPS sees Richard as a little bit above his head in 1980, with 1979 being his career peak, but the computer is overall more merciful, giving him a more typical decline phase for a power pitcher, with the increase in league strikeout rate keeping those numbers up as he aged. In the end, ZiPS gives him 125 more wins for a total of 232, along with enough WAR to pass the 70 mark; his 73 WAR would rank 27th all-time today and 18th when he would have first been eligible for Hall of Fame induction in the mid-90s. Voters then weren’t using WAR, but I think 232 wins plus the dominance at his peak plus mercy for being a late-bloomer would have been enough to get him into the Hall. If not, he certainly would have been inducted by now.

If Richard ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2021 at 01:59 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: j. r. richard

Arrest warrant issued for former Oakland A’s star Miguel Tejada

The past few years have not been kind to Miguel Tejada. The former Oakland A’s star saw his major league career end with a drug suspension and his son lose out on a professional contract due to a positive PED test. He also received little support for the Hall of Fame despite an intriguing resume with just five votes for induction. Now Tejada can add legal woes to his list. According to Hector Gomez, an arrest warrant has been issued in the Dominican Republic for Tejada for writing bad checks.

Jack Sommers Posted: December 21, 2021 at 01:35 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel tejada

How Carlos Beltran found a home with Cardinals

Beltran began the 2011 season with the Mets and was traded to the Giants in July for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.

“By trading for Beltran, the Giants have picked up their most prominent hitter since Barry Bonds,” declared the San Francisco Examiner.

Late in the season, Beltran switched agents, dropping Scott Boras and going with Dan Lozano, who also represented Albert Pujols.

Beltran’s final totals for the year were impressive: .300 batting average, 39 doubles, 22 home runs and 84 RBI. His on-base percentage was .385.

Granted free agency in October 2011, Beltran received offers from four American League clubs: Blue Jays, Indians, Rays and Red Sox, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

When Pujols, also a free agent, ...

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: December 21, 2021 at 01:00 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, carlos beltran, st. louis cardinals

Monday, December 20, 2021

Oakland Athletics hire Mark Kotsay as manager, filling last vacancy in MLB

The Oakland Athletics had to search for a new manager this offseason for the first time since 2011, as long-time manager Bob Melvin was hired away by the San Diego Padres in October. The replacement will be former A’s player Mark Kotsay, confirms CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden.

Kotsay, 46, started coaching in 2015 as the Padres’ hitting coach. He took over as A’s bench coach (MLB’s version of a top assistant) for the 2016 season and also since served as quality control coach and third-base coach in Oakland. Taking over as manager is a promotion from within, so the A’s will have continuity in the dugout, even if Melvin is missed.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 04:46 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mark kotsay


The Triple-A Sugar Kings survived the Cuban Revolution and then after a championship season in Havana in 1959, found themselves playing in Jersey City at Roosevelt Stadium in the middle of the 1960 season – and all of 1961 as well – to escape the turmoil of the revolution and the possibility of being nationalized.

The name was changed to the Jersey City Jerseys, blowing a great marketing opportunity to be the Jersey City Sugar Kings, but it was a much different time and jersey sales were not even a figment of the imagination back then.

Shortstop Leo Cardenas, who went on to play 16 years in the majors, was the player grazed by a bullet in Havana during that game against the Rochester Red Wings in 1959 when a midnight ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 02:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, sugar kings

David Blitzer reportedly close to purchasing a share of the Cleveland Guardians

David Blitzer, part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, is nearing a deal to purchase about 35% of the Cleveland Guardians, according to a report in Sportico, a sports-business publication.

The deal would include a pathway to majority ownership for Blitzer. Guardians owner Paul Dolan has been looking for a minority owner since John Sherman put his shares of the team in escrow to purchase the Kansas City Royals in November of 2019.

The Guardians, according to Forbes Magazine, is worth $1.16 billion. The Dolans purchased the francise in November of 1999 for an estimated $323 million.

Sherman purchased a share of the then Cleveland Indians on Aug. 19, 2016. When Sherman purchased the Royals, his share of the ballclub ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 02:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: guardians

Minor League Teams Sue MLB To End Antitrust Carveout

Major League Baseball and its franchises illegally conspired to scrap 40 minor league clubs, according to a lawsuit Monday that aims to end the baseball antitrust exemption granted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922.

Four minor league clubs filed suit in Manhattan federal court challenging the MLB’s controversial 2019 decision to contract the minor league system from 160 teams to 120. The teams — former affiliates of the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers — said this was a horizontal agreement between the MLB and its 30 franchises that violates the Sherman Act.

For nearly 100 years, the Supreme Court’s decision in Federal Baseball Club v. National League has shielded MLB from Sherman Act claims. ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 11:50 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: anti-trust exemption, minor leagues

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Here’s how the next 5 HOF ballots look

2025 ballot
Top first-time candidate(s): Ichiro Suzuki, CC Sabathia
It’s pretty easy to imagine these two giving induction speeches in July 2025. For Ichiro, it was a matter of when, not if, with his 15 games played in 2018 and two in ‘19 delaying his arrival on the ballot. His 3,000-plus MLB hits and larger impact on the game should make him an overwhelming choice. Meanwhile, Sabathia bolstered his case by crossing the 250-win and 3,000-strikeout plateaus in his final season, to go along with a Cy Young Award and other accomplishments.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2021 at 08:47 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Saturday, December 18, 2021

New York Mets hire Buck Showalter as new manager

The New York Mets have hired Buck Showalter as their new manager, team owner Steven Cohen announced Saturday on Twitter.

Showalter, 65, takes over for Luis Rojas, who was fired after a season in which the team held on to first place for 103 days but ultimately finished 77-85 and missed the playoffs.

Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro were also candidates for the post, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Showalter has been a major league manager for four teams between 1992 and 2018. He won American League Manager of the Year honors during stints with the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He also managed the Arizona Diamondbacks and has a career record of 1,551-1,517.

His most ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 03:27 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, mets

Friday, December 17, 2021

Carlos Correa Rumors: Tigers Offered Astros Free Agent 10-Year, $275M Contract

The Detroit Tigers offered star shortstop Carlos Correa a 10-year, $275 million contract this offseason, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

However, it’s unclear if the offer is still on the table as the Tigers have already signed Javier Baez (six years, $140 million) and Eduardo Rodriguez (five years, $77 million) this winter.

Correa had been heavily linked to the Tigers due to his relationship with former Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who managed him for his first five seasons (2015 to ‘19).

It’s important to note the deal Detroit offered Correa is $66 million less than what Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million) received from the New York Mets and $50 million less than what Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million) received from the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:33 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, tigers

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Padres, Nomar Mazara Agree To Minor League Deal

The Padres have signed corner outfielder Nomar Mazara to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league Spring Training, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive (Twitter link). Mazara was eligible to sign a minors pact during the lockout because he didn’t finish the 2021 season on a club’s 40-man roster or major league injured list, having been released by the Tigers in June.

San Diego president of baseball operations A.J. Preller was a high-ranking member of the Rangers’ scouting staff in 2011, when Texas signed Mazara as an amateur out of the Dominican Republic. The left-handed hitter’s big power potential made him a coveted signee, with the Rangers doling out a bonus just under $5MM to secure his services.

For a while, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:48 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, padres

Yankees sign Ender Inciarte to minor league deal

The Yankees may have to wait until after the lockout to fully address a lack of depth in center field, but for now, they are taking a chance on a three-time Gold Glover.

The team signed Ender Inciarte to a minor league contract on Wednesday, according to its transactions page. The move can happen during the lockout because Inciarte was not on a 40-man roster to end last season.

The 31-year-old Inciarte, who was an All-Star in 2017, has spent eight seasons in the big leagues, batting .280 with 118 steals and a 91 OPS-plus. But he is better known for his defense in center field, which earned him Gold Gloves in three straight seasons from 2016-18, all while playing for the Braves.

Since his last Gold Glove season, though, Inciarte’s ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:47 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: ender inciarte, yankees

McDonald’s settles racial discrimination lawsuit with former MLB player Herb Washington

McDonald’s said Thursday it has settled a lawsuit brought against the fast food giant by Herb Washington, a Black franchisee who had accused the company of racial discrimination.

Washington — a former Major League Baseball player and the chain’s largest Black franchisee in the U.S. at one point — operated 14 McDonald’s restaurants at the time he filed his lawsuit, down from 23 in 2017.

In exchange for his agreement to exit the McDonald’s system and dismiss the pending litigation, McDonald’s purchased 13 restaurants for $33.5 million. The fast food giant said the amount is what it deems to be a fair price for the restaurants.

“The court did not find that the company violated any laws,” McDonald’s said in a statement. ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 04:34 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: herb washington

Pitch Smart? Study Finds Showcase Pitching Violations Most Common At 8U Level

A study in the November issue of the “Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine” entitled “Pitching Behaviors in Youth Baseball: Comparison With the Pitch Smart Guidelines” studied 100 youth baseball teams between the ages of 8-and-under up to 14 years old during the summer of 2019. The study encompassed nearly 2,500 individual games. What the doctors found was that during the summer tournament season, more than 90% of teams they studied violated Pitch Smart guidelines. Of the pitchers they looked at, 48.6% of them were used in at least one way that violated those same guidelines.

Shockingly, the largest number of violations were occurring in the 8-and-under age group. Hopefully it doesn’t need to be said that there is no trophy, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:50 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch counts, youth baseball

The greatest father-son duos in MLB history

1. Bobby Bonds (57.9) and Barry Bonds (162.7)

No player in MLB history has racked up more WAR as a position player than the younger Bonds, a seven-time MVP Award winner who owns the single-season and career home run records and pretty much rewrote baseball in the early 2000s. Only allegations of performance-enhancing drug use have kept him waiting for Cooperstown’s call. And while Barry overshadows his father, Bobby shouldn’t be underrated. The two Bondses are the only two players in history to combine for at least 300 career home runs with at least 400 steals, as well as the only two to go 20-20 in 10 different seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:23 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, ken griffey, jr.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Nightengale’s Notebook: Why my Hall of Fame ballot includes some PED guys – but not Alex Rodriguez

I won’t reveal my entire ballot until close to the Jan. 25 election, but here’s how I’ll be voting on the performance-enhancing drug class.

YES: Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Sheffield and Ortiz.

NO: Rodriguez, Ramirez and Pettitte.

Rodriguez, one of the greatest players in history, also received the largest drug suspension in baseball, missing the entire 2014 season. Ramirez, one of the finest right-handed hitters of his era, was suspended three times. Pettitte is a different case. He admitted to using human-growth hormone, but was never punished. He falls short simply for his Hall of Fame credentials regardless of being outed in George Mitchell’s investigation on PED use.

Simply, there were rules in place that Rodriguez and Ramirez ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:16 AM | 127 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, peds

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What Are Teams Paying Per WAR in Free Agency?

Last year’s free agency class had it rough. With teams licking their wounds after an abbreviated and crowd-less season, they offered far less in free agency. The raw numbers show how little money was being thrown around, and even that understates it. Out of the 18 free agents projected for 2 or more WAR, only five received contracts of three years or longer. Not only were teams hesitant to spend on a per-win basis, they stayed away from long-term deals while doing so.

The early results from the current free agency period suggest that this decline was a one-off. Before the 2020 season, 12 of the 15 contracts signed by players who were projected for 2 or more WAR were for three years or longer. This year, 14 of the 20 similarly-projected ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2021 at 02:22 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, war

Camden Yards to test using artificial intelligence for security at some Orioles games this season might become a test subject for a new security technology that uses low-energy radar with 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to detect hidden threats.

The unobtrusive system could ease and speed up security checks at the ballpark, reducing the need for emptying pockets at metal detectors, bag checks and pat-downs…


NattyBoh Posted: December 14, 2021 at 07:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore orioles, camden yards, security

Monday, December 13, 2021

Yankees will look into three big free agents with many holes to fill: Sherman

Between a down year and concerns about the health of his throwing arm, Story appeared to be having the most difficulty among the big shortstops in finding a high-end market. He grew up a Derek Jeter fan. LeMahieu is among his best friends. Is it possible that he would take a shorter deal with the Yankees to reestablish his value, say one year at $35 million with a player option for a second season at $35 million? The shorter tenure would work better with the Yankees horizons on working in Peraza or Volpe. I don’t think the Yankees should worry about having too many athletic middle infielders. If they are good enough, they will be able to play elsewhere. My gut: Story will be able to find at least three years or more from the Mariners, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 04:40 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Beloved White Sox executive Roland Hemond dies at 92

Roland Hemond, a beloved baseball executive who served as White Sox general manager from 1970-85, died in his sleep Sunday night, according to multiple reports. He was 92.

Honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, Hemond served under three Sox owners — John W. Allyn, Bill Veeck and Jerry Reinsdorf — overseeing the AL West champion 1983 Sox team and memorable 1977 South Side Hitmen squad. Hemond’s acquisition of Dick Allen in a trade with the Dodgers helped save a franchise that struggled at the gate in 1970, and he was named Executive of the Year by the Sporting News in 1972 after Allen and the runnerup Sox challenged the World Series champion Oakland Athletics in the AL West.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 03:30 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, roland hemond

The secret settlements that helped a baseball star play on

With famed lawyer Gloria Allred representing the alleged victims, Puig reached confidential settlements with both women, according to copies of the agreements obtained by The Washington Post. In the agreements, Puig denied both women’s allegations. His attorney, Scott Lesowitz, said the ballplayer paid the women a total of $325,000.

Major League Baseball learned of the allegations during the 2017 season, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. But instead of placing Puig on paid administrative leave while it investigated — as it often has done in cases when the allegations are public, including this year with Dodgers star ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 02:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sexual assault, yasiel puig

How the Crew landed 2 HOFers in 1 trade

On Dec. 12, 1980 (41 years ago Sunday), Brewers general manager Harry Dalton sent Sixto Lezcano, Lary Sorensen, Dave LaPoint and David Green to the Cardinals for a future Hall of Fame catcher (Ted Simmons) and the next two American League Cy Young Award winners (future Hall of Fame closer Rollie Fingers and starting pitcher Pete Vuckovich) in a swap that sent Milwaukee on a path to its only American League pennant.

A Sports Illustrated headline the following March called it “The Trade That Made Milwaukee Famous.”

“In my book, that was the best trade we ever made,” said unofficial Brewers historian Mario Ziino, who worked in the club’s public relations department at the time. “When we landed those three guys, we were now major ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:43 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Mets manager list cut to 3 finalists

he Mets have whittled their list of manager candidates down to three, inviting Buck Showalter, Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro for second-round interviews, a source told on Sunday. The Mets did not confirm the list as they are not commenting on the ongoing process.

Team owner Steve Cohen, who sat out the first round of interviews, is expected to take part in the callbacks.

Many within the industry consider Showalter the favorite for the job given his vast managerial experience, which dwarfs that of any other candidate. A manager for four teams over 20 seasons spanning 1992-2018, the 65-year-old Showalter is adept with the media and understands New York as well as anyone, having worked in the Bronx for four seasons. He also boasts a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, mets

Veteran infielder Freddy Galvis nearing agreement to play in Japan, per report

Freddy Galvis, an infielder with more than nine years of big-league service time, is reportedly nearing an agreement with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league, according to Yahoo! Japan.

Galvis, who celebrated his 32nd birthday November 14, split last season with the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies. In 104 games, he batted .242/.302/.407 (91 OPS+) with 14 home runs. His performance was worth an estimated 1.2 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:40 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: freddy galvis, japan

Cubs, Padres Discussed Eric Hosmer Trade Last Summer

The Padres and Cubs were in talks last summer about a trade that would have sent first baseman Eric Hosmer “and a highly regarded prospect” to Chicago, The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports.  The return on the Cubs’ end wasn’t mentioned, yet it likely could have been pretty minimal (i.e. a low-level prospect or a player to be named later), since the chief goal of the trade for San Diego would have been to get Hosmer’s contract off the books.  However, since Anthony Rizzo also reportedly on the Padres’ trade radar, it is possible the two teams might have been discussing a swap of first basemen.

Hosmer was known to be available prior to the trade deadline, as the Padres were exploring ways to both lessen their luxury tax ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2021 at 12:36 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, eric hosmer, padres

Friday, December 10, 2021

Blue Jays Pursued Corey Seager Prior To His Deal With Rangers

Corey Seager’s 10-year, $325MM deal with the Rangers prior to the MLB lockout shocked baseball — both because it was the Rangers winning the bidding and because Texas had already signed Marcus Semien for a surprising seven years and $175MM. As one would expect with any bidding war that reaches a decade and more than $300MM, Texas had some competition as they sought to lure Seager to Arlington. However, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports this morning that a perhaps-unexpected suitor was one of the primary competitors in that Seager market: the Blue Jays.

The Dodgers also had strong interest in re-signing Seager, per Passan, though that much was largely known to this point. Toronto’s involvement in the process, however, is a newer ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2021 at 04:47 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, corey seager

Not as great: Assessing Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens without the PED factor

According to OPS+, which measures a player’s ability to get on base and hit for power and normalizes for the effect of various parks, Bonds was unquestionably one of the game’s great players during the first half of his career, when he had seven consecutive seasons of 170 or higher.

But after he started PEDs, he became otherworldly, particularly once he connected with BALCO. In those four seasons, his OPS+ was 259, 268, 231 and 263—giving him three of the five highest seasons ever, surpassed only by Negro Leagues legend Josh Gibson. Bonds is No. 4 on the all-time career list, with a 182 average OPS+.

But according to ZiPS, those cartoonish four seasons would have been replaced with 156, 144, 115 and 95; and his career OPS+ would have ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2021 at 04:44 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, hall of fame, peds, roger clemens

Japan’s Giants to establish women’s baseball team

The Yomiuri Giants Japanese professional baseball club says it is forming a women’s team.

The club introduced the new team’s first four players on Wednesday. The four appeared in uniform before fans in an event held in Tokyo. The Giants manager, Hara Tatsunori, put caps on their head.

One of the women, Shimano Ayuri, said they will work hard to contribute to the development of women’s baseball.

The Giants, which have won the Japan Series 22 times, hope more people will play baseball and more women will become fans of the sport.

The club says it is considering allowing the women to join training sessions of the Giants in February, and that it will hold tryouts and use other means to find more players.

The club says it wants the women’s ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2021 at 02:55 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, women's baseball

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