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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Baseball Hall of Fame tracker 2022

DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2021 at 11:35 AM | 1123 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Friday, January 21, 2022

Tom Goodwin, former Boston Red Sox coach, says MLB bullied coaches into getting COVID-19 vaccine: ‘There was no choice’

Former Red Sox first base coach Tom Goodwin sounded off on Major League Baseball on Friday, telling The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that the league “bullied” coaches and other non-playing personnel into receiving the COVID-19 vaccine even if they were against it.

Goodwin, who spent four seasons on Boston’s staff before being let go immediately after the 2021 season, missed several games in close contact protocols during the regular season and had to step away from the Red Sox at the beginning of the postseason because unvaccinated staffers were not allowed to access the playing field during the playoffs. He has since been vaccinated and accepted a job with the Braves as a roving minor-league outfield instructor; he did not receive ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2022 at 01:48 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: vaccines

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Sherman: In defense of the blank Hall of Fame ballot

Understand that this is not a binary vote, like Democrat vs. Republican, where one is going to be mayor or governor or president. Each voter can choose anywhere from 0 to 10 candidates, which means there are all kinds of ranges of outcomes. But the biggest issue is the 75 percent threshold.

It is hard to get three out of four friends to agree where to go to dinner. Now try to get a few hundred people to determine what they think of whether to vote for candidates with steroid clouds, especially when those clouds come in different sizes. Factor in those who think the Hall of Fame should be small — the best 1 percent of players ever, roughly — and those who think it should be larger and spread to the top 2 or 3 or perhaps even 4 percent. ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2022 at 08:04 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Ex-Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre sentenced to prison for 2020 murder of toddler in Mexico

Former Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre is going to be behind bars for a long time after he was convicted of murdering his ex-partner’s daughter.

Mitre was convicted of femicide after raping and murdering the 22-month-old girl named Ines after his July 2020 arrest and trial.

The heinous hurler was sentenced Wednesday night to between 40-to-60 years in prison.

Mitre, 41, pitched for four different teams in the majors between 2003 and 2011: the Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers.

He won the 2009 World Series as a member of the Yankees.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2022 at 07:54 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: sergio mitre

Robot umpires at home plate moving up to Triple-A for 2022

obot umpires have been given a promotion and will be just one step from the major leagues this season.

Major League Baseball is expanding its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A, the highest level of the minor leagues.

MLB’s website posted a hiring notice seeking seasonal employees to operate the Automated Ball and Strike system. MLB said it is recruiting employees to operate the system for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters and Tacoma Rainiers.

The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional league to let a computer call balls and strikes at ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2022 at 05:38 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires, robots are made of metal

Kevin Frandsen is the new Nationals TV analyst on MASN, replacing FP Santangelo

Frandsen will work alongside long-time play by play broadcaster Bob Carpenter and replaces FP Santangelo, who spent some time off broadcasts last season following sexual misconduct allegations. In November, Santangelo announced that he wouldn’t be back at all in 2022….

In a statement, Frandsen thanked the Nationals, his family, and his former coworkers with the Phillies.

“Thrilled is an understatement to describe the way I feel right now,” said Frandsen. “I’d like to thank MASN and the Lerner family for this tremendous opportunity. I’d also like to thank my team of Amanda, Tenley and Daylen for their love and support. Being able to learn from and work alongside Scott Franzke, Larry Anderson, Rob Brooks and everyone in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2022 at 03:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

MLB kills Rays’ split-city plan with Montreal

The Rays’ proposed plan to split seasons in Montreal has been killed by Major League Baseball officials, the Tampa Bay Times has learned, creating even more uncertainty about the team’s long-term future in Tampa Bay.

The decision is sure to frustrate and stun team officials, who had spent 2 ½ years on the project and were expecting approval to proceed with efforts to get open-air stadiums built in both markets. The Rays also sought approval from the players union.

Rays prinicpal owner Stuart Sternberg is set to discuss the issue with media at 1 p.m. Among the questions will be whether the Rays will now seek permission from MLB to explore relocation to another market, and if Sternberg, who took over the team in 2005, will look to ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2022 at 12:25 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

How baseball changed forever in 1972: A timeline of MLB’s most memorable events, 50 years later

April 1
After player reps vote 47-0 with one abstention (Wes Parker of the Dodgers) in favor, the Major League Baseball Players Association goes on strike. Thus begins the first work stoppage in MLB history. Under the leadership of pioneering union leader Marvin Miller, the players strike over the issue of pension payments. The players want a 17 percent increase to reflect inflation over the prior three years and for owners to honor their commitment to cover medical costs. Owners refuse on both counts. Miller announces that players are willing to end the strike with a new pension accord or an agreement to take the dispute to arbitration. Since the union is still a relatively nascent entity—Miller became the first head of the Major League ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:49 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

The oldest player who ever hit in a game

There’s not much written about it, unfortunately, but later in his life, while coaching for the St. Louis Browns, O’Leary came in to take an at-bat in the final game of the 1934 season ... at nearly 59 years of age. Here’s more from St. Louis Browns Historical Society & Fan Club President Ed Wheatley:

“The last time Charley had stepped to the plate in a MLB game was with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1913,” Wheatley, creator of the film “A Baseball Legacy: Fans Remember the Browns,” told me. “But in the sixth inning of that September 30th game, he came up as a pinch-hitter for pitcher George Blaeholder and slapped a single. It was his only hit in his only at-bat in the last 20 years and 360 days.”

Nobody was or has been (or likely ever ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:44 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: old

How a heart attack led to Hall of Famer Greg Maddux spurning Yankees for Braves

Hall-of-Fame pitcher Greg Maddux set the record straight about picking the Atlanta Braves when he was a free agent in December 1992, and it sure is disheartening for the Yankees.

According to Maddux, he had decided to sign with the Yankees, but never received an official offer because a team executive suffered a heart attack while he was in New York to cement the deal.

This new development, which was shared by Maddux this week when he appeared on David Cone’s “Toeing the Slab” podcast, contradicts decades-ago reports that the legendary right-hander had turned down $34 million over five seasons from the Yankees to sign a five-year, $28-million deal with Atlanta….

“Oh, I was there. I went there to sign with the Yankees. I was ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 09:28 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: greg maddux, yankees

Remembering Roger Samuels

Roger Samuels was born to be a pitcher.

A lefty, long and lanky. Sturdy as they come. He didn’t back down, no matter what he was up against, whether that was Darryl Strawberry and Ryne Sandberg in the batter’s box, or the unrelenting cancer that he battled over the past few years.

Roger—who passed away Monday at age 61—always gave it his best, as a pitcher and a friend. His memory is going to stick with me….

Roger was invited to big league camp in 1988, where he impressed manager Roger Craig. “He has a live arm and he looks good,” Craig told a reporter in 1988 spring training. “He’s a kid that’s really coming fast.”

The “kid” was assigned to Triple-A Phoenix. And that July, with Mike LaCoss on the shelf due to an elbow injury, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 01:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Rosenthal: The pressure is mounting — MLB cannot afford to lose games this season

Sub required.

The question is, what will constitute a win for the union? The owners say they are unwilling to grant earlier free agency or increase revenue sharing among clubs. But say the union achieved the following gains:

• Higher minimums and thresholds.

• Adjustments in the draft to include a lottery of more than three teams and extra picks for teams that reach certain levels of performance.

• An increase in the percentage of players with two-plus years of service who are eligible for arbitration.

• And finally, though it seems to be generating little discussion lately, a minimum payroll threshold with penalties for teams that fall below the limit, similar to the way the luxury-tax threshold works at the top.

Maybe the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:28 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

Why does Baseball Hall of Fame voting make people so mad?

Van Bavel’s second point is that the Hall is necessarily fraught — “it’s kind of like a shrine, that’s why they call it being enshrined in the whole thing. And so when you have sacred values, those are the types of things that become moralized for people.”

Between a confluence of suspected PED users on the ballot and a growing attention to off-field infractions, that’s never been more true. The Hall of Fame has become a forum for discussing not just what we value in a baseball player, but what can and can’t abide in a beloved public figure.

“So many of these candidates, you crack open their candidacy and it’s a referendum on one idea or another as to what defines a Hall of Famer,” says Jay Jaffe, a FanGraphs writer and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2022 at 12:25 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Dodgers promote former MLB reliever Brandon Gomes to general manager as L.A. reshapes front office

The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted former big-league reliever Brandon Gomes to general manager, the team announced Tuesday. Gomes had been an assistant general manager since 2019. The Dodgers had been operating without a general manager since Farhan Zaidi left to join the rival San Francisco Giants in Nov. 2018.

“He’s had such an incredible impact on everything he’s touched,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “He’s moved pretty quickly, but you could argue that he could’ve moved even quicker.” 

Gomes, 37, retired as a player in 2016 and joined the Dodgers the following year. He quickly ascended from pitching coordinator to director of player development to vice ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2022 at 09:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

What would a Mets trade package for Luis Castillo look like?

If the Reds decide to trade Castillo this offseason, a reasonable ask would be one top prospect who is also a top 100 prospect in baseball, and one other prospect inside a team’s top 10.

For the Mets, Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty will be off-limits in pretty much any trade. So inquiring teams can forget those two.

That means that for Castillo, a fair offer from the Mets could be SS Ronny Mauricio (ranked No. 3 on SNY’s Top 20 Mets prospects list and No. 53 on the MLB Pipeline Top 100) and RHP J.T. Ginn (ranked No. 5 on SNY’s Top 20). And the Mets would need to sign Castillo to an extension to make that deal worthwhile.

One issue with the above could be the fact that the Reds have highly thought of SS prospect Matt McLain, who could ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2022 at 03:31 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: luis castillo, mets

Monday, January 17, 2022

If the Blue Jays truly believe in the dynamic duo of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, now is the time to get the deals done

Guerrero is now four seasons away from free agency — just as Tatis was when he signed last spring — but because he qualified as a Super 2 player, he will go through arbitration four times, while the Padres shortstop would have only gone through three. As a result, Guerrero is positioned to out-earn Tatis through their third through sixth service-time seasons. With a projected salary of $8 million in 2022, he’d very conservatively platform to $12 million, $16 million and $20 million over the next three years for an estimated total of $56 million — roughly double the $27 million Tatis is slated to earn over the same span.

Given those numbers, the question then becomes how to value the free-agent years portion of an extension, which ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2022 at 03:15 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, bo bichette, vladimir guerrero jr.

After 14 seasons, Francisco Liriano hangs up spikes

Liriano pitched his way to an All-Star selection in 2006, his first full season, and he was a mainstay of the Twins’ rotation for parts of seven season before being dealt to the White Sox at the Trade Deadline in ‘12 with free agency looming. He chose to sign with the Pirates, where he enjoyed the most successful years of his career.

In his first four seasons for the Bucs, Liriano was exclusively a starter, pitching under a 3.50 ERA in each season of Pittsburgh’s postseason-bound campaigns from 2013-15. He started the Pirates’ first playoff series since 1992 and secured the first postseason series win since the ‘79 World Series.

However, after a couple of half-seasons in Toronto between 2016-17, Liriano ended the ‘17 campaign ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2022 at 01:43 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco liriano

Sunday, January 16, 2022

The history of baseball’s revenue streams

This player-dominated league was in turn replaced by the owner-dominated National League of Professional Baseball Clubs (i.e., the modern National League). Ticket prices were standardized at 50 cents, or roughly $11.50 today. This was slashed in half when the NL merged with the rival American Association in 1891 (read: bullied them out of existence), although any lost revenue was more than accounted for by the new rules permitting teams to schedule games on Sunday and sell alcohol to fans — not to mention the immense benefit to the bottom line that a monopoly on professional baseball represented.

Ticket sales, concessions, and stadium merchandise: for most of the history of Major League Baseball, these were the main sources of revenue ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:51 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: radio, revenues, television

With Jon Lester’s retirement we ask: How do you define a Hall of Fame starting pitcher?

Put another way: Adjusting for the diminished frequency of starts resulting in wins, the equivalent of 300 wins in 1901-10 would be 185 starting pitcher victories, based on how pitchers were deployed.

Of course, “wins” and “losses” were already imperfect statistics for judging pitcher performance based on elements beyond the pitcher’s control, including offensive support and the defense behind him. Still, the shifting nature of the starting pitcher’s role, which will affect other cumulative stats such as WAR, innings, and strikeouts, will make it ever more difficult to use current Hall members as a basis for judging future Hall-worthiness.

“Are you going to judge all the modern-day pitchers based on the past or the present, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2022 at 03:50 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jon lester

Friday, January 14, 2022

Source: HOF broadcaster Dave Van Horne retiring

Longtime Marlins radio voice Dave Van Horne is “effectively retiring,” according to a report in The Miami Herald.  A source confirmed the news to, though the club has not commented on the report.

Van Horne, 82, will not pursue work elsewhere, and he finishes his broadcasting career with 56 years worth of experience—53 at the Major League level, including 21 with the Marlins. He was the 2011 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the highest honor for a broadcaster. His signature home run call of “Up, up and away!” was a fan favorite….

Van Horne’s career began in the International League in 1966, where he broadcast Richmond Braves games for three seasons. During Van Horne’s years in Virginia, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 06:36 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Seiya Suzuki rumors: Boston Red Sox among 10-12 teams involved; OF still plans to sign after MLB lockout

Suzuki still plans to sign with an MLB team when the lockout ends, he told The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly in a wide-ranging interview. The outfielder, who was posted by the Hiroshima Carp, has heard recruiting pitches from 10 to 12 clubs and the Red Sox are among them. When the lockout ends, he will have about 20 days to decide where to sign.

“The Red Sox are known to have strong scouting links to Suzuki, and in an interview with a Japanese TV station earlier this month, former Boston pitcher Koji Uehara tried to squeeze an admission out of him that he was bound for Fenway Park,” Baggarly wrote.

Baggarly reports the Mariners and Giants have also been involved in talks with Suzuki and adds that the Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Rays ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:15 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese free agents, seiya suzuki

Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide; ‘Suffering in silence is not OK,’ family says

Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez died by suicide this week, according to the Tarrant County (Texas) Medical Examiner’s Office.

Ramirez, 28, died Monday near Fort Worth, where he attended high school. Ramirez played three minor-league seasons for the Rays and served as their bullpen catcher since 2019. He aspired to a coaching job in the major leagues.

Rays manager Kevin Cash called Ramirez an “incredible teammate and friend,” in a statement released by the team. “He brought so much passion and energy each day to our clubhouse and bullpen, and his love for the Rays and baseball was evident to all who interacted with him. He had the biggest heart and most infectious smile. Jean will be deeply missed.”

Ramirez died Monday ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 04:13 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, suicide

Melky Cabrera retires after 15 seasons

Cabrera began his MLB career 17 years ago as a member of the New York Yankees and spent five seasons in the Bronx before moving on to the Atlanta Braves and then the Kansas City Royals.

Cabrera was on the move again in 2012, joining the San Francisco Giants where he enjoyed the best season of his career, hitting .346 and making the National League All-Star Team where he won game MVP. However, Cabrera was handed a 50-game suspension one month later after testing positive for a banned substance and was forced to miss the rest of the season. He was MLB’s hits leader at the time of the penalty while the Giants went on to win their second World Series in three years.

The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native then signed a two-year, $16 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 01:20 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: melky cabrera

Breaking Down The MLB Top 100 Prospect Incentive Proposal

But because of that, including a Top 100 Prospects designation in the incentive seems unnecessary. To get a sense of how many players would be affected, we looked back at the rookie of the year balloting from 2010 to present. Of the 72 players to rank in the top three of Rookie of the Year balloting since 2010, 54 (75%) were Top 100 Prospects coming into that season. There were a few players (like Jose Iglesias and Jaime Garcia) who had ranked previously as Top 100 Prospects but not in the year before they landed ROY votes. For these purposes they are considered as not making the Top 100.

Of the 18 players who weren’t in the Top 100, five (Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, John Means, Devin Williams and Jake Cronenworth) are still quite ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 12:42 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues, prospects

Bill James: Vagabonds and Homebodies

    Comparing two players of reasonably equal Hall of Fame credentials, one of whom moves from team to team and the other of whom stays put for most of his career, the player who is easily identified with one team is not only more likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame, but MUCH more likely to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  A player who hopscotches from team to team may be reducing his Hall of Fame election chances by 50% or more by doing so.

        Last week on “Hey, Bill”  a reader (Phil Dellio) suggested that the knockaround, move-around, get-out-of-town nature of Gary Sheffield’s career might be impacting his Hall of Fame voting performance.  Actually, he was making a slightly different point, beyond that one, but ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 10:45 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Travis Snider retires after 8 big league seasons

Travis Snider says he has retired after eight major league seasons.

“I have contemplated this day for for a while but the time has finally come for me to hang up the spikes,” he wrote Thursday on Instagram. “I have spent many waking hours and sleepless nights trying to find a way back to the show. How to fix my swing. How to be a better teammate and a leader. What I have learned through those experiences is what gives me the confidence in this transition to becoming a ‘former player.’”

Snider, who turns 34 on Feb. 2, last played in the major leagues in 2015 with Pittsburgh. He spent last season with the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A farm team at Gwinnett and hit .174 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 138 at-bats.

...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2022 at 10:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: travis snider

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

How baseball Hall of Fame voting trends are evolving

Thibodaux said one of the most interesting things about the electorate is how it has decreased in size. To earn a Hall of Fame vote, writers have to be BBWAA members for 10 years. But a new rule established in 2016 removed voters who hadn’t been active members for 10 or more years.

“That really makes a huge difference, especially when most of the people who have left the electorate are the older voters,” Thibodaux said. “Certainly they are more anti-PED than the younger voters. They also don’t vote based on analytics as much. They tend to be smaller-Hall style voters.”

The number of voters dropped from 549 in 2015 to 440 in 2016. After the ballots peaked at 581 in 2011, they’ve resided between 440 and 397 since the rule change.

Since ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2022 at 12:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Jon Lester announces retirement after 16 seasons, three World Series titles

Three-time World Series champion and 200-game winner Jon Lester is retiring after a 16-year career.

Lester, 38, told ESPN that his body just isn’t up for the rigors of a major league season anymore. He made 30 or more starts 12 times during his career and 28 during his final season split between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.

His résumé includes five All-Star appearances and a 2.51 postseason ERA.

“It’s kind of run its course,” Lester said. “It’s getting harder for me physically. The little things that come up throughout the year turned into bigger things that hinder your performance.

“I’d like to think I’m a halfway decent self-evaluator. I don’t want someone else telling me I can’t do this anymore. I want to be ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2022 at 10:05 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: jon lester

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Orioles altering Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions amid ballpark’s historic home run binge

The Orioles hope their pitchers feel that way less often going forward. The club told The Baltimore Sun it began construction this week to alter Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions to try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs. The changes — the first to the size of the iconic ballpark’s playing area in two decades — will raise the wall’s height from 7 feet to about 12 feet and move it back as much as 30 feet, according to information provided by the team. Major League Baseball approved the adjustments, which will cover the area from the left-field corner to the bullpens in the left-center field.

The new measurements fall in line with other major league parks. As of 2020, Camden Yards’ 333-foot ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:55 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: camden yards, orioles

The Yankees need to end their outdated facial hair policy

Could the Yankees successfully defend keeping their policy? They certainly would have a case. Teams are permitted to have reasonable team rules, and the Yankees have adhered to these grooming ground rules since George Steinbrenner established them shortly after purchasing the team in 1973. Past practices and precedent matter and so, perhaps, an arbitrator would accept that a baseball organization has the right to control the hair length of an adult under their employ. But is this a case the Yankees want to risk? I am shocked they have not been challenged on this yet. And in this age, doesn’t it now feel like the crisis you can see heading toward town, so if you can avoid it, why not?

It is one thing for a free agent to sign with the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:26 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: sideburns, yankees

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