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Found 140 results

  1. The Dodgers got Mookie Betts, the best outfielder in baseball not named Trout or Bellinger. They also get David Price for half price. They send a pitcher who is unhappy and won't go to the bullpen and a player with questionable injury history in Verdugo. What a deal.
  2. By now the scope and breadth of what the Houston Astros were doing from 2017-2019 is well-documented. I'm sure we'll hear more in the coming months about exactly what the Red Sox were up to in 2018 as well, I don't get the sense that story has been fully told. With as much attention as this has received I think from punishment standpoint the participants involved have gotten off fairly easy. Yes, three different MLB Managers lost their jobs, as well as front office positions in Houston. There was a $5M fine for the Astros (the most that MLB was self-authorized to assess) and a loss of international pool picks (the latter stings far more than the former, the fine is chump change). Players not materially affected will carry the stigma of this, and the evidence is clear that basically the entire line up is implicated in one way or another. Who else gets the feeling that the MLB head office is jumping with joy that they may get away with this being sum total of the fallout?!? Here is a World Series champion caught red-handed not two weeks after the Series! Nobody questions that they cheated and gained a not-negligible advantage! Yet they've been able to deftly shift the discussion away from "So, should the Astros 2017 Championship be revoked?". There is SO MUCH going on here, and it's hard to even pin down my thoughts on what MLB should have done. Taking away a World Series trophy is a very big step, and in many senses there is absolutely no walking that back when this happens again (yes, something similar will happen again). The best MLB can hope for is to take very big steps against individual actors and hope the baseball-watching public sees justice. In the eyes of The Game those players are disposable. "But sign stealing is as old as baseball itself!", they say, and that is undoubtedly true. Technology has changed the way baseball fundamentally operates, so that fact that it's also being used to change the way teams cheat isn't surprisingly, but it's made it easier to catch those who are cheating, too! I've only scratched the surface here, this topic has tentacles that reach in a dozen different directions.
  3. We'll get to free agency in a moment ... ... do you want to know the best high school outfield in history? McClymond's High School had Curt Flood, Vada Pinson, and Frank Robinson playing at the same time. Some guy named Bill Russell also played on their basketball team. --- Jul 12, 2011 - "How Curt Flood Changed Baseball and Killed his Career in the Process" by Allen Barra on theatlantic.com Dec 3, 2019 - "Curt Flood Set Off the Free-Agent Revolution 50-Years Ago after Refusing a Trade to the Phillies" by Ronald Blum on inquirer.com
  4. You're probably wondering what in the world I'm doing writing about Max Bishop. "Who in the heck is Max Bishop?" you might ask. Bishop was the second baseman, and more importantly, the leadoff hitter, for Connie Mack's great Philadelphia Athletics (AL Champions 1929-1931, and World Series Champions 1930-1931). Still, with Al Simmons, Jimmy Foxx, and Mickey Cochrane on that team, what on earth am I doing writing about Max Bishop? Bishop had a lifetime batting average of .271, but he ranks #15 all-time in on-base percentage at an astounding .423 (just ahead of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson") - he had 100+ walks a year for 8-straight years. He didn't steal much, but I guess with the hitters following him, he didn't need to. (It isn't often you see someone with a career slash line of .271/.423/.366.)
  5. Rogers Hornsby's career batting average of .358 is second only to Ty Cobb's (.367). During the decade of the 1920s, Hornsby hit .317 once, which was the only time he hit lower than .361. Look at this decade of hitting: 1920 - .370 1921 - .397 1922 - .401 1923 - .384 1924 - .424 --> The highest single-season batting average in post-1900 MLB history 1925 - .403 --> The 4th RBI Crown he won in the 1920s 1926 - .317 1927 - .361 1928 - .387 1929 - .380 --> The 7th time he hit over 40 home runs in the 1920s, leading the NL 4 times, and the 9th time he led the league in .OPS percentage
  6. I hope the Lerner's reverse their thinking and spring big time for a contract for Anthony Rendon. He is on a hot streak and knocking the starch out of the ball. Right now he leads the majors in batting average and RBI' s and is near the top for total bases, doubles, runs, OB% and slugging %. He has won a couple of games with walk off hits. Rendon's agent is the agent for Bryce Harper so he knows the Lerner's tendencies. Come on Lerner's. Sooner or later you are getting a big fat local TV payoff from the Orioles. Now is the time to share it with Anthony Rendon.
  7. Juan González is one of the greatest hitters not to be in the Hall of Fame. Yes, steroids, but at least be aware that he exists - he put up some great numbers in the steroid era, and is a relatively forgotten power hitter of that time.
  8. When a team is purposefully tanking, rids itself of every Major League player they can, has to pull players from what has been one of the worst minor league program in baseball you tend to get plays like the following below, "Will There Be a Worse MLB Play this Season than this Orioles Blunder?" by Jason Owens on aol.com
  9. Artificial turf first gained substantial attention 53 years ago in 1966, when it was installed in the year-old Astrodome. The specific product used was "ChemGrass", developed by Monsanto and rebranded as AstroTurf; this term since then became a generic trademark for any artificial turf throughout the late 20th century. AstroTurf remains a registered trademark but is no longer owned by Monsanto. Some comments about the second play: Here is Mike Schmidt's posture after the ball has been hit: Schmidt's posture after the first bounce (this is while the ball is coming up): Schmidt's posture after the second bounce - he had done a split-step, and just took a long, first stride with his right leg. After the second bounce, Schmidt prepares to field the ball - he still hasn't touched his left foot to the ground: Bobble (that's the baseball that popped out to his left). All because Schmidt didn't play the ball; he let the ball play him - this was in an All-Star game: You're welcome, Brooks.
  10. Can someone please explain this stat to me, and why it seems to be *THE* advanced metric of choice? How is dWAR (Defensive Wins Above Replacement) sewn into this? I have a feeling WAR grossly undervalues defense, and is extremely flawed, but until I see how it's derived, I can only speculate. dWAR seems very flawed to me, so if it's an ingredient in the WAR recipe, the dish is probably fundamentally wrong.
  11. Sadly, Tom Seaver has dementia. Tom Terrific, the Greatest Met ever, star pitcher of the '69 World Champion Mets, who surprised all of baseball with one of the most amazing upsets of all time, beating the Powerful Orioles in the '69 World Series, Seaver is usually described as one of the all time great pitchers in baseball. Yeah...so I was a Yankees fan growing up...but as the '69 Mets taught us--"Ya gotta believe"
  12. This Sports Illustrated article emphasizes the point I was trying to make above: Apr 6, 1992 - "Who's on Third?" by Tim Kurkjian on si.com
  13. I remember reading about this as a kid, and just did a search on it - the internet is amazing.
  14. I'm taking this moment to tip my cap to Milt Pappas, surely one of the most underrated, underappreciated players in MLB history. Pappas is best-known for "the main player in the Frank Robinson trade." That's fine, but why did the Reds want him so badly? Look at his stats: a career record of 209-164. 13 seasons with at least 12 Wins, a 3-time All-Star, and the NL leader in shutouts in 1971. This gentleman is worth remembering; not as fodder for Frank Robinson, but as a winner of 54% of his games over the course of his 17-year Major-League career - he won between 12-17 games in 13-out-of-14 seasons - how many players in Major-League history can say they won 12+ games in 13-out-of-14 seasons? Probably less than 50. In a sport where 10% means a lot, Milton Steven Pappas was well-above average as a Major-League pitcher - easily in the top-half of all pitchers measured over the course of history. Don't ever forget: If it wasn't for Milt Pappas, the Orioles might not have gotten Frank Robinson (think about that for a moment).
  15. Albert Pujols might be one of those all time greats whose historical stats might take a "hit": specifically his batting average. Just checked him out. As of last year his career average is .302. For the Cards during his first 11 years his average was .320. Over the last 7 years for the Angels his average is .260 and it keeps trending downward. He is one of those few players over time that I like to watch from time to time. During his first decade his hitting exploits rivaled that of the greatest players in history. Injuries, age, and advanced defensive alignments are combining to turn him into one of the most overpaid, under performing players in the game. (Nevertheless I still like watching him) Check back on this in a year or two. Pujols might drop out of that impressive group of players.
  16. I was looking at some pictures of the Topps 1969 set of baseball cards, and it dawned on me that this may be the greatest year in history for quality of players: * This is Mantle's final card (and #500 in the set). The set also includes, among other Hall of Fame players from the 1950s: Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Frank and Brooks Robinson, Kaline, Killebrew, Banks, Yastrzemski, Drysdale, Mazeroski, Aparicio, Wilhelm, etc. * Players entering their primes include Rose, Gibson, Carlton, Marichal, Carew, Jenkins, Santo, Flood, Oliva, Brock, McCovey, Seaver, Stargell, Palmer, Reggie Jackson, etc. * Rookie cards include Johnny Bench and Nolan Ryan. * Ted Williams, Leo Durocher, Earl Weaver, and Walter Alston have cards as managers. To think I attended the All-Star game at RFK in 1969!
  17. Only once in MLB history have both teams thrown nine-inning no-hitters: On May 2, 1917, Fred Tony and Hippo Vaughn dueled through 9 entire innings, with both pitchers completing the regulation game with no-hitters, and the score locked at 0-0. In the 10th inning, Vaughn threw a single, and then an error put runners on 2nd and 3rd. At-bat was none other than Jim Thorpe, who hit the ball back to Vaughn, and the play at home was botched (Vaughn didn't want to throw to 1st because "Thorpe ran like a racehorse.")
  18. A little backstory: When a post asked which MLB baseball players approached a .400 batting average since Ted Williams last accomplished that...I thought of George Brett. Brett did get close, finishing one magic season with a .390 BA. Brett of course was a great baseball player, a hall of famer and fun to watch and follow. Brett played for the Kansas City Royals during their best period from the mid 1970's to the mid 1980's when they were one of the best teams in the major leagues, played in many playoffs, and made and won a World Series. But wait...While Brett was the star of the team he had an excellent high quality teammate in a fellow named Willie Wilson. Do any of you recall him? Willie Wilson was the fastest player in MLB during those years, made some all star teams and had a long successful baseball career, primarily with the Royals. Before Willie Wilson made it to MLB he was one of the all-time storied athletes in New Jersey high school team sports. I knew of him because he competed in the little conference of teams my town played in: The Suburban Conference in Northern NJ. The members of this conference were smaller schools in Northern NJ. The high school classes probably had between 150-300 students each. These were small, suburban schools. They were not known as incubators for super star athletes. Willie Wilson was the exception. For two years running he was All-State in both football and baseball and was also a tremendous basketball player. He dominated that conference, let alone was a super star in the state from among high school athletes. Reportedly he was the most recruited high school football player in the nation that year. Wilson spurned college football, was a high draft choice with MLB and within a few years made it to the big leagues for a long career. Go back to Willie Wilson's high school career and you can find the following video of his football highlights. Catch the following video. Its precious. Do you recall Thanksgiving day football games with your town's biggest rival??? Not only is the video precious but the comments take you back to those hallowed high school days........
  19. I know "the world turns" and all that, but this is fundamentally disturbing to me. "The Brewers Are Moving towards Positionless Baseball" by Emma Baccellieri on si.com If these keeps up, Rod Carew could come out of retirement, and be the MVP.
  20. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Sometime in the late 1960s, we were visiting my Aunt Kitty and Uncle Ben in Detroit, and were out for a walk. We walked past a park, and Uncle Ben (who knew I was a baseball savant) asked me to guess who the park was named after - I immediately said "Ty Cobb,: and he (in his 70s at the time) said, "No, no, no! Ty Cobb wasn't loved here in Detroit - this park is named for Harry Heilmann!" (With his accent, I thought he had said "Harry Hahmann," and I never got the name right for the next twenty years). Uncle Ben had lived in Detroit for decades, and remembered both players very well - he said how much Heilmann was loved by the residents of Detroit - little did I know that Heilmann was also arguably the greatest right-handed hitter of all-time (apologies to Rogers Hornsby). He's the only player ever to be in the .400 / 40 club (with 40 Doubles) - I may be wrong about this: Someone please let me know if I am. If you're unfamiliar with Heilmann, look at his batting statistics in the 1920s! Maybe the greatest hitter you've never heard of? Nobody has ever hit .400 in four seasons, but people say that if Heilmann - whose nickname was "slug" - wasn't so slow afoot, he'd be the one who had done it: He was a total of 8 hits away - 8 infield hits away - from accomplishing the feat, had he hit them judiciously in 1921, 1925, and 1927.
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