June 21, 2014

Fangraphs: Mixing Pitches, Situationally

league averages. Let’s establish a baseline: Bases Empty: 63% fastballs (cutters included) Runner(s) On: 61% [...] I looked at every pitcher who’s thrown at least 1,000 pitches since the start of 2013. The following graph plots their relevant fastball rates. The sample pool numbers nearly 400 [...] Out of the pool, 24 pitchers have decreased their fastball rates by at least 10 percentage points with runners on base.

Hardball Times: Exploring the Shift Dynamic

As it seems, the onset of the shift has not really changed the probability of an opposite hit ball. But, for those most shifted in 2013, there has been a large decrease across the board in the value of their batted balls, with the average ground ball losing 66% of it’s value until this year—where there seems to be a spike in ground ball run values.  But the most surprising factor is the apparent effect of the shift on the fly balls and line drive value, which have both dropped significantly in value without encouraging the hitter to take a different approach to take it the other way. What we really need is to detect when the shift is on for all players, and compare the spray and outcomes of their batted balls in shifted versus non-shifted situations. [...] However, using Gameday data, this is the best proxy I could think up as a “SHIFT SCORE” metric, to identify player’s who are suitable to be shifted:

BtBS: Running the bases: An analysis

Good things occur on the basepaths as well [as bad], and I would be remiss if I didn’t point these out. It doesn’t have the same catchiness the Mistake Index has, but if I’m going to show negative outcomes, I should point out the positive as well, such as stolen bases, reaching on errors or taking an extra base (for example, going from first to third on a single). [...] Given this, let’s expand this list and look at the ratio of good events to bad: [...] This doesn’t help Puig but shows players like Brian Dozier, Nori Aoki and Dee Gordon are benefiting teams more than they’re costing them by being both aggressive and smart on the basepaths.

NY Post: The challenger to d’Arnaud’s status as Mets’ catcher of future

After a pedestrian April, when he hit just .250 with three extra-base hits for Double-A Binghamton, the 23-year-old [Kevin Plawecki] has been on a tear since the calendar turned to May, hitting .352 with a .946 OPS. His totals for the season stood at .326 with six homers and 41 RBIs heading into Friday.  Plawecki has caught the eye of an American League scout, who called him a “future All-Star” and “the best catcher in the organization.” “He can hit, catch, throw,” the scout said. “His mechanical flaws are easily correctable. From level to level, he needs to get [locked] in with his arm action and the arm path, and once he gets that locked down, he’s going to have a better-than-avera arm.”

Rantankerous: Prepare your JAWS for a sabermetric WAR

Brian “What We Learned” Tynes vs. George “Hot Reads” Jones. I got through 5:18…and then it was back to my Räjäyttäjät party. If you don’t know wSB from TMZ, you’re in the right place. One of those is a baseball statistic and the other is a celebrity news web site. The legitimacy of both is debatable. In this week’s discussion, George jumps on the sabermetric bandwagon and tries to argue the merits of such nonsensical acronyms as UZR, wOBA, BABIP and OOPS, which are all baseball statistics. That doesn’t sit well with Brian, who is convinced “this entire sabermetrics thing is one giant OOPS.” The gauntlet is thrown when the discussion turns into alphabet soup with a rousing game of “Is this a real baseball stat?” Among the contenders are IDL, RFM and DRS. See how well you do against the “expert.”

OT: Response To The Dog Snobs "That's Not How That Actually Works..."

Preface: Normally I would just post this as a note on Facebook, but FB has allowed their Note functionality to fail; in particular, serial editing of long documents containing hyperlinks tends to collapse anchor tags to "<a>", which does no one any good. Hence, moving this here.


Recently, The Dog Snobs ran a story entitled “That’s not how that actually works you know… a.k.a. The AKC is not the enemy and why you sound stupid when you say so.”. I normally love the Snobs, but it is exactly when they start talking about the AKC that they end up making really dumb comments. Having been a sometime observer of the AKC and its defenders, I now understand why they write this sort of apologetic – but refuse in the strongest possible terms to excuse it. And if you presume to lead with the provocative headline that “you sound stupid” when decrying the AKC as an enemy of dogs, you either clearly haven't done your homework, you cling to prejudice about an organization whose real flaws you do not wish to address, or both. Neither prospect reflects well on the Snobs.

The myriad institutionalized flaws of the AKC should come as no surprise to anyone who has befriended me on Facebook for any substantial period of time. I have had the great good fortune to acquire a number of knowledgeable friends with longer history with dogs and vastly more detailed understanding of genetics. My friend Heather Houlahan back in 2010 penned a fantastic analysis of the AKC's dysfunction and decline, “The Emperor's Striptease”. While there is a great deal there worthy of discussion, I want to focus first on her synopsis of Donald McCaig's excellent book, The Dog Wars. The short version is that the AKC mounted a hostile takeover of the Australian Shepherd Club of America, except
… the Aussie owners' club had no interest in being so honored. It was doing just fine by itself, with a registry, pageant shows (there was their mistake -- a topic for another day), and open-to-all obedience and working trials.

But AKC was in an acquisitive mood. It cobbled together a little group of Aussie owners who wanted to enter the big pageants, declared them the official club, and to Hell with the studbook -- they'd just take your word for it on the pedigree.

Most of the Aussie people I knew at the time took a fatalistic view -- they didn't like it, but basically rolled over and peed themselves. "I guess I have to double-register, or else lose puppy sales. They're going to close the studbook." (Edit: I do not mean to imply that all Aussie owners went this way; I was just shocked and disappointed about the ones I knew at the time, who all did.)
The AKC next tried to absorb the Border Collie, which effort was marginally successful, in that there are now BC's registered with the AKC, but as Heather notes,
The ABCA continues to register over 20,000 border collies a year -- more than ten times as many as the AKC. Most of those latter are "captured" agility and obedience dogs, and many of those are dual-registered.
So when the Snobs tell us that “The AKC is first and foremost a registry business”, what they omit is that it has done so against the wishes of Aussie owners and breeders, and as well of the Coton de Tulear, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Leonberger, in varying degrees.

But this transgression amounts to petty larceny compared to the felony assault that the AKC commits on the canine genome. And it is here, at the Snobs' item (3) – “The Breed Clubs are not the AKC” – that the bulk of their argument collapses in a heap. It takes either willful blindness or a refusal to comprehend how the AKC being a mere “registry” (their item 1) drives the operation of their constituent breed clubs.

The AKC is a closed registry. This, really, is in two dimensions:
  1. It is closed to outside review, that is, outside of the AKC. Breeders and buyers alike have but limited visibility at the contents. 
  2. It is closed to new dogs, i.e. there is no such thing, as in the Border Collie registries, as a “Registered on Merit”. 
So when the Snobs say that “the breed clubs are not the AKC”, what they're really trying to imply is that the AKC has no responsibility for the actions of the breed clubs. This is disingenuous in the extreme. And the reason why is that breed clubs must use the closed registry, without exception.
 
The AKC promotes breeds with terrible health. The most visible example I can think of here is the blog entry Patrick Burns wrote in 2010, in the case of  Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, the Scottish Terrier that won Westminster that year. Not only was it the Westminster winner, it was a triple crown winner, also winning the 2009 National Dog Show and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship that same year. And yet, as Burns points out,
  • This is a breed in which 45 percent of all dogs die of cancer.
  • This is a small breed dog where the average lifespan of the dog is just 10.15 years -- not the 15 years it should be. 
  • This is a breed where a person buying a professionally-bred Scottish Terrier is twice as likely to have that well-bred dog die at two years of age as they are to have that Scottie live to age 16.
  • This is a breed where AKC show breeders have demonstrably less healthy dogs. As Joesph Harvill, editor of Great Scots Magazine notes, professionally bred Scotties are more expensive than casually-bred dogs, but they are not healthier. He concludes that "The empirical evidence indicates that the best shot — even if a long shot — at a long-lived Scottie is from a non-professional breeder."
  • This is a breed in which the health of the dog is in rapid decline. When Joseph Harvill, the editor of Great Scots Magazine compared health survey results between 1995 and 2005, he found "an alarming trend" that "may signal the rapid declension in a gene pool which can happen when inbreeding depression reaches critical mass in a small, closed population."
  • This is a breed where owners spent an average of $492 per dog per year on medical bills — and 12.9% spent between $1,000-$5,000 per dog per year.  
This is the result of the AKC's idea of “improving” dogs. It is a direct consequence of the closed studbook. While it is true that closed studbooks are a consequence of the actions of the breed clubs themselves, how many exceptions can you name? I personally am aware of only one, the low-uric acid Dalmatian project, which backcrossed Pointers to reintroduce the normal uric acid gene into the Dalmatian gene pool. (AKC Dalmatians often cannot convert uric acid to purines, which frequently results in kidney stones.) And even though the Dalmatian Club of America (the AKC's subsidiary breed club) voted against inclusion.Even in the face of a known and serious health problem, the DCA clung to its closed stud book rather than attempt a fix.
This brings me to my next issue: their proposed solution, one pillar of which includes
    Some tighter reins on the breed clubs who are being deliberately ridiculous (I know, dog people being insane? Say it ain’t so!) would be nice. We’re not saying they have to shove modifications of the standard to reduce extremity and mandatory health testing down the breed clubs’ throats, but holding them down and making them chew on it a little isn’t the worst idea.
If mere “education” and “modifications of the standard” were all it took to repair the damage wrought by supposed renegade or ignorant breed clubs, why did it take so long to garner any measure of acceptance for the LUA Dalmatian? And why is the LUA Dalmatian an apparent anomaly?
To answer that question, you'd have to have an understanding of the social aspects of the AKC and its breed clubs. As the estimable Ms. Houlahan put it,
The AKC cannot make up its mind whether it is a Most Anciente and Exclusive Order that has charged itself with governing a small, fanatical, and timorously obedient cadre of social-climbing dog-pageant addicts, or the divinely-ordained Government of Dogs in all of America.

One identity is primarily insular and snobbish. The other is primarily totalitarian and expansionist. They commingle gracelessly into something resembling a Stalinist Switzerland.
The AKC is fundamentally at war with itself, as can be seen by its imperious treatment of its own internal delegates. And here, the point that the breed clubs are not the same thing as the AKC proper is largely a copout, and ultimately meaningless. The problem isn't simply the many breeds ruined by extreme standards – think, for example, of Pugs and Bulldogs, brachycephalic breeds that have overheating problems, as well as the many breeds that can no longer deliver puppies vaginally, such as the Scottish Terrier. Such degradation is widespread across multiple breeds, and exists in the European fancy as well; see, for instance, this pictorial history of European German Shepherd Dog champions, which feature the increasingly misshapen hindquarters common in the US. It also ignores the consequences of closed gene pools, which stem from the itch to “breed the best to the best”. The “popular sire syndrome” is both nearly irresistible and all too common, as is the urge to deliver “typy” looks.
The problem, really, is this pre-Mendel ideal that ignores genetic diversity, that pretends nothing aside from immediate, known traits will be transmitted to the descendants of the proposed parents. As John W. Campbell observed, you can't do just one thing. Genetics are nothing if not tricky, and the AKC and its constituent clubs routinely ignore the real-world complications that inevitably follow from those flawed assumptions. If you are going to lecture others about “sound[ing] stupid”, if you are going to claim you “don't just know better; we are better”, you had damned well better have a rudimentary understanding of the subject of which you discuss. And it is crystal clear the Snobs, for reasons political and emotional, do not, and are not even slightly interested.

June 20, 2014

Minor League Ball Gameday: Friday, June 20

Welcome to the Gameday!

Hello everybody, welcome back to the Minor League Ball Gameday. As long as my schedule allows it, I will try to throw this up early in the day and fill out the sections as the day progresses. Be sure to check back frequently to see the new additions throughout the day.

Today marks the beginning of the two complex Rookie leagues, the Gulf Coast League (GCL) and the Arizona League (AZL). Games in the GCL usually start around noon eastern and the AZL games are more often than not around 10 pm eastern. I'll defer to MLBPP for any questions regarding the complex leagues as that's kinda his thing.

The second of three expanded sleeper lists will be debuting shortly - The Tempurpedics. These will be players currently in short season leagues that are worth keeping an eye on. Very soon after that we will begin voting on the 25 prospects the community wants to track.

As always, you can check out the rest of the stats from yesterday below in the link and enjoy!

The Top 150 Prospects and Sleepers

On the bottom of the spreadsheet there are tabs for the Top 150 Hitters (Top 150 H), Pitchers (Top 150 P), Sleeper Alerts! and the Helium Tank. Check it out by clicking the link/header above and a new window will pop up.

Probable Starters

AAA - IL

  • TBD - PIT vs Nick Additon - BAL
  • Kris Johnson - MIN vs Aaron Sanchez - TOR
  • TBD - CLE vs Greg Smith - PHI
  • Anthony Ranaudo - BOS vs Joel De La Cruz - NYY
  • Brett Marshall - CIN vs Cody Martin - ATL
  • Josh Roenicke - WAS vs Matt Andriese - TB
  • TBD - DET vs TBD - CWS


AAA - PCL

  • Angel Castro - STL vs TBD - LAA
  • Donn Roach - SD vs Kyle Hendricks - CHC
  • Juan Nicasio - COL vs Forrest Snow - SEA
  • Mike Kickham - SF vs Alex Sanabia - MIA
  • Josh Lindblom - OAK vs Miles Mikolas - TEX
  • Ariel Pena - MIL vs Giancarlo Alvarado - NYM
  • Mike Foltynewicz - HOU vs Zeke Spruill - AZ
  • Sam Demel - LAD vs Clayton Mortensen - KC


AA - EL

  • Gabriel Arias - CLE vs TBD - WAS
  • Scott Copeland - TOR vs Eric Wooten - NYY
  • Kenn Kasparek - PIT vs Henry Owens - BOS
  • Mike McCarthy - BOS vs TBD - PIT
  • Austin Fleet - SF vs Kyle Ryan - DET
  • Hoby Milner - PHI vs Taylor Rogers - MIN
  • Hansel Robles - NYM vs Jake Pettit - BAL


AA - SL

  • Stephen Landazuri - SEA vs Mitch Atkins - ATL
  • Chris Beck - CWS vs Jay Rogers - MIA
  • Matt Shelton - LAD vs Matt Loosen - CHC
  • Jed Bradley - MIL vs Jon Moscot - CIN
  • Bradin Hagens - AZ vs Grayson Garvin - TB


AA - TL

  • Jerad Eickhoff - TEX vs Brady Rodgers - HOU
  • TBD - STL vs Nate Smith - LAA
  • Jon Gray - COL vs Tim Melville - KC
  • Nate Long - OAK vs Josh Geer - SD


A+ - CAL

  • Pat Young - SF vs Spencer Arroyo - AZ
  • Wandy Peralta - CIN vs Chris Lamb - OAK
  • Dylan Unsworth - SEA vs Jayson Aquino - COL
  • Tyler DeLoach - LAA vs Tom Windle - LAD
  • Josh Hader - HOU vs Zach Eflin - SD


A+ - CAR

  • Sean Manaea - KC vs Sam Wolff - TEX
  • TBD - BOS vs TBD - CWS
  • TBD - WAS vs Lucas Sims - ATL
  • Mark Blackmar - BAL vs TBD - CLE


A+ - FSL

  • Jesse Hernandez - TOR vs Ethan Stewart - PHI
  • TBD - NYY vs Josh Turley - DET
  • Silfredo Garcia - STL vs TBD - TB
  • Tim Shibuya - MIN vs Michael Fulmer - NYM
  • Orlando Castro - PIT vs Scott Lyman - MIA
  • Tyler Wagner - MIL vs Nathan Dorris - CHC


A - MWL

  • Chase Brookshire - STL vs Evan Grills - HOU
  • Amir Garrett - CIN vs Zachary Bird - LAD
  • Zach Quintana - MIL vs Clint Sharp - LAA
  • Anthony Banda - MIL vs Ryan Etsell - LAA
  • TBD - SEA vs Lou Trivino - OAK
  • Jimmy Reed - STL vs TBD - HOU
  • Lewis Thorpe - MIN vs Juan Paniagua - CHC
  • Ben Griset - TB vs Frank Viola - TOR
  • John Omahen - AZ vs Luis Lugo - CLE


A - SAL


  • James Dykstra - CWS vs Chaz Herbert - NYY
  • Cody Dickson - PIT vs Jon Prosinski - PHI
  • Nick Pivetta - WAS vs Ryan Newell - MIA
  • Cody Reed - KC vs Steven Brault - BAL
  • Antonio Senzatela - COL vs Keury Mella - SF
  • TBD - NYM vs Teddy Stankiewicz - BOS
  • Angelo Leclerc - TEX vs Matt Marksberry - ATL

SSA - NWL

  • Richelson Pena - TEX vs Miguel Castro - TOR
  • Erick Leal - CHC vs TBD - SD
  • Nicholas Gonzalez - SF vs Anderson Placido - AZ
  • Nick Gardewine - TEX vs Jairo Labourt - TOR
  • Ramire Cleto - SEA vs Blake Shouse - COL

SSA - NYP

  • Sam Agnew-Wieland - NYY vs TBD - TB
  • Daniel Ponce de Leon - STL vs Tyler Eppler - PIT
  • TBD - HOU vs Jake Drehoff - BOS
  • TBD - CLE vs Gabriel Castellanos - MIA
  • TBD - NYM vs TBD - BAL
  • Tanner Bailey - DET vs Jerad Grundy - OAK
  • David Whitehead - PHI vs Travis Ott - WAS

R+ - PIO

  • TBD - CIN vs Josh Uhen - MIL
  • TBD - CWS vs Tyler Bolton - AZ
  • Torey Deshazier - KC vs TBD - COL
  • JD Underwood - LAD vs Jeremy Rhoades - LAA

R+ - APP

  • Steven Farinaro - STL vs TBD - TOR
  • TBD - ATL vs Gaby Almonte - NYM
  • Sam Gibbons - MIN vs Devonte German - HOU
  • Adrian Grullon - PIT vs Freddy Alvarez - TB
  • Carter Hope - KC vs TBD - SEA


R - GCL

  • PHI vs TOR
  • STL vs MIA
  • NYY 1 vs PIT
  • WAS vs NYM
  • ATL vs HOU
  • TB vs BAL
  • MIN vs BOS
  • DET vs NYY 2


R - AZL

  • SEA vs CWS
  • LAA vs OAK
  • CLE vs LAD
  • SD vs TEX
  • SF vs AZ
  • MIL vs CIN




Duels of the Day

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via wiki.teamfortress.com

June 19

Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
- Kyle Hald LHP STL AA 4 6 6 6 1 2 5 4 3.12 1.24 3 - Kaleb Cowart, Jimmy Swift, Jett Bandy HBP, 46 S, 29 B, L (6-2)
- Michael Roth LHP LAA AA 7 4 1 1 2 3 10 4 2.46 1.21 0 PO, 64 S, 38 B, W (6-4)
Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
3 (54) Tyler Glasnow RHP PIT A+ 6 2 0 0 2 7 4 4 1.66 1.15 0 W (4-3)
- Austin Brice RHP MIA A+ 7 7 1 1 3 2 8 6 3.28 1.22 0 2 WP, L (4-6)

June 20

Injuries

  • Angels RHP Kyle McGowin (7 day DL; right elbow soreness) - 5/27
  • Royals RHP Kyle Zimmer (7 day DL; right latissimus dorsi strain) - 5/26
  • Cubs RHP Pierce Johnson (7 day DL; calf injury) - 5/23
  • Dodgers 2B Alex Guerrero (7 day DL; Mike Tyson'd) - 5/20
  • Giants RHP Clayton Blackburn (7 day DL; side injury) - 5/16
  • Rockies C Tom Murphy (7 day DL; shoulder stiffness) - 5/16
  • Cubs RF Jorge Soler (7 day DL; hamstring tightness) - 5/15
  • Astros RHP Vince Velasquez (7 day DL; groin injury) - 5/11
  • Twins CF Byron Buxton (7 day DL; left wrist sprain) - 5/9
  • Tigers RHP Jeff Thompson (7 day DL; right shoulder tendinitis) - 5/2
  • Diamondbacks RHP Archie Bradley (7 day DL; minor right elbow flexor strain) - 4/29
  • Astros RHP Aaron West (7 day DL; undisclosed injury) - 4/28
  • Cubs RHP CJ Edwards (7 day DL; right shoulder tightness) - 4/24
  • Mariners LHP James Paxton (60 day DL; left shoulder inflammation) - 4/8
  • Pirates CF Austin Meadows (7 day DL; right hamstring strain) - 4/3
  • Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (60 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Rays RHP Taylor Guerrieri (7 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Padres LHP Max Fried (7 day DL; left forearm soreness) - 4/3
  • Rockies RHP Daniel Winkler (season; right elbow - TJS) - 6/11
  • Dodgers RHP Chris Withrow (season; right elbow - TJS) - 5/30
  • Nationals LHP Matt Purke (season; left elbow - TJS) - 5/28
  • Rays 2B Tim Beckham (season; torn right ACL) - 3/30
  • Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/23
  • Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/21
  • Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/14
  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/12



Weekly Stat Updates -






Previous Gameday Threads -


OMNICHATTER 6-20-2014

Chatter up, up the chatter?

Orioles starters can’t fool hitters

Orioles starters have trouble getting batters to swing at pitches out of the zone, particularly Ubaldo Jimenez: “Hitters swing at only 24.5% of Jimenez’s pitches out of the zone, fewer than one out of four. This is great, because he throws out of the zone so rarel—err, no, wait, he throws out of the zone 53.6% of the time. Dang.”

Prospect Note: Yohan Pino, RHP, Minnesota Twins

Right-hander Yohan Pino made his major league debut yesterday for the Minnesota Twins against the Chicago White Sox. It went very well: seven innings, five hits, one walk, two runs, seven strikeouts.

Yohan Pino? Who the heck is this guy?

Yohan Pino is a 30-year-old right-hander from Venezuela. He was having a terrific year in Triple-A: 1.92 ERA, 61/16 K/BB in 61 innings, 41 hits. He's been pitching Double-A and Triple-A baseball since 2007 and has usually been fairly effective, throwing strikes and posting solid K/BB ratios without anyone noticing, although his performance this year has been the best of his career and I think he merited the promotion.

I wrote about Pino way back in the 2007 edition of the Baseball Prospect Book. This is what I wrote, after he went 14-2, 1.91 with a 99/20 K/BB in 94 innings in the Low-A Midwest League for Beloit without generating much attention as a prospect:


Seeking to corner the market on Venezuelan pitchers with names that sound like "Johan," the Twins picked up Yohan Pino as a free agent in 2003. He had a brilliant year in the Midwest League in ’06, dominating the competition in a swingman role and picking up 14 wins despite starting just seven games. That’s a bit flukey, of course, but he pitched genuinely well, as his components show (K/BB +116 percent, K/IP +27 percent, H/IP +23 percent). Pino’s fastball is just average at 88-90 MPH, but he has a good breaking ball, a good changeup and he knows how to pitch. We need to see if he can do this at higher levels. I will give him a Grade C for now, but he is a sleeper you should keep track of.

Did anyone keep track of Pino as a sleeper for the last seven years? Probably not. But hey, sometimes it just takes a guy awhile to wake up.

Pino topped out at 91 MPH against the White Sox last night, his fastball averaging 88. He mixed in his slider and changeup and some slow curves, basically the exact same arsenal he showed seven years ago. This is number five starter stuff, but it's enough to succeed if his command is on. He's also notable for having taught Twins prospect Alex Meyer a new changeup grip.

Here's some good video of Pino at this MLB.com link.

Where does Pino go from here? He clearly deserves more chances and I don't see why he can't have a run of success as a back-end starter and bullpen option. The league will get a book on him soon enough so maybe it will be a brief run, but he's versatile, has plenty of experience, and throws strikes. Maybe he can make it work for awhile.

Whatever happens, it is good to see a minor league veteran who knows his craft get an opportunity.

Did Chewing Tobacco Kill Tony Gwynn?

Keith Olbermann is a blowhard. By his logic we should stop pitchers from throwing because Dave Dravecky had a cancerous desmoid tumor in his left arm. THE SAME ARM HE PITCHED WITH! Gwynn cancer-related death is a tragedy. Linking that tragedy to smokeless tobacco (a repugnant product) with no evidence is just exploitation.

Yasmani Tomas defects from Cuba

Cuban authorities say hard-hitting outfielder Yasmani Tomas has defected, multiple media outlets reported Friday. ... Tomas went 6-for-16 during the WBC with two homers, one double and four strikeouts. According to official statistics, Tomas hit .275 for Industriales last season with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in the 90-game regular season and seven playoff games. He dipped to six home runs while hitting .290 in 257 plate appearances for Industriales this season, but a source told Baseball America that may have been because of an arm injury suffered while crashing into an outfield wall. 10 HR in 90 games is a pace of 18 in 162 games. That doesn’t sound all that hard hitting to me.

Sean Doolittle and the 48/1 K/BB ratio

Over at Athletics Nation, Lev Facher makes the case that Oakland Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle is a logical choice for the American League All-Star Team. Facher points out that Doolittle hasn't given up a run since April 26th. Other key points.



Doolittle also isn't a player whose value is difficult to see — there are instances when players put up off-the-charts numbers in way difficult to discern via the naked eye. This isn't one of them. Doolittle is amazing theater every time he takes the mound. He's huge, bearded, and throws a high-90s fastball the vast majority of the time. His game plan is dependable and barely wavers: fastball low, fastball higher, fastball high, strikeout. He's perfect material for a national broadcast on Fox.


Reasonable points I think; certainly Doolittle's numbers are excellent this year: 2.12 ERA, amazing 1.12 FIP, and a 48/1 K/BB ratio through 34 innings.

A reader recently asked me about how Doolittle was viewed when he was an amateur. He was one of the most successful players in the history of the University of Virginia, a star as both a hitter and pitcher. His best year on the mound was his sophomore season in 2006, when he went 11-2, 2.38 with a 108/21 K/BB in 91 innings. Keep in mind that was before the change in metal bats reduced offensive production across the board in college ball. He was named ACC Player of the Year, having also hit .324/.454/.458.

He continued to put up good numbers as a pitcher in his draft season of 2007, posting a 2.40 ERA with a 69/21 K/BB in 82 innings. Scouts felt his stuff was down, however, reducing his appeal as a pitcher. He had a decent fastball and a changeup, but his breaking ball went backwards. Sabermetrically this was reflected in a lower strikeout ratio, and by this point scouts preferred him as a position player.

He hit .301/.420/.465 with a 46/21 K/BB in 226 at-bats, drawing praise as a pure hitter with exceptional plate discipline and a fine glove at first base. He was drafted in the supplemental first round, 41st overall. As a pitcher, he would have been drafted much later, probably in the teen rounds, a generic college lefty who could throw strikes but didn't have the hot stuff to project pro dominance. As a hitter, he projected as an OBP machine with moderate power and a strong glove.

As you likely know, Doolittle had a solid season as a hitter in 2008 before being struck down by knee and wrist injuries that robbed him of most of 2009 and all of 2010. His career in jeopardy, he moved back to pitching in 2011 and rebuilt his career so quickly that he spent most of '12 in the big leagues and has been in the bullpen ever since. In 150 major league innings, he has a 168/25 K/BB and just 113 hits allowed.

So how strange is this? Many hitter-to-pitcher conversions never really work out, but Doolittle had advantages over the typical "this guy can't hit, make him a pitcher" case. He had a background as a highly-successful pitcher against top competition in college. Most conversion guys need time to figure out how to command their stuff, but Doolittle already knew how to do that: indeed, command was his best attribute for the Cavaliers. He was always statistically successful on the mound, even when scouts got down on his stuff and decided he was a better bet as a hitter.

Doolittle is up to 97 MPH these days, averaging 94, and has developed a better breaking ball. If he'd shown the kind of stuff in college that he shows now, he would have been a first-day draft pick as a pitcher. He commands everything with precision, and given his three-year layoff from pitching, his arm has less mileage than the typical college product.  As long as he avoids further health issues, he should have a long and successful career.

Fishing: passion and sport

Currently the most widespread type of fishing is for sure the sport fishing, which can be practiced both in freshwater, both at sea and is not intended to capture the greatest amount of fish but to develop the type of fishing more respectful for environment and fish stocks. Not by chance are increasingly popular types of fish called No-Kill and Catch and Release, both types of fisheries which provide a painless catch of the fish without killing him and then put it back in its habitat. These types of fishing are increasingly popular because these methods are aimed at the fisheries of subsistence, the fish is not eaten but only to be hunted for sport, passion and hobby. This means that the philosophy of the angler and fishing accessories are fully respectful of the environment and fish species, with man and fish on the same plan of action.

Sport fishing is divided mainly into three main categories that are distinguished by the place where they are fishing and according to the medium that is used to make the fishery and are the surface fishing, deep sea fishing and boat fishing. These three categories are distinguished by the techniques.

The surface fishing area includes many disciplines that in many cases differ according to which the aim of the fish (carp fishing for carp, mullet and trout to the touch, lake trout ..) or by equipment that is used (fishing fly, sea fishing by line read, coarse fishing and trolling many others). Equipment As mentioned above differ depending on the type of fishing tackle and you go to in order to avoid fines or irregularities, especially when practiced as a hobby or passion, it is best to rely on an expert or a fishing shop online .

The spear fishing has its own techniques such as hole fishing, fishing ambush, spear fishing, fishing in the fall and fishing in the wall. All techniques, however, require more preparation than those in the surface fishing and who need special equipment scuba diving. The main techniques of fishing boat are fishing instead, deep bottom fishing, trolling and vertical jiging.

Despite the lack of visibility on the national networks in Italy sport fishing is practiced both at hobby and passion is at a competitive level. Many in fact were the victories at international level in the various leagues so that the Italian team is considered one of the strongest along with England and France, especially in the category of coarse fishing and other types of sea fishing.

This article was written by Martina Celegato, with support from pesca sportiva in mare.
For any information please visit pesca subacquea, or visit accessori nautica

Prima Posizione srl

Used with permission

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As a Clinton staffer, Rahm Emanuel wanted to go after Daryl Strawberry for drugs

Typical spiteful Cubs fan. The baseball part is his advice about how the Clinton White House should nose itself into baseball and drugs. Not steroids — no one cared about that yet — but about players abusing recreational drugs. Specifically, Daryl Strawberry: In one 1995 memo, Emanuel even suggested that the president jump into the fray over New York Yankees star Darryl Strawberry testing positive for drugs. He called for Clinton’s drug czar, Lee Brown, to meet with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and demand that Strawberry perform community service. Brown publicly stated that the Yankees “have struck out by signing Darryl Strawberry.” But Steinbrenner said Strawberry was “worth saving” and he played for the Yankees for four years. Pro tip: if George Steinbrenner comes off as the most reasonable guy in your interaction, you got some serious problems.

SocraticGadfly: It’s once again time to swat down the David Ortiz Hall of Fame claims

Big Arias: Rake progress. Craig Calcaterra at NBC is the latest to get on my wrong side regarding David Ortiz and the HOF, with this, over Ortiz’s ######## about an official scorer’s ruling:   Let’s ... focus of the pettiness of a guy with a Hall of Fame resume throwing a little temper tantrum over a scoring call that will matter not one iota in the course of this season let alone his career. Is Ortiz already a member of the “Hall of Very Good”? Yes. Hall of Fame? No. As I said in comments there:   Right now, in my opinion, he’s borderline … or even borderline of borderline. Barely at 2K hits, yet to hit 1,500 RBIs, despite playing AL and almost all at DH. Never has broken 7 WAR in a season per B-Ref, and only once, 4 WAA. So, nice, but not huge. ...He’s likely be at about 2,600 hits, 1,800 RBIs, 510 HRs on counting stats. On sabermetrics, we’ll give him 135 on career OPS+,  20 on career WAA and 51 on career WAR. That’s allowing for his games played to decline a bit each year. The WAA is still low in my book, but 1B/DH is a tough competition slot. On JAWS, he’d jump four places, to No. 29. So, four years from now, at his position, he’s not a slam dunk. And, per yet another commenter on Craig’s link, he may be pissed, and scrapping for base hits by scorer’s change of mind, because he’s not even close to what I noted:   He’s hitting .190/.301/.413 in the month of June and .163/.290/.327 over the last thirty days. Ugly numbers. Not too good. Counting stats aren’t everything, but, if he finishes below 2,500 hits and below 500 HRs, I don’t see him getting in.

‘Dynamic Pricing’ May Be To Blame For Empty Seats At Kauffman Stadium

Are you sure its not Mike Moustakas’ strikeouts? “If you’re a diehard to your team, you’ll show up,” said Moffitt a Royals home game. But plenty of diehard fans during the most recent homestand did not. The St. Louis Cardinals last week drew less than 30,000 in each of their games at Kauffman Stadium. That hasn’t happened since 2007. For Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, the 25,000-plus attendees exceeded two of the three games against the Yankees. Royals Director of Ticket Sales Steve Shiffman closely tracks those numbers. “Attendance is a big factor,” says Shiffman. “In Major League Baseball, they judge you by attendance and they also judge you by revenues.” And more revenues are created by variable ticket pricing or, as the Royals call it, “dynamic pricing,” which is underway for the second year. Seldom in the present day are two games priced alike…. Twenty-seven of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball have transitioned to variable ticket pricing for single game tickets. The Kansas City Chiefs announced last month they’re heading in that direction, too.

CWS: Hospital Visit Makes Impact on TCU Players

Long after the tour was over and the video cameras were off, the players talked among themselves about the patients, mentioning them by name.

"Baseball saved my life."

Those are the words that Brody, a 17-year-old patient at Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., spoke to the TCU Horned Frog baseball team on Wednesday morning. That sort of put their 15-inning, 3-2 loss to Virginia Tuesday night in the College World Series into perspective.

Brody is a high school pitcher from Waverly, Neb. He came off the mound after tossing a complete game and something didn't feel right. He went to the trainer and she found a lump on his neck.

A group of Horned Frogs that included Kyle Bacak, Dylan Fitzgerald, Alex Young, Trey Teakell and Jeremie Fagnan listened intently as Brody told them his story. They asked him questions, signed a ball and a poster and posed for a picture with him.

The team broke into many such groups and began making their rounds.

For Bacak, the team's catcher, this will be his final opportunity to make such a visit with TCU. He's a senior and was drafted in the 25th round by the Washington Nationals, so he'll be bound for rookie ball soon. But on Wednesday morning he wasn't thinking about that or the tough loss from the night before.

"Really, even though we lost, we haven't lost anything," he told me. "When you come here and see these kids battling for their lives - they're the ones who are battling. We're just having fun playing baseball. It is great though to be able to come here and spend time with these kids and just try to put smiles on their faces."

That's exactly what they did.

They visited Markeva, a 14-year-old patient who was bashful at first. But when they handed her an autographed baseball, she smiled. A friend or relative noted that smile to the players.

As they poked their heads in to see Madeline, a two-year-old who was sitting in bed next to her mother, they noted two signs on her door announcing that she was in her last chemo. The players had a hard time getting her attention because she was in the middle of a SpongeBob episode, prompting one of the players to say, "I remember this episode!"

2014-06-18_10.27.00_medium

While visiting a 15-year-old girl, her mother told the team they kept her husband up way too late on Tuesday night. But then, in all seriousness, she pulled them aside to give them some news about her daughter.

"She looked really rough this morning until she heard you guys were coming in," she said. "Then she perked right up."

In that moment, the givers became the givees.

As the tour continued, nurses chatted with the team, offering condolences over the loss but then asking how their stay in Omaha was going.

A few minutes later, the group was talking to a seven-year-old boy who admitted that his favorite sport was soccer, not baseball, and that led to a World Cup conversation with the Horned Frogs.

Long after the tour was over and the video cameras were off, the players talked among themselves about the patients, mentioning them by name.

Several such patients came to Bacak's mind when I talked to him afterward, including Brody and Madeline. He also mentioned a boy whose parents just found out a week ago that he has cancer. The boy had just come out of surgery and his father was holding him.

"They asked us to pray for them," Bacak said. "That was really moving."

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-20-2014

Milwaukee Journal, June 20, 1914:Howard McLarry, second baseman of the Louisville American association baseball team, and Miss Villa Glassman, Lincoln, Neb., were married [in Kansas City] yesterday. The bride sat in the grand stand at yesterday afternoon’s game between Kansas City and Louisville. Louisville’s victory was due largely to McLarry’s hitting. He made two home runs and one single, and was responsible for four of Louisville’s runs. Not sure how many bonus points you get on your batting game score for getting married, but that’s a remarkable day.

MLB, the MLBPA announce the creation of the Puerto Rico Summer League

Players from Puerto Rico are subject to the Major League draft, which, kills the incentive for teams and scouts to go there and develop teenage talent like they do in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. Since the imposition of the draft in Puerto Rico in 1990, the once rich vein of talent heading from there to the big leagues has all but dried up. But not to worry, this summer league is sure to turn around 25 years of decline.  Problem meet solution.  

Gavin Floyd suffers fracture in elbow

Floyd broke the olecranon—the bony tip of the ulna that sticks out behind the elbow—as he made the first pitch of the seventh inning, a curveball that Jayson Werth pulled foul, deep along the left-field line. “In the big picture, I think he’s going to be OK,” Gonzalez said. A similar injury ended the career of Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya in 2010. “I mean like a really big picture.  It probably won’t kill him is what I’m saying.”

June 19, 2014

Minor League Ball Gameday: Thursday, June 19

Welcome to the Gameday!

Hello everybody, welcome back to the Minor League Ball Gameday. As long as my schedule allows it, I will try to throw this up early in the day and fill out the sections as the day progresses. Be sure to check back frequently to see the new additions throughout the day.

As always, you can check out the rest of the stats from yesterday below in the link and enjoy!

The Top 150 Prospects and Sleepers

On the bottom of the spreadsheet there are tabs for the Top 150 Hitters (Top 150 H), Pitchers (Top 150 P), Sleeper Alerts! and the Helium Tank. Check it out by clicking the link/header above and a new window will pop up.

Probable Starters

AAA - IL

  • Clay Buchholz - BOS vs Logan Darnell - MIN
  • Austin Bibens-Dirkx - TOR vs TJ House - CLE GAME 2
  • Alfredo Aceves - NYY vs Duane Below - DET
  • Shawn - CWS vs Chris Bootcheck - PHI
  • Taylor Hill - WAS vs Edgmer Escalona - BAL
  • Esmil Rogers - TOR vs Travis Banwart - CLE GAME 1


AAA - PCL

  • Zach Lee - LAD vs Sugar Ray Marimon - KC
  • Brian Burress - COL vs Sky Walker - SEA
  • Edwin Escobar - SF vs Brad Hand - MIA
  • Brett Oberholtzer - HOU vs Bo Schultz - AZ
  • Dan Straily - OAK vs Phil Irwin - PIT
  • John Gast - STL vs Anthony Lerew - LAA
  • Johnnie Lowe - MIL vs Darin Gorski - NYM
  • Jason Lane - SD vs Tsuyoshi Wada - CHC


AA - EL

  • Kyle Crick - SF vs Tyler Pill - NYM
  • Will Roberts - CLE vs Severino Gonzalez - PHI
  • Pat Ludwig - PIT vs Richard Bleier - TOR
  • Virgil Vasquez - MIN vs TBD - WAS


AA - SL

  • Tyler Olson - SEA vs Jason Hursh - ATL
  • TBD - AZ vs Grayson Garvin - TB
  • Nick McCully - CWS vs Chipper Smith - MIA
  • Nick Struck - LAD vs Dae-Eun Rhee - CHC
  • TBD - MIL vs TBD - CIN


AA - TL

  • Richard Castillo - COL vs Jason Adam - KC
  • Jerad Eickhoff - TEX vs Kyle Smith - HOU
  • Kyle Hald - STL vs Michael Roth - LAA
  • Shawn Haviland - OAK vs Bryce Morrow - SD


A+ - CAL

  • Joe Biagini - SF vs Brandon Sinnery - AZ
  • Scott DeCecco - SEA vs TBD - COL
  • Dan Tobik - LAA vs Jharel Cotton - LAD
  • Kent Emanuel - HOU vs Bryan Rodriguez - SD
  • TBD - CIN vs Tim Atherton - OAK


A+ - CAR

  • Joe Van Meter - BAL vs TBD - CLE
  • TBD - BOS vs Tony Bucciferro - CWS
  • TBD - KC vs Chad Bell - TEX
  • TBD - WAS - TBD - ATL


A+ - FSL

  • Tyler Glasnow - PIT vs Austin Brice - MIA *****DotD*****
  • Miguel Nunez - PHI vs Matt Boyd - TOR
  • Felix Pena - CHC vs Damien Magnifico - MIL
  • Kevin Eichhorn - DET vs Dan Camarena - NYY
  • Joe Cuda - STL vs Austin Pruitt - TB
  • TBD - MIN vs Gabriel Ynoa - NYM


A - MWL

  • Amir Garrett - CIN vs Jonathan Martinez - LAD
  • Anthony Banda - MIL vs Ryan Etsell - LAA
  • TBD - SD vs Chad Green - DET
  • Chase Brookshire - STL vs TBD - HOU
  • TBD - SEA vs Lou Trivino - OAK
  • Aaron Slegers - MIN vs Daury Torrez - CHC
  • Sean Furney - AZ vs Dace Kime - CLE
  • TBD - TB vs Matt Dermody - TOR


A - SAL


  • Tyler Barnette - CWS vs Rookie Davis - NYY
  • TBD - NYM vs Jamie Callahan - BOS
  • TBD - PIT vs Mark Leiter - PHI
  • Jake Junis - KC vs Mitch Horacek - BAL
  • TBD - TEX vs Tyler Brosius - ATL
  • Hector Silvestre - WAS vs Sean Townsley - MIA
  • Zach Jemiola - COL vs TBD - SF

SSA - NWL

  • TBD - CHC vs TBD - SD
  • Nick Gardewine - TEX vs TBD - TOR
  • Jose Reyes - SF vs Ryan Doran - AZ
  • TBD - SEA vs TBD - COL

SSA - NYP

  • Marek Minarik - PIT vs Ricardo Pinto - PHI
  • Reynaldo Lopez - WAS vs Juan Santana - CLE GAME 2
  • Luis Torres - WAS vs Sean Brady - CLE GAME 1
  • Heri Quevedo - BOS vs Fernando Perez - DET
  • Joe Musgrove - HOU vs Victor Veliz - OAK
  • Janser Severino - BAL vs David Palladino - NYY
  • Jose Adames - MIA vs Dewin Perez - STL
  • TBD - NYM vs TBD - TB

R+ - PIO

  • Anthony Bryant - COL vs Victor Gonzalez - LAD
  • Dane Stone - CWS vs Markus Solbach - AZ
  • Arjenis Fernandez - LAA vs Mike Jeffrys - KC
  • Craig Schlitter - COL vs Bernardo Reyes - LAD
  • Luke Moran - CIN vs Luis Ortega - MIL

R+ - APP

  • Carlos Herrera - KC vs TBD - SEA
  • Omar Basulto - PIT vs Jose Alonzo - TB
  • TBD - MIN vs Austin Nicely - HOU
  • TBD - ATL vs Christian Montgomery - NYM
  • TBD - STL vs Jesus Tinoco - TOR




Duels of the Day

250px-backpack_dueling_mini-game_medium

via wiki.teamfortress.com

June 18

Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
- Alex Wood LHP ATL AAA 5 5 1 1 2 3 7 3 1.04 1.27 0 48 S, 25 B, ND (0-0)
5 (100) Nick Kingham RHP PIT AAA 7 4 1 1 0 2 11 6 0.64 0.71 0 HBP, 59 S, 36 B, W (1-0)
Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
3 (-) Eduardo Rodriguez LHP BAL AA 6 5 2 2 0 4 9 4 5.55 1.38 0 61 S, 26 B, W (2-4)
- Manny Banuelos LHP NYY AA 3 2 1 1 0 1 4 2 3.57 1.10 1 - Garabez Rosa 35 S, 17 B, ND (0-1)
Rank (Ovr) Name Pos Team Level IP H R ER BB K GO FO ERA WHIP HR Allowed Notes
6 (116) Marco Gonzales LHP STL AA 5.1 6 2 2 2 4 4 6 2.33 1.11 0 50 S, 34 B, W (3-2)
- Tyler Anderson LHP COL AA 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 0 3.07 1.24 0 39 S, 39 B, L (3-3)

June 19

LHP Kyle Hald (STL - AA) vs LHP Michael Roth (LAA - AA)

RHP Tyler Glasnow (PIT - A+) vs RHP Austin Brice (MIA - A+)

Injuries

  • Angels RHP Kyle McGowin (7 day DL; right elbow soreness) - 5/27
  • Royals RHP Kyle Zimmer (7 day DL; right latissimus dorsi strain) - 5/26
  • Cubs RHP Pierce Johnson (7 day DL; calf injury) - 5/23
  • Dodgers 2B Alex Guerrero (7 day DL; Mike Tyson'd) - 5/20
  • Giants RHP Clayton Blackburn (7 day DL; side injury) - 5/16
  • Rockies C Tom Murphy (7 day DL; shoulder stiffness) - 5/16
  • Cubs RF Jorge Soler (7 day DL; hamstring tightness) - 5/15
  • Astros RHP Vince Velasquez (7 day DL; groin injury) - 5/11
  • Twins CF Byron Buxton (7 day DL; left wrist sprain) - 5/9
  • Tigers RHP Jeff Thompson (7 day DL; right shoulder tendinitis) - 5/2
  • Diamondbacks RHP Archie Bradley (7 day DL; minor right elbow flexor strain) - 4/29
  • Astros RHP Aaron West (7 day DL; undisclosed injury) - 4/28
  • Cubs RHP CJ Edwards (7 day DL; right shoulder tightness) - 4/24
  • Mariners LHP James Paxton (60 day DL; left shoulder inflammation) - 4/8
  • Pirates CF Austin Meadows (7 day DL; right hamstring strain) - 4/3
  • Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (60 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Rays RHP Taylor Guerrieri (7 day DL; TJS recovery) - 4/3
  • Padres LHP Max Fried (7 day DL; left forearm soreness) - 4/3
  • Rockies RHP Daniel Winkler (season; right elbow - TJS) - 6/11
  • Dodgers RHP Chris Withrow (season; right elbow - TJS) - 5/30
  • Nationals LHP Matt Purke (season; left elbow - TJS) - 5/28
  • Rays 2B Tim Beckham (season; torn right ACL) - 3/30
  • Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/23
  • Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/21
  • Dodgers RHP Ross Stripling (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/14
  • Twins 3B Miguel Sano (season; right elbow - TJS) - 3/12



Weekly Stat Updates -






Previous Gameday Threads -


The Economist: A perfect conundrum

An argument that people who want to #KillTheWin should also recognize that Clayton Kershaw’s masterpiece should not be considered a perfect game, because baseball is at its heart a team sport. The problem with assigning wins and losses to pitchers is it gives them undeserved credit or blame for their teammates’ performances. Defining perfect games as an individual achievement falls victim to the exact same fallacy…If we want to #KillTheWin, let’s kill the perfect game and RBI too, as well as the save and assist and every other number over which one player does not have complete control.

Posnanski:&nbsp; A Barry Bond thought

‘Elo kiddies, ‘elo kiddies Whatcha gonna do when your head’s exploding? You lead a life of crime You know they’re out to get you Baseball Reference has this cool thing called the Fan EloRater, where they have fans rank players against each other and then use the millions of rankings to form a list of the greatest players in baseball history. It’s a great concept and great way to show what fans think about the game.  Trouble is … it really is what fans think about the game — unfiltered and unaltered. Barry Bonds, at this moment, is ranked as the 84th best player ever. EIGHTY-FOURTH! Here are some of the players rated higher: 83. Roger Connor(???) 82. Derek Jeter 81. Kenny Lofton 80. Tim Raines 79. Joe Cronin 78. Ivan Rodriguez 77. Ryne Sandberg 76. Andre Dawson But, of course, we know the reason why Bonds is ranked so low — people think he cheated. People don’t like him. People think he was a discredit to the game. And that’s fine; Barry Bonds basically asked to be despised with his attitude and the way he treated many people. I say: Loathe away. The trouble begins for me when people move on from loathing and try to change obvious history in order to fit into a neat narrative that fits how they want to see the game. I guess this gets to the heart of why I really dislike the idea of keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and a handful of others out of the Hall of Fame. By doing so, we replace history with moral judgment. We replace what happened with what we think should have happened.

Sports on Earth: THE BEST PITCHERS AGAINST EACH TEAM

Notes: The second-best pitcher ever against the Rangers was Moe Drabowsky. Drabowsky is probably better known for the pranks he pulled than the pitches he threw. I wrote about Drabowsky in this space a few months back. Here’s part of what I wrote then: Perhaps the most famous example came when he was playing against the Kansas City A’s in Kansas City. Having played for the A’s, Drabowsky knew the intricacies of the stadium’s bullpen phone system. He also knew the number for the home team’s bullpen. So one day, while A’s starter Jim Nash was pitching a dominant shutout, Drabowsky, seated in the opposing bullpen, summoned his gruffest manager voice, grabbed the bullpen phone and called the A’s pen. “Get Krausse up!” he bellowed, and slammed the phone down. “You should’ve seen them scramble, trying to get Lew Krausse warmed up in a hurry,” Drabowsky said later.

ESPN’s Keith Law Comes Down Hard On Ausmus, Calls Remark ‘Nauseating’ « CBS Detroit

Does somebody’s children need to be taken away?I can't imagine what kind of psychopath you have to be to even *think* about joking about beating your wife.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 19, 2014 Keith’s a good guy and means well but this reaction is over the top.

MLB’s New Home-Plate Rule Had Its Lowest Moment

The bases were loaded—this was a force play. Bucs catcher Russell Martin received the throw, tapped home plate with his his foot, then got out of the way of the sliding Devin Mesoraco. Mesoraco was ruled out; Bryan Pryce argued, and after a lengthy chat with the replay office in New York, umpires overturned the call.

Nike sports stars

The other night, as the “South Beach” and “Veterans Day” colorways of the Nike LeBron 8 were releasing, sneaker aficionado DJ Clark Kent showed off his private stock of LeBron 8′s, which included this yet-to-be-seen Dunkman edition. Judging from the history of Lebron’s signature sneakers and the themes they’ve used over and over again, we sort of had a feeling the Dunkman series would continue with the LeBron 8. Flipping the script on last year’s LeBron VII “Dunkman”, which you may recall consisted of a black base, the Nike LeBron 8 “Dunkman” features a predominantly grey build with white on the Swoosh, tongue and lace panel, and Neon Green on the lining, outsole and within the Air unit. No Cheap Nike Shoes release date has been announced at this time but speculation has the sneakers set to release sometime around February or March. Following the NY Knicks version of the Superstar II we showed you earlier this week, we now provide you with a look at an another Superstar II that’s been released in the NBA Pack by adidas Originals. This time the classic shell toes take a color scheme showing some love for Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers. Starting with a white leather base, the sneakers are highlighted with accents of purple and yellow on the stripes, with a pinch of black on the heel tab. Just like the aforementioned Knicks version, these too have a vintage feel to them with a stained midsole and toe. For the most part, the nike air max 24-7 hasn’t changed much since it was first introduced in 1985. Aside from the insertion of a padded tongue and a Zoom Air-sole unit in the heel that Nike SB gave it in 2002 when the skateboarding division was first formed, most of the changes have been minor. With the 10th Anniversary of Nike SB approaching, the brand set out to give the shoe a makeover and improve on its already impeccable lineage. In 2011, a new Dunk Pro SB will be introduced with new technical features, such as a new tread pattern for improved traction, relocated seams for a better fit, a phylon midsole for impact protection and a corded outsole which is lighter and just as durable as your standard outsole. Last week, images of what appeared to be a weatherproof Nike SB Dunk High surfaced online and quickly catch the attention of sneakerheads. Since then, we’ve learned that shoes are indeed waterproof and that they’ll be on their way to retailers very soon. Taking a murdered out approach,this premium edition of the air max shoes features a fully taped and waterproof GORE-TEX construction that’s sure to keep your feet warm and dry when your battling the elements of the winter. The Swoosh is the only part of the upper which doesn’t sport GORE-TEX. Instead, the iconic logo is fabricated from black suede, providing some tonal contrast to the black-on-black Dunks. The shoes are scheduled to release next month in December and from what we’re being told, they’ll be a quickstrike release and will only be available at finer Nike SB retailers, such as Brooklyn Projects, who provided HighSnobiety with these new photos. Follow the jump to check out the new shots and watch for the shoes to start hitting select retailers within the coming weeks.

nike air max air max 90 air max 24-7

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Prospect Retrospective: Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter last night against the Colorado Rockies. It was almost a perfect game: he fanned 15 and walked nobody, the only runner reaching base due to a tough fielding error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

Here's a look at how Kershaw rated as a prospect and how his career stands in context.

Clayton Kershaw was widely-regarded as the top high school pitching prospect available in the 2006 draft. The prep lefty from Highland Park High School in Dallas had a Texas A&M commitment but was considered signable if drafted where his talent warranted. He went seventh-overall to the Los Angeles Dodgers and signed without trouble for $2,300,000. His pro debut was extremely successful: a 1.95 ERA with a 54/5 K/BB in 37 innings in the Gulf Coast League with just 28 hits allowed. He showed a 93-96 MPH fastball and an impressive curve.

As with most young pitchers his changeup needed work, but his overall command was better than anticipated. I gave him a Grade A- entering 2007, writing that his stuff was first-class and that "there are no holes in his numbers. About the only thing you can say about Kershaw that isn't positive is the fact that he has yet to prove he can stay healthy under a pro workload. But he has a strong body, good mechanics, and is efficient, so at least he's loading the dice in his favor." I concluded that he would be a Grade A prospect once we got a read on his durability.

Kershaw opened '07 with Great Lakes in the Midwest League, posting a 2.77 ERA with a 134/50 K/BB in 97 innings with 72 hits allowed. Promoted to Double-A Jacksonville in August, he had command problems but was effective overall, with a 3.65 ERA and a 29/17 K/BB in 25 innings with 17 hits allowed. His strikeout rate was excellent and minor league hitters weren't able to take full advantage of his wobbly command and still-inconsistent changeup.

I moved him up to a Grade A prospect rating entering 2008, with the caveat that his walk rate was high and that "he has to improve command of all three of his pitches before he's ready to thrive in the majors. Even now, given the quality of his stuff, he'd do OK if pushed into major league action. Improved command will make the difference between making him a decent pitcher and one of the best in the game."

Kershaw blew away Double-A to open 2008 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts for Jacksonville. Promoted to the majors, he showed great stuff but, as expected, struggled enough with his command to prevent immediate dominance. Still, he "did OK" with a 4.26 ERA in 21 starts and a 100/52 K/BB in 108 innings, with a 1.3 fWAR, very credible for a young power pitcher skipping Triple-A.

He improved steadily in 2009 and '10, then took a huge step forward in 2011 by going 21-5, 2.28 in 233 innings with a 248/54 K/BB, fWAR 6.6, and his first Cy Young Award. You know the story from here. He'd led the National League in ERA three times, in strikeouts twice, and now has two Cy Youngs on his resume. And now he has one of the best no-hitters in big league history to his credit.

Improved command made all the difference.

Through 194 major league outings (192 starts), Kershaw is 84-48, 2.60, with an ERA+ of 146. He's rung up 30.8 WAR already. Historically speaking, his Sim Score comp list entering the season thru age 25 was Gary Nolan, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, Vida Blue, Jim Maloney, Pedro Martinez, Dave McNally, Roger Clemens, Lefty Liefield, and Lefty Williams.

That's a very intriguing group of comps. Seaver and Palmer are Hall of Famers, Pedro will be. Clemens would be except for the PED issue. Lefty Williams was effective until he got banned for cheating in 1920. Liefield is little-remembered today, but he was a successful young pitcher from 1905 through 1911. He threw 318 innings in 1911 at age 27 and his arm fell off. Nolan was excellent when healthy but was one of the more famous arm burnout cases from the 1970s. Blue, Maloney, and McNally pitched like Hall of Famers at their best but burned out too soon.

Kershaw's 30.8 WAR in just 1244 innings is quite extraordinary. That's exactly the same WAR as Barry Zito's entire career, Barry Zito who has pitched 1,325 more innings than Kershaw.

Kershaw's career WAR is higher than any pitcher in history with fewer than 1,250 innings. Think about that for a second.

OMNICHATTER 6-19-14

Are you ready for OMNICHATTER?

Cubs promote Kris Bryant to Triple-A Iowa Cubs

It looks like I need to take a trip up to Des Moines to visit my mother soon. The Chicago Cubs promoted third baseman Kris Bryant from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa yesterday.

The promotion is obviously deserved: Bryant was hitting .355/.458/.702 with 22 homers, 43 walks, and 77 strikeouts in 248 at-bats over 68 games for the Smokies. He was leading the Southern League in OPS with a 1.160 mark, a full 164 points higher than his nearest competitor. His rate stats were stellar (wRC+ 219, wOBA+146). He's played reasonably well on defense, good enough to project that he can stay at third base.

The only flaw I can find is an elevated strikeout rate; 25.9% is higher than I'd like to see in a perfect world, although frankly that is nitpicking, given his high walk rate and outstanding overall production. There was clearly nothing left for him to learn in Double-A.

There's been some questioning among Cubs fans and Bryant fantasy owners about Chicago's timing, why it took so long to move him up to Iowa given his dominance of the Southern League.

Personally I do not have a problem with the decision to give him a half-season in Tennessee. Christian Villanueva, the incumbent third baseman at Iowa, is not having a good year but proved himself in Double-A last year and deserved a full shot in the PCL. I also think it is better to move a prospect too slowly than too quickly, so I don't have an issue with Bryant "paying his dues" so to speak. It isn't like they were keeping him down in Low-A.

What happens now? It's fashionable to disparage Triple-A competition and to advocate skipping prospects past that level. However, philosophically I think most prospects benefit from a good exposure to Triple-A.

You tend to see better fastballs and younger, more physically-talented pitchers in Double-A. In Triple-A you see older pitchers, many with major league experience, who may not throw as hard but have better command and more refined secondary pitches. Even elite hitting prospects don't always adapt easily to that: Bryant's teammate Javier Baez is a great example. He murdered Double-A last year but has been much less effective in Triple-A, exposing flaws that will need to be corrected before he's ready for the majors.

Now it's time to see what Bryant can do with the same challenge.

Frustrated Ortiz rails against error call - ESPN Boston

If the scorer changes the call, should the pitcher then stop the game and start yelling at the scorer? The official scorer, Bob Kelly, after viewing a couple of replays, charged Mauer with an error. When the inning ended, according to several reporters watching, including Kyle Brasseur of ESPNBoston.com (I’d gotten up to use the restroom), Ortiz could be seen yelling at the press box, making a thumbs-down motion several times to indicate his displeasure with the call.

Change to Royals Ryan Verdugo's Delivery Producing Results

Verdugo was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for his performance during the week of June 9-15.

You won't find Ryan Verdugo's name on any prospect lists in recent seasons, but the 27-year-old lefty is making noise since his return to the mound this season after missing the first couple of months with a sports hernia.

Verdugo was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for his performance during the week of June 9-15. He picked up two wins, tossing 12.2 scoreless innings while striking out 15, and has won four consecutive starts for the Omaha Storm Chasers. In his start on June 9, he limited the Sacramento River Cats to one hit in six innings. He then shut out the Fresno Grizzlies over 6.2 innings on June 14. He is 4-1 on the season with 2.52 ERA and opponents are hitting just .190 against him in five starts.

Omaha radio announcer Mark Nasser attributes Verdugo's recent success to his command.

"He's been pinpoint with his fastball his last two starts - like never before," Nasser said. "And this was against decent lineups - Sacramento, Fresno - and he made them look silly. He deserved pitcher of the week."

Nasser says Omaha pitching coach Larry Carter made a small change in Verdugo's delivery and that has helped him with the command on his fastball. He's always had a good change-up, and he's been throwing his slider and curve ball a little more effectively this season.

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, June 19, 1914:Bert Dorr, the first man to master the art of curving a baseball, died at his home [in Binghamton, New York] today. Dorr was considered one of the game’s greatest pitching stars in the old days. He was a member of both the old Cincinnati and Washington teams. Seemed like the sort of player I’d want to learn more about, so I looked him up. Dorr was ten years old when Candy Cummings made his “major” league debut, so it’s tough to make a case for him as the inventor of the curveball. He never played for Cincinnati or Washington, as far as I can tell, and only made 8 MLB appearances, going 2-6 for the 1882 Brown Stockings. Still, he appears to have been a pretty good player. Put up a 108 ERA+ as a 20-year-old in his only big league season, then went to the Interstate Association the next season and put up a 2.22 ERA. He largely vanishes from the record books after that. SABR has him appearing for Albany in 1885, but there are no more records of Dorr as a pro ballplayer after that.

June 18, 2014

Sport-Themed Holidays For 2010

Of course, the big sporting event of 2010 is the World Cup football in South Africa, and thousands of people will already have booked their tickets to be in the country any time from June 11 to July 11 this year – or, if they’re particularly lucky, for the whole month.

But what other sporting events are likely to bring in the holidaymakers this year? Unusually, the UEFA Champions League final will be played on a Saturday this year, May 22 being the date to remember, and it will take place at the Bernabeu Stadium, home of Real Madrid – with the added bonus of course, of the host city being one of the most visited and best-equipped in Europe.

The following day, Sunday May 23, is the day motorsport fans head for the most famous date in the Formula 1 calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix, and many sports fans may combine this with a visit to the French Open tennis tournament, which starts just a day later and runs through to Sunday June 6. Will Andy Murray earn that historic first Grand Slam win on the famous courts of Roland Garros? One thing is for sure – many Britons will be in Paris to witness his progress.

Then there’s barely time to pause for breath before what many consider the big event of 2010 – the football World Cup, taking place in South Africa between Friday June 11 and Sunday July 11. Ten stadiums will host matches between the 32 competing nations, all bidding to succeed Italy for the right to call themselves world champions.

Just as the football enters its frenzied final phase, the Tour de France once again hits the roads, this year starting in Rotterdam before heading to Belgium and, after three weeks, ending with the customary dash along the Champs Elysees in Paris, where glory awaits one lucky (and tired) rider, on Sunday July 25.

Back on the courts, the US Open tennis dominates early September, regularly drawing 750,000-plus fans to New York’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. As if 2010 wasn’t a big enough year already, two massive spectacles round off the year. First, the Commonwealth Games head to New Delhi, representing the largest sporting event the city will have ever held.

The dates for your diary are October 3 to 14. Then, ending on a high, it’s off Down Under for the latest episode in the ongoing war which is The Ashes, which begins on November 25, and will straddle the festive celebrations before the little urn symbolically passes to the victors on January 7 2011.

For great worldwide holiday ideas tied in to any of these events, visit The Co-operative Travel soon. Demand is sure to be high, so the best advice is to book early, and then, whatever your sport of choice, sit back and enjoy all the build-up.

With a range of city breaks available, this year offers the perfect chance to get away. For all sports fans, especially football fans cheap Spain holidays is going to be very popular thanks to the Champions League Final.

Bob Brightside is an experienced travel author having worked in the industry field

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June 17, 2014

Jinjiang East Asian Sports Shoe Market To South Korea

Following the US-gram, clear the United States, flying grams of the three companies have listed, the recent industry has heard of a shoe company, Jinjiang listed on the Korea Stock Exchange news: listed companies called the “East Asian sports,” the total number of issued shares share capital 41%, raising a total of 283 million yuan.

According to rumors, “the Asian sports,” behind “is the Lord” is the quality of Jinjiang shoes begging, but the reporter on this message to seek confirmation from the quality, the company denied the relevant personnel. The company’s chairman recently dialed phone, claiming to be assistant general manager of the terminal to the reporter denied the news of its listing to go to Korea, but only acknowledged the listing plan, but would not disclose the relevant information.

Filed Korea Stock Exchange, now the business community has been no stranger to Quanzhou. Last year, sports brand Quanzhou Super Star Vodenka brand owners?? Chinese star International is listed on the Korea Stock Exchange, financing the amount of 40,666,300 U.S. dollars. But even for some time, there have been spring enterprises in Fujian background Huafeng Textile International Group Limited, China United Technology Holdings Co., Ltd., 3 railcar successfully listed companies in Korea.

It is reported that since 2007, Jinjiang listed companies from rapidly developing at that time 5 to 23 now, and established a total of 78 companies, including back-up repository. At present, domestic and international securities listed on the 23 successful private enterprises in Jinjiang, total raised funds equivalent to 14.036 billion yuan, the total market value of nearly 120 billion yuan, after the city in the county, Jiangyin, Jiangsu ranked second. At present, enterprises in Jinjiang rolling back on the market management, enterprise backup reporting Quanzhou listed 8 key, new back-up enterprises listed Jinjiang level 22, the cumulative increase to 78. In addition to the United States grams, clear the United States, flying grams have been on the market, XINHUA, excellent blue hair, shoes, etc. 3 Beverly Enterprises is expected to be listed in the first half, Jordan, Del Hui, Industrial leather, leather profits, the Pacific shoes, Thailand and Asia is expected to shoe the second half of the 6 companies listed. Among them, XINHUA HKEx has been made to submit application materials; del Hui, Jordan and other six companies have reported to the provincial authorities guidance for the record. In addition, there are more than 30 companies and brokerage contracts, entered into the listing process.

Not too high a number of well-known overseas listing choice for SMEs, is becoming a new phenomenon in the business community in Quanzhou. In this regard, expert analysis pointed out that although some of the overseas markets in the mainstream market, but because of its low threshold, efficient, and controllable costs, Quanzhou or private enterprises can better be listed. Currently, Malaysia, Korea, Australia, Germany and other non-mainstream market, being some of the concerns of SMEs. Experts believe that the listing of enterprises which choose to only make a subjective choice based on objective conditions, no better, the key is to look at the purpose of business listing.

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June 16, 2014

Pursuing a Career in Sports

Sports career are fun and for many a celebrity like position to enjoy. It is for many an opportunity to live to live up to their dreams. Whilst other talented individuals find an attractive choice as it does not require increased study and the all so important degrees to get through. In the end they still are toying with the idea they are earning by playing. To get information on sports careers visit any sport help website and get the support you need.

You will first have to get the information on sports careers from a counselor then as you go practice and enhance your skills. Never give up keep looking and audition one more way is to follow sport help videos and forums. Also make a fan page and / or gain some publicity on community websites.

The Right Fit

More or less sport players have it on their mind that a sport career is not enough and that they need at least a backup idea like law or engineering. Meanwhile, if you feel you are attracted to a sporting career then locate any sporting management firm and plus an MBA that may provide the needed backup.

A sporting post grad degree has its Advantages like a degree in sporting management or an MBA focused on that category consists of specific training and internships as well. And that is the beginning as an MBA program which consists of a focus on sports does not mean that graduates can take on the numerous branches.

In developing countries where there are less opportunities to excel in sports, MBA program can be an easy source to pave out way into sports of your choice. If you join a bank you can be a part of professional bank team and thus end up being picked up by the international sports federations.

Higher Education

There are more than a hundred institutes and universities which provide post grad degrees for sports management, administration, and marketing. Nearly a third of this number; provide master’s degrees in these fields. Only about a dozen schools offer MBA programs with a focus on sports.

MBA Jobs

This is a possibility and a step right before brightening to the future as almost all of universities and pro sports are large firm. It does not come as a surprise that teams, athletic departments, and major or college leagues need leaders holding an MBA. Any business background is essential in promoting, social relations, and management of team as well administration of a sports program or even a league.

Sports Lawyers

There is a lot of work for lawyers who intend to set up a career in professional or varsity college sports. Lawyers are even in charge of the intellectual properties of leagues and teams that is a vital factor to any organization. Lawyers also work on facility, contract, insurance, sponsorship, internship and taxation issues.

Managing both careers is however, not as easy as it seems. It requires great efforts energy and proper moves to get to these required goals. But once you make up your mind, focusing on objectives and aligning your activities with your long-term plans you can get your dreams for sure.

 

Sophiehart is an experienced writer, having years of experience on writing different sports and games.This article is about Sport Help and Information On Sport.

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June 15, 2014

Sports in the USA MEDIA COVERAGE

The immense popularity, of sports in America is indicated by the number of pages and headlines the average daily newspaper devotes to local and national sports. The emphasis on sports is evident in local evening news telecasts, too Every evening fox five to seven minutes of the half-hour local newe show, the station’s sports analyst, whose territory is exclusively sports, reports on local, regional, and national sports events.

Television has made sports available to all. For those who cannot afford tickets or travel to expensive play-offs like baseball’s World Series or football’s final Superbowl, a flick of the television dial provides close-up viewing that beats front row seats. Although estimates vary, the major networks average about 500 hours each of sports programming a year. Recently, the emergence of several cable channels that specialize in sports gives viewers even more options. The foremost of these channels, ESPN, runs sports shows at least 22 hours a day and is now received by 37 million American homes, or nearly half of the 86 million homes with television sets.

PRIVATE AND INSTITUTIONALIZED ACTIVITIES

Opportunities for keeping fit and playing sports are numerous. Jogging is extremely popular, perhaps because it is the cheapest and most accessible sport. Aerobic exercise and training with weight-lifting machines are two activities which more and more men and women are pursuing. Books, videos, and fitness-conscious movie stars that play up the glamour of fitness have heightened enthusiasm for these exercises and have promoted the muscular, healthy body as the American beauty ideal. Most communities have recreational parks with tennis and basketball courts, a football or soccer field, and outdoor grills for picnics. These parks generally charge no fees for the use of these facilities. Some large corporations, hospitals, and churches have indoor gymnasiums and organize informal team sports. For those who can afford membership fees, there is the exclusive country club and its more modern version, the health and fitness center. Members of these clubs have access to all kinds of indoor and outdoor sports; swimming, volleyball, golf, racquetball, handball, tennis, and basketball; Most dubs also offer instruction in various, sports and exercise methods.

Schools and colleges have institutionalized team sports for young people. Teams and competitions are highly organized and competitive and generally receive substantial local publicity. High schools and colleges commonly have a school team for each of these sports: football, basketball, baseball, tennis, wrestling, gymnastics, and track, and sometimes for soccer, swimming, hockey, volleyball, fencing, and golf. Practices and games are generally held on the school premises after classes are over. High schools and colleges recognize outstanding athletic achievement with trophies, awards, and scholarships, and student athletes receive strong community support.

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