The Hanwha Eagles, a much beleaguered South Korean major league baseball team have introduced Fanbots
, jersey-clad robots who lead cheers, display messages (and selfies where the robot would otherwise have a blank screen) sent in from fans at home, and generally stand in for fans who aren't there. [more inside]
posted by julen
on Jul 30, 2014 -
An Oral History of the 1989 Cleveland Indians.
It was 1989, and no one knew that the usually predictable world of Major League Baseball was about to get as topsy turvy as it could. Here's the story of a plucky band of misfits, fighting against the entrenched baseball establishment, to obtain success in their efforts against their playing opponents, and an evil owner bent on relocation. [more inside]
posted by LoRichTimes
on Jul 22, 2014 -
"What was his weapon? Trust. Over and over again, he shook the hand of a parent and said, 'It's OK. I'll take care of them. I'll make her a better person.' Instead what he did was rob them of their innocence and change the scope of their lives." SB Nation
on Mel Hall
- "a flamboyant baseball player
, a charismatic coach, and a sexual predator."
posted by porn in the woods
on Jul 18, 2014 -
For 20 years, he was the biggest name in youth baseball. His coaching popularized a new wave of analysis, while his instructional videos entranced a generation of professional players and fans. And those iconic TV commercials turned him into a pop-culture phenomenon.
Then, as suddenly as he arrived, Tom Emanski was gone
posted by Ghostride The Whip
on Jul 17, 2014 -
Vin Scully: voice of the Dodgers for 64 years "My idea is that I'm sitting next to the listener in the ballpark, and we're just watching the game," Scully says. "Sometimes, our conversation leaves the game. It might be a little bit about the weather we're enduring or enjoying. It might be personal relationships, which would involve a player. The game is just one long conversation and I'm anticipating that, and I will say things like ‘Did you know that?' or ‘You're probably wondering why.' I'm really just conversing rather than just doing play-by-play. I never thought of myself as having a style. I don't use key words. And the best thing I do? I shut up."
posted by mandymanwasregistered
on Jun 6, 2014 -
It's easy to explain why you love a conventionally excellent player, but way, way more fun to try and explain the appeal of a top-flight athlete whose every step and twitch appeared to be bringing him dangerously close to death itself. You had this guy, St. Louis, and he was awesome and everything, but every time he hit a triple he'd pop up and have the saddest look on his face like everything he loved had died, and left him with the soul of an ancient, sad, and immortal Golem. It was like watching Buster Keaton play centerfield, and he was like that every time he played. SB Nation Reviews: Willie McGee
posted by davidjmcgee
on May 16, 2014 -
Up Close on Baseball's Borders
is a detailed, zoomable interactive map which uses data from Facebook to present the team preferences of baseball fandom in the United States. Around the end of March, Facebook had released a map using the same data which despite being touted as most accurate
ever, had significant problems. The most notable of these issues was a colorshift introduced as the main graphic went viral, rendering the map illegible. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark
on Apr 24, 2014 -
Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers
For close to a year Puig had been trying to force an answer, to extract himself from Fidel Castro’s state-run sports machine, which paid him $17 a month, and sneak across the tropics to a mythical north, where even benchwarmers lived like kings. Two, three, four times, maybe more, he had risked everything and fled, only to be detained by the Cuban authorities or intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard—each failure making the next attempt more urgent. Finally, in June 2012, the 21-year-old outfielder left his home in Cienfuegos, on Cuba’s southern shore, and set off by car for the northern province of Matanzas, just 90 miles from Florida. He was traveling with three companions: a boxer, a pinup girl, and a Santeria priest, the latter of whom blessed their expedition with a splash of rum and a sprinkle of chicken blood.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates
on Apr 14, 2014 -
Major league baseball is doing something dumb.
They asked fans to nominate a player from their team to be THE FACE OF MLB, whatever that means. Yankees fans picked Derek Jeter. Angels fans picked Mike Trout. Oakland A's fans picked a 4-eyed utility infielder named Eric Sogard. And he's winning.
posted by gilgamix
on Feb 24, 2014 -
"The Cubs occasionally had human mascots, but, aside from managers' children, their tenures were short-lived. (An exception was the Fat Boy, Paul Dominick
, who was given credit for a 21-game winning streak in 1935 and then left for Hollywood.) Instead, they seemed to prefer animals—who, it should be noted, did not demand salaries. The 1908 world champions had Bud, a Boston bull terrier puppy with an adorable curved tail, and a grotesque-looking fake polar bear
. The 1913 team had a homicidal gamecock, named Tampa after their spring training home. (Tampa's mascotting career seems to have ended when he murdered another rooster.) In 1915, they had another dog, a terrier named Toy. But mostly they had live cubs
posted by Iridic
on Jan 16, 2014 -
Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers.
Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger
will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award,
which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice
, Red Smith
, Ring Lardner
, and Damon Runyon
. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn
on Dec 10, 2013 -
A 30 for 30
short tells the story of the husband and wife team who created MLB's schedule every year for two decades, using only pencil and paper.
posted by Bulgaroktonos
on Nov 6, 2013 -
Facial hair on men. Point
: "The beard implies a monastic indifference to worldly cares, a hermetic withdrawal from ordinary concerns, and a fixed focus on the higher mysteries, whether divine, philosophical, or the split-finger fastball." Counterpoint
: "Enough. It's time we stop congratulating these men for simply presenting a secondary sexual characteristic with no accompanying display of follicular craft or even basic self-control."
posted by paleyellowwithorange
on Nov 3, 2013 -
Roger Craig, Giants manager: I was in my office when the walls started shaking. I heard Don Robinson hollering, "Earthquake! Earthquake!
" I told everybody to run out to the parking lot. It was asphalt and it was just rolling. -- Grantland's oral history of the Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1989 World Series
posted by Chrysostom
on Oct 23, 2013 -
At the age of 19, Joe Engel started pitching for the Washington Senators in 1912
(Google books preview), but he only played one game per year in 1917, '19, and '20
, due to arm injuries
. Unimpressed with his performance, Manager Clark Griffith shooed Engel off to swap himself for someone from the minors who could play ball. Engel sent back the catcher Edward Patrick ("Ed" or "Patsy") Gharrity
. Gharrity turned out to be so good that Engel was hired to scout for Washington, and later manage the Chattanooga Lookouts
, then the farm team for Washington. It was there in Chattanooga that Engel's true career in baseball took off, where he was given the title "Barnum of Baseball." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 25, 2013 -