After a pair of baseball announcers roasted a group of selfie-taking women, members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at Arizona State University, in the stands at an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game, SBNation fires back: Taking photos at sporting events isn't worthy of ridicule. It's simply how fans in the 21st century document moments of their lives.
Toronto Blue Jays win first American League East division championship in 22 years with victory over Baltimore Orioles [National Post] [more inside]
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox baseball player who (in)famously spoke for the city of Boston(NSFW) in the wake of the 2013 marathon bombing, just hit the 500th home run of his career, becoming just the 27th player to reach the mark.
The Toronto Blue Jays, owners of the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports, are finally in a bona fide pennant race for the first time since 1993. Despite scuffling through the first half of the baseball season, the Jays' season quickly turned around as a result of a crazy 48 hours prior to the Major League trade deadline that landed the Jays two of the best players in the game to accompany an already impressive line-up. Toronto is abuzz about the Jays for the first time in a generation, having sold nearly half a million tickets since the big trades. Toronto journalist and Jays fan Stacey May Fowles created a how-to guide for new members of the bandwagon. This Blue Jays squad is not your typical baseball team. [more inside]
"Let me begin by saying that I believe this is the greatest and most important event ever captured on film. I saw it live, but I was alone, sadly, and had no one with whom to share it. For a while, I wasn’t even sure I had seen what I thought I had seen, and I couldn’t go back to double-check. This was in 2000 — before TiVo became a verb, kids. This document is essentially prehistoric. It might as well be printed on papyrus." Michael Schur, The Greatest Moment in the History of the Triple-A All-Star Game
The Los Angeles Angels baseball team found themselves embroiled in controversy recently when Robert Alvarado, the team's Vice-President of Marketing and Ticket Sales, brushed aside concerns about decreased attendance at the ballpark this season by stating, "We may not be reaching as many of the people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, but those people, they may enjoy the game, but they pay less, and we’re not seeing the conversion on the per-caps,”. This statement by Alvarado prompted this OC Weekly blog headline: Anaheim Angels: We Don't Need Poor Fans, and We Don't Want Them. Alvarado resigned yesterday from the Angels organization.
Salaries, attendance figures, social media footprints, and other data from 17 pro sports leagues worldwide. Ever wondered who earns more, NBA athletes who went to college in Ohio or players in the Scottish Premier League? Or who has a higher payroll, the Minnesota Wild or the Kolkata Knight Riders? Or who has more twitter followers, Aston Villa or the Hiroshima Toyo Carp? Wonder no more.
Today's Orioles and White Sox game at Camden Yards in Baltimore will be the first game in MLB history played in an empty stadium. However, the phenomenon is more common in football (soccer) because of reasons ranging from punishment for racist fans to fears of contagious diseases. The crew at 538.com suggest that the Orioles might lose the home-field advantage from umpiring calls that teams playing in front of a friendly crowd typically enjoy. If you want to view the surreal scene yourself, the game is MLB.com's free game of the day.
Philadelphia — 1912. In a matter of hours, college student Allan Travers, 20, went from having never pitched a game in his life to starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. [more inside]
In the spring of 2003, Milton Bradley, a switch-hitting outfielder for the Indians, met his future wife, Monique Williams, a community relations intern with the team. He was about to turn 25. She was 22. Over the next decade—while the erratic, belligerent Bradley was given a pass by many MLB teams, media members and the sports culture at large—he and Williams would be locked in a cycle of emotional and physical abuse, separation and reconciliation, police intervention and court conflict. The Ray Rice elevator video, shocking as it was, captured only one moment. But a trove of public records shows the tragic extent of the Bradleys' violent relationship. This Is What Domestic Abuse Looks Like from Sports Illustrated [Trigger Warning; Graphic text and photos].
This is where Norris has chosen to live while he tries to win a job in the Blue Jays' rotation: a broken down van parked under the blue fluorescent lights of a Wal-Mart in the Florida suburbs.
"I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else"In a "very quiet and understated way", 29-year veteran MLB umpire Dale Scott has become the first active official in any of the major US sports to come out as gay.
Baseball writer Rany Jazayerli tells us about his online acquaintance Sung Woo Lee, fan of the Kansas City Royals, who is having a good week. He's been a Royals fan since the 1990s and this week, he came to the US to see them play for the first time. KC rolled out the red carpet and the Royals are even winning. [more inside]
Lou Gehrig's farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on its 75th anniversary. It was immortalized by Gary Cooper in the 1942 film Pride of the Yankees, although the speech as delivered in the movie differed a little bit from the actual speech. The Historic Films Stock Footage Archive has this video of the speech on Youtube. Today, Major League Baseball pays tribute to Gehrig by putting together a video in which contemporary players recite the speech. (Video of this is embedded in the first link).
Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at age 54. In his 20 years with the San Diego Padres, Gwynn racked up over 3,100 hits, a .338 career batting average--the 18th-best of all time--and eight batting title, the second-most in Major League history.
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
45 years ago today at Montreal's Jarry Park, outfielder Mack "The Knife" Jones hit a 3-run homer and a 2-run triple to lead his Montreal Expos to an 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the first Major League baseball game ever played outside the US (home opener coverage starts at 4:28 of the CBC video). [more inside]
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.
Dan LeBatard of ESPN gave away his baseball Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin, and talking heads had a lot to say about it.
The Atlanta Braves have announced plan to move out of Atlanta to nearby Cobb County by 2017. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that a new $672 million stadium will be built just to the northwest of Atlanta. The announcement has left everyone "kind of stunned." [more inside]
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.
Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth discusses poorly designed sports team logos throughout history.
Why Do Baseball Players Still Bunt So Damn Much?
It’s the most maddening and demonstrably ineffective strategy in baseball and has been for quite some time. So why do teams keep doing it?
It’s the most maddening and demonstrably ineffective strategy in baseball and has been for quite some time. So why do teams keep doing it?
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]
Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the season due to his involvement with a former "anti-aging" clinic called Biogenesis that allegedly supplied athletes with human growth hormone, anabolic steroids, testosterone, and other performance-enhancing drugs (Taiwanese animation video). Alex Rodriguez is expected to be suspended next, along with 15-20 other Major League Baseball players, with punishments expected to linger into the 2014 season.
On April 3rd, MLB pitcher Brandon McCarthy (wikipedia, twitter) will take the mound for his first regular season start as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It will also be the first regular season game he plays in since taking a line drive off the head last September. Buzzfeed contributor Michael J. Mooney profiles McCarthy.
One man documents his neverending quest to collect all the Tim Wallach baseball cards. Not one of each card, but every single copy of every single Tim Wallach card ever made in the history of baseball cards. If you have any in your possession, he asks that you mail them to his law office's PO box. Maybe you can work out a deal. [more inside]
Today is the 85th birthday of Hall of Fame baseball announcer Vin Scully. He will be returning next year for his unprecedented 64th season calling games for the Dodgers, in a career reaching back to the team's Brooklyn days and their move to Los Angeles in 1958. The New York Yankees tried to pry him away in the 1960s, but he remained with the team and has become an LA institution. In the 21st Century, he has inspired blog names and tattoos and even dabbled in the online world himself during a game last season -- as an experiment, he asked fans to get a topic trending on Twitter about Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis, "a nice boy." Later in the broadcast he announced sheepishly that Ellis was trending across the U.S. This coming Monday, he will be taking over the team's Twitter feed to answer questions -- tag your tweets #askvin. [more inside]
"If at any time during my tenure here you find there’s a pattern of owners and owners’ officials singing my praises, you’d better fire me. I’m not kidding."
What do NASCAR's AJ Allmendinger, Joe Haden of the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants safety Tyler Sash, Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies, and many other athletes have in common? They have all used a performance enhancing substance that is growing in popularity among athletes, one that is widely prescribed and which is taken by millions of children every day. The drug in question is Adderall: The combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine is used as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [more inside]
Down by three runs with runners at first and second and one out in last night's first-ever NL Wildcard Playoff Game, Braves' shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a pop fly to left field. Cardinals' shortstop Pete Kozma went back to make the catch but broke off at the last second, and the ball dropped. The runners advanced, and almost everyone thought it was bases loaded with one out. But left-field umpire Sam Holbrook invoked the infield fly rule, and so, Simmons was out on the play. Video of the whole thing here. Braves fans were not happy. [more inside]
Their last winning season came in 1997. Only one member of their Opening Day starting rotation remains, a 27-year-old from Taiwan who hadn't pitched in the majors before this year. The others have been replaced by a Red Sox cast-off picked up from the Mexican League, an ex-prospect with a career ERA of 5.5 in his first three years, and the son of one of their former pitchers, a throw-in in a 2009 trade with the Dodgers. They have only one regular hitting over .270, they're missing two-thirds of their Opening Day outfield, and their 20-year-old third baseman started the year at AA. Nate Silver's PECOTA projection system reckoned they'd finish in last place, 24 games behind the Yankees. And tomorrow night, the Baltimore Orioles will play their first postseason game in 15 years. [more inside]
Miguel Cabrera has won the Triple Crown. The list of Triple Crown winners is quite short (considering that Major League Baseball is 136 years old). [more inside]
From Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, a list of the 25 best uniforms in the four major North American professional sports. [more inside]
"Facing a 50-game suspension for doping, San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera created a phony website and a fake product in an attempt to dodge the ban by proving he inadvertently ingested a banned substance, according to a report."
Tonight, for only the third time in Major League Baseball history, a player (Kendrys Morales of the Los Angeles Angels) hit two home runs in the same inning, one from each side of the plate. Morales' second home run of the inning was a grand slam, his first since the ill-fated events of 5/29/10, when he suffered a freak ankle injury jumping onto home plate in celebration of his game-winning hit, just as his career was really beginning to take off. Morales subsequently missed nearly two full seasons of baseball, returning just this year.
"Kansas City gets the All-Star Game, and it’s likely that this will be the last time Kansas City will be in the national sports spotlight for a long time." Joe Posnanski on the downfall and charm of Kansas City, which "used to be in the spotlight with regularity. There have been 10 Final Fours here, more than any other city. The NCAA was based here. There were two World Series here, a Davis Cup semifinal, numerous NFL playoff games including the Christmas Day game that is one of the best ever played. Tom Watson stayed here, so did George Brett ... But times have changed. Unless something dramatic changes -- and it almost certainly won’t -- there won’t ever be a Super Bowl here, a U.S. Open here, another Final Four here. There’s a beautiful arena downtown that was built largely for an NBA or NHL team that almost certainly won’t ever come. Another World Series seems as distant as anything. The All-Star Game won’t come back for a long time."
NYTimes: The Glory and Pain of Pitching. Bobby Ojeda, starting pitcher for one of the greatest games in the history of Major League Baseball, takes us into the mind of the career athlete and his relationship with a constant companion -- pain.
Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. So wrote John Updike in his moving tribute to Red Sox legend Ted Williams -- an appropriately pedigreed account for this oldest and most fabled of ballfields that saw its first major league game played one century ago today. As a team in flux hopes to recapture the magic with an old-school face-off against the New York
Highlanders Yankees, it's hard to imagine the soul of the Sox faced the specter of demolition not too long ago. Now legally preserved, in a sport crowded with corporate-branded superdome behemoths, Fenway abides, bursting with history, idiosyncrasy, record crowds, and occasional song. [more inside]
Opening Day is upon us once again. As always, there are a ton of predictions being made for the season. [more inside]
At the age of 49 years and 4 months, Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies is the oldest baseball player to ever earn a regular roster spot on a Major League Baseball team (Satchel Paige pitched 3 innings in a 1965 game at age 59 as a publicity stunt). There are many current players, including some of the game's best, who weren't even born when Moyer made his MLB debut, making Moyer's feat all the more impressive.