If you were to consult the official play-by-play scoring for Friday's game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs, you would find nothing unremarkable about the bottom of the 8th inning. As the scoring tells it, Jean Segura of the Brewers hit an infield single, then stole second base. Ryan Braun walked and was thrown out on an attempted steal of second, Rickie Weeks struck out, and the inning ended when Segura was thrown out attempting to steal third base. [more inside]
1st Triple Play of 2013. The Yankees pull off a unique 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play. It's the first turned by NY since they executed a more conventional version in 2010. But as an A's fan, I prefer this one, which is is bit more uncommon.
A collection of baseball writers have gotten together for a different kind of fantasy draft. All the players are fictional, although some players are more fictional than others. [more inside]
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.
Jeff Sullivan, newly reunited with the Seattle mariner's blog "USS Mariner", offers his thoughts on the Marlins releasing former (and hugely disappointing) Mariner Chone Figgins--odds on, the end of Figgins major league career. [more inside]
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]
Shunned by New York's bachelorette population after handing out one too many gift baskets, Derek Jeter loses his confidence with the fairer sex and retreats to Springfield a broken man. There he finds a kindred spirit in Moe, the only man on Earth lonelier than the heartbroken Captain...The two leave Springfield to start a holistic living clinic in North Haverbrook and are never heard from again. The New Springfield Nine: If Mr. Burns had to re-staff the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team with a lineup full of present-day players, who should he choose?
The Sporting Statues Project maintains a list of statues of sportspeople in the UK and has just added one of baseball statues in the US. Everything from 18th century strongmen and still active players to fans and little leaguers can be found in their directory. They also have some links to abstracts of papers they've presented on their research into sports statuary.
Both Ripken and Champagne have that same look of determination, of steely grit and fiery passion, in their eyes. For Ripken, it was to play in 2,632 straight games, for Champagne, it was for the bag of Beggin’ Bits the photographer had hidden in his camera bag: the 1993 Milk Bone Super Stars Trading Cards.
Three days of watching baseball with Bill Murray in 1990. Old Style beer and a drunken Mick Fleetwood feature prominently.
If you were going to set out to build a successful national baseball team you probably wouldn’t select a country with most of its land sitting below sea level. Camden Depot presents a brief history of honkbal, as the Netherlands nine get ready to compete in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, exactly 100 years after the formation of Quick Amsterdam, Europe's first baseball team. Last time around, the Dutchmen knocked the mighty Dominican Republic out of the tournament. This year's Dutch team, led by veteran Andruw Jones and Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop, both natives of Willemstad on the island of Curacao, puts more Dutch talent on the field than there has been since Bert Blyleven's last game. (Blyleven is the Netherlands' pitching coach.) Don't leave it till game time -- learn to speak honkbal now!
A Real World Series: Inside the world championship of blind baseball. "It’s different this year. I can’t get last year’s Series out of my mind, even though it ended in the last week of July, when Taiwan took two from Austin on a rainy Saturday in Ames, Iowa, to win the title in the 37th annual world series of blind baseball." [more inside]
The Hall of Fame voters have decided not to enshrine one of the greatest pitchers of all time, despite his stellar on-field performance. No, not Roger Clemens: Rick Reuschel, who, according to High Heat Stats, was one of the 50 greatest pitchers in baseball history. Bonus: Joe Posnanski on why Rich Reuschel was better than Jack Morris.
In the classic baseball movie The Pride of the Yankees, Gary Cooper played lefty icon Lou Gehrig--but Cooper was a righty. To cover this up, legend has it the filmmakers made a Yankees uniform for him with the print reversed, had him run to third base rather than first, etc, then flipped the shots after filming. But is it true? [more inside]
"Footage of Pope John Paul at an indoor batting cage during his 1987 visit to California"
A day after Earl Weaver, Cardinal great Stan Musial has passed away. Stan spent 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, racking up a lifetime batting average of .331 and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Somewhere on the internet, someone thinks that not only can your team trade for Stanton, but it won’t be that hard.
Giancarlo (a.k.a. "Mike") Stanton is one of the most exciting young baseball players in the game today. Known primarily as a power hitter with potential Hall of Fame talent, he has hit some legendary home runs, including one he hit as a minor leaguer that reportedly traveled 500+ ft on its way out of Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium and another that broke the scoreboard at Marlins Park and, at an off-bat speed 122.4 mph, was the hardest hit home run ever recorded by the ESPN Hit Tracker. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price likened Stanton to a video game "create a player." But recently, when the Miami Marlins dumped five of his teammates in a blockbuster, cost-cutting trade with the Blue Jays (effectively removing them from contention for the near future), Stanton expressed his dissatisfaction publicly, opening up rumors that he might be next to be traded. Internet baseball fans responded by proposing their own hypothetical (and often wildly optimistic) trade ideas, which Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus kindly compiled into one list: Stanton trade packages proposed by fans of every team on the internet this offseason.
Flash Friday!!! It's Winnie The Pooh Home Run Derby! In Japanese! And insanely difficult!
Baseball Magazine, founded by Jake Morse in 1908, was the first monthly baseball magazine in the United States. The LA84 Foundation has posted free online copies of the first thirteen years of Baseball Magazine. [more inside]
2012 has been one great year for pitcher R.A. Dickey. He climbed Kilimanjaro. He published a well-received autobiography revealing for the first time that he'd been a victim of sexual abuse as a child. He starred in a documentary about the knuckleball at the same time as he continued his reinvention of the pitch, to often dramatic effect. After a fantastic season, he became the first knuckleball pitcher, and one of the oldest pitchers ever, to win the Cy Young Award, pitchers' highest honor. And now, pending a contract extension, he's been traded to the rapidly improving Toronto Blue Jays.
"But more important than mere longevity was the fact that he had lived through and been a part of more baseball history than almost any other man."
The results of the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee Election were released today, and the three men elected were Jacob Ruppert, who owned the Yankees for 24 years and helped steer the team from mediocrity in the 1910s to some of the greatest teams in baseball history; Hank O'Day, one of the longest-serving umpires in league history and the man who made the official ruling on Merkle's Boner, and Deacon White, the first great catcher and one of the main players in the first baseball dynasty, the Boston Red Stockings of the 1870s National Association. [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."
Who to root for now? As a result of FOX/News Corp. going into business with the New York Yankees through by acquiring a 49% stake in the Yankees's regional sports network, Craig Robinson disavows his Yankees fandom, and goes in search of a new baseball team to which to swear his allegiance and passion.
"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
"My best start I win one-nothing," he recalls. "I have single, double, two RBI." A quote from Chi Cho Perez, father of the Perez brothers, chronicled in this classic 1990 Sports Illustrated article. Soberingly, Pasqual Perez, famous for among other things missing a start because he was circling Atlanta repeatedly, was found murdered in the Dominican Republic today.
Some folks in CHIKARA Pro were having a wrestling match, and a baseball game broke out.
Baseball or Football? How Your Sports Choices ... Reveal your Politics. StubHub crunched their ticket data and found that baseball states tend to vote blue and football states tend to vote red. [via PostRoad's very excellent linkblog (nsfw)]
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]
The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis. ESPN's Outside the Lines has created a digital reading experience worthy of its subject matter. [more inside]
"For each inch a player grows above 5'6", announcers are 2 percent less likely to praise him with intangibles."
The product of a successful Kickstarter project, a study has been released focusing on subconscious racism in baseball announcing. [more inside]
Bill "Spaceman" Lee wins a professional baseball game at 65. The former Red Sox pitcher and co-author of "The Wrong Stuff" went all nine innings for the San Rafael Pacifics of the North American League, beating the Maui Na Koa Ikaika by a score of 9-4. He also batted for himself and singled in a run. Take that, Roger Clemens!
"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."
As you know, Bob, Bill James revolutionised baseball with sabermetrics, statistical analyisis of how the game is actually played. In football (soccer that is) this revolution is long overdue, as it has largely lagged behind American sports in its use of data analysis. Now however there's a chance for somebody clever to become football's Bill James, as Manchester City is going to release all player data and analysises from the 2011-12 season.
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners has pitched the Major League's
24th 23rd perfect game, in a 12-strikeout, 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. You can watch an abbreviated video showing all 27 outs in succession at mlb.com here (6:08). [more inside]
Who is the world's greatest athlete? Is it Kelly Slater? Is it Jesse Owens? Maybe. If you ask Josh Wilker, proprietor of Cardboard Gods, one thing is certain, it will be a player from his childhood baseball card collection [more inside]
Johhny Pesky, longtime member of the Boston Red Sox has passed away at the young age of 92. More famous for the right field foul pole named after he hit one of his only 6 Fenway Park home runs as it swung around the pole, the erstwhile manager spent nearly his entire 73 year baseball career with the Boston Red Sox. Much like teammate Ted Williams Johhny left baseball during his prime to fight in World War Two
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.
In 2009, Sports Illustrated investigated the strange and perilous financial lives of professional athletes. [more inside]