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The 11th inning rule.

The Olympics buys a one-way ticket to bizarro world with its new "11th inning rule." Critics are fuming. [more inside]
posted by Gordion Knott on Aug 5, 2008 - 102 comments

The Comeback

Josh Hamilton was destined to be an all-star baseball player, selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the #1 draft pick in the 1999 MLB draft. By 2002, though, he was a bust, beset by injuries, spending his days downing an entire bottle of Crown Royal and snorting cocaine. [more inside]
posted by dw on Jul 6, 2008 - 39 comments

Ambidexterity vs. ambidexterity

In May 2006, we discussed switch pitcher Pat Venditte on MetaFilter. Many wondered: what kind of bizarre game-theoretic catastrophe would occur when the switch pitcher faced a switch hitter? Two years later, it has come to pass. (video)
posted by escabeche on Jun 20, 2008 - 78 comments

Whither Aaron and Robinson and Mays and Griffey, Jr. and...?

"The pervasive narcissism and cartoon chest-thumping of young black culture no longer jibes with what's essentially a sacrificial game. Basketball hawks the individual star. Football offers glamour jobs like quarterback, running back, receiver. For baseball, meanwhile, sacrifice is an actual statistic: The best fail in 70 percent of their at-bats. 'The thing about baseball is that it's such a team sport,' Philadelphia's Rollins told Sports Illustrated. 'And when you're in the inner city, it's all about being the man, about establishing your strength as an individual. So how can you be the man? You want that ball in your hands with three seconds on the clock to take the shot, or you want the football under your arm. That's how.'

Race, class, families, fathers, and baseball: Where Have All the Black Guys Gone?
posted by mudpuppie on Jun 13, 2008 - 61 comments

Remembering 10-Cent Beer Night

ESPN's Paul Jackson tells the tale of 10-Cent Beer Night and the ensuing riot in Cleveland on June 4, 1974.
posted by togdon on Jun 4, 2008 - 28 comments

The (not so) Friendly Confines

Twenty-five years ago today, after a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers, Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia held a press conference. (SLYT/NSFW)
posted by timsteil on Apr 29, 2008 - 61 comments

Forgiving Buckner

22 years after letting a ball roll through his legs in extra innings to lose game six of the 1986 World Series, Bill Buckner returned to Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Here's a post on the Curse of the Bambino and the 2004 World Series [more inside]
posted by Corduroy on Apr 8, 2008 - 39 comments

The Major Little League

Improv Everywhere turned a little league baseball game into a major league event. Jumbotron & all. [more inside]
posted by prefpara on Apr 7, 2008 - 92 comments

The snow in Cleveland falls mainly on the stadium.

When snow threatened the Cleveland Indians 2007 opening game, the stadium grounds crew was there to save the day. Watch them battle the forces of nature in this time-lapse video. Think you can handle this monumental task yourself? Play the game and find out.
posted by Faint of Butt on Apr 2, 2008 - 18 comments

Library of Congress Historic Baseball Resources

The Library of Congress has unveiled a baseball history section on their website. You can see old baesball cards, panoramic shots, a section for teachers and, coolest of all, a video of a baseball game shot by Thomas Edison in 1898.
posted by zzazazz on Mar 26, 2008 - 17 comments

He didn’t pay attention to man’s law or God’s law

From the diamond to the street (literally) to your mailbox, one thing is absolutely certain: Nails never fails.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 21, 2008 - 18 comments

This is a baseball writing thread

John Rawls gives six reasons why baseball is the best of all games. Marianne Moore's "Baseball & Writing." John Updike's "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu." [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Mar 11, 2008 - 89 comments

Put away your asterisks

Steroids, "Other Drugs," and Baseball: a Voice of Scepticism on the Impact of Steroids on Major League Baseball. Eric Walker suggests a "juiced" ball made much more of an effect than PEDs.
posted by mrgrimm on Jan 28, 2008 - 32 comments

Robot Baseball

This is a video of a robot playing baseball.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 5, 2008 - 37 comments

The asterisk wing of Cooperstown.

So, who doesn't use steroids or HGH? So what do you do when MVP winners, Cy Young award winners and some World Series winners all have cheated? Any ideas? [more inside]
posted by zerobyproxy on Dec 13, 2007 - 189 comments

1898 baseball cursing policy, amply illustrated

"In terms of language, it is also the most offensive official Major League baseball document that we have ever seen." An auction house obtains a one page letter sent to baseball players in 1898, outlining the league's new anti-cursing policy. Includes lots of examples of the kind of language that is not allowed. Nervous auctioneers not sure how to exhibit it. Purely of historical interest, naturally. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Dec 2, 2007 - 86 comments

A great Leporid-American gets his due

Bugs Bunny, greatest banned baseball player ever. A close analysis of recently rediscovered historical footage makes it clear that the little-known Bugs Bunny would have been one of history's greatest baseball players, had MLB's notorious speciesism not prevented him from competing. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 1, 2007 - 20 comments

Rounding third and headed for home

The Old Left-Hander's headed home. Joe Nuxhall was the youngest player in Major League Baseball when he stepped up to the plate at age 15, but his real contribution came later, in the Cincinnati Reds broadcast booth, alongside Marty Brennaman. "...the personification of everything that is good about baseball and, of course, the Redlegs," the Old Left-Hander is dead at age 79.
posted by tizzie on Nov 16, 2007 - 9 comments

Barry Bonds gets indicted

After nearly four years of investigation and grand jury deliberations, Barry Bonds, baseball's most controversial active player and poster boy for the steriod era, has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice.
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) on Nov 15, 2007 - 46 comments

The 2007 Japan Series

Now that the "World Series" is over, you can enjoy Joe Posnanski's coverage of the Japan Series in the Kansas City Star (on account of Nippon Ham Fighters coach Trey Hillman going to coach the KC Royals in 2008.) It's great to see Posnanski's perspective of Japanese baseball as he compares and contrasts American and Japanese baseball. It's also interesting to see American mass media cover Japanese sports when the Japanese mass media is going ga-ga over the US World Series (due to 3 Japanese players, Matsuzaka, Matsui and Okajima being in the finals.)
posted by gen on Oct 29, 2007 - 20 comments

The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics

A Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics, a web-based textbook brought to you by the folks at NASA. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Oct 21, 2007 - 8 comments

Last weekend of the MLB season

There are three nights left in the 2007 Major League Baseball season. The National League has seven teams within spitting distance of the four playoff spots (five of them could end up with exactly the same record), and we could conceivably see one-game tiebreakers through next Thursday. Those in charge of stadiums, planning TV schedules, managing local hotels, are dealing the best they can with the unclear schedule. Considering also the myriad noteable records set this year, it's hard not to call this the most exciting MLB season ever.
posted by Plutor on Sep 28, 2007 - 102 comments

It's Gone And You Can Tell That One Goodbye

Mark Ecko (previously) spent three-quarters of a million dollars for Barry Bonds' 756th career home-run ball, and is is going to let the people decide in an online vote what should be done with it.
posted by fandango_matt on Sep 17, 2007 - 32 comments

When Men Where Men

Pre-1990s Sports Card Portraiture (Flickr slideshow) Images of pre-1990 sports cards which feature excellent photographic portraits, not action shots. I will delete stuff I don't think is good enough with abandon. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Sep 8, 2007 - 11 comments

83F Project

1983 Fleer Project As of 8/25/07: 364 of the 660 cards autographed (55%).
posted by dhammond on Aug 27, 2007 - 18 comments

Second chance heaven.

St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa loves re-treads more than a long distance trucker. And even though the Cards are often willing to take a chance on former big league players with problems, their latest retrieval from the scrap heap is unusual, even for them. At the ripe old age of 28, former pitching phenom Rick Ankiel is back. As a hitter.
posted by paulsc on Aug 14, 2007 - 25 comments

Arriverci, Scooter.

A shortstop extraordinaire, loan pitchman, vocal accompanist, announcing icon. and friend to yogi's ...has left the building. RIP, Scooter.
posted by jonmc on Aug 14, 2007 - 38 comments

To Build a Better Bat

Barry Bonds has broken the all-time record with the benefit of a controversial technological revolution in the game, derided by traditionalists: The Maple Baseball Bat. Using technology and woodworking techniques pioneered by Sam Bat, Bonds helped develop and popularize the bats that are just as responsible for the advent of the Juiced Ball Era as, well, the other thing.
posted by Slap*Happy on Aug 7, 2007 - 192 comments

Hey batter batter batter batter SWING!

The four greatest home run hitters of all-time: A video analysis of their swings. The top ten swings of 2006 and more from swingtraining.net. More on the mechanics of crushing baseballs from The Batter's Eye. The Physics of Baseball highlights an academic paper studying "optimum baseball bat swing parameters for maximum range trajectories", or more to the point, "How to Hit Home Runs" (warning, last link is PDF).
posted by edverb on Aug 4, 2007 - 42 comments

Baseball Stat of the Day Blog

What's the fewest number of pitches pitched in a complete game? How many times has a relieving pitcher been awarded a win without even facing a batter? How many different pitchers has Julio Franco faced? What's the greatest number of hits in a game where all of them are home runs? Who's hit the most grand slams in the ninth or extra innings? These questions and many (many) more at Baseball-reference.com's fantastic Stat of the Day blog.
posted by Plutor on Aug 2, 2007 - 34 comments

FIRE JOE MORGAN

Blog gives healthy Fisking to the worst sportswriting around, with a focus on Joe Morgan, perhaps the dumbest baseball analyst ever. (previous oblique MeFi reference.)
posted by klangklangston on Jul 27, 2007 - 26 comments

"Van Lingle Mungo"

"Van Lingle Mungo" written in 1969 by the nostalgic, baseball-loving jazz composer David Frishberg [wiki]. [Rhapsody link to the whole song.] Frishberg on meeting the ex-Dodgers hurler after whom he named his tune: “Backstage, Mungo asked me when he would see some remuneration for the song. When he heard my explanation about how there was unlikely to be any remuneration for anyone connected with the song, least of all him, he was genuinely downcast. ‘But it’s my name,’ he said. I told him, ‘The only way you can get even is to go home and write a song called Dave Frishberg.’" Further elaboration: The Baseball Analysts on "Van Lingle Mungo."
posted by kosem on Jul 27, 2007 - 11 comments

Get to the Show

Baseball (flash) from sandlots to majors. Arguably harder than actual baseball.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 23, 2007 - 50 comments

I'm Bill James, bitch!

"After all, the best part about sitting in an ivory tower is pissing on the people below you." Legendary statistician Bill James, the father of Sabermetrics, is smarter than you.
posted by Mayor Curley on Jul 17, 2007 - 27 comments

bunt cake: a webcomic thing

"I like to think that baseball players are a pretty imaginitive bunch. I mean, these are guys who, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, said something nuts like 'baseball player' — and then didn’t change their answer." Bunt Cake: a webcomic for those of us who like baseball cards recontextualized and our humor depantsed and set on fire. Or something like that. [via mefi projects]
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Jul 17, 2007 - 37 comments

Do you like baseball? Or do you prefer cricket? Luke Whittaker has designed a browser-game for each.

Do you like baseball? Or do you prefer cricket? Luke Whittaker has designed a browser-game for each.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 13, 2007 - 22 comments

'Stache Cache

There can be. Only. One. [Previously]
posted by ericbop on Jul 8, 2007 - 9 comments

I would have liked to have known you/But I hate the Twins

Requiem for a Bat Girl. Three years ago, writer Anne Ursu started a blog devoted to the Minnesota Twins. Pretty much immediately she was lauded as one of the best baseball bloggers. And then came the Lego reenactments. (Favorites: 1, 2, 3) And the Boyfriends. Yesterday, she ended the blog to spend more time with her young son. She will be missed.
posted by dw on May 24, 2007 - 16 comments

How to deal with hecklers

Baseball fans heckle Vernon Wells, and he throws them a personally-inscribed baseball which reads "Here’s your ball, now please tell me what gas station you work at so I can come and yell at you when you’re working. Please sit down, shut up and enjoy the game. From your favorite centre fielder, Vernon Wells." (See the followups at the bottom of that article, with pictures of the ball.) This past weekend, Ken Griffey Jr. throws his jockstrap into the stands because a dude has been heckling him. (Everybody is laughing in both of these stories.)
posted by LobsterMitten on May 14, 2007 - 28 comments

The rarest play in baseball

Baseball fans were treated on Sunday to the rarest gem in the sport, a confluence of chance and circumstance which had only occurred twelve times previously in modern major league history. If you blinked, you may have missed it. Colorado Rockies rookie shortshop (and subject of future trivia questions) Troy Tulowitzki turned an unassisted triple play.
posted by edverb on Apr 30, 2007 - 88 comments

Curt Schilling's blog

On Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's blog, Curt responds to commenter questions, reviews his starts pitch-by-pitch, discusses his various charities, engages ex-teammate Kevin Millar in conversation, and responds to the recent controversy over his bloody sock from the 2004 postseason. Love him or hate him (or defend his blogging, at least), it's a new way for athletes to engage the public, and any baseball fan can learn a lot from his analysis of his starts.
posted by ibmcginty on Apr 28, 2007 - 23 comments

He's totally scalping the tickets.

"...it looks like the dad's selling the tickets, the boy's complaining about something, and the mom and girl are extremely disinterested." If you liked Ted Bates, you'll love the Portland Sea Dogs. Quoth King Kaufman: "The hilarious part of the controversy is the statue itself, which is funnier than Spinal Tap's Stonehenge. It's that bad."
posted by staggernation on Apr 10, 2007 - 54 comments

The Anti-Boos Movement

Are you tired of being against him? Are you tired of expecting him to fail, and standing up to boo when he does so? Are you tired of not feeling good about having Alex Rodriguez play third base for your favorite team? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are ready. Welcome to The Movement.
posted by one_bean on Apr 10, 2007 - 52 comments

Jackie Robinson Day

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson

This Sunday April 15, 2007, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the breaking of baseball's color barrier. For one day, superstars and managers throughout the sport as well as entire teams will be saluting his memory by wearing Robinson's retired number 42. Robinson is honored for his tremendous leadership both on and off the field (previously), he is remembered for his determination in overcoming racial prejudice and hatred, and for his post-career activities as a civil rights advocate. Perhaps the highest compliment is to say simply that Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest players to ever grace a baseball diamond, but his contribution to baseball, and to equality in America was far greater than statistics and pennants.

"Mr. Rickey, do you want a ballplayer who is afraid to fight back?" "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back!" See The Jackie Robinson Story, starring the man himself. (1:16:29, Google video)
posted by edverb on Apr 9, 2007 - 20 comments

When Sports Fans Go Mad

When Sports Fans Go Mad. Just in time for your NCAA Final Four weekend: a celebration of sports fans' best and worst pranks, taunts, and hijinks. This ain't no Brady Bunch episode. Some require the skills of a tattoo artist. Some are confusing. Some are about public humiliation. This one, however, really takes the cake.
posted by papoon on Mar 31, 2007 - 14 comments

Farewell Dodgertown

Blue Heaven: a tribute to Dodgertown. [ESPN link via]. Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL became the spring training headquarters for the Dodgers and their many minor league teams in 1948. The site, which prepares the Dodger major and minor league clubs for the season, is being abandoned by the Dodgers for presumably less green pastures in Arizona. Voiceover narration is a bit maudlin, but the photographs are excellent.
posted by Tommy Gnosis on Mar 30, 2007 - 5 comments

F*ck Face snuck into baseball card for the second time

People wondered how something as blatant as this got in Billy Martin's 1989 baseball card. President Bush and Mickey Mantle want to know too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Mar 2, 2007 - 14 comments

Bring your glove and Pepto-Bismol

"We're offering a fan amenity. Fans can elect to choose it or not choose it. We are offering basic ballpark fare that most fans enjoy." An all-you-can eat section at the Dodger stadium for the coming baseball season. Quintessentially American.
posted by jaimev on Jan 12, 2007 - 47 comments

Want to Buy a Baseball Stadium?

Detroit's Tiger Stadium is for sale. A final walk-through opportunity takes place Monday, December 18, only for pre-approved corporate bidders. But it won't be re-purposed into condos. My childhood heroes played there, less than a mile from my house, as well as one of the best ever to play the game. After a long history of baseball on Michigan Trumbull (click the "More Photos" icon), the Tigers took their game to a new stadium in 1999.
posted by The Deej on Dec 17, 2006 - 20 comments

Life before the Ashes

Stoolball is the medieval ancestor of cricket and baseball. First mentioned in print in 1671, it was reputedly played by milkmaids, who used their bare hands as bats. The game is still played today in some parts of south-east England, but luckily with frying pan-shaped contraptions instead. An important rule is that not following the spirit of the game will get you sent off the pitch. Here are some pictures of games in progress, along with other medieval bat-and-ball games such as Nipsy and Knur & Spell. Or, if you don't like ball games, try another medieval sport, dwile flonking (play online in flash).
posted by randomination on Dec 6, 2006 - 21 comments

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