New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana has an individual handshake ritual for every player on his team.
Mariano's Gonna Cut You, and other stat-and-graph filled baseball analysis from Beyond the Boxscore. [more inside]
People die and different folk celebrate and mourn in various ways. However, while it does seem as if everyone is blogging about baseball and boxing or UFC during these times that try men's souls'... not everyone can write about it for the CTV network. John will be missed by both Blue Jay and Expo fans and perhaps fight fans as well. Please take a moment of your time to click on some links, thank you.
John C. Odom, the minor league baseball player made famous last year for being traded for ten bats, has met a tragic end.
He predicted a losing season for the White Sox in 2007 and foresaw that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the best team in the American League in 2008, although he wrongly predicted that the Rays would win the World Series. He also predicted Obama's 6-point victory over McCain. Now the stats guru Nate Silver is picking the Oscar winners and predicting an upset win for Taraji P. Henson in the Best Supporting Actress category.
In 2003, Major League Baseball ran a testing survey to see if they had a steroid problem. They did, but the names of the 104 players testing positive were kept secret. Today, one of the names was revealed: Alex Rodriguez.
The Guardian is knocked for six by American sport references in British media Creeping cultural imperialism? The effect of internet media from foreign news outlets? Or just Guardian handwringing about something no one else notices? Is British media alone in this trend?
You have probably heard of Roy Hobbs, the fictional baseball player in The Natural. The book and movie were loosely base on the life of Eddie Waitkus. Eddie was having a fine pro baseball career, when on the night of June 14, 1949 an obsessed girl, Ruth Ann Steinhagen, lured him into a hotel room and shot him.
Dock Ellis, an American baseball pitcherprev, won more games for the champion 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates than anyone else that year. Of course, he was under the influence of the performance-enhancing drug known as LSD on at least one no-hit occasion. Ellis died yesterday at the age of 63. [more inside]
So you're a minor-league pitcher in the Blue Jays system, not an exceptionally good one - a non prospect. So what do you do? You blog about a great prank you played on a teammate.
The Kobe 9 Cruise, a Japanese professional baseball team, has drafted Eri Yoshida as a pitcher. She's sixteen years old, a high school student, and will be the first female professional player. [more inside]
Flash Halloween Friday Fun: Zombie Baseball. John and Sam are the only remaining humans left on Earth due to a horrible virus gone wrong. Sam drops baseballs and you (playing John) hit them into zombies...Rinse and Repeat! The obligatory upgrades and special bats as you increase levels.
Diamond Artistry. With the baseball postseason about to begin, some folks won't just be looking at the ball, they'll be checking out the backdrop. Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellor gets most of the credit for kicking off a revolution in creating patterned fields for Major League ballparks, with designs including the Sox logo, intricate plaids, and an American flag mowed into the field. Want to do this to your own lawn? He's got a book to tell you how. (Previously.)
One hundred years ago today, September 23, 1908, the Chicago Cubs played the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. In one of the best seasons in baseball history, the two teams were in a hot pennant race - separated by one game with two weeks left in the season. What happened next is one of the most famous blunders (if it even was a blunder) in baseball history. [more inside]
Starting Thursday, Major League Baseball umpires will use instant replay to review disputed home run calls.
Jericho Scott throws a 40mph fastball. Okay, not that fast. But too fast for a nine-year old, apparently. That's why he's been banned from playing little league.
Torre's Stories. As part of their ever-expanding blog empire, Major League Baseball has invited Joe Torre to take up the noble habit of blogging. He joins the likes of Kevin Slowey, Bengie Molina, and Mark DeRosa as guys who apparently have time to blog between games. [more inside]
Baseball behind barbed wire. Japanese-Americans brought baseball with them when they emigrated to America. The game had been introduced to Japan, so the story goes, by American Professor Horace Wilson in the 1870s. When Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans were relocated to internment camps during World War II, playing baseball was one of the few freedoms allowed them by camp directors. [more inside]
The Olympics buys a one-way ticket to bizarro world with its new "11th inning rule." Critics are fuming. [more inside]
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]
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)
"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?
Race, class, families, fathers, and baseball: Where Have All the Black Guys Gone?
ESPN's Paul Jackson tells the tale of 10-Cent Beer Night and the ensuing riot in Cleveland on June 4, 1974.
Twenty-five years ago today, after a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers, Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia held a press conference. (SLYT/NSFW)
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]
Improv Everywhere turned a little league baseball game into a major league event. Jumbotron & all. [more inside]
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.
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.
From the diamond to the street (literally) to your mailbox, one thing is absolutely certain: Nails never fails.
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]
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.
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]
"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]
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]
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.
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.
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.)
A Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics, a web-based textbook brought to you by the folks at NASA. [more inside]
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.
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.
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]
1983 Fleer Project As of 8/25/07: 364 of the 660 cards autographed (55%).
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.
A shortstop extraordinaire, loan pitchman, vocal accompanist, announcing icon. and friend to yogi's ...has left the building. RIP, Scooter.
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.
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).
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.