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Tag: "baseball"

Hillsboro Hops

[ 29 ] October 16, 2012 |

The new minor-league baseball team in Hillsboro, Oregon (Portland suburb) is challenging the Albuquerque Isotopes for greatest logo/name in the game:

One presumes good taps at the park. On the other hand, my friend lives in Hubbard, Oregon where he says the Hubbard Hop Festival includes no beers where hops are discernible. So who knows.

Through Rose Colored Glasses…

[ 65 ] October 10, 2012 |

Pete Rose:

Pete Rose is a self-admitted big fan of Derek Jeter, but the all-time hits leader has done some math and says the New York Yankees shortstop will not touch his record.

Rose told the website Sports on Earth this week that not only is time not on Jeter’s side — he’s 38 years old and 952 hits shy of tying Rose — but the Yankees also don’t have the flexibility to move him to another position should Jeter remain productive at the plate.

“I don’t think he will break the record,” Rose said. “First of all, I don’t think he wants to leave the Yankees. And the Yankees, they’re about winning. Jeter had a great year this year, but he’s what? Thirty-eight years old? And he’s a shortstop? How many 40-year-old shortstops you see walking around? Not too many, right?

“And they can’t put him at third because A-Rod’s there. They can’t put him at second ’cause [Robinson] Cano’s there. He don’t help them in left field — he’s got to be in the center of things, you know what I mean? What are they going to do? Put him at first base?”

Move an aging, steadily less productive hitter to an easier position just in order to accumulate stats?  That’s crazy; what kind of manager would let that happen?


[ 22 ] September 28, 2012 |

First Bolsheviks no hitter since Browning. Congrats to Homer Bailey!

Incidentally, is there serious debate to be had regarding Johnny Cueto‘s appropriateness as Cy Young award winner?

Queen City Bolsheviks Seize Machinery of the [NL Central]

[ 28 ] September 23, 2012 |

DJW and I stood witness to the Reds capture of the NL Central last night. As I wrote in March:

The Reds should be viewed as prohibitive favorites in the NL Central…

Ryan Ludwick is an impressive acquisition; there is every reason to expect 25+ home run power…

Once Baker settles Aroldis Chapman into the closer role, the bullpen should be the best in the National League…

With what I expect to be a rejuvenated Bronson Arroyo solidifying the back half of the rotation, the Reds have no worries in the rotation…

It’s not enough to say that Joey Votto is great and be done with it; this team is good enough to win the division *without* Votto…

And if only I’d hit the “Publish” button, they’d be calling me a genius.

To be sure, I did think that the Reds would win the NL Central, and I’m not surprised that they won it going away.  I had much more confidence in the rotation than did Scott (although Arroyo’s season has been remarkable), and higher expectations for Cueto than seemed common at the time. I absolutely could not have imagined that they’d miss Votto for 48 games and go 31-17. We’ll see how things work out moving forward; with Cueto and Latos they have a pair of outstanding playoff starters, plus an excellent bullpen.  Perhaps most importantly, there is no longer a temptation to start Edison Volquez in the first game of the division series…

Race and Baseball Commentary

[ 68 ] September 5, 2012 |

I’m not sure that this study is as scientific as its authors claim, but this piece on how baseball commentators use code words to describe players based upon race suggests the stereotypes many of us already knew existed. As we all know, only white players can be “scrappy” while Latinos are often described as lazy, surly, etc. And of course, the unwritten rule of all sports commentary is that you can only compare a player to another player of the same race.

Also, Jon Heyman is awful, but then you already knew that.

“As if It Were a Grenade that Was Going to Take Out His Platoon?”

[ 23 ] August 7, 2012 |

The key to the hilarity of this clip lies between points 2 and 3. When you watch the GIF, you can appreciate why Matt Downs takes what appears to be a flying leap towards the ball. But then you see the still capturing Downs in mid-air and, if you’re like me, you just can’t stop laughing.

Jim Thorpe was Not a Good Baseball Player

[ 35 ] August 6, 2012 |


He turned professional, big-time, in 1913, signing with the New York Giants baseball team, the Yankees of their day. After a rocky few years playing the one sport that did not come easy to him, by 1919 he was hitting as well as Ty Cobb and Joe Jackson.

Ty Cobb 1919 oWAR (offensive wins above replacement): 5.3
Joe Jackson 1919 oWAR: 5.6
Jim Thorpe 1919 oWAR: 1.0

Even relying on basic stats Thorpe comes us short; he hit an empty .327 in 1919. Jackson hit .351 and Cobb hit .384, both with power and walks. For his career, Thorpe was .4 wins below replacement. Jim Thorpe was indeed a fabulous, extraordinary athlete, and it’s not likely that many Olympic decathletes could turn in a baseball career that came anywhere near replacement level. This is rather a different thing than suggesting that Jim Thorpe was a good baseball player. FWIW, both Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were considerably better baseball players than Thorpe.

Bolsheviks Rising

[ 16 ] July 28, 2012 |

It was obvious to anyone who cared to investigate  that the main obstacle to a Queen City Bolsheviks division title this year was base-clogging-clubhouse-cancer Joey Votto.  With Votto safely in the gulag for the next couple of weeks, the Reds have ample time to open up some distance between themselves and the Rome of the West Princes of Catholicism.

And frankly, I’ll start taking the Pirates seriously just as soon as they start taking me seriously.


[ 27 ] July 23, 2012 |

I don’t care how good a deal it is, or that Ichiro is barely a replacement level outfielder. It breaks my heart.

The Yankees have acquired Ichiro Suzuki for RHPs DJ Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar, a source said. Yanks also get undisclosed cash in deal.



[ 12 ] July 22, 2012 |

Remarkable piece by Jeff Passan on the horrendously sleazy underbelly of Dominican baseball and its exploitation of young children.

Cuban Baseball

[ 15 ] July 22, 2012 |

It’d be easier to sympathize with the Cuban government over the idiotic U.S. embargo if it wasn’t for its equally stupid ban on Cuban baseball players actually making money for their labor, thus forcing players to choose between seeing their family or making a better life for themselves by defecting and signing with an American team.

LGM Baseball Challenge Second Half

[ 6 ] July 12, 2012 |

The sun rises, and Free Leonard leads the LGM Baseball Challenge:

1 Free Leonard, mattricci 4654 98.6
2 brokenax16 entry 1, brokenax16 4489 96.1
3 Ambulance Chasers, jsmdlawyer 4425 94.6
4 Chacin Amy, thearistokatz 4402 94
5 Lexington Bearded Ducks, farls0 4365 93
6 Too Much Coffee, PeterFD59 4166 86
7 WesternDave, dsalmanson 3983 78.9
8 TMTZac entry 1, TMTZac 3971 78.5
9 Smarter Than Yuo, esfleury 3871 74.2
10 Fister? I hardly knew her, sandalteam 3809 71.3

Second half begins tomorrow.  Dethrone the tyrant!

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