Category Archives: Uncategorized

MLB’S MANUFACTURED “CHANGE ” DEBACLE

Change is a fact of life. We replace, tweak, amend, and create “new” things. With respect to Major League Baseball, any fan can easily list at least five or even ten ways the game has changed since they began to follow the sport. 

And we know that nearly all of the changes made in baseball have fallen under the heading of being gooimages (55)d “for the fans”. Getting rid of the “deadball”, the creation of the DH, lowering the pitching mound, expansion, the addition of Wild Card teams…….and the list goes on. But here’simages (56) the trouble……..Unlike our culture in general, baseball never looks back to re-analyze and re-consider the possibility that maybe things were better (for the game and fans at well) the way they were.

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THE HALL OF FAME – ENIGMAS AND ANOMALIES

In a few days, we’ll know the results of this year’s elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In a post a few weeks ago imageI “elected” Ken “Junior ” Griffey  unanimously and Mike Piazza  (left) to finally creep over the minimum 75% required for election. As with many others, I ignored all of the steroid tainted candidates. You can view all of the candidates on the ballot this year (here) as supplied by Baseball Reference.

Arguments will continue to prevail among baseball affectionados as to who belongs and who doesn’t meritimage membership in this exclusive club……..but honestly I don’t see the need to overthink anything. In fact, if you have to think about it then the player in question doesn’t bear election to the Hall of Fame……….it’s really that simple. So with that in mind, let’s take another look at this year’s ballot…………

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THE NOT SO CURIOUS CASE OF YOENIS CESPEDES

Of all the ingredients that General Managers consider before enacting a free agent signing, the imageafterthought always seems to be the “intangibles” associated with the player. Those little things that mean a lot over the course of a long season……..does he play loud music in the clubhouse…….is he always the last one to board the team bus………..does he have mental lapses in the field…….does he have a stable family life………what kind of car does he drive and how many cars does he own…….all of this comes into play, or should at least when you’re thinking of dropping $100 million on not just a ball player but a person as well. Which brings us to the not so curious case of  Yoenis Cespedes ……

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DON’T SAVE THE SAVE………..

As the role of relievers continues to grow and gain prominence in team building, it’s only natural that MLBimage is taking a closer look at the sabermetrics of relief pitching. Presently, relievers can be credited with a save or charged with a blown save depending on what happens when they enter a game. Recently, we’ve also become familiar with the “hold” that is credited to a reliever who pitches effectively in the middle innings and holds the opposition at bay giving his team a opportunity to win the game. However, the hold is NOT a official statistic.  Blown saves as the words suggest are missed opportunities to protect a lead. However, the “save ” is a bit more complicated as seen here ………..

Rule 10.20 in the Official Rule Book states:
Credit imagea pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and
(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and
(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
– (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
– (b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces; or
– (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.

A closer’s value (i.e. Salary) is currently determined by the number of saves he records weighed against his blown save count. ( Last years saves leaderboard looks like this  while the blown save leaders can be viewed here). But it’s the fact that we’re talking about $$$$ that is causing the problem with regards to revamping stats as they relate to relief pitchers……….

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PASSINGS IN BASEBALL (2015)

In 2015, MLB saw the passage of more than 150 men who played the game, including two Hall imageof Famers in  Ernie Banks and Yogi Berra. A complete list  is provided by my go to source for anything baseball – imageBaseball Reference. Your memory will be jogged by some of the names that appear on the list as you recall their careers and contributions to the game. Here are a few that caught my attention…..

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THE CONTINUED DEMISE OF STARTING PITCHERS

The trade for Ardolis Chapman by the New York Yankees serves as a beacon that imagedemonstrates how teams are building their pitching staffs these days. It goes without saying that the Yankees now have the best backend bullpen in baseball with Chapman, Betances, and Andrew Miller. More than that though, Brian Cashman may silently be  making a statement about his starting staff too…….they suck and he doesn’t trust them at all. In fact. Cashman is not alone when it comes to modern day team building and he’s absolutely correct……..except for the upper crust………starting pitchers are overpaid, overvalued, and underworked……… 

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WOMEN IN PRO BASEBALL-WHERE ARE THEY?

On the surface, it would appear to be the proverbial chicken and the egg question…….why are there not more women involved in Major League Baseball? download (22)Is it because it’s one of the last bastions of a “Men’s Club” and doors remain closed to women who want to pursue a career in baseball…..or is their lack of presence in the game due to the probability that women never even think of pursuing a career in baseball……..

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ARDOLIS CHAPMAN & DAVE RIGHETTI – A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN

Note: Two days after I published this article, the Yankees traded for Ardolis Chapman giving up four inconsequential prospects. Though they are not saying it now, they could very well have a plan to make him a starting pitcher as the following goes on to argue……….

For a variety of reasons, including one of his own recent making, the career of Ardolis Chapman has download (33)been botched up since day one. The San Francisco Giants have a opportunity now to step in and create a win-win for both Chapman and themselves through a pairing of Chapman with one of the best pitching coaches (ever) in baseball – Dave Righetti.

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TEAMS WITH A TARGET ON THEIR BACK…..

It seems that every year there are a hand full of teams that use the off season to engage in team building. Whether through trades or by signing images (1)high profile free agents- or a combination of both – they seem intent on making a big splash in the pond believing that if the baseball pundits say you’re good……then you (simply) have to be good.  And more importantly, your fans will believe that you are and begin to buy up tickets so you can (hopefully) “pay to play” once the season begins. This Hot Stove season has been no different and there are several teams with a target on their back resulting from their activities…….

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U.S. PRESIDENTS HOOKED ON BASEBALL

Over the course of this Nation’s history, U.S. Presidents Taft_LibraryOfCongress_HarrisEwinghave shared in the rich cultural heritage and fascination with America’s National Pastime. In perhaps the first reference to baseball (although it was called rounders at the time), Abraham Lincoln once told an aide, “Tell him I’m glad he’s coming, but he’s gonna have to wait till I get my next at bat”.

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