Category Archives: Baseball Blogs

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Steve Contursi

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John FarrellDeserves Manager Of The Year

View Call to the Pen story here

 

Now Writing For Empire Writes Back

Dear Friends and Readers,

I will no longer adding posts to Reflections On Baseball.

Instead, I’ve joined the staff of Yanks Go Yard  as a Site Expert/Editor.

Yanks Go Yard is affiliated with FanSided , a company owned by Time, Inc. is also affiliated with Sports Illustrated and USA Today.

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Steve Contursi

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YANKESS TO RELEASE A-ROD

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According to a ESPN Report, Hal Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the New York Yankees, met privately with Alex Rodriguez before last nights loss to the Giants to discuss his possible release.

Team sources called the meeting “positive”. If released, the Yankees would be responsible for the remaining $28 million due to Rodriguez whose contract expires at the end of the 2017 season. 

The move (if made) would allow Rodriguez to sign with another team in an attempt to reach the vaunted goal of 700 home runs (he needs four more) and perhaps a run at Babe Ruth’s 714 if he plays next year.

The Yankees and A-Rod have played the string out through good times – his contribution to a World Championship in 2009 – and bad times with countless lawsuits and back page media fodder stemming from the steroid accusations. 

His release would wipe the slate clean for the Yankees and signal to their fans that they are (finally) ready to move forward in developing a new and younger face to the team.

Yankees Spring Baseball

. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

And if they are really serious, Texieria, Sabathia, McCann, and Beltran should follow a similar path or be traded to make way for farm talent like Aaron Judge (above), Gary Sanchez (below), and Greg Bird who will return from an injury next season.image

Remember, we are talking about a team which at last count is worth $3.4 billion. But first, we’ll have to wait and see if they pull the plug on Rodriguez……..

 

THE DELUSIONAL YANKEES AND ALBERT EINSTEIN

"The definition of insanity is when  you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result"

Albert Einstein

It's becoming an almost arduous task to read our local New York papers these days.image Before the All Star Game, they talked about the "crucial stretch" of games before the break against sub .500 teams that would put together a run and put the team in serious contention. That didn't happen and the Yankees are back where they've been all year at .500.

Now, the talk turns to yet another set of "crucial series" against the Red Sox, Orioles, and Giants. And how A-Rod is asking for and is being given a chance to play first base again - and Nathan Evoldi is being given yet another chance to prove himself as a starter next Tuesday against the Orioles......and blah blah blah........

Like I'm supposed to get excited about all this wishful thinking as a Yankee fan?

I don't think so. I'll tell you what would get me excited though......

And that's if the front office could get a grip on reality by acknowledging that the 2016 Yankees are at best a mediocre and (still) very old team with little or no chance of making the playoffs this season.

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And stop treating me like a little kid telling me, "Don't worry son, everything's gonna be all right"......

Because it isn't gonna be all right......

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ONE MAN’S BIG LEAGUE ODYESSY……

REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL

Note: Dylan Bundy is scheduled to make his first start for the Orioles in 2016. It hasn’t exactly been an easy ride to get there as you’ll see when you read on….

Imagine being a first round draft pick from Owasso, Oklahoma and the fourth player taken overall in the 2011 baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles, signing a $6+ million contract, then breezing your way through imageyour first stop in the minors in 2012 tossing 30 consecutive innings before you allow an earned run, then following that up at your next stop at Frederick winning eight of eleven decisions while averaging more than a strikeout per inning………and capping it all off with a call up to the Orioles that September.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? But this is the true story of Dylan Bundy. However, the only flaw in the story is that those 1.2 innings he tossed for the…

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“THE FASTER THEY COME IN, THE FASTER THEY GO OUT”

Those are the words my high school baseball coach used to say when he tried to get me to use breaking balls more often against power hitters. I didn’t buy into it preferring power vs. power and let the chips fall where they may. Which in a way is what we’re seeing in the game today.

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The game of baseball today at its highest level is all about power. the talk in baseball after the All Star Game, and especially after Giancarlo Stanton’s Home Run Derby explosion (video), is this……..what’s up with all the home runs this year? 

A degree of panic is setting in as once again MLB has to answer the question yet again – do we have a bunch of juiced up players in the game today?

Commissioner Rob Manfred answered the question while in San Diego this way….”We think it has to do with the way pitchers pitch and the way hitters are being taught to play the game. You’ve seen some unusual developments in terms of home run hitters being up in the lineup to get them more at-bats. So we think it has more to do with the game this time around, because we’re comfortable we’re doing everything we can on the performance-enhancing drugs front.”

Typical spin you might expect from the man hired by the owners who like to see the “asses in the seats” that home runs bring as George Steinbrenner liked to say……except for one thing……

In this case, he’s probably right and here’s why……

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PARITY BE DAMNED – MLB HAS IT RIGHT

Parity is something discussed incessessantly in professional sports. How can you make things “even” between competing teams. This discussion explains from the quintessential baseball movie “Moneyball”

imageIn 2012, Major League Baseball expanded it’s number of teams making the playoffs from 8 to 10. This resulted in each of the thirty teams having a one in three chance of securing a spot in the postseason.

At the same time, the National Football league allows 12 of its 32 teams in the playoffs. This results in 37.5% of the teams making the cut, or three out of every eight teams. More teams get in than in baseball, but not nearly as many as in the parity driven NBA……

If you play in the National Basketball Assosciation, your team has an astounding one out of two chances to be in the postseason and maybe that explains why they drag on for two months.image

 

Baseball has it about right and any further moves to add more teams into the mix will only serve to water the playoffs down further by creating superficial fan interest in teams that are simply not very good to begin with.

In other words, don’t fix something that ain’t broke………..and besides……this format is thriving……

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PETE ROSE BELONGS IN THE HALL – IT’S SIMPLY A NUMBERS GAME

REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL

Putting Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame where he belongs is simply a recognition thof what he did on the playing field,  the numbers he put up, and the relentless zeal with which he played the game. The man has the most hits ever over a career for God’s sake! And besides, some of the greatest players in the game could also be a jerk at times by demonstrating questionable character. 

Ted Williams who is often credited with being the the best pure hitter to everted-williams-with-bats play the game once was fined $5000 (a princely sum in 1956) for – get this – for spitting on fans during a game in his own ballpark. He was also known as a loner and egomaniac who was certainly not the go-to guy in the clubhouse. Ted Williams is in the Baseball Hail of Fame.

Joe DiMaggio is also in the…

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