• Cubs Cleaning House

    Posted by on May 31st, 2012 · Comments (12)

    Via Bob Nightengale

    The Cubs are letting teams know that nearly everyone but starter Jeff Samardzija is available, two high-ranking team officials told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of competitive reasons.

    Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster are veterans starters who can fill out the top of a rotation for a contender. Shortstop Starlin Castro already is a star at 22 but can be obtained for two impact prospects. First baseman Bryan LaHair, a surprise bright spot with 10 home runs, can be cleared to make room for top prospect Anthony Rizzo.

    And the Cubs gladly will chip in cash for a team to take left fielder Alfonso Soriano and the more than $45 million left on his contract.

    With so many teams contending, Theo could have some fun with this white flag sale…

    Great Fielding Shortstops

    Posted by on May 31st, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Here’s one cut at an all-time list -

    Rk Player Rfield From To Age G
    1 Mark Belanger 240 1965 1982 21-38 2016
    2 Ozzie Smith 239 1978 1996 23-41 2573
    3 Joe Tinker 180 1902 1916 21-35 1806
    4 Luis Aparicio 147 1956 1973 22-39 2601
    5 Art Fletcher 144 1909 1922 24-37 1533
    6 Marty Marion 130 1940 1953 22-35 1572
    7 Rabbit Maranville 130 1912 1935 20-43 2670
    8 Omar Vizquel 129 1989 2012 22-45 2927
    9 Jack Wilson 127 2001 2012 23-34 1359
    10 Lou Boudreau 118 1938 1952 20-34 1646
    11 Pee Wee Reese 117 1940 1958 21-39 2166
    12 Phil Rizzuto 116 1941 1956 23-38 1661
    13 Billy Jurges 113 1931 1947 23-39 1816
    14 Adam Everett 111 2001 2011 24-34 880
    15 Bobby Wallace 110 1901 1918 27-44 1743
    16 Ozzie Guillen 105 1985 2000 21-36 1993
    17 Roger Peckinpaugh 100 1910 1927 19-36 2011
    18 George McBride 99 1901 1920 20-39 1659
    19 Everett Scott 95 1914 1926 21-33 1654
    20 Dave Bancroft 93 1915 1930 24-39 1913
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 5/31/2012.

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    Billy Jurges had some interesting things happen to him:

    In 1932, Jurges played a central part in two seemingly unrelated acts. On July 6, his former girlfriend, lounge singer Violet Valli, called Jurges on the telephone, then entered his hotel room with a gun to attempt suicide. Jurges intervened and took a bullet in the hand and another through the ribs. There was a similar episode seventeen years later, also in Chicago, involving Eddie Waitkus (who, ironically, also played for the Cubs, but was then a Phillie), by Ruth Ann Steinhagen, a young woman obsessed with him. It’s possible that the Jurges incident, rather than the Waitkus shooting, is the real inspiration for the novel and film The Natural.

    Jurges only missed three weeks, but the contending Cubs signed ex-Yankee shortstop Mark Koenig as insurance. Koenig, who went on to hit .353 the rest of the way, was voted a half-World Series share. The New York Yankees reacted strongly to this perceived “slight” and rode the Cubs unmercifully during the World Series, culminating in Babe Ruth’s “called shot” off of Charlie Root in Game 3.

    A-Rod’s Career RBI Totals Within His Team’s First 50 Games

    Posted by on May 31st, 2012 · Comments (4)

    Back in his best seasons, A-Rod was good for 30 to 45 RBI within his team’s first 50 games of the season.

    This year, he’s got 19 RBI. Here’s the list for him:

    Rk Year #Matching   PA AB H HR RBI 6
    1 2001 22 Ind. Games 104 88 40 17 49
    2 2005 24 Ind. Games 112 97 47 17 49
    3 2002 27 Ind. Games 123 105 41 15 48
    4 2000 25 Ind. Games 120 95 41 15 46
    5 2007 21 Ind. Games 101 87 35 19 44
    6 2006 24 Ind. Games 110 92 33 13 42
    7 1998 25 Ind. Games 119 106 46 19 41
    8 1996 16 Ind. Games 76 72 35 9 37
    9 2003 21 Ind. Games 99 88 39 15 35
    10 2010 22 Ind. Games 101 85 32 6 35
    11 2004 18 Ind. Games 86 72 29 12 29
    12 1997 18 Ind. Games 90 81 35 7 28
    13 2011 16 Ind. Games 70 56 24 9 27
    14 2012 10 Ind. Games 45 39 17 7 19
    15 2009 9 Ind. Games 37 34 14 7 17
    16 1999 10 Ind. Games 46 38 19 8 16
    17 2008 12 Ind. Games 48 44 19 6 16
    18 1995 7 Ind. Games 31 29 12 2 9
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 5/31/2012.

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    Could it be possible that Alex Rodriguez will have less than 60 RBI this year, playing full-time, batting in the middle of the Yankees line-up?

    Backstop Babies Fight Over Who Throws Ball To Pitcher

    Posted by on May 31st, 2012 · Comments (14)

    Via Marc “The Mad Hatter Twitter King” Carig

    Yankees catcher Russell Martin lashed out at home plate umpire Laz Diaz after last night’s 6-5 victory over the Angels. After the two had earlier argued over balls and strikes, Martin said the umpire refused to let him throw the ball back to his own pitchers whenever a new ball was put into play.

    “He told me I had to earn the privilege,” said Martin, a seven-year veteran, three-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner. “Even at the end of the game after I get hit in the neck. I’m like, can I throw the ball back now? He’s still like no. I’m like you’re such a (expletive). Like for real. Unbelievable. I even told him like when there’s guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose. No. I’m not letting you throw a ball back. That’s pretty strange to me.”

    When informed that his choice of words wasn’t printable, Martin said “I wish it was.”

    Then, he helped come up with suitable alternatives before leaving the clubhouse.

    Diaz was not available for comment.

    “That was strange,” Martin said. “I was kind of mystified. I really didn’t get that. He was punishing me.”

    Typically, Martin said umpires grant his request to throw the ball back to his pitcher, which he likes to do just to keep his arm loose during games. Even after arguments, he said no umpire had ever denied him the request until last night, when Diaz told him he hadn’t earned the right.

    “Now, thinking back, I should have shown him the gold Rawlings sign on my glove,” Martin said.

    Though Martin bit his tongue and didn’t call Diaz any names on the field, the catcher said he took the umpire’s actions as an attempt to goad him into an ejection.

    Martin wants to keep his arm loose? That’s weak. A catcher makes 12 to 40 throws back to the pitcher per inning. Not being able to throw the ball back to the mound when a new one comes into play is not going to make the difference between staying loose or not. On the flip side, Diaz is being a hump by insisting that he throws the ball to the pitcher. What’s the need for that? Outside of vanity, I can’t think of any reason why the ump needs to make a throw. It’s not like he’s saving the ball from being doctored or something.

    This whole thing is a couple of guys acting like babies. Grow up guys…geesh.

    Bad Day For The Class Of ’62

    Posted by on May 30th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Jamie Moyer designated for assignment by Rockies.

    Starters In 2012 To Date With Most Games Allowing 4+ Runs

    Posted by on May 30th, 2012 · Comments (5)

    Here is the list -

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    Sort of somewhat explains why the league standings are what they are today…

    To Cheat Or Not to Cheat

    Posted by on May 30th, 2012 · Comments (16)

    Great read.

    The Difference Between The Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim & The New York Yankees Of Bronx This Season

    Posted by on May 30th, 2012 · Comments (27)

    When the Angels needed help this season, they called up super-prospect Mike Trout from their farm system. When the Yankees needed help this season, they called up Jayson Nix and Dewayne Wise.

    Seriously, the Angels started this year 18-25; but, since then, they have won 8 games in a row (to date) and have changed the direction of their season.

    It would be nice to see the Yankees run off a long and impressive winning streak too. But, I don’t know if that can happen with their starting rotation. There’s just way too much inconsistency there.

    In fact, this Yankees season is starting to look a lot like their 2008 season – sans the ability to deflect attention from their level of play via the buzz around their Stadium closing.

    Your Yankees Fan Perspective Today

    Posted by on May 29th, 2012 · Comments (23)

    Heading into tonight’s game, the New York Yankees are 2.5 games out of first place and 2.0 games out of last place. Are you happy about the former or concerned about the latter?

    Mark Teixeira’s Last 15 Games

    Posted by on May 29th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    In his last 15 games, Teixeira’s BA/OBA/SLG line is .377/.459/.774 (in 61 PA). And, that includes the “break” he got when the Yankees hosted the Reds. Hey, the dude is streaky…

    Living On The Edge

    Posted by on May 29th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    I know that it’s a somewhat format-driven fluke-stat, but, the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals are the only team in baseball history to lose 7+ games in a post-season and yet win a World Series ring that year. 

    No team has ever lost 8 games in a post-season and won it all that year – but, it’s still possible.

    As John Sterling Would Say…

    Posted by on May 29th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    Thuuuuuh…ug.

    Chasing Elvis

    Posted by on May 29th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Phil Hughes has allowed a homerun in each of his 10 games this season. Over the last 15 years, only one other pitcher allowed a homer in each of his first 10 games of a season: Kansas City’s Runelvys Hernandez allowed a home run in each of his first 12 games in 2006.

    I like Phil’s chances of catching up with Running Elvis.

    Yankees Request Denied By MLB

    Posted by on May 29th, 2012 · Comments (7)

    Apparently, the league feels that it would be unacceptable for New York to play either Kansas City or Oakland every day.

    The Don’t Name Them Like They Used To…

    Posted by on May 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    Highball Wilson
    Snake Wiltse
    Togie Pittinger
    Jock Menefee
    Heinie Meine
    Kaiser Wilhelm
    Chappie McFarland
    Cowboy Jones

    Imagine if they were all on the same pitching staff at the same time…

    66 Years Ago In Yankeeland

    Posted by on May 28th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    It was a special night.

    For me, this reminds me that any diehard Yankees fans out there who are 76 years or older probably remember a time when all the team’s home games were played during the day.  And, no, I am not one of them…

    Imagine That?

    Posted by on May 25th, 2012 · Comments (2)

    The question and the answer.

    Big Daddy & The Meal Ticket

    Posted by on May 25th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    One is in Cooperstown and the other is not.

    Rk Player WAR 5 Age G W L IP H BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF
    1 Rick Reuschel 64.6 23-42 557 214 191 3548.1 3588 935 2015 3.37 114 221 14888
    2 Carl Hubbell 65.3 25-40 535 253 154 3590.1 3461 725 1677 2.98 130 227 14805
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 5/25/2012.

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    Yanks Get Their Maine Man

    Posted by on May 25th, 2012 · Comments (5)

    I guess Sidney Ponson was not interested.

    Something For The Sabercrowd This A.M.

    Posted by on May 25th, 2012 · Comments (4)

    On your mark, get set, go!

    Tm PA Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos RAA 6 WAA Rrep RAR WAR oWAR dWAR oRAR
    STL 1767 49 4 -0 -11 16 58 7.0 49 107 11.6 11.9 -0.4 118
    ATL 1780 2 8 3 10 14 37 4.9 50 87 9.5 7.5 1.9 77
    LAD 1661 17 -5 -2 14 14 37 4.8 47 84 9.2 6.4 2.3 70
    TEX 1770 30 -1 1 15 -4 41 4.0 60 101 9.3 8.9 0.7 86
    BOS 1740 23 -6 -1 26 -4 38 3.8 59 97 9.1 7.4 1.9 71
    TBR 1705 27 -0 -1 14 -5 34 3.4 58 92 8.9 7.9 0.7 78
    TOR 1717 -6 2 -1 43 -6 33 3.3 58 90 8.5 4.7 3.8 47
    ARI 1717 -16 -5 -1 19 15 11 2.0 48 59 6.6 3.6 2.9 40
    CLE 1724 10 2 -1 11 -6 16 1.4 58 75 6.6 6.4 0.2 64
    CHC 1638 -23 2 -2 15 12 5 1.2 46 50 5.6 3.1 2.4 35
    SFG 1695 3 -1 3 -17 15 3 1.1 47 50 5.5 6.4 -1.0 67
    PHI 1757 -12 -1 2 -3 15 1 0.9 49 50 5.8 5.0 0.5 53
    HOU 1663 -18 2 1 1 13 -0 0.7 47 47 5.0 4.0 0.9 46
    BAL 1728 9 1 -3 5 -3 8 0.6 58 67 6.0 6.2 -0.2 62
    CIN 1656 -21 -3 0 0 13 -10 -0.4 46 36 3.7 2.7 0.8 36
    NYY 1673 18 0 -1 -15 -5 -2 -0.6 56 54 4.7 7.1 -2.5 69
    KCR 1635 -10 -2 2 11 -4 -3 -0.6 55 52 4.1 4.1 0.4 41
    MIL 1686 -14 -3 -1 -10 12 -16 -1.0 47 32 3.6 3.9 -0.2 42
    NYM 1712 -2 -4 3 -28 13 -18 -1.3 48 30 3.1 5.2 -2.2 58
    SEA 1728 -26 -0 0 19 -3 -10 -1.4 58 48 4.1 2.8 1.2 29
    LAA 1696 -15 4 -0 5 -4 -10 -1.4 57 47 4.0 4.2 -0.4 42
    MIN 1659 -8 -2 -3 6 -4 -10 -1.4 56 46 3.7 4.0 -0.2 40
    MIA 1669 -32 5 2 -18 13 -30 -2.5 47 17 1.7 2.9 -1.2 35
    SDP 1718 -35 -1 2 -11 12 -32 -2.7 48 16 1.8 2.2 -0.4 27
    CHW 1701 -2 1 -2 -14 -5 -22 -2.8 57 35 2.5 5.0 -2.5 49
    WSN 1675 -21 -1 -1 -22 12 -33 -2.8 47 14 1.4 3.2 -1.7 36
    DET 1657 -6 2 -2 -17 -6 -29 -3.6 56 27 1.4 4.3 -2.8 43
    OAK 1687 -50 6 1 5 -4 -42 -4.9 57 15 0.4 0.7 -0.3 10
    COL 1637 -25 -0 3 -48 13 -57 -5.5 46 -11 -1.1 3.1 -4.3 37
    PIT 1550 -57 -2 0 -10 11 -58 -5.8 43 -15 -1.7 -1.4 -0.4 -5
      50801 -212 6 2 -5 148 -61 0.5 1558 1497 144.6 143.4 0.1 1502
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 5/25/2012.

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    Discuss.

    David Wright, 2012 N.L. MVP?

    Posted by on May 25th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    If the Mets win 85+ games this season, and Wright continues the pace he’s on this year – which, granted, would be very tough – he has to become the first Mets player ever to win a MVP award, right?  (No pun intended.)

    Who else would get it? Michael Bourn? There’s no way that Ryan Braun would ever win it again – no matter what kind of numbers he puts up. Maybe someone on the Dodgers?

    Rob Neyer Visits Yankee Stadium

    Posted by on May 24th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Rob Neyer offers his take on the new Yankee Stadium.

    I actually did “LOL” when I read this one comment left by one of his readers regarding the difference between the new Yankee Stadium and the last one:

    The real difference: The old stadium was “The Warriors.” The new stadium is “Walt Disney presents The Warriors…on Ice!!!”

    Funny stuff.

    I went to the first regular-season game ever at the new Yankee Stadium. And, I went to a number of games there in 2010 and 2011. This year, to date, I have gone once and plan on going at least another three times.

    I went to games at the last Yankee Stadium so many times that I’ve lost count. For sure it was probably at least a hundred times. Maybe closer to 150?

    In any event, I have grown to really like the larger and open concourses and better restrooms at the new Stadium. And, the staff there is much more friendly than at the old Stadium. But, the new place is way too expensive and it just does not have the feel of the old Stadium. Neyer hits on this when he writes:

    I’ve had a bit stronger reaction, perhaps because I’m not predisposed toward the franchise. Yankee Stadium is perfectly serviceable, but upon my first visit this week I was actually disappointed. Disappointed with its lack of character. Disappointed with its lack of charisma. Disappointed with its lack of gravitas.

    The only major league ballparks that I’ve attended are the first Yankee Stadium (back in 1973), Shea Stadium, the last Yankee Stadium, and the new Yankee Stadium. So, I cannot compare the new Yankee Stadium to anything else but the last Yankee Stadium.

    Soon, I would like to visit Citi Field, Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park to get some perspective. And, if possible, I would love to see games at Comerica Park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Safeco Field, PNC Park, Wrigley Field and AT&T Park. (I’m on the fence with Fenway Park. The baseball history nut in me wants to see it. But, I’ve heard that it’s not a comfortable place to watch a game. And, the Yankees fan in me would have a hard time sitting there with all those Red Sox fans, I suspect.)

    Sitting Big Willie Style

    Posted by on May 24th, 2012 · Comments (21)

    I did not see the Yankees game last night.  How the heck did Will Smith’s family get such great seats?

    A-Rod’s Homers

    Posted by on May 24th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    I was just looking at Alex Rodriguez’s career homerun splits. And, this caught my eye – how many outs there were when he homered:

    1 Out -   213
    2 Outs – 212
    0 Outs – 211

    The symmetry here is eye-catching. What does it mean? I don’t know – if it means anything other than it being a cool split.

    Are The Yankees For Sale?

    Posted by on May 24th, 2012 · Comments (22)

    Via the Daily News -

    Rumors are flying in Major League Baseball and New York banking circles that the family that has owned Major League Baseball’s premiere franchise since Cleveland shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchased the club for $8.8 million in 1973 is exploring the possibility of selling the Yankees.

    Multiple baseball and finance sources told the Daily News they are hearing that the team the Steinbrenner family has led to seven World Series titles could be put on the block in the wake of the record sale price of $2.175 billion the Los Angeles Dodgers went for in April.

    “There has been chatter all around the banking and financial industries in the city for a couple of weeks now,” one high-level baseball source told The News.

    Yankee president Randy Levine adamantly denied the rumors: “I can say to you there is absolutely, positively nothing to this. The Steinbrenners are not selling the team.”

    Sure, and, back in the ’50′s, the Dodgers and Giants said they were not moving to the West Coast…

    Seriously, now is the time to sell for the Steinbrenners. The Dodgers sale set the market price. And, the Yankees know that their team is getting old and average…and the pipeline is not full of legit prospects. Factor in the changes in the draft and payroll taxes – and the Yankees product on the field is going to get worse in the future. Then attendance and TV ratings go down. That’s not going to help the value of the team. Better to sell now, and cash out, while the value is still high.

    Bold Yankees-Related Prediction

    Posted by on May 23rd, 2012 · Comments (7)

    When you wake up on the morning of June 25th and look at the Yankees won-loss record, New York will be 36-35 (at best, and maybe worse).

    Yes, I am saying that, 71 games into this season, the Yankees will be just about a .500 team. 

    Don’t think so?  Look at the Yankees next 28 games.  And, tell me where they are going to get more than 14 wins on that schedule given the way the team has played so far this year.

    Most 2-Out Hits In 2012, To Date

    Posted by on May 23rd, 2012 · Comments (2)

    Here’s the leaderboard in this stat:

    David Wright 24
    Michael Young 22
    Josh Reddick 22
    Adrian Beltre 21
    Starlin Castro 21
    Ichiro Suzuki 20
    Adam Jones 20
    Derek Jeter 19
    Elvis Andrus 19
    Miguel Cabrera 19
    Andre Ethier 19
    Andrew McCutchen 19
    A.J. Pierzynski 19
    Adam LaRoche 18
    Joe Mauer 18
    Shin-Soo Choo 18
    Nelson Cruz 18
    Ryan Braun 18
    Paul Konerko 17
    Carlos Beltran 17
    Chris Johnson 17
    Lucas Duda 17
    Josh Hamilton 17
    Carlos Gonzalez 17
    Dustin Pedroia 17
    Melky Cabrera 17
    Matt Kemp 16
    Michael Bourn 16
    Prince Fielder 16
    Matt Holliday 16
    Giancarlo Stanton 16
    Alfonso Soriano 15
    Edwin Encarnacion 15
    Carlos Lee 15
    Asdrubal Cabrera 15
    Curtis Granderson 15
    Jose Altuve 15
    Brett Lawrie 15
    J.D. Martinez 15
    Angel Pagan 15

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    Thoughts on this list?

    Melky “Leche” Cabrera Vs. Nick “The Lish” Swisher

    Posted by on May 23rd, 2012 · Comments (2)

    I wonder who will get more money and years as a Free Agent after the season?

    If Nipsey Russell Was Alive Today & A Yankees Fan…

    Posted by on May 23rd, 2012 · Comments (2)

    An instant classic.

    Tigers Fans Are Showing Up

    Posted by on May 23rd, 2012 · Comments (1)

    Close to ten thousand more a game – so far this season.  That Prince Fielder move is paying for itself this year…

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