Dugout Central Challenge Update

by KerryWhisnant

At the beginning of the season, Dugout Central staff and readers were challenged to predict the number of wins during the regular season for each major league team. Here we see how they are doing at the All-Star break.

In addition to our predictions, other “predictions” are also being tracked: our average prediction, the 2012 records, 2012 Pythagorean records, assuming every team will have a .500 season (81 wins), and the preseason Baseball Prospectus and coolstandings.com projected records. All of the predictions will be compared to the Vegas Over/Under line.

There are two scoring methods, one using the average (AVG) win difference between the predictions and the actual records, and the other using the root mean square (RMS) win difference. The RMS method favors more consistent picks. Both the AVG and RMS are projected to the end of the season.

The AVG standings as of July 14:

Projected AVG

Kerry Whisnant

5.29

Over/Under

5.59

Baseball Prospectus

5.60

Average

5.66

coolstandings.com

5.81

2012 Pythagorean

5.83

John Bowen

6.06

2012

6.44

Chuck Johnson

6.63

81 Wins

7.30

The RMS standings as of July 14:

Projected RMS

Baseball Prospectus

6.84

Over/Under

7.11

Kerry Whisnant

7.20

Average

7.50

coolstandings.com

7.70

John Bowen

8.06

2012 Pythagorean

8.32

Chuck Johnson

8.40

2012

8.71

81 Wins

8.73

While this challenge is strictly for bragging rights, what would happen if we actually put money on these predictions? The following table, arranged in alphabetical order, shows how our predictions are currently doing versus the preseason Vegas line from thegreek.com. The data in each column assumes over/under bets are placed when our predictions differ by at least as many games as shown in the column heading. Most people wouldn’t bet the over/under if their prediction was too close to the Vegas line, hence the 4.5+ column. The outcome of each bet is predicted by projecting the current team win percentages to full-season win totals.

0.5+

4.5+

John Bowen

14-16

6- 4

Chuck Johnson

13-17

4- 8

Kerry Whisnant

18-12

5- 1

Average

15-15

2- 1

Baseball Prospectus

17-13

6- 3

Coolstandings.com

17-13

5- 5

2012

17-13

10- 9

2012 Pythagorean

19-11

11- 6

81 Wins

15-15

11- 9

394 Responses to “Dugout Central Challenge Update”

  1. Raul Says:

    Um, so is Chuck winning?

  2. Raul Says:

    Oh wait, I think the larger difference means you’re losing.

    Damn, dude…

  3. Raul Says:

    Well, that marriage proposal at the Twins affiliate in New Britain, CT was exposed as being fake.

  4. Kerry Says:

    Surely you jest!

    Actually, in the latest standings Chuck is gaining ground, especially in the RMS standings. (Or maybe it’s that I’m losing ground…)

  5. Raul Says:

    Nobody understands your sorcery, Kerry.
    Math…he’s a witch!!

    :)

  6. Chuck Says:

    Last, first, last.

    Just following my normal pattern.

    Wait til next year, I’m kicking butt and taking no prisoners!!

    Probably will only be me though, so I’d win and lose in the same contest.

  7. Kerry Says:

    I’ll always be there to beat you up, Chuck (or vice versa). We do need to get more people involved next year, though.

  8. Raul Says:

    Hahaha.

    As it stands today,

    Tampa and Texas would be the 2 American League Wild Card teams, with Baltimore and Cleveland 1.5 games back. Kansas City is 5 games back.

    St. Louis and Cincinnati would be the 2 National League Wild Card teams, with Arizona 4.5 games back and Washington 8 games back.

    The NL scenario is simple. St. Louis and Cincinnati will make it. Arizona didn’t make any impactful move at the deadline to improve the team and overcome a 4.5 game deficit.

    The AL scenario is really complicated. Baltimore has the bats to stay in this race. Cleveland, I’m not so sure about. They’re 5th in the Majors in Runs Scored, but their entire offense is Kipnis and Santana. By the way, the Indians gave Nick Swisher 54 million dollars in the offseason. He’s batting .239/.340/386 with just 33 RBI. Dynamite job there.

    Kansas City is way back, 5 games out…BUT, they have a very weak schedule the rest of the way. They have 27 games with division opponents in their remaining games, and the rest are against scrubs like the Marlins and Mariners. Depending on how they play against Detroit (11 games), they could be in the thick of it or 10 games out.

    In a 1-game playoff, or a short 5-game series, I think all of the teams above have enough pitching to make it through. But moving into the Championship Series, I like Tampa and St. Louis. Maybe KC if they got lucky and a series went 7 games.

    I think Texas losing Nelson Cruz is going to hurt them.

  9. Mike Felber Says:

    Kerry Says:
    August 7th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Surely you jest!

    Actually, in the latest standings Chuck is gaining ground, especially in the RMS standings. (Or maybe it’s that I’m losing ground…)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A5t5_O8hdA

  10. Raul Says:

    Getting back into the swing of things. Got a few months in the gym.
    Squats are still a b*tch to do. Is it really that bad that I’m avoiding deadlifts? Between the squats, treadmill and elliptical, I feel like I’m giving my legs plenty of work.

  11. Chuck Says:

    Why would you deadlift?

    I agree..what you’re doing is fine.

  12. Raul Says:

    Thanks.

    I was just thinking out loud, I guess.

    Exercise is one of those things that…everyone gets adamant about what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes you get caught up in all that nonsense. I just gotta stick to what is working for me.

    I’ll tell you though…ever since I’ve been going back consistently, I’m reminded how many egos there are at the gym. Lots of girls going in dressed in tight spandez tops or bottoms…guys wearing sleeveless shirts…people lifting weights that they clearly aren’t controlling with proper form.

    It’s kind of a douchebag festival sometimes.

  13. Chuck Says:

    Mark Reynolds DFA’d by Indians.

    Over/under on days before he’s playing for the Yankees is at 3.

  14. Raul Says:

    In 2009 at age 25, Mark Reynolds hit .260/.349/.543 with 44 homers…and 223 strikeouts.

    Reynolds turned 30 a week ago and could be riding the bus in the minors for the next 5 years.

  15. Mike Felber Says:

    Ha, well are you complaining about the sexy girls?

    You do not need to do any particular exercise. Though the power lifting ones are great, squats are if anything better than DLs. Though it is not bad to do some, even here & there too. And at your height & length, ironically you should be proportionately better at them than squats. Which I will guess that you do just up to one plate/135 at this point. And squats are harder than DLs…

    But I had not done DLs in many months-& now just do them occasionally-but when I tied again, I was ~ at my old max. just due to squats. What you are doing is great Raul, just east often & healthy, plenty of fiber, protein, fruits & veggies, limit sweets & refined flour…

  16. Mike Felber Says:

    I am not doing the aerobics per se, sometimes walking for miles does not count, so my hat is off to you Raul. You are doing more than enough for legs, DLs hit the back thoroughly, lower, middle muscles around the spine…If you are not doing it, some exercise for the back & lats is good, & a chest press.

    The smaller muscles of arms, shoulders etc. will get hit just doing a basic pushing & pulling movement.

  17. Raul Says:

    I mainly avoid deadlifts because I rarely did them when I was younger, and I was never comfortable with the form. Being a tall guy, I get this feeling I’ll hurt my back. Though, I guess you could just as easily hurt your back doing squats.

    I’m not squatting anything heavy right now. I’m just getting back into the swing of things and being overweight, I’m pressing enough weight as it is.

    I also have a mile walk to and from the Metro North train station each day. Downhill in the mornings, uphill in the evenings.

    I’m not delusional. I’m fully aware of what hinders my progress. It’s diet. And I have to break this habit of eating sandwiches. All this bread is going to kill me one day.

    I heard that for every pound you are overweight, that’s 7 miles of capillaries your heart has to pump blood through. That is downright frightening.

  18. John Says:

    @12, agreed about douchers at the gym. You’ll enjoy this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLm8CdPXAH8

  19. John Says:

    @17, 100% dead-on. Losing weight and getting fit is about 80-90% diet.

    Might be tough living in the pizza capital of the world and all, but cutting down on/ eliminating cheese can go a long way to shredding pounds.

    Bread isn’t the best thing in the world either, but you gotta get some carbs from somewhere (I prefer sweet potatoes, bananas, strawberries, yams, etc). Phasing out bread is next to impossible, but white bread is a good thing to eliminate.

  20. Raul Says:

    Thanks John.

    Fruit is a tough thing for me. I buy it at the supermarket but a lot of it goes bad before I can get to it. Not a good excuse, really. Just have to figure out a better way to stick to it.

  21. Raul Says:

    LOL @ that video.

    They hit on a lot of them. I was just waiting for one of the girls to grunt..loudly.

  22. Mike Felber Says:

    I do not think it is that overwhelmingly diet-it can be, you can stress either that or intense activity & lose temporarily, But to keep the weight off especially, one needs to alter metabolism. Adding muscle helps, & just eating often & small-moderate meals (more after a significant workout) will condition your body to burn more of the calories if you are regularly “stoked”.

    Completely WHOLE grain bread, not just wheat, but whole wheat or whole grain, is very good for you. The fiber is not only good for you, but it moderates how insulin is released, you do not spike blood sugar levels re: insulin release & then overdo it so easily. Maybe a small % of people need to strictly limit carbs due to how they handle them, but unrefined carbs are the main source of energy, very useful for overall health, especially if you are more active. You need not get them just from the very healthy stuff John mentioned, & fruit you go through quickly. Complex carbs like yams, & whole grains are different.

    Squats are at least as “dangerous” as DLs Raul! You also have all the weight on your back. But while you need not do DLs, it is just the same as a squat? A proper arch, keep your chest outbalance between that & butt, + keep the bar as close as possible to your shins/body.

    Just moderate meal size, keep protein fairly high, eat as much fruit & veggies as you wish. It is very hard for the body not to want to refill fat cells. But kids now are not getting fatter, some states they are getting a bit LESS fat, diue to public programs, sometimes reformed school lunches, & education.

    I had hurt my back a # of times over 5 years Raul. A Dr. advised me not to lift anymore, got a couple of fairly gloomy X-Ray assessments. The back issues ended over a dozen years ago, & for the 1st time IO regularly did FREE WEIGHT squats 6 years ago. strengthening the lower back to avoid muscle imbalances-which worsen when folks are laid up from a back injury-is crucial, unless s specific medical problem, those squats or DLs done properly are great for your back.

  23. Cameron Says:

    6 games over .500, 4.5 games out from the wildcard, and taking 16 out of the last 20… What the fuck is going on?

  24. Jim Says:

    cam, don’t pinch yourself.

  25. Jim Says:

    Watching the game last night, it appears that the Royals confidence finally has caught up w/the talent.

  26. Raul Says:

    I doubt they Sox will get beat by Bruce Chen again.
    I’m calling that a lucky win last night.

  27. Chuck Says:

    John’s right, key to weight loss and maintenance is mostly diet.

    It’s not “what” we eat, it’s how much, and when.

    Your stomach is roughly the size of your closed fist, if you sit down to eat dinner and what’s on your plate wouldn’t fit inside your hand, then it’s too much.

    John is also right about eliminating diary, especially cheese, which is an unnatural and processed product, at least the store bought varieties are.

    Luckily for me that’s not a problem since I only eat cheese on burgers or pizza, and that’s rare.

    The body can’t tell the difference between natural or processed sugars and sodium. On paper it’s a good idea to substitute and apple in the morning for a bagel, but once it’s in your digestive system the sugars are read exactly the same.

    The best way to monitor weight loss?

    Keep a journal.

    That’s why things like Weightwatchers work, it’s not like they’ve developed some magical formula of food combinations, it’s because you have to log on three times a day and write down what you ate.

    Try it, it works.

  28. Raul Says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t hit the powerball. Too bad. You might have had a job offer coming your way, Chuck. Personal chef…

    Haha.

  29. Chuck Says:

    I’m there..proud doesn’t pay the bills.

  30. Raul Says:

    That’s actually a good point. Especially in this economy.

  31. Mike Felber Says:

    I don’t know why activity is not a big part of weight loss. You can burn many more calories, intense lifting even each hour at least up to 2 days afterwards, & muscle burns calories. Also it can moderate appetite, & make you healthier at whatever weight you are.

    John said cheese, not dairy. The folks without a lactose intolerance, & taken in moderation & if reduced fat, can be healthy like anything else. Protein & clacium largely.

    Refined sugars like candy, high fructose corn syrup, & natural like an apple are the same? First, fruit has a bunch of nutrients & fiber. High Fructose corn syrup has been blamed for a variety of cascading negative effects. But even if you reserve judgment on that, & even if you see an apple as the same as table sugar (forget about one being empty calories:

    The processed stuff makes you crave much more of the junk, just like processed/white grains (& have fiber & nutrients removed). Who ODs on apples or even truly whole grains? (That do not spike your insulin levels). It is the refined stuff, & low/no fat stuff with a ton of sugars, that makes you crave more of the empty calories.

    It is depressing how few folks KEEP off weight. A tiny percentage. And without regular exercise it is exceedingly unlikely. I am 10-12% overweight, allow it if I am strong. Yet if I did not lift heavy & eat aggressively for years, I would be smaller. While having a smaller waste WOULD be better, many thin folks are out of shape & in poor health.

  32. Chuck Says:

    Because if you eat right there’s no need to lose weight. Exercise is designed to keep your muscles and tendons etc. in optimal working order.

    Exercising just to lose or maintain weight loss is a crutch for a bigger issue.

  33. Chuck Says:

    Dairy is forbidden in most low fat or low salt diets, Mike.

  34. Chuck Says:

    “Refined sugars like candy, high fructose corn syrup, & natural like an apple are the same?”

    Yep

  35. Chuck Says:

    When I was working at a hospital in dietary, there were two things that were mandated by law,

    1) Had to log everything. And I mean everything. Each patient had a “meal card” (it was a long-term/permanent care facility) which contained their daily nutritional needs..all meals plus any other snack/supplement requirements.

    2) We could not deviate from the cards in any way. If his daily requirements were 3500 calories and there was an audit on a specific day, we had to show proof. The dining room staff would sign off on each meal stating it was weighed and presented correctly. If pork roast was the meal of the day at dinner and pork roast was listed under “dislikes” or even “allergy” or “medical” we could not give it, we had to make something specific just for them.

    I had an instructor in school tell us there was no such thing as metabolism, working at the hospital proved otherwise, we had wheelchair or even bedridden patients who were on 4000+ calorie diets..it’s possible to be completely sedentary and have the internal mechanisms of a triathlete.

    It’s also possible to be the other way around…look at a guy like Joba Chamberlain..professional athlete, runs daily, works out daily, probably burns 4000 calories a day and yet he looks in worse shape than I do.

    When I started counseling on the side I guaranteed weight loss based on two things..keeping the “card” or log, and not so much eliminating calories because in the long run it’s not calories that cause one to be overweight.

    It’s the type of calories you’re consuming…a chef salad has the same amount of calories as a Big Mac, but the FAT content is substantially less and is also substantially bigger. So you’re eating more, the fiber and roughage in the greens will make you feel fuller longer.

    There’s nothing wrong with a a dozen wings and a couple of draft beers at lunch, as long as you understand you can’t eat anything else for the rest of the day outside an orange or a couple of celery sticks. If you’re on a 1200 a day diet and you eat 1200 at breakfast…your decision, but don’t compound it with a 1600 “snack” at 4:30.

  36. Chuck Says:

    “Refined sugars like candy, high fructose corn syrup, & natural like an apple are the same?”

    It’s the volume..100% vs. a negligible %.

  37. Chuck Says:

    Only in the minor leagues..

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2013_08_09_lncafa_hdmafa_1&t=g_box&sid=milb

  38. Chuck Says:

    Only in the minors..Part Deaux.

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2013_08_08_pdrrok_angrok_1&t=g_log&sid=milb

  39. Jim Says:

    Coach sure was pissed about missing spread because of that blown PAT.

  40. Raul Says:

    Wow.

    18-1.

  41. Chuck Says:

    16 run inning, Raul

  42. Chuck Says:

    Good site here, Raul. Download their calorie counter..comes with a fitness tracker.

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/

    I had 1216 calories today..a breakfast burrito this morning, and a vending sized bag of cheetos with a couple of Mikes Hard Lemonade while watching the ballgame.

    It adds up if you’re not careful.

    On the other hand, 1000 is plenty if you’re somewhat sedantary.

  43. Mike Felber Says:

    A few questions:

    I have read a few places that the 2000 used as standard RDA is really basically a maintenance diet for a somewhat sedentary woman. A man about 600 calories more. 1000 for a DAY? Thst is extremely low & unrealistic for most. And if you diet too fast, you will slow down your metabolism/burn less calories, + your body will HOARD calories, right? This is our evolutionary legacy against starvation, & well documented.

    It cannot be good to have a high calories junk meal & then only have, say, fruit for the rest of the day. You still can use healthy small meals, not getting enough protein is not so good for your muscles.

    What is wrong with exercising to maintain weight? OK, we should be concerned about health, but these things overlap.

    Is not MOST of metabolism activity level, lean body mass & muscle? Though there are individual quirks, & something like feast then famine meals will burn less. Most “Jobas” eat a lot. And those wholly inactive 4000 calories patients-were not most of them naturally large?

    You mean things like roughage effect how many calories we eat, which still is about calories…Though I know fat & extra sugar tends to be stores as fat. But a fruit the same as refined sugar? Even if you just consider empty calories vs. nutrients & fiber, it is a big difference. But c’mon, an apple’s sugar is the same for HEALTH vs.a donut’s if it is the same total amount? But I do not know what this means Chuck: “It’s the volume..100% vs. a negligible %”.

    Lastly, I know that a severely restricted sodium diet eliminates dairy. But there are tons of low fat dairy options.

  44. Chuck Says:

    The 2000 is standard, yes, for an average sized man.

    The body will adjust, it takes about two, three weeks for it to recognize changes in intake and will take what it needs from the body’s reserves..which is why you lose weight.

    “It cannot be good to have a high calories junk meal & then only have, say, fruit for the rest of the day.”

    I’m not saying you should, I’m saying it’s OK if you do once in awhile. The statement you can never eat a cheeseburger again for the rest of your life is a myth.

    Exercise is designed to tone and maintain the body itself, heart, lungs, etc. The digestive system is part of the process, yes, but you can be a healthy couch potato if you eat right and balance with supplements.

    “And those wholly inactive 4000 calories patients-were not most of them naturally large?”

    Body size and composition is genetic, and, no, he wasn’t. About six foot, maybe 150 pounds.

    The amount of “bad” sugar in a donut is far more than what’s naturally in an apple, plus the apple is heavier, so by volume the donut has more.

    First and probably most important key to losing and maintaining weight loss is understanding being overweight isn’t a result of CALORIES, as they are all the same.

    WHAT you eat, fats, sugars, carbs, play more of a role than just counting calories.

    There are 9 grams of fat per calorie..it does not vary between beef and celery.

    “But there are tons of low fat dairy options.”

    Right..and they are either processed or otherwise unnatural additives..which in the big picture are worse for you.

    Like diet soda. Zero calories and will eventually kill you.

  45. Raul Says:

    Thanks for that website, Chuck.

    Bookmarked and has lots of good articles.

  46. Bob Says:

    Nic Cafardo in the “Apropos of nothing” section.

    #3. “I think throwing programs are really long and unnecessary.”

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/08/10/baseball-notebook/xsYoxj2TXMI61yjhvtajCL/story.html

  47. Bob Says:

    Sorry. Should be Nick Cafardo.

  48. Mike Felber Says:

    Oh, I see, you mean more bad sugar & more by weight (apples having healthy bulk/nutrients, right).

    But 2000 calories is the USRDA of what the average PERSON needs. However, if you look at any links, this is not a maintenance weight for the average male in size & activity. It is for a fairly sedentary woman. Though folks usually eat somewhat more calories than they think, as you indicated.

    Though it has gotta be calories AND how you burn them, what type plays a role & when (like all at one time) you eat them re: how many are stored or burned.

    Yes, occasionally eating only fruit for the balance of a day will not kill you.

    I do not understand “There are 9 grams of fat per calorie”. Did you mix up that there are 9 calories per gram of fat, & 4 for carbohydrates & protein? Calories can be made up of carbs, fat or protein.

    Granted much low fat stuff is crap-like the diet soda & low fat desserts packed with sugar & mucho fake additives. But why is simple skim milk or cheese NECESSARILY bad for you? Sometimes preservatives may be added, but often they just skim most or all of the fat, no?

    Exercise certainly “tones” the muscles & cardiovascular system. But while some can live long smoking heavily for years-yet it is an exception-tons of evidence shows that we are meant to move, & couch potatoes tend to have more health problems & diseases. Even Weight Watchers began stressing the importance of exercise.

    Body size & composition is heavily effected by genetics. But you can work “hard” at getting fat, staying lean when you tend to be fat, adding muscle…& change that. The guy who was 150 & very inactive & ate 4K calories a day…He sounds like an outlier.

  49. Raul Says:

    It’s really douchey of Cafardo to throw out a sentence like that without any explanation.

  50. Chuck Says:

    Nick Cafardo’s a sportswriter..what the fuck does he know.

  51. Jim Says:

    @46, a strange statement even if it were coming from a pitching coach. Editing error? Then again the heading was Appropo about nothing, i.e. random shit that pops into his mind while brushing his teeth.

    Though you do need to like how he baits the mouth breathers with the RS being the best bet for Stanton. Reminds me of being in Mpls and reading Sid Hartman in the Star Trombone.

  52. Cameron Says:

    Royals keep on rolling. That’s their seventh straight series win in a row and… I believe 17 of the last 22.

  53. Raul Says:

    I think someone wrote that the last time the Royals were this hot was like 20 years ago.

  54. Chuck Says:

    I, for one, am not surprised at what the Royals are doing.

    http://www.dugoutcentral.com/?p=2691

  55. Chuck Says:

    I watched the Perfect Game Scout Showcase (for high schoolers) last night on MLBNetwork.

    I’m almost thinking of not turning on the internet tonight when I get home, with all the handjobbing going on with all the wannabe scouts.

    Broadcast team was Darin Sutton, Eric Byrnes and some PG VP…worst ever. They sucked. I mean hard.

    They had this one lefthander from Hawaii, looked pretty good, had this sweeping, Randy Johnson-ish slider.

    Eric Byrnes said it was “the best lefthanded slider I’ve ever seen”.

    Eric Byrnes PLAYED and FACED Randy Johnson. Among others.

    It got to the point I stopped paying attention to the game and started listening to who could make the most outrageous statement.

  56. Raul Says:

    LOL.

    Players say some silly things sometimes (often?).
    Barry Bonds said that Oliver Perez was the toughest pitcher he faced, or something like that.

    It’s probably worth noting that a statement like that is very different from the idea that such a pitcher is “great”.

    Still, that amount of hyperbole by Byrnes is outrageous.

  57. Chuck Says:

    I understand Perfect Game is the sponsor, and with a VP in the booth there has to be some level of ass kissing going on, but that was WAY over the top.

    During spring training, when the games are televised back to Milwaukee, there are different promos and stuff that are read in the press box and on the air. If the CEO of Milwaukee’s Best is sitting in a box seat next to the dugout with Mark Attanassio, damn straight he’s getting his butt kissed, but how much can you do with a beer commercial?

    The kid is 17, and he has the “best lefthanded slider I’ve ever seen” goes far and above what is necessary.

    It was a tough broadcast to listen to. I’ll watch it again on DVR, with the mute button on.

  58. Raul Says:

    Nobody, at 17, has the best ANYTHING anyone has ever seen.

  59. Chuck Says:

    On this day in minor league history, 1929:

    Reading outfielder George Quellich hits a grand slam against Montreal for his FIFTEENTH consecutive hit, a still standing record at any professional level. He would be retired in his next at bat, then would go on a 13-18 streak, giving him 28 hits in 33 a bats. He would go on to have a brief major league career two years later with Detroit.

    I don’t think I made contact in 15 consecutive at bats.

  60. Kerry Says:

    @58, with the possible exception of female gymnasts…:-)

  61. Kerry Says:

    @59 Quellich had an OPS of .634 in 1931, for an OPS+ of 63. That OPS would give you an OPS+ of 88 or so in 1968 — players in that era have a hard time getting the proper recognition unless they were crazy good.

  62. Bob Says:

    LOL @ 60

  63. Chuck Says:

    ESPN has this new documentary series “Nine for IX”, it’s a female version of the “30 for 30″ they’ve been doing.

    It started after the 30 for 30 that focused on the friendship between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert and the differences between them on and off the court.

    It’s produced by Robin Roberts.

    I saw the one a couple of weeks ago about Sheryl Swoopes and thought that was good, I missed the first one on Venus Williams.

    The one last week was on Katarina Witt…she’s 48 and still makes the blood flow, if you catch my drift.

    Dreams aren’t just for 17 year olds. :)

  64. Bob Says:

    I believe this weeks will be on Mary Decker and Zola Budd.

  65. Chuck Says:

    I saw that about Decker…don’t know who Zola Budd is.

  66. Chuck Says:

    I remember..the barefoot runner.

  67. Kerry Says:

    Budd is the runner that Mary Decker tangled when she fell in the 1984 Olympics.

    If they’re doing stories about female track stars, I want to see one on Suzy Favor Hamilton :-)

  68. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9560421/mike-trout-los-angeles-angels-says-mlb-ban-ped-users-life

  69. Cameron Says:

    And the Royals won again. This series is the Marlins. I’m expecting a sweep with how hot we are. …And how much the Marlins suck.

  70. Chuck Says:

    http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/16539ad9

  71. Raul Says:

    Before I read that article, Chuck, I have to say…great ’stache.

  72. Raul Says:

    I just got to the part where it says D’Aquisto threw 233 innings in rookie ball.

    Times have changed…

  73. Raul Says:

    I got to the part where he retired, and then went to jail.
    Boy, that escalated quickly.

  74. Raul Says:

    Good post, Chuck.

    Was a great morning read

  75. Bob Says:

    Yeah. Thanks Chuck. Been a long time since I heard /read about Mike Ivie. And to be fair, I never heard of John D’Acquisto

  76. Kerry Says:

    Nice story. John D’Acquisto really had an undistinguished career — for someone with 700+ IP, he had the 15th worst WAR, at -1.1. But he was much more typical than any star player, and you realize the trials and tribulations that many professional athletes go through.

    One correction: Decatur in the Midwest League is in Illinois, not Georgia. I especially know this because I grew up there — in fact, 1971, when D’Acquisto was there, was my last summer in Decatur before we moved to St. Louis. We went to a few Commodore games, but I don’t remember if I saw him play.

  77. Chuck Says:

    He went to jail 14 years after he retired…that was a big point of discussion with the editors in getting the story published.

    Not relevant to his baseball career.

  78. Chuck Says:

    “Before I read that article, Chuck, I have to say…great ’stache”

    A lady in my office is a big Giants fan, I sent it to her this morning..said exactly the same thing.

  79. Chuck Says:

    He got set-up as the fall guy in a securities fraud scheme..as a former player he was the front man for the investors and his name was on the documents but the money was being sent to off-shore accounts in spain.

    They did a good job with the paperwork and they really screwed him..his two main co-conspirators eventually went to prison as well, one is dead, the other left the country and is somewhere in Europe where he was arrested there for doing the same thing.

    John is trying to get his record expunged.

  80. Raul Says:

    Is it me or do few movies actually address the mental and emotional grind of being a professional baseball player…off the field.

    That’s what I had in mind when reading the article. D’Acquisto going from one city to the next and his family in San Diego.

  81. Chuck Says:

    She didn’t want anything to do with Montreal or the East Coast, I couldn’t tell the whole story for space reasons but you can get a better idea from this;

    http://instreamsports.com/alpha/blog/2012/12/26/card-never-was

  82. Raul Says:

    That was downright fascinating.
    Loved it.

    Thanks Chuck

  83. Bob Says:

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/08/13/ryan-kalish-to-undergo-cervical-fusion-surgery/

  84. Chuck Says:

    He’s a good storyteller, that’s for sure.

  85. Chuck Says:

    http://www.instreamsports.com/alpha/node/338

    This is his latest…about halfway down there’s a story about George Hendrick.

    Must read.

  86. Raul Says:

    I love the way that guy writes. Really interesting stuff.

    And oh? The Padres pitchers wanted to keep a rookie Ozzie Smith despite his weak bat? I thought baseball people never knew the value of defense until Bill James came along.

  87. Chuck Says:

    I think it’s the other way around.

    People understood the value of defense (and everything else) until Bill James came along and started confusing the shit out of them.

  88. Raul Says:

    LOL

    I was kidding around.
    Some great insights by D’Acquisto.
    Dude, I didn’t even know Hawaii had minor league baseball.

  89. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/9563191/whitey-bulger-wants-stanley-cup-ring-back-report-says

  90. Cameron Says:

    You know, I don’t get excited about movie announcements much, especially knowing how many get stuck in development hell, but I saw reports of Shooter Jennings talking to people about making a biopic of his dad, Waylon Jennings. The outlaw country guys like him, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson have fascinating life stories. Waylon in particular, one of the biggest superstars of country music ever and he was the pure antithesis of Nashville country at the time (…And even more so now. You thought Nashville produced garbage in the 90s, holy hell turn on a country station now).

    I’d watch it. Waylon was a right bastard. Drank like a fish, smoked six packs a day, chased it with cocaine, and when someone said if he saw what he was doing to country music that Hank Williams would roll in his grave. His response? His song “Did Hank Really Do It This Way?” Great song by the way. If you’re not a fan of modern country, check Waylon out. He’s a bit more rock and roll than just about any country you’ll hear.

  91. Raul Says:

    The Pirates are 14-11 in the 2nd half. Good, but not great.

    Andrew McCutchen, however, has been on fire since the break: hitting .360/.431/.674.

    That guy in Detroit? He’s hitting .362/.456/.683 FOR THE SEASON.

  92. Cameron Says:

    And Chris Davis is an asshole for blocking the HR and RBI leaderboards. Especially considering that I’m pretty sure he’s on HGH. He goes from not being able to hit water falling out of a boat to the best power hitter in the majors overnight? Fuck off.

  93. Raul Says:

    The triple crown is special. MVP or not, what Miguel Cabrera did last season was remarkable.

    By just about any measure though, he’s even better in 2013.

    I don’t know if Davis will tank enough to allow Cabrera to make up the RBI and HR difference to win the triple crown this year. Chris Davis has a career line of .312/.360/.540 in 115 September games.

    Miggy’s season, if it keeps up, is going to be an all-time kind of season.

  94. Cameron Says:

    Who the hell knows? He was a career .200 hitter before last season and was backing up Jorge Cantu backing up Michael Young backing up Mitch Moreland in Texas when he was there three years ago. So I really don’t have a clue on how to project his numbers.

  95. Chuck Says:

    Outlier seasons happen all the time, and most of them are not the result of cheating.

    Five years ago Mark Reynolds hit 44 homers, now he’s cashing unemployment checks.

    How come no one is questioning whether Cabrera is on something?

    I don’t know, if you’re cheating now you’re a complete moron, can’t see anyone, no matter how desperate they may feel, from doing anything.

  96. Cameron Says:

    Hate to sound like you Chuck, but I’ve just got a gut feeling about this guy. You don’t go from scrub to superstar overnight. He’s hit over a third of his career home run total this season and he’s been playing for six seasons now.

    You had Jose Bautista, I have Chris Davis.

  97. Raul Says:

    Bautista is doing it in Toronto.
    Davis is doing it in Baltimore.

    You could sneeze into a tissue and it’ll fly over 2nd base in Camden Yards.

    There’s the possibility that it’s just an outlier season, although I think Davis started hitting well at the end of 2012.

    There’s also the possibility that the dimensions of Camden Yards helped him. I mean, David Ortiz juiced, but you have to think that having the Green Monster there had an impact on his approach. Be more patient. Don’t worry if the ball gets in on you. You can pepper it off the wall. Now, staying back and balanced is a sound approach, but some of the balls out to LF in Fenway are lazy fly balls in Safeco. It’s possible that on some level, a guy could actually learn that it’s ok to slap the ball the other way (especially if he’s a pull hitter). Frankly, I thinkt he Monster made Ortiz a better player. Maybe Camden Yards is making Davis a better hitter.

    It could also be that something finally clicked with him and his hitting coaches.
    You really don’t know.

    The thing that separates Chris Davis from Jose Bautista — and this is important — is that Davis always hit. Even in the minor leagues. Not that Bautista wasn’t solid in the minors, but Davis hit TWICE as many homers as him in nearly the same amount of games. Chris Davis rocked it at AAA. Bautista hit well at AA.

  98. Raul Says:

    Another thing that might not mean too much, but…

    Bautista was a 20th round pick.
    Davis eventually went in the 5th round, and was ranked 65th on BA’s top prospect list in 2008.

    Bautista never cracked the top 100.

    Not that scouts are always right, but you’d think Bautista would have caught someone’s eye as a monster prospect during his time in the Minors.

    I mean, credit to Bautista if he’s clean, but how many guys are missed by scouts and go on to hit 54 bombs in 1 season?

  99. Cameron Says:

    I actually did a little research after making that comparison. Bautista actually had fair power in comparison to his playing time and contact. He was a utility guy in Pittsburgh and still hit for about 15 homers a year, despite hitting in the .230 range at best. Davis was like that too in Texas, except he made even worse contact. I think he had a complete Adam Dunn like inability to hit lefties back then, which really tanked his BA as a whole. I’m just wary of guys who have outlier seasons like this starting in their late 20s. Bautista backed it up, but it’s too soon to tell with Davis. Given the recent rash of PED busts though, I’m wary.

    Also, fun fact about Jose Bautista? He set an MLB record in 2004 for being on the most teams in one season.

    -Started with Pittsburgh
    -Claimed by Baltimore in the Rule 5 Draft
    -Claimed off Waivers by Tampa Bay
    -Contract Purchased by Kansas City
    -Traded to New York (NL) for Justin Huber
    -Traded to Pittsburgh with Ty Wigginton and Matt Peterson for Kris Benson and Jeff Keppinger

    Hell of a year.

  100. Chuck Says:

    “I actually did a little research…”

    Good thing to do..anyone have Shaun’s email

  101. Cameron Says:

    Emphasis on little. Feeling like shit today, can’t be bothered to go too in-depth. Though I do admire a guy like Bautista who hit an average of 15 homers a year for four seasons in Pittsburgh even though he was only a starter for two of them, and even in those seasons he was the first to shift if injuries occurred.

  102. Raul Says:

    I’m gonna say right now that the Braves lose in the 1st round of the playoffs.

  103. Cameron Says:

    Number one seeds seem to fade early in playoffs as of late, so I can see that. They’ve got a high powered offense and good pitching, but not good enough pitching to win playoff duels I think. Pitching wins championships, and this isn’t championship pitching.

    World Series is a major crapshoot to me this year. It’s hard to pick out a favorite. Pittsburgh is too green, Atlanta’s too one-dimensional, Detroit lost it on pitching and defense last year…

    I picked the Dodgers last year, they’re my slight favorite again this year. The way Kershaw is pitching, he could drag them kicking and screaming to the Series. St. Louis is a nagging bet in the back of my head.

    Also, if the Royals by some fluke of a miracle make the playoffs this year, all rationality and logic WILL fly out the window in favor of blind homerism.

  104. Chuck Says:

    Going to spring training, it was fun watching Davis take BP.

  105. Chuck Says:

    Anyone notice how fast Yasiel Puig is turning into Chris Shelton?

    Could see it a mile away.

  106. Bob Says:

    Detroit lost it on an extended layoff.

  107. Cameron Says:

    Can’t hit .440 forever Chuck, but damn was it cool while it lasted. Still, he’s got the tools to be a decent ML player out there. …Especially since sanity isn’t required for the job.

    If it was, Kevin Mitchell wouldn’t have left the minors.

  108. Cameron Says:

    Also, the Royals have lost two in a row… Against Miami. Of all the teams to go cold against, it had to be the fuckin’ Marlins.

  109. Bob Says:

    http://news.soxprospects.com/2013/08/xander-bogaerts-top-prospect-shortstop.html

  110. Raul Says:

    High hopes for that Bogaerts kid.

    A bunch of idiot Sox fans didn’t want to see Iglesias traded.
    Since going to Detroit, he’s hitting .244/.279/.317.

    Granted, it’s 12 games. But that was a classic sell-high move by the Red Sox.

    Peavy got rocked by the Royals after a stellar job against the Diamondbacks. He goes against Mark Buehrle and the Blue Jays tonight.

  111. Chuck Says:

    Thanks for the link, Bob, completely impartial opinion there.

  112. Bob Says:

    Glad to provide it.

  113. Raul Says:

    Yankees are 5 back in the wild card.
    The media is on the brink of losing their minds.

    How AMAZING would it be if Alex led the team down the stretch and helped them get into the 1st round?

    Hahaha.

  114. Bob Says:

    Actually just 2 weeks ago the Post had ARod on the FRONT COVER with the caption Just Go.

  115. Bob Says:

    The Phillies released Delmon Young

  116. Bob Says:

    This sucks. http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/marlins-rhp-ramon-del-orbe/

  117. Raul Says:

    When I played 1B, I used to have a little fear in the back of my mind when a lefty came up. I wasn’t always sure I’d have enough time to react to a rocket off the bat.

    I can’t even imagine the reaction time as a pitcher.
    Actually that’s really weird. Because I did pitch a little. And it never occurred to me that the ball might come directly back at me.

    Maybe I thought about it more as a 1B because I was running through all the scenarios of where the ball could be hit. But when you’re pitching, you’re just thinking about pitching.

  118. Cameron Says:

    If you’re on the mound and something comes firing back at you at speed, I don’t think you physically have the time to react. That ball was probably traveling somewhere in the 80s and it only had 60′6″ to clear. That’s the blink of a fucking eye.

  119. Bob Says:

    After the throw by the pitcher, it is less than 60 feet. Plus the ball never reaches home plate on a hit. Pitcher is utterly helpless.

  120. Raul Says:

    I was just thinking about when I used to play.
    Ball is hit here…I’m doing this. Ball is hit there…I’m doing that. Bunt…I’m coming in/covering…etc.

    As boring as people think baseball is, I submit that an infielder does more thinking during the course of 1 game than a basketball player does in a month.

  121. Cameron Says:

    And pitchers think even more than that. That’s why it’s so damn hard to pitch well. Doesn’t matter if you can throw, if you throw it three digits down broadway all game, you’re still fucked.

  122. Bob Says:

    @ 120 Agree. Baseball is a thinking game.

  123. Bob Says:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/08/mlb-prepared-to-expand-instant-replay.html

  124. Bob Says:

    Speaking of Iglesias, unreal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3pHffnOe9U

  125. Jim Says:

    Saw this little tidbit about Iglesias at Fangraphics

    ” In games without Iglesias, Tigers pitchers have allowed a .305 BABIP. In games with Iglesias, Tigers pitchers have allowed a .285 BABIP. A BABIP of .305 would be baseball’s fifth-worst. A BABIP of .285 would be baseball’s fourth-best.”

    Granted a small sample size, but I bet the Tigers’ pitchers like knowing he’s there.

    To your point Raul, the Sox did sell high and the trade was the right thing to do, but I will miss seeing plays like that for the home team.

  126. Chuck Says:

    What did I tell you guys?

    Yanks signed Mark Reynolds.

  127. Raul Says:

    Ugh @ 126

  128. Mike Felber Says:

    Wow, I did not know that you were serious Chuck. They may never learn.

  129. Bob Says:

    http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/23152424/2013/08/15/police-respond-to-home-in-waltham

  130. Chuck Says:

    What a piece of garbage.

  131. Chuck Says:

    So…..

    ARod expose on 60 minutes this week claiming he is the one who “outed” Ryan Braun and a Yankees’ teammate on the Biogenesis investigation to take it away from him.

    He’s now being referred as “A-Rat” instead of A-Rod.

    Anyone surprised?

  132. Lefty33 Says:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/kiss-brings-pro-football-back-los-angeles-arena-123816031.html

    This made me laugh really hard.

    Too bad it’s not an NFL team.

  133. Raul Says:

    “If I’m going down, a whole lot of people are going down with me.” — Nino Brown, New Jack City

    @ 131

  134. Raul Says:

    BTW, is no one concerned at all at how pathetic confidentiality is in MLB?

    It’s arguably the worst in sports.

  135. Chuck Says:

    Charlie Manuel fired.

  136. Raul Says:

    Wasn’t his contract up at the end of the season anyway? What’d they save themselves? 800k?

  137. Jim Says:

    Ran an errand this AM and the local sports talk guys were already referring to him as ARat. Expect that will be heard quite a bit in the Fens tonight.

    @135 That sucks. Manuel deserved better. And the Phillies’ fans deserved a chance to say good-by as Charlie has been a big part of the Phils recent history.

  138. Lefty33 Says:

    Not a shock that Chuckles got canned.

    The Phillies won what they did in spite of him, not because of him.

    Either way it’s a cowardly weasel move by Amaro that casts the aspersion of blame for last year and this year fully on Charlie when that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    Amaro put this crew of injury prone old farts and AAAA misfits together and the manager (whomever it is) can only do so much with a group like that. The time to fire Charlie would have been after the ‘11 season when they fell short of a WS for the third straight year with a team that was a lot more talented then what they have now.

    They won’t circle the wagons until Amaro pulls his head out of his ass and attempts to seriously fix the bullpen and bench for starters. More needs to be done but they are locked into who they have at too many positions: 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CF and LF for the forseeable future.

    He can try to tinker at C but their own two prospects internally are not options for next year (or maybe ever) and the FA market a C for ‘14 is very thin so likely Ruiz will be back while they seem content to stick with Ruf in RF so it’s ironic that they’ll be canning Charlie for this team’s bad performance but next year’s team will likely have the same crew back that is currently on the roster.

    Good luck with that Ryno.

  139. Chuck Says:

    Agree 100%, Jim

    Complete chickenshit move by the Phils.

  140. Chuck Says:

    There’s no way Sandberg is taking this job as an interim..

    I agree, Lefty, but you can say the same thing with Torre, Cox and LaRussa..even Leyland.

    Anyone can manage a team full of All Stars.

    Manuel deserves some credit for what he’s accomplished, and for it to end this way, with six weeks left in a lost season, is bullbleep.

  141. Lefty33 Says:

    It is BS Chuck because of the timing.

    If they fire Charlie after the ‘11 season no one says a word because the teams’ were better, the expectations higher and he looked stupid in several spots in the ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 postseasons where he clearly got outmanaged.

    ‘12 and ‘13 were the fault of Amaro for not turning over the roster enough and of course he’s not going to take the fall for it. Personally I give Charlie very little credit because the teams from ‘07-’11 had enough talent that a chimp could have made the postseason skippering those clubs.

    The problem with Charlie was that he was a 100% AL manager all the way who had no idea how to implement anything close to stratedgy. Sit back and wait for the three run dinger and when that didn’t come you just accept the L.

    Bunt, squeeze, sacrifice, hit and run or even something as simple as playing the percentages were all terms not in his managerial lexicon. No matter how Amaro built the team Charlie always managed the same way.

    Sandberg will be a good fit because he won at Lehigh Valley strictly on pitching and defense. His teams in ‘11 and ‘12 were offensive turds and that’s the type of team that he’ll be inheriting in Philadelphia.

  142. Jim Says:

    Lefty, sometimes the best manager is one who lets the players play and does his work on the margins. Often the managers who micro manage the game, fail miserably, see Valentine, Bobby. During the Manuel years, I read several comments that the Phils played more like an AL club than an NL one. I expect that Manuel was a big reason for this style of play and give the dominance of the AL in recent years that was a good strategy.

    Will Charley Manuel be considered one of the game’s great managers, no, but he deserved to treated better than the chickenshit manner than he was. Amaro and the Phillies ownership should be ashamed.

  143. Lefty33 Says:

    You’re right Jim that sometimes managers who are hands off are good for a team but at the same there is hands off and then there is brains off and Charlie too often fell into the brains off category.

    Just stupid little things like perpetually hitting Rollins leadoff and using pitchers as pinch runners even though they got picked off numerous times show his complete ability to shun rookies/basic common sense while coddling his favorites/veterans.

    The Phillies should have won another WS somewhere between ‘07-’11 and Charlie played a large part in why they didn’t by his managing “from the gut” as opposed to managing by basic common sense let alone statisical analysis which is something he probably can’t even say let alone use.

    “I expect that Manuel was a big reason for this style of play and give the dominance of the AL in recent years that was a good strategy”

    It’s only a good idea when the talent you have can support that type of play.

    Charlie’s #1 fault was not being able to adapt. He still managed this year the same way he did in 2008 yet the talent level/ability was dramatically different.

  144. Cameron Says:

    So Chuck, both Reynolds and Soriano homered in their Yankees debuts. And for the rest of the season, they’re likely to be some of your main sources of power. …Is this what the CBS-owned Yankees felt like?

    Also, the Royals took a doubleheader against Detroit last night.

    Tampa and Oakland are the two AL Wildcards as it stands. Baltimore, Cleveland, and Kansas City are all within a game of each other and 4-5 games back. The times they are a changin’.

  145. Chuck Says:

    Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973 for less money from CBS than what CBS paid for the team in 1964.

    For pretty much every Yankee fan who lived through it, the CBS era doesn’t exist. It’s like a bad dream..or like being a Mets’ fan.

  146. Chuck Says:

    The Yanks won, Cam, they could have had homers from bin Laden and Saddam for all I care.

  147. Jim Says:

    The RS promoted Xander Borgaerts

  148. Chuck Says:

    “Don’t Bogaert that joint, my friend, pass it over to me”

    Sorry for the ’70’s music reference there.

    If it’s on the tee, I’m swingin’

  149. Raul Says:

    Hahaha

  150. Mike Felber Says:

    You want to reply to those folks too Chuck? A bizarre thing….

    Little Feat was tremendous. The Old Grey Whistle Test was something also.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkZsSydzQjM

  151. Bob Says:

    Hope you enjoy this. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579022660231403136.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

  152. Bob Says:

    Today’s question on ESPN: How many more seasons does Albert Pujols hae left as an elite player?

  153. Chuck Says:

    Zero

  154. Bob Says:

    That’s what I responded.

  155. Raul Says:

    Maybe Pujols signed his contract and went off the juice.

  156. Bob Says:

    Ftrom what I understad, the biggest change with the new CBA will be what happens with the drug violaters. I heve heard/read two thoughts.

    1. A lftime ba on the first offese
    2. A 162 game bam, plus the team can negate the contract they signed with the player. A second offense and bye-bye.
    3. I could live with either polcy

  157. Bob Says:

    Wanna know about the latest policy from a superpower? http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1298046/spending-penny-could-cost-100-yuan-shenzhen

  158. Raul Says:

    I could see the 1 season ban being popular with the public. Negating the contract would likely be a huge sticking point with the union, but the players could push for it since these positive drug tests makes them all look bad.

    I think what needs more addressing is the waivers players are getting for banned substances.

    Miguel Tejada was just banned for taking something for his ADD. I’m curious. How many people are on drug waivers in MLB?

  159. Mike Felber Says:

    Too many.

    What do y’all think of this?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323423804579022660231403136.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

  160. Cameron Says:

    Tejada was banned because he had a previous amphetamine suspension earlier this season. A second offense is a season ban under the new CBA.

  161. Raul Says:

    Tejada was banned because, in his words, he didn’t get the waiver for his meds…which happened to be amphetamines…or something.

    Whatever.

    The point is, the percentage of players on waivers for certain medications that can be classified as PEDs is likely way, way higher than the national average of people diagnosed for such conditions.

  162. Raul Says:

    KC lost their 3rd game in a row.

    The Wild Card is likely over for them.
    Now it’s a battle for .500

  163. Chuck Says:

    I think Jay-Z is starting a fight he has no chance of winning, Scott Boras doesn’t seem to me to be a guy I’d want to piss off.

  164. Chuck Says:

    Miguel Tejada’s an idiot.

    He’s been busted three times for taking the same drug he knew all along was banned.

    “I was waiting for my waiver” sounds a lot like “My dog ate my homework”

  165. Raul Says:

    Came across this:

    When Ichiro Suzuki learned the Seattle Mariners were going to give him #51, the same number worn by pitching great Randy Johnson, he sent Johnson a personal message promising not to bring shame to the uniform.

    Ichiro is widely looked upon as a classy guy. That wouldn’t surprise me if he really sent Johnson that letter.

  166. Chuck Says:

    Ichiro wore #51 in Japan.

    He’s apparently a pretty funny guy, I know in the early part of his career he was pretty reserved and wouldn’t sign anything. (His signature is beautiful, I’ll see if I can find a picture).

    He understands English but pretends not to so he doesn’t have to talk with anyone, especially the media.

    Dumb like a fox.

  167. Chuck Says:

    So, Raul, did Bourdain respond to you calling him a motherfucker on Twitter last night?

    I was watching TV with my daughter when I read it and started laughing, she wanted to see the tweet and I had to change the setting on my iPad.

  168. Raul Says:

    Haha, no.

    Bourdain only responded to me once (maybe twice, I can’t remember)…when he was tweeting about watching “Get Carter” on tv.

    I could believe he’d watch that Stallone crap. Then he told me it was the original version with Michael Caine from 1971…which was apparently more bad ass.

  169. Raul Says:

    The Yankees have 37 games left, and probably need to win 27 of them to get into the playoffs. That’s .730 baseball that needs to be played with the likes of Mark Reynolds, Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner.

    They’d also need the Athletics, Orioles, Rays and Indians to all play around .500-ish baseball for the rest of the year.

    Good luck, Cashman.

  170. Bob Says:

    http://pricelesspursuit.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/an-ichiro-autograph-or-is-it/

  171. Bob Says:

    The Phillies signed Roger Bernadina.

  172. Raul Says:

    Interesting @ Bob. That would be a 20 year old autograph if legit.

  173. Raul Says:

    Meant to ask…how was the vacation? Good fishing?

  174. Bob Says:

    Yes, but when you go on a boat they have top-flight sonar. They folow something called the race. Meant for bluefish. The article is about a year old but still valid. http://thelymes.patch.com/groups/summer/p/long-island-sound-is-thick-with-bluefish

  175. Bob Says:

    We have the Great Ones brother. http://espn.go.com/boston/nhl/story/_/id/9586511/boston-bruins-promote-keith-gretzky-hall-famer-brother-amateur-scouting-director

  176. Raul Says:

    On July 21st, the Arizona Diamondbacks sat a half-game ahead of the Dodgers.

    At the end of August 21st, the Arizona Diamondbacks sit 8.5 games behind the Dodgers.

  177. Raul Says:

    Didn’t think Chris Johnson would have been the guy leading the Braves this year.

  178. Raul Says:

    Who wins the AL Cy Young award?

  179. Bob Says:

    Scherzer.

  180. Bob Says:

    The Mets signed Dice-K.

  181. Raul Says:

    Top 5 AL Starters in ERA:

    1. Hiroki Kuroda – 2.41
    2. Anibal Sanchez – 2.45
    3. Felix Hernandez – 2.62
    4. Yu Darvish – 2.68
    5. Chris Sale – 2.78

    Top 5 Al Starters in Wins:

    1. Max Scherzer – 18
    2. Bartolo Colon – 14
    3. Justin Masterson – 14
    4. Chris Tillman – 14
    5. Matt Moore – 14

    Top 5 AL Starters in WAR:

    1. Chris Sale – 6.1
    2. Felix Hernandez – 5.7
    3. Max Scherzer – 5.4
    4. Hiroki Kuroda – 5.0
    5. Yu Darvish – 5.0

    Top 5 AL Starters in Strikeouts:

    1. Yu Darvish – 214
    2. Max Scherzer – 185
    3. Felix Hernandez – 182
    4. Justin Masterson – 182
    5. Chris Sale – 162

    And just because it’s interesting…
    Top 5 AL Starters in ERA since the ASG (minimum 40 IP):

    1. Anibal Sanchez – 1.51
    2. Max Scherzer – 1.69
    3. Hiroki Kuroda – 1.73
    4. Yu Darvish – 1.73
    5. David Price – 2.28

    I guess Scherzer will win. Kuroda deserves SOMETHING for pitching the way he is in that loony bin…especially at his age.

  182. Cameron Says:

    Isn’t he being paid 10 million? He’s fine.

  183. Chuck Says:

    If the AS MVP is any indication, Mariano will win the Cy Young.

  184. Cameron Says:

    You almost gotta feel bad for Matt Harvey. Dude’s having the best rookie season for a pitcher this side of Doc Gooden, but Clayton Kershaw is bringing a sub-2 ERA into August and has one-upped his K total. Rookie of the Year is a lock for Harvey, but 9 times out of 10 he’s having a Cy Young season. Kershaw though, holy shit.

  185. Bob Says:

    Harvey is not a rookie. Jared Fernandez should be a lock, though I expectPuig to get some votes.

  186. Bob Says:

    The A’s acquired Kurt Suzuki from the Nationals.

  187. Raul Says:

    I don’t feel bad for Matt Harvey.
    I feel bad for Zack Wheeler. That kid will probably never get the support and help he needs to take his talent to the next level. Not with that franchise.

  188. Bob Says:

    Today’s question: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-much-would-you-pay-for-one-year-of-mike-trout/

  189. Raul Says:

    A waste of time.
    How much you would pay depends on too many things.

  190. Bob Says:

    The Rays acquired David DeJesus.

  191. Raul Says:

    One of Chuck’s favorite players.

    I’m surprised he isn’t a Rays fan already.

  192. Cameron Says:

    I like DeJesus too. I remember him from his Royals days. Low key, but he gives you good ball.

  193. Chuck Says:

    Won’t go quite that far Raul…besides, he’ll probably be a Yankee next year anyway.

    He’s a really good guy..met him once in ST…good with fans too.

  194. Chuck Says:

    Watched the New Hampshire/Reading game on MiLB.TV..33 years is obviously a really long time but the park in Reading doesn’t look anything like I remember it.

    Looks really cheesy with all the billboards..

  195. Lefty33 Says:

    WTF

    It’s 2:12am and I just watched Casper Wells throw 40 pitches in “relief”.

    Awesome effort as he got the first two outs in the 18th and then imploded by allowing three walks, three hits and five earned runs. Wells then had to go play RF so that Darin Ruf could move from RF to LF so that John McDonald could come in from LF to pitch and finally get the final out in the top of the 18th by striking out former Phillies farm hand Tuffy Gosewich.

    The Phillies had sooooo many chances to win this game by having a runner on 2nd and less than two outs in the 14th, 15th, and 16th but apparently Ryno has yet to fix this team’s fear/inability to lay down a fucking bunt.

    WTF

  196. Lefty33 Says:

    @194- The place fully lost it’s charm about five years ago when Stein and Domino sold 80% of the team back to the Phillies. Before that they had been upgrading the stadium here and there since ‘86 when they bought the team but it was either in ‘07 or ‘08 when a massive renovation was done to give things their current look.

    The team is 80% owned by the Phillies and 20% by Stein and Domino but the City of Reading still owns the building and has the team under contract to play there through 2022.

    Some stupid trivia:

    Up until that renovation five or so years ago the stadium still had most of the original light towers from when the building was built in 1951. Sure the bulbs were brighter but the actual metal poles were 50+ years old.

    Reading has been first in the Eastern League in attendance eight of the last eleven seasons. Last year they finished second to Richmond who naturally are owned by Stein and Domino. They’ve also drawn at least 400K for the last fifteen seasons which is a AA record. Next closest was Trenton who drew under 400K in ‘09 after a twelve year run.

    The LV IronPigs are the only team in minor league baseball to draw over 600K the last five seasons which is pretty damn good considering that attendance last year for International League games was the lowest it had been since ‘05.

    Consider that in 1979 the Eastern League drew 436,040 as a whole. Last year Reading drew 438,002 all while still playing in the same building/league that they’ve been in since 1951.

  197. Chuck Says:

    “According to the 2010 census, Reading has the highest share of citizens living in poverty in the nation.”

    And they draw 426,000 fans from an urban population base of 413,000?

    300,000 comps.

  198. Chuck Says:

    AFL rosters come out tomorrow

  199. Bob Says:

    Cool.

  200. Chuck Says:

    The Padres promoted Reymond Fuentes to the major leagues today. He was the Sox first round pick in 2009 who was dumped in the beneficial Adrian Gonzalez trade.

    Fuentes is also related (cousin) to Carlos Beltran.

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=571681

  201. Chuck Says:

    Matt Harvey needs Tommy John.

  202. Bob Says:

    Shit.

  203. Raul Says:

    Suddenly Zack Wheeler matters, eh Mets fans?

  204. Bob Says:

    Now we know why the Mets signed Dice-K

  205. Raul Says:

    Heading up to Birdsall House in Peekskill for a pint. Haven’t been there in over a month.

    What beer should I go with today?

    http://birdsallhouse.net/draught/

  206. Raul Says:

    Forgot about the bottles. I usually go draught though…

    http://birdsallhouse.net/bottles/

  207. Chuck Says:

    Smuttynose Pumpkin

  208. Raul Says:

    I haven’t had a smuttynose in like 3 years. Done and done.

  209. Bob Says:

    The Pirates acquired John Buck and Marlon Byrd from the Mets.

  210. Bob Says:

    Jim Callis is leaving BA for MLB.com

  211. Jim Says:

    Ah Smuttynose, to local brew.

  212. Raul Says:

    I got dizzy for a second.

    John Buck and Marlon Byrd. Ugh.
    I’m guessing Huntington wanted to acquire Byrd to face off against lefties and taking Buck was part of the deal.

    At least Byrd is a FA after the season. I wouldn’t want anyone associated with Victor Conte around my players for very long.

  213. Raul Says:

    Is Jayson Werth ever going to live up to his contract? No.
    But he seems to be doing more than Pujols.

    Werth has been injured quite a bit, but after a terrible 1st year with the Nationals, he hit .300/.387/.440 last year, and in 98 games so far in 2013 is hitting .328/.406/.529.

  214. Jim Says:

    Shane Victorino is having a nice evening, 2 HRs and 7 RBI’s and counting

  215. Raul Says:

    So they didn’t have the Smuttynose.
    I ended up drinking a Kelso Pilsner and a Bulleit whiskey on the rocks. Frankly, I prefer Makers Mark or Bushmills, but it was okay.

    Also had the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA at another bar. I had forgotten how good that is.

  216. Chuck Says:

    I suggested Smuttynose just for the name..how can you not?

    Would be a good pickup line too.

    Girl: “What are you drinking?”

    Raul: “I got me some Smutty, which reminds me, I’m heading across the street to the theater later to watch that Linda Lovelace biopic, interested?”

  217. Raul Says:

    Hahaha.

  218. Chuck Says:

    Yankees in the AFL: Mason Williams, Peter O’Brien, Tyler Austin plus four pitchers TBD (rumor Stoneburner and Turley are on the list)

    Mets: Cory Vaughn, Aderlin Rodriguez, Cam Maron, Hansel Robles, Chasen Bradford plus one more P

    KC: Noel Arguelles, Jason Adams, Malcolm Culver, Angel Baez, Cheslor Cuthbert, Orlando Calixte, Jorge Bonafacio, Lane Adams

    Red Sox: Keith Couch, Noe Ramirez, Pete Ruiz, Garin Cecchini, Derrick Gibson, Travis Shaw

    Brewers: David Goforth, Taylor Jungmann, Keith Shackelford, Adam Weisenburger, Mitch Haniger, Jason Rogers.

    Some notable guys: Andrew Heaney, Colin Moran, Byron Buxton, Corey Seager, Derek Dietrich, Alex Meyer, Michael Lorenzen, Danny Hultzen, Brandon Maurer, Austin Hedges, Nolan Fontana, Delino DeShields Jr, Angel Vilallona, Andrew Susac, Arodys Vizcaino, Kyle Lobstein, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora, Addison Russell, Tyler Matzek, Mike Montgomery, Andrew Chafin, Sean Nolin, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, AJ Jimenez, Kyle Parker, James Ramsey, Ryan Rua, Jorge Alfaro, Henry Urrutia and Tyler Naquin.

    Both Xander Bogaerts and Maikel Franco were scheduled to play but were pulled..Bogaerts because he got called up and Franco because his Dominican team wouldn’t release him from his contract.

  219. Raul Says:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/the-gangster-in-the-huddle

    A long but fascinating read on Aaron Hernandez.

  220. Bob Says:

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/dave-wilder-gets-two-year-prison-sentence-for-kickbacks/

  221. Bob Says:

    A must read. http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/a-heartfelt-goodbye-to-baseball-america/

  222. Bob Says:

    Good for a laugh. http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/08/28/3172988/sheriff-man-shoots-arrow-wrapped.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  223. Bob Says:

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9612138/judge-nfl-players-settle-concussion-suit

  224. John Says:

    So guys…Puig or Fernandez for NL ROY?

    I’d go with Fernandez by a hair since he’s played the whole year.

  225. Bob Says:

    Fernandez, not even close for me.

  226. Bob Says:

    John Axford was acquired by the Cardinals.

  227. Bob Says:

    For the boxing fans in the crowd. http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9610683/sugar-ray-leonard-thomas-hearns

  228. Chuck Says:

    Justin Morneau traded to Pirates for OF Alex Presley and a PTBNL or $

  229. Chuck Says:

    Fernandez for ROY.

  230. Jim Says:

    RS FFA Daniel Bard for the roster spot. Given that he has walked over 15 per 9 this year it is doubtful that anyone will claim him.

  231. Jim Says:

    meant DFA

  232. Bob Says:

    Tommy Morrison died over the weekend.

  233. Chuck Says:

    The boxer? Seriously?

  234. Bob Says:

    Yes. Most likely from HIV

  235. Bob Says:

    Here is a link. http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9626860/ex-heavyweight-champ-tommy-morrison-dies-44

  236. Chuck Says:

    I found it on MSN…thanks

  237. Bob Says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/redsox/2013/09/03/usa-today-minor-league-player-of-the-year-xander-bogaerts-boston-red-sox/2760091/

  238. Chuck Says:

    Wow…really?

  239. Bob Says:

    The Cubs claimed Bard.

  240. Chuck Says:

    Any surprise?

    They’ll probably sign Ellsbury too.

  241. Bob Says:

    Yeah, the Cubs, Mariners and Mets along with the Red Sox appear to be the front-runners for his services. Where is Cano heading? Staying in the Bronx? The Dodgers? Elsewhere?

  242. Cameron Says:

    Well the Cubs, Marlins, and Mets are expected to do stupid shit. They’re the Cubs, Marlins, and Mets.

  243. Kerry Says:

    David Ortiz hit his 426th and 427th HR yesterday, passing Billy Williams and tying Mike Piazza for 46th on the all-time HR list. (46th!) Next to be passed: Cal Ripken with 431.

    Five active players are ahead of him, including Paul Konerko with 432 in 44th, Adam Dunn with 436 in 41st, and Jason Giambi with 437 in 40th.

  244. Bob Says:

    He also had hit # 2000. And one of the first players he looked at was Torii Hunter.

  245. Kerry Says:

    Yes, interestingly, he passed Jason Giambi to take over 275th in all-time hits. (Jason G. is 3rd most similar to Ortiz.)

  246. Raul Says:

    Kerry,

    Who was the worst player to hit 50 HR in a season?
    In fact, what’s the Top 5?

  247. Bob Says:

    Interesting question.

  248. Kerry Says:

    Looking at the list of 50 HR guys (26 of them), my first impression is:

    Among retired players, Cecil Fielder, Brady Anderson and Greg Vaugn. Among active players, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, and Jose Bautista.

    “Worst” is a subjective term, but if we look at WAR, we get:

    17.1 C. Fielder
    18.9 Howard
    22.6 Bautista
    22.9 P. Fielder
    30.6 Vaugn
    34.8 Anderson

    The next lowest in WAR I could find were:

    38.3 Roger Maris
    38.8 Hack Wilson
    39.8 Albert Belle
    43.7 David Ortiz
    44.0 George Foster
    44.7 Johnny Mize
    49.4 Ralph Kiner

    So my gut was in line with WAR, the bottom six in WAR agreed with me. If you want five, I would take out Prince; he is young enough (29) that he can climb past Vaugn and Anderson.

  249. Bob Says:

    Ortiz should pass Foster and Mize.

  250. Len Says:

    I would leave off the active players on that HR list.

    I would say it’s Cecil Fielder. Big fat guy who who couldn’t run, wasn’t a good defensive player and spent his time as a 1b/Dh, hit about .250 even though he spent most of his career in one of the best hitter’s parks in the A.L. (old Tiger Stadium) at that time period.

    It pretty remarkable in retrospect that he played in almost every Tiger game from 1990-1993. He averaged about 158 games and 680 plate a season during those 4 years. He didn’t miss many Tiger games during the 1994-95 strike as well.

    For all his power, he only finished in the top ten in slugging percentage and Total Bases twice (1990, ‘91). He only finished in the top ten in OPS once (1990).

    Man, did he parlay that 1990 season into a great contract. The Tigers were paying him about $4.5 million a year back in 1992, 93, 94 and $9.5 million a year in 1995, 1996. Those were huge numbers back then, he must have been among the highest paid players in the game during the early-mid 1990’s. I know Bonds was getting about $7.5 million in 1993 with the Giants.

    One of the reasons the Tigers sucked back in the 1990’s is because they put most of their money into Cecil Fielder.

  251. Cameron Says:

    Well, it doesn’t matter how far you hit the ball. When you straddle the Mendoza line it really takes the pop out of what you DO hit.

  252. Kerry Says:

    That’s being a little harsh on Big Daddy — the Mendoza line is around .200, and he never hit below .230 after his first two years as a part-timer.

    His career dWAR (-12.5) is 21st worst for first-basemen; Prince is already 6th worst (-17.6) and on track to go to the top (er, bottom), in 2 or 3 years. (Willie McCovey is worst, at -21.8 dWAR, according to bb-ref.)

  253. Cameron Says:

    Just turning a phrase. .240 or so is still bad, but just saying that big hits that don’t come that often don’t help as much as good enough hits that come more consistently.

  254. Bob Says:

    His career slash line

    1. .255/.345/.482

  255. Bob Says:

    The Tigers had nobody in 1991.
    1. Morris was gone and Trammell and Whitaker were rapidly declining. All Tiger fans had were father and son blasting homers in batting practice.

  256. Raul Says:

    I wouldn’t have guessed Cecil Fielder off the top of my head. But that makes sense.

    The Tigers were bad for many years. Maybe we forget about that because of Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.

  257. Bob Says:

    You heard it here first.

    1, Time Magazine will have Vladimir Putin as its Man-of-the Year in December.
    2. SI will have Cabrera as irs Sportman-of-the-Year.
    3. I will agree with both choices.

  258. Raul Says:

    Well when you rig the rules to stay in power, get the Olympics and stand up to the White House on just about everything, I guess that’s worth noting.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Putin is someone worth “celebrating” but he sure is a force.

  259. Bob Says:

    Remember the criteria used by the Magazine. Newsworthy for the bulk of the year. Hitler won one year.

  260. Bob Says:

    Today’s question: http://www.mlive.com/tigers/index.ssf/2013/09/detroit_tigers_dave_dombrowski_24.html

  261. Cameron Says:

    Man of the Year isn’t necessarily a celebratory thing. It’s more like the person who defined the news of the day, for good or ill. Hitler was man of the year like Bob said. Was he celebrated? No. Were people paying attention to him? Hell yeah.

  262. Bob Says:

    Speaking of Hitler: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/hitler-bodyguard-rochus-misch-dies-age-96-20175645

  263. Bob Says:

    Since the Michigan-Notre Dame game is getting all the hype, let me submit my .02 worth.

    1. Go Blue!!!

  264. Bob Says:

    Dan Petry will do some Red Sox games in Remy’s absence. Had no idea he was even in the running. Derek Lowe and Mike Timlin will also get air-time.

  265. Chuck Says:

    The first four years or so of his career McCovey was an OF..his actual dWAR as a 1B is -17.4, but the point remains the same..he was pretty bad, although he wasn’t the worst 1B I’ve seen.

  266. Cameron Says:

    @263 Oh Bob… You can’t say that to an Irish fan.

  267. Cameron Says:

    I did not know Derek Lowe was a cancer survivor.

  268. Kerry Says:

    @265, yes, those were career totals of players who were primarily first-basemen.

    Speaking of 50-HR guys, here is a trivia question: who is the only player to hit at least 50 HR and 50 2B in the same year? (He led MLB in both categories that year.)

  269. Cameron Says:

    Albert Belle, 1995.

  270. Kerry Says:

    Yup.

    Next: what three players have hit 100 extra base hits in a season more than once?
    (Each did it twice.) One of them is fairly obvious but not so much the other two.

  271. Cameron Says:

    Lou Gehrig (117 in 1927 and 100 in 1930), Chuck Klein (107 in 1930 and 103 in 1932), …And one I would definitely not have called, Todd Helton (105 in 2001 and 103 in 2000).

  272. Kerry Says:

    Yup. (You looked that up, right? Of course, I did in the first place :-) )

  273. Cameron Says:

    I did. Belle I knew because I live in Indians country now. Gehrig and Klein I wasn’t surprised by. They were the biggest hitters of the biggest hitting era in baseball. Helton was a surprise though.

  274. Cameron Says:

    74-68… I’m in shock at the year we’re having.

  275. Jim Says:

    In the pigs fly dept. Mark Reynolds attempted a sacrifice bunt and popped it up to Salty.

  276. Cameron Says:

    Hey, at least he’s trying to add variety to his arsenal of failure.

  277. Chuck Says:

    The pig’s fly department is who thought signing Reynolds was a good idea.

  278. Jim Says:

    @277 It’s a large department with room for many.

    After seeing Jeter play this weekend, I hope he retires rather than stumble along Willy Mays like for another year.

  279. Chuck Says:

    Cupcake Ellsbury got hurt again…

  280. Raul Says:

    I nearly spit out my coffee @ Jim’s post #275

  281. Chuck Says:

    Maybe too young to remember this guy Cameron, but I had a Facebook chat last night with Willie Mays Aikens.

    It started out with him trying to sell me an autographed copy of his book, but it turned into a discussion about his job as the AZL Royals hitting coach.

  282. Raul Says:

    Last season, there was a huge debate between who should have won the AL MVP.

    Mike Trout hit .326/.399/.564.
    Miguel Cabrera hit .330/.393/.606.

    In 2013:
    Mike Trout is hitting .338/.437/.574.
    Miguel Cabrera is hitting .353/.446/.667.

    Last year, Trout led Cabrera in WAR 10.9 to 7.3.
    This year, Trout leads Cabrera in WAR 8.6 to 6.9.

  283. Chuck Says:

    Yawn

  284. Raul Says:

    The Yankees are in shambles, Chuck.

    What else is of interest besides a World Series that could include the Pirates?

  285. Bob Says:

    I agree. I am rooting for the Pirates in the N.L.

  286. Chuck Says:

    Rematch of 1979..Pirates/Orioles

  287. Raul Says:

    79 was a good year for you, huh?

  288. Chuck Says:

    It was, actually.

  289. Kerry Says:

    I think a rematch from 2006 or 2011 would be nice (go Cardinals)!

    That would also help me win another contest I’m running (John is in that one, so he knows what I’m talking about). I should open that up to everyone here next year.

  290. Bob Says:

    John, are you still on land?

  291. Cameron Says:

    @284 I still have my fingers crossed for a Pirates/Royals series. Though the math on that is incredibly slim.

  292. Cameron Says:

    @281 I had to look up Aikens to jog my memory, but yeah, I know of him. One of the more colorful characters of the 80s Royals. We had a few guys with colorful personalities like that. Mayberry had a good share of stories, Willie Wilson was a character, Amos Otis was… In his own way. They were interesting. Lots of ballplayers don’t have that much personality anymore.

  293. Raul Says:

    John hasn’t been posting much on Twitter, though he did surface to post about a Jermichael Finley dropped pass yesterday in the Packers/49ers game.

    My guess is he’s really busy or on his ship.

  294. Raul Says:

    Roger Maris would have been 79 today.

  295. Bob Says:

    @93. Thanks

  296. Bob Says:

    @ 293 I meant to type.

  297. Raul Says:

    The Yankees sit 10.5 games behind the 1st place Boston Red Sox.
    The last time NY finished at least 10 games back in the standings was 1992, when they finished 20 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

    So if you’re 21 years old, you’ve never seen a season like this.

  298. Raul Says:

    BTW, Boston finished 23 games behind the Blue Jays in 1992.

  299. Bob Says:

    1. Jason Giambi wants to play for the Indians next year.

    2. His slash line in 198 plate appearances .186/.278/.372

  300. Raul Says:

    Jason Giambi has 19 years under his belt as a Major Leaguer.
    I can understand that it’s hard to give up. But he’s a likable guy and knows the game pretty well.

    Become an instructor or bench coach somewhere. In 6, 7, 10 years, he could be a manager.

  301. Raul Says:

    The Kansas City Royals are 75-69 with 18 games left to play.
    With a current winning percentage of .521, it is the team’s winningest season since 1994 when they went 64-51 (.557) in that strike-shortened season.

    Should the Royals reach 85 wins, it will be their highest total since 1993 (84-78).

    For the 2013 club, a few guys have kicked it up a notch in the 2nd half, with Salvador Perez hitting .292/.331/.479 and Eric Hosmer hitting .333/.396/.493.

    James Shields leads the American League in innings and has a 3.43 ERA to go along with a 10-9 record.

    I still think the trade of Wil Myers was a mistake and a desperate move by management to save their jobs. Myers is hitting .292/.354/.471 with 11 homers in 68 games for the Rays.

    Also, for those who like to overstate the importance of the closer (I’m looking at you Kimbrel for Cy Young people), Luke Hochevar has a 1.74 ERA as a reliever for Kansas City this season…after a career 5.44 ERA as a starter.

  302. Raul Says:

    Also,

    Manny Machado is one double away from 50 for the season. He’s only 21 years old.
    He may be the youngest to accomplish that feat. I’m not sure.

  303. Chuck Says:

    He’s not, ARod had 54 in his age 20 season

  304. Chuck Says:

    Screw Jason Giambi.

  305. Raul Says:

    I should have figured as much. ARod was really great, once.

  306. Raul Says:

    As a person? Or because he juiced?
    I mean, juicing aside, Giambi is widely described as a great guy.

  307. Raul Says:

    Hey Chuck,

    As far as ability, how good was Steve Avery?

  308. Chuck Says:

    He would have been better than Glavine.

  309. Chuck Says:

    “Good guys” don’t cheat.

    But, yeah.

  310. Cameron Says:

    @301 I told you guys that Hochevar is great for the first four innings. After the fifth inning, he implodes. The bullpen move has been a godsend. In addition, Ervin Santana has been a great pickup with pretty much equivalent production to Shields and Bruce Chen, believe it or not, has a sub-3 ERA. In the 5 starts Danny Duffy’s made since he got his major league job back, he’s been throwing a 1.84 ERA.

    The pitching’s starting to catch up. It’s lead by an unlikely group of Shields, Santana, and Chen, but if we can keep the pitching stable like it’s been, we might have something.

  311. Raul Says:

    Well you’re likely about to lose your DH, and Bubba Starling is probably going to repeat A-ball.

    As much of a surprise as the Royals have been, I still think they need a change at the GM position, and probably an overhaul of their development philosophy.

  312. Bob Says:

    Phil Hughes ends up in KC.

  313. Cameron Says:

    Development and also on a major league level. The key this year is production from the rotation catching up to the offense. We got a good gauge of what makes a successful MLB pitcher this year. Hopefully they go after guys who can match this staff. It can be done reasonably. Santana, Shields, Chen, they’re guys you can sign for reasonable prices and get you good production. Are they aces? No, but they’re a hell of a lot better than we’re used to on the mound.

  314. Raul Says:

    I think Hughes is a long shot for KC.

    He was born in Mission Viejo but I had heard somewhere that he went to school in Tustin…which is a maybe a 10-15 minute drive to Angels Stadium. So if he could go home, he probably would. I just don’t have any idea if LAA has a spot for him.

    For him to go to KC, I’d imagine the Royals would have to give him near the top end of his market value.

    He’s already making 7 million.

    This offseason’s FA market for pitchers includes Matt Garza, AJ Burnett, Hiroki Kuroda, Ervin Santana and, I think, Tim Lincecum. And all of them will likely be more desired than Hughes.

    Hughes is younger than Santana and they are probably similar in terms of mixing flashes of brilliance with flashes of disaster. But is KC prepared to make Hughes their highest-paid player? Because they’ll probably have to pay him like 14 million a year.

  315. Cameron Says:

    Lincecum would be too expensive off upside alone, Garza will be highly valued as well. Santana’s had a great year here and I could see us giving a big push to re-sign him, and if we could get Kuroda for a good price with the pitching he’s had, I could see him being our biggest target this year. Whatever it is, we need to focus on pitching, the offense gets the job done by itself just fine.

  316. Bob Says:

    Burnett says he wants to stay in Pittsburgh. Kuroda will either stay with the Yankees, retire, or play one year in Japan. Lincecum will be the fun one to watch.

  317. Cameron Says:

    Considering his implosion recently, yeah. Still, you pay for upside on him. I’d like us to go after Kuroda. Burnett… Eh, too many red flags with him.

  318. Raul Says:

    With Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Chris Getz and Lorenzo Cain all playing at below-average levels (some FAR below), I’d say KC does have to address the offense.

  319. Cameron Says:

    Moose I think it’s too soon to say it’s a major issue, Alcides was never going to be a .300 hitter, Getz fucking sucks, and Cain… I dunno. I think there’s spots we COULD address, but given the market and our recent lack of tradeable assets, I think that starting pitching is the priority need. In an ideal world, you’d love to address both, but there’s gotta be a focus.

  320. Chuck Says:

    1960 – In Detroit, Mickey Mantle unloads a cannon shot for three runs in the 6th inning, the ball clearing the RF roof and landing in the Brooks Lumber Yard across Trumbull Avenue. New York pins a 5 – 1 loss on Paul Foytack that moves them a half game in first place ahead of Baltimore, losers today. In June, 1985, Mantle’s blow will retroactively be measured at 643 feet, and will be listed in The Guinness Book of World Records at that distance.

  321. Bob Says:

    The Yankees acquired SS Brendan Ryan from the Mariners.

  322. Cameron Says:

    Finally, a shortstop who can play defense.

  323. Bob Says:

    What you talking bout? Jeter was a perennial Gold Glover!!!

  324. Raul Says:

    Pretty stupid move by the Mariners.
    A year ago they could have gotten a much better prospect for Ryan’s services.

  325. Raul Says:

    Might have been 2 years ago. I forget.

    The point is, Ryan is just a glove. And I think there were a few teams floating his name around at the deadline in 2012 or 2011.

  326. Bob Says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/23592770/report-yankees-set-to-pay-record-291-million-luxury-tax-bill

  327. Raul Says:

    http://i.imgur.com/NYjJF95.jpg

  328. Cameron Says:

    I remember that! You could tell how huge Vin Scully was smiling just from the tone of his voice.

  329. Cameron Says:

    The Royals won again tonight. We’re now two back in the wildcard race with 11 games to go. All it takes is one very well-timed hot streak.

    Also, today’s my birthday. Thank you for the win, Royals.

  330. Jim Says:

    Cameron, saw something today that Buster Olney (hold the jeers) is going around saying that due to their schedules, the Royals and the Indians should be considered even odds to be the wild card teams.

    Love to see that.

  331. Bob Says:

    http://www.coolstandings.com/baseball_standings.asp?sn=2013&i=1

    Let’s check it out.

  332. Bob Says:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/yankees-new-radio-deal-would-set-gold-standard/

  333. Cameron Says:

    Well, we do have softball division schedules. I tihnk we’re done with Detroit, so… We’ll see. I’m worried more about Tampa and New York than Cleveland.

  334. Raul Says:

    Happy birthday, Cameron

  335. Chuck Says:

    happy birthday, cameron…milkshake on me

  336. Cameron Says:

    Thanks guys. All in all, it’s been a good one. Least it’s not being celebrated in a mission, so it’s a hell of a step up from last year.

  337. Jim Says:

    Koji Uehara set a RS record for consecutive batters retired w/33. Ellis Kinder set the previous record in 1952.

    Uehara is another example of why teams shouldn’t invest big money in closers. What a contrast he is to Jonathan Papelbon. Koji works so quickly and has been so efficient that the inning is over in the time it takes Pap to get past the first hitter.

  338. Bob Says:

    Cameron, happy birthday, albeit a day late.

  339. Bob Says:

    http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/09/11/red-sox-will-unveil-carl-yastrzemski-statue-sept-22/

  340. Raul Says:

    AL Wild Card picture, 9/12/2013:

    1. Texas
    2. Tampa
    3. New York (1 game back)
    4. Cleveland (1.5 games back)
    5. Baltimore (1.5 games back)
    6. Kansas City (2 games back)

  341. Raul Says:

    I’m glad the Red Sox decided to honor Yaz while he was still alive.
    It has only been 30 years since he retired.

  342. Kerry Says:

    @340, AL Wild Card picture using Pythagorean W/L records:

    1. Tex
    2. KCR (!)
    3. Bal (0.5 GB)
    4. Tam (1 GB)
    5. Cle (1.5 GB)
    6. NYY (5 GB)
    7. LAA (5.5 GB)

  343. Raul Says:

    Let’s shed a little light on the Colorado Rockies. They’re a forgotten team in 2013.

    Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .310/.384/.541 with 22 homers despite missing like 20 games.

    Michael Cuddyer is hitting .334/.394/.546.
    Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .302/.367/.591.
    Dexter Fowler, after hitting .300 last season is back to his usual .262 self.

    Willin Rosario and Nolan Arenado are off to good starts in their young careers, but like most youngsters, need to learn how to get on base. I’m confident Arenado can improve. Rosario probably won’t.

    Jhoulys Chacin is 13-8 with a 3.09 ERA over 183 innings, allowing just 166 hits.

    Twenty-seven year old Juan Nicasio, strangely, seems to perform better at Coors than on the road. Batters are .222 against him in Coors, .286 against him on the road.

    Veterans Jon Garland and Jeff Francis have been atrocious, albeit in limited innings.

    Is there anything on the prospect front for Colorado? Tyler Matzek and Drew Pomeranz haven’t exactly wowed anyone.

  344. Bob Says:

    From none other than Bill Chuck. http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2013/9/5/a-sign-of-baseball-without-steroids.html

  345. Cameron Says:

    @343

    Eddie Butler was on fire at AA this year, there’s also Bettis and Anderson.

  346. Cameron Says:

    Also, has anyone else noticed Alfonso Soriano’s been playing out of his mind since coming back to the Yankees? 15 homers in 44 games.

  347. Raul Says:

    When Soriano is hitting .240 with 70 strikeouts on June 12th, 2014, no one will be happy that Soriano is a Yankee.

  348. Bob Says:

    Except for Soriano

  349. Cameron Says:

    Jose Fernandez is already an All-Star. The first of his draft class of 2011. I’m looking at the draft and I’m wondering who else makes ASG appearances. I think George Springer is the most likely as Houston’s token all-star. The way Javier Baez has been hitting, he’s looking possible. It’s too soon to tell past that I think.

  350. Cameron Says:

    Fun fact, no #1 overall draft pick has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  351. John Says:

    @351, that’ll change in a couple years.

    I’m on land for the moment, going to sea sometime in the not-to-distant future. Going to be stationed in San Diego.

  352. Chuck Says:

    San Diego is better than Groton every day.

    #350…yet

  353. Chuck Says:

    Lefty….do you have an EL Championship ring?

  354. Cameron Says:

    Well, Griffey will for sure. Chipper may take a few ballots. A-Rod… No clue given the implosion he’s gone through.

    And here’s the active #1s right now.
    -
    Alex Rodriguez (1993)
    Josh Hamilton (1999)
    Adrian Gonzalez (2000)
    Joe Mauer (2001)
    Justin Upton (2005)
    David Price (2007)
    Stephen Strasburg (2009)
    Bryce Harper (2010)
    Gerrit Cole (2011)

    The ones that have been around a while I don’t see having the numbers and the younger ones are too soon to tell. That said… I think the best shot of a Hall of Famer out of the bunch… Is Harper.

    Also, 2004 #1 Matt Bush is in jail for running over a 72 year old man while drunk until 2016.

  355. Cameron Says:

    Just for fun, I decided to compare the number of Hall of Famers between the Big Four sports since MLB has instituted the draft in 1965.

    MLB – 0

    NFL – 8
    -
    Ron Yary – 1968
    OJ Simpson – 1969
    Terry Bradshaw – 1970
    Lee Roy Selmon – 1976
    Earl Campbell – 1978
    John Elway – 1983
    Bruce Smith – 1985
    Troy Aikman – 1990

    NBA – 11
    -
    Elvin Hayes – 1968
    Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) – 1969
    Bob Lanier – 1970
    Bill Walton – 1974
    David Thompson – 1975
    Earvin “Magic” Johnson – 1979
    James Worthy – 1982
    Ralph Sampson – 1983
    Akeem (Hakeem) Olajuwon – 1984
    Patrick Ewing – 1985
    David Robinson – 1987

    NHL – 6
    -
    Gilbert Perreault – 1970
    Guy Lafleur – 1971
    Denis Potvin – 1973
    Dale Hawerchuk – 1981
    Mario Lemieux – 1984
    Mats Sundin – 1989

    …I think the only thing this proves is the MLB Draft is the biggest crapshoot in professional sports.

  356. John Says:

    @354, Chipper should get in on the first ballot.

    I would say, of the folks you listed, Mauer has the best shot, and a pretty good shot at that. By WAR, he’s already the #16 catcher all-time, and he’s still rocking a .324/.404/.476 line this season.

    Of course, catchers tend to age rather quickly once on the wrong side of 30 (and he ends up on the DL 1-2 times a year it seems), but the Twins have taken steps to mitigate that by giving him the occasional start at DH or 1B, with the latter becoming more common now that Morneau is gone.

  357. Raul Says:

    So here we are.
    Friday, the 13th of September.

    The Yankees are 1 game out of a Wild Card spot with 15 to play.

    3 games at Boston (6-10 vs Boston this year)
    3 games at Toronto (13-3 vs Toronto this year)
    3 games vs San Francisco (currently 66-81)
    3 games vs Tampa (7-9 vs Tampa this year)
    3 games at Houston (currently 50-96)

  358. Bob Says:

    Good God. I never would have guessed Ralph Sampson made the HOF. For some reason I thought he was a bust. God my basketball knowledge is Sub-fucken-par.

  359. Raul Says:

    Last night the Jets rushed the ball 32 times for 129 yards.
    The Patriots rushed the ball 24 times for 54 yards.

    Smith even threw for more yards than Brady (214-185).
    And the Jets dominated Time of Possession (34 minutes to 26 minutes).

    But the Jets had 66 yards in penalties to the Patriots’ 30. And NY committed 4 turnovers.

    Penalties and turnovers are hardly a surprise indicator for who will usually win the game, but the Jets dominated every other aspect of the game and should have won.

    The difference was, not surprisingly, a HOF QB vs a rookie QB.

  360. Raul Says:

    There are 162 players in the Naismith Hall of Fame, and 92 coaches.
    254 total.

    According to http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers there are 300 MLB Hall of Famers.

    And baseball goes back a long way, with exponentially more players to choose from.

    I’m not saying the Basketball and Football HOF are a joke, but…well, you know…

  361. Bob Says:

    Is baseball heading that way with some recent selections?

  362. Chuck Says:

    Are there players in the HOF who should/shouldn’t be?

    Yes

    Should MLB become every other sport and put in every Tom, Dick and Harry who got 20,000 points or 9,000 assists or 200 touchdowns and did nothing else?

    Fuck, no.

    Things are just fine the way they are, thank-you.

    Tim Raines not getting into the Hall means he wasn’t good enough, not that the system is flawed.

  363. Raul Says:

    I think it’s interesting that MLB has elected 19 managers to its Hall of Fame, while Basketball has elected 94.

  364. Kerry Says:

    Sampson didn’t really amass huge stats. I looked it up and he had:

    7039 PT (518th)
    4011 R (327th)
    15.4 PPG (208th for players with at least 400 G)
    8.8 RPG (93rd)
    played 9 years (456 G)
    7′4″

    It looks like the RPG (and height :-) ) were the main reason he got in, and even that is a stretch. Some similar players in terms of stats were Connie Hawkins and some guy from the 50’s I’d never heard of (George Yardley). Turns out they are in the HoF too. Bob Rule’s stats weren’t quite as good, and he’s not in, so Sampson may have been near their borderline.

  365. Kerry Says:

    Oh, yeah, Yao Ming’s stats are better than Sampson’s, so look for him to be put in at some point.

  366. Kerry Says:

    Actually, the basketball HoF covers college, too, so I suspect he got in more for his college career (3-time first-team all-American).

  367. Kerry Says:

    Back to baseball:

    Taking the 9 teams with a decent chance at the postseason in the AL, and the 5 teams in the NL who seem to have it locked up, there are 45 possible World Series matchups; 24 have occurred before, at least at the franchise level. E.g., the A’s played the Braves in 1914, but it was Boston vs. Philly then, each team to move twice since then.

    Yankees-Dodgers had the most meetings (11, though none since 1981!), followed by Yankees-Cardinals (5, last in 1964), and Yankees-Braves (4, last in 1999). The most common one not involving the Yankees is Cardinals-Tigers and Cardinals-Red Sox (3 each).

  368. Raul Says:

    I hate the Cardinals.
    Sorry Kerry.

  369. Raul Says:

    The Padres named Trevor Hoffman upper level pitching coordinator and special assistant to the general manager.

  370. Raul Says:

    We’re a few years past the Granderson/Scherzer/Kennedy trade.
    Probably fair to say that Detroit won.

  371. Raul Says:

    6 years after being drafted, Jordan Zimmermann is on the brink of leading the NL in wins.

  372. Raul Says:

    Among AL position players, Oakland’s Josh Donaldson is 2nd in WAR.

    Donaldson was the 48th overall pick in 2007 by the Cubs.

  373. John Says:

    I would say that’s a safe bet.

    Until getting hurt this year, Granderson was playing very well.

    Austin Jackson, when you consider fielding, has been better.

    AND the Yankees gave up Kennedy. Who the Diamondbacks gave up on rather rashly.

  374. John Says:

    For what it’s worth, the Atlanta Braves are:

    4th in the NL in runs.
    1st in the NL in K’s by batters.

    And they have the best record in the NL.

    BJ Upton certainly hasn’t helped things though. Holy shit.

  375. Chuck Says:

    On the Basketball-Reference site they have the HOF probability list, Sampson is listed as having a 2.69 percent chance of election, which trails such superstars as Vin Baker and something called Shareef Abdul-Rahim.

    He is, by a considerable margin (Calvin Murphy, 4.0%) the worst player in the Hall.

    He very well may be the worst HOFer in any sport.

    Kerry’s right, Sampson is in primarily off what his TEAM did in college, but that’s considered part of his body of work.

    If you’re curious, the best eligible player not yet elected is Jo Jo White (84.4% chance of election).

  376. Chuck Says:

    Sorry…

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/hof_prob.html

  377. Chuck Says:

    :D onaldson was the 48th overall pick in 2007 by the Cubs.”

    As a catcher

  378. Chuck Says:

    What the hell is that?

    Threads getting too long…I’ll work on something today.

  379. Raul Says:

    I bet Atlanta loses in the 1st round.
    Easily the most overrated team in the league.

  380. John Says:

    The emoticon happens when you write 8 followed by )

  381. John Says:

    Overrated how? They have the best record in the league, they’re 1 game off their expected record, and every day they have a solid pitcher out on the mound.

  382. John Says:

    I’ll be honest though, I haven’t seen the Braves or anyone really this year. I’ve maybe watched 100 total innings of baseball all year.

  383. Cameron Says:

    I wouldn’t say they’re overrated. They have a good regular season formula. Good offense, good starting pitching. The problem is their defense and bullpen, and that kills you come playoffs.

  384. John Says:

    “The problem is their defense and bullpen, and that kills you come playoffs.”

    ???

    They have the best bullpen in baseball

  385. Raul Says:

    Atlanta started the season 12-1. And were barely above average the rest of the 1st half.

    They’re 13-6 vs Miami and 12-4 vs a disappointing Washington.

    They’re 12-5 in extra inning games…probably as a result of their solid bullpen.
    They play a ridiculous .718 baseball at home.

    They went 20-7 in the month of August against some really REALLY shit baseball teams: Colorado, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, New York, St. Louis (the one good team all month and they lost 3 of 4), Cleveland and Miami.

    They hit for power but are being carried by a career year by Chris Johnson, and Freddie Freeman.

    Justin Upton and Jason Heyward are far too streaky to be reliable.

    Upton’s HR totals are:

    April/March: 12
    May: 2
    June: 1
    July: 1
    August: 8
    September: 0

    Heyward has injury problems but admittedly is having a hot September.

    Atlanta will play Pittsburgh or St. Louis, both of whom the Braves went 4-3 on the season.

    Their games against the Pirates were decided by a total of 3 runs.
    Their games against the Cardinals were decided by a total of 1 run.

    The Braves are a fraud.
    The bullpen is great, but if they go down 2-0 in the first 5 innings, they aren’t coming back with those strikeout machines.

  386. Chuck Says:

    “Heyward has injury problems but admittedly is having a hot September.

    Heyward’s been on the DL since August 22nd.

  387. Bob Says:

    http://weei.stats.com/mlb/story.asp?i=20130913120752512611708&ref=hea&tm=&src=

  388. Bob Says:

    Best. Campaign. Speech. Ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BODbfSBvnTo

  389. Raul Says:

    You’re right. I mistakenly took Heyward’s August numbers for September.

  390. Raul Says:

    LOL @ bob

  391. Cameron Says:

    I wish I lived in Minneapolis right now. He’s so getting my vote.

  392. Cameron Says:

    Well, I’ve got my fingers crossed for the next few days. In the middle of the first legit playoff race we’ve had since 1985… We get one of the toughest teams in baseball to spoil us. Let’s go Royals!

  393. Cameron Says:

    And the Royals shut out the Tigers tonight on combined efforts from Ervin Santana, Will Smith, Luke Hochevar, and Greg Holland. 3 and a half back in the wildcard race, still winning games…

    If we can shut out the Tigers with the league’s rejects, there’s hope. There’s fucking hope.

  394. Cameron Says:

    Holy crap, the final play of the game.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_14_kcamlb_detmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=kc#gid=2013_09_14_kcamlb_detmlb_1&mode=video

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