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Can I join in?
Most of the taps at the main windows are your standard Miller fair: MGD, Lite, High Life. You can find Coors and Coors Light at those taps now too. Around the park, there are booths with things like Blue Moon, which is owned by MillerCoors, and Leinenkugels, which I think is only distributed by Miller. There's also those new Craft Brewery Destinations, which sell Batch19 and other "fancy" Miller beers.
That covers most all of the beer you can find at Miller Park. There is, however, a stand that sell real craft beers (or, at least, small brewery beers). These are bottle stands and they sell the likes of Fat Tire, Bell's, New Glarus and Lakefront (local Wisconsin beers). That's the best deal in the park. I couldn't say if these smaller breweries have some sort of relationship with Miller, though.
The Front Row Friday's down in the left field also has a full bar (beer and liquor). Drinks purchased from there can be taken back to your seat as long as beer is being sold in the rest of the stadium.
Thanks for reminding me. I meant to add it to the post before publishing, but I got sidetracked by the Upton brothers.
I've included the video and a write up in the article above, but Manny's foot seems to touch home plate at 29.83 seconds. It's oh-so-close to the 30-second trot, but not quite there.
It's a fair point. I almost didn't put Joyce's name there. But those umps represent a pretty good spectrum of the types of mistakes umpires can make and, more relevantly, the levels in which our reactions can sometimes go the "robot umpire" way...
I really can't say. I don't get that feeling though.
There are some players who have quick trots early in their career who happen to slow down a bit later in the year or the following year. Jason Heyward is one that comes to mind. I always attributed that more to a rookie's eagerness (I guess) more than anything else. Like, they're just so happy to hit their first few home runs that they sprint around the bases but, as it happens more and more, it becomes more routine and they regress back to their natural trot. I suppose it could be what you suggested, but I'd guess not.
If there's one thing I've learned about watching players trot, it's that they all have their own "personality" that they gravitate to when it comes to trotting.
That is pretty great. I didn't notice that when I first watched it.
You're right. Same with flyingdutchmen above. When I looked through Dan's article, I sped past the introduction to focus on the charts and I should not have done that. He explicitly tried to remove sac bunt attempts from the equation.
In fact, looking lower in the article at the base/outs situation, a 30% success rate for runners on 1st/2nd (which I assume is what Robinson faced in many of his sac attempts) is about normal. I should have read more carefully.
That being said, I really did mean the "comparison" as a bit of an aside. Since I had never seen bunt numbers from that far back before, I was curious how they stacked up against more modern baseball. It's why I mention that the comparison was "near impossible to judge". It was the article in Boys Life itself, and Jackie's acceptance as a role model, that I found most worth sharing.
Thanks for bringing it up, everyone.
It's definitely one way to look at it. And any team going into that stretch of long games is probably going to try to look at it that way.
But I still feel like it's the worse situation to be in. For one, if the player that they're bringing up from the minors to use as the DH (or replace the fielder moved to DH) was all that good to begin with, he likely wouldn't have been in the minors. What's more, it's only really an argument for the NL clubs playing in AL parks. In the AL, for example, forcing David Ortiz to play first for 8 straight games would be less-than-ideal for Boston.
Sure, the other clubs will end up having the same number of games in the other league, but it's less stressful to the lineup to do it one short weekend at a time. Detroit would only have to shuffle Prince/Miggy/Martinez through the IF/DH merry-go-round for a day or two rather than a week straight. Same with taking Ryan Howard out of the field for the weekend. It's hardly different than any midweek day game or any other day where a starter would get a small break.
It just doesn't seem like a week straight of that is quite the same thing...
There were sixteen home runs on Monday in thirteen games. On average, that's a little less than you'd expect, but home runs are always harder to hit early in the season. And it's a pretty cold spring so far, which affects it even more. Basically, I wasn't too surprised to see that there were only 16 home runs, but I wouldn't be too surprised to see 25 or 30 either.
Just watched the Maxwell triple. It's close. He made it to third in 14 secs, which would have certainly been lower if he was running hard out of the box. But the ball got to the cutoff man before Maxwell got to third (let's say 13 seconds). An inside the parker is typically a 15-sec affair, which makes it hard to know if he could have made it. it's unlikely that he spent more than 2 secs in the box (the video doesn't show), which means he would have been only a second ahead of the ball. Hard to see someone being sent when the play is that close.
Sorry. I should have mentioned that in the post above. Cowgill stopped at third during his tater trot for a moment before he realized it was called a home run. The rules of the Tater Trot Tracker say that the trot must be continuous to be tracked. Stopping on the bases throws the times off too much.
Good call. We'll have to blame it on HBO...
Thanks for the information. I'm not shocked to learn that my language was a bit imprecise :-)
Here's an article that uses both the term "stalled" and "engine failed":
Though that is an article from 1929, so I suppose it's possible that the distinctions you cite weren't as concrete back then.
For the record, Morales' trot - assuming the video above is full length (and I think it is, weird camera cuts aside) - was 22.48 seconds. Considering his excitement and all the theatrics, including his final few walking steps onto the plate, that's a pretty nice sprint.
Jeter's career slugging in the 3-hole is .457, only a tad higher than his overall career .448. That's in 573 PAs over 7 different years of use, which is well less than a season's worth for Jeter (compared to the nearly 11,000 PAs higher up in the lineup).
The best I can tell, Jeter is who Jeter is no matter where you place him in the lineup, which is why it's good for him that he batted so high in the lineup. It's certainly going to help him challenge Musial for his spot on the all time hits list...
Man, that Strawberry blast. I timed it at 32.76 secs, so pretty much the same thing. I guess when you're Darryl Strawberry on those Mets and you've just secured the World Series, that's what you do.
That would be my guess as well. I figured someone here would know better than me, though.
Whatever it is, it is most definitely not a new stadium built in the San Fernando Valley or in Havana (the opposing team in the game).
Good point. I think I had forgotten what happened to Show. Here's what wikipedia says about his experiences that night: "Show sat on the mound and folded his arms during the delay to honor Rose. Mike Shatzkin in The Ballplayers: Baseball's Ultimate Biographical Reference wrote that Show was "disgruntled (perhaps rightly so) at the lengthy interruption of the contest." Padre Garry Templeton later call Show's actions "bush." Then he got into a dugout shoving match with left fielder Carmelo Martínez, over a ball that fell for a single and led to the game-winning run. Finally, Show refused to stay to answer the post-game questions, leaving his teammates to criticize him in his absence."
The play that Show would have been upset about is the hit shown in the "Other thoughts" section. Not sure Martinez could have done much about that without risking a double or worse. The Reds broadcast certainly didn't see a shoving match.
I'll try to provide a gif of the one moment the broadcast made of Show sitting on the mound. They certainly didn't think it was a big deal at the time.
Apparently it is, but I had no idea. I hadn't heard of that controversy before. Allen describes an upset Boudreau about the pickoff play, but it didn't sound all that game-changing to me. My notes on the game just said "pickoff attempt". The protest lasted maybe 20-30 seconds, which to my ears didn't seem like a serious dispute. But maybe that's because I'm used to something very different today.
Here's what the audio said:
01:41:35 - "He's back in the stretch, Bob Feller. Checks his runner. He attempts the pickoff, a throw down to Boudreau. And they *almost* had Masi! And Boudreau is arguing with Bill Stewart [that he got the tag in(?)]. And Bill Stewart signals that Boudreau tagged him on the arm about the elbow, meaning of course that the hand had the bag before Boudreau put on the tag. But it was beautifully executed.
The Indians have a great pickoff play - Boudreau still arguing with Bill Stewart - The Indians have a great pickoff play. When the sign is put on, a count is started by Bobby Feller and Boudreau and then Lou will break for the bag and Bob will swing around and throw.
Boudreau calls Mitchell in to play shallow in left. Here's the pitch..."
I almost put a mention of Allen describing Cleveland's pickoff play up above, but decided to leave it out at the last minute...
I tried to write down the time between each pitch, but my notes aren't perfect. I may have missed a pitch here or there and, in a couple of instances, the audio was lost for a few seconds. In only one instance, however, does it appear that anything more than a pitch was lost.
These counts might not be 100% accurate, but they're close enough to let you know about how hard each pitcher worked.
Sain - 97 pitches in 9 innings. Thrice did he have an inning of 7 or fewer pitches.
Feller - 77 pitches in 8 innings, though we did miss two at-bats in the third inning. This also includes his four intentional walk pitches (he had two non-intentional walks as well).
The Braves and Indians players were just swinging at everything and not really getting much out of it.
Nice. I was actually hoping (expecting?) more references in a show that had so many episodes...
Oh, and one last thing that didn't exactly fit into the story: at the age of 75, Robert Sorrells, the actor who played robotic Casey, was sentenced to prison for 32 years. He pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder of two bar patrons. Apparently, Sorrells got belligerent at the bar with one patron and was led out by Arthur DeLong (who had nothing to do with the fight). Sorrells returned an hour later with a gun, shooting DeLong in the back and then shooting at Edward Sanchez, who had arrived at the bar sometime while Sorrells was gone.
I wonder how many more players we might have elected if not for the 10-player maximum. I know that I originally had 14 players on my ballot and I struggled to decide which four (out of six) I would leave off. I went with Palmeiro and McGwire, but I very easily could have gone Lofton, Schilling, Walker or Sosa. I bet I wasn't alone.
Ah, yes. You're right. I knew that for most of them, but I was too focused on the big things... Thanks.
For one, I'm pretty sure the fan ended the quoted sentence with a racial comment, but it was unclear enough that I didn't write it here. But mostly it was because they cut back to the fan like 5 different times for his obvious contempt for LeFlore. The Kaline/Freehan exchange was quick and was said much more jokingly than what the fan said...
Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.
Before I wrote this, I asked people on Twitter what the consensus for best Connery Bond movie was. There wasn't one overall answer, but From Russia With Love and Goldfinger were the two mentioned most often, with You Only Live Twice just behind them. I think only one person mentioned Thunderball.
So, as someone who has seen plenty of Bond but never really sat down to watch specific ones (especially not uncut and commercial free), I decided to go with those three as a good sampling of Connery.
I get the feeling that the rest of the Connery films will get watched soon enough, though...
Fielder was out at the plate by mere inches and only because he doesn't slide well. If he had made a better slide - by either keeping his lead leg down or approaching from a different angle out of Posey's reach - he would have been plenty safe. And this after a good relay throw from the outfield grass and a great stretch-and-tag from Posey.
Considering that the play probably should have worked (since Prince beat the ball to the plate), I'd say using "debateable" is fine. If Prince was out by three steps or something, I'd think differently.
Yeah, and Ibanez is so routinely a quick trotter. I'm pretty certain the trot was slowed down by him tossing his helmet away and then moving into the crowd of Yankees. It looks like he had to slow down a bit there to partake...
Here's the video: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25379793&c_id=mlb&topic_id=vtp_budweiser
Here's Pablo's home run: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25375917&c_id=mlb
I'm pretty certain it landed in the bullpen there since the people standing behind it don't turn around to follow the ball. It was a monster shot though.
Good question. I would say, just from what it seems, that the second home run is more likely to be slower than the first. There are certainly times when the second is quicker, or they come in at basically the same speed, but, overall, I'd expect it to be quicker.
This doesn't seem to hold for #3, though. Again, this is offhand, but I often see the #3 trot as quicker than the #2 trot. Maybe they feel like they had their chance to trot slow already (on the second trot) so they better speed it up or risk upsetting the other team? I don't know - and I could be wrong. But that is definitely the sense I get from it.
Apologies for not getting my ballot in. It wasn't intentional.
Not that I would have changed anything. My MVP and ROY (and prob. MOY) votes would have almost certainly been the same thing. I might have toyed with putting Braun first before eventually giving it to Posey and I would certainly have had Aoki in the top 3 for ROY. For the Cy, I'm still not sure who I'd've voted #1, but it almost certainly would have been between Verlander/Price and Dickey/Kershaw (so, again, no harm, no foul).
Good point. It'd be really, really hard to lead in those two categories when you're likely 100-200 PAs behind everyone else.
That said, the rules would add on outs to the leader's PA total to get to 502 like any other year (well, almost any other year). If that knocked him below the lead league, I'm pretty sure everyone would understand. I actually think more people would be upset if the extra outs actually qualified him for the title - people never like that "funny math stuff".
Why does the runner on second have his shirt completely unbuttoned in High School Musical? Oh, I guess the batter does too...
I used TAv for Posey and Kemp because the strength of their cases are elite offensive production at a key defensive position, not necessarily because of elite defense. Posey, as a catcher, is hard to quantify. Kemp, as a CF, just isn't elite. But they're both good enough that it doesn't drag them down (like, say, Braun or Cabrera at 3B).
For Tulo, his case was elite defense and decent hitting. Focusing on the TAv would incorrectly diminish his case, which is why I switched to WARP.
Thanks! These are great comments and I look forward to seeing them everyday :-)
The mystery has gone on long enough. Here are the answers:
A. Bartolo Colon (quote comes from Nomar Garciaparra)
B. Mariano Rivera (of course!)
C. Barry Zito (the quote comes from himself in 2002; there are also two quotes from 2003 praising the strength of his curve)
D. Miguel Batista
E. Jamie Moyer (could it be anyone else?)
F. Kevin Millwood ("beefy trunk")
G. Jason Isringhausen (to tell the truth, I was surprised to see Izzy still pitching)
I can't say how well I would have done if I didn't create this game myself. I feel like I would have gotten the Rivera and Moyer quotes without any problem. The Zito might have been easy too. I probably would have said Colon in Batista's spot, but I don't know about the rest. "Beefy trunk" probably would have made me think Sabathia or someone similar...
All good guesses and all people I tried to include, but, sadly, no. Wrong on all counts. I guess they were all too young/inexperienced for there to be anything interesting about them in the book (if anything at all - Dickey, Cliff Lee, and a bunch more didn't even make the cut)
You have three right. A fourth name is right but it's on the wrong choice...
Absolutely. Didn't mean to imply that they did. I meant that those of us on the outside (fans, writers, etc) might not care so much about all of these issues if we all remembered that there's no real proof that performance-enhancing drugs actually performance enhance.
Very, very true. People seem to forget that this penalty plan was the one agreed to by both sides - meaning both players and management are happy with it. It's almost impossible to expect the two to come up with a compromise on an even harsher level.
Very true. I even almost mentioned it. Problem is, it doesn't matter if you make the punishments zero-tolerance or on a case-by-case basis, they don't actually stop people from doing what they want to do.
Was Todd Jones "Col. Sanders", with the giant, bleached goatee? That's my vaguest recollection of him.
Doug Jones had 1) a sweet mustache 2) a 1989 Topps "Record Breakers" card (for 15 consecutive saves!!) and 3) had a super sweet Score Dream Team card with a "flaming" baseball: http://bit.ly/DougJonesFlame
I don't know. I wouldn't say that at all. This was a nearly 50-yr old man writing about advanced stats in baseball back in 1954. Too many people today don't have even half the outlook on baseball Saroyan shows in his letter. The pretty language stands out, but the "baseball is a beautiful, organic game" argument, while dated (though much less so 60 yrs ago), isn't horrific.
Someone mentioned it on twitter (he's related to the creator somehow). Now I'm busy trying to remember if I knew that at some point growing up...
I am casting my vote in favor of this plan.
I think we need to wait until 2020 for that, when the robots have joined the game.
Interesting. I wonder why he was a part of it. Maybe the personal services contract that was such an important part of the trade (he already had one with the Giants, but they wanted to ensure the Mets took it over/gave him one after the trade)... Do superstar players still take part in post-retirement exhibition games now?
Good point. Mays really was quite good still in 1972. The difference between his AVG and OBP is amazing. I'd love for Ichiro to do that for the Yankees. The sad end I hope he avoids is Mays' 1973 season, which is the one everyone remembers (and uses for shorthand) these days.
I'm still pleased with the trades. Yes, they didn't make it to the Series last year, but they won 96 games and went to the NLCS. You just can't complain about that kind of result.
The lack of success this year is mostly due to a terrible bullpen (a huge strength last year) and injuries to a ton of players expected to be everyday starters (Gamel, Gonzalez, Narveson, Marcum, Lucroy...). The players they traded away wouldn't have helped there. (Also, Rickie Weeks was horrible for 3.5 months).
The biggest issue people have looking back is the Lawrie for Marcum trade. I understand, but I don't agree. For one, we don't know if Lawrie would've exploded the way he did in Toronto if he had stayed in Milwaukee. More importantly, though, is that Marcum was a huge, huge part of the club last year. He faltered at the end from tiring out, but he was a huge key in what got the Brewers there to begin with. Without Marcum in the first 3 or 4 months, Milwaukee might not have been in Wild Card contention even. It's such a shame everyone only seems to remember Marcum's September/October and not everything else.
This year is bad, but I'm still very glad Melvin made the moves he did last year.
One more, since I've seen literally thousands of these in the last couple of years: I think I'd call Goodman's "Take a good look, you won't see it for long!" call a catchphrase. I'm not sure how often he uses it, but it's certainly one that I can hear in my head almost perfectly. He might use it a little less often than Underwood's "Gone to souvenir city!"...
Does anyone know if there's another TV guy for the Mariners that regularly makes HR calls? Because I seem to recall noticing two very different calls being used on a regular basis for them (and I'm pretty sure it's been since Niehaus' passing).
I like Kuiper's a lot too, but I tend to appreciate the understated more. Sometimes those shouters sound a bit forced ("hey, alright, we're only down 15-2 now!). Also, like I said, I think the fact that Kay can and does use his for both teams adds a lot to it.
As someone who has - ahem - heard a few home run calls (and as someone who thought of writing this same article before - thanks, Sam!), nicely done.
I don't know if this is controversial or not because I know Michael Kay isn't considered a good announcer overall, but his "See ya!" is the best call in baseball. It's quick, simple, works in all cases, and he does it for both teams, not just the Yankees. Now, anything he might say after "See ya!" isn't great, but that's not part of the call.
Also, I'm a big fan of Matt Underwood's "Gone to souvenir city!" I wish he did it more often, but I understand how it has to be a homer-call.
Sadly, I don't think I know that story. I guess I'll just have to go look it up...
I feel the same way. There's no way those bases are 90 feet apart!
Thanks for posting that again! I timed the trot around 14.1 seconds, but it's really hard to tell. The plate-area is so dirty that you can't see the plate itself, so it's hard to know when his hand actually touches it.
But, yeah, Billy Hamilton is crazy fast.
Fair question. It does sound odd and possibly fabricated.
I believe it because five years later, when Sheridan died, they still associated the story with him. That tells me that somehow the story was vetted enough in 1930 for it to survive attached to this man for five years. I also think that the telegrams being quoted exactly help reinforce that they actually existed (only one of the telegrams is paraphrased).
I don't actually believe that he predicted every game perfectly, though, like both newspaper articles claimed. That seems a little too easy for a hazy memory or good storyteller to embellish.
Umpire's discretion, right? I've seen plenty of HBPs called when a batter doesn't really move - especially on pitches that arrive really quickly. I bet the ump would appreciate the circumstances here...
Again, great stuff, Dave. Thanks so much.
Great information, Dave. Thanks!
Now I wish I could throw you another hypothetical... like what would happen if the batter could swing the bat at exactly the same speed the ball was traveling, in a vacuum? Would the fusion still take place, or would the matching momentums change it somehow? What if the bat touched the ball for only a split second?
Sorry. I just like throwing out hypotheticals.
Wow, that was pretty bad on my part. Thanks for the head's up.
Don't forget Don Sutton's "blister"!
That really confused me about Wallach's card too, so I looked into it. He did indeed hit a homer in his first minor league appearance and in his first major league at-bat. Technically, he walked in his first major league PA, so the "at-bat" is important.
Good stuff, Ben.
And for those who don't know, you can get to the legitimate HOFers by typing in "the" before the player name. "The Mickey Mantle" will find the right one.
actually, it takes you to the most popular page for any search, so "the mick" would work too. "The mays" or "the may" or "the will" or even probably "the m" would all take you to the correct Willie Mays too.
I use "the ryan braun" a lot...
I posed this question among the BPro staff last night. Maybe they'll chime in here, but the general consensus seemed to be that it'd require a regular All-Star or better to make the deal. A cost-protected superstar is just too valuable to give up otherwise.
That's a fair response, but I still wonder if one Evan Longoria every 10-15 years is worth, say, the Pirates string of first-round picks over that same time. Wouldn't a team of, say, six Nick Swishers ready at approximately the same time (with 2-3 years of each other) be a pretty nice collection of talent?
Bradley Ankrom ran the numbers for us and got this: the average career WARP for a first round hitter who signs and reaches the big leagues is 10.5; it's 5.9 for pitchers. Klesko (23.4) was much better than that. An example of an average hitter is Oddibe McDowell (10.37 career WARP); Paul Wilson (5.9) is about average on the pitchers' side.
And remember, that's the average WARP of first-rounders who actually play in the big leagues. There are scores more who weren't even good enough to properly drag the average WARP down...
That ninth inning you mention is a good example of why I never liked Mike Timlin (though my dislike came from his Baltimore years)
Yeah, people clearly knew about the Doubleday myth well before 1983 (and maybe more than just "a small number of devoted baseball historians"). I'm not denying that.
This story about the American Heritage article in May 1983 was published by the Associated Press, though. And, with the AP's reach into 1,000s of newspapers across the country, it likely did more to broadcast the news than any articles published before it or any encyclopedias sitting around on library shelves. There was also an article in SI in 1969 or so, too, about it.
Whatever the case, I just think it's interesting to know that today is the anniversary of so many people learning something that we've all known for so long now...
It's a mystery! In fact, it looks like Duncan is only one of two players on the list of 84 with no ancestry listed. Interesting.
I also think the different "negro" designations are fascinating. I see American Negro, Puerto Rican Negro, and Dominican Negro. Meanwhile, Tony Oliva is listed as "Cuban", Chico Salmon is listed as "Panamanian" (spelled out), Jesus Alou is "Dominican" and Roberto Clemente is "P.R.-Span." for, presumably, Puerto Rican/Spanish. Those four are all dark-skinned Caribbean players. What makes them different than, say, Juan Pizarro or Manny Jimenez?
Thanks for bringing that up. I, ashamedly, haven't read Ball Four yet, so I didn't make the connection in my mind.
I did recently buy it for the kindle, though (when it was on sale for 99 cents!). It's definitely next on my list.
I thought Billy Butler's official nickname was "Country Breakfast". I'm even more confused than Mr. Winston Beauregarde, Esq.
Thanks for clearing that up. That's certainly what I was thinking when I wrote the sentence, but somehow my fingers typed "walkoff home run" instead.
Nice work, Ben!
I tweeted this already, but: I found eight examples of this from the 2010 season, though I wasn't nearly as analytical about finding them as you were. What I found most interesting was that, of the eight instances, Tim Wakefield was responsible for three of them. And now that I see the gif of him, it becomes clear why.
Forget Jeff Nelson. It should be called The Tim Wakefield (distinct from all the other "The Tim Wakefield's" there are).
Here's the article: http://www.wezen-ball.com/2010-articles/september/fake-to-third-throw-to-first-featuring-tim-wakefield.html
Thanks! Glad to hear it!
Your guess is as good as mine on the Bonus Rule point. It doesn't make sense, except in the "I'm tired of seeing athletes get paid big money so I'm going to complain about it" way of thinking...
And you're right about "hawking". It's just what came out of my fingers, I guess. Although I tend to like the idea of pictures of athletes hocking cigarettes and beer out of their lungs...
Oh certainly. And I'd say we have some version of that at most games now. There are very few "hits" on this list, though...
Or a Highlander figure. I wouldn't doubt it.
(Sadly, in truth, Lewis died of a heart attack during spring training in 1958, less than a year later.)
Good question. I should have mentioned it in the article. I was home in Milwaukee running each search. More importantly, I was logged out of my Google account when doing the searches. With all the personalization Google does to your searches - based on your history of searches, the things you've shared, the people you know, etc - there's too much variance in the results when you're logged in, even when you have "Hide personal results" chosen.
Ben - that video also shows a 27.68 second tater trot from Buhner. That's fantastic. I almost forgot just how much fun he was as a player.
You're not the only one wondering this, so I should probably explain...
It is the bottom of the 9th and the Cubs have home-field advantage. It's not Wrigley Field, obviously, but it's also not technically the Oakland Coliseum.
There are 4 stadiums at play here (maybe 5):
* The blimp shot at the beginning is Cleveland Municipal Stadium (I'm told from people who would recognize it. I believe it. It's definitely not an overhead shot of Oakland - too little foul ground).
* The early crowd cheering shot (from down the first base line) I'm pretty sure is taken from Major League, which would make it Milwaukee County Stadium.
* The scenes with Marx, Eckersley, Howitt and (presumably) Maddux were filmed at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Note the white 410 sign and the horrible batter's eye with vertical stripes. That horrible batter's eye is still there, though the wall lettering looks different: http://www.ballparkreviews.com/phoenix/municipal5.JPG
* When the footage cuts to Rickey racing back to the wall, you can see the Coliseum's wall (yellow lettering, Catfish Hunter's retired jersey). Further evidence that Rickey, Canseco, etc are just archival footage. The Coliseum is also where Marx and his band spend the video rocking out.
* There's a shot or two of a crowd of Cubs fans (you can see them at 4:36). I can't quite tell if they're from a different stadium (ie, the shot was taken from yet another movie), but I'm thinking probably not.
Further, both clubs are wearing home uniforms, so that doesn't help. Uecker tells us the home run wins the game, though, so I'm happy to go with that. Everything else, I guess we can chalk up to Marx's dream!
I had no idea Oakland Coliseum used to be orange. Was having trouble figuring out what stadium he was at until I saw that. I knew it looked really different before Mt Davis, but didn't think they'd replace all 60,000 seats...
No, I don't think we need to do that either. It's perfectly reasonable to investigate the details of the end of Moss's life, though, sad as they were. It's a fascinating story, even putting aside issues with the 1928 Georgia criminal justice system.
I mean, the Georgia governor used *phrenology* to continue two executions!
Thanks, KJOK. I actually included a link to Gary's piece in the first paragraph. It's informative, though I can't tell if he was ever able to find anything more than the single "Moss" entry in Riley's encyclopedia to verify that it really is James Hugh Moss. I would love to know that we can verify at least one fact about his career.
It just goes to show how hard Negro Leagues info is to come by and just how great it is to even have the data that we have, incomplete as it is.
Just a note to say that I updated the story a little to include the fate of Eula Mae Thompson (which included another murder!) and some details on how the governor decided to go ahead with Moss's execution (phrenology - seriously).
The asterisk signifies a (slightly) approximated trot. The video doesn't always show a player's foot touching home plate, so sometimes I have to guess from the player's gait or other cues which foot actually touched the plate. If the video doesn't actually show the player at the plate - it cuts away too early or focuses on the pitcher or something - I don't count the trot at all.
Gomez had an IPHR last year. He had a tiny hesitation rounding first, but nowhere near as pronounced as Bourjos' slowdown. They ran the bases in essentially the same time, though, with Gomez getting 14.29 sec to Bourjos' 14.26 sec. (And, honestly, my stopwatch skills aren't exactly precise enough to give us two-decimals of precision)
Here's the Gomez trot: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14069
Good question. Check out Ryan Braun's first inning at-bat, when he got picked off by the pitcher. I mark a slight advance on the basepath, ending with a perpendicular line between the two bases. That means that the player made an out on the basepaths (or, more accurately, after reaching the one base safely).
I couldn't say for sure without it happening in front of me, but my guess is that I would mark the tagged runner with that out-on-the-basepaths notation with a "UA-6" or "6-tag" mark above it (and the relevant FC or whatever for the batter-runner).
For DPs, I mark the full DP notation (DP 6-4-3) in the batter's space and use the out-on-the-basepaths notation (and a small "DP") to indicate which runner was out.
My brother tells me that he never used the O-8 notation I used or the UA-3 notation. Instead, he'd mark flyouts with a circled-number (eg, 8 with a circle around it). I think my 8-year old handwriting adapted this to be O-8 (since O obviously meant "Out", right?). The UA-3 notation? All I can figure is that I got used to marking the descriptor (O, LO, F, etc) before the position player, so I just continued it with "Unassisted".
However it evolved, I'm still quite happy with it!
Stars and comments are routinely included for me too. I've tried the trajectory lines, but it never caught on with me.
Fleeners? Wow, you really are on another level from me.
I do like underlining the various great plays, etc. It's always nice to make those kinds of marks (see my "Ole!" comment on Greene's eighth-inning RBI-single. Thanks, Ramirez!)
"Whatever works." Exactly! Anyone daunted by keeping score because you "don't know how to do it" should keep that in mind. If it works for you, that's all that matters.
That's a good way to track subs. I think my sub-tracking grew out of scorecards with limited space. It's easier to use the empty space on the card rather than create space on the leftside...
I hadn't heard of that kind of method before, but I kind of like it. Simple and effective. I'm not sure I've ever seen an unassisted play at a base other than the "natural" base, though. I wonder how I'd mark that. Maybe "UA-4 (first)"?
That's a whole different kind of scorekeeping...
It's one of the most important things to me - and it's so easy to do. I hate looking at a card that shows someone getting to first and then scoring without any marks as to how he got there. I know you can figure it out from the following batters, but it's not always clear.
Brant Brown hit 3 home runs in a game?! How did I not know that? Apparently that's what happens when you face Mark Portugal in Wrigley in June.
I had such high hopes for those early-90s, Bob Bennett-led Fresno State players...
I'm not sure there's anything in there about "the 27 Texaco sponsored teams across Canada", but that is a fascinating website. Thanks for letting us know about it!
Miami Vice was definitely one I thought about. I didn't include it for two reasons: 1) I wasn't sure if it was recognizable enough anymore and 2) more importantly, I forgot to give it a chance when I finally got down to the video part.
Sadly, I also forgot to include Danger Zone, which I think would have been awesome for it.
I included this above in the update, but you can see what the display might look like with musical accompaniment here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16307
Magnum PI and Game of Thrones seem to be the favorite, but I really like the Cantina Band as well...
Sounds about right, myshkin (and thank for not spoiling it!).
I know the cryptic isn't perfect, but I think the collisions are pretty minimal and easily figured out in context. At least I hope they are.
Yes, yes it most definitely would.
(Though, to be clear, I meant a lineup within a photo - like with the players shoulder-to-shoulder. I clarified the text a bit just to be sure.)
I should have known the FJM guys would have discussed this at some point.
At least I can be happy that they noticed most of the same things I did (they even cited the same bunting line).
Honestly, it was just an article I remembered liking a lot as a kid, so I decided to find it in some old Becketts. Of course, that meant being "forced" to get a few years worth of magazines and read through them... (not that I'm complaining!)
Finding out that Haas had written in to the Boston Globe ~20 years later just made it all the more intriguing.
"If everything had proceeded as it was supposed to with regards to confidentiality". Sorry.
The problem I have with the "the courier just blew it - he still had a failed test" thinking is that it assumes that the rest of the process was infallible/handled properly. This entire testing procedure is important. If mistakes can so clearly be made in one important aspect, how can we trust that mistakes weren't made in any other parts of it? As someone said elsewhere, these guys have proven to be bumbling idiots, so why do we believe the bumbling idiots did everything else right?
Chain of custody is an important principle that can't just be ignored. As you said, it compromises the integrity of everything - as in the whole procedure.
And, honestly, I'm sure he was just saying that hitting higher in the order is better because he'll have a better chance of being moved around the bases from 2-5 hitters rather than 6-9 hitters - which is pretty much true of any lineup in baseball. It's the wisdom that matters (and he just happened to learn that wisdom while batting in front of McGehee and Yuni).
Plus, I just love the whole confidence thing...
That ones a bit tough, actually. We have to take the Simpsons' writers word on it. The Mattingly hair suspension actually took place in 1991, so it happened before the episode aired. But cartoons take a long time to produce, and the writers claim in their DVD commentary that the sideburns joke was in there from the beginning, well before August 1991. The timeline is plausible, but who knows...
I just realized that *today* is the 20th anniversary of the airing of this episode. Who feels old now?
Thanks. You guys are right, I didn't try the new area codes. I just called the numbers as published in the magazine. The thought of new area codes crossed my mind, but I really didn't think the problem would be so profound.
I'll see about giving the updated numbers a call later. In the meantime, I'd be interested to hear if anyone else tried the new area codes...
For those who haven't seen the Ichiro video before and are having trouble understanding him, I recommend clicking through to the YouTube video and reading the description. I don't want to ruin the joke here.
The first time I saw this video, it had captions on it, but I can't seem to find that anymore...
Sorry. If that's the implication I gave, I certainly didn't mean it.
Some movies weren't included because Ebert never reviewed them (the biggest example being the original Major League, and also 61*), but most weren't included because I didn't think to look them up or because they just didn't make the cut (I didn't want the piece to be 7000 words long). There are reviews, for example, of Little Big League, Rookie of the Year, For Love of the Game, Eight Men Out, Cobb, and plenty more, some of which he liked (Little Big League, Bang the Drum Slowly) and some of which he didn't (For Love of the Game, The Babe).
It's pretty easy to find the reviews on rogerebert.com with the search box on the left.
Well, there you go!
I still love the picture they chose for the Farsi page, both for how great it looks and for the impression it gives Iranians about the game...
Thanks. It seemed more appropriate...
Thanks for pointing those out, Ken. I'm saddened to think that Sweden's baseball diamonds are filled with little blonde Brett Butler's bunting their way into the #2 spot...
"brännboll" reminds me of something. If you read the Danish and German translations, you see them associating "baseball" with "baseball" or "softball". If you click through, the actual words are clearly the German/Danish words for "rounders". I guess the Google translation algorithm has a tough time with those words in context, however.
"Op het Wereldkampioenschap honkbal 2011 in Panama-Stad werd Nederland voor de eerste keer in zijn historie wereldkampioen door in de finale Cuba met 2-1 te verslaan."
I see you didn't get back to work right away, eh?
If he were on the Rays, it'd probably be a 7 yr, $45 million deal or something else equally ridiculous...
Sorry, the language was a bit imprecise.
In the McLemore piece linked above, Cobb says, when issuing the challenge: "Maybe we could raise some money for bundle for Britain or some other war relief."
In a different piece I saw but didn't link to (here: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1144&dat=19410728&id=CE4bAAAAIBAJ&sjid=bEwEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4345,6380760 ) it says: "the third clash in their fairway feud from which gate receipts go for the benefit of the United Service Organizations" (which is, of course, the USO).
I'm not sure if I saw the other charities mentioned.
This is fantastic news! I may have to go scrounge around for those issues, see what we can learn.
Fantastic suggestions, everyone. A BP crowd-sourced version of this game would be a bestseller!
The movie. It's clearly the Cardinals they're playing and it happens right before he proposes to his wife (who he married in 1933). I can't remember what other evidence places it in 1932 in the movie, but it seems to be the accepted understanding.
Whoops. Sorry. Stupid math mistake. I'll fix it.
You're absolutely right. I must have been thinking "new to the Giants = new to the league" when I wrote that. Vogelsong is most definitely not a youngster.
It would certainly explain why Worf wasn't behind the plate.
I still think he's too good of an athlete to be stuck at first, but there aren't too many places he can go with Leeta on the team as well...
1. I haven't seen all of DS9, so I don't know that episode myself, but I think you're right. Bashir should have been a star on this team.
2. Good point! Still seems strange, like seeing David Eckstein or Muggsy Bogues behind the plate...
According to Memory Alpha (the Star Trek wiki), Ronald Moore, the producer, said "We knew it would air close to the series, but didn't know it would be the same week." Just poor planning, I guess (though you have to know the World Series is going to have a game on a Wednesday night)
So does that mean we should worry about Jake's arm? Poor kid - how is he going to write?
The Jake and Nog relationship was the only real justification I could come up with as well, but it seems pretty weak. Good point about Worf's temper not being a good fit for behind the plate...
I also wondered why Nog had never played the game before. We know from other episodes that Jake and Ben play ball in the holosuite on a regular basis. Why wouldn't Jake, in six years with his best friend, never try to get Nog to play with him?
Yeah. I think I saw something that said she was originally signed through season 6 and then, for whatever reason, they didn't sign her for season 7. Whether that was because she wanted to go to Becker or they didn't want to pay her enough (which seems ridiculous - Terry Farrell is pretty awesome), I don't know.
I don't know if it's been around since day 1, but I'd say it's been around long enough...
Besides being boring, unseemly, and "unsportsmanlike", the intentional walk is too often used outside of the normal flow of the game (stalling tactics to get a new pitcher ready, controlling matchups, etc). Yes, these are normal, allowable parts of the game, but they don't have to be.
Batters used to be able to bunt to their heart's content, possibly racking up 6 or 7 balls bunted foul until he could force the pitcher to throw a ball he wanted - ie, he controlled the pitcher until he got something favorable to him. Everyone decided that, while this was a normal, allowable part of the game, it changed the flow of the game (for lack of a better term) too much, and the "foul-bunt strikeout" was created. The "pitched-ball balk" would be something similar implemented for similar reasons...
Yep, those are definitely some of the things that would have to be considered.
I actually think that the biggest affect of this is that umpires would now be even more lenient on that 3-0 strike than ever before. The obvious balls would still be called balls, but the edge of the plate might expand by 1/4 of an inch or something. This might also mean that batters swing less at the 2-0 pitch, giving pitchers at least a little bit of leeway.
Bunters sometimes try that two-strike bunt knowing the consequences; I think pitchers would sometimes take the risk too.
With this rule, the "unintentional intentional walk" would only work if the pitcher were to somehow throw a strike in there first (all 4-pitch walks). Of course, walking the batter with the bases empty - like they did with Pujols last night - wouldn't change, but at least that's a pretty rare occurrence.
And your aversion to the intentional walk is how most people who dislike it view it. I agree - just never thought that was enough reason to change the rule.
Good point. I put it down because I heard it mentioned on a broadcast recently, but, you're right, I forgot about the Phillies. They must have meant to say "first American League team" or something. My fault for not thinking it through for a moment before writing it down...
From my seats in the stands, it looked pretty smoked. The only question for me was if it would clear the fence by enough of a margin to keep Gomez from snagging it (assuming he was able to cover all that ground, which he remarkably did).
But if it looked differently on tv, I understand.
Thanks! My mind is still reeling from the weekend and, to me, "leadoff batter = Willie Bloomquist" still. We'll get that fixed.
Good to know about Reggie's defense. Makes him a more multi-dimensional player in my mind. It's important to note, though: teams used their DH spot weird in its initial years as they figured it out. Just because a team kept someone in the OF doesn't make it the right call.
Also, very good point about Reggie being on good teams because they were who wanted to pay him. It's not a perspective I've heard about anyone before, but it makes a lot of sense.
As for the premise: there are many, many people out there who hate stats and insist that they don't need any stats to enjoy the game or to know who the best players are. (Many of them seem to have quite the loud megaphone, too.) Of course this exercise is bogus - that's the point.
(And, no, I would never call the measurement of a mound height a stat.)
Well, first, please don't think that I actually think Adam Dunn is as good as Reggie Jackson. That's silly.
But, tell me, could Reggie actually play defense, or is it just the he did play defense? I only remember old Reggie, and I'm pretty certain old Reggie was kind of a statue.
As for the rest: does that make a convincing case for Reggie, without using numbers? I'm not so sure - especially since the strongest point there (the hitting environment) would need some stats to back it up in a discussion.
And look at that... I accidentally wrote Jeff Weaver's name again when I clearly meant Jered Weaver. Not sure I'll ever not make that mistake.
Absolutely. Football still beats baseball in terms of viewers, etc, but the comparison is nowhere near as far apart as a simple tv ratings comparison would have you believe.
The specialization route certainly crossed my mind, and I suspect it would be tried out on occasion. But I'm not sure it would catch on on the non-pitching side. Offense is too important to baseball and even the best hitters can't be expected to perform at a high level in only one or two at-bats. You kind of have to leave top-notch hitters in for 6 or 7 innings to get the full benefit from them - I'm not sure that leaves too much room for rampant specialization.
The bullpen, on the other hand - I could see that. Of course, even in the All Star Game, when you have some of the best pitchers in the league sharing innings, the pitchers don't shut teams down completely. It may be harder than we imagine.
Doh. Thanks. Clearly I wasn't thinking very hard there. Just going with muscle memory.
I don't think anything like this is really common, but, if it's common anywhere, it has to be independent league baseball. But it really is crazy what's going on with Lake County...
Thanks for catching that spelling mistake. Fixed now.
Very true. In fact, Peppermint Patty would very well be the best player on the field in a game between the Peanuts gang and the 2011 Astros.
Luckily for the Astros, Peppermint Patty has her own team and only once played for Chuck (as a favor). The analysis would be very different if she joined the team...
Good point. I said that because I was figuring the fielders would have to play near enough to the bag to be able to get back to it in time to nail a runner. The pitcher would be able to help out in that regard, you're right, but I still don't think both fielders would be able to play deep. For example, any extra-base hit would need the pitcher at first and the secondbaseman at "new second".
Thinking about it now, I bet you'd have the "first baseman" playing ~140 from the plate and the "second baseman" about 90 feet away. The 2B could cover his base on XBH's with the pitcher covering first, while the 1B would field shots up the middle and such. I have no idea how well this all would work.
I wonder if they've been talking about it at all during White Sox broadcasts...
People seated in low seats near the field absolutely must be able to defend themselves from a foul ball (ie, block/catch the ball or quickly get out of the way). The Pirates really should have considered that at those games and they're lucky nothing serious happened to the person you saw.
Good point about the football fan jumping. Still, the "fans extending bodies dangerously in hopes of game-used keepsakes" ratio is much, much higher in baseball than the other sports.
Playing more games is an important point, as is the heat danger.
Wall and player collisions did cross my mind but, by the time I wrote about the other collisions, I forgot to include them. They're legitimate worries, but I don't think they're any worse than anything already listed (or, for that matter, super-unique to baseball).
Campana's inside-the-parker will definitely be mentioned in tomorrow's post. But, if you're interested in what his time was right now, you can see it over on the TaterTrotTrkr twitter feed:
Definitely one of the better ones I've seen (in the top 3 quickest, I believe, if not #1).
You're right, thanks. Jeff Weaver went to school in my home town, so his name is always the one that pops out whenever I talk about Jered...
I'm sure the umps saw the same thing as you. Two questions: if it definitely hit the concrete wall, why didn't it bounce back more? And why did I see the padding get squashed down so much?
I'm guessing it hit the green padding but bounced off the concrete because the padding wasn't thick enough to absorb it all. Is that a home run? If the concrete wasn't there, would it have bounced back still (ie, no HR) or would it have pushed through the wall completely (HR)?
I think that's a very real possibility. Seems that catchers have been doing that a lot recently...
Of course, it could just be that we're looking for it now. Who knows?
That crossed my mind as I was writing it, but I stuck with the Pirates because I felt the plus-9 was better than the plus-8. With the Pirates having played 50% more games than the Cardinals in that comparison, I felt there was enough wiggle room in the percentages to look at it like that. Either way, the point is unchanged.
Yeah, I thought it was pretty strange when I saw it too. The perils of internet video, I guess.
Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the post.
Hmm, I suppose it's possible that I missed that while watching it. I thought I saw it land easily in the crowd, but I could be mistaken. The that would explain it to a certain degree (he was still a bit slow from 1st to home). I can't watch it now though...
I always knew Pat Borders was a dodgy guy.
The closest I've come to a bat was at Dodger Stadium. Brother's friend had great seats and we didn't, so he used his ticket to get us down to that section in the 5th inning or so. Shawn Green threw his bat into the crowd in the bottom of the ninth and it landed in my row, just one section closer to home. As we all stared at the woman who got hit by the bat, Green quietly popped up. I was surprised to look up and see someone else at bat.
Thanks for that story! Just terrific. Glad Winfield heard you and signed it, even if it ended up fading.
Be careful... they notice those things on tv!
That does feel odd. And what happens when he gets home? "This is the game-used ball that I paid some guy $20 for"?
Yeah. The fear of an embarrassing drop (and a damaged right hand) is what prevented me from sticking my free hand out at the Indians game to try to catch the line drive. Of course, realizing how hard the ball must have been hit to still be screaming like that 300 ft later may have had something to do with that...
It's not legitimate in that he definitely belongs, but in that, if he got in, he wouldn't drag down the quality of the Hall in any way. That is, he's better than a lot of players already in and not that much worse than some who no one has a problem with... Borderline, but legitimate.
The best explanation is here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?type=2&articleid=13739#84595
In short, it means that the time is a close approximation due to the view I was given. I only give approximate times if I feel that there's some evidence he touched the plate at that time. If the camera cuts away completely before I see a player at the plate, his time is marked as not measurable.
Thanks. The MASN cameras were particularly bad about it on Sunday and, since the O's & Nats were playing each other and both broadcast on MASN, there was no alternative feed to watch.
He mentions playing "for the team, not his personal record" and then later talks about hitting behind the runner and such. Pretty sure that falls into the "Hit for Club" category.
I love how Babe Ruth and (e.g.) Joe DiMaggio are credited with the same power, but Ruth gets knocked down below most everyone for his bunting skills. As if his inability to bunt really hurt his game.
Oh yes, I certainly remember all that. I thought tomterp was referring to a home run trot where Morgan did a little bit of intentional showboating. That makes sense. Thanks.
I'm trying to remember the Nyjer Morgan incident you're talking about. It seems to ring a bell, but I can't recall any specifics.
And I love hearing about old rivalries between seemingly unrelated teams. Those things don't make it outside of the local areas all that much.
And I might as well take this opportunity to plug the Tater Trot Tracker twitter account. If you see something like this, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (or email). If I had known about the Ramos trot since yesterday, I may have been able to address it much sooner. I can't be watching 30 teams at once!
The Tater Trot Tracker twitter account is @TaterTrotTrkr (there's also @wezen_ball).
Yeah. I was shocked that it only came to ~29 seconds. The way he was plodding after second base, I thought for sure we'd see something over 30 seconds (just goes to show how hard that 30-second barrier really is). Also, having to compete against a trot from Miguel Cabrera makes it difficult to run away with things.
I imagine it was a combination of the trot and everything else that had been going on that made him so upset.
Thanks for the info. I had a feeling there was a lot of testiness going on. Sutton and Grace only mentioned a headhunting type of incident from Thursday in the couple of minutes I saw, so this clears things up some.
No one is arguing Cousins didn't change his course to hit Posey. But that's a completely legal, accepted part of the game and should not be classified as "malicious". Cousins knew that Posey would have the ball by the time he reached the plate. His clear path would have been anything but. Just because we know Posey dropped the ball doesn't mean Cousins should have been able to magically change his momentum in half a second.
The Schierholtz hit was nothing but malicious and should have no defenders here or anywhere. Saying it was somehow "better" than the Cousins hit is ludicrous.
And watch the Sandoval/Doumit collision again. Pablo is running on the outside lane of dirt the entire way. Three steps from the plate, his path changes and goes after Doumit. He hits Doumit on the pitcher side of the foul line - considering he was on the dugout side the whole time, he clearly changed direction.
More importantly, compare where Doumit's feet are to Posey's. They're right foots are almost in the exact same plate: on the corner of the left-hander's batter box. And look at their knees. They're also in almost identical positions. The only difference is that Doumit has had time to put himself into a proper position, with his left foot close to the plate - you know, where Posey was trying to put his except his leg got stuck - and with his weight shifted. Doumit is where Posey would be in ~2 seconds if a) the play to Posey had reached him in time and b) Posey's leg hadn't gotten stuck.
There is no reason to blame Cousins for sliding like he did. He had *every reason* to expect Posey to be in the position Doumit was and, clearly, no one cared that Pablo did that.
If you want to argue plate collisions in general, that's fine. But Cousins did nothing that hundreds of players haven't done before.
The May 27 post was referring to retired players speaking about "back in their day", when their memory and their romanticized view of their youth can corrupt the truth.
Even so, I can retract the Greene statement you quoted and not feel any different. I was just referring to wizstan's mention that the quotes would be different if they knew the extent of the damage (since Greene would understand that better than anyone).
Thanks for the (much too) kind words. Where do I send the check again?
And, since you're the first person to ask, I pronounce it as if the "ll" wasn't there (like most people do with "tortilla" or "Castillo").
The Todd Greene collision happened on May 5. Greene played the rest of the season. Maybe there was another collision you're thinking of? And don't forget, Greene himself had no problem with it.
I feel the Alou and Lansford quotes were fair because, as manager and hitting coach, they speak for the organization just as much as Sabean does. If they were out of line with the organization's philosophy, something would have been said by a higher-up (like Sabean).
As for #1, I don't think the difference between Doumit and Posey is all that stark. Compare their feet and knees to the batter's boxes and home plate. Doumit looks different because he pulled his left leg out from under him and planted it where it should be - his knee, however, is in about the same spot. Doumit had also properly shifted his weight. Cousins, however, had no way of knowing that Posey wouldn't shift himself properly by the time they collided. Split-second decisions make things difficult.
Thanks. I'll fix that (you can see it below, though).
The stars are an approximation, usually when the player's foot isn't on screen and I can't tell for sure which foot touched the plate. If I don't feel like I'm within 1-2 steps of accuracy, then I give the runner an N/A instead.
I should probably put that somewhere, but I don't want to give the wrong impression by just saying "approximate time"...
Thanks. But I checked to make sure, and Duncan's homer was Monday... Escobar hit the only home run on Tuesday.
Why do I do that?! Those teams must be cataloged in my brain by uniform color, or something...
Thanks for that video!
That's a tough one. The plate is so completely covered in dust, you kind of have to guess at it's location (how could the umpire let it be that dirty?). I time it at about 14.33 seconds, but I'm not positive on that. Definitely one of the fastest trots I've seen.
Yes, it's definitely Scott. I must've had "Steve" on the brain after typing Wynn's name... thanks for pointing that out.
"Catchers can stay out of the way and not take the risk."
Except, as beerd90210 says, Posey was out of the way. The very fact that collisions at the plate are common put Cousins (and other runners) into the mindset that he must collide with Posey, so he did (by lunging at him and initiating the contact). The catcher is at risk just from being near the plate because you never know when a runner will misread the situation and initiate contact.
Cousins never would have made the tackle if he knew that Posey couldn't block the plate like he was expecting...
Thanks, that's basically it. Though I only put an asterisk if I'm reasonably sure that I'm within a step or so of the plate (eg, camera cuts back half a step past the plate). If I can't get that close, I find another angle or call the trot "unclockable"
You're right, thanks. I thought I heard someone say something about the first pitch of Hamilton's season, but they probably said "since his return"...
Of course the AL East teams have it very different than the AL West or NL Central teams. But the intra-division schedules have little bearing on other divisions because, for example, the A's are vying for the AL East crown. Within their divisions, the schedules are balanced. And, since teams are only fighting their division-mates for the crown, that's all that matters.
The wild card does complicate things in that regard; I hadn't considered that. I'm not sure I've ever heard that as a major criticism of the WC, though (at least not in those words). I'll have to think on it...
Those are very fair points. Attendance and excitement is a true plus of interleague and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
I'm not against interleague (I'd probably describe myself as ambivalent), but I do think an unbalanced schedule is a very legitimate criticism of it. A 162-game season is, like you said, much more complicated than any stretch of 18-games can ever be. Still, that doesn't mean the unbalanced nature should be ignored.
As for win percentage, I think it's the best tool that we have at the moment (ie, in late-May). Sure, by the end of the season, a player's full stats and a team's full schedule will better tell us just how tough/easy each team had, but that doesn't help us today.
Thanks. As I said to mgolden above, there were some transcription errors, but the math didn't change.
Thanks for pointing it out.
Yes, you're right. I made a couple of transcription errors as I typed in each teams' opponents. They have been fixed. The calculations and conclusions are unchanged, though (there were no transcription errors in the math ;-)
Thanks for pointing it out.
I did come across that and considered posting about it. Wasn't sure how common knowledge it was, though. I wish they had done more issues of it.
The ump wasn't giving the pitcher the low strike. I can respect that.
I love the screwball shown in Ball Four, though.
Someone on Twitter mentioned a two-part story about Bullseye becoming a pitcher so he could kill a man with a fastball.
These may be the two greatest comic book plots I have ever heard of.
I remember that. Pretty fantastic, if you ask me
Ha. Thanks, you're right. It was Chris Davis. I made the change.
Thanks for bringing that up. I remember hearing about them a couple of weeks ago. People on Twitter told me that they come out every now and then. I cant quite figure out if they're meant to be mascots, or just occasional props (for lack of a better word). Until it becomes clearer, I feel comfortable leaving them off a list. And, as pfe1223 mentioned, the Rangers occasionally like to have historical figures race... I wonder if there are others besides Bowie, Houston, and Crockett.
Good point. It was only for a few years in the 1980s, when someone tried to make GW-RBI an official stat. People realized pretty quickly that it was a dumb stat.
A quick look at my Cal Ripken collection tells me the GW-RBI was included from 1986 through 1989.
I am keeping a list, but it's not quite in great shape right now. I'll see what I can do once I get it cleaned up.
Hmm... are you sure? I only ask because Ribbie is the name of an old White Sox mascot and Southpaw is the name of the current White Sox mascot...
I still don't see why Yankenstein didn't win. That's a brilliant name.
Thanks for that. Not sure why I decided that he looked like a mouse and a wolf. The wolf makes so much more sense.
That's a fair point, Bill. If it's only used once or twice a game, it doesn't really matter if it's 30 secs or 2 mins. It'd be no worse than a Tony LaRussa 7th inning...
I do think the mandate to get every call right could lead to more replay use than you'd expect. Fans can live with the occassional mistake under the "human element", but, when every single play is reviewable, fans might expect that "human element" to disappear. How many plays a game does that equate to? And how much buffer time around the replay (umps conferring, explaining the decision, moving baserunners, waiting for new batter, etc) will be included?
I don't know, but I think it needs to be understood that those things will happen. They should still test the system out, though. No reason whatsoever not to
Sure. But that only really works if the manager doesn't want to get thrown out. Managers willing to argue are, very often, wanting to get tossed out anyway, so making it illegal might not be a deterrent...
Good information from @woedoctor on Twitter:
The Padres had a mascot in 1992 called Blueper, who was a dog with a baseball for a nose. Here's some information on him: http://www.gaslampball.com/2010/2/24/1325354/remember-the-former-padres-mascot
There are also two Petco Park mascots in San Diego, Red Ruff and Blue Mew. Here's a photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/crackerbunny/882290422/
Thanks for that picture of Homer! I saw one or two references to Homer as a version of the mascot, but I didn't see anything specific. I figured that people were getting him confused with Chief Noc-a-Homa, but that picture clearly shows otherwise.
Just a bit shocked that people in the '80s felt that was appropriate...
Yeah, I've been thinking about something like this since I read about Dandy in that WSJ story last year...
I grew up in the '80s, so I don't remember the absolute beginnings. I loved having his baseball card, though.
Wow. It's not completely surprising, though. That's a lot of tradition to go against there. Like you said, though, he seems to be more or less accepted now. Which is no small feat, actually
I actually didn't look at the dot race. The races weren't really my focus, except for when they bled over into official mascots. I've heard the claim that they had the first dot race, but I didn't look into it...
The * is to denote an approximation, but only when I feel the time is close to right. If I can't see at all when the player was around the plate, I don't give a time. But if the camera cuts back half a step past home plate, or if I have trouble telling which foot touched the plate, or anything else that makes me feel like I may be just slightly off, I'll put the star down.
Basically, if I feel like I'm within a step or so of the plate, I'll keep the time. But if I have to completely guess about a player's time, I won't include it.
Thanks, everyone. Glad to know people are enjoying the Tater Trot Tracker.
holgado's comment is fair. When I started the Tracker last year, I was wary of putting it in a daily feed because I know it's not for everyone. Here at BPro, the daily feed is the only way to go.
And the Tracker *must* be done on a daily basis. Skipping any single day could mean missing an important or memorable trot. And, for as much time as it does take me (usually about 45 mins of my lunch hour, which isn't too bad), it would only get worse if I had to catch up on multiple days worth of trots. It's worth it to me, though, because I think it's a fun way to watch the games while giving a reason to pay attention to all 30 teams. I'm glad to see others here are enjoying the series as well.
You know, I had never heard of "The Weans" before this comment, so I went and looked it up. Sounds fantastic. I'd love to read the whole thing.
I don't think I'm afraid of becoming a Wean anthropologist, though. We're not that far removed from baseball's origins, yet. Though I would certainly enjoy seeing a Wean take on early baseball...
Thanks, mrdannyg and jhardman. I'm glad you guys are liking them!
j, I made comment about it in today's Tater Trot Tracker post, but I will absolutely write something specifically about pitchers in the future. I'd like to wait for a few more to be hit before I do so. In the meantime, I try to mention every pitcher home run in the day's post, regardless of quickest/slowest. I think I've only missed doing that once this year.
Good point. That ball had quite the strange flight pattern. I don't think anyone expected it to find itself on the fair side of things.
Lind's trot is pretty good, considering the time watching the ball. It shows how a trot like Pat Burrell's 29-sec trot is still super-slow, even considering he had the same fair/foul problem.
Good point. I've been meaning to do that, but I need to catch the data up. You should expect it in the next few days, I hope.
Just found this article from a 1960 Sports Illustrated about the 1938 Black Hawks: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1134564/index.htm
The asterisk indicates that Smoak's time may be an approximation. The camera doesn't always give a perfect view of the batter touching the plate so sometimes I have to mark a time to say that it wasn't timed perfectly. Usually this is because the camera shows the player from only the shoulders up and the exact step that touched home plate is tough to see. In cases like that, I do my best to judge which step it was based on other cues (a slumping of shoulders, change in direction, etc).
In Smoak's case, it was because the camera cut back to him at almost the exact moment he was touching the plate. Since I couldn't say if he was *just about to touch the plate* or *had just touched the plate*, I marked it as "estimated" even though the time was probably really, really close anyway.
If I can get a time down within 2 or so steps from the plate (depending on circumstances), I usually keep it and mark it as estimated. If I can't be that precise though (and broadcasts do sometimes like to show fans or teammates or whatever for the last five seconds of the trot and then cut back in such a way that I have no idea when the player crossed the plate), I mark that trot as "unmeasurable". I have to feel comfortable with the time I write down and, if I'm not, I say it's unmeasurable. That doesn't happen all that often once you look at both teams' tv feeds...
Whoops. Thanks for catching that.
It would be an interesting way to celebrate home runs, huh?
Yes, Verducci did. He created a list of bullet points to explain his point. He could have used "kids aren't playing the game as much" as the title of his bullet point; that's the point Stottlemyre was making. Skateboards and basketball were in that same sentence with the word "Nintendo". Verducci is the one who decided to use it as the catch-all. He even later says "Short of returning to eight-team leagues and limiting the import of Nintendo games..."
You're right... in the context of the article, the point doesn't make much sense. In a broader sense, looking at how the game is played among kids today, it's a legitimate point, but that's not what Verducci was talking about.
There are a thousand reasons why kids would be playing baseball less today: expensive gear, no fields, more schoolwork/activities, fewer "neighborhoods", dozens more sports to choose from, other leagues, television, computers, overprotective parents... Sure, video games are one of those reasons, but I wouldn't put it even in the top five, and I certainly wouldn't brand the entire phenomenon with the Nintendo name.
The same excuses could have been used every generation... in the 1950s, a stodgy sportswriter could've called it the "television effect", in the 1960s the "Beatles effect", in the 1970s the "hippie effect" or something equally silly...
The point is legitimate, but calling it the "Nintendo effect" is lazy and reeks of "kids these days"-justification...
Fair point, Brian. You're absolutely right.
All the histories I read talked about the confusing distinction between Harmon and Escalero (usually mentioning that some people list one or the other first). I'm guessing this reflects an actual discussion (in the broader sense) that took place over the years. My guess is that some people were trying to distinguish between "Americans" and "Latins", even if Puerto Rico is a part of the US... obviously, that kind of parsing is hard to do.
Thanks, you're right. The list I saw, for some reason, had the Milwaukee Braves and Boston Braves listed separately. I didn't notice that.
Your idea for each team honoring one individual is a good one. I like it.
My question is about "diluting the honor" (and I don't ask just you, but everyone who agrees): why does that dilute the honor? Are they diluting the honor in Cleveland with the Bob Feller patch? What if, say, Travis Hafner had wanted to wear #19 for a game but never asked because they already had the patch? Isn't it the same thing? And couldn't the argument be made that, by increasing the visibility of #42 for that one game, MLB is elevating the honor from just a few people to the whole organization? It's much more visible and creates much more discussion for Jackie that way.
I'm not gung-ho in favor of the idea or anything. I just think that there's plenty of good reasons to do what they're doing, but people aren't realizing it because they're looking at it from the wrong point of view.
I'm pretty sure that was because April 15 fell on a Thursday last year and not every team was active that day. So, in order for every team to wear "42" for a day, they had to wear them the next day...
Yesterday, for example, the Braves and Mets wore "42" because their game had been postponed on Friday night.
It does feel a bit weird to see it on consecutive days, even if each team only wore it once...
Great answers. So many people telling great stories of being around their team when they were great... I wonder how many of us became fans at that age when our teams were bad - like, say, late 1970s Indians or early Mariners, mid-80s Yankees, etc.
Like I said, Cal Ripken was my favorite player at age 7, and that was when the O's were 0-21. Of course, i lived on the opposite side of the country...
People ask it all the time. Not to worry.
I start the clock the moment the bat touches the ball and stop it the moment the foot touches the plate. It's the only way I can be objective on every home run. It does mean that those players who pause for a second before touching the plate are penalized.. but, hey, they should be.
There's a decent chance that Beat the Mets game is the same thing... I may have to look into it.
Also, if you're interested, you'll probably want to look around ebay, etc for games in the same condition as yours... I saw some high price tags when I checked...
Thanks for mentioning those other games. A few people reminded me that I maybe blew off those other games a little too quickly in my Strat comment. I didn't mean to. Obviously those games you mentioned all have a long history too... I was thinking more along the Challenge the Yankees type games...
Thanks, Llary. I realize the Fatburger is in the building... I was attempting a little exaggeration there, but it probably wasn't very clear ;-)
That was a monster of a home run, though.
Yes, I record every trot. It's the only way I can be sure that I don't miss a super fast or super slow (or whatever) trot.
I am saving the data for every trot, but it's not set up for the public right now. Maybe I can do that if I can come up with an easy way to do so and if people are interested enough in it...
I doubt there was a better year in Baltimore's history than 1970 to be growing up a baseball fan...
I read all the time as a kid about people getting things in the mail from teams, players, other famous personalities (like, say, Charles Schulz). I wish I had been smart enough to do that.
Ah, yes. The earthquake Battle of the Bay. I meant to make a special mention of that, but I suppose I covered it in the "Giants, Dodgers, and A's are good" line. I remember everything about that very well, especially the painting you could buy that showed Clark and McGwire standing over SF Bay fighting over the pennant...
I sincerely hope that doesn't happen. I'm pretty sure Joe's more devoted to the written word than Simmons, though. Especially since Joe is still a senior writer at SI (and since the podcasts seem to be a directive from SI).
Good question. Last year, I kept a running tally of the quickest/slowest trots on Wezen-Ball's sidebar. There's no real room for that here, but I'll come up with a way to make it work. Let me think on it.
That may be true. Manny wasn't always a positive player, and there are plenty of stories proving such. There are a few things I'd say to that (none of which are meant to entirely excuse Manny's actions, just explain why I don't focus on that): 1) there are many, many superstars who have had bad stints with/divorces from their teams. 2) We don't know the full story with the example you cited and, even if there is no more to the story to know, 3) I refuse to believe that a bad divorce from the Red Sox wipes away the years and years of positive influence he had on Cleveland and Boston. Nothing you can say will make me believe that and I guarantee you that, once Red Sox fans allow themselves a little perspective, his years on the team will be looked at fondly. He was a big part of that 2004 team, and not just for his bat.
Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "always", but the sentiment isn't wrong.
Baseball is a richer sport when it has colorful and fun superstars leading the way on the field and in the clubhouse. With Manny gone, we lose a great character and a great hitter (even if he was declining). To me, that makes the sport poorer at least (maybe that's the word I should have used).
Thanks, everyone, for all the thoughts. I have a few more stories I could share, but they wouldn't be much different than everyone's else's.
Like I said, I'm always inclined to side with the fans standing up. Like someone said here, you're at the ballpark to enjoy the game. Part of that is getting up and cheering when it's appropriate. But I am a bit of a pushover when it comes to the crowd, and if they're particularly vocal against it, I'm bound to give in. Ideally, though, I'm with everyone here. Root for your team!
I'm not disagreeing at all. I know there's a post in me or two tearing apart the closer role and how it's evolved. The only problem is, I know dozens have said it all already. It's all old hat, even if no one ever seems to listen.
Oh no doubt. Seemed to be a lot of wind in Texas and Cincinnati, too. I'm guessing Yankee Stadium as well. Still, 40 home runs is a *lot* of home runs...
Also, I should probably mention here that weekday posts for the Tater Trot Tracker will usually go up around 1pm Central time, as I work on them on my lunch hour. With so much day baseball this week - and with me having the day off to go to Opening Day at Miller Park! - I was able to get this up early.
Oh my goodness. Will fix that. Obviously I was a bit tired last night when I wrote this...
I made a mistake. The Luke Appling home run was at RFK Stadium, not at Comiskey Park. I knew that (the video I have shows a picture of the Capitol Building), but forgot to check the fact before publishing... sorry.
Thanks for catching that. Whoops!
Good point of view, Tommy. As always, we can only predict so much before the games are actually played, but it's smart to realize how many keys to the season are linked together - one thing goes wrong could actually mean three things go wrong, etc.
But don't forget that Prince is the only piece of the Brewers that will be gone after 2011. All the other main players on the team (Greinke, Weeks, Gallardo, Hart, Braun, Marcum) will be around for 2012, so it's not quite as "all-in" in 2011 as everyone claims. It's big, but the 2012 Brewers aren't exactly the Astros or D-Backs either.
Your right. I probably should have mentioned them more directly, since, now that I think of it, that's almost certainly why he showed up in the Who's the Boss? episode how he did. I didn't make the connection.
Someone also mentioned his frequent appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Those deserve a mention too, even if they don't fit this list quite right.
I included Schumaker in that list because, when I was looking through the Cards' chapter, I saw he had a +12 FRAA in 2010. But when I look again, I see only a +2. I must have been hallucinating.
I don't know what happened to Rasmus last year. In 2009, his CF FRAA was +5 and in 2008, in Memphis, it was +8. The -20 seems tough to get past, but I'd give him another year or two at the big league level before I made a final determination. (Then again, I don't watch him on a nightly basis, so I may be missing something.)
It is certainly Milwaukee's achilles heel. And when you look at the two biggest surprises of 2010 - the Giants and Reds - you notice that they both rank at the top of the league in defense. Great pitching, an average (SF) or great (CIN) offense, and terrific defense is certainly a formula for success. The Brewers will be fighting it all year, but it's not insurmountable.
I did not consider Negro Leaguers. Good point. Mostly because it didn't cross my mind to, but also because I don't think I know enough about them to make a good judgment.
You're right, though, that Charleston probably had a good case over Cobb. Those that saw him play have nothing but superlatives for him. Paige is interesting. I sincerely don't know enough about his actual talent when he was young to say. Lefty Grove (died in 1975), Warren Spahn (2003) and Bob Feller (2010) all had a case as the greatest living pitcher at the time too.
You're right, it's a tough call and one I would probably make differently every time. Like I said in the article, I was all set to give Ted the title all the way until Mays' retirement, but I changed my mind. Mantle is an equally great choice, I feel. I think I made the decision because I usually tend to be too high on Williams and too low on Mantle and I was trying to balance that out. I don't think either call is wrong.
I don't think I agree, though, that Williams could place above both Cobb and Mays during their retired years.
Absolutely right. I love Pujols the player, but it's still much too early in his career to call him the Greatest Living Player. His first 10 years have been outstanding, but, really, they aren't any better than pretty much any 10-yr stretch of Barry Bonds' time in San Francisco. Considering Bonds also has another 5 years in SF and seven more in Pittsburgh (where he won two MVPs), Albert's got a long way to go to even supplant Bonds (though he definitely could).
Aaron certainly deserves a mention, as well as Frank Robinson. If Mays were to pass today - god forbid - Aaron, Robinson and Musial would all be in the running for the title. They'd probably have a hard time beating out Bonds, though...
Someone asked this on Twitter, and I thought it'd be something worth adding here.
Of all pitchers (no innings limit), the player with the career ERA closest to pi is Mike Marshall. His 3.141346 is a bit closer to pi than Wayne Granger's 3.142484
I really wanted to find a picture of Evan Longoria and David Price standing next to each other, but I failed. How sad.
Sadly, no. If we could somehow come up with a way to drop his career average by 6 points, though, it'd be perfect...
Ouch. That would be a tough assignment. Something to keep in mind for next year, I suppose...
Those are good points, and I completely agree that a win in April is the same as a win in September. I was thinking more along the lines of the research that shows, even for someone as good as Greinke, that three games equates to only about half-a-win or so.
The "gear-up" time is something I hadn't thought about before. It's an excellent point. I would think, though, that it could be canceled out by a stronger, less-fatigued Greinke pitching in the playoff-push of September. It's hard to know ahead of time, though.
My biggest concern about the Greinke injury is that, since it's a rib issue, it might linger on in the season. The doctors seem to be pretty confident, though, so I'm putting some faith in them...
As someone said on Twitter: MLB should celebrate Hitchhiker's by having a day where everyone wears number 42...
I didn't dislike the recent movie. But there was just something a bit off about its mood... seemed a little too serious for something as funny as Hitchhiker's. It's a hard thing to do, to be serious and funny at the same time, but it is possible...
Good point. Didn't notice that.
Though I think I'd be a little more impressed if it was Zooey Deschanel with a BP player page...
Oops. Yeah, sorry about that. I even checked to make sure about Goodyear and everything. Forgot to make that change.
My guess is Shlabotnik represents no one in particular... he's just someone with a funny name that Charlie Brown, the perennial loser, would feel a kinship with.
But, who knows, maybe if we search the minor league rolls well enough, we'll find someone with a .004 batting average for Stumptown in the Green Grass League! That'd be awesome.
Good question, Steve. Stengel is actually mentioned in six different strips, and all of them by himself. Charlie Brown's experience on the field is mostly as a manager, though, so his association with Stengel makes sense. Plus, "Casey Stengel" is kind of a funny name to say and he was still in the news in a big way when Peanuts was at its peak...
There's also a stray mention of Billy Martin in the series... maybe I should catalog all the names mentioned?
The better question to ask instead of "which CF in the Hall is Edmonds better than?" is "who in baseball was a better CF than Edmonds?"...
When you answer that question, you realize just how good Edmonds was...
They also could have had some good luck at the Zoltar machine on the Jersey shore this winter. You never know...
Good call. There've got to be a few more "secret identities" like this...
Hadn't considered that, but it seems possible. Who else can we put in there? Penguin...
If only there were a super-villain named Joey, so Albert Belle could make a cameo!
That is a fair point. I'd say, though, that since he's sometimes called "Flash" and sometimes "Flash Gordon", he can fit both bills in this column.
I agree, though, that his full nickname is "Flash Gordon"
Thinking outside the box. I like it.
Yes, definitely. I looked (quickly) for Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, but I only searched on "Wayne" and "Kent" so I missed him. Nice catch.
And speaking of Captain America, someone pointed out to me that he already had a pretty decent career as a five-time All Star: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rogerst01.shtml (Steve Rogers)
That one made me laugh. It's perfect.
Both of those cards sound amazing. But I don't think we get to call Frank Thomas "Batman" because of one card...
They almost sound as cool as the "Black and Blue" and "Pete & Re-Pete" cards Fleer put out in (I want to say) 1983...
You know, that sounds familiar to me too, but I can't find anything to corroborate it either. Weird.
I almost included Doc Ock for Octavio Dotel in here (as I know I've heard more people than just myself call him that), but no one I talked to on Twitter had heard of it. Nicknames are harder than you thought...
Thanks, everyone. Glad you enjoyed it. I'll definitely keep it on my docket as something to bring back on a regular basis.
Yeah, good point.
In my defense, I was trying to tie it into Steve's comments in his piece. Though I'm sure he probably didn't make that bold of a statement...
Did you click the link to Rule 34? It practically guarantees that there is some Don Mossi slash out there somewhere (not that I'm going to look for it!).
I loved the piece, Emma. I just hope that you find this end result worth it all. There's a lot that can't be unseen...
Biggest foul ball in baseball history. No doubt about it.
Very true (thanks for sharing it here). As you can see, I commented on Al's piece there. I think he's absolutely right. My initial guess was that Broderick, et al were at the June 5 game because you could see some Braves in the background, but, now, knowing the shooting schedule, it makes a lot more sense for it to be that last week of September. Considering the Phils, Braves, and Expos were the only NL teams wearing powder blue roadies, and that the Phils wore red sleeves under theirs, my guess is that the filming day was during one of the two Expos games that week.
The game that we hear taking place in the movie, though, is still the June 5 game versus the Braves, and Claudell Washington is still the guy to send Ferris home with a foul ball.
Almost put this in the piece, but it didn't quite fit: in the movie, Ferris mentions wanting to "graduate in June", like it's in the future. I'm sure the movie was supposed to take place in April or something... but we know the game was June 5, so we have to go with that...
Thanks, everyone, for the kind words about the piece. Glad everyone liked it!
Thanks, David. Good point. Though the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are now the team in Appleton. Not sure when they all changed around...
Exactly! The preview guides are the first concrete sign that spring training is coming. Always gets me pumped up.
Man, good questions. You might even know more about these magazines than I do.
My guess about why they stopped publishing the other guides: TSN has had some money issues these last 10 years or so, and it's got to be expensive to create those guides. I mean, they don't even print the Record Books anymore (which I think is quite sad).
Street & Smith's and TSN are actually the same thing now. Which is too bad, because, in the 80s/90s, they were two very different and complementary guides. I still like my Athlons the best, though.
Thanks, Aaron (and everyone else). I certainly had a lot of fun with that Periodic Table. It may be in need of a little tweaking now, though...
Thanks, Woody. You're right - there isn't a lot of depth/analysis in it. It was meant more as a "I'm excited the preview mags are finally here! Let's take a quick peak at what they've predicted!" After all, isn't that the first thing anyone does when they pick up one of these?
My role here at BP is as more of a "blogger". Like I said in my introduction, I've basically brought my Wezen-Ball blog under the banner of Baseball Prospectus. This means you're bound to see some quick hits, some long, in-depth pieces, and a bunch of stuff in-between. The hope is that the BP crowd will find something they like in all of that.
That all said, I'm almost certainly going to do something a little more in-depth with these magazines. I've been meaning to do it for a couple of years now and just haven't had a chance to. I even have a database all set up with the various predictions of each magazine over the last 15-30 years!
Thanks, Steve. I'm totally with you on that strip. I was always a little bummed when I learned that the joy of it was kind of taken away later that summer. I remember Schulz talking about how important it was to let Charlie Brown win at least once. When he took it away, it lessened the message a bit
I'm pretty much with you on both points, R.A., though I'm not sure I would've noticed the non-MiLB stats yet. The alphabetic order always made the most sense to me. It looks like they have some better stats in the back of the magazine, though. I like seeing the fielding stats back there, even if we know that they're not that useful. One of the things that always made Athlon number one in my book was their back-of-the-book stats, and now it looks like TSN is trying to copy that.