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Tigers general manager Al Avila sends Justin Wilson and his son, Alex Avila, to the suddenly red hot Cubs.

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June 2, 2017 6:00 am

Circle Change: Three Catchers Walk Into a Casino


Zach Crizer

Baseball players look less lucky and more skilled than ever.

We’d all like to think that we learn as we go along. Certainly, we are better and more efficient at unlocking our front door than the day we moved in, right? We must be better at making our coffee just right. At this point, we should be able to tie our shoes from a comatose state.

If we, speaking hypothetically, were the type of folk who frequent Las Vegas and the many establishments for which it is internationally renowned, we would hope to continually, perennially increase our prowess, or at least better wield what skills we do possess.

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Drew Storen, Ben Revere, Peter O'Brien find new homes while Rajai Davis and Alex Avila return to old stomping grounds.

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The Blue Jays and Athletics bring one of their own back into the fold.

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Buster Posey, Alex Avila, and Ryan Hanigan are showing off different techniques in the postseason.

One of the side benefits of the postseason is its place as a sample. You get to see all kinds of different players with varying skill sets, talent levels, and techniques, and all the different ways they achieve success. The downside, if you want to call it that, is when you start noticing minute differences and it becomes a focus. Take catchers and their mitt positioning between setting the target and receiving the pitch. It’s the most-seen, least-noticed part of a catcher’s job. You focus on the mitt to see where the pitch is probably heading and then you shift your attention back to the pitcher once he begins his motion. But not every catcher passes the time in the same way:

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Even the least entertaining game of last season contained 15 interesting moments.

I took a film class in college (ladies) where the professor told us that the most important shot in any movie is the first. That shot, he said, should tell us everything important about the protagonist’s conflict. This is the first shot of the Tigers/Giants broadcast of July 2, 2011:

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With All-Star selection around the corner, the BP staff fills out their ballots for who deserves to start in the Midsummer Classic.

It’s July, and that means another All-Star Game, one which—we might as well get this out of the way now—won’t be as exciting as those wonderful old All-Star Games  when important things happened, like Ted Williams breaking his elbow and Dizzy Dean breaking a toe (Williams said he was never the same hitter; Dean destroyed his arm with altered mechanics) and Ray Fosse getting run over because damn it, Pete Rose just had to win an exhibition game.

(It is at times like these that I like to recall Mickey Mantle’s immortal words on the subject of Rose: “If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete, I’d wear a dress.”)

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