From One for Five comes the story of James Hugh Moss, whose execution in 1928 had some question marks attached to it.
Over at the blog One for Five comes the story of an ex-Negro League ballplayer named James Hugh Moss, who was executed by the State of Georgia in August 1928. Not much is known about Moss as a ballplayer. The newspaper accounts of the crime he was put to death for mention his past playing history, but only in passing. The recent influx of Negro Leagues information at Baseball Reference also isn't much help, but even that is admittedly incomplete. Somesites mention an entry of "Moss" in James Riley's Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues. The Moss in the encyclopedia pitched for the Chicago American Giants in 1918. It's impossible to say if the ballplayer referenced is James Hugh Moss, but we do know the sad story of how Moss's life ended—even if the circumstances that led to it are very questionable.
As it stands, Moss was convicted, along with Clifford Thompson and his wife Eula Mae Thompson (both white), for the murder of Coleman Osborne. It seems that the three murderers/conspirators were in the bootlegging business to some degree. One night, they stopped the car they were using to haul whiskey near Osborne's home. Someone met Osborne at the door of his general store, there was some shouting, and Osborne was shot dead. The court found the three bootleggers guilty and ordered them to death by electric chair.
Examining what it means to have a hit tool, and a look at why it is so difficult to project power.
Because of my ego and this convenient link drop, I’m going to assume you read my previous article, which, at least on an academic level, attempted to set the table for what I look for when scouting a hitter. In the closing paragraph of that piece, I offered up this nugget of forced profundity: “While it’s true that the body and the mechanical profile start the process, the product is what ultimately makes the prospect.” Yes, I just quoted myself. I’ve become that guy. Please bring me a chilled Apollinaris with a lime wedge and a warm cloth. Jason needs to have some Jason time.
As we’ve discussed, hitting is the product of many components, ranging from the strength required to create bat speed, the hand-eye coordination required to make contact, and the comfort and fluidity in the mechanics that allow the other components to exist in sweet, blissful harmony. Let’s move away from the possibilities exposed in the batting cage and move forward to the realities that are on display in game action. Let’s break down how the hit tool is graded, how approach and maturity at the plate can influence the utility of the raw tools at play, what makes a power hitter a power hitter, and, finally, I’ll explain where babies come from.
A conversation with the 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner.
It was a remarkable season for Cliff Lee, one that culminated in the Indians left-hander being the recipient of this year's American League Cy Young award. Lee was deserving of the honor, having led the junior circuit in several categories, including wins (22), ERA (2.54), and SNLVAR (7.7); his VORP (75.0) was tops among all big-league hurlers. Lee talked about his approach to pitching and the reasons behind his outstanding 2008 campaign one day after making his final start of the season in late September.
Forgive me a second, as I doff the analyst's cap. As is, I lack the gifts of a Silver or a Sheehan, or a Davenport, Fox, or Woolner. Instead, bear with me as I simply go over a trip to the ballpark yesterday. One that just happened to be in an October, and one that just happened to be in my favorite place, Chicago.
In a long life as a fan and a somewhat shorter career as a writer, there are many things I've done, but many things I still had yet to do. While I have caught a foul ball (promptly handed off to the nearest kiddo), and made the trek to the Cactus League a couple of times for spring training, I haven't seen a no-hitter in the flesh, for example. Obviously, some things are not like others—random luck can put you in the right seat and/or at the right ballgame, while time and/or money can put you in Phoenix in February or March, or at a playoff game in October. Even so, I had yet to experience a post-season ballgame in the flesh. That changed yesterday, courtesy of the White Sox, as the always-crisp crew of Scott Reifert in Communications and Media Relations played host to the Fourth Estate for Game Three of their ALDS, and generously made space for Nate Silver, Kevin Goldstein, and myself among the ranks of the chattering classes.
The veteran hurler on setting up the pieces, controlling what you can, and employing the wisdom of others.
Paul Byrd knows his craft. Seen by many as a future pitching coach, the veteran right-hander has become a student of the game over his 13 big-league seasons, adding more than a fair share of guile to his repertoire as he has aged. Acquired by the Red Sox from Cleveland in August, the 37-year-old Byrd has pitched for seven teams overall and has a lifetime record of 108-93, with a 4.38 ERA in 338 games. On the season, Byrd is 11-12 with a 4.60 ERA. David spoke with him after his last regular-season start.
Boston's VP of player personnel takes on overstock, high-octane, and the Olympic roster.
Ben Cherington has spent over a decade with the Red Sox in various capacities, beginning as an area scout, and later working in international scouting. Now the vice president of player personnel for Boston, Cherington has been a major force in the Red Sox' success at acquiring and developing young talent. I spoke to Ben this week about a variety of subjects, but generally related to the Red Sox system and Boston's approach to the draft and player development. In Part 1 of this interview, we covered the draft and this year's international market. Here in Part 2, we talk about having too many players at the same level and position, the resurgence of Daniel Bard, the challenges of having a team in the high-octane hitter-friendly environment of Lancaster, and why right-hander Michael Bowden wasn't a part of the Futures Game and won't be on the Olympic roster.