Taking stock of each NL Central team's efforts to turn back the "misery clock" and return to October.
Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com wrote on Tuesday that Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield is "a forgotten man in the eyes of many if not most Sox fans." With a seemingly full rotation and a bullpen to match, the 44-year-old knuckler has little room to breathe this spring, and his 5.42 ERA since the 2009 All-Star break isn't helping matters. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Wakefield is fighting for his baseball life (in fact, someone did).
Meanwhile, on the other side of Florida, Miguel Batista is also fighting for his baseball life. Signed by the Cardinals in January, the 40-year-old hurler has been quietly making his case in Jupiter for a spot on the Opening Day roster. A beneficiary of the Adam Wainwright injury, Batista has a shot at making the squad in a long-relief role or even as a spot starter.
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What does a voice from BP's past have to say about the prospect of a second wild card?
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
We've offered a number of more contemporarytakes on the matter, but with the prospect of a second wild card looming, let's flash back to what Nate had to say on the subject in an article that originally ran as a "Lies, Damned Lies" column on September 17, 2003.
The Blue Jays' broadcaster discusses baseball in Toronto since 1985 and his former broadcast partner.
In Part II, veteran Blue Jays broadcaster Jerry Howarth talks with Baseball Prospectus' David Laurila about the last quarter-century of baseball in Toronto and Tom Cheek, his late partner in the booth, among other topics. You may view Part I of the interview here.
The Mariners' radio duo discuss their time in baseball, breaking into the business, and their most memorable moments.
Dave Niehaus and Rick Rizzs are more than just the radio voices of the Seattle Mariners, they are baseball icons in the Pacific Northwest. Niehaus, who received the Ford C. Frick award in 2008, has been in the booth since the franchise’s inaugural season, in 1977. Rizzs’ tenure is nearly as long, as he has been Niehaus’ broadcast partner since 1983, save for three tumultuous seasons spent with the Detroit Tigers. Niehaus and Rizzs talked about their storied careers, the art of broadcasting, and Mariners baseball during an August visit to Fenway Park.
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, let’s take a step back and talk a bit about sabermetrics – not baseball, but sabermetrics… baseball analysis in general, I suppose. You won’t need to do any math for this, either.
This is a thought I’ve been wanting to express for a while, but the occasion was a conversation between the always insightful Patriot (of the site Walk Like A Sabermetrician) and myself on Twitter, about Dale Murphy and the Hall of Fame. Now you may be asking yourself, what does Dale Murphy have to do with the Hall of Fame? Well, one man is campaigning vigorously for his admission, and managed to get an article about it published in SABR’s “The National Pastime” journal.
The Reds are in contention for the first time in a decade, along with other news and notes from around the major leagues.
Dusty Baker couldn't resist having a little fun with the reporters gathered around him. The Reds manager was asked Tuesday night how he planned to set up his starting rotation for next week's pivotal series against the Cardinals. Baker grinned then playfully did not answer the question.
Wrapping up a trip around the venerable High-A league.
Inland Empire 66ers
There are a number of ways to make money with a minor-league baseball team. The most advisable is receiving ample support from a major-league affiliate in the nation’s second-largest market, building a stadium with a bevy of state-of-the-art luxury boxes leased by the season to Los Angeles’ most wealthy individuals and corporations, and having a band of Indians supply the second-largest video board in minor-league sports west of the Mississippi. Having that same band of Indians sponsor a scantily-clad female dance team is also advisable.
Taking a trip through the California League, looking at the stadiums, surrounding areas, teams, and hot dog ratings.
California has been home to professional baseball for over 150 years. The move of the Giants and Dodgers from New York actually dramatically diminished the vibrant baseball scene in the state, as it lessened the importance of the Pacific Coast League and the farm system that fed PCL teams. In 1941, the California League was established. The league is in the High-A classification and has 10 teams-the Modesto Nuts, Stockton Ports, and San Jose Giants in Northern California, the Visalia Rawhide and Bakersfield Blaze in the Central Valley, and the Lancaster Jethawks, High Desert (Adelanto) Mavericks, Inland Empire (San Bernardino) 66ers, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, and Lake Elsinore Storm in the Los Angeles area.
The league's stadiums range from post-World War II projects such as San Jose Municipal Stadium to state-of-the-art facilities with major-league worthy sky boxes, roving waiters, and enclosed restaurants and bars. Moreover, although statistics are normalized to counteract the effects of different stadiums, the features of different minor-league parks are largely unknown and not quantified. In this edition, three parks--Stockton, Lake Elsinore, and High Desert-are profiled, along with the towns and front office executives that make these clubs unique. Five parks and franchises-San Jose, Inland Empire, Modesto, Rancho Cucamonga, and Visalia-will be featured next week.
Should the mainstream media be introducing sabermetric concepts into baseball analysis?
Let’s say you’re at the water cooler at work, or some other casual environment surrounded by acquaintances, and the conversation turns to baseball. Someone states that Jimmy Sticks is the best pitcher in the league since he has the best record; others back Jamar Pickett, who has the lowest earned run average. You happen to know that Sticks has gotten the most run support of any starter in the league, while Pickett pitches in front of a great defense in the most pitcher-friendly home park in the league, and neither player is in the top 10 in Support Neutral Win Percentage. What do you say?