News and notes from around the league for May 28, 2013.
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More than 14,000 scouting reports available through online companion to Museum display
A special group of people near and dear to my heart will finally get recognition this year as the Baseball Hall of Fame opens up its Diamond Mines exhibit honoring professional and amateur scouts. Thanks to the work of my esteemed SABR colleagues Rod Nelson, the late Jim Sandoval, Ted Turocy and Sean Lahman, data linking more than 11,000 players with the names of their signing or recommending scout will now be available to the general public. I've seen the work first-hand, and it's truly some amazing stuff. Below is the full press release of today's announcement.
BP takes Memorial Day off and remembers Bob Neighbors, the last major leaguer to be killed in combat.
It's been 60 years since a man with major-league experience was killed in combat. That man was Bob Neighbors, who—according to his player card—had not been mentioned in an article at Baseball Prospectus before now. We’ve mentioned many thousands of players in our 15 years on the internet, but it’s not much of a mystery why we've never name-checked Neighbors. Our bread and butter is baseball analysis, and it’s almost impossible to analyze a player whose big-league record was limited to seven games and 11 plate appearances for one of the worst teams ever, the 43-111 1939 Browns. Neighbors hit .182 without a walk in those 11 plate appearances, though one of the hits was a home run off Denny Galehouse (who’s earned three times as many mentions on the site). Only 600 people were at Fenway Park to see that homer hit.
Neighbors spent a couple of unspectacular seasons in the minors after his cup of coffee with St. Louis. He was only 24 when he enlisted in the Air Force after Pearl Harbor, but his big-league career likely would have been over even if the war hadn’t happened. Neighbors was, by all accounts, a decent shortstop, but he might not have batted much above .182 even if he’d had a full season to try. He was the sort of player only the ’39 Browns could call up.
We all know wins aren't a good way to judge pitchers, but we'd miss them if they went away.
"My choice for the front-runner is Welch, but I know a lot of people say Clemens. I know what Clemens has done for Boston, but now is not the time to change the rules. The guys who won it the last three years won the most games and had good stats. If Bob Welch continues to win at this pace, and he doesn't get it, something is terribly wrong with the judging." | A's pitcher Dave Stewart, in a 1990 Sports Illustrated story on that season's Cy Young voting
Bob Welch had just won his 20th game when his Oakland teammate was asked about the voting, and it was just Aug. 17. It was his 13th season and the first and last time that the 33-year-old Welch would win 20 games.
Manny Acta looks to get the Indians off to a better start, Ruben Amaro Jr. explains why he couldn't keep two aces, and other news and notes.
When Manny Acta holds his first team meeting as manager of the Indians later this month at the beginning of spring training in Goodyear, Arizona, he will be armed with some numbers. Anyone who knows Acta isn't surprised by that. He is a firm believer in the value of statistical analysis and has based part of his approach to managing from things he read in Mind Game, a book published by Baseball Prospectus, that explained how the Red Sox used brainpower to build their World Series-winning team in 2004.
Despite a better Hit List finish than in 2005, the White Sox are nursing their chai teas and watching from home. The last Hit List of the 2006 season finds justice and injustice up and down the majors.
The first Game of the Week of the 2006 season features a pair of AL ace starters with warts, on opposite ends of their careers.
Today, we're watching the top two teams in the land, as per the Prospectus Hit List: the Tigers and Yankees, at lovely Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit was roasting yesterday, 93 degrees on a sunny Memorial Day afternoon. Coming into this week's four-game series against New York, Detroit is in first place in the NL Central, two and a half games ahead of the White Sox. Prior to being shut out by Cleveland the day before, the Tigers had won eight in a row.
Following up on yesterday's article, here is the definitive list of every transaction made at last weekend's Mock Winter Meetings in Chicago. The list of moves includes a blockbuster trade for Mark Teixeira, cheap contracts for Trot Nixon and Juan Gonzalez, and a surprise new home for Vladimir Guerrero.
Everett Memorial Stadium is an intimate neighborhood park, modest and unassuming, easy to look past. It holds a couple of thousand people, and it's all metal stands with seats and bleachers, which enhances the prep feel of the place. After a good play, fans stomp their feet, producing a wide taka-taka-taka sound that makes me smile. The field's nice. Like all minor league fields I've seen, I look at the surface and think "man, they need to get that color even, and fix that trim..." as if they've got the kind of money and manpower major league teams muster to produce their perfect fields.
The teams don't have clubhouses in the park itself--they have to walk up to what is essentially a high school locker room, where the facilities are pretty bad. The lockers aren't tall enough for a uniform, I hear, so they have to hang them up on wires that are strung across the aisles. But what are you going to do? This isn't the Midwest League.
Rounded to thousands, from the 2000 Census, except for Vancouver, B.C.
Host City Population
Boise, Idaho 432,000
Eugene, Oregon 323,000
Everett, Washington 91,000*
Salem-Keizer, Oregon 347,000*
Spokane, Washington 418,000
Tri-Cities, Washington 192,000
Vancouver, British Columbia 514,000
Yakima, Washington 223,000
* part of a larger metropolitan area
It's a little funny that on one of the distinctly American summer holidays, two of the best stories in baseball come from a place where Monday was just another day. The Montreal Expos took five of six on a brief homestand to come into Memorial Day at 32-18, just two games behind the Braves in the NL East. The Toronto Blue Jays? All they did was sweep a four-game series at Yankee Stadium for the first time ever, moving to 27-24 and closing within four games of first place in the suddenly very competitive AL East.
I admit going into this piece that it's a "write it while you can" job. While the Expos and Jays are currently among the hottest teams in baseball, and right there in their divisional races, I don't think either will be in such a lofty place in two months. For now, though, each is making noise, and doing so in completely different ways.
I admit going into this piece that it's a "write it while you can"
job. While the Expos and Jays are currently among the hottest teams in
baseball, and right there in their divisional races, I don't think either will
be in such a lofty place in two months. For now, though, each is making noise,
and doing so in completely different ways.