Open to all BP staff, One-Hoppers is the grab bag of anything baseball-related that anyone's seen or thought about. It can be something from an individual game, a splash of snark, breaking news or a reaction to same, tidbits of research, and more.
A look back at the reign of the the longtime Yankees owner, who passed away on Tuesday morning.
A titan has fallen, and an era has ended. Just two days after venerated Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard's death, and nine days after celebrating his own 80th birthday, principal Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away Tuesday morning due to a heart attack. He had been in failing health for several years, rumored to be suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, and had ceded control of the team to sons Hank and Hal as his handlers increasingly protected him from the glare of the spotlight.
One of the subjects of the movie 21 discusses his upcoming book, The House Advantage, and incorporating statistics into life.
Jeff Ma is one of the few people who had a movie made about part of his life, and yet remains much more interesting than the character that Hollywood invented. He was one of the "MIT Blackjack Team" portrayed in the movie 21 and in Ben Mezrich's book Bringing Down The House. He started ProTrade and Citizen Sports, which was sold to Yahoo last year. Now, he's brought all of his background and love for sports into a new book, The House Advantage.
The Diamondbacks television analyst talks about his playing career and his professional approach to hitting.
Mark Grace was, in his own words, “a professional hitter,” and it is hard to argue with the longtime Cubs, and later Diamondbacks, first baseman. The left-handed-hitting Grace batted .303/.383/.442, from 1988-2003, pounding out 2,445 hits, including 511 two-baggers and 173 home runs. A three-time All-Star who won a World Series ring with Arizona in 2001, Grace currently serves as a color analyst on Diamondbacks broadcasts.
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While the ALCS went into rain delay mode, there's still news and moves from around the majors.
Jimmy Rollins was reflecting on the previous October and looking ahead to this year's postseason one day early in spring training, when he said something that made it clear the Phillies would not be complacent this season. "What we did last year, winning a World Series, was a great accomplishment and something we can cherish for the rest of our lives," the shortstop said. "You know what, though? The truly great teams are the ones who won more than one World Series. The teams people remember and talk about forever are the ones who did it more than once. That's what I'd like to see us do, and I think everyone else on this team feels the same way."
Wrapping up the JAWS rankings for this year's Hall of Fame eligibles.
Finally, we come to the pitchers on the BBWAA ballot for the Hall of Fame, a mercifully short list this time around, featuring four holdovers and three newcomers. Among this group, Bert Blyleven is the standout, and while he's certainly no lock to gain election this time around, he jumped to nearly 62 percent in last year's vote, suggesting that the work done by statheads here and elsewhere to boost his candidacy is finally getting through to the voters.
The game's history of post-season snafus merely has a new entry.
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright-
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
-Lewis Carroll, "The Walrus and the Carpenter"
Musings and meanderings during a playoff game in Fenway.
A week ago, Christina began an article, "Forgive me a second, as I doff the analyst's cap." From there she went on to share her experiences at ALDS Game Three, Rays versus White Sox, from something of a fan's perspective. I'll do something similar, having attended Monday afternoon's ALCS Game Three at Fenway Park, not as a reporter, but as a paying customer (albeit one who brought along a digital voice recorder and notepad). Unlike Christina's fine bit, I'll spend relatively little time talking about the game itself, which was, to put it mildly, among the least compelling of this year's post-season affairs. Instead, using a diary format, I'll intersperse my own musings with quotes from people I interacted with at the ballpark.
2:40: I arrive at Fenway Park and am surprised to have my ticket ripped, rather than scanned, but for some reason I don't ask why. I attended numerous games as a fan this season, and this is the first time my entry isn't verified electronically. It seems somewhat... old-fashioned?