September 20, 2017

Top Stories

Remembering Red Barber

September 19, 2017 · by · Leave a Comment 

“Red was perhaps the most literate sports announcer I ever met.” – Vin Scully In my early and middle years of writing sports book, I called on Red Barber to blurb them. He never failed. He along with Mel Allen those long ago summer  nights spun the tales of New York City Baseball and hooked me on one day writing books about the sport. Red Barber was one of my inspirations – listening to him spin the story of Brooklyn Dodger and then New York Yankee baseball, made me love, understand the game, and write about it. He always came through. I am in his debt. This profile is for you... [Read the full story]

General

Only Thing Older Than The Longest Game Is MLB’s 95-Year-Old Anti-Trust Exemption

September 13, 2017 · by · Leave a Comment 

(And That Should End Too!) Everyone in Pawtucket, Rhode Island probably knows that on June 23, 1981 the longest game in professional baseball history between the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox ended after 33 innings, eight hours and 25 minutes of playing time. It had started at McCoy Stadium two months earlier, and was mercifully suspended after the first 32 innings. Sure, everyone recalls that future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Wade Boggs played in that game, as well as future Boston Red Sox stars Marty Barrett and Bobby Ojeda. But do you know the name of the losing Red Wings... [Read the full story]

Features

The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip

May 25, 2017 · by · 2 Comments 

The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip It was one of the most intriguing matchups in baseball history. Ernie Banks and Leo Durocher–thrown together in the same clubhouse. Rarely have two more disparate characters been coupled outside of a lousy television sitcom. Smiling Ernie Banks, the perpetually glass-is-half-full line drive of sunshine; a man so outrageously optimistic that he actually claimed the Cubs had a chance each spring when everyone else in the western hemisphere knew otherwise; but a man unable to lift his team out of mediocrity, no matter how brilliantly he played. Leo Durocher,... [Read the full story]

Hall of Fame

Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 4, 2017 · by · 2 Comments 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 18, 2017. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win Shares method, developed by Bill James in 2002, is a complex method for evaluating players which includes all aspects of performance – offense, defense and pitching. James has stated that, “Historically, 400 Win Shares means absolute enshrinement in the Hall of Fame and 300 Win... [Read the full story]

Minors

Max Watt: The Boston Red Sox’s Power Pitching Prospect

December 27, 2015 · by · Leave a Comment 

Scouting is an integral part of professional baseball. Teams employ and send out hundreds of employees tasked with finding the next great players. Although they monitor first-round draft talent, their bread and butter is trying to decipher the future of players who may not have quite as much polish. As a result, some come to believe so much in who they are evaluating that they continue scouting—for years if necessary— until they are able to bring them into the fold. Such is the case with the Boston Red Sox and pitcher Max Watt. Watt, a solid 6’8” right-hander, grew up in New York. After... [Read the full story]

General

Only Thing Older Than The Longest Game Is MLB’s 95-Year-Old Anti-Trust Exemption

September 13, 2017 by

(And That Should End Too!) Everyone in Pawtucket, Rhode Island probably knows that on June 23, 1981 the longest game in professional baseball history between the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox ended after 33 innings, eight hours and 25 minutes of playing time. It had started at McCoy Stadium two months earlier, and was mercifully suspended... Read more of this article


Giancarlo Stanton’s Impressive HR Lead

September 10, 2017 by

I was struck recently not only by the number of homeruns, 54, that Giancarlo Stanton has hit so far this season, but by the lead he has over the guys with the second most: Aaron Judge and Khris Davis had 39 each, until today when Judge hit two more for a total of 41. So as of now, Stanton has a lead of 13. I know the record for biggest HR lead in a... Read more of this article


Ross Barnes Is First Baseball Pioneer Honored in Monument Series

September 10, 2017 by

Saturday August 19, 2017 a monument was dedicated and unveiled for baseball pioneer Ross Barnes. The event took place at a little park on Main Street in Barnes hometown of Mount Morris, New York. Gary Passamonte a native of Mount Morris, who has been piecing together information and an extensive collection of baseball mementos on Ross Barnes for the... Read more of this article


Museum Artifacts More Important to MLB Than Pensionless Retirees

September 10, 2017 by

Major League Baseball (MLB) cares more about supporting museums than real live, flesh and blood retirees without pensions. What other conclusion can you reach after the announcement on September 8 that the 30 club owners ponied up $10 million to contribute  to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s endowment efforts? According to the Associated... Read more of this article


Wheels Come Off for Astros in August

September 4, 2017 by

After four strong months, the Houston Astros fell on hard times in August with injuries and poor performance.  The team suffered its first losing month this season with a record of 11-17 in August.  Things should get better in September with players returning from injuries and the acquisition of former MVP and Cy Young Award winner, Justin Verlander. Despite... Read more of this article


The Sad, Sad Truth and the Dirty Low Down

August 31, 2017 by

When the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convened for its annual convention in Manhattan at the end of June, the New York Times put it front-and-center on the sports page. Sounds like a good thing, but the article featured a photograph of several graying seniors sitting in the first row of a plenary session and asked the question whether... Read more of this article


Summer of ’41: Joe DiMaggio’s Epic 56-Game Hitting Streak

August 25, 2017 by

With all the hype and hoopla surrounding Aaron Judge and with all the comparisons to the stir and accomplishments of the Yankee Clipper, what Joe Di did in 1941 stands at the top of the list. So here is the flashback. The 1941 Yankees were a loaded team. They would win 101 games, the American League pennant and the world championship. It was a team... Read more of this article


Negro Leagues DB Update: 1937 Negro American League

August 23, 2017 by

Here’s a brief, belated introduction to the 1937 Negro American League, which we added to the site last month (July 10, to be precise). For a broader view of that eventful year in black baseball history, see my entry on the 1937 Negro National League, which we added to the DB back in 2015. Meanwhile, here are a view highlights from the first season... Read more of this article


Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016

August 23, 2017 by

The following article supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on WAR and Win Shares for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. Teams that fail to meet the minimum requirements (4000 PA and 4000 BFP) in any... Read more of this article


The Rivalry: Yanks vs Red Sox

August 17, 2017 by

Babe Ruth at Fenway Park Back then, as the story goes, there was a get-together in the woods. A  Red Sox fan, a Cub fan and a Pirate fan were there. They all wondered when their team would make it to the World Series again and decided to call on God for advice. The Cub fan asked first: “When will my team return to the World Series?” And God replied:... Read more of this article


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Features

The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip

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The Ballad of Mr. Cub and Leo the Lip It was one of the most intriguing matchups... 


Brooks, Still the Magician

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This is a weird day for me, and probably many other similar-aged people, boys especially,... 


Say it Wasn’t So: When Shoeless Joe Jackson Became Baseball’s Number One Draft-dodger

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Here’s one you may not have heard: how Shoeless Joe Jackson was briefly... 


Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

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One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players... 


Ballplayers of World War II Did Their Part

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Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor which changed every... 


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Hall of Fame

Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

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One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players... 


Pre-Integration Era Committee Releases 2016 Candidates For Baseball Hall of Fame: Sorry, There’s No Room in the Inn

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First, let me state categorically that I love the Baseball Hall of Fame; love the... 


Posnanski Plays Race Card in His Criticism of Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pre-Integration Committee

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I have a daily Google Alert setup to receive emails on the phrase “hall of... 


Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame Status Anything But Certain

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Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are the headline first-timers next year on the... 


Where do the Current Hall of Fame Snubs Rank According to WAR and JAWS?

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With the 2015 Hall of Fame election results recently announced, we saw Randy Johnson,... 


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Minors

Max Watt: The Boston Red Sox’s Power Pitching Prospect

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Scouting is an integral part of professional baseball. Teams employ and send out... 


Suns’ First Pitch Thrown By Suns’ First Pitcher

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The Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League asked the retiring sheriff of nearby... 


An Interview with Boston Red Sox Prospect Nick Longhi

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Growing up rooting for a baseball team, and striving to get into position to one... 


Carroll enjoys staying on his grind

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ROCHESTER, NY – More than a decade has passed since Brett Carroll roamed... 


Through the Eyes of Patriots Fan: “Hip, hip, Jorge!”

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Not only was it another beautiful evening at TD Bank park (8/17), it was also a game... 


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