June 20, 2019

Todd Greene: Catching Up with the Slugging Backstop

June 9, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Certain skill sets can get a baseball player noticed a lot more quickly than others. One of those is power, as that’s something that can’t be taught. One of the best slugging prospects in the last half-century was Todd Greene, who had the benefit of also being a catcher, which made his dangerous bat all the […]

Bill Buckner: Redefining a Remarkable Career

May 29, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

After battling dementia, baseball stalwart Bill Buckner passed away this past weekend at the age of 69. Having spent parts of 22 seasons in the major leagues, he will forever be one of the most recognizable names in the game. While many immediately think of him because of one misplayed ball made on the biggest […]

Emmy-Nominated Author Granville Wyche Burgess Discusses His New Book The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe

May 23, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Emmy-Nominated Author Granville Wyche Burgess has written a new historical fiction book, titled The Last At-Bat of Shoeless Joe (Chickadee Prince Books, May 1, 2019). Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal, The Last At Bat of Shoeless Joe re-imagines the final days of disgraced baseball legend Joe Jackson and his relationship with a young […]

Selling Ripe Bananas and Making Banana Bread

May 23, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

My 93-year old mother-in-law, bless her dear, departed soul, once opined that she was too old to buy a green banana. Ted Lerner, who was until recently the principal owner of the Washington Nationals is now 93, and many of his decisions in recent years regarding the Nationals have been made out of his desire […]

The Old Ballgame? You Have No Idea

May 18, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

For a sport that relies heavily on older fans watching its product, Major League Baseball (MLB) sure treats its retired players disrespectfully. Take 77-year-old Carmen Fanzone for instance. The Sherman Oaks resident was a valuable utility player who appeared in 237 career games with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. Fanzone and 632 other […]

The Big Train Rolls No More

May 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

I just learned that my pen pal, Ray Peters, died on May 4. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Janis, and two sons. Ray, who once pitched in the big leagues, was a Harvard grad. He played for the Crimson in 1967 and 1968. His former coach, Norman Shepard, thought so well […]

The 5 Best Shortstops in the History of the Boston Red Sox- Excerpt From The Top-5 of the Boston Red Sox

May 13, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

The Boston Red Sox are one of the most popular and successful teams in the history of Major League Baseball. There has always been significant debate over who exactly are their best players of all time. I recently published The Top-5 of the Boston Red Sox: Ranking and Reviewing the Best Players by Position in Team History […]

Mike Trombley Did It All as a Major League Pitcher

May 5, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Right-handed pitcher Mike Trombley wasn’t a particularly high draft choice,  but was in the major leagues with four years of being drafted. He ended up filling every role on a pitching staff during his ensuing quality 11-year career. Following a solid career with Duke University, Trombley was taken in the 14th round of the 1989 draft by the […]

Rafael Devers: Boston Red Sox Third Baseman is in the Midst of a Major Breakout

May 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The disappointing start to the 2019 season for the Boston Red Sox has dominated the minds of fans and followers alike. After all, coming off a magical 2018 campaign that saw a jaw-dropping 108 regular-season victories and an impressive jaunt through the playoffs that resulted in a World Series title leaves a bitter taste in […]

New Book Release- Trouble at the Lambs: How a Violent New York Nightclub Altercation Resulted in Legal Fallout for Baseball Legend John McGraw

April 27, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

New Book Release John McGraw was a standout major league third baseman before becoming an iconic manager, who led the New York Giants for over 30 years. The fiery spark plug, whose pugnacious nature on the diamond sometime spilled to off the field, could scrap and fight with the best of them. He nearly lost […]

The New Math of the Strike Zone: 20% of 145 is 14.

April 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The other day, thanks to a baseball group on Facebook, I became acquainted with the article at this link, titled “Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Reveals Umps Really Do Suck at Calling Pitches.” From the headline alone, it appears that this is about as comprehensive as it can get—4 million pitches! The data covered the […]

The Battle for Chavez Ravine: Eminent Domain and the Construction of Dodger Stadium

April 21, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is a baseball landmark with few peers. The venue, which opened in 1962, boasts the largest capacity in professional baseball and is roundly viewed as one of the most beautiful places to watch a game. Sadly, in order to be built, an entire community was destroyed, and […]

Mookie Betts: An Interview From the Vault

April 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The Boston Red Sox haven’t had much go right with their team this year; leaving fans seeking positivity anywhere they can find it. Young prospects can be one source of optimism, especially when they turn into stars for the teams who draft, sign and cultivate them No better example of this exists then reigning 2018 […]

The Age of Ruth and Landis: A Review

April 6, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball entered a new era in the 1920s. The home run was popularized the emergence of irascible slugger Babe Ruth and for better or for worse the game was cleaned up in the wake of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox World Series scandal by the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the game’s first […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1929 American Negro League

April 2, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

We’re happy to announce the addition of the 1929 American Negro League season to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. This was an east coast league, a successor to the Eastern Colored League (which folded early in the 1928 season), and should not be confused with the later Negro American League (founded in 1937 and based […]

Woody Williams: Pitcher Beat Expectations Along the Way to Excellent 15-Year Major League Career

March 31, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball players drafted in the lower rounds face an upward battle when working towards their dream of reaching the major leagues. They don’t have the same name recognition of more highly-regarded prospects and because not as much money and resources have been invested in them, may not always have the same opportunities. A small percentage […]

But What Have You Done for Me Lately?

March 30, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In the wake of Boston’s 12-4 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Mariners on March 28 in the former’s first game of the 2019 season, I was curious to see which defending champions throughout history followed their World Series title with a dud to open the next season. Contrary to popular belief, no Red […]

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

March 23, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

It appears that WAR, in attempting to assign a single number to represent a player’s season, has a problem with fielding.   And the problem is not so much with the player’s defensive WAR score – but rather with trying to COMBINE this score with the offensive WAR.   A very good or very poor fielding score […]

Daniel Moskos: Pitcher Recalls Journey from High Draft Pick to Lengthy Professional Career

March 10, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

There are no guarantees in baseball. Literally none. Professional players must fight and earn everything they achieve without exceptions. This includes former top draft picks like pitcher Daniel Moskos, who had a 12-year professional career and reached the majors leagues, but had nothing given to him along the way. The left-handed Moskos was highly coveted while […]

Adam Hyzdu: The Former Boston Red Sox Outfielder’s Hard Road to Success

March 9, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

When Adam Hyzdu came out of high school he was a hot shot prospect, selected in the first round of the 1990 MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants. The future looked promising for the slugging outfielder as he started his professional career. Few people, including Hyzdu, would have guessed that it would take him 10 years […]

The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern era (since 1920) according to the numbers that they produced on the field.  (CAWS is an acronym for Career Assessment/Win Shares.)   In addition, the CCG has also created a series of benchmarks to determine whether a player seems to have […]

How Has Bryce Harper’s Contract Impacted Mookie Betts’ Quest for a New Deal?

March 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent signing of free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper to a record-breaking 13-year, $330 million contract by the Philadelphia Phillies sent shock waves across baseball. Although the star slugger will continue making his home in the National League, the deal may have a surprising impact on the Boston Red Sox—specifically in their pursuit to retain their […]

Examining Bryce Harper’s Free-Agent Contract With the Philadelphia Phillies

February 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

A major source of lingering drama in Major League Baseball has been resolved with the news that star free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper has agreed to a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. With Spring Training already in full swing, the announcement sets the sport on its ear, as a major domino has fallen and changed the power […]

ESTIMATING PARK FACTORS FOR THE NEGRO LEAGUES

February 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Most serious baseball fans understand that ballparks can have a large impact on statistical performance. However, trying to measure that exact impact often proves difficult. In work we’ve done on Major League ballparks at Seamheads.com, it takes about three full years of data, regressed by about one additional season worth of games, to get a […]

How a Runaway Taxi Temporarily Saved Casey Stengel’s Managing Job

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Before he became the legendary skipper of the New York Yankees, winning 10 pennants and seven World Series, Casey Stengel was a pretty good outfielder for 14 big league seasons and a second division manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves. So uninspiring was his leadership of the Braves, that in 1943 he missed more than […]

WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In an earlier post, I pointed out that Matt Chapman’s WAR value for 2018 (8.2) seemed to indicate that he had the third best season of any major leaguer – behind only Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Of course, any serious fan looking at the numbers would know that this assertion is not believable. There […]

How Ernie Banks Revolutionized the Position of Shortstop

February 20, 2019 by · 3 Comments 

*And where did those home runs come from? One of the unfortunate byproducts of Ernie Banks’ Mr. Cub image being so great is that sometimes it obscures exactly how good of a player he was in his prime, before bad knees forced a move to first base. The present generation may not realize how he […]

Is the MLBPA Losing Sight of its Mission?

February 19, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

When Marvin Miller worked with a committed corps of Major League players to create the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the players both individually and collectively were truly a disadvantaged group. A few well-known players got big paydays, but almost every player held an off-season job to […]

A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

February 17, 2019 by · 3 Comments 

My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best seasons—and the best careers.  That is why (since the publication of WIN SHARES in 2002) I have used win shares as the basis for my system of evaluating a player’s career (CAWS Career Gauge). As a mathematician, it is difficult for me […]

Jalal Leach: A Giant Testament to Perseverance

February 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

When baseball players sign their first professional contract they have stars in their eyes and no doubts in their mind as they are certain they will play in the major leagues. Unfortunately, the majority of these young men see their careers end short of their goal. However, a small number make it, which is a […]

The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

February 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

In a previous post re Koufax and Kershaw, I mentioned one of the benchmarks created by the CAWS Career Gauge to help establish whether a pitcher posted HOF numbers during his career.  As a result of that post, I have been asked to list all of the benchmarks for pitchers. (CAWS  =  career assessment/win shares). […]

The “technically …not” Hall of Fame

February 14, 2019 by · 5 Comments 

In 2006, a Baseball Hall of Fame Special Committee on Negro Leagues, made up primarily of expert blackball scholars, elected 17 Negro Leaguers to the Hall of Fame, almost doubling the total number of players and executives whose careers were primarily in the Negro Leagues from 18 to 35. If we use Sol White and […]

Koufax and Kershaw and the Hall of Fame

February 12, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

Consider a pitcher who recorded the following distinctions during his career: Won the Cy Young Award three times Won the ERA title five times Was an All Star seven times Was voted MVP (Most Valuable Player) Sandy Koufax did all of these things in twelve seasons in the major leagues with the Dodgers.   And, of […]

“A Million Dollar Deal”

February 7, 2019 by · 1 Comment 

In 1965 the Cincinnati Reds dealt Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles.  Here’s an article I wrote almost 12 years ago that examines that historic trade. May you forever rest in peace, Mr. Robinson.  December 9, 1965: Reds right fielder Frank Robinson to the Orioles for Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson. When Cincinnati […]

THE BALLPARK CHRONICLES

February 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Soon a new version of the classic ballpark book “Green Cathedrals” will be issued by SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). After having researched over 400 specific Blackball parks for the updated book, here are a few interesting ballpark facts I discovered. Philadelphia Mysteries Pencoyd Park was the home of the 1928 Philadelphia Tigers of […]

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