September 16, 2014

Is the .300 Hitter a Vanishing Breed?

September 15, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

In the year 2000, 26 players hit for both power and average to reach the Triple Crown milestones of 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a batting average of .300.  In 2013, only three players reached all three milestones and in mid-season in 2014, three were on target for all three and six more were […]

Atlantic League Honors Ken Shepard’s Memory And Bridgeport Pays Tribute to Its General Manager

September 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Both the Atlantic League and the host Bridgeport (CT) Bluefish had already gone to extraordinary lengths to make Sunday’s Ken Shepard Day an memorable experience.  Extra steps were taken this week in light of the sudden death of the popular Bluefish general manager only nine days ahead of the event when kidney cancer claimed him […]

Closer By Committee in DC?

September 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

“Closer by committee” is used only to describe a dysfunctional reality. It has no upside, no silver lining and when spoken in early September, it can mean nothing good. So when Matt Williams announced that the Washington Nationals were relieving Raphael Soriano of his ninth inning duties, and seeking a new answer so late in […]

Rickey & Robinson: A Review

September 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Announcer Vin Scully is the unquestioned dean of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball because of his work with the team for well over half a century. However, there is another person, just one other, who should be regarded in that same class, and that is writer Roger Kahn. Best known for his work as a Dodgers’ […]

Independent Baseball Ties Its Record With 40 in Majors After John Holzkom’s Meteoric Climb in 10 Weeks

September 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly 200 players have made their way to the major leagues after playing Independent Baseball although very few debuts have carried the significance of John Holdzkom’s first appearance, which came this week with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The fact the giant Californian struck out all three St. Louis Cardinals hitters he faced in the eighth inning […]

Astros Fire Manager after Posting Winning Month in August

September 2, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

In the final game in August, the Houston Astros rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Texas Rangers, 3-2 to post a record of 15-14 for the month, matching their previous best month in May.  The next day, Manager Bo Porter was fired by General Manager, Jeff Luhnow, […]

The ’64 Phillies and the Whiz Kids Precedent: Beware the Big Mid-September Lead

September 2, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies are, of course, famous for blowing a 6-1/2 game lead with only 12 games remaining. Fourteen years earlier, the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies–known as the “Whiz Kids” because of their relative youth and inexperience at the big league level–held an even bigger 7-1/2 game advantage with only 11 games remaining and wound […]

Now Pitching for the Royals, Clayton Kershaw

August 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Much has been said about Clayton Kershaw’s historic season. From his 41 inning scoreless streak to his 206 ERA+, he’s been compared to Sandy Koufax and many other all-time greats. He’s having the kind of season that we haven’t seen since Clemens, Johnson, Pedro, and Maddux were at their peaks. Halfway across the country, the […]

Call-Ups Start With Edwards, Herrera, Axelrod; Some Thoughts on Who May Follow to Majors

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Jon Edwards started the parade of Independent players getting a late-summer major league reward when the Texas Rangers added him to their pitching staff–and giving the young-but-determined Pecos League its first major leaguer–then the postseason-bound Los Angeles Angels added right-hander Yoslan Herrera (Lancaster, PA, Atlantic League) to their staff and Cincinnati did the same with […]

No One Can Survive Walking the Plank

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! I’m currently on vacation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! I was supposed to stop off at Gettysburg, PA for a reennactment of the Battle of Gettysburg that took place during the American Civil War, but the reennactment got cancelled. So, in order to fill that void, I’m going to be talking about a Hall […]

How Are the Yankees Still in Playoff Contention?

August 26, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman must be sorcerers. That can be the only explanation for the New York Yankees’ ability to hang around the periphery of American League playoff contention. Their rotation lost starters CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, and Ivan Nova for the season, and only recently got Michael Pineda back from the 60-day disabled […]

Who Is the Leading Candidate for American League MVP?

August 25, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Whether you like the one-game wild card playoff or not, you have to admit one thing. It sure is doing its job. After the Angels routed the Athletics on 9-4 on Sunday night, Los Angeles reclaimed a one-game lead over Oakland in the American League West. Before the advent of the one-game playoff, this three-game […]

The Top MLB Prospect from New Jersey: Anthony Ranaudo

August 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Anthony Ranaudo, 24, was born on September 9th, 1989 in Freehold, New Jersey. A budding prospect, Ranaudo achieved “The Dream” by being called up to the Boston Red Sox on August 1st, 2014 in order to make to his first career big league start against the New York Yankees, the team Ranaudo grew up rooting […]

Former Atlantic Leaguer Nearly Perfect in Class AA Game While Raben, Fox Continue Huge Displays of Power

August 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Independent Baseball’s player contributions to Major League Baseball never cease to amaze.  Sometimes, it seems almost impossible to study a minor league box score without the names of one or more players popping up because they have spent time improving their skills in a non-affiliated league. One such event in recent days was nothing short […]

In the Moment in Washington

August 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ten wins in a row in the tenth season in a row? Are the numbers and stars aligning? Has anyone called the fortune teller yet, or maybe we should just “pinch ourselves and squeal and know that it’s for real, the hour that our ship comes in?”* Baseball returned to Washington, DC in 2005 and […]

The Toddfather

August 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hey baseball fans! The Colorado Rockies are a fairly new franchise when it comes to MLB teams, having only started competing during the regular season in 1993. With that being said, there is only one ballplayer who played a mile above sea level who has had his number retired by the Rockies: Todd Helton! In […]

MLB Power Rankings Update: Week 20

August 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

I guess you could say that a couple of things have happened since the last time we discussed these power rankings two weeks ago. The Los Angeles Angels have surpassed the Oakland Athletics, the Washington Nationals have doubled their lead over the Braves, and the Kansas City Royals went from being 4.5 games behind the […]

Giants in Position for Wild-Card Slot Despite Significant Slide

August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As of Monday afternoon, August 18, the San Francisco Giants hold the second National League wild-card slot, leading the next-closest teams by 1.5 games. What I find most interesting is that the Giants are still on pace to make the playoffs, despite potentially one of the sharpest within-season declines after a strong start, in the […]

The Underrated Squad: Part One

August 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, I will be introducing a new series which primarily focuses on the underrated professional baseball player in the MLB! Over the course of the next year, we will construct a roster of twenty-five ( 25 ) underrated players that deserve more attention by not only the fans, but by front offices, scouts, and even […]

A Review of No No: A Dockumentary

August 17, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

On June 12, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates’ right-handed pitcher Dock Ellis no-hit the San Diego Padres 2-0 while under the influence of LSD. For many, this type of incident would define a career or a life. Incredibly, this was just another moment in the fascinating story of Ellis, which is beautifully told in the new documentary […]

The Radio Guy and The Judge, Cookie and The Brat

August 16, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

We take for granted today that broadcasters on both radio and TV will dissect game situations, offer opinions on strategy, and feel free to second-guess managers and criticize players for mistakes–all of which helps to educate those of us listening at home (or in our cars) on the many nuances of a complex game. It […]

The Rare Emergence of Jordy Mercer: Is He Here to Stay?

August 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

League-wide, shortstops have notoriously been the least productive hitters of any position player on the diamond. This isn’t a new phenomenon though. They’ve been consistently under-producing offensively since umpires have been calling balls and strikes. Shortstop is undeniably one of the toughest positions to play at the Major League level. It requires an absurd amount […]

Book Review: The Last Best League

August 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Every year, the top college baseball players gather about 70 miles southeast of Boston to hone their skills and showcase their talents in front of amateur scouts from all 30 Major League Baseball teams. This is the Cape Cod League, the most prestigious of all the college summer leagues, made of 10 teams that play […]

Where Washington Is Always in First Place

August 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

CBS reporter Sheryl Attkisson opined that in today’s world our best journalists could not bring the corrupt and crazed Richard Nixon to heel for the vast sins of Watergate. Perhaps, but for my money there is one department at The Washington Post that never lost its Woodward and Bernstein edge, where the ghost of Shirley […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1920/21 Cuban League

August 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The latest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues DB covers the 1920/21 winter league season in Cuba. Heading the bill that off-season was none other than the biggest name in baseball at the time, one George Herman Ruth, fronting the New York Giants. The Babe was a little late, showing up only for the last […]

York Revolution Max Out Every Indy Team’s Goal With a Title and Five Players in the Major Leagues

August 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Various Independent Baseball leagues have different objectives in that they may cater to the more youthful professionals with time on their side to develop or to the more experienced players, but every team  is in agreement that it has two objectives every season.  One is to win a championship and the other is to get […]

Charlie Dressen’s Worst Day at the Office (Part II): To Walk or Not to Walk Thomson, Was That Ever the Question?

August 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

What if, surely knowing that Bobby Thomson was not a good match-up for Ralph Branca, Dodger manager Charlie Dressen decided to walk him with first base open, putting the potential pennant-winning run on base, and have Branca take on Willie Mays instead? What factors might have led Dressen to make such a decision–the emphasis on […]

Should Teams Be Aiming to Get Jacob Turner?

August 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If all you did was look at the numbers you used to see on the backs of baseball cards, it would be easy to understand why the Marlins were frustrated enough with 23-year-old right-hander Jacob Turner to designate him for assignment. Season W L ERA G GS IP SO BB HR 2014 4 7 5.97 […]

Does the Long Winding Road to October End in California?

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Over at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, they analyze anything that moves, but they keep a nice presence in the world of sports and their piece on the recent Jon Lester trade looks at the notion that this season is shaping up as a significant outlier. The Lester trade is unusual because it is rare for a small market […]

Charlie Dressen’s Worst Day at the Office (Part I): Explaining Why Branca and Not Erskine

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Managers are relentlessly criticized by us passionate fans for decisions made and not made in heartrending losses, but as knowledgeable as we fans like to believe we are, we do not know all the considered factors that go into those decisions. At this year’s annual SABR conference in Houston from July 30 to August 2, […]

Astro’s Take One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

While there were a couple of bright spots for the Houston Astros in July, the dismal record of 8-17 is only part of the story.  The Astros had the first pick in the 2014 first-year player draft and they selected Brady Aiken, a highly regarded high school pitcher from California.  However, they were unable to sign him […]

Baez Called Up to Make his Professional Debut

August 5, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Javier Baez, the number two prospect for the Chicago Cubs, finally earned the call he had been waiting for. The Chicago Cubs called up the young stud and he will meet them on the road at Coors Field in Colorado, home to the Colorado Rockies. Baez has spent the entire year at triple-A Iowa, hitting .260 with 23 homers […]

Majors Not Alone With Storied Lefties; Lane, Willis, Paxton Bring Indy Leagues Into Play

July 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For our weekly quiz, ladies and gentlemen, what do Jason Lane, Dontrelle Willis and James Paxton have in common? Hint:  While they have not been involved in as many trade rumors or have as many zeroes in their contracts as Jon Lester, Cole Hamels or David Price they also share the same similarity. If you […]

The Improbable Career of Adolph “Otto” Rettig

July 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The St. Louis Browns had never seen the Philadelphia Athletics starter previously, someone who was listed as “Rettiz” in the scorecard. There was some of the usual razzing of the unknown rookie, but that soon stopped as batter after batter was fooled by the newcomer’s “slow ball.” It was July 19, 1922, and Adolph “Otto” […]

Roger Angell, Then and Now

July 31, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

At a party last weekend attended by a number of savvy baseball historians, I managed to wow them with a little artifact I didn’t remember I had until a few weeks ago. Going through one of several cartons of old correspondence, I found the letter reproduced below, sent to me in 1980 by Roger Angell. […]

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