November 30, 2021

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Home is More Than 90 Feet Away

October 12, 2021 · by · Leave a Comment 

Venezuelan minor leaguer discusses his native country’s troubles, the pandemic, and life’s other curveballs. Plaz, seen here in a 2019 Dayton Dragons promotional photo, spent the last half-decade in the Cincinnati Reds farm system and hasn’t visited his native Venezuela since 2018 primarily due to the country’s political and economic instability. (Photo courtesy of Peterson Plaz) Imagine trying to make the Major Leagues as a minor leaguer. It’s an arduous journey. The strenuous, incessant training, the long road trips, the extra-inning night games, the sacrifice. Looming above it all... [Read the full story]

General

Dear MLB: Your Problem is Relevancy, Not Boredom (although that’s easily fixed, too.)

October 18, 2021 · by · 4 Comments 

Dear Major League Baseball, Much has been written recently about your “boredom problem.” Longer games with less action have resulted in declining attendance and declining television ratings, but the solution to your on-field problem is so simple that a Little Leaguer could tell you what it is, whereas a board room full of consultants obviously cannot: Deaden the ball. Don’t change the rules, change the dynamics of the game’s most basic piece of equipment. You want more defensive plays? Lessen the chance that the ball disappears over the fence. Maybe reduce those exit velocities so that... [Read the full story]

Features

Dear MLB: Your Problem is Relevancy, Not Boredom (although that’s easily fixed, too.)

October 18, 2021 · by · 4 Comments 

Dear Major League Baseball, Much has been written recently about your “boredom problem.” Longer games with less action have resulted in declining attendance and declining television ratings, but the solution to your on-field problem is so simple that a Little Leaguer could tell you what it is, whereas a board room full of consultants obviously cannot: Deaden the ball. Don’t change the rules, change the dynamics of the game’s most basic piece of equipment. You want more defensive plays? Lessen the chance that the ball disappears over the fence. Maybe reduce those exit velocities so that... [Read the full story]

Hall of Fame

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

March 23, 2019 · by · 1 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 appears to seriously distort the player’s total WAR score. As an example, Matt Chapman had a great fielding season at third base in 2018 and his situation illustrates quite well why WAR does a relatively good job of evaluating his offensive value (oWAR) and his defensive value (dWAR)... [Read the full story]

Minors

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

June 30, 2018 · by · Leave a Comment 

Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted by Steve Dunn Located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers in Des Moines, Iowa, Principal Park and its two predecessors have hosted professional baseball since Friday, June 20, 1947. One of the more unique games in minor league history was played nearly 61 years later at Principal Park on Saturday, June 14, 2008. With widespread flooding in central Iowa, the Iowa Cubs and Nashville Sounds played a Triple A Pacific Coast League game that drew an official attendance of zero. “The only other... [Read the full story]

General

Dear MLB: Your Problem is Relevancy, Not Boredom (although that’s easily fixed, too.)

October 18, 2021 by

Dear Major League Baseball, Much has been written recently about your “boredom problem.” Longer games with less action have resulted in declining attendance and declining television ratings, but the solution to your on-field problem is so simple that a Little Leaguer could tell you what it is, whereas a board room full of consultants obviously cannot: Deaden... Read more of this article


October’s End

October 14, 2021 by

Orange OctoberThe Chicago White Sox played in the postseason for the second straight season this year, something they have never achieved before in 120 years of baseball.The Sox won the “Field of Dreams” game on national TV in August, giving baseball fans everywhere (OK, except maybe New York) and generations of movie fans a thrilling night in... Read more of this article


Winter Ball: A History of Baseball, Cuba, and Race

October 6, 2021 by

1922-1923 Almendares Cuban League Team. In 2020, Cuban baseball players took center stage in the pandemic-shortened season. The Chicago White Sox won more than half its games twice in the 2010s. But they finished last season with a .583 winning percentage (roughly a 94 win pace over a 162 game schedule). The club made the playoffs for the first time... Read more of this article


The Last Living Boston Braves Player and an Unexpected Find

August 30, 2021 by

When Del Crandall died on May 5, 2021, an era died with him. According to his obituary in the Boston Globe, he was the last living Boston Braves player. Crandall broke in with the Boston Braves as a fresh-faced 19-year-old in 1949 but had his best seasons after the team moved to Milwaukee in 1953. Crandall was an 11-time All-Star and played in two World... Read more of this article


Field of Fire

August 13, 2021 by

The White Sox needed this one. For about 102 years the White Sox have needed this one.The Sox got a two-run home run from All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 9-8 in the “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa Thursday night, a contest that was far too dramatic, sensational and yes,... Read more of this article


An Historic Trading Deadline–Can It Happen Again?

August 2, 2021 by

If ever a Major League Baseball team traded eight players from its Major League roster in a single day, I can find no mention of it. And yet that is what the Washington Nationals did on July 30, 2021. The Chicago Cubs dealt nine on the same day, which was documented as the highest number there by pundits in the Windy City. It was quite literally as... Read more of this article


Hondo

July 21, 2021 by

Frank Howard is a big man. Now in his mid-‘80’s, he was an All-American basketball player at Ohio State University before signing a bonus baseball contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1958. Two years later, he won the National League Rookie of the Year award. At 6’7” and somewhere between 275 and 300 pounds, Frank was the biggest man in... Read more of this article


Isn’t It Time Congress Seriously Examines the Monopoly Power of Major League Baseball

July 2, 2021 by

In December of 2020, with results being certified in the much contested election that saw the defeat of Donald Trump, and with two senate seats still hanging in the balance in Georgia, Major League Baseball, Inc. unilaterally ended its cooperative relationship with Minor League Baseball. For decades, the relationship between Minor League and Major League... Read more of this article


DC Loves the Long Ball

June 25, 2021 by

Gather round children and I will tell you tales of Frank Howard, of how the “Capital Punisher,” could hit a baseball to the moon and back. It was the late 1960’s and the Washington Senators remained perennial cellar dwellers as they had been since the Great Depression. But a giant of a man named Frank Howard came to town and finally... Read more of this article


The Best Starting Pitching Staffs in the Last 100 Years: Part IV

June 12, 2021 by

From Part I: Pitching, pitching, pitching. You may have heard the saying, “You can never have enough pitching.” Of course, if you are going to have good pitching it begins with your starting pitching staff. Which starting pitching staff was the best ever? I considered and reviewed every team that made it to the World Series and some other notable... Read more of this article


More Posts From General

Features

Dear MLB: Your Problem is Relevancy, Not Boredom (although that’s easily fixed, too.)

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Dear Major League Baseball, Much has been written recently about your “boredom... 


NORMALIZING NEGRO LEAGUE STATISTICS

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Most baseball fans are familiar with the concept of ‘normalizing’ statistics.... 


Major League Equivalencies for The Negro Leagues

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Major League Equivalents (MLEs) are a series of calculations designed to take non-major... 


Negro League Great, Spottswood Poles, Honored by his Birthplace

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The city of Winchester, Virginia honored early 20th century Negro Leaguer, and native... 


Trevor Bauer, Sam McDowell, and A Rod’s Birthday Cake

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So, in a fit of anger or frustration or both, Trevor Bauer heaved the baseball over... 


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Hall of Fame

WAR and Win Shares and Charlie Blackmon

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It appears that WAR, in attempting to assign a single number to represent a player’s... 


The BBWAA “Report Card” for the 21st Century

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The CAWS Career Gauge (CCG) has ranked all of the outstanding players of the modern... 


WAR and JAWS – Exaggerating Fielding Value

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In an earlier post, I pointed out that Matt Chapman’s WAR value for 2018 (8.2)... 


A Problem with WAR = Defensive Value

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My primary research interest has always been determining which players had the best... 


The Four CAWS HOF Benchmarks for Pitchers

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In a previous post re Koufax and Kershaw, I mentioned one of the benchmarks created... 


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Minors

Principal Park: Despite City’s Size, Ballpark Has Big Impact

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Minor league baseball a Des Moines, Iowa, staple at same location since 1947 Submitted... 


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... 


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