I am not at all a fan of many Major League Baseball umpires. I especially dislike Jim Joyce and would love to see him leave the game. I’m a lifelong Tigers fan and the image of him blowing a call that cost Tigers starter Armando Galarraga his perfect game is still very fresh in my memory. So when he makes a foul call, I tend to jump all over him.
September 2016 gave me another reason to dislike Joyce. I fell for a “foul ball” call by Joyce. Joyce, behind the dish during a Houston Astros – Cleveland Indians game was brutally maligned on Twitter for a wild pitch call during a Lonnie Chisenhall at-bat. People, including well-respected reporters all jumped on the “Bash Joyce” bandwagon. I am embarrassed to admit my own distaste for the man colored my response too…until I went to the official Major League Baseball rule book. Then I changed my mind. Kind of.
It was on September 7, 2016.
This is the play that awaken the disdain:
Houston Astros hurler David Paulino threw a pitch into the dirt. The ball hit about a foot in front of the plate and bounced up. Chisenhall, the Indians’ batter, checked his swing and the ball caromed off to the left of the catcher.
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Tigers GM Al Avila had his end-of-the-season press conference today and addressed his offseason plans. Avila stated that the Tigers “want to get younger, want to get leaner, want to run the organization without having to go over [their] means, want to stay competitive, but at the same time, this organization has been working way above its means for some time”.
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JAYS FROM THE COUCH LOOKS AT HOW CLEVELAND STARTER, JOSH TOMLIN WAS ABLE TO DOMINATE THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS IN GAME 2 OF ALCS
If you were like me, you were probably looking forward to watching the Toronto Blue Jays take the mound against Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin in Game 2 of the ALCS. After all, in Game 1, Corey Kluber was frustrating because he would allow some hits and chances for the Blue Jays to score, but, he managed to shut them down repeatedly. He bent, but did not break. He pitched like an ace. That’s why we were licking our chops at a chance to face a guy who was decidedly not an ace.
Entering the postseason, Tomlin posted a 13-9 record with 4.40 ERA, a 4.88 FIP, and most enticing of all, a HR rate of 1.86/9 innings. He looked to be the kind of guy that the Blue Jays could light up. Home runs have been a problem for Tomlin in 2016- he gave up 36 of them in the regular season. The Toronto Blue Jays live by the home run- hitting 221 of them in 2016. In the ALDS, we saw just how much they relied on it.
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As I started doing research for my Milwaukee Brewers book, I was grateful that Lew Krausse from the original 1970 team took the time to answer some questions about his career.
Lew Krausse was born on April 25, 1943 in Media, Pennsylvania. His father Lew Sr. was a baseball pitcher and that certainly influenced the younger Krausse in making a career choice.
New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has been with the organization for just one season, but he’s instantly become a fan favorite. A strong April helped start his tenure on a positive note, but it was an epic late-season surge that instantly brings a smile to every Mets fan.
It’s interesting how one player transformed from being the biggest rally killer to the team’s most dependable run producer, but that’s a microcosm of the Mets’ 2016 performance.
His turnaround can be credited toward a number of things, but there was one specific area that tells a lot of the story.
According to a recent report, the Toronto Blue Jays will make efforts to retain the services of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.
If the Toronto Blue Jays were not comfortable with extending Edwin Encarnacion before the season started, perhaps they would be now that he’s put up some impressive MVP type numbers. Or, perhaps his clutch postseason hitting has tipped the scales in his favor. Whichever it is, the club certainly has to be thinking long and hard about ponying up the dough for Edwin.
Jon Heyman says that the club plans on making qualifying offers to both Edwin and Jose Bautista (more on him in a bit), assuming the new collective bargaining agreement allows for one. That is not much of a surprise. The team would certainly offer up the one year deal in the hopes of retaining the players or them rejecting the nearly $17M in favor of free agency, which would net the club two picks in the next draft. So, the QO is not such a difficult decision.
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The Chicago White Sox posted a 78-84 record and really lost pace after the All-Star break, finishing 16 games behind the division-winning Cleveland Indians. This was a poorly constructed team that had serious flaws on the roster.
Chicago’s logic for doing this was nuanced in the belief they’d extract more value by pairing Eaton with a replacement-level center fielder instead of the other way around. Fair enough, but what did it do to Eaton as a player?
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on On The Bench Baseball.
The 2017 MLB regular season is the furthest thing from our minds right now with the postseason in full swing, but not for the majority of the league.
Most are at home watching the playoffs, trying to figure out how they could be playing baseball next October instead of sitting on their respective couches. The winter months don’t include any on-field action, but the Hot Stove does plenty to keep us warm and occupied until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
Before the slate officially gets wiped clean for the coming year, front offices around baseball put in a lot of hours to decide what pieces could make their team a playoff contender. Here are 10 MLB teams who have a very important few months ahead:
The feeling of watching a baseball game at the ballpark is something like no other. When at home, watching on television there is a certain separation between you and the players, the team and the game itself. But in the ballpark, all of that changes. Just a few feet from you they are playing catch, stretching and warming up. Then they play the game. You might be right there, close enough to smell the pine tar and touch the dirt but there is still a boundary between the fan and the player. There is only one thing that crosses that barrier.
The experience of a player throwing you a ball or hitting one to you is a feeling like no other, as you now have a souvenir forever and even to pass on to your kids as time goes on. The boundary is broken for a split second, but that split second for the player, is an eternity for the fan as forever you have that connection with the player, a story to tell, a cool item to show and display.
EVERY BALL HAS A STORY
I am now what you would call a Ballhawk: a person who chase this feeling every single game, and multiple times a game by catching as many baseballs at major, and minor league games as they can. The stories one can have are endless. The connections branching out real far, even to the point of making friends with players. I feel it is almost a sharing of happiness, they throw you a ball and make you smile, and you tell them something witty or give them some encouragement to make them smile and I love that feeling, and many others do too. I have lots of these little connections now, and every one I cherish and no two are alike.
Every ball I have has a story. At first, I didn’t try recording the story somewhere to remember it but eventually I realized it would be a good idea to keep track of which ball is which and the player that gave me that ball, and I do that at a nifty site called MyGameBalls.com. But there are other ways too.
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Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com) Follow @foulballz