Major League Baseball ended the week of August 22-28, 2016 with over nearly 144 Foul Ball Facials (#FoulBallFacials) in 141 games. These are only those fans hit in the head area at Major League Baseball games as self-reported on Twitter. That equates to one fan per day of play. It seems like a lot, and it is, but it could be fewer since nearly 50% of these tweets indicate the fan wasn’t paying attention.
But that’s not the only thing going on with foul balls this week. Here’s the rundown of the best and worst foul ball and fan-related actions from the past week:
MESSING WITH THE BALLBOY
Ballboys and ballgirls have been a staple of foul ball plays for seasons. Some have lightning quick reflexes. Some may be surprised to learn that ballgirls have faster gloves than ballboys. Here’s a perfect example of how ballboys aren’t always the best at doing their job. This young man botched what should have been a reasonably routine play.
The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen decided to take over his job since he wasn’t able to perform his protective duties.
READ the rest at FOULBALLZ.com
Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com) Follow @foulballz
The week in review: It was a tale of two home series this past week for the Milwaukee Brewers. They started out a ten game home stand with wins over the Colorado Rockies by scores of 4-2, 6-4, and 7-1. The Pittsburgh Pirates came to town over the weekend and swept the Crew in a four game series. Going into Monday’s action the Brewers are 56-74, a half-game ahead of Cincinnati in the battle for fourth or last place in the NL Central.
Saturday night I went to a minor league baseball game. It was a great night for baseball as the weather was great, the two teams were full of young talented professionals and there was even special guest Don Larsen (threw the only perfect game in World Series history) at the game. Yet the stadium felt empty.
This got me thinking about the same discussion that keeps coming up as to whether or not something is wrong with baseball and what needs to be done to fix it. Sports writers question if the game is too long, if the season is too long, whether or not there is enough ‘star’ power, and a wide variety of other issues believed to be plaguing baseball.
Read the rest of Is Something Wrong With Baseball via 9 Inning Know It All
Last night I got the chance to return to Salem, OR, where I lived for almost 8 years and is where the 9 Inning Know It All Empire began. I honestly don’t remember the last time I made the two hour drive to watch a Salem-Keizer Volcanoes game, but as soon as I pulled in it felt like I hadn’t missed a day.
Read the rest of Returning Home to Memories via 9 Inning Know It All
The MLB regular-season schedule is a grind, and there’s a reason why they call it the “dog days of August.” For some reason, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve aren’t paying much attention to that as they each chase history with torrid runs through the second half.
Basically, no opposing pitcher is safe, as they’re each looking to become the first hitters to hit over .400 after the All-Star game since some guy named Ichiro Suzuki did it in 2004.
While they’re grabbing all the headlines, they’re not the only ones tearing the cover off baseballs since the league’s brightest stars met up in San Diego. In fact, Votto and Altuve are just two of seven hitters with at least 30 second-half games played and a batting average higher than .350. Here’s a look at the list with some stats for perspective:
When the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Yasmany Tomas to a $60 Million dollar deal, many thought the Cuban “third-baseman” would be an instant star. Little is known about Cuban players when they come over; their skills are often exaggerated and their numbers on the Cuban National Series inflated. While some players, such as Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu, do come over and become instant stars, others, such as Hector Olivera, simply don’t have what it takes to make it in the majors. For the better part of last year, Tomas seemed a lot closer to the bust category than major league stardom. That assessment seems destined to change soon.
Too quick and binary is our collective assessment of players. They’re either good or bad and we know within the first weeks of April. We care little about their story, or struggles to adapt. It’s the Twitter era; context and nuance is dead.
That is the story of Yasmany Tomas. The Diamondbacks miscast Tomas as a third baseman and the metrics hated him there. They probably knew he was not a third baseman, but there he was. Unable to help the team defensively, and struggling a bit in his first offensive season at the Major League level, Tomas got a label. He was a bust, just another of the missteps in a reign of terror for a Diamondbacks front office that doesn’t even know the rules.
But that label loses all context.
To continue reading about the context that shows Yasmany Tomas may be on his way to stardom, please check out the full article at Off The Bench.
Foul Reporting on MLB Fan Safety and Foul Balls: Real Problems and Inaccuracies in HBO Real Sports Foul Ball Episode, PART II
Part II of my report exposing the inaccuracies of Bryant Gumbel’s “Real Sports” episode 229 covers the later data found in this episode. As noted in Part I, Gumbel’s report sensationalized foul ball related injuries to the point of being preposterous. The historical research, to be blunt, was appallingly non-existent, and the piece misrepresented reality, and even showed clips which contradicted the words coming from Gumbel’s mouth.
The second part of the episode was no better.
At about 8:15 Gumbel asserts that over 15 months, three fans were seriously injured. While nobody ever wants to see any other fan injured, that comes to one fan every five months. To put this into perspective: The season is about 6.5 months long. I’ll be generous and rouns up to seven. That means, based on Gumbel’s argument, 1.5 fans get seriously injured each season. Let me reiterate that: 1.5 fans are seriously injured each season. Considering each team has millions of fans over the course of each season, this is hardly an argument worth having. But Gumbel is stating this is for the entire league. Forbes and others note the 2015 Major League Baseball season had nearly 74 million fans in attendance. Again, I’ll be conservative and simply say 73, given the number reported is 73.8. If I understand my calculator shorthand correctly that comes out to be .00000000233% (my calculator reads 2,328767123287671e-8) of fans in attendance are “seriously injured” by a foul ball per season.
READ MORE AT FoulBallz.com
Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com) Follow @foulballz
Is it possible for a pitcher to take home a Cy Young award despite missing nearly half a season? Judging from what Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did before he landed on the disabled list and how the rest of his competition has performed since, it sure is.
The southpaw hasn’t pitched since losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 26, but it’s not outrageous to say he’s still the National League’s best pitcher. Despite spotting his competition about two months, he still leads the league in fWAR (5.5) and bWAR (4.8). The biggest question right now is whether or not he’ll return to a big-league mound before the regular season finishes.
The likelihood of that increased with some good news, as J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. News Group reported on Tuesday. Kershaw escaped a 40-pitch bullpen unscathed and is scheduled for a 60-pitch simulated game later this week. As he continues ramping up, the final step before re-entering the Dodgers’ rotation will be one rehab start.
The award has basically been Kershaw’s to lose all season, with a big determination now being how many starts he can rack up upon getting activated off the DL. There’s still about a month left, which is plenty of time for other contenders to separate themselves from the pack by having a strong finish.
Here are seven NL pitchers who have a shot at preventing Kershaw from winning yet another Cy Young. It all depends on how the last month goes.
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Daily Matchups for 8/24/2016