Monthly Archives: February 2016

Michael Brantley’s February 2016 Shoulder Updates & Hitting Program News


photo courtesy of Dan Mendlik via TribeVibe

if you’re looking for very detailed accounts of Michael’s shoulder updates and his hitting program in February, is the place. i have pictures, i have videos, i have quotes…omg SO many quotes!

now let’s get into the February news:

February 1: in an article on by Anthony Castrovince, it was finally revealed what Michael himself thought about all the “the injury was worse than they thought and he might not be back until August” hubbub from December 2015. “i laughed. i absolutely laughed. i didn’t actually know what happened, because a lot of family members and friends were calling and texting me. i hadn’t even had a re-check from my surgery yet, so whatever information somebody got, it was all news to me as well.”

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2016 MLB Preseason Power Rankings

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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With just 5 weeks to the regular season – and all of the important Free Agents finally being locked up with Ian Desmond signing with the Rangers, it is time to see where all 30 MLB clubs stack up.

We are going to be running weekly power rankings once the year starts on Apr.3, 2016.

The way I compile the Power Rankings is best on confidence to win the World Series.  Some clubs may be more talented (or playing better) than a squad they are behind in the rankings,  but the Division (and strength of opponents) plays a massive factor.

It is the reason why teams like the Royals or Astros will be selected above a team like the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Pittsburgh Pirates might win 90 games (which may only see one AL club join them), but because they have to contend with the Cards and Cubs in the NL Central, it will be tough for them to receive a great ranking (at least until games are played). Read the rest of this entry

Odds To Win The 2016 MLB Divisions

best Division odd value on the board this week.

Best Division odd value on the board this week.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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As the season approaches we are seeing more and more gambling entities finally display and update their Division odds on a daily basis.

Over the course of the year we will be doing a weekly post on both the World Series and the MLB Divisions for best value.

I have selected one good value pick and one bad value pick for each Division.  Next to a good pick, or a bad one, there will be an assigned parenthesis number for the degree I love the wager compared to the other Division picks.

The Chicago Cubs are the biggest favorite to win their own Division which is not surprising.  In the American League, the KC Royals have the lowest odd.

I like how this establishment has the Royals as their favorite lock to make the postseason, yet still have the Red Sox and Blue Jays favored over them for the World Series odds.

This goes the same for the Giants in the National League.  San Francisco is +900 to win the ‘Fall Classic’, yet the Mets and Nationals are more of a favorite to win the NL East, then they are the NL West. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 28, 2016

MLB Reports

24sandomir.1.600 New York Times

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request.

I am more than willing to talk about the Yankee ticket crisis, but I am bringing in help. Lisa Swan, co creator of Subway Squawkers and frequent guest of the podcast, wrote about the ticket fiasco and has been quoted in WFAN and the New York Post.

Why not get her thoughts here?

It’s a print from home edition of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Follow Subway Squawkers by clicking HERE.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 27, 2016

MLB Reports

maxresdefault (1)Today I talk about Dan Shaughnessy, the Red Sox, past GMs, the Oscars, the American League pennant and why Mad Max Fury Road should win the Best Picture.

It is all connected for me.

What a day… what a lovely day for The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

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Human Reaction Times and Foul Balls Revisited

In an earlier post, in order to make a point about how the average human reaction time to foul balls is more than adequate to at least duck as a foul ball approaches them, if they were paying attention. In that foul ball analysis on I used 50 feet as an extreme example of how close a fan can be to the action. Fans, however, are required to sit a minimum of 60 feet

cropped-FoulBallSign1.jpgfrom fair territory. Players in foul territory are often located within 50 feet of fair territory.

The debate about fan injuries spurred a wave of dissent and a call for extended netting during and after the 2015 MLB season. There seemed to have seen a significant rise in fans being injured by foul balls. Whether this is true or a result of heightened awareness or increased media attention is hard to say. Regardless, we know fans are getting injured, some very badly, by foul balls.

The season saw fans at PittsburghDetroit, Cubs, Red Sox, and Royals games, and a host of other games in both the MLB and MiLB suffer injuries which sent the fan to the hospital. Each time this occurs social media erupts in a frenzy of folks calling for MLB to protect fans from these projectiles in spite of the fans knowing they buy MLB seats in these hot zone areas. All those in favor of extended netting cite the “fact” it’s “impossible to react” to a foul ball coming at you.

However, as noted previously, we can now put to rest this myth. Those who claim there’s not enough time to react to a foul ball flying at them have not looked at the facts.

The Rules

Rule 1.04, part of the “Objectives of the Game” section in the MLB official rules, states the foul lines paralleling the infield set the parameters for minimum distance fans can be seated from the field of play.

MLB standards indicate the foul territory space between home and the backstop and from the foul lines on either side to the stands cannot be less than 60 feet and reads as such:

It is recommended that the distance from home base to the backstop, and from the base lines to the nearest fence, stand or other obstacle on foul territory shall be 60 feet or more.

This applies only to the infield though. Foul territory can narrow to a point in the outfield if the team so chooses. Dodger Stadium is a perfect example of this. Therefore, all fans sit a minimum of 60 feet from the field. This is roughly the same distance the batter is from the pitcher.

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Finally: HCAW has found its new manager

After Dutch Hoofdklasse club HCAW and former Major Leaguer Ralph Milliard parted ways at the end of last season, the Hoofdklasse club from Bussum had to look for a new manager. It took the club long as it only became clear last Friday that it had found its man.

Roy Berrevoets (photo:

After an extensive search, the club from Bussum has signed Roy Berrevoets as their “new” skipper.
The official announcement was made today (Monday, February 29) as the club was still busy with completing the coaching staff.

Finally. HCAW has found its manager

A’s constant competitive ambition is admirable

Alright, you may have to bear with me a little bit here, as I am not 100% sure how I want to present this except to say this is what I say about the A’s A LOT of the time and ESPN’s Buster Olney said it in his “Insiders Only” piece on Saturday called,

The Athletics drive to contend is admirable in today’s times.

It IS admirable and using both Olney’s statistics and my own, I intend to show you exactly why their drive to contend has not only been successful but beyond that, that most team’s in their situation would not or choose not to try to compete. Instead they tank and have a long stretch of terrible years – only to reemerge with a lot of high draft picks who are ready for the big leagues.

It reminded me a lot of a similar piece that I wrote for Today’s Knuckleball that talked about how the A’s had their own unique way of “rebuilding.” It went on to explore how they’ve been able to maintain a high level of competitiveness despite having one of the league’s lowest payrolls and having to be creative in creating platoons that will put up similar numbers to those exhibited by the big name free agents that they cannot afford.

Click Here to continue this story on BBST


The Selling of the Babe: A Review

Roger Kahn, Donald Honig and David Halberstam are some of the names on the short list for of the greatest baseball authors. Someone who is making a serious run at that distinction is Glenn Stout, who is submitting another entry to his resume with The Selling of the Babe: The Deal that Changed Baseball and Created a Legend—an outstanding take on the Bambino’s famous sale from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees.


What to expect from the Dutchies this year? Shawn Zarraga

With Spring Training at full swing now, it is time to see how the players from the Kingdom of the Netherlands will do in the upcoming season. Of course there is no crystal ball and it is still up in the air, but in general you can make a decent prediction based on the performance of previous years.

Shawn Zarraga was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 44th round of the 2007 draft.
In 2008 he played his first pro games with the AZL Brewers. The next year he started with the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League (advanced rookie). In that same year he was promoted to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Full A Midwest League, thus skipping A short season. With the Timber Rattlers Shawn only hit .152 in 21 games. With the Helena Brewers he hit a bit better as he posted a .266  BA in 31 games.

What to expect from the Dutchies this year? Shawn Zarraga


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