Category Archives: Major League Baseball

Dodgers aren’t giving Jansen the credit that he deserves

Will the Dodgers extend the contract of their star closer Kenley Jansen? With the extension talks stalled and the interest in Aroldis Chapman that they had, it is questionable if Jansen will be with the Dodgers next year. 

Even though I still think that the part of a closer is vastly overrated, he is part of the game for decades now. I still think that with a couple of relievers platooning for that spot, you can have the same result. But okay, the closer role is a part of baseball; even I cannot deny that.

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Will HOF Voters Have the Audacity to Vote Selig in While Keeping McGwire Out?

mcgwire-hof-article_origThe HOF website’s anodyne summary of the Selig Era reads like the inscription for his plaque: “Allan H. ‘Bud’ Selig was Baseball’s ninth commissioner, serving as acting commissioner starting in 1992 before being named commissioner in 1998. Selig oversaw two rounds of expansion, the creation of Wild Card playoff teams and interleague play as well as the creation of the World Baseball Classic.”

It’s an incomplete summation of the man and his tenure. Selig not only oversaw the game’s greatest geographic expansion, he led the game’s greatest sustained economic expansion (per Graham Womack at the Sporting News, annual revenues went from $2 billion to $9 billion under his watch, a compound annual growth rate of about 8%). He negotiated and approved landmark television and merchandising deals, and led baseball’s “early adopter” efforts with regard to streaming technology (it was reported earlier this year that the Walt Disney Company took a stake in MLB Advanced Media; while details weren’t made public, it was estimated that the deal values the company at $3.5 billion).

Of course, Selig was acting commissioner when the most calamitous work-stoppage (1994-1995) in the history of the game took place (he was firmly in the corner of ownership). He is the only commissioner to preside over an October without a World Series; and it is under his leadership that the use of performance-enhancing drugs proliferated throughout the game…

Read the complete article at Plate Coverage.

Born from Scandal: The History of the Most Valuable Player Award

 

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Presentation of the 1913 Chalmers Trophy. Winner Jake Daubert is dressed for the occasion. His teammates look thrilled.

 

Hugh Chalmers (b. 1873) was that most authentic American construct: The brazen, huckster industrialist. Part Henry Ford, part P.T. Barnum, the self-made Chalmers began his career at the age of 14 as an office boy at the National Cash Register Company; by the time he was 35, he owned an eponymous automobile manufacturer, the Chalmers Motor Company, renowned for building “medium-priced” cars aimed at a burgeoning and aspirant middle class.

The charismatic Chalmers was a born salesman who saturated newspapers with ads for his cars (“Not How Large but How Good” was a tagline). He sponsored road races and exhibitions to showcase his merchandise, and became something of an authority on marketing and promotion. He was a popular speaker on the Chamber of Commerce circuit, giving countless talks on the art of selling, which he described as “simply influencing the human mind.” His speeches were reprinted in newspapers, advertising books, and educational pamphlets. 

Which is to say, Chalmers gave a lot of thought – a lot of thought – to how he might sell his cars to people who might not have known they wanted one. 

The automobile man was also a baseball fan, and keenly aware of the sport’s immense and growing popularity in the early years of the 20th century (he was fond of peppering his speeches with baseball metaphors and imagery). In 1910, he hatched a marketing campaign that would dominate the summer headlines and become the progenitor of the modern MVP award:

“Fans all over the country are turning their attention to the battle which is being waged between the leading batters of the big leagues for a motor car, which has been offered for the batting championship this season.”–Milwaukee Journal, August 25, 1910

The motor car on offer was a Chalmers-Detroit Model 30. The man doing the offering was Hugh Chalmers.

 

Read the full story at Plate Coverage

Foul Call: Jim Joyce Ruling Exposes Flaw in Major League Baseball Umpire Judgment Calls

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.

 

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com.

How Josh Tomlin Dominated the Blue Jays in Gm 2 of ALCS

JAYS FROM THE COUCH LOOKS AT HOW CLEVELAND STARTER, JOSH TOMLIN WAS ABLE TO DOMINATE THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS IN GAME 2 OF ALCS

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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.

 

READ FULL POST AT JAYS FROM THE COUCH

 

 

Report: Toronto Blue Jays Look to Bring Slugging Duo Back

According to a recent report, the Toronto Blue Jays will make efforts to retain the services of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista.

 

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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.

 

READ FULL POST AT JAYS FROM THE COUCH

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays Do it All & Keep Rolling

Firing on all cylinders, the Toronto Blue Jays are rolling through the postseason thanks to hitting, hurling and hustle.

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The Toronto Blue Jays just swept the Texas Rangers in the ALDS. They won 3 games in a row against the team with the highest win total in the American League. They swept Rougned Odor. Revenge has been exacted and it is sweet. The high road travelers will tell you that beating the Rangers in this manner is the best kind of payback. Watching the look on Odor’s face as the Blue Jays were celebrating proves that point correct.

So, here we have a Blue Jays squad that has demonstrated everything you need to be successful in the postseason. They’ve seen their bats come to life, scoring 22 runs in 3 games. They’ve seen their starting pitching keep them in games at the bare minimum, with some dominance mixed in. They’ve also seen their club scratch and claw to manufacture a run form sheer hustle. It is this combination that has the team riding some serious momentum at exactly the right time of year.

 

READ FULL POST AT JAYS FROM THE COUCH

 

On Toronto Blue Jays & MLB Postseason Momentum

JAYS FROM THE COUCH LOOKS AT THE IMPACT MOMENTUM MIGHT HAVE ON THE POSTSEASON HOPES OF THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS

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It started when the calendar changed to October. The Toronto Blue Jays started winning. At that point, there was legitimate concern that their season would end before they could fulfill the lofty expectations heaped on them. We expected that they would again appear in the postseason, but it was starting to look like they would disappoint. September was a struggle for the boys in blue. They went 11-15 and fell in the standings. We worried, we panicked, we stressed.

But, a funny thing happened. They started October with a win against the Boston Red Sox. They won again on the final day of the season to clinch their postseason spot. They won the Wild Card game in dramatic fashion. In fact, all they’ve done in October is win. They are now 5-0 and find themselves one win away from heading to the ALCS. It has been quite the shift in fortunes. Many would call it “a roll”. Some would call it “momentum”; that the club got hot at the right time. I wanted to look into this idea of momentum.

 

READ FULL POST AT JAYS FROM THE COUCH

 

 

Ezequiel Carrera: Toronto Blue Jays Unlikely Hero

WHEN THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS SEASON LOOKED TO BE IN JEOPARDY, EZEQUIEL CARRERA STEPPED UP AND PERFORMED WHEN THEY NEEDED HIM.

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It came down to the wire, but the Toronto Blue Jays are headed to the postseason for the second straight year. This time, their tickets weren’t punched as early, or as easily as last. No, this team lost its footing on the division and barely hung on to a Wild Card spot. But, thanks to some solid pitching and some key contributors, they get to keep playing in October.

 

One of those key contributors is Ezequiel Carrera. In fact, he just might the guy who saved their 2016 season.

 

The first half of the season saw no reason to utilize Carrera as more than a 4th outfielder who could give some guys a day of rest. Michael Saunders was on a tear, Kevin Pillar was flying around, protecting center field from and danger and Jose Bautista was…there in right field. There just seemed no room for the 29 yr old from Venezuela. Carrera and his lifetime .255/.314/356 would be the little used bench guy.

 

READ FULL POST AT JAYS FROM THE COUCH

MLB Foul Ball Week in Review (September 19 – September 25): Running the Mile, Gloves and a WAG Snag

The MLB foul ball week in review shows that Major League Baseball ended the week of September 19 – September 25, 2016 with about 164 Foul Ball Facials in 168 days of 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 because just over 40% of these tweets indicate the fan wasn’t paying attention. To put that into perspective, it means roughly 45 fans (conservative estimate) would have avoided foul balls to the face had they not been buried in their phones.

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…it was also a very slow week:

FLASHING YOUNGSTER FLASHES GLOVE

So many people assert there’s no time to react to a baseball hit at them. Granted, this one did bounce, but it was still going at a good speed. This young man saved the fan next to him. And that guy covered his face with his arms. Plenty of reaction time since both were paying attention.

RUNNING THE MILE IN…

Did you catch this Eduardo Munez catch? The guy hauled it from 3B to snag a ball Buster Posey lost in the lights. Amazing.

 

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com

 

Ed Comber (VP Of The BBBA/Owner – foulballz.com)  

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