Category Archives: mlb

Fan Stories: 10 Questions for Baseball Uber-Fan Mike Dies (President, West Akron Baseball & Softball League)

For the next few weeks, FoulBallz.com will include a series of short interviews with ballhawks and uber-fans of baseball. These fans all agreed to answer 10 simple questions, no pressure, and very little editing. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to get to know these individuals in some capacity through Twitter. I hope you enjoy reading the answers as much as I have.

First up is Mike Dies, President, West Akron Baseball & Softball League (www.wabl.org and www.facebook.com/westakronbaseball).

1) When did you snag your first ball? 

After going to many games at an empty Cleveland Municipal Stadium as a kid, and lots of games at Jacobs Field when the Old Stadium closed, my first foul ball came in 1997 at Canal Park in Akron. I was walking in the concourse and caught it on one bounce.

2) What do you think about the extended netting issue?

I am all for it. I would like to see the netting extended to the end of each dugout. I would like MLB to be proactive in protecting the fans before someone is killed by a foul ball at a game. I understand that paying attention is 99.9% of it for the fans but it is not realistic to think that fans will sit and watch baseball for 3+ hours and not let their eyes wander from the action … especially with all of the distractions that the MLB clubs have created in the stadium. Attending baseball games today is nothing like attending games 10-15 years ago.

READ THE REST AT FoulBallz.com

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

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Jurickson Profar joins Kingdom of the Netherlands in friendly matches vs Samurai Japan

Today the Dutch baseball federation came with a press release in which the roster of team Kingdom of the Netherlands was revealed. This team will face team Samurai Japan in a set of friendly matches. Biggest surprise is name of Jurickson Profar, the infielder from Curacao who is currently used as utility man by the Texas Rangers. In 2016, Profar has played all infield positions  and also left field. At bat Profar was not quite impressive with an average of .239.
After a long absence due to a shoulder inury, Profar returned to the MLB in 2016. During the course of 2015 Profar returned to baseball in a minor league rehab. He played for A Full Season Hickory and for AA Frisco for which he hit a combined .256.

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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

 

 

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)  

MLB Foul Ball Week in Review (September 12 – September 18): Glove Theft, Umpire Concussion & a Tooth Lost by a Toss Up

The MLB foul ball week in review shows that Major League Baseball ended the week of September 11 – September 18, 2016 with about 162 Foul Ball Facials in 162 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:

BOTCHED BOBBLE

This has to be one of the worst feelings in the world of baseball from a fan’s perspective. It was there. It was right there. But this poor Boston Red Sox fan was denied his foul ball

“HOW THE?” IS RIGHT

Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman managed something I’ve never seen before. He managed to hit himself in the back with his own foul ball. This should count as more proof of the dangers of netting. The foul ball nailed him in the back of the head after it bounced off netting behind home plate in the top of the 8th inning:

 

READ MORE AT FOULBALLZ.COM

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

Do the Yankees need a new pitching coach?

This year the Yankees pitching isn’t performing the way it should, which is quite an understatement.

The new pitchers that were acquired last year, Luis Severino and Nathan Eovaldi, are performing worse than they did last year.Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Yankees top hat logo

Eovaldi’s numbers are not much worse but still he declined from 4.20 to 4.76. Severino had a solid ERA of 2.89 last year as he kept his opponents to a batting average of  .229. This year, Severino’s ERA has skyrocketed to a whopping 6.79. His opponents are hitting  a lot better with him on the mound: .291.

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