One of the best part of holiday weekends, is that a lot of news makers take the holiday time off, too. This gives us news roundup folks a lot more free time to enjoy our families. So I will. Here is a light edition of the WeekEnd Links (but with still a lot of stuff!). Unless, like last last week, the Halos do yet another Friday bomb and make the blockbuster news for all of Major League Baseball and blow up all my big Linkage plans. Then I'll be back. But only then. Enjoy!
In keeping with the spirit of the Black Friday rush to get cool things, I am opening up the WeekEnd Links at midnight!
- Joe Blanton:
.776898874 the same as Anibal Sanchez.
.75671483 the same as Kyle Lohse.
.742031449 the same as Justin Grimm.
.716207353 the same as Clay Buchholz.
.710489903 the same as Ubaldo Jiminez.
.705338171 the same as Michael Wacha.
.701070296 the same as Jeremy Guthrie.
.67667045 similar to Adam Wainwright.
.651974644 the same as Zack Greinke.
.61639317 the same as Felix Hernandez....And here you guys thought Blanton was a bust.
- 2014: Tickets for the 2014 season officially go on sale today, starting at 9AM PT. Premium Games are the Dodgers Spring Training game, Opening Day against the Mariners, and the home series against the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox.
Buy Stuff - Crazy-ass Baseball Finds On the Internet:
Anybody in the market for outfitting your baseball team in new flannels?? Here is a vintage 1931 Manufacturers catalog, and it even includes swatches!
Meanwhile, your list of Black Friday blowout baseball deals are to be found over at Old Time Family Baseball.
This Date In Baseball History: 1971 - The Houston Astros pull off one of the very worst trades in the history of baseball. In exchange for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart, the 'stros send away Joe Morgan, Cesar Geronimo, Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham and Denis Menke. Houston would go on to garner a combined 9.6 career WAR out of their three players, while Cincinnati would realize a career WAR of 77.5 out of their haul. Morgan was dumped into the deal primarily because his manager in Houston, Harry Walker, deemed him to be a troublemaker. You might not have heard of Harry Walker, but you probably have heard of Morgan's next manager, who had quite a different opinion........1992 - Marge Schott grabs a shovel and, quite determinedly, digs herself the deepest hole possible concerning her true world view. In an interview with the New York Times, she declares that Adolph Hitler was actually a good guy who merely ran out of momentum. Then she turns her ignorance towards people of Japanese heritage, wondering why the term "jap" is not socially acceptable. We later realize why she is so off-kilter when, in the same interview, she reveals that she has determined that the "n" word is OK for common conversation. A few months later MLB will review the hot mess that she is, and suspend her ownership of the Reds. Marge learned nothing, and would be back in the news again praising Hitler in 1996.
Great Moments in Baseball Statistical History
As we meander into the off-season, fewer and fewer notable things will exist to share with everyone. The vast majority of off-season history are trades and signings, signings and trades. I am going to skip that stuff unless, like above, it was some singing or trade that remains historically shocking. But to fill your weekends back up with content, I am going to share some other history, the history of statistics within baseball. Hard to believe for some, but baseball stats - even advanced metrics - did not begin with Bill James. And some of the data points most cherished today have a rather controversial legacy.
By the way, before we get into the evolution of stats, you might want to survey the early history of the game itself. 19th Century Baseball is a fast primer to kick off your exploration.
Henry Chadwick decides to add "base ball" to his day gig of reporting cricket scores: Chadwick, who had been born in England and moved to Brooklyn at the age of 12, had become a stringer for a local New York publication reporting cricket scores when he stumbled upon his first baseball game. It's 1856! Already by this point, Cricket was overflowing with numerical recordings of each competitive event. Baseball, meanwhile, provided little more than a listing of how many runs each player scored, and how many offensive outs each player committed.
Chadwick, who would be immortalized as "The Father of Baseball", begins his long journey to molding the game into what we know it to be today. He gave us the modern pitcher, the need to catch the baseball on the fly, the box score, the batting average, and the earned run average.
I will be going further into Henry Chadwick more in the next couple of weeks, before moving on to the next influencers.
(My primary source for this series is the excellent book The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination With Statistics, Alan Schwarz author, Thomas Dunne Books Publisher)
- Baseball Biz: Time to NOT feel sorry for Arte. Time to start scratching your head over this luxury threshold stuff. Do you people remember a year ago, when this happened? No. I didn't think so. I didn't either, by the way. Well, cutting to the chase, the new MLB TV contract kicks in this next season and every team's TV revenues from the deal will double. "The overall effect is that baseball will take in approximately $750 million more each season via the new pacts than what the old contracts delivered. That's an average of $25 million in new money per team. And that doesn't account for the huge local broadcast deals some teams have signed."
- More Baseball Biz: Ok, so rich guys are about to get even more rich every year. There you sit, all hung over on your triptophan, assuming that maybe guys like Arte will shell that out for payroll. Or cheaper beer. Or move the media again, this time all the way out to Douglas Road. After all, now they are living large and have options, right? It's not like they need any special help at the moment. Uh, that would be incorrect. The Nats owner, for one, would like the city to build for him a shiny new retractable roof.
- Even More Baseball Biz: Meanwhile, up in New York, the good public servants that sit on the City Council recently got their heads together and voted to spend $3 BILLION, with a "B", on cleaning up a long-time area of blight. Good for them. Even better if you are the owner of the Mets since, out of all the possible places to invest public fund to improve their community, the Council chose to spend the $3 billion cleaning up the area immediately surrounding his particular place of business.
- Hall of Fame: You know that Deadspin managed to purchase at least one HoF vote already. Jim has kept you up to date there. The point of Deadspin's exercise, as Craig Calcaterra summarizes, is "What better way to mock a process and electorate that seeks to pass moral and ethical judgment on a bunch of baseball players than to show that at least part of said electorate is corruptible. What better way to show that a process which is taken way, way way too seriously by those who control it is, in reality, basically a joke." Well, it's working. Bill Madden of the New York Daily News is sanctimoniously miffed at the notion that his role is being exposed as clown comedy............But, hey, if you really need proof of HoF stupid voter polluting the process, just take a moment to think about Jon Heyman. If you miss my point, read the replies.
- Uncle Bud Legacy: Larry Granillo up at The Mothership takes us on a tour of changes to baseball under Bud Selig's watch. The point of The Slippery Slope of the Selig Era is to note how these changes keep expanding, each and every single one of them: "Of course, not all slippery-slope arguments end up being proven wrong or ridiculous. Below are some moves that occurred during Bud Selig's tenure as commissioner wherein the slope proved quite slippery after all." We are talking about the Wild Card, Interleague Play, now Instant Replay and, inevitably, the Designated Hitter. In my business, we call this "scope creep".
Video Of The Week
(ESPN 30 on 30 mini-doc on The Ultimate Sports Hoaxster)
(Having troubling viewing the video? Click here.)
Miguel Cabrera, flexing his MVP muscles and showing yet another sacrifice by allowing the Tigers to go out and sign a major 3B............Hot on the heels of Jhonny Peralts, that which is one person's crime, is another person's payday. Unless, though, you plan to play in Arizona..........Wow! People with a little bit of authority sure can get real pissy with their power............So, You want David Price in the rotation in Anaheim? You cannot afford him...........The Randall Grichuk story: the role of prospects in trades...........Thievery is on the decline. Is there a new sheriff in town?..........Indoor baseball, born on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. And then sanctioned, officially, Christmas Day, 1888...........It's a long wait until Spring Training, but here are nine baseball reasons to be thankful.
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday...for beer...
(People, people. It's Tryptophan Tyme in America, when mom's everywhere are executing dawn raids on WalMarts everywhere, and little kids welcome iSanta eClaus into their twitter little lives. The Beer World has abandoned us at the moment. We are almost on our own.)
Friday: Bourbon County Bottle Release at Adam Fine Wins and Liquor in Redondo Beach
Sunday: CraftClub At The Rockefeller, a beer & food event, will be at The Rockefeller in Hermosa Beach.