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R.I.P. Rapid Robert, Fixing Scott Kazmir. Halolinks.

Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, 92, dies of leukemia - ESPN
Teenage pitching sensation, World War II hero, outspoken Hall of Famer and local sports treasure. Bob Feller was all of them. One of a kind, he was an American original. Blessed with a right arm that earned the Iowa farmboy the nickname "Rapid Robert" and made him one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, Feller, who left baseball in the prime of his career to fight for his country, died Wednesday night. He was 92.

My dad was the same age as Feller and grew up just down the highway from Feller's Iowa home. He briefly played baseball in the same "circle" as Feller and used to tell the story about one of his games. In kind of a gruesome story, my dad told me that Feller threw so hard when he accidentally hit one of my dad's teammates in the check with a pitch, the player's face was permanently moved over on his skull. The shit parents tell their kids. RIP Mr. Feller.

Adjusting Scott Kazmir - Baseball Intellect
Watching film of Scott Kazmir, not a whole lot jumped out at me as for why he was suffering from velocity loss in 2010. I only noticed maybe one major difference in him mechanically, but it wasn’t something that seemed like it would make a big difference with his velocity. However, this wasn’t the first time Kazmir suffered from a sudden loss of velocity. There was a point in 2009 where his velocity lagged behind its normal self and he made the necessary adjustments to correct himself later in the year. So when I went to look at the tape from 2009, I was surprised to see that the very same problem that afflicted him 2009 was afflicting him 2010, only this time he never made the necessary adjustments. Let me lay out the exact mechanical problem…

This is a really cool article by Alex Eisenberg with video (animated GIF) showing the differences in Kazmir's delivery.


Crazy thought: Why not bring Figgins home? - The Orange County Register
If the Angels really were willing to give Carl Crawford $142 million, or anything close, they’ve got a lot of cash laying around. And they still have leadoff and third-base problems, right? So why not swap, say arbitration-eligible Alberto Callaspo, to the Seattle Mariners and bring Chone Figgins home? The cost-conscious Mariners would probably do that in a heartbeat. Hey, they can take a flyer on Brandon Wood, too, if that’s what it takes.

Figgins had a down year last season, but when looking at his stats for this post, I noticed he's gotten into the odd-even year thing. Starting in 2005 when he posted an OPS+ of 101, he's alternated with good seasons in odd years and down seasons in even years. Here's the OPS+ breakdown starting in 2005: 101, 85, 117, 82, 110, and 84. If he continues to follow this trend, the Angels should put him their lineup next season (and then get rid of him again in 2012).

Jon Heyman reveals his Hall of Fame ballot, so once again we discuss Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven - HardballTalk
I won’t rehash every argument again, but I will raise this point once again: you can vote for Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame. You can vote for Bert Blyleven for the Hall of Fame. You can also keep both of them out if you’re a small-Hall kind of guy. You cannot, however, vote for Jack Morris and not vote for Bert Blyleven.

It's that time of year again...the "Hall of Fame ballot debates". Who deserves votes and who doesn't.

Los Angeles May Not Have An NFL Team, But It Does Have Three Shiny Stadium Designs
Earlier this month, Magic Johnson announced that he will team up with AEG owner Phil Andschutz and former Timberwolves CEO Tim Leiweke to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles.

I know it's not baseball related, but it is an interesting story. I'm sure most of you have seen the video of the Metrodome roof collapse, here it is again:

Pretty crazy stuff. Anyway, how does the Los Angeles Vikings sound?

December 16 - BR Bullpen
1976 - Court proceedings in Charlie Finley's $10 million damage suit against Commissioner Bowie Kuhn begin in Chicago. At issue is Kuhn's voiding of Finley's attempted player sales last June. The proceedings will take 15 days, and the decision will take three months.
2002 - The Twins release 1B David Ortiz. The unheralded player will soon be picked up by the Red Sox, for whom he will develop as one of the most accomplished sluggers in the game.
2009 - The Angels sign DH Hideki Matsui, the MVP of the 2009 World Series, to a one-year deal.
Happy b-day:
1892 - Scrappy Moore, infielder (d. 1964) Scrappy! Mike Scioscia wanted to get this guy, that is until he found out he was dead. I think he still considered it though.