Thursday, August 08, 2019

Blog Kiosk: 8/8/2019 - Dodgers Links - 'It's unbelievable'

All we do is win! Per Sarah Wexler at Yahoo Sports:
“It just seems like every day, there’s somebody different that you’re pouring Gatorade on,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s really good to see. It’s great for our ballclub -- a testament to their desire, their will to play 27 outs.” 
“It’s unbelievable to be a part of a club where you know you’re never out of it,” said Dustin May, who kept the Dodgers in it with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his second Major League start. “It’s a wonderful feeling.”
The Dodgers beat the Cardinals, 2-1 (boxscore), on their 10th walk-off of the season. This time, it was Russell Martin with the game-winning two-run single up the middle to win.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2019 at Dodger Insider. Go here to check out more pics from yesterdays game. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1903 Dodger pitcher Henry Schmidt is thrown out of the game when he angrily threw the Baseball out of the park (Trevor Bauer style). He did this because a run scored while his idiot infielders were arguing a close call. In 1954 Gil Hodges came up to bat in the eight inning three times. He started the inning by tripling, then hit a double his second time up, and finally flied out to center for the last out of the inning. Amazingly, 12 of the 13 runs scored that inning happened with two outs. In 1963 Frank Howard and Bill "Moose" Skowron of the Dodgers become only the second duo in baseball history to hit back-to-back pinch-hit home runs. In 2000 Dodger Stadium got a dose of homophobia. After being seen kissing, a female couple is removed from the stadium and told to never come back due to "lewd behavior". The Dodgers quickly realized what century they were in and profusely apologized -- contributing tickets to various LGBT groups and providing sensitivity training to its employees.
  • Happy BirthdayAlanna RizzoClise DudleyTot Pressnell & Frank Howard!
  • YouTube Video: Dustin May speaks with Liz Habib at Fox11 and discusses his nickname (video link).
  • Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider -- "Fans can order ahead from seats as Dodgers partner with Postmates."
  • Per Ben Clemens at FanGaphs -- "What Remains of Clayton Kershaw." The 'Claw' is roaring back to life.
Wonder why Kershaw’s slider was missing less bats? It simply wasn’t getting the separation, either in velocity or movement, that it needed. Those most recent six starts? They changed the pattern. The velocity gap increased by .9 mph, the movement gap by two full inches. The movement differential isn’t quite back to 2016 levels, but it’s heading that way. Two inches is everything when it comes to missing bats, and giving the slider more time to break and drop was an easy way to get that separation.
Want an evocative demonstration of the value of this added separation? From the beginning of 2018 until July 1, Kershaw got 268 swings at sliders outside of the strike zone. That’s exactly what he wanted — for his career, batters whiff on 63.3% of such pitches. But for 2018 and most of 2019, he simply wasn’t getting those whiffs. Batters came up empty on only 49% of their swings, nearly five standard deviations below his old rate. Pitches that should have ended at-bats resulted in foul balls and gave batters another bite at the apple. For the past six starts, he’s generated whiffs on 69% of the same swings, recapturing his old form.
  • Magic Mud! Per Emma Baccellieri at Sports Ilustrated -- "Mud Maker: The Man Behind MLB’s Essential Secret Sauce." I've always found this aspect of baseball equipment/ accessories to be one of the more fascinating parts of the game.
The business is small and fundamentally unglamorous. Bintliff harvests the mud himself, using only a shovel and a few buckets, as he has for his entire adult life. The 62-year-old has recently begun bringing a trusted assistant to help him carry the load, but other than that, the process is the same as it has always been. After he collects the mud, he hauls it back to his yard in southern New Jersey, where it sits until he’s ready to pack it up in his garage and ship it out to teams. His wife, Joanne, takes orders and does invoicing. That’s it. There’s no one and nothing else to the operation. It’s increasingly out of place in a hyper-controlled, ultra-competitive, high-tech league, where every detail is calibrated for peak efficiency.
“I know the mud,” he says. “I’m the only one on the planet who does.”
  • Here's an early look at the Tommy Lasorda bobblehead being given out on Wednesday, September 4th against the Rockies.
  • There was some controversy at the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC). Via Rich Mueller at Sports Collectors Daily -- "Grand Jury Subpoenas Part of NSCC Events."
Sports Collectors Daily has learned that multiple FBI agents were at the Stephens Convention Center during the week and that several hobby businesses received subpoenas seeking sales lists, customer records and other material.  The effort appears tied to an industry probe of transactions, including those involving altered trading cards.
My comments: As someone who used to sell cards at conventions in the late-80's, I can say definitively that scam artist exist within the hobby. So, I find it encouraging that the Feds are stepping in to right the wrongs. This type of behavior must be rooted out, and those who participate need to be driven-away from the hobby.
  • Via Chris Cwik at Yahoo Sports -- "Two U.S. Senators are calling for MLB to gather and report data on foul ball injuries." Teams need to get ahead of politics. Fences -- foul pole to foul pole -- need to be installed... And soon.
  • What.....? Via Liz Roscher at Yahoo Sports -- "Yankees, White Sox to play game on 'Field of Dreams' diamond in 2020." These tickets will be impossible to get, but it'll be so worth it for everyone who attends. Wow!

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