Archive for the ‘HardBall Talkin’’ Category

joey votto agency

MLB Trade Rumors is an indispensable resource for just about any baseball fan. Unlike other rumor-based sites, it plays the role of aggregator to a tee. Former editor Ben Nicholson-Smith recently left MLB TR but they roll on, still bringing the latest and greatest in trade talk to plugged-in baseball fans.

MLBTR doesn’t just process the news, they create tons of their own content on a regular basis. In this respect, it is an oasis in the internet churn desert.

Not content to just take over the world of page views, it appears Tim Dierkes and MLBTR are moving on up in the world – following in the footsteps of Jay Z to become player agents. The (fan-sourced) contracts section on Joey Votto’s Fangraphs player page lists MLBTR founder Tim Dierkes and former editor Ben “Benny Fresh” Nicholson-Smith as Joey Votto‘s agent and agency on his current $200 million contract. Even at 4%, that’s a nice chunk of change!

I don’t think Votto’s actual agent Dan Lozano needs to sweat, as this appears to be just a simple data entry error. But still! Watching MLBTR grow and expand, I wouldn’t put this past them in the not-so-distant future.

And with that Earth-shaking thunderclap, Vernon Wells‘ OBP dipped below .300. Even though they all knew it was coming, it STILL scared the Yankees Scarier yet: they have to keep playing him.

Tease as we might, the Yankees got all they needed out of Vernon Wells. They stayed above water when all their starters were out. The inevitable regression (at the speed of sound, apparently) won’t surprise anyone, least of all the Yankees front office who saw their best case scenario play out.

Now, if they have to continue relying on him, well that’s a whole ‘nother matter.

The Detroit Tigers infield defense is something of a joke among baseball fans. And for good reason, between Miguel Cabrera at third, Jhonny Peralta at short and Prince Fielder at first, there isn’t a lot of “range” represented by their infield full of sluggers.

As a result, pitchers like Doug Fister have to work a little harder in their starts. Usually that means throwing more pitches and registering more strikeouts to keep the plodding infielders neutralized. Last night, it meant storming off the mound like a 6’8 dynamo and making a terrific little toss to retire a speedy runner in Starling Marte.

Whatever works. By the way, Fister also pitched a brilliant game, striking out 12 over seven shutout innings.

There is no end to my enjoyment of Adrian Beltre. He’s a Hall of Fame-calibre player who also plays with plus √©lan and plus plus joie de vivre. He might not get into the Hall of Fame but, as I tweeted on the weekend, I want to join the BBWAA just so I might cast a Hall ballot in favor of Adrian Beltre (and Scott Rolen, too.)

When it comes to screwing around on the field, Adrian Beltre is an 80-grade hero. This weekend he battled friend and former teammate Felix Hernandez and nothing but good times resulted.

Good times pretty much follow Beltre around, as this incredible GIF gallery by Fangraphs’ newest GIF wizard DShep25 clearly demonstrates (as does this buzzfeed thing which is much less cool because buzzfeed.)

Please click through and enjoy all that Adrian Beltre has to offer. I quite literally almost chocked/died laughing at some of them.

Hitting three home runs in a game is hard. Very hard, in fact. Last night, Ryan Zimmerman did just that, becoming just the third Nationals player to clout three taters in a single game. He did it against the hated Orioles in an interleague battle at Camden Yards. Which doesn’t make it any less cool, though there were a grand total of eight homers hit in the game overall.

Ryan Zimmerman is something of a Getting Blanked whipping boy because of his ongoing shoulder issues which prevent him from throwing baseballs like a cot damn man. But let’s give him a pass for now, as three homer days tend to live a little longer than weird flip throws across the infield.

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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reliever Robert Coello’s forkball is all the rage. The pitch pictured above in .gif form may look like knuckleball, but it’s actually an “original forkball”, as Baseball Nation‘s Rob Neyer refers to it.

Neyer wrote about Coello’s ‘WTF’ pitch, as his catchers call it, and the history of the forkball last week:

It looks like a forkball before he throws it, but a knuckleball after he throws it. I’m not saying that nobody’s thrown that pitch in recent memory, because before all the video and the guys record stuff from video, all we had were words and sometimes words fail us.

But this, my friends, is the original forkball. The forkball we know — a slightly slower split-finger fastball, but still with quite a lot of spin — is not the original forkball. The forkball we know was invented … well, I’ve never been able to figure out exactly when.

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At least, that’s what it looks like in this video clip. Sure, they came from behind to beat the beleaguered Yankees in a go-nowhere season but man, at least they had some fun with it. Scratching out two runs against Mariano Rivera on three consecutive bleeders? Whatever. There are no pictures in the box score and this win might well be the highlight of their season.

As was repeated ad nauseum last night, this was the first time in his career that Mariano Rivera blew a save and failed to record an out. Just the third appearance in which he failed to get anybody out of the 1072 career appearances.

So celebrate, weak sisters of Gotham. Last night was your night, you deserve to whoop it up a little bit.