Baseball’s Shortest Porch

Yogi Berra, it is claimed, once said “You can observe a lot just by watching.” You can learn a lot too, and some of those things you learn can take you in unusual directions.

The thought behind this post, began to bounce around in my head when I was looking at Hit Tracker Online. It is a website that estimates the ‘true distance’ and plots the path of every home run hit in the majors. The site takes video and wind speed with other weather info and puts it together to estimate how high, how hard, and how far every home run ball is struck.

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Signs of Life

The Blue Jays are now, after a road trip through Tampa and Boston, sitting at 15-24. They are in dead last in their division. And yet, I am encouraged. Through April, and even through the first few games in May, there were a lot of places to point the finger of blame. At some point, every aspect of the game had failed miserably. Injuries, defense, lack of clutch hitting, bullpen meltdowns, starters getting shelled. Every night, you could see something going wrong, and it proved to be the Jays undoing twice as often as they were able to salvage something. 11-21 was the record as they set out on the road last week. they were, to my eyes, almost unwatchable.

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Jays Try To Regroup After Streak Snapped

The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Seattle Mariners 10-2 on Sunday afternoon. They were unable to build on the consistent results against Seattle and Boston early in the week, and scored early and often.

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Manager John Gibbons was victimized by unexpected efforts from bench players Rajai Davis and Mark DeRosa, both of whom contributed on the offensive side well beyond expectation. Melky Carbera also threw off the team’s plans, homering for the first time this season. Gibbons was asked about the end of the four game losing streak in the post game scrum. He was subdued, as usual. Continue reading

Frustration Nation

This is just about the worst. I say ‘just about’, only because the Florida Marlins and Houston Astros exist, and are, for their own reasons, locked in a battle for worstness.

The Toronto Blue Jays, team that I love, is about to finish April, and in the season in which they were to realize the dream of rising to the top, they have begun by sinking to the bottom. Hard. They may finish the month at 9-18 or 10-17. It will be their worst April since 2004, a year in which they finished 67-94, and finished dead last in the AL East.

The best OBP in the lineup belongs to a platoon player, Adam Lind. The best OPS to a shortstop who was the offensive table-setter for this team until he sprained his ankle and began a 2-3 month stint on the DL. The best everyday hitter has an OPS of .824. he has walked twice and struck out 37 times.

The starter with the lowest ERA is J.A. Happ, the man who didn’t have a major league job until Ricky Romero lost the strikezone so badly that he landed in Florida A Ball games rebuilding his delivery. The other four starters have the four worst ERAs on the team.

Not starter has thrown a pitch in the 8th inning of any game.

Josh Johnson has triceps tightness, R.A. Dickey can’t quiet his barking neck and back, Sergio Santos is on the 15 day DL. Casey Janssen can’t be used on back to back days except in extreme emergencies.

Emilio Bonifacio appears to be playing with spring-loaded glove and a noodle tied to his shoulder. Maicer Izturis spent 3 weeks playing third looking like there should be a cutoff man to help with long throws. Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco both turn around when you shout ‘Hey, old man!’ and both do it as slowly as they turn on a fastball.

So yeah, feels like the playoffs are just around the corner….. mocking the team and their fans.

I’m sure I’ve missed some other gory details, feel free to remind me of what I’ve blocked out in the comments.

 

 

 

This is not a Mirage: Brett Cecil In Late innings.

This is the velocity chart for Brett Cecil’s last appearance of 2012.

vs twins 2012Brett transitioned to the bullpen in 2012, after trying, and failing to find a way to be effective with an 89mph fastball as a starter.  When he switched to relief, he picked up some speed on his fastball. His hardest pitch on that night was a 2-seam fastball at 92.81 miles per hour, as per Brooks Baseball. Continue reading

Nine Things I Learned This Spring Training

1. Melky Cabrera is sorry…. that he won’t be giving any more interviews until the first question is about something he did ON the field.

2. Colby Rasmus has a custom glove with the word ‘Razzle’ written on it. I don’t know if he has had ‘Dazzle’ tattooed anywhere on his body. I suspect that he does.

3. The only ribs I ever want to have to hear about from Brett Lawrie are the full rack of baby back that he just devoured. Eat ’em, don’t tweak them.

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