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  1. #1

    Default Mlb

    I didn't realize we don't have a generic baseball thread.

    Here's a good topic to start it off.

    MLB intends to ban plate collisions

    By Ronald Blum

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.

    New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement Wednesday at the winter meetings. Player safety and concern over concussions were major factors in the decision.

    "Ultimately what we want to do is change the culture of acceptance that these plays are ordinary and routine and an accepted part of the game," Alderson said. "The costs associated in terms of health and injury just no longer warrant the status quo."

    Alderson said wording of the rules change will be presented to owners for approval at their Jan. 16 meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

    "The exact language and how exactly the rule will be enforced is subject to final determination," he said. "We're going to do fairly extensive review of the types of plays that occur at home plate to determine which we're going to find acceptable and which are going to be prohibited."

    Approval of the players' union is needed for the rules change to be effective for 2014.

    "If the players' association were to disapprove, then the implementation of the rule would be suspended for one year, but could be implemented unilaterally after that time," Alderson said.

    The union declined comment, pending a review of the proposed change.

    Former All-Star first baseman Tony Clark, who became head of the union this month, said in November: "Suffice it to say, the players have some thoughts of their own regarding home-plate collisions."

    Discussion to limit or ban collisions has intensified since May 2011, when San Francisco's Buster Posey was injured by Florida's Scott Cousins. Posey, an All-Star catcher, sustained a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, an injury that ended his season.

    Posey returned to win the NL batting title and MVP award in 2012, when he led the Giants to their second World Series title in three seasons.

    "This is, I think, in response to a few issues that have arisen," Alderson said. "One is just the general occurrence of injuries from these incidents at home plate that affect players, both runners and catchers. And also kind of the general concern about concussions that exists not only in baseball but throughout professional sports and amateur sports today. It's an emerging issue, and one that we in baseball have to address, as well as other sports."

    Former catchers Joe Girardi, Bruce Bochy and Mike Matheny all of them now managing in the majors attended Wednesday's meeting.

    "I think there will be two levels of enforcement of this rule," Alderson said. "One will be with respect to whether the runner is declared safe or out based on conduct. So, for example, intentionally running over the catcher might result in an out call. So I think that the enforcement will be on the field as well as subsequent consequences in the form of fines and suspensions and the like."

    But drafting the rule figures to be complicated.

    "Does it include at every base or just home plate?" Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "What's considered blocking the plate and how do you define all of it?"

    The NCAA instituted a rule on collisions for the 2011 season, saying "contact above the waist that was initiated by the base runner shall not be judged as an attempt to reach the base or plate." The umpire can call the runner out and can eject the player if contact is determined to be malicious or flagrant.

    "The actual detail, frankly the kinds of plays that we're trying to eliminate, we haven't finely determined," Alderson said. "I would expect to put together 100 of these plays and identify which ones we want to continue to allow and others that we want to prohibit, and draft a rule accordingly."

    ___

    AP Sports Writer Howie Rumberg contributed to this report.

  2. #2

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    I can only remember one plate collision that resulted in having a long term impact to one of the players involved - Pete Rose colliding with Ray Fosse at the plate during extra innings of an All-Star game during the 1970 All Star game which resulted in a fractured and separated shoulder. Fosse claims that injury had a lasting impact on his career



    I also remember Thurman Munson getting knocked cold by a collision at the plate in Baltimore. If memory serves, he dropped the ball as he passed out and was assessed an error - his first and maybe only of the year.

    The only other major injury I recall is the Posey sited above. Clearly, that injury did not impact his 2012 performance.

    Of course, this does add to the wear and tear that is part of the occupational hazzerd of being a catcher, but at first blush, this rule proposal seems like an overreaction. The natural comparison is the rule banning helmet-to-helmet collisions in the NFL (a rule I support) but home plate collisions do not happen with anything near the frequency and as far as I know, result in far fewer injuries with long term results.

    The problem is, enforcing the rule might mean not allowing the catcher to block the plate, which adds an element of judgment on the umps part, ambiguity and needless complexity. I am not sure it is a problem needing to be fixed.

  3. #3

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    It will be hard to enforce these changes without placing more authority in the hands of the home plate umpire. Why not have a special tag at home plate giving the umpire the discretion to call a running out before he gets to the plate? Call it a home-plate TFO -- technical force out.

    They could call it the Fosse (or Posey) Rule, and unlike the Brady Bill this one would have a chance.
    Last edited by hbcat; December 12th, 2013 at 08:56 PM.

  4. #4

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    So just as baseball is on a perilous slide down the slope of national interest they remove one of most interesting and rarest elements of the game? Smart move.

    What's next, no fighting in ice hockey?

  5. #5

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    MLB had unprecedented growth this past decade. From 2007 to 2012, revenues increased 50%, $5.5 to $7.5 billions. Projection for 2014 is $9 billion.

    For comparison, NFL revenues in 2012 were $9.5 billion.

    The Yankees, valued at $3.28 billion, are at the top of the heap; but 10 teams are valued over $1 billion. The "troubled" Mets are #4 at $2 billion. The shitty Astros are #16 at $800 million.
    Cool interactive team valuation graphic

    Overall attendance was down a little over 1% in 2013.

    There were some individual team problems, including the Yankees. They led the AL in attendance, but it dropped about 260,000 over 2012; they have pricing issues. The Marlins were horrible, not selling out one game. Indians, Mets, and Phillies were also down substantially.

    On the other side: Giants have sold out 246 consecutive games. Rangers drew over 3 million back to back, first time in club history. Blue Jays had highest attendance in 15 years, and led league in increase over 2012. Pirates, Orioles, Reds, and Nats had record or near record attendence.

    In what shrinking universe is Jhonny Peralta worth $53 million? Maybe it's his name; google it and you won't get much of anything else.

  6. #6

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    Not for anything, but how is Jacoby Ellsbury worth $155MM for 7 years??

    He is a nice player, but $23MM a year for 7 years??

    This is where the Yankees lose me - I completely understand not signng Cano for 10 years but at the end of the day, they offer him $3MM /yr more than Ellsbury? Is Ellsbury really that close to Cano in value?

    Put another way, if he is healthy isn't Granderson at 4/60 a better value than Ellsbury's 7/155? I mean it is $8MM/yr in the Yankees pocket they can use for pitching, or another middle infielder. They could have even sweetened up Cano's 7 year deal a bit (not the full $8MM)

  7. #7

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    Well, I think if you're talking about long-term contracts, the term length gets really important. So when you reach let's say the end of six years, which is a long time for a mid career baseball player - assuming that two players are starting to wind down, you can work around one remaining year, but it's impossible to look past four years.

    So it's $87 million.

    Before Cano signed, there was a meeting in Seattle in which the Mariners thought their offer for 9 years was going to be accepted; but Cano's people wanted the 10th year and the deal almost collapsed. When an agent puts out a starting point around $300 million, how far do you think the Yankees would have to go? Well above $200 million, I think.

    As for Ellsbury, they did overpay, but it became necessary to sign him; and although Cano is a much better player, he priced himself out of the market, leaving only the Yankees and one crazy offer.

    Ellsbury, on the other hand, had several teams looking to sign him. He was in a market where I just found out that Boone Logan got a three-year $16.5 million contract. A specialty pitcher who's sometimes good, sometimes bad.

    Whoa.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    Not for anything
    Isn't the correct term 'not for nothing'?

  9. #9

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    "not for anything' doesn't work?

  10. #10

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    I wonder how many pitchers will go for this this season?:




    MLB approves padded cap for pitchers

    Optional headwear to be introduced in effort to help protect hurlers from line drives

    By Paul Hagen / MLB.com



    Major League Baseball has approved a padded cap designed to protect pitchers from potentially dangerous line drives.

    After testing a number of prototypes from various companies, a cap manufactured by the 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox will be made available to pitchers at all levels when they report to Spring Training. Use of the equipment will be optional. Since the caps need to be fitted, players who are interested will be provided with contact information for the company.

    There are no plans to require Minor League players to wear the product.

    MLB, which will continue to work with other companies that are developing products to enhance safety, alerted all teams of the development Tuesday morning after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

    "We're excited to have a product that meets our safety criteria," MLB's executive vice president for labor relations Dan Halem told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Tuesday. "MLB is committed to working with manufacturers to develop products that offer maximum protection to our players, and we're not stopping at all."

    This development came almost 17 months after pitcher Brandon McCarthy, then with the Athletics, sustained serious head injuries after being struck by a line drive, an incident that triggered increased discussion about ways to protect pitchers.

    According to ESPN, Halem and MLB senior counsel for labor relations Patrick Houlihan said the threshold for approval was that the cap had to provide protection at 83 mph, which is below the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) severity index of 1,200, above which is considered to be high risk for skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries. An MLB-commissioned study determined that 83 mph is the average speed of a line drive when it reaches the area of the pitching mound.

    According to the company, the caps are slightly more than a half-inch thicker in the front and an inch thicker near the temples than standard caps, and they provide frontal impact protection up to 90 mph and for side impact up to 85 mph.

    There had been some thought that protective caps would be available last spring. That it took so much longer is a testament to the exacting standards MLB required.

    "The process that Major League Baseball took was very careful and deliberate. This wasn't something they were rushing to do," 4LC chief executive officer Bruce Foster said in a conference call. "They took their time and made sure that we had dotted our i's and crossed our t's. There was nothing that was left unturned. They were prudent. They understood the importance of protective gear for a pitcher, and there was no cutting of any corners. It was very deliberate, it was very practical and it was very valuable testing."

    The padding adds seven ounces to the weight of a cap, which currently weighs three to four ounces. The company does not believe the caps will interfere with a pitcher's motion or comfort, adding that the best available stats indicate that 12 pitchers have been hit in the head by line drives during the past six seasons.

    One, of course, was McCarthy, who worked with the company as it developed prototypes. And it was an indication of how tough a sell this could be for Major Leaguers when he told ESPN.com that the model he had tested was "too big" and "didn't pass the eye test" and was "too hot."

    McCarthy added: "The technology is there. It helps. It's proven to help. But I don't think it's ready yet as a Major League ready product."

    Responded Mark Panko, 4LC president of sports and entertainment: "We are very sensitive to Brandon's injury. Brandon has provided us with great feedback throughout the process. We're working with him and anyone else who's interested in wearing the cap to insure it overcomes any of those objections. ... He has yet to try on a cap that has been custom-fitted to his head. The cap he's tried to date has been a rough guesstimate. Those comments are in advance of the small tweaks he requested. Once he gets those, we feel comfortable and confident that he'll feel good about the cap."

    Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, who suffered a fractured skull when struck by a line drive last May 7, was also non-committal.

    "I'd have to see what the differences in feel would be -- does it feel close enough to a regular cap?" Happ told ESPN. "You don't want to be out there thinking about it and have it take away from your focus on what you're doing."

    National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw told MLB Network that he also has some reservations, although he's optimistic that baseball is moving in the right direction.

    "I've actually tried one of those on," said Kershaw. "I've thrown with it. You don't look very cool. I'll be honest. You don't look very cool out there. But technology is unbelievable, and it really doesn't feel that much different once you get used to it.

    Obviously it would be a change. We wouldn't look the same as everybody else, but if you're that one guy who gets hit what seems like every year, there's that chance out there. I'm definitely not opposed to it. I think it'd take a lot of getting used to. I think it's a great thing and a step in the right direction, for sure."

    The new equipment will not prevent all injuries and many of the more seriously injured pitchers were struck below the cap line. There has been no discussion of expanding this initiative to include visors, masks or helmets.

    "There would have to be widespread willingness among players to use such a device," Halem said. "Short of wearing a helmet, I am doubtful there'll be a product to protect against 100 mph. Hopefully there will be."

    The company officials said that the early response from youth leagues has been overwhelming -- cap liners using the technology are expected to be available before the end of March -- and suggested that acceptance may start there and work
    upward as players who have become accustomed to the protection begin filtering into professional baseball and, ultimately, the Major Leagues.

    "If you've ever seen a 90 mph impact on a head, which I saw up front and personal because of the testing, it's vicious," Foster said. "The way I look at it is, nobody wanted to wear a helmet in hockey. Nobody wanted a facemask in football. Then you saw the visors and the whole migration. I think it's going to evolve. It won't be overnight. It's a lifestyle change. It looks different now and it will look different until it doesn't look different anymore."


    Paul Hagen
    is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


  11. #11
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    If they want guys to wear something voluntarily, it has to be cool looking. An oversized hat isn't.

  12. #12

  13. #13

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    I would wear it. 'Cool looking' be damned.

  14. #14

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    For reasons to complex to explain, I looked up the salaries of key personel from the AL Champion 1965 Minnesota Twins.

    Note the salary of 1965 AL MVP Zolio Versalles and Tony Oliva who won the batting title in 1964 and 65. And how much do you think Harmon Killebrew would be worth in today's market?

    Enjoy

    1965 Minnesota Twins
    Salaries
    Harmon Killebrew $50,000.00
    Camilo Pascual $46,500.00
    Bob Allison $38,250.00
    Zoilo Versalles $28,000.00
    Jim Kaat $27,000.00
    Al Worthington $22,000.00
    Mudcat Grant $21,500.00
    Tony Oliva $20,000.00
    Jerry Kindall $15,000.00
    Frank Kostro $10,000.00
    Cesar Tovar $6,000.00
    Last edited by eddhead; March 24th, 2014 at 01:25 PM.

  15. #15

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    Back story of Yasiel Puig's journey to America should concern Dodgers

    A Los Angeles Magazine story paints a frightening picture of how Puig escaped Cuba.
    The Dodgers must ponder whether there are safety issues for Puig and others at Dodger Stadium.

    By Bill Plaschke April 14, 2014

    Seemingly from the moment Cuban refugee Yasiel Puig showed up at Dodger Stadium out of nowhere, arriving last June unwilling to discuss his unknown background, the talk behind the batting cages has been rife with unprintable rumors.

    There were rumors Puig was smuggled out of Cuba by members of a Mexican drug cartel. There were rumors he still owed the smugglers money, and that his life could be in jeopardy. There was talk about Puig being essentially owned by a Miami businessman with a criminal record who hired those smugglers in exchange for 20% of the ballplayer's future earnings.

    Who knew that all those rumors could actually be true? According to a richly researched and chillingly written story by Jesse Katz in the May issue of Los Angeles Magazine, Puig's journey to Los Angeles was even more harrowing than realized, and continues to be more frightening than imagined.

    In an account featuring on-the-record interviews and court records, Katz details how, in June of 2012, Puig was smuggled to Mexico by members of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel, his trip funded by a Miami air-conditioning repairman named Raul Pacheco who was on probation for attempted burglary. The smugglers held Puig in a seedy Mexican hotel for more than two weeks while attempting to extract increased payments from Pacheco. Eventually Puig was taken from the hotel by a gang organized by Pacheco and soon thereafter joined the Dodgers by signing a $42-million contract.

    The stunning timeline doesn't even scratch the surface of a compelling tale that recounts Puig's humble childhood in a tiny rural village, how he was dropped from his Cuban league team for disciplinary reasons, reports of his failed defections, and accusations that he turned in potential defectors to the Cuban government while planning his own escape.

    The story is recommended reading for anybody searching for a better understanding of the 23-year-old enigma who can be both thrilling and baffling, both on and off the field, the Dodgers' most exciting and aggravating player. Even more, the story is an absolute must-read for Dodgers fans and players, because its edges are filled with a danger that may have not dissipated.

    Where there were once rumors, now there are questions:

    The story reports that late in the summer of 2012, the smugglers still wanted their money, and threatened to harm Puig unless he paid. Now that Puig is a multi-millionaire, are the smugglers still involved, and could that involvement one day lead to Dodger Stadium?

    The story notes that in the fall of 2012, one of the smugglers was killed, execution-style, after Puig allegedly complained about the harassment to his former agent, Gilberto Suarez. Could there be revenge involved, and could that one day lead to Dodger Stadium?

    The story details how Pacheco will be given 20% of all of Puig's future earnings in a deal that is not unusual for desperate Cuban players. Does this mean that the rumors of Pacheco's appearances around the Dodgers last year were true? Is this Miami man quietly pulling the strings on Puig's turbulent life?

    The Dodgers refused to comment on the Puig issue Monday, and his agent, Adam Katz, did not returns calls. Puig has steadfastly refused to speak publicly about his past, and would not discuss it with Los Angeles Magazine's Katz.

    Since security issues are best kept secure, the Dodgers are just probably being responsible in not acknowledging what they are doing to protect Puig and everyone fans and players included around him.

    But they should clearly be doing something, specifically building on a boost in security that began last season. Shortly after Puig's arrival last summer, the bodyguard quotient around the Dodgers' dugout noticeably increased. This winter, that same security detail could be seen around Puig in public. One can only hope this season the added security remains, both on the field and in the stands, particularly when Puig is standing alone in right field.

    Top-level Dodgers officials surely knew much about Puig's journey when they signed him. Although little is known about the backgrounds of many Cuban players, Puig's story is reportedly not that uncommon. His circumstances are more combustible only because he is one of the highest-paid defectors, and more money attracts more trouble.

    As for Puig, the story probably won't change many of the two disparate opinions of him. He is painted as both a childlike refugee simply trying to adjust to a new world, and a cold-blooded, self-involved star with little respect for anything that does not make him shine.

    The real truth about Yasiel Puig, of course, is probably somewhere in the middle, somewhere deep in a drama that continues to this day, more harrowing than believed, more frightening than imagined.

    bill.plaschke@latimes.com

    Twitter: @billplaschke

    Copyright 2014, Los Angeles Times

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