“The transition from player to coach is often a difficult one with numerous components factoring into a successful move from the playing field to the dugout and backfields. For many, the passion and drive to perform on the field are still present, but the body sometimes breaks down and an eroding skillset often betrays the player. Becoming a good coach won’t happen until one is able to put their playing days in the rearview mirror.”

“This post goes along with my previous post in which I found that ‘…an All-Star selection can increase a player’s salary significantly; on average by $1,517,550.’ What I did not demonstrate there, but intend to explain here, is how that increase in a player’s salary the year after an All-Star selection relates to their statistical performance in that same year.”

“I wanted to try and collate some interesting things together that tangentially bring together my favourite holiday and my favourite sport. I originally wanted to take a look at players with funny Christmas-based names, or make up a festive team, but baseball-reference beat me to it. Instead, I figured I’d look at pitchers in 2013 & 2014 about whom you could start to read far too much into their performance, and determine if they’d been naughty or nice, as per the great Christmas parenting behaviour technique.”

“I am fascinated with MLB player salaries (all sports salaries for that matter), and I wanted to know if it was worth anything to the player to be selected to an All-Star team. I know players typically have incentives built into their contract for achievements such as this, but they usually fall under the category of a one time bonus. What about their actual salary? Is it affected if the player makes an All-Star team?”

“Whenever a new coach takes over a team, there is a power struggle. Players jostle for depth chart positioning, recognizing the clean slate that can erase prior misdeeds or accomplishments. They also jostle for positioning with their coach, because for a few years, the returning players actually have seniority over their new skipper. Determining who calls the shots can sometimes be a bloody and protracted battle.”

“The fortunate few get to root in person for their hometown team in a World Series. Brian Daubach, who grew up twenty miles from St. Louis, lived out that dream as a 10-year-old boy, attending a game during the 1982 Fall Classic as the Cardinals took on the Milwaukee Brewers. He thought it would be the highlight of his baseball life. He was wrong.”

“The Baseball Hall of Fame—as a museum and a process by which former players (and others) are enshrined—is more art than science, and more kitsch than authentic. This is something to keep in mind as you read about the Hall of Fame voting this month. You’ll read a lot about capricious voting, sanctimony, and cheating. Emotional and seemingly arbitrary voting is nothing new.”

“I became a baseball fan in 1997. I used to listen to the radio broadcasts of the nearest minor league baseball team (90 miles away from where I grew up). I would keep score by hand until either the radio frequency changed (making it impossible to hear the play-by-play) or until I fell asleep, whichever came first. Fast-forward seventeen years to the summer of 2014, and I found myself in the role of official scorer for that same minor league club.”

“Thousands of pitchers have played major league baseball. Most of us only remember the greats and rightly so. Hall of Famers like Walter Johnson, Sandy Koufax, and Greg Maddux. These are great pitchers and should be remembered. But what about all the others? There are a few that have slipped through the cracks that I find very interesting.”

“And yet…no matter how many baseball games I’ve seen, I frequently find myself witnessing something I’ve never seen before. It doesn’t make any sense. To my knowledge, the play described below has only happened once in the history of baseball. I have never seen anything like it before or since. I believe it to be the single worst play ever to take place on a baseball diamond. You decide.”

“We all know by now that every team that makes the postseason doesn’t always start off strong. The 1985 World Champion Royals, the last Kansas City team to make the postseason prior to 2014, were a .500 team at the All Star Break that year. The 2014 Royals were nearly the same, claiming a 48-46 record at the break – six and a half games behind division nemesis Detroit.”

“The Minnesota Twins recently added pitching prospect Alex Meyer to their 40-man roster which protects him from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. Meyer was originally the 23rd overall pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2011 draft before he was dealt to the Twins organization in exchange for Denard Span. Last season the 6’9″ righty went 7-7 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.381 WHIP over 130.1 innings at Triple-A Rochester. During 2013, I had the opportunity to sit down with Meyer when he was a member of the New Britain Rock Cats for an interview.”