54 thoughts on “April 4, 2017: First Place”

  1. So thoughts on Santana? He didn't strike out anyone until the 7th, but he still looked pretty sharp. Almost nothing was hit hard and he seemed to be changing speeds well. Then again, the Royals don't have a great offense, so perhaps the Red Sox would have killed him.

    1. Radio gang seemed a bit worried about his lack of control late, but he craftily made use of his offspeed stuff and got out of the jam. I think his stamina isn't quite there yet, but he got the job done.

    2. Hmm...I was actually a bit concerned about the number of flyball outs, and thought I was seeing more hard-hit balls than I should have been. Still, I was encouraged by the results and he still looked pretty strong for this point in the season. Seven innings on Opening Day is gravy, for sure.

      1. Honestly I don't follow as much as I used to. Is he normally a groundball pitcher? When Scott Baker was dealing, he got a bunch of flyball outs.

        1. A quick check shows that he is typically around 40% ground balls. He was at 39% last night, so not really anything more than usual. Probably just seemed like there were a lot because there weren't as many K's.

        2. Yeah, that was Scott Baker for sure. When he was a bit off, the balls would fly another 10-20 feet for homers. When he was dialed in: warning track power.

      1. Yeah, when they were in the World Series, the announcers would always talk about the Royals' ability to put the ball in play like it was a magic power. It certainly works better than strikeouts, but I'd rather a team would walk more and hit for more power.

    1. I always wondered as a kid why he was so underrated. His numbers always looked so good on his baseball cards. I really never saw him play much, as there was no outlet for me to see NL games other than TBS, where I suppose I may have seen Guerrero play the Braves if I was in the mood to watch non-Twins ball.

        1. Which is still saying more for Guerrero than Ibañez, who himself was really only an Raúl Ibañez-level defender at one position.

      1. Probably because people keep trying to compare him to players like Raul Ibanez. He played too many years in Dodger Stadium, which hurt his offensive numbers. He hit for a high average and for power but never led the league in batting or home runs. Still had a career 137 OPS+. Had a career .480 slugging despite "only" hitting 215 career homers. Looks like he also had a hard time staying off the DL. Teams should have left him in the outfield. For his career he was basically average out there or slightly below. Ibanez was a statue in the outfield with a career 111 OPS+.

  2. b-r's site redesign is nice, but I notice that the stats aren't updated as quickly as last year. Most day, I wake up at 6am and check the updated stats, now its past 730 am and no updates.

  3. So my sister-in-law EBS was due with her second last week (3/28). Scheduled for an induction today. My parents-in-law were staying with them to care for their 2.5-year-old MDS.
    She woke up about 12:30 a.m. in labor and her husband drove her to the hospital.
    The baby was born at 12:55 on northbound 35W near the 44th street exit.
    In the passenger seat of their pickup.
    While my brother-in-law was still driving.

    All are doing well, mother, baby girl SGS (using the first name that no one knew we rejected when we tried it on AJR when she was born), and father S?S.
    I saw them over lunch.

    Discussing the fact that first labor is typically of longer duration than subsequent labors, I noted to my wife that it would be hard to do so since MDS was born shortly after getting into their delivery room: a 90-minute labor. I guess they proved me wrong.
    If they have another, they just mentioned doing a home birth because that's probably better than in the middle of an interstate.

    EAR had four scheduled C-sections (CER was breech), so I've never actually had to deal with my wife going into labor.

    1. #2 came in about just 5 or 10 (I don't recall specifically, but it was described as "traumatically fast" by the doctor) minutes of active labor for us. We were being induced, but after that time we made sure we scheduled the inductions just a bit earlier to avoid the risk of not having enough drive time.

      1. I wish to tactfully suggest that "for us" is perhaps not the most accurate phrase to use at the end of that first sentence. 😉

    2. If they have another, they just mentioned doing a home birth because that's probably better than in the middle of an interstate.

      As it so happens, I actually was born in a car on the side of the road. But not the Interstate.

  4. Random thing that makes me happy: Johan Santana's baseball-reference page finally has him with a Twins hat again.

    1. I knew he never played for Minnesota, I completely Battey'd who the Senators received from Bill Veeck in exchange for Sievers.

      Sievers grew up three blocks from Sportsman's Park, so he started out with playing in front of his hometown fans. Pretty neat. Apparently there were four future MLB players on Sievers' high school team. They must've been pretty stacked, because this future HoFer was stuck on the JV squad.

    2. From his SABR bio, it sounds like Sievers should've had a surgical procedure named after him:

      On August 1 [1951] he suffered a season-ending injury when he fell awkwardly on his shoulder, separating it. In spring training the following season, Sievers dislocated his arm and strained the nerves in his shoulder while making a throw. He had potential career-threatening (and experimental) surgery performed by Dr. George Bennett at Johns Hopkins Hospital to repair the damage and missed most of the season, returning in September for 11 games.

    1. It's nice of her to be collegial and pay the DJ compliments, but I would be more than happy to hear just her playing the organ at the ballpark.

      1. me too, but that ship seems to have sailed.

        still, it's a lot more fun (IMO) to hear the organist playing his/her interpretations of walk-up songs than to hear clips of said songs.

    1. I enjoyed listening to him during the World Series. I'm also glad I can listen to Bob Uecker on the regular, even in I have no interest in the team that employs him.

    2. One of the Indians guys I can't stand. He's overly dramatic in calls and way too much of a homer. One game against the Twins, the Indians were winning big, 2 outs in the ninth and 1 or none on base and the Twins player struck out. His call was "STRIKE THREE! BALLGAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" This was back when the Indians weren't going to the playoffs or at least the game had no extra importance too either team.

      1. I believe that is the aforementioned Hamilton. His style always made me think of Paul Allen calling a baseball game.

        1. The difference, for me, is that Allen's stuff has always seemed forced, where Hamilton's seems more genuine. Perhaps that's not fair to Allen, but that's how it seems to me.

      2. I would deny that he's a homer. He obviously wants the Indians to win, but last night, for example, he got just as excited over Joey Gallo's two-run homer as he did when the Indians scored. As for the rest of it, where you hear "overly dramatic" I hear genuine enthusiasm for the game. To each his own, I guess.

    1. I would feel a little more confident if Doobs would start stopping some shots. (although he looked better as the game rolled along)

      1. I read a statistical analysis of the slump that suggested it was basically a product of bad luck and a precipitous decline in goaltending. So yes. What you said.

  5. Saw this tweet today, and it kinda blew my mind:

    A baseball season has started without Vin Scully or Connie Mack working in some level of it for the first time since 1885


    1. Wow. I wonder if there's a young guy just starting out now that will let that list be just three names fifty years or so from now.

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