Friday, September 30, 2011

Anatomy of a Meltdown - Red Sox: 2nd Greatest Crash in History

Boston Red Sox September Schedule via ESPN
(Re-bigulates on click)
The Boston Red Sox did not win two games in a row in from August 27th to September 28th,

I went back over the Boston team schedule looking for series wins and loses; there's nothing in those columns that foreshadow September.

On Sun, June 12th the Sox  completed a season high 9 game win streak with a 3 game slaughter of the Toronto Blue Jays (5-1, 16-4, 14-1) - they were playing .600 ball and held a 2 game lead over the Yankees for 1st place in the AL East. The team was scoring runs like crazy - in two series that month they put up similar 14 run blow-out tallies.

Searching for Indicators

Inter-league play didn't go so well for the Bostons in the second half of June...

Fri, Jun 17 vs Milwaukee W
Sat, Jun 18 vs Milwaukee L
Sun, Jun 19 vs Milwaukee W

Mon, Jun 20 vs San Diego W
Tue, Jun 21 vs San Diego L
Wed, Jun 22 vs San Diego L

Fri, Jun 24 @ Pittsburgh L
Sat, Jun 25 @ Pittsburgh L
Sun, Jun 26 @ Pittsburgh W

Tue, Jun 28 @ Philadelphia L
Wed, Jun 29 @ Philadelphia L
Thu, Jun 30 @ Philadelphia W

..but everything went back to normal as the calander flipped to July. Before the All-Star break the Sox swept the Astros, beat the Blue Jays and then swept the Orioles in a 4 gamer. After the All-Star break things continued to go as expected - the Bostons continued to play .600 ball.

In mid August another hiccup:

Fri, Aug 12 @ Seattle W
Sat, Aug 13 @ Seattle L
Sun, Aug 14 @ Seattle L

Tue, Aug 16 vs Tampa Bay W
Tue, Aug 16 vs Tampa Bay L
Wed, Aug 17 vs Tampa Bay L

But then the ship righted and all seemed correct again in bean town - Boston beat both Kansas City and Texas 3 out of 4, and then won a series over Oakland losing the first and winning the last two. The date was Saturday, Aug 27th - Boston had just won 4-0 over the Oaklands and had a record of 82-51 - 15.5 games over .500. They held a 2 game lead over the Yankees - and a 9 game lead over Tampa Bay Rays for the Wild Card with 28 games to go

This would be the last time the Boston Red Sox would win 2 games in a row in 2011.

September can be a cruel month

Boston went to New York on Tuesday, August 30th and lost 2 out of 3, the first of 7 more series loses in September. The Sox went from a club playing .617 ball to a club playing .276 ball - from the first division to basement dweller in the blink of an eye.

There was no warnings, no sputtering - no injury(s) to account for a sudden change in fortune... . The Boston Red Sox just all of a sudden became a bad baseball team!

The Numbers

In an article by Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus from September 27, 2007 - titled, "Lies, Damned Lies Blowing It", Silver (with the help of an earlier article by Clay Davenport) works up the 13 worst collapses of all time,
"...defined by the teams that had the highest percentage chance to reach the playoffs at some point during the regular season who then failed to do so."
The percentage point, starting point 'A' on the time line, is a variable that makes it hard to compare over the different collapses that have happened in history - so I broke down the losing using ironically, team 'Winning Percentage' - from the beginning of the collapse until the end of the season: Below I chart 5 chokes from history that Nate Silver lists in his worst 13. I choose them based on lowest winning percentage during the collapse. To determine what is the best kind of collapse I feel that 3 qualities define a truely great collapse:
  • winning percentage on the dive
  • lead squandered
  • quickness of the about-face
The number of games over which the dive happened is important - the longer you play with a low winning percentage the further you fall against your rivals - but we're talking collapse here, which entails a sudden catastrophe. So in ordering this list I gave a low winning percentage and the size of the lead they squandered more weight than the number of games in the collapse:

Top 6 Collapses of All Time

#EpicFail   Team   D-Day    Peak     Situation        Games(W-L)  W%

#1    1964  PHI    17/Sept  89-58    6.5 up NL        15(3-12)   .200
.................................    No Wild Card
#2    2011  BOS    27/Aug   82-51    2.0 up AL-E      29(8-21)   .276
.................................    9   up WC(TBR)
#3    1995  CA     20/Aug   66-41    12.5 up AL-W     38(12-26)  .316
.................................    12   up WC
#4    1969  CHI-NL 19Aug    77-45    8   up NL        40(15-25)  .375
.................................    No Wild Card
#5    1921  PIT    22/Aug   76-40    7.5 up NL        37(14-23)  .378
.................................    No Wild Card
#6    1983  ATL    10/Aug   69-45,   6.5 up NL        48(19-29)  .396
.................................    No Wild Card


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1-6-5-3-4 Where's 2?

Squaretender is a blog devoted to baseball scorekeeping.

As you may know, I like keeping score (- in a good way). I found Squaretender through visits I was getting in my StatCounter account - after they published a piece about my "Blogger Baseball Scorecard" - "A Scorecard in HTML".

As their Welcome page says,
"Our aim is to explore the technique, history, passion, quirks, and simple joy of keeping score. Nothing else brings you closer to a baseball game, and our purpose is to bring you closer to how and why it’s done." 

They regularly cover complex plays that happen around the Leagues, and write about how one might score them. I love a challenge too.  Tonight at Squaretender I learned what the scoring, "Fielder Choice, out" means. For the full explanation see the Squaretender post, "Boxified: Stay in a rundown as long as you can".

It's a fairly short notation for a play in which so much happens (see the video embed below); it's 'just':
FC out
#1 RS

You just have to keep track of which infielder is where, and when - just like Braves' lead off hitter Michael Bourn did - as he reaches 3B after a dropped ball, and as the run down is continuing on the 1B side of the diamond, he notices nobodies covering Home!

Embed courtesy of "Squaretender".

Squaretender article about Blogger Baseball Scorecard - "A Scorecard in HTML"


Saturday, September 24, 2011

More on... Colby Rasmus - Blue Jay CF 'Par Excellence'

In a post here yesterday entitled, "Colby Rasmus is batting .191 - the Mendoza Line for this Great Centre Fielder", I took a couple of guesses as to why Colby Rasmas said the hings he said before Thursday's last home game of the 2011 season. (You should see the original article by Andrew Stoeten - here - first.)

Several people at the Drunk Jays Fans post (where I originally wrote the article, then blogged it) followed with some excellent links to video and articles that I'd like to share here - from St Louis and from the Cardinals AAA affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats - where Colby Rasmus spent some time late this season just before the trade to Toronto. This first link from the "Drunk Jays Fans" commenter 'Chris3173' gives us a good take on how Colby Rasmus does interview - laid back, honest, forth right and introspective.

Via graymatter11's Youtube post, "Colby Rasmus on playing with Fisher Cats".

"Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus talks with New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Kevin Gray about playing in the 2011 Eastern League Championship Series"

Screenshot of the River Front Times article by Larry Borowsky
"Drunk Jays Fans" commenter 'purplehaze89' pointed to this nice piece on Rasmus's father who coached him all his life, until professional ball - published at the Riverfront Times, "Shit Colby Rasmus' Dad Says: The father of the St. Louis Cardinals phenom is never at a loss for words. But what he says might surprise you" written by Larry Borowsky from Thursday, Mar 31 2011.

And, also pointed to by 'purplehaze89', "A very different Colby Rasmus coming in 2011" - an article posted at "The Cardinal Nation blog" (December 9th, 2010) written by Brian Walton. Interesting piece. Not only did the Cardinals - and his father, who was allowed by the Cardinals to help coach him - pile all kinds of expectations on him with-in a systematic off season coaching regime designed to turn him from a 23HR, .276 hitter into a .300 spray hitter - but his father also talked about it in the media!

BATTING Regular Season Career Stats (via MLB)

2009 STL   147  474  72 119 193 22  2 16  52  36  95 .251 .307 .407 .714 
2010 STL   144  464  85 128 231 28  3 23  66  63 148 .276 .361 .498 .859 

2011 STL    94  338  61  83 142 14  6 11  40  45  77 .246 .332 .420 .753 
2011 TOR    31  119  14  22  40  9  0  3  13   5  33 .185 .216 .336 .552 
2011 total 125  457  75 105 182 23  6 14  53  50 110 .230 .304 .398 .702 

By the looks of these numbers his father is trying to make himself more than he is by turning a 'good' major league player (.276) into a 'great' major league player (.300) - in order to get himself a major league coaching job one wonders?

One could posit that there are very powerful forces at work here: his son as a mirror of himself, the failings of the father's baseball carrier heaped upon the son - or perhaps he was just carried away by the dream of becoming a major league coach? In either case it would appear no one was looking out for Colby, every one got caried away with making the club better by moulding the player at hand into the player not on the roster - never thinking of listening to the soft spoken young man, or allowing the young centre fielder from a small town to find his way at his own pace.

Ah, the weight of a million dollars bonus - too much for any human I expect.

As I said later at Drunk Jays Fans,
Read the article, great link. So now we get the Canadian Border Authority to place a ban on the father entering Canada.  :)

No really, don't call.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Colby Rasmus is batting .191 - the Mendoza Line for this Great Centre Fielder

This reminds me of what's wrong with baseball - baseball mass media.

I refer to a story in The National Post by John Lott published Sep 22, 2011 entitled "Rasmus ready to start fresh in 2012".

The root of the story as I read it, is that he contradicts his Manager who says he working on spraying the ball, while Rasmus says he working on nothing, needs a break from it all, playing out the string, waiting for the off season.

Seems like a reasonable thing to say just before the last home game of the season. It's a sentiment the Jays' GM is echoing a few hours later in a fifth inning interview with Pat and Buck - that they're out of the wild card race -  it's the general feeling around the organization in the midst of a multi year rebuild.

But it seems we'd rather have some pre-phrased, macho formula response to our questions from players, rather than honest, off the cuff responses.  The guy just told us some very personal things - it sounds to me like he's depressed - and has been so for a couple of years.

But our self obsessed response:  'What'da mean Toronto is depressing?'.  The phrase, "Enough about me - what do You think about me?" comes to mind.

It's a typical neurotic knee jerk that typifies those who seem to need to find heroes and gods in ordinary men - perhaps to make up for their own misunderstanding that they themselves are surely no better than the proverbial pile of shit.

You're right though Mr. , he's not doing himself any favours. *

The popular press will run with the childish reaction the piece has engendered so far I am sure. We'll collectively drag him down, here with us and kick the shit out of him till he stops breathing. Perhaps Rasmus thought he was talking to a reporter from a publication with a readership that liked to think about things - a place where honesty would be appreciated. 

Wrong-o Buck-o.

Mr. Rasmus. Watch Bull Durham and take note of the bus scene where Crash Davis gets 'Meat' to write down several quotes to help him give good sound byte to the media - as well it's a movie with a lot of spiritual lessons and some pretty funny moments - it'll help cheer you up - for moments anyway.

As someone who has suffered from depression all his life - find a good friend you can talk about these things with - and always err on the side of human goodness, the darkness I find, comes out of systems of human organization, where the heart gets lost in the machine (like in the mass media).

And something that I haven't seen here in this thread, or mentioned in the article at The National Post - and as I said at the Blogger Baseball Scorecard just after the trade - Colby Rasmus might be the best CF the Toronto Blue Jays have ever had.  The way I described it:  'He takes clean lines to the hardest catches.'

With that kind of fielding a Mendoza Line BA keeps him a starter in the majors. Anything more is bonus.

*  Originally published as a comment at Drunk Jays Fans - Friday, 23 September, 2011 "You're Not Doing Yourself Any Favours, Colby Rasmus".

"Bull Durham - Cliches" via mcmillke Channel at Youtube.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

BBA "Black Out" Commemorates "When New York Had Her Heart Broke"

My heart broke that day too. I think I remember the whole worlds' heart was broken... .

Some members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) are doing a "BBA Black Out", going dark - not publishing today - to commemorate the day, a moment of silence for those you died that day, and the days that have ensued I suppose (hope).

I thought it was a bad idea. I think today is a day to speak about what happened, so I post. Post to tell you what some other baseball writers are doing instead.

And to post this new release from John Hiatt.

Ironically - that is all I have to say. Now that the day is upon us I find it's a day to commemorate after all. A sad day, a day of reflection. Expressions of incredulity can wait until tomorrow.

Gord Cumming twigged me to the Hiatt release today at fb. Thanks Gord.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moneyball now a movie - Hollywood Formula to sell Revolution Story

The Toronto Blue Jays just came off their Moneyball experiment under former General Manager JP Ricciardi.

Ricciardi rose up through the scouting department in Oakland under General Manager, sabremetrics devotee - and cost cutter - Sandy Alderson. Ricciardi hit the front office in 1996 (Director of Player Personnel) and apprenticing under Moneyball Legend, General Manager (1998) Billy Beane and with Assistant General Manager (math genius) Paul DePodesta (1999). Beane and Ricciardi both rose up through the A's scouting department under GM Alderson.

In 2002 as GM in Toronto JP Ricciardi laid-off a Blue Jay brain-trust in scouting and player development - a 30 year legacy - as part of a restructuring towards the more objective - and cost effective - sabermetric scouting approach. The result was a terrible dive in the standings to last place in 2004 - 33 (!) games out.

Looking back through the trades he made, there doesn't seem to be a lot of sabremetricing in his general managing - when he thought he was close after guts and glory 2003 season (re: Roy Halladay 22-7 3.25ERA) he simply signed high priced big name free agents. When that didn't work he did more of the same. After a horrible 2004 season Rodgers upped the budget to $70M/year ($210 Million over 3 years) and Ricciardi took on big payroll in Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus. The same year he signed 1B Adam Lind which lead to a clubhouse disease as neither player was signaled as the starter at 1B yet no one said they were a tandem either.

The player development stream never really started flowing before Riccairdi was fired after a terrible 2009 season (4of5 .463 29GB).

Moneyball at Oakland

The story of the Oakland A's as underdog franchise succeeding over stick-in-the mud organizational metrics with a brilliant new way of seeing the universe with-in the highly complex game is a good one. Moneyball is due out in theatres September 23rd.

I'll watch for it online (I don't do theatres or television).

'Box Office Gold', actor Brad Pitt plays Oakland's GM Billy Beane.

Here's the Trailer from Youtubes MoviesYahoocom.

How's that Working for You?

The Blue Jays achieved 2nd place in 2006 (87-75 10GB NYY) after a dip and then a 2 year rise under Ricciardi's watch (2002-2009) - with a third of the payroll of the Evil Empire. It is important to note that many of the prospects coming up to Toronto this year were Ricciardi regime picks.

AL East 2006 - Final Standings

Team                 Finish   Win%  Games Behind
New York Yankees      97-65   .599       -  
Toronto Blue Jays     87-75   .537      10.0
Boston Red Sox        86-76   .531      11.0
Baltimore Orioles     70-92   .432      27.0
Tampa Bay Devil Rays  61 101  .377      36.0

Wild Card: AL Central - Detroit Tigers (95-67 .586)

Billy Beane's Oakland A's had more success, quicker.

Oakland Athletics 1995 - 2006
Year      W  L   W-L%   Finish   
2006      93 69 .574   1st of 4
2005      88 74 .543   2nd of 4
2004      91 71 .562   2nd of 4
2003      96 66 .593   1st of 4
2002     103 59 .636   1st of 4
2001     102 60 .630   2nd of 4
2000      91 70 .565   1st of 4 
1999***   87 75 .537   2nd of 4
1998**    74 88 .457   4th of 4
1997      65 97 .401   4th of 4
1996*     78 84 .481   3rd of 4 
1995      67 77 .465   4th of 4(Tony LaRussa's last year)
*** Paul DePodesta hired
** Beane takes over from Alderson as GM
* Ricciardi makes Front Office

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not interested in the macho posturing that coloured the shift to better statistical analysis. The Oakland experiment was a brilliant reconfiguring of a Major League Club's organizational structure that started with a re-visioning of the fundimental precepts of the organization. A daunting task in any organization - and the numbers show the theory and practice in Oakland worked. The A's were competative with the New York Yankees franchise in 2002 even thought the Oakland player salary budget was $84 million less (<1/3) than the Yankee's budget ($41- $125).

In its wake, teams such as the New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians,[1] and the Toronto Blue Jays have hired full-time Sabermetric analysts.


The Boston Red Sox (Front Office Directory) have Sabrmetric's inventor and guru Bill James hired as Senior Advisor/Baseball Operations. The franchise uses both a great and extensive farm system, plus the more objective sabermetric measuring gauges to build and maintain the organization.

Part of the value of the 1999 - 2003 Oakland A's Moneyball organizational pricipals was the idea that other Major League Baseball organizations were over-valuing certain qualities of baseball players, caused by a fuzzy view of player value as a function of imprecice statistical instruments - and exacerbated, magnified, by the Collective Agreement between the Player's Association and MLB - and particularlly the arbitration process which codified specific statistics (the result of a consultation between baseball operation people, financial operations people in MLB franchises and at the head offices of MLB - and in combination with a similar consultation with-in the MLBPA), and thusly massively distorted the relative worth of certain kinds of baseball players. Home Run hitters and RBI leaders were very highly valued (and add here the distortion to player value caused by the American League's DH rule which adds a demand for power hitters to the mix), while players with essential baseball tools like catch, read, run, speed, throw and baseball intellect were institutionally undervalued.

Sabermetric anaysis alowed the Oakland A's to find cast-off players who together and in the right proportions could be key elements in a great team - at that time at a third the cost. Now that the 'cat is out of the bag' so to speak, or the numbers are in - and the theory and practice is being adopted by more and more franchisees - the relative advantage gained through the use of sabremetric analysis is declining.

Enter the Next Generation GM

Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos, along with super-genius Paul Beeston have instituted a new system in Toronto, the 'We're-smarter-than-you-and-we've-got-more-and-better-people-at-all-levels' system.

So far so good. I'm too close to be objective, but this new player development system - and with one of the craftiest deal makers I can remember since Pat Gilick - this team seems to continuously funnel great looking ball players up to the major league level form the AAA Las Vegas 51's. With the 40 player roster now allowed, September will be a 'Back to the Future' month here in Toronto; and there's many more prospects coming in the years ahead. This year the Bue Jays signed 4 of 5 so called 'hard to sign' prospects from the amateur draft - leveraging their people power, hands on, Canadian nice-ness to attract and sign player that other clubs thought would be impossible to sign and thus likely turn out to be wasted picks.

Enough Scouting for You?

Toronto Blue Jays' Player Development and Scouting Staff 

Front Office Directory
Revised: August 30, 2011

Toronto Blue Jays
Rogers Centre
Address: 1 Blue Jays Way, Suite 3200
City: Toronto, State: ON Zip Code: M5V 1J1
Phone: 416-341-1000


Vice Chairman, Rogers Communications Inc.
Phil Lind
President and CEO, Rogers Media
Keith Pelley
President and CEO, Toronto Blue Jays & Rogers Centre
Paul Beeston
Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager
Alex Anthopoulos
Senior Vice President, Business Operations
Stephen R. Brooks
Vice President, Special Projects
Howard Starkman
Special Assistant to the Organization
Roberto Alomar
Executive Assistant to the President and CEO
Sue Cannell


Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations and General Manager
Alex Anthopoulos
Vice President, Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager
Tony LaCava
Assistant General Manager
Jay Sartori
Special Assistant to the General Manager
Dana Brown
Cito Gaston
Administrator, Baseball Operations
Heather Connolly
Baseball Information Analyst
Joe Sheehan
Executive Assistant to the GM
Anna Coppola
Director, Team Employee Assistance Program
Ray Karesky
Director, Team Safety
Ron Sandelli
Director, Team Travel and Clubhouse Operations
Mike Shaw
Head Trainer
George Poulis
Assistant Trainer
Hap Hudson
Equipment Manager
Jeff Ross
Clubhouse Manager
Kevin Malloy
Visiting Clubhouse Manager
Len Frejlich
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator
Bryan King
Video Operations
Robert Baumander
Coordinator, Advance Scouting & Video
Brian Abraham
Team Employee Assistance Program
Brian Shaw
Medical Advisor
Dr. Bernie Gosevitz
Team Physician
Dr. Ron Taylor
Consulting Massage Therapist
Todd Earl
Consulting Neurologist
Dr. Jonathan Gladstone
Consulting Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Allan Gross
Consulting Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Steven Mirabello
Consulting Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Jason Smith
Consulting Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. John Theodoropoulos
Consulting Podiatrist
Dr. Glenn Copeland
Consulting Internal Medicine Physician
Dr. James Fischer
Consulting Chiropractor
Dr. Pat Graham
Consulting Chiropractor
Dr. Mark Scappaticci
Consulting Chiropractor
Dr. Mike Preberg


Director, Information Technology
Mike Maybee
Manager, Information Technology
Anthony Miranda
Voice/Data Network Operations Specialist
Donny Catinari
IT Support Analyst
Yvan Duval
IT Support Analyst
Arsian Khan
IT Support Analyst
Richard Solis
IT Support Coordinator
Katrina LeCavalier


Director, Minor League Operations
Charlie Wilson
Minor League Field Coordinator
Doug Davis
Roving Hitting Coach
Anthony Iapoce
Roving Infield Coach
Mike Mordecai
Roving Outfield & Baserunning Coach
Rich Miller
Roving Pitching Coach
Dane Johnson
Rehab Pitching Coach
Rick Langford
Minor League Athletic Training Coordinator
Mike Frostad
Minor League Equipment Coordinator
Billy Wardlow
Minor League Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
Donovan Santas
Coordinator, Minor League Administration
Joanna Nelson
Assistant Latin American Administration
Blake Bentley
Administrative Assistant
Kim Marsh


Director, Amateur Scouting
Andrew Tinnish
Director, Professional Scouting
Perry Minasian
Special Assignment Scout
Jon Lalonde
Director, Latin American Operations
Marco Paddy
Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting
Ryan Mittleman
Coordinator, Professional Scouting
Harry Einbinder


Major League Scout
Jim Beattie
Major League Scout
Russ Bove
Major League Scout
Sal Butera
Major League Scout
Ed Lynch


Professional Crosschecker
Mike Mangan
Professional Crosschecker
Gary Rajsich
Senior Advisor/Professional Scout
Mel Didier
Professional Scout/Director, Canadian Baseball
Kevin Briand
Professional Scout
John Brickley
Professional Scout
Tom Clark
Professional Scout
Steve Connelly
Professional Scout
Kimball Crossley
Professional Scout
Bob Fontaine
Professional Scout
Bob Hamelin
Professional Scout
David May Jr.
Professional Scout
Wayne Morgan
Professional Scout
Brian Parker
Professional Scout
Marteese Robinson
Professional Scout
Jim Skaalen
Professional Scout/Performance Coach
Steve Springer
Professional Scout
Dale Sutherland
Professional Scout
Doug Witt
Professional Video Scout
Joe Barbera
Professional Video Scout
Pete Holmes
Professional Video Coordinator
Ryan Mabry


National Crosschecker
Dean Decillis
National Crosschecker
Marc Tramuta
Regional Crosschecker
Matt Briggs
Regional Crosschecker
Tom Burns
Regional Crosschecker
Dan Cholowsky
Regional Crosschecker
Steve Miller
Regional Crosschecker
Tim Rooney


Joey Aversa
Fountain Valley, CA
Darold Brown
Elk Grove, CA
Jon Bunnell
Overland Park, KS
Dan Cox
Santa Ana, CA
Blake Crosby
Gilbert, AZ
C.J. Ebarb
Friendswood, TX
Kevin Fox
La Mirada, CA
Ryan Fox
Yakima, WA
Bobby Gandolfo
Lansdale, PA
Joel Grampietro
Tampa, FL
John Hendricks
Mocksville, NC
Randy Kramer
Aptos, CA
Nick Manno
Brunswick, OH
Eric McQueen
Acworth, GA
Mike Medici
Naperville, IL
Nate Murrie
Bowling Green, KY
Matt O'Brien
Clermont, FL
Cliff Pastornicky
Birmingham, AL
Wes Penick
Clive, IA
Michael Pesce
New Hyde Park, NY
Jorge Rivera
Puerto Nuevo, PR
Rob St. Julien
Scott, LA
Darin Vaughan
Tulsa, OK
Michael Wagner
Addison, TX


Jamie Lehman
Brampton, ON
Don Cowan
Delta, BC
Jim Fanning
Ambassador, Amateur Baseball
Sean McCann
Ambassador, Amateur Baseball


Miguel Bernard
San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Robinson Garces
Maracaibo, VZ
Pablo Leal
Maturin, VZ
Erick Medina
Cartagena, Columbia
Rafael Moncada
San Diego Valencia, VZ
Lorenzo Perez
Manoguayabo, DR
Hilario Soriano
Santo Domingo, DR
Domingo Toribio
San Pedro de Macoris, DR
Greg Wade
Queensland, Australia


Brian Johnston
Los Angeles, CA
Matt Bishoff
Tampa, FL
Coulson Barbiche
Houston, TX

Via "Front Office Directory" (

(list edited to show only people directly involved with player development and scouting - full list at the link.)


Pitcher Derek Lowe's HR ball gets back to dugout before he does - literally

This video shows the line drive HR over the left field fence and Derik Lowe's slow jog around the bases (he looks really wobbly as he rounds 2B). In the last seconds of the video you can see the HR ball - the first ball Lowe says that he has ever, in his entire life "hit over a fence" - bounce on the infield grass (Nationals' LF Michael Morse throws it in), and rolls perfectly into dugout entrance-way, literally 9 steps in front of the slow-afoot pitcher.

 Pitchers hitting - what will they think of next?  ;)

Story by Dayn Perry at FanGraphs Blog, NotGraphs - "The Miracle of Derek Lowe’s Home Run".

Via a post at Joy of Sox, "Derek Lowe, 38, Hits The First Home Run Of His Life"

MLB (Video at MLB) embed via NotGraphs blog.