Happy Wednesday, BCB readers. Lots of cool stories in the mix with the links today, including a feature on the Georgia barnstorming team the Savannah Bananas who take a Harlem Globetrotter-esque approach to the game; and a really wild and moving story about what happened after a young boy lost his collection of baseball cards. (Side note, if you’re into social media and don’t follow the Bananas on TikTok you really should, they’re a blast.)
In the mix are the usual suspects of suspension, injury, and bounceback performances; plus a few pieces in there for the really nerdy stat-lovers in the mix.
Hopefully, you’ll find something to keep you amused and occupied with your morning coffee or during your afternoon break, and if not, well, wait until Friday when we bring you the next batch.
- Ben Clemens has an article that’s pretty much entirely designed to appeal to the biggest baseball math nerds in the world.
- Tom Brew assesses what the Rays have done to help get Brett Phillips out of his recent hitting slump.
- The A’s have had a dismal fan turnout this season and it doesn’t seem like they’re trying that hard to change that. Story by Eno Saris and Ken Rosenthal. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- I have no idea what batted ball spin is, but Justin Choi does a compelling job of making it seem pretty important.
- Bradford Doolittle and David Schoenfield try to take a stab at some way too early award predictions.
- Brittany Ghiroli takes a look at the early-season dominance of Astros pitching, which surprisingly has nothing to do with the story after this. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- The luckiest fan in the world managed to catch two home run balls in the same game. Not only the same game, the same INNING. Story by Nick Selbe.
- A little more on that monster inning for the Astros from Molly Burkhardt.
- Ryan Hockensmith offers the moving and unexpected story of what happened when one young fan lost his precious baseball card collection.
- Alden Gonzalez and Joon Lee try to determine which baseball town is hotter right now, New York or LA?
- Five start shortstops signed big deals this offseason, and all of them seem to be struggling. Nick Selbe tries to determine just how worried their new clubs should be.
- Jay Jaffe is handing the “most improved team” award out and it’s going to the Diamondbacks.
- A.J. Hinch knew there was a challenge waiting when he signed on to manage the Tigers, but now in his second year with the club, Cody Stavenhagen talks to the manager about what lays ahead. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- When it comes to making baseball fun, the Savannah Bananas are making it their mission. Story by David Wharton.
- Following the Eric Kay trial regarding the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs, it appears Matt Harvey has been suspended for 60 games. Story by Nick Selbe.
- In additional suspension news, Brewers reliever J.C. Mejia has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs. (AP)
- This is quite the interesting mix.
Among those throwing out first pitches at Fenway Park tonight were Steve Aoki, a famous DJ whose dad created the Benihana restaurant franchise, & Lech Walesa, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was the first president of Poland after Communist rule ended there. Eclectic group.— Robert Ford (@raford3) May 16, 2022
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.