We’re going to talk about balls today. Get your mind out of the gutter. That’s not what I mean. No one wants to talk about Rob Manfred and that other thing.
- Offense is way down in 2022 and everyone is blaming the baseball. Here’s a quick primer on how much it’s down and some explanations why it’s down so much.
- Mike Axisa and Dayn Perry look at the recent history of MLB tinkering with the balls.
- Zach Crizer looks at the new “dead ball era” and who are the hitters most likely to be affected by it.
- Marc Normandin writes that it’s hard to trust MLB’s ability to find a satisfactory fix to this problem. (Free reg. req.)
- Eno Sarris isn’t talking about the baseball per se, but he does note that it’s better for hitters to swing at fewer pitches. But is it better for the game?
- Ken Rosenthal believes that the Rays’ Wander Franco could be the kind of “action” star that MLB needs right now. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- In case you missed it last night, the Mets scored seven runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Phillies, 8-7.
Listen to Gary Cohen’s inflection rise with every run scored. He tells the story of the game by pitch of his voice. He’s incredible, and so was that Mets comeback. pic.twitter.com/Tv0Xsd5Bof— Damon Amendolara (@DAonCBS) May 6, 2022
Sometimes I’ll watch a Mets game because Gary Cohen is just that good.
- Astros manager Dusty Baker became the 12th manager to win 2,000 games. The other eleven are either in the Hall of Fame or they are Bruce Bochy and he’s not yet eligible.
- Claire Smith writes about Baker’s overall impact and how he serves as a role model for other Black managers.
- On the downside, the Reds record now stands at a horrific 3-22.
- Ken Rosenthal examines the reasons that the Reds are so bad (The Athletic sub. req.) in a way that’s a little more in-depth than “They got rid of most of their good players before the season.” Although Rosenthal lists that as one reason. Plus other notes from Rosenthal.
- Jay Jaffe writes that some of the Braves problems are connected to the poor play of their outfield, despite the return of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna.
- Will Leitch picks the best player on each team so far this year. He admits it was difficult finding a player on the Reds.
- Matt Snyder writes who is in the lead for league MVP and Cy Young Awards at the moment.
- You probably saw this already, but Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner got ejected after an exchange while the umpire was checking his hands for foreign substances. Bumgarner wasn’t ejected for a foreign substance but rather for something he said during the check.
- Thomas Harrigan has some second-year players who are having a great 2022 so far.
- Sam Dykstra and Jim Callis pick the best pure hitting prospect for each team.
- Gabe Lacques writes that the Twins bet $100 million on outfielder Byron Buxton and it looks like that gamble is going to pay off big for Minnesota.
- Some bad news for the Twins as shortstop Carlos Correa left the game last night after he was hit in the hand with a pitch.
- The Dodgers announced their plans for All-Star Game week.
- Last week she became the first woman to start a game in the Atlantic League and now Kelsie Whitmore has become the first woman to pitch in the Atlantic League.
- This is kind of inside-baseball, or rather inside-baseball-stats, but Ben Clemens defends the FIP statistic.
Shohei knocking his own number off the Scoreboard.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 5, 2022
The Natural. pic.twitter.com/sLWtdRiLri
- The Texas Rangers have created a new mental health program for their players. (The Athletic sub. req.) This is not another “mental skills” program but rather one aimed at more general mental health and more confidential.
- A thread about recovering from Tommy John surgery from a Reds minor leaguer. Please read the whole thread and not just that first Tweet.
Prior to my second TJ surgery in February of 2021, the hardest I’d ever thrown in my life was 95mph. I sat 95-97 mph in a game today…— Brandon Bailey (@BBailey_19) May 3, 2022
- Ben Tsujimoto shows the surprising way that the Buffalo airport is being used by pro sports teams to skirt some of the COVID-related rules about entering the US from Canada.
- Here’s Javier Báez making a play by flipping the ball under and between his legs. I swear, if Tigers fans don’t appreciate what they’ve got . . .
- And finally, you’ve probably seen all over the place (including Wednesday’s OTC) the scene when a Blue Jays fan handed an Aaron Judge home run ball to a young Judge fan. Well, the scene got even better as the nine-year-old Judge fan got to meet his idol on Wednesday. The Blue Jays fan was also invited to the meet-and-greet and he got an autographed George Springer jersey for his kindness.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.