Monthly Archives: December 2019

Bob Dillinger Jersey

Charlie Blackmon continues to hit his way into the history books.

The Colorado Rockies outfielder became the first player in MLB history to record three or more hits in six consecutive home games during Friday’s contest against the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Tracy Ringolsby of insidetheseams.com.

The slugger entered the game tied with Bill Madlock (1975), Rod Carew (1975), Bob Dillinger (1949), Ken Keltner (1939), and Les Scarsella (1936) with at least three hits in five straight home games, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

To no surprise, Blackmon’s historic run has come as the Rockies’ offense produces massive numbers at Coors Field; the team scored at least eight runs for a sixth straight home contest Friday. It’s the sixth time since 1930 an NL club has accomplished that feat – and the Rockies did it all six times, according to Stats By STATS.

Setting records is becoming commonplace for Blackmon; the three-time All-Star established a record with 15 hits in a four-game series against the San Diego Padres earlier this month.

The 32-year-old entered Friday’s action slashing .330/.375/.639 with 18 home runs and 51 RBIs.

Bill Fox Jersey

Take a break from reflections on the end of this decade to look ahead at predictions for the next one. Here are our picks for the winners of the next 10 World Series (to be taken with as many grains of salt as are required to enjoy anything looking a decade ahead with a postseason as capricious as baseball’s, of course).Bill Fox

2020: Los Angeles Dodgers. After eight consecutive titles in the NL West—and eight consecutive early exits in October—the Dodgers are in a strong position to go all the way on No. 9. But the core of the roster could look markedly different from L.A.’s last World Series-bound team from 2018. Think key contributions from current rookies Alex Verdugo, Will Smith, Gavin Lux, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May, plus top prospect Keibert Ruiz. And, just for old times’ sake, let’s throw in a redemptive arc for Playoff Clayton Kershaw.
Bill Fox
2021: Atlanta Braves. In 2021, you’d be looking at potential prime performances from Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Mike Soroka, Max Fried and Dansby Swanson (and this is just part of that young core), plus the veteran presences of Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte. Add in a little more quality pitching, and chances are, Atlanta should look pretty good.

2022: New York Yankees. A Yankees postseason run that will not be dominated by broadcasters’ reminders that Gleyber Torres is 22! Because he’ll be… 25, which, probably, will feel no less staggering. Centerfield prospect Estevan Florial will be 24, and perhaps he’ll have overcome his injury woes and tapped into his massive upside. In other roster news, Aaron Judge will about to hit free agency, and Giancarlo Stanton—if he doesn’t take his opt-out after 2020—will be just halfway into his tenure as a Yankee.

2023: Cincinnati Reds. Picture a World Series team led by Nick Senzel in the field and Hunter Greene (remember him?) on the mound. Meanwhile, Joey Votto will be 39, in the last guaranteed year of his current contract (Cincinnati has a $20-million option for 2024) and pushing into the all-time top-five on baseball’s walks leaderboard.

2024: San Diego Padres. Fernando Tatis Jr. will be 25. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Paddack and Francisco Mejia, plus some current top prospects like Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patiño. And, yes, Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer will both still be in town.Bill Fox

2025: Toronto Blue Jays. In the last year before they hit free agency, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio will lead the Jays to their first World Series since 1993. Look out for the SON-POWERED stadium posters.

2026: Houston Astros. Will anyone from the 2017 World Series champ Astros be on the 2026 World Series champ Astros? Probably not. (We’ll assume that even the trash cans will have been changed out by this point.) Will they win with the same blend of technical and analytical innovation, demonstrated in everything from roster construction to organizational development, that sends other clubs scrambling to figure out how they did it? We’ll say yes.

2027: Philadelphia Phillies. Bryce Harper will still have four years left on his contract.

2028: Montreal-Tampa Bay ExpAys. The international team-sharing deal will spark plenty of questions about what constitutes a postseason “home” game. All hail Youppi. (Well, for half the playoff run, at least.)

2029: London Red Booths. Global expansion will get the World Series to, finally, live up to its name. Fans everywhere will experience the series through virtual reality, getting the glory of feeling like they’re sharing their couch with Joe Buck. And we’ll still all be arguing about pace of play.

Dennis Aust Jersey

Wenn die Drittliga-Handballer des Leichlinger TV am Samstagabend (18 Uhr, Ostermann-Forum) das vorletzte Heimspiel gegen den Tabellenzweiten SG Schalksmühle-Halver überstanden haben, ist für zahlreiche Leistungsträger der Abschied wieder ein Stück näher gerückt. Spätestens nach dem letzten Saisonspiel Anfang Mai wird der durch Lars Hepp und Niklas Frielingsdorf angestoßene Umbruch dann endgültig sichtbar. „Wir sind mit den Planungen sehr weit, also voll im Soll“, sagt Manager Frielingsdorf. Mitteilen möchte er weite Teile der neuen Mannschaft von Trainer Hepp aber (noch) nicht.

Zur Übersicht: Nach den bisherigen Bekanntgaben des Vereins würden lediglich fünf von 18 Spielern aus dem aktuellen Kader bleiben, weitere wie Christoph Gelbke könnten hinzukommen und bleiben. Verlassen werden die Pirates definitiv neun Spieler, unter anderem Toptorschütze David Kreckler, Rechtsaußen Mike Schulz und Rückraumspieler Maik Schneider – jeweils Linkshänder, die das Spiel des LTV in dieser Saison trotz der jüngsten Negativserie mit vier Niederlagen in Folge prägten. Das Trio besteht aus den drei torgefährlichsten Akteuren, zusammen erzielten sie 345 Treffer – das sind beeindruckende 43 Prozent aller Tore der Hepp-Truppe.

Ausreichender Ersatz ist für die drei genannten Top-Spieler im bisher bekannten Kader für die Spielzeit 19/20 nicht vorhanden. Lediglich Dennis Aust, der einen Vertrag bis zum Ende der kommenden Saison besitzt, steht als Linkshänder nach bisherigen LTV-Angaben auch im nächsten Jahr zur Verfügung. Frielingsdorf sagt zum Ex-Düsseldorfer: „Wenn nichts Unvorhergesehenes passiert, wird er in Leichlingen bleiben.“ Nach Informationen unserer Redaktion könnte jedoch „Unvorhergesehenes“ eintreten, eine einvernehmliche Vertragsauflösung ist ein durchaus realistisches Szenario. Mit Linkshänder Nummer fünf, Tim Zulauf, befinden sich die Verantwortlichen in Gesprächen. Es müsste daher in jedem Fall Ersatz für mehrere scheidende Spieler auf den schwer zu besetzenden Linkshänder-Positionen her.

Frielingsdorf versichert, der Verein habe bereits neue Linkshänder „fix“, die Namen wolle er aber noch nicht öffentlich machen. „Wir haben uns dazu entschieden, die restlichen Zugänge erst später, vielleicht auch erst nach der Saison zu verkünden“, sagt er. Die Zahl der neuen Spieler wollte der Manager ebenfalls nicht kommentieren. Nur so viel: „Die Spieler, die wir fix haben, haben bereits unterschrieben.“

Neben den noch fehlenden Linkshändern steht zudem ein Torhüter als zweiter Mann neben David Ferne auf der Leichlinger Personalliste. Der bisherige Keeper Mathis Stecken folgt nach zwei Jahren beim früheren Westdeutschen Meister dem Ruf von Ex-Trainer-Manager Frank Lorenzet, der den Oberligisten LTV Wuppertal sportlich berät. Torschützenkönig Kreckler wird im Bergischen Land in der kommenden Saison als Spielertrainer arbeiten.

Matt den Dekker Jersey

Veteran outfielder Matt den Dekker has retired, according to the independent Atlantic League’s transactions page. He had been playing for the Long Island Ducks.

Now 31 years old, den Dekker entered professional baseball as a fifth-round pick of the Mets in 2010. He then ranked as one of the Mets’ top 25 prospects at Baseball America in four straight seasons. Den Dekker made his New York debut in 2013, the first of two consecutive campaigns in which he saw action with the Mets, but only mustered a .238/.325/.310 line with one home run during that 237-plate appearance span.

On March 31, 2015, one week before the season began, the Mets traded den Dekker to the Nationals for left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins. That move largely worked out for the Mets, though den Dekker did hit a solid .253/.315/.485 with five home runs across 110 PA in 2015. Den Dekker then struggled in the minors and during a limited major league sample size in 2016, leading the Nationals to designate him for assignment.

The lefty-swinging den Dekker went on to total another 29 major league PA – eight with the Tigers in 2017 and 21 in a reunion with the Mets last year – before joining the independent circuit this season. He batted .223/.305/.337 with seven homers in 415 tries at the game’s top level and .260/.325/.427 with 61 HRs in 2,248 Triple-A attempts.

Jeff Hoffman Jersey

By Thomas Harding @harding_at_mlb
December 5, 2019
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DENVER — The Rockies enter the Winter Meetings considering themselves a contender, even though the industry may disagree after a 71-91 finish in 2019. It makes for an interesting conflict of ideas.

• MLB Hot Stove tracker

Other clubs entered the offseason believing a couple of valuable players coming off good years — right-hander Jon Gray and right fielder Charlie Blackmon — would be available in trades that would allow the club to see what it has in the outfield and try to retool its young pitching. But the Rockies expect to return to their postseason form of 2017-18 with Gray and Blackmon, not without them.

Yet, the payroll is expected to be tight and roster holes are difficult to fill. Can general manager Jeff Bridich keep a roster he likes mostly together and come away with what the Rockies need?

• These are Winter Meetings FAQs to know

Club needs: A must-get is an experienced catcher to split time with left-handed-hitting Tony Wolters. They expect rebounds from a couple key pitchers in lefty starter Kyle Freeland and righty reliever Wade Davis, but may seek a pitching bargain.

• Offseason checklist: Rockies’ needs and moves

Whom might they trade? Early indications are that the Rockies would love to deal righty reliever Bryan Shaw or lefty reliever Jake McGee, even if they eat a chunk of salary, for payroll relief and to fill needs. Both drew some interest at the Trade Deadline, even though they’d had mixed results in Colorado. Could the Rockies really hit it big and trade outfielder Ian Desmond, who has two years at a $25 million commitment? As the offseason began, word circulated that the Rockies were willing to include talented but as-yet underperforming righty Jeff Hoffman as a deal sweetener, but nothing materialized.

Then there’s Blackmon, who is due $78 million over the next four years, and there are incentives. Given the Rockies’ preference for keeping him, a trade would have to be really good.

According to recent reports, teams have contacted the Rockies about star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who began a six-year, $260 million contract last year, and shortstop Trevor Story, who is in his second year of arbitration and is a candidate for a large multi-year deal. That is an example of the conflict — the Rockies believe they are going places, while others see them as stuck in the mire of 2019.

• The NL West’s most attractive trade chips

Prospects to know: Infielder Brendan Rodgers, the Rockies’ top prospect going into last year, dealt with a shoulder injury in his debut season but still draws interest from other teams. No. 2 prospect Ryan Rolison, a left-handed pitcher, and No. 3 prospect Colton Welker, a corner infielder, are coveted for talent, and the fact that they don’t have to be protected on the 40-man roster.

Rule 5 Draft: Power-hitting first baseman Roberto Ramos, who hit 30 homers at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2019, is not on the Rockies’ 40-man roster and is vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft. Will the raising of the roster limit by one, to 26, lead a team to pluck him away from Colorado?

Payroll summary: Last year’s final payroll was a club-record $157,162,629, 12th highest in MLB, according to Spotrac. And 2020 commitments and projected arbitration salaries, according to Spotrac, already have the Rockies at $148.3 million. It’s a high figure for a small-to-mid-market team whose new television contract doesn’t begin for another year. Unlike some other teams who are concerned about rising payrolls, the Rockies are refusing to engage in a teardown.

One question: Will the Rockies bring in a proven Major League starter?

The answer last year would have been a solid no, based on the performance of a homegrown rotation for two years. The answer now? Well, it’s still probably a no, and that’s more based on the mostly solid performances of their top three starters (German Márquez, Gray and Freeland) over the last three years, even though Gray struggled in ’18 and Freeland was worse in ’19. Is it a gamble to expect quality work from up-and-down pitchers Hoffman, Antonio Senzatela, Chi Chi González, Peter Lambert and Tim Melville, and some prospects who could be ready?

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Read more: Colorado Rockies

Scott Fredrickson Jersey

Update 4/26 8:55 p.m.: Muni’s day of disarray is over: Subway service resumed in both directions as of 7:40 p.m.

A downed subway power line ground Muni’s metro system to a halt Friday morning, starting early, at roughly 6:40 a.m.

Although the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency restored Muni service Friday night, the agency warned there would be “residual delays” it would attempt to “balance.”

The service restoration came just in time for the end of the San Francisco Giants game versus the New York Yankees, where roughly 17,000 attendees were expected to use public transit to head home, according to the Giants.

Muni also restored outbound service only at roughly 5 p.m., aiding the evening commute

The morning commute for roughly 80,000 riders was shot when the metro went out of service, leading to crowds of hundreds of Muni riders waiting for bus shuttles, ride hails like Uber and Lyft and other forms of transportation. Witnesses even reported one verbal fight over the “last” Ford GoBike in a bikeshare station.

City officials agreed: It was a rough day for Muni, and its 700,000 daily riders.

Update 4/26 5:34 p.m.: Outbound Muni metro service has partially resumed for the evening commute.

At roughly 5:30 p.m. the agency announced trains will run from downtown to West Portal Station for the K, L and M lines, but will still use bus shuttles to substitute inbound train service. Riders must board on the inbound platform to head outbound to the outlying city, however, the opposite of their usual commute.

BART will provide “mutual aid” (free rides) to stranded Muni riders until 6 p.m.

The transportation mess won’t just impact the evening commute, but the expected 35,000 or so attendees of Friday night’s 7:15 p.n. San Francisco Giants game at Oracle Park.

Shana Daum, a Giants spokesperson, said roughly half of their attendees usually arrive by public transit.

The ballpark has emphasized sustainable modes of transportation over driving “since day one,” Daum said.

“We’re the most transit-accessible ballpark in the country,” Daum said.

The Giants sent transit alerts to its attendees and roughly 1,000 employees to warn them of the Muni service outages.

“Game-day staff, Muni Metro service through the Market Street tunnel has been down for much of Friday,” the Giants wrote to their staff. “Muni hopes to restore service via the N or T trains by 4 p.m., but we know that is after many staff need to travel to Oracle Park for this evening’s shifts.”

While metro service toward the ballpark is impacted, T-Third trains that serve Oracle Park are still running from Embarcadero station to the Bayview. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency also recommends taking the 30-Stockton or 45-Union from Market Street to the ballpark.

Update 4/26 3:26 p.m.: Muni’s parent agency has blamed Friday’s subway outage — which spanned the whole morning commute and remained unresolved into the afternoon — on a lack of funding to keep the subway in good repair.

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency apologized to its riders in a blog posted sometime after 3 p.m.

However, the agency gave no indication whether service would be restored to Muni’s metro system, spanning the J, K, L, M, N and T lines and serving more than 160,000 daily riders, in time for the evening commute or the 7:15 p.m. San Francisco Giants game against the New York Yankees at Oracle Park.

“Infrastructure issues,” including the overhead power lines that failed and caused Friday’s busted commute, account for 49 percent of subway delays, an agency spokesperson wrote in the blog. That stems “from decades of underinvestment in ‘state of good repair’ projects.”

“These types of projects are necessary to keep the system working safely and at full capacity,” the blog said.

Muni’s most recent 20-year capital plan, written in 2017, outlines $21 billion in capital needs over the next 20 years, more than $8 billion of which is for infrastructure like subways and power lines.

This is not uncommon in transit agencies. BART’s extensive capital investment needs also extend into the billions. In 2016 Bay Area voters approved the $3.5 billion bond Measure RR to invest, in part, in BART maintenance and infrastructure.

The original story follows below:

A disruption in power in the subway has sent Friday morning’s Muni commute into chaos.

Muni’s Metro service downtown has suffered a power loss and has not been in service since roughly 6:40 a.m.

Unable to run at full speeds, Muni’s inbound K-Ingleside, L-Taraval and M-Ocean View trains were backed up in the tunnel Friday morning at West Portal Station.

The N-Judah was also partially out of service this morning.

Shuttle buses are running from Castro station to downtown, while some trains — fewer than usual — are still running from West Portal to the Castro.

Initially, 15 shuttles were planned for West Portal, but those buses were “called off” and rerouted to the Castro, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Twitter account.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of riders crowded at Muni stops throughout the system, posts on social media show.

SFMTA

@sfmta_muni
· Apr 26, 2019
UPDATE: Select IB K, l, & M trains will switchback at West Portal and limited IB #subwaysvc to Castro station will be maintained; transfer @ Castro to surface shuttles https://twitter.com/sfmta_muni/status/1121775442057281542 …

SFMTA

@sfmta_muni
UPDATE: Limited IB #subwaysvc b/t WP & Embarcadero as select trains will switchback at Castro to provide OB svc b/t Church & WP. Bus shuttles being organized. Will update. https://twitter.com/sfmta_muni/status/1121770820483698688 …

Scott Fredrickson
@sfmta_sucks
Look at all these people!! What kind of system is this??

Embedded video
8
11:59 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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From Castro Station to Market Street, West Portal and elsewhere, crowds swarmed the sidewalks as they awaited transportation alternatives.

The Muni metro train system collectively serves 162,000 riders’ trips daily. Many voiced their anger online.

“SEND ALL SHUTTLES! You literally have 100s of people at stops waiting. You should have had ALL of them ready for the rush,” wrote Twitter user ashbyrne33, whose commute was disrupted.

One of those stranded riders was State Senator Scott Wiener, a vocal public transit advocate. Friday morning, he tweeted a photo of himself waiting with a crowd of riders for a shuttle on Market Street. Once he got from his shuttle to BART, he texted the San Francisco Examiner comment on his truncated commute.

“After endless infrastructure work on the subway tunnel — work that deeply inconvenienced riders — it’s unclear to me why the subway keeps falling apart,” Wiener wrote. “But at least they have shuttles. And at least we have BART.”

The loss to Muni’s overhead power lines began early, at roughly 6:30 a.m., between Powell and Civic Center stations, according to SFMTA. Specifically, the overhead lines that provide power to Muni light rail vehicles became detached, causing a train to stall in the tunnel, said SFMTA spokesperson Erica Kato. A “rescue train” was dispatched to pull the disabled train out of the tunnel and the lines are now being repaired, Kato said.

“We have ambassadors, station agents, transit fare inspectors and safety staff assisting customers,” Kato wrote in an email. “We also are updating our riders via social media, e-mail/text alerts, and overhead announcements.”

But some riders argued the problem has been known for a while.

“That power line has been faulty for days,” tweeted @steadicat. “You could tell by the power briefly going out on trains between the two stations. Why wasn’t this fixed sooner?”

[email protected]

This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates. This story has been updated to add comment from SFMTA and State Senator Scott Wiener. Below, a collection of social media comments from this morning’s commute:

Kelly O’B W
@kellyobw
Replying to @sfmta_muni
Please send more shuttles. There are tons of people waiting at church and market that got kicked off trains with no shuttles waiting. People need reliable service to get to work. This is ridiculous.

11
10:34 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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SFNative
@BellaSFnative
Replying to @sfmta_muni
This is a cluster. @LondonBreed You said you were going to fix Muni. You’ve been in office for a year and a half and not a peep from you. I understand homelessness is top of mine, but where’s your committee on improving Muni too? Why not multi-task? #sanfrancisco #sfmuni

37
11:26 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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Patsy and Eddie
@Bigdoglife
Replying to @sfmta_muni
So what about the n Judah. Do you know how many people take that daily to the hospital? Will the n still run above ground?

1
10:07 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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Christian Hresko
@chresko
Replying to @sfmta_muni
F this. This week has been a series of failures and delays making it impossible to get from Noe/Mission to downtown in any reasonable amount of time. You know we rely on your services to get to work, right?

4
11:48 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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Peter Brock
@ptbrock
Replying to @sfmta_muni
@D4GordonMar @LondonBreed I wish I could say these kind of issues were rare. You probably don’t need to worry about housing prices going up after all the upcoming IPOs – with a commute like this, what millionaires are going to want to move out to the Sunset with us? #fixsfmuni

4
11:49 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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James Sloat
@jesloat
Replying to @sfmta_muni
Would be nice if said shuttles existed! You do realize it’s rush hour?

1
11:09 PM – Apr 26, 2019
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Victor Garate Jersey

Víctor Gárate invicto, desde su designación como Manager de Leones del Caracas
Hoy vamos hablarle de un caso particular y no es otro que Víctor Gárate se encuentra invicto desde su designación como Manager de Leones del Caracas, trajo magia y un rostro totalmente diferente muestran los de la Capital.

Como fue costumbre en su carrera peloteril, Víctor siempre fue un muchacho de retos, el gran zurdo apaga fuegos del club desde los tiempos de José Centeno y Franklin Morales, llegaba sin nervios a cumplir su función, detener la rebelión del equipo rival, o detener al zurdo de poder, en cualquier caso, Gárate era garantía.

Inicio incierto de los Leones
Desde el vamos de la Temporada 2019/2020, se presagiaba un mal augurio con respecto a la organización administrativa de los equipos, algunos problemas financieros y de patrocinio, hicieron que los clubes tuvieran que reducir su tren de gastos, y el tema de la sanción OFAC sobre los peloteros de MLB haría ver el panorama aun más oscuro.

Harry Guanchez Manager, Víctor, Coach de Banca
La cosa no mejoraría con respecto a los cuerpos técnicos, sin embargo, sangre nueva y emergente, con ganas de echarle pichón a Venezuela, dieron paso al frente al llamado de la Liga a conformar las divisas, es allí donde Víctor acude al llamado del equipo de sus amores, los Leones del Caracas, comenzaría con este nuevo reto, ser el Coach de Banca del equipo en el cual hizo gran parte de su carrera profesional acá en Venezuela, debió haber sido un honor para él y un gran reconocimiento por parte de los felinos.

La cosa arranco mal
Los Leones arrancaron muy mal esta 2019/2020, con una importación de nombres desconocidos en su totalidad, con la excepción del Dominicano Isaías Tejeda, que repitió de la edición pasada, iniciaría un campaña incierta, bajo el mando del conocido de la afición caraquista, Harry Guanchez, Víctor sería designado jefe de la banca felina, en lo que sería su primer gran reto a nivel técnico en la LVBP.
Los de la Capital se hunden en errores de todo tipo
Desde el primer partido, los capitalinos darían muestras de la inconsistencia que los llevaría al desenlace, de no hace más de 5 fechas, en que dan de baja al timonel designado por la gerencia, Harry Guanchez, por el bajo rendimiento del club a su mando, en ese periodo, Los Leones se encontraban en el séptimo lugar de la tabla de clasificación con 9 victorias y 15 derrotas en 24 compromisos, jugando errático, donde fallan todos los fundamentos y ABC del beisbol, con un record muy por debajo del nivel de juego al que está acostumbrado a ver el fanático del conjunto felino.

Esta problemática a su vez ha sido incidente en la asistencia de la fanaticada al coso de los chaguaramos, la mala gerencia, los costos y la calidad del espectáculo han mermado el cariño por el pasatiempo nacional, un episodio triste en la historia de LVBP.

Víctor, el Salvavidas
Desde el día, 5 de diciembre, el Caracas daría por terminada su relación con Guanchez y nombran como timonel encargado al Coach de Banca, nuestro querido Víctor Gárate, que desde su nombramiento como Manager de los Leones del Caracas, el equipo tiene una forja inmaculada de 3 Victorias sin derrotas, una grandiosa ante su eterno rival, que les daría la serie particular y la barrida de 2 cotejos magistral ante los duros pájaros rojos en Barquisimeto, con eso, por primera vez en la temporada, los de la Capital hilvanan 3 victorias.
En esto últimos resultados, el club felino a mostrado un rostro totalmente distinto, Víctor, con la magia que siempre lo caracterizo desde el montículo, ha sabido manejar los hilos de una mala arrancada capitalina, y ha puesto a soñar a jugadores y fanáticos con que si es posible una recuperación histórica, como en los viejos tiempos, Garate llego a apagar el fuego.

¿Caracas en enero?
A pesar de este respiro del Caracas, aun queda mucha temporada para asegurar que los Leones estará en la fiesta de enero, pero si podemos decir que Víctor Gárate, trajo magia a la cueva capitalina, los muchachos se ven con más confianza y están jugando una mejor defensa, los pitchers ha estado puntuales y han hecho ver a Víctor como un gran sapiente del beisbol.
Ya veremos quienes entraran en enero, por lo pronto, los Felinos han estado practicando un mejor beisbol desde la puesta de Gárate al frente del equipo, a quien desde Con Las Bases Llenas queremos desearle la mayor de las suertes en su nuevo gran reto.

Felicidades Víctor y mete mano, campeón.

Nota: Víctor Gárate Invicto con Leones

Por: Charles Alvarez.

Tommy Heath Jersey

The song “867-5309/Jenny” deserves to be on the soundtrack of the 1980s.

Tommy Tutone, responsible for the song, is coming to Tulsa.

Tommy “Tutone” Heath will perform a solo show at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Soul City of Tulsa, 1621 E. 11th St. Tulsa power pop music artist Dwight Twilley is expected to make a guest appearance.

Led by vocalist/guitarist Tommy Heath and lead guitarist Jim Keller, Tommy Tutone started out as a twangy bar band in San Francisco in the late 1970s. The band rocked with a traditional five-piece configuration: two guitarists, bassist, keyboards and drummer.

The band, after exploring other trails, fine-tuned a stylized power pop sound and, skinny neckties and all, demonstrated the modernized new wave/power pop style on a first single, “Angels Say No.”

The 1981 release of an even catchier follow-up single, “867-5309/Jenny,” coincided conveniently with the golden age of MTV.

The video for the song featured Heath and Keller battling over a blond in a tavern. Said a news release: “It was as goofy as any other contemporary pop-rock clip on MTV at that time, but the hooks in the song’s intro and chorus were undeniably infectious.”

The song — which reached No. 4 and went gold — became the band’s biggest hit. Six years ago, VH1 ranked it No. 4 among the 100 greatest songs of the ’80s.

Tommy Tutone broke up after a third album. In 1994, Heath released a country album. In 1998, he released a new Tommy Tutone album. Then came a 2008 follow-up solo album featuring original songs that paid tribute to his love of country and soul music. His latest album (“Beautiful Ending”) is a new chapter in a continuing career.

Said the news release: “Merging elements of rock and roll, country, rockabilly and soul, Tutone offers a memorable album of what very well could be his finest work.”

The album features a title single and an interpretation of the classic Jim Croce song “Operator.”

Troy Afenir Jersey

If Aaron Judge had been a sure thing, he would not have lasted until the 32nd selection of the 2013 draft.

“Going strictly by analytics, you would not have picked him because of his size, the strikeouts, the history of people at that size getting to the big leagues. It’s a very small sample – people like Frank Howard,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Judge, 6-foot-7, 282 pounds, is a freakish athlete who was offered football scholarships and drew physical comparisons to NBA star Blake Griffin in high school. His power in baseball, when he made contact, was undeniable.

Still, only 12 hitters in major-league history, 6-6 or taller, have achieved 1,000 career plate appearances, according to MLB Network research – though eight of them, including Howard, became All-Stars, and one, Dave Winfield, made it to the Hall of Fame.

The Yankees had three first-round picks in ’13, and they were willing to risk one on Judge because they saw something beyond his athleticism, something that not only helped him reach the majors, but also should help him withstand the challenges that even the most talented players face:

Derek Jeter makeup.

The first time I heard the Jeter comparison was during the Yankees’ first series in Tampa Bay, when bench coach Rob Thomson mentioned it to FOX’s A.J. Pierzynski.

“He struck out in half his at-bats last year and never changed,” Thomson told me later, citing Judge’s 42 Ks in 84 ABs. “He walked into the clubhouse the same every day, his head up, his chest out, ‘let’s go.’”

That first weekend, when the Yankees were in Baltimore, I mentioned to catcher Austin Romine the industry-wide concerns about whether Judge would make enough contact.

Romine, all but dismissing the point, replied, “He’s smart. He’ll figure it out.”

Judge, 25, is figuring it out all right.

On Wednesday, he became the youngest player in major-league history to hit 13 home runs in his team’s first 26 games of a season, according to the Yankees.

Those 13 homers lead the majors. His 10 in April tied the major-league record for the most in that month by a rookie. Judge has struck out 27 times in 88 at-bats, but also has walked 15 times, and overall is batting .330 with a 1.251 OPS while playing a stellar right field.

On Monday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went public with the Jeter comp – not saying that Judge had the same ability and potential as Jeter, simply pointing out their similarities in demeanor and approach.

A player can receive no higher praise.

“He is a little bit like Jeter for me,” Girardi said. “He has a smile all the time. He loves to play the game. You always think he is going to do the right thing on the field and off the field.”

The Yankees did not initially know that Judge had “Jeter makeup” – no one at the time of the draft in ’13 would compare a junior at Fresno State to an all-time Yankee great.

But the team does extensive research on players’ characters, dispatching a member of its mental conditioning staff to personally interview more than 125 potential draft picks each year.

A high school or college player who refuses such an interview loses any chance of getting drafted by the Yankees, according to the team’s amateur scouting director, Damon Oppenheimer.

The Yankees hardly are the only team that emphasizes makeup; the Cubs, for example, are careful to acquire players they believe are good people, regarding it as an important aspect of their recent success.

Judge, in the Yankees’ estimation, had the mental strength to overcome the obstacles that a hitter his size would face – getting to balls down and away and away, for one.

Some in the industry, however, feared that his contact problems might prove insurmountable, though Judge’s strikeout rate at Fresno State was not much higher than Kris Bryant’s at the University of San Diego over the same three-year period.

Billy Beane, the Athletics’ executive vice-president of baseball operations, was well aware of the doubts – the A’s had drafted Judge out of Linden (Ca.) H.S. in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, only to see him go to college instead.

Beane said he did not view Judge’s size as a risk. The Yankees’ Oppenheimer concurred, saying that Judge’s athleticism eased his concerns – Judge played center field at Fresno, ran the 60-yard-dash in 6.7 seconds, displayed good, natural actions.

And yet . . .

“Even in college, he was still a rough, rough diamond,” Beane said. “It was a little bit of a conundrum.

“The good analytics were off the charts – the things you see now, the strength. What he did was so unique. But what he didn’t do (making contact) was always a red flag. It’s a concern for a high school kid who is 18. But if it’s still an issue after three years of college, it might always be an issue.”

The Astros chose Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the No. 1 choice in ’13, the Cubs took Bryant at No. 2. The A’s, at No. 24, selected high-school outfielder Billy McKinney.

The Yankees went with Notre Dame infielder Eric Jagielo at No. 26, Judge with the compensation pick for Nick Swisher at No. 32 and high-school left-hander Ian Clarkin with the compensation pick for Rafael Soriano at No. 33.

Jagielo, who turns 25 on May 17, is at Double A for the third straight season after getting traded to the Reds in the Aroldis Chapman deal, batting only .185 with a .510 OPS.

Clarkin, 22, is trying to rebound at High A after several injury-marred seasons, and has a 2.25 ERA after four starts.

Then there is Judge, a leading candidate for American League Rookie of the Year – and at the moment, MVP.

“He’s very confident in his ability. But there’s no cockiness,” Cashman said. “There’s respect for the game, opponents, front office and ownership. All those things – check, check, check. Just like the attributes people saw in Jeter.”

Credits his parents
At Fenway Park last week, I asked Judge where his makeup came from.

“What do you mean?” Judge asked, seemingly unaware of the term.

“Personality,” I replied. “Demeanor. Approach to the game.”

“I probably got it from my parents at a young age,” Judge said. “They taught me right from wrong, how to treat people, treat them with respect.”

Judge’s adoptive parents, Wayne and Patty, are retired teachers. His older brother, John, 30, also is a teacher, an English instructor in South Korea.

Judge said he had to follow certain rules and maintain a certain GPA for the “privilege” of playing sports and video games.

Fresno State coach Mike Batesole describes him as “a special, special kid.”

“That can only come from Mom and Dad,” Batesole said. “When it’s that deep and that real, that means he was raised right.”

Cashman agreed, saying that the Yankees cannot take credit for their players’ characters; only their parents can. But the Yankees, starting in 2005, began digging deeper into makeup, hiring Chad Bohling as their first mental-conditioning specialist.

To Cashman, such a move only made sense – “We’re the New York Yankees. We can use every tool in the toolbox.” He recalled attending Georgetown Prep in Washington, D.C., and the Jesuit instructors talking about building a person spiritually, mentally and physically.

Same idea here.

“Everybody spends so much time trying to perfect the pitcher, the position player, the swing, the pitch – all physical,” Cashman said. “But there’s a mental side to this game, too. I thought, ‘We are not maximizing our potential. We’re not exercising the brain aspect of this thing, too.’”

It wasn’t just the Yankees who were missing out; the Athletics made Harvey Dorfman the game’s first mental-performance coach in 1984, but other clubs were not quick to follow suit.

The Indians hired Charlie Maher as their director of psychological services in 1995, but their farm director at the time, Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro, did not recall many clubs then – if any – using the same type of systematic, organization-wide approach that a good number of clubs employ now.

In 2005, Cashman – aware of the Indians’ success on the mental side – contacted Shapiro, who by then was the team’s GM. Shapiro put Cashman in touch with Maher, who recommended five names to the Yankees. One was Bohling, who then was working for the Jacksonville Jaguars and at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fl.

Cashman said he received special insight into Bohling from Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, who was the father of Tim Coughlin, Cashman’s roommate when he was Yankees assistant GM.

The Yankees had found their man.

Bohling, now the team’s director of mental conditioning, heads a department that recently expanded to five. The mental conditioning staff covers the majors, minors and draft; Bohling, who also consults for the Dallas Cowboys, said he spends about 85 percent of his time with the major-league club.

Oppenheimer, the team’s scouting director, values the interviews of draft prospects more than many clubs do, Bohling said.

The Yankees at first interviewed only a handful of players. Chris Passarella, the team’s associate director of mental conditioning, now speaks with more than 100 a year, Bohling said. Bohling interviews about 25, and the newly hired coordinator of mental conditioning, Lauren Abarca, also will talk with promising high schoolers and collegians.

The Yankees try to determine who each prospect is as a person and as a player, Bohling said. What kind of teammate he is. What kind of leader. How professional he is. How mature. How he might handle adversity, New York, the pressure of playing for the Yankees.

About a month before the ’13 draft, Bohling flew cross-country to interview Judge. The two spoke for about an hour at a restaurant near the Fresno State campus, Bohling said.

“I definitely walked away with a good feeling about him, as a person No. 1, but also the makeup of him as a player, too,” Bohling said. “I asked him a lot of questions baseball-related, non-baseball related. He checked off a lot of the boxes for me to give an approval to Damon. He was the right kind of kid. Right kind of mindset. Background was really good.”

Bohling, though, made a point of saying that the Yankees’ scouts also are a “vital piece” in helping determine a player’s makeup.

Former major-league catcher Troy Afenir, the area scout assigned to Judge, said he observed the player closely and also relayed a positive impression.

“He just had the character you look for in a young man. Maturity. Responsibility. He really took charge of his what he needed to do each day.

“You watch them when they fail as much as when they succeed. He handled everything with the utmost responsibility and respect for the game.”

Listen to Judge’s interviews now, and he almost always deflects questions about himself, citing the contributions of teammates.

Rarely do you heard the word, “I” – a lesson that was driven home at Fresno State.

“At our place, any time you say, ‘Me-mine-myself,’ it costs you a buck in the fine box,” Batesole said.

Doug Camilli Jersey

Mario Tremblay, who returned to broadcasting after a mediocre head coaching stint with the Canadiens and eight seasons of riding on Jacques Lemaire’s coattails, dropped a bombshell last week when he suggested that a Canadiens player had twice sought help for a substance abuse problem.

In the days that followed, the player in question said he didn’t know what Tremblay was talking about. A Canadiens spokesman said he could neither confirm nor deny the report. And general manager Marc Bergevin said there “could be one, there could be 10” players who have availed themselves of the program administered by the NHL and the NHLPA, but nobody would know because it is confidential.

NHL players are subjected to random testing for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs, but there’s a difference in how positive tests are treated. Test positive for steroids and you face a suspension. If you’re smoking pot or snorting coke, there is no punishment unless you’re arrested for using or possessing an illegal substance. The players do receive counselling as well as a reminder that help is only a phone call away.

The confidential nature of the program encourages players to come forward and get help. Casually dropping a reference to a player’s problems on radio doesn’t help anyone.

Maybe Tremblay is upset that his own problems with alcohol were made public. He was pulled over for suspicion of speeding in 2013 and when the officer involved smelled alcohol on his breath, Tremblay invoked what former colleague Doug Camilli called the Important Persons Act. Displaying the same arrogance that marked his tenure behind the bench, he announced: “You can’t do this to me. I am Mario Tremblay.”

He then complicated the situation by accusing the officer of showing poor judgment, comparing him to P.K. Subban. He was subsequently convicted of refusing to take a breathalyzer test.

The NHL drug policy is going to become more complicated next season when using recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada. When that happens, there will 14 NHL cities where it will be legal to have a toke. Another six cities are in states that allow for medical cannabis use, which will be a boon to players with concussion-like symptoms and other ailments. There are six other cities where it has been decriminalized.

Texas, Tennessee and Florida still take a hard line, although the liberal folks in Dallas have a cite-and-release policy, which means they treat it like a traffic ticket.

Struggling in nets: Carey Price’s goaltending woes have spread through the entire Canadiens’ organization. Heading into training camp, there appeared to be an embarrassment of riches and the question was how to get everyone enough playing time to stay sharp.

The new question is: Can anyone stop a puck?

Price won Saturday night against the Rangers, but his goals-against average went up to 3.64 and his save percentage dropped to .883. Backup Al Montoya has a 4.20 GAA and a save percentage of .863. In Laval, Charlie Lindgren’s numbers are 3.60 and .883, and Zach Fucale is at 3.52 and .866. Michael McNiven, who was the best goalie in junior hockey last season, is struggling with the winless Brampton Beast. He has a 4.19 GAA and an .868 save percentage.

Speaking of Laval, Martin Reway’s bid to win an NHL job is over. He was placed on waivers this week and given his release so he can go back to Europe. Reway, who missed all last season with a heart problem, played in only half of Laval’s 10 games and had two assists.

College report card: Jake Evans, the Notre Dame centre who was the Canadiens’ seventh-round draft pick in 2014, is the leading scorer in U.S. college hockey with three goals and 15 points. Ryan Poehling, who was the Canadiens’ first-round draft in June, has eight points in five games for St. Cloud State, which is ranked No. 2 behind defending NCAA champion Denver. The 18-year-old Poehling had 13 points in 35 games last season.

Canadian women back on track: Meghan Agosta scored twice and Les Canadiennes’ Marie-Philip Poulin had a goal as Team Canada defeated the U.S. 5-1 earlier this week in Boston. That ties their six-game pre-Olympic series at 1-1. Both teams have full-time training programs, but the Americans will be enjoying the weather in January. The Canadian team is based in Calgary while the U.S. team is training north of Tampa in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

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