Stat-urday, 8/12/2017


An Emotional Fan’s Guide to the Trade Deadline


It’s looming.

It’s less than 10 hours away.

Every year, MLB’s trade deadline occurs on July 31st – tormenting us up until the final moment at 4 pm, Eastern time. MLB instituted the trade deadline in 1923, in response to moves made by the New York Yankees and Giants during several previous years that put other teams at a competitive disadvantage. Thus, both the American and National Leagues implemented a uniform rule on non-waiver trades prior to the 1923 season. (Its always the Yankees, isn’t it?)

On Friday, the Orioles traded away Hyun Soo Kim, one of my favorite players. I was bummed. It’s hard when your favorite players are traded away. (It’s even harder when they go to a team you don’t really much care for.) In order to survive, however, maybe we need to start reinterpreting what a trade is.

Old definition: A trade is a heartbreaking disruption of the perfect balance achieved by the personalities on your favorite team, presumably to improve the post-season chances of one of the teams involved, but generally resulting only in heartbreak and not always a World Series championship.

New definition: A trade is a new opportunity for your favorite players, who clearly were not appreciated by the heartless owners of your favorite team. You still are not likely to win the World Series, but at least now you don’t have to hear rude MLB analysts saying mean things about a guy who was not given a fair shake on your team or watch the players’ stats dwindle along with their playing time.

Or something along those lines. (Never mind the fact that that doesn’t seem to be the case with Kim.)

You see, don’t look as a trade simply as a removal of one of your favorite players to another team, obviously without your permission. Let’s face it, often, your favorite team has pretty much mistreated said favorite player by not giving him enough playing time, not paying him what he deserves, not saying nice enough things (in your opinion) about him, etc. Favorite Player, now that he has been traded, will likely be better appreciated and have more playing time in his new city. Even if it is a city you despise. It’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the evil ownership of your favorite team.

Of course, the trades may not be over by the end of the day – meaning there will be more opportunities for our hearts to break. Teams may still negotiate trades until midnight (Eastern time) on August 31. (Any player added to a team’s roster after August 31 will not be eligible for the postseason.) After today, however, players have to clear waivers before a trade becomes final. In other words, other teams (in reverse order of the standings) will have the opportunity to claim the player first. If a player is claimed during the waiver period, the original team can choose to keep the player on its roster or send the player to the team that claimed it.

No matter how we convince ourselves that trades can be a good thing, however, we can’t help feeling like this:

Don't Go Lucas!!!!! Gonna miss you buddy!!!

A post shared by Lucas Duda (@wefollowlucasduda) on

 

August Bobbleheads


Below are the bobblehead giveaways at MLB ballparks this August:

1-Aug Red Sox Billy Joel (with special ticket purchase)
3-Aug Giants Giants-themed Dancing Bear bobblehead (Greatful Dead Tribute Night – special tickets required)
3-Aug Pirates Charlie Brown bobblehead (special ticket)
3-Aug Red Sox Jackie Bradley, Jr.
4-5-Aug Reds Elvis Bobblehead (special ticket)
4-Aug Angels Trout MVP Season: Bobblehead 2 of 3
4-Aug Giants Game of Thrones Giants Bobblehead (special tickets required)
5-Aug Astros Jeff Bagwell “Batting Stance” HOF Bobblehead
5-Aug Indians Lou Boudreau Replica Statue
5-Aug Orioles Jonathan Schoop
5-Aug Reds Raisel Iglesias
5-Aug Tampa Bay Marvel Iron Man Bobblehead
6-Aug Reds Game of Thrones Dragon Bobblehead (special tickets required)
6-Aug Twins T.C. Bobblehead
9-Aug Mariners Robinson Cano
11-Aug Mariners Edgar Martinez
11-Aug Miami Superhero Night Bobblehead (special ticket)
11-Aug Phillies Pete Rose
12-Aug Rangers Pudge Rodriguez Baseball HOF Bobblehead
13-Aug Miami Billy the Marlin Birthday Bobblehead (special ticket)
13-Aug Miami Billy the Marlin Hula Dancer Figurine
15-Aug Brewers Bernie Iron Throne Bobblehead (special ticket)
15-Aug Cubs Kris Bryant MVP Starting Lineup Figure
15-Aug Dodgers Gil Hodges
17-Aug Cubs “Starting Aces” Bobblehead
18-Aug Braves Hank Aaron Replica Statue
18-Aug Twins Rod Carew
19-Aug Astros Triple Bobblehead featuring Biggio, Bagwell, and Hampton
19-Aug Mets Yoenis Cespedes
19-Aug Pirates Gregory Polanco El Coffee Bobblehead
19-Aug Rangers Adrian Beltre Starting Lineup Figurine
19-Aug Rockies Nolen Arenado
19-Aug Royals Memorable Moments Bobblehead Series: Kevin Appier
19-Aug Tigers Alan Trammell
19-Aug Twins Michael Cuddyer
21-23-Aug Reds Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon (special ticket)
22-Aug Angels Trout MVP Season: Bobblehead 3 of 3
22-Aug Cardinals Tom Lawless mini bobblehead (special ticket)
23-Aug Indians Terry Francona
25-Aug Angels Nolan Ryan
25-Aug Braves Freddie Freeman
25-Aug Cardinals Mystery Hall of Fame Manager Bobblehead
25-Aug Miami J.T. Realmuto
26-Aug Reds Homer Bailey
26-Aug White Sox White Sox Stormtrooper Bobblehead
27-Aug Yankees Aroldis Champman
29-Aug Nationals Bryce Harper Starting Lineup Action Figure
31-Aug Giants Giants player-themed runner bobblehead (special ticket)
31-Aug Giants Italian-themed Lou Seal bobblehead (special ticket)

Baseball in Venezuela, Part 3


Richard Hidalgo was shot in the forearm during a carjacking attempt in Venezuela in 2002. Three years later, kidnappers demanded $6 million for the release of Maura Villarreal who had been taken from her home in Ocumare del Tuy, outside of Caracas. Villarreal was rescued unharmed. In 2008, however, Carlos Simon Blanco Sanchez was murdered by his kidnappers in Venezuela. In 2009, an 11-year old and his uncle were kidnapped on the way to the boy’s school (but were later released as police were closing in); Jose Castillo was attacked by armed men as he left a luxury hotel; and Elizabeth Mendez Zambrano was kidnapped nine days after her nephew was abducted and killed.

What did these individuals have in common? They all had ties to Major League Baseball: an outfielder, a former player, and players’ moms, son, cousin, brother, and brother-in-law. In 2013, another player’s family – his father, mother and youngest brother – were unharmed in a kidnapping attempted in Valencia, Venezuela.

The nonprofit Venezuelan Observatory of Violence identified Venezuela as the second most murderous nation in the world in 2016, noting that there were more than 28,000 homicides in Venezuela that year – a rate of 91.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the U.S. State Department, kidnapping is “a major criminal industry” in Venezuela and while there are no official counts of the number of “it is believed that kidnapping cases remained constant during 2016, as with 2015.” In 2011 alone, more than 1,000 people were kidnapped in Venezuela. One of them was a Major Leaguer. Still, it would take a little more than four more years before the majority of MLB teams would close their training academies in the country.

Recently, major leaguers from Venezuela have begun speaking out about the problems in Venezuela. Francisco Cervelli, Salvador Perez, and Miguel Cabrera are just a few of the players who have made statements about the current situation. Other Latino players have also shown their support.

With the increasing tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela, and the upcoming deadline for a vote on the new legislature, these issues are sure to remain in the news. With the increasing involvement of major leaguers, perhaps more of us will be informed of what is happening internationally and perhaps something can be done to assist those living in Venezuela during these challenging times.

~ baseballrebecca

Best of the Week: 7/9-15/2017


I think Aaron Judge hitting the roof of Marlins Park counts for one of the best baseball stories of the week. As Sports Illustrated reported:

Aaron Judge’s Homer Off the Roof Denied NASA calculations.

Happy Sunday!

~ baseballrebecca

What’s Going On In Venezuela?


Miguel_Cabrera_(2011)
Miguel Cabrera, 2011 (image courtesy of Cbl62 via Wikipedia)

Venezuela was back in the U.S. public consciousness recently, if only for a brief moment. Earlier in the week, Miguel Cabrera posted several videos on social media speaking out against the violence and unrest in Venezuela. On Monday he stated, “I am tired of hearing that they are going to kidnap my mother, and I don’t know whether it is a policeman or a bad guy, I don’t know who they are. All I know is if I don’t pay, those people disappear.”

Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio declined to participate in the All Star festivities celebrating Latino players in MLB, noting: “Unfortunately, conditions in my country prevent me from traveling.”

“No puedo celebrar mientras los jóvenes de mi país mueren luchando por ideales de libertad [I can’t celebrate when young people of my country are dying for their freedom].” – Luis Aparicio

So what’s going on in Venezuela, and why do we know so little about it? For these Venezuelan players and those who support them, it’s a matter of freedom. For those of us who pay little attention to Venezuela, we need to be educated on the issues. Next week, I’ll post more of the background of the political and economic issues in Venezuela, as well as the role MLB has played in that country.

~ baseballrebecca