Florida’s BBWAA members’ 2014 Hall of Fame selections

Curious how Florida’s BBWAA members voted for the 2014 Hall of Fame induction class?  Here’s what we have so far.  Check back for updates to this list.

Joe Henderson, Tampa Tribune:  Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas.

Dennis Maffezzoli, Herald-Tribune:  Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas.

Roger Mooney, Tampa Tribune, TBO.com:  Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell.

Aurelio Moreno, El Sentinel/Sun Sentinel:  Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas.

Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun-Sentinel:  Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell.

Clark Spencer, Miami Herald:  Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg  Maddux, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Frank Thomas, Larry Walker.

Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times:  Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas.

Florida’s BBWAA members’ selections from last year are listed here.

The entire list of 2014 Hall of Fame ballot selections is now available here on the BBWAA site.

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Baseballers brawl in Australia, Florida scarcely involved

The following points represent entirely reasonable justifications for posting to a site devoted to Florida baseball, video of a brawl which took place in the Australian Baseball League:

  1. The base runner rounding third base, Patrick Leonard, is currently a member of the Tampa Bay Rays organization.  He was acquired from the Royals as part of the James Shields/Wil Myers trade.  Also, Mr. Leonard was a two-time Florida All-State selection in high school.
  2. Catcher Daniel Arribas, a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, played in the Gulf Coast League in 2013.  Also, Mr. Arribas was born in Miami.
  3. During this one episode of 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin’s character refers to the state of Florida as “the Australia of the United States”.
  4. When it’s not calling your mom late at night to make sexy plans for even later that night, the BBB is in the business of acquiring hot internet clicks, and posting baseball fight videos is a means to that end.

H/T: CBS Eye on Baseball and Big League Stew

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Let’s Replace the Word Half-inning: An Update

Nearly two years ago now, the BBB proposed a new word to replace the awkward and awful sounding “half-inning” forevermore.   At every utterance, it is preceded by hesitation as the speaker searches in vain for a better word to describe either the top or bottom of an inning.  And so, as required by the merciless doctrines, we submitted our carbon copied forms on time and in triplicate to the relevant nomenclatural authorities:  Baseball Lexicon’s (i) Steering Committee; (ii) Ways and Means Subcommittee; (iii) Holy Synod; and (iv) the Diocesan Grievance Review & Change Control Convocation.  Still, we await their response.

As you may recall, the BBB proposed the words “chad” or “wick” to replace half-inning, in honor of 19th-century baseball writer, Henry Chadwick.  Another suggestion was “leg”, because it was, and still is, used in one of the early British bat and ball games known as bat and trap.  The prior BBB post is here. You should read that before proceeding.

Well, roust the herald buglers from the chambermaids’ beds and polish their instruments for blowing, for we have uncovered new evidence in support of our proposal!  Retire to your mahogany library, scale the rolling wooden ladder to the second floor where your secret brandy flask is kept inside a tattered copy of The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.  Turn to the chapter on the 1870s and you will find the following excerpt:


New Terms or Expressions:  During a tour of England in 1874, Henry Chadwick drew up a lexicon of the game for the benefit of the British writers.  It included such terms as assists, passed balls, balks, fungoes, grounders, pop-ups, double plays, overthrows, and whitewashed.  Other terms are not now in use, such as muffed balls, daisy cutters, and line balls (which, of course, became line drives).

So, there we have it.  Not only does Mr. Chadwick deserve for many other reasons to be immortalized within the lexicon, but he also served to develop said lexicon.  Bill James himself has declared it.  What more do you require, various and sundry committees!  Which ritualistic act of loyalty must we perform to earn your ecclesiastical decree?  If it pleases the committees, we are prepared to kill both heretics and hobos for this necessary end.  What say you now, good sirs and madams?  What say you!

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Let us explore terms and expressions whose names may not be familiar.  From Wikipedia:

fungo:  A fly ball hit for fielders to practice catching. It is not part of the game, but is accomplished by a batter tossing the ball a short distance up in the air and then batting it himself.

fungo bat:  A lightweight bat with a long, skinny barrel used to hit fungoes. It is not a legal or safe bat to use in a game or even in practice with a live pitcher, because it is too light.

A whitewash is an informal term in sport describing a game or series in which the losing person or team fails to score.

Taken from the free preview available at Google Books, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, by Paul Dickson:

muff

Also from Dickson:

daisy

In the interest of due diligence, and realizing just before publishing this post that not doing so would be an act of complete jackassery, the BBB thought it wise to search this Dickson free preview for the words half-inning and inning also.  Maybe there we might find a previously conceived replacement for the word half-inning.

half

Nope, nothing of interest there.  Moving on…

In keeping with the comprehensive nature of Dickson’s 974-page baseball tome, which we realized we must purchase immediately if not sooner, and in fact did so, Dickson has not one, but two entries for inning:  one singular and the other plural.  For the purposes of this post, the most interesting aspects of the entries are the synonyms provided within the entry for the singular.  The plural entry is also provided below:

inning1

inning2

inningsinnings2

Hmm…, canto and chukker.  Those are distinct possibilities.  Well, having already committed ourselves to either chad or wick, or possibly leg, we must now set about the task of post-decision rationalization as it pertains to striking down these young up-and-comers, canto and chukker, which by virtue of being pleasing to the ear, are clearly the leading candidates to overthrow our previous proposal.

First, canto:

canto

No, this simply won’t do.  It seems like a stretch to borrow a term from long-form poetry and apply it to baseball.  Plus, epic poems?  TLDR.

Next:

chukker
This won’t do either.  We, the filthy repugnant masses, would not take kindly to an elitist polo incursion prancing atop the working-class ethos of baseball, even if, especially if, it arrived directed by dressage.  It’s a shame, though.  Chukker just sounds so good.

Although canto and chukker have not succeeded in overthrowing our previous proposal, further reflection on chad, wick, and leg leads us to admit that one is in fact the superior candidate.  Despite its bat and trap heritage, leg is too… anatomical, and chad is too strong a reminder of our state’s electoral embarrassment during the 2000 presidential election.

So, it is decided.  If we have slain a sufficient number of witches and hobos to satisfy the committees, and if it pleases the Baseball Lexicon, wick shall replace half-inning, forevermore.  Here’s to you, Henry.

Henry Chadwick, amply-bearded gentleman

Henry Chadwick

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On-sale dates for 2014 spring training tickets

Happy New Year, everyone.  Now that last night’s distilled spirits have frightened away the sugarplum fairies in your head, it’s time to turn your attention to spring training.  Thanks to the good folks at SpringTrainingOnline.com and their informative email newsletter, we have below the on-sale dates for individual Grapefruit League spring training tickets. 

The BBB made one update to the list, however.  The Pittsburgh Pirates offer an “Early Bird Presale Opportunity”, which simply means the tickets go on sale three days earlier, at an additional cost of five dollars.

Because the teams’ websites are remarkably inconsistent in terms of where to click to get spring training ticket information, the BBB did most of the heavy lifting for you.  So that you may more easily give your money away to athletic millionaires and the billionaires to whom they are beholden, each link below will take you to a page that reasonably approximates where you can purchase tickets.  Not every teams’ page provides the on-sale dates listed below, but we must assume SpringTrainingOnline.com has at its disposal secret connections providing that information.

Atlanta Braves: Now
Boston Red Sox: Now
Toronto Blue Jays: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m.
Philadelphia Phillies: Thursday, January 9, 9 a.m.
New York Yankees: Friday, January 10, 10 a.m.
Detroit Tigers: Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. ET
Miami Marlins: Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. ET
Minnesota Twins: Saturday, January 11, 8 a.m. CST
St. Louis Cardinals: Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. ET
New York Mets: Saturday, January 18, at 10 a.m.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Saturday, January 25, at 10 a.m. (Presale: Wednesday, January 22 at 9 a.m. ET until Friday, January 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET.)
Baltimore Orioles: Saturday, January 25, 2014
Houston Astros: January (date unspecified)
Tampa Bay Rays: January (date unspecified)
Washington Nationals: Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. ET

Here is a 2014 master schedule for the Grapefruit League, also provided by SpringTrainingOnline.com.

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The Dayn Perry Chap Flap

Recently, the world of independent publishing was shaken to its core by the release of Drinking with Boileryard Clarke:  Dayn Perry Celebrates Baseball & Himself.  Hand-bound by the gentlemanly, yet ostentatiously mustachioed Robert J. Baumann, this chapbook is a collection of entertaining NotGraphs posts written by the aforementioned celebrator and notorious Chicago ruffian, Dayn Perry.

A Mississippi native, Mr. Perry has on many occasions lobbed gravely insulting remarks about the Sunshine State into our Florida pool from across the border.  Here is a link to the most skillful example.  All other examples are merely the shit-smeared, crumpled scrawls of a madman, and they currently reside in an evidence locker at the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee. 

Despite Mr. Perry’s distaste for our great state, I must say that I adore his creative writing.  So, I agreed to purchase the new release under one condition:  by way of a personal inscription in the chapbook, Mr. Perry must apologize to the BBB and renounce all of his defamatory comments made at Florida’s expense.

Mr. Perry feigned agreement with my request, but on the first page of the chapbook I found his curt rejoinder:

ForDavidsigfff

Aghast and alarmed, I resigned myself to the fact that Mr. Perry was intransigent in his position – his lofty position as an aristocrat of the Mississippi bayou.

Months passed with no update to this story, until just a few days ago.  While perusing Twitter for recycled online shopping discount codes, I happened across the following tweet:

pancho096For those unaware of their comedic rivalry, the joke here is that Mr. Perry sent Mr. Cistulli a prank gift that will no doubt leave Mr. Cistulli blinking and be-sooted following the cartoon explosion.  I assume the tweet came from a mutual friend of the two, and he would soon deliver the package to Mr. Cistulli.

I examined the handwriting on the gift and compared it to the inscription I received months ago.  Lo and behold, the capital D does not match!  The person who penned the inscription is not the same person who wrote the gift tag!  Don your deerstalker, retrieve the hand lens from your satchel and review the evidence for yourself.  The capital D in the greeting and signature of the inscription contain lateral pen strokes above and below the vertical stem, to the left.  The capital D on the gift tag does not contain such a flourish.  It is much more rudimentary, you see.

So whose handwriting belongs to which item?  It is obvious to me that Mr. Perry wrote the tag on the Christmas present himself.  If Mr. Perry were attempting to murder Mr. Cistulli, renowned for his exploits among the Parisian battle royale underground, he would not have delegated such a dicey task to an assistant.  He would have done it himself.  An inscription to an admiring fan, however?  Well, that can be pawned off easily to a junior associate the likes of Mr. Baumann.  It is clear, however, that the profane thoughts in the inscription are Mr. Perry’s own.  The alliterative triad shown above is not even the worst of it.  The absolute worst parts are not fit for even the wilds of the Internet.  Clearly, no one but Dayn Perry could achieve such vulgarity.

In summary, I suspect Mr. Perry deceived me regarding the apology, cashed my Diners Club travelers cheque in the amount of $9.00, and then forced Mr. Baumann to transcribe his awful thoughts before packaging them for delivery to me via the post.  I have been hoodwinked, bamboozled, and dare I say, flimflammed, and Messrs. Perry and Baumann are to blame.

God save the great state of Florida and the inviolate principles she represents.

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Please know that this post is comprised almost entirely of lies.  Bold-faced lies.  Lies of omission.  I love Messrs. Perry and Baumann.  I love and fear Mr. Cistulli.

Babe Ruth Recommends White Shellac

shellac

This document is part of the Schrader’s Little Cooperstown exhibit, currently on display at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

front

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Spring Training Classics Series at Tampa Theatre

What do Athens, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, Havana, Oslo, Jaipur, Sydney and Berkhamsted have in common with Tampa?  Well…, yes, the BBB has sired countless virile offspring in each of these cities.  The sounds of our passionate lovemaking have emanated from many a breezy bedroom window sheer in these downtowns, to be sure.  But in addition to that, what do these cities have in common?

Each has one of the ten most beautiful cinemas in the world, according to the BBC.  Link here.  Excerpt:

The Tampa Theatre is a temple to the 1920s Baroque, an exquisitely preserved example of silent-era movie palace excess that could double for a set in a Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler. The cinema was erected in the ‘Florida Mediterranean’ style, meaning that it includes touches of Moorish, Spanish, Byzantine, Italian Renaissance, and Greek Revival influence. Its ceiling is painted to resemble the night sky and even includes 99 ‘twinkling stars’, tiny embedded lightbulbs and its Wurlitzer organ, featuring nearly 900 pipes, provides accompaniment before and after screenings of the latest arthouse and indie offerings. (John Coletti/JAI/Corbis)

lobby

This Tampa jewel will host a Spring Training Classics Series, sponsored by the New York Yankees.

topschedule

Link to event description at the Tampa Theatre website.

Marion County Commission: Delay the referendum, prepare the Octagon for battle

On Tuesday, Marion County commissioners were to decide how voters would participate in a referendum to determine if a three-year, half-cent sales tax would be levied for the construction of a new 4,500-seat stadium for the Yankees single-A club, which currently plays its games in Tampa.  Would the ballot simply be mailed to all registered voters or would there be a traditional ballot, consisting of (a) mail-in votes, (b) early voting at the polls, and (c) standard day-of participation?  For reasons probably known only to the power-wielding elite of the local Ocala Moose Lodge and their Trilateral Commission Overlords, there was disagreement among the Commission as to which method would most benefit the glorious Peoples of Marion County.  However, on the matter of delay, there was unanimous agreement.  The commissioners decided to postpone the decision until January 7th, when the matter will be settled, once and for all, in a greased octagon lit by a single torch and bathed in the fervent exhortations of Ocala’s citizenry.

octagon

Ocala.com has the details.

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Marion County commissioners to decide voting method for proposed Ocala stadium tax hike

Proposed Yankee Stadium in Ocala would seat 4,500.

Proposed Yankee Stadium in Ocala would seat 4,500.

Proposed Yankee Stadium for Marion County

Proposed Yankee Stadium for Marion County.

To state that the BBB is not in the business of reporting news is to suggest that it is in the business of anything at all, which is clearly not the case.  However, the purpose of this post is to inform you of important facts.  So, by way of the links below, we’ll leave the reporting to the professionals.  If you’d like, you can click the links right away, like some kind of bubbleheaded nincompoop, or you can indulge us with the following nutshell so as to familiarize yourself with the subject at hand.

On Tuesday, Marion County commissioners will decide the method by which residents will vote for or against a tax increase.  The proposed three-year, half-cent sales tax hike is intended to pay for a new stadium in Ocala for the Yankees’ single-A minor league club, currently headquartered at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.  Tomorrow’s vote is simply to decide whether the vote will be exclusively by mail, or if the vote will be of the traditional variety.  A traditional voting method is expected to generate less voter participation than an all mail-in vote.  If the project is successful, the Tampa Yankees will begin playing in the new stadium in April 2016.  There are no plans to move the Major League Yankees’ spring training away from Steinbrenner Field.

Ocala StarBanner

Ocala StarBanner

WFTV

WFTV

In the coming months, there will no doubt be many a business leader and local politician uttering the dubious phrase, “This new stadium will put Ocala on the map.”

 

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Sunshine State Rain-outs


According to statistics gathered by the BBB’s meteorological and statistical departments, 10.9% of Florida State League contests since the beginning of the 2012 season have been postponed or canceled due to rain.  In a joint effort by the cloud crowd and the number lumpers, the BBB gathered, filtered, and sensually massaged game schedule data from each of the FSL’s team websites (example).  The tables below show a wide variation among the teams, with the Clearwater Threshers experiencing only four rain-outs at home from opening day 2012 through August 1st, 2013, but the Lakeland Tigers suffering thirty-six during the same time period.


2012

2013

The word “meeting”, as used above, represents either a normal uninterrupted game; or a game started but suspended until another day due to rain; or the resumption of a game suspended by rain on a previous day; or games postponed or canceled due to rain.  The total number of meetings represented in the charts above is 1633.  The total number of rain-outs is 178.  That’s a league-wide rain-out percentage of 10.9.


Postponements and cancellations due to “inclement weather” or “wet grounds” were counted as rain also.


Most of us view rain-outs as merely an infrequent annoyance, but at a rate of nearly 11%, their impact is probably much greater than we think.  Does Lakeland have a hidden advantage over its FSL competition because of its high rain-out rate?  Do their relief pitchers get extra rest days that relievers of other teams do not enjoy?  Or do they suffer a disadvantage because postponed games are frequently made up with double-headers, which force their position players to play twice in the same day?  Does this increase potential for injury?  Speaking of double-header games, they’re usually truncated to seven innings each, which reduces a player’s overall time spent playing ball.  Do scouts suffer from this reduced exposure to the players they’re watching, and are their player evaluations adversely affected by long double-header days spent watching fourteen innings in hot, humid weather?


If you’re the general manager of a major league club, do you consider the frequency of rain-outs and its effect on pitcher rotations?  Do you really want your top prospect getting all warmed-up, just to have his start rained-out?  For a team like Lakeland, with close to a quarter of its home meetings rained out, that’s a real concern, especially for the younger pitchers of high-A baseball who may not have learned yet how their bodies will react to such adverse start-and-stop physical demands.


We at the BBB find this topic very interesting, and may attempt to answer a question or two listed above in future posts.  Stay tuned.

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