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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Yao-Lin Wang Dominates America!

Hello readers.  We’re back with another regularly-scheduled occasional post.  This time we bring you video from last night’s matchup between the Daytona Cubs and Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The BBB scouting department, which employs zero actual scouts, recently invested in the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  This $32.95 purchase ushers in a new day for the BBB.  No longer will we sit in confused ignorance as nameless minor league jerseys perform athletic feats before us.  Now we have backstories, scouting reports, draft and contract details for the top thirty prospects in each MLB organization.  It is really quite nice to read a quick summary of a player as he approaches the plate, then see those descriptions come alive before you during the at-bat.  Does the batter have a long swing, quick hands, trouble with breaking pitches, or above-average gap power?  It’s pretty neat to learn these things then be able to see them for yourself during the plate appearance.    This does become problematic however, when you’re trying to read and watch the game at the same time.  Frequently, there is the urge to press pause on some non-existent life remote.

Moving on to things we can control, let’s proceed to the video.  This game had several highly-ranked prospects.  Javier Baez is the no. 1ranked prospect in the Cubs organization.  The Yankees had their no. 1-, 3-, and 7-ranked prospects on display in Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, and Angelo Gumbs, respectively.  Interestingly, each of these top Yankee prospects went down on strikes to Taiwanese RHP Yao-Lin Wang.   Wang boasts a 9.68 K/9 across 183 minor league innings, dating back to 2010.  He’s not listed in the Prospect Handbook but it was fun to watch nonetheless as he pitched four innings, striking out five batters, and only gave up one hit and a walk.

This video also features #3-ranked Yankees prospect, catcher Garry Sanchez.

Additionally, the videos sparked some interest from a Taiwanese baseball site, mlbtw.net.  The BBB received a secret back channel communication from the proprietor of that fine internet outpost requesting permission to share the videos with the glorious people of Taiwan.  Rejoice, Taiwan, for on this day your right-handed hero dominates America!  We welcome the Taiwanese people and their virtuous women to the BBB.  Please join us for some freshly-squeezed American baseball and orange juice.

The Tasing of a Fat Man

Polite society will not long abide the rowdy propositioning of a purposeful young man by a shiftless old tosspot, brain awash in the finest malted barley single-A baseball has to offer.  Polite society will, however, capture this moment on video and post it on YouTube for all the world to enjoy.  Like any proper Florida baseball game, the video below proceeds at a leisurely pace, is rife with catcalls and heckling, and culminates in the tasing of an unmanageable fat man.

The Daytona Cubs website offers this description of the setting:  “The Budweiser Bullpen is located down the right field line. It offers a unique view of the game.”  Yes, on this day it certainly did that.  Oh boy, it did a lot of that.

The Cubs website also details the alcohol policy: 

Fans must be 21 years of age with positive identification to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages. The Daytona Cubs reserve the right to suspend service at any time at the sole discretion of the Cubs management and reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

Apparently, Cubs management, in concert with the local constables, also reserves the right to suspend the proper functioning of your nervous system should you publicly and loudly offer a “bag of pennies” to see another man’s “heinie”.   Fair enough, I say.

Witness the long, coiled, crackling arm of the law:

 

If you’ve already wasted 9 minutes of your life watching the first video, what’s another minute and 20 seconds?

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