Baseball Jeremiad


A Curiously Intelligent Baseball blog

Last Night

I woke up this morning with a dream fresh in my head.

In the dream, I found myself watching a baseball game at a local high school field. Normal, I thought to myself. And then I realized the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing a high school and losing.

Here’s the kicker: twice in the inning the Pirates catcher threw the ball over the pitcher’s head to allow runners to advance and runs to score.

The poor Pirates can’t even win in dreams.

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Its a big world out there, but…

One of the great paradoxes of American life is that a huge percentage of kids in this country (including yours truly) play organized soccer, but the game’s popularity in this country among adults pales in comparison to baseball and football. There are many competing theories on this, but most of them boil down to the notion that soccer is “foreign.” Tim Joyce at Real Clear Sports examines this phenomenon:

Many have complained about globalization these last 20 years and the harm it does to countries, leading to homogenization and distillation of culture. I fully agree. And I see that happening with the insistence that soccer is the best game, the world’s sport and the plea of “why can’t America embrace it?” and “America is the only major country that ignores soccer.”

For me, I say good that we haven’t embraced it, because we’re different. And exceptional.

First of all, baseball is … well … just better than soccer. Purely subjectively speaking, of course. It’s harder to play and involves far more thought. The nuances and narratives are so much greater than in soccer. I also hold the clichéd view that soccer is often interminably boring and filled with so many complaining players that it makes NBA coaches appear completely submissive to referees.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pirates @ Nationals, non-Strasburg Edition

Despite 2 errors the Nationals came away with the curly W against the Buccos.  Neither starter was particularly good with each giving up 5 runs.  The Nationals bullpen was solid, allowing only 2 hits, 2 walks, and no runs over 4 1/3 innings.  The Nats are 5 games back in the East, a half game ahead of cellar dweller Florida.  The Nats are also the only team in the division with a negative run differential, at -15.  That indicates some lucky wins.

Some sights from tonight’s game as seen from Section 135.

The stadium was a tad less full for tonight's tilt with the Pirates.

Tonight's starter, Lannan, got a reception dissimilar to Strasburg's

Another shot of the empties.


Watching these guys play catch never gets old.


That guy again.

As Jersey Matt mentioned, today was Brad Lincoln's debut.

Bernadina with the fundamentally sound two-handed grab.

Adam Dunn and Jose Tabata: not the same size.

Bernadina again with the fundamentals. No wonder he was Player of the Game.

The Big Donkey.

Terrorism at work.

Bernadina taking a cut.

Close play at first.

Acrobatics at second.

One day I will do a whole piece on Clippard and his crazy throwing motion. It's one of my favorite parts of Nats games.


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Action in the Bullpen

For those of you who’ve been following our meager attempts at baseball punditry: thank you.

Posting around these parts has been sporadic, due in large part to unpredictable fluctuations in work. 

However, after writing for a couple of months, it appears as if we may have most of the kinks worked out of our linguistic arms.  With that in mind, look for a few changes here within the next few days.  We’ll be changing the outward appearance of the site, adding in some additional features to the sidebar and generally adding in some other reoccurring articles that we hope our readers will enjoy.


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Janish: Murph’s Blood on Mets’ Hands

Though I find myself regularly reading Matt Cerrone’s Mets Blog to keep myself up to date on the day to day happenings of my beloved Mets, I look forward to reading Joe Janish’s thoughtful commentary at Mets Today.

This morning, Joe has a post up about the season-ending (and possible career ending) injury to Daniel Murphy’s knee.

Janish opines:

Last year on this blog, I wrote about the Dan Murphy Myth. As a result of my “negativity” (I called it “realism”), many people thought I “didn’t like” Dan Murphy. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was merely being realistic about the kid’s skillset. To me, he was a so-so MLB hitter with no speed, below-average instincts, suspect strike zone judgment, slow feet in the field, and hard hands. I always felt his absolute ceiling was comparable to Mike Hargrove or Mark Grace, but more likely Matt Franco.

We may never know for sure whether Murphy had a chance to be Mark Grace, because his latest knee injury will have him out for the year — and potentially end his MLB career. The real shame, though, is that it didn’t have to happen this way.

Murphy’s original knee injury at the end of spring training was a freak accident; it could’ve happened to anyone. But his most recent MCL tear was avoidable.

Consistently, throughout Murphy’s rehab in extended spring training in Port St. Lucie, Mets management insisted that Murphy would only play first base. The reasoning was that the priority was his health. Once healthy, they might consider shuffling him around to be more versatile. This was the mantra while every baseball media outlet was suggesting that Murphy would soon become a “super utilityman”, and every commenting Mets fan was screaming for Murphy to replace Luis Castillo at 2B.

Read the rest here.

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Baseball Musings

  • Adam Dunn could become only second player ever to have higher number of strikeouts than BA (currently 157 K and .163). First was M Reynolds. 8 years ago
  • At least the New York Times remembers the Expos... 10 years ago
  • MLB Network on Sabathia: "CC is one of the few pitchers in the league who is his own batting eye." 10 years ago
  • Sabathia vs. Halladay tonight: noted hitting hurler Sabathia is hitting .500 against Cy Young winners (okay, he's 1 for 2 against Johan) 10 years ago
  • RT @jaysonst: Now that Stephen Strasburg has pulled into town, the most important era in Nationals history has officially begun. http:// ... 10 years ago

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