On the Road Again Sunday April 13, 2014 Links

Patrick Smith

Loads of Jays and MLB links for your weekend reading amusement.

JAYS LINKS

Blue Jays manager Gibbons says it’s too early to focus on the negatives - The Globe and Mail
Toronto, warts and all, is still tied in first place in the American League East

Family comes first for Blue Jays catcher Kratz - Sportsnet.ca
Erik Kratz was left off of the Jays' opening day roster only to be recalled days later. That's typical of the long road that led Kratz and his close-knit family to the Renaissance Hotel at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jay Hunter: 3 Up 3 Down: Melky, Lawrie and Santos
A quick look at the Blue Jays 5-2 win over the Astros, with thoughts on Melky Cabrera and more.

The Riser, the Runner, and the Best Fastball to Hit the Majors this Year – The Hardball Times
A look at Marcus Stroman

Jays encouraged by Morrow's dominant start - Sportsnet.ca
Brandon Morrow dominated the Astros, touching 98 mph and striking out nine. It's an encouraging sign for the Blue Jays, who see the start as 'something to build off of' for the right-hander.

Blue Jays' Diaz: 'There were some hard times' - Sportsnet.ca
After 811 minor league games and a number of near-misses, Jonathan Diaz is finally getting a real big league opportunity. The Blue Jays infielder and his family have overcome long odds.

Toronto Blue Jays’ Maicer Izturis learns to compartmentalize amid fears over family’s safety in Venezuela | National Post
Izturis has earned high marks for his work so far this season. When he goes home, however, he tends to worry

The Blue Jay Hunter: Flashback Friday: Alfredo Griffin's Hilariously Bad Strikeout
Flashing back to a horribly bad strikeout by Alfredo Griffin.

MLB LINKS

MLB umpire John Hirschbeck mourns loss of second son | Toronto Star
The Indians will observe a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game for Michael, who worked as a bat boy many times for Cleveland.

Giants Minor Leaguer Dives Head First Into Outfield Wall
Things got scary during a Triple-A game in Salt Lake City last night. Darren Ford, an outfielder in the San Francisco Giants' farm system, took a head-first dive into the wall while laying out for a foul ball.

The Masahiro Tanaka of the National League | FanGraphs Baseball
But, a little more quietly, there is a pitcher in the National League that has put up a very similar line, and you probably won’t believe who it is.

A Major League Pitcher's Guide To Doctoring A Baseball
The old saying says that it's not illegal if you don't get caught. In baseball, sometimes it isn't illegal even if you do.

MLB has no plans to discipline Michael Pineda after pine tar incident | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Pineda was observed with a foreign substance on his hand, but MLB isn't going to do anything about it. Note: "Shocking"

‘Be discreet’: MLB players, managers accept pitchers using sticky substances for better grip | National Post
Ever since pitchers started throwing to batters in the 1800s, they've looked for an edge

FanGraphs on Fox: Yordano Ventura’s Flamethrowing Ways | FanGraphs Baseball
Last year, out of every starting pitcher who started at least one major-league game, Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura threw the hardest average fastball. His lead over second place was more than a full mile per hour.

The Wondrous and Withering Weather – The Hardball Times
At The Hardball Times, we spend a lot of time quantifying different events that occur on the baseball field. We don’t do this just because we can, but because we want to understand where value is created and lost. One of the areas where we don’t do a great job is with weather.

Harold Reynolds Announces Revolutionary Findings In Physics
As Yasiel Puig and Josh Hamilton recently found out, sliding into first base is a dumb idea. It is, first, a good way to get hurt, and also everyone knows that it doesn't get you to the bag any faster, because the gains you make by getting closer to the bag are canceled out by negative acceleration and friction. What Harold Reynolds proposes, though, is that everyone is wrong. He's so sure of this that he went on TV last night and attempted to revolutionize man's understanding of the physical universe.

Jose Abreu And Danny Salazar Make Meaningless Game Something Special
If you're the kind of person who lacks the requisite attention span to sit through all nine innings of a baseball game, last night's game between the White Sox and Indians was perfect for you. You only needed to stick around for five innings of baseball in order to catch all of the awesomeness packed within the game, including Danny Salazar pitching like strikeouts and home runs are the only true outcomes, and Jose Abreu turning two more baseballs into ICBMs.

Hawk Harrelson Should Probably Not Suggest "Asians" Are "Deceptive"
After a pitch that caught Alexei Ramirez swinging and missing, Hawk declared it to be an example of "typical Asian motion. Deception involved!" You know, compared to North American pitchers, who tell batters which pitch they're going to throw ahead of time.

BAD BRACKET LINKS

Proof That America Fills Out March Madness Brackets Like Idiots
You're looking at a chart from Stephen Pettigrew's look at 11 million brackets yesterday. Pay special attention to the spike at 680 points, though. It's the strangest damn thing you'll see today.

TODAY IN BAD BASERUNNING HISTORY

Baseball History - April 13th - National Pastime - Baseball History
1984 On the same date he got his first major league hit 21-years earlier, Pete Rose, as a member of the Expos, doubles off Phillies hurler Jerry Koosman for his 4000th hit, becoming the first player in the National League to reach the milestone. Montreal beats Philadelphia in the Friday the 13th contest at Olympic Stadium, 5-1.

2012 Josh Thole's bizarre base running blunder leads to a very odd double play in the second inning of the Mets' 5-2 victory at Citizens Bank Park. After successfully reaching second base on R.A. Dickey's sacrifice bunt, the 25 year-old Mets' catcher shocks everyone, including the Philadelphia defense, by trying to return to first base where he is tagged out to complete the unusual 3-1-6-4 twin killing.

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