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A Loss? What is a Loss? June 8, 2014 Weekend Links

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Domer photobombing a picture of the Rogers Centre-CN Tower cake.
Domer photobombing a picture of the Rogers Centre-CN Tower cake.
Minor Leaguer

It's been another week of excellent baseball for Jays fans.  Hopefully another long winning streak begins today.


The Blue Jay Hunter: Flashback Friday: Domer the Skydome Mascot
Whether they want to admit it or not, I think a lot of people have a soft spot in their hearts for mascots. Perhaps it's their big sympathetic eyes, but mascots are a fun and accessible part of the game where often times the players are inaccessible.  Note:  It looks like a mutant in a half shell, but not teenagy.

Philadelphia story: A cautionary tale for Blue Jays fans – and their critics - The Globe and Mail
Toronto sports fans know too well that in this city, committing to a team includes risk of heartbreak.

Jose Bautista helps teen get a date to prom | Toronto Star
Blue Jay Jose Bautista traded in his baseball bat for cupid’s arrow on Wednesday, helping two Newport Beach teens get together for prom.  Note:  The only thing more powerful than Jose's Bat is Jose's Love.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey’s good fortune shows why baseball minds are rethinking how wins are awarded | National Post
Baseball's rules don't allow for any creativity in awarding wins

Jose Bautista’s adjustments allowing him to beat the shift | Toronto Star
Working with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, Bautista said he is being "less stubborn and hard-headed" and showing more willingness to hit the ball to the opposite field this season.

Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer getting results for first-place Blue Jays - The Globe and Mail
Toronto’s offensive statistics over the first two months of the campaign have been eye-opening  Note: SEITZER!  SEITZER!! SEITZER!!!!

The Blue Jay Hunter: The Plight of the Weary Blue Jays Fan
Are the Toronto Blue Jays for real? Can they keep this up? Could they conceivably end their 21 playoff drought this year?

Blue Jays select pitcher Hoffman and catcher Pentecost in amateur draft - The Globe and Mail
The Toronto Blue Jays looked to improve their battery at Major League Baseball’s first-year amateur draft, selecting pitcher Jeff Hoffman ninth overall and catcher Max Pentecost 11th overall.  Note:  For those hiding under an internet rock and ignoring the coverage done by the BBB team.


High School Arms and the #1 Pick | FanGraphs Baseball
The MLB draft kicks off tonight, and for the third year in a row, the Houston Astros will have the top selection. For the third year in a row, no one really knows what they’re going to do. Two years ago, they went for an under-slot high school shortstop, taking Carlos Correa ahead of Byron Buxton and Mark Appel, though Correa certainly looks like a terrific prospect in his own right. Last year, they went with the consensus, taking Appel and paying closer to the slot value of the pick.

The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches | FanGraphs Baseball
This is a series where we watch major league baseball players do things poorly which in one sense is insulting and which in another sense functions as a series of backhand compliments.

The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings | FanGraphs Baseball
The draft is one of the most critical events for an organization, and when evaluating drafts, a common measure is whether a given drafted player made it to the major leagues. Keep in mind that all of the players you see below made it to the major leagues — and some of them attempted terrible swings. There are major leaguers and there are successful draft picks, and while there is overlap it’s hardly complete. Drafting is difficult and baseball is difficult.

A Major League Pitcher's Guide To Baseball's BS Unwritten Rules
I was feet-up in my basement playing PlayStation when I heard about Tim Kurkjian's piece over at ESPN on "The Unwritten Canon, Revealed," claiming to be an all-access pass to baseball's exhaustive list of unwritten rules.

The Astros Just Changed The Game For Big Prospects In Small Markets
Today, the Astros signed prospect Jon Singleton to a big contract extension before he's played a game in the majors. It's a bit of baseball history, but more than that, it's an undeniably great move for Houston, and a look at the future of how small market teams will attempt to stay competitive.

Visitors To Hell: How Two Minor Leaguers Earned Their Medals Of Honor
The walls were plywood. The ramp was steel. On June 6, 1944, Joe Pinder fought seasickness in a cramped troop carrier, waiting to take his place on Omaha Beach. On March 8, 1945, Jack Lummus grew impatient in an Iwo Jima foxhole, after 36 hours pinned down by sniper fire. Both men had once made a living playing minor league baseball. Both would be dead by night.

Talking Situational Wins – The Hardball Times
I am totally fascinated by WPA/LI, even though I can’t really tell you what it is. The title says what it is: Win Probability Added divided by Leverage Index, but that doesn’t really help.

Peephole Into the Postseason: Winners vs. Winners – The Hardball Times
The Oakland A’s are, almost by acclamation, the sabermetrics community’s favorite baseball team.

Grounders in the Age of the Shift | FanGraphs Baseball
The shift, of course, has existed in some form for decades, but I don’t need to overwhelm you with a bunch of specific numbers — it’s common knowledge, at this point, that defensive shifts are in.

In Defense of Jeffrey Loria and the Marlins – The Hardball Times
For two years now, I’ve held an opinion that conflicts directly and dramatically with the consensus (if not unanimous) opinion of the world of baseball. I suspect that I stand so brazenly alone in holding this opinion that I fear it places me in the same lunatic fringe as a conspiracy theorist.

The Physical Obstacle for Women in Baseball – The Hardball Times
My wife is pregnant. Friends ask me, "Do you want a boy or girl?" I answer, "It doesn’t matter. The child’s playing baseball either way."

The Screwball: Book It! The Next Big Things in Baseball Page-Turners – The Hardball Times
Baseball books are great. First of all, they’re books, and books keep our minds off TV. Second, they’re about baseball, and baseball isn’t bowling. What follows, one imagines, is a look at the bestsellers to come.

Unlucky Norichika Aoki Gets Hit In Head With Throw Back To Mound
Royals outfielder Nori Aoki has had an odd string of bad luck recently.  Note:  He's on my fantasy team and a perfect symbol as to how it is going...

O.C.P. Now Stands For 'Opening Crap Pitch'
RoboCop threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Detroit today, and it was only marginally better than his latest movie.  Note: I would not buy that for a dollar.  And the movie either.

50 Cent Threw A Horrendous First Pitch At Tonight's Mets Game
50 Cent threw out the first pitch a couple weeks ago at Citi Field, so let's all watch as one of the most successful rappers ever fails to throw a baseball anywhere near home plate.  Note:  I would not buy that for 50 cents.


Baseball History - June 7th - National Pastime - Baseball History
1989 For the first time in major league history, the same game is played partly outdoors and partly indoors when the Blue Jays beat the Brewers, 4-2 in a contest that features the closing of the SkyDome's retractable roof in the fifth inning due to inclement weather. Note: First Jays victory at the 'Dome after THREE tries.  Stupid Brew Crew.

Baseball History - June 8th - National Pastime - Baseball History
1968 Dodger right-hander Don Drysdale's scoreless streak ends at a record 58 2/3 consecutive innings when Tony Taylor is driven in by Howie Bedell's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. It will be the Phillies outfielder's only RBI for the season.