MLB Looking For New Ways To Speed Up The Game.

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Written By: Alex Slade

“Phase Two of Major League Baseball’s extended instant-replay rollout hasn’t yet been finalized”, MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre said at the General Managers meetings on Wednesday. But one change has been determined for sure: We won’t be seeing any more of those manager walks out of the dugout to waste time and wait for the signal to challenge or not, and trust me they will not be missed!

Joe Torre was pleased with the first season of baseball’s replay challenge system, even if teams were not always sure what could be reviewed.

“A successful first season in the books”, but MLB might look at tweaking replay challenges to prevent managers from stalling in the middle of the diamond while someone on the bench signals whether a call should be contested.

”When we first talked about challenges, if you got out of the dugout you couldn’t challenge, but I didn’t want to take away from the fact that the manager could run out there and argue,” Torre said Wednesday at the general managers’ meetings.

”I didn’t really plan on them meandering out there and having a conversation, but you live and you learn,” the Hall of Fame manager said.

MLB instituted a new replay system allowing a manager one challenge per game, another if that one is successful. Reviewable plays covered everything from force and tag plays to fan interference and home runs.
Though the new system was occasionally criticized for making long games even longer, most managers and players were pleased with the system – they just wanted the correct calls to be made.

But because a lot of the plays happen so quickly, managers would routinely go out to discuss a call on any close play to give their own video people time to run back the play. Some got carried away, lingering on the field, pretending to discuss the call with the umpires while awaiting word from the dugout whether to challenge the play or not.

The MLB is trying to cut down on the length of games, not add to them, so Torre said the rules committee has discussed ways to prevent that from happening.

”That’s one area we’ll do something differently,” he said. ”I’m not sure what that is, but certainly we will eliminate some of that standing around because 10 seconds is a long time in our game.”

The length of games has been an issue in baseball for years and MLB is looking at way to speed up the game.

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Baseball has been experimenting with pitch clocks in the Arizona Fall League which you can learn about here. (Arizona Fall League Introduces “Pace Of Play” Clocks.)

Some players in the league have complained about feeling rushed, but the games have been quicker, so MLB will take a look at possibly implementing some elements of the pace-of-play measures.

The MLB may also tweak the blocking-the-plate rule. The measure seems to have cut down on collisions and injuries, but has led to confusion on exactly what’s allowed.

MLB clarified the rule late in the season, saying umpires should not call runners safe on a blocking call if the ball clearly beats them.

”Right now, we’re going to discuss in the rules committee and, along with the players’ association, see if we can make it a little clearer,” Torre said.

Giants win 3-2, making this their third championship win in the last five seasons.

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Written By: Alex Slade

The Kansas City Royals were in their “Cinderella” season. The team hadn’t made the playoffs since 1985, and the fact that they made it to the World Series was basically a miracle given how bad the franchise has been for so many years, compared to the San Francisco Giants, who won the World Series in 2010 and 2012.

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That said, it’s no surprise that the city of San Francisco was a little scared leading up their final game against the Royals given the unlikelihood of the Royals even being in the Series in the first place; two San Francisco radio stations actually banned the Lorde song “Royals” from the airwaves until the Series was over which is really ridiculous if you ask me, but hey whatever works right?

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“Bumgarner’s a great starting pitcher,” Royals manager Ned Yost said before tonights game. “We’ll see what kind of reliever he is.”

Good enough.

Handed a one-run lead in the fifth inning, Bumgarner pitched a dominant final five innings, helping the Giants win their third title in five years as they took Game 7, 3-2,

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Cardinals Rookie Outfielder Oscar Taveras Dies In Car Accident.

IMG_0188.JPGWritten By : Alex Slade.

Oscar Taveras; who was just 22-years old, died in a car accident sunday near his home in the Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old debuted in the major leagues this season, hitting .239 in 80 regular-season games.

Prior to the fourth inning of Game 5 of the World Series between the Royals and Giants, Ken Rosenthal announced that St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident while driving with his girlfriend who was also killed in the crash.

Reports are still coming in about all this but here is a picture of the car he was driving that i found on twitter.

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Taveras was the top prospect in the Cardinals organization and it was said by many that he was the next Albert Pujols. Although he hit a home run in his big league debut on May 31st against the Giants, he would only hit two more over his next 232 regular season at bats in a rookie campaign in which he hit .239 and struggled defensively. But Taveras had a huge moment in Game 2 of the NLCS when he tied the game with a solo HR in the seventh inning off Giants reliever Jean Machi.

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Very sad to say that just two weeks after his greatest triumph on a baseball field, the life of Oscar Taveras was cut short.

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KC Crowned American League Champions!

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Written By: Alex Slade

Kansas City was all smiles today as the Royals swept the O’s to take the ALCS. After nearly 3 decades with out being in the postseason they will move on to the World Series!

With more amazing defense, an some good offense that plated two runs in the first inning, and a bullpen that shut down the Baltimore Orioles once again, The Royals wrapped up a sweep of the AL Championship Series.

Next stop: The Royals’ first Fall Classic since 1985! They’ll face the winner of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals.

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Mike Moustakas Helps The Royals take a 3-0 Series Lead In The ALCS

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Written By: Alex Slade

The rain was not a factor today in Kansas City as The Royals’ take the o’s for a 3-0 series lead and i must say The Royals first postseason in 29 years has been very much defined by head-turning defensive plays, from Lorenzo Cain’s range in center to Nori Aoki’s adventurous routes in right to Eric Hosmer’s dives to the bag at first base. Now it’s Mike Moustakas getting into the action with a nice diving catch into the dugout on a foul ball.

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Moustakas’ four homers this postseason have tied a Royals franchise record set in 1980 by Willie Mays Aikens. Moustakas also made a nice pick and throw across the diamond to end a 14-pitch J.J. Hardy at-bat in the fourth.

Small Ball. Giant Victory.

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Written By: Alex Slade

It was a perfect day for a ball game in San Francisco today as the Giants took on the Cards’ for Game 3 of the NLCS, however.
The San Francisco Giants keep finding unusual ways to win this postseason. as they take today’s game on an E-1.

The Giants pulled out a 5-4 victory in Game 3 of the NLCS after the St. Louis Cardinals reliever Randy Choate fielded a 10th-inning sac bunt by Gregor Blanco and threw it away. Brandon Crawford, who was on second base after walking to start the 10th, came around to score. It wasn’t the Cardinals’ over-the-fence walk-off of Game 2, but it gets the job done just the same.

Before the extra-inning drama: The Giants jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning, capped by a three-run double by Travis Ishikawa that was nearly a grand slam. The Cardinals chipped away at the Giants’ lead, scoring two in the fourth and one in the sixth, then tying it in the seventh when Randal Grichuk homered to left field.

The Giants now lead the series 2-1.

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The Royals Wont Stop Until They Take The Crown.

Written By: Alex Slade

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The Royals just seem to want it more. its that simple. while both sides had there share of sloppy innings they were pretty evenly matched with KC taking an early lead again and the O’s coming back to tie it up and send the game to extras again! Tonights MVP in my books would have to be Lorenzo Cain. With an amazing catch in the sixth inning of Game 2, completing a full-extension diving catch that took a hit away from the Hardy.

With an 0-1 count, Hardy nailed a fastball from Royals starter Yordano Ventura and lined it out to the gap in right-center field. Cain broke in pursuit and brought it in with a ridiculous grab, sprawling across the outfield grass.
Ventura raised his arms in celebration after watching the play from the back of the mound. It was all-around a good game for Cain, who went 4-for-5 with an RBI and scored two runs.

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FINAL SCORE: KC 6 – BAL 4

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ALCS Game 1 Royals vs. Orioles Overview.

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Written by: Alex Slade

If you asked just about any baseball fan before the game who would win last nights ALCS game 1 they most likely would have said the orioles, simply for the fact that the royals were pretty much handed the wild card game by Oakland. Then the game started….

Chris Tillman had on of the worst starts in his career last night and in my opinion the defence standing behind him wasnt much better until its was to late. He made it though the first 2 innings fairly clean, Giving up just one hit to Billy Butler, Thanks to JJ. Hardy who had an amazing catch on a liner right into his glove preventing a second hit. The 3rd inning started out with a 1 pitch fly-out. Then Escobar steps up to the plate, This Is the point where Tillman really started to crash an burn, giving up a one pitch go-ahead home run to Escobar, then a one pitch single, and a walk. So to recap the score is now 1-0 with 1 out and there are runners on first and second. Hosmer steps up and Tillman gives him a 3-0 count right away, but worked his way back to a full count and just barely struck him out with a check swing that broke the plane on a pitch that would have walked him, so now there are 2 out then Tillman gives up another base hit to load em’ up. Enter Alex Gordon, on a 3-2 count Gordon had one of the coolest at bats I’ve seen in a while, driving a ball way down the right field line and shattering his bat in the process. Then the throw from jones is bobbled! Allowing KC to plate 3 runners and giving gordon a broken bat triple and KC makes it a 4-0 game

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In the bottom of the 3rd Adam Jones hit a one pitch liner to bring Nick Markakis home to make it a 4-1 game and it looked like the O’s were finally starting to find there groove. then this happend…

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Alex Gordon who was by far the MVP of this game makes an amazing catch on a flyball that cut the gap in left field to end the 3rd.

Fast forward to the 5th, Lorenzo Cain hits a double on a line drive to center field and that will do it for Chris Tillman as the O’s Bring in Tommy Hunter, But he doesnt do much better giving up a SAC fly to Billy Butler to plate the runner and make it a 5-1 ballgame. Alex Gordon at it again with a single on a line drive to center field, however with 2 out Gordon ended up being called out on a pick off play to 1st to end the inning.

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The Bottom of the 5th was where this game really started to turn around for the O’s. Nick Markakis singles on a soft fly ball to left field, Alejandro De Aza singles on a ground ball to right field, Adam Jones grounds into a force out, fielded by third baseman Mike Moustakas. Nick Markakis is out at 3rd, De Aza moves to 2nd and Jones is safe at 1st. Nelson Cruz doubles on a line drive to left field as De Aza scores to make it a 5-2 game, Then Steve Pearce walks and Ryan Flaherty singles on a line drive to right field and 2 runners score and a runner at 3rd. the score is now 5-4

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The 6th started out with a Pitching Change as Kevin Gausman replaces Tommy Hunter as the O’s hope to turn things around. With 1 out Omar Infante singles on a ground ball to left field but the Royals cant bring him around as Mike Moustakas flies out to left field then Escobar grounds into a force out.

The Bottom of the 6th was not a great one defensively for the Royals as they start it out with a pitching change as Brandon Finnegan replaces James Shields. However he ended up giving up a lead off walk and then Nick Markakis singles on a line drive to right field and moves Jonathan Schoop to 2nd. Heres where it all goes wrong… With Alejandro De Aza batting, Jonathan Schoop steals 3rd base and gets nailed in the back with the ball by the throw from second and Nick Markakis moves up as well. De Aza singles on a 70ft pop up to the shortstop and Schoop comes around to tie the game 5-5.

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Fast forward to the 9th. With another pitching change for the O’s they replace Zach Britton with Andrew Miller and he immediately gives up 3 walks in a row to Alcides Escobar, Jarrod Dyson, and Lorenzo Cain!! So the bases are now loaded on walks! however they manage to get out of danger as the Royals hit into a ground out and then a double play to leave the runners stranded and retire the side. The O’s could not make anything thing happen in the bottom of the 9th as they have a quick ” 1, 2, 3″ inning and send the game to extras.

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Top Of The 10th

Guess who? Yup thats right! Alex Gordon up first with another huge homer to make it an 6-5 ball game. and here comes another walk! so now the Royals have a man on base with 1 out and Mike Moustakas hits a 2 -run homer to make it an 8-5 ballgame and the O’s fans started heading for the doors with Baltimore only being able to bring one run around in there half of the 10th.

FINAL SCORE: KC 8 – BAL 6

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FOX Sports 1 Will Air “Sabermetric” Broadcast Of NLCS Game 1

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These days sabermetrics is all we hear about in major league baseball, even though this way of analyzing the game as been around for a long time it really only hit the main-stream with the release of the movie Moneyball. Tomorrow night is game 1 of the NLCS with the Giants taking on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, FOX Sports will air the main broadcast and FOX Sports 1 will air an alternate broadcast focused on sabermetrics. This broadcast will show extended replays and statistical analysis of batter-pitcher matchups, umpiring tendencies and defensive shifts. Kevin Burkhardt will call the game alongside Gabe Kapler, CJ Nitkowski, Rob Neyer and San Diego Padres manager Bud Black. The broadcast will sometimes use a “double box” to show the commentators and live action at the same time.

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List of players confirmed to have retired in 2014

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I will update as more info comes out and please comment with anyone i missed or with new updates!

Eric Chavez
Derek Jeter
Paul Konerko
Adam Dunn
Fernando Tatis
Josh Willingham
Lyle Overbay
Bobby Abreu
Octavio Dotel
Josh Beckett
Ryan Dempster
My predictions as for who’s next: A.J. Burnett, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Jason Giambi, Juan Pierre, Grady Sizemore, Brian Roberts