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VOLUME: XLIII ... September 1, 2017





I want to thank everyone for the comments about what to do with the draft next year. I really thought the idea of a night draft would be fun but I just couldn't get around that we are all traveling in the dead of winter, in the northeast. In light of the danger of someone pressing too hard to arrive before an 7 or 8pm draft on Friday night, with potential snow or icy roads and getting in an accident, I felt it was best to keep the draft on Saturday. We should as we have in the past still have plenty of time to make the handful of deals made face to face. The other point of not seeing the card data I hope won't be an issue since some will actually have the cards in hand. I'm sure some of those same people will be on the Delphi Forum with plenty of info about pitcher grades before the draft weekend. I will get that data to everyone...... Special tip of the cap to Ed Morgans. He rolled his 700th game this year in August against Homestead. That's one heck of a lot of score sheets...... Just 32 games left for six playoff slots. A couple of teams have been eliminated from pennants but as of today everyone still has a shot at a wildcard berth.


Harwell Div: The Horsemen posted a 13-5 month and continue to roll towards a pennant with an eleven game lead over Western NY. The Falcons were hot last month and recorded a 15-3 August, to pretty much make sure Armada stays behind them. The Ciders are ten back of the Falcons. Their 7-12 September wasn't what you need to make up a ten game gap. In fourth, 13 games back of Armada is Ottawa. The Fat Cats 6-12 last month kept them just barely ahead of Cinci. The Redlegs also were 6-12 last month and remain two games behind Ottawa and 36 out of first..... Caray Div: Syracuse stumbled to an 8-10 August but still have a nine game edge on Kentucky. The Bourbons 11-7 made up 3 games on the Blues but time is running out. In third 8 games back of Kentucky is Havre de Grace. The Bucs put up a 10-8 record last month. The Mustangs fell to 8 behind the Bucs after their 9-9 month to hold onto fourth. At the bottom is Red Lion. The Steamers had an awful month at home going 0-9 and their 2-7 road record wasn't much better. They are 34 out of first..... Allen Div: Homestead clicked off a 15-3 August to roar past Miami Beach for a two game lead. The Bears dismal 9-9 last month was still okay to keep them in second. In third Etiwanda, ten games back of the Bears was 8-10 last month. Burnsville fell four games behind the Anteaters after their 7-11 August. In the basement Knob Noster is now 12 back of the Blaze after going 9-9 in August..... Wild card: Western NY has the top slot but just one game behind them is Miami Beach. Those two seem secure in the top two. Kentucky is seven behind Miami Beach and leads a pack of five teams within 8 games of each other for that #6 seed. Armada is only two games behind the Bourbons & Etiwanda is just one behind them. Burnsville now 7 out of a playoff berth and Havre de Grace is 8 out. The rest are at least 15 games out which means a miracle finish or bust.


Notable team stats: Looking at series records first with 14 completed by each team. At home Miami Beach and Homestead have won 10, Western NY 11 and Albuquerque 12. On the road the Horsemen have the best road record with 12 series wins. On the flip side Ottawa and Red Lion have lost 10 home series and on the road Cinci, Laurel Highlands and Burnsville have only managed to win 2 series. Second we look at actual won-lost home and away records. Those with at least 5 more road wins than home wins are Ottawa and Red Lion (+6), Syracuse (+8) and Etiwanda (+12). The best teams at home with over 5 more home wins than road are Western NY (+7), Knob Noster (+8), Miami Beach (+10) and Burnsville (+12). Third look goes to run differential. Albuquerque (who else?) is +208 and Burnsville is +109. No one else is over 100. On the down side Knob Noster is -200, Red Lion -199, Laurel Highlands -159 and Cinci -108..... Team hitting stats point out a familiar theme. Albuquerque hits very well. They have a 16 pt batting average edge and have put 60 more runners on over Homestead plus they're up 111 total bases on Syracuse. Only Syracuse is over 200 homers and 500 extra base hits right now. Kentucky over 150 steals and Albuquerque is the only other one over 100 in stealing. The Bucs just love killing rallies with over 100 GiDP's. Lack of hitting isn't the only problem Red Lion fans see. Check out that error total..... Team pitching still has Burnsville far and away the best staff in the league with a significant lead on Albuquerque and Havre de Grace. Then you have nine teams bundled up until you get to 5.00 team ERA. Laurel Highlands, Red Lion and Knob Noster certainly have what APBA's Grand Wizard would call a grade D. There aren't too many hitter homers off Blaze pitchers. Can't say that about Knuckle Head pitchers. Despite the trouble Mustang pitchers have finding out the plate doesn't move they sure rack up some impressive strikeout totals. Being in the Ottawa bullpen means you don't get much work..... The things I can dig up to fill space is simply amazing isn't it?


rayseagerNotable player stats: D.J. LeMahieu (Arm) seems to have locked up the batting title. Mookie Betts (Alb) is the only other player of the 95 qualifiers over 300 and he's 30+ points back. David Ortiz (Mia) continues to be the front runner in OPS, SLG & XBH although Betts & Edwin Encarnacion (WNY) are pretty close in XBH. Corey Seager (Arm) has a slim lead as one of three over 100 RBI's. Chris Carter still banging those bombs out. He's approaching 50. Mark Trumbo (Bur) is the only other one over 40 homers. Betts has a 4 hit lead on LeMahieu for the most hits. Jose Ramirez (Mia) leads the doubles chart and Brad Miller (Kno) has more triples than anyone else. Mike Trout (Alb) still the best at being patient at the plate. Billy Hamilton (Ken) far out front of the stolen base list. It's not going well for Travis Shaw (Ott). He now carries the burden of being called the worst hitter in the league..... On the mound Clayton Kershaw (Ott) didn't make the cut of 53 qualifiers so Max Scherzer (Bur) has taken over the ERA list by quite a bit actually. He's also the best in WHIP. Jose Quintana (Alb) the only pitcher with 18 wins. Robbie Ray (LHi) is being pressed a bit by Chris Sale (Bur) for the K top slot. Sale actually has a better K/IP rate than Ray. Addison Reed (WNY) has now topped 50 saves to lead that board. Robbie Ray (LHi) may be striking out a lot but that dead straight fastball is getting barreled up a lot too. He's got the worst ERA in the league among qualifiers and the photo shows how happy he is about that. Jerad Eickhoff (Red) & Marcus Stroman (Ott) have the most losses in the league.


stromanHidden Gems: Eddie Rosario (Alb) still the best average of anyone who's played at 2 for 4 but you have to be impressed with Andrew Benintendi (Red). He's hitting 351 after 134 ABs. Jose Bautista (Kno) frozen at 000 after 8 AB's. Kelby Tomlinson (Eti) has yet to collect an XBH after 31 ABs. Xander Bogaerts (Hom) has now messed up 39 times. Nolan Arenado (Alb) is up to 25 GiDPs while Hyun-Soo Kim is at 0 after 294 ABs. Corey Dickerson (Ott) has almost as many sac flies (12) as the entire Syracuse team (17). Jean Segura (Alb) has been hit 18 times. Mr Kim is also at 0 for this stat too. Chris Carter (Hav) is at 181 whiffs but Mark Trumbo (Bur) is closing in with 171..... On the hill, Kyle Hendricks (Syr) got beat to go 13-1 so Hector Neris (Ken) has taken over the 1000 WL Pct lead at 6-0. There are four guys at 0-4. Alex Reyes (Hom) lowered his ERA to 0.29 ERA after 31 innings. Josh Osich (Eti) checks in with a 16.20 after 5 innings. My neighbor Pat Corbin (Kno) brought his ERA down to 9.34 in 123.3 innings. If he can get 40 innings in September he could set an all-time ERA record that was set 33 years ago. Brad Hand (Ken) is up to 71 games. Marcus Stroman (Ott) has 11 complete games. His teammate Adam Wainwright has 10. Chris Sale (Bur) has been taken deep 32 times. Brandon Finnegan (LHi) & Robbie Ray (LHi) have given up 79 walks.









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angel hernandezIan Kinsler unloaded a series of grievances against Angel Hernandez on Tuesday (8/15/17), one day after the veteran umpire ejected him for arguing balls and strikes. Speaking to reporters, Kinsler said that Hernandez, who has been a major league umpire since 1993, "needs to re-evaluate his career choice" because he's "messing with baseball games. I'm surprised at how bad an umpire he is," Kinsler said, according to the Detroit News. "I don't know how, for as many years he's been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to re-evaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line". Kinsler was tossed while batting in the fifth inning of Monday's 6-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. According to the Detroit News, Kinsler questioned a strike that was called on the first pitch of his at-bat, telling Hernandez it was a strike only because he called it a strike. After the second pitch was called a ball, Kinsler turned to Hernandez and said, "What about that one?" Hernandez ejected Kinsler. "This has to do with changing the game," said Kinsler, who claims he has had problems with Hernandez since his rookie season in 2006. "He's changing the game. He needs to find another job. He really does." Asked if he and Hernandez had a personal issue, Kinsler said, "I'm not mad at him. He just needs to go away." Kinsler told reporters that he believes Hernandez missed eight obvious calls against both teams in Monday's game. "Not just borderline calls here and there," Kinsler said. "There's arguments on those every game. There are pitches every game where if you call it a strike, the hitter's going to be mad; and if you call that same pitch a ball, the pitcher's going to be mad. Umpires have to deal with that every game. But when it becomes blatant like this, there is a problem. What is he doing on the field? What is he doing out there? It's pretty obvious he needs to stop ruining baseball games."


Hernandez, is in his 24th year as a major league umpire. He has worked two World Series (2002, 2005) and last season was part of a League Championship Series crew for the seventh time. On July 3, 2017 he kicked up a storm of controversy this week when he sued his bosses at the league, claiming racial discrimination. The 55-year-old Cuban-born Florida resident Monday sued MLB in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, saying he has been passed over several times for a permanent crew chief position and for slots to umpire the World Series in favor of younger white umpires. Citing MLB's own stats, the lawsuit states Hernandez' accuracy rating behind the plate was 96.88 percent in 2016, according to MLB stats. In their contracts, MLB umpires, their agents or their lawyers are prohibited from publicly criticizing the league, any team, player or manager.


He has been called out publicly by several former players, including former Atlanta Braves great Chipper Jones, who once called for fans to boycott any games where Hernandez was the plate umpire."I will not watch a game, any game, officiated by Angel Hernandez! His incompetence amazes me and I'm tired of MLB doing squat about it! Our only recourse, as fans, is to turn the station whenever he, or his crew, are on the field. When viewer numbers go down, MLB will notice. Nite" Chipper Jones tweeted on July 5, 2013 and the lawsuit. He also was told he didn't miss any calls on the basepaths last season Yet Hernandez is rated as one of the worst umps in the game, according to several surveys of players and baseball insiders, including one by ESPN in 2010. Former MLB pitcher Dallas Braden tweeted "the strike zone has filed a counter suit against Angel Hernandez claiming negligence & discrimination for the last 25+ years." Hernandez is known for several controversial calls in the last decade, most notably a home run that wasn't for the Oakland A's in 2013 at Progressive Field against the Cleveland Indians. After reviewing the video, Hernandez and the rest of the crew declined to overturn an original call that ruled the hit was a double and not a home run. MLB later said that it was the wrong call but that it was too late to correct it, even though the home run would probably mean Oakland would have won the game instead of Cleveland. Hernandez also was in the midst of another controversy in 2001, when former Chicago Bears player Steve McMichael criticized the umpires and Hernandez specifically while singing the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field. Hernandez was seen to visibly glare up at the press box, and soon thereafter McMichael was ejected from the park.


There is another side to Hernandez, according to his hometown newspaper, the Palm Beach Post. In 2015, Hernandez returned to Cuba for the first time since he was just a year old. The paper reported that Hernandez spread the ashes of his father in their old neighborhood. "I didn't have a dry eye," said Hernandez, who returned to Cuba a few months later to be an umpire on the field for the first game involving an MLB team in that country since 1999. In 2012, the Post wrote about Hernandez' charity work for disabled children. Hernandez hosts a celebrity golf tournament every year to raise money for the Miracle League, a charity that allows disabled kids to play baseball. In fact, when he was fined for an altercation with Dodgers first-base coach Mario Duncan, he was able to donate that fine to charity instead of to the league, according to reports at the time. Hernandez has ejected 46 players through 2016 which is 8th most by an MLB umpire.


Major League Baseball reportedly fined Ian Kinsler $10,000 for comments he made Tuesday about umpire Angel Hernandez.