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VOLUME:XLVI ... May 1, 2020


21plateLATEST NEWS

 

flowbeeAnyone need one of these Mark G? >>>>>>>>>>

 

I did check in with everyone in the past couple week or so and since we are all friends I'll share some of their comments.

 

 

HARWELL DIV: catsHome wins galore and not so many away in this group. The Ottawa Fat Cats whooped up everyone at home in April winning all four series while posting a spectacular 17-3 home record. Away was quite different story as they tied for the worst road record in the league at 6-14 and lost all four series. Albuquerque's 13-7h/8-12a put them in second place only two back of the Cats. Trailing the Horsemen by two is Havre de Grace & Kentucky. The Bucs were 11-9h/8-12a last month while the Bourbons put up a 14-6h/5-15a mark. Just a game behind those and in last is Western NY. The N Stars were 12-8 home but a brutal 6-14 away last month... On-Line notes: Albuquerque was 12-3h/5-10a, Kentucky 4-1h/1-4a, Ottawa 4-1h/1-4a and WNY was 2-3h/1-4a.

 

CARAY DIV: syrDown to a two team race already? My Syracuse boys have grabbed the lead by one thin game. We were a dismal 11-9 at home but I really like that 16-4 away record but I know that's not gonna continue. Right behind the Blues are the Grays. Isn't that how the Civil War turned out? I digress. Homestead was 13-7 both home and away in April. In the 3rd already 8 out of first is Laurel Highlands. The Mustangs were 9-11h/10-10a last month. Tied for the bottom of the heap is Bennett Run and Centralia and 13 out of 1st. The B'makers were matching 7-13h/7-13a last month while the Minefires had a league worst home 6-14 mark & 8-12 away... On-Line notes: Homestead 5-5h/5-5a, Laurel H'lands 2-8h/3-7a, Syracuse 6-4h/9-1a.

 

ALLEN DIV: bearsThe road isn't sunshine and rainbows here. Miami Beach has the biggest lead in the league being up by four after going 13-7 both home and away. Nobody else had a winning away mark. Burnsville holds second place after their 14-6h/8-12a month. In third is Knob Noster. The K'head were 10-10h/9-11a in April and are three back of the Blaze. In fourth is Etiwanda and the Anteaters were 9-11h/8-12a last month. Port St Lucie falls to the cellar a game back of Etiwanda and they were 8-12 home and away in April... Fact to Face notes: Miami Beach 1-4h/2-3a, Port St Lucie 3-2h/4-1a.

 

TEAM STATS: Miami Beach on top of the team hitting bracket both overall and at home. Kentucky at the bottom overall average while Etiwanda hit worst at home... Syracuse tops the list in OBP, OPS, total bases and putting runners on base. Ottawa sporting a hideous 282 ISO (that's slugging average minus batting average) and they are best in Slugging. Not so good there for Etiwanda or Bennett Run... How about that Knob Noster doubles total and the Kentucky triple totals! You need bombs or extra base hits you look at Syracuse and Ottawa. Not so much in Bennett Run or Etiwanda... Homestead has very patient hitters. B'makers say "just get it near the plate"... Laurel Highlands & PSL whiffing quite well. Etiwanda puts the ball in play a lot... Port St Lucie along with Kentucky like the running game. One base at a time in Albuquerque... Miami Beach hits into more DP's than the rest... Albuquerque and Etiwanda are both over 30 errors and a bunch of teams have less than half their amount... On the mound Homestead and Syracuse both a touch better than the rest overall despite pitching not so hot at home. Miami Beach another team pitching considerably better on the road. At home Albuquerque has the best ERA while yikes Port St Lucie needs to give away their dice... Good pitching just isn't something PSL fans get to see much. Four teams with team ERA's in the 5's. PSL is the worst of that group. Their bullpen phone must be broke too because Port St Lucie has completed 25% of their games... Western NY pitchers must just be saying here it is for your enjoyment with all those homers allowed. Not much better in Havre. Burnsville & Centralia the best two keeping it in the park... Bennett Run handing out free passes by the bunch. Burnsville not so much... All the team stats are below the top tens on our STAT web page.

 

PLAYER STATS: meadowsrendon snellIt's the Austin Meadows (Bur) and Anthony Rendon (Syr) show right now at the plate. Meadow way out in front for Average and he is top man in slugging plus OPS. He's 2nd in RBI, third in homers and tops in hits. Rendon is the on-base leader and surprisingly the homer leader. He's 2nd in average, extra base hits, hits and 3rd in both slugging plus OPS. Top dog in RBI is Nelson Cruz (Bur) and he's second in dingers. Bryce Harper (Ott) leads everyone in doubles and extra base hits. Mike Trout (Alb) is having a good year too. He's 2nd in slugging, OPS and 3rd in OBP. Ronald Acuna (PSL) is on top of stealing. Bergman has the base balls lead. Things aren't very special for Brandon Low (Kno) or Eugenio Suarez (Mia) in making contact. It's even a worse thing when you look at the batting average of teammate Franmil Reyes. YIKES!... On the mound is that really Blake Snell (Ken) with the best league ERA? The expected Jacob deGrom (WNY) trails him a bit. Both are under two. In wins it's a tie between deGrom and Hyun-Jin Ryu (Ott) for the lead and ten guys one win back of them. Justin Verlander (Mia) with a solid K lead. Nick Anderson (Ken) is our saves leader. WHIP board has pretty amazing stats for Hyun-Jin Ryu (Ott) and Jacob deGrom (WNY). In the stathead area it's Matthew Boyd (Ken)?! leading the k/9. Mr Ryu tops the K/BB and old Jake is basically unhittable to lead H/9

 

HIDDEN GEMS: suarezroblesIs Austin Meadows (Bur) really the best hitter in the league? Not even close. Stephen Piscotty is hitting 1000 with a hit in his lone at bat. Four guys are hitting 500, one 400 and Tim Anderson (Mia) with 47pa is hitting 378. At the other end five are hitting 000 and Eddie Rosario (WNY) is hitting 123 on his 106 at bats... Ronald Acuna (PSL) is a perfect 11 for 11 in stealing while Tommy Pham (Eti) has been thrown out 4 in his 9 steal attempts... Matt Chapman (PSL) has been plunked 9 times. Bryce Harper (Ott) at 0 with 189 at bats... Eugenio Suarez (Mia) has hit into 8 double plays. Eduardo Escobar (LHi) never has done that after 153 ab's... Dee Gordon has somehow made 14 errors in his 40 games... Three have 3 sac flies and Dexter Fowler (Hom) has the only sacrifice bunt in the league... Cole Tucker (Cen) has zero extra base hits with 22 ab's but note that Ji-Man Choi (LHi) has 1 after his 70 at bats... Jonathan Schoop (WNY) has 0 walks in 67 plate appearances... There are 64 position players still in the minors... There are four pitchers with 0.00 ERA and Cam Bedrosian (Kno) leads them with 21ip. Things aren't quite as good for Jordan Hicks (Ben). He's got an 18.04 ERA with 5ip... We have 33 pitchers with 1000 WL%. Domingo German (Hom) is 5-0. We also have 33 with 000 WL. Wade Miley (Ben) is 0-6... Dereck Rodriguez (PSL) has completed all 8 games he started... Dereck Rodriguez (PSL) also leads the league in walks with 34 in his 70ip... Josh Hader (Syr) has a 20.3 K/9 ratio in 12ip. Luis Perdomo (Kno) is 3.5 after 15.3ip... Hansel Robles (Eti) has a 17.0 K/BB rate on 1/17 after 12.3ip... Hansel Robles (Eti) also has a 0.49 WHIP while Jordan Hicks (Ben) comes in at 2.61... There are 10 complete game shutouts... Zach Davies (Ott) has been taken deep 18 times in 42ip. Cam Bedrosian (Kno) at zero in 21ip... Tommy Kahnle (Bur) has been in 28 games. There's 52 still waiting for the call up...

 

... IMPORTANT DATES ...

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THE SHOW

 

RANDOM STUFF

 

- In 1988, Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Rafael Belliard had 61 hits — 57 singles and four triples in 321 plate appearances. He had no doubles or home runs.

-Frank White had 625 extra-base hits and 178 stolen bases. Otis Nixon had 620 stolen bases and 180 extra-base hits.

- Stan Musial played in 3,026 games and had 12,718 plate appearances. Eddie Murray played in 3,026 games and had 12,817 plate appearances.

- Johnny Mize hit three home runs in a game six times. His team lost four of the six, while another ended in a tie

- Logan Morrison has 1,410 total bases. Jim Morrison had 1,414 total bases

- Julian Javier had 506 RBIs and grounded into 100 double plays. His son, Stan Javier, had 503 RBIs and grounded into 102 double plays

- Greg Luzinski walked 845 times and struck out 1,495 times. Joe Sewell walked 842 times and struck out 114 times

- Frank Robinson had a 943 OPS and 32 HR's per year in his 10 seasons with the Reds. He had a 944 OPS and 30 HR's per year in his six seasons with the Orioles

- Babe Ruth and Ted Williams each had five seasons in which he led his league in both walks and total bases. Barry Bonds had no such seasons

- Ted Kluszewski averaged 43 home runs annually from 1953 to 1956. The Cincinnati Reds slugger had more home runs than strikeouts in each of those four seasons

 

dalkowskiSteve Dalkowski died earlier this week at age 80 from the COVID-19 virus. Legendary for his velocity and wildness alike, the Connecticut-born southpaw had 1,324 strikeouts and 1,236 walks in 956 minor-league innings from 1957-1965. Dalkowski never pitched in the major leagues.

 

From a story by Jay Jaffe - He’s the fireballer who can summon nearly unthinkable velocity, but has no idea where his pitch will go. His pitches strike terror into the heart of any batter who dares face him, but he’s a victim of that lack of control, both on and off the field, and it prevents him from taking full advantage of his considerable talent. That, in a nutshell, was Dalkowski, who spent nine years in the minor leagues (1957-65) putting up astronomical strikeout and walk totals, coming tantalizingly close to pitching in the majors only to get injured, then fading away due to alcoholism and spiraling downward even further. Dalkowski, who later sobered up but spent the past 26 years in an assisted living facility, died of the novel coronavirus in New Britain, Connecticut on April 19 at the age of 80. Ron Shelton, who while playing in the Orioles’ system a few years after Dalkowski heard the tales of bus drivers and groundskeepers, used the pitcher as inspiration for the character Nuke LaLoosh in his 1988 movie, Bull Durham.

 

Ted Williams picked up a bat and stepped into the cage. Reporters and players moved quickly closer to see this classic confrontation. Williams took three level, disciplined practice swings, cocked his bat and motioned with his head for Dalkowski to deliver the ball. Dalkowski went into his spare pump, his right leg rising a few inches off the ground, his left arm pulling back and then flicking out from the side of his body like an attacking cobra. The ball did not rip through the air like most fastballs, but seemed to appear suddenly and silently in the catcher’s glove. The catcher held the ball for a few seconds a few inches under Williams’ chin. Williams looked back at it, then at Dalkowski, squinting at him from the mound, and then he dropped his bat and stepped out of the cage. The writers immediately asked Williams how fast Steve Dalkowski really was. Williams, whose eyes were said to be so sharp that he could count the stitches on a baseball as it rotated toward the plate, told them he had not seen the pitch, that Steve Dalkowski was the fastest pitcher he ever faced and that he would be damned if he would ever face him again if he could help it.

 

At the Aberden Proving Grounds his fastball was tested for speed on ballistic equipment at a time before radar guns were used. He was clocked at 93.5 mph, about five miles an hour slower than Bob Feller. The caveats for the experiment abound: Dalkowski was throwing off flat ground, had tossed a typical 150-some pitches in a game the night before, and was wild enough that he needed about 40 minutes before he could locate a pitch that passed through the timing device. Still, that 93.5 mph measurement was taken at 60’6″ away, which translates to a 99 or 100 mph release velocity. He was likely well above 100 under game conditions, if not as high as 120, as some of the more far-fetched estimates guessed. At Aberdeen in 1959, under player-manager Earl Weaver, Dalkowski threw a no-hitter in which he struck out 21 and walked “only” eight, throwing nothing but fastballs, because the lone breaking ball he threw almost hit a batter. But after walking 110 in just 59 innings, he was sent down to Pensacola, where things got worse; in one relief stint, he walked 12 in two innings. At Pensacola, he crossed paths with catcher Cal Ripken Sr. — and crossed him up, too. Once, when Ripken called for a breaking ball, Dalkowski delivered a fastball that hit the umpire in the mask, which broke in three places and knocked the poor ump unconscious. Ripken later estimated that Dalkowski’s fastballs ranged between 110 and 115 mph, a velocity that may be physically impossible.

 

At Stockton in 1960, Dalkowski walked an astronomical 262 batters — and struck out the same number — in 170 innings. The Orioles, who were running out of patience with his wildness both on and off the field, left him exposed in the November 1961 expansion draft, but he went unselected. After hitting a low point at Class B Tri-City in 1961 (8.39 ERA, with 196 walks — 17.1 per nine! — in 103 innings), the 23-year-old lefty again wound up under the tutelage of Weaver. The future Hall of Fame skipper cautioned him that he’d be dead by age 33 if he kept drinking to such extremes. He also learned, via a team-administered IQ test, that Dalkowski scored the lowest on the team.

 

During his time in Pensacola, Dalkowski fell in with two hard-throwing, hard-drinking future major league pitchers, Steve Barber and Bo Belinsky, both a bit older than him. They couldn’t keep up. Recalled Barber in 1999, “One night, Bo and I went into this place and Steve was in there and he says, "Hey, guys, look at this beautiful sight" — 24 scotch and waters lined up in front of him. And he was pitching the next day. In the fourth inning, they just carried him off the mound. “I never drank the day of a game. But before or after, it was a different story. It seems like I always had to close the bar,” Dalkowski said in 1996.

 

In 1962 Dalkowski put together the best season of his career. Over his final 57 frames, he allowed just one earned run while striking out 110 and walking just 21; within that stretch, he enjoyed a 37-inning scoreless streak. Though he went just 7-10, for the first time he finished with a sizable gap between his strikeout and walk totals (192 and 114, respectively) in 160 innings. He also allowed just two homers, and posted a career-best 3.04 ERA. The performance carried Dalkowski to the precipice of the majors. In camp with the Orioles, he struck out 11 in 7.2 innings. On the morning of March 22, 1963, he was fitted for a major league uniform, but later that day, facing the Yankees, he lost the feeling in his left hand; a pitch to Bobby Richardson sailed 15 feet to the left of the catcher. He’d suffered a pinched nerve in his elbow. As it turns out, he’d been pitching through discomfort and pain since winter ball, and some had noticed that his velocity was no longer superhuman. He struggled in spring training the next year and was reassigned to the team’s minor league camp. Dalkowski drew his release after winding up in a bar that the team had deemed off limits, caught on with the Angels, who sent him to San Jose, and then Mazatlan of the Mexican League. He was cut the following spring. That was it for his career in pro ball. From there, Dalkowski drifted, working the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, picking fruit with migrant workers and becoming addicted to cheap wine

 

Before getting COVID-19, Dalkowski’s condition had declined. He tested positive for the virus early in April, and appeared to be recovering, but then took a turn for the worse and died in a New Britain hospital.