Baseball Notes for June 17, 2013: MLB and Its Hypocritical Stance on Brawls

MacWilliams

Although a major brawl last week between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks resulted in eight suspensions and a dozen fines, the incident is yet another reminder of what a joke on-field fights and the subsequent reaction of Major League Baseball have become.

Tempers flared after Dodgers’ rookie sensation Yasiel Puig was hit in the face by a pitch, followed by a back-and-forth retaliatory actions by both sides.

Managers Don Mattingly and Kirk Gibson were banned for one game each, while Dodgers’ hitting coach Mark McGwire earned two games because of behavior which resembled an enraged rhinoceros. The punishments are more of a show than punitive in nature. It seems that MLB’s reaction to such incidents is really an unsaid acceptance that brawls are good for business because of the attention they draw. If baseball truly wanted to crack down on on-field fighting, they could do so very easily. Their insistence in staying with the status quo indicates a sanctioning of loosely-controlled violence that spices up games. No matter how egregious brawls are, suspensions and fines are generally light and often reduced upon appeal (although it is rare that an explanation is given in such cases). Continue reading

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O’Koyea Dickson is Powering His Way to the Los Angeles Dodgers

Dickson

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been in the news as much as any baseball franchise over the past year-plus. Following a highly-publicized team sale and offseason spending spree, they have stumbled out of the gate and looked lost so far during the 2013 season sitting in last place in the National League West. While things look bleak at the big league level, there are reasons to be optimistic when considering their minor league system. Rising slugger O’Koyea Dickson is one of those bright spots, as he is starting to emerge as one of the team’s best prospects.

The 23-year-old Dickson is a powerfully built 5’11” right-handed hitter, who has played primarily at first base during his professional career.  He grew up in the Bay Area and got his start in the game from the First Base Foundation, which serves minority youth in that region. Continue reading

Baseball Notes for May 20, 2013

RyanNolanMorganna

I had such a good time going over baseball history links last week that I decided to do it again! Here’s hoping this can become a regular feature, as the cool nuggets just continue to pile up. I’ll try to continue bringing a blend of topics to keep it fresh and interesting. As usual, thanks for reading!

***Baseball has had a lot of mascots over the years, ranging from obnoxious to downright entertaining. But none were more buxom or lascivious than Morganna, the Kissing Bandit. Continue reading

MLBDirt.com’s Baseball Notes for April 29, 2013

Anibal

The length of a baseball team’s disabled list can have such a strong impact on the outcome of their season. Injuries not only deprive teams of talented players, but alter the chemistry that was so carefully constructed during the offseason and spring training.

The ability of backup players, minor league prospects and the length of time needed for the injured to come back healthy can all determine whether or not a season will be derailed. Just a month into the 2013 season, a number of major league teams have felt the pinch of losing players to the DL. The scrambling has already begun for some to overcome a fractured roster. Continue reading

NL West Players To Watch

Rutledge

Dan Marino’s long journey trekking through each division in the major leagues is over. Now, in part six of six, he brings you the National League West’s Players to Watch:

Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.

Part 2: NL East Players to Watch.

Part 3: AL Central Players to Watch.

Part 4: NL Central Players to Watch.

Part 5: AL West Players to Watch.

Arizona Diamondbacks Continue reading

Hall of Fame Voters Make A Point at Piazza’s Expense

Piazza

What kind of baseball world do we live in today? Aaron Sele, Steve Finley, and Julio Franco all received Hall of Fame votes. Franco actually received 6 votes. Six “sports” writers gave Franco a Hall of Fame vote. But the true disservice of this year’s HOF vote was seeing Mike Piazza not receiving the 75% of votes needed to gain entry into the Hall of Fame (Craig Biggio also has a case).

Numbers don’t lie.  If we compare Piazza’s stats against Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter‘s, Piazza should have been a slam dunk for the HOF. Piazza has the least amount of at-bats, yet led the other three players in homeruns. He trailed only Johnny Bench in RBI, but he had 700 fewer at-bats than Bench. Continue reading

Baseball Notes for January 7, 2013

Berkman

It’s now less than two months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. We’ve finally gotten to the point of the offseason where teams are starting to scramble to fill the final holes on their rosters. Because the majority of the big-name free agents have already signed, the depths of the available player pool are starting to be plumbed. This makes the weeks leading up to spring training some of the most interesting to watch for diehard baseball fans.

***The Texas Rangers added another bat to their lineup by agreeing to a one-year contract with free-agent first baseman Lance Berkman. The switch-hitter will be 37 before the start of the season and played in only 32 games last year with the St. Louis Cardinals because of injuries. Continue reading