30 Years Ago This Week: 30 years ago this week Lee Elia unleashed his famous rant about how "85% of people are fucking working while the other 15% go to Cubs game." Classic.
What Is Going On In Oakland?: The A's and Angels played an insane 19 innings that didn't get over until 1 in the morning on Monday night. I looked at some of the craziness of that game including the A's batting a pitcher, three centerfielders were hurt running to first, and that the Angels basically received two quality starts from pitchers in the game. Insanity.
MLB Finally Joins the 21st Century, Barely: Wendy Thurm at Fangraphs takes a look at the new expanded partnership between Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Youtube. Wendy looks at MLBAM expanding videos of highlights and other classic moments with Youtube and where you can find them. The problem is MLBAM will still not allow you to upload old classic games without their permission. Sorry Kris, but you can't upload those videos of the 1983 World Series.
Manny Machado's Plate Disciplined: When the season began I was looking forward to seeing Manny Machado play. He doesn't receive the hype or accolades as Harper or Trout so I felt like I needed to jump on his bandwagon. My one concern though was his lack of plate discipline. Machado was below average at getting on base in his limited time with the Orioles last season and it was my concern this would hinder his career.
Welp Machado is showing much better plate discipline this year at the plate. Machado has a .348 OBP so far this season and the biggest reason for this is that Machado has become much more patient and disciplined hitter. Look at the plate discipline numbers and you'll see Machado swings less at pitches outside the zone and is swinging and missing at fewer pitchers. It's early and he could regress to more normal numbers, but this is definitely encouraging for the young slugger.
Brandon Crawford's Improvement: One of the biggest surprises for the Giants this year has been the improvement of shortstop Brandon Crawford. Sweet Spot looked at Crawford's improvement and came to the conclusion that like Machado, Crawford is more patient at the plate, swinging less at pitches out of the zone, and making better contact at pitches inside the strike zone.
War of Words: Blue Jays broadcaster and former great pitcher Jack Morris this past week accused Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz of "doctoring" the ball. Needless to say no one on the Red Sox took that accusation lightly and fired back at Morris.
Games of the Weekend: Taking a look at the best games for this upcoming weekend.
Friday, Dodgers at Giants, Kershaw vs Zito: Both of these teams are only 3.5 games out of first place despite the Dodgers injuries and the Giants lack of quality starting pitching this season. Kershaw has normally dominates the Giants and honestly I expect nothing different tonight.
Saturday, Reds at Cubs, Cingrani vs Samardzija: I only chose this game because of how good that pitching matchup is. Cingrani has looked great since being called up and Samardzija has become a legit ace in baseball. I know you don't want to admit that Kris, but it's true about Samardzija. Put your Notre Dame biases to rest.
Sunday, Washington at Pittsburgh, Gonzalez vs. Rodriguez: Gio has had a rough start to the year but has since improved while Wandy Rodriguez has had a great start to the season but got roughed up in his last start. Also how many times do you think Hurdle will start the John McDonald-Brandon Inge double play combo this weekend? I'm going with twice.