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If You Like Offbeat Baseball Stories, This Might Be For You

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For plunkeveryone: Tovar would lead the league with 17 hit-by-pitches in 1968, but that told only a small portion of his efficiency in the Year of the Pitcher. Lifting his average to .272, he nearly doubled his stolen base output (to 35) and put up an OPS of .698, a highly respectable number for that pitching-dominated era. He also made history by matching the pioneering efforts of Bert Campaneris; on Sept. 22, Tovar played all nine positions in the Twins’ game against the A’s, matching what Campy had done for the Kansas City A’s three years earlier. While Campy was basically a shortstop, Tovar was a legitimately versatile player who could play three infield and three outfield positions, making his accomplishment seem more real in the eyes of some.

The Dance Around .500

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Wtf2ta3

Somewhat amazingly, the White Sox haven't been more than 2 games over or 3 games under .500 all season. They've been at .500 19 different times. This confirms what this season has felt like—a back-and-forth of unders and overs, with no real sustained winning or losing streaks. As a result, the Sox have hung with the big boys so far, and a solid month could put them in a decent position to chase a Wild Card. Of course, they could also keep dancing around .500 for the rest of the season, or even fall off, as so many have predicted.

Denver kid a first rounder?

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Interesting story about the home-town aspect of potential draftees. Not a real long piece, but you think about how big and special a day it is for guys who are going to be drafted, and how it plays out in hundreds of guys' lives in the draft.

A Timeline of the Messy White Sox Roster

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This is a graphical representation I made of the White Sox's roster moves over the course of the season. I think it helps to put into perspective just how hectic this season has been. Whether for injury or ineffectiveness, the Sox have changed parts twice a week on average. 21 pitchers have already seen time on the active roster, and only 5 (highlighted in gray) have stayed on the roster all season.

Is the Pursuit of Perfection Squeezing the Fun From Baseball?

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As Klem, who died in 1951 after umpiring in the majors for 37 seasons, implied with his famous quip, baseball used to leave these types of close calls to the umps, who would then suffer the praise and abuse of players, fans and managers. Since the league was founded in 1869, umpires had the discretion to reward a great 250-foot throw from right field that (arguably) nabs the runner, or to protect the shortstop's knees by giving him a little leeway around second base, or to give a pitcher throwing a miraculous backdoor curve the benefit of the outside strike. For the most part, this has been great for the game. Television has changed professional sports, not just baseball but football, hockey and other games. Multiple-angle shots in slow motion, and then in high definition and super-slow motion, have led to more complicated and strictly enforced rules—because the plays have had to be more precisely defined for the technology to be meaningfully applied.

Overspending on Your Kid's Sport Isn't Fun For Anyone

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When sports psychologist Travis Dorsch set about studying the effect of parental spending on young athletes, he expected to find a positive correlation. After all, recent research suggests that young athletes benefit from parental support. But his study, just completed, found that greater parental spending is associated with lower levels of young-athlete enjoyment and motivation. "When parental sports spending goes up, it increases the likelihood either that the child will feel pressure or that the parent will exert it," says Dr. Dorsch, a Utah State University professor and former professional football player. The study adds to a small but growing body of research suggesting that parents ought to temper their investments in youth athletics. The problem, at root, isn't financial: It is that big expenditures tend to elevate parental expectations. "The more parents do, the more they expect a return on their investment," possibly reducing their chances of a favorable outcome, says Daniel Gould, director of Michigan State University's Institute for the Study of Youth Sports.

Might we have a new Gentleman Masher?

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Account of Adam Dunn showing deep class - Jim Thome style.

Footage of the White Sox and Giants in London, 1914

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Thanks to @buckweaver, who discovered that British Pathé archive just posted footage of the White Sox and Giants playing in London on Feb. 26, 1914.

Charlotte Knights Team/Stadium

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Hey everybody, I found a couple of nice pieces on the new Charlotte Knight's stadium and their team.

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