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Our Very Own Paul-Star!

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Vote early, vote now, vote often! And vote for Either because we have some sort of alliance going on there.

MLB Umpires and racial bias

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Major League Baseball umpires express their racial/ethnic preferences when they evaluate pitchers.

White Sox Need To Bench Juan Pierre

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Hey guys, over at Beyond the Box Score I've written up a post that basically explains why the Juan Pierre Experience needs to end, and right now. I can't keep watching the Sox throw away wins by giving him such a massive role.

Albert Pujols and the Plight of Latino Baseball Players

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Allen Barra writes about Pujols mainly, but highlights our own Minnie Minoso. More at the link, great article: Here's a thumbnail sketch: there is some dispute about Minnie's actual age, so we'll go with BaseballReference.com on this. In 1951, when he was officially a rookie, he was 25 years old and had already lost about three years of his prime. Playing for the White Sox, he made a spectacular bid, for Rookie of the Year. He hit .326 with ten home runs, 76 RBIs, and 112 runs scored. Gil McDougald of the Yankees hit .306 with 14 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 72 runs. Minnie led the AL in stolen bases with 31 (McDougald had 14) and triples with 14 (Gil had four). Minoso had an on-base percentage of .422 and a slugging average of .500; McDougald was, respectively, .396 and .488. McDougald won. Minoso's 1951 season was a red flag to Latin players that they would have to do better than non-Latin players just to be noticed, and far better if they wanted to win awards. Minnie Minoso was a far superior player than many white players who are in the Hall of Fame; he is also better than a few non-Latin black players who are in the Hall. Doby and Enos Slaughter were, for the most part, Minoso's contemporaries, and both, finally, were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Minoso, though his numbers were in every way better than Doby's or Slaughter's, has never made it. He is no longer even considered a serious contender. He was a terrific outfielder and a scrappy player whose nickname was "The Cuban Comet." He never hesitated to take one for the team: he lead the AL in getting hit by pitches an eye-popping ten times. I'd take him over the Boston Red Sox's slugger Jim Rice, who made it into the Hall two years ago, in a heartbeat.

The Least Exciting Player Ever

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Joe Pos on Adam Dunn: You could argue -- what the heck I will argue -- that Adam Dunn in 2011 is the single least enjoyable player to watch in baseball history. He still has a half season to go and in that half season he could turn things around, whack a few home runs, lead the White Sox on a bit of a charge, it's not impossible, not even wildly improbable. He's hit 38-plus homers every single year since 2004. But watching him the first half season has been so dreary, so depressing, that after seeing him play a couple of games in a row I feel like I need a shot of Vitamin D or a vacation to someplace sunny.

Dodgers file for chapter 11 bankruptcy; White Sox fifth largest unsecured creditor

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The White Sox are the fifth largest unsecured creditor, scheduled at $3.5 million. This is presumably money owed to the White Sox for Juan Pierre.

For Derek Jeter, on His 37th Birthday

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Well written and researched look at the physical decline of athletes, baseball players in particular, Jeter specifically. I don't think the paywall will be an issue. Snip: At 90 miles per hour, average major-league speed, a baseball leaves the pitcher’s hand and travels about 56 feet to home plate in 0.4 seconds, or 400 milliseconds. The batter’s eyes must first find the ball, Adair writes, then sensory cells in the retina encode information on its speed and trajectory and send it to the brain. This all takes about 75 milliseconds, during which the pitched ball has traveled nine feet. The brain then sends messages through the spinal cord that tell muscles to initiate the swing. Adair writes that the first such messages go to the batter’s legs to prompt him to step into the ball. (Jeter, at the beginning of this season, tried to hit without a stride. Instead of making his own actions quicker, he basically tried to buy himself some milliseconds by retraining his brain to skip the first part of the swing process. He wasn’t comfortable with it and is taking a stride again, though it’s a short one.) The batter continues to track the ball as muscles in his arms and upper body begin to bring the bat around, but once the pitch is halfway to the plate, it is too late for him to change the swing plane. He must instantaneously form a mental picture of the ball’s course, then direct his swing to where he believes it will be. This is why batters are fooled by sliders and other pitches with so-called late break. If it weren’t "psychologically upsetting," Adair writes, a hitter could just as well close his eyes once the ball is halfway to the plate and get the same result.

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