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Posts for May 2020
Don't Mess with borderline MLBers
My daughter is only 15. She wants to play US College Softball. She oscillates between typical teenage girl and softall fanatic. We watch NCAA Softball games at the dining room table. She rewinds all the great plays. She understands almost EVERYTHING about the game. She knows all the Power-5 colleges. We practice outside every 2nd day for an hour. Her team practices 5 times a week on Zoom. I'm her catcher on Wednesday mornings, headphones on for my own daily huddle with my own workteam. I'm talking about data while she is throwing me changeups and drops. At nights, in darkness, I stand in the driveway launching missiles into the square-spotlight of the garage with my daughter standing in front of a net, working on backhands. 50 backhands. 50 short-hops. 50 more to her left. I can't throw hard enough to defeat her. The cars prone behind me, she hits my glove with her throws everytime. We're in Canada. We're in a good program but its not that easy to get noticed up here for College softball. My daughter wants D1. She will settle for D2. But I don't know. She's good but I don't know.

And so when I hear podcasts or see tweets or posts about how an MLB player sucks...the bench player who bats .190 who is struggling to stay in The Show. Fans watching only the tip of the iceberg above the water, ignoring all that is below. The fathers who practiced with them in the backyard. The mothers making the long drives for travel ball. The sacrifice. The grit. The injuries. Minor and Major. Those gd lessons learned. Those flippant comments about how "That player sucks". Imagine, if the parents of that player saw that tweet/post, after having spent those nights and days in the backyard. Sitting in their Columbia folding chairs, legs on a cooler while their kids competed and learned life lessons in front of them. Your flippant comment sends a surge of pain into that family. And for what? Twitter is public. Its not a private joke among friends in a sealed off living room. We give our entire summer away for our kids...don't get me wrong, we love it, is a lifestyle...but to have it dismissed so quickly... Screw you.

I jokingly insult my daughter a lot when we play. The rule is I compliment her when its warranted. She knows this. She likes this. She is mentally tough. I throw her grounder after grounder and I tell her "You're like a vaccuum cleaner out there" and she smiles and says "Thanks!". "No" I reply. "Its because you suck." She stops, puts her hands on her hips and starts to laugh and then snaps it to her friends. I tell her "I am going to miss this someday." She replies stoicly. "Me too". I turn away and tears privately flow down my face.

No baseball data updates this week. Working on some bigger projects, mostly related to a Disabled List history project. I have the data, just in process of compiling:

  • This Baseball Card is a good preview of what to expect for the 2020 season.
  • As I work on this Injury research project, I am also looking for cause of injury and its always interesting to see the off-field injuries. Lifting a tire, going pee in the middle of the night, sitting in a car too long, playing with a child... It also makes me wonder why baseball just doesn't do the hockey-thing and go with the binary Lower Body Injury vs Upper Body Injury. (I'm REALLY glad they don't)
  • Saw the movie I,Tonya and I loved it. If you remember the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding before the 1994 Olympics, this is from the perspective of Harding.
  • Florida State player Elijah Cabell might remind you, by name, of 80s player Enos Cabell. But he should remind you of Don Baylor. 15 HBP in 17 games in 2020. Ouchie.
  • how in the heck does Google know that when I type Florida State bsebla anchovies that I meant Florida State Baseball Archives.
  • Speaking of Google, I'm very close to aborting searches from this powerhouse. I like the search engine well enough, but I noticed that when i was doing search for causes of death of players that it would provide a large box at the top that often provided me with the wrong cause of death. It was "guessing". Not only that, but that "Knowledge Panel" at the top is essentially stealing content from sites. So if you search on a question. Maybe you ask Google "Will raccoons attack humans" (Yes, I searched on that), Google will answer the question for you by stealing the content from a site and thus, reducing ad revenue for the site that had the answer to your question. This seems very unethical to me. I know that Google giveth a lot and maybe it taketh away a little but it still seems kinda douchey. Considering DuckDuckGo if I can get the strength to change habits and browser default settings.

  • Draft Database Update
    I'm always trying to improve the TBC Draft Section. Though I have all historical draft picks in there, the undrafted free agent signings needed a data infusion.

    So this latest update was a pass through recent Media Guides for all 30 MLB Teams (29 actually, 1 file was corrupt) and I added signing scouts to drafted players where possible, and a record for a player's initial signing. Without bonuses. Bonuses are not listed in media guides. There were 2800+ records added for UDFA and about 1000 players had their signing scout added.

    I have some products in the Data Store if you are interested in having your own CSV (Excel-compatible) version of my draft database:
  • Draft Register - Includes all historical draft picks since 1965. Thta is, 1 row per draft pick with draft pick details including draft day (Round/Overall/Team/Phase) and where he was drafted from plus some bio info. It is missing Bonus information.
  • Signing Bonuses - Draft - This data product includes a list of all records with the draft pick's signing bonus, if available. The number of records in this report is less than the Draft Register. There are 9,614 records currently in this data product.
  • Signing Bonuses - UDFA - These are the mostly International signings. Its not as easy to find bonus information for these players and the numbers are only as a good as the source. There are 1786 records in this database.

    Don't forget... A TBC PREMIUM account gets you a 25% on data product prices as well as generous discounts on custom requests. Only $19 and good for a full year. Also with a PREMIUM account, you will soon have access to my SUPER PROFILE pages.

  • My Nike Commercial
    7 degrees Trudeau. That's 45 degrees Trump. I'm standing in my dark driveway. Hoodie. Trying to keep warm. Its after 9. The neighbourhood prepares for a commute-less tomorrow. In the bright garage, my 15-year old daughter dances from left to right as I throw her grounders. 50 backhands. Rollers, bouncers, soft, hard. The hitting net catches the few errors. I throw about 50 more. To her left, her right, directly at her. She's Sis Bates. The ball travels through her and back to me in a second. She plays 2b. But her arm has improved a lot. Her team has 4 other SS. I don't care. I can see her playing some Sis Bates SS. 4 hours a day of working out will do that. I am beyond impressed. We are a Nike commercial tonight. Grounders when others sleep. The camera will pan back into the sky and all you will see is the bright square garage getting smaller and smaller, the ball rebounding effortlessly in and out as the words "Just do It." fade into the dark sky.

    Earlier this weekend, on the road ... its 3 degrees Trudeau and 38 degrees Trump. My own personal Nike commercial. I wear my warm Nike long-sleeve. 10 minutes in, snowflakes start to float around me. YES, Its Canada and NO, not normal for May. Jogging is my reset button. Brings me back to factory settings. But you have to let the brain go...just let it run free ... let it work the thoughts out. You never quite know where it will take you. Some days, new TBC projects emerge. Some days, complex problems are resolved and sometimes complex problems are created. Today... nothing. That's fine. It means peace.

    Quebec is opening but Montreal is stalled. The nusing home situation is not good. May 25th. My daughter's softball team has received word they will play this year. It is confirmed. We just don't know what the season will look like. Less issue for recreational players since they stay local. My daughter plays AAA travel. The 12 best 2004s in the province. They have no other 2004s to play of equal calibre. Travel is essential. This is their scouting year. Team Quebec. Team Canada. US Colleges. Today, it is sitll a big ball of tangled yarn.

    Some notes about the site:
  • Added some College Hall of Fame information to the Player Notes section in TBC PREMIUM.
  • 2020 College Uniform Numbers and Class (Fr,So,Jr,Sr) have been added for Division I. I'm not quite certain how College Baseball will look next year. All players have been given an extra year of eligibility so I don't know if their class for this year was treated as a redshirt or if they will just repeat the same class as last year.
  • Speaking of the Draft, with only 5 rounds, it will be interesting to see how the dynamics change. For me, it will make my life a bit easier for adding the Draft data but for the players themselves, how many will sign for the $20,000 or less if they are not drafted in the 1st 5 rounds. I would imagine a whole slew of Juniors return for a 2nd Junior season in hopes of a big bonus in 2021. Perhaps Seniors will sign. Many might simply say Thank You Baseball and move on with their lives. Many high school players will also be forced into a Junior College or possibly choose a Division I college instead. The result will inevitably be a very interesting 2021 College season with likely more talent than ever as well as a 2021 draft that is extremely deep.
  • There are now 4166 players in the TBC DB with high school stats. PREMIUM only.
  • Congratulations to Seattle Mariners scout Amanda Hopkins for being the first female scout in my Draft database.
  • Name of the day: Rich Lawyer. He pitched some indy ball in 2008. I really hope he went on to actually become an attorney. I'd hire him just because.
  • Final note, and I will expand on this in future posts: I don't like when people say that you should "never let a good crisis go to waste" because the implication is that the world is being bent in the powerful's favour, which may not be in accordance with your own beliefs. BUT, in the case of baseball, having heard Rob Manfred's ideas on improving the sport on the field, I sincerely hope that baseball uses this crisis as an opportunity to fix the sport on the field. I will talk more about my thoughts on this as Spring Training 2.0 unfolds.

  • Notes and Thoughts for May 3,2020
  • The Player Notes section in the PREMIUM section now has Expansion Draft information from 1960-1997. I haven't yet included the Montreal 2024 expansion draft.
  • There has been only listed MLB Transaction since April 1st. That is the Emmanuel Clase 80-game PED suspension
  • Noticed this interesting Baseball Card from the 2003 Topps set.
  • Some questionable naming decisions by parents. Jose Jose, Henry Henry and Scotty Scott (x2).
  • When I hear the name Kyle Lobstein, I imagine a Jewish soft-tosser. (His fastball is 87mph but I don't think he's Jewish so...)
  • As I stated in my last post, I am looking for screenshots of old College Stats and Rosters from pre-2002. Trying to build up the database as much as possible during these crazy times.
  • Sad baseball news. Miguel Marte is the first player from the TBC database to die from complications related to COVID-19. He was only 30 and living in his native Dominican Republic.
  • My office has asked us all to stay home until May 31st at which point it will be 79 straight days of working from home. Somehow I'm still married.
  • Its been 50+ days of lockdown so far. The world is a tangled ball of knitting yarn (or 200 foot electrical cord if you like that better) that will need some time to straighten out. Quebec is pushing hard to end the lockdown which gives me comfort. They seem to be pushing towards a Swedish model saying it is inevitable. Better deal with the virus now than later. But Facebook and social media is pushing back hard. The loudest people are being loud. I suspect most people are like me, prepared to negotiate with the virus. Quebec mentions herd immunity and we can't hide forever. Canada cautions against herd immunity citing no evidence. Cover-your-buttism. Canada is standing by the WHO. "Oy vay" says non-jewish Kyle Lobstein. "Oy gavult" says non-jewish John Lowenstein. "Shana Punim" says non-jewish David Eckstein. Um, that means beautiful face Dave. "I'm not jewish, how the hell should I know."

    All this to say, have a little faith that humanity is all pointing in the same direction. Ignore the public figures who paint doom and gloom. We all want the same thing. A slow return to normalcy with a fast-tracked hyper-obsessed pharma and medical world trying to make this happen sooner than later so that we can all go back to ... not necessarily our normal lives ... but our FREEDOMS.

    Talk soon

  • Request for College Baseball Media Guides
    I'm looking for pre-2002 College Baseball Media Guides, preferably Division I. I don't care so much about the media guide itself as much as certain elements within.


    If you are a former player, a sports information director or fan and you have access to any of this information, please Contact Me.

    I am not asking for you to mail me the guide. In reality, I'd settle for a PDF of the entire guide or screenshots of the sections above. Biographies are less important than the rosters.

    If you send me enough information, I could provide you a free TBC PREMIUM account.

    You've got nothing else to do right now anyways right? Go check your storage rooms and dig them out!

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