Sunday, August 17, 2014

Trailing 30 - August 17

Here are the top (and bottom) performers over the past 30 days, made possible through the magic of Fangraphs and its fabulous Leaders application. Comment for the week: When Tampa Bay traded David Price to Detroit, wasn't it supposed to be Tampa giving up on the season and Detroit lining up a rotation for a World Series run? 

   American League              National League
   Team W-L                     Team W-L      
1. Kansas City      19-9     1. San Diego       17-10       
2. Tampa Bay        17-9     2. Washington      17-11        
3. Baltimore       17-10     3. Miami           17-12         
4. LA, Sea, NY     15-12     4. Los Angeles     16-12   
                                Milwaukee       16-12        

   Worst Team W-L               Worst Team W-L
1. Texas            9-19     1. Colorado         7-20      
2. Houston         11-17     2. Cincinnati      10-17       
3. Minnesota       11-16     3. Atlanta         11-17      
4. Detroit         13-17     4. Chicago         12-16
5. Bos, Chi        13-14        Philadelphia    12-16

   Batting Average              Batting Average     
1. Eaton, Chi       .434     1. Span, Was        .407        
2. Cabrera, Tor     .366     2. Revere, Phi      .357      
3. Gomes, Cle       .352     3. Gonzalez, LA     .350           
4. Abreu, Chi       .350     4. Smith, SD        .342          
5. Reyes, Tor       .336     5. Puig, LA         .333       

   Lowest Batting Average       Lowest Batting Average  
1. Davis, bal       .165     1. Crawford, SF     .167          
2. Chisenhall, Cle  .170     2. Granderson, NY   .170       
3. Beckham, Chi     .172     3. Valbuena, Chi    .173
4. Cruz, Bal        .175     4. Alcantara, Chi   .177           
5. Singleton, Chi   .183     5. Ozuna, Mia       .184      

   On-Base Percentage           On-Base Percentage  
1. Eaton, Chi       .488     1. Span, Was        .460           
2. Joyce, TB        .440     2. Smith, SD        .418            
3. Cabrera, Tor     .437     3. Puig, LA         .414         
4. Santana, Cle     .427     4. Martin, Pit      .413          
5. Abreu, Chi       .426     5. Stanton, Mia     .402       
      
   Slugging Percentage          Slugging Percentage   
1. Carter, Hou      .673     1. Stanton, Mia     .634         
2. Gomes, Cle       .591     2. Harrison, Pit    .589     
3. Cabrera, Tor     .571     3. Kemp, LA         .569       
4. Santana, Cle     .570     4. Dickerson, Col   .568       
5. Ortiz, Bos       .568     5. J Upton, Atl     .552        
          
   Home Runs                    Home Runs
1. Carter, Hou        10     1. Stanton, Mia       10
2. Ortiz, Bos          8     2. Duda, NY            7        
3. Arencibia, Tex      7        Kemp, LA            7
   Jones, Bal          7        Reynolds, Mil       7
   Santana, Cle        7        Rizzo, Chi          7

   Runs                         Runs    
1. Carter, Hou        22     1. Harrison, Pit      23        
2. Santana, Cle       21     2. Arenado, Col       19     
3. Cespedes, Oak-Bos  20        LaRoche, Was       19
4. 5 with             19     4. 3 with             18
                             
   RBI                          RBI      
1. Carter, Hou        29     1. Gonzalez, LA       23        
2. Ortiz, Bos         27     2. Howard, Phi        21      
3, Arencibia, Tex     23        Stanton, Mia       21       
4. 3 with             22     4. Kemp, LA           20
                                Pence, SF          20
                             
   Stolen Bases                 Stolen Bases             
1. Dyson, KC           9     1. Gordon, LA         13            
   Gose, TB            9     2. Gomes, Mil         10     
3. Aoki, KC            7        Span, Was          10   
   Ellsbury, NY        7     4. Harrison, Pit       8
5. 3 with              6        Revere, Ph          8
                   
   Saves                        Saves
1. Holland, KC        12     1. Cishek, Mia        11
2. Britton, Bal       10        Rodriguez, Mil     11
3. Perkins, Min        9     3. Mejia, NY           8
   Robertson, NY       9        Reed, Ari           8
   Street, LA          9        Rosenthal, SL       8

   ERA                          ERA
1. Kluber, Cle      0.76     1. Hendricks, Chi   1.01
2. Cobb, TB         1.36     2. Fister, Was      1.06
3. Hernandez, Sea   1.54     3. Hamels, Phi      1.23
4. Sale, Chi        1.80     4. Bailey, Cin      1.61
5. Scherzer, De     1.90     5. Worley, Pit      1.62

   Worst ERA                    Worst ERA
1. Danks, Chi       8.37     1. Burnett, Phi     6.54
2. Buehrle, Tor     6.67     2. Matzek, Col      6.28
3. Mikolas, Tex     6.60     3. Jackson, Ch      6.10
4. Buchholz, Bos    6.57     4. Kendrick, Phi    5.88
5. Pino, Min        6.28     5. Morton, Pit      5.73

   WHIP                         WHIP
1. Kluber, Cle      0.69     1. Bumgarner, SF    0.79
2. Hernandez, Sea   0.78     2. Bailey, Cin      0.82
3. Tillman, Bal     0.86     3. Kershaw, LA      0.86
4. Richards, LA     0.87     4. Hernandez,Phi-LA 0.86
5. Shoemaker, LA    0.90     5. Liriano, Pi      0.87

   Strikeouts                   Strikeouts
1. Kluber, Cle        55     1. Kershaw, LA        48      
2. Scherzer, Det      50     2. Cueto, Cin         46
3. Sale, Chi          48     3. Strasburg, Wa      45
   Price, TB-Det      48     4. Greinke, LA        43
5. Hernandez, Se      43        Hamels, Phi        43

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Living in Dangerous Times

I wrote about this in passing a few days ago, but it's such an unexpected outcome, I wanted to point it out separately.

Here's the headline: Batters are getting hit by pitches at near-historic rates. For all that you hear about pitchers who won't pitch inside, and umpires issuing warnings that make it impossible to throw at pitchers, and batters being unwilling to take one for the team, we're seeing batters get hit by pitches at the highest rate since the turn of the last century.

I looked at each decade since 1901, the first year there were two leagues. Using Fangraphs' Leaders page, I calculated the number of hit batsmen per 100 games played:
   1901-1910  6.5
   1911-1920  4.9
   1921-1930  3.6
   1931-1940  2.6
   1941-1950  2.4
   1951-1960  3.1
   1961-1970  3.4
   1971-1980  3.1
   1981-1990  3.0
   1991-2000  4.7
   2001-2010  5.8
   2011-2014  5.3
Baseball was kind of a wild game in the early days, with all sorts of shenanigans on the ball field, including throwing at batters. Hit batsmen were already in decline when, on August 16, 1920, Carl Mays hit Ben Chapman in the head with a pitch, killing him. Hit batters declined through the next three decades, bottoming out at 2.14 per 100 games in 1946. They stayed around 3 or so per 100 games through the 1980s, and then they took off. Here are the 30 years with the most batters hit by a pitch per 100 games:

  1. 1901  8.0
  2. 1903  6.9
  3. 1905  6.9
  4. 1902  6.8
  5. 1904  6.6
  6. 1911  6.5
  7. 2001  6.2
  8. 1908  6.1
  9. 1910  6.1
  10. 1906  6.1
  11. 1907  6.1
  12. 2004  6.1
  13. 1909  6.0
  14. 2003  6.0
  15. 2006  6.0
  16. 2005  6.0
  17. 2007  5.8
  18. 2014  5.7
  19. 2002  5.7
  20. 1912  5.5
  21. 2008  5.5
  22. 2011  5.3
  23. 2009  5.3
  24. 2013  5.2
  25. 1913  5.2
  26. 2010  5.2
  27. 1999  5.1
  28. 1998  5.1
  29. 2000  5.1
  30. 2012  5.1
Isn't that strange? Every year from 1901 to 1913 and every year since 1998. Nothing from the intervening 84 seasons. It raises two questions:
  1. What's going on? Why have hit batsmen increased despite efforts to cut down on beanball wars? It really has turned on a dime. There were 3.8 hit batsmen per 100 games in 1992, the 68th straight year below 4.0. It hasn't been below that level since.
  2. Why haven't we heard more about this? Andrew McCutchen's plunking was a big story. Amid laudable efforts to improve player safety, from batting helmets to neighborhood plays to home plate collision rules, hit batters are returning to levels not seen in a century.
This really is the most surprising thing I've seen since I started blogging. I never would've guessed that we're seeing a renaissance of hit by pitches.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Trailing 30 - August 10

Here are the top (and bottom) performers over the past 30 days, made possible through the magic of Fangraphs and its fabulous Leaders application. Comment for the week: On June 30, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper opined about his team's lineup, implying that he should be playing center over Denard Span. Take a look at Span's performance over the last 30 days. Harper: .265/.365/.398, which isn't bad, but Span's been crazy. 


   American League              National League
   Team W-L                     Team W-L      
1. Tampa Bay        15-7     1. Los Angeles     14-10       
2. Baltimore        17-8        Pittsburgh      14-10        
3. Kansas City      15-9     3. San Diego       13-10         
3. New York        15-10     4. New York        14-11   
4. Oakland         14-10     5. Washington      14-11        

   Worst Team W-L               Worst Team W-L
1. Texas            7-17     1. Colorado         6-18      
2. Minnesota        9-15     2. Atlanta          9-15       
3. Boston          10-14     3. Cincinnati      10-15      
4. Houston         10-14     4. Chicago         10-14
5. Detroit         12-14     4. Philadelphia    11-14

   Batting Average              Batting Average     
1. Eaton, Chi       .425     1. Span, Was        .431        
2. Cabrera, Tor     .371     2. Heyward, Atl     .382      
3. Abreu, Chi       .363     3. Revere, Phi      .367           
4. Gomes, Cle       .358     4. Harrison, Pit    .366          
5. Zobrist, TB      .353     5. Coghlan, Chi     .359       

   Lowest Batting Average       Lowest Batting Average  
1. Cruz, Bal        .135     1. Crawford, LA     .167          
2. Moss, Oak        .163     2. BJ Upton, Atl    .176       
3. Davis, Bal       .171     3. Howard, Phi      .179
4. Beckham, Chi     .176     4. Cozart, Cin      .179           
5. Martin, Tex      .185     5. Simmons, Atl     .182      

   On-Base Percentage           On-Base Percentage  
1. Eaton, Chi       .483     1. Span, Was        .496           
2. Abreu, Chi       .443     2. Heyward, Atl     .449            
3. Cano, Sea        .440     3. Coghlan, Chi     .444         
4. Cabrera, Tor     .435     4. Martin, Pit      .429          
5. Zobrist, TB      .430     5. Kemp, LA         .415       
      
   Slugging Percentage          Slugging Percentage   
1. Carter, Hou      .670     1. Harrison, Pit    .656         
2. Gomes, Cle       .654     2. Kemp, LA         .600     
3. Gardner, NY      .584     3. Arenado, Col     .591       
4. Arencibia, Tex   .577     4. Holliday, SL     .582       
5. Santana, Cle     .565     5. Puig, LA         .569        
          
   Home Runs                    Home Runs
1. Carter, Hou         8     1. Duda, NY            7
2. Arencibia, Tex      7        Holliday, SL        7        
   Gardner, NY         7        Stanton, Mia        7
   Ortiz, Bos          7     4. Kemp, LA            6
5. 3 with              6        Rollins, Phi        6

   Runs                         Runs    
1. Carter, Hou        19     1. Gomez, Mil         20        
   Gardner, NY        19     2. Harrison, Pit      19     
3. Reyes, Tor         17     3. Rendon, Was        18
   Trout, LA          17        Span, Was          18
   Zobrist, TB        17     5. 2 with             17
                             
   RBI                          RBI      
1. Ortiz, Bos         26     1. Johnson, Atl       20        
2. Arencibia, Tex     22     2. Sandoval, SF       18      
   Carter, Hou        22        Gonzalez, LA       18       
4. Gomes, Cle         20     4. 5 with             17
5. 6 with             17     
                             
   Stolen Bases                 Stolen Bases             
1. Gose, TB            7     1. Gomez, Mil          9            
2. Dyson, KC           6        Gordon, LA          9     
3. 4 with              5        Span, Was           9   
                             4. Harrison, Pit       8
                             5. 2 with              6
                   
   Saves                        Saves
1. Britton, Bal        9     1. Cishek, Mia         9
   Holland, KC         9     2. Mejia, NY           8
   Robertson, NY       9        Rodriguez, Mil      8
4. 6 with              6        Rosenthal, SL       8
                             5. Reed, Ari           7

   ERA                          ERA
1. Duffy, KC        1.19     1. Hamels, Phi      1.23
2. Kluber, Cle      1.37     2. Hendricks, Chi   1.27
3. Hernandez, Sea   1.46     3. Fister, Was      1.33
4. Lester, Bos-Oak  1.52     4. Ross, SD         1.41
5. Keuchel, Hou     1.61     5. Worley, Pit      1.50

   Worst ERA                    Worst ERA
1. Danks, Chi       8.04     1. Jackson, Chi     7.50
2. Hutchison, Tor   6.49     2. Haren, LA        6.75
3. Buchholz, Bos    5.77     3. Wood, Chi        6.67
4. Correia, Min     5.54     4. Matzek, Col      5.97
5. Carroll, Chi     5.46     5. Kendrick, Phi    5.83

   WHIP                         WHIP
1. Kluber, Cle      0.78     1. Hernandez,Phi-LA 0.79
2. Hernandez, Sea   0.81     2. Bailey, Cin      0.82
3. Iwakuma, Sea     0.83     3. Hamels, Phi      0.84
4. Richards, LA     0.88     4. Ryu, LA          0.85
5. Price, TB-Det    0.88     5. Roark, Was       0.90

   Strikeouts                   Strikeouts
1. Kluber, Cle        50     1. Strasburg, Was     46      
2. Hernandez, Sea     41     2. Hamels, Phi        43
3. Darvish, Tex       40     3. Ross, SD           40
   Price, TB-Det      40     4. Cueto, Cin         38
5. Richards, LA       38     5. 2 with             37

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Headhunting

In probably the most controversial case of hit-by-pitch retribution this year, the Diamondbacks responded to Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri hitting their star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, breaking his hand and ending his season, by hitting the Pirates' defending MVP, Andrew McCutchen, the next day, maybe or maybe not directly or indirectly causing a rib injury that may or may not put him on the disabled list. The absence of McCutchen could be devastating to the Pirates, who currently trail the Brewers by 1.5 games in the NL Central and lead the Cardinals and Giants by half a game in the National League Wild Card race. Frieri, who has had problems with his command all season (3.0 walks and 2.4 homers per nine innings, 7.34 ERA), fairly obviously hit Goldschmidt accidentally. Diamondbacks reliever Randall Delgado fairly obviously hit McCutchen on purpose.

Arizona has a reputation for hitting opposing batters, after their GM, Kevin Towers, lamented during the offseason that the team doesn't do it enough. Memorably, Diamondbacks pitcher Evan Marshall obviously intentionally hit Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun June 17 to the cheers of Arizona teammates and fans. The problem was, he loaded the bases for Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy in a game Arizona was leading 4-3. On the first pitch from reliever Brad Ziegler (Marshall was ejected), Lucroy blasted a grand slam to give the Brewers a 7-4 lead in a game they went on to win 7-5. The Diamondbacks' headhunting in that game may have cost them a victory.


This has led to all sorts of discussion about unwritten you-hit-my-guy-I-hit-yours rules, which teams' batters stand too close to the plate, and which teams' pitchers pitch inside the most. My friend David wondered which teams are the most notorious for hitting batters and for getting hit. That's easy enough to find out.

Here are the ten major league teams that have had the most batters hit by pitches this season: 
   1. Pittsburgh    60
   2. St. Louis     58
   3. Milwaukee     52
   4. Boston        46
   5. Tampa Bay     44
   6. Baltimore     43
      Seattle       43
      Texas         43
   9. White Sox     41
  10. Hou, LAA, Was 40

Makes you wonder about the NL Central, where the three top teams have been hit the most in baseball, doesn't it? 

And here are the pitching staffs that have hit the most batters:
   1. Pittsburgh    61
   2. White Sox     52
   3. Baltimore     50
   4. Yankees       49
   5. St. Louis     48
   6. Angels        47
      Philadelphia  47
   8. Houston       44
      Kansas City   44
  10. Cin, TB       43

Well, well. Pirates games certainly feature a lot of hit batsmen, don't they? Same with several of the other teams on the list.

This made me think: Who are the biggest victims and victimizers? Whose batters get hit more often than their pitchers hit batters, and vice-versa? Here are the victims, the teams with highest number of batters' HBP minus pitchers' HBP:
   1. Milwaukee     23
   2. Boston        20
   3. Minnesota     15
   4. St. Louis     10
   5. Seattle        8
   6. Atlanta        7
   7. Texas          6
      Washington     6
   9. Arizona        5
  10. Dodgers        4

I wouldn't read much into those figures once you get past the top three or four - we're 114 games into the season, so Atlanta's difference of 7, for example, means that an Atlanta batter gets hit without an opposing batter getting hit once every 16+ games. That's not much of a trend. But I wouldn't have expected the Diamondbacks to be on this list, not with their headhunting reputation.

And who are the victimizers, who hit other teams' batters in excess of their hitter getting plunked?
   1. Miami         13
      Philadelphia  13
   3. White Sox     11
      Kansas City   11
      Yankees       11
   6. Toronto        9
   7. Colorado       8
   8. Baltimore      7
      Angels         7
      Padres         7

Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing: Huh? This is not exactly a rogues' gallery of teams with a reputation for playing dirty.

What can we learn from this? Not a lot. We don't know how many times a pitcher hits a batter accidentally or purposely from looking at the raw numbers, nor how often a batter bails out on an inside pitch or stands in there, taking his base. We don't know how many times a batter's hit in act of retaliation, and how many of those are the teams' stars. But I think we can say three things with certainty:

  1. For the most part, teams' pitchers hit batters about as often as its batters get hit.
  2. Contrary to what sportswriters may say about Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson throwing at batters (I discussed Gibson's somewhat undeserved reputation last fall), we are not living in an era during which pitchers are unwilling to hit batters. Batters are getting hit once every 17.5 games this year. That's the 18th most in history (since 1901). The top 25 are all from the years 1901-1913 and 2001-2014. 
  3. Despite their reputation, the Diamondbacks have hit 34 batters this year, tying for the eighth fewest in baseball. Go figure.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trailing 30 - August 4

Here are the top (and bottom) performers over the past 30 days, made possible through the magic of Fangraphs and its fabulous Leaders application. Comment for the week: These numbers are going to be a little bit squirrelly, due to a limited number of games played, until we lap the All-Star break. That being said, the most interesting race to me over the past 30 days is that of city supremacy: Los Angeles (29-17) has a one-game lead on New York (29-19). 


   American League              National League
   Team W-L                     Team W-L      
1. Los Angeles      16-8     1. New York         15-9       
   Tampa Bay        14-7     2. Los Angeles      13-9        
3. Baltimore        15-8     3. Washington      13-10         
3. New York        14-10        Arizona         13-10   
4. Cleveland       14-11     5. Pittsburgh      13-11        

   Worst Team W-L               Worst Team W-L
1. Texas            5-19     1. Colorado         7-16      
2. Seattle          9-15     2. Milwaukee        9-15       
3. Boston          10-14     3. Chicago          9-16      
4. Minnesota       11-13        Atlanta          9-16
5. Houston         11-12     4. Cin, Phi        12-13

   Batting Average              Batting Average     
1. Eaton, Chi       .398     1. Puig, LA         .397        
2. Abreu, Chi       .396     2. Span, Was        .396      
3. Machado, Bal     .368     3. Coghlan, Chi     .388           
4. Zobrist, TB      .367     4. Kemp, LA         .382          
5. Cano, Sea        .356     5. Heyward, Atl     .365       

   Lowest Batting Average       Lowest Batting Average  
1. Beckham, Chi     .143     1. Howard, Phi      .152          
2. Morrison, Sea    .145     2. LaRoche, Was     .179       
3. Cruz, Bal        .167     3. Bruce, Cin       .179
4. Viciedo, Chi     .170     4. Cozart, Cin      .187           
5. Choo, Tex        .185     5. Lucroy, Mil      .198      

   On-Base Percentage           On-Base Percentage  
1. Abreu, Chi       .467     1. Puig, LA         .479           
2. Zobrist, TB      .453     2. Span, Was        .477            
3. Eaton, Chi       .446     3. Coghlan, Chi     .464         
4. Fuld, Min-Oak    .442     4. Kemp, LA         .453          
5. Cano, Sea        .431     5. Heyward, Atl     .427       
      
   Slugging Percentage          Slugging Percentage   
1. Carter, Hou      .650     1. Puig, LA         .730        
2. Abreu, Chi       .648     2. Coghlan, Chi     .647     
3. Gomes, Cle       .633     3. Duda, NY         .640       
4. Santana, Cle     .626     4. Kemp, LA         .618       
5. Gardner, NY      .593     5. Harrison, Pit    .615        
          
   Home Runs                    Home Runs
1. Santana, Cle        8     1. Rizzo, Chi          8
2. Carter, Hou         7     2. Duda, NY            7        
   Gardner, NY         7        Holliday, SL        7
   Ortiz, Bos          7        Rollins, Phi        7
   9 with              5     5. 2 with              6

   Runs                         Runs    
1. Trout, LA          19     1. Span, Was          19        
2. Gardner, NY        18     2. 5 with             18     
3. 4 with             17     
                             
   RBI                          RBI      
1. Ortiz, Bos         29     1. Johnson, Atl       21        
2. Santana, Cle       21     2. Gonzalez, LA       19      
3. Carter, Hou        18     3. 4 with             18       
4. 3 with             17     
                             
   Stolen Bases                 Stolen Bases             
1. Dyson, KC           9     1. Span, Was          10            
2. Cain, KC            7     2. Gordon, LA          9     
   Ellsbury, NY        7     3. Gomez, Mil          8   
   Gose, TB            7        Hamilton, Cin       8
   Kipnis, Cle         7     5. Wong, SL            7
                   
   Saves                        Saves
1. Britton, Bal       10     1. Chapman, Cin        8
2. Robertson, NY       9        Cishek, Mia         8
3. Holland, KC         8        Mejia, NY           8
   McGee, TB           8        Reed, Ari           8
5. Perkins, Min        7        Rosenthal, SL       8

   ERA                          ERA
1. Gray, Oak        1.03     1. deGrom, NY       1.04
2. Kluber, Cle      1.54     2. Hamels, Phi      1.24
3. Hernandez, Sea   1.55     3. Roark, Was       1.29
4. Cobb, TB         1.65     4. Kershaw, LA      1.32
5. Sale, Chi        1.88     5. Ross, SD         1.66

   Worst ERA                    Worst ERA
1. Mikolas, Tex     7.71     1. Kendrick, Phi    8.04
2. Bucholz, Bos     6.16     2. Jackson, Chi     7.80
3. Danks, Chi       5.90     3. Minor, Atl       7.16
4. Ventura, KC      5.18     4. Wood, Chi        6.83
5. Phelps, NY       4.97     5. Matzek, Col      6.37

   WHIP                         WHIP
1. Kluber, Cle      0.68     1. Kershaw, LA      0.71
2. Iwakuma, Sea     0.81     2. Roark, Was       0.71
3. Samardzija, Oak  0.82     3. Garza, Mil       0.79
4. Hernandez, Sea   0.86     4. Hernandez, Phi   0.80
5. Cobb, TB         0.91     5. Bailey, Cin      0.85

   Strikeouts                   Strikeouts
1. Kluber, Cle        43     1. Ross, SD           46      
2. Darvish, Tex       41        Strasburg, Was     46
3. Iwakuma, Sea       39     3. Hamels, Phi        45
4. Price, TB          36     4. deGrom, NY         37
5. 4 with             35     5. Cueto, Cin         36

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Getting Traded

This was a weird moment. The Tigers were playing a game against the White Sox at the trade deadline on Thursday. The Tigers completed a three-way trade with the Mariners and Rays just minutes before the 4 PM EDT deadline, with centerfielder Austin Jackson going to Seattle. The thing is, trades are official as soon as they're announced, and Jackson was, at that moment, playing center for Detroit. So Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had to pull him from the game, replacing him in center with Rajai Davis.

Davis was the Tigers' centerfielder for five seasons. Note that the last player he hugs in the dugout, pitcher Max Scherzer, was traded to the Tigers with Jackson in December 2009 in another Tigers three-way trade, this one involving the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

Sweet Play of the Day - July 31

Same song, new verse. Just as he'd done the day before, Manny Machado robbed Albert Pujols with a great catch and a sensational throw. Best part: Orioles announcer Gary Thorne sighing, "Oh boy. Here we go."