Baseball Bats

first_imgThe other day David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox showed up for batting practice with a metal bat.  Of course, these are banned in major league baseball, but he wanted to put on a show for the fans during batting practice.  He supposedly hit several balls completely out of Fenway Park–even some over the scoreboard.  Now you know why they are banned in pro baseball.  However, that is only part of what I wanted to discuss today.  In the early days of baseball, players literally brought lumber to the plate.  The bats were huge from one end to the other.  Babe Ruth supposedly used a bat so large that some major leaguers couldn’t even swing it.  As the years have gone by, the bats keep getting smaller, lighter, and more slender.  Couple this with the fact that ash is not readily available any more you constantly see bats being shattered.  Ash wood has been affected by a beetle and no other wood has proven to be as good as ash was.  Players say they prefer the new slender bats because they get the same effect with the narrow handle as a golfer gets when he uses a driver.  You literally get a whiplash effect which carries the ball farther from the plate.  With all of the technology in baseball today, you can see this in some of the slow motion camera shots.  I have already discussed the controversy of metal bats and their danger to pitchers in the lowest levels of baseball.  I doubt if anybody uses the Jackie Robinson model that was so popular in my high school baseball days.last_img read more

Diamondbacks hand Angels their 7th loss in 8 games

first_imgIt simply wasn’t enough to overcome a poor start by their rookie pitcher.Barría allowed a single to Jon Jay to lead off the game. Then he piped an 0-and-1 fastball to Paul Goldschmidt, who hit a home run over the right-center field fence. After four pitches to two batters, the Angels trailed 2-0.Ketel Marte’s solo home run tacked on another run in the second inning. In the third, Barría imploded with two outs and a runner on first base. Nick Ahmed walked. Former Angels catcher Jeff Mathis lined a double into left-center field, scoring both runners. Dyson hit a single to drive in Mathis and advanced to third base when the ball scooted under Calhoun’s glove in right field.All six runs against Barría (5-3) were earned. His ERA rose from 2.61 to 3.57. He walked one batter and struck out five.“I wasn’t locating the fastball,” Barría said through an interpreter. “The two home runs came off fastballs. I started locating the breaking pitches, but I made mistakes with those as well.”Once he left, the offense showed signs of life. Pujols’ 626th career home run brought the Angels within 6-2. His 1,751st career run matched Jimmie Foxx for 21st all-time.The Angels didn’t rally again until the seventh inning. Calhoun and Kinsler singled, then advanced to second and third base on a balk by Hirano. Trout drew a walk with first base open.After Dyson turned Upton’s long sacrifice fly into the second out of the inning, the Angels had one more shot with two runners on base. But Pujols flied out to end the inning, preserving the Diamondbacks’ lead at 6-3.In spite of his home run, Pujols left four runners on base as part of a 1-for-5 evening.Three consecutive singles off left-hander Jorge De La Rosa gave the Angels another run in the eighth inning. But with runners on first and second, Chris Young pinch hit for Calhoun and grounded into a force out. Archie Bradley relieved De La Rosa and got Ian Kinsler to ground out, ending the inning.Calhoun was greeted with a hearty round of applause when his name was announced prior to his first at-bat this month.The Angels’ right fielder was riding an 0-for-17 streak when he was felled by an oblique injury on May 31. On the first pitch he saw, Calhoun singled off Greinke for the Angels’ first hit. He finished 2 for 3. Upton settled for his sacrifice fly. The Angels settled for a 7-4 loss, their seventh loss in their last eight games.“I knew I’d hit it hard,” Upton said. “It was going to at least be off the wall. He was positioned well, he’s fast, he went and caught it.”“Justin killed that ball,” Angels center fielder Mike Trout said. “Dyson made a great play. It was a pretty good catch. As a center fielder, you like to do that. Obviously, it was against us tonight so it’s tough.”There were other reasons why the Angels did not win Monday. Rookie right-hander Jamie Barría (5-3) paid for several early mistakes and left with a 6-0 deficit after four innings. Kole Calhoun accidentally tripped after rounding second base in the third inning, costing the Angels a run. As a team, the Angels went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base.The sting of Dyson’s catch was more acute. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It was real sweet to take four off the board there,” Dyson said.In the bottom of the seventh inning, Trout tried to make an even more impressive catch – going above the wall in right-center to rob Nick Ahmed – only to see the ball glance off his glove for a home run.“I was just a half-second late,” Trout said.So it goes for the Angels.The Houston Astros (49-25) won their 12th consecutive game earlier Monday. The Angels (38-35) fell 10-1/2 games out of first place in the American League West and 8-1/2 games behind the Seattle Mariners (46-26) for the second wild-card berth. Only 10 days ago, the Angels were 3-1/2 games behind both Houston and Seattle.Trout said he isn’t looking at the standings this time of year. Manager Mike Scioscia went so far as to deem the standings “irrelevant right now.”“If you play well and some outside help comes, great,” Scioscia said. “Right now we’re focused on the 25 (players) we have right now. I think we have the makings to go on a run if we can put things together the way we can, get some guys back in the lineup.”Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.The lineup wasn’t the problem Monday. The Angels out-hit Arizona 12 to 10. Trout reached base four times on his own. In the third inning, Upton and Albert Pujols hit consecutive home runs off Zack Greinke (6-5), the first back-to-back home runs the Angels have hit all season. PreviousANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks congratulates David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks after defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7-4 in a game at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun makes a fielding error on a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jarrod Dyson during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun makes a fielding error on a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jarrod Dyson during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is tagged out stealing second base by Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a game at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte, right, crosses home plate past Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout hits a single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, listens to his translator, Ippei Mizuhara, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Arizona Diamondbacks’ David Peralta, right, misses a double hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Ian Kinsler as Nick Ahmed runs to cover for Peralta during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jeff Mathis connects with a two-run double during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jeff Mathis connects with a two-run double during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, right, and Daniel Descalso celebrate after they scored on a double hit by Jeff Mathis during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Justin Anderson, center, tosses the ball to catcher Martin Maldonado for the out on Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte, background left, after Anderson picked up a bunt hit by Diamondbacks’ Jeff Mathis, foreground, during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Martin Maldonado #12 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tags out Ketel Marte #4 on a fielders choice by Jeff Mathis #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte, center, is tagged out by Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado as he tries to score on a bunt hit by Jeff Mathis during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke sits in the dugout during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Manager Mike Scioscia pulls Noe Ramirez #25 as Martin Maldonado #12 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on during the sixth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a solo homerun during the fourth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Jarrod Dyson #1 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is unable to catch a soo homerun hit by Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Justin Upton #8 is congratulated by Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after hitting a solo homerun during the fourth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to a called strike during the seventh inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Yoshihisa Hirano #66 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton reacts after Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jarrod Dyson caught his fly ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to flying out with bases loaded during the seventh inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Nick Ahmed #13 is congratulated by Paul Goldschmidt #44 and Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks after hitting a solo homerun during the eighth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Archie Bradley walks off the field after the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 18: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks congratulates David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks after defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7-4 in a game at Angel Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun makes a fielding error on a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jarrod Dyson during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)NextShow Caption1 of 28Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun makes a fielding error on a single hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jarrod Dyson during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)ExpandANAHEIM — Justin Upton was swinging like a man who wanted more than a sacrifice fly. At that point in Monday’s game, at this point in their season, the Angels needed more.The bases were loaded in the seventh inning when Upton swung for his life at a Yoshihisa Hirano fastball and tipped it foul. The count was now full. Hirano threw another fastball, not more than a couple inches away from the last, and this time Upton did not miss.The ball sailed toward the deepest part of Angel Stadium, that unexpected obtuse angle in center field. To 33,809 fluttering hearts in attendance, it looked like Upton might have hit a game-tying grand slam.Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Jarrod Dyson kept his eye on the ball too. He glided back, leaped and caught the ball in front of the top of the wall.last_img read more

Tyler Zeller looking forward to USA Basketball debut

first_imgLATEST STORIES Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Before flying to Argentina on Sunday night, the Americans gathered in Houston for a few practices. Clinching scenarios weren’t exactly discussed in great detail, and players’ focus was largely kept on Thursday night’s test in La Rioja — where as many as 11,000 Argentines will fill an arena to root against the U.S.“They know where we stand, and they know we’re going to need to win two more games to qualify,” U.S. coach Jeff Van Gundy said.The G League has provided most of the players that the U.S. has used in qualifying so far, and that will be the case again this time with 10 players coming from those clubs. The other two are free agents — Eric Moreland, who appeared in 67 games with Detroit last season, and Zeller, a vet of 406 NBA games with four different teams.Zeller, 28, was waived by Milwaukee during the preseason. He has also played for Boston, Cleveland and Brooklyn during his NBA career. Van Gundy said these two games will be a chance for Zeller to show he belongs back in the league.“Some guys have never been in the NBA and want to get there and other guys like Tyler have been there and want to get back,” Van Gundy said. “For Tyler, it’s important that he show the NBA people that the thing they’re most concerned about, which is probably his pick-and-roll defense, is capable of standing up against NBA competition.”ADVERTISEMENT Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ The 7-foot Zeller will likely get matched up plenty Thursday against a familiar face: Longtime NBA player Luis Scola leads Argentina.“It’s a great opportunity,” Zeller said. “We’re going against two of the better FIBA teams in the world on this trip, we get to go compete at a high level and I think everybody here is excited about that.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. When USA Basketball resumes its quest to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Zeller will be wearing the red, white and blue in an international game for the first time. The NBA veteran and current free agent is one of the 12 players on the squad for this two-game window of qualifying, which starts with a crucial matchup Thursday at Argentina.“Obviously, I just love to play,” said Zeller, who played for four NBA teams after leaving North Carolina in 2012. “When they called and asked if I wanted to play, I told them I’d love to. Hopefully I can get on an NBA team, play well and somebody will pick me up after. But at the end of the day, I just love to play basketball and I want to go compete for our country and try to get them qualified on this trip.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe U.S. is on the brink of clinching one of the 32 spots for the World Cup, with a 7-1 record in qualifying so far and tied for first with Argentina in Group E of the Americas qualifying. They’re in a six-team division for this round, and the top three finishers in that division are automatically assured of a berth.The U.S.-Argentina winner will have a three-game lead over the fourth-place team with three games left, so Thursday’s outcome looms large. If the U.S. goes 2-0 on this trip — the Americans visit Uruguay on Sunday — the World Cup spot will be clinched. A 1-1 record could assure a spot as well, depending on outcomes of other games in this qualifying window. Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Ex-NBA star Dikembe Mutombo moved to tears in Jerusalem Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew FILE – In this Oct. 12, 2018, file photo, Milwaukee Bucks center Tyler Zeller, left, looks to shoot as Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng defends during an NBA preseason basketball game in Milwaukee. When USA Basketball resumes its quest to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Zeller will be wearing the red, white and blue in an international game for the first time. The NBA veteran and current free agent is one of the 12 players on the squad for this two-game window of qualifying, which starts with a crucial matchup Thursday at Argentina.(AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)Tyler Zeller spent the last few weeks waiting for a team to call.His country came through.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum View commentslast_img read more