Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:
- MLB Network/TBS analyst John Smoltz believes that umpires are shrinking the strike zone in later innings. Scott Lindholm of Beyond the Boxscore investigates the veracity of the claim.
- Awful Announcing’s Joe Lucia oversaw a reader poll evaluating all 30 teams’ broadcast teams. So who was worst? And who was first?
30) Chicago White Sox — 1.37
– Hawk Harrelson (play by play)
– Steve Stone (analyst, play by play — select)
– Aaron Rowand (analyst — select)
– Mike Huff (analyst — select)
– Tom Paciorek (analyst — select)
Most popular grade: F (46% of voters)
Analysis: No crew received more total F’s or a higher percentage of F’s than the White Sox crew. Essentially, people either despised Hawk (for obvious reasons) or tolerated him for the sheer humor of it all, while there was a soft spot for analyst Steve Stone. . . .
1) San Francisco Giants — 3.46
-Duane Kuiper (play by play)
-Jon Miller (play by play)
-Dave Flemming (play by play)
-Mike Krukow (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (74% of voters)
Analysis: The Giants had more A grades than any other team in the league, and that total surpassed the total amount of votes that seven teams had. Kuiper and Krukow topped our reader rankings, and there wasn’t much negativity at all towards them. The Giants have a real depth chart of great announcers across television and radio. Perhaps a surprise #1 choice, but one that is certainly worthy of the top spot.
- Be sure to weep for Mike Francesa. As reported by CBS New York, WFAN’s longtime, drive-time gasbag claims the Mets denied him the opportunity to do his show from Citi Field when the Yankees visit on the 14th and 15th of May 14 and 15.
- Over at the Hardball Times, Ultimate Zone Rating founder Mitchel Lichtman reveals the “10 Lessons I Have Learned About Defensive Statistics.”
- The Indians off to a horrid start but Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated’s The Strike Zone thinks it may be too soon to give up on the Tribe, although the recent abdominal injury to Jason Kipnis won’t make Terry Francona’s job in the next few weeks any easier.
- Rob Neyer of Fox Sports reminds us that it wasn’t all that long ago that everyone was debating who was the better ballplayer: Bryce Harper or Mike Trout. The argument is over, according to Neyer, at least for now. Even when Harper isn’t running face-first into a wall or jamming his thumb into third base, Trout has been the superior performer.
- Another player known for making hard contact with immovable objects is Sam Fuld. In this highlight, the Twins center fielder robs Manny Machado of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch against the wall.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!