What is Arizona’s mindset this offseason? Can Luke Weaver be the new Archie Bradley? Is the team still looking to move out of Chase Field? Beat reporter Steve Gilbert woke up from his post-regular-season depression and took some questions: “There are some that feel Weaver would be good in a late-inning role, but I think the D-backs will stick with him in the rotation for now and continue to work with him on his pitch mix.”
“Some” as in Jack Sommers?
Found this gem from a month ago. Christian music artist Rhett Walker is more into Nascar racing (listen to his funny Covid take on that sport) and the chitchat with Nick Ahmed (starting around 3:15) goes basically nowhere. But it is a fun and light-weight conversation in which our shortstop shares his thoughts on family, playing without public, what the Golden Gloves look like and the most important moment of his baseball career so far.
Arizona Diamondbacks top prospect Bahamian outfielder Kristian Robinson received positive reviews from Diamondbacks Farm Director Josh Barfield about his performance at the club’s alternate training site this year. “Everyone else was already in mid-season form and it took him, like, two days to look like he’d been playing there all year,” Barfield said. “He had a few games where he’d do something to make you think, ‘We don’t have anyone else who can do that,’” Barfield said. “He hit three homers – three opposite-field home runs – in back-to-back-to-back at-bats over at Chase Field. One in the pool, one over the pool and one on the concourse. He does some things that not many people can do.”
And the number one vote goes to...I don’t know. I stopped at number seven where the 2001 Diamondbacks appeared.
Around the MLB
So we all probably know by now that the Braves did not reach the World Series. The future is bright in Atlanta, but they could have gotten a bit more out of that first inning, right?
Ben Clemens analyses with visual footage some individual plays in game 7 that mattered. In a series shortened to a microcosm, one play can matter, and tonight the Dodgers made all the plays that mattered.
Team CEO Derek Jeter suggested the club intends to exercise the option it holds on outfielder Starling Marte. “Of course they are because he is good. D-backs really traded 2 good prospects for him then decided to go cheap and trade him for much less.” Ouch, that comment hurts.
Across the Pacific
“We cannot deny the fact that we have troubled the whole baseball world on two occasions,” the 60-year-old Ageshio said. “I am responsible for all the confusion the team has caused since I took office.”
A test to examine the flow of people at a near-capacity professional baseball game will be conducted by the government at the end of October. The experiment will use QR codes to track spectators’ movements and high-precision cameras to check for face mask usage at Yokohama Stadium with the venue at 80% capacity. Yokohama Stadium will be the main venue for baseball and softball games at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
The Japan Sports Agency will provide financial support for sports leagues nationwide if they provide new services for spectators through IT and other methods. The agency assumes applicants for the assistance initiative will include the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization (NPB). Services eligible for the subsidies include augmented reality (AR), through which player data is overlaid on the real-life action if special goggles are used, and projection mapping (PM), which projects colorful images on the walls of the venue to create an extraordinary atmosphere. Other examples include paying for live broadcasts that can be viewed with VR technology.
The Kiredas is a shaft with a Whiffle ball on its tip. First-timers have hard time throwing it straight, and the shaft usually drops on the ground immediately. But after some practice, they can toss the shaft back and forth in beautiful arcs that land in the other’s glove. When a pitcher’s elbow is too low or the wrist comes under too much pressure, the shaft of the Kiredas hits the dirt. But if the elbow is high and the entire body is used to throw, the shaft sails through the air. “You can’t really cheat with Kiredas,” developer Takeshi Fujita said.
This offseason, Kiwoom Heroes’ All-Star shortstop Kim Ha-seong is expected to be posted. The Heroes told him last December that they would make him available for MLB teams following the 2020 season. Kim, who turns 25 on Saturday, has been one of the KBO’s top all-around players. He’s batting .310/.401/.532 this year with a career-best 29 home runs, 105 RBIs, 21 steals and 106 runs scored. Na Sung-bum, designated hitter/outfielder for the NC Dinos, is also eligible for posting this year and has a .322/.392/.600 slash line, 31 home runs, 103 RBIs and 102 runs scored. KBO players must put in seven full seasons or their equivalent to be posted. They must stay on the active roster for 145 days to qualify for a full season.
The government said teams could admit crowds of up to 30 percent of their stadium capacity. But to maintain sufficient distancing between fans and ensure safe viewing environments, KBO teams will keep their cap on about 20 percent. During a small window in early August, before the social distancing scheme was raised to Level 2, KBO teams had also admitted fans at about 20 percent capacity of their ballparks
Across the Atlantic
Dutch Baseball and softball leagues, as well as other sports, have shut down in the Netherlands due to new COVID-19 controls. For the first time since Dutch baseball started a league (1922), a season will end without a champion. The Holland Baseball Series came to a stop with defending champions Amsterdam Pirates leading two games to none in a best-of-seven against regular season winner Neptunus Rotterdam.
Leonessa Brescia defeated the Fortitudo Bologna White Sox, 13-5, in the final played at Leoni stadium in Bologna to claim the 2020 Italian Baseball for the Blind Championship. Slugger Sarwar Ghulam powered the offense with five home runs.
Across The Wall
Showtime offers since last Friday the documentary “Bad Hombres”. In 101 minutes the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, the world’s only binational pro baseball team, is followed, as the Tecos divide their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. The Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo is a baseball team in the Mexican summer league LMB. The LMB is a Triple-A class in the Minor League Baseball (MiLB), but the teams are not associated to any major league baseball club.
Aurelio Vargas of El Fildeo reports “stadiums violating the limit of allowed capacity, no respect for healthy distances, fans without masks, small children, crowds in the entrance lines and a couple of scandalous drunks were the balance of this experiment.” One particularly overheated Tomateros fan chose to bathe himself in beer as fans in the above tier of seating poured their cups on him as well, then doused nearby fans with beer from the bottom of one of the cups he was holding.
[Dominican Republic] Gigantes del Cibao (Cibao Giants) announce their foreign signings for the upcoming season (translated by Google)
Former Diamondbacks Jake Ellmore (full season) and Steven Souza Jr. (second half) will reinforce the club in the Dominican winter league with training starting this Monday.
Your random Diamondback
Price, 58, had two more years remaining on his contract. He said his decision was based solely on the desire to spend more time with his family in Phoenix, Arizona: ”I miss my family. It started to hit me sitting in my apartment in Philadelphia all by myself. I went from the apartment to the park, the park to the apartment. I felt very isolated. That was not the sole component of the decision, but it heightened my awareness of the time I was missing with my family.”
Price was the Diamondbacks’ pitching coach from 2007 to 2009. Just before the Phillies hired him, Price reportedly turned down an opportunity to become the Arizona Diamondbacks’ pitching coach after being offered the job.