As I did last offseason, I’m going to dump a bunch of links in the weekly Weekend Open Thread this winter. These are things I come across each week that I enjoyed but aren’t necessarily Yankees related. They’re worth sharing but aren’t worth an RAB post. So I’ll dump them here each weekend. Enjoy.
- We often hear pitchers have to change a hitter’s eye level by mixing high and low pitches, and they do, because MLB hitters are good and you have to keep them off balance. Jonah Pemstein had a fascinating analysis of what changing eye levels does to the umpire. Jonah found that in situations where pitchers threw two pitches at one height and the third at a different height, the strike zone does indeed shrink. It’s possible to change the umpire’s eye level too.
- The Nationals named Dusty Baker their new manager this week, but only after contract talks fell apart with Bud Black. They wanted Black, lowballed him during negotiations, and he walked away feeling disrespected. Barry Svrluga has a pretty scathing look at team ownership and their frugal, meddling ways. The Nationals have so much talent and potential yet keep falling shorting of expectations, and it starts at the top.
- Although the embargo is still in place, MLB is currently working with the two governments to bring Cuban players to the United States, write Michael Schmidt and Julie Hirschfeld Davis. League officials recently visited Cuba to inspect fields to determine whether they’re suitable for Spring Training games next year. MLB also wants visas for players and their families so they can travel between the U.S. and Cuba. Still lots of work to be done and a long way to go, but MLB is trying to get Cuban players stateside.
Friday: Here is your open thread for tonight and every other night this weekend. The Rangers, Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all in action tonight. Talk about those games, Sabathia, the other links, or anything else here.
Saturday: Once again, this is your open thread for the night. There’s a bunch of college football on and both the (hockey) Rangers and Nets are in action. Have at it.
Sunday: Here is your open thread for the last time. You’ve got a bunch of afternoon football plus the Eagles and Cowboys as the late game tonight. The Devils, Islanders, and Knicks are playing as well. Talk about those games or anything else right here tonight.