League Updates

MLB and BLM…caught in a dilemma

This morning BP published an article titled, “Why Are There No Black Catchers?” Using four different racial categories from an in-depth study done for the Society for American Baseball Research  – Asian, Black, Latino, White – they looked at every player who has debuted and at what position he debuted between 1947-2016. What they found were what I believe are clear indications of Black players being funnelled into outfield positions and away from other positions, especially catcher. I’d recommend the article if you are able to access it, because it lays out compelling evidence for other inequities in the game.

I have appreciated the MLB spending the first week of their programming affirming that Black lives matter – a sentiment that is not political though many try to make it. It’s easy (all things considered) to demonstrate through publicity that an organization believes there is work to be done to address inequities in the workplace. It’s another for there to be changes made that address those inequities. One place to begin, it seems, is in player development – even at the youngest levels like Little League – and finding ways to address biases that exist around what positions a player should play. The final sentence in the article reads, “The only way to solve this issue and others is to correct the problem at the source: when Black players are funneled away from their natural positions on the diamond and into the outfield. That’s a job teams, front offices, scouts, and coaches at all levels ought to take seriously, for the good of the game.”

If the MLB does the necessary work, maybe we’ll be drafting a highly rated Black catcher into the EFL in 10 years. 


After the rule proposal sent out by Haviland management yesterday, I decided to run today’s stats based on it being accepted so that we could see the implications of it. If, for some unexpected reason, it isn’t adopted, we can return the Marlins back their rightful (?) place as leaders in the NL East tomorrow before month’s end. 

Team Wins Losses Pct. GB RS RA
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 5 2 .776 53.9 29.0
Flint Hill Tornadoes 3 2 .634 1.3 22.7 17.3
Cottage Cheese 3 3 .517 1.8 32.1 31.0
Peshastin Pears 2 3 .488 2 19.6 20.1
D.C. Balk 3 4 .467 2.2 28.8 30.8
Kaline Drive 3 3 .427 2.4 23.2 26.9
Portland Rosebuds 2 3 .344 2.7 23.8 32.8
Haviland Dragons 2 4 .306 3.1 25.6 38.6
Old Detroit Wolverines 1 4 .236 3.3 13.9 25.0
Canberra Kangaroos 1 6 .214 3.9 22.2 42.6
Bellingham Cascades 1 6 .103 4.7 22.0 65.0

Pittsburgh: W1, L1 18-9 (.450, .476, 1.000; no pitching) Wow! 18 runs scored in one day, how is that possible? One way is by getting 5 extra base hits among your 9 total hits. Another is by having a change atop the AL Central so that you get to add one more game to your record and unlock all those surplus stats. It’s too bad for them, and good for the rest of us, that the surplus pitching stats were not as good as the surplus hitting stats. Christian Vazquez and Jorge Soler led the way for Pittsburgh, who’s lead atop the EFL standings grew by an entire game.

Flint Hill: “L,” 6-6 (.385, .385, .846; 9.6IP, 6ER, 5.63 ERA) The Tornadoes could not keep pace with the Alleghenys, though they valiantly tried. Part of the issue might have been dealing with the departure of Mike Trout for an unspecified amount of time while he and his wife welcome their first child. Tornado management is pro-family leave, and we will be happy to let him be home as long as he desires to celebrate. In his absence, Teoscar Hernandez did a better Mike Trout impression than Mike himself has done, going 3-4 with 2 HRs. More of that, please! 

Cottage: DNP, 3-0 (.333, .412, .533; 3.3IP, 2ER, 5.45 ERA) We have a new 3rd place team! The Cheese snuck past the Pears on the strength of their hitting – an EMD! Three players gathered two hits apiece – Verdugo, McNeil and Crawford – and the LA players (wait, didn’t this happen yesterday, too?!?!) Ohtani and Seager both hit a HR.

Peshastin: DNP, 0-0 (.231, .375, .231; no pitching) There really isn’t much to say about the Pear day. No game played, no pitching, just a few batters. So, except for dropping behind the Cheese, yesterday was truly an off day for them.

DC: W2, L2, 17-19 (.321, .457, .500; 11.7IP, 5ER, 3.85 ERA) The Balk managed the change in division leaders pretty decently (especially compared to the Roos…sorry, Ryan). It helped that they had a good day in the box and on the mound, led by Shed Long (3-4 with a 2B and a HR) and Ivan Nova and Dylan Bundy (responsible for the entire pitching line). 

Kaline: W1, L(-1) 1-(-1) (.304, .370, .478; 14.7IP, 7ER, 4.29 ERA) This is a weird stat line, since 1 run scored and one run removed resulted in one win and one negative loss for the Drive. I am guessing it has to do with a change in the division leaders or the erasure of replacements. Either way, I think Drive management feels like yesterday was a great day! 

Portland: W1, L(-1) 1-(-6) (.263, .364, .316; 9IP, 2ER, 2.00 ERA) Like the Drive, the Rosebuds were able to shave off replacement innings with some really good IPs. Their hitting was, as has been the case lately, sub-par, but the pitchers picked up the slack, led by Jose Berrios (5IP, 2ER). The Rosebuds climbed 3 spots in the standings, something I believe they feel pretty good about.

Haviland: DNP, -3-(-1) (.111, .200, .111; no pitching) Well, that kind of hitting line is the kind you don’t ever want, but if you ever do have it you want it on a DNP day. Dragon hitters had as many HBPs as they did hits…so I guess that is a silver (or black and blue) lining?

Old Detroit: L, 4-8 (.188, .318, .375; 7.7IP, 7ER, 8.18 ERA) It feels a bit cruel to speak again of a less-than-ideal Wolverine day, so I’ll spare ODs ownership the pain by saying, “At least it wasn’t as bad as yesterday!”

Canberra: W0, L4, 11-28 (.167, .310, .167; 1IP, 0ER, 0.00 ERA) I already foretold the Roo misery while writing up the Balk. But this is not the kind of news you want to read about on your lunch break. Perhaps your best plan of action, Ryan, is to convince the EFL owners to not adopt Haviland’s proposal? 

Bellingham: W1, L1, 8-16 (.263, .318, .526; 1IP, 0ER, 0.00 ERA) The Cascades put a win back in the win column, which is a welcome sight, I imagine. Rookie Bo Bichette led the way with 2 doubles, and Graterol pitched (again) and did so perfectly (again).