MLB

Trevor Bauer’s Fascinating Long Toss Sessions

Trevor Bauer rocketed a ball toward the sky at Kauffman Stadium a few weeks ago during a game of long toss. It seemed like it would never come down. But it did. Landing perfectly in the glove of the Indians bullpen catcher on the other side of the field.

The coach tossed the ball to a buffer — a guy in the middle because he couldn’t have possibly made the same throw.

When I got home, I looked up Bauer’s long toss routine. According to this Big League Stew article, he maxes out at 450-475 feet—at least a football field and half. And he does so with seeming little effort. I know that’s not true. Partially because he says so in this Sports Illustrated article.

“It’s done with a very fluid motion,” Bauer told SI. “It appears to be effortless because the body is very synced up. It’s not effortless. It’s actually max effort, but it can only happen when the body is connected. To launch a ball 300, 350 or 400 feet, it takes a high level of athleticism. That’s a big reason why I like it.”

He also says it helps to loosen him up.

Perched overhead in the sports bar in right field, I was fascinated by every throw. The physical skill it takes to be able to throw a baseball that far is hard to fathom.

Just for some perspective, Doug Flutie tossed his “Miracle in Miami” from his own 37-yard line—a 63-yard pass. Kordell Stewart launched his “Miracle in Michigan” from his own 27-yard line—a 73-yard pass.

Throwing a football isn’t the same thing, but knowing that Bauer is throwing long toss that is approximately twice the distance of Stewart’s pass creates quite a visual, doesn’t it?

In 2012, while Bauer was still with the Diamondbacks, Ken Rosenthal wrote a story about how some of the Mariners lined up along the third baseline to watch Bauer throw long toss from pole to pole.

“So strange. So, so strange,” Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan says in the story. “Everyone has got their routines and stuff. But he was almost in our bullpen, throwing into their bullpen. That’s crazy.”

Several fans have captured one of Bauer’s long toss sessions on YouTube. Here’s one that’ll give you a good perspective on just how far he’s throwing the ball.

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MLB

MLB to Allow Players to Wear Nicknames on Jerseys

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When Mike Moustakas strode up to the plate a couple of weekends ago in Kansas City, I turned to a friend in the ballpark and asked him if he thought Moose had a chance to break the Royals all-time season home run record, set by Bye Bye.

I grew up listening to the Royals on the radio, where nicknames were prevalent during the broadcast or pre- and post-game shows. Guys like A.O, Flash, Gooby, Ape, Quiz, Soupy, Sabes, Splitt were just part of my vernacular.

That’s why my first reaction to this story about MLB allowing players to wear nicknames on their jerseys during the Aug. 25-27 weekend is positive.

What’s your take?

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College World Series

Volunteers Paint Barricades at TD Ameritrade Park for CWS

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College World Series fans will see a different look outside TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska this year. The event, which celebrates youthful exuberance and a family environment, is no longer exempt from world events.

What you’ll see is hundreds of concrete barriers lining the sidewalks around the stadium to help prevent the obvious.

Thankfully, that’s not all you’ll see.

A local artist named Tim Barry saw the drab barriers and decided to approach the powers that be to see if he could spruce them up. After getting permission, he took 30 volunteers down to the stadium and painted more than 100 of those barriers blue, green and yellow – purposely choosing breezy colors.

“We understand why those barriers are there,” he told the Omaha World Herald. “Just a little color makes them look a lot nicer.”

I think baseball fans will agree.

I decided to stop by the ballpark this afternoon before all of the festivities begin on Friday to snap a few photos and to get a look for myself. Here are a few of those photos:

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