How fast is Rich Harden really throwing it?

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There’s a story Rich Harden’s rough spring in today’s Boston Herald. The gist of it: no one is panicking. Everything’s going to be cool.  The passage that caught my eye: “Oh, the Texas Rangers have the radar gun readings — low 90s. Nothing to
be concerned about there.”

Why did that catch my eye? Because this morning Buster Olney said “Rich Harden’s fastball the other day was clocked at 84-88 mph. Not good.” Those things don’t go together. And when you’re dealing with a guy with Harden’s health history, stories like those in the Herald aren’t going to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Rangers fans: what’s up with Harden? Bad luck, or is he really dealing fat ones up there?

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.