Evan Longoria Rays

Get a free sneak preview of a cool book about the Tampa Bay Rays


Friend of HardballTalk Jonah Keri has a book coming out about the Tampa Bay Rays soon. It’s called “The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First.” I’ve seen parts of it and what I’ve seen is excellent.

Though it won’t be available to the general public for a little while — you can pre-order here — you too can see parts of it now, as Jonah has a free preview up,  including Mark Cuban’s foreword and the prologue. I haven’t read the foreward yet.  I kind of hope Cuban goes nuts on Jonah like he’s a ref or something and then offers a passive-aggressive endorsement of the book like he does to the NBA on his blog.  That would be cool.

I don’t give a ton of plugs out around here, but this is a worthy one. Jonah is an excellent writer and I think it’s a book that’s really going to advance our understanding of how baseball teams — particularly low-revenue baseball teams — go about their business. So please, check it out.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.