Must-click link: Derrick Goold on Bill James

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of my favorite beat reporters and he’s even better when he stretches his writing legs a bit for a story like this one on Bill James:

Goold: Stats don’t tell the whole story of who Bill James is

James’ legend has grown to the point that his name alone has come to mean all kinds of different things to all kinds of different people, but Goold does a really nice job getting to know the man behind some of the best, most influential baseball writing of all time.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.