No, not the old, now-defunct baseball stats and records book I used to so dearly love. But a proposed new scoring system for baseball created by Pat Cunningham of the Rockford Register-Star in Rockford, IL:
There’s nothing complicated about it: Every time a runner reaches a base — be it first, second, third or home — he scores a run. A single or walk with no one aboard counts for one run. A leadoff double counts for two runs. A single that moves a runner from first to third would count for three runs. And a grand-slam homer would count for 10 runs, not just four — and that doesn’t include the scores tallied by the players who were on base before the home run was hit.
Cunningham lays out a scenario where the home team is down four runs entering the botton of the ninth. Instead of a nearly certain loss, a single, a muffed double play and a hit-by-pitch brings them to within a single run! Anticipation! Drama! Excitement!
Silliness of course, and neither I nor Cunningham actually think anyone would adopt it. But it would be great fun for beer league softball, pickup baseball games, assuming anyone still plays those, or college kids just messing around.
And heck, even if the majors did it, it’s not like the guys we think are the best now would suddenly be at a disadvantage. Just look at the all-time total base leaders. Awesome dudes, all.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.