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Fox Sports Going Video Leaves Ken Rosenthal Looking For A Place To Write

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Fox Sports Going Video Leaves Ken Rosenthal Looking For A New Writing Gig

A usual go-to for breaking news throughout the year, Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal may possibly end up without a job at Fox Sports soon.

The writer for Fox Sports since 2005 expressed on Twitter late yesterday that he is “writing without a home” explaining that Fox Sports has now become a video exclusive website – making his frequent columns now obsolete.

As previously mentioned, Rosenthal is arguably the most accomplished and recognizable writers in baseball today, working with Fox Sports. A recognizable face in the sport, he is often the first to break news when it is brewing – and it’s only fitting that he breaks the news first to the baseball universe of the executive decision by Fox to switch to video.

Despite no longer writing with Fox Sports, he will continue to be a part of the television coverage. A possible contractual restriction makes it so he cannot write for other publications (he is currently posting his work to his Facebook page. No, seriously.) While he is a major part of the Fox Sports broadcast crew for prime time baseball and a daily regular on MLB Network, it is likely that he will find a new home soon. A potentially poor move by Fox Sports could end up with them having to let go the Mike Trout of sports media.

But there’s always new beginnings for you Ken. Plenty of places would love to have you. May I recommend Trifecta Network?

Tyler is currently covering the Celtics for the upcoming season, as well as providing coverage for the MLB on occasion. He has written for The Georgetowner Newspaper in Washington, DC as well as providing work for the Red Sox on Fansided. He is fan of Hayley Williams, Seinfeld, and cold beer. You can keep up with Tyler on @TheTylerHetu. Thank you for reading.

MLB

ScienceBall: How Major League Baseball Took Steroids

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As Bill Nye’s theme song told us: Science rules and inertia is a property of matter. So why don’t we get a little scientific?

There have been whispers of conspiracy surrounding Major League Baseball and the inordinate increase in home runs, in recent years. We all know that the MLB conducts thorough and scrupulous drug tests; PED’s are presumed to be out of the question. So what could have caused this increase in dingers?

The term “juicing the ball” has been thrown around loosely, almost in a satirical manner. This has come from the media. The MLB has made no formal, nor vociferous, statement concerning any deliberate tampering with their baseballs. But the truth is out there…

These allegations, surrounding the home run spike, come on the coattails of a numbers problem for the MLB: The TV ratings are bad. We the old-heads may still be watching, but the hip-youth are turning elsewhere for their sports entertainment. Preseason football killed Red Sox games, and it almost invariably beat local MLB broadcasts around the country. Wouldn’t it make sense for commissioner Rob Manfred and baseball brass to look for a way to stimulate TV ratings with the younger demographics? And what does everybody appreciate and find entertaining: Power.

Here’s where I have to admit that I have a tinge of a conspiracy theorist in me: I do. But, this “juiced-ball” ball phenomena is redolent of the steroid era. That’s alarming. Hitters are inexplicably hitting more home runs. Yeah, yeah I get the “whole evolution of the athlete theory”. This spike is too extreme to be attributed to improved mechanics and players being more educated. It just doesn’t make sense. Especially when juxtaposed with the not so far-gone PED age of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Moneyball

At this point in the 2017 MLB season, home runs per game (HRPG) are higher than they have been ever before. That’s right, even when Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire were swinging it, they weren’t swinging it like this. HRPG has rapidly shot up since the 2015 season. If you look at 2-year intervals, the increase that we’re appreciating, since just 2 years ago, is much greater than any difference we’ve ever seen in such a span.

Let’s go back to 1998. Steroids are just starting to circulate through clubhouses. Ah, what a time to be alive! My dad always says “go look at Barry Bonds’ rookie card, then look at him in the late 90’s.” To say the dude put on some weight would be a massive understatement. He looked like he ate himself. But by the numbers, the HRPG for the 1998 MLB season was 1.04. By the 2000 season, in 2 years, it was jacked up to 1.17. Steroids are a helluva drug. That’s a 13% increase in home runs. After public outcry and the commencement of a witch-hunt, HRPG precipitously dropped back to 1.04 by 2002. Now, stay with me here.

In the 2015 season, the average for home runs per game was a normal 1.01. Fast-forward to now, with the 2017 regular season schedule all but completed, the HRPG is at 1.27. Much like the steroid era disparity, in 2 years the average has increased by 26%. That is twice as severe of an increase than the one we saw back when the players were juicing. So, clearly, someone, or something, has to be juiced here.

Scienceball

I brought this topic up casually to a nerdy know-it-all friend of mine, and he made an interesting suggestion. Very placidly and definitively he said, “they’re dehydrating the baseballs”. Of course, this sounded stupid, at first. I’ve had dehydrated fruit, and it’s pretty good, but why would anyone want dehydrated baseballs? He explained that, by dehydrating the baseballs, one could manipulate what is scientifically referred to as the “coefficient of reciprocity” or COR.

In laymen’s terms: It would make the ball “bounce” more violently. Every object on Earth harbors a certain amount of moisture. A water-logged ball does not bounce as well as a dry ball. The more dehydrated a baseball becomes, the greater it will bounce. Remember Sammy Sosa’s corked bat? Little did he know that he was influencing the COR of baseballs, only with a different piece of equipment. You’ll hear announcers say when the air is dry and hot, that the ball will “fly” during the game. That’s when the ball is naturally dehydrated.

Another piece of information, that expounds on this hypothesis, is the so-called “blister epidemic” in the MLB. This year, venerated pitchers such as Jake Arrieta, Rich Hill, and many others have complained of the mysterious formation of blisters on their fingers. These guys are not rookies. They’re forming blisters, years and years into their respective careers, in ways they’ve never formed them before. Hypothetically if the ball was dehydrated, it would have a more coarse and abrasive texture. The ball would have a surface that could easily induce blistering, after re-gripping and throwing it 100+ times per game.

Think about it: You would see no superficial change in the baseball’s appearance if it was dehydrated. MLB “ball-handlers” (for lack of a better term) would simply toss the baseballs into a baseball oven, before each game. Sadly there’s really no way to corroborate this theory unless you’re employed by the MLB and you can testify to doing this. If so please speak up. That would be cool.

In Reality

Again, this is all unconfirmed and is an unresearched conspiracy theory. The unfortunate thing about “eras” is that fans (and sometimes even players) don’t know when they are in one. We watch for the love of the game, and sometimes it’s best not to know how the sausage is made.

For now, we can say that it has been an exciting and action-packed season. Giancarlo Stanton is on track to be the first player to hit 60 home runs, since 2001. And it’s been fun to watch him as he attempts to accomplish this feat. But we can’t ignore suspicions. The spike in home runs, that we are appreciating this year, is not unprecedented. It is just much greater than its predecessor.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Batting or Pitching More Concerning?

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Red Sox

Red Sox Batting or Pitching More Concerning?

Tonight NESN will be broadcasting the game in virtual reality (for those who care). Wow, how futuristic! But before we let NESN get all virtual reality on us, let’s take a more realistic look at this exasperating Red Sox team. Most recently, they’ve been questionable on both sides of the baseball. But which element will ultimately be more detrimental to our hunt for postseason glory: The arms or the bats?

We are now in the month of September. Playoff baseball lies near on the horizon. There are only 24 games left on the schedule, and we are up by a tenuous 2.5 games on the Yankees. The heartbreak of losing that series, this past weekend in the Bronx, still lingers in the minds of fans.

It is undeniable that the Red Sox have faltered as of late. They are a measly 7-8 in their last 15 games. Our guys have been underperforming. And this is certainly not the time to ease off the gas-pedal. Despite the lead in the division, we have not secured a playoff birth just yet.

Both our pitching and our hitting has waxed and waned, like a candle in the wind. There appears to be an emotional dichotomy in this clubhouse. Some games, this Sox team takes the field clamoring to hear the words “play ball”. But almost just as often, we see a bunch of players who appear to be disinterested and defeated out of the gate. It makes you wonder if they have what it takes to be successful on the biggest stage.

Don’t get it twisted: Dave Dombrowski wants to win immediately. He’s not here for an unglamorous “rebuild”. Over the past 2 years, Dombrowski has assembled a competitive postseason team. He’s done this through aggressive trading, with a tenacious business approach. He’s surrounded our homegrown talent with bonafide star-power. On paper, we have one of the most formidable teams in the MLB.

We’ve all performed the eye-test. The Red Sox making a playoff run in 2017 should be safely presumed, right? Sure. But just how far should we expect them to go in October?

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Boston Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Red Sox

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

It certainly has been a scintillating week in Boston sports. We saw the completion of the biggest Celtics trade since the Big 3. The Sox went on a tear, then proceeded to get torn asunder in the Bronx. Our, Super Bowl winning and perfection projected Patriots are preparing to play their season opener next Thursday. How are we gonna tackle all of this news?

Don’t fret: It’s Friday. That means it’s time for “the Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

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