MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/30/2024

A big day for baseball's history, and future.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

I was watching a bit of the Atlanta game today and I realized something: Nathan Eovaldi is exactly the look for that team. I can’t explain it beyond that, but he just looks like he should be in that rotation, aesthetically. I think he’d look pretty handsome in that uniform, too. I dunno, make of that what you will.


Today’s Headlines


MLB Incorporates Negro League Stats

Originally announced in 2020, Major League Baseball completed the integration of Negro League stats into their database on Wednesday:

Anthony Castrovince has a pretty detailed write up about what this means over on MLB.com, which includes this summary of the project:

John Thorn, official MLB historian and chairman of the Negro Leagues Statistical Review Committee, said the new database can be understood “by realizing that stats are shorthand for stories, and that the story of the Negro Leagues is worthy of our study.”

As well as this paragraph providing some context on the undertaking’s value:

It certainly was not the fault of Black baseball stars such as [Josh] Gibson, Cool Papa Bell and Oscar Charleston that they were forbidden from participating in the AL or NL, and recognizing the Negro Leagues as Major Leagues is in keeping with long-held beliefs that the quality of the segregation-era Negro Leagues circuits was comparable to the MLB product in that same time period.

There are some of the more granular details about how to interpret these stats alongside the more familiar one, especially with regards to qualification minimums, as well as the important note that the records being brought on board this week are only about 75% complete at this time, and more changes may be coming if new data comes to light that is deemed high enough quality for inclusion. And it’s the last bit that really makes me look at this project in awe.

It’s been a years, even decades-long project by utterly dedicated historians and statisticians to not only locate, preserve, and rebuild these records, but also to do the painstaking work to confirm their accuracy. Seamheads has long been leading the way on this front, and MLB cites their work as invaluable in making this data viable for inclusion in the larger record books of American baseball. Clinton Yates also wrote about the process and some of the larger historio- and ethnographic elements at Andscape.

Major League Baseball and the sport as a whole have found a way to attach a few generations to things beyond stats in dusty record books. But there is an argument that because racism was once the dominant flavor of the sporting world, this was a necessary reckoning for the assembled group who refuse to let Black American history die.

“I’m happy to finally have it out there for people to see the greatness of these ballplayers,” Lester said. “You know, find out about Bullet Rogen; he was the original Shohei Ohtani, you know that hit clean up and pitched every four or five days. I mean, it’s just so many legendary heroes that people will discover and learn to appreciate their struggles in segregated America.”

There are issues with the folding of these stats into one singular database, however, and it’s the flattening of the history and context that is ostensibly being preserved at the same time:

In my opinion, part of this issue is that there is “major league baseball” the talent level and “Major League Baseball” the formalized, recognized business entity that runs the sport today. It’s clear and obvious that the Negro Leagues were major league baseball, but by subsuming them under the “MLB” brand label, as Howard Bryant notes, there’s a risk of losing sight of why that distinction exists at all. I would like to think that we, as fans and almost necessarily mini-historians in our own right will make sure that we don’t let this happen, but I also want to use a quote from the Castrovince article from Bart Giamatti (because of course):

“We must never lose sight of our history, insofar as it is ugly, never to repeat it, and insofar as it is glorious, to cherish it.”

Spencer On The Mound In Atlanta

Sorry to get anybody’s hopes up about a miraculous comeback for Spencer Strider, but can I interest you in another Atlantan starter with the same forename, and a pretty fun surname in its own right? Well, whatever your answer, here’s Spencer Schwellenbach.

He didn’t waste much time, picking up his first big league K in the top of the first inning:

And ended up with a very respectable 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K line for the day. Unfortunately, Atlanta could only muster two runs on the day, so Spencer also got stuck with the L.

22 Skenesdoo!

Yesterday the Tigers got to face Jared Jones and Paul Skenes back-to-back in their doubleheader. It didn’t work out so great for Jones, but Skenes kept showing off what made him the #1 overall pick in 2023:

At the end of the day, Skenes threw six innings of two-run ball, giving up only three hits and a single walk to go with nine strikeouts. He struck out the side in the fourth:

His ERA on the season jumped up to 2.45, which I reckon we’re all willing to say it still pretty dece.

Gil Yeah

And speaking of rookie SPs on a roll, Luis Gil continued his incredible season out in Anaheim:

That puts him in pretty rarified company:

I think that #41 might be a little low for him on The List come Monday…

A New Look AL West

The AL West has been Houston’s to lose for what feels like a decade now, but last night J.P. Crawford played the hero for the Mariners, with a walk-off sac fly to beat the Astros 2-1 in the 10th:

That gives them a series win, but also a 3.5-game lead over the Texas Rangers, who are currently 27-29. That’s right, the M’s are the only team in the AL West who are above .500 right now. There’s still a lot of baseball left to play this season, but it’s quite the shakeup out on the left coast.


Best Moments From Yesterday


30 For 30: Ohtani’s Dingers

Shohei Ohtani is in his seventh year as an MLB player (how has it already been that long?!) but it took until Wednesday for him to check off the “Hit a dinger in Queens” box on his list. It was a pretty dang majestic two-run shot:

As an added bonus, your intrepid author was there to see it happen in person:

It was pretty cool. Even the Mets fans I was with couldn’t deny that.

New York Mess

But what many people who watched the 10-3 drubbing will probably remember most from yesterday was the saga of Jorge López, who was tossed for seemingly arguing with 3B umpire Ramon De Jesus and then proceeded to quite dramatically throw his mitt into the stands:

While it did make for a pretty amazing souvenir for one lucky fan

…there was more to come. When reporters caught up with López in the locker room after the game he was…not cooled off:

He further elaborated that he’s the worst teammate and on the worst team in MLB. The Mets, for their side of things, answered the question about wanting him there tomorrow by DFAing López later on Wednesday night, following a players-only meeting in the Mets clubhouse.

Seven Year Pitch

But it wasn’t only drama in New York on Wednesday, as tensions flared out in San Francisco:

The Strickland-Harper fight will always stick out to me for the sheet pettiness on display by Hunter Strickland, and also the incredible outcome of Bryce’s attempted helmet fling. The fact that Bryce Harper found himself on the receiving end of Giants pitcher angst while on an entirely new team seven years later is…something. I guess a Giant never forgets?

Crazy Eights

They may be fighting to get back above .500, but it’s not because Corey Seager is slumping, as he hit his eighth dinger in as many games yesterday:

Well, I mean, Seager’s line on the year is .260/.354/.474 which I guess counts as slumping for him, but you can’t much be mad at a guy with a dinger per day, right?

The No Rotation Rotation Arm

Meanwhile, I guess if the whole Schwellenbach thing doesn’t work out, Atlanta has a knuckleball-heavy backup plan brewing in Tripe-A:

Not sure I’d want to bet on the success of said plan, but I suppose there are some out there who would take longer odds than I.


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ The Mets placed Edwin Diaz on the IL with a shoulder impingement.

⚾ Boston has sent Tyler O’Neill to the IL with right knee inflammation.

Alek Manoah left his start Wednesday after 1.2 innings due to right elbow discomfort.

⚾ OF Kerry Carpenter is headed to the IL with lower back soreness. There’s currently no timetable for his return.

⚾ San Francisco pulled Marco Luciano from the game in the third yesterday due to a tight hamstring.


Articles You Should Read


Umpiring Is About To Get BetterDavy Andrews, FanGraphs

Reds Swap Props for Mystery in HR CelebrationMark Sheldon, MLB.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Is It Legit?

Closing Time

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers. @asherd.bsky.social on Bluesky.

One response to “MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/30/2024”

  1. Asher Dratel says:

    With more detail out about the Jorge López situation out, I just wanted to clarify that I thought the glove toss was incredible, and mostly he did the same stuff we love out of a Manager in the same situation! It seems like there’s been a lot more going on behind closed doors leading up to this and it seems like the Mets did not handle things particularly sensitively last night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login