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Friday, March 22, 2019

Baseball’s new frontier: Inside the looming battle between players and teams over the new data – The Athletic

There are some serious issues involved with the new tech.

The most exciting aspect of new wearable technology — and there are quite a few, as our story outlined today — is that it can put a number on athletic movements that we used to describe generally, out of necessity. Now, thanks to new data, we can be specific. These vests, and sleeves, and monitors, they provide that data. Glorious data.

How that data can be used, and who has access to it, has quickly become the most contested aspect of this new technology in baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2019 at 10:47 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, technology

Baseball’s new frontier: How wearable technology is reshaping the game – The Athletic

Johnson goes back to the printout he grabbed, of one of baseball’s best hitters. The kinematic sequences are hard to read at first, but after hours of going over examples, they get easier. This is why a good portion of these seminars with major league clubs is focused on getting them to understand how to read the data properly.

Right away, you notice a problem with this one. There is a drastic dropoff at the hips followed by an unusual uptick at the hands. There is an enviable amount of power generated at the end, but it’s akin to the fire hydrant and garden hose.

“We look at this and say, ‘Ok we have a big issue here.’ Maybe he’s only using 60 percent of his hips? How scary is that?” Johnson said.  “When you’re so ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, technology

The Franchise Bids Farewell

“It shouldn’t have been so easy: Seaver was maybe a little too handsome, maybe a little too eloquent, maybe a little too “California” to earn the trust of a jaded, twice-bitten, hometown faithful. He was a little too… soft to make it big in the Big City.”

gehrig97 Posted: March 22, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago white sox, cincinnati reds, mets, orioles, tom seaver


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-22-2019

Chicago Eagle, March 22, 1919:

France, the country that went through the fightingest war in history without batting an eye, will never adopt baseball as a national pastime because the game is “too rough.”

This was learned from no less an authority than Capt. Christoper Mathewson, who has just arrived from France.
...
“Their infield work is rotten,” said Christy, “They can run bases all right, but they get little opportunity because they can’t bat…No, the Frenchman will never take to baseball in a big way. He prefers something more gentle, such as football and dueling.”

Elsewhere on the same page…

[Braves catcher] Hank Gowdy has written Manager George Stallings of the Boston Braves that he hopes to bring back with him from France a French ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 22, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

ESPN Reasserting Commitment to Baseball through Baseball Tonight

Why bother? MLB Network’s coverage is vastly superior anyway.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2019 at 08:11 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, media

Mets to change Citi Field address to honor Tom Seaver, will unveil plans for statue

The Mets will be permanently changing the address of Citi Field to honor Tom Seaver, the team announced on Thursday, with full details to be released at a later date.

In addition, the team will be unveiling plans this June for a statue to honor Seaver, Mets chief revenue officer Lou DePaoli said, according to Newsday.

“We’ve been working on exploring a potential statue option for a couple of years in coordination with the [Seaver] family,” DePaoli said. “We won’t be unveiling a statue this season. We will unveil the plans of what it will look like sometime on that [‘69] weekend.”

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, statues, tom seaver, willets point

Allen Thomas, Alek Thomas share a precious father-son moment after son homers against dad’s White Sox

Every father loves seeing their son hit a home run in a game, but White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas had a different perspective of his son’s home run on Wednesday.

Thomas’ son, Alek Thomas, was drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft by the Diamondbacks and is still in big league camp with Arizona. He homered against the White Sox in the ninth inning of a Cactus League game.

Alek, an 18-year-old Mount Carmel grad, went through the normal celebrations with his teammates, but soon after wanted to get dad’s attention. He was waving in dad’s direction as if to say, “Hey dad, did you see that?”

This time of year, there’s always something to be said about the small slice-of-life moments.

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alek thomas, allen thomas, fathers and sons, white sox

Yankees’ Sabathia makes 1st appearance since heart procedure

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia has returned to the mound for the first time since undergoing a heart procedure in December.

Sabathia allowed one run and two hits over two innings on Thursday in a minor league exhibition game, striking out three for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Toledo, Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate.

Sabathia, who has announced he’s retiring after the season, said he “felt great” after his 26-pitch outing.

Positive news indeed.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, yankees

Giants acquire Connor Joe, who has shot at making Opening Day roster

SAN FRANCISCO—The Giants swapped out a Rule 5 pick who wasn’t going to make the team for one who now very well might.

Drew Ferguson, an outfielder picked up from the Houston Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, was designated for assignment Thursday to clear a roster spot for Connor Joe, a utility man who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Joe is under the same restrictions, and given that the Giants picked him up one week from Opening Day, there seems a good chance that Farhan Zaidi will try to tuck the former Dodgers prospect onto the roster.

Joe, 26, has moved all over throughout his minor league career, primarily playing first base, third and the outfield. As a right-handed bat with a .363 career OBP in the minors, he fits a lot of what ...

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QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: connor joe, giants, prospects, rule 5

Former Phillie Chase Utley to join Dodgers broadcast team for select games

Chase Utley wasn’t the biggest or fastest player.

He always found advantages, though, through preparation and guile, outsmarting the opposition and capitalizing on the finest of details.

Phillies fans will never forget the fake throw to first to then nab Jason Bartlett at the plate during Game 5 of the 2008 Fall Classic, such an Utley-type play on the night the city was crowned world champions of baseball.

So, who in the booth’s going to end up with a broken leg?

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, chase utley, dodgers

MLB season preview: Five over/unders you can count on in 2019

Want an easy way to prove to your friends you’re smarter than everyone else when it comes to baseball? Just look at some MLB over/unders.

By looking at win totals, you can get a quick snapshot of where you differ from the general consensus. Do you find the Tampa Bay Rays’ 84.5 win total insulting? Tell your friends they are going to be much better than anyone expects. Think there’s no way the New York Mets surpass 85.5 wins? You just identified a bust.

Feel extra confident in those predictions? Well, you can wager some hard-earned gummy bears on the outcome.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is suspecting that he was born a century too early….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, cubs, overunder, phillies, previews, reds

Don’t expect Mookie Betts to become the next MLB star to sign a huge extension

Signing extensions has become the latest trend in Major League Baseball. Over the past couple weeks, some of the game’s biggest stars — both current and future — inked mega deals to remain with their teams.

With the extension trend seemingly at its peak, one of the best players in baseball is pushing back against the idea.

Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts is almost certainly paying attention to the massive deals being handed out to his colleagues, but it doesn’t sound like he has a lot of interest in becoming the next young, talented player to sign an extension.

Note to self: Check two years from now to see if this held.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extensions, mookie betts, red sox

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Rays lock down Snell with five-year, $50 million deal

The Rays agreed to a five-year, $50 million deal with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, the club announced Thursday. The deal extends through the 2023 season and the left-hander could make an additional $2 million in incentives.

sotapop Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:25 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blake snell, rays

Goldschmidt, Cards near long-term deal (sources)

The star first baseman is close to an extension with St. Louis that would be worth around $130 million, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Thursday. The club hasn’t confirmed the news of the deal, which will cover at least five years, sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Perry Posted: March 21, 2019 at 06:25 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, paul goldschmidt

Marty Noble On His Relationship with Tom Seaver

“Seated next to him on the Mets’ team bus in June, 1977 in Montreal, I mentioned that the 10th anniversary of the release of Beatles’ ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was the following day. He asked if I’d still love him when he turned 64. It was a break through. I thought, when we discussed the album. We had something in common. It was getting better all the time.”

There’s so much more in this piece.

djordan Posted: March 21, 2019 at 11:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tom seaver

Ichiro announces retirement after emotional finale

TOKYO—Ichiro Suzuki bid farewell to baseball and his Japanese fans in fashion on Thursday in a touching tribute that brought goosebumps to an entire nation and tears to the 45-year-old’s eyes.

Mariners manager Scott Servais sent the legendary right fielder out to his position in the bottom of the eighth inning of Seattle’s 5-4, 12-inning victory over the A’s in the Opening Series at the Tokyo Dome, then pulled the rest of his defenders off the field to allow Ichiro to come off on his own as he was replaced by rookie Braden Bishop.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:44 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro, mariners

Ichiro Forever

It’s hard to picture baseball without Ichiro. Every MLB season since 2001, from the moment he arrived in Seattle having already become a star with seven NPB all-star seasons under his belt, there he was. Already half-out of the batter’s box, as he connected with his inimitable slap swing. Wildly rounding third as he went first-to-home on a double. In right field, making the frozen-rope throw to third that never stopped catching runners by surprise, no matter how many times they’d seen it. That, at least never, deserted him.

It’s telling that in this, his final game, even as it remained tied, the Mariners were never tempted to remove Ichiro for defensive purposes. He was still the best right fielder they have. Again, he is 45.

For ...

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Astros set to contend for another title

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros entered last season looking to defend the title after winning their first World Series in 2017.

Being eliminated in the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox has done nothing to shake their confidence as the 2019 season arrives.

“I don’t think the feeling’s any different,” manager AJ Hinch said. “I think the way people talk about things is a little different ... there’s an expectation of winning here and there should be. We have a good team.”

The Astros won their second AL West crown last year after setting a franchise record with 103 wins. They swept the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS before injuries to stars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa contributed to a 4-1 series loss to the Red Sox in the next round.

And, ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, world series

Twins start fresh with rookie manager Baldelli in dugout

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins hired the youngest manager in the major leagues. They remade the right side of the infield. There will be a new closer, too, should rookie skipper Rocco Baldelli decide to designate a particular reliever for ninth-inning duty.

Starting fresh doesn’t necessarily mean starting over, though.

The Twins have quietly built a roster that, if their most important under-28 players either continue to progress or rebound from rough seasons, has the capability of at least pushing the defending AL Central champion Cleveland Indians for the division title. They made the playoffs just two years ago, after all.

That, and the fact that the Indians are inexplicably trying to somehow tank and win the divisional ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rocco baldelli, twins

Joey Bart joining Giants in 2019 halted by farm director Kyle Haines

Giants top prospect Joey Bart looks like a franchise cornerstone, and he’s proving it in his first big league camp with the Giants.

The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft is batting .368 with a home run, two doubles and seven RBI in 14 games. He’s been so impressive, teammates awarded him the Barney Nugent Award, which is given annually to the player who performs best in his first big league camp.

One anonymous scout is so high on Bart he believes the catcher can join the Giants by midseason. But, Giants farm director Kyle Haines is here to halt the hype.

“A lot of people want to see him in San Francisco sooner rather than later, but we want to make sure we put him in a position to best grow in the minors,” Haines said to MLB.com.

On ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, joey bart, service time

Reds mourn Chuck Harmon, team’s first African-American player

CINCINNATI — Chuck Harmon not only blazed a trail as the first African-American Reds player, he did it with dignity and grace and earned the highest admiration in the ranks of pro baseball’s first and oldest franchise.

“The entire Reds family is saddened to lose one of its great ambassadors. The first African American to play for the Reds, Chuck Harmon was much more than a ballplayer. He represents a pivot point in Reds history,” Reds Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini said of Harmon’s death this week.

“Chuck’s positive attitude and disposition helped diffuse the adversity he faced, and set the tone for those following in his footsteps. He was beloved by his teammates during his career and remained a treasure to this franchise ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chuck harmon, integration, reds, rip

Ransom Jackson, hit last home run for Brooklyn Dodgers, dies at 93

Ransom Joseph ‘Randy’ Jackson Jr., an all-star third baseman with the Chicago Cubs in the mid-1950s and the last Brooklyn Dodger to hit a home run, died at home in Athens Wednesday after a brief illness, according to a family friend. He was 93 years old.

Nicknamed “Handsome Ransom,” Jackson played for the Cubs from 1950-55 and in 1959. He also spent two-plus years with the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles and parts of 1958 and 1959 with the Cleveland Indians. Over 10 big-league seasons, the third baseman batted .261 with 103 home runs. He was the oldest living Los Angeles Dodger at the time of his death.

Jackson was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1954 and 1955 but his best year was 1953 when he hit .285 with ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn dodgers, randy jackson, rip

Red Sox affiliate will celebrate A-Rod, JLo engagement by trolling the heck out of them

An unlikely source has decided to have a celebration in honor of Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez getting engaged. The Pawtucket Red Sox will celebrate A-Rod and JLo by trolling the heck out of both of them.

You didn’t think a Boston Red Sox affiliate was actually going to go easy on A-Rod, did you?

On April 12, the team will go all out to make sure A-Rod and JLo absolutely do not appear at the game. The Pawtucket Red Sox will accomplish this by playing footage of one of Rodriguez’s lowest moments against the Boston Red Sox. That would be his dustup with catcher Jason Varitek, which was spurred by Rodriguez getting hit by a pitch from Bronson Arroyo.

Everyone else seems to have devolved into a troll- why not minor league baseball ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: arod, pawtucket red sox, trolling

Mariners beat A’s 9-7 with help from homers, a bat flip, and endless love for Ichiro

The first pitch of the 2019 MLB season was thrown at 5:36 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, or 6:36 p.m. local time in Tokyo. Ladies and gentlemen, we have baseball.

There were a lot more 2019 firsts on the way to the Seattle Mariners’ 9-7 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday morning. A’s starting pitcher Mike Fiers threw the season’s first strike. Seattle’s Jay Bruce got the season’s first hit. Fiers’ teammate Stephen Piscotty scored the season’s first run and hit 2019’s first home run at the same time.

We’ll have to wait for our first pitcher’s duel, though. The crowd at the Tokyo Dome was treated to a bash fest, with 16 hits and five home runs between both teams. Seattle’s starter Marco Gonzales had a rough ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, mariners, neutral site games, opening day

Phillies to induct Bobby Abreu to Wall of Fame

The Phillies announced on Wednesday that former outfielder Bobby Abreu will be inducted into the team’s Wall of Fame this summer. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 3 as part of the club’s alumni weekend festivities.

Abreu, 45, went to the Phillies in a November 18, 1997 trade with the then-Devil Rays that sent shortstop Kevin Stocker to Tampa. Abreu somehow only made two All-Star teams while in Philly. Overall, he hit .303/.416/.513 with 195 homers, 814 RBI, 891 runs scored, and 254 stolen bases in 1,353 games with the Phillies. Abreu ranks sixth all-time among Phillies in career Wins Above Replacement (47.2), fourth in on-base percentage (.416), seventh in slugging percentage (.513), second in OPS (.928), 10th in runs ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby abreu, phillies, wall of fame

Carl Edwards Jr. admits to throwing at Austin Nola on purpose

Cubs sluggers Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras were both hit by pitches during Tuesday afternoon’s Cactus League game against the Mariners. Bryant was hit by Nabil Crismatt in the bottom of the third inning and Contreras was hit by Wyatt Mills in the fifth.

Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. got the final out of the top of the fifth and came back out for the start of the sixth inning. He allowed a leadoff home run to Kyle Lewis, then got Tim Lopes to fly out, bringing up Austin Nola. Edwards hit Nola with a pitch and was promptly taken out of the game.

On Wednesday, Edwards admitted to defending his teammates by hitting Nola with a pitch. Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Edwards said, “Yeah, I did. It’s just, honestly, it’s like the ...

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QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: austin nola, carl edwards jr., head-hunting

Yankees’ Lee Mazzilli Hospitalized After Being Hit in Head by Baseball at Batting Practice

TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli was struck in the head by a ball in batting practice Wednesday and taken to a local hospital.

Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said in an email that Mazzilli “will spend the night at the hospital for observation.”

Yankees players not on the travel roster for Wednesday’s road game against the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach worked out at New York’s spring training complex at Steinbrenner Field.

Best wishes.

 

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: batting practice, head injuries, lee mazzilli

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Eight Myths Out: The Black Sox Scandal

Outstanding work by SABR’s chair of the Black Sox Scandal Committee, Jacob Pomrenke, exposing myths about the 1919 World Series.

SABRJoe Posted: March 20, 2019 at 08:04 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, sabr, white sox

FanGraphs Pitch Framing

In 2008, when Dan Turkenkopf was the first to quantify the value of pitch framing, he noted that it appeared to be alarmingly important. Bill Letson was similarly astounded when he calculated the size of the effect in 2010. Max Marchi and Mike Fast each took a turn in 2011, finding large and highly correlated catcher values despite using different methods. Other sabermetric luminaries have contributed sophisticated methods and sanity checks, some of which I’ll touch on below. And yet, this terrifically important, seemingly well-established, and impressively repeatable defensive skill has been left out when calculating FanGraphs player WAR and ignored when Steamer forecasts pitchers and catchers. . . until now…..

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2019 at 06:35 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch framing

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