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Friday, January 19, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2018

Chicago Eagle, January 19, 1918:

MATTY TO PITCH IN SEASON OF 1918

Christy Mathewson, manager of the Reds, is coming out of his retirement as a hurler. Big Six will take the mound next season, he announced the other day. As his club will have to get along with six pitchers, he will keep himself in condition and be ready to go on the slab when his services are needed. The veteran hardly can be expected to take his regular turn or pitch many games, but he plans to aid as a relief hurler and pitch ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 19, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

BenFred: Everybody can find a story about Musial’s magic | Ben Frederickson | stltoday.com

On the five-year anniversary of the day we lost “Baseball’s Perfect Knight,” find a moment to remember what made him so much bigger than the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:34 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, stan musial

15 big league prospects to watch in 2018

Honeywell is a great prospect because of his command on most of his repertoire. The screwball is an option for him but it’s a pitch he throws less than a handful of times each game.

Honeywell’s fastball touches 95 mph at times, and he has four other big league-ready pitches. But it’s his changeup—a screwball—that generates a high number of swings and misses.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Why is J.D. Martinez’s big bat still available

Why should the Red Sox bid against themselves? If there was another team out there willing to bid higher, he would have signed already. Certainly a higher bid could eventually materialize but until that actually happens…

“If you’re Boras, J.D. and the Red Sox, there has to be some creativity involved to get a deal done,” the industry source said. “They’re a perfect match. They’re really the only match.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:11 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, j.d. martinez, red sox

The 2017-18 Offseason: Trend or Anomaly? - MLB Trade Rumors

There is a lot of misinformation and baseless conjecture out there from people trying to figure out the current market. This includes MLB personnel. Last night I was more than surprised to hear MLB Radio Network’s @CaseyStern saying MLB is blatantly colluding to keep free agent salaries down. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t completely surprised; he says a lot of stupid stuff. To hear an announcer, who is essentially employed by MLB, making the case for collusion so strongly did keep me listening ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 06:39 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2018

Tacoma Times, January 18, 1918:

That Bill Killifer, catcher of the famous Alexander-Killifer duo may retire from baseball was the statement [in Los Angeles] today of his brother, Wade Killifer, manager of the Los Angeles club.

Wade declared he believed it likely his brother would not report to the Cubs. “Bill has stock in a manufacturing concern here. With baseball in its uncertain condition he thinks it wise to stop,” Brother Wade said.

So, to recap: About a month ago, the Cubs sent ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:56 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Current MLB Free Agent Market - Perception vs Reality? | Jays From The Couch

A very interesting take on 2018 free agency.

Remember last year when the market for power bats collapsed and shocked many – including the Blue Jays front office? That was preceded by a couple of years where “lower quality” aging veterans had already been relegated to 1 year deals or even minor league contracts. Last winter it was more middle of the road players which were hit hard, and higher quality players like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista were impacted. The contract Jay Bruce ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:36 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agents

Francisco Mejia leads top catching prospects

The Top 10
1. Francisco Mejia, Indians
2. Carson Kelly, Cardinals
3. Keibert Ruiz, Dodgers
4. Sean Murphy, Athletics
5. Jake Rogers, Tigers
6. Jorge Alfaro, Phillies
7. Chance Sisco, Orioles
8. Danny Jansen, Blue Jays
9. Zack Collins, White Sox
10. Victor Caratini, Cubs

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:29 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Christian Yelich can only blame himself for Jeter entanglement | New York Post

And the money he’s getting is in the same currency. It’s not like Jeter converted payment into Monopoly money.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:33 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: christian yelich, marlins

Comparing a Player Outside His Era | Articles | Bill James Online

Very interesting stuff from two of the very best analysts ever.

I’ve always been marginally interested in the HOF debate. One of the biggest reasons is it’s pretty impossible to compare players across eras. I didn’t always believe this to be true. My feeling changed when I was working on my own WAR system, xWins, about 20 years ago. The differences in data and contexts are two HUGE problems which I do not believe can be sufficiently accounted for in the analysis.

On there other hand, if you ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:07 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: evaluating players, history

Rubbing Mud: The Evidence of Price Fixing We Have So Far - Baseball Prospectus

Time to get out the Reynolds Wrap.

Now we’re getting into something more sinister, even if it’s not something actionable. If there’s a kind of slotting system developing (however implicit it might be), then the owners are distorting the salary structure of the game, using their advancements in analytic intelligence and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement as cover. If good players with widely disparate skill sets and likely aging profiles are taking their talent to the market and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:44 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agents

2018 Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects

1. MacKenzie Gore, Padres
2. A.J. Puk, Athletics
3. Justus Sheffield, Yankees
4. Luiz Gohara, Braves
5. Brendan McKay, Rays
6. Adrian Morejon, Padres
7. Kolby Allard, Braves
8. Jesus Luzardo, Athletics
9. Stephen Gonsalves, Twins
10. Max Fried, Braves

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-17-2018

Richmond (Indiana) Palladium, January 17, 1918:

The ball players of Cuba seem to have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Headed by Mike Gonzales, the Cardinals’ Cuban catcher, they have made demands so exorbitant that baseball has been put on the shelf [in Cuba] for the present season at least.
...
Gonzales explained that [players would have to receive] seventy-five percent [of gate receipts] or no baseball. [Owner Charley] Brown replied that in that case there would be no baseball. And ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules

I expect this interview to go well beyond baseball. Econtalk tackles a lot of different topics but frequently dwells in the “meta” realm of those topics. Russ, the host, is a huge Red Sox fan as well as a great interviewer.

isaacc7 Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, podcast

Padres won’t feature brown uniforms until 2020, at the earliest - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, asked Tuesday about serious alterations in the near future, said “it’ll probably be the 2020 season before we see anything.” The owner said the team has commissioned a “major firm” to conduct a research study of quantitative data.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:24 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, uniforms

Jeter may get mayor’s help on Marlins home run sculpture | Miami Herald

Certainly a priority.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:04 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Christian Yelich’s relationship with Miami Marlins is ‘irretrievably broken,’ agent says

Players play.

“The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

General manager builds the team.

“Should we feel like we need to make a trade involving any of our under-contract, controllable players, we will be the ones who ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:23 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: christian yelich, marlins

Why Adrian Gonzalez can bother the Mets’ clubhouse | New York Post

“You don’t want somebody saying and talking the things he talks about if he’s not being productive, because he will have an opinion on most everything,” Valentine said. “That bugs some people, but it never bugged me. That’s what you’re getting into, and I think it’s well worth a half-a-million bucks. It’s a heck of a little gamble.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:16 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian gonzalez, dodgers, mets

Are Teams “Buying the Dip” in the Relief Market? | FanGraphs Baseball

Starters are pitching less innings so relievers are pitching more. It makes sense teams would shift money from starters to relievers. At the same time, though, individual relievers are also pitching less innings. What this should mean is, teams increase reliever salaries. Eventually top pays for reliever salaries stagnate (expect for the very, very best) as teams spread the money over more relievers.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:03 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Here’s why baseball’s economic system might be broken

You would if the baker waited so long hoping for a better price of flour while the distributor sold out its stock to other bakeries.

“I wouldn’t blame the baker if the flour doesn’t show up,” Boras told Yahoo Sports.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 06:40 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey dies at 87

Doug Harvey, one of 10 umpires in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has died from natural causes.  Harvey umpired 4,673 regular-season games in his 30-year career (1962-92), the fifth most in history.  He was a crew chief for 18 seasons, and also worked five World Series and six All-Star Games.

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2018 at 12:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: religion, rip, umpire

Molina plans to retire at the end of his three-year extension | Cardinal Beat | stltoday.com

“Three more years, and that’s it,” Molina said.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 11:10 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, yadier molina

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-16-2018

Harrisburg Telegraph, January 16, 1918:

Grover Cleveland Alexander has been drafted for government service, and the deal between the Phillies and Chicago Cubs, which stirred the baseball world, may be declared off, causing the Philadelphia club to lose the bulk of the $50,000 reported as the burchase price for Alexander and Killefer.
...
In commenting upon the news, Alexander said the drafting would make little difference to him, as he did not intend to play with Chicago unless he received a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

What Is Baseball’s Equivalent of the Vikings’ Miraculous Victory?

For fabulous finishes in sports history, it’s hard to top Stefon Diggs’s 61-yard touchdown catch on Sunday, as time expired, to lift the Minnesota Vikings over the New Orleans Saints and into the N.F.C. championship game. As my colleague Ben Shpigel noted, it happened on the site of the old Metrodome in Minneapolis, where the Twins won the final two games of the 1991 World Series in extra innings.

Ben would know; he’s a former baseball writer. And as much as I love watching the N.F.L., I ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:28 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: history, miracle finishes

2018 Top 10 Right-handed pitching prospects

It’s top prospect season!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Monday, January 15, 2018

Japan Times: Hideki Matsui elected to Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame

Matsui was inducted into the Japanese Hall of Fame on Monday along with former Hanshin Tigers star Tomoaki Kanemoto and ex-Yomiuri Giants skipper Tatsunori Hara.

Matsui becomes the youngest-ever inductee at 43 years, 7 months, surpassing former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo, who was 45 years and 4 months old.

Matsui and Kanemoto were chosen by the Players Selection Committee. Matsui garnered 91.3 percent of the vote (336 votes out of 368) to surpass the 75 percent threshold for ...

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vortex of dissipation Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, japanese baseball

Marcell Ozuna reveals the once place he didn’t want to be traded to.

Marcell Ozuna, the new St. Louis Cardinals outfielder, met the local fans for the first time Sunday at the team’s annual Winter Warm-Up event and relayed a story that will surely endear him to Cardinals fans for years to come.

And it might earn him some boos the next time he’s in Oakland.

As you might recall, Ozuna’s trade from the Miami Marlins to St. Louis was held in a bit of limbo during the Winter Meetings before it finally became official on both sides. Ozuna — who hit .312 with ...

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spanx for the memories Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:34 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: miami marlins, oakland athletics, st louis cardinals

Giants, Pirates Agree To Andrew McCutchen Trade

The end of an era of hope and promise ends, back into the wilderness for another 20 years.

Russ Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:12 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Pirates, Giants agree to McCutchen trade

No details yet.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2018 at 04:11 PM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, giants, pirates, trade

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