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Friday, January 25, 2019

With Barry Bonds in limbo, will Buster Posey be Giants’ next Hall of Famer?

SAN FRANCISCO — Hall of Fame announcement day has become a bitter one for much of the Bay Area. It’s increasingly clear that Barry Bonds will not get the votes needed for enshrinement before his time on the ballot is up, and with Jeff Kent also lagging, it’s hard for Giants fans to get too excited this time of year.

That should change pretty soon, though. Bruce Bochy is a lock to make it as a manager, and at some point shortly after Bochy retires, he will be giving a speech in ...

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 02:14 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, buster posey, giants, hall of fame

How Brad Brach’s addition changes the shape of the Cubs’ bullpen

It’s incredible to see the wide-reaching impact one move can make.

All the people crying for the Cubs to “JuSt MaKe A mOvE aLrEaDy!” were granted their wish with the deal for Brad Brach on Thursday afternoon.

Not only was it an actual move to shake the ice off the frozen offseason (especially from the Cubs’ perspective), but it also helped solidify the team’s greatest current weakness.

For the record, he turned the bullpen into an octagon.


QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 02:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brad brach, bullpen, cubs

Before MLB career, Tsutsugo aims to improve baseball at home

TOKYO- Before he pursues a career in Major League Baseball, Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is on a mission to fix the sport in his native country, including the abolishment of what he says is corporal punishment and grueling practices.

Tsutsugo said after the 2018 season that he wants to play for an MLB team in the future. He will be eligible for international free agency in 2021 after 11 seasons with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.

Having already signed a contract to play for Yokohama in ...

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 02:14 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, posting rules, yoshitomo tsutsugo

Alex Rodriguez: ‘Of course’ Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds deserve Hall of Fame

Alex Rodriguez, who again acknowledged his past “mistakes” involving performance-enhancing drugs, believes Barry Bonds and former New York Yankees teammate Roger Clemens deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“Of course I want them to get in, because that would mean that I have an opportunity to get in one day,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday.

A-Rod, who is an analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, retired after the 2016 season and would first be eligible for Hall ...

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 02:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, barry bonds, hall of fame, roger clemens

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-25-2019

New York Sun, January 25, 2019:

The refusal of Ban Johnson and John Heydler to sign an apparently harmless agreement with the minor leagues, after it had been signed by August Herrmann, chairman of the National Commission, has aroused much suspicion along the minor league trail. Minor league club owners as well as newspaper men in minor league cities are asking why the big leagues refuse to put in writing what they verbally had promised.
John Heydler, president of the National League, ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 25, 2019 at 10:43 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

JCPenney found a family for a holiday video, but had no idea it was Adrian Beltre’s family

At some point during the holiday season, leading up to Christmas, Adrian Beltre showed what retirement is all about.

Spending time with family ... by going to JCPenney during the holiday shopping rush.

There’s video to prove it, an add of some sort, but the people who shot, produced and hosted the video clearly had no idea that a Hall of Fame baseball player was in their midst.

This feels telling, but I’m not sure of what.


QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 04:05 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, jcpenney, television

Instead of declaring war on baseball, here’s how to help fix the game

If middle age is good for anything, it is the comfort that today’s crisis will probably be tomorrow’s perfectly pleasant bowl of soup and, afterward, maybe a brisk walk. But not too brisk.

The crisis today is about baseball, the game and the industry, and what to do about it. Hold the soup. Because it’ll be tomorrow’s crisis too. And the next day’s.

No matter how much you love baseball. No matter how truly you believe baseball could be anything but lovable. The issue, as a person in ...

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: solutions, the sky is falling, war on baseball


For the second consecutive year, prominent free agents remain unsigned with very little time remaining before spring training. And MLBPA head Tony Clark is not happy about it.

Clark ripped the slow process, comparing it to the pace of play arguments that have permeated through baseball in recent years.

When asked if his incompetence had helped to create this situation, Clark said “Look over there!” and ran out a side door.


QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 03:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mlbpa, tony clark

New Mariners CF Mallex Smith throws shade at Rays’ poor attendance

The Mariners introduced new center fielder Mallex Smith to the media Thursday and someone asked Smith what he was most excited about in going to Seattle.

“I’m going to enjoy fans in the stands,” a smiling Smith joked. “So that’ll be, that’s a big one for me. I’m gonna be excited about that. I’m looking forward to seeing those seats full.”

It was a light-hearted jab at his former team, the Rays. Smith, who was acquired from Tampa Bay in a five-player trade in November, spent ...

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mallex smith, mariners, rays

Report: MLB considering rule change that could slow down the game’s hottest pitching trend

When Major League Baseball changed the 15-day disabled list to the 10-day disabled list in 2016, the idea was coming from a good place.

League officials and the players’ union were trying to make it easier for ailing players to actually go on the disabled list and not try to play through injuries. A 15-day stint felt too long sometimes. The 10-day DL fixed that.

What it also did, however, was give Major League Baseball teams — all of them getting smarter, all of them looking for any ...

QLE Posted: January 25, 2019 at 03:46 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dl, manfred is thinking about it, rule changes

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A.J. Pollock deal with Dodgers

Pollock, who spent his first seven big league seasons in Arizona, can opt out of the deal after three years, but he will earn $55 million if he stays for four years or $60 million if he exercises a fifth-year player option, according to Rosenthal. There’s a $5 million buyout for the fifth year, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2019 at 05:50 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pollock, dodgers

ROB NEYER WINS 2018 CASEY Award for Powerball

Spitball is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 CASEY Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year is Rob Neyer and HarperCollins for Powerball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game. In a field crowded with outstanding contenders, Powerball beat out the second-place finisher, The Big Fella by Jane Leavy, also by Harper, by two points; and the third-place book, Baseball in a Grain of Sand by Bill Gruber

I listened to the audio version of the book, with Neyer as narrator, and it really is ...

Mike Webber Posted: January 24, 2019 at 05:07 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball books, casey award, rob neyer

Esskay Orioles Franks — a Baltimore mainstay — to disappear soon from Camden Yards, store shelves

Discontinued production means that for the first time in decades, Esskay hot dogs will no longer be sold at Orioles games…

The ball club plans to choose a new ballpark hotdog, which will be announced with other new food and beverage offerings before the start of the season. And even though Esskay is out, the popular Hot Dog Race will remain, Bader said.

NattyBoh Posted: January 24, 2019 at 05:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, concessions, hot dogs, orioles

Deadspin:  Dipsh*t Philly Columnist: I Know Roy Halladay’s Desires Better Than His Wife And Family

ESP Nitwit.

Brandy Halladay, the widow of Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay, announced Wednesday her family’s decision to have Roy’s bust in Cooperstown feature a blank cap: “It’s not the Phillies Hall of Fame, it’s not the Blue Jays Hall of Fame.”

Philadelphia Inquirer writer Bob Ford:  “In my heart, having been around him, I believe he would want his Hall of Fame plaque to portray that grim, unflinching stare that batters knew so well. And, above the brim that shaded his eyes, I think ...

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 24, 2019 at 05:07 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, roy hallday, stupid hot takes

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-24-2019

Washington Herald, January 24, 1919:

Baseball insiders said yesterday afternoon that after hearing the alleged evidence against Hal Chase next week President Heydler, of the National League will exonerate the noted first baseman. It is reported that the charges of sharp practice lodged against Chase will not be sustained by legal proof and that the player will be declared a free agent. In that event Chase may be signed by the Giants.

I have a feeling that reading the sports pages of 1919 is ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 24, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Reid Ryan announces plans for Astros HOF

Whither Terry Puhl?

The Astros on Tuesday will unveil plans for the Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist, with construction to begin in March. Hall of Fame Alley will replace the current Home Run Alley that runs along the concourse beyond left field and will provide a physical space to honor the greatest players in club history with their own plaques.

The inaugural Hall of Fame class will be large and will include Astros players who have had their numbers retired—Nolan Ryan, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2019 at 07:55 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Major League Baseball wants players exempt from minimum wage law

As pitchers and catchers prep to report for spring training in February, Major League Baseball is trying to convince Arizona lawmakers to exempt minor league ballplayers from the state’s minimum wage law.

The legislative maneuver mirrors the league’s lobbying effort at the federal level, where in 2018 Congress passed the Save America’s Pastime Act as part of a budget bill. That law exempts baseball players on minor league contracts from the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2019 at 07:55 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: labor

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Baseball America: 2019 Top 100 Prospects

Pair of sons of big leaguers at the top.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 23, 2019 at 01:32 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-23-2019

El Paso Herald, January 23, 1919:

Oscar “Happy” Felsch sent word to his friends [in Chicago] yesterday from his home in Milwaukee that he had decided to return to the Chicago American league team this season. Felsch, without warning, in the middle of last season left the team and went to work for a gas company in Milwaukee. He is said to have patched up his differences with President Comiskey.

For now, anyway.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 23, 2019 at 10:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

2019 Free Agent Tracker | FanGraphs Baseball

A lot of free agents have already signed. There aren’t many impact players left. A lot of these players will be very disappointed because, frankly, there isn’t very much difference between the next couple of tiers and the players below them.
(Fangraphs has missed a bunch of signs.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 09:37 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

2019 Prospects: The Top 101 - Baseball Prospectus

I don’t have time to go through the list. I did notice Kyler Murray at 101. That’s a real stretch.

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels
  3. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
  4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
  5. Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
  6. Keston Hiura, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
  7. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston Astros
  8. Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins
  9. Nick Senzel, 3B/2B/SS?/OF?, Cincinnati Reds
  10. Wander Franco, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 09:05 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects rankings

Schmuck: Hats off to Mike Mussina, but which hat will he wear in the Hall of Fame — Orioles or Yankees? - Baltimore Sun

I associate Mussina more with the Orioles than I do the Yankees. Ultimately, the hat doesn’t matter to me.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 09:03 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, mike mussina

Finally: Mariners legend, iconic DH Edgar Martinez named to Baseball Hall of Fame -

I’m very happy to see Edgar get into the Hall. He was a fantastic player who I greatly enjoyed watching him hit.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: edgar martinez, hall of fame

Mariano Rivera’s Unanimous Induction Shows An Evolving Cooperstown | FiveThirtyEight

Is anyone else non-plussed about all the hubbub about Hall of Fame voting percentage discussions? To me, it’s whether the player gets elected to the Hall of Fame or not. The percentages don’t really say much about the players. They say more about the electorate and the Hall of Fame’s greatly flawed system for selecting players.

The only question about Mariano Rivera’s candidacy for the Baseball Hall of Fame was whether he would be the first player voted in unanimously by the Baseball ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 08:34 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: mariano rivera, yankees

‘Extremely special’ Roy Halladay earns rightful place in Hall of Fame -

On the days Roy Halladay pitched, his legendary cone of silence extended even to his catcher, which meant the game-planning discussion battery-mates typically share in the leadup to an outing had to take place the previous night. Ken Huckaby, the ace right-hander’s primary catcher during his breakthrough 2002 season, hadn’t experienced anything like it with a starter before and wouldn’t again afterwards, learning to adjust to the most unique routine he’d ever encountered. Every pitcher ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 08:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, roy halladay

Ralph Houk | Cardboard Gods


Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 08:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, ralph houk

The Cincinnati Reds, unlike a lot of MLB teams, are at least trying this winter -

Although the Reds are making choices that I wouldn’t, I applaud their effort.

The predominant trend of the last two offseasons has been teams refusing to invest in their own product and showing little demonstrable interest in getting better. The reasons for this are probably manifold and not entirely easy to pin down ...

  • Teams have become much more analytically inclined and thus have come to view most aging free agents as bad investments.
  • The trend of players’ selling out one or more ...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Mo 1st unanimous Hall electee; 3 others voted in

Mariano Rivera stands alone in National Baseball Hall of Fame history as the only player ever voted in unanimously by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. But he’ll be far from alone on the induction day dais, as the BBWAA has selected four players for entry into the hallowed Hall.

Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina were revealed Tuesday night as the third four-man BBWAA-voted Hall of Fame class in the past five years but only the sixth in history. Combined with the ...


Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: “Nick Markakis re-signs with

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick markakis

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