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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Baseball: All-stars shine light on Taiwan mob rule

Despite Taiwan’s ardent love for the game, its China Professional Baseball League (CPBL) has been struggling, in large measure because of the influence of the underworld and its intimidation, gambling and game-fixing.

According to experts, the MLB all-star series, which the visitors wrapped up 5-0 on Sunday having drawn tens of thousands of fans, highlighted the huge gap between American baseball and the management of the sport in Taiwan.

“I don’t understand the point of this MLB ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 10, 2011 at 02:35 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Posada: My Yankees career over

Battle of Posada: Severin all ties with Yankees?

Jorge Posada doesn’t know if he’s going to be playing anywhere next year, but he knows where he won’t be: The Bronx.

“I don’t think there’s even a percentage of a chance that I could come back,” said Posada, who hopes to make a decision about whether he’ll play anywhere next season by February.

The longtime Yankee said his agents have been contacted by five or six teams and his old team was not among them.

“It’s not gonna ...

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

HHS: Projecting Prince Fielder’s career

Thursday is Prince fusilliness day!

Prince Fielder has been a beast over the last 3 years. He missed only 1 game in that time while posting a 155 OPS+.

Since 1901, Fielder is tied for the 35th-best OPS+ over the 3 seasons comprising Age 25, 26, & 27 (minimum 1500 plate appearances.)

...So let’s just take our best guess (an average of the 3 HOFers) and suppose that he finishes his career with 8,347 additional plate appearances and a 127 OPS+. What does Fielder look like with a 127 OPS+? Well ...

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, projections, sabermetrics

NYT: Kepner: Mets Could Go From Bad to Dreadful

Bill Hepler can only smile…unless that’s some normalized Topps-fearing frigore facial paralysis just settling in.

General Manager Sandy Alderson is viewed as a realistic decision maker. He could let things become worse for a while if it means a sound future for the organization. The healthiest thing Alderson did last season was trade Carlos Beltran for the minor league pitcher Zack Wheeler, who is now considered the Mets’ best prospect.

“Sandy’s not afraid to say, ‘If we’re not ...

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-10-2011

Pittsburgh Press, November 10, 1911:

Davis Robertson, a young pitcher secured by the Giants from Elizabeth City, N.C., is hailed as a second Mathewson.  He hails from Norfolk, Va., and won 25 out of 26 games last season.  His strikeout record is 19.  He is 19 years old, weighs 195 pounds and is six feet tall.  They all look good in the winter.

The Giants signed Robertson on the condition that he would quit playing football at North Carolina A&M.  He talked McGraw into letting him play three more ...

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: November 10, 2011 at 10:04 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, giants, history, prospect reports

NYTimes: Yu Darvish Situation Puts Spotlight on Japanese Player Posting System

Japanese teams post a player through their commissioner’s office, which notifies its American counterpart to make an announcement to all 30 clubs. Interested teams have four days to submit a secret bid, known as the posting fee. If the highest bid is accepted, the team making it has 30 days to negotiate exclusively with the player. If no deal is reached, the posting fee is returned to the major league club and the player’s rights revert to his Japanese club.

The posting system was created to ...

bobm Posted: November 10, 2011 at 06:56 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, athletics, blue jays, dodgers, japan, mariners, padres, rangers, red sox, reds, yankees

Bob Larsen still a fan, but not of new Yankee Stadium

Actually it’s Don Larson, but hey…nobody’s perfect.

Q: What do you think about the current Yankees team?

A: They’ve been doing OK. They draw like nuts, I know that. I am not fond of the new stadium. I like the playing field, but I wouldn’t go to the ballpark to go shopping at the (dang) mall.

Q: What would you change about today’s game?

A: I would probably cut their salaries about 75 percent and keep the rest myself. ... It’s not my business to tell them what to change. They screwed up ...

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2011 at 06:01 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, yankees

ESPNLA:Source: Dodgers stuck until sold

The Los Angeles Dodgers will not be able to bid on free agents such as Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols until the team is sold, a source close to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt told on Wednesday.

The team is expected to sell for in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion, the source said, adding the process will likely take 4-6 months, spilling into 2012 and further reducing the Dodgers’ chances of acquiring players through free agency.

Tripon Posted: November 10, 2011 at 03:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers Sandy Alomar Jr interviews for Red Sox manager job

BOSTON—Ben Cherington was in his first year in a major league front office—as an advance scout for the Cleveland Indians—when he came across Sandy Alomar Jr.

“He didn’t know who I was, in ‘98 with Cleveland,” said Cherington, who is now the Red Sox general manager and leading the search for a new manager in Boston. “But I saw him in the clubhouse—I was in the clubhouse all the time—and I saw the leader he was back then, the respect he had in that clubhouse. I’ve been sort of following him ...

bobm Posted: November 10, 2011 at 02:02 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Battle of the 2008 top 100s (prospect list comparisons)

Adam’s also got comparisons for 2007 and 2010 posted. For 2007 it’s just BA and BP along with Project Prospect; he added Keith Law for 2008 and AOL’s Frankie Piliere for 2010.

Methodology: Each list was given weighted WAR values based on how high or low it ranked players (starting at 150% for its No. 1 prospect and dropping to 51% for its No. 100. Players who appeared on only one list gained an added 50% WAR multiplier. Players who appeared on every list but one had their value (with an added ...

Mike Emeigh Posted: November 10, 2011 at 01:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports

Report: Nationals C Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped

Couple of other tweets out there on this too. Can’t find a link yet, will update when I find one.

UPDATE: Spanish-language story in El Nacional.

Mike Emeigh Posted: November 10, 2011 at 12:53 AM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Memorabilia show organizer: Dykstra “has mental health issues”

Nuttiest thing to come out of Philly…since Rev. Heidnik lost a fortune on a Crazy Eddie investment!

If you were hoping Lenny Dykstra might re-schedule that sports memorabilia show appearance at the Oxford Valley Mall he blew off last weekend to participate in a celebrity boxing match in Hollywood (which he also blew off), don’t hold your breath.

The memorabilia show’s organizer Eric Poppel doesn’t want the former Phillies centerfielder back.

“I would never consider working with Dykstra ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 11:45 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, memorabilia, phillies

Kelly: Nailing down a closer just got a little tougher for Jays

Uhh…the Neyer-fueled Clubhouse Confidential on closers will be replayed at 7:30.

This doesn’t solve Toronto’s number-one off-season conundrum — that of blown saves. The Jays’ closer platoon cost them 25 games last year. If the club’s ninth inning staff had converted a dozen of those frittered-away games, Toronto finishes 93-69 with a wild-card berth.

So, given these two conflicting impulses, where does Anthopoulos stand?

“All (last season’s struggle) did was confirm our ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 11:31 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, projections, sabermetrics

Some ‘food for thought’

The area lost another of its sports gems with the passing of Paul “Jake” Martin on Tuesday.

For those who don’t know, Martin grew up in Fayette City, was a graduate of Marion High School and played with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955.

He pitched two scoreless innings against the Brooklyn Dodgers after signing his pro contract, which included a $20,000 signing bonus, and later that season suffered an arm injury that cut short his career. He pitched in seven games for the Pirates before the ...

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 09, 2011 at 09:03 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, pirates

ESPN: Mike Quade doesn’t lament roster

Bell Boy! Keep my lip buttoned down…til now.

The Cubs put Zambrano on the disqualified list, and when he was activated after a grievance was filed, he was not invited back to the team. His future with the Cubs is uncertain.

“The thing with Z, I got the biggest kick out of people talking about him being disrespectful in that situation,” Quade said. “Z’s blown [his stack] with a number of guys, Lou [Piniella], Dusty [Baker], Derrek [Lee], pick your guy. That’s just his nature. When things go ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 06:54 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Gleeman: Former top prospect Jeremy Hermida is headed to Japan

Jeremy fall. Jaded.

Jeremy Hermida was once a top prospect for the Marlins, ranking fourth on Baseball America‘s list of the best prospects in the game back in 2006, but he never developed beyond a decent role player and now he’s headed to Japan at age 27.

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Japanese report that Hermida has signed with the Yomiuri Giants, who this year had former major leaguers Brian Bannister, Seth Greisinger, Jonathan Albaladejo, Michael Nakamura, Alex Ramirez, ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 06:46 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan

red sox - Money in the ninth: Ryan Madson deal raises bar for Jonathan Papelbon, closer market - WEEI | Alex Speier

Wow!! If there is another team foolish enough to give away that much money over that many years…I wish Papelbon success with his new team!

The starter’s pistol for free agent closers went off on Tuesday, and teams in the market for free agent closers were floored when it did so. The Phillies and closer Ryan Madson were reportedly nearing a four-year, $44 million deal that also included a $13 million vesting option for a fifth year.

Word of such a contract arrived as the equivalent of nails on ...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2011 at 05:29 PM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Korean star pitcher Yoon could be in MLB in 2012

Right-hander Suk-Min Yoon, the 2011 MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization who starred in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, could play in the major leagues as soon as next season, his agent said Tuesday.

Scott Boras, whom Yoon and another WBC standout, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, hired recently, said he would speak with Yoon in the near future about entering the posting system, in which major league teams bid to win exclusive negotiating rights with a player. If Yoon, 25, chooses against ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 09, 2011 at 04:20 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Cybermetrics: The Pirates were lucky to win the 1971 World Series, but how lucky?

A friend of mine stopped following baseball after the O’s disaster, but then again…he stopped following music after Conrad Schnitzler left Kluster. He’s one lonely dude.

Their OPS differential for the whole season was .073. That translates into a winning pct of .592 using my equation Pct = .5 + 1.26*OPSDIFF. The Orioles had a differential of .096, good for a pct of .621. That means that the Orioles would have 53% chance of winning any given game using Bill James’ Log 5 method. I came up with ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 11:14 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: history, orioles, pirates

Sullivan: Learning To Appreciate Willie Bloomquist

“A good job and now this!
Someday we’ll recall
The greatest day of all
Jeff, I love you!
Jeff Sullivan”... (from Bye Bye Bloomquist Jokes)

It’s all the same crap as always. Very little about Willie Bloomquist has changed. But I’ve changed. Through my recent experiences watching terrible Mariners teams, I’ve come to realize that Bloomquist isn’t some walking joke. He’s a moderately useful baseball player who is not out of his element in the major leagues.

It makes sense that the Giants would ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 10:45 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mariners, media

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-9-2011

AP via Meriden Journal, November 9, 1961:

The athletes Uncle Sam pulled into the Army because of the Berlin crisis aren’t yelling “foul!”

“This,” said Pvt. Tony Kubek, star shortstop of the World Champion New York Yankees, “is a much bigger thing than any baseball game.”

Three other prominent soldier-athletes of the 32nd Red Arrow Infantry Division expressed similar sentiment…They are Pvts. Bob Taylor, Milwaukee Braves outfielder; George Thomas, Los Angeles Angels outfielder; and Doug ...

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: November 09, 2011 at 10:26 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

Tony Reagins Reportedly Knew Blue Jays Would Trade Mike Napoli to Rangers

I don’t even have words to explain how much I’m fuming right now. We’ve already been over how Mike Napoli’s unbelievable season cost former Angels GM Tony Reagins his job more than Vernon Wells’ failures in Anaheim. Now I have to hear that Reagins not only gave up Napoli in an awful trade with Toronto, but that he had a good idea they would flip him to Texas.

In a column published on Sunday evening, Peter Gammons says “former general manager Tony Reagins confided that he ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 10:18 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, blue jays, rangers

Souhan: Old-school Ryan stays relevant in ‘Moneyball’ world

Don’t fold up that stained BOLLÖ roundtable just yet!

When Ryan resigned in 2007, Twitter was a rumor, and deep statistical analysis was more a subject of debate than reverence. Ryan grew up in baseball as the kind of behind-the-backstop scout ridiculed in the book and movie “Moneyball.”

As he begins the work of restoring the Twins’ good name at the age of 58, Ryan could be called “old school” by those who want to praise, or bury, him.

“It certainly wouldn’t be an insult,” he said. “I’m not ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 04:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, twins

Megdal: As the Mets shed low-level employees, the Wilpons cast about for high-level help

Howard’s “Wilpon Duck Soup piece”...

As much as the Mets’ owners need someone to take them up on their offer, it’s hard to see what anyone would, on anything like the terms they’re talking about. While making payroll isn’t currently a consideration, since it is the off-season, the Mets have a revenue-sharing payment due to Major League Baseball by the end of November of between $15-20 million, and owe around $26 million in their twice-annual debt payments on Citi Field to the city of New York ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 01:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

ESPNLA:  Patrick Soon-Shiong in Dodgers mix?

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who purchased Magic Johnson’s minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers last year, has been approached by at least one group attempting to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I’ve been approached,” he said without getting into specifics. “Let me just say I’ve been approached, but I haven’t made any decisions on that.”

Soon-Shiong is the richest man in Los Angeles, according to Forbes and the Los Angeles Business Journal, with a net worth of over $7 billion. The 59-year-old ...

Tripon Posted: November 09, 2011 at 12:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, rumors

Berkman calls Astros potential move to AL ‘a travesty’

Travesty Generator.

As for his pronoun malfunction, one moment of telling weakness in a broad and mostly jovial 20-minute press conference, he quickly corrected himself. But he did come off with a typical fan’s enthusiasm about the Astros when asked about a potential move to the American League that could accompany the sale of the franchise.

“I think it’s a travesty,” Berkman said. “It’s a National League franchise. I think if they were going to do something like that, ...

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 12:37 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brewers, cardinals

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

SB Nation: Marlins Logo is No Longer the Worst Thing Ever

The Marlins are planning a structure beyond the center-field wall of their new ballpark. This structure will light up and make a fancy hullabaloo whenever a Marlin hits a home run…

Ooooh, I like those.  This could be fun!

Now close your eyes, and think about what this structure might look like. Go ahead. Let your imagination run wild…

Oh.  OK, if I must….

Have a pretty good guess?

I think so…fishes, fireworks, smoke.  Am I on the right track?

Okay, you’ll need to try again. No, I know ...

Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 11:54 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: miami

Mariners install electric-car charging stations at Safeco Field

Wow! Back in 1969, Seattle wouldn’t even give you a decent Oyler change!

Well, this isn’t something you see every day: the Seattle Mariners are installing four electric vehicle charging stations available for public use at Safeco Field.

The four Blink Pedestal Charging Stations are located on the plaza next to the Safeco Field parking garage. The stations are part of The EV Project, which will install approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and ...

Repoz Posted: November 08, 2011 at 09:15 PM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mariners

HBT:  The Johnson behind the Johnson Effect

couple years ago I heard from Bryan Johnson, one of the earliest mainstream journalists to write about sabermetrics, in Toronto’s Globe and Mail in the early-to-mid-1980s, in the way of his comments on some excerpts from those columns that I’d posted on my baseball history blog.

Johnson is credited by Bill James with discovering the Johnson Effect: the tendency of a team to revert back to the win-loss total one would expect from its ratio of runs scored to runs allowed. Here’s James’ ...

Paul D(uda) Posted: November 08, 2011 at 09:14 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, sabermetrics

NASCAR: Arthur Rhodes appreciates physical aspect of NASCAR

5. You got to take a pace-car ride prior to last Sunday’s race. What was that experience like for you?

Rhodes: I know [pace-car driver] Brett Bodine. I know he’s been a Cup driver and he’s been driving a long time, so I trusted him. But I’ll tell you right now: the right side of my head was stuck to the window [during the ride]. My stomach hurt. My back hurt. I tried to force myself to come back to the middle of the seat—but he was driving so fast through some of those turns, I was stuck to ...

Repoz Posted: November 08, 2011 at 08:57 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics

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