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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Baseball Newsstand
— All the News That's Fit to Link

Monday, December 12, 2011

Source: Aramis Ramirez to Brewers

Former Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez will sign a three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, pending a physical, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Ramirez played the last eight-plus seasons with the Cubs. He hit .306 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs and won the Silver Slugger award as the top offensive third baseman in 2011.

Huh… he did… and totally deserved it. Whaddaya know.

The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:57 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

NYBD: Silva: John Rocker on New Book, the Mets, Bud Selig, Steroids, and Politics

Rocker? Erudite? Ain’t that someone who hates Euro’s?

It’s been over a decade since his infamous Sports Illustrated interview with Jeff Pearlman that published on December 27th, 1999. If Mets fans are expecting the same brash and cocky individual they remember from the 1999 NLCS, think again. Rocker was extremely open, honest, and erudite during a 35-minute interview on the program. Here are some highlights.

...- He had some interesting things to say about Selig and the aftermath of the SI ...

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:11 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, steroids

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-12-2011

Calgary Daily Herald, December 12, 1911:

Baseball men frequently have admitted that the form of players’ contract in vogue in the major and minor leagues—under the protection of “organized baseball”—will not stand the test in a court of law for the reason that it contains a ten days’ notice of release clause, while the player, under compulsion, must give an option on his services for the following year.  In short, the player can be held for an indefinite period at a salary dictated by his ...

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dugout, history

THT: Jaffe: The Cooperstown case for Tim Raines

Jaffe’s latest HOF biz…

The future for Tim Raines

Despite his lackluster ballot debut, my hunch is that Raines will go into Cooperstown eventually. After debuting with 24 percent in 2008, he sprang up to 38 percent in 2011, and he’s a very good bet to rise up much more this year (as should all the backlog).

Furthermore, down the road Raines will be helped because he’ll have a case like no one else.

The ballot looks like it will be littered with powerful sluggers and some good ...

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

BPP: The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame, Version 2.0

Uh-oh…don’t let Danny Peary see this.

45-Tie. Harold Baines, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 5 yes, 26 no): Guys like Baines illustrated an interesting point for this year’s project, earning far more votes by and large than many of the 19th century greats on the ballot, but with a much lower percentage of their voters saying they belonged in the Hall of Fame. Certainly, I doubt too many people will cry foul about this over Baines, a very good designated hitter for much of his ...

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:49 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, hall of fame, history, site news

CSN Chicago: Buehrle says ‘I’ll be back’

The Cyberdine System is go!

Mark Buehrle might not be a part of the White Sox anymore, but if you ask Mark, the White Sox will forever be a part of him.

“I think I’ll always be a Chicago White Sox no matter what happens from here on out,” Buehrle said Sunday in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. “I kind of told some people, I said, ‘It’s just a 4-year break. I’ll be back before you know it.’ Maybe I’ll be playing, maybe just bugging people in the clubhouse, just coming ...

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: miami, white sox


The Pujols’ negotiation was not based on infatuation but on negotiation. The Angels’ offer appealed to Pujols and his agent, Dan Lozano, because it was decidedly better than any other he received.

At the beginning of last week’s winter meetings, the newly-named and housed Miami Marlins made a big splash, offering a 10-year deal. But it reportedly included enough deferred money to reduce the present-day value of the package significantly, and the Marlins declined Pujols’ request for a ...

bobm Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:09 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, business, cardinals, miami

Former GM, ESPN analyst Steve Phillips understands direction of Astros

He believes newly-hired GM Jeff Luhnow fits “the Astros’ way.”

“My sense is the Astros wanted to hire a guy that is focused on what a small-market GM would do,” Phillips said. “It’s not going to be somebody who spent their time looking at major league free agents and spending money on big time players. The Astros have more of a commitment of growing it all from within.

“In their words, it’s probably having an Astros’ way of doing things. They want to develop players with an understanding of ...

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Joe Mauer engaged

Joe Mauer, perhaps Minnesota’s most eligible bachelor, on Saturday became engaged to fellow Cretin-Derham Hall graduate Maddie Bisanz.

Mauer, 28, the Minnesota Twins catcher, proposed to Bisanz, a St. Paul nurse, in Sanibel, Fla.

“A place that is special to both of us,” Mauer said Sunday from Florida. “We couldn’t be happier, and we’re both really excited.”

No wedding date has been set. The couple has been friends for about seven years and has been dating for about 1-1/2 years.

Insert ...

Gamingboy Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:25 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Sunday, December 11, 2011

CBS:  BBWAA won’t strip Ryan Braun of MVP

The Baseball Writers Association of America will not strip Ryan Braun of his National League Most Valuable Player award if he is suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell told the Los Angeles Times.

“I got the same question after Ken Caminiti came clean about his steroids usage, and whether we should give the 1996 MVP award instead to (second-place finisher) Mike Piazza,” O’Connell told the newspaper. “The answer is no.

“We did ...

Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 11, 2011 at 10:32 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Source says Braun’s test not for PED

A source close to Braun, however, said Sunday that although the player tested positive for a prohibited substance, that substance was not a performance-enhancing drug.

The source described the test result as highly unusual, “never seen in the history of (baseball’s) drug-prevention program.”

“When it happened,” the source said, “everyone was just scratching their head.”

Another source, however, said the substance in question triggered a violation of baseball’s steroid-testing ...

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 08:35 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rumors, steroids

Bobby Valentine: Bard to be prepped as starter in spring - Extra Bases - Red Sox blog

This answers one question.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said reliever Daniel Bard, who projected as the team’s closer after the departure of Jonathan Papelbon to the Philadelphia Phillies, would be prepped as a starter during spring training.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:40 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price doesn’t fight man urinating on car - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN


“I was relieved with how it turned out,” Price said jokingly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:37 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Boston Red Sox - The purse strings get a bit tighter over at Fenway - The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe’s Sunday baseball column.

Lackey’s five-year, $82.5 million deal has essentially become a six-year, $83 million deal because of his Tommy John surgery. Former team physician Thomas Gill had the team put a clause in Lackey’s contract that said if he had that surgery, the Sox could add a sixth year at the minimum salary. Suddenly, Lackey’s average annual salary will go from $16.5 million to about $13.8 million.

I did not know this. He’s now a bargain!

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:16 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

If Braun’s positive PED test is upheld, baseball writers should demand re-vote for NL MVP

Geoff Baker…proving that the World Anti-Dope Agency is, in fact, not working!

If it creates a headache for MLB, too bad. If it embarrasses the player, well, maybe they’ll think twice the next time before going down that road.

Hey, if this could in any way serve as a deterrent to players taking PEDs, then MLB and the union should be all for it. It’s not really their call anyway. The BBWAA will be the one deciding the rules for its own awards.

Again, if Braun wins on appeal, he can keep the ...

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 01:27 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, mariners, media, steroids

Wedge ‘not sure’ if Ichiro will still lead off

Wedge indicated on Tuesday in his meeting with the media at the Winter Meetings that Ichiro’s role could indeed be changing after 11 seasons almost exclusively as the club’s leadoff hitter.

“I’m still not sure where I’m going to hit him in the order, and I want him to understand that,” Wedge said. “Because ultimately I’m going to do what is best for our club. I’m going to put out the best nine in the order I see fit to score as many runs as we can.

“If I feel like that is him leading off, ...

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:52 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mariners, projections, sabermetrics

Pujols: ‘It was about the commitment.’

The Commitment: He Had Absolutely Nothing. But He Was Willing To Risk It All!

“I don’t want to talk about negotiations,” Pujols told the Post-Dispatch shortly after a second news conference held inside the stadium. “But to tell you the truth, it wasn’t about the money. I’m going to die saying that, because it wasn’t about the money. It was about the commitment.”

Pujols refused to discuss his departure from the Cardinals during the open-air phase of Saturday’s appearance but later described a ...

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:31 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, business, cardinals, media

Rosenthal: I’m positive: MLB will never be clean

?Bah! 33 taters. They sure don’t make PED’s like they used to.

I detest PED use, detest what it has done to the game, but the media coverage of the issue does not reflect fan concern. Time and again, most fans have proved they don’t care; they just want to be entertained. And there is this: The news on Braun demonstrates — again — that baseball does not play favorites in its testing program.

Braun, 28, is revered in Milwaukee for his commitment to the team and city, a player cited ...

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:05 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, steroids

Source: Dodgers interested in Mets’ Murphy

Presumably, neither team will be throwing cash into this deal.

Daniel Murphy of the Mets is the player the Dodgers tried to trade for at the Winter Meetings, according to a baseball source, and they might make another run at him.

Murphy was the unnamed player general manager Ned Colletti referred to when he said he might be able to upgrade the roster at the Winter Meetings… But Colletti said the trade he thought might happen instead unraveled when the other club satisfied its need elsewhere ...

The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2011 at 04:20 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, rumors

Ryan Braun tests positive for PED


National League MVP Ryan Braun, who last season led the Milwaukee Brewers to their first division title in nearly three decades, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faces a 50-game suspension if the initial finding is upheld, two sources familiar with the case told “Outside the Lines.”

Major League Baseball has not announced the positive test because Braun is disputing the result through arbitration.

A spokesman for Braun issued a statement Saturday: “There are ...

Repoz Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:43 AM | 350 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rafael Furcal, Cardinals Agree To 2-Year Deal

And Ryan Theriot will probably be non-tendered.  I know that.  It is what it is.

Rafael Furcal has agreed to a two-year, $14 million contract to remain with the St. Louis Cardinals…

[His postseason] slump was enough to convince the Cardinals not to exercise Furcal’s 2012 option worth $12 million. Several weeks later at just over half the price, though, St. Louis decided he was worth the risk. The decision could pay off: Furcal is only one year removed from hitting .300 (.366 OBP, .460 SLG) in ...

The District Attorney Posted: December 10, 2011 at 11:43 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Hardball Talk: Harrison Ford to play Branch Rickey in Jackie Robinson biopic

According to Spencer Fordin of, Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that Harrison Ford will play Hall of Fame Dodgers’ executive Branch Rickey in a biopic about Jackie Robinson.

Many prominent actors have been mentioned for the role of Rickey over the years, including Robert Redford this past April, but Ford was apparently their top choice. His work in “Cowboys and Aliens” probably put him over the top.

As for Robinson, he’ll be played by the relatively unknown Chadwick ...

Tripon Posted: December 10, 2011 at 08:41 PM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, history, media, mets, negro leagues, special topics, television, yankees

Mariners Blog | Albert Pujols signing by Mariners’ rival is a huge wakeup call | Seattle Times Newspaper

As everyone knows, statheads are a monolithic collection of cellar-dwelling nerds working in unison to craft a reality that conforms with a worldview that only values things which can be quantified. Every reporter who belongs to the BBWAA knows this as fact and is compelled by their association to thwart the stathead aims.

Or, Geoff Baker shouldn’t be making blanket accusations and, instead, should directly address the people whose claims he disagrees with.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2011 at 06:12 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

CSNwashington: Vinny Castilla admits entry into HOF will be ‘difficult’

Former National Vinny Castilla is one of 27 players on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, but in a recent interview, the Mexican third baseman admitted it is unlikely he’ll earn a permanent spot in Cooperstown.

“It will be very difficult [for me] to get elected,” Castilla said in a Spanish-language interview earlier this month.  “But it is an honor just to be noticed, to be on the ballot.  I am very proud of being an option for those who vote, that is an accomplishment for me.”

But ...

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2011 at 05:04 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, nationals, sabermetrics

BBTIA: Matschulat: Ian Kinsler’s Next Big Deal

The liberation of Arlington begins now! (oh…wait)

Said Kinsler of his situation: “I want to stay here. I was drafted by the Rangers, and I want to be a Ranger. You never know how long it’s going to take. I think the sooner the better for them, and the sooner the better for me.”

For all of the misled—though slowly disappearing—carping about Kinsler popping up too often and being a terrible baserunner and exhibiting bad body language and (my personal favorite) “not being a team player,” he’s ...

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:51 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

Manny Ramirez Reinstated by MLB From Voluntary Retirement List

In order for Manny to be Manny again, he had to be reinstated by Major League Baseball. He’s reportedly taken a step closer to getting back on the diamond.

Manny Ramirez has been officially reinstated by MLB from the voluntary retirement list, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted on Saturday.

The reinstatement allows Ramirez to sign with a team, but that team must be willing to wait for Ramirez’s services. The 39-year-old slugger must serve a 50-game suspension (downgraded from the original 100-game ...

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2011 at 03:09 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: history, steroids

Rhiner Cruz? 1st Pick? Seriously? | FanGraphs Baseball

Is the Rule 5 draft important? Of course not. It’s not worthless, though. It’s a chance for a team to risk nothing for a useful piece.

In seeing Rhiner Cruz‘ name as the top pick in this year’s Rule 5 draft, my first thought was this would be the last time I ever spent a tangible amount of time prepping for it. In a moment of clarity, the Houston Astros helped me understand just how important the Rule 5 draft is NOT.

Even after reading Adam Foster’s piece breaking down Rule 5 draft picks ...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:45 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

Interpreting Scott Boras’ Comments On Prince Fielder: MLB Rumors -

The big concern for anyone signing Prince is that he will age like his father.

There has been some talk of Boras trying to get Fielder signed to a three or four year contract, so that Prince gets another bite at the free agency apple. That strategy, I would think, would work best for teams and Prince’s long-term earnings. Of course, who knows what silly offer could already be on the table? I am just glad the Red Sox already have Adrian Gonzalez.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:07 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brewers, cardinals, cubs, giants, mariners, miami, nationals

Jeff Pearlman: Albert Pujols is leaving St. Louis. Rejoice!

Wooeee, I haven’t seen an Albert pricked like this…since Albert Fish inserted 29 needles into his welcoming pelvic region!

The liberation of St. Louis begins now.

Albert Pujols is leaving the city and you are free, dear people, to speak the truth. No longer do you have to cower. No longer do you have to worry about stern looks and furious retorts. No longer do you have to tiptoe around the mighty slugger and his Ruthian numbers, fearful that he might say to hell with riverboat casinos and go ...

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2011 at 01:46 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cardinals, history, media

Bill Conlin: Rollins in the Cards

I once had a fleshy Conlinesque druncle who’d freak out whenever I’d flick juice-less, hence disposable, boogers his way at the dinner table. Strange man.

When I’m King of the World . . .

Manager Mike Scioscia likes to run. He has a lineup filled with rabbits, including Erick Aybar and two of the game’s fastest players in outfielders Peter Bourjos and Millville’s Mike Trout, 19.

With that kind of speed in front of him, if Trout is ready to lead off or bat No. 2, Pujols might drive in 150 ...

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2011 at 01:25 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, international, japan, phillies

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