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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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— All the News That's Fit to Link

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sickels: Baltimore Orioles Top Prospects for 2012

Baltimore Rule: The Strangers Beside Me.

1) Manny Machado, SS, Grade A: He wasn’t quite the same after the knee injury and he was rushed to High-A, but I am still very impressed with the overall balance of skills and tools, and he’s still just 19.

2) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Grade A-: Number One starter potential, but I’d like to see how his talent translates into pro ball before going with a higher grade. As high school pitchers go, I am very confident in him, but until we see him pitch in pro ball ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, orioles, prospect reports, scouting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-28-2011

Toledo News-Bee, November 28, 1911.

Umpire Billy Evans on the famous and controversial Nap Lajoie-Ty Cobb batting race of 1910 that ended with the Browns attempting to hand Lajoie the AL batting title and a new car:

In a double-header at St. Louis, Lajoie secured eight hits…Five or six of the eight hits were perfect bunts along the third base line that Larry beat out.  Corridon [sic], a youngster, now with Kansas City, was being tried at third by St. Louis and the fact that he played a deep ...

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: November 28, 2011 at 10:18 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Noble: Change of heart: Kaat deserves Cooperstown

OK, this is the most delusional thing a Noble has come up with since…Dr. Walter Bishop dizzed out: “Excellent! Let’s make some LSD!”

‘Tis the season of “Upon further review,” and high time I use the available mulligan. I should have supported the Hall of Fame candidacy of Jim Kaat.

I regret my decision to withhold a vote from his candidacy, not that one more check next to his name would have made much of a difference. In 15 years on the annual writers’ ballot, Kaat never came remotely close ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 10:14 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

Lookout Landing: Mariners Trade Things For John Jaso

Super junk: Throwing things.

The trade, in case this is the first you’ve heard of it, is that Josh Lueke is going to the Rays, along with cash or a player to be named later, and that John Jaso is coming back. Minor league contracts aside, this is the first move of significance of the Mariners’ offseason.

...But for me, the pluses seem to outweigh the minuses here, and as minor a trade as this is in the grand scheme of things, it seems like the Zduriencik front office did well in addressing an ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, rays

Heller: Sporting News strikes out by omitting Ripken streak

Give ‘em Heller, Dick!

During much of the 20th century, The Sporting News called itself the “Bible of Baseball” with good reason. Based in St. Louis and issued weekly, the venerable publication was the only place where fans could get stories and stats on all major and minor league teams ad infinitum.

Nowadays, however, Sporting News (the “the” in its title has vanished) is a slick monthly published by a Charlotte, N.C., outfit called American Business Journals. And so much for being ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:37 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, orioles

Report: Astros to fire GM Wade

Les Treemayne ~ More Leadership!


In news that is hardly surprising, the Houston Astros are expected to make “major changes” Monday to the front office, including the dismissal of general manager Ed Wade, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It’s only a report for now, but we do know that Crane is going to meet with the front office Monday. It would actually be surprising if he didn’t fire Wade at this point.

All the ingredients for a change were in place. First of all, the 2011 Astros were ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:18 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Suggestion box opened on behalf of Red Sox - The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe’s weekly baseball column, filled with interesting tidbits.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2011 at 06:46 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Cleveland Indians trade Luis Valbuena to Toronto for cash

Luis Valbuena, one of the many players who have tried to fill the hole at second base since the Indians traded Brandon Phillips, was traded to Toronto for cash Saturday.

Valbuena was designated for assignment by the Indians on Nov. 18 as they set the 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 draft. He’ll turn 26 Sunday.

The Indians acquired Valbuena and Joe Smith in a three-team trade with Seattle and the Mets at the winter meetings in 2008. Valbuena, acquired from Seattle, caught the eye ...

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 01:51 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, indians



Then Lucchino asked me a question. “What do you think of him?” he asked.

I would rather not have people I am interviewing ask me questions. In this instance what I thought about Valentine or any other candidate shouldn’t matter. I am not the one hiring and paying the new manager.

On the other hand, Lucchino asked a reasonable question, and the primary problem I had with it was whether I should offer some vague, non-committal comment or answer honestly. Of course, I chose honesty ...

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 01:17 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: history, red sox

Joura: Reviewing my 33-year-old grudge against Richie Hebner

or…I Used To Spit on Your Grave Digger (mere zarchasm).

So then why all the disdain, from me and countless others, for poor Richie Hebner? If you were there, no explanation is needed but if you weren’t it’s not really that much of a mystery. Hebner committed the one Cardinal Sin of a ballplayer, one that if he was playing in the 21st Century, either he or his agent would have had the required media savvy to prevent from happening.

When the Mets traded for him, he made no secret that he ...

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 12:19 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, phillies, pirates, sabermetrics

Nats fan goes Double Rainbow for Harper and Strasburg

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen! Satoken19770127 standing right in an Upper Deck trading card box announcing he is back-flipping!

In this random video on YouTube, a baseball fan from Tokyo, Japan named Ken gushes over an Upper Deck trading card that holds the signatures of both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. He apparently got the card in a pack which is a pretty lucky find.

Under the username ‘Satoken19770127,’ Ken shows off the card while describing ...

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 04:48 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international, japan, memorabilia, nationals

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Duggan: A.J. Burnett and The Amazing, Disappearing Fastball

~~There is nothing wrong with your strike zone. Do not attempt to adjust the pitcher~~


For a power pitcher, who relies almost exclusively on a fastball and a breaking ball, it may surprise you (or it may not) that A.J. Burnett’s fastball was the least valuable pitch in baseball in 2011, coming in at -34.0 runs.  It’s tough to contextualize that, so for the sake of comparison, Mariano Rivera’s cutter was +12.2 runs, David Robertson’s fastball was +14.4 runs, and CC Sabathia’s slider was +14.6 ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, reviews, sabermetrics, yankees

NYBD: Silva: Selig’s Final Act Should Be Reinstating Pete Rose

Some shouted “R. Budd Selig, don’t do this!”  He asked people to “please leave the chat room if this will offend you.”

If Bud Selig is true to his word and retires at the end of 2012, he should end his commissionership with the reinstatement of Pete Rose. It would be a fitting final chapter to a period where the game transformed for the better. It would also dispel the label that he’s a cowardly commissioner that rules by consensus and has yet to make a controversial decision, even if it ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 10:24 PM | 162 comment(s)
  Beats: business, hall of fame, history, media, phillies, reds

Posnanski: Baseball Vintages

Back from playing high-stakes pinochle with Elizabeth Anna Duke...Poz returns!

Thing is, if we look back on baseball vintages, we see that there really is a big difference between different years. Look at 1931:

January 31, 1931: Ernie Banks was born in Dallas, Texas.

May 6, 1931: Willie Mays was born in Westfield, Alabama.

October 13, 1931: Eddie Mathews was born in Texarkana, Texas

October 20, 1931: Mickey Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma

October 23, 1931: Jim Bunning was born in ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 04:59 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Thurm: Whither LoMoMarlins? What Will The New MLB Social Media Policy Say?

The Social Media Police
They come to me in my mother’s basement

Tucked at the end of the outline of MLB’s new labor agreement is section X “Other,” subsection b, which reads: “All players will be subject to a policy governing the use of Social Media.” That’s it. It doesn’t say what the policy is, whether it already exists, is yet to be drafted, or how it will be enforced.

...It’s easy to point to Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) and Nyjer Morgan (@TheRealTPlush) as the poster children for a ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media

STL Today: Dan McLaughlin to return?

Everybody deserves a third



It appears that Dan McLaughlin will find out if he’ll be back in the Cardinals’ TV booth in the next week or so. And while his return looked like a long shot in the weeks shortly after he was arrested in late September on his second drunken driving charge in 13 months, all indications now are that he has a good chance of being retained.

Fox Sports Midwest general manager Jack Donovan was extremely angry when he found out about the latest of those arrests ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 12:06 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, cardinals, media

WSJ: Futterman: New Rules Your Tax Lawyer Will Love

el jefe points out this…“WSJ article on CBA that has assertions I haven’t seen elsewhere…?”

If there’s any bad news, it’s this: Fans who haven’t pursued coursework in theoretical mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may have a hard time understanding what’s going on half the time.

Let’s say that next season, under the new rules, your team wants to trade its veteran centerfielder for draft picks. In a bid to rein in excessive spending on unproven talent, baseball’s new ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 12:37 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media

Rays: Good News, Reds Want Pitching For Yonder Alonso!

Look over Yonder what do you see
The Rays are a-risin’ most definitely

The Reds are in need of pitching, and the Rays have about 7 or 8 major league pitchers on the 40-man roster. Tampa Bay is likely to trade at least one this off season, so they are ready to meet Cincinnati’s needs. And the spark to this powder keg? According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, Alonso is available if Cincinnati can land a No. 2 starter, naming Tampa Bay, Oakland, Toronto and Cleveland as suitors.

The Reds are likely ...

Repoz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 12:23 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, reds

Friday, November 25, 2011

Former Twins pitcher Jim Kaat on his ‘squabble’ with Calvin Griffith

“Golden Era” Hall of Fame candidate Jim Kaat, the former Minnesota Twins pitcher, makes for an entertaining hour-long interview Monday evening on “Studio 42 with Bob Costas” on the Major League Baseball Network.

Kaat, who won 283 career games and 16 Gold Gloves, chats about his relationship with penurious late Twins’ owner Calvin Griffith.

“I had a contract squabble with Calvin every year,” Kaat said. “Calvin one day said, ‘Can you go downtown and earn 18,000 dollars a year working at any ...

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2011 at 11:20 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: history, twins

Bill James Online Mailbag

More Bill James! This is a better find than that Angelo Buono Car Upholstery business card I came across!

In your three recent articles about MVP vote bias, you give “wins” or “losses for guys being better or worse in a category when someone worse or equal wins an MVP, and the amount of “wins” is based on the win share difference, but shouldn’t it also be based on the difference in that statistic? In 2006 Derek Jeter had 97 RBI’s and morneau had 130, a difference of 33, they had a difference ...

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2011 at 06:16 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Wilpons To Face Jury Trial?

The trustee suing New York Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon and family in an attempt to recover alleged profits from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme scored a modest victory Wednesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff granted trustee Irving Picard’s request to have the trial, which is set for March 19, heard before a jury. Attorneys for Wilpon and brother-in-law Saul Katz argued the judge ought to decide the case if it goes unsettled beforehand.

Pretty funny if Wilpon seeks to exclude ...

The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 25, 2011 at 02:26 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets

Lenny Dykstra holds first sit-down interview since plea in grand theft auto case

I don’t need no fancy foods like beans, ketchup and a $28,000 bottle of wine!

“I really for the first time understand humility,” he said Thursday while smoking a cigarette on the patio of his private bungalow at The Hills rehab center. “It’s not everybody else’s fault. It’s not a coincidence that I’m here. It happened because I was using drugs and alcohol. It was a reality check.”

Wearing a fleece sweatshirt and a court-ordered ankle monitor, Dykstra said his demons were wine, ...

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2011 at 11:48 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, mets, phillies

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2011

Milwaukee Journal, November 25, 1944:

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, commissioner of baseball since 1921, died at St. Luke’s hospital Saturday morning at 5:35.  He was 78 years old.

Landis, a gruff speaking old man with shaggy white hair, battered hat and keen wit, became a legend in his lifetime.  He was noted for his fairness and as a man who always gave the underdog a break.

Unless they had too much melanin.  In which case they were screwed.

In all seriousness, though, the linked ...

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: November 25, 2011 at 09:45 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Sullivan: Could some of the Cubs’ culture bite the dust?

Now that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has been summoned by Ricketts to change the Cubs’ “culture,” could “Go, Cubs, Go” and other Wrigley staples bite the dust? Epstein calls himself a “traditionalist,” but if he changes his mind, here are some examples of Cubs culture that may have jumped the shark:

...Cubbies: When Dallas Green took over in 1982, the new general manager reportedly forbade Cubs broadcasters from using the word “Cubbies” when referring to the ballclub. It ...

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2011 at 03:12 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, history, media

Blue Jays wanted Buchholz for John Farrell

CLAY?!...I’d alert Sons of Anarchy before Sons of Sam Horn!

According to a tweet from David Waldstein from the New York Times, the Blue Jays asked for Clay Buchholz as compensation if the Red Sox were going to hire away John Farrell to become their manager. originally reported that the Red Sox had identified Farrell as a potential candidate for their managerial opening, but, as Ken Rosenthal wrote, “never considered it likely the Jays would engage in serious discussions about ...

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2011 at 02:57 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, red sox

Sources: Yanks, Freddy Garcia agree

The deal is worth between $4 million and $5 million, according to the New York Daily News.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 25, 2011 at 12:35 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Platoon Advantage: The War of Statistical Aggression

It’’s…it’s as if frontotemporal lower-the-bar degeneration never affected Charles Beaumont!

Somewhere in the lung of Texas, the Traditionalists have met in order to subvert the growing power of the Saberists forces. With Bill James’ armies bearing down in their insurrection, Murray Chass has convened his loyal commanders to repel the rebels as his propaganda campaign has largely resulted in failure and has led to the unfortunate nickname “Blogger Chass”. Gathered together for this ...

Repoz Posted: November 24, 2011 at 06:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-24-2011

New York Times, November 24, 1886:


There will be a game of baseball on the Polo Grounds to-morrow between nines composed of prominent professionals living in New York and Brooklyn.  The contest will be under the new rules recently adopted at Chicago.  Following are the names of the men who are to compose the nines: Gerhardt, Hanlon, Crane, Connor, Deasley, Roseman, Nelson, Kennedy, Lynch, Burdock, Hankinson, Troy, Hayes, Force, Orr, Forster, Corcoran, and Wheeler.

  ...

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: November 24, 2011 at 02:33 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Goold: Pujols sticking with Lozano as his agent

Free agent first baseman Albert Pujols told The Post-Dispatch late Wednesday night that Dan Lozano will remain his agent and that he will not change representation in response to an online report that used unnamed sources to allege his agent was involved in sordid activities.

“I am absolutely staying with Danny as my agent,” Pujols said when reached in Hawaii while on a family vacation. “And he will continue to negotiate my free agent contract. I am embarrassed for the people who are behind ...

Repoz Posted: November 24, 2011 at 01:27 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cardinals, media

Bill James Online Mailbag

Popular Crime: Utley, Grich, & the HOF.

Seeing the question about Chase Utley’s Hall of Fame chances made me think of Kevin Youkilis. ...He didn’t have a full season until 2006, when he was 27, has never played more than 147 games in a season due to injury, and is now 33. He has only 23 Hall of Fame points, but I want to hold out some hope for him. Could he play long enough and well enough to make it to the Hall?

I also think he is just a fun player to root for, but honestly, it’s quite ...

Repoz Posted: November 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM | 592 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

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