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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bronx Banter: The Heinz Files III: Speaking of Sports

Gentlemen, start your tracers!

From Gayl Heinz comes a letter that Howard Cosell once sent to her father, Bill (better known as W.C. Heinz). It concerns a Mets game back in 1962.


The handwritten note by Heinz reads: “The gist of the mail and calls was…at last we understand Stengelese.”

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 02:01 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, mets

VIDEO: Vh1 Releases The New Baseball Wives Supertrailer!

The new series will follow the lives of five wives, ex-wives and girlfriends of professional Baseball players as they struggle to balance relationships, friendships and chaos. The Baseball Wives are: Anna Benson (wife of retired Arizona Diamondbacks’ Pitcher Kris Benson), Tanya Grace (ex-wife of retired Chicago Cubs’ First Baseman Mark Grace), Chantel Kendall (ex-wife of Kansas City Royals’ Jason Kendall), Brook Villone (wife of Ron Villone) and Jordana Lenz (linked to no particular ...

OsunaSakata Posted: November 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, cubs, mets, nationals, orioles, pirates, rockies, royals, television

Kelner: Take me out to the metaphorically rich ball game

It seems Moneyball has opened world-wide and some of the reviews I’ve been reading are eloquent ####### pips.

It’s certainly true that, in the field of literature and film, this Atlanticised form of rounders has inspired many fine works, of which Moneyball is just the latest. While admitting I may be a little parochial here, I think it’s a shame that some of the best films about sport – Field of Dreams and Eight Men Out to give two examples – have been about baseball, a game that most in ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, media, reviews, sabermetrics

ESPN: Schoenfield: What is Mark Trumbo’s future?

Well…certainly not the remarkable Andruw Jones.

Knowing it’s near impossible to win with a first baseman who posts a .291 OBP, the Angels have to consider: (1) How likely is Trumbo to improve? (2) Do they spend the money to go after Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols? (3) Could Trumbo handle third base?

I think the first question is the biggest key here. If the Angels think Trumbo is a productive hitter, they don’t need to worry about the second question (especially if they also count on Kendrys ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 11:01 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, history, projections, sabermetrics

Rosenthal: Sources: Cubs pursuing Pujols, Fielder

Dynamixeling it up with Robothal.

The Cubs are pursuing both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, and not simply because the free-agent first basemen are difference-makers.

No, the Cubs also are acknowledging two emerging realities – a dwindling number of sluggers available in future free-agent markets, and the restrictions on spending in the amateur draft under baseball’s new collective-bargaining agreement.

New Cubs president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have made it clear ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs

Chimelis: Hiring the Red Sox manager will be (or should be) more than just solving a metric equation


Being considered for the job still requires a bow to the metric shrine. Look at Bobby Valentine, 61.

Widely regarded as a throwback, he still described himself as practically a pioneer of metrics.

Remember how people thought Al Gore took credit for inventing the Internet? It reminded me of that.

...My problem with the sabermetrics concept is this: It’s useful, but it’s not the Bible.

Yet it is being treated that way, not so much by real baseball people, but by those who ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 10:01 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-29-2011

Milwaukee Journal, November 29, 1911:

ATLANTA, Ga., Nov. 29.—“I sincerely wish that we had a man in baseball like Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor,” said Ty Cobb during a talk at a banquet here, “and then ball players [would] have a better opportunity of getting just what they are really worth to a club.”

Ty Cobb, seer of the future.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 29, 2011 at 09:35 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dugout, history

Astros receive permission to interview Rays GM Friedman

The Astros have received permission to interview Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, according to officials with knowledge of the organization’s thinking.

Although the club has asked to interview “a handful” of others, Friedman clearly is the No. 1 choice to replace Ed Wade.

Among others believed to be under consideration were two Texas Rangers executives, Thad Levine and A.J. Preller. However, former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker apparently will not be interviewed ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 02:52 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rays

The Biz of Baseball: MLB Releases Info on 2011 Postseason Shares

Adds, Maury…“Now, you know it’s polite to share. Even though the Indians, Angels, Braves, and Giants missed the postseason, make sure and give them some postseason love”

A full Postseason share for the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals totaled $323,169.98, while a full share for the American League Champion Texas Rangers amounted to $251,515.76, Major League Baseball announced today.  Last year’s share amounts were $317,631.29 for the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 02:25 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: business

DRaysBay: Report: Jose Molina Officially Signs With Rays

Good signing. I always liked him when he played “Will Bailey” on “West Wing.”

Rays deal with Jose Molina guarantees him $1.5 M in 2012, plus $1.5M team option or $300,000 buyout in 2013.

Remember, all this data is imprecise and should be taken as estimates of their defensive abilities; it’s not set-in-stone gospel. But even if you are generous and give Jaso the benefit of the doubt, it still looks like Molina’s defense is around a four win improvement over Jaso’s. That’s a massive ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2011 at 01:00 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, rays

Divorce may delay Yu Darvish’s major league arrival

How much Darvish could get in a contract with a major league team would be of interest to everyone involved if he is soon to be divorced.

That Darvish, 25, and his actress wife Saeko, 27, are involved in divorce proceedings has been no secret in Japan for about a month and has been a hotter topic in the entertainment industry press than on the sports pages. Married on Nov. 11, 2007 (Darvish wears No. 11), they have two children.

Saeko, when asked about the divorce at an event promoting a book ...

shoewizard Posted: November 29, 2011 at 01:00 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: japan

BPro: Jay Jaffe: Talkin’ Cooperstown on Clubhouse Confidential

Weee…my “Please Sack Plesac” campaign seems to be working! (Congrats, Jay!)

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ll be debuting on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential on Tuesday at 5:30 PM Eastern. For the uninitiated, Clubhouse Confidential is a cutting-edge attempt to put advanced statistics in the television spotlight, using them not only to analyze the day’s big news but to explore some of the perennial controversies which often pit statheads against the mainstream. The show ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 12:51 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, site news, television

Deep Thoughts (and Spelling Mistakes) with Pete Rose Autographs

Western Hells High School RULZ!

Not all the notes are perfect. Some show signs of Rose correcting himself by writing over a letter or two. Some remain with spelling mistakes in tact. One such error reads, “It’s a round ball & a round bat & you got to it it square.”

While some may wince at such autograph errors, others may find a bit of humor in them. As Rose would likely freely admit, nobody’s perfect. In most marathon card signing sessions, players and personalities are simply scribbling ...

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, reds

Monday, November 28, 2011

MLB: Spencer: Numbers say Halos struggle to ‘create’ runs

Sweet Kingsbury Runs created! Bill James’ head just exploded!

According to the machinery that churns out “runs created,” one of the popular categories in baseball’s stat age, the Angels’ most productive offensive player in 2011 was ... Bobby Abreu?

...Other than Abreu, the club’s highest-rated hitter was third baseman Alberto Callaspo. His 4.9 runs created left him tied for 77th.

The Angels had five players finish in the 90s: Peter Bourjos (4.56, 93rd), Torii Hunter (4.55, 94th), Howard ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:48 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, sabermetrics

Granillo: A new Bobby Valentine story

I can see Roger Corman getting behind a St. Valentine’s Day Assmacre flick.

But my favorite story about Bobby Valentine may well be a new one told this weekend by Ken Levine. Levine is an ex-broadcaster for the Orioles, Mariners, and Padres, having partnered with the likes of Jon Miller and Dave Niehaus in his time in the booth. He is also a very accomplished television and film writer. His movie credits include the film Volunteeres, and he has worked in a major way on some of television’s ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 06:07 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, rangers

THT: Jaffe: Predicting the Veterans Committee vote

Say it ain’t Minoso!

Ballot filler: Ken Boyer, Luis Tiant, and Minnie Minoso

Word to the wise: None of these three guys is going in.

Of this trio, previous history is most favorable for Tiant, but it’s still not strong. He peaked at 30.9 percent of the BBWAA vote, fifth-best among the eligibles this year. That’s not too good, but not too bad.

His support in previous VC elections has been pretty poor, though. He wasn’t VC-eligible in 2003, but in 2005 got only 20 votes from the 80 ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 05:31 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Japan’s oldest baseball club in turmoil at top

An in-depth look at turmoil that has hit the Yomiuri Giants. Let’s just say this: It involves GMs suing, the corporate owners beings called tyrants and all of that fun stuff.

Gamingboy Posted: November 28, 2011 at 04:53 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: japan

Hunter: Jimmy Rollins and the Hall of Fame

Rollins: A Night at the Cooperstown Village Vanguard?

Buster Olney of ESPN posed a very interesting question this morning about Jimmy Rollins.  Rollins, who has spent his entire career with Philadelphia and is entering free agency, has put together a very nice career.  How nice though?  Let’s take a look.

ESPN Buster Olney: Within two seasons, Rollins could have 2,100 hits, 200 homers and 400 steals, as SS who won three Gold Gloves and an MVP Award. HOF?


...In all I think these ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 02:28 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, phillies, projections, sabermetrics

Former Mets closer Billy Wagner won’t consider Phillies offer

There’s guns across the Delaware River aimin’ at ya

The Phillies were interested in having Billy Wagner come out of retirement next season, but the star closer passed on both returning to baseball and rejoining the Mets’ arch rivals.

Wagner, who retired after a sparkling 2010 with the Braves, told The Post yesterday the Phillies called him directly after the 2011 season ended.

“It was after the regular season ... just to see if I was even contemplating coming back or had an itch or ...

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2011 at 02:11 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

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 ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) 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

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