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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sherman: Sabathia talks with Yankees could push limits

You don’t pull no punches, but you don’t push River Avenue. And then there’s this…

On open market, C.J. Wilson can’t play the ace card

The Yankees are not the only team showing a lack of fervor for C.J. Wilson, though he has gone 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA the last two years and is left-handed. In supply and demand, this should make Wilson the top free-agent starter on the market — and once the bidding begins, all the talk of caution usually vanishes.

But I have yet to find a baseball ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 01:43 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: business, projections, rangers, sabermetrics, yankees

Sports News Baseball: Darvish ready for major league challenge

TOKYO (Kyodo)—The Yu Darvish sweepstakes are set to begin.

Nippon Ham Fighters ace Darvish, long said to be Japanese baseball’s next biggest export to the majors, is ready to make a move stateside through the posting system this offseason, Kyodo News learned through several sources on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Darvish, the highest paid player in Japanese baseball at an estimated 500 million yen per season, is expected to officially ask the Fighters to put him up for bidding after the ...

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Gamingboy Posted: October 19, 2011 at 01:22 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: japan

Boswell: Texas Rangers show blueprint for hitting homers in a football town

Filip Filipovi?tory is ours!

Now, with the 40th anniversary of Bob Short’s escape in the rearview mirror, it’s time to go all the way and let the last of the bygones be gone.

How times change. The Rangers are not only the Series favorite over the miraculous Cardinals — “Rangers in six” is the chalk pick and mine, too — the Texas franchise has become a fine team-building model for other clubs from prosperous cities that are football crazy but not yet addicted to baseball.

Now, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 01:16 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, rangers, scouting

WORLD SERIES Game 1 CHATTER

Rangers (C.J. Wilson) at St. Louis (Chris Carpenter). 8:05. FOX.

4 to 7 games to glory.

Gamingboy Posted: October 19, 2011 at 12:21 PM | 412 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Morrissey: Baseball GMs becoming celebrities

Morrissey: Something is squeezing my skullduggery!

With baseball turning more and more into a numbers game, Epstein has become a superstar among those who have a difficult time separating their love of baseball from their love of math.

And that cultural phenomenon partly can be explained by another one: fantasy baseball leagues.

Everyone thinks he’s a GM now. Everyone thinks he can put together a winning team, provided he has the right statistics to help him make an accurate evaluation of ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, history, red sox, sabermetrics

Doc Gooden: I missed ‘86 parade in drug haze

Hey Barra…here’s one of those written tributes to the 1986 Mets you were looking for.

Gooden, in an interview with ESPN, said he used drugs at a team party shortly after the Mets won Game 7 against the Red Sox and wound up leaving the party and eventually missing the parade. The team’s original excuse, that Gooden simply overslept, was tossed aside years ago.

“When the party started winding down, for myself, a lot of times I get to a certain point of using drugs, the paranoia sticks in,” ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets

Whitey Herzog forecasts a ‘strange, strange Series’

Whitey remembers…and that’s a good thing. (well…except for the Joe Lovitto being a good young player jazz)

Herzog also has a current link with the Rangers in team president Nolan Ryan. In 1971, Ryan was a young fireballer with the New York Mets and Herzog was that club’s farm director. As such, he got a call from Mets general Bob Scheffing after that season.

“Scheffing called me and said, ‘Would you call (young outfielder) Leroy Stanton and tell him that we traded him for (Jim) Fregosi?’’ ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, rangers

Bill McClellan: A last hurrah for a great sport

And who used my 100-box top “Swerdlocs love Kix ‘cause they’re fun ta catch” t-shirt as a dust rag?!

I am reminded of that night as St. Louis hosts the World Series. The crowds will be large and festive, and Cardinals fans will be in a celebratory mood, but just beneath the surface of our collective consciousness is the realization that an era is passing.

Baseball was once the national pastime. Literally. Kids got up early on summer mornings and played baseball all day long. They no longer ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-19-2011

New York Times, October 19, 1911:

His mind unbalanced as a result of the feverish interest displayed in the outcome of the Giant-Athletic contract while watching the bulletin board returns here yesterday, Allen McGyre, 14 years old…disappeared from his home last night.
...

Shortly after the result of the eleventh inning was posted the boy left the bulletin board downcast, and later was found lying across a trolley track by E.H. Low, who took him home.

When Edgar Renteria ended the ‘97 World ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, dugout, history

Occupy St. Louis to show commercial-free World Series

And to think, only about a month ago…the Cards were a 99 to 1 shot to win the World Series.

Occupy St. Louis invited baseball fans on Tuesday to watch the World Series for free on a big screen at its campsite, and said it would stream its message against economic inequality between innings.

The group, part of the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, said it would show the opening game of the series, which starts on Wednesday at Busch Stadium, at its Kiener Plaza campsite.

“Come watch the ...

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Repoz Posted: October 19, 2011 at 04:47 AM | 171 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

NYT:  Great From Day One, Pujols Draws Superlatives on and Off the Field

McGwire’s last season was Pujols’s first. McGwire said he had never heard of Pujols in spring training 2001, when Pujols had played only briefly above Class A. But McGwire said he could tell, instantly, that Pujols was destined for stardom. He understood the strike zone, hit for power to all fields, and did it with a demeanor that belied his 21 years.

The Cardinals did not plan to put Pujols on the roster, but McGwire was adamant. He told La Russa that if Pujols was sent to the minors, it ...

Read More...
Srul Itza Posted: October 19, 2011 at 02:47 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: general

NYT:  Rangers Turn to Wilson, Their Ace and Student of the Game

When he was 13, Wilson read Seaver’s book “The Art of Pitching,” an analytical study of various approaches to pitching, from which Wilson can still recall specific passages and illustrations.

*  *  *

Despite being left-handed, Wilson holds Seaver in such great esteem as a pitcher that he still cannot forgive the five voters out of 430 who did not put Seaver on their Hall of Fame ballot.

“Who’s the jerk that didn’t vote for him?” Wilson said. “That’s what I want to ...

Read More...
Srul Itza Posted: October 19, 2011 at 02:44 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peters: From Francona to La Russa, why there’s no such thing as the best manager in baseball

And check out the everyday, everyday, everyday Tony La Russa rewrote the book companion piece.

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool baseball guy. I went to my first major league game in 1949 at Griffith Stadium to watch the Washington Senators play, and still upon occasion nostalgically don my No. 3 Mickey Vernon itchy, all-wool replica jersey. In 1954 I attended the glorious welcoming parade for the former St. Louis Browns, turned Baltimore Orioles—and subsequently listened to every inning of the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 11:44 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

washingtonpost.com: Washington Nationals step it up in the leadership department

Some high quality sportswriting and editing going on here.

In a professional sport like baseball, where player talent and organizational characteristics are very comparable among the many teams, innovation can make the deciding difference. Tony LaRussa’s management of his bullpen, Charlie Phillips’ starting rotation decisions for Philadelphia, and Ray Washington’s lineup shifts for the Rangers demonstrate how agility can control the outcome.

Johnson’s version of this was to make savvy ...

Read More...
Guapo Posted: October 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, cardinals, nationals, phillies, rangers

Fox to use infra-red technology in World Series coverage

Fox’s World Series coverage will include black-and-white on-air shots, looking sort of like X-rays, that are meant track heat.

Huh? The Fox Hot Spot, to be formally announced Wednesday, uses technology that’s been seen on TV cricket overseas. The idea is for heat-seeking sensors to pinpoint heat made by a ball making contact — with, say, bats, facemasks, player’s bodies — and mark the spot for viewers by making it glow.

Wednesday? I need more time to prepare!

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Beer in Red Sox dugout?

Lester admitted Monday that he and other pitchers had an “occasional beer” in the clubhouse during days they were not scheduled to pitch, but on Tuesday WHDH-TV in Boston cited Red Sox employees as saying that Lester, Josh Beckett and John Lackey drank beer in the dugout during games.

The sources said that the trio would leave the dugout around the sixth inning, walk back to the clubhouse and fill cups with Bud Light. They would then return to the dugout and watch the game while drinking ...

Read More...

Newswire: Angels may interview Jerry Dipoto for GM

The Angels have received permission from the Arizona Diamondbacks to interview Jerry Dipoto for their general manager’s job opening, a major league source confirmed. Dipoto, who spent parts of eight seasons as a reliever in the big leagues, is Arizona’s senior vice president of scouting and player development.

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 18, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

ESPN: If Reyes bolts, Mets set to turn to Ruben Tejada

Rubin on Ruben.

Said one National League scout: “Tejada is ready to play every day. Save the money and go get some pitching. You’re not winning anything in 2012 anyway. Find out if the kid can do it. He really has improved with the bat and gotten physically stronger. He’s going to need a backup, though, in case he gets hurt or needs a day off.”

...Meanwhile, Reyes won the NL batting crown this past season and, when his gimpy hamstrings allow, will put up gaudy steal numbers Tejada will never ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 08:29 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, projections, sabermetrics

Cardinals fan, 98, roots for her ‘boys’ to win one more World Series

“I’m 98, and I don’t know if I’ll be here tomorrow,” Dittle said. “So I just need them to win this year.”

Katie Galligan, a great-granddaughter, said that earlier this summer, a doctor gave Dittle about six more months to enjoy, among other things, baseball.

Dittle asked when the next baseball season started. Told the first games would be played in April, Dittle counted on her fingers and quickly came to the point: “I’m not going to be around for that.”

But she has been around for the rest ...

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Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2011 at 07:54 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history

Baseball body expels Khanal for forgery

The Nepal Baseball and Softball Association (NBSA) today expelled Vice-president Achut Khanal from his post.

Khanal was found to have used the letter of the National Sports Council (NSC) with forged signature of NSC Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama to apply for the South Korean visas to attend the November 4 congress of Baseball Federation of Asia in Seoul. Furthermore, Khanal had applied for the visa of President Asit SJB Rana and himself under the capacity of General Secretary.

Barry Halper ...

Read More...
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 18, 2011 at 07:44 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international

Bronx Banter: DeRosa: About the Errors…

While Mark DeRosa has 74 career errors…Joe DeRosa looks for some in Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding.

A ballplayer could react to a terrible slump in a number of ways. But all of them should be vastly different to a person reacting to the loss of a supernatural gift. A slump usually begins with the wrong mix of flawed mechanics and dumb luck and spirals into Adam Dunn-level tragedy when the player gets trapped inside his own head. Henry’s situation is closer to Prometheus and his gift of ...

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Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 07:35 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: books, reviews, sabermetrics

Senators from World Series locales urge MLB to ban tobacco

WASHINGTON—Four U.S. senators and health officials from the cities hosting the World Series are urging the baseball players union to agree to a ban on chewing tobacco at games and on camera.

The senators, including No. 2 Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois, and health officials from St. Louis and Arlington, Texas, made the pleas in separate letters, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. The World Series between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals begins in St. Louis Wednesday night.

...
Read More...
Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2011 at 06:22 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: general

SF Gate: A’s close to buying land in San Jose?

Shady Acres...are GO!

t’s been a seemingly endless saga for the A’s, but they may finally be closing in on actually buying land for a new stadium in San Jose.

San Jose city officials are meeting today in a closed session to discuss selling a few plots by the Diridon station to A’s co-owner Lew Wolff. City mayor Chuck Reed estimated that the cost would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $24 million but, like everything else on the market these days, the final price could actually be a ...

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Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 05:30 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business

Father Gabe Costa: The Best I Ever Saw …

I once Goodwilled the The Don Costa Concept LP for a nickel…within a week we were de-seeding our weed on it. Since purged with great relish.

With this in mind, I thought that I would use this episode of By The Numbers to present a list of the “best…” I ever saw. In a sense, it is almost a “wish” list.

By the way, the years in question range from 1958 to 2011.

So here we go:

Best fielding second baseman: Admittedly, a bit pre-mature, but I’m picking Robinson Cano.

Strongest ...

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Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 05:05 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

Baseball Think Factory Quizbowl Questions

BBTF is now a worthy topic for pop culture quizbowl. The entire tournament is here.

18. Answer the following related to various running jokes at the Baseball ThinkFactory website, for 10 points each:
[10] One recurring poster uses this name of the protagonist from Ring Lardner’s You Know Me Al. The poster imitates this character’s semi-literate style to comment on the baseball issues of the day.
[10] A hilarious running joke involved the phrase, “Sure, I’d listen if [blank] called,” ...

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OsunaSakata Posted: October 18, 2011 at 04:17 PM | 274 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, baseball geeks, cardinals, community, red sox

MLB: Cashman expects new deal by end of October

“It’ll get done between now and Oct. 31st, I’m sure,” Cashman said. “I can’t promise, but I think that’s what everybody expects. I know it’s something that everybody has to follow. But that’s not a pressing circumstance, as far as something I’m worried about right now.”

Cashman said that he is also keeping an eye on the Angels’ unsettled GM situation, with lieutenants Billy Eppler and Damon Oppenheimer both having been granted permission to interview for the vacancy.

Will Cashman have to ...

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Shoeless Swedish Chef Posted: October 18, 2011 at 04:09 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, yankees

Finally, a mayoral bet with some real ‘steaks’

This time…the calories count!

After two rounds of tepid wagers with his counterparts in opposing cities — beer, a Rotary fellowship —Slay has upped the ante in a big way as the Cardinals prepare to take on the Texas Rangers in the World Series.
After all, the Lone Star State is not the type of place that revels in small stakes.
For his friendly bet with Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, Slay has placed the following on the table:
Pi pizza
Schlafly beer
Pappy’s BBQ
Gooey butter cake from Park ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2011 at 04:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cardinals, media, rangers

ESPN.com: Lester calls clubhouse backlash a ‘witch hunt’

Were the inmates running the asylum, as some have suggested?

“That’s not the case at all,” Lester said. “This was not a frat party. This was not mayhem with guys going every which way, not answering to anybody. That was not the case at all.

“When all is said and done, none of this was Tito’s fault, or Theo (Epstein)‘s fault, or the fault of Larry Lucchino or John Henry or Tom Werner. It was not the trainer, Mike Reinold, or (assistant trainers) Greg Barajas or Masai (Takahashi) or (strength ...

Read More...
Mattbert Posted: October 18, 2011 at 03:07 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, rumors

Bad outfield defense or a bad fielding metric?

Something is happening here and you don’t know what it is, do you, Adam Jones?

Playing in Camden Yards in any position in the outfield decreases your defensive metrics.  This means that as useful as UZR might be, it appears to do a poor job characterizing what normal means for Camden Yards.

escabeche Posted: October 18, 2011 at 02:10 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Bradley: Texas Rangers’ Michael Young shows Derek Jeter-like qualities

Just as Captain of the Stone Men shows Dag Wentim-like qualities!

image

In many ways, Young is the Jeter of Texas. So many similarities when it comes to demeanor and, as Young has said, the approach to the game they share. Play to win. Do what is asked. Don’t make excuses.

However, because we are provincial, because we live and work in the New York market, and focus so hard on “our” players, we probably never thought of Michael Young as a player who should be mentioned in the same sentence ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 18, 2011 at 01:02 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yankees

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