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Friday, December 02, 2011

Bradley: Bobby Valentine’s history with statistics and baseball intuition

The last time Todd Zeile had a .427 OBP was in the Van Nuys Guys League.

It goes back to the 1999 season and the Mets were on their way to the NL Wild Card and a trip to the postseason. Sitting in the dugout in San Diego one afternoon, Valentine started talking about a problem he saw coming down the pike for the Mets.

“We’re going to let John Olerud walk at the end of this season,” Valentine said. “And it’s going to be a big mistake.” Paraphrasing the rest of what Valentine said, he was ...

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:21 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets, red sox, sabermetrics

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Colorado Rockies

Still pulling for Chris Buglovsky! (double checks indy rosters)

1. Drew Pomeranz, rhp
2. Nolan Arenado, 3b
3. Chad Bettis, rhp
4. Wilin Rosario, c
5. Tim Wheeler, of
6. Trevor Story, ss/3b
7. Tyler Anderson, lhp
8. Kent Matthes, of
9. Kyle Parker, of
10. Josh Rutledge, ss

Fortunately for Colorado, its most recent drafts look more productive. Even if Matzek turns into a bust, the 2009 crop already has sent Rex Brothers to the big league bullpen and features three of the system’s top ...

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 11:22 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospect reports, rockies, scouting

Erardi: Behind the numbers: Dan Driessen vs. Sean Casey

Only Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. losing an election could be worse than this! (end crazed Reds fan rant)

Driessen’s sin was in coming along when he did: As a third baseman in his early 20’s who wasn’t talented enough defensively to stick at third base, and yet was stuck behind Doggy at first base…and then when he got his chance to prove he had the stuff to help the Reds win a third straight World Championship in 1977, the starting pitching fell apart… and then when he should have been coming ...

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 11:09 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, reds, sabermetrics

ESPN: Heath Bell, Marlins agree

$9 million a year…Heath Bar Crunch!

The Miami Marlins and free-agent closer Heath Bell have agreed on a three-year contract, pending a physical, sources told

The two sides have been talking about a deal that would pay Bell $9 million a year. The deal also includes a vesting option for a fourth year.

Bell is expected to take his physical Friday in Florida, the sources said.

...But with the future of their incumbent closer, Juan Oviedo (aka, Leo Nunez), a major question because of ...

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 10:56 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: business, miami

Amazin’ Avenue: Transcript of Sandy Alderson’s Conference Call with Bloggers

...And does your front office consider Jose Reyes a franchise player?

Alderson: Let me start with your last question first: Do I consider him a franchise player? Yes. But a franchise player is only valuable as such if he is contributing to a winning franchise as opposed to simply acting as eye wash for a team that is not very good. So for me, franchise players are critically important—this goes back to the bonding that takes place with a handful of players on each team—you need those kinds of ...

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 10:30 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2011

Toledo News-Bee, December 2, 1911:

Hugh Jennings, manager of the Detroit American baseball club, and the Rev. P.J. Lynett, of Mount Morris, N.Y., were seriously, and Mr. and Mrs. David Holden, of Mount Morris, slightly injured at midnight Friday night, when an auto driven by Jennings crashed through the railing of a bridge crossing the Lehigh river near Gouldsboro, Pa., and plunged to the river bed, 10 feet below.

Jennings was unconscious for three hours.  Attending physicians at the state ...

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 10:06 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

NY Daily News: Brad Pitt helps console suicidal man at ‘Moneyball’ screening

One save that won’t make the boxscore…

The man publicly admitted to Pitt and “Moneyball” costar Jonah Hill that he battled suicidal thoughts alone in his car before the night’s event, the magazine said.

“Look, man, life is up and down, it’s a vicious cycle, but you have to go through it and deal with that,’” Pitt said, according to an observer who spoke to Us Weekly.

“You can be down, but then you come back up again, and every failure can lead to success,” the observer quoted Pitt ...

AndrewJ Posted: December 02, 2011 at 02:10 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, media

Seattle Times: Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says he’s “aware” of Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki

But wouldn’t someone named Kawasaki want to play for the Swallows? And wear number 61?

Last night, Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki of the champion Softbank Hawks announced at a press conference that he was becoming a free agent. Then, in an interesting twist, he told Japanese media that he wants to play in the major leagues, but only for the Mariners so he could team with Ichiro.

Not everyday the Mariners are flat out handed a free agent with zero competition. Especially one from Japan ...

vortex of dissipation Posted: December 02, 2011 at 01:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, mariners

Valentine Plans Blending Sabermetrics With Baseball Experience to Make Decisions With Red Sox

“One of the exciting parts of this situation is that I know information is available to me,” Valentine said at his introductory news conference. “And that information has to get in, has to be digested with the other information that I get from my ears and my eyes and my experience, and hopefully it’s going to be able to [produce] some pretty good results. It’s exciting. I think it’s an every-day process and I think it’s going to be a learning process for me.”

Such a process isn’t ...

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 12:38 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Engaging our Splittist Tendencies - December College Basketball Thread

Provincial link for the throughly provincial College Basketball world.

Chicago Joe Posted: December 01, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: history


With the lockout over, I estimate that there may be more than 10-12 Primates who want to talk about the NBA, and with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: fractional reserve banking, and Tim Tebow.

rr Posted: December 01, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 3254 comment(s)
  Beats: general

OT: The Soccer Thread: December 2011

What I Want for Christmas:

Carlos Tevez: A ticket out of Manchester
Wayne Rooney: To be known from here on out as “Tintin” instead of “Shrek”
Harry Redknapp: An acquittal
Andre Villas-Boas To still be employed come Christmas
Portsmouth Fans: For their club to still exist come Christmas
Me: West Ham United, Championship leaders come Christmas
Shooty: Any Spurs gear from the years 1964-1982


RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 11:26 PM | 990 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics

ajc: Schultz: Hall of Fame: Murphy thumbs up, juicers thumbs down

Fave time of the year! A couple of ballots/partials in already…Let the stupid begin!

• Jeff Bagwell: No. He has a Hall of Fame credentials (449 homers, 1,529 RBI, .297 average, MVP). But he was well short of induction last year with only 41.7 percent of the vote, at least in part because he has been suspected of using PEDs. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci summarized the Bagwell debate nicely when he wrote: “Bagwell was an admitted Andro user who hired a competitive bodybuilder to make ...

Repoz Posted: December 01, 2011 at 10:48 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, history, steroids

Francona: ‘Someone cut my legs out’

Could Dennis Eck have pulled a Johnny Eck!?

Francona said that he was under the impression that, after talking with reporter Bob Hohler the night before the story ran, that he had corrected the record and that there would be no suggestion that he had an issue with pain medications. And so, he was caught off guard when reading the story to see that such suggestions remained.

“When I hung up with Bob, I was under the impression that he understood. I could have gotten him to talk to Dr. Ronin. I ...

Repoz Posted: December 01, 2011 at 10:19 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: media, red sox

Salfino: Why not true contract amnesty in baseball?

Would this encourage lower-revenue teams to take more risks on the market? Dunno, but Mike makes an interesting case:

What if you allowed each team to get off the hook for one contract for the life of the labor agreement and to not have to pay the deal but instead have it paid out of a central Major League fund funded by, say, the luxury tax.

And teams that pay the luxury tax lose the right to void a contract in this way. But small market teams could take more chances, presumably, because they ...

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 01, 2011 at 10:15 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: business

Sickels:  Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2012

What can you say? This system has incredible depth, and a year from now it could look even better, depending on how Nicolino, Norris, and Syndergaard perform in full-season ball, not to mention hitters like Smith and Dean who are just getting started. Sanchez and Woj have the natural ability to zoom up the list as well.

Many of the C+ guys (and even some of the Cs) have B or even A-level physical ceilings but need to play and get some experience in, particularly pitchers like Carmona and ...

Paul D(uda) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 06:34 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, prospect reports

Competitive Balance Lottery Teams

MLB announces teams that will be eligible for new Competitive Balance Lottery in 2013.

The teams that will be eligible for the first lottery are the D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals.

The odds of winning a Draft pick in this lottery will be based on each team’s winning percentage in the previous season. The half-dozen picks will be made at the conclusion of the first round, but after the compensation picks for free ...

Tricky Dick Posted: December 01, 2011 at 04:55 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: general via Miami Herald: Miscalculation could foul up financing for Marlins parking garages

When the city of Miami agreed to build parking garages for the new Miami Marlins stadium, borrowing $100 million in the bond market to do so, officials assumed the structures, like most such municipal facilities, would be exempt from property taxes.


That is now looking like a serious miscalculation that could not just upend the city’s financing plan, but allow the Marlins to rake in profits from parking while city taxpayers eat a hefty, and unexpected, tax bill.

The realization hit ...

JE (Jason) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 03:21 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: business, miami

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-1-2011

Toledo News-Bee, December 1, 1911:

Fred Merkle was [in Cuba] two years ago with the AllStars and he tells a funny story of the time when he and Germany Schaefer spent a half hour in a Cuban restaurant trying to tell the waiter in Spanish what they wanted to eat.

They racked their brains trying to think of the Spanish word for “beans.”  Schaefer even tried French by saying “petit pois,” which means small peas.  Merkle, who speaks German, even tried “sweiner fleinsch” [sic] for “pork”, but all in ...

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 10:47 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

ESPN Boston: Source: Bobby Valentine not favored?

A Boston Red Sox official told at least one player at the beginning of the managerial search that they “weren’t going to hire Bobby Valentine or someone like that,” a clubhouse source told last week.

The conversation suggests that Valentine, known as a no-nonsense manager in stints with the Mets and Rangers during 15 years, was perceived by some as a darkhorse candidate who would not be popular with some players.

“They’re going to have a mess on their hands,” the source said ...

bobm Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:21 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Angels Acquire Rockies Catcher Chris Iannetta for Tyler Chatwood

The Angels, in an effort to inject on-base percentage into the lineup and boost their offense behind the plate, acquired veteran catcher Chris Iannetta from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitcher Tyler Chatwood, the team announced Wednesday.

This is disappointing but hardly surprising, as the Rockies never quite seemed to realize what they had in Iannetta, i.e., a good hitter. Don’t know much about Chatwood; is he a reasonable haul?

Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:18 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, rockies

Neyer: 2012 Hall Of Fame Ballot Features Bernie Williams


Here are the 13 new names. Stop reading when you see a deserving candidate…

Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Brian Jordan, Javy Lopez, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Phil Nevin, Brad Radke, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Bernie Williams, Tony Womack, Eric Young

Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:10 AM | 149 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Detroit Tigers re-sign infielder Ramon Santiago for two years

The Detroit Tigers announced Wednesday that the team has agreed to a two-year contract with infielder Ramon Santiago through the 2013 season. Terms of the contract were not released.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Brisbee: David DeJesus, Cubs Reach Agreement

The first move from Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to fix an offense that scored 4.04 runs per game—just below the league average—was to grab DeJesus, whose career on-base percentage is .356. The former Royal and Athletic also plays a pretty good right field, if that’s your thing.

It wasn’t exactly dirt cheap, though, as DeJesus will get two years and $10 million with a third-year option, according to Jon Heyman. DeJesus is coming off the worst year of his career, as he hit just .240/.323/.376 in ...

JE (Jason) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:10 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Greg Maddux joins Rangers

Greg Maddux is leaving the Chicago Cubs again.

Maddux joined the Texas Rangers, where his brother Mike is the pitching coach, as a special assistant.

“Yeah, it’s true. I’m going to go work with my brother in Texas,” Maddux told’s Bruce Levine. “I really enjoyed my time with the Cubs, and I’m going to miss the people over there.

“But I can’t pass on an opportunity to work with my brother and the Texas Rangers.”

Maddux, 45, will work with the pitchers as he did with the Cubs. ...

Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:10 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, rangers

Cubs sign OF David DeJesus

Maybe one day they’ll trade him for a Hall of Fame second baseman.

The Cubs and outfielder David DeJesus have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with a club option for the 2014 campaign, the team announced on Wednesday. DeJesus is expected to make $10 million over two years.

DeJesus, who turns 32 next month, joins the Cubs after all or part of nine major league seasons with Kansas City (2003-2010) and Oakland (2011), posting a career .284 batting average (1,077-for-3,797) with 207 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2011 at 12:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Moser: Are the Cubs Interested in Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder?

Anyway, this is a very long way of saying: put yourself in Theo Epstein’s shoes. You’re the most famous exec in baseball; you’re reported to make more than your starting catcher makes. You’re taking over a desultory team—a boring team—with a rich history and an aggravated fan base, with a recent history of shackling itself to long contracts with expensive players who decline precipitously after a couple years of success. (Not to mention that you were recently burned by two free-agent busts ...

Repoz Posted: November 30, 2011 at 02:43 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, sabermetrics

NY POST: Sherman: Red Sox get their lightning rod

Should Peabody have brought Ben Franklin back in the WABAC machine instead?

Bobby Valentine, who makes lifelong friends and enduring enemies in near-equal numbers, has reached an agreement to become the Red Sox manager, completing a process that for most of its duration did not include him. That, in itself, speaks to the current condition of the most neurotic team in the majors.

The Red Sox have become the George Steinbrenner Yankees, and now they have their Billy Martin, a combustible ...

bobm Posted: November 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-30-2011

Milwaukee Journal, November 30, 1911:


KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 30—Fire, resulting from a gas explosion, destroyed a five-story building in this city early today and threatened an entire business block in the center of the retail district.

Two floors of the burned building were a billiard hall and bowling alley owned by John Kling, the famous baseball catcher.

Kling sat out the 1909 season, either because he wanted to run his billiard hall or because he couldn’t come ...

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: November 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MASN: Wood: Looking back at Don Lock

Don Lock always looked as if he had proudly volunteered to walk point at the Second Battle of Quang Tri.


After a strong start at Triple-A Richmond in 1962, the Yankees traded Lock to the second-year Senators for veteran first baseman/pinch hitter Dale Long on July 11. (I thought it was cool at the time that they’d traded two players with the same initials.) Long had been drafted from the Yankees in the December 1960 expansion draft, and they wanted him back for his bat off the bench. Lock ...

Repoz Posted: November 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history, nationals

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