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Monday, October 17, 2011

Thomason: Braves Journal: I wish I had good news.

For those of you who’ve been around for a while, you probably know Mac Thomason. He’s been blogging at Braves Journal since at least 1998.  Braves Journal is certainly the oldest Braves blog still in operation, and it’s one of the oldest of all baseball blogs. He’s been battling cancer for a while, and things have just gotten worse.

We’re not giving up. We are, if we can, going to talk to the doctor in Indianapolis with whom I talked last year, and see if he has any ideas. There is a ...

Read More...
J.C. Bradbury Posted: October 17, 2011 at 06:19 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Netherlands wins Baseball World Cup

Lost in the awesomeness of the postseason: The Honkballers triumphed over the Cubans to win the IBAF World Cup. It’s the first time a European team has won a major baseball tournament since 1938 (when a all-star team from the UK’s short-lived semi-pro league beat a team of Americans).
Canada took the bronze when the Bronze Medal game rained out, because they held a head-to-head tiebreaker with Team USA.

Gamingboy Posted: October 17, 2011 at 06:09 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Gelinas: A bailout brews in the Bronx

No one ever said so outright, but bondholders were plainly supposed to assume that, because Bronx Parking’s board is stacked with city officials and city officials talked up the bonds, that the city was there should the deal run into trouble.

It sure didn’t make sense on the merits. The old parking lots generated $7 million a year, but the new lots were supposed to pay twice that in annual debt costs. And Bronx Parking can’t just raise prices to fill the gap. Not many folks will pay $35 ...

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JE (Jason) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 06:06 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: business, special topics, yankees

ESPN.com: Jon Lester: Beer Drinking ‘Wrong’

The self-criticism sessions have begun:

“There’s a perception out there that we were up there getting hammered and that wasn’t the case,” Lester said, according to the Boston Globe. “Was it a bad habit? Yes. I should have been on the bench more than I was. But we just played bad baseball as a team in September. We stunk. To be honest, we were doing the same things all season when we had the best record in baseball.”
. . .
Lester did tell the paper “it was the wrong thing to do,” saying “it ...

Read More...
The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 17, 2011 at 05:04 PM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, rumors

NPR: Crack! Smack! Conk!: Do Home Runs Make Boring Baseball?

Desmond Doomsday approaches!

It’s an argument baseball fans have been having ... well, forever: Home Runs, Yay versus Home Runs, Boo. They’ll dress it up more than that, but that’s all it is.

Arguments in favor: a towering home run is an awfully impressive achievement, it sounds great and looks awesome (if you’ve never heard a really big hit in person, it’s weird how loud it is), and that it’s a display of raw power that baseball doesn’t otherwise necessarily offer. Moreover, in special ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 04:50 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Officer.com: Fla. Trooper’s Death Haunts Family After 50 Years

Even though Baseball-Reference has Edwin Gasque as still being alive!

The University of Tampa gave Eddie a full scholarship to play baseball. He pitched so well for two years, the Cleveland Indians drafted him and gave him a $25,000 bonus and a ticket to the minor leagues.

At 19, he won 13 games for the Daytona Beach Islanders. He met Kate at the beach and they married on Sept. 22, 1951. The next season, “The Big Q” won 20 of 27 decisions. He expected Cleveland would call him up any minute, ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:25 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: history, indians, minor leagues, obituaries

MGL: Starters and Relievers in the 9th Inning and Score Differential

And so it shall be, MGL…so it shall be.

There has been much discussion (and research) on the relative performances of starters and relievers in the 9th inning.  Preliminary results suggest that starters perform much better in the 9th inning, relative to their overall performance, than do relievers, even considering that they are facing the opposing lineup for the 4th time through the order.  The speculation is that these starters are having “on” days, their managers and coaches can ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:07 PM | 169 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics

NYBD: Silva: Bobby Valentine, Executive Producer, But What’s Next?

Wrappin’ with Bobby V…

When I asked him if the new “Moneyball” front office, which demands too much vertical “command and control” from the top-down, is an impediment to his reentry into baseball, he reminded me that he was practicing “Moneyball” twenty-five years ago. “In 1986 I had a sabermetrician on my staff (Craig Wright), and he was there through the time I was fired,” Valentine reminded me. “For people to think the whole world has changed because a movie came out or ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 01:31 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, sabermetrics, television

BPP: The Dynamic Duo, 1959-1966: When Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax ruled

You wouldn’t think this was put together by rocket scientists…but it was. Dr. Vassilios E. Haloulakos and his son George A. Haloulakos.

In this instance, Newton’s law is applied because when the baseball deflects the air in one direction, the air must deflect the baseball in the opposite direction. The resulting Magnus force causes the ball to travel a curved flight path. From this, we can infer the following:

  If the spin axis on the baseball is vertically aligned, counterclockwise spin ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 10:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history, sabermetrics, special topics

Brewers: Marcum struggles after getting controversial start

Shaun of the dead Brewers: In a time of crisis a hero must rise…from his manager’s chair.

Afterward, Roenicke didn’t back down from his belief in starting Marcum, who surrendered three hits, four earned runs and walking one in taking the loss.

“I know it was the right decision. I’m not second-guessing anything,” Roenicke said. “It was the right decision with the options that we had. These guys pitched well all year; still thought that they had good starts in them. Wasn’t expecting that to ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 09:50 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals

Henning: Tigers owner Mike Ilitch will pay to patch the holes

Weeee! More fun than Hennings’ Crystal Think-Outside-The-Box Illusion!

It brings us to filling the biggest void on the Tigers roster heading into 2012, which is now the mission following Saturday night’s loss to the Rangers and end to the Tigers’ immediate dream of winning the 2011 World Series.

They need speed, and they need a second baseman.

Welcome, Jose Reyes.

...Those who say (Austin) Jackson will never be a leadoff batter have 2011 as their evidence. Whether he bats leadoff, or ninth, ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 09:23 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Longhorn infielder arrested for evading arrest, marijuana possession

Didn’t the Cardinals have Jordan Etier high on their draft chart?

Jordan Etier, an infielder with the University of Texas Longhorns baseball team, was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with two misdemeanors: Evading Arrest and Possession of Marijuana (less than 2 oz.).

According to a police affidavit, a person witnessed two men urinating beneath a pedestrian bridge on the 1800 block of Trinity Street and told a nearby police officer.

When the officer approached the two, Etier took off ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 09:16 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: college, special topics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-17-2011

A recap of game three of the World’s Series, from the October 17, 1911 edition of the Toledo News-Bee:

NINTH INNING.

Philadelphia—Herzog threw out Collins.  BAKER HIT INTO THE RIGHT FIELD GRANDSTAND FOR A HOME RUN.  Murphy was safe on Herzog’s fumble.  He went to second when Herzog threw the ball over Merkle’s head.  Davis sacrificed, Meyers to Merkle.  Herzog threw out Barry. —ONE RUN

And thus, a nickname was born.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: October 17, 2011 at 09:03 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hall of fame, history

L.A. Times: Frank and Jamie McCourt reach settlement involving Dodgers

Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement under which she would get about $130 million and relinquish any claim to a share of the Dodgers, multiple people familiar with the agreement told The Times.

The settlement would remove Jamie McCourt as an obstacle to Frank McCourt’s plan to retain ownership of the team by selling the Dodgers’ television rights in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The agreement also would appear to set up a winner-take-all court showdown for the Dodgers between ...

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Tripon Posted: October 17, 2011 at 07:30 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Chad Moriyama: Matt Kemp & Rihanna Rumored To Be Back Together, Fans Panic

As the story goes, Matt Kemp‘s 2010 was ruined because he was distracted due to his relationship with pop star Rihanna. No, it wasn’t his horribly flawed swing that was to blame, because that would require actual analysis, it was his girlfriend (and if that sounded like a canned scene from “Moneyball“…yeah).

So as I’ve come to expect, with the recent rumor that they are back together again, Dodgers fans have resumed flipping out over whether to sign him to an extension or not, ...

Read More...
Tripon Posted: October 17, 2011 at 06:12 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, media, rumors, special topics

Cardinals outslug Brewers to cruise into World Series

An afterthought in early September, the St. Louis Cardinals are taking their wild ride all the way to the World Series.

David Freese hit a three-run homer in the first and manager Tony La Russa turned again to his brilliant bullpen for seven sturdy innings as St. Louis captured its 18th pennant with a 12-6 victory over the bumbling Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday night.

Albert Pujols and the wild-card Cardinals took out the heavily favored Phillies in the first round, then dispatched the ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 04:04 AM | 145 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, game recaps

Sullivan: Epstein’s arrival will enhance Cubs’ move toward analytics, sabermetrics

Tweak it to Carmen…and the fan zone will be solidly behind it!

According to a recent report in Sports Illustrated, Carmine is “the virtual brains of the Boston operation,” and Epstein “never makes a move” without him.

Who is this statistical genius, and why can’t the Cubs pry him loose?

It turns out Carmine is the name of a computer program created by Epstein five years ago to analyze players’ stats and tendencies, and is valued by the Red Sox organization more than some humans.

Of course, ...

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Repoz Posted: October 17, 2011 at 02:56 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Murray Chass: PLAYING BETTER, PAYING LESS

The Yankees and the Phillies received invitations but didn’t stay at the party long. The Red Sox weren’t invited, snubbed for the second successive season. Invitations were not extended either to the Angels, Mets, Cubs, White Sox, Giants or Twins.

Those nine teams spent the most money this year preparing for the big party, and their fancy duds hang in the closet, for the most part unworn. ...


The eight teams that reached the post-season had the lowest collective payroll rankings of ...

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bobm Posted: October 16, 2011 at 09:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business

NYT: Billy Beane

Beane Spill

image

WATCHING I like music documentaries. I just recently saw “We Jam Econo — The Story of the Minutemen,” who were a California punk band from the ’80s. The Minutemen were one of those bands that didn’t really catch on in the mainstream and yet was incredibly influential on other artists that did make it.

The other one that I saw was “Hype!,” which is about the Seattle grunge scene. It has great archive footage of bands like Nirvana and Sound Garden and also Alice in ...

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Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 08:10 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, media, music

Tiger Tales: Crushed

I was prepared for lots of Tigers winning scenarios tonight.  I saw the good Max Scherzer showing up.  I envisioned the Tigers bats picking up where they left off in game five.  I pictured scoreless innings by Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde with Valverde dancing after the last out.  At the same time, I was prepared for plenty of bad scenarios.  Most of them involved a tight game and a heart breaking loss.  I was not prepared for a nine-run third inning by the Rangers….

The game tonight was ...

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fra paolo Posted: October 16, 2011 at 04:23 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: general

NLCS Game 6 Chatter

Cardinals (Edwin Jackson) at Brewers (Marcum). 8:05 PM. TBS.

Cardinals lead series 3-2.

The Texas Rangers have, as you all know, advanced to the World Series.

Gamingboy Posted: October 16, 2011 at 02:18 PM | 489 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Shea: Oakland A’s have the right location, wrong stadium

And good luck to ya with that Continental League of Professional Baseball Clubs idea, Shea!

The infrastructure is in place, and BART trains are running. It’s not downtown or bayside, but it’s easier to enter and exit than other proposed Oakland sites. Tearing down and rebuilding a baseball park in the same location is nothing new. It was done by the Cardinals, Phillies, Reds, Braves, White Sox, Yankees and Mets.

...The minute the football teams put their signatures to a stadium kumbaya, the ...

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Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 01:16 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, giants, media

Knobler: Rangers aren’t sitting on their AL throne without Michael Young

Well…didn’t Joe Buck call Michael Young “arguably the best hitter in franchise history”. So there’s that.

The Rangers didn’t need Cliff Lee to get back to the World Series.

They did need Michael Young.

They weren’t severely damaged on that night in December, when Lee turned down their millions to sign with the Phillies. But they may well have been saved on those days in February, when they didn’t trade Young.

The Rangers without Lee are American League champions, just as they were with him. ...

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Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, history, rangers, tigers

Sherman: Yanks will look for in-house offseason fixes

Time to pull out Sherman’s My Son, the Fable Singer...or whatever it was.

“Our offense is fine, it doesn’t make any sense to allocate more dollars and risk there,” another official said. “Even if we lose CC [Sabathia], what sense would it make to spend the money on more offense when what we need would be starting pitching.”

In fact, despite all of the over-heated speculation about what the Yankees will do this offseason, a combination of reporting and instinct leads me to think they ...

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Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 12:29 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, yankees

Strauss: La Russa is leaving observers in awe with his strategic moves ?

To the surprise of probably no one, Tony La Russa claims Major League Baseball’s postseason as his favorite time of year. Every game carries mountainous importance. In many cases, such as the Cardinals’ current alignment against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL championship series, an extra reliever or two allows an aggressive manager to run uninhibited through his bullpen.

To detractors, October takes La Russa to his extreme, turning him into a 4-year-old on a sugar rush surrounded by a ...

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Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals

Ostler: Knuckleheads of the week: Baseball writers

Knucklehead Smiff, I’ve heard off. Knucklehead Whiff, not so much.

Lance Berkman is the NL Comeback Player of the Year? That, my fellow ink-stained wretches of the Baseball Writers Association of America, is a whiff.

Ryan Vogelsong came back from the other side of the world, geographically (Japan), and from the other side of the universe, emotionally. Don’t you guys watch Showtime?

Berkman had a fine season after shedding 20 pounds last winter. So what he came back from was being fat. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 03:56 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, giants

Green: With troubles in biggest markets, baseball’s center of stability is in Detroit

And another jewel franchise…

image

For example, if Major League Baseball is stable, Bud’s three most vital jewels are not. They used to be, but they were not in 2011.

The Yankees, baseball’s anchor franchise, are mired in a period of super expenses beset with dysfunctional thinking.

The Red Sox, the Yankees’ natural rivals (read enemies), are in a state of serious turmoil.

And the Dodgers? They are bankrupt. And Bud has been prodding — thus far without success — owner Frank McCourt to ...

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Repoz Posted: October 16, 2011 at 12:18 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: business, tigers

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fairservice: DIPS Theory is Not a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

DIPS & FIPS…Zack Greinke ain’t doing alright.

The stats suggested Greinke’s performances were far better than his results let on. Others observed something not quite the same in Greinke’s lights-out assortment of pitches; wondering if he had a much greater hand his own demise than Fielding Independent Pitching statistics indicate.

The oft-discussed porous Brewers defense dominated the game stories after they punt, pass, and kicked themselves right out of a pivotal playoff game. The timing ...

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Repoz Posted: October 15, 2011 at 06:20 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, sabermetrics

Kaplan: Red Sox playing hardball with Cubs

Why Larry Lucchino has never worked for the Yankees is one of life’s greatest mysteries.

Another baseball executive I spoke with tonight believes that the Red Sox are dealing from a position of strength because of Lucchino and his willingness to play extreme hardball in the negotiations.

“The Red Sox hold the cards here because they have their new GM in Ben Cherington and they control Theo for the next 12 months. If they want they can force Theo to stay in Boston or on the sidelines for the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 15, 2011 at 06:05 PM | 478 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, media, red sox

ALCS Game 6 Chatter

Tigers (Scherzer) at Rangers (Holland), 8:05. FOX.

Gamingboy Posted: October 15, 2011 at 03:06 PM | 412 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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