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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Stagnant attendance means Rays owner Stuart Sternberg can’t buy the bats the team needs

Poof! The Elugelab test results are in…

In other words, this might be as good as it gets for Tampa Bay baseball. The crowds are probably not going to get significantly better, and the payroll isn’t going to go up, and the Rays still aren’t likely to have enough hitting. They seemed destined to be limited, doomed to be flawed.

If that disappoints you, you should see it from Sternberg’s viewpoint.

• “It won’t be my decision, or solely my decision. But eventually, major-league baseball is ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 05, 2011 at 09:33 AM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, rays

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-5-2011

AP via Calgary Herald, October 5, 1986:

Cleveland Indians’ pitcher Phil Niekro, who has won 311 games, added another accomplishment to his illustrious career Saturday.  The 47-year-old knuckleball pitcher stole his first base—literally.

...

Niekro, in full uniform and wearing a red napkin over his face like a mask, burst out of Cleveland’s first-base dugout.  Niekro ran towards second base and dove headfirst into the bag.  Niekro looked up at second base umpire Vic Voltaggio, who gave a safe ...

Read More...

MLB.com: D-backs’ grand homecoming forces Game 4

A return home seemed to be what the Arizona Diamondbacks needed as they used an outstanding pitching performance from Josh Collmenter and a grand slam by Paul Goldschmidt to breeze past the Brewers, 8-1, in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday.

The D-backs still have a hill to climb as they trail the best-of-five series 2-1 and need a win in Wednesday’s Game 4 to force a decisive game in Milwaukee on Friday.

NTNgod Posted: October 05, 2011 at 04:46 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, brewers, game recaps

MLB.com: With plenty of help, Burnett forces Game 5

A.J. Burnett and the Yankees staved off elimination with a 10-1 victory over the Tigers in Game 4 on Tuesday at Comerica Park.

Originally slated to be in New York’s bullpen during this series, Burnett rose to the occasion, delivering 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball to prolong the Yankees’ season for at least another two days.

Two terrific catches by center fielder Curtis Granderson aided the effort, as the former Tigers star patrolled his old stomping grounds with aplomb.

NTNgod Posted: October 05, 2011 at 03:56 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers, yankees

L.A. Times: Angels send message with resignation of GM Tony Reagins

Wells struggled all year to hit .220, but fans seem to have a sense that he is a decent guy whose 2011 may have been more aberration than trend. Napoli is a different story.

Reagins traded him away and all sorts of bad things happened. He got traded again, this time to the rival Texas Rangers. Then, he had a year with Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza-like numbers, a good portion of that against the Angels. He hit several homers at the Big A that seemed to descend into the distant bleachers from ...

Read More...
Tripon Posted: October 05, 2011 at 02:50 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, rangers

Jim Crane says no movement on AL as Nov. 30 deadlines looms

Prospective Astros owner Jim Crane has had increased dialogue of late about a potential move to the American League, but Crane said he has yet to receive a formal proposal from Major League Baseball for any sort of compensation for the move.

Crane also said that should the Nov. 30 expiration date of his contract with Drayton McLane lapse, he would likely walk away, but left some door open to renegotiate in what is now his fourth attempt to buy a baseball team.

[...]

“We’ve been asked at ...

Read More...
Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 05, 2011 at 01:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business

MLB.com: [Ben] Francisco’s homer puts Phillies up 2-1

[Jaime] Garcia had allowed a combined three earned runs in four career starts against the Phillies and had cruised through six innings until Ben Francisco hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the seventh in a 3-2 victory that gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

The Phillies can clinch a trip to their fourth consecutive NL Championship Series with a victory in Game 4 on Wednesday.

NTNgod Posted: October 05, 2011 at 12:36 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, game recaps, phillies

MiLB.com: Astros prospect killed in auto accident

Sad.

Dustin Kellogg, the Astros’ 34th-round pick in this year’s Draft, was killed late Monday when the pickup truck he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer in Porter, Texas, authorities said.
...
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Kellogg was traveling south on FM 1314 when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and struck an 18-wheeler at 11:40 p.m. CT.

 

Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2011 at 12:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, minor leagues

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

MLB.com: Belt-Trey: Three homers power Texas to ALCS

Adrian Beltre, 1-for-11 in the first three games, hit a playoff-record-tying three home runs as the Rangers advanced to the AL Championship Series with a 4-3 victory over the Rays in Game 4 on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. Neftali Feliz earned his third save in three games to preserve the victory for Matt Harrison and touched off another raucous ginger ale and champagne celebration in the visiting clubhouse.
...
Ian Kinsler also hit a home run on the second pitch of the game from Rays starter ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: October 04, 2011 at 11:22 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rangers, rays

AJC/O’Brien: A year later, Heyward’s future seems less certain

I’ll say this: If the Braves even consider offering Jason Heyward in a trade, there should be 29 teams lining up to bid.

The mere fact that there was even mention of the possibility – rumored or otherwise – says something of how bad a season Heyward had, and how perception of the 22-year-old has already changed in some quarters.

Few people in baseball will be shocked if Heyward bounces back from an alarming second season – .227 average, .319 on-base percentage, 34 extra-base hits, 42 ...

Read More...
Mike Emeigh Posted: October 04, 2011 at 11:10 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Timo Perez, 3 others suspended

Former big leaguer Timo Perez and three other players have been suspended 50 games for violating the minor league drug program.

Major League Baseball announced the penalties on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old Perez hit .304 with Triple-A Toledo in the Detroit system this year. He is currently a free agent.

Also suspended were Oakland outfielder Mitchell LeVier, free agent catcher Oscar Rodriguez and free agent pitcher Kelvin Santana.

Thanks to Jeezo.

Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 10:02 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: special topics

Hale: Tony LaRussa Hates Brad Pitt

ARF: Anti Range Factor.

Tony LaRussa invented baseball. Everyone knows that. So when someone else gets credit for an alternative take on his game, he gets mad. Rightfully so.

And you can bet LaRussa did plunk down $12 of his hard-earned drinkin’ money to see “Moneyball” last weekend because that trash isn’t part of his game.

With that in mind, LaRussa decided to swap his corner outfielders today, moving Lance Berkman to left and Allen Craig to right. Why? Here’s his answer…

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 09:08 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, sabermetrics

Group Calls “Foul” on Major League Baseball’s Partnership with Radical Environmental Activists

(grumble) Just soup up some of those old Ed Koch Talking Broom street sweeper trucks and move ‘em around a bit! (end nitwitted grumble)

Major League Baseball’s relationship with a group of environmental extremists is drawing criticism from experts at the National Center for Public Policy Research who believe that taking good care of the environment, like baseball, should be a uniting factor, instead of a divisive one.

“MLB’s partnership with the radical Natural Resources Defense Council ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 08:32 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, special topics

Biz of Baseball: Despite Dodgers, Rays, Astros, and Rain, MLB Sees Attendance Increase

Adds Maury…“Yeah, well you’re going to need a lot more than the “extra 2%” on that attendance figure.”

Despite the wettest season that resulted in the most rainouts since 1997, Major League Baseball saw a slight increase in paid attendance from 2010 for the 2011 regular season. Baseball saw an increase of under 1 percent (0.71%) with a total attendance of 73,451,522 over 2,420 games, or just shy of 400,000 more tickets sold than last year (397,715) when the league drew 73,053,807 over 2,424 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 08:07 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media

Jordan Schafer arrested on drug charge

TAMPA, Fla.—Houston Astros’ outfielder Jordan Schafer has been arrested in Florida and charged with felony possession of marijuana.

According to an arrest report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office, Schafer was arrested early Tuesday morning in Tampa after a traffic stop and was released on a $2,000 cash bond. It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney.

A police report says that a black Land Rover driven by Schafer with its windows open pulled up next to a police car. Police say officers ...

Read More...
Rants Mulliniks Posted: October 04, 2011 at 07:26 PM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: general

CNBC: Tampa Bay Rays: ‘Moneyball’ the Post Season

Darren Rovell: Former Goldman Sachs Partner Stuart Sternberg became owner of the Tampa Bay Rays. He hired a junior investment banker from Goldman Sachs to be his partner. Stuart, what—is there something about Wall Street that allows you to be this Moneyball-type team?

Stuart Sternberg: The anti-Moneyball, I guess you’d call it. If we had the money. Yeah, we took a business person’s approach, an analytical approach to getting this done and I think it served us well.

Rovell: Your team was ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 04, 2011 at 06:57 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Sequel to Moneyball Receives Green Light

The story of the New York Yankees and their strategy for success.

NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 04, 2011 at 05:11 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Angels need a new vision from next general manager

...in the aftermath of the debacle that was the trade in which Vernon Wells was imported and Mike Napoli was exported, Mike Scioscia said he was just the manager.

The way Scioscia explained the trade last week, Napoli was coming off an injury that might have restricted him to first base, where the Angels expected Kendrys Morales to play.

“We needed to get better in the outfield,” Scioscia told reporters, “so some decisions were made by Tony and Arte as to what the team would look like.”

That ...

Read More...
Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 04, 2011 at 05:08 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: angels


O’Connor: CC Sabathia was to blame for New York Yankees’ Game 3 loss

He’s also paid to honor the franchise mission statement, which makes no mention of a first-round exit. But Sabathia put the Yanks on the brink of elimination by failing to protect the 2-0 lead handed him in the first inning, and by failing to honor his $161 million contract—or the pending opt-out from that contract—on a night when his teammates somehow managed to score four runs on Verlander.

...CC didn’t blame the weird run-up to this game, thanks to Friday night’s weather, and he didn’t ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 04:41 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, yankees

Megdal: The Price of Loyalty

Howard adds…“As Dave (Cameron) wrote on Twitter, “We don’t really disagree.” If only I’d told him to get his head out of a spreadsheet…”

With two championships on his resume, and a commensurate contract, the Cubs wouldn’t be likely to give him just two years, the way the Dodgers did with Paul DePodesta. And make no mistake, any Moneyball-inspired GM is still facing an anti-stats clique in the media that is significant- precisely what helped to bring DePodesta down.  To the extent that any ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 04:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets, sabermetrics

ESPN: Szymborski : Playoff experience doesn’t matter (INSIDER)

Last week, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon made a surprising decision when he announced that rookie left-hander Matt Moore would start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers. Moore wasn’t just a rookie, but a rookie with one major league start under his belt who spent more than half the year with the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. The decision worked out well, as Moore shut down the 96-win Rangers on their home turf for seven innings.

In this case, ability trumped experience, and the ...

Read More...
Dan Szymborski Posted: October 04, 2011 at 03:36 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

ALDS and NLDS ELIMINATION DAY QUADRUPLE HEADER CHATTER

Rangers-Rays 2 pm
Phillies-Cardinals 5:00
Yankees-Burnett (Er, I mean Yankees-Tigers) 8:30
Brewers-Dbacks 9:30

The Yankees, DBacks and Rays fight for survival, the Phillies and Cards fight for a edge.

(And the Yankees-Burnett was originally a typo, but as soon as I saw that I decided to keep it, since I bet the Yankee fans agree with it)

Gamingboy Posted: October 04, 2011 at 02:49 PM | 872 comment(s)
  Beats: general

What Is Theo Epstein Worth? | FanGraphs Baseball

I am positive this is the case.

That brings up a pretty interesting question – what is a Major League General Manager worth? As Buster Olney wrote over the weekend, GMs draw salaries in the range of $800,000 to $2.5 million per season, and their supporting staff make significantly less than that. Olney quoted a “high ranking executive” as saying that “you could fund an unbelievable front office for what it takes to pay a couple of utility infielders.” And he’s right – the cost of ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2011 at 02:00 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, red sox, rumors, sabermetrics

Rico Brogna: Mets Should Say Goodbye To Jose Reyes

Rico Act Offenses: Pro-Met Life Activists.

Personally, after scouting Reyes and the Mets for many recent years, I would let Jose go and let him hit the market. I have my own personal criteria and value chart that I have put together through the years (mainly shaped from teams that I gave worked with and learned from) and in this particular player’s case, the value is not a fit for me.

Too many inconsistencies and unpredictability with this player to sign long term — and probably have to ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fantasy baseball, mets

Hofmann: Home sweet OPS for Ryan Howard

Until this day, I’d always thought there was only one real reality!

“It’s just being home, playing against my hometown team,” Howard said. “I don’t know. I think it’s when guys get a chance to play in front of their hometown team, where it all began, family and friends, it’s something different. It’s just, I guess, maybe a little bit more natural.”

This, of course, is just one more thing about Howard that will make the sabermetricians cringe. There is no number, after all, that can ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 09:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, phillies

The Real McCoy: Moneyball the Movie: Yawn, yawn, yawn

they came to stay in sunny Oakland, Cal-i-for-ni-ay.

Wasted $7.75 Saturday night (senior citizens half-price ticket - age has its privileges) to view Moneyball. While it is a nice baseball movie, there isn’t much substance to it.

Right up front, I am not a Moneyball guy. I don’t subscribe to many of the Bill James theories on which Moneyball is based. He doesn’t believe in sacrifice bunts (a waste of an out) and puts no value into stolen bases (one of baseball’s exciting plays).

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 09:10 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, media, sabermetrics

Ron Washington says he could have made A’s winners

“I paid the cost to be the boss.”

The Rangers are making another World Series bid, and A’s fans might wonder what might have happened had Ron Washington managed in Oakland.

Washington has an idea.

“If I took this team over when I went to Texas, I believe the same thing we did in Texas, we’d be doing here,” said Washington, referring to Oakland. “Billy (Beane) had that chance. I’m not saying he didn’t want me, but he went in another direction, and another team wanted me.”

Washington, whose ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 04, 2011 at 08:53 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-4-2011

Pittsburgh Press, October 4, 1911:

Tub Spencer, former Philly backstop, who was sold to Louisville a few weeks ago by the Phillies, announced today he had retired from baseball…Spencer’s father, who is a millionaire presented Eddie with a check for $50,000 as soon as he made his decision.

The Toledo News-Bee adds:

Tubby Spencer, ex-Saint, given $50,000 by a fond papa for retiring from the Phillies, immediately tried to become a financier by betting $5,000 to $4,200 on the Athletics [in the ...

Read More...
Dan Lee tips his cap respectfully to JackVincennes Posted: October 04, 2011 at 08:21 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB.com: Gutsy Verlander puts Tigers a win from ALCS

And after eight innings from [Verlander] in a 5-4 win, the Tigers are a win away from taking this AL Division Series with a 2-1 lead.

Minutes after Brett Gardner’s game-tying two-run double in the seventh inning brought a Verlander gem to a halt, Delmon Young’s second home run of the series gave him the lead back. Verlander didn’t waste it, working through the middle of the Yankees order. He had another two-out walk, the flaw that began New York’s tying rally an inning earlier, yet recovered ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: October 04, 2011 at 04:39 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers, yankees

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