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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Posnanski: Crafty Lefty Hall of Fame

in Mike Flanagan’s honor, I’ve come up with the Crafty Lefty Hall of Fame. To find my first Crafty Lefty class, I came up with what I consider the quintessential Crafty Lefty performance… I’m looking for lefties who pitched AT LEAST 7 1/3 innings, scattered AT LEAST 8 hits, gave up AT MOST 3 runs, and struck out AT MOST 3 batters. Mike Flanagan did this 11 times, tying him with other crafty lefties Bob Knepper, Ken Brett and his one-time teammate Mike Cuellar.

Here are the crafty lefties who have done it the most often over the last 50 years—and so, the first class in the Crafty Lefty Hall of Fame…

Tommy John (42 times)... Claude Osteen (35 times)... Scott McGregor (28 times)... Mike Caldwell (25 times)... Paul Splittorff (24 times)

...Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:59 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks

Dewan: First Baseman Scoops

Whoops… forgot some of this stuff was free now!

Time and time again, announcers refer to a first baseman’s ability to save errant throws by scooping them out of the dirt, but the baseball community has had no way of objectively confirming commentators’ observations.

Bill James devised an answer to this problem and related questions with the Good Fielding Plays and Defensive Misplays systems.  Baseball Info Solutions’ video scouts now track 28 categories of Good Fielding Plays (GFP) and 54 Defensive Misplays & Errors (DME), including GFP #7 “Handling Difficult Throw”, which includes traditional first baseman scoops, and GFP #8 “Catches Wild Throw” which saves an overthrow but pulls the fielder off the base… BIS’s video scouts also ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:50 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

A different approach

Being stuck in the AL East has hurt the Blue Jays for years.  It’s hard to keep up with New York and Boston’s all-star teams and the Rays have been building up to this point.  How are the Blue Jays and Orioles expected to compete?

The Blue Jays are in a tough spot; They have one of the best hitters in the game, Jose Bautista.  So if they rebuild with prospects they will be wasting Bautista’s talent.  What Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has done is target talented players that have worn out their welcome with their prior team.  It started last year when Anthopoulos traded aging defensive shortstop, Alex Gonzalez, to Atlanta for younger Yunel Escobar who offers a much more dangerous bat.  In Atlanta last year Escobar was hitting .237 with ...

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Paul D(uda) Posted: August 25, 2011 at 03:03 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Joe Maddon calls Detroit Tigers’ barking over Sean Rodriguez’s hustle ‘insane’

Ooooooooooooooooooooo….Do The Continental Catwalk!

As odd as the ending to Wednesday’s game was, manager Joe Maddon said it couldn’t have been more fitting that Sean Rodriguez’s extreme hustle was the key to the Rays’ win.

That’s because Tuesday, Rodriguez was getting yelled at by Detroit starter Brad Penny and possibly some other Tigers for hustling too much running hard on an infield pop out.

“For anybody to bark at another player for … hustling is absolutely insane, ludicrous,’’ Maddon said. “And if Sean had just charged the mound, I’d have been fine with that at that particular moment.

“I think that’s ridiculous, and then he shows them (Wednesday) what that means to play hard. So any time a guy gets on another guy because he’s ...

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Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 02:17 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, tigers

Hurricane Irene, or poor baseball? Fan counts people in stands at Florida Marlins game, gets 347

Reminds me of the time I went to see the Yankees play and I…was…the…only…one…there! (okay..so it was Jon Tiven’s Yankees)

image

Marlins fan Justin Cohen noticed a few empty seats at Sun Life Stadium -not exactly a rarity - on a sunny Wednesday afternoon for Game 1 of a doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds.

He decided he would count the number of fans in attendance.

By hand.

He then posted his unofficial findings on Twitter…347 die-hards in the building.

Just in case you were wondering, Sun Life holds 38,560 fans for baseball.

...Cohen later tweeted the attendance was “only for game 1. Remember it was a rescheduled game on a workday with a hurricane coming…but still.”

Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 01:29 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: business, game recaps, media, miami

BtB: Q&A with SaberWizard Tom Tango

On the other hand, if there is one misconception that the average saberguy doesn’t quite understand, what would it be?

That there’s uncertainty in whatever we do, so only defend what you do as far as the numbers allow.

Other than the coming Field F/x, what territory is most ripe for analytical improvement?

Any of the SportVision or Trackman data, really, as its the one place where you will get convergence on performance analysis and scouting observations.  And that will be the pinnacle of sabermetrics.

Last, I’m pretty sure I’ve read you saying that it doesn’t matter if Sabermetrics goes mainstream. Considering we’re seeing the adoption of WAR on mainstream ESPN broadcasts now, is there any danger if it does?

Danger?  I suppose the ...

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Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 12:48 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, projections, sabermetrics, site news

Hartnett: Yankees Deserve Better From Teixeira

Homer in the groanin’...

His numbers as a whole have taken a slide each year as a Yankee.  While still putting up terrific power statistics, Teixeira’s batting average and on-base percentage have fallen steadily in each of the past two years.  In 2010, his average dropped to .256 and OBP fell to .365.  This year, those statistics have again taken a nosedive as Teixeira is batting .248 with a diminished OBP of .346.

This isn’t what the Yankees expected from a player that they’re paying $22.5 million dollars annually.  From his second major league season with the Texas Rangers to his first year in New York, Mark was a minimum .281 hitter.  In his last two seasons before hitting the free agent market, Teixeira batted .306 and .308 ...

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Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 12:39 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, projections, red sox, sabermetrics, yankees

Pete Rose expects Ichiro to fall short of 200-hit record

and Pachinko payout systems bite!

The all-time hits leader Pete Rose does not think Ichiro Suzuki will take the title for the most 200-hit seasons in major league history anytime soon.

“I don’t think he’s going to make it this year,” said Rose. “He’s put himself into a corner this year. He’s just not hitting.”

...Rose said he was not aware of the record when he achieved the feat during his playing days.

“When I got that record, I didn’t realize that it was going to be a record some day,” he said. “If I did, the two years I got 198 hits, I would have to do something to get more hits,” he said in reference to his 1972 and 1978 seasons with the Reds.

...He said the right-fielder should not change his approach to the game by trying to hit ...

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Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan, mariners, projections, sabermetrics

Kelly Johnson disappointed to leave Diamondbacks

See…now I’m tempted to pull out my repulsive Amphetamine Reptile Thrown Ups biz.

Johnson says he’ll be following his old team from afar, but he’s also looking forward to a new start in Toronto and playing in the American League East. In reference to his new division, former teammate Mark Reynolds, who now plays for the Baltimore Orioles, sent Johnson a text that read: “Welcome to the big leagues.”

He expects his new club to be a little more welcoming to his style of play compared to the Diamondbacks, whose general manager, Kevin Towers, said the team had “lost patience” with Johnson’s slumps and wanted a more contact-oriented lineup.

“The difference is, I think ‘KT’ would rather throw up three times a day after eating than have his team ...

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Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, blue jays

Slusser: Speculation about A’s GM Billy Beane

Beane to the Cubs? Well…at least he won’t have to worry about his #### not working in the playoffs. (zi~ducks chair~ng)

There is increasing thought among baseball people, including some who know him well, that A’s general manager Billy Beane might consider an offer if the Cubs do approach him about their GM vacancy, as expected.

It’s no secret that the A’s higher-ups are frustrated about the glacial pace of Major League Baseball’s panel looking at a potential Oakland move. Within the A’s organization, there is concern that if the ownership group does not get approval to build a stadium in San Jose that the team might be sold and that Beane, who has a minority stake in the A’s, would head elsewhere.

Beane is signed through 2014, but his ...

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Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 10:51 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, cubs, rumors, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-25-2011

Pittsburgh Press, August 25, 1911:

Just before the game yesterday a telegram was handed to Rube Marquard, and after reading it he started on a still hunt for the Marquis of Queensberry.  The message was intended for the titled Englishman…It got into Rube’s hands because an absent-minded telegraph operator, whose thoughts still lingered on Monday’s game, had addressed it to the Marquis of Marquard.

It’s a good thing Jason Marquis wasn’t around back then.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 25, 2011 at 08:44 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, dugout, history

Seattle Times: Wily Mo Pena’s big day starts with something rare — a walk

East coast earthquakes, Sean Burroughs home runs, Wily Mo Pena walks…. what’s next?

Pena is known for his aversion to walks. It was his first free pass in 68 plate appearances this season between Arizona and Seattle.

“I felt so good after I took the first walk,” Pena said. “They tried to give me a lot of inside stuff, and I just let those pitches go. That’s why I had such a good game, because I let those bad pitches go.”

Pena is notorious for one other thing — his ability to hit the ball a mile. He displayed that in his next at-bat, a two-run homer to center, his second as a Mariner. It went out in the deepest part of Progressive Field.
...
Pena added a double and single, meaning he was just a triple away from the cycle when he ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 25, 2011 at 06:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

STL Post-Dispatch: Fading Cards are willing to deal

After a 9-4 whipping by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, general manager John Mozeliak didn’t necessarily reject that [St. Louis might be sellers] but didn’t anticipate major trade action and said that interest in his players had been marginal.

“Right now, we would consider anything,” Mozeliak told the Post-Dispatch. “If somebody has interest in our players, definitely we would listen. But, as far as potential trades, I don’t feel like we’re likely to be engaged in that.

“A lot of times when you’re dealing with (your own) players who are potential free agents, they do have draft pick value, so that gets weighed into things. But I don’t look at doing any additions unless it really makes sense or has impact for future years.”

The ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 25, 2011 at 05:38 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Gage: Justin Verlander’s dominance is shades of Denny McLain

Swore that read shady Denny McLain.

That’s because, at 210 innings, which is where Verlander is now — they are virtually the same pitcher. If anything, Verlander has the edge.

Verlander is 19-5 at 2092/3 innings. McLain was 20-3 at 2101/3.

Verlander has a 2.28 ERA. McLain had a 2.10 ERA.

Verlander has a .185 opponents’ batting average. McLain had a .197.

Verlander has allowed 139 hits. McLain had allowed 148.

Here’s the difference: Verlander has only seven starts left. When McLain reached 210 innings, he had 15 starts left.

With 15 more starts, would you like Verlander’s chances of winning 30? Thought so.

 

Repoz Posted: August 25, 2011 at 05:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, tigers

Yahoo: Weaver, Angels rout WSox 8-0 in 6th straight win

Since the AL Central seems to have fizzled out lately, at least the AL West is picking up steam as an actual old-school, win-or-go-home pennant race.

Jered Weaver pitched seven innings of four-hit ball in his first start since signing an $85 million contract extension, and Erick Aybar drove in three runs in the Los Angeles Angels’ sixth straight victory, 8-0 over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
...
Torii Hunter homered for the Angels, and Jeff Mathis had a two-run double during a three-run second inning in a dominant finale to their nine-game homestand. Los Angeles’ second straight series sweep and Texas’ 13-2 loss to Boston trimmed the Angels’ deficit in the AL West to just 2 1/2 games before they head into a weekend ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 25, 2011 at 04:50 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, white sox

WBAL: Sources: Mike Flanagan Found Dead

MONKTON, Md. -- Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher and general manager Mike Flanagan was found dead on his Baltimore County property, WBAL-TV 11 Sports Director Gerry Sandusky has confirmed through multiple sources. Baltimore County police and fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost told WBAL-TV 11 News that police officers discovered a man's body alongside a trail in Monkton late Wednesday afternoon. Armacost did not identify the man.
Dan Szymborski Posted: August 25, 2011 at 01:08 AM | 129 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

MLB.com: [Red] Sox preparing Hurricane Irene contingencies

With Hurricane Irene possibly touching down in New England at some point this weekend, the Red Sox are trying to figure out how to best play the entirety of their three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.

Because Sunday might be a complete washout, there have been at least preliminary discussions about playing a doubleheader Saturday.
...
“It sounds like it could be anything from us having trouble getting home [from Texas] to who knows,” said manager Terry Francona. “It sounds like it’s going to be iffy. That [stuff] changes so fast. I don’t know. I know they’re trying to brainstorm.”

TBS has switched this Sunday’s game coverage from Yankees-Orioles to Cubs-Brewers because of the hurricane. ...Read More...

NTNgod Posted: August 25, 2011 at 12:59 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

NY Post: Nick’s far-outfield honeymoon

Don’t forget to try the Qabeli Palau…

Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher is finally taking his new wife, Joanna Garcia, on a honeymoon—to Afghanistan.

Nick and actress Joanna, a star of ABC’s “Better Without You,” plan to visit US troops in November, their first trip since they married last December.

Speaking to us at the Yankees Unite for Tornado Relief event at Southern Hospitality Hell’s Kitchen, Swisher said, “Three military officers came to the Yankee locker room and asked if any of us would like to visit the troops. My hand went straight up, I said, ‘I’m in.’ I knew Joanna would want to go. It will be our first trip since we got married.”

vortex of dissipation Posted: August 25, 2011 at 12:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: international, yankees

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ESPN: Sources: Yankees claim Carlos Pena

Likely looking for some help at designated hitter, the New York Yankees claimed Chicago Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena off trade waivers on Wednesday, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney.

Chicago Tribune: Carlos Pena claimed but probably going nowhere

The Yankees reportedly claimed Pena, but the Cubs don’t seem willing to move him, in part because they owe him money for next season.

ESPN: Heath Bell: Now a ‘waiting game’

The San Francisco Giants claimed San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell on waivers Wednesday… Appearing on ESPN Radio’s “Doug Gottlieb Show” on Wednesday afternoon, Bell said his agent confirmed that the Giants had claimed him and that now it’s a “waiting game.”
...
Baseball sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:53 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, padres, twins, yankees

Yahoo: Morrison rejoins Marlins after brief demotion

Back with the Florida Marlins after an 11-day demotion to the minors, a less loquacious Logan Morrison unpacked his bags and pondered his punishment.

Will the clubhouse comedian now be more reserved? “I’ll be the same person,” Morrison said.
...
“He’s a good kid, really,” manager Jack McKeon said. “He understands the situation, and I’m quite sure you’re going to see a different guy.”
...
“We’ve been looking for that key hit for two weeks,” McKeon said. “Hopefully LoMo can supply that.”

Morrison went only 4 for 24 with New Orleans but said those stats were skewed by a series against the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock.

“They have some pretty good arms,” he said. “It was big-league ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:17 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: miami

HAUTE LIVING MAGAZINE: FEATURE : MARK TEIXEIRA

“Haute Living is targeted towards those who desire—and have the means to experience—the finest things in life.” And this includes that Teixeira pan?

“It’s so much grander, so much more impressive, so much more special than anywhere I’ve been, and I’ve played in some great places,” he said. “But when you come to New York and you see 27 championships, you see Monument Park and all the great players that have played there, when you [put on] the pinstripes, it’s just grander and more special than anything else.”

His wife and college sweetheart Leigh Williams played a big part in his decision to put on the iconic pinstripes.

“I had five teams that I was negotiating with all over the place, you know ‘should I go here, ...

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Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 09:47 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fantasy baseball, media, yankees

TYA Interview With Marc Carig

Found this part interesting…and somewhat familiar.

TYA: Bloggers and twitter users, myself included, often criticize the mainstream media. How do writers tend to take that sort of criticism? Do you think any of it is useful in terms of honing your craft? Do you think it might be more effective and useful if the tone was less acerbic? What would you say to the argument that just as players are public figures who are open to criticism from the MSM, writers put their work product into the public forum and are therefore also open to criticism?

...The day after Derek Jeter collected his 3,000th hit, I wrote a story in which I brought up the possibility that he could be one of the last to reach the milestone, and part of the reason is because ...

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Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 08:37 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news, yankees

Neyer: Brad Mills Pulls ‘Waxahachie Swap’ Tuesday Night

Stock swap!  Let’s swap some stock!

Tuesday night in Denver, Astros manager Brad Mills made one of the most unusual moves a manager will occasionally make, sending his relief pitcher to right field for one batter, then bringing him back to the mound…

As near as I’ve been able to tell, this sort of move disappeared from 1909 until perhaps the late 1940s, when minor-league manager Paul Richards deployed the scheme in an International League game. Richards did it again in 1951, by which time he was managing the Chicago White Sox, so it got a fair amount of publicity. The best evidence suggests that Richards did it four times in the majors; his nickname was “the Wizard of Waxahachie”—Richards hailed from Waxahachie, Texas—leading a reader to ...

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The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2011 at 07:16 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, rockies

S.I.: Jenkins: Strange Brew (but It’s Working)

Ronnie’s Wallbangers are this week’s cover boys. Yep, they’re jinxed.

Happy hour in the Brewers’ clubhouse starts early, with Morgan flexing in two coats of baby oil, Axford scanning the room for the putters used in naked golf, and the team listening to a head-rattling mash-up of music ranging from Marilyn Manson to Lil Wayne. In the dugout the starting pitchers recline in their personal cushioned chairs, including one they claim has supernatural powers to improve changeups. Batters commemorate hits by raising their claws and growling like beasts from the movie Monsters, Inc. They celebrate walk-off wins by punching one another in the kidneys. All teams have customized handshakes ... but the Brewers have customized handshakes with their ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: August 24, 2011 at 04:47 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, music

The Art of Scouting: How to Compile a Professional Scouting Report

Step one - chomp on cigar!

The problem with scouting is that while the general public think “OMG, if I become a scout I get to watch the best prospects in baseball play every, single day!” Well, maybe not the entire general public, but some. When a scout watches a team for several days at a time (which is usually the case) he has to file a report on either every player he’s assigned to (at times everyone who plays while the scout is in attendance) or just a handful. Not every team has top prospects. In fact, most teams, especially in the New York Penn League don’t have any, if not one at most. Johnny Scout will watch and take notes on the eight players he’s assigned to and six more. Those six are listed as “follows.” “Follows” are ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 03:56 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

Royals bullpen could provide needed starters

All well and good so long as you don’t mess with THE PROVEN CLOSER!

Occasionally, you’ll hear somebody dismiss the chances of a dynamite reliever making a conversion to the rotation with this statement: “He’s a max effort guy. That’s just the way he pitches – max effort.”

The supposed logic in that statement is that a reliever who has a “max effort” style needs to throw every pitch as though it’s the last of his life – and therefore couldn’t learn to pace himself to go deep into games as a starter.

Frankly, the whole concept may mean nothing – at least in some cases.

It makes as much sense as everyone’s favorite cliché: “He was looking for a pitch he could drive.”

What else would a hitter be expecting – a pitch he could pop ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2011 at 02:35 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, sabermetrics

Bullpens have changed, Duane Ward says

Well sure…after they cleaned up the David Cone mess, MLB had to.

Ward, now 47, played nine seasons in the major leagues, including the final eight years of his career with the Jays. His 45 saves during the ‘93 season stands as the franchise’s single-season record. It’s an accomplishment the 6-foot-4 right-handed former pitcher is still proud of.

“I don’t think I blew more than three saves (dickish editor’s note: make that six) that season, so I had a pretty good conversion rate,” Ward said. “You have to have a perfect situation every time you come into a game, plus you have to have a team that wins. You have to have the opportunity even to get a save, and I certainly had a lot of opportunities.”

...“You can bring someone in now and if ...

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Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, history, sabermetrics

Hummel: Cards attendance down almost 3,000 a game

Don’t #### with the Pedro Feliz Fan Club!

The Cardinals have the fourth highest attendance decline in the major leagues at nearly 171,000, or 2,843 a game, before Tuesday night’s game here. The troubled Los Angeles franchise leads with a dropoff of more than half a million fans from this time last year.

But, with four weekend series remaining — with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Chicago — and Willie McGee and Holliday bobblehead promotions this Friday and Sunday, Joe Strohm, vice president of ticket sales, said the Cardinals still will exceed three million fans for the eighth year in a row and 15th year overall. Strohm said the club would exceed three million on Friday, Sept. 23 against the Cubs.

...Before the season began, ...

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Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cardinals, media

Kilgore: The case for bringing back Ivan Rodriguez

Every Good Boy Deserves Pudge: Check-Out Time.

As his two-year, $6 million contract is coming to an end, Ivan Rodriguez wants to play for the Nationals next season. Rodriguez has maintained all year he wants to finish out his career in Washington, and he reiterated that desire last week. “I would love to play here,” he said.

The Nationals and Rodriguez haven’t yet discussed next season, Rodriguez said, but there are certainly reasons why the Nationals would benefit having him around again. His offense may have continued to decline as Rodriguez adapted to playing every third day – he hit .214/.276/.325 before succumbing to a right oblique strain in mid-July. But Rodriguez remains valuable in other ways.

“I think Pudge brings so ...

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Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 11:28 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, nationals

Simers: He really hopes this Vin Scully guy makes the grade

I once thought I received a Bob Gamere opinion survey….but it turned out to be just some dated Silentlambs literature.

I cannot make this stuff up, so you know I’m writing about the Dodgers.

John Richards, a season-ticket holder from Yorba Linda, e-mailed Tuesday to let me know the Dodgers have asked him to fill out a survey.

On a scale of 1 to 5, “They wanted my opinion of Vin Scully in the following eight areas: 1. Knowledge of baseball; 2. Knowledge of Dodgers organization; 3. Objectivity; 4. Accuracy of calls; 5. Storytelling ability; 6. Focus on the game; 7. Style; 8. Overall performance.

“This is like polling Catholics about Mother Teresa’s work,” he said. “This is Vin’s 62nd year behind the microphone in a broadcasting career ...

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Repoz Posted: August 24, 2011 at 10:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, dodgers, media, television

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