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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Berg: Matt Harvey returned to Gotham’s good graces with a dominant Game 1 start

This is always how it was supposed to be for Matt Harvey and the New York Mets: Before Jacob deGrom emerged as the team’s ace this season, before Noah Syndergaard left Valhalla to blaze 100-mph fastballs past mortal hitters, before local kid Steven Matz became one of the club’s most popular players with his stunning debut, Harvey was the guy inked in for the Game 1 start of every postseason series in his tenure in Queens.

And the truth is, he should remain that guy: None of Harvey’s ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 18, 2015 at 01:37 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, matt harvey, mets, nlcs

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Washington Post: Kilgore: Manny Still Being Manny

It’s not Theo. It’s not Maddon. It’s Manny!

The Cubs view Ramirez as equal parts sage, hitting instructor and life coach, particularly for the club’s stable of young Latin players. He has been especially crucial for Soler, who does not have access to his family and speaks little English. Players notice Ramirez roaming with the Latin contingent at the ballpark and away from it.

“Manny has done a wonderful job in the background,” Cubs Manager Joe Maddon said. “A lot of it has to do with ...

The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 17, 2015 at 03:44 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: batting, chicago cubs, hitting coaches, manny ramirez, peds, religion, sage

SB Nation: Here’s Marlins Man helping a person in a horse mask back to their seat at the ALCS

You can lead an A-Rod to his seat…

Not much actually. Marlins Man was very courteous helping the person in the horse mask back towards their seat.

I guess you could say he was a good neigh-bor.

I guess you could say he’s just barn with the desire to help people out.

I guess you could say he knows how to pony up to help people in distress.

JE (Jason) Posted: October 17, 2015 at 02:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, alcs, fans, royals

Heyman Baseball Insider: Mattingly deserves to stay in LA, but will he? Plus MLB notes

JH ♡ DM.

Mattingly, it is said, has been quite cooperative on the lineup input he receives from above, and word is, it’s substantial. The club is blessed with terrific positional depth at full strength, giving them options galore, though Mattingly doesn’t always make the call. (That might explain why he answers questions about lineup decisions with “We thought it gave us the best chance to win.”

Under normal circumstances, Mattingly should easily be safe. But he also knows his job comes with ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 17, 2015 at 02:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, jon heyman, manager, managerial openings, marlins, nationals


(Note: Each game’s broadcast starts a half-hour earlier than the listed time, which is an estimate of when it actually might start)

4 PM Game 2 of the ALCS, Blue Jays (Price) at Royals (Ventura). Royals lead 1-0. FS1

8 PM Game 1 of the NLCS, Cubs (Lester) at Mets (Harvey). TBS.


Gamingboy Posted: October 17, 2015 at 12:25 PM | 757 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Back to the Future Calls Cubs Win

In “Back to the Future II” the character Terry, played by Charles Fleischer, tells McFly that he wishes he could go back in time and bet on the Cubs to win the World Series at 100-to-1 odds. In reality, Gale said the movie’s associate producer, Steve Starkey, inquired before this season in Las Vegas about making a future bet on the Cubs to win it all—only to find out the odds were a mere 8-1.

He should’ve tried DraftKings. There’s no season-long commitment to injured players; huge prizes ...

Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$ Posted: October 17, 2015 at 11:21 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: bttf, cubs, great scott, marlins, movies

@jimfurtado/Primates on Twitter

I’m doing some work on my Twitter lists. Help me build the most comprehensive list of Primates on Twitter. While you are there, follow me.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 07:42 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: twitter

Who are the celebrity fans cheering for MLB teams left in playoffs? | Toronto Star

I know you are dying to find out which team Rachel MacAdam is rooting for.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 07:12 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, mets, playoffs, royals

Kelly: Toronto’s thin pitching a worrying sight - The Globe and Mail

Not the way to get the biggest contract.

Playoff weeble-wobble David Price follows Estrada for Saturday’s Game 2. On that score, nobody’s worried. Except when you ask them about it.

A question that would have been laughed at a month ago – “Is Price all right?” – has become the sort that now elicits sober nodding.

“I don’t worry about him at all,” manager John Gibbons said before Friday’s series opener. Then he explained why he’s worried about him.

“I know he’s had ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 07:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, royals

Royals silence Blue Jays’ sluggers, but they need to do it again (and again and again) | The Kansas City Star

Edinson Volquez?

The wrong team is flexing, and that is not a metaphor. The Blue Jays’ clubhouse is quiet. The men in that room scored more runs and hit more homers than anyone else in baseball this year. But they are quiet. Across the hallway, in the Royals’ clubhouse, they are smiling. Joking. Flexing. We mean this literally.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 06:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, playoffs, royals

Mets’ Matt Harvey, Terry Collins say ace will pitch twice vs. Cubs in NLCS | Newsday

I’m really looking forward to this series. Tonight, though, I have a party to attend. There may be some extra bathroom breaks (via the bar) because I can’t pull the game up on my phone. Stupid Comcast and MLB.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Pool Down by About 20 Percent - The New York Times

No Hall of Fame ballot for you!!

The voting pool for the Baseball Hall of Fame is being cut by about 20 percent.

The Hall said Friday that it estimated 475 ballots would be mailed for the upcoming election. Last year, about 600 ballots were mailed and 549 were cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 06:39 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

It’s Chicago vs. New York, With a Nod to Fred Merkle

Clear your head of 1969, when the upstart Mets sneaked up on the fat and comfortable first-place Cubs to win the division, the pennant and the World Series. Forget the Knicks and the Bulls, the Giants and the Bears, the Big Apple and the City of Broad Shoulders — and, in the name of all that is holy, the debate over thin-crust and deep-dish pizza.

Think of late September 1908.

Voodoo... Posted: October 17, 2015 at 12:59 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fred merkle, giants, mets

Friday, October 16, 2015

Model Picks Cubs over Mets in NL as LCS Play Commences

I post this here knowing full well that my model is overestimating the talent gap between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays (and I’m sure some would argue that there isn’t any). I stand behind my rank order, however, expecting the Jays to advance and the Cubs to beat the Mets, with an eventual Jays WS victory being the most likely outcome.

In comparison, the NLCS match-up between the Mets and the Chicago Cubs looks fairly even, with the Cubs enjoying a 58% chance to advance, ...

J-Doug Posted: October 16, 2015 at 02:17 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, mets, playoffs, projections, royals, world series

Kyle Schwarber was once a show-choir stud

OK, this is pretty great.  The missus (who’s not such a baseball fan, but is a show choir veteran/enthusiast) passed it along.  (To her credit, she attended Game 4 of the LDS with me, and was in awe of Schwarber’s moonshot.)

Spahn Insane: once again (still?) a filthy whore. Posted: October 16, 2015 at 12:24 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle schwarber

How Kyle Schwarber, Jake Arrieta and Addison Russell transformed Chicago Cubs

“Luck is the residue of design.” ~ Branch Rickey

On Jan. 22, 2003, just eight weeks after he became the general manager of the Boston Red Sox, Theo Epstein scooped a guy out of baseball’s bargain bin who became slightly more than he (or anyone) bargained. His name was David Ortiz. He almost won an MVP award two years later.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs, jake arrieta, kyle schwarber

Astros weigh options with free-agents-to-be - Ultimate Astros

Winning can be expensive.

A half hour after the Astros’ season ended Wednesday, reliever Tony Sipp, who pitched in every postseason game, said he hadn’t considered that when he walked out of the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium, he might not wear an Astros uniform again.

A 32-year-old lefty, Sipp wasn’t playing dumb. Just like outfielder Colby Rasmus and starter Scott Kazmir and veteran relievers Chad Qualls and Joe Thatcher, Sipp knew he was on his way to becoming a free agent at ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2015 at 10:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, free agency

Los Angeles Dodgers Don Mattingly can’t take all the | FOX Sports

I can’t see how Mattingly survives.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2015 at 10:43 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Grantland’s ALCS preview

There was an October’s worth of weirdness along the way: Kansas City’s five-run eighth in Game 4, the never-to-be-topped seventh inning that sealed Toronto’s Game 5 win, 6-foot-10 Chris Young facing 5-foot-6 Jose Altuve. But by the final outs on Wednesday, both up-and-down division series had led to the likeliest outcome: a best-of-seven matchup between the American League’s top two teams, the dominant-run-differential Blue Jays and the ALCS-regular Royals. For once in a season of ...

Paul D(uda) Posted: October 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: alcs, blue jays, royals

Plaschke: Large payroll isn’t enough to get Dodgers further in postseason

Plaschke is up to his “old-fashioned” tricks, this time pretending never to have heard of Ted Williams.

For $300 million, you would also think the Dodgers would always be covering third base — there’s only four bases to watch, right? — yet in the fourth inning they inexplicably left it open after Zack Greinke walked Lucas Duda with the infield shifted to right. Daniel Murphy, who had earlier singled and jogged to second on the walk, saw the free base and sprinted to it. Moments later, Murphy ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 16, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, bill plaschke, dodgers, don mattingly, old school, shifts

Mattingly, Ethier downplay screaming match in Dodgers dugout | New York Post

This didn’t look good.

“There was nothing there other than he was mad about the ump’s call that he missed the call in there, and I was trying to settle him down,” Mattingly said. “I didn’t want him thrown out of the game, and Andre’s pretty emotional. It was nothing more than trying to settle him down.

“He’s maybe yelling at me because I’m trying to settle him down, but it was nothing between us.”

Ethier concurred.

“We weren’t arguing. … There’s a certain sequence, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-16-2015

Pittsburgh Press, October 16, 1915:

Miss Minnie Kneeter, pretty Omaha society girl, rolled a peanut around the block with a toothpick, starting at Omaha’s busiest corner. “I bet on the Phillies,” said Miss Kneeter. “Let ‘em call me crazy, but I’m no piker.”

You’re crazy, Minnie, but you’re definitely not a piker.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 16, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: betting on baseball, dugout, history

Mets defeat Dodgers in Game 5, advance to NLCS |

“For the entire ballclub, this is unbelievable,” Murphy said. “This is such a lot of hard work. From the top of the organization to the bottom, from what [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] was able to give us at the Trade Deadline to the way guys have played, everybody has gotten a piece of this at some point. That’s what makes it so special.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 149 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs


First to four goes to the World Series. Get hype.

Toronto Blue Jays (Estrada) at Kansas City Royals (Volquez). 7:30 PM. FOX (as in, basic FOX)

Bat-Flips vs. Speed. The unstoppable lineup vs. the un-breachable bullpen. CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: October 16, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 185 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Japan Times: Time for NPB to rethink senseless playoff format

For those not familiar with Japanese baseball, the second and third place teams in each league play a series for the right to then play the regular season winner to decide the league representative in the Japan Series. But the regular season winner gets a) a one game advantage before the series starts, and b) gets to play all the games at home. Something tells me this wouldn’t go down well in the US…

Where else but Japanese baseball can a team lose Game 1 of a playoff series and show up at the ...

vortex of dissipation Posted: October 16, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, playoffs

Billy Beane among East Bay’s biggest water users

Guess his #### doesnt work during a drought either.

spanx for the memories Posted: October 16, 2015 at 12:41 AM | 107 comment(s)
  Beats: billy beane

Salvador Perez takes a beating but keeps on ticking

The most accurate description of how Salvador Perez felt while playing much of the Royals’ last playoff series is too graphic for this newspaper or any website you’d visit around polite company.

The worst came the night after Game 1. He thinks it was something he ate, though he can’t be sure. Whatever it was, his body reacted wickedly. He lost track of how many times he threw up, and the diarrhea was worse. His stomach turned so much and he had to run to the toilet so often that he could ...

Zach Posted: October 16, 2015 at 12:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: food poisoning, royals, salvador perez

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Flipping Out

Joe Posnanski: The craziest, silliest, weirdest, wildest, angriest, dumbest and funniest inning in the history of baseball began with a single by a guy named Rougned Odor.

I’m pretty sure that’s how my novel would start. Comedy is the field of my co-writer, Michael Schur, but I honestly cannot imagine a more perfect name to start this madness than Rougned Odor. It’s like Ignatius J. Reilly or Bugs Bunny or Michael Dukakis. I mean, Rougned Odor is a guy who had stories written about the ...

Zach Posted: October 15, 2015 at 02:06 PM | 163 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

1971 Orioles: A Record That Will Never Be Broken - The InscriberMag

I remember that season. Too bad it’s impossible for pitchers to go on four-days rest now.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: history, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-15-2015

El Paso Herald, October 15, 1915:

The greatest ambition of Grover Alexander’s life is to pitch a no-hit game. Six times he has seemed about to realize it—yet every time some one batter has ruined his chance.

The closest he ever came was on May 5 [note: it was actually June 5] of this year. Art Butler, of the Cardinals, singled with two out in the ninth.
In 1911 Alexander pitched a one-hit game against the Braves and in 1913 he let the Giants down with a single bingle.

The word “bingle” is ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 15, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, grover cleveland alexander, history, no-hitters

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