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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sabermetrics’ impact grows as baseball delves deeper into the numbers

Billy Beane never should have put together this conference.

If Bill James incubated the revolution with his annual “Baseball Abstract” in the 1980s, and Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball” spread the movement into the mainstream and throughout the sport, the next generation is all about more numbers, more knowledge and new ways of finding new knowledge.

Jason Sherwin was a research professor of visual neuroscience at the State University of New York after holding appointments as a postdoctoral ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2016 at 01:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: conference, sabermetrics

Gay Cardinals Minor League player quit baseball when teammates said gays should be killed

I experienced both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people during my time in baseball, and each comment felt like a knife to my heart. I was miserable in a sport that used to give me life, and ultimately I decided I needed to hang up my cleats for my own sanity. -Tyler Dunnington


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-16-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 16, 1916:

[Phillies manager] Pat Moran didn’t relish a letter he received from Eppa Rixey. The tall southsider said he was unable to get a pinch teacher to take his place at his school in Alexandria, and he could not tell when he would join the Phils. Sidestepping Dixie drill is bad business. Pat wired Rixey to go to the Phillies camp at once, or be disciplined.
...
Clark Griffith was rather amused when his attention was called to a story printed in one of the Washington ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 16, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chick gandil, dugout, eppa rixey, history, joe judge

Spring Training Roundup: Short Story? - BaseballAmerica.com

Baseball America updates on some young players in camp.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Enjoy the many subtle reactions from one of the strangest double plays you’ll ever see | MLB.com

You have to hate when this happens.

After catching the ball, Nava turned toward the outfield. It appeared that there were at least two friendly fans who were doing their darndest to let Nava know “No! There are two outs! Stop! What are you doing! What are you doooooing!”

Meanwhile, here were the Angels infielders—arms up, calling out two outs. But as you can tell by Yunel Escobar’s cocked head and the glance from Gregorio Petit, these are two men who have resigned themselves to the chaos of ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, daniel nava

The Teams With the Most Dead Money in MLB | FanGraphs Baseball

Money is dead.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Full Count » Takeaways from Red Sox Grapefruit League game No. 14: David Price finding his groove, Hanley Ramirez passes another test

Hanley will be OK at first base.

Hanley Ramirez can cross another challenge off his list.

Heading into spring training, Ramirez expressed trepidation at needing to reach across first base to tag a runner on an errant throw. He got that opportunity on Tuesday and made the play, snaring a high throw from third baseman Pablo Sandoval and slapping a tag on Rob Refsnyder in the fourth.

“Just let it happen,” Ramirez said after the game. “Just react. Let your instincts take over.”

Manager ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, hanley ramirez, red sox

Craig Counsell, Pat Murphy have ties that bind

“He’s very high energy, very take-charge,” said leftfielder Ryan Braun. “It seems like he has a unique ability to inspire and motivate. That’s something you don’t find very often. He’s added a unique dynamic that we haven’t really had around here.

“The whole energy of this camp is better than any camp I’ve been a part of the lat 10 years. It’s been really good and he has been a big part of it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, craig counsell, managers, pat murphy

A’s Hill searching for answers after another rough start | CSN Bay Area

Maybe the guy who has been mediocre most of his career really is mediocre.

At the heart of the issue, Hill is having trouble finding the right release point in his delivery. That’s causing his bread-and-butter curve ball to betray him at times. Hill’s defense bailed him out in a couple of innings, preventing even more potential scoreboard damage. But the bottom of the third epitomized his frustrations.

After issuing back-to-back walks on eight pitches to start the inning, Hill struck out ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rich hill

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo hits third home run in four games as Rangers beat Cleveland | SportsDay

Joey Gallo is making an impression.

At it again: Something appears to be working with Joey Gallo’s approach. He homered Tuesday over the right field berm and nearly clearing a party tent that sat behind it. It was his third homer in his last four games and a span of 10 at-bats. Perhaps more impressive: It came off funky lefty Tom Gorzelanny on the first pitch Gallo saw. Gallo singled in his next at-bat, too, and has reached base in 10 of his last 17 plate appearances.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers

New manager Andy Green is a breath of fresh air for the Padres and MLB | FOX Sports

“The first time I talked to the team, that was part of my message,” he says. “That’s the heartbeat of who I am. Better people make better teammates. Better teammates make better players. Being selfless, thinking about others, is a great way to live your life.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, managers, padres

Texas Rangers: Sources: Rangers are surveying catching market and Lucroy may not be top target | SportsDay

The Rangers are happy with Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, but they are thin behind him. It is one area in which general manager Jon Daniels recently acknowledged a lack of depth. The Rangers are currently deciding between Chris Gimenez, Michael McKenry and Bobby Wilson for the backup spot.

If the club were to add Norris, who started a career-high 116 games behind the plate last year, it would give them the ability to plan on keeping Chirinos in the 70-80 game range.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 07:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris., rangers

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

STL P-D: As Cardinals search for shortstop, Oquendo gives team direction

For infielders, Jose Oquendo’s reach extends their grasp.

The Cardinals’ choreographer relies on his feel for the game, his read on the pitcher and increasingly detailed spray charts to direct each infielder where there is a high probability of a play. It’s his sense of positioning that the groundball-greedy Cardinals have come to rely on, and one of the reasons they feel confident converting infielders, even at a premium position like shortstop.

Our Brock Hanke has been touting ...

Read More...
Dr. Vaux Posted: March 15, 2016 at 05:54 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, coaching, defense, jose oquendo, spring training

White Sox DH Adam LaRoche planning to step away from baseball

White Sox designated hitter Adam LaRoche said Tuesday that he plans to step away from baseball following a personal issue.

The 12-year major-league veteran said he is confident in his decision, but his teammates asked him to reconsider during a nearly two-hour-long team meeting at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday morning….

LaRoche joined the Sox on a two-year, $25 million contract before the 2015 season, but his first season with the Sox was one of the more frustrating of his career. He hit .207 ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2016 at 03:01 PM | 166 comment(s)
  Beats: adam laroche, retirement, white sox

MUNENORI KAWASAKI AND THE HISTORY OF RACIAL MASCOTS

The Cubs, who’ve become known for having one of the more relaxed camps in the game, indulged in some Spring Training levity, donning headbands featuring the phrase “Just Win” in Japanese, and went about their team warmups to the sound of some pop hits. That’s when the day truly veered into the queasy: “Kung Fu Fighting” and “Gangnam Style” blared from speakers as the Cubs did their kinetic warmups. If you think about it even for a little bit of time, that doesn’t really make ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2016 at 03:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, japanese, munenori kawasaki, race in baseball

The Teams with the Most Dead Money

Almost all of the Los Angeles Angels money is going to the Texas Rangers so they can pay Josh Hamilton after the unusual falling out between the Hamilton and the Angels organization. The team is also paying a portion of Erick Aybar‘s salary with the Braves. The Los Angeles Dodgers have spread their money out among many players. Hector Olivera with the Braves, Michael Morse for the Pirates, Matt Kemp for the Padres are all receiving some money from the Dodgers this season. In addition, the ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2016 at 02:46 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, josh hamilton

Looser restrictions allow Cuban MLB players to legally earn in U.S.

President Barack Obama’s administration punched a new series of holes in the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba on Tuesday, turning a ban on U.S. tourism to Cuba into an unenforceable honor system and paving the way for more Cuban athletes to one day play Major League Baseball and other U.S. professional sports.

Major League Baseball is negotiating with both the U.S. and Cuban government to create a legal means for Cuban baseball players to play in the U.S. without having to abandon their country, ...

Read More...
Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 15, 2016 at 01:29 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, cuban free agents, presidents

Sources: Mets place IF Ruben Tejada on waivers

Tejada has been placed on waivers, paving the way for the Mets to free themselves from paying a large portion of the infielder’s salary, multiple baseball officials told ESPN.

Tejada was due to be on Tuesday’s trip for a Grapefruit League game against the St. Louis Cardinals, but his bag was left behind when the bus departed.

thetailor (Brian) Posted: March 15, 2016 at 12:04 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: new york mets, waivers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-15-2016

Norwich Bulletin, March 15, 1916:

George Sisler may be kept on the bench as a pinch hitter for the St. Louis Browns.
...
Manager Joe Tinker of the Cubs has opened up a baseball correspondence school. It will be called the Joe Tinker bureau of baseball instruction. Percy Skillin, a former Dartmouth pitcher, and Dr. Pitts are partners with the Cubs’ manager.

Seems like baseball is one of the topics for which a correspondence school would be least useful. Sisler, by the way, was the Browns’ ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 15, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, george sisler, history, joe tinker

Monday, March 14, 2016

No. 34: Mel Ott

From 1941 to 1946, Mel Ott hit 123 home runs to put himself over the 500-homer mark. And do you know how many of those 123 he hit at home? One hundred. Yeah. For those final years, he hit 81% of his homers at home. The last four years, he hit 58 homers at home and eight (yes EIGHT) on the road.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 14, 2016 at 05:16 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: polo grounds

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-14-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 14, 1916:

Attributing his “come-back” as a pitcher to playing a violin, Fred Goodhart, of Dickinson college baseball nine, is for the first time since the summer of 1910 in good physical shape. His arm is without any trace of the soreness which handicapped him for six seasons.
...
In 1915 Goodhart was able to twirl one game—that against Bucknell—which he won. His arm was so lame afterward that he was dropped from the squad.

During the past winter, Goodhart, in his spare ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 14, 2016 at 10:19 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP - 2016 March 14: No political baseball for Mets as team told to steer clear of talk about presidential race

Former Yankees outfielders Paul O’Neill and Johnny Damon endorsed Trump earlier this week. O’Neill attended a Trump rally on Tuesday in Florida, while Damon told the Daily News he supports his former “Celebrity Apprentice” boss’ vow to a build a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico and his immigration policies.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ex-World Series hero David Freese finds new home in Pittsburgh

Ice to see you, Mr. Freese.

Freese is 32 years old and is more than adequate as a corner infielder. He is a World Series hero, though, he granted, from what seems, “forever ago.” He is a terrific guy to have around, a quality gaining favor again in light of the revelation not all numbers are the same.

So, yeah, with at least some residue of his prime remaining and his sport being more flush than it’s ever been, Freese stood in the middle of that thoroughfare. And rose the shade on his ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2016 at 10:07 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: david freese, free agency, pirates

Fernando Perez: The Wade Davis Experience

Fernando Perez was a pretty thoughtful player, and now he’s a pretty interesting writer.

With that in mind, here are two pitchers who make compelling cases for bullpen conversion:

Ivan Nova:

After two years of back-end-of-the-rotation numbers as a rookie and second-year pitcher, Nova showed promise in 2013 when he posted a 3.10 ERA in 139.1 IP. In his last two seasons he has underachieved while battling injuries. Nova’s average fastball velocity of around 93 MPH is similar to Wade Davis’ ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 13, 2016 at 09:58 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin jackson, fernando perez, ivan nova, relievers, wade davis

Saturday, March 12, 2016

DSPN: Jose Bautista And The Phillie Phanatic Have A Fitness Contest

this is the funniest mascot video i’ve ever seen. it’s legitimately good.

STIGGLES wagon carpool dragons Posted: March 12, 2016 at 07:28 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mascots

Top 20 Rookies For 2016 - BaseballAmerica.com

More young players to get excited about.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies, scouting

Rangers’ Joey Gallo hits first spring homer | MLB.com

“I’m trying to be more patient than last year,” said Gallo, the Rangers’ top prospect. “That’s the biggest difference from last year. It wasn’t that I couldn’t hit, I just wasn’t patient. I’m going up there with a different feeling. Early in spring I was trying to see more pitches. Now I’m being more aggressive.”

Gallo, called to the big leagues when Adrian Beltre went on the disabled list in June, played in 36 games for the Rangers as a rookie last season and hit .204 with six home runs, 14 ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:47 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Spring Headlines: Asdrubal Cabrera shut down with knee injury | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

All was looking good with their new double play combo too. At least until Thursday, when Cabrera tweaked his left knee while running the bases. Now they’ve learned Cabrera suffered a strained patella tendon and will be shut down for at least two weeks.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, mets

Red Sox like to create good will with salaries for young players - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

I doubt it buys them much good will.

At a time when money is pouring into the game and young players are playing a more prominent role in teams’ success, the payscale for pre-arbitration players may deserve a closer look during this year’s collective bargaining negotiations.

As all that was going on, Boston quietly announced its agreements with pre-arbitration players. Included among them was a $650,500 salary for shortstop Xander Bogaerts — roughly 30 percent more than league minimum for ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

St. Louis Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez happy with spring debut - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

He pitched well yesterday but I’m moving him down on my draft board this spring just in case.

Given that this team that will lean heavily on its starting rotation, Martinez’s health has been much-discussed this spring. The 24-year-old went 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA and struck out 184 batters last season, generating great expectations for 2016, but he also wore down and finished the season with a sore right shoulder.

He has been moving at a slower pace than the other starting pitchers this spring ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2016 at 08:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, carlos martinez

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