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Jim Furtado
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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Orioles sign Pedro Alvarez to one-year deal

The Baltimore Orioles have signed first baseman Pedro Alvarez, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Dennis Lin.

The deal is for one year, reports FOX Sports’s Ken Rosenthal. Alvarez will receive $5.75 million in salary and can earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

Well, that’s something.

Gamingboy Posted: March 08, 2016 at 12:22 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: alvarez, orioles

Monday, March 07, 2016

Figueroa takes calculated approach in hopes of making Pirates roster | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“I’m 28 — that’s the prime of a career,” he said. “Whatever gets me out there and playing. You want to help the team, not hurt it. If I’m out there and I can contribute in the outfield and the infield, that’s where I need to be. That’s fine with me.”

And if Figueroa ends up starting the season in the minors, he might spend the long bus rides catching up on reading. He likes the physics, geometry and analytics of baseball. He bought a book recently called ‘Analyzing ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cole figueroa, pirates

SEC files fraud charges related to Curt Schilling video game company

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against Wells Fargo and a Rhode Island state agency for defrauding investors when it came to investing in a video game company.

The regulator announced Monday that it was filing civil charges, arguing that the entities failed to inform investors about the financial situation of 38 Studios, a video game company started up by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

The litigation, which is ongoing, is the latest in a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2016 at 03:36 PM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, fraud, sec

Sabathia: My Toughest Out

Get better CC.

“I need help.”

I was in Baltimore at the time. It was the last Sunday of the regular season and we were about to start the playoffs. We’d gotten rained out on Friday, and I’d spent most of the weekend alone in my hotel room clearing out the minibar.

We had a game that day, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to help my teammates if they needed me. I was struggling to function physically, but I also felt awful in so many other ways. It struck me how tired I was of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2016 at 12:08 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: alcoholism, cc sabathia, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 7, 1916:

Pitchers Joe Benz and Jim Scott, Whitesox advance guards, were getting just a little bit tired of each other today. With no one to pitch to, the big fellows were fretful, but are trying to hold out by playing practical jokes on each other.

This is the kind of Spring Training news I’d love to get these days: “Victor Martinez is a little more careful today with his belongings after Miguel Cabrera put a plastic snake inside the big designated hitter’s duffel bag.” ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 07, 2016 at 09:47 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Red Sox like look of Hanley Ramirez’ swing | Boston Herald

I’m buying Hanley this season. The guy can hit and, although he won’t be a Gold-Glover at first, he’ll be more than adequate.

“Very good,” manager John Farrell said after the Sox’ 8-7 win. “There’s more compact. It’s more of a line-drive approach. And I think as you look at the way he finishes with swings, it’s more of a two-handed finish rather than the release of the top hand. It’s enabled him to be more compact.”

Ramirez’ clean swing is what the Red Sox needed to see this ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:56 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Diamondbacks are going for it now while also keeping an eye on the future | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal has a crush on the Diamondbacks.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:54 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

OTP - 2016 March 7: Obama will take in a baseball game during his visit to Cuba

President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba later this month will include some baseball diplomacy, the White House said Tuesday.

The president will attend a March 22 exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team during his brief trip to the island nation. The restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba and the reopening of the U.S. Embassy after more than 50 years has been touted by the White House as a key part of Obama’s foreign-policy legacy.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 2416 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, politics

Dave McKay’s hopes high for Yasmany Tomas’ defense

It’s nice expressing confidence in a player. I’m sure they will be very happy with close to average.

For outfield coach Dave McKay, the expectations on left fielder Yasmany Tomas’ defense are anything but tepid.

“No, average is out the door,” McKay said. “He’ll be much better than average. I like to say he’s going to be a good outfielder. Not an average outfielder, I’m saying he’s going to be a good outfielder.”

That’s asking a lot for player who rated among the worst ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, yasmany tomas

Interview With Former GM and Baseball Lifer Dan Evans

Evan had an opportunity to work alongside former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos for the past few years, Evans spoke about the work ethic of Anthopoulos.

“Alex has as much passion as anyone I have ever worked with, and he has an unrivalled capacity for work. A good friend of mine dubbed me The Energizer Bunny a few years ago, but Alex wins the gold medal in energy. I have immense respect for his character and creativity, and appreciated how he fully immersed himself, reading every report. We ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dan evans, general managers

Bucco Blog | Monday Mop-Up Duty: Are the Pirates taking advantage of Coors Field?

Have the Pirates found an elevation-based market inefficiency?

Regardless of his role, Nicasio has an arm that can play. Ideally, he could be a Joe Blanton 2.0 with better stuff (Horner photo)

Consider that from 2012-14 Nicasio posted three straight ERAs of at least 5.14 with the Rockies. But in 58 innings with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, Nicasio posted a 3.86 ERA, struck out 10.3 batters per nine (career rate is 7.4) and had an elite 15 percent swinging strike rate.

His fastball ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: coors field, pirates

White Sox To Sign Austin Jackson - MLB Trade Rumors

Yet still no love for Pedro Alvarez? He’s a flawed player, but I’m shocked he hasn’t caught on with somebody.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 06:22 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: austin jackson, white sox

The fastball is back: Rockies refocused on the simplest pitch - The Denver Post

Another year, another theory on what plays in Colorado. How about bringing back the Blake Street Bombers?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2016 at 06:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, pitching, rockies

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Pirates rotation seems set, but Glasnow and Taillon are waiting in the wings | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Patience, patience.

Glas­now has a 2.07 ERA and 11.8 strike­outs per nine in­nings in 383⅓ pro­fes­sional in­nings. Watch­ing him throw, it’s easy to see why. His long arms and legs al­low him to re­lease the ball closer to home plate than most pitch­ers; a high-90s fast­ball is hard enough to hit, but when it has a shorter dis­tance to travel, it gets on the bat­ter more quickly. He pairs the fast­ball with a strong curve­ball. The changeup needs work.

“He’s still ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 12:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, pirates, tyler glasnow

Twins’ Miguel Sano discusses death of infant daughter

What an horrific ordeal for anyone to go through. I can’t even imagine the pain of losing a child.

“It was hard,” the Twins right fielder said Sunday morning. “I would cry every day about that. My first baby. She died.”

Angelica Sano, born in late November 2014, was one week old when she died of a heart defect in the Dominican Republic. Sano, rehabbing in Fort Myers after having Tommy John surgery that spring, flew home after his daughter’s birth and had returned to Florida when his ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 11:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Mets’ hidden strength could be difference in a long season | New York Post

“There are so many players you would like more if you did not have to play them 162 games,” said J.P. Riccciardi, a special assistant to Alderson. “This is a way to keep players healthy and manage the season in a more effective way.”

And the Mets are going to have to manage, not just Cabrera, but more important Wright, who will need regular off time due to his spinal stenosis. Right now, Flores is the backup third baseman. But Alderson admitted the Mets would love to rest Wright ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 07:36 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Mets have high hopes for this not-so-secret bullpen weapon | New York Post

Is he really a secret?

Now the secret is out: Robles has the potential to become something special.

“He matured an incredible amount,” pitching coach Dan Warthen said. “I don’t know for years to come if he can’t become a possible closer, if necessary. That’s how good I think he has a chance to be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 07:12 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hansel robles, mets

Texas Rangers: The next step in Martin Perez’s path to becoming a top of the rotation starter is a simple one | SportsDay

“He seems to have intent to everything he does right now,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He is a confident human being. He feels good, trusts his arm and knows he can definitely have an impact on this game.”
“Last year, my focus was probably more on my arm,” Perez acknowledged. “This year, I know where my focus us: We want to win. I want to win. I want to compete. We know that we can do what we want to do: Win the World Series. This is a time for me to focus and be better ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: martin perez, rangers

Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo continues to impress, learns important lesson | Newsday

Had my first look at him yesterday. He has an impressive skill set.

“I thought I had a home run on Wednesday,” the righthanded- hitting shortstop said through his translator. “I learned to keep on running. Running fast.”

The 20-year-old, signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, typically doesn’t have that issue. He stole a combined 82 bases in the minors last season to lead all minor-leaguers. But in the Yankees’ exhibition opener on Wednesday against ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 07:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jorge mateo, yankees

Hochman: Piscotty impresses Cards with brains, brawn | Benjamin Hochman |

“He’s wicked smart.”

They don’t make ’em like Stephen Piscotty much.

He’s uber-talented, and likely is the heir to the throne that is the No. 3 spot in the St. Louis Cardinals’ batting order. But he’s wicked smart. Fascinated by outer space. Politics. Went to Stanford. Graduated with a degree in atmosphere and energy engineering.

“He’s definitely a different kind of guy,” said fellow outfielder Randal Grichuk, his teammate and spring training roommate. “I told Jim Hayes (from ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 06:43 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, stephen piscotty

Tom Knight, Brooklyn’s Baseball Sage, Dies at 89 - The New York Times

I bet Tom Knight was an interesting guy to sit next to at a ballgame.

Mr. McGee said that attending a game with Mr. Knight was likely to prompt a flood of information and anecdotes. Reporters seemed to find that as well.

“I always loved the story of Rudy York, who hit 18 home runs in one month for the Tigers in ’37,” Mr. Knight said in an interview with The New York Times shortly after he was appointed to the Brooklyn historian post. “But he liked to drink a little, and once in Boston ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Breaking down Dodgers’ Top 30 Prospects |

MLB Pipeline releases the last ten top 30 team prospect lists.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 06:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect reports

What to do when your window of opportunity is closing (Mar 5, 2016) | FOX Sports

The Blue Jays want to build on last year’s success, while the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals hope 2015 was an aberration. All three teams are trying to keep their championship windows open, and it isn’t easy.

‘‘At some point, some teams get into an all-win-now mode because they’re right there,’’ Tigers general manager Al Avila said. ‘‘It’s very hard to get into the playoffs. It’s very hard to get into the World Series, much more even to win it. When you feel you have that chance, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2016 at 06:09 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, nationals, playoffs, team building, tigers

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Grant Desme gave up baseball to become priest |

A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane was driving home from an offseason luncheon with sponsors in late January 2010 when the phone call came. Grant Desme, coming off a breakthrough year and in Beane’s estimation one of the two top prospects in the organization, dropped a bombshell.

Coming off a 30-30 season, followed by earning MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League, Desme was giving up baseball to become a Catholic priest.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2016 at 08:46 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: human interest story

The connection between Braves’ Hector Olivera and his manager - Jayson Stark Blog- ESPN

“He’s not 23,” Gonzalez said. “He’s 30. And ... how many big leaguers play to the age of 35? Not many. And the guys who do have been playing since the age of 19 or 20 in the big leagues. They’ve had long careers. So shoot, I’m not worried about (what he’ll be at) 35 years old. I’m worried about now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2016 at 08:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cuban players, hector olivera

This day in MLBPA history: The first Spring Training tours

On March 5, 1966, Marvin Miller was hired as executive director pending a full vote of the membership, and he set off on the Players Association’s first camp-to-camp tour of Spring Training to meet with players.

bobm Posted: March 05, 2016 at 01:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marvin miller, mlbpa

Tom Knight, Brooklyn’s Baseball Sage, Dies at 89

As decades pass, fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers, perhaps the most fervidly nostalgic partisans in the history of sports, are growing fewer and fewer. The 2016 baseball season, now getting underway, is the 59th since the team decamped to Los Angeles, leaving Brooklyn’s baseball die-hards with pangs of heartsickness for the loss of Gil Hodges, Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese and venomous animosity for the never-to-be-forgiven betrayal of the team owner, Walter O’Malley, who took them away.

Of ...

Wahoo Sam Posted: March 05, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn dodgers

Yankees Share for Sale: 1% Can Be Yours for About $24 Million - Bloomberg Business

OK, who is breaking open the piggy bank?

A minority owner of the New York Yankees is selling a 1 percent stake in the franchise for about $24 million, according to documents associated with the transaction and reviewed by Bloomberg News. The team as a whole is worth $2.75 billion to $3.25 billion, the documents say.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Friday, March 04, 2016

Brewers’ beloved Hank the Dog not replaced |

Well, that’s settled.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2016 at 06:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Red Sox reporter Jessica Moran resigns amid questions about manager John Farrell

Jessica Moran, a reporter for Comcast SportsNet who covers the Red Sox, resigned from the network Friday amid questions about the nature of her relationship with the team’s manager, John Farrell.

“I have stepped away from Comcast SportsNet as I thought it was in my best personal and professional interest to do so,” Moran wrote in a text to the Globe. “They have been extremely supportive during my tenure at the network — and with this decision — and I am very appreciative of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2016 at 05:58 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: john farrell, journalism, red sox

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