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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Venezuelan Ranger players concerned over political unrest at home

Almost every starting pitcher or starting pitching candidate in the Rangers’ camp has some kind of injury to contend with or to come back from this spring.  Not Martin Perez, though. He’s got bigger problems: the safety of his family and friends in his homeland of Venezuela.

“It is hard for us,” Perez said. “We call every day, and people don’t have food for eating, things like that. We have a great country, and you look at the situation and things are just terrible. It’s bad. I ...

Read More...
Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, rangers, the glory of socialism, venezuela

John D’Acquisto: Mahogany

12 hours to beat the reporting deadline. 750 miles, four pitchers, two Porsches, and the last song a young right-hander rehabbing an arm injury in 1976 needs to hear.

djordan Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: john d'acquisto, mlb

Megdal: Sirius/XM, with late bid, throws Mets broadcast into flux

Stopped listening to Howeird long before he went to Siri…oh, fafa flunky.

A late, improved bid from Sirius/XM managed to keep announcer Casey Stern in the fold, foiling efforts by the Mets and WOR-AM to hire Stern as the team’s pre- and post-game host for Mets baseball broadcasts, multiple sources have confirmed to Capital.

The protracted negotiations, and the station’s failure to put together a backup plan, has thrown the broadcast into chaos with just 11 days remaining until the first WOR ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mets

Pedroia on Hunting Bigfoot

But while Pedroia does believe in Bigfoot, he doesn’t expect to personally catch him. Asked if he could, Pedroia said no.

“I was in Phoenix and last Tuesday the guy that supposedly shot or killed one was in town,” Pedroia said, “but he might have stopped at a gas station or something, I didn’t see him.”

And while he doesn’t think he’ll catch one, he doesn’t exactly think the sasquatch hunters on “Finding Bigfoot” will have any luck either.

Pedroia makes a pretty good point. . .

“They’re not ...

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BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Fangraphs: Playoff Odds as Distance from Rome c200 AD

a map of the Roman Empire upon which are pasted the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Where they are located on the map corresponds to cities of the Roman Empire. Each city’s distance from Rome in travel days is roughly equivalent to the chance each team has of making the playoffs in 2014.

Which, admit it, is the mental map most of us conjure up when asked to figure the chances of anything.

BDC Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history, postseason, septimius severus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 18, 1914:

Being a fireman at $1,200 a year is a better job than playing baseball with a major league at $2,000 or $2,500 a year, Frank Mace, fireman, says. Representatives of the Cleveland and Detroit clubs in the American league, Kansas City in the American association, and Montreal in the International league, have been heckling Mace several weeks to sign a contract.

“The fire department is good enough for me,” Mace declared. “But these clubs have been bothering me ...

Read More...
Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: February 18, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

EconoBall: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Greatest Clutch Player In the Last 20 Years?

As an A’s fan used to tell me…“You Kooz, you lose.”

I started by collecting data on every hitter in the game for the last 20 years.  (Pithcers were dropped.)  I then regressed RE24 on PA, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, sacrifice flies, sacrifice bunts, double plays, walks, and strikeouts.  The idea here is that if a given player is as likely to, say, hit a single with the bases empty as he is with a runner on third, these statistics should define much of the variance in RE24.  The ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 07:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Manny Ramirez Joins Miami Sports Management

Manny Ramirez has changed agents and will now be represented by Alex Esteban of Miami Sports Management, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (on Twitter).

Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: February 18, 2014 at 01:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, manny ramirez

Monday, February 17, 2014

Angell: This Old Man (Life in the Nineties)

Required reading.

Let’s move on. A smooth fox terrier of ours named Harry was full of surprises. Wildly sociable, like others of his breed, he grew a fraction more reserved in maturity, and learned to cultivate a separate wagging acquaintance with each fresh visitor or old pal he came upon in the living room. If friends had come for dinner, he’d arise from an evening nap and leisurely tour the table in imitation of a three-star headwaiter: Everything O.K. here? Is there anything we could ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:59 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: death, old, roger angell, sportswriters

Orioles To Sign Ubaldo Jiminez

Can he pass the physical? Can anyone?

Brian Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:35 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, orioles

Cameron: On Craig Kimbrel and Committing to a Closer

But how likely is it that the Braves will still want to pay Kimbrel $13 million four years from now? It’s no secret that the shelf life of relief pitchers is shorter than players at other positions, and Kimbrel would hardly be the first dominant reliever to show up, dominate for a while, and then hang around as a shell of what he once was. Can we really forecast, right now, that Kimbrel will still be one of the best relievers in baseball in 2017?

...However, it must be noted that Kimbrel’s ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, business, history

2014 MLB over/unders: Picking the best bet

C’mon, baby, Grant Brisbee needs a new pair of shoes!

...last year, there was a 60-option poll, asking you which bet would have been your kidney bet for the 2013 season. As in, if you needed a few bucks for a new kidney, and that bet was the only way to get it, which over/under would you choose?

There were 665 votes cast. As you suspected, gambling is almost evil, but not quite. Let’s pretend that instead of votes, those were actual $100 bets. How did the readers of SB Nation do?

Winnings: ...

Read More...
Brian White Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:57 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling

Doyel: Where is Derek Jeter among all-time greats? Higher than I thought

Not even the Survival Zone can save Doy-El’s latest!

Defensively? Jeter isn’t in the top five or top 10 or maybe even the top 25 in that category. And defense is part of baseball. A big part. Like, almost half the game. So if we’re going to measure defense, then I can’t sit here and tell you Jeter is a top-five shortstop all time, because how do you quantify what Ozzie Smith and Pee Wee Reese and Luis Aparicio and a whole host of other Hall of Fame shortstops gave on defense, compared to what ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:28 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

Matt Williams wants his infielders to be dancing machines

This team philosophy was originally started by Gene Gene Mauch.

“I always ask the infielders if they can dance or not,” Williams said yesterday during his session with the media, causing a couple reporters to shoot glances at each other, trying to figure out if the new Nats manager was being serious or not. “If they can dance, then they can play infield. If they can’t dance, we need to get them lessons, then they’ll be able to play infield. So that’s all it really is. You play through the ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: nats

David Samson sits down with MLB.com to address the state of the franchise

Goes into a blank-faced Gale Sonderungaarded moment to channel Brattain…

MLB.com: Obviously, you rebranded in ‘12, and it didn’t go the way you wanted. You restructured in ‘13, and endured a long season. How are you rebranding, and what do you need to do to reconnect with the fan base?

Samson: I think what our fans are looking for is stability, and what they’re looking for is better performance. The good news is we have a great ballpark, and that 10-year struggle is over with. The people who ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, marlins, media

Harper: Kevin Long, Yankees couldn’t get through to Robinson Cano on lack of hustle

Genius speaks. No one listens. (Craven’s Progressive Matrices)

That is, while Long couldn’t be prouder of what Cano accomplished as a Yankee, it bothers him that neither he nor anyone else could get through to the second baseman about his notorious lack of hustle, knowing it’s likely to tarnish his standing, especially with the fans.

“If somebody told me I was a dog,’’ Long said here Sunday, “I’d have to fix that. When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:49 AM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-17-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 17, 1914:

The great American institution of draw poker received a blow in the solar plexus in the south.

Shortly after the breakfast hour Manager Branch Rickey chanced to espy [sic] Pitchers Taylor, Hamilton and Baumgardner sitting in a 10-cent limit game. Forthwith Manager Rickey proceeded to the gaming table and ordered the game to stop.

“There will be no poker playing among the 1914 Browns,” said he. “I consider poker a really harmful game when played on a ball ...

Read More...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Royals’ ‘break-even’ claim is plausible, but front office can still do more

I think the man that ruthlessly cut costs at Wal-Mart and over his first decade of ownership of the Royals deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The first thing to talk about here is the new national television contracts that kick in this season. You hear a lot about this $25 million figure. That’s the number being thrown around locally and nationally — we’ve used it here — as the per-team increase from last year to this year. But some phone calls around baseball show the number to be ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: david glass, new tv contract, royals


Twitter: Braves agree to four year extension with Craig Kimbrel

@Braves The #Braves have agreed to terms with @kimbrel46 on a four-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, contract extensions

WSJ: Mets’ Spending Spree May Not Be a Spree at All (Team Vowed a Winter of Investing, but Payroll Remains More or Less the Same)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.—In the wake of their fifth consecutive losing season, years of financial insecurity and a payroll that has plummeted at a historic rate, the Mets vowed to invest in the team this winter. They’d spent more than $140 million on players as recently as 2011, but since then their budget had fallen into the bottom half of the major leagues, tens of millions below those of their big-market competitors.

So the Mets went shopping this winter, and on the surface it appeared that ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:35 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: new york mets, salaries, small market

Silverman: Pedroia cut from same cloth as Jeter

Plus there’s already more Black Ink spilled on Pedroia’s cloth 11 to 10. (H/T…Ink spot removers Brian & Bill Kenny)

The Red Sox have their own Derek Jeter.

His name is Dustin Pedroia.

As the baseball community paused to come to grips with Wednesday’s announcement that the Yankees captain and shortstop of the past 20 seasons will make 2014 his swansong season, the news reinforced the notion that the Red Sox already have a franchise player and de facto captain, who could, by the end of his ...

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Repoz Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:24 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: history, red sox, yankees

MGL: HOW JETER CAN TURN A VERY GOOD WRITER INTO A HACK *

Hazardous duty in Sochi, indeed! As MGL turns Joe Posnanski into Hack Hackworth!

* And why I am getting tired of writers and analysts picking and choosing one or more of a bushel of statistics to make their (often weak) point.

...Speaking of strawmen, before I lambaste Mr. Posnanski, which is the crux of this post, let me start by giving him some major props for pointing out that this article, by the “esteemed” and “venerable” writer Allen Barra, is tripe. That is Pos’ word – not ...

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Repoz Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:05 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ruptured Achilles ends Mulder’s comeback attempt with Angels

hjw

Thanks to a new throwing motion, veteran left-hander Mark Mulder planned to attempt a comeback this season after five years away from the game. His career had been derailed by shoulder problems back in the day.

The Angels gave Mulder a minor league contract because hey, why not? It’s a no risk move. Unfortunately, the comeback attempt is over before it could really even begin.

...What an awful, awful break. Even if he wanted to continue his comeback attempt, the Achilles injury would ...

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Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 08:38 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Ausmus: If he plays well, (Dirks) can grow (his hair) to his feet

Cousin Hit.

uee

Even though he originally came through the New York Yankees’ system, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus isn’t too concerned with his players’ appearance.

Someone asked about outfielder Andy Dirks, whose hair has grown rather long.

“I don’t care. If he plays well, he can grow it to his feet as far as I’m concerned,” Ausmus said.
Tigers’ Ausmus played at shortstop once

Ausmus recalled the Yankees’ persnickety ways.

“I came up in the Yankee organization, which is very strict compared ...

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Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 04:24 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Posnanski: Derek Jeter’s great, but let’s compare to Alan Trammell

And I it hit me: Oh yeah, THAT’S why I invented the word Jeterate.

He was a fantastic baseball player. But you know what? Alan Trammell was just about as good.

Here are Alan Trammell’s and Derek Jeter’s neutralized offensive numbers.

Trammell: .289/.357/.420
Jeter: .307/.375/..439

Jeter was a better hitter. But it was closer than you might think. They had similar strengths offensively. At their best, they were .300 hitters with some power and some speed. Both lost deserving MVP awards ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 03:46 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

McCoy: No facial hair in Cincinnati?

Tell that to Deacon White…okay, maybe not.

Manager Bryan Price made his first statement toward creating his own culture with the Cincinnati Reds, although he won’t be autocratic about it.

The Reds will not be the hirsute Boston Red Sox, they will not look like scraggly mountain men. Price is asking, not demanding, that most of the facial hair that sprouted mostly on the bullpen members last year be trimmed neatly.

He doesn’t want them retreating to the days of Bob Howsam and The Big Red ...

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Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 03:24 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reds

Gammons: Sabathia has to be soul of pitching staff for Yankees to contend

Carnival of soul. #Hilligross

ky

His career has spanned 13 seasons, 12 post-season series and 205 wins for the Indians, Brewers and Yankees, thrown 2,775 innings for close to $200M, and he has always stood and faced his responsibilities, the definition of accountable. “I know what I am expected to do,” he says, “and I have always tried to fulfill the hopes and the expectations of my teammates and everyone associated with my teams.”

He has devoted much of his free time to kids from New ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:19 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

BCB: Fan Foils By The Numbers: Neifi Perez

I miss Neifi Perez…and Wiki Gonzalez.

By the title, you know the player featured as this week’s “Foil.” Neifi Perez was, shall we say, a very limited baseball player. His offensive short-comings will be documented here in a bit.

But Neifi as a “Foil” embodies many reasons the Cubs have stunk for so many years. He was a player with incredibly obvious flaws, brought in by a front office to solve problems he wasn’t capable of addressing, and put in a perfectly predictable position to fail by his ...

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Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:45 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Bob McClure’s vision of Phillies pitching is a high octane car chase

Bullitt Bob McClure…

It makes sense Bob McClure wants to slow things down on the Phillies pitching staff. His vision of what baseball is sounds a lot like Outrun for Sega Genesis:

“It goes fast,” McClure said. “It’s almost like being in a convertible car in the middle of an arena with 30,000 people yelling and screaming at you. It’s intense. Now put that car on a racetrack and go 200 miles per hour. And try make your car fit through two cars on the first turn. Well, that’s what ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

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