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Monday, February 13, 2017

Herm Schneider and the Immense Value of Health | FanGraphs Baseball

Schneider believes the industry can learn to better prevent injuries in an era when they keep growing in number. To Schneider, the process doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does require diligence and organization-wide agreement on practices and principles. And perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from the White Sox is this: for as much promise as science and technology hold, preventing more injuries begins with open, honest dialogue.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries

Epstein: Cubs’ character gives them chance to win it all again – Chicago Sun-Times

“The primary reason why it’s hard to repeat is just because it’s really difficult to win the World Series,” he said. “In any given year, if you’re any old team, you have a 3 percent chance. If you’re the best team, you might have a 10-12 percent chance. It’s just hard to do.”

Throw in a post-title celebration of the century, and the challenges can increase.

“When you win, you get pulled in a lot of different directions,” Epstein said. “And there can be a tendency to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

The biggest question each MLB team faces heading into spring training | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal does an overview.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, spring training

Rays say good communication helps three-headed baseball operations department function | Tampa Bay Times

Why not also add in a “college of coaches”?

The setup is somewhat different. In November both were named senior vice presidents, with Neander also the general manager, and both are working under baseball operations president Matt Silverman, giving the Rays, in essence, a three-headed department.

“It is a unique structure,” Silverman said. “But it works because of the uniqueness of their paths and the relationship they’ve been able to form over a decade.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 06:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, general managers, rays

GM Rick Hahn has clear vision for White Sox | MLB.com

When Rick Hahn discusses the White Sox current rebuild, the team’s general manager uses two words in describing his vision.

Critical mass.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 06:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Sunday, February 12, 2017

OTP 13 Feb. 2017: Football and Politics

Because this past week was the annual nadir of baseball news, and because the political Patriots are getting some headlines, this week’s OTP link is unabashedly unconnected to baseball:

In the wake of the Patriots’ thrilling 34–28 overtime victory, six players, five of whom are African-American—Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Dont’a Hightower, LeGarrette Blount, and Alan Branch—announced they would skip the team’s ceremonial visit to Trump at the White House. All this ...

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BDC Posted: February 12, 2017 at 10:04 PM | 2310 comment(s)
  Beats: football, politics

Did Harold Baines come within a whisker of the Hall of Fame?

Twice in his 22-year career, Baines and his fellow major leaguers were robbed of games due to labor stoppages. In 1981 and again in 1994, the owners and the MLB Players Association came to loggerheads and shut down the game. Could those two labor disputes have caused Baines the hits he needed to get to 3,000? If Baines has 3,000 hits on his ledger when he debuts on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2007, does he garner only five percent of the vote?

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 12, 2017 at 08:10 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago white sox, hall of fame, harold baines

Sunday Notes: Ilitch, Bader’s Bat, Baker’s Meditation, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 12:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

MLB’s 50 most fascinating begin with this year’s Theo Epstein | New York Post

Jimmy thinks Hardball is a weird way for Sherman to talk about himself in the third person.

That is why it was so easy to name Epstein Hardball’s Most Interesting Person in Baseball heading into 2016.

The choice is less clear this year. But again Hardball will pick an executive facing ever-intensifying heat to win it all. When Andrew Friedman joined the Dodgers as president of baseball operations after the 2014 season and surrounded himself with former general managers, he forged the most ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lists

Nick Cafardo: Where does John Farrell rank among current managers?

The Lake Wobegon manager ranking where all 30 are above average.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 07:08 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, notes

Twins project for strongest 2017 outfield arms | MLB.com

More wonderful Statcast stuff.

So the way we’ve identified “competitive throws” is to identify a player’s 90th percentile arm strength, and then take the average of all throws above the 90th percentile, as a good proxy for tracking only throws where a fielder was trying to make play with some urgency. Of the 107 outfielders who had at least 10 such throws last year, Aaron Hicks’ average of 99.4 mph was baseball’s best (remember this?), and Khris Davis’ average of 72.5 mph was the weakest. That’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, statcast

Braves close to trade for Brandon Phillips | MLB.com

Biggest hurdle is probably Phillips no trade clause. Of course, if they tell him he’ll be a bench player if he stays might incentivize him to accept the deal.

Brandon Phillips could soon be headed to Atlanta. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday evening that the Braves are nearing a trade to acquire the second baseman from the Reds. Neither club has confirmed the report.

It’s not yet clear what Cincinnati may receive in return, but the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Phillips ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 06:57 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon phillips, braves, reds, trade rumors

Cubs spring-training guide down to a ‘T’ – Chicago Sun-Times

IF IT FIELDS SEXY, WEAR IT

Maddon dropped the term ‘‘D-peat’’ during his media briefing outside the White House after the Cubs’ visit with President Obama last month. He meant the Cubs’ top-flight fielding in 2016 might be even better in 2017, and that could be the key to the franchise’s second set of back-to-back titles.

No? Consider that if Albert Almora earns the lion’s share of time in center field, the Cubs will go from good to Gold Glove-quality at that position. And ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Dodgers agree to bring back Chase Utley | MLB.com

The Dodgers continued a flurry of late free-agent additions Friday night by agreeing to a one-year contract with veteran Chase Utley. Earlier in the day, they agreed to a deal with outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the heels of an agreement for reliever Sergio Romo.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2017 at 03:40 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, dodgers, free agents

Kershaw, Koufax, and the Fallacy of Orthodoxy

Part of the Koufax orthodoxy, of course, is his legend: Retired at 30, at the height of his game, the height of his fame. And then, gone. He never hawked a book, lent his name, or became an autograph factory. Never sat in the booth, or grabbed a mike. Never a hint of scandal, a suggestion of bad behavior. He’d make his Spring Training visits to the Mets or the Dodgers, to see old friends and talk to the kids, and the press covered these casual afternoons like matters of state. Then he’d ...

Read More...
gehrig97 Posted: February 11, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dazzy vance, dodgers, don drysdale, don sutton, sandy koufax

2017 Top 100 Prospects | BaseballAmerica.com

1. Andrew Benintendi of, Red Sox
Hit: 70. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50. ETA: 2017.

2. Yoan Moncada 2b/3b, White Sox
Hit: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 70. Fielding: 50. Arm: 70. ETA: 2017.

3. Dansby Swanson ss, Braves
Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60. ETA: 2017.

4. Alex Reyes rhp, Cardinals
Fastball: 80. Curveball: 70. Changeup: 60. Control: 50. ETA: 2017.

5. Gleyber Torres ss, Yankees
Hit: 60. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60. ETA: 2018.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2017 at 09:42 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect lists, prospect rankings, prospects

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tigers, Red Wings owner and pizza titan Mike Ilitch dead at 87

Owners who try to win should be applauded. It’s a shame the team couldn’t give him a championship before he died.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Mike Ilitch, one of the most famous Detroiters of his time, died today at the age of 87, according to his company, Ilitch Holdings. His family will honor him at a private funeral service.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2017 at 07:40 PM | 242 comment(s)
  Beats: mike ilitch, owners, tigers

The Disconnect Between Franchise Values and Player Salaries

Specifically, MLBAM and their BAMTech spin-off unit have created an enormous technological powerhouse by moving early into streaming technology, and BAMTech is now one of the world’s dominant players for hosting and providing over-the-top content…..

While nothing in life is guaranteed, that money is pretty likely to be distributed at some point in the not-too-distant future, so anyone buying the Marlins (or any other MLB team) is likely to get a pretty significant rebate on the purchase ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, franchise valuation, marlins, mlbam

MLB managers could learn from Bill Belichick | MLB.com

Good stuff from Joe Posnanski.

“I don’t know much about football,” Francona says, “but I do think as a coach or manager, you’re supposed to take your guys and get the most out of them. … That’s what this is, putting players in position to do what they do well and minimizing what they don’t do well.

“That’s not easy. If you’re a manager like me who likes to run, and you don’t have guys who can run, well, it’s silly to run. You see Bill taking who he has and making the most out of them. Even ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:35 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: winning

The glorious exit of Jeffrey Loria, the worst owner in sports

Jeff Passan on the potential sale of the Marlins.

Mercy was not the exclusive domain of the Ninth Circuit on Thursday. Early in the day, simultaneous feelings of joy and fury accompanied the Forbes report that Loria had agreed to sell the Miami Marlins to an unnamed buyer for $1.6 billion. Joy because the owner who played arsonist to his own franchise was relinquishing his Zippo. And fury because one of the worst owners in sports had turned a $158.5 million investment into something worth 10 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:25 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: jeffrey loria, marlins, ownership

Reusse: Park holds onto dream despite baseball’s humbling snubs - StarTribune.com

“This is the path I have chosen. I am going to work hard and stay positive. That is why I am here early. Maybe that is why the pitching coach, Stew Cliburn, said good things.

“I still have my dream, to succeed in major league baseball.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Pete Rose Eligible For Phillies Wall Of Fame

His 101 OPS+ as a firstbaseman was really impressive.

The all-time hit king is now eligible for the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame.

The Phillies tell CBS 3 they have received permission from Major League Baseball to make Pete Rose eligible for the organization’s honor.

Rose was an integral part of the Phillies winning their first World Series championship in 1980.

Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling on games while playing and managing the Cincinnati Reds.

Phillies ...

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Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:12 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: scumbags

A Look at Mike Matheny’s Comical, Baffling Use of Alternative Facts

“It’s amazing how little regard people actually put into how many young players we put on the field last year. The conversation kept going all season long without people really acknowledging it. We had to throw Aledmys Diaz into the lineup at the last second when he had spent the previous season at Double-A. Kolten (Wong) really hasn’t found the traction in the league yet. Those two guys were in the middle. We had to search to find a center fielder, and Randal Grichuk hadn’t spent a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:11 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mike matheny

MLB commissioner: ‘We are re-examining our stance on gambling’

And on Wednesday at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that he is monitoring the issue and re-thinking pro baseball’s long-held stance on the issue.

“There is this buzz out there in terms of people feeling that there may be an opportunity here for additional legalized sports betting,” Manfred said. “We are reexamining our stance on gambling. It’s a conversation that’s ongoing with the owners.”

When fans bet on games, Manfred ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 12:57 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, rob manfred

Prince Fielder will host a cooking show on Netflix and Hulu

In a wide-ranging interview with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Fielder discussed his future away from the game. When asked about what he’s doing to keep busy, the 32-year-old dropped the news he’ll be hosting a cooking/interview show on Netflix and Hulu with his wife as co-host.

“I have a food show that’s going to be streaming on Netflix and Hulu. It’s coming out around the beginning of spring training in March, I believe. It’s not just baseball people. It’s a mixture of baseball ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 11:04 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cooking shows, hulu, netflix, prince fielder

Sanders Commings wants to pull a Tim Tebow, and he might have the talent

Three swings, and Jerry Hairston Jr. believed.

“I was blown away,” the former major leaguer said, recalling the first time he saw Sanders Commings hit.

Hairston had not known what to expect from Commings, a former defensive back at the University of Georgia and for the Kansas City Chiefs.


But Commings, who turns 27 on March 8, wanted to return to baseball, a sport he played well enough at Westside H.S. in Augusta, Ga., to be selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 09:56 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: football, sanders commings, tim tebow

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-10-2017

Chicago Eagle, February 10, 1917:

[Tacoma infielder] Fred McMullin came in from third on the dead run and slid for the plate. McMullin knew he didn’t touch it, but he was afraid to slide back as the catcher had the ball in his hand.
...
“He wasn’t safe, was he?” demanded Cadman, who was catching for Seattle. The umpire shook his head. At this, Cadman, holding the ball in his hand, dashed over to the Tacoma bench to tag McMullin. Fred waited until he all but reached his end of the bench, and then ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 09:56 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, rules

Vegas win total for defending champ Cubs set at 95.5; totals for all 30 teams released

For the 11th straight year, the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nevada, is the first sportsbook with MLB season win totals, and it set the Cubs’ number at 95.5 for betting that began Friday morning.

After opening the Cubs at 89 wins last year—second in the National League behind the San Francisco Giants—head oddsmaker and Atlantis sportsbook director Steve Mikkelson is now a believer….

In the NL, the Los Angeles Dodgers (91.5), Washington Nationals (90.5), New York Mets (89.5), St. Louis Cardinals ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 09:40 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: casinos, cubs, gambling, odds, vegas

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Hey Bill: Dick Allen, Terrell Owens, & the 2011 Red Sox Collapse

Dick Allen did all the things that TO did, but was much worse than TO. I know I have mentioned this, but I met TO a couple of times at a convention in Portugal. He was just absolutely charming—as Dick Allen was, to many people—and I certainly don’t want to knock him or to dwell on his past mistakes. I also don’t know enough about Terrell to engage in that discussion. 

But off-the-field conduct is very, very relevant to the success of teams. When teams fall apart at the center—that is, when ...

Read More...
Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: February 09, 2017 at 10:32 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, collapse, dick allen, red sox

Byung Ho Park clears waivers, will battle for spot with Twins - StarTribune.com

I thought someone would take a flyer on him.

Designated hitter Byung Ho Park has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Class AAA Rochester.

Park was designated for assignment last week as the Twins made room to add free agent righthander Matt Belisle. It was a gamble that no team would claim Park, considering he batted .191 in 62 games for the Twins last season

Any team that claimed him would have to pick up the $9 million remaining on his contract. And, at this time of year, most teams ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2017 at 02:21 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

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