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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Grantland: Keri: Did the Pittsburgh Pirates Penny-Pinch Their Way Back Into Irrelevance?

Though it’s still (relatively) early, the Pirates don’t seem to be headed in that direction. Even after winning three in a row, the Bucs remain two games under .500 and 6½ games behind the first-place Brewers, and they have the fourth-worst run differential in the National League. For that, they can thank some lousy evaluation of both the free-agent market and their own talent, specifically in the starting rotation. They can lament a couple of unlucky breaks. And, after two decades of ...

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bobm Posted: June 04, 2014 at 11:27 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

NY Post: Sherman: Mets must seize unexpected opportunity and spend

There are four months of the season left, so maybe the Nationals get their act right. Maybe. Perhaps the Braves’ power bats overcome all. Perhaps. But there is opportunity here for Alderson and the Mets. If the Marlins are trying to get their team better, Alderson should be proactive as well. Ownership needs to stop talking about the money it is willing to spend and open wallets.
Does the front office, for example, think there is still a star player inside Matt Kemp as long as he is liberated ...

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bobm Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:43 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: meaningful games in september, mets

Baseball icon Don Zimmer dies at 83 | MLB.com

A unique baseball personality passes. The world is not the same.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:35 PM | 220 comment(s)
  Beats: don zimmer, obituaries

WaPo (Chris Needham): When Ryan Zimmerman was baseball’s best third baseman

Original Nats blogger (and BBTF’s own) Chris Needham guests at the Washington Post with a requiem for Ryan Zimmerman’s defensive glory days:

Once, Ryan Zimmerman was among the very best to ever play third. Tuesday night, he’s a left fielder, a position so unimportant defensively, the Nats buried oafs such as Adam Dunn, Wily Mo Pena and Michael Morse out there. [...]

From about 2006 through 2009, there was not a better defensive third baseman in the league. (Not even you, Scott Rolen.) And ...

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Depressoteric Posted: June 04, 2014 at 08:35 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: washington nationals

50 Cent Blames Bad Pitch on ‘Excessive Masturbation’ | Rolling Stone

Where was Dr. Andrews when he needed him?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 08:19 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch

TSL: Adam Jones is chillin’ as an African-American All-Star. He’s a throwback to MLB’s future.

Ha! Some street smarts…even Glassey was joshin’ with you.

Gamble: Rumor has it you were a freak of nature in high school and baseball just came naturally.

Jones: “Up throughout high school it was just pure athleticism that made me good in baseball. It wasn’t coached or necessarily taught. Once I got into pro ball I began learning a lot, but before that everything else was just raw skills. I had some people around me like a guy that I don’t mention a lot but he played major league ...

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Repoz Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:43 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: history, orioles

Report: Marlins tried to acquire Jim Johnson from Athletics

The Marlins tried to acquired right-hander Jim Johnson from the Athletics last week, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The offer was Johnson and cash for the 39th overall pick in this week’s draft, plus another player.

The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: June 04, 2014 at 04:42 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: florida marlins, oakland a's

In Defense of Jeffrey Loria and the Marlins

I suspect that I stand so brazenly alone in holding this opinion that I fear it places me in the same lunatic fringe as a conspiracy theorist. Nonetheless:

I believe the Miami Marlins have been executing a good team-building strategy.

thetailor Posted: June 04, 2014 at 02:09 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: loria, marlins

Chicago Cubs leaving WGN radio

Holy cow!

After 90 years and no World Series victories, the Chicago Cubs and WGN radio are going their separate ways.

The Cubs will announce a new, seven-year deal to broadcast games on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM on Thursday, according to media reports. The deal starts next season.

After 197 losses in two seasons, WGN used an opt-out clause in its contract due to declining ratings and revenue last fall, and couldn’t come to terms with the Cubs on a new deal.

“We’re very proud of our ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, media, radio, wgn

Manfred: US Soccer Team Coach Makes A Blunt Kobe Bryant Analogy That Explains Why He Cut Landon Donovan

OK, it’s not a baseball story but we should always applaud a coach/manager who understands his club’s need to focus on future, not past performance.

In what was the most controversial roster move in U.S. soccer history, coach Jurgen Klinsmann left Landon Donovan off the team ahead of the 2014 World Cup. ...

He said he doesn’t believe that past accolades should be taken into account when planning for the future.

He used a Kobe Bryant analogy to illustrate this point. He said the two-year ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: bad contracts, basketball, sabermetrics, soccer

Which teams are hitting—and missing—in MLB Draft? | FOX Sports

BP’s Ben Lindbergh breaks down draft success (or failure) by team.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:34 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, sabermetrics

MLB draft—Rise, fall of New York Yankees pitcher Brien Taylor - ESPN New York

The second greatest pitcher that never was.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 01:17 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, prospects, yankees

A Conversation With Jim Callis, the Greatest MLB Mock Drafter Who Ever Was or Will Be

That 2005 draft had a couple huge hits — I count two MVPs and about half a dozen All-Stars in that first round — and some huge busts. Who from that draft panned out the way you expected and who surprised you, for better or worse?

That was probably the best draft in the past 10 years. I thought Jeff Clement was going to be a really good player. Mariners fans will hate hearing this, but that was one of the picks that changed at the last minute. … Up until that final weekend, the Mariners ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 04, 2014 at 12:38 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, grantland, jacoby ellsbury, jeff clement, jim callis

Sinkers, Change-ups and Platoon Splits | FanGraphs

You say patato I say potato.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 11:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Checking in on the Draft class of 2013 | MLB.com

How good might this year’s picks be this time next year? Check out how last year’s picks are doing.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, prospects

MLB.com: For the Garveys, home is all about family

“For us, it’s simply where the heart and soul of the family is,” Garvey said. “It’s a place that originally was a house, and this very talented woman makes it a home.

“It’s where we love and we live. We have so many kids, then we send them out into the world”—he laughs—“to find homes of their own.”

Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-4-2014

Milwaukee Journal, June 4, 1914:

Armando Marsans of the Cincinnati Reds was suspended last night on a charge of causing dissension among the team. This action by Manager Herzog followed receipt of letters from the Cuban outfielder and Dave Davenport, a young pitcher, that they would quit the club unless given new contracts.
...
Herzog immediately ordered both players to get out of their uniforms and off the diamond. Davenport was later excused in the belief that he was led into the matter by ...

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OMNICHATTER 6-4-2014

The Day-Before-The-Draft OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: June 04, 2014 at 12:02 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Big League Stew: The Internet made it so: 50 Cent’s bad first pitch hit by Vladimir Guerrero

We will never forget, Vlad.

Thank you, Internet wizards at MLB Fan Cave for mashing that up for our delight. (It’s our second favorite 50 Cent mashup, for the record). But we needed Vlad meets 50, we just didn’t know we needed it.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:08 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch, internet, rap battle, vladimir guerrero

A Major League Pitcher’s Guide To Baseball’s Bullshit Unwritten Rules

A lot of good stuff here.

When I was with the Jays, everyone was quiet in the presence of Roy Halladay. You got out of his way, didn’t talk to him during his routine, and kept any conversations with him short. He was one star that set the tone for the whole locker room. When he was around, the organization talked about how everyone should emulate his work ethic and how it made the clubhouse a place of business. When he left, everyone talked about how his personality made the clubhouse a dark and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:44 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: unwritten rules

Corcoran: Top studs and duds: The best and worst No. 1 picks in MLB draft history

1. Chipper Jones, SS, Braves, 1990

By career wins above replacement, Alex Rodriguez has been by far the most valuable first-round pick in draft history, but no team ever got more out of the No. 1 overall choice than the Braves got from Chipper Jones. Rodriguez, who went 1/1 in 1993, chased big free agent money at the first opportunity, leaving Seattle after compiling 38 WAR in his team-controlled years. Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) forced a trade to his home city of Cincinnati after 11 years with ...

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Eddo Posted: June 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM | 130 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, draft, mariners, mets, padres, twins, white sox, yankees

USA TODAY: Japanese pitcher confuses everyone with the world’s highest eephus pitch

Yes, THAT Kazuhito Tadano. Seriously, though, this is epic…

vortex of dissipation Posted: June 03, 2014 at 04:27 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Lindbergh: Which teams are hitting—and missing—in MLB draft?

Surprise, surprise: The St. Louis Cardinals have drafted more active major leaguers than any other team. Many of them are currently Cardinals, which helps explain the team’s winning ways: Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal, Joe Kelly, Kevin Siegrist, Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Jon Jay, Kolten Wong and others have never known another organization….

The Padres, Royals and Rangers rank right below St. Louis. The Padres, who haven’t made the playoffs ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Doyel: Cheaters as MLB All-Stars? No biggie, since it’s not Hall of Fame

Doy-El: “These… are matters of undeniable fact. I ask you now to pronounce judgement on the ballplayers accused!”

Baseball fans want to see drug cheats in the All-Star Game. Baseball writers don’t want to see drug cheats in the Hall of Fame. So which side is right? Near as I can tell…

Both of them.

And that’s no fun. What’s fun is deciding that one of them is wrong, and pitting one side against the other in a game of righteous one-upmanship. What’s even more fun is deciding that both sides ...

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Repoz Posted: June 03, 2014 at 01:28 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Derek Jeter makes a mental gaffe to give Mariners a cheap triple

With the Yankees down, 1-0, in the fourth inning of their matchup with the Mariners in the Bronx on Monday, shortstop Derek Jeter committed a mental gaffe that put Kyle Seager on third base with a triple.

Seager popped the ball into no-man’s land in short left field near the foul line. Outfielder Brett Gardner made a diving effort for the ball, but it hit off his glove and rolled into foul territory.

Jeter, apparently thinking the ball was foul, scooped it up and stood with his back to the ...

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Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:33 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: mental health

Dodgers top NL – in long games

The Dodgers have been warned by MLB in the form of a letter from executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre.
The warning cited a number of Dodgers pitchers for their violations of baseball’s “pace of game” regulations. A number of relievers were cited for taking too long to get from the bullpen to the mound when entering the game. Continued violations could result in $5,000 fines though none of the players have been fined to date.
Surprisingly, no position players were ...

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kthejoker Posted: June 03, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: los angeles dodgers, rules of play

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-3-2014

Pittsburgh Press, June 3, 1914:

Howard Ehmke, a 19-year-old youth who left high school this year to play baseball for the Los Angeles team, heads the list of pitchers in the Pacific Coast league to date, with seven straight victories to his credit. Besides these seven games won, Ehmke has been sent in to finish a half dozen others, and a total of 13 runs for the season has been charged against him.

I love stumbling across early newspaper accounts of players who would eventually become ...

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Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: June 03, 2014 at 08:17 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, howard ehmke

Monday, June 02, 2014

OMNICHATTER 6-3-14

Okay, to make sure I don’t cut it close, this time I’m submitting it… THE NIGHT BEFORE. WOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHH

Gamingboy Posted: June 02, 2014 at 11:38 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

OT: Monthly NBA Thread- June 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: Vladimir Putin’s draft strategy, Stephen Drew’s breakfast, and whether Kevin has taken a material step toward harming Russell Westbrook.

andrewberg Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:57 PM | 2043 comment(s)
  Beats: nba, off-topic

OMNICHATTER 6-2-2014

You didn’t think I forgot, did you?

Gamingboy Posted: June 02, 2014 at 04:29 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

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