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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Leyland Wants Change In U.S. Mentality In Next Year’s WBC

“As everybody knows, our country probably hasn’t taken it quite as seriously as some of the other countries in the past,” Leyland said. “We are trying to change that mentality.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2016 at 11:29 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jim leyland, wbc

Dexter Fowler’s $82.5M deal with the Cardinals shows free agency is alive and well

Buying wins at the free agent price isn’t the optimal use of resources. It’s not just about greed; it’s about smart business.

If this sounds easier than it is, well, yeah. Baseball is a remarkably trying game. A swing can disappear. The yips can attack. Guarantees vanish overnight. Elbows can blow (which makes pre-free agency pitching extensions a bit more tolerable). And yet part of the strength of the MLB Players Association is its members’ willingness to shutter those fears and chase ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2016 at 09:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cba, dexter fowler, free agency, mlbpa

Rob Bradford chats with Dave Dombrowski at MLB Winter Meetings

A very interesting interview of Dave Dombrowski by Rob Bradford. Dombrowski discusses the Red Sox scheduling and work during the Winter Meetings. He also talks about the Sale deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2016 at 08:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, red sox

Sarris—Going off the record at baseball’s winter meetings - Insider ($)

Some great insights into MLB front offices by Eno Harris.

“We were in an era where a lot of great statistical analysis was being done on the internet,” one respondent reminisced, “but now the internet is far behind right now due to the proprietary data the teams have.”

There was some brain drain, as many of yesterday’s blogging analysts now pepper front offices, such as Houston’s Mike Fast and Chicago’s Jeremy Greenhouse, among others. But if more data were available, this baseball person was ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2016 at 08:02 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, general managers

Winning in MLB is harder when everyone is smarter - SweetSpot- ESPN

A lot of good stuff. Read the whole thing.

Teams in the more recent period not only had a lower average win total in the 90-win season, but suffered a bigger decline the following season, were less likely to win more games or to win 90 again and more likely to have a losing season. Winning now is more ephemeral: Winning 92 games and making the playoffs as opposed to winning 85 and falling short is often not just the residue of clever team-building, but to the vagaries of luck, injuries and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dave dombrowski, moneyball, red sox, sabermetrics

Friday, December 09, 2016

How Did Rick Porcello Go From Afterthought to Ace?

Five factors—not all of them under his control.

gehrig97 Posted: December 09, 2016 at 05:52 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, cy young award, red sox, rick porcello

Pitch boss on Fox baseball drama’s struggle and future | EW

Pitch finished it’s 10 episode run, with the possibility for a second season still unclear. Have people been watching?

With our show, the concept of the first female pitcher in the major leagues, it’s not something you can do every season, so you want to be able to start the next season with a different set of obstacles for her, and that would come with an injury and trying to get back and make the team. That is something that isn’t specific to the first female athlete, it’s any athlete, ...

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Baldrick Posted: December 09, 2016 at 11:27 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in fiction, television, women in baseball, women in sports

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-9-2016

El Paso Herald, December 9, 1916:

Baseball fans of the Isthmus of Panama are booming that section as an excellent location for one or more big training camps. It is claimed that the sanitary conditions of the canal zone, under the care and direction of the army and canal officials, are excellent, and that with the dry season extending from December to April the major league baseball players could not find a more satisfactory location for rounding into shape for their pennant battles.

Baseball ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 09, 2016 at 10:15 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sandy Alderson OK with Mets leaving winter meetings empty-handed - NY Daily News

“We laid some groundwork as they say,” the Mets GM said after the Rule-5 draft, which traditionally concludes the week of meetings. “We’ll have conversations continuing when we get back to New York. I think what we are pleased with, is the fact we had some dialogue and it continues. We’ll pursue things the next couple of weeks before Christmas and possibly thereafter.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2016 at 08:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

WEEI: SOURCES: FORMER RED SOX MANAGER BOBBY VALENTINE BEING CONSIDERED FOR UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN

Randy Marsh is not amused.

Such a move would be viewed as another unorthodox appointment by Trump, who named former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration Wednesday.

Yet Valentine’s history, and connections to Trump and Japan, make the possibility of such a decision very real.

The former Red Sox manager has known both Trump and his brother, Bob, since the early 1980’s. He is also very close to Anthony Scaramucci, ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: December 09, 2016 at 08:46 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby valentine, donald trump, japan, japanese baseball

Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen takes balanced approach

“We had plenty of opportunities to make changes,” Hazen said. “But ultimately we didn’t feel like any of those were the right thing to do for us. Some of those situations may be in the future, but right now nothing really made sense on the larger trade front. I’m not anticipating any of that changing, but you never know. Again, we feel good about where we’re at.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2016 at 06:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks


GM banter doesn’t reveal true state of Yankees-Red Sox | New York Post

Dave Dombrowski needs a trash-talking tutorial.

In the bottleneck on the way into the room Thursday morning, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski spotted Yankees counterpart Brian Cashman. It had been less than 12 hours since word circulated the Yankees had agreed with Aroldis Chapman on a five-year, $86 million deal — a record for a reliever — and two days since Cashman had referred to the Red Sox as baseball’s Golden State Warriors with Chris Sale joining an already ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Cardinals near deal with OF Dexter Fowler | MLB.com

Though the Cardinals did not make any transactions during their four-day stay at the Winter Meetings, it did not take long after their return to St. Louis for them to complete their pursuit of a new center fielder.

After a picture of Dexter Fowler boarding a flight from Las Vegas to St. Louis surfaced on social media, MLB.com confirmed through sources that Fowler was en route to St. Louis to undergo a physical on Friday. An agreement between the Cardinals and Fowler is already in place, though ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 10:01 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dexter fowler, free agents

JAYSON STARK ON THE WINTER MEETINGS: “I’M ONLY GOING TO REPORT INFORMATION THAT I AM CONFIDENT ABOUT”

That purpose is not necessarily be the first to report breaking news, but to get it right. For Stark, that involves staying calm, sane and “just making sure that I’m only going to report information that I am confident about.”

Not every reporter seems to stick to that mantra, especially with the competition in the building and the pressure social media brings to constantly be posting any morsel or piece of relevant information.

“I think there’s tremendous pressure on people in my ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2016 at 01:30 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jayson stark, journalism, winter meetings

Pablo Sandoval got ‘complacent’ with big Red Sox deal

First “best shape of his life” story of the off-season?

In a joint English-Spanish interview with ESPN.com and ESPN Deportes, Sandoval said he got “complacent” after signing a five-year, $95 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in November 2014 and pledged to “start my baseball career all over again” now that he is fully recovered from left shoulder surgery.

“My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished,” Sandoval said by phone ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2016 at 01:21 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox

Nats’ Eaton trade shines light on O’s draft/development failures - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Oriole fans should be thanking their lucky stars for Dan Duquette.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 12:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Would O’s fans really hate Bautista if the team signed him? | Sports on Earth

Jokes usually work like that way.

(Also, the best part: Bautista’s agent says he’s hasn’t talked to Duquette about Bautista. See, there are some upsides to a post-fact world!)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 12:50 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dan duquette, jose bautista, orioles

Why the Adam Eaton trade wasn’t a panic move for the Washington Nationals - The Washington Post

Barry Svrluga defends Mike Rizzo.

The Nationals clearly lost faith in Giolito.

So what became clear to nearly everyone at the winter meetings was that the Nationals were going to move Giolito. His value, of course, would have been higher six months ago. But then, his performance hadn’t fallen off by that point. We’ll watch what he becomes in Chicago. But the Nationals aren’t particularly concerned that he’ll be an ace. The bigger problem would have been holding onto him, seeing his ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 12:41 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: adam eaton, lucas giolito, nationals, trade, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-8-2016

A sure sign that it’s the offseason from the Pittsburgh Press, December 8, 1916:

Jim Thorpe, the Indian ball player who was sent to the Milwaukee club last spring by Manager McGraw, is to get another chance with the Giants. It was announced [in New York] today that McGraw plans to play him regularly in one of the outfield positions, if he displays improvement.

This is, IIRC, the fourth consecutive offseason in which it was reported that Thorpe had a chance to be an everyday player for the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 08, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim thorpe

2016 Rule 5 Draft results | MLB.com

It’s live!

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 5 draft

Blue Jays trying to balance objective evaluation, subjective exuberance - Sportsnet.ca

It’s easier to be “irrational” when you are a top revenue team. As the Dodgers have shown, it can be rational to press your higher revenue advantage. In smaller markets, breaking out the checkbook can really restrict a franchise’s future.

That’s why Atkins intriguingly said the Blue Jays don’t feel like they need to move off their positions in unspecified negotiations. But there may come a point when, to use Friedman’s phrasing, some irrationality may be needed to ensure the player they ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Cards would have to leave comfort zone to land outfielder they desire | stltoday.com

Fowler only costs you money. Of course, if your goal is to better your defense, he’s not really a good fit.

There is a place where all negotiations try to go that forces each side to give or give up a little more than it wants, just enough that it stings. A deal happens when talks reach the point of pain.

The Cardinals may have to go past that.

“Oh, for sure,” general manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday after the final full but not fulfilling day at baseball’s winter meetings. “I feel ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:55 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Rule 5 Draft Expanded Preview | BaseballAmerica.com

What do the Padres know that everybody else doesn’t know?

Yimmi Brasoban, rhp, Padres: Brasoban ranked 19th in the Padres system a year ago. The Padres’ system is significantly deeper this year, but it is still a surprise that San Diego left the hard-throwing righthander unprotected as he has two major league pitches (a 95-98 mph fastball and an excellent slider) and he has Double-A experience. Brasoban’s control wavers at times, but with an ability to eat up righthanded hitters (who hit ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rule 5 draft

When Is The Rule 5 Draft?

BA provides an FAQ about the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 5 draft

Old Guard Steals The Show At BA Gala | BaseballAmerica.com

Pat Gillick was a great, great GM.

In his own acceptance speech, Gillick, the architect of the Blue Jays’ two World Series winners, the Phillies’ 2008 champions and Seattle’s 116-win team in 2001, again turned the spotlight toward others who helped him achieve his level of success and longevity.

“Today’s a very special day for me, because it gives me the ability to thank the men and women who work under the radar in player development and scouting,” Gillick said. “Their knowledge, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: executives

The Aroldis Chapman fallout will be even more interesting than the deal itself | FOX Sports

Five years and over $80 million for a reliever? No thank you.

It’s a bizarre baseball reality that the low-revenue Marlins could outbid the high-revenue Dodgers for a player whom the Dodgers signed out of Curacao in 2004, converted from a catcher to a pitcher and developed into an elite closer.

But don’t be surprised if it happens.

The Dodgers’ value-driven front office is not the type to pump $80 million into a pitcher who works 70 innings a season — particularly when the lack of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:30 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, dodgers, free agents, kenley jansen, marlins, yankees

Arizona Diamondbacks active as meetings wind down

They are only bodies if they don’t pitch well.

As it stands, the Diamondbacks have impressive starting pitching depth, including several starters with upside – or, at least, the ability to pitch far better than they did this year. Led by Zack Greinke, the rotation also includes Ray, Corbin, Miller and Walker, with Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley, Zack Godley and prospects Matt Koch and Anthony Banda behind them.

“Even having six starters I think is an advantage going into a season,” Hazen ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Twins satisified with Miguel Sano’s offseason program

“We hear good reports about his focus,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday. “You heard what he had to say at the end of the year about coming back and things that he wants to do, both in terms of being physically prepared as well as trying to undo some of the things that he found were a little bit humbling this year.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Brewers quickly revamped their infield

First, Eric Thames was signed to a three-year deal after playing for three years in Korea. Then, third baseman Travis Shaw was acquired from Boston in a trade Tuesday that sent closer Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox.

The Shaw deal meant Jonathan Villar would move from third base to second, leaving shortstop Orlando Arcia as the only starter to return at the same position. And he has all of two months on the job.

Assuming second baseman Scooter Gennett is not traded, he becomes a bench player. ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

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