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Monday, March 23, 2015


Time for baseball to expand rosters - Sports - The Boston Globe

This is a day late. After thinking about the expanded roster idea, I’m opened minded to hearing more about it. I don’t see how going to a six-man starting rotation makes a lot of sense. All it will do is shift innings from better starters to worse starters.

The game evolving into six-man rotations is not what many of us want to see, since many of us remember four-man rotations. But that’s how it’s evolving. The extra day would likely — although nothing is for certain — make a difference ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 10:57 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

BRADLEY COOPER AS ROGER CLEMENS ALMOST HAPPENED

Steve Buschemi as Brian McNamee?

Not only has there been a Hollywood script written about the fall of Roger Clemens, but reportedly there was a “heated auction” for its rights. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The Rocket”, a script written by Jeffrey Gelber and Ryan Belenzon, was fought over by some Hollywood titans.

Ultimately Black Bear Pictures (The Imitation Game, All Is Lost) won the auction for a price rumored to have topped $2 million, a heavy price that tells us this likely goes ...

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Andrew McCutchen is tired of John Fogerty’s ‘Centerfield’

Andrew McCutchen probably wants more Pavement played at ballparks.

Former National League MVP and perennial All-Star Andrew McCutchen has made his name in part due to his skills as a center fielder, but apparently would get by just fine if he never heard John Fogerty’s 1985 hit song “Centerfield” again at the ballpark.

So writes the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise in a questionnaire he filled out at the Players’ Tribune on Friday.

The exact question: “The song I never want to hear ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, centerfield, john fogerty, music, pirates

Tommy John Surgery Success Rates in the Majors – The Hardball Times

When we think about pitchers who have recovered from Tommy John surgery, our minds tend to lock onto the successful ones. Tommy John himself. A.J. Burnett. Adam Wainwright. Jordan Zimmermann. What is critical to understand is that one out of every five major pitchers who undergoes the operation never throws another pitch at that level. These are less familiar names, given their career-ending injuries. Ambiorix Burgos. Anthony Reyes. Macay McBride. Bill Simas. The most recent data suggest that ...
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Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 09:37 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: tommy john surgery

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-23-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 23, 1915:

Bob Steele, young left-hander, tells a good one on Calvo, a Cuban outfielder who was with the Victoria club in the Northwestern league. It seems the squad was traveling by boat from Victoria to Vancouver. The club jokesters began kidding Calvo and one of them told the Cuban that the boat had to go through a tunnel in order to get into Vancouver. This sounded interesting to the Cuban and he sat up all night waiting to see the boat go through that tunnel.

I once ...

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Are D’backs in denial about $68.5M phenom or are harsh scouts wrong? | New York Post

In MLB if you are smarter than everybody else, you get a chance to prove it. Or not.

But — unprovoked — both Arizona chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and general manager Dave Stewart begin conversations by saying the D’backs will be better than critics are claiming, citing positional and starting depth and a credo to play hard and fundamentally well.

So is the chorus wrong, or are Arizona officials delusional about the roster in general and Tomas — who they still say can play third ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:48 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, diamondbacks, peter o'brien, tony la russa, yasmany tomas

Are the Mets Big Enough for Matt Harvey?—NYMag

Here’s a NY Magazine feature about Matt Harvey.

Sandy Alderson is more clinical. “When someone transcends the sport and becomes a brand in and of himself, he needs to keep in mind what the foundation of that celebrity is,” the general manager says. “It’s not a fashion line. He’s a baseball player. But I think he’s smart enough to know that.Matt likes to talk. I don’t mean that in a negative way. He likes to talk things through and take time to absorb what he hears and consider ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Starting 9: Minor league options can lead to March roster madness | TribLIVE

Pirates options as Spring Training winds down.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Top prospects Gray, Butler get chance to prove themselves | rockies.com

Gray, out of the University of Oklahoma, was the Rockies’ first-round pick in 2013; Butler, out of Radford, was the 46th player selected overall in 2012. The pair is ranked 1-2 on MLB.com’s organization prospect list, and Butler made three big-league starts last season.

They both opened eyes this spring, and not with their “stuff.” There was never any question about that. Rather it was their maturity and focus that has caught the attention not only of the Rockies but of scouts from other ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: eddie butler, jon gray, rockies

Rays to name Asdrubal Cabrera everyday shortstop | Tampa Bay Times

“He has not done anything this spring to look like he’s lost range,” Cash said last week. “If I had to say, from spring training, this spring, I’ve had the benefit of seeing him his last two years in Cleveland, he looks better. … His body looks better. He’s moving really well.

“He’s made a couple nice plays where he is moving, soft line drives, a couple plays up the middle, and then a backhand play (last week) where he kind of pulled (first baseman James) Loney off the bag, but still he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:27 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, rays

D-backs prospect O’Brien among 7 sent down | dbacks.com

Pete O’Brien can catch, they said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2015 at 06:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, pete o'brien

Robothal: Players union must fight again as familiar story unfolds in Chicago

If Kris Bryant starts the season at Triple-A, the union should file a grievance, even though it would stand little chance of winning. New union chief Tony Clark should embrace the pending Bryant absurdity as the perfect opportunity to take a stand, knowing that bigger fights lie ahead with the collective-bargaining agreement expiring in 2016.

Why won’t Epstein simply acknowledge service-time considerations with Bryant? Presumably for the same reason that other executives follow the same ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 23, 2015 at 01:41 AM | 154 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Will Ferrell now has his own Baseball Reference page

Will Ferrell is officially in the annals of baseball.

Baseball Reference, the online encyclopedia of America’s Pastime, has given the “Anchorman” star his own page on the site after Ferrell played in five different spring training games in Arizona on Thursday.

Before his odyssey began, Ferrell told a radio interviewer that he expected to raise $1 million to be used for college scholarships for cancer survivors. The entire tour was being chronicled by HBO for an upcoming special. Memorabilia ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 23, 2015 at 01:29 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reference, diamondbacks, will ferrell

Pedroia Inspires Teenage Girl To Play With The Boys

Sydney Dore is 14 years old. She’s about 5-foot-3 with blond hair, blue eyes and a big smile that’s lined with shiny braces. She’s down here for spring training.

“Dustin Pedroia is my favorite player on the Red Sox. He is very awesome. I follow him all the time, just follow his stats,” Sydney said.“I would love to meet him though. That would be my biggest dream in the whole world,” she said.

As a first-year player, Sydney comes off the bench. She’s a catcher and occasional ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 23, 2015 at 12:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pedobear, red sox, teenage girl

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Daniel Norris looking like Blue Jays’ fifth starter

After an off-season in which he became a viral sensation for his bushy beard, cerebral surfer persona and his habit of living in his van, Daniel Norris is ready to bring the focus back to his work on the mound.

The media requests — from The Atlantic magazine to NBC — are still pouring in for the man ESPN dubbed “The Most Interesting Pitcher in Baseball,” but the 21-year-old is turning them all down now.

The rookie left-hander, considered among the Blue Jays’ top prospects, is ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 22, 2015 at 09:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, daniel norris, van down by the river

Rockies unexpectedly part ways with Chacin | MLB.com

Well, that was a surprise.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 06:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jhoulys chacin, rockies

The PosCast with Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur - 3/21/15

Pace of play: Both Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur dislike the new pace of play rules. They fear that they will detract from the feel of the sport, and from the hitter/pitcher “chess game.” They believe it is pointless to address the pace of play without addressing the main problem, which in their opinion is pitching changes. Since pitching changes are opportunities to run commercials, they are pessimistic that anything meaningful can be accomplished on this front.

Playoff picks: In the AL, ...

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Amazing Plaid Coat on Senators’ Skipper Clark Griffith - Ghosts of DC

Managers don’t know how to dress like the old timers did.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: uniforms

Twinsights: Josmil Pinto diagnosed with concussion - Twins Now

How do you get hit three times?

Pinto left Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after Adam Jones hit him three times on the follow-through of his swing. All three swings came during the Orioles’ four-run second inning, with the last one striking Pinto on the top of his helmet.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:20 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: josmil pinto, twins

Marlins announce seven-year deal with Yelich

VIERA, Fla.—The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Christian Yelich agreed to a seven-year contract. MLB.com has learned the deal is worth $49.570 million.

Swedish Chef Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:18 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, marlins, signings


Giants notes: Tim Lincecum’s legacy is written, but his denouement is not - Giants Extra

How could I not post an article with “denouement” in the title?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tim lincecum

Red Sox prospect J.T. Watkins soldiering on - Sports - The Boston Globe

J.T. Watkins isn’t your typical minor leaguer.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: human interest story, red sox

Gibson hoping to ramp up pitch velocity this year | twinsbaseball.com

If his sinker was hitting 94, what was his four-seamer hitting?

Gibson, making his second start of the spring, saw his sinker reach as high as 94 mph on the stadium radar gun and he believes he can pitch with increased velocity this season.

Gibson, who posted a 4.47 ERA in 179 1/3 innings in his first full year in the Majors last season, saw his fastball average 91.3 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com.

“I think [throughout] the year I’d like to stay right around there,” Gibson said of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle gibson, twins

For A’s prospect Canha, better bat speed the key - San Francisco Chronicle

Really, who can wait on a cookie?

“They said, ‘These guys don’t make as many mistakes, so you have to go up with the mind-set, ‘I’m going to have to go outside my comfort zone. Be ready for everything, don’t wait for that cookie, because you’re hardly ever going to get those,’” Canha said. “‘Just go after those pitchers’ pitches, because otherwise you’re behind in the count — and then you’re walking back to the dugout and what you’re looking for is never going to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Kris Bryant making strong case for Cubs call-up, but is the brass even listening? - Yahoo Sports

This kid is a freak.

Kris Bryant, 23 years old, smiled and looked out over the tops of the heads around him. He’d hit two more home runs Saturday afternoon, one of them against Felix Hernandez, was batting .480, had played a capable third base and had all of Chicago Cubs fandom rallying behind him. The spring in which he’d been dared to play himself onto the team was going handsomely.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:37 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Mets feared elbow would scuttle offseason Wheeler trade | New York Post

Teams such as the Giants would inquire about the availability of Zack Wheeler during the offseason, and the Mets would not even entertain discussions.

The perception they gave to the industry was Wheeler was part of a group of protected players who were not going to be dealt.

In reality, the Mets did not talk about Wheeler because they thought a swap never would go through, The Post has learned.

As part of any trade medical information is exchanged between teams, and there was enough ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:03 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mets, orioles, rangers, zack wheeler

DallasNews: Big league dreams turn to nightmares for Venezuelan stars

The racket is simple. Grab the relative of a well-paid major league player and make off with some easy ransom money.

“This happens with everybody who has family there,” said Andrus, whose family lives in Maracay, the third-largest city in the country. “It’s easy for them to kidnap people and ask for money. And everybody knows how much money the players make. They can Google it. It’s just not safe. You have to take steps. It was pretty shocking, for sure.”

“He was pretty shaken ...

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Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 22, 2015 at 03:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: elvis andrus, venezuela

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Best Baseball Books - The 20 Best Baseball Books Ever

There are some great books on this list; there are some great books missing.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 04:30 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: books

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