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Friday, March 17, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2017

Former Browns scout Charley Barrett on the time he tried and failed to sign an amateur pitcher named Grover Alexander, quoted in the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, March 17, 1917:

“I stopped over in Beardstown to change trains and went to a hotel. Carrie Nation then was making a lecturing tour. She was at the hotel, but was to leave on another train. I set down my grip in the lobby, so did Carrie. She paid her bill, and making a great clatter grabbed a grip and hustled to the depot.
...
I got to the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, grover cleveland alexander, history, scouts

Why do the A’s wear green? You can thank Charlie Finley | MLB.com

Though many of Finley’s ideas have now faded away into the annals of baseball history—there are no more hot pants days, mules named “Charlie O” or orange baseballs filling your broadcast—the Athletics are synonymous with the green and gold.

When you watch all the green on the field for St. Patricks Day, don’t just thank the 1978 Reds for being the first to start the tradition. Thank Charlie Finley for proving, long before the days of alternate jerseys, that fans do want colorful unis.

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2017 at 05:47 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, charlie finley, uniforms

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What does Statcast’s catch probability tell us about Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner? - River Avenue Blues

So, while Ellsbury’s 1-for-28 effort on Five Star Outs in 2016 may not accurately reflect his true defensive ability given the limited amount of data, it did happen, and it did cost the Yankees runs. My eyes told me both Gardner and Ellsbury were still above-average defenders last season, Gardner moreso. Neither was as good as we’ve seen them in the past, I don’t think, and that makes sense given their ages. The various defensive stats say the opposite is true, that they were better than ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 11:21 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brett gardner, jacoby ellsbury, yankees

Bob Bruce, Astros’ starting pitcher in first Astrodome official game, dies

Bob Bruce, the man who was the starting pitcher in the last game at Houston’s Colt Stadium and the first official official game at the Astrodome, died Wednesday at the age of 83.

RIP.

QLE Posted: March 16, 2017 at 06:51 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astrodome, astros, bob bruce, colt .45's, obituaries

Sun-Times: Ken Harrelson likely to cut back schedule even more after 2017

“I didn’t say I wanted to broadcast four more years,’’ Harrelson told the Sun-Times. “The main thing is I just want to be in baseball four more years, not necessarily broadcasting.”

Harrelson said he will do Sox broadcasts this season, “and if I decide to do some games next year … it’s up to them.’’

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: March 16, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, white sox

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez to blame for fatal boating crash, investigation concludes

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, drunk and speeding, was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.

Had Fernandez lived, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter, according to the final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Investigators made the conclusion because the physical damage to Fernandez’s body matched the damage on the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: jose fernandez, marlins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-16-2017

Tacoma Times, March 16, 1917:

Baseball…is in a fine fix today. Every major league baseball club the country contains is miles and miles from home—and the railroad men say they’re going to stop running trains.

Thus, thrown right up to them, there is the prospect of no trains home for the axe victims and no trains north for those who stick.

The railroad unions were fighting for an eight-hour work day, which was nominally enacted by the Adamson Act in late 1916. The railroad companies challenged ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 16, 2017 at 10:25 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

WBC Gamechatter - March 16, 2017

A place to chat if you are still awake.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Team USA rides late home runs past Venezuela | MLB.com

Sounds like a fun game to watch.

Late-inning heroics from Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer vaulted the United States past Venezuela, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Petco Park in yet another World Baseball Classic thriller.

The U.S. bats were quiet throughout much of the night until Jones brought a much-needed spark with a game-tying leadoff homer in the eighth. Hosmer followed three batters later with a two-run blast that ultimately handed the U.S. a win in its second-round opener.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: usa, venezuela, wbc

Cubs’ Pipeline Spring Training report | MLB.com

Cubs farm director Jaron Madison beams when asked about the organization’s seemingly never-ending supply of impact position players.
“We’re fortunate in that regard,” Madison said. “We’ve done a really good job with guys who can swing the bat and bought into our approach. That’s made it a lot easier to integrate them into what we’re doing.”

Chicago doesn’t have enough room in its lineup to accommodate all of its worthy hitters. Jimenez needs at least another year in the Minors and Happ could ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sporting News: Bat flips are so last season.

Bat flips are so pedestrian. Or, as the video states, so last season. Time to switch things up. Say hello to The Swashbuckler, The Jockey, The Lullaby, The Grandpa and The Drum Major. Worthy alternatives all.

Stay to the end for the Edgar Martinez punchline.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 07:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, edgar martinez, mariners, unwritten rules

Matt Harvey learning to deal with drop in velocity

Following each of his first two Grapefruit League starts, Matt Harvey spoke about the unknowns of returning from surgery to remove a rib, and specifically the process to build his fastball back up to its usual velocity.

On Wednesday, after he allowed four runs—two earned—in 3 1/3 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins, Harvey acknowledged for the first time what might happen if his fastball velocity does not return.

“You can’t look past it,” Harvey said. “It’s going to be there or it’s not, ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:59 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

IF CLEAN SHEET CO. DESIGNED CAPS FOR THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

These are pretty sweet.

Australia’s baseball identity is, on balance, pretty decent. But it’s got some issues. The most pressing: from the squad’s colors to the letter ‘A’, the current visual package looks way too much like how a video game who couldn’t secure MLB rights might depict the Oakland A’s. This is fixable. The Australian national identity is tied up with that of the kangaroo. This version of the ’roo is inspired by the one used by the Australian air force. Depicted ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: hats, world baseball classic

The Art of Pitching (Faster)

This graph seems to show that pitches thrown 30 seconds after the previous pitch get about one less expected strike per 100 calls than pitches thrown 10 seconds after the previous pitch. That’s not enormous, but it’s not nothing. Except that here, too, there’s a potential complication: With two strikes, the zone shrinks and pace tends to slow down. Thus it might appear that the zone gets tighter as pace increases, when really the count is responsible. In fact, if we redo the graph for ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ben lindbergh, pace of play

To grieve Jose Fernandez’s death, Giancarlo Stanton took life-changing journey

And now, nearly six months after the tragic passing of his Miami Marlins teammate, Jose Fernandez, Stanton admits that he looks at baseball through different eyes.

He has learned to “enjoy the moment,” he says, forcefully, “and understand this is the best time of my life—and have joy with it.”

How did he get to this place? Where did he turn to find the solace and healing he needed after Fernandez’s shocking death last September?

On the streets of Barcelona and the beaches of Brazil. At the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:09 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, jose fernandez, marlins

Oakland A’s to lower stadium beer prices

We can’t afford Josh Donaldson, but we can afford cheap beer!

In a video posted to the A’s Facebook page, Kaval revealed that a 20-ounce serving of one of the 77 beers on tap will cost $10 for premium selections and $8 for domestic during the 2017 season. Comparatively, a 12-ounce beer at the Coliseum cost $5 in 2016, or about $.43 an ounce, according to Team Marketing Report. The discounted domestic beer will cost three cents less per ounce.  According to Kaval, the Coliseum now offers the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:07 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, beer

Each year, projections are down on Buck Showalter’s Orioles. Each year, they outperform

The first week of February is one of Buck Showalter’s favorite times of the year, and not only because sprig training is right around the corner. It’s usually around then that the top sabermetric websites release their win projections for the upcoming season, and Showalter, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, takes perverse pleasure in finding out how awful his team is going to be. The projections rarely disappoint.

His favorite is PECOTA, Baseball Prospectus’s projection model….

By ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 15, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, pecota

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-15-2017

Seattle Star, March 15, 1917:

Joe Wood, the Indians’ $15,000 gamble, won’t be in shape to pitch when the season opens. He admits his costly arm has developed a kink—a sort of “grating in the shoulder.” Doctors are working on Joe.

The Cleveland Indians ought to burn up the American league. They’ve just bought $15,000 worth of wood.

As you know by now if you’ve been following the Dugout, Joe Wood’s arm was completely and irredeemably scragged at this point. He turned into a pretty good outfielder, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 10:16 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, smoky joe wood

Sporting News: Collusion hurt Al Oliver’s Hall of Fame case; can he still get in?

The former National League batting champion had last played in 1985, unable to get a contract for the following season. But on Jan. 10, 1995, arbitrator Thomas Roberts ruled that collusion by Major League Baseball had cost Oliver and nine other players jobs in 1986. Roberts awarded Oliver $680,031.05.


For Oliver, the stakes were high when he lost his livelihood. Oliver stalled out at 2,743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average. A few months past his 39th birthday heading into the 1986 ...

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Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: March 15, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: al oliver, collusion, dave parker, hall of fame

Joe Maddon wants Cubs relievers ready for any situation - Chicago Tribune

Sorting out the bullpen.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 07:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger unfazed by slow start to spring training - The Orange County Register

“During the (Arizona) Fall League, the first couple games were like that,” Bellinger said. “For some reason that happens, but that’s baseball. It’s a game of adjustments. Your hands aren’t going to be in the right spot 100 percent of the time.”

Ward believes there’s more to it than that.

“You’ve got to go through things in the course of the season and the course of spring,” Ward said. “Always, there’s little adjustments to make. I wish I could say it’s one thing, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers, prospects

Pay attention to Rangers catching prospect Jose Trevino - Minor League Ball

How do their shoe sizes compare?

Further offensive development is not impossible at all. The parallel that comes to mind is Yadier Molina, who like Trevino was a defensive specialist without a strong bat at first, but who maintained low strikeout rates as he moved up, got a major league job with his defense, and eventually developed as a hitter.

They even have the same height/weight data, both 5-11; Trevino is at 195 and Molina is 205 pounds, but when Molina was Trevino’s age he was also 195 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex trevino, prospects, rangers


Mets send ‘great’ Amed Rosario away, but keep the door open | New York Post

Another great looking New York shortstop prospect. He clearly needs some offensive refinement. I’m not sure how much playing in Las Vegas will help him, though.

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Collins said, referring to the possibility of Rosario making his major league debut this year. “He’s got to shrink the strike zone a little bit — he gets a little bit too big — but he’s shown that last year.

“That’s what the big challenge was last year, to get deeper in counts, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: amed rosario, mets

Gleyber Torres isn’t making a demotion easy on Yankees | New York Post

He has looked great this spring training. There is no way he breaks with the team, though.

Of course, there’s still the reality that Torres has never played above Class A and is expected to open the season with Double-A Trenton.

General manager Brian Cashman has cautioned that Torres also hasn’t played in cold temperatures.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:53 AM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: gleyber torres, yankees

Peter Gammons: Toronto building a new culture - GammonsDaily.com

Grey Poupon for everyone!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, clubhouse culture

Mets give Lucas Duda insurance policy a test drive at first base | New York Post

Bruce was tested twice against the Astros. In the second inning, Wilmer Flores bounced a throw from third base that Bruce scooped to record the final out. In the fourth, Bruce fielded a grounder and flipped to Jacob deGrom covering the bag for the final out. On that play, Bruce hesitated on his flip — a brief miscommunication — before getting the ball to deGrom.

“You’ve got to get the ball to Jake a little quicker,” Collins said. “But I saw stuff [Bruce] can learn and thought he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, lucas duda, mets

The Gurus Behind Baseball’s Search for the Perfect Swing - WSJ

Somewhere Ted Williams is thinking, “I told you so.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting, ted williams

Puerto Rico defeats Dominican Republic | MLB.com

Although I had to tap out again, I enjoyed most of the game. If critics want to complain about the lack of interest by American fans, maybe they should realize that it’s tough for most people to get into the tournament when a lot of the games are played at unwatchable times for people who work and live on the East Coast. I’m hardcore so I make the attempt. So, critics, cut the American fans slack for a tournament geared to the International market.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican republic, puerto rico, wbc

Netherlands eliminates Cuba from 2017 WBC | MLB.com

Another Cinderella story.

Even with a talent-rich team headlined by big leaguers Xander Bogaerts, Didi Gregorius, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons and Jurickson Profar, the Netherlands is viewed an underdog in this year’s Classic—at least in contrast to the loaded Pool F dueling on the other side of the Pacific.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:28 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, netherlands, wbc

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