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— All the News That's Fit to Link

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bill Madden: Baseball buzzing as Atlanta Braves lock up their top talent

Taking a break from his letharchaic Al Kavelin and his Cascading Chords box set, Madden spews on…

The bigger picture here for baseball is the vanishing 25-30 homer hitter and the accompanying law of supply and demand. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were only 30 hitters in baseball last year with 25 or more home runs, which was the lowest total since 1992. There were 65 in 2001, the height of the steroids era, and 55 as recently as 2009, three years after baseball began testing ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Zack Greinke not fan of Australia games

Coorey sez…Thaks, Zakary!

Opening their season in Australia more than a week ahead of 28 other teams is causing the Los Angeles Dodgers some headaches, particularly when they try to line up their pitching.

Zack Greinke, who likely would pitch the second of two games at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the Arizona Diamondbacks, is far from enthused at the prospect.

“I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it,” Greinke told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “There just isn’t any excitement to ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 12:42 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Barry Bonds will be spring training Giants instructor

I fully expected Barry Lockridge to come back to Giant land before Barry Bonds!

Barry Bonds is scheduled to return to the Giants from March 9-17, serving as a special instructor for the organization’s young hitters. Bonds has long wanted to take on a more active role with the organization, but the two sides have not been connected in an official capacity since 2007, Bonds’ last season in Major League Baseball.

The years since have been filled with performance-enhancing drug allegations, a ...

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Repoz Posted: February 22, 2014 at 08:01 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history

Howard Bryant: Why have only some players linked to PEDs been banished from baseball?

Howard Bryant: “selective justice means no justice at all.” Free Humberto Cota!

But who survives the steroids era in retirement—who is allowed a future in the game—has been the most subjective and troubling remnant of those dishonest decades. Thus far, the determining factors of redemption have been race, power and personality. The top-level nonwhite players associated with PEDs—Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro—are out of baseball. The white players—Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, ...

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Repoz Posted: February 22, 2014 at 04:18 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: history, steroids

Ricketts’ answers don’t explain Cubs’ lower payroll spending - Chicago Sun-Times

With all the young talent on the way, doesn’t it make sense to not spend money for the sake of spending money until the group is ready?

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts adamantly denied Wednesday that Ricketts family ownership is taking profits at the expense of spending on the baseball operation.

‘‘Profit-taking? I’m not even sure what that means,’’ he said during his annual spring training media conference. ‘‘Of course not. Absolutely not. That’s ridiculous.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2014 at 03:30 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Bryan Stow Attackers Plead Guilty

Another chapter in this sad story. Steve Dilbeck opinion piece says they plea bargained.

Marvin Norwood, 30, pleaded guilty to one courtof assault likely to produce great bodily injury and Louie Sanchez, 31, pleaded guilty to one coumt of mayhem. Stow, a paramedic in Northern California, suffered serious head trauma and will require care for the rest of his life from a permanent disability. He has a pending civil lawsuit against the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt.

Also a more newsy ...

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Knock on any Iorg Posted: February 22, 2014 at 03:28 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, fans, giants

Rosenthal: Arruebarrena’s deal with #Dodgers: 5 yrs, $25M. Includes $7.5M signing bonus.

Sorry to have to link to Twitter. I can’t find an actual article anywhere.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 22, 2014 at 03:24 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

DJ Short: Report: Orioles closing in on a deal with Nelson Cruz

No word yet on the terms involved and Heyman writes that a couple of issues still need to be resolved, but a deal is seen as “extremely likely.” The Orioles would surrender their second-round pick (and the corresponding draft pool money) in order to sign Cruz, as they already gave up their first-rounder for Jimenez. It’s unclear whether signing Cruz officially takes the Orioles out of the mix for Ervin Santana, but it’s safe to say that they fully intend to contend this season.

The ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitters, jon heyman, orioles

Castrovince: Bucs live by defensive analysis

More to the point, the 2013 season, at large, proved the merits of moving guys around. No Major League team, according to Baseball Info Solutions, used defensive shifts more than the Pirates last season, and, ergo, the Buccos’ internal data suggests that they completed more plays “out of position” than anybody and were one of the most efficient defensive teams in the league.

This was the method by which the Pirates maximized the impact of their pitching staff and overcame an offense that, ...

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Repoz Posted: February 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, sabermetrics

La Russa: Bagwell, Biggio belong in Hall of Fame

Maybe it’s because I have a swell ball of phlegm in my head or been listening to too much Exocomet, but I’m confuded… “La Russa said he doesn’t understand the criteria members of the BBWAA use to vote for the Hall of Fame.

“Otherwise, Jack Morris would be in the Hall of Fame,” La Russa said. “The new metrics have a real important place, just don’t exaggerate them, and I think they get exaggerated at times. Like with Jack Morris, and maybe Bagwell.”

La Russa has an immense amount of respect ...

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Repoz Posted: February 22, 2014 at 09:31 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, sabermetrics

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lucchino exchanges barbs with Yankee president Levine

Lucchino’s Luck: Cold war effort.

The rivarly between the players on the field—save for an occasional Ryan Dempster target practice at A-Rod—has cooled. But as long as Larry Lucchino and Randy Levine are around, the Red Sox and Yankees will always be the Hatfields and the McCoys.

In his annual spring-training meeting with the media on Friday, Lucchino seemed to take more than a little satisfaction in watching the Yankees spend more than a half-billion
dollars this winter on free agents Brian ...

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Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 07:51 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Sandy Koufax hit in head by foul ball

Show him the Koufax!

Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was struck in the head by a foul ball as the Los Angeles Dodgers were taking batting practice at their spring training complex on Friday.

Koufax was standing in foul ground next to the bullpen, watching pitching prospect Ross Stripling throw, when Andre Ethier hit a low liner toward the area. Players yelled, “Heads up!” but before Koufax could react, the ball hit him on the left side of the head.

Koufax was smiling as he walked toward a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 05:13 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Fangraphs (Cameron)—Best and Worst Transactions of the 2014 Offseason

Worst Transactions of the 2014 Offseason.

Best transaction:

1. The Nationals acquire Doug Fister.
Cost: Robbie Ray, Steve Lombardozzi, and Ian Krol.

You probably knew this was coming. I’m going to guess that this move will show up at the top of every best-transactions-of-2014 list, as the Nationals basically stole Doug Fister from the Tigers in a trade that no one still understands very well. When you look at the prices being commanded for quality starting pitchers, getting Fister — who ...

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Esoteric Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove

Detroit News: Venezuelan Tigers show support for protesters in home country

Magglio Ordonez and Joe Kennedy were unavailable for comment.

In a rare, but unified display of national politics in a major-league clubhouse, the Tigers who are native Venezuelans demonstrated their support for the protesters in their country on Friday by posing together with banners, flags and slogans.

The group of 12 included Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers’ two-time most valuable player; Victor Martinez, coach Omar Vizquel and pitcher Anibal Sanchez.

Some of the players held flags on which ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: socialism, tigers, venezuela

Fox Sports: Tigers might get short end of Fister trade, but they thought it through

Well that’s a relief.  Here I was thinking that Dombrowski had just been on a bender the entire offseason:

Because it helps explain a trade by the Tigers that left many of us baffled—right-hander Doug Fister to the Nationals for a modest pitching prospect, left-hander Robbie Ray, and two complementary parts, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and utility man Steve Lombardozzi.

My initial reaction—and the initial reaction of many in the industry—was that Tigers general manager David ...

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Esoteric Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: detroit tigers, regrets, i've had a few, washington nationals

Divish: GM Jack Zduriencik has “no expectations” for Jesus Montero

After each season, players meet with training and medical staff to set up their offseason. Each player is given a target weight they are expected to come in at for the following season. According to sources,  Montero has never once met that target weight since joining the Mariners. This year he came in 40 pounds over the weight the Mariners wanted him to come in at.

It’s led to frustration within the organization. General manager Jack Zduriencik was particularly critical of Montero and his ...

Read More...
Good cripple hitter Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, jesus montero, mariners

Alfonso Soriano ponders retirement after season

Jeterivera Tour Lines laughs at this…

Alfonso Soriano could join Derek Jeter in retirement following the end of the upcoming baseball season.

“It depends on how I feel,’’ Soriano said when asked by The Post if he wants to continue playing. “If I am healthy I will play [in 2015]. If not, I will let it go. It depends how I feel.’’

Soriano will be 39 in July and this will be his 14th big league season. Between the Cubs and Yankees last year, Soriano hit 34 homers and drove in 101 ...

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Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2014

Spring Training 1914

Hugh Fullerton in the Pittsburgh Press, February 21, 1914:

The spring training trips of major league ball clubs are the annual joke of the game, and they are largely responsible for the poorer quality of baseball dished out to the fans.
...
In 20 years of going south with major league baseball teams I never have seen a team that was not in better condition at the end of two weeks of training than it was when it started the season. A seasoned player…at the end of 10 days or two weeks will be in ...

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Ferkovich: Cobb almost lost his third .400 season due to a scorekeeping controversy

“Eureka! Who ####### cares?”

Only three players have hit over .400 in a season three times: Rogers Hornsby, Ed Delahanty, and Ty Cobb. The Georgia Peach hit .420 in 1911, .409 in 1912, and .401 in 1922.

That last one, however, almost didn’t happen, and was the subject of controversy at the time.

Rewind back to May 15, 1922, at a rainy Polo Grounds in New York. The Detroit Tigers were playing the New York Yankees. Cobb hit a ground ball to shortstop Everett Scott. According to one newspaper ...

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Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Theo Epstein promises to stick with Cubs through thick or thin

If that World Series pennant leaves the ground and you’re not with it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life!

But not even Theo Epstein is claiming his baseball plan can be achieved by waiting until the kids get here to start spending on big-league players.

“We’re not saying that you can build a championship team through the minor-league system alone,” he said Thursday. “That would be extremely challenging, if not impossible.” ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 06:43 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Leigh Montville: The BBWAA should rescind its 2011 award to Bill Conlin

Pulling the one chair out from under Conlin.

The picture of the late Bill Conlin that is used most often in stories about him these days (including this one) is a shot from the ceremonies in Cooperstown. He is wearing a pair of those old man glasses with yellow lenses and he has the white hair and the little white beard and he is at a podium that reads “National Baseball Hall of Fame” on the front. His right hand is in the air and he is reading from a prepared script and no doubt he is being ...

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Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 06:30 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa, history, hof

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Red Sox add Chris Capuano

The Boston Red Sox on Thursday agreed with left-hander Chris Capuano on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to major league camp, according to a league source.

The deal is pending a physical.

The 35-year-old Massachusetts native has spent all nine of his major league seasons in the National League, the past two with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:52 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, pitching, red sox

James: Big Game Pitchers (Registration Required)

Didn’t get to this right away, but hey, most of these guys pitched a while ago ;-)

Bill James recently did a 10-part series (behind his paywall) on “big game pitchers”.  He came up (in Part II) with a system “to assign ‘Big Game Points’ to every major league regular-season game played since 1952”.  Part III explains that 7.7% of regular season games end up getting designated as “Big Games”, in addition to all postseason games.

James then discusses: ...Read More...


Juan Lagares may be the odd man out in the Mets’ outfield | HardballTalk

A little old, but I’m posting it because, much like the Blue Blazer, it made my blue blood boil.

The Mets made a splash this off-season, signing Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. They also picked up Chris Young on the cheap, and manager Terry Collins views him as a starter. That leaves one spot in the outfield between Juan Lagares and Eric Young, Jr.

According to Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger, it sounds like Young is in the lead and Lagares may be relegated to a bench ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:38 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: eric young jr., juan lagares, mets

SBNation/TalkingChop: BREAKING: Andrelton Simmons gets seven-year, $58 million extension

No yearly breakout, but it buys out two of his free agent years in 2019-20.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 20, 1914:

Frank Chance, manager of the New York American league baseball team, saved the lives of his brother-in-law, Carl Pancake, formerly a Chicago newspaper man, and two other men in the floods caused by the storm Wednesday.

Pancake and two companions, Charles Gordon and Samuel Riser, were riding in a motor car when a retaining wall gave way and loosed upon them a wall of water five feet deep. The car was overturned and the men swept through an orchard near ...

Read More...

SI Kids: Max Mannis: Talking Stats at Yankees Camp

I think the wrong person is wearing the Yankee cap.

Several days ago, I opened up my first pack of 2014 Topps baseball cards. I flipped over the cards to look over the stats written on the back, and next to traditional stats, such as home runs, RBIs, wins, and saves, I saw that WAR, a sabermetric, was listed for each player. I was so excited to discover that Topps has decided to include SABR on their cards.

For those of you who don’t know, WAR is a statistic that stands for Wins Above ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

Baseball Analytics: Smart Pitchers Throw Away From B.J. Upton

Upton’s offensive regressions have stemmed mainly from his inability to put bat on ball. In 2011, his overall contact rate stood at 76.7%, fell to 70.6% the following season and plummeted to 66.9% last season with Atlanta, which was the third lowest among batters with at least 400 plate appearances, trumped only by Pedro Alvarez (66.1%) and Chris Carter (65.4%), according to FanGraphs.

Three seasons ago, he was able to place contact on just about any pitch in the strike zone—boasting a 84% ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

St. Petersburg’s Kriseman, Rays’ Sternberg meet for ‘great conversation’

Hmmm…wonder if John Rocker and Mayor de Blasio will ever meet for ‘great conversation’.

Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg and new St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman met Tuesday afternoon to talk baseball, their first official session since Kriseman took office.

“It was nice,’’ Sternberg said Wednesday morning at the Rays spring training site. “We had a great conversation and I’m very confident in his ability and his vision in leading the city.’‘

Sternberg said it was a ...

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Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Report: Phillies turn in Oregon State’s Ben Wetzler to NCAA for using an agent

The Philadelphia Phillies turned in Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler to the NCAA for using an agent during negotiations with the team and refusing to sign as their fifth-round pick in last year’s MLB draft, reports Baseball America‘s Aaron Fitt.

The NCAA prohibits any athlete from using agents to negotiate with pro teams and as a result, Wetzler was suspended indefinitely last week by the NCAA after returning to school for his senior season.

He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection ...

Read More...
DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:13 AM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: ncaa, phillies

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