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Friday, March 11, 2016

Texas Rangers: Signs from spring training; Mazara looks legit, Perez looks ready for big role, do these games actually matter? | SportsDay

Who has impressed you the most in spring training?

Grant: Nomar Mazara looks legit. Has great approach at the plate. Stinging the ball. It’s not surprising that he is performing well since he’s a top prospect, but maybe a bit surprising since this is his first major league spring training. Also: Martin Perez. He just looks ready for a big role. And seven ground balls in two innings in his first spring start is further evidence the Tommy John issues are a thing of the past.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-11-2016

Toledo News-Bee, March 11, 1916:

Ty Cobb, world-famous ball player, is mourning the loss of a $600 diamond ring which he has been wearing for the past 10 years. The ring is resting somewhere along the Big Four railroad tracks between Ivorydale and Lockland, near Cincinnati.

Cobb lost the ring when it was washed from a new style basin unknown to Cobb. Cobb walked the ties, but was unable to locate the expensive stone. He has offered a big reward for its return.

Don’t look at it as the loss of a ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 11, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ty cobb

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Grumpy old codger grumps

“Bautista is a f—-ing disgrace to the game…[Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing.”

Shockingly, it gets worse.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 10, 2016 at 02:56 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: blowhards

Bryce Harper: Baseball ‘a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself’

“If a guy pumps his fist at me on the mound, I’m going to go, ‘Yeah, you got me. Good for you. Hopefully I get you next time.’ That’s what makes the game fun.

Fun?  This is baseball we’re talking about.  You’re not supposed to look like you’re having fun.

Srul Itza Posted: March 10, 2016 at 12:12 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Another year of the Jered Weaver experiment

At this point it’s safe to call it a spring tradition: Eyebrows get raised in response to Jered Weaver‘s underwhelming velocity, and Weaver tells the media he doesn’t care. There’s nothing wrong with Weaver’s reaction, because he is more of a command pitcher, and he knows he’ll be fine if he locates. I’m sure he’s beyond tired of this repeating conversation. But from the outside, it’s significant that Weaver’s fastball continues to surprise, because it just keeps getting ...

Read More...
Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 10, 2016 at 10:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, jered weaver, velocity

Yoan Moncada making a strong impression in camp - The Boston Globe

I say he ends up in LF.

He could become the third baseman who replaces Pablo Sandoval. Or he could become the left fielder who replaces Rusney Castillo.
[snip]
“He moves way better than I anticipated,” Kelly said. “He’s quicker than I thought. I underestimated him.

“He’s got so much mass on his body. There’s nobody in the history of baseball who has been that strong and that big [as a second baseman].

“I work out with NFL football players in the offseason. I see them every day, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:14 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yoan moncada

Hyun Soo Kim continues drought, could be testing Orioles’ patience - Baltimore Sun

It’s looks like he may start in AAA.

As Hyun Soo Kim’s hitless streak grew to 21 at-bats following an 0-for-3 outing in the Orioles’ 8-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday afternoon, the club is remaining hopeful that the South Korean outfielder will break out of his early spring slump sooner than later. But it’s growing evident that the Orioles are getting just as frustrated with Kim’s struggles.

“It’s just, I know what 0-for-whatever looks like,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun-soo kim, orioles

Royals’ Kendrys Morales is old soul in clubhouse and a run-producer in lineup | The Kansas City Star

Kendrys Morales is an old soul of sorts, a fan of the classics, so as he made a home at Kauffman Stadium in 2015, he settled on a simple routine. He would show up to the stadium around noon, change into a pair of basketball shorts and a T-shirt and cue up a playlist from a past generation.

“Elvis,” Royals manager Ned Yost says. “Frank Sinatra.”

In his first season in Kansas City, the rhythms of Morales fit his new club perfectly. As a switch-hitting designated hitter with hands like ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kendrys morales, royals

Pirates notebook: Outfielder Austin Meadows out indefinitely with orbital fracture in right eye | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hopefully it won’t impact his vision.

Pirates prospect Austin Meadows, an outfielder drafted ninth overall in 2013, injured his right eye while playing catch Tuesday at Pirate City. Initial tests showed an orbital fracture, but he’ll have further testing early next week in Pittsburgh.

Trainer Todd Tomczyk said it is too early to give a timetable for Meadows’ return. Doctors will to wait for swelling to subside before deciding whether the injury requires surgery. “Every injury has its own ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: austin meadows, pirates

Cody Bellinger having hot start to spring | dodgers.com

I’ve a few Dodgers games this spring. Bellinger has looked good. What hasn’t been good is the announcers mentioning his father in just about EVERY AB. In one game, they mentioned his father in all three AB.

We get it. Please stop.

“I get that question a lot,” said Bellinger, the son of former Major Leaguer Clay Bellinger, the assistant coach when Cody went to the Little League World Series and now a fireman in nearby Gilbert.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-10-2016

Milwaukee Sentinel, March 10, 1916:

Jim Scott, White Sox pitcher, is working a new delivery, which he thinks he will call the X-ball, applying the algebraic meaning of unknown quantity of the “X”.

The idea came by accident. He took a bottle of mineral water to the park. By moistening the tips of his two fingers of his right hand he found he could raise a loose welt on one side of the ball, and this caused it to take a weird and erratic course on the way to the plate. Half a minute sufficed to ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 10, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim scott, pitches

Reds’ Jay Bruce, Joey Votto working on bunting this spring

It’s all about the shift.

It’s hard not to notice all the real estate on the left side of the infield when Jay Bruce comes up to bat. Most teams employ an extreme shift with Bruce at the plate, moving the second baseman into short right field, the shortstop behind the bag and the third baseman at the normal shortstop position.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:45 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, joey votto, reds

Orioles’ Chris Tillman looking forward to putting hip issue behind him in first spring start - Baltimore Sun

Is Chris Tillman a top of the rotation starter or not? A hip issue won’t help him pitch like one for the Orioles.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris tillman, orioles

Baseball players more friendly to each other | MLB.com

It is just a game.

Mike Caldwell was traded from the Reds to the Brewers on June 15, 1977. Upon joining his new team, Caldwell reportedly called a team meeting at which he announced, “There are only 24 players in this game I like. … And if I ever get traded from here I’ll hate every one of you, too.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Mets Matt Harvey added spin to slider in 2015 | mets.com

When data matches perception.

Harvey noted to DiComo that he wasn’t sure if it was a “a forearm-strength thing or a feel thing,” and in late July, it was reported that he’d made adjustments to the slider with pitching coach Dan Warthen. But the trend was unmistakable. Just look at what happens when you compare spin rate (in blue) to the vertical movement he gained (orange line):

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Adrian Beltre Seeks Three-Year Deal From Rangers - MLB Trade Rumors

That’s a lot of money for a 37 year old, especially with Joey Gallo waiting. I guess we’ll see what the Rangers really think of Gallo.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is looking for a three-year deal in extension talks with the club, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports (Twitter links). He’s also hoping to out-earn Pablo Sandoval on an annual basis, per the report, which would suggest a deal with an average annual value in excess of $19MM. Presumably, that contract would kick in following the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, rangers

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Arrieta, Cubs talking extension

He’s only going to get more expensive after this year’s 30-1, 0.87 ERA.

Arrieta and Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein recently discussed parameters for an extension, but nothing is imminent. ... Arrieta insisted that a longer-term deal would have to be for six or seven years, as there would be no point in a three- to four-year contract that would take him only a year or two past free agency. Arrieta has two seasons remaining before he reaches free agency.[\blockquote]

Walt Davis Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:54 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrietta

Ruben Amaro, Jr. says Phillies’ anti-analytics image was a ruse to gain a “competitive advantage”

David Laurila of FanGraphs caught up with Amaro and asked about the whole analytics thing in Philadelphia.

“You can’t ever deny the numbers. That’s true for every GM and every baseball person, regardless of whether you’re ‘old school’ or ‘new school.’ When a scout walks in, the first thing he does is pick up a stat sheet and look at what the player does and what he’s been doing. The numbers don’t lie.

“I’ve always believed in analytics. I just didn’t make it all ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:56 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, phillies, ruben amaro jr.

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-9-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 9, 1916:

INDIAN JIM THORPE IS BATTING LEFT-HANDED

Jim Thorpe, world’s champion all-around athlete, will stick in the majors if a changed batting style will turn the trick. The Indian, with the Giants, failed to hit National league twirling while batting right-handed. McGraw shipped him to Toronto last season, but recalled him and now is elated over the way the chief crowns the pill at Marlin, Texas, clouting left-handed.

I’m not sure if Thorpe stuck with batting ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 09, 2016 at 09:39 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim thorpe

Rob Manfred, Bud Selig proud of MLB’s growth | MLB.com

Please don’t break it.

How good are things? So good that baseball basically sells 75 million tickets annually, which Manfred pointed out is more than the NFL, NHL and NBA combined.

All of that is good.

It, however, isn’t reason for MLB to be satisfied. The challenge is to not only maintain, but build on the success of the last quarter-century.
Manfred knows it.

That’s why when a fan asked what the greatest opportunity and the greatest challenge the game faces are, Manfred said, “They are the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:47 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

Jace Peterson could be prepping for Braves utility role | www.myajc.com

Playing last year’s Braves starting second baseman Jace Peterson at multiple positions this spring has less to do with Atlanta’s future middle infield duo Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson being in camp than it does having several other versatile veterans.

The signings of Gordon Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio and re-signing of Kelly Johnson gives Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez the flexibility to use left-righty matchups or potential platoons at second base and third base. They also return ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2016 at 07:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jace peterson

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - March 2016

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: best shape of his life stories and Trump’s junk (or so I assume).

Moses Taylor, Optimist Posted: March 08, 2016 at 04:01 PM | 1978 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

Braves, Marlins to play at Fort Bragg on July 3


The Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins will play a first-of-its-kind regular season game in celebration of the nation’s servicemen and servicewomen at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Sunday, July 3rd, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today. The game will air nationally on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 8:00 p.m. (ET).

A new 12,500-capacity ballpark constructed by MLB and the MLBPA will host the “Fort ...

Read More...
Gamingboy Posted: March 08, 2016 at 03:31 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fort bragg, marlins, mlb

Projected Opening-Day Payrolls for All 30 MLB Teams

This never would have happened if baseball had a salary cap.

Also not a surprise: the Tampa Bay Rays bring up the rear. The average payroll right now is $128 million, and the median is right up there at $126 million. However, right after that median, there’s a major dropoff. The Chicago White Sox come in at $125 million, but after them, there is more than a $20 million drop to the Colorado Rockies. The top-four teams have a higher combined payroll than the bottom-ten teams combined, but that ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 03:21 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: payrolls

WEEI: Red Sox top prospect Michael Kopech fractures hand after altercation with teammate

He’s got a million-dollar arm, and a million-kopek head.

Kopech, one of the Red Sox’ top pitching prospects, fractured his right hand after engaging in an altercation with a teammate recently. ... Kopech, a first-round pick of the Red Sox in the 2014 draft, missed 50 games last season after being suspended for the use of Oxilofrine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: March 08, 2016 at 02:29 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

MLB Announces ‘Historic’ Partnership With National Gay And Lesbian Chamber Of Commerce

“MLB: We don’t care what anyone says, you fruits are ok with us!”

You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:51 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: business

MLB’s Biggest Pace Of Play Offenders

Was Joe West involved?

In terms of who is stretching games out, not shortening them, you might be surprised at who had the longest games… or, maybe you wouldn’t if you thought about the strength of their pitching.

Last season, the team that stretched games out the longest wasn’t the Red Sox or Yankees. In fact, it was from the National League. The Colorado Rockies, who averaged 3:09 per 9 innings was the biggest pace of play offender for 2015. They only had three NL teams that they ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 10:20 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Mets are using caution with their young pitching staff | Newsday

We can still dream.

“Nothing’s ever guaranteed,” Hefner said.

We forget that sometimes, when it looks too easy. The Mets finally will unwrap each of their five starters this week in succession: Monday was the split-squad assignments with Matz and Bartolo Colon, followed by Matt Harvey (Tuesday versus the Braves), Jacob deGrom (Wednesday versus the Yankees) and Noah Syndergaard (Thursday versus the Cardinals).

It’s going to feel like a long month for the Mets, hoping they’re all ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-8-2016

Milwaukee Sentinel, March 8, 1916:

Dispatches from Tampa on Tuesday said [Cubs] Manager Tinker had announced that Pitcher Phil Douglass [sic] would not be retained on the Cubs’ staff. Douglass, according to Tinker, was not in condition to start practice.

Read: He showed up drunk.

Douglas’s story is equal parts sad and strange. A talented pitcher and a mostly out-of-control alcoholic, he wore out his welcome everywhere he ever pitched. In 1922, while he was with the Giants, the team hired police ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 08, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, shufflin' phil douglas

Cubs’ Addison Russell getting power surge from leg kick - Chicago Tribune

Addison Russell with power? The Cubs lineup won’t be fair.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs

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