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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Home Run Derby: Mathews v Aaron

Not much to it, and not really news, but I just realized that a bunch of the old “Home Run Derby” programs, which were first aired in the 50s and 60s, and then re-aired in ESPN back in the 80s, are available in their entirety on YouTube.

This one sees the Braves’ sluggers go up against one another. It’s interesting to see Eddie’s smooth, left-handed uppercut, and its contrast to Hank’s lunging, shoulder-heavy right-handed slash.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, classic baseball, home run derby, old school, video

Joe Poz: No. 52: Wade Boggs

When you see the perfect third baseman in your mind, who do you see? Schmidt with his compact swing, as perfect as a short right hook? Brett turning on a Goose Gossage fastball? Brooksie diving to his right and throwing off-balance? Mathews hitting another titanic home run?

And now ask: Where does Wade Boggs fit in that picture?

gehrig97 Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:22 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: wade boggs

SFGate: Egelko: Baseball Sued Over Low-Minor League Wages

While major-league baseball players earn millions of dollars and club owners share billions in revenues, minor-leaguers are paid $3,000 to $7,500 per season and train for weeks without pay, in violation of minimum wage and labor laws, their attorneys charge in a lawsuit. The suit filed against Major League Baseball and three teams, including the San Francisco Giants, said baseball executives and club owners “have preyed upon minor leaguers, who are powerless to combat the collusive power of the ...

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Harper: Hold the tears, Derek Jeter still must steer Yankees ship

Hey…“Tommy helms while Jeter steers” was a line from my Tribute to Patrick ####### Sky song!

A season of pomp and press conferences officially begins here on Wednesday for Derek Jeter, but as curious as I am to hear more about what motivated him to announce his impending retirement, I’m more curious to find out if he can still play shortstop.

At a high level, that is.

...Still, the everyday lineup could be among the best in baseball, thanks to the big-ticket free agents the Yankees added ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:29 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey agree to six-year, $105 million contract | MLB.com: News

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey has agreed to a six-year, $105 million contract, a source said Wednesday. The team has not announced the deal.

The agreement, which includes a mutual option for a seventh year worth $25 million with a $5 million buyout, enables both Bailey and the Reds to avoid an arbitration hearing.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:46 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: homer bailey, reds

Joe Morgan Conversations: Bill James

Not that interesting an interview; posting mostly just for posterity.  Joe reels off a list of criticisms of sabermetrics, and Bill figures out ways not to disagree.  Bill does not call Joe a “self-important prig” or a “little weenie.”  He does touch on the shower customs of his youth, so I guess there’s that.

The District Attorney Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, joe morgan, sabermetrics

David Ortiz on his contract

Year-to-year should be OK with the Red Sox and Ortiz. I can understand why he wants another year. That doesn’t mean they should give in. Let him play out this contract and go from there.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:19 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

The Other Owner: How Mike Gordon Has Become a Key Red Sox Figure

Over the last 18 months or so, limited partner Michael Gordon has emerged as an increasingly important figure in the affairs of both Fenway Sports Group and the Red Sox. According to multiple industry sources, when The New York Times sold its 17.5 percent ownership stake in FSG (and the Red Sox) in three separate transactions (each to multiple investors) totaling $210 million from July 2011 through May 2012, Gordon—one of the team’s limited partners since Henry became principal owner in ...

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Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:04 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

ESPN: Those Ortiz shifts? They do hurt

The 10th edition of the Hardball Times Annual is out, with an eclectic mix of baseball coverage unlike anywhere else. Admittedly, I’m way over my skis on some of the deeper statistical analysis that is included, although it is indicative of the extraordinary impact advanced metrics has made on the industry.

But one story that immediately grabbed my attention was Jeff Zimmerman’s piece on defensive shifts, entitled “Shifty Business, or the War Against Hitters.’’ Employing date he ...

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Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-19-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 19, 1914:

The Boston National League Baseball Co. will take no chances on not getting the full value of Johnny Evers’ services and will take out an insurance policy, life and accident combined, on him in favor of the club for the princely sum of $100,000.
...
The club plans to insure Evers’ life with ordinary life insurance, with itself as beneficiary, so that if Johnny should die by illness if will not suffer.

The premium was probably higher than it otherwise would ...

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Sandy Alderson plans on 2 or 3 more years as Mets GM

Sandy Alderson is entering the final year of his contract as Mets general manager, but barring a colossal team collapse is expected to have his 2015 option picked up.

The larger question might be how much longer the 66-year-old Alderson wants to continue in the job.

According to a person close to Alderson, the GM would like to stay in his present role another two or three years, but “definitely not five.”

Alderson also has been mentioned as a potential candidate for commissioner, with ...

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Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Popular Mechanics: App improves eyesight of Cal-Riverside Baseball Team

When a major league baseball pitcher throws a 95-mph fastball, only about 400 milliseconds—the duration of a blink—pass before the ball rockets over the plate. And a batter gets less than half that time to decide whether to swing, and where. Baseball players, then, could reap huge benefits from being able to probe a baseball farther from their eyes. And that inspired Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside, who has created a new, publicly available app that ...

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Cabbage Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:21 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: science

John Thorn: Who Were the Fastest Pitchers?

A FB/FB conversation turned into a blogpost.

I sort of fell into this subject on Facebook earlier today in response to a woodcut I posted of Amos Rusie’s drop ball. With his legendary fastball, I suggested, why would he ever need to throw a drop? Walter Johnson pitched almost his entire career throwing one pitch.

...Let’s try a math exercise: Rusie’s 95 mph–my approximation; his pitches were never clocked, but Connie Mack said he was as fast as Johnson or Bob Feller–speedball of ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 08:40 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history

McClendon rips Yanks’ Long for Cano critique

McClendon said Long overstepped his bounds with his critique of Cano’s effort with New York and defended the Mariners’ prized offseason free-agent acquisition.

“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com. “That was a little surprising. I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way. He’s concerned with his team and what they’re doing, not what the Seattle Mariners players are doing.

“I’m a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 05:36 PM | 138 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, yankees

Fans may strike out in battle over Dodgers’ new TV home

SportsNet LA, which is owned by the Dodgers and run by Time Warner Cable, has yet to sign deals to make it available in the majority of L.A. pay-TV homes.

pthomas Posted: February 18, 2014 at 03:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, television contracts

Braves Seek Immunity for Foul Ball Injury

“The game has changed,” said E. Michael Moran, who is expected to argue for the plaintiffs today. “The safety rules should change along with that.”
In the case before the court, a child identified in court papers only as M.F. was seated with her family a few rows behind the visitors’ dugout at Turner Field. A line drive foul ball hit by then-Brave Melky Cabrera flew into the stands and smashed into M.F.‘s forehead. M.F.‘s family claims that the blow fractured M.F.‘s skull in 30 places and ...

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Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 18, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, lawsuits, melky cabrera, safety

Texas HS pitcher K’s 22 in 7-inning no-hitter

Ferris pitcher Evan Pontley had a simple philosophy at Mabank on Tuesday night: stick mainly with his fastball, and “throw it as hard as I could.”  It resulted in the game of his life.  Pontley pitched a complete game no-hitter in a 13-3 win, striking out 22 batters – one more than the number of outs in a seven-inning game.  “Everything I threw was working,” Pontley said.

After the first inning, Ferris actually trailed 2-0, despite Pontley striking out the first six batters. The two ...

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Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 18, 2014 at 01:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: evan pontley, ferris, strikeouts

Venezuelan Ranger players concerned over political unrest at home

Almost every starting pitcher or starting pitching candidate in the Rangers’ camp has some kind of injury to contend with or to come back from this spring.  Not Martin Perez, though. He’s got bigger problems: the safety of his family and friends in his homeland of Venezuela.

“It is hard for us,” Perez said. “We call every day, and people don’t have food for eating, things like that. We have a great country, and you look at the situation and things are just terrible. It’s bad. I ...

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Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, rangers, the glory of socialism, venezuela

John D’Acquisto: Mahogany

12 hours to beat the reporting deadline. 750 miles, four pitchers, two Porsches, and the last song a young right-hander rehabbing an arm injury in 1976 needs to hear.

djordan Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: john d'acquisto, mlb

Megdal: Sirius/XM, with late bid, throws Mets broadcast into flux

Stopped listening to Howeird long before he went to Siri…oh, fafa flunky.

A late, improved bid from Sirius/XM managed to keep announcer Casey Stern in the fold, foiling efforts by the Mets and WOR-AM to hire Stern as the team’s pre- and post-game host for Mets baseball broadcasts, multiple sources have confirmed to Capital.

The protracted negotiations, and the station’s failure to put together a backup plan, has thrown the broadcast into chaos with just 11 days remaining until the first WOR ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mets

Pedroia on Hunting Bigfoot

But while Pedroia does believe in Bigfoot, he doesn’t expect to personally catch him. Asked if he could, Pedroia said no.

“I was in Phoenix and last Tuesday the guy that supposedly shot or killed one was in town,” Pedroia said, “but he might have stopped at a gas station or something, I didn’t see him.”

And while he doesn’t think he’ll catch one, he doesn’t exactly think the sasquatch hunters on “Finding Bigfoot” will have any luck either.

Pedroia makes a pretty good point. . .

“They’re not ...

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BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Fangraphs: Playoff Odds as Distance from Rome c200 AD

a map of the Roman Empire upon which are pasted the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Where they are located on the map corresponds to cities of the Roman Empire. Each city’s distance from Rome in travel days is roughly equivalent to the chance each team has of making the playoffs in 2014.

Which, admit it, is the mental map most of us conjure up when asked to figure the chances of anything.

BDC Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history, postseason, septimius severus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 18, 1914:

Being a fireman at $1,200 a year is a better job than playing baseball with a major league at $2,000 or $2,500 a year, Frank Mace, fireman, says. Representatives of the Cleveland and Detroit clubs in the American league, Kansas City in the American association, and Montreal in the International league, have been heckling Mace several weeks to sign a contract.

“The fire department is good enough for me,” Mace declared. “But these clubs have been bothering me ...

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Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: February 18, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

EconoBall: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Greatest Clutch Player In the Last 20 Years?

As an A’s fan used to tell me…“You Kooz, you lose.”

I started by collecting data on every hitter in the game for the last 20 years.  (Pithcers were dropped.)  I then regressed RE24 on PA, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, sacrifice flies, sacrifice bunts, double plays, walks, and strikeouts.  The idea here is that if a given player is as likely to, say, hit a single with the bases empty as he is with a runner on third, these statistics should define much of the variance in RE24.  The ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 07:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Manny Ramirez Joins Miami Sports Management

Manny Ramirez has changed agents and will now be represented by Alex Esteban of Miami Sports Management, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (on Twitter).

Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: February 18, 2014 at 01:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, manny ramirez

Monday, February 17, 2014

Angell: This Old Man (Life in the Nineties)

Required reading.

Let’s move on. A smooth fox terrier of ours named Harry was full of surprises. Wildly sociable, like others of his breed, he grew a fraction more reserved in maturity, and learned to cultivate a separate wagging acquaintance with each fresh visitor or old pal he came upon in the living room. If friends had come for dinner, he’d arise from an evening nap and leisurely tour the table in imitation of a three-star headwaiter: Everything O.K. here? Is there anything we could ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:59 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: death, old, roger angell, sportswriters

Orioles To Sign Ubaldo Jiminez

Can he pass the physical? Can anyone?

Brian Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:35 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, orioles

Cameron: On Craig Kimbrel and Committing to a Closer

But how likely is it that the Braves will still want to pay Kimbrel $13 million four years from now? It’s no secret that the shelf life of relief pitchers is shorter than players at other positions, and Kimbrel would hardly be the first dominant reliever to show up, dominate for a while, and then hang around as a shell of what he once was. Can we really forecast, right now, that Kimbrel will still be one of the best relievers in baseball in 2017?

...However, it must be noted that Kimbrel’s ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, business, history

2014 MLB over/unders: Picking the best bet

C’mon, baby, Grant Brisbee needs a new pair of shoes!

...last year, there was a 60-option poll, asking you which bet would have been your kidney bet for the 2013 season. As in, if you needed a few bucks for a new kidney, and that bet was the only way to get it, which over/under would you choose?

There were 665 votes cast. As you suspected, gambling is almost evil, but not quite. Let’s pretend that instead of votes, those were actual $100 bets. How did the readers of SB Nation do?

Winnings: ...

Read More...
Brian White Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:57 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling

Doyel: Where is Derek Jeter among all-time greats? Higher than I thought

Not even the Survival Zone can save Doy-El’s latest!

Defensively? Jeter isn’t in the top five or top 10 or maybe even the top 25 in that category. And defense is part of baseball. A big part. Like, almost half the game. So if we’re going to measure defense, then I can’t sit here and tell you Jeter is a top-five shortstop all time, because how do you quantify what Ozzie Smith and Pee Wee Reese and Luis Aparicio and a whole host of other Hall of Fame shortstops gave on defense, compared to what ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:28 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

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