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Friday, March 01, 2019

Three Braves starters are dealing with elbow, shoulder problems

The Braves could do something about this- but they’d rather spend on real estate instead….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, elbow, pitching

MLBPA keeping an eye on Blue Jays possibly manipulating Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.’s service time

On Tuesday, Blue Jays GM said on MLB Network Radio about super-prospect and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., “I just don’t see him as a major league player.” It was seen as a precursor for Guerrero — son of the Hall of Famer who played for the Expos — to begin the season in the minors for the first two weeks or so of the regular season, a common theme with baseball’s top prospects. MLB Pipeline deems Guerrero the No. 1 prospect in baseball ahead of Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Eloy Jiménez.

The way service time works, teams are incentivized to hold their best players in the minor leagues for the first 10 games or so. In doing so, the player is unable to accrue a full year of service time, which means the team gets to control ...

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mlbpa, service time, vladimir guerrero jr.

The Braves are rolling in money but aren’t spending it on baseball

The Atlanta Braves’ parent company, Liberty Media, released some financials today which show that the Braves are raking in cash, have seen profitability soar and have watched their debt go down. None of that is going into baseball, however. It’s going into real estate.

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution we learn:

*Braves’ revenue increased to $442 million in 2018. That’s up 14.5 percent from 2017 ($386 million) and is up 69 percent from 2016 ($262 million);
*$404 million of that revenue is from baseball; $38 million of is from real estate in The Battery development that surrounds the park;
*Operating income (i.e. profit) before interest and depreciation surged from $7 million 2017 to $94 million in 2018;
*Debt went down ...

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dollah dollah bills, y'all, money, real estate

2019 Detroit Tigers Season Preview: Can Miguel Cabrera return to form?

If the Detroit Tigers of 2019 feel familiar, it’s because we’ve seen this story before. Quite a few times actually. It’s the Philadelphia Phillies of a few years ago.

It’s the once-great team now saddled with big contracts for aging players that doesn’t really have a chance to compete in its division ... but also hasn’t gone into a full-on tear down so it can rebuild.

The Tigers lost 98 games last year, and the prospects don’t seem particularly more hopeful this year. They have Miguel Cabrera back, and his bat will help, but after that? There’s not a ton to get excited about.

It would be cruel to give the obvious answer, but it’s hard to see a different one at this point….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel cabrera, preview, tigers

In interview, Kenny Williams addresses fan anger and the fallout of White Sox missing out on Manny Machado and Bryce Harper

Manny Machado is still a San Diego Padre. Bryce Harper is still a Philadelphia Phillie. And White Sox fans are still angry.

No, nothing’s changed since earlier Thursday, when Harper broke Machado’s week-and-change-old record for the biggest free-agent contract in the history of American pro sports, officially leaving the White Sox empty handed in their pursuits of the two biggest names on this offseason’s free-agent market.

Neither guy ended up on the South Side, despite the fact that the team went after both, going especially hard on Machado, to the point where general manager Rick Hahn and team vice president Kenny Williams seemed blindsided when the 26-year-old infielder spurned them for the Padres last week.

One of the consequences ...

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, kenny williams, manny machado, white sox

Field of Genes: Rich Hill’s personal connection to Rare Disease Day

GLENDALE, Ariz. — When your own little boy couldn’t be saved, when the science and prayers and tears couldn’t be enough, then what you do is start over with the other little boys and girls who could be saved, who have a chance.

Brooks Hill died five years ago this week. He was two months old. And so what you do, if you have the strength, is put candles on a birthday cake and sing to him every Dec. 26, and warm yourself by the days you did have with him, and include him in everything you are. Everything your family is. His father, Rich. His mother, Caitlin. His brother, Brice. Their son and brother and inspiration, Brooks.

They, together, are the “we” Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill talks about, and he smiles over it ...

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rare disease day, rich hill

Top 5 impending free agents now that Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signed

The saga of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado’s search for a new home has finally come to an end which means it’s time to start obsessing over the next big free agent contracts.

While we’ll certainly miss the Bryce-Manny Tracker, the wave of superstars following them to pick out their own Brinks truck will provide just as much excitement in their hunt for a new contract.

Among the top five free agents who should cash in are three MVPs, three World Series champions and arguably the greatest player in baseball in generations.

Well, no better time to start this conversation than the present….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, francisco lindor, free agents, kris bryant, mike trout, mookie betts

Are Chris Archer and Rick Kriseman in a Twitter beef?

Former Rays pitcher Chris Archer and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman are in something of a Twitter beef.

It all started with comments Archer, now with the Pirates, made to Spectrum Sports about there not being enough fans in the St. Petersburg area to support the team and his opinion that as a result the team could end up moving.

Then the Mayor made note of Archer’s record, specifically his 19-loss season in 2016.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Report: Harper to Phillies

They buckled.


Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2019 at 02:58 PM | 227 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, phillies

‘He was miraculous’: The José Fernández free agency that never was

It was the spring of 2015. Fernández wasn’t even pitching. He was still grinding his way back from Tommy John surgery, less than a year after his elbow ligament popped, just 36 starts into his big-league career. It was an odd time for his team to be offering him an extension. But that’s what the Marlins did anyway.

A year before he would have been eligible for arbitration, they presented him with an offer that would have paid him $40.7 million over the next six years, with club options worth an additional $27 million for the following two seasons. He was 22 years old. He had a Rookie of the Year trophy on his shelf. But he’d given his sport only a taste of the greatness that clearly lay ahead…..

Boras: Sure, you guarantee him $40 ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 01:57 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose fernandez

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-28-2019

El Paso Herald, February 28, 1919:

Manager John McGraw got nothing encouraging as to the state of Ferd Schupp’s arm. A winter’s rest did not seem to do it any good. McGraw told Schupp to go to some health resort at an early date and see if drinking water wouldn’t take the rheumatism out of it.

Narrator: “It didn’t.”

Ferdie Schupp is obscure now, and rightfully so given his career 5.0 WAR. But he was virtually unhittable in 1916-1917, with a 1.59 ERA (158 ERA+), 0.94 WHIP, and 6.1 H/9 in 412.1 innings. Schupp blew out his shoulder at Spring Training 1918 and was never the same after that. His best post-injury season was 1920, when he put up an 87 ERA+ in 250 innings and led the league in walks allowed.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Hosmer feels a different vibe in 2nd season with Padres

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Eric Hosmer has been able to focus strictly on baseball this offseason and he likes what he sees with the suddenly dynamic San Diego Padres.

Hosmer arrived at spring training last year after signing a $144 million, eight-year contract as a free agent. The buzz generated by his signing didn’t last long as he struggled in his first season with the Padres, who lost 96 games and finished last in the NL West.

Now the first baseman is energized by being around new teammate Manny Machado, who last week signed a $300 million, 10-year contract, and top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., who is expected to make his big league debut at some point in 2019.

And, of course, Hosmer will go back to disappointing everyone in 2020, ...

QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, padres

Bobby Knoop retires from Angels after 53 years in baseball

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Longtime Angels player and coach Bobby Knoop has announced his retirement after 53 years in baseball.

Los Angeles shared the news in a release Tuesday.

The 80-year-old Knoop was one of the Angels’ first recognizable figures, earning the club’s MVP award four times in its inaugural decade. The second baseman played for the Angels from 1964-69, making an All-Star team and winning three Gold Glove Awards as part of a double-play duo with Jim Fregosi.


QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby knoop, retirement

Star Wars and Game of Thrones among highlights from Orioles 2019 promotional calendar

Pouring over your favorite baseball team’s promotional schedule is a time-honored tradition, and Orioles fans finally have the chance to mark their calendars with this year’s best items to add to their collections.

The Orioles announced their 2019 promotional schedule this week, and fans are already excited about some of the best giveaways and theme nights that Camden Yards has to offer this season.

And yes, before you ask, they’ll be bringing back fan favorites like the floppy hats and hawaiian shirts.

I’d rather not imagine how a Game Of Thrones-themed promotion would go….


QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: game of thrones, orioles, promotions, star wars

Rob Manfred still thinks other factors contributed to rise in homers

In 2017, analysts began asking questions about the rise in home runs across baseball. Two studies were published — one by Ben Lindbergh and Mitchell Lichtman for The Ringer, and another by Rob Arthur for FiveThirtyEight — with each concluding that baseballs seem to have been altered at some point around the middle of the 2015 season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred was disingenuous speaking about the issue, releasing a statement in July 2017 and then speaking about it to the press during the postseason in October that year. Manfred reiterated that the baseball wasn’t changed, then disingenuously claimed players, fans, and analysts were being distracted by Game 2 of the World Series, which saw the Astros and Dodgers combine to hit eight ...

QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseballs, homers, manfred is thinking about it, rob manfred

Switch-pitcher Venditte figures rule change won’t hurt him

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Pat Venditte figures he has an advantage if Major League Baseball and the players’ association adopt a three-batter minimum for pitchers starting in 2020: the 33-year-old reliever is a switch-pitcher.

The rule, if adopted, might cause less use of left-handed relief specialists. That could benefit Venditte, who has made 56 appearances over three big-league seasons and is at his first spring training with the San Francisco Giants.

“As long as I’m executing pitches and getting guys out, that would be beneficial from a split standpoint,” Venditte said Wednesday. “The only thing that would throw that off would be a switch-hitter, obviously. Then I’d be just like anybody else. You could still have them go from their ...

QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: pat venditte, rule changes, switch pitchers

Peter Moylan retires from Major League Baseball

David O’Brien of The Athletic reports that reliever Peter Moylan is retiring from Major League Baseball. The 40-year-old side-arming right-hander still plans to play baseball in Italy this summer and for the Australian Olympic team.

Moylan had been hoping to get a major league contract offer this winter, but he unfortunately did not. He spoke with me last month about the issues free agents are dealing with, saying that he faced “anxiety and uncertainty, especially at my age.” He added, “I know I can still pitch but that doesn’t guarantee you a job.”

In other words, retirement is being used here in a euphemistic way.


QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: peter moylan, retirement

The new MLBPA chief negotiator that’s preparing for a possible battle with MLB

PHOENIX — “Jelly bean?” Bruce Meyer mouthed.

He was on a phone call, pacing the lobby of a Phoenix hotel, occasionally slipping his hand into a brown paper bag wedged under his elbow. He stopped, held out the bag and raised his eyebrows.

The new chief negotiator for the Major League Baseball Players Association just may have a jelly bean problem.

Worse still, he’s in a position where he reports to Tony Clark.

QLE Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce meyer, jelly beans, labor relations, mlbpa, negotiations

Kenny Lofton blasts A-Rod, MLB cheaters in Hall of Fame rant

“I just don’t like it. It pisses me off when they still talk about the guys who did PEDs still have the opportunity to get in. You cheated the game,” Lofton told The Post in a phone interview. “Look at somebody like Pete Rose not in the Hall of Fame. I’m not saying what Pete Rose did was right, but his numbers that he put up were real numbers. If it’s all about numbers, guys who cheated the game shouldn’t be in. PED guys piss me off. I just get irked every time I hear people talk about it.”

Lofton also has a specific problem with former Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended in 2014 for his PED involvement, serving as one of the game’s top television analysts for Fox and ESPN.

“You’ve got Fox having a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: kenny lofton

Mets outdo themselves: Brandon Nimmo out due to undercooked chicken

The Mets outfielder was absent from team workouts and the ensuing exhibition game against the Marlins on Wednesday after becoming ill from undercooked chicken, according to manager Mickey Callaway.

The culprit? Nimmo himself.

“He cooked some chicken and didn’t know how to cook, so he was throwing up all night,” Callaway said. “We have to teach him how to cook so he doesn’t miss any more games.”

Callaway indicated it’s likely Nimmo will remain sidelined Thursday because of dehydration concerns that could lead to cramping.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon nimmo

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Manny Machado on the Orioles: ‘I did a lot for the state, and they didn’t show me a little bit of love’

He talked about how the Orioles failed to show him “love” — presumably alluding to the fact that they didn’t sign their former first-round draft pick to a long-term contract and traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers after he represented the Orioles in the All-Star Game last July.
“The Dodgers last year, they showed me some love,” he said. “The Orioles drafted me. I did a lot for that community, I did a lot for the state, and they didn’t show me a little bit of love. It is what it is. But going over to L.A., L.A. giving up a lot of prospects for me, that kind of shows you what I meant to them, which is amazing.”
Of course, there’s been very little talk of the Dodgers having made any offer to him in the offseason, either.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:34 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado

Meet the Man(nequin) Keeping the Nats Uniforms Straight

That’d be the mannequin stationed inside the Washington Nationals’ clubhouse since spring training kicked off. Situated in front of the double doors that lead out to the practice fields, Manny—as he’s known around Nats camp—has one job and one job only: to save ballplayers from making a fashion faux pas.

And he might be making history in the process.

In the past, the Nationals’ dress code du jour was pinned to a bulletin board, posted on a wall across from a fridge full of water bottles. But that was before things got complicated.

This year, Washington’s spring training wardrobe, already more varied than most teams’, expanded even further to feature three caps, three jerseys and two pairs of pants. In other words, on any given day, ...

Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 27, 2019 at 03:43 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, uniforms

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 27, 1919:

Ed Barrow has spoken, and it looks as if Babe Ruth is not to be granted his wish of becoming one of the Redsox’ regular outfielders and playing every day. The world’s champion’s manager says he plans to use Ruth solely on the slab and as a pinch hitter.

“Of one thing I am convinced,” said Barrow, “Ruth will play only one position. He will not be switched from first to left field and then back to the box. He will not be worked that way again…Right now it looks as if we needed him in the box. He is our best left-hander, and one of the best in the business. The American League’s most dangerous batters are left-handers. Then it is a good idea to have him there in the box.

It’s tough to blame Barrow for ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:25 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Marlins take leadership role in teaching players Spanish

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — New Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro showed up for the team’s first full-squad spring training workout wearing a T-shirt that read, “I talk (trash) about you in Spanish,” with a word more pungent and less publishable than “trash.”

The Marlins’ English speakers are onto him.

At the behest of CEO Derek Jeter, the Marlins last year began Spanish language classes for coaches, and the program has since been expanded throughout the organization, from media relations to analytics to the front office. Now minor league players who speak English are being taught Spanish, while Spanish-speakers learn English — part of a trend in Major League Baseball toward more bilingual teams.

So, what is the proper ...

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: language training, marlins, spanish

Long Beach approaches Angels about new stadium

Can’t they just play on the deck of the Queen Mary?

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, long beach, stadium issues

Francisco Liriano gets seven minor league contract offers on same day

We have been loath to throw out the c-word — collusion — when discussing the current labor strife in Major League Baseball. It is a claim that’s very hard to prove, even though there are multiple examples of teams colluding against players throughout baseball history.

However, as players have spoken up about their experiences in the free agent market, several have made observations that seem more than coincidental. Earlier this month, Cubs reliever Brad Brach said, “We talked to certain teams and they told us that, ‘We have an algorithm and here’s where you fall.’ … It’s just kind of weird that all offers are the same, they come around the same time. Everybody tells you there’s an algorithm.” Brach ultimately inked a ...

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: collusion, contracts, francisco liriano

Cardinals sign Miles Mikolas to four-year, $68 million extension

So, any thoughts as to the merits of this contract?

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, contract extension, miles mikolas

The Bryce Harper saga has gotten so ridiculous Smash Mouth now claims to have inside info

News came down early Monday that the Los Angeles Dodgers had re-entered the race to sign Bryce Harper, which most frustrated fans of the rival San Francisco Giants. Giants fans want Harper hitting dingers into McCovey Cove, and if not, they certainly don’t want him in Dodger Blue.

If you don’t believe us, go ask Smash Mouth.

No, that’s some weird Twitch user or some newfangled social media platform you’ve never heard of. We’re talking about Smash Mouth, the band. You know, the one that sang “All-Star” back in 1999.

Mind you, it’s only slightly more ridiculous than taking Jon Heyman seriously….


QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, rumors, smash mouth

Free doughnuts for life: D.C.‘s last-ditch effort to keep Bryce Harper in town

The Nationals may have officially moved on from the possibility of re-signing Bryce Harper, but fans in Washington, D.C. have not. And now they’re resorting to straight-up bribes to try and sway the highly coveted free agent to stay with the Nats.

District Doughnut offered Harper unlimited free doughnuts for life if he signs with the Nats, the company posted on Twitter on Monday. Plus, it said it would make a custom flavor inspired by him too.

How could anyone say no to the Nats’ multi-million-dollar offer AND free doughnuts for life?

Scott Boras will take 10% of those donuts- you don’t want to know what Jon Heyman will do for one…..


QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bribery, bryce harper, donuts, washington

Atlantic League Expected To Add Robo-Umps, Other Changes From New MLB Agreement

The independent Atlantic League has long been an innovator, and they have long been happy to blaze a trail for Major League Baseball to follow.

Now, the two sides have formalized what was already happening informally, as the league and Major League Baseball announced a three-year agreement that will allow MLB to use the independent league as a testbed for rules and equipment changes.

And those rules changes will be significant. While no one with the Atlantic League would confirm the changes, it is expected that the rules tweaks will involve moving back the mound and using Trackman to call balls and strikes, both rules changes that have long been suggested, but are significant enough to require plenty of in-game testing.

Some of you ...

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, robot umpires, robots are made of metal, robots are strong

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