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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Report: Cubs change Wrigley Field plans for possible tax credit

The catch is, they must build a home run sign with a rotating dolphin display.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider several changes Thursday that the Chicago Cubs made to their Wrigley Field renovation plan in exchange for possible federal tax credit worth up to $75 million.

The deal with the National Park Service would alter the dimensions and placement of video boards and other signs in order to not encroach on the historic manual center-field scoreboard and the ballpark’s ...

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Twinsights: Terry Ryan on defensive metrics and why the Twins ignore them - Twins Now

Hunter has to be better than Arcia and Willingham.

Just like I do all the time: As soon as you get somebody to explain (advanced metrics) …” said Ryan, who has Jack Goin on his staff for just that purpose. “When you look at the rankings of the defensive side of the game, you shake your head many times. I’m not saying a lot of them aren’t accurate, because some of them are, but a lot of them aren’t accurate either.

“You can use the metrics or you can use the eye, and you should use ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, twins

Full Count » Sources: Dodgers have serious interest in Jon Lester, poised for potential late negotiating push

One industry source was under the impression that the Dodgers had already entered the bidding with an offer to Lester, while another characterized the Dodgers as poised to play a role similar to the one made by the Yankees in December 2008, when New York swooped in late to sign Mark Teixeira away from other interested bidders with a high bid of eight years and $180 million. A third noted of the Dodgers’ potential interest that Lester, “could help any team looking to win championships,” ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2014 at 10:58 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, giants, jon lester, red sox, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2014

Chicago Tribune, December 4, 1914:

CHICAGO FEDS SIGN WALTER JOHNSON FOR TWO YEARS

JOHNSON SIGNS WITH “FEDS”; TO PLAY WITH TINX

Manager Joe Tinker of the Chifeds landed the biggest fish yet drawn out of organized baseball in a Federal league net when he signed Walter Johnson, former leading pitcher of the American league, to a two year contract yesterday at the home of the tall blonde pitcher in Coffeyville, Kan.

Announcement of the successful completion of the deal was made by President ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 04, 2014 at 10:14 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history, walter johnson

Posnanski: Shakedown 1968

Cool kids never have the time… but we do!

1968

In the Hall: Frank Thomas, Robbie Alomar
Talked about: Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, Jeff Kent, Bernie Williams.
Best of the rest: John Olerud…

Based on the way the BBWAA has voted, there was not a single Hall of Fame hitter born in 1961 ([Don] Mattingly cannot get any traction), 1962, 1963 (maybe Edgar Martinez gets some love over time), 1966 or 1967.

But in 1968, there are EIGHT viable Hall of Fame candidates (nine if ...

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The District Attorney Posted: December 04, 2014 at 01:11 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, joe posnanski

Posnanski: The 5% rule

Supreme Mathematics!

Here’s one version of what the BBWAA and Hall [of Fame] could do: Create a Hall of Fame nominating committee… The finaly ballot would have a limit — 15 players on it, 20 at the most. The committee would have to work very hard to limit it that much. But that’s good. What they would end up with is a ballot of legitimate Hall of Fame players who deserve real Hall of Fame consideration. It would be a REAL honor to be on that ballot.

And — this is important — the ...

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The District Attorney Posted: December 04, 2014 at 12:56 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, joe posnanski

Is Right Handed Power Really so Rare?

I’m think this was already debunked, but Cameron has more in depth analysis showing it’s a recent uptick in % of total PA given to lefties, combined with this year’s FA crop lacking much pop from the right side, that’s led to a (probably) temporary shortage.  The more interesting thing is how bad lefties have been recently.  LOOGYS man.  As a fellow lefty that once struck out against GLIAC DIII lefty legend (and 7th round pick of the Cleveland Indians turned AA flameout) Jim Deters on 9 or 10 ...

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madvillain Posted: December 04, 2014 at 12:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: fangraphs, james deters, platoons, southpaws, dave cameron

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Jay Dunn Hall of Fame Ballot

As many homers as Lou Gehrig and 10 more RBI than Joe DiMaggio- how could anyone not vote for Fred McGriff?

TJ Posted: December 03, 2014 at 08:42 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Calcaterra: Tim Brosnan, V.P. of business, is leaving MLB

If you come at the king, you best not miss…

Major League Baseball just announced that Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Business and CEO of MLB Enterprises, will depart from MLB at the end of January.

Brosnan was a finalist for the commissioner’s job which went to Rob Manfred. He had been with Major League Baseball since 1991, and had spearheaded many of MLB’s sponsorship and business deals. Manfred is basically squeezing him out, however, by naming MLB ...

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The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: business, tim brosnan

Braves To Sign Nick Markakis

I was kidding about Kimbrel, but seriously, someone ain’t gonna make it to Cobb County.

The Braves have agreed to a four-year deal with free agent outfielder Nick Markakis, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter. He will be guaranteed $44MM in the pact, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link).

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:24 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, nick markakis, transactions

Dodgers Acquire Chris Heisey For Matt Magill

Take our advice, at any price… a pitcher like Magill is not much of a sacrifice.

The Dodgers have officially agreed to acquire outfielder Chris Heisey from the Reds, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. Heisey, 29, is arb eligible and is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $2.2MM. Righty Matt Magill is coming back to the Reds for Heisey, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter...

Soon to be 30, Heisey, has scuffled at the plate in each of the last two seasons with Cincinnati ...

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The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chris heisey, dodgers, matt magill, reds, trades, transactions

Braves Sign Jim Johnson

Guess they realize they should trade Kimbrel.

The Braves announced that they have signed former Orioles closer Jim Johnson to a one-year, Major League contract (Twitter link)...

The 2012 All-Star lost his closing gig to Sean Doolittle early in the 2014 season and never appeared comfortable in green and gold. He posted a 7.14 ERA with 6.3 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a typically strong ground-ball rate of 56.8 percent. After being designated for assignment and ultimately released, Johnson latched on with ...

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The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agents, jim johnson, transactions

Mariners, Blue Jays Swap Michael Saunders, J.A. Happ

Just Adequate.

The Mariners have acquired lefty J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Michael Saunders, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports on Twitter.

The District Attorney Posted: December 03, 2014 at 06:05 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, j.a. happ, mariners, michael saunders, trades, transactions

Prospectus: Kusnick: Advice For The Teenaged Rumors Reporters

Thanks to Cotillo, it’s a teenage monkeyland out there.

Among the professional journalism crowd, and I suppose all baseball circles to some degree, these “kids” are a constant topic of discussion. I have seen only one of these reporters break through to the mainstream, meaning he is likely the exception, not the rule. And he didn’t get to this point by being lazy. He got his foot in the door, took advice, learned rapidly and now has a bright future. Sadly, this is not the case for many ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: December 03, 2014 at 05:01 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: advice, agent, journalism, media, online, rumors, transactions

Neyer: How friendly should umpires be with players?

Its “Livan and Eric Gregg” not “Adam and Steve”!

Tuesday, I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with Dave Pallone, who before Tuesday was baseball’s best-known gay umpire. I was interested in Pallone’s take on current umpire Dale Scott’s public acknowledgment of his sexual orientation, and Pallone was great; the fruits of the interview are here.

But there was something I didn’t ask Pallone about: his sexual relationships with players, during his umpiring career. In particular, ...

Read More...

Luke Hochevar returns to Royals on two-year deal as KC improves pen

ALL THE RELIEVERS

The Royals, who rode an all-time great bullpen all the way to the World Series, are enhancing that strength by re-signing free agent righthander Luke Hochevar, who missed the 2014 season after a brilliant 2013 campaign.

Hochevar has agreed to a $10-million, two-year deal with Kansas City, according to sources.

If history holds, Hochevar should be ready to pitch around the time of spring training following Tommy John surgery performed during last spring training.

...
Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:57 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, luke hochevar, relievers, royals

“Billy Boy”: The Josh Donaldson trade was reportedly sparked by an argument with Billy Beane

Nobody puts Billy Boy in the corner.

Miller said Beane told Donaldson if he couldn’t play he should go on the DL and Donaldson chafed. Then this:

  “Donaldson told the manager he needed a blow, and [Bob] Melvin said, ‘You got it,’ ” the source said. “Then that night’s lineup came out and Billy asked, ‘Where’s Donaldson?’ “

  When told what happened, the source says, an angry Beane demanded that Melvin put Donaldson back into the lineup.
  “They got into it in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:45 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, josh donaldson

Jonah Keri: MLB Trade Value, Part 1

Not listed: Alfonso Soriano

41. Xander Bogaerts (31), 3B/SS, Boston Red Sox
40. Mookie Betts (NR), CF, Boston Red Sox
39. Cole Hamels (NR), SP, Philadelphia Phillies

We’ve already discussed why the Red Sox threw all of that money at Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez: Good bats have become really tough to find, the AL East is there for the taking, and Boston can always shop for arms later. Though the free-agent market for starting pitching remains robust with Max Scherzer, James Shields, and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:41 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: trade value

Tampa homeless program uses unpaid, destitute residents as steady labor force [including for Rays], revenue source

Maybe he should just call his unpaid workers “student-athletes”?

For years, New Beginnings founder and CEO Tom Atchison has sent his unpaid homeless labor crews to Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning and Bucs games, the Daytona 500 and the Florida State Fair. For their shelter, he’s had homeless people work in construction, landscaping, telemarketing, moving, painting, even grant-writing.

Atchison calls it “work therapy.” Homeless advocates and labor lawyers call it exploitative, and possibly ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: buccaneers, homeless, rays

What Are We Missing About Nick Markakis? | FanGraphs Baseball

Markakis could be this year’s Nelson Cruz.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 10:06 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles

Umpire Dale Scott comes out, but too soon to laud MLB - NY Daily News

Thoughtful commentary.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: culture, umpires

Winning by losing. | Texas Rangers Blog | The Newberg Report

Jamey Newberg is happy the Rangers didn’t sign Tori Hunter.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:14 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

If the Braves are indeed rebuilding, Kimbrel should go | Mark Bradley blog

If you’re truly rebuilding, you’re not planning on winning many games. If you’re not going to win many games, you don’t need the best closer in the business. As great as he is, Kimbrel would be a luxury a fourth-place team cannot afford.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:13 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, craig kimbrel

Royals will need to spend to hit ‘Better Than 2014’ goal | The Kansas City Star

That’s not the case if he’s really asking for a five-year contract.

He is, in other words, exactly the kind of player for whom the Royals’ risk would be diminished. Advanced metrics that attempt to eliminate the “noise” of luck and defense indicate Santana actually pitched better for the Braves in 2014 than he did for the Royals in 2013, even though the more traditional measurement of ERA was worse.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:09 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

What to expect at the annual Winter Meetings. | SportsonEarth.com : Paul Casella

A stroll down memory lane.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: winter meetings

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2014

Connie Mack responds to Eddie Plank signing with the Federal League, Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 3, 1914:

“I wish him the best of luck,” said Connie Mack [last night], when told that Eddie Plank had signed a Federal League contract.

“Are you sorry to see him go?” Mack was asked.

“Oh, no,” he replied. “I was through with him. He was after the money, and he was willing to go to the Federals…He was a wonderful pitcher and he is a good one yet.”
...
Mack startled the baseball world shortly ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 03, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, eddie plank, history

Source: Yankees cooling on Chase Headley, high on Rob Refsnyder - Yankees Blog - ESPN New York

Five years for Headley? No thank you. No thank you. No thank you. No thank you.

But one free agent who might not find the Yankees to be his Santa Claus is Chase Headley, who only two weeks ago was being touted by folks in the organization as Priority No. 1 considering the lack of faith the Yankees have in the returning Alex Rodriguez.

Now, however, the Headley fever seems to have cooled, especially since the Pablo Sandoval deal with the Red Sox—five years, $95 million—seems to have stiffened ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: chase headley, yankees

2014 Non-tender Tracker | HardballTalk

Click through to read the list.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2014 at 03:27 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, non-tenders

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Daily Dish: Twins sign Torii Hunter to one-year, $10.5 million deal

One year? $10.5 million? Torii Hunter?

Paging Sandy Alderson. (Sigh.)

Torii Hunter is going home. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Hunter has reached a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Twins.

Hunter has been linked to almost a dozen teams so far this winter, with the Rangers, Royals, Mariners and Orioles among the most aggressive in addition to Minnesota. As we reported in mid-November, the Royals and Twins were being most aggressive in their ...

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JE (Jason) Posted: December 02, 2014 at 09:24 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, torii hunter, twins

MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay in quietest way possible

umpire dale scott:

“My thought process was,” Scott told Outsports in his first interview on the subject, “is that there’s a story about my career and how I got started in umpiring and they’re talking to people I have known since junior high and it didn’t seem right to have a whole story and pictures without a picture of Mike and I, someone who’s been with me through this entire process. We met the October after my first year in the big leagues.
...
“I realized that it could open ...

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starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: December 02, 2014 at 07:55 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: lgbt

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