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Friday, January 09, 2015

5 bold predictions for the rest of the MLB offseason. | SportsonEarth.com : Anthony Castrovince Article

Alas, nobody’s seriously expecting the 20-second pitch clock—the best of the pace-of-play procedures tested in the Arizona Fall League—to be instituted anytime soon, but one league source said the “one foot in the batter’s box” rule that was also tested does have some legs (pun intended).


Forget the Goat: A Letter to Cubs Fans «

It’s the Cubs year! Or it’s not.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2015 at 06:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The Sporting News: Why we picked the Cubs to win the 2015 World Series

Here you go #Cubs fans. Suitable for framing ... @sportingnews pic.twitter.com/BEcuvJjoyJ

— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) January 8, 2015 ” cols=“100” rows=“20”

But can they beat the Miami Gators?

It’s not just because of “Back to the Future 2,” when the Cubs were a 100-1 shot, and Marty McFly got the idea to go back in time and bet on sports results for which he already knew the outcome. In reality, the Cubs are much better than a 100-1 shot. At 12-1, they are tied with the Tigers as ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2015 at 09:11 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, the sporting news, tigers, world series predictions

Cubs sign toilet flush valve maker for naming rights to spring training park

It doesn’t take a whiz to see that they could use the added revenue to try to be #1, but they’ll probably just piss the money away.

The Cubs have signed Sloan Valve Co. for naming rights to their 1-year-old spring training ballpark in Mesa, Ariz., the club announced today.

Sloan, a 109-year-old Chicago company, produces flush valves and other parts for toilet fixtures at commercial buildings, including sports facilities.

Commence with the bathroom humor.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2015 at 02:56 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mesa, naming rights, spring training

Listing of public ballots released by BBWAA

I could be wrong, but I count 7 ballots with 10 players that did not include Piazza.

JRVJ Posted: January 08, 2015 at 01:44 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Nationals hire Rick Ankiel as “life skills coordinator”

Those who can’t, teach.

Rick Ankiel‘s weird career has taken another interesting turn, as the retired pitcher-turned-outfielder has been hired by the Nationals as a “life skills coordinator” as part of their minor-league coaching staff.

According to the team’s press release the 35-year-old Ankiel “will draw on his vast experience as a player to help mentor Nationals farmhands.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2015 at 01:32 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: coaching, life skills, nationals, rick ankiel

MLBN Launching Original Documentary Series

Later today MLB Network will announce a new series, MLB Network Presents, that aims to tell some of these rich stories from the national pastime.  Bob Costas himself will host the series that premieres on Tuesday night January 13th at 9 PM ET.

The debut episode in the personality-driven series is entitled The Odd Couple: Bochy & Flannery and chronicles the long-time relationship between San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy and 3rd base coach that dates back to when they were Padres ...

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Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2015 at 01:27 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb network, tv

Pedro Martinez on Mets fans: They settle for what they have

But don’t we have to settle for settling? Oh, I’m doing it, aren’t I.

Yankee Stadium felt like a modern-day Roman Colosseum when [Pedro] Martinez took the mound. Love him or hate him, you always were entertained.

Across the RFK Bridge, wearing a Mets uniform, Martinez acknowledged that life was different. He spent four years in Flushing, a tenure that began with great promise and ended in ashes—both for the crumbling Mets and the fading embers of his Hall of Fame career.

Asked Wednesday about ...

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The District Attorney Posted: January 08, 2015 at 12:38 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, mets, pedro martinez, yankees

Nationals Announce Minor-League Coaching Staff, Including Rick Ankiel

I always had the feeling Ankiel would make a good coach while he was with the Nats, but apparently his title is “life skills coordinator”.

Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 08, 2015 at 12:19 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

OT: Soccer January 2015

Aside from transfer news and watching DeAndre Yedlin train with Tottenham, these games might be of interest:

Jan 9: Montpelier v Marseilles (Anyone but PSG!)
Jan 10: Everton v Man City, Torino v Milan, Espanyol v Real Madrid
Jan 11: Man U v Soton, Barcelona v Atletico, Lazio v Roma
Jan 12: Asian Cup! (I don’t care either)
Jan 13: West Ham v Everton FA Cup replay
Jan 14: Tottenham v Burnley FA Cup replay, Torino v Lazio Coppa Italia
Jan 15: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid Copa del Rey
Jan 17: ...

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Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: January 08, 2015 at 09:59 AM | 296 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, soccer

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-8-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 8, 1915:

Ball Player With Conscience Found

After all, there are some players with a conscience. Baker Borton is now trying to buy his release from the St. Louis Federals. Naturally the query arises why a player should purchase his release, when he could jump his contract and make the Federals sue for his services.
...
Borton appears to be a young man who is of a different mold.

He didn’t get his release. Borton led the 1915 Federal League in games played, runs scored, ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 08, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: babe borton, dugout, federal league, history

Murray Chass On Baseball: DOWNS AND UPS OF HALL OF FAME VOTE

Chass and Russo and Pray for Ouzo.

I think the primary reason for the excitement for both Schilling and Raines was that they rank high on the lists of the practitioners of the monster metrics, who seemed to be thrilled that the writers were finally starting to get it right where those two players are concerned.

“Interestingly, while watching one of those shows, I saw a film clip from another show, in which Brian Kenny of MLB.com was arguing with Chris Russo, a talk show host, about which ...

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Repoz Posted: January 08, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Walk Like a Sabermetrician: Crude Team Ratings, 2014

The strength of schedule info is interesting. I don’t have time to figure it out but it looks like the final rankings would correlate pretty well with actual winning percentages.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2015 at 06:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Did Stephen Drew Ever Look Like a Major-League Hitter? | FanGraphs Baseball

Last year Drew was the first player who ever missed spring training and a couple of months at the start of a season. Except for all the players who were hurt at the start of other seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: stephen drew, yankees

Finding The Next Garrett Richards | FOX Sports

This seems like a stretch. Still…

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: garrett richards, michael pineda, prospects

Could Hamels, Price or Scherzer be answer to Cards’ rotation needs? | FOX Sports

Are the Cardinals really involved in all of this?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cole hamels, david price, max scherzer

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Mad Dog Russo and Brian Kenny Debate Hall of Fame 2015

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is stuck in such a time warp…he still thinks Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez is Bruce Springsteen’s drummer!

Repoz Posted: January 07, 2015 at 04:23 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Curt Schilling says he lost Hall of Fame votes because he’s a Republican

THANKS OBAMA

Schilling appeared Wednesday on Boston radio station WEEI, telling the Dennis and Callahan show that he thinks his political leanings certainly didn’t help. Asked why Smoltz did so much better than him on the ballot, Schilling said:

  “The fact that [the Braves] won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss Army knife versatility,’ which is what somebody said yesterday. I think he got a lot of accolades for that. I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of ...

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Hal McCoy’s HOF Ballot

McCoy- Unit, Pedro, Smoltz, Biggio, Bagwell, Edgar, McGriff, Lee Smith and Aaron Boone.

Nine votes including Boone. One would think McCoy could have found a better candidate than Boone (or Smith, or McGriff, for that matter) to fill out the 10th spot.

TJ Posted: January 07, 2015 at 03:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Hall of Fame Reset: A Very Early Look at MLB Induction Possibilities for the Next Five Years

This is one of the best Hall of Fame classes in decades, and the July 26 induction in Cooperstown should be one of the liveliest Hall celebrations of all time.

Of course, several other deserving candidates failed to earn the requisite 75 percent of the vote, leaving a backlog of worthy names heading into 2016 and beyond. So let’s hit the reset button and consider what the next five years of Hall voting might bring.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: January 07, 2015 at 10:15 AM | 175 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Digging for Diamonds – The Hardball Times

The whole thing sounds like a win, win, win for everybody.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-7-2015

Grand Forks Daily Herald, January 7, 1915:

It is an open secret that Connie Mack felt compelled to rid the Athletics of Eddie Collins to restore some measure of harmony to the team. And it is generally understood that the discord which Connie seeks to alleviate was caused by Eddie Collins’ ill-advised newspaper articles, in which he disclosed team secrets, and thus, in the opinion of his fellow-players, put them under a handicap.
...
The authorities of the American league recognized the evil and ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 07, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, eddie collins, history

Hoynes: Why I didn’t vote for Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez

And that Randy Johnson, I don’t know him very well, but I bet he’s a jerk as well.

I didn’t vote for this year’s Hall of Fame class that will be enshrined in Cooperstown in July 26. It’s the first time I’ve missed since I became eligible to vote in 1994.

It wasn’t a protest over steroid era players or a desire to see the ballot go from 10 to 12 votes per writer. No, it was a screw up on my part. People who know me are really going to be surprised over that one.

Somehow, someway the ballot ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, paul hoynes, pedro martinez

Padres officially welcome Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers. | UTSanDiego.com

“I think people forget that this was my first bad year,” said Myers, a former top prospect. “Everyone talks about ‘his swing was this, his swing was that.’ A lot of that had to do with being hurt, having to make changes in my swing to get to pitches I couldn’t when I was hurt. … This offseason, it’s about getting healthy and coming out and just being the same guy I’ve always been.”

A bigger challenge may be presented in a full-time position switch; though he’s played the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris, justin upton, padres, wil myers, will middlebrooks

Hall of Fame voters still let personal bias get in the way. | SportsonEarth.com

Will Leitch’s take on the HOF process.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2015 at 06:48 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Stephen Drew, Yankees finalizing deal that could pay him $6M to $7M - CBSSports.com

Like the Yankees, I suppose, I expect a bounce-back year.from Drew. He’s no superstar, but he’s another nice solid pickup for the Yankees this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2015 at 06:46 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: stephen drew, yankees

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

SF Giants’ pitcher Hudson undergoes ankle surgery - San Francisco Chronicle

It’s not easy repeating.

The Giants revealed Tuesday that Hudson underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from the ankle Friday. Recovery time is eight weeks, which means Hudson is expected to be on restricted duty and behind the other starters when pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 18.

However, assistant general manager Bobby Evans said in a note forwarded to reporters, “We expect Tim to be ready to go Opening Day.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2015 at 05:51 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tim hudson

Who’s in, who’s out, who’s next: Historic Hall class’ huge effect on future ones - Yahoo Sports

Take that ANGER MONKEYS!!

Now that the nonsense that has pervaded the Hall of Fame voting is out of the way, let’s get practical – novel concept – and try to understand what the results of Tuesday’s announcement mean.
Most notably: This is the largest class chosen by the Baseball Writers Association of America since 1955, when Joe DiMaggio, Ted Lyons, Dazzy Vance and Gabby Hartnett got the requisite 75 percent. DiMaggio, by the way, was not a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He failed to get ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2015 at 05:43 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Bill James Mailbag - 1/4/15 - 1/6/15

But what does this have to do with… oh.

Bill, I saw an early return on a few (under 100) HOF ballots online, and Smoltz has over 75% needed to get in. Schilling has under 75%. Would it surprise you to see Smoltz get in ahead of Schilling?...

Well, I would certainly vote for Smoltz over Schilling. If you compare them as starting pitchers Schilling is ahead, but he wins by an NBA score. . . .98 to 93, or 102 to 97, something like that. If you put Smoltz’ three seasons of top-shelf relief pitching ...

Read More...

WaPo - Smiley Aint Esmailyn No Mo

It’s now the Wilmer Difo show, fo sho.

Alvarez sympathizes with the pressures placed on Dominican players, many trying to improve their family’s financial footing. Players aren’t allowed to officially sign with a major league team until 16, but they are often giving up school and training heavily in their early teens. “What happened to me, I did it because I didn’t know how else to get ahead,” he said.

EDIT: Link shortened. Jim.

boteman Posted: January 06, 2015 at 04:29 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: captain_leatherpants, dominican, nationals, prospects

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