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Sunday, March 15, 2015

It Happens Every Spring: The Jeff Francoeur Comeback Story

This may be our last one, alas.

“In August 2005, after Francoeur batted .432 and hit eight home runs over his first 23 games as a rookie for the Atlanta Braves, Sports Illustrated splashed him on its cover, the headline “The Natural” bisecting his torso like an arrow. The subhead asked the question that established an unreachable standard for him, and that shadowed him thereafter: “Can anyone be this good?”

No, anyone cannot.”

Howie Menckel Posted: March 15, 2015 at 01:49 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

ESPN: Al Rosen dies at 91

Al Rosen’s success in baseball didn’t end after he left the diamond for the final time.

A muscular third baseman for the Cleveland Indians who won the 1953 AL MVP and later worked in the front offices of several teams, died Friday. He was 91…In 1953, Rosen batted .336 with 43 homers and 145 RBIs. He nearly won the Triple Crown, but was beaten out in for the batting title by Washington’s Mickey Vernon, who hit .337. Rosen was unanimously picked the AL’s top player.

..Rosen is the only person ...

Read More...
Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 15, 2015 at 11:44 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Ben-Gedalyahu: Farewell to Jewish Baseball Legend Al Rosen

May his memory be for a blessing.

Al Rosen, the American League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1953, died at his home in California on Friday at age 91.

The former third baseman for the Cleveland Indians also was president of the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros and the San Francisco Giants.

He also was proud to be a Jew, and he refused to play on the High Holy Days.

Rosen was born in South Carolina and moved to Miami at a very young age. He was known to be proud of being a Jew and ...

Read More...
JE (Jason) Posted: March 15, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anti-semitism, indians, rip

Saturday, March 14, 2015

After being scratched, Bryant hits two homers | MLB.com

How can the Cubs sell not keeping him on the 25-Man Roster? If they really are serious about winning this year, he has to be up to start the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 07:44 PM | 229 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Mariners’ Taylor to miss 4-6 weeks because of fractured bone in right wrist | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune

This is the worst way to lose a spring training battle for a position.

The Mariners’ spring shortstop came to an abrupt end Saturday when an examination revealed Chris Taylor suffered a broken bone in his right wrist.

The injury is expected to sideline Taylor for four-to-six weeks and effectively sends Brad Miller into the season as the club’s starting shortstop.

Taylor suffered the injury Friday in a 10-5 victory over Milwaukee when hit on the wrist on what was ruled a foul ball. He ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 04:20 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: chris taylor, mariners

Rangers should consider trading Beltre - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

It’s official: Yu Darvish will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2015. It’s a big loss for both the Rangers and for fans; if you didn’t enjoy watching Darvish pitch, you don’t like baseball. As we awaited news of his fate the past few days, I wondered if this worst-case scenario would mean that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels would consider trading Adrian Beltre. Joe Sheehan suggested the same thing Thursday in his newsletter:

“The next challenge for Daniels will be a painful ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 10:36 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, rangers

The Yankees’ 6-day solution to keep Tanaka healthy | New York Post

Are they going to have one guy on their bench?

The Yankees have been talking about going to a six-man rotation for a while. Part of the problem is they already lost their fifth starter, Chris Capuano, to a quad injury. Esmil Rogers, Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren and Chase Whitley are in play for that spot now. But if it is a grab-and-go six-man rotation, reaching down into the minors whenever that starter is needed, that makes the situation a bit easier and more manageable.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:36 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: masahiro tanaka, yankees

‘A young Derek Jeter’: How Gregorius is handling unreal hopes | New York Post

“When I saw him, he reminded me of a young Derek Jeter,” Towers said at the time.

Now that Gregorius is preparing to take over for an old Derek Jeter, Towers was asked about the comparison.

“That was kind of taken out of context,” Towers said by phone. “As a scout with Pittsburgh, I saw Jeter in high school in Kalamazoo (Mich.) in the early ’90s and Didi reminded me on defense with some of the things he did.

“He had Jeter-like mannerisms and a similar first step. He’s affable ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:34 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: didi gregorius, yankees

Pablo Sandoval of Boston Red Sox fires back at former San Francisco Giants teammate Aubrey Huff - ESPN Boston

Pablo Sandoval is not backing away from his comments about leaving the Giants.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:09 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

New pitchers head protection gains MLB approval - ESPN

Will any other pitchers use this cap?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment, pitching

Milwaukee Brewers ban high fives to avoid spread of pink eye - ESPN

How about the low five?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:04 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Twinsights: ‘Little man’ Jose Berrios making things difficult - Twins Now

Long relief?

“Conversely,” Molitor said, “if he’s not going to be here to start — IF he’s not going to be here to start — then he needs to prepare himself to go down and be extended when his season begins, wherever that might be.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose berrios, paul molitor, twins


Fantasy Focus: pitching prospects | MiLB.com

Some pitchers to keep an eye on.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchers, prospects

5 things we’ve learned so far about Yankees - Yankees Blog - ESPN New York

Will the Yankees contend this year?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2015 at 07:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Wizard of Oz Night at the Ballpark

With April 1st so far away, this must be legit. Will Ozzie Smith throw out the first pitch? That would be ToTototally awesome!

natebracy Posted: March 14, 2015 at 12:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, minors, uniforms

Friday, March 13, 2015

WSJ: Mets Fired Executive Settles Suit Against Team

And that’s that.

Leigh Castergine, the Mets’ former senior vice president for ticket sales and services, has settled her wrongful termination lawsuit against Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer. The two sides announced the news in a joint statement released Friday afternoon.

In a lawsuit filed in September, Castergine alleged that she was fired from her executive position because Wilpon objected to her having a child out of wedlock. Wilpon denied those claims, saying that ...

Read More...
JE (Jason) Posted: March 13, 2015 at 10:27 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: females in baseball, jeff wilpon, mets, sexual harrassment panda

The Strange Saga of the Dodgers and a Twitter Parody Account

A Dodgers spokesperson said the team did not ask Twitter to suspend the account. But curiously, the account was suspended shortly after the Dodgers had a social media team meeting in which, according to one source, Colletti spoke about how he had been harassed on Twitter.

An email to Colletti asking for comment earlier this week was not returned. When reached by phone on Thursday, Colletti angrily inquired how I had gotten his cell phone number. I told him that as a reporter I was pretty good ...

Read More...

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-13-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 13, 1915:

[St. Paul owner Joe Cantillon] claims to have traded [Bill] Hopper for a bird dog, and a few days before reporting for spring ptractice, in his home town, Jackson, Tenn., the pitcher was arrested on a complaint of a neighbor who charged that Hopper had assaulted him.

“Why did you attack the man?” asked the justice of the peace. “He insulted me,” replied Hopper. “What did he say to you?” persisted the guardian of the law. “Say!” shouted Hopper, almost beside ...

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Chicago Cubs camp analysis—Storylines abound - ESPN

The Cubs are a good press machine.

As a side note, this might be one of the best “interview” teams Chicago has seen in a long time. From Miguel Montero—the catcher will almost certainly be the first to lose it if things go bad—to Dexter Fowler to Ross to newcomer Phil Coke, we won’t be hard-pressed to find a good quote.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

New Sandy Alderson book offers revealing view of Madoff-impacted Mets | Capital New York

There is another general manager centered book coming out. This one is about Sandy Alderson and his trial and tribulations at running one of the lowest payrolls in the biggest market.

“I’d been working on this book for nearly four years when I suddenly found myself wondering: Why was Alderson cooperating?”, Kettmann writes on page 331. “Part of the answer was simply that I’d asked him at the right time, just as the Former state charities bureau regulator was taking over as Mets GM. ... Then, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sandy alderson

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Once beloved Pablo Sandoval sabotages his own image

If Pablo Sandoval’s recent comments were meant to sting, they did not penetrate. They were comically weak, brushed aside in the clubhouse like a passing whiff of flatulence. The only real issue was his motivation.

The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: March 12, 2015 at 11:33 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, san francisco giants

Robothal: Cage Match: Yankees vs. Mets

The premise is simple: Which team will win more games, Team A or Team B? In each pairing, the teams are in the same city or same state. The idea came to me one day when I started thinking, “OK, which club will be better, the Mets or Yankees?

Yankees (82 projected wins) vs. Mets (81)
My pick: Mets 84 wins, Yankees 79.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 12, 2015 at 05:30 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, new york, yankees

Lindbergh: Best Shape of His Life! Does the Oft-Mocked Spring Training Declaration Actually Forecast a Better Season?

So what can we conclude? Being a best-shaper isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s not necessarily as meaningless as the reflexive jokes suggest. BSOHL position players don’t hit any better than expected, but they do tend to beat their playing-time projections and potentially play better on defense. BSOHL pitchers, meanwhile, seem to enjoy a genuine advantage. By the standards of most stories out of spring training, that makes being in better shape big news.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 12, 2015 at 03:41 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, bsohl, fitness, projections

Awful Announcing: Jonah Keri melts down over a concert on his flight

Alas, the knee defender is useless against annoying rock bands:

rantland’s Jonah Keri is one of my favorite baseball writers working today. On Wednesday, Keri was on a Southwest flight to Denver. The band Lifehouse was on the same flight.

All hell proceeded to break loose.

JE (Jason) Posted: March 12, 2015 at 11:03 AM | 231 comment(s)
  Beats: analysis, jonah keri, media, music

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-12-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 12, 1915:

[John] Peters did not want to go to Detroit this year. His objection to Detroit was that it was a major league city.
...
[Peters] admits that he can throw as few men can, and a comparison of his own .307 average and the swatting marks claimed by the majority of catchers, has convinced him that he need not worry about his hitting. But he doesn’t know baseball yet, knows that he doesn’t know the game, and doesn’t care to palm himself off as a wise guy.

That’s ...

Read More...

Newsday: Lennon - Noah Syndergaard vs. Marlins: It’s not a fair fight

Wishful thinking. Knowing who was on the mound, Wednesday must have felt like looking down the barrel of a gun for the Marlins—from the wrong end. Harvey being Harvey, most of the attention focused on the Mets’ recovering ace. Truth be told, Syndergaard made even more of an impression, maybe because the Marlins previously were unfamiliar with the 6-6 blond giant who threw “thunderbolts.”

That was more appropriate than the Marlins even realized given Syndergaard’s “Thor” moniker—it hasn’t ...

Read More...
Lassus Posted: March 12, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: thor

Inside the new system that wants to revolutionize how we look at pitches - Yahoo Sports

Pitch sequencing – or how a pitcher approaches a hitter or multiple hitters by linking different types of pitchers in an intentional order – is believed to be very important, and the QOP system ignores it, considering its dependence on context inconsistent with the model.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Andrew Miller: This Lefty Reliever Specializes in Outs - WSJ

Specializing in outs gets a pitcher paid; specializing in home runs gets him released. Good choice, Andrew!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, justin wilson, yankees

Harvey-Fernandez could be historic rivalry in the making | New York Post

So, Fernandez’s timetable is 13-14 months.

Fernandez was due to throw 24 hours later. But only 30 pitches (no breaking stuff) from a bullpen mound. His surgery was May 16. Marlins general manager Dan Jennings mentioned he has never seen anyone in his 28 years in pro ball attack rehab like Fernandez has, and the blueprint has Fernandez back in the majors sometime from mid-June to mid-July.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:22 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jose fernandez, marlins, matt harvey, mets, tommy john

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