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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Yankees GM Brian Cashman defends his decision to not sign Manny Machado | SNY

Clearly Hal Steinbrenner is not as obsessed with winning as his father, but it’s true that developments such as luxury-tax penalties, revenue-sharing, and capped spending on amateur talent via the draft and the international market all have made it more difficult for the Yankees to flex their financial muscle.

“Those days are gone,” Cashman said. “The system now is completely different from what The Boss had free reign on, and most of the preventative measures are because of George ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2019 at 03:05 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, yankees

Pablo Sandoval plays role of Giants’ director of recruiting in offseason

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On the surface, it appears that the Giants are getting a bunch of old Padres together. Drew Pomeranz. Rene Rivera. Yangervis Solarte. Cameron Maybin.

Put perhaps the real link among most the free agent additions is a player who has years of experience facing the Padres.

Solarte, who checked into camp Sunday, said he spent the offseason working out with Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval at the Bommarito gym in Miami. Parra and Rivera also worked out there, along with Dereck ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 03:04 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, offseason, pablo sandoval

Peter Angelo’s failing health prompts MLB to demand ownership answers from Orioles

Major League Baseball has reached out to the Baltimore Orioles ownership requesting a formal answer on who the current leadership consists of by June, according to multiple sources and first reported by The Baltimore Sun.

Though long-time owner Peter Angelo’s two sons Louis and John have become more involved in team activities while their father continues to deal with health issues, Major League Baseball and all club owners must pass a formal approval of whoever the Orioles deem to be the new ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:37 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: health, orioles, ownership, peter angelos

Royals’ Mondesi could be taking first step to stardom

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have been waiting patiently for Adalberto Mondesi to develop into the player they thought he could be. The time could be now.

The starting shortstop job will be his on opening day with Alcides Escobar departing for Baltimore on a minor league contract.

“Mondesi is a tremendously talented young man,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We all saw it last year, but he’s just scratching the surface of what he’s going to be able to accomplish. ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adalberto mondesi, royals

CARDS’ FOWLER HOPES SHORT MEMORY WILL INCREASE PRODUCTION

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Dexter Fowler is taking the best piece of hitting advice he has ever received and applying it to his entire spring training approach.

“Have a short memory,” Fowler said.

Fowler had a 2018 worth forgetting.

A career .262 hitter with an on-base percentage of .360, Fowler hit only .180 with an on-base percentage below .300 while battling nagging injuries much of the year. A foul ball that broke his foot ended Fowler’s season in early August, limiting him to 90 games - his ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:17 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dexter fowler, memories

Suzuki starts likely last spring opener with a hit for M’s

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki still felt the nerves of competition at age 45.

Suzuki started what may be his final spring training with a two-run, two-out single in the third inning Friday of the Seattle Mariners’ opening 8-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Batting seventh and playing left field, Suzuki fouled out in the second inning against Liam Hendriks and singled in the third off left-hander Ryan Buchter. Suzuki then was replaced by a pinch runner. He did not have any chances in ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, mariners, retirement tour, spring training

Jake of all trades: Indians counting on new arrival Bauers

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Cleveland Indians are heading into the 2019 season missing some big bats from last year’s lineup. They hope Jake Bauers brought one from Tampa.

Bauers, who came over in a December trade with the Rays, is being counted on to help fill the power void left with the departures of sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso in trades and the Indians’ decision not to re-sign All-Star Michael Brantley as a free agent.

As the three-time defending AL Central champions ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, jake bauers

Spring training roundup: Franco leads Phils over Rays

Regrettably, this isn’t Julio, trying to prove that, indeed, he will keep playing forever….

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies, spring training

White Sox sign Ervin Santana to minors deal

The White Sox take a chance- the odds suggest that a performance like that he had in 2017 isn’t likely (for a start, he had only played that well once before in his career), but, for the money involved, it is a relatively minor risk.

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:54 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ervin santana, white sox

Alex Bregman: ‘I want to be the LeBron James of baseball’

There are few similarities between baseball and basketball players. NBA players are actually encouraged to show off their personalities. They do fun things like hold All-Star drafts, wear wacky clothing and call each other out on Twitter constantly.

Major League Baseball players act as though they are prohibited from showing any emotion on the field. If you flip a bat or cheer after hitting a home run, expect a fastball to the ribs. The next time a baseball player wears an outfit that gets ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, lebron james

Yankees GM says ‘you can’t have’em all’ after not signing Manny Machado

When a major free agent hits the open market, it’s always anticipated that the New York Yankees will emerge as a primary suitor. It’s an expectation that never really changes, regardless of who the free agent is, how large the Yankees payroll is, or what the team’s actual needs might be.

So when an elite infielder like Manny Machado, who’s already a four-time All-Star, who’s still only 26 years old with his prime years ahead of him, and who’s desire to play for the Yankees seemed ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, manny machado, yankees

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw dealing with arm injury early in spring training

The start to spring training in Arizona has mainly consisted of rain and grey skies. For the Dodgers, it’s been even worse than the weather.

Clayton Kershaw is shutting it down after not feeling right in his latest live bullpen session on Monday. There is currently no timetable for when the Dodgers ace will continue throwing.

Regarding the extent of the injury, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called Kershaw not throwing more of a “re-set” than anything else on Friday.

And so it begins….

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: arm injuries, clayton kershaw, spring training

MLB hot stove: Phillies, Bryce Harper in Las Vegas, reports say

Could the Phillies be on the brink of signing Bryce Harper?

Well, according to a report from NBCS Philadelphia, which cites unidentified sources, Phillies owner John Middleton’s plane is “on the ground” in Harper’s home town of Las Vegas, Nev., this weekend.

Harper also appears to be in town with his representatives, according to Fancred sports.

Remember when baseball wanted to stay so far away from gambling that Mays and Mantle were banned from the sport for working as casino greeters?

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, hot stove, las vegas, phillies

Friday, February 22, 2019

Montreal investment group seeks share of the Rays, want games in Olympic Stadium

Stephen Bronfman, son of former Expos owner Charles Bronfman, has been seeking to bring baseball back to Montreal for many years now, and according to French-speaking newspaper La Presse, the next step in realizing that dream could involve the Tampa Bay Rays.

The article, written by three authors at La Presse and citing ‘a number of sources,’ says Bronfman’s investment group is seeking a future where the Rays play a portion of their home games in Montreal at Olympic Stadium, the former ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 05:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: montreal, rays

Marwin Gonzalez, Twins

Versatile Marwin Gonzalez has agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with the Minnesota Twins, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Friday.

The deal, which is worth $12 million this season and $9 million in 2020, is pending a physical.

Gonzalez, who played every position for the Houston Astros in 2018 except pitcher and catcher, was an invaluable sparkplug during the Astros’ rise to success, with manager A.J. Hinch calling him “my Swiss Army knife.”

The switch-hitting Venezuelan played ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:01 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: marwin gonzalez, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-22-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 22, 1919:

Under Charley Herzog and Christy Mathewson, the Cincinnati Reds used the “hit and run” system of play extensively, even though it failed to bring results.
...
Now comes Pat Moran, who says that he does not care very much for the play, and who will use it only when it is plain that it should not be set aside. Pat says it’s a great play when you have the men you can make it, but when you haven’t that kind of players, what’s the use?

Coincidentally (or not), the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 01:13 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Texas Rangers: Brady Feigl not related to Brady Feigl after all | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

We are all Brady Feigl today.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 22, 2019 at 09:44 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, more Giants will have different look at plate

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—After 10 days of watching him take batting practice and do catching drills, the Giants fully expect Buster Posey to be in the lineup on March 28 in San Diego. When he digs into the box, you’ll see a different look from Posey, now in his 11th big league season.

Posey is one of a dozen Giants wearing a batting helmet with a flap this spring. Last year, the Giants had just one player on their active roster—backup catcher Aramis Garcia—with a flap protecting his jaw. Posey said ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants, helmets, pablo sandoval

Ex-Phillies star Howard joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ crew

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has joined ESPN as an analyst on “Baseball Tonight.”

The network said Thursday that Howard will start in early March. He also will appear on other television and radio formats at ESPN.

Well, this confirms just how much ESPN holds the sport of baseball in contempt.

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, ryan howard

Cubs have sixth-best 2019 World Series odds, according to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook

Las Vegas’ oddsmakers are high on the Cubs’ chances of having a successful 2019 season.

Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released its over/under win total, World Series, pennant, division and playoff odds for each MLB team for the 2019 season. In comparison to the rest of MLB, the Cubs have the sixth-best odds to win the World Series (second-best in the National League).

When did Dave Cameron become a bookie?

QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, las vegas, odds

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens.

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stolen bases, trea turner

Reds having Michael Lorenzen prepare as a two-way player

For decades, a legitimate “two-way player” — a player who functions as both a pitcher and as a position player — was nothing but a fantasy. The skill sets required for both are too distinct and require too much prep work, it was thought. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani shattered that illusion in 2018, posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances as a hitter while posting a 3.31 ERA in 51 2/3 innings as a pitcher.

Since then, several more players have been considered in two-way roles. The ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: michael lorenzen, reds, two-way players

Brewers’ Braun aiming to build off strong finish last season

PHOENIX (AP) — Those days of playing every day, they’re done for Ryan Braun. Most important for the longtime Milwaukee Brewers star these days is making the most of the time he’s in the lineup.

Now 35, Braun is inching closer to the downside of his career. And while he is still capable of being a game-changing presence, staying healthy and on the field on a regular basis is not nearly as easy as it was when he was 28 and just hitting his prime.

Managing Braun’s playing time to keep ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, ryan braun

Bryce Harper not expected to receive offer from White Sox

As the Bryce Harper sweepstakes rolls into the final week of February, one potential suitor is reportedly backing out of the race.

According to Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago, the White Sox will not be making a bid to sign the free-agent outfielder.

The White Sox are still reeling after missing out on their primary target, Manny Machado. But Levine’s sources say that won’t be enough to motivate Chicago’s front office to up the ante on Harper. He cited the team’s confidence ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, white sox

Report: Manny Machado will accommodate Padres’ top prospect with move back to third base

Manny Machado just signed the biggest free agent contract in the history of North American sports. And yet, he likely won’t ever be playing his favored position again if the San Diego Padres’ plan works out.

After spending a full year playing shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Padres’ new $300 million man has agreed to move back to third base for his San Diego tenure. The reason why: Fernando Tatis Jr., widely considered the top shortstop prospect in ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2019 at 06:43 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando tatis jr., manny machado, padres, third basemen

Thursday, February 21, 2019

538: Foul Balls Are The Pace-Of-Play Problem Nobody’s Talking About

The number of foul balls has increased by 11.98 percent from 1998, when baseball expanded to 30 teams, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of Baseball-Reference.com data. There were almost 14,000 more foul balls last season than there were 20 seasons earlier. In 1998, 26.5 percent of all strikes were foul balls. That share increased to a record 27.9 percent of strikes in 2017 and 27.8 percent last season, the top rates since pitch-level data was first recorded in 1988.
...
For the first ...

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Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 21, 2019 at 05:18 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: foul balls, pace of play

Boston Globe Red Sox reporter Nick Cafardo dies after suffering apparent embolism at spring training

Long-time Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo died Thursday at the Red Sox spring training facility after suffering an apparent embolism, the newspaper announced.

Cafardo, 62, worked for the Globe since 1989 and was at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida, as part of The Globe’s Red Sox coverage. According to The Globe, members of the Red Sox medical team attempted to revive Cafardo when he collapsed. Cafardo chose to report to the team facility on his day off, compelled by his “love of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:48 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: nick cafardo

Is It 2019 or 1919? Baseball Is One of America’s Hottest Sports

The number of people who played baseball in the U.S. surged 21% last year from 2014, to nearly 15.9 million, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. That includes everyone from a 6-year-old swinging a bat in the backyard to a starter in the College World Series.

Most of the gain has been in casual players, those who play the game between 1 and 12 times in a year. The ranks of those dabblers grew 53%, or by nearly 2.3 million people, from 2014 to 2018.


The growth of more ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 03:12 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: youth baseball


No one has been hit harder by the analytics movement than pro and advance scouts

For all the talk of what analytics has done to free-agent baseball players in two straight sluggish offseasons, no group of people in the game has been impacted more than scouts. They once filled press-box dining rooms and clustered in the expensive seats behind home plate toting their radar guns. Nowadays, you might run into one or two at a game, but only if you know where to look.

Is it just a matter of teams cutting costs, tasking computers with the jobs humans used to do? Many veterans in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2019 at 10:52 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

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