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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Cubs still wide open with leadoff spot in 2019: ‘If somebody wants to take it, take it’

MESA, Ariz. — Rickey Henderson isn’t coming through that door for the Cubs, no matter how much Joe Maddon would like it.

Dexter Fowler isn’t, either.

Almost three years to the day since Fowler surprised everybody by walking onto the backfield at Cubs camp in Arizona, the Cubs are still searching for his replacement — a “you go, we go” presence atop the order.

Well, if they’ll really accept anyone for the job, I’m available….


QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, leadoff

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MLB Set to Pass New Rules Designed to Crack Down on Sign Stealing

In addition to banning all in-house cameras from foul pole to foul pole, the rule provides that:

• The only live feed of a broadcast will be the one provided to each team’s designated replay official.

• A specially trained monitor, not a Resident Security Expect, will be assigned to each designated replay official to make sure that person has no communication with team personnel regarding signs, either in person, by phone or any other device.

• All other bullpen and clubhouse ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2019 at 11:05 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: sign-stealing

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2019

Pittsburgh Press, February 20, 1919:

Babe Ruth, the big, hard-hitting pitcher-outfielder of the Boston Americans, announces that he is really in earnest about becoming a professional boxer. Ruth announced designs on the heavyweight championship when he saw that Jack Dempsey had been promised at least $27,500 for fighting Jess Willard and that the champion had been assured $100,000. Ruth likes money just two points more than he likes a home run, and that is the last word in liking.

In addition, ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 20, 2019 at 09:40 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Stuart Sternberg: I should have been more aggressive in Rays stadium talks with Tampa

Next time hostages will be taken.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 07:01 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium deals

Young Yankees fan really didn’t want Machado in New York - ESPN Video

I’m surprised this kid doesn’t already have a show on ESPN. He’d fit in perfectly.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

21 steps toward fantasy baseball auction success – The Athletic

Some good tips about auctions. One additional step I like to take is to figure out the value of all players as if the league was starting from scratch. I consider this figure a player’s true value, rather than his auction value. Then, using a tiering system similar to the one mentioned in the article, I watch out for players going closer to their true value. I never exceed my listed auction value.


  Use a Spreadsheet To Set Up Your Team

Set up a cheat-sheet ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy

With Machado to Padres, Phillies say they won’t be pressured into a Bryce Harper deal. Now what? – The Athletic

The Machado signing shows that emotion is still part of the process. How many of emotionally motivated signs work out?

Machado’s record deal generates a fascinating dynamic because, over the coming days and weeks, the Phillies will have to make a choice between entertaining fans and running a business. Klentak spoke Tuesday like a callous bookkeeper because he knows agent Scott Boras is listening. And Boras knows the vast amount of pressure on Klentak to land his client, Bryce Harper, no ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:13 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado, padres

Yahoo pitching paid baseball content—and starting with Mets

That’s way too much money.

The site will launch March 28 and the cost is expected to be $4.99 or $5.99 per month, according to Yahoo officials.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:10 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Now one level away from majors, Cole Tucker looks to make an impact | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jordy Mercer is the line. Do you take the over or the under?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cole tucker, pirates

Detroit Tigers’ Casey Mize impresses with new-age ideas, old-school ethic

Viva la revolución!

There were video machines behind the plate and Rapsodo machines between the mound and the plate at each station Tuesday, measuring and collecting data on everything from velocity, spin rate, spin efficiency, pitch shape, ball flight, even 3D trajectory.

Mize, for one, is a huge believer in this technology. In fact, it led him to change the shape and grip of his slider. 

“It’s the most efficient way to develop a pitch,” he said. “The numbers are right there in ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, tigers

Baseball union chief says tanking talk damaging sport -

This is from 2016.

To Clark, who visited Astros camp Friday on his annual tour around spring training, the sustained discussion around tanking is damaging to the sport - regardless of semantics.

“(Tanking is) a nice catchphrase that grabs the headlines, but the truth is as a union, as a part of the industry, we can appreciate as much as anything a club having flexibility to make what decisions it needs to make in order to be successful - we get that,” Clark said. “There are some sensitivities ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, tony clark

Braves want you to get excited about ‘monetary yield’ and ‘glide slope’

Last week Braves president Terry McGuirk and general manager Alex Anthopoulos gave a sit-down interview with Jeff Schultz and David O’Brien of The Athletic. It did not go over well with Braves fans.

In the interview McGuirk and Anthopoulos walked back multiple past claims that the Braves would spend more money for the 2019 season and, as I detailed here, did so in a pretty condescending manner. It was difficult to take anything away from the interview other than the conclusion that (a) ...

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:49 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, braves, money

Chatting on the bases is good-natured, a learning experience

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — While playing for Texas, Jurickson Profar always learned something from new teammate Khris Davis when the Oakland slugger stopped at Profar’s second base spot.

Majors home run leader Davis appreciates any chance he gets to talk baseball and life with Albert Pujols while spending a few moments on first alongside the Angels star.

Mike Trout gets a chuckle out of any good-natured prank pulled by Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera at first — and there’s usually something.

For ...

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: first base, sports culture

Giants encouraged by Jeff Samardzija’s progress to begin spring training

Jeff Samardzija said he has eight hurdles to hit this spring: Bullpen session, “heavy” bullpen session, live BP session, and then five Cactus League starts. He got through his live BP on Tuesday and said it felt good. Samardzija threw all his pitches while facing players on a back field.

“No pain, no restrictions,” he said. “I just need more work.”

He’ll get it. Samardzija, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, will be in the rotation when the Giants kick off spring action this ...

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, spring training

Mike Moustakas has unfinished business in Milwaukee

PHOENIX—Mike Moustakas fell one win shy of reaching the World Series with the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I think we had some unfinished business after last year,” Moustakas said Tuesday after finalizing a $10 million, one-year deal with the Brewers. “I loved playing here last year. It was a lot of fun. We fell a little bit short, obviously, but I feel like this team can get back to where we were at last year and make a push for the World Series.”

After Milwaukee won the NL Central for the first time ...

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mike moustakas, milwaukee, unfinished business

Scooter Gennett upset with Reds over lack of communication regarding contract extension

And now the world’s slowest dance begins for the next off-season….

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extension, reds, scooter gennett

White Sox boss on Manny Machado signing with Padres: ‘We thought we were the high offer’

Manny Machado isn’t going to Chicago after all. The Chicago White Sox, who signed Machado’s brother-in-law Yonder Alonso this offseason and added his friend Jon Jay, lost out to the San Diego Padres, who agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal Tuesday with the star free agent.

Kenny Williams, the White Sox’s executive vice president, expressed surprise that they were beat out for Machado. He told reporters at White Sox camp they thought they had the highest offer.

Turns out they ...

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: kenny williams, outbid, white sox

Now that Manny Machado got $300M, Bryce Harper and the Phillies are on the clock

And then there was one.

Bryce Harper, the second baseball star seeking a $300 million contract this offseason, saw Manny Machado get his money Tuesday and is now awaiting a ridiculous payday of his own.

Machado got $300 million over 10 years, enough to leave your mouth agape, enough to set a new free-agent record in baseball, enough to provide for generations of his family and the exact number both Harper and Machado were said to be chasing this offseason.

It’ll be a record until it ...

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agency, hot stove, phillies

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

With Manny Machado’s deal, reports of baseball’s demise might have been exaggerated - The Washington Post

So the owners aren’t trying to win if they don’t put all new money into player salaries. Shouldn’t players who want to win be willing to accept less than full market value so their teams can afford more good players?

Of course not.

“Every time you look around, more money is pouring into the game from some new source,” Zimmerman said last week. “And a lot of owners seem to be keeping it, putting it in their pockets and not trying to win. We players all try to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 07:46 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Baseball’s Shifting Financial Equation: Long-Term Security Over Free Agency - WSJ

Agents point to early extensions that now look like incredible bargains. Cleveland Indians righty Corey Kluber, for instance, signed a five-year, $38.5 million extension before the 2015 season that could’ve turned into seven years and $77 million with bonuses and team options. His 2.96 ERA since then is the best in the American League, and he has statistically already outperformed the entire contract by a wide margin with up to three years remaining.

On the other end of the spectrum, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 07:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

ESPN:  Former Dodgers great Don Newcombe dead at 92

Newcombe, one of the first African-American pitchers in MLB, joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949, winning Rookie of the Year while helping the team win the NL pennant. In Newcombe’s debut season, he and Dodgers teammates Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella became three of the first four African-Americans (along with Cleveland outfielder Larry Doby) to appear in an All-Star Game.

His best season came in 1956, when he led the league with 27 wins and won the Cy Young and MVP awards and led the ...

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 19, 2019 at 03:31 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: 1955 dodgers, don newcombe

BREAKING: Free agent star Manny Machado has agreed to a deal with the San Diego Padres, league sources tell ESPN.

Edit: Reportedly 10 years for $300 million. Jim

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2019 at 12:27 PM | 177 comment(s)
  Beats: manny machado, padres

Trevor Bauer Is More Concerned With Being Right Than Being Liked

Trevor Bauer sits on a folding chair in a drafty warehouse, sipping applesauce from a plastic cup and electrocuting his brain. Well, electrifying his brain, actually. Bauer, who values precision, points out that there’s an important difference. To electrocute something means to injure or kill it. But he will spend 20 minutes with one milliamp coursing, not unpleasantly, between the electrodes affixed near his temples in an effort to improve the organ that was already most responsible for his ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:43 AM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: trevor bauer

With labor tension high, it’s time for me, Dr. Rosenthal, to stage an intervention between MLB and its players

Still, a deal on the current issues probably could be forged from these elements alone:

*A 20-second pitch clock that would be turned off with men on base (Mr. Manfred announced on Sunday he will introduce the clock in spring training to prepare players and umpires in the event it is used during the regular season).

*A three-batter minimum for pitchers, which the union reportedly is willing to accept starting in 2020.

*The expansion of rosters from 25 to 26 with a 12-pitcher maximum and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2019 at 11:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: labor

Bradford: Did Red Sox learn their lesson after Jon Lester mess-up? | WEEI

Oh, by the way, the Red Sox blew it five years ago.

That was the out-of-nowhere admission by principal owner John Henry Monday. It came and went in the midst of the 22-minute get-together with the team’s ownership with nary a warning and very little follow-up. Yet the proclamation made by Henry was something that was a long time in coming.

“I think we blew the Jon Lester—we blew that signing in spring training,” Henry said. “So for reasons that are pretty apparent now, which I won’t go into, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 08:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jon lester, red sox

The clock is ticking for pitchers, and there are concerns

The umpires are the key to having this make an impact.

Then again, the minor league rules allow you to step off the rubber if you get close to the time limit, and the clock restarts. Nobody knows if this will be implemented. Apparently, the 20-second clock starts when the pitcher receives the ball from the catcher, and if the batter is messing around outside the batter’s box as the clock ticks away, “It would be up to the umpire to make sure the batters get in the box,” according to Red ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 08:21 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch clocks, red sox

Mets Need to Prove They’re a Big-Market Team in Handling of Jacob deGrom | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Will he be able to come close to replicating 2018? That’s a tall order.

Yes, it could cost more by then. Yes, it could cost more by next winter, if deGrom comes anywhere close to replicating a 2018 season in which he had a 1.70 ERA and struck out 269 in 217 innings.

Big-market teams don’t need to worry much about things like that. They can afford to wait, because if the price goes up, they can afford to pay it.

The New York Yankees often operate that way.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets

Farm System Rankings: Pitchers (30-21) | News

I wish the Giants were trying a little harder to build their farm system.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Angels owner Arte Moreno addresses team’s payroll, stadium and GM Billy Eppler – Orange County Register

Owner Arte Moreno said Monday that the Angels base their budget on their revenue.

“Typically for us, we allocate about 50 percent of our revenue towards payroll, but I bust through that every year,” Moreno said. “A small-market team would go about the same. Sometimes the larger market teams would only use 40 percent. Every year is a little different with your needs.”

The Angels currently have a payroll that’s roughly at $183 million, in terms of actual cash flow for 2019. That ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, arte moreno

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