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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Murray Chass: TALES OF TONY, NOW RETIRED

And you thought the Piazza/Bacne story was bizarre?

My favorite Tony La Russa story has nothing to do with his managing. It’s more personal.


It happened during a World Series. I don’t remember which one it was. I just know it wasn’t one in which La Russa was managing. It was one he was attending as a fan, sitting in the stands.


During whatever game it was, I heard my name over the press box loudspeaker system. I was being paged. That seldom happened, and I was puzzled by the page. ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: November 06, 2011 at 06:24 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history

I-70baseball: The Case For Ken Boyer

He happens to be the only Cardinal with a retired number who is not in the Hall of Fame.  Boyer should be in the Hall, not solely to clear that historical footnote, but because he was really good.


How good was Ken Boyer?  He finished in the MVP top 20 every year from 1958 through 1964.  Four of those years (1959-1961, 1964) he finished in the top ten, and won the MVP in 1964.  Boyer’s 119 OPS+ from 1955 to 1965 is seventh best among me with at least 5500 at bats during those years, and ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: November 06, 2011 at 05:20 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

TFT: Mitchell: Ron Santo’s Evolving Hall of Fame Candidacy

Santo vs. La Invasion de Los Marcianos! (re: the 3B that have come after him)

image

Nonetheless, Santo’s candidacy and potential election raises some interesting questions about third baseman and the Hall of Fame.  There are several active or recently retired third basemen such as Chipper Jones or Alex Rodriguez, who by the time he retires will have played more games at third base than shortstop, who should easily be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Others such as Scott Rolen are building ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 06, 2011 at 02:33 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Sherman: Source: Mets open to Wright deal

Word continues to circulate in baseball circles that the Mets will be willing to discuss David Wright in trades this offseason as part of a complete facelift/rebuild away from Wright and Jose Reyes.

“We will listen on Wright for sure,” a Mets official told me during the week. “We know we are not going to win it all in 2012. We have to hope the Phillies get old and we are in position to take advantage of that in 2013-14, and we have to figure out ways to speed the process to get there.” ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: November 06, 2011 at 02:10 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mets

Mark Smith: Where Do Intangibles Fit In?

As five-star general turned general no-star, Omar Daal Bradley, once noted…“Leadership is intangible, and therefore no toolsy ballplayer ever designed can replace it.”

How Milton Bradley get so far? Carlos Zambrano? Why is Bryce Harper so awesome? They’re all less than desirable personalities, but they’ve succeeded more than 99.9% of the other players who have tried. Why do they get to succeed? The first answer is that life isn’t fair, and people often get more or less than they deserve, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 06, 2011 at 12:15 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, sabermetrics

Buckley: It’s time for El Tiante

and then it’s time for El Lolich, and then El Pappas, and then…

We are here to beg and plead with the members of the Hall of Fame’s 16-member Golden Era committee to right a terrible wrong and punch Tiant’s ticket to Cooperstown.

...Tiant? You’ve probably heard this argument 3,486 times, which is the number of innings Tiant pitched in his big league career, but here we go again: If Jim “Catfish” Hunter is in the Hall, Tiant should be in the Hall.

...Tiant had four seasons with 20 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 06, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, red sox, sabermetrics

Daughtery: Drew Stubbs could learn a thing or two from Matty and ‘The Hat’

Drew Alou?

Drew Stubbs probably has never heard of Walker or Alou. They’re both dead now, which complicates things. Alou died Thursday at age 72, of diabetes. Walker died 12 summers ago. Each could be linked to Stubbs’ future.

...Drew Stubbs has a whole lot more ability than Matty Alou ever did. If Stubbs weren’t playing baseball, he’d make a good wide receiver. If Alou hadn’t played baseball, he’d have made a fine bellman.

But Alou had something Stubbs is seeking. He understood ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 06, 2011 at 04:31 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reds, sabermetrics

Hawk Harrelson: Dunn will be 2012 Comeback Player of the Year

Uh-oh. Nehru straightjacket must be too tight…Hawk’s mystischism has tantrickled down to this magical poop.

Q: What are your thoughts on Adam Dunn?

A: I think he’s going to give us two shocks. One shock was in 2011 and the next shock is going to be in 2012. I think he’s going to come back and have a (heck) of a year. The last day of the season, we talked for a little bit and after that conversation I told my wife, she asked me: ‘Do you think he can come back?’

I said, ‘Honey, I’ll tell ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 06, 2011 at 03:57 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, television, white sox

D-Backs-Bloomquist communication breakdown: Who’s to blame?

Will WFB be going to California, or over the hills and far away?

Versatile infielder/outfielder Willie Bloomquist is drawing “a lot of interest” on the free agent market, agent Scott Boras said, adding that his client could land with a team that views him as more than a utility player.

But it’s a possibility that job won’t be with the Diamondbacks, and there is disagreement between the team and Boras as to who’s to blame for the communication breakdown that got them here.

A few days after ...

Read More...
Greg Franklin Posted: November 06, 2011 at 03:30 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, rumors

SI.com: The story behind the photo: almost-engaged Cardinals fan

Remember this girl?  Here’s the story.

It wasn’t exactly that he put a ring and tickets on the table and told me to pick one. We’ve been together for several years now and are pretty confident that marriage is in the cards, but he is definitely not in a hurry. Every once in a while, I’ll give him a hard time about it and he’s always quick to change the subject. A week or two before this game (I think we were still playing the Brewers) I brought it up again and he changed the subject to World ...

Read More...
Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: November 06, 2011 at 03:21 AM | 127 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, online

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Denver-area sports-betting operation took high-end clients and bets, indictment says

Strong-arm and bookies I’m familiar with. Armstrong and bookies, not so much.

A sports-betting operation described as one of the largest in Colorado catered to well-known Denver-area sports, business and entertainment figures, some of whom had weekly betting limits as high as $50,000, according to a grand jury indictment and recently released search warrants.

Among those identified in court documents as placing bets “on a continual basis for several years” are Steve Sander, Denver’s director ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 09:22 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, rockies

Bill Conlin: Dr. Conlin’s Rx for the Phillies

Curule rulz! Pearls from One Chair.

I will start with two no-brainers: Jimmy Rollins must be signed, not at all costs, but through creative thinking that will give the face of this franchise the chance to wet his beak economically but will protect the Phillies against major slippage as the years pile up on him. He is shopping for 5 years? Fine. Give him the chance to make a base $10 million-a-year guaranteed with the chance to earn another $3 million or so by realizing fairly realistic goals. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 09:12 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: history, phillies, sabermetrics

NY Post: Mets will pay 3 percent interest to investors

From the (None of Your) Business section of the Post:

People will be able, after a half-dozen years, to cash in their small stakes and get their money back—with a 3 percent annual kicker tacked onto their principal, sources close to the situation said.

Additionally, the Mets are guaranteeing that the minority owners will not be called on to fund the money-losing team during their investment, three sources close to the situation said.

The $20 million stakes value the Mets at roughly $950 ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: November 05, 2011 at 07:19 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets

OT: The Soccer Thread: November 2011

Unlike those spoiled jerks in the NBA, our heroes continue to play! Let’s talk about it here.

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: November 05, 2011 at 06:48 PM | 746 comment(s)
  Beats: general

ESPN: Kurkjian: O’s, Dan Duquette near deal

The Baltimore Orioles are close to officially naming Dan Duquette as their next general manager, two sources confirmed Saturday.

Duquette, formerly a GM for the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, interviewed in Baltimore Friday and was traveling to Baltimore Saturday to finalize a contract.

The twilight’s last gleaming?

villageidiom Posted: November 05, 2011 at 06:21 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, expos, international, orioles, red sox, rumors

Yankees ‘certainly will talk to’ C.J. Wilson despite postseason problems

Small Junior Samples alert!

image

C.J. Wilson has won 31 games in his two seasons as a starter for the Rangers, becoming one of the best lefties in the game and perhaps the most sought-after free-agent pitcher this offseason.

But those may not be the numbers the Yankees will focus on when it comes to deciding how heavily they will pursue Wilson.

Instead, the fact he’s 1-5 in the postseason and could cost more than they are willing to spend—because there is a lack of top-tier starters on the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 01:47 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, rangers, yankees

MLB: A statistical review of Minnie Minoso’s career and HOF candidacy

Neat overview by Ben Jedlovec and Don Zminda.

Other Sabermetric statistics

Most AL Wins Above Replacement (WAR), 1951-61

90.7 - Mickey Mantle* 	
54.6 - Minnie Minoso 	
47.9 - Yogi Berra* 	
45.6 - Ted Williams* 	
42.7 - Al Kaline* 	
42.2 - Nellie Fox* 	
* = Hall of Famer


Minoso’s value is also apparent utilizing some of the more commonly-used Sabermetric statistics that have gained credibility in baseball analysis in recent years. As with a review of the American League leaders from ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 12:38 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, white sox

Jeff Manto Doesn’t Want Walks?

Walking Dead: Horse’s Ass.

image

It’s a new way of baseball that is translating into success. The idea is simple: if you take more pitches, you tire out the pitcher, creating more at-bats, ultimately leading to more runs.

New White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto has a different view when it comes to taking pitches. telling The Mully and Hanley Show that walks set up double-play balls.

“Do we want Adam Dunn taking a ball (when it is) off the plate with a man on third and the infield back and ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

IE: An Interview With Michael Lewis & Billy Beane: Data in Baseball & Business

Todd Watson: So this question is some red meat for my baseball buddies. Is, in fact, on-base percentage a better metric now for a player’s contribution to advancing scoring than runs batted in? And if so, could you talk a little bit about how you arrived at realizing that?

Billy Beane: Well, that’s interesting, I don’t think we’ve ever taken ownership of inventing anything. I mean, there were some academics there outside the industry…

Todd Watson: Sure. But it’s a different way of viewing the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 10:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, history, media, sabermetrics

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Philadelphia Phillies

And STILL no Sammye Welborn.

1. Trevor May, rhp
2. Jesse Biddle, lhp
3. Sebastian Valle, c
4. Jonathan Pettibone, rhp
5. Phillippe Aumont, rhp
6. Freddy Galvis, ss
7. Justin DeFratus, rhp
8. Brody Colvin, rhp
9. Jiwan James, of
10. Maikel Franco, 3b

In an effort to replenish the system, scouting director Marti Wolever took several projectable, high-ceiling athletes in the 2011 draft, including outfielders Larry and Tyler Greene (no relation) and shortstops Roman Quinn and Mitch ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 05, 2011 at 10:37 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, phillies, prospect reports, scouting

Friday, November 04, 2011

Mlb.com: Thome, Phillies agree to one-year deal

I was at Citizens Bank Park a few days after Thome’s 600th career home run. The Jumbotron in left field replayed the moment and the Phils fans’ lengthy ovation was genuine. Welcome home.

Sources said Friday evening that the Phillies and Thome have agreed on a one-year contract, pending Thome passing a physical. Terms of the deal were unknown, although it seems likely to be a low-risk signing.

It is not a surprising move, but it is an interesting one. Both parties hoped to reunite during the ...

Read More...
AndrewJ Posted: November 04, 2011 at 11:51 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, phillies, twins

BD (Healey): Are MLB GMs ignoring African-American Manager Candidates?

Well, are they?

Of the names we have heard so far in the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals managerial searches, there have been several Latino candidates mentioned as potential hires, but not a single qualified African-American managerial candidate — with one exception — has been identified. DeMarlo Hale of the Red Sox has been classified as someone who could be in the mix, but no interview has yet been scheduled.

...

there have been reports that Theo Epstein could ...

Read More...
Mike Emeigh Posted: November 04, 2011 at 09:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, cardinals, cubs, red sox, white sox

Brian Cashman: Yankees will not pursue Albert Pujols

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman joined the show to talk about the offseason and more.

Dan asked if the Yankees are interested in Albert Pujols. Cashman said no.

“Despite him being fantastic, it’s not an efficient way to allocate our resources,” Cashman said.

Cashman said they won’t go after much on the offensive side of the ball. “Offense is not an issue here,” Cashman said. “Our priority this offseason is pitching?

Dan asked if they were interested in Rangers ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 04, 2011 at 09:16 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cardinals, yankees

Cubs fan finds autographed Cardinals hat on I-74

Get that fella’s number! Get his number!.

Somewhere out there, someone is missing a baseball cap.

A 2011 World Series championship baseball cap apparently autographed by Series MVP David Freese, All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, relief pitcher Jason Motte and a few more St. Louis Cardinals.

Joe Couri found the cap on an off-ramp along Interstate 74, and he’d like to return it to the original owner. That’s if the original owner can prove ownership.

“He better have a picture of himself ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 04, 2011 at 09:02 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, memorabilia

Barry Bloom: Some thoughts on La Russa, Moneyball, statistics

Bloom in love: There’s no such thing as a perfect baseball marriage.

Cliff Lee had a WAR of 6.9 this past season pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies. But that doesn’t account for the fact that he’s been terrible in his three most recent important starts: Games 1 and 5 of the 2010 World Series for Texas and Game 2 of this year’s National League Division Series. In the latter, he blew an early 4-0 lead to the Cards, who won the series in five games. Certainly, that one game alone is why ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 04, 2011 at 07:56 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

NY Post: Mets Settle Suit With Woman Injured By Falling Fat Man

This may cut into the funds available for Reyes and Wright:

Ellen Massey blamed the team for her injuries, contending they knew or should have known the drunken 300-pound fan five rows above her was a problem, and they did nothing to stop him from tormenting the other people in her section.

That fan, Timothy Cassidy, denies he was drunk, but witnesses said he was so sloshed, he couldn’t even complete the “Let’s go Mets!” chant.

The incident happened on opening day of 2007, when Massey had ...

Read More...
The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 04, 2011 at 07:30 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, mets

Megdal: None of Our Business? Come Again?

As Howard says…“Always fun with this team.”

That’s the same thing that is now none of our business? Can’t be.

And one other thing to consider. Jeff Wilpon claimed the following: “Some of the people don’t want to be public,” Wilpon said. “Some of the people might never be public.”

So what is the motivation of these would-be owners? The team is losing a ton of money, and prospects for that to change aren’t very good in the near future. The team itself faces legal exposure from ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 04, 2011 at 05:28 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

Buttry: If journalists were objective, Roger Maris would be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

All the Hesitant Men: It would be nice if they were right.

Next time someone tells me that objectivity is a journalism tradition, my answer will be: Roger Maris.

Again Thursday, baseball writers blocked Maris’ entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame because of their biases and personal feelings. The Golden Era ballot of eight players and two executives to be considered for entry to the Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee, announced Thursday, included no one as famous as Maris.

...Maris ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 04, 2011 at 05:03 PM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history, yankees

AZ Republic: ASU baseball ruled ineligible for 2012 postseason

Other penalties, some self-imposed by ASU in a case under investigation since January 2008, include scholarship reductions, vacating wins and the 2007 Pac-10 title, coaching limitations during practice and restricted recruiting.

...

ASU continues to dispute that some players being minimally overpaid for working in the Sandlot program, created by former coach Pat Murphy to promote youth baseball, and that certain work by student managers including throwing batting practice are major ...

Read More...
Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2011 at 05:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: college

Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch dies at age 61

RIP, Bob Forsch...

Bob Forsch, one of a handful of pitchers to have two no-hit games and the third winningest pitcher in Cardinals history, collapsed at his home near Tampa Fla., and died suddenly Thursday night.

Early reports from his wife, Jan, were that Forsch, 61, had suffered an aneurysm in his upper chest.

Forsch, who spent 15 seasons with the Cardinals from 1974-88, won 163 games for the club, ranking him third behind Bob Gibson (251) and Jesse “Pop” Haines (210). Employed as a minor ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: November 04, 2011 at 04:35 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

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