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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Wolff: Carmen and Yogi Berra: A love affair for the ages

May her memory be for a blessing.

Carmen Berra died Thursday night in West Caldwell, not far from the couple’s longtime home in Montclair. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke earlier this year.

She was in some ways the classic baseball wife, known publicly as the woman at Yogi’s side for yet one more bow at Yankee Stadium. In private, she might gently tease him for the lore that grew around him, but she relished the fans’ affection that came his way.

Asked to explain the longevity of ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees, yogi berra

Phillies’ deficiencies take center stage

“Respect the game above all else”

Though it was merely a spring game, Friday’s 15-4 loss to the Orioles had it all: lack of hustle on defense, a pitching implosion and dismal hitting. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has said all spring he does not like losing games, even if they are Grapefruit League contests; Friday’s affair certainly frustrated the skipper.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Sandberg said.

The Phillies’ defensive fundamentals – something Sandberg has stressed mightily during his short ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Friday, March 07, 2014

Brad Penny released by Royals after punching wall

The 35-year-old pitcher saw his comeback attempt go awry when he was released by the Royals on Friday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. And while performance certainly played a part in Kansas City’s decision — Penny gave up four runs and eight hits in two innings in a spring start against the White Sox on Thursday — apparently Penny’s temper did too.

“One reason Brad Penny was released: He injured his non-throwing hand punching a wall on Thursday, source says.”

— ...

Read More...
Good cripple hitter Posted: March 07, 2014 at 06:04 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, royals, spring training

Gleeman: Brandon Phillips: “How the [expletive] am I declining?”

(Barney) Phillips: You can’t spell RBI without eye!

mz

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips isn’t talking to the Cincinnati media, but he’s willing to talk to the national media and willing to talk to the national media about why he’s not talking to the Cincinnati media.

Case in point, this Phillips quote to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com:

  I don’t have nothing to say to those cats. They know what the deal is. They just talk about how I was falling off and declining. How the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

ESPN: Luke Hochevar out for Season

kthejoker Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:32 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, kansas city

Doug Fister injury: Nationals righty has elbow inflammation, MRI

This would be a big blow for the Nats.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:21 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, nationals, trade value

Cardinals hof fan vote.

WHO DO YOU THINK BELONGS IN THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS HALL OF FAME?
VOTE NOW FOR TWO REDBIRDS LEGENDS!

The Cardinals and Edward Jones have teamed up to honor the greatest players in the club’s history. The new Hall of Fame will recognize these figures for their achievements and impact on the organization during their careers.

Each member will be permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame gallery at Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium.

Vote for your top 2 players.

cardsfanboy Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:06 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

1914 and 1915 seasons added

On August 6th,  1914, Rabbit Maranville hit a home run and was part of 3 double plays. So cool.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Posnanski: Gary Nolan Surgery

The Only Nolan pitched in 101 games as a 19-year-old, so yeah, what was Gary’s problem?

then the pain climbed to a higher plane. It was too much. [Gary Nolan] couldn’t handle it. The reporters asked him how much it hurt. “Enough to make you cry,” he said. Teammates rolled their eyes. Letters to the editor in the Cincinnati papers questioned his manhood.

“When’s Nolan going to pitch again?” reporters asked Sparky Anderson.

“Hell, I don’t know. Ask him,” Sparky barked angrily. ...Read More...

The District Attorney Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:00 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: frank jobe, gary nolan, history, joe posnanski, reds

Red Sox field substandard spring lineup versus Marlins - Sun Sentinel

The Red Sox did not send out a great team. The Marlins, however, did send out a much better lineup. With the knowledge that most veterans don’t usually make this type of trip, aren’t the Marlins more culpable?

For the first and only time this spring, “super premium” ticket pricing was in effect for a Miami Marlins’ Grapefruit League home game. Thursday, fans per ticket paid $12 more for field box seats, $11 more for loge and $10 more for bleachers than they would for a weekday game.

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, red sox, spring training

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2014

Toledo News-Bee, March 7, 1914:

One of the best yarns the returning world touring baseballers brought home hinged on the fact that Big Jim Thorpe of the Giants, world’s champion athlete, is a redskin.

Thorpe, the tourists said, was a big disappointment to the English because he didn’t wear feathers and scalps.

“What do they call you among the Indians—your sobriquet, I mean?” said one monocled peer to whom Thorpe was introduced in London.

“Bench Warmer,” said Thorpe. And he never cracked a ...

Read More...

Finn: Fox’s decision to hire Harold Reynolds is uninspired

Sometimes you feel so uninspired
Sometimes you feel like you’ve been hired

But this is about Reynolds, who has served as an affable if rarely insightful studio analyst at MLB Network since its launch in 2009. To be blunt: Fox Sports made a less-than-inspired choice to replace McCarver, and it’s disappointing given the prominence of the position.

Reynolds willfully disregards the statistical advances in baseball to traffic in hagiography, myth-making, and archaic thinking. He’ll argue ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 07:02 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics

Fletcher: Angels find instant replay procedures not so instantaneous

And we’ll be right back after we sell a few cars.

That’s when things got interesting.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to argue two things: that Trout had beaten the tag with his head-first slide, and also that Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis had been in violation of the new rule prohibiting catchers from blocking the plate before they have the ball.

The rule about blocking the plate – rule 7.13 – is reviewable by umpires without using a managerial challenge. But while they are looking ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 06:14 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sports orthopaedic pioneer and Dodger physician Dr. Frank Jobe passes away

Dr. Frank Jobe, who has served the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization for the past 50 years and who was a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died this morning in Santa Monica at the age of 88, his family announced.

Jobe is survived by his wife, Beverly, four sons-Christopher, Meredith, Cameron and Blair-their spouses and eight grandchildren.

“Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word,” said Dodger President Stan Kasten. “His dedication and professionalism in not only ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:33 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history

THT: Jackson: The hustling Russells

If not for a bad rotator cuff, Kurt Russell might never have given us the film classic, Used Cars.

That 30-man roster allowed for a bit of nepotism. So Russell, in 1973, saved a roster spot for his son. Having been a movie and TV actor since the late 1950s, Kurt Russell was no stranger to many Mavericks fans. In fact, he was no stranger to the Northwest League. After he signed with the Angels in 1971, they assigned him to their Northwest League team in Bend, Ore. As a switch-hitting second ...

Read More...
Bruce Markusen Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:06 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Lindbergh: The Duracell GM Generation?

H/T Sam Bialosky

We’ve seen current general managers tied to tabloid scandals, lousy public predictions, the fallout from disastrous contracts, and on-the-record allegations of front-office incompetence. Yet the last time a GM lost his job, the Astros had just dropped 100 games for the first time, the Marlins were in the midst of a spending spree, and Mike Trout had a .672 career OPS. Homeland was locking up all the Emmys. It was a different world.

On Twitter and talk radio, it’s still ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 06:23 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals closing in on long-term extension

6/50 seems like a good deal all around.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 06, 2014 at 03:38 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

OtM: Don Orsillo takes batting practice, is predictably awkward

As Howard Cosell once said when a camera shot showed Chuck Tanner picking his nose…“Not a pretty sight.”

Don Orsillo is a wonderful announcer. For my proverbial money, he’s one of the best in the baseball, and I’m continually shocked he hasn’t moved on from NESN and the Red Sox to a more high-profile, permanent national gig. It’s good that he hasn’t, though, because now we have this Vine of Orsillo taking batting practice down at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers…

...He looks like he’s dressed for ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: media, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 6, 1914:

Big Ed Walsh may not be seen in the pitcher’s box this season. The heavyweight twirler of the Whitesox declares that unless he rounds into form by the opening of the season, he will either quit the game cold and go into some other line of business or else will make an attempt to work at first base.

He wasn’t in shape at the start of the season and he never played first base. Walsh made his 1914 debut on June 30, had a spectacular July (4 GS, 3 CG, 1 SHO, 33 IP, ...

Read More...

Daugherty: MVP possible for Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce could have an MVP year. He really could. He’ll be 27 next month. This will be his seventh big-league season. He’s at the epicenter of his prime. It’s time.

Bruce has had MVP stretches, weeks and months when the Reds rode him like Secretariat. He has had full seasons of MVP-quality defense. His arm is a game changer. The potential to be a special player is there, and up to now just out of reach.

It’s strange to expect more from a player whose traditional power numbers have ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Chelsea Handler Rips A-Rod, Calls Him ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Gross,’ And ‘A Buffoon’

Woke up, it was a Chelsea dagger…

Handler said on “The Howard Stern Show” on Wednesday that Rodriguez recently approached the actress and asked, “Chelsea, why are you gonna make fun of me all the time?”

Handler, as expected, wasn’t shy about telling the truth.

“Get away from me, I think you’re disgusting,” the author told A-Rod.

She also told the slugger that he’s “gross.” And it didn’t end there.

The three-time American League MVP said, “Why am I gross?” ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 07:02 AM | 282 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

RetroSimba: Battle of wills: Bob Gibson, Gene Mauch play hardball

If Tim McCarver was awake he’d pass out.

Aiming higher, Baldschun hit Gibson in the thigh with the next pitch. Gibson flipped the bat underhanded toward the pitcher. Baldschun caught it with his glove hand. Harvey immediately ejected Gibson.

Said Harvey to The Sporting News: “He had a lethal weapon out there. I’m happy to say Gibson did not throw the bat violently. But he did throw it to the mound.”

“I wasn’t trying to hit him with the bat, but I was mad, hurt and just plain ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 06:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Neyer: How does all this new baseball technology affect real-life scouting?

Last Saturday in Boston, I was in the crowd for the public unveiling of MLBAM’s latest contribution to Big Data: a camera-and-radar-based system that tracks not only the baseball, but also every player on the field in great detail. I’m sure you’re familiar with PITCHf/x; well, that soon will be gone, replaced by this new system that doesn’t yet have a name (Jay Jaffe suggests OMGf/x, which is probably as good as anything else). Watching MLBAM’s presentation at the MIT-Sloan Sports ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:22 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, rob neyer, sabermetrics

Rick Ankiel will retire

An interesting career. I’m sure he’ll be a fine coach if he wants to be.

BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: March 05, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, nationals

Grant: Five things I think I think about Ian Kinsler going scorched earth on Texas Rangers

If there is a point to [Ian] Kinsler’s rant worth noting, I think it is that [Jon] Daniels and his staff got a little too close to players early on in his tenure as a GM. Mistake of youth. Daniels was in his late 20s and an age-contemporary of many of these guys and made them feel more like partners than employees. Baseball players are still employees and as you get more experience in a management role, you realize that you have to keep your distance more from players. Hopefully Daniels and ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: ian kinsler, michael young, rangers

AA: An interview with former Mets stat guru Ben Baumer, Part 1

Professor Benjamin Baumer. Dig it!

You were brought into the Mets organization in 2004 and left in 2012. What was the adjustment like for your first season? How did your role evolve over the years?

The Mets, like most teams at the time, never really had anyone working full-time on statistical analysis, so there wasn’t any statistical infrastructure in place when I arrived. Moneyball had just been published (in 2003), and so they were probably ahead of the curve in hiring someone to do ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 5, 1914:

Following is the personnel of an all-star baseball team picked by 11 scribes in the major league cities:

Catcher - James Archer, Chicago National league.
Pitchers - Walter Johnson, Washington, American League; Napoleon Rucker, Brooklyn, National league.
First Baseman - Jacob Daubert, Brooklyn, National league.
Second Baseman - Edward Collins, Philadelphia, American league.
Third Baseman - Fred [sic] Baker, Philadelphia, American league.
Shortstop - John Barry, ...

Read More...
Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 05, 2014 at 09:07 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s)
  Beats: lies, politics, war

Castrovince: Shift is on: Odd defensive alignments the new norm

The Rays no longer retain an edge in this particular defensive department. If anything, their shifting strategy is the new norm, a practice employed by everyone from up-and-coming to established managers. Because whether you’re analyzing the statistics or the employment practices in Major League Baseball today, one thing is clear:

The shift is on.

As far as the metrics are concerned, the numbers of defensive shifts on balls in play tracked by Baseball Info Solutions’ (BIS) video studies over ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

It’s hard to translate Cuban statistics, but Jose Abreu looks good

The Merriam-Webster scouting service nearly nails it: “We seated ourselves on the Davenport while we waited for Abreu to get ready.”

Nonetheless, analyst Clay Davenport long has tracked Cuban baseball at claydavenport.com. He also has worked on translating Cuban stats to MLEs.

That’s of special interest to White Sox fans, with Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu being the biggest offseason acquisition by either Chicago team. Playing for Cienfuegos in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Abreu had only 136 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

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