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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

NY Times: Baseball’s Too Slow. Here’s How You Fix It.

People keep looking for innovative ways to speed up the game, but baseball was played briskly for 100 years, so looking to the past may offer more answers. Specifically, we could look to April 16, 1993, when Mark Hirschbeck, a veteran umpire, decided there was someplace he would rather be than standing behind a catcher in San Francisco’s notoriously chilly Candlestick Park.

With two outs in the ninth inning and one strike against him, Atlanta’s Ron Gant called for time and stepped out of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The 10 Best Bargains of the MLB Offseason

Of course, the reason Nova had to settle for a pedestrian contract in a barren starting pitching landscape is the very qualifier from that paragraph: He threw only 64.2 innings with the Pirates, which did little to counter his perception after he spread 729 inconsistent innings across seven seasons with the Yankees. Nova’s talent is undeniable, but his performance is undeniably frustrating, and his stale market made it apparent that teams don’t trust the tall righty outside Pittsburgh, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 03:18 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, ivan nova, matt joyce, steve pearce

With nation deeply divided, MLB’s silence speaks volumes

Welcome to baseball in 2017, a year like no other in our nation. In the NBA, coaches and stars take regular aim at the policies of the new president of the United States, from the executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries to plans for building a massive wall along the Mexican border. But in Major League Baseball—where locker rooms feature a multicultural melting pot of athletes, many of whom could be directly or indirectly affected by those policies—what you hear (or ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 11:12 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Sources: MLB seeking new ball with stickier cover so it can enforce foreign-substance rule

MLB has commissioned Rawlings, its official manufacturer, to produce a ball with natural tack on the leather in hopes of eliminating the need for pine tar, sunscreen and rosin, or any other foreign substances whose use in recent years has blurred the legal-illegal line, sources familiar with the project told Yahoo Sports. The balls also would not need a pregame polish of Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud, the New Jersey-harvested muck that for decades has taken the sheen off the pearls that come out ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 11:10 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: ball, baseball, foreign substances

Nationals To Sign Joe Blanton

Bloe Janton.

The Nationals have struck a one-year deal with reliever Joe Blanton, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post (via Twitter). He’s at the team’s new complex in Florida, presumably to receive a physical to complete the deal, per the report.

Though he’s coming off of a second consecutive season of steady bullpen production, the veteran had languished on the market this offseason. When catcher Matt Wieters joined the Nats, Blanton was left as the last unsigned name on ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:42 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: joe blanton, nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-28-2017

Keokuk Gate City, February 28, 1917:

Charles W. Murphy, ex-president of the Chicago Cubs…recently has been credited with the statement that rough stuff on the baseball diamond is often profitable as far as the box office is concerned. A fist fight now and then, says Charles, is one good way of swelling the attendance.

When a ball player forgets himself and swings on the nose of an umpire or player in his fury, the fans very often flock to the park the next day in the hope of seeing it repeated. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 28, 2017 at 10:37 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fights, history

Dodgers, Julio Urias weigh innings vs. long-term success - The Orange County Register

The catch-22 for teams is in limiting the early innings, they diminish the player’s value for their team and increase the player’s earning power and effectiveness for another team.

“I think the data is very clear that if you’re throwing too many innings before the age of 24, it dramatically decreases the likelihood of you throwing a lot of innings after the age of 30,” said Urias’ agent, Scott Boras, whose staff has done extensive research on the topic. “You have to remember – most ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:12 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, julio urias

Mike Napoli, other MLB sluggers struggle in free agency | SI.com

Ben Reiter has some idea.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, rangers

Brooks working to increase minorities baseball | MLB.com

Brooks is the epitome of baseball’s vision. Soon after he graduated from the University of Maryland in 1996, he received a three-month internship with the Braves. Now, following front-office stops as a personnel guru with the Braves after that internship, the Indians and the Pirates, this 43-year-old native of Orioles country (Glen Bernie, Md., which is outside of Baltimore) is entering his second year working in the Commissioner’s Office as the senior director of MLB’s front office and field ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2017 at 07:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Mariners prospect Tyler O’Neill shows off talent on the field and … on the keyboard? | The Seattle Times

Keith Law breaks with the prospect consensus on O’Neill. It will be interesting to see how O’Neill produces on the big league field.

“He’s a special player,” said Mariners director of player development Andy McKay said. “The numbers speak for themselves. But there’s so many things about Tyler that are more exciting than the numbers. He bought into what we asked as much as anybody. He handled a lot this past year and stood up. I’m a big fan. There’s a lot of substance behind those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, tyler o'neill

Finally healthy, 2013 first-overall pick Mark Appel is ready to live up to expectations | For The Win

He probably should have waited until he has some pro success before making this reveal.

“Given where I was, and the investment that the Astros put in me — the belief that they had in me — I wanted to compete,” Appel said. “I love playing baseball; I love pitching. But I also just wanted to give my best effort and be somebody — the Astros made a huge investment, and I don’t take that lightly. I wanted to be able to perform and be the guy that I know I can be for a team that drafted ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mark appel, phillies

Monday, February 27, 2017

Diamondbacks may have ‘lightning in a bottle’ with Yuhei Nakaushiro

Starting with Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hideo Nomo in 1995, every major league season – 22 years in a row – has featured at least one Japanese player making his major league debut. After an offseason in which no major Japanese players migrated to the majors, Nakaushiro represents the best chance – perhaps the only realistic chance – at keeping that streak alive this year.

Cool stuff about his slider in the article

shoewizard Posted: February 27, 2017 at 11:22 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, japanese baseball

This is not a metaphor: San Diego Padres’ Petco Park is underwater

Here’s the Padres’ official explanation, courtesy of FOX 5:
San Diego Padres spokeswoman Shana Wilson told FOX 5 an amount of rain had fallen so quickly the drainage was slow to keep up. Field crews do not anticipate any damage from the standing water.

The Padres also noted there was not grass on the field because of a recently hosted monster-truck rally. Presumably, Petco will be in better shape come April 7. That’s when the Padres will host the San Francisco Giants to kick off their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2017 at 10:14 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, petco park

Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

Hurt again.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 05:59 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: josh hamilton, rangers

Tim Tebow arrives at Mets Spring Training camp | MLB.com

Oogway: Good. [Sees petals floating around him] My time has come. You must continue your journey without me. [Hands Shifu his staff]
Tebow: What… What are you…? [Oogway backs into the swirling petals] Master, you can’t leave me!
Oogway: [Starts to vanish] You must believe.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 03:52 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tim tebow

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2017

Washington Times, February 27, 1917:

CALDWELL ABSENT

Rumor Has Him Pitching for Ball Club in Panama

Ray Caldwell, according to a rumor reaching the Yankee camp [in Macon, Georgia] today, is pitching in Panama. [Yankees business manager] Harry Sparrow received this information in a round about way from a friend of his in the canal zone.

Caldwell was a good pitcher; in both 1914 and 1915 he finished in the top ten in the league in WAR. BBRef’s similarity scores have him as similar to Dock Ellis ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2017 at 10:38 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ray caldwell

Red Sox reportedly testing ‘performance bedding’ for new ‘sleep room’ at Fenway Park

After all, babies need their afternoon naps.

Captain Supporter Posted: February 27, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

A’s Sonny Gray: WBC insurance denial ‘an unfortunate thing’ - SFGate

I’m not sure exactly what this means about their health.

The A’s right-hander wanted to pitch in the second round of the WBC next month, but the insurance carrier for the event pulled the plug because Gray didn’t meet some requirements after twice missing time with injuries last year. Gray spent more than 60 days on the disabled list, he was on the DL in late August, and when he returned, he didn’t pitch more than 10 innings.
“It’s not up to us or MLB, it’s up to the insurance ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sonny gray, wbc

Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger hits huge HR | MLB.com

This was a shot.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers

Here’s what scouts say about the Marlins’ six key newcomers | Miami Herald

Read the whole thing.

How did Dan Straily go from winning one major league game combined in 2014 and 2015 and being waived by the Padres 11 months ago to finishing 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA with the Reds last season?

Credit Straily’s diligence and – no joke – some guy who specializes in banking analytics.

Straily prefers to identify the banking analytics man only by his first name (Michael), but he had a key role in helping Straily get back on track, three years after he went 10-8 with a 3.96 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dan straily, marlins

Hector Velazquez’s contract, pitching are lessons in creativity | Boston Herald

The purchase price for the Red Sox: a low-risk, $30,000, a baseball source told the Herald.

To begin with.

There are escalators built into the deal, based on consecutive days Velazquez spends on the major league roster — a clever and perhaps new approach to the market.

One general manager from another team said they had not heard of such a deal before.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Notes: Cactus League Meanderings | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:46 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Alex Speier: The Red Sox are retiring Carmine for a new analytics system

More details about Red Sox analytic system change. The name of the new system is pretty lame. I hope it’s not an indication of the creativity of the analytics crew.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:42 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, red sox

OTP 27 Feb. 2017: Become Political

What does it mean to become sick of politics? asks columnist Jonathan Stinson.

I kept seeing random photos of baseball players pop up on my newsfeed the other day. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. Pitchers and catchers have reported for camp, and Spring Training is right around the corner for the rest of the MLB stars and hopefuls.
Then I read one of the posts. It said: “The idea of this is to occupy Facebook with baseball posts to break up all the political posts. Whoever likes ...

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BDC Posted: February 26, 2017 at 07:22 PM | 2148 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, politics, social media

Behind MLB chemistry: How teams try to sniff out ‘bad guys’ | New York Post

I can’t see how anyone who has played baseball competitively for any length of time could think chemistry doesn’t matter. The problem, though, is how to measure it, integrate it, and maximize whatever knowledge you gain. On top of that, people are funny. Sometimes you assemble a bunch of great guys who simply don’t mesh when you put them together.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:53 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: chemistry

Meet the ‘Vulture,’ the Mets’ baseball lifer who’s overflowing with stories | New York Post

The right-hander pitched 13 years in the majors, compiling a 96-81 record with 92 saves. Regan was teammates with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax in 1966 with the Dodgers, a rotation that included three Hall of Famers: Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton.

Koufax, who won 27 games that year, gave the reliever one of the great baseball nicknames: “The Vulture.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, phil regan

With Each Hit, Rockies’ D.J. LeMahieu Shows Cubs’ Epstein What He Gave Up On - The New York Times

“Sometimes, you show up somewhere and you can make a mistake in your first off-season by not being as familiar as you should be with a player, because you haven’t seen him yourself in person,” Epstein said.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, d.j. lemahieu, rockies

Red Sox analytics guru Zack Scott keeping the team up to speed | Boston Herald

If you stand still you are falling behind.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox


AZ Snakepit: If Zach Greinke were a Free Agent today, what would he get ?

This is a fan post with a poll I put up at AZ Snakepit. I’m trying to get a handle on how other teams might view the value of Greinke’s contract, or rather how much of it is “negative value” I need some feedback from non D Backs fans without bias. Since I’m one of about 3 D Backs fans that frequently comment here, I figure this is a good place to get that feedback.  It should be noted that Greinke missed the last 3 starts of 2016 with a shoulder issue and is a week behind the other starters in ...

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shoewizard Posted: February 26, 2017 at 09:07 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agent contract busts, general

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