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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

MLB.TV for 2017 available now | MLB.com

Chromecast support makes me smile.

The new array of features, debuting for regular-season games, includes a “team view” in which fans can designate a favorite team and enjoy a custom team-centric experience on supported platforms. Redesigned apps will launch on connected platforms Android TV, FireTV, Xbox and Roku. The HD media player, a responsible, in-page layout experience, will introduce additional playback controls, milestone markers and support for Chromecast and Chromebook.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:55 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbtv

Routine plays are probably underrated - Beyond the Box Score

The distinct separation between Pederson’s starting points, marked by the bright blue dots, indicate a clear directive to differentiate between hitters (probably by simple handedness), and virtually every chart shows fielders adjusting their depth, within a range, based on who’s hitting.

How big are the gaps between those little dots? I’m not totally sure. But 15 or 20 feet of ground, gained more than a hundred times a season, adds up to something worth measuring.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, statcast

MLB opens new academy in Mexico | MLB.com

This is great.

Charlie Gastelum of MLB’s Scouting Bureau serves as the academy’s primary scout.

“This gives an opportunity for the kids to develop and show the scouts that come here every day to see their talents,” Vazquez said. “The goal is to develop as many possible players to be in the big leagues from Mexico. This is a big country with a lot of baseball players, and we want to get more big leaguers from Mexico.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international players

Roger McDowell’s reputation as a prankster has given way to seriousness as a coach - Baltimore Sun

McDowell now makes it clear that that time is behind him, that as a coach – he first became a pitching coach in 2002 in the Dodgers’ minor league system – it demands a seriousness to command the respect of his players. But he still knows there are times to be serious and times to loosen the mood.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, roger mcdowell

MLB proposes changes to intentional walks, strike zone

The intentional walk?

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age in which intentional walks actually have been declining—there were just 932 all last season (or one every 2.6 games)—that time savings would be minimal. But MLB sees the practice of lobbing four meaningless pitches as antiquated, so eliminating them would serve as much as a statement as it would a practical attempt to speed up the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, rules of the game

The Rays still could be a surprise contender, if everything goes right

Robothal’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, rays

Inside Baseball Teams’ Battle to Keep Their Secrets Safe

A lot of good stuff in this one.

“That is the key: how you maintain … consistency in the face of success, how you remain open-minded enough to change despite your success, how you continually have personnel that leak nothing to the media,” says the former scouting exec. “That requires dedication and commitment that can’t just be thrown on a flash drive or backdoored by someone with knowledge of a system; the real secrets are the ones that can’t be stolen.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2017 at 06:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cyber security, sabermetrics

Monday, February 06, 2017

What Yankees’ bullpen freeze tells us about Hal’s budget | New York Post

Here is what a big-market team that truly believes it is a contender does if Plan A does not work: It moves to Plan B, even if the secondary scenario forces it to spend more than they wanted.

Only one New York team has behaved that way late this offseason. That it is the Mets symbolizes the identity flip-flop – at least in the present – of the two clubs.

Both had been determined to only address bullpen needs if they offloaded salary already on the books. The Yankees have stuck to that ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 06:27 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

A’S NAME OAKLAND COLISEUM PLAYING SURFACE ‘RICKEY HENDERSON FIELD’

Rickey Henderson says this is a great tribute to Rickey!

As a tribute to former Athletic and MLB Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, the Oakland A’s will name the field at the Oakland Coliseum “Rickey Henderson Field.” The team will dedicate Rickey Henderson Field during a special pregame ceremony on Opening Night, April 3, before the A’s play host to the Los Angeles Angels. Henderson will also serve as a Special Assistant to the President.

“Rickey Henderson is the greatest Athletic of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 05:15 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rickey henderson

Baseball Prospectus | Rubbing Mud: Command, Framing, and Teamwork

An interesting look at the Cubs catching match-ups.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 05:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch framing, sabermetrics

BBWAA website receives a much-needed upgrade

But in February 2017, the BBWAA website has finally entered the 21st century, providing a outlet and resource appropriate for one of the most influential and powerful groups of sportswriters in the country.

As you can see from the image above, articles and releases are now clearly indicated on the home page, making MLB award announcements and Baseball Hall of Fame balloting results far easier to find. It looks like a professional website, not something cobbled together on weekends and off-days ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 03:45 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2017

The [Pendleton] East Oregonian, February 6, 1917:

[Braves owner] Percy Haughton started it when he declared the offensive side of baseball needed some changes, and then outlined a few. Now they’re all doing it.
...
One of the most recent suggestions along these lines is that a pitcher not be allowed to pitch his first two balls to the batter in the curve fashion. Each of the first two heaves should be straight and above board, it is contended.

Every time I think I’ve seen the dumbest possible ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, crazytown bananapants, dugout, history, rules

Washington Nationals’ lack of offseason moves is head-scratching | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal takes after the Nationals.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 10:45 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Mookie Betts tops Top 10 right fielders | MLB.com

I’ve been busy and have a few of these saved on my DVR. I look forward to watching this one soon as I find them interesting and entertaining.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 10:32 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: top ten list

New York Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman’s secret, exposed

Watching pitchers hit isn’t very entertaining; reading an article about a pitcher who couldn’t hit, surprisingly, is.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 09:14 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, robert gsellman

Andrew McCutchen to play right field in 2017 | MLB.com

More info on the Pirates outfield realignment.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, gregory polanco, pirates, starling marte

MLB.com 2017 Fantasy Player Preview | MLB.com

No surprise, Mike Trout is number one.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Jim Bowden quote on analytics and metrics impacting managers

Analytics and metrics are really helping MLB teams quantify defensive abilities and along with their scouting eyes are encouraging managers to align their outfielders better than ever before. This has been highlighted by the Marlins decision to move Yelich to CF and Ozina to LF & Pirates intention of moving Marte to CF and McCutchen to LF. Who else should make a similar move? The Rockies should move Dahl to CF and Blackmon to LF.

Jim Bowden, ESPN Senior Writer

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, statcast

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Source: Jason Hammel agrees to 2-year deal to pitch for Royals

Charlie Morton-type money!

Free-agent pitcher Jason Hammel and the Kansas City Royals reached agreement on a $16 million, two-year contract Sunday, a source told ESPN’s Jim Bowden, confirming multiple reports.

The deal, pending a physical, includes a mutual option for a third year.

Hammel, 34, went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts with the Chicago Cubs last season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2017 at 11:30 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: jason hammel, royals

OTP 6 Feb. 2017: Curt Schilling, Politics, and the Hall of Fame

Curt Schilling has said that his politics are costing him votes for the Hall of Fame. The other day here at NRO, Aaron Goldstein argued specifically that in the most recent balloting, earlier this winter, baseball writers backed away from Schilling because he supported Trump last year in the presidential election.

A few problems dog that theory. One is that Schilling did better in the 2017 voting than he’s done on average in his five years of eligibility.

(As always, views expressed in the ...

Read More...
BDC Posted: February 05, 2017 at 10:45 PM | 2003 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, hall of fame, phillies, politics, red sox

Pleskoff: Top-50 Prospects

Only a Top 50?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2017 at 12:14 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

OT - Superbowl - Who will be the surprising hero of Super Bowl LI? - NFL.com

Not a lot of baseball stuff to post. I wonder why?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2017 at 12:13 PM | 538 comment(s)
  Beats: football, otp

Sunday Notes: Walsh’s World, Reds Best, MLB Politics, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2017 at 11:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, February 04, 2017

“Hope” the operative term as Rays prepare to report to camp | Tampa Bay Times

Wieters and Gutierrez are big bats?

One of the remaining big bats on the market — headlined by Matt Wieters, Chris Carter, Mike Napoli and, less so, Franklin Gutierrez — is willing to sign on, putting opportunity ahead of potentially more dollars elsewhere; or they make a trade, to add some needed offense after the trade of Logan Forsythe.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:53 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, rays

Polanco, Correa could have healthy breakouts | MLB.com

This is a great use of Statcast data.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:23 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Nick Cafardo: Which rookies will shine in 2017? You can start with Andrew Benintendi

I guess he’s listed first because he’s a Yankee.

Here are a dozen other rookies to watch, according to our baseball people:
1. Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees — He needs to cut down on his swing. At 6 feet 7 inches, he has a long swing, something a lot of tall sluggers have struggled with early in their careers, including Dave Winfield and Mark McGwire. Judge’s foray into the majors last year (.179 average, 42 strikeouts in 84 at-bats) was far different than Sanchez’s, but the Yankees are ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 08:35 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, rookies

The oral history of Tom Brady and the Montreal Expos

What if…..

Doug Sisson, manager, Delmarva Shorebirds (1996)

We had a catching prospect, Michael Barrett, who was pretty good. But Brady showed up and the entire pitching staff followed him around like a mama duck after a week. I brought (Barrett) in for a chat because I didn’t want him to get discouraged, and he said, “Don’t worry about it. He’s just passing through.” And he was right. (Brady) was called up to Double-A about six weeks later….

Pedro Martinez, teammate, Montreal ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2017 at 05:13 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, oral history, parody, tom brady

Mike Elias on Drafting and Developing Astros Pitchers | FanGraphs Baseball

On incorporating spin rate into assessments: “We have ways of looking at it, and our scouts know how to interpret that information, as well. It’s another tool for our scouts and our decision makers. It’s almost an extension of the introduction of the radar gun. Some 40 years ago, it may have seemed unnatural to take that information when it seemed like your eyes weren’t lacking in the ability to assess the quality of a fastball. Now we take it for granted that we’re using that ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, player development

Peter Gammons: Swihart and the Red Sox catching depth chart - GammonsDaily.com

I still believe Swihart will end up being the best of the Red Sox three options.

“Swihart has that sense, that ability to relate to and build pitchers,” says LeVangie. “He’s a really good worker. He was a good wrestler with the legs that goes with that. He’s obviously an athlete. It’s unrealistic to expect him to be a polished catcher right now. We understand that. Jason constantly reminds us, ‘do not panic.’

“So we’re working with a kid who needs to learn to get more ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

The Glory Days of Baseball and Beer Marketing

Beer, is there anything it can’t do?

Anheuser-Busch led a major offensive to boost Budweiser’s presence in the Chicago market. How did they accomplish that? By being a major sponsor of Cubs broadcasts on WGN-TV and enlisting Harry Caray in the marketing efforts. When WGN-TV started broadcasts Cubs games nationally on cable, Wrigley Field was presented as a sun-drenched nirvana, paving the way for the party atmosphere that exists today. Producer Arne Harris never missed a chance to show an ...

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