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Monday, March 18, 2019

Brewers make ‘Mean Girls’ parody vid

Craig Counsell seems like a good boss. And Brent Suter looks to be on track for being nominated for a short film Oscar in 15 years

Master of the Horse Posted: March 18, 2019 at 08:42 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, milwaukee

MLB Tries iPitch Watch In Spring Training Games

Jesse Dougherty @dougherty_jesse
2019.03.18 10:37

MLB is at Nationals’ camp today workshopping a new communication device for pitchers and catchers. It would allow catchers to type a pitch call (with location) into a watch that is connected to a watch the pitcher is wearing on the mound. An effort to eliminate sign-stealing.

* Computers do not always work as expected.
* The r.f. spectrum at ballparks is congested already.
* Catcher’s wrist movements could tell via high-resolution camera.
* Other unintended consequences.

 

Bote Man Posted: March 18, 2019 at 11:31 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, rules, sign stealing, technology

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-18-2019

Red Sox owner Harry Frazee gives an update on his contract negotiations with Babe Ruth, Pittsburgh Press, March 18, 1919:

“As far as Ruth is concerned, I have done everything possible to talk him into a reasonable frame of mind. Yet he remains obdurate and demands a contract that is absolutely out of the question. If I cannot come to terms with Ruth then I will get ready and see what other clubs will offer in the way of a trade…If Ruth doesn’t want to work for the Redsox at the handsome salary offered him, maybe we can make an advantageous trade for him with some other club.

Narrator: “They couldn’t.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history

Passan: How Phillies’ 2018 clubhouse issues caused by Fortnite led to a smashed TV

When the Philadelphia Phillies lost their ninth consecutive game toward the end of last September, veteran first baseman Carlos Santana felt like he needed to send a message to his teammates who he said spent portions of the game against the Atlanta Braves playing video games in the clubhouse. Santana grabbed a bat, retreated to the room at Citizens Bank Park where the gaming took place and smashed the TV to ensure there would be no more “Fortnite” the final two days of the season.

“I see a couple players—I don’t want to say names—they play video games during the game,” Santana told ESPN. “We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren’t worried about it. Weren’t respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 09:50 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Sunday, March 17, 2019

CarGo, Tribe reach minor league deal

Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, confirming multiple reports.

If he’s added to the 40-man roster, Gonzalez will get a $2 million contract in the major leagues. He can also earn $1 million in performance bonuses.

Gonzalez—the Rockies’ longtime charismatic outfielder, emotional leader and three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner—left the team as a free agent after the 2017 season, then returned to Colorado last March with a $5 million, one-year contract—a huge cut from his previous deal for $80 million over seven years.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2019 at 10:31 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos gonzalez

Blue Jays ready to embrace change, finalizing minor-league pay increase of more than 50 percent – The Athletic

This is long overdue. Hopefully, the Blue Jays will gain a competitive advantage from the change which will further incentivize other teams to do the same.

A year later, the team is in the process of finalizing a pay increase of more than 50 percent for any player who is on a roster of an affiliated minor-league club, from the lowest rung in the Dominican Summer League to the highest level at Triple A, club officials told The Athletic.

“It puts us right now up at the top of the scale in the industry,” Jays vice president of baseball operations Ben Cherington said on Saturday. “My hope is it doesn’t stay that way. My hope is other teams eventually do the same.

“We hope that it allows our players to have the freedom and comfort ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2019 at 12:52 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, minor league pay

‘Rookie’ Kikuchi in spotlight in major league debut in Japan

TOKYO -Talk about a pressure situation.

Just as he was adjusting to life in the United States, Yusei Kikuchi is back in Japan getting ready to make his major league pitching debut in front of a sellout crowd at Tokyo Dome.

From his new teammates, to his Japanese fans to his family and friends, everyone will be expecting Kikuchi to come up with a dominant performance when he takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners on Thursday in Game 2 of the season-opening series against the Oakland A’s.

So, how well do you suppose that you’d do, under these circumstances?

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, mariners, yusei kikuchi

San Francisco Giants host game between Paradise High, Corning Union High to lift spirits of those affected by devastating Camp Fire

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO)—It was no ordinary day. And it was no ordinary baseball game. The Paradise High School Bobcats played Corning Union High School at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park on Saturday.

The deadly and devastating Camp Fire took Paradise High’s field, many homes of the players and much of their town.

That’s what made this day so special.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: camp fire, china basin, giants, high school baseball, paradise

The Legend of Pedey appears to be back for Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Sometimes it seems The Legend of Pedey is greater than the man himself, which is saying something and, also, how legends—and love affairs—work, except that Pedey himself is still, you know, right here.

Dustin Pedroia is 35, has played in three baseball games since the fall of ‘17, stood with his chin on the rail as the Boston Red Sox put another championship on the wall, and otherwise, until lately, has dragged his bum left knee to and from the ballpark. As it is undeniably hard for him to watch a baseball game, it is perhaps harder still to watch him watch a baseball game, like watching a greyhound shiver in a starting gate. That never opens.

Having the Red Sox win with Pedroia in a hoodie, and with them barely ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, nicknames, red sox, spring training

Phillies fans threaten Trent Thornton on Twitter after he hits Bryce Harper with pitch

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton is the newly crowned least popular man in Philadelphia after he plunked Bryce Harper in the ankle with a 96 mph heater in Friday’s spring training game.

The pitch was seemingly not intentional, and Harper is only day-to-day after undergoing X-rays, but that hasn’t stopped bringing the worst out of Philadelphia Phillies fans.

From a video of a fan confusing Javy Guerra for Thornton and calling him a coward as he walked toward the team bus to fans threatening Thornton on Twitter, it was not the best day for the many good fans of Philadelphia.

The sporting fans of Philadelphia get angry when people comment on their general reputation- then they act like this….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, fans, phillies, trent thornton, twitter

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Ichiro arrives in Tokyo, a sure sign baseball only days away

Ichiro Suzuki has arrived in Tokyo, a sure sign the Major League Baseball season is only days away from starting.

Wearing a gray and black hat pulled down to cover most of his head, the 45-year-old Seattle Mariners star slipped quickly through the arrival gate on Friday at Haneda Airport with hundreds of reporters and fans getting only a quick glimpse.

The Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics arrived within hours of each other on Friday on charter flights from the United States. They play on Wednesday and Thursday at the Tokyo Dome in the first two games of the 2019 season.

Ichiro could have ended winter six weeks sooner, if he wanted to….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, japan, neutral site games, opening day

Brothers, friends and teammates: After 50 years, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva still going strong

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Every morning here Rod Carew pulls away from the hotel the Minnesota Twins put him up in, leaves wife Rhonda and cat Taz, bound for work. He drives the same route, the one that takes him by Tony Oliva’s place, timing it up so Tony is getting to the curb just as Rod eases to a stop. Every morning Tony waves, just in case, and smiles, of course.

Together, they cover the final few miles to the Twins spring training camp, park near the front door, say hello to the security guard, then walk to the clubhouse, where they will have their first meaningful conversation of the day.

Eat breakfast first? Or change into their uniforms first?

After the last couple of years, one is quite glad to hear that Carew is keeping on.

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rod carew, teammates, tony oliva, twins

Baker Mayfield visits Christian Yelich at Brewers camp and calls baseball his first love

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is closing his momentous week by visiting Milwaukee Brewers spring training camp in Arizona to meet up with his best bud, Christian Yelich.

Mayfield is friends with the Brewers outfielder and reigning MVP, and had plenty of quips to reporters about his intentions with the team, though his pure love of America’s Pastime wasn’t one of them.

The two stars became friends in early 2018 while training at the same facility in California, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That winter Yelich was traded to the Brewers by the Miami Marlins, so the Heisman Trophy winner out of the University of Oklahoma ordered custom gear.

Show of hands- how many of you would have assumed that “Baker ...

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QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich

Lenny Dykstra cleared of charge he threatened to kill N.J. Uber driver, admits to minor offense

Charges that Lenny Dykstra threatened to kill an Uber driver in a wild, late-night ride that ended at a police headquarters in New Jersey last year were dropped Friday after the former baseball great agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct.

Superior Court Judge Lisa Miralles Walsh reduced a charge of third-degree terroristic threats to a petty disorderly persons offense and dropped drug possession charges during a hearing in Union County.

Dykstra ‘s attorney, David Bahuriak, had argued a Linden police search of Dykstra’s belongings was improper and that there were no witnesses who could say Dykstra threatened the driver.

No matter how bad things get for Lenny, at least he can always look back to a decade ago, when he proved ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: lenny dykstra, uber

Angel Hernandez seriously ejected Astros manager A.J. Hinch in a spring training game

The baseball season hasn’t even started yet, and Angel Hernandez is already trending for the wrong reasons.

Hernandez, the home plate umpire during a spring training game on Friday between the Astros and Cardinals, tossed Astros manager A.J. Hinch one pitch into the bottom of the first inning.

Hinch grew irritated after a 1-2 pitch by Astros starter Forrest Whitley to the Cardinals’ Harrison Bader in the top of the first was called a ball. Bader later reached on an error.

So, how long before one or the other starts beating up marshmallow salesmen in their spare time?

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, angel hernandez, ejection, spring training

Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija wants ties in MLB

Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija has an idea and he knows some people are going to find it weird.

He wants MLB games to end in ties.

“I don’t think we need to play extra-inning games,” he said, via the Mercury News. “End them in a tie, everyone gets one point like the Premier League. A win gets three points. Just end it at nine. We’re playing 162 games. Over that course of games, you should be able to tell who the best team is.”

If we’re going to be inundated with bad ideas as for rule changes, why not bad ideas from the players?

 

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: extra innings, jeff samardzija, manfred is thinking about it, rule changes, ties

Friday, March 15, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-15-2019

The Fairmont West Virginian weighs in on the future of air travel in baseball, March 15, 1919:

Traveling by planes instead of railroad trains will have its advantages. There would be no necessity of open dates in the schedules as the long jumps could be made in hours less time than it takes to make them by train. World series could be played on alternate days even if the participating teams were as far apart as New York and Chicago. Circuits could be widened to take in greater territory than at present.

Well done, 1919 people, though players do still occasionally need a day off. There’s a limit to what greenies can accomplish.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:12 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


Rays not worried about MLB rule changes: ‘We have a lot of pitchers’

Limit pitching staffs to a max of 11 pitchers. By doing that, the three batter minimum wouldn’t be needed.

One, going into effect for 2020, would limit their matchup maneuvering by requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters (or to finish an inning).
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Another reduces their flexibility in shuttling fresh arms to the bullpen by extending the time pitchers optioned to the minors (or placed on the injured list) have to stay from a minimum of 10 days to 15, although it could still be tweaked.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, rule changes

Ken Giles throws accountability bomb at Blue Jays camp - Sportsnet.ca

It was in one of general manager Ross Atkins’ media availabilities at the winter meetings that the topic turned to the importance of veteran leadership, which is normally a sign the serious sports questions have stopped and we’re into bad amateur sports reporter psycho-babble. I mean, you know when you’ve stepped into that puddle that the dreaded ‘chemistry’ pit is beckoning.

But Atkins’ answer was interesting. Veteran leadership can be a factor, he said, when a team is going into the post-season and can rely on somebody who has been there. But in the regular season, for where the Blue Jays are now, performance and the ability to contribute on the field is more of a separator. For this re-tooling to work, the Blue Jays need to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:27 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ken giles, team chemistry

Baseball: Yankees v Red Sox game in London a best-seller: StubHub

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball’s first-ever game in London featuring world champion Boston Red Sox and rival New York Yankees is the best-selling game of the 2019 regular season, ticket seller StubHub said on Thursday.

Following matchups in Mexico and Japan in recent years, the league is making its first foray into Europe with hopes of expanding its international reach with the help of its two most-storied franchises.

“The appeal of MLB to a global audience continues to grow, and the overwhelming response for the rivalry match-up between the Yankees and Red Sox in London certainly proves that the sport has fans worldwide,” said Jill Krimmel, a general manager at StubHub.

Mind you, a test of who the real fans are would have ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: neutral site games, tickets

Starlin Castro among few veterans on young Marlins

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Starlin Castro remains a veteran on a Miami Marlins’ team that has gone with youth.

“I don’t try to put it in my mind because that’s one thing I can’t control,” Castro said. “The thing that I can control is being here every day and doing my job.”

Acquired in the December 2017 trade that sent Giancarlo Stanton, Castro hit .278 with 12 homers and 54 RBIs last season.

Strange- given that he had one of the best years of his career last year, you’d think they would have traded him for some magic beans by now….

 


Farhan Zaidi believes Giants bullpen can be one of baseball’s best

SAN FRANCISCO—The belief throughout much of the offseason was that Farhan Zaidi would trade his best relievers in order to get pieces that could help the Giants win in future years. Recently, Zaidi put his own twist on that plan when asked if he could still swing deals centered around bullpen arms.

“It definitely is a position of depth for us,” he said. “We’ll kind of continue to listen because I think it’s a relative position of depth, but I think for us to be successful with the composition of this club, we’ll have to have one of the best bullpens in baseball.”

The Giants are not on anybody’s list of contenders, and they haven’t significantly upgraded a club that’s lost 187 games the past two seasons. But that also doesn’t mean ...

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QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens, farhan zaidi, giants

Fulmer won’t pitch in near future, to work on mechanics

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer will not pitch in games in the near future, focusing on lower-body mechanics.

“He took a step back to refine his lower-body mechanics,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said after Thursday’s 4-4 tie with Boston. “We have no timetable when he’s going to get back on the mound.”

Something new to add to my collection of euphemisms….

QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mechanics, michael fulmer, tigers

The Tao of Yasiel Puig: The Reds’ New Star Riffs on Bat Flips, Life and His Rocky End With the Dodgers

Some key lines:

Yet the Yasiel Puig Story, as full of fun as it’s been, remains frustratingly incomplete. He’s struggled to match the hype of his thrilling 2013 arrival that launched him into superstardom. He’s clashed repeatedly with managers, coaches and teammates over the years and earned scorn—often unfairly, sometimes deservedly—over his behavior on and off the field. His time in Los Angeles featured six straight division titles and back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2017 and ‘18, yet a championship eluded both him and a team that hasn’t captured one since two years before he was born. “It’s nice, but we haven’t won,” the 28-year-old Puig says in Spanish of his frequent trips to the postseason. “The ...

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QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, dodgers, reds, trades, yasiel puig

MLB players are focused on what impact the new rule changes won’t have

Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement doesn’t expire until December 2021, but the league’s long-reigning labor peace is at risk as tensions rise over free agency stagnation and disagreements about what has caused a recent downturn in the sport’s popularity. And so, with players speaking up about their frustration more than ever and some even openly dropping the S-word, the two sides came to the table this offseason to see what changes could be agreed upon now — before a work stoppage becomes a real threat.

Now, after weeks of negotiations, Major League Baseball and the players’ association have reached a consensus Thursday on a number of rule changes as well as the creation of a joint committee to discuss ongoing ...

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QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa, rule changes

MLB announces new rules for trade deadline, All-Star voting, Home Run Derby

Some stuff on the list that wasn’t in the article I uploaded yesterday:

As per usual, fans will be allowed to vote for the All-Star game starters online. The top three vote-getters will then be involved in a one-day election to determine who ultimately gets the honor. It’s a recipe for fun.

MLB is hoping to bring more of its top talent into the annual Home Run Derby by raising the stakes. Starting in 2019, the prize for the content will be $1 million. While that’s not earth-shattering money for some players, it’s quite a bit for others, including people who could win it. Aaron Judge, for instance, will make $684,300 in 2019, so winning the derby is certainly in his best interest.

We’ve heard a lot about a proposed three-batter ...

Read More...

Adnan Virk joining DAZN as host of new baseball highlights show, per reports

Former ESPN anchor Adnan Virk has apparently resolved his abrupt departure from the network and found the next stop in his broadcasting career.

Shortly after signing a multiyear contract extension, Virk was fired in January for allegedly leaking company information about ESPN’s negotiations with Major League Baseball.

Although Virk continues to maintain he did nothing wrong, he and the network have agreed not to litigate their differences, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

As a side note, another streaming service to add to the list- I wonder how long before consolidation happens….

 

QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, dazn

Thursday, March 14, 2019

In the war between science and aesthetics, trying to save baseball teams from themselves

At the SABR Analytics conference.

“The war in baseball is between science and aesthetics,” [John] Thorn said, “and the people in there don’t give a (crap) about aesthetics.”

Perry Posted: March 14, 2019 at 12:55 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Top 39 Prospects: Houston Astros | FanGraphs Baseball

I’ve mentioned this before but keeping their farm system so productive will require them to continue to churn through their prospects. As they reach the 40-Man bottleneck they will need to trade some of their excess AAA-ish prospects for other teams’ lower level prospects. This effort will only get more difficult as their front office people move around the league and more teams start valuing players similarly. It will be interesting to watch things play out over the next 5-10 years. How long will they be able to keep their competitive window open?

This is a good farm system even though there are some clear potential long-term pitfalls from having narrow criteria for the players the org targets. For one, the types of pitchers Houston seems ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 14, 2019 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, prospects

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