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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Optimizing the Swing, Part Deux: Paying Homage to Teddy Ballgame – The Hardball Times

So what’s a poor batter to do. It depends on what the batter is trying to do. If getting on base is the primary goal, then swinging level would appear to the best strategy. You’ll still hit a lot of home runs if the bat speed is high and the aim is good. Indeed that is exactly the approach advocated by Ted Williams, as written in his classic book The Science of Hitting. Someone who hit 521 career home run with a 0.482 lifetime on-base percentage must surely know whereof he speaks.

But to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 11:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting, physics

A lifelong mission to tell Connie Mack’s story - philly-archives

I wish I had noticed this article earlier because I would have added the books to my Christmas list.

Macht’s original proposal envisioned a 300-page book. Then he traveled to Mack’s East Brookfield, Mass., birthplace and knew immediately he would need more to tell the story of a man whose life and career spanned much of baseball and American history.

“The town had all the records - birth, death, voting, school,” Macht said from his Escondido, Calif., home. “I wrote it chronologically. I was up ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: books, connie mack

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-24-2015

Here’s a picture of Ty Cobb, John Philip Sousa Jr., and one of Cobb’s hunting dogs, published in the Milwaukee Journal 100 years ago today:

I don’t really know why, but I love the idea that Ty Cobb hung out with John Philip Sousa’s son.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 24, 2015 at 07:55 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ty cobb

One of the saddest moments in Reds’ history, 40 years later

Here’s a nice story about the very short life of the Reds Jim McGlothlin.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 06:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jim mcglothlin, reds

In time for Festivus, Ian Desmond airs his grievances: Bunting and ketchup juice - The Washington Post

Ian Desmond embraced one part of Festivus. No word on his success or failure in the tests of strength.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: festivus, ian desmond

Free agency was born 40 years ago today | HardballTalk

O.K., so this is what Craig Calcaterra is writing about now. Actually he was writing this yesterday. I don’t really know what he’s writing about now, although he’s probably just sleeping at the moment.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 05:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Royals told they have ‘no chance’ to re-sign Gordon as things stand - CBSSports.com

It doesn’t appear Alex Gordon will be walking through that door, Royals fans.

The Royals have been told by Alex Gordon’s camp that, as things currently stand, they have “no chance” to retain star left fielder Alex Gordon, sources said. Things obviously can change in free agency, but it’s clear at this point that there’s at least a wide gap in talks regarding the longtime Royals outfielder.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2015 at 05:25 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, royals

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cubs Project To Have Top Pitching Staff in Baseball According To Steamer

1. Cubs
Projected rotation: Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks
Projected combined WAR: 17.4

2. Mets 3. Nationals 4. Indians 5. Dodgers

Voodoo... Posted: December 23, 2015 at 12:01 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections

Venezuelan baseball player bat flips into the stratosphere following grand slam

Eat your heart out, Jose Bautista. There’s a new sheriff in town. Jesús Guzmán plays for Leones del Caracas in Venezuela, and after his moonshot he decided to send his bat into space along with the ball. This bat flip is a solid 15 feet in the air, maybe more.

Now we wait to see how angry Venezuelan baseball purists get.


Game changers: A shift in keeping score

“That’s 6-4-3 if you’re scoring at home, or even if you’re by yourself.”

In 2015, according to Baseball Info Solutions, the shift was applied in some form nearly 18,000 times in Major League Baseball. That’s up from 2,400 times in 2010. Which means, countless times, that 5-3 was completed by a third baseman, standing to the first-base side of the second-base bag, who fielded a ground ball up the middle. Yes, the man designated as the “5” made the play. But his designated position was far, far ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts, official scorers

I’m getting out of the Mocking-Hall-of-Fame-Ballots Business

What will Craig write about now?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2015 at 09:00 AM | 153 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-23-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 23, 1915:

Probably the most disastrous war that baseball has ever experienced came to a close [in Cincinnati last night] when a treaty of peace between the Federal League and both parties to the National baseball agreement, known as organized baseball, was signed.

...and elsewhere on the same page, this headline:

Baltimore Stockholders Not Pleased With Peace Treaty
Declare Gilmore and Weeghman Failed to Act in Good Faith. Would Sue.

Yeah, I see what they mean. ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 23, 2015 at 07:51 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

mlb.com Barry Bonds discusses becoming a hitting coach

I didn’t ever think this was something I wanted to do. You know me, when [Loria] asked me, it was like I wanted to click on the phone and say, “Hello? Are you serious?” But Jeffrey Loria was very kind about it. He told me, “Barry, when you think about it, you have so much to give the game, you have so much to offer to baseball, and you can teach these kids.”

The more I talked to my mom about it, the more she encouraged me. I told her, “I don’t know if I want to go back and do it every day.” ...

Read More...
bbmck Posted: December 22, 2015 at 05:12 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, hitting coaches, marlins

New Designs Imagine A Classier Wrigleyville

But the dank, Moe! The dank!

Major changes are in the works for Wrigleyville, the North Side neighborhood directly surrounding Wrigley Field.
From the looks of new renderings of the project, the neighborhood is slated for a makeover that could turn it from douche-vortex epicenter into a classed-up retail destination. Or it could become douchier than ever.
The mixed-use retail destination and $100 million hotel planned for the corner of Clark and Addison streets, known as Addison Park, is over ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2015 at 01:53 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, wrigleyville

Tom Verducci, Harold Reynolds out of Fox’s baseball booth, John Smoltz to be lead game analyst

After two years, Tom Verducci and Harold Reynolds are out of the Fox broadcast booth, and John Smoltz will the network’s lead game analyst, two people familiar with the plans told the Daily News. Smoltz and play-by-play man Joe Buck will be the new World Series team.

A Fox Sports spokesperson confirmed the change. An official announcement is expected later on Tuesday.

Following the departure of longtime analyst Tim McCarver after the 2013 World Series, Fox tapped Verducci, a highly ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2015 at 12:36 PM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: fox, harold reynolds, john smoltz, media, television, tom verducci

The New York Mets Operate Like A Ponzi Scheme

How can the Mets hope to contend while operating on the cheap?

Back in 2008, the team’s investments with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff were discovered to be a fraud. More than $500 million in assets Wilpon and Katz thought they had—and had borrowed against—vanished. Accordingly, just to stay afloat, they needed to take out a $430 million loan against the team and $450 million against their majority ownership stake in SNY (a network started with a loan from Madoff, incidentally).

Ever ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2015 at 12:22 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, wilpons

Cardinals reach deal with Mike Leake | MLB.com

Sources confirmed that Leake was in town for a physical and that the Cardinals are planning a 2 p.m. CT news conference on Tuesday to announce the signing. According to a report from FOX Sports, the contract includes a full no-trade clause and is for $80 million over five years with a mutual option that could increase the value of the deal to $94 million. The club has not confirmed it.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 11:57 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, free agent, mike leake

Mets sign Alejandro De Aza to 1-year deal - MLB Daily Dish

De Aza is a decent corner outfielder. He’s not so good in center.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 11:55 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: alejandro de aza, mets

2015 Disabled List Information and a Little More – The Hardball Times

Jeff Zimmerman updates comprehensive look at the disabled list. What’s up with Texas?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 11:04 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list, sabermetrics

red sox - From Bagwell to Trammell (Bonds, Roger, too): Defending my Hall of Fame Ballot - WEEI | John Tomase

John Tomase has a pretty good ballot. In my mind, this year there are more worthy candidates than writers are allowed to choose.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 10:35 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

HOF Voter on the 10-Player Limit and that HOF “Certain Something”

HOF voter David Borges’ view on Mike Mussina- “Mussina had a terrific career, but it was one of almost greatness — almost winning a World Series, almost throwing a no-hitter, almost winning 20 games (which he did in his final season). He’s almost a Hall of Famer.”

My view on HOF voter David Borges- “He almost knows what he’s talking about.”

TJ Posted: December 22, 2015 at 10:24 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Yoenis Cespedes’ 5 most likely landing spots | MLB.com

I’m not sure this is a promising list.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yoenis cespedes

All-or-nothing approach defines draftee Bregman - Houston Chronicle

Meet Alex Bregman.

Frank Anderson, father of big league pitcher Brett Anderson and a University of Houston assistant coach, has put on clinics at the Albuquerque Baseball Academy and also has seen Bregman since he was about 10 years old. He never worked as closely with Bregman as Brewer did, but even from afar, the same qualities were apparent. The Astros have a dirty-uniform, non-stop, get-it-done player - with talent to boot.

“The motor that he has that other people don’t have, and the drive ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 09:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, astros, prospects

Megdal:  The New York Mets Operate Like a Ponzi Scheme

When Megdal’s right, he’s right.  And nothing will ever change.  Depressing.

Adam Starblind Posted: December 22, 2015 at 08:52 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-22-2015

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, December 22, 1915:

The delegates from the National, American and Federal Leagues will sign the peace agreement tonight, according to a magnate who left the meeting room for a few minutes late this afternoon.

The article goes on to detail the major pieces of the deal: Nobody who jumped will be blacklisted, all claims to contract jumpers are withdrawn, teams who had players jump will have to pay to get them back, Charles Weeghman gets the Cubs, Phil Ball gets ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 22, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Brandon Phillips’ future with Reds uncertain | MLB.com

If the Reds didn’t want the complications of negotiating with Phillips to make a deal, they should have traded him before he earned his 10/5 rights. Sheldon’s talk about releasing him or threatening his playing time is just silly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon phillips, reds


Monday, December 21, 2015

DSPN: The Yankees Want To Know If Their Fans Are Down With Fire Pits

With a third straight disappointing season in the books, the Yankees are hoping to improve—on the field of course, but also off the field. To that end they’ve “engaged a third party” to conduct a fan survey. This is pretty standard stuff, but because of the questions asked, and because it’s the Yankees, some of it is delightful.

For instance, the Yankees would like to know which single company comes to mind when Yankees fans think about the Yankees. I’m not sure why thinking about ...

Read More...
The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 21, 2015 at 11:20 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: good clean fun, yankees

Red Sox to retire Wade Boggs’ No. 26 next May

#26 is also the number of beers Wade Boggs can consumer in a 30 minute ceremony.

The Red Sox announced this afternoon that they will retire Wade Boggs’ No. 26 number in a ceremony on May 26.
Boggs, who wears a Red Sox cap on his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown, N.Y., will have his number placed on the right-field roof facade at Fenway Park in a May 26 (get it?) ceremony next year.
The Red Sox’ criterion for placing uniform numbers on the right field facade have shifted in recent ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2015 at 02:38 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, wade boggs

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