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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ozzie Smith Talks Derek Jeter’s Career and Gives His Shortstop Mount Rushmore

Great Gutzons! Garry Templeton is on Ozzie Smith’s Mount Rushmore of shortstops!

For now, Jeter already has a special place in history in Smith’s eyes. When asked to name his shortstop Mount Rushmore, Smith was quick to include him.

“Well, of course Cal would be on there. Derek would be on there. Omar Vizquel would be on there. The guy I got traded for actually would be one of those guys because he was a true five-tool player,” said Smith.

Also, naturally: “And of course, I’d put myself on ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 08:16 PM | 177 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Blue Jays Adventure 2

From the person who brought us Gregg Zaun as a drunken mini-boss, we have the (unpatched) 2014 Blue Jays adventure!

About a year ago I uploaded an 8 bit video game adventure surrounding the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays.
Needless to say, things didn’t work out as the game predicted.
I took a stab at predicting the 2014 season, but for some reason I can’t get it to work correctly.

Good cripple hitter Posted: February 25, 2014 at 03:25 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, youtube

Jose Fernandez announces goal of 1.95 ERA for sophomore campaign

Even Pretzels Getzien and his 1.95 ERA don’t see the logic in this!

He delivered his message quiet matter-of-factly, as if he were discussing the everyday, the mundane, the fully expected. With neither fanfare nor a deep breath to preface his quiet announcement, Jose Fernandez calmly said, “My goal this year is to have a 1.95 ERA.” There.

Oh, 1.95? Well, of course? Why not? Why not 1.90?

“I think I can,” Fernandez said with an earnestness that is delightful and disarming. His response to his ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Posnanski: Me and Maddux

Shouldn’t it have been Kuiper’s card?

The District Attorney Posted: February 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: greg maddux, joe posnanski, simulations, strat-o-matic

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-25-2014

Toledo News-Bee, February 25, 1914:

The White Sox and Giants were aboard the Orontes, nearing the equator. Half the party had been summoned on deck to watch the crossing of the line. Joe Benz thought he saw it in the distance, but Steve Evans declared it was high water and the equator was submerged.

An argument arose and the matter was appealed to Umpire Klem.

“Is it in or out at this season?” demanded Steve.

“I cannot make a decision,” replied Klem; “I didn’t see it.”

This has to be ...

Read More...

Matheny wishes new collision rule had more teeth

Major League Baseball’s attempt to enact a rule to protect catchers from injury and possible concussions in home-plate collisions resulted in some experimental legislation announced today. But some of the bite was taken out of it, as far as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was concerned.

“I did think we were making some pretty good progress and then the progress was stopped,” said Matheny. “After talking with people from the players’ association and with Major League Baseball, I think we have ...

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Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:45 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Adam Dunn invited to Oscars

Adam Dunn seen here with his acting/hitting mentor Chuck Connors.

lp

Dunn, an investor in the Oscar-nominated film “Dallas Buyers Club,” has an invitation to attend the Academy Awards show Sunday in Los Angeles. Dunn has a cameo role as a bartender in the movie, which was produced by his friend Joe Newcomb, founder of Truth Entertainment.

“I’m still debating whether I want to do it,” Dunn said from Chicago’s spring training camp in Glendale. “I don’t know yet, but the offer is there. How many ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:52 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Buck Showalter asks prospect who didn’t recognize Frank Robinson to write paper on him

And stop wearing your shirttails backwards…and tuck in those caps in your pants!

On Monday, Robinson was in Sarasota, Florida to speak with Oriole players at spring training. Among those in attendance was Josh Hart, who was selected by the team in last year’s amateur draft. As Robinson made his way around the facilities, Hart had the opportunity to meet the former All-Star. The minor problem was, the 19-year-old had no idea about the man with whom he had come face-to-face.

Eduardo A. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:23 AM | 171 comment(s)
  Beats: history, orioles

Chris Wheeler: ‘I did the last nine games knowing I was a lame duck’

We’ve all had Wheels to take ourselves away…

Phillies team president David Montgomery found Wheeler before the game.

“[He] told me on Sept. 21 that I wasn’t going to be back to do the games,” Wheeler said. “I did the last nine games knowing I was a lame duck. And that was a little difficult . . . Leaving the booth that Sunday, I caught myself looking around as I walked to the bus.”

...Wheeler is back in Clearwater this spring, going about his business as if nothing has changed. Although he ...

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Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 05:57 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: media, phillies

MLB adopts rule on collisions at plate

The new rule, 7.13, states “a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate).” A runner violating the rule shall be declared out, even if the fielder drops the ball.

And there are a lot more rules, too. If a catcher blocks the plate with the ball, a collision is still legal. If a catcher blocks the plate without the ball, the runner is automatically safe.

Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: February 25, 2014 at 01:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rule changes, rules, rules of play

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blue Jays, Astros, Nationals Spring Training Site Musical Chairs

Let’s see if I can make the biggest mess yet with this thread!

LAKE WORTH — Lake Worth city officials think they have a home run of an idea to help revitalize their city and save spring training on Florida’s east coast: A baseball stadium on the shores of Lake Osborne in John Prince Park.

They just need Palm Beach County, which owns the land, to buy into the idea. And that might not happen anytime soon.

...Still, city officials say they are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of ...

Read More...
boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: February 24, 2014 at 09:29 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, florida, nationals, spring training

Mike Matheny wishes new collision rules had more teeth.

New “rule” being implemented in regards to blocking the plate, doesn’t really look like it does much though.

For this year, the rule being implemented will prohibit the “most egregious collisions” at the plate. The rule states that a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher or anyone else covering the plate. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the ...

Read More...
cardsfanboy Posted: February 24, 2014 at 08:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rule changes

OT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2

Now that the Olympics are over it’s time for the important Hockey to restart.


Deadspin: The Milwaukee Brewers’ Adopted Stray Dog Is The Best Dog

We interrupt your daily curmudgeonliness for the following:

This is Hank the dog. Hank is a stray who wandered into the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training facility last week, and has since become the team’s unofficial mascot. Hank is the best dog. Why is Hank the dog so great? Well, before arriving at Brewers’ camp, he was wandering the streets of Phoenix after having been hit by a car.

spike Posted: February 24, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: milwaukee, puppies

John Thorn: Woodrow Wilson: The First Fantasy Baseball Player

Eat your heart out, Kerouac!

Yes, it’s a provocative title but a startling new find has me believing it’s true. Like the protagonist in Robert Coover’s 1968 novel The Universal Baseball Association, J. Henry Waugh, Prop., the 14-year-old Thomas Woodrow Wilson—known as Tommy—created a whole universe of players, statistics, and a pennant race, with or without the aid of dice. But unlike Waugh—who invented a table game using three dice, a “Stress Chart,” and an “Extraordinary ...

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Repoz Posted: February 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM | 155 comment(s)
  Beats: history

IATB: Ellsbury, Gardner, And The Change In Yankee Philosophy

Trosty Icepick says…“To Yankee fans, those philosophies are sacred!”

It symbolizes the Yankee front office waking up to what’s been happening around them over the last 5 or so years and realizing that a team full of mashers isn’t going to get it done.  Pitching wins championships, and elite defense behind any kind of pitching can elevate a team’s chances to win just as much as a bunch of 30-HR hitters can.  That’s the kind of defense that Ellsbury and Gardner will provide.  Another ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 24, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-24-2014

Pittsburgh Press, February 24, 1914:

The world touring players, now in London, have come in for considerable panning as a result of their failure to play ball in the rain in Paris. The London papers gave great space to their arrival, but did not take kindly to the remarks of John McGraw that baseball would be a betetr [sic] game than cricket for England if that country wished to take the lead in sports. The Pall Mall Gazette suggested that “Mr. McGraw keep these impertinences to his friends at ...

Read More...

Harris: The Worst Trade In Cubs History Was Much Worse Than You Thought

A prevailing view of how far baseball fans were willing to go with integration was identified by a sportswriter named John Lardner in the 1950s. The view was described in Roger Kahn’s 1955 article “Ten Years of Jackie Robinson.” Kahn described Lardner’s view of a “50 percent color line.”

As long as a team fielded at least five white players, Lardner observed, it would remain predominantly white. That was a line that even progressive owners like Rickey preferred not to cross.

With ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 24, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history

Angels’ Albert Pujols prepared to ‘shut a lot of mouths’ this season

Albert productions: The basics.

As a three-time MVP, a .321 career hitter with 492 home runs and a certain Hall of Famer when he retires, Albert Pujols has no need to listen to critics, especially those ripping on his huge contract.

Oh, but how he would love to silence them.

Pujols, who is trying to bounce back from the two worst seasons of his career, said he avoids reading stories about himself and doesn’t have time to indulge those who say he’s an old 34 and will never reach his previous ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Rosecrans: A newly open Joey Votto is in his ‘sweet spot’

Joey Votto, changing the constitution one wRC+ point at a time.

Becoming the face of baseball’s new metrics

And on some level, Votto’s WLW fireside chats have been something of a lecture, as well. He’s the tenured professor, educating and exposing people to new ideas.

At one point Votto explained wRC+, or Weighted Run Created Plus, sending a flood of traffic from southeastern Ohio to the servers at FanGraphs.com.

Votto’s become the face of a certain argument between new-school and ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 24, 2014 at 06:41 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, sabermetrics

Sunday, February 23, 2014

LeBreton: Ron Washington squares up to defend his bunting

Or as David Ben Ogilvy once said…“Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of baseball immortals.”

Baseball’s new analytics — and a Greek chorus of bunt-loathing fans and media — will tell you that the sacrifice bunt is the most self-defeating tradition in baseball.

In fact, a member of the spring training media tried to tell Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington just that Sunday morning. Washington wasn’t angered by the question. But as often is the case with Wash, a ...

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Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, sabermetrics

Yankees, Brett Gardner agree to deal

The Yankees announced Sunday that they had signed Gardner, 30, to a four-year contract extension worth $50 million, with a club option for a fifth year.

A $2 million buyout clause if the Yankees decide not to exercise the option brings the total value of the deal to $52 million. Gardner does not have a no-trade clause, but the Yankees are obligated to pay him an additional bonus of $1 million in the event they do trade him.

So with big commitments to Ellsbury, Beltran and now Gardner, does ...

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Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: February 23, 2014 at 06:58 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Baer: According to one St. Louis writer, Sabermetrics hate Lance Lynn

Strauss auto pilot…

“The church of advanced metrics” actually has good things to say about Lynn. Though, unfortunately, they don’t quite put him in the same echelon as Wainwright and Kershaw. According to xFIP, an ERA retrodictor that uses the league average home run rate, Lynn has finished at 3.60 and 3.66 in 2012 and ’13, respectively. Both marks fell below his ERA, 3.78 and 3.97, respectively.

FanGraphs puts Lynn at six WAR over the past two seasons, an average of three per season. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 05:22 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cards, sabermetrics

Source: Angels, Mike Trout talking monster extension

Supposedly the Angels are haggling for 6 years, low $140-million range, and Trout wants a little more.

If I were the Angels I would stop haggling immediately, agree to whatever Trout wants and throw in a new car, and then send the entire organization on a celebratory trip to Bermuda for a week.

Tuque Posted: February 23, 2014 at 04:25 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, contract extensions, contracts, mike trout

Rosenthal: Questions about Jays’ rotation won’t be answered right away

As recently as late January, Anthopoulos referenced four starters who were still free agents — Santana, Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo and A.J. Burnett — and said that they could “all be a significant improvement” for the Jays.

Well, Santana is the only one still on the market, and he could go to the Mariners, the injury-depleted Rangers or some other club. At that point, the Jays seemingly would have little choice but to rely on returning starters R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, ...

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Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Margalus: Steve Stone: White Sox broadcasts will feature more sabermetrics

NEHRU: Numbers Eventually Hawk Renders Useless

Steve Stone, by way of the Boers and Bernstein Show on 670 The Score, dropped a doozy on everybody by announcing that he and Hawk Harrelson will be taking White Sox broadcasts into forbidden territory.

It starts at 28:30, but this is the key exchange:

  Stone: I just want to mention one thing that you’ll be really interested in. I have actually been studying up, and will continue to, because we’re going to kind of introduce—we might not call ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 12:03 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics

Kernan: Hey, Mets: Don’t hold back Amazin’ talent

Freedom for the stallion Matt Harvey…toussain’t smart.

Free Matt Harvey.

The worst thing the Mets can do is to pull back the reins on their young star pitcher, who underwent Tommy John surgery four months ago.

Sure, they must follow Dr. James Andrews’ rehab plan to the letter — don’t be stupid — but if Harvey is Harvey and makes Amazin’ progress, run with it.

That’s what being Matt Harvey is all about.

Harvey is not your average pitcher — never has been, never will be. Harvey ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:57 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Matheny wants pitchers to cut down strikeouts — at bat

Call it the Dennis Austerity (0 fer 2 ~ 2 K’s) act.

But the strikeouts concern manager Mike Matheny — when his pitchers are hitting. Cardinals pitchers batted just .126 last year, with 139 strikeouts — one off the league high. They walked only 10 times.

Matheny said he wants his staff not only to improve its bunting but its ability to move runners or even start rallies with hits. And while there was a short workout Saturday because of an autograph session for Roger Dean Stadium ticket ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dh now

Bill Madden: Baseball buzzing as Atlanta Braves lock up their top talent

Taking a break from his letharchaic Al Kavelin and his Cascading Chords box set, Madden spews on…

The bigger picture here for baseball is the vanishing 25-30 homer hitter and the accompanying law of supply and demand. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were only 30 hitters in baseball last year with 25 or more home runs, which was the lowest total since 1992. There were 65 in 2001, the height of the steroids era, and 55 as recently as 2009, three years after baseball began testing ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Zack Greinke not fan of Australia games

Coorey sez…Thaks, Zakary!

Opening their season in Australia more than a week ahead of 28 other teams is causing the Los Angeles Dodgers some headaches, particularly when they try to line up their pitching.

Zack Greinke, who likely would pitch the second of two games at the Sydney Cricket Ground against the Arizona Diamondbacks, is far from enthused at the prospect.

“I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it,” Greinke told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “There just isn’t any excitement to ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 23, 2014 at 12:42 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

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