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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sandy Alderson plans on 2 or 3 more years as Mets GM

Sandy Alderson is entering the final year of his contract as Mets general manager, but barring a colossal team collapse is expected to have his 2015 option picked up.

The larger question might be how much longer the 66-year-old Alderson wants to continue in the job.

According to a person close to Alderson, the GM would like to stay in his present role another two or three years, but “definitely not five.”

Alderson also has been mentioned as a potential candidate for commissioner, with ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Popular Mechanics: App improves eyesight of Cal-Riverside Baseball Team

When a major league baseball pitcher throws a 95-mph fastball, only about 400 milliseconds—the duration of a blink—pass before the ball rockets over the plate. And a batter gets less than half that time to decide whether to swing, and where. Baseball players, then, could reap huge benefits from being able to probe a baseball farther from their eyes. And that inspired Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside, who has created a new, publicly available app that ...

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Cabbage Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:21 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: science

John Thorn: Who Were the Fastest Pitchers?

A FB/FB conversation turned into a blogpost.

I sort of fell into this subject on Facebook earlier today in response to a woodcut I posted of Amos Rusie’s drop ball. With his legendary fastball, I suggested, why would he ever need to throw a drop? Walter Johnson pitched almost his entire career throwing one pitch.

...Let’s try a math exercise: Rusie’s 95 mph–my approximation; his pitches were never clocked, but Connie Mack said he was as fast as Johnson or Bob Feller–speedball of ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 08:40 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history

McClendon rips Yanks’ Long for Cano critique

McClendon said Long overstepped his bounds with his critique of Cano’s effort with New York and defended the Mariners’ prized offseason free-agent acquisition.

“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com. “That was a little surprising. I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way. He’s concerned with his team and what they’re doing, not what the Seattle Mariners players are doing.

“I’m a ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 05:36 PM | 138 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, yankees

Fans may strike out in battle over Dodgers’ new TV home

SportsNet LA, which is owned by the Dodgers and run by Time Warner Cable, has yet to sign deals to make it available in the majority of L.A. pay-TV homes.

pthomas Posted: February 18, 2014 at 03:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, television contracts

Braves Seek Immunity for Foul Ball Injury

“The game has changed,” said E. Michael Moran, who is expected to argue for the plaintiffs today. “The safety rules should change along with that.”
In the case before the court, a child identified in court papers only as M.F. was seated with her family a few rows behind the visitors’ dugout at Turner Field. A line drive foul ball hit by then-Brave Melky Cabrera flew into the stands and smashed into M.F.‘s forehead. M.F.‘s family claims that the blow fractured M.F.‘s skull in 30 places and ...

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Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 18, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, lawsuits, melky cabrera, safety

Texas HS pitcher K’s 22 in 7-inning no-hitter

Ferris pitcher Evan Pontley had a simple philosophy at Mabank on Tuesday night: stick mainly with his fastball, and “throw it as hard as I could.”  It resulted in the game of his life.  Pontley pitched a complete game no-hitter in a 13-3 win, striking out 22 batters – one more than the number of outs in a seven-inning game.  “Everything I threw was working,” Pontley said.

After the first inning, Ferris actually trailed 2-0, despite Pontley striking out the first six batters. The two ...

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Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 18, 2014 at 01:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: evan pontley, ferris, strikeouts

Venezuelan Ranger players concerned over political unrest at home

Almost every starting pitcher or starting pitching candidate in the Rangers’ camp has some kind of injury to contend with or to come back from this spring.  Not Martin Perez, though. He’s got bigger problems: the safety of his family and friends in his homeland of Venezuela.

“It is hard for us,” Perez said. “We call every day, and people don’t have food for eating, things like that. We have a great country, and you look at the situation and things are just terrible. It’s bad. I ...

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Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, rangers, the glory of socialism, venezuela

John D’Acquisto: Mahogany

12 hours to beat the reporting deadline. 750 miles, four pitchers, two Porsches, and the last song a young right-hander rehabbing an arm injury in 1976 needs to hear.

djordan Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: john d'acquisto, mlb

Megdal: Sirius/XM, with late bid, throws Mets broadcast into flux

Stopped listening to Howeird long before he went to Siri…oh, fafa flunky.

A late, improved bid from Sirius/XM managed to keep announcer Casey Stern in the fold, foiling efforts by the Mets and WOR-AM to hire Stern as the team’s pre- and post-game host for Mets baseball broadcasts, multiple sources have confirmed to Capital.

The protracted negotiations, and the station’s failure to put together a backup plan, has thrown the broadcast into chaos with just 11 days remaining until the first WOR ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mets

Pedroia on Hunting Bigfoot

But while Pedroia does believe in Bigfoot, he doesn’t expect to personally catch him. Asked if he could, Pedroia said no.

“I was in Phoenix and last Tuesday the guy that supposedly shot or killed one was in town,” Pedroia said, “but he might have stopped at a gas station or something, I didn’t see him.”

And while he doesn’t think he’ll catch one, he doesn’t exactly think the sasquatch hunters on “Finding Bigfoot” will have any luck either.

Pedroia makes a pretty good point. . .

“They’re not ...

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BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Fangraphs: Playoff Odds as Distance from Rome c200 AD

a map of the Roman Empire upon which are pasted the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Where they are located on the map corresponds to cities of the Roman Empire. Each city’s distance from Rome in travel days is roughly equivalent to the chance each team has of making the playoffs in 2014.

Which, admit it, is the mental map most of us conjure up when asked to figure the chances of anything.

BDC Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history, postseason, septimius severus

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-18-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 18, 1914:

Being a fireman at $1,200 a year is a better job than playing baseball with a major league at $2,000 or $2,500 a year, Frank Mace, fireman, says. Representatives of the Cleveland and Detroit clubs in the American league, Kansas City in the American association, and Montreal in the International league, have been heckling Mace several weeks to sign a contract.

“The fire department is good enough for me,” Mace declared. “But these clubs have been bothering me ...

Read More...
Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: February 18, 2014 at 09:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

EconoBall: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Greatest Clutch Player In the Last 20 Years?

As an A’s fan used to tell me…“You Kooz, you lose.”

I started by collecting data on every hitter in the game for the last 20 years.  (Pithcers were dropped.)  I then regressed RE24 on PA, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, sacrifice flies, sacrifice bunts, double plays, walks, and strikeouts.  The idea here is that if a given player is as likely to, say, hit a single with the bases empty as he is with a runner on third, these statistics should define much of the variance in RE24.  The ...

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Repoz Posted: February 18, 2014 at 07:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Manny Ramirez Joins Miami Sports Management

Manny Ramirez has changed agents and will now be represented by Alex Esteban of Miami Sports Management, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (on Twitter).

Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: February 18, 2014 at 01:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, manny ramirez

Monday, February 17, 2014

Angell: This Old Man (Life in the Nineties)

Required reading.

Let’s move on. A smooth fox terrier of ours named Harry was full of surprises. Wildly sociable, like others of his breed, he grew a fraction more reserved in maturity, and learned to cultivate a separate wagging acquaintance with each fresh visitor or old pal he came upon in the living room. If friends had come for dinner, he’d arise from an evening nap and leisurely tour the table in imitation of a three-star headwaiter: Everything O.K. here? Is there anything we could ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:59 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: death, old, roger angell, sportswriters

Orioles To Sign Ubaldo Jiminez

Can he pass the physical? Can anyone?

Brian Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:35 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, orioles

Cameron: On Craig Kimbrel and Committing to a Closer

But how likely is it that the Braves will still want to pay Kimbrel $13 million four years from now? It’s no secret that the shelf life of relief pitchers is shorter than players at other positions, and Kimbrel would hardly be the first dominant reliever to show up, dominate for a while, and then hang around as a shell of what he once was. Can we really forecast, right now, that Kimbrel will still be one of the best relievers in baseball in 2017?

...However, it must be noted that Kimbrel’s ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, business, history

2014 MLB over/unders: Picking the best bet

C’mon, baby, Grant Brisbee needs a new pair of shoes!

...last year, there was a 60-option poll, asking you which bet would have been your kidney bet for the 2013 season. As in, if you needed a few bucks for a new kidney, and that bet was the only way to get it, which over/under would you choose?

There were 665 votes cast. As you suspected, gambling is almost evil, but not quite. Let’s pretend that instead of votes, those were actual $100 bets. How did the readers of SB Nation do?

Winnings: ...

Read More...
Brian White Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:57 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling

Doyel: Where is Derek Jeter among all-time greats? Higher than I thought

Not even the Survival Zone can save Doy-El’s latest!

Defensively? Jeter isn’t in the top five or top 10 or maybe even the top 25 in that category. And defense is part of baseball. A big part. Like, almost half the game. So if we’re going to measure defense, then I can’t sit here and tell you Jeter is a top-five shortstop all time, because how do you quantify what Ozzie Smith and Pee Wee Reese and Luis Aparicio and a whole host of other Hall of Fame shortstops gave on defense, compared to what ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:28 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

Matt Williams wants his infielders to be dancing machines

This team philosophy was originally started by Gene Gene Mauch.

“I always ask the infielders if they can dance or not,” Williams said yesterday during his session with the media, causing a couple reporters to shoot glances at each other, trying to figure out if the new Nats manager was being serious or not. “If they can dance, then they can play infield. If they can’t dance, we need to get them lessons, then they’ll be able to play infield. So that’s all it really is. You play through the ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: nats

David Samson sits down with MLB.com to address the state of the franchise

Goes into a blank-faced Gale Sonderungaarded moment to channel Brattain…

MLB.com: Obviously, you rebranded in ‘12, and it didn’t go the way you wanted. You restructured in ‘13, and endured a long season. How are you rebranding, and what do you need to do to reconnect with the fan base?

Samson: I think what our fans are looking for is stability, and what they’re looking for is better performance. The good news is we have a great ballpark, and that 10-year struggle is over with. The people who ...

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Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, marlins, media

Harper: Kevin Long, Yankees couldn’t get through to Robinson Cano on lack of hustle

Genius speaks. No one listens. (Craven’s Progressive Matrices)

That is, while Long couldn’t be prouder of what Cano accomplished as a Yankee, it bothers him that neither he nor anyone else could get through to the second baseman about his notorious lack of hustle, knowing it’s likely to tarnish his standing, especially with the fans.

“If somebody told me I was a dog,’’ Long said here Sunday, “I’d have to fix that. When you choose not to, you leave yourself open to taking heat, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:49 AM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-17-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 17, 1914:

The great American institution of draw poker received a blow in the solar plexus in the south.

Shortly after the breakfast hour Manager Branch Rickey chanced to espy [sic] Pitchers Taylor, Hamilton and Baumgardner sitting in a 10-cent limit game. Forthwith Manager Rickey proceeded to the gaming table and ordered the game to stop.

“There will be no poker playing among the 1914 Browns,” said he. “I consider poker a really harmful game when played on a ball ...

Read More...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Royals’ ‘break-even’ claim is plausible, but front office can still do more

I think the man that ruthlessly cut costs at Wal-Mart and over his first decade of ownership of the Royals deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The first thing to talk about here is the new national television contracts that kick in this season. You hear a lot about this $25 million figure. That’s the number being thrown around locally and nationally — we’ve used it here — as the per-team increase from last year to this year. But some phone calls around baseball show the number to be ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: david glass, new tv contract, royals


Twitter: Braves agree to four year extension with Craig Kimbrel

@Braves The #Braves have agreed to terms with @kimbrel46 on a four-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, contract extensions

WSJ: Mets’ Spending Spree May Not Be a Spree at All (Team Vowed a Winter of Investing, but Payroll Remains More or Less the Same)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.—In the wake of their fifth consecutive losing season, years of financial insecurity and a payroll that has plummeted at a historic rate, the Mets vowed to invest in the team this winter. They’d spent more than $140 million on players as recently as 2011, but since then their budget had fallen into the bottom half of the major leagues, tens of millions below those of their big-market competitors.

So the Mets went shopping this winter, and on the surface it appeared that ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:35 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: new york mets, salaries, small market

Silverman: Pedroia cut from same cloth as Jeter

Plus there’s already more Black Ink spilled on Pedroia’s cloth 11 to 10. (H/T…Ink spot removers Brian & Bill Kenny)

The Red Sox have their own Derek Jeter.

His name is Dustin Pedroia.

As the baseball community paused to come to grips with Wednesday’s announcement that the Yankees captain and shortstop of the past 20 seasons will make 2014 his swansong season, the news reinforced the notion that the Red Sox already have a franchise player and de facto captain, who could, by the end of his ...

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Repoz Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:24 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: history, red sox, yankees

MGL: HOW JETER CAN TURN A VERY GOOD WRITER INTO A HACK *

Hazardous duty in Sochi, indeed! As MGL turns Joe Posnanski into Hack Hackworth!

* And why I am getting tired of writers and analysts picking and choosing one or more of a bushel of statistics to make their (often weak) point.

...Speaking of strawmen, before I lambaste Mr. Posnanski, which is the crux of this post, let me start by giving him some major props for pointing out that this article, by the “esteemed” and “venerable” writer Allen Barra, is tripe. That is Pos’ word – not ...

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Repoz Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:05 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics, site news

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