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Thursday, March 27, 2014

YES Network: Ken Singleton says Ellsbury + Gardner = a nearly impenetrable defense

Or as this Yankee fan told me in the bar the other day…“This Pillsbury kid is spossed to be really good”.

When you talk about the best defensive outfields in baseball, the Yankees certainly have to go into that conversation. Right now, it seems as if Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Beltran will rotate through that spot, but whether it’s one of them, Ichiro, or a literal statue out in right, former MLB outfielder Ken Singleton agrees that the left/center combo of Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 27, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

ESPNLA: Dodgers, Yasiel Puig clear air

Yasiel Puig is always going to be a story. The Los Angeles Dodgers just don’t want him to be the only story anyone ever talks about on a team with World Series aspirations.

So before the latest controversy with Puig had a chance to mushroom, manager Don Mattingly called a team meeting Tuesday to clear the air, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

A source described Puig as “very open” during the meeting and receptive to what was said.

“I asked them to please keep ...

Read More...
Tripon Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:59 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Texas Rangers name Tanner Scheppers opening day starter; Yu Darvish to open on DL

Well, hello, hello and welcome, my friend, to Tanner’s Happy Good-byes.

In a flurry of pitching moves forced by injuries and slow rehabs, the Rangers named first-time starter Tanner Scheppers their opening day starting pitcher… Scheppers will start on March 31 against Philadelphia and will be followed by LHP Martin Perez, LHP Robbie Ross and LHP Joe Saunders. RHP Nick Martinez, who pitched at Class A and Double A last year, will have the fifth spot for the start of the season…

despite a very ...

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At 102, Oldest Living Former Major Leaguer Spends Days in Cuba

Marrero was a bright spot on a bad team. He didn’t reach the majors until he was just a few days shy of 39, an age most ballplayers were well into retirement. The Washington journalist Bob Addie once wrote that Marrero “might have become a Hall of Famer had he been plucked at a younger age.”

In just his fifth big league game, Marrero struck out Boston’s Ted Williams with a dancing knuckleball. According to specious news accounts, he patted himself on the chest as he walked off the ...

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BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:10 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, nationals

APNEWSBREAK: MLB HOPES FOR NEW DRUG DEAL THIS WEEK

While the lengths have not been finalized, a person involved with the talks said Wednesday the most likely penalties would be about 80 games for an initial testing violation and a season-long ban for a second.

“It will be a significant deterrent because players will know they’re not going to just easily walk back into a lineup,” Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said in a telephone interview. “It probably is the best policy in professional ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:24 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: peds

Bill James Mailbag - 3/25/14 - 3/26/14

C’mon now, cancelling the World Series is joyous compared to Arli$$.

Hey Bill, In what context do “one run” offensive strategies (in particular the sacrifice bunt, but also stolen bases) make sense in the early innings of a game? Said another way, how scarce do runs need to be in order to make the sacrifice bunt a favorable strategy in the early innings of a game?

I’m not sure I have a solid understanding of the issue. Billy Southworth bunted constantly in the early innings, believing that the ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: amy adams, bill james, sabermetrics, strategy

Toronto Blue Jays’ Dustin McGowan wins a rotation spot as club sets opening-day roster

McGowan, 32, lost the better part of five years to shoulder injuries. Once a promising starter, he told management at the end of last season that he wanted to try to win a rotation job. But a 10-day bout with the flu seemed to knock him out of the running because he had not been stretched out enough to set himself up for that role.

He expected to wind up in the bullpen again. “It seemed like time was running short on me,” he said Thursday before learning of his new assignment.

But in his ...

Read More...
Good cripple hitter Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:13 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, comebacks, dustin mcgowan

Abraham: David Ortiz to the Hall of Fame? It may be easier than you think

Ka-Prow…there it is.

When David Ortiz was signed to a contract extension on Sunday, Red Sox owner John Henry was quoted on the press release saying, “We are so proud to have this ambassador of our game with us as he continues on this road to Cooperstown.”

On Twitter and elsewhere, it was immediately pointed out that Ortiz was once tied to the use of performance-enhancing drugs and such players have so far been denied induction in the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:23 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Can Spring Training Statistics Predict Breakout Power Seasons? | Bill James Online

Click through to see the results.

Based on our qualifications, 71.7 percent of players who enjoyed those spring power surges went on to increased power in the regular season. Moreover, a similar study of that trend on the team level showed similar results.

In recent seasons, we’ve started to see some feedback from independent studies suggesting that trend may no longer hold true. We were curious to investigate, so we ran the same study with the same qualifications on the data from the most ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Mariners release Randy Wolf under weird circumstances - SBNation.com

I am listening to MLB Radio on Sirius (which I really like, BTW) and they were talking about this issue. The host was worked up about the way Seattle handled the situation. I don’t get it. They are working within the CBA. As you might expect, Wolf wanted the rest of his contract guaranteed. The Mariners weren’t prepared to do that. The Mariners offered a bridge contract. He didn’t like it. They cut him, which they could have done without the 45-day offer. Had Wolf pitched better in the spring, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, randy wolf

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-26-2014

Washington Times, March 26, 1914:

“Lefty” Ruth’s wicked shoots proved too much for Connie Mack’s world’s champions [in Wilmington, NC] yesterday, especially when allied with some timely clouting by Ezra Midkiff and Neal Ball.

Big deal. Some teenager pitched well in March. He’ll never amount to anything.


Baseball Researcher: Babe Ruth: Some Very Fortunate Footage

A few months ago, I learned of the stunning archival holdings at the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections. Thanks to the invaluable help of Production Manager Ben Singleton, I had the chance to review some amazing baseball footage, part of the Fox Movietone News outtakes that were donated to USC back in the early 1980s.

When you think about it, this collection of footage is doubly rare. Certainly, very few people have seen the film today. But, since this footage ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:48 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A’s to use Callaspo in first base platoon

Barton is kind of a Grady Sizemore writ small.

The first base puzzle is officially coming together for the Oakland A’s.

Manager Bob Melvin told reporters Tuesday morning that switch-hitting Alberto Callaspo will play first base against left-handed starting pitchers. With signs pointing toward the A’s keeping just two catchers, John Jaso and Derek Norris, it means Daric Barton is likely to make the Opening Night roster and split first base with Brandon Moss against right-handed pitchers. ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:56 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland

Rothbard: Baseball’s Steroid Era Is Over. Now We Have to Figure Out Its Legacy

Ding Ding Ding! Hall of Shame used!

At an event co-presented by Arizona State University at Scottsdale’s Clayton on the Park, a panel of baseball insiders offered their observations and opinions.

USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, the evening’s moderator, asked the panelists whether they qualify statistics based on whether or not the numbers were posted in the era of drugs.

Retrosheet founder David W. Smith, who collects extensive play-by-play data, said he’s not nearly as ...

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Repoz Posted: March 25, 2014 at 07:12 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, steroids

Shane Victorino dislikes new MLB rule: Only 15 seconds of intro music allowed

Damn…this will chop off the last second of The Descendents’ “I Like Food”!

The loudspeakers at Fenway Park play a little Bob Marley music to introduce Shane Victorino whenever he comes to bat for the Boston Red Sox. For a lot of major leaguers these days, intro music has become a routine part of the aesthetic experience at the ballpark. A famous example would be Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” played for Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, until he retired. Mute the music and it’s still baseball — ...

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Repoz Posted: March 25, 2014 at 06:45 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: music, red sox

Baseball Is Coming Back to Montreal, for a Weekend

It’s been a decade since the Expos played their last game at Olympic Stadium and packed up for Washington, D.C. But now, the much-maligned stadium will host the Toronto Blue Jays (Canada’s remaining MLB team) and the New York Mets (who the Expos played their first and last games ever against).

The wounds of the Expos’s dysfunctional final years are healing, replaced by nostalgia. So far, 75,000 tickets have been sold, with event programming catered to people strictly there to remember ...

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eddieot Posted: March 25, 2014 at 04:31 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: gary carter, les expos

Jonah Keri: 2014 AL West Preview

This article is pretty much what it sounds like. Keri goes over each team, additions and subtractions, and projections. It makes me fondly remember the days of team season previews on baseball primer.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-25-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 25, 1914:

Brooklyn Federal league players are to have a share in the profits of the club, President Robert Ward announced today.
...
The plan is unique in baseball annals, and seems to indicate that the Brooklyn Federals have a wealth of financial backing. Ward probably figures that by sharing profits with the players he will get better and more earnest work from the athletes, and will have less difficulty in holding the players now on his payroll.

Either that or it ...

Read More...

Contract works well for Red Sox and David Ortiz - Sports - The Boston Globe

This isn’t as bad as I feared.

Ortiz, 38, will earn $15 million this season and $16 million in 2015, and there are club options for 2016 and 2017. The option for ’16 vests based on plate appearances, and there are different levels. He makes $11 million for 425 plate appearances, $12 million for 475, $13 million for 525, $14 million for 550, $15 million for 575, and $16 million for 600. The 2017 option would vest at whatever level Ortiz achieves in 2016.

This means Ortiz has to remain healthy, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Miller’s so-so spring continues : Sports

What’s up with Shelby Miller?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:46 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, shelby miller

Miles: Sabermetrics changing baseball’s numbers game

The ribbie rhubarb:

Back when Dusty Baker was manager of the Cubs, he’d go up and down the lineup and say things like Aramis Ramirez was “my RBI guy” and Moises Alou was “my clutch man.”

The whole “clutch hitter” debate is one for another day, but the RBI debate is a fun one to watch today.

Years ago, voters for the Most Valuable Player often tended favor the leader in runs batted in.

Today, thanks again to advanced analytics, the RBI has taken a back seat to stats such as ...

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Repoz Posted: March 25, 2014 at 10:26 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Kernan: Jeter knows time running out for him to get ‘comfortable’

Fetch…the Comfy Chair! Pronto!

Welcome to the final spring training week of Derek Jeter’s career.

He’s hitting .114 this spring. He’s coming back from a lost season.

Where does he go from here?

Jeter knew it was going to be a difficult process coming back from a season in which he played only 17 games because of leg injuries, which followed a fractured ankle. At the age of 39 he knew this was not going to be a walk in the park.

Jeter has extreme confidence in himself, but understands ...

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Repoz Posted: March 25, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

True Blue LA: Stop stat abuse

As much as people try to tell you otherwise, stats don’t lie. “Jack Morris would have one of the highest ERAs in the Hall of Fame” is not something up for debate as much as some would like to think otherwise. However, translating those numbers into something that predicts human behavior is damn near impossible. ESPN’s 2014 MLB preview brings us their new chemistry score. Through some simple inputs ESPN’s crack team is able to determine how much people like each other4. Not only that they’ve ...

Read More...
Tripon Posted: March 25, 2014 at 12:21 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: abe attell, abominations, about damned time, absurd, sabrmetrics, statistics, wtf

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chipper Jones Loses Big in Atlanta

March 18 - Chipper Jones won 11 division titles, a handful of pennants and a World Series championship over the course of 19 Major League Baseball seasons. However, the former Atlanta Braves star has found himself on the losing end of a recent real estate deal.

Jones has sold his mansion-estate in Roswell, GA, for a loss. Measuring 23,504 square feet in size, the rough equivalent of three baseball diamonds, the mansion originally hit the market in May 2013 for $3.195 million. It ultimately ...

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Rangers’ Geovany Soto out 10-12 weeks with torn meniscus

0-162 is one step closer to reality.

More bad injury news for the Rangers: starting catcher Geovany Soto will miss 10-12 weeks with a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. He missed time with a foot problem earlier in camp.

Geovany Soto, 31, hit .245/.328/.466 (114 OPS+) with nine doubles and nine home runs in 54 games as A.J. Pierznyski’s backup last season. Texas re-signed him to a one-year, $3.05 million contract over the winter and intended to use him as their starter behind the plate. ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:38 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: geovany soto, injuries, rangers

Braves Sign Aaron Harang

Sure, Terry Forster would listen if the Braves called.

The Braves have agreed to sign pitcher Aaron Harang, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Atlanta had been rumored to be interested in adding another arm after parting with veteran Freddy Garcia earlier today (per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, on Twitter).

Of course, Harang himself was let go by the Indians just hours ago after requesting his release. The soon-to-be-36-year-old had strong results in the spring, though he threw just ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:36 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron harang, braves, indians

Alex Colome suspended 50 games

Like pitch counts, PEDs aren’t going away.

Bruce Markusen Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:53 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steroids, suspensions

Ostergaard: More reasons to hate the Yankees: It’s history, and much worse than A-Rod

There’s a unique spirit you’ll experience in a Del Webb community. You ain’t shittin’.

“Excerpted from “The Devil’s Snake Curve: A Fan’s Notes from Left Field” by Josh Ostergaard.”

Roosevelt’s order created an urgent need for housing. Del Webb’s company won the contract to build camps near Parker, Ariz., named Poston. Most Americans at the time didn’t know what happened to Japanese Americans during the war. The massive construction projects near Parker brought jobs, workers and ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:01 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Baltimore Sun: Orioles trade IF Alex Gonzales to Tigers for Steve Lombardozzi

Okay, so NOW that whole “Doug Fister for Lombardozzi and a pitching prospect” deal suddenly makes a lot more sens—wait, what?

SARASOTA, Fla.—The Orioles added another player to their infield mix Monday, acquiring switch-hitting local product Steve Lombardozzi Jr. in a trade that sent veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez to the Detroit Tigers.

Lombardozzi, 25, who is from Fulton in Howard County and graduated from Atholton High School in Columbia, immediately becomes an option at second and third ...

Read More...
Esoteric Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:51 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore orioles, detroit tigers

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