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Friday, April 04, 2014

HACKING MASS Competition 2014

Remember all those articles about how Billy Hamilton could revolutionize the game?...

HACKING MASS, our competition to pick the least dangerous hitters and least effective pitchers in the majors, returns for the 2014 season!... You’ll have a full week to enter (the deadline is April 11, 2014, at midnight PST), but it’s easy to change players, so feel free to go all in on Darwin Barney on the entry form today, then switch to Ryan Goins next Friday morning…

Your 10 players will be:

one each at ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, sabermetrics

NYT: Kepner: Era of Squiggles

“In the ‘80s, we started to have people basically say, ‘Oh, handwriting’s not important, because in five or 10 years everything in the world will be computerized,’ ” [handwriting instructor Kate] Gladstone said. “But I don’t think we’re yet at the stage of typing our names onto baseballs.”

Kepner adduces Harmon Killebrew as a model signer of baseballs, and I happen to have one signed by him on my desk – a very legible autograph, for sure, but suspiciously similar to a ...

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BDC Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: collecting, memorabilia, twins, yankees

Facebook Fandom Map

This map displays Facebook fans of all of the MLB teams across the U.S.  Each county is color-coded based on which official Facebook team page has the most likes …

Apologies to Canada, first off :)  There are some obvious patterns here and some surprises.  And some awkward and counterintuitive color choices: the Delaware Valley, for instance, seems to have slud into the ocean.

BDC Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fans, history, social media

Jeff Pearlman: A Reporter’s Tale: The John Rocker Story 15 Years Later

John Rocker! Jeff Pearlman!! Bleacher Report!!! Where the fuktuggle is Murray Chass?!

Nearly 15 years have passed. Which—as anyone who has watched one-and-a-half decades fly by can attest—is weird and confusing and a bit jarring.

Over the course of that span, I’ve written for Sports Illustrated, left Sports Illustrated, written for Newsday, left Newsday. I’ve published six books. I got married, bought a house, had two children. I’ve seen friends and relatives die, other friends and ...

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Repoz Posted: April 04, 2014 at 09:12 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-4-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 4, 1914:

Armando Marsans, left fielder of the Cincinnati Reds, deserted the team [yesterday] following a clash with Manager Herzog.
...
On Wednesday Marsans was slightly injured sliding into a base, and was unable to take part in the contest against Louisville on Thursday. [Yesterday] afternoon Herzog ordered Marsans to play left field, but the Cuban stated that he was not in condition to play.

“Go out and play just the same,” said Manager Herzog. “I’m tired of ...

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Are Jays fans more drunk, boorish and entitled than ever?

The Royal Blue Hysteria…

But musician, author and Jays fan Dave Bidini suggests that over the last few years, the people filling the blue plastic seats are increasingly drunk, boorish and entitled. “Guys with reversed baseball caps with wrap-around sunglasses coming in from Oshawa or Whitby…who act like jerks and then leave”, is how the Etobicoke native describes the problematic fans responsible for “a lot of vomit, a lot fighting” in the stands. Bidini suggests the Jays’ own ...
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Repoz Posted: April 04, 2014 at 05:21 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Time Warner Cable says talks with DirecTV for Dodgers channel are over

With more than 1.2 million subscribers in Los Angeles, DirecTV has an almost 30% share of the market. Not having DirecTV on board is a big blow to the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable, which launched the channel in February.
No other major area distributors have been signed by Time Warner Cable, but Witmer said negotations with them are ongoing. About 70% of the market is without access to Dodgers games.
DirecTV has previously indicated that the price Time Warner Cable is seeking for the Dodgers ...

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Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: April 04, 2014 at 02:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cubs considering sale of minority stakes

The Ricketts family, which bought the team and stadium in 2009, is weighing whether to sell minority shares to help fund $300 million in fix-ups to the park plus a $200 million neighborhood redevelopment.

SteveM. Posted: April 03, 2014 at 11:57 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: broke ass, chicago cubs, over their heads

Blue Jays players were willing to alter contracts to land Santana

It was as if the Toronto Blue Jays passed around a hat, trying to collect enough money to sign free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana.

Several Jays players discussed deferring portions of their salaries to clear payroll for Santana last month, according to major league sources.

The discussions, which apparently did not progress past the conversation stage, raise new questions about the Jays’ payroll flexibility for 2014.

Paul D(uda) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 11:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ervin santana

Eduardo Nuñez asked for release and got it from Yankees

Hopefully Yangervis’ nickname is “Never Nervous.”

Eduardo Nuñez figured the Yankees had had enough of him, so he asked for his release and got it.

The Yankees, needing to make a move on their 40-man roster to get Yangervis Solarte on it, designated Nuñez for assignment before Tuesday night’s season opener, ending the 26-year-old’s career with the club…

The Yankees have 10 days to either trade or release Nuñez, who will have interested parties. The Cubs, in need of infield help, could be ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2014 at 10:40 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: eduardo nuñez, transactions, yangervis solarte, yankees

Cubs outfielder plays first inning in wrong uniform

At least the Mets all know to wear the same uniform.

The same can’t be said for the woeful Cubbies, whose left fielder Junior Lake played the first inning of Chicago’s game in Pittsburgh Thursday wearing the team’s wrong road uniform.

bobm Posted: April 03, 2014 at 10:10 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, uniforms

Four Strikes And You’re Out

Ahead in the count with one ball and two strikes, Thornton froze Peralta with a slider on the outside half of the plate, a couple inches below the belt. For a pitch like that, the umpire, Bruce Dreckman, would normally call a strike — 80 percent of the time, the data shows. But in two-strike counts like Peralta’s, he calls a strike less than half the time.

This article goes on to give a quantification of the count dependent strike zone.

TL;DR version: On two strike counts, boarder line ...

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Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: April 03, 2014 at 08:21 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: nate silver

MLB toughens drug agreement provisions

This happened while the servers were on the highway:

Major League Baseball and the players union, alarmed over findings in the Biogenesis case last summer, ratified an agreement Friday to strengthen their drug testing program in hopes of eradicating performance-enhancing drugs from the game.

Baseball not only stiffened its drug penalties, but for the first time will use the expensive Carbon Isotope Mass Spectrometry (IRMS), with at least one specimen from every player. The test, which costs ...

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Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: April 03, 2014 at 07:23 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, steroids

Bill James Mailbag - 4/3/14

This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt… Magnante, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent.

Hey Bill: I just noticed that Baseball Reference now has Mike Trout and Carlos Gomez tied for 2013 WAR leaders at 8.9 each. You show Trout as being nearly twice as valuable as Gomez (40 WS to 21.2). One expects different systems to arrive at somewhat different valuations, but a disagreement of this size strikes me as a bit bizarre. Any thoughts?

Well. ..what do you think? Do you really ...

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OT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about, which I forgot.

Have posts been building up inside you?

The District Attorney Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:26 PM | 217 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

Francesa delivers screeching anti-paternity-leave rant

Francesspool: Asleep at the mic…asleep at the wheel.

Mike Francesa isn’t a big fan of paternity leave.

The WFAN radio host blasted Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy for missing the team’s first two games to be with his wife, Victoria, in Florida for the birth of their son, Noah, who was born Monday.

MLB rules allow a player to take three days away from the team on paternity leave, but Francesa believes they should never take the time.

“You’re a major-league baseball player. You can ...

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Repoz Posted: April 03, 2014 at 05:15 PM | 454 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Posnanski: The Home Run Summer of ‘54

He would always say a doctor called him in 1952. Bauman would not even remember the guy’s name, but he said this doctor then showed up at his filling station and offered him a contract to play for a team called the Artesia Drillers in New Mexico. Bauman had never heard of them or Artesia or, really, New Mexico. But the doctor offered steady money — $600 a month — and he said people in the stands would give him some more. Bauman agreed on the condition that for $250 he could buy back his ...

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Good cripple hitter Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, joe posnanski, minor league baseball

SI: Big Money Relievers Have Early Season Hiccups

Jay Jaffe dissects early season meltdowns.

Chris Fluit Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:27 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brian wilson, closers, jim johnson, joe nathan, jonathan papelbon

OMNICHATTER: 4/3/14

Because it’s been far too long.

Esoteric Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:08 PM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball

ESPN: Lenny Dykstra Sues Los Angeles County Over Alleged Jail Beating

Former All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra filed a lawsuit Wednesday saying he suffered an unprovoked and brutal beating by deputies in a Los Angeles County jail two years ago. Dykstra filed the suit seeking unspecified damages against the county and several Sheriff’s Department employees, saying his head was slammed against the wall, his teeth were knocked out and he was kicked and beaten until he was “barely breathing.”
. . .
But when the beating allegations arose at Dykstra’s fraud ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:02 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: bankruptcy, crime, evil, fraud, lawsuits, lenny dykstra, prison

NYT: Brayden King: What Umpires Get Wrong

THIS season Major League Baseball is allowing its officiating crews to use instant replay to review certain critical calls, including home runs, force plays and foul balls. But the calling of the strike zone — determining whether a pitch that is not swung at is a ball or a strike — will still be left completely to the discretion of the officials. This might seem an odd exception, since calling the strike zone may be the type of officiating decision most subject to human foible.

In research ...

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Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:59 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: general, umpiring

MLB.com: Astros Shower Jeter With Applause & Gifts

First there was the pair of Yankees pinstriped Lucchese cowboy boots, emblazoned with Jeter’s No. 2. Then came the Texas-size Stetson cowboy hat, seemingly a must-have for anyone who passes through Minute Maid Park on his way to the Hall of Fame.

Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Mike Stanton, all former teammates and all Houston residents, joined Jeter on the field to present the gifts, along with longtime Astros radio announcer Milo Hamilton.

The ceremony also involved several big names from ...

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Mike Trout: 6 years, $144.5 million

Trout is clearly an elite hitter already, at age 22. There is certainly no reason, on the surface, to question whether he’ll be worth his recent six-year, $144.5M extension that will carry him through his age 28 season. Still, let’s look into the game’s past and try to identify his peer group. Does he even have one? How did they age, when did they peak, and what might the future hold for Mike Trout, and for the Angels’ investment in him?

[...]

The start to Trout’s career is almost ...

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An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, contract extensions, history, mike trout

The Chad Curtis Story

This one’s a little tough to take, but Hanlon did a fantastic job reporting on the story. One of the finest published pieces today.

djordan Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: chad curtis, mlb

Arizona Diamondbacks running out of supersized corn dogs - ESPN

$25. $25. $25. $25.

Sales of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ $25 corn dog have been so brisk that the team’s concessionaires can’t wait for a week-long road trip that starts Friday so that they can prep enough to be ready for the team’s April 11-13 homestand against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks are selling the D-Bat—an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon and served with fries—for $25.
The 18-inch corn dog, called the D-Bat, is stuffed with cheddar cheese, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, food


Dick Monfort says changes at Coors Field “will pizazz it up” - The Denver Post

I bet they are not making it look more like Marlins Field.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:20 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coors field, rockies

Rays notes: Archer ready to take his turn

I hope he doesn’t drink the bad water going around.

[Chris] Archer, 25, signed a six-year, $25.5 million contract Wednesday that also has two option years, which can raise the value to $43.75 million.

“It’s outstanding,” manager Joe Maddon said. “When you get that commitment both ways, from the owners to the player and the player’s commitment back to the organization, my first thought is, that’s the way to become consistent in regards to winning and establishing a tradition. Great moment ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: chris archer, rays

Heisey’s walk-off avenges Reds’ Opening Day loss

Although he doesn’t get as low, Tony Cingrani reminds me a lot of Sid Fernandez. He slings the ball in a way that really makes it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball. That he’s sitting 93-96, only makes their task that much harder.

Cingrani went seven shutout innings. He allowed two hits, walked two and struck out nine. He threw 92 pitches, 57 of which were strikes. He’s made 19 starts in the majors. He’s never allowed more than five hits.

Cingrani, 24, is fearless. He attacked hitters ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:03 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, tony cingrani


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