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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Joe Namath calls Derek Jeter an ‘angel’

Derek Jeter has been described in a variety of ways during his career.

Joe Namath brought something new Monday.

“Knowing the scrutiny that he’s had over the years,” the Jets Hall of Famer said at Yankees camp, “I can’t imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He’s to be respected for every phase of his life, it seems.” ...

“Over the years, I’ve learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I’ve only heard wonderful ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:25 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, football, nfl, religion, yankees

Ian Kinsler calls Jon Daniels ‘sleazeball,’ hopes Rangers go 0-162

Being Ian. Get a gripp.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler spent the first eight years of his big-league career with the Rangers, but he was traded to the Tigers this past offseason in a blockbuster deal that sent Prince Fielder to Texas. And now, in an article set to be in ESPN Magazine March 17, Kinsler has spoken his mind about his former ballclub. It’s juicy. It’s a quality read and long-form, so hop on over there to read the whole thing if interested.

Some of the highlights:

•“There was no ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, tigers

Clemens will say farewell to Jeter at ceremony in Houston

Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen. Roger Clemens is standing right in Derek Jeter’s gift box!

The first stop on the Derek Jeter Long Goodbye Tour will be in Houston the opening series of the season. It should be one memorable tribute, especially when you consider who will be taking a large part in the event — Roger Clemens.

“Roger is going to be driving the bus,’’ Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told The Post Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. “I’m sure it will be something ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:12 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yankees

SCD: Upper Deck’s ‘Find the Reggie’ Launched Chase Card Craze

I have a banded pile of these Reggie cards sitting next to a load of empty Les Soldats de Plomb boxes.

However, Upper Deck was able to take this concept and bring it to a whole new level beginning with its ‘high number’ cases in 1990.

It forged a deal with Reggie Jackson to include a special “Heroes” subset with the big hook being randomly inserted autographed cards. Jackson autographed and numbered 2,500 copies in the ‘Find the Reggie’ promotion that helped push sales.  There ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:00 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-4-2014

Rock Island Argus, March 4, 1914:

The Three Eye baseball fields may be shy on the cattle range stuff this season. Announcement is made that the big cut out bulls of the Bull Durham company may be taken out of the fields…

The players may be shy considerable real money and tons of smoking tobacco because of the pleasurable and profitable pastime - hitting the bull - and lofting homers over the fences. Word has been received…that the tobacco company is contemplating giving up this form of ...

Read More...
Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:38 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Perry: It’s time for Cubs to lock up Jeff Samardzija

And life after lock up to follow…

For his career, the 29-year-old has pitched to a 97 ERA+ in 189 games, 66 of which have been starts. Since becoming a full-time member of the rotation prior to the 2012 season, Samardzija has logged an ERA of 4.10 in 388 1/3 innings, and he’s recorded more than three times as many strikeouts as unintentional walks.

Beyond that, Samardzija last season showed signs of skills growth. To wit, he maintained strong strikeout percentages while also cutting down on ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:57 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Bill Buckner retires from baseball

about 28 years too late.

Bill Buckner was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. He made his major-league debut the next season. For many of the past 44 summers, Buckner has been in uniform — playing, managing or coaching.

Not this summer.

Buckner, 64, announced Monday he is retiring from baseball after two summers as the Hawks hitting coach.

“Just too much time away,” he told the Idaho Statesman. “My wife has put up with it for 30-something years.”

Buckner said he kicked ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

NYT: Waldstein: Yankees May Finally Come Out Ahead in the Trade for Pineda

TAMPA, Fla. — At the time of the trade, one of the biggest of the winter before the 2012 season, both teams had every reason to be excited. The Seattle Mariners, in need of a hitter, had picked up Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ top prospect at the time, who many felt was a certain All-Star. The Yankees received Michael Pineda, a big, hard-throwing starting pitcher who had made the All-Star team as a rookie in 2011.

So far, the transaction is a wash — because neither team is happy with the ...

Read More...
Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:41 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Monday, March 03, 2014

Indians should trade (Asdrubal) Cabrera to Mets

Finally, remember, the Mets wouldn’t be trading for Cabrera to have and to hold forever after—they’re just renting him for a year. But once you have him, you also have a season to make a sales pitch on why he should stick around. If you’re the Mets, wouldn’t you want to be able to exploit that window, before free agency? Because the other thing to consider is that if the Mets don’t trade for Cabrera now, they may well be in the exact same situation in nine months: Making him a multiyear pitch ...

Read More...
Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:55 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, mets

Bill James Mailbag - 2/27/14 - 3/2/14

Don Coffin was originally intended to manage Kane the Undertaker.

Hey, Bill, would you agree with me that HOF voters have spent a lot of time debating Jack Morris’ candidacy to the Hall and because of that they have overlooked more qualified candidates?  I am talking about Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Alan Trammell or Edgar Martinez. Look, I don’t believe that Morris belongs to the HOF, but who am I? Fact is, I have read every argument on behalf of Morris while I haven’t heard the bandwagon for ...

Read More...

Astros prospect Jon Singleton discusses his struggle with marijuana

Jon Singleton is considered the top first base prospect in baseball — a big, dynamic left-handed hitter with power and composure who can use the entire field.

He’s one of the players expected to help the Astros back to respectability after three straight 100-loss seasons.

All that despite a couple of very public setbacks. And for the first time publicly, he’s opening up about his battle with an addiction to marijuana and monthlong stay at a rehabilitation center.

“At this point ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:58 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Snyder: First replays of spring training show it can be quick

And down the Shooty Babitt hole we go…

The new replay system for the 2014 season is being used in spring training games. Monday, there were two reviews within just a few minutes of each other, marking the first uses of the new system.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the on-field call that the runner was safe due to the first baseman’s foot being off the bag. The review took around two minutes—per a Twins beat writer—and upheld the on-field ruling of the runner being safe.

Minutes ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:15 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: nfl, zzzzz

Mike Piazza back in Mets uniform

as Murray Chass is waiting for him to be out of uniform.

Mike Piazza is back home this week.

The 45-year-old Piazza, the all-time leader in homers by a catcher, is serving as a guest instructor this week at New York Mets camp. It marks his first time back in uniform with the organization since his playing days.

Piazza said chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon invited him to spring training last September, when he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at Citi Field. Piazza also serves as ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Baseball Prospectus | Framing and Blocking Pitches: A Regressed, Probablistic Model

Rather than identifying a single strike zone and giving binary credit for each pitch relative to that strike zone’s borders (i.e., strike or no strike), our model gives partial credit for each pitch based on that pitch’s likelihood of being called a ball or a strike. To determine that, we created a probability map of likely calls… To reflect what is best known about the way the size and position of the strike zone shifts from count to count and batter to batter, we ran individual models for ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, defense, pitch framing, sabermetrics

Fangraphs/Sullivan: Reviewing Last Year’s Bunt Doubles

Posted because

(a) fun baseball!

(b) Worth pointing out Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs has been doing a great job picking out interesting things from 2013 and writing brief recaps with gifs and pictures. He’s been doing this for a while and deserves some credit for highlighting (a).

Last season, there were three bunt doubles, each of them different but each of them inarguably bunt doubles. FanGraphs has no record of a year with more bunt doubles. One was pulled almost like a line drive. One ...

Read More...
villageidiom Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: bunts, gerardo parra, gifs, nate mclouth, robinson cano

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

Washington Herald, March 3, 1914:

The baseball war soon will be over and the Federals will be in organized baseball, is the rumor being circulated…
...
The plan that will end the war, according to the rumor, is this:

The Federals will abandon their plans for an eight-club league this year, and will drop Chicago and St. Louis, making it a six-club organization for 1914. Charles Weeghman, owner of the Chicago Federal team, will be allowed to purchase the Chicago Cub franchise and Otto Stifel, the ...

Read More...

Joe Poz: Top 50 Contest

Read the link. Even if you don’t officially submit, I’m sure we could have some fun guessing his rankings (set to begin Wednesday).

FYI, 51 was Junior Griffey.

Blastin Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:40 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: rankings

HHS: Who’s On Deck for 3,000 Hits?

Barring major surprises this year, the 2015 season will begin with no active player owning 3,000 hits. That’s not unusual (see end of post), but it naturally makes us wonder who’ll be the next to that milestone. Who do you think has the best shot at 3,000 hits?

Cabrera, 68%

Miggy ranks 10th all-time in hits through age 30, and 14th in hits through 11 seasons. But he still needs 1,005 hits; and of the nine above Cabrera by age 30, only three got 3,000 (with A-Rod hanging fire). Falling ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:55 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Edwin Jackson eager to put 18-loss season behind him

Kill the Edwin–loss record.

It’s hard to imagine a Cubs player more irritated by Saturday’s two rained-out exhibition games than pitcher Edwin Jackson, whose spring debut got postponed to Sunday.

“When you have a [expletive] season, naturally, as an athlete and a competitor, you want to come back and play the way you know how to play,” Jackson said.

The sooner the better.

“Clearly, I don’t think I’m an 18-game-losing pitcher,” said Jackson, who was among the worst starting ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sunday, March 02, 2014

CBS: Ichiro, 40, wants to play ‘many’ more seasons after 2014

As Steven Taffy Wright once said…“I intend to play forever. So far, so good.”

Despite being pushed into a part-time role at age 40, Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is not planning to retire after the season or anytime soon for that matter. Here’s what he told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:

  “Retirement from baseball is something I haven’t even thought about,” he said.

  Asked how many more seasons he thought he could play, Ichiro laughed. “Not just a few,” he said. “Many. For ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:39 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Fay: Billy Hamilton should be upgrade in center

But defensively, we’re not talking about potential. He should be a major upgrade over Shin-Soo Choo in center field. After the two-error game in St. Louis, Choo caught everything he got to. But he didn’t get to a lot of balls because of his lack of speed.

According to fangraphs.com, Choo was the worst center fielder in Major League Baseball in terms of Ultimate Zone Rating at -16.1. Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez was the best at 26.4. A rating of 0.0 is considered average. Hamilton should be ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 04:33 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, sabermetrics

Gammons: As team chemistry grows, Rays positioned for great season

Mourning Joe…Dillon.

The texts lit up Matt Silverman’s phone before 7 am Wednesday, when Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist asked a guest for a ground hog World Series prediction and the first two words of the answer were “Tampa Bay.” The Rays president knows that February promises won’t get a ballpark built or even a profit turned, but that “it’s good for people to be reminded what this team has done in this division, in this market and with our payroll.”

“People need to be ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

OT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014

Lots of great games this month and a lot of good mid-week action. Make or break time for Arsenal, Barcelona and Napoli.

March 5th: Ukraine vs USA
March 8th: Seattle vs Sporting KC as MLS gets started, Chelsea vs Tottenham, Arsenal vs Everton in the Cup
March 9th: Man City vs Wigan in the Cup and in Italy Juventus begin have the first of their three battles in the span of two weeks and Napoli host Roma
March 10th: CONCACAF CL begins with Alajuense taking on Arabe Unido. Feel the excitement! ...Read More...

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM | 1048 comment(s)
  Beats: soccer

Heyman: Cano offers ideas to aid Mariners in quest to round out roster

Robbie the Reboot.

The Seattle Mariners made some big improvements this winter but appear to have left themselves with some obvious holes as well. The biggest enhancement, of course, was signing superstar second baseman Robinson Cano, who brings the middle-of-the-order impact bat the team craved, and also maybe just a few more opinions and a little more assertiveness than is recalled from his many years in New York.

Cano, by all accounts, is thoroughly enjoying his first days inside a lively ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:58 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Soderholm-Difatte: Derek Jeter in Shortstop Perspective

By the year 2000, even though he had been a full-time regular for only as long as Jeter (since 1996), there were already advocates for A-Rod staking a claim to being perhaps the best player ever once the final chapter of his career was written.  Little did anyone know then that so many chapters in A-Rod’s epic saga would be sordid and career-diminishing.  And Nomar was the model of consistency at better than an All-Star level of performance from 1997 to 2003, averaging between 6.1 and 7.4 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, yankees

Mark Trumbo may bat in lower half of lineup, manager Kirk Gibson says

As my old polidented coach Mickey McGripe used to say…“Son, you’re my second cleanup hitter. You’re hitting 8th.”

And while the presumption is that the team acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in order to give Goldschmidt lineup protection, that may not necessarily be the case.

“I just think that we have a pretty solid lineup regardless of who we put behind (Goldschmidt),” Gibson said. “There’s going to be a lot of protection. As far as the lineup construction ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:32 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dbacks

Saturday, March 01, 2014

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - March 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: whether civilization peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the reign of Jimmy Carter.

The District Attorney Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 789 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

NY Post: Mets’ camp has that ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling

This week Bovada.lv revealed its over/under win total for the Mets at 73.5 and — lo and behold — not long after that it was leaked publicly that general manager Sandy Alderson had gathered the team’s movers and shakers and insisted the Mets possessed 90-win potential. The team’s patriarch, Fred Wilpon, weighed in with (a threat? an inspiration? a prod?) — “we better win 90.”

Now is a good time for a recent history lesson: In 2010, Bovada pegged the Mets at 81.5, the Mets said ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: March 01, 2014 at 05:39 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Leitch: Reynolds and Verducci bring new voices to FOX MLB broadcasts

The Reynolds Effect…a dimensionless quantity? We shall see.

Reynolds and Verducci seem chosen specifically to erase all lingering McCarverism. First off, each of them are 20 years younger than McCarver; Reynolds is 53, Verducci 47. They at least carry the aura of youth—they’re youthish—which will come in handy in making people forget McCarver. They’re also both very likable guys who are new enough in the business that they’ve shown they’re willing to adjust and change depending on what’s asked ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 02:57 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics

Newman: MLBAM introduces new way to analyze every play

boom! (Eye Test) ~ BOOM! (Actual Measurement)

Baseball is a game of inches, and those inches will be measured in a brand new way.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media on Saturday introduced a revolutionary plan for in-ballpark infrastructure designed to provide the first complete and reliable measurement of every play on the field and answer previously unanswerable analytics questions.

The announcement was made by MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman at the eighth annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

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