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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Royals acquire outfielder/catcher Peter O’Brien in trade with Arizona

“We’ve always liked his ability to hit with power,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said of O’Brien. “He’s got a couple of options remaining as well. So it fits in line with what we’re trying to do going forward.”

The options mean O’Brien can be stashed in the minor leagues for the next two seasons. A former catcher who has transitioned to the outfield, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound slugger lacks a natural defensive position. But the Royals also view him as a potential flier in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2017 at 10:19 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, peter o'brien, royals

Arizona Diamondbacks sue Maricopa County to explore leaving Chase Field

The Arizona Diamondbacks sued Maricopa County on Tuesday, seeking to break the team’s lease at Chase Field so that it can seek financiers to build a new stadium or renovate the 19-year-old ballpark.

The Diamondbacks’ lease with the county, which owns the stadium, prevents the team from talking with outside groups until 2024, and requires the team to play in its current home until 2028.

The Maricopa County Superior Court lawsuit is the latest twist in a long-running conflict over which party ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2017 at 09:32 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, legal, stadiums

What Statcast spin rate means for fastballs | MLB.com

Although I’d don’t believe it’s possible with the current technology, one stat which would be great to see for pitchers is something that measures the time a hitter gets a clear look at the ball during the pitcher’s delivery. Everybody who has played knows batters get better looks at some pitchers more than others. To me this is the last important piece of the pitching puzzle that needs to be measured to quantify a pitcher’s stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2017 at 04:38 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-3-2017

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, January 3, 1917:

That certain baseball magnates are considering a plan to utilize their ball parks for professional football and to back financially a league of national proportions next fall is the report brought here from Detroit.
...
The plan involves the organization of a league along the lines of professional baseball…Among the cities mentioned as prospective members of the new league are Chicago, New York, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 03, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, football, history

Phillies Nation: The Carson Wentz-Mike Trout friendship means …

... absolutely nothing. But, hey, a fandom can dream… and it was a very cool moment.

Okay. Calm down. Trout was, again, at the Eagles game on Sunday (they beat the Cowboys … yay). And Carson Wentz threw a touchdown pass to Zach Ertz to give the Birds the lead. And then, after throwing that pass, Wentz handed the ball to … oh boy … yup … to Mike Trout.

eddieot Posted: January 03, 2017 at 08:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout, phillies, carson wentz

Charlie Comiskey

This story by Harvey T. Woodruff, originally headed “Comiskey Plans World Tour,” ran in the Chicago Tribune in 1913. It is of less interest for its headline event than for its profile of one of the most revered, later reviled, and most recently revised life stories in baseball history, that of Charles A. Comiskey, founding owner of today’s Chicago White Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2017 at 08:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie comiskey, history

Starting pitching key to success over bullpen | MLB.com

You can’t win in the playoffs if you don’t get there.

And durable rotations have been a key to success.

In the past 21 years, 74 of the 178 teams that advance to the postseason had at least four starting pitchers work at least 162 innings, including nine World Series champions and 21 of the 42 teams that reached the World Series.

The Cubs quintet of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel reinforced that over the course of the 2016 regular season.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2017 at 08:22 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: strategy

Gray, Paxton among 2017 breakout pitchers | MLB.com

Mark these names down for your drafts.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2017 at 08:20 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchers

Monday, January 02, 2017

New York Mets prospects Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith are rising through the ranks | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Shortstop—Amed Rosario, St. Lucie (66 games), Binghamton (54 games): Despite being three years younger than the average position player at Double-A, Rosario flashed signs of being a future franchise cornerstone in 2016.

“Going back to last year when he was with us for the playoffs, I was impressed with his approach at the plate,” Lopez said. “Then this season, there was a big improvement in how he put together his at-bats. He did not miss a beat this season.”

After a wonderful start to the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2017 at 07:40 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, prospects

Peter Gammons: The Hall of Fame ballot - GammonsDaily.com

Peter discusses his ballot.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2017 at 02:56 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Greg Allen, Francisco Mejia keep Cleveland Indians strong after trades | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Catcher—Francisco Mejia, Lynchburg (42 games), Lake County (60 games): Already one of Cleveland’s most talked-about prospects, the 20-year-old entrenched himself in the Minor League record book with a 50-game hitting streak in 2016. In just his fourth professional season, Mejia sported a slash line of .342/.382/.514 with 11 homers and 80 RBIs in 102 games while improving his defense all the while.

“He certainly put his name out there, didn’t he?” Hawkins said. “Not just by his numbers or the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 02, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, prospects

OTP: 2 January 2017: In a world of 24-7 entertainment, art, sport and politics are the poorer

Entertainment once hummed along creating the background noise of our lives. Nowadays, it has come to the foreground. We live in “sensurround”, surrounded by billions of bits of information – audio, visual, graphic, factual, fictional – all distributed on algorithmically generated social media formats, played on gadgets of ever-decreasing size laid over traditional platforms like radio, television and cinema.

Over the last decade, all manner of gimmickry and novelty has been rolled out ...

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BDC Posted: January 02, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 1809 comment(s)
  Beats: art, cricket, media, politics

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Meet the MiPS: The Mets are gonna be good in 2017—just ask them

“The fact that we’re all kind of like a tight-knit brotherhood within ourselves, we’re always rooting for one another,” Syndergaard told reporters last week. “We’ve got a really good camaraderie.”

So what if they’ve, ya know, never actually pitched together in one complete turn of the rotation. Like, ever. All that matters is that they love each other like five brothers from another mother. Mind you, chemistry isn’t the only thing the Mets starters have going for themselves. To hear them tell ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 01, 2017 at 12:55 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Question: What Would We Name the Team Today?

New York Mets

It began as the Metropolitan Baseball Club. In the 1880s, newspapers listed the team as the Metropolitans as a way to distinguish it from the neighboring New Yorks. The name Metropolitans then sat unused for nearly a century until New York’s 1962 expansion team, replacing the departed Giants and Dodgers, revived it.

WWWNTTT: Any name we might consider for the Yankees, we might also for the Mets. Well, not any name. We couldn’t call them the Empires. The Yankees are the Evil ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 01, 2017 at 11:43 AM | 143 comment(s)
  Beats: team names

Sunday Notes: HoF Balloting, Managers, Pitchers Hitting, Spud, more | FanGraphs Baseball

While I agree that voters might be influenced by early voting, they are also influenced by a great deal of things, including the direct promotion of candidates. In the whole scheme of things, the impact of early voting seems like a small issue.

More and more writers are making their ballots public well in advance of the January announcement, and they are being scrutinized ad infinitum on social media. While mostly a good thing, this could unduly influence a small yet meaningful percentage of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, notes

Murray Chass On Baseball » ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE SILLY SEASON

Murray Chass was once a great baseball reporter. He has devolved into a self-parody.

The Internet is responsible for this sort of inane behavior. It is free to all and allows all to behave like mentally deficient jerks. I had initially planned on disclosing and discussing my Hall of Fame ballot in this column, but those MDJ’s will have to wait, if I ever reveal it at all.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: cranky old man, hall of fame

Ring in the New Year with resolutions for all 30 Major League teams | MLB.com

Happy New Year to you and your families!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 09:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: holidays

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Boston Red Sox Top 20 prospects for 2017 - Minor League Ball

John Sickels breaks down the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 07:10 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects reports

Electing Selig shouldn’t sway voters in Hall full of contradictions | New York Post

There is plenty of crying in baseball.

This is just how it is. We should stop looking for perfect easy outs, formulas that are never coming, the 100 percent of applause of those judging us. If you receive the honor of getting a Hall of Fame vote, work hard on it, apply what you value and — remember — there is no crying in baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox may regret passing on Jose Bautista

The Boston Sunday Globe baseball notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:26 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Friday, December 30, 2016

Next Year’s Free-Agent Hitters Offer More of the Same | FanGraphs Baseball

MLB GMs are evaluating players very similarly now. It’s not a coincidence they aren’t willing to pay the glut of hitters excessively.

Overall, next year’s class is probably slightly better for position players. Cain, Frazier, Lucroy, and Moustakas — along with Hosmer, Martinez, and Santana — present more upside and production than Bautista, Cespedes, Encarnacion, Fowler, Reddick, and Turner. After this year’s deep freeze in free agency — perhaps complicated by CBA negotiations — we ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2016 at 07:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2016

Chicago Eagle, December 30, 1916:

Connie Mack was catching for the Pirates in 1893 and he roomed with George Moreland when the team was on the road…One night Moreland entered their hotel room before Mack and dug up the latter’s best catching mitt. He started to cut a hole in the center of it, and was still engaged at this task when Mack came in.

“Hey, George, what are you doing?” asked Mack. This was a natural query for a catcher to spring when seeing his best glove being treated in this ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history

Baseball in the Dark: The Best Players Outside the Spotlight

Who were the best players to toil “in the shadows,” so to speak? Those whose accomplishments far outstripped their fame due to the lack of attention paid to their teams?

gehrig97 Posted: December 30, 2016 at 10:37 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: books, miguel tejada, todd helton

Pipeline Inbox: Comparing Swanson to Jeter | MLB.com

Somewhere out there is a New York writer ready to make this quote, “Dansby Swanson, I watched Derek Jeter. I knew Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter was a friend of mine. Dansby Swanson, you’re no Derek Jeter.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, derek jeter, yankees

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Prospect Debates Liven Up Handbook Season | BaseballAmerica.com

I look forward to reading this book more than any other.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 08:37 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: books, prospects

red sox - Tim Raines was a great player—here’s why I’m not voting him for Hall of Fame - WEEI | John Tomase

Part of the Boston Blowhards, which also includes Shaughnessy and Massarotti. The part about getting respect from people who disagree with his opinion is particularly rich.

But I know I must rise above such pettiness, so I try to put that bias aside and examine each case on its merits. Except with Raines being so borderline for me, I can’t say it didn’t play a role in my final vote. Just being honest. I’m human.
...
I’d just prefer that those who disagree can respect my position, even if it ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2016

Grand Forks Herald, December 29, 1917

Jack Fournier, utility player of the Chicago Americans, has invented an indoor contrivance which he believes will bring back a batting eye, according to a letter received [in Chicago] today.

“I rigged up a batting contrivance in my house,” said the letter, written from Aberdeen, Wash., “and the ball is suspended on a heavy rubber cord. I give the ball a push and then stand in batting position and see how I can drive it. I’ve ruined a perfectly good room ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Renato Nunez Using Winter Ball As Springboard | BaseballAmerica.com

The true secret to his success?

“It makes me feel really good because my grandma, my mom, my cousins . . . everybody is able to watch me play,” Nunez said. “In the minor leagues it’s hard for my family to watch me play. So here, everybody goes to the field and watches me . . . It makes me feel real good.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, prospects, renato nunez

Dave Albee: Climate changing for Baseball Hall Of Fame voting

These newfangled writers need to watch a ball game once in a while. AND GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

I’m not naïve to think that there are people in the Hall of Fame already who cheated or bent the rules. I’m in no space to ride high on the horse of morality into the church of baseball. I’m just trying to pick the very best from a very select group of outstanding players that I actually have seen play and not simply judge them from a WAR/JAWS/WHIP/OPS spread sheet. I study and research their ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thirteen former Red Sox first-rounders, and what scouts had to say at the time

This one includes an off-shoot of the “good face”.

4. Bruce Hurst, lefthanded pitcher
1976, 22d overall selection

Scout: Gordon Lakey.

What he said: “Tremendous natural ability. Premium draft. Mormon religion. Can become above-avg. major league pitcher. Desires to play basketball in JC even if he signs.”

What we say now: Hurst, a star of the 1986 World Series, is tied with Dennis Eckersley for 20th in Red Sox history with 88 wins. One nitpick with the scouting report: Lakey cites ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox, scouting reports

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