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Monday, February 02, 2015

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #11 — Billy Beane

Michael Lewis’s 2003 book Moneyball depicted Billy Beane as the leading figure in the spread of analytics (more broadly: the use of data and evidence) in baseball management.  Twelve years later all front offices combine analytics and scouting, and the dwindling number of people who decry this revolution have tended to blame Beane and like-minded GMs, while those who applaud it have treated Beane like their heroic surrogate.  His ranking here would indicate that we believe the introduction of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:42 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #12 — Sandy Alderson

Sandy Alderson’s three pennants and one World Series championship, while a first-rate achievement, may not be quite enough to justify his ranking at number twelve.  But Alderson’s place in history is enhanced by two considerations: he was the first modern GM to actively introduce analytics, though rudimentary by current standards, into a team’s decision making, and he was the first young executive of the modern era hired to run a major league team’s baseball operations without coming ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #13 — Al Campanis

Were we to give Al Campanis credit for all his accomplishments in baseball operations, he would rank much higher than this, perhaps in the top five.  Among other things, he was a legendary scout, a brilliant scouting director, and one of baseball’s most influential instructors.  He did this over a two decade career with the Dodgers before assuming control of the baseball team in late 1968.  For this exercise, we will ignore all of that and consider his years as GM (1969-1987) when he won four ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:39 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #10 — Frank Cashen

Frank Cashen had two stints running a big league baseball operation.  In his first job he oversaw a budding great team as president and later kept it contending in the GM role as well. At his second stop he took over a long struggling franchise that needed a complete transformation.  He succeeded at these two opposite challenges masterfully, meriting his status as one baseball’s best baseball ops executives.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

Vote now for 2015 SABR Analytics Conference Research Award winners | SABR

Make your vote!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Alex Gordon plans to take things slow as he returns to Royals from wrist surgery | The KC Star

An update about Alex Gordon’s wrist.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-2-2015

Pittsburgh Press, February 2, 1915:

Today is the thirty-ninth birthday anniversary of the National league. There will be no unusual activity about league headquarters here. Secretary Heydler was not even aware today was the league’s birthday until reminded of it.

Can I put an entire league on the Birthday Team?

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: February 02, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, national league

Sunday Notes: Sappington’s R.O.I., Marlins Mania, R.I.P. Monbo, more | FanGraphs Baseball

More good stuff from David Lauria.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 07:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

It’s time to make designated hitter universal in baseball - Sports - The Boston Globe

A discussion of the DH rule. Also, this tidbit.

Andruw Jones, OF/DH, free agent — After two seasons with Rakuten in Japan, where he hit 26 home runs with 94 RBIs (.845 OPS) and 24 homers with 71 RBIs (.820 OPS), with OBPs of .391 and .394, Jones will be returning to major league baseball. Agent Scott Boras claims there are at least two teams interested in Jones as a DH and/or righthanded platoon player. A 10-time Gold Glove outfielder, Jones would return with 434 homers and 1,289 RBIs.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2015 at 07:38 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

Sunday, February 01, 2015

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - February 2015

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: the never-ending thrill of ranking Major League Baseball executives.

Some people will never forget DeAndre Jordan’s posterizing dunk over Brandon Knight.

For devoted Clippers fan Darrell Camara, it’ll physically stay with him forever after getting a tattoo on his hip of the dunk face Jordan made afterward.

The District Attorney Posted: February 01, 2015 at 02:25 PM | 1165 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

OT - Politics - February 2015:  At This Party, You’d Better Keep It Down.  Arizona Sheriff Known for Toughness Is Allowing Inmates to Watch the Super Bowl

PHOENIX — When the Super Bowl begins Sunday, 70,000 fans will ease into their seats and suites at University of Phoenix Stadium, munch on hot dogs and pizza, and wash them down with soda and beer.

About 15 miles to the south, a few hundred other fans will make do with pink-hued popcorn and sit on metal stools in an enormous room to watch the New England Patriots play the Seattle Seahawks on a flat-panel television mounted to a cinder-block wall.

And according to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who ...

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Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2015 at 10:50 AM | 3244 comment(s)
  Beats: general, get off my lawn


A platoon in right field could render Alex Rodriguez unnecessary - Pinstripe Alley

Brian Cashman has had a very good off-season. He didn’t make a big splash in free agency but he’s made a lot of smart moves. Picking up Garrett Jones is one of them. He’s not a impact guy but he should be a very useful hitter in Yankee Stadium.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2015 at 07:51 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, garrett jones, yankees

Crew remains in market for bullpen help | brewers.com

We are now into the cheap reliever signing period of the off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 01, 2015 at 07:22 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, free agents

Saturday, January 31, 2015

MiLB.com: Mariners Prospect Arrested After ABL Brawl

Bit of a dust up Down Under:

Mariners pitching prospect Troy Scott was arrested in Adelaide on Thursday on an assault charge stemming from an on-field incident during an Australian Baseball League game.‘Scott, a 2013 18th-round Draft pick, allegedly appears on video punching Melbourne designated hitter Kellin Deglan, a Rangers prospect and former first-round pick, during a bench-clearing brawl on Jan. 16. According to a report in The (Adelaide) Advertiser, the punch left Deglan with “facial ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 31, 2015 at 09:33 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, brawls, crime, fights, prospect, questionable decisions

Baseball America: From The BA Archives: The Great Debate

Wow! The one that sorta started it all…the 10-year adversary of the legendary stats-vs-scouts roundtable discussion at Baseball America!

Ten years ago, Alan Schwarz spoke with Eddie Bane, Gary Hughes, Gary Huckabay and Voros McCracken to discuss the risks of high school pitchers, the use of minor league statistics, plate discipline as a tool and much more. BA takes a dive into the archives to present it here.

Repoz Posted: January 31, 2015 at 12:31 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: stats

Where does the Mets’ future lay? A look at the farm system and prospects | NJ.com

Paul DePodesta answers a few questions on the Mets farm system.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Cuban infielder Moncada clears government hurdle | MLB.com

OK, where does he sign? I’m guessing the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, yoan moncada

A cut above: Best tools of Top 100 Prospects list | MLB.com

Jim Callis writes about the best tools.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2015 at 06:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Breaking down MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects | MLB.com

Jonathan Mayo breaks down the changes to last year’s list.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2015 at 06:50 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

MLB.com 2015 Prospect Watch | MLB.com

Over the night they have changed the formatting on their list. It’s not an improvement. Nevertheless, here’s MLB.com’s 2015 Top 100 Prospects.

(Here’s a link to the old format.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2015 at 06:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, January 30, 2015

Puig says Cardinals are Dodgers’ biggest adversary

Yasiel Puig is really close with a particular family in Los Angeles, and that family has a 10-year-old Cardinals-loving boy who has made it his mission to exasperate the Dodgers’ eccentric outfielder….

“His mom calls him ‘The Cardinal,’” Puig deadpanned. “We don’t even know his name anymore. … I take him to the stadium, I put the tickets under my name, I introduce him to all of my teammates, and he shows up with a Cardinals shirt. He’s driving me nuts. I can’t win with him. His cousins all ...

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Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 30, 2015 at 09:45 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, yasiel puig

John D’Acquisto Remembers the Late Charlie Williams

When you hear the cliché about the one guy that keeps everybody loose in the clubhouse, that was Charlie. Always cracking wise, always busting chops, always making those around him laugh. Except on the golf course. The boy could flat out swing. At least a four handicap in his day. We all knew he was unbeatable. Didn’t stop some of our teammates from trying to take him down, though. We played a round once during Spring Training, 1973, me, Charlie, our teammate Ronny Bryant, along with Davy ...

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djordan Posted: January 30, 2015 at 11:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: john d'acquisto

Minor League Legend Rocky Bridges Dies at 87

There are minor league legends, and then there was Rocky Bridges. Jim Bouton called Bridges his favorite manager, even though he never played for him. Why? Because Bridges made the game fun for his players.

Bridges was also the man who dubbed Mike Epstein “Superjew” and Greg Minton “Moon Man.”

Bruce Markusen Posted: January 30, 2015 at 08:47 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: colorful characters, deaths, managers, minor leagues

The Rays’ Kind of Fastball | FanGraphs Baseball

More good stuff from Jeff Sullivan.

Last season, Rays pitchers threw 56% of their fastballs at least two and a half feet off the ground, which is approximately the vertical middle of the strike zone. This was the highest rate for any team in baseball. The Nationals finished second, but they’ve also lost prolific high-fastball throwers in Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano. They’ve been open to moving Jordan Zimmermann. The league average, by the way, was a hair under 48%.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-30-2015

A followup on yesterday’s Link of the Day, from the Pittsburgh Press, January 30, 1915:

Two major leagues only will be recognized by the powers of organized baseball so long as the civic laws of the land permit the operation of the national pastime under existing circumstances.
...
A number of promoters of fast minor league clubs evidently have fooled themselves into the idea that their circuit will be granted classification equal to the big two. It is a foolish hope.
...
According to stories ...

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Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: January 30, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, minor leagues

Taking a dip into prospects’ BABIP numbers | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Sam Dykstra helps to make a little extra sense of minor league numbers.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2015 at 07:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, sabermetrics

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut? | mets.com

MLB.com is releasing its Top 100 list tonight. Since they include video, put together a good list, and update their rankings during the season, it’s become one my favorites.

(Sorry about not being able to embed the video. There doesn’t seem to be any way to do it.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2015 at 07:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

BILL JAMES ON FIELDING, PART 7

My locker was back-to-back with Campy’s. I came in one day with a New York paper and showed Campy the box score. “This says Erskine losing pitcher,” I said. “Shouldn’t it say Campanella losing catcher?” He just smiled and said, “You can always shake me off.” But if you shook off Campy, you had to explain it to Walter Alston, the manager.

cardsfanboy Posted: January 30, 2015 at 04:21 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Omar Minaya to leave San Diego Padres, join MLBPA as special adviser

The former New York Mets general manager left his job as senior vice president of the San Diego Padres on Thursday to become a special adviser to Major League Baseball Players Association head Tony Clark.

Minaya will focus on international affairs and game development in the U.S., including amateur ball. The number of Dominican and Cuban players in the major leagues has increased, and management hopes to get agreement on an international draft in the collective bargaining agreement that ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: January 29, 2015 at 09:19 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, padres

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