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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bearing the Glory: The Tragedy of Jackie Robinson’s 1949 MVP Award

Here’s a story about Jackie Robinson that you may not have heard. It seems a small thing, a footnote in this man’s monumental life and legacy. But it’s telling, so it’s worth telling.

gehrig97 Posted: February 11, 2018 at 05:46 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, jackie robinson, mvp, race in baseball

Medium: The System was a Steroid: Race, Performance Enhancement and the Baseball Hall of Fame

Confronted with the argument that maybe Williams, DiMaggio, and especially Babe Ruth wouldn’t have been as good had they been required to play against black players, most fall back on the argument that Bonds, Clemens and their steroid-enhanced contemporaries broke the rules, while Ruth and company merely played within the boundaries of the rules as they existed at the time.

In other words, while shameful, segregation was “just the way it was.” The implicit argument here is that we ...

DanG Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:30 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, barry bonds, color line, hall of fame, peds, racism, roger clemens

Yankees’ biggest challenge isn’t going to be on field | New York Post

It’s nice seeing the words “Spring Training” appearing all over.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, yankees

Rockies’ rotation, led by ace Jon Gray, could be best in franchise history

Hope in Colorado.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:02 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

How did Erik Neander end up running the Rays? Well, it’s interesting …

“I describe Erik’s approach to baseball as obsessively curious, and he’s helped many of us look at the game through a more complete lens. His passion and creativity touch every branch of the department, and he possesses a constant need to seek new and more information.  He’s essentially self-taught, and has a detailed understanding of every role, from scout to analyst.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:55 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: erik neander, general managers, rays

Sunday Notes: Taylor Hearn and the Tale of the Black Rodeo Cowboys | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest includes the following curious comparison:

Eric Hosmer has been a bit of a lightning rod this winter. The free agent first baseman is coming off a strong season, yet plenty of pundits are less than enamored with his offensive profile. Couple the launch angle revolution with an increased acceptance of strikeouts, and Hosmer has become, in the eyes of his detractors, somewhat of a square peg in a round hole.

Would the former (and perhaps future) Kansas City Royal be looked ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Why Steven Matz believes health won’t be an issue this season | New York Post

“I feel really good this season,’’ Matz said with conviction after his bullpen session.

To fix this latest problem Matz said, “They moved the nerve over, they take it out of the groove and they sew it down, basically they moved it out of the way.’’

Here is the good news for Matz: His good friend Jacob deGrom had the surgery in 2016 and so did Hall of Fame right-hander John Smoltz during his career. So this could be a turnaround deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Inside Baseball | No End In Sight To Baseball’s Messy Winter

$500 million is a complete fantasy.

Speculation is, maybe MLB doesn’t want talk of a $500 million contract, which first appeared on FanRag about Bryce Harper, who along with Manny Machado heads next year’s once-in-a-generation free-agent class (for now). Maybe they want Giancarlo Stanton to remain the record-holder, the agents suggest.

Edit: Didn’t Frazier say he wanted to stay in New York? If that was truly his preference, this would explain why the Mets got a hometown discount.

Many GMs ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 09:56 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency

Saturday, February 10, 2018

PopSci: No one told Babe Ruth he had cancer, but his death changed the way we fight it

For half a century, doctors believed that Ruth had cancer in his larynx, which grows from the voice box in the throat. The hoarse speech, as well as Ruth’s prolific consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, supported this theory. But by evaluating Ruth’s private autopsy reports, Bikhazi showed that Ruth actually had nasopharyngeal cancer, a rare illness that starts behind the nose. More than 70 years after his death, the distinction might seem minor, but the takeaway is staggering: Ruth, ...

Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 10, 2018 at 11:03 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth

Yu Darvish signs with Cubs |

Darvish turns 32 in August.

Darvish and the Cubs agreed to a six-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the right-hander $126 million, two sources told’s Jon Paul Morosi and Carrie Muskat. The Cubs could not immediately confirm the signing because it was pending a physical exam.

Darvish’s $126 million contract would be the largest free-agent deal so far this offseason. Sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the contract includes incentives that could push its total value to ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 06:09 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, yu darvish

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | What Is Red Sox’s Backup Plan?

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:42 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Dominic Smith is in the best shape of his life

You think you’ve ingested (or written, in my case) enough spring-training “Best shape of my life” stories to last several lifetimes. That you’d rather see Tony Clark and Rob Manfred exchange nonsensical statements about the dormant free-agent market than listen to one more ballplayer tell you about his life-changing winter.

You need to give these tales of reformation and reinvention another chance.

You must watch Dominic Smith execute a perfect pop-up slide.

“I feel more athletic ...

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 10, 2018 at 12:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, mets

Friday, February 09, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-9-2018

Chicago Eagle, February 9, 1918:

“Baseballs and bats are useless toys,” is the dictum pronounced by the Italian customs authorities in placing a ban on the importation of these articles for Americans in Italy.

Recently the Americans purchased the few baseballs available [in Italy] and then ordered more from the United States. There also is a shortage of bats.

Thomas N. Page, the American ambassador, has been petitioned to secure an exemption of baseball equipment from the recently enacted law ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Cubs need to score runs to win!

What else is there to talk about? I’ll note that in scoring, the Cubs were #2 NL in 2nd half 2016, #2 for all of 2017 (Colorado) and #1 (by a lot) for 2nd half 2017. I’d love even more but more of the same is fine with me.

Walt Davis Posted: February 08, 2018 at 08:58 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, the unbearable lightness of the 2017-18 offseason

Gregory Polanco will be in the best shape of his life ...

A pretty good article on Polanco’s offseason regimen.

Brian Posted: February 08, 2018 at 07:00 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pittsburgh pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-8-2018

El Paso Herald, February 8, 1918:

When the eastern league gets to the point where it will really decide whether it will operate or suspend in the coming baseball season, perhaps the first matter which will receive its consideration is the suggestion of manager Jack Mack, of the [Worcester] Boosters, that the teams be cut to 13 players.

Such action will give every team in the league two backstops and four pitchers, which manager Mack thinks ought to be all any team might ask to have.

I think his ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 09:46 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Adalberto Mejia: High Floor or More? - Minnesota Twins - Articles - Homepage - Twins Daily

Adalberto Mejia under the sabermetric microscope.

Finally, it’s interesting to note exactly when Mejia got himself into his biggest messes on the mound. You might think that a pitcher struggling with control would walk more hitters with men on base, but these situations were actually where Mejia clamped down. His greatest struggles came in low leverage situations in which he had a BB/9 of 5.34, as opposed to 1.29 in high-leverage situations. To put this another way, Mejia had a BB/9 of 5.73 ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2018 at 07:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: adalberto mejia, twins

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Yasiel Puig fired by his agent over a reported behavioral issue

This doesn’t bode well for Puig.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:45 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Albert Pujols’ GIDP record appears unbreakable |

How many extra people will this record put in the seats?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:22 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, angels

Ervin Santana out 10-12 weeks after surgery |

This certainly doesn’t help the Twins.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ervin santana, injuries, twins

Here’s Some Lower-Ranked Prospects We Love

Thank goodness for prospect talk.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 11:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-7-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 7, 1918:


Pitcher’s Claims for Salary Larger Than Cabinet Officer Unreasonable

It has been reported that [Grover Cleveland Alexander] wanted a slice of the money paid for his release and probably would attempt to collect it from [Phillies President William Baker]. This was knocked in the head, however, when Baker declined to do anything and Charley Weeghman, head of the Chicago club, was approached instead.
... ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 07, 2018 at 10:02 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Latest On Red Sox, J.D. Martinez - MLB Trade Rumors

Yeah, right.

The staredown between J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox doesn’t appear to be all that close to ending. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston spoke to agent Scott Boras Tuesday evening, with Boras making clear that his client is willing to wait until after the start of Spring Training to sign a contract. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that Martinez has become “fed up” with the lack of flexibility on Boston’s part and may actually prefer to ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:28 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, j.d. martinez

Heyman | Boras Sees Too Much Of Past In Current State Of MLB

This is just bluster. First, the offers have been in the press. Second, as MLB gets complaints by the Players’ Association it needs the ability to verify whether the claims are true or not. Third, just like MLBPA and the agents have the right to take their case to the public, so does MLB.

Boras stopped short of using the word “collusion,” but took issue with MLB revealing in its statement of response that “some” nine-figure ($100+ million) offers have been turned down. The 1987 case won ...

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 09:13 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, collusion, free agents

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2018

Ogden Standard, February 6, 1918:

[Ketchikan, Alaska] claims a unique baseball diamond. When baseball players of this southern Alaska city schedule games they always take tide conditions into consideration for the park is built on the flats below the city and at high tide the playing ground and lower seats of the grand stand are under water…Long games are often called on account of rising tides.

I imagine they had their own version of the Baltimore chop, hit sharply downward so the ball gets ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 06, 2018 at 11:08 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, February 05, 2018

Mets pull Todd Frazier out of free agency for $17M

The Mets agreed to a deal with the veteran Frazier on Monday night for two years and $17 million, The Post’s Mike Puma confirmed. Frazier played the end of last season in The Bronx, after the Yankees acquired him in a multi-player trade with the White Sox.

The Yankees and Mets had each expressed interest in Frazier this offseason, with depth needed at the third-base position. The addition of Frazier means the Mets can play Asdrubal Cabrera at second, the position he recently told The ...

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 05, 2018 at 09:57 PM | 189 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, todd frazier

Baseball Prospectus: 2018 Prospects: The Top 101

1. Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
2. Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
3. Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees
4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
5. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
6. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
7. Nick Senzel, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
8. Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
9. Fernando Tatis, Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
10. Forrest Whitley, RHP, Houston Astros

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2018 at 02:38 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

2018 Top 100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball

Rk Name Team Age Position FV Variance
1 Shohei Ohtani LAA 23 RHP/RF 70 Low
2 Ronald Acuna ATL 20 CF 65 Low
3 Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. TOR 18 1B 65 Low
4 Victor Robles WAS 20 CF 65 Low
5 Fernando Tatis, Jr. SD 19 3B 65 Med
6 Eloy Jimenez CHW 20 RF 65 Med
7 Nick Senzel CIN 21 3B 60 Low
8 Forrest Whitley HOU 20 RHP 60 Med
9 Bo Bichette TOR 19 2B 60 Med
10 Kyle Tucker HOU 21 RF 60 Low

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2018 at 02:36 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

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