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Friday, March 03, 2017

Manager held captive for 36 hours by creepy voice on phone | New York Post

Wally Backman had better be careful before he picks up the telephone.

The former Mets icon is headed to Mexico this summer for a minor league managing gig after an unsightly MLB breakup, and he would be wise to familiarize himself with the harrowing and mysterious tale of a prominent Mexican League manager who went missing this week and said he was terrorized by a voice on the other end of a phone.

Francisco “Paquin” Estrada was found Thursday hours after his team, Bravos de Leon, and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 07:44 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mexican league

Why Mets urgently need to know if the kids can hit | New York Post

Joel Sherman skips a year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 05:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

White Sox Request Release Waivers On Brett Lawrie

In a surprising move, the White Sox announced on Friday that they’ve requested release waivers on infielder Brett Lawrie. Assuming Lawrie clears waivers — a fair bet, given his $3.5MM salary for the 2017 season — he’ll become a free agent upon clearing in 48 hours. The Sox, it should be noted, won’t be on the hook for the entirety of that salary. Arbitration contracts aren’t fully guaranteed until Opening Day, so the Sox will only be on the hook for about one-sixth of that salary ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2017 at 01:32 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: brett lawrie, white sox

Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang gets suspended 2-year jail term for crash

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang received a suspended two-year prison sentence for fleeing the scene after crashing a car into a guardrail while driving under the influence of alcohol.

The sentence handed down Friday by the Seoul Central District Court was a heavier punishment than the 15 million won ($13,000) fine prosecutors had sought, but still clears the 29-year-old Kang to join the Pirates for the baseball season.

“I am sorry, and I am repenting a lot,” Kang said after the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2017 at 10:32 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: dui, jung-ho kang, police blotter

In his twilight, Bud Selig won’t alter his version of history

.About 15 minutes before class, the professor sits down in an office a few doors from Room 550 at Arizona State University’s law school, where he will commence a two-hour lecture titled, “The Power of the Commissioner.”

The twin slivers of clear wire curl a hearing aid into each of his ears. They’re a reminder that despite his eagerness to address the volumes of questions from the class, Bud Selig—who sold Joe Torre his first car in the late 1950s, tried to lure the White Sox to Milwaukee in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2017 at 10:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig

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

Fairmont West Virginian, March 3, 1917:

When [Indians owner Jim] Dunn announced that he had paid $15,000 for Joe Wood the baseball world gasped, because it was the greatest gamble that had ever been made in the game. With Wood’s first year’s salary the gamble amounts to $20,000.
...
And Dunn, or his manager, Lee Fohl, or Joe Wood himself can’t tell whether Joe Wood will be the “Smoky Joe” of old, or even whether his pitching arm which went back on him two seasons ago will be able to stand the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 03, 2017 at 10:14 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, smoky joe wood

Heyman: Verlander says ‘test me every day’

Justin Verlander, who’s probably the most ardent hardliner for the strongest drug testing possible, said, “Test me every day.” And he’s not kidding. He’d like to see every player tested upon entrance to the clubhouse each day.

MLB has beefed up its testing considerably, but an everyday test would be unprecedented. It’s also probably unlikely, but Verlander sees it as the best kind of deterrent against illegal drug taking.

“I’m passionate about it,” Verlander said in an ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2017 at 09:06 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, peds

10 Spring Training overreactions (that might be legit). | Sports on Earth

Some good stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 08:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Inside Baseball With Jon Heyman: Predicting Harper’s Market Early

Guessing Bryce Harper’s future.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2017 at 08:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, notes

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Aaron Nola passes the first of many tests 7 months after elbow injury | CSN Philly

Positive news for Phillies fans.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-2-2017

Bismarck Tribune, March 2, 1917:

Following the most sensational performance in baseball pitching fandom this year will closely scrutinize the work of Ferd Schupp, Giant phenom, to see if his record of last year was the preface to a wonderful pitching career or a flash in the pan.

Schupp permitted .90 runs per game working in 140 innings, 15 full games.
...
Schupp could not be expected to go through the 1917 season with such a pitching record, but with a scoring team even if he should allow 20 ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 01:01 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, ferd schupp, history

MLB, MLBPA officially announce pace of play changes for 2017

According to an official statement released by the league on Thursday morning, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have agreed to a slew of modifications that have been approved to begin at the start of the 2017 regular season. In doing so, both parties are hoping that the changes will increase the pace of play of the game going forward.

Below is the full list of implementations that will go into effect next month, as announced by the league on Thursday ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 11:18 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, rule changes

Atlanta Braves still considering 8-man bullpen | MLB.com

Insane.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 10:01 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

David Price elbow soreness, MRI has him sidelined

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price had an MRI on his sore left elbow and will miss his next start, according to Jim Bowden on Twitter, who reports that BoSox manager John Farrell says they are “concerned” due to the soreness being “more than in [the] past.”

If Price’s elbow issues are serious, it could have a significant impact in the American League East, where Boston is currently the favorite, in no small part due to the combination of Price and Chris Sale at the top of their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:59 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, red sox

Phillies prospect Moniak showing maturity | MLB.com

It’s Mickey Moniak Day in all the Philly rags.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mickey moniak, phillies

Jake Diekman’s inspiring story beyond baseball | MLB.com

I know a few people who suffer with this. I really feel for the guy.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jake diekman

Inside the complete overhaul of Jason Heyward’s struggling swing | FOX Sports

“He may be better than (he ever) was,” Mallee said. “I’m very happy for him. His mind is in the right place. He has done a lot of mental stuff. It’s really special what he has put into this.”

Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, agreed.

“I’ve never seen a veteran player work as much as Jason did this winter, let alone right after winning a World Series and having already signed a long-term deal,” Epstein said. “It shows how much he cares, his ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Fennelly: Why Rays’ pitching is overrated … for now | Tampa Bay Times

So, for now, it’s overrated.

“Until we put together a season collectively, until we all have that year as a group and we’re playing in the playoffs,” Cobb said. “It’s about the pitching. It’s on us. I’ve always enjoyed embracing that. Because we do get a lot of credit. With that comes pressure. It’s how we deal with it.”

“Just as long as we’re ourselves, we’re fine,” Archer said. “Only time will tell. I’ve said that about the team in general. I can’t tell you whether we’re underrated or ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

OT: March-April 2017 Soccer Thread

March is coming in a lot more like a lamb in my neck of the woods than nursery rhymes would suggest, and the same is true at the top of the Premier League. There’s more excitement (of a sort) in the Champions League, and some intrigue at the top end of the table in at least a couple other major European leagues. Plus relegation scraps abound!

Once again, I’m too lazy to bother putting together an interesting fixtures list. My guess is you all don’t really need my help on that front ...

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The Marksist Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 141 comment(s)
  Beats: off-topic, soccer

Timing Is Key For Cuban Outfielder Luis Robert | BaseballAmerica.com

Robert has the talent of a first-round pick if he were in the draft. After he signs, he should be ready for an assignment to a low or high Class A affiliate. He has a strong, lean frame at 6-foot-3 with broad shoulders, a wide back and quick-twitch athleticism. A righthanded hitter with excellent bat speed and a sound swing, Robert has plus power with room to continue filling out and increase that in the future.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, luis robert

Blue Jays sound off on the worst walk-up songs in baseball | Toronto Star

“My teammates one time put the Barney song as my walk up without telling me and I was not happy about it, to say the least,” infielder Darwin Barney said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 06:45 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: walk up music

Blue Jays’ Travis ditches social media to focus on baseball | BLUE JAYS | Baseba

Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, for example, use sites like Twitter to engage fans and get his message out. Travis laughed when asked how difficult it was to put his smart phone down.

“You know what, it’s hard, man. The first couple of weeks or so it was really hard. I would catch myself opening up my phone all the time,” he said.

“But what I found out, I was just opening my phone and I just wanted to be on something. We’ve become such creatures of habit and without that, I feel like I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 02, 2017 at 06:43 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, devon travis

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Matheny on CF prospect Sierra: ‘He’s an electric player’ | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

The Cardinals could use a speedy ball hawk in center again.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2017 at 07:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, magneuris sierra, prospects

‘Game Of Thrones’ Teams With Major League Baseball For Cross Promotions

All men must bunt.

Specific promotional offerings have yet to be determined — and will vary by team. But they’ll include development of collectible and co-branded merchandise, ticket packages, giveaways, theme nights, and social media events.

“We’ve had a longstanding partnership with HBO” whose HBO Now streaming service is powered by MLB’s BAMTech technology platform, says the league’s EVP of Business Noah Garden.

Although MLB and individual teams have staged smaller ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 02:43 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: game of thrones, promotions

Felix Hernandez focused on return to form | MLB.com

“Everybody sees it,” Dipoto said. “His teammates see it. There’s a different fight to Felix. He’s in great shape. And he’s driven in a way that I think is different. I keep telling people, the demise of Felix Hernandez has been greatly exaggerated.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2017 at 02:09 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

OT - March 2017 NBA thread

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, none of bothered to submit a monthly thread to avoid detracting from what this site is really about:  I dunno, baseball, maybe?  Probably politics, but maybe some baseball, too.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:37 AM | 776 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

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

Butte Post, March 1, 1917:

A difference of opinion exists among baseball moguls as to the reason, or reasons, for the falling off in the attendance and the apparent lack of interest in the pastime by America’s great population of sportsmen.

The magnates agree on one point—that there is something radically wrong with baseball…

Dick Kinsella, scout of the New York Americans, says that the movies have hurt baseball. President Navin of Detroit days that motoring is causing many thousands to forget ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 11:02 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: doom, doom and gloom, dugout, history

ESPN, Fox Sports to broadcast on Youtube’s new TV streaming service

This could be huge.

YouTube will offer a new television streaming service online for $35 per month and the package will reportedly include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, Big Ten Network, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and NBC Sports Network, according to Bloomberg.

“YouTube TV includes major sports networks like ESPN and regional sports networks like Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet, so you can watch your favorite NBA or MLB teams,” YouTube said in a press release. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 09:50 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, regional sports networks, streaming

He can do everything: David Ross to compete on ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Now, the world of dance will soon know the full extent of Ross’ athleticism as he will be appearing on the 24th season of the hit reality competition show “Dancing with the Stars.”...

While Ross will be the first baseball player to appear on the show, there has been a connection in the past: Volleyball player Misty May-Treanor, who is married to former big league catcher Matt Treanor, competed on the show after winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Will Ross be the first baseball player ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dancing with the stars, david ross

NY Times: Baseball’s Too Slow. Here’s How You Fix It.

People keep looking for innovative ways to speed up the game, but baseball was played briskly for 100 years, so looking to the past may offer more answers. Specifically, we could look to April 16, 1993, when Mark Hirschbeck, a veteran umpire, decided there was someplace he would rather be than standing behind a catcher in San Francisco’s notoriously chilly Candlestick Park.

With two outs in the ninth inning and one strike against him, Atlanta’s Ron Gant called for time and stepped out of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 01, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play

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