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Sunday, March 26, 2017

What’s a Delill?

A delill is a short bat about 18 inches long that was used in town ball and was wielded with only one hand. As far as I can tell, there is nothing in major league baseball rules that would prohibit using one now (the rules specify maximum length and diameter, but not minimums. I wonder if Pete Gray (one-armed outfielder who played in 1945) and Jim Abbott might have found a delill easier to use than a normal-sized bat?

Hank G. Posted: March 26, 2017 at 02:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball origins, delill, town ball

Tigers release Mark Lowe, who’s still due $5.5M

The Tigers on Sunday unconditionally released the veteran right-handed reliever, whom they still owe $5.5 million.

“It’s never easy when you have to cut players, but Mark Lowe was a particularly tough one for me because I really like the guy,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He was one of the better guys in that clubhouse. He does everything right. We just felt like there were other pitchers at this point who are more deserving.

“It doesn’t mean I don’t wish him well. I like the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2017 at 01:12 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mark lowe, tigers

Mike Trout proposes umpire change

It was during one of those chats with a veteran umpire earlier this spring that Trout offered a thought: As the experienced umpires work their way back into game shape in spring training, just as the players do, why not have them work five or six innings and turn over the last innings to umpires who would normally work minor league games on back fields?

The idea is simple, but has a lot of helpful layers, beyond allowing an older plate umpire a little more time to work into condition in spring ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2017 at 01:00 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mike trout, umpires

Tigers will try to convert OF Anthony Gose to pitcher

Sean Doolittle did it. Kenley Jansen and Jason Motte did it.

The Tigers are going to see if Anthony Gose can do it, too.

Gose, the Tigers’ opening day starting center fielder the last two seasons, was re-assigned to minor league camp Sunday. He will still play outfield wherever he lands in the system this season, but he will also take initial steps to convert to pitcher.

“He came back to us with an idea – something that we had talked about internally and the end of last season,” ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2017 at 12:50 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony gose, pitcher conversions, tigers

Cleveland Indians working on long-term deal with Francisco Lindor, confirms small child

The Cleveland Indians may be working on a seven-year extension for star shortstop Francisco Lindor, a small child confirmed on the team’s live broadcast yesterday.

Ok, that intro sentence sounds a bit off, let me explain. No, I’m not insulting Jordan Bastian by calling him a small — the son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff joined Tom Hamilton in the booth yesterday and he, uh, well, might have broke some news.

After a few minutes of typical adolescent shyness, young Brody ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco lindor, indians, kids, mike chernoff, podcast

Mets lefty Steven Matz to skip next start | MLB.com

This isn’t good.

“It’s worrisome that he continues to be injured off and on,” Alderson said, referring to Matz’s checkered medical history. “That’s the difficulty. We don’t think it’s serious. On the other hand, starting pitchers are relied on every five days. I’m not sure exactly where this is going to take us.”

Matz said he began feeling discomfort even before his last outing, in which he gave up five runs in four innings Wednesday against the Marlins. Examining the left-hander following that ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2017 at 12:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, mets, steven matz


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Brockmire’ Trailer: “Sybaritic Love Letter To Baseball” Says Hank Azaria

IFC’s new comedy Brockmire, debuting Wednesday April 5 at 10 PM, is a “sybaritic love letter to baseball,” star Hank Azaria told TV critics today at TCA.

cardsfanboy Posted: March 25, 2017 at 06:20 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball tv show, hank azariahomer simpson

Sources: Rougned Odor expected to sign multi-year extension with Rangers

Two MLB sources said the Rangers were growing increasingly optimistic they would complete a contract extension for Odor before the end of spring training. The expected six-year deal in the $50-52 million range may only be lacking formalities. It comes on the heels of a much smaller deal for Chirinos, who signed a one-year extension with a club option earlier in the week.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, citing his long-held policy of not commenting on contract negotiations, declined to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2017 at 12:09 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, roughned odor

Dodgers’ pitchers rate well in Statcast metric | MLB.com

Lowest estimated OPS in 2016
.438—Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
.450—Andrew Miller, Yankees/Indians
.456—Zach Britton, Orioles
.471—Grant Dayton, Dodgers
.487—Aroldis Chapman, Yankees/Cubs
.491—Alex Reyes, Cardinals
.508—Shawn Kelley, Nationals
.515—Dellin Betances, Yankees
.517—Kershaw, Dodgers
.526—Seung Hwan Oh, Cardinals

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2017 at 08:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, statcast

Why Travis d’Arnaud should never catch Noah Syndergaard | New York Post

I watched most of yesterday’s day. He’s right; this should never happen again.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard, travis d'arnaud

Twins’ option struggling, ‘overthinking’ J.T. Chargois

Updates on the spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 25, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Friday, March 24, 2017

Heyman: Nationals leaning toward Koda Glover for closer role

Unknown long shot Koda Glover, who has zero major-league saves, emerged as the favorite to win the coveted Nationals closer job, sources suggest. Glover has impressed Nats people with his fastball and moxie — especially his moxie.

“He doesn’t give a (hoot),” one Nats-connected person said, admiringly.


Nationals people are expected to meet within the next three days to discuss the situation, and perhaps solidify things.

There’s still 10 days to go and things can change, but Nats ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 11:24 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: koda glover, nationals

Sources: Indians finalizing four-year extension with Jose Ramirez

Versatile infielder Jose Ramirez and the Cleveland Indians are finalizing a four-year contract extension that will guarantee him upward of $30 million, sources familiar with the deal told Yahoo Sports.

The deal, which includes two club options, will kick in next season and give the Indians control of Ramirez through the 2023 season. If the Indians exercise the options, it could push the value close to $50 million, according to the sources.

The 24-year-old Ramirez is coming off a breakout year ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 10:53 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, jose ramirez

Detroit Tigers’ J.D. Martinez will be out 3-4 more weeks

Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said rightfielder J.D. Martinez will miss 3-4 weeks of baseball activity, starting from Friday, due to a sprained Lisfranc ligament in his right foot. Ausmus also told reporters Martinez is wearing a cast that will be on for 7-10 days.

Ausmus had previously said he was optimistic about the results of two MRIs. Martinez went to Charlotte on Friday to have a stress CT scan performed by Dr. Robert Anderson. That test was used to determine the severity of the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 05:54 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: j.d. martinez

Rays to sign catcher Derek Norris


The Rays are signing free-agent C Derek Norris, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

The deal with Norris, which is pending a physcial, will be for one year, though the Rays could retain control of Norris in 2018 when he’d be eligible for arbitration for a final time. The total value is expected to be worth less than $2-million.

They will have to create space on the 40-man roster once the deal is finalized.

UPDATE, 4:47: The major-league deal is for $1.2-million guaranteed, plus $800,000 in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 05:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: derek norris, rays

Southern hospitality: Braves unveil new SunTrust Park food | FOX Sports

There must be cake.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 100 comment(s)
  Beats: food

Anderson wins spot in Cubs rotation

The world waits with bated breath to see how many starts Anderson actually makes; the over/under has to be, what—10?  (Also, the notion of Kyle Hendricks being the Cubs’ No. 5 starter is fairly absurd.) 

As long as Anderson can remain in the rotation, it’s probably a good thing for the pen to have Montgomery out there, though I like Montgomery’s chances of making more starts than Anderson this year.


Why DFA is the WTF of baseball and how one player fought back

Over the course of 2½ months this winter, Shaffer’s rights belonged to five teams: the Rays, the Mariners, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians. After growing up in Charlotte the star of his youth-league teams, going to Clemson helping lead the Tigers to the College World Series, going 25th overall in the 2012 draft to Tampa Bay and slugging all the way through the minor leagues, the kid who’d never been cut from anything was DFA’d four times in six ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 11:17 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff passan, richie shaffer

Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang reportedly denied visa to enter U.S. after DUI conviction

He’s a bad hombre!

Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang has reportedly been denied a visa to enter the United States following his DUI conviction in South Korea. The Pirates have not confirmed the news.

Kang, who has been arrested three times for DUI in South Korea over the years, was sentenced to eight months in prison earlier this month , though the sentence was suspended two years. That means Kang could avoid prison time entirely if he stays out of trouble the next two years.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: jung-ho kang

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-24-2017

Topeka State Journal, March 24, 1917:

John Couch, a recruit pitcher with the Detroit Americans doesn’t have to worry about the price of potatoes or whether he makes good in the majors.

Couch and his five brothers own a cattle ranch of 16,000 acres in Montana and he is well fixed with the world’s goods. He has been playing ball in the summer and going to Leland Stanford university in the winter.

Couch was never a star in the big leagues, but he made 147 career appearances with a 91 ERA+. He won ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 10:01 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Stu Sternberg: Top choices for Rays new stadium are unavailable

What were the Rays’ top five choices for a new stadium — three in Tampa and two in St. Petersburg — are unavailable. That may push the team’s time line for finding a new site from August to the end of 2017.

“We had some ideas on locations that just weren’t available, that I thought would have worked perfectly, but they’re off the table,’’ Sternberg said before the Rays’ game at their spring training site in Port Charlotte. “So we’re sort of moving down our list to Nos. 2, 3 and 4.”....

As ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, stadium

Heyman: 30 Potential Breakout Players For 2017

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2017 at 06:41 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jake Arrieta Jacks Longest-Ever Measured Dinger By A Pitcher

Jake Arrieta stepped up to the plate for the first time at spring training this afternoon and he promptly picked up where he left off last year, smashing a Zack Greinke pitch 465 feet off into the stands. This is the longest dinger by a pitcher in the Statcast-era. It would have been one of the 25 longest shots of the 2016 MLB season. Look at this dang dong.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2017 at 10:14 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dongs, jake arrieta

Yadier Molina demands apology for Adam Jones’ comments about WBC party plans

Team captain Yadier Molina wants United States outfielder Adam Jones to apologize to Puerto Rico’s players for saying they were planning a postgame party in San Juan before the World Baseball Classic championship game was even played.

Molina made his comments to ESPN’s Marly Rivera during Thursday’s parade in San Juan, less than a day after Jones told MLB Network that Puerto Rico’s postgame plans sounded a little premature and inspired the United States’ dominating 8-0 victory.

Players for ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2017 at 10:10 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, world baseball classic, yadier molina

Fortune magazine crowns Theo Epstein ‘world’s greatest leader’

Theo Epstein is the world’s greatest leader.

So said Fortune magazine, which published its annual list on Thursday morning.

The Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations finished in the top spot, ahead of Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Pope Francis at No. 3, Melinda Gates at No. 4 and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rounded out the top five.

In a text to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Epstein said, “Um, I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house. That is ridiculous. The whole thing is patently ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2017 at 03:18 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, theo epstein

In ratings, buzz, attendance and baseball, the 2017 World Baseball Classic was a huge success

Twenty-four hours later, the U.S. was in the final, facing an undefeated and deeply enjoyable Puerto Rico team. The game wasn’t nearly as close as on Tuesday—Team USA won 8-0—but Marcus Stroman’s six-inning no hitter gave Americans reason to pay attention, and it’s safe to assume the ratings were even better. (UPDATE: MLB Network announced that 2.3 million people watched the final, making it the second most viewed telecast in the network’s history.)

Those two near-perfect nights ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2017 at 02:56 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: television ratings, world baseball classic

Ian Kinsler Performs Damage Control After Racially-Infused Comments

Ian Kinsler came under fire on social media on Wednesday for some suggestive comments he made before the championship game of the World Baseball Classic.

(The United States, led by Kinsler, would go on to beat Puerto Rico, 8-0.)

“I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays,” Kinsler told the New York Times. “That’s not taking anything away from them. That just ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-23-2017

Pittsburgh Press, March 23, 1917:

Manager Robinson has a hard time getting his Brooklyn players to train enough. Yesterday he hit upon a new plan and gave them an “Irishman’s Ride.” What’s that? Well, he invited them all to take a motor ride into the country. Then he made them walk back.

This seems like something that would work once. Once.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 23, 2017 at 10:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Phillies using new drill to help baserunners | MLB.com

Interesting drill. Will the work pay off?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, technology

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