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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Phils’ Rollins, Sandberg yet to talk

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins isn’t sure why he’s been benched by the Philadelphia Phillies and says manager Ryne Sandberg still hasn’t given him an explanation.

Rollins, 35, who has played all 14 of his major league seasons with Philadelphia, was left out of the lineup for Grapefruit League games Tuesday and Wednesday and again is missing from Thursday’s lineup versus the New York Yankees.

Rollins said former manager Charlie Manuel would always talk to him when he wasn’t in the lineup, ...

Read More...
eddieot Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:45 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: old school, phillies, jimmy rollins, ryan sandberg

Dee Gordon reminds some of Maury Wills and that’s good for Dodgers - latimes.com

Maury Wills or Lenny Faedo?

Baseball-Reference’s Similar Batters through 25:
1. Lenny Faedo (976)
2. Angel Sanchez (974)
3. Jim Brideweser (970)
4. Doc Marshall (968)
5. Roxey Roach (965)
6. Ed Montague (962)
7. Harry Decker (961)
8. Ed Rowen (961)
9. Wilson Delgado (958)
10. Ed Busch (958)

Edit: Link fixed. Sorry. JF

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:27 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dee gordon, dodgers, don mattingly, maury wills

The Curved Coin is Coming

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the U.S. Mint has produced the nation’s first-ever curved coin. It’s a commemorative coin, which means it’s not intended for circulation.

Per the U.S. Mint, 750,000 50 cent pieces, 400,000 dollar coins, and 50,000 gold five dollar coins will be made (1.2 million coins in all). Starting March 27, they’ll sell for a good deal more than their face value, with some of that money going to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

eddieot Posted: March 13, 2014 at 03:12 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, giants

Renck: Larry Walker believes chances for Hall of Fame take pair of hits

Dead body counting stats not included.

Walker’s candidacy nosedived this year, his fourth on a crowded Hall of Fame ballot. He received 10.2 percent of the vote, a reflection of the controversy surrounding several former players who used — or are suspected of using — performance-enhancing drugs. Walker said his goal is to remain on the ballot for 15 years. He needs 5 percent to prevent falling off. Playing at Coors Field, where he hit .381 with 154 home runs in 597 games, isn’t helping his ...

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Repoz Posted: March 13, 2014 at 12:49 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, rockies

In the Mets Locker Room, an Old Slur Resurfaces

In the New York Mets locker room Monday morning, I was talking with Jeff Cutler, a 30-year old Japanese American from suburban Boston who serves as the interpreter for Japanese-born pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

We were talking casually about Asian communities in America when we heard a voice behind us.

“Jeff!”

Cutler and I turned around. It was Dan Warthen, the Mets pitching coach.

“I’m sorry I called you a ‘Chinaman’ yesterday,” Warthen told Cutler.


Long: Ervin Santana: The forgotten free agent

It seems reasonable that Santana’s new team can expect him to continue his ground ball tendencies, assuming he keep using his sinker. This is especially important against right-handed batters, as it gives him just enough of a different tool to compliment his fastball and slider. One could even argue that his performance has room for improvement if he mixed in an even greater percentage of sinkers. If Santana mixed in more sinkers, and maybe even matched his fastball usage, the results could ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-13-2014

New York Tribune, March 13, 1914:

The Chinese baseball team of Hawaii, which arrived [in San Francisco]...on the steamer Honolulan, owes its escape from spending the night in the detention station on Angel Island principally to the prowess of En Suey, an outfielder.

The immigration officials were deaf to protest that the players were native born American citizens, that eight were voters and six members of the Hawaiian National Guard. “We’re sorry,” said the officials, “but these men are ...

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Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Are Managers Getting Smarter About Intentional Walks? | FanGraphs Baseball

Without getting incredibly granular, it’s hard to make a mountaintop-worthy announcement that teams are figuring out how to use the intentional walk properly. There’s more research to be done here.We do know that the overall frequency of the IBB is down, which is good. We also know that when they do happen, they are happening in higher-leverage situations than five, ten, or 15 years ago. This is almost certainly good.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:15 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Livan to make retirement official | nationals.com: News

We all knew those Dusty Baker pitch counts would eventually take their toll.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:55 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, livan hernandez, retirement

Blue Jays drafting in the Anthopoulos era

Given the talk about the state of the franchise after the Santana nonsense, here’s another article pointing out some recent failures by the Blue Jays, this time in the draft.

The Blue Jays need to draft and develop talent successfully to drive winning at the major league level.  Alex Anthopoulos adopted this as a core belief and when he was hired as general manager he focused on improving the Jays drafting and player development.  How successful has this new approach been? AA has been on ...

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Paul D(uda) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, draft

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rosenthal: Manny Ramirez, acknowledging mistakes, chases one last chance

Ramirez, in an exclusive telephone interview from Miami on Wednesday with FOX Sports, admitted that he made mistakes using performance-enhancing drugs. But he said he learned from those mistakes, and wants to share those lessons with younger players.

Yes, this was Manny Ramirez talking, talking in a way that he never has before.

“When you make a mistake in life, no matter what you do, you’re going to pay the price,” Ramirez said. “That’s what happened to all of the players that did it. I’m ...

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Repoz Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:10 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Posnanski: The Dutch Leonard Affair

Maximum Poz!

[Tigers owner Frank] Navin and [American League president] Ban Johnson handled the [Dutch] Leonard unpleasantness in a way that will be familiar to everyone who watches political movies or followed the Tony Bosch Biogenesis story — they paid him off… At the end of the season, Ban Johnson told [Ty] Cobb and [Tris] Speaker that they needed to retire…

When the players saw Dutch Leonard’s rather flimsy evidence — two alternately specific and vague letters that did not have any ...

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Pete Rose at Christ’s Church of the Valley

To be interviewed by Senior Pastor, Brian Jones: Cool Calm and Collection Basket.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Rose’s banishment from the game as well as the 10th anniversary of his admission of guilt. Yet, while players who took performance-enhancing drugs have been welcomed back to the game, Pete still remains an outcast. As someone who preaches weekly about the need for “second chances,” Brian Jones believes that it’s time Pete was offered one.

“We’ve all made ...

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Repoz Posted: March 12, 2014 at 04:57 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Tanaka and the Science Guy

John Brenkus examines two of Masahiro Tanaka’s best pitches.

attaboy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 03:26 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, masahiro tanaka, pitching mechanics, science

Astros release Brett Wallace

KISSIMMEE, Fla.—The Houston Astros gave infielder Brett Wallace his unconditional release on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Wallace played with the Astros for four years, mostly at first base and also at third base. He played in 79 games last season, batting .221 with 13 home runs. In eight games this spring, Wallace was 2-for-14 with eight strikeouts.

That leaves first basemen Chris Carter and rookie Jon Singleton on the roster. The Astros have 51 players remaining in camp, including 16 ...

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attaboy Posted: March 12, 2014 at 02:43 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, general

Great Expectations, Great Variations «

Jonah Keri checks in from spring training.

Every team wants to develop its own Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. Not every team tries to do that in the same way, however. To better understand baseball’s competing prospect philosophies, we hit the spring training circuit.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, rays, red sox, spring training, twins

Red Sox spring training progress report: Updates and observations - Sports - The Boston Globe

Spring training tidbits from Red Sox spring training.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:46 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

How Pitch Location Affects Caught Stealing Percentage

Sometimes sabermetrics just confirms what we already know.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: catching, fielding, sabermetrics

A “brief” history of star-crossed players, Part II - Beyond the Box Score

Will Oscar Taveras end up on this list someday?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 09:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Taveras still out, probably won’t make team

Prized outfield prospect Oscar Taveras, who had right ankle surgery last season, is sidelined indefinitely with a tight hamstring in the same leg. And Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Taveras won’t come north with the team if he can’t show he can be 100 percent and play appreciably by the end of camp in just more than two weeks, which seems unlikely.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:59 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, oscar taveras

Braves agree to terms with Ervin Santana to one-year deal | MLB.com

It will be interesting to see the contract dollars. I suspect Ervin was wise to wait.



Edit: John Heyman reports the contract is $14.1MM. I guess he just breaks even.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:57 AM | 204 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, ervin santana

Who Will Be The Best Defenders in 2014? | Bill James Online

BIS gets out the crystal ball.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2014 at 08:55 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bis, defense, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-12-2014

Frank Chance on the essential qualities of a good ballplayer, from the Toledo News-Bee, March 12, 1914:

Clean living is the first essential for a ball player…Be moderate in your smoking, don’t drink and go to bed early.
...
Get all the education you can. That is as necessary for a ball player as for a doctor or lawyer. The best students make the best ball players.

Natural ability is a most valuable asset for a ball player. Few players without natural ability ever develop into professionals and ...

Read More...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Perry: VIDEO: Call overturned by new replay system for first time

Clip lasts 3:35 and as far as I know it’s still going on. 5 times they show the play…enjoy your extended NFL season.

It’s the Angels and Mariners, it’s an out call at second base reviewed under the new expanded replay system. But wait! That’s not all ...

...Let the historical record show that the new replay system has officially yielded fruit. Here’s the word from on high ..

...Let us first release balloons and then build a monument in the town square: for on this day, history hath been ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:57 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: replay, zzzzz

Royals mascot welcomes Mr. Met to Twitter by hitting on his wife

Statements about “the greatest mascot in sports” do not necessarily represent the opinion of this author.

Mascots playfully taunting one another — on the Internet and in real life — is hardly new. But in an effort to “welcome” the greatest mascot in sports to Twitter, Royals mascot Sluggerrr stepped way, way over the line.

Hey @MrMet welcome to Twitter! BTW, can you ask Mrs. Met why she won’t call me back? http://t.co/MnKEbagKLQ

  (@Sluggerrr) March 10, 2014

The District Attorney Posted: March 11, 2014 at 08:14 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: mascots, mets, royals

The Art of Pitching: Mastering the Sinkerball

My original idea for this story was a simple article discussing how Cumpton was getting advice from Morton and was working on improving his sinker. Add in some numbers from Cumpton last year, and it would be an easy story that I could file away as I tried to get ahead during the early weeks of Spring Training. But after talking with both players, I quickly realized that there was so much I didn’t know about the sinker, and about what players discuss when they’re talking to each other about ...

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Bronx Baseball Daily: Should your best hitter bat third in the lineup?

I should have ran this earlier but I was in complete comment shock for over a week. “Crucially, the 1-2 hitters—Bobby Richardson and maybe Tony Kubek, if I remember correctly—were on base a lot, despite having modest averages in the .270 range.”

My ideal lineup would have three players at the top who are known for their OBP (on-base percentage). If we used the Yankees as an example, I’d place Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter in the top three spots since those three are known to ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

Allen Barra: Should Pete Rose Be in the Hall of Fame? Let the Voters Decide

And let’s just forget Denny McLain’s “fantastic” 1965 season while we’re at it!

Denny McLain had two fantastic seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher. In 1968, with the Detroit Tigers, he won 31 games (the last pitcher in MLB to win at least 30) and lost six; the next season, also with Detroit, he went 24-9. In 1968 he was voted Most Valuable Player for the American League, and in both years he won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the league. McLain’s other eight seasons with ...

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Repoz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 120 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-11-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 11, 1914:

One afternoon, [Rube] Waddell chanced to be in the [Pirates] office. The phone bell sounded. Next to a fire alarm there is nothing Rube admires more than a phone call. He raced to the receiver, yanked it from its perch with a loud “Hello. What’s the matter?”

Waddell listened to a mortal at the other end of the line and then glanced into a corner of the room. “Wait a minute,” yelled [Waddell] into the transmitter. With a bound he darted to that corner, grapped ...

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