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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nick Cafardo: Terry Francona and the Indians’ great expectations for 2017

Going from a big market with a high-priced roster to a small market with a payroll half the size of the Red Sox’ has definitely given Francona a different perspective on managing.

“It’s a different challenge,” Francona said. “I think you’ve got to be realistic that in the winter, for the most part, we play in a different neighborhood and our guys do a great job of trying to be realistic about, ‘OK, who can go after and not waste time on players that are not going to come.’ ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, notes, terry francona

A look inside the Marlins’ year-old analytics department - Sun Sentinel

This was always the it should be. It just took a little while to get there.

Instead, it’s about finding a balance. Paré, for example, credits his reading of “Moneyball” as a Yale freshman with helping set him down this career path, but he also attended MLB’s scout development program in the fall of 2009 — blending more traditional front-office skills with his new-age ones.

“People who are outside of this [analytics] realm here still see the value in what we’re doing as a department,” Paré ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2017 at 08:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, scouting

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mets’ Jay Bruce problem: Ex-GMs weigh in on what team should do - NY Daily News

“You could end up looking for the same type hitter you gave away,” said O’Dowd, the long-time Rockies’ GM. “You can’t force a deal. The worst trades I ever made were ones that I forced.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 10:58 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, mets

Dave Engle reflects on Ted Williams memories | MLB.com

MLB.com: So at this stage of life, when you think about Ted Williams, what comes to mind?
Engle: It’s all part of the good fortune I’ve had in life. For being a little shooter in this game of baseball, I was able to have participated in football on a national championship team at USC [in 1974], and actually play on the baseball team that won the College World Series [in ‘78]. There have been so many things that have happened in my life. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone that has ever lived, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 10:24 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ted williams

MLB Tonight: Jorge Posada | MLB.com

I’m a big fan of Brian Kenny. I’m not sold on Posada’s Hall of Fame case.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jorge posada

Chris Russo thinks the latest selections have ruined Hall of Fame

Occasionally he’s entertaining. His Hall of Fame rants are tough to get though. It’s usually when I change the channel.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 Top 10 first base prospects | MLB.com

I’ve really enjoyed work of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo at MLB Pipeline. Here’s the unveiling of their Top Ten 1B. They’ve been introducing the lists on Hot Stove. I’ll try embedding the segment over the next couple of weeks.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2017 at 02:24 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects reports

The Trumbo agreement, the ripple effect and what’s next - School of Roch

I’ve been asked how Trumbo’s signing impacts rookie Trey Mancini. Good question. The Orioles have indicated that there’s no reason to return Mancini to the minors. There’s no 4A and he deserves to break camp with the team. They’ve also shown no concerns over having him sit on the bench rather than play every day at Triple-A Norfolk, insisting that it won’t stunt his development.

That said, they could decide this spring that there simply aren’t enough at-bats for him with Trumbo ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2017 at 11:35 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2017

Marshalltown [Iowa] Times-Republican, January 20, 1917:

Vic Saiere [sic], first baseman of the Chicago Nationals, whose sight was thought to be failing him, has assured President Weegham [sic] of the Chicago club that his eyes have regained their normal strength after a winter’s rest.

Saier is a movie fan and the theory was that he had damaged his eyes watching the flickering light on the screen and sitting up late reading. He avoided any strain whatever during the winter months and now ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 20, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Ex-Astro Luis Valbuena reportedly agrees to deal with Angels - Houston Chronicle

The Angels get a useful player.

The left-handed hitting Valbuena batted .260 with 13 home runs and an .816 OPS in 292 at-bats last year before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury in late July. The Astros weren’t expected to retain him given the emergence of Alex Bregman at third base and the signing of Yulieski Gurriel last summer.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, free agents, luis valbuena

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hall of Fame’s Rule of 10 should be changed | MLB.com

I don’t get it either. The limit leads to all kinds of unintended consequences.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 07:09 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Orioles, Mark Trumbo agree to deal | MLB.com

The Orioles and free-agent first baseman/right fielder Mark Trumbo have agreed to a three-year deal for the slugger to return to Baltimore pending a physical, a Major League source told MLB.com. The club has not confirmed.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, the deal is for approximately $37 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 07:06 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent, mark trumbo, orioles

Jayson Stark: Casting my 2018 Hall of Fame ballot ... today

Look, I know the range data shows he wasn’t really a modern Ozzie Smith. But this just in: Nobody was. Still, those 11 Gold Gloves—the third most by any infielder in history—tell us exactly what the rest of baseball thought of Vizquel in his prime. Plus, I think I can make a case he was the most sure-handed shortstop ever.

I can throw lots of numbers at you, but my favorite is this: Incredibly, he had three seasons in which he played at least 140 games and made five errors or fewer. That’s as ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2017 at 04:45 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, hall of fame, jayson stark, omar vizquel, scott rolen

Predicting every Hall of Fame class through 2045 | ESPN.com

David Schoenfield breaks out his crystal ball.

2043

Elected: Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Theo Epstein

Executives have to be retired for five years to be considered or 70 years old if they’re still active. This is the year Theo will turn 70. He could have 10 World Series titles by then, he could be commissioner of baseball, he could be president, or he could simply be retired and watching YouTube clips of cats clawing at dogs.

Baldrick Posted: January 19, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 19, 1917:

Ray Schalk, catcher of the Chicago Americans, signed a 1917 contract [last night], in defiance of the orders issued by [players’ fraternity president] Fultz. He said he had received an increase in salary and had no reason to hold out.

Washington Times, January 19, 1917:

[Cubs pitcher] Al Demaree is out with a protest against the Fraternity leader’s making the Chicago National League club a goat in the troubles now facing magnate and player.

“The action ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 19, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor relations

Marlins Acquire RHP Straily from Reds

The Reds get a huge prospect haul in return for a huge regression candidate.


2017 Top 10 Catching prospects | MLB.com

Carson Kelly leapfrogs the competition.

1. Carson Kelly, Cardinals
St. Louis has had one of the game’s top catchers for years and has a worthy successor—assuming Yadier Molina ever slows down—in Kelly. He has the arm, receiving ability and leadership skills to win Gold Gloves, and his offensive game is coming around nicely as he gets more accustomed to working behind the plate.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 08:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Read the open letter Tim Raines wrote after learning he’d been inducted into the Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Hello all,

I am extremely honored and humbled to have received the call today that I will be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s the perfect way to cap my 23-year career. When I began playing professional baseball, I just wanted to be one of the best at my position. I wasn’t thinking of Cooperstown. But now that I will be inducted next summer, I am overcome with a wave of emotion and I am so excited to share this honor with my family. I would like to thank everyone who ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, tim raines

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What the Hall of Fame elections will look like through 2022

Curt Schilling hasn’t done himself any favors since he retired, making many controversial comments, many of them on Twitter. He’s the Donald Trump of Hall of Fame voting.

Wahoo Sam Posted: January 18, 2017 at 11:01 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball hall of fame, cooperstown

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame election results | MLB.com

Premier leadoff man Tim Raines, Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell and strong-armed backstop Ivan Rodriguez have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 06:13 PM | 204 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

On the Polo Grounds: When Fans Were Fans

My friend Richard Hershberger called this antique article to my attention the other day, as he does every now and then. (Six months ago he had sent me another such story, which I happily posted here: https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/lovers-and-cranks-a7117d85dcad#.g32oxjw87.) No one is a better researcher into the early days of the game than Richard, and no one loves a word picture of a day at the ballpark more than he does, unless it is me. Of the story below, published in the Philadelphia Times of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 06:11 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Josh Hamilton Prepared to Earn Spot on Rangers’ Roster

“... doing so with a first baseman’s glove in tow ...”

Taps Posted: January 18, 2017 at 11:58 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: texas rangers

Braves zero in on Sarasota County for spring training

After a two-year search, the Braves may have found their new spring-training home.

Officials in Sarasota County, Fla., announced Tuesday that the Braves have entered into exclusive negotiations to build a facility in the southwest Florida city of North Port.

If terms are agreed upon and approved, the Braves will move their spring base from Disney World to Sarasota County as soon as 2019.

“Hopefully this thing goes forward, the county commissioners vote on it, and off we go,” Braves Vice ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2017 at 10:57 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, sarasota, spring training


Class of 2017 awaits call from Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Today’s the day!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2017

Tacoma Times, January 18, 1917:

Ty Cobb, Detroit slugger, speed merchant, said but two words in defining his stand on the baseball strike situation. “I’m neutral,” said the Georgia peach, in a telegram to a St. Louis sport editor today. He had been asked whether he would join the Tigers on their spring training jaunt or line up with Dave Fultz in the proposed strike.

Washington Herald, January 18, 1917:

The tip was out, but could not be confirmed, that [AL president] Ban Johnson and [AFL ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor relations

Alex Rodriguez to host CNBC reality show featuring cash-strapped former athletes

Alex Rodriguez will host a CNBC reality television show featuring retired athletes who face financial troubles.

CNBC announced Tuesday that the show’s working title is “Back in the Game.” It will be co-produced by another former New York sports star, Michael Strahan…

According to a CNBC release, the pilot episode of “Back in the Game” will pair former athletes “in serious financial distress with money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet.”

Mentor: Don’t plunge millions of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:23 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, reality tv

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Willie McCovey Pardoned by Obama

McCovey pleaded guilty to income tax-fraud conspiracy in 1995, alongside fellow baseball star Duke Snider, for failing to report thousands of dollars each in fees received from memorabilia and autograph shows.

The plea carried a sentence of up to seven months in jail. Both McCovey and Snider, who died in 2011, were given two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine in 1996.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 09:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: barack obama, crimes & misdemeanors, giants, willie mccovey

Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com

The Blue Jays and Bautista have agreed to a one-year contract that includes a mutual option but is pending the completion of a physical, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday afternoon. The deal’s options could keep Bautista in Toronto through 2019. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 03:27 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

Relocation Less Common in MLB Than NFL, Other Leagues

In 1972, the Washington Senators packed up and moved down to Texas to become the Rangers. In the 45 years since the Senators’ departure, however, only a single other Major League Baseball franchise has relocated: the Montreal Expos (owned by MLB at the time) moved to Washington before the 2005 season and became the Nationals.

During that same 45-year period, meanwhile, the National Football League has seen the relocation of franchises on nine occasions (10 if Oakland completes their move to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 02:55 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, mlb, nfl, relocation

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