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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Monday, August 01, 2011

LA Times: Key witness in Bryan Stow beating dies unexpectedly


A key witness in the beating case of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium died suddenly, apparently of an allergic food reaction.

According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, Matthew Lee died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which caused the allergic reaction. The coroner has not determined a cause of death, however.

Stow and Lee went to the Dodgers’ home opener together with a group of friends.

It’s unclear how this will affect the ...

AndrewJ Posted: August 01, 2011 at 10:39 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants, obituaries

Jered Weaver: In Defense Of Headhunting

When Jered Weaver threw at Alexi Avila’s head, the purpose pitch missed by a long shot. Even though Weaver could have hit him, his job is to precisely locate the ball and he did so here - far from doing any damage. But you never know. And that is the terror of the billy club. And you don’t find out about that terror if you stay within the lines of playing the game in a respectful manner. It was a chilling reminder to all that the pitcher is a force of nature on the mound. He literally can kill ...

WiHaloFan Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:37 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Freakonomics: How Best to Realign Major League Baseball: A Freakonomics Quorum

Woo-hoo! Noisier than Hasil Adkins loading his equipment on stage! With…J.C. Bradbury, Andrew Zimbalist, Dave Berri and Raymond Sauer.

Dave Berri

...Beyond the inability to expand, let me briefly comment on a proposal that I think is linked to the idea of realignment. There is also a movement to expand baseball’s playoffs to five teams in each league. So if 15 teams play in each league, 33% of the each league would be in the post-season if the playoffs are expanded.

My sense is that an ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:15 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, site news, special topics

The Biz of Baseball: Who’s to Blame for Frank McCourt Owning the Dodgers?

“You could say the debt crisis, and you know what…? That’s not too far from the truth…” adds Maury.

Who’s to Blame?

The Dodgers are a victim of circumstance. Glazer being unable to get around the NFL’s rules… the issue with Ed Glazer not being a suitable management fit for MLB… News Corp pushing for the sale…. McCourt’s liquidity problem that Allen & Co said would never be an issue. No one thing is the true catalyst. The league was in a no-win situation and are now dealing with ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:11 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, media

Sullivan: J.D. Drew Closure: Remembering Him in the Appropriate Light

Or as my kid said when first seeing the J.D. Drew Rookie Card...“THAT’S the new Mickey Mantle?”

To paraphrase, for (Bill) Simmons, there were a couple “solid” seasons “from a saber standpoint” but he lacked Trot Nixon’s fire and Drew’s personality was probably never meant for Boston (Boston’s a really special place, you guys!) but a big part of the reason that Adrian Gonzalez’s deal is working out so well is that his personality fits here. That’s the lunacy that passes for real analysis while ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:25 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, red sox, sabermetrics

Olbermann: Ubaldo: Have You Got Any More In The Back?

Olbermann, more Greenspan than Greenwade.

All of which brings us to Ubaldo Jimenez. Why wouldn’t you trade for a man who shined the way he did the first half of last year? Why, he was 15-1, and he was still 17-2 and the consensus Cy Young Winner before he got “tired.” He’s a solid citizen, and judging by that ‘bicycle license plate’ commercial, a very funny, grounded man. Heck, he’s got an Emmy Award for narrating a special for the regional cable network in Denver (I don’t have ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:16 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, prospect reports, rockies, scouting, yankees

Designated Sitter: Daly: No Fear

“Wilkerish” run by Jon “GGC” Daly…as fear strikes out, with no mention of Malden, Mass.

Eventually, we settled down. Vinroe is in IT. Page teaches. Last I heard, Ladison was selling Amway. It took me years, but I settled down, too. I’m married now. Gave up snuff five years ago, drive soberly at a more reasonable speed. I push paper from pile A to pile B so that salesmen don’t have to. Now I worry about deadlines and commitments. What to leave in? What to leave out? But Leyritz was a jock ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history, red sox, site news, white sox, yankees

Rosenthal: Yankees cast lot with their prospects


The Yankees on Sunday made a play for Houston Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez, but that push was driven by ownership, not Cashman, according to major-league sources. The Yankees were willing to pay $21 million of the $38 million remaining on the final three-plus years of Rodriguez’s contract, according to The Astros, on the other hand, were willing to pay $2 million of Rodriguez’s salary this season or $5 million if his option for 2014 were exercised, sources ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, indians, minor leagues, rangers, rockies, rumors, yankees

Sheinin, WaPo:  With trade deadline over, Texas Rangers may be team to beat in AL

It would be difficult to consider all that transpired over the weekend –- as well as one major development on Monday morning -– without reaching one obvious conclusion: The Texas Rangers struck it big at the trade deadline, and may have just zoomed past the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees as the league’s team to beat.

TerpNats Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:05 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, red sox, yankees

Building The Perfect Pitcher

But whose brain do we use? Stay away from the Abby-Normal ones…

I’ve seen this sort of exercise done before, usually in difficult-to-quantify terms like “Mental Toughness” or “Stuff” or “Nastiness” or “Poise.” This time I’d rather it be metric-driven, even if the data is based in part on observation and, by extension, is subject to error. I simply wanted to determine who had the best pitches this season or, more accurately, who had the best results from their pitches

vegasman2000 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Cameron: Moore resisted all offers for “young” veterans Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur

Ô Cameron, Berceau de nos Ancêtres (Frenchy style)

Francoeur and Cabrera, two players who have re-invented themselves and now team with Alex Gordon to form one of the better outfields anywhere in baseball, seem thrilled to be in Kansas City.

And frankly, they’ve both been terrific.

Cabrera is hitting .304, with 13 home runs and 61 RBIs. Francoeur’s numbers are .272, 14 and 62. The Royals have played 108 games, exactly two-thirds of their 162-game schedule – putting Cabrera and Francoeur ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:56 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: business, projections, royals, sabermetrics

Brookover: Wade played no favorites in dealing Pence

and all future skid greasing will have no bearing whatsoever! So there!

Amaro did not think that was going to be the case the day before. He feared things were falling apart but said, “I always try to stay cautiously optimistic.”

It helped that he was dealing with Wade, but not because Amaro feels as though he can pull one over on his former boss.

“Obviously I have a familiarity with Ed and I view him as a good friend,” Amaro said. “The one thing you can get from some particular GMs is that ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:17 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, media, phillies

Elliott: Robbie Alomar flip a game-changer

This can’t be true. I seem to remember Rich McKinney attempting this once…and ending up in the weeds.

“I was thinking the other day about changes I’d seen in the game since I started playing,” Mike Flanagan said. “The only one I can think of was brought in by Robbie Alomar.

“On a ground ball up the middle, how he’d field the ball and do a back-hand flip to the shortstop on a double play grounder.”

Alomar was the first Flanagan ever saw make the play and without breaking ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 11:40 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, hall of fame, history

McAdam: Buchholz has stress fracture, likely out for year

No Clay morrow? Anarchy!

With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to now understand why the Red Sox spent so much time and energy on finding a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.

Clay Buchholz, who’s been out six weeks, is suffering from a stress fracture in his lower back, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

It’s unlikely that Buchholz will pitch again this season, though a return in the postseason has not entirely been ruled out yet.

Buchholz, whose last start was ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 11:19 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Rosenberg: Bad behavior tarnishes Tigers-Angels game

Freep Printable Behavior has lots of great ideas!

Alas, Angels pitcher Jered Weaver did not. Weaver responded by trying to expand Ordoñez’s vocabulary.

Ordoñez said, “If you get mad because somebody hits a home run against you ... you gotta take it like a man.”

Yes, you do. The Tigers had the moral high ground, and Carlos Guillen promptly pulled them off it. Guillen took Weaver deep, then stood admiring his home run, and stared at Weaver and pointed toward the fence. He did ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2011

Pittsburgh Press, August 1, 1911:

Painesville, O., August 1.—Fred White, 18 years old, first baseman for the Mohawks…was struck by a pitched ball which caused his death yesterday afternoon.

White, after being hit, finished a half inning with his team, and was just getting into a wagon to return to his home here when he dropped unconscious.

Fred White: Gamer.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:46 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Baker: End of the Erik Bedard and Bill Bavasi era for the Mariners

The fact that Josh Fields will be added in to the outgoing Seattle portion of the deal matters little. Fields never really took in Seattle, where he staged a bizarre early holdout for six figures in additional cash when he could have spent part of the 2008 season with the M’s had he played his cards right.

Instead, Fields becomes the fourth and final No. 1 draft pick from the Bill Bavasi era to be traded out of town by GM Jack Zduriencik. Fields joins Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow and Phillippe ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:14 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mariners, projections, sabermetrics, scouting

Sullivan: Carlos Pena believes Cubs’ chemistry could be better

It’s Quaderupolarizin’!

While the Cubs’ clubhouse is relatively calm and quiet compared to years past, Carlos Pena surprised the media on Sunday by expressing a desire to improve the team chemistry.

“When you have the right kind of chemistry, it’s just magical,” he said. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to build toward — that chemistry that really just makes incredible things happen. … It’s not something you can just turn on a switch. I know that for a fact. But it does happen. It’s a ...

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:41 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sunday, July 31, 2011 Pirates trade for Ludwick

A day after adding Derrek Lee, the Pirates acquired Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick just minutes before Sunday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline for a player to be named.

Ryan Ludwick, like Derrek Lee, is a person who plays professional baseball.  They didn’t cost the Pirates anything, though, and the Pirates have some big holes in the lineup that professional below-average players can fill.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 31, 2011 at 10:30 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, padres, pirates Red Sox acquire Bedard in three-team deal

The Red Sox traded four Minor Leaguers in the deal, three of whom—catcher Tim Federowicz, pitcher Stephen Fife and righty Juan Rodriguez—went to the Dodgers for outfielder Trayvon Robinson. The Red Sox then dealt Robinson and outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang to the Mariners to complete the exchange for Bedard. Boston also acquired Minor League reliever Josh Fields, a right-hander, from the Mariners in the deal.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 31, 2011 at 10:26 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mariners, minor leagues, red sox

Rangers get Mike Adams from Padres

Nolan, you’re just encouraging these pampered modern starting pitchers to only go six!

A day after acquiring Koji Uehara from the Orioles, the Rangers added to their bullpen again Sunday by acquiring Mike Adams from the Padres.

Adams, the most sought-after setup man on the market, has a 1.13 ERA in 48 appearances this year for San Diego. He has held opponents to a .453 OPS.

The Rangers paid a steep price for Adams, giving up both Joe Wieland, the pitcher who threw a no-hitter last week for ...

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2011 at 06:49 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, rangers

Diamondbacks add Ziegler, Marquis

Feeling they have an even better one on the way, the Diamondbacks traded their starting first baseman to the A’s for a setup man on Sunday.  The three-player deal sent Brad Ziegler to Arizona in return for Brandon Allen and left-hander Jordan Norberto.

Allen had… a .213/.325/.404 line in 178 at-bats with the Diamondbacks over the last three years.  He’s not a surprising A’s target, in that his game is much more about power and walks than batting average.  Unfortunately, he does strike ...

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2011 at 05:59 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, athletics, nationals

Braves acquire Bourn from Astros

Parturition is such sweet sorrow…

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Braves have acquired Michael Bourn from the Astros in exchange for four minor leaguers.

The Braves have been wanting an outfielder for a while now, preferably one that hits right-handed, but they’ve instead just grabbed the best one that’s available. Bourn leads all of baseball in stolen bases with 39, has had a great year at the plate (.303/.363/.403) and will give Atlanta a dynamite defensive center fielder. ...

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 02:03 PM | 136 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves

Murray Chass on Baseball: JOURNALISM AT ITS WORST


But here is Peter Nash accusing (Barry) Halper of fraud when he himself was found to have defrauded a memorabilia dealer. Yet the Post ignored that fact, identifying Nash simply as a blogger who writes for and is working on a book titled “Hauls of Shame: The Cooperstown Conspiracy and the Madoff of Memorabilia.”

“My article wasn’t about me; it was about an article I wrote on my Web site,” Nash said in a telephone ...

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 12:14 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: business, hall of fame, history, media, memorabilia, site news

STLToday: Van Slyke critical of Rasmus


“According to what I read, he’s never been happier (being traded) since he’s been a Cardinal,” Van Slyke said. “How can you be happy being traded from the St Louis Cardinals? It’s the most nonsensical thing I could ever imagine.

“I couldn’t have been more upset than when I got traded (to Pittsburgh). It took me a month to get over it.”

...“No wonder he’s never performed the way he should have.

“Then his father says the Cardinals have changed his game. Well, I would hope so,” Van Slyke ...

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 11:06 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardinals, history

Red Sox back out of Harden deal

Not so fast on that trade for Rich Harden.

Hours after agreeing late last night on a deal to acquire Harden from the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox backed out after reviewing the right-hander’s recent medical information, a baseball source confirmed early this morning. Harden, meanwhile, told reporters in Oakland that he expects to start Tuesday night for the Athletics.

Harden, 29, has been on the disabled list 10 times in his career, most recently during the first three months of this ...

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, red sox

Lupica: The Mets have never had an MVP, but Jose Reyes is certainly deserving of award this season

“Mr.” check, “Gooden/Strawberry” check, “batting average” check…can’t seem to find “a player named” in here. I’ll keep searching.

But Monday is Aug. 1, and for now, Reyes is not just still the best player in town this season, he is the MVP of his league. He has the second highest batting average in baseball, after Adrian Gonzalez, who is the MVP for the American League so far. He has scored 78 runs, even though you know what the rest of the Mets batting order has looked like for so much of ...

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, mets

Report: Giants to get Orlando Cabrera from Indians

2011 World Series MVP?

The Indians are definitely doing more adding than subtracting at the moment, but they’ve decided Orlando Cabrera is expendable and they’re about to trade him to the Giants for outfielder Thomas Neal.

Cabrera had hit just .244/.277/.321 while serving as the Indians’ primary second baseman for most of the first four months… The Giants will likely shift Cabrera back to his natural position of shortstop.  He probably won’t be an everyday guy, but he should be able to ...

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2011 at 03:12 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, indians

Report: O’s expected to ship Derrek Lee to Pittsburgh

Pirates pick up a righty-hitting, aging former star named “Derrek”.  How could this possibly fail?

A source told the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly that it’s “very likely” Derrek Lee ends up with the Pirates, though only after Pittsburgh takes a close look at his medicals.  Connolly reports that the Orioles will likely pick up part of Lee’s salary and get an A-ball prospect in return.

... [Baltimore will] likely give [Chris] Davis a long look at third base, with Mark Reynolds making the ...

The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2011 at 02:25 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, pirates

Jim Duquette: Some scouts amazed at the haul the Orioles brought back in Uehara deal

And from the Melewskian comments…(Chris) “Davis has an Adrian Gonzalez skill set.”

“I think the value is great,” Duquette said. “I was surprised. I have called a couple of scouts in the industry checking on what they are hearing (about deadline deals) and it was three different scouts I spoke with and they too were amazed at the haul that the Orioles brought back.

“You are talking about an eighth-inning guy in Koji and I think the Rangers are counting on his option vesting for next year. But, ...

Repoz Posted: July 31, 2011 at 02:19 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, projections, rangers, sabermetrics

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