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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bill Madden: What’s old is new again at GM meetings ?

Much like the music industry’s recent rediscovering of Ken Delo’s smoldyering talent!

Baseball’s movers and shakers converge in Bud Selig’s Milwaukee this week where the stalled collective bargaining agreement negotiations and the long-awaited approval of businessman Jim Crane as owner of the soon-to-be American League Houston Astros head up the beer-and-bratwurst agenda.

For the general managers, who begin the meetings on Tuesday before the owners come in the next night, it’ll be a ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 09:51 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: business

Edes: “The guess here is that” Boston GM “has settled on” Dale Sveum as manager

After talking about the departure of Jon Papelbon, Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston drops this on us.

The guess here is that [Boston GM Ben] Cherington has settled on a manager—team sources say he is extremely high on Dale Sveum—and is just going through the process, making sure his judgment is sound.

(More predictions: Mike Maddux to be hired by the Cubs, Terry Francona by the Cardinals.)

Hell, let’s throw this in here while we’re at it.

It is now up to Cherington & Co. to make that calculation… ...

The District Attorney Posted: November 12, 2011 at 09:30 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, red sox, rumors

NYTimes: CHICAGO NEWS COOPERATIVE | SPORTS What to Know When Interviewing With Cubs

Eschewing such timeworn staples as “So tell me about yourself” and “Where do you hope to be in five years?” Theo Epstein and his cronies are employing a real-life baseball quiz designed to assess a skipper’s aptitude for decision-making at game speed: two-run deficit, seventh inning, runners at first and second, nobody out, sixth-place hitter up - are you bunting? Opponent switches to a left-handed reliever - are you pinch-hitting? With whom? ...

Yet there was an obvious “I didn’t know there ...

bobm Posted: November 12, 2011 at 06:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, phillies

River Avenue Blues: Questioning Batting Average, 96 Years Ago

And you thought that

Tom Tango

Bill James

Pete Palmer

Branch Rickey was the godfather of sabermetrics:

Lane opens his discussion with a question: “Suppose you asked a close personal friend how much change he had in his pocket and he replied, ‘Twelve coins,’ would you think you had learned much about the precise state of his exchequer?” He goes on to compare two mens’ respective financial situations: Man A, with “twelve coins” consisting of a combination of quarters, nickels, and ...

Mike Emeigh Posted: November 12, 2011 at 06:01 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Buckley: Jonathan Papelbon’s $50m exit leaves gap in guts

Couple of drunk firemen friends of mine calling themselves Gap n’ Guts, once jumped into the ring against The Wild Samoans. Not a pretty sight.

What made Papelbon special — and what will make him hard to replace — is that he was fully invested in The Boston Baseball Experience. We have seen, especially in recent years, that even hardened big league veterans can get tangled up in The Boston Baseball Experience. The lights at Fenway Park [map] are too bright, the fans are too fanatic, the ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 02:54 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, phillies, red sox

NYT: Gil Hodges Added to Hall of Fame Credentials After Playing Days

Yup, that aswoony-inducing Ned Yostian .467 winning pct. does the trick.

It’s all there, in the fine print. The Hall of Fame voting rules state, “Those whose careers entailed involvement in multiple categories will be considered for their overall contribution to the game of baseball,” and later cite an individual’s “record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game.”

In other words, if, after your playing days, you become a manager and by imposing ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 01:51 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, mets, nationals

Baseball By The Yard: Coach McCreary: The effects of tension

Bear McCreary for a moment here…Eureka!

To get an idea on the effects of tension, try this quick experiment.  Sit down at a table and place your dominant arm on the table in front of you so that the arm from the elbow to the finger tips is resting on the table.  The palm should be facing down but not completely flat on the table.  Just relaxed.  Now tense up all the muscles in your forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers at once and while doing so, try to quickly tap your finger tips on the table.  ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 01:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks

Verducci: Dodgers ready to play Moneyball

Can The Human Verducci Effect please not saunter onto the Clubhouse Confidential set like Dean Martin heading to his closet. Thank you.

The Dodgers and general manager Ned Colletti, with his three decades in baseball, have gone sabermetric. In September the Dodgers hired Alex Tamin, a graduate of Johns Hopkins and UCLA School of Law, as Director of Baseball Contracts, Research and Operations. That was a confirmation that Los Angeles is joining the “new school” franchises with a strong ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:44 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, projections, sabermetrics

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Washington Nationals

Didn’t Bryce Harper and All Them Other Guys have a syrupy psychestnut on Chocolate Soup For Diabetics Vol. 12? Thought so.

1. Bryce Harper, of
2. Anthony Rendon, 3b
3. Brad Peacock, rhp
4. A.J. Cole, rhp
5. Brian Goodwin, of
6. Alex Meyer, rhp
7. Matt Purke, lhp
8. Sammy Solis, lhp
9. Derek Norris, c
10. Steve Lombardozzi, 2b/ss

The organization enjoyed a strong developmental year from top to bottom, with upper-level prospects such as Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and Steve Lombardozzi ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, nationals, prospect reports, scouting

Charlie Lea, former major league pitcher, found dead at Collierville home

Charlie Lea...RIP.

Former major league pitcher Charlie Lea, a star at Kingsbury High and then-Memphis State University before embarking on a successful pro career, was found dead in his Collierville home Friday. He was 54.

Collierville Police Chief Larry Goodwin said Lea died of a suspected heart attack.

Winner of 62 games in an eight-year major league career that ended with the Minnesota Twins in 1988, Lea pitched a no-hitter for the Montreal Expos against the San Francisco Giants in 1981, ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, obituaries, twins

Wilson Ramos rescued, safe in Venezuela

Wilson Ramos has been rescued in Venezuela and is with the police on his way back home, his agent, Gustavo Mercano, said in a phone conversation. The Interior Minster called to tell the family at roughly 10 minutes before 10 p.m. East Coast time.

“They got him,” Mercano said. “He’s safe.”

Ramos was freed in the mountains of Montalban in the state of Carabobo in central Venezuela, said the government’s Communications Minister, Andres Izarra. The area is roughly 40 miles northwest ...

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 03:23 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Friday, November 11, 2011

Marlins Ballpark: What are the Critics Saying Now?

Woo-hoo! More trash being tossed around than a sonickle’s worth of a Guerrilleros de Nadie gig!

The Marlins and many of the ballpark boosters are also convinced the new stadium will spark a building boom of gentrification in Little Havana.

“I have my doubts in terms of that,” said Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez, one of the stadium deal’s loudest critics. He voted against the deal when he was a county commissioner.

“Well, I think the deal is really still rotten, that hasn’t changed at ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:52 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, miami

Dodgers are about to lose Jamey Carroll

Oh Carroll, don’t let them steal our heart away!

The Minnesota Twins reportedly are close to signing an everyday shortstop.

Jamey Carroll, who has spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is closing in on a deal with the Twins, according to Jerry Crasnick of Baseball America and Fox’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting it would be a two-year deal.

The Twins had a revolving door at shortstop last year en route to a 99-loss season. Alexi Casilla opened the season at short, ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 08:52 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, twins

Ramos abduction in Ven.: Police gathering evidence, still no contact from kidnappers, 36 hours in

The last news from the Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post:

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m. Venezuelan police put out a press release denying the rumor that Wilson had been found dead following the abduction that occurred Wednesday evening.

“The Body of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations (CICPC), denied the occurrence of the alleged corpse of Wilson Ramos in the vicinity of the Plaza de Toro de Valencia,” the press release read.

In the statement, the CICPC added officials believe it possible ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 11, 2011 at 08:19 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Jonathan Papelbon Agrees to Deal With Phillies, Ending Seven-Year Career With Red Sox

Face of a Nation no longer.

Jonathan Papelbon is Philadelphia-bound.

The best available closer on the free-agent market agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, pending a physical, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman confirmed the deal.

Salisbury reported the deal is for four years and is worth close to $50 million.

The Phillies were reported to have been closing in on a deal with their own closer, Ryan Madson, worth $44 million over four ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 07:41 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, red sox

Wade: Steroid use, real or rumored, did not make Hall of Fame careers

Best part of this is Will Carroll’s tweet…“Hearing from lots of BBWAA members on @dwade’s steroid piece. He’s moved the discussion forward with this.”

It’s hard to imagine, with all of the moralizing, rending of clothes, and ashes and sackcloth that we’ve seen the steroids controversy produce, that their real impact could be so small, but that’s the reality. For all but a few players, PEDs may have produced a physiological change, but it didn’t do much else.

This updated data echoes the ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 07:26 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, steroids

Charley Walters: Ex-Minnesota Twin Tony Oliva getting Hall of Fame push

Red Sox Knox just gagged on a rolled up schwall of Yaz bread.

Tony Oliva has some big hitters lobbying for his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“I was talking to Gene Michael the other day, and I told him there was one guy who really deserves to be in the hall of fame,” former Twins pitcher Dean Chance said Wednesday. “Tony Oliva’s the best hitter I ever pitched against. And Denny McLain says the same thing, that Oliva is the best left-handed hitter he ever faced. ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 06:55 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, twins

Countdown to Marlins’ relaunch under way

I shall dub it Operation Neon Swordfish Disco!

The countdown is under way for the much-anticipated relaunch of this franchise, which entered the National League in 1993. Starting at 4:30 p.m. ET, visitors to will see only the countdown splash page. Beginning at that time, the suspense will build for the 9 p.m. festivities ushering in a new Marlins era.

All Miami Marlins Unveiling events can be seen live on the splash page. They will start with a red-carpet welcome and Miami-style ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 11, 2011 at 04:23 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: miami

Jewish ex-players join Israel’s WBC bid

JERUSALEM—Three Jewish former major leaguers have joined Israel’s bid for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, a move that could transform the baseball backwater into a legitimate contender.

Shawn Green, Brad Ausmus and Gabe Kapler met this week in Los Angeles with Israeli baseball officials and committed to helping Israel field a competitive team in next year’s WBC qualifying round, the three players told The Associated Press.

While it remains unclear if the recently retired players will take ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 11, 2011 at 04:20 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-11-2011

Harrington Crissey, “Abner Doubleday Would Have Been Proud”, via SABR Research Journal:

Baseball players have participated in all U. S. military conflicts from the Civil War (Doug Allison of the Cincinnati Red Stockings) to the Viet Nam War (Al Bumbry of the Baltimore Orioles). Some major league players appeared in more than one war. Arlie Pond, for example, was a medical officer in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection, and returned to active duty as Assistant Surgeon General ...

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:36 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

BPP: Any player/Any era: Pedro Martinez

Era he might have thrived in: We’re putting Martinez on the last great team Connie Mack managed before the Great Depression forced him to scuttle his dynasty. The ’31 A’s boasted the likes of Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Mickey Cochrane, went 107-45 in the regular season, and then took the Gashouse Gang St. Louis Cardinals to seven games in the World Series. I don’t know if Martinez could have filled in for Grove’s 31 wins, given that he pitched more than 200 innings just seven times ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 12:29 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Christensen: Time has come to put Camilo Pascual in the Twins Hall of fame

With Patrick Reusse’s urging, I’ve been voting for Pascual, but I must admit that I knew little about the Cuban righthander’s career this summer, when we were putting together stories for Bert Blyleven’s Hall of Fame induction. I started interviewing folks about Blyleven’s legendary curve ball, and the ones who remembered, were quick to mention his predecessor.

“The best curve ball in history, and a guy who gets overlooked, is Camilo Pascual,” White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone said.

Hawk ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:59 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, royals, twins

Pete Rose serves players as unofficial advisor

Bet Advisor: I Analyze, you lose.

Rose regularly attends games each season in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, two of the places where he played during his 23-year career, and is often introduced to players.

“Then they end up texting me all the time,” Rose said. “I have play-hard credentials. No b———t, no non-sense credentials and I think players respect that. That’s why young players like me today.”

...Rose said it’s not a matter of proper coaching not being available for today’s ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:46 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: history, reds, sabermetrics, yankees

Indians’ newest addition Derek Lowe wants to take command

Lowe: Never Stop Improvising.

Asked if he had altered his arsenal of pitches the past few years, he said: “I’m not at the stage of my career to start throwing a knuckleball. But I started throwing a cutter a couple of years ago. I’ve become a breaking ball pitcher, and for me, that’s not the way to go.

“I have to be a fastball pitcher, a guy who throws down and away. Last year, that was my problem. I have to get back to throwing my fastball, to commanding my fastball.”

Lowe has ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 10:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, indians

Pujols to meet with Marlins, possibly Saturday

The wooing of Albert Pujols is about to get under way in earnest.

An industry source told on Thursday that Pujols’ camp is scheduled to meet in Miami with the Marlins within the next few days, possibly as early as Saturday. Pujols is a free agent for the first time after he and the Cardinals were unable to reach an agreement last winter.

Pujols, 31, is the biggest-name free agent on the market this offseason, but one of several that Florida (soon to be Miami on Friday) is considering. ...

Repoz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 04:25 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, miami

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pat Burrell says his career is likely over

In tribute…all Philadelphia bars will be at half-staff.

Pat Burrell says his baseball career is likely over because of a right foot injury that limited him in 2010 for the Giants.

While Burrell acknowledged late in the year that he would contemplate retirement if he couldn’t return to full strength, he now says that’s probably the direction he is headed this winter—though he has yet to make a final decision.

The 35-year-old Burrell came to the Giants last year after being cut by Tampa Bay, ...

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2011 at 11:04 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history, phillies, rays

Moneyball Author on Baseball, Economics, & Psychology

The paper that resulted five years later, the abovementioned “Prospect Theory,” not only proved that one of the central premises of economics was seriously flawed—the so-called utility theory, “based on elementary rules (axioms) of rationality”—but also spawned a sub-field of economics known as behavioral economics. This field attracted the interest of a Harvard undergraduate named Paul DePodesta.


Outside of baseball there had been, for decades, an intellectual revolt, led ...

Morty Causa Posted: November 10, 2011 at 09:12 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Pirates, Barajas agree to one-year deal

An aggressive pursuit of free agent Rod Barajas paid off Thursday for the Pirates, who were able to ink the veteran catcher to a one-year deal that includes as club option for 2013.

The addition of Barajas, 36, eliminates one item off the Pirates’ offseason to-do list, as the team needed to find a starting catcher for the 2012 season. General manager Neal Huntington confirmed that Barajas was signed to be the team’s No. 1 catcher.

Barajas will make $4 million in 2012, according to an industry ...

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 10, 2011 at 08:33 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

FanGraphs: Cameron: Trying to Figure Out Mark Buehrle

So, uhh, what’s left? He’s not preventing hits. He’s not preventing home runs. He’s not stranding runners. How is Mark Buehrle keeping so many runs off the board?

The answer might be that he’s not, and a real part of the explanation for Buehrle’s gap between his ERA and his FIP/xFIP is actually a bias in how ERA is calculated. As you know, Buehrle is a ground-ball pitcher, and pitchers who put their infielders to work see a larger share of their balls in play result in errors. ...

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2011 at 07:10 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

Baseball: All-stars shine light on Taiwan mob rule

Despite Taiwan’s ardent love for the game, its China Professional Baseball League (CPBL) has been struggling, in large measure because of the influence of the underworld and its intimidation, gambling and game-fixing.

According to experts, the MLB all-star series, which the visitors wrapped up 5-0 on Sunday having drawn tens of thousands of fans, highlighted the huge gap between American baseball and the management of the sport in Taiwan.

“I don’t understand the point of this MLB ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 10, 2011 at 02:35 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: international

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