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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The 5.5 Hole: Closers in Non-Save Situations

Writers and baseball analysts assume that a pitcher is a pitcher. If they make their pitches, the scenario shouldn’t matter. That’s sound logic too. Forget the inning. Forget the score. Any pitcher, at any time can succeed as long as he makes the right pitches. Yet, is it really that simple? The mental aspect to playing baseball is fascinating and often overlooked.

Let’s take Jose Valverde for example. As of August 18, 2011, Jose Valverde’s stats in save situations looked like this:

35/35 in ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-13-2011

Double play poetry in the Meriden Daily Journal, October 13, 1911:

I can read it all now, the tale of their woes,
The excuses and wails that are in it,
How “the Giants kept slamming the ball on the nose,
And the Athletics were lucky to win it.”
When we stop their base running we won’t get the praise,
It won’t be the merit that’s in us,
‘Twill be their “hard luck” hitting into those plays,
From Barry to Collins to McInnis.

Tinker to Evers to Chance, it ain’t. ...Read More...

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 13, 2011 at 10:02 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout

Bronx Banter Interview: Glenn Stout

Belth catches up with Glenn Stout, author of Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year.

BB: One of the incredible things about Fenway Park is that it has changed over 100 years, and although it may seem antiquated, the current Red Sox ownership has done a lot to add modern touches without tearing the place down. Can you talk about some of the most significant alterations the place has seen and why it continues to last.

GS: Fenway Park has ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 13, 2011 at 09:45 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: books, history, media, red sox

Claiborne: Where are the black baseball broadcasters?

“Thank you, Whitey.”

With all the technology and internet involvement in how sports is covered, it is amazing that with there being more jobs African Americans continue to be passed over for whatever reason that may happen to be convenient.

There have been some that have broken through on the national level, but he is normally in-studio and a former player, as if all former players and managers are really that sharp. I get the experience factor, but there are some who just don’t deliver the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 13, 2011 at 09:13 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media, television

Collier: Can’t take the art out of baseball

Brother Collier takes in Moneyball at a junk palace…sorts through mess.

Perhaps the Ivy League kid is right, but I’ve never seen anyone stretch a walk into a double, nor have I ever seen a walk go through an outfielder’s legs for a triple. Baseball is thick with Jonah Hill types today, and even teams who don’t have to play moneyball have been persuaded to employ them.

That’s why the Red Sox and Yankees can’t seem to play a game that doesn’t run to four hours as they work the count and try to ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 13, 2011 at 08:57 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, media, pirates, reviews, sabermetrics

MLB.com: Carpenter, Cards eke out win, take 2-1 lead

It was more than a little bit scary—terrifying at times, to be perfectly honest—but it still counts. The Cardinals took control of the National League Championship Series with an agonizing 4-3 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night. St. Louis is now two wins from its third trip to the World Series in eight years.
...
While Carpenter was the winning pitcher, he was also the least effective man to take the mound for the Redbirds in an ulcer-inducing victory. Five Cardinals relievers combined ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: October 13, 2011 at 03:30 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, game recaps

MLB.com: Rangers flex in 11th, inching closer to Series

The Rangers, after another heart-stopping game, are one win away from returning to the World Series for the second time in as many years.

Texas put itself in that position with four runs in the top of the 11th inning off All-Star closer Jose Valverde on Wednesday, setting up a 7-3 victory over the Tigers in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park. Mike Napoli put the Rangers ahead with an RBI single, and Nelson Cruz, who also made the defensive play of the night, ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: October 13, 2011 at 03:04 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rangers, tigers

ESPN: David Ortiz talks free agency, Sox mess

Longtime Boston Red Sox slugger and free-agent-to-be David Ortiz spoke about the possibility of signing with the AL East rival New York Yankees during an interview Wednesday with ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez, after expressing frustration with the state of the Red Sox, who’ve seen manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein leave in the wake of the team’s September collapse.

“There’s too much drama, man,” Ortiz told Dominguez in reference to the Red Sox. “There’s too much drama. I have ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 13, 2011 at 03:03 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

HBT: McKeon locked FLA clubhouse door to keep Josh Beckett out during games

Here’s more from McKeon:

“In between innings they’d go to the clubhouse to get a drink or hang out. I said, ‘Hey, I got no rule against going up if you have to go to the bathroom or something, but get back.’ A couple of times I looked down the bench to talk to somebody and they weren’t there. They were in the clubhouse. So I went up and got them out and said, “OK, boys that’s it. We’ll lock the door.”

Florida won the World Series that season and a 23-year-old Beckett was named ...

Read More...
still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: October 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, miami, red sox, rumors

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bob Tufts: Law And Order: MLB SVU

Wrong

hole

hall pass, Buster.

Yesterday, ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote that former USC pitching standout and one time San Francisco Giant pitcher Bill Bordley has been named Vice President of Security and Facility Management for Major League Baseball.

Bill was a teammate of mine in Phoenix in 1980 and he graciously offered to let me live in his apartment when I played with the Giants in 1981. It is odd that we became friends, because when he signed with the Giants in a special draft in 1979 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history

Rozner: Some advice for Epstein on his first day with Cubs

As for Theo Epstein, he’s going to need a lot a lot of help as he rescues the Cubs from themselves and their history.

And, of course, we’re here to help him get started.

So here’s a quick list of items he can get to immediately:

• Fire Mike Quade.

• Call Quade again and make sure he understands he’s fired.

• Fire a pitching coach who doesn’t challenge a manager who allows Matt Garza to average 123 pitches in the final 3 starts of the season when the team is 62 games out of ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 09:34 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, red sox

Pirates will decline $9.75 million 2012 option on Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm can be added to the list of free agent starting pitchers, as the Pirates have decided not to exercise their $9.75 million team option on the left-hander for 2012 and will give him a $750,000 buyout instead.

“I’m going to test free agency and see where it goes,” Maholm told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Stupid decisions are the new market inefficiency.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 12, 2011 at 09:10 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

ESPN.com: Edes: Tito Victim of Latest Sox Smear Campaign

Edes & Nomar take offense on Francona’s behalf:

He was supposed to say the decision to end his eight-year run as Red Sox manager was all his, and leave it at that. Instead, he said that he wasn’t sure ownership had his back, suggesting that the reason he walked out the door was because it was held wide open for him.

Well, that obviously didn’t sit well with some people in the highest reaches of Sox management, for now we are told in Wednesday’s editions of the Boston Globe that not only did ...

Read More...
The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 12, 2011 at 08:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, red sox, rumors

Mitchell: Saying Goodbye to Posada and Placing Him Among the Yankee Greats

Can’t tell, but if Posada is better than Roy White…that makes him better than Jim Rice!

There are also a number of players who are either comparable to Posada or favorites of a particular generation.  Fans in their 30s might argue that Bernie Williams, Mike Musina or Don Mattingly were better than Posada.  Fans in their forties might raise names like Roy White, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Dave Winfield, Ron Guidry or Graig Nettles.  Fans of the 1947-1964 Yankee Dynasty might cite Elston ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 06:50 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

AZCentral: Mesa releases Chicago Cubs agreements

200 pages of documents reveal the extent of the Cubs’ proposed spring-training project. There will be no Bingo Hall in Wrigleyville, for the OUA struck it out.

The document [PDF] governing that part of the project is between Mesa and a company called Mesa Development Holdings LLC. Cubs Vice President Mike Lufrano told The Republic that MDH is an investment entity formed by the Ricketts family, that purchased the Cubs in 2009. ...

Mesa will require the company to build what it calls an ...

Read More...
Greg Franklin Posted: October 12, 2011 at 05:40 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs

MLBTR: Astros Expected to Complete Sale, Move to AL

Alas, poor Lisa, I knew her, Horatio.

Astros owner Drayton McLane is expected to complete the sale of the team to Jim Crane in mid-November, according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network (on Twitter). The arrangement would move Houston to the American League West and even MLB into two leagues of 15 teams.

Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: October 12, 2011 at 04:30 PM | 165 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

STLToday: Overdone stakes? Latest mayoral baseball bet lacks sizzle

Money to charity? BORRRRINGG!!! Mayor Giulani is a man who knows how to wager on the playoffs.

In the division series, Slay placed some Budwesier on the line against a collection of indigenous Philadelphia brews, a respectful if not necessarily inspired wager.
A case of cold, frosty ones would have made the perfect purse for this week’s League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, who play in Miller Park.

But instead of building on the already acrimonious rivalry between ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2011 at 04:00 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals

Theo Epstein in Chicago: Can he break a second curse? | HardballTalk

It will be interesting to see who joins Theo in Chicago. The Red Sox have a very effective front office staff. Who jumps ship and who stays?

The first thing most people thought when the rumors of Theo Epstein possibly joining the Chicago Cubs began to circulate was “can he do it again?”  Can the man credited with ending baseball’s most famous world championship drought end baseball’s longest?  Now that Epstein and the Cubs have a deal, it’s worth taking a look at the challenge facing ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2011 at 03:13 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, red sox

red sox - Heir apparent: How Ben Cherington emerged as Theo Epstein’s likely successor - WEEI | Alex Speier

Cherington fit right into the mold. He was named video advance scout—a role previously held by Byrnes and DePodesta—in which he was solely responsible for breakdown of the opposing teams whom the Indians were preparing to face.

The hours were long, the work all-consuming but immensely rewarding.

“I still go back to that time as a pretty important and fundamental experience for me in my career. … In some ways it was the Moneyball theory looked at through a different lens,” Cherington ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2011 at 02:30 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Nyjer Morgan: from clubhouse cancer to cult hero

It started, as such things often do when Nyjer Morgan is involved, with an angry confrontation. But unlike some of the others, this one took place out of the public’s eye. It was early March, in Viera, Fla., near the start of the Washington Nationals’ Grapefruit League schedule. Jayson Werth, the Nationals’ new $126 million right fielder — who was brought in, in part, to give the Nationals a strong clubhouse presence — felt Morgan was short-cutting some wind sprints in the outfield, ...

Read More...
boteman Posted: October 12, 2011 at 02:13 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, nationals

ALCS Game 4 and NLCS Game 3 CHATTERS

A double-dose of baseball fun!

Rangers (Harrison) at Tigers (Porcello), 4:19 PM on FOX
Brewers (Gallardo) at Cardinals (Carpenter), 8:05 PM on TBS

Gamingboy Posted: October 12, 2011 at 01:20 PM | 593 comment(s)
  Beats: general

BPP: Daly: Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Harry Dalton

GGC educates us on the Dalton plan…to get him in the HOF.

Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? Baseball is a general manager’s game and has been for some time. Right now, Moneyball is in the theaters. Yet, there are only a handful of general managers enshrined in Cooperstown; Branch Rickey, Ed Barrow, George Weiss, and this year’s inductee Pat Gillick.

A lot of credit for the Nixon-era success of the Orioles goes to Earl Weaver, and rightly so. When Weaver and Dalton worked in the Oriole ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 01:12 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Klapisch: Yankees’ killer instinct appears to have vanished

And it seems…only Count Von Saberwolf and his flaming bats can find it!

Unless, of course, you believe there’s no such thing as clutch, a first cousin to the theory that players are prone to the same slumps in October as they are in July. That’s what Girardi was selling at his postmortem news conference at the Stadium. The essence of the manager’s reactions to the upset loss to Detroit were, in no particular order: We never got the big hit. We did our best. Oh well.

He could’ve just ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 09:38 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

Hagen: Phillies GM wants smarter, more productive at-bats

Amaro! Amaro!
I love ya, Amaro!
You’re always
A productive out
Away!

“I think we have to go about it a little differently. And that’s something I’ve talked to GG [hitting coach Greg Gross] and also to Charlie [Manuel] about. I think we just have to have a different mindset, maybe a different approach offensively than maybe we would have had in ‘08 or ‘09.

“I think it’s a different ballclub. In that regard, I don’t think we have nearly as much power. I think we’re going to have to rely on ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 09:23 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-12-2011

25 years ago today:

California’s Donnie Moore on allowing Dave Henderson’s two-out, two-strike ninth inning home run that tied Game Five of the ‘86 ALCS:

“My job’s not an easy job. I gotta make the pitches. When you’re bad, you’re bad. I can handle bad. I’ve had a roller-coaster career. Things have never come easy for me. I can handle it.

“I got a tired arm now, but I can’t blame my arm. If my arm felt that bad, I wouldn’t have gone out there today. I was (horsebleep), no other excuses, I was ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: October 12, 2011 at 09:18 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dugout, history, obituaries, red sox

Boston Globe: Hohler: Inside the collapse.

With their team in peril and their manager losing his authority, three Red Sox pitchers last month were uniquely positioned to prevent the greatest September collapse in major league history. All the Sox needed was Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey to apply the skills and commitment that previously made them World Series champions.

Instead, Boston’s three elite starters went soft, their pitching as anemic as their work ethic. The indifference of Beckett, Lester, and Lackey in a ...

Read More...
Dale Sams Posted: October 12, 2011 at 06:01 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

MLB.com: Bruising retort: Tigers roar in Game 3 victory

Though Victor Martinez’s game-tying home run came at a price with a strained oblique that left him hobbling around the bases, it sparked an outburst of five unanswered runs for the Tigers in what shaped up as a must-win Game 3 in their American League Championship Series showdown with Texas. Doug Fister’s 7 1/3 quality innings took care of the rest for a 5-2 victory.
...
Detroit still trails in the series, two games to one, but looked like a different team than the club that dropped two close ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: October 12, 2011 at 03:42 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, rangers, tigers

Giants Get Sued Over Team’s “San Francisco” Logo

The Gogo Sux.

It was a deeply dissatisfying year on the diamond for the World Champion San Francisco Giants, who seemingly gave up hits and runs for Lent and toppled right out of playoff contention. So it was eerily symbolic — if no less frustrating — when the team was actually barred from trademarking its ubiquitous script “San Francisco” logo.

The trademark instead went to Gogo Sports of Hayward, which creates the “San Francisco”-emblazoned jackets and fleeces snapped up by tourists who ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 12, 2011 at 01:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants, media, memorabilia

Williams considered Konerko for Sox manager

Sounds a little unbelievable, right? Well, it wasn’t too far out there for White Sox general manager Ken Williams to briefly consider the idea of Konerko as a replacement for Ozzie Guillen.

“The report is not false,” said Williams with a wry smile, confirming a story originally coming from the New York Daily News on Konerko’s immediate managerial future. “It was considered long enough for me to realize that Paul is a very cerebral person, and he would probably drive himself nuts right now ...

Read More...
Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2011 at 12:29 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: rumors

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Buckley: Theo Epstein on brink of joining Cubs

Theonooooooooooooooooo!

Two baseball sources have confirmed that Theo Epstein is on the cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston, with an announcement expected to be made “within the next 24 to 48 hours.”

The hangup in the negotiations has been twofold. One of them is that Red Sox ownership was still hoping to have Epstein remain with the team. The other is ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: October 11, 2011 at 10:41 PM | 438 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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