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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fielder’s next stop: Brewers unlikely, Parma possible?

The free agent slugger was in Parma, Italy, last Saturday as part of a European tour with fellow major leaguers Adam Jones, Mike Stanton, Dexter Fowler, Roger Bernadina, Greg Halman, and Dutch-born right-hander Rick VandenHurk. Former All-Star Bobby Bonilla, an executive with the players’ union, joined the group as they conducted youth clinics in Parma, Amsterdam, and Prague.

Why Parma? Baseball is more popular there than just about anywhere else in Italy. Cariparma Parma is one of the most ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 16, 2011 at 11:28 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, international

The London Rippers?

The return of professional baseball in London, Ontario is off to a controversial start.  The London Rippers will begin play in the independent Frontier League in 2012.  The nickname was introduced Tuesday and its likeness to serial killer Jack The Ripper is drawing plenty of criticism.  London City Council has asked the club to reconsider its moniker.

Paul D(uda) Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:48 PM | 143 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Haudricourt: Craig Counsell won’t be back

Damn, I haven’t been this bummed…since I found out GBV’s Let’s Go Eat the Factory wasn’t an aborted tribute to us.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin just told us that he doesn’t plan to make an offer to re-sign free agent infielder Craig Counsell, a Milwaukee native who has played the last five seasons with the club.

...I contacted Counsell at his home in Milwaukee and he said he was aware that the Brewers would not try to re-sign him.

“I’ve talked to Ron (Roenicke) a couple of times and ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 07:46 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

BBWAA: Manager of Year: Kirk Gibson Wins NL Award, Joe Maddon Wins in AL

Kirk Gibson, who directed the Arizona Diamondbacks in a worst-to-first season as winners of the National League West title, was voted NL Manager of the Year in balloting by the BBWAA.

Gibson, 54, placed first on 28 ballots and second on the other four of the 32 ballots, submitted by two writers in each league city, to score 152 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. He was the only manager in either league this year to be named to every ballot.

Joe Maddon, who guided Tampa Bay from a ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 06:57 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, awards, rays

Cubs to give Carlos Zambrano a chance

MILWAUKEE—Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein met face-to-face with Carlos Zambrano on Monday afternoon and said the starter will get a chance to return to the team in 2012.


“We met today at his request,” Epstein said. “It went well. He expressed a strong desire to be a Cub (again) and an even stronger desire to have a strong 2012 season. He’s in great shape. He’s working out twice a day, pitching down in Venezuela. I told him that we’d let him earn his right back ...

Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: November 16, 2011 at 05:47 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, japan

Kevin Goldstein: Orioles Top 11 Prospects

System In 20 Words Or Less: Elite-level draft picks lead to a pair of studs, but without them, it’s a mess.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Dylan Bundy, RHP
2. Manny Machado, SS
Four-Star Prospects
3. Jonathan Schoop, INF
Three-Star Prospects
4. Nick Delmonico, 3B
5. Jason Esposito, 3B
6. Robert Bundy, RHP
7. Parker Bridwell, RHP
8. Dan Klein, RHP
9. Ryan Adams, 2B
Two-Star Prospects
10. L.J. Hoes, OF
11. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP

Nine More:
12. Clayton Schrader, RHP: Put up remarkable numbers; ...

Tripon Posted: November 16, 2011 at 05:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, orioles, prospect reports, scouting

Chad Harbach:  (Almost) Winning in Milwaukee

This was too long for my Internet-addled mind to get through in one quick sitting (and it has footnotes!).  Let me know what it says.

I could tell the crowd was serious by how little Packers garb I saw despite the autumn Sunday — even in the height of summer there’s usually more green and gold. Fans in red had to be vetted for Badger or Cardinal alliance — if they were wandering instead of tailgating, they were probably from St. Louis. The Cards fans’ beefiness looked different from ...

Fat Al Posted: November 16, 2011 at 03:22 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals

Detroit News: Paul: One down, one to go? Verlander wants the MVP, too

“But that doesn’t make him a slam dunk for anything more than he won Tuesday. He still has plenty of competition for MVP, among the candidates, three outfielders — Jacoby Ellsbury from the Red Sox, Curtis Granderson from the Yankees and Jose Bautista from the Blue Jays.

“Curtis Granderson, he’s a friend,” Verlander said of his former Tigers teammate. “If I don’t win, that’s the guy I hope has the best opportunity.”

Still, Verlander’s as competitive as it gets. On the mound. On the golf ...

Don Malcolm Posted: November 16, 2011 at 02:54 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: awards

Reds move up Opening Day to accommodate parade

And the Tupolev Tu-160’s are all gassed up for parade flyovers!

Thanks to a concession by the Marlins, the Reds were able to move Opening Day up to Thursday, April 5, at 4:10 p.m ET at Great American Ball Park. The game was originally scheduled for Friday, April 6.

The Reds asked Major League Baseball to move the game up even before the schedule was announced in September.

The Marlins had to approve the switch since they are opening the season Wednesday, April 4, with a single game against ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 02:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, reds

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-16-2011

Pittsburgh Press, November 16, 1911:

A short season in both the American and National leagues, followed by another season of games among all the teams of both circuits, is not likely to receive serious attention at the hands of the National Commission this winter.
[National League president Thomas Lynch:] “The game as it is now conducted by the two leagues is in a most prosperous condition…The commission members feel we should be content to ‘leave well enough alone’ and not try to force more ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tom Gage’s AL Cy Young Award ballot

I gotta’ tell ya’, it’s a barrage
It’s a mirage
We are the Tigers

The News’ Tom Gage had one of the 28 votes for the Cy Young.

1. Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers — Slam dunk.

2. Jose Valverde, RP, Tigers — Wasn’t afraid to put another Tiger second. In the American League, his 49-for-49 in saves was the second-best pitching accomplishment of the season.

3. Jered Weaver, SP, Angels — Excellent most of the way, but won only four games the last two months.

4. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees — ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, tigers

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Chicago Cubs

Hey, Bongiovanni…my patience is wearing thin.

1. Brett Jackson, of
2. Javier Baez, ss
3. Matt Szczur, of
4. Trey McNutt, rhp
5. Dillon Maples, rhp
6. Wellington Castillo, c
7. Rafael Dolis, rhp
8. Junior Lake, ss
9. Josh Vitters, 3b/1b
10. Dan Vogelbach, 1b

Epstein and Co. have their work cut out for them. The big league club has more bad contracts than young cornerstones and will need at least a year to rebuild, even with the Cubs’ vast resources. Outfielder Brett Jackson is ready ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 10:50 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Joura: From 1966-2011, one move a year Mets should have made

Opens Mets pfeil…Gak! No mention of Rich “0 fer 10” Puig!

1966 – With the top overall pick in the draft, the New York Mets take Reggie Jackson
1967 – Keep Tommy Davis or at least don’t trade him for Tommie Agee.
1968 – With the top overall pick in the draft, the New York Mets take Thurman Munson

1977 – Ban Dick Young from the clubhouse
1978 – Have Joel Youngblood take off his cap just once while my sister was watching so she could see he was bald
1979 – Never, ever trade for ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 10:37 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, mets

Strauss: Cards not interested in Fielder if Pujols leaves

The Cardinals tipped their hand in early September by re-signing right fielder Lance Berkman to a one-year, $12 million extension. Though Mozeliak publicly has never connected the dots, the club intends to move Berkman to first base and install Allen Craig in right field should Pujols go elsewhere.

Speaking on the first official day of baseball’s general managers meetings, Mozeliak said that the Cardinals are more inclined to spend heavily on Pujols because of what he represents to the ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business, cardinals

Corcoran: Verlander’s outstanding season puts him in Hall of Fame discussion

10 - (a) 9 - (count) 8 - (down) 7 - (to) 6 - (the) 5 - (first) 4 - (mention) 3 - (of) 2 - (Jack) 1 - (Morris)

It’s still early in Verlander’s career—he’ll be 29 in February as he prepares for his seventh full season—but he is very much on pace to be a future Hall of Famer himself, and this award is a big reason why. After six seasons, Verlander has made four All-Star teams, won the Rookie of the Year award (and is now the first AL Rookie of the Year to later win the Cy Young), was the ace of a ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 02:28 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, tigers

J.D. Drew may continue his career


Agent Scot Boras said J.D. Drew may continue to play baseball in 2012

“I just think it depends, frankly, on the locale, winning situation, that kind of thing,” Boras said.

Drew, who resides in Georgia, finished a 5-year, $70 million deal with the Red Sox in an injury-filled 2011. Drew has been contemplating retirement for a couple of years and certainly didn’t end things on a good note suffering a broken knuckle that sidelined him most of the final month of last season after his ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 02:12 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Former Astros players bothered by talk of move to American League

Skip it!...demands Skip Quinn. And other divine blubberations.

“It bothers me a lot,” said Larry Dierker, who won 137 games for the Astros from 1964-1976, managed the team to four division titles from 1997-2001 and has been affiliated with the franchise for virtually his entire adult life. “It will probably bother me even more when it happens. We’re just a victim of circumstance.”

...“The team that should be in the American League is Milwaukee,” said former All-Star outfielder ...

Repoz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 01:51 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, history

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MLB: Xavier Paul victim of identity hoax in ABL

Pirates outfielder Xavier Paul has become caught in the middle of an identity hoax that had officials with the Australian Baseball League expecting Paul’s arrival at the start of their season, which began earlier this month.

Problem was, Paul had never actually agreed to go.(...)

Posing as an agent, [Diamondbacks minor leaguer Breland] Brown offered the ABL a deal in which Paul would agree to play in Australia this offseason if Brown was also invited. The ABL accepted the agreement. Brown was ...

Austin Posted: November 15, 2011 at 08:57 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Verducci: Lack of Success for Japanese Stars Opens Debate About Next Wave

What does the 16-year history of transitions from Japan to the states mean for Darvish’s market? Not as much as you might think. One executive evaluated Darvish as a No. 2 starter. Another described him as “a middle- to top-of-the rotation starter now. He has the size, strength and age to overcome some of the transition problems. And if he does come out this year, there [are] not a whole lot of starting pitchers on the market, so that works in his favor.”

Darvish, a long-strider with a ...

Bourbon Samurai Posted: November 15, 2011 at 08:29 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, international, japan, red sox

Baseball, softball weigh merger for Olympic bid

By their powers combined….

Baseball and softball could merge into one international governing body in hopes of returning to the Olympics.

The sports are meeting with Olympic officials this week to find out how much co-operation is required to regain their summer games status, International Softball Federation President Don Porter said Tuesday.

“There are a lot of benefits of being an Olympic sport. That is what you have to weigh against losing your identity,” Porter told The Associated ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 15, 2011 at 08:05 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: international, olympics

BBWAA: Justin Verlander Wins Cy Young Award Unanimously

Detroit Tigers righthander Justin Verlander, who won the Triple Crown of pitching by leading the American League in victories (24), earned run average (2.40) and strikeouts (250), was a unanimous choice for the league’s Cy Young Award.

Verlander, 28, was named first on all 28 ballots cast by two writers in each league city for a perfect score of 196 points, based on a tabulation system that rewards seven points for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for ...

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:49 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, tigers

El Tour de Tucson: Ride features Barry Bonds

Thought Bonds said he never cycled…

Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s disputed home run king, is expected to ride in El Tour de Tucson on Saturday.

Founder Richard DeBernardis said Bonds, who broke baseball’s single-season (73) and career (762) home run records amid accusations of steroid abuse, has registered for the ride.

The former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants outfielder - who retired after the 2007 season - will attend with Olympic cyclist Mari Holden, a friend, ...

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 06:34 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, history

Fangraphs: Isaacs: If Elias Used WAR

Obviously…Bill James would then have to protect himself.

Finally, I compared the current rankings as calculated by Elias and the idealized rankings using WAR where the top 20% of players according to WAR would be considered type A. The Venn Diagram below shows two sets and their intersection with each other. The red circle is the number of type A players according to the Elias ranking, and the blue circle is the number of type A players according to my WAR ranking. The intersection of the two ...

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 05:58 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, projections, sabermetrics

Orioles go back to the 80?s with new caps, jersey

Holy Lenn Sakata!!

The Baltimore Orioles turned back the clock on their uniform set today when they unveiled their new home and road caps as well as a new orange alternate jersey for the 2012 season.

Coming back is the cartoon bird head which was featured prominently on the Orioles caps from 1966-1988, the logo is wider than the version worn in the 1980s and has been modernized slightly also to include the Orioles alternate “O’s” logo cap on the head of the oriole.  This means Orioles ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:53 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Ken Davidoff: The best general managers, 2011

I’m assuming Dayton Moore just missed the cut.

3. Brian Cashman, Yankees (5 in ‘10, 6 in ‘09, NR in ‘08, 8 in ‘07) . It was a banner year for the Yankees’ baseball operations department, even if it didn’t end with a new banner to fly over Yankee Stadium.


After seeing their top target Lee bolt to Philadelphia, Cashman put his faith in the likes of Ivan Nova (whom he had refused to trade to Seattle for Lee in July of ‘10) and low-rent free agents Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. No ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:26 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, athletics, business, cubs, miami, phillies, rangers, rays, tigers, twins, yankees

Sullivan: Mark Ellis, Dodgers Agree on Two-Year Contract

But who has the Authority to sign Ellis??

During the 2011 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave the bulk of their starts at second base to Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles. One of those players has signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Twins while the other player is Aaron Miles, so the Dodgers were in need of some help. On Monday, they’ve found that help, or at least they hope they’ve found that help, as they’ve signed free agent second baseman Mark Ellis to a two-year contract worth ...

The District Attorney Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:40 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Yankee Analysts: “Recommended Slots” Make Sense for All Parties to New Baseball CBA

Although the recommendation system being proposed could have the effect of dampening amateur demands, it doesn’t constitute a hard cap. As a result, individual draftees can still make the case that they merit a team either paying a tax or losing a draft pick.

Ultimately, the amount of the slotting recommendations will determine just how fair this compromise turns out to be, but in the abstract, it really is no different from that which tenured players in the MLBPA currently face, namely the ...

Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:35 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: business

Neyer: Hanley Ramirez Not Thrilled About Making Way For Jose Reyes

The Miami Marlins already have a shortstop, and according to Clark Spencer he’s not real interested in becoming an ex-shortstop:

  Source: H. Ramírez is not at all pleased at prospect of changing positions if Marlins sign Reyes; the two aren’t the friends many portray.

What’s more, even if they were the best of pals, H. Ramírez wouldn’t necessarily appreciate being moved from shortstop; most shortstops don’t, particularly those shortstops who are 27 years old and were, just scant months ...

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:21 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, miami

Rosecrans: Rookie award may not predict future success

Or…My bucket Listach has a definite hole in it.

With that in mind, I wanted to look back on the past Rookie of the Year winners and what players had the best careers after winning the award and which ones peaked in their first year. Because this particular argument needs time for perspective, I’ve broken up the last 20 years in five-year increments. Below are the winners of the awards each year for both leagues, as well as their Wins Above Replacement (from for both ...

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 10:52 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, projections, sabermetrics

Frank McCourt apologizes to Dodgers fans

“Take out the garbage, maybe, but the dishes don’t get done…”

Frank McCourt apologized to Dodgers fans for the ownership struggle of the last two years and said he was “at peace” with the result of battles in which he took on his ex-wife in divorce court and Commissioner Bud Selig in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers two weeks ago, signing a document that renders the decision “irrevocable.” In his first public comments since then, he said Monday that he had no regrets ...

Repoz Posted: November 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

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