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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cardinals notebook: Wide strike zone no longer big part of game strategy : Sports

On Saturday, Maddon remarked how even though “it’s a structured strike zone, (but) it’s always interpreted differently by whomever is behind the plate.” What limits the umpires, Matheny has said several times, is the use of technology such as FoxTrax for broadcasts and the similar grid tech that Major League Baseball uses to grade umpires. The benefit, Matheny said, is “more accountability and should be more consistency.” The drawback is the diminishing importance of a catcher who ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 10:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, strike zone

Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Gonzalez, and Albert Pujols Combine to Set the Major League Record For Most Players to Finish a Season With 40 or More Home Runs and Less Than 100 RBIs

With the trend over the last several seasons showing a rise in strikeouts, drops in batting average, OBP, and runs scored, along with a sustained focus on power it is likely seasons of 40 or more home runs with less than 100 RBI may become more common.  In fact, Pujols was the only one of the five sluggers to complete the odd feat who was not a regular strikeout victim.  What’s more, none of the five 40 or more home run/sub-100 RBI seasons produced in 2015 were abbreviated by injury or had any ...


Bunt-happy Joe Maddon leads the charge in wild Cubs’ victory | Chicago Sun-Times

Bunts for all my friends!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 08:42 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs

Mets’ Pitching Coach Keeps Young Arms From Harm’s Way - The New York Times

Warthen is tasked with keeping elbows safe. At least that’s the premise of the article.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: john warthen, mets

Sunday Notes: Cubs, Pirates, Managers, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, notes


ALDS Game 3 (Tied 1-1): Kansas City (Volquez) at Houston (Keuchel). 4 PM. MLB Network.

ALDS Game 3 (Texas leads 2-0, advances to ALCS with win): Toronto (Estrada) at Texas (Perez)


Gamingboy Posted: October 11, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 207 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Plaschke: Chase Utley’s slide was late, high and arguably dirty

The slide was late. The slide was high. The slide was questionably legal and arguably dirty.

Even if you were watching it through blue-colored glasses, you had to admit that the slide was recklessly dangerous, so much that it broke another man’s leg.

Oakland A’s Minor Leaguer Mike Nolan Dies After Drive-By Shooting

Mike Nolan died on Thursday three weeks after he was shot outside of a Yonkers, N.Y. Burger Kings on September 18. Nolan and friends were standing around outside when their group was shot at from a car moving along Central Avenue. He was 23 years old.

Police believe the attack was related to a drag race. Nobody has been arrested yet.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2015 at 12:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, deaths in baseball, minor leaguer, minor leagues

Saturday, October 10, 2015

More Angell:By Comparison

With four divisional playoff games on view yesterday between twelve-thirty in the afternoon and one this morning, a surviving witness of forty-one innings and three hundred and four at-bats (three hundred and twenty-nine batters, counting walks and sacrifices; or one thousand two hundred and fifty-four pitches) can offer only blurry, overlapping notes as summary… game of the day, a corker, with deGrom and the celebrated Dodger lefty and double Cy Young holder Clayton Kershaw striking out ...

Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: class, degroom, roger angell

Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson mum about Keone Kela, Pete Rose jabs - SweetSpot - ESPN

The skirmishes during the season don’t really bother me. It’s a long season and sometimes emotions get heated. During the playoffs, though, they are just stupid. There is too much riding on each game for players to act like this.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson offered little insight on the heated exchange he had with Texas Rangers reliever Keone Kela in the 13th inning after Donaldson’s bid for a second home run in Game 2 Friday afternoon sailed foul.

Benches cleared briefly ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:25 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, josh donaldson, keone kela, rangers

Peter Abraham | What is the trade value of each Red Sox player? - The Boston Globe

You don’t trade this kid.

Blake Swihart: If the Red Sox believe Christian Vazquez will be healthy and ready to go for Opening Day, trading Swihart becomes an option. A young, talented, and cost-controlled catcher could be part of a package that brings back a top-tier starter.

But dealing Swihart would be difficult because of his vast potential. They’d have to be awfully sure.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:22 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Qualifying Offer Value Set At .8MM - MLB Trade Rumors

That’s a nice chunk of change.

The 2015-16 free agent season’s qualifying offer value has been set at $15.8MM, according to a tweet from Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal. That represents an increase, of course, but the rise isn’t nearly as great as it has been in the past.

The QO system used a $13.3MM number in its first year, which increased to $14.1MM and then to $15.3MM last fall. The qualifying offer value is determined by averaging the 125 contracts leaguewide that have the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:19 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: business, free agency, free agent compensation

Horn: A letter to Rangers fans who feel national broadcasts are against them | Dallas Morning News

Is there a more tiresome broadcasting team than Costas and Kaat? They are just awful. Among the many stupid things they talked about yesterday was the umpire’s strike zone. The umpire was all over the place. Repeatedly, though, they would complain about a pitch being called wrong even when the pitch tracking clearly showed the call was right. Now they don’t have to love all the new stats or technology but not understanding pitch tracking just makes them look completely out of touch with today’s ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:10 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, grumpy old men, rangers

Eric Hosmer shines as the Royals come from behind to beat Astros | The Kansas City Star

It certainly wasn’t pretty, except to Royals fans.

The pitch is a slider — another slider — and Hosmer is beat. Absolutely beat.

This pitch is way off the plate, but Hosmer is expecting a fastball, so by the time he recognizes the break it’s too late. He goes into what hitters call the emergency hack, with his rear end jutting back, shoulders lunging over the plate and those long arms throwing the head of the bat toward the ball. At the point of contact, Hosmer looks like he’s sitting ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, eric hosmer, royals

Even in loss, Colby Rasmus’ hot streak continues - Ultimate Astros

It’s the Colby series. Maybe it’s the hair.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, colby rasmus, playoffs, royals

In battle of big-game hunters, John Lackey outduels Jon Lester | Chicago Sun-Times

If only the Red Sox could get pitchers this good, maybe they would make the playoffs.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 09:02 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, playoffs

Jacob deGrom dazzles as Mets beat Dodgers in NLDS Game 1 | Newsday

A great pitching duel in LA. If only it was a little earlier…

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, jacob degrom, mets

Braves: The trades that hurt the most |

“At the end of it, I think we all feel that we’re in a much better position sitting here than we were at this time last year, in spite of the fact that we had 90-plus losses,” said John Hart, Braves president of baseball operations. “We’re in a much better position. We have a level of financial flexibility. We have absolutely grown our farm system between the trades that we made and the draft and international.

“You don’t just snap your fingers and have it work. It wasn’t ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:49 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Cubs’ offense stalls in Game 1 loss as wide strike zone hampers approach

That’s not exactly saying Cuzzi had a great game, but it’s not enough to get Maddon in trouble, either. Instead, let’s look at data courtesy of Inside Edge scouting services: The Cubs had six strikes called on 47 pitches out of the zone. Of their six strikeouts looking, four came on pitches outside the zone. That’s a big number. Meanwhile, the Cardinals saw two of 48 pitches outside the zone called for strikes, with one coming on a called strike three.

“I voiced my opinion a couple times, ...

McCoy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs

Rougned Odor Slides Around Instant Replay | FanGraphs Baseball

I am not a fan of instant replay. It’s tedious. They often review calls and get it wrong. I also dislike when people complain about a call not getting overturned when there is no conclusive evidence. I watched the replay multiple times. To me it looks like his spikes are still touching the bag. At the least, it proves the evidence isn’t conclusive, which means the original call stands. The original call made by the umpire who was only a few feet away.

The glove is on the leg. The cleat, at ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, instant replay, playoffs, rangers


5:30 PM Cubs (Hendricks) at Cardinals (Garcia), TBS. Cardinals lead 1-0

9 PM Mets (Syndergaard) at Dodgers (Greinke), TBS. Mets lead 1-0.


Gamingboy Posted: October 10, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 1017 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Friday, October 09, 2015

Botched surgery made Joe DiMaggio impotent | Page Six

Ah, OK.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 09:14 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: joe dimaggio, yankees

Vin Scully Not Calling Postseason Games

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully won’t be calling any games in the baseball playoffs after undergoing a medical procedure.

There’s not much more to the article, except a few related tweets that might have scrolled off by the time you read it. This news makes me sad.

Bote Man Posted: October 09, 2015 at 01:26 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, health, tv, vin scully

MLB Division Series set for 4 games in one day |

I’m really looking forward to watching some playoff baseball today.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 12:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs

Mariners reportedly dismiss Lloyd McClendon |

The purge in Seattle continues.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 12:04 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managers, mariners

Lloyd McClendon will not return as Mariners’ manager

Lloyd McClendon won’t return as manager for the 2016 season, according to sources.

McClendon moves on after compiling records of 87-75 in 2014 and 76-86 in 2015. His first season as manager produced the Mariners’ first winning season since 2009. But this season’s team began with lofty playoff expectations and the Mariners never met them, struggling to play with any consistency. When general manager Jack Zduriencik, the man who hired him, was fired Aug. 28, McClendon’s future became ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 09, 2015 at 11:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managerial firings, mariners

Johnny Cueto must reclaim his ace title in Game 2 | The Kansas City Star

“We didn’t do what we did as a team all year,” Alex Gordon said.

“Tomorrow is another day,” Alcides Escobar said.

“We have to come back out tomorrow, even it up and go back to their place,” Eric Hosmer said.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 11:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: johnny cueto, playoffs, royals

MLB not enforcing new pace-of-play rules during playoffs

Time is a construct. Its ALWAYS OCTOBER

Major League Baseball’s attempt to speed up the pace of play shaved, on average, six minutes off the length of regular-season games. But don’t expect the time of games to drop well into the playoffs.

MLB has elected not to warn players for any pace-of-play violations for the postseason due to the importance of the games.

MORE: Lessons from KC vs HOU | 12 players with dubious postseason distinctions

Even as commercial breaks in the postseason have ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 09, 2015 at 11:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: commercials, pace of play, rob manfred, television

Star-Studded All-Rookie Team Offers Immense Upside -

BA’s All-Rookie Team.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 10:50 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies

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