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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jayson Stark: Casting my 2018 Hall of Fame ballot ... today

Look, I know the range data shows he wasn’t really a modern Ozzie Smith. But this just in: Nobody was. Still, those 11 Gold Gloves—the third most by any infielder in history—tell us exactly what the rest of baseball thought of Vizquel in his prime. Plus, I think I can make a case he was the most sure-handed shortstop ever.

I can throw lots of numbers at you, but my favorite is this: Incredibly, he had three seasons in which he played at least 140 games and made five errors or fewer. That’s as ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2017 at 04:45 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, hall of fame, jayson stark, omar vizquel, scott rolen

Predicting every Hall of Fame class through 2045 | ESPN.com

David Schoenfield breaks out his crystal ball.

2043

Elected: Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Theo Epstein

Executives have to be retired for five years to be considered or 70 years old if they’re still active. This is the year Theo will turn 70. He could have 10 World Series titles by then, he could be commissioner of baseball, he could be president, or he could simply be retired and watching YouTube clips of cats clawing at dogs.

Baldrick Posted: January 19, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 19, 1917:

Ray Schalk, catcher of the Chicago Americans, signed a 1917 contract [last night], in defiance of the orders issued by [players’ fraternity president] Fultz. He said he had received an increase in salary and had no reason to hold out.

Washington Times, January 19, 1917:

[Cubs pitcher] Al Demaree is out with a protest against the Fraternity leader’s making the Chicago National League club a goat in the troubles now facing magnate and player.

“The action ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 19, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor relations

Marlins Acquire RHP Straily from Reds

The Reds get a huge prospect haul in return for a huge regression candidate.


2017 Top 10 Catching prospects | MLB.com

Carson Kelly leapfrogs the competition.

1. Carson Kelly, Cardinals
St. Louis has had one of the game’s top catchers for years and has a worthy successor—assuming Yadier Molina ever slows down—in Kelly. He has the arm, receiving ability and leadership skills to win Gold Gloves, and his offensive game is coming around nicely as he gets more accustomed to working behind the plate.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 08:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Read the open letter Tim Raines wrote after learning he’d been inducted into the Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Hello all,

I am extremely honored and humbled to have received the call today that I will be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s the perfect way to cap my 23-year career. When I began playing professional baseball, I just wanted to be one of the best at my position. I wasn’t thinking of Cooperstown. But now that I will be inducted next summer, I am overcome with a wave of emotion and I am so excited to share this honor with my family. I would like to thank everyone who ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, tim raines

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What the Hall of Fame elections will look like through 2022

Curt Schilling hasn’t done himself any favors since he retired, making many controversial comments, many of them on Twitter. He’s the Donald Trump of Hall of Fame voting.

Wahoo Sam Posted: January 18, 2017 at 11:01 PM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball hall of fame, cooperstown

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame election results | MLB.com

Premier leadoff man Tim Raines, Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell and strong-armed backstop Ivan Rodriguez have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 06:13 PM | 203 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

On the Polo Grounds: When Fans Were Fans

My friend Richard Hershberger called this antique article to my attention the other day, as he does every now and then. (Six months ago he had sent me another such story, which I happily posted here: https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/lovers-and-cranks-a7117d85dcad#.g32oxjw87.) No one is a better researcher into the early days of the game than Richard, and no one loves a word picture of a day at the ballpark more than he does, unless it is me. Of the story below, published in the Philadelphia Times of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 06:11 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Josh Hamilton Prepared to Earn Spot on Rangers’ Roster

“... doing so with a first baseman’s glove in tow ...”

Taps Posted: January 18, 2017 at 11:58 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: texas rangers

Braves zero in on Sarasota County for spring training

After a two-year search, the Braves may have found their new spring-training home.

Officials in Sarasota County, Fla., announced Tuesday that the Braves have entered into exclusive negotiations to build a facility in the southwest Florida city of North Port.

If terms are agreed upon and approved, the Braves will move their spring base from Disney World to Sarasota County as soon as 2019.

“Hopefully this thing goes forward, the county commissioners vote on it, and off we go,” Braves Vice ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2017 at 10:57 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, sarasota, spring training


Class of 2017 awaits call from Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Today’s the day!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2017

Tacoma Times, January 18, 1917:

Ty Cobb, Detroit slugger, speed merchant, said but two words in defining his stand on the baseball strike situation. “I’m neutral,” said the Georgia peach, in a telegram to a St. Louis sport editor today. He had been asked whether he would join the Tigers on their spring training jaunt or line up with Dave Fultz in the proposed strike.

Washington Herald, January 18, 1917:

The tip was out, but could not be confirmed, that [AL president] Ban Johnson and [AFL ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor relations

Alex Rodriguez to host CNBC reality show featuring cash-strapped former athletes

Alex Rodriguez will host a CNBC reality television show featuring retired athletes who face financial troubles.

CNBC announced Tuesday that the show’s working title is “Back in the Game.” It will be co-produced by another former New York sports star, Michael Strahan…

According to a CNBC release, the pilot episode of “Back in the Game” will pair former athletes “in serious financial distress with money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet.”

Mentor: Don’t plunge millions of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:23 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, reality tv

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Willie McCovey Pardoned by Obama

McCovey pleaded guilty to income tax-fraud conspiracy in 1995, alongside fellow baseball star Duke Snider, for failing to report thousands of dollars each in fees received from memorabilia and autograph shows.

The plea carried a sentence of up to seven months in jail. Both McCovey and Snider, who died in 2011, were given two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine in 1996.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 09:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: barack obama, crimes & misdemeanors, giants, willie mccovey

Jose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com

The Blue Jays and Bautista have agreed to a one-year contract that includes a mutual option but is pending the completion of a physical, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday afternoon. The deal’s options could keep Bautista in Toronto through 2019. The club has not confirmed the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 03:27 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, free agents, jose bautista

Relocation Less Common in MLB Than NFL, Other Leagues

In 1972, the Washington Senators packed up and moved down to Texas to become the Rangers. In the 45 years since the Senators’ departure, however, only a single other Major League Baseball franchise has relocated: the Montreal Expos (owned by MLB at the time) moved to Washington before the 2005 season and became the Nationals.

During that same 45-year period, meanwhile, the National Football League has seen the relocation of franchises on nine occasions (10 if Oakland completes their move to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 02:55 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, mlb, nfl, relocation

Ratto- “Hall of Fame voters’ biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?”

Love him or hate him, it’s Ray Ratto- accept no substitutes…

TJ Posted: January 17, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-17-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 17, 1917:

David L. Fultz, president of the Baseball Players’ Fraternity, [yesterday] set February 20 as the date the players’ strike is likely to become effective.
...
[Fultz:] “If the present baseball tangle is not straightened out by that time…not one of the 18 leading members of the [Cubs will report to spring training]...The other clubs, who had unsigned fraternity players, will be up against a similar situation when they order mobilization at the training ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 10:22 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, labor relations

Matheny: Spring training ‘priorities’ may look different this year | stltoday.com

“Efficiency” is the buzzword Matheny used Monday to describe the spring training work, and he said he and his staff “may go against the grain of what traditionally has been done — implementing different priorities.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mike matheny

Gordo: How many of Cards’ talented prospects will ever reach the majors? | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com

Overall, the Cardinals nail player development. The organization scouts and teaches well. Matheny has fostered a prospect-friendly environment at the big league level, making certain that his veterans are welcoming and helpful.

This is the Cardinal Way. It’s not just a philosophy, it is a business model. By building and maintaining a self-renewing talent base, the Cardinals fill most needs internally without spending big money on free agents like Dexter Fowler.

They keep contending and keep ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Pirates’ Bell credits yoga for improved flexibility, weight loss | TribLIVE

“I took my first ground ball and I was like, ‘Oh, gosh! I’m way too stiff.’ ” Bell said. “All season long, (Young) was busting on me: ‘I told you to go to yoga. What, you say your hips are tight? I told you to go to yoga.’ So, the first day of (this past) offseason, I started going to yoga.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 08:58 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: josh bell, pirates

The Bautista and Saunders news - and what it means for the Orioles’ RF pursuit - BaltimoreBaseball.com

When does Trumbo come back?

So, I don’t view the news from Monday involving Bautista or Saunders as particularly damaging for the Orioles. But I do see the Saunders signing as an indication that the number of free-agent outfielders who can truly help the Orioles, is starting to wane.

That’s key, because adding Welington Castillo and Seth Smith has to be the start of the club’s plan to be better than it was in 2016 and not the full plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 08:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles

Jerry Dipoto’s Trade Activity, in Context | FanGraphs Baseball

I don’t recall him making a lot of trades with the Angels.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: jerry dipoto, mariners

Cubs honored by President Obama at White House | MLB.com

It was a true love fest.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 06:49 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, world series

Monday, January 16, 2017

Padres’ Margot tops prospects all defense team | MLB.com

These days, there may be more value placed on defense and certainly more time spent on evaluating and quantifying it than ever before. When MLBPipeline.com surveyed front-office officials as to which prospects stood out most for their glovework, there was no shortage of candidates.

In fact, there were so many talented defenders that among the 18 votes we received, no player garnered more than Padres outfielder Manuel Margot’s three and a half. Thirteen players received at least a half a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2017 at 07:28 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Royals, starter Danny Duffy agree to contract extension through 2021 season

The Royals and left-handed starter Danny Duffy on Monday agreed to a new five-year, $65 million contract that runs through the 2021 season.

Duffy could have become a free agent after the 2017 season, his final year of arbitration, but will instead make $5 million this season, $14 million in 2018, $15.25 million in 2019 and 2020 and $15.5 million in 2021.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2017 at 03:39 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: danny duffy, royals

Bearing the Glory: Jackie Robinson’s 1949 MVP Award

After twenty years of singular focus and desire, twenty years of getting knocked down and picking yourself up, twenty years of eating ####, twenty years of crawling over broken glass, twenty years of getting on a crowded bus to brave that goddamned commute, twenty years of bearing it, you are finally and publicly acknowledged as the very best in your chosen profession.

You’ve MADE it. You’ve reached the goal you’ve been chasing every day for the last twenty years. It should be the very best ...

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gehrig97 Posted: January 16, 2017 at 01:13 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, dodgers, integration, jackie robinson, racism

10 baseball trades that look more lopsided now | MLB.com

Or, stop judging deals when they get made.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: trades

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