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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Day in the Bleachers by Arnold Hano | The National Pastime Museum

Click the link and read the rest.

A turning point in my baseball reading, when I began to appreciate the impressive history of the game’s literature, came with my teenage discovery of Charles Einstein’s three (later four) volumes of The Fireside Book of Baseball, an anthology of game accounts, columns, poems, illustrations, and cartoons covering several decades. The series had been around a while before I ran across it, but I first read the words of Ring Lardner, Heywood Broun, and Damon ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 03:00 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: books

HOF Tracker Explorer

Neat.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 01:54 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Yoenis Cespedes making his free-agent case | MLB.com

Also not helping Cespedes is the simple fact that we’re in the midst of what’s a very tough market for outfielders, given that there’s no shortage of them still available—Alex Gordon, Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler and Denard Span, plus Carlos Gonzalez and others via trade. For outfield-needy teams without unlimited funds like the Angels, White Sox, or Giants, is it worth all that risk when more inexpensive options are available?

But that hot month, you protest. If we’ve learned anything this ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 01:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yoenis cespedes


MLB Network To Air Documentary On Ken ‘The Hawk’ Harrelson

In a new documentary titled Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson, MLB Network will dive deep into the life of the famed player-turned-broadcaster, who is celebrating his 50th year in Major League Baseball.

Airing Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. CT, the hour-long documentary, narrated by Bob Costas, will feature Hawk telling stories of what “Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams thought of each other’s playing ability; his friendship with Mickey Mantle; meeting Hall of Fame NFL coach Vince ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2015 at 10:15 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: documentaries, hawk harrelson, mlb network, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2015

El Paso Herald, December 30, 1915:

Only the unwritten rule that bars negroes from major league participation has kept out of organized baseball one of Cuba’s most wonderful players—“Black” Gonzales.

Gonzales has an ear so finely attuned that the instant the bat hits the ball he can tell where it is going. Time and again he has been blindfolded and then called off the exact direction in which the drive is going. Very often he has fielded the ball while in an outfield position with his eyes ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, dugout, fiction, history, negro leagues

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro more concerned with winning than being well-liked: Post Sports’ People of 2015

Everything you might have wanted to know about Mark Shapiro.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark shapiro


And the names on my Hall of Fame ballot are ... | Tampa Bay Times

Marc Topkin ballot.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

White Sox, Orioles pursuing Yoenis Cespedes | MLB.com

The White Sox and Orioles have emerged as the favorites to sign Cespedes, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. The Angels, Giants and Rangers are all reportedly monitoring the situation as well.

Cespedes, 30, has been reportedly seeking a six-year deal or at least a deal worth more than $100 million after a career year in 2015. He batted .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 105 RBIs in 159 games with the Tigers and Mets. CBS Sports reported last week that a reunion with the Mets is unlikely, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles, white sox, yoenis cespedes

Scott Boras On Free Agency, Davis, Span, CBA - MLB Trade Rumors

My favorite part of the interview was when Boras said Davis was a option at third base, which, if I am remembering correctly, produced a chuckle from one of the hosts.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: scott boras

Attorneys for Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard send letters to Al Jazeera America demanding retraction - The Washington Post

I didn’t watch the full video. Is this report based entirely on the guy/intern who retracted his claims?

The version of the report on Al Jazeera’s website now contains a correction at the top, dated Monday, that says an earlier version of the written version of the story – not the film – contained references to Zimmerman and Howard using human growth hormone.

“The substance alleged was Delta 2, not HGH,” the correction reads.

The film version of the report contains a conversation ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:28 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, phillies, ryan howard, ryan zimmerman

Baseball: Saito getting fresh start seeing game from other side | Kyodo News

The Padres have a new intern.

For many players, leaving the game begs the huge question of what to do next, but for former big league reliever Takashi Saito, that period was remarkably brief.

A month after throwing his last pitch for his hometown Rakuten Eagles, the former National League all-star announced he would be joining the San Diego Padres as a front office intern, a job that took him to Nashville, Tennessee, this month for the baseball winter meetings.

At the time of the announcement, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, takashi saito

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nationals sign veteran infielder Stephen Drew to one-year, $3 million deal

Washington has found its utility middle infielder, agreeing to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract late Tuesday night with Stephen Drew. The agreement was first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, who adds that Drew can earn another $1.25 million in performance-based incentives as part of the one-year deal.

Drew has batted just .185/.257/.347 in 728 plate appearances over the last two seasons, but he did manage to slug 17 home runs in 131 games (115 starts) with the Yankees in 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:16 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, nationals, stephen drew

Why does nobody want Yoenis Cespedes? - Beyond the Box Score

Nobody wants him at his price. At least right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 11:50 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yoenis cespedes

Red Sox ZIPS Projections

[bq]The object of considerable attention among the authors of this site, it’s probably not inaccurate to suggest that infielder/outfielder Mookie Betts is riddled with virtue. Or perhaps, afflicted by virtue. In either case, what he’s done is to parlay wide-ranging competence into a star-level profile. He’s projected to produce nearly a 20-20 season while also recording a strikeout rate of about 12%. He certainly doesn’t possess the skill set typical of a right fielder, but he’s ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 29, 2015 at 11:35 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, red sox, zips

MLB should build a national stadium

I thought the Nationals already had a stadium?

All this has to make any American baseball fan think: What if our national pastime finally got a national venue?
What if a stadium was constructed somewhere in the United States to serve as the official center of baseball in America? How would it work? Where would it be built? Would it make the game even more popular than it already is? Would it create even more indelible history and hallowed ground in a game that’s been built on time-honored ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:36 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: stadiums, world series

Major League Baseball’s Biggest Problems - Forbes

Minor League pay is not just an ownership problem. It’s also a player problem. The players should be pushing to increase the owners to increase the Minor League players’ share of MLB revenue. Doubling or tripling their pay would be a small piece of the overall pie.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:26 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: general

MLB to Offer Single-Team MLB.TV Purchase Option for 2016

It just so happens I enjoy watching a single team!

Specifically, in a recent court-filing in the Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball lawsuit – in which the plaintiffs are challenging various MLB broadcasting practices under federal antitrust law – MLB’s lawyers have indicated that changes are in store for MLB.TV in the coming year. As the league’s attorneys explain on Page 9 of the document available here:

“beginning next season MLB will make single-team, out-of-market ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mlb.tv, mlbam, streaming, television

Prospect Poll: Corey Seager tops Byron Buxton | MLB.com

I prefer Seager as well.

“Seager is more prepared to impact the Major Leagues in the next calendar year, but Buxton will be the more impactful player in the years that follow,” a second executive said.
It’s true that Buxton’s performance hasn’t quite measured up to his potential as of yet, with injuries playing a large part in hampering his development. Seager, on the other hand, has been durable and has flat-out performed, particularly in a 2015 season that saw him not only make it to the big ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Women in baseball do big things in 2015 | MLB.com

I watched a few of the games which Jessica Mendoza broadcasted. I get that it’s great to have a woman in the booth. I don’t particularly get why it’s great to have Jessica Mendoza in the booth. Although stealing time away from John Kruk, Dan Shulman, and Curt Schilling improves the broadcast, I don’t remember her saying anything particularly insightful. I’d much rather have ESPN get rid of all three of them, cut the broadcast team down to two people and make sure those two people understand ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 09:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2015

New York Evening World, December 29, 1915:

The genial ex-President [William Howard Taft]...went on record as very much against the use of slang on the diamond. He says that all slang expressions should be suppressed.
...
Mr. Taft said he had attended the baseball game between Yale and Harvard last commencement, during which the slangy phrases used by the players to embarrass each other were anything but edifying.

“To hear the undergraduates on exhibition before 10,000 people calling out to ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 08:09 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, slang

Ken Rosenthal: New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman pulling out plenty of tricks in acquiring Aroldis Chapman, Starlin Castro for mid-level prospects | FOX Sports

They didn’t give up much. They can try and sign Chapman. If they can’t they will get a compensation pick. A nice deal for the Yankees.

Oh, the Yankees hated losing right-hander Rookie Davis, whom some scouts view as a potential a No. 3 starter. Former first-round pick Eric Jagielo, though, had no chance of passing first-base prospect Greg Bird, particularly when he has struggled to stay healthy. The other two players whom the Yankees sent to the Reds—second baseman Tony Renda and right-hander ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 06:25 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, reds, trade, yankees

Monday, December 28, 2015

Bryan Hoch on Twitter: “Yankees have acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Reds”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2015 at 04:33 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, reds, trade, yankees

Ask BA: How Tough Is The Classification Jump? - BaseballAmerica.com

A nice Q&A on Baseball America.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2015 at 01:09 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

ESPN: Stark: Strange but true feats of 2015

Stark at his Stark-iest.

Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 28, 2015 at 12:51 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: fun stuff

Rosenthal: Bonds, Clemens are on my Hall of Fame ballot for first time | FOX Sports

In addition to Bonds, Clemens, Piazza and Bagwell, I voted for Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling. I did not vote for Mark McGwire, a confirmed user, and Sammy Sosa, an alleged one. But every year I reconsider. This is McGwire’s 10th and final chance on the ballot. Maybe I will vote for Sosa in the future, maybe not.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2015 at 08:44 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-28-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 28, 1915:

This is how Bennie Kauff, the young Ty Cobb of the Federal League, regards his ability as a ball player and his prospects in organized baseball:
...
“I’ll show those birds something when I get itno the league. If Larry Doyle and those fellows can bat around .330 I’m good for .375…When I play on the Polo Grounds that right field will be a cinch. I’ll knock them in right handed.

“Those National league catchers stop me! Say, if I don’t steal forty bases next ...

Read More...

OTP - 2015 December 28: Baseball Beards: The Civil War Comps

These kids, Kevin Pillar and Kyle Schwarber, I would instead put in the Union Army. Granted, Schwarber’s look suggests “Union soldier” less than “often drunk frat boy.” However, his round, well-fed face fits the better-supplied Northern ranks, and that tuft carries a hint of Pennsylvania Dutch farmer with it. JDavis1He needs to be careful, though. Grow it out too low, and he’ll end up resembling Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: December 28, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 1394 comment(s)
  Beats: beards, civil war, politics

$241M juggling act: How Yanks tread line between threat and Phillies | New York Post

Luckily the Yankees have some big contracts coming off the books.

By the way, that restricted budget almost certainly will leave the Yankees with the majors’ second-largest payroll. That is their strange place — being called cheap while having a huge payroll and trying to win and rebuild at the same time.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2015 at 07:29 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

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