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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Randy Johnson throws out D-backs’ first pitch, could still probably strike you out

Soon-to-be-enshrined Hall of Famer Randy Johnson joined the Arizona Diamondbacks for opening day, taking the mound to throw out the first pitch.

Johnson stood taller than everyone around him on the field, them calmly walked out to the mound and zoomed his first pitch over the plate like he wasn’t even trying, like he was doing these things yesterday. Johnson, 51, hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2009 but obviously isn’t out of practice, even though he devotes his time to photography ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 07, 2015 at 05:40 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, big unit, randy johnson

Pitchfork at the Plate

Baseball season is under way, folks. To celebrate Opening Day, we polled Pitchfork staffers on the song they would choose if they were stepping up to the plate. Here are their responses.

I’d probably go with Funkadelic “One Nation Under a Groove”, but then I’m way too unhip to write for Pitchfork.

Swedish Chef Posted: April 07, 2015 at 05:13 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: at bat music, hipsters, music, muzak, trivia

Bill James Mailbag - 4/7/15

Hey, Bill! Long-time Braves fan here (through some good years, and some VERY bad ones) and it really hurts to see the Braves trade away Craig Kimbrel. I know they claim to be “rebuilding,” but Kimbrel has been one of the best relievers in the game over the last couple of years, and he’s only 26. Wouldn’t you consider…that position, at least…to be already “built?”

It’s Upton. The signing of BJ Upton was utterly inexplicable, for reasons I should probably be polite enough not to outline, but ...

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George Will’s 2015 Opening Day Quiz - The Washington Post

My score was…disappointing.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 01:22 PM | 157 comment(s)
  Beats: quiz

Masahiro Tanaka Abandons the Fastball | FanGraphs

Jeff Sullivan also tries to talk Yankees fans off the ledge.

And then, let’s think about Tanaka saying he’s changing his approach. The natural assumption is that Tanaka is trying to protect his own arm, and that’s sensible enough. Maybe he’s just trying to power down a little bit so as to reduce the stress on his elbow. But, alternatively, maybe Tanaka is just trying to be a little better? Dozens or hundreds of pitchers make adjustments in between seasons. When there aren’t injury ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 10:45 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: masahiro tanaka, yankees

HACKING MASS Competition 2015

I did pretty well last year, although Travis Ishikawa didn’t end up getting the Pirates’ job and that hurt.

HACKING MASS, our competition to pick the least dangerous hitters and least effective pitchers in the majors, returns for the 2015 season!... You’ll have a full week to enter (the deadline is April 13, 2015, at midnight PST), but it’s easy to change players, so feel free to go all in on Freddy Galvis on the entry form today, then switch to Adeiny Hechavarria Monday morning…

Simply pick ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 07, 2015 at 10:42 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, contests, hacking mass, sabermetrics

Worried about Masahiro Tanaka’s velocity? Don’t be | FOX Sports

CJ Nitkowski explains why Tanaka’s drop in fastball velocity isn’t a problem.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 10:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: masahiro tanaka, yankees

Newcomers make big impact on Day 1 | MLB.com

These new guys did O.K. yesterday.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 09:05 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-7-2015

Bismarck Daily Tribune, April 7, 1915:

The oldest man connected with baseball has never seen a game.

He is David Riblet of Cleveland…If Riblet lives until March 13 he will be ninety years old. For the last four years he has been the watchman in the club rooms of the Naps.
...
“But I don’t ever expect to see a ball game,” adds Riblet. “You see, I’m one of those kind of men who always stick at their post, no matter what is happening near by them.”

For 18 years Riblet operated the turnstiles at ...

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Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 07, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Giants survive opener, have health concerns about rotation - San Francisco Chronicle

The Giants also will need to scramble for a Game 3 starter because Matt Cain had an MRI exam after feeling right-forearm tightness and was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon.

Cain’s symptoms put a big scare into the Giants because they can reflect the most devastating pitching injury, a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which requires Tommy John surgery. Bochy said Cain has nothing like that and termed his injury “more like a two-week thing.”

“The trainers seem positive about ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 06:46 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, matt cain

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez feels the Yankee Stadium love - Yankees Blog - ESPN

The fans love him. They really love him.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Video: Sam Fuld Talks Preparation with Eno Sarris | FanGraphs

Interesting.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: interview, sam fuld

Doug Melvin gets call on length of extension

Doug Melvin doesn’t know how long he wants to keep his job.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2015 at 06:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, doug melvin

April 7, 2015 OMNICHATTER

What’s the opposite of penultimate? As in, like, second to first…. well, that’s whatever this day is to most teams.

CHATTER UP!

Gamingboy Posted: April 07, 2015 at 12:36 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Monday, April 06, 2015

Tanaka doesn’t look like himself in opener; Didi doesn’t resemble Jeter

You thought it couldn’t get more over the top, did you?  You were wrong.

Beyond the loss, the game raised questions about 1) Tanaka, 2) the Yankees offense, and 3) the unfortunate sap charged with the impossible job to replace the great Derek Jeter…Though it’s hard to recall a major-league player attempting something quite so foolish, certainly not in his debut with a new team, nor while replacing the perfect player.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: April 06, 2015 at 08:56 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: jeter, yankees

Red Sox Sign Rick Porcello To Four-Year Extension

Dude’s on track to make a whole lotta money in this sport.

The Red Sox announced that they’ve signed right-hander Rick Porcello to a four-year contract extension that covers the 2016-19 seasons… Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter) that Porcello will be guaranteed a sizable $82.5MM over the four years. Per Speier, Porcello receives a $500K signing bonus before earning $20MM in 2016 and 2017 then $21MM in 2018 and 2019. Porcello was already slated to earn $12.5MM this season ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 06, 2015 at 08:23 PM | 105 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, rick porcello

Grantland: 2015 MLB Predictions: Our Playoff and Award Picks, Surprise and Flop Team Selections, and Much More

It’s Opening Day! Baseball is back! You might have heard! Grantland’s MLB writers and editors are here to offer their predictions for the upcoming season, so grab a hot dog and a cold one, shake off your worries about the Cubs’ seemingly insurmountable 0-1 start, and join the fun. We’ve never been wrong before …

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Comeback detoured: Barry Zito accepts assignment to Triple-A Nashville

Zito was reassigned to the Oakland’s Triple-A team in Nashville. Zito, who hasn’t pitched in a big league game since 2013, had the right to refuse the assignment and pursue a major league job elsewhere. That thought, apparently, never even entered his mind.

“I’m gonna take it,” Zito said after the game. “Just continue to have fun pitching. That’s been my goal all along. I knew I was going to take a year off, and I was going to come back. I’ve been having a lot of fun this spring. I just want ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:43 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, barry zito

Geekwire: Mystery MLB team uses a Cray supercomputer to help win more games

Theo, I recommend plugging it in.

The 43-year-old company won’t reveal the specific MLB team using its Urika-GD appliance — which costs anywhere from $100,000 to more than $1 million — due to privacy and competitive reasons. But in an interview with GeekWire, Cray VP of Marketing Barry Bolding explained why his company’s products are now attractive to sports franchises and baseball clubs in particular.

For starters, Bolding notes that 95 percent of baseball stats have been created ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:38 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, moneyball, rumors, sabermetrics

Nationals Park to host 2018 All-Star game

After a nearly 50-year absence, the MLB All-Star game is set to return to the nation’s capital.

Big news. There hasn’t been an MLB All-Star Game in Washington since the Senators hosted it at RFK Stadium in 1969.

This is also a promise made good by Commissioner Rob Manfred. In the coming years, Manfred is hoping to move toward a Super Bowl-type bidding process to determine which city and franchise hosts the All-Star game, but promised the event would come to Washington and Miami first. The ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:38 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star, nationals

C.J. Wilson calls Angels statement on Josh Hamilton ‘kind of disheartening’

In fact, according to Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register, many of Hamilton’s teammates were left speechless yet undeniably affected when the statement played over the TV in the Angel Stadium weight room. Speechless, with the exception of C.J. Wilson, who has a friendship with Hamilton dating back to their time with the Texas Rangers.

When prompted for a response to Dipoto’s statement, Wilson didn’t have to say much to say a lot.

Wilson called it “kind of disheartening,” before ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:35 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, c.j. wilson, josh hamilton

These videos will get you hyped for MLB’s opening day

Every year about this time, the various networks and brands associated with MLB debut their commercials and all of them do a pretty good job of getting you jacked up for our National Pastime. So, let’s watch some videos, shall we?

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: videos

Alex Rodriguez gets a ‘warm hand’ from Yankees fans in first at-bat

Given the circumstances surrounding his situation, there was considerable intrigue over how the home crowd would react to seeing the 39-year-old back in pinstripes.

After being announced in the stadium, Rodriguez received a “warm hand,” according to announcer Michael Kay. Some fans even stood up and applauded as A-Rod stepped to the plate.

It’s worth noting that Rodriguez came out to Jay Z’s “Public Service Announcement.” The song begins with the line “allow me to reintroduce myself,” so it ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

FOX Sports: Season predictions: Who brings home the hardware in ‘15?

Robothal
AL East: Toronto Blue Jays
AL Central: Chicago White Sox
AL West: Seattle Mariners
Wild Card: Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels
AL Pennant Winner: Chicago White Sox

NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Central: Pittsburgh Pirates
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
Wild Card: St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres
NL Pennant Winner: Washington Nationals

World Series Winner: Washington Nationals

AL MVP: Mike Trout
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Sanchez

NL MVP: Andrew ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 06, 2015 at 03:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Baseball and Fathers and Sons

I may be biased, as I am the current owner of this book, but I think every baseball fan will do well to read this inscription each spring.

deputydrew Posted: April 06, 2015 at 02:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: books, opening day, tearjerker

Was Ty Cobb the White Oscar Charleston?

Charleston also annoyed Londos by shouting “WHAT?” whenever he tried to talk.

His players called him Charlie, and when it was his turn to drive the team’s red, white, and blue bus, it was like having Ty Cobb at the wheel. Of course the players never said so, because sportswriters and white folks were always calling him the black Ty Cobb and Charlie hated it…

John McGraw [proclaimed]: “If Oscar Charleston isn’t the greatest baseball player in the world, then I’m no judge of baseball ...

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The District Attorney Posted: April 06, 2015 at 12:44 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history, negro leagues, oscar charleston

Deadspin: “An Absolute #### Show”: Tales From The Wrigley Field Bathroom Lines

You’d think Cubs fans would be experts at holding on.

There were, according to USA Today, only two working bathrooms in the whole of the main concourse—that’s the sort of disaster that leads to fans peeing into plastic cups. We asked readers who were at the game to tell us what it like; below are their emails.

...

I was at the game last night and can verify that peeing in cups/corners was happening all over the concourse. I waited almost an hour when I tried after the 2nd inning. It was ...

Read More...


Predictions for every MLB team on eve of Opening Day | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal’s picks.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2015 at 08:49 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Padres Keep Building and Borrowing, Add Craig Kimbrel | FanGraphs Baseball

Jeff Sullivan breaks down the deal.

The Braves are shedding just over $80 million in guaranteed future salary. The Padres, meanwhile, are shedding about $24 million in guaranteed future salary, meaning, in the end, the Braves save about $56 million, and the Padres add that much. Kimbrel has both potential performance-based bonuses and a club option, but we’ll stick with the guarantee for now. Here’s the simplification of this deal: the Padres are trading one of their top prospects, and a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, carlos quentin, craig kimbrel, melvin upton, jr., trades

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