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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rosenthal: Manny Machado still has work to do if he wants to keep the focus on his performance – The Athletic

Whenever I see you and ask you how you’re doing, you say, ‘I’m chillin.’ I know that’s your personality, that’s how you are. But there was a ball the other night, and you didn’t run hard. Manny, you know this, at this time of year people notice that kind of thing, so how would you explain it? What happened?

Machado: “Uhhh … (pause) … I’ve been thinking about it and it happens every time, there’s no excuse for it honestly. I’ve never given excuses for not running. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 02:33 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, manny machado, pay site

Magic dust, spin rates and buy-in: How the Astros make good pitchers even better - The Washington Post

“Every team has an analytics department, and this is no knock on the Twins, but seeing the time [the Astros] put in and the scouting reports you’re given, it’s like, ‘Whoa.’ It’s a different level,” Pressly said. “You kind of see, ‘Wow, if I just pitch a little more to this percentage instead of that percentage I can have some better results.’ When I came over here, they were like, ‘Look, your curveball is your best pitch. Everyone tells you your best pitch should be your ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, astros

Will Duquette and Showalter get top jobs elsewhere or will the disaster of 2018 — and the perceptions that re-emerged — damage their resumes? – The Athletic

Like the Mets it’s tough to know how many bad decisions were owner driven.

This takes us back to the original premise: Showalter and Duquette are good at what they do. They, together, helped lift a moribund franchise back to relevancy.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Showalter gets at least one interview this offseason for one of baseball’s managerial vacancies or if Duquette ends up as special assistant somewhere given his keen eye for undervalued assets.

But for them to get hired in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:16 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, dan duquette, orioles, pay site

Empty vows, Alderson back-stab: Inside Mets’ GM search mess

But what is 180 degrees for the Mets? Fred Wilpon feels they got too analytical under Alderson — a sentiment not shared in the industry. But how does being too analytical jibe with what Jeff said in that end-of-year media briefing, that Alderson recommended not enlarging one of the smallest analytic departments in the majors? How can you be too analytical and yet have a tiny analytics department? And, by the way, don’t you think some good candidates noticed that Jeff put this on ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, mets

‘He’s as smart as anyone I’ve met in baseball – or anywhere’: How former team lawyer Sandy Alderson became one of the most influential GMs in the sport’s history – The Athletic

And even he couldn’t get the power to do the job. What’s the next Mets GM going to do?

“To me, if you look at the executives today and the template for the guys that run baseball teams today, they essentially all have the background of Sandy,” said Beane. “Sandy was the original Ivy League graduate with analytics driving his decisions. He was the groundbreaking guy.”

As such, those who know Alderson believe him deserving of at least one more honor.

“He should be in the Hall of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pay site, sandy alderson

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-16-2018

Harrisburg Telegraph, October 16, 1918:

Charley Hickman is credited with the shortest two-bagger ever delivered, at Comiskey Park some years ago. He hit one that struck just beyond the edge of the plate, but instead of staying quiet, bounded sharply back. The catcher tried to grab it up and effect a putout, but the ball grazed his arm and leaped clear to the stand while Hickman kept on running.

Under the rules that was a fair ball, for the catcher had struck it while it was still in fair ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 16, 2018 at 09:53 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Rockies’ end-of-season rotation analysis: Kyle Freeland, German Marquez shined; Jon Gray fizzled

The secret to the Rockies’ success in 2018 was no secret at all.

“I think it’s pretty easy. I think it’s the starting pitching honestly, giving us a chance to win every game, game in and game out,”  all-star third baseman Nolan Arenado said.

Numbers illustrate Arenado’s words. Colorado’s rotation:

-Posted a 4.17 ERA, the second-lowest in franchise history (2009 playoff had a 4.10 ERA);
-Had 84 quality starts, the third-most in franchise history
-Struck out 883, sixth in the ...

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QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, rotation

Cubs executive Jason McLeod reportedly linked to Giants’ GM opening

Is this the offseason that Cubs executive Jason McLeod finally becomes an MLB general manager?

According to Bruce Levine, the Giants are reportedly interested in McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development, for their vacant general manager position.

McLeod joined the Cubs’ front office in 2011 alongside Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Before the Cubs, he spent six years in the Red Sox front office and two in the Padres’ (with Hoyer, who was San Diego’s general ...

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QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general manager, giants, jason mcleod

Montreal to host pre-season games between Blue Jays, Brewers

What, no neutral-site games in the regular season?

QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brewers, exhibitions, montreal

Vin Scully turns down Joe Buck’s invite to join NLCS broadcast

With the National League Championship Series heading to Los Angeles, Fox announcer Joe Buck hoped aloud that legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully might make a cameo with him in the booth.

Unfortunately for Buck and for baseball fans everywhere, Scully said he would be declining the invitation.

“I don’t want to just take a bow,” Scully told The Los Angeles Times. “I just don’t feel right doing that.”

 

QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: announcing, vin scully

How did the Cubs go from Rudy Jaramillo to Anthony Iapoce at hitting coach? It’s a long story

When the Cubs fired hitting coach John Mallee last October, only one year removed from a world championship, they knew the decision would be controversial.

But President Theo Epstein said it was a unique circumstance and had more to do with the sudden availability of Chili Davis after the Red Sox changed coaching staffs than anything Mallee lacked.

“It was a really tough decision, but we felt like going forward for the next several years Chili Davis is uniquely qualified to help our hitters ...

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QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony iapoce, cubs, hitting coaches

The Angels are making their managerial candidates take a two-hour test

The most important thing a managerial candidate can bring to their interview with the Los Angeles Angels is a No. 2 pencil. The Angels are requiring all their managerial candidates to take a two-hour written test, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

The exam will test candidates on both the analytical and interpersonal aspects of the position.

While manager interviews can be intense, a two-hour written test is not a common ask from teams.

Let the disputes on testing-based pedagogy ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, managerial search, testing

Chris Sale update: Red Sox ace released from hospital, set to rejoin team before ALCS Game 3

Are we sure this isn’t the jerseys getting their revenge?

QLE Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, hospital, stomach

What It Took to Write About Baseball as a Woman

In 1983, she met Mantle, her hero, in Atlantic City. The retired center fielder, then fifty-one, was directing a golf tournament. Leavy caught up to him at a breakfast buffet. “He puts out his hand and says, ‘Hiii, I’m Mick,’ ” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Hi, I’m nervous.’ And he said, ‘Why? Didya think I was gonna pull on your titty?’ ”...

Leavy would endure more indignities in locker rooms over the years. One player covered her eyes and ran a hand down her side, but ...

Read More...
A Baseball Fan Posted: October 16, 2018 at 06:44 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball

Monday, October 15, 2018

Projecting the composition of A’s bullpen in 2019

The A’s bullpen was probably the greatest strength of the team in 2018. Oakland’s pen ranked third in Major League Baseball with a 3.37 ERA and second with a .220 opponents’ batting average, while pitching the second most innings in the league.

The bullpen should still be a strength next season, although it will likely look a bit different. Veterans Fernando Rodney and Jeurys Familia are long shots to return, while Shawn Kelley and Cory Gearrin are questionable at best. But the A’s will still ...

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QLE Posted: October 15, 2018 at 02:39 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bullpen, projections

Red Sox exorcise their postseason demons to beat Astros and even ALCS

Sometimes in baseball, you need to throw away the narratives and just see which way the ball bounces.

In Game 2 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, thanks to some help from the Green Monster and some passed balls from Houston, everything bounced in the direction of the Red Sox.

The big difference? A Jackie Bradley Jr. double that careened off the Green Monster and then pinballed its way to the fence between the field and the stands and ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: October 15, 2018 at 02:39 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: alcs, red sox

ESPN: Olney: Pine tar in the postseason could put MLB in a sticky situation

Because everybody in the room will understand that most pitchers participating in the postseason probably use sunscreen or pine tar or something that violates baseball’s rule against the use of foreign substances. [...]

But everybody involved in the sport knows how prevalent the use of sunscreen and pine tar and other stuff has become. Many catchers have pine tar on some part of their person, to apply as needed. Baseball officials would prefer that no foreign substances are used, but they also ...

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bobm Posted: October 15, 2018 at 02:39 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: buster olney, foreign substances, pine tar, postseason

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-15-2018

Harrisburg Telegraph, October 15, 1918:

Three-fourths of all the male Americans under 40 years of age who have played baseball have been able at one time or another to throw a curve ball. Probably the estimate is unnecessarily conservative. Nearly everybody who can chuck the horsehide at all can perpetrate a roundhouse outshoot.
...
On this afternoon in 1878—thirty-nine years after baseball had succeeded townball as a game—and argument arose regarding rumors that there lived a certain man who ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 15, 2018 at 10:22 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP 2018 October 15: The shift in focus from sport to politics

Since I’m hinting at it, here’s my shameless plug: if you can sit through four hours of football and its stoppage time, you can’t justify calling baseball boring. October belongs to America’s pastime. I feel that this whole landscape will look different a decade from now, with football at the lower half of the totem pole.

My opinion isn’t entirely biased. This issue with politics bleeding into the discussion is a serious crutch for an otherwise praised NFL, and until that’s no ...

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Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 15, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 507 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, politics

Sunday, October 14, 2018

All jokes aside, Bob Uecker seriously loves baseball

A true legend.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:16 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, bob uecker, brewers

Cora breaks character, gets tossed in Game 1

BOSTON—The warm glow of a television screen served as Alex Cora’s window into the final four innings of a 7-2 Red Sox loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night, the rookie manager’s punishment for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire James Hoye.

Cora was ejected after a close Justin Verlander pitch to Andrew Benintendi was a called third strike, ending the fifth inning. Benintendi didn’t agree with the call, firing his shin guard, bat ...

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QLE Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, balls and strikes, ejection

Umpire Joe West Hit By Throw From Red Sox Catcher Christian Vazquez

BOSTON (CBS) — Saturday night was a mostly disappointing affair for Red Sox fans, but there was at least one moment of levity — for everybody except Joe West, that is.

The crew chief was at second base for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park. Though manager Alex Cora was ejected earlier in the game for arguing with home plate umpire James Hoye, West had done his job without issue throughout the night. In fact, an out call he made on an Astros would-be base ...

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QLE Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:10 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: christian vazquez, hit, joe west

Astros beat Red Sox to take a wild—in every way—Game 1 of ALCS

BOSTON – On the anniversary of Derek Jeter’s famous flip and David Ortiz’s famous home run that caused Torii Hunter to flip over a fence, no indelible moment seared itself into baseball’s memory Saturday. Instead, Game 1 of the 2018 American League Championship Series was wild in smaller ways, from the pitches to the umpires to the hit-by-pitch that may make an already-interesting series that much more intriguing.

What germinated from it all was a 7-2 victory for the Houston Astros ...

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QLE Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alcs, astros, red sox

The Brewers Are The Rare Team To Win The Offseason And The Actual Season

But last winter, something unusual happened: The Milwaukee Brewers won the offseason and went on to win in the actual season. The Brewers, who will begin the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, acquired the best player in the trade market last winter in Christian Yelich and the best player in the free-agent market in Lorenzo Cain. They also found an undervalued arm in Jhoulys Chacin.

Nicely written article about the Brew crew’s offseason success ...

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Russ Posted: October 14, 2018 at 07:08 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Justin Turner homers, Dodgers win NLCS Game 2 | MLB.com

Good game.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2018 at 08:13 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, dodgers, nlcs

Lance McCullers Jr. on Being Studious and Not Throwing to Blank Spaces

A peek into the mind of a pitcher and how he goes about his job.

Throwing to a blank space isn’t going to allow you to repeat your best rep at a high level. The best guys in the game — Scherzer, deGrom, Dallas, Cole, Kershaw, Kluber… all these guys who are so dominant all the time, it’s not because of great stuff. They do have great stuff, but they’ve also found a way to repeat their best rep more than anybody else. For whatever reason — however they managed to accomplish that — ...

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Bote Man Posted: October 13, 2018 at 11:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching mechanics, secrets

Superstition is the way for MLB players, and that includes haunted hotels

Don’t look in the closet.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2018 at 11:07 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: superstition

NLCS: George Webb to give away free burgers if Brewers win

Another take on free burgers in Milwaukee.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Brewers’ 12-game winning streak means free hamburgers for Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night, and in doing so helped the city of Milwaukee to free hamburgers.

Friday was the 12th straight win for the Brewers, fulfilling a prophecy made by the founder of George Webb Restaurants seven decades ago. From the Webb-site:

It started with George Webb himself in the 1940s with the Brewer teams of the American Association. George, ever the baseball fan and home team booster, ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: October 13, 2018 at 08:02 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, food, giveaways, milwaukee

Ups and downs of bullpenning on display as Brewers take Game 1

A lengthy consideration of pitcher usage- the crux of the argument is probably here:

It was the perfect example of not just how the roles of pitchers are changing before our eyes, but why it’s happening. Kershaw is the practitioner of an art that is still vital and hopefully always will be, but sometimes, the masters of that art will be overtaken by the collective. Of course, here we’re not talking about Woodruff’s hitting, but the thing he’s actually on the team to do: get hitters out.

...Read More...
QLE Posted: October 13, 2018 at 08:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, bullpenning

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