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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I Love Wrigley Field, But as a Wheelchair User, I Sure Wish It Was Easier to Navigate

Were we all actually expected to sit completely in the main aisle and become an obstacle course for drunken fans on hotdog and beer runs? Wasn’t that a fire code hazard? An emergency exit violation?

Apparently not. Cubs spokesman Julian Green told me later that our assigned seating was perfectly legal. Sitting completely out in a main aisle without any protective barriers? It’s a go, if the aisle is considered wide enough.

I fought back tears of frustration. I was already in pain because ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2015 at 10:27 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ada, cubs, handicapped, wheelchair access, wrigley field

The Cubs Might Have Screwed Themselves By Screwing Kris Bryant

Can’t resist. . .

And that makes tomorrow night’s game a vivid example of how a team’s micromanaging cheapness can bite it in the ass.

To be fair, it’s a small bite. In baseball, home-field advantage means the host wins roughly 54 percent of the time. The thing here is how obvious the counterfactual is to work out. The most basic illustrator is WAR—Wins Above Replacement, which offers an estimate of how many wins an individual player creates. We’ll use Fangraphs’ version of the ...

McCoy Posted: October 06, 2015 at 10:21 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Brewers fire numerous coaches

from the article

One day after finishing a dismal 2015 season with a 68-94 record, the Brewers did some major house cleaning on their coaching staff, firing everyone except hitting coach Darnell Coles and third base coach Ed Sedar.

Pitching coach Rick Kranitz, bench coach Jerry Narron, first base coach Mike Guerrero, bullpen coach Lee Tunnell and assistant hitting coach John Shelby did not have their contracts renewed. Kranitz, Narron and Shelby had been on the staff since former manager Ron ...

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 06, 2015 at 07:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, craig counsell, firings, milwaukee, ron roenicke

Toronto Blue Jays Big Favorites as 2015 MLB Postseason Begins

It begins again: Rational Pastime projections for the 2015 postseason. Tonight, the RP model has the Houston Astros as slight favorites over the New York Yankees. Were these teams evenly matched, the Yanks would be favored 54-46, thanks to home field advantage. However, my RP Score system believes that the Astros are a better team.

As for the rest of the playoffs, the model—which relies on the Log 5 equation and Matt Swarz’s numbers for home field advantage—picks the Toronto Blue Jays to ...

J-Doug Posted: October 06, 2015 at 04:19 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, pirates, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, yankees

How Pittsburgh Pirates built playoff roster |

There is a line of thinking, probably prevalent among most baseball fans, that the Pittsburgh Pirates are a strictly homegrown operation. While there is an important core of players signed and developed entirely by the organization that has been vital to this extended stretch of success, the truth is if it weren’t for the trade market, the Pirates wouldn’t be headed to the postseason for the third year in a row.

“The reality of a small market is you have to be creative in finding talent ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 02:56 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, playoffs

After 1,691 games, Royals outfielder Alex Rios will finally get to experience postseason

For all Rios has observed and encountered in the game, though, he’ll witness something else he’s never seen before when the Royals begin postseason play Thursday at Kauffman Stadium against the winner of the American League Wild Card Game between Houston and the New York Yankees.

That would be himself as part of a playoff game, thus ending the longest drought among active players.

The closest he’s come before was playing for the Rangers in a Game 163 as they tried and failed to sneak ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2015 at 02:52 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rios, post-season experience, royals

Projected Arbitration Salaries For 2016

As explained here, Matt Swartz and MLB Trade Rumors have developed an accurate model to project arbitration salaries.  Many MLB teams and agencies reference our projections in their work.  You won’t find anything else like this on the Internet!  Click here to download an Excel spreadsheet with all the projected salaries.  The number in parentheses next to each player is his Major League service time (Years.Days) through 2015 (172 days constitutes a full year of Major League service, per the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2015 at 02:12 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, mlb trade rumors

Pennants Pursued – The Hardball Times

The playoff teams though the GM lens.

Several years ago, Hall of Fame GM Pat Gillick named the Rangers’ Jon Daniels, a New York born and raised Ivy Leaguer, as the general manager who most reminded him of himself, despite their different backgrounds: “I always kind of considered myself a little bit adventurous, (willing) to try out new ideas and I think … he’s got a lot of the (new) nuances that you have in baseball,” Gillick said. Like Gillick, Daniels has proven adept at finding ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 09:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, playoffs

At 21, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is a true student of the game - Chicago Tribune

I am still shocked the A’s traded Russell.

“(PNC’s infield) may be different than the last time,” Russell said. “You’ve got to take all those things into consideration, and I test the dirt to see how it plays. That’s being game-cautious and being aware.”

Although Russell doesn’t possess the same arm strength as Javier Baez or Castro, he frequently puts himself in position to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible with proper footwork.

“I’m not going to be as flashy, but I’ll get the job ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 09:37 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs

It’s Mashiro Tanaka’s time to earn his $175 million | New York Post

Would be be too much trouble for the headline writer to get the name spelled correctly?

No pressure, Masahiro. It’s just a game where your legacy in New York.

This is a new Tanaka Time.

Masahiro Tanaka knows it’s time to earn his money.

This will be a much different Tanaka on the mound than the one whose pitches were sent into orbit by the Astros in Houston in June.
He promises.

Tanaka is not one for such bold words, but there is too much pride on the line here.

This is the Tanaka who has ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: masahiro tanaka, yankees

Alex Rodriguez embraces the underdog role, but Dallas Keuchel isn’t buying it | Newsday

It looks like Vegas has the Astros as favorites.

“We’re underdogs coming into this game,” A-Rod said Monday after the Yankees worked out at the Stadium in preparation for Tuesday night’s wild-card playoff game against the Astros.

But Keuchel, who hasn’t allowed a run in 16 innings against the Yankees this season and will start against them Tuesday night on three days’ rest, all but scoffed at the premise.

“I don’t believe so,” the lefthander said with a smile. “We’re at their home place, we’re ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 09:20 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, wild card, yankees

Astros wild-card roster: Emphasis on matching up with Yankees - Ultimate Astros

It makes a lot of sense.

The Astros are probably going to carry just two starting pitchers for Tuesday’s wild card game with the Yankees: the man on the hill to begin the game, Dallas Keuchel, and Mike Fiers, who will be long-relief insurance.

Now that the postseason is here, the 40-man expanded roster is gone and teams are back to 25 players. But because the Astros don’t need to carry multiple starting pitchers as they would in a later round of the playoffs, they can still carry a deep ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, wild card

Astros’ farm system’s director has a hazy future with the organization - Ultimate Astros

He’s “putting forth a new vision”? A vision for what?

With the Astros in the playoffs and Luhnow’s attention focused on the big league team, details have yet to be finalized on the player development side.

Luhnow’s putting forth a new vision and how that fits with both men is to be seen. Both could remain in the organization with varied responsibilities compared to their previous roles, or someone could leave. Indications are McCracken would be more likely to depart than Rowin.

...
Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 09:17 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, general manager, jeff luhnow

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-6-2015

Toledo News-Bee, October 6, 1915:

A contest for the Federal league pennant was in sight on Wednesday. President E.W. Gwinner of the Pittfeds left for New York to protest to the league directors Chicago’s right to the championship.

Gwinner contends that with the winning of the first game last Sunday at Chicago by the Pittfeds they cinched their right to the pennant, and that the second game should never have been played, as it was postponed from the Pittsburg grounds.

Yeah, that’s bogus. I’m ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 06, 2015 at 08:21 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

A’s Billy Beane, Bob Melvin believe quick turnaround is possible - San Francisco Chronicle

I thought the A’s didn’t pay attention to such stuff. [SARCASM ALERT]

“I think we’re always looking to identify what the problems were and get better,” Melvin said. “When you lose as many games as we did, you don’t want to say it’s status quo going forward. I think we’ll look to make some changes, definitely.”

Poor clubhouse chemistry in particular will be addressed, and there could be some players dealt as a result.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Mets Insider: Steven Matz gets last chance for NLDS - NY Daily News

When are teams going to get serious about preventing injuries? Why was Matz allowed to sleep this late in the season?

“We think that if he can pitch, we certainly have to give him the opportunity,” Collins said. “But if he goes out and his back issue comes back, we don’t have him for the second round. We have got to be smart enough to take a look at the big picture and be smart.”

Any player that has to be put on the disabled list and substituted on the roster in one round of the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 06:36 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Average Time of 9-Inning MLB Game Drops 6 Minutes to 2:56 - The New York Times

Not very encouraging.

STATS said Monday that the season average ended at 2 hours, 56 minutes. While the average dropped to 2:53 in the first half of the season, it was back at 3:00 after the All-Star break.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: game times



Winner faces Royals in ALDS

Yankees (Tanaka) vs. Astros (Keuchel)

8 PM Eastern at Yankee Stadium


Gamingboy Posted: October 06, 2015 at 12:04 AM | 492 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Monday, October 05, 2015

NYT - Scandal Erupts in Unregulated World of Fantasy Sports

A major scandal is erupting in the multibillion-dollar industry of fantasy sports, the online and unregulated business in which players assemble their fantasy teams with real athletes. On Monday, the two major fantasy companies were forced to release statements defending their businesses’ integrity after what amounted to allegations of insider trading, that employees were placing bets using information not available to the public.

winnipegwhip Posted: October 05, 2015 at 08:32 PM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, games of skill

2016 HallOf Fame Pre-Integration Candidates Announced

OK folks… have at it!

reech Posted: October 05, 2015 at 05:48 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

U.S Supreme Court rejects San Jose’s bid for Athletics

The U.S. Supreme Court closed the door Monday on San Jose’s bid for the Oakland A’s, turning aside the South Bay city’s claim that Major League Baseball has used illegal monopoly powers to block the relocation.
The court said without comment that it would not take up the case on appeal. The decision ended San Jose’s attempt to lure the A’s away from Oakland by challenging baseball’s unique exemption from federal antitrust laws, which restrict monopolies and encourage competition. ...

spanx for the memories Posted: October 05, 2015 at 03:01 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland athletics

Bernanke: More execs should have gone to jail for causing Great Recession

Bernanke loves baseball for the same reason he chose economics as his profession: the power and clarity of numbers.

“The numbers are so concrete,” he says in a conversation in the Nats press box before a game against the Miami Marlins on a sunny afternoon last month. “In baseball, you’ve got all the data going back to the 1880s for all the players, and if you understand how to use numbers, it makes it come alive.”

CC Sabathia checks into alcohol rehab, will not pitch in postseason


It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

eddieot Posted: October 05, 2015 at 01:19 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, postseason, yankees

Spector: Here is CC Sabathia’s full statement.

I’m sure everyone hopes CC gets the care needed.

JE (Jason) Posted: October 05, 2015 at 01:12 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, postseason, yankees

Cubs’ Kris Bryant has top-selling MLB jersey

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant had the best-selling jersey in all of Major League Baseball during the regular season, according to sales on the league’s official website.

The 23-year-old Bryant is the youngest player to lead the top-20 list, though youth is a theme among those that come off the racks the quickest.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who is 26, is No. 2, followed by his catcher Buster Posey (28), Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (27), Los Angeles ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2015 at 11:47 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, merchandise

St. Barry - Who Should Replace Matt Williams

So it would make sense, as the Nationals look for Williams’ replacement following his inevitable firing Monday, that they would veer the opposite direction, that they would hire someone with experience. It’s a typical response in sports: The defensive coach in football failed? Hire an offensive guy. Davey Johnson was too laissez faire with his players? Bring in the Big Marine.

Yeah, yeah, the Nats finally fired Matty. Now what??

Nationals fire manager Matt Williams after two seasons

I wonder if he has lost the clubhouse now.

The Washington Nationals have fired manager Matt Williams after two seasons, according to James Wagner of the Washington Post.

The Nationals were projected by many to be World Series contenders in 2015, but failed to make the postseason, going just 83–79 and ceding the NL East to the New York Mets.

Williams took the job in 2014 as a first-time skipper and led the Nationals to a 96–66 record, earning NL Manager of the Year honors. Washington was ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2015 at 11:31 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial firings, matt williams, nationals

A’s look for reasons behind disappointing season

Quick, trade someone for John Mabry!

Manager Bob Melvin has a reputation for getting through to guys, and it’s clear the A’s don’t fault Melvin for the unfortunate mix; he recently received a two-year contract extension. Oakland’s front office, not a big proponent of the “chemistry” theory, recognizes that this particular group simply didn’t click.

“Anytime you have so many new players, getting the clubhouse to come together is going to be a challenge,” assistant general ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2015 at 11:29 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bob melvin, clubhouse chemistry

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-5-2015

Pittsburgh Press, October 5, 1915:

The baseball scores by innings carried to him from the ball grounds by carrier pigeons is the latest “wireless” stunt of Justice W. H. Crum, of Conemaugh [Pennsylvania]. Squire Crum is a cripple. He is unable to get around like other rabid fans.
When Cleveland and Conemaugh met in Johnstown, Oct. 2, in the world’s amateur championship series, the ‘squire conceived of the idea of getting returns direct from the grounds. He gave his son, J.A. Crum, nine ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 05, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Lauber: Keeping John Farrell, Torey Lovullo benefits individuals, team | Boston Herald

The Red Sox bring back Farrell and lock up Lovullo as well.

And so, Dombrowski came up with what he called a “fallback plan.” He asked ownership to offer Lovullo a two-year contract that would pay him a salary that Dombrowski described as being in the “upper echelon” of bench coaches. In turn, Lovullo would forfeit any managerial opportunities that figured to come his way.

Dombrowski approached Lovullo during the Red Sox’ final homestand, and after thinking about it for several days, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 05, 2015 at 07:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: john farrell, red sox, torey lovullo

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