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Monday, November 21, 2011

How One Man Played ‘Moneyball’ With ‘Jeopardy!’

My buzzer doesn’t work in the Double Jeopardy!

“It wasn’t even about the money,” Craig says. “I felt that my systems and my methods were sort of validated.”

That system? A computer program unlike any other, custom-built to study Jeopardy! for patterns.

Craig says it works like Moneyball — a reference to the book and movie about the statistical techniques used by legendary Oakland Athletics coach Billy Beane to build a winning baseball team. Craig’s system also relied heavily on statistics. ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:44 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, sabermetrics, television

Le Batard: Marlins’ expensive experiment: Will MLB work here?

DLB name-checks Pitbull, proclaims team’s desire to make Albert Pujols the Latin Ichiro!.

... Keep in mind, the Marlins told popular Dan Uggla they wouldn’t ever give a player older than 30 a contract of more than four years. And now they’re offering nine to Pujols, whose age they don’t even know.

Why? Because they think he can be their LeBron James not just in this country but beyond. They think he’ll pay for his contract in the first three or four years of the deal, rendering the ...

Greg Franklin Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international, miami

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Red Sox to meet with Valentine on Monday

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, presently on his way back to Boston from a brief scouting mission in the Dominican Republic, will not waste any time resuming the club’s search for its new manager.

According to a baseball source, Cherington has a Monday meeting scheduled with Bobby Valentine, the managerial veteran who emerged as a viable candidate following last week’s hiring of Dale Sveum by the Cubs.

The Red Sox have been without a manager since a mutual parting with Terry Francona ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 09:36 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox Big Z to be examined after line drive to face

CHICAGO—Carlos Zambrano will be examined on Monday after taking a line drive off his lip, which required 10 stitches.

Zambrano had his best outing in the Venezuelan Winter League on Friday, giving up one unearned run on two hits and two walks over five innings for Caribes, but had to leave the game after being hit in the face.

Zambrano was taken to a local hospital and needed 10 stitches, according to reports. He told the Caribes manager that he intended to make his next start, which would be ...

Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: November 20, 2011 at 07:59 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, international

Cistulli: Fallacies of Which Dan Shaughnessy Is Guilty

I was going to run the latest Shaughnessy bit…but Cistulli thought better of it.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the rhetorical fallacies committed by Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy in his most recent piece, in which he argues that the Red Sox are a “doofus organization” — which list is accompanied by a photo of an almost amused E.B. White. [Reference: Aaron, LB Brief (4th ed).]

• Begging the question
• Non sequitur
• Red herring
• Appeal to emotion
• Bandwagon
• ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 07:11 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: media, red sox

Yoshimi leads charge as Dragons even Japan Series at 3-all

Kazuki Yoshimi won his much-anticipated matchup against Tsuyoshi Wada, Kazuhiro Wada had a two-run triple and the Chunichi Dragons held off the Softbank Hawks in a 2-1 victory to even the best-of-seven Japan Series at three games apiece on Saturday.

The Hawks were just one win away from clinching their first championship title in eight years, but the Dragons dug deep in their energy reserves to force a Game 7 on Sunday night at Yahoo Dome.

“Tomorrow will be the last game of 2011. I had a ...

Gamingboy Posted: November 20, 2011 at 06:33 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: japan

Sullivan: Epstein immersing himself in Cubs’ background

Welcome to the Nameless Island of misfit toys!

Have there been any surprises, anything that differentiates running the Cubs’ baseball operations department from his duties as the Red Sox’s general manager?

“In a way, it’s all baseball, so it’s all the same,” he said. “But there are 30 silos out there in this industry. Every organization has evolved independently. Galapagos Islands — that type of thing.”

So the Cubs are the Galapagos?

“No,” he said with a laugh. “You said that, not me. ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 02:38 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, red sox

MASN: Melewski: Duquette’s interview on Boston radio

Ohh those Dominicans…

Q: Could you use a 36-year-old left handed DH (reference to David Ortiz)?

Duquette: “I could use a lot of things on my ballclub. It’s just a question of affordability and value now. I don’t know, that seems to be a luxury item right now given all the other work we need to do in other areas of the team.

“We did have Vlad Guerrero last year. I’d much rather sign those Dominicans for contracts when they are coming out of the amateur market rather than pay them a lot of ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 12:58 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, orioles, red sox


Hey…at least one person connected to baseball still takes Murray’s calls. Good thing too.

Selig will be able to show the Congressmen who urged baseball to take this step that he delivered for them. They will not have Selig to kick around anymore, as they did at a 2005 hearing, He hated it. He didn’t necessarily say it out loud, but he vowed not to let that happen again.

And somehow he got the union to be an accessory to what Miller sees as a crime.

“I haven’t talked to anyone,” ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 12:48 PM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media

Bradley: Yankees may need more RBI singles to find success in postseason

The Bobby Richardson Number: Dimensionless one rules!

In short, the 2011 Yankees were an offensive wrecking ball, capable of blowing teams away, but in close games, both in the regular season and playoffs, when they needed someone to deliver a base hit, a chink in their armor was exposed.

“If you don’t have singles hitters,” said one American League advance scout, who requested anonymity, “you need hitters capable of becoming singles hitters when the situation calls for it. Against ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, scouting, yankees

SF Gate: Q&A With Tony LaRussa

Cool! Just as Liz Cronin’s vibrating “Quack” came on!

Q: Your take on the ‘Moneyball’ movie?

A: “It might’ve been entertaining some. But if you’re trying to get some credibility on how the A’s won 20 in a row and went to the playoffs, the movie says it’s because (Scott) Hatteberg moved to first base and a couple of trades. No, they won because of three great starting pitchers (Tim Hudson, Mike Mulder and Barry Zito) and two franchise players, (Eric) Chavez and (Miguel) Tejada. The movie ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 04:40 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, sabermetrics

Rosenthal: New push in A’s San Jose quest

“Weeks turn into years. How quick they pass”

Finally, there is movement toward solving one of baseball’s most vexing problems.

Baseball is trying to accelerate a decision on whether to allow the Oakland Athletics to relocate to San Jose, according to major league sources.

Commissioner Bud Selig met with top A’s officials earlier this month and plans to meet with San Francisco Giants executives within two weeks, sources say.

The meetings represent the biggest step toward a resolution of ...

Repoz Posted: November 20, 2011 at 12:05 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, giants, media

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mike Matheny lost his home in legal fight with bank over business debt

The house must have had great intangibles.

During his playing days with the Cardinals in the early 2000s, Matheny built a 17-room sportsman’s paradise on 11 secluded acres in suburban Wildwood, complete with an indoor batting cage, home theater, pool with a water slide and a treehouse wired for electricity. The home even has its own golf challenge: a floating island green in the middle of a private lake.

Matheny was forced to sell the estate last year amid the business deal gone bad. Like ...

Greg Franklin Posted: November 19, 2011 at 10:14 PM | 494 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cardinals

NYTimes: New Contract Will Enable Baseball to Test Blood for H.G.H.

Major League Baseball’s owners and players are close to completing a new collective bargaining agreement that for the first time will include blood testing for human growth hormone, according to two people in baseball briefed on the matter. The testing will be a significant step for baseball, allowing it to move ahead of other professional sports leagues, including the N.F.L., in confronting the troublesome issue of a drug that has long evaded detection.

The bargaining agreement, which could ...

bobm Posted: November 19, 2011 at 08:32 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids

Baker: When Comic Book Characters Field and Pitch

Emulating an established star pitcher is not a bad idea in itself. The problems can come if you pick the wrong one. For better or worse, Dot has clearly chosen Dock Ellis.

Also included: Richie Rich, Andy Panda, Wonder Woman, Elmer Fudd, Woody Woodpecker, Homer the Happy Ghost, Heckle & Jeckle, Jimmy Olsen, Mighty Mouse, Blackie Bear, Popeye, Dennis the Menace, Beetle Bailey, Robin, Batman, Superman, Blue Bolt, Georgie and Nancy

The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2011 at 04:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Fangraphs: Slowinski: Projecting Park Effects: The Marlins’ New Stadium

Sheeet…this place looks big enough to store all of Mr. Finch’s non-terrorist, spittle-fueled computer data.

Based on these dimensions, it seems likely that the new Miami stadium will still favor doubles for lefties; that deep right-centerfield alley is impressive. Also, bringing the right field wall in closer should increase lefty home run production slightly. As for right-handed hitters, I’d expect their home run rate to remain below average; despite the fact that the wall has been lowered, ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 04:25 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, miami

Cleared of murder charges, Angel Villalona added to Giants’ 40-man roster

the Giants have added former top prospect Angel Villalona to their 40-man roster.

Villalona, who received a club-record $2.1 million signing bonus as a 16-year-old in 2006, hasn’t played professionally in over two years after being accused of killing a 25-year-old man in a Dominican Republic nightclub in September of 2009. Charges were eventually dismissed as part of a $139,000 settlement with the victim’s family, but Villalona sued the Giants for $5 million earlier this summer claiming ...

The District Attorney Posted: November 19, 2011 at 03:23 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, minor leagues

Bud Selig Suddenly, Surprisingly Has Become Best Commissioner of Four Major Pro Sports

This is sorta like saying Coldplay won a Battle of Bands over Nickelback, Creed and U2.

There’s a new reality settling in over the landscape of professional sports this winter. Bud Selig has emerged as the best commissioner of the four major pro sports.

That’s not to say that Selig doesn’t have his faults—an egregious lack of instant replay looms largest—but the painless, almost silent manner in which Major League Baseball re-upped on its labor deal this offseason underscores the value of ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 03:23 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: business, fantasy baseball, history, media

Sandomir: Re-evaluating a Gruff, Tough Yankee

TORN FROM THE TOMB TO TERRIFY THE BASEBALL WORLD!...Huh, oh…it’s yet another look at (ugh) Allie Reynolds’ HOF chances.


Rob Neyer, the national baseball editor for, said that Reynolds was “probably as good” as Hall of Fame inductees like Jesse Haines, Lefty Gomez and Waite Hoyt, but added in an interview, “They’re all marginals.” In an analysis on SBNation, he called Reynolds “sort of a terrible candidate,” who benefited from his time with the Indians during World ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 02:33 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Fired Yomiuri Giants GM says his troubles strike at heart of sports management

Fire up the glorious Mark Read bat-signal!

Just before his dismissal as representative and general manager of the Yomiuri Giants, Hidetoshi Kiyotake spoke to the Mainichi at the team’s Tokyo office, saying he hoped his dispute with Yomiuri Shimbun Group Chairman Tsuneo Watanabe would be seen as not just about pro baseball, “but about all sports, and what a general manager is meant to be.”

When he was appointed Giants representative in 2004, the club was being run “like a small business, ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international, japan, media

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Milwaukee Brewers

Stares at stack of mint J.M. Gold RC’s.

1. Wily Peralta, rhp
2. Taylor Jungmann, rhp
3. Jed Bradley, lhp
4. Tyler Thornburg, rhp
5. Scooter Gennett, 2b
6. Logan Schafer, of
7. Cody Scarpetta, rhp
8. Taylor Green, 3b/2b
9. Jorge Lopez, rhp
10. Jimmy Nelson, rhp

After dropping to 30th in Baseball America’s rankings following the Greinke and Marcum deals, the farm system rallied in 2011 and showed some promise for the future.

The Brewers won’t necessarily have openings for them, but ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 12:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Larry Dierker Says Astros Fans Will Get Used To New League

Dierker isn’t generatin’ that Texan’s are stupid or something, but…

Many Houston Astros fans are up in arms about the team’s impending move to the American League. But one person who isn’t is a former player, manager and broadcaster.

As an Astro, Larry Dierker has seen it all. He debuted for the then Colt .45’s as an 18-year-old pitcher in 1964, spending most of his 14-year career with the team. Later he managed the Astros and also spent a number of years calling games from the broadcast ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 01:56 AM | 184 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, astros, media

Rozner: For Cubs’ Sveum, stats are help not law

Didn’t even know Keith was involved. Congrats Klaw…huh? ohhh…

“When you’re talking about the ‘Moneyball’ thing, I’ve never seen (the movie). I’ve never read the book,” Sveum said Friday morning when he was officially introduced as the newest Cubs victim. “There’s times you have to create runs.

“If you have a lineup that just hits home runs and you have great hitters, then of course you don’t want to run into outs and give up outs. But sometimes when you have lineups and ...

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2011 at 01:41 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, sabermetrics

Friday, November 18, 2011

MLB and Union Reach Handshake Deal on CBA

Under the agreement, there will be a new restraint on the amount of money a team spends each year to sign selections from the amateur draft, with teams going over a threshold being penalized with a type of luxury tax.

In addition, there will be a separate restraint on the amount of money spent to sign international amateur free agents from nations such as the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba. There also will be a committee established to review the system for international signings, ...

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: November 18, 2011 at 11:31 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: business

Heyman: Why Bobby Valentine is getting a look in Red Sox managerial search

BMark Buehrle presumably no relation to B’wana Beast, or for that matter, sveunm.

The Red Sox say first-list [managerial] candidates Sandy Alomar Jr., Torey Lovullo and Gene Lamont are still in play (curiously, the Phillies’ respected bench coach, Pete Mackanin, was the one called on Tuesday and told that he is out of the running; “I was a little bit surprised. Maybe I didn’t have what they were looking for ... I didn’t insult them,’’ Mackanin said by phone ). None of them looks particularly ...

The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2011 at 11:14 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, dodgers, giants, mariners, miami, red sox, white sox, yankees

FOX Sports: Jose Molina close to joining Rays

Molina, where you goin’ to?

Free-agent catcher Jose Molina is close to signing a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that includes an option for the 2013 season, major-league sources told

A deal could be completed within the next several days.

vortex of dissipation Posted: November 18, 2011 at 09:20 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Houston Astros

Clemens! Singleton! Santana! DeShields! Springer! Nash! They’re loaded (or I must be)!

1. Jonathan Singleton, 1b/of
2. Jarred Cosart, rhp
3. George Springer, of
4. Jonathan Villar, ss
5. Paul Clemens, rhp
6. Domingo Santana, of
7. Brett Oberholtzer, lhp
8. Delino DeShields Jr., 2b
9. Mike Foltynewicz, rhp
10. Telvin Nash, 1b/of

The added depth should allow the Astros to slow down the development of young prospects such as shortstop Jonathan Villar, second baseman Delino DeShields ...

Repoz Posted: November 18, 2011 at 08:56 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

Terence Moore: Dale Murphy can’t make Cooperstown on support alone

The House That Murphy Sold.

Examples are plentiful, but I’ll leave you with just one.

It occurred in 1996—three years after Murphy’s retirement—when I was trying to buy my current house. The couple who previously owned the place was charming throughout the initial process, but when we got close to closing, they became cold and distant.

At one point, when I was checking out the house for the last time during an inspection, the husband blurted out with a frown, “Is it true that you hate Dale ...

Repoz Posted: November 18, 2011 at 08:18 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, history

MLB: Blue Jays unveil new logo for 2012 season

No snark. These are just plain great. May those black and grey atrocities never again darken our doors.

The Blue Jays dipped into their past when looking for inspiration for the club’s new logo that was revealed at Rogers Centre on Friday afternoon.

The new look is a modernized version of the franchise’s first logo that was used from 1977-97. It features a sleeker-looking Blue Jay bird head with a prominent red maple leaf to showcase Toronto’s standing as the only Major League Baseball team in ...

Mattbert Posted: November 18, 2011 at 08:02 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, business

SABR: Gillette and Spatz: Not Chiseled in Stone: Baseball’s Enduring Records and the SABR Era

SABR…continually proving my old HS teacher’s (Mr. McToiletry) quote “One thing you can’t dick around with is history!” wrong.

When Pete Rose hustled down to first base after rapping out base hit No. 4,192 on September 11, 1985, neither he nor the adoring crowd at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium knew that their hero had already passed Ty Cobb’s revised total of 4,189 career hits. Many baseball records are erroneously regarded as sacrosanct: these historic numbers may be burned into our ...

Repoz Posted: November 18, 2011 at 07:59 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

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