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Monday, January 22, 2018

OTP 22 January 2018: What the Baseball Hall of Fame can teach us about elections

Would ballot-box behavior change if people knew more precisely how their fellow citizens planned to vote?

It’s a question that still haunts Democrats as they continue staring daggers at their friends who went third party in November 2016. But it’s also an experiment being carried out in real time by the Baseball Writers Association of America as members prepare to elect at least three and as many as five retired greats to the Hall of Fame later this

The association’s complicated voting ...

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:44 AM | 4563 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, politics

Fangraphs: Lars Anderson Discovers Australia

Following on the heels of his foray into Japan, Lars Anderson is now playing in Australia.

The baseball is most certainly different. You might even be surprised that baseball is played in the land Down Under. Many of its own residents certainly are. ‘We have a baseball team?!’ is a common response when someone asks me what I am doing in Australia.

villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, australian baseball, lars anderson

Rosenthal roundtable: Five MLB players weigh in on the pace-of-play rules and the need for change – The Athletic

Enforce the 12 second rule. I want the game done in 2.5 hours.

Scherzer: When you get down to the root of it, the clock MLB is proposing with ball-strike penalties, it’s very regimented. There is no leeway within any situations. Say there is a quick game going on. Everyone is doing their job and working at a quick pace. Then something happens and someone takes a little extra time. And we’re going to penalize somebody. That’s what leads to a lot of people being frustrated by having a ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:32 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, rules

Tim Benz: Contend this year? Don’t buy what Pirates are selling | TribLIVE

“Rebuild implies that you’re looking five years out, and you’re going to punt the current season.

“We are not rebuilding,” Huntington said.

So “restock”, “replenish” and “refresh” are totally different from “rebuild.” Ah! Got it, Neal.

I look forward to “Nuance Night” at PNC Park. The first 15,000 fans through the gates get a thesaurus.

Huntington also admitted organizational “projection models” predict the team will be worse than the 75-win team of 2016. Then — in the same response — ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Grichuk to Jays for Leone

Haven’t seen this mentioned around here.

Walt Davis Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardlinals, dominic leone, randal grichuk

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gordo: Cardinals’ rush to trade Grichuk seems puzzling

Perhaps some day his statistics will look as spectacular as his hair.

But that day will not come in St. Louis.

salvomania Posted: January 21, 2018 at 04:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardinals, randal grichuk

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Newly Discovered Wasp Is Named After the True Hit King Ichiro

The newly crowned Diolcogaster ichiroi had been sitting in relative anonymity in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, which contains over 17 million specimens. The specimen was collected about 30 miles from Lake Okeechobee and 145 miles from Marlins Park where last Ichiro played.

From entomologist Jose Fernandez-Triana’s scientific paper officially naming the wasp: “At the time the research for this paper was being conducted, Ichiro was still playing for a Florida team and thus naming ...

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 20, 2018 at 01:47 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki

Inside Baseball | Scott Boras Weighs In On Slow Market

Boras has an expensive computer. OK, then, I’m convinced.

Boras doesn’t ever mention the “C” word but rather says there has to be some sort of “interference” that’s caused the market to halt. He speculates it’s about the analytically-driven, like-minded decision-makers who are using numbers to suggest that the longer deals for older players aren’t working. To that, Boras says, come see my computer. He has a very expensive one, and human computers on a near-100-person staff that ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2018 at 07:50 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, scott boras

Friday, January 19, 2018

NBC Sports Philadelphia: Morphine found in Roy Halladay’s system before fatal plane crash

Not quite José Fernández-level impairment but…

Roy Halladay had morphine in his system when the plane he was piloting crashed and he tragically died in November, according to Halladay’s autopsy report, released Friday.

Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, and amphetamines were found in Halladay’s system.

As TMZ points out via the Food and Drug Administration, the amount of Zolpidem found in Halladay’s system (72 ng/ml) is more than enough to impair a driver and increase the risk of an ...

Stormy JE Posted: January 19, 2018 at 07:56 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: deaths in baseball, drugs, roy halladay

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2018

Chicago Eagle, January 19, 1918:


Christy Mathewson, manager of the Reds, is coming out of his retirement as a hurler. Big Six will take the mound next season, he announced the other day. As his club will have to get along with six pitchers, he will keep himself in condition and be ready to go on the slab when his services are needed. The veteran hardly can be expected to take his regular turn or pitch many games, but he plans to aid as a relief hurler and pitch ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 19, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

BenFred: Everybody can find a story about Musial’s magic | Ben Frederickson |

On the five-year anniversary of the day we lost “Baseball’s Perfect Knight,” find a moment to remember what made him so much bigger than the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, stan musial

15 big league prospects to watch in 2018

Honeywell is a great prospect because of his command on most of his repertoire. The screwball is an option for him but it’s a pitch he throws less than a handful of times each game.

Honeywell’s fastball touches 95 mph at times, and he has four other big league-ready pitches. But it’s his changeup—a screwball—that generates a high number of swings and misses.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Why is J.D. Martinez’s big bat still available

Why should the Red Sox bid against themselves? If there was another team out there willing to bid higher, he would have signed already. Certainly a higher bid could eventually materialize but until that actually happens…

“If you’re Boras, J.D. and the Red Sox, there has to be some creativity involved to get a deal done,” the industry source said. “They’re a perfect match. They’re really the only match.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:11 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, j.d. martinez, red sox

The 2017-18 Offseason: Trend or Anomaly? - MLB Trade Rumors

There is a lot of misinformation and baseless conjecture out there from people trying to figure out the current market. This includes MLB personnel. Last night I was more than surprised to hear MLB Radio Network’s @CaseyStern saying MLB is blatantly colluding to keep free agent salaries down. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t completely surprised; he says a lot of stupid stuff. To hear an announcer, who is essentially employed by MLB, making the case for collusion so strongly did keep me listening ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 06:39 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Thursday, January 18, 2018

MLB’s plan on how they can make baseball games at least 10 minutes shorter

From Jeff Passan:

Major League Baseball plans to implement a pitch clock and stricter rules on mound visits in the 2018 season, according to a memo obtained by Yahoo Sports that outlines the changes, with the MLB Players Association expected to reject an agreement the league offered.

After the MLBPA declined a similar proposal last year, the league threatened to unilaterally impose a timer between pitches, batters and innings, as well severely limit mound visits without the union’s ...

Greg Pope Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:06 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: time of game

Pitch clock likely coming to MLB in 2018 after union rejects latest pace-of-play plan

. A 20-second pitch clock has been used in the minors—pitchers who take too long to throw a pitch are charged with a ball, and hitters who are not in the box in time are charged with a strike—and it has cut down on the overall time of game dramatically.

Calling all Traditionalists and Innovators:  Fight!

Srul Itza Posted: January 18, 2018 at 06:58 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, history, mlbpa

Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules of the Game

Russ Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.  He hosts a podcast called Econtalk.  He had Bill James as a guest.

Dreadful Foie Gras Posted: January 18, 2018 at 12:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, podcast

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2018

Tacoma Times, January 18, 1918:

That Bill Killifer, catcher of the famous Alexander-Killifer duo may retire from baseball was the statement [in Los Angeles] today of his brother, Wade Killifer, manager of the Los Angeles club.

Wade declared he believed it likely his brother would not report to the Cubs. “Bill has stock in a manufacturing concern here. With baseball in its uncertain condition he thinks it wise to stop,” Brother Wade said.

So, to recap: About a month ago, the Cubs sent ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:56 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Current MLB Free Agent Market - Perception vs Reality? | Jays From The Couch

A very interesting take on 2018 free agency.

Remember last year when the market for power bats collapsed and shocked many – including the Blue Jays front office? That was preceded by a couple of years where “lower quality” aging veterans had already been relegated to 1 year deals or even minor league contracts. Last winter it was more middle of the road players which were hit hard, and higher quality players like Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista were impacted. The contract Jay Bruce ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:36 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agents

Francisco Mejia leads top catching prospects

The Top 10
1. Francisco Mejia, Indians
2. Carson Kelly, Cardinals
3. Keibert Ruiz, Dodgers
4. Sean Murphy, Athletics
5. Jake Rogers, Tigers
6. Jorge Alfaro, Phillies
7. Chance Sisco, Orioles
8. Danny Jansen, Blue Jays
9. Zack Collins, White Sox
10. Victor Caratini, Cubs

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:29 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Christian Yelich can only blame himself for Jeter entanglement | New York Post

And the money he’s getting is in the same currency. It’s not like Jeter converted payment into Monopoly money.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:33 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: christian yelich, marlins

Comparing a Player Outside His Era | Articles | Bill James Online

Very interesting stuff from two of the very best analysts ever.

I’ve always been marginally interested in the HOF debate. One of the biggest reasons is it’s pretty impossible to compare players across eras. I didn’t always believe this to be true. My feeling changed when I was working on my own WAR system, xWins, about 20 years ago. The differences in data and contexts are two HUGE problems which I do not believe can be sufficiently accounted for in the analysis.

On there other hand, if you ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 03:07 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: evaluating players, history

Rubbing Mud: The Evidence of Price Fixing We Have So Far - Baseball Prospectus

Time to get out the Reynolds Wrap.

Now we’re getting into something more sinister, even if it’s not something actionable. If there’s a kind of slotting system developing (however implicit it might be), then the owners are distorting the salary structure of the game, using their advancements in analytic intelligence and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement as cover. If good players with widely disparate skill sets and likely aging profiles are taking their talent to the market and ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:44 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, free agents

2018 Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects

1. MacKenzie Gore, Padres
2. A.J. Puk, Athletics
3. Justus Sheffield, Yankees
4. Luiz Gohara, Braves
5. Brendan McKay, Rays
6. Adrian Morejon, Padres
7. Kolby Allard, Braves
8. Jesus Luzardo, Athletics
9. Stephen Gonsalves, Twins
10. Max Fried, Braves

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2018 at 11:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-17-2018

Richmond (Indiana) Palladium, January 17, 1918:

The ball players of Cuba seem to have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. Headed by Mike Gonzales, the Cardinals’ Cuban catcher, they have made demands so exorbitant that baseball has been put on the shelf [in Cuba] for the present season at least.
Gonzales explained that [players would have to receive] seventy-five percent [of gate receipts] or no baseball. [Owner Charley] Brown replied that in that case there would be no baseball. And ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 17, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules

I expect this interview to go well beyond baseball. Econtalk tackles a lot of different topics but frequently dwells in the “meta” realm of those topics. Russ, the host, is a huge Red Sox fan as well as a great interviewer.

isaacc7 Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, podcast

Padres won’t feature brown uniforms until 2020, at the earliest - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, asked Tuesday about serious alterations in the near future, said “it’ll probably be the 2020 season before we see anything.” The owner said the team has commissioned a “major firm” to conduct a research study of quantitative data.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:24 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, uniforms

Jeter may get mayor’s help on Marlins home run sculpture | Miami Herald

Certainly a priority.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 08:04 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Christian Yelich’s relationship with Miami Marlins is ‘irretrievably broken,’ agent says

Players play.

“The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

General manager builds the team.

“Should we feel like we need to make a trade involving any of our under-contract, controllable players, we will be the ones who ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 07:23 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: christian yelich, marlins

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