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Friday, April 03, 2015

The Man They Love To Hate: Why is it so easy to dislike Bryce Harper?

Here he comes again, full bore, the only gear he knows, like the baseball version of a top fuel car. When Bryce Harper answers a question, just as when he chases a fly ball to a wall or zooms helmetless around the base paths—with the most vigorously windblown hair since Pete Rose’s—he fairly leaves in his wake the aromas of spent nitromethane, burned rubber and exhaust smoke, which is to say, he wears the scent of danger like cologne.

“You’ve got to have the confidence to win the ...

Read More...
Joey B. Posted: April 03, 2015 at 09:54 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Baseball teams use in-depth data to win

There’s a revolution going on in baseball.

If you’re nodding your head and muttering “Moneyball,” then you, my friend, are hopelessly behind the curve.

That best-selling book, now more than a decade old, examined how the Oakland Athletics used data analysis to gain a competitive advantage. New statistics — with acronyms like WAR, BABIP, and FIP — begin to move out of the realm of hardcore number crunchers and into the mainstream.

Some fans have embraced the new science, commonly referred ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 08:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Listen to Bo Jackson sum up his entire career for Adam LaRoche’s son | MLB.com

Bo really was an incredible athlete. My favorite memories of him were his throw to nail Harold Reynolds at the plate and running up the wall after making a catch. His career was far too short.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: bo jackson, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-3-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 3, 1915:

The Brooklyn pitchers will not want for oral support while laboring on the well-known slab this year. Joe Schultz, beside his many other accomplishments, has a line of chatter while the Superbas are on the field that should keep the pitchers’ “heads up” on all occasions.
...
You’ve got to hear and see him to appreciate him.

Like father, like son.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:58 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, joe schultz

When Harry Caray Was A Rebel With A Microphone

Harry Caray was great.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:57 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcaster, harry caray

Trevor Cahill’s Groundball Conundrum | Banished to the Pen

Here’s an interesting look at Trevor Cahill’s problems.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, trevor cahill

Tigers put Justin Verlander on DL

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will start the season on the disabled list but likely won’t be out of action for long, manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday. Verlander, who had been scheduled to make his first start of the season Wednesday, has been dealing with a sore triceps and has been throwing lightly in an attempt to work out the tightness.

The 32-year-old Verlander, a six-time All-Star selection, went 15-12 last season with a 4.54 ERA and 159 strikeouts. Verlander is 28-24 in two ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:38 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: busts, justin verlander, kate upton, tigers

Braves trade for Diamondbacks starting pitcher Cahill | www.ajc.com

Cahill’s changes for a bounce back year won’t be hurt by Simmons and Peterson at short and second.

Despite his 3-12 record and 5.61 ERA in 2014, the Braves think Cahill, 27, can have a bounce-back season working with pitching coach Roger McDowell, who’s had a lot of success getting other sinkerballers back on track in the past.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:36 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

It’s always been about finding the truth and integrating good new ideas with good old ideas.

Banister, like Hurdle, seems like an old-school baseball man who saw the light. He came to the Rangers and let loose with this to the Dallas Morning News: “We hang onto tradition. But is it tradition, or is it truth? You’ve got to seek the truth. If the numbers say the same thing year after year, there’s gotta be some truth to it, right?”

I don’t want to name the names of the old-school gatekeepers. If ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 03, 2015 at 07:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, sabermetrics

Want to eat ribs from a baseball helmet? The White Sox have you covered

RIB HELMET! These ribs are served in a souvenir batting helmet with fries, coleslaw and corn bread.

The White Sox introduced a number of new items Thursday, including a Pot Roast Sandwich and a bacon flight. While those pale in comparison to helmet ribs, they are still solid options.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: avisail garcia, fatass, white sox

Mets closer Jenrry Mejia cuts off the best hair in baseball

New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia is sporting a new look this season. Mejia, owner of the best hair in the majors, decided to cut off his locks Wednesday.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jenrry mejia, mets

Mets famous bullpen car sells for $90,000 on eBay

Bidding for the Electric powered Presidente Cart opened on eBay on Wednesday with a beginning price of $10,000. By the time bidding closed a few hours later, the winning bid came in at $90,000, which is roughly three times more than what the seller’s were anticipating.

There’s also some notable history with the cart that dates back to 1967 and continues beyond the point it went out of full-time service in the 1980s.

A fantastic example of whimsical Major League Baseball marketing from the ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Judge OKs Cubs video board to block rooftop views of Wrigley

In oral arguments over the preliminary injunction last week, one attorney for the rooftop owners, Thomas Lombardo, accused the Cubs of violating antitrust law, saying the team sought to manipulate ticket prices and to “bully” rooftop properties into selling out to the Cubs. He said the Cubs bought at least some stake in four of 16 rooftops and then altered plans to position signs in front of rooftops they don’t own.

But Cubs attorney Daniel Laytin said that misrepresents the relationship of ...

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Meatwad misses Vincennes Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: antitrust exemption, cubs, legal, rooftops

Tony Gwynn items set for auction

Items from the collection of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, who passed away last year, will be put up for bid by SCP Auctions.

The auction house has secured more than 100 items from Gwynn’s widow, Alicia, including three All-Star Game rings, a pair of Silver Slugger batting awards and some of the original contracts he signed, including his first professional baseball contract.

The most unusual item is a massive glass shrine made for Gwynn by former San Diego Padres owner John Moores.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, tony gwynn

New Balance signs Robinson Cano

Cavanaugh estimates that 300 major league players will wear New Balance cleats this season. It has come at a cost for the company that for so long proudly shunned endorsements—though a relatively cheap one, compared with other sports.

On Thursday, the brand announced that it has added Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano to an endorsement roster that already includes Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

“Robby wanted to be the ...

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Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mariners, robinson cano

WSJ: A Q&A With Baseball’s New Commissioner

WSJ: You’ve discussed how important technology is to reach young fans. When will a 15-year-old in New York be able to watch a Yankees game on his phone?

Manfred: The best way to answer that question is to say the better part of my workday today was consumed by the topic of in-market streaming. It is particularly complicated in the context of a media market that is changing so quickly, but I do believe we will get a solution on in-market streaming in the relatively near future.

WSJ: Sometime ...

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Badenhop: reliever shares his thoughts on visiting bullpen

Being in the dugout during the game is awkward. It kind of feels like the baseball equivalent of watching American Pie with your parents. You don’t want to be there. They really don’t want you there.

A dugout doesn’t feel like home to a reliever. And having to sit in one raises so many questions: Are there certain places I can’t sit? When can I use the bathroom? Should I high-five someone after he scores? There’s a reason the bullpen was invented in the first place!

great read

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: April 03, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt urges Christians to be more accepting of gays

Affeldt penned a blog post this week in which he urged Christians to be more tolerant toward gays. He writes:

Why do people who aren’t Christians hate us? They look at us and say, “You’re just a bunch of Bible thumpers who are homophobic and you don’t love anybody.”
We’ve brought that on ourselves. I don’t think we’re showing the love of Jesus. Gay people are asking for equal rights under the law, and we’ve got Christians saying “God hates you.” I get so angry because ...

Read More...

Grantland (Keri): 2015 NL West Preview

Yasiel Puig bat flips and Hunter Pence GIFs.  What more do you need?

Chris Fluit Posted: April 02, 2015 at 03:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, giants, nl west, padres, rockies

Poz - The Brevity of Pitching Stardom

Felix Hernandez is an anomaly – he has now been very good to excellent for eight straight years.

bbmck Posted: April 02, 2015 at 01:17 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: hype machine, king felix, legend

The Baseballist: Most Extreme Ballpark Contexts In The Minors

WHAT ABOUT THE MOON????

1. High Class A High Desert (California)

Situated in the Mojave Desert and with an elevation pushing 3,000 feet above sea level, High Desert annually ranks as the most most hitter-friendly venue in the minors. No full-season ballpark featured more total runs per game (13.97) or home runs per game (2.94) in 2014, and that’s not an isolated incident. For the 2010-12 seasons, teams at the Mavericks’ home park in Adelanto, Calif., combined to feature 14.65 runs and ...

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Blue Jays, Pirates both love Russell Martin, but only Toronto has him | FOX Sports

The Pirates, meanwhile, are optimistic the catcher they acquired from the Yankees, Francisco Cervelli, will replicate much of what Martin offered defensively, if not his .832 OPS from 2014.

Heck, Martin probably will not match that outlier; his OPS the previous five seasons had been .702. But the Jays will be a postseason threat if they get even league-average pitching to complement their dynamic lineup. And that’s where Martin should make a difference.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2015 at 09:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, francisco cervelli, pirates, russell martin

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-2-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 2, 1915:

[Chicago Whales manager] Joe Tinker has a new play which he expects will make the other teams in [the Federal League] open their eyes this season. It’s a double squeeze, with two men scoring instead of one. Speed merchants are necessary to work it out, but it looks awfully good on paper.

I have no idea how you could possibly expect that to work, but good luck with that, Joe.


Duke’s Matuella Done For Season, Will Require Tommy John Surgery - BaseballAmerica.com

Duke righthander Michael Matuella, who entered the season as the top draft-eligible college pitcher and a projected top-five pick despite a back condition that was discovered in the fall, will miss the remainder of the college season due to a completely torn ulnar collateral ligament. Tommy John surgery will follow.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2015 at 06:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Are long baseball contracts worth it? - Magazine - The Boston Globe

Of course, like his fellow owners, Henry is still making a lot of money

“The difficulty for the average fan is, he doesn’t think a player is worth $32 million, so why would you pay him $64 million” for each good year? Okrent says. “Well, it’s play money if a team’s making a profit. And baseball is making huge profits.”

An owner like John Henry “is not in it to make money, he’s in it to win pennants,” Okrent adds. “And to have a good time. Therefore, whatever he pays a ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

An interview with Pete Palmer | Baseball: Past and Present

Here’s a nice interview with sabermetrics pioneer and good guy Pete Palmer. The recently re-released The Hidden Game of Baseball was my introduction into sabermetrics (before I even knew the word) and it changed my life. I am on my third copy now and still refer to it from time to time.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2015 at 06:19 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pete palmer, sabermetrics, stuff worth buying

Brewers’ Jean Segura feeling invigorated after tough 2014

While everyone with the Milwaukee Brewers is eager to break camp and head north, Jean Segura has some extra incentive.

Nobody on the team had a tougher 2014 than the 25-year-old shortstop. He turned down a $38 million contract extension in the spring, struggled at the plate and, worst of all, dealt with the sudden death of his infant son in his native Dominican Republic.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2015 at 06:16 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, jean segura

ESPN: Ten ways to boost offense

Baseball teams scored an average of 4.07 runs per game last year, more than one run fewer than they averaged in 2000. It also was Major League Baseball’s lowest scoring average since 1981 and the same rate teams averaged way back in 1969. Batters also struck out a record 37,441 times, more than 15 times per game, an 18 percent increase from just a decade ago. The major league batting average of .251 was the lowest since 1972.

Jacob Posted: April 02, 2015 at 12:37 AM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: offense

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - April 2015

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: service time clocks.

The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2015 at 09:00 PM | 2183 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

Sources: Juan Lagares agrees to 4-year, $23 million extension with Mets

Outfielder Juan Lagares agreed to a four-year, $23 million extension with the New York Mets that includes a club option to buy out one season of free agency, major league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The 26-year-old Lagares is best known for his brilliant defense in center field, and the Mets are hopeful his bat catches up. In his two major league seasons, Lagares has hit .262/.302/.368.

The contract, which will be official after a Thursday physical, starts in 2016, at which point Lagares ...

Read More...
Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 01, 2015 at 08:27 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: juan lagares, mets

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