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Thursday, September 01, 2011 Former Olympic baseball player charged with making meth near Loxley school

It’s B.J. Wallace.

Billy Lyle “BJ” Wallace Jr., 40, and Amber Sheree McKenzie, 29, were being held in Baldwin County Corrections Center as of Wednesday, both charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wallace, a Monroeville native, pitched for the U.S. team in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and the Montreal Expos picked him third in that year’s amateur draft, signing the left-hander ...

Greg Franklin Posted: September 01, 2011 at 04:03 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: college, expos, olympics

Kimbrel becomes all-time rookie saves leader

A record they said would never be

Craig Kimbrel does not close like a rookie.

In fact, no rookie closer has ever closed like Kimbrel. Certainly none have ever done it better.

When the Braves’ 23-year-old fireballer closed out Atlanta’s 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday at Turner Field, he recorded his 41st save of the season, setting the major league rookie saves record.

The previous mark of 40 had been set only last season by the Rangers’ Neftali Feliz, coincidentally, ...

Repoz Posted: September 01, 2011 at 03:25 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, sabermetrics

NP: Jays looking to future with Latin American additions

Maybe even including some of those real emotional ones!

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos continued shaping the future of the franchise on Tuesday by acquiring seven international free agents from Central and South America.

“Our commitment to Latin America, our commitment to get the best available players in Latin America, has been in existence now for quite some time,” Marco Paddy, Toronto’s director of Latin America operations, said on an afternoon conference call.

The new ...

Repoz Posted: September 01, 2011 at 03:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, international, prospect reports, scouting

Fitch Rates MLB Club Trust Securitization Notes ‘A-’; Outlook Stable

- Fitch Ratings has assigned an ‘A-’ to Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Club Trust Securitization consisting of $70 million series 5 term notes (due 2019), $83.1 million series 6 term notes (due 2021) and $46.9 million series 7 term notes (due 2021). Additionally, Fitch has affirmed the ‘A-’ rating to the outstanding $645 million term notes (series 1 - 4) and the outstanding $200 million syndicated revolving credit facility. The Rating Outlook is Stable.


—MLB’s premier ...

Gamingboy Posted: September 01, 2011 at 03:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: business

Yahoo: Braves acquire IF Jack Wilson from Seattle

The Atlanta Braves have added middle infield depth for the final month of the regular season, acquiring Jack Wilson from the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night for a player to be named.

The Braves, who acquired outfielder Matt Diaz earlier Wednesday, also obtained cash from Seattle in the deal.

Wilson was hitting .249 in 62 games for Seattle and has been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 19 because of a bruised left heel.

NTNgod Posted: September 01, 2011 at 02:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mariners

Girardi eager to see what [Jesus] Montero can offer

Jesus Montero could break into the big leagues with a crash course on the Yankees’ rivalry with the Red Sox, as the power-hitting catcher is expected to headline New York’s first callups from the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

The 21-year-old Montero, ranked as the No. 6 prospect in all of baseball according to, would join the Yankees as a reserve catcher and another option at designated hitter as rosters expand from 25 players to 40…

Montero is hitting .288 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs ...

The District Attorney Posted: September 01, 2011 at 12:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, yankees

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Seattle Times: Mariners announce multi-year extension for GM Jack Zduriencik

The Mariners like what they’ve seen from GM Jack Zduriencik thus far and today rewarded him with a multi-year contract extension. Terms were not disclosed, but it’s for more than one year—not one year plus and option as some rumors out there now have it.
“When I took this job three years ago, the thing that we said we were going to do is try to build this thing from the ground up and try to accumulate talent in every way we can. I think if you look at what’s on the field here, I think we’re ...

NTNgod Posted: August 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Francona: Won’t ‘hurry Beckett’ in games

Payback time! No-shows for Bobby Valentine’s bluster.

Red Sox manager said he isn’t about to tell Wednesday’s starting pitcher Josh Beckett to do something that will make him feel uncomfortable. Beckett was criticized by former Mets manager Bobby Valentine on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball during his start on Aug. 7 for taking as much as 45 seconds between pitches to deliver the baseball. 

“That’s not going to make me lose sleep,” Francona said of Valentine’s critique.

Francona acknowledged ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 10:01 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, red sox, sabermetrics, television

Grantland—Why the Philadelphia Phillies won’t be great for long

There’s never been a better time to be a Philadelphia Phillies fan.

that’s all that needs to be said.  there’s 2300+ other words in the article, but they’re mostly unnecessary.

being STEAGLES isn't the same as having a STEAGLES Posted: August 31, 2011 at 09:40 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Royals trade Treanor back to Texas

Goodbye Mr. Misty May.

The Royals have sent veteran catcher Matt Treanor back to Texas in a cash transaction.

Treanor, 35, spent the last 15 days at Class AA Northwest Arkansas on a rehab playing assignment after suffering a concussion July 30 on a collision at the plate in Cleveland. He was five for 19 with five RBIs in seven games.

The Royals acquired Treanor from the Rangers in a March 28 cash transaction after learning veteran Jason Kendall would not be sufficiently recovered from ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2011 at 07:34 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, royals

Giant shakeup: Tejada, Rowand sent packing by SF

Outfielder Aaron Rowand and infielder Miguel Tejada were designated for assignment Wednesday by the San Francisco Giants, a major shake-up for the stumbling defending World Series champions.

The Giants began the day trailing first-place Arizona by a season-high six games in the NL West race.

“We’re at a spot in the season where we have to do some damage control with the roster,” general manager Brian Sabean said. “A couple things played into it. In both cases, there was diminished playing ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 07:07 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Pirates trade Matt Diaz to Braves

The Pirates traded outfielder Matt Diaz to the Atlanta Braves Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash.

Diaz, 33, hit .259 in 100 games for the Pirates this season, mostly against left-handed pitchers. He hit .295 in 105 at-bats against lefties.

The Pirates signed Diaz to a two-year, $4.25 million contract as a free agent in the off-season. He spent the previous five seasons with the Braves.

The return of Alex Presley and Jose Tabata from the disabled list made playing time in the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2011 at 04:31 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, pirates

Netherlands to present bid to host MLB games

Just before play-off game 8 of his Hoofdklasse team Vaessen Pioniers on Monday night, acting president Ilja Schinkel of Hoofddorp Pioniers replied positively about realization and schedule of the construction of the new Pioniers stadium and complex south of Hoofddorp.

In March this year the municipality hosted a press conference about the newly to be built stadium and the ambition to open it ceremonially in 2014 with the first official MLB games in Europe. MLB delegate in Europe Clive Russell ...

Gamingboy Posted: August 31, 2011 at 04:17 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: international

NPB/ Get ready for an MLB arms race

This offseason could see some high-profile Japanese ballplayers make the move overseas to the major leagues. It’s a “bumper crop,” and the jewel in this class of potential exports is Nippon-Ham Fighters ace Yu Darvish.

Shortstops Hiroyuki Nakajima of the Seibu Lions and Munenori Kawasaki of the Softbank Hawks, and Yakult Swallows outfielder Norichika Aoki are candidates to leave Japan in the coming months-Nakajima and Aoki through the posting system and Kawasaki as a free agent. But it’s ...

Gamingboy Posted: August 31, 2011 at 04:12 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: japan

OC Register - Plunkett: Dream Team Prospect Pairing in the AFL

Angels rookie Mike Trout was already making plans to head to the Arizona Fall League after the Angels’ season ends. But he got the word Tuesday that both he and Nationals prospect Bryce Harper had been assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions.

“It’s awesome,” Trout said. “I finally get to meet him.”

Harper and Trout — or Trout and Harper — have been linked together as the top two prospects in baseball for the past year. But Trout said he only knows Harper (about 14 months younger) ...

Shredder Posted: August 31, 2011 at 02:47 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, prospect reports

Deford: Too Many Days Hath September (And Baseball)

You Name It! Deford’s Had It! Test Drive An 80’s Deford Today!

Hello, baseball: The culture has changed. It’s time to adapt. September begins tomorrow, and even though most teams have no chance, and the kids are back to school, and football is starting, baseball is still going to limp along for another month before crowds where, as the old saying goes, “A lot of fans came dressed up as empty seats.”

Stop it, baseball. Do two contradictory things:

First, end the season on Labor Day. A ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 01:39 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, fantasy baseball, history, media, television

Bruce Jenkins: Titanic HR puts S.F. in deep trouble

It’s really just a joke at this point - and by the way, that NL West deficit is six games, thanks to Arizona’s win against Colorado. On any given night, your favorite Giant goes 0-for-4 against a team long dismissed from relevance. And every night, without fail, the park is filled with enthusiastic patrons, still wrapped in the comfort of last year’s world championship and getting only mildly upset with the proceedings.

No, it’s not Boston or Philadelphia, where the folks would be hurling ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 01:27 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants

Treasures Donated to the National League and NYPL For Sale on eBay, Bid Away!

In 2009, submitted a report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NYPL detailing items stolen from the library in the 1970s and including information related to the sale of suspect items fitting descriptions of items missing from the Spalding Collection.  The Reach cabinet card offered by Slater’s in 1997 was included in the report submitted to the FBI as a possible match for the missing photo.  The photograph depicted in the 1997 Slater’s auction was not ...

Pop Snyder Posted: August 31, 2011 at 01:21 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: memorabilia

Red Sox angered by Cervelli’s clap dance

to the tune of…Papá Ain’t Salty No More.

In last night’s 5-2 Yankees victory at Fenway Park, there was a benches-clearing brouhaha involving Cervelli, Lackey and Saltalamacchia, resulting in Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild being ejected. The spat was prompted by Cervelli’s reaction after he blasted his long homer off Lackey in the fifth.

As Cervelli reached home plate, he celebrated—or perhaps taunted—with a huge clap in Saltalamacchia’s face. Two innings later, Lackey drilled ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 01:10 PM | 126 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Hall of Fame broadcaster voting open to fans

Here are the candidates:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Greg Schulte, Daron Sutton
Atlanta Braves: Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren
Baltimore Orioles: Joe Angel, Jim Hunter
Boston Red Sox: Joe Castiglione, Jerry Remy
Chicago Cubs: Pat Hughes, Ron Santo
Chicago White Sox: Ed Farmer, Ken Harrelson
Cincinnati Reds: Waite Hoyt, Joe Nuxhall
Cleveland Indians: Mike Hegan, Herb Score
Colorado Rockies: Jack Corrigan, Wayne Hagin
Detroit Tigers: George Kell, Jim Price
Florida Marlins: Tommy Hutton, Rich Waltz
Houston ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2011 at 12:53 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, business, media

Grantland: Bill Simmons and Jonah Keri Discuss Desmond Jennings

and The Legend of Sam Fold.


Jonah, I need you to climb off Andrew Friedman’s lap for a few minutes, stop feeding him grapes and answer the following question: Why did Tampa wait nearly four months to promote Desmond Jennings from Triple-A?

He’s a phenom. He’s terrifying. He’s doing things we haven’t seen since Kelly Leak was ripping up Little League fields in Southern California. In 134 at-bats since they brought him up on July 23, he’s gone .351/.439/.634 with 8 homers, ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM | 208 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, rays, sabermetrics

Wittenmyer: New Cubs GM must be more than just a sabermetrics whiz

Nooooo! Scintillating scotoma flash approaching (THUD).

But Ricketts also has made it clear he wants his new GM to have a strong analytical background in advanced baseball metrics, which might be fine — or might become a minefield to navigate if that becomes an overriding influence in the search.

‘‘It’s a delicate balance,’’ San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean, speaking before the Cubs’ 5-2 victory Tuesday, said of the trend to lean more heavily on sabermetrics as a scouting ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 11:59 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, projections, sabermetrics

Mayor Foster reveals his plan for keeping Rays

Bigger Cages, Longer Chains, Lower Catwalks!

My plan consists of three strategic elements: 1) ensuring that the legal integrity of the city’s agreement with the Rays is not compromised; 2) supporting private sector efforts to retain the Rays as a regional asset without compromising the city’s agreement with the Rays; and 3) continuing to support and promote the Rays as a professional sports franchise in west-central Florida.

...My role as mayor is not to sell newspapers, advance a personal ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, rays

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-31-2011

Toledo News-Bee, August 31, 1911:

Mathewson, Great Pitcher, Tells You His Training Secrets

Do you want to be strong?  WALK.  Do you want to keep well?  WALK.


Think how the women sit in the house drinking tea and playing bridge.  They never get their lungs filled with good fresh air.  If they had more outdoor air and did more walking, they could easily keep in superb physical condition.


“But I’m so fat,” groans the unhappy woman.  Then BEND.  ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 31, 2011 at 08:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hall of fame, history

Former San Francisco Giants employee charged with embezzlement

If you’re Robin O’Connor you’re robbin’ O’Doul!

A former payroll manager for the San Francisco Giants has been arrested on federal charges associated with embezzling more than $1.5 million from the baseball club’s employees, including players, and using the money for fancy cars and a new home.

Robin O’Connor, 41, was confronted by the team in July and acknowledged diverting more than $600,000 from two Giants employees, a criminal complaint filed last month in U.S. District Court in San ...

Repoz Posted: August 31, 2011 at 05:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants

Indians demote 1B LaPorta

A ringer sent down to help the Columbus Clippers lock up the IL title?

Manager Manny Acta said the Cleveland Indians’ demotion of first baseman Matt LaPorta to the minors Tuesday is a case of roster numbers.

LaPorta’s mediocre production numbers didn’t help.

Batting .238 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs in 97 games, LaPorta was optioned to Triple-A Columbus when the Indians recalled right-hander Jeanmar Gomez to start the second game of a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2011 at 02:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

STL Post-Dispatch: Berkman on trade: ‘That ship has sailed’

Cardinals right fielder Lance Berkman has informed general manager John Mozeliak that he would not consider returning to the club as a free agent this winter if he is traded this week to the Texas Rangers.

Berkman Tuesday afternoon expressed strong distaste for being assigned a role as “a rental player” for a second straight season. Informed over the weekend of the Rangers’ interest, Berkman said he made clear his preference is to return to the Cardinals in 2012, but a trade would cause him to ...

NTNgod Posted: August 31, 2011 at 12:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rangers

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ESPN Dallas: C.J. Wilson ‘recharged’ by cooling chamber

And tell Ted…Happy Birthday from all of us at Primer!

Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson stepped into a chamber at Millennium Ice in Plano on Tuesday to experience whole body cryotherapy and said a few things ran through his mind as the temperature dropped.

“I feel like I’m on Mount Everest with no clothes on,” Wilson said. “That’s a terrible idea. At the same time, I’m like, ‘I’m going to throw harder. I can throw 160 piches. Are we done yet?’ You’re trying to survive it, I guess. But it’s ...

Repoz Posted: August 30, 2011 at 11:04 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Amazin’ Avenue: Howard Johnson’s Playing Days Aren’t Over?

Remember how odd it was when Phil Ochs started to live his life as John Butler Train? This is odder.

Say it ain’t so, HoJo.

The Can-Am League’s Rockland Boulders announced on their website this morning tthat they have signed 50-year-old Howard Johnson and his son, Glen Johnson, to their 2011 player roster. The father-son duo will suit up and play for the sixth-place Boulders (18-22) in their final homestand on September 4 and 5 during a pride-saving weekend against their geographic rivals, ...

Repoz Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:58 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mets

Royal Review: Alex Gordon: Royal MVP Candidate

Jeff Francoeur has done an amazing job mentoring Alex Gordon this season. An amazing job. Lost in the endless discussion of how awesome Francoeur and Cabrera have been, has been Gordon’s 2011 season, which has been more valuable than Cabrera and Francoeur’s combined. But hey, he was Baird draft pick, so he’s an unperson.

That strong offensive line, coupled with good baserunning and defense has made Gordon one of the most valuable players in the American League. Not surprisingly, as Matt Hays ...

Tripon Posted: August 30, 2011 at 07:46 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

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