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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Castrovince: Bucs live by defensive analysis

More to the point, the 2013 season, at large, proved the merits of moving guys around. No Major League team, according to Baseball Info Solutions, used defensive shifts more than the Pirates last season, and, ergo, the Buccos’ internal data suggests that they completed more plays “out of position” than anybody and were one of the most efficient defensive teams in the league.

This was the method by which the Pirates maximized the impact of their pitching staff and overcame an offense that, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, sabermetrics

La Russa: Bagwell, Biggio belong in Hall of Fame

Maybe it’s because I have a swell ball of phlegm in my head or been listening to too much Exocomet, but I’m confuded… “La Russa said he doesn’t understand the criteria members of the BBWAA use to vote for the Hall of Fame.

“Otherwise, Jack Morris would be in the Hall of Fame,” La Russa said. “The new metrics have a real important place, just don’t exaggerate them, and I think they get exaggerated at times. Like with Jack Morris, and maybe Bagwell.”

La Russa has an immense amount of respect ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 22, 2014 at 09:31 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, sabermetrics

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lucchino exchanges barbs with Yankee president Levine

Lucchino’s Luck: Cold war effort.

The rivarly between the players on the field—save for an occasional Ryan Dempster target practice at A-Rod—has cooled. But as long as Larry Lucchino and Randy Levine are around, the Red Sox and Yankees will always be the Hatfields and the McCoys.

In his annual spring-training meeting with the media on Friday, Lucchino seemed to take more than a little satisfaction in watching the Yankees spend more than a half-billion
dollars this winter on free agents Brian ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 07:51 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Sandy Koufax hit in head by foul ball

Show him the Koufax!

Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was struck in the head by a foul ball as the Los Angeles Dodgers were taking batting practice at their spring training complex on Friday.

Koufax was standing in foul ground next to the bullpen, watching pitching prospect Ross Stripling throw, when Andre Ethier hit a low liner toward the area. Players yelled, “Heads up!” but before Koufax could react, the ball hit him on the left side of the head.

Koufax was smiling as he walked toward a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 05:13 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Fangraphs (Cameron)—Best and Worst Transactions of the 2014 Offseason

Worst Transactions of the 2014 Offseason.

Best transaction:

1. The Nationals acquire Doug Fister.
Cost: Robbie Ray, Steve Lombardozzi, and Ian Krol.

You probably knew this was coming. I’m going to guess that this move will show up at the top of every best-transactions-of-2014 list, as the Nationals basically stole Doug Fister from the Tigers in a trade that no one still understands very well. When you look at the prices being commanded for quality starting pitchers, getting Fister — who ...

Read More...
Esoteric Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:40 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove

Detroit News: Venezuelan Tigers show support for protesters in home country

Magglio Ordonez and Joe Kennedy were unavailable for comment.

In a rare, but unified display of national politics in a major-league clubhouse, the Tigers who are native Venezuelans demonstrated their support for the protesters in their country on Friday by posing together with banners, flags and slogans.

The group of 12 included Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers’ two-time most valuable player; Victor Martinez, coach Omar Vizquel and pitcher Anibal Sanchez.

Some of the players held flags on which ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: socialism, tigers, venezuela

Fox Sports: Tigers might get short end of Fister trade, but they thought it through

Well that’s a relief.  Here I was thinking that Dombrowski had just been on a bender the entire offseason:

Because it helps explain a trade by the Tigers that left many of us baffled—right-hander Doug Fister to the Nationals for a modest pitching prospect, left-hander Robbie Ray, and two complementary parts, left-handed reliever Ian Krol and utility man Steve Lombardozzi.

My initial reaction—and the initial reaction of many in the industry—was that Tigers general manager David ...

Read More...
Esoteric Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: detroit tigers, regrets, i've had a few, washington nationals

Divish: GM Jack Zduriencik has “no expectations” for Jesus Montero

After each season, players meet with training and medical staff to set up their offseason. Each player is given a target weight they are expected to come in at for the following season. According to sources,  Montero has never once met that target weight since joining the Mariners. This year he came in 40 pounds over the weight the Mariners wanted him to come in at.

It’s led to frustration within the organization. General manager Jack Zduriencik was particularly critical of Montero and his ...

Read More...
Good cripple hitter Posted: February 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, jesus montero, mariners

Alfonso Soriano ponders retirement after season

Jeterivera Tour Lines laughs at this…

Alfonso Soriano could join Derek Jeter in retirement following the end of the upcoming baseball season.

“It depends on how I feel,’’ Soriano said when asked by The Post if he wants to continue playing. “If I am healthy I will play [in 2015]. If not, I will let it go. It depends how I feel.’’

Soriano will be 39 in July and this will be his 14th big league season. Between the Cubs and Yankees last year, Soriano hit 34 homers and drove in 101 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2014

Spring Training 1914

Hugh Fullerton in the Pittsburgh Press, February 21, 1914:

The spring training trips of major league ball clubs are the annual joke of the game, and they are largely responsible for the poorer quality of baseball dished out to the fans.
...
In 20 years of going south with major league baseball teams I never have seen a team that was not in better condition at the end of two weeks of training than it was when it started the season. A seasoned player…at the end of 10 days or two weeks will be in ...

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Ferkovich: Cobb almost lost his third .400 season due to a scorekeeping controversy

“Eureka! Who ####### cares?”

Only three players have hit over .400 in a season three times: Rogers Hornsby, Ed Delahanty, and Ty Cobb. The Georgia Peach hit .420 in 1911, .409 in 1912, and .401 in 1922.

That last one, however, almost didn’t happen, and was the subject of controversy at the time.

Rewind back to May 15, 1922, at a rainy Polo Grounds in New York. The Detroit Tigers were playing the New York Yankees. Cobb hit a ground ball to shortstop Everett Scott. According to one newspaper ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Theo Epstein promises to stick with Cubs through thick or thin

If that World Series pennant leaves the ground and you’re not with it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life!

But not even Theo Epstein is claiming his baseball plan can be achieved by waiting until the kids get here to start spending on big-league players.

“We’re not saying that you can build a championship team through the minor-league system alone,” he said Thursday. “That would be extremely challenging, if not impossible.” ...Read More...

Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 06:43 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Leigh Montville: The BBWAA should rescind its 2011 award to Bill Conlin

Pulling the one chair out from under Conlin.

The picture of the late Bill Conlin that is used most often in stories about him these days (including this one) is a shot from the ceremonies in Cooperstown. He is wearing a pair of those old man glasses with yellow lenses and he has the white hair and the little white beard and he is at a podium that reads “National Baseball Hall of Fame” on the front. His right hand is in the air and he is reading from a prepared script and no doubt he is being ...

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Repoz Posted: February 21, 2014 at 06:30 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa, history, hof

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Red Sox add Chris Capuano

The Boston Red Sox on Thursday agreed with left-hander Chris Capuano on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to major league camp, according to a league source.

The deal is pending a physical.

The 35-year-old Massachusetts native has spent all nine of his major league seasons in the National League, the past two with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:52 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, pitching, red sox

James: Big Game Pitchers (Registration Required)

Didn’t get to this right away, but hey, most of these guys pitched a while ago ;-)

Bill James recently did a 10-part series (behind his paywall) on “big game pitchers”.  He came up (in Part II) with a system “to assign ‘Big Game Points’ to every major league regular-season game played since 1952”.  Part III explains that 7.7% of regular season games end up getting designated as “Big Games”, in addition to all postseason games.

James then discusses: ...Read More...


Juan Lagares may be the odd man out in the Mets’ outfield | HardballTalk

A little old, but I’m posting it because, much like the Blue Blazer, it made my blue blood boil.

The Mets made a splash this off-season, signing Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. They also picked up Chris Young on the cheap, and manager Terry Collins views him as a starter. That leaves one spot in the outfield between Juan Lagares and Eric Young, Jr.

According to Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger, it sounds like Young is in the lead and Lagares may be relegated to a bench ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:38 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: eric young jr., juan lagares, mets

SBNation/TalkingChop: BREAKING: Andrelton Simmons gets seven-year, $58 million extension

No yearly breakout, but it buys out two of his free agent years in 2019-20.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 20, 1914:

Frank Chance, manager of the New York American league baseball team, saved the lives of his brother-in-law, Carl Pancake, formerly a Chicago newspaper man, and two other men in the floods caused by the storm Wednesday.

Pancake and two companions, Charles Gordon and Samuel Riser, were riding in a motor car when a retaining wall gave way and loosed upon them a wall of water five feet deep. The car was overturned and the men swept through an orchard near ...

Read More...

SI Kids: Max Mannis: Talking Stats at Yankees Camp

I think the wrong person is wearing the Yankee cap.

Several days ago, I opened up my first pack of 2014 Topps baseball cards. I flipped over the cards to look over the stats written on the back, and next to traditional stats, such as home runs, RBIs, wins, and saves, I saw that WAR, a sabermetric, was listed for each player. I was so excited to discover that Topps has decided to include SABR on their cards.

For those of you who don’t know, WAR is a statistic that stands for Wins Above ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

Baseball Analytics: Smart Pitchers Throw Away From B.J. Upton

Upton’s offensive regressions have stemmed mainly from his inability to put bat on ball. In 2011, his overall contact rate stood at 76.7%, fell to 70.6% the following season and plummeted to 66.9% last season with Atlanta, which was the third lowest among batters with at least 400 plate appearances, trumped only by Pedro Alvarez (66.1%) and Chris Carter (65.4%), according to FanGraphs.

Three seasons ago, he was able to place contact on just about any pitch in the strike zone—boasting a 84% ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

St. Petersburg’s Kriseman, Rays’ Sternberg meet for ‘great conversation’

Hmmm…wonder if John Rocker and Mayor de Blasio will ever meet for ‘great conversation’.

Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg and new St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman met Tuesday afternoon to talk baseball, their first official session since Kriseman took office.

“It was nice,’’ Sternberg said Wednesday morning at the Rays spring training site. “We had a great conversation and I’m very confident in his ability and his vision in leading the city.’‘

Sternberg said it was a ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 20, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, rays

Report: Phillies turn in Oregon State’s Ben Wetzler to NCAA for using an agent

The Philadelphia Phillies turned in Oregon State left-hander Ben Wetzler to the NCAA for using an agent during negotiations with the team and refusing to sign as their fifth-round pick in last year’s MLB draft, reports Baseball America‘s Aaron Fitt.

The NCAA prohibits any athlete from using agents to negotiate with pro teams and as a result, Wetzler was suspended indefinitely last week by the NCAA after returning to school for his senior season.

He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection ...

Read More...
DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:13 AM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: ncaa, phillies

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jeff Francoeur signs with Cleveland Indians in search of lost confidence

You call that love in Cleveland, but it’s just Frenchy!

Last year the Giants released Jeff Francoeur with five weeks left in the season. He was done with baseball.

“Mentally, I had checked out,” he said.

Teams called Francoeur’s agent to see if he wanted to join them for the September stretch run. He said no. His agent warned him that answer would cost him a big-league job in 2014. Francoeur said he didn’t care, because he needed to get away.

“To put it mildly, I think I was ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:18 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: cleveland

2014 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects

The definitive list of baseball’s up and coming talent celebrates its 25th edition this year.

1. Byron Buxton
2. Xander Bogaerts
3. Oscar Taveras
4. Masahiro Tanaka
5. Javier Baez

JJ1986 Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:09 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, cubs, minors, prospects, twins

Home Run Derby: Mathews v Aaron

Not much to it, and not really news, but I just realized that a bunch of the old “Home Run Derby” programs, which were first aired in the 50s and 60s, and then re-aired in ESPN back in the 80s, are available in their entirety on YouTube.

This one sees the Braves’ sluggers go up against one another. It’s interesting to see Eddie’s smooth, left-handed uppercut, and its contrast to Hank’s lunging, shoulder-heavy right-handed slash.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 09:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, classic baseball, home run derby, old school, video

Joe Poz: No. 52: Wade Boggs

When you see the perfect third baseman in your mind, who do you see? Schmidt with his compact swing, as perfect as a short right hook? Brett turning on a Goose Gossage fastball? Brooksie diving to his right and throwing off-balance? Mathews hitting another titanic home run?

And now ask: Where does Wade Boggs fit in that picture?

gehrig97 Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:22 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: wade boggs

SFGate: Egelko: Baseball Sued Over Low-Minor League Wages

While major-league baseball players earn millions of dollars and club owners share billions in revenues, minor-leaguers are paid $3,000 to $7,500 per season and train for weeks without pay, in violation of minimum wage and labor laws, their attorneys charge in a lawsuit. The suit filed against Major League Baseball and three teams, including the San Francisco Giants, said baseball executives and club owners “have preyed upon minor leaguers, who are powerless to combat the collusive power of the ...

Read More...

Harper: Hold the tears, Derek Jeter still must steer Yankees ship

Hey…“Tommy helms while Jeter steers” was a line from my Tribute to Patrick ####### Sky song!

A season of pomp and press conferences officially begins here on Wednesday for Derek Jeter, but as curious as I am to hear more about what motivated him to announce his impending retirement, I’m more curious to find out if he can still play shortstop.

At a high level, that is.

...Still, the everyday lineup could be among the best in baseball, thanks to the big-ticket free agents the Yankees added ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:29 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Cincinnati Reds, Homer Bailey agree to six-year, $105 million contract | MLB.com: News

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey has agreed to a six-year, $105 million contract, a source said Wednesday. The team has not announced the deal.

The agreement, which includes a mutual option for a seventh year worth $25 million with a $5 million buyout, enables both Bailey and the Reds to avoid an arbitration hearing.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:46 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: homer bailey, reds

Joe Morgan Conversations: Bill James

Not that interesting an interview; posting mostly just for posterity.  Joe reels off a list of criticisms of sabermetrics, and Bill figures out ways not to disagree.  Bill does not call Joe a “self-important prig” or a “little weenie.”  He does touch on the shower customs of his youth, so I guess there’s that.

The District Attorney Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, joe morgan, sabermetrics

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