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Tuesday, January 03, 2017
You can’t win in the playoffs if you don’t get there.
And durable rotations have been a key to success.
In the past 21 years, 74 of the 178 teams that advance to the postseason had at least four starting pitchers work at least 162 innings, including nine World Series champions and 21 of the 42 teams that reached the World Series.
The Cubs quintet of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel reinforced that over the course of the 2016 regular season.
Posted: January 03, 2017 at 08:22 AM | 23 comment(s)
Monday, January 02, 2017
Shortstop—Amed Rosario, St. Lucie (66 games), Binghamton (54 games): Despite being three years younger than the average position player at Double-A, Rosario flashed signs of being a future franchise cornerstone in 2016.
“Going back to last year when he was with us for the playoffs, I was impressed with his approach at the plate,” Lopez said. “Then this season, there was a big improvement in how he put together his at-bats. He did not miss a beat this season.”
After a wonderful start to the ...
Posted: January 02, 2017 at 07:40 PM | 14 comment(s)
Catcher—Francisco Mejia, Lynchburg (42 games), Lake County (60 games): Already one of Cleveland’s most talked-about prospects, the 20-year-old entrenched himself in the Minor League record book with a 50-game hitting streak in 2016. In just his fourth professional season, Mejia sported a slash line of .342/.382/.514 with 11 homers and 80 RBIs in 102 games while improving his defense all the while.
“He certainly put his name out there, didn’t he?” Hawkins said. “Not just by his numbers or the ...
Posted: January 02, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
Entertainment once hummed along creating the background noise of our lives. Nowadays, it has come to the foreground. We live in “sensurround”, surrounded by billions of bits of information – audio, visual, graphic, factual, fictional – all distributed on algorithmically generated social media formats, played on gadgets of ever-decreasing size laid over traditional platforms like radio, television and cinema.
Over the last decade, all manner of gimmickry and novelty has been rolled out ...
Posted: January 02, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 1809 comment(s)
Sunday, January 01, 2017
“The fact that we’re all kind of like a tight-knit brotherhood within ourselves, we’re always rooting for one another,” Syndergaard told reporters last week. “We’ve got a really good camaraderie.”
So what if they’ve, ya know, never actually pitched together in one complete turn of the rotation. Like, ever. All that matters is that they love each other like five brothers from another mother. Mind you, chemistry isn’t the only thing the Mets starters have going for themselves. To hear them tell ...Read More...
Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb
Posted: January 01, 2017 at 12:55 PM | 7 comment(s)
New York Mets
It began as the Metropolitan Baseball Club. In the 1880s, newspapers listed the team as the Metropolitans as a way to distinguish it from the neighboring New Yorks. The name Metropolitans then sat unused for nearly a century until New York’s 1962 expansion team, replacing the departed Giants and Dodgers, revived it.
WWWNTTT: Any name we might consider for the Yankees, we might also for the Mets. Well, not any name. We couldn’t call them the Empires. The Yankees are the Evil ...
Posted: January 01, 2017 at 11:43 AM | 143 comment(s)
While I agree that voters might be influenced by early voting, they are also influenced by a great deal of things, including the direct promotion of candidates. In the whole scheme of things, the impact of early voting seems like a small issue.
More and more writers are making their ballots public well in advance of the January announcement, and they are being scrutinized ad infinitum on social media. While mostly a good thing, this could unduly influence a small yet meaningful percentage of ...
Posted: January 01, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
hall of fame
Murray Chass was once a great baseball reporter. He has devolved into a self-parody.
The Internet is responsible for this sort of inane behavior. It is free to all and allows all to behave like mentally deficient jerks. I had initially planned on disclosing and discussing my Hall of Fame ballot in this column, but those MDJ’s will have to wait, if I ever reveal it at all.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
There is plenty of crying in baseball.
This is just how it is. We should stop looking for perfect easy outs, formulas that are never coming, the 100 percent of applause of those judging us. If you receive the honor of getting a Hall of Fame vote, work hard on it, apply what you value and — remember — there is no crying in baseball.
Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
hall of fame
Friday, December 30, 2016
MLB GMs are evaluating players very similarly now. It’s not a coincidence they aren’t willing to pay the glut of hitters excessively.
Overall, next year’s class is probably slightly better for position players. Cain, Frazier, Lucroy, and Moustakas — along with Hosmer, Martinez, and Santana — present more upside and production than Bautista, Cespedes, Encarnacion, Fowler, Reddick, and Turner. After this year’s deep freeze in free agency — perhaps complicated by CBA negotiations — we ...
Posted: December 30, 2016 at 07:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
Chicago Eagle, December 30, 1916:
Connie Mack was catching for the Pirates in 1893 and he roomed with George Moreland when the team was on the road…One night Moreland entered their hotel room before Mack and dug up the latter’s best catching mitt. He started to cut a hole in the center of it, and was still engaged at this task when Mack came in.
“Hey, George, what are you doing?” asked Mack. This was a natural query for a catcher to spring when seeing his best glove being treated in this ...
Who were the best players to toil “in the shadows,” so to speak? Those whose accomplishments far outstripped their fame due to the lack of attention paid to their teams?
Posted: December 30, 2016 at 10:37 AM | 32 comment(s)
Somewhere out there is a New York writer ready to make this quote, “Dansby Swanson, I watched Derek Jeter. I knew Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter was a friend of mine. Dansby Swanson, you’re no Derek Jeter.”
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Part of the Boston Blowhards, which also includes Shaughnessy and Massarotti. The part about getting respect from people who disagree with his opinion is particularly rich.
But I know I must rise above such pettiness, so I try to put that bias aside and examine each case on its merits. Except with Raines being so borderline for me, I can’t say it didn’t play a role in my final vote. Just being honest. I’m human.
I’d just prefer that those who disagree can respect my position, even if it ...
Posted: December 29, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 116 comment(s)
hall of fame
Grand Forks Herald, December 29, 1917
Jack Fournier, utility player of the Chicago Americans, has invented an indoor contrivance which he believes will bring back a batting eye, according to a letter received [in Chicago] today.
“I rigged up a batting contrivance in my house,” said the letter, written from Aberdeen, Wash., “and the ball is suspended on a heavy rubber cord. I give the ball a push and then stand in batting position and see how I can drive it. I’ve ruined a perfectly good room ...
The true secret to his success?
“It makes me feel really good because my grandma, my mom, my cousins . . . everybody is able to watch me play,” Nunez said. “In the minor leagues it’s hard for my family to watch me play. So here, everybody goes to the field and watches me . . . It makes me feel real good.”
Posted: December 29, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
These newfangled writers need to watch a ball game once in a while. AND GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
I’m not naïve to think that there are people in the Hall of Fame already who cheated or bent the rules. I’m in no space to ride high on the horse of morality into the church of baseball. I’m just trying to pick the very best from a very select group of outstanding players that I actually have seen play and not simply judge them from a WAR/JAWS/WHIP/OPS spread sheet. I study and research their ...
Posted: December 29, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 44 comment(s)
hall of fame
This one includes an off-shoot of the “good face”.
4. Bruce Hurst, lefthanded pitcher
1976, 22d overall selection
Scout: Gordon Lakey.
What he said: “Tremendous natural ability. Premium draft. Mormon religion. Can become above-avg. major league pitcher. Desires to play basketball in JC even if he signs.”
What we say now: Hurst, a star of the 1986 World Series, is tied with Dennis Eckersley for 20th in Red Sox history with 88 wins. One nitpick with the scouting report: Lakey cites ...
Roger Clemens and missed opportunity in the draft.
Jay Jaffe’s work on JAWS has a far reaching impact on the HOF voting. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen it referenced; I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Two quick notes: First, huge thanks to Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe for creating his JAWS system, which provides statistical context for this Hall of Fame discussion, and all the work he’s done breaking down the candidates on the ballot. Invaluable resources. Here’s the landing page for his breakdowns of the candidates. And, second, all ...
Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:40 AM | 11 comment(s)
hall of fame
MLBPipeline.com’s new Top 100 list doesn’t come out until the end of January, but the Pipeline crew is hard at work trying to sort out who should go where. The list will undoubtedly include players who weren’t previously Top 100-type prospects. There might be others who don’t start the year on the list, but they could make a jump that could land them there down the line.
Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
Jon Heyman’s latest notes column includes the following. I can’t see how misreading the market for his client
was wasn’t a big mistake.
There’s a lot of criticism of Encarnacion and agent Paul Kinzer for not immediately jumping on the Jays’ initial $80 million, four-year offer, but the reality is that while that was obviously quite a reasonable bid (and the highest one he’d receive, as it turns out; he also got one for $66 million and three years from the Astros) there is no one who would ...
Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:24 AM | 22 comment(s)
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
We’re supposed to see a gassed reliever on the mound, and so that’s what we see. If the velocity readings are 100 and 101, then we look for something else. “Here’s the thing,” Alex Rodriguez said later during the rain delay. “When you’re fatigued, you don’t lose miles per hour, per se. But what you do lose is command and movement.” But Chapman didn’t lose movement. He didn’t lose command (arguably, he doesn’t need command anyway). If you didn’t see Guyer’s ball split the gap and you didn’t know ...
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