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Friday, March 10, 2017

Why Max Scherzer is a true rarity among baseball’s best pitchers | FOX Sports

Scherzer, early in his career, struggled to identify the proper off-season throwing program.

“I had problems up to 2012,” Scherzer said. “It all stemmed from one thing — taking time off.

“The baseball book says don’t throw a ball until Jan. 1. And that’s what I did. I never touched a ball in October, November, December. Then, when I would start my throwing, my shoulder would kill.”

So after ’12, Scherzer stopped shutting down his arm once the season ended, playing catch on ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2017 at 07:45 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals

Cuba advances in World Baseball Classic | MLB.com

One big hit did in Australia.

Veteran outfielder Alfredo Despaigne’s fifth-inning grand slam provided Cuba with all its runs in a 4-3 win that broke Australia’s hearts again. The Australians have played in the World Baseball Classic all four times it has been held but have never made it out of the first round. This time they believed they really had a chance.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2017 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Dominican Republic beats Canada at WBC 2017 | MLB.com

The DR looks tough to beat.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2017 at 07:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Italy defeats Mexico with 5-run 9th in WBC ‘17 | MLB.com

Shock is right.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2017 at 07:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Orient resident, MLB 20-game winner Bill Hands dies at 76

RIP, and glad you got to enjoy the Cubs winning it all.

QLE Posted: March 10, 2017 at 12:10 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: 1969, bill hands, cubs, obituaries

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Heyman: 7 Teams That Could Surprise In 2017

Heyman’s latest notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:04 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Smith’s bunting a way to highlight fleet feet

Mallex Smith knows how his bread is buttered. Speed is his game.

Given that fact, the new Rays outfielder tries to do everything he can to incorporate his speed into the equation. Which is why he spends an inordinate amount of time laying ‘em down.

If you see a Rays player working on his bunting skills, there’s a good chance the player you see is Smith.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 09, 2017 at 05:07 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bunting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-9-2017

Washington Times, March 9, 1917:

Manager Griffith today ordered carboys of spring water placed in the rooms occupied by his players, and spring water will also be served at the dining tables.

The Old Fox is most serious over conditions of the [Augusta, Georgia] water supply. “I had no idea the water here was so bad,” said he today. “I am not going to have any of my players made sick drinking this dark brown stuff, and so have ordered spring water for all of them.

And ever since the day Clark ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 09, 2017 at 10:09 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Baseball Prospectus: DRA 2017: The Convergence

I’m just not a fan of attempts at creating a be-all, end-all stat. Doing so just limits your stat because you have to make too many compromises to make the data work. Why not have one metric that looks back and another that looks forward?

On another note, does anyone know if DRA has separate components for pitching in the stretch and in a full wind up? Some old research suggested the difference can have a significant impact on runs allowed.

Two years ago, I wrote the first DRA essay, focusing ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dra, pitching, sabermetrics

Giving big dollars to older pitchers doesn’t make sense - Buster Olney - ESPN (INSIDER $)

Remember when the Red Sox said they wouldn’t sign any more older, expensive free agent starters?

The Boston Red Sox gave Price the most money ever for a pitcher, $217 million over seven years, when he was 30 years old. He had a good but not great first year in 2016, leading the American League in innings. But now with the uncertainty over Price’s elbow, the Red Sox don’t know what they’ll get out of him in Years 2 and 3, when he would have theoretically been at his best for Boston, before the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Lawsuit states Minor League Baseball Salaries are too low | BaseballAmerica.com

Although I can appreciate the idea the current state of affairs can be laid at the feet of owners, it’s also true the MLBPA could help cut away a slice of their pie to help minor leaguers.

In response, the suit was narrowed to players who played at least seven days in either California, Florida or Arizona. The certified collective under the new decision will be “any person who, while signed to a Minor League Uniform Player Contract, participated in the California League, or in spring training, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, minor leaguers

The Mets should be embarrassed about Tim Tebow’s disastrous debut - NY Daily News

On the SNY telecast, Ron Darling couldn’t resist:

“That’s the first standing ovation I’ve ever seen for hitting into a double play.”

And so it went.

In truth, the only surprise on Wednesday was that Gentleman Tim made it so obvious when he disagreed with Addition, the home plate umpire, staring at him on at least four occasions, twice on called third strikes.

Tebow managed to annoy Keith Hernandez, who practically lectured him on TV in his final at-bat of the day.

“You can’t ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tim tebow

Billy Hamilton is a Statcast highlight reel | MLB.com

I’m not sure this is the right breakdown. As he said, “how can you make a great play if the opportunity to make a great play doesn’t exist first? Of those 116, 44 didn’t make a single Five-Star play.” Wouldn’t a better look be percentage of five-star catches in five-star opportunities be a better comparison?

For this sample, we’re looking at the 116 outfielders who had at least 100 total outfield chances and at least 10 Five-Star chances, because, after all, how can you make a great play if the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Not all spring training numbers are meaningless

Was this article meant to convince us about something?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, spring training

Why Tim Tebow is good for baseball | New York Post

“If you see something you like, be aggressive,’’ Tebow said of the major lesson of the day.

Also, this is not football. Call your manager Terry or TC. Not coach.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2017 at 07:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tim tebow

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Dodgers’ Brandon McCarthy tests life after baseball as part owner of Phoenix soccer club - LA Times

I would rather have more good athletes play baseball.

“You’d just like to see our very good athletes playing, where it’s less of a marginalized sport … It’s a quick, fun, accessible game. There’s less money and less time needed to play than in other sports. I’d like to see it become more popular.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:33 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon mccarthy, dodgers

Jose Bautista, humbled but not hurt, aims for Blue Jays revival at 37

I guess his agent isn’t big on honesty.

“It was confusing, and it was tough at times,’’ Bautista says, “but you can’t take it personally. You can’t feel like it’s necessarily a direct vendetta against you or a group. I know markets have their ups and downs, but I can’t explain what happened to me.

“I’m not complaining about the deal I got. Could it have been better a couple of years ago? I guess. You can expect things, and think about what happened in the past, but at the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:31 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista

Red Sox fiercely debate who owns best hair in the clubhouse - providencejournal.com

The Brockstar clearly has the best hair.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:29 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Fashion Statement: Matheny cracks wise on home wins & haberdashery

The start of “T-Shirt Wars”. See it on the History Channel in March 2018!

“I think we have T-shirts somewhere that say something about winning at home,” Matheny said in his office after the win.

That’s a great line. Deserved. Well-timed.

Wait, what?

T-shirts.

That couldn’t be ...

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 07:48 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

The great Tim Tebow experiment is harmless, even if it drives you crazy | FOX Sports

Michael Jordan’s time wasn’t a big deal either.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 07:46 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tim tebow

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-8-2017

Harrisburg Telegraph, March 8, 1917:

Japanese baseballs or baseballs made in any other country no longer will be able to masquerade in America as American productions.

The Secretary of the Treasury, who has ample power in the matter, has issued an order requiring that hereafter all imported baseballs be indelibly stamped with the name of the country of their origin, such identification marks when placed on cartons being considered insufficient.

This was all part of the Pink Hawley-Homer Smoot ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 08, 2017 at 10:15 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Orioles’ Kevin Gausman shines against an All-Star lineup - Baltimore Sun

“It’s basically an All-Star team. It really is. You’ve got to be on top of your game. You’ve got to be able to throw strikes, and against a lineup like that, you can’t throw too many strikes. If you just live in the zone against those guys, they’re the best in the world and the best from the Dominican Republic. They’re very good.”

Gausman was, too. And he had to be.

The top of the visiting team’s lineup read like a who’s who of the game’s brightest stars. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, Gausman’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican baseball, kevin gausman, orioles, wbc

High cost of the heater Fastball mania not good for baseball

A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.

There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.

The fastball fixation is nothing new. You can fairly trace pitching history through baseball’s rapidly spinning seams, from Walter Johnson to Bob ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, pitching

Tinkering with split-finger gave A’s Madson a sore arm - SFGate

“I was working on a new pitch, a split-finger fastball,” Madson revealed after his Cactus League debut Tuesday. “Either I overdid it, threw too many, or it’s just a nasty pitch on my elbow.”

Madson, 36, is a key part of the A’s bullpen plans. He saved a team-high 30 games last season — albeit with seven blown saves — and is in the late-game mix this season, though manager Bob Melvin hasn’t announced a closer.

Why try to add a split-finger fastball?

“I’m always trying to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ryan madson

Mitch Harris eager to show Cardinals result of elbow surgery | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

In a roster bind for much of this winter, the Cardinals removed Harris from the 40-man roster and every other team in baseball had a crack at him. The Cardinals lost players Jeremy Hazelbaker, Tim Cooney and Dean Kiekhefer this past offseason through waivers, but Harris passed through without being claimed. Like the free agent Maness, Harris is listed as having elbow surgery, and for most that’s Tommy John and a 12-month absence. Having cleared waivers, Harris remained with the Cardinals, the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 06:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mitch harris, tommy john surgery

Tweet the Mets: Thor’s online ‘battle’ with Mr. Met

Syndergaard admitted that Mr. Met burned him recently on Valentine’s Day, when the mascot tweeted that Syndergaard’s date for the night was his mother.

“Other than that one, they’re pretty weak on his part,” Syndergaard says.

The starter says he realized only toward the end of last year that fans had picked up on this feud with Mr. Met, but believes they’re on his side and have joined the “I hate Mr. Met parade.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Adam Eaton, the Mighty Mouse of the Washington Nationals - The New York Times

Bargains are everywhere today!

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 09:59 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: adam eaton, nationals

Travis: ESPN Cutting Nearly $100 Million In On-Air Talent

#StickToSports

Two years ago ESPN cut several hundred behind the scenes jobs to save hundreds of millions of dollars in yearly costs. Since that time ESPN’s subscriber losses have accelerated, averaging over three million lost subscribers a year. Now new jobs cuts are coming, only this time you’re likely to know some of the casualties—Outkick has heard from a variety of different sources that ESPN is cutting up to $100 million in on-air salaries.

Yep, on air. This means you’re going to know ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: March 07, 2017 at 06:00 PM | 260 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, cable, espn, jobs, politics

Top 10 fantasy baseball prospects for 2017 | MLB.com

Through the magic of spring training games on MLB.TV I fell in love with this guy last year.

10. Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Dodgers (No. 12)
Though Los Angeles has Adrian Gonzalez at first base and a surplus in the outfield, Bellinger is too talented to keep down on the farm for much longer. The game’s best power prospect is a polished hitter who could force his way into the lineup by midseason. If he had a big league job waiting for him on Opening Day, he’d rank No. 2 on this list.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 03:38 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

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