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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Baseball Newsstand
— All the News That's Fit to Link

Monday, February 10, 2014

The offseason approach of thinking-man Breslow

Hey Bulldogs!
Hey Bulldogs! (okay…out of my system)

Breslow pores over scouting reports during the regular season. He examines the recent trends of opposing hitters. He sees what these batters have done over their past 10 games with runners on base vs. no runners, and early in games vs. late, and against fastballs vs. offspeed pitches.

But what does he do during the offseason?

Well, he examines his own trends.

“I make sure there’s no need for a complete overhaul,” he said recently.

Repoz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 06:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Topkin: Analysts down on Rays’ farm system

Those rankings are subjective, snapshots based on arbitrary criteria. But for an organization with the objective to build through player development, it’s not an encouraging sign.

Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman didn’t totally disagree with the critical analysis.

“I think we have a lot of depth in our system,” he said. “I think the one area we’re probably not as good as we’d like it to be is in the elite kind of top-end talent, not having as many high-end guys as we would like. But I think ...

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:33 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: farm system, joe maddon, johnny damon, rays

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Coco Crisp staying with A’s

The Athletics have mutual strong feelings about their do-everything center fielder and speedy leadoff man, who is staying with the A’s for an additional two seasons after agreeing Friday to a new contract through 2016 that adds $22.75 million in guaranteed money.

Also a $13m option for 2017.

Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:10 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Schmuck: Not affording a free-agent pitcher like Bronson Arroyo could cost the Orioles

As Bronson Arroyo sails out of Baltimore…

The Orioles’ frustrating offseason got a little more frustrating Friday when the front office came up short in its pursuit of veteran pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who seemed to be the best fit of the remaining pitchers available in the free-agent market.

Maybe pursuit isn’t the right word, since the Orioles still seem to be playing hard to get just a few days before before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Executive vice president Dan ...

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:05 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Perrotto: Q&A with Clint Hurdle

Clint Hurdle just moved ahead of Jewel Winklemeyer Ens in my book.

Q. You played in the 1970s and 1980s and are more of an “old school” baseball person while the Pirates use advanced statistics and quantitative analysis to help in much of their decision making. How have you been able to adjust?

A: You break down the employees and I’m one of the older men in the building. Tradition can be wonderful, but it can also be a vision killer. I was kind of that guy.

As I explain it to my players ...

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, sabermetrics

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson may have altered history for 2 leagues

Wow! The most multi-something or another Kirk since Rahsaan Roland!

Kirk Gibson is in a happy place.

He’s a baseball icon, immortalized by one of the most famous at-bats in history. He’s been a Most Valuable Player and a World Series champion. He loves his sport, his job and the 2014 Diamondbacks, a team that could make good on his vow to bring another championship to Arizona.

And what if it never happened? What if Gibson stuck with football?

“I would’ve been a top-five pick,” ...

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:33 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: d-backs, history

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Yahoo: Mets’ Harvey hopes to throw in two weeks

“They said I should be able to start throwing four months after the surgery and that’s Feb. 22, and I haven’t had any setbacks,” Harvey said Thursday. “I can’t wait. Even if it’s 10 feet, I just want to pick up a ball. As if right now, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Harvey also said on WFAN on Friday that his rehab is going “really smoothly” since his Oct. 22 surgery and that he recently resumed weight training. He plans to report to spring training on Feb. 15 with the Mets’ ...

Lassus Posted: February 08, 2014 at 11:34 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets, unicorns

Dodgers add LHP Paul Maholm

Free-agent pitcher Paul Maholm has finalized a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team announced Saturday.

Maholm should fill the “pitcher who is better than Josh Beckett” role.


Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: February 08, 2014 at 09:39 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers


“Oh, this is a terrible thing for the Padres.”
-Jerry Coleman

The San Diego Padres have relieved radio play-by-play commentator Andy Masur of his duties after six years with the club and eight with the Chicago Cubs. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, though Masur was clearly emotional about his departure from the team.. Changes happen every day in the broadcasting world.

But digging a little deeper, things get a little more interesting… and slimy.

The Padres CEO is a man ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 08:59 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, padres, radio

Denver Post: Spilborghs Retires, Returns to Rockies as a Broadcaster.

The decision wasn’t easy for Spilborghs. He considered resuming his career with the Rockies on a minor-league contract, but he couldn’t pass up this opportunity. He played last year for Japan’s Seibu Lions, chronicling his experience for The Denver Post in a series of popular blogs.

Spilborghs, 34, has a variety of media experience, including appearing in car commercials and hosting “Spillin’ The Beans,” a comedy short for the Rockies’ website.

Spilborghs played seven seasons with the ...

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 08, 2014 at 06:16 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, rockies

Klapisch: A-Rod should have ended the lie long ago

As Bob Dylan sorta said…“All the truth in the world adds up to one big ass Chrysler”

There’s no way he’ll ever play for the Yankees again. The team’s hierarchy would just as soon buy out the remainder of Rodriguez’s contract than allow him back in the clubhouse. Rodriguez’s teammates are long past the fatigue factor with his controversies. Don’t think for a minute they wanted him to show up in Tampa this month.

So where does A-Rod land in 2015? Finishing out his days with another ...

Repoz Posted: February 08, 2014 at 01:19 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: steroids, yankees

Dopp: Receding Stuff Makes Craig Kimbrel (More) Expendable

Fasten your BNQ certified neck protectors!

In a perfect world, the Braves would extend each of their three budding superstars. But we don’t live in a perfect world, which meant Atlanta essentially had to decide whether Heyward or Kimbrel was more valuable for the organization moving forward (since Freeman seemed a near guarantee to get his extension after a career-best 5.4 bWAR 2013 campaign). With three consecutive 40-plus save seasons and a 1.48 ERA that ranks best among pitchers with 200 ...

Repoz Posted: February 08, 2014 at 10:34 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, sabermetrics

Van Horn: Flat-seamed baseball isn’t enough

Something, something…PED testing!

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn has reservations about the new baseball the college game plans to use beginning in 2015.

Speaking at the Razorbacks’ media day on Friday, Van Horn said the new ball — which features flatter seams — is only a start on the path toward using the same baseball the professionals use.

“I think it’s going to be the same ball with flat seams,” Van Horn said. “We need to use a flat-seamed ball that’s a little harder.”

...“We’re not ...

Repoz Posted: February 08, 2014 at 10:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: college

Friday, February 07, 2014

Bronson Arroyo signs with Arizona

Bronson Arroyo has signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Arroyo will get $9.5 million the next two seasons with a third-year option worth $11 million and $4.5 million buyout, according to Ken Rosenthal of

Arroyo turns 37 on Feb. 24. He went 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 202 innings for the Reds last year. He’s thrown at least 199 innings every year since 2005.

He was 105-94 with an 4.05 ERA in his eight seasons with the ...

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 07:43 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: d-backs

A-Rod voluntarily dismisses lawsuit against MLB, MLBPA and Bud Selig

In an odd twist, Alex Rodriguez and his legal team have voluntarily dismissed their lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the player’s union. [...] A-Rod’s camp filed the lawsuit against MLB and MLBPA seeking an injuction that could potentially overturn his record 162-game suspension. The “witch hunt” lawsuit was filed last year and is a separate matter and would not affect the suspension.

Rodriguez can still refile his suit and continue seeking an injunction, or he could simply stop the ...

Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, mlbpa, selig

Cashman: Yankees view $155M pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as a No. 3 starter

Well, number 3 is the atomic number for lithium.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN radio Friday that newly-acquired Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has potential to a No. 3 starter.

Tanaka, 25, recently signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the team, which is the fifth-largest contract ever for a major-league pitcher and the biggest for an international player. He can opt out after four years.

But Cashman downplayed Tanaka’s potential impact.

“We view him ...

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 05:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Petition Online: Petittion To Get MLB Network To Air the Dock Ellis No-Hitter

We the undersigned humbly, and with all due respect, ask the MLB Network to air the June 12, 1970 game between the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates. On that day the Pirates’ pitcher Dock Phillip Ellis threw what was at the time the 3rd no-hitter in Pirates history and it was a seminal moment in baseball history. The fans would like to relive this moment and want to see it rerun on the MLB Network.

Oh, I love her soooo, my Alice D!

eddieot Posted: February 07, 2014 at 03:49 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: lsd, pirates, dock ellis, mlb network

Newhouser is best Tigers’ pitcher ever, but several right-handers are bunched together after that

Only dust and a no plaque
That reads, “Here Lies Poor Old Jack”

The history of Tiger pitching is so multifaceted that you see a different name atop almost every career leaderboard, depending on the stat. Today, though, most analysts would agree that two new metrics are by far the most meaningful for pitchers: ERA+ and WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

ERA+ adjusts for the disparities among different baseball milieus over time by calculating how a pitcher’s earned run average compares to his ...

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:02 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-7-2014

Washington Herald, February 7, 1914:

Manager Joe Birmingham, Pitcher Steen, and Trainer Hitt, of the Cleveland team, [yesterday] saved the live [sic] of a woman…when her husband attempted to kill her. The three ball players board with Mrs. Leonard Keiffer near the ball park. Mrs. Keiffer is separated from her husband. The little family were at dinner. It was a merry party. Joe was telling how good the Naps were when in rushed Keiffer, a 200-pound giant, pistol in hand. Mrs. Keiffer promptly ...


Megdal: Baseball’s 10 Best Giveaways

4. Cleveland Indians, design your own T-shirt, Sept. 6 against the White Sox. Seventeen fireworks nights? Thirteen dollar-hot-dog nights? A Larry Doby jersey and a Jim Thome statue? All exciting, but my personal favorite item is one that hasn’t been created yet. On Sept. 6, fans will receive a T-shirt. It will contain a logo designed by a fan. As it currently stands, the entries are being culled down to finalists, which I’m going to assume will be voted on by the fans.

I love the idea of ...

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:16 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Marlins, Carlos Marmol agree to terms

The Marlins….is that still a thing?

The Marlins and veteran reliever Carlos Marmol have come to terms on a contract for 2014, reports’s Jon Heyman. According to Heyman’s sources, the deal is a major-league contract.

Marmol, 31, is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 4.41 ERA, 87 ERA+ and 1.48 K/BB ratio in 49 innings for the Cubs and Dodgers. For his career, Marmol owns a 125 ERA+ across parts of eight major-league seasons. Marmol is still capable of effectiveness ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos marmol, free agents, marlins, relievers

Fernando Rodney agrees to sign with Mariners

Rodney can’t get no respect!

The Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign free agent closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year, $14 million deal, Jon Heyman has confirmed. The was first reported by Jonah Keri of Grantland.

Rodney, 36, was unbelievable for the Rays in 2012 when he closed 48 games in 50 chances with a 0.60 ERA (641 OPS+!). He took a step backward last season, though, when he went 37 for 45 in save chances with a 3.38 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings. He was excellent ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:17 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: count da saves, fernando rodney, free agents, mariners, relievers

Ralph Kiner, Mets broadcasting legend and Hall of Fame Pirates player, dead at 91

Kiner always credited Hank Greenberg, the equally renowned home run hitter who hit 58 for the Detroit Tigers in 1938, as having most influenced his career. Greenberg was acquired by the Pirates in 1947 specifically to tutor Kiner, but besides working with him on his hitting, Greenberg also cautioned Kiner about his partying ways while ingraining in him the value of hard work. In becoming the most prolific power hitter in baseball, Kiner was credited with having coined the phrase “home run ...

kthejoker Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:38 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, new york mets, pittsburgh pirates, rip

Harper: Yankees catcher Brian McCann a throwback to the days of Thurman Munson

McCann: “a volcano in his belly” with home plate tectonics.

As Howie McCann tells it, Hal Steinbrenner was sold on acquiring his new catcher the day Gene Michael stood up at an organizational meeting in the fall and paid Brian McCann the ultimate Yankee compliment.

“Mr. Steinbrenner told me the story the day we were in New York for the press conference,” Howie McCann, Brian’s father, was saying on Wednesday. “He said everyone there agreed they needed a catcher, and then Gene Michael ...

Repoz Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Dodgers, Orioles, D-Backs finalists for Bronson Arroyo

The list of teams with serious designs on signing free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo is down to three, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. According to Nightengale, the Dodgers, Orioles and Diamondbacks are the three finalists, with Arizona being, in Nightengale’s words, the “slight favorites.”

Arroyo, age 36, is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 3.79 ERA, 101 ERA+ and 3.65 K/BB ratio in 202 innings of work. For his career, Arroyo has an ERA+ of 104 across 391 games, 355 ...

Repoz Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:29 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, February 6, 1914:

Cyril Slapnicka is going to show the public that it is just as easy to balance chairs, lamps, and tables with his good twirling arm as it is to strike out Minneapolis batters. Slap is going to do a vaudeville turn at a theater next week and says he is going to open the eyes of baseball fans with his versatility. Slap is successful as a pitcher, a saloonist and a vaudeville actor. One of the local fight clubs will sign him up pretty soon.

Please see rule #1 ...


Lauber: Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez among star-studded Red Sox 2014 Hall of Fame class

In an alternate universe, one that is free of performance-enhancing drugs and Congressional testimony, it’s easy to imagine Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez sharing a stage in Cooperstown, N.Y., on a July day in 2015, the former welcoming the latter into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Instead we must settle for a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park.

Unlike a vast majority of the more than 500 writers who cast Hall of Fame ballots every year, the 16 voters who elect new members to the Red ...

Repoz Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:40 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

ESPN: Curt Schilling diagnosed with cancer

Get well soon.

ESPN baseball analyst and former major league pitcher Curt Schilling announced Wednesday that he has cancer.

“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” Schilling said in a statement released by ESPN. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.”

In December, ESPN announced that Schilling would be part of its “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team for the upcoming season. It also ...

AndrewJ Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:28 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cancer sucks, curt schilling, diamondbacks, espn, orioles, phillies, red sox

Texas Rangers’ ballpark now named Globe Life Park in Arlington

My name is Globe Life Park, and you are…


The Texas Rangers have agreed to a 10-year deal with a McKinney-based insurance company to rename the team’s stadium Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Rangers officials declined to say how much the sponsorship is worth. Joe Januszewski, a team executive who led the sponsorship search, said it’s comparable to any top tier naming rights contract in baseball.

The team expects to have all signs in the park changed in time for the Rangers’ March 31 ...

Repoz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:43 PM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Grantland: Keri: For the Birds

Jonah Keri’s “Big-ass feature on the Orioles, the Nationals, the TV deal that’s bringing the 2 teams to blows…”

In 2013, the O’s spent just a few million more on payroll than the Milwaukee Brewers, who play in the league’s smallest geographic market, and just $10 million more than the Kansas City Royals, who ranked second to last in total revenue last year. It’s no great surprise that a franchise that ranked in the middle of the pack in payroll last season and 23rd as recently as five ...

Repoz Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:52 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: nats, orioles

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