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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Meet the MiPS: The Mets are gonna be good in 2017—just ask them

“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 ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 01, 2017 at 12:55 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Question: What Would We Name the Team Today?

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 ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 01, 2017 at 11:43 AM | 143 comment(s)
  Beats: team names

Sunday Notes: HoF Balloting, Managers, Pitchers Hitting, Spud, more | FanGraphs Baseball

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, notes

Murray Chass On Baseball » ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE SILLY SEASON

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 09:48 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: cranky old man, hall of fame

Ring in the New Year with resolutions for all 30 Major League teams | MLB.com

Happy New Year to you and your families!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2017 at 09:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: holidays

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Boston Red Sox Top 20 prospects for 2017 - Minor League Ball

John Sickels breaks down the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 07:10 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects reports

Electing Selig shouldn’t sway voters in Hall full of contradictions | New York Post

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox may regret passing on Jose Bautista

The Boston Sunday Globe baseball notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2016 at 06:26 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Friday, December 30, 2016

Next Year’s Free-Agent Hitters Offer More of the Same | FanGraphs Baseball

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2016 at 07:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2016

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 ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history

Baseball in the Dark: The Best Players Outside the Spotlight

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?

gehrig97 Posted: December 30, 2016 at 10:37 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: books, miguel tejada, todd helton

Pipeline Inbox: Comparing Swanson to Jeter | MLB.com

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.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, derek jeter, yankees

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Prospect Debates Liven Up Handbook Season | BaseballAmerica.com

I look forward to reading this book more than any other.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 08:37 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: books, prospects

red sox - Tim Raines was a great player—here’s why I’m not voting him for Hall of Fame - WEEI | John Tomase

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2016

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 ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Renato Nunez Using Winter Ball As Springboard | BaseballAmerica.com

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.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, prospects, renato nunez

Dave Albee: Climate changing for Baseball Hall Of Fame voting

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 06:29 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thirteen former Red Sox first-rounders, and what scouts had to say at the time

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox, scouting reports

Ballot 2: Roger Clemens | Joe Posnanski

Roger Clemens and missed opportunity in the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:52 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, hall of fame, red sox, roger clemens, yankees

Baseball Hall of Fame 2017: First-time voter Ryan Fagan explains his ballot

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:40 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

10 prospects poised for success in 2017 | MLB.com

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.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Heyman: In Strange Market, After Encarnacion, Dozen Sluggers Remain

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 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:24 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Masterpiece Fall Classic

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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Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: December 28, 2016 at 01:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, world series


2016 most extreme Statcast baserunning moments | MLB.com

Most of these guys run very fast. Ryan Howard is not one of them.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 12:48 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-28-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 28, 1916:

Charles (Chick) Evans, Jr., national amateur and open golf champion, is going to teach batting “form” to members of the Chicago National League Club. Evans today accepted he invitation of Charles H. Weeghman, president of the club, to make the spring training trip to Pasadena, Cal.

President Weeghman believes that Evans will be able to improve the batting of every player on the team.

“There is form in the driving of a golf ball,” [Weeghman] said, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Silverman: Here’s my Hall of Fame ballot with Manny Ramirez on it | Boston Herald

Curt Schilling — I respect but don’t agree with a voting writer’s decision to cite the character clause to vote against any candidate when it comes to PEDs or political beliefs or sense of humor or musical taste. I don’t believe I’ve ever injected partisan politics into my baseball coverage. I fall into the First Amendment absolutist, ACLU card-carrying ranks when it comes to players and ex-players speaking their minds, which must be why I can’t quit the belief that Schilling and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 08:11 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, indians, manny ramirez, red sox

Oakland and the Athletics turn their eyes to MLS exec

After graduating from Stanford in 1998, Dave Kaval and a buddy gave themselves a gift, a cross-country road trip in which they visited all 30 Major League ballparks. They wrote a book about it called “The Summer That Saved Baseball.”

Now, almost two decades later, Kaval has found a higher calling: Saving baseball for Oakland.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadiums

David Wright, Jacoby Ellsbury and the deals MLB teams would undo | New York Post

Ouch.

For as much as the Mets want to move Jay Bruce and his $13 million, that is a one-year headache. David Wright is beloved in his clubhouse, and looks as if he will be the first above-average player to spend his entire career with the Mets. But he has four years at $77 million left, and due to his spinal stenosis, the organization has no idea how much he can play moving forward and to what level.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2016 at 07:12 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bad deals, free agents

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yankees, White Sox expand trade talks | MLB.com

What are they dangling?

USA Today reported New York was interested in acquiring both Quintana and Robertson from the White Sox, while The New York Post reported the Yankees have not discussed acquiring both players. The Yankees have not commented on the reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 27, 2016 at 01:21 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox, yankees

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