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Monday, September 05, 2011

Souhan: Shake-up needed to save Twins from complacent ways

The Ambassador Hotel of good will strikes again!

To avoid the kind of collapse that led the franchise to the brink of contraction in the 1990s, the Twins will have to break from their model of stability. They need to do some firing and hiring this winter.

...Nobody is preparing these people to play in the big leagues. The minor league teams have performed at an embarrassing level for the past two seasons, and that would be excusable only if the players they sent to the Twins were polished.

Repoz Posted: September 05, 2011 at 11:37 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, scouting, twins

Curb Your Enthusiasm Review: You Bucknered It!

The Redemption of Bill Buckner!


The highlight of the episode though, had to be the Bill Buckner story.  I had just turned one year old when Buckner had that little mishap back in the World Series, but that doesn’t mean that what happened to him isn’t engrained in my mind.

Watching Larry go through a similar situation only to meet the legend later on was great, but to have them hang out, complete a minion, and then have LD cheering Bill on as the former baseball legend redeemed himself in ...

Repoz Posted: September 05, 2011 at 06:02 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, mets, red sox, television

Moneyball: Q&A with Rob Neyer

CORMACK: I read that in 2003 you referred to Moneyball as the single most influential baseball book ever. Is that right?

NEYER: I don’t think there’s any question about it. I would take that a step further and suggest that it’s been more influential than every other baseball book combined.

I should throw a caveat in there.

It’s possible that Moneyball would exist without the Bill James Baseball Abstract in the ‘80s, so maybe my statement is a little overblown, but it’s hard to ...

Repoz Posted: September 05, 2011 at 04:31 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, business, history, media, sabermetrics

Yahoo: Tigers rout White Sox 18-2 to finish sweep

Boy, this is sure shaping up to be an exciting September.  Zzzzzzzzzz….

Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in four runs, and the Detroit Tigers finished a three-game sweep of Chicago in emphatic fashion, routing the White Sox 18-2 on Sunday night.

Max Scherzer (14-8) allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings, and Alex Avila had a career-high four hits for Detroit, which leads the AL Central by 6 1/2 games heading into a three-game series at second-place Cleveland. Chicago is 8 1/2 back. ...

NTNgod Posted: September 05, 2011 at 03:38 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, indians, white sox

Country Joe splains his replay reasoning

According to West, Marlins manager Jack McKeon came out to argue Hunter Pence’s double off the right field wall should be ruled an out — the eventual call — while Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wanted West to huddle with his crew to determine whether it should have been a home run.

“Because [the Phillies] wanted me to go look to see if it was a home run, I’ve got to judge whether it went over the fence or not,” West said. “But the plate umpire [Chad Fairchild] already thought it ...

Big Train Rollin' Posted: September 05, 2011 at 02:50 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: miami, phillies

Sunday, September 04, 2011 Villavicencio - Phils play under protest after call reversed

Under instant-replay rules, video review only applies to home run calls: whether they are fair or foul, whether they have left the playing field or whether they have been subject to fan interference.

In this instance, the original call was a double, not a homer, and McKeon argued that a fan had interfered with a possible catch.

Replays showed that the fan’s cap hit the ball inside the field of play. The interference prevented Marlins right fielder Bryan Petersen from having a play on the ...

Lassus Posted: September 04, 2011 at 11:59 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general

ajc: Forget division, Chipper says Braves can take Philly in playoffs

Pennant Fever, Ratchet…please.

The Braves are a relative lock to win the wild card spot, and that means there’s a possibility of the teams meeting in the postseason. That scenario served as Jones’ launching pad Sunday. If he didn’t quite throw a flaming spear into the ground, he came close.

“We’re what –10 games back in the loss column?” he said before the Philly lost at Florida (which actually left the team only nine losses apart). “I think it’s safe to say the likelihood ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 11:29 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, phillies

KC Star: Zack Greinke loves life on a winning team in Milwaukee

Sometimes, Zack Greinke goes to a park not far from his new home and stares out at Lake Michigan. This is his favorite part of this new place. Maybe he’ll get a boat. He’d like that.
If anything, he’s dreading all the off days in the playoffs with nothing to do and the minor annoyances of fame made more difficult by the emotional conditions for which he takes medication.

Like the other day at the grocery store. Greinke was shopping for cereal, or bread, or something, when he heard ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 10:56 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, royals

AL West race: September 4, 2011

TEX 80-61 [3-1 in SEPT]
LAA 76-64 [3-1 in SEPT] (3.5 GB) Texas makes racket in sixth to secure series

The Rangers wrapped up their season series against a potential first-round playoff opponent with an 11-4 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday. Pineiro steps up as Angels keep pace in West

With Texas applying the pressure with a rout in Boston, the Angels used solid work by Pineiro, a home run by Bobby Abreu, run-scoring singles by Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 10:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

Alex Liddi could make history for Italy

Any day now, Alex Liddi could make history.

If the Mariners promote him to the majors after his season at Class AAA Tacoma concludes on Monday, Liddi will become the first player born and raised in Italy to play in the big leagues.

Six Italian-born players have appeared in the major leagues, but all of them immigrated to North America during childhood, according to Riccardo Schiroli, communications manager for the Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball. Liddi, by contrast, was born in San ...

Gamingboy Posted: September 04, 2011 at 03:46 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: international, minor leagues

Pos: Frankenpitcher vs. Frankenpitcher

Posnanski creates a Frankenpitcher. Next week, he’ll do fast-pitch softball and call it “Bride of Frankenpitcher”.

Gamingboy Posted: September 04, 2011 at 03:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Jack O’Connell: Cano joins MVP conversation

Hurry, Jack…I do believe your thermoplastic phone is ringing!

131 - 4.3 - Robinson Cano
136 - 6.8 - Non-legitimate MVP contender Dustin Pedroia

With the season Curtis Granderson is having and all the attention it has brought him as a major candidate for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, it can get easy bypassing the contributions Robinson Cano has made for the Yankees this year.

Cano was an MVP contender a year ago and finished third in the balloting behind winner ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 01:51 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, red sox, sabermetrics, yankees

Pirates: Rapid fall in NL Central Division standings accompanied by marked increase in strikeouts

The Pirates are dealing with a couple other factors: advanced scouting reports and inexperience.

Early on, the relative obscurity of the Pirates’ lineup was an asset. But now the secret is out on many of their batters.

Hurdle and Ritchie said veteran hitters handle at-bats better.

“With experience, you can have a little more courage, a little more patience at the plate, show a little more discipline,” Hurdle said. “That comes in time.”

The upper-echelon major league teams typically have ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 12:58 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pirates, projections, sabermetrics

Christensen: Verlander makes pitch for MVP

I’m not leaving you Mr Christensen, not ever! AL MVP Votes (so far) Jose Bautista - 2

My ears were wide open as these guys explained their arguments. I’m one of 28 writers with an AL MVP vote this year.

...Personally, I have no problem voting for a pitcher. There are 10 spots on the MVP ballot, and if the season ended today, Verlander would be my second choice, behind Toronto’s Jose Bautista.

For me, Bautista’s numbers are too impressive to ignore. Entering Friday, he led the AL in on-base ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 12:23 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, blue jays, projections, sabermetrics, tigers

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly wants more offense for 2012

So do I…a .255 BA is dragging us to the brinkmanship of disaster! (overstate over)

Don Mattingly said that if he had to decide between the Dodgers’ adding a quality bat or a quality arm over the winter, he would take the bat.

“A solid bat is something we’ve got to have or we’ll right back to where we were,” Mattingly said.

By that, he means before their mid-July acquisition of Juan Rivera, who has helped transform the Dodgers’ offense from abysmal to respectable.

“It tells you what one bat ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 12:04 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, sabermetrics


With the lockout continuing, I estimate that fewer than 10-12 Primates now care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: Andy’s collection of pirated movies, how many batteries one should buy to prepare for a hurricane that may or may not hit Manhattan, and Vera Farmiga.

rr Posted: September 04, 2011 at 11:46 AM | 1320 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Popper: Mets’ money woes to snow ball

...Snowball: Never Forget Where You Get Them Dollars From

Here’s why you should care now – because without a serious presence in the ownership suites Reyes could be gone, Wright could follow and it’s hard to imagine the team doing better than searching for free agent bargains like they did last winter. The payroll already is going to plummet, a fact management has admitted. A plan is in place with Sandy Alderson and his staff trying to stock the farm system. But counting on Matt ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 11:24 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

Marcos Breton: Lessons Miguel Tejada taught me

There is an ironclad rule in journalism that you never get too close to someone you write about.

I broke the rule once a long time ago, and I paid the price for it last week, when a famous friend – the baseball player Miguel Tejada – was cut by the San Francisco Giants and then trashed on every media platform around.

As a member of the media, I could have joined the chorus, but I didn’t. I felt too closely what Tejada felt while being on the receiving end of public scorn.

Now, I’ll be ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 11:09 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, giants, history, media

AL West race: September 3, 2011

TEX 79-61 [2-1 in SEPT]
LAA 75-64 [2-1 in SEPT] (3.5 GB) Lewis, bullpen get pinched mightily by Red Sox

...[The] Red Sox scored eight runs off Lewis, Tateyama and Merkin Valdez in the fourth inning and went on to a 12-7 victory over the Rangers in a three-hour, 44-minute affair at Fenway Park on Saturday. Bats pick up Weaver as Angels gain in West

On a night Jered Weaver didn’t have his best stuff, the Angels’ bats did the talking to beat the Twins, 10-6, on Saturday at Angel ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 04:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

Yahoo: Zimmerman’s 2-run single gives Nats 8-7 win

The Nationals built an early 5-0 lead behind starting pitcher Tom Milone, who made his major league debut after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday.

With runners on second and third and one out in the second inning, Washington third base coach Bo Porter beckoned Milone over for a chat. With the Mets’ infield in expecting a bunt, Milone swung away and hit the first pitch from Dillon Gee into the Nationals bullpen for a three-run homer.
According to STATS LLC and ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 03:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, nationals Tigers shock White Sox with ninth-inning homers

Saturday’s game-tying two-run homer from Ryan Raburn and walk-off shot from Miguel Cabrera two batters later traveled an estimated 824 feet. The resulting 9-8 Tigers win over the White Sox opened up a 7 1/2-game cushion between them in the American League Central standings, and pushed Detroit 6 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland, who lost to the Royals.
Detroit faced a seven-run deficit and had a defense withering in 93-degree weather at the game’s midway point. Eight runs, a ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 02:55 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers, white sox

Yahoo: Kottaras hits for cycle, Brewers beat Astros 8-2

George Kottaras became the first major league player to hit for the cycle this season and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros 8-2 on Saturday night.

Kottaras hit a solo homer in the fourth inning off Bud Norris (6-9) to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead and tripled in the sixth ahead of a two-run shot by Craig Counsell, his first of the year.
Colorado slugger Carlos Gonzalez was the last major leaguer to hit for the cycle, on July 31 last season against the Chicago Cubs.

Following in ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 02:53 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, game recaps

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Silva: If Cashman Bolts, Would Billy Beane in NY Make Sense?

Wait, slow down…Michael Kay just said “defensive metrics” today. I’m still dizzy.

Beane is an innovator. He was able to understand the value of information in a game that resists change at all costs. He focused on player development, market inefficiencies, and building a team, not a collection of free agent superstars. His model is what we see in Boston and New York today, but they are able to complement with elite talent and buy away mistakes. The Yankees had to change their internal ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 09:13 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, business, media, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

White Sox’ Ken Williams, Greg Walker have heated confrontation

Bah, book a room at The Holmes World’s Fair Hotel and settle this!

The frustration stemming from the shortage of production from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham recently reached a boiling point between ­general manager Ken Williams and hitting coach Greg Walker.

Walker took issue with Williams’ comments about Beckham’s swing, and after he and Williams exchanged heated words in the tunnel leading to the Sox clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field, Williams told Walker to clean out his ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 08:45 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

ESPN: Parker: It’s time to expect Nova to win instead of wondering when he’s going to lose

Or as my Met buddy, Dennis Ribanter sez…“Meh, just another Aaron Small Sample”.

If you’re not in yet, you should be.

Enough pooh-poohing Ivan Nova. He’s not a blip, an unknown commodity. Let’s face it: He’s a force, the New York Yankees’ No. 2 starter if the playoffs opened today.

Yeah, yeah. Nova’s a rookie and doesn’t have any postseason experience.

Who cares? He can pitch. Even better—he simply wins.

...But Nova isn’t just lucky, a fraud. Nova—who upped his record to 15-4 and lowered ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 02:16 PM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics, yankees

A B&C Exclusive Interview with Randy Johnson

Hindsight has the baseball world looking back at the “steroid era.” Knowing that so many players gained enhancement over their natural abilities, do you feel that the accomplishments of pitchers like Maddux, Glavine, Pedro Martinez and yourself should be given more recognition for what you did on the mound in what was essentially a less-than level playing field?

Once again, you’re asking a lot of questions where there might be a biased opinion, because my opinion, based on I was just ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 02:01 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Emotional Brian Roberts acknowledges 2011 return to Orioles not looking good

It is only about a 45-minute ride from Brian Roberts’ house in Sarasota to Tropicana Field, but the trip represented yet another difficult hurdle in the veteran second baseman’s return from a concussion.

“It was a huge step for me to get in the car,” said Roberts, whose voice cracked several times Friday as he talked with reporters while seated next to Orioles manager Buck Showalter. The 33-year-old was around some of his teammates for one of the first times since he last played May 16.

“I ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

OC Register: Angel Stadium unions take fight to fans

Who is the girl in the picket line, with the long hair? What’s going on here? You have got to be kidding me!

Angel Stadium workers in two separate unions, both frustrated by slow contract negotiations and threatening to walk off the job, took their fight directly to Angels fans on Friday night before the game.

Members and supporters of the two unions – SEIU, which represents ticket takers, ticket sellers, ushers and janitors, and Unite Here Local 11, which represents food vendors – ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:50 PM | 1519 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, business, media

Hurdle: Bring back Derrek Lee next season

Raise the Jolly Rancher Vodka! (you’ll need it)

With 326 career homers, Lee brings much-needed power to the lineup. A 15-year veteran who won a World Series ring in 2003 with the Florida Marlins, Lee also adds experience to the roster.

“Have you seen many teams that have won a lot without having at least one five-year guy in their lineup? I haven’t,” Hurdle said. “You need somebody who’s been tested by fire, who can lend some quiet confidence and a voice of reason to the clubhouse when times ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:32 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pirates, projections, sabermetrics

KC Star: The bowling ball from Hell

That was Jeff Francoeur’s response when I asked him what kind of stuff Indians starter Justin Masterson had. “The bowling ball from hell.” We were talking in the dugout before the game and Frenchy called it: if Masterson could run that heavy two-seamer in on his hands, Jeff would have a tough night. If Masterson left something down, Jeff could drop the bat head and golf it.

Twice Masterson got the pitch where he wanted it (Frenchy’s two strike outs) and once Frenchy got the pitch where ...

Tripon Posted: September 03, 2011 at 08:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, royals

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