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Friday, January 15, 2016

A Modest Proposal: Making Second Base Optional

Instead, we should make second base optional. Let runners make the decision for themselves after reaching first. They can travel the 90 feet from first base to second base, or they can live a little, take a chance for once in their lives, and go straight across. The distance from first base to third base is 127 feet. That’s an additional 37 feet — or, if you prefer percentages, 141% of the regular 90-foot distance between bases. Also, there’s the pitcher’s mound to negotiate, a lump of ...

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Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 15, 2016 at 02:54 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: silly-season

High School Draftees Permitted To Have Agent

High school players who are drafted will now be allowed to have an agent negotiate for them with major league clubs before enrolling in college without affecting their NCAA eligibility, following a vote Friday at the NCAA Convention.

A proposal that was sponsored by the Big 12 Conference as a part of the process the Power Five conferences have to autonomously adopt legislation easily passed by a vote of 75-2 with three abstentions. The rule goes into effect immediately for the Atlantic Coast ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 15, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, amateurs, draft

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-15-2016

Toledo News-Bee, January 15, 1916:

Baseball on ice is a reality and a peach of a game.
...
About the only difference in rules for the ice contest and summer ball concern the size of the bat and ball…the bat being thinner than the regular baseball bat and the ball larger and softer.
...
More bases are stolen in the ice game and outfielders cover more ground because players can move faster.

There is a lot of hitting because infielders are liable to be a little slower in starting for ground-hit ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 15, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sabermetrics Is Killing Bad Dugout Decisions | FiveThirtyEight

MLBAM’s records claim that the 2015 Boston Red Sox were the first team to play a full season without a single pitchout. Red Sox manager John Farrell disputed that stat, saying that the Sox threw three, according to the team’s internal numbers. But he acknowledged that Boston downplays the pitchout, although the coaching staff’s philosophy wasn’t dictated by a front-office study. “We try to put it in the hands of the pitcher and the catcher,” Farrell said. “So, varying our hold ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2016 at 07:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Brewers optimistic but realistic on 2016 ticket sales

Don’t worry. The longer the rebuild takes, the more fans will stop purchasing tickets.

“Obviously, after a very disappointing 2015 season, we budgeted for a decline in season tickets and a lower renewal rate,” said Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger. “It has been better than what we originally forecast. Right now, we’re about 7% behind last year’s pace, which isn’t bad.

“With other teams in similar situations, you’re looking at double-digit declines. So, we’re satisfied that it’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2016 at 06:44 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Shelby Miller hopes his luck changes with Diamondbacks

Somewhere Brian Kenny is smiling.

“It opened my eyes about how baseball really is and how wins and losses (for a pitcher) don’t really matter so much, but, at the same time, how great they are,” Miller said. “I want to win every game I pitch. It’s a crazy game and you can have a good game and still get the loss.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2016 at 06:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, shelby miller

Jose Reyes to stand trial for domestic violence charge - NY Daily News

But will he get special treatment?

Even if the Dominican-born Reyes reaches a plea deal, however, there are potential serious ramifications to Reyes’ career if he is not a U.S. citizen. According to Michael Wildes, a former federal prosecutor and a managing partner at Wildes & Weinberg, convictions for domestic violence can lead to deportation.

“Domestic violence can see an individual get deported if he or she is not a U.S. citizen,” said Wildes. “Once punished, the government has the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2016 at 06:38 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic violence, jose reyes, rockies

Buck Showalter bluntly addresses Chris Davis contract stalemate

What’s the problem?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2016 at 06:22 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, chris davis, orioles

Thursday, January 14, 2016



Major League Scouting Bureau Restructuring Under Bavasi - BaseballAmerica.com

More info about changes to the MLB Scouting Bureau.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2016 at 07:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: major league scouting bureau, scouting

Calcaterra-MLB Opens A Lobbying Office In Washington

This is not some new area into which MLB is moving. Indeed, MLB and the other sports leagues have lobbied all along. MLB, in fact, used to lobby a heck of a lot more than it does now. According to OpenSecrets.org, MLB spent between $1.5-1.6 million on lobbying efforts in 1998-99.

Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$ Posted: January 14, 2016 at 07:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gummint, legal, lobbying

Alexei Ramirez agrees to deal with Padres | MLB.com

Who’s left on Ian Desmond’s dance card?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2016 at 05:08 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: alexei ramirez, padres

For MLB scouts, it’s getting harder to avoid force-out

The may have to resort to selling jeans.

Baseball’s close-knit scouting fraternity has been besieged by wholesale layoffs this winter, with many pro scouts still unemployed one month before the start of spring training.

Never before has the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation received so many formal applications for financial assistance, said executive director Cindy Picerni, with 20 scouts alone seeking help since October.

The Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, which once employed ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2016 at 04:58 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: scouting

MLB is addressing a need with Spanish language interpreters

Que?

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball and the players union sent a memo to all 30 teams informing them that, beginning this 2016 season, they must hire a full-time Spanish language interpreter for players. The players union, spurred by star outfielder and Puerto Rican native Carlos Beltran’s call-to-action nearly two years ago, pushed for Spanish language interpreters.

In the past, Spanish interpreters were makeshift. Many teams, including the Nationals, relied on teammates, coaches, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2016 at 02:28 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: interpreters, latino players

Stark:  The odd and troubling state of the National League

The Reds—“They’re in Houston mode, 100 percent. They tried it the other way. Now they’re the biggest example of doing it this way. They’re willing to do pretty much whatever has to be done.”...

Over and over, we heard executives of clubs on both sides of this divide say they think this approach was inspired by the success of the Astros. And why the heck not? They stripped down their payroll. They averaged 108 losses a year for three years. They became the first club in history to hold the ...

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TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 14, 2016 at 02:19 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brewers, phillies, reds, tanking

Toronto Blue Jays would prefer to keep spring training in Dunedin but require new ‘state-of-the-art’ facility, team president says

Talks have dragged on for years in a bid to improve and expand the facilities, but to date have been fruitless.

“The plan would be this: to articulate what our needs are (and) to do everything humanly possible to work a deal out with Dunedin, because I think that’s still in our best interests,” Shapiro said. “I think if you look geographically in the state of Florida, that’s still the best place to be.”

Shapiro said he and Matthew Shuber, the Jays’ vice-president of business ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2016 at 12:01 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dunedin, economics, spring training, subsidies, taxpayers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-14-2016

El Paso Herald, January 14, 1916:

[Benny] Kauff probably breaks more bats in a season than any other player - or any six other players - in the game.
...
Kauff usually starts a season with 12 new bats and gets in a new assortment every six weeks or so. If Kauff hits a fly the first time he uses a bat he breaks it immediately.
...
[Kauff] owns about 30 suits of clothes and he gives each suit a “work out” at least every two weeks. Kauff has been known to change his street clothes four times in a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 14, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: benny kauff, dugout, history

156 Players File For Salary Arbitration - MLB Trade Rumors

MLB Trade Rumors does a great job with salary arbitration.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2016 at 07:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration


‘Schwarber ball’ moved from Wrigley Field scoreboard roof - Chicago Tribune

How could they do such a thing?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2016 at 06:56 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE LOS ANGELES BROWNS

In an alternate universe, third baseman Brooks Robinson dives for a hot grounder and comes up throwing a strong peg to first, his Browns jersey covered in fresh dirt.
Or Frank Robinson, the greatest Brownie of them all, launches a blast beyond the ivy-covered left-field wall at Wrigley Field, the ball bouncing against the front door of a bungalow on 41st Street.
Or Cal Ripken, having just played in his 2,131st consecutive game, acknowledges the home crowd in a rousing speech: “For all of your ...

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Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 13, 2016 at 10:05 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, st. louis browns, what if

Marlins, Dee Gordon agree to five-year extension

Gordon, 27, is coming off of his first season with the Marlins and it was a good one. The former Dodger played in 145 games for the Marlins, sporting a .333/.359/.418 line with 58 stole bases and 205 hits, both of those marks led the National League. This big season from Gordon earned him All-Star honors, along with a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger.

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2016 at 09:28 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dee gordon, marlins

New guy in the ninth: Girardi names Aroldis Chapman closer

Of course, that formula won’t work every game. And even if it did, the top three relievers can’t pitch every night. So how does Girardi envision filling the rest of his bullpen?

Shown a graphic that listed five potential middle relievers—Bryan Mitchell, Chasen Shreve, Branden Pinder, James Pazos and Jacob Lindgren—Girardi expressed confidence in his long list of young arms, and specifically mentioned one name that didn’t fit the graphic.

“I think these kids got their feet wet, and I think ...

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Jessica Mendoza joins ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ full-time

ESPN announced Wednesday that the 35-year-old Mendoza is now a permanent fixture in the Sunday prime-time booth. She’ll join another new analyst, Aaron Boone, alongside returning play-by-play voice Dan Shulman.

They replace Curt Schilling, who moves to Monday, and John Kruk, who returns to “Baseball Tonight.”

“It’s just crazy when I look back, and literally less than six months ago I had no idea what was going to happen after the Monday night games,” Mendoza says.

Just like that, she’s the ...

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White Sox to name Jason Benetti as Hawk Harrelson’s half-season replacement

Good news for anyone with ear drums and a brain:

Ken Harrelson will be working a reduced schedule. With a few exceptions, the 74-year-old announcer will be calling the Sox road games, saving him the 180-mile, round-trip grind of commuting to games at U.S. Cellular Field from his home in South Bend, Ind. Analyst Steve Stone will be back, working with Harrelson and Benetti.

That’s from the Trib article (registration), so I’ve linked to a blog post that quotes the story extensively.  Benetti ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-13-2016

New York Tribune, January 13, 1916:

Europe is clutched in the frenzied grip of Mars at present, but, even while hostile guns batter down the defences of cities and ruthless armies sweep on in a march of destruction, the French have taken to baseball with the enthusiasm that is characteristic of the race.
...
“The French people,” said [Cuban journalist Ralph] Conte, yesterday, “are taking up baseball with even greater enthusiasm than we Cubans embraced it.”

Unfortunately, things would get much, ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 13, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Koo: Raiders will remain at Oakland Coliseum in 2016, get additional NFL loan money for new stadium

So A’s fans will have to put up with the Silver and Blah for a little while longer…

The Oakland Raiders have lost their bid to move to Los Angeles and will remain at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2016-17 NFL season, according to multiple reports from the NFL owners’ meetings in Houston.

National Football League owners will soon vote to approve a proposal that the St. Louis Rams will be permitted to move immediately to Los Angeles, taking up temporary residence at the Los Angeles Coliseum pending ...

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JEe (Jason) Posted: January 12, 2016 at 08:50 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, football, nfl, oakland coliseum

Hall of Famer Monte Irvin dies at 96

Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, a power-hitting outfielder who starred for the New York Giants in the 1950s in a career abbreviated by major league baseball’s exclusion of black players, has died. He was 96.

The Hall of Fame said Irvin died Monday night of natural causes at his Houston home.

Irvin was 30 when he joined the Giants in 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Irvin spent seven of his eight big league seasons with the Giants and one year with the Chicago Cubs in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2016 at 04:59 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: monte irvin, obituary

Dodgers, Yaisel Sierra agree to 6-year deal

The deal, which is either six or seven years for around $30 million is fairly remarkable. At first glance, it seems to resemble the deal that the Dodgers agreed to with Kenta Maeda. That being said, no incentives have been announced yet. At the very least, the deal’s annual average value is worth $4.3 million. Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman could be finding the next market inefficiency, and found a new way to flex the Dodgers’ wealth-muscle.

Most recently, Sierra spent 2012-2014 with ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 12, 2016 at 02:06 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, dodgers, yasiel sierra

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