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Saturday, March 22, 2014
And my crusty old Sparton 842-SX radio works better than that new Serious Radio contraption!
What is clear, as evidenced by so many high profile pitchers today, from Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey, to Adam Wainwright, Tim Hudson, Jordan Zimmermann, Joe Nathan and Josh Johnson, all having undergone Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery over the last few years, something is very wrong. Now, we’re at a point where pitchers like Medlen, Beachy, Parker, Daniel Hudson, Joakim Soria, ...
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 04:58 PM | 113 comment(s)
But Heyman is more interested in using this isolated and frankly uninteresting little factoid as a springboard for, once again, rehashing all of the reasons A-Rod is to be loathed. The very headline of his article calls his legal bill “the latest in a series of bad acts.” And he spends paragraph after paragraph lambasting Rodriguez for all of his past misdeeds as if they were news and as if the legal fee thing was in keeping with them on a moral and ethical level. It’s the ultimate ...Read More...
We then find that spring productivity is statistically significant when predicting actual performance in the upcoming season, even after controlling for a player’s Marcel projection. However, while significant, the effect is extremely small: To raise his expected regular-season wOBA by just a single point, a typical player would need to hit for a wOBA roughly 17 points higher than expected during the spring.
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 01:54 PM | 2 comment(s)
Born Toulouse-Lautrec. (even Genzale weeps)
The Indians have released outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who’d been signed to a minor-league deal and brought into camp to compete for the final spot on the roster. Francoeur had put up decent numbers this spring (.286/.359/.429), and made a couple great throws from the outfield, but he was always a longshot to make the roster, given that there were so many other guys set for playing time in the outfield, or who provided the versatility to also play ...
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM | 33 comment(s)
Joe Bonham had better range.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are opening the 2014 regular season in Australia on Saturday, which means Mark Trumbo is playing his first game with his new team. Arizona acquired him in a trade with the Angels over the winter.
Because Paul Goldschmidt is entrenched at first base, Trumbo will play left field full-time for the D-Backs. He played there briefly a few years ago, only 75 games plus one more in the minors. His inexperience showed on Scott Van Slyke’s ...
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM | 27 comment(s)
The French Kiss Connection.
Grosso has been a fan of the pinstripes since he was a kid growing up in Harlem, cheering for the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio. In his upcoming memoir, Harlem to Hollywood: My Real to Reel Life, Grosso spins larger-than-life tales about his on-going love of the Yankees:
...Grosso, who became an award winning producer of TV series and movies after he retired from the NYPD, said that DiMaggio never disappointed him “on the field or as a human being.” In fact, Grosso ...
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM | 12 comment(s)
“There are two guys that (it’s) very sad they aren’t going to the Hall of Fame and that’s Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens,” Thomas said. “When I came into the game, those two guys were the standards as a hitter and a pitcher. You might not know what will happen 50 years from now, 30 years from now, but it doesn’t look good right now (for induction) and I know how great those two guys were.
“You can look at their history. We kind of know when it started for those two guys. For me ...
Posted: March 22, 2014 at 07:05 AM | 5 comment(s)
Friday, March 21, 2014
According to Kevin Towers, Didi is now a prepubescent Derek Jeter.
Last season, against left-handed pitching, Didi hit .200/.267/.245. Quite simply, terrible. Especially compared to his very respectable .275/.359/.429 against righties. It is when you look at his splits against starters versus relievers, though, when things get interesting. Against left-handed starters, the young shortstop hit .261/.354/.333. So, wait. He hit sixty-one points higher against left-handed starters than lefties as ...
Posted: March 21, 2014 at 09:57 PM | 12 comment(s)
4:00 AM- Dodgers (Kershaw) “at” Diamondbacks (Miley)
10 PM-Dodgers (Ryu) “at” Diamondbacks (Cahill)
Both games on MLB Network and also, I believe, the local RSNs.
(All times Eastern)
Major League Baseball ushered out a new partnership with dating site Match.com, and thus the MLB team pages had ads urging single baseball fans to search out each other for dates. For instance, Athletics.com had Match.com ads on each side of the page with attractive-looking people (none of them wearing baseball caps or anything). There was an ad that read, “Meet other singles Athletics fans.”
A strip across the top of the page said, “Take them out to the Athletics game,” a call to action that ...
Posted: March 21, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 16 comment(s)
Betemit is a couple of years past 30 now and missed almost all of last year with injuries, so, you know. . .it’s anybody’s guess whether he has anything left to give. But in 2010 Wilson Betemit, filling in as a place-holder third baseman for the Royals, hit .297 with 13 homers in 276 at bats, .889 OPS. The first half of 2011 Betemit hit .281, with disappointing power but a .750 OPS. They took his job away, and gave it to Mike Moustakas. Moustakas’ career OPS is 93 points lower than ...Read More...
Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM | 22 comment(s)
Toledo News-Bee, March 21, 1914:
Larry Chappell, $18,000 outfielder of the Chicago White Sox, who is suffering from blood poisoning, is really in a serious condition, Manager Callahan said on Saturday, after a visit to the hospital, and may lose his leg.
Chappell broke in a new pair of shoes in the San Francisco exhibition series and rubbed the skin off his left foot.
If it wasn’t for awful luck, Chappell wouldn’t have had any luck at all. In his last minor league game in 1913, Chappell ruined ...Read More...
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Top 20 or bust!
For example, Baseball America’s No. 1 slot gets 46 WAR from 1995’s top prospect, Alex Rodriguez. But the top spot loses 1.9 WAR from Todd Van Poppel, one of the game’s all-time biggest busts. Among 18 players from 1990 to 2007, the average for Baseball America’s top spot was nearly 20 WAR.
Do this for all 100 slots, and you arrive at an average, early-career WAR total for each ranking. It’s not a perfectly smooth drop-off from each spot to the next — for instance, ...
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:44 AM | 57 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1914:
Connie Mack, leader of the Philadelphia Athletics, wants his son Earl [sic], who is managing Raleigh’s professional team and coaching the university nine to give up baseball and learn to play the violin as taught in the old world conservatories.
The elder baseball man believes baseball will ruin the fingers that will make another Kubelik. Earl Mack will study [in Raleigh] this season, however.
That, I think, was Connie politely telling his son that baseball ...Read More...
JACK McDOWELL: The Dodgers asked me to come to Arizona for Spring Training as a special instructor, travel around a few weeks during the summer, you know, five day-trips to high-A, AA and AAA affiliates, just to see what goes on, which I was on board with. Couple weeks later, the organization called up to let me know they had a managerial opening in rookie ball for the Ogden Raptors if I was interested. I ran it by the wife and joked “Remember when I said I was gonna be gone for two weeks? ...Read More...
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:12 AM | 154 comment(s)
A lot of good stuff in the article.
Quite a bit, apparently. Dave Allen and Kevin Tenenbaum compared three projections for minor-league players: one based on a “naïve” statistical model, one based on the more complex ZiPS projection system, and one informed by Kevin Goldstein’s five-star prospect tiers at Baseball Prospectus from 2007-2012. The scouting-centric model won head-to-head showdowns with both of the others.
That shouldn’t come as a shock: Scouts, after all, ...
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:08 AM | 9 comment(s)
Or how much can Russell Martin eat?
This spring the Pirates are experimenting with sports science technology. Prior to and during games this exhibition season, some Pirates are wearing Zephyr workload monitoring devices. Under select players’ jerseys is a tight-fitting, compression shirt, which has a black, circular, detachable electronic device — about the size of a quarter — attached near the center of the chest. The device collects data from a sensor that records players’ heartbeats and ...
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:33 AM | 22 comment(s)
Outfielder George Springer, the Astros’ top prospect, has yet to play an inning in the major leagues. He almost certainly will not make the team’s Opening Day roster.
Yet last September, the Astros offered him a seven-year, $23 million contract, according to major league sources.
Springer, 24, rejected the offer, sources said, declining to give up three years of arbitration and one year of free agency.
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:27 AM | 27 comment(s)
Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures to bones in his nose and left eye while taking a line drive to the face Wednesday night.
Chapman was carted off the field and transported by ambulance to a hospital and would be kept overnight for observation, the Reds said on their Twitter account.
The Reds said Chapman was originally taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., where tests indicated the facial fractures. He was then transferred to Banner Good ...
Posted: March 20, 2014 at 05:28 AM | 58 comment(s)
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Descent into the Maelstrom!
With two American pro teams down under this week to play the opening games of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the focus is on glitz, on glamour and on two teams with a combined salary of $300 million.
There’s no doubt life can be extremely glamorous at the top of US professional sports. But scratch below the surface and it’s a different world.
...Even Triple A is a world away from the Majors. Here’s a snapshot of that desperate, often sordid world ...
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM | 24 comment(s)
Cubs team psychologist no longer has a locker. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it’s a quack, quack, quack!
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
Don’t have time to go through this now as “à la croisée des Stooges et des Cramps” material has crossed my faux desk.
While Moneyball the book and especially Moneyball the movie pumped up certain aspects of the A’s success while downplaying certain others (Messieurs Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Tejada, and Chavez would surely like a word), they perfectly pegged Beane’s distrust of industry insiders. While acknowledging that Melvin’s playing experience helped his candidacy for the manager job, ...
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
Pittsburgh Press, March 19, 1914:
Manager Jack Hayden of the Louisville Colonels, during his team’s training season at Fort Myers, Fla. has invested in a 10-acre tract of land that he will have planted immediately to grape fruit. In about three years Jack imagines that he will not care what happens in baseball.
Well, he was sort of right. Hayden was relieved of his duties as the Colonels’ manager in May 1915. Shortly after he left Louisville, he was named the manager of the Frankfort (Kentucky) ...Read More...
An All-Star in both baseball and football, Jackson said his advice for Wilson is the same he offers to kids who attend his Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports complex in Lockport, Illinois.
“Stick to what got (Wilson) in the headlines, not baseball,” Jackson said. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I did it, I’m not trying to say anything negative about other athletes, but the talent pool wasn’t that deep. In this day in age, with all the high-tech training, computer-engineered workouts and ...
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:52 AM | 32 comment(s)
So if Miguel Cabrera’s career ended today…154 OPS+/7126 PA’s ~ 156 OPS+/7315 PA’s for Dick Allen…
When he’s not watching his son play hoops, Allen Jr. is campaigning to get his now-72-year-old father, who works on the Phillies’ community-relations team, into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Allen, who had two stints with the Phils (1963-69 and ‘75-76), is considered by many to be the best player not in the Hall. He is, apparently, not a self-promoter.
“It’s difficult because he doesn’t want to be ...
Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:29 AM | 60 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Washington Nationals were told last month by the Federal Aviation Administration to stop using a small, four-rotor drone to take publicity photos at the team’s spring training facility without the agency’s permission.
“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,’’ a team official told The Associated Press. The drone flights ceased the next day.
Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur (Fire Joe Morgan, Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) both believe that the NL will be led by either this year’s aspiring superteam in Los Angeles, or last year’s aspiring superteam in Washington. They admire the San Antonio Spurs-like continual success of the Cardinals. They see the AL as more of a tossup. Schur picks the Dodgers to beat the Tigers in the World Series. Poz predicts the Nationals over the Red Sox.
Then, they draft numbers. ...Read More...
Pretty sure that cartoonist does Mallard Fillmore now.
in my national search of more than 300 national newspapers, I could not find a single mention of Louis Sockalexis in the entire year of 1915.
The story I grew up hearing — that the Cleveland Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis — is certainly untrue…
when Sockalexis joined the team in 1897, there WAS legitimate excitement. The stories of his baseball exploits were known everywhere. The curiosity of seeing a Native American ...
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