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Friday, December 11, 2015

Cubs president Epstein the architect behind MLB’s newest juggernaut | FOX Sports

I remember Theo Epstein wandering through the lobby at the 2012 general managers’ meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., looking uncomfortable, muttering something to the effect of, “I’m irrelevant.”

And I remember thinking, and maybe even replying, “Not for long.”

This was coming. We all knew it was coming. The Cubs were far from a quick fix, losing 101, 96 and 89 games in their first three seasons under Epstein as president of baseball operations and Jed Hoyer as GM. But the team ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 05:46 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

IT’S THE CUBS’ WORLD NOW

Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of ...

Read More...
Moses Taylor, Optimist Posted: December 11, 2015 at 04:22 PM | 99 comment(s)
  Beats: best fans in baseball, cardinals, cubs, free agents, theo epstein

Autopsy: Ex-Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died from cocaine, alcohol

RIP

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson died from delayed complications of cocaine and alcohol toxicity, according to autopsy results released Friday morning.

Hanson, 29, was at a friend’s Newnan-area home on Nov. 8 when he was found unresponsive in bed. That friend’s girlfriend, Clare Jordan, called 911 to report Hanson’s face was discolored and his hands were cold, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Jordan began chest compressions on the 6-foot-6 Hanson until ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 11, 2015 at 02:09 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: drug abuse, obituaries, tommy hanson

Jose Canseco Thinks We Should Nuke Mars

Former Major League Baseball star José Canseco took to Twitter Thursday night to outline a surprisingly well-thought-out plan to terraform Mars by nuking the polar ice caps and throwing one of Saturn’s moons at it.

I still won’t give him a Follow.

eddieot Posted: December 11, 2015 at 11:44 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: astrophysics, jose canseco

Peter Gammons: Winter Meetings Over, Holiday Shopping Continues - GammonsDaily.com

Good stuff from Gammons.

Just don’t try to apply analytical logic to all things baseball. Actually, there was logic to the Miami Marlins at least talking to more than a half-dozen teams about Jose Fernandez. “We’d be crazy not to listen,” said Marlins President David Samson.

So word would leak about Fernandez. Team X, Y or Z would be mentioned. Mike Hill would then offer the antiphonal response, “we are not shopping Jose Fernandez.”

One Dodger official said, “if we gave them what ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 11:07 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

BBTN: Red Sox the biggest winner of offseason so far - ESPN Video

This video popped up on my Facebook feed so gave it a look. (Doesn’t ESPN know embedding videos drives more traffic?) I don’t watch ESPN very much anymore. This video is a perfect illustration why.

Do you know what winning the [Winter Meetings/off-season/whatever] means? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 11:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: video, winter meetings

Bethancourt, a cautionary tale about prospects, dealt to Padres | Jeff Schultz blog

So, he only has issues with his work ethic, offense, and defense. Other than that, he’s a good prospect.

His problem? Defense. The Braves could put up with offensive issues. (Bethancourt hit .327 with Triple-A Gwinnett but only .205 in 48 games and 155 at-bats in the big leagues last year.) But with a young pitching staff and an offensively challenged roster, they couldn’t afford his struggles behind the plate. He had four errors and eight passed balls during his brief time with the Braves and ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 09:50 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, christian bethancourt, padres

Where is the outrage over Ken Giles trade?

There is a lot of discussion on Twitter about this article.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-11-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 11, 1915:

Wilbert Robinson, the Brooklyn Billiken, wants Charley “Choke ‘Em” Herzog for his own little sack three if Herzog should lose out at Cincinnati.

“Herzog is the type of player the Brooklyn fans would go dippy over,” said Robby.

There are a lot of things I wouldn’t like if I were somehow magically whisked away to 1915, but I’d absolutely love being around people who write and speak like this.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 11, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: buck herzog, dugout, history, writing worth reading

Dodgers execs preach patience, say their focus is on April - The Orange County Register

You can understand Larry King’s urgency. He’s 82 years-old.

Larry King is upset. The former national TV host and avowed lifelong Dodgers fan made that clear on his Twitter account and in a USA Today article this week.

King is not alone. The dissatisfaction he expressed with the Dodgers’ front office this winter – particularly in light of the aggressive moves made by NL West rising power the Arizona Diamondbacks – is shared by many Dodgers fans.

Asked for a comment on this winter ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 08:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Dodgers’ front office may ask for patience, but it won’t get it from fans - LA Times

“If you spend a lot of time listening to the fans tell you how to do your Job, you will end up sitting with them” ~ Gene Stallings

Listening to Bill Plaschke earns you the same fate.

If it means acquiring players who they believe can help them compete for a championship in 2016, the Dodgers need to be willing to trade almost anybody.

Julio Urias? Trade him. Jose De Leon? Trade him. Any minor league kid whose future is an unknown quantity but who can be spun off for a known quantity? Trade him. ...Read More...

Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

MLB executives head home as top hitters remain on the market - Yahoo Sports

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the feeling-out process in trade talk can be lengthy. He used a surfing analogy.

‘‘You’re sitting on a board, waiting for the right wave to come,’’ he said. ‘‘And if it doesn’t come, you paddle back to shore and walk on the beach, plant the board and then show up the next day and swim on out and see if any more good waves come. And if they do come, you ride it. And if they don’t come, you wait for that right wave.’‘

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 11, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: winter meetings

MLBTR: Nationals “Serious Threat” To Land Heyward, Who Has $200MM Offer In Hand

So all that $ the Lerners wouldn’t pony up for Black will go toward Heyward instead?

9:46pm: A source tells MLB.com’s Bill Ladson that the Nats are “heavily involved” and are making a “legit” effort to sign the young outfielder. He adds, interestingly, that Taylor “would become expendable” if a deal is struck.

From an analytical perspective, it seems plenty plausible that the team could add Heyward (or another outfielder) and keep Taylor. For one thing, there’s plenty of ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: December 11, 2015 at 03:57 AM | 221 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent, jason heyward, nationals

Sarris: Managers on the Evolution of Their Role

Q: “What has changed about managing? How are the demands on the modern manager different than they once were?”
Mike SciLoLscia: “I hope not. I think a manager is a manager.”

Andy Green, San Diego: I think it always comes back to communication, meaning connecting with the guys. As the players evolve and generations change, the way a manager connects is different. It’s always been about understanding how to communicate a message and draw out what’s inside a player, and create an environment ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: December 11, 2015 at 02:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, managers, mike scioscia, robin ventura

Boz: Dusty Baker lets down the Nationals with his words

Next, let’s ask Dusty his thoughts on the Redskins name.

Perhaps Baker is a bit delirious with joy at returning to the game as a manager. At his first news conference in Washington, he charmed many with non-stop stories and quips. It was an “I’m-back” star turn.

But he didn’t just put a foot in his mouth Tuesday. He inserted both of ’em.

“Who’s to say the allegations are true, number one?” Baker said. “And who’s to say what you would have done or what caused the problem?” ...Read More...

JEe (Jason) Posted: December 11, 2015 at 01:56 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dusty baker, nationals

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Angels trade for Yunel Escobar from Nationals | MLB.com

The Angels were on the verge of acquiring veteran infielder Yunel Escobar from the Nationals on Thursday, sources told MLB.com. The move could help the club at second or third base.

In exchange, young hard-throwing reliever Trevor Gott is expected to go to Washington, a source said. The Angels are also expected to include a Minor League player in the deal. The Angels and Nationals have not confirmed reports of the impending trade, which was first mentioned by CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 04:59 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, trade

LOOK: Inside the Winter Meetings’ annual Trade Show - CBSSports.com

Who doesn’t like bobbleheads?

Baseball’s annual December event, the Winter Meetings, doesn’t just include a bunch of media people converging to breathlessly report on transactions and rumors. There are also many events for job seekers, minor-league meetings and the annual Trade Show.

What I liken the Trade Show to—at least for fans—is a baseball version of a Sharper Image catalogue. Most of the time it’s great fun to just look and imagine how cool it would be to buy something, but you’re just ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 03:20 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: winter meetings

PrintMore MLB Seattle Mariners hire MLB’s first female full-time scout in 60 years

The Seattle Mariners have hired Amanda Hopkins as a full-time amateur scout, making her the first female to hold that position in Major League Baseball in almost 60 years.

Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news on Monday.

Hopkins is following in the footsteps of her father, Ron Hopkins, who spent eight seasons as a national cross checker for the Oakland Athletics before becoming the Texas Rangers‘ scouting director from 2003–09. He was also the special ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 01:38 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: females in baseball, mariners, scouting, women in baseball

Is There Anybody Left in Los Angeles Whom Yasiel Puig Hasn’t Alienated? | Bleacher Report

Scott Miller rehashes all the Puig problems.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 12:30 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

2015 Rule 5 Draft results | MLB.com

Major League phase
Round 1
1. Philadelphia Phillies: Tyler Goeddel, OF, Rays
2. Cincinnati Reds: Jake Cave, OF, Yankees
3. Atlanta Braves: Evan Rutckyj, LHP, Yankees
4. Colorado Rockies: Luis Perdomo, RHP, Cardinals
5. Milwaukee Brewers: Colin Walsh, 2B, A’s
6. Oakland Athletics: Jabari Blash, IF, Mariners
7. San Diego Padres: Josh Martin, RHP, Indians
8. Baltimore Orioles: Joey Rickard, OF, Rays
9. Los Angeles Angels: Deolis Guerra, RHP, Pirates
10. Toronto Blue Jays: Joseph Biagini, RHP, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 11:56 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: rule 5 draft

Former pitcher Floyd Youmans comes to grips with life outside baseball

Once a talented young pitcher with an encouraging future, Youmans, now 51, spends his days driving for Uber.

He made his major-league debut a month after his 21st birthday, for the 1985 Montreal Expos, as a celebrated right-hander in the mold of childhood friend Dwight Gooden.

Youmans starred in a short stint as a rookie, then in 1986 threw 219 innings, struck out 202 batters, and posted a 3.82 ERA. At the end of the 1987 season, he entered alcohol rehabilitation. In 1988, he admitted to ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 11:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, floyd youmans

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-10-2015

Grand Forks Daily Herald, December 10, 1915:

President Tener of the National league is quoted as saying he knows nothing definite about the suggestion of legislation by the National league concerning short outfields, as brought to the fore by the Phillies’ short right field. It is a matter, he says, for the club owners and rule makers to pass upon the determine if the development of the game justifies extending the distance limit from the plate to an outfield fence.

The Baker Bowl was 280 feet ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: baker bowl, dugout, history

Phillies Expected To Take Goeddel First In Rule 5 Draft

Your Rule 5 draft thread!

Multiple teams told Baseball America that they expect the Phillies to take Rays outfielder Tyler Goeddel No. 1 overall in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. It it happens as expected Goeddel will become the second consecutive Rays’ prospect to be picked first in the Rule 5 draft.

Catcher Oscar Hernandez was taken by the Diamondbacks No. 1 in last year’s Rule 5 draft.

Goeddel, a supplemental first-round pick in 2011, has ranked among the Rays’ Top 20 prospects in three ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 09:28 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, rule 5 draft

MLBTR: Teams Considering Ian Desmond as an Outfielder

Supposedly, Desmond is letting it be known that he’s willing to try playing other positions should the need arise.

Some teams are considering the possibility of signing shortstop Ian Desmond and having him play outfield, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick writes (Twitter links). Desmond is also attracting interest as a second baseman and third baseman.

Theoretically, Desmond’s ability (or apparent ability — he hasn’t appeared in a game anywhere other than shortstop since 2010) could widen the field ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: December 10, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent, ian desmond

Nats Sign Yusmeiro Petit

1 year $3m, with an option for 2017 that vests with 80 innings pitched

Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: December 10, 2015 at 08:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, nationals

Holes in Red Sox infield may need patching - The Boston Globe

We’ll have to wait and see on Ramirez. Bogaerts took a leap forward last season. Pedroia had hamstring problems and should return to Gold Glove form. Sandoval looked much better in the second half than the first. Other than Ramirez, I don’t expect the infield defense to be a problem in 2016.

The Red Sox will enter 2016 with what could be one of the worst defensive infields in baseball. That topic hasn’t received much discussion this offseason, overshadowed by the acquisitions of pitchers David ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Al Avila: Going from assistant to GM a little like getting married

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

Avila, the Tigers’ assistant general manager before replacing Dave Dombrowski late last season, has spent a lifetime in baseball waiting for the opportunity to make such deals.

“It’s been easy in the sense that I’ve been through it so many years, so many times over and over,” Avila said. “Same system. We go through the same meetings.

“The biggest difference is when you’re in charge, everything is on your shoulders. That responsibility is big. Nobody ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: al avila, general managers, tigers

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Hot stove: Orioles go over $150M in bid for Davis, but there’s still a gap - CBSSports.com

Speaking as a Red Sox fan, I hope the Orioles give him what he wants.

Davis is believed to be seeking a $200 million, eight-year deal, and while that sounds like a significant gap, the sides are staying close in touch.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2015 at 10:37 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, free agents, orioles

Mets close to deal with Asdrubal Cabrera, per source - MLB Daily Dish

The Mets are finalizing a deal with infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, according to a baseball source. The deal is expected to be for two years and include an option for a third season. Financial terms are not yet known.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2015 at 09:40 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, free agents, mets, winter meetings

Shi Davidi on Twitter: “Brett Lawrie on move again, headed from

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2015 at 09:11 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, trades, white sox

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