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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Gammons: As team chemistry grows, Rays positioned for great season

Mourning Joe…Dillon.

The texts lit up Matt Silverman’s phone before 7 am Wednesday, when Mike Barnicle and Willie Geist asked a guest for a ground hog World Series prediction and the first two words of the answer were “Tampa Bay.” The Rays president knows that February promises won’t get a ballpark built or even a profit turned, but that “it’s good for people to be reminded what this team has done in this division, in this market and with our payroll.”

“People need to be ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

OT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014

Lots of great games this month and a lot of good mid-week action. Make or break time for Arsenal, Barcelona and Napoli.

March 5th: Ukraine vs USA
March 8th: Seattle vs Sporting KC as MLS gets started, Chelsea vs Tottenham, Arsenal vs Everton in the Cup
March 9th: Man City vs Wigan in the Cup and in Italy Juventus begin have the first of their three battles in the span of two weeks and Napoli host Roma
March 10th: CONCACAF CL begins with Alajuense taking on Arabe Unido. Feel the excitement! ...Read More...

Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM | 1063 comment(s)
  Beats: soccer

Heyman: Cano offers ideas to aid Mariners in quest to round out roster

Robbie the Reboot.

The Seattle Mariners made some big improvements this winter but appear to have left themselves with some obvious holes as well. The biggest enhancement, of course, was signing superstar second baseman Robinson Cano, who brings the middle-of-the-order impact bat the team craved, and also maybe just a few more opinions and a little more assertiveness than is recalled from his many years in New York.

Cano, by all accounts, is thoroughly enjoying his first days inside a lively ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:58 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Soderholm-Difatte: Derek Jeter in Shortstop Perspective

By the year 2000, even though he had been a full-time regular for only as long as Jeter (since 1996), there were already advocates for A-Rod staking a claim to being perhaps the best player ever once the final chapter of his career was written.  Little did anyone know then that so many chapters in A-Rod’s epic saga would be sordid and career-diminishing.  And Nomar was the model of consistency at better than an All-Star level of performance from 1997 to 2003, averaging between 6.1 and 7.4 ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 08:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics, yankees

Mark Trumbo may bat in lower half of lineup, manager Kirk Gibson says

As my old polidented coach Mickey McGripe used to say…“Son, you’re my second cleanup hitter. You’re hitting 8th.”

And while the presumption is that the team acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in order to give Goldschmidt lineup protection, that may not necessarily be the case.

“I just think that we have a pretty solid lineup regardless of who we put behind (Goldschmidt),” Gibson said. “There’s going to be a lot of protection. As far as the lineup construction ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 02, 2014 at 07:32 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dbacks

Saturday, March 01, 2014

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - March 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: whether civilization peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the reign of Jimmy Carter.

The District Attorney Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 789 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

NY Post: Mets’ camp has that ‘Groundhog Day’ feeling

This week Bovada.lv revealed its over/under win total for the Mets at 73.5 and — lo and behold — not long after that it was leaked publicly that general manager Sandy Alderson had gathered the team’s movers and shakers and insisted the Mets possessed 90-win potential. The team’s patriarch, Fred Wilpon, weighed in with (a threat? an inspiration? a prod?) — “we better win 90.”

Now is a good time for a recent history lesson: In 2010, Bovada pegged the Mets at 81.5, the Mets said ...

Read More...
bobm Posted: March 01, 2014 at 05:39 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Leitch: Reynolds and Verducci bring new voices to FOX MLB broadcasts

The Reynolds Effect…a dimensionless quantity? We shall see.

Reynolds and Verducci seem chosen specifically to erase all lingering McCarverism. First off, each of them are 20 years younger than McCarver; Reynolds is 53, Verducci 47. They at least carry the aura of youth—they’re youthish—which will come in handy in making people forget McCarver. They’re also both very likable guys who are new enough in the business that they’ve shown they’re willing to adjust and change depending on what’s asked ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 02:57 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics

Newman: MLBAM introduces new way to analyze every play

boom! (Eye Test) ~ BOOM! (Actual Measurement)

Baseball is a game of inches, and those inches will be measured in a brand new way.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media on Saturday introduced a revolutionary plan for in-ballpark infrastructure designed to provide the first complete and reliable measurement of every play on the field and answer previously unanswerable analytics questions.

The announcement was made by MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman at the eighth annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Miguel Sano to have Tommy John surgery

Miguel Sano’s worst fears came true on Saturday morning.

The highly-touted third base prospects has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and will need Tommy John surgery. Sano will fly to Minnesota next week to have the surgery.

Sano was injured during Thursday’s intrasquad game when he rushed a throw to retire Kurt Suzuki.

The ordeal goes back to the minor league season, when the elbow bothered him while he played for Class AA New Britain. It continued to bother him while he played for ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

George Will: Baseball’s opening day shouldn’t be a holiday

George Will: Slacker.

Political pundit George Will says baseball’s opening day shouldn’t be a federal holiday because it would take the fun out of the age-old tradition of cutting class or skipping work to go to the ballpark’s first game of the season.

“Part of the fun of Opening Day is skipping work,” Will said in an interview with The Hill. “If they make it a national holiday, there will be no work to skip.”

Will’s comments were echoed by a handful of baseball-loving lawmakers, who said ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pitching in Korea an eye-opening experience for Tigers’ Duane Below

Below the 38th Parallel I imagine.

Several thousand miles and an extremely long day spent in airports and airplanes separates Gwangju, Korea, from Duane Below’s hometown of Britton, Mich.

Last August, a season after last pitching for the Tigers and a handful of months after two forgettable appearances with the Marlins, Below signed with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization.

Now he has brought the perspective of his two months playing overseas back to the Tigers’ camp in ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 08:03 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Heyman:  Maxing out: Scherzer is Tigers’ greatest contractual challenge yet

Long before he was named in the article, I knew who Scherzer’s agent is.  As long as he continues to write articles like this, or this one about Stephen Drew, people will continue to think Heyman’s a shill for Scott Boras.

TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 28, 2014 at 06:28 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: boras, tigers

Brown: Jayson Werth would like a word regarding his baseball card

What the hell are you complaining about Werth?!

fc

Jayson Werth said good morning and then asked me over to his locker.

“Take a look at this,” Werth said, taking a baseball card from a stack on a shelf.

It appeared to be Werth’s Topps card for 2014. Except…

“Whose card do you think that is?” he asked.

It’s a picture that includes Werth pointing to something in the stands at Nationals Park — he’s not sure what anymore. It’s kind of neat, actually. But ... it could be anybody’s card.

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 05:26 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, nats

THT: The State and Future of Pitch-Framing Research

I often discuss pitch framing with my colleagues. The most common source of doubt I hear: The numbers don’t pass the sniff test. The infamous Jose Molina has too many smart people crinkling their brows. This is a determination each of us has to make. Can there be a possible 5-win data inefficiency that existed for 100-plus years of baseball history? Can it be possible such a big deal was missed for so long?

We have to ask ourselves: How important is pitch framing and receiving? How important ...

Read More...
villageidiom Posted: February 28, 2014 at 04:48 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, pitch framing, pitch fx, war

Fox, FS1 bring out-of-market streaming, new timeslots to MLB in 2014

A table of scheduled games and chart of teams by appearance is included in the article.

While Fox will still provide 12 regional split broadcasts in 2014, Fox Sports 1 will air a majority of the baseball. FS1 will air at least a game (and, in 10 weeks, a doubleheader) every Saturday of the season, plus a couple of midweek features. Fox will join for eight weeks of primetime coverage from May until July and then jump back in for the September pennant chase.

FS1 will also necessitate the return ...

Read More...
Greg Franklin Posted: February 28, 2014 at 04:37 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: fox, fs1, media, mlb network, online, television

Baltimore Sun: Monica Pence Barlow, Orioles PR director, dies at 36

Orioles public relations director Monica Pence Barlow died early Friday morning after a long battle with cancer. She was 36.

Barlow worked full-time in the Orioles front office since 2001. She started out with the club as a front office intern in 1999 and returned as a public relations assistant in 2001 before being named to replace former PR director Bill Stetka in 2008.

She was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in September 2009 but continued to lead the department until taking a leave of ...

Read More...
Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: February 28, 2014 at 03:06 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: obituary, orioles, public relations

McCoy: Joey Votto learns from criticism but isn’t changing approach

Votto as in Otto the Autopilot.

Votto is paid a bank vault full of money—a 10-year, $225 million deal—and with that comes high expectations and when those expectations aren’t reached the howling and the sniping begin.

So Votto understands that some fans believe he should change his approach to hitting so that he doesn’t walk so much and so that he will drive in more runs.

What Votto doesn’t understand is that there are some people who should know better, who he thought knew the game, who ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 02:43 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: reds, sabermetrics

Full Count » John Lackey on salary structure for 2015: ‘It’s going to be different’

From out house to champion to bargain.

The Sox starter is slated to make the major league minimum for 2015 (a team option it will surely pick up) due to a clause originally put in Lackey’€™s five-year, $82.5 million deal.

The salary drop is precipitated due to Lackey’€™s Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. It was stated that in lieu of insurance, the team would get the option of the extra year at the discounted rate if there were any sort serious problem with the already damaged ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: john lester, red sox

Star-Telegram: Rangers pitcher Buckel ready to shine after forgettable year

Keith Comstock, the Rangers’ rehab pitching coordinator;

“To be honest, about 50 percent of pitchers have some form of the yips. Whether it’s throwing a pitch out, trying to intentionally walk a guy, throwing to first base, most guys have something. It’s just not as noticeable as a guy who can’t play catch or can’t throw a strike.”

Shake the hand of the guy sitting next to you.  You’ve just shaken the hand of a guy with the yips.  Or not, if he reached over and missed.

...Read More...
BDC Posted: February 28, 2014 at 10:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching mechanics, psychology, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-28-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 28, 1914:

There are many indications that baseball will gain a real foothold in France this year. The visit of the New York and Chicago teams which are concluding their tour of the world will be followed by organized effort on the part of many of the French admirers of the American game to popularize it [there].
...
The pronunciation by the French youths is amusing to Americans especially as to “foul,” which is termed “fool,” and “fly,” which they call “flea.”

You ...

Read More...

WaPo: Why we’re actually mad at ruthless ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant Arthur Chu

Paging Snapper…

Chu’s strategy wasn’t part of some long-brewing master plan, but simply the result of some Googling. He did some searching once he found out he would appear on the show and was inspired by what discovered about Chuck Forrest, a 1985 contestant whose similar Daily Double hunting even earned a phrase to describe his method of play, the “Forrest Bounce.”

“There’s no logical reason to do what people normally do, which is to take one category at a time from the top ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 28, 2014 at 07:58 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: media, moneyball, sabermetrics

Reiter: With one move, Tigers reinvent themselves on offense and defense

So Ausmus’ first Tigers team will be different than Leyland’s last—more athletic, more dynamic, more versatile. Will they be better? Well, no, not definitely. It is not easy to replace the production of a player like Fielder, even a down-year Fielder. “You take Prince Fielder’s bat out of the lineup, that’s 100 RBI, that’s nothing to scoff at,” Ausmus said.

The fact is that Detroit didn’t need to get better. It is de rigueur for teams that don’t win the World Series to focus publicly on their ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Paul White: How instant replay will change baseball

Wonder if Mike Pereira has an equally useless brother.

Every clubhouse in every major league ballpark will have a mini-command center in which teams can see the same video feeds. But unless the play in question ends an inning or there is a pitching change, teams will be pressed to make a call — and there’s no tolerance for stalling.

That doesn’t mean managers won’t try. Several have already added a term to baseball lingo: Turning the manager.

...One American League manager, who requested ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 28, 2014 at 06:56 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: doom, replay

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Marlins president David Samson debuts on Survivor: Cagayan

RECAP CONTAINS SPOILERS
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David is the President of the Marlins, which means that if there’s a challenge that requires salary dumping, he’s going to be hard to top…. After making it clear to his tribe that because his blazer doesn’t match his pants, he’s not wearing a suit, David picks Garrett as Brain’s weakest, saying that he’s making the decision for the end of the game. Is anybody else surprised that the President of the Marlins’ first instinct is to jettison the strongest ...

Read More...
Adam B. Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, strategy, television

Ex-Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain: I’ve lost over 150 pounds

That’s only about $250…times must be tough!

Denny McLain, the ex-Tigers ace and felon, told WWJ Newsradio 950 he has lost 156 pounds.

“I am down 24 pants sizes,” he said. “I’m down a whole shoe sizes. I had the fattest feet in Michigan. ... I’m seeing things now I forgot I had!”

McLain said he had bariatric surgery to lose the weight so he could help take care of his wife, Sharon, who has Parkinson’s disease.

“I’m trying to get to my playing weight,” said McLain, 69. ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: history, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2014

Pittsburgh Press, February 27, 1914:

Folsom prison has lost its most popular convict. Eugene Lavender, burglar and star pitcher of the “Major league” baseball team of the penitentiary, got an unconditional release from the states, but when he stepped from the prison gate Sheriff Fleming, of McLennon county, Texas, was waiting with extradition papers to draft him back to the Texas courts to stand trial on a burglary charge. Lavender served four years at Folsom and was the idol of the “fans”.

He ...

Read More...

Gene Collier: Australia games make cents, but not sense

Another mess for brother Collier to chime in on.

For reasons unclear and probably even unnecessary, there is a concerted push all of a sudden by Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and the producers of the official beer of Major League Baseball to designate Opening Day a national holiday.

Where, in Australia?

They had better hurry.

Opening Day 2014 is just 24 days away, 24 days and about 9,500 miles, give or take a slow walk to the mound.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:55 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Pedro Martinez thinks he ‘should have a shot’ at the Hall of Fame in 2015

Hell, everybody has a higher WAR than Tom Glaivine.

Pedro Martinez should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his name appears on the ballot for the first time next year.

He has a lower career ERA (2.93) than Greg Maddux, more strikeouts (3,154) than Sandy Koufax and a higher WAR (86.0) than Tom Glaivine. All of those pitchers were inducted on the first try.

Martinez, now a special assistant to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, is confident, but not certain that he’ll get the news ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:49 AM | 132 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, red sox

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

‘Sharknado 2’ with Tara Reid does shoot at Citi Field

“Nopliw”... it’s “Wilpon” spelled backwards!!!

The sequel to “Sharknado”—the cult TV movie you definitely watched but pretended you didn’t until everyone admitted they saw it—is filming at the Mets’ home. The production starring Tara Reid (“American Pie”) and Ian Ziering (of “Beverley Hills, 90210” fame) headed to Citi Field on Wednesday…because what’s more fitting than a disaster flick at the home of a team that went 74-88 last season?

  ...Read More...

The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2014 at 11:46 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, television

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