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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
You call that love in Cleveland, but it’s just Frenchy!
Last year the Giants released Jeff Francoeur with five weeks left in the season. He was done with baseball.
“Mentally, I had checked out,” he said.
Teams called Francoeur’s agent to see if he wanted to join them for the September stretch run. He said no. His agent warned him that answer would cost him a big-league job in 2014. Francoeur said he didn’t care, because he needed to get away.
“To put it mildly, I think I was ...
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:18 PM | 61 comment(s)
The definitive list of baseball’s up and coming talent celebrates its 25th edition this year.
1. Byron Buxton
2. Xander Bogaerts
3. Oscar Taveras
4. Masahiro Tanaka
5. Javier Baez
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:09 PM | 39 comment(s)
Not much to it, and not really news, but I just realized that a bunch of the old “Home Run Derby” programs, which were first aired in the 50s and 60s, and then re-aired in ESPN back in the 80s, are available in their entirety on YouTube.
This one sees the Braves’ sluggers go up against one another. It’s interesting to see Eddie’s smooth, left-handed uppercut, and its contrast to Hank’s lunging, shoulder-heavy right-handed slash.
When you see the perfect third baseman in your mind, who do you see? Schmidt with his compact swing, as perfect as a short right hook? Brett turning on a Goose Gossage fastball? Brooksie diving to his right and throwing off-balance? Mathews hitting another titanic home run?
And now ask: Where does Wade Boggs fit in that picture?
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:22 PM | 68 comment(s)
While major-league baseball players earn millions of dollars and club owners share billions in revenues, minor-leaguers are paid $3,000 to $7,500 per season and train for weeks without pay, in violation of minimum wage and labor laws, their attorneys charge in a lawsuit. The suit filed against Major League Baseball and three teams, including the San Francisco Giants, said baseball executives and club owners “have preyed upon minor leaguers, who are powerless to combat the collusive power of the ...
The Yankee Clapper
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 06:53 PM | 21 comment(s)
baseball is awash in money
Hey…“Tommy helms while Jeter steers” was a line from my Tribute to Patrick ####### Sky song!
A season of pomp and press conferences officially begins here on Wednesday for Derek Jeter, but as curious as I am to hear more about what motivated him to announce his impending retirement, I’m more curious to find out if he can still play shortstop.
At a high level, that is.
...Still, the everyday lineup could be among the best in baseball, thanks to the big-ticket free agents the Yankees added ...
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 04:29 PM | 37 comment(s)
Reds pitcher Homer Bailey has agreed to a six-year, $105 million contract, a source said Wednesday. The team has not announced the deal.
The agreement, which includes a mutual option for a seventh year worth $25 million with a $5 million buyout, enables both Bailey and the Reds to avoid an arbitration hearing.
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:46 PM | 47 comment(s)
Not that interesting an interview; posting mostly just for posterity. Joe reels off a list of criticisms of sabermetrics, and Bill figures out ways not to disagree. Bill does not call Joe a “self-important prig” or a “little weenie.” He does touch on the shower customs of his youth, so I guess there’s that.
Year-to-year should be OK with the Red Sox and Ortiz. I can understand why he wants another year. That doesn’t mean they should give in. Let him play out this contract and go from there.
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:19 PM | 1 comment(s)
Over the last 18 months or so, limited partner Michael Gordon has emerged as an increasingly important figure in the affairs of both Fenway Sports Group and the Red Sox. According to multiple industry sources, when The New York Times sold its 17.5 percent ownership stake in FSG (and the Red Sox) in three separate transactions (each to multiple investors) totaling $210 million from July 2011 through May 2012, Gordon—one of the team’s limited partners since Henry became principal owner in ...Read More...
Jose Can Still Seabiscuit
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 02:04 PM | 6 comment(s)
The 10th edition of the Hardball Times Annual is out, with an eclectic mix of baseball coverage unlike anywhere else. Admittedly, I’m way over my skis on some of the deeper statistical analysis that is included, although it is indicative of the extraordinary impact advanced metrics has made on the industry.
But one story that immediately grabbed my attention was Jeff Zimmerman’s piece on defensive shifts, entitled “Shifty Business, or the War Against Hitters.’’ Employing date he ...
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:39 AM | 25 comment(s)
Milwaukee Journal, February 19, 1914:
The Boston National League Baseball Co. will take no chances on not getting the full value of Johnny Evers’ services and will take out an insurance policy, life and accident combined, on him in favor of the club for the princely sum of $100,000.
The club plans to insure Evers’ life with ordinary life insurance, with itself as beneficiary, so that if Johnny should die by illness if will not suffer.
The premium was probably higher than it otherwise would ...Read More...
Sandy Alderson is entering the final year of his contract as Mets general manager, but barring a colossal team collapse is expected to have his 2015 option picked up.
The larger question might be how much longer the 66-year-old Alderson wants to continue in the job.
According to a person close to Alderson, the GM would like to stay in his present role another two or three years, but “definitely not five.”
Alderson also has been mentioned as a potential candidate for commissioner, with ...
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 07:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
When a major league baseball pitcher throws a 95-mph fastball, only about 400 milliseconds—the duration of a blink—pass before the ball rockets over the plate. And a batter gets less than half that time to decide whether to swing, and where. Baseball players, then, could reap huge benefits from being able to probe a baseball farther from their eyes. And that inspired Aaron Seitz, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Riverside, who has created a new, publicly available app that ...
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:21 PM | 8 comment(s)
A FB/FB conversation turned into a blogpost.
I sort of fell into this subject on Facebook earlier today in response to a woodcut I posted of Amos Rusie’s drop ball. With his legendary fastball, I suggested, why would he ever need to throw a drop? Walter Johnson pitched almost his entire career throwing one pitch.
...Let’s try a math exercise: Rusie’s 95 mph–my approximation; his pitches were never clocked, but Connie Mack said he was as fast as Johnson or Bob Feller–speedball of ...
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 08:40 PM | 42 comment(s)
McClendon said Long overstepped his bounds with his critique of Cano’s effort with New York and defended the Mariners’ prized offseason free-agent acquisition.
“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon told ESPN.com. “That was a little surprising. I was a little pissed off, and I’m sure Joe [Girardi] feels the same way. He’s concerned with his team and what they’re doing, not what the Seattle Mariners players are doing.
“I’m a ...
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 05:36 PM | 138 comment(s)
SportsNet LA, which is owned by the Dodgers and run by Time Warner Cable, has yet to sign deals to make it available in the majority of L.A. pay-TV homes.
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 03:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
“The game has changed,” said E. Michael Moran, who is expected to argue for the plaintiffs today. “The safety rules should change along with that.”
In the case before the court, a child identified in court papers only as M.F. was seated with her family a few rows behind the visitors’ dugout at Turner Field. A line drive foul ball hit by then-Brave Melky Cabrera flew into the stands and smashed into M.F.‘s forehead. M.F.‘s family claims that the blow fractured M.F.‘s skull in 30 places and ...
Ferris pitcher Evan Pontley had a simple philosophy at Mabank on Tuesday night: stick mainly with his fastball, and “throw it as hard as I could.” It resulted in the game of his life. Pontley pitched a complete game no-hitter in a 13-3 win, striking out 22 batters – one more than the number of outs in a seven-inning game. “Everything I threw was working,” Pontley said.
After the first inning, Ferris actually trailed 2-0, despite Pontley striking out the first six batters. The two ...
Almost every starting pitcher or starting pitching candidate in the Rangers’ camp has some kind of injury to contend with or to come back from this spring. Not Martin Perez, though. He’s got bigger problems: the safety of his family and friends in his homeland of Venezuela.
“It is hard for us,” Perez said. “We call every day, and people don’t have food for eating, things like that. We have a great country, and you look at the situation and things are just terrible. It’s bad. I ...
12 hours to beat the reporting deadline. 750 miles, four pitchers, two Porsches, and the last song a young right-hander rehabbing an arm injury in 1976 needs to hear.
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
Stopped listening to Howeird long before he went to Siri…oh, fafa flunky.
A late, improved bid from Sirius/XM managed to keep announcer Casey Stern in the fold, foiling efforts by the Mets and WOR-AM to hire Stern as the team’s pre- and post-game host for Mets baseball broadcasts, multiple sources have confirmed to Capital.
The protracted negotiations, and the station’s failure to put together a backup plan, has thrown the broadcast into chaos with just 11 days remaining until the first WOR ...
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
But while Pedroia does believe in Bigfoot, he doesn’t expect to personally catch him. Asked if he could, Pedroia said no.
“I was in Phoenix and last Tuesday the guy that supposedly shot or killed one was in town,” Pedroia said, “but he might have stopped at a gas station or something, I didn’t see him.”
And while he doesn’t think he’ll catch one, he doesn’t exactly think the sasquatch hunters on “Finding Bigfoot” will have any luck either.
Pedroia makes a pretty good point. . .
“They’re not ...Read More...
a map of the Roman Empire upon which are pasted the logos of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. Where they are located on the map corresponds to cities of the Roman Empire. Each city’s distance from Rome in travel days is roughly equivalent to the chance each team has of making the playoffs in 2014.
Which, admit it, is the mental map most of us conjure up when asked to figure the chances of anything.
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM | 42 comment(s)
Milwaukee Journal, February 18, 1914:
Being a fireman at $1,200 a year is a better job than playing baseball with a major league at $2,000 or $2,500 a year, Frank Mace, fireman, says. Representatives of the Cleveland and Detroit clubs in the American league, Kansas City in the American association, and Montreal in the International league, have been heckling Mace several weeks to sign a contract.
“The fire department is good enough for me,” Mace declared. “But these clubs have been bothering me ...
As an A’s fan used to tell me…“You Kooz, you lose.”
I started by collecting data on every hitter in the game for the last 20 years. (Pithcers were dropped.) I then regressed RE24 on PA, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, sacrifice flies, sacrifice bunts, double plays, walks, and strikeouts. The idea here is that if a given player is as likely to, say, hit a single with the bases empty as he is with a runner on third, these statistics should define much of the variance in RE24. The ...
Posted: February 18, 2014 at 07:52 AM | 8 comment(s)
Manny Ramirez has changed agents and will now be represented by Alex Esteban of Miami Sports Management, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (on Twitter).
Monday, February 17, 2014
Let’s move on. A smooth fox terrier of ours named Harry was full of surprises. Wildly sociable, like others of his breed, he grew a fraction more reserved in maturity, and learned to cultivate a separate wagging acquaintance with each fresh visitor or old pal he came upon in the living room. If friends had come for dinner, he’d arise from an evening nap and leisurely tour the table in imitation of a three-star headwaiter: Everything O.K. here? Is there anything we could ...
But how likely is it that the Braves will still want to pay Kimbrel $13 million four years from now? It’s no secret that the shelf life of relief pitchers is shorter than players at other positions, and Kimbrel would hardly be the first dominant reliever to show up, dominate for a while, and then hang around as a shell of what he once was. Can we really forecast, right now, that Kimbrel will still be one of the best relievers in baseball in 2017?
...However, it must be noted that Kimbrel’s ...
Posted: February 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 28 comment(s)
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