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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Rosenthal: Welcome to our expanded coverage of major league baseball – The Athletic

I have occasionally posted stuff from The Athletic over the last few months. Sorry to tell the people who haven’t jumped on-board yet but I’ll probably be posting more stuff going forward. They just have too much talent to ignore.

I see local sportswriters lamenting the loss of newspaper jobs due to the Internet. Although I feel for them, the classic newspaper model is dying. The old classified ad cash cow is pretty much dead and it’s not coming back. People also just don’t buy newspapers ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2018 at 11:11 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-13-2018

New York Tribune, February 13, 1918:

John H. Farrell, secretary of the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, is quite sanguine over the future of minor league baseball, despite the difficulties in which the International League finds itself.
...
It appeared even more doubtful than ever yesterday that the International League would make any attempt to build up its ruined fences. As a matter of fact, only Baltimore and Toronto were determined to carry on, and both these clubs have ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 13, 2018 at 09:38 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Heyman | Bombshell Lawsuit Filed Against Levinson Brothers

The lawsuit, which claims ACES has been providing MLB players with PEDs for decades, purports to have a signed affidavit from Kirk Radomski, who pleaded guilty to two such charges and was a major player in MLB’s Mitchell Report on PED usage a decade ago, and also goes into minute detail about the Levinsons’ alleged involvement with convicted drug dealer Anthony Bosch of Biogenesis, and how Sam Levinson introduced Cabrera, Nelson Cruz and other MLB players to Bosch and was aware that ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:50 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, international free agents

The Opening Bell | FanGraphs Baseball

I want them contending as often as possible. To that end I want to see them make smart decisions. Going “for broke” every year is not a sustainable model.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Well, yes. But so what?” (You might also think I’m an idiot, but I hope not.) The “so what” is this: I’ve spent too much of the last three years valorizing losing in order to win and praising teams for making marginal improvements when wholesale advances were appropriate. Some of it has been ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:39 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency

Were the Mets (Fred Wilpon) Right to Get Todd Frazier Instead of Jason Kipnis?

It was a business decision, but it might have been a good baseball decision, surprisingly enough.

goodfundies Posted: February 13, 2018 at 12:31 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, mets

Monday, February 12, 2018

Rosenthal: Ideas on improving baseball’s competitiveness (draft lottery? tank tax?); potential pace-of-play compromise – The Athletic

This is an overreaction. If the players want to reopen the agreement they’d better be prepared to extend the agreement a few years past the current one. They’d also better be prepared to make big concessions in other areas. The owners have an agreement they like, to think they will make big concessions for the “good of the game” is unrealistic.

Going forward there are different ways the players can push for a bigger piece of the pie. One idea that I don’t like is minimum payrolls. Such a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:30 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: cba

Goose Gossage: Brian Cashman has no balls, ‘disgrace to Yankees’

The Goose has not bought in.

“If Cashman had any balls, and he doesn’t, he would have an analytical guy manage,” Gossage said. “Don’t think it hasn’t crossed his mind. But he doesn’t have the balls to do it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:18 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: goose gossage, yankees

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza arrested with 44 pounds of heroin and cocaine

And here is a coincidence:  He made 44 million in his career.  What an idiot.

shoewizard Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:39 AM | 161 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-12-2018

Bridgeport Times, February 12, 1918:

Edward Grant Barrow, former president of the International League, was appointed manager of the Boston Red Sox yesterday. He will succeed Jack Barry, who relinquished the job to enlist in the Naval Reserves as a yoeman [sic].
...
Barrow already has several deals in the air. He says he will immediately strengthen his team through the purchase of the best talent he can purchase from the International League.

Washington Times, February 12, 1918:

When Barrow ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP 12 February 2018: Jeff Samardzija explains why politics and baseball rarely mix

However, there were several curveballs that forced Giants’ players to think outside the box, including one from a fan who asked a trio that included catcher Buster Posey, reliever Cory Gearrin and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija whether they think baseball players should have a role in voicing their political opinions like football and basketball players have in recent years.

The question temporarily stumped Gearrin and Posey, so as his teammates waited, Samardzija decided to jump in and ...

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Will Shohei Ohtani’s success in Japan continue with Angels? Former teammates, Japanese baseball officials think so – Orange County Register

When Brandon Laird took his baseball career across the Pacific Ocean, he had never heard the name Shohei Ohtani, just some unbelievable stories about “the Babe Ruth of Japan.”

“I was like, he can’t be that good,” said Laird, an infielder who had previously spent parts of three seasons in the majors.

“I heard so much about him, but I just wanted to see it. Right from the get-go, I saw him throw in an intrasquad game. It was effortless. High 90s (fastball) and breaking balls. … He ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2018 at 06:32 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, shohei ohtani

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bearing the Glory: The Tragedy of Jackie Robinson’s 1949 MVP Award

Here’s a story about Jackie Robinson that you may not have heard. It seems a small thing, a footnote in this man’s monumental life and legacy. But it’s telling, so it’s worth telling.

gehrig97 Posted: February 11, 2018 at 05:46 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, jackie robinson, mvp, race in baseball

Medium: The System was a Steroid: Race, Performance Enhancement and the Baseball Hall of Fame

Confronted with the argument that maybe Williams, DiMaggio, and especially Babe Ruth wouldn’t have been as good had they been required to play against black players, most fall back on the argument that Bonds, Clemens and their steroid-enhanced contemporaries broke the rules, while Ruth and company merely played within the boundaries of the rules as they existed at the time.

In other words, while shameful, segregation was “just the way it was.” The implicit argument here is that we ...

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DanG Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:30 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, barry bonds, color line, hall of fame, peds, racism, roger clemens

Yankees’ biggest challenge isn’t going to be on field | New York Post

It’s nice seeing the words “Spring Training” appearing all over.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, yankees

Rockies’ rotation, led by ace Jon Gray, could be best in franchise history

Hope in Colorado.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:02 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

How did Erik Neander end up running the Rays? Well, it’s interesting …

“I describe Erik’s approach to baseball as obsessively curious, and he’s helped many of us look at the game through a more complete lens. His passion and creativity touch every branch of the department, and he possesses a constant need to seek new and more information.  He’s essentially self-taught, and has a detailed understanding of every role, from scout to analyst.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:55 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: erik neander, general managers, rays

Sunday Notes: Taylor Hearn and the Tale of the Black Rodeo Cowboys | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest includes the following curious comparison:

Eric Hosmer has been a bit of a lightning rod this winter. The free agent first baseman is coming off a strong season, yet plenty of pundits are less than enamored with his offensive profile. Couple the launch angle revolution with an increased acceptance of strikeouts, and Hosmer has become, in the eyes of his detractors, somewhat of a square peg in a round hole.

Would the former (and perhaps future) Kansas City Royal be looked ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Why Steven Matz believes health won’t be an issue this season | New York Post

“I feel really good this season,’’ Matz said with conviction after his bullpen session.

To fix this latest problem Matz said, “They moved the nerve over, they take it out of the groove and they sew it down, basically they moved it out of the way.’’

Here is the good news for Matz: His good friend Jacob deGrom had the surgery in 2016 and so did Hall of Fame right-hander John Smoltz during his career. So this could be a turnaround deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 12:13 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Inside Baseball | No End In Sight To Baseball’s Messy Winter

$500 million is a complete fantasy.

Speculation is, maybe MLB doesn’t want talk of a $500 million contract, which first appeared on FanRag about Bryce Harper, who along with Manny Machado heads next year’s once-in-a-generation free-agent class (for now). Maybe they want Giancarlo Stanton to remain the record-holder, the agents suggest.

Edit: Didn’t Frazier say he wanted to stay in New York? If that was truly his preference, this would explain why the Mets got a hometown discount.

Many GMs ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 09:56 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, free agency

Saturday, February 10, 2018

PopSci: No one told Babe Ruth he had cancer, but his death changed the way we fight it

For half a century, doctors believed that Ruth had cancer in his larynx, which grows from the voice box in the throat. The hoarse speech, as well as Ruth’s prolific consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, supported this theory. But by evaluating Ruth’s private autopsy reports, Bikhazi showed that Ruth actually had nasopharyngeal cancer, a rare illness that starts behind the nose. More than 70 years after his death, the distinction might seem minor, but the takeaway is staggering: Ruth, ...

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Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 10, 2018 at 11:03 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth

Yu Darvish signs with Cubs | MLB.com

Darvish turns 32 in August.

Darvish and the Cubs agreed to a six-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the right-hander $126 million, two sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi and Carrie Muskat. The Cubs could not immediately confirm the signing because it was pending a physical exam.

Darvish’s $126 million contract would be the largest free-agent deal so far this offseason. Sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the contract includes incentives that could push its total value to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 06:09 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, yu darvish

Inside Baseball MLB Notes | What Is Red Sox’s Backup Plan?

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 07:42 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Dominic Smith is in the best shape of his life

You think you’ve ingested (or written, in my case) enough spring-training “Best shape of my life” stories to last several lifetimes. That you’d rather see Tony Clark and Rob Manfred exchange nonsensical statements about the dormant free-agent market than listen to one more ballplayer tell you about his life-changing winter.

You need to give these tales of reformation and reinvention another chance.

You must watch Dominic Smith execute a perfect pop-up slide.

“I feel more athletic ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 10, 2018 at 12:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, mets

Friday, February 09, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-9-2018

Chicago Eagle, February 9, 1918:

“Baseballs and bats are useless toys,” is the dictum pronounced by the Italian customs authorities in placing a ban on the importation of these articles for Americans in Italy.

Recently the Americans purchased the few baseballs available [in Italy] and then ordered more from the United States. There also is a shortage of bats.

Thomas N. Page, the American ambassador, has been petitioned to secure an exemption of baseball equipment from the recently enacted law ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 09, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Cubs need to score runs to win!

What else is there to talk about? I’ll note that in scoring, the Cubs were #2 NL in 2nd half 2016, #2 for all of 2017 (Colorado) and #1 (by a lot) for 2nd half 2017. I’d love even more but more of the same is fine with me.

Walt Davis Posted: February 08, 2018 at 08:58 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, the unbearable lightness of the 2017-18 offseason

Gregory Polanco will be in the best shape of his life ...

A pretty good article on Polanco’s offseason regimen.

Brian Posted: February 08, 2018 at 07:00 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pittsburgh pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-8-2018

El Paso Herald, February 8, 1918:

When the eastern league gets to the point where it will really decide whether it will operate or suspend in the coming baseball season, perhaps the first matter which will receive its consideration is the suggestion of manager Jack Mack, of the [Worcester] Boosters, that the teams be cut to 13 players.

Such action will give every team in the league two backstops and four pitchers, which manager Mack thinks ought to be all any team might ask to have.

I think his ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 08, 2018 at 09:46 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Adalberto Mejia: High Floor or More? - Minnesota Twins - Articles - Homepage - Twins Daily

Adalberto Mejia under the sabermetric microscope.

Finally, it’s interesting to note exactly when Mejia got himself into his biggest messes on the mound. You might think that a pitcher struggling with control would walk more hitters with men on base, but these situations were actually where Mejia clamped down. His greatest struggles came in low leverage situations in which he had a BB/9 of 5.34, as opposed to 1.29 in high-leverage situations. To put this another way, Mejia had a BB/9 of 5.73 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2018 at 07:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: adalberto mejia, twins

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Yasiel Puig fired by his agent over a reported behavioral issue

This doesn’t bode well for Puig.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 07:45 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Albert Pujols’ GIDP record appears unbreakable | MLB.com

How many extra people will this record put in the seats?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2018 at 02:22 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, angels

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