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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Farrell: ‘We’ve got versatility’ in Red Sox lineup | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Jackie Bradley should be right where he is. Not that it will make a huge difference.

hould Bradley continue to hit as he has this spring (.378 before Sunday’s game) he could conceivably hit higher in the order, perhaps as high as sixth, which would, again, give the Sox a lefty hitter to break up a run of other righthanders.

“Could he hit higher? Yes,’’ said Farrell. “I think there’s some healthy conversation among our staff in that regard. It’s more about lineup configuration rather than what ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: lineups, red sox

Monday, March 28, 2016

Big League Stew - Mike Oz: Matt Harvey could miss opening day and the Mets aren’t saying why

Something’s wrong with Matt Harvey and the New York Mets aren’t saying what it is. They are, however, admitting that his opening-day start could be in jeopardy.

How’s that for potentially ominous news about the staff ace?

Since Harvey’s specific ailment is unknown, let’s take a look at the things we do know. First, Harvey missed Monday’s road trip to Jupiter, Fla., because of what was called a “non-orthopedic doctor’s appointment” and on its own, that wasn’t cause for a terrible amount of ...

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Lassus Posted: March 28, 2016 at 10:44 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: lolmets

Is the secret to Kris Bryant’s success ... his dad?

Mostly a puff piece, though it’s much more about Kris Bryant’s dad, Mike, than Kris.  Mike appears to have a bit of crazy parent thing going on:

MIKE WONDERS IF he sounds nuts. He traveled to 30 games last season, threw to Kris in the Home Run Derby and became an associate scout for the Cubs. He’s got a business card. It’s not a full-time job, but he gets $250 if a kid he recommends is signed to a contract. Adidas, which endorses Kris, is backing Mike on a youth team in Vegas. He has a lot of ...

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Moses Taylor, Optimist Posted: March 28, 2016 at 03:09 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, parents

How JBJ Forced MLB, And Red Sox, To Take Another Look

While there are many levels to how the lefty hitter found himself on the August run that turned perception inside-out, it was his revelation that waiting around for good, better and best pitches wasn’t going to work for him anymore that he identifies as the biggest difference-maker.

For perhaps the first time in his baseball career, Bradley started prioritizing swinging at the first good pitch he would see. The results were noticeable. ... “I don’t care if it’s the first pitch of the game. If ...

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villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2016 at 02:27 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley, jr., red sox, sox therapy

Braves release Nick Swisher, send Alex Torres down

Tough break, brah.

Nick Swisher was a player without a spot on the rebuilding Braves. Injuries and age had robbed him of many of the skills he had earlier in his career and while he did have some positional flexibility, he wasn’t necessarily a desirable option at any of the positions he could play.

After acquiring Swisher in the trade that essentially shuffled bad contracts around with the Indians (sending Chris Johnson to the Indians and taking on Michael Bourn as well), the Braves tried to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 01:56 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick swisher

John Smoltz does not like how starting pitchers are used in today’s game

“The analytic world, they’re right in this one respect: They are run-preventing better than ever before, so that model works. But it’s short-sighted, not long-term effective. The game to me will suffer by lessening the role of the starter and thinking that you’re protecting the starter, when in essence the injuries are harder and greater than they’ve ever been.

“And you’re not really getting the full capacity out of a guy who you’re giving $210 million. As long as they feel ...

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Wahoo Sam Posted: March 28, 2016 at 01:15 PM | 168 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens, john smoltz, starting rotation

How a Giants blue-chip prospect kept his baseball ambitions intact after nearly cutting off his right hand

But when you tell a story like Gustavo Cabrera’s, you have to show people his face. And so the kid and the ink-stained wretch did the best they could in the harsh light. They had 10 minutes together before batting practice would begin. It didn’t help that his curious teammates kept crowding around, tossing a baseball at his shins and trying to get him to laugh.

“How about a serious one,” the reporter said. “Mas grave.”

Cabrera kept smiling. Even his neutral expression had a hint ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 01:00 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, gustavo cabrera, injuries

Cuba open to welcoming back defectors like Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes to field powerhouse team again | FOX Sports

Could the likes of Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig play on the Cuban national team at next year’s World Baseball Classic?

“Everything is on the table,” Cuban baseball commissioner Heriberto Suárez said in Spanish, when asked about the possibility in Havana during this week’s historic trip by President Obama, Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suárez went on to explain that any such arrangement would need to be part of a new, overall working agreement among the Cuban ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:42 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, cuban baseball

Rob Refsnyder’s weekend from hell ends with sad demotion | New York Post

If he’s better at second base, he is a horrible third baseman.

As for Refsnyder, whose X-rays were negative, Girardi said he will get a steady diet of third.

“Our feeling is that we want him to play more at third. For him to be valuable to us, if he can do them both [second and third], he would be valuable to us. We are going to get him multiple days down there at third base,” Girardi said. “It’s tough. We thought he made progress while he was here. We are just asking him to make some ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rob refsnyder, yankees

Ruben Amaro Jr. reflects on time with Phillies | phillies.com

Members of the new Phillies’ regime have said the analytics system was way more advanced than they had anticipated, based on nothing more than the world’s outside perception of it.

If that is true, then why did the Phillies try to seem so unanalytical at times?

“We didn’t think it was all that important for us to have to advertise what we were doing,” Amaro said. “Why do we have to advertise what we do? Am I doing it to save my job or what? We were a little behind I think with some of the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, phillies, ruben amaro jr.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-28-2016

Toledo News-Bee, March 28, 1916:

DUKE, CRANK ON BONERS, SAYS INSIDE BASEBALL IS A JOKE

It may sound extravagant, a declaration that inside baseball is a joke, but that’s what Roger Bresnahan contends. And we admit he ought to know what he is talking about.
...
[The old Baltimore club,] of which Bresnahan was a member, used to pull off the stuff, but according to Bresnahan, everything was accomplished without the aid of signs. The athletes knew each other’s style and they worked together.
... ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, roger bresnahan, strategy

‘Fastball’ Review: Jonathan Hock’s Thrilling Baseball Doc | Variety

Somehow the writer didn’t get around to bashing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in his review.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: documentaries, movies

Trevor Story rockets into starting shortstop spot for Rockies - The Denver Post

He’s looked good in the games I’ve seen this spring. Do the Rockies release Reyes if Story plays well during his suspension?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, trevor story

Are the Orioles looking to send struggling outfielder Hyun Soo Kim back to South Korea? | FOX Sports

he O’s, according to sources, have talked internally about potentially trying to strike a similar arrangement with South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, who is struggling mightily in his first major-league spring training.

Orioles general manager Dan Duquette, asked Saturday if such a possibility was realistic, said, “I don’t know if we’re there yet,” indicating that he is still evaluating Kim.

Duquette added that such a decision would not rest solely with the Orioles. Kim would need to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: hyun-soo kim, orioles

Mariners notebook: Lee added to 40-man roster; Montero’s status in doubt | The Olympian

First baseman Dae-Ho Lee’s quest to play in the big leagues moved a step closer Sunday morning as the Mariners added him to their 40-man roster.

“Dae-Ho has the history of hitting left-handers,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “I think he’s given us reason to believe in spring training. He’s very prepared. He’s very calm in the batter’s box. I think he’s gotten better every step of the way.

“It’s been a pleasant surprise with the defense and, particularly, the base-running. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dae-ho lee, mariners

OTP - 2016 March 28: Obama Shrugs Off Criticism After Baseball Game, Tango Dance

Obama shrugged off the criticism. He said allowing terrorists to disrupt attempts to build U.S. relationships in the world—a counterpoint to the extremists—plays into their hands.

“It is very important for us to not respond with fear,” he said at a news conference Wednesday with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri. “A lot of it is also going to be to say you do not have power over us. We are strong. Our values are right.”

Diplomacy and strategic interests aside, Obama tapped into his ...

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Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: March 28, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 2314 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

BTF I-95 Memorial Telethon

As the one true New Year’s Day thankfully approaches for baseball fans, it’s appropriate to help Jim keep the server in the Best Shape of Its Life. At least it’s securely bolted to a rack now and not racing down I-95 somewhere in North Carolina.

9. deputydrew Posted: April 13, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4685489)
I just donated. I’ve received a ton of enjoyment from this site and have never given anything back. It’s long overdue.

I’d encourage everyone to donate and to do so in a dollar amount that ...

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Bite Man makes baseball fun again Posted: March 28, 2016 at 01:28 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: btf community, fundraisers

Sunday, March 27, 2016

SABR:Highlights from Brian Kenny’s “Ahead of the Curve” talk

ON THE ‘NEXT BIG THING’ IN BASEBALL

“The full bullpen attack. Why have a starting pitcher? Well, because we used to have one. He was the starter, and the closer, and the finisher, and everything in between. Why do you start with a guy? Why in the National League do you let a guy pitch the first two innings and have him bat? Why not have an opener, have a guy pitch two innings, pinch-hit for him, then bring in your Adam Wainwright type and let him go from the third to the eighth? It’s just ...

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End-game edge: Pirates, savvy MLB teams turn focus to bullpen | TribLIVE

All about relievers.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, relievers

Nick Cafardo: What has changed in the AL East? - The Boston Globe

Hanley has looked good at first. He won’t be the horrible drain on the team’s defense in left. Might he have an occasional hiccup? Maybe. Even if it doesn’t happen I’m sure Cafardo will find something to complain about regarding him. Did Hanley steal his lollipop or something?

The Red Sox still leave you with questions about their future. That feeling is fueled by injuries to Eduardo Rodriguez and Carson Smith, the fact that Pablo Sandoval is still overweight and now injured (back), and the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:53 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, rays, red sox

School of Roch: Talking rotation, Rickard and the roster

“It’s just Spring Training.” If I were managing the Orioles, I’d still be concerned.

The projected rotation of Tillman, Gallardo, Jimenez, Gausman and Miguel Gonzalez has surrendered 55 earned runs and 73 hits in 44 2/3 innings. The group has issued 24 walks and struck out 28 batters.

Odrisamer Despaigne, who’s expected to start at Triple-A Norfolk, has posted a 6.75 ERA in eight relief appearances. He’s allowed 10 runs and 19 hits in 13 1/3 innings, with six walks and five strikeouts.

Mike ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Rising ticket costs have made spring training a pricey endeavor - SweetSpot- ESPN

Although I don’t like paying higher prices, I don’t really complain about them much. I’m not a fan of all the add on prices, though. Just add them to cost of the ticket.

Plus, there are the “convenience” and service fees, which can be as high as $13 a ticket on a team site.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:25 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, ticket prices

Michael Brantley unlikely to open season on time with Cleveland Indians | cleveland.com

If Brantley opens the season on the DL, the Indians will carry five outfielders. After Joey Butler was optioned to Class AAA Columbus on Saturday, there are eight viable candidates still in camp – Tyler Naquin, Rajai Davis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill, Shane Robinson, Robbie Grossman and Will Venable.

Naquin, Davis and Chisenhall are on the team. Chisenhall has been sidelined with a sore right forearm, but it does not sound like he’ll open on the DL. Cowgill is on the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, michael brantley

Coordinators make sure players learn the ‘Nationals way’ - The Washington Post

I can’t wait for the book.

“But that’s all of us,” Garber said. “Really what Tommy and I do, we organize the thoughts of Doug [Harris] and [Director of Player Development] Mark [Scialabba] and all the coordinators. Because what we’re trying to do is have a developmental system that produces Washington Nationals major leaguers. . . . Things we’re consistent with from rookie ball to the time they get to the big leagues. A style of play, how we’re going to compete, how we’re ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 06:35 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Diamondbacks don’t care if you think they’re nuts | New York Post

More than any other 10 organizations combined? Ahh, no.

Because the Diamondbacks have endured more outside noise about how they do business than any other 10 organizations combined. “We’ve heard it,” manager Chip Hale said. How do you miss it?

They are the majors’ piñata, they just don’t seem to care much. You have a mom-and-pop franchise like the Rockies that operates outside the mainstream, and more scouting-centric franchises such as the Giants, Royals and Twins that have resisted ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Saturday, March 26, 2016

MAJOR LEAGUE BASSBIN, OR THE UNLIKELY EDM CAREER OF TWINS RELIEVER TREVOR MAY

Its no Pavement.

And yet there’s a contemporary scene that makes all the sense in the world for the musically inclined sports figure. Say what you will about electronic dance music—and I say it’s generally more great than not from “Sharevari” onwards—but its longtime reliance on The Beat over a personality cult and preference for collective-driven anonymity over marquee stardom makes it one of music’s greatest places to escape. Detractors say it’s “faceless,” but when your face is on ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2016 at 01:39 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: edm, music, trevor may, twins

Levine: ‘Unfair’ that Yanks pay more than Mets in revenue sharing

New York Yankees president Randy Levine complained about baseball’s revenue-sharing system in a recent interview with Fox Sports, saying it is “unfair” that the Yankees are paying considerably more than the crosstown rival New York Mets.

Levine’s comments, which were published Friday by Fox Sports, were made ahead of the looming expiration of Major League Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement on Dec. 1, and the impending labor talks following the 2016 season.

“What is very ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2016 at 10:41 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, revenue sharing, yankees

Friday, March 25, 2016


Madison Bumgarner and Jason Heyward have a beef that wasn’t a beef at all.

Madison Bumgarner’s on-mound demeanor could be described using many different words; I’ll go with “cantankerous,” but depending upon your perspective anything from “fired-up” to “dickish” can be appropriate. So when Jason Heyward stood around seemingly staring at Bumgarner after taking a called third strike yesterday, Bumgarner didn’t appreciate it:

spanx for the memories Posted: March 25, 2016 at 12:50 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago cubs, san francisco giants

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