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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ian Kinsler Performs Damage Control After Racially-Infused Comments

Ian Kinsler came under fire on social media on Wednesday for some suggestive comments he made before the championship game of the World Baseball Classic.

(The United States, led by Kinsler, would go on to beat Puerto Rico, 8-0.)

“I hope kids watching the WBC can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays,” Kinsler told the New York Times. “That’s not taking anything away from them. That just ...

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Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-23-2017

Pittsburgh Press, March 23, 1917:

Manager Robinson has a hard time getting his Brooklyn players to train enough. Yesterday he hit upon a new plan and gave them an “Irishman’s Ride.” What’s that? Well, he invited them all to take a motor ride into the country. Then he made them walk back.

This seems like something that would work once. Once.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 23, 2017 at 10:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Phillies using new drill to help baserunners | MLB.com

Interesting drill. Will the work pay off?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, technology

USA beats Puerto Rico for first Classic title | MLB.com

Congrats to the U.S. team. It would have been nice to see the finish live.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: puerto rico, usa, wbc

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Straight From The Heart: The Signing Of Ted Lilly

An inside look at a pair of now-forgotten news items from 10 years ago: the signing of Ted Lilly and Jim Hendry’s hospitalization from ACS.

And to think … the agreement to get his target pitcher took place while Hendry was undergoing an EKG.

“To this day, the story obviously has been embellished in some ways by the fact that a couple hours later I was going to have a heart procedure – but the fact is that Larry O’Brien called me when I was on the gurney,” Hendry said.

“Jim Hendry ...

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ajnrules Posted: March 22, 2017 at 06:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago cubs, jim hendry, lou piniella, ted lilly, winter meetings 2006

Dallas Green, first Phillies manager to win the World Series, dies at 82

Dallas Green, the bearish, blustering, boom box-throated manager who in 1980 whipped a talented but complacent Phillies team to the franchise’s first world championship, died Wednesday at 82, a team official confirmed.

Mr. Green spent most of his long baseball career with a Phillies organization that signed him as a Delaware high schooler in 1955. Over the subsequent 61 years, with notable interruptions in New York and Chicago, he would pitch, coach, manage, scout, and fill a number of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 04:52 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dallas green, mets, obituary, phillies, senators

White Sox patiently dangling Jose Quintana

Over the last few days, the buzz around camps in Florida and Arizona converged on the same player: Jose Quintana. Scouts ran their information up the chain – Chicago White Sox scouts are everywhere – and the game of telephone ended with general managers across the game wondering: Are they finally going to deal Quintana?

The answer, major league sources familiar with the talks told Yahoo Sports, is the same it’s been since the White Sox committed to rebuild and started the dismantling of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 02:28 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, jose quintana, trade rumors, white sox

World Baseball Classic needs serious commitment—or just get rid of it

As it stands, there are just too many folks who are just half-in. Every four years, a primary WBC storyline is which stars are skipping the event, mostly for the U.S. team. There is perpetual conversation about how MLB needs to better market its stars, but in this case, some of the biggest stars are declining the opportunity to participate.

Some of the teams cope with the WBC passive-aggressively, sending mixed messages to some players that they aren’t necessarily wild about their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 02:27 PM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: world baseball classic

Tough times paid off for Bucs’ Jameson Taillon | MLB.com

“But I had an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and say, ‘Well, I’m going to be here, I might as well make my time worthwhile. What can I do to make my mechanics better? What can I do to make my grips better? What can I do to make my arm stronger, to get stronger? What can I do to eat healthier? How do I transition all this to in-season?’

“I had so much time away with no pressure, no hype on me. I wasn’t pitching for a boxscore. I was just committed to the process.I got to hone up ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, pirates

Yankees’ Didi Gregorius will miss Opening Day | MLB.com

Not good news for the Yankees.

Didi Gregorius is expected to miss the first month of the regular season with a strained subscapularis muscle in his throwing shoulder, the Yankees said on Tuesday.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2017 at 11:54 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: didi gregorius, injuries, wbc, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-22-2017

Washington Herald, March 22, 1917:

Dispatches received [in Detroit yesterday] from the training camp of the Detroit Americans at Waxahachie, Texas, state that the Detroit ball players are in sympathy with a movement started by fellow athletes to abandon the military drills they now are receiving. It is understood that the Cleveland club already has taken such action.

Several Detroit players claim that the drills have caused severe strain upon muscles not brought into play on the baseball ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 10:17 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Prospects impressing in Spring Training | MLB.com

This spring’s small sample size heroes.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2017 at 09:44 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Team USA defeats Japan to reach Classic final | MLB.com

“It means a heck of a lot,” outfielder Andrew McCutchen said of Team USA finally clearing the semifinal hurdle. “We’ve got a great group of guys on this team who have dedicated this time to be able to try and win some ballgames. Sacrifices had to be made, and there are no egos when that door opens.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, usa, wbc

MLB Has a Massive Diversity Problem in the Local Broadcast Booth

The numbers here would be even worse if it weren’t for what the Twins did this off-season. The Twins became only the second organization with two people of color on the air when they added Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins to their rotation of TV color commentators. They are not the main analysts, that job goes to Bert Blyleven, but they will be in the group of people regularly joining the play-by-play announcer, Dick Bremer, for the roughly 70 games Blyleven doesn’t call.

The only other team ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 12:35 AM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, racial diversity

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017 MLB Trade Value player rankings, Part I: Introduction, honorable mentions, just missed

Missing The Cut

Before we get to this year’s list, here’s a quick rundown of the players we ranked in the top 50 before last season (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) but who fell off this year’s list….

Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (35)

He hasn’t been an elite pitcher in three years, and last season was the worst showing of his 12-year career. Hurling 2,415 2/3 innings can take a nasty toll on a pitcher’s arm. Mariners fans would gladly sit through an even heavier workload if it would mean ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:50 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: trade value

Report: Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause dies at 77

Krause was known to have a rocky relationship with then-Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, with Jackson leaving after the 1998 season and the Bulls’ sixth title. Jordan also retired after that season, although he would later briefly return to play for the Wizards.

He retired as Bulls general manager in 2003, with an official explanation pertaining to his health, and amid a struggling Bulls rebuild around young players.

Prior to working for the Bulls, Krause, a Chicago native, scouted for a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:49 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, jerry krause, mets, white sox, yankees

Sport Illustrated MLB preview: Dodgers will beat Indians in the World Series

A number of teams could win it all this year if things break right for them. But L.A. is the one best positioned to win even when things go wrong.

Here are SI’s complete postseason predictions:

AL wild-card game: Mariners over Rangers
NL wild-card game: Mets over Giants

AL Division Series: Indians over Mariners; Red Sox over Astros
NL Division Series: Cubs over Mets; Dodgers over Nationals

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:30 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, indians, sports illustrated

Do the unthinkable, Yankees: Give Gleyber Torres a shot | New York Post

No, no, no. Give the *kid* some time in AA. If he does well, move him up to AAA. If he does well there, then, and only then, add him to the 40-Man Roster and bring him up to the big league club. If he plays well, he still makes his debut at age 20. (He was born on December 13th.)

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:49 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: gleyber torres, prospects, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-21-2017

Pittsburgh Press, March 21, 1917:

Manager Mathewson is a great believer in speeding up the play during the games. He allows no loafing, and is constantly urging the players to keep on the move. Nothing annoys him so much as a game that lasts over two hours.

If time travel were a thing, I’d pay to see what would happen if Christy Mathewson watched Steve Trachsel pitch to Mike Hargrove.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pace of the game

White Sox sign shortstop Tim Anderson to six-year, $25 million contract

The Chicago White Sox signed shortstop Tim Anderson to a six-year, $25 million contract extension Tuesday morning, a high-ranking executive with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports.

The executive spoke on the condition of anonymity since the deal isn’t scheduled to be announced until Tuesday afternoon.

The deal is the most lucrative contract given to a player with less than one year’s service in baseball history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 09:08 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: tim anderson, white sox

Confessions of a Fantasy Baseball Wife – The Hardball Times

A funny take on being a fantasy baseball wife/player.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy

Outfield Defense: Does the Team Make the Player or Does the Player Make the Team?

A look at team outfield defense using Statcast.

Jason Heyward’s impact on the defending champion Cubs is clearly present through these numbers, but did not necessarily make his center field neighbor a better defender. But perhaps the difference in left fielder made an impact, in the other direction, on Dexter Fowler as well.
In Baltimore, Adam Jones performed worse when partnered with Mark Trumbo. However, other components may be at play — like Jones’ age curve.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

The new Mariners’ culture: what’s changed? - Lookout Landing

The new Culture Club?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:34 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Will Jason Heyward bounce back from abysmal 2016 season? - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

I haven’t been able to watch him hit this spring. What do are Cubs fans think?

Joe Maddon is steadfast regarding his opinion of outfielder Jason Heyward’s swing makeover. The Chicago Cubs’ third-year manager insists he’s seeing improvement after a lackluster 2016 campaign, although rival scouts who have followed the Cubs this spring don’t necessarily agree.

Many showed no hesitation in stating the swing—and subsequent results—are very much like last year’s. Maddon, meanwhile, says it ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:28 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Unbeaten PR walks off vs. Netherlands to final

It was the golden-locked men of Puerto Rico, who prevailed, 4-3, in the bottom of the 11th inning on Monday night at Dodger Stadium when Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice line drive to center field drove home Carlos Correa, sparking a celebration by first base and ending a marathon that clocked in at 4 hours, 19 minutes, and will be talked about for quite some time in both countries and beyond.

“It means a lot, because Puerto Ricans have gone through a very difficult [economic] situation currently, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: netherlands, puerto rico, wbc

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tragedies Lead to Calls for Change in the Dominican Republic

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league has “comprehensive programs” in place, from educational and developmental sessions in the Dominican all the way up to employee assistance programs and security briefings at the major-league level. MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark expressed similar sentiments, adding, “Educated players make educated decisions.”

Some former players say it’s not enough.

“You can say whatever you say you have, but the results are not ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:46 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: andy marte, dominican republic, yordano ventura

Ranking top 10 homer-stealing catches

When I was a kid—and maybe you used to do something like this, too—we would practice making home run-robbing catches. It wasn’t exactly authentic. The walls were chain-link fences, and they were probably no more than four-feet high. And these weren’t actual home runs we were saving but were, instead, thrown balls. The idea was to throw the ball high enough to clear the chain-link fence and potentially end up in the Zepkin’s yard (where it might end up in the Zepkin granary of lost baseballs) ...

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cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 03:40 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: homerun robbing catches, joe posnanski

Baseball Prospectus | Baseball ProGUESTus: Is Speed Enough?: A PITCHf/x Look at the Effect of Fastball Velocity and Movement

So it really is the size of the fastball and not how you use it that counts.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchfx

“I Don’t Know is on third.”

One guy probably knows.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:03 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, notes

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