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Friday, March 31, 2017

Why the MLB is flooded with huge contracts - CNN.com

But forecasting baseball players’ productivity based on past performance is tricky, says Berri, who co-authored “Stumbling on Wins: Two Economists Expose the Pitfalls on the Road to Victory in Professional Sports.”

“Salary is a function of what (a player) did in the past,” says Berri, who notes that MLB general managers often overlook the obvious when considering the future—including the downfall of an aging superstar like 37-year-old Albert Pujols.

The three-time MVP’s batting efficiency has ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

How to visit all 30 MLB ballparks in 30 days

In 2013, my friend Ben and I embarked on a 30-game baseball road trip, visiting each of the 30 major-league stadiums in a whirlwind 30 days. The rules were simple, or so he assured me: We had to be present for an entire game at every park, arriving before the first pitch and not leaving until the last. Our schedule allowed for games to last four hours (parking lot entries and escapes included), leaving us just enough time for a little sleep and a lot of 1,000-plus-mile drives. Due to some ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 11:02 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: travel

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-31-2017

Washington Times, March 31, 1917:

Carl Sawyer, the National’s comedian-player is suffering from a badly swollen jaw today. Sawyer was hit by a pitched ball in practice but played through the game won from Rocky Mount by 4 to 0.

An examination of Sawyer’s jaw will be made today. The player passed an uncomfortable night.

The early 20th century idea of a full-time bench player/comedian is something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to.

Sawyer wasn’t a terrible player; he was a second baseman with ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 31, 2017 at 10:44 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Statcast ranking of top defensive outfielders | MLB.com

More great stuff.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: fielding, statcast

Indians ace reliever Andrew Miller will end the tyranny of the save

YOU KNOW WHO invented relief pitching?” Bill James asked in his 1985 Historical Baseball Abstract. “Napoleon. No joke. ... On the day of a battle he would take two or three regiments of crack troops and sequester them a distance from the shooting, eating and sleeping and trying to stay comfortable. ... At a key moment in the battle, with everyone else in the field barely able to stand, he would release into the fray a few hundred fresh and alert troops, riding fresh horses and with every piece ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 07:07 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, indians

Yadier Molina contract is about perception for Cardinals. - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

It’s not my money.

The new three-year deal the St. Louis Cardinals are about to complete to make Yadier Molina the highest-salaried catcher in the game is more about public perception than the team’s usual shrewd approach, but certain players—just a few in each league—force those kinds of mistakes.

The rules are different for franchise icons. They’re different when a player comes up in your organization, professes a love for the team and its city and becomes the face of its two most recent ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 07:06 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, yadier molina

Heyman: Boras Disputes Chipper Jones’ Story About Their Meeting

Another good read.

Jones was a great player, but he didn’t prioritize top dollar or even fair value at the start, and just wanted to stay in Atlanta (though another Hall of Fame Boras client, Greg Maddux, got his wish to stay in Atlanta a long time, as well — though not quite forever). We’ll never know if Jones recalled the story of meeting Boras precisely, but judging by how he handled things later, the conclusion that they weren’t a perfect fit for each other was probably right on.

...
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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: chipper jones, scott boras

Inside Baseball — NL: Will Happ make Schwarber expendable?

They can’t play every young player.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:37 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Born To Be A VandyBoy | BaseballAmerica.com

Well worth your time.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: human interest story

Byung Ho Park is a Red Wing, Not a Twin (at Least For Now) | FanGraphs Baseball

The Twins wanted 8 relievers. Eight. 8. Relievers. One catcher. Two back up position players.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Cleveland Indians go with offense over defense in picking Yandy Diaz for third base | cleveland.com

“There are a few things that need to happen for a player to make it to the major leagues,” said Antonetti. “First there has to be an opportunity and second he has to prepare for that opportunity.

“We had an opportunity on the infield and Yandy did an extraordinary job of taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, yandy diaz

Bruce Bochy announces how Giants will start season in left field | KNBR-AM

Chris Marrero will get some of the AB vs. LHP. Marrero played in Pawtucket last year. I’m not sure how he’ll fare in left but his bat will be a plus.

“You’re looking more at a platoon (in left field) to start with,” Bochy told reporters. “With (Jarrett) Parker, his splits are significant with him and lefties. I know it’s hard to get better at that unless you face them. But with a couple of right-handed bats and options we have here, we’re probably gonna…not going to. We WILL ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2017 at 06:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Baseball’s next Moneyball concept: Turning internet writers into prospect scouts

That Victor Wang was a hardcore baseball fan as a 16-year-old sounds like standard teenage fare. Except, unlike the normal teen, he was profiled in the New York Times due to his predilection for baseball—specifically, his skills for examining and writing about the sport with an analytical bent. Wang peaked as a writer later on, producing his seminal works (studies concerning draft pick and prospect valuations) before he had finished his freshman year at Northwestern University. Both articles ...

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Meatwad needs baseball Posted: March 31, 2017 at 03:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: scouts, the hardball times

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Heyman: Power Ranking All 30 MLB Teams

The nice part about all the rankings at the start of the year is they are always completely wrong.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2017 at 07:23 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: rankings

Inside Baseball—AL: Lindor Has Little Incentive For Extension

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2017 at 07:19 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

How two horses helped the Rangers seal a 6-year deal with Rougned Odor ... no, seriously

It may have taken a dog-and-pony show, but the Rangers have their second baseman of the future officially locked up.
Scratch that. It just took ponies.
Rougned Odor has signed a six-year contract extension, the club announced Thursday.
And according to SportsDay’s Evan Grant, a pair of horses helped the Rangers seal the deal with Odor.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2017 at 04:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, rougned odor

The D-Backs Could Have a New Pitching Approach

The Diamondbacks have thrown low at a greater rate than average every year since 2009. Over the past three years in particular, they’ve exceeded the average by six, five, and six percentage points. In the spring-training data that’s been recorded, they’re lower than the average by two percentage points. No other team has seen so great a shift, which is what makes this notable.

Last year, the Diamondbacks had the highest rate, out of 30 teams. This spring, the Diamondbacks have the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Nats tab Treinen for Opening Day closer

At least for now.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 30, 2017 at 01:07 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Elevator pitch: HR hitters share power points

The most popular theory, unsurprisingly, posited that something had changed with the composition of the ball itself, an interesting thought given that the home run surge seemed to start somewhat suddenly in 2015. A study by FiveThirtyEight went so far as to have a laboratory fire balls out of a cannon to test them, but the results were inconclusive. And not only did Commissioner Rob Manfred tell ESPN that nothing had been changed with the ball, but a well-respected college physics professor ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2017 at 12:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs

Ichiro can’t fathom retirement: ‘I think I’ll just die’

Most players head home or travel the world to unwind the moment the season ends. But Ichiro is back in the cages, practicing his swing, within days after the last game has been played.

“I’m telling you,” Turner said, “there’s nobody in the world that takes more swings over the course of a year than this guy. Guaranteed.”

As the iconic outfielder for the Marlins prepares to embark on his 25th season in professional baseball — the past 16 of them in the U.S. majors — Ichiro is ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2017 at 11:15 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-30-2017

Ogden Standard, March 30, 1917:

[A famous bat maker says Benny Kauff] “buys more bats—has them made to order too—than all the rest of the club put together. He doesn’t order just one bat or maybe two, as others do. He orders from one dozen to two dozen at a clip. And he goes right down the line, trying one at a time, until he gets a good stick. He then sticks to that one until he has a bad slump in hitting. Then he destroys the whole lot and buys a new set.”

Benny Kauff was a strange guy. ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 30, 2017 at 10:53 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Rockies strike deal “in the 11th hour” to keep Coors Field as long-term home

“This was difficult and long, but we’re going to have baseball in Colorado for three more decades,” said Matt Sugar, spokesman for the district. “The greatest benefit will be that the taxpayer won’t have to pay a dime.”

Major League Baseball approved the deal Wednesday morning. Coors Field, the third-oldest stadium in the National League, will remain the Rockies’ home through 2047, when the stadium will turn 53 years old.

The Rockies get it right. Coors is a gem.

Perry Posted: March 30, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, stadium deals

Detroit Tigers release pitcher Mike Pelfrey

With three days left in spring training and their bullpen at capacity for Opening Day, the team granted Pelfrey an unconditional release today. He is owed $8 million after signing a two-year, $16-million deal before 2016.

It’s the second release of a veteran righty this week, after letting Mark Lowe go Sunday. Lowe was due $5.5 million after signing a two-year, $11-million contract before 2016.

Pelfrey, 33, went 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA and 1.73 WHIP last season. This spring, he posted a 7.94 ERA ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 30, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mike pelfrey, tigers

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Investors say they are ready to bring baseball to Montreal

A group of investors that wants to bring professional baseball to Montreal said the only thing they are waiting for is a call from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The Major League Baseball Commissioner had previously established requirements for returning a team to Montreal: a solid financial package, government support, a site and plans for a stadium.

All of these conditions have now been met by the group, a source told the Canadian Press.

Thus, the money is there, the support of two of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 29, 2017 at 03:01 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: expansion, montreal, relocation

Posnanski: Soren journeys from MTV to ‘Moneyball’ art

Billy Beane shouldn’t have taken those photos.

“Fantasy Life” is subtitled “Baseball and the American Dream,” and the idea behind it is striking ... and ambitious. In 2002, the A’s used a counterintuitive strategy, the now-famous Moneyball philosophy, to draft players. They didn’t concern themselves much with all those subjective things that had motivated scouts through the years—tools, body type, potential, etc.—and instead focused more on production and statistical analysis. Their most ...

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Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 29, 2017 at 01:04 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, moneyball

Report: Mets’ Jeurys Familia receives 15-game suspension

According to a Wednesday morning report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, New York Mets’ closer Jeurys Familia has finally learned his fate. After previously meeting with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday, Familia has now been handed a 15-game suspension to start the 2017 regular season…..

The 27-year-old was originally charged with simple assault back in October following an arrest at his home. Police found Familia’s wife with both scratches on her chest and a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 29, 2017 at 12:38 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: domestic violence, jeurys familia, mets, suspensions

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-29-2017

Harrisburg Telegraph, March 29, 1917:

When the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox took the field at Red Elm Park, Memphis, yesterday, for the first road game of their spring championship series, the town folk of the Southern burg witnessed an innovation in baseball. Players of both teams wore on the sleeves of their uniforms identification numbers similar to those adopted by some of the leading universities for their bootball warriors.

Cool. I’m enjoying seeing the occasional reference to ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 29, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, uniforms

The Baseball-Bowling Connection!

Peas and carrots. Burt and Ernie. Beer and sportswriters. Baseball and bowling.

Baseball and bowling? Baseball and bowling!

———

[Mookie] Betts has competed in PBA-sanctioned bowling tournaments, making him the only two-sport star currently active on a major league roster. It might not be Bo Jackson tearing out of the backfield, but it’s not nothin’

———

When the Baseball Hall of Fame phoned Boudreau to tell him he’d been elected, his wife had to take the call—Lou was out bowling.

——— ...Read More...

gehrig97 Posted: March 29, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: bowling, everett scott, general, history, hodges, mookie betts, red sox

As Baseball Considers Change, It Should Look to Its Past - The New York Times

It’s not clear that early baseball’s pioneers picked the right version of base ball. In his duties as official historian, Thorn has played in re-enactments of both the old New York game and the old Massachusetts game. “To be completely honest,” he said, a bit resignedly, “the Massachusetts game was a lot more fun.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2017 at 07:14 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history

MLB’s all 25-and-under team: Who are the best young players in baseball? | For The Win

He had to get creative for first base.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2017 at 07:14 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: lists

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