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Thursday, December 31, 2015

MLBTR: Dodgers To Sign Kenta Maeda

The guy’s a righty? Well, so much for the VLHC…

The Dodgers have reached agreement on a deal with Japanese righty Kenta Maeda, Christopher Meola reports on Twitter. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed the signing via Twitter.

Updated report:
Reports: Maeda, Dodgers agree to 8-year deal

The Dodgers apparently followed up the signing of Scott Kazmir by reaching an agreement Thursday with Japanese free-agent starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, as reported by Christopher Meola and confirmed by Jon ...

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JEe (Jason) Posted: December 31, 2015 at 05:40 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, free agent, jon heyman, kenta maeda

Proposing a Third Option for MLB’s Schedule - THT

Ultimately, though, no adjustment is going to handle the central conflict baseball faces in this regard: Short postseason series don’t necessarily reward the best teams, and so any system that relies on short series is going to lead to unsatisfying outcomes (from a competitive fairness perspective). The fairest way of resolving this would be to have a perfectly balanced schedule and a single regular season champion (as is done in European soccer). The team that plays the best over the course ...

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TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 31, 2015 at 10:08 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: postseason

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-31-2015

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, December 31, 1915:

[Boston Red Sox owner Joe] Lannin has read a lot of stories in which Benny [Kauff] has said about his prowess at smashing baseballs, and he makes no secret of the fact that Benny must prove it first.

“I suppose this Kauff is a pretty good ball player,” said Lannin, “but I can’t see where he gets the nerve to talk of himself in the same breath with Ty Cobb. Why you have to consider the class that Kauff has been playing in for the last two years. When ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 31, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: benny kauff, dugout, federal league, history, ty cobb

Clark Griffith Remembers « Our Game

It was the day the Senators were battling John McGraw’s Giants in the seventh game of the World Series. Bucky Harris, a great manager, had pulled the sixth game out of the fire by singling in the tying and winning runs.

1924 World Series, Game 7
1924 World Series, Game 7

The baseball writers had called it “Griffith’s Folly” when I named the 27-year-old Harris manager of my club before the start of the 1924 season. He had only been a minor league manager for two years and he was rated ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

School of Roch: More on Orioles’ interest in Denard Span

Not really true, but great line.

With the Orioles in the market for another left-handed bat and searching for one more outfielder, it’s natural to link them to Denard Span as we approach 2016.
Span also would fill their need for a leadoff hitter, allowing them to lower Manny Machado in the order. They place a great deal of emphasis on defense, and Span isn’t suited for New Year’s Eve celebrations because he rarely lets a ball drop.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2015 at 06:50 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: denard span, orioles

Arizona Diamondbacks still quietly looking to improve

“If your pitching and your defense, if they play well, then we can afford to give up some offense,” Stewart said. “We’re just being cognizant and, quite frankly, doing my job to look at everything and the areas that may be deficient. And if we are deficient in some areas, then I’ve got to try to improve them if I can.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holway: JOSH GIBSON, WORLD’S GREATEST HITTER

If Josh Gibson had played in the American league, Babe Ruth’s home run record might not have lasted a dozen years. In 1939 against top Negro League teams, Josh smashed 23 in only 117 at bats. That’s 98 per 550! Babe’s record was 60 in 540 AB. Josh’s target was 408 feet down the line in Washington; Babe’s was 296 feet in New York….

In 1943 Gibson slammed ten balls into the distant Washington bleachers in 40 games. The entire American League, which shared the park, hit only one out ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 30, 2015 at 10:02 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: josh gibson, negro leagues


Dodgers Sign Scott Kazmir - MLB Trade Rumors

Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Kazmir’s deal is for three years and $48MM total (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds a very interesting wrinkle, however, reporting that Kazmir receives an opt-out in his contract after the first year of the deal, allowing him to re-enter the market in a pitching-depleted 2016-17 free-agent class if he remains healthy this year

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 03:43 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, scott kazmir

A Day in the Bleachers by Arnold Hano | The National Pastime Museum

Click the link and read the rest.

A turning point in my baseball reading, when I began to appreciate the impressive history of the game’s literature, came with my teenage discovery of Charles Einstein’s three (later four) volumes of The Fireside Book of Baseball, an anthology of game accounts, columns, poems, illustrations, and cartoons covering several decades. The series had been around a while before I ran across it, but I first read the words of Ring Lardner, Heywood Broun, and Damon ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 03:00 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: books

HOF Tracker Explorer

Neat.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 01:54 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Yoenis Cespedes making his free-agent case | MLB.com

Also not helping Cespedes is the simple fact that we’re in the midst of what’s a very tough market for outfielders, given that there’s no shortage of them still available—Alex Gordon, Justin Upton, Dexter Fowler and Denard Span, plus Carlos Gonzalez and others via trade. For outfield-needy teams without unlimited funds like the Angels, White Sox, or Giants, is it worth all that risk when more inexpensive options are available?

But that hot month, you protest. If we’ve learned anything this ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 01:48 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yoenis cespedes


MLB Network To Air Documentary On Ken ‘The Hawk’ Harrelson

In a new documentary titled Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson, MLB Network will dive deep into the life of the famed player-turned-broadcaster, who is celebrating his 50th year in Major League Baseball.

Airing Thursday, July 18 at 6:00 p.m. CT, the hour-long documentary, narrated by Bob Costas, will feature Hawk telling stories of what “Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams thought of each other’s playing ability; his friendship with Mickey Mantle; meeting Hall of Fame NFL coach Vince ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2015 at 10:15 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: documentaries, hawk harrelson, mlb network, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2015

El Paso Herald, December 30, 1915:

Only the unwritten rule that bars negroes from major league participation has kept out of organized baseball one of Cuba’s most wonderful players—“Black” Gonzales.

Gonzales has an ear so finely attuned that the instant the bat hits the ball he can tell where it is going. Time and again he has been blindfolded and then called off the exact direction in which the drive is going. Very often he has fielded the ball while in an outfield position with his eyes ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 30, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, dugout, fiction, history, negro leagues

Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro more concerned with winning than being well-liked: Post Sports’ People of 2015

Everything you might have wanted to know about Mark Shapiro.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark shapiro


And the names on my Hall of Fame ballot are ... | Tampa Bay Times

Marc Topkin ballot.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:58 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

White Sox, Orioles pursuing Yoenis Cespedes | MLB.com

The White Sox and Orioles have emerged as the favorites to sign Cespedes, according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. The Angels, Giants and Rangers are all reportedly monitoring the situation as well.

Cespedes, 30, has been reportedly seeking a six-year deal or at least a deal worth more than $100 million after a career year in 2015. He batted .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 105 RBIs in 159 games with the Tigers and Mets. CBS Sports reported last week that a reunion with the Mets is unlikely, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles, white sox, yoenis cespedes

Scott Boras On Free Agency, Davis, Span, CBA - MLB Trade Rumors

My favorite part of the interview was when Boras said Davis was a option at third base, which, if I am remembering correctly, produced a chuckle from one of the hosts.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: scott boras

Attorneys for Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Howard send letters to Al Jazeera America demanding retraction - The Washington Post

I didn’t watch the full video. Is this report based entirely on the guy/intern who retracted his claims?

The version of the report on Al Jazeera’s website now contains a correction at the top, dated Monday, that says an earlier version of the written version of the story – not the film – contained references to Zimmerman and Howard using human growth hormone.

“The substance alleged was Delta 2, not HGH,” the correction reads.

The film version of the report contains a conversation ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:28 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, phillies, ryan howard, ryan zimmerman

Baseball: Saito getting fresh start seeing game from other side | Kyodo News

The Padres have a new intern.

For many players, leaving the game begs the huge question of what to do next, but for former big league reliever Takashi Saito, that period was remarkably brief.

A month after throwing his last pitch for his hometown Rakuten Eagles, the former National League all-star announced he would be joining the San Diego Padres as a front office intern, a job that took him to Nashville, Tennessee, this month for the baseball winter meetings.

At the time of the announcement, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2015 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: padres, takashi saito

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nationals sign veteran infielder Stephen Drew to one-year, $3 million deal

Washington has found its utility middle infielder, agreeing to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract late Tuesday night with Stephen Drew. The agreement was first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, who adds that Drew can earn another $1.25 million in performance-based incentives as part of the one-year deal.

Drew has batted just .185/.257/.347 in 728 plate appearances over the last two seasons, but he did manage to slug 17 home runs in 131 games (115 starts) with the Yankees in 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:16 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, nationals, stephen drew

Why does nobody want Yoenis Cespedes? - Beyond the Box Score

Nobody wants him at his price. At least right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 11:50 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, yoenis cespedes

Red Sox ZIPS Projections

[bq]The object of considerable attention among the authors of this site, it’s probably not inaccurate to suggest that infielder/outfielder Mookie Betts is riddled with virtue. Or perhaps, afflicted by virtue. In either case, what he’s done is to parlay wide-ranging competence into a star-level profile. He’s projected to produce nearly a 20-20 season while also recording a strikeout rate of about 12%. He certainly doesn’t possess the skill set typical of a right fielder, but he’s ...

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Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 29, 2015 at 11:35 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, red sox, zips

MLB should build a national stadium

I thought the Nationals already had a stadium?

All this has to make any American baseball fan think: What if our national pastime finally got a national venue?
What if a stadium was constructed somewhere in the United States to serve as the official center of baseball in America? How would it work? Where would it be built? Would it make the game even more popular than it already is? Would it create even more indelible history and hallowed ground in a game that’s been built on time-honored ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:36 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: stadiums, world series

Major League Baseball’s Biggest Problems - Forbes

Minor League pay is not just an ownership problem. It’s also a player problem. The players should be pushing to increase the owners to increase the Minor League players’ share of MLB revenue. Doubling or tripling their pay would be a small piece of the overall pie.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:26 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: general

MLB to Offer Single-Team MLB.TV Purchase Option for 2016

It just so happens I enjoy watching a single team!

Specifically, in a recent court-filing in the Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball lawsuit – in which the plaintiffs are challenging various MLB broadcasting practices under federal antitrust law – MLB’s lawyers have indicated that changes are in store for MLB.TV in the coming year. As the league’s attorneys explain on Page 9 of the document available here:

“beginning next season MLB will make single-team, out-of-market ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:04 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: media, mlb.tv, mlbam, streaming, television

Prospect Poll: Corey Seager tops Byron Buxton | MLB.com

I prefer Seager as well.

“Seager is more prepared to impact the Major Leagues in the next calendar year, but Buxton will be the more impactful player in the years that follow,” a second executive said.
It’s true that Buxton’s performance hasn’t quite measured up to his potential as of yet, with injuries playing a large part in hampering his development. Seager, on the other hand, has been durable and has flat-out performed, particularly in a 2015 season that saw him not only make it to the big ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Women in baseball do big things in 2015 | MLB.com

I watched a few of the games which Jessica Mendoza broadcasted. I get that it’s great to have a woman in the booth. I don’t particularly get why it’s great to have Jessica Mendoza in the booth. Although stealing time away from John Kruk, Dan Shulman, and Curt Schilling improves the broadcast, I don’t remember her saying anything particularly insightful. I’d much rather have ESPN get rid of all three of them, cut the broadcast team down to two people and make sure those two people understand ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 09:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball

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