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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tiger Tales: A Detroit Tigers Blog: Updating Catcher Defense: Where Does Alex Avila Rank Now?

Lee Panas looks at catcher defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Saying goodbye to ‘Parks and Recreation,’ network TV’s biggest baseball fan

After seven seasons in professional television, NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” has retired. Boasting a career average that would make even Ted Williams envious, the show’s final outing aired on Tuesday night. MLB fans everywhere should be a little sorry to see it go, because no sitcom on television was as big a baseball fan as “Parks and Rec.”

Farewell to the law firm of Fwar, Dips, Winshares, Gritt, Nelsson, Woba, Fraplus, Zswing, Range-Factor, Heart, Babip, Pecota, Vorp & Eckstein, LLC. ...Read More...

eddieot Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:14 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: david eckstein, sabrmetrics, tv

Jose Molina joins the Cardinals as a guest instructor

He’s not officially retired, but Jose Molina is 39 years old, was released by the Rays, and is sidelined following knee surgery. And now he’s joined the Cardinals as a special guest instructor for spring training.

Balkroth Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:11 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, molina, [cardinals]

Lucchino, Henry look to create ‘model Triple-A franchise’ - providencejournal.com

I call “bullshit”. Money is the reason the Red Sox ownership bought into its AAA franchise. That’s what the plan to move the team to Providence is about. It’s about putting in luxury boxes, increased concessions, and taking advantage of a desired *free* grant of land in Providence.

We knew that there was a distinct possibility of a sale, and there were no guarantees as to where that sale might go or who might acquire the team,” explained Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino. “So almost as a ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:04 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball

In Pawtucket, Angst and Anger Over New Owners’ Plans to Move Beloved PawSox - Boston.com

I am not looking forward to seeing the team move out of Pawtucket. The stadium isn’t fancy but watching the Pawsox at McCoy Stadium is what minor league baseball should be.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball

Young arms give Mets fans hope after six years of woe

With a team based around young pitching it is surprising to me that the Mets didn’t target a good-fielding shortstop as a stopgap for this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 08:54 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

More on the Phillies and Moncada

The Red Sox were already over their international budget, so, other than in the wallet, signing Moncada didn’t impede them going forward. The Phillies are in a different position, however. Not only will they be able to sign people this July, they won’t be competing with the Red Sox and Yankees while doing it.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 08:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, yoan moncada

Drew Smyly says he has no issue with Yoan Moncada, just the system | Tampa Bay Times

Millionaires vs. millionaires. The players bargain away money for draft picks to line their own pockets.

“I was only trying to say everyone else doesn’t have those opportunities. So I think there should be some way where everyone, every amateur, has the same opportunity and guidelines. And that’s not even America vs. Cuba; Dominican Republic and Venezuela players don’t get that. They have never got close to that signing bonus.

“So I’m all for it. I’m sure Moncada is the real deal; it’s nothing ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-25-2015

Toledo News-Bee, February 25, 1915:

Happy Felch [sic], a 1914 [Milwaukee] Brewer, is a confident rookie. He showed up to join the Chicago White Sox on the training trip, carrying a special bat.

“Mister, what position do you play?” inquired a youngster as Felch passed through the crowd at the station.

“Batter,” announced Felch.

I’m pretty sure he said “Bettor”.

Also on the same page as the linked article, Joe Tinker tells the Smitty-approved story of the time he and Cincinnati’s Dick Egan got ...

Read More...

Diamond Zen: Jeter’s Last Day Game at Yankee Stadium

Take me out to the ballgame . . . what does baseball mean to us?

Catfish1974 Posted: February 25, 2015 at 07:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, mickey mantle, reggie jackson, yankees

Votto defends Reds’ clubhouse leadership | reds.com

Votto responds to Latos’ comments.

“The thing that upsets me the most is the people that are talking about leadership and talking about our clubhouse are not in our clubhouse,” Votto said. “They’re not consistently here to make any sort of comment on the clubhouse. These are guys that very rarely show their face in the clubhouse, are never on the bus, not in the hotel, certainly not on the field, and these guys are constantly commenting on the importance of leadership with no sort of experience ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 06:49 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: joey votto, reds

Donaldson already proving great fit with Blue Jays | MLB.com

“I have a pretty good relationship with [A’s GM] Billy Beane,” Anthopoulos said. “We’ve done a bunch of small deals. The one thing about Billy, he’s always open-minded and you can never offend him; you can ask about anybody at any time to make a deal.

“[Donaldson] is somebody we asked about right at the end of the season. We were adamantly told, ‘He’s not going to be moved.’ Then we asked about him a little later. [Beane] was still adamant that [Donaldson] was not going to be moved. Then I ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 05:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Keep an Eye on Korean Baseball

Not Carlos Correa, South Korea.

Putting a blanket statement on the level of talent in the KBO is an unwinnable situation.  Both Nitkowski and Sadowski said that while there are guys there who could not crack a Double-A roster in the U.S., there are players, such as Ryu, who clearly have the talent to be difference makers in the majors.

“I don’t know that there’s a Triple-A team that could roll in and necessarily beat the Doosan Bears,” Nitkowski said. “Even to say that it’s ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 09:47 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hyun-jin ryu, korean baseball, kyeong kang

California lawmaker wants to ban chewing tobacco for MLB players

Chewing tobacco is plentiful all over the league, with many players carrying a canister in their back pocket or dipping into a bag in the dugout. Having to stop that for California games? That would take some getting used to. Here’s the explanation of the bill, via Reuters:

The bill targets baseball’s ubiquitous habit less than a year after retired San Diego Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn died of cancer of the salivary glands, believed related to chewing tobacco or “dipping” it by lodging it ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 09:24 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: california, legal, legislation, tobacco, tony gwynn

MLB explains pace-of-game rules

Major League Baseball began briefing its 30 teams this week on its new pace-of-game rules, and clubs are learning that the ramifications will have an impact in a variety of areas, including midinning pitching changes and new ways for managers to signal for replay reviews.

The timers in ballparks that are used to count down between-inning commercial breaks will also be used during pitching changes in the same way.

When players violate one of the new rules ... they are subject to fines up to ...

Read More...
Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 24, 2015 at 05:41 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of game

Brian Sabean says that California taxes are a hindrance to the Giants signing free agents

THANKS OBAMA

But Brian Sabean, talking to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, says it’s a factor:

In one of Sabean’s more interesting comments, he offered a bit more insight into why he does not pursue more of the high-ticket free agents.

“To entice a free agent to come to San Francisco, we’re almost in an overpay situation, so why get involved in all those battles where you’re not going to be able to go up the totem pole money-wise?” Sabean said.

When asked to ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: brian sabean, giants, taxes, yoan moncada

Gay Minor League pitcher Jason Burch was just waiting for the right question

Still, through his Minor League career that stretched across six seasons and four Major League Baseball franchises, Burch kept to that mantra: No one asked, no need to tell. During a game for the BaySox in 2008, a rare opportunity presented itself. Sitting in the bullpen, one of his teammates, a pitcher from Latin America, asked him if he had a girlfriend with whom to spend their upcoming break. The door opened and Burch strode right through it.

“I’m not interested in girls. I’m gay. And I ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 03:18 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, coming out, gay rights, jason burch, orioles, rockies

Surprise! A-Rod reports to Tampa before spring training - NY Daily News

At this point, A-Rod has apologized. At this point, no matter whether the apologies are heart-felt or not, I see no point in him continuing to talk about his past.

The Yankees, who had expected him to show up on Wednesday, had no issues with A-Rod arriving on Monday, but team officials were fuming that he hadn’t alerted them to his plans.

“He’s learned nothing,” said one baseball executive. “He’s the same old guy. He just did what he wanted to do.”

The Yankees front-office is not ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Eight-man bullpen under consideration by White Sox | whitesox.com

Eight-man bullpens make very little sense. That only leaves twelve players on offense. (Yes, I have great math skills.) With one backup catcher, a team is left with one backup infielder and one outfielder. With thinking like this, no wonder offense is down.

That extra arm at the start of the season could help starters from getting their pitch count up too high early and work toward keeping them fresh all season. In order for that plan to manifest, either Micah Johnson or Carlos Sanchez would ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:32 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Bryce Harper says he’s reporting to spring training as light as he’s been since college - The Washington Post

In college?

Harper spent a lot of his offseason working out after the Nationals were eliminated in the National League Division Series by the eventual World Series champion Giants, but he isn’t reporting to spring training “as big as a house,” as he vowed to do after the 2013 season. Harper, who was listed at 225 pounds last season, says he arrives in Viera with about 7 percent body fat and as light as he’s been since he weighed 205 pounds in college.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:30 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Meetings help Indians set tone early in spring | indians.com

Updates on the Indians.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Levine: Cubs’ Bryant Asked To Play Outfield This Spring « CBS Chicago

Something needs to be done to fix this issue.

This new task will give Bryant something else to work on at Triple-A to start the season. He most likely will spend at least 21 days in Iowa to confirm another year of service-time control for the Cubs.  This is done by most all clubs with young stars who have agents looking forward to six-year free agent status.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Pirates notebook: Team has big plans for newcomer Kang | TribLIVE

It seems like they intend to give him a chance to make the big-league roster.

“We believe we’ve brought in a player who’s going to be an everyday player,” manager Clint Hurdle said Monday. “When that happens, we don’t know. We want to prepare him for a starting role, see how the season plays out, see where he can fit and what he can add. Everybody’s vision down the road is for this man to post up and become a regular player in the Pirates’ lineup.”

Kang played shortstop in South Korea ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: jung ho kang, pirates

How Golden State constraints forced Giants GM Sabean to build his roster a different way

“In some ways we’ve found … to entice a free agent to come to San Francisco, we’re almost in an overpay situation,” Sabean said. “...So why get involved with those kinds of (players) when you won’t be able to tow the load money wise?”

“We’re not a team that’s going to overspend. We’re not going to bump the luxury tax. Having said that, we’re very much on a cash flow basis. We’re budgeted into the future. And if you look at our future commitments, they’re quite ...

Read More...
boteman Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, payroll tax, sabeanmetrics

Rob Manfred: 154 games possible

Baseball is more popular than ever. Let’s have less of it.

In his first days as Major League Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred has been open to considering making changes to help make the sport more marketable.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’d be willing to consider a shorter, 154-game season if there was enough interest for it.
Proving that nothing is off the table, Manfred said Monday that he would entertain shortening the regular season if there was interest in doing so.

“I don’t think ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 136 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred, schedule

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-24-2015

Red Sox third baseman Larry Gardner, quoted in the Toledo News-Bee, February 24, 1915:

The funniest thing I ever saw on a baseball field was a pitcher sliding clear past third base and spiking a coacher, and at the same time preventing his team from making what might have been considered a serious error.
...
[After a fly out to center, while the runner on second was heading for third base, Browns pitcher Bill] Bailey came tearing across to back up the third baseman. Just as he reached the base ...

Read More...
Dan Lee tips his cap respectfully to JackVincennes Posted: February 24, 2015 at 07:57 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Baseball’s Fight With Fatigue - WSJ

Who would think I’d be using the word “innovation” to describe the Marlins.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 06:53 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, innovation, mariners, marlins

Monday, February 23, 2015

ESPN: The Great Analytics Rankings

ESPN rates every sports organization on its use of analytics.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2015 at 06:46 PM | 163 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

MLB considers spinning off its powerful streaming business

Current proposals would see MLB.com and baseball ticketing — both currently under the MLBAM umbrella — stay with Major League Baseball, while the entire streaming business would be split off. It’s big now, but only getting bigger, based on what MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the Journal.

Swedish Chef Posted: February 23, 2015 at 05:30 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mlbam, mlbtv

AROd Arrives at Spring Training Early

As noted in these august pages, Yankees stick of SEO dynamite Alex Rodriguez on Monday reported to camp three days early. A-Rod, of course, sat out the entire 2014 season while serving a suspension related to the Biogenesis scandal and the dark arts thereof.

Anyhow, as you might expect action-news photographers were air-lifted to the scene once word got out that A-Rod was at spring training. Let’s have a look at their outputs, shall we? Come for the search terms, stay for the banality—banality ...

Read More...
Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: February 23, 2015 at 05:04 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

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