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Thursday, March 30, 2017

CENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA

I think this year we should make t-shirts.

The Central Park field for 10 AM on July 1st has been submitted for approval to the Parks Department, but not yet assigned.  We’re waiting to hear back.  It’s never been a problem as yet, so hopefully it won’t be this year as well.

Note: This is the same weekend as the massive SABR extravaganza in NYC.  I would expect all connections and all favors to be called in to get some retired MLB players or broadcast and basement-dwelling notables to come ...

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Lassus Posted: March 30, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 179 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Angels’ Mike Trout continues his remarkable start to the season with another home run

With 15 home runs and a league-high 1.218 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, Trout has exceeded even his own outlandish norms. Little about his game, though, seems to be demonstrably different than in years past. The most pronounced difference is his first-pitch swing percentage.

The rate has increased in recent years, but it’s taken another jump in 2017, from 12.2% for his career to 17.2% last year to 24.3% entering Tuesday’s game.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 24, 2017 at 06:01 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout, the rapture


Modern Baseball Writing | Articles | Bill James Online

Rob Neyer’s take on the current state of baseball writing.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2017 at 03:47 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball writers


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-24-2017

Pittsburgh Press, May 24, 1917:

The “wheatina ball” has made its appearance in the Central league, and batters claim that it is as difficult to hit as the “emery ball,” which has been barred. Pitcher Cummins, of the Ft. Wayne club, is accused of using it by players on opposing teams. They allege that he carries a pocket filled with crushed grains of wheat, and that the sap in the wheat gives his fingers a powerful grip on the ball, causing it to break freakishly as it passes over the rubber.

Ah, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 24, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Scouting Shohei Otani

A fairly detailed look at Shohei Otani:

Do scouts for MLB teams think Otani can be a two-way player? For four out of five scouts, there was some hemming and hawing. They all like him as a batter – especially the left-handed power. They all love him as a pitcher. The fifth scout, though, is willing to dream.

“I’ve never said this about a player, but I believe he can be a two-way player,” the scout said. “There are good-hitting pitchers like Madison Bumgarner and Greg Maddux, but this ...

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How a Defensive Leap Has Fueled the Twins’ First-Place Run

It’s in the third phase of the game, defense, that the 2017 Twins exhibit signs of a remarkable turnaround. Last year, the Twins supplemented a bad pitching staff with a porous defense, which ranked 28th or 29th in MLB by all three major advanced defensive metrics. This year, the staff is just as poor, but it’s supported by a defense that leads the majors with 27 defensive runs saved — no other team exceeds 17 — and ranks second in fielding runs above average and third in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, twins

Where Did the Great Hollywood Baseball Movie Go?

The silent spaces in baseball used to be filled in by novelists and filmmakers. They supplied quick-witted, slang-driven repartee that felt both revelatory and reassuring for dugout conversations and meetings on the mound. The makers of films like 1989’s “Major League” and 1988’s “Eight Men Out” gave us the thoughts of the batters as they dug into the box, the catcher’s mantras and occasional trash talk, the umpire’s endless exasperation. And while all that may have been ...

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Jered Weaver’s hometown discount was a cautionary tale

There was a three-year stretch when Jered Weaver was one of the best pitchers in baseball, with top-five Cy Young finishes in each of those seasons. In an era of wacky strikeout rates, he was one of the purest artists of the weak-contact genre, keeping his WHIP near the 1.0 mark the whole time, even as he wasn’t blowing hitters away.

In the middle of this stretch, Weaver signed a team-friendly extension. How team friendly?

No one from (Scott) Boras’ office attended Tuesday’s media ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 02:06 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hometown discount, jered weaver



Rangers’ Nomar Mazara shares his life story | MLB.com

Good stuff here.

It didn’t take me long to realize I needed to learn English, too. I remember sitting in the middle of meetings during my first year in the U.S. not knowing what any of the coaches were saying. I was so lost, so I started asking my teammates for help.

Joey Gallo was my guy. I would tell him things like, “Every day, you’re going to tell me one word so I can repeat it and repeat it, over and over, so I can learn. And then the next day, you’re going to teach me another one. So like ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, rangers

The curveball’s resurgence is changing starting pitching | SI.com

Although blowing a fastball by someone is a lot of fun, there is nothing like buckling a hitter’s legs by dropping a big curve right over the plate.

Said one NL general manager, “Three teams have become big, big believers in the combination of high fastballs and curveballs: the Astros, Dodgers and Rays. Those teams are heavy into analytics. The game is changing away from the sinker/cutter/slider guys.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-23-2017

A letter to Grantland Rice, via the Harrisburg Telegraph, May 23, 1917:

Dear Sir: It has been suggested that we economize and cut out surplus padding…Why not the one syllable lineup in these days of restriction? I hereby nominate the following:

Catchers—Schang and Schalk.
Pitchers—Ruth, Shore, Schupp, Smith, Coombs, Bush.
First base—Chase.
Second base—Pratt.
Shortstop—Scott.
Third base—Groh.
Outfield—Cobb, Wheat, Burns.

Rice responds with a “three or more syllables team”:

Catchers—Nunamaker, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 23, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

How Many More Years? – Joe Blogs – Medium

Before the 2001 season, Nomah’s agent Scott Boras did a statistical study on his client. The study estimated that Garciaparra would hit .336 for his career and finish with more than 3,500 hits and 500 home runs. Yes, it’s true, that statistical study had an excel column for “wishful thinking,” and another labeled “hard to keep a straight face.” But it was true that Garciaparra at that point was a lifetime .333 hitter and that he had more than 800 hits. Big numbers were in play.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 10:29 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, nomar garciaparra

Ruben and Jon, v.5. | Texas Rangers Blog | The Newberg Report

Ruben Amaro?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 09:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Trying times for John Farrell as Boston Red Sox manager | FOX Sports

The goal for any organization should be to employ one of the best managers. Finding a great manager, of course, is easier said than done. To get to a great manager you don’t want to be firing a manager every year or so; you want some stability. At this point, though, Farrell is clearly not a great manager. He’s had sufficient time to show that he isn’t. The million dollar question, who could you replace him with?

The excuses for the Sox, though, go only so far — all teams deal with injuries, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 09:11 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: john farrell, red sox

Matt Harvey studies past success and discovers arm slot issue in recent troubles | Newsday

Is this really true? Six inches higher? How does a pitching coach not notice a change like this?

“Looking at video from successful starts that I’ve had in the past, we found out that my arm slot was like six inches higher [than in previous years],’’ Harvey said Sunday. “Not this past start, but the previous ones. It kind of dated back to last year when I had some issues with my rib and I couldn’t throw from my normal arm slot because of the injury.”

“So I think I probably got ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 08:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Curiosity Might Kill the Home-Run Spike | FanGraphs Baseball

Adjust, then adjust to the adjustments.

It appeared at one point as though the most popular counterpunch to the uppercut swing would be an increase of elevated four-seam fastballs. But we’re not seeing more teams follow the Tampa Bay model. In fact, according to Baseball Savant data, we’ve seen fewer four-seam fastballs thrown in the upper third of the zone and higher this year: an 8.8% rate this season compared to 9.9% in 2016 and 9.8% in 2015. Pitches down and below the zone have inched up ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2017 at 07:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Aaron Judge Gets His Own Rooting Section

Even the Babe didn’t get this:

The verdict is in: Rookie slugger Aaron Judge is getting his own rooting section at Yankee Stadium. Now in session, The Judge’s Chambers. Framed by faux wood paneling, covering three rows and fashioned to fit 18 fans wearing black judicial robes with the Yankees’ logo on the front and his No. 99 on the back, this court opened on Monday night.
.  .  .
New York hosting Kansas City was first on the docket. Looking like a jury box, ballpark style, with proper lettering ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 23, 2017 at 12:50 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, legal, new york yankees, yankee stadium

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Chicago Cubs’ Circle of Trust - WSJ

What about a Cone of Silence?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:42 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs


Gwinnett Braves plan to change team name for 2018 season, ask for fans help in naming contest

What about “Barves”?

“The Atlanta Braves are still currently the only major league team that owns the majority of their minor league teams and a major part of the Braves footprint and the Braves expanding their brand throughout the Southeast is to continue to have minor league teams use the Braves name,” Johnson said. “When the team was in Richmond, that made great sense. If you were going to a Braves game, you knew you weren’t going to Atlanta. You were definitely going to Richmond.

...
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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2017 at 02:46 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, gwinnett, mascot, minor league

Is John Farrell Officially On Hot Seat As Red Sox Manager? « CBS Boston

I’d expect them to get a more emotional manager to replace him. Farrell isn’t a bad manager; of course, he’s not a good one either.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2017 at 02:26 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: john farrell, red sox

Focus on Jeter should inspire memories of Garciaparra’s peak

“it’s as if Jeter stands alone as the shortstop talent for a generation.

It’s too bad, considering that Garciaparra was every bit the player Jeter was. And in his prime, he was better.

There’s no question that Jeter brings the superior career to a debate between the two. Injuries derailed what Garciaparra could become from a legacy standpoint, and cost him the Hall of Fame”

Shortstops with most seasons of 6+ WAR, debuting 1969+:

Name            Yrs From   To   Age ...
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DanG Posted: May 22, 2017 at 12:50 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame, nomar garciaparra, red sox, yankees

We road-tested MLB’s foray into VR game streaming | New York Post

When will this be a thing? The technology seems a long way away.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2017 at 10:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: technology

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2017

Tacoma Times, May 22, 1917:

Baseball trades are funny propositions.

A week ago the Tacoma team traded Ray Alexander, pitcher, and Toots Bankhead, outfielder, to the Seattle team for Kid McIvor, southpaw pitcher.

Bankhead refused to play for Seattle, and quit organized baseball by starting east. McIvor has a good job with a Seattle shipyard and refuses to come to Tacoma. He plays ball in the Seattle shipbuilding league.

I know it’s because I’m looking at it from the perspective of 2017, but it ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 22, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Terry Collins, Mets need to find way to relieve strain on bullpen | FOX Sports

A quality bullpen can’t exist when your starters are getting knocked out early every game.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2017 at 10:41 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets


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