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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sports orthopaedic pioneer and Dodger physician Dr. Frank Jobe passes away

Dr. Frank Jobe, who has served the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization for the past 50 years and who was a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died this morning in Santa Monica at the age of 88, his family announced.

Jobe is survived by his wife, Beverly, four sons-Christopher, Meredith, Cameron and Blair-their spouses and eight grandchildren.

“Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word,” said Dodger President Stan Kasten. “His dedication and professionalism in not only ...

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Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:33 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history

THT: Jackson: The hustling Russells

If not for a bad rotator cuff, Kurt Russell might never have given us the film classic, Used Cars.

That 30-man roster allowed for a bit of nepotism. So Russell, in 1973, saved a roster spot for his son. Having been a movie and TV actor since the late 1950s, Kurt Russell was no stranger to many Mavericks fans. In fact, he was no stranger to the Northwest League. After he signed with the Angels in 1971, they assigned him to their Northwest League team in Bend, Ore. As a switch-hitting second ...

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Bruce Markusen Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:06 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Lindbergh: The Duracell GM Generation?

H/T Sam Bialosky

We’ve seen current general managers tied to tabloid scandals, lousy public predictions, the fallout from disastrous contracts, and on-the-record allegations of front-office incompetence. Yet the last time a GM lost his job, the Astros had just dropped 100 games for the first time, the Marlins were in the midst of a spending spree, and Mike Trout had a .672 career OPS. Homeland was locking up all the Emmys. It was a different world.

On Twitter and talk radio, it’s still ...

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JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 06:23 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals closing in on long-term extension

6/50 seems like a good deal all around.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 06, 2014 at 03:38 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

OtM: Don Orsillo takes batting practice, is predictably awkward

As Howard Cosell once said when a camera shot showed Chuck Tanner picking his nose…“Not a pretty sight.”

Don Orsillo is a wonderful announcer. For my proverbial money, he’s one of the best in the baseball, and I’m continually shocked he hasn’t moved on from NESN and the Red Sox to a more high-profile, permanent national gig. It’s good that he hasn’t, though, because now we have this Vine of Orsillo taking batting practice down at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers…

...He looks like he’s dressed for ...

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Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: media, red sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 6, 1914:

Big Ed Walsh may not be seen in the pitcher’s box this season. The heavyweight twirler of the Whitesox declares that unless he rounds into form by the opening of the season, he will either quit the game cold and go into some other line of business or else will make an attempt to work at first base.

He wasn’t in shape at the start of the season and he never played first base. Walsh made his 1914 debut on June 30, had a spectacular July (4 GS, 3 CG, 1 SHO, 33 IP, ...

Read More...

Daugherty: MVP possible for Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce could have an MVP year. He really could. He’ll be 27 next month. This will be his seventh big-league season. He’s at the epicenter of his prime. It’s time.

Bruce has had MVP stretches, weeks and months when the Reds rode him like Secretariat. He has had full seasons of MVP-quality defense. His arm is a game changer. The potential to be a special player is there, and up to now just out of reach.

It’s strange to expect more from a player whose traditional power numbers have ...

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Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Chelsea Handler Rips A-Rod, Calls Him ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Gross,’ And ‘A Buffoon’

Woke up, it was a Chelsea dagger…

Handler said on “The Howard Stern Show” on Wednesday that Rodriguez recently approached the actress and asked, “Chelsea, why are you gonna make fun of me all the time?”

Handler, as expected, wasn’t shy about telling the truth.

“Get away from me, I think you’re disgusting,” the author told A-Rod.

She also told the slugger that he’s “gross.” And it didn’t end there.

The three-time American League MVP said, “Why am I gross?” ...

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Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 07:02 AM | 282 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

RetroSimba: Battle of wills: Bob Gibson, Gene Mauch play hardball

If Tim McCarver was awake he’d pass out.

Aiming higher, Baldschun hit Gibson in the thigh with the next pitch. Gibson flipped the bat underhanded toward the pitcher. Baldschun caught it with his glove hand. Harvey immediately ejected Gibson.

Said Harvey to The Sporting News: “He had a lethal weapon out there. I’m happy to say Gibson did not throw the bat violently. But he did throw it to the mound.”

“I wasn’t trying to hit him with the bat, but I was mad, hurt and just plain ...

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Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 06:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Neyer: How does all this new baseball technology affect real-life scouting?

Last Saturday in Boston, I was in the crowd for the public unveiling of MLBAM’s latest contribution to Big Data: a camera-and-radar-based system that tracks not only the baseball, but also every player on the field in great detail. I’m sure you’re familiar with PITCHf/x; well, that soon will be gone, replaced by this new system that doesn’t yet have a name (Jay Jaffe suggests OMGf/x, which is probably as good as anything else). Watching MLBAM’s presentation at the MIT-Sloan Sports ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:22 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, rob neyer, sabermetrics

Rick Ankiel will retire

An interesting career. I’m sure he’ll be a fine coach if he wants to be.

BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: March 05, 2014 at 05:57 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, nationals

Grant: Five things I think I think about Ian Kinsler going scorched earth on Texas Rangers

If there is a point to [Ian] Kinsler’s rant worth noting, I think it is that [Jon] Daniels and his staff got a little too close to players early on in his tenure as a GM. Mistake of youth. Daniels was in his late 20s and an age-contemporary of many of these guys and made them feel more like partners than employees. Baseball players are still employees and as you get more experience in a management role, you realize that you have to keep your distance more from players. Hopefully Daniels and ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: ian kinsler, michael young, rangers

AA: An interview with former Mets stat guru Ben Baumer, Part 1

Professor Benjamin Baumer. Dig it!

You were brought into the Mets organization in 2004 and left in 2012. What was the adjustment like for your first season? How did your role evolve over the years?

The Mets, like most teams at the time, never really had anyone working full-time on statistical analysis, so there wasn’t any statistical infrastructure in place when I arrived. Moneyball had just been published (in 2003), and so they were probably ahead of the curve in hiring someone to do ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 5, 1914:

Following is the personnel of an all-star baseball team picked by 11 scribes in the major league cities:

Catcher - James Archer, Chicago National league.
Pitchers - Walter Johnson, Washington, American League; Napoleon Rucker, Brooklyn, National league.
First Baseman - Jacob Daubert, Brooklyn, National league.
Second Baseman - Edward Collins, Philadelphia, American league.
Third Baseman - Fred [sic] Baker, Philadelphia, American league.
Shortstop - John Barry, ...

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Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 05, 2014 at 09:07 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s)
  Beats: lies, politics, war

Castrovince: Shift is on: Odd defensive alignments the new norm

The Rays no longer retain an edge in this particular defensive department. If anything, their shifting strategy is the new norm, a practice employed by everyone from up-and-coming to established managers. Because whether you’re analyzing the statistics or the employment practices in Major League Baseball today, one thing is clear:

The shift is on.

As far as the metrics are concerned, the numbers of defensive shifts on balls in play tracked by Baseball Info Solutions’ (BIS) video studies over ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

It’s hard to translate Cuban statistics, but Jose Abreu looks good

The Merriam-Webster scouting service nearly nails it: “We seated ourselves on the Davenport while we waited for Abreu to get ready.”

Nonetheless, analyst Clay Davenport long has tracked Cuban baseball at claydavenport.com. He also has worked on translating Cuban stats to MLEs.

That’s of special interest to White Sox fans, with Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu being the biggest offseason acquisition by either Chicago team. Playing for Cienfuegos in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Abreu had only 136 ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

McClellan: No more ‘Cardinal Way,’ please

Bernie bicker staff at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?

I picked up the paper the other day, and turned, as I usually do, to the Sports section. Ah, good. There was a column by my friend and colleague, Bernie Miklasz. Here was the headline: “Shortstop Peralta adjusting quickly to Cardinal Way.”

I was hoping we were done with that. I don’t remember hearing much about the Cardinal Way until last postseason. The series against the Los Angeles Dodgers was framed as a morality play. The Dodgers ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:17 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Kornacki: Dirks expected to miss three months after back surgery

Time for some injury problems in Detroit.

Andy Dirks, a left-handed hitter who figured to get most of the at-bats in a platoon with right-handed Rajai Davis, is scheduled to have back surgery on Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday the microdiscectomy, which will be performed on the lumbar region in his lower back by Dr. Thomas Tolli, will require three weeks of “complete rest” followed by three weeks of therapy. He said Dirks would then require ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Speier: Reliefonomics: Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop offers a different outlook

Badenhop acknowledges bad hops.

Of all the soundtracks that have greeted a reliever on the commute from the bullpen to the mound, it’s safe to suggest that the Freakonomics podcast has never been employed. Though an unabashed fan of the series, new Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop is unlikely to buck that trend. Yet in his own way, the right-hander—who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics from Bowling Green University—might make an intriguing subject for the series…

Badenhop’s ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:21 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, burke badenhop, marlins, rays, red sox, sabermetrics

WaPo: For Washington Nationals, there are eyes, deep flies and statistics

Gruntsters unite!

“There are so many different stats out there nowadays I honestly don’t even know half the time,” reliever Tyler Clippard said. “I read articles, and I don’t even know what these guys are talking. fWAR-plus or ERA+, I don’t even know what those things mean. And I don’t really care to because I’m kind of like old-school-type mind-set where I just go out there and do well, and all that other weird statistical stuff will fall into place.”

...Mentioning some ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:47 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: nats, sabermetrics

MLBPA watching Mets’ payroll

New players’ union chief Tony Clark did not use the harsh language his predecessors sometimes did when discussing the New York Mets’ paltry payroll, but he indicated there is an awareness of the lack of spending.

The Mets enter the season with roughly an $87 million payroll, which is estimated to be seventh-lowest in MLB, despite playing in the game’s largest market.

“Let me offer you this: If there are concerns, what often ends up happening is we have an opportunity, along with Major League ...

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attaboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, new york mets, union

Joe Namath calls Derek Jeter an ‘angel’

Derek Jeter has been described in a variety of ways during his career.

Joe Namath brought something new Monday.

“Knowing the scrutiny that he’s had over the years,” the Jets Hall of Famer said at Yankees camp, “I can’t imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He’s to be respected for every phase of his life, it seems.” ...

“Over the years, I’ve learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I’ve only heard wonderful ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:25 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, football, nfl, religion, yankees

Ian Kinsler calls Jon Daniels ‘sleazeball,’ hopes Rangers go 0-162

Being Ian. Get a gripp.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler spent the first eight years of his big-league career with the Rangers, but he was traded to the Tigers this past offseason in a blockbuster deal that sent Prince Fielder to Texas. And now, in an article set to be in ESPN Magazine March 17, Kinsler has spoken his mind about his former ballclub. It’s juicy. It’s a quality read and long-form, so hop on over there to read the whole thing if interested.

Some of the highlights:

•“There was no ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, tigers

Clemens will say farewell to Jeter at ceremony in Houston

Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen. Roger Clemens is standing right in Derek Jeter’s gift box!

The first stop on the Derek Jeter Long Goodbye Tour will be in Houston the opening series of the season. It should be one memorable tribute, especially when you consider who will be taking a large part in the event — Roger Clemens.

“Roger is going to be driving the bus,’’ Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told The Post Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. “I’m sure it will be something ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:12 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yankees

SCD: Upper Deck’s ‘Find the Reggie’ Launched Chase Card Craze

I have a banded pile of these Reggie cards sitting next to a load of empty Les Soldats de Plomb boxes.

However, Upper Deck was able to take this concept and bring it to a whole new level beginning with its ‘high number’ cases in 1990.

It forged a deal with Reggie Jackson to include a special “Heroes” subset with the big hook being randomly inserted autographed cards. Jackson autographed and numbered 2,500 copies in the ‘Find the Reggie’ promotion that helped push sales.  There ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:00 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-4-2014

Rock Island Argus, March 4, 1914:

The Three Eye baseball fields may be shy on the cattle range stuff this season. Announcement is made that the big cut out bulls of the Bull Durham company may be taken out of the fields…

The players may be shy considerable real money and tons of smoking tobacco because of the pleasurable and profitable pastime - hitting the bull - and lofting homers over the fences. Word has been received…that the tobacco company is contemplating giving up this form of ...

Read More...
Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:38 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Perry: It’s time for Cubs to lock up Jeff Samardzija

And life after lock up to follow…

For his career, the 29-year-old has pitched to a 97 ERA+ in 189 games, 66 of which have been starts. Since becoming a full-time member of the rotation prior to the 2012 season, Samardzija has logged an ERA of 4.10 in 388 1/3 innings, and he’s recorded more than three times as many strikeouts as unintentional walks.

Beyond that, Samardzija last season showed signs of skills growth. To wit, he maintained strong strikeout percentages while also cutting down on ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:57 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Bill Buckner retires from baseball

about 28 years too late.

Bill Buckner was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. He made his major-league debut the next season. For many of the past 44 summers, Buckner has been in uniform — playing, managing or coaching.

Not this summer.

Buckner, 64, announced Monday he is retiring from baseball after two summers as the Hawks hitting coach.

“Just too much time away,” he told the Idaho Statesman. “My wife has put up with it for 30-something years.”

Buckner said he kicked ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

NYT: Waldstein: Yankees May Finally Come Out Ahead in the Trade for Pineda

TAMPA, Fla. — At the time of the trade, one of the biggest of the winter before the 2012 season, both teams had every reason to be excited. The Seattle Mariners, in need of a hitter, had picked up Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ top prospect at the time, who many felt was a certain All-Star. The Yankees received Michael Pineda, a big, hard-throwing starting pitcher who had made the All-Star team as a rookie in 2011.

So far, the transaction is a wash — because neither team is happy with the ...

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Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:41 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

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