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Sunday, March 19, 2017

OTP 20 March 2017: This fighter for civil rights has baseball in her DNA

An interview with Bay Area activist and baseball fanatic Sunny Schwartz.

The S.F. Giants are gutsy and sincerely community-minded. They not only put money where their mouth is but they put their principles in action. They raised awareness of our [restorative justice] program. Graduates from our program stood shoulder-to-shoulder with survivors of violence in the ballpark before a game, saying they’d do the right thing. The Giants also took on AIDS awareness in the early ’90s. Today that ...

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BDC Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:58 PM | 2031 comment(s)
  Beats: activism, ballpark weddings, giants, politics

Big Read: Inside the Toronto Blue Jays’ high performance department - Sportsnet.ca

There are no more pumps for Pearce, who signed with the Blue Jays this off-season after stops with five other major league teams. He’s found they do things a bit differently in Toronto. That’s thanks to the Blue Jays’ high performance department, an interdisciplinary collection of specialists covering everything from strength and conditioning to psychology. It’s an all-encompassing collective the Blue Jays hope will provide each and every player in the organization, from the teenager at ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 01:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, sports science

Trio of top prospects head to minor league camp with visions of ‘World Series,” completing Phillies’ rebuild | PhillyVoice

Young Phillies on the way.

“That’s a great compliment – he’s going to be one of the best in the game soon,” Crawford said of Coghlan’s comparison to Russell, a first-round pick in 2012, the year before Crawford was drafted. “He just told me that he liked how I handled myself, how I went about my business. I really thank him for going out of his way to come talk to me. I’ve never had anyone like that, a veteran guy (doing that). I took it to heart and I can’t thank him ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: j.p. crawford, phillies, prospects

Pirates top prospect Austin Meadows getting major-league ‘vibe’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It’s always tough making judgments on the outside but Andrew McCutchen seems like a really good guy.

“McCutchen told him, ‘Trust the process,’ “ Meadows’ father, Kenny, recalled. “Austin took that to heart. A lot of kids coming out of high school think they’re going to go right to the big leagues.”

Meadows, 21, isn’t there yet, but he’s no longer so far off. A non-roster invitee at major league camp this spring, he’s taken advantage of the extra at-bats available in the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

Gsellman doesn’t give an inch as Mets’ starter battle gets tight | New York Post

“It’s a great problem to have,” manager Terry Collins said. “We came into this camp knowing we have depth in the rotation. We didn’t know where Zack was going to be, but we felt with the other four guys and Robert and Seth, we had some depth here. And they have stepped up and shown us we weren’t wrong.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:43 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: gsellman, mets



How Kyle Schwarber’s blue-collar roots keep him grounded in Chicago

Some background on Kyle Schwarber.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber


So many of MLB’s 2015-16 megadeals are in deep trouble | New York Post

Who could have seen this coming?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 10:08 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Q&A with great-great-grandson of hot dog inventor

Parson: It was Opening Day 1901 at the Polo Grounds. The two major concessions items back then were ice cream and steamed peanuts. It was April and it was snowy and nasty, and he was not selling the ice cream. He had the idea to sell German sausages. It turned out they ran out of the waxed paper that the sausages were wrapped in, but still had sausages left. He thought quickly about how he was going to present the remaining sausages and told his errand boy to get a bunch of small French rolls ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: concessions

Chapman trade afterthought is hitting way onto Yankees’ radar | New York Post

McKinney went 1-for-1 with a solo homer against the Orioles in a 5-4 loss at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Saturday.

In 15 games he is batting .412 (7-for-17) with three homers and seven RBIs.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Imagining the New Matt Harvey | FanGraphs Baseball

Eno Harris does not paint an optimistic view for Harvey if his old velocity doesn’t come back.

Could he throw his secondary pitches a lot more this year and pitch backwards? Perhaps, though Tim Lincecum once admitted that that sort of thing wasn’t working for him once he lost his fastball velocity. The secondary pitches all rely on the fastball in some form or another.

We have done some research on what makes a changeup good — velocity differential and horizontal and vertical movement ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Nick Cafardo: A Cubs-Red Sox World Series? It’s not too early to talk about it

Other teams will have a say about that.

“That’s what sport is all about,” said Hurdle, a philosopher and motivator. “The ability to go out and play on grass. You don’t play on paper. It wasn’t a ‘monster’ until two years ago. There’s a lot of stories that were written over the winter. You’re writing about different players now. It’s a different story in Boston now.

“To compare things in life is one of the most dangerous things you can ever do. Be who you are. Know who ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Baseball Researcher: “How the Office Boy Saw the Ball Game”

This looks pretty interesting.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history, movies

USA beats Dominican Republic in WBC ‘17 | MLB.com

No work today so I got to watch Giancarlo Stanton’s homer when it happened.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 08:20 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican republic, giancarlo stanton, usa, wbc

Saturday, March 18, 2017

“Unlimited sushi” and optional practices (!) highlight Manny Ramirez’s new contract in Japan

The details of his new contract were just made public in a recent press conference and… [it] has some very specific perks that go along with it.
Among those benefits is “unlimited sushi” for the full span of the season, a hotel suite on road trips, his own personal Mercedes (with driver) and, in a nod to the “Manny Being Manny” days of old, practicing is “optional.”

PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2017 at 04:52 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: manny ramirez

Why Fantasy Baseball Remains a Dad-Friendly Zone

Another reason to not expect a change, people like me, who want a more realistic competition will play sim baseball games.

And that’s why fantasy may never need to adapt, no matter how statistically literate its audience grows. An online league isn’t really a refuge for late adopters who still see pitcher wins as a worthwhile statistic — they’re the marks that the stat-savvy players prey on. But in fantasy, the anachronistic numbers that in real life we’ve learned to discount are ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 11:13 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Yankees still give ‘very mature’ Jorge Mateo a big demotion | New York Post

Girardi said he spoke with Mateo on Friday before departing for Lakeland, where the Yankees visited the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium.

“I told him, ‘Wherever you go, it’s your job to go down and dominate because you’re a special talent,’ ’’ Girardi said. “In a way, it’s a real blessing to have the talent that he has, but it’s also a curse. [People] are always gonna watch every move you make, because they want to see what you’re gonna do.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 09:22 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jorge mateo, prospects, yankees

Mozeliak says Cardinals ‘open for business’ with Molina | Cardinal Beat | stltoday.com

Mozeliak was not taken aback by the summary he received — Bengie Molina said during a Sirius XM MLB Network Radio interview that Yadier Molina won’t hesitate to enter free agency if the catcher does not receive an extension he deems desirable.

“Can’t you say that about every player?” Mozeliak asked. “I don’t know what’s so weird about that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, yadier molina

New Socks, Same Road: The Emergence of Michael Kopech | 2080 Baseball

“Michael liked to hold a ball in his hand before he could walk, but became nearly obsessed with baseball in T-ball. Although I thought when he was born that I was going to have a law partner, he quickly debunked that idea and told me at 4 years old that he was going to be a professional baseball player. From that moment on, I became his coach,” Kopech’s dad shared via email.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: michael kopech, prospects, white sox

David Wright sheds light on laborious shoulder rehab process | New York Post

This doesn’t sound good.

“When I first started throwing I could tell it was just not right because I never had that sharp, shooting pain going into my shoulder like that,’’ Wright admitted. “There’s just no way of doing what I’m capable of doing at third base and being productive for this team with the pain.’’

Wright referred to this problem as a bump in the road. I asked him: Is this a bump in the road or the end of the road?

“I mean, I’m just doing what the doctors are ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, injuries, mets

The Dawn of Athlete Endorsements

There is only one case of record where ball players received a large remuneration for acting as models for an advertisement. Those players were Capt. Ewing and ‘Old Man’ Anson. It was before the Brotherhood War, when Ewing was in the very zenith of his glory. A certain ale manufacturing concern wanted a taking ad. for its goods and decided that a base ball picture was the best thing. So when the Chicagos came to New York this firm arranged for Ewing and Anson to sit in front of a tent on ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Rays, Reds lead Statcast outfield highlights | MLB.com

If you like great catches, Statcast has found some of the best.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

US faces Dominican Republic in WBC ‘17 | MLB.com

It’s payback time for the United States. Team USA will send Danny Duffy to the mound. The Dominican Republic will counter with Ervin Santana in his first start of the tournament.
“It’s going to be a great game [Saturday],” Jones said. “We are going to bring what we got. We are facing Ervin Santana, somebody that is familiar with most of the players, so we will give it all we got and they are going to give it all they got. Hopefully, it’s a great game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:04 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican republic, usa, wbc

Puerto Rico reaches WBC ‘17 semifinals | MLB.com

“They’re doing a lot of things right right now,” said Team USA manager Jim Leyland after Friday’s game. “They’re a very good team. They play the game right. They play a combination of big ball and small ball, and you tip your hat to them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:02 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: puerto rico, usa

Dodgers Prospect Cody Bellinger Has Limitless Potential

Another next big thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers, prospects

High cost of the heater Fastball mania not good for baseball

A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.

There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects who clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, injuries, pitching

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Best Irish Ballplayers of All Time

#1 Troy O’Leary!

There have been 48 Irish-born ballplayers in the major leagues (Baseball Reference lists 47 of them, but inexplicably leaves off their list the appropriately nicknamed Henry “Irish” McIlveen, who was born in Belfast and played for the Pirates and Yankees from 1906 to 1909). First-generation Irish-Americans, men who were born in the United States but grew up in the Irish immigrant milieu, make up an even larger number. But the farther we get from the massive Irish ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:41 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: irish

Michael Pineda learned English the hard way

“The hardest thing for me is when the media uses big words because I don’t know those words,” Pineda says. “I didn’t understand the questions.”

It is not so much that Pineda could have saved himself—he repeatedly said he was trying to get a better grip—but he could have been less petrified and more nuanced in his defense. The press—which itself could have more Spanish speakers—is not faultless, either.

As for why and how the pine tar found its way to Pineda’s neck in the first place, well, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: english, michael pineda

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