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Friday, April 01, 2016

Baseball statistics: Spring forward | The Economist

I’ve never been one to accept the broad sabermetric pronouncements. In this case, I’ve always kept my eye on spring training and when I notice someone with a great stat line, I wonder, “Why?” Is there something different? Did the pitcher learn a new pitch? Has a batter made some kind of discernible adjustment? If I can find something I’ll take a flyer on the player. If I can’t, I ignore it. Not every guy I’ve picked up has panned out, but enough of them did to make the effort worthwhile.

Yet in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 07:46 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

LOOK: Mike Trout and a tale of love and deceit lead to a great prank

As you’re about to see, Angels warhorse Jered Weaver and outfielder/sun god Mike Trout leveraged the occasion of April Fool’s Day to hurtle staff ace Garrett Richards into a seeming broth of romantic tensions. The result was a palpably uncomfortable Richards and a pretend relationship shattered like commode dropped from space ...

Meatwad Posted: April 01, 2016 at 05:40 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: april fools, garrett richards, mike trout

Dale Murphy on Brycer Harper & Bautista

Dale Murphy was talking with his wife Nancy about this supposed rift between generations. You probably have heard something about it. Bryce Harper wants the game to be more fun, livelier, with more feeling expressed, with bat flips and fist pumps and raw emotion. A few other younger players have said similar things either with words or, in the case of Jose Bautista, with an epic bat flip for the ages.
And in the last couple of weeks, a couple of great players from my childhood — Goose Gossage ...

Read More...

All about the base | Nepali Times Buzz | Nepali Times

How could they not love the game?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 12:15 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: nepal

Are Rays sacrificing defense for offense? | Tampa Bay Times

The proper valuation of players is key for turns like this one.

The key to any success the Rays have had, specifically in their run of making the playoffs four times in six years, has been based on dominant pitching and dazzling defense.

But the net result of adding those bats was trading two key pitchers, high-end reliever Jake McGee and Nathan Karns from their starting depth, then this week ditching two slick fielders, catcher Rene Rivera and first baseman James Loney.

Baseball operations ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 11:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Jonathan Schoop proving power is for real | MLB.com

You can probably still buy low.

All of this is important because a roster that also contains slugging stars like Jones, Chris Davis and Manny Machado makes it easy for Schoop to be overlooked, but there’s an argument to be made that if healthy, he’ll be baseball’s best power-hitting second baseman in 2016. After all, his 484.5 foot homer off of Johnny Cueto on Aug. 26 was the third-longest home run measured by Statcast™ all season long, and one of the two ahead required help from Coors Field.

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 11:17 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: jonathan schoop, orioles

Baseball’s Chipper Jones Puts Sprawling Double Dime Ranch on the Market - WSJ

Anyone looking to resettle?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 10:38 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chipper jones

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-1-2016

Toledo News-Bee, April 1, 1916:

President Weeghman announced on Friday that the Federal league pennant, won by his Chicago Whales, will be raised at the Cub park. Regular flag raising ceremonies, bands, parade and speechmaking will accompany the event, which will be held probably in July.

Does anyone know if this actually happened, and if so, how long it flew? A quick googling was unsuccessful.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 01, 2016 at 09:55 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Time is ripe for MLB to make decisions about return to Montreal | FOX Sports

Of course they would. I bet they would also like all the public financing information private as well.

Certainly, MLB would prefer that sensitive communications about securing a franchise remain confidential. But there’s an added layer of legitimacy to be gained through public vetting, even if the information put forward is (at least initially) short on particulars. The transparency will become more important as the probable request for public financing nears. (Of note, Quebec’s provincial ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2016 at 09:44 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: franchise relocation, montreal

2016 New York City Softball Game

Looks like it will be August 20th this year.

Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: April 01, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: community, meetups, new york, skillz

Gizmodo - Bryan Menegus: The Reason Baseball Bats Break is More Complicated Than You Think

Consider the following: baseball bats are made of wood, and being a natural material, wood has certain innate structural flaws. One of the most popular bat woods—ash—has porous holes that run along the grain (grain being those different colored lines that result from a tree’s growth rings). Lots of tiny holes creates weakness, and weakness can cause bats to break, which is why manufacturers put their logos perpendicular to the grain on ash bats.

However, Barry Bonds caused a boom in ...

Read More...
Lassus Posted: April 01, 2016 at 08:49 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Borges: In David Ortiz vs. Ted Williams, the edge goes to Ted

For the majority of Red Sox fans, Ted Williams stands alone. He is not only the greatest hitter in team history, he is arguably the greatest hitter who ever lived. It is a goal he once set for himself, one many in baseball believe he achieved. Who would quarrel with that?

Perhaps the newest generation of Sox fans, the millennials, for whom 10 years ago is considered the Pleistocene Epoch? To them, no one ever has swung the bat or ruled the Sox like David Ortiz. He is their Ted, with better ...

Read More...
Wahoo Sam Posted: March 31, 2016 at 06:11 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: boston red sox, david ortiz, ted williams

The Baseball Historian: The Cardinals Way: A Review

I’ve read about a third of the book and I’m enjoying it very much.



So You Want to Eat Well at the Game… – The Hardball Times

So you’re planning a trip, a baseball trip. And you’ve got your place to stay and your tickets to the game, and not a lot of bandwidth left for the specifics of where you will eat. That’s the small stuff, not worth sweating. That’s what you say now.

Except! Good food is great. I submit it’s way, way better than bad food. Bad food is almost not worth eating. And when you’re hungry, and then you remember that you didn’t do any prep work to find that great food, that’s when you ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 02:10 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: food

In Baseball, a Regular Lineup Nears Extinction - WSJ

The average MLB team used 128 different starting lineup combinations in 2015, excluding the pitcher’s spot in National League parks, according to Stats LLC. It was the highest such figure on records that date to 1974 and likely the highest ever, given the prevailing trends in the sport.

The Astros led the majors in that category, never using the same lineup more than twice. That was partly because of the promotion of rookies such as shortstop Carlos Correa, who initially batted sixth before ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 02:03 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: fatigue, lineups

Using Markov Chains to Predict Pitches | Exploring Baseball Data with R

This is some great stuff that every team should already have.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 01:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Miller to pitch through injury, Mitchell out with broken toe - NY Daily News

Miller plans to do more than survive. The southpaw’s intentions are to pitch through the injury, using some padding in his glove to protect the injured area.

“It’s my right hand; I don’t really need it,” said Miller, who will see a hand specialist sometime in the next few days. “I don’t see any reason I cant work around it unless for some reason the doctor tells me I have to protect it for some reason that we don’t foresee. I plan to be able to manipulate my glove around it and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 01:51 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, yankees

MLB—Ranking the top 10 MLB teams heading into 2016

ESPN’s season preview, including some work from Dan Szymborski.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 01:48 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

WHAT EVERY TEAM WOULD LOOK LIKE IF TRADES WERE NEVER ALLOWED

One morning, Commissioner Manfred wakes up and decides that everyone has to go home.

He makes a few calls. He assembles a phalanx of lawyers. He deposes the owners who oppose his idea, and he tinkles on the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the end, he wins. His idea rearranges every roster in baseball.

This is his idea: Every player in baseball has to return to their first team. David Ortiz has to go back to the Mariners, who signed him in 1992. He’ll be joined by Alex Rodriguez. They’ll ...

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Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 31, 2016 at 12:13 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: rosters

Braves name John Schuerholz as vice chairman, Mike Plant as president, development and Derek Schiller as president, business

Atlanta Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk has announced several organizational changes, as the team prepares to close out Turner Field in 2016 and move into SunTrust Park in 2017. Team president John Schuerholz has been named Vice Chairman, while Executive Vice President Mike Plant has been named President, Development and Executive Vice President Derek Schiller has been named as President, Business. The new titles are effective immediately.

President of Baseball Operations John Hart will ...

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Rickey! met her in a hotel lobby... Posted: March 31, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Full Count » Travis Shaw beats out Pablo Sandoval for Red Sox’ starting 3B job

Pablo can either whine about it or work though it. We’ll see how he responds.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 11:11 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox, travis shaw

Thin Air Equals High Pressure, at Least for Rockies Pitchers

Rob Neyer piece in the New York Times.

djordan Posted: March 31, 2016 at 10:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: neyer, rockies

Travis Shaw wins Boston Red Sox starting third base job; Pablo Sandoval to start year on bench

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that Travis Shaw will be the Opening Day starting third baseman and that defense was the deciding factor.

Pablo Sandoval will begin the year on the bench as a backup despite being in the second year of a five-year, $95-million contract.

Sandoval has made four errors in 26 total chances during spring training. Shaw has gone errorless in 49 total chances. Sandoval told reporters he wasn’t surprised:

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox, travis shaw

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-31-2016

Pittsburgh Press, March 31, 1916:

Strawberry shortcake was blamed by Manager Tinker of the Cubs for the many defeats handed to the team, according to statements he made [at New Orleans] today. Tinker says the chef at the training camp told that Cubs were eating double orders of the pastry. “Next year it will be tabooed,” said Tinker.

Yeah, well, it figures that Johnny Evers’s mortal enemy would be opposed to the ingestion of junk food.

100 years ago today in saddled burro news, Pat’s Corral in ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 31, 2016 at 09:30 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dugout, history, joe tinker

MLB Draft Bites (Week 3): Enter the Prep Prospects | 2080 Baseball

Reports on some high school prospects.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 08:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: draft prospects

Wrigleyville - KNOW YOUR (2016) ENEMY: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

People aren’t very high on the Cardinals. I’m not ready to write them off.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, previews

Where we stand with muddled Yankees bullpen picture | New York Post

This was not a good day for the Yankees.

After the game, in which relievers Andrew Miller and Bryan Mitchell were injured, Girardi was waiting on test results and still not sure what his pen looked like.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 08:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew miller, bryan mitchell, injuries, yankees

Once ‘the next Cal Ripken,’ former prospect Brandon Wood begins his career as a manager | For The Win

Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical. ~ Yogi Berra

Wood now recognizes that anxiety, more than any physical limitations, prevented him from Major League success.

“On opening day, 2010, when I started at third base for the Angels, something just came over my body,” he remembered. “I was light-headed. I felt like I was going to fall over — no control of my body parts. Looking back, it’s because I wasn’t breathing. I’d go probably 90 seconds without taking a ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 06:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon wood

This Is a Garrett Richards Changeup | FanGraphs Baseball

Garrett Richards might be ready to break out even bigger.

Richards listened to Street and then worked the recommended changeup into a bullpen. That led to using it in games, first against minor leaguers. He used it heavily in an intrasquad game, and while I don’t know how often he used the pitch Tuesday, it’s certainly been getting plenty of work. That 92 above might be an outlier — the linked article says the changeup tends to hang around 88-90. As you might’ve been able to predict, an ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 06:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, garrett richards

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