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Monday, December 19, 2016

Is there any hope for baseball’s basement dwellers?

We know there’s hope for the teams that just finished in first place. But is there hope for the teams that just finished in last place?

We’ve spent the past week asking that question to people all over baseball, especially in the wake of this sport’s new labor deal. We exempted the Atlanta Braves, a team moving into a new ballpark. We also exempted the Minnesota Twins, a franchise that just installed what is essentially a whole new group at the top of its baseball operations department.

But ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2016 at 09:36 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, padres, rays, reds, tanking

OTP: 19 December 2016: The book about baseball that explains Donald Trump’s win

If there’s anything that the political market is full of, it’s inefficiencies. And the Trump team, to its credit, understood just that. The easy story to tell about Trump is one of a billionaire bully who preyed on prejudice to push the first female president out of the White House. But there’s another story to be told, one about an underdog campaign that raised about half as much money as its opponent and managed to win anyway, in part by disregarding common campaigning strategies and ...

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BDC Posted: December 19, 2016 at 09:25 AM | 1445 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, never shouldda written, politics

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Players Honor Clemente at Puerto Rican Baseball Clinic

Hundreds of Puerto Rican children were given a rare chance to meet their baseball idols this week. Some of MLB’s biggest names were hard at work conducting a clinic on the tiny Caribbean island as part of a goodwill tour that ended with a gala Saturday.

Puerto Rico is tiny??

Bote Man Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:41 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: caribbean, clemente, puerto rico

Joe Buck Hints At Retirement

Who will set up the countdown clock?

Bote Man Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:34 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, joe buck, retirements

Peter Gammons: Curt Schilling Hall of Fame conversation - GammonsDaily.com

I’m not convinced Schilling’s career was a Hall of Fame one. If, however, you’ve voted for Schilling in the past (or have a system which says he’s a Hall of Famer) and decided not to vote for him for the dumb things he says on Twitter, you might need to have your vote (and children) taken away.

Curt Schilling is not smarter than anyone at SONY, as he told one prospective investor. He is not going to the U.S. Senate. He is a former major league pitcher who clearly is trying to find his way in the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 06:41 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Joey Gallo, Yohander Mendez leading charge for Texas Rangers | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Third baseman—Joey Gallo, Round Rock (102 games), Texas (17 games): While Gallo’s struggles at the Major League level continued (one hit, 19 strikeouts in 25 at-bats), his .529 slugging percentage and .896 OPS ranked sixth in the Pacific Coast League while his 25 home runs were tied for third. It was a step in the right direction for the 23-year-old slugger, who hit .195 with a .739 OPS in 53 games for the Express in 2015, although his strikeout rate remained well over 30 percent.

“Like the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 06:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rangers

Ian Desmond bringing his talent, passion and good will to Rockies

“Let me put it this way. Ian is a complete ballplayer, and if he’s not a five-tool player, he’s pretty darn close,” Bridich said. “To be able to top that off with the person he is, and the person he’s been in the clubhouse, it’s a huge, huge addition for us. I’m thrilled to get him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:05 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: ian desmond, rockies

Linked in Verse, on the Field, and in the Corridors of League Power: Revisiting Baseball’s Sad Lexicon

For many fans, Adams’ eight-line throwaway of a poem is all that remains of the famed trio – a shame, considering their immense impact on the game in its early years. In addition to serving as the heart, brains and fists of one history’s best teams, Tinker, Evers and Chance were major characters in a decade-long web of drama, intrigue and personalities that at one point threatened to upend Major League Baseball.

gehrig97 Posted: December 18, 2016 at 12:50 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago cubs, frank chance, joe tinker, johnny evers

If You Vote for Vlad, You Have to Vote for Walker | FanGraphs Baseball

OK, first Raines, then Vlad and Larry. Who is ready to rally the voters for Marquis Grissom?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 12:39 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, larry walker, vladimir guerrero

Tim Raines’s Hall of Fame Candidacy in Last of the 10th - The New York Times

This is the year.

Candidates once had 15 years to be considered by the baseball writers who controlled the ballot, after a five-year waiting period following retirement. Now, the limit is 10 years, and Raines, who is in his final year on the ballot, has steadily gained support. In his first five years on the ballot, he hovered between 22 and 48 percent of the vote, with 75 percent needed for election. Last year, he shot up from 55 to 69.8 percent, right to the doorstep of Cooperstown.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 12:07 PM | 265 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, tim raines

Examining why Yankees hope these young starters will be different | New York Post

OK, I have a problem. In my sim leagues I pretty much never acquire Yankees because I hate routing for Yankees players to do well, especially when they face the Red Sox. I know, it’s an issue but I just can’t help it. Nevertheless, I had to buy low on Severino this year because I’m enamored with his stuff. Whether he becomes a dependable starter or not is still up in the air but, at his floor, I see a dominate reliever.

Severino

After his impressive 2015 rookie cameo in a pennant race, he came ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Projecting the 2019 lineups for the Yankees and Mets - NY Daily News

Jose Reyes?

LINEUP: A.J. Pollock, CF; T.J. Rivera, 2B; Michael Conforto, RF; Yoenis Cespedes, LF; Dom Smith/Peter Alonso, 1B; Jose Reyes, 3B; Amed Rosario, SS; Tomas Nido, C.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:23 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, yankees

Jim Bouton: An Improvisational Life

Another interesting article from John Thorn.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history, jim bouton

Sunday Notes: Ziegler’s Change, Catchers at Coors, Saves, Milone, more | FanGraphs Baseball

AJ Hinch was asked about the save rule when he met with the media at the Winter Meetings. Not surprisingly, the Houston Astros manager had an erudite answer:

“I probably shouldn’t say this out loud — this is my inside voice talking — but things that are important to your players have to be important to the manager to some extent,” said Hinch. “I say that knowing that you’ve got to create a culture and environment that your players buy in on.

“The way we compensate saves, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Red Sox willing to squeeze fielders for new seats | Boston Herald

Now that teams are screening a larger portion of stadiums, it makes perfect sense to add more premium seats closer to the action.

Patrons with seats in the current first two rows between the dugouts will retain their claim to premium Dugout Box seats in the two new rows. Seventy-eight such seats will be added between the dugouts at a price of $225 each per game, generating $1.4 million in additional revenue per year.

Fourteen new first-row Dugout Box seats will be added adjacent to the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fenway park, red sox

Rays open to rebuild but stay focused on improving current squad | Tampa Bay Times

Enough with the rebuilds already. Of course, the Rays do seem to lack the ability to put together a viable offense.

If lured by massive return, they remain open, as they feel they have to be, to make a big deal — or a couple — that could greatly impact how they look and what chances they have to win in 2017.

“I think we’re at a position where we feel like we need to at least play it forward and take a crack at it,” GM Erik Neander said Friday. “If the interest and market dictates that we go ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Nick Cafardo: Why Chris Sale’s delivery works for him

Brian Kenney gets another supporter.

Cooper, as you can tell, loves Sale and will miss him.

“He’s got 5½ years of Hall of Fame-production numbers,” said Cooper. “We weren’t able to support him [with offense] as much as we would have liked and that happens and that’s baseball. A pitcher should not be graded on wins and losses. If you don’t get runs or don’t catch the ball, there’s nothing a pitcher can do.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, notes, red sox, white sox

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Marlins agree with Brad Ziegler on 2-year deal | MLB.com

Reliever Brad Ziegler and the Marlins have reached an agreement on a two-year deal valued at $16 million plus incentives, according to a source.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:38 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brad ziegler, free agents, marlins

Marlins’ David Samson: ‘Truly no response’ to report Jeffrey Loria open to selling team - Sun Sentinel

The Marlins are thinking about selling. Their free agent signs make a little more sense now.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:35 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Castillo’s commitment, Wieters’ legacy and more from Davis - School of Roch

I also read somewhere that Castillo will be working on his pitch framing this winter. If he can improve his defense, he’ll be a really, really nice sign for the Orioles.

The most encouraging part of yesterday’s conference call with Welington Castillo involved his commitment to improving his defense. He’s focused on the right aspects of his job. It’s the only way he’s truly going to fit in with the Orioles.

“I know my part, I know what to do. My No. 1 job is being on the same page with ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles, welington castillo

Embrace the Barrel — Baseball’s Newest Statistic

Although this is an improvement, I’m still not a fan of FIP.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics, statcast

Dodgers, Yankees among record six MLB teams to pay luxury tax

A record six teams are paying baseball’s luxury tax this season, led by the Los Angeles Dodgers at $31.8 million and the New York Yankees at $27.4 million.

Boston ($4.5 million), Detroit ($4 million), San Francisco ($3.4 million) and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs ($2.96 million) also were sent bills Friday by the commissioner’s office, according to information obtained by The Associated Press.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 17, 2016 at 05:30 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, economics

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jeff Loria Open to Considering Selling the Marlins

Rob Manfred would consider being open to Jeff Loria being open to considering a sale of the Marlins…IFF the price is right.

Now all they need is Bob Barker. And a new ballpark.

Bote Man Posted: December 16, 2016 at 10:37 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: jeffrey loria, loria, marlins, sucks

ESPN: Aroldis Chapman: Joe Maddon misused me during the playoffs

“There were couple of games, but the one I can point to is Game 6,” Chapman said when asked for specifics for his criticism. “The game was open and I don’t think he needed to [leave] me in the ninth. The important game was going to be Game 7 because we had that game almost won. The next day I came in tired.”

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 16, 2016 at 02:53 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, cubs, joe maddon, world series

Get ready for more day baseball, everyone

Bad news for vampire baseball players.

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Major League Baseball Players Association prioritized the sanctity of getaway days during the latest round of collective bargaining negotiations, and what they got were rules that prevented day games in a new city after night games far away.

Major League Baseball will require teams to start many games earlier than normal beginning in 2018, thanks to a provision in the new labor agreement that goes into effect when ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2016 at 02:28 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: collective bargaining agreement, day baseball

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-16-2016

Pittsburgh Press, December 16, 1916:

One piece of news that leaked out [in New York] today as to the effect that Cactus Cravath, extra-basehit specialist of the Phils since he joined the team in 1912, will not be with the team next brush. Cravath is booked to end his baseball career in the Pacific Coast league.
...
At a nominal salary he could still be a valuable man for a team as emergency batsman, but he can’t command a full pay envelope for doing pinch work.
...
On the Broad and Huntingdon ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 16, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, gavvy cravath, history

Dodgers prospect Willie Calhoun not short on confidence - The Orange County Register

Where does he end up playing?

Calhoun knows exactly what he needs to work on whether opportunity knocks this spring or later. The Dodgers’ fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft has always been defined by his bat. After hitting .316 with a .909 OPS at three levels in 2015, he hit .254 with 27 home runs, 88 RBI and a .788 OPS with Double-A Tulsa last year. But he wears the label of a hitter without a position.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2016 at 07:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, prospects, willie calhoun

MLB’s Other Shohei Otani Problem | FanGraphs Baseball

From what I can read in the CBA a team can’t sign Otani to a one-year contract which makes him a free agent the following year. Does anyone know if my reading is correct?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2016 at 06:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents, japanese baseball, shohei otani

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Phillies sign extension with Odubel Herrera

5 years, $30.5 million to buy out all remaining arbitration years for Odubel who has two seasons in the bigs now, both with an OPS+ of 111 while playing LF well and CF not very well. Looks like we have our first official building block for the next dynasty.

2022: Club option for $11.5 million
2023: Club option for $12.5 million

The Phillies are usually pretty reluctant to make multi-year deals with players with many years of club control left. Or maybe they haven’t had any good young players ...

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The Pros And Cons Of Superteams In Major League Baseball

Even if we disagree about superteams, I hope we can all agree about the value of superfly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2016 at 10:04 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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