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Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Phillies embrace Tug McGraw’s life motto – Phillies Nation

The rivalry between the Phillies and the Mets is one of the best in all of sports, but with the Phils in the middle of a rebuild and the Mets continuing to ride their 30-year championship drought, all has been fairly calm.

That is until the Phillies had the audacity to design a wall in their spring training complex using the words of their Wall of Fame closer Tug McGraw. I mean, how dare they use the slogan “Ya Gotta Believe,” one in which McGraw made his life motto and continued to say ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, tug mcgraw

Red Sox boss uses own NBA analogy in response to Cashman | New York Post

Dave Dombrowski is not falling for Brian Cashman’s hype, comparing his talented Red Sox to the Warriors.

“I heard that and it was interesting,’’ Dombrowski told The Post on Tuesday as Red Sox pitchers and catchers officially worked out for the first time this spring at Fenway South. “But you know what? [The Yankees are] probably like the Cavaliers and I remember the Cavaliers beat Golden State last year. I would think they should be probably be thinking of themselves along those ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 08:31 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, dave dombrowski, red sox, yankees

ESPN’s Glanville Says Playing Deeper In Center Field Would “Make A Difference” For Adam Jones

ESPN analyst/former MLB outfielder Doug Glanville was a guest on Glenn Clark Radio Tuesday. 

Among the topics he discussed were: 
-Would Adam Jones benefit defensively from playing deeper in center field?
-Is there any way that playing deeper could actually hurt him as Buck Showalter suggested?
-Even if he’s right in his comments, was Jones wrong to call out his teammates’ defensive abilities publicly?
-Do teams need to start treating outfield defense similarly to how they treat infield ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, doug glanville, orioles, podcast

Cubs will use restraint to ease Kyle Schwarber into limited catching role - Chicago Tribune

The current plan is for Willson Contreras to catch Jon Lester and start four or five times a week, with Miguel Montero serving as a backup. With Montero in the final year of his contract, Schwarber — who was drafted as a catcher — could move into Montero’s role in 2018 in addition to playing left.

For now, Schwarber will be part of the catching group each morning but will perform physical drills only once or twice a week with coach Mike Borzello, known for his creativity in keeping ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Communication foundation of success for Blue Jays’ Pete Walker - Sportsnet.ca

This year, Valentine’s Day is especially romantic not only because it’s the day when couples unashamedly and overtly make grand declarations of love. More importantly, it’s the day when the Blue Jays’ pitchers and catchers officially report to spring training. The end of winter, as it were. The day on which we can see the first spark of summer.

It’s only appropriate, then, to publish a love letter on this day, but I won’t be penning this one. This love letter is from the Blue Jays ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, pitching coaches

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Royals pitcher Brian Flynn fell through the roof of his barn; he’s out eight weeks

Days before he departed for camp, reliever Brian Flynn crashed through the roof of a barn at his home in McAlester, Okla., breaking a rib and sustaining three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae, Royals manager Ned Yost said on Tuesday. Flynn, a 26-year-old left-hander, is slated to miss close to eight weeks. He entered camp hoping to compete for a spot in a revamped Royals’ bullpen, but the injury stands as a significant setback.

“He was working on his barn and fell through the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 05:06 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brian flynn, injuries, royals

Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has prostate cancer

Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery in Minnesota sometime in the next few weeks, he announced Tuesday.

Gardenhire, hired last November to serve as bench coach for new Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, will take a leave of absence from his new team in order to begin treatment. Gardenhire, who intends to keep coaching until having surgery, probably in mid-April, broke the news in a clubhouse meeting with the Diamondbacks ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 03:20 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, ron gardenhire

Scott Boras Has A Lot Of Ideas On How To Fix The Business Side Of Baseball

Wieters is playing in a different era. Fisk’s career arc was an anomaly.

It’s pretty clear nobody has bought this fanciful line.

On how his client, free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, is “Carlton Fisk-like”:

I told someone, he’s got the same projection as Carlton Fisk. “What?!” I’m going like, excuse me, Matt Wieters has won two gold gloves at 30, Carlton Fisk had won one. He’s a better ball blocker and he throws the same. Carlton Fisk was on the All-Star team six times by the age ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 02:58 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: interviews, scott boras

Cardinals’ Alex Reyes not cleared to throw | MLB.com

Nobody else reporting this (as far as I’ve seen), but if this is true, it’s really bad news.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:46 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: alex reyes, cardinals

Storm Chasers’ owner Gary Green heads group that purchases Baseball America

Gary Green’s passion for baseball has led to another significant purchase.

The Omaha Storm Chasers owner’s Alliance Baseball LLC, which also has a stake in the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, is leading a group that has purchased the publication Baseball America.

The deal was finalized at Baseball America’s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday.

Green, Alliance Baseball’s CEO, and Alliance president Larry Botel, managing partner of the Storm Chasers, are being joined in their ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:37 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball america, minor leagues


How the A’s Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Oakland - WSJ

Though the city doesn’t intend to allocate public money for stadium construction, Schaaf said it will offer development entitlements, such as helping to secure publicly owned land, environmental clearance and infrastructure for transit.

“I’ve been very clear about what I believe is an appropriate and responsible role for the public dollar, and that is really only looking at new revenues that are generated by the project itself and dedicating those revenues to public infrastructure ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadium financing

The decline of Albert Pujols has been a shame. | Sports on Earth

NEWSFLASH: Players get old. Paying them as if they won’t is a problem for their teams, not the players.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:43 PM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, angels, cardinals

Happy Valentine’s (and pitchers and catchers reporting) Day!

phredbird says, “Pitchers and catchers report today. Happy Valentines Day, all you other baseball nuts at BTF, and all fans of the greatest sport ever.”
Bob Gibson

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, valentine's day

Love and Baseball

There is love in the air today.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: valentine's day

Houdini and Field of Dreams | Joe Posnanski

I am a Red Sox fan. If you aren’t, that’s fine. Our disagreement in fandom won’t diminish the joy I get from the team.

I enjoyed Field of Dreams and felt a heart tug when Ray played catch with his father because it reminded me of my time with my long-passed father. If you don’t feel the same connection, that’s fine too. I don’t feel the need to convince you otherwise. Those who go out of their way to try and diminish the joy fans get from the movie tells us more about them than the movie ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-14-2017

El Paso Herald, February 14, 1917:

Dave Davenport, of the St. Louis Americans pitching staff, was seriously wounded at his home in Runge, Texas, today when his rifle was accidentally discharged. Davenport had just returned from a hunt. The bullet passed through his chest and also inflicted a scalp wound.

Davenport must have recovered fairly quickly, because he led the American League with 39 starts in 1917.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, guns, history

Twins catcher Jason Castro masters pitch-framing art

How did Castro do it?

“Just a lot of work and a lot of understanding of angles and what it takes to be a good receiver,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, a fellow Stanford catching product. “Like most smart players, he found a deficiency where he was being criticized a little bit or he wasn’t being ranked as much.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jason castro, pitch framing, twins

Andy MacPhail on where Phillies stand in 2017 | MLB.com

“We think our starting pitching, we have a lot of depth through the system. Not necessarily front-end rotation types, but, honestly, I would rather take numbers of solid prospects over the higher valued few. Give me numbers because we know the attrition rate. So I think we’re in good shape there. Our expectation is that we’ll be better than we were a year ago, and our expectation is that we’ll continue to introduce new talent onto our Major League team, not unlike we did last year.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Calcaterra | “Field of Dreams” is absolutely terrible

This is a bad, bad take.

It’s not that the filmmakers lazily mailed in the father-son story, however, relying on you to bring your own baggage into the the theater in order to provide any dramatic heft. They just had a story they wanted to tell more. A story about how a parent’s values are more important than their children’s, how youthful idealism is a sin and how 1960s-style progressivism must be repudiated and repented for.

Baldrick Posted: February 14, 2017 at 08:49 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams, film, movie

Monday, February 13, 2017

Report: Royals sign Travis Wood to a two-year contract

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Royals are expected to sign pitcher Travis Wood. It will be a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Wood, 30, pitched out of the Cubs’ bullpen last season, posting a 2.95 ERA and a 47/24 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Right-handed hitters hit him pretty hard, compiling an .865 OPS, but Wood held lefties to a .447 OPS.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 05:26 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, travis wood

Nationals sign first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind

As their pitchers and catchers streamed into West Palm Beach ahead of their official report date Tuesday, the Washington Nationals made a significant addition to their bench by agreeing to terms with power-hitting lefty Adam Lind, according to a person familiar with the situation. The deal, the terms of which were not immediately available, will become official once Lind passes a physical.

If he passes, he will become the fourth outfielder and backup first baseman, likely bumping similar big ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:46 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: adam lind, nationals

Relaxed John Kruk introduced as CSN broadcaster

John Kruk isn’t going to hold back on Comcast SportsNet.

The Phillies and CSN introduced Kruk as the newest member of their broadcast team Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, and Kruk entertained during the nearly 15-minute news conference. Kruk, who sources said signed a 5-year contract, will work between 80-90 games as an analyst this season. Ben Davis will work the remaining 70-80, and Mike Schmidt will work with Kruk or Davis during weekend games in Philadelphia.

“It’s going to be a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:35 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, john kruk, phillies

Sources: MLB wants 30-second limit for managers to decide on replay challenges

Sources told ESPN that MLB wants a 30-second time limit for managers to decide whether or not to challenge an umpire’s call and is currently discussing that limit, along with other possible changes to replay, with both the players’ and umpires’ unions.

The current rules say that, in most cases, managers must “immediately” inform umpires if they want to challenge a call. But in reality, there are often long delays as managers often wait for advice from their internal replay assistants before ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, rule

Free agency is the best thing that’s ever happened to baseball

Want a reason that Marvin Miller should immediately be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame? It’s the best rule change in the history of baseball. It’s called free agency.

Since 1979, only three years after free agency began, Major League Baseball has seen an unprecedented period of competitive balance and parity. In that span there have been 37 World Series played and 21 different franchises have won championships.

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:17 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Minor League Ball Top 200 MLB prospects for 2017 - Minor League Ball

John Sickels’ list. I have some spreadsheet work to do this week!

Once you get past the Top 100 especially, you should take a “neighborhood” tier approach rather than “this guy at 179 is clearly better than the guy at 182.”

1) Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox, Grade A
2) Yoan Moncada, INF, White Sox, Grade A
3) Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves, Grade A
4) Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals, Grade A
5) Amed Rosario, SS, Mets, Grade A/A-
6) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates, Grade A/A-
7) Gleyber Torres, SS, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects, prospects reports

Cleveland Indians prospect Richie Shaffer ready to prove doubters wrong after turbulent offseason | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

He was certainly well-traveled this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 12:02 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, richie shaffer

Full Count » Steven Wright still not fully healed from shoulder injury, highlighting concerns at back of rotation

Ugh.

With pitchers and catchers officially reporting and the first workout scheduled for Tuesday, the Red Sox still don’t have a healthy Wright, who continues to work his way back from an injury that didn’t require surgery, but has proven more stubborn than anyone expected.

“He’s making improvement,” manager John Farrell said on Sunday. “This has probably taken longer than he anticipated, than we certainly anticipated. He’s back throwing to 120 feet. He’s throwing flat ground ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, red sox, steven wright

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-13-2017

Grantland Rice via the Philadelphia Evening Ledger, February 13, 1917:

“The moist ball must go.”—Governor [and National League president] Tener. That in itself will be no great deprivation. We can ramble along in the absence of the concrete fact.

But, in the spicy literature of the game, what new phases are to take the places of those employed to denote the spitball’s flight? What will take the place of “Damp Fling,” “Saliva Shoot,” “The Dripping Drop,” “The Moistened Hurl,” “The Foamy ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:49 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, spitball, the damp fling

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