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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Joe Macko, Rangers “Ambassador,” dies at 86

Joe Macko, a 306-home-run hitter in the minors and the Texas Rangers’ longtime “goodwill ambassador,” died today at the age of 86, according to team spokesman John Blake. Says Blake via Twitter on this day after Christmas, “The club extends its deepest sympathies to Joe’s family.”

Macko was part of the Rangers family for a long time, having served as the home equipment manager from 1973 through ’94, when he moved over to running the visiting team’s clubhouse. He did that ...

Read More...
BDC Posted: December 30, 2014 at 01:04 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers

Noah: Trying to Improve fWAR Part 1

fWAR, specifically for pitchers, is riddled with minor problems that together make the metric less valuable.  In Part 1 of the series, we’re going to look at a hotly debated issue regarding fWAR that has been brought up by other readers before: the fWAR park factors.

According to the FanGraphs glossary, a basic runs park factor is used when calculating fWAR.  Because FIP models ERA, using runs park factors for FIP shouldn’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, this idea simply isn’t true. ...

...Read More...
JE (Jason) Posted: December 30, 2014 at 01:03 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: fangraphs, statistics, wins above replacement

Guest post: Bill Deane’s third annual Hall of Fame forecast | Baseball: Past and Present

Bill Deane’s predictions.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:52 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Top Teams For Cuban Infielder Hector Olivera - BaseballAmerica.com

Some good info from Baseball America’s Ben Badler.

Who are the teams most likely to sign Olivera? The ones that will be after him the most should have these things in common (aside from the obvious, which is money to sign him):

• A need at second base, or possibly third
• Scouts who have history watching Olivera going back to 2008-10
• Comfort with risk and uncertainty on a player with medical red flags
• Quantitative analysts that have favorable translations of Olivera’s Cuban ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, hector olivera

Guillen ready to get back in the game of baseball | MLB.com

Ozzie wants back in.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: ozzie guillen

Detroit Tigers’ Jose Iglesias makes progress toward return to field

“The only thing he hasn’t really done full bore is a sprint on a regular basis on hard ground,” Dombrowski said.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose iglesias, tigers

School of Roch: Orioles have real interest in Rasmus

I’m still hearing that the Orioles don’t have serious interest in free agent Ichiro Suzuki. However, they do hold legitimate interest in another left-handed hitting outfielder, Colby Rasmus, and have maintained a dialogue with agent Casey Close since the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: colby rasmus, orioles

How Royals’ magical roster nearly got a July shakeup | New York Post

You have to love the brass on Boras. How much more money is he willing to cost Stephen Drew, though?

A few teams involved with Drew say his asking price of $9 million-$10 million for 2015 is not in their price range. Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, has emphasized the career .764 OPS the lefty swinger took into last season as representative of his client and not the .536 he posted in a disjointed 2014 campaign.
But executives from a few of the interested clubs have expressed concern that 2014 was so ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 09:30 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, royals, stephen drew

Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2015 - Minor League Ball

The John Sickels Top 20.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 08:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 30, 1914:

A Federal league official stated on Tuesday that the reason the new organization did not persist in its efforts to sign Eddie Collins, formerly of the Athletics and now of the White Sox, was because his demands were so great that the officials were dumfounded.
...
To their great astonishment Collins demanded $80,000 for a three year contract. Not only that, but he wanted $20,000 in cash and demanded that the other $60,000 be deposited in the bank for him.

...
Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 30, 2014 at 08:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, eddie collins, federal league, history

Monday, December 29, 2014

Starlin Castro’s agent says he could move to the USA

Good idea.

Spahn Insane Posted: December 29, 2014 at 11:09 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dominican

Nine possible spots for Max Scherzer: Star FA without a team, or a rumor - CBSSports.com

Will Boras really be able to convince a team to go $200 million on Scherzer?

9. Yankees: Hal Steinbrenner has been weighing Scherzer for weeks, but in recent days indications are Steinbrenner still isn’t ready to dive in, and they’ve said as much. Many rotation question questions carry over from last season, and it appears that for now at least, talented youngster Nate Eovaldi is the answer to McCarthy’s departure. Their starting group could be very good, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, from ...

Read More...

Top 10 Game-Changing MLB Moments

WHAT ABOUT JETER’S WALK OFF?

Among all the moments on this list, none has a higher WPA than Davis’ June 30 grand slam against Oakland. The Tigers had a win expectancy of 20 percent entering the at-bat. (And that presumes each moment occurs in a vacuum. It didn’t take into account that the light-hitting Davis has never hit more than eight home runs in a season and that Davis had never hit a walk-off shot.)

With one smooth swing, Davis crushed a hanging curveball over the left-field wall, one ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2014 at 02:15 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, angels, athletics, mike trout, rajai davis, royals, tigers, wpa

Vice Sports: The Radical Case for Cities Buying Sports Teams, not Sports Stadiums

Okay, so there is one small holdup with the public owning sports teams in the U.S., which is that the major pro sports leagues here have dedicated themselves to blocking it at every turn. McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc once tried to give the Padres to the city of San Diego as a charitable donation, but was overruled by MLB; a similar league edict later prevented the city of Pittsburgh from getting a share of the Pirates in exchange for a $20 million “loan” that was never repaid. The NFL was so ...

Read More...

Marlon Byrd Trade Between Phillies, Reds Fell Through

Will the Byrd fly the coop?

The Phillies are in clear rebuild mode, having dealt Jimmy Rollins and Antonio Bastardo this offseason, and they appear to have had a third trade in the works before it fell through. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Phillies and Reds were close to a trade that would’ve sent Marlon Byrd to Cincinnati before talks broke down (Twitter link). The other players in the trade are unclear at this point, though Morosi notes that the Reds and Phils could still ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2014 at 12:45 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: marlon byrd, phillies, reds, trade rumors

Why the Kansas City Royals need to dismantle the Big Three - Beyond the Box Score

Wait, I thought the dominant bullpen was the wave of the future?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2014 at 10:24 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: royals

Are Mariners’ signings enough in face of surging baseball payrolls? | Mariners | The Seattle Times

Geoff Baker doesn’t think the Mariners have done enough this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2014 at 10:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Baseball’s Hot Stove Season Offers More Sizzle Than Substance | FiveThirtyEight

Some interesting info from Neil Paine.

It also bears noting that, because of MLB’s economic structure, the market price for hot stove players is higher than the average amount that teams generally pay per win. When we hear about the cost of a win in these contexts, it generally refers to a player’s value on the open (free agent) market, and when teams are bidding against each other, this framework does a good job of predicting what free agents will be paid for the WAR they’re expected to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2014 at 10:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, war

Gil Hodges and the Hall of Fame « Our Game

John Thorn’s latest on MLB.com.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2014 at 10:05 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Beats: gil hodges, hall of fame

Mess with MLB? Lose your All-Star Game

We heard a couple of weeks ago that Petco Park in San Diego was likely to host the 2016 All-Star Game. This conflicted with an earlier report that Camden Yards in Baltimore would play host.

Today Roch Kubatko of MASN confirms that, no, Camden Yards will not be the site and cryptically adds that “Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to have much desire to do the Orioles any favors these days.”

It has to be cryptic, I assume, because Kubtako’s employer is at the center of the reason why ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, litigation, masn, nationals, orioles

Are Yankees in on Scherzer? Read Tex message from six years ago | FOX Sports

As a Red Sox fan, I’d love to see the Yankees get Scherzer. In the short run it will help them but in the long run the odds are they will end up with another Sabathia-type contract.

Regardless of what you’ve heard so far this offseason, and however much the teams downplay their needs to the media, the fact remains: 2014 was the first season in more than two decades during which both the Red Sox and Yankees missed the playoffs. They’re due for an old-fashioned bidding war with Boras in the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2014 at 09:14 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, yankees

Starlin Castro of Chicago Cubs questioned about shooting - ESPN Chicago

Some updates on Castro.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2014 at 09:01 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, starlin castro

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 29, 1914:

Cyril Slapnicka, the Brewer pitcher, is up in arms these days.

According to the official pitching averages of the American association, issued last week by President Chivington, Slap is credited with eight victories and is charged with nine defeats. According to his record he lost only eight games, giving him an average of .500 for the season. As Slap had a bonus of $200 coming, in the event of his winning half his games, naturally he is quite interested ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 29, 2014 at 08:21 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cy slapnicka, dugout, history

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bastian: Mind Over Matter: Bauer Goes High Tech in Offseason Regimen

Bauer detailed one of the setups that he uses in the offseason. He will have a camera in each batter’s box mounted at eye level, so he can see the hitter’s perspective. Bauer also has a camera mounted from the center-field view in order to track the flight of the ball. He then films his pitches at 240 or 480 frames per second, and he can overlay the pitches on video to see variances in the movement.

“So, then I can tailor-fit what pitches I throw and where to make them all appear the same, ...

Read More...
davekemp Posted: December 28, 2014 at 06:33 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bauer, indians, sabermetrics

Despite losses, Orioles still perched on top in AL East - Sports - The Boston Globe

No excuse? How about if the price tags on the available starters are unreasonable? Don’t get me wrong. Getting an ace would be great. Getting an ace at the expense of too much talent, though, is a price they shouldn’t be willing to pay. That’s especially true if you believe having the ace will only get the team to 84-88 wins.

To do: Find an ace. The Red Sox have no excuse for leaving themselves short in this area. They have player and financial resources to obtain free agents such as Max ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 02:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

In Africa, Out of Nowhere, There Is Baseball - WSJ

It’s baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Peter Gammons: If traded, will Hamels reap the desired return? - GammonsDaily.com

If your GM is not listening to Pat Gillick, your GM has big problems.

The Red Sox made it clear when they opened talks about Hamels that they will not deal Mookie Betts, who is clearly a regular and he who wills the vital role of leadoff hitter (check Bill James’ 2015 projection on Betts, over .400 OBP, 500 slug, just 22 years old); in 37 games, Betts’ WAR was 2.1, in 175 Myers’ was 0.9. They will also not trade catcher Blake Swihart. Now, Charlie Manuel saw more games in the Boston system ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 10:03 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Sunday Notes: Starting vs Relieving, Trade Dialogue and Much, Much More | FanGraphs Baseball

David Lauria’s Sunday Notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

Blue Jays await Takashi Toritani decision | Toronto Star

[Takashi] Toritani, who hired notorious baseball agent Scott Boras to guide his transition to the big leagues, is currently mulling offers from the Jays and San Diego Padres, according to Japanese news reports. The Padres are believed to be offering a chance to play shortstop, while in Toronto Toritani would be moved to second, where he played at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Given his age, Toritani is likely to sign a short-term deal of just one or two years. Since he is a free agent, no ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 08:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, japanese baseball, padres, rumors, takashi toritani

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Starlin Casto Arrested in Shooting Incident

And tweet from: @Enrique_Rojas1

#Cubs SS Starlin Castro arrested Saturday by authorities for questioning by a shooting that left 6 injured by bullets, police said.

Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: December 27, 2014 at 02:16 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, starlin castro

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