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Thursday, January 25, 2018

The 2018 Hardball Times Annual Is Here! | FanGraphs Baseball

You can read it all online this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:41 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hardball times

‘Catcher Was A Spy’ is a WWII Whiff

Based on a book by Nicholas Dawidoff recounting a fascinating true story, “Catcher” does a disappointing disservice both to Rudd and to the real-life catcher/spy Moe Berg. Berg was a journeyman professional baseball player better known for his engaging intellectualism than his skill on the diamond. He held degrees from Princeton and Columbia, spoke multiple languages and made short work of trivia questions on popular radio quiz shows. But he was also an endlessly secretive and mysterious man ...

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:17 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: moe berg, movies

Ronald Acuna leads Top 10 outfield prospects

1. Ronald Acuna, Braves
2. Eloy Jimenez, White Sox
3. Victor Robles, Nationals
4. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
5. Kyle Tucker, Astros
6. Austin Hays, Orioles
7. Lewis Brinson, Brewers
8. Luis Robert, White Sox
9. Juan Soto, Nationals
10. Alex Verdugo, Dodgers

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 06:11 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

“Field of Dreams” ballfield vandalized by vehicle

One of cinema’s most iconic baseball fields suffered thousands of dollars in damage this week when a vandal apparently tore up the landscaping with a vehicle.

Denise Stillman, owner of Dyersville’s Field of Dreams movie site, said…it appears that a vehicle was driven onto the field, causing significant damage.  ...She anticipates repairs will cost thousands of dollars.  “Someone who is disturbed had some agenda to damage the field,” [said] Stillman, [who] believes it will take an ...

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 25, 2018 at 03:44 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cars, field of dreams, mmm... doughnuts

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Chipper, Vlad, Hoffman, Thome in Hall of Fame |

Maybe I care a little.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 07:02 PM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-24-2018

Washington Herald, January 24, 1918:

The fall of Jerusalem was predicted by Jim Bagby of the Cleveland Indians’ hurling staff.

Time and again he told his teammates that a study of Scripture showed him that Jerusalem would fall by December. He also claimed that Scripture shows that the world war will end by February.

And when the news of Jerusalem’s fall was given to the world, Bagby sent cards to several members of the team, calling attention to what he had predicted last summer.

In addition ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:46 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Mooney: The Cubs set their sights on Yu Darvish – The Athletic

With the amount of talent they have assembled, it’s really tough to ignore The Athletic.

Cubs president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy and pro scouting director Kyle Evans met with Darvish and his Wasserman representatives last month at a Four Seasons resort in the Dallas area.

Run prevention coordinator?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:14 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

How can Pirates win back fans? Transparency and ‘the process’ | TribLIVE

Weren’t the Pirates a smart team just a few years ago?

What can the Pirates do to win back their fan base? Ron Dick, an associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University, thinks he knows the answer.

Trust the process.

“We’re getting mixed messages from the (Pirates),” Dick said. “One minute we’re told, ‘We’re going to win as many games as we can in 2018.’ Then they go out and trade their best player and best pitcher.

“They need to get in a room, all of them — the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:12 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Cut the nonsense: Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame - The Washington Post

My name is Jim. I no longer don’t care who gets in the Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:10 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Astros’ Jon Singleton, Dean Deetz suspended

Remember when Singleton was criticized for taking such a below market deal?

First baseman Jon Singleton—the team’s former No. 1 prospect who spent all of last season at Double-A Corpus Christi—has received a 100-game suspension without pay after a third positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:00 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jon singleton

Gleyber Torres leads top SS prospects list

The Top 10
1. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
2. Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
3. Bo Bichette, Blue Jays
4. Brendan Rodgers, Rockies
5. Royce Lewis, Twins
6. Willy Adames, Rays
7. J.P. Crawford, Phillies
8. Franklin Barreto, A’s
9. Jorge Mateo, A’s
10. Nick Gordon, Twins

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 06:59 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

A frozen market has Scott Boras talking . . . but not to the right people – The Athletic

It’s all about integrity.

“I do my job. I care for my clients. I am spending every waking hour trying to bring attention to owners so they act with integrity,” Boras says. “Certainly I want them to sign my clients. But I’m trying to get them to act with integrity. Winning is the cement of baseball integrity.”

“We kicked people out of the game when they tried to not win,” Boras continued, referring to the Black Sox scandal, in which baseball banned eight members of the 1919 Chicago ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 06:43 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site, scott boras

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Baseball Therapy: One Simple Anti-Tanking Solution - Baseball Prospectus

No thank you. If you want to add another wild card team, add another single game playoff between the 2nd and 3rd seeds. Keep the advantage for winning your division.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2018 at 12:24 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: tanking

George Mitchell on the legacy of the Mitchell Report, PEDs and the Hall of Fame.

I went through and reread all the player linked. I’d forgotten some of the names.

In December 2007, Mitchell released a 409-page report citing 89 names, including such prominent players as Clemens, Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Mo Vaughn, Jason Giambi, Lenny Dykstra, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, David Justice, Juan Gonzalez, Matt Williams and Jose Canseco. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press called it “the game’s most infamous lineup since the Black Sox scandal.’‘

...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2018 at 11:52 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: mitchell report, steroids

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-23-2018

Toledo News-Bee, January 23, 1918:

Eddie Plank declared [in Philadelphia] on Wednesday he will not sign a contract to pitch for the Yankees.

“I said last summer when I quit that I was thru [sic] for all time,” the veteran hurler announced, “and I meant it.

“If my refusal to sign calls off the deal between the Yanks and Browns, I am sorry, but I cannot help it.”

I’d love to know what the Yankees were thinking. Plank was 42 years old and retired.

Elsewhere on the same page of the News-Bee, ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 23, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, January 22, 2018

The MLBPA Is Failing Its Players

The MLBPA has been selling out amateurs and minor leaguers for decades. The acts were incredibly short-sighted. It shouldn’t be shocking that smart front offices want to build using cheap young players instead of more expensive veterans.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 07:45 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

The Mets Have Been Operating As A Small-Market Club For Almost A Decade

What the Mets have been doing to their fans, to baseball, and to the city of New York for the last ten years is nothing short of shameful. The evidence is right there — in public — for everyone to see. It requires no mudslinging, and no speculation.

goodfundies Posted: January 22, 2018 at 03:23 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, wilpons

Is Scott Boras Working on Another End-Around? | FanGraphs Baseball

The greater question might be: how long is this a viable tactic for an agent?

At some point, I suspect, front-office executives will advise their bosses (club owners) — or already have — about this page from the agent playbook and note how it worked out with Fielder, Pujols, and Wieters. But the play might still be working for now, and agents certainly would have a motivation to employ it with so many players still looking for work with less than a month before camps open.

With logic and ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:47 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, padres, scott boras

Puckett’s Toledo number turns up in Maumee basement

The great Toledo baseball mystery has been solved.

Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett indeed wore No. 28 during his time with the Mud Hens, a reader armed with proof confirmed Friday.

The Toledo Mud Hens roster card from an April 29, 1984 game against the Maine Guides at the Lucas County Recreation Center.

With the Hens planning to hold a Puckett bobblehead night this season, the search for Puckett’s number touched off an exhaustive yet inconclusive quest that entangled team officials, ...

BDC Posted: January 22, 2018 at 11:23 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: crowdsourcing, kirby puckett, slow news day, toledo mud hens, trivia, uniforms

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-22-2018

Toledo News-Bee, January 22, 1918:

Second Baseman Del Pratt and Pitcher Eddie Plank of the Browns were traded to the New York Yankees on Tuesday for five players and a cash consideration. The five players are: Catcher Nunamaker, Pitcher Cullop and Shocker, and Infielders Maisel and Gedeon. The cash consideration was not announced.

The cash consideration was eventually reported as $15,000. This was a terrible deal for the Yankees. Pratt was a good ballplayer, a second baseman who played every day ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:06 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, trades

Top 100 MLB Prospects 2018 |

1. Ronald Acuna | OF | Braves
2. Shohei Ohtani | RHP | Angels
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. | 3B | Blue Jays
4. Eloy Jimenez | OF | White Sox
5. Victor Robles | OF | Nationals
6. Gleyber Torres | SS | Yankees
7. Nick Senzel | 3B | Reds
8. Bo Bichette | SS | Blue Jays
9. Fernando Tatis Jr | SS | Padres
10. Forrest Whitley | RHP | Astros

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 09:08 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, prospects rankings, top 100

Top 100 Prospects: Start Of A Ranking Revolution |

Worth revisiting because today is the day.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects, prospects reports, top 100

OTP 22 January 2018: What the Baseball Hall of Fame can teach us about elections

Would ballot-box behavior change if people knew more precisely how their fellow citizens planned to vote?

It’s a question that still haunts Democrats as they continue staring daggers at their friends who went third party in November 2016. But it’s also an experiment being carried out in real time by the Baseball Writers Association of America as members prepare to elect at least three and as many as five retired greats to the Hall of Fame later this

The association’s complicated voting ...

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:44 AM | 4563 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, politics

Fangraphs: Lars Anderson Discovers Australia

Following on the heels of his foray into Japan, Lars Anderson is now playing in Australia.

The baseball is most certainly different. You might even be surprised that baseball is played in the land Down Under. Many of its own residents certainly are. ‘We have a baseball team?!’ is a common response when someone asks me what I am doing in Australia.

villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, australian baseball, lars anderson

Rosenthal roundtable: Five MLB players weigh in on the pace-of-play rules and the need for change – The Athletic

Enforce the 12 second rule. I want the game done in 2.5 hours.

Scherzer: When you get down to the root of it, the clock MLB is proposing with ball-strike penalties, it’s very regimented. There is no leeway within any situations. Say there is a quick game going on. Everyone is doing their job and working at a quick pace. Then something happens and someone takes a little extra time. And we’re going to penalize somebody. That’s what leads to a lot of people being frustrated by having a ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:32 AM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, rules

Tim Benz: Contend this year? Don’t buy what Pirates are selling | TribLIVE

“Rebuild implies that you’re looking five years out, and you’re going to punt the current season.

“We are not rebuilding,” Huntington said.

So “restock”, “replenish” and “refresh” are totally different from “rebuild.” Ah! Got it, Neal.

I look forward to “Nuance Night” at PNC Park. The first 15,000 fans through the gates get a thesaurus.

Huntington also admitted organizational “projection models” predict the team will be worse than the 75-win team of 2016. Then — in the same response — ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:26 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Grichuk to Jays for Leone

Haven’t seen this mentioned around here.

Walt Davis Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardlinals, dominic leone, randal grichuk

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gordo: Cardinals’ rush to trade Grichuk seems puzzling

Perhaps some day his statistics will look as spectacular as his hair.

But that day will not come in St. Louis.

salvomania Posted: January 21, 2018 at 04:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardinals, randal grichuk

Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Newly Discovered Wasp Is Named After the True Hit King Ichiro

The newly crowned Diolcogaster ichiroi had been sitting in relative anonymity in the Canadian National Collection of Insects, which contains over 17 million specimens. The specimen was collected about 30 miles from Lake Okeechobee and 145 miles from Marlins Park where last Ichiro played.

From entomologist Jose Fernandez-Triana’s scientific paper officially naming the wasp: “At the time the research for this paper was being conducted, Ichiro was still playing for a Florida team and thus naming ...

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 20, 2018 at 01:47 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki

Inside Baseball | Scott Boras Weighs In On Slow Market

Boras has an expensive computer. OK, then, I’m convinced.

Boras doesn’t ever mention the “C” word but rather says there has to be some sort of “interference” that’s caused the market to halt. He speculates it’s about the analytically-driven, like-minded decision-makers who are using numbers to suggest that the longer deals for older players aren’t working. To that, Boras says, come see my computer. He has a very expensive one, and human computers on a near-100-person staff that ...

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2018 at 07:50 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, scott boras

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