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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Grant: Five things I think I think about Ian Kinsler going scorched earth on Texas Rangers

If there is a point to [Ian] Kinsler’s rant worth noting, I think it is that [Jon] Daniels and his staff got a little too close to players early on in his tenure as a GM. Mistake of youth. Daniels was in his late 20s and an age-contemporary of many of these guys and made them feel more like partners than employees. Baseball players are still employees and as you get more experience in a management role, you realize that you have to keep your distance more from players. Hopefully Daniels and ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: ian kinsler, michael young, rangers

AA: An interview with former Mets stat guru Ben Baumer, Part 1

Professor Benjamin Baumer. Dig it!

You were brought into the Mets organization in 2004 and left in 2012. What was the adjustment like for your first season? How did your role evolve over the years?

The Mets, like most teams at the time, never really had anyone working full-time on statistical analysis, so there wasn’t any statistical infrastructure in place when I arrived. Moneyball had just been published (in 2003), and so they were probably ahead of the curve in hiring someone to do ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 5, 1914:

Following is the personnel of an all-star baseball team picked by 11 scribes in the major league cities:

Catcher - James Archer, Chicago National league.
Pitchers - Walter Johnson, Washington, American League; Napoleon Rucker, Brooklyn, National league.
First Baseman - Jacob Daubert, Brooklyn, National league.
Second Baseman - Edward Collins, Philadelphia, American league.
Third Baseman - Fred [sic] Baker, Philadelphia, American league.
Shortstop - John Barry, ...

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Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 05, 2014 at 09:07 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s)
  Beats: lies, politics, war

Castrovince: Shift is on: Odd defensive alignments the new norm

The Rays no longer retain an edge in this particular defensive department. If anything, their shifting strategy is the new norm, a practice employed by everyone from up-and-coming to established managers. Because whether you’re analyzing the statistics or the employment practices in Major League Baseball today, one thing is clear:

The shift is on.

As far as the metrics are concerned, the numbers of defensive shifts on balls in play tracked by Baseball Info Solutions’ (BIS) video studies over ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, sabermetrics

It’s hard to translate Cuban statistics, but Jose Abreu looks good

The Merriam-Webster scouting service nearly nails it: “We seated ourselves on the Davenport while we waited for Abreu to get ready.”

Nonetheless, analyst Clay Davenport long has tracked Cuban baseball at claydavenport.com. He also has worked on translating Cuban stats to MLEs.

That’s of special interest to White Sox fans, with Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu being the biggest offseason acquisition by either Chicago team. Playing for Cienfuegos in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Abreu had only 136 ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

McClellan: No more ‘Cardinal Way,’ please

Bernie bicker staff at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?

I picked up the paper the other day, and turned, as I usually do, to the Sports section. Ah, good. There was a column by my friend and colleague, Bernie Miklasz. Here was the headline: “Shortstop Peralta adjusting quickly to Cardinal Way.”

I was hoping we were done with that. I don’t remember hearing much about the Cardinal Way until last postseason. The series against the Los Angeles Dodgers was framed as a morality play. The Dodgers ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:17 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Kornacki: Dirks expected to miss three months after back surgery

Time for some injury problems in Detroit.

Andy Dirks, a left-handed hitter who figured to get most of the at-bats in a platoon with right-handed Rajai Davis, is scheduled to have back surgery on Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday the microdiscectomy, which will be performed on the lumbar region in his lower back by Dr. Thomas Tolli, will require three weeks of “complete rest” followed by three weeks of therapy. He said Dirks would then require ...

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Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Speier: Reliefonomics: Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop offers a different outlook

Badenhop acknowledges bad hops.

Of all the soundtracks that have greeted a reliever on the commute from the bullpen to the mound, it’s safe to suggest that the Freakonomics podcast has never been employed. Though an unabashed fan of the series, new Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop is unlikely to buck that trend. Yet in his own way, the right-hander—who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics from Bowling Green University—might make an intriguing subject for the series…

Badenhop’s ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:21 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, burke badenhop, marlins, rays, red sox, sabermetrics

WaPo: For Washington Nationals, there are eyes, deep flies and statistics

Gruntsters unite!

“There are so many different stats out there nowadays I honestly don’t even know half the time,” reliever Tyler Clippard said. “I read articles, and I don’t even know what these guys are talking. fWAR-plus or ERA+, I don’t even know what those things mean. And I don’t really care to because I’m kind of like old-school-type mind-set where I just go out there and do well, and all that other weird statistical stuff will fall into place.”

...Mentioning some ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:47 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: nats, sabermetrics

MLBPA watching Mets’ payroll

New players’ union chief Tony Clark did not use the harsh language his predecessors sometimes did when discussing the New York Mets’ paltry payroll, but he indicated there is an awareness of the lack of spending.

The Mets enter the season with roughly an $87 million payroll, which is estimated to be seventh-lowest in MLB, despite playing in the game’s largest market.

“Let me offer you this: If there are concerns, what often ends up happening is we have an opportunity, along with Major League ...

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attaboy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:14 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, new york mets, union

Joe Namath calls Derek Jeter an ‘angel’

Derek Jeter has been described in a variety of ways during his career.

Joe Namath brought something new Monday.

“Knowing the scrutiny that he’s had over the years,” the Jets Hall of Famer said at Yankees camp, “I can’t imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He’s to be respected for every phase of his life, it seems.” ...

“Over the years, I’ve learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I’ve only heard wonderful ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:25 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, football, nfl, religion, yankees

Ian Kinsler calls Jon Daniels ‘sleazeball,’ hopes Rangers go 0-162

Being Ian. Get a gripp.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler spent the first eight years of his big-league career with the Rangers, but he was traded to the Tigers this past offseason in a blockbuster deal that sent Prince Fielder to Texas. And now, in an article set to be in ESPN Magazine March 17, Kinsler has spoken his mind about his former ballclub. It’s juicy. It’s a quality read and long-form, so hop on over there to read the whole thing if interested.

Some of the highlights:

•“There was no ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, tigers

Clemens will say farewell to Jeter at ceremony in Houston

Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen. Roger Clemens is standing right in Derek Jeter’s gift box!

The first stop on the Derek Jeter Long Goodbye Tour will be in Houston the opening series of the season. It should be one memorable tribute, especially when you consider who will be taking a large part in the event — Roger Clemens.

“Roger is going to be driving the bus,’’ Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told The Post Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. “I’m sure it will be something ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:12 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yankees

SCD: Upper Deck’s ‘Find the Reggie’ Launched Chase Card Craze

I have a banded pile of these Reggie cards sitting next to a load of empty Les Soldats de Plomb boxes.

However, Upper Deck was able to take this concept and bring it to a whole new level beginning with its ‘high number’ cases in 1990.

It forged a deal with Reggie Jackson to include a special “Heroes” subset with the big hook being randomly inserted autographed cards. Jackson autographed and numbered 2,500 copies in the ‘Find the Reggie’ promotion that helped push sales.  There ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 08:00 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-4-2014

Rock Island Argus, March 4, 1914:

The Three Eye baseball fields may be shy on the cattle range stuff this season. Announcement is made that the big cut out bulls of the Bull Durham company may be taken out of the fields…

The players may be shy considerable real money and tons of smoking tobacco because of the pleasurable and profitable pastime - hitting the bull - and lofting homers over the fences. Word has been received…that the tobacco company is contemplating giving up this form of ...

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Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:38 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Perry: It’s time for Cubs to lock up Jeff Samardzija

And life after lock up to follow…

For his career, the 29-year-old has pitched to a 97 ERA+ in 189 games, 66 of which have been starts. Since becoming a full-time member of the rotation prior to the 2012 season, Samardzija has logged an ERA of 4.10 in 388 1/3 innings, and he’s recorded more than three times as many strikeouts as unintentional walks.

Beyond that, Samardzija last season showed signs of skills growth. To wit, he maintained strong strikeout percentages while also cutting down on ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:57 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Bill Buckner retires from baseball

about 28 years too late.

Bill Buckner was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968. He made his major-league debut the next season. For many of the past 44 summers, Buckner has been in uniform — playing, managing or coaching.

Not this summer.

Buckner, 64, announced Monday he is retiring from baseball after two summers as the Hawks hitting coach.

“Just too much time away,” he told the Idaho Statesman. “My wife has put up with it for 30-something years.”

Buckner said he kicked ...

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Repoz Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

NYT: Waldstein: Yankees May Finally Come Out Ahead in the Trade for Pineda

TAMPA, Fla. — At the time of the trade, one of the biggest of the winter before the 2012 season, both teams had every reason to be excited. The Seattle Mariners, in need of a hitter, had picked up Jesus Montero, the Yankees’ top prospect at the time, who many felt was a certain All-Star. The Yankees received Michael Pineda, a big, hard-throwing starting pitcher who had made the All-Star team as a rookie in 2011.

So far, the transaction is a wash — because neither team is happy with the ...

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Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:41 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Monday, March 03, 2014

Indians should trade (Asdrubal) Cabrera to Mets

Finally, remember, the Mets wouldn’t be trading for Cabrera to have and to hold forever after—they’re just renting him for a year. But once you have him, you also have a season to make a sales pitch on why he should stick around. If you’re the Mets, wouldn’t you want to be able to exploit that window, before free agency? Because the other thing to consider is that if the Mets don’t trade for Cabrera now, they may well be in the exact same situation in nine months: Making him a multiyear pitch ...

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Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:55 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, mets

Bill James Mailbag - 2/27/14 - 3/2/14

Don Coffin was originally intended to manage Kane the Undertaker.

Hey, Bill, would you agree with me that HOF voters have spent a lot of time debating Jack Morris’ candidacy to the Hall and because of that they have overlooked more qualified candidates?  I am talking about Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Alan Trammell or Edgar Martinez. Look, I don’t believe that Morris belongs to the HOF, but who am I? Fact is, I have read every argument on behalf of Morris while I haven’t heard the bandwagon for ...

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Astros prospect Jon Singleton discusses his struggle with marijuana

Jon Singleton is considered the top first base prospect in baseball — a big, dynamic left-handed hitter with power and composure who can use the entire field.

He’s one of the players expected to help the Astros back to respectability after three straight 100-loss seasons.

All that despite a couple of very public setbacks. And for the first time publicly, he’s opening up about his battle with an addiction to marijuana and monthlong stay at a rehabilitation center.

“At this point ...

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Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:58 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Snyder: First replays of spring training show it can be quick

And down the Shooty Babitt hole we go…

The new replay system for the 2014 season is being used in spring training games. Monday, there were two reviews within just a few minutes of each other, marking the first uses of the new system.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the on-field call that the runner was safe due to the first baseman’s foot being off the bag. The review took around two minutes—per a Twins beat writer—and upheld the on-field ruling of the runner being safe.

Minutes ...

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Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:15 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: nfl, zzzzz

Mike Piazza back in Mets uniform

as Murray Chass is waiting for him to be out of uniform.

Mike Piazza is back home this week.

The 45-year-old Piazza, the all-time leader in homers by a catcher, is serving as a guest instructor this week at New York Mets camp. It marks his first time back in uniform with the organization since his playing days.

Piazza said chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon invited him to spring training last September, when he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at Citi Field. Piazza also serves as ...

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Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Baseball Prospectus | Framing and Blocking Pitches: A Regressed, Probablistic Model

Rather than identifying a single strike zone and giving binary credit for each pitch relative to that strike zone’s borders (i.e., strike or no strike), our model gives partial credit for each pitch based on that pitch’s likelihood of being called a ball or a strike. To determine that, we created a probability map of likely calls… To reflect what is best known about the way the size and position of the strike zone shifts from count to count and batter to batter, we ran individual models for ...

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The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, defense, pitch framing, sabermetrics

Fangraphs/Sullivan: Reviewing Last Year’s Bunt Doubles

Posted because

(a) fun baseball!

(b) Worth pointing out Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs has been doing a great job picking out interesting things from 2013 and writing brief recaps with gifs and pictures. He’s been doing this for a while and deserves some credit for highlighting (a).

Last season, there were three bunt doubles, each of them different but each of them inarguably bunt doubles. FanGraphs has no record of a year with more bunt doubles. One was pulled almost like a line drive. One ...

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villageidiom Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: bunts, gerardo parra, gifs, nate mclouth, robinson cano

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-3-2014

Washington Herald, March 3, 1914:

The baseball war soon will be over and the Federals will be in organized baseball, is the rumor being circulated…
...
The plan that will end the war, according to the rumor, is this:

The Federals will abandon their plans for an eight-club league this year, and will drop Chicago and St. Louis, making it a six-club organization for 1914. Charles Weeghman, owner of the Chicago Federal team, will be allowed to purchase the Chicago Cub franchise and Otto Stifel, the ...

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Joe Poz: Top 50 Contest

Read the link. Even if you don’t officially submit, I’m sure we could have some fun guessing his rankings (set to begin Wednesday).

FYI, 51 was Junior Griffey.

Blastin Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:40 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: rankings

HHS: Who’s On Deck for 3,000 Hits?

Barring major surprises this year, the 2015 season will begin with no active player owning 3,000 hits. That’s not unusual (see end of post), but it naturally makes us wonder who’ll be the next to that milestone. Who do you think has the best shot at 3,000 hits?

Cabrera, 68%

Miggy ranks 10th all-time in hits through age 30, and 14th in hits through 11 seasons. But he still needs 1,005 hits; and of the nine above Cabrera by age 30, only three got 3,000 (with A-Rod hanging fire). Falling ...

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Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:55 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Edwin Jackson eager to put 18-loss season behind him

Kill the Edwin–loss record.

It’s hard to imagine a Cubs player more irritated by Saturday’s two rained-out exhibition games than pitcher Edwin Jackson, whose spring debut got postponed to Sunday.

“When you have a [expletive] season, naturally, as an athlete and a competitor, you want to come back and play the way you know how to play,” Jackson said.

The sooner the better.

“Clearly, I don’t think I’m an 18-game-losing pitcher,” said Jackson, who was among the worst starting ...

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Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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