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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


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— All the News That's Fit to Link

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

ESPN The Mag’s Ultimate Standings 2015

The result: rankings that combine fan opinions with an objective measure of how well teams turn your dollars into wins. Ultimately, it all counts.

Affordability (11.3%): Price of tickets, parking and concessions 

Coaching (3.2%): Strength of on-field leadership

Fan relations (25%): Courtesy by players, coaches and front office toward fans, plus how well a team uses technology to reach fans

Ownership (13.1%): Honesty; loyalty to core players and the local community

Players (14.6%): ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2015 at 02:54 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: espn the magazine, fans, franchise rankings

Grant: Rangers turn to Cole Hamels for ALDS Game 5, who’s in a position he’s never been | Dallas Morning News

His team won all four games. You’ll have to read the article to get the specifics.

When Cole Hamels starts Game 5 of the AL Division Series on Wednesday in Toronto, it will be the fifth start of his career in which his team has a chance to close out a postseason series. It will, however, be his first win-or-go-home start. A look at Hamels’ previous performances in series-clinching opportunities:

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cole hamels, rangers

Spitball Bearings: Baseball and the Unruly World - Edge Effects

Don’t have time to read this at the moment but it looks interesting.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:56 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: science

The stories of the six men who caught the Cubs’ historic home run balls

These guys have some real special balls.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs named Asst Director of Baseball Operations - Talking Chop

This is good news for Braves fans but bad news for Fangraphs and prospect junkies like me. Good luck, Kiley!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:51 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Sorry for the Downtime This Morning

Sorry for the downtime. Our server host migrated our server to newer hardware. The downtime was supposed to be minimal but the changeover took longer than expected. Their timing wasn’t the best either. Please let me know if you notice anything wonky.

Sorry again for the inconvenience.

BTW, you can follow me on Twitter for updates on stuff like this and some baseball tidbits from time-to-time.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:44 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: site news

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-13-2015

Rock Island Argus, October 13, 1915:

The Boston Americans are the world’s champions of 1915. The Red Sox defeated Philadelphia Nationals by a score of 5 to 4 today in a game which was nip and tuck until the finish. Philadelphia took the lead only to be tied and Hooper finally clinched it for the American league champions by smashing a home run into the right center stands.

It was the second World Series title for the Sox in four years, and they had a couple more left up their sleeve before Harry ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 13, 2015 at 01:42 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, red sox

OMNICHATTER for LDS Day 6, 2015

4:30 PM: NLDS Game 4 (Cubs lead 2-1, advance to NLCS with win), Cardinals (Lackey) at Cubs (Hammel), TBS

8 PM: NLDS Game 4 (Mets lead 2-1, advance to NLCS with win), Dodgers (Kershaw) at Mets (Matz), TBS


Gamingboy Posted: October 13, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 874 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter, playoffs

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cubs hit six home runs, win Game 3 of NLDS |

It was beautiful.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 09:49 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, playoffs

Royals’ five-run inning beats Astros in Game 4 |

One crazy inning.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 09:45 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, royals

Dodgers Pick Kershaw to Start on 3 Days’ Rest in Game 4 - The New York Times

“Do you have to explain that one? He’s pretty good,” manager Don Mattingly said about Kershaw. “No matter if we’re down 2-1 or up 2-1, we feel like he’s the right guy.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 09:44 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs

Replay Is Turning Baseball Into Football And I Hate It

To be fair, Terrance Gore never made a “football move.”

Astros manager A.J. Hinch challenged the play, sending the umpiring crew to a replay review. They determined that after sliding in safely, Gore’s foot popped off the bag for a brief moment, and that he was therefore out because the third baseman’s wrist (which I guess is part of the glove?) was still pressed against Gore’s body. If you watch the GIF above enough times, you can see why the umpires reversed the call, and you can even ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:58 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: alds, astros, instant replay, royals, terrance gore

AA: Harold Reynolds doesn’t think Canadians can catch foul balls

It’s evident Harold has never seen Greg K man the hot corner in Central Park.

I’m not sure what happened in Harold Reynolds’ mind when he went from “Laser beam foul ball into the stands” to “Canadians can’t catch baseballs because it’s cold, or something.”

JE (Jason) Posted: October 12, 2015 at 02:04 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: alds, blue jays, canada, dumbass, harold reynolds, hockey

Leonys Martin jilts Texas Rangers, skips workouts in Arizona | Dallas Morning News

I guess he’s not a team player.

Outfielder Leonys Martin has weakened his always shaky status with the club by failing to report to the Arizona Instructional League as planned.

The Rangers included Martin in a group of players sent to Surprise, Ariz., on Wednesday to continue workouts during the post-season and be ready if needed. Team can change rosters at all times during the post-season.

General manager Jon Daniels said Martin apparently was upset at being left off the roster for the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: leonys martin, rangers

Baseball Is Not a Contact Sport | FanGraphs Baseball

If only ONE player gets hurt, the rules need to be changed!

Oh, brother.

What matters is that players get hurt, and while you can’t make rules to eliminate all injuries, you can certainly work to eliminate injuries caused by other players when they deliberately behave in certain ways. It doesn’t really make sense that baseball, as a sport, would leave the door open to vicious takeout slides at second base. It doesn’t go with everything else, especially now that we’ve mostly gotten rid ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 09:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, ruben tejada, rules

Lee Smith: In Defense of the Chase Utley Slide

Lee Smith (no, the other one) weighs in:

Middle infielders learn this principle in youth baseball, long before they get to the professional ranks. If you turn your back on the incoming runner, you’re putting yourself at risk. This is one reason why it’s harder, and more dangerous, for the second baseman to turn the double play than it is for the shortstop. At second, you have to square yourself to receive the relay from short or third so you’re always giving some of your back to the ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 12, 2015 at 09:21 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, dodgers, mets, neighborhood play, suspension

Jake Arrieta’s run among best in MLB history |

“It’s easy to talk about momentum, but it’s harder to maintain it,” Hershiser said. “Every day you put in the work to look to lengthen the run. Does it get easier? I’m not sure it does. It’s a mental challenge to keep it going as much as a physical challenge, knowing that the baseball probabilities will get you. So you just keep your focus knowing that you can make one more sinker low and away and one more breaking ball in the dirt.”

Arrieta keeps defying the probabilities. And it’s no ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

Cowlishaw: Rangers need Beltre back, Choo, Fielder to show up | Dallas Morning News

Another big game today. Playoff baseball is the best.

But Fielder already knows how a team’s fans can sour on a slugger during or after a really poor post-season. It happened in Detroit two years ago.

There’s still time for Choo and Fielder to write positive post-season chapters to their 2015 tales. It could happen as early as Monday afternoon against Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. In fact, changing the story in the next few hours sure beats trying to do it two days from now in an ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, playoffs, rangers

OTP: October 2015 3. Congress honors Red Land Little League

Congressman Lou Barletta, who once tried out for the Cincinnati Reds, was at the game with his grandson. He told the team about his own baseball background as they ate pizza slices on the dais in a House hearing room, and offered a few words of encouragement regarding their future plans.

“If you don’t make it as a professional ball player, you can always fall back on being a congressman,” Barletta quipped.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 1036 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, little league, politics

Toronto Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey would be ‘disappointed and sad’ if he doesn’t get a chance to pitch in post-season | National Post

Dickey can go a long way in making the deal with the Mets seem better.

“Look,” said Dickey, “you had to win three games anyway, right? The order in which you’ve won those games is insignificant to winning them. So if you won the first one, lost the next two and won the next two, it doesn’t matter, if you won three in a row, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to win three. Here we are having to win three. We’ve had an 11-game win streak this year. Nobody in (the clubhouse) is thinking ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, r.a. dickey, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-12-2015

Associated Press via Clarksburg [WV] Daily Telegram, October 12, 1915:

The world’s championship is almost within the firm grasp of the Boston Americans. The red hosed champions of the American League trimmed the Philadelphia club by a score of two to one today. Ernest Shore’s fine pitching held the Phillies to one run, while opportune batting sent enough runs over the plate for Boston to win. The Red Sox have now won three games; the Phillies one contest.

The Sox will attempt to close out the ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2015 at 08:05 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, red sox, world series

Harper: In NLDS Game 3, Mets’ Harvey can right this wrong - NY Daily News

As if Matt Harvey needed more pressure.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 07:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, matt harvey, mets

Don Mattingly: David Wright would get away with hard slide - NY Daily News

If Utley plays and gets a game-winning hit, there will be mass hysteria in New York.

Mattingly said he had been considering starting Utley, who is 6-for-18 (.333) with one home run against Harvey, while Howie Kendrick is only 1-for-6. Lefties hit 15 home runs and had a .676 OPS in 377 plate appearances this season against Harvey, who limited righthanders to three home runs and a .544 OPS in 378 plate appearances.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 07:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, don mattingly, mets

Lorenzo Cain’s misplay embodies day for Royals but not necessarily the series | The Kansas City Star

The magic appears to be gone.

At the very crack of George Springer’s bat, Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain zoomed toward the left-center gap in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the American League Divisional Series against Houston on Sunday at Minute Maid Field.

The simmering sixth-inning drive was sinking fast, and Cain would have to backhand a challenging catch that would have been about Exhibit 38 in the case for Cain as the best man at his job in the game today.

Had this been during the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lorenzo cain, royals

Longtime friends Dallas Keuchel, Jason Castro happy to see reversed fortune for this season’s Astros - Ultimate Astros

Success is a lot more sweet whenever you kind of go through hardships, like we did the first couple years that I was up here, and Castro,” Keuchel said. “A lot of (the noise Sunday) hinges on just the 10-year absence from the playoffs. You never want to lose in any season. Guys hate losing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2015 at 07:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dallas keuchel, jason castro, royals



1 PM: ALDS Game 4 (Astros lead 2-1, advance to ALCS with win), Royals (Ventura) at Astros (McCullers), FS1

4 PM: ALDS Game 4 (Rangers lead 2-1, advance to ALCS with win), Blue Jays (Dickey) at Rangers (Holland), FS1

6 PM: NLDS Game 3 (tied 1-1), Cardinals (Wacha) at Cubs (Arrieta), TBS

8:30 PM: NLDS Game 3 (tied 1-1), Dodgers (Anderson) at Mets (Harvey), TBS

Time Unknown: Appeals hearing, Chase Utley and MLBPA vs. Major League Baseball


Gamingboy Posted: October 12, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 1129 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why MLB needs to suspend Dodgers’ Chase Utley for over-the-top takeout -

Serve up justice? How overwrought and unhinged can a columnist get?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 02:57 PM | 405 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets

Chase Utley slide joins most controversial plays in Dodger playoff history « Dodger Insider

Jon Weisman makes some good points.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 02:07 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs

Cardinals notebook: Wide strike zone no longer big part of game strategy : Sports

On Saturday, Maddon remarked how even though “it’s a structured strike zone, (but) it’s always interpreted differently by whomever is behind the plate.” What limits the umpires, Matheny has said several times, is the use of technology such as FoxTrax for broadcasts and the similar grid tech that Major League Baseball uses to grade umpires. The benefit, Matheny said, is “more accountability and should be more consistency.” The drawback is the diminishing importance of a catcher who ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2015 at 10:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cubs, strike zone

Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Gonzalez, and Albert Pujols Combine to Set the Major League Record For Most Players to Finish a Season With 40 or More Home Runs and Less Than 100 RBIs

With the trend over the last several seasons showing a rise in strikeouts, drops in batting average, OBP, and runs scored, along with a sustained focus on power it is likely seasons of 40 or more home runs with less than 100 RBI may become more common.  In fact, Pujols was the only one of the five sluggers to complete the odd feat who was not a regular strikeout victim.  What’s more, none of the five 40 or more home run/sub-100 RBI seasons produced in 2015 were abbreviated by injury or had any ...


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