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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Machado shifting to shortstop, Beckham to 3B

BALTIMORE—Star infielder Manny Machado made it clear this offseason he wants to play shortstop, his natural position, and manager Buck Showalter confirmed at Orioles FanFest on Saturday that the club is granting his request.

Machado has played much of his first six seasons in the Major Leagues at third base while J.J. Hardy manned short, but Hardy’s departure for free agency this offseason opened up the spot full time for the 25-year-old Machado. Tim Beckham, who the Orioles acquired in a July ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 28, 2018 at 11:56 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why Are There So Few Third Basemen in the Hall of Fame? - The New York Times

There really are a lot of great third basemen playing right now. Catchers, not so much.

Jones had his own knee problems near the end of his career, but still ranks seventh in career games at third base. Asked how he did it, Jones laughed and said, “Blessed.” The current crop of star third basemen — Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado, Anthony Rendon — could only hope to be so lucky.

“Maybe,” Schmidt said, “the greatest players in the game today ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 06:11 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Castrovince: Modern prospects playing key role

I can understand how individual players could miss this trend. How the MLBPA didn’t grasp the importance of this change is beyond me? Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr would have grasped the importance of macro movement on this level.

“Basically,” wrote an AL executive in an e-mail, “the gap between Major League veterans being a ‘known commodity’ and Minor League players being ‘unknowns’ may be shrinking due to a greater ability to study and analyze the Minor League game.”

Another executive, who ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mlbpa

Haudricourt: Brewers make moves to accelerate rebuilding process

Will they need to trade excess outfield talent for pitching to make the Yelich deal and Cain signing smart?

“It’s a confluence of a number of different factors,” Stearns said. “We knew we would have an off-season like this at some point. I couldn’t have told you whether it would be this off-season, next off-season or the off-season after, but we knew at some point we would make significant outside acquisitions to supplement our team.

“A number of factors contributed to this and when ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

MLB players, teams face FA standoff despite Cain deal

Wishful thinking for the players.

All of it is part of a bigger battle to come, one that is going to define the short remainder of this offseason, hang over the 2018 season and come to a head next November. The animus is strong, the players fixing for a fight, ownership inviting one. It’s real enough that one executive this week wondered if the sides might consider opening up the collective-bargaining agreement in the near term and giving the union financial concessions in exchange for labor ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 05:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, mlbpa

Friday, January 26, 2018

MLBPA Raises Revenue Sharing Concerns Regarding Marlins, Pirates

The Major League Baseball Player’s Association has raised concern with the commissioner’s office regarding the Marlins and Pirates, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan had recently reported that the union was considering the idea of going to commissioner Rob Manfred with their concerns.

The root of the union’s concern is whether the two teams are appropriately reinvesting the money that they receive under the league’s revenue-sharing program, both ...

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snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 26, 2018 at 03:07 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2018

Topeka State Journal, January 26, 1918:

Branch Rickey of the Cardinals is well pleased with his new manager, Jack Hendricks. Hendricks had a little wit combat with Charley Weeghman that made a hit with Rickey. Weeghman was offering a price for Rogers Hornsby. “Yes, you can have him,” says Hendricks, “for $150,000 and all of your players thrown in.” “Gosh, that’s stronger than I was ever able to make it,” says Rickey.

Seriously, Charley? Seriously? You’re still doing this? ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 26, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dead horses, dugout, history

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Brewers sign free agent Lorenzo Cain

Finally, a deal is made.

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the deal is for five years and worth $80 million, which would be the largest free-agent contract so far this offseason. The club hasn’t confirmed the deal, which is pending the completion of a physical.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 07:55 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, lorenzo cain

Brewers agree to trade for Christian Yelich | MLB.com

It appears the Brewers question Brinson’s ability to hit major league pitching. It will be interesting to see how he progresses.

The Marlins continued their rebuilding process on Thursday, trading Silver Slugger Award-winning outfielder Christian Yelich to the Brewers in exchange for three of Milwaukee’s top 14 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, and four overall—including outfielder Lewis Brinson.

The 23-year-old Brinson, who has 21 games of big league experience, is ranked by MLB Pipeline ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 07:51 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich, marlins, trade

Mariners to revive a classic

At their annual preseason luncheon Thursday, the Mariners announced their promotional schedule for the 2018 season. The most notable date? June 30, or Turn Ahead the Clock Day 2.0.

PepTech, Intermittently Stable Genius Posted: January 25, 2018 at 06:45 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, promotions, uniforms

MLB.COM - Halo effect: Vlad will rep Angels on Hall plaque

As he breaks the hearts of Expos fans everywhere…..

“Vladimir Guerrero will be the first Hall of Famer to represent the Angels when he is enshrined in Cooperstown in July as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.

Guerrero said at Thursday’s news conference in New York—featuring he and fellow electees Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman—that his plaque will depict him wearing an Angels cap.”

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 04:14 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hall of fame

Matz hungry to return to rookie form but needs health to lead way - NY Daily News

Matz is keeping the hope alive.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2018 at 03:25 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-25-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, January 25, 1918:

Although underhand pitching is supposed to “kill” the man who sticks to it, Carl Mays, the Red Sox star, seems to thrive. After a good year in 1916 he repeated last season by running second to Eddie Cicotte in effectiveness, as measured by the earned runs scored against him.

That…is an unfortunate turn of phrase.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 | MLB.com

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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.’‘

...Read More...
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, ...

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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

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