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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Allen Barra: Should Pete Rose Be in the Hall of Fame? Let the Voters Decide

And let’s just forget Denny McLain’s “fantastic” 1965 season while we’re at it!

Denny McLain had two fantastic seasons as a Major League Baseball pitcher. In 1968, with the Detroit Tigers, he won 31 games (the last pitcher in MLB to win at least 30) and lost six; the next season, also with Detroit, he went 24-9. In 1968 he was voted Most Valuable Player for the American League, and in both years he won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the league. McLain’s other eight seasons with ...

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Repoz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 120 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-11-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 11, 1914:

One afternoon, [Rube] Waddell chanced to be in the [Pirates] office. The phone bell sounded. Next to a fire alarm there is nothing Rube admires more than a phone call. He raced to the receiver, yanked it from its perch with a loud “Hello. What’s the matter?”

Waddell listened to a mortal at the other end of the line and then glanced into a corner of the room. “Wait a minute,” yelled [Waddell] into the transmitter. With a bound he darted to that corner, grapped ...

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NYDN: Fan at Mets game lets kid in stroller roll downhill so he can catch ball

“Mom’s not happy.”

In Monday’s spring training game between the Mets and Marlins, Chris Young laced a ground-rule double into the right-center field gap, and as the ball rolled into a picnic area, one fan let go of a wagon holding his kid and tried to retrieve the ball.

The wagon went rolling down the hill and crashed into the fence. The fan didn’t even come away with the ball, either.

 

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:29 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, marlins, mets, souvenirs

Rosenthal: No simple answer to this question: Barry Bonds, Hall of Famer?

Interface adapters & converters needed for Robothal.

Bonds, 49, took a major step Monday, returning to baseball for the first time since 2007 to begin a weeklong stint as a special hitting instructor with the Giants.

Naturally, a reporter asked him if he belonged in the Hall. Naturally, Bonds did not hesitate with his answer.

“Without a doubt,” he said.

...I struggle with the idea that some of the best players of this generation might never be enshrined in Cooperstown. I question whether ...

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Repoz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:56 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

MLB Pitchers Don’t Regain Performance Level after Tommy John Surgery

Take that Michael the Kay and your daily “pitchers sometimes throw harder after Tommy John surgery!” jive.

Major League Baseball players who undergo Tommy John surgery are less likely to regain the performance level they had before surgery, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

The study is the first to show a link between the surgery and declining pitching performance at the professional level. It also involved the largest cohort of professional pitchers to date to examine the issue.

...
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Repoz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:36 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: tommy john surgery

Monday, March 10, 2014

Camden Depot: Suk-min Yoon’s Korean Comic (translated)

Sung-min Kim is a mother, father, gentleman.

Suk-min Yoon has inspired a comics writer in Korea to compose this comicSung-min Kim was kind enough to provide a translation for us.

The District Attorney Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:02 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: international, korea, orioles, suk-min yoon

ESPN: Bacon Gear A Hit With Fans

Since the Lehigh Valley IronPigs put their new, bacon-themed merchandise on sale, they have been as popular as ever. . . On Feb. 24, the team announced its players would wear uniforms for Saturday games featuring a wavy strip of bacon on the hats, jerseys and pants. Since then, the team has sold almost 3,300 of the bacon hats and 1,500 bacon-strip scratch-and-sniff T-shirts that promise to smell through at least 10 trips in the washing machine.
. . .
[T]he team will continue the theme at the ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2014 at 02:11 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: fashion sense, food, iron pigs, phillies, souvenirs, uniforms

Axisa: Braves’ Kris Medlen leaves game with right forearm strain

UPDATE: Medlen has been diagnosed with a right forearm strain, the Braves announced. He will be examined further on Monday. Forearm strains are known to be indicators of an elbow problem.

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, frank jobe is dead, injuries

MASN: Talking shifts with new Nats defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier

So why has baseball been so slow to adapt in that area?

“(Laughs) Baseball’s been kind of slow to adapt to a lot of things, huh? It’s a very traditional game. If you ever read the book, ‘Men at Work,’ by George Will, the polycracy involved for years in professional baseball, as opposed to democracy or meritocracy, he called it. It was ruling by old friends. Slow to change! There’s no question about it. And don’t get me wrong, we have (an analytics) group here, Sam Mondry-Cohen and the guys ...

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Repoz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nats, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-10-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 10, 1914:

[Newly-acquired Pittsburgh pitcher] Bob Harmon only has one grievance against the Cardinal management. “That is the fact that they wouldn’t give me a few hours off to get married,” laughed the violinst. “The ceremony was to be at 6. We were playing a double-header with the Browns in the city series and Sallee and I were to pitch the two games. I wanted to work in the first game and allow them to use Sal in the second, but they made me pitch the second. ...

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HHS: Snuffy & the Wartime Peaksters

Plus their cut on Mayhem & Psychosis Vol 2 was boss!

In 1944-45, the height of the wartime talent depletion, some hitters had good years far above their career norms. Which ones were the most out of context?

This, of course, is “the Snuffy Stirnweiss question.” His first two full years in the majors, 1944-45, were both excellent offensive seasons for any hitter, and — because he was also a slick keystone fielder — rank second all-time in WAR for a player’s 2nd & 3rd years combined. ...

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Repoz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 06:27 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Phil Rogers: Cardinals’ set lineup presents case for DH in NL

Add the designated hitter to the National League!

Wouldn’t you rather see one of these guys hit than continue to watch the Cardinals send the likes of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez to the plate? I would but maybe I’m biased, because I grew up watching American League games, not worshiping at the altar of the double-switch and that predictable daily double—the No. 8 hitter being walked to get to the pitcher, and the pitcher giving up an out with a bunt.

Will ...

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Repoz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:58 AM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Nightengale: Ryan Braun leads the majors in confidence

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade. But there is no joy in Melville…

Playing in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 14,770 at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz., on Sunday, Braun refuses to succumb, just as he has this spring from opposing fans at Brewers’ home games.

“Dude, say what you want about me, but I am strong,’’ Braun says in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports. “Mentally, and emotionally, I am strong.

“This doesn’t bother me. People may have something new to yell now, but it’s ...

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Repoz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Sunday, March 09, 2014

BtBS: Estimating number of runs saved by infield shifts

Last week, Jeff Zimmerman at the Hardball Times released infield shift data for 2013. These data considered a shift to be on when the defense had three players on the same side of the infield (as in the Jays-Red Sox example above). The data that were made available included how often teams had a shift on when hitters put the ball in play, and the players that hit into the most shifts. Here, I am focusing on the former. Keep in mind that these data exclude home runs, strikeouts, walks ...

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bobm Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:16 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, shift

Cardinals sign Cuban Aledmys Diaz

Cardinals limited roster space get even more limited…. Anyone have projections for Diaz yet?

The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a four-year, major-league deal with shortstop Aledmys Diaz, a Cuban who defected from the country and had to wait out a years suspension before being eligible as a free agent. The team announced the deal Sunday afternoon.

cardsfanboy Posted: March 09, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, cuba, free agents, international free agents

Fay: Brandon Phillips’ emotions in conflict with the facts

“Out here survival is everything!”

Phillips isn’t talking to me, C. Trent Rosecrans, Mark Sheldon and Hal McCoy because he says we wrote that he struggled in the second half without mentioning he was playing hurt.

Phillips can talk or not talk. That doesn’t matter to me. There will be 24 players on the roster who will talk. But the notion that we didn’t write about his injury is blatantly false.

It was mentioned over and over again. This is from when I picked him as the club’s first-half ...

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Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

The Economist: Babe, Jackie, Jobe

A swooning ode to the late inventor of Tommy John surgery asks why fans treat it so differently than steroid use.

A mere whiff of steroid use is enough to sully the reputation of any athlete, whereas players who recover from TJS are praised for their perseverance. But what could be more unnatural, or provide a bigger advantage, than cutting a tendon out of a wrist or leg and inserting it into an elbow?


Laurila: Sunday Notes: Mets-Royals, Orioles, Expos, Player X on PEDs

X crawls to Mark Mulder’s doorstep and writes in his own blood “DHEA”.

Player X: “I was never an angel when it came to the drug policy. Androstendione was legal at the time. I used Winstrol after coming off rotator cuff surgery. The benefits were amazing. The physical gains of steroids are a given, but what I didn’t expect were the mental gains. The confidence boost the added testosterone gave me was exponential. I went from “I hope they don’t hit this pitch” to “Try and hit this, ...

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Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:40 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: history, steroids

Tigers lose on walk-off balk

Among the first drills new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus worked on with his club in February was a rarely attempted pickoff move to third base.
...
Honestly, it felt like a disaster waiting to happen when Ausmus introduced the drill, and on Friday night a perfect example of just how disastrous it can be played out when a little bit of miscommunication led to a game-ending balk in Detroit’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees.

SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rules, tigers

Brown: How Michael Cuddyer’s chase of the NL batting title made him a better player

My 1969 Macmillan shocker: Debs Garms.

He batted .370 the rest of the way. Turned out, he batted .385 in September. He finished at .331, 10 points ahead of Johnson, 60 points higher than his career average, 47 points better than he’d ever hit. On the final day of the season, he could let it go again, free of the drama, the thrill, the achievement, the bouts of weirdness in the batter’s box. And it could just be glorious.

“Oh, it’s extremely special,” he said. “To have your name in the history ...

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Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:05 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

Holmes: Number one pick Mike Ivie battled emotional troubles in career that ended with the Tigers

Operation Ivie: Turn it around!

When you’re a first round selection in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, there are expectations. When you’re the overall #1 pick, those expectations are high. In 1970, Mike Ivie was that #1 pick, but he never lived up to the expectations, not in two stops with pro clubs in California, not with the Houston Astros, nor in a final, last-ditch trial with the Detroit Tigers. As a result, the once promising prospect’s career was over at the age of 30.

...
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Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Madden: As Robinson Cano asks Mariners for help, it’s like Alex Rodriguez in Texas all over again

Doesn’t Madden know that the Mariners finished 2nd in HR’s…and that his Yogi Yorgesson record needs flipping?

What is interesting is Cano’s sudden discovery that the team he chose to cast his lot with is not very good. It is the exact same scenario to what his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez discovered his first year in Texas in 2001 after signing his then-record $252 million deal with the Rangers. Back then, Tom Hicks, the idiot Texas owner who gave A-Rod more than $100 million more than ...

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Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:03 AM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, yankees

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Peter Gammons: The new, new thing better than Moneyball

I have a curare solutin’ BB gun at my ready for the first writer that pulls a Killer B’s for Billy Beane/Billy Burns.

Back in the Moneyball Summer, Billy Beane used to say, “whoever hits the most homers usually wins,” and could live without stolen bases. But while the movie was superb, it was, in reality, fiction, or semi-fiction. “All movies are,” Beane said when the film was released. “Thirteen Days” wasn’t the way it really was, either.

“In our market (and a park that ...

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Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland, sabermetrics

Lew Wolff exploring temporary stadium for A’s

There is precedent for teams building temporary stadiums. In 2010, Empire Field was erected in Vancouver to house the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for the 2010 season and part of 2011. The 27,528-seat venue was built by the Nussli Group in just three months at a cost of $14.4 million, during the time when a retractable roof was being installed at the Lions’ permanent stadium.

theboyqueen Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Weiner: It’s Jim Bouton’s 75th Birthday and Sports Journalism Owes Him A Debt of Gratitude

Give him some high praise and we’ll go and pound some Bud…uhh, Bowie Kuhn.

Writers never changed their stripes. Bouton and his editor Leonard Shecter were called “social lepers” by New York Daily News columnist Dick Young, a man who was conflicted by his career. Young was taking money from Major League Baseball teams in writing program pieces and promotional material but was also a journalist. Young often sided with the owners and by 1977 was so embedded with baseball ownership that his ...

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Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 04:04 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Blue Jays To Sign Ervin Santana

A pitcher with injury concerns signing with the Jays. What could go wrong?

The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM. Santana has until recently been represented by Proformance, although there have been recent reports about the possibility of Santana ending his relationship with that agency.

Santana pitched 211 innings ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 01:41 PM | 126 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ervin santana, free agents

Moore: George Foster doesn’t regret giving away Fisk homer ball

Which brings me to the slew of questions I had for Foster, the starting left fielder and prolific slugger for the Machine.

“You say the auction is happening this April? Wow,” said Foster over the phone from the Reds’ spring training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., where he is involved in one of the many charitable groups that he runs.

So I started there: Given the mega bucks that will be involved next month in the auction for the Fisk ball, and given that Foster surely could use some of those ...

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Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:20 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: history

LHP Joe Saunders and Rangers finalize one-year contract

Joe Saunders was the opposing pitcher who helped end the Texas Rangers’ last playoff appearance two seasons ago.

Now the veteran left-hander will get a chance to earn a spot in the Texas rotation after finalizing a one-year contract that guarantees him the $500,000 minimum.

Saunders’s salary would increase to $1.5 million if he makes the team. He can earn performance bonuses in addition to his salary under the deal completed Tuesday.

With injured lefty Derek Holland expected to be out at ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, joe saunders, rangers

Diamondbacks To Sign Oliver Perez

Oliver LOOGYs are signed now.

The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-hander Oliver Perez on a two-year, $4.25MM deal, pending physical. Perez, a client of Scott Boras, will earn $1.75MM for the coming year and $2.5MM in 2015.

Perez, 32, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons as a reliever with the Mariners. He has tallied a 3.16 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 31.8 percent ground-ball rate in 82 2/3 innings in that time. Opposing left-handers have batted ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agents, loogy, oliver perez

Lee: Initial B.J. Upton swing observations

B.J. Upton’s swing has changed some, but whether it’s the dramatic difference he needs remains to be seen.

Upton’s 2013 was a perfect storm of bad habits rolled into a swing that was all arms and generated no lower-body help. It led to slow bat speed, whiffing through velocity and not being able to drive anything up the middle.

I wrote in October that Upton’s 2013 swing had little load, a very slow trigger, a stiff front side and no lower-body torque. He didn’t generate any momentum ...

Read More...
Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bad contracts, bj upton, braves, mechanics, scouting

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