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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Marcos Breton: Lessons Miguel Tejada taught me

There is an ironclad rule in journalism that you never get too close to someone you write about.

I broke the rule once a long time ago, and I paid the price for it last week, when a famous friend – the baseball player Miguel Tejada – was cut by the San Francisco Giants and then trashed on every media platform around.

As a member of the media, I could have joined the chorus, but I didn’t. I felt too closely what Tejada felt while being on the receiving end of public scorn.

Now, I’ll be ...

Repoz Posted: September 04, 2011 at 11:09 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, business, giants, history, media

AL West race: September 3, 2011

TEX 79-61 [2-1 in SEPT]
LAA 75-64 [2-1 in SEPT] (3.5 GB) Lewis, bullpen get pinched mightily by Red Sox

...[The] Red Sox scored eight runs off Lewis, Tateyama and Merkin Valdez in the fourth inning and went on to a 12-7 victory over the Rangers in a three-hour, 44-minute affair at Fenway Park on Saturday. Bats pick up Weaver as Angels gain in West

On a night Jered Weaver didn’t have his best stuff, the Angels’ bats did the talking to beat the Twins, 10-6, on Saturday at Angel ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 04:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

Yahoo: Zimmerman’s 2-run single gives Nats 8-7 win

The Nationals built an early 5-0 lead behind starting pitcher Tom Milone, who made his major league debut after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday.

With runners on second and third and one out in the second inning, Washington third base coach Bo Porter beckoned Milone over for a chat. With the Mets’ infield in expecting a bunt, Milone swung away and hit the first pitch from Dillon Gee into the Nationals bullpen for a three-run homer.
According to STATS LLC and ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 03:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, nationals Tigers shock White Sox with ninth-inning homers

Saturday’s game-tying two-run homer from Ryan Raburn and walk-off shot from Miguel Cabrera two batters later traveled an estimated 824 feet. The resulting 9-8 Tigers win over the White Sox opened up a 7 1/2-game cushion between them in the American League Central standings, and pushed Detroit 6 1/2 games ahead of second-place Cleveland, who lost to the Royals.
Detroit faced a seven-run deficit and had a defense withering in 93-degree weather at the game’s midway point. Eight runs, a ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 02:55 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, tigers, white sox

Yahoo: Kottaras hits for cycle, Brewers beat Astros 8-2

George Kottaras became the first major league player to hit for the cycle this season and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Houston Astros 8-2 on Saturday night.

Kottaras hit a solo homer in the fourth inning off Bud Norris (6-9) to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead and tripled in the sixth ahead of a two-run shot by Craig Counsell, his first of the year.
Colorado slugger Carlos Gonzalez was the last major leaguer to hit for the cycle, on July 31 last season against the Chicago Cubs.

Following in ...

NTNgod Posted: September 04, 2011 at 02:53 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, game recaps

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Silva: If Cashman Bolts, Would Billy Beane in NY Make Sense?

Wait, slow down…Michael Kay just said “defensive metrics” today. I’m still dizzy.

Beane is an innovator. He was able to understand the value of information in a game that resists change at all costs. He focused on player development, market inefficiencies, and building a team, not a collection of free agent superstars. His model is what we see in Boston and New York today, but they are able to complement with elite talent and buy away mistakes. The Yankees had to change their internal ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 09:13 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, books, business, media, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

White Sox’ Ken Williams, Greg Walker have heated confrontation

Bah, book a room at The Holmes World’s Fair Hotel and settle this!

The frustration stemming from the shortage of production from Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham recently reached a boiling point between ­general manager Ken Williams and hitting coach Greg Walker.

Walker took issue with Williams’ comments about Beckham’s swing, and after he and Williams exchanged heated words in the tunnel leading to the Sox clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field, Williams told Walker to clean out his ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 08:45 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

ESPN: Parker: It’s time to expect Nova to win instead of wondering when he’s going to lose

Or as my Met buddy, Dennis Ribanter sez…“Meh, just another Aaron Small Sample”.

If you’re not in yet, you should be.

Enough pooh-poohing Ivan Nova. He’s not a blip, an unknown commodity. Let’s face it: He’s a force, the New York Yankees’ No. 2 starter if the playoffs opened today.

Yeah, yeah. Nova’s a rookie and doesn’t have any postseason experience.

Who cares? He can pitch. Even better—he simply wins.

...But Nova isn’t just lucky, a fraud. Nova—who upped his record to 15-4 and lowered ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 02:16 PM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, sabermetrics, yankees

A B&C Exclusive Interview with Randy Johnson

Hindsight has the baseball world looking back at the “steroid era.” Knowing that so many players gained enhancement over their natural abilities, do you feel that the accomplishments of pitchers like Maddux, Glavine, Pedro Martinez and yourself should be given more recognition for what you did on the mound in what was essentially a less-than level playing field?

Once again, you’re asking a lot of questions where there might be a biased opinion, because my opinion, based on I was just ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 02:01 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Emotional Brian Roberts acknowledges 2011 return to Orioles not looking good

It is only about a 45-minute ride from Brian Roberts’ house in Sarasota to Tropicana Field, but the trip represented yet another difficult hurdle in the veteran second baseman’s return from a concussion.

“It was a huge step for me to get in the car,” said Roberts, whose voice cracked several times Friday as he talked with reporters while seated next to Orioles manager Buck Showalter. The 33-year-old was around some of his teammates for one of the first times since he last played May 16.

“I ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

OC Register: Angel Stadium unions take fight to fans

Who is the girl in the picket line, with the long hair? What’s going on here? You have got to be kidding me!

Angel Stadium workers in two separate unions, both frustrated by slow contract negotiations and threatening to walk off the job, took their fight directly to Angels fans on Friday night before the game.

Members and supporters of the two unions – SEIU, which represents ticket takers, ticket sellers, ushers and janitors, and Unite Here Local 11, which represents food vendors – ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:50 PM | 1519 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, business, media

Hurdle: Bring back Derrek Lee next season

Raise the Jolly Rancher Vodka! (you’ll need it)

With 326 career homers, Lee brings much-needed power to the lineup. A 15-year veteran who won a World Series ring in 2003 with the Florida Marlins, Lee also adds experience to the roster.

“Have you seen many teams that have won a lot without having at least one five-year guy in their lineup? I haven’t,” Hurdle said. “You need somebody who’s been tested by fire, who can lend some quiet confidence and a voice of reason to the clubhouse when times ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:32 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pirates, projections, sabermetrics

KC Star: The bowling ball from Hell

That was Jeff Francoeur’s response when I asked him what kind of stuff Indians starter Justin Masterson had. “The bowling ball from hell.” We were talking in the dugout before the game and Frenchy called it: if Masterson could run that heavy two-seamer in on his hands, Jeff would have a tough night. If Masterson left something down, Jeff could drop the bat head and golf it.

Twice Masterson got the pitch where he wanted it (Frenchy’s two strike outs) and once Frenchy got the pitch where ...

Tripon Posted: September 03, 2011 at 08:56 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, royals

AL West race: September 2, 2011

TEX 79-60 [2-0 in SEPT]
LAA 74-64 [1-1 in SEPT] (4.5 GB) Mr. Holland’s opus: Lefty twirls gem vs. Sox

The Rangers’ pitching staff tied a club record with its 17th shutout on Friday night, and Derek Holland is headed toward his own record that any pitcher would love to have.

The Rangers continue to score runs for Holland at a record-setting pace. They scored six in the first two innings against Red Sox starter Andrew Miller and went on to a 10-0 victory. Erratic Angels let ...

NTNgod Posted: September 03, 2011 at 05:56 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, rangers

NL West race: September 2, 2011

Hallelujah!  A second race makes the cut… 

ARI 78-60 [0-1 in SEPT]
SF 73-65 [1-0 in SEPT] (5 GB) Offense awakens as Giants trim West deficit

Playing their first game of the month Friday, [the Giants] performed with urgency and efficiency rarely seen during their woeful August as Carlos Beltran homered during a 4-for-4 night and Cody Ross also homered to back Matt Cain’s eight-inning effort in a critical 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Giants’ ninth victory in 13 games ...

NTNgod Posted: September 03, 2011 at 05:05 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, game recaps, giants

Jack McKeon blasts Marlins after lackluster loss to Phillies

Eliminates or reduces, Jack!


Auditions month with the Marlins got under way Friday at Sun Life Stadium.

The review by manager Jack McKeon following a 5-3 loss to the Phillies was scathing.

“I’m getting tired of looking at this stuff. We’re better than that. It’s time to wake up,” said an exasperated McKeon. “Maybe they can’t play. Maybe they’re not good enough. It’s up to them. They have another 25 games to show us they can play.”

...“Sooner or later these guys have got to wake up. We’re ...

Repoz Posted: September 03, 2011 at 04:17 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, miami, phillies

NYT: Sandomir: To Dodgers, Bankruptcy Incurs Cost by the Hour

On July 6, Bruce Bennett analyzed a letter from a Los Angeles Dodgers fan about the team’s stunning bankruptcy filing. For his time — one-tenth of a legal hour, or six minutes — Bennett earned $97.50, exactly what he billed for a more standard task, such as examining the day’s docket.

That’s a fine wage for Bennett, who makes $975 an hour as the Dodgers’ lead bankruptcy lawyer. For 34 days of legal toil that ended July 31, Bennett’s firm, Dewey & LeBoeuf, rolled up fees of $1.7 ...

bobm Posted: September 03, 2011 at 03:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers

CelebStoner: High Times Outlasts Wall Street Journal

It’s the best rivalry in media softball: the notorious potsmokers vs. the financial power brokers. High Times swept the season series with Wall St. Journal Thursday, eking out victory in the 11th inning and making themselves favorites in the upcoming NYMSL playoffs.

Game time, 4:20!

Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: September 03, 2011 at 12:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: media, special topics

Friday, September 02, 2011

Said The Gramophone: The Chills and Genesis

The Dunedin Sound to The Sound of Eden Done…

For most of his life, my brother believed that there was a direct correlation between the Montreal Expos’ fortunes and his own. (Given my brother’s occasional happiness and success, the theory was dubious from the start, and it would finally be disproved in 2004 when the Expos were given a name-change and moved to Washington and he was not.) In 1981, the Expos made the playoffs for the first and only time in franchise history, but were defeated by ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 09:58 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, expos, history, international, music, nationals

Terence Moore: Greatness of Jeter yet to be fully appreciated

Only the Greatness of Calcaterra could find…

All of a sudden, the talk about the greatness of Derek Jeter has intensified, and this is misguided.

He’s actually greater than that.

It’s a bunch of little-big things with Jeter. Unlike New York Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez, for instance, Jeter isn’t spectacular at fielding, throwing, hitting, slugging or just existing away from the ballpark, but he is good at everything.

...I’ll put it this way: One of these centuries, when Jeter retires, ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 09:39 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Simmons: It’s all MVP all the time in Week 5 of the Sports Guy’s letter-answering binge.

And, as usual,...I couldn’t make it all the way through.

Q: When can we look past all of these bullshit saber metrics and admit that traditional stats are pretty damn useful? Just because Verlander’s WAR is a bit worse than Halladay’s, Halladay is not immediately the more dominant pitcher. There’s something to be said for 20 wins by late August regardless of what a computer and some dude at Caltech say. In 20 years Brad Pitt will star in a movie called Poorball about a revolutionary GM who ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 09:01 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics

Judge sets new trial for Clemens in April

A U.S. district court judge granted federal prosecutors a new trial for former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens on Friday, setting a start date of April 17.

Clemens is accused of lying to Congress when lawmakers investigated the illicit use of steroids in professional baseball.

...U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton blasted prosecutors Friday, declaring, “I would hate to believe they just blatantly disregarded rulings that I made, but it’s hard for me to reach any other conclusion.”

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 08:31 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: general

ESPN: Szymborski: Yanks can’t afford to lose CC (INSIDER)

While most of the early winter speculation involves the possible new homes for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, they could be joined by another superstar, CC Sabathia.

The Yankees ace, signed to a seven-year, $161 million contract, has the right to opt out this winter after the first three seasons of his deal. While the attrition rate for pitchers often results in buyer’s remorse for teams that sign hurlers to big contracts, the Yankees have had nothing to complain about in Sabathia’s ...

Dan Szymborski Posted: September 02, 2011 at 04:24 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: projections

WSJ: Six Innings and 89 Hand Licks Later

How many licks does it take?

So why is Pelfrey’s habit more noticeable than anyone else’s? For one thing, few pitchers lick their fingers as often as he does. And no one does it with such vigor. “Mike is a little bit over the top,” Dickey said.

Earlier this season, Dickey said he saw Washington Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez mock Pelfrey by imitating his lick from the opposing dugout. Last week, when a fan was heckling Pelfrey as he warmed up in Philadelphia, the first thing Pelfrey said ...

Posted: September 02, 2011 at 03:50 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

ESPN: Simon: Is Granderson good, bad or ugly in CF?

Or as we used to call it…Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Mossi.

Human judgement

We surveyed Yankees fans on Twitter, at work, and even in got into a thorough discussion with one at a local sandwich shop. Opinions varied. We heard from those who thought he was good, who thought he was average, and who thought he was bad. Defense is tough to measure.

BIS also tracks what it calls Good Fielding Plays and Defensive Misplays & Errors, in which it tags plays into approximately 30 positive (GFPs) and 50 ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 03:49 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Keri: Would losing Albert Pujols really be a terrible thing?

Of course! How soon we forget the supreme outrage St. Louis felt back in ‘77…when The Moldy Dogs took off for L.A.!!

But ownership has thrown around the term “dry powder” several times, referring to the money they’d have to spend if Pujols leaves and the will to do so. Shortstop has been a problem position for years in St. Louis, with Brendan Ryan’s 2009 breakout the only bright spot since David Eckstein left town. What if the Cardinals went after Jose Reyes? It’s entirely possible that Reyes ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 01:50 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cardinals, history, media, projections, sabermetrics

Goold: All you need is glove: Furcal’s impact on Cards

Breaking down the Cards D…as only the Great Goold can.

One of the subplots to the Cardinals 2011 season has been their willingness to sacrifice defense for offense at several key positions. The Cardinals have not been a good defensive team this season. Forget the numbers, use your eyes and you’ll see that. Many games have been lost because of plays not made (PNMs*) and extra bases given (XBGs*) and other faulty fundamentals (OOPS+*).

* Not real stats, though I really wish we had tracked PNMs ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 12:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, projections, sabermetrics

Knapp: Now’s the time to give Lincecum some real support

Support Your Local Shereef!

In some fashion this offseason, the Giants will probably make Tim Lincecum the first pitcher ever to receive a multi-million-dollar premium because he couldn’t win 20 games. They owe him that much, and Matt Cain, as well. Someday, they may have to pay the same compensatory damages to Madison Bumgarner.

But for the moment, Lincecum’s concerns take precedence. The look of resignation that briefly crossed his face late in Monday’s 7-0 loss to the Cubs was both ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 12:04 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants, history, sabermetrics

Mushnick: Not every HR pose gets same critique

Singy misses…not married to home plate-posing baseball.

The audience insult factor within Yankees TV and radio broadcasts remains tough to endure.

Last Friday on YES, Ken Singleton, during a replay, took a shot at the Orioles’ Robert Andino for jogging through what Andino thought would be a home run, finishing with a double instead of what Singleton said should have been a triple. As noted in this space on Sunday morning, a good on Singleton.

That night, just two days later, Yankee Nick ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 11:29 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, media, television, yankees

Matt Kemp should win the MVP award and Clayton Kershaw the Cy Young Award

and Bill Plaschke should win the…

This may sound odd coming from a writer who supported Kirk Gibson’s 76-RBI MVP award for the champion Dodgers in 1988, but unless a player is clearly the one difference-maker on a playoff team, I believe the MVP should go to the best guy, period. In fact, instructions on the baseball writers’ MVP ballot read, “The MVP need not come from a division winner or other player qualifiers.”

...I can already hear the Philadelphia Phillies fans crying that Roy Halladay ...

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 11:16 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, dodgers, history

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