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Thursday, December 06, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-6-2018

El Paso Herald, December 6, 1918:

President Ebbets, of the Brooklyn club, is one who says there isn’t a thing in the talk of the St. Louis Cardinals being moved to Kansas City, and probably what he says will be endorsed by seven other National league club presidents…while [Ebbets] complimented Kansas City as a live burg he made it clear that it is not to his mind of major league caliber, even if the geographical location were not all against it. The burden of transportation is enough as it is, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

David Ortiz is all fired up about J.D. Martinez not being MVP finalist

David Ortiz is tired of the anti-designated hitter bias.

The former Boston Red Sox slugger never won an American League MVP award despite putting up some monster numbers throughout his career. He’s apparently still a little salty about that, and after watching J.D. Martinez finish a distant fourth in AL MVP voting this year, Ortiz couldn’t bite his tongue any longer.

“OK, Mookie Betts was the MVP, but you were the runner-up,” Ortiz told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford at his annual David Ortiz Golf ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, designated hitters, j.d. martinez

The Nationals Don’t Need Bryce Harper

The best thing to happen to the Washington Nationals this offseason might be Bryce Harper turning down the $300 million contract offered by the club at the end of the season. Rather than allocating vast resources to one free agent superstar, the Nationals made smaller moves to shore up their weak spots, signing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin on Tuesday to bolster their rotation and adding two catchers earlier in the offseason.

It wasn’t clear if the Nationals would be able to compete ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, contrarians on parade, nationals, patrick corbin

MLB free agency: Giants have extensively scouted pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

The first free-agent pitching domino fell Tuesday when former D’backs ace Patrick Corbin reportedly agreed to a massive contract with the Nationals.

One day prior to the Corbin news though, another interesting piece to the puzzle was unraveled in the pitching market. Star Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi was officially posted by the Seibu Lions.

“He’s an accomplished guy from over there,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wednesday on KNBR. “We have scouted him ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, yusei kikuchi

MLB players concerned about retooling teams, attendance drop

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players are concerned the Seattle Mariners have become yet another rebuilding team and may be joined by others following a season of steep attendance drops among clubs that faded early and never contended for the playoffs.

Union head Tony Clark and new collective bargaining director Bruce Meyer said Wednesday their members also are concerned about rapid change in the way games are played, such as the increased use of relief pitchers, and are willing to speak with ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, bad ideas, bruce meyer, lottery, mlbpa, tanking, tony clark

Banning defensive shifts would be lazy solution to non-existent problem for MLB

It’s that time of year again. That time when Major League Baseball says it’s prepared to make big changes to the way teams are allowed to play defense.

As always, the proposed changes center around defensive shifts, an analytics-based method that has influenced teams to change the positioning of its defenders in an effort to counter a batter’s tendencies. The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported Wednesday that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is receiving “strong backing” from the ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, manfred is thinking about it, shifts

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Diamondbacks trade Paul Goldschmidt to Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired slugger Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder Andrew Young, it was announced Wednesday.

The Diamondbacks also receive a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick from the Cardinals.

Goldschmidt is a free agent next winter.

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:25 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, diamondbacks, hot stove, trade

Hall of Fame Case for Davey Johnson

Johnson managed for 17 seasons and won 1,372 games, posting a .562 winning percentage. He was twice named Manager of the Year. He won the 1986 World Series with the Mets, led his clubs to first place finishes in his division six times and second place finishes eight times, making the playoffs in six seasons overall. He would’ve likely won another division title and made another playoff appearance but for the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Johnson was on the scene as the Mets ascended to ...

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Bote Man Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:35 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: craig calcaterra, davey johnson, hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-5-2018

Memphis News Scimitar, December 5, 1918:

It’s one thing after another with Babe Ruth this offseason. The latest is some sort of an accident at the factor the factory he was engaged in that put one of the Babe’s legs on the blink and he is hobbling around on crutches. Two weeks ago it was the flu that had him. Before that something else, and right after the season closed he was singed and blistered when a kitchen stove blew up.

The Babe didn’t make great decisions. The kitchen stove incident ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 05, 2018 at 09:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Dodgers’ new hitting department – Dodger Insider

Interesting article.

Van Scoyoc would move on from playing baseball, his final days occurring at the community college level, but he wanted to stay in the game. He developed an insatiable thirst for knowledge about hitting, studying swings and the analytics of the game. He became an assistant of private hitting instructor Craig Wallenbrock, who is widely known in the industry for his work and results with professional baseball players. Van Scoyoc calls Wallenbrock one of the most brilliant ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hitting mechanics, hitting philosophies

Why the Mariners rebuild is mostly beneficial to GM Jerry Dipoto’s job security and ownership - CBSSports.com

Is it really true teams don’t have to worry about winning? I don’t buy it.

Now, Dipoto is in a somewhat enviable position: He doesn’t have to show results to keep his job. The old saying was teams had to sell fans on wins or hope. In this post-“Process” era, fans seem more open than ever to buying hope—that their organizations can build a so-called sustainable winner that has many shots at a championship rather than one or two. Not coincidentally, the sustainable strategy aligns with the best ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:18 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: jerry dipoto, mariners

Interesting subplot brews in NL East as rival Braves hire Rick Kranitz, Phillies’ deposed pitching coach

After the Phillies surprisingly fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz last month, we wrote this line:

Kranitz, who had previously served as head major-league pitching coach with Miami, Baltimore and Milwaukee, should have no trouble hooking on with another organization.

Well, this has proven true.

Pity that the soap opera is a dying breed- this is the sort of thing for which the organ music was very much intended.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, phillies, rick kranitz, soap opera

Young players have officially taken over Major League Baseball

This summer, when we asked major league veterans to talk about getting old, only one of them—Adam Jones, father of two sons—brought up Lightning McQueen.

Aging is not so much the body breaking down, Jones theorized, as the fact that every generation is better than the one before it. “It’s not an excuse, but the game’s gotten harder. That’s all it is: the next generation. It’s like that line from ‘Cars 3.’ His grandpa told him, ‘You’ll know when to retire. The youngsters will tell you.’ I’m ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: youth

Mets have been in touch with free agent CF A.J. Pollock

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said his big move to land Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz wasn’t the last he would make. His agressive style this offseason will continue, and free-agent CF A.J. Pollock is a name he has shown interest in.

Van Wagenen said he believes Pollock could be a good fit for the Mets, and he has been in touch with Pollock’s agent

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Pollock is looking for a five-year deal worth around $80 million—similar to what the Brewers gave Lorenzo ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:07 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pollock, brodie van wagenen, mets being mets

BASEBALL: New Braves spring training ballpark named CoolToday Park

The new spring training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name: CoolToday Park.

Tuesday the Atlanta Braves announced a partnership with CoolToday for the naming rights of their new spring training ballpark, slated to host its first game on Sunday, March 24, with the Braves taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:05 p.m. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As part of our commitment to maintain a lifelong relationship with our community, this partnership with the Braves ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:54 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, naming rights, spring training

Carlos Santana, J.P. Crawford say goodbye to Philadelphia in classy fashion

On paper, general manager Matt Klentak and the Phillies did very well by trading Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford for All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and two relief pitchers.

Neither the 23-year-old Crawford nor Santana, signed to a three-year, $60 million deal last December, performed to expectations in their time as Phillies.

Give both guys credit, though, for going out the right way.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos santana, j.p. crawford, phillies

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Jeff Francoeur to Be Braves New TV Analyst

Joe Simpson is going to be (mostly) out as the TV analyst and will be shifted to radio. In the TV booth next to Chip Caray for most games: Jeff Francoeur.

...

Simpson has made some unwelcome headlines in the past few years for some comments that raised eyebrows. This past season he implied that Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was lying about his age. He also, strangely, criticized Chase Utley for taking batting practice in a t-shirt, calling it unprofessional.


Patrick Corbin agrees to terms with Nationals

The Washington Nationals are adding another high-caliber pitcher to their rotation, reportedly agreeing to terms with free agent Patrick Corbin on Tuesday.

The Washington Post first reported that Corbin and the Nats had agreed to terms.

The 29-year-old Corbin, an All-Star selection in 2018, is coming off his best season, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA while logging 200 innings for the second time in his career. Relying largely on his filthy slider, Corbin set a career high in strikeouts (246) ...

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Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 04, 2018 at 04:06 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agents, nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2018

Washington Herald, December 4, 1918:

Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox, is reported to have enlisted the aid of George Cohan and Sam H. Harris in an effort to gain control of the Giants.
...
Sam Harris was quoted today as having admitted that Frazee had discussed the matter with Cohan and himself, but that the uncertainty of the theatrical business had prevented them from taking the matter up seriously.
...
Relations between Frazee and Ban Johnson are reported to be strained to such a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 04, 2018 at 10:11 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale not tipping his hand on Orioles rumors

NATIONALS PARK—Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was coy Sunday at Nationals Winterfest when asked about a report that he would be interviewing for the Baltimore Orioles open managerial job.

“Let’s just put it this way, there’s 30 jobs and if you get the opportunity, it’s a blessing, so, with all the turnover this year, I have not interviewed yet,” Hale said. “I have a great job here. If you get the opportunity to talk to somebody and meet some new people, it’d be a great ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: chip hale, managerial search, orioles

No matter what Cubs do this Hot Stove season, last year’s failures hang over like a dark cloud

If the Cubs truly aren’t able to afford the top free agents on the open market this offseason, the main reason for that is because they’ve had to spend so much money in free agency on pitching the last few years. It’s also because they swung and missed in a major way last winter and are still feeling the effects.

The Cubs entered last winter feeling pretty good about the state of their offense but wanted to augment the pitching staff in a big way. So they went out and handed $198 million to ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bad deals, cubs, hot stove, pitching

Jay Bruce on being traded by the Mets again: ‘I wish everybody there the best’

Former Mets outfielder Jay Bruce said he wasn’t as surprised at being traded for the third time in the past two and a half years.

“Honestly, it’s just another trade now,” Bruce said, according to the New York Post’s Mike Puma, after he was included in the seven-player blockbuster trade that brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York. “The third trade doesn’t hold quite the shock as the first couple do.”

The Mets dealt Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and three prospects—OF Jarred Kelenic and RHPs ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, mets, trades

MLB to blame for Seattle fire sale

Ah, yes. Exactly what the American League needed: Another team that isn’t going to be competitive.

It’s a shame to see the Mariners hitting the self-destruct button.

Seattle’s fire sale has sent Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets, James Paxton to the Yankees, Alex Colome to the White Sox, Mike Zunino to the Rays, and now, Jean Segura to the Phillies.

Talk about a total teardown. In a little over a month, they’ve gone from an 89-win team to one that looks like the Triple-A ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: fire sale, mariners, mlb, the process

Umpire Angel Hernandez seeks ‘sensitive’ documents in MLB discrimination suit

Relations between umpire Angel Hernandez and Major League Baseball won’t be warming up anytime soon. Hernandez is suing MLB for discrimination, alleging that he’s been passed over for numerous promotions to crew chief due to his Latino descent, and his lawyers have requested a number of “sensitive” MLB documents that could possibly help prove his case. And as you may have guessed, MLB isn’t on board.

According to the New York Daily News, Hernandez’s lawyers have requested ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: angel hernandez, evaluations, grievances, instant replay, the documentary trail, umpiring

Report: Bryce Harper Met with Magic Johnson, Dodgers; Up to 12 Teams Interested

If free agent Bryce Harper is the jackpot of Major League Baseball’s offseason, it is only appropriate the race to sign him has reportedly already taken a number of teams to his hometown of Las Vegas.

According to Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, “upward of a dozen teams” have either met with Harper in Sin City or plan on meeting with him in the coming days with the league’s winter meetings slated to start Sunday.

Magic Johnson, who owns a stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers, ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agency, magic johnson

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2018)

The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.

It’s a difficult leap to make—embracing Darth Vader and the Emperor over the plucky and attractive Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia—but a careful examination of the facts, sorted apart from Lucas’s off-the-shelf moral cues, makes a quite convincing case.


The Performance Case for DRC - Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus has a new batting metric.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2018 at 06:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Monday, December 03, 2018

Latest reports on Orioles managerial search - School of Roch

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has confirmed that Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Royals quality control/catching coach Pedro Grifol are on the list of candidates. Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell, younger brother of new Reds manager David Bell, also will interview, according to MLB Network’s Peter Gammons.

The Orioles aren’t commenting on the reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 05:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial search, orioles

Seibu Lions posting Yusei Kikuchi Tuesday; Yankees on the radar

As per the terms of the posting agreement negotiated last year, the Lions’ fee for posting Kikuchi will be determined by the amount of his contract. The more money Kikuchi receives, the more his new club owes to the Lions, as it must pay 20 percent of the first guaranteed $25 million, 17.5 percent of the amount between $25,000,001 and $50 million and 15 percent of the total value exceeding $50 million. Percentages of bonuses, escalator clauses and options also factor into the equation.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 05:50 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, yusei kikuchi

Manager Dave Roberts agrees to 4-year contract | MLB.com

On Monday, the two sides put pen to paper. Roberts inked a four-year extension that runs through 2022, the team announced, adding three years onto the contract he was already guaranteed.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 05:49 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dave roberts, dodgers

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