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Saturday, March 18, 2017

New Socks, Same Road: The Emergence of Michael Kopech | 2080 Baseball

“Michael liked to hold a ball in his hand before he could walk, but became nearly obsessed with baseball in T-ball. Although I thought when he was born that I was going to have a law partner, he quickly debunked that idea and told me at 4 years old that he was going to be a professional baseball player. From that moment on, I became his coach,” Kopech’s dad shared via email.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: michael kopech, prospects, white sox

David Wright sheds light on laborious shoulder rehab process | New York Post

This doesn’t sound good.

“When I first started throwing I could tell it was just not right because I never had that sharp, shooting pain going into my shoulder like that,’’ Wright admitted. “There’s just no way of doing what I’m capable of doing at third base and being productive for this team with the pain.’’

Wright referred to this problem as a bump in the road. I asked him: Is this a bump in the road or the end of the road?

“I mean, I’m just doing what the doctors are ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, injuries, mets

The Dawn of Athlete Endorsements

There is only one case of record where ball players received a large remuneration for acting as models for an advertisement. Those players were Capt. Ewing and ‘Old Man’ Anson. It was before the Brotherhood War, when Ewing was in the very zenith of his glory. A certain ale manufacturing concern wanted a taking ad. for its goods and decided that a base ball picture was the best thing. So when the Chicagos came to New York this firm arranged for Ewing and Anson to sit in front of a tent on ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Rays, Reds lead Statcast outfield highlights | MLB.com

If you like great catches, Statcast has found some of the best.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

US faces Dominican Republic in WBC ‘17 | MLB.com

It’s payback time for the United States. Team USA will send Danny Duffy to the mound. The Dominican Republic will counter with Ervin Santana in his first start of the tournament.
“It’s going to be a great game [Saturday],” Jones said. “We are going to bring what we got. We are facing Ervin Santana, somebody that is familiar with most of the players, so we will give it all we got and they are going to give it all they got. Hopefully, it’s a great game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:04 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican republic, usa, wbc

Puerto Rico reaches WBC ‘17 semifinals | MLB.com

“They’re doing a lot of things right right now,” said Team USA manager Jim Leyland after Friday’s game. “They’re a very good team. They play the game right. They play a combination of big ball and small ball, and you tip your hat to them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:02 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: puerto rico, usa

Dodgers Prospect Cody Bellinger Has Limitless Potential

Another next big thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 08:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers, prospects

High cost of the heater Fastball mania not good for baseball

A record 31 big league pitchers touched 100 mph on the radar gun last season, according to PITCHf/x data, and two pitchers — Aroldis Chapman and Mauricio Cabrera — averaged at least 100 mph for the season.

There is more heat in the forecast. Baseball America documented another 71 prospects who clocked at 100 mph in the minor leagues last year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 18, 2017 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fastballs, injuries, pitching

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Best Irish Ballplayers of All Time

#1 Troy O’Leary!

There have been 48 Irish-born ballplayers in the major leagues (Baseball Reference lists 47 of them, but inexplicably leaves off their list the appropriately nicknamed Henry “Irish” McIlveen, who was born in Belfast and played for the Pirates and Yankees from 1906 to 1909). First-generation Irish-Americans, men who were born in the United States but grew up in the Irish immigrant milieu, make up an even larger number. But the farther we get from the massive Irish ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:41 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: irish

Michael Pineda learned English the hard way

“The hardest thing for me is when the media uses big words because I don’t know those words,” Pineda says. “I didn’t understand the questions.”

It is not so much that Pineda could have saved himself—he repeatedly said he was trying to get a better grip—but he could have been less petrified and more nuanced in his defense. The press—which itself could have more Spanish speakers—is not faultless, either.

As for why and how the pine tar found its way to Pineda’s neck in the first place, well, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: english, michael pineda

2017 MLB Mock Draft: The First Ten | BaseballAmerica.com

Early mock draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:49 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

Long drives, strong pitching propel DR | MLB.com

The highlights suggest it was a good game.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:48 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican republic, venezuela, wbc

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2017

Former Browns scout Charley Barrett on the time he tried and failed to sign an amateur pitcher named Grover Alexander, quoted in the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, March 17, 1917:

“I stopped over in Beardstown to change trains and went to a hotel. Carrie Nation then was making a lecturing tour. She was at the hotel, but was to leave on another train. I set down my grip in the lobby, so did Carrie. She paid her bill, and making a great clatter grabbed a grip and hustled to the depot.
...
I got to the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, grover cleveland alexander, history, scouts

Why do the A’s wear green? You can thank Charlie Finley | MLB.com

Though many of Finley’s ideas have now faded away into the annals of baseball history—there are no more hot pants days, mules named “Charlie O” or orange baseballs filling your broadcast—the Athletics are synonymous with the green and gold.

When you watch all the green on the field for St. Patricks Day, don’t just thank the 1978 Reds for being the first to start the tradition. Thank Charlie Finley for proving, long before the days of alternate jerseys, that fans do want colorful unis.

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2017 at 05:47 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, charlie finley, uniforms

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What does Statcast’s catch probability tell us about Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner? - River Avenue Blues

So, while Ellsbury’s 1-for-28 effort on Five Star Outs in 2016 may not accurately reflect his true defensive ability given the limited amount of data, it did happen, and it did cost the Yankees runs. My eyes told me both Gardner and Ellsbury were still above-average defenders last season, Gardner moreso. Neither was as good as we’ve seen them in the past, I don’t think, and that makes sense given their ages. The various defensive stats say the opposite is true, that they were better than ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 11:21 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brett gardner, jacoby ellsbury, yankees

Bob Bruce, Astros’ starting pitcher in first Astrodome official game, dies

Bob Bruce, the man who was the starting pitcher in the last game at Houston’s Colt Stadium and the first official official game at the Astrodome, died Wednesday at the age of 83.

RIP.

QLE Posted: March 16, 2017 at 06:51 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astrodome, astros, bob bruce, colt .45's, obituaries

Sun-Times: Ken Harrelson likely to cut back schedule even more after 2017

“I didn’t say I wanted to broadcast four more years,’’ Harrelson told the Sun-Times. “The main thing is I just want to be in baseball four more years, not necessarily broadcasting.”

Harrelson said he will do Sox broadcasts this season, “and if I decide to do some games next year … it’s up to them.’’

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: March 16, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, white sox

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez to blame for fatal boating crash, investigation concludes

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, drunk and speeding, was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.

Had Fernandez lived, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter, according to the final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Investigators made the conclusion because the physical damage to Fernandez’s body matched the damage on the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 16, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: jose fernandez, marlins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-16-2017

Tacoma Times, March 16, 1917:

Baseball…is in a fine fix today. Every major league baseball club the country contains is miles and miles from home—and the railroad men say they’re going to stop running trains.

Thus, thrown right up to them, there is the prospect of no trains home for the axe victims and no trains north for those who stick.

The railroad unions were fighting for an eight-hour work day, which was nominally enacted by the Adamson Act in late 1916. The railroad companies challenged ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 16, 2017 at 10:25 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

WBC Gamechatter - March 16, 2017

A place to chat if you are still awake.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Team USA rides late home runs past Venezuela | MLB.com

Sounds like a fun game to watch.

Late-inning heroics from Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer vaulted the United States past Venezuela, 4-2, on Wednesday night at Petco Park in yet another World Baseball Classic thriller.

The U.S. bats were quiet throughout much of the night until Jones brought a much-needed spark with a game-tying leadoff homer in the eighth. Hosmer followed three batters later with a two-run blast that ultimately handed the U.S. a win in its second-round opener.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: usa, venezuela, wbc

Cubs’ Pipeline Spring Training report | MLB.com

Cubs farm director Jaron Madison beams when asked about the organization’s seemingly never-ending supply of impact position players.
“We’re fortunate in that regard,” Madison said. “We’ve done a really good job with guys who can swing the bat and bought into our approach. That’s made it a lot easier to integrate them into what we’re doing.”

Chicago doesn’t have enough room in its lineup to accommodate all of its worthy hitters. Jimenez needs at least another year in the Minors and Happ could ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, prospects

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sporting News: Bat flips are so last season.

Bat flips are so pedestrian. Or, as the video states, so last season. Time to switch things up. Say hello to The Swashbuckler, The Jockey, The Lullaby, The Grandpa and The Drum Major. Worthy alternatives all.

Stay to the end for the Edgar Martinez punchline.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 07:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, edgar martinez, mariners, unwritten rules

Matt Harvey learning to deal with drop in velocity

Following each of his first two Grapefruit League starts, Matt Harvey spoke about the unknowns of returning from surgery to remove a rib, and specifically the process to build his fastball back up to its usual velocity.

On Wednesday, after he allowed four runs—two earned—in 3 1/3 innings in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins, Harvey acknowledged for the first time what might happen if his fastball velocity does not return.

“You can’t look past it,” Harvey said. “It’s going to be there or it’s not, ...

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Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 15, 2017 at 06:59 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

IF CLEAN SHEET CO. DESIGNED CAPS FOR THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

These are pretty sweet.

Australia’s baseball identity is, on balance, pretty decent. But it’s got some issues. The most pressing: from the squad’s colors to the letter ‘A’, the current visual package looks way too much like how a video game who couldn’t secure MLB rights might depict the Oakland A’s. This is fixable. The Australian national identity is tied up with that of the kangaroo. This version of the ’roo is inspired by the one used by the Australian air force. Depicted ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: hats, world baseball classic

The Art of Pitching (Faster)

This graph seems to show that pitches thrown 30 seconds after the previous pitch get about one less expected strike per 100 calls than pitches thrown 10 seconds after the previous pitch. That’s not enormous, but it’s not nothing. Except that here, too, there’s a potential complication: With two strikes, the zone shrinks and pace tends to slow down. Thus it might appear that the zone gets tighter as pace increases, when really the count is responsible. In fact, if we redo the graph for ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ben lindbergh, pace of play

To grieve Jose Fernandez’s death, Giancarlo Stanton took life-changing journey

And now, nearly six months after the tragic passing of his Miami Marlins teammate, Jose Fernandez, Stanton admits that he looks at baseball through different eyes.

He has learned to “enjoy the moment,” he says, forcefully, “and understand this is the best time of my life—and have joy with it.”

How did he get to this place? Where did he turn to find the solace and healing he needed after Fernandez’s shocking death last September?

On the streets of Barcelona and the beaches of Brazil. At the ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:09 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, jose fernandez, marlins

Oakland A’s to lower stadium beer prices

We can’t afford Josh Donaldson, but we can afford cheap beer!

In a video posted to the A’s Facebook page, Kaval revealed that a 20-ounce serving of one of the 77 beers on tap will cost $10 for premium selections and $8 for domestic during the 2017 season. Comparatively, a 12-ounce beer at the Coliseum cost $5 in 2016, or about $.43 an ounce, according to Team Marketing Report. The discounted domestic beer will cost three cents less per ounce.  According to Kaval, the Coliseum now offers the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:07 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, beer

Each year, projections are down on Buck Showalter’s Orioles. Each year, they outperform

The first week of February is one of Buck Showalter’s favorite times of the year, and not only because sprig training is right around the corner. It’s usually around then that the top sabermetric websites release their win projections for the upcoming season, and Showalter, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, takes perverse pleasure in finding out how awful his team is going to be. The projections rarely disappoint.

His favorite is PECOTA, Baseball Prospectus’s projection model….

By ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 15, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, pecota

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-15-2017

Seattle Star, March 15, 1917:

Joe Wood, the Indians’ $15,000 gamble, won’t be in shape to pitch when the season opens. He admits his costly arm has developed a kink—a sort of “grating in the shoulder.” Doctors are working on Joe.

The Cleveland Indians ought to burn up the American league. They’ve just bought $15,000 worth of wood.

As you know by now if you’ve been following the Dugout, Joe Wood’s arm was completely and irredeemably scragged at this point. He turned into a pretty good outfielder, ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 10:16 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, smoky joe wood

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