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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Saturday, October 03, 2015

So, Uh, What Happened to the Astros? «

They didn’t play well in September.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2015 at 09:36 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: astros


Do not go quietly into that good night.

OMNICHATTER, OMNICHATTER against the dying of the light!

Gamingboy Posted: October 03, 2015 at 12:02 AM | 214 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter Video: Pillar’s outstanding diving grab

Who’ve you got for the catch of the year: Kiermaier, Trout, or Pillar?

JE (Jason) Posted: October 03, 2015 at 12:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, centerfielders, kevin pillar

Friday, October 02, 2015

Japan Times: [Yakult] Swallows claim first CL pennant since 2001

From worst to first. It’s always good when anybody other than the Giants wins the Central League…

The Swallows fans packed into the stands at Jingu Stadium had already been cheering about as loud as they had all season for the past four hours

But when Yuhei Takai hit a ball that squirted past the first-base bag and into right field, they found the strength to kick it up another notch.

Takai hit a sayonara single in the 11th and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows captured the Central League pennant ...

vortex of dissipation Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Grantland: Loving the Pirates Come Hell or High Water (or Arrieta)

We’ve known the likely outcome for weeks ... the Pirates have to play a one-game wild-card playoff against the Cubs, which means facing Jake Arrieta, which means certain and sudden death. Arrieta, who one-hit the Pirates last Sunday. Arrieta, who has given up four earned runs in the past nine weeks. Arrieta, whose name is wielded against Pirates fans like a curse. Arrieta, a synonym for cyanide ...

You don’t have to be a Pirates fan to think there’s something a little unfair about this.

...
Voodoo... Posted: October 02, 2015 at 06:11 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, cy young award, doom and gloom, pirates

Jose Fernandez Playfully Teases Evan Longoria After Giving Up A Home Run

Consider this friendly exchange between Jose Fernandez and Evan Longoria a change of pace from Jonathan Papelbon’s Fightin’ Around The League tour. The Rays third baseman absolutely socked an offering from the Marlins pitcher in the first inning of Thursday’s game, and in the next inning, Fernandez joked about it.

From the dugout, Fernandez called out to Longoria and told him that he doesn’t have to hit home runs that far.

Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: October 02, 2015 at 06:08 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: playing the game the right way

Inside Baseball: Nationals to let Williams go, and more MLB moves -

Heyman’s latest. SCOOP ALERT:Put your drink down! Matt Williams won’t be back.

For all the criticism Jon Singleton took for signing a $10-million, five-year deal early, it appears he made the right call, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle recently pointed out while citing a regretful Astros executive. Houston is actually lucky third baseman Matt Dominguez and Robbie Grossman also didn’t sign early deals when offered. The Astros have some great ideas, but trying to lock up non-stars ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 04:36 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, notes

Dodgers-Giants game interrupted by Full House sequel taping

The Dodgers were playing their final road game of the regular season on Thursday against the Giants when both teams got to be a part of one of San Francisco’s greatest cultural cpntributions, Full House.

The game featured a slightly extended seventh inning stretch which had actress Jodie Sweetin, known to viewers as Stephanie Tanner, singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” for the upcoming reboot of the show, titled Fuller House, leaving Los Angeles starter Brett Anderson very confused, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2015 at 12:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, full house, giants, have mercy, how rude

Cardinals, already with 100 wins, can finish as stingiest team since 1969

Being smart and having good players goes a long way.

This year’s St. Louis pitching staff and defense have been stingier than any club in 46 years. They’ve allowed 513 runs in 159 games, which projects to 523 runs at season’s end.

It’s a startling statistical accompaniment to the major leagues’ only 100-win season.

“I don’t think there’s any special formula that we’ve come up with or anything,” third baseman Matt Carpenter said, “but I think we have a group of guys that ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 11:17 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Diamondbacks announcers’ selfie shaming needlessly alienates younger fans

Having a group of women taken to task by the broadcast booth during a meaningless game in late September for enjoying themselves is pretty silly. Presumably these women paid for a ticket, just like anyone else in attendance, and didn’t seem to be bothering anyone by snapping photos with their phones of their silly faces and giant churros, yet the television booth decided they were worthy of ridicule because they happened to be on their phones instead of using that time to watch every single ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:33 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, fans, selfies, women in baseball

How Ned Yost Made the Kansas City Royals Unstoppable - The New York Times

I’d like the writer to name one team which doesn’t blend analytics and scouting. One.

Yost might not be the best tactician but he’s done an extremely good job with the clubhouse.

To many, Yost is a holdover from baseball’s Dark Ages, when managers followed their guts on tactical decisions, the way they might play a late-night game of Monopoly. Suspicion of anything even marginally unconventional or innovative, let alone intellectual, was woven into the fabric of the sport. Players were ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: ned yost, royals

red sox - Rich Hill’s message: ‘I can pitch for anybody, against anybody, anytime, anywhere’ - WEEI | Rob Bradford

How much money can he really expect to get? $4-$5 million on a one-year deal?

“I would say so,” said Hill when asked if this was the best he’s ever felt. “With my body being healthy. The way the ball is coming out of my hand. The way I’ve been able to command the baseball. Those are all very big positive things. And being left-handed, I think that’s a huge plus that can be added to any rotation in baseball. You look at the four games and the overall numbers, if you want to just look at numbers, ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 10:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, red sox, rich hill

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2015

Fairmont West Virginian, October 2, 1915:

An unusual freak baseball play occurred in a recent game between the Athletics and the Cleveland club at Philadelphia. In the second inning with two out, Lajoie at third and Healy at bat with two strikes and two balls called, Pitcher Garrett made a wild hurl which struck in Catcher O’Neill’s mask and rolled back onto the diamond, while Healy ran for first. Garrett ran in from the box and picking up the ball touched out Lajoie who was trying to score from ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 02, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Fan launches ‘Get Bartman to Cubs’ wild-card game’ campaign

In what does not outwardly appear to be a joke, one self-proclaimed lifelong Cubs fan is seeking to orchestrate an offering to Bartman: forgiveness and a sweet accommodations package worth $5,000, including the cost of his attendance at the NL Wild Card Game between the Pirates and Cubs, which will likely take place in Pittsburgh.

So far only four people have donated a total of $50. Sometimes these campaigns are slow to grow. But maybe Cubs fans need a banner, not a berth, before they extend ...

McCoy Posted: October 02, 2015 at 07:25 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: bartman, cubs, wild card

Twins beat Indians with 9th-inning rally |

The Twins got their revenge with a unique twist. They didn’t hit Ramirez; they won the game.

A day after the Twins took exception to Ramirez’s eighth-inning home run celebration, Ramirez was batting leadoff for the Tribe. While Minnesota pitcher Ricky Nolasco warned Wednesday that Ramirez would “get his,” all the Indians infielder got was an 0-for-4 showing. Ramirez also made a throwing error that helped pave the way for the Twins’ rally in the ninth inning.

“It wasn’t an easy play, but the ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 05:27 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, twins

Rangers wait to celebrate division title |

They certainly had quite the ride.

The Rangers reached postseason by going 44-23 in their last 67 games. That goes back to July 29, when they started the day 47-52 and eight games out of first place.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 05:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, rangers

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy says he has played entire season with torn labrum in left shoulder - Baltimore Sun

Playing with a torn labrum can’t be fun.

Hardy—who signed a three-year, $40 million extension last October, is signed through the 2017 season with a $14 million vesting option for 2018 based on plate appearances.

Hardy said that if the shoulder ailments persisted next year, it could impact how long he plans to continue playing.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 05:17 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, j.j. hardy, orioles

Yankees Hold On to Clinch Wild Card - The New York Times

“It’s been like Christmas Eve — you want to go down and open your presents, but it’s not quite time,” said third baseman Chase Headley, who is in the playoffs for the first time. “It felt like an eternity.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 02, 2015 at 05:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, yankees


The OMNICHATTER barrels into the final series’ of the regular season!

Gamingboy Posted: October 02, 2015 at 12:14 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Statcast identifies the rare ‘five-tool player’

The All-Craftsman Team!

Let’s lay out the rules. We identified the following five Statcast™ thresholds as stand-ins for the five traditional tools, and sorted by only the players who have had at least three qualified recorded data points in each of the five areas. That’s not the same as being above average for an entire season, but that’s not the point; we want to see the players who are blessed with the capability to do these things at all, and three times over six months didn’t seem too ...


Dirk Hayhurst/VICE Sports: Racism In Baseball Isn’t Going Anywhere

Hayhurst doesn’t hold back.

It’s not the sluggish pace of game that keeps kids away. It’s the homogenization. The league has representation across the racial spectrum because, as Norris says, the doors are open to other countries. But players from those countries are discouraged from expressing their individuality. The game stays white, no matter who plays it.

Mike Emeigh Posted: October 01, 2015 at 07:52 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: race in baseball

Coppolella promoted to GM by Braves

After watching John Coppolella do most of the heavy lifting that encompassed the massive reconstruction process their organization has undergone over the past year, the Braves will reward him by naming him their general manager.

NYT: How Ned Yost Made the Kansas City Royals Unstoppable

That chemistry appears to have offset the construction of curious batting orders. Alcides Escobar, who has hit leadoff for much of the season, historically reaches base less often than the league average. The potent Alex Gordon was hitting sixth before he strained a groin muscle in early July. This in particular rankles the analysts. “Batting order is something a manager very clearly has control of,” says Dave Cameron, the managing editor of the widely read website Fangraphs, “It’s something ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 02:00 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, dave cameron, don wakamatsu, lineups, ned yost, royals

Jeremy Affeldt: I’m retiring. Here are five things I won’t miss about baseball

1. The incessant showboating

Nowadays, all you hear about is how “baseball is dying,” and “the game is too slow and boring,” and “MLB just needs to let these guys have more fun.” Believe me, we players hear all of that media-driven chatter, and we’re not buying it. Yes, baseball isn’t the NFL (that’s a good thing, in my opinion), or the NBA, where fans can rock the gear and emulate the stars much more easily.

But what baseball does have, that those other sports largely do not, is tradition. ...


Posnanski: Why Cubs’ Jake Arrieta would get my Cy Young vote

This year, I don’t have a Cy Young vote. But if I did, as much as it pains me to say it — everyone knows I’ve been in the tank for Zack Greinke since he was a teenager — I would vote for Jake Arrieta.

Why? Well, I could give you lots of reasons why I would vote for any of those guys, but in the end the decisive factor for me would be how well they’ve pitched on the road. Dodger Stadium is a better pitchers’ park than Wrigley Field (though Wrigley, unexpectedly, does lean toward ...

McCoy Posted: October 01, 2015 at 12:31 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-1-2015

United Press via Toledo News-Bee, October 1, 1915:

Next Friday, in all probability, the Red Sox and Phillies will meet in the first game of the series that will decide the world’s championship.

Final decision as to the date and place of starting the annual derby will not be definitely settled until Saturday, when the national commission meets in New York.
By starting the series on the eighth, which is Friday, the magnates not only would be favoring fandom, but would be financially helping ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 11:37 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Touts Mexico As A Possible Expansion Location

!Aye Carumba!

“We see Mexico as an opportunity internationally,” Manfred said. “We also think a team in Mexico and a larger number of Mexican players in the big leagues could really help us continue to grow the Hispanic market in the United States.”

Manfred also said that the choice of expansion locations in the U.S. would not be affected by clubs with regional networks that blanket the country.

“As a general proposition, I do not see the television territories for the clubs as a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: expansion, mexico, rob manfred

Mike Trout making case for AL MVP award |

Mike Petriello breaks down some of the differences. Right now Donaldson has the lead in the context dependent stats.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, josh donaldson, mike trout, mvp

Steven Matz scratched from start vs. Phillies |

Hopefully Matz will be healthy for the playoffs. Does any Mets fan really want Bartolo Colon starting in the postseason?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Angry Baby Paul Molitor Yells At Jose Ramirez To “Get The Fuck Off The Field”

Although some want to paint such incidents as racism, I’m not so inclined. Sure, there are differences in the mores of baseball in different countries and cultures. But, every workplace has an embedded culture. When newcomers enter that culture they either integrate or change it. Neither outcome is necessarily intrinsically better.

After hitting a three-run home run to put the Indians up 10-1 on the Twins in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, Jose Ramirez had the sheer audacity to ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: unwritten rules

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