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Friday, September 30, 2011

Plunkett: Angels frustrated, say it’s time to get creative

Holy Hockenberies! Angels to get creative? (stubs toe on Albie Pearson hat rack)

Since the Angels set a club record with 883 runs scored in 2009 (and finished second in the majors), 216 runs have drained away. The devastating ankle injury to their most dangerous hitter, Kendrys Morales, in 2010 started the leak. But the Angels clearly have learned from last winter’s mistake and are looking at Morales’ comeback in 2012 as a possible bonus, not a given.

“Our template last year definitely had ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, history, projections, sabermetrics, scouting

Reusse: Final score in the Twins blame game: 99 losses means many had a role

Blame to Reusse: Countless losses of Star Tribune subscribers.

The Twins went into the 2011 season as the two-time defending champions of the American League Central and talking up the strength of a lineup 1 through 9. On Wednesday night, they finished with the second-most losses (99) in the 51-year history of the franchise.

Who gets the blame for this mess? Glad you asked.

Francisco Liriano: He won 14 games in 2010. It was his best season since undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Twins chose ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:59 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, sabermetrics, twins

Fitzpatrick: Phillies can rely on their defense ... or maybe not

Fitzpatrick like a glove…

Suddenly, though, that wisdom has come under attack from a sect of Lehigh County fanatics armed with video cameras and the zeal of true believers.

Researchers at Baseball Info Solutions in Coplay, Pa., insist that, far from possessing one of baseball’s two best defenses, the 2011 Phillies are, in fact, one of the worst.

“You look at their low error total, which is the No. 1 thing I’ve seen people cite in defense of their defense,” said Ben Jedlovec, a BIS research ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:47 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, phillies, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2011

Milwaukee Sentinel, September 30, 1911:

President Fogel says the absence of his stars cost the Phillies at least eighteen games this year.  Yet almost any club would rather lose them than to have a man like Magee, who always pulls for his teammates to blunder and strike out.

I’d rather win, but maybe that’s just me.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, phillies

RoboThal: Francona expected to leave Red Sox

THAT was quick.

Terry Francona will meet with Red Sox management on Friday morning, and the expected resolution is that he no longer will be the team’s manager, major league sources say.

While Francona’s departure is not certain, it is the likely outcome, in part because he is pressing for a resolution, sources say. He would not be fired; the Red Sox would simply decline their club options on him for 2012 and ’13.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: September 30, 2011 at 09:31 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Plaschke: Dodgers need to swing for the fences on new deal with Kemp

Actually, a decent read - because Bill got out of his own way and let Kemp’s agent, Dave Stewart, talk.

It was max effort that will result in mad prices. I was looking for comparables for a potential Kemp contract — Carl Crawford, Alfonso Soriano? — when I finally phoned Stewart and told him I couldn’t find a neighborhood for what will be a 28-year-old MVP type with historic offensive numbers who plays a solid center field and steals crazy bases.

“There is no neighborhood,” said Stewart ...

Read More...
Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:34 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Terry Francona wants out of Beantown

If the White Sox have designs on making Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona their successor to Ozzie Guillen, one important door has been opened.

Francona has had enough of his eroding Boston experience, a ­major-league source said, and will ask the club not to exercise the option on his contract.

“He has had his fill of the whole thing,’’ the source told the Sun-Times.

Francona, who guided the Red Sox to two World Series championships, decided it was time to cut ties before the Red ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:01 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, white sox

Parker: Reyes proves once again, he’s no Jeter

Bah! And Jeter was pulled after six to protect his .297 (cue unhinged Jack O’Conniption fit) batting average.

No wonder some fans booed when they realized what was happening. They were being cheated out of watching Reyes play, potentially for the final time in a Mets uniform. He is about to become a free agent, and there’s no guarantee the team will re-sign him.

For sure, it was a selfish move. Forget about helping the Mets win a game—it was about Reyes trying to win a batting crown. Fair or ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:23 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, mets, yankees

Deadspin: The Pictures of GM Brian Cashman that broke up a marriage

Seriously, Deadspin? This isn’t even in the top five of NY Yankee sex scandals.

No, there are no photos of Cashman’s actual dong to show you—not that we know of—but now the story of Cash’s dong’s wayward habits is news. The Yankees general manager’s relationship with the woman in these photos has been known or suspected among New York reporters for years, but has been just too darn shady, complicated, and expensive to pursue, especially at the risk of antagonizing the Yankees.

But now ...

Read More...
Gamingboy Posted: September 30, 2011 at 02:06 AM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

TBO: Moore to Start Game 1

Rookie Matt Moore’s second big league start will be a big one – Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon against the defending American League champion Rangers in their ballpark

Ballsy and totally correct. Only other starter announced is Shields in game 2 but I expect this is the plan for the series:

1 - Moore
2 - Shields
3 - Price
4 - Hellickson
5 - Shields

Jim Wisinski Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:48 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, rays

Yahoo: A’s could hear soon on possible move to San Jose

Athletics general manager Billy Beane expects to hear “very soon” from Commissioner Bud Selig about whether the club will be allowed to move south to San Jose and build a new ballpark.
...
“We’ve been told a number of times a decision was near,” Beane said Thursday. “Over 2 1/2 years we’ve been told it a number of times. This time I’m going to believe it. … We expect some resolution of the situation very soon. That certainly would be helpful from my standpoint and everybody ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:37 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

ESPN: Offense drops to two-decade low

Be it better pitchers, more stringent steroid testing, changes in ballparks or lots of wet weather, batters haven’t had it this tough since the Bush administration—the first Bush administration—an era when multipurpose stadiums were common, the Internet wasn’t well-known and cell phones were just starting to spread.

Teams averaged 4.28 runs per game this season, the lowest since 1992’s 4.12 and down from a Steroids Era peak of 5.14 in 2000. And the home run average was down to 0.94 each team ...

Read More...
NTNgod Posted: September 30, 2011 at 01:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Sabean: Don’t count on big-ticket additions

Salary Cap Peterson ($8,500), would be proud!

The Giants payroll was $124 million this year and it won’t go down, Sabean said. But with Tim Lincecum heading a list of 13 arbitration-eligible players, not all of whom will be offered contracts, plus raises built in to others such as Matt Cain, the math becomes elementary.

“Our pitching’s going to get expensive,” Sabean said. “That’s the punch line and we have to take care of that first.”

Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged glaring ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: business, giants

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goldstein: Why Moneyball Is Off Base

Thanks for the hardcore plugging! Huh…oh, Aaron Goldstein.

image

Well, Bill James’ work begat a generation of “sabermetrician” organizations like Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Think Factory and The Hardball Times.

On base percentage (OBP) statistics are to sabermetricians what images of 38 DDs are to adolescent boys. As it was put in the movie by Peter Brand (a fictional character based on then Athletics assistant general manager Paul DePodesta, played by Jonah Hill), “Your goal shouldn’t be to ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 09:40 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, sabermetrics

Sickels: Player Profile: Dan Johnson, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays

The scouting guru looks back on yesterday’s Moneyball hero, who apparently didn’t look good in jeans.

Dan Johnson was a successful slugger at the University of Nebraska, hitting .368/.482/.849 with 21 homers in 55 games for the Cornhuskers in 2000, then .361/.507/.752 with 25 homers in 2001. Although his left-handed power bat was attractive, his other physical tools were mediocre, he looked too fat, and scouts felt his swing was too long to guarantee success in pro ball. Still, his college ...

Read More...
Greg Franklin Posted: September 29, 2011 at 09:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, history, minor leagues, prospect reports, rays, sabermetrics, scouting

Kubatko: Showalter on Andino

An-freakin-dino.

image

Manager Buck Showalter arrived a month ahead of Andino and could only judge him by the reports left on his desk. He valued the input of officials more familiar with the infielder, but he also needed to trust his eyes.

“Robert’s always had the skills,” Showalter said, dismissing the notion that Andino is the club’s most improved player this season. “I’ve got to tell you, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s always been there.

“The one thing people kept telling me last year when I ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:51 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Wyers: The Problem of Pain

I once had a Filet o’ Fish that presented a Problem o’ Stomach Pain.  Hi-yo!!!!

I remember the first moment when I fully realized that I could die, and in fact could die very soon. I don’t think anyone ever forgets that sort of moment—at least, the ones who live to talk about it. Not at all coincidentally, this occurred only a few minutes after what I believe was the start of hostilities in the Iraq War…

I stayed behind in Kuwait for the march up to Baghdad as part of the rear command ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, red sox

Red Sox Executive Is Keynote For Tunxis Community College Foundation Event

Tunxis? They should all be in ####### straightjackets by now!

Tunxis Community College Foundation invites the public to “Beyond the Green Monster: Business Strategies for Major League Results,” with Sam Kennedy, president of Fenway Sports Management and executive vice president/chief operating officer for the Boston Red Sox, on Nov. 10, 7:30-9 a.m. at the Hartford Marriott Farmington.

...Kennedy helped conceive and execute the successful sales and marketing plan for the “Legends Suite” at ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:17 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, red sox

Megdal: Mets Win Legal Battle But Still Might Lose Reyes

So a best-case scenario still has the Mets in need of more than $300 million in the relatively near term. That doesn’t cover any subsequent reversals that increase their exposure with Picard, nor does it begin to cover the $500 million in loans that the team is due to pay by June 2014, the loans of around $450 million to the affiliated SNY network due back a year after that, or the roughly $600 million still due in debt payments on Citi Field.

Ask yourself this: Exactly how does that leave any ...

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Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 08:02 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, mets

Grantland: King: Red Sox Nation: F@#$ These Guys

Frank and several other Sox fans I’ve talked to over the past 12 or so hours are relieved for two reasons. First, we don’t have to pretend to root for these ######## anymore. Second, the old kick-in-the-balls feeling is back! We get to go back to our favorite pastime: complaining about this shitty team and its shitty GM and what the #### is wrong with Crawford and did you hear what this guy told me about what John Lackey did when he was at that bar in the Back Bay? When I woke up this morning, ...

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The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 07:16 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, red sox

N.Y. Times: Rosenheck: For Rays to Win, They Need Moore

An argument to use Matt Moore ahead of Jeremy Hellickson in Tampa Bay’s postseason rotation.

Matt Moore is quite probably the Rays’ best pitcher. It should be no surprise if he wins a Cy Young award next year…The Rays cannot afford to limit Moore to a few choice innings, any more than the Yankees would hold back C.C. Sabathia to make sure they could get out tough left-handers in the eighth inning. The more Moore Tampa uses, the fewer runs they will allow.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:27 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general

The Economist: Never say never

The magazine’s take on the odds of Game 162’s simultaneous comebacks, and why the Rays besting the Red Sox is good for baseball.

There was something on the order of an 0.5% chance the Red Sox would blow their nine-game lead over the Rays, and a 2% chance the Braves would lose their seven-and-a-half-game edge over the Cardinals. Then in tonight’s matchups, there was a 13% chance the Phillies would come back to beat Atlanta, a 5% chance the Orioles would come back to beat Boston, and an 0.3% ...

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David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 05:06 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Playoff Prediction Thread

American League
Detroit at New York
Tampa Bay at Texas

National League
St. Louis at Philadelphia
Milwaukee at Arizona

Let the bold and absolute certainty prognosticating resume.


Posnanski: Baseball Night in America

Are we sure that Mariano Melgar would pitch any worse than Luis Ayala?

Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That’s what you get most of the time. You stand in driver’s license lines, and watch Alfredo Aceves shake off signals, and sit through your children’s swim meets, and see bases loaded rallies die, and fill up your car’s tires with air and endure an inning with three pitching changes, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk.

But then, every now and again, something happens. ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: September 29, 2011 at 04:03 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, history

Eric Wilbur: Splat

Just two championships in the last eight seasons and 90 win seasons in eight of the last night = failure. Red Sox fans are becoming what they have loathed for so long…YANKEES FANS!

The fact that it was Crawford dropping that ball last night provided the perfect parallel to all that is wrong with this team. John Henry and the baseball ops team, including digital darling Carmine, are so hell-bent on stats and mathematical formulas that they’re increasingly ignoring what is was that made them ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 02:59 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, red sox

Grantland: Simmons: A Running Diary of Game 162

Their body language grew progressively worse as the month dragged on, with their manager seeming more hopeless and desperate than anyone. They blew basic baseball plays, botched fly balls, dropped relay throws, ended games by getting caught stealing, threw meatballs, ####### at each other, admitted to being scared … you name it, they did it. They choked away Game 162 by getting three guys thrown out on the basepaths, by blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth, by botching a season-deciding fly ball, ...

Read More...
Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: September 29, 2011 at 02:33 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Ted Berg: Then we came to the end

And the batting point Reyes lighthouse shall lead them…maybe.

I can’t speak for those booing, but I suspect some of the disappointment upon Reyes’ departure stemmed from the knowledge that neither art nor science has yet figured a way to capture the way fans feel seeing Reyes round second and slide headfirst into third, the thrill of the dash and the joy upon its completion. We knew we needed to relish it Wednesday — just like we did Tuesday — because we might never have it again. And ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: September 29, 2011 at 02:06 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mets

Verducci: Drama of Game 162 never seen before and likely never will again

They will go down as the most thrilling 129 minutes in baseball history. Never before and likely never again—if we even dare to assume anything else can be likely ever again—will baseball captivate and exhilarate on so many fronts in so small a window the way it did September 28, 2011.

Starting at 9:56 PM Eastern, the grand old game, said to suffer by comparison from football’s siren sisters of gambling and violence, and said to suffer from America’s shrinking attention span and capacity to ...

Read More...
Gamingboy Posted: September 29, 2011 at 01:01 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, orioles, phillies, rays, red sox, yankees

NYTimes:  Silver:  Bill Buckner Strikes Again

It’s hard to describe just how epic the Red Sox’ collapse was — something on the order of Mr. Buckner’s play multiplied by itself two or three times over….

The following is not mathematically rigorous, since the events of yesterday evening were contingent upon one another in various ways. But just for fun, let’s put all of them together in sequence:

  # The Red Sox had just a 0.3 percent chance of failing to make the playoffs on Sept. 3.
  # The Rays had just a 0.3 percent chance ...

Read More...
Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-29-2011

Pittsburgh Press, September 29, 1911:

The Detroit Tigers may lose the spectacular “Ty” Cobb.  The Detroit star has been quietly figuring for the past year for a minor league franchise, figuring on being a joint owner, manager and player.  Last night Paul Cobb, right fielder for Lincoln and younger brother of the “Georgia Peach,” wired “Ty” advising the latter to buy the Lincoln franchise in the Western league.

I’ve never shot eighteen under par and I still don’t know where all those balls are, ...

Read More...
Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: September 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, hall of fame, history, minor leagues, rumors

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