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Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Economist: Babe, Jackie, Jobe

A swooning ode to the late inventor of Tommy John surgery asks why fans treat it so differently than steroid use.

A mere whiff of steroid use is enough to sully the reputation of any athlete, whereas players who recover from TJS are praised for their perseverance. But what could be more unnatural, or provide a bigger advantage, than cutting a tendon out of a wrist or leg and inserting it into an elbow?


Laurila: Sunday Notes: Mets-Royals, Orioles, Expos, Player X on PEDs

X crawls to Mark Mulder’s doorstep and writes in his own blood “DHEA”.

Player X: “I was never an angel when it came to the drug policy. Androstendione was legal at the time. I used Winstrol after coming off rotator cuff surgery. The benefits were amazing. The physical gains of steroids are a given, but what I didn’t expect were the mental gains. The confidence boost the added testosterone gave me was exponential. I went from “I hope they don’t hit this pitch” to “Try and hit this, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:40 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: history, steroids

Tigers lose on walk-off balk

Among the first drills new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus worked on with his club in February was a rarely attempted pickoff move to third base.
...
Honestly, it felt like a disaster waiting to happen when Ausmus introduced the drill, and on Friday night a perfect example of just how disastrous it can be played out when a little bit of miscommunication led to a game-ending balk in Detroit’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees.

SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rules, tigers

Brown: How Michael Cuddyer’s chase of the NL batting title made him a better player

My 1969 Macmillan shocker: Debs Garms.

He batted .370 the rest of the way. Turned out, he batted .385 in September. He finished at .331, 10 points ahead of Johnson, 60 points higher than his career average, 47 points better than he’d ever hit. On the final day of the season, he could let it go again, free of the drama, the thrill, the achievement, the bouts of weirdness in the batter’s box. And it could just be glorious.

“Oh, it’s extremely special,” he said. “To have your name in the history ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 10:05 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

Holmes: Number one pick Mike Ivie battled emotional troubles in career that ended with the Tigers

Operation Ivie: Turn it around!

When you’re a first round selection in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, there are expectations. When you’re the overall #1 pick, those expectations are high. In 1970, Mike Ivie was that #1 pick, but he never lived up to the expectations, not in two stops with pro clubs in California, not with the Houston Astros, nor in a final, last-ditch trial with the Detroit Tigers. As a result, the once promising prospect’s career was over at the age of 30.

...
Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Madden: As Robinson Cano asks Mariners for help, it’s like Alex Rodriguez in Texas all over again

Doesn’t Madden know that the Mariners finished 2nd in HR’s…and that his Yogi Yorgesson record needs flipping?

What is interesting is Cano’s sudden discovery that the team he chose to cast his lot with is not very good. It is the exact same scenario to what his idol and adviser Alex Rodriguez discovered his first year in Texas in 2001 after signing his then-record $252 million deal with the Rangers. Back then, Tom Hicks, the idiot Texas owner who gave A-Rod more than $100 million more than ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 09, 2014 at 09:03 AM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, yankees

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Peter Gammons: The new, new thing better than Moneyball

I have a curare solutin’ BB gun at my ready for the first writer that pulls a Killer B’s for Billy Beane/Billy Burns.

Back in the Moneyball Summer, Billy Beane used to say, “whoever hits the most homers usually wins,” and could live without stolen bases. But while the movie was superb, it was, in reality, fiction, or semi-fiction. “All movies are,” Beane said when the film was released. “Thirteen Days” wasn’t the way it really was, either.

“In our market (and a park that ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland, sabermetrics

Lew Wolff exploring temporary stadium for A’s

There is precedent for teams building temporary stadiums. In 2010, Empire Field was erected in Vancouver to house the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for the 2010 season and part of 2011. The 27,528-seat venue was built by the Nussli Group in just three months at a cost of $14.4 million, during the time when a retractable roof was being installed at the Lions’ permanent stadium.

theboyqueen Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Weiner: It’s Jim Bouton’s 75th Birthday and Sports Journalism Owes Him A Debt of Gratitude

Give him some high praise and we’ll go and pound some Bud…uhh, Bowie Kuhn.

Writers never changed their stripes. Bouton and his editor Leonard Shecter were called “social lepers” by New York Daily News columnist Dick Young, a man who was conflicted by his career. Young was taking money from Major League Baseball teams in writing program pieces and promotional material but was also a journalist. Young often sided with the owners and by 1977 was so embedded with baseball ownership that his ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 04:04 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Blue Jays To Sign Ervin Santana

A pitcher with injury concerns signing with the Jays. What could go wrong?

The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with Ervin Santana on a one-year, $14MM deal, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes tweets. Earlier in the day, Soldevila had reported that Santana would sign with an AL club for $14MM. Santana has until recently been represented by Proformance, although there have been recent reports about the possibility of Santana ending his relationship with that agency.

Santana pitched 211 innings ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 01:41 PM | 126 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ervin santana, free agents

Moore: George Foster doesn’t regret giving away Fisk homer ball

Which brings me to the slew of questions I had for Foster, the starting left fielder and prolific slugger for the Machine.

“You say the auction is happening this April? Wow,” said Foster over the phone from the Reds’ spring training camp in Goodyear, Ariz., where he is involved in one of the many charitable groups that he runs.

So I started there: Given the mega bucks that will be involved next month in the auction for the Fisk ball, and given that Foster surely could use some of those ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:20 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: history

LHP Joe Saunders and Rangers finalize one-year contract

Joe Saunders was the opposing pitcher who helped end the Texas Rangers’ last playoff appearance two seasons ago.

Now the veteran left-hander will get a chance to earn a spot in the Texas rotation after finalizing a one-year contract that guarantees him the $500,000 minimum.

Saunders’s salary would increase to $1.5 million if he makes the team. He can earn performance bonuses in addition to his salary under the deal completed Tuesday.

With injured lefty Derek Holland expected to be out at ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, joe saunders, rangers

Diamondbacks To Sign Oliver Perez

Oliver LOOGYs are signed now.

The Diamondbacks have reached an agreement with left-hander Oliver Perez on a two-year, $4.25MM deal, pending physical. Perez, a client of Scott Boras, will earn $1.75MM for the coming year and $2.5MM in 2015.

Perez, 32, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons as a reliever with the Mariners. He has tallied a 3.16 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 31.8 percent ground-ball rate in 82 2/3 innings in that time. Opposing left-handers have batted ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 12:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agents, loogy, oliver perez

Lee: Initial B.J. Upton swing observations

B.J. Upton’s swing has changed some, but whether it’s the dramatic difference he needs remains to be seen.

Upton’s 2013 was a perfect storm of bad habits rolled into a swing that was all arms and generated no lower-body help. It led to slow bat speed, whiffing through velocity and not being able to drive anything up the middle.

I wrote in October that Upton’s 2013 swing had little load, a very slow trigger, a stiff front side and no lower-body torque. He didn’t generate any momentum ...

Read More...
Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: March 08, 2014 at 11:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bad contracts, bj upton, braves, mechanics, scouting

Wolff: Carmen and Yogi Berra: A love affair for the ages

May her memory be for a blessing.

Carmen Berra died Thursday night in West Caldwell, not far from the couple’s longtime home in Montclair. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke earlier this year.

She was in some ways the classic baseball wife, known publicly as the woman at Yogi’s side for yet one more bow at Yankee Stadium. In private, she might gently tease him for the lore that grew around him, but she relished the fans’ affection that came his way.

Asked to explain the longevity of ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees, yogi berra

Phillies’ deficiencies take center stage

“Respect the game above all else”

Though it was merely a spring game, Friday’s 15-4 loss to the Orioles had it all: lack of hustle on defense, a pitching implosion and dismal hitting. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg has said all spring he does not like losing games, even if they are Grapefruit League contests; Friday’s affair certainly frustrated the skipper.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Sandberg said.

The Phillies’ defensive fundamentals – something Sandberg has stressed mightily during his short ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 08, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Friday, March 07, 2014

Brad Penny released by Royals after punching wall

The 35-year-old pitcher saw his comeback attempt go awry when he was released by the Royals on Friday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. And while performance certainly played a part in Kansas City’s decision — Penny gave up four runs and eight hits in two innings in a spring start against the White Sox on Thursday — apparently Penny’s temper did too.

“One reason Brad Penny was released: He injured his non-throwing hand punching a wall on Thursday, source says.”

— ...

Read More...
Good cripple hitter Posted: March 07, 2014 at 06:04 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, royals, spring training

Gleeman: Brandon Phillips: “How the [expletive] am I declining?”

(Barney) Phillips: You can’t spell RBI without eye!

mz

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips isn’t talking to the Cincinnati media, but he’s willing to talk to the national media and willing to talk to the national media about why he’s not talking to the Cincinnati media.

Case in point, this Phillips quote to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com:

  I don’t have nothing to say to those cats. They know what the deal is. They just talk about how I was falling off and declining. How the ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

ESPN: Luke Hochevar out for Season

kthejoker Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:32 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, kansas city

Doug Fister injury: Nationals righty has elbow inflammation, MRI

This would be a big blow for the Nats.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:21 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, nationals, trade value

Cardinals hof fan vote.

WHO DO YOU THINK BELONGS IN THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS HALL OF FAME?
VOTE NOW FOR TWO REDBIRDS LEGENDS!

The Cardinals and Edward Jones have teamed up to honor the greatest players in the club’s history. The new Hall of Fame will recognize these figures for their achievements and impact on the organization during their careers.

Each member will be permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame gallery at Ballpark Village next to Busch Stadium.

Vote for your top 2 players.

cardsfanboy Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:06 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

1914 and 1915 seasons added

On August 6th,  1914, Rabbit Maranville hit a home run and was part of 3 double plays. So cool.

SoCalDemon Posted: March 07, 2014 at 04:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history, sabermetrics

Posnanski: Gary Nolan Surgery

The Only Nolan pitched in 101 games as a 19-year-old, so yeah, what was Gary’s problem?

then the pain climbed to a higher plane. It was too much. [Gary Nolan] couldn’t handle it. The reporters asked him how much it hurt. “Enough to make you cry,” he said. Teammates rolled their eyes. Letters to the editor in the Cincinnati papers questioned his manhood.

“When’s Nolan going to pitch again?” reporters asked Sparky Anderson.

“Hell, I don’t know. Ask him,” Sparky barked angrily. ...Read More...

The District Attorney Posted: March 07, 2014 at 12:00 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: frank jobe, gary nolan, history, joe posnanski, reds

Red Sox field substandard spring lineup versus Marlins - Sun Sentinel

The Red Sox did not send out a great team. The Marlins, however, did send out a much better lineup. With the knowledge that most veterans don’t usually make this type of trip, aren’t the Marlins more culpable?

For the first and only time this spring, “super premium” ticket pricing was in effect for a Miami Marlins’ Grapefruit League home game. Thursday, fans per ticket paid $12 more for field box seats, $11 more for loge and $10 more for bleachers than they would for a weekday game.

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, red sox, spring training

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2014

Toledo News-Bee, March 7, 1914:

One of the best yarns the returning world touring baseballers brought home hinged on the fact that Big Jim Thorpe of the Giants, world’s champion athlete, is a redskin.

Thorpe, the tourists said, was a big disappointment to the English because he didn’t wear feathers and scalps.

“What do they call you among the Indians—your sobriquet, I mean?” said one monocled peer to whom Thorpe was introduced in London.

“Bench Warmer,” said Thorpe. And he never cracked a ...

Read More...

Finn: Fox’s decision to hire Harold Reynolds is uninspired

Sometimes you feel so uninspired
Sometimes you feel like you’ve been hired

But this is about Reynolds, who has served as an affable if rarely insightful studio analyst at MLB Network since its launch in 2009. To be blunt: Fox Sports made a less-than-inspired choice to replace McCarver, and it’s disappointing given the prominence of the position.

Reynolds willfully disregards the statistical advances in baseball to traffic in hagiography, myth-making, and archaic thinking. He’ll argue ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 07:02 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: media, sabermetrics

Fletcher: Angels find instant replay procedures not so instantaneous

And we’ll be right back after we sell a few cars.

That’s when things got interesting.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to argue two things: that Trout had beaten the tag with his head-first slide, and also that Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis had been in violation of the new rule prohibiting catchers from blocking the plate before they have the ball.

The rule about blocking the plate – rule 7.13 – is reviewable by umpires without using a managerial challenge. But while they are looking ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 07, 2014 at 06:14 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sports orthopaedic pioneer and Dodger physician Dr. Frank Jobe passes away

Dr. Frank Jobe, who has served the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization for the past 50 years and who was a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, died this morning in Santa Monica at the age of 88, his family announced.

Jobe is survived by his wife, Beverly, four sons-Christopher, Meredith, Cameron and Blair-their spouses and eight grandchildren.

“Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word,” said Dodger President Stan Kasten. “His dedication and professionalism in not only ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 06, 2014 at 11:33 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, history

THT: Jackson: The hustling Russells

If not for a bad rotator cuff, Kurt Russell might never have given us the film classic, Used Cars.

That 30-man roster allowed for a bit of nepotism. So Russell, in 1973, saved a roster spot for his son. Having been a movie and TV actor since the late 1950s, Kurt Russell was no stranger to many Mavericks fans. In fact, he was no stranger to the Northwest League. After he signed with the Angels in 1971, they assigned him to their Northwest League team in Bend, Ore. As a switch-hitting second ...

Read More...
Bruce Markusen Posted: March 06, 2014 at 10:06 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Lindbergh: The Duracell GM Generation?

H/T Sam Bialosky

We’ve seen current general managers tied to tabloid scandals, lousy public predictions, the fallout from disastrous contracts, and on-the-record allegations of front-office incompetence. Yet the last time a GM lost his job, the Astros had just dropped 100 games for the first time, the Marlins were in the midst of a spending spree, and Mike Trout had a .672 career OPS. Homeland was locking up all the Emmys. It was a different world.

On Twitter and talk radio, it’s still ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 06, 2014 at 06:23 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers

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