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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Minnesota Twins Are Losing, And It’s All Going According To Plan | VICE Sports

Did the article really need the intro?

BTW, it’s only seven games.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 13, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Red Sox must turn to Christian Vazquez to help struggling pitchers - Boston Red Sox Blog- ESPN

Swihart isn’t throwing those fat pitches in the middle of the plate. Replacing him behind the dish for missing a pop up is just silly. What’s even more silly is suggesting they should carry a third catcher because their “roster is imperfect anyway”.

During the final week of spring training, Farrell said the Red Sox wouldn’t rule out carrying three catchers. It’s hardly an ideal scenario, but as long as third baseman Pablo Sandoval is coming off the bench, the Sox’s roster is imperfect anyway. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 13, 2016 at 10:11 AM | 105 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, christian vazquez, red sox

Adam LaRoche goes deep on his decision to walk

So here’s the deal: You need to forget everything you think you know about professional athletes. Adam LaRoche is different. He walked into the clubhouse for the first time every spring and greeted new teammates by saying, “Oh, hey, I didn’t know we signed you.” During spring training in 2010, with the Diamondbacks, he and his family pulled a trailer to Tucson, and he rode a bicycle from the campground to the ballpark every day. He’s one of the stars of the reality TV show Buck Commander, in ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 13, 2016 at 09:51 AM | 152 comment(s)
  Beats: adam laroche

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-13-2016

Grand Forks Daily Herald, April 13, 1916:

Cleveland lost its opening game to St. Louis [yesterday], 6 to 1, chiefly because they could not hit Groom, ex-Federal league pitcher.
...
Tris Speaker played his first game as a Cleveland player. He fielded spectacularly and walked three times, being passed purposely twice. The crowd was the largest that ever witnessed an opening game in Cleveland.

Something tells me Cleveland fans are going to like Tris Speaker. I think he’s going to have a big year. ...Read More...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 13, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians, tris speaker

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Billy Hamilton recorded the fastest home run trot in Statcast history

Statcast measured the amble at 16.2 seconds—the quickest for an over-the-wall homer in the tracking system’s history.

Hamilton also had the fastest trot last season at 16.5 seconds. Although, that one was from the left side and this one was from the right, so, um, major bonus points.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 12, 2016 at 02:42 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: alfredo despaigne, billy hamilton, home run, statcast

The List: Most Aggressive Opening Day Assignments - BaseballAmerica.com

Every week during the minor league season, we’ll pick out some aspect of the game to rank. This week, we’re looking at the 10 most aggressive Opening Day assignments of the 2016 season.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 02:30 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Cooperstown Confidential: The tale of Charley Lau – The Hardball Times

I believe Charlie Lau was the first coach to come out with a video. I bought it and must have watched it 50 times. You can check it out on youtube.com.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 01:59 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting, hitting coaches

OMNICHATTER 4-12-16

The “I’m late posting this” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: April 12, 2016 at 12:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

The Limits of Analytics: The Tale of the Red Sox, Hippos, and Groundhogs

Older article, going back to the John Henry announcement six weeks ago that the Red Sox would be placing less emphasis on analytics (which was discussed pretty thoroughly at the time). I think the biggest insight here is that organizations can get down in the weeds with the data and lose sight of the context to which the data applies.

But once organizations get zealous about data, such as the Red Sox, they can go too far in the other direction. Rudin calls these organizations “groundhogs” ...

Read More...
Mike Emeigh Posted: April 12, 2016 at 11:43 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, red sox, sabermetrics

These Tigers’ managers were ejected the most times

A consequence of the challenge/replay system has been a decrease in the number of on-field arguments between managers and umpires. While fans don’t go to a ballpark to see their manager debate with an umpire they’ve probably never heard of, the argument was a part of baseball history and it’s provided some memorable moments. Who doesn’t remember Earl Weaver flipping out at a bad call and engaging in a profanity-filled exchange with the men in blue? Well, they wear black now, but…

...
Read More...

Why the Cole Hamels trade might pay even more dividends for the Rangers | FOX Sports

The latest Robothal.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis says the more that left-hander Clayton Kershaw throws his changeup, the more it can become “a special weapon.”

Kershaw used the pitch only 44 times combined the past two seasons. He threw six in his 96-pitch outing against the Padres on Opening Day, but none against the Giants on Saturday.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 10:47 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Bryce Harper Bat Now With 100 Emoji

Bryce Harper >>>>> Billy Ripken


It’s official: Vin Scully Avenue is now a city street - The Orange County Register

FYI, Vin Scully is a long-time lurker on BBTF so, if you show him some love, he might read it.

Thanks for all the fond memories, Mr. Scully!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, vin scully

What to Make of a Small Sample

For home run rate (HR/PA) to stabilize, you need 170 plate appearances. Through six games, Story has only 28. Plainly, Story’s 25 percent rate of home runs per plate appearance is not “stable.” If it were, we’d expect him to hit 150-plus home runs this year. Were Story to have 43 HR 170 plate appearances into the year, we’d have to take the possibility seriously. So Story’s seven-homer week is mostly luck and not remotely indicative he’s the greatest player of all time by a wide ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 10:38 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, small sample size

The return of Javier Baez and how Cubs are prepared for next wave of injuries | CSN Chicago

Next man up!

Baez hit in the middle of Triple-A Iowa’s lineup on Monday night, with Cubs manager Joe Maddon saying the organization would like to see him get around 20 or 25 at-bats before joining the big-league club.

That could happen as soon as this week’s opening homestand at Wrigley Field — or once Baez gets his timing down after a left thumb injury prevented him from making the Opening Day roster.

The Cubs plan to move Baez around the infield and the outfield with Iowa, grooming ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 10:35 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Scout calls for Steven Matz demotion as Collins’ worries grow | New York Post

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL IIIISSSSSSS LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSST!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 10:27 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Minnesota Twins pinch hit for struggling Byung Ho Park

“Every day is a lesson for me. I’m still learning. But I’m not going to sleep on this and stress about it. I’m going to take a good day off (Tuesday), and when I show up here on Wednesday, it’s a new day, a new game. I’m going to focus on my game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 07:11 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: byung-ho park, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-12-2016

Pittsburgh Press, April 12, 1916:

Early this afternoon the eye of Mr. Average Citizen will take on a restless look. He will fidget and squirm. Then with the best excuse available he will grab his hat and overcoat, drop into the next office to pick up Miss Average Citizen and start for the ball lot.

Somewhere between 150,000 and 175,000 average citizens are expected to click through the turnstiles, paying about $100,000 for the privilege of being in on the big opening of the baseball season.

...
Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 12, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, opening day

Barry Bonds explains fundamentals of hitting - ESPN Video

Barry might know what he’s talking about.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 06:20 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, hitting, video

Syndergaard, Fernandez fastballs harder to hit | MLB.com

Perceived Velocity is a great addition for our understanding of the game.

That Syndergaard appears is hardly a shock—after all, he lit up radar guns in his first start this year and his 97.4 mph average fastball led starting pitchers in 2015. Of course, he’s also listed as 6-foot-6, and his extension of just under 7 feet was third among starters, behind only Michael Wacha and John Lamb. That helped his perceived velocity look like 98.4 mph, because a hard pitch thrown from closer to the plate ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 06:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: noah syndergaard, pitching, statcast

Monday, April 11, 2016

OTP: ? Ken Burns on Jackie Robinson and the Republican Party’s ‘Pact With the Devil’

Airs tonight on PBS.

 Robinson, sure enough, was present at the 1960 Democratic Convention as well as 1964 Republican Convention, and what he saw left him distraught. Jackie was a lifelong Republican because the Democratic Party’s Dixiecrat wing ran his family out of Georgia. In 1960, angered that Richard Nixon ignored his requests to help a jailed Martin Luther King, he considered endorsing John Kennedy and attended the Democratic National Convention. He also had friends telling him that ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2016 at 05:28 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: democrat party, jackie robinson, politics, republican party

Yankees tentatively agree to stay in Tampa through 2046 - NY Daily News

$40 million here, $40 million there.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 03:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: tampa, yankees

Stephen King: Protective netting at Fenway? Thanks, but no thanks

These are just a few of the more serious injuries, those that have been reported in the press. There are plenty more. According to a Bloomberg News report, 1,750 fans are injured in game-related incidents every year. That’s more than the number of batters hit by pitches (about 1,500, according to the Elias Sports Bureau). But almost 74 million fans attended MLB games in 2015, so the chances of being struck by a piece of bat or a foul line drive are pretty slim. Right up there with getting ...

Read More...

Baseball’s 100 Miles Per Hour Club - Men’s Journal

House has a few more tricks up his sleeve. A big one involves the pitcher’s stride as he delivers the ball. The average stride-length for a pitcher is 77 to 87 percent of his height. He calculates that for every extra foot he can squeeze out of a pitcher’s stride, the hitter sees a virtual three-mile-per-hour gain in fastball speed. Put it this way, a 95-mile-per-hour fastball from 50 feet looks faster than from 53 feet. Same velocity on the radar gun, but because a hitter has less time to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 11:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-11-2016

Pittsburgh Press, April 11, 1916:

Howard Shanks blames his failure to hit as well during the summer as he does in the spring to the fact that he is playing a sunfield most of the time, and that it affects his eyes to such an extent that he cannot hit up to his true standard. This argument Shanks made to Griffith, who, recognizing its logic, has decided to allow Shanks to continue in left field as long as he is hitting, and then shift him to a field where there is no sun to bother him.

Uh, sure, ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, howie shanks

Edwin Encarnacion As Next Red Sox DH? David Ortiz Wants It To Happen

It appears David Ortiz has handpicked his successor. The Red Sox designated hitter is in his final Major League Baseball season, and there’s no doubt he’s going to leave a hole in Boston’s lineup come 2017. But Ortiz apparently has been scouting Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion as his replacement. “Hell, yeah. He’s a perfect replacement,” Ortiz told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Friday. “Because of everything, but mostly because he can hit.”

Paul d mobile Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:32 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ortiz, red sox

The Weight: Refurbished Cubs team returns to renovated Wrigley Field - Chicago Tribune

Who doesn’t love rats in the work place?

Still, some of the old standbys will be missed. Hammel joked he would miss the rats, the ones former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen often referred to when describing Wrigley as a “dump.” Hammel confirmed Guillen’s stories are not the stuff of urban legend.

“The rats were mostly in the storage areas back behind where the lockers are,” he said. “But one thing I won’t miss, if and when we’re celebrating, is I won’t have a puddle of booze puddled up in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:09 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, wrigley field, wrigley field renovation

Baseball Is Injuring Too Many Kids - The New York Times

Baseball or parents?

“I say to parents: This is not good,” Dr. Mamizuka told me that day. “Bad training. Bad pitching. Bad coaching.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: youth baseball

Hallowed ground: How Fenway Park gets ready for baseball season

There has been a noticeable improvement to the field since Dave Mellor came to Fenway.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: fenway park

Orioles understand but dislike the tobacco ban they’re about to face - Baltimore Sun

Reliever Darren O’Day, the Orioles’ union representative, said players have been briefed on the laws during spring training. He believes it’s “reasonable” to reduce the visibility of the tobacco use so as to not influence children, but said the ban is “a bit of a government overreach.”

“There’s a triple-bacon cheeseburger,” O’Day said. “Do you really need that? No, you don’t, but the government’s not going to outlaw it.

“I get it,” O’Day said. “We get it. But as I said before, there’s some ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: April 11, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

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