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Monday, May 01, 2017

OTP 1 May 2017: “Season of Lies” mixes baseball, politics

Dennis Hetzel has crafted “Season of Lies,” a new novel featuring the Chicago Cubs becoming enmeshed in a dirty presidential campaign.

Now that the Cubs have finally won a world championship, their chances of building a new baseball dynasty are threatened by sinister circumstances beyond the team’s control, when star pitcher Trey Von Ohmann decides to endorse President Luke Murphy for re-election, much to his teammates’ consternation.

Heh, remember when you knew a book was fiction if ...

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BDC Posted: May 01, 2017 at 06:14 AM | 1799 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fiction, politics

Sunday, April 30, 2017

WaPo: Anthony Rendon Has 3 HRs, 10 RBI In Historic Rout

Tony Two-Bags had a very good day:

Anthony Rendon, who began the day as the least productive player in the starting lineup, fronted the charge by going 6 for 6 with three home runs, a three-run double and 10 RBI. The third baseman became the fifth player in club history with three home runs in a game and the 13th player in major league history — and first since 2007 — with at least 10 RBI in a game. Rendon joined Walker Cooper as the only players in major league history with six hits, three ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:59 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, home runs, rbi, washington nationals

Syndergaard injury just the latest example of one of baseball’s biggest problems

RoboThal’s latest.

...Smoltz compares pitchers to race cars. The most difficult thing for a pitcher, he explained, is distinguishing between injury and soreness. And with most taught to simply throw as hard as they can, they are unable to adjust to flashing signals on their personal dashboards.
....

“We’re getting dangerously close to every pitcher red-lining when he doesn’t really have to. They’re not preparing to learn how to pitch like it’s a six-gear car. They’re always in sixth ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:09 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, mets being mets, syndergaard

Red Sox sorely miss David Ortiz’s bat, presence

The position and spot in the Red Sox batting order are filled, but not by anyone wearing his uniform.

The clubhouse is filled with veterans who have leadership skills, but none remotely resembling that huge presence and voice.

David Ortiz, the heart, soul and spine of the Red Sox franchise for the last 14 years, is gone.

And he is not coming back.

“This wasn’t just a bat leaving,’’ former Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling told USA TODAY Sports, “this was a lineup changer that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 30, 2017 at 05:56 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Ask BA: How Tough Is The Classification Jump? | BaseballAmerica.com

Good stuff.

Scouts have told me that they think the leap to Double-A is toughest on lefthanders who are reliant on their changeups and pitchers who have a “trick” pitch. A lefty with a good changeup will often be able to cruise through Class A lineups because they are generally incapable of recognizing a quality changeup.

But in Double-A, that usually isn’t enough. The pitcher will need to either spot his fastball well enough to get ahead in the count with it or he’ll have to have a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 30, 2017 at 02:13 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: player development, prospects

Caleb Joseph’s Historic RBI Drought Is Finally Over

Last September, we brought you the tale of Orioles backup catcher Caleb Joseph—closing in on the sad feat of becoming the first baseball player ever to finish a season with more than 100 plate appearances and not a single RBI.


Joseph made it through the rest of the year without an RBI, and he started this season the same way. Until today! For the first time since September 11, 2015, Joseph knocked in a runner—courtesy of a two-run shot in the ninth inning of a 12-4 loss to the Yankees.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 30, 2017 at 02:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: caleb joseph, orioles


Sunday Notes: Mendoza-Hendricks Nerdiness, Selsky as Dangerfield, Edwards Evoked ’86, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Red Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi benefitted from a scoring change earlier this week. It was made by the league office in New York, which routinely reviews decisions that are challenged. In this case, an official scorer at Fenway Park had charged a Pirates infielder with an error for not handling a throw. Here’s what happened.

With a runner on first base and less than two outs, Benintendi blooped a ball that fell safely in short centerfield. Wary that the ball might be caught, the runner got ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Dodgers hit 3 straight homers in walk-off win | MLB.com

Turned on the game just in time to see this. Then I fell asleep on the couch.

Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Hector Neris to spark an incredible 6-5 comeback victory over the Phillies. Puig got things going, crushing a 3-2 fastball to left field to cut the lead to two. Bellinger hit a first-pitch splitter off the right-field foul pole to make it a one-run game. Turner then smoked a 0-1 fastball to left ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Austin Romine opens eyes in shot he didn’t know would come

The Yankees were 1-4 and skidding toward disaster when Gary Sanchez was sent to the disabled list. Exactly how could vanilla backup Austin Romine fill in for last year’s slugging sensation?

Well, soon enough, Sanchez may have a hard time filling Romine’s spikes.

In addition to his routinely effective game-calling behind the plate, Romine had one of his best offensive performances Saturday afternoon, driving in a career-high five runs in a 12-4 win over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:06 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: austin romine, gary sanchez, yankees

Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller opts for elbow surgery, ending season

Shelby Miller’s season is over after the Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander announced Saturday he will have Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.

Miller, injured last Sunday during his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, was diagnosed with right elbow inflammation and placed on the 60-day disabled list on April 27. He sought second opinions on his elbow during the week before ultimately deciding on major surgery.

Miller said he hopes to return to throwing next spring.

“It’s the best ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:05 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, shelby miller, tommy john surgery

Mets face more injury drama as Noah Syndergaard refuses MRI, plans to start Sunday

Noah Syndergaard says he is healthy enough to start Sunday, and the Mets have no reason to doubt him – especially after he refused to have an MRI exam on his sore biceps.

Syndergaard was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday and told reporters he couldn’t lift his pitching arm over his head that that point. However, he insists he is healthy enough to face the NL East-leading Nationals tomorrow.

“I’m pretty in tune with my body,” said Syndergaard, via MLB.com. “That’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:04 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, mr, noah syndergaard

Sources: Nationals CF Adam Eaton done for season with torn left ACL

Washington Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton, who was carried off the field Friday, has a torn left ACL and will not play again this season, sources told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

The team announced earlier Saturday that Eaton had been placed on the disabled list with what was initially diagnosed as a left knee strain.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:04 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: acl, adam eaton, nationals


Yankees Stage Improbable Comeback Behind a Volley of Home Runs

Didn’t look good for the Yankees, down 9-1 in the 6th, and 11-4 in the 7th, but …

“He’s probably the most gifted baseball player I’ve ever been around,” said Matt Holliday of his 25-year-old teammate Aaron Judge, a rookie with all of 155 major league at-bats. “I mean, he’s 6-foot-8, 275 pounds. He moves really well in the outfield. I’m not saying he’s going to be the greatest player who ever played, but as far as when the guy hit a 97-mile-per-hour fastball that was a line ...

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Friday, April 28, 2017


Baseball’s New Pitch-Tracking System Is Just A Bit Outside

It all started the first weekend of the season, when observers noted some unusual pitch velocity readings from San Francisco Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s fastball was up almost two full miles per hour compared with last year; in a league where every tick matters, that reading could have meant a much better season for the Giants’ ace than expected. It wasn’t just Bumgarner: FanGraphs writer Dave Cameron quickly noticed that velocity numbers had jumped across the league. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 28, 2017 at 02:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch fx

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 28, 1917:

President Tener of the National Baseball League [yesterday] ordered replayed the game of April 17 between Philadelphia and Boston, which was protested by Manager Moran of the Philadelphia team, when Boston was declared the winner.

Umpire Bransfield decided a Philadelphia runner out for walking away from second base under the impression that he was out. President Tener says the decision was erroneous.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like a call like that ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2017 at 11:08 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, protests

Fred Lynn might’ve been a Hall of Famer if he’d stayed healthy — or in Boston

Lynn’s sabermetric numbers — 50 WAR, 44.1 JAWS and 94 Hall Rating — all paint him as a very good, though not great player who fell just short of Cooperstown.

But if he’d played a full career in Boston, Lynn might have long since been in the Hall of Fame. To some extent, his career is one of the great what-ifs in baseball history.

.....

Asked whether he considered himself a Hall of Famer, Lynn said “Talent-wise, yes. Numbers-wise, no.”

He noted, “If you want to make the Hall, ...

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‘Sports Center’ Anchor Agrees Politics is Hurting ESPN

But how could anyone not believe that Bruce Jenner deserves the Arthur Ashe award?

Captain Supporter Posted: April 28, 2017 at 10:38 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: espn

Are MLB Teams Gaming the New 10-Day DL System? – The Ringer

There’s another reason it’s probably too soon to pass judgement on the 10-day DL: If we do see stretching of what constitutes an “injury,” some of it will likely be done in the name of preventing fatigue. “Fatigue” needn’t be a BS justification for a DL stint; as former Dodgers head athletic trainer and VP of medical services Stan Conte says, “Many people think the 10-day DL will be [used] to rest players with the idea that this will reduce injuries overall, since many of us ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list, rules of the game

Must C: Graveman tags out two | MLB.com

Wow!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kendall graveman

Mets should seriously consider bringing up stud prospect | New York Post

Is Rosario really ready or just off to a hot start? Not even considering Super 2 status (which really shouldn’t be ignored), Rosario had 237 PA in AA last season. So far he has 86 in a AAA hitting environment radically different than he’ll have in New York. If the Mets front office doesn’t believe he’s ready and want to give me more time at AAA, bringing him up in a panic move will only endanger his development.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

2017 MLB Draft headlined by Greene, McKay | MLB.com

Wright’s season hasn’t been as spectacular as Greene’s or McKay’s, but he has a higher floor and better breaking stuff than the former and more upside on the mound than the latter. After failing to command his fastball—which can reach 97 mph—or land his curveball and slider for strikes in the early going, he struck out a career-high 13 in a shutout of Florida on April 14 and one-hit Georgia for eight innings on Saturday.

“Last summer, I thought Wright was the best college pitcher,” said a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

Fox Business: Latest On Jeb & Jeter Marlins Bid

Still some hurdles to clear:

Making the cash raise easier for the duo is that they have the support of just about every owner in baseball who will see the value of their team soar if they are successful, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Indeed, if the $1.34 billion deal is completed, baseball’s most valuable franchise, the New York Yankees, would be valued at around $5 billion, a 56 percent increase from its estimated value of about $3.2 billion, these same people say.
.  .  . ...

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Harsher punishment for pitchers who throw at hitters’ heads may do more harm than good

Here is the problem with baseball imposing harsher discipline for pitchers who throw at hitters’ heads:

The players do not want stronger penalties and the clubs are not inclined to press the issue, sources said…

The union, meanwhile, is sensitive to excessive punishment for pitchers who might have acted at the behest of a management representative such as a coach or manager, and suspicious of anyone who claims to know intent.

“Balls do get away from pitchers and banging a guy 20 games ...

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Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 27, 2017 at 02:31 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, rules

Noah Syndergaard scratched from start | MLB.com

His replacement, Matt Harvey, does not look sharp in his place.

Manager Terry Collins termed Syndergaard’s issue a “tired arm,” most likely stemming from tendinitis in his right biceps. The team alerted Matt Harvey on Thursday morning that he would start in Syndergaard’s place, with Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler sliding forward to start Friday and Saturday on regular rest, respectively.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 01:51 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Inside Baseball | Where Potential Sellers Stand Right Now

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes


Gift Ngoepe, First-Ever African-Born MLB Player, Got A Hit In His First Career At-Bat

The South Africa native has been with the Pirates organization since 2008, and he’s considered the club’s best defensive prospect. He took the field for the Pirates this evening, coming in at second base in the fourth inning and becoming the first African-born player to play in the majors. In his very first major-league at-bat, he singled up the middle on a 3-1 count.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 27, 2017 at 11:54 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: africa, international players, pirates

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