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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Friday, October 30, 2015

Royals’ Volquez doesn’t know when he’ll be ready to play

Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez said Wednesday that he didn’t know whether he would be ready to play in the World Series once he returns to the U.S. following his father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic.

Volquez said he was in a lot of pain as his eyes welled with tears while he attended his father’s memorial service a day before the funeral.

“Losing a loved one is hard,” he said. “My father was everything to me, and he supported me in everything throughout my career. We won the game, but I ...

Davo Posted: October 30, 2015 at 01:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, world series

NY Magazine: Looking Past the World Series, Are the Mets Still Broke?

To get a sense of the financial challenges still facing the team, earlier this week Daily Intelligencer emailed Howard Megdal, a journalist and author of the book Wilpon’s Folly, about whether they’re truly moving past Madoff, how much this World Series appearance might help, and whether they’ll be able to afford to bring back Yoenis Céspedes. [...]

“Has anything Mets-related since the day Wilmer Flores wasn’t traded happened the way it used to? It’s why you’re seeing so many Wilpon stories ...

bobm Posted: October 30, 2015 at 12:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: fred wilpon, mets

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Costa: Yoenis Cespedes: Baseball’s Most Improbable Golf Prodigy

Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former left fielder, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!

Cespedes, 30, spent the first 25 years of his life in Cuba, an island with only two golf courses. He had virtually no exposure to the sport until early last year, when he tried it at a charity event in Florida. Now, he plays often before night games, smashing monster drives and posting scores that range from the low 70s ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:31 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, golf, mets, yoenis cespedes

How A Lifelong Obsession With Bret Saberhagen Rapping Wound Up On The Tonight Show

Have you ever had a memory from your childhood that no one else remembers, to the point you start questioning if this memory ever happened? This, for me, had been a local Kansas City Ford commercial from 1986 featuring Royals pitcher Bret Saberhagen rapping about trucks.

Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 29, 2015 at 08:41 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: bret saberhagen, jimmy fallon, kansas city royals

Marlins dismiss general manager Dan Jennings |

Take one for the team. Now get out.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:44 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dan jennings, general managers, managers, marlins

Astros’ Prospect Reed Named MiLB Offensive Player of the Year

A.J. Reed, the No. 5 prospect in the Houston system and No. 91 in all of baseball, went on to win the Joe Bauman Award with 34 home runs, 113 runs scored and hit .340/.432/.612 across 135 games between Class A Advanced and Double-A ball. On top of his home run title, he led all Minor Leaguers with 127 RBIs and 320 total bases and all full-season players with the .612 slugging percentage and a 1.044 OPS. For all of these reasons, Reed was the unanimous staff choice for the Top Offensive Player ...

GrumpyFan Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, prospects

Kansas City Royals look like unstoppable October force

Unstoppable? “Momentum? Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.” ~ Earl Weaver

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 01:15 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks Win 2015 Japan Series

The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks only needed five games to win the Japan Series and show everyone they were the best team in NPB last season.

Almost exactly one year to the day, Softbank proved that nothing had changed.

Lee Dae-ho capped his outstanding series with a two-run home run (which required a replay review) and the Hawks won their second consecutive Japan Series title with a 5-0 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Game 5 on Thursday night at Jingu Stadium.

Davo Posted: October 29, 2015 at 12:20 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, npb

The Gist: Everybody Hates Joe Buck (audio, begins at 14.43)

So, blessed with a bit of nepotism, a set of good pipes, a fine jawline, and the sort of seriousness of purpose that says, ‘Sport is of import’, Joe Buck has been tapped to be the lead Fox announcer for both baseball and the NFL. Joe Buck had his own HBO show where they tried to capitalize on his Midwestern everyman charm. Joe Buck starred in a line of Holiday Inn commercials trading on his everyman appeal. . .

Joe Buck’s a regular guy, a good sport, he’s approachable, but here’s the thing ...

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 11:25 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: audio, broadcaster, mets, royals, world series

Be wary of Byung-ho Park to Boston rumors - Over the Monster

Having too much talent is not a problem, not when the talent is tradable. Ramirez’s stop at first base will most likely be a short one. Ortiz can’t play forever. If they can get Park at the right price, they get him.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 10:51 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: byung-ho park, red sox

New York Mets’ young starters simply might be wearing down | FOX Sports

Are they worn down or is it too much rest? It seems to me they aren’t as sharp with the extra rest. But that’s just me.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 10:46 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, matt harvey, mets, world series

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-29-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, October 29, 1915:

There is little or no chance of peace on the baseball horizon, a talk with the two Pittsburgh magnates proving the fact, and the published rumors and statements of Charles Weeghman, notwithstanding.

[Pirates] President Barney Dreyfuss will not discuss reported plans to deal with the invaders and he stands firm with Messrs. Hempstead, Ebbetts [sic] and others for a stand-pat policy.
President Dreyfuss is on record as saying that he would dynamite ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:47 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

Marlins, manager Don Mattingly agree to four-year deal -

Don Mattingly, long eyed as the choice of owner Jeffrey Loria to revive the Marlins, has agreed to take the Miami managing job, sources confirm.

Mattingly has seemd to be a fait accompli in Miami since he and the Dodgers parted ways late last week. Loria has been targeting him as the replacement for Dan Jennings since late summer, and the sides made it happen after what was described as a very positive meeting Monday.

Mattingly, the Dodgers manager the past five years, agreed to a four-year ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:38 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: don mattingly, manager, marlins

Nationals expected to name Bud Black next manager - The Washington Post

The Nationals intend to hire former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black to become the sixth manager in the team history, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. The Nationals have not announced Black’s expected hiring as Major League Baseball frowns upon teams making major announcements during the World Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: bud black, managers, nationals

Jobs Houston Astros

This has to be in somebody’s wheelhouse.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:05 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jobs, sabermetrics

Raissman: Alex Rodriguez a star in Fox analyst audition - NY Daily News

Four people are at least two people too many.

The network uses three other analysts (Raul Ibanez, Pete Rose, Frank Thomas) on its pre and postgame shows but through the first two tilts only A-Rod has made half-inning appearances during the games, making it a four-mouth booth with Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:02 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, television, world series

Strat-O-Matic predicts Mets win next 4 games of World Series - NY Daily News

In an alternative universe, part two.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, simulations, strat-o-matic, world series

Strat-O-Matic predicts Mets win next 4 games of World Series - NY Daily News

In an alternative universe, part two.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 09:00 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, simulations, strat-o-matic, world series

Dominant deGrom leads Mets to romp in Simulated Series Game 2

In an alternative universe, part one.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dynasty league baseball, simulations, world series

Paine: Mets Pitchers Have Found Their Kryptonite

Here comes the Paine…

During the regular season, the group of pitchers that the Mets have thus far used in the World Series struck out 23 percent of opposing batters,1 while the particular group of hitters the Royals have used struck out in 15.2 percent of their plate appearances. Doing a little cross-multiplication using the 2015 MLB-wide average strikeout rate of 20.4 percent, we would have expected New York’s pitchers to set down 17.2 percent of Kansas City batters on strikes in the World ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:59 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pitching, royals, world series

Inside Baseball: Humble Moore takes unusual route to become top GM -

I’m in the middle of Moore’s book right now. As often happens analysts oversimplify the approaches of the people they write about. Moore is much more complex than the caricatures he’s drawn as.

While Moore may not be a sabermetric expert (though he is very proud of the Royals’ saber department, which includes an MIT man, a Columbia man and a Vanderbilt/Notre Dame man, and they’re taking them all out to fields to make them more well-rounded), he may well be the best leader in the game. The entire ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dayton moore, general managers, notes, royals

Johnny Cueto 2-hits Mets as Royals win Game 2 |

Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and breezed through three no-hit innings. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but got hit around in Kansas City’s four-run fifth. The right-hander exited after five innings having given up four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out two.

“They did exactly what people said, and they put the ball in play,” Mets manager Terry Collins said of the Royals, who finished with 10 hits. “I told Jake, ‘Not everything has to be a strike. ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2015 at 07:05 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Revisiting the Volatile Season of ‘65

For the next six days, much of Los Angeles was set ablaze and looted in a paroxysm of protest against racism and police brutality. Liquor stores and pawnshops were ransacked, 200 buildings were burned to the ground, and snipers on rooftops took aim at the firefighters who came to help. One young Dodgers fan, then-10-year-old Ozzie Smith, later recounted the harrowing experience to The New York Times.

“We had to stay in the house for a week, maybe two weeks,” Smith said. “My dad would go down ...


The Sublime Simplicity of - Rolling Stone

Not long ago, a mild-mannered former mathematics professor named Sean Forman met Cal Ripken at a Baseball Hall of Fame gathering. This is the sort of thing that Forman could never have imagined he’d be doing 16 years ago, before he created a website,, that completely altered the way Internet-savvy fans consume the sport. In fact, this is the sort of thing that still blows Forman’s mind, especially when Ripken said to him, “I emailed you guys the other day.

...
Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 28, 2015 at 03:44 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball-reference, rolling stone, sean forman

NY Post: Royals catcher’s mystery shinguard substance raises questions

A mini-controversy appears to be brewing after Fox cameras caught Royals catcher Salvador Perez with some kind of brown substance on his shinguards.

Perez didn’t speak to reporters after the game and manager Ned Yost didn’t shine much light on the issue, either.

“It’s not illegal,” Yost said. “I don’t know what it was. It was brown. It’s not illegal for a catcher to have it on his shinguard. It’s illegal for a pitcher.”

I declare the Mets the winners of Game 1.

Adam Starblind Posted: October 28, 2015 at 12:43 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

A World Series Sabermetrics Spectacular | FiveThirtyEight

Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Oct. 27, 2015), it’s a very stats-y World Series special. We discuss Daniel Murphy’s incredible postseason and which team is the “team of destiny,” and then feature a special intra-FiveThirtyEight showdown between our biggest Mets fan and biggest Royals fan. Plus, a Significant Digit on Abby Wambach’s ...

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, podcast, royals, sabermetrics, world series

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-28-2015

Pittsburgh Press, October 28, 1915:

Christy Mathewson, probably the most famous baseball player in the history of the national pastime, and mainstay of the Giants for the past 11 years, may never don a uniform again. In a story published under his own signature today, the great pitcher says there is not much chance of the doctors ever getting his arm in shape again and it is very likely that he will accept the position offered him to coach the baseball team at Harvard.

Mathewson pitched again in ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 28, 2015 at 09:07 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: christy mathewson, dugout, history

JTA via Ha’aretz: A Jewish Baseball Player Forges a New Path for Women in the Pro Leagues

Meet the latest member of your Oakland Ashkenazis.

This month, the 40-year-old Siegal, who lives in Southern California, got even closer to the action than those box seats: She worked as a coach for the Oakland Athletics’ Instructional League team in Arizona.

In doing so, Siegal became the first female to serve as a coach for a Major League Baseball club and joined the ever-growing list of women blazing new paths in the game.

“I was only able to stand in an A’s uniform because of the ...

JE (Jason) Posted: October 28, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: coaching, oakland a's, women in baseball

Eric Hosmer’s late heroics in World Series Game 1 give Royals a shot of confidence | The Kansas City Star

They are good enough; they are smart enough; and, gosh darn it, Royals fans like them!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 28, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

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