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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Nick Cafardo: Here are the Red Sox storylines entering spring training - The Boston Globe

This week’s notes column centers around the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Sunday Notes: Seratelli’s Sayonara, Kaminsky’s Curve, Cards, ARod Managing, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest includes this tidbit:

I held back a few quotes when I put together this past week’s Current Players Who are Future Managers article. In most cases, it was because the respondent addressed the hiring practice itself, but didn’t name a player. Then there was this quote, which I felt merited some extra attention:

Andrew Miller: “I’ve been blown away by Alex Rodriguez. Does he have any desire to manage in the major leagues? He’s made something like $400 million in ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Stick to Sports? NEVER! The Intersectionalist Manifesto – HardballTalk

I enjoy and value reading political commentary from baseball people as much I enjoy and value sports commentary from politicians.

That Manny Ortez guy sure can hit!!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:34 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

The Cespedes gamble: The biggest MLB position-change risks | New York Post

Joel Sherman ranks the position switches.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: defense

Bip Roberts Was The First Bip

The link goes to the Value Over Replacement page, whose author seems to have a thing for names…...she has produced a spreadsheet with every given name (or “first” name) for every player in MLB history   AND   the date of the first appearance of that name!

Link to the spreadsheet, via Google Drive

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fsV6bR4aHIRlyZEMwHy3wAbre2hogrJ9HLyqSpVCrgo/edit#gid=0

pthomas Posted: February 07, 2016 at 01:07 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Checking the facts ... yup, MLB still has greater parity than the NFL

But the NFL is better to parody.

* Since I spend most of my year honed in on baseball, I can actually tell you exactly which day I first started looking forward to writing this column. It was Oct. 15. That was the day we learned the identity of the final four playoff teams in a sport in which everybody knows The Same Teams Win Every Year. Those four teams were:

The Royals—who hadn’t won a World Series since 1985 (30 years).

The Mets—who hadn’t won since 1986 (29 years).

The Blue Jays—who ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2016 at 09:21 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: nfl, parity

We’ll have robot quality umps by 2059

Better umpires? Or replicants?

But improve is what umpires have done every year since we’ve had access to robust PITCHf/x data. When you plot out every pitch umpires had to call a ball or a strike from Baseball Savant and judge accuracy using its strike zone definition, the consistency of this improvement stands out immediately. Over the past seven seasons, umpires have improved their accuracy by 0.37 percentage points each year, a value that seems negligible until you work out that over the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2016 at 09:13 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch fx, umpiring

WANTED: New home for American League baseball team | Tampa Bay Times

Actual criteria for picking stadium deal: make a deal which extracts as big a profit as possible regardless to the the actual benefits of taxpayers.

The potential for public-private partnerships, economic development opportunities, site accessibility and regional connectivity — “those are critically important elements of any potential location.”

The Rays appear eager to start providing details to interested parties. Team officials delivered the document to St. Petersburg officials three weeks ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2016 at 06:17 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Padres say they’re not rebuilding, plan to compete in 2016 | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

If the Padres won’t call this a rebuild, what do they expect in 2016?

“Significant improvement,” said executive chairman Ron Fowler. “We underperformed last year. Our goal is to overperform this year.”

“For us, 2015 was just a step in the process,” said president and CEO Mike Dee. “It was part of a journey, part of the plan. 2016 brings a next step with a new manager and a team we think is going to compete.”

“We’re looking to field a team that’s competitive in the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2016 at 06:10 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Friday, February 05, 2016


Stephen Strasburg: This Could Be the Year | FanGraphs Baseball

Tony Blengino’s take.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2016 at 10:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, sabermetrics, stephen strasburg

Citi Field and Yankee Stadium Could Become Off Limits to Smokeless Tobacco

The effort has achieved results. Starting this season, smokeless tobacco will be banned in three of baseball’s most notable sites: AT&T Park in San Francisco, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Fenway Park in Boston. Players will be barred from using the substance both on the field and in the clubhouse.

Get the big sports news, highlights and analysis from Times journalists, with distinctive takes on games and some behind-the-scenes surprises, delivered to your inbox every week.

Now, a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2016 at 10:21 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, smokeless tobacco, yankees


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-5-2016

Topeka State Journal, February 5, 1916:

Jim Scott, big league star, got his start this way: In 1907 Oskaloosa in the Iowa State league had eleven pitchers and no catcher. The manager wired to Chicago for a catcher and through mistake Scott was sent out. He was determined to pitch in the first game after his arrival, and did so well that he was signed to a contract before the end of the game.

A fun story, but it likely isn’t true. According to Scott’s SABR bio, he showed up uninvited in Oskaloosa ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim scott

Japan Times: Retired slugger Kiyohara refuses to divulge drug source, admits injecting, smoking stimulant

This isn’t some run-of-the-mill former star getting busted for drug use. Kiyohara was one of the greatest sluggers in NPB history, hitting 525 home runs over 22 seasons from 1986 to 2008. With multiple gambling scandals in NPB this off season, it hasn’t been a good year for baseball’s reputation in Japan.

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the possibility that the seller of the drug is connected to yakuza. They also plan to learn when and how Kiyohara started using the drug. ...

Read More...
vortex of dissipation Posted: February 05, 2016 at 02:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: drug abuse, japanese baseball

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Jonny Gomes: Sayonara, For Now: Why I’m Playing In Japan

Gomes will be big in Japan.

Unsure of whether or not I wanted to wait again until February to find an MLB team, I remembered that old scout from Durham. Have you ever thought about playing in Japan? And the idea of playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan became option 1A. So I started doing some homework.

Here’s what I learned:

Free agency is a lot different over there. They like to set their rosters early. So if you start pushing that panic button in late January or ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2016 at 10:36 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, jonny gomes, players tribune

Bobby Cox endorses Eddie Perez as MLB manager | MLB.com

Bobby likes Eddie.

“Eddie is really a plus on any team. He would be a plus managing someday,” Cox said. “He’s still got young kids in high school and the family. He’s such a big family guy, and it’s hard for him to leave Atlanta right now. But I think in a couple years, he’ll be able to do that or whatever. He’s Major League managerial material, for sure.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 09:43 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby cox, braves, eddie perez, managers

Suddenly Frugal Yankees Playing Long Game With Eye On Bryce Harper

For those who have more than a Passan interest in the Yankees and/or Bryce Harper’s future:

Nobody with the Yankees dared comment on Harper, even off the record, because their future marriage is considered so inevitable by most in the sport that the team dare not trifle with tampering charges. Considering the pains to which the Yankees are going to tighten finances, Harper as the endgame makes worlds of sense.

His age – and the ability to cull prime years from a free agent, a rarity – is ...

Read More...
Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$ Posted: February 04, 2016 at 07:38 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agents, nationals, yankees

Don Orsillo makes new home with Padres | MLB.com

The Padres have a great announcer.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 03:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, don orsillo, padres, red sox

The Wainwrightization of Rick Porcello | FanGraphs

Great stuff from Jeff Sullivan.

Granted, there are similarities between lots of great players and lots of inferior players. The limitation of the pitch-comp system is it says nothing about consistency, and I can’t imagine Porcello yet trusts his curve the way that Wainwright has trusted his. One still has to assume Wainwright commands the pitch better, and then there’s also the matter of Wainwright having the cutter, which is better than Porcello’s. The effectiveness of a pitch is in part ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 02:45 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: adam wainwright, cardinals, pitching, red sox, rick porcello, sabermetrics

OT: Soccer Thread - February 2016

Coming up in the month of February:

Man City v. Leicester (2/6)
USWNT Olympic Qualifying (2/10 - 2/21)
Juventus v. Napoli (2/13)
Arsenal v. Leicester and Man City v. Spurs (2/14)
The return of the Champions League (starting 2/16)
Madrid Derby (2/27)
League Cup final (2/28)

Probably lots of other things I’m failing to remember.

Baldrick Posted: February 04, 2016 at 02:37 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: football, off-topic, soccer

NBC/Calcaterra: Cubs sign Matt Murton

When you saw this link, you thought the database must have puked on itself and started pulling up articles from ten years ago. But no, this actually happened in the Year of Our Lord 2016.

I’m rooting for him.

But after the 2009 season he went to Japan and has been playing there ever since, all of it with the Hanshin Tigers. And he’s played really well there too. In 2010 he broke Ichiro’s single season hits record with 214 in a year in which he put up a line of .349/.395/.499. Over the ...

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PASTE Transcends Almost All Generations (Zeth) Posted: February 04, 2016 at 12:03 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, matt murton, no, really

The Mets plan to implement a six-man rotation again in 2016 | FOX Sports

It appears as though the New York Mets will hold another on-and-off affair with a six-man rotation.

General manager Sandy Alderson tells ESPN.com that the Mets plan to “strategically use a sixth starter to keep their staff fresh.”

New York implemented a six-man rotation primarily consisting of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colón, and rookies Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz with mixed reaction in 2016.

Although the format allowed the Mets to preserve their young arms, not ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 10:48 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Scott Boras, other baseball minds propose anti-tanking measures - Buster Olney Blog- ($Insider$)

How do these changes actually help bad teams return to contention?

In no particular order, here are some of the suggestions mentioned by evaluators and agents:

1. Prevent teams from picking at or near the top of the draft in successive seasons:
(snip)

2. Reduce the difference in draft dollars attached to the highest picks under the current system:
(snip)

3. Have a draft lottery:
(snip)

4. The E system: Agent Scott Boras presented a multifaceted idea that would allow the worst teams to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 10:07 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, scott boras

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-4-2016

Pittsburgh Press, February 4, 1916:

In a Western league game last season the following play came up, the like of which probably never before occurred on a ball field. Omaha had three men on bases with none out; three balls and two strikes had been called on the batter, when he met the ball solidly and drove it on a line straight to the shortstop…It looked like a sure triple play, but [baserunner] Cy Forsythe...reached up into the air with his right hand and pulled the ball down, thus preventing ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 04, 2016 at 09:45 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Will Detroit Tigers Lopsided Right-Handed Lineup be a Handicap?

Can a team win with an almost exclusive RH lineup?

This year the Detroit Tigers will feature an everyday lineup with eight right-handed batters and one switch-hitter Although it’s quite a potent lineup, it’s a remarkably lopsided one. You can argue this one-sidedness doesn’t matter, but the numbers say it does. To take a fair measure, examine the Tiger regulars’ OPS against righties and lefties over the last three seasons.

Here are those figures for the cumulative OPS from 2013, 2014, ...

Read More...
Wahoo Sam Posted: February 04, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cameron maybin, detroit tigers, justin upton

Orioles have expressed interest in free-agent right-hander Tim Lincecum - Baltimore Sun

They have “expressed interest”.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 09:20 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, orioles, tim lincecum

Wrigleyville -THE BEST CUBS CATCHERS SINCE 1988

BP thinks Joe Girardi stunk.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 08:53 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, sabermetrics

MLB’s most unpredictable team in every division.

Winning the off-season means nothing.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 08:31 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: predictions

Mets GM: Premature to call Conforto an everyday player - NY Daily News

Why trade for De Aza? He’ll probably end up getting cut.

Alderson said he could see teams approaching him about deals for Alejandro De Aza, though he’s not engaged there now. The GM acknowledged that the outfielder’s playing situation is “a little less clear” now that Cespedes is here. “But we’re happy to have another left-handed hitter who hits well against right-handed pitching and we’ll figure it out,” Alderson said. Juan Lagares, meanwhile, “definitely has a role for us, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2016 at 08:07 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, michael conforto

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