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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Washington Nationals pursuing Yoenis Cespedes after missing out on fellow free-agent outfielder Justin Upton, major-league sources tell Ken Rosenthal | FOX Sports

The Nationals?

Which position would Cespedes play?

The Nats recently acquired Ben Revere, presumably to play center, possibly in tandem with Michael Taylor. Jayson Werth, guaranteed $42 million over the next two seasons with a full no-trade clause, is the left fielder. National League MVP Bryce Harper is in right.

The addition of Cespedes likely would mean that either he or Harper would be in center. The Nats, however, want Revere to play regularly—they acquired him in part to be their ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 09:14 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, nationals, yoenis cespedes

Prospect Watch: Top 10 LHPs for 2016 | MLB.com

1. Julio Urias, Dodgers
He doesn’t turn 20 until August, and he’s already knocking on the door. Urias has an outstanding combination of stuff and pitchability well beyond his years. He has three plus pitches with outstanding command. The only thing he doesn’t have is innings. Urias has yet to top even 90 innings in a season, but that shouldn’t hold him back for too long.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-21-2016

Toledo News-Bee, January 21, 1916:

An injury caused by a slide to the plate will result in amputation of the right leg of Jim Baskette, former Cleveland, Toledo and Kansas City pitcher, say reports from Chattanooga, his home.

A piece of bone has been removed from Baskette’s leg, but there are signs of decay, physicians say. Southern league fans are raising a fund to aid the ball player.

That really sucks. According to the newsletter of the Baseball Players’ Fraternity, the injury wasn’t thought ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim baskette

Mets sign left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo to bolster bullpen

It’s not the free-agent signing that fans are pining for, but getting lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo on Wednesday might prove to be very important for the Mets.

The team agreed with Bastardo on a two-year, $12 million deal. If that sounds like a lot for a set-up reliever, it’s similar to what others like Mark Lowe, Steve Cishek, and John Axford − all righthanders − have received this winter.

Bastardo, meanwhile, was one of the few quality lefties in this free-agent market. ...

Read More...
Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:34 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, mets

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Raissman: Francesa insists WFAN exit plan isn’t a ploy

Not very original. Howard Stern performed this act every three of four years while working for K-Rock.

Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa’s Retirement Announcement Tour rolled on Wednesday with His Holiness again saying he will call it quits when his contract expires in 2017.

“It’s not a negotiating ploy,” Francesa contended during his WFAN soiree. “...What I said is true. It’s going to be the end of the road as far as doing this everyday. That’s what the plan is.”

Francesa first ...

Read More...
JEe (Jason) Posted: January 20, 2016 at 03:25 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: blowhards, douchebag, fatass, idiot, mike francesa, my aching head, radio

Yankees Hot Stove: Brian Cashman on free agency - Video

Brian Cashman talks about his off-season process.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 10:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, yankees

The solution for the Mets is easy: Just sign Yoenis Cespedes | FOX Sports

Do Mets fans really want him back for five years?

The solution for the Mets is easy – so easy, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

Sign Yoenis Cespedes.

Sign him to a five-year, $120 million contract with a two-year opt-out and a ton of deferred money.

Cespedes, 30, could claim victory – he would get the long-term security he wants and a higher average annual value ($24 million) than Justin Upton ($22.125M).

The Mets would win, too – the five-year term is shorter than ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mets, yoenis cespedes

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2016

Toledo News-Bee, January 20, 1916:

Secretary J.H. Farrell of the National Association of Professional Baseball leagues has issued a list of Federal league players “now free agents and authorized to sign where they please.” On the list is Milo Packard, a former Kansas City Fed, who was killed accidentally last spring trailing a shotgun through a fence.

Cross him off, then.

On second thought, maybe don’t cross him off. Eugene Milo “Gene” Packard pitched for Kansas City in 1914 and 1915 and lived ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, gene packard, history

Juan Lagares part of productive Mets outfield | mets.com

Is Lagares’ elbow healed?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 09:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: juan lagares, mets

WaPo: Former NFL receiver Antwaan Randle El regrets ever playing football

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t” play football, he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a Steelers-themed project posted Tuesday. “I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball.”

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:19 AM | 214 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

LOOK: The fences are being shortened at Marlins Park - CBSSports.com

Earlier this offseason the Marlins announced they will both lower and move in the fences at Marlins Park in an effort to make the park more hitter friendly. The dimensions down the lines will remain the same, but the walls will be brought in in the power alleys and center field.

Also, the fences will be lowered substantially in some places. The old walls ranged from 11 1/2 feet to 13 feet high. With the new layout, some fences will be as low as 5 1/2 feet. Here’s an update of the construction, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 20, 2016 at 07:04 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, stadium renovations

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Peter Gammons: Davis and the Orioles, Hanley Ramirez, and the scout-analytic balance - GammonsDaily.com

Who actually thinks scouts can be replaced by analytics? What are “real, trusted scouting eyes”? Analytics are part of the game. The scouts who embrace that change will be more valuable scouts. Scouts who lament the changes and fail to evolve will be replaced.

Dennis Gilbert—”Go Go” from his days as a Red Sox farmhand—held his annual Scouts Dinner Sunday night, one of the great events of the winter. Per this Bob Nightengale column in USA Today. Scouts, real scouts who do not sit in lunch ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 07:05 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

MLB settles lawsuit, enables fans to stream games of just one team

MLB.TV streaming package for $84.99 per year, for the next five years.

Additionally, the full league-wide package will be offered for $109.99, a 15% reduction from the $129.99 cost in 2015. That package enables fans to view any game on any mobile device.
...
MLB has also agreed to lift streaming blackouts of in-market games by the start of the 2017 season, albeit with a couple caveats.

It only applies to networks owned by DirecTV (Root Sports), Comcast (CSN) and 21st Century Fox (Fox Sports ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 05:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb.tv, streaming, television

Are the Tigers Really Too Right-Handed?

To the Leftorium!

On one hand, maybe league-average against more than half the league’s pitchers could be considered an issue, given the amount of money invested in this lineup and the expectations that follow. On the other hand, a cursory glance at recent history reveals that Cabrera’s outperformed this year’s projection for each of the last seven seasons, by an average of 27 points. Since reinventing himself as a hitter in 2014, J.D. Martinez has been 30% better against righties than ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 03:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: justin upton, tigers

MLB investigating Yu Darvish’s possible role in gambling ring

Say it ain’t you, Yu.

Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is under investigation by MLB for his possible role in an illegal gambling ring run by his brother Sho, The Japan Times reported Tuesday.

Sho Darvish was arrested in October after being accused by authorities of placing bets on American and Japanese sports. He and seven others were accused of taking 18.5 million yen, or $150,000, worth of bets based on the scores of 16 MLB games and 28 Japanese professional baseball games from May 12-18. It’s ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 02:36 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, rangers, yu darvish

Pete Rose to be inducted into Reds Hall of Fame

Pete Rose is going into the Hall of Fame.

No, Rob Manfred hasn’t had a change of heart. The all-time hits leader will be honored as a member of the Reds Hall of Fame.

“Inducting Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise,” team president Bob Castellini said Tuesday (via WXIX-TV) in a prepared statement. “He is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform and it will be an unforgettable experience watching him ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose, reds

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-19-2016

Pittsburgh Press, January 19, 1916:

If the American League records, as they should, took account of the Red Cross passes received by the players and added them to the athletes’ total of regulation gifts, Tyrus Cobb would have been the Johnsonites’ champion hiker last season. The Dixie Demon, who drew one less complimentary than Eddie Collins, was hit by the slabmen six more times than the White Sock and therefore was deadhanded to first five more times than the former Mackman.
...
“Doc” Johnston ...

Read More...

Baseball Goes On Trial for Millions of Fans, Billions of Dollars

if you are in bed with cable companies you really need to think about what you find attractive in your partner

from the article:

MLB says the system prevents the teams in big markets from gobbling up all the TV deals and starving small-market teams, ensuring more games, more competition and more choices for fans.

Now, the league will have to defend that logic in a trial starting Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, in which Comcast Corp. and DirecTV LLC are also among the defendants. The ...

Read More...
Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2016 at 07:58 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasts, mlbtv, whynotscr8wiowa

Injured players aim for impact in returns | MLB.com

Yu Darvish, Rangers
In a crowded AL West, Darvish has the ability to shift the scales considerably when he returns from Tommy John surgery. The latest guess is that the defending division champs will get him back in May, making for a fearsome twosome of Darvish and Cole Hamels atop Texas’ rotation. Hamstrung by some other colossal contracts they’ve doled out in recent years, the Rangers haven’t made much noise this offseason. But they know Darvish, who has a 3.27 ERA and 128 ERA+ over 83 career ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:54 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries

Mark Appel hopes to break out with Phillies | MLB.com

He’s too nice? He lets batters hit to improve their averages?

That hasn’t stopped the armchair psychologists from offering their conclusions. Appel has a ready smile and is bright and well-spoken. That has led some to conclude that he’s simply too nice, that he lacks the requisite mean streak. It’s a charge the 24-year-old is well aware of.

“I take it as a compliment. I am a nice guy,” Appel said on the final day of the Phillies’ annual Prospect Education Program at Citizens Bank Park. “I don’t ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark appel, phillies

Yoenis Cespedes still available but Astros not likely destination - Ultimate Astros

Where will Cespedes land?

General manager Jeff Luhnow on Friday afternoon reiterated that he feels the team does not need to make further moves this offseason. Yet, it’s clear the Astros don’t consider their winter over.

“We’re still in the same spot we’ve been in,” Luhnow said. “We’re monitoring the players that are available and trying to figure out if there’s a fit, and when I say available, I don’t mean only via free agency. There’s discussions with other teams about ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:44 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, free agents, yoenis cespedes

The State of Analytics Within MLB | FanGraphs Baseball

For teams building departments, the duties of analytics can remain highly conflated and ambiguous. Speaking in generalities, there are three fields within sabermetrics, which have some overlap with one another:

— Data Scientists: Those who manage and manipulate data for the purpose of divining relationships, seeking evidence, and optimizing behavior. Pitch sequencing studies, defensive positioning strategies, and catcher/pitcher stolen base credit allocation are some examples of projects ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Monday, January 18, 2016

Japan Times: Aoki eyes big impact on return to American League

It’s always good to have goals.

Outfielder Norichika Aoki said Sunday he wants to return to the American League with a bang this year.

“I want to win an individual title this year, either a batting or stolen base crown,” the 34-year-old Aoki said after training in Tokyo.

 

vortex of dissipation Posted: January 18, 2016 at 10:58 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: boundless optimism, japan, mariners

Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers agree to six-year deal

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who craves star players and refuses to let money stand in the way of being a World Series contender, agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Justin Upton on a six-year contract Monday night, a person directly involved with the negotiations told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke only on the condition of anonymity since the deal won’t become official until Upton passes his physical.

The Tigers, who informed everyone the past six weeks that they no longer ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2016 at 09:44 PM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: justin upton, tigers

Rangers-to-Dallas talk just more hot air

By nearly all accounts, Globe Life Park — née The Ballpark in Arlington — has aged both masterfully and gracefully since its opening 22 years ago.

A sturdy red brick facade. Great sightlines. Nachos by the barrel. Two World Series appearances.

The Texas Rangers have a handsome, still-viable home.

But when a good city loses one of its sports teams, as St. Louis did this past week, it only makes sense to check the fine print on your team’s stadium lease.

April 2024 — that’s when ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2016 at 06:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dallas, rangers, relocation

OTP - 2016 January 18: MLB opens D.C. office

Major League Baseball, which has lobbied before, has now opened a Washington office

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 18, 2016 at 05:53 PM | 2025 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

‘God Bless Baseball’ brings the sport that unites us to the stage

If you haven’t guessed by now, Okada’s play is not particularly straightforward. Possible Ichiro arrives to teach baseball to three people who don’t know anything about the sport. Because this is not the movie “Summer Catch,” there’s another layer here— baseball serves as the metaphor for Japan and South Korea’s relationship with the U.S.
To answer your first question, no, there are no bat flips. But abstract movement rules the play, turning the things we see on the diamond into balletic ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2016 at 10:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, theater

School of Roch: What does the Davis signing mean to Walker and Mancini?

At best Christian Walker and Trey Mancini look like second-division starters. More than likely they will just be role players or players on the AAA/MLB shuttle.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2016 at 08:58 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, prospects

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2016

Washington Herald, January 18, 1916:

AMERICAN LEAGUE MANAGERS LAUGH AT MACK’S THREAT TO REPEAT THIS SEASON

Mack’s Pennant Talk Considered Big Joke

Connie Mack’s threat that he will give Philadelphia a winning ball club in 1917, and will start ripping things up during the middle of the coming season, is taken with a grain of salt and a large series of snorts by almost every manager in the American League.
...
The dope about the Athletics from those who are on the inside is to the effect that ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2016 at 08:19 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, connie mack, dugout, history

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