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Friday, July 25, 2014

SoE: AN IDIOT IN EXILE

Johnny Damon was a major league baseball player for 18 years. He won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004 and another one with the Yankees in 2009, which is why he once said, “Being a baseball player is so great.” He said the game “was fun,” and winning championships was even more “fun.” He learned how to have “fun” with the A’s and then taught his teammates with the Red Sox and Yankees how to have “fun.” His concept of “fun” was mostly that of a young boy. “I could buy different toys,” he said. “Jet Skis, boats, motorcycles, all the stuff that baseball affords you the privilege to buy.” His first wife, Angie Vannice, explained that her husband “plays better when he’s buying things. He likes to shop more than anybody.”

The Peter Pan of baseball, it would seem….


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fivethirtyeight: Billion-Dollar Billy Beane

Billy Beane should have never written this article.

Now that we have a sense of Beane’s performance and how much it would cost to replicate it, let’s turn back to the Boston Red Sox and their failure to sign him (or even to offer him anywhere near his worth)....

But some of that money was spent and some of those wins came before the Red Sox attempted to hire Beane. To be conservative, let’s just look at the period since Henry made Beane his offer: In the last 12 years, the Red Sox spent $1.714 billion on payroll, while the A’s spent $736 million. We can then break down what it could have looked like if Beane had worked for the Red Sox like so:

  Let’s say it would have cost Boston the same $736 million that it cost Oakland to get the A’s performance with Beane.
  At the hypothetical $25 million-per-year salary I suggested earlier, Beane would have cost the Red Sox another $300 million. (It’s possible that Beane would have wanted more, but it’s even more possible that they could have gotten him for less.)
  The difference in performance between the A’s and the Red Sox over that period (where the Sox were as successful as at any point in the franchise’s history, and the A’s were supposedly stagnating after Beane’s early success) has been about 50 games for Boston. Since we don’t know exactly how good Beane would be at procuring additional wins above his Oakland performance, let’s assume that the Red Sox would have had to pay the typical amount teams have paid for wins in the period to make up the difference. According to the year-by-year price of wins from my calculations above, those 50 wins (taking when they happened into account) would have a market value of about $370 million (though this might have been lower with Beane in charge).

If we combine these — the price of the A’s performance ($736 million) plus Super-Expensive-Billy-Beane’s salary ($300 million) plus the additional 50 Red Sox wins at high market estimates ($370 million) – merely duplicating their previous level of success still would have saved the Red Sox more than $300 million relative to what they actually spent, and that’s with reasonably conservative assumptions. That’s money they could have pocketed, or spent making themselves even better.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:47 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, moneyball, payroll, red sox

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2015 Competitive Balance Lottery Results

The Competitive Balance Lottery for the 2015 MLB Draft took place this afternoon. Twelve competitive balance picks are awarded, with the first six taking place after the first round’s conclusion and the next six taking place following conclusion of the second round. Here are the results, per MLB.com (Twitter links)...

Competitive Balance Round A

  Marlins
  Rockies
  Cardinals
  Brewers
  Padres
  Indians

Competitive Balance Round B

  Reds
  Athletics
  Mariners
  Twins
  Orioles
  Diamondbacks

As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explained earlier in the week, teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or one of the 10 smallest revenue pools are eligible to receive a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds (Round A) or between the second and third rounds (Round B).

Its about time the Cardinals got some help to become more competitive.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Odd challenge starts domino effect for A’s, Blue Jays

Here’s an interesting replay:

The incident happened in the top of the second inning with the bases loaded and one out. Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose hit a sharp grounder to first base. Nate Freiman fielded the ball cleanly and attempted to make a tag on baserunner Munenori Kawasaki before throwing home.

First-base umpire Vic Carapazza ruled that Kawasaki avoided the tag and immediately made the safe sign. That meant the force play at home was still in order and catcher Stephen Vogt recorded the out when he caught the ball while stepping on the plate.

Gibbons then came out of his dugout and took the unorthodox approach of suggesting that Kawasaki should have been ruled out. He challenged, and when the play went to a review, it was determined that Kawasaki had been tagged.

That prompted the umpires to overturn the ruling on the field. Kawasaki was called out and as a result, Edwin Encarnacion was ruled safe at home because the force play was no longer in effect.

You have to love a ten minute replay and a decision that screws a team because an umpire gets a call wrong.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2014 at 08:20 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, replay sucks

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Selig permits A’s to leave Oakland, prompts last minute deal

If you don’t get them a new stadium, the A’s might move to Pocatello, Idaho.

The Athletics and Oakland appeared headed for a last-minute deal Thursday morning after the A’s owner informed city and county leaders that he had received permission from baseball commissioner Bud Selig to immediately move the team outside Oakland unless a deal was approved.

The stunning revelation was made by Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff in a 10 p.m. e-mail to officials, in which he wrote: “I was informed tonight that Commissioner Selig, due to the possibility of not having the hearing and vote that we were purported to receive from the JPA, that we will immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland.”

The e-mail prompted city and county officials to immediately restart negotiations to keep the A’s in Oakland, and a new deal was being discussed Thursday morning by the 8-member board of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority.

Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo, who was initially opposed to the proposed 10-year lease proposal, said city, county and baseball leaders were on the phone hammering out a deal overnight.

“I think this agreement will be fair,” he said. “It might not be perfect, but I think it’ll be good for Oakland and the region in the long run.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2014 at 01:11 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bud selig, giants, relocation, stadium, stadium deals

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A’s pitcher Drew Pomeranz breaks hand punching wooden chair after rough start

Pomeranz gave up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings in Oakland’s 14-8 loss, making his ERA jump up to 2.91. That’s not the worst part, though. Pomeranz fractured his hand in a fit of rage afterward.

It’s his non pitching hand.  Still, the A’s bought someone named Brad Mills from the Brewers to give them some depth.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Video: Cespedes’ outstanding throw home | MLB.com

That’s a crazy good throw!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:47 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, yoenis cespedes

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Slate: Baseball Has an Amazing Gay History. It’s Time to Recognize It.

Numbers can’t possibly begin to explain how a tremendously talented athlete would eventually be sidelined by vicious institutional homophobia. After coming out to his teammates and managers in 1978, Burke was reportedly offered $75,000 by Dodgers Vice President Al Campanis to enter into a sham marriage. When turning down the offer—more than $312,000 in today’s money—Burke wittily replied, “I guess you mean to a woman.” Unfortunately, Glenn Burke’s fearlessness would lead to his exile from Los Angeles: That same year, he was traded to Oakland.

According to former Athletics teammate Claudell Washington, manager Billy Martin was cruelly homophobic from Day 1, introducing Burke in the locker room by saying, “Oh, by the way, this is Glenn Burke, and he’s a faggot.” Much as Jackie Robinson endured unfathomable racism from fans and fellow players alike, Burke too faced the injustice of bigotry in sports. Yet as an out gay, black man in professional sports—in the 1970s—Burke was light years ahead of his time. “Being black and gay made me tougher. You had to be tough to make it. Yeah, I’m proud of what I did,” Burke recalled later in life. In a Philadelphia Inquirer interview just before his death from AIDS-related illness in 1995, Burke was defiant, declaring, “They can’t ever say now that a gay man can’t play in the majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”

MLB’s most significant tribute to Glenn Burke is a puff piece from 2013, which details the creation of the high five.



Thursday, May 29, 2014


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A’s trying to get George Michael for Coliseum appearance

There’s no official word yet on whether Michael will show, but there has been contact and the A’s are hopeful they can pull it off. Which would be amazing, and pretty darn cool. Michael, who is English, presumably has little background in baseball and probably hadn’t heard of Josh Reddick until recently, but the Oakland outfielder has brought Michael’s sax-heavy ballad “Careless Whisper” back into cultural relevance.

Reddick is using the song as his walkup music – a major shift from Reddick’s usual WWE themes and country music.  Everyone is getting into it, teammates, fans. It’s just delightful.
================================================

Only in Oakland (in the best sense of the phrase).

Traderdave Posted: May 21, 2014 at 02:20 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rivercats eyeing Giants affiliation.

Cleveland—- The A’s have enjoyed a terrific relationship with the Sacramento River Cats ever since the Triple-A club moved to California’s capital in 2000. Among other things, the River Cats have won seven Pacific Coast League titles in that span, and they led minor-league baseball in attendance for eight years.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Athletics Claim Jeff Francis Off Waivers From Reds

The title says it all (except for Joe Savery getting optioned). The Moneyball gang is getting back together!

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 18, 2014 at 06:15 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, reds

Friday, April 25, 2014

Leitch: Anger Management

Bo más!

It’s fun when people try new things, and while it’s worth noting that the owners probably didn’t mind the payroll slashing (and fans generally are paying major league prices to watch a team bottom out on purpose), you find yourself giving the Astros the benefit of the doubt. It’s exciting to see smart people doing something different. You want to see it work out for them. You want them to, eventually, succeed.

Which is why it’s probably time for the manager to get with the program. Because all this new school innovation that’s making them so likable is being completely undone by a manager who is starting to look like a reactionary, delusional idiot. ...

It would be fair to say that the last fortnight of Bo Porter’s professional life has not been among his proudest. (It has been even worse than that time he failed to understand basic substitution patterns.) I’m beginning to wonder if losing 111 games in a season caused something in his brain to pop. ...

Basically, Bo Porter, as the public face of this supposedly likable Astros organization has decided that the fact that Jed Lowrie bunted against his shift in the first inning of a seven-run game—something almost no one other than Porter seriously thinks was wrong—means there should be a lifetime bounty out on him. Even under the vague, confusing umbrella of unwritten rules, this makes no sense. It’s reckless and moronic. He’s a toddler carrying around a gun without a safety.

I don’t know what’s going on with Porter and the Houston Astros. Maybe he has just lost too many games and has snapped. Maybe he’s just an angry person. Maybe he is a time traveler who has come to us from the future, and it turns out Lowrie, via the butterfly effect, needed to be hit to stop future Hitler or something. But right now, he’s making that whole organization look worse than 111 losses ever could.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 25, 2014 at 08:27 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, mental health, unwritten rules

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Coliseum Authority accuses Athletics of not paying rent

Here’s A’s president Mike Crowley response to the Coliseum Authority’s accustaions below:

“First, we owe no back rent or any other amounts. We did deduct rent payments in the past for items that we are allowed under our lease, but that was our negotiated right.

Second, there is absolutely nothing in either our lease offer to them or their counter proposal to us that mentions any kind of subsidy. In fact, under our final offer we would immediately invest no less than $10 million in the facility and our rent would rise from the amounts that we have paid over the last decade.

We have nothing additional to offer and as a result there will be no further negotiations.”

The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: April 23, 2014 at 06:21 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, oakland coliseum

Friday, April 18, 2014

A’s, Doolittle agree to 4-year extension

OAKLAND—The Athletics have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle on a new five-year contract for the 2014 through 2018 seasons. The agreement also includes club options for both the ‘19 and ‘20 seasons.

The A’s have always gone for these long-term contracts for young pitchers, but I think this is the first time they’ve done it with a reliever. Along with Johnson’s $10M signing the A’s seem to be shifting away from “relievers are fungible”. Who knows what the terms are, of course. (This is really a 4-year extension since as stated it includes this year).

Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:46 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, moneyball

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Robothal: What a relief! A’s could use bullpen differently than other teams

The natural question, now that Jim Johnson has thrown five consecutive scoreless innings, is whether the $10 million reliever soon will return to the closer’s role.

Well, what if the Athletics refuse to entertain the notion?

What if they take a wrecking ball to traditional bullpen roles and use their best relievers in the highest-leverage situations, regardless of inning?

If ever there was a general manager who would be willing to defy baseball’s conventional wisdom, it’s Billy Beane.

And if ever there was a team deep enough in dominant relievers to attempt an unorthodox but potentially optimal usage pattern, it’™s the A’s.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen. I’m not saying it should happen. I’m just saying that it wouldn’t surprise me if the A’s declined to re-establish Johnson as their closer, alternating him with other relievers in the role instead. ...

To be sure, a one-inning closer who pitches mostly in save situations is not conducive to an optimal bullpen. On the other hand, the creation of an entirely new usage pattern would require not just a strong manager, but also strong-minded relievers.

Melvin might very well be that kind of manager. Gregerson, Doolittle and Johnson might very well be those kinds of relievers. Still, the concept works better in a vacuum. And teams don’t play in a vacuum, not in an age of multi-million-dollar relievers who crave predictability and managers who face immediate 140-character second-guessing after every blown save.

Would the competitive advantage gained from a non-traditional bullpen be worth the potential disruption to so many in uniform? That is a question that not even the most gifted sabermetrician could answer, unless he or she could get inside the head of every reliever and every manager. It would be easy if they all were robots. But they’re not.

Managers get second-guessed plenty as it is—by fans, by reporters and yes, by their GMs. If I were a manager, I’d strive to be less rigid with my bullpen than most. But that’s easy for me to say as I sit here musing at my laptop. It’s a lot more difficult sitting in a dugout, making heat-of-the-moment decisions.

Even free thinkers such as Joe Maddon seem to prefer traditional bullpen management; the Rays invent new closers almost every season, but they do not try to reinvent the role. The Athletics, to this point, have operated in similar fashion. And if they returned to a typical setup—say, Otero and lefty Fernando Abad in the sixth; Doolittle, Gregerson and Cook in the seventh and eighth; Johnson in the ninth—they almost certainly would be quite good (assuming, of course, that Johnson was pitching well enough to reclaim his job).

Indeed, the debate might be more fun in theory than meaningful in reality; Epstein once told Baseball Prospectus that optimal bullpen usage would create only a “small” competitive edge. The Athletics, to be sure, are in a commanding position no matter which approach they take. All of their relievers—even the long man, lefty Drew Pomeranz—are quite good.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: April 17, 2014 at 05:14 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bullpens, relievers

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A’s Jim Johnson sinking into a rut

Johnson has faced 26 batters so far and 16 of them have reached base. He’s walked six and struck out four. Batters are hitting .529, albeit with no extra-base hits and a .600 BABIP.

theboyqueen Posted: April 09, 2014 at 11:40 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Friday, April 04, 2014

A’s-Mariners game postponed — tarp was left off infield

It just became official. Tonight’s A’s-Mariners game was called off because the field at the Coliseum is unplayable.

It’s an embarrassing situation all around, and the fans who showed up booed — and had every right to do so — when the PA man announced the cancelation at about 15 minutes after the 7:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch.

Apparently, the tarp was left off the field overnight, and the rain soaked the field. The grounds crew has worked on the dirt for hours, especially where the shortstop and second baseman play.

theboyqueen Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:07 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mariners, oakland coliseum

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jonah Keri: 2014 AL West Preview

This article is pretty much what it sounds like. Keri goes over each team, additions and subtractions, and projections. It makes me fondly remember the days of team season previews on baseball primer.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A’s starters Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin likely out to start season - Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat

Pitchers getting hurt.

Major news, and not good, for the A’s today: projected Opening Day starter Jarrod Parker is likely to miss the start of the season because of a forearm injury; Parker will visit orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama on Monday. And A.J. Griffin, the team’s No. 4 starter, will see Dr. Doug Freedberg in Scottsdale today because of elbow discomfort.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 15, 2014 at 08:38 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. griffin, athletics, injuries, jarrod parker

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Lew Wolff exploring temporary stadium for A’s

There is precedent for teams building temporary stadiums. In 2010, Empire Field was erected in Vancouver to house the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for the 2010 season and part of 2011. The 27,528-seat venue was built by the Nussli Group in just three months at a cost of $14.4 million, during the time when a retractable roof was being installed at the Lions’ permanent stadium.

theboyqueen Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Josh Reddick robs Mike Morse of 2 HRs in same game

Videos in link. Poor Mike Morse.

Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: February 26, 2014 at 09:56 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, robbery, wizards

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