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Jim Furtado
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Sunday, March 04, 2018

We X-Rayed Some MLB Baseballs. Here’s What We Found.

On top of the fact that the balls became bouncier as the core itself changed, previous research at FiveThirtyEight showed that they also became less air resistant. The decrease in drag is probably a result of a smaller, slicker baseball with lower seams. The change in air resistance could add an additional 5 feet to the travel distance of a fly ball. Combine all these factors together — a lighter, more compact baseball with tighter seams and more bounce — and the ball could fly as much as 8.6 feet farther.

Bored Posted: March 04, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: general, juiced baseballs

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lovullo adjusting to new mound-visit rules

Some interesting points here about the impact to the game of this new rule

shoewizard Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:20 AM | 200 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general, pace of play

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tigers’ Wood nearly lost finger in crossbow misshap

Manager Ron Gardenhire couldn’t resist.

When he found out that left-hander Travis Wood had nearly split the index finger on his right hand in two in a crossbow malfunction, he quipped, “He’s got a split-finger pitch now.”

Tito Francona, a Former Baseball All-Star, Dies at 84

Tito Francona, a former All-Star who played for 15 seasons in the major leagues and was the father of Terry Francona, the Cleveland Indians’ manager, died on Tuesday night at his home in New Brighton, Pa. He was 84.

Joplin-based professional baseball team taking name submissions

President of Ventura Sports Group, Wayne Schuster, says they are looking for a team name that is unique, represents Joplin’s history, and that will create a mascot who local children can embrace. Schuster says they’ve already received more than 200 name submissions and will continue to receive them until March 15th.

This is apparently a team in the Southwest League, a new league planning to start play in 2019. Joplin has had pro teams before: the Miners and the Blasters, as well as a college team from Missouri Southern State University.

Anybody have any good ideas?

DII baseball: Former Cy Young winner Jack McDowell begins a new era at Queens (NC)

So, how did the Stanford graduate and former west coast guy wind up on the small Charlotte, N.C. campus at Queens?

“I married a Wilmington [N.C.] girl,” McDowell said. “We moved here about six years ago. I found out through a friend of mine that Queens was starting up a baseball program. I live a half a mile from the campus, so I contacted them. Our Athletic Director, Cherie Swarthout, told me, ‘thanks for your interest, but we’re not looking to add baseball at this time.’ I was like, ‘dude, why’d you tell me that?’

“Literally a year later, Cherie contacted me, and started talking with me like a consultant. By going through that process we started talking more. I don’t think they were sure that I wanted to coach, and I wasn’t sure if they were looking for me to coach either. After awhile I was like, ‘hey, you guys think I can coach this, right?’”

Ex-A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker retires after career derailed by injuries

At just 29, Jarrod Parker is officially retiring from the game in which he fought so hard to stay after two hideous elbow injuries. He told The Chronicle this week that all that remains is the paperwork.

“I’m not entertaining any offers, let’s put it that way,” Parker said. “I’m just working through the logistical stuff.”

Not surprising, but still kind of a shame. He was a hell of a pitcher before his elbow fell apart.

Padres pitcher Jose Torres facing domestic violence charges

Padres reliever Jose Torres was arrested in December after a dispute in which he allegedly brandished a semiautomatic handgun.

The incident occurred in the home Torres shares with his wife in Phoenix and is being handled as a domestic violence case, according to court documents.

According to the probable cause statement contained in the court report, Torres knocked a door off its hinges and punched a hole in another door. He also pointed the gun at the victim, according to the report.

Torres was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage and making threats or intimidation.

Not a good look for Mr. Torres.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rosenthal: Pirates dismiss Latin American scouting director after he took improper payment (Subscription)

The investigation showed that the Mexican team paid Gayo a form of a kickback several years ago for the sale of at least one player to the Pirates, sources said. The Pirates, after learning the results of baseball’s probe, informed Gayo on Monday that they would not renew his contract. Gayo, 55, still faces possible discipline from MLB.

Well, that sucks.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

The Downside of Baseball’s Data Revolution—Long Games, Less Action - WSJ

Is it analytics or players taking too long between pitches? That’s what I see.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2017 at 08:21 PM | 165 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Saturday, September 30, 2017

D-backs rally to help Fuentes, Puerto Rico

Kendrick sends private jet to bring outfielder’s family to Arizona

shoewizard Posted: September 30, 2017 at 10:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general, puerto rico

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Baseball league to allow agents starting in 2018

Following a meeting of its board of directors, the KBO said only those who have passed a qualification test set by the Korea Professional Baseball Players Association will be allowed to represent KBO players. Each agent or agency may only work with a maximum 15 players, and with no more than three players from the same club.

That’s an interesting restriction. I wonder how it’ll play out?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It’s a power luncheon with Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh

And Bonds won’t be heir to the Oh Henry! candy bar fortune either! (even though Benes gave up HR #100 to Bonds)

Though (Barry) Bonds escaped more serious charges — the jury deadlocked on three counts of perjury — most consider his record of 762 homers tainted and believe Aaron to be the true standard bearer.

“There is a player who hit more home runs than I did — I feel like it’s his record, and that’s the end of it,” Aaron said. “Records are made to be broken, and it just so happens Barry broke mine. Whatever things he has to live with other than that, that’s his problem. I have no other problem with it.”

(Frank) Robinson does.

“In my mind, Hank is the home run king, no question,” said Robinson, who ranks ninth all-time with 586 homers. Asked to elaborate, Robinson said, “I don’t want to get into that.”

Aaron, who is walking with the help of a cane, has tread lightly on the topic of Bonds, at least publicly.

...Aaron on Saturday declined to answer a question about players snubbed by Hall of Fame voters for admitted (Mark McGwire) or alleged (Rafael Palmeiro) steroid use, but made clear his opinion about cheaters when asked what he tells kids.

“The No. 1 thing you want to instill in them is there are absolutely no short cuts in life,” Aaron said. “If they start thinking that to be successful you have to do something crazy like drugs and all this other stuff … there are no short cuts.”

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 10:38 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, January 20, 2012

Astros Sign Catcher Chris Snyder

Catcher Chris Snyder signed by Houston Astros. 1 year deal with mutual option.

Tricky Dick Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:24 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Roher: The Verducci Effect Is Overworked And Broken Down

Every study I could find on the Verducci Effect suggests that it at best doesn’t exist and at worst is backwards. David Gassko’s 2006 study focused on the possibility of a decline in performance, and found an increase:

Jeremy Greenhouse’s 2010 follow-up focused on injuries and also found nothing. JC Bradbury came up empty. Brian Burke used a card game to show how randomness, not overuse, is the likely culprit. Tom Tango expressed his concerns (there’s elaboration in the comments.) Scoresheetwiz found nothing too.

Deadspin is still a leaking boil of a website, but someone pointed me to this and it was pretty interesting.  Maybe someone can ask Verducci about it.

Lassus Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Gary Carter’s fight with cancer takes turn for the worse; new tumors found on Hall of Famer’s brain

Gary Carter’s fight with brain cancer has turned from brave to extremely grave.

On Thursday, Carter’s family received a phone call from the doctors at Duke University who have been treating the Mets Hall of Fame catcher informing them that the most recent MRI revealed “several new spots/tumors on his brain,” Carter’s daughter, Kimmy Bloomers, wrote on the family website.

In recent weeks, Carter’s condition was visibly worsening, and Carter began complaining of severe headaches, fatigue and balance problems that resulted in a fall on Christmas Day in which he tore his rotator cuff.

This past week, Carter spent almost all of his time at his home in Palm Beach Gardens and was too weak Monday to even attend his annual charity golf tournament a few miles away.

According to a family source, the doctors are now deciding whether to cease giving Carter any more treatment.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:52 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: general

StL Today - An ‘Idol’ moment for ex-Cardinal Joe Magrane

The Cardinals and former pitcher Joe Magrane received a shout out from the judges during the debut of American Idol on Wednesday night.

Magrane’s daughter, Shannon, 15, from Tampa, Fla., was auditioning. She mentioned that she was a volleyball player and said that she had an athletic family.

When she explained that her father was Joe Magrane, who pitched for the Cardinals in the 1987 World Series, the Idol judges immediately became impressed and asked to meet her family.

The entire Magrane family came out, and Joe shook hands with the judges.

There was a bit of an awkward moment when Joe asked Steven Tyler how things were in Beantown.

Tyler responded, “Hot, humid and happening - just like your daughter.”

Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 19, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: general

The Economist: Whirling Darvish

Will Yu be the next Dice-K?

Mr Darvish’s Japanese statistics are significantly better than Mr Matsuzaka’s were. He has allowed just 47% as many earned runs over the last five years as an average NPB pitcher would have in the same number of innings. In contrast, Mr Matsuzaka gave up earned runs at 60% of the league-average rate during his final four years in NPB.

Moreover, Mr Darvish has much more of a classic pitcher’s build than does Mr Matsuzaka. At six feet, five inches (1.96m) and 216 pounds (98kg), he throws on a sharp downward plane, forcing batters to hit the ball on the ground—a particularly valuable asset in the Rangers’ stadium, where the hot, humid air transforms harmless fly balls into towering home runs. His size may also help his body hold up to the wear and tear of pitching every five days in MLB, rather than the six that is customary in Japan. Mr Matsuzaka, who stands a comparatively modest six feet and weighs 185 pounds, induced far too few ground balls and broke down in just his third season in Boston.

Finally, Mr Darvish is likely to find the transition to America easier than Mr Matsuzaka did. He comes from a multicultural family: his Iranian father attended high school and university in the United States, where he met Mr Darvish’s mother. The family spoke English at home until their son was three, and Nolan Ryan, the Rangers’ CEO and an iconic pitcher of the 1970s and 80s, reported that Mr Darvish “understands a lot of English” after meeting him earlier this month. And Mr Darvish is already comfortable in the spotlight. Thanks both to his success on the field and his marriage to Saeko, a famous Japanese actress (which ended on January 19th), he has been a celebrity in his home country for years, and frequently poses for magazine covers.

David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, January 13, 2012

OT: PGA Tour Thread, Winter 2012

This is a test of sorts. Actually I expect little but derision, but that has never stopped me.  Given that we have OT threads on hoops and football and soccer going, and that there’s a pro-bowling obituary up this morning, I wonder if there are any Primates interested in the start of the PGA Tour season in Maui this weekend.  After one round, defending Tournament of Champions Champion Jonathan Byrd leads by one stroke. 

This year’s PGA Tour season faces a number of challenges, many of them unforeseen byproducts of there being “too much money” in the global sport even in the teeth of a worldwide recession.  The opening Tour event in Maui, designed as an elite event involving last year’s tournament winners, has shrunk to a small field, because most of the major stars have been playing all winter in places like Thailand and the Persian Gulf for huge purses, and a purse of a mere $5.6 million isn’t going to get them on the plane to flipping Hawaii to play golf.  Indeed, ordinary weekly events on the PGA Tour, once the center of the golf world, are now mostly optional for the major stars: sponsors are worried that the tournaments will fill with obscurer touring pros (though paradoxically, once an obscure touring pro wins a couple of these ordinary weekends, he becomes a big star and gets to play for millions year-round).  It’s a bloated economic phenomenon, but still a beautiful sport.  Reminds me of baseball :)

BDC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:24 AM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Report: Bud Selig to get a two-year extension

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Gamingboy Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: general

NY Mag: The Met Who Blames Everything on the Wilpons

Let the wild guessing on identity begin!

It hurts me to say this, because I’ve always liked Fred Wilpon. I know in his heart how much he wants the Mets to succeed. He’s always lived and died with the team. But there comes a time when it’s no longer possible to be in charge. Fred doesn’t have enough money to make it work.

RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Long Hall of Fame Review

My predictions so rarely come true that I find it comforting, when I actually get one right, to pause and be awed by the sheer unlikeliness of it. This time around, I predicted that Jack Morris would take a huge jump forward in the Hall of Fame voting in 2012—I said his vote total could even get into the high 60s.

Well, sure enough, Jack Morris jumped from 53.5% of the vote in 2011 all the way up to 66.7% in 2012. High 60s. I was hardly the only person to make this prediction, but, again, I’m going to bask in it. I think Morris did enough this year—I really believe he will get elected to the Hall of Fame next year. I will get into all that in a few minutes.

First, I’m going to give you more than wanted to know about Hall of Fame voting. I find Morris’ climb in the voting—from a low of 19.6% in his second ballot all the way up to the shadow of the Hall of Fame in his 13th—absolutely fascinating. And it made me go back and look at some of the other players who climbed from low vote totals to the Hall of Fame. That led me to look at every Hall of Fame ballot since 1966, when the writers went back to voting every year. And THAT look back led me to break down the Hall of Fame votes player by player in a way that would get me locked up in a padded cell in most countries.

But, hey, I did it, so I might as well share what I found. I’ll warn you again: It’s more than wanted to know.

Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 12, 2012 at 09:42 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Manny Ramirez: I’ll be a role model

Early last season, Manny Ramirez abruptly retired from baseball after a second violation of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug rules, choosing to walk away from the game rather than serve a 100-game suspension.

Now, Ramirez wants to land a tryout with a major league team for spring training, hoping that his filing for reinstatement and having his ban shortened from 100 games to 50 games will show teams that he’s changed.

“I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing,” Ramirez told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez in an interview. “And to show people that I still can play. I don’t want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don’t quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you’re going to leave, leave the right way.”

Ramirez, who’s currently working out in Florida, taking swings in a batting cage and getting in shape by working out in a pool, believes he can be a role model if a team gives him a chance.

“A bunch of guys are going to look at me and say hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn’t quit. Look how he finished. He did the right thing and came back,” Ramirez told Gomez.

Thanks to DT.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:35 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hall debate spawns a new stats superhero, Saberboy

I saw this erupt on Twitter yesterday.

The Splash Hit blog chronicles some of the back-and-forth between Miller, Parker, ESPN’s Keith Law and others that devolved into the difference between batting average and on-base percentage and led to the

money post from Miller to Parker:

Ah, I think after being a baseball beat writer for 16 years that I know what OBP is, Saberboy

And so, at 7:32 p.m. ET ... Saberboy was born.

scareduck Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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