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Thursday, January 28, 2016


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tanking: Does MLB Really Have a Problem? | FanGraphs Baseball

Cameron is using a pretty narrow definition of tanking. The Braves tanked last year.

In MLB? I just don’t see it. There are six teams who realistically don’t have much of a chance this year, but only one of them has stripped their franchise of present-value veterans, and given the Phillies’ lack of organizational talent after waiting too long to rebuild, they didn’t really have much of a choice. And because franchise players are harder to identify and matter less in MLB than they do in the other sports, I just don’t see that the league actually has a structural issue where losing games is heavily incentivized.

There are always going to be teams that are not trying to win in a given year. Given MLB’s efforts to increase parity over the last few decades, there are fewer of those now than ever before. All this talk of tanking feels to me like taking basketball’s problem and forcing it into baseball’s narrative simply because two Philadelphia teams happen to be terrible at the same time. Right city, wrong sport.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Major League Baseball’s Biggest Problems - Forbes

Minor League pay is not just an ownership problem. It’s also a player problem. The players should be pushing to increase the owners to increase the Minor League players’ share of MLB revenue. Doubling or tripling their pay would be a small piece of the overall pie.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2015 at 10:26 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, December 25, 2015

MLB Christmas wish list for all 30 teams | MLB.com

There might be some returns.

Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate this time of year! Thanks for continuing to make this a great place to keep up and discuss the great game we call love.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 25, 2015 at 03:19 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ken Johnson, Only Loser of 9-Inning No-Hitter, Dies at 82

His son Kenneth Jr. said that his father had been bedridden with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and that he died after contracting a kidney infection.

For three seasons in the heart of his career, 1965-67, pitching for the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (the franchise moved after the 1965 season), Johnson was an effective starter, going 43-27 with 26 complete games. It was earlier, however, on April 23, 1964, that while pitching for Houston (then known as the Colt .45s) against the Cincinnati Reds, he claimed his spot in history.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pine Belt Major League Baseball player dies

Walter Young Junior played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2005, and since 2011 he worked as a resource officer for the Lamar County School District.
[...]
Young was 35 years old.

Much, much too soon.

Young hit the longest home run I’ve ever seen in person. I’ll never forget him.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ex-pro baseball player arrested in Corona double murder

A former pro baseball player was arrested Friday in a double murder case in Corona.

Brandon Martin was being sought after the bodies of two men were found inside a home in the 1000 block of Winthrop Drive Thursday night.

Martin once had a bright future as a pro baseball player. Now, the 22-year-old is suspected of murdering his 64-year-old father Michael Martin and 62-year-old Barry Swanson, a sub-contractor for ADT Security.
[...]
Neighbors were in shock over the identity of the suspect. Martin is well-known in Corona sports circles. In 2011, the one-time baseball star was the 38th pick in the Major League draft out of Santiago High School.

Man, I remember that kid. Really good defender. Going from the supplemental first round to a double-murder charge in only four years is one hell of a fall.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

NY Post: Sherman: Forecasting Harsh Fallouts from 10 Most Disappointing MLB Teams

6. Mariners

How can a team invest in Robinson Cano one offseason and Nelson Cruz in another, yet in 2015 be averaging fewer runs than it did in 2013 and the third-fewest in the AL? Even if GM Jack Zduriencik has an answer it might not matter. He is on tremulous ground, and that probably means manager Lloyd McClendon is as well.

Zduriencik has had three top-five picks in the draft — Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino and Danny Hultzen – that have not worked out, nor has the salary infusion. Seattle still has to figure out how to consistently score runs in its big home park as much as Colorado has to determine how to prevent them a mile high.

bobm Posted: August 22, 2015 at 06:19 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Clubhouse Confidential: HOF Roundtable

Video is at the link.

Brian Kenny hosts.  Jay Jaffe, Joe Sheehan, and Jon Heyman are members of the roundtable.

Xander Posted: January 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, January 06, 2012

Verducci: My Hall of Fame Ballot

Larkin,
Bagwell,
McGriff, and
Raines

Strongly considered Jack Morris, but wait til next year

Ephus Posted: January 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

MLB: Torre resigns, to explore bid to buy Dodgers

Major League Baseball announced today that Joe Torre has resigned from his position as Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, effective immediately, to explore opportunities with a group that will pursue ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Torre was appointed MLB’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations in February, overseeing areas that include Major League Operations, On-Field Operations, On-Field Discipline and Umpiring. Torre has been the Office of the Commissioner’s primary liaison to the general managers and field managers of the 30 Major League Clubs regarding all baseball and on-field matters.

With Torre’s departure, the Baseball Operations functions of the Commissioner’s Office will be led in the interim by Senior Vice Presidents Joe Garagiola, Jr., Kim Ng and Peter Woodfork. Torre appointed Garagiola, Ng and Woodfork to their positions in March. A permanent replacement will be named at a later date.

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: “Joe has been an invaluable resource for me and all of us at Major League Baseball this year and has splendidly communicated with our on-field personnel, general managers and the umpires. I understand his desire to pursue an opportunity in Los Angeles. Joe has been a life-long friend and I know that will continue in the future. While I will miss having him in our office, I have the utmost confidence in Joe Garagiola, Kim and Peter.”

Thanks to Parky

Repoz Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:19 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Saturday, December 31, 2011

MLB Homegrown Teams

Well, it looks like #6org is #1

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.

There's a bustle in Misirlou's hedgerow Posted: December 31, 2011 at 05:08 PM | 107 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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