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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful

This photograph makes me so happy. It was taken at the White House, of course, on the day that 21 people received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I first saw it on Vin Scully’s Instagram page. I am thankful that Vin Scully has an Instagram page.

Joe Posnanski isn’t as generally revered here as he once was, but dude can write a personal essay.

frannyzoo Posted: November 24, 2016 at 10:32 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Friday, November 11, 2016

Military benefited Seaver, Bumbry, Gleason | MLB.com

Thanks to all the vets for making the commitment to something bigger than themselves. Your commitment and sacrifices are very much appreciated.

Playing Major League Baseball isn’t the only thing Tom Seaver, Al Bumbry and Roy Gleason have in common. The trio also served in the military.

With Veterans Day upon us, not only do we pay homage to these ballplayers for their service, but to all veterans, such as Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra and Ted Williams to name a few, who served in the military.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2016 at 08:22 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Big League Prospect Who Became a Mob Hit Man - The New York Times

Well, this is different.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2016 at 08:54 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Can We Move This Along?

Once upon a time, the average ballplayer was paid about the same as a factory foreman, and the games were almost the length of a movie. Alas, those days aren’t coming back, but even progressive, analytics thinkers know today’s game has to change.

“Pace of play is vitally important on many fronts, mainly with the entertainment product that’s out there for younger viewers,” says Brian Kenny of MLB Network. “And not just because, ‘Oh, these millennials have no attention span.’ No, how was the game played in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s? They played it in two hours, two-and-a-half hours. It was crisp. It moved along. Guys got in the box and they stayed there and you knew as a viewer, ‘Okay, I’m at least going to get some sustained action now.’ I know it’s not the fastest sport in the world, it’s not a spectacle, but it happens when a guy steps in the box. I think we need to get back to that – not the length of the game, but the pace of the game.”

Kenny will be at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. to discuss all things baseball, including his new book Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution.

To Kenny’s point about pace of play, the Museum will show video of Don Larsen’s perfect game - which occurred 60 years ago this Oct. 8 - during regular Museum hours on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.  Larsen retired 27 Brooklyn Dodgers in a World Series game that lasted only 2:06.  Granted, there were no pitching changes, no plethora of commercials, and obviously no offense by the Dodgers.

Yet two days later, in Game 7 of that 1956 World Series with everything on the line, the Yankees won a 9-0 blowout in Brooklyn.  The Dodgers used five pitchers. Time of game was 2:19.


 

yogiberramuseum Posted: September 11, 2016 at 01:24 PM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Diamondbacks’ flexible philosophies

““So what’s next for the Diamondbacks? The owner and the CEO are the same. Will they stay old school? Will they go outside-the-box? Will they hire someone who’s got a series of impressive degrees and worked in a baseball front office? Will they go purely sabermetric? Or will they stay where they are and augment La Russa with someone he knows and trusts, like Walt Jocketty?

Any guesses about their future might be accurate because the Diamondbacks have tried just about everything. There’s no reason to believe they’ll make any alterations to that haphazard arrangement now and, judging by their somewhat bizarre history, it’s liable to work.”“

shoewizard Posted: August 27, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball operations, diamondbacks, general, general managers, ownership

Saturday, July 02, 2016

First Base: Fort Bragg Game unprecedented | MLB.com

MLB and MLBPA built the stadium. That’s a twist. Still, it’s a nice effort by MLB to do something for the military community in the area.

The Fort Bragg Game was created in a joint effort by MLB and the MLB Players Association to honor our nation’s servicemen and servicewomen. The first game of its kind is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Sunday and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN Radio and MLB.TV. Tickets are limited to military personnel.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2016 at 11:10 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Monday, June 20, 2016

Chris Singleton’s year of strength and sorrow after the Charleston shooting

I’ve got nothing. Just a beautiful but heartbreaking piece.

Chris thanked everyone who had reached out to him, expressed his grief for the other families and fielded 15 questions. “I didn’t think about it at all,” he’ll say later. “I just spoke from the heart.” Someone asked if he had a message to pass on to a world horrified that a young man could walk into a church and fire 77 bullets at a group of people as they studied Scripture, ending nine lives, stealing sisters and brothers, parents, grandsons and grandparents, all in hopes of starting a race war.

A young man who didn’t understand the verses in Mark 4 that the group was dissecting as he sat there that evening, getting ready to reach into his backpack and pull out the Glock. The verses telling how some seeds fall in rocky ground and never germinate while others fall in good soil and multiply a hundredfold.

A young man who couldn’t imagine the seeds of strength and resiliency that those nine people had planted in their loved ones, that Sharonda had sewed and nurtured for 18 years in Chris.

“I just say, love is always stronger than hate,” Chris told the crowd. “If we just love the way my mom would, then the hate won’t be nearly as strong as the love is.”

There it was, his mission for the rest of his life—to show how small hate is, held against love. It was out of his mouth before he’d had a chance to grasp what that would take. He took off the microphone, went to his car, closed the door and broke into sobs. Now he had to go home and live that message.

ajnrules Posted: June 20, 2016 at 12:41 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, general

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father’s Day around the league | MLB.com

Happy Father’s Day!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2016 at 09:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Meet the All-Star autograph chaser who became a Yankees draft pick | FOX Sports

Lynch gave him a call.

“I said, ‘This is the opportunity I was offered, what do you think?’” Lynch said. “At first he was like, ‘No way.’ He couldn’t believe it. When you think of an autograph-card collector, you don’t exactly think of the most athletic person in the world. Us collectors have that stereotype.

“Professional baseball, we probably talked about for five minutes. The next thing you know, we’re having a 45-minute conversation. ‘What is your most recent autograph?’ There was more talk about that than any baseball stuff.”

“That is all we ever talked about,” Kusnick said.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 16, 2016 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: autographs, 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

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