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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

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Vanderbilt’s Everett Dies In Drowning

Vanderbilt freshman righthander Donny Everett has died, drowning in a lake in Coffee County, Tenn., The Tennessean reported.

Everett, who ranked No. 21 on the BA500 a year ago but was drafted in the 29th round by the Brewers due in part to his Vanderbilt commitment, was 19.

Sad news from Tennessee. Everett was really good - here’s his 2015 MLB draft video.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stew Thornley’s macabre adventure: Visiting every dead baseball Hall of Famer’s grave

I’d have to admire his tenacity. The most I’ve ever done is visit the graves of the deceased 300-game winners, and visit them again with a small figurine.

In the shorthand parlance of men and women who collect graveyard experiences, Thornley is what’s known as a “graver.” While his search for the plots of long gone standouts, such as Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown in Terre Haute, Indiana, or Rube Waddell in San Antonio, is nominally about allowing him to cross another name off his list, it’s about more than that.

“It’s really about the adventure,” Thornley said. “A lot of people think I do all this work, I go traveling around, I get there and I’m standing at this grave and I get some kind of cosmic connection like, ‘I never saw this guy play. But here I am!’

ajnrules Posted: May 26, 2016 at 10:52 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: deaths in baseball, general, hall of fame

Friday, April 29, 2016

Someone stole a 14-foot Royals player off a billboard - SBNation.com

Please put it back.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 11:29 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Saturday, April 02, 2016

AJ Pollock fractures Elbow

He will be out minimum 4 months and maybe miss entire season

shoewizard Posted: April 02, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Arizona Diamondbacks’ GM, wife navigate unique situation

Among those competing for a roster spot are catcher Chris Herrmann and reliever Enrique Burgos. Both are former clients of Stewart, the club’s GM. Both are current clients of Murray, the GM’s wife.

shoewizard Posted: March 29, 2016 at 10:05 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, diamondbacks, general, general managers, legal

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Gay Cardinals Minor League player quit baseball when teammates said gays should be killed

I experienced both coaches and players make remarks on killing gay people during my time in baseball, and each comment felt like a knife to my heart. I was miserable in a sport that used to give me life, and ultimately I decided I needed to hang up my cleats for my own sanity. -Tyler Dunnington


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Baseball players more friendly to each other | MLB.com

It is just a game.

Mike Caldwell was traded from the Reds to the Brewers on June 15, 1977. Upon joining his new team, Caldwell reportedly called a team meeting at which he announced, “There are only 24 players in this game I like. … And if I ever get traded from here I’ll hate every one of you, too.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

It may not be ‘tanking,’ but it’ll soon be addressed at a bargaining table near you - Jayson Stark Blog- ESPN

It’s only an excellent strategy if you draft and trade well.

As Buster Olney and I have both written, the current system in this sport makes that an excellent strategy—at least for the long haul. The Houston Astros could tell you all about it. The Chicago Cubs engaged in at least a variation of it. And you know what? Why wouldn’t they?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2016 at 06:17 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: general

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

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

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