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Friday, July 31, 2015

Former Tigers pitcher Billy Pierce dies at 88

Billy Pierce, a seven-time All-Star pitcher who played in two World Series and retired after spending most of his 18 years in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, has died at the age of 88.

His family and the White Sox said Pierce died today, after a battle with gall bladder cancer.

RIP Billy. Led the league in ERA once and in complete games 3 times.  And 2 WS victories

A friend of mine at Princeton remembered him as a color man for the Chisox. He claimed he introduced himself as “Billy Pierth”


Twitter: Giants get Leake

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2015 at 06:20 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mike leake, reds, trade rumors, trades

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Buster Posey’s Pitch Framing Makes Him A Potential MVP | FiveThirtyEight

Sounds like WAR needs to be tweaked.

No current version of WAR accounts for framing, a catcher’s art of carefully receiving the pitch in such a way as to cause the umpire to call it a strike. That happens to be Posey’s most important defensive talent. Good framers turn pitches outside of the zone into strikes and keep pitches within the zone from being called incorrectly as balls. This ability, in turn, scares opposing batters into swinging at less-optimal pitches, making the impact of good framing significant. Our best estimates put a good framer as worth up to three or four wins per year.

So far this season, Posey has racked up 11.8 runs in value from his framing, more than an entire win’s worth to add to his total and putting him within a win of Trout. Catchers who consistently earn strikes where umps usually call balls are clearly good at manipulating the umpires, but there’s some mystery as to how good framers like Posey get those calls. I wanted to understand not just what Posey does when a pitch comes in, but also what he does that other catchers don’t do.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 01:03 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catchers, defense, giants, pitch framing, sabermetrics, war

Dodgers To Acquire Latos, Wood, Jim Johnson In 3-Team Deal; Olivera To Braves - MLB Trade Rumors

Another interesting late night deal.

JULY 30: The Dodgers will indeed pay the final two installments of Olivera’s signing bonus, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That means the Braves are essentially taking on Olivera on a six-year, $32.5MM contract that began this season. He’s earning $2MM in 2015, of which about $754K remains, so their total financial commitment to him will be about $31.25MM over the course of five and a half years.

JULY 29: The Dodgers, Marlins and Braves have reportedly swung what appears to be one of the most complex three-team trades in recent history, though nothing will become official tonight. The “basic” structure of the deal (though there’s nothing basic about this move) is as follows: the Dodgers will receive right-hander Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse from the Marlins. They’ll also add top prospect Jose Peraza and pitchers Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from the Braves. Atlanta, in turn, will receive Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, lefty Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird from the Dodgers. The Braves are also picking up Miami’s Competitive Balance Round A pick in next year’s draft (No. 35 overall). The Marlins will come out of this deal with three minor league pitchers — Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo — plus the financial relief of shedding the remaining $14.3MM that is owed to Latos and Morse.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 08:57 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, giants

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Giants miss out on first place — lose 5-2 - San Francisco Chronicle

“There’s a lot of baseball left, and there’s no point in looking at the standings because they don’t mean anything right now,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The game goes on through September, and there’s a lot of work to do. We’ve been through this.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 29, 2015 at 11:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Giants’ Madison Bumgarner leads jersey sales at halfway point

No RE2PECT, smh.

Three Giants—Bumgarner, Buster Posey (No. 3) and Hunter Pence (No. 6)—have their jerseys ranked in the top 10.

In less than three months in the league, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant ranks second. In fact, since making his debut, 15 signed cards of Bryant, who signed a memorabilia deal with Fanatics last week, have sold for more than $5,000 each.
PLAYER TEAM
1. Madison Bumgarner Giants
2. Kris Bryant Cubs
3. Buster Posey Giants
4. Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
5. Bryce Harper Nationals
6. Hunter Pence Giants
7. Mike Trout Angels
8. Matt Harvey Mets
9. David Ortiz Red Sox
10. Anthony Rizzo Cubsv

Youth continues to be a theme as six of the top 10-selling jerseys belong to players who are 26 or younger: Bumgarner (25), Bryant (23), No. 5 Bryce Harper (22), No. 7 Mike Trout (23), No. 8 Matt Harvey (26) and No. 10 Anthony Rizzo (25).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2015 at 01:56 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, kris bryant, madison bumgarner, merchandise

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Benches clear in San Diego thanks to a Padres pitcher throwing his gum at Hector Sanchez | HardballTalk

These guys clearly don’t like each other’s gum.

Some serious “Play The Game The Right Way Theatre” going on in San Diego last night, as benches cleared in the ninth inning of the Giants win over the Padres. The reason? These two teams like to throw gum at each other.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, padres

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Handful of teams a trade from winning it all | MLB.com

Is Cueto hurt?

But even with so many teams still in contention, there will be impact players changing teams, possibly several of them. Reds ace Johnny Cueto could be the best, but there is a long list of others, including Cueto’s teammate Mike Leake.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, giants, mets, orioles, trade deadline, trade rumors, yankees

Monday, July 20, 2015

Despite managerial issues, the Angels are focused.

Sometimes a midseason managerial change sparks a ballclub. But a team sparked by a midseason Civil War in which the general manager resigns because he can’t coexist with the manager? That’s a new one.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 20, 2015 at 09:49 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, giants, notes, orioles, reds, rumors

Full Count: Trade deadline looming | FOX Sports

Robothal’s latest.

My guess: The stalemate is going to continue, maybe right until the final days leading to the deadline. The buyers need a fuller picture of who exactly is available and how those pitchers are performing. The sellers, meanwhile, need the urgency of the deadline to spur action — and in some cases, more time to polish their goods.

I’m not talking about Hamels, who will return to his old self the moment he escapes the losing, angst-ridden environment in Philadelphia. But Cueto’s six-walk performance on Sunday likely renewed concerns for teams already worried about his elbow; his average fastball velocity of 92.68 mph was his second-lowest of the season, according to Brooksbaseball.net (the only game in which Cueto’s velocity was lower was on May 19, after which he missed a start due to stiffness in his elbow).


Monday, July 13, 2015

Ostler: Duffy’s surprise first half makes Sandoval a distant memory - SFGate

“The general manager’s job isn’t easy,” Duffy said, “and if you try to play GM, you’re going to go nuts.”

Last year Duffy was a shortstop in Double-A and, “I didn’t even expect to be called up last year. I thought I was capable of playing third and stepping in, but it wasn’t really on my mind at the time. I was just focused on being the best player I could be at Richmond, and whatever the organization saw fit for me next, my mind was always on the next level, Triple-A.”

Pause.

“But it has worked out well.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 13, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, matt duffy

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Giants To Sign Lucius Fox

“Prospect”? I think he should be running the organization!

The Giants have agreed to sign shortstop Lucius Fox to an approximately [$6 million] bonus, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Fox, who’ll officially sign out of the Bahamas, entered the July 2 period as a consensus top-five prospect.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Polite and persistent: How Bobby Evans became the Giants’ GM - Giants Extra

This is a GREAT feature on Bobby Evans and his path to the GM job.

“In his sleep, he can do what’s needed as far as contracts and roster management,” Sabean said. “The next step is to become more immersed on the player personnel side. That’s acquired knowledge, and he didn’t come up through the field side. His biggest hurdle will be relationships — with Boch, with the major league staff, with players, because you are involved on a day to day basis. He has to be first and foremost plugged into the major league team, and I told him that. It’s incumbent upon him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby evans, general managers, giants

Monday, June 22, 2015

Giant manager Bruce Bochy left behind by team bus | FOX Sports

That will teach him!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 22, 2015 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bruce bochy, giants

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why Norichika Aoki Should start the All-Star Game

A pictorial essay on expounding on the assets of Aoki.  He is technically 6th in fWAR among NL OFs.

zenbitz Posted: June 12, 2015 at 03:20 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, giants, grimace, royals

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Updated Giants notes: DL is a strong possibility for Hunter Pence, Blanco scratched, setting the schedule for Cain and Peavy, SF’s draft list includes a familiar name - Giants Extra

Hunter Pence wasn’t sure if he’d need to go back on the disabled list. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is willing to wait a day.

This much is clear: Pence’s left wrist remained too sore to return to the Giants lineup Tuesday night as the club opens a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Pence felt more discomfort in his wrist when he tried to swing off a tee and take soft-toss batting practice.

As Pence himself noted, Tuesday would be the seventh day he hasn’t played. The Giants can backdate a player by as many as 10 days when they place them on the 15-day disabled list. And Pence wasn’t sure how much longer it would take his irritated tendon to calm down.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2015 at 07:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

30 for 30 Shorts: The Anti-Mascot

When Giants fans got crabby.

The mid-’80s were a terrible time for the San Francisco Giants. In 1984, the team lost 96 games and finished in last place — but no one on the roster had as horrible an experience as Wayne Doba. That season, the 33-year-old actor was selected to play the Giants’ first mascot. Well, not really a mascot, but an anti-mascot. The “Crazy Crab” was conceived as a satire of the mascot craze of the late ’70s that produced now-iconic characters like the Phillie Phanatic. The Giants’ Crab was not impressive to look at, and that was on purpose (they intentionally gave him a shabby foam costume and even went so far as to film a commercial in which then-manager Frank Robinson attempted to strangle him). When the Crab made his debut at Candlestick Park, the PA announcer would encourage fans to boo. It was an experiment unlike anything in professional sports

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 20, 2015 at 05:27 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: 30 for 30, crab, giants, mascots

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Purdy: The most powerful man in Bay Area sports - San Jose Mercury News

An interview with the Giants Larry Baer.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2015 at 07:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, larry baer

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Giants rout Reds on eve of Pence’s return - SFGate

“A little sooner than we probably thought,” said Bochy, adding that the Giants decided to activate Pence “because of the way he feels, the way he’s been playing and swinging. He’s ready. The last couple of games have been really good for him. He said he never felt better, so he’s on his way.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2015 at 08:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Barry Bonds working on lawsuit accusing MLB teams of collusion - CBSSports.com

No, this isn’t from The Onion.

All-time home run king Barry Bonds is working on a lawsuit against MLB regarding his claim of collusion by teams that prevented him from obtaining a playing job following the 2007 season, people with knowledge of the case said.

Bonds has long contended that a collusion of MLB owners effectively ended his career following the ‘07 season, when he set the career home run record.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 12, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 162 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, giants

Monday, May 11, 2015

Olney: Laying out each team’s Mount Rushmore and ranking the quartets

The Mount Rushmore for BTF: Chris Truby, Mike Piazza, Madeline Albright, and Frank Tanana.

And Mike Crudale.

So I picked my own four for each club, and then ranked the 30 sets of four. Here they are, from the best to the fourth-best (in my opinion) for each franchise:

1. Giants: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Christy Mathewson, Willie McCovey

2. Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mariano Rivera (see below)

3. Cardinals: Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Bob Gibson

4. Red Sox: Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Cy Young, Pedro Martinez

5. Tigers: Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Miguel Cabrera, Al Kaline

6. Reds: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson

7. Twins: Walter Johnson, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett

8. Athletics: Rickey Henderson, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Reggie Jackson

9. Braves: Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Chipper Jones

10. Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Clayton Kershaw


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hunter Pence discusses his rehab process, his scooter, Hunter Pence signs and the sights of Sacramento - Giants Extra

On the emotional aspect of his injury:

“Emotions are things you can somewhat control, especially since you can’t control when you get hit by a pitch in a certain way. So I tried to stay in positive spirits. I think I have some unrealistic expectations of coming back, but I don’t think it hurts to dream big. But the process, I just try to take it each moment, each day. Whatever they need me to do, whatever we can think of to intelligently get it going again. A lot of times you have to hold back because I want to push through a little more than it will allow you to.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 10, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence

San Fran axes baseball tradition—smokeless tobacco - CNN.com

Is this really enforceable?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 10, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Monday, May 04, 2015

PBA.com: John Burkett Looking Forward to Career as PBA50 Tour Player

Burkett, an accomplished bowler for most of his life, is not a stranger to bowling in PBA competition, having bowled in a handful of Tour events since making his debut in 1990 in Pinole, Calif. He also competed in several regionals along the way, and most recently, he competed in PBA’s 2014 Oklahoma’s Grand Resort Summer Swing and the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI as part of the process to get ready for PBA50 competition.

On April 12 he will join a field of approximately 120 players 50 years of age and older in the Pasco County Florida Open at Lane Glo Bowl in New Port Richey, Fla.

George Plimpton observed that the smaller the ball, the better the writing about a sport.  There is no great literature of bowling, but maybe this thread can be a start.

BDC Posted: May 04, 2015 at 09:06 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: bowling, braves, giants, marlins, rangers, red sox

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