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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Hall Of Fame, Giants Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rod Carew opens up about his private life and his near-death experience

“We were coming through security at [Los Angeles International Airport],” Devon says, “and the guy there asked Dad if he knew what a ‘Rod Carew’ was on Urban Dictionary.” (It’s a vulgarism that involves going from first base to third base without touching second.) Rod shakes his head in mock dismay upon hearing this, like a put-upon dad in a sitcom, which he often appears to be.

“When he’s getting ornery,” Rhonda says, “we know he’s getting back to normal.”

Wins Above Paul Westerberg Posted: November 24, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hall of fame, twins

Friday, November 20, 2015

Aschburner: With Hall of Fame Changes, Baseball Gets Political


Of the 549 BBWAA members who cast ballots for the Class of 2015, 231—a pretty decent sample size for our purposes—agreed to “go public” by having their names and votes listed on the association’s Web site. Ninety-nine were honorary (retired) members, the other 132 still active in covering the game.

Bonds (36.8 percent overall in the actual Hall election) and Clemens (37.5), in their third year of eligibility, each received about half of the 75 percent approval needed for enshrinement. Given the monstrous statistics they posted and their on-field deeds, such lukewarm support indicates how gravely many voters have taken their betrayal of the game.

But if we break that down by class of voter, a trend emerges. Of those who released their ballots to the BBWAA’s own Web site, only 25 of 99 honorary members (25.3 percent) voted for Bonds, compared to 69 of 132 active members (52.3). Clemens’ support showed a similar gap, 25.3 percent versus 51.5.

Bagwell likewise had more backers among active members, getting 68.9 percent from them to 57.6 percent “yea” votes from honorary ones. As for Piazza, he would have been inducted in August with Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio if determined solely by the current writers. They backed the former Dodgers and Mets catcher at an 83.3 percent rate, compared to 68.7 percent from honorary voters.

The pattern is likely to gain traction, too, as more honorary members lose their votes each year and additional newer writers qualify. Understandably, even media people want to see their particular generation of stars validated, those players they watched and covered. The Hall obviously has plenty of financial and institutional skin in the game. It needs baseball heroes on the stage for its annual induction ceremony, fresh plaques for its standing-room-only attendance all summer. And it soon might run low on the cleanest candidates, though Ken Griffey Jr. is expected to sail in this year without much whiff of cheating.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 20, 2015 at 07:34 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa,, hall of fame, peds, steroids, voting

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Billy Wagner on Hall of Fame: ‘I was talked about as one of the best’

The long-time Astros closer and seven-time All Star presents one of the most interesting cases on the writers ballot this year. If one strictly rates relievers by saves, Wagner suffers as he trails Hoffman, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith who might get enshrined before him and John Franco, who’s unlikely to ever get close. Many people also still haven’t warmed to the idea of enshrining relief pitchers. The deeper one digs into Wagner’s numbers, though, the more impressive he becomes. He’s already gaining momentum among the sabermetrically inclined.

On a crowded ballot, there’s a chance Wagner could draw less than five percent of the vote and thus be disqualified from future ballots. He’s got a numbers-heavy case, and that doesn’t always jibe with voters. Closers benefit with Hall of Fame voters if they have the color of a Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage or Dennis Eckersley along with impressive stats. Some Hall of Fame closers have also needed time to build their cases such as Sutter who was enshrined in his 13th year on the BBWAA ballot. But the BBWAA now has just 10 years to consider players.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: billy wagner, hall of fame

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ryan Thibs has his HOF Tracker Up and Running

Ten ballots so far, and Garret Anderson already has a vote from a BBWAA member who has went public for the first time- guess we have a good idea of who voted for Darin Erstad last year…

I also like the voter who went with three closers out of his ten choices. Reminds me of my fantasy baseball league…

TJ Posted: November 17, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Analyzing the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot: Ken Griffey Jr. is the only lock | FOX Sports

Rob Neyer looks at the ballot.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

‘Whole New Ballgame’ a game-changer | Baseball Hall of Fame

It might be time to make another trek to Cooperstown.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 08:52 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Three potential trades for the Giants as GM meetings get underway - Giants Extra

–OF Angel Pagan, RHP Hunter Strickland, OF Mac Williamson and RHP Tyler Beede to the Atlanta Braves for OF Cameron Maybin and RHP Julio Teheran.

Not gonna happen.

–1B Brandon Belt to the Cleveland Indians for RHP Danny Salazar or RHP Carlos Carrasco.

Not gonna happen.

–C Andrew Susac to the Miami Marlins for OF Marcell Ozuna.

Not gonna happen.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tradecasting

Monday, November 09, 2015

Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman among 15 newcomers on 2016 Hall of Fame ballot

Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.; righthander Trevor Hoffman and infielders David Eckstein, Troy Glaus and Mike Lowell join 17 holdovers from the 2015 balloting in which pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz and catcher-infielder-outfielder Craig Biggio were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., the first time in 60 years that as many as four players on the BBWAA ballot were elected in the same year…..

Other players receiving sufficient support to remain on the BBWAA ballot for 2016 were pitchers Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina; first basemen Fred McGriff and Mark McGwire; second baseman Jeff Kent; third baseman-designated hitter Edgar Martinez; infielder Nomar Garciaparra and outfielders Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa….

Other players new to the ballot brandishing World Series rings are outfielders Garret Anderson (2002 Angels), who was the 2003 All-Star Game MVP at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, and Jim Edmonds (2006 Cardinals), an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner and four-time All-Star, and second baseman Luis Castillo (2003 Marlins), a three-time Gold Glove Award winner who led the NL in stolen bases twice.
Billy Wagner, whose 422 career saves rank second among left-handers, and fellow lefty Mike Hampton, the 2000 NLCS MVP, are also on the ballot for the first time along with catchers Brad Ausmus and Jason Kendall, catcher-first baseman Mike Sweeney, infielder Mark Grudzielanek and outfielder Randy Winn.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 09, 2015 at 12:11 PM | 118 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa, hall of fame, ken griffey, jr., trevor hoffman

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Injuries could cost David Wright a Baseball Hall of Fame plaque

The New York Times recently chronicled everything Wright has to do before a game to ease his aching back, bringing to mind the routines of Sandy Koufax for his arthritic elbow near the end of his career. At 32, Wright looks like a long shot to return to being a regular All Star. And barring a miracle, it looks as though Wright will fall just short of Cooperstown.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 139 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, hall of fame

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What Baseball Taught Me | The Players’ Tribune

Today, I am very excited to be a “rookie” all over again in a new field: songwriting. I am sure the lessons baseball has taught me will help me develop the thick skin I’ll need for this new endeavor. If one day you ever happen to hear a song of mine, I hope you’ll be honest about what you think. I have been building a skill set of handling adversity for years, so fire away!

Thank you, again, to all the men and women who are as captivated by this great game as I still am. Whether we’re on the field or in the stands, we’re all one family making baseball what it is today.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2015 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, barry zito, giants

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Pool Down by About 20 Percent - The New York Times

No Hall of Fame ballot for you!!

The voting pool for the Baseball Hall of Fame is being cut by about 20 percent.

The Hall said Friday that it estimated 475 ballots would be mailed for the upcoming election. Last year, about 600 ballots were mailed and 549 were cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2015 at 06:39 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

It’s Chicago vs. New York, With a Nod to Fred Merkle

Clear your head of 1969, when the upstart Mets sneaked up on the fat and comfortable first-place Cubs to win the division, the pennant and the World Series. Forget the Knicks and the Bulls, the Giants and the Bears, the Big Apple and the City of Broad Shoulders — and, in the name of all that is holy, the debate over thin-crust and deep-dish pizza.

Think of late September 1908.

Voodoo... Posted: October 17, 2015 at 12:59 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fred merkle, giants, mets

Monday, October 05, 2015

2016 HallOf Fame Pre-Integration Candidates Announced

OK folks… have at it!

reech Posted: October 05, 2015 at 05:48 PM | 102 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Ode to Affeldt

Everything about that game felt flat, lifeless, colorless, like the whole scene had degenerated into black and white. I was sitting in the scout section with the Royals’ general manager at the time, Allard Baird, and we were talking about family and life and anything that came to mind to distract us from the dullness of the game itself.

And then Jeremy Affeldt entered.

Zach Posted: October 04, 2015 at 01:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeremy affeldt, retirement, royals

Friday, October 02, 2015

Dodgers-Giants game interrupted by Full House sequel taping

The Dodgers were playing their final road game of the regular season on Thursday against the Giants when both teams got to be a part of one of San Francisco’s greatest cultural cpntributions, Full House.

The game featured a slightly extended seventh inning stretch which had actress Jodie Sweetin, known to viewers as Stephanie Tanner, singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” for the upcoming reboot of the show, titled Fuller House, leaving Los Angeles starter Brett Anderson very confused, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I didn’t know what the hell that was,” Anderson said. “That was terrible. I didn’t know if that was serious or what was happening.

“I thought it was just her being awful at signing. I had to collect myself there for a second.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2015 at 12:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, full house, giants, have mercy, how rude

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Jeremy Affeldt: I’m retiring. Here are five things I won’t miss about baseball

1. The incessant showboating

Nowadays, all you hear about is how “baseball is dying,” and “the game is too slow and boring,” and “MLB just needs to let these guys have more fun.” Believe me, we players hear all of that media-driven chatter, and we’re not buying it. Yes, baseball isn’t the NFL (that’s a good thing, in my opinion), or the NBA, where fans can rock the gear and emulate the stars much more easily.

But what baseball does have, that those other sports largely do not, is tradition. And while the history of the sport has seen more than its fair share of troubling (institutional) incidents, that is precisely why the game remains so important to so many Americans. Baseball is a reflection of ourselves, our struggles and triumphs, our perseverance.

This is why the recent trend of “look at me” machismo, mostly via these elaborate, annoying and overindulgent hand signals and signs, irks me so much. Yes, let’s celebrate the game of baseball, and, if warranted, celebrate our on-field accomplishments with genuine shows of emotion. When you smack a double into the gap to take the lead in the eighth inning, by all means, pump your fist and praise your maker in the sky. But when you flash self-congratulatory signs after a meaningless first-inning single—or, even worse, a walk—you’re clowning yourself and not representing your club or your teammates very well.

Despite this, as I ride off into the sunset, I truly believe the future of baseball is in great (if not overly demonstrative) hands. Here’s hoping the game’s young stewards take time off from patting themselves on the back, though, if only to take notice of how us old guys do things.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Extra Baggs: Buster Posey experiences a foreign feeling; Posey marvels at Kershaw; a productive out with the bases empty; classy words from one Dodger, etc. - Giants Extra

Some good Giants stuff including this nugget:

There wasn’t an opportunity for Tim Lincecum to acknowledge the fans, as he had hoped. But there’s still a chance he’ll be back this weekend.

In any event, a goodbye might not be necessary. The interest is mutual and strong to re-sign Lincecum, from what I’m told. It’s more a matter of when, how much and in what form, rather than if.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 30, 2015 at 06:49 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants, tim lincecum

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yogi Berra quotes |

My favorite.

About a St. Louis restaurant: “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

Edit: More great quotes at USA Today.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2015 at 09:49 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, yankees, yogi berra

Yogi Berra, Hall of Famer and Yankees great, dies at 90

“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours”

Yogi Berra’s baseball exploits as a New York Yankees catching great spoke for themselves. He spoke for himself in a charmingly fractured way that introduced “Yogi-isms” such as “It’s déjà vu all over again” into the American lexicon.

The Hall of Famer died at the of 90 on Tuesday evening, the Yogi Berra Museum announced. He undoubtedly would be reminding people of what he once said: “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”

Although listed at 5-7, 185 in his playing days, Berra stood tall among the game’s elite. In 1999 he was one of 100 players selected to Major League Baseball’s All-Century team.

Berra was a free swinger who loved to chase pitches way out of the strike zone. “If I can hit it, it’s a good pitch,” he said of a career that spanned 18 seasons with the Yankees. Thirteen of those seasons ended in the World Series, and Berra was a part of 10 Yankees championship teams.

He batted .285 with 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in a career that finished with a short stint with the New York Mets in 1965.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2015 at 08:35 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, obituary, yankees, yogi berra

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Biggest offseason questions |

Dan O’Dowd asks some tough questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 02:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, free agency, giants, mariners, mets, orioles, white sox

The Catcher Is Watching You | FanGraphs Baseball

Buster Posey must have grown up watching Blues Clues.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, catching, defense, giants, melvin upton, jr.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How the Pirates stole Roberto Clemente from the Dodgers

Holy cow, Clemente next to Willie Mays in the outfield?

The Dodgers signed Clemente 15 months after Campanis first saw him. By then, the Giants, Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals had also expressed interest, according to David Maraniss’ biography “Clemente.” The Braves were serious bidders, reportedly offering the largest bonus ($25,000 to $35,000). But Maraniss writes that Clemente wanted to play in New York, where he had friends and relatives in the growing Puerto Rican community there. From Maraniss’ book:

That left the Giants and Dodgers. Any signing over $6,000 would designate Clemente as a bonus player, meaning a team would have to protect him on the major league roster or face losing him in a supplemental draft after his first year in the minors. The Giants, apparently concluding that Clemente needed at least a year of seasoning, kept their offer below the bonus line. Their scout, Tom Sheehan, hoped that Clemente would sign for a $4,000 bonus and begin in Class-A ball in Sioux City, Iowa.

It wasn’t enough. The Dodgers signed Clemente for a $10,000 bonus and a first-year salary of $5,000. Maraniss writes that the Dodgers had motives beyond just Clemente’s talent: They simply wanted to keep him away from the Giants, where he would team with Willie Mays in the outfield. The Dodgers knew he needed some time in the minors, as well. Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi would later say, “It was a cheap deal for us any way you figure it.” Indeed, as Maraniss notes, another reason it was cheap is that white bonus babies were receiving bonus payments six times higher on average than black and Latin players.

A’s Call Up Barry Zito

So the A’s on Wednesday called up Barry Zito, their former ace and Cy Young winner, from Triple-A Nashville. Zito, 37, had hoped for an MLB comeback this season when he signed a minor-league deal with the A’s, the team that drafted him in the first round in 1999.

Instead, Zito spent the year in the minors. He was 8-7 with a 3.46 ERA, a solid contributor but not sparkling enough to warrant a big-league call-up. Until now, that is.

This is likely an MLB farewell for Zito. The A’s — with their shared history and his popularity in the Bay Area — offered Zito the best chance to return to the big leagues. It would be a surprise if he tried again next season.

Here’s perhaps the best wrinkle in this story: Zito could very well pitch his final game when the A’s meet the San Francisco Giants next weekend and face former teammate Tim Hudson. Hudson and Zito, along with Mark Mulder, formed Oakland’s formidable (and extremely popular) trio of pitchers early in the 2000s.

Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: September 16, 2015 at 04:44 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, moneyball

5 MLB teams with offseason holes and in-season jackpots -

Getting lucky doesn’t hurt.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 10:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, diamondbacks, giants, pirates, rangers

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