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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slate: Out at Home

Reds fans couldn’t help but think the Griffeys should’ve reunited in Cincinnati. Junior’s ancestral connection to the Big Red Machine explained a lot of the fervor over his eventual homecoming. Just as important was his star power, which transcended his sport in a way that doesn’t really happen in baseball today. (Try to imagine local news helicopters tracking the homecoming of, say, Dallas-born Clayton Kershaw.) Griffey had endorsement deals with Pepsi, Nabisco, and AOL; he had a hugely popular video game; he had a sprawling relationship with Nike, seen most famously in the ads that pushed “Griffey for President.” And yet, in an era when TV money had not yet semileveled the playing field, baseball’s most famous player chose to go to Cincinnati, one of the game’s smallest markets. To make that happen, Griffey agreed to a team-friendly extension: a nine-year deal for $112.5 million that made him just the seventh-highest-paid player in the game (And that didn’t even account for the fact that more than half of the money was deferred.) “If the player owns a Rolls-Royce and he chooses to sell it at Volkswagen prices, that’s his right,” agent Scott Boras groused. The contract’s details reportedly moved Bud Selig to the verge of tears.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 24, 2016 at 10:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ken griffey, jr., mariners, reds, trades

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Up close and personal with Mike Piazza and his post-baseball life | New York Post

“My career and my life is a miracle,’’ Piazza told The Post. “I always want to give thanks and appreciate what I feel has been a blessing for me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hall of fame, mets, mike piazza

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cubs get Mike Montgomery in 4-player trade | MLB.com

The Cubs added what they hope will be a key piece to the bullpen on Wednesday, acquiring left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery from the Mariners for Minor League prospects Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mariners, trade

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mariners notebook: Finally on Wednesday, it’s Happy Felix Day again | The News Tribune

Ace right-hander Felix Hernandez will be officially activated prior to the game from the disabled list after the Mariners make a corresponding space-clearing roster move.

“I’m ready, man,” Hernandez said. “I was going crazy (in the early) weeks when I wasn’t with the team (on the road). It was the worst time of my career. But I’m good now. I’m ready to go.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 20, 2016 at 11:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sources: Dodgers are open to trading struggling Yasiel Puig | FOX Sports

It’s easy to forget how young he still is.

Perhaps the Dodgers will keep Puig, buying into his latest surge and banking on the fact that he is only 25. Or perhaps they finally are at wit’s end with his performance if not his personality, and will try to sell relatively high, assuming Puig does not regress in the next two weeks.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, indians, nationals, notes, padres, twins, yankees, yasiel puig

Mariners notebook: Who loses out in looming shift to four-man rotation? | The News Tribune

Updates on some pending roster moves, including King Felix’s return.

The Mariners have Hernandez positioned to start the July 31 night game at Wrigley, which will be televised by ESPN. That will be the Mariners’ first appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball in more than 12 years.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 10:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How a young Big Papi beat Griffey, A-Rod in the greatest home run derby you’ve never heard of | ESPN.com

It seems almost inconceivable now, given the risk of injury and the overall unwillingness of most big leaguers to give up a precious day off. Back then, though, two years after a players’ strike wiped out the World Series, in-season barnstorming trips to minor league affiliates weren’t uncommon.



The Mariners, fresh off an appearance in the American League Championship Series in 1995 and contending again in ‘96, were set to play a doubleheader July 30 in Milwaukee. After wrapping up a homestand on July 28, they traveled to Appleton, where the Timber Rattlers had demonstrated their commitment to the Mariners by building a new ballpark two years earlier.

...

JOHN McLAREN, MARINERS THIRD-BASE COACH: The word was we weren’t going to be able to play but we’re going to try to give the fans something to grasp onto. Someone came up with the idea of doing a home run derby, so we went looking for hitters.

...

Rodriguez, who hit 14 homers in 248 at-bats in Appleton’s old ballpark in 1994, volunteered to participate. And by popular demand, Griffey was talked into competing, too. The Timber Rattlers countered with outfielder Luis Tinoco, hitting coach Joaquin Contreras and Ortiz, who was in the midst of a breakout season in which he batted .322 with 18 homers, 93 RBIs and a .901 OPS.

...

ORTIZ: I was hitting balls onto the highway, bro. Like, it was crazy. I could see they were impressed with what I was doing, and they were the guys in the big leagues. I was just playing A-ball. It was fun. I’ll never forget that.

...

[GARY HORCHER, TV REPORTER FOR WBAY, ABC AFFILIATE IN APPLETON]: Ken Griffey Jr. was standing by A-Rod when Ortiz started hitting his first couple shots. It was a different noise. Some guys, it sounds like a thunderclap, and other guys it doesn’t generate the same sound. This was like a hammer clattering against something really percussive. I remember everybody kind of winced. We looked over for Griffey’s reaction, and I remember Griffey kind of looking up and smiling. But A-Rod was going, “Oh my god!” I remember after one of Ortiz’s shots, A-Rod was like, “Look at that guy! I ain’t got a chance.”



RODRIGUEZ: I think we were all wondering why he wasn’t coming back with us to the Kingdome. We wanted to take him on the plane with us.

...

[MIKE GOFF, TIMBER RATTLERS MANAGER]: I can’t remember how many he hit, but I know he hit a bunch. He wasn’t just hitting them to right field. He was hitting them all over the ballpark, and it was a good-sized yard. It wasn’t a small yard. To hear that Alex said, “We should take him back to the Kingdome,” I think that’s bulls—- to be honest. I think some of [the Mariners] were embarrassed by what Davey did to them in that competition—and I loved every single minute of it.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Mariners prospect Tyler O’Neill all business at Futures Game | The Seattle Times

How’s his defense? He misplayed a Bregman single into a triple in the Future’s Game.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, prospects, tyler o'neil

Saturday, July 02, 2016


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Clayton Kershaw placed on DL

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw received an epidural shot in his lower back and will go on the 15-day disabled list, manager Dave Roberts said Thursday.

Kershaw had his second-worst outing of the season Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up four runs on nine hits. A day later, as the Dodgers finished a four-game series in Pittsburgh, he was being examined in Los Angeles for what was then labeled as minor back discomfort.

Hopefully, it’s not a huge deal. In other news, the Dodgers have traded for Bud Norris, who’ll start in place of Kershaw until he returns.

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: June 30, 2016 at 03:31 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Dodgers acquire Bud Norris from Braves

The Dodgers have acquired right-hander Bud Norris from the Braves, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reports two minor-leaguers will go to Atlanta in the deal.

Norris, 31, will provide immediate starting depth for a Dodgers’ rotation that has dealt with injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood and Brett Anderson so far this season. He has posted a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts, becoming a viable trade chip for a rebuilding Atlanta squad.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2016 at 03:07 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bud norris, dodgers, trade

Monday, June 27, 2016

Yasiel Puig or Jeff Francoeur?

Specifically because of Puig’s track record, I don’t think we should assume this is what he is, now. He deserves more time to come out of this, because he is terrifically gifted. That being said, Jeff Francoeur was also terrifically gifted, in many similar ways. He and Puig have employed a similar approach, and Francoeur’s productivity with it was unsustainable. I’m not sure what Puig’s future holds, but it’s pretty obvious one way he could go.

snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 03:40 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Grandal’s three-run homer is enough for Dodgers’ 3-2 win over Nationals - LA Times

I’ve heard this somewhere before. 

“Three-run homers win games,” Manager Dave Roberts said.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 22, 2016 at 09:00 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mariners acquire pitcher Zach Lee from Dodgers for Chris Taylor | The News Tribune

Two change of scenery players.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mariners, trade

Sunday, June 12, 2016

James Paxton could be key for Mariners’ staff | MLB.com

A friend was texting me during the game. He told me that Paxton was “hitting 98-100” every other pitch” and “he just threw a 92 MPH slider”. Of course, he finished with, “He’s still giving up hits. LOL.” Fangraphs discussed his increased velocity the other day. It looks like the velocity is sustainable, at least in the short term.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2016 at 09:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: james paxton, mariners

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beyond the Boxscore: The AL West doesn’t look like we thought it would.

With the AL West comes the payoff for this whole exercise, and, in a broader sense, this whole baseball thing: a division in chaos, and unlike the other divisions in chaos, chaos that looks nothing like we expected it to. On Opening Day, the Rangers and A’s had nearly identical playoff odds of about 19 percent; today, the Rangers are sitting atop the division, just over 60 percent, while the A’s sit at a measly five percent. The only team below Oakland is the team that began the season just above them, the Angels, but the loss of Garrett Richards and Andrelton Simmons have sent their playoff odds tumbling from 26 percent to three percent.

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 10, 2016 at 02:04 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Monday, June 06, 2016

Lookout Landing: The King may be out longer than we thought.

en James Paxton was called up late last week, we weren’t sure at the time exactly why. We came to find out that the move corresponded with a 15-Day DL trip for Felix Hernandez. It was scary news, seeing as The King has only missed like one start in his ten-year career. With his velocity down more than one tick this year, and the command all over the place, Felix has looked…different than ever before in his career. Of course, that “different” isn’t the magical 2014 version, it’s a new, maybe scarier version. It’s still an absolutely fantastic pitcher. But, it’s a pitcher currently with a strained calf.

Finally a playoff hunt and the King is in the counting house.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 06, 2016 at 07:22 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, mariners

Mariners notebook: Cano’s bounce-back surge at one year and counting | The News Tribune

His decline will certainly come. For now, though, he’s back to being one of the best second baseman in baseball.

It was just about a year ago that Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, a perennial All-Star, bottomed out in the mid-.230s in a dreadful start to the season.

Criticism was sharp that Cano, then 32, had started an inevitable decline with more than 8 1/2 years remaining on his 10-year deal. He spent much of last June muddling along to get out of the .230s before putting on a closing kick.

Fast forward a year and check the numbers.

Cano posted a .302 average with a .355 on-base percentage and a .529 slugging percentage in 159 games from June 4, 2015 through June 4, 2016. He also had 36 doubles, 35 homers, 101 runs and 110 RBIs in that span.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Dodgers DFA Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford has been designated for assignment. That means that the Dodgers have 10 days to put Crawford on waivers, trade him, release him or send him to the minors (with his permission). Often times, this move is essentially the team cutting the player.

In Crawford’s case, this is a last resort move. Crawford, 34, is making $21.607 million this season and will make $21.857 million next season. If someone else picks up Crawford (either by waivers or simply signing him after he’s released), that team will only be responsible for the league minimum salary while the Dodgers have to pick up the rest. They are paying him no matter what.

Carl Crawford is so bad the Dodgers would rather play a second baseman in left field and pay Crawford to go away.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 05, 2016 at 01:07 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, dodgers

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Corey Seager hits 3 homers in Dodgers’ victory | MLB.com

Seager entered Friday night’s game leading the Dodgers in home runs and extended his lead with his second multi-homer game of the season. If you combine Seager’s 12 homers with Thompson’s nine and the eight from their other roommate, Joc Pederson, the household of young Dodgers has seven more homers (29) than the entire Braves team (22).

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2016 at 07:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: corey seager, dodgers

Friday, June 03, 2016

Mariners react to historic comeback vs. Padres | MLB.com

My, my, isn’t this embarrassing.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, padres

Sources: Dodgers won’t be punished for using laser rangefinders to help outfielders

Friggin’ laser beams.

Baseball will not discipline the Dodgers for using a laser rangefinder to predetermine defensive positions before games, according to major-league sources.

The in-game use of such a device would violate the sport’s rules on electronics, but the league said that pregame use is permissible and determined that the Dodgers committed no infraction, sources said.

Baseball, however, notified all clubs on Thursday that golf tees, chalk and paint cannot serve as markers for positioning, addressing another issue raised by the Mets when the Dodgers visited Citi Field last weekend.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 03, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, dodgers, lasers

Monday, May 30, 2016

Cwik (BLS): A 92-year-old WWII vet threw our favorite Memorial Day first pitch

Rumor has it a Braves scout was checking out the southpaw.

While a number of our veterans acquitted themselves well when it comes to the national pastime, our favorite Memorial Day first pitch came courtesy of Burke Waldron. Waldron, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, threw out the first pitch prior to Sunday’s Seattle Mariners game.

As the Mariners announced just prior to Waldron taking the field, the 92-year-old navy veteran began his military service in 1943. He served at Pearl Harbor for some time, and retired from the military in 1946 as a petty officer, 2nd class.

Waldron is apparently 92 years old, but he could have fooled us. He runs better than most 42 year olds, and probably throws better than them too. We can only hope to have that much vigor at his age.

Oh, and in case you were still wondering, Waldron is 92 years old.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: May 30, 2016 at 10:53 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: first pitch, mariners, veterans, world war ii

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mets are getting defensive about Dodgers’ outfield tactics

The Dodgers, after using the laser rangefinder, wanted to use markers on the playing surface to define the desired positions for their outfielders, and informed the Mets’ grounds crew of their plans.

So, rules experts, are these two tactics legal or not legal?


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