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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Hideo Nomo, Kaz Sasaki, Dodgers, Mariners Newsbeat

Friday, October 09, 2015

Vin Scully Not Calling Postseason Games

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully won’t be calling any games in the baseball playoffs after undergoing a medical procedure.

There’s not much more to the article, except a few related tweets that might have scrolled off by the time you read it. This news makes me sad.

Bote Man Posted: October 09, 2015 at 01:26 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, health, tv, vin scully

Mariners reportedly dismiss Lloyd McClendon |

The purge in Seattle continues.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 12:04 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managers, mariners

Lloyd McClendon will not return as Mariners’ manager

Lloyd McClendon won’t return as manager for the 2016 season, according to sources.

McClendon moves on after compiling records of 87-75 in 2014 and 76-86 in 2015. His first season as manager produced the Mariners’ first winning season since 2009. But this season’s team began with lofty playoff expectations and the Mariners never met them, struggling to play with any consistency. When general manager Jack Zduriencik, the man who hired him, was fired Aug. 28, McClendon’s future became tenuous.

McClendon is under contract for 2016, but Dipoto was given the autonomy by team president Kevin Mather and CEO Howard Lincoln to determine whether to keep McClendon or move on with a his own manager to begin his regime.

There are currently no African-American managers in baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 09, 2015 at 11:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managerial firings, mariners

Dodgers the Focus for Kershaw, Not Personal Redemption - The New York Times

Kershaw, the National League’s most valuable player in 2014, felt he did not lack for extra motivation after the Dodgers’ early exit from the playoffs in 2013 and again last year.

“I think I’ll have enough,” said the five-time All-Star. “I don’t need to be fueled by too much. I definitely remember, but it’s a new team, new season, and hopefully for me a new outcome.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 06:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, mets, playoffs

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Cubs Edge toward Destiny as WS Fave Jays Open ALDS

Rational Pastime’s playoff simulator now projects the Cubs as 34% favorites to represent the Senior Circuit in the Fall Classic, and 5:1 to win it all… Among today’s American League contenders, the Toronto Blue Jays remain big favorites at 2:1…

Summary of projections:

TOR 3:1
CHC 5:1
HOU 5:1
LAD 8:1
KCR 11:1
NYM 12:1
STL 13:1
TEX 16:1

J-Doug Posted: October 08, 2015 at 01:41 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: alds, astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nlds, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, world series

How the Mets plan to attack Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke | New York Post

So, there is no plan.

Long, who was a regular visitor to the postseason as the Yankees’ hitting coach, said this kind of competition is business as usual in October.
“It’s the playoffs and in the playoffs you expect to face the best pitchers in baseball,” Long said. “The [Justin] Verlanders, [Anibal] Sanchezes, [Max] Scherzers, I remember facing a very good, talented pitcher every time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2015 at 06:23 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bill Plaschke: It might be World Series or bust for Don Mattingly - LA Times

Is this a repeat from last season?

Mattingly has led the Dodgers to three consecutive NL West championships, but the guess here is that if he can’t lead this team to a World Series his locker will be empty by Halloween.

Somebody is going to have to take the fall if baseball’s richest team still can’t find the Fall Classic after 27 years of classic falls, and Mattingly is the one wearing the target.

Management demoted Ned Colletti, traded Matt Kemp, let Hanley Ramirez walk. The Dodgers have rid themselves of every perceived problem from the previous two seasons, and now, if they fail again to survive two rounds of the tournament, it would figure to be Mattingly’s turn.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2015 at 12:31 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, managers

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays Big Favorites as 2015 MLB Postseason Begins

It begins again: Rational Pastime projections for the 2015 postseason. Tonight, the RP model has the Houston Astros as slight favorites over the New York Yankees. Were these teams evenly matched, the Yanks would be favored 54-46, thanks to home field advantage. However, my RP Score system believes that the Astros are a better team.

As for the rest of the playoffs, the model—which relies on the Log 5 equation and Matt Swarz’s numbers for home field advantage—picks the Toronto Blue Jays to win it all as nearly 2:1 favorites.

J-Doug Posted: October 06, 2015 at 04:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, pirates, playoffs, projections, rangers, royals, yankees

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

More comments from new Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto on team needs, free agency vs. trades, tailoring a team to Safeco Field | The Seattle Times

Some good stuff here.

On playing in the same division as his former team, the Angels?

“I’m obviously very competitive. I care a lot about the players in that clubhouse, a lot of the people that make up that team. I spent four years of blood, sweat and tears helping to put it together. Now, like they will with me on this side, I’d like to go beat them. That makes them one of 28 others I’d like to go beat.”

I learned this from Kirk Gibson, who I worked with in Arizona. We were going in to play the Mets. The Mets were my childhood team, we were flying in, and it was my first time as a GM. I said to Gibby, this one would be special. I would very much look forward to beating these guys. He said, ‘Oh, it would be special, and just so you know, I want to beat them all.’  That’s my answer to that question. As much as I care about the people with the Angels, I would like to beat them. As I’m sure they’d like to beat me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jerry dipoto, mariners

Dodgers put focus on rotation for playoff series with Mets - LA Times

Kershaw and Grienke and pray for rain.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 06:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Monday, September 28, 2015

Jerry Dipoto named Mariners general manager |

An upgrade in Seattle.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2015 at 05:33 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jerry dipoto, mariners

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mariners notebook: Felix Hernandez expects to make his next start on schedule | The News Tribune

The final word on whether Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will make his next start on schedule will hinge on how his elbow feels after playing catch on Wednesday.

But Hernandez still harbors no doubt he’ll stay on schedule. He had no problems Tuesday in playing catch and foresees nothing preventing him from starting Friday against the Angels in Anaheim.

“It ain’t happening,” he said dismissively.

Hernandez exited Sunday’s 9-2 victory at Texas as a precaution in the sixth inning because of stiffness in his elbow. He said afterward that it’s “not a big deal,” and that he would “be throwing my next start.”

Still, this is King Felix, so manager Lloyd McClendon remains cautious.

“As we speak, yes, he is (scheduled to pitch Friday),” McClendon said. “He’ll do his normal routine. He will throw. If he’s ready to go, he’ll go. If he’s not, then he won’t go.”

If healthy, Hernandez projects to get two more starts as he pursues several personal milestones: Friday at Anaheim and Sept. 30 vs. Houston at Safeco Field.

At 18-7, the right-hander needs one victory to match his previous career high, set in 2009, and two to become the Mariners’ first 20-game winner since Jamie Moyer won 21 in 2003.

Hernandez also needs 4 1/3 more innings for his seventh consecutive 200-inning season and 15 strikeouts to reach 200 for a sixth consecutive season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2015 at 09:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Meet the Dodger who learned to have fun and provide serious value

“I think what you see is what you get,” Scott Van Slyke said of Turner. “He doesn’t have the stereotypical red-head, gets-angry, short-tempered thing. Because of that, he makes people around him better. He’ll sit with Joc and talk situational hitting. He’ll lighten the bench. You know there’s gonna be days you hate your job and you’re on the bench and you’re not hitting. That’s when you gotta find a way to enjoy it.”

Attitude over aptitude, that sort of thing. And then, maybe, and here’s where that whole bat-barrel-on-baseball knack enters in, the aptitude follows, and perhaps why there’s an argument for Turner following only Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Gonzalez among most valuable Dodgers. Yeah, he has found his home, under a red beard that’s a cross between Tormund Giantsbane, leader of the Free Folk, and Prince Harry, big in the House of Windsor.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2015 at 07:30 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, justin turner

Friday, September 18, 2015

Starter Mat Latos, acquired July 30, designated for assignment by Dodgers

Money to burn….

Pitcher Mat Latos will not finish the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the team designated him for assignment on Thursday.

Latos, a right-hander who arrived from the Miami Marlins as part of a 13-player trade on July 30, has struggled in almost all of his appearances since the trade. He finishes his time with the Dodgers with an 0-3 record, 6.66 ERA and 31 hits allowed in 24⅓ innings.

Latos is set for free agency this offseason after signing a one-year deal with the Marlins worth $9.5 million. The Dodgers assumed the remainder of Latos’ salary when they acquired him.

Latos’ final appearance as a Dodger came in Tuesday’s 16-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies. He entered as a reliever in the 16th inning and allowed the winning home run.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 18, 2015 at 11:00 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mat latos

Rival major league scouts sound off on the state of Seattle’s Mariners | The News Tribune

Not very complimentary.

Is there a viable in-house partner for catcher Mike Zunino?

“Is that a serious question?” one scout asked. “If they had a truly legit guy anywhere in the system, they’d have sent Zunino to the minors in May.”

From another: “They had that guy in (Welington) Castillo, and they traded him (to Arizona). Now, I’m a (Mark) Trumbo guy. I’d rather have Trumbo (than Castillo) unless I really needed a catcher. They really need a catcher.”

From a third: “They really did that kid (Zunino) a disservice by rushing him to the majors. I understand why they did it. They didn’t have anyone else. Still don’t. For their sake, you hope they didn’t wreck him.”

Read more here:

Jim Furtado Posted: September 18, 2015 at 09:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

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 Dodgers aren’t really going to start Jimmy Rollins over Corey Seager, are they? -

I can’t see how the Dodgers could take Seager out of the lineup right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 10:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: corey seager, dodgers, jimmy rollins

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.

Mets Juggle Their Pitchers, and Warily Eye the Dodgers’ Strong Arms - The New York Times

“My #### doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is ####### luck.” — Billy Beane

“The one thing we cannot forget is we are in the pennant race,” Collins said. “We are at the end of the season. We do not need to be getting rid of our best pitchers and letting them sit on the side for a while. We need to get him rested up a little bit and get him ready for whatever happens.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, playoffs

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red Sox? Phillies? Ranking MLB’s 5 GM openings | New York Post

Working for Samson and Loria is a situation covered with warts.

Recently, I was speaking to a well-regarded executive who one day would like to be a general manager about the possibility that the Marlins job might open.

Essentially the discussion boiled down to this: There are just 30 of these jobs, yet would you abstain from, say, even being considered to run the Marlins’ baseball operations — due to the firing, tempestuous, meddling, low-payroll nature of owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson?

The executive acknowledged the problems and said perhaps there were jobs not worth having. But the official also said, “There is no perfect job. If you wait for the perfect one, you will wait forever.

“They all have warts. They also all have positives. You have to figure out how to accentuate the positives and fix or navigate around the warts.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, general managers, mariners, phillies, red sox

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Pregame notes and lineups: Seattle opens a 10-day homestand | The Seattle Times

You know things aren’t going well when…

Catcher Mike Zunino will not be called up. He will instead go to Arizona and participate in the upcoming instructional league. It was always assumed that the Mariners would bring him back after the Rainiers’ season ended. But Zunino is undergoing a massive swing overhaul with hitting coach Cory Snyder under the supervision of Edgar Martinez.

Zunino will report early and then begin instructional play. The idea of reworking a swing and playing in big league games every four days just didn’t seem like a prudent idea. So Zunino will be in a non-pressure situation to make the changes.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike zunino, nelson cruz

Monday, August 31, 2015

Henry Schulman’s guide to Dodgers-Giants showdown - SFGate

Big series coming up. Get the popcorn ready.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants

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