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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dodgers land Ruiz from Phillies | dodgers.com

There goes Kershaw’s personal catcher.

The Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, Minor League pitcher Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later or cash considerations, the clubs announced on Thursday.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 25, 2016 at 05:42 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. ellis, carlos ruiz, dodgers, trade

Heyman - Dodgers On Amazing Kershaw-less Run

Heyman’s weekly notes column. He likes the Dodgers’ process (but doesn’t like the Astros) because, essentially, he’s a front-runner.

But while the rotation turns (like a soap opera), the bullpen Friedman formed is reminiscent of his high-achieving, no-name Rays pens, filled with unsung heroes, while the lineup has come together spectacularly. The pen comprised of star closer Kenley Jansen, unknowns (Casey Fien, Adam Liberatore) and reclamation projects (Joe Blanton comes to mind) has been the best in the N.L., and the lineup has produced the most runs in the second half, despite the loss of Andre Ethier and others. The team that last October looked overly dependent on Adrian Gonzalez and utility-man-turned-star Justin Turner now has the deepest, most relentless lineup in the league.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 25, 2016 at 05:20 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, notes

Heyman: Dodgers not desperate to trade Puig

The Los Angeles Dodgers have gauged interest in Yasiel Puig, but executives with interested teams say the Dodgers don’t appear desperate to trade Puig, and in fact have rebuffed offers.

Teams appear to be bottom feeding for Puig in the hopes that the Dodgers want to give him away, and while the Dodgers don’t seem anxious or even interested in calling him up to the major-league team, the impression rival executives have is that the Dodgers are clearly not of a mind to give him away.

While a Dodgers-connected person labeled it “doubtful” he’d appear with the Dodgers’ major-league team again this year, the Dodgers remain cognizant of his youth and extraordinary talent, which if anything has been re-affirmed in his brief stay so far with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where Puig has a slash line of .419/.479/.721.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2016 at 11:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Former Cy Young winner Éric Gagné signs with the Ottawa Champions

The Mascouche, QC, native will start the final game of the season on Sept. 5 against the Quebec Capitales. The 40-year-old Gagne was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1995 and made his debut with the team in 1999. He went on to become one of the most dominant closers in baseball, appearing in three all-star games, winning the 2003 NL Cy Young Award and at one point converting 63 consecutive save opportunities.

“I have been getting ready to pitch for three months and I’m really excited,” says Gagne. “I hope that it helps promote baseball and the Can-Am League in a city where they have a new team and have had a great season. It’s a great way to show appreciation to the fans that came out in Ottawa all summer.”

Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone Posted: August 25, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, where are they now

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Yasiel Puig Earning Promotion On The Field But Is It Enough

In 12 games at Triple-A through Aug. 21, Puig is hitting .419 with three homers, 11 RBI and a 1.200 OPS. Clearly, minor league pitching is no match for him. The issue is, we don’t know if he can take whatever zone he’s in at Oklahoma City and transfer it to big league pitchers who have a very simple book on how to get him out. We don’t know — and this is the front office’s worry — if he will put in the work to make the necessary adjustments at the big league level.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2016 at 11:24 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Dodgers smash seven home runs to beat Reds | MLB.com

For all the criticism the Dodgers front office has received, they have consistently put a playoff caliber team on the field.

If the Dodgers’ bats came alive in Sunday’s win, they were downright perky on Monday. With seven home runs, including four slugged during the top of the fifth inning, Los Angeles took a wild 18-9 victory over the Reds to gain a split of their four-game series.

Adrian Gonzalez did the most damage with three homers and a career-high eight RBIs, including a three-run shot in the first inning, a solo homer in the six-run fifth and another three-run homer in the seventh. The win helped inch the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West standings to one game over the idle Giants ahead of the rivals’ three-game series that opens on Tuesday.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2016 at 09:00 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Q&A with the Los Angeles Times’ Andy McCullough on the insecurity of writing, what the Royals did for his career, and Twitter schtick

Interesting candid thoughts from the Dodgers (and former Royals, Mets, and Yankees) beat writer.

This past spring, I stopped by the Royals clubhouse. “We got you promoted!” Eric Hosmer said. In that moment, your insecurity creeps in, and you want to say “Fuck you, I did this on my own!” But that’s not totally true. So I wear it. I’m sure I’ll be connected with Kansas City for a while, and I’ll stomach the occasional dweeb on the Internet telling me I owe my career to the Royals. Only Billy Zane makes his own luck…..

As for good teams and bad teams: Either one can be interesting. The 2010 Mets were a delightful trainwreck: Jose Reyes pulled an oblique muscle, and instead of putting him on the disabled list, the team told him to stop switch-hitting. Francisco Rodriguez fought his spouse’s father at the ballpark and spent the night in a cell at Citi Field; the team put K-Rod on the restricted list, and when a reporter asked Jerry Manuel how the team would welcome K-Rod back next year, Manuel replied, “I’m here next year?” There was the embarrassing Walter Reed incident. Manuel suggested John Maine could make his comeback with the team by pitching on off-days. The team played with, essentially, a 24-man roster for months, because Oliver Perez refused a minor-league assignment, and Manuel refused to use him.

I’m sure I’m forgetting like 15 other ridiculous things. I just assumed all teams were that dysfunctional. As for good teams: You have a clarity of purpose that allows you to put events into context, and it is nice being around players who give a ####. You get a lot more eyeballs on your work when the team is good. My career arc is a testament to that. So, thank you, Dave Eiland, for convincing Ned to run his bullpen better, which got people to read my stories from the playoffs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2016 at 01:58 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andy mccullough, dodgers, journalism, mets, royals, writing, yankees

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spin (rate) zone: Mike Montgomery is a real numbers guy

“We were in the bullpen together and he’s really into it,” Montgomery told me of Zych. “We just talked a lot about it and I went to a website called Brooks Baseball. I guess it’s pretty accurate. We would just look at it and I’d check it out after every time I pitched. And we talked about what the numbers would teach us about our own stuff. I can throw these pitches in these locations because it’s really hard to hit. And learning about movement on the pitches and stuff like that.”

Most major league pitchers are more into Brooks & Dunn than Brooks Baseball, but Montgomery has found the information useful and it led to further curiosity.

While watching a broadcast toward the end of last season, Montgomery saw something that said his fastball had a low spin rate. He immediately thought that was a bad thing and assumed he needed to try and fix that. After doing more research, he understood that it wasn’t necessarily going to hurt him if he had a lower spin rate, it just meant he’d have to get outs in different ways.

“It’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Montgomery said. “It just means that I’m not going to rely on swing and miss [with my fastball] as much as I am weak contact. It’s just understanding how that’s used.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2016 at 11:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brooks baseball, cubs, mariners, mike montgomery, stats

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dodgers’ Kershaw plays catch for 2nd day in a row

Baby steps.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2016 at 05:24 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, injuries

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Seattle Mariners didn’t panic at the deadline and it’s paying off | FOX Sports

Hope is alive in Seattle!

“I’m a big fan of trying to pounce on opportunity,” Dipoto said. “We talked with a variety of clubs about acquisitions that maybe would have been more notable—I don’t want to say star quality, but more household-type names. We also talked about the possibility of moving players out who were more household names.

“In the end, the best moves we could make were holding steady. The idea of moving Miley might have looked like a sell. You could certainly take it for that. But really, there just wasn’t a great fit for Wade here.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 12, 2016 at 06:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rich Hill’s Dodgers debut delayed by blisters | MLB.com

This has to be one of the worst blisters ever.

Hill’s lingering finger blisters still are tender, so manager Dave Roberts named rookie Ross Stripling as Friday night’s starting pitcher against Pittsburgh. Hill might not join the rotation for another week or more, as he wasn’t mentioned as a candidate for any of the games vs. the Pirates.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2016 at 08:19 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, rich hill

Monday, August 08, 2016

Celebrating The Singularity Of Ichiro - BaseballAmerica.com

But he didn’t. He has 3000 hits, which is a great accomplishment for a great player.

Ichiro clearly didn’t let a late introduction to Major League Baseball slow him. He collected at least 200 hits for 10 straight seasons—a major league record—and accumulated more hits in his 30s—2,080 of them—than any player in history. Additionally, the 10-time all-star won two AL batting titles, 10 Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers—which is remarkable when you realize he never hit more than 15 home runs in a season.

These facts are unassailable, but a more esoteric distinction made headlines on June 15, when Ichiro collected his 4,257th career major league hit—if you count his 25 combined seasons in the Japanese and American majors. Rose, who retired at age 45 with 4,256 major league hits, accumulated his total over 24 seasons in the National League.

What Might Have Been

Major League Baseball does not recognize Ichiro as its all-time hits leader, and it’s hard to build a convincing case that it should.

However, it is accurate to say that Ichiro has amassed more hits in the top professional leagues for which he was eligible to play than any player in history.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 08, 2016 at 11:38 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: 3000 hits, ichiro, ichiro suzuki, mariners, marlins

Sharing their final season: David Ortiz drops in on Vin Scully - Los Angeles - Dodgers Report- ESPN

I will miss them both.

It was one legend saying hello—and goodbye—to another Sunday when the Boston Red Sox’s David Ortiz visited the Dodger Stadium press box for hugs and handshakes with longtime broadcaster Vin Scully.

Ortiz is in his 20th and final season with the Red Sox. Scully is in his 67th and final season behind the microphone for the Dodgers. The powerhouse duo met before the series finale between the Dodgers and Red Sox.

In a video clip of the meeting Sunday, provided by the Dodgers, Ortiz told Scully, “We all love you. We’re all going to miss you.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 08, 2016 at 09:49 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, dodgers, red sox, vin scully

Kershaw plays catch for 1st time since setback | MLB.com

That isn’t too positive.

Roberts pushed any possible return date for Kershaw into September on Friday, saying that the ace had a set of marks to meet with his back to begin his rehab. With those marks apparently met, the team will start ramping up Kershaw’s throwing and hope he can make it back this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 08, 2016 at 09:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, injuries

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz made a fast impression on a young Josh Reddick

It was the first time that Reddick, who became a Dodger on Monday in a deadline-day trade with the Oakland A’s, had met Ortiz in person.

“Immediately I knew I loved the guy because he put all the hitters into a room and he talked for a solid hour about hitting and how to approach things,” Reddick recalled. “That right there was a great first impression when I got there. (In the majors) he was the same guy. He came up to me and talked to me about what the starter had that night. Told me to come to the cage with him. Just broke down every single aspect of this game, of hitting, that you could.

“I was just in awe. I just sat there and listened.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2016 at 07:41 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, dodgers, josh reddick, red sox

Yasiel Puig, expected to make triple-A debut Sunday, still hasn’t reported to Oklahoma City - LA Times

The Dodgers want Puig to get into a work routine before games, a team official said. That could be complicated by the working conditions here. Oklahoma City is in a stretch of playing 53 games in 54 days, and the summer heat often compels the team to cancel batting practice on the field.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2016 at 07:38 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Thursday, August 04, 2016

All the debates about Puig have gotten a reality check. | Sports on Earth

All of us who have played baseball competitively know that some players are more difficult to play with than others. Our willingness to tolerate the more difficult personalities is balanced by how well the player performs and how much of an effort we see him putting into playing well. If the player is killing it on the field and helping our team win, we’ll tolerate much more of all the other stuff. If the player’s performance, however, isn’t what we expect, it doesn’t take very long to see him gone. This is the way it works in the major leagues too.

Puig is clearly not performing as well as people expect, especially based on his initial seasons. From all accounts, including this report, he is a royal pain in the ass and doesn’t work particularly hard. That’s why his back in AAA.

All our thoughts about Puig representing some new strain of baseball, a direction toward the future, they all got smothered by the unfortunate reality that baseball is an incredibly hard game to play on a day-to-day basis. It requires routine, and patience, and calm, and discipline, all of those things that Puig has so far lacked. Even if his attitude has changed this year from what was supposedly so offensive about it in the past—and by most accounts, it has—it hasn’t been enough, because the game always wins. If Puig still had a .925 OPS, he wouldn’t be sent down to Oklahoma City or traded, but the argument McCullough makes is a convincing one: The way Puig trains and works, he was never going to have a .925 OPS, or at least stay healthy enough to make it work, not again. He would just keep breaking down, unable to handle that inside fastball. The sad part about the Dodgers sending Puig down is that even the old scolds like myself can’t make much of an argument against it.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 04, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw moved to 60-day DL

DENVER—Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, sidelined since late June with a herniated disk in his back, was moved to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday.

That means the 28-year-old won’t be able to return until Aug. 27, at the earliest.

 

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: August 03, 2016 at 09:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, injury, kershaw

Dodgers Dysfunction: Selling Low On Yasiel Puig Is Malpractice (UPDATE) - Forbes

How can the writer make this claim? He can have his own opinion of what he things about Puig but he has no idea of the opinion of GMs. FYI, a player’s reputation has an impact on his value. This is particularly true when the player is not playing well.

But I am not willing to stipulate that Puig has lost all his trade value. This business of comparing a player with his former self only goes so far, and it’s intellectually lazy. Puig, right now, today, is a considerably better player than Scott Van Slyke. He’s a better hitter, he’s a better outfielder, he’s a better base runner, he’s just plain better. There’s a joke making the rounds that SVS’s famously loose-lipped father, leaked the fake report to Mr. Rosenthal. It’s a good joke, and it gives one pause.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 03, 2016 at 09:47 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Yasiel Puig’s time with Los Angeles Dodgers always seemed destined to end badly - LA Times

Hernandez’s zinger could have been worse. He could have compared Zaidi to LA Times sports columnists. Those guys, phew, they aren’t that bright.

While Zaidi was speaking, Fox Sports posted a story online about how Puig departed Dodger Stadium in a huff after being told he would be traded or demoted.

“I’m not going to comment on that,” Zaidi said. “We have an off day today. Anything further, we’ll address and comment on tomorrow.”

Zaidi has a doctorate in behavioral economics from the University of California. He is smarter than most of the numbers crunchers in the game who use their affinity for analytics to masquerade as intellectuals.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 02, 2016 at 05:49 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, farhan zaidi, general managers, yasiel puig

Dodgers leave Yasiel Puig behind as they head to Colorado | FOX Sports

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal updated his piece and apologized for getting the report wrong later last night.

Puig’s agent, Adam Katz, and Dodgers officials said that my initial report — that Puig stormed off after arriving at Dodger Stadium and being given the news — was inaccurate.

“I’m told he never went to the park,” Katz said. “The club informed me and the player understood clearly that they were making every effort to trade him and that if they were unable to come to terms with another club on a trade — and successful in acquiring another outfielder — that he likely would be demoted. My understanding is that transaction will happen tomorrow.”

—————-
This doesn’t sound good.

Yasiel Puig did not travel with the Dodgers on Monday when they flew to Denver for a three-game series against the Rockies.

Puig, 25, stormed off after arriving at Dodger Stadium and being informed that he would either be traded or sent to the minors, according to major-league sources.

He was not traded before the non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m. ET, but the team’s immediate plan for him is unclear.

Club officials declined comment.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 02, 2016 at 05:43 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Monday, August 01, 2016

Oakland Athletics send OF Josh Reddick, LHP Rich Hill to Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects

The A’s sent outfielder Josh Reddick and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill to the Dodgers in a deal first reported by Fox Sports

Multiple reports have the A’s getting pitching prospects Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton in return.


Orioles acquire LHP Miley from Mariners

Seattle received left-hander Ariel Miranda in the trade. The Cuban pitcher has spent most of the year with Triple-A Norfolk. He appeared in one game for Baltimore on July 3 at Seattle, allowing three runs and four hits in two innings.

‘‘Ariel Miranda is a power left-handed pitcher with a four-pitch mix that is major league ready that provides us with flexibility,’’ general manager Jerry Dipoto said in an email. ‘‘We are very excited for what he can bring to the Mariners.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: August 01, 2016 at 08:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, orioles, trade deadline, trades, wade miley

Saturday, July 30, 2016

MLB warned Yasiel Puig and threatened him with a fine over Vin Scully cleats - CBSSports.com

Puig has worn cleats with American and Cuban flag themes earlier this season as well, but apparently Scully’s face is where MLB draws the line. MLB has threatened Puig with a $5,000 fine if he wears them again. From Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:

But after he wore cleats during a game in Arizona eight days ago that had Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully’s face painted on them Puig received a letter from Major League Baseball warning him that he would be subject to a $5,000 fine if he wore them again.

The letter from Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB’s senior vice president of standards and on-field operations, advised Puig that the cleats did not conform to MLB’s uniform rules.
Well that’s no fun. It’s not like the cleats are offensive or anything. Oh well. I guess MLB has uniform codes and sponsors to satisfy and whatnot.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2016 at 07:50 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, uniforms, yasiel puig

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

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