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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Dodgers suspend Erisbel Arruebarrena for remainder of 2016 season

Embattled Dodgers shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena has been suspended for the remainder of the season for an unknown reason, the second straight season he has been so disciplined.

“We have suspended Erisbel Arruebarrena for the remainder of the season for his repeated failure to comply with the terms of his contract,” said Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ director of player development.

Arruebarrena, 26, was hitting .182/.224/.400 with four home runs in 17 games with Double-A Tulsa, including 14 starts at shortstop. He last played on Sunday, going 1-for-4 with a home run against Northwest Arkansas.

The club also suspended Arruebarrena in May 2015 for the same reason, though after appealing to the commissioner’s office his suspension was reduced to just 30 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2016 at 02:04 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, erisbel arruebarrena

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Latest MLB PED Suspension Much Bigger Than You Think

This doesn’t sound good.

Josh Ravin isn’t well known. Dee Gordon is an All Star and a batting champion, but he’s not well known outside of baseball. Both have been suspended within a week, but while more know who Gordon is, it’s the substance Ravin tested positive for that’s a much bigger story.

While early reports were that Ravin tested positive for HGH, the actual substance is, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, a peptide. Peptides are a class of performance enhancer that is relatively new, relatively complex and have some very dangerous side effects. I’ve been writing about these substances since 2013 and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to make their way into American sports.

Multiple sources tell me the peptide Ravin tested positive for was GHRP-2, which in studies has shown a significant increase in plasma growth hormone levels. Because it is causing the body to create a higher level of it’s own GH, it tends to be more accessible. GHRP in any of its various forms could also be used to mask the use of HGH, though it’s unclear if this actually works absent close monitoring and lab tests.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, peds

Vin Scully Talks Beards For Five Minutes

Longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is going all out during his final stint in the booth. The season’s only a month old, and we’ve already had two great episodes of Storytime With Vin Scully. Two weeks ago, he debunked the myths surrounding the number 13, and this weekend he gave us the entire history of beards:

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:09 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, dodgers, vin scully

Saturday, April 30, 2016

An oral history of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run

La Russa:

“So here’s what I thought. I thought, Gibby, he’s hittin’ on one leg. … My thought was, lookit, he’s hurting, I wanted to bring the outfield in because I didn’t think he could hit the ball out of the infield. So I was just trying to protect [against] the bloop. … So I was worried he was going to hit a ground ball through a hole or hit a blooper. So [pitching coach Dave] Duncan says, ‘You know, Steve Sax is on deck. And Eck’ll walk through him like he’s water.’ I said, ‘Hey, who’s the manager? We’re gonna pitch to him.’ ”

Crystal:

“So Duncan asked the same question I did.”

La Russa:

“Dunc didn’t ask it. He said, ‘Walk Gibson.’ I said, ‘I’m making the decisions here.’ And as we walked off the field, he says, ‘Dumb ass.’ “


Monday, April 25, 2016

A Record Setting Five Koreans Debut in Major League Baseball

When most fans of Major League Baseball (MLB) think of players from the Pacific Rim, players imported from Japan’s professional league tend to come to mind. Whether it be Ichiro or for a period Dice K Matsuzaka, there have been a string of high profile players coming from Japan to the United States. That perception may be about to change. While more Japanese professionals have played in the major leagues, players from Korea are increasingly making their mark in MLB as well.

Because of the thriving professional leagues in Korea and Japan, a posting system remains in place that limits the flow of talent to the majors from Korea and Japan relative to what the overall level of talent in either country would warrant than in comparison from Latin America. This has begun to change somewhat in the last decade or so thanks in part to the success of players such as Ichiro and more recently to Koreans such as Choo Shin-soo with the Rangers and Ryu Hyun-jin with the Dodgers.

In the case of Korea, this all began with Park Chan-ho. Park became the first Korean to play in the major leagues when he briefly made his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994, but would go on to become a star once he had established himself in the majors by 1996. Park’s success helped to pave the way for other players from Korea to come to the United States, with a peak of 8 Koreans playing in the majors in 2005.

While the number of Koreans playing in MLB tailed off after 2005, the 2016 season has seen a resurgence in Koreans playing in the majors. Five Korean-born players have already made their debut this season and the number of Korean-born players on MLB rosters is again at an all-time high of eight. However, if prospects such as Lee Hak-ju of the San Francisco Giants make their debut this season, 2016 could represent a high-water mark for Koreans in Major League Baseball.

The following is a brief look at the five Korean-born players to have made their debut this season in the majors:


Yasiel Puig crashed a high school prom after game in Colorado

Only to be thrown out by that stuffy Dean! I’LL GET YOU PUIG!

Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig had a little time to kill on Saturday night after Kenta Maeda and company made short work of the Colorado Rockies. So he decided he would surprise some Denver area high school students by crashing their prom party.

True story.

Puig shocked the students from Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colo.— which is a suburb of Denver — a little before midnight. He even posed for pictures with the students to commemorate the occasion, which will someday validate some prom stories that no one else would believe otherwise.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2016 at 02:34 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hijinks ensue, yasiel puig

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig makes incredible throw | MLB.com

Too bad he missed the cutoff man.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2016 at 06:55 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, great throw, yasiel puig

Friday, April 22, 2016

New Bret Boone book: alcohol problem derailed stint with Twins - StarTribune.com

The Boones are baseball’s first family?

But in a new book titled, “Home Game: Big League Stories from My Life in Baseball’s First Family,” set to go on sale May 10, Boone reveals that it was more than a simple matter of aging that caused him to fall so fast. Instead, he writes, he was a “substance abuser” whose alcohol problem grew worse during that period.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: books, bret boone, mariners, twins

Monday, April 18, 2016

Felix Hernandez Is Not Right | FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

If you are a Felix owner, he has done you all a great favor by not allowing a homer, posting just a .200 BABIP, and stranding over 80% of runners. All that good fortune has masked his poor pitching so far and given you a window with which to shop him. Surely someone in your league will stop at the 1.00 ERA, think all is fine, and be willing to give up a pretty good hitter, or even a comparable pitcher. How about Corey Kluber?

This may all just be an early season blip, and for all we know, Felix could be back up to 91+ mph, with improved control thanks to a mechanical fix. But the alarm bells are blaring and the risk is higher than ever that Felix is dealing with a serious issue. Better to reduce your risk and see what you could get for him, then hold and hope for the best.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2016 at 08:48 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Brinson: Actual story about Madison Bumgarner told by national treasure Vin Scully last night on the Dodgers broadcast

Scully alternately tells a wonderful story about Madison Bumgarner and his wife, Allie, and calls a Howie Kendrick plate appearance.


Dodgers’ Hernandez pounds Bumgarner in win | MLB.com

This was a very good day for Kiki Hernandez.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 16, 2016 at 07:03 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kiki hernandez

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chip Hale upset with Rick Honeycutt | MLB.com

He was probably offended by their new uniforms.

D-backs manager Chip Hale wasn’t sure what Rick Honeycutt was yelling towards the Arizona dugout after Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, but the very fact that the Dodgers’ pitching coach was doing so angered Hale.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 14, 2016 at 08:49 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It’s official: Vin Scully Avenue is now a city street - The Orange County Register

FYI, Vin Scully is a long-time lurker on BBTF so, if you show him some love, he might read it.

Thanks for all the fond memories, Mr. Scully!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 12, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, vin scully

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Kenta Maeda hits a home run, pitches Dodgers to 7-0 victory over Padres - LA Times

This is a pretty good first game. Of course, it was against the Padres.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2016 at 10:32 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kenta maeda

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Chi Trib: Rosenthal: Look at what Dodgers fans don’t see on TV

The problem is SportsNet LA, which made its debut in 2014, remains unavailable across wide swaths of the Los Angeles market. Time Warner Cable launched the channel with a 25-year rights deal said to be worth about $8.35 billion. But to recoup the money it’s obligated to pay the Dodgers, it has pressed carriers for huge fees that would be costly to sports fans and nonsports fans alike.

So Dodgers telecasts are available in roughly 1.8 million L.A.-area households, mostly Time Warner Cable’s own subscribers, while the Los Angeles Times reports about 3 million homes in the metropolitan area are left in the lurch.

This can’t be good in the long term.

Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: April 06, 2016 at 06:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers

Monday, April 04, 2016

Dodgers’ Joc Pederson aims to make baseball a contact sport again after second-half struggles last year - LA Times

He looked out of sync in the most of the games I watched him this spring.

In the winter, Pederson sought to shave the extraneous movement from his swing. In the spring, he huddled with new hitting coach Turner Ward to sharpen his daily routine. This coming summer will determine whether he can learn how to counter the pitchers who solved him last season.

“I made some adjustments, and I like where I’m at,” Pederson said.

A survey of rival talent evaluators who saw Pederson this spring raised doubt. He hit .288 in 21 exhibition games, but struck out in 40% of his at-bats. Scouts continue to question his ability to adapt. A lack of deftness in that area doomed him last season.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 04, 2016 at 06:48 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, joc pederson

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mariners notebook: Lee added to 40-man roster; Montero’s status in doubt | The Olympian

First baseman Dae-Ho Lee’s quest to play in the big leagues moved a step closer Sunday morning as the Mariners added him to their 40-man roster.

“Dae-Ho has the history of hitting left-handers,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “I think he’s given us reason to believe in spring training. He’s very prepared. He’s very calm in the batter’s box. I think he’s gotten better every step of the way.

“It’s been a pleasant surprise with the defense and, particularly, the base-running. He runs the bases really smart. His defense has been much better than we anticipated.”

The move effectively buys time for the club because Lee’s minor-league contract had an opt-out clause, effective Sunday, that permitted him to become a free agent if not on the 40-man roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dae-ho lee, mariners

Thursday, March 24, 2016

How the Dodgers’ $8.3B TV deal turned into an unmitigated disaster

Because Time Warner promised the Dodgers such an exorbitant sum, it wanted $4.90 per month from other providers for the right to broadcast SportsNet LA – an extra Abe that neither DirecTV nor any of their cable brethren were willing to charge their customers. So Dodgers games existed only for Time Warner customers, and the rest of the Los Angeles area was faced with a choice no company wants to foist on its consumers: get it illegally or don’t get it at all.

This is the consequence of sporting avarice, of teams valuing their TV rights above all and either ignoring or simply not understanding the changing landscape of content and how it was bound to turn this deal into a lemon. The Dodgers are still getting their money, and it’s enough that they’ve yet to shift their disappointment toward Time Warner for not fulfilling its end of the deal. Time Warner is taking a reported $100 million-a-year bath, which prompted it to cut the monthly asking price this week to a more reasonable $3.50 a month – a number at which DirecTV and others continue to balk.

Because the reality of content today is quite simple: You can get almost anything you want a la carte. And that is a powerful, emboldening truth bulldozing traditional cable companies’ business plans. Around 24 percent of Americans don’t have cable or satellite, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, and that includes 15 percent that are so-called cord cutters. The demographics on them, in particular, are frightening for baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2016 at 05:16 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: cord-cutting, directv, dodgers, television

Mariners’ Mike Zunino quietly trying to work his way back into being better at the plate | The Seattle Times

I hope he can put his offensive game back together.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2016 at 02:44 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike zunino

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dodgers await injury update on Yasmani Grandal - Los Angeles - Dodgers Report- ESPN

The Dodgers catcher suggested that his soreness is the result of overcompensating in other areas as he returns from offseason shoulder surgery, portraying it as nothing out of the ordinary.

“Now we haven’t been swinging as much so we’re taking it slow,” Grandal said. “We will be in the game on Thursday. I’m scheduled to play Thursday. We will be smart about it.”

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman also downplayed the potential severity of an injury.

“It’s just something that’s nagging, so I don’t think it’s something that’s going to linger or affect the regular season,” Friedman said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2016 at 07:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasmani grandal

Dodgers’ focus on future could waste Clayton Kershaw’s best years - LA Times

What a shame. We might not ever see him in the playoffs.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 23, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dodgers Andre Ethier has fractured tibia | MLB.com

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has a right tibia fracture and will be sidelined 10-14 weeks.

Ethier suffered the injury fouling a pitch off his leg on Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2016 at 05:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: andre ethier, dodgers, injuries

Carson Smith leaves game with forearm tightness - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

That’s not ideal.

Newly acquired Red Sox reliever Carson Smith left the game Monday with tightness and “a cramping sensation” in his right forearm, Red Sox manager John Farrell said. Smith was scheduled be evaluated further after he returned to the team’s facility in Fort Myers later Monday evening.

“I’m concerned,” the reliever said. “It’s my career. Everybody, when you feel something in your forearm, you’re going to be concerned.”

“There’s always concern,” Farrell said. “At this point in time of the year, (we’re) certainly not going to take any chance at all, so we backed him out of it. We’ll see what the evaluation produces.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2016 at 09:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, mariners

Monday, March 21, 2016


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dodgers Digest / 2016 Dodgers prospects: Best Tools

Dodgers Digest breaks down the best prospect tools.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2016 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, prospects

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