Friday, April 04, 2014
Payroll Advice: Five Cents
It’s clear that, by 1967, Jeffrey Loria was manifestly the squarest motherf*cker on planet Earth. He was barely a quarter century old and had already fast-forwarded spiritually to twice that age, becoming the kind of embittered husk who laments the broken legacy bequeathed to The Children. The lessons to be drawn from What’s It All About, Charlie Brown? read like the bilious, reactionary resentments of a pomaded junior Nixon. Woodstock hasn’t happened yet, and, at the time of writing, the Summer of Love probably hadn’t either, but it’s clear that Loria would have hated both as soon as he’d read a tedious finger-wagging Newsweek piece published about them months later. It’s a wonder the dedication wasn’t “To the Straw Man of a Hippie Dropout I’m Beating with Word Truncheons in My Imagination.”
Instead, it’s dedicated to Vincent Price…
What’s It All About, Charlie Brown? explains the Peanuts universe while also somehow asserting that it proffers the statement, “In business and politics honesty and sincerity often have a way of working against you.” It says that one should forget one’s strong feelings to get ahead, to play the game the company way irrespective of what it’s all about. These are the spiritual zero-sum exercises that an alleged adult drew from Peanuts. Insincerity, profit, the muzzling of conscience in favor of advancement—relentlessly f*cking the other guy only until the moment he walks away from the deal. This is Charlie Brown throwing his arms out at his sides, yelling, “Aaaauuuuughhhh!” and, like Atlas, shrugging.
This is what Jeffrey Loria learned from a story about children who love each other, who strive to be loved, who feel misunderstood, and who yearn for understanding. Reading What’s It All About, Charlie Brown? is the literary equivalent of finding a cache of clown paintings by John Wayne Gacy made before he started stowing victims’ bodies in the crawlspace.
Monday, March 17, 2014
So I guess the hits Marisnick, Dietrich, Yelich and Hechavarria got on Saturday didn’t count…
Francisco Cervelli was 3-for-3 Sunday, and got the first hit of the game. Since the Yankees were no-hit Saturday, Cervelli’s hit represented the first by a Major Leaguer since 1947, when the Yankees and MLB visited the country that year. “I’m lucky. I’m going to be in the (record) books,” said Cervelli.
...Derek Jeter said the Yankees didn’t arrive at Rod Carew Stadium Sunday with any chip on their shoulders after getting no-hit by the Marlins 24 hours earlier.
But the Yankees certainly seemed like they were poised to return the favor, taking a no-no into the 7th inning before Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton got a hit off Preston Claiborne, but was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Jeter blamed Willie Randolph (a Yankee guest instructor who made the trip to Panama) for the failed bid.
“I think Willie Randolph jinxed it on the beach. Right before Stanton came up, he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if there was another no-hitter?’ Then (Stanton) got a hit on the next pitch. So (Randolph) blew it for us,” joked Jeter.
Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
Sunday, March 16, 2014
“Sorry We Ruined Your Party” (Frenchmen LP search now under way!)
The celebration of Mariano Rivera took a historic turn of sorts, but not in the way the Yankees had hoped.
Four Marlins pitchers combined to no-hit the Yankees in front of a packed house at Rod Carew National Stadium, beating the Bombers, 5-0.
...“I don’t think it’s what we imagined,” Girardi said. “It wasn’t the historic night that I envisioned.”
...“We hit a few balls hard; they pitched extremely well,” Girardi said. “You see the first baseman make a diving play, you see the right fielder run the ball down; you never want to be no-hit. I don’t care what game it is, what level.”
Posted: March 16, 2014 at 07:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Jonah Keri checks in from spring training.
Every team wants to develop its own Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw. Not every team tries to do that in the same way, however. To better understand baseball’s competing prospect philosophies, we hit the spring training circuit.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
“Mom’s not happy.”
In Monday’s spring training game between the Mets and Marlins, Chris Young laced a ground-rule double into the right-center field gap, and as the ball rolled into a picnic area, one fan let go of a wagon holding his kid and tried to retrieve the ball.
The wagon went rolling down the hill and crashed into the fence. The fan didn’t even come away with the ball, either.
Friday, March 07, 2014
The Red Sox did not send out a great team. The Marlins, however, did send out a much better lineup. With the knowledge that most veterans don’t usually make this type of trip, aren’t the Marlins more culpable?
For the first and only time this spring, “super premium” ticket pricing was in effect for a Miami Marlins’ Grapefruit League home game. Thursday, fans per ticket paid $12 more for field box seats, $11 more for loge and $10 more for bleachers than they would for a weekday game.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Badenhop acknowledges bad hops.
Of all the soundtracks that have greeted a reliever on the commute from the bullpen to the mound, it’s safe to suggest that the Freakonomics podcast has never been employed. Though an unabashed fan of the series, new Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop is unlikely to buck that trend. Yet in his own way, the right-hander—who graduated magna cum laude with a degree in economics from Bowling Green University—might make an intriguing subject for the series…
Badenhop’s consistency is nothing short of startling.
So how did it happen? The answer is as interesting as the phenomenon itself.
“It’s not something you shoot for. You try to progress. I obviously knew walks were one thing I can control, so I knew my walks, and from there the rest kind of fell in place,” suggested Badenhop, a sinkerballer who has consistently produced some of the highest ground ball rates in the game. “Me throwing the ball over the plate, that’s my job.
... “You can control if you throw a strike, you can control if you have movement and if you’re down in the zone, keeping the ball on the ground. Then once it’s hit, it’s not up to me. It’s my job to put it in the zone,” he continued. ” ...
Because Badenhop is a ground ball pitcher who relies considerably on his defense, he’s very mindful of the significance of the defense behind him and its positioning.
The notion was reinforced in 2011, Badenhop’s final year with the Marlins… “I go back and look through the Rolodex of all my outs for the year, nowadays we have access to some good stuff and I can pull up how many outs the third baseman makes, whether a five-unassisted or 5-3 or 5-4, and I think it was five plays. Our third baseman was positioned where he fielded five ground balls after the fifth month of the year? What’s the point of him being out there? I’d rather him cover some of those dinky balls in the six-hole. He might as well be hitting off the tee getting ready for his next at-bat if he’s fielding one ball a month.
“I know when I brought that up to our infield coach in Miami,” Badenhop conceded, “he wasn’t as receptive as other places I’ve been.” ...
Badenhop… takes considerable pleasure in… embracing a period when the sport where he earns his living is undergoing challenges to its conventional wisdom.
“You can play old school—which is playing hard and playing the right way—but if you don’t embrace new things, embrace change, those people are left behind,” said Badenhop. “I think the game is really starting to catch up. To be in an organization—Milwaukee last year, Tampa the year before, these guys this year—where they do pay attention to that stuff, it’s pretty awesome.”
Thursday, February 27, 2014
RECAP CONTAINS SPOILERS
David is the President of the Marlins, which means that if there’s a challenge that requires salary dumping, he’s going to be hard to top…. After making it clear to his tribe that because his blazer doesn’t match his pants, he’s not wearing a suit, David picks Garrett as Brain’s weakest, saying that he’s making the decision for the end of the game. Is anybody else surprised that the President of the Marlins’ first instinct is to jettison the strongest person on his team? Not anybody who watches baseball! ....
The Vote, No.1. “In the real world, I may hire you, but in this world, not tonight,” David says, writing J’Tia’s name and suggesting the Marlins might be in need of a nuclear engineer. Probst tallies: J’Tia. David. J’Tia. David. David. DAVID. “Unbelievable,” he says. What? The President of the Marlins doesn’t understand how prioritizing long-term hypothetical strategy in a win-now game could backfire? At least he’ll have a Top 5 pick in the next “Survivor” draft. “The tribe just doesn’t have it together or they have it together just against me,” he says.
Posted: February 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 22 comment(s)
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
NL pennant is secure!
It has come to this for Figgins. His talent and history in the game will no longer carry him. He has to make the team by performing, starting with that first pitch Wednesday.
He knows it. There is no sulking, no hint of entitlement. The quiet, hustling personality that made him so popular in Anaheim has not changed. His perspective has.
On Jan. 15, he worked out in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., for officials of most of the major league teams. When he finished — “It was like a high school workout. I ran two 60s, threw from home, from shortstop, third, from the outfield” — he told all of them, “What you saw in Seattle is past. Go back, tell your bosses you have a player who played in the big leagues and can still play.”
The Dodgers called the next day.
Posted: February 26, 2014 at 02:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Even Pretzels Getzien and his 1.95 ERA don’t see the logic in this!
He delivered his message quiet matter-of-factly, as if he were discussing the everyday, the mundane, the fully expected. With neither fanfare nor a deep breath to preface his quiet announcement, Jose Fernandez calmly said, “My goal this year is to have a 1.95 ERA.” There.
Oh, 1.95? Well, of course? Why not? Why not 1.90?
“I think I can,” Fernandez said with an earnestness that is delightful and disarming. His response to his listener’s somewhat incredulous reaction was an incredulous reaction of his own, as if to say “What, you don’t think I can?”
Clearly, the Marlins’ latest wunderkind considers putting up a 1.95 ERA in 2014—his second season in the big leagues—an achievement well within the parameters of plausibility. He said as much—unsolicited—twice Sunday and confirmed it Monday. No need to explore it. He said it, he expects to do it. He seemed to think a “Really?” was uncalled for.
And why not? When Fernandez pitched effectively enough to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013, he produced a 2.19 ERA, a 12-6 record and .667 winning percentage in 28 starts for a team that lost 100 games and produced a .383 percentage. Would an improvement of 24 points in his already low ERA be that much more improbable?
“I expect to be a better pitcher than I was,” he said.
Posted: February 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 36 comment(s)
Monday, February 17, 2014
Goes into a blank-faced Gale Sonderungaarded moment to channel Brattain…
MLB.com: Obviously, you rebranded in ‘12, and it didn’t go the way you wanted. You restructured in ‘13, and endured a long season. How are you rebranding, and what do you need to do to reconnect with the fan base?
Samson: I think what our fans are looking for is stability, and what they’re looking for is better performance. The good news is we have a great ballpark, and that 10-year struggle is over with. The people who come to our ballpark really do love coming here. We want to show them a better product that wins more games. That’s what we’re definitely trying to do, and we feel we’re on the upswing.
MLB.com: Regarding your homegrown players, when you’ve identified your core, how important is the next step—to do what the Braves just did and sign some of those guys to long-term deals?
Samson: It’s interesting if you look at teams and who their core is. Let’s talk about the Yankees, they had a core of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera. They were only that team for a very long time. But if you look around at other teams, it’s getting more and more rare to have players spend careers on the same team. That’s just how the world of baseball is right now. So the tough part is choosing, which players you want that to be and then being right. What you don’t want to happen, if you are the Marlins or about 28 other teams, if you choose wrong, that can stop your team from winning for a sustained period of time. The key is to figure out which players you think will be the best over a long period of time. I’m happy to say we have a lot of choices right now.
What our baseball people do is they look, and they scout, including at the Major League level. They make decisions, then they come to us and say, ‘Listen, this is who we can build around. This is someone who could be a forever great player, and he will help your team win.’
MLB.com: What do you think is a realistic, sustainable payroll?
Samson: It’s hard to know what a realistic, sustainable payroll is because we have to see what revenues are. That’s what it’s based on. We’re certainly looking forward to more TV revenue. We want to win. We want to be able to have the players who can help us win. We want to be able to afford a mistake, which happens in baseball, in terms of signing a player who may not be helping you win. That’s not where we are right now, but it’s where we’re trying to get to.
Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:11 AM | 15 comment(s)
Thursday, February 06, 2014
The Marlins….is that still a thing?
The Marlins and veteran reliever Carlos Marmol have come to terms on a contract for 2014, reports CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman. According to Heyman’s sources, the deal is a major-league contract.
Marmol, 31, is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 4.41 ERA, 87 ERA+ and 1.48 K/BB ratio in 49 innings for the Cubs and Dodgers. For his career, Marmol owns a 125 ERA+ across parts of eight major-league seasons. Marmol is still capable of effectiveness in spurts, but control has always been a concern. As well, his stuff has diminished in recent seasons, and he hasn’t had a standout year since 2010.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Adam Rubin: “In fairness, Jordany Valdespin got upset because Ronny Paulino pinch-hit for him.”
Here’s MLB Nation with details of the ex-New York Met’s latest spat with authority:
Infielder Jordany Valdespin has decided to leave his team, Tigres del Licey, of the Dominican Winter League, reportedly infuriated after being pinch-hit for in a playoff game this past weekend. The news was first reported by Dominican radio show Grandes En Los Deportes (Spanish Twitter link), co-hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas.
Valdespin hit only .167/.316/.612 in 108 regular season at bats for the Tigres del Licey, accumulating 7 extra-bases (3 homers, 3 doubles, one triple), although with zero stolen bases, which comes a little bit as a surprise given that speed has been the most talked-about skill of his.
(Apparently they mean 167/316/296. Don’t do that.)
Smitty, your take?
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Some guys never get a shot at the big leagues. Or if they do, it’s far too short a shot and they are overlooked for the rest of their careers, exiled to Triple-A or worse. You gotta make the best of that shot. You may never get another one.
Unless you’re Dontrelle Willis, of course, in which case you seemingly get a couple dozen shots and will until you just don’t fell like trying anymore:
I heard Dontrelle Willis will be signing a minor-league contract with the #sfgiants
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 10, 2014
... Since [Willis] left Florida following the 2007 season he’s 4-15 with a 6.15 ERA while walking 7.1 hitters per nine and allowing 9.3 hits per nine. And… he hasn’t even gotten a significant MINOR league look since 2011.
I know he’s a lefty and lefties are supposed to live forever, and by all accounts he’s a great guy to have around (at least if you don’t ask the Orioles). But there has been nothing — literally nothing — positive to be seen in his pitching in a decade. No indication whatsoever that he can help a ball club. How does he still get chances when so many other pitchers don’t?
Probably like this:
Dontrelle Willis turns 32 Sunday. In prime years. If he’s in good shape and figured out control issues, he could be great story. #sfgiants
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 10, 2014
A nice thought. But people have been having that same thought for years. It never pans out.
The District Attorney
Posted: January 11, 2014 at 06:35 PM | 18 comment(s)
Thursday, January 09, 2014
In the future, everyone will be famous for 50 inches. Best regards…
WPLG-TV in Florida reports that Marlins president David Samson will follow in Jeff Kent’s footsteps and appear as a contestant on the next season of “Survivor.”
According to Will Manso of WPLG the new season begins airing on CBS next month and Samson will be one of 18 players. Samson has competed in iron man events and runs marathons, so he might actually be pretty decent on the show.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
The MVP trophy and World Series ring aren’t the only items Hernandez has placed in the auction. Also up for grabs: his 2002 San Francisco Giants N.L. championship ring, 2004 Silver Slugger Award, and the first-pitch baseball he threw from the first Washington Nationals game.
I used to love that Large Tub of Goo, but now he’s just a Large Tub of Poo to me.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Possibly the most letters used in a two-person trade?
On Thursday, the Cubs send outfielder Brian Bogusevic to the Marlins in exchange for outfielder Justin Ruggiano. The Cubs announced the move on Twitter.
Bogusevic, 29, is a career .236/.313/.370 hitter (86 OPS+) with 17 home runs in 773 career plate appearances in the majors. He’s capable of manning all three outfield positions, though he’s a bit of a stretch in center.
As for Ruggiano, age 31, he owns a career slash line of .251/.315/.432 (102 OPS+), and he’s also capable of manning center and the corners. This offseason, Ruggiano is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Update: Jarrod Saltalamacchia and #Marlins have agreed in principle to three-year, $21 millon contract
Dock Ellis on Acid
Posted: December 03, 2013 at 07:53 PM | 21 comment(s)
Saturday, November 30, 2013
HECH!...“According to Baseball Info Solutions, part of the reason the athletically-gifted Adeiny Hechavarria grades out poorly in some defensive metrics is he doesn’t cheat to the hole enough.”
If numbers don’t lie, anyone who hasn’t seen Adeiny Hechavarria play shortstop might think he uses a milk carton for a glove. The eyes say Hechavarria was worthy of Gold Glove consideration. His defensive metrics suggest otherwise.
“I know zone rating,” President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said. “I know range factor, and I know an above average defensive shortstop when I see one with my eyes and the numbers don’t match. I wouldn’t even say we’re slanted because we see him every day. Ask anybody who played against us if they would take Hechavarria at shortstop.”
Hill was befuddled as to how Hechavarria wasn’t among the three finalists for the Gold Glove award, a prize that went to Braves’ counterpart Andrelton Simmons over Ian Desmond and Troy Tulowitzki.
Managers and coaches determine Gold Glove winners in their respective leagues. Hechavarria’s defensive skills weren’t recognized in The 2013 Fielding Bible Awards either. A panel of 12 experts, including defensive metrics guru John Dewan, ranks the top 10 players at every position. Not surprisingly, Simmons received 12 first-place votes. He was one of 19 shortstops named on ballots.
Hechavarria wasn’t among them.
...“When it comes to where he sets up versus right-handed batters, he doesn’t cheat over toward the hole as much as most shortstops do,” Rosales said. “He’s just not making those plays as much as other shortstops are on balls hit toward the hole. If he could focus on that one area of how he positions himself against right-handed batters, [objectively] he could be just as good as anybody else.”
Added Marlins infield coach Perry Hill: “I guess the numbers don’t lie. I need to do a better job getting him in the right place, bottom line. I saw a lot of good shortstops. I didn’t see anyone that was any better than him.”
Posted: November 30, 2013 at 09:16 AM | 11 comment(s)
Monday, November 11, 2013
Miami Marlins righthander Jose Fernandez, who emerged into a staff ace in his first major-league season, was the National League winner of the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in balloting by the BBWAA announced on MLB Network.
Fernandez (12-6, 2.19 ERA) placed first on 26 of 30 ballots cast by two writers representing each league city and second on the other four for a total of 142 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulation system. He was the only player listed on every ballot and became the first Cuban-born player to win this award in the NL. The only other Cuban-born Rookie of the Year was the 1964 winner in the American League, right fielder Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins.
Another Cuban-born player, Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (.319, 19 HR, 42 RBI), was the runner-up in the balloting. He received the other four first-place votes and was second on 25 ballots to total 95 points.
Posted: November 11, 2013 at 08:05 PM | 13 comment(s)
Friday, November 01, 2013
Marisnick? Dr. Sidney Gaynor just rolled over and reached for his medical bag!
TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Andrew Heaney, lhp
2. Colin Moran, 3b
3. Jake Marisnick, of
4. Justin Nicolino, lhp
5. Anthony DeSclafani, rhp
6. Brian Flynn, lhp
7. Jose Urena, rhp
8. Adam Conley
9. Avery Romero, 2b
10. J.T. Realmuto, c
While the organization now feels that the future looks bright, longtime president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest won’t be around to oversee it. Hired in 2002 as general manager, Beinfest was fired in the last week of the season. General manager Mike Hill was promoted to team president, with vice president of player personnel Dan Jennings sliding into Hill’s old job title. They and their staff will have the second pick in the 2014 draft, the upside of their dismal finish in 2013.
The team’s top 2013 pick, third baseman Colin Moran, made an immediate impact, homering in his first professional at-bat for low Class A Greensboro. However, the Marlins failed to sign supplemental first-rounder Matt Krook, a high school lefty from San Francisco, and third-rounder Ben DeLuzio, a prep shortstop from Orlando. Still, the farm system is deeper than it was a couple of years ago, with plenty of young talent already entrenched in Miami.
Posted: November 01, 2013 at 01:34 PM | 5 comment(s)
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Two Major League Baseball clubs – the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins – are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for possible federal wage law violations. The investigations come amid wider concern about questionable pay practices throughout professional baseball, according to interviews and records obtained by FairWarning under the Freedom of Information Act.
Officials with the department’s Wage and Hour Division announced in August that the Giants had resolved the prior case by agreeing to pay $544,715 in back wages and damages to 74 employees. Many were clubhouse workers the agency said were paid at a daily rate of $55 but who sometimes worked so many hours that they got less than minimum wage and no overtime. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
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