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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Minor Leagues Newsbeat

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Oakland A’s Minor Leaguer Mike Nolan Dies After Drive-By Shooting

Mike Nolan died on Thursday three weeks after he was shot outside of a Yonkers, N.Y. Burger Kings on September 18. Nolan and friends were standing around outside when their group was shot at from a car moving along Central Avenue. He was 23 years old.

Police believe the attack was related to a drag race. Nobody has been arrested yet.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2015 at 12:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, deaths in baseball, minor leaguer, minor leagues

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Batting Around: Pawtucket Red Sox officially looking for new home | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

If the initial plan wasn’t such a clear money grab, maybe Lucchino would have gotten a stadium built at his preferred location.

“We believe the site along the Providence River is exceptional, and it would have been a win-win-win for the state, the city, and the PawSox, and we tried hard to bring it to fruition,” said Lucchino, in a team-released statement. “We have received word that the site still confronts certain obstacles and lacks the necessary support, and we have been urged to consider other possible sites.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 30, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, minor leagues, stadium deals

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rawlings, Minors announce Gold Glovers | News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award would be a popular goal for many young players when we decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 29, 2015 at 07:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, minor leagues

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ex-pro baseball player arrested in Corona double murder

A former pro baseball player was arrested Friday in a double murder case in Corona.

Brandon Martin was being sought after the bodies of two men were found inside a home in the 1000 block of Winthrop Drive Thursday night.

Martin once had a bright future as a pro baseball player. Now, the 22-year-old is suspected of murdering his 64-year-old father Michael Martin and 62-year-old Barry Swanson, a sub-contractor for ADT Security.
Neighbors were in shock over the identity of the suspect. Martin is well-known in Corona sports circles. In 2011, the one-time baseball star was the 38th pick in the Major League draft out of Santiago High School.

Man, I remember that kid. Really good defender. Going from the supplemental first round to a double-murder charge in only four years is one hell of a fall.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tossed: Court Dismisses Minor League Wage Increase

They should just play for the love of the game! Love of the game can pay the rent.

As I noted at the time the Miranda case was filed last year, the plaintiffs in the suit faced at least one major impediment in their attempt to challenge the minor league pay practices under the Sherman Act: baseball’s antitrust exemption. Indeed, soon after the case was filed, MLB filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit in light of its antitrust immunity.

Given that precedent, it should come as little surprise that Judge Haywood Gilliam dismissed the Miranda suit on Monday, concluding that MLB was shielded from the plaintiffs’ claims by virtue of its antitrust exemption.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Miranda suit had hoped to convince the court not to apply the antitrust exemption in the case by arguing that none of the U.S. Supreme Court’s prior decisions on the topic had ever considered the legality of the minor league pay scale. As one might expect, this argument failed to persuade Judge Gilliam.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2015 at 12:55 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: anti-trust exemption, labor law, lawsuit, minor leagues

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Greenville Drive Minor Leaguers Become English Majors

The Drive will close the regular season today with 12 players who were born in Spanish-speaking countries. Seven of them are 21 or younger. To help them break through their language barrier, the Drive collaborated with Furman professor Dr. Bobbi Siefert to offer English integration classes.

“These guys come from Venezuela or Cuba or the Dominican Republic, and the language is the toughest part of their transition,” Drive general manager Eric Jarinko said. “They’re able to talk with their teammates because they understand baseball language, but day-to-day conversations with teammates or anyone else outside the ball park are always a struggle.”

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 09, 2015 at 01:46 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: latin america, minor leagues, red sox

BA: Minor League All-Star Team 2015

SS Corey Seager • Dodgers
Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast) • Double-A Tulsa (Texas)

The No. 1 prospect in the game at midseason, Seager stands above a crowded field of young shortstops with his combination of outstanding power (.194 isolated slugging) and strong contact skills (13.8 percent strikeouts). Only the Rockies’ Trevor Story, among minor league shortstops, hit more home runs than Seager (18), who was the youngest player to qualify for the Triple-A Pacific Coast League batting title. This combination of factors gives Seager an edge over worthy contenders including Orlando Arcia (Brewers), J.P. Crawford (Phillies) and Trea Turner (Nationals).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 09, 2015 at 12:18 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, prospects

Monday, August 31, 2015

Appellate court sides with MLB in minimum wage lawsuit

The district court granted MLB an initial victory in the Chen case last year, determining that FanFest was not subject to the FLSA and therefore was immune from the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Now, in a recent decision issued earlier this month, MLB has scored yet another victory with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s finding that the FLSA does not apply to FanFest.

However, while the Chen decision certainly represents an important decision with respect to the rights of FanFest volunteers, the appellate court’s recent opinion appears unlikely to have a significant impact on the other minimum-wage lawsuits pending against the league. Therefore, the various lawsuits challenging both MLB’s minor league and scout pay practices remain very much alive despite the recent rulings in the FanFest case.

The appellate court based its recent decision in the FanFest case on a relatively obscure provision in the FLSA, Section 213(a)(3), which states that seasonal “amusement or recreational establishments” — typically those that operate seven months or less per year — are not subject to the law’s minimum wage or overtime provisions.

In particular, MLB had argued that the 2013 FanFest at issue in the case qualified as a seasonal establishment under Section 213(a)(e) since it lasted five days, and clearly provided patrons with amusement or recreational services. Thus, MLB argued, FanFest was immune from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 31, 2015 at 03:41 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: fair pay, fanfest, labor laws, lawsuit, legal, minimum wage, minor leagues

Monday, August 24, 2015

How Independent Baseball Teams Make Money. Or Don’t. - WSJ

In most cases, the teams are kept alive by owners who are either independently wealthy or have a basket of other businesses, and are prepared to swallow some losses for the thrill of owning a team. “In any league, I’d be surprised if over half the teams make money,” says Miles Wolff, commissioner of the American Association and Canadian American Association independent leagues.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 24, 2015 at 11:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, minor leagues

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Giants To Sign Lucius Fox

“Prospect”? I think he should be running the organization!

The Giants have agreed to sign shortstop Lucius Fox to an approximately [$6 million] bonus, Jesse Sanchez of reports on Twitter. Fox, who’ll officially sign out of the Bahamas, entered the July 2 period as a consensus top-five prospect.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

PCL 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game Roster Announced

Royals fans couldn’t get Omar Infante into this game.

The PCL All-Star Starters include two players from Oklahoma City, Reno and Tacoma, with Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes and second baseman Darnell Sweeney, Reno outfielder Peter O’Brien and former Storm Chasers third baseman Jamie Romak for the Aces, and first baseman Jesus Montero and shortstop Ketel Marte for the Rainiers. Fresno outfielder L.J. Hoes, Albuquerque outfielder Matt McBride and El Paso designated hitter Cody Decker round out positions players, while New Orleans starter Adam Conley and relievers Jon Edwards of Round Rock and Sam Tuivailala of Memphis are the other pitching starters.

The PCL All-Star Reserves are headlined by Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Corey Seager, one of the top prospects in all of Major League Baseball. Other notables PCL Reserves include infielder Arismendy Alcantara from Iowa and first baseman slugger Adam Duvall from Sacramento.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rookie League manager leaves bullpen off lineup card, has to use position players in relief

Rivera sent out left-hander Seth Davis to take over in the fifth. Before Davis could face his first batter, plate ump Jeb Bennett called a halt to the proceedings…

“I saw that (Davis) wasn’t listed on the lineup card ... the number ... I don’t know their players’ names,” said Bluefield manager Dennis Holmberg.

“It’s a tough situation, but the umpire caught it. I looked at my lineup card and said ‘What’s his number?’ But he would have caught it anyhow. That’s their job,” he said.

Swedish Chef Posted: June 28, 2015 at 03:39 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, position players pitching

Sean Conroy becomes baseball’s first ever openly gay professional player

Who’s next?

Sean Conroy has become baseball’s first ever professional to come out as gay.

The 23-year-old pitcher, who plays for minor league Californian team Sonoma Stompers, has said he wants to be an example for other players.

‘It’s not that I wanted it to go public, but I didn’t care if it was open information. It’s who I am,’ he said.


eddieot Posted: June 28, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Angels’ rookie league team is holding a “Caucasian Heritage Night”

The real outrage should be the spelling of their team name.

This is a thing happening in minor league baseball in the year 2015. I screencapped it because I predict it will be canceled by the end of the day, but as of right now, this is still a promotion on the Orem Owlz’ schedule:...

I suspect that this is born out of a benign yet ignorant impulse. Someone said “you know, it’d be way cheaper for us to combine Italian Heritage Night and Irish Heritage Night and [insert predominantly European country] Heritage Night into just one night.” But by calling it “Caucasian Heritage Night” you sort of change the entire tenor of the thing, ya know? Because there are some seriously different connotations involved once you go with that — which basically mans “white” — over any specific nationality.

But please spare me your “hey, they have Latino Heritage Night” and “Black Heritage Night” and all of that rebop. The idea behind those sorts of things are to correct an imbalance in cultural celebration and appreciation. When you’re part of the majority — especially if you are a historically hegemonic majority — you don’t get special celebrations and things like this. That’s sort of the entire point.

Tampa’s Wilson does it all in marathon win -  Backstop catches 15 innings, hurls two frames, slugs first pro homer

Officially, Yankees prospect Wes Wilson is listed as a catcher. Unofficially, he’s an iron man two-way player, a lights-out closer, a jokester, and after his late-innings exploits Thursday, somewhat of a Tampa hero.

Wilson caught 15 innings behind the plate before tossing two perfect innings of relief and capping his mammoth night with a go-ahead homer in the 17th frame as the Class A Advanced Yankees outlasted the host Bradenton Marauders, 5-4.

It’s not every day that you see a 17-inning game where a position player who’s in the game as a pitcher gives up a game-winning home run to another position player who’s in the game as a pitcher (and throwing knuckleballs, no less).

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Sonoma Stompers Give Writers a Chance to Run Team

The Sonoma Stompers, they’re an independent professional baseball team in California’s wine country. Think grape stomping. Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller do a weekly podcast where they said they would love to run a team, and the owners of the Stompers heard this and decided to take them up on it. The two writers are passionate about sabermetrics, the kind of baseball number-crunching made famous in the movie “Moneyball.”
And so, they have more freedom in terms of what they can do, and that’s what appealed to us. Sonoma plays as part of the Pacific Association, which is a California league, relatively new, relatively small. So we’re hoping it’s the perfect place to kind of be a testing ground for some things that might not work as well in the majors.

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 02, 2015 at 12:19 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, sabrmetrics

Friday, May 29, 2015

Oak Mountain’s David Dahl suffers lacerated spleen in collision in minor league baseball game |

What an awful injury.

At 3:15 p.m. CDT Thursday, Mike Dahl said his son was in surgery.

“They’re trying to save the spleen,” Dahl said. “There was a collision between him and the second baseman, and he took a knee to the spleen. They’re just trying to save it now. He got hit in the face, the nose, the spleen, a bunch of different places, but that’s the main thing right now. He probably has a minor concussion, I would imagine, because he doesn’t remember much about what happened. No broken bones or nothing—all the CT scans were negative.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 29, 2015 at 09:20 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: david dahl, injury, minor leagues, rockies

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Braves minor leaguer Elmer Reyes charged with rape, kidnapping in Ohio


man met Reyes after Friday night’s Gwinnett Braves-Columbus Clippers game and agreed to go to a bar with him.

The woman said Reyes then paid for a hotel room because he didn’t want the women to drive after they had been drinking. One of the women fell asleep upon entering the room, and Reyes allegedly pinned the other to the bed and forced her to have intercourse.

The woman later called 911 and reported the incident. Court records show rape and kidnapping charges were filed Saturday.

Reyes, 24, is out on bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 2.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2015 at 03:01 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, kidnapping, legal, minor leagues, police blotter, rape

Saturday, May 16, 2015

MLB, Atlantic League Sign Player Transfer Agreement

It’s one small step for baseball, one giant leap for the Atlantic League.

Very quietly this January, the Atlantic League signed a formal agreement with Major League Baseball to put on paper the league’s rules for transferring player contracts to Major League Baseball teams and their affiliates.

In practical terms, very little has changed. The Atlantic League has been selling the contracts of hundreds of players to affiliated ball in past years. The new formalized agreement doesn’t change that. Just this week, three players were sold to affiliated teams.

But at the same time the agreement is a watershed moment for the Atlantic League. It is the first time that there has been any sort of official agreement or even an official acknowledgement of an independent league by affiliated baseball.

“It signifies that we occupy a place within the professional baseball hierarchy. That’s meaningful to the league,” Atlantic League president Rick White said.

“It begins to help us frame the internal and the public perception for the league and its importance in terms of players and their careers. And it helps all concerned recognize that our leagues, teams owners and directors that we’re viable. It all leads back to enterprise value and community value.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2015 at 04:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, independent leagues, minor leagues

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Jeffrey Deckman: PawSox owners’ woes a win for R.I. - Opinion - - Providence, RI

I am as big a baseball fan as anyone. I’ve also followed the way sports teams have strong-armed and hoodwinked local and state governments to extort money to the detriment of taxpayers. The Pawsox owners don’t need public financing to make money. They only need it to make more money.

A fair deal can get made. The initial proposal is not a fair deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2015 at 09:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, stadium financing

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Big League Chew: An Oral History

Rob Nelson: Eventually the Mavericks signed me in August. It’s not like they needed left-handed pitching. It’s just that I think Bing Russell kind of rewarded me for hanging around, selling tickets and throwing BP. I went back in ’76 and ’77. As my brother Harry described my Maverick career, I pitched briefly and ineffectively for three years. It’s hard to believe.

Todd Field: Rob lived a very austere life. He had not a stick of furniture. The sum total of what he owned consisted of three pairs of blue jeans, three work shirts and dozens of black, blue, red, and green flare-tip pens, and a trove of graphic-ruled bound notebooks. All of this he stored in empty, industrial-size plastic pickle buckets that he’d catch from the obliging counter girl at the McDonald’s on Burnside. He was an idea guy. He was always writing. He was filling those notebooks all the time; he’d always have these ideas.

Maclain Way: Todd would cut up black vine licorice and he would chew it. I think Rob saw that.

Todd Field: Rob never spoke to me like I was a kid. He made it clear that he cared about what I thought about things, and he was like that with all the kids. Rob was the first grown-up I had ever met who asked me questions. One of them was: what was the source of the black juice streaming out of my mouth? I pulled out a pouch of Redman and showed him that instead of tobacco, I had filled it with black licorice. He got it, immediately.  I wanted it to look like I was chewing tobacco. He asked me if I’d do the same thing if it was gum and I said, “sure—so long as I could still spit the black juice.”

Maclain Way: I don’t think it clicked then, but it might have been an idea for Rob.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tyler Tumminia Has Baseball In Her Blood

Growing up, little Ty wasn’t allowed to watch TV. But she got to hang out with big league ballplayers.

Robin Ventura gave her his spring training jersey, Ozzie Guillen an autographed picture. She has had dinner with baseball royalty such as Earl Weaver, Rocky Colavito, Jim Palmer, and Bob Feller. She even got up the nerve to talk to Rapid Robert, telling him he had really big feet.

“He put them up next to mine and said, ‘Well, I guess, kid, I do,’ ” she says.

Tumminia yearned to play catch with her father, but he’d usually come home after dark. One night she cried after a ball clocked her in the face. Her father told her to suck it up.

“You want to be able to catch, you catch in the dark,” he said.

He launched another night fly ball, and she fearlessly squeezed it in her mitt.

“She caught that one ball in the dark and that was it,” says John Tumminia. “We’re connected. She’s a four-tool daughter.”

Friday, May 01, 2015

Minor League Ball Gameday - Friday, May 1st - Minor League Ball

I have all of John’s books. He’s had a tough couple of years physically. If you’ve enjoyed his books in the past, help keep them coming by purchasing this year’s book. It may be too late to use the info in fantasy draft but it’s still a good reference.

One last thing before we get to the goodies. If you happened to peruse the comments section of the Gameday (highly, highly recommended if you don’t already), John passed along an update of The 2015 Baseball Prospect Book. To quote Mr. Sickels from yesterday -

OK guys, for obvious reasons I am not going to make a main screen post on this just yet, but I really need to sell some books here. I haven’t even broken even this year with the book yet, and without more sales soon I cannot justify writing the book in 2016. My family cannot afford to take a loss on this project or even just break even.

I realize that sales are down because the book was late again due to the health issues. Hopefully that will not be an issue next year. But the book represents the majority of my family income and for there to be a next year in the first place, I need to sell books now.

If you have already bought the book, THANK YOU. Suggest it to a friend if you can. If you have NOT bought the book, please do so at You can order the PDFor the paper edition (which includes the PDF!).

Jim Furtado Posted: May 01, 2015 at 09:21 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: books, minor leagues, prospect reports

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Watch Munenori Kawasaki do ‘body fat gymnastics’

From the translated Japanese description on this video:

Made a “fun chants reduce” concept, body fat gymnastics.
Immediately, Kawasaki Munenori’s to professional baseball players, we have to practice. The Kawasaki ish players, riding to Latin rhythms, I was dancing in cheerful! Choreography: South truly supervision: Kuno Fu也Graduate School professor also other, such people have to practice. Q’ulle Manako’s https:? // v = jJ1rc ... fruit punch Murakami Takeshi’s https:? // v = EnZg3 ... remember everyone , feel free to fun, let’s reduce the body fat. Containing the description of the south truly and Mr. Kuno teacher “reduce how and dance how Hen” is here https:? // v = miq4O ... In the web site, how to move the body of each part in public as well. http: // ... Please try. The decrement will, Japan of body fat! Suntory green tea Iemon Tokucha

That should clear things up!

Out of my way, all of you. This is no place for loafers! Join me or die! Can you do any less?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cubs To Promote Addison Russell

Meh, we just got told Carlos Correa is a better version of A-Rod.

The Cubs will promote top infield prospect Addison Russell to the Majors, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes. It appears Russell, usually a shortstop, will play second base, where the Cubs have struggled this season.

Russell, 21, had been hitting .297/.308/.432 for Triple-A Iowa. He hit a combined .295/.350/.508 at the Class A+ and Double-A levels in 2014, spending part of the year in the Athletics’ system before they shipped him to Chicago as the key to the Cubs’ side of the Jeff Samardzija trade. Baseball Prospectus ranked Russell the No. 2 prospect in the game heading into the 2015 season, while Baseball America ranked him No. 3. placed him at No. 5, praising his offensive game and noting that he’s received comparisons to Barry Larkin and Miguel Tejada.

The District Attorney Posted: April 21, 2015 at 12:22 AM | 136 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs, minor leagues

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