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Jim Furtado
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Seduction of ‘donut contracts’ has MLB players leaving millions on table

Baseball players are underpaid.

In a vacuum, the issue gets a big, fat #richpeopleproblems hashtag. If the MLBPA’s biggest problems revolve around a guy not getting enough millions, whooptie damn do. At the same time, that ignores an important principle, and one the union is stressing as long-term deals swing more and more in favor of teams: Baseball is a $9 billion industry, and every dollar that doesn’t go to the players who make the game what it is funnels straight into the suit pockets of owners who are getting even more stinking rich with every successful long-term deal.

eddieot Posted: April 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, mlbpa, salaries

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mad Met: Tommy Davis on the 1967 New York Jazz Scene

See that’s the thing.  I had one of my best years in New York and I think a lot had to do with my mindset.  You look at the back of the baseball card and notice a season that sticks out from the others and you wonder why the guy played so well that one particular year.  I was very happy in New York.  My wife and children were back in L.A. and I missed them terribly, but the ambient, rolling sounds of the subway trains as I fell asleep at my mother’s house after home games, the common harmonies of my youth, soothed my loneliness, like some sweet, nightly lullaby.  I woke up and arrived at Shea Stadium every day with a smile and got to take witness to an extraordinary jazz scene after hours.

djordan Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:59 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, tommy davis

Monday, April 07, 2014

Team exec thinks shortening games to seven innings is what baseball needs

Better idea: How about we actually enforce the rule where it’s automatically a ball if the pitcher hasn’t thrown it in whatever-amount-of-time-it-is?

Gamingboy Posted: April 07, 2014 at 04:19 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Chad Curtis Story

This one’s a little tough to take, but Hanlon did a fantastic job reporting on the story. One of the finest published pieces today.

djordan Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:27 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: chad curtis, mlb

Monday, March 24, 2014

Matinale: Mitch Williams has solution to pitchers being hit in the face: let them do it to batters

Nerve of the Death Twitch!

According to Mitch Williams pitchers get hit in the face because they are not allowed to throw inside.  Really, that’s what he said.

...Williams insisted repeatedly and vociferously that pitchers should be allowed to pitch inside, a euphemism for hitting batters.  Williams never actually stated that pitchers should be allowed to hit batters.  But he complained that batters now wear armor and are not afraid because pitchers are warned my umpires about throwing at batters.  Williams wants pitchers to throw inside with impunity in order to intimidate batters as he seems to think occurred in some undefined old days.  Williams stated that the result has been that batters “dive out over the plate” and pull outside pitches that smash pitchers in the face.

Do I need to dissect the shear stupidity of this?

...I am revolted by the prevalence of the caviler baseball attitude about it being OK for a pitcher to hit a batter.  That it’s OK to “plunk” a batter in the torso.  Drilled or smashed would be accurate descriptions of a baseball travelling at 90 miles per hour (MPH) crashing into a person’s torso.  Pitching inside deliberately means that the pitcher is being irresponsible enough to not care if his accuracy is off just a bit and that inside pitch hits the batter.  That’s depraved indifference, murder two in New York.

Some batters wear some plastic protection.  PLASTIC!  Not armor.  Would Williams put that plastic on his body and shoot a gun at it?  How about throw a ball at it? It’s NOT armor.

...To buttress the contention of Williams they showed an interview with Aldonis Chapman through an interpreter in which Aldonis indicates that he should pitch inside more so that the batters will pull more and he will not get hit.  Maybe he should throw the ball slower than 105 MPH so that batters have more control.  Also, let’s consider that Aldonis was hit in the head just a few days ago.  He’s got an excuse for saying something silly.

The writer Verducci simply gave up stating that players cannot be protected from everything so just do nothing.

The announcer suggested a protective facemask but Williams brushed that off.  At least twice the announcer told Williams that LeBron James had recently scored 62 points in an NBA game wearing a facemask.  Williams insisted that it was impossible for a human being to pitch while wearing a facemask.

Mitch Williams is a moron.  If the MLB Network had any standards Williams would have been fired long ago.

Repoz Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:56 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jack McDowell on R.E.M. & managing rookie ball

JACK McDOWELL: The Dodgers asked me to come to Arizona for Spring Training as a special instructor, travel around a few weeks during the summer, you know, five day-trips to high-A, AA and AAA affiliates, just to see what goes on, which I was on board with. Couple weeks later, the organization called up to let me know they had a managerial opening in rookie ball for the Ogden Raptors if I was interested. I ran it by the wife and joked “Remember when I said I was gonna be gone for two weeks? How does six months sound?’’

djordan Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:12 AM | 154 comment(s)
  Beats: jack mcdowell, mlb

Monday, March 10, 2014

Phil Rogers: Cardinals’ set lineup presents case for DH in NL

Add the designated hitter to the National League!

Wouldn’t you rather see one of these guys hit than continue to watch the Cardinals send the likes of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez to the plate? I would but maybe I’m biased, because I grew up watching American League games, not worshiping at the altar of the double-switch and that predictable daily double—the No. 8 hitter being walked to get to the pitcher, and the pitcher giving up an out with a bunt.

Will the NL ever seriously consider the DH, or is this just media talk? I’ve been asking executives that this spring, and the trend I’ve found is the younger the general managers, the more open-minded they are about the proposition. It’s not going to happen in the next few years, but it might have a real chance in five to 10 years.

“It’s something that comes up, but I think that’s sort of idle conversation,” Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said. “I don’t know if there’s any real discussion about it. I always kind of look at it that way.

“When Major League Baseball asks our opinions, and it looks like there’s going to be a rule change, it’s at that point we’ll pay attention. But to date, there’s never been anything like that. It’s always been gossipy, and therefore I assume it’s going to stay the way it is.”

...Dodgers GM Ned Colletti doesn’t rule out a change, but he says he doesn’t expect change in the near future—even though his club is like the Cardinals. The four-outfielder formation with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig, as well as the presence of Joc Pederson in the wings, should make it easy for Don Mattingly to write lineups in AL parks.

“That’s a tough question,” Colletti said. “I don’t know. I don’t think so, but it’s always possible. Probably some people would make a strong argument for it, but it’s almost polarized now with one league not having it, one league going to have it. I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.”

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: March 10, 2014 at 05:58 AM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Saturday, March 01, 2014

George Will: Baseball’s opening day shouldn’t be a holiday

George Will: Slacker.

Political pundit George Will says baseball’s opening day shouldn’t be a federal holiday because it would take the fun out of the age-old tradition of cutting class or skipping work to go to the ballpark’s first game of the season.

“Part of the fun of Opening Day is skipping work,” Will said in an interview with The Hill. “If they make it a national holiday, there will be no work to skip.”

Will’s comments were echoed by a handful of baseball-loving lawmakers, who said they would not support a White House petition that has garnered signatures from thousands of fans to turn opening day into a holiday.

“Baseball is too big and grand to be enhanced by anything Congress can do,” Will said.

Growing up, Will recalled that sometimes his parents would let him cut class to attend Opening Day. “I’m not sure I ever went to school on Opening Day,” he said.

...Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) couldn’t agree more.

“I am a huge baseball fan, but I am an even bigger fan of work,” said Gowdy, who roots for the Cincinnati Reds, the first professional baseball team. “Do we really need another day off?”

Repoz Posted: March 01, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gene Collier: Australia games make cents, but not sense

Another mess for brother Collier to chime in on.

For reasons unclear and probably even unnecessary, there is a concerted push all of a sudden by Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and the producers of the official beer of Major League Baseball to designate Opening Day a national holiday.

Where, in Australia?

They had better hurry.

Opening Day 2014 is just 24 days away, 24 days and about 9,500 miles, give or take a slow walk to the mound.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks will play the opening series March 22-23 in Sydney, another burst of baseball genius explainable only by the grow-the-game marketing wonks in the commissioner’s office.

...Baseball still considers Opening Day the first day on which more than one game is played, a feeble ploy to cleanse its conscience of the lingering guilt brought on by abandoning the traditional opener in Cincinnati. Since that dark day, the season’s first pitch has been thrown in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan and, soon enough, Down Under. Were we privy to the internal memos of the grow-the-game division, we might discover the next three openers are scheduled for Kazakhstan, Romania and Somalia, which is the only place the Pirates could rely on for national publicity until Clint Hurdle’s team won 94 games a year ago.

If you prefer to see the traditional opener for our national pastime settle down in the nation where it actually, you know, is the national pastime, you probably should be rooting for Smith and his petition to the White House initiative called We The People.

Repoz Posted: February 27, 2014 at 07:55 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Matheny wishes new collision rule had more teeth

Major League Baseball’s attempt to enact a rule to protect catchers from injury and possible concussions in home-plate collisions resulted in some experimental legislation announced today. But some of the bite was taken out of it, as far as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was concerned.

“I did think we were making some pretty good progress and then the progress was stopped,” said Matheny. “After talking with people from the players’ association and with Major League Baseball, I think we have the same end game in mind, and that’s eliminating collisions altogether. It’s just pretty difficult to pull off at this time.”

For this year, the rule being implemented will prohibit the “most egregious collisions” at the plate. The rule states that a runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher or anyone else covering the plate. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher, the umpire can call the runner out, even if the catcher loses possession of the ball.

Additionally, if a catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire can call the runner safe

Matheny said he realized the timing was short to come up with some sort of rule before the exhibitions started so that teams can practice tagging and sliding. But the Cardinals have been pro-active anticipating new legislation, and their catchers already have been instructed to and are practicing giving the runner the plate.

Thanks to Drew.

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 07:45 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SFGate: Egelko: Baseball Sued Over Low-Minor League Wages

While major-league baseball players earn millions of dollars and club owners share billions in revenues, minor-leaguers are paid $3,000 to $7,500 per season and train for weeks without pay, in violation of minimum wage and labor laws, their attorneys charge in a lawsuit. The suit filed against Major League Baseball and three teams, including the San Francisco Giants, said baseball executives and club owners “have preyed upon minor leaguers, who are powerless to combat the collusive power of the MLB cartel.”

No apparent shortage of labor, though.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

John D’Acquisto: Mahogany

12 hours to beat the reporting deadline. 750 miles, four pitchers, two Porsches, and the last song a young right-hander rehabbing an arm injury in 1976 needs to hear.

djordan Posted: February 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: john d'acquisto, mlb

Thursday, February 13, 2014

MLB Owners Voted to Allow Teams to Cut Pensions of Non-Players

Major League Baseball owners, despite earning more than $8 billion in revenue in 2013, voted in January to allow individual teams to slash or eliminate pension-plan offerings to their non-uniformed personnel….

A source told that Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf chastised owners for being petty with the lives of ordinary people during an earlier attempt to pass this plan.

CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 13, 2014 at 10:42 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, pensions

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jim Fregosi suffers stroke

Former major league manager Jim Fregosi suffered a stroke while on a Major League Baseball alumni cruise and has been hospitalized in the Cayman Islands, sources close to Fregosi said Wednesday.

Fregosi’s family currently is trying to make arrangements to fly him to Miami.

Fregosi, 71, currently serves as a special assistant to Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren. He managed 15 years in the majors with the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.

Repoz Posted: February 12, 2014 at 07:21 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rosenthal: Seven asked, seven answered: Baseball execs would sign a gay player

Baseball is ready for a Michael Sam.

How do I know? I asked seven executives on Monday if their team would sign a baseball version of Sam, the reigning co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year from Missouri who told several news outlets Sunday that he was gay.

All seven went on the record. And all seven said yes.

The reaction of the baseball executives came in stark contrast to an report that quoted eight unnamed NFL decision-makers as saying Sam’s announcement would cause him to drop in the league’s upcoming draft.

“If the reports about his football ability and character are accurate, we would sign the baseball Michael Sam in a second and be a better organization for it,” Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said.

...Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians president: “When we assess talent acquisition, we factor in all variables relative to a player’s performance—tools, character, personality and medical risk are among the main areas of evaluation.

“Sexual orientation has not and never would be an area of consideration, and it certainly would not prevent us from acquiring a player we felt could help the team be in a better position to win a championship.”

Frank Coonelly, Pittsburgh Pirates president: “I cannot imagine that a baseball player’s sexual orientation would affect where he would be drafted in the baseball draft. Of course, I cannot speak for others, but I know for certain that the Pirates would make our draft decision based solely on whether we believed that the man could play.”

Derrick Hall, Arizona Diamondbacks president: “The Diamondbacks do not tolerate any form of discrimination and take pride in being an inclusive and accepting organization.”

Thanks to Steve.

Repoz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM | 168 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Friday, February 07, 2014

Megdal: Baseball’s 10 Best Giveaways

4. Cleveland Indians, design your own T-shirt, Sept. 6 against the White Sox. Seventeen fireworks nights? Thirteen dollar-hot-dog nights? A Larry Doby jersey and a Jim Thome statue? All exciting, but my personal favorite item is one that hasn’t been created yet. On Sept. 6, fans will receive a T-shirt. It will contain a logo designed by a fan. As it currently stands, the entries are being culled down to finalists, which I’m going to assume will be voted on by the fans.

I love the idea of getting the fans to participate in this, and Mirabelle was particularly excited about this idea, though her Mets fandom bled through a little when she described what her T-shirt would look like. “It would look like Mr. Met. He’d be this tall! (She reached high above her head.) There’d be lots of swirls, some stickers. I’d use markers, crayons, pens, pencils. I’d color on it. And then we’d do stickers. And I’d write ‘Mr. Met’ on it.”

So no, her T-shirt probably wouldn’t win among Indians fans, but I’m willing to bet plenty of kids near the Cuyahoga River will be just as excited to participate in this contest. There will be something undeniably authentic about the T-shirt everyone will wear, come September.

3. St. Louis Cardinals, Jack Buck bobblehead with voice chip, June 15 against the Nationals. The Cardinals won the 2013 National League pennant, and they’ll be celebrating virtually every time they give something to their fans. On April 8, A NL champions pin. On April 12, A NL champions replica ring. Also an NL champions pennant, an NL champions poster, even a replica NL champions trophy—and that’s all by May 16. Who can blame them? They’ll also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World Series championship with a replica ring on May 26, and even the 10th anniversary of the 2004 NL pennant (10 years!) with a replica ring on July 4. Oh, and there’s Jose Oquendo bobblehead night.

But for me, the best of the excellent Cardinals promotions has to be a Jack Buck bobblehead, which apparently they’ve implanted with his voice. Now, I don’t know how they did it. I don’t know if we’ll get a phrase, or a famous moment, or somehow, the complete call of Bob Gibson’s no-hitter in 1971. But it’s the Cardinals, so they’ll almost certainly do it well. A touch of greatness within the bobblehead genre won’t hurt.

Repoz Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:16 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Dodgers, Orioles, D-Backs finalists for Bronson Arroyo

The list of teams with serious designs on signing free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo is down to three, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. According to Nightengale, the Dodgers, Orioles and Diamondbacks are the three finalists, with Arizona being, in Nightengale’s words, the “slight favorites.”

Arroyo, age 36, is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 3.79 ERA, 101 ERA+ and 3.65 K/BB ratio in 202 innings of work. For his career, Arroyo has an ERA+ of 104 across 391 games, 355 of which have been starts. Arroyo’s fly-ball tendencies mean he’s best suited for a home ballpark that cuts down on home runs, which doesn’t describe Arizona’s Chase Field. Even so, Arroyo has been a reliable rotation stabilizer for years: he’s never been on the disabled list, and he’s logged at least 199 innings in each of the last nine seasons.

Thanks to Drew.

Repoz Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:29 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Castrovince: Platooning and position-sharing here to stay

“Stay out of this, Elias. This ain’t your show!”

Platooning is increasingly in vogue in this era of pitching prominence and diminished offensive returns. As we sit here today, more than half of MLB’s 30 clubs have some sort of timeshare on the table at one or, in many cases, multiple positions. And the Oakland A’s and manager Bob Melvin—referred to by one player as the “King of Platoons” last season—are not alone in employing the practice.

“You’re never going to have, more often than not, a perfect player,” A’s general manager Billy Beane said at the Winter Meetings. “It’s just trying to use every bit of the roster that we have.”

Others undoubtedly agree. Some of these situations are born out of necessity, others out of creativity, and many are subject to change as the season evolves.

But what’s clear is that a mind-set and methodology almost as old as the game itself still apply, more so now than at any time in recent memory.

Last season, according to Elias Sports Bureau, players batted in favorable matchups (right-handed batters against left-handed pitchers, and vice versa) 56 percent of the time, the highest such percentage since 1995 (57) and an indication, perhaps, of the measures teams are taking to eke more efficiency and efficacy out of their offenses at a time when runs per game and league-wide batting averages have dipped to their lowest levels in decades.

Although the word platoon is often unfairly assigned to several of these situations, given that playing time won’t always be predicated upon handedness, not having an everyday player prescribed at every position isn’t necessarily a shortcoming and could, in fact, emerge as a strength.

Repoz Posted: February 01, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Clay Davenport: First Projections for 2014

My first run (that I’m willing to talk about) of projections for the coming season is now up on the 2014 Projected Standings tab. They have also been used to create a new Playoff Chances Report. And, of course, the individual projections that go into are available, again on the Projected Standings page.

...Current free agents won’t show up here – no team, no projected playing time. Their projections are still available on the “All hitters” and “All pitchers” downloads.

Getting to some of the players takes a deep depth chart. I’ve prepared some that you can find under the 2014 Spring tab, under “dts”. Every team has three files in there. One is a dt file, which contains the translated statistics, 2009-13, with the computer-only 2014 projection, for all hitters in that team’s system; another is a pdt file, which does the same for pitchers. The “orgdt” file just has the 2014 projections for all players on the team, sorted by position and projected WARP, like the one here for the Nationals. Kind of works as a very deep depth chart for all teams, although I can’t swear that aren’t players showing up on the wrong team (especially for players who have been released – there’s a decent chance they still show up for their old teams). That’s just for these depth charts – I am reasonably certain that every player used in the major league projections is actually a member of their team. The one exception might be Matt Garza, who I have already written into the Milwaukee rotation.

Thanks to Carlos.

Repoz Posted: January 26, 2014 at 07:40 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Madden: Moves by Rays, Athletics make them hot stove winners with Yankees

Jump up and click your hotdog bucks…Madden is back!

The additions of Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran more than offset the loss of Robinson Cano from the lineup — assuming they all stay healthy — and, if nothing else, thrust the Yankees into the winter “winners” category as one of the clubs that did the most to improve themselves. Problem with the Yankees was they had a whole lot more improving to do than most of their rivals, and even with their Tanaka-McCann-Ellsbury-Beltran booty, they remain a team with major question marks at all four infield positions, the bullpen and still the starting rotation, unless you really believe Tanaka is going to step right in and pitch like a $155 million ace.

...The Red Sox, seemingly resting on their laurels from last year’s smashing offseason, lost one of their most important players, Jacoby Ellsbury, along with Drew and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to free agency and so far have signed only creaky-kneed Grady Sizemore as a hoped-for platoon center fielder. However, we’re still betting Drew goes back to them on a two-year deal. The Orioles, who badly need starting pitching, a closer and another bat, have done nothing this winter other than back out of deals with players failing physicals. After Baltimore did just that with Balfour and then outfielder Tyler Colvin last week, why would any free agent dare to engage the Orioles? The Blue Jays, despite having the worst starting pitching in baseball last year, were not in on Tanaka and have been curiously passive with all the other free agent starters.

The Cubs kept their bankroll in their pockets all winter, anticipating they would win the Tanaka sweepstakes, and now that they’re left empty-handed, their Opening Day starter, Jeff Samardzija, is again expressing a reluctance to sign long-term with them. Wrigley Field attendance has been gradually declining with each succeeding last-place season — to a 15-year low of 2.6 million last year — and now figures to drop even lower in 2014. As for the Reds, whose most notable offseason acquisition has been utilityman Skip Schumaker, it’s a wonder if maybe they’re feeling choked by the $225 million Joey Votto contract, just as they were years back by Ken Griffey Jr.’s. How else to explain not even making Arroyo, the most durable starter in baseball over the last decade, a qualifying offer?

Repoz Posted: January 26, 2014 at 10:50 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Schoenfield: Ten breakout players to watch for 2014

These are 10 players I like heading into the season, five position players and five pitchers. I’m calling them breakout candidates, although if you’re a fantasy player, you already know about them. You always have to be wary about projecting too much growth in a young player—many fantasy owners have been ruined by falling prey to prospect hype—but these are 10 young players I’d love to have in 2014.

Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego Padres: He had an impressive rookie season with 23 home runs in 125 games, although a .249 average and .301 on-base percentage leaves room for improvement. Still, his season went pretty unrecognized for several reasons: (1) He plays for the Padres, and (2) it was such a strong rookie class in the National League that there wasn’t much attention left over after Jose Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran; (3) His splits made for an odd season, as he hit .272 with eight home runs in the first half, .226 with 15 home runs in the second half.

Gyorko needs to consolidate those two approaches. Some of that difference came from a big split in BABIP—.325 in the first half and .245 in the second half, but he did start chasing more pitches out of the strike zone in the second half (34 percent compared to 30 percent). He was a .321 hitter in the minors, so if he can reign in the over-aggressiveness just a bit I think his average and OBP will come up. He hit 13 of his 23 home runs at Petco and hit 30 in the minors in 2012, so the power is definitely legit.

Thanks to Vacc.

Repoz Posted: January 25, 2014 at 08:49 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mayo: Breaking down the Top 100 Prospects list

And…The List.’s new Top 100 Prospects was released Thursday, with Minnesota outfielder Byron Buxton as close to a unanimous top prospect as there’s been in recent memory. There were 35 newcomers named to the list this year.

The time has come once again to unveil a new prospect rankings. The new Top 100 Prospects list is out and ready for you to tear down, err, analyze.

The graduates

There were a total of 30 graduates to the big leagues from last year’s list. It started with six of the top 10 moving on to bigger and better things, led by 2013 No. 1 prospect Jurickson Profar. American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Wil Myers was the No. 4 prospect in ‘13, while National League ROY Award winner Jose Fernandez began the year at No. 7. Yasiel Puig, Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, Jedd Gyorko and Nolan Arenado, all of whom were ranked in the Top 100, got Rookie of the Year votes in the NL. The AL vote-getters were also all over the list, with Jose Iglesias, Chris Archer and Martin Perez following Myers on the board.

The newcomers

Not counting the 2013 Draftees who are now on the list, there are 35 new names on the list compared with the ‘13 version. Some of them were added as last season went on, or when the list was officially re-ranked over the summer. Some made huge jumps onto the list, starting with Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at No. 26, followed very closely by Pirates right-hander Tyler Glasnow at No. 27. Other prospects who went from not being on the list to hitting the top 50 were the Dodgers’ Corey Seager (34), Raul Adalberto Mondesi (38) of the Royals, Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler (41) and C.J. Edwards (42) from the Cubs.

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:04 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Leitch: 30 Stadiums in 30 Days

Given unlimited money I’d not only do this but drag other people along with me. I’d definitely just use a private jet, though.

Thursday, April 10: Minnesota. Red-eye! It’s impressive it has taken us this long to hit a red-eye flight. The next couple of days are going to be exhausting, so hang in with us. Because there are again no Western games today, we’re going to zip over to the Twin Cities real fast for an afternoon game, then zip right back out. If you’ve made it this far, you know you don’t need to sleep or shower. The cold of Target Field will wake you up anyway.

11 p.m. TAXI: Cab from Safeco Field to Seattle airport $30.
12:50 a.m. FLIGHT: Delta from Seattle to Minneapolis, $169.
6 a.m. TAXI: Cab from Minneapolis airport to Target Field. $34.
1:10 p.m. GAME: Oakland A’s at Minnesota Twins, 212 Home Plate Terrace, $40.
6:19 p.m. FLIGHT: Frontier Airlines, Minneapolis to San Diego (via Denver), $169
10:15 p.m. TAXI: Cab from San Diego airport to Petco Park. $20.

Friday, April 11: San Diego. Yes, that’s right: You just went from a game to an airport to a game to another airport without ever stopping at a hotel to sleep. You’re a gamer. Here’s your chance to get some sleep, though. You powered through what was essentially a 36-hour day in three different time zones, and once you check into the hotel by Petco Park, you can pass out until first pitch. You’ve earned it.

Midnight. HOTEL: Hotel Indigo Gaslamp, $143.
7:10 p.m. GAME: Detroit Tigers at San Diego Padres, Bleachers, $20.
11 p.m.: HOTEL: Hotel Indigo Gaslamp, $143.


The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 18, 2014 at 12:47 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, road trip, stadia, stadiums

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Morosi: Baseball won battle with A-Rod, but is losing bigger war

I bet more money was bet on Cam Newton vs. Colin Kaepernick than Le Batard vs. the BBWAA.

MLB remains wildly successful as an industry, particularly in the areas of advanced media and local television, but the past few days have underscored the need for a cultural shift.

The juxtaposition in sports is striking, between the traditional national pastime and present national infatuation. Football has its vices and ills — concussions, brutality, gambling, and, yes, PEDs — but they hardly overshadowed the excitement for the BCS or NFL playoffs. With baseball, the disillusionment comes baked into the crust.

Think about it. When you talked baseball with your friends over the past year, which were the biggest topics? Jose Fernandez’s remarkable story of defecting from Cuba and winning Rookie of the Year? Red Sox postseason heroes Koji Uehara and David Ortiz? Or A-Rod, the deceitful Ryan Braun and the PED-induced angst over the Hall of Fame ballot?

If you’re a teenager who followed sports news over the past week, which debate sounded more interesting to you — Cam Newton vs. Colin Kaepernick, or Le Batard vs. the BBWAA?

The media deserve some blame for this. Maybe we buy into the notion that baseball, with its unique place in American history and folklore, should be held to a higher standard than football. MLB has a more stringent and publicized drug-testing program than the NFL. But when it’s effective against high-profile users such as Rodriguez and Braun, the focus on the problem only intensifies. MLB could adopt a less aggressive approach, but then we’d all accuse Commissioner Bud Selig of taking us back to the summer of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa that fooled us all.

...If there’s one negative consequence of no salary cap and two decades of labor peace, it’s that superstars have become corporations of one. Some are so self-aggrandizing that they have forgotten owners and fellow players are their business partners. Unlike peers in the NFL, NHL and NBA, they’ve had no recent labor strife as a reality check.

The pot of available money appears limitless. Better numbers mean more money for me, but not necessarily less money for you, so it’s fine if I bend the rules. Most of today’s stars know better, but Rodriguez and Braun have operated out of the same selfish playbook. They don’t care what they do to the sport or its reputation, as long as their lawyers and PR flacks spin a story that wins a few more believers.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2014 at 08:20 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: business, mlb, yankees

Monday, January 06, 2014

John D’Acquisto on Jerry Coleman

Regardless of what transpired during the 1980 season, when things didn’t work out, Kroc reassigned Jerry back to the booth. Didn’t matter that the team underperformed, Ray Kroc loved Jerry Coleman so much and was aware of the fan base’s affection for the man, he kept him in the family. That to me, above all else, speaks to the respect and admiration we all felt for Jerry Coleman. A great American. A great husband.

A great Padre.

djordan Posted: January 06, 2014 at 01:05 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: john d'acquisto, mlb

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