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Thursday, March 30, 2017

CENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA

I think this year we should make t-shirts.

The Central Park field for 10 AM on July 1st has been submitted for approval to the Parks Department, but not yet assigned.  We’re waiting to hear back.  It’s never been a problem as yet, so hopefully it won’t be this year as well.

Note: This is the same weekend as the massive SABR extravaganza in NYC.  I would expect all connections and all favors to be called in to get some retired MLB players or broadcast and basement-dwelling notables to come by.  Rob Neyer, Tommy Lasorda, Benny Agbayani, Robothal, Pete Rose, no target too high.  Or too low.  So maybe Calcaterra could make it.

Let’s hear it, who’s coming?

Lassus Posted: March 30, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Baseballist: Three Reasons Why Adding DH Makes Sense For NL | BaseballAmerica.com

What about the strategy? Plus watching a quality major league hitter take his cuts isn’t as entertaining as watching a pitcher swing at a fastball like he’s a blindfolded three-year old trying to hit a pinata!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2017 at 03:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter


Smokeless Tobacco is Gone From the Ballpark, if Not the Clubhouse

Before a recent game at Citi Field, one player stood at his locker, peeked from left to right and then slipped a can of smokeless tobacco into his back pocket. There was a reason for his surreptitiousness. Since last April, a city law has banned such products for use at both the Mets’ home ballpark and at Yankee Stadium.

And yet the player may not have had to act that secretively. Although similar laws against use of smokeless tobacco now extend to 12 major league stadiums outside New York, there is no evidence that municipalities are trying to closely monitor tobacco use inside clubhouses or that they are attempting to fine players for violating any of the recent legislation.

However, Major League Baseball, which supports the bans, is doing monitoring of its own and said it has acted when it has perceived that a player has violated the local laws. First-time violators receive a written warning along with a referral to the doctor now being used as a consultant to help players to stop using smokeless tobacco. A second violation brings a fine consistent with those listed in the local ordinances.

Major League Baseball said fines had been issued but would not say how many. The fines called for in the local ordinances — sometimes just in the hundreds of dollars — are small by baseball standards.

Still, baseball officials and the local authorities seem to be hoping that perhaps more than any fines, the publicity generated by the new laws will paint a starker picture of smokeless tobacco and serve as a stronger deterrent to its use — and not only among major leaguers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 23, 2017 at 02:39 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: smokeless tobacco

Myriad Orioles Thoughts: Bullpen dominance; Tillman starts; roster crunch - BaltimoreBaseball.com

This year is shaping up to a very interesting race in the AL East this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

Early AL Rookie of Year debate shows Yankees’ plan at work | New York Post

What is the Super Two date this year?

Going into the weekend, Haniger actually led the majors in Baseball Reference’s version of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). Judge was 11th in the stat, which tries to encompass hitting, baserunning and defense. Benintendi, the preseason favorite, was hitting .322 with an .838 OPS.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2017 at 10:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: rookies

Jason Heyward swinging hot bat early for Cubs | MLB.com

“It’s tough when you are worried about other things,” Heyward said of his struggles last April. “I had a wrist injury early, which is not an excuse. This year, coming in, I had put in my work in the offseason. I was able to have a consistency in my routine that allowed me to relax and have the good timing and rhythm that allows me to focus on just myself and the pitcher.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2017 at 10:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Sunday Notes: Whitley’s Cattle, Cubs Butler, Gausman’s Analogy, Prideful Yard Goat, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Over the past several months I’ve asked a handful of high-ranking front office members about personnel decisions. More specifically, I’ve asked how they assess the relative value of acquiring a specific style of player, versus simply upgrading at a position. Bobby Evans, the general manager of the San Francisco Giants, is among those I’ve queried.

“You can do both simultaneously,” Evans told me. “They go together. You might have a guy who would clearly fit the chemistry of your team, but he’s a third baseman and you don’t need a third baseman. If it’s a power guy who strikes out a lot, and you need power, you can deal with the strikeouts, but defensively he has no position. Those are the type of factors you’re always measuring. But you can’t limit it to just one thing.

“If the guy doesn’t fit the dynamic of your clubhouse… I actually think that’s pretty rare in the game. There are a lot of interchangeable parts. For the most part you don’t look for people to be one certain way. You expect to have a dynamic clubhouse, but if for some reason you find a guy who just wouldn’t fit that dynamic, but he fits so well in other ways, that makes it a much harder decision. Sometimes you have to try things to get better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2017 at 09:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Angels Notes: Garrett Richards shifted to 60-day DL

Richards, the erstwhile ace of the Angels’ staff, departed in the fifth inning of his only start April 5 and hasn’t picked up a baseball since. He was said to be “making progress” from his biceps injury as recently as Friday, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

However, “his most recent assessment and exam showed mild improvement in biceps strength and also irritation of the cutaneous nerve, which is contributing to his strength deficit,” the Angels said Saturday in a statement while announcing Richards’ move to the 60-day DL.

When Richards first suffered his injury, the Angels said he was pulled from the game as a precautionary measure, and that he wouldn’t even miss a game. Then, he was put on the 10-day DL as a precautionary measure. Then, he was going to be left on the DL just a little longer as a precautionary measure.

At some point, the Angels are going to have to own up to the truth, that Richards’ injury is far worse than they had let on. This drip-drip-drip of bad news strung out over weeks as they are constantly forced to revise their ridiculously — and falsely — optimistic assessments of Richards’ health does no one any good, not the team, not the fans, not Richards. Moreover, this pattern of dishonest spin was exactly how they revealed Richards’ UCL injury last year. For Angel fans, the injury is disappointing. For hardcore fans and those of us who actively blog and podcast the Angels, the injury is disappointing, and it’s downright infuriating to be basically lied to on a daily basis.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 22, 2017 at 10:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, garrett richards

Dustin Pedroia on controversial play: ‘I don’t need a f—— rule’

“I don’t even know what the rule is,” the veteran told NESN in a postgame interview.

He continued: “I’ve turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years. I don’t need a f—— rule. Let’s be honest. The rule’s irrelevant. The rule’s for people with bad footwork. That’s it.”


Tempers flare in Tigers-Twins; Matt Boyd, Miguel Sano ejected

Tempers flared in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game in Minnesota after Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd threw behind Twins first baseman Miguel Sano.

Sano pointed at Boyd. Tigers catcher James McCann came up and exchanged words with Sano, who reacted by landing a punch to McCann’s protective gear.

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos came running in, yelling at Boyd. Both teams came into the field before order was restored.

Boyd and Sano were both ejected. It was the first career ejection for Boyd and second for Sano.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 22, 2017 at 05:24 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, tigers, twins


The myth of Aaron Judge, our large adult baseball son

What I don’t know about the Yankees’ large adult son could fill a book, and I have filled that book with myths of his size. How old is he? No one really knows, I’ll say, clenching a corncob pipe in my teeth. People say he was 4 or 5 when the MacPhersons found him in their orchard, standing on his toes to pluck apples from the tallest branches. Where’s he from? Oh, here and there. Hard to be from any one place when three steps in any direction takes you over the state line. The less I know, the stronger his legend.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 22, 2017 at 11:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, yankees

Rangers’ Joey Gallo hits hardest homer of 2017 | MLB.com

He doesn’t get cheated.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 09:06 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, rangers

Maybe We Were All Wrong About The Yankees Rotation

The Yankees have played really well so far. As I’ve been telling my friends who are Yankees fans, I don’t believe it’s a fluke.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:59 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Red Sox coaches still don’t want hitters thinking about hitting for power - providencejournal.com

Just 208 homers?

Led by Davis, who went deep 47 times, Baltimore hit more than 250 home runs last season, far and away the best in the American League. The Orioles still scored fewer than 750 runs, however. Conversely, the Red Sox hit just 208 home runs but scored nearly 900 runs.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Gary Sanchez’s popularity just reached another level | New York Post

They aren’t selling jeans; they are selling jerseys.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sanchez, yankees

Dodgers’ quartet of pitching prospects can bring the heat – Orange County Register

White said he pitched about 20 innings as a high schooler in San Jose. He went undrafted after his senior year, was barely recruited by colleges, and didn’t have much of a choice when he chose to attend Santa Clara University. He’s still thrown fewer than 200 innings in his life, by his own estimate.

By contrast, Buehler was a 14th-round draft pick out of Henry Clay High in Lexington, Ky., in 2012. He chose not to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates and attend Vanderbilt University instead. Two years later, Buehler was a College World Series champion and a big-name prospect.

Santana was primarily a shortstop until he turned 18. His $170,000 signing bonus didn’t tab him as a marquee name, but after becoming a pitcher he shot through the Dodgers’ system quicker than many of his peers.

And then there’s Alvarez, who left Cuba at age 18. By the time he turned 21 in March, he was already married with a young daughter. (They were in Rancho Cucamonga, Alvarez said, when he pitched Monday in Lancaster.) He’s already used his $16 million signing bonus to purchase four cars: a Lamborghini, a Porsche, an Audi S8 and a Chevy Tahoe. It seems the rest of his life is merely trying to keep pace with his fastball.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 22, 2017 at 07:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, prospects

Friday, April 21, 2017

Giants Place Madison Bumgarner On 10-Day DL After Dirt Bike Accident

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is headed to the 10-day DL after injuring himself in a dirt bike accident, the team announced. He is said to have suffered bruised ribs along with “a grade one or two left shoulder AC sprain.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:42 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, injuries, madison bumgarner

Take the pledge: Let’s banish pitcher wins, losses from baseball conversations

So let’s stop talking about pitcher wins and losses, OK? Please? Let’s be better. Baseball statisticians have spent the past few decades giving us better options, and the tide has been turning. Advanced statistics are more a part of the baseball conversation now than ever before. But we haven’t wiped out the individual W/L quite yet. 

And, look, I’m not under any delusions that these blights of baseball statistics are completely going away. They’ve long been ingrained in baseball history — the 20-win season and 300-win career have been benchmarks forever — because in the early days of the sport, they were considered the best way to evaluate a pitcher’s contribution to a team’s victory. Those days are long gone, though.

Even if you’re not a fan of advanced metrics such as WAR, FIP or DRA (you should be, but whatever), there are better traditional ways to evaluate a pitcher’s value to a team, such as ERA (though that’s flawed, too). Individual pitcher wins/losses might literally be the worst of all options. 

Because even if you refuse to accept those newfangled stats, you have to admit there are just too many other things that happen during a baseball game to rationally award a decision to one individual player, starting with this: If a pitcher’s team doesn’t score, he won’t get a “W” for the day. In 1967, for example, Gaylord Perry threw 16 shutout innings against the Reds, but finished with a no-decision because his Giants didn’t win until the 21st inning. Four times in his career, Nolan Ryan threw at least nine full innings, allowed zero earned runs, struck out at least 12 and got a no-decision (including a 15-strike out, 0-walk 10-inning gem in 1990).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:39 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: wins

Brock Holt goes to the disabled list with vertigo

The Red Sox activated Jackie Bradley Jr. from the DL today. The corresponding move: putting utilityman Brock Holt on the disabled list. But it’s not due to a hamstring or anything like that. It’s due to vertigo.

Vertigo is a medical condition where a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they’re not. A spinning, swaying or dizziness. It can be caused by an infection, a concussion or any number of other things and the severity can vary as well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:35 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: brock holt, red sox, vertigo

Major League Baseball in Las Vegas? Commissioner says it’s an option

Major League Baseball would be open to having a team in Las Vegas, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

With two existing franchises — the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays — struggling to secure financing for new stadiums, the option of relocating a team to Las Vegas is very much on the table.

“If we were looking at relocation,” Manfred said, “Las Vegas would be on the list.”...

Manfred didn’t rule out the possibility of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, but added that “until the Tampa Bay and Oakland situations are settled, I can’t see talking about expansion.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays, relocation

A’s president Dave Kaval zeroed in on four sites for Oakland ballpark

“We’re down to three to four sites. They’re all in Oakland, but they are in different locations,” Kaval said. “I think baseball needs some new energy, and I think Oakland can be kind of the shining star for that new model.”
No word on whether one of those sites is on the water, an idea a fan floated last month.

A major announcement on the stadium can be expected this calendar year, Kaval said.

“We’re spending a lot of time on the transit and traffic plans, making sure any site that we pick, people can get to easily whether it’s public transportation, driving, parking, that kind of stuff,” Kaval said. “Especially in the Bay Area, there’s so much traffic for the fans. You’ve got to have an easy in-and-out, because if you don’t, people won’t come 81 times. That’s a critical part of the process.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:18 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Rangers release Josh Hamilton following another knee injury

It appears the baseball career of Josh Hamilton is, once and for all, done.
Hamilton, rehabbing from a left knee surgery, injured his right knee during rehab and will undergo surgery to repair it. The Rangers on Friday released him from his minor league contract.
Hamilton did not say he definitively planned to retire, but the reality is he will be a free agent at the end of this year, 36 years old and without a major league at-bat for two full seasons.
“I am disappointed but not discouraged that my knee problems have not allowed me to play this season,” Hamilton said in a statement. “I plan to have surgery on my right knee and then evaluate the situation. I want to thank the Rangers and all of the great fans for the support and encouragement. I really appreciate it.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:58 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton, rangers

Jon Lester offers Cubs fan his seats at Wrigley Field | SI.com

Oh, so his dad’s seats aren’t good enough!!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester

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