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Monday, June 27, 2016

40 years ago, Mark (The Bird) Fidrych was ‘some kind of unbelievable’

Bob Uecker, who along with Bob Prince and Warner Wolf called the action for ABC, warned the new Bird watchers.

“He’s one of the funniest guys I have seen come along in baseball in a long time. He has outstanding stuff and you’re going to see a lot of antics from this young right-hander tonight.”

As noted in his 2013 biography, “The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych,” author Doug Wilson wrote: “Mark seemed to be all Prince, Uecker and Wolf were able to talk about on the air as they only occasionally interrupted their discussions of The Bird to inject minor details such as the batter, score and inning. The actual game seemed secondary.”

At one point Prince declared, “he’s giving me duck bumps and I’ve watched over 8,000 games. He’s some kind of unbelievable.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 01:59 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark fidrych, tigers

Why Mark McGwire would make a great manager someday | FOX Sports

Green told me McGwire is the most humble superstar he has ever been around. He doesn’t want to talk about himself or his career, he always wants it to be about their current players. He also said it only took about a couple weeks for Big Mac to get his flow and learning what Green needs from him during a game. That’s an incredibly short amount of time for two guys who had never worked together.

So when I asked him if Mark McGwire could be a big-league manager one day, Green was hesitant to speak for his bench coach.

“It’s not my place to say what his desires might be, but in my opinion he could absolutely do it and do it well if he wanted to,” Green said.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 01:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, mark mcgwire, padres

ESPN: Team president Randy Levine on suggestions that Yankees should become sellers at trade deadlin

I am a little surprised Levine said this. He’s 100% right, but publicly dissing writers for saying stupid stuff usually doesn’t happen.

Team president Randy Levine on suggestions that Yankees should become sellers at trade deadline: “I don’t pay any attention to any of that. That’s for you guys [with] nothing more important to write about that to write nonsense. When we decide to become sellers, if we decide to become sellers or if we decide to become buyers, you’ll know. The difference is that most of you guys have never run anything and we have a lot of history here of knowing what we’re doing. [We have] a lot of confidence in our baseball operations people. So, we’ll see what happens. All the rest is just noise.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: media, yankees

MLB Rookie Report: Chad Kuhl, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates - Minor League Ball

Another Chad Kuhl scouting report.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 12:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chad kuhl, scouting reports

BA: Scouting Reports For Top International Prospects For July 2 (subscription req’d)

1. Kevin Maitan, ss, Venezuela
Born: Feb. 12, 2000. Height: 6-2. Weight: 175. B-T: B-R. Video….

The biggest split among scouts is where Maitain projects best defensively. He’s a shortstop now and should be able to stay there at least early on in his minor league career. He’s athletic and a plus runner underway, though with his body type he will probably slow down a grade. Maitan has good hands, footwork and body coordination at shortstop. His arm is another plus tool, though his arm strength can get funky when he drops his elbow, but that’s nitpicking for his age. Whether Maitan stays at shortstop long-term depends on how his body develops. Given the way Maitan is built and how much room he has to add size to his frame, many scouts expect him to outgrow shortstop and slide over to third base, where he has the tools to be an above-average defender. Others think if he can stay lean and loose, there’s no reason he can’t play shortstop. He’s more athletic than Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, while Xander Bogaerts is another example of a shortstop who stayed agile enough to defy early-career expectations that he would move off the position.

Maitan is an exciting, high-upside talent who has a chance to hit in the middle of a lineup with impact OBP and power potential while providing value on the defensive side as well. He is expected to sign with the Braves for more than $4 million and shatter the Venezuelan bonus record of $2.8 million for Blue Jays righthander Adonys Cardona in 2010.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 12:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international signing

Yankees to sign deal with StubHub to be official ticket resale partner

The New York Yankees will announce Monday morning that they are transferring their resale business, Yankees Ticket Exchange, to StubHub, which will take over for Ticketmaster as the team’s new fan-to-fan ticket exchange.

Financial terms were not available, but the business is believed to be worth more than $100 million to the Yankees over the term of the contract.

The deal brings to an end a long battle between the team and StubHub, which began in 2012 when the Yankees were one of two teams—along with the Los Angeles Angels—to opt out of Major League Baseball’s deal to renew StubHub’s role as the league’s official secondary ticket market maker.

It also ends a controversial move that the Yankees and Ticketmaster made at the start at the season, when they banned print-at-home ticketing and PDFs in favor of mobile transfers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 11:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: stubhub, tickets, yankees

Bucco Blog | Monday Mop-Up Duty: the core collapsed, now can it rebound?

Pirates notes.

>>Chad Kuhl accounted well for himself in his debut against Clayton Kershaw. He was competitive. His fastball sat between 95-97 mph. He has a live arm. His secondary stuff lags behind his fastball and it’s in part why he didn’t put up monster strikeout numbers at the minor league level. He lived up to his Baseball Prospectus scouting report:
“Kuhl would have an above-average fastball just based on velocity (he sits in the low 90s), but what makes it a plus pitch is that there’s a tremendous amount of sink to it. He’s got the stuff to be a groundball machine, and the power of his fastball/sinker allows it to miss bats.

Kuhl also throws a slider and a change, and while those pitches lag behind the sinking fastball by a considerable margin, they’re both usable. The slider is another groundball pitch with late tilt, but doesn’t have depth and isn’t going to be a swing-and-miss offering at the big-league level. The change offers a bit of tumble, but it lacks firmness and there’s a slight difference in arm speed when throws it. They’re both competent pitches, but neither pitch would get an above-average grade, unless you’re a very lenient grader.

Kuhl’s command isn’t elite, but he’s generally in the strike zone, and he repeats his delivery well enough to suggest that the command and control should be big-league average as he matures physically and mentally.”

He looks like a big league arm, though not an impact one — unless the secondary stuff makes a jump.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 11:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

This kid at the TCU-Coastal Carolina CWS game is our new comedy hero | MLB.com

This kid is great.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 10:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: college world series

OMNICHATTER 6-27-16

The “Whoops Sorry About Yesterday” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: June 27, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Stroman shows signs of progress but still hasn’t quite found it - Sportsnet.ca

Stroman, meanwhile, will try to lock in on the gains he made Sunday and leverage them when he starts the Canada Day matinee against the Cleveland Indians on Friday.

“You don’t want to think when you’re out there, but I’ve been struggling so obviously I’ve been thinking in between starts, just doing everything I can to get myself where I need to be, but for the most part when I’m out there, I’m not thinking, I’m just trying to execute my pitches and get on the same wavelength as Russ (Martin),” said Stroman. “Definitely not thinking, maybe overthinking a little bit too much between starts, trying to change too much, but I’m not far from where I need to be, and I know it’s just around the corner.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 10:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman

Angels pitchers Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney hoping stem-cell treatment helps them avoid Tommy John surgery

When Garrett Richards left his last outing at Texas on May 1, he felt arm fatigue. The club said he was dehydrated and cramping. A subsequent MRI revealed rather he had torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, a setback that requires Tommy John ligament replacement surgery for most pitchers.

The standard recovery takes up to 18 months.

Richards, instead, hopes to avoid the daunting post-surgery timetable and pitch again in a potential wild-card race thanks to a stem-cell shot he received last month from Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

“It’s an option, and I decided to take it,” Richards said. “Why not?”

So, on May 16, Yoon extracted bone marrow from Richards, concentrated it and injected the mixture back into the UCL in his elbow, aiming to repair the injured ligament.


Marty Barrett and the disappearance of baseball’s hidden-ball trick

“I guess Bobby Grich just loved it,” Barrett said. “It was like the greatest thing for him.”

Not so much for DeCinces, who apparently allowed the embarrassment to eat at him. According to the book, Finding the Hidden-Ball Trick: The Colorful History of Baseball’s Oldest Ruse, his aggravation seeped into the following season’s playoffs. Because he had been victimized, he vowed revenge against the Red Sox, according to author Bill Deane. DeCinces tried the trick against the Red Sox during Game 2 of the ALCS, when Spike Owen was on third in the eighth. Red Sox third base coach Rene Lachemann alerted Owen before DeCinces could lay on the tag.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 09:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hidden ball trick

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-27-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 27, 1916:

Cleveland American League players wore numbers on the sleeves of their uniforms in [yesterday’s] game with Chicago, for the first time in the history of baseball so far as known. The numbers corresponded to similar numbers set opposite the players’ names on the score cards, so that all fans in the stands may easily identify the members of the home club.

Numbers? On uniforms? It’s a fad. It’ll never stick.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, uniforms

Mets to trade top prospect? Source says: “Rosario going nowhere” | Newsday

They say he isn’t going anywhere.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amed rosario, mets

Odubel Herrera staying in center field | MLB.com

“Go out there and take some fly balls to change your perspective a little bit,” Mackanin said about his motivation to have Herrera work in right field. “That’s it. There’s no plans to move him. If he reads something into it, good. Maybe he’ll think that he needs to do better. There’s nothing imminent. There’s no plans for me to move him out of there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 08:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: odubel herrera, phillies

Trumbo on All-Star support: “It makes you feel pretty special” - School of Roch

Trumbo began last week trailing the Red Sox’s Mookie Betts by only 27,023 votes for third place in All-Star balloting, which will be updated again today before teams are announced on July 5 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. He’s batting .279/.330/.554 with 22 home runs that lead the majors and match his 2015 total. His 55 RBIs lead the Orioles.
Mark-Trumbo-back-on-deck-white.png“I don’t actively check it,” Trumbo said. “I have updates that come in from time to time. I guess it’s a nice situation to be in, but it’s also kind of a distraction, too. It’s inevitable you’re going to think about it a little bit, but there’s more important stuff going on out there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2016 at 08:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: all stars, mark trumbo, orioles

OTP 2016 June 27: Republican comeback after eight years? Yeah, on the baseball diamond

Gallego, who joined fellow Democrats during their sit-in of the House, was suited up and ready to play and rolled his eyes when a reporter tried to ask a question about politics.

“I love baseball,” said Gallego. “I’ve been playing since I was about 6 years old.

“It’s tradition of the Democrats playing the Republicans every year and I wanna take part in that this year,” said Gallego, a freshman playing in his first game here. “So I’ve been practicing with the team and hopefully I get to play today.”

Even though the stands were clearly divided between Republican and Democratic supporters, players and fans alike said the partisanship pretty much ended with the team lineups and the seating arrangements.

“You can tell that people are joking and cheering and it’s not very like, you know, mean-spirited even with all of the stuff that’s been going on lately, so it’s nice,” said Hannah Brown, a college student in D.C. for a summer internship. “It’s very American.”

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: June 27, 2016 at 07:30 AM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, politics

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Clayton Kershaw’s peak stacks up with all-time greats. | Sports on Earth

Verdict: I’m sorry, but Johnson, after all these years, still wins. Yes, there were only 16 teams, and they were all white guys from the United States, but as far as dominating the sport from the mound, no one has done the job at the level and the volume of The Big Train.

There were some surprises in this exercise. Johnson still reigns. Pedro may still take the modern division, but Maddux is right there with him. Grove has two separate career peaks. And amid the names of Pedro, The Meal Ticket, The Franchise and Big Six, Clayton Kershaw fits right in.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 04:17 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, history

15 hitters contenders could try to acquire at the trade deadline

The Boston Globe’s Sunday Baseball notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 03:39 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox


Touching all the bases in the Cape Cod League

It sounds like The Hurler makes one want to hurl it later.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 12:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur baseball, cape cod league

Baseball making big shift in defensive strategy | The Sacramento Bee

Meulens is blunt about his feelings on the shift.

“It should be illegal, really,” he said. “Why should there be a guy standing in (shallow) right field?”

Well, for a defense, because it works. Baseball Info Solutions calculates shifts saved 267 runs last season and already have saved 194 this year. But while it’s easy for defenses to reposition an infielder or two, Meulens argues, it’s not so easy for hitters to adjust.

“It’s hard for guys to change their swings on 90-plus-mph fastballs, or on cutters inside,” Meulens said. “How are you going to hit that the other way? You’re going to pull it as a left-hander.”

Somewhat resignedly, Meulens said, that’s how the game has changed. Hitters may try to beat the shift with the occasional bunt, but many don’t feel comfortable doing so. Mostly, Meulens said, changing your approach against the shift is “the last thing you want to do.”

His advice to those hitters, then?

“Just hit the ball as hard as you can.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, strategy

Cuban team visit shows US baseball relations still caught in past - NY Daily News

Change can’t come fast enough for Cuban players.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball

Are we getting a glimpse of life after David Ortiz?

Holt will be back soon.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brock holt, clay buchholz, david ortiz, red sox

Cleveland Indians riding high, but still need to make deal: Rant of the week | cleveland.com

The Indians can win with what they have. Frazier may be ready fairly soon. Brantley may also be contributing after the break.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 09:35 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

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