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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 | 179 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Phillies need to sell Jeremy Hellickson this time around – Phillies Nation

Doesn’t Kirsten Swanson know other teams have access to his full-season performance as well?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jeremy hellickson, phillies

Terry Collins deserves more time with Mets, but will he get it? - NY Daily News

Does Terry Collins know that he can throw some relievers multiple innings?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, terry collins

Sunday Notes: Tribe’s McKenzie, Mariners’ Motter, Barnette on the Shuuto, SSS Match-up Comps, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest.

Jeff Banister addressed match-ups and sample size prior to Tuesday’s game. The Texas Rangers manager brought up a salient point when doing so. When there’s not much of a history between a particular hitter and a particular pitcher, introducing comps to the equation can help.

“(You’re) finding like pitchers, like hitters, like stuff, matching them up and extrapolating them out to come up with a better predictor,” explained Banister. “So when you get that 15 to 25 at-bat matchup, which you go, ‘it’s a little light’ — if you can find comparables, and predict that out, there’s maybe a little more feel-good on decision making. But that’s challenging.”

———

Seattle’s Scott Servais had a similar take when I asked him if his club uses match-up comps when putting together their lineups.

“Quite a bit,” said the Mariners skipper. “Every team uses a different formula, or matrix number — whatever you want to call it — to line up. We certainly have one. Our analytic guys produce that number for me on a daily basis. I don’t go with it all the time, but the majority of time I do. It’s based not on just the handedness of the pitcher, but kind of what his fastball does, what his repertoire is, what our hitter does. It’s kind of a complex formula.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: news

Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive | Tampa Bay Times

“I can’t really think of one that tops that,” CF Kevin Kiermaier said. “I was just hysterically laughing out there.”

Souza said he heard from so many people he had to turn off the messaging on his phone, but he also engaged, sending a tweet to the folks running MLB’s StatCast asking for a breakdown, which it said was that he came up 23 feet short and had “0% catch probability but a five-star effort.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steven souza

Scott Boras says Jake Arrieta still elite pitcher even though velocity has dropped

And his shoes. His shoes look great. This are so shiny you can see your face. And have you seen his last haircut? Great! A great haircut!

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, pushed back on the notion Arrieta isn’t an elite pitcher just because his fastball velocity has dropped this year, while also insisting it’s way too small of a sample size to judge the free agent to be.

“The question becomes what’s [Clayton] Kershaw averaging?” Boras said Saturday at Dodger Stadium. “He’s throwing 92.5 mph. [Zack] Greinke is throwing 91.8 mph. [Max] Scherzer, when he was a free agent, was throwing 92 mph.

“We’re going to sit here and evaluate a player on a 60-day moment or a 10-start moment when he has three years of history. Don’t do it. That’s not fair. That’s not an evaluation.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, scott boras

Stephen Strasburg sets career high with 15 K’s | MLB.com

Should it really count when it’s against a bad AAA team?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, padres, stephen strasburg

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Homer Simpson inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Clearly deserving ... but near as I can tell Bugs Bunny is not there which is a travesty!

Walt Davis Posted: May 27, 2017 at 06:57 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, homer at the bat, simpsons

Cards notebook: Carpenter defies shift; Sierra still surging | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

“If their third baseman is not there, if they don’t have a shortstop playing third or someone on the grass on the left side, I’ll do it every time,” Carpenter said. “I look every time. If they had a true David Ortiz (shift) where they are all over there, I would do it every time. But they don’t because they know I would do it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 03:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Fantasy Draft Rankings for Imaginary Players

Roy Hobbs—The Natural
A 35-year-old rookie with a nebulous past and no minor-league track record to speak of? Sign me up! A shooting in a hotel room, an outfielder dying after crashing through a fence, and a bribe potentially influencing a top player’s effort all illustrate the challenges fantasy managers would have had in the 1930s had our game existed back then. Pick up Hobbs? Whatever. Life in Roger Towne and Phil Dusenberry’s scripted version of the 1952 Bernard Malamud novel is a depressing menagerie of horrific events, and there is a good chance you are going to die long before the season ends and you win your fantasy league. If you can survive this hellscape until 1964, eat at Arby’s in its founding year. Hobbs is the kind of player the worst owner in your league would spend all of his FAAB on. Don’t worry. That guy never pays attention and will finish fifth instead of 10th this year.

Fantasy take: Bid all of your remaining FAAB in mid-July.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2017 at 01:54 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in film, fantasy baseball, hollywood, roy hobbs

Former Senator, baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning has died

Former Republican Senator Jim Bunning has died.

He served as a United States senator from 1999 to 2011.

Bunning pitched in the MLB for 17 years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

His career was spent mostly with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies.

Bunning had suffered a stroke at his Southgate home in October.

He was 85 years old.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2017 at 01:52 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: jim bunning, obituary, phillies, tigers


Senator Jim Bunning Dies at 85

Former U.S. Senator and National Baseball Hall of Fame member Jim Bunning has died.

He was 85.

“Heaven got its #1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to family,” tweeted David Bunning, the senator’s son and a federal judge for the eastern district of Kentucky.

R.I.P.

QLE Posted: May 27, 2017 at 01:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jim bunning, obituary

Hollywood casts the Chicago Cubs - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

Kyle Hendricks: “Dustin Hoffman in ‘The Graduate.’ Embodies the quiet cerebral determination that Dustin’s character had in the movie. And I can’t deny that I project him to have a hidden mischievous side.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 11:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Phillies’ Bowa, Hernandez form bond that crosses generational and cultural lines

“We just had a meeting and I told these guys, ‘Even if all you go 0-for-4, you should still be dead tired at the end of the game from backing up bases, moving on pitches and going out for relays,’” Bowa said. “These are things that come into play. You’re in a position on the field where you’re always in the middle of the action. Double plays are huge. It’s the pitcher’s best friend. So you have to stay alert.

“In the end, they know I’m trying to help them, and if I see them trying to take shortcuts, I’ll let them know. It’s a grind playing this game every day. And if you think you have it licked, it will bite you real quick.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 10:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cesar hernandez, phillies

With 95 mph slider, Glover seizing opportunity to close - Nationals Pastime

Glover is doing his job thanks in part to some extra oomph on his secondary pitches. In the last few days, he has thrown six sliders that registered at least 94 mph. His final pitch last night to Renfroe was a slider that officially clocked in at 95.6 mph, the hardest slider for a swinging strike in the majors this season, according to MLB.com’s Statcast figures.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: koda glover, nationals

Brian Kenny on Twitter: “Regarding the Andrew McCutchen comeback: An absence of good news.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 10:25 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew mccutchen, pirates

Yankees ticket sales plunge; New York has lost $166 million since 2009 | SI.com

Wow.

Last year, Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost, went on the team’s local radio station, WFAN, and basically admitted the Yankees want to keep the riff raff away from the wealthy people who spend the big bucks.

“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money,” Trost said. “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and (another) fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount.

“And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

That disgusting comment is what turns people away. It has nothing to do with bells-and-whistles and deals that sound enticing, but in reality aren’t that good.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 10:22 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Friday, May 26, 2017


Rachel Robinson To Join Husband In Hall Of Fame

“Rachel Robinson has worked tirelessly to raise the level of equality not only in baseball, but throughout society,” Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark aid in a statement. “Through her grace, dignity and unsurpassed spirit, she continues to show the value, decency and importance of inclusiveness.”


Braves Rio Ruiz positioned to remain in Majors | MLB.com

Rio Ruiz was distraught last week when the Braves opted not to promote him from Triple-A Gwinnett after Adonis Garcia was placed on the disabled list. But when Freddie Freeman fractured his left wrist the next day, Ruiz was given an opportunity that has positioned him to remain Atlanta’s primary third baseman even after Garcia is activated.

Ruiz is far from a finished product, as there remains some concern about his strikeout rate, struggles against left-handed pitching and some defensive limitations. But as the 23-year-old third baseman recorded a career-best three hits during Thursday afternoon’s 9-4 loss to the Pirates, he gave the Braves further reason to believe he has at least earned the right to extend his development at the big league level.

“Is there room for growth? Yes, absolutely,” Ruiz said. “But I’m happy with my first homestand up here. I was glad I was able to help by getting some knocks.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 26, 2017 at 12:11 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rio ruiz

A look at what all 30 teams can do with MLB’s free agent mega-class of 2018-19

Over the next 18 months, as two trade deadlines and one offseason pass, all 30 teams in baseball will have one eye trained squarely on Las Vegas. The city’s reputation as chaos agent certainly won’t abate on account of baseball holding its most anticipated Winter Meetings ever there. What happens in Vegas will reverberate for the next decade.

For those who have yet to hear about the free-agent class of 2018-19, here’s a sampling: Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson, Daniel Murphy, Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Blackmon, Andrew Miller, Zach Britton, Craig Kimbrel. There are dozens more. Teams will guarantee $3 billion to players that winter. The number could exceed $4 billion.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 26, 2017 at 12:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Big League Talent Harder to Find in 2017

An area scout was discussing his region. But based on conversations with scouts around the country, he may as well have been talking about the whole 2017 draft class.

“I feel like a beachcomber with a metal detector,” he said, “and all I keep finding is a broken earring here or there.”

Scouts do not expect to look back at the 2017 draft with fondness. But they will look back and find big leaguers, even impact big leaguers, who came out of this class.

They’re just harder to find, and a bit less obvious.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: May 26, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: draft

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-26-2017

Chicago Eagle, May 26, 1917:

The old idea that a pitcher couldn’t hit is being rapidly dissolved. Ray Caldwell is the main pinch hitter of the Yankees. Walter Johnson is the leading pinch hitter of the Nationals.

But the premier bird of them is Babe Ruth of the Red Sox. Ruth is probably the best hitting pitcher that baseball has ever known. George Sisler started out as a pitcher, and he may have challenged Ruth’s title, but not even the Brownie star is as feared as the big left-hander on the Red Sox staff. He is not only a consistent batsman, but he is as likely to crack one over the fence or up into the stands as any man in baseball.

Meh. Small sample size. There’s no way this Ruth character would keep hitting so well if he got 500 at-bats per year.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 26, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history

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