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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

The 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

Updated 6:15 ~ 83 Full Ballots ~ (14.5% of vote ~ based on last year) ~ As usual…BBWAA ballot digging is welcome!

98.8 - P. Martinez
98.8 - R. Johnson
88.0 - Smoltz
81.9 - Biggio
79.5 - Piazza
————————————
72.3 - Bagwell
63.9 - Raines
60.2 - Schilling
45.8 - Bonds
44.6 - Clemens
42.2 - Mussina
27.7 - E. Martinez
21.7 - Trammell
16.9 - McGriff
14.5 - Lee Smith
13.3 - Kent
  7.2 - L. Walker
  7.2 - McGwire
  6.0 - Sheffield
  6.0 - Sosa
————————————-
  1.2 - Garciaparra
  1.2 - Mattingly
  1.2 - Pete Rose (McWrite-In)

Big thanks to Ryan Thibs, Ilychs Morales & Butch for all their help! And check here for Thibs’ excellent HoF Ballot spreadsheet.

Took their ballot and went home - Buster Olney and Lynn Henning.

Repoz Posted: December 17, 2014 at 07:31 PM | 361 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ammenheuser: Picking the next Baseball Hall of Fame class

It took Ammenheuser longer to sign his name on the ballot… “After a lot of statistical examination and careful review of their careers, I chose to include Raines and Schilling to join Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Smoltz.”

The holdover list is much more enticing. The debate rages whether Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and Sosa belong in the Hall. Alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs will likely keep them out. And that’s too bad. Bonds and Clemens, specifically, were among the game’s elite performers before the alleged use began. But how can we tell when it actually began? That fact will cost them votes. Including this one.

I can make very good cases for Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Smith, Mussina and Schilling.

After a lot of statistical examination and careful review of their careers, I chose to include Raines and Schilling to join Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Smoltz.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2014 at 01:37 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Dave Annebheuser’s HOF Ballot

His choices- Pedro, Unit, Smoltz, Raines, and Schilling. FTFA…

“I can make very good cases for Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Smith, Mussina and Schilling. After a lot of statistical examination and careful review of their careers, I chose to include Raines and Schilling to join Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Smoltz.

Who do you think I should have included?”

I don’t know, maybe the other five guys you considered…

TJ Posted: December 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Rob McMillin: Transparency In The Hall: An Appreciation Of Repoz’s Gizmo

Or as I told Rob…“I think the MLB Network should have a 3-hr show of all HOF ballots being opened…with a Sammy Petrillo-type host using a magic wall.”

It is probably not too strong to suggest that Darren Viola’s Hall of Fame Ballot Collecting Gizmo — an annual event for a number of years now — has sparked a dialogue about transparency in BBWAA voting that is vastly overdue. That it must be crowdsourced is understandable (at least for a while), as is the humble and necessarily incomplete means by which it operates. I came across a piece today from one Steve Buckley in the Boston Herald which neatly encapsulated many of the problems I have with the process, while somehow managing never to mention the Gizmo

...There’s a bunch more there, including why we need to shame the anti-steroids voters, and especially the “they all did it” tar-and-featherers. It’s one reason why I’m especially pleased to see Buster Olney’s surprisingly principled protest empty ballot, even if I think the act is misguided in some wise. There’s just no excuse for keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens out of the Hall, and something needs to be done about it, sooner rather than later. Thank you, Darren, for helping to get this out in the open.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: gizmo, hof

Tampa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist can play infield and outfield, is 33 and will be a free agent after next season, so it’s time to examine potential trade partners because it makes sense that the Rays will try to move him | FOX Sports

From what I have read and heard from the Rays front office, they aren’t throwing in the towel on competing in 2015. I don’t see them trading Zobrist unless they start off next season poorly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2014 at 08:40 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Ace Maeda re-signs with Carp | The Japan Times

He would have gotten more than $2,492,437.04 in MLB.

Hiroshima Carp ace Kenta Maeda on Wednesday re-signed with the Central League club for ¥300 million, up ¥20 million from last season.

“The club not only valued my results but also the way I played,” the 26-year-old said after signing the new deal at Mazda Stadium.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2014 at 08:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Benjamin Hill’s Minoring in Business announces first annual Bizzies award winners | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

The CLAWlossal is not something I would order.

Therefore, what follows is my first annual “Minoring in Business” Awards—the Bizzies, if you will—culled from my extensive ballpark travels during the 2014 season. The eight inaugural honorees, each representing an arbitrarily chosen category, have all gone above and beyond in their quest to make the Minor League Baseball fan experience as memorable as possible. Congratulations to all of the winners, as being included in this article surely represent the pinnacle of achievement within the baseball industry.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2014 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business, minor league promotions

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-26-2014

Milwaukee Sentinel, December 26, 1914:

The superstitious idea of a “jinx” is not uncommon in baseball. The worst case was that of poor old Kid Baldwin, one of the grandest catchers of his time.
...
Pitchers began to fear to pitch to him. It was strange, but it seemed as if some misfortune happened to all the players who were his closest friends. It drove him out of the business. He tried the minors; and found them even worse.

When he left Cincinnati he gave away a pair of baseball shoes. Oddly enough, every player who wore those shoes got hurt. One scoffer who tried it after several had thrown them away broke a leg.

“Kid Baldwin’s shoes” hung in the club house for years. No one dared touch them. Finally they disappeared. A boy was suspected. The news came that the boy had broken his leg playing ball down in the bottoms—and the players were sure he was the thief. Whether the ill-luck followed those shoes further no one knew—but for years, whenever a player was hurt, the athletes would remark: “He must have been wearing Kid Baldwin’s shoes.”

Has anyone checked to see whether Nick Johnson owns a pair of baseball shoes from the 19th century? I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, Kid Baldwin’s story is pretty grim. He partied and drank himself out of the big leagues before his 26th birthday, bounced around the minors for a while, literally went years without seeing his wife, nearly went blind, became homeless, continued to drink heavily, and was eventually confined to a mental hospital until he died at age 32. (Hat tip to Baldwin’s excellent SABR bio.)

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 26, 2014 at 08:03 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, kid baldwin

Buckley: Hall of Fame voting needs transparency | Boston Herald

At some point in this column I am going to share my selections for this year’s baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

But before I do — and, sincerely, this isn’t a cheap device to hold your attention — some annual housekeeping needs to be done.

First of all, voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who do not reveal their choices are hacks, cowards and, oh, I don’t know, maybe even racists. Wouldn’t you like to know the names of the 23 press box sages who didn’t vote for Willie Mays in 1979? Or the nine who didn’t vote for Henry Aaron in 1982?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2014 at 07:40 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, December 25, 2014

HardballTalk per MASN: Orioles Re-Sign Delmon Young

Happy Xmas Orioles fandudes—you’re getting a Delmon!

Delmon Young is staying in Baltimore, as Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the 29-year-old former No. 1 overall pick has re-signed with the Orioles on a one-year deal worth $2.25 million.

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: delmon young, orioles

Yankees’ cold-blooded A-Rod approach was missing with Jeter

The organization that talks more about winning-or-bust than any other — maybe more than all the others combined — last year prioritized Derek Jeter’s farewell tour over victories.

Let us count the ways:...

If you did not see this decaying performance, you were watching with your heart, not your eyes, and/or you get all of your baseball information from The Players’ Tribune…

NattyBoh Posted: December 25, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, derek jeter,, retirement tour, yankees

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Braves To Sign A.J. Pierzynski

Mmm, pierogi and grits.

The Braves have reached a one-year deal with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports on Twitter.

The District Attorney Posted: December 24, 2014 at 01:57 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pierzynski, braves, free agents, transactions

Rosecrans: Hall of Fame voting raises more questions than answers

Too sensible!

As for the steroid era, I believe performance-enhancing drugs work. I believe they were an unfair advantage used by many in the game — and continue to be used and abused in the game. What I don’t know is who used and who didn’t. We all have our suspicions and beliefs, but we don’t know for sure.

In the end, what I know for sure is what happened on the field. So that is the only thing I know for sure and the only basis of judgment I can make…

That means both Barry Bonds — the best player I’ve ever seen (before and after his alleged turn to steroids in 1999) — and Roger Clemens — one of the best pitchers I’ve ever seen — will get my vote.

The evidence against them is damning. I believe both used steroids and I have strong convictions that others I’ve deemed worthy, also used….

So, if you skipped everything above just to get here, go back up and read the rest before you call me dirty names and at least understand my thinking, but here’s my ballot (in order): Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines, Larry Walker.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:36 AM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, hof confusion, peds

The Twins May Have Weakened a Weakness | FanGraphs Baseball

Do the Twins really need defense?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:18 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, sabermetrics, twins

Santa Claus remembers Cleveland Indians whether they’ve been naughty or nice | cleveland.com

It’s gift time in Cleveland.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:17 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

J-Roll: John Middleton aspires to be ‘Steinbrenner South’ | Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Salisbury goes on to ask what Middleton is like, suggesting a George Steinbrenner of the South type of figure who is willing to go to whatever lengths possible to put a winner on the field.

“That’s his ambition, to be Steinbrenner South,” Rollins said.

“You can feel it when you meet the guy, he wants to put a winner out there. But he wants to be in control, don’t get it wrong. But he wants to put a winner out there very badly. I know he would like to have more influence, obviously have majority ownership then he can do the things he feels is best. I think he has to be muted just because the way the ownership is done there. They listen to him. He’s probably one of the youngest of that group but if he had it his way he’d be majority owner and be doing a lot of different things with the team I think.”

As for Rollins’ response when asked about Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr, the usually quick shortstop paused for a second before going with, “hopefully successful.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Sports Analytics: The Extra Man

Posting this primarily for the summary at the end of the article:

The way to operationalize any sports analytics initiative would be to follow the below steps:

Data Engineering Layer – The first and critical step is to ensure there’s integration of all the available data (both internal and external) into a common database since incomplete data will yield non-optimized results/analysis.

Structured Problem Solving Platform - While most analytics products focus on complex analytical techniques and quantitative methods, getting business problem definition, analytical design and data selection right heavily influences the efficiency and efficacy of all downstream tasks along the analytics value chain.

Intelligent Systems – Easily implementable and scalable operational intelligent system platform in place capable of both real time as well as batch analytics through a life cycle paradigm including data capture, data processing and deployment of analytical tasks to help generate consumable business insights for consumption.

Consumption of Analytics – Many organizations fail at this step. Creation and consumption of analytics has to go hand in hand in order to reap the holistic benefits of any analytics initiative. Two aspects need to be taken care of: identifying what information is actually helpful and who would benefit from it.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, sabermetrics

Orioles still interested in Padres’ Seth Smith and Will Venable, sources say - Baltimore Sun

Smith and Venable aren’t great but they are useful players.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, padres, trade rumors

Big gap still exists in Mets’ Tulowitzki talks—and Yankees check in on SS - CBSSports.com

Will one of the New York teams ante up?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 24, 2014 at 11:02 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, troy tulowitzki, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-24-2014

Milwaukee Journal, December 24, 1914:

With the money obtained from the sale of a herd of steers, Walter Johnson, star pitcher of the Washington American league club, yesterday mailed a draft reimbursing Charles Weeghman, president of the Chicago Federals, for the bonus given Johnson when he signed a Federal contract. The draft was for $6,000.
...
“As far as I’m concerned the incident, which has proven an unpleasant one to me , at least, is now closed,” Johnson said. “There is nothing more I can do. I shall report to the Washington club when the spring training season opens.

Charles Weeghman, president of the Chicago Federals, will refuse to accept the $6,000 returned by Walter Johnson, according to James A. Gilmore, president of the Federal league. Gilmore said he had not hear a word from Johnson in answer to his invitation to come here and submit his contracts to a trio of Chicago lawyers.

Don’t hold your breath, Jim. I don’t think he’s coming.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 24, 2014 at 08:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history, walter johnson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Topps Bunt app: Can the company save itself and a beloved hobby with baseball cards that live inside your phone?

Shoutout to Sy Berger.

“The initial thought exercise, in 2012, was, If you were to re-create a baseball card, in our day and age, what would it look like?” Michael Bramlage told me. “First thing was, it should live on your phone. You know, the phone in your pocket is about the same size as a baseball card.”

Bramlage, the vice president, digital at the trading card giant Topps, is talking about Bunt, the free app I used to open a pack of Topps Frozen Phenoms.  My phone shuddered, and gold digital confetti exploded on screen when the pack turned out to contain a “super rare” Yasiel Puig card… Were I to trade that Puig card to another Bunt user—Bramlage says trade offers pour in at the rate of more than one per second—any return I’d receive would be similarly notional. If I kept it, I could slot it into my Bunt lineup, and Puig’s real-world statistical output would earn me points in an in-app fantasy game, which would in turn earn me “coins” that I could use to buy more digital cards.

You can also spend real money to buy those coins—it costs $9.99 for 20,000 or $74.99 for 500,000 if you’re in the mood to splurge… The result is a Web success big enough to leave a Pablo Sandoval–sized offline footprint, both through a robust secondary market—rare Bunt cards, and others with “digital signatures” that mirror players’ autographs, are priced in the hundreds of dollars on eBay—and multimillion dollar revenues through the app…

progress makes Grandpa Simpsons of us all, and this is not a cloud worth screaming at. It’s tough to see Bunt as anything but a necessary evolution in a business that needed one, and a way to make something I cared about relevant and appealing to people who’ve never had reason to think of it as either… One generation’s cards are neglected in dust-shrouded boxes; another’s move and grow, relentlessly, in the permanent mint condition of the Internet. Which seems more valuable to you?

The District Attorney Posted: December 23, 2014 at 08:54 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, business, internet, topps

Is Yasiel Puig baseball’s worst baserunner? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

A look at Puig on the bases.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2014 at 07:03 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: baserunning, sabermetrics

Sherman: Yankees’ cold-blooded A-Rod approach was missing with Jeter

Pasta diving Lupica:

The organization that talks more about winning-or-bust than any other — maybe more than all the others combined — last year prioritized Derek Jeter’s farewell tour over victories.

Let us count the ways:

Hal Steinbrenner ordered his re-signing — and at decent money — though Jeter was coming back from a horrific ankle injury, there was infinitesimal history of a shortstop succeeding at Jeter’s age and despite there being pretty much zero chance Jeter was going to soil his legacy by trying to get paid more to play somewhere else.

Brian Cashman never put a shortstop on the roster better than Brendan Ryan or Stephen Drew who would have offered a no-brainer alternative to Jeter. And Joe Girardi persisted with the absurdist statement that playing Jeter day after day at shortstop and batting him second gave the Yankees their best chance to win.

There was not a scout or stat that backed up that contention on either side of the ball. For example, just 89 players accumulated 200 plate appearances from Aug. 1 until the end of the season. Only one member of that group finished in the bottom six in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. And Girardi let that obviously tiring player be the only Yankee to hit that plate-appearance benchmark while desperate to find the wins to get into the playoffs. That player was, yes, Jeter.

If you did not see this decaying performance, you were watching with your heart, not your eyes, and/or you get all of your baseball information from The Players’ Tribune.

I understood the charade. Steinbrenner did not want to be the owner who let Jeter go and Girardi did not want to be the manager who benched him. Not in Jeter’s victory-lap season when an entire sport wrapped him in loving embrace.

But the contrast to how the Yankees are handling Alex Rodriguez is stark.

JE (Jason) Posted: December 23, 2014 at 03:48 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, derek jeter, ped, yankees

Steve Popper’s First HOF Ballot

Popper’s Votes- Bonds, Clemens, Unit, Pedro, Smoltz, Piazza, Bagwell, Biggio, Schilling, and Mussina.

If voting for PED suspects is OK with, you, it’s a pretty good ballot/article- nice job, rookie!

TJ Posted: December 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

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