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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Did the Tigers throw games in 1917 to help the White Sox win the pennant?

It’s likely that most players on both sides were aware of the arrangement, but most of them were not directly involved. In that era if a key player, a pitcher for example, wanted to make some extra cash he might “Have a bad game.” A pair of players: Detroit pitcher Bill James and White Sox shortstop Swede Risberg later claimed that as many as three Detroit pitchers were promised a reward if they were to perform poorly in the four-game set. Those pitchers were probably James, Bernie Boland, and Willie Mitchell.

Wahoo Sam Posted: May 28, 2016 at 11:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago white sox, detroit tigers

Epic fall: Royals score seven in ninth to stun White Sox

Tough loss to Omaha, I mean, the Kansas City Royals.

It came the day after the bullpen blew a three-run lead to start a nine-game road trip. It was the Sox’ fifth loss in a row and 13th in their last 17 games and it left more than a couple players sitting at their lockers in stunned silence, a scene more common in late August or September than late May.

“When they won, I was like, ‘This is true?’ I can’t believe it,’’ Sox left fielder and former Royal Melky Cabrera said. “I just can’t believe it.”

Nor could a Sox fan base that saw its team storm to a 23-10 start and six-game lead in the American League Central. As the Cleveland Indians, who took three of four from the Sox at U.S. Cellular Field to start the week, won in Baltimore to knock the Sox out of first for the first time since April 22, “fire Robin Ventura” petitions were circulating on the Internet.

“You get to that ninth, and the way games have been going, you go to the guy to close it out, because we haven’t been able to get to him,’’ said Ventura, noting Robertson’s light workload of four appearances in the last 18 days and his first in five days. “There’s no time clock. If you can’t close it out, that’s what happens. And today we couldn’t close it out.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2016 at 10:57 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, royals, white sox

Mets Acquire James Loney to Shore Up First Base

This season, Loney was hitting .342 for El Paso of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. He batted .280, with four homers and 32 R.B.I., last year with Tampa Bay before he was released this spring. Loney, a left-handed hitter, ranked as the second-toughest hitter in the American League to strike out in 2015.

depletion Posted: May 28, 2016 at 09:22 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Carlos Beltrán, 400 Home Runs, 2,500 Hits, and The Hall of Fame

Beltrán’s career is winding down and it is doubtful he will attain the 500 home run or 3,000 hit-milestones that would make his Hall of Fame candidacy an open and shut case.  Nevertheless, Beltrán has quietly put together a fine career and, by reaching the secondary milestones of 400 home runs and 2,500 hits to go along with his other accomplishments, the veteran slugger has greatly strengthened his Hall of Fame case.


Mets are getting defensive about Dodgers’ outfield tactics

The Dodgers, after using the laser rangefinder, wanted to use markers on the playing surface to define the desired positions for their outfielders, and informed the Mets’ grounds crew of their plans.

So, rules experts, are these two tactics legal or not legal?

Fadeaway: The Baseball History Podcast Posted: May 28, 2016 at 04:30 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mets, mets being mets, shifts

Questions for the Cubs before they open a giant outdoor bar | Chicago Sun-Times

Quality of life is on the line, people, on the line!

Measured in baseball time, the Cubs’ venture into the outdoor bar business looks to be in about the fourth inning.

The Cubs can’t possibly believe this game is close to over, right?

Not when the Cubs’ proposal for an open-air drinking establishment next to Wrigley Field remains vague. Not when the quality of life in a whole neighborhood is on the line.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2016 at 10:19 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, wrigley field

Remington: How to Lose Fans and Alienate People: The 2016 Atlanta Braves

Watching the team fail so spectacularly, and seeing the front office blame the manager for losing with a roster that Babe Ruth and Joe McCarthy couldn’t save, raises a disturbing question: is the team being torn down and rebuilt by people ill-equipped for the task?

On May 1, the Braves tried to call up Emilio Bonifacio, a player they’d released in spring training then re-signed to a minor league contract. It turned out he was ineligible due to a rule that teams must wait 30 days to call up players whom they have cut and re-signed, a rule the front office had overlooked. “They bungle these little things,” says Bill Smith, a disability benefits specialist in Chattanooga. “You wonder if they know what they’re doing.”

Worse was the team’s blockbuster trade for Cuban defector Hector Olivera. Team scouts and then-manager Fredi Gonzalez loved him and pushed the front office to trade young pitching and prospects for the 30-year old third baseman, who was in the Dodgers’ minor leagues at the time, getting back into playing shape after two years moving through the administrative process of defection. Shortly after the trade, the Braves announced that he was moving to the outfield because they didn’t believe he could stick at third.

In early April of 2016, he was arrested on domestic violence charges and placed on administrative suspension by major league baseball. Before the league announced his punishment, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that the team was trying to trade him, only to find — predictably — that he is perceived around the league as untouchable. On May 26, the league handed down an 82-game suspension, announcing that Olivera will be ineligible to play until August 1. There is a chance that he may never play another game by the Braves.

“It feels like every move has backfired,” Tremayne says.

JEe (Jason) Posted: May 28, 2016 at 07:52 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: atlanta, barves, braves, fans, suckgate

Atkins on Blue Jays’ reputation: ‘I think we’re misunderstood’ - Sportsnet.ca

Ross Atkins recently wrapped up draft meetings with the club’s scouts in Florida and California and has also had an opportunity to review the club’s farm system. His take on what’s left after last summer’s trade deadline buildup? “There are some positives within our system,” he said. “There are some things that you guys saw in major-league spring training that give us reason to believe that we have some guys who could be every day major-league players. I think where we’re lacking is the depth of those guys that could turn into major-league players, that larger number of what we call in the industry a Role 4 player, someone who is maybe not an everyday player but a solid contributing player, who could turn into a five. That’s where we’re lacking a little bit of depth. Less margin for error. We have to make sure the guys that we feel are going to be great every day major-league players, become them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2016 at 07:49 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, general manager, ross atkins

OMNICHATTER 5-28-16

OMNICHATTER: The Motion Picture

Gamingboy Posted: May 28, 2016 at 12:22 AM | 215 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Friday, May 27, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-27-2016

Pittsburgh Press, May 27, 1916:

The Reds were playing the Boston Braves and Wade Killifer smashed out a home run. A fan, who is known as the “Milkman,” who paid his quarter to get into the bleachers, became so enthused over the home run that he went outside the park and purchased a bouquet for Wade. The “Milkman” rushed back to the park, paid another quarter to again get inside the park and gave the flowers to a ground attendant and they were presented to Killifer.

...and then Killifer filed for a restraining order, hopefully.

If this story is true, this has to be the game in question. Killefer hit a two-run inside the park home run in the fourth inning. I’m sure that would have been exciting, but it doesn’t seem like something you lose your mind over: A guy hitting a fourth inning home run to give his sub-.500 team a 2-1 lead in a nondescript mid-May ballgame.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 27, 2016 at 11:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: crazytown bananapants, dugout, fans, history

OMNICHATTER 5-27-16

I see a little silhouette of a man, OMNICHATTER OMNICHATTER can you do the fandango?

(Shout-out to “There’s a bustle in Misirlou’s hedgerow”)

Gamingboy Posted: May 27, 2016 at 11:48 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Baseball Prospectus | Tools of Ignorance: The Team-Mandated Player Opt-Out

Sign a player with an opt-out and hope he gets stupid? Oy.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2016 at 10:14 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Angels pitchers opt for stem-cell therapy | MLB.com

Interesting stuff.

Six years ago, Yoon began treating partial UCL tears with platelet-rich plasma injections, wherein a patient’s blood is spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets, which contain healing elements that are then injected into the affected area.

Yoon found that PRP worked for about 50 percent of patients. But in that time he also experimented with the use of stem cells from concentrated bone marrow and “noticed that the success rates, anecdotally, were much higher with regards to pitchers going back to throwing, and not having to undergo surgery.”

Yoon estimates that he has performed stem-cell procedures on 15 to 20 Major League pitchers and that “less than 50 percent” ultimately needed Tommy John surgery, though he is not allowed to reveal the names of his patients. The results can be misleading, in both directions, because success is contingent on the type of tear and the amount of time allotted for healing.

Dr. David Crane, who specializes in regenerative therapy for Blue Tail Medical Group in the Midwest, said he has done about 50 of these stem-cell procedures since 2004, the vast majority of them for pitchers in high school and college. About five were Major Leaguers, and Crane said only one wound up needing Tommy John surgery. He claims to have a 90-percent success rate overall, but he is also picky with the patients he chooses.

Said Crane: “If it’s a partial tear, and they still have the healing potential, and the stem cells from bone marrow are good, it’s a useful tool.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew heaney, angels, garrett richards, tommy john surgery

Hector Olivera’s suspension doesn’t fully clarify future with Braves | Jeff Schultz blog

Anyone is tradable.

While Olivera’s case appears headed toward resolution, his future with the Braves is less certain. The fact he remains an unproven commodity and is signed through 2020 (with salaries totaling $32.5 million, including $8.67 million this season), makes him relatively untradeable. Yes, I say that even though the team found a way to trade Melvin (B.J.) Upton (packaging him with one of the team’s most valuable assets, closer Craig Kimbrel).

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hector olivera

Wade Boggs feels ‘back home’ as Red Sox retire his No. 26 at Fenway Park

“I’m proud of it,” Boggs said of the ’96 Yankees’ ring. “But I didn’t feel like it was appropriate today being that it’s my day, it’s my number and everything like that. So I left it off.”

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: May 27, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: 1986, boston red sox, retired numbers, wade boggs

Thursday, May 26, 2016

MLB: Vin Scully recites the speech about baseball from “Field of Dreams”.

People will come, Vin.

Vin Scully recites the most iconic speech from a baseball film ever. #HallofFameTour

Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 26, 2016 at 08:29 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: heaven, iowa, vin scully

Twins suspend pitching coach Neil Allen after DWI arrest

Twins pitching coach Neil Allen has been suspended by the Twins after being arrested early Thursday morning under suspicion of driving while intoxicated.


Minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen will take over as major league pitching coach for the time being.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 05:53 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dui, neil allen, twins

Miklasz: Cards Blow a Chance to Beat Cubs: Another Reason to Despise the Sac Bunt

Old-school Bernie sounds more like Brian Kenny here…

But there’s a bigger picture here.

You have only 27 outs in a nine-inning game.

Every out is precious.

So don’t squander them on unnecessary sac bunts.

And never do it when you have a runner on second base with no outs — and three chances to get him home.

Matheny absolutely adores the sac bunt and I don’t know why.

The Cardinals have been among the most aggressive sac-bunter teams in the majors since Matheny took over as manager in 2012. In his first four seasons, the Cardinals ranked among the top seven teams for most sac-bunt attempts three times. And in the other year, 2015, they ranked 14th among the 30 teams.  This season only four teams have tried more sac bunts than Matheny’s Cardinals.

And for all of Matheny’s serial sac bunting — or as I call it, “Death By Bunting” — here’s where the Cardinals have ranked among the 30 teams in sac-bunt success rate each season:

2012 — tied for 17th.

2013 — 25th

2014 — 11th.

2015 — 20th

2016 — 22nd

Matheny remains undeterred. Despite reams of easily accessible data and that give current managers more information than ever to make educated and beneficial strategy decisions, Matheny manages like it’s 1957 or something.

All of the studies have produced or reaffirmed the same conclusion: sac bunts just aren’t a smart percentage play — and that’s especially true when you have runners on first and second and in possession of all three of your outs.

JEe (Jason) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 05:24 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: bernie miklasz, bunts, cardinals, mike matheny, yadier molina

Hector Olivera suspended 82 games for domestic violence incident

Braves outfielder Hector Olivera has been suspended 82 games under the league’s domestic violence policy, MLB announced Thursday. The suspension is retroactive to April 30 and will end August 1. Olivera agreed not to appeal.

“My office has completed its investigation into the allegation that Hector Olivera violated Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy on April 13, 2016,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Olivera violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will expire on August 1st. Mr. Olivera has also agreed to make a significant charitable contribution to one or more charitable organizations focused on preventing and treating survivors of domestic violence.”

The suspension stems from an incident at the team hotel last month. Olivera has been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery after a woman alleged she had been assaulted. MLB placed Olivera on administrative leave shortly thereafter.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 05:20 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, domestic abuse, hector olivera, suspensions

Mike Moustakas out with ACL tear

The Royals announced that they have placed third baseman Mike Moustakas on the 15-day disabled list with a tear in his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and have called up outfielder Brett Eibner from AAA Omaha. Moustakas injured himself in a collision with outfielder Alex Gordon on a foul pop up in Sunday’s game against Chicago. Gordon was placed on the disabled list earlier this week. Moustakas finished the game on Sunday, but missed all three games since then. Moustakas was hitting .240/.301/.500 with 7 HR 13 RBI in 27 games. He has already served a stint on the disabled list this year for an injured thumb.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 04:58 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: acl, injuries, mike moustakas, royals

List Of MLB Players With Fantex Deals

Who wants a piece of Jonathan Schoop?

Earlier this season, Fantex, Inc. announced that it had reached agreements with five new Major League players. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Fantex offers players an up-front sum of money in exchange for a percentage of their future earnings — typically 10 percent. Fantex essentially then treats the athletes as “stocks,” selling shares of the player to investors that stand to turn a profit if the player in whom they’ve invested ultimately earns enough in their career both on and off the field.

At first glance, a player who sells 10 percent of his future earnings for $4MM, for instance, would become profitable for the investors upon reaching $40MM in career earnings. Of course, there’s quite a bit more to it than that, as it remains unclear how taxes, Fantex fees, and yet other considerations are accounted for. All said, there’s quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding what is a fairly new concept; I took a look at some of the potential far-reaching impacts of Fantex deals when the last wave of deals was announced.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 02:52 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: fantex, stock

Tigers sign former prospect to contract 62 years after he declined $26,000 offer

The Tigers keep signing these old guys to contracts.

Each year, the Detroit Tigers sign several players to new contracts, as every team does. But 62 years ago, one man turned down an offer, one that would have netted him $26,000.

Earl Robinette was a Tigers prospect with a big outfield arm and switch-hitting ability. He was also a part of a family that owned a farm, which played a huge role in his decision to decline the contract.

Since that day in 1954, Robinette has regretted the choice, but the 80-year-old got a do-over Wednesday. According to the Detroit Free Press, Robinette was offered a one-day contract by the Tigers, which he signed at the very table that hundreds of players have sat at before.

“We had to dust off a contract that’s been sitting around for 50 years, for crying out loud,” Tigers vice president John Westhoff said. “Have a seat. You need to sign something.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 02:48 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Tony LaRussa invades booth to argue with Pirates braodcaster

Despite not being division rivals, the Pirates and Diamondbacks have a bit of bad blood dating back to 2014, when Andrew McCutchen and Paul Goldschmidt were at the center of a hit-by-pitch war. McCutchen suffered a rib fracture as a result of being hit.
Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, the two teams again traded hit-by-pitches. Pirates righty Arquimedes Caminero hit both Jean Segura and Nick Ahmed with pitches up around the head, which is always scary. D-Backs righty Evan Marshall responded by hitting David Freese.

spanx for the memories Posted: May 26, 2016 at 02:37 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona diamondbacks, pittsburgh pirates

Mangan: Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard Have Been The Best 1-2 Punch in Baseball

Also, Scott and Lassus Have Been The Best 1-2 Punch on the Self-Immolation Thread…

The Mets lead in K-BB%, GB%, FIP and xFIP. They trail only the Cubs in ERA and only the Nationals in strikeouts per nine innings. They place 4th in this group in WAR, although that is primarily a function of the fact that they have the fewest innings of the bunch — the Mets have 17 starts from this duo while the other couplings have 19 or 20. This is owing to the fact that Syndergaard has yet to make his tenth start and Matz missed one turn in the rotation.

This is just a snapshot of the present, not a promise of the future, but it is easy to see the Mets duo continuing on this torrid pace, while some of these other pairs are outperforming what we might expect of them. For instance, Cueto and Strasburg are each veterans beating their career ERAs by about one run. Even though Strasburg’s emergence looks sustainable, it’s likely that Cueto is more of a 3.25 ERA pitcher than a 2.38 ERA pitcher. Other pitchers are wildly outperforming their peripherals, most notably Quintana who has a 0.14 HR/9 and is beating his xFIP by over a run, and Hammel who has a 2.17 ERA despite a K-BB% which is actually worse than league average. Even Arrieta, as great as he is, is probably closer to his FIP (2.71) than his ERA (1.72).

As for the young Mets, Syndergaard alone has staked a claim to “best pitcher, non-Kershaw division” by playing 2nd in FIP, 2nd in K-BB%, and 3rd in WAR in this group. Matz, for his part, has pitched to a microscopic 1.13 ERA/2.15 FIP with a sterling 23.2 K-BB% since his one disaster inning in his first start on April 11th.

There is a good argument to be made for most of these duos, although I would probably rank the Dodgers (Kershaw/Maeda), Mets (Syndergaard/Matz) and White Sox (Sale/Quintana) a little ahead of the rest, with the Nationals (Strasburg/Scherzer) as potential spoilers if Scherzer gets back on track.

Nonetheless, you’ve got to be impressed with Syndergaard and Matz, who lead in two other categories I forgot to mention: average fastball velocity (their average of 95.8 mph is more than 2 mph faster than the Cubs) and lowest salaries.

JEe (Jason) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 02:35 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard, pitching, rankings, steven matz

Uncompetitive Minor League Wages Might Be Deterring Talent

For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume that there are two types of amateur prospects: You have the elite ones who ultimately get big signing bonuses. Then you have the non-elite ones who aren’t good enough to get big signing bonuses. If you are in the first group, you’re certainly going to go pro regardless of your socioeconomic status. You get a big signing bonus and get to play baseball for a living. That’s a win-win.

Now let’s say you’re a player in this second group. You’re good enough to go pro, but not good enough to command more than a few thousand in signing bonus. Let’s split this group into sub-groups.

If you’re rich, you probably go pro since the money isn’t a huge factor for you. You probably have some money in savings and/or a family willing to support you. But, since you were a fringy prospect to begin with, you probably don’t make it to the majors. This drives down the overall success rate for the rich.

If you’re poor, the decision is a tougher one. While the idea of playing baseball for a living sounds great, you also need to put food on the table. You may have very little savings, and your family may not have the means to support you. As a result, an outsized share of the poor group are the guys who got big bonuses (who are also likely to play in the majors). In other words, the low wages are basically weeding out the fringy low-income prospects, which drives up the major league success rate for the poor.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 02:13 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league, salaries

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