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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Designated Aesthetic: Why the National League DH Debate Can Be Irrational Without Being Invalid «

Although I’ve preferred the DH for years, I did not much care whether the NL had the DH or not. The daily implementation of interleague play has changed my opinion. You see, I really dislike interleague play. The current implementation of interleague, which sucks for a number of reasons, further penalizes teams which sign dedicated DHs, like the Red Sox, as they lose that bat during 10 games.

So, instead of bickering over whether MLB should get rid of the DH, maybe we can all agree to push MLB to get rid of interleague play, which nobody can dispute, is a far bigger abomination than the DH or pitchers batting.

And if you think I’m crazy for liking all this stuff, that’s fine. I might be. My liking the DH is almost certainly the result of growing up in a National League media market before MLB.tv, so DH-free ball was all I ever knew as a kid. But if you feel differently, there’s a league for you. I don’t mind that the two leagues are different. In fact, I wish they were more so — that we still had no interleague play, and more restrictive rules on trades and waiver claims between the two leagues. Walling off one league from another creates divergent evolutionary paths, allows us to peek into an alternative timeline. We get this in sports where difference in culture dictates a different style of play. To a certain extent this is true in baseball — the Japanese play baseball differently than Americans do. But it’s not as extreme as in other sports. We see the difference during international hockey, on the big ice with no trapezoid, and basketball, where goaltending rules are different and they call traveling.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 11:40 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter, rules of play

Behold: The case against the DH « Dodger Insider

Jon Weisman picks up the torch for the “anti-DH side”.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 11:35 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitters, rules of the game

Rangers have support system in place to help Josh Hamilton; How it will work | Dallas Morning News

Although the Angels should have worked to give Hamilton as much support as they could, I can’t buy into the idea it was some type of moral responsibility for them. Hamilton’s sobriety was his responsibility. As such it was on him (and his representation) to make sure he had the support system he needed. I hope, for Hamilton’s sake, that his sobriety isn’t dependent on the Rangers because, no matter how well his battle goes while he is a Ranger, he’ll have a lot of life left to live when his playing days are over.

With Hamilton, an addict going through divorce, there are significant hurdles that must be cleared. The Rangers will once again put a support system in place for Hamilton. It is perhaps something that was lacking during his two-season stint with Los Angeles, which effectively ended when Hamilton self-reported a relapse in his substance-abuse battle this winter.

“Between my last relapse in 2012 and this last one, a lot of my support system was removed and other pieces added, not all by my doing,” Hamilton said. “I’m taking it back to 2012 and to pre-2012 to the support system that I want to have and that I feel is the best for me. I’ve put all those pieces back in place to help me not drink, use drugs and be the guy I want to be for the organization and for my family. I’ve tweaked my support system. It’s better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 11:27 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamiltion, rangers

Bumgarner rejects idea of DH moving to National League, takes offense at Scherzer’s “wet newspaper” comment

“Oh, well, my wet newspaper is 34 ½ inches, 33 ½ ounces, and I’m waiting on some new ones right now,” said Bumgarner, asked for comment.

“What if he got hurt pitching? Should we say we can’t pitch anymore?” Bumgarner said. “I hate what happened to him. He works his butt off out there. But I don’t think it was because he was hitting. What if he gets hurt getting out of his truck? You tell him not to drive anymore?

Bumgarner is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts and a sacrifice this year, but few pitchers loom as a bigger threat at the plate. Last season, he hit four home runs – and became the first pitcher to hit two grand slams in a season since 1966, when Atlanta’s Tony Cloninger hit two in a game at Candlestick Park.

Jeff Kent was unavailable for comment.

 


Injuries impact newly expanded Top Draft Prospects list | MLB.com

This year’s draft is a jumble.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, prospects

Baseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: Scott Boras Has Baseball’s Most Accurate Projection System

PECOTA wasn’t the first projection system. Bill James introduced his BROCK2 system in the 1985 Baseball Abstract.

Fascinating that Scott Boras had his own advanced projection system, three years before Nate Silver debuted PECOTA here at BP. More impressive, Boras’ system not only projects a few years into the future, but 16 years into the future. Most impressive of all: Look at those numbers! Why, Rodriguez would not only break the all-time home run record, but the doubles record, too! And RBIs. And runs. And be within range of the Hit King, too.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 09:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, projections

Bill Plaschke: Angels drop the ball in dumping Josh Hamilton - LA Times

I wonder how much other players with drug problems will be impacted by this whole mess.

“I worked my butt off to be that guy this year going into this season with the Angels,’’ Hamilton said Monday. “They just didn’t want that to happen for some reason.’‘

You think?

Hamilton also challenge Moreno’s assertion that he was not accountable, saying, “I have no clue what he’s talking about. I showed up every day and played hard when I was there.’‘

He added: “[Moreno] knew what the deal was when he signed me. Hands down, he knew what he was getting. He knew what the risks were. He knew all those things.’‘

Moreno made his bed, and then he dumped it when the sheets became itchy, and if that doesn’t scare away prospective Angels free-agent prospects, nothing will.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton, rangers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, April 28, 1915:

Ray Schalk, the former Brewer catcher, has started out to play such wonderful ball for the White Sox this season that he promises to be the sensation of the baseball world before the season has advanced much further. Ray, who has been recognized as one of the leading catchers of the game for the last two seasons, has shown up his rival paddists to such an extent this spring that baseball critics declare he will occupy the pedestal of Kingpin Maskman of the World all by himself before the season is over.

Old-timey writing never ceases to impress me. “Paddist” and “Maskman” are excellent slang terms for catchers.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ray schalk

Is it too early to panic about Red Sox rotation? - Sports - The Boston Globe

A lot of my friends are panicking about the way the Red Sox starters are pitching. As an article graphic makes note, this group has historically been slow starters. It’s surely an issue to keep an eye on but, really, they aren’t this bad. This is clearly not a great rotation but I still believe it’s a decent one. So, at this point, I’d keep doing what the Red Sox are doing. In another month, swap out the starters who haven’t stabilized with one or two of their young starters in Pawtucket and look to trade for one of the potential free agents in July.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 06:53 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

GM: “We can make up the ground that we’ve lost so far.” « Major League Bastian

Chris Antonetti on the state of the Indians.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2015 at 06:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris antonetti, indians

4-28-2015 OMNICHATTER

The “Stay Safe, Baltimore” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: April 28, 2015 at 12:03 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marlins designate Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment

The Miami Marlins’ free-agent deal with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be remembered as a bust. They are optimistic that his rookie replacement will fare much better.

Saltalamacchia was designated for assignment Monday, even though he has nearly two seasons left on the $21 million, three-year contract he signed before the 2014 season. He played poorly last year and lost his starting job early this season to top prospect J.T. Realmuto….

The Marlins will try to trade Saltalamacchia but likely will wind up releasing the South Florida native. Either way, they probably will be responsible for the bulk of the nearly $14.2 million remaining on his contract: $6,158,470 this year and $8 million next season.

If he clears waivers, any team could sign him for a prorated share of the $507,500 major league minimum, and what the Marlins owe him would be reduced by that amount.

Saltalamacchia batted .222 last season with a slugging percentage of .357, worst among regular catchers. He also committed 15 errors, the most by a catcher since 2003. This year he is 2 for 29 (.069) with 12 strikeouts….

Saltalamacchia played his final game for Miami on Thursday, and then went on paternity leave

At least he can spend more time with his kid now.


Brandon McCarthy out for the year with torn UCL

Nick Johnson thinks Brandon McCarthy is injury-prone.

Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy got bad news with the results of his MRI on Monday. The right-hander has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and is out for the season.

The club placed McCarthy on the 15-day disabled list on Monday. He is still talking though his options with doctors, but it seems unavoidable that Tommy John surgery in in McCarthy’s future.

“It certainly looks one direction and I don’t want to be one of those guys who plays the string out for a few months only to kind of waste everybody’s time, myself included,” McCarthy said. “If we need to get it done, we’ll get it done.”

The return timetable if McCarthy has surgery is 14-15 months, essentially putting him out until the 2016 All-Star break.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 27, 2015 at 10:03 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon mccarthy, dodgers, tommy john surgery, ucl

Orioles game postponed amid violence, series could be moved

Far, far, FAR down on the list of priorities of what is happening in Baltimore now, but…

Monday night’s Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards was postponed due to escalating unrest throughout the city stemming from the death of Freddie Gray last week, and new baseball commissioner Rob Manfred suggested the series could be played elsewhere.

Manfred, who was visiting Camden Yards by coincidence while making the rounds to visit to all 30 teams, acknowledged that Nationals Park in Washington could be an option. Manfred said the decision to postpone the game was made to ensure everyone’s safety.

Gamingboy Posted: April 27, 2015 at 09:42 PM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, white sox

Baseball Past and Present:  Womack:  MLB salaries stayed low longer than people may think

Marvin Miller became executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 because for 20 years prior, things got progressively worse for players.

Consider that in 1967, the minimum salary in the majors was $6,000. The first minimum salary in 1946 was $5,000, and, accounting for inflation, minimum-salaried MLB players got 29.8% less in 1967 than they did in 1946….

But it’s only been a recent development that minimum-salaried players get several multiples more than they would have in 1946. As late as 1979, adjusting for inflation, minimum-salaried players got just 12.7% more than they would have in 1946.

It took until the 1985 for the MLB minimum to be 100 percent higher than the 1946 minimum adjusted for inflation….

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:35 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: history, player salaries

Source: Matt Harvey to get at least 30 starts but no more than 32 - Newsday

One good way to limit Harvey’s innings is to not pitch him when he’s ill or when he has ankle issues.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 10:46 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Fraley: Baseball history has plenty examples of why Josh Hamilton reunion won’t be as fruitful as before | Dallas Morning News

Gerry Fraley doesn’t believe in the Josh Hamilton acquisition.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 10:44 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: josh hamilton, rangers

Abnormal Things That Fastballs Do » Warbird Academy

This popped up in my Twitter feed today.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 09:46 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Pitchers batting is dumb and the DH should be universal | HardballTalk

Watching pitchers hit is like watching the bathing suit competition in a senior citizen beauty pageant.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 389 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitters, rules of play

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-27-2015

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 27, 1915:

[Mysterious] Walker is making one grand kick against the Federal League. The former Brooklyn pitcher is in the sad plight of being out in the cold after taking a one-year flyer at the Federal League game.
...
The portals of organized ball are closed to him; the Feds are overstocked with players. The minor leagues being part and parcel of organized ball can offer the big pitcher no relief.
...
“Here I am in first-class shape and I spend $350 of my own money to get in condition,” said Walker yesterday. “I have taken care of myself all my life and tried my best and yet here I stand like some ostracized criminal with the gates of employment in my baseball profession closed to me.”

At this point, Walker was a 31-year-old pitcher with a career 5-19 record and a lifetime ERA+ of 78. Another data point in support of the “mediocre employees should try not to anger management” hypothesis.

Walker was back in the Federal League that July and pitched poorly, as you might expect. He disappeared from the records in 1916-17 (blackballed?) before resurfacing in the International League in 1918.

Corey Klübermensch (Dan Lee) Posted: April 27, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, mysterious walker

Video: A-Rod’s solo homer | MLB.com

A-Rod hits number 659. He’s getting closer to Willie Mays. This is a big deal; it’s Marketing 101.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Video: Gordon’s leaping catch in stands | MLB.com

This is an impressive catch.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:54 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, defense, royals, white sox

Alex Guerrero is forcing the issue with Los Angeles Dodgers - Los Angeles - Dodgers Report - ESPN

“When a guy’s swinging the bat, you’re going to find playing time for him,” Mattingly said. “That’s just the way this game is.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:49 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: alex guerrero, dodgers, juan uribe

Nats playing miserably; perhaps just as bad, some seem depressed - CBSSports.com

Name names.

The Washington Nationals, everybody’s favorites before the season started, are playing miserably.

So miserably in fact that the detractors are starting to surface with pointed criticisms. According to two scouts who have seen them this year, the Nats appear “lifeless” and/or “flat.” (One voted flat, the other lifeless.)

And, if they are flat or lifeless on the field, you should see them in the clubhouse, where some of them appear moribund. The room is close to dead, too dead for late April.

Some of the players look like an 8-year-old who lost his puppy, not professionals whose team is on a losing streak and has been there before. If they told us that it’s only 19 games and that they are still a great team, that would work fine. And a few of them did suggest just that Sunday (notably Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper). Good for them.

But some others appear to be taking their terrible start hard, harder than is necessary even. That’s not necessarily a good sign, either. Taking losses hard is part of the unwritten code in baseball. But this team, in some quarters, appears more depressed than the Nats teams that suffered some tough postseason defeats in recent years..

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2015 at 06:45 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals


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