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Friday, March 27, 2015

BBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!

We’ve finally got a date scheduled for this year’s NYC softball game, August 8.

Anybody who’s in contact with Primates who haven’t been around lately, please let ‘em know.

Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 27, 2015 at 06:49 PM | 234 comment(s)
  Beats: softball

Friday, May 22, 2015

Paul White: For baseball lifer, game goes on

I will also always remember calling the Baseball Weekly offices to try and get an answer to a baseball question about playoff tiebreakers. When the person who answered the phone didn’t have the answer, he said, “Let me get Paul.” I was surprised when Paul turned out to be Baseball Weekly’s editor, Paul White. We then had a very nice conversation about the MLB playoff tiebreaker, Baseball Weekly, and baseball in general. I appreciated his time. I have always appreciated his writing. Enjoy your retirement, Paul, and thanks!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 03:38 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball writers

Dodgers suspend Erisbel Arruebarrena for remainder of 2015 season

S ANGELES—Dodgers shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena has been suspended by the team for the remainder of the 2015 season “for repeated failures to comply with his contract,” the team announced on Thursday.

The infielder hasn’t played for any of the four Dodgers minor league affiliates currently in season, and was held back for extended spring training at the club’s facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.

“Erisbel is still a developing athlete. Our plan is to work with him in Arizona for a while,” Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler said in April. “We’ll examine and explore multiple ways of sharpening his all-around game.”

That all-around game is now off for the rest of the season, with team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman telling Bill Plunkett of Orange County Register the suspension of Arruebarrena was “an internal matter.”

Arruebarrena hit .259/.304/.417 in 68 games across four minor league levels in 2014, and in 22 major league games was 8-for-41 (.195) with a double, three walks and 17 strikeouts. He started nine games at shortstop for Los Angeles last year.

He was designated for assignment on Dec. 31, removing him from the 40-man roster, and sent outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Jan. 9 after clearing waivers.

The Dodgers signed Arruebarrena, now 25, to a five-year, $25 million contract in February 2014 that included a $7.5 million signing bonus. He has a $3 million salary in 2015 which, if the Dodgers have their way, will not be paid.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 22, 2015 at 01:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban, dodgers, erisbel arreuarrena, suspensions

Red Sox have quite a stockpile of talent in Greenville - Sports - The Boston Globe

“Potential means you haven’t done anything yet.” ~ Bill Parcels

With Moncada joining the rest of the group in Greenville, a significant piece of the Sox’ future could be taking shape. Of course, it’s also possible that one or three or even all of those players will encounter adversity, perhaps even get swallowed by it. In A ball, the potential for a future everyday role or even stardom is constantly qualified by the reality of attrition.

Perhaps players in the group won’t make the necessary adjustments in their approaches. Perhaps they simply won’t be as good against upper-levels pitchers. Perhaps they will be derailed by injuries.

The Sox are well aware of the lessons of stud prospects who missed (or at least have not yet seen their careers take root) for a host of reasons, from Lars Anderson to Ryan Kalish to Will Middlebrooks to . . . certainly, the list is extensive.

“That guy who is the can’t-miss first-round draft pick misses,” acknowledged Fenster. “You never know how guys are going to develop. You never know how and when guys are going to peak. If we had that crystal ball, we’d all be doing something a lot different.” [Emphasis added]

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 11:08 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, red sox

45 Ruth Pics from Library of Congress

The Library of Congress opened its photo vault and unleashed these great Babe Ruth pics. (from si.com hot clicks)

bbmck Posted: May 22, 2015 at 10:03 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, history

Brewers pitcher Will Smith ejected for using foreign substance

Umpires just don’t understand.

Brewers reliever Will Smith was ejected from Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Braves after umpires found a foreign substance on his arm.

With one out and Jace Peterson at an 0-1 count, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez asked umpire crew chief Jim Joyce to take a look at Smith’s arm, where he claimed to have seen something that wasn’t exactly sweat. Joyce went up, touched Smith’s arm, and quickly and calmly ejected him.

It’s not like it was particularly well-hidden, either.

Brewers television announcers Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder discussed after the ejection how foreign substances are, of course, illegal, but that many pitchers will use them anyway. However, the rule book is clear, Rule 8.02(b) says a pitcher shall not “have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically.”


Holding Separate Elections For Player and Non-Player Candidates Would Greatly Improve the Hall of Fame’s Era Ballot Vote Process

By holding separate elections for players and non-players, the Committee would be able to continue to add candidates who lasted 15 years in BBWAA voting while also having enough room on the ballot for candidates such as Grich, Evans, Hernandez, and Whitaker whose Hall of Fame cases are strengthened by advanced metrics but were too quickly dismissed by BBWAA voters.  In addition, putting the non-players on their own ballot would not only give the Committee space to select a solid candidate like Piniella but could also allow for intriguing non-managerial candidates such as Johnny Sain, Dave Duncan, and Leo Mazzone—each of whom made their mark as pitching coaches—to make their way onto their respective Era ballot.


Remembering How Mike Trout’s Road to the Red Sox Was Detoured

“I got into a discussion with a random fan at a game and they were saying, ‘How smart can you guys be? You missed the best player on the planet,’ ” said the Red Sox’ Northeast region scout. “I just said, ‘You want to hear the real story?’
...
It was simply more comforting getting the chance to see a player play more baseball. Both Red Sox scouts had seen him a bunch. (“He was a kid who was fun to watch. He was fun to scout,” Fagnant said. “I never dreaded that 5 1/2-hour drive to Millville because you always saw something good. it was fun to spend time with him.”)

But there was a definition in seeing a kid like Fuentes, who was excelling in the year-round baseball-playing climate of Puerto Rico.

“We just had less of an opportunity to scout Trout,” Haas said. “Some of us thought we had more of a powerful outfielder in [Ryan] Westmoreland than we probably did. And you’re sitting there watching Jacoby Ellsbury steal 40-50 bags in the big leagues and totally impacting the success of the organization and you would like to get that again. A lot of people probably thought here’s the next Ellsbury.”


OMNICHATTER 5-22-15

TGIF OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 22, 2015 at 08:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

wtop.com | Marvin Hudson is a stooge

Marvin Hudson is, by most accounts, not a bad umpire. He’s been in the league since 1998, and has been largely forgettable, which is one of the qualities an umpire should strive for.

He has been these things to most every team. Most every team except, that is, for the Washington Nationals.

Hudson was born in Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. This is interesting only because since 2012, when the Nats flipped the switch from perennial doormats to contenders and forged their rivalry with the Braves, Hudson has been a bizarre thorn in their side.

Consider this: Hudson has ejected just eight players or managers since September of 2012, a number that is quite reasonable and fewer than a good number of his peers. But of those eight, six have been Washington Nationals.


5 things MLB can learn from baseball in Japan. | SportsonEarth.com : Molly Knight Article

This.

1. Really make hitters stay in the batter’s box.

Sorry Bryce Harper. I love you forever, because you’re the best, but you were wrong Wednesday night when you argued balls and strikes, took a leisurely stroll toward your dugout, and then flipped off MLB’s new “stay in the batter’s box” rule by tapping the chalk with your toe after the home plate umpire told you to get your ass back in there.

At first I was against this particular pace of play rule change, because I thought it would be awkward and rush epic confrontations that require as many mental gymnastics as fast-twitch muscle fibers. But in the Giants/Swallows game, the innings flew by, in part because batters only left the box if they fouled a pitch off into the crowd, and that was so they could give the home plate umpire time to retrieve a replacement ball from his side pouch and toss it back to the pitcher.

MLB made this a rule before the season, but hitters mostly ignore it, with Harper himself explaining after he was tossed yesterday: “I’ll take the fine, because it’s not a priority for us to get in the box unless we really need to.” Um, Bryce, you really need to. Trust me. The sport needs you to move it along, and may have to do so by making the batter’s box rule stricter than it is now. You may be annoyed, but on the bright side you won’t have to wait as long to hit again. And reducing the time between your at-bats, and Mike Trout’s at-bats, and Joc Pederson’s at-bats, would only make the game that much better.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-22-2015

Milwaukee Sentinel, May 22, 1915:

President Somers of the Indians on Friday announced he had discharged Joe Birmingham as manager of the team. Unsatisfactory progress of the club is blamed. No successor has been chosen.
...
[Portland Beavers] Manager McCreedie…stated on Friday that he could not accept the managership of the Cleveland Indians, for which he has been mentioned since Owner Somers deposed Birmingham.

Asked why, McCreedie declared: “I don’t like to say, but there are reasons. I will talk about it further if the managership is offered me.”

Sources say he had a guy on the other line about some whitewalls.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Predictions of baseball’s demise from 1866 | Baseball: Past and Present

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:48 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Ricketts Family Buys 3 More Rooftops Across From Wrigley Field « CBS Chicago

Exactly how many of these businesses are there?

There are more than a dozen rooftop businesses along Waveland and Sheffield avenues, and the Ricketts family now owns six of those buildings after one of their entities purchased three buildings on Sheffield Avenue from Sheffield Finance, the Tribune reported

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:44 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, wrigley field

MLB commissioner: Yankees in the right on A-Rod’s $6M | New York Post

The teams’ man agrees with a team. STOP THE PRESSES!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, commissioner's office, yankees

Yankees will pay Alex Rodriguez’s home run bonus if .... | NJ.com

If you are going to release part of the contract, release the whole contract. I believe their claim that his homers weren’t marketable isn’t accurate. Sure, they *might* not have been able to make as much money as they potentially could have if ARod hadn’t gotten caught juicing but that’s debatable. With his start, Yankees fans surely don’t have him classified as a villian.

The team has released a portion of the contract that says it’s up to the Yankees to decide whether Rodriguez’s home run chase is commercially marketable. A-Rod’s run up to Mays, the Yankees determined, wasn’t marketable because of the stains from his PED scandal and season-long suspension in 2014.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Cup Of Coffee Club

Of the 17,808 players (and counting) who’ve run up the dugout steps and onto a Major League field, only 974 have had one-game careers.

pthomas Posted: May 22, 2015 at 03:42 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: careers in baseball, history

Keri: the History of the Eephus

That slow curve from El Duque that A-Rod launched into orbit was magnificent. But I wish I could have seen more of the true, 15-25 foot high eephus pitches.

If you ever want to watch 45 seconds of baseball magic, I direct you to this 1981 This Week in Baseball feature on Yankees relief pitcher Dave LaRoche. In the clip, LaRoche describes an at-bat against Brewers slugger Gorman Thomas: “Bob Lemon had just become the manager,” the veteran left-hander says. “He wanted to know if I wanted to put Gorman on, or what we wanted to do. And I said, ‘Well, how about if I just throw him my curveball?’”

Lemon had never seen LaRoche’s curveball in action. The skipper, and the 27,337 spectators at Yankee Stadium, was in for a treat. LaRoche’s curve was in fact a big ol’ blooper pitch. Unaccustomed to facing the pitch, Thomas swung hard, hitting a line-drive foul down the third-base line. Then came another one, this time ending with Thomas bunting the pitch foul. LaRoche tried to finish him with a fastball to the outside corner, but missed.

Then came another lob: A sloooow, high-arcing offering that went a good 15 feet in the air. To Thomas, the pitch had to look like a 24-ounce porterhouse, fat, juicy, and ready to be devoured. But to LaRoche, the pitch was a weapon, a tantalizer that could make a batter swing from his heels and come up with nothing but air. This was no ordinary curveball. This was “LaLob.”

If I were ever granted the power to become any type of pitcher, I’d want to become the greatest junkballer to ever live.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Keith Hernandez gets part of the credit for Lucas Duda’s southpaw success

“I’ll give most of the credit to Lucas Duda,” Collins said. “He is the one who has said, ‘I can hit lefties. I always have hit lefties.’ And I’m going to give Keith some credit.”

Hernandez—who hit .291 against southpaws during his career—downplayed his impact, but acknowledged Duda requested a session.

“We had one day where we worked together,” said Hernandez, a five-time All-Star as a lefty-hitting first baseman. “I just imparted to him tendencies of left-handers that I learned over 17 years, which I won’t divulge—just basically my experiences against left-handers. I just passed it on to him. But it was no alterations in his swing or anything drastic. It just was what I feel lefties like to do, how they like to work.

1.207 OPS for Duda against lefties this year in about 50 plates appearances. Small sample mirage? One of the things the Mets needed to happen for the Mets to be competitive this year was for Duda to be a productive play. Looks like that’s happening.

Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 21, 2015 at 06:29 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: keith hern, lucas duda, mets

Will two-way player Shohei Otani be Japan’s next MLB export?

How about a pitcher who can swing for the fences? San Francisco Giants ace and reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner—who has two career grand slams and homered four times last season—is one such dual threat.

So is Shohei Otani. If you haven’t heard about the 20-year-old Japanese sensation, you will soon. He plays for the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of baseball in Japan, but he has designs on playing major league baseball. His current team could “post” him in three or four years and allow him to sign with an MLB franchise.

Otani for is 20-4 with a 2.71 career ERA and 274 strikeouts in 259 innings over two-plus seasons in the NPB. He throws a 100 mph fastball—and he looked almost effortless while hitting that speed multiple times in this video from the 2014 All-Star Game. When he is in the lineup as a DH or outfielder, Otani hits with equal power. He has hit .251 with 15 home runs in 443 career at-bats.

Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: May 21, 2015 at 05:26 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dh, japanese baseball

Dustin Pedroia’s rep for delivering big things goes back to college

Some good stuff about Dustin Pedroia in college.

“I remember him just talking about wearing pitchers out—‘Yeah, I got him.’ He never met a pitcher he didn’t think he could hit.”

The bravado was nonstop.

“No fear,” Evans said. “His sophomore year, 2003, we went into Long Beach State. Abe Alvarez, who later played for the Red Sox, pitched Friday night and ASU got beat pretty good.

“Dustin does not like losing at all. He’s leading off the Saturday game against Jered Weaver, best pitcher in the country. First pitch of the game, he lines a ball to third base about as hard as you can hit a ball. He didn’t even get out of the batter’s box.

“On his way back to the dugout, he’s yelling, ‘We’ll be here all day,’ right at Weaver.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 03:22 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, laser show, red sox

How pitch framing has hurt Andrew Cashner in 2015 - MLB

How much this is impacting other pitchers on the team? Tyson Ross’ walk rate has exploded this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 03:13 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew cashner, padres, pitch framing, sabermetrics

How has instant replay changed baserunning? - Bucs Dugout

As Brandon Phillips put it, the game changes and adjustments simply have to made. The keys for fielders today are simply to be more precise with their tags, and to make sure baserunners who should be called out are, in fact, called out.

“But now you have to make sure to try your best not to make any mistakes because people can reverse the call,” Phillips said. “So that is one that does cross everybody’s mind. They want to make sure that they do make things happen, that they make sure they do get that guy out.”

So, instant replay has changed the game in intended and perhaps some interestingly unintended ways. As Clint Hurdle succinctly summarized this new era of tag play replay: “There is no doubt it’s become more physical around the base. You got to get down there and stick your nose in there and stick with the play. Both sides.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 11:03 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: baserunning, pirates, reds, rules of the game

OMNICHATTER 5-21-15

The “Oh Crud I Forgot To Put This Up At Midnight Because I Was Watching Letterman” OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 21, 2015 at 11:01 AM | 126 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Survey: Athletes making $17.94 billion on 333 top teams

Baseball players are paid too much! Argle-bargle!

But it’s the NBA that has the highest average per-player salary. At $4.6 million, the NBA ranks just ahead of India’s IPL cricket ($4.3 million) and MLB ($4.2 million).

The top three NBA teams are the Brooklyn Nets ($6.2 million per player), New York Knicks ($5.9 million) and Los Angeles Clippers ($5.3 million). The Los Angeles Dodgers ($8.0 million) lead baseball and the Royal Challengers Bangalore ($4.5 million) head the IPL list. Wondering how NFL teams fare? The football team with the highest average salary, the Miami Dolphins ($2.3 million), doesn’t crack the list until No. 124.

The survey reveals which teams spend the most on their players, including an analysis of 333 teams in 17 major pro leagues, covering seven sports, 13 countries and 9,731 athletes who are making a combined $17.94 billion.

Some of those big spenders have help. Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), for example, sponsors Real Madrid. Billionaire Sheikh Mansour owns Manchester City, which held the top spot in the survey the previous two years. Mansour is a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family, the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a man whose wealth is derived from oil. Mansour also co-owns, with the Steinbrenner family (the Yankees’ principal owners), the newly minted MLS franchise New York City Football Club—so baseball royalty meets actual royalty.

The amount of wealth in the sports landscape can be staggering. The Yankees are spending an average of $7.3 million per player—yet dropped from second to ninth on the overall list this year.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2015 at 10:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletes, dodgers, money, nfl, salaries, soccer, yankees

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