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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A ‘Major League’ interview with director David S. Ward

Ward: Well, part of the setup in the third movie is that they did make it to the World Series but lost when “Wild Thing” gave up a walk-off homer in the seventh game and he just retires from baseball. Even though he’s older, he’s coming back to mentor this young fire-balling reliever they have. They also need a set-up man and Eddie Harris (played by Chelcie Ross) teaches “Wild Thing” to throw junk because he doesn’t have the heater anymore. He does set-up work while he’s mentoring the fire-baller. They’re not a hopeless team, they are in contention, but they can’t seem to get over the top. I don’t think we could go back to having them be a hopeless team. You have to do something different. So the big thing in the movie is that he finds out that this young fire-baller that went to Harvard doesn’t want to be mentored. He has a degree in biomechanics and he feels he knows everything there is to know about pitching. It turns out that it’s Ricky Vaughn’s illegitimate son from one of his many romantic assignations while he was a young man about town in Cleveland and the kid hates him. Charlie Sheen is already on board. We have a lot of people who would love to make the movie but unfortunately the people who own it, Morgan Creek, are not one of them. We have several investors who would make it in a heartbeat, but Morgan Creek owns it and isn’t giving up the rights to it. They’re trying to do a television series called “Major League” but they’re just using the title. They don’t have any characters from the movie. I don’t know what’s happening with that but I’m not part of it and neither is Charlie. If the television show doesn’t happen hopefully they’ll take a look at doing the movie or allow someone else to do the movie.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-25-2016

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, October 25, 1916:

One of the tragedies of baseball is the passing from the limelight’s glare of “Smoky Joe” Wood. The rival of Johnson for the American league twirling honors a few years ago, he has now passed into the discard.
It was a pitching duel at Hot Springs, Ark., [in the spring of 1913] that ruined Joe’s career. The Red Sox were pitted against the Pirates in a workout game…[Wood] put everything he had on the pellet. The next day Wood was unable to lift his flinging arm higher than the height of his shoulder.

I’m no doctor, but that sounds suspiciously like a torn rotator cuff. Anyway, the rumors of Wood’s demise were greatly exaggerated. His pitching career was over, but he returned to the big leagues in 1918 as a semi-regular outfielder, hitting .298/.376/.433 from 1918-1922 and winning a World Series ring with the 1920 Indians.

Speaking of the 1920 Indians, Wood had a teammate that year whose story was among the biggest tragedies in baseball history.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 25, 2016 at 10:21 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Big League Prospect Who Became a Mob Hit Man - The New York Times

Well, this is different.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2016 at 08:54 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Arizona Diamondbacks land Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye

The exodus of talent leaving the Red Sox over the last year does not fill me with hope.

The Diamondbacks’ new-look front office continued to take shape Monday with the addition of Red Sox executive Amiel Sawdaye, who will become the club’s senior vice president and assistant general manager, a source said Monday night.

Sawdaye, who has been with the Red Sox since 2002, will be the second in command to new General Manager Mike Hazen. The two overlapped in Boston for 11 years.

Sawdaye ran the amateur draft for the Red Sox from 2010 to 2014, during which time the club selected Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Swihart and Matt Barnes, among others. He spent the past two years as vice president of amateur and international scouting.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2016 at 06:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, general managers, red sox

Even The Data Thinks The Cubs May Have Been Cursed | FiveThirtyEight

So, he’s saying the Indians have a chance?

One of these franchises will see its championship drought end soon. If the baseball gods have any mercy, they’ll reward the Cubs for assembling what will probably go down as one of the best squads of all time. Yet, as a Cubs fan myself, I’ve been trained to believe that seasons can only end in heartbreak. But whether or not it ends this year, statistically speaking, the curse can’t persist forever. Probably.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2016 at 06:43 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Heyman - Kyle Schwarber Expected To Be Activated For World Series

This is an unexpected twist. It will be interesting to see whether this works out or not.

“Hit a couple of rockets,” one Cubs person said before stopping just short of confirming Schwarber is a go.

But it was suggested by sources with Cubs ties that it would take an unusual occurrence for him not to be activated. If so, he’d be expected to be in the starting lineup as the DH for Game 1 Tuesday night vs. Corey Kluber.

“Pretty sure he’s in there (Tuesday),” according to one Cubs connected person.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2016 at 06:41 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, kyle schwarber, world series





Gamingboy Posted: October 25, 2016 at 12:01 AM | 142 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Monday, October 24, 2016

Yankee Stadium being updated with new areas for fans

SUNRUN KIDS CLUBHOUSE: The Sunrun Kids Clubhouse will be Yankee Stadium’s first-ever children’s zone. Shaped like a mini-baseball field with a soft artificial surface, the 2,850-square-foot area will be located on the 300 Level in right field and will be outfitted with Yankees-themed playground equipment, including oversized baseballs, bases and baseball cards. The Sunrun Kids Clubhouse will be accessible to all Yankee Stadium Guests.

Children will be able to play among the colorful fixtures, including a 6-foot-high replica World Series trophy. Parents can join their children on the play area or choose to oversee them from a nearby dugout. Television monitors will ensure that no one misses any game action. There will also be a shaded section of the play area with interactive exhibits. The Clubhouse will also include two family restrooms equipped with changing tables. Nursing mothers will have an additional private space, which will include lounge chairs, a television and power outlets for those using electric breast pumps.

“We want our youngest fans to feel as if Yankee Stadium is an extension of their local park or backyard,” Steinbrenner said. “The Sunrun Kids Clubhouse is designed to nurture their love for experiencing games in person, while providing parents the resources they need to keep their children entertained prior to and during the game.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 24, 2016 at 09:40 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: kids, stadium renovations, yankee stadium

Are statheads responsible for the most exciting postseason in years

There was a time 10 years ago when it was considered normal to poison your neighbor’s cat if he (your neighbor) didn’t agree with you about statistics in baseball. It sounds absurd, but sabermetrics was the biggest issue in the 2006 mid-term elections. Activists outraged at the inclusion of VORP in school textbooks urged on massive book-burnings outside major league stadiums. The AL Central briefly seceded from the American League. Thousands of fans moved to Canada when they didn’t like the general manager their favorite team hired.

Ten years later, we live in a world scarcely imaginable to a loyal traditionalist of the time. The four teams in the two league championship series last week were all, according to an ESPN ranking of teams’ devotion to analytics in 2015, in the top two tiers of statheadiness. The Cubs and Indians, this year’s World Series entrants, were in the top tier, “All-In.” The Blue Jays and Dodgers were labeled “Believers,” and each team has only strengthened its stathead credentials since then. (The Blue Jays, for instance, poached a president and general manager from that All-In Cleveland front office.) The front offices of all four LCS teams trace their lineage to the Big Four stathead fortresses of the late 2000s: The Dodgers’ top executives are descended from the Rays’ and A’s; the Cubs’ from the Red Sox’s; the Blue Jays’ from the Indians’; and the Indians from, well, the Indians’. Three of the four even hired employees right out from under me at Baseball Prospectus, where I was their editor. But no hard feelings.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 02:56 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: world series

Tigers analytics department now hiring, will soon unveil ‘Caesar’ |

Ok, why Caesar?

Sartori and Avila revealed last week that they’re nearing completion of a new internal software system called “Caesar” that should be operational in January.

“We will be hiring several more people in that area that will basically just be doing the calculations, mathematics, formulas that they create to help us make better decisions, which is not in place right now, and hasn’t been,” Avila said.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 10:41 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-24-2016

Ogden Standard, October 24, 1916:

“Bill” O’Hara, once a star left fielder of the Toronto International league team and a former scout for the New York National league club, has been recommended for the military cross in recognition of of his bravery and skill in hurling bombs for the British army on the Somme battlefield, according to advices received [yesterday] from his home in Toronto.

When O’Hara played in the International league he was noted for his strong and accurate throwing. O’Hara, a lieutenant in a Canadian regiment at the front, is now hurling bombs instead of baseballs.

Unlike many of the men who fought in the trenches at the Somme, O’Hara was lucky enough to make it back home to Canada.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 24, 2016 at 10:02 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Cleveland Indians in World Series really is bigger than game—Terry Pluto (photos) |

Having the Red Sox win changed on perspective on the Red Sox. The angst is gone. When they win now, great! When they lose, it no longer feels traumatically painful. Instead, it’s an “oh well” feeling.

I’m happy that at least one fan base will be able to share my feelings soon. At the same time, I already feel bad for the fans of the losing team.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:42 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, world series

Indians embrace underdog role in World Series against Cubs

There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, world series

Cleveland Indians’ Salazar throws 3-inning simulated game; next stop World Series? |

Well, the World Series is about as deep as you can go.

“I feel really strong right now,” said Salazar, when asked how many innings he could throw. “The way I feel right now is the way I feel when I’m 100 percent.”

Callaway wouldn’t speculate if Salazar would start or relieve. But manager Terry Francona, after announcing his first three starters for the World Series as Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin, left the door open when he said the rotation was TBA (to be announced) after that.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, danny salazar, indians, world series

Who’s cheering for the Cleveland Indians in the World Series? At least one big-name celebrity |

Who is in charge of tracking celebrity fans for Fox?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:31 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Chief Wahoo, Cleveland Indians’ logo, heads to the World Series. Prepare for outrage. - Chicago Tribune

On Thursday, NBC Sports lead baseball writer Craig Calcaterra called on Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to act.

“Given the Indians return to the international stage, the usual protests about Chief Wahoo will be louder than they typically are and Commissioner Manfred will be asked about the matter,” Calcaterra wrote. “I hope he does what no one else seems willing or able to do: eliminates Chief Wahoo, now and forever.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, logo

Cubs clinching pennant changed mindset that has been around far too long - Chicago Tribune

They still need to win to complete the transformation.

In five years, President Theo Epstein successfully undid decades’ worth of damage to the Cubs brand, systematically reprogramming a front office and a fan base so that gradually the recognizable red “C” has come to symbolize only success — no longer futility. Hiring manager Joe Maddon and his library of mantras before the 2015 season only reinforced the positive vibe that had begun to buzz. Nobody rolls their eyes anymore at the suggestion of the Cubs going all the way or relies on their reputation for losing as a punch line.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, world series

How two men brought hope back to the Chicago Cubs | FOX Sports

I’ve been impressed by Arod’s work as an analyst. He clearly works hard to prepare for the broadcasts.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 07:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, cubs, red sox, theo epstein, yankees

Chicago native Jason Kipnis meets Cubs in WS |

Someone is going to win; someone is going to lose. Which fan base will feel the ecstasy of victory and which will feel the misery of falling short, again?

The Cubs are part of who I am,” Kipnis said.

In his backyard as a kid, Kipnis played through the same scenario as plenty of kids who grew up on the North Side. It was the ninth inning in a critical World Series game. The count was full. His team was down. He was stepping to the plate with a championship on the line at Wrigley Field, which has not hosted a Fall Classic since 1945.

“I always thought it was going to be the bottom of the ninth,” Kipnis said. “It’s the top of the ninth now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2016 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians

OTP 2016 October 24: Breitbart Radio Exclusive: Curt Schilling Joins Breitbart News Rotation Weekdays 9AM to 11AM ET

The Arizona native said he is depicted as a close-minded, hateful man in the media when the opposite is true.

Schilling said an example of how he is treated in the media is his recent appearance on CNN with Jake Tapper.

“I asked him as a person of the Jewish faith, why people, who practice that faith would be supporters of the Democratic Party — given their anti-Israel, anti-Jewish stance,” he said. “After that — I was called an anti-Semite — and I am thinking to myself: ‘What a minute?’”

Yet, all the time, Christians are asked to defend or attack policies based on their being Christians, he said.

“I am not taking my news anymore from ‘the media’ because the media has very clearly given all pretenses away of objectivity,” he said. “They want and need Hillary Clinton in the White House.”

Only *2* more weeks until Election Day.

(Views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter naming dogs for Tribe players in a play for home

CLEVELAND, Ohio—Kluber and Kipnis are being shopped around on the eve of the World Series, but there is reason to cheer, Indians fans.

The names belong to two dogs at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, where four others also have been named from the Indians roster.

Really mostly worth it for the pictures of cute dogs in Indians jerseys.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 23, 2016 at 02:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dogs, indians, world series

Nick Cafardo: In playoffs, bullpen strategy can make or break a manager

Nick Cafardo’s newest notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 23, 2016 at 11:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpens, general managers, notes

Sunday Notes: DH Dilemma, Indians, Gallardo, Glasnow, HoF Managers, more | FanGraphs Baseball

This has been always been my view. Are there really many organizations which think otherwise?

Joe Maddon had the following to say when asked yesterday about the Cubs front office:

“The thing that impresses me the most is their willingness, or ability, to balance the numbers and the person. It’s not just a numeric exercise; it’s not just a sabermetric exercise. It’s also about the guy… I think sometimes in the game today it gets to the point where it’s just about a number, acquiring a number. I’m a big believer in that, but I also like the balance between the person and what the back of his baseball card says.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 23, 2016 at 10:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Verlander deal? Astros all-in? Why MLB hot stove could be trade-heavy | New York Post

4. Teams need to capitalize on their window to win. We have seen clubs that believe their time is now act very aggressively in recent years — think the Cubs the past two years (Joe Maddon, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist, Aroldis Chapman), the Mets at the past two trade deadlines (Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce) and even the small-market Indians at the last deadline (Andrew Miller).

No team wants to squander a championship core. The Astros now stand out in this way. They have a win-now positional group headed by Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Yulieski Gurriel and George Springer. But they do not have the rotation to capitalize on that, especially with Dallas Keuchel taking two steps backward in 2016 and Lance McCullers Jr. being unable to stay healthy.

They badly need an ace. So, for example, do they use Bregman as the key piece to go after Sale (on a great contract the next three years) or to try to get a potential young ace such as Julio Urias (if the Dodgers lose Justin Turner to free agency, they could form an infield left side for years of Corey Seager and Bregman)?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 23, 2016 at 10:15 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: trades

Welcome back, Kyle Schwarber! | 2080 Baseball

He just might do it.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 23, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

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