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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 | 244 comment(s)
  Beats: softball

Monday, May 25, 2015

College Seniors Find Little Leverage - BaseballAmerica.com

Good stuff about senior draft picks.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2015 at 09:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

All-Star Game shouldn’t stop slumping Reds from firing Price | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal wants Bryan Price fired.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2015 at 08:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryan price, reds

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mets’ David Wright diagnosed with spinal stenosis, shut down for at least a week.

“They thought it would be gone by now, but the fact he is still feeling something,” Mets assistant GM John Ricco explained Saturday afternoon. “I think the initial diagnosis was stenosis, which is a narrowing of his spinal column, not anything structural.

“At this point he should be feeling pain-free for the most part and he is not,” Ricco said. “This is the way they recommended to try to heal it. Strengthen the core and hopefully stabilize the back.”

Stenosis can be very serious. It was stenosis in the neck that caused Giants running back David Wilson to retire last year and it ended Lenny Dykstra’s career.

Ricco said that the Mets have been told Wright’s case is not at that level of a diagnosis and that he will continue to do core exercises to try and strengthen the back during this week of “rest.”

Hopefully this ends better than it did for Edge. :(

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: May 24, 2015 at 12:57 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Mariners notebook: Cano looks back to 2008 struggles in effort to keep even keel as current slump deepens | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune

It’s bad enough to pay a huge contract to a free agent. It really sucks when that guy doesn’t produce like you hope, which, of course, happens most of the time.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Seattle Mariners Catcher Mike Zunino Interview

From what I have seen, the hardest thing for Mike Zunino is making consistent contact.

Professional baseball’s starting catchers kneel for nine innings, day after day, for upwards of 120 games a season. They are struck by foul balls, hit with bats during backswings and — even with rule changes to lessen the chances of home plate collisions — occasionally run over by large men sprinting at full speed. In conclusion, it’s really hard work. We wanted to know what it was like to experience all of this, to be the guy who takes a beating for a living, so we caught up with seven of the best catchers in the game. Today’s subject: Mike Zunino of the Seattle Mariners.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike zunino

Nothing will disturb this serious Marlins fan’s very serious thinking | MLB.com

This guy must be a Primate. OK, fess up!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

Brian Matusz of Baltimore Orioles ejected for foreign substance

To show they take these things seriously, MLB needs to suspend Matusz for a quarter of the season!!!

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:12 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: brian matusz, orioles

Shaikin: Rally monkey, chew on this: Dodgers try the rally banana

Time flies like an arrow—but Enrique Hernandez flies like a banana.

The Dodgers had not scored in 35 innings, their longest stretch of zeros in 53 years. Someone had to do something.

Enrique Hernandez decided to grab a banana.

Not to eat. To wave.

This was the fifth inning Friday. The Dodgers scored. Hernandez put down the banana.

Then came the eighth inning. Hernandez picked up the banana and waved it again. The Dodgers scored again. They won, 2-1.

“You can call it coincidence,” he said, “or you can call it a rally banana.”

The Dodgers’ ebullient utility player took to Twitter on Saturday, encouraging fans thus: “Hey guys, make sure to bring your #RallyBanana to the game tonight!!”

The bubble machine of last summer—the soap bubbles dispensed in the dugout to celebrate home runs —has vanished. Its time simply passed.

“Nothing really caused the demise of that,” Manager Don Mattingly said.

JE (Jason) Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:02 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: crazytown bananapants, dodgers, monkeys, superstition

Is switch-hitting a lost art? - Sports - The Boston Globe

There aren’t very many switch-hitters any more. Except, of course, for the guys who still do it. If I have some time later, I’ll put together the numbers.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 08:58 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

Sunday Notes: Funky Lefties Holiday Edition | FanGraphs Baseball

A short version this week.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2015 at 08:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

OMNICHATTER 5-24-2015

The OMNICHATTER 500

Gamingboy Posted: May 24, 2015 at 08:42 AM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Saturday, May 23, 2015

WaPo: Aaron Barrett wins epic post-anthem standoff

Aaron Barrett proudly displays his Star-Spangledtude.

The game hardly mattered by the time it began. A mere baseball game, especially one played in May between the charging Nationals and the sputtering Phillies, could not possibly carry the emotional weight of the test of human spirit, of will and of hope, that preceded it. The Nationals won Friday night’s game, 2-1, and that was good, of course. But first, Aaron Barrett won one of the longest post-anthem standoffs in recent memory — one the baseball world will little note, but one those who witnessed it will long remember.

As with many of baseball’s inexplicable but time-honored traditions, the origins of the post-anthem standoff are obscured by the blur of numbers on jerseys, of bored players, of long pregame ceremonies and long baseball seasons. It sums to this: “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays to a reverent crowd, and both teams line up, hats off, held over their hearts. The song ends, the crowd cheers, and the players disperse. Most of them, anyway.

One hearty soul on one side stays. Someone on the other side notices, considers consequences of surrendering without standing up for himself, then engages. The standoff ensues. Barrett said later he did not want a fight Friday night. The challenge came, and he did not back down.

Barrett has a decorated history with such things. Umpires nearly threw him and Rockies’ outfielder Brandon Barnes out of a game in Colorado last season when they refused to leave the field before the first pitch. Like that July staredown, Friday’s showdown was the stuff of which legends are written, the stuff about which novels are scratched out by candlelight. Had he been following on Twitter, exhausted at Marathon, Pheidippides himself would likely have thrown an olive wreath Barrett’s way to honor of his endurance.

JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2015 at 11:20 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: contests, nationals, nats, silly, star spangled banner

DJ Short: UPDATE: David Wright diagnosed with spinal stenosis

Stenosis? I hardly know her.

UPDATE: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Wright has been diagnosed with stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column. That doesn’t sound good. The Mets believe that the injury will heal, but there’s no timetable. They probably can’t count on him anytime soon.

2:50 p.m. ET: Rough news for the Mets here, as Marc Carig of New York Newsday reports that David Wright has been shut down for another week due to continued back issues.

JE (Jason) Posted: May 23, 2015 at 04:10 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, injury, mets

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee | MLB.com

Not an attractive pairing.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2015 at 01:03 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: randy johnson

Money is MLB’s biggest obstacle to a 154-game season

Replacing eight games with eight extra days off makes no sense to me.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2015 at 01:01 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: schedule

MURRAY CHASS: FIVE PERCENT IS NO SOLUTION

Come, Bob Watson, come! The game is afoot!

As if blacks and Latinos don’t have enough difficulty getting managerial jobs, the Counsell and Jennings hirings show how much more difficult it is.

Manfred underlined that reality in a memo he sent to all clubs earlier this month.
“In those instances when a qualified internal candidate is under prime consideration to fill one of these positions, I will be open to communicating with Clubs about the possibility of allowing a different interview process,” Manfred wrote in his May 3 memo on “interview process for key baseball positions.”

Manfred’s intentions were honorable, but he might have unwittingly reminded the clubs how they could avoid the minority interview requirement. Manfred issued his memorandum the day before the Brewers named Counsell, knowing they were doing that and wanting to reiterate the interview policy.

But he also highlighted another aspect of minority hiring.

Taking the five positions Selig initially identified and Manfred cited as falling under the policy, I found a total of 177 people in those jobs. How many are blacks or Latinos? I found nine.

That’s five percent, not a very large pool of potential candidates. [...]

Here is the memo, a copy of which I obtained this week:

bobm Posted: May 23, 2015 at 12:14 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: minority hiring, rob manfred

Alex Rodriguez ties Babe Ruth for 4th on all-time RBIs list at 1,992

Because RBIs were not considered an official statistic until 1920, there is some discrepancy as to how many RBIs Ruth should be credited with. However, Elias Sports Bureau, the statistician of Major League Baseball, has Ruth at 1,992 for his career.

bb-ref has Ruth at 2214 RBI. If you ignore everything before 1920, it becomes 1990 RBI. So it would seem that they’re ignoring everything before 1920 and have two extra RBI unaccounted for. Maybe they came from the same game as Ty Cobb’s two extra hits.

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 23, 2015 at 12:05 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: a-rod, babe ruth, yankees

Measuring MLB’s best game-callers

No Vin Scully?

1. How do you measure game-calling?

Here’s a fun task: Try quantifying something as ephemeral as game-calling. Well, after a decade of research, that’s just what we’ve managed to do—by crafting a statistical model that attempts to quantify the value of everything from stolen-base prevention and directing pace of play to identifying hitter tendencies like swing behavior in various game situations and knowing which batters expand hit zones in RBI opportunities. Sound complicated? Oh, it is. But based on these factors, and controlling for others, we can now quantify, in runs saved, how well catchers manage their pitchers….

4. The guide to the best game caller of them all: little-known 34-year-old Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis

A.J. Ellis, in a vacuum, is a below-average catcher. His career batting average is .240. His career OPS is .689. He’s made 396 starts in eight seasons. The Dodgers, of course, know all this. But they also know that two of the game’s best hurlers, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, absolutely love pitching to him. Why? Because Ellis is the best game caller in the business, and now we can actually prove it. His game-calling alone saved the Dodgers 38 runs from 2012 to 2014, though he gave back 19 of those runs with everything else he did behind the plate (see below). Does it hurt to be Ellis? At times, perhaps. But at least now, when that ninth foul tip slaps his once-unheralded (but now-appreciated) inner thigh, it might not sting quite so much.

 


MLB.com: Rays 5, Athletics 2

The Rays don’t seem to be attracting much notice this season and I wanted to highlight them. They lost their GM and manager during the offseason, traded away various players including ones who had been a key component of the team in the past, and didn’t make any big splashy free agent signings (as usual). Things haven’t been easy during the season either as Alex Cobb went out for the year without throwing a pitch, Drew Smyly only made three starts before going on the DL and is out for at least two more months, and Matt Moore won’t be back until sometime in June. Despite all this they’re in first place by a game and a half a little more than 1/4 of the way through the season. Whether they can keep it up remains to be seen (I’m guessing Logan Forsythe won’t keep that 136 OPS+ going) but so far they’re doing pretty damn well and deserve some notice.

Jim Wisinski Posted: May 23, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

BtBS: Do hard-hit balls produce more errors?

What can the batted ball speed data from StatCast tell us about the frequency of errors? And how much do official scorers influence what’s called an error?

bobm Posted: May 23, 2015 at 09:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: errors, statcast

OMNICHATTER 5-23-2015

The Amazing OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 23, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter


The M&M Boys: A Profile in Civility

Nothing new, but who doesn’t like reading about Mantle and Maris?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 23, 2015 at 07:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mickey mantle, roger maris, yankees


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