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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

OT: Monthly NBA Thread - April 2015

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: service time clocks.

The District Attorney Posted: April 01, 2015 at 09:00 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, nba, off-topic

Marcus Semien Is a Shortstop Now | FanGraphs Baseball

From what I have seen from Semien this spring, he has a looooooooonnnnnnnnnggg way to go before he’s a major league shortstop. If he keeps booting as many routine plays as he has been, he won’t last the season as a starter at the position.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2015 at 05:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marcus semien

The Common Law Origins of the Infield Fly Rule

The infield fly rule is neither a rule of law nor one of equity; it is a rule of baseball.

Zach Posted: April 01, 2015 at 04:51 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: clubhouse lawyer, infield fly, old orioles, rules of play

Neyer: Maps? Just good clean fun.

As we approach opening day, the Facebook data team is releasing several maps detailing Major League Baseball fandom across the US. The first map displays Facebook fans of all MLB teams by county. Each county is color-coded based on which official Facebook team page has the most likes from people who live in that area.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 01, 2015 at 04:31 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: facebook, fandom

Add beards, afros, mustaches to players on Baseball Reference

Have you ever wondered what Mike Trout would look like with a James Harden beard? What about Robinson Cano with an Italian mustache? Well, if you said yes to those questions, today is your lucky day because you can now add those features to any player of your choosing through the wonderful Baseball Reference.

Tuque Posted: April 01, 2015 at 01:46 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: afros, april fools, baseball-reference, beards, mustaches

Baseball Reference

Have you ever wondered what Mike Trout would look like with a James Harden beard? What about Robinson Cano with an Italian mustache? Well, if you said yes to those questions, today is your lucky day because you can now add those features to any player of your choosing through the wonderful Baseball Reference.

Tuque Posted: April 01, 2015 at 01:45 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afros, april fools, baseball-reference, beards, mustaches

Where’s the Beef: Can the Red Sox Survive Their Crap Starting Pitching?

But that pitching staff … holy shit. I’m far from the first person to notice that the starting rotation will be a weak point for Boston, but if anything, I think we’ve underplayed the implications of Rick Porcello being the Sox’s best pitcher.1 Boston is attempting to win a championship behind a starting rotation comprised of three youngish guys who aren’t nearly as good as people seem to think they are (Porcello, Wade Miley, and Joe Kelly) and two older guys (Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson) who were a lot better five years ago than they are now. Typically, that approach doesn’t end well. Certainly not in the American League, and definitely not when the team in question plays its home games at Fenway Park.

What bugs me about this rotation isn’t so much that it’s going to be bad — though, don’t get me wrong, that bothers me a great deal. It’s that there’s no upside, no 2013 Francisco Liriano or similar reclamation project. It’s just five guys who are in their late twenties or early thirties and sort of are who they are at this point.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 01, 2015 at 12:57 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Next SL: Cardinals Set to Flee St. Louis Without “Top Tier” Stadium Deal

As if the drama surrounding the possible departure of the St. Louis Rams National Football League team wasn’t enough, nextSTL has learned that the St. Louis Cardinals may relocate if funds are not found for a new “top tier” stadium.

Opened just a decade ago to much fanfare, Busch Stadium III is already seeing wear, and is considered by many to be outdated. The final construction cost of just $364M, a modest sum by today’s standards, ironically makes the stadium almost expendable.

The Montreal Cardinals??


B-R Tonsorial Consulting Service

e have an exciting feature for our users who also happen to be major league ballplayers. The new Baseball-Reference.com TCS® (Tonsorial Consulting Service) can help you decide new directions to take your hair style and/or facial hair without having to take the time to grow the hair first.

 

Gamingboy Posted: April 01, 2015 at 09:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball reference, bref, goofballery

John Axford’s son recovering from Rattlesnake bite

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The 2-year-old son of Colorado Rockies pitcher John Axford is in stable condition a week after getting bitten twice by a rattlesnake.

Axford, who returned to pitch a bullpen session on Tuesday, had not been with the Rockies since his son went to the hospital for anti-venom treatment last Wednesday. A second round of treatment was needed a few days later due to the excessive amount of venom found.

shoewizard Posted: April 01, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies

Clark, Rogers among 7 sent to Minors; OD roster all but set | brewers.com

Brewers are down to 27.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2015 at 08:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-1-2015

Pittsburgh Press, April 1, 1915:

Lee Meadows, the Cardinals’ young player, who has attracted national attention because he wears spectacles while pitching, was botany professor at the Horner Military academy in Oxford, N.C. If he decides to quit baseball, his old place is open to him.
...
Jim Thorpe, who has yet to show that he is a ball player of real class, but who is recognized as one of the best football players who ever lived, says that he would rather play baseball than football any day and that he does not think that football is any too good for a person.

Baseball worked out for Meadows, but not for Thorpe, as you know.

Anyway, Lee Meadows had a really nice career. Won 188 games and a World Series ring, put up an ERA+ of 106, and even picked up a couple of Hall of Fame votes in 1958.


Jays to open season with Castro, Osuna in bullpen - Sportsnet.ca

The Jays are going young.

The decision to promote both Castro and Osuna means the Blue Jays will open the season with six rookies. Top pitching prospects Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris will start for Toronto, while Dalton Pompey and Devon Travis will start in centre field and at second base, respectively.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jays

At 40, R.A. Dickey is primed for his best season with Blue Jays

“I think if I can get ahead in counts, shave my walks down, throw strikes, and pitch deep into games that I’m going to have a pretty good season,” says Dickey. “I would say a successful season for me would be 200 innings, 15 or more wins, keep my walks around 50 or 60, [while] going to the playoffs and hopefully to the World Series.”

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 01, 2015 at 05:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, knuckleball, r.a. dickey

The Phillies are selling liquor and wine now, so fans can drown their sorrows

Aramark and the Phillies announced Tuesday that this season they’ll be selling booze at Citizens Bank Park’s general concessions areas for the first time. Beer they already sold, but liquor and wine were only available in the fancier parts of the ballpark, like the premium seats. Not any more.

Hey, guys, you need help with that cocktail list? It seems like the Phillies roster offers plenty of inspiration, such as:

• The Ryan Howard Slammer — it’s a big ol’ drink that costs $25, but don’t worry, it won’t even get you drunk, because it’s basically useless.

• The Papelbonbon — Jagermeister, tequila, absinthe and Fireball mixed with Red Bull and Mountain Dew, served with an Irish Car Bomb chaser. It’ll probably make you grab your crotch. It may make you say dumb things. It might actually kill you.

• Amaro Island Iced Tea — nobody likes this drink, but somehow it’s still on the menu.

• Hamels Sunrise — basically, you order this, babysit it and wait for someone to scoop you up and take you to Boston.

• Cliff Lee’s Last Call — inspired by Cliff Lee’s possible last season because of a lingering elbow injury, this is a collection of whatever the bartender has left. If you’re lucky, it might taste good, but probably not.

• Utley 2600 — the finest drink on the menu, if nothing else is worth a damn (and it probably isn’t), there’s always this.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 01, 2015 at 05:22 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, ruben amaro

Kane County Cougars introduce aptly-named Heart Attack Burger

The Kane County Cougars have introduced one food item for the 2015 season that is not shy about its number of calories. Based on its description, the Heart Attack Burger sounds like it could deliver what it promises.

New in 2015, the Heart Attack Burger should cover any fan’s breakfast, lunch and dinner palate. The half-pound beef patty is topped with grilled onions, a fried egg, slice of melted cheddar cheese, chipotle bacon mayo, two strips of bacon with a pair of grilled cheese sandwiches serving as its bun. The burger will be available for $12 at Ozzie’s Grill, located on the concourse level behind home plate.
That’s not the only new item being sold at the ballpark this season. The club also announced Oreo churros, though, as far as we know, no photographic evidence of this item exists. We at The Stew will pay dearly for that type of thing.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: April 01, 2015 at 05:15 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: fatass, heart attack, kane county cougars, pablo sandoval

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Washington Post: Jenkins: Lessons From the School of Hardwood

No such thing as grit? The science says otherwise:

If you detect something profound in the NCAA tournament, there is no need to apologize, because you are right, according to renowned neurobiologist Angela Lee Duckworth. A MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” recipient who has her own research lab at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth studies traits that predict achievement, and her special focus is on the quality known as “grit.” It’s not just a descriptive term the way Duckworth understands and employs it.

Grit is the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals,” Duckworth writes.

She has developed a measurement for it by studying a range of achievers from West Point cadets, to National Spelling Bee winners, to the Seattle Seahawks, and is at work on a book about it. Her work shows that it’s a more important factor in success than talent, IQ or privilege.

In 2013, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll saw a TED Talk by Duckworth, who is a Harvard- and Oxford-educated psychologist, and became fascinated. They began a series of conversations that helped Carroll refine what the Seahawks look for in players. Early in her research career, Duckworth developed a questionnaire to turn grit into a metric: By scoring the answers to a dozen queries, she rated people on a scale of 1 to 5. (I got a 4.3).

What Duckworth didn’t know was whether grit could be taught as well as measured. Carroll assured her that it could be: Coaches do it all the time. He offered up the Seahawks as a kind of laboratory for her. Duckworth will be visiting them in May. Duckworth is deeply interested in how to teach grit, because she did a stint as a public school math teacher in New York. At the heart of it is the ability to respond to failure or adversity, rather than give up.

Ignore the column’s emphasis on basketball; focus on grit, the greatest of all virtues.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 31, 2015 at 08:47 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, coaching, grit, ncaa, science, testing

An Analysis of a Broken Bat Home Run

Interesting stuff from Alan Nathan.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2015 at 08:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: science

Who is the best player in baseball? The most overrated? We poll 117 major leaguers to find out.

These results are not binding. Unless Proposition 29 passes. And we all pray that it does.

Yes or No: I’m happy to see Alex Rodriguez back from his yearlong suspension.
Yes 41 percent
No 29 percent
I don’t care 30 percent
“He burned the union. That didn’t sit well with players, so we’ll see how that plays out on the field this year.”—American League pitcher

You’re commissioner for the day. What is the first thing you would do?
Top answer: Shorten the season 19 percent
“We get two days off a month. People with regular jobs get more days off than that!”—American League outfielder

Which player would make the most entertaining reality-show star?
“C.J. Wilson. He’s into racing cars, he travels everywhere. and he’s [married to] a supermodel.”—American League outfielder

“It’s Yasiel Puig. He’s completely insane. He’s got to be up to some wacky stuff. That would be the show to watch.”—American League pitcher

“Didn’t Madison Bumgarner bus down his cattle for spring training? And he bought his wife a baby bull as a wedding gift. You’re telling me you wouldn’t want to watch that?”—American League pitcher

“Wade Miley. It’d be like Duck Dynasty.”—American League pitcher

 


White Sox offer $29 early-season plan

Getting White Sox fans to buy a package of 11 weekday home games in April and May is near impossible, except if you sell them for close to nothing. That’s exactly what the team is doing, announcing the “Ballpark Plan” that gives a fan a ticket to every home game the team plays on a Monday through Thursday in the first two months of the season—for $29 total. The cheapest ticket sold separately this season is $7.18. The White Sox are offering another package, which includes every game in April and May, for $49. That’s $2.33 a game.

Both plans don’t include Opening Day or May 23, Paul Konerko’s retirement ceremony.

The White Sox averaged 20,896 fans per game last year, the team’s ninth straight season it has seen a decline in attendance. Only the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians drew fewer fans to the ballpark than the Sox last season.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 03:28 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: desperation, white sox

Altoona Curve introduce Jabba the Hutt jerseys for Star Wars night

With the usual suspects already getting their own jerseys, the Altoona Curve decided to take a different approach to Star Wars night. Jabba the Hutt is most certainly an evil character, and, yet, he’s also one of the most iconic and beloved creatures among Star Wars fans. While Jabba’s gross tongue isn’t included on the jersey, the drool is a nice touch.

Following the game, the uniforms will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the St. Vincent De Paul Society Soup Kitchen. There will also be a lightsaber battle during the post-game fireworks show.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 03:13 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: altoona curve, david ortiz, star wars

Sean Doolittle’s girlfriend will buy your tickets to A’s Pride Night

As part of their special events this season, the Oakland Athletics recently introduced Pride Night. Pride Night will “celebrate the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community.” Partial proceeds from the event will benefit a non-profit charity supporting the LGBTQ media arts. After hearing about the promotion, some fans decided they did not want to attend the game, and would rather sell their tickets. Enter Eireann Dolan, girlfriend of A’s reliever Sean Doolittle. Dolan put up a post on her website, telling Athletics’ fans that she will buy their tickets if they don’t want to go to Pride Night.

A’s fans; if attending a baseball game on LGBT Pride Night makes you at all uncomfortable, it is probably a good idea to sell your tickets. And I have the perfect buyer. ME! If you’d like to sell your tickets to June 17th’s LGBT Pride Night game, I will buy them from you at face value. As many as I can. No judgments. No questions asked. From there, I will donate any tickets I purchase to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.

Dolan writes in the post that she was raised by two moms, both of who are die-hard A’s fans, and that’s why she’s so passionate about the cause.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 03:03 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sean doolittle

Neyer: Ortiz isn’t a bad guy—or a Hall of Famer

Look, you can believe that Ortiz wasn’€™t “€œcheating”€ or not. But without naming names, shouldn’€™t we assume that players were gobbling up just about anything they thought would make them better baseball players? Especially if their pals were doing the same thing? It does seem that Ortiz has internalized the standard excuse, that drugs were to “€œsustain workouts”€ instead of, you know, help him hit the ball 20 feet farther than before. But there’€™s every reason to think that players a dozen years ago just didn’€™t care what they were taking, until there were drug tests that actually mattered. In this respect, Ortiz was probably no different than . . . oh, maybe half the guys in professional baseball a dozen years ago.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 02:55 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox, steroids

Keri: 2015 NL East Preview

New York Mets

Worst Offseason Move: Signing Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal. I’m still trying to figure out what the Mets were thinking here: Cuddyer hit .332 with 30 combined homers in 2013 and 2014, but (1) he did it at Coors Field, and Citi Field sure as hell isn’t Coors Field, (2) injuries limited him to just 49 games last season, and (3) he hasn’t played in more than 130 games since his last season with the Twins in 2011. Oh, and (4) Cuddyer is 36 years old, (5) he’s one of the worst defensive outfielders in the game, and (6) the Mets gave up what would have been the no. 15 pick in the draft to sign him.

Honestly, the conspiracy theory suggesting the Mets were throwing Colorado a free compensation pick as part of a wink-wink agreement before an eventual Tulo trade still seems more plausible than New York thinking signing Cuddyer was a good idea.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 02:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, marlins, mets, nationals, phillies

Grantland (Keri): 2015 NL East Preview

The good, the mediocre and the ugly from the NL East.

Chris Fluit Posted: March 31, 2015 at 01:48 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: barves, expos, marlins, mets, nl east, phillies

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