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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Darvish cleared to throw « Postcards From Elysian Fields

Yu Darvish underwent an MRI and a subsequent examination of his right elbow by Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday in Arlington. Dr. Meister reported that the MRI looked fine, and he has cleared Darvish to begin throwing on his normal schedule.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 06:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Kap: Cubs have made ‘significant’ offer to Jon Lester | CSN Chicago

“What I’m hearing is the Chicago Cubs have made a significant offer - significant north of $135 million,” Kaplan said.

Kap also said he’s hearing the Cubs’ offer would be for six years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester

Wendy Thurm on Twitter: “What the hell kinda panda is that?”

That’s a creepy looking Panda costume. Keep the kids away.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 03:13 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: panda, red sox

ESPN’s Dan Szymborski: Modeling Moneyball Data for Long-Term Value | Blue Hill Research (PODCAST)

Dan talks about ZiPS.

In this episode of the Enterprise Tech Cast, Blue Hill Chief Research Officer Hyoun Park and ESPN’s Dan Szymborski discuss how Dan got started in building statistical models and built the ZiPS player projection system. Anybody who wants to learn to develop an ongoing projection and forecasting system, and wants practical insights and how-to’s should listen to this podcast. Also, we stray off the enterprise path and discuss baseball free agency, including whether Pablo Sandoval is actually the right choice for the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 03:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: projection models, sabermetrics

Oz: Mike Trout Q&A: His workouts, goals & what he’s thankful for

How to be like Mike (Trout) this offseason:

MO: You’re home in New Jersey, right? What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

MT: I usually go to two dinners. At my parents’ house, then my girlfriend’s house. They have a dinner too. Nothing too crazy.

MO: Since you’re the youngest of three kids, do you think having an MVP will give you extra clout at Thanksgiving this year? Biggest piece of pie? You get to eat the last roll?

MT: It’s first come and first serve in my house and in my family. That’s why I love ‘em. They stay the same. They’re always joking with me. ...

MO: Since I know you’re training for next season already and you said you have two Thanksgiving dinners, how do you balance that out in the gym?

MT: Thanksgiving, it’s a day you can cheat a little bit. You don’t want to be sitting at dinner and not eating anything. To me, it’s not that bad the next day, working out. I think the biggest thing is in the morning, waking up, you can tell when you ate too much the day before. But it’s only one day. ...

MO: In general, what’s your training schedule like during the offseason? Do you give yourself a break at all?

MT: I played something like 158 games, so I like to take two or three weeks off to let my muscles relax.

MO: From a training standpoint, are you focusing on anything particular this offseason?

MT: There are always things you can improve on. Obviously speed is part of my game. You want to get quicker feet. I’m just working on my agility and trying to get stronger.

MO: When you’re trying to improve, are your goals numbers, like “I want to hit five more homers,” or is it all feeling, like “I want to feel stronger or faster?”

MT: There are a lot of things you can put into it, but for me it’s just wanting to feel faster and stronger. It’s just preparing my body for next season.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 25, 2014 at 02:32 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout, training

How Twitter Has Changed Baseball Coverage For Better or Worse

Comparing conventional baseball coverage to how reporting functions on Twitter is like comparing a raw but hard-throwing pitcher to a cagey veteran. The new kid might be faster, but its command isn’t as good. The immediacy of twitter inevitably leads to inaccuracy.

““It’s a great tool for getting information and a great tool for dispensing information,’’ said Olney. “You have to remember that and not the five percent frustrating level between the tone of Twitter – it’s the twin of anger in a lot of cases – and certainly over time you can’t worry about how everyone uses it, because you’ll drive yourself crazy…

“I (Rosenthal) don’t want to give you the specific example because I don’t want to embarrass the writer, but there was a situation recently that began when something was reported and it was as strongly denied as it could be,’’ he said. “And I was talking to some younger writers, and I said, ‘Guys, when this happened when I was younger, when I was starting out … I don’t know if you’d get fired over it, but you’d certainly get in trouble. And now it’s just, eh, another day, let’s go. It’s just different. It’s different.”

Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 25, 2014 at 02:17 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: media, those meddling kids, twitter

Rolling Stone: The 15 Worst Owners in Sports

Don’t let recent success blind you to an ample history deserving of scorn. After running arguably the worst non-arms-manufacturing company in the world, Walmart, Glass became sole owner of the Royals in 2000 and immediately treated baseball the way Walmart treats people.

Amid a jackal pack of ownership that included a (future) commissioner guilty of collusion to fix player salaries, Glass – then the team’s president and CEO – stood out as an anti-labor hardliner during the 1994 strike, wanting to bring in scab players for a monstrously un-telegenic spectacle summarizing the kind of ####-you tactics Glass learned at the Bentonville, Arkansas smile-time sociopathy juggernaut. He simultaneously advocated a hard salary cap in baseball, not to create an even playing field with large-market teams but to have a paper excuse to wave in doubters’ faces explaining why he didn’t spend anything on his team. Glass went ahead without one, with team payrolls routinely languishing in the bottom half of the league during his tenure, with notable years like 2000 (28th), 2003 (29th), 2005 (29th) and 2011 (30th). That’s out of 30. The last two years, Royals payroll has leapt to 19th in the league, but don’t let the 2014 World Series run fool you. Fans have every reason to expect them to regress, and every expectation that Glass won’t spend to correct that (Goodbye, Billy Butler.) After all, four seasons of 100 losses and an average of 92 losses per season under his tenure is a much bigger sample size.

Last, in 2006, Glass was all about that entrepreneurial spirit when renovations to Kauffman Stadium were furnished by a countywide sales tax, in exchange for discounts at certain games. Rolling back prices every day!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2014 at 12:39 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, david glass, fred wilpon, jeffrey loria, marlins, mets, owners, ricketts, royals

Adam Rubin: My Hall of Fame ballot

Rubin’s near perfect HOF Ballot: (10) - Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Smoltz, Piazza, Schilling, Raines.

Here is my Hall of Fame ballot. I used all 10 slots I was allotted, and still was unable to fit Lee Smith (whom I voted for two years ago, but now do not have room to include).

First-year candidates Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz get my vote. So does Mike Piazza, the ex-Met who garnered 62.2 percent of the vote a year ago—within striking distance of the 75-percent threshold. The others: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling.

Raines reappears on my ballot this year. Like Smith, I voted for him two years ago, but could not fit him last year, when the class included players such as now-elected Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas.

Other notable players I omitted (for now, at least), include: Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Trammell.

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-25-2014

Milwaukee Journal, November 25, 1914:

Connie Mack opines the reason he did not congratulate George Stallings after the world’s series was fear that Stallings would hit him on the nose. His fears were useless. Stallings hit a more vital spot—the pocketbook.

Stallings did threaten to punch Mack in the nose before the series.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 25, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, george stallings, history

School of Roch: Melky Cabrera a “fallback option” for the Orioles

Can anyone make a case for Markakis getting more money from a team other than the Orioles?

So how do you feel about Melky Cabrera?
I’m just curious, since I’ve heard from multiple people that he’s a “fallback option” for the Orioles if they can’t re-sign Nick Markakis. His name has been discussed. He’s on the radar, as the kids say.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 09:09 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, melky cabrera, nick markakis, orioles

red sox - So … is there any money left for pitching? Red Sox roster building reconsidered - WEEI | Alex Speier

This contains a pretty good look at the Red Sox payroll right now.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 09:05 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Jazayerli: The Legacy Of The 2014 Royals, Part 1.

What about Jake Taylor’s Indians?

Here’s another way to frame the season we just witnessed: Imagine that you could pick any team in the history of major league baseball to root for, but with the caveat that they could not have won the world championship. Would you pick the 2014 Royals?...

You could rank these teams in any number of ways, but to me there’s a pretty clear first tier, which I’ll do my best to rank here. (Feel free to debate this in the comments.) Remember, the criteria is, “since 1951, the team you would most like to have rooted for even though they didn’t win the World Series.”

1) 1967 Boston Red Sox
2) 1991 Atlanta Braves
3) 2007 Colorado Rockies
4) 2014 Kansas City Royals
5) 1982 Milwaukee Brewers
6) 2008 Tampa Bay Rays
7) 1959 Chicago White Sox
8) 1975 Boston Red Sox

(I go back and forth on whether the 1995 Indians should be on this list, because I just see them as a different kind of team – like the 2001 Mariners, they were such a regular season juggernaut that anything shy of winning the World Series felt like a disappointment. Maybe it’s unfair that I’m penalizing them for being too good – in which case they probably should rank #1.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 25, 2014 at 12:09 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, world series

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Boston’s High-Risk, High-Reward Plan «

I wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility that Ramirez ends up at shortstop. It depends on the team’s internal evaluation of Deven Marrero. He’s considered a potential Gold Glove winning shortstop. The question is, will he hit? If the Red Sox think he will, it will open the possibility of trading Xander Bogaerts for a young, top-notch pitcher (or Hamels if they strike out with Lester). That could set up a timeline with Ramirez at shortstop in 2015. In 2016, when Napoli becomes a free agent, Hanley could move to first base and with Marrero taking over at shortstop. Again, *if they think Marrero will hit*, such a scenario would position them to have above-average defense and offense all over the field. Just to be clear, I’m not saying this is their primary plan. I’m saying it’s a potential plan for them going forward.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 08:48 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, pablo sandoval, red sox

The Effects of Pitch Sequencing – The Hardball Times

A nice in-depth study which confirms something we already know.

Through this study I’ve convinced myself that there is value for pitchers in being able to throw back-to-back pitches of different types that have almost identical trajectories during the initial stage of flight up to the point where the batter must make a decision of whether to commit to a swing. In both seasons studied, consecutive pitches that were close to overlapping at the swing commit point but that crossed the plate in relatively different spots generated consistently higher rates of swings and misses. In addition, the closer consecutive pitches in a plate appearance are to overlapping at the swing commit point of the trajectory, the closer they can be as they arrive to home plate and still generate these additional swings and misses.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 06:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Meet the teenagers who landed a shocking MLB scoop

The latest dose of inside info from the heart of Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s operation this week came from a most unlikely and precocious outlet.

Thirteen-year-old Devan Fink, a middle schooler from Northern Virginia, was the first to report the A’s were close to signing free agent Billy Butler.

Then 18-year-old Robert Murray, a college freshman from Wisconsin and with Fink the co-proprietor of MLBDailyRumors.com, was the first to report the details of Butler’s pact.

“It wasn’t a familial connection,” Fink told MLB Network on Thursday morning, while missing English class. “I just tried to reach out to people who might know things and found someone who did.”

Murray said he received a phone call from a source with the contract details.

The two teenage reporters have never met in person, and say they establish most of their contacts on Twitter. Welcome to 2014.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: November 24, 2014 at 04:36 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, rumors

Which Pablo Sandoval Did the Red Sox Buy | FanGraphs Baseball

I looked at Sandoval in the postseason, and if you ignore power results — and you should, because power becomes stable only in really large samples — there’s no difference between Regular Season Pablo and Postseason Pablo. Maybe he swings at a few more fastballs. But really you should probably bet on Pablo to be more like his 3533 regular season plate appearances than his 167 postseason ones.
—-
Because the biggest, broadest definition of Pablo Sandoval is that of a three-to-four win third baseman, the deal probably makes sense. That isn’t to say that he isn’t without risk. And yes, most free agent deals come with risk, but this one seems to come with more than most. His size, his position, his skills at the plate, and his reputation — all of these things bring with them hefty asterisks.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 03:06 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Big Unit, Pedro, Smoltz headline Hall of Fame ballot

There are three players with 100 bWAR and seven with 75 bWAR on the ballot this year. And Tim Raines ranks 10th with 69.1.

And then there are these guys…

Carlos Delgado, who totaled 473 home runs among his 2,038 career hits, is also on the ballot for the first time, along with fellow first baseman Tony Clark, outfielder-first baseman Darin Erstad, pitchers Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Troy Percival and Jason Schmidt, infielders Rich Aurilia and Aaron Boone and outfielders Jermaine Dye, Cliff Floyd and Brian Giles.

 


Josh Willingham to retire

The Ham is no longer Willing. Josh retires with a line of .253/.358/.465 with 988 hits and 195 home runs.

Although he said he received a substantial offer from a contending club this offseason, he ultimately decided against returning in 2015.

“After praying on my decision many times and talking to my wife, my father and ex-players who have gone through the same process toward the end of their careers, I have decided to retire,’’ Willingham said.

“I felt like it wouldn’t be fair to myself, and more importantly to the team that was paying me a lot of money to perform at a high level, if there was a chance my dedication would waver—particularly as the season got longer. I’m honored to have played for as many years as I have, and I feel even luckier to walk away on my own terms instead of having the decision made for me.’‘

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2014 at 02:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, josh willingham, marlins, nationals, retirements, royals, twins

Sources: Kyle Seager nearing $100 million extension with Mariners - Yahoo Sports

Third baseman Kyle Seager and the Seattle Mariners are nearing a seven-year, $100 million contract extension, major league sources told Yahoo Sports, marking the third consecutive offseason in which Seattle would sign a player to a nine-figure deal as it attempts to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 01:05 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle seager, mariners

Former Major League Baseball player, Greenfield native Don Grate dies at 91

Mr. Grate was born Aug. 27, 1923 in Greenfield and was a star athlete at McClain High School and The Ohio State University.

He played Major League Baseball as a right-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1945-46, making his MLB debut on July 6, 1945. He had a 1-1 Major League record.

R.I.P.


Sandoval agrees to Red Sox deal, as Boston looks for free agent sweep - CBSSports.com

Heyman is reporting the deal is done. Other media reports say the deal isn’t.

Pablo Sandoval has agreed to to a Red Sox deal, completing what appears to be a stunning free agent double play.

Sandoval will receive close to $100 million for five years, people familiar with the deal say, following news Hanley Ramirez is close to a deal with Boston, as well. The Red Sox were reported by the Boston Globe to have originally offered $95 million, but they may have gone up a bit from there.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Sabermetrics can be questioned, but do so correctly

WAR isn’t perfect. It never will be. As long as analysts acknowledge its flaws and limitations, it’s a very valuable tool.

Everything should be questioned. Without that, we remain stagnant in whatever it is we are dealing with. Dissent is how we get better, and expand our knowledge. But that dissent has to be intelligent and informed in nature, or it just becomes a pointless back-and-forth. The fact is, these numbers are a part of the game now. Every team utilizes them to some degree, and it seems those who do so to a great extent are able to find more consistent success (like John Mozoliak pictured above).

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 09:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-24-2014

El Paso Herald, November 24, 1914:

A letter from [Texas] league headquarters to the [San Antonio] boss is to the effect that abbreviated games cut short through any agency than the elements of nature—meaning rain—are illegal under baseball law and should not be counted as championship contests.
...
It was by the throwing out of [seven inning] games that honors in the pennant race were even between the [Waco] Navigators and [Houston] Guffs, whereas had they been counted Houston would have been awarded the flag. Now that the law is made plain let it be hoped there will not be a repetition of such a farce.

Texas League Commissioner Ignatius J. Reilly went on to call seven-inning baseball games “a crime against theology and geometry”.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

red sox - Trying to make sense of Red Sox reunion with Hanley Ramirez - WEEI | Rob Bradford

Another take on the Ramirez signing.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 07:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Stanton Losing About $141 Million of Record Deal to Taxes - Bloomberg

The Miami Marlins outfielder two days ago signed a 13-year, $325 million deal, the richest in North American sports history. Federal, state, city and payroll taxes will eat about $141 million, or 43.3 percent of the total, according to Robert Raiola, a certified public accountant who specializes in sports and entertainment. That brings Stanton’s haul to about $184.1 million. Florida has no state income tax.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2014 at 07:35 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, marlins

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