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Thursday, March 30, 2017

CENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA

I think this year we should make t-shirts.

The Central Park field for 10 AM on July 1st has been submitted for approval to the Parks Department, but not yet assigned.  We’re waiting to hear back.  It’s never been a problem as yet, so hopefully it won’t be this year as well.

Note: This is the same weekend as the massive SABR extravaganza in NYC.  I would expect all connections and all favors to be called in to get some retired MLB players or broadcast and basement-dwelling notables to come by.  Rob Neyer, Tommy Lasorda, Benny Agbayani, Robothal, Pete Rose, no target too high.  Or too low.  So maybe Calcaterra could make it.

Let’s hear it, who’s coming?

Lassus Posted: March 30, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Is baseball too slow? The battle lines are drawn—and MLB is taking a side

Jayson Stark’s last column at ESPN. I’m sure we’ll be able to read him someplace else. Now that he’s leaving ESPN, I might actually see him on TV.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of the game

Prodigious talent not Aaron Judge’s only strength | New York Post

An impressive display of power.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, yankees

Red Sox have no clubhouse issues with Dustin Pedroia, Matt Barnes

The other issue involves David Price and when and if his rehab gets advanced. It appears after a bullpen session on Tuesday that Price is ready to face hitters on Saturday. Nobody can say when Price is actually going to go back to Florida and come closer to pitching in an actual game. But that day appears to be getting closer.

Price, too, raised more eyebrows on Twitter recently when he tweeted news of his bullpen session, saying that was his media session for the day and if there were any more questions to ask “Manager John.” We are told by the team that Price does not plan on making this his normal way of communicating.

Price has been frustrated by the slowness of his recovery and hasn’t wanted to get into a daily situation where he’s answering questions about his health. Price is better off doing a three-minute interview with reporters.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Mariners’ James Paxton rising to ace status | MLB.com

Giddy up!

How overpowering has Paxton been? Coming into the game, his average four-seamer velocity of 95.8 mph ranked third out of the 56 pitchers in MLB with at least 150 four-seamers thrown, behind only right-handers Luis Severino of the Yankees and Gerrit Cole of the Pirates. He was even better Wednesday, averaging 96.2 mph with a high of 98.1, according to Statcast™.

Paxton relied on the four-seamer more heavily, throwing it for 74 of his 103 pitches (72 percent), compared with his average of 61 percent in his first four starts.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 06:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: james paxton, mariners, statcast

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ESPN layoffs: A running list of reporters, anchors fired by the network - The Washington Post

Another bloodbath at ESPN. I haven’t watched much ESPN over the last couple of years. Frankly, I can find better stuff on other venues. I still visit the website pretty often, however. I guess they want me to cut down on my visits there too.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 26, 2017 at 03:51 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: media

Hunter Greene Done Pitching For The Season | BaseballAmerica.com

Well, this is different.

Hunter Greene, the No. 1 prospect in this year’s draft class, confirmed in a telephone interview that he is officially done pitching for the high school season. Notre Dame High (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) head coach Tom Dill informed the team after today’s practice that Greene will not pitch again this season.

Greene is 100 percent healthy, and will continue playing shortstop and throwing bullpens to stay in shape so that he could resume pitching in games this summer after the draft.

This season, Greene has made five starts and tossed 28 innings. He has allowed three earned runs, struck out 43 and walked four. In his career at Notre Dame, Greene has accumulated 121.1 innings and posted a 1.62 ERA (on a seven-inning high school scale). He’s struck out 30 percent of the batters he’s faced over his four years, and 41 percent of the batters he has faced this season.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 26, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: draft prospects, hunter greene


ESPN will cut 100 on-air personalities today

ESPN will cut more than 100 employees today, Yahoo Finance has learned.

That number is much bigger than the 40-50 that was initially reported. ESPN aims to notify all of the people today, if it can do so.

It has been widely reported for weeks that big cuts are coming to ESPN—so widely reported, and dissected, and gossiped about, in fact, that ESPN moved up its schedule and is notifying people earlier than it originally planned.

The 100 people getting cut are all “on-air talent,” a label ESPN uses for TV personalities, radio hosts, and writers who regularly appear on TV and radio. (ESPN says it has 1,000 such people, prior to these cuts.)

In addition to those 100, a “limited number of other positions will also be affected,” according to a note sent to all employees on Wednesday morning from ESPN president John Skipper.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 26, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 166 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, sports television

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-26-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 26, 1917:

Charley Herzog, the star second baseman of the New York National League baseball team fell in the Pennsylvania station in New York [yesterday] while en route with his team to [Philadelphia], and suffered serious injury.

Herzog noticed a piece of chewing gum on the marble floor of the station and kicked at it. His feet slipped from under him and he fell heavily. The player came to Philadelphia and was taken to a hotel where a physician who made an examination said he had injured the lower part of his spine but could not say how seriously.

Well, at least he wasn’t riding a dirtbike. Herzog wound up missing eight games with the spine injury.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 26, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, freak accident, history

Chris Coghlan went full Superman to jump over Yadier Molina and scored ridiculous run

Chris Coghlan made everyone look silly (and also maybe himself, but it was worth it) by not sliding on his way to home and instead jumping over Yadier Molina. You have to give him even more props for timing all of this perfectly. He could have easily jumped over Molina and missed home entirely. Nope. Coghlan was ready. He was so ready that thanks to his full extension, his helmet lined up with the base.

All this needed were a panel judges, preferably baseball legends, holding up signs to rate this move. This one might get a perfect score.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 26, 2017 at 12:15 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: chris coghlan, cubs

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Carpenter out of lineup serving one-game suspension

Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter will sit out Tuesday’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays with a one-game suspension.

Carpenter received the suspension after making contact with home plate umpire John Tumpane in Sunday’s contest at the Milwaukee Brewers. In that game, Carpenter and manager Mike Matheny were ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the seventh inning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2017 at 05:22 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, matt carpenter, suspensions, umpire

Dodgers to call up top prospect Cody Bellinger to aid outfield

With Joc Pederson on the disabled list and the team’s outfield production stalled, the Dodgers have decided to call up top prospect Cody Bellinger, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The team needs to clear a spot on its 40-man roster to make room for Bellinger, a 21-year-old who was rated the No. 7 prospect in the sport before the season by Baseball America.

Bellinger can play first base, but he is expected to aid the team’s outfield upon his debut. He will likely rotate between left field and center field against right-handed pitchers.

Bellinger was hitting .343 with five home runs and a 1.055 on-base plus slugging percentage in 18 games for triple-A Oklahoma City.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2017 at 05:14 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cody bellinger, dodgers

Marlins expecting to finalize $1.3B deal to sell team to Jeb Bush, Derek Jeter group

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria reached an agreement in principle to sell the team to a group led by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and including former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter, pending Major League Baseball approval and other details to be worked out in the drawing up and execution of a contract, according to an MLB source.

According to the source, Bush’s group has agreed to pay $1.3 billion for the team.

A source said the Marlins and Bush group are very optimistic a deal will be finalized, but the process could take months to conclude.

Bush plans to be the Marlins’ “control person,” the individual who would have ultimate control over franchise decisions, according to the source.

Jeter, the former All-Star player who lives in Tampa, plans to take an active role with the franchise.

Bush’s group includes at least five investors, and it’s unclear which of those investors has the most money invested in the bid.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2017 at 03:24 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, franchise sale, jeb bush, jeffrey loria, marlins


When will Mets call up Amed Rosario | MLB.com

Mets Q&A with Anthony DiComo.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 02:02 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Hunter Greene is the star baseball needs. First he has to finish high school.

Welcome to Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, Calif., where baseball players sport Nike-issued backpacks and cross-trainers courtesy of former Knights slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and even the freshman and JV teams lounge in their own clubhouse pondering walk-up music. Next door is the umpires’ changing room, labeled in Braille to comply with building code, where self-deprecating umps pose for selfies. The accommodations may seem extravagant for a high school until you gaze out over the shiny expanse of turf and get a load of the equally outrageous prodigy who calls this palace home.

Hunter Greene stands 6’ 4” and 210 pounds, hits baseballs 450 feet, throws them 102 mph and gloves them just about anywhere left of second base. When he steps to the plate in batting practice, outfielders shout warnings to the soccer players working out on the adjacent football field, lest they take unexpected headers. At 17, Greene has sent balls out of Petco Park in San Diego and Wrigley Field in Chicago, which is not to imply that he simply deposited them over the fence with a souped-up metal bat. No, he put them out of the stadium completely, with nothing but muscle and wood. Greene began playing in spikes on 90-foot bases when he was seven. The Dodgers’ area scout met him during a pitching lesson when he was nine, deeming his throwing mechanics flawless. Radar guns clocked him at 93 mph when he was 14, the same year UCLA and USC offered him scholarships, well aware that he probably wouldn’t ever step on campus because his draft stock was already so high.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 25, 2017 at 11:27 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: draft prospects, hype machine

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-25-2017

Pittsburgh Press, April 25, 1917:

Word from the hospital camp of the Cubs at Chicago informs us that Victor Saier, the crippled first-sacker, is not being coldly abandoned to his fate. He is lying in Henrotin hospital, waiting for his broken leg to get together again. The other day he was visited by the ladies’ auxiliary of the Cubs, consisting of the wives of the players, who called on Victor in a body and smuggled in to him two bottles of refreshing beer and one limburger sandwich. It was the happiest moment of Mr. Saier’s humdrum existence. He hopes that the ladies will call again.

Saier broke his leg in a collision at home plate and missed nearly all of the 1917 season. It was essentially a career-ending injury; he sat out all of 1918 to contribute to the war effort and had a failed comeback attempt in 1919. Saier compiled 13.9 WAR from ages 22-25 and 0.1 WAR afterwards.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 25, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Five New Pitches Making a Difference in 2017 – The Ringer

Among 96 pitchers who’ve thrown their sliders at least 50 times this season, only six have gotten swings more often than Bundy, and only seven have gotten a higher percentage of whiffs per swing. Bundy’s extra sliders have come at the expense of his four-seamer, which he’s throwing much slower this season, either because he’s simply lost velocity or because he’s intentionally trying to save his strength. Bundy faded down the stretch last season and has never stayed healthy enough in any one season to throw more than the 109.2 innings he totaled in 2016. Maybe the combination of a less strenuous fastball and a bat-missing slider will help him stay on the mound while still logging enough strikeouts to thrive.

Bundy’s teammate Kevin Gausman has also gone slider-heavy this season, bringing back the breaking ball he threw in college to complement his curve. But unlike Bundy, he’s off to a miserable start, walking 15 and striking out only 17 in 24 innings over his first five outings.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

Aging Patterns | Articles | Bill James Online

Bill James with a new aging study. HT to Tangotiger.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 08:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Cut4:  The Pirates called up Dovydas Neverauskas, the first born-and-raised Lithuanian in MLB history

At 6’3”, he was probably deemed too small to play basketball in the NBA-crazy country.

Just before the start of Monday night’s game against the Cubs, the Pirates announced that they were calling up rookie pitcher Dovydas Neverauskas to take the roster spot of Adam Frazier, who went to the DL. Neverauskas made history while throwing two innings of one-run ball, becoming the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Major Leagues.

Neverauskas hails from Vilnius, Lithuania, where his father, Virmidas, encouraged him to learn and play the game despite its relative anonymity. He attended European Academy baseball camps in Italy and was signed by the Pirates in July 2009—another first for a Lithuanian-born player.

After his debut on Monday, Neverauskas talked to MLB.com’s Adam Berry about what it meant for his home country. “Better opportunities. Just to see that baseball can be played in Lithuania, somebody can follow in my footsteps,” he said.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: April 25, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Inside the data-driven throwing program that helped revive Dan Straily’s career - Sun Sentinel

Straily knew there was more in there. He hoped Boddy, whom he met through Houston pitching coach Brent Strom, could help him find it.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dan straily, marlins


Brewers’ Eric Thames mashes home runs vs. Reds | MLB.com

With five April games left to play, Thames has a Major League record within reach. Albert Pujols hit a record 14 April home runs in 2006, and Alex Rodriguez matched that in 2007.
Has Thames ever had more fun playing baseball?

“I would say the last three years. When I actually started to let go,” said Thames, referring to his time in Korea. “When I was a prospect and [breaking into] the big leagues, I stressed out a lot. I drank a lot. I was just like, ‘Oh my God, I have to hit a home run or I’m going back to Double-A and Triple-A.

“Now, in Korea and here, I’m just like, ‘OK, I’m going to do my job, I’m going to work as hard as I can, and when it’s time for game time, just relax and let it all go.’ It’s amazing when stress levels decrease and you start to actually have fun and be loose and be able to react. It’s crazy.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2017 at 06:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, eric thames

Marty Appel on Casey Stengel’s OBP, OPS+, His Managerial Career &...Reggie?

Let’s put the ‘Ol Perfessor’s playing career in some perspective.  He finished among the top 10 home run hitters in four of his seasons (I know that’s not a lot back then and some of them were inside-the-park-jobs, but still…) He finished his career with an OPS+ of 120.  Of course no one paid much attention to those numbers back then, but he also walked nearly as much as he struck out.  Batted .393 in 33 post-season plate appearances. It’s really quite a revelation when you look at his numbers through a sabermetric lens, no?  There’s more than a few good to even great players under that 120 OPS+ figure.

djordan Posted: April 25, 2017 at 06:20 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: casey stengel, mlb.com

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