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Tuesday, May 03, 2016


On the Prospect of Owners Getting “Duped” by PED Users

It is not even clear that being caught affects future performance. Taking a different angle, I looked at the players with track records who were suspended in 2012 and 2013. What I did was took a look at their projections before they were suspended, and then pretended that was how they performed in the relevant season. I then applied the standard aging curve to the two seasons following the suspension season. I regarded this as their “expected performance” based on pre-suspension levels. Then I looked at their actual performance in the two seasons following the suspension and compared the two….

In more than 10 years, it does not appear that any owners have been taken advantage of financially to any significant degree. The players have great incentive to try and improve PED suspensions in whatever way possible as it is their livelihood. Players who use PEDs are taking money and roster spots away from those who do not. While players could take advantage of owners by signing a contract predicated on PED use, that has yet to cause any owner significant injury in terms of players who have been suspended.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 01:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dee gordon, long term contracts, peds

Bryce Harper signs biggest endorsement deal for MLB player

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper has signed a 10-year extension with Under Armour that is believed to be the largest endorsement deal in history for a baseball player, a source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN.

Under Armour announced earlier Tuesday that Harper signed a multiyear extension but said terms, including the length of the deal and compensation, would not be disclosed.

The brand, which has had Harper as an endorser for five years, will begin selling Harper’s first signature cleat, the Under Armour Harper One, in July. The company previously sold shirts with a phrase Harper filed to trademark—“That’s A Clown Question, Bro.” Harper abandoned his pursuit of that trademark in 2014.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 12:20 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, endorsements, nationals, under armour

Pablo Sandoval needs surgery and his season is over - SBNation.com

Maybe the Red Sox need the Orioles’ doctors to examine future free agents.

Just when Sandoval will return is up in the air, as the procedure is reconstructive. The Red Sox didn’t insure Sandoval’s shoulder when he signed prior to the 2015 season, as there was no physical need to do so. Since that time, though, his shoulder has obviously suffered and degraded, and for all we know it could have been part of his problem a year ago and this spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:41 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, pablo sandoval, red sox

To learn about himself, Ben Cherington decided to teach - The Boston Globe

I still believe he was scapegoated.

The topics seemingly have sharpened Cherington’s views of what happened during his time in Boston. Even as the organization’s emerging young core — which Cherington proved resolute in preserving — appears to have the team back on a promising track, he understands why he is no longer GM of the Red Sox.

“Results do matter. In Boston, you know they matter. That’s fundamentally a part of the job,” he said. “In Boston, you know that the results do matter and there isn’t a long time to get there. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think that covering yourself in the sort of gauze of strategy and process is sufficient if you’re really trying to learn from what happened. Yes, there were reasons why we did everything we did, but the bottom line is we didn’t perform well enough for two years. When that happens in a place like Boston, there’s a lot of pressure on the institution to make change because it’s a business. That change happened. If I’m going to learn something from it, I think I have to embrace that the results weren’t there, and why was that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, red sox

Behind David Wright’s tweaked, homer-hitting new swing | New York Post

Two hours of prep each day to play.

“We knew that if he shortened his leg kick and got that under control,’’ Long told The Post, “we were hoping that the consistency would be a lot better and it has been.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for David and how he goes about his business,’’ Long said. “He’s doing the best he can with the circumstances that he is currently under.’’

Wright, because of his spinal stenosis, cannot work his way out of hitting problems. He can’t just go to the cage because he only has a limited amount of swings he can take on any given day. This is about trying to do more with less — fewer swings, fewer at-bats, fewer games.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, mets


Latest MLB PED Suspension Much Bigger Than You Think

This doesn’t sound good.

Josh Ravin isn’t well known. Dee Gordon is an All Star and a batting champion, but he’s not well known outside of baseball. Both have been suspended within a week, but while more know who Gordon is, it’s the substance Ravin tested positive for that’s a much bigger story.

While early reports were that Ravin tested positive for HGH, the actual substance is, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, a peptide. Peptides are a class of performance enhancer that is relatively new, relatively complex and have some very dangerous side effects. I’ve been writing about these substances since 2013 and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to make their way into American sports.

Multiple sources tell me the peptide Ravin tested positive for was GHRP-2, which in studies has shown a significant increase in plasma growth hormone levels. Because it is causing the body to create a higher level of it’s own GH, it tends to be more accessible. GHRP in any of its various forms could also be used to mask the use of HGH, though it’s unclear if this actually works absent close monitoring and lab tests.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, peds

Carson Smith brings different look to Red Sox bullpen - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

The Red Sox can really use him.

It’s Carson Smith’s offseason workout partner, former Red Sox and current Pirates All-Star reliever Mark Melancon, who probably sums it up best.

“You’ve got righties, and you’ve got lefties,” Melancon said. “And then you’ve got Carson. It’s almost like a third dimension.”

“It’s like sidearm, but it’s not sidearm, you know?” said Mookie Betts, who has done his best to forget the times he’s faced Smith. “It’s not over the top, it’s not three-quarters, but it’s not submarine. And then it’s coming hard, too.”

Smith’s release point is pretty much unique in baseball. Although he stands 6-foot-6, Smith releases the ball about five-and-a-half feet from the ground, according to Brooks Baseball. His 6-foot-7 teammate Henry Owens, by comparison, releases the ball a foot higher. Smith’s release point is lower in absolute terms than Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, who’s 10 inches shorter than him.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, red sox


Book Review: The Only Rule Is It Has To Work - BaseballAmerica.com

Picking this up later today. Has anyone already read it?

Lindbergh and Miller quickly realize that getting buy-in from the players and coaches is a key aspect of any of the changes they want to implement. It’s what makes this book different and provides a consistent theme from the preseason to the end of the season.

By having the two authors trade off writing responsibilities from chapter to chapter, the book bounces back and forth in style and tone, but it works. The Only Rule Is It Has To Work is yet another worthy read in a very good year for baseball books.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: book reviews

Cardinals hit five home runs in win | MLB.com

The Cardinals had a pretty, pretty good game last night.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:22 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Credit the Braves for trying stuff. Lots of stuff, actually | Mark Bradley blog

Change is easy when you stink.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-3-2016

Toledo News-Bee, May 3, 1916:

[Detroit pitcher] Harry [Coveleski] was sitting on the bench when Brother Stan was mowing down the Tigers in Monday’s moist conflict…“Atta boy, Stan, atta boy. Guess that brother of mine hasn’t got something,” he yelled as Veach fouled to Turner.

“That’s it, Stan. You’ve got his number,” he muttered as Sam Crawford hit a roller to Howard, forcing Cobb at second.

“Say, Harry, if you are going to root for Cleveland, go over on the Cleveland bench,” shouted [Detroit third baseman] Oscar Vitt.

Brother Harry was dazed for a minute. He had forgotten Brother Stan was pitching against his own team.

“Say, fellows, I clean forgot,” he said sheepishly…

I imagine this would have been a bit annoying for the Tigers, coming on the heels of Harry refusing to pitch against Stan earlier in the season. I certainly would have been irritated as a teammate.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 07:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, harry coveleski, history, stan coveleski

Yankees GM: ‘We urgently need to stop the bleeding’ | New York Post

A tourniquet may be needed.

“We urgently need to stop the bleeding now,” Cashman said Monday in a telephone interview. “We’ve been saying that. We’re working towards that.”

That doesn’t mean changes are imminent — and for sure, as Cashman made clear, it bodes no trouble for manager Joe Girardi or his coaches. Yet while Cashman wants to give his current roster more time to climb out of this hole, he won’t wait too long.

“We’ll continue to do the work necessary to put ourselves in position to succeed, and eventually that worm will turn. In the event things don’t turn I’m going to have to make it turn and be forced to do things that weren’t part of the game plan, whatever that would be,” Cashman said. “The best answer would come from this mix of players.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:52 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Texas Rangers: Nomar Mazara had best first month by a Rangers rookie—ever | SportsDay

He certainly looked good yesterday.

Watch the homer first, then the throw.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:47 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, rangers

Mark Simon on Twitter: “Michael Conforto and Gregory Polanco top the hard-hit rate leaderboard. Where does your favorite rank? Leaderboard—https://t.co/uS0VL2gnyI”

It would be interesting to see how this data correlates with exit velocity.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statistics

Vin Scully Talks Beards For Five Minutes

Longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is going all out during his final stint in the booth. The season’s only a month old, and we’ve already had two great episodes of Storytime With Vin Scully. Two weeks ago, he debunked the myths surrounding the number 13, and this weekend he gave us the entire history of beards:

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:09 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, dodgers, vin scully

OMNICHATTER 5-3-16

The Verlander-Upton Engagement Party OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 03, 2016 at 12:24 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Monday, May 02, 2016

Pablo Sandoval to Undergo Shoulder Surgery

The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo left shoulder surgery in the coming days.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist who examined Sandoval in Florida on Monday. Sandoval, 29, had complained of shoulder soreness in early April and was placed on the disabled list on April 13.

The Red Sox did not provide an update on how long Sandoval will be out or what kind of rehab his surgery will entail, noting in a press release that more information will be made available after surgery.


The Braves Play Taxpayers Better Than They Play Baseball

Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A. In every case, they switched cities, pitting their new host against the old during negotiations. They showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger. Says Joel Maxcy, a sports economist at Drexel University: “If there’s one thing the Braves know how to do, it’s how to get money out of taxpayers.”

The Atlanta Braves own most of their minor league farm system, including, along with a Double-A team, the Triple-A team in Gwinnett County, Ga.; the Single-A team in Rome, Ga.; and lower-level teams in Danville, Va., and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It’s an unusual arrangement. Major League Baseball teams always manage their players at every level, but they usually leave the day-to-day operations of farm teams to independent owners. The Braves prefer more control. “We can create a seamless thread all the way through our system,” says Mike Plant, the team’s president of development. The teams are all named the Braves and wear near-identical uniforms. Even the “Tomahawk Chop” chant is the same from Atlanta to Rome. “We definitely extend that Braves brand through everything we do,” says Plant.

The Braves are similarly methodical about using other people’s money to build their ballparks. In 2001, for example, while trying to persuade Rome to build a $15 million, 5,105-seat stadium for the Single-A Braves, who then played 150 miles south in Macon, the Braves brought local officials to Turner Field for executive dinners and to watch games from the owner’s box. “It was hands down the highlight of my life,” then-Floyd County Manager Kevin Poe says. That November, Rome voters approved a 1¢ sales tax to pay for the stadium by a 142-vote margin.


The last video of Babe Ruth playing in the major leagues, IN COLOR

Get a fantastic look at what Baker Bowl looked like in the 1930s. This video captures the Babe in his next-to-last game in the major leagues, as the Braves take on the Phillies in Philadelphia. Get a load of the scoreboard with the home team listed as batting first, and that’s Jimmie Wilson bouncing around the bases with a home run.

The Babe would retire two days later, frustrated at being lied to by the owner of the Braves. Emil Fuchs was broke and unable to pay rent at Braves Field, and within a few weeks he would sell the Braves.


Francisco Cervelli’s framing an advantage for Pirates - SweetSpot- ESPN

The Pirates fully appreciate what he brings beyond his pitch presentation.

“It’s priceless,” pitching coach Ray Searage said. “Everything he does behind the plate—his execution and game calling—helps build the trust between him and the entire pitching staff. He has grown tremendously as a catcher in the two years he has been here.”

But Cervelli still feels as if he has more to do and more “love” to give.

“I feel like I’m not there yet,” he said. “I’m going to keep working until my very last day.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 02, 2016 at 02:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco cervelli, pirates, pitch framing

Tim Lincecum’s showcase set, and Giants will be there - San Francisco Chronicle

Is it really going to happen?

Lincecum will host his long-awaited showcase in Arizona on Friday, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. At least two-thirds of the major-league teams are expected to attend.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 02, 2016 at 02:21 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, giants, tim lincecum

Facts and fiction from the first month of the MLB season | FOX Sports

I can’t see Beane trading Gray.

Fiction: Sonny Gray is certain to be traded

I’m not naive—when it comes to Billy Beane and trades, it’s always wise to bet the over. Still, the Athletics were one game under .500 in April, their revamped bullpen is performing quite well and Sean Manaea and Jesse Hahn could make their rotation even better.

Are we talking postseason? Probably not. But in 2017? Maybe. The Athletics’ farm system is improving, and Gray will remain affordable next season in his first year of arbitration. It’s difficult to imagine the ‘17 club being better without him.

Then again, the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Rangers are among the prospect-rich teams that are likely to pursue a big-time starter at the deadline. And Gray figures to be—by far—the best of the bunch.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 02, 2016 at 11:26 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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