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Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue Jays end negotiations for Orioles’ Duquette - Sportsnet.ca

Things have to be uncomfortable in the Orioles front office right now.

Negotiations for Dan Duquette are over after the Toronto Blue Jays refused to consider the Baltimore Orioles’ demands for promising right-hander Jeff Hoffman and two other top prospects as compensation for the executive.
...
Beyond Hoffman, the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, the Orioles are also believed to have been seeking catcher Max Pentecost, the 11th overall pick in 2014, infielder Mitch Nay and more, demands that the Blue Jays at no point contemplated because of how steep they were.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dan duquette, orioles

New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s top five priorities - ESPN

More about Manfred’s plans.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

Jon Daniels again shoots down Josh Hamilton rumors, Fan Fest crowd applauds | Dallas Morning News

Sometimes it’s a blessing when another team signs your player to a big free agent contract.

In December, Fox Sports reported that the Rangers were one of the teams that had “exploratory” talks with the Angels about trading for Josh Hamilton. Daniels quickly shot down the rumor and did so again on Saturday — much to the delight of the crowd.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton, rangers

Kluber collects Cy Young Award, joins Tribe Fest | MLB.com

“I’d answer that more categorically,” Shapiro told reporters on Sunday. “Corey represents all of the things we look for in players: dependable, reliable person, committed to his work ethic, talented. Then you look at contracts and you say, ‘Can we find that point where we’re both comfortable with the shared risk?’ We don’t know that right now. That’s something that we’ll have to look at.
“As prioritization of the calendar goes, it’s something we’ll probably look at over the next couple of months. ... He has all the precursors that we would look for to enter into a multiyear agreement.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: corey kluber, indians

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-26-2015

Pittsburgh Press, January 26, 1915:

Morris Farrell, son of the millionaire president of a lumber company [in Little Rock], has been signed by President Allen, of the local Southern association club. Farrell has played with Kansas City and Waco, but quit both clubs because he objected to discipline.

It would seem young Farrell’s time with Little Rock was cut short because he couldn’t play. Farrell hit .143 and slugged .196 in 15 games with the 1915 Travelers. John Henry Williams, eat your heart out.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bring Back Selig - New Commissioner Manfred is a Moron - Halos Heaven

While I agree that banning shifts and the implementation of a clock (instead of simply enforcing rules on batter and pitchers) aren’t needed, this is a little over the top.
(Edited after posting my comment too quickly. Jim)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 05:46 PM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, rob manfred

Sunday Notes: Adam Everett on D, Norris’ Notoriety, Boggs & Beer, more

Major league players are doing just fine financially under the current system. TV revenue is a huge part of the reason even mediocre players are getting big bucks. So, excuse me for thinking the players should stop whining about getting into the box or throwing pitches a little faster if it shortens an average game time that is out of hand. Returning the game to a more fan-friendly pace is an important step to keep the game growing. Somehow players from the past were able to gather their thoughts and process things; today’s players just need to undo their bad habits.

My favorite Tweet this week came from Joe Sheehan, a former colleague at Baseball Prospectus who currently writes for Sports Illustrated: “MLB wants to have its long commercial breaks, pay players 42% of the money they produce AND have the players make up for the added time.”

While I’m fully behind efforts to speed up the pace – I attended 17 nine-inning games at Fenway Park last year that lasted 3:30 or longer – I understand his quibble. Hitters stepping out to gather their thoughts, and pitchers pausing to process, are understandable. What irks me is seeing the umpire looking up at the TV booth for the signal that allows him to start an inning. Everyone else is ready, but the erectile-dysfunction ad isn’t done running.

It’s hard for me to understand why TV money has as much pull as it does.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 11:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

Red Sox notebook: Following surgery, Mike Napoli feels refreshed and ready - Sports - The Boston Globe

This does not sound like a fun way to spend an off-season.

“I couldn’t do it anymore, feeling the way I was feeling,” he said. “I was like, ‘I need to have the surgery or I’m not going play anymore.’ That’s how bad it was.”

Dr. Leonard Kaban, the chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, broke Napoli’s upper and lower jaw and moved them forward. That doubled the space in his airway.

Kaban inserted a titanium plate and several screws to reconnect Napoli’s jaw. Napoli spent two days in intensive care and experienced “10 days of pain.” Then came six weeks of a liquid diet. Nearly three months later, Napoli doesn’t have feeling in his lips and chin because of nerve damage that may not heal for up to a year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, red sox

Yankees reject A-Rod’s mea culpa meeting request - NY Daily News

Relations between Rodriguez, MLB and the Yankees became so heated in late 2013 and early 2014 that baseball executives and team officials hired extra security for protection, going so far as to have their homes and offices swept for bugging devices and employing bodyguards to accompany them, according to sources.

“He put everyone through a lot of undue grief and unnecessary expense,” said one baseball source.
...
It is hard to imagine the frayed relations between A-Rod and the Yankees – who still owe Rodriguez $61 million through 2017 — can ever be fully mended, given the legal attacks and media assault he and his lawyers unleashed throughout the Biogenesis saga. Rodriguez’s status as a key government witness in the government’s prosecution of his cousin, Yuri Sucart, will be a painful reminder of those hard feelings. Sucart’s trial is scheduled to begin on April 6 – the same day the Yankees open at home against Toronto.

The next battle looming, according to sources, will be over the performance clauses in A-Rod’s contract, part of a separate marketing contract between the slugger and the Yankees.

Rodriguez, who has 654 career home runs, needs to hit just six more to tie Willie Mays’ 660 and receive a $6 million bonus. The deal also calls for him to receive $6 million if he ties Babe Ruth (714), another $6 million if he ties Hank Aaron (755) and yet another $6 million if surpasses Barry Bonds (762) to become baseball’s all-time home run king.

But with A-Rod’s pursuit of the records discredited by his steroid admissions the Yankees will argue that those milestones are no longer valid in terms of marketing deals.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 06:27 AM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Seitzer encouraged by workouts with Upton

“Any hitter that has a tendency to be long [with their swing], where their hands get away from the body, is going to have a tough time catching up to fastballs,” Seitzer said. “They will also be vulnerable to offspeed pitches and inside pitches.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: b.j. upton, braves


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ted Lilly Charged With Felony Insurance Fraud

Flo from Progressive is not going to like this.

The Tribune in San Luis Obispo (Ca.) reports that Lilly was charged back in October with three felony counts of “filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim,” and faces five years in jail.

According to the Department of Insurance, the uninsured Lilly got an estimate for damage on his motor home, bought insurance five days later, and then claimed the damage four days after that…

According to Kincaid, many body shops enter repair estimates into a database accessible by insurance companies. Lilly was caught in a sting that has netted at least 200 people who bought or enhanced their coverage after an accident occurred.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2015 at 10:30 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, police blotter, ted lilly

Pedroia ‘ready to go,’ sees Sox rebounding | MLB.com

In case you were worried.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2015 at 07:00 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Toronto Sun: The inside story on how Ed Rogers tried to replace Jays President Paul Beeston

If this is all true, Ed Rogers (Deputy Chairman of Rogers Communications, which owns the Blue Jays) has an enormous amount to answer for, both in the court of public opinion AND to Major League Baseball.

We’re not sure if this is the way Harvard Business School teaches Forbes 500 companies on how to make upper management changes.

Or the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the London Business School, for that matter.

Yet, here is how Rogers Communications went about the dirty business of replacing Blue Jays president Paul Beeston and trying to hire executive vice-president Kenny Williams from the Chicago White Sox.

You can easily sub Dan Duquette’s name for each mention of Williams.

And you can replace White Sox with the Baltimore Orioles and see how Rogers Communications handled — or rather bungled — the business of replacing the president of the Blue Jays.

Esoteric Posted: January 24, 2015 at 12:45 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: baltimore orioles, chicago white sox, tampering, toronto blue jays


DallasNews: Prince Fielder in best shape of his life

Fielder, speaking before the club’s annual pep-rally awards banquet at the Dallas Omni, said all is well heading into Year 2. The rehabilitation work has gone well, and he expects to be a full participant when spring training opens.

“I could play a pick-up game right now,” Fielder said. “I’m 100 percent. … Whatever it was before, it’s back.

“I feel healthy. That’s the difference. I’m feeling really good and ready to go.”

Round is a shape…

Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 24, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, prince fielder, rangers

2015 Prospect Watch: Top 10 catchers | redsox.com

MLB.com’s list.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Mariners notebook: Montero’s weight down; targeting another outfielder; four spots set in rotation

i bet he is in the best shape of his life.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2015 at 08:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Ernie Banks, Hopeful Mr. Cub, Dies at 83; His Mantra Was ‘Let’s Play 2’

Long after retiring, Banks recalled the sweltering midsummer’s day in 1969 when he bubbled over in a phrase that became his trademark.

“We were in first place, and all the reporters were already in the locker room when I arrived at Wrigley for a game with the Cardinals,” Banks told The Arizona Daily Star. “I walked in and said: ‘Boy, it’s a beautiful day. Let’s play two.’ They all thought I was crazy.”...

“Ernie was the eternal optimist,” the former Cubs second baseman Glenn Beckert told Peter Golenbock in “Wrigleyville” (1996). “Everything is fine, a great day. You’d go back to Chicago from the nice weather in Arizona. A lot of times we’d open against St. Louis, and when you did that, Bob Gibson was going to be their pitcher. Gray, overcast, 32 degrees in Wrigley, big crowd, start snowing about the sixth inning, and Ernie says: ‘Isn’t this a great day? We’ll keep nice and cool so we don’t get overheated.’ ”

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2015 at 07:28 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, general

Report: Brewers discussing trade for closer Jonathan Papelbon

Doug Melvin Develops Dementia;Local Fan Provides Diagnosis.

Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 24, 2015 at 07:22 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, papelbon, phillies

Tribune: Ernie Banks Dead at 83.

R.I.P. Ernie.

Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 24, 2015 at 02:37 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, death

Keri - Wayward Marlins Take Aim at Sustained Success

How did the Marlins go from a frequently penny-pinching club that couldn’t find the money to sign future first-ballot Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera to a team that just paid Giancarlo Stanton $325 million before making a slew of other offseason moves intended to turn Miami into a consistent contender? After 22 tumultuous years for the franchise, why do the Marlins now believe they are financially secure enough to pay their best player a third of a billion dollars and talented enough to compete for a playoff spot — not only in 2015, but also for years to come?

These and other pressing questions on the next exciting episode of Miami Nice!

boteman Posted: January 24, 2015 at 12:36 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: grantland, jonah keri, marlins, saving money is what we do

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chicago Cubs—2015 ZiPS Projections

The most important event of the offseason!

Walt Davis Posted: January 23, 2015 at 10:30 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, moses, theo epstein

Neyer: That time Bud Selig yelled at me

I let the machine pick up, and was more than a little bemused to hear this: Rob, this is Commissioner Selig. I read your column on ESPN and wanted to talk to you about it. When you get a chance, please call me at …”

Selig clearly had a print-out of my ESPN.com column at hand, probably with the offending passages highlighted by a flunky. And he spent the next half-hour or so simply going through the passages, and telling me exactly how I’d gotten each one so horribly wrong. A few times, I tried to interject with my questions. He wasn’t having any of it, not even a little. I think it’s probably safe to say that Selig didn’t respond, or really react at all, to a single thing I said. He was the High Commissioner of Baseball, Lord of Lords, and I was nothing.

When finally he’d finished haranguing me, I believe he did sign off civilly. But it’s certainly the most frustrating conversation in my professional life, to this day. And I probably was less well-disposed toward Selig than I’d been before.

I probably became even less well-disposed a few weeks later, when the word came down from above: Lay off Commissioner Bud. Oh, I wasn’t told I couldn’t criticize him. Just that I couldn’t do it with such obvious relish.

Still, seemed petty at the time (and still does). I wasn’t the only one, either. I know other writers who’d gotten calls from Selig, and I know other writers who’d been told by their bosses to take it easy on the poor old Commissioner.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:00 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: black hand, bud selig, commissioner

2015 Prospect Watch | Top 10 First Baseman | MLB.com

Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell is #1.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 03:54 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

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