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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Yankees President: Dellin Betances’ Arbitration Filing “Had No Bearings In Reality”

“It’s like me saying, I’m not the president of the Yankees, I’m an astronaut. I’m not an astronaut and Dellin Betances is not a closer,” Levine adds.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that there’s “bad blood” between Betances and the Yankees going back to last season, when the Yankees renewed Betances’ salary for the league minimum of $507K despite Betances’ strong performances to that point.

Stay classy, Randy.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 18, 2017 at 01:20 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, astronauts, yankees

Deadspin: Here’s a reminder that Mookie Betts is legitimately great at bowling

Mookie Betts is awesome and the Truth.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has never made a secret of his love of bowling—he’s said that he watches the game every Sunday when he can, he competed in the 2015 World Series of Bowling and he’s bowled two perfect games in the past four years. The guy has a profile on the U.S. Bowling Congress website.

So it’s not exactly surprising that he won last night’s All-Star Celebrity Clash at Chris Paul’s charity bowling tournament. And he managed to look cool as hell doing it. This smooth turn and stroll after his sixth straight strike is more or less the bowling equivalent to a bat flip after a huge dinger:

Also, this is clearly a better spring training activity for him than driving a golf cart.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 18, 2017 at 12:16 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: bowling, cool and good, mookie betts, red sox

Who’s in Command Here?!?

So if pitchers who strike out a lot of batters while walking few tend to be very good, is the converse always true? Are pitchers with lousy K/BB ratios… lousy?

Well, yes.

And no.

It depends.

(Jerry Crasnick bears no responsibility for any of this)

gehrig97 Posted: February 18, 2017 at 10:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: clemens, command, control, curt schilling, kershaw, maddux, mike mussina, strikeouts, walks

Former D-backs GM Dave Stewart regrets trading Dansby Swanson, calls firing unfair

“I would probably say I should have stuck to my gut — although I think Shelby Miller is going to be everything I thought he was going to be when I traded for him,” Stewart said Wednesday on MLB Network Radio. “But my gut that whole time said I should not move Dansby Swanson.

 

 

shoewizard Posted: February 18, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dave stewart, diamondbacks, general managers

Reynaldo Lopez hopes to start with White Sox | MLB.com

“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it,” Lopez said. “When the people from the Nationals called me and let me know I was in a trade, I couldn’t believe it.
“But then my lawyer called me and explained to me the situation and told me this is a good opportunity for me and a good team for me, and I was happy then. But first I was very surprised.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: reynaldo lopez, white sox

Travis d’Arnaud’s Problem? Throwing With ‘Too Much Arm’ - The New York Times

Getting it all the way to second base is definitely a good goal.

“It takes a lot of stress off my arm and makes it easier to get it all the way to second base, and it makes you more consistent,” d’Arnaud said later.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, travis d'arnaud

Berrios believes ‘16 struggles can help development with Twins - StarTribune.com

Berrios had never been hit like that before, so it tested his confidence.

“You see what the big difference is between the major league and the minor leagues,” Berrios said. “So now I feel more comfortable and more confident with myself. I feel better. You have to stay mentally strong. Sometimes I feel rushed and it can be tough. But everyone knows I work hard every day. So I go out and do my stuff, the things I can control.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose berrios, twins

Jon Gray believes he can become best pitcher in Rockies history

The question posed to Jon Gray was simple and direct: Do you think you have a chance to be the best pitcher in Rockies history?

His answer was measured and thoughtful.

“I think I can definitely accomplish that, because I don’t fear Coors Field at all,” Gray said last week as spring training opened. “I know I can go in there and give it everything I have and get the win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: jon gray, rockies

Meet baseball’s latest boy genius – the son of a pile driver operator

A boy genius for you. A boy genius for you. Boy geniuses for EVERYBODY!!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: derek falvey, general managers, twins


J.D. Martinez ‘not proud’ after finishing last among defensive RFs

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus likened it to a slump.

“I think he had an off year; I don’t want to say he took a step back,” Ausmus said. “I think, quite frankly, it was a lack of concentration at times. I think a couple of balls hit his glove and bounced out. I’m not worried about him. I think he takes pride in his defense and he will return to form.

“Even good hitters have off years. Why couldn’t a good defender have an off year?”

Now remember, Martinez was a finalist for the 2015 Gold Glove Award. And besides, he is paid to crush the ball with his bat, not run through the outfield like a gazelle.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:17 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive metrics, j.d. martinez, tigers

Heyman: Cardinals And Yadier Molina Have Preliminary Extension Talks

Mozeliak called the talk “very preliminary.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, yadier molina

The Glory of Their Times—Special Edition - YouTube

H/T to John Thorn for sharing on Twitter.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: history, video

10 reasons to love the Cactus League | MLB.com

Richard Justice is a people person.

7. Mike Scioscia, Angels manager.
He’s a teach. In the end, it’s that simple. When the Angels won the World Series in 2002, he opened Spring Training with a simple fine system. Players would get small fines for not taking an extra base and for not throwing to the right bag. In this way, he was letting the Angels know what he expected of them. That’s part of his brilliance. He begins Spring Training mornings with a team meeting that could pass for a stand-up comedy routine. The team meeting serves as a team-building exercise and sets a nice tone for the day.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 07:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Mets top 2017 Statcast fastball velocity ranks | MLB.com

Mets, Mets, Mets.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 07:52 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, statcast

Mike Trout lands atop Top 100 Right Now list | MLB.com

If Trout wasn’t at the top something would be wrong.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: rankings

Friday, February 17, 2017

Blake Swihart Appears To Have A Case Of The Yips

The yips are the worst boogeyman in sports, and although it’s not clear that Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart is dealing with that particular beast, but this sure doesn’t look good:....

Masslive reports that this is not a one-time incident, and that Swihart has been struggling with his throws back to the mound throughout the early days of spring training. Despite this, Swihart told Masslive that he is not worried about it:

“I feel fine. I’m not worried. You guys shouldn’t be worried either,” he added. “I’m working on my craft. And I promise the ball’s going to get there.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:14 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox, steve blass disease, yips

Nick Swisher: “The Dream Is Over, Baby!”

And he was all like, “brah, its totes time to call it quits.”

Then, in my first at bat, I get to the plate toting one of my fresh new sticks, and … first pitch, bro … I go deep. Like, deeeeep. A no-doubter. And the catcher — who still doesn’t know who I am — says, “Wow, man … that’s a really nice swing.”

I’m like, “Thanks, dude. I’ve been working on it.”

And I just laughed all the way back to the dugout.

It was the best.

And the reason I say that anybody who’s ever met me or seen me play won’t be surprised by that story is because that’s the kind of energy and passion I bring to the game of baseball every time I step on the field. I guarantee you’re gonna have a hard time ever finding somebody who had as much fun playing the game as I did.

And now I’m gonna bring that same energy to everything else I do … now that I’m officially retiring from Major League Baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:07 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: nick swisher, retirement

Carter Capps Delivery Is New, Still Basically Against The Rules

This. Is. Insane.

Brian Posted: February 17, 2017 at 02:33 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Dear Pittsburgh

In this case, I hope the best decision the Pirates made this off-season was the trade they didn’t make.  There are not enough heart emoji’s in the world to adequately express my affection for this player. 

Russ Posted: February 17, 2017 at 01:04 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-17-2017

The Daily Missoulian, February 17, 1917:

[D.F.] McGowan is a member of the legal staff of District No. 1 of the United States Forest Service. He has devised a new method of determining the “standing of the clubs” and will presently submit it to the consideration of the baseball magnates.
...
[An excerpt from the McGowan Plan:] The playing season is to be divided into periods corresponding to calendar months. During each of these periods the relative standing of the clubs is to be computed as at present, by averages of games won and lost…The team with the highest average for a period is, in an eight-club league, to be credited with eight points. The second team is to be given seven; the third, six; the fourth and fifth, five; the sixth, seventh and eight, four each.

I’ve got a counterproposal: If you win a game, you get a point. If you lose, you get no points. At the end of the season, the team who won the largest percentage of possible points is awarded the pennant.

The entire McGowan Plan is printed on the linked page. It’s all kinds of crazy.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: crazytown bananapants, dugout, history

Starling Marte says he is fine with offseason switch to center field | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pirates outfield needs to stay healthy this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2017 at 09:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, starling marte

Brian Cashman excited about position battles | MLB.com

The Yanks’ chances would jump significantly if Severino can recapture the feel of his changeup and replicate what he did at the end of 2015, when he was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts. Severino was 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts last year, and recently sought assistance from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez.

“Which is the real [Severino]? We hope the one that possesses three above-average pitches, an explosive fastball, a devastating slider and a wicked changeup,” Cashman said. “That’s not what we got in 2016, so tear up 2016, throw it out the door.

“He muscled up, we felt, when he showed up for spring last year. [Pitching coach] Larry [Rothschild] communicated to him—less bulk and more flexibility. He looks great. It’s clear by how he looks that he did do that. He’s got a fresh start.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2017 at 09:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees


A Top Mets Prospect Let Baseball Wait Until School Was Done - The New York Times

The next really big thing.

In trade talks over the winter, Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ general manager, said Rosario’s name did not even come up much because rival teams had figured it out for themselves: Rosario was too good to be made part of any deal.

“He can be an outstanding player,” Alderson said in December.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amed rosario, mets

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