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Saturday, April 30, 2016

4-30 OMNICHATTER

The Winds of OMNICHATTER.

I get a Syndergnome today!

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 30, 2016 at 11:30 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

An oral history of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run

La Russa:

“So here’s what I thought. I thought, Gibby, he’s hittin’ on one leg. … My thought was, lookit, he’s hurting, I wanted to bring the outfield in because I didn’t think he could hit the ball out of the infield. So I was just trying to protect [against] the bloop. … So I was worried he was going to hit a ground ball through a hole or hit a blooper. So [pitching coach Dave] Duncan says, ‘You know, Steve Sax is on deck. And Eck’ll walk through him like he’s water.’ I said, ‘Hey, who’s the manager? We’re gonna pitch to him.’ ”

Crystal:

“So Duncan asked the same question I did.”

La Russa:

“Dunc didn’t ask it. He said, ‘Walk Gibson.’ I said, ‘I’m making the decisions here.’ And as we walked off the field, he says, ‘Dumb ass.’ “


Hardball Times: The Doug Mirabelli Trade, an Oral History

10 years ago this weekend, marked backup catcher and knuckleball whisperer Doug Mirabelli’s return to the Red Sox.

The December prior, the Red Sox sent the 35-year-old Mirabelli — long Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher — to the Padres for second baseman Mark Loretta. They acquired Josh Bard from the Indians (in the Coco Crisp deal) a month later to replace Mirabelli.

April 2006 was a period of adjustment — Mirabelli adjusting to San Diego, Bard to Boston, Wakefield to Bard. It wasn’t going well. Bard had 10 passed balls in five Wakefield starts, including two in their first inning together and four in Bard’s final start on April 26 in Cleveland, the middle stop of a three-city road trip for the Red Sox.

Then-Sox general manager Theo Epstein was on that road trip. The game against the Indians motivated him to move on perhaps the most famous trade for a backup catcher in the history of baseball — a trade he now considers the worst he’s ever made.

Shoulda had them throw in plenty of chicken parm.


MLB Plus: Analytics-driven feed debuts

1. What is MLB Plus?
Orchestrated from both MLB.com Studios and correspondents as well as technical resources at the ballpark, MLB Plus is a new way to enjoy baseball.
MLB Plus will place a real-time emphasis on the numbers and metrics used by many of the game’s current decision-makers, from spin rate and outfield positioning to exit velocity and lead distance. In addition, MLB Plus will supplement the action with videos explaining the technology used and in-depth prospect reports.

2. Who will appear on MLB Plus?
MLB Plus will have a rotating cast, each bringing his or her own strengths. From nationally known play-by-play broadcasters to MLB.com stats analysts to former Major League players and general managers to team-specific expertise from MLB.com beat writers, MLB Plus will have every angle covered.
MLB Plus broadcasts will feature a combination of the following voices:
• Fernando Perez (former Rays outfielder, VICE.com Contributor)
• Alyson Footer (MLB.com national correspondent)
• Will Leitch (Sports on Earth senior writer)
• Mike Petriello (MLB.com stats analyst and host of the Statcast™ Podcast)
• Jim Duquette (MLB.com analyst, host of MLB Network Radio’s “Power Alley,” former GM of Mets and Orioles)
• Daron Sutton (Former play-by-play voice of the Angels [radio, 2000-01], Brewers [television, 2002-06] and D-backs [television, 2007-12])

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 30, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, fernando perez, statcast

Sherman: How baseball enticed Dee Gordon to use PEDs

Sherman blames everyone for players using PEDs—save the sportswriters who turned a blind eye to the issue during the 90s/00s.

Dee Gordon is the villain in his 80-game suspension. Let’s be upfront about that because I want to talk about the hypocrisy that cushions a villain and propels a villain to do villainous stuff.

Pretty much the only institution in the game that has delivered a strong penalty to those tied to illegal performance enhancers is the Baseball Writers Association of America, which votes for the Hall of Fame. Hypocrisy alert: I might be part of the problem, because I vote for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Ultimately, the Hall is about the best 1 percent of players ever. For the other 99 percent, the deterrent message is not exactly powerful, certainly not as powerful as the hypocrisy.

JEe (Jason) Posted: April 30, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dee gordon, peds, sportswriters, steroids, suspensions

Dee Gordon, N.L.‘s Reigning Batting Champion, Gets 80-Game Penalty

One year after an All-Star season that saw him win awards for his hitting and fielding, Major League Baseball has suspended Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon for 80 games because tests found that he used two performance-enhancing drugs.

spanx for the memories Posted: April 30, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: miami marlins

Astros, Rangers Exploring Carolina League Teams

Well, the cat is out of the bag: The Houston Astros are looking at placing a High A team at a new Fayetteville ballpark, while the Texas Rangers are still eying a team in Kinston, as work progresses on moving two teams from the California League to the Carolina League.

Astros owner Jim Crane was in Fayetteville today to look at ballpark sites, in a move originally scheduled for last Monday (the trip was delayed due to flooding in Houston). And while the whole Cal to Carolina move for the High Desert Mavericks and Bakersfield Blaze franchises — as well as a new downtown Fayetteville ballpark, something we discussed in the past, as well as a potential Astros High-A farm team at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches — has been hush-hush, it’s out in the open now after Crane’s rather public visit to Fayetteville, per the Fayetteville Observer:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 30, 2016 at 06:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, california league, carolina league, rangers

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pipeline Inbox: 2016 MLB Draft questions | MLB.com

The Draft is just six weeks away and we’re kicking up MLBPipeline.com’s coverage a few notches today by updating and expanding our Top Prospects list to 100. I also wrote an overview of the top talent available, and Jonathan Mayo will break down options for the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick Friday. On Monday, we’ll both speculate as to how the first 10 choices could unfold. Then on Tuesday, I’ll detail the prospects whose stock has risen and fallen the most since the start of the year.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 01:48 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, prospects

Minor League Baseball Toolshed: Big week for pitching prospect promotions | MiLB.com

Some good guys on the way. After seeing him pitch a couple of times, I’m very high on Cody Reed.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 11:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Someone stole a 14-foot Royals player off a billboard - SBNation.com

Please put it back.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 11:29 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general

Rough start for MN Twins’ John Ryan Murphy

Murphy’s line-drive rate had dropped to just 7.4 percent, well off his career average (22.1 percent). His flyball rate was 48.1 percent, well above his typical 35.0 percent, and his hard-contact rate had dropped to 17.1 percent from a career mark of 27.1 percent.

This, too, it seems he’d rather not know.

“The way the game is now, there’s probably an overload of information,” he said. “I think every player is a little bit different. You have to understand what works for you and what doesn’t work for you.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 29, 2016 at 10:08 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: john ryan murphy, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-29-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 29, 1916:

Charles Wagner laid down his tools in the riveting department of the Hale & Kilburn plant and munched an apple. The proximity of the Athletics’ ball park stirred him to action.

“Play ball,” he said to a fellow-workman, Daniel Dougherty, as the latter assumed a Ty Cobbesque pose with a hammer as a bat.

He threw the core of the apple toward Dougherty, who, in attempting to single to right, let the hammer slip from his hands. It struck Wagner in the head, necessitating his removal to the Samaritan Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull.

Let that be a lesson to you. Don’t play baseball with an apple and a hammer. It may seem like a good idea, but I assure you it is not.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 29, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, dugout, history, stupid ideas

Miami Herald: MLB has suspended Dee Gordon for 80 games after he tested positive for PEDs

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, the National League’s reigning batting champion, has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

The suspension is effective immediately.

An email with the news was sent out at 1:17 a.m. by the commissioner’s office – not long after the Marlins completed a four-game sweep of the Dodgers in Los Angeles with a 5-3 win Thursday.

The statement said Gordon, who signed a five-year, $50 million extension in January, tested positive for “for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, performance-enhancing substances, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”

Tike Redman's Shattered Dreams Posted: April 29, 2016 at 02:02 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, oops, peds, suspension

4-29-16 OMNICHATTER

A OMNICHATTER of Crows

Gamingboy Posted: April 29, 2016 at 12:15 AM | 212 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Perry: Quintana is Emerging as Second White Sox Ace

In each of the last three full seasons, [Jose Quintana]‘s topped 200 innings and put up a K/BB ratio of 3.41. He’s done that despite over his career pitching almost half his innings in homer-friendly U.S. Cellular Field and ceding the platoon advantage to 73.7 percent of the batters he’s faced.

As well, Quintana is in his age-27 season at present, so it’s possible his peak has not yet been realized. (His slight bump in fastball and sinker velocity this season, during a month when gun readings tend to be down, is something to watch on this front.) If that’s the case, then the White Sox may well have a pair of aces under contract through 2019.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 28, 2016 at 01:06 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, pitching, white sox

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2016

Bemidji Daily Pioneer, April 28, 1916:

BIBLICAL BASEBALL.

Abel made the first hit; Adam and Eve retired on the first double play; Adam was the first man up. Noah on deck; Abel made the first sacrifice; Noah issued the first rain checks; Eve displayed the first curve; Moses took the first team to a training camp; Elijah’s bears were the original cubs; Reuben was caught stealing by Joseph; Joseph was the first player sold; Lazarus died at first; Laban was the first contract jumper; Elijah’s chariot was the first coach; the dove was the first foul out. When you make a home run after the game, refresh yourself with golden grain juice. Try it. It “satisfies.”

Zacchaeus had season tickets next to Bob Uecker. Julio Franco was Methuselah’s first manager. The serpent was the first to turn two.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Meet Ronald Herrera, the Yankees’ pet pitching prospect | New York Post

And it is not just the Yankees who appreciate him. This is from an opposing scout: “He is a medium-body right-hander who looks generic as hell. The stuff is not overpowering, but the pitchability and command are both so good. He is so poised, especially for his age. I love his makeup. I love how he mixes pitches. He is a big-league starting pitcher.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: ronald herrera, yankees

Silverman: Red Sox should stick with Steven Wright in rotation | Boston Herald

Steven Wright is the real deal.

Let’s not lose our shirts just because Steven Wright joined Rick Porcello and David Price in the “I, too, shut down the Braves lineup” club last night.

Let’s, however, start banging the drum for Wright to establish permanent residency in the Red Sox rotation.

For a guy who described himself as a starter “by default” just because Eduardo Rodriguez got hurt during spring training, Wright has seized the opportunity to become the most consistent, reliable and arguably the best starter on the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, steven wright

Ted Cruz the latest victim of politicians trying to talk sports | NBC SportsWorld

I don’t care about a politicians’ sports opinions. I care even less about the political views of sportswriters.

And no, this isn’t another OTP thread. Frankly, just like I’m sure you don’t care about mine, I don’t care much about your political views either.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 116 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Jake Arrieta sounds off on Cubs future, PED rumblings: ‘Some people are idiots’

A little late on this story.

Sorry about the paucity of links the last few days. A family member has been dealing with a medical issue the last few days and I’ve been busy providing support. Luckily she’s now fine and her prognosis is good.

I’ve heard players, and I’m talking about some of the best players in the league,’’ Arrieta told USA TODAY Sports, “question whether I’ve taken steroids or not. Some of the things I hear are pretty funny, and some people are idiots, frankly.

“I’ll see on Twitter, ‘My close source revealed to me he’s on steroids.’ Well, the 10 tests I take a year say otherwise. I eat plants. I eat lean meat. I work out. And I do things the right way.

“If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught. I care about the integrity of the game. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my fans. That’s a huge motivating factor in doing it the right way.

“There are so many people that are counting on you, and leaning on all of us in this clubhouse to do some special things for the city of Chicago. To jeopardize that by taking banned substances, would be a ridiculous mistake.’’

He laughs at the cynicism and innuendo, without displaying the slightest hint of anger.

“Hey, that’s one of the best compliments you can give a guy,’’ he says. “I appreciate the fact that you think I’m pretty good, but taking steroids, that’s pushing it.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:33 AM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, peds

The Most and Least Generous Strike Zones | FanGraphs Baseball

Not that it’s helped the Astros much.

A big chunk of this is about catcher framing. But you also have run-of-the-mill luck, and plus there’s pitcher identity to take into account. Some pitchers just earn better zones than others, typically because they possess better command. Now, these numbers aren’t perfect, because the PITCHf/x system isn’t perfect. So this isn’t gospel, but below are my results. To this point, the Astros have pitched to the most generous zone. The White Sox have pitched to the least generous zone. That already tells you this isn’t the most important thing in the world, but it’s definitely a thing in the world.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Cooperstown Confidential: Baseball’s Facebook Phenomenon – The Hardball Times

As someone who spends a good deal of time on Facebook, I can tell you full well the benefits that it provides for someone who likes to spout opinions on our National Pastime. If something catches my attention, particularly if it is a current day issue that annoys me (like the recent Adam LaRoche affair), Facebook is a quick and ready outlet that allows for some candid venting. I used to host a sports talk show, which gave me a nightly forum for such ranting, but that’s something from the long ago. Facebook has filled that talk show gap for me, even if on a smaller scale.

So if you’re on Facebook, and you get a friend request from someone named Jim Gosger, do something smart and don’t turn it down.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: facebook, history

Let’s just put the coronation of the Cubs on hold a minute | FOX Sports

We interrupt the coronation of the Cubs to remind you that that the NL Central features two other contenders with powerful offenses.

Yes, the Cubs already lead the Pirates by three games and the Cardinals by 3½; neither of the trailing clubs is pitching as well as expected, while the Cubs rank second in the NL in ERA.

The race, however, remains intriguing.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:28 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

4-28-16 OMNICHATTER

A OMNICHATTER of Swords

Gamingboy Posted: April 28, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 270 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fehr (BLS): Noah Syndergaard Tours New York City as Thor

Thor could crush somebody in Times Square and he wouldn’t lose fans.

The Mets flamethrower has teamed up with SportsNet New York for a segment where he hits the street of New York City dressed as Thor.

JEe (Jason) Posted: April 27, 2016 at 07:05 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, new york, noah syndergaard, thor

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