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Friday, March 27, 2015

BBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!

We’ve finally got a date scheduled for this year’s NYC softball game, August 8.

Anybody who’s in contact with Primates who haven’t been around lately, please let ‘em know.

Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 27, 2015 at 06:49 PM | 267 comment(s)
  Beats: softball

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Cardinals fire Scouting Director for hacking Astros

Correa has admitted hacking into a Houston Astros database but said it was only to verify whether the Astros had stolen proprietary data, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Correa did not leak any Astros data, and is not responsible for additional hacks that the FBI has alleged occurred or leaking any data, said the source.

Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 02, 2015 at 05:36 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, hacking, scouting

Royals’ Chris Young brings the heat even with a slow fastball

Glenn Fleisig is the research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute, which has long been the leader in understanding sports-related injuries and as such has worked with many major-league teams.

He says that many of those teams openly admit that they put too much emphasis on fastball velocity. Part of it is that pitch speed is so easily quantifiable, where other factors like character and mechanics and work ethic can be vague. He hears over and over again that if two prospects are otherwise comparable, the one with more velocity will be more highly regarded because they figure to have more potential.

Fleisig thinks the teams should be taking the opposite approach.

“I’m trying to tell them that if you have two guys with the same results, with the same makeup, same injury history,” he says, “I would actually rather have the one with less velocity. Because if all those other things are equal, he has less chance of injury.”...

All of it is evidence to reinforce a point Fleisig has made to teams. A few years ago, he ran data to correlate fastball velocity and performance, as measured by ERA. He found the relationship to be non-existent. Zero. Nothing.

Maybe that surprises you. It surprises some scouts. It does not surprise Young, halfway through another season showing that fastball velocity is overrated and overpaid.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 02, 2015 at 05:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: babip, chris young, injuries, royals, velocity

Al Newman gets fine, suspension from Northwoods League for violating pitch count rule

Dusty Baker would have been banned from this league forever.

Alexandria Blue Anchors manager Al Newman wanted to give his pitcher an opportunity to throw a complete game on Monday afternoon against the Willmar Stingers.

It’s a move that ended up costing him a 14-game suspension and a $1,000 fine from the Northwoods League (NWL). Newman says he thought he was within the legal pitch-count guidelines set forth by the NWL when he sent Angelo State’s Graylon Brown out for the ninth inning on June 29.

“I never even gave it consideration,” Newman said on Thursday morning. “I thought the rule was that he can’t start an inning after 100 pitches. So when he didn’t have 100 pitches, in speaking with the pitching coach [Travis Lawler], we decided kids need to learn how to finish. He was pitching an outstanding game, had not had a stressful inning the whole game. In essence, yes, I broke the rule. I’m not going to say I would do it again because it’s a league rule, but I’m being punished for going past the 110 pitch limit with Graylon Brown.”

Northwoods League pitching guidelines state that a pitcher cannot begin a new inning after throwing 100 pitches and also can’t face a new batter after throwing 110 pitches or more.


CSN Philly: GIF: Kyle Lohse tackles Ryan Howard to the ground

Careful! The Phils don’t want to see Howard’s trade value go down.

Kyle Lohse went from pitcher to hitter to NFL safety in the time it took him to run to first base.

The Milwaukee Brewers righthander had himself a night against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, picking up the win and racking up three hits in a 9-5 victory over the worst team in baseball. One of those hits did not come easy, however, as Lohse wound up running right into the backside of mammoth first baseman Ryan Howard while trying to leg out an infield single.

Lohse is listed as 6’2”, 215 pounds. Ryan Howard is 6’4”, 250 pounds (if you believe that).

Howard wound up hitting the deck.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 02, 2015 at 03:21 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, kyle lohse, phillies, ryan howard

Manny Ramirez loves coaching the Cubs, and the Cubs love having him around | For The Win

Manny Ramirez, hitting savant.

“Sometimes people just worry so much about how they feel,” he says. “You’re not going to feel good every day, so just go and compete. Just focus on what is out there. The game is still easy. Everybody throws 95, OK, but they still make the same mistakes.

“The strike zone is a little bit bigger, but the game’s the same.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 02:44 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, manny ramirez

The Forgotten Story of ... the world’s best baseball stadium – that was never built

The best major league baseball park that was never built was given a name: Labatt Park. It had a site; in downtown Montreal, just southeast of the Bell Center, home to hockey’s Canadiens. The best major league baseball park that was never built was going to be tiny, with only 35,000 seats. It would have given fans in even the worst seats a sense they were close to the field. It would have had a grace unique to any ballpark – modern but not utilitarian. It would have been … perfect.

“Ahhh it’s a shame it didn’t get built,” Eugenio Carelli said with a sigh. Carelli is the architect who designed Labatt Park. Before the late 1990s, when Provencher Roy was approached by the Montreal Expos to create their new home, Carelli had never built a stadium. This didn’t bother him. He designed grand civic buildings in public places. The Expos park gave him a chance to make something memorable, something distinctive.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 02, 2015 at 02:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball stadiums, expos, montreal

Giants To Sign Lucius Fox

“Prospect”? I think he should be running the organization!

The Giants have agreed to sign shortstop Lucius Fox to an approximately [$6 million] bonus, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Fox, who’ll officially sign out of the Bahamas, entered the July 2 period as a consensus top-five prospect.


Top international prospects signing breakdown | MLB.com

Jesse Sanchez reveals the current agreements.

With the international signing period officially underway, here is a look at MLBPipeline.com’s Top 30 International Prospects and which of them have agreed to terms with clubs so far.
Unless otherwise noted, clubs have not confirmed the deals.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 09:59 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: international players

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2015

Pittsburgh Press, July 2, 1915:

Persistent rumors to the effect that Connie Mack’s holdings in the Athletics were for sale and that he had named his price to a syndicate which has the approval of Ban Johnson, president of the American league, were emphatically denied by the manager of the Mackmen.
...
[Mack:] “My interest in the Athletics is not for sale at any price, but any time my partners are dissatisfied with the way I’m running my ball club, or the American league does not like what I’m doing and want to drive me out of the city, they can do it easy enough. But it will be a care of driving me out, for I don’t intend to quit. I’m here to stay, and I’ll win just as sure as I’ve won before.

Yep, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Mack won back-to-back world championships in 1929 and 1930 and only sold the team because he didn’t have enough money to make it through the 1955 season.

Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: July 02, 2015 at 09:47 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: connie mack, dugout, history

Star-Telegram: Could Cricket Come to Texas?

“It would be one game, to introduce it to the United States,” [Texas Secretary of State Carlos] Cascos told a crowd of hundreds gathered for a Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday at the Petroleum Club.

The game would take as long as two years to plan, Cascos said, but if it does happen, it could draw more viewers than a Super Bowl traditionally does.

“It opens up a whole new market,” Cascos said during the chamber’s Leaders in Government Series. “We could have billions of people watching this match coming out of Texas.”

Billions of people to watch a friendly one-day international cricket match!  Yes, I mean, probably not … I also like the impression that this would be the first time cricket has ever been played in Texas … there’s weekly intramural cricket a couple of blocks from my house, and our university is in the process of building a regulation pitch.  But what the heck, I’d probably try to get tickets for India vs. Pakistan at the Cotton Bowl.

BDC Posted: July 02, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cricket, international, texas

Massarotti: Celebrate Your Independence… From The 2015 Red Sox « CBS Boston

Tony Massarotti is a mindless blowhard. He literally hurts my head listening to him on the radio and reading his columns. I usually just ignore him but I’ve been noticing one silly headline after another over the last few weeks. If the Red Sox let him make decisions for the team, they would be a perennial loser and wouldn’t have won one World Series over the last 15 years.

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: blowhards, red sox

Corbin could return Saturday to face Rockies | dbacks.com

D-backs manager Chip Hale said the club feels Corbin, who underwent Tommy John surgery, may be ready now to pitch in the Majors for the first time since 2013. If they opt instead to call up a starter from the Minors or use Josh Collmenter for a spot start, then Corbin will pitch once more for a Minor League affiliate on Saturday.

“We all feel like he’s ready, but we just want to make sure over these next few days that he feels the way he should feel, and that’s the way we want to go as a group,” Hale said. “Between the training staff and front office and the coaching staff, he’s ready to pitch, we’re just not 100 percent sure if we don’t want him to go out.”

Corbin made four rehab starts between Class A Advanced Visalia and Double-A Mobile. He pitched six innings and threw 79 pitches in his most recent outing for Mobile last Friday.

The original plan for Corbin’s week was for him to make one final rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno on Thursday before his return to the Majors in one of the D-backs’ two games against Texas next week.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, patrick corbin

Rays to activate Moore, option Krauss | raysbaseball.com

Matt Moore starts against Corey Kluber and the Indians today. It’s Matt Moore is back day!

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: matt moore, rays

MLB.com 2015 Prospect Watch | MLB.com

With the international signing period starting today, here’s MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez’s top prospect list.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international players

Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Carrasco has stuff to dominate rest of year - SweetSpot - ESPN

He was pressing in the 9th. He also reacted better than any pitcher I’ve ever seen lose a no hitter.

Major league hitters don’t swing and miss as often you may think. When they swing, they put the ball in play 41 percent of the time, hit a foul ball 37 percent of the time and swing and miss just 21.6 percent of the time, or about one of every five swings.

Which helps tells us about the type of stuff that Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco had Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays. Carrasco came within one strike of throwing the Indians’ first no-hitter since Len Barker’s perfect game way back in 1989, and while it was painful to see Joey Butler line an 0-2 changeup over the leaping Jason Kipnis, Carrasco’s performance rates as one of the most impressive of 2015, not just in results but in pure dominance.


The Indians’ Carlos Carrasco works from the stretch and uses four pitches that would grade out as plus. AP Photo/Steve Nesius
The Rays swung at 67 of Carrasco’s 124 pitches—and missed 30 of them, a swing-and-miss rate of 45 percent, or more than double the MLB average. That’s the most swings and misses in a game this year, three more than Max Scherzer generated in his one-hit, 16-strikeout outing June 14 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The last pitcher with 30 swings and misses in a game was Francisco Liriano of the Minnesota Twins in 2012 start against the Oakland A’s. And the last one with more? I’m not sure. Our database only goes back to 2009 and nobody else had 30.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos carrasco, indians

Trevor Story jumps to Triple-A for Rockies, closer to replacing Troy Tulowitzki - The Denver Post

Of course, the “rumors” are writer driven.

Rumors and reports, especially out of New York, continue to swirl around Tulowitzki, who will make $20 million this season on a multiyear contract that takes him through 2020. With the Rockies floundering in last place, Tulowitzki seems the most valuable trade chip to gain rebuilding pieces for the future.

But Bridich was quick to keep the spotlight on Story and not Tulowitzki.

“This is a Story story,” Bridich said.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, trevor story, troy tulowitzki

Phenom Sano headed to Twins, Vargas optioned | twinsbaseball.com

It’s Miguel Sano is getting called up by the Twins day!

In a surprising move, the Twins optioned first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Double-A Chattanooga after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Reds. The Twins will make a corresponding move before Thursday’s game, and they are expected to call up top prospect Miguel Sano, according to a source familiar with the team’s decision.

The Twins have not announced the move.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Marlins’ Jose Fernandez Returns Following 13-Month Layoff - The New York Times

It’s Jose Fernandez is back day!

Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez says his long layoff was a life lesson, even if it was lousy for his career.

Now he’s back, saying he’s a better person for having made the taxing, tedious recovery from Tommy John surgery. He’ll pitch for the first time since May 9, 2014, when he faces the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

“I’ve been waiting 13 months,” said the 22-year-old Fernandez. “If I’ve learned something, it’s how to be patient at my age.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:31 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jose fernandez, marlins

David Wright gives Mets the update they’ve been hoping for | New York Post

Wright was in uniform with the team early last month for three games in San Diego, at which time he told reporters he unequivocally expected to return this season. Wright has been visiting with Watkins every Monday, at which time the doctor and patient review a checklist and a workout is prescribed for the upcoming week.
Wright said he was told early on that surgery wouldn’t be an option — unless he was careless in his rehab and the condition worsened.
“From the moment I was diagnosed with this, from the information-gathering stage, there has never been a question in my mind [about returning],” Wright said on June 2. “Not only am I going to come back, but I am going to come back sooner rather than later.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, injury, mets

7-2-2015 OMNICHATTER

The OMNICHATTER would like to wish our northern friends a belated Happy Canada Day!

Gamingboy Posted: July 02, 2015 at 12:40 AM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Mattingly: John McCain Dropped a Foul Ball. He’s Got a Good Excuse, Internet.

Lighten up, Costas Mattingly.

Now, McCain is pretty famous, and not just in the Washington sense. He was, after all, the Republican nominee for president in 2008. That generally puts your face and biography in front of a lot of the nation.

But apparently 2008 was a really long time ago, or perhaps parts of that bio didn’t quite stick. Like, you know, the fact his plane was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and he was taken prisoner. Or the fact that he was captured with fractures in both arms, neither of which received much care from his captors. Or, the fact that because of those injuries and the lack of care he received during his five-plus years of captivity, he can’t raise his arms above a certain point. All of these facts would seem to be important to include when you choose to mock the Arizona senator for his inability to catch a foul ball…right?

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Not so much, Sports Illustrated.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 01, 2015 at 07:29 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, fans, john mccain

In Venezuela, the difficult search for the next José Altuve

In 1998, around 20 Venezuelans were playing in the MLB. In 2014, they numbered almost 100.

In those 16 years, Santana and Félix Hernández won three Cy Young Awards between them; Cabrera won the Triple Crown and was twice named MVP; Ordóñez, Altuve, Cabrera and Carlos González won six batting titles; García, Santana, Hernández and Aníbal Sánchez had the lowest ERA during seven different seasons; and Francisco Rodríguez smashed Bobby Thigpen’s saves record.

Ordóñez, Altuve, Valbuena and many others would never have even signed if it weren’t for the academies.

But the boom of the schools has dwindled in the past 15 years. Less than a quarter of the original teams still have a presence in the country. The Venezuelan Summer League is down to just four teams: the Phillies, Tigers, Cubs and Rays. A fifth team, the Twins, still has an academy but doesn’t participate in the league.

“We are left vulnerable to what’s happening in Venezuela, like everyone else,” said a member of one of those teams who asked to remain anonymous. “We are also affected by insecurity and scarcity.”

The land of Luis Aparicio suffers from the highest inflation rate in the world, at about 100 percent, according to independent economists (the Central Bank of Venezuela hasn’t delivered its monthly figures since the end of 2014). The crime rate, especially murders in low-income areas, is among the highest on the planet.

 


PCL 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game Roster Announced

Royals fans couldn’t get Omar Infante into this game.

The PCL All-Star Starters include two players from Oklahoma City, Reno and Tacoma, with Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes and second baseman Darnell Sweeney, Reno outfielder Peter O’Brien and former Storm Chasers third baseman Jamie Romak for the Aces, and first baseman Jesus Montero and shortstop Ketel Marte for the Rainiers. Fresno outfielder L.J. Hoes, Albuquerque outfielder Matt McBride and El Paso designated hitter Cody Decker round out positions players, while New Orleans starter Adam Conley and relievers Jon Edwards of Round Rock and Sam Tuivailala of Memphis are the other pitching starters.

The PCL All-Star Reserves are headlined by Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Corey Seager, one of the top prospects in all of Major League Baseball. Other notables PCL Reserves include infielder Arismendy Alcantara from Iowa and first baseman slugger Adam Duvall from Sacramento.


How to throw a no-hitter and lose by 4 runs

Those early 90s Yanks were something else.

Poor Jim Leyritz was in left field. Leyritz is not, was not, and never would be, a leftfielder. Injuries and general incompetence had forced the Yankees to experiment, and they were in the Diet Coke and Mentos phase of the experiment. It was Leyritz’s fourth game in the outfield in the majors, and he had just 55 chances in the outfield in the minors. He was a 26-year-old rookie with the kind of athleticism you would expect from someone who wasn’t drafted. He would become a postseason hero for the Yankees, but in 1990, he was the wrong outfielder at the worst time.

Also, it feels like every paragraph here should start with, “Remembering that the wind was awful,” before each and every thought is presented. And to be fair to Leyritz, he made a sliding catch on the first play of the game, a tough play made tougher by the tornado above the stadium. If he had muffed it, no one would have been surprised or upset. He made that play, and his reward was that he set himself up as one of the goats later….

Look at everything that goes wrong before it almost goes right. Tentative steps in the wrong direction. A dangerous crossover step to change directions. Unsure dancing and backpedaling. Then, just as he almost squares up, someone hits the eject button on Leyritz’s ID, and he’s transported to a different dimension.

It’s the magical confluence of different forces: a fielder who understandably played the ball as if he had about three hours of experience in the outfield, a no-hitter that’s still going because of an error and two walks, a pitcher who was almost unemployed three weeks earlier and the wind. That damned wind.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2015 at 07:29 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: andy hawkins, no-hitters, white sox, yankees

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