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Sunday, January 25, 2015

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 | 0 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 | 1 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 | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: b.j. upton, braves


That time Bud Selig yelled at me | FOX Sports

Rob Neyer doesn’t remember Bud Selig fondly.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 06:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig

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 | 0 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 | 10 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 | 7 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 | 76 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 | 23 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 | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Announcing finalists for 2015 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards | SABR

Congrats to the nominees.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 03:52 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Ranking the commissioners: Selig’s No. 1 - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

Is there a sexier topic?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 03:49 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioners

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS: #16 — Theo Epstein

The boy wonder.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 03:28 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, theo epstein

ESPN: Ichiro Close To Deal With Marlins

Looks like another old guy is moving to Florida:

Free-agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is close to an agreement on a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins, a baseball source confirmed to ESPN.com Friday.. Although the two sides are still working through some final details before the deal becomes official, Suzuki is expected to earn a base salary of about $2 million in 2015.

The Marlins, who have one of baseball’s most talented young outfields with Giancarlo Stanton in right field, Marcell Ozuna in center and Christian Yelich in left, plan to use Suzuki as their first outfielder off the bench.

Probably can’t get to 3,000 MLB hits this year, unless he plays a lot more than envisioned, but he’ll get closer.


Updated thoughts on the Dan Duquette situation - Baltimore Sun

For a long time Dan Duquette was a pariah in baseball. Peter Angelos took a chance and brought him back. Although I understand Angelos’ desire to either keep Duquette in Baltimore or get significant return from the Blue Jays to let him go, I can’t see how forcing Duquette to stay in Baltimore will turn out to be a good outcome.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dan duquette, orioles

Don’t expect Red Sox to acquire an ace for rotation - Sports - The Boston Globe

The Red Sox don’t feel a *need* to overspend on an ace right now.

“Look, starting pitchers who perform at the highest level and do so consistently and are relatively young and near their prime, those guys are hard guys to get and are valuable and cost a lot, whether it’s dollars or talent,” he said.

“We’re trying to put ourselves in a position where we have that caliber of pitching and hopefully we have some of it internally and maybe some of it still has to develop. There’s no question a team benefits from having high-end starting pitching performance. It’s just a question of how to get that. We looked at all sort of things.”

Triple A lefthanders Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, and Eduardo Rodriguez could emerge as solutions. Former first-round pick Anthony Ranaudo is another option.

“We think we have enough pitching talent to put together a good pitching staff, one that can help us contend in the division,” Cherington said.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:23 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

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