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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-4-2016

The [Chicago] Day Book, May 4, 1916:

“Lefty” Russell, who once cost Connie Mack $12,000, is now playing first base for Baltimore.

Not only did Russell cost the Athletics $12,000 (a huge sum at the time) when he was sold in 1910, but he was a pitcher. Not a particularly good sign when your high-priced pitcher becomes a minor league first baseman.

Russell threw 58 big league innings and allowed 113 baserunners. His 6.36 ERA in the dead-ball era was good for a career ERA+ of 49. He wasn’t much of a hitter, either. Russell disappears from the minor league record at age 26 after hitting .227 with one home run as an everyday first baseman for Newark.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 04, 2016 at 12:15 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, lefty russell

Dominic Smith turns on power for B-Mets in rout

After batting just .174 through his first 11 games, Smith has been on a tear, hitting.349 over his last 11. During that streak, MLB.com’s No. 47 overall prospect has driven in 14 runs and homered twice, raising his season average to .275.

“It wasn’t too frustrating,” Smith said of his slow start. “I know there’s a lot of things you have to adjust to. This level is the toughest level before the big leagues. There’s a lot of top prospects you have to face day in and day out. There’s a lot of different variables you have to account for when you come to Double-A.

“Last year in the Florida State League, I started off way worse than that. Probably hit .140 in the first month and a half. I feel like I started better than I did last year. I know it’s a long season and I always believe in myself. When I’m struggling and going bad, I know it can’t go much worse than that. I believe in my abilities and that it will eventually turn around.”

Smith, who turns 21 in June, is hitting .275/.320/.451 in AA.

Dilson Herrera hit a couple of homers in last night’s game for Vegas. Along with Wuilmer Becerra (part of the Syndergaard trade who is hitting .400/.440/.471 in AA) and Rosario, I think those guys that are most worth following.

Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: May 04, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, minor leaguers, prospects

OMNICHATTER 5-4-16

May the OMNICHATTER be with you!

Or: The Hedge OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 04, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

ESPN edited Curt Schilling out of its 30 for 30 episode on the ‘04 Red Sox and people are mad.

Four Days in October is an ESPN 30 for 30 series film that first aired in 2010. It aired again yesterday, in slightly edited format, and dopey Red Sox fans teamed up with dopey conservatives to form a coalition of derp in protesting what they believed to be a conspiracy against recently fired analyst Curt Schilling.

spanx for the memories Posted: May 04, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: boston red sox

Atlanta Braves should bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa and the teepee

We live in a politically correct world these days, with people sensitive about anything and everything. We can never be in other people’s shoes to understand why something might upset them, but there’s little doubt, it seems easy for everyone to find something that gets their goat.

Perhaps that was a disclaimer that what I’m about to write might upset some, but it doesn’t worry me enough not to write it. Twenty-five years ago when the Atlanta Braves became the team everyone loved, it was easy for Native Americans to complain about things with the nickname that upset them.

That’s a shame. But it’s time to make the Braves special again as they move into Sun Trust Park next season. It’s time to bring back some of the things we grew up with that made the team special.

It’s time to bring back the teepee. And while we’re at it, let’s bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa and Princess Win-A-Lotta.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2016 at 08:38 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mascots

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Baseball close to canceling Puerto Rico trip because of Zika concerns

Players from the Pirates and Marlins banded together in recent days to let Major League Baseball know they want to move the two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium to Miami instead, sources said, a view shared by some club officials and staff members as well. Despite the widespread implications – including a possible effect on league relations with Puerto Rico as well as opening a Pandora’s box for athletes leading up to the Summer Olympics in Brazil, another Zika-affected country – MLB is not expected to oppose the players’ choice, sources told Yahoo Sports….

It’s a lot to ask, certainly. After the players met with CDC officials in recent days and were told nobody could guarantee they would leave the island Zika-free, the concerns grew. Players answer to their families before anyone else, and the fear of birth defects among babies born to Zika-infected mothers rightfully scares those who plan on getting pregnant in the near future – particularly considering the disease can be transmitted sexually, and doctors believe it stays in men for months at a time. A study from French Polynesia’s outbreak of Zika in 2013 linking the virus to cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the body’s nerves, further clouds a virus still shrouded in mystery.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 02:05 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: international, marlins, pirates, puerto rico, zika


On the Prospect of Owners Getting “Duped” by PED Users

It is not even clear that being caught affects future performance. Taking a different angle, I looked at the players with track records who were suspended in 2012 and 2013. What I did was took a look at their projections before they were suspended, and then pretended that was how they performed in the relevant season. I then applied the standard aging curve to the two seasons following the suspension season. I regarded this as their “expected performance” based on pre-suspension levels. Then I looked at their actual performance in the two seasons following the suspension and compared the two….

In more than 10 years, it does not appear that any owners have been taken advantage of financially to any significant degree. The players have great incentive to try and improve PED suspensions in whatever way possible as it is their livelihood. Players who use PEDs are taking money and roster spots away from those who do not. While players could take advantage of owners by signing a contract predicated on PED use, that has yet to cause any owner significant injury in terms of players who have been suspended.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 01:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dee gordon, long term contracts, peds

Bryce Harper signs biggest endorsement deal for MLB player

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE

Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper has signed a 10-year extension with Under Armour that is believed to be the largest endorsement deal in history for a baseball player, a source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN.

Under Armour announced earlier Tuesday that Harper signed a multiyear extension but said terms, including the length of the deal and compensation, would not be disclosed.

The brand, which has had Harper as an endorser for five years, will begin selling Harper’s first signature cleat, the Under Armour Harper One, in July. The company previously sold shirts with a phrase Harper filed to trademark—“That’s A Clown Question, Bro.” Harper abandoned his pursuit of that trademark in 2014.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 12:20 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, endorsements, nationals, under armour

Pablo Sandoval needs surgery and his season is over - SBNation.com

Maybe the Red Sox need the Orioles’ doctors to examine future free agents.

Just when Sandoval will return is up in the air, as the procedure is reconstructive. The Red Sox didn’t insure Sandoval’s shoulder when he signed prior to the 2015 season, as there was no physical need to do so. Since that time, though, his shoulder has obviously suffered and degraded, and for all we know it could have been part of his problem a year ago and this spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:41 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, pablo sandoval, red sox

To learn about himself, Ben Cherington decided to teach - The Boston Globe

I still believe he was scapegoated.

The topics seemingly have sharpened Cherington’s views of what happened during his time in Boston. Even as the organization’s emerging young core — which Cherington proved resolute in preserving — appears to have the team back on a promising track, he understands why he is no longer GM of the Red Sox.

“Results do matter. In Boston, you know they matter. That’s fundamentally a part of the job,” he said. “In Boston, you know that the results do matter and there isn’t a long time to get there. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think that covering yourself in the sort of gauze of strategy and process is sufficient if you’re really trying to learn from what happened. Yes, there were reasons why we did everything we did, but the bottom line is we didn’t perform well enough for two years. When that happens in a place like Boston, there’s a lot of pressure on the institution to make change because it’s a business. That change happened. If I’m going to learn something from it, I think I have to embrace that the results weren’t there, and why was that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:35 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, red sox

Behind David Wright’s tweaked, homer-hitting new swing | New York Post

Two hours of prep each day to play.

“We knew that if he shortened his leg kick and got that under control,’’ Long told The Post, “we were hoping that the consistency would be a lot better and it has been.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for David and how he goes about his business,’’ Long said. “He’s doing the best he can with the circumstances that he is currently under.’’

Wright, because of his spinal stenosis, cannot work his way out of hitting problems. He can’t just go to the cage because he only has a limited amount of swings he can take on any given day. This is about trying to do more with less — fewer swings, fewer at-bats, fewer games.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:33 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: david wright, mets


Latest MLB PED Suspension Much Bigger Than You Think

This doesn’t sound good.

Josh Ravin isn’t well known. Dee Gordon is an All Star and a batting champion, but he’s not well known outside of baseball. Both have been suspended within a week, but while more know who Gordon is, it’s the substance Ravin tested positive for that’s a much bigger story.

While early reports were that Ravin tested positive for HGH, the actual substance is, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, a peptide. Peptides are a class of performance enhancer that is relatively new, relatively complex and have some very dangerous side effects. I’ve been writing about these substances since 2013 and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for them to make their way into American sports.

Multiple sources tell me the peptide Ravin tested positive for was GHRP-2, which in studies has shown a significant increase in plasma growth hormone levels. Because it is causing the body to create a higher level of it’s own GH, it tends to be more accessible. GHRP in any of its various forms could also be used to mask the use of HGH, though it’s unclear if this actually works absent close monitoring and lab tests.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, peds

Carson Smith brings different look to Red Sox bullpen - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

The Red Sox can really use him.

It’s Carson Smith’s offseason workout partner, former Red Sox and current Pirates All-Star reliever Mark Melancon, who probably sums it up best.

“You’ve got righties, and you’ve got lefties,” Melancon said. “And then you’ve got Carson. It’s almost like a third dimension.”

“It’s like sidearm, but it’s not sidearm, you know?” said Mookie Betts, who has done his best to forget the times he’s faced Smith. “It’s not over the top, it’s not three-quarters, but it’s not submarine. And then it’s coming hard, too.”

Smith’s release point is pretty much unique in baseball. Although he stands 6-foot-6, Smith releases the ball about five-and-a-half feet from the ground, according to Brooks Baseball. His 6-foot-7 teammate Henry Owens, by comparison, releases the ball a foot higher. Smith’s release point is lower in absolute terms than Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, who’s 10 inches shorter than him.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, red sox


Book Review: The Only Rule Is It Has To Work - BaseballAmerica.com

Picking this up later today. Has anyone already read it?

Lindbergh and Miller quickly realize that getting buy-in from the players and coaches is a key aspect of any of the changes they want to implement. It’s what makes this book different and provides a consistent theme from the preseason to the end of the season.

By having the two authors trade off writing responsibilities from chapter to chapter, the book bounces back and forth in style and tone, but it works. The Only Rule Is It Has To Work is yet another worthy read in a very good year for baseball books.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: book reviews

Cardinals hit five home runs in win | MLB.com

The Cardinals had a pretty, pretty good game last night.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:22 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Credit the Braves for trying stuff. Lots of stuff, actually | Mark Bradley blog

Change is easy when you stink.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-3-2016

Toledo News-Bee, May 3, 1916:

[Detroit pitcher] Harry [Coveleski] was sitting on the bench when Brother Stan was mowing down the Tigers in Monday’s moist conflict…“Atta boy, Stan, atta boy. Guess that brother of mine hasn’t got something,” he yelled as Veach fouled to Turner.

“That’s it, Stan. You’ve got his number,” he muttered as Sam Crawford hit a roller to Howard, forcing Cobb at second.

“Say, Harry, if you are going to root for Cleveland, go over on the Cleveland bench,” shouted [Detroit third baseman] Oscar Vitt.

Brother Harry was dazed for a minute. He had forgotten Brother Stan was pitching against his own team.

“Say, fellows, I clean forgot,” he said sheepishly…

I imagine this would have been a bit annoying for the Tigers, coming on the heels of Harry refusing to pitch against Stan earlier in the season. I certainly would have been irritated as a teammate.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 03, 2016 at 07:58 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, harry coveleski, history, stan coveleski

Yankees GM: ‘We urgently need to stop the bleeding’ | New York Post

A tourniquet may be needed.

“We urgently need to stop the bleeding now,” Cashman said Monday in a telephone interview. “We’ve been saying that. We’re working towards that.”

That doesn’t mean changes are imminent — and for sure, as Cashman made clear, it bodes no trouble for manager Joe Girardi or his coaches. Yet while Cashman wants to give his current roster more time to climb out of this hole, he won’t wait too long.

“We’ll continue to do the work necessary to put ourselves in position to succeed, and eventually that worm will turn. In the event things don’t turn I’m going to have to make it turn and be forced to do things that weren’t part of the game plan, whatever that would be,” Cashman said. “The best answer would come from this mix of players.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:52 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Texas Rangers: Nomar Mazara had best first month by a Rangers rookie—ever | SportsDay

He certainly looked good yesterday.

Watch the homer first, then the throw.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:47 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, rangers

Mark Simon on Twitter: “Michael Conforto and Gregory Polanco top the hard-hit rate leaderboard. Where does your favorite rank? Leaderboard—https://t.co/uS0VL2gnyI”

It would be interesting to see how this data correlates with exit velocity.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:42 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statistics

Vin Scully Talks Beards For Five Minutes

Longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is going all out during his final stint in the booth. The season’s only a month old, and we’ve already had two great episodes of Storytime With Vin Scully. Two weeks ago, he debunked the myths surrounding the number 13, and this weekend he gave us the entire history of beards:

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 06:09 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, dodgers, vin scully

OMNICHATTER 5-3-16

The Verlander-Upton Engagement Party OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: May 03, 2016 at 12:24 AM | 157 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

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