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Thursday, March 01, 2018

BBTF ANNUAL CENTRAL PARK SOFTBALL GAME 2018

Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Field: TBA
Post-game meetup: TBA

I will update the above as we get more details. I don’t know who is booking the field, nor when we’ll know. But let’s start talking softball.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bryan Price dismissed as Reds manager | MLB.com

The Bryan Price era is over.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 19, 2018 at 09:47 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: bryan price, jim riggleman, reds

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-19-2018

Toledo News-Bee, April 19, 1918:

It is reported [in Boston] that Ed Barrow won’t last long as the Red Sox boss. He and Johnny Evers have had a blowout, Heinie Wagner replacing the little second sacker as utility man and coach. It seems Evers told Barrow that he believed 10 years at a desk had ruined his bench judgment. Evers is backed by several of the Red Sox regulars.

One can only hope that Barrow responded by telling Evers that all those Fudge Orgies and Nicotine Sprees had ruined Johnny’s judgment. Barrow won the 1918 World Series as a manager, while Evers had a .420 winning percentage as a manager from this point on.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 19, 2018 at 09:46 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fudge orgies, history, nicotine sprees

It’s not just ownership that’s keeping Jose Reyes a Met

It’s all good when your team is winning.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 19, 2018 at 06:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jose reyes, mets


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Braves sign Jose Bautista to a minor-league contract, will play third base

The Braves announced an agreement with infielder Jose Bautista on a one-year, minor-league contract Wednesday. Bautista has reported to the team’s extended spring training in Florida.

The Braves announced he would play third base. Bautista manned third in eight games last season (38 innings), but hasn’t consistently played there since 2007, when he appeared in 126 games at the hot corner for the Pirates.

Bored Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:59 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jose bautista



Diamondbacks’ Taijuan Walker diagnosed with “UCL injury”

Lovullo was pressed on multiple occasions as to whether Walker’s ligament was torn or not, but he repeatedly said he didn’t know. Asked what else it could be if it wasn’t torn or frayed to some extent, he said, “I don’t know that answer. We’re optimistic that it’s going to be as good as possible.”

One thing seems certain: If Walker has a full tear of the ligament, flying to New York for a second opinion wouldn’t make any sense.

“I guess you could say that,” Lovullo said. “I think that would be a fairly obvious statement. But like I said, I didn’t hear anything about the amount – full, half, partial – I didn’t hear any of that. I just heard that there was a UCL injury.”

shoewizard Posted: April 18, 2018 at 10:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, tommy john surgery

Ready Player One

Anyone who’s ever tried to explain baseball to someone genuinely encountering it for the first time knows how hard it is to put the game into words. But I noticed something else about how I told the story. It was entirely about the batter and his brave adventure. It’s a strange decision, given that the batter is only half of the equation. In some sense, it’s understandable. When trying to explain any game, it’s a good idea to start with one of the universal features of competitive games, which is that someone usually wins and someone usually loses, and to talk about the ways in which that winner and loser are determined. Baseball is a “points game” (as opposed to the other common type of competition, the “clock game”), so I naturally described the ways in which baseball’s points are scored. You can’t score in baseball if you are pitching.

I think there’s more to it than that, though. The batter maps a bit better onto our cultural norms of the hero on a quest. There he stands, alone, in the right-handed batter’s box, and with a simple weapon he must somehow elude nine different monsters as he attempts to both hit the ball and make it to the next station. It’s the storyline to every non-sports video game and “guy on a quest” movie that I saw growing up. For some reason, the batter always feels like the hero of the story.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 18, 2018 at 10:10 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball, newbie

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-18-2018

Oklahoma City Times, April 18, 1918:

An English sportsman, who was resting at Mineral Wells, Texas, was much interested in the Chicago White Sox, and in Eddie Cicotte especially. He had heard that Cicotte was the leading pitcher in the American league last season, and couldn’t understand why an athlete, apparently so short, could be such a marvel.
...
[The Englishman asked Cicotte] “And may I inquire if you ever play cricket?”

“Cricket! That’s a bug game,” responded Cicotte.

To this day the Englishman does not know what Cicotte meant by his reference.

And neither does anyone else. In related news, Hansie Cronje never played baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 09:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Deadspin: The Mets Previewed A Dark, Mets-y Future Last Night

When he trotted out for the eighth inning, Jacob deGrom became the first Mets starter to throw a pitch that late in a game this season. That lack of length hadn’t mattered much, as the team’s bullpen had been virtually spotless over the season’s first two weeks. DeGrom allowed two singles and struck out Michael A. Taylor, and Mickey Callaway made his move. The Mets co-ace left after 103 pitches and with what looked like ample cushion for a win. The bullpen needed only to get five outs before giving up five runs, and even for a unit that’s almost certainly over-worked that didn’t seem too much to ask.

It absolutely was. Seth Lugo spun four straight pitches outside the strike zone and gave way Jerry Blevins for what was supposed to be a superior match up with Bryce Harper. It wasn’t, as Harper knocked in two runs. Then it got bad. That is, it went full-on catatonic Mets-ing.

Yeah, that was a classic bullpen (and Mets) collapse of the type that hadn’t been seen from them this season.  And I can’t even really say that Callaway did anything wrong in managing the situation, it’s just that every reliever threw gas on the fire.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 04:29 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: doomed, mets, nationals


Royals’ Blaine Boyer took wheel of team bus after chunk of ice smashed windshield

Royals strength and conditioning coach Ryan Stoneberg shared what happened on Instagram.

“While driving from the airport to the hotel through brutal cold conditions, ice from the roof of the staff bus flew off and hit the windshield of the trailing bus,” Stoneberg wrote. “The windshield was smashed, glass flew in the face of the driver, and one of our players had to assist with steering the bus to safety on the highway. I am so glad that all our players are safe due to quick action of our team and the steady nerves of the driver.”

Zach Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:47 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen usage, life skills, relievers, royals, time to panic

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 17, 1918:

The effort is being made to introduce “kittem,” a modified form of baseball, into New York playgrounds. The extra sunlight is expected to greatly augment interest in the sport, the scheme of which is as follows:

Kittem is played with a large twelve-inch ball, the clenched fist being used as a bat. The game has been very successful in Detroit, where it originated; Minneapolis, St. Paul and other large cities where daylight-saving laws have been in existence for some time.

It’s probably a good indication of kittem’s popularity that when I typed ‘kittem baseball’ into a search engine, it asked me if I had meant to type kitten baseball. Which I’d totally watch, by the way.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, Carl Mays just missed no-hitting the Athletics. The lone Philadelphia hit on April 16, 1918 was a ball that was smashed right at second baseman Dave Shean, who couldn’t find the handle.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Francisco Mejia and the Legal Limits of Brand Contracts | FanGraphs Baseball

Very interesting court case.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: economics, francisco mejia

With Kiermaier sidelined into July, time for Rays to make some big moves

A proponent of tanking.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

A cautionary note about spring statistics, and other thoughts - Chicago Tribune

Unfortunately for Happ, this is the first April of his major-league career, so he doesn’t have a full season under his belt to prove it’s an anomaly. After a couple of hits Friday, Happ was asked if having five hits in eight 8 at-bats over three games was encouraging after his rough start, despite the small sample size.

“That’s a small sample size,” he said of his 41 at-bats. “Just wait until the end of the year.”

Manager Joe Maddon is not likely to give up on Happ, at least not yet, and generally speaking said it’s common for fans to get nervous this time of year.

“There is a lot of overreacting in the beginning part of the season,” Maddon said. “Early in the season a lot of times adrenalin plays (a role), and (even) after the first two or three weeks, you still have to be patient working through April.”

Just ask “Ryno.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:32 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Ozzie Albies: A Tale of Two Hitters - Fake Teams

Confirmation of everything our eyes are telling us.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, ozzie albies

Ohtani Almost Signed With Red Sox (but not when you think)

Traveling the world as international scouts, Jon Deeble and Eddie Romero encountered their share of oddities. But the Red Sox talent evaluators had no idea what awaited them at Hanamaki Higashi High School, a two-hour bullet train ride outside Tokyo, in 2012.

They had come to interview schoolboy phenom Shohei Ohtani, and all of Japan evidently knew it.

“The media sitting out in front of the school at the front entrance was unbelievable,” Deeble recalled. “When we went in to interview him, there were cameras as we walked in, and when we walked out they were asking us how it went. It was a media circus.”

“It was crazy,” Romero added. “I remember when we interviewed him after we got clearance from MLB on meeting him. There was paparazzi at the high school.”

Maybe old news to others but I didn’t realize that he had toyed with coming over straight out of high school.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sox therapy

About the only problem the Red Sox have is what to do with Blake Swihart

Having talent is not a problem. Because of his injuries Swihart’s stock is down. The Red Sox need to get him into the mix behind the plate to either showcase him for deals or to turn him into a partner for Vazquez. They can keep Sandy Leon around if they want him for insurance to remain as a future backup to Vazquez. He should not be an impediment.

Rick Porcello has now settled in nicely with Leon catching him. Pitchers love Leon behind the plate. Any notion of trying to deal Leon to make room for Swihart is likely not realistic. Nor is the possibility of trading Swihart. The last thing Dave Dombrowski wants is to deal Swihart, have a catcher go down here, and then watch Swihart turn into a star someplace else.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:53 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, red sox

Monday, April 16, 2018


Clayton Kershaw strikes out 12 in Dodgers’ 7-2 victory over Diamondbacks | LA Times

That the Dodgers reported for work in last place in the National League West for the first time in three years did not particularly worry the men in uniform. It was April, after all. They would win one of these days, and Clayton Kershaw would be their pitcher on this day.

“If there’s anyone you want to take the mound in a game like this, it’s Clayton,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

A game like this? Three consecutive losses overall, five consecutive losses to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and maybe the manager really was branding the 14th game of a 162-game schedule as a must-win.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 16, 2018 at 01:19 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Rays Kiermaier to have surgery, miss 8-12 weeks | TB Times

Kiermaier will have surgery for a torn ligament in his right thumb and is expected to miss 8-12 weeks, the Tampa Bay Times has learned. An announcement from the team is expected later today.

The Rays have been in this position before, each of the last two years actually, waiting for test results but expecting bad news regarding an injury to centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier.

This time it’s a right thumb injury, sustained sliding headfirst into second Sunday while taking an extra base, with the potential to keep him out for what manager Kevin Cash said could be “a chunk” of the season.


10 Degrees: MLB’s enormous attendance drop due to bad weather or something far worse for baseball?

Even if some are obviously weather-related, the numbers are nevertheless staggering. The average crowd of 27,532 over the 221 MLB games played this season is about 2,700 fans per game lower than last year through the same point. Over the course of a full season, that would amount to a drop of more than 6.5 million fans.

neck Posted: April 16, 2018 at 12:50 PM | 120 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance

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