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Thursday, March 30, 2017

CENTRAL PARK - JULY 1, 2017 10 AM - BBTF ANNUAL SOFTBALL EXTRAVAGANZA

I think this year we should make t-shirts.

The Central Park field for 10 AM on July 1st has been submitted for approval to the Parks Department, but not yet assigned.  We’re waiting to hear back.  It’s never been a problem as yet, so hopefully it won’t be this year as well.

Note: This is the same weekend as the massive SABR extravaganza in NYC.  I would expect all connections and all favors to be called in to get some retired MLB players or broadcast and basement-dwelling notables to come by.  Rob Neyer, Tommy Lasorda, Benny Agbayani, Robothal, Pete Rose, no target too high.  Or too low.  So maybe Calcaterra could make it.

Let’s hear it, who’s coming?

Lassus Posted: March 30, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 115 comment(s)
  Beats: sabr

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ask BA: How Tough Is The Classification Jump? | BaseballAmerica.com

Good stuff.

Scouts have told me that they think the leap to Double-A is toughest on lefthanders who are reliant on their changeups and pitchers who have a “trick” pitch. A lefty with a good changeup will often be able to cruise through Class A lineups because they are generally incapable of recognizing a quality changeup.

But in Double-A, that usually isn’t enough. The pitcher will need to either spot his fastball well enough to get ahead in the count with it or he’ll have to have a breaking ball he can also rely on to keep hitters from getting too comfortable with his changeup.

The same is true for a pitcher reliant on a palmball, screwball or some other unusual pitch.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 30, 2017 at 02:13 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: player development, prospects

Caleb Joseph’s Historic RBI Drought Is Finally Over

Last September, we brought you the tale of Orioles backup catcher Caleb Joseph—closing in on the sad feat of becoming the first baseball player ever to finish a season with more than 100 plate appearances and not a single RBI.


Joseph made it through the rest of the year without an RBI, and he started this season the same way. Until today! For the first time since September 11, 2015, Joseph knocked in a runner—courtesy of a two-run shot in the ninth inning of a 12-4 loss to the Yankees.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 30, 2017 at 02:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: caleb joseph, orioles


Sunday Notes: Mendoza-Hendricks Nerdiness, Selsky as Dangerfield, Edwards Evoked ’86, more | FanGraphs Baseball

Red Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi benefitted from a scoring change earlier this week. It was made by the league office in New York, which routinely reviews decisions that are challenged. In this case, an official scorer at Fenway Park had charged a Pirates infielder with an error for not handling a throw. Here’s what happened.

With a runner on first base and less than two outs, Benintendi blooped a ball that fell safely in short centerfield. Wary that the ball might be caught, the runner got a late jump, and the throw from the outfielder — in the opinion of the official scorer — would have been in time to force him at second had it not been muffed.

New York thought otherwise. After reviewing the play, they erased the error and awarded a hit to Benintendi.

How does the challenge process work? It’s pretty straightforward, and according to Red Sox senior director of media relations Kevin Gregg, it’s changed for the better.

“It used to be that the team would ask the PR director to lobby for something to be changed,” said Gregg. “Now the player can go to the team to argue on his behalf — that’s the most common way it’s done — or to the Players’ Association to argue on his behalf. Either way, the plays in question need to be submitted to the league office for review within 72 hours of the game.”

The media relations/PR director does still play a part in the process. If a scoring decision is made that his, or her, team may not like, he/she will typically ask the official scorer for an interpretation. That can then be communicated to the league office (Joe Torre is the ultimate decision maker for scoring reviews) which wouldn’t otherwise receive that piece of information. Because a scoring change would affect players on both teams, the league office informs each of the two media relations directors when a review is being conducted.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Dodgers hit 3 straight homers in walk-off win | MLB.com

Turned on the game just in time to see this. Then I fell asleep on the couch.

Yasiel Puig, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Hector Neris to spark an incredible 6-5 comeback victory over the Phillies. Puig got things going, crushing a 3-2 fastball to left field to cut the lead to two. Bellinger hit a first-pitch splitter off the right-field foul pole to make it a one-run game. Turner then smoked a 0-1 fastball to left field to tie the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 30, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Austin Romine opens eyes in shot he didn’t know would come

The Yankees were 1-4 and skidding toward disaster when Gary Sanchez was sent to the disabled list. Exactly how could vanilla backup Austin Romine fill in for last year’s slugging sensation?

Well, soon enough, Sanchez may have a hard time filling Romine’s spikes.

In addition to his routinely effective game-calling behind the plate, Romine had one of his best offensive performances Saturday afternoon, driving in a career-high five runs in a 12-4 win over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium to improve the Yankees’ record to 12-2 since he took over as the team’s starting catcher.

“For however much longer it is [I start], I’m going to keep having fun with it,” Romine said. “I never thought I’d be starting for the Yankees. I’m taking every day as a gift and I’m enjoying the hell out of it.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:06 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: austin romine, gary sanchez, yankees

Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller opts for elbow surgery, ending season

Shelby Miller’s season is over after the Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander announced Saturday he will have Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.

Miller, injured last Sunday during his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers, was diagnosed with right elbow inflammation and placed on the 60-day disabled list on April 27. He sought second opinions on his elbow during the week before ultimately deciding on major surgery.

Miller said he hopes to return to throwing next spring.

“It’s the best decision I think we could make,” Miller said before Saturday’s Diamondbacks-Colorado Rockies game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:05 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, shelby miller, tommy john surgery

Mets face more injury drama as Noah Syndergaard refuses MRI, plans to start Sunday

Noah Syndergaard says he is healthy enough to start Sunday, and the Mets have no reason to doubt him – especially after he refused to have an MRI exam on his sore biceps.

Syndergaard was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday and told reporters he couldn’t lift his pitching arm over his head that that point. However, he insists he is healthy enough to face the NL East-leading Nationals tomorrow.

“I’m pretty in tune with my body,” said Syndergaard, via MLB.com. “That’s exactly why I refused to take the MRI. I knew there was nothing happening in there.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:04 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, mr, noah syndergaard

Sources: Nationals CF Adam Eaton done for season with torn left ACL

Washington Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton, who was carried off the field Friday, has a torn left ACL and will not play again this season, sources told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

The team announced earlier Saturday that Eaton had been placed on the disabled list with what was initially diagnosed as a left knee strain.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 29, 2017 at 09:04 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: acl, adam eaton, nationals


Yankees Stage Improbable Comeback Behind a Volley of Home Runs

Didn’t look good for the Yankees, down 9-1 in the 6th, and 11-4 in the 7th, but …

“He’s probably the most gifted baseball player I’ve ever been around,” said Matt Holliday of his 25-year-old teammate Aaron Judge, a rookie with all of 155 major league at-bats. “I mean, he’s 6-foot-8, 275 pounds. He moves really well in the outfield. I’m not saying he’s going to be the greatest player who ever played, but as far as when the guy hit a 97-mile-per-hour fastball that was a line drive that the shortstop jumped for and it went over the fence. He can do things that I haven’t seen, and I’ve played a long time.
. . .
And it was especially high praise coming from the player who wound up striking the biggest blow Friday night, a game-ending, three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning that gave the Yankees a highly improbable, and probably unforgettable, 14-11 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Holliday’s home run was just the final blast on a night in which Yankee Stadium 2017 played a lot like Yankee Stadium 2009, when baseballs regularly flew through air that somehow seemed too thin and soared over walls that appeared way too close.

A memorable game. Perhaps a special season?


Friday, April 28, 2017


Baseball’s New Pitch-Tracking System Is Just A Bit Outside

It all started the first weekend of the season, when observers noted some unusual pitch velocity readings from San Francisco Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s fastball was up almost two full miles per hour compared with last year; in a league where every tick matters, that reading could have meant a much better season for the Giants’ ace than expected. It wasn’t just Bumgarner: FanGraphs writer Dave Cameron quickly noticed that velocity numbers had jumped across the league. Days after the changes were noted, MLB data guru Tom Tango clarified in a blog post that the changeover from PITCHf/x to Statcast had altered the way pitch speed was recorded, making it appear that velocity had increased. An MLB Advanced Media spokesperson who requested not to be identified said “the transition saw unexpected issues that have been resolved,” but declined to comment further.

And tracking velocity was only the beginning of Statcast’s troubles. Real-time data from MLB’s Gameday app has been inconsistent or obviously erroneous in the season’s first month. Some days, it has gone missing altogether, only to reappear later without explanation. Statcast has always had gaps in its data, but in previous years, that missing information was limited to batted-ball velocity and launch angle. The pitch-tracking issues that cropped up this year are in dramatic contrast with those we saw from PITCHf/x, which tended to miss only a handful of throws a season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 28, 2017 at 02:55 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch fx

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-28-2017

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 28, 1917:

President Tener of the National Baseball League [yesterday] ordered replayed the game of April 17 between Philadelphia and Boston, which was protested by Manager Moran of the Philadelphia team, when Boston was declared the winner.

Umpire Bransfield decided a Philadelphia runner out for walking away from second base under the impression that he was out. President Tener says the decision was erroneous.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like a call like that wouldn’t be overturned these days.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 28, 2017 at 11:08 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, protests

Fred Lynn might’ve been a Hall of Famer if he’d stayed healthy — or in Boston

Lynn’s sabermetric numbers — 50 WAR, 44.1 JAWS and 94 Hall Rating — all paint him as a very good, though not great player who fell just short of Cooperstown.

But if he’d played a full career in Boston, Lynn might have long since been in the Hall of Fame. To some extent, his career is one of the great what-ifs in baseball history.

.....

Asked whether he considered himself a Hall of Famer, Lynn said “Talent-wise, yes. Numbers-wise, no.”

He noted, “If you want to make the Hall, you’ve got to play games and get numbers,” Lynn said.


‘Sports Center’ Anchor Agrees Politics is Hurting ESPN

But how could anyone not believe that Bruce Jenner deserves the Arthur Ashe award?

Captain Supporter Posted: April 28, 2017 at 10:38 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: espn

Are MLB Teams Gaming the New 10-Day DL System? – The Ringer

There’s another reason it’s probably too soon to pass judgement on the 10-day DL: If we do see stretching of what constitutes an “injury,” some of it will likely be done in the name of preventing fatigue. “Fatigue” needn’t be a BS justification for a DL stint; as former Dodgers head athletic trainer and VP of medical services Stan Conte says, “Many people think the 10-day DL will be [used] to rest players with the idea that this will reduce injuries overall, since many of us think fatigue is a cause of injuries. This is especially [true] for starting pitchers.” (According to data from the Baseball Prospectus Transaction Browser, 61.3 percent of the players on the 10-day DL this year have been pitchers; 56.0 percent of players who spent any time on the DL last year were pitchers.)

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list, rules of the game

Must C: Graveman tags out two | MLB.com

Wow!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kendall graveman

Mets should seriously consider bringing up stud prospect | New York Post

Is Rosario really ready or just off to a hot start? Not even considering Super 2 status (which really shouldn’t be ignored), Rosario had 237 PA in AA last season. So far he has 86 in a AAA hitting environment radically different than he’ll have in New York. If the Mets front office doesn’t believe he’s ready and want to give me more time at AAA, bringing him up in a panic move will only endanger his development.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

2017 MLB Draft headlined by Greene, McKay | MLB.com

Wright’s season hasn’t been as spectacular as Greene’s or McKay’s, but he has a higher floor and better breaking stuff than the former and more upside on the mound than the latter. After failing to command his fastball—which can reach 97 mph—or land his curveball and slider for strikes in the early going, he struck out a career-high 13 in a shutout of Florida on April 14 and one-hit Georgia for eight innings on Saturday.

“Last summer, I thought Wright was the best college pitcher,” said a National League scouting director who prefers McKay on the mound. “He got off to a slow start, but he’s been the guy you expected the last two times out. Now you’re hoping he takes this all the way to the Draft.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 08:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft

Fox Business: Latest On Jeb & Jeter Marlins Bid

Still some hurdles to clear:

Making the cash raise easier for the duo is that they have the support of just about every owner in baseball who will see the value of their team soar if they are successful, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Indeed, if the $1.34 billion deal is completed, baseball’s most valuable franchise, the New York Yankees, would be valued at around $5 billion, a 56 percent increase from its estimated value of about $3.2 billion, these same people say.
.  .  .
Jeter and Bush are expected to invest no more than $200 million combined, which means they will have to raise between $800 million and $900 million in cash to complete the purchase under the guidelines of major league commissioner Rob Manfred, who won’t approve a deal with a high level of debt.

The task will be a difficult one if Jeter and Bush want to remain as the principal owners of the team—and not give up operating control to other investors—given how much money they will need to raise, baseball executives tell FOX Business.

“How many people are willing simply to write a $100 million check and not have a say in running the team?” said one senior baseball executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We all want them to succeed because Jeb and Jeter would be great for baseball, but it won’t be easy.”

You’d think it’d be an honor just to be asked to write a $100M check to Derek Jeter.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Harsher punishment for pitchers who throw at hitters’ heads may do more harm than good

Here is the problem with baseball imposing harsher discipline for pitchers who throw at hitters’ heads:

The players do not want stronger penalties and the clubs are not inclined to press the issue, sources said…

The union, meanwhile, is sensitive to excessive punishment for pitchers who might have acted at the behest of a management representative such as a coach or manager, and suspicious of anyone who claims to know intent.

“Balls do get away from pitchers and banging a guy 20 games for that is pretty onerous – until someone comes up with a way of reading the pitcher’s mind to determine intent,” the union official said.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 27, 2017 at 02:31 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, rules

Noah Syndergaard scratched from start | MLB.com

His replacement, Matt Harvey, does not look sharp in his place.

Manager Terry Collins termed Syndergaard’s issue a “tired arm,” most likely stemming from tendinitis in his right biceps. The team alerted Matt Harvey on Thursday morning that he would start in Syndergaard’s place, with Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler sliding forward to start Friday and Saturday on regular rest, respectively.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 01:51 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Inside Baseball | Where Potential Sellers Stand Right Now

Heyman’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

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