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Saturday, March 28, 2015

NY Post: Sherman: Commish, Boras And Cubs: Shut Up About Hopeless Phenom Debate

It’s time for everyone involved in the current Kris Bryant saga to shut up. For the good of the kid and — more vitally — the good of the game.

Everyone has had their say now, even the new commissioner. Everyone has staked their position. This should be the feel-good story of the spring. Instead, the rarest commodity in the sport — a young position player with the talent and charisma to attract fans — has been soiled.

It would be worthwhile if this were a debate in which the outcome could be swayed. But that just is not the case.

The Cubs say they still have not made a decision whether they are sending Bryant down. Stop. If Bryant is sent to the minors for even just 12 days, Chicago can — by rule — control him for seven years before free agency rather than six. It is a no-brainer and anyone who has been around the Cubs executives would not describe that intelligent lot as brainless.

bobm Posted: March 28, 2015 at 10:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, scott boras, theo epstein

Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant and the service-time game | FOX Sports

As you may have noticed, there are a few Kris Bryant discussions on the site. One area of some contention is how the CBA actually works. I’ve seen one poster unequivocally state that keeping Bryant down won’t give the Cubs another year of Bryant’s play, even going so far as to say “I am so ####### tired of reading this. It is not about what years the Cubs have Bryant it is about how much they pay him in those years.” Debating such topics without factual information only makes the discussions more difficult and more acrimonious than they need to be. Luckily, CJ Nitkowski’s timely and informative article popped up in my Google search. FYI.

In an average year there are 183 service days in a major-league season, 162 games and 21 off days. If you accrue 172 days in any season, it is considered a full year. Six full years gets you to free agency. Five years and 170 days—like Rick Porcello currently has—does not.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Sadly, We’ve Lost Another Primate

With a heavy heart we regret to inform you of the untimely death of longtime Primate Joel Schuster, known on the site as either Jack Vincennes or Bunny Vincennes. Although I didn’t interact directly with Joel often over the years, he will be missed by all as he was always a force to be reckoned with,whether in a contentious Cubs thread or is a heated Lounge thread. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends, especially to his many,many friends on the site.

In lieu of flowers, the Dane County Humane Society or the YWCA - organizations that were important to Joel. Messages may be left with http://www.butzinmarchant.com

A gathering to remember Joel and celebrate his love of baseball will be held on Sunday, April 12th from 2-6 p.m. at Genna’s cocktail lounge at 105 W. Main, Madison, WI 53703. All who knew Joel are welcome to watch the Cubs play the Rockies, follow the final round of the Master’s, share stories and sing, “Take me out to the ballgame!”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 28, 2015 at 07:56 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: obituary

Astros to introduce drool-inducing Chicken & Waffle Cone

The Houston Astros understand that sweet and salty, like Biggio and Bagwell, are one of the best combinations of all time. That’s why they’ve decided to take crazy to a new level with the Chicken & Waffle Cone. Your eyes do not deceive you. That’s chicken in a waffle cone, served with mashed potatoes and a honey mustard sauce.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 28, 2015 at 02:08 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, fatass, pablo sandoval

Jonathan Lucroy’s bat is literally on fire

In a recent promotional shoot, Lucroy decided to take the phrase literally.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 28, 2015 at 01:48 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, jonathan lucroy

Friday, March 27, 2015

BBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!

Hope everybody is recovered from last year, because it’s time to schedule this year’s Amazing Athletic Extravaganza!  Let’s decide on a date this week that works for the most people possible.  Let me know which of these work for you:

June 6, 13, 20, 27
July 11, 18
August 1, 8, 15

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 | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: softball

The Dome: 15 years ago Seattle blew up a giant, concrete eyesore full of memories.

Its hosted an All-Star Game, a Pro Bowl, an NBA All-Star, and a Final Four. Thank god its gone.

It was an albatross. Only fifteen years after its spectacular demolition was King County able to pay off the bonds still tied to it. The Kingdome was only slightly older than Safeco Field is now before its two main tenants began grousing about its inadequacy as a modern sporting venue. The moment that Camden Yards opened in 1993 and began printing money for the Orioles the last 30+ years of ballpark construction was rendered obsolete.

3) It was permanent. Anything that pre-dates your memory is. Anything that large isn’t designed to be so fungible. Part of the point of massive buildings is to impart upon you your own smallness. This massive thing laughs at your size, your fragility, your temporal nature. The Kingdome was 5 years old when I was born but it may as well have been 100. I still feel strange walking around Sodo in between Century Link and Safeco.
 
4) After you took your seat in it you were struck by two things. One was the sheer enormity of it. This was emphasized by the fact that typically the place was only 1/4 full at most. It felt like you could fit Rainier itself in there. Two was the way sound worked. This was apparent to us way before Seahawks games made it famous and 95 made it legendary. On a typical game day you could easily have a conversation with someone two section over as though they were sitting next to you. The Kingdome used sound to compress the space between us. The Kingdome gave us a power we’ve been using ever since.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2015 at 06:11 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: defunct stadiums, kingdome, mariners

Cleveland Indians demote Salazar; McAllister, House, Tomlin compete for 2 rotation spots

ZIPS projects Salazar for 2.7 WAR, but what do stats know?

The Indians have optioned struggling right-hander Danny Salazar to Class AAA Columbus.

In doing so they have reduced the competition for the fourth and fifth spots in the starting rotation to Zach McAllister, T.J. House and Josh Tomlin. McAllister is out of options so he’s guaranteed a spot on the staff regardless it’s as a starter or reliever. House and Tomlin have options.

The Reds hit Salazar hard Thursday at Goodyear Ballpark in a 13-2 victory. He allowed seven runs, six earned, on six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Two of the hits were home runs.

Salazar struck out six, but after his 83-pitch performance he was not happy with himself.

“I pitched like bleep,” he told reporters.

Salazar said his fastball was up, his change up was in the middle of the plate and that he continually pitched from behind in the count.

“That’s not good,” he said.

Perhaps Salazar knew the consequences of his performance.

This spring Salazar is 1-2 with a 8.18 ERA in four Cactus League starts. He allowed 14 hits and 10 earned runs in 11 innings.


Jason Heyward’s Ability Seems Boundless. Soon, So May His Contract.

If he wants the biggest contract, he has to put up some bigger numbers than he has put up the last few years. Even if he doesn’t, he’ll be a very wealthy young man at the end of season.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:34 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, free agents

Grantland (Keri): 2015 AL Central Preview

3. Chicago White Sox

...

Worst Offseason Move: None. Seriously, the Pale Hose didn’t put a foot wrong this winter. Although, when we spoke a few weeks ago, Hahn getting fired up about a minor league deal for 36-year-old Brad Penny might’ve been a bit much.

I think it would have been fair to place the David Robertson deal here.

Eddo Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: al central, indians, royals, tigers, twins, white sox

Jeff Samardzija ready for future - Chicago Tribune

If he’s not looking for top dollar, I’m sure he will have plenty of teams lined up not to give it to him.

“I’m not looking for top dollar,” Samardzija said. ”For me, it’s good to see those guys are compensated. But I think if you look at maybe outside of Shields, who maybe didn’t get his first choice, you look at Jon and Max and couple other guys, the big thing for them is they went somewhere they wanted to go to, and they were excited about where they were going to.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:18 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff samardzija, white sox

Fastball-changeup interplay featuring Jacob deGrom - Beyond the Box Score

Putting Jacob DeGrom under the microscope.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jacob degrom, mets, sabermetrics

Red Sox catcher Vazquez to have MRI on elbow | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Vazquez hasn’t caught in a major league game in two weeks after experiencing some discomfort in the elbow in a game against the New York Yankees. Subsequently, Vazquez experienced some pain in his triceps after altering his throwing motion somewhat to compensate for the elbow soreness.

He threw to bases Thursday, but did so at less than full intensity - per the Red Sox’ request.

“There’s a little bit [of restriction] there,’’ said Vazquez of the discomfort he experiences with his elbow. “I’ve got more in the tank. But I want to be 100 percent to help the team. I need to be ready to help the team win. That’s my Be ready and healthy. Because this is my first time hurt. I’m a little said with myself.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:06 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: christian vazquez, red sox

At Least All These Tommy John Surgeries Aren’t Rotator Cuff Surgeries | FiveThirtyEight

Shoulder injuries really suck. Fortunately, conditioning methods have improved.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 11:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitcher injuries, tommy john surgery

For Mookie Betts, milestone marks changed approach - Sports - The Boston Globe

There is a reason the Red Sox won’t include Betts in a deal for Hamels. He a very smart *and* physically-gifted player.  He understands that taking walks should never be the goal. They should be a byproduct of a batter not getting pitches to hit. He also understands that the game is about constant adjustments. Not every gifted players gets that. (See Javier Baez for comparison.)

“[Big league] pitchers are just around the zone more. I feel like you have to swing a little more. You can’t go up there taking,” said Betts. “I kind of learned last year that you can’t go up there taking. You’ve got to be ready to swing it. That’s how [Derek] Jeter got 3,000 hits. He wasn’t up there taking. That’s kind of why my approach is a little more aggressive than it used to be, which is all right. I feel like it works both ways – it cuts down on strikeouts and it may cut down on walks, but that’s OK. I’ll take [walks] when they come, like today. I feel like I didn’t really get a good pitch to hit, especially with guys on second and third, and ended up working a walk from there

“I think [the more aggressive approach] just kind of just developed over last year, especially against [big league] pitchers. They’re kind of in the zone with everything. I feel like if you go up there taking, you’ll be 0-2 in the blink of an eye,” he added. “It’s not something that I think about. It’s just something that’s naturally been an adjustment, the same way I always say – I feel like I just make natural adjustments.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 27, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

David Ortiz writes The Dirt

Big Papi wants to know if you’re taking steroids.

I’m buying an over-the-f***ing-counter supplement in the United States of America. I’m buying this stuff in line next to doctors and lawyers. Now all of a sudden MLB comes out and says there’s some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don’t know anything about it.

If you think I’m full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is. I’m not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I’m in a strip mall across from the Dunkin’ Donuts, bro.

bbmck Posted: March 27, 2015 at 08:53 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ortiz, peds, red sox, testing

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-27-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 27, 1915:

Here’s the funny thing about [Bud] Davis, the rookie twirler from Virginia who has been showing so well with the Athletics this season. For four years Davis always threw left-handed. Now he is a right-handed pitcher.

That’s weird.

In fact, nearly everything about Davis as a ballplayer was weird. He put up a 98 ERA+ at age 19 in his only MLB season, then never again appeared in the major leagues. A pretty good season if you just glance at it, but somehow Davis put up that decent ERA despite walking 52 batters and hitting six more in 66.2 innings. Nearly half of the runs he allowed were unearned.

He went from the majors in 1915 all the way down to class C ball in 1916, pitching poorly for Augusta in the Sally League. Eventually Davis decided to forget about pitching and become a first baseman, and it went spectacularly well. In 1924, with Okmulgee in the Western Association, he hit .400 with 51 home runs and 112 extra-base hits. Bud Davis continued to put up huge offensive numbers everywhere he went, even in the highest minors, but he never did make it back to the big leagues.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boras: Cubs using business, not baseball, if Bryant stays in minors - CBSSports.com

I get that he’s trying to help his client become a free agent sooner but it’s also within the Cubs purview to send him down to the minors to gain another year and use Bryant’s defense as a reason to do so. If Boras really wants to get rid of the contract issue, he can agree to a contract which supersedes this issue. That won’t happen, of course. You don’t squeeze every penny out of a team signing such a contract. In the meantime, Scott, spare us the sanctimonious pontifications about “integrity and brand”.

The opiate of player control cannot supersede the greater importance of MLB’s integrity and brand, which says that this is where the best players play. You can’t have that,” Boras said in a phone interview with CBSSports.com. “Clearly, there’s an obligation to put the best players in the big leagues.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 10:20 PM | 209 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, scott boras, theo epstein

A Fresh Start | The Players’ Tribune

I guess the Astros concerns were well founded.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 09:29 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brady aiken

Report: Mets cut ballpark security to save money

I know this is shocking, but we have yet another example of the Mets being too cheap. This time around, they’ve drastically cut ballpark security to the point that there are safety concerns.

Jacob Posted: March 26, 2015 at 08:10 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, wilpon

Cubs’ Ricketts reveals Wrigley renovation might take extra year

Wait til next year!

On Wednesday, though, Ricketts said the organization is projecting the $375 million renovation to take longer than originally expected.

“There will be four more years,” Ricketts said Wednesday after speaking at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. “The way we project it now is four more years of construction.”

Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for Ricketts, confirmed Wednesday evening that the project could very well bleed into a fifth offseason, one more than the original plan.

“That could still be the way it works out,” Culloton said of the original four-phase plan. “But it could take longer. Just take this winter for example, and we have found not only the problem with the weather but the water pipes that we had no control over. It could be four years, it could be five. It’s hard to say.”

The original plan for the construction was four offseason phases to be completed before the 2018 season, according to the Cubs’ Restore Wrigley website.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:14 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ricketts, wrigley field renovation

Former Cardinals player punched at St. Louis County gas station after racial slur

Best Fans in Baseball?

Former Cardinals outfielder Curt Ford said Thursday he may move away from the St. Louis area in disgust after being punched in an allegedly unprovoked, race-related attack at a gas station.

“I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation, but I’ve had enough of St. Louis,” Ford said in a phone interview Thursday. “You hear about this kind of stuff happening, and I always knew it existed because of my previous experience working here in St. Louis, but you try to keep away from it and there is just no way you can do that unless you stay inside like a hermit.

“I just want justice. It’s all I want.”

Ford, 54, said the experience has made him consider moving, even though, “I care a lot about St. Louis and I love the people here.” He added, “The people I have been involved with are all very positive and all they want to do is work and pay bills. There are very nice people here.”

St. Louis County police from the Fenton Precinct arrested James Street, 37, of the 400 block of Saline Road, a white man who allegedly slugged the black former Cardinals player after shouting racial slurs at him and telling him to “go back to Ferguson,” the Post-Dispatch has learned.

“I was sucker-punched, blindsided,” Ford said. “I was walking into the store and hit from my blind side.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2015 at 05:13 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, curt ford, ferguson, race

Nippon Ham ordered to pay ¥41.9 million for failing to shield spectator from foul ball

The woman in her 30s sued the team, Sapporo Dome Co. and Sapporo city for their failure to prevent her from being hit by the foul ball, which resulted in her losing sight in her right eye, while she was in the infield stands during a game at Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido on Aug. 21, 2010.

I feel like there’s a tasteless joke somewhere in here about how ham is a poor substitute for steak in preventing black eyes, but please don’t be tempted to make it. Instead discuss whether this establishes any precedent for other leagues.

 


Tony Massarotti Details Phone ‘Conversation’ With Shane Victorino « CBS Boston

I can’t listen to Felger and Massarotti on the radio. They are the two biggest, factless blowhards on Boston sports radio. When faced with undeniable facts which refute whichever crazy premise they have expressed, the words “I was wrong” have never been expressed.

Felger added: “He’s backtracking today. That’s what I think. That’s my opinion. But it’s only an opinion.”
Mazz said, “I don’t know that he’s backtracking. I think he realizes he said too much. That’s what I think.”

They also have terrible, silly opinions about the Red Sox. If they were in charge of the Red Sox, the Sox would be perennial also-rans.

Felger and Mazz also agreed on one thing: They’d both trade Mookie Betts for Cole Hamels.

Yes, they irritate me.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 03:58 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, shane victorino

Giants’ Peavy likes results with new pitch - San Jose Mercury News

The crusty veteran is trying to add a new wrinkle.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 26, 2015 at 03:34 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jake peavy

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