Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Not Thurman Newsbeat

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Matt Garza Gives Brewers Pitchers Personalized Bathrobes

But when Matt Garza wanted to give his fellow Milwaukee Brewers starting pitchers a spring-training gift, he hit exactly the right note. He gave them all these oh-so-comfortable looking personalized robes. It’s one of those things you’d absolutely use but might never think to buy for yourself — the sign of a wonderful present.

Photos at link.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 04, 2015 at 01:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bonds, brewers, kyle lohse, lounge, matt garza

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Mets ask Billy Bean to suit up, but how do players feel about gay player in baseball?

Cuddyer says he has never had a gay teammate that he has known of. Daniel Murphy says he has not either.

He too is ready for a gay teammate, he says. The Mets consulted players this winter before bringing Bean in and Murphy called the idea “forward thinking.” More than just listening to a seminor or speech, it was an opportunity to get to known an individual. He regretted that he had not had the chance to meet Bean yet.

Murphy, a devout Christian, said he would embrace Bean despite a divergence in their beliefs.

“I disagree with his lifestyle,” Murphy said. “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”

But Murphy also saw the moment as an opening for a conversation and an avenue to get past stereotypes. The issue, he says, was “uncharted territory.”

While there may be a perception that Christian athletes may not be accepting of gay players, Murphy says that it is not the case.

“Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven’t been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality,” he said. “We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That’s the way I would describe it for me. It’s the same way that there are aspects of my life that I’m trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There’s a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door. That’s not love. That’s not love at all.”

 


Reports: Wright confronts Syndergaard - Mets Blog - ESPN New York

This isn’t a good way for Noah Syndergaard to get in the news.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 05:38 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Time to embrace A-Rod, just like Yankees’ spring training fans | New York Post

Huh. Maybe they will be able to market his home run milestones after all.

Think it’s a coincidence A-Rod’s Grapefruit League return comes on a home game? It’s a sound business decision for the Yankees, who surely will sell more tickets and draw more eyeballs to YES than if they fielded a lineup without their most interesting player. Or if this didn’t mark his first game back after missing all of last season due to a suspension for illegal performance-enhancing drug usage and obstruction.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 05:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Jeff McKnight dies of leukemia at 52

Jeff McKnight, a versatile player who spent six seasons with the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles, has died. He was 52.

McKnight’s family told the Mets that McKnight died Sunday after battling leukemia for 10 years. His father, Jim, who played for the Chicago Cubs briefly in the early 1960s, was born in Bee Branch, Arkansas.

Jeff McKnight made his big league debut with the Mets in 1989 and hit .233 with five home runs and 34 RBIs in 218 games. He singled in his final at-bat for the Mets in August 1994, on the final day before a players’ strike wiped out the rest of the season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2015 at 03:16 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff mcknight, mets, obituary, orioles

Philly.com: Phillies lose to University of Tampa, 6-2.

UT, ranked No. 1 in Div. II, tied it at 2 when Phillies reliever Nefi Ogando walked in a run with the bases loaded. That prompted a mid-inning pitching change to Hector Neris, who promptly gave up a grand slam to UT shortstop Giovanny Alfonzo.

The Phillies loaded the bases in the ninth, but Cord Phelps grounded out to the pitcher to end it.

A couple of days old, but still a fun story.


Onetime AL Batting Champion Alex Johnson Dead at 72

Few players have been more enigmatic or controversial. In 1971, he became the center of the storm while playing for a team that became known as “Hell’s Angels.” Now Alex Johnson is gone at 72.


Man to walk from Steinbrenner Field to Yankee Stadium for charity

Richard J. Albero, a former naval officer and retired teacher, will begin his journey up the east coast on Monday, March 2, at 10:00 a.m. and he’ll be doing so primarily to honor his nephew, Gary Albero, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York.

In conjunction with that effort, Albero also intends to raise $25,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project as a nod to Gary, who he describes as a charitable man who always put in the effort to raise awareness and funds for causes that were close to him.

So far, he’s off to a pretty good start, as he’s already been able to raise $9,000.

 

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: charity, yankees

Robothal: Walk away from $144 million? No sweat, Scherzer had it covered

The policy, Scherzer said, would have provided him with $40 million tax-free if he suffered any type of injury that prevented him from receiving an offer below the Tigers’ original $144 million proposal. Scherzer was covered if he injured his shoulder. He was covered if he required Tommy John surgery on his elbow. He was covered for every possible injury under a policy that he said cost him $750,000.

“Don’t get me wrong. I know finance. I know deferral money. I get all that. But this was the best offer. If another team wanted to make a better offer without a deferment, we never received it. This was the best offer.”

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals, tigers

Corey Hart slices foot stepping into a hot tub

Corey Hart got 3 stitches Sunday after slicing foot on hot tub. The good news is that Hart is only expected to be out for a few days.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

OT: Soccer March 2015

Your abbreviated schedule for March, 2015

March 4: Spurs vs. Swans
March 10: Porto vs. Basel
March 11: Chelsea vs. PSG
March 15: Chelsea vs. Souton
March 16: Swansea vs. Liverpool
March 18: Dortmund vs. Juventus
March 18: Barca vs. Man City
March 22: Götterdämmerung

Current Table:
1. Chelsea, 26 GP, 60 Points.
2. Man City, 27 GP, 55 Points.
3. Arsenal, 27 GP, 51 Points.
4. Man United, 27 GP, 50 Points.
5. Liverpool, 27 GP, 48 Points.
6. Southampton, 27 GP, 46 Points.
7. Tottenham, 26 GP, 44 Points.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: soccer


The path. | Texas Rangers Blog | The Newberg Report

Some good stuff from Jamey Newberg.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 09:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, minnie minoso, rangers

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

Pittsburgh Press, March 3, 1915:

A letter from [Washington] Pitcher Bert Gallia, which reached Manager Griffith this morning, explains why the Texan has not reported at Charlottesville with the advance squad.

Gallia writes that his mother is dangerously ill, and that it may be several days before he can leave Woodboro, Tex., where he lives, for Charlottesville.

“Dear Mr. Griffith, Please excuse Bert’s absence. He is helping me recover from an illness. Signed, Gallia’s Mother.”

Gallia’s mom appears to have recovered, because this article quotes a letter he sent her in 1918. As for Bert, he had his best season in 1915, winning 17 games while putting up a 130 ERA+ in 259.2 innings.


Joey Votto to miss start of Reds’ Cactus League games

This isn’t particularly promising either.

Price said Votto hasn’t participated in all of the team’s field drills, but doesn’t expect the star first baseman to miss any significant time. There has been no decision yet on when Votto will begin playing in exhibition games, Price said.

“Those little things, I’m starting to get to the point where those, I’ll be able to join in on and really be a part of nearly everything,” Votto said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: joey votto, reds

Curt Schilling outs Yankees worker who allegedly posted vulgar tweets about daughter | NJ.com

These guys should not be shocked about the consequences for their terrible posts.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 127 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, social media, yankees

Houston Astros might have a problem, a good problem | FOX Sports

Maybe it’s not a good idea to sign minor leaguers to long-term contracts.

General manager Jeff Luhnow is invested in both youngsters; he signed Singleton to a five-year, $10 million contract last June, and acquired Marisnick from the Marlins last July 31 in the six-player Jarred Cosart trade. But the Astros, acting on a mandate from owner Jim Crane, also are trying to improve quickly, as evidenced by their active offseason and increase in payroll.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, chris carter, evan gattis, jake marisnick, jonathan singleton

Detroit Tigers’ Jose Iglesias ‘really happy’ to return to field

Is this supposed to be encouraging?

Iglesias played one inning in today’s exhibition season-opening 12-2 win over Florida Southern. He made one put-out – a pop-up to end the the first – and took one at-bat – a groundout in the bottom of the first.

“It was a great feeling to get back out there and just being in the uniform is amazing,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jose iglesias, tigers

Adam Dunn, Juan Pierre, and Why We Need WAR «

No, this is not the OTP thread.

Pierre and Dunn are the John Adams and Thomas Jefferson of their generation. They rose to prominence around the same time, became the focal points of rival factions, and, in their declining years, saw their differences reconciled. And finally, they exited the stage almost simultaneously, having left us in a far different place philosophically than we were when they arrived.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: adam dunn, juan pierre, sabermetrics, war

Tabata’s new swing is turning heads in Pirate City | pirates.com

So the Pirates extended him another lifeline, encouraging him to seek former short-lived teammate Marlon Byrd’s help in doctoring his swing. The Pirates have not given up on Tabata, because they can’t afford to—the contract he preserved by accepting those Minor League assignments pays him $4 million this season, making him the team’s fourth-highest-paid position player, whether he is on the team or not.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 06:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jose tabata, pirates

(REAL) SPRING TRAINING GAMES START TODAY

Actual MLB vs. MLB spring training games start today.

This has been an announcement.

Gamingboy Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:30 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, spring training

Monday, March 02, 2015

Deadspin: “Sports Analytics” Is Bullshit Now

To that end, yes, of course, some teams invest more in analytical personnel, and some do a better job of integrating that into strategy, tactics, and method on the field or court. But try naming some and why, specifically, they’re successful. You’ll get as far as an accommodating owner or infrastructure, like the Mavericks or Rockets enjoy, or the efficiency of scale the Red Sox or New York Yankees can sometimes employ in turning small-market tactics loose with big-market ruthlessness (and margin for error), but not much further. There’s a reason for that: the actual work of transcoding data to usable intelligence involves the most closely-kept industry secrets in sports, to the point that, as I heard it from some of the private analytics crowd, multiple NBA teams were furious last year when Kirk Goldsberry and the Harvard group made public their models for parsing SportVU data in a useful way. As a rule, no one shows their work; no one shows proofs or models or submits to peer review that extends beyond the trade deadline. Yes, it’s probable that the Rockets really do have some great quants working in-house—who, like the best quants at your local Evil Finance Operation, are likely kept chained in a dark room being fed graphing paper so competitors never learn their names—but that probability rests in the team’s proven record of turning observation into philosophy into decisions into on-court success. The irony is that for all the complications added to sports organizations over the last several years, because of those complications and their secrecy, simple old wins are just about the only honest metric available to the public by which to judge whether or not a team’s analytics department has done a good job.

That doesn’t mean no one tries to prove otherwise. In the absence of any way to check everyone’s homework for bullshit, it’s very easy to just praise the teams who seem most vociferous about abiding by the maxims of analytics as good-faith practitioners. Draft picks and youth are valuable; roster flexibility is key; defense is cheap, and maybe the new (or now just recent) inefficiency—all the little truisms distilled and disseminated in that ESPN analytics package are basically just talking points when coming from teams that promise they’ve done the math even if you can’t see it working yet.

As such, the analytics story right now isn’t just about a standard-issue business division being imparted divine powers by the media and the people who benefit from such coverage; it’s about right-minded and unverifiable claims being attached to all manner of disasters as a way of reassuring fans that they shouldn’t worry, that there is a plan, and that the plan is based on smart-people things.

But seriously, the Mariners are still working on that state-of-the-art weight room.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2015 at 10:15 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: 76ers, astros, deadspin, nba, sports analytics

Royals hope new addition Alex Rios helps outfield defense remain baseball’s best

Aoki Dokey.

In Milwaukee during his first two big-league seasons, Aoki spent most of his time defending batters straight up, without much shading in either direction, Kuntz explained. Aoki preferred to charge in, rather than charge back, and glued himself to the same spot before almost every pitch.

The Royals operate a more fluid defense. Kuntz does not just ask his defenders to adjust from batter to batter. Sometimes he calls for shifts from pitch to pitch. Aoki was an “analytical” player, Kuntz said. He required an explanation for instructions. Kuntz would flash a signal and Aoki would hesitate before moving.

During games, Kuntz only had a brief window in between innings to communicate, because his presence was required to coach first base. Soon after a sign was sent to the outfield, Kuntz would often receive a visit from Aoki’s translator, Kosuke Inaji.

“Nori wants to know why we don’t play everybody straight up,” Inaji would say.

Kuntz had to remind Inaji: “At times, I don’t have time to explain it to him. He just has to get there.”...


During that first workout, when Rios asked for advice, Kuntz suggested he alter his mechanics when chasing drives over his head. Like 90 percent of players, Kuntz said, Rios executed a drop-step as his first movement, which elongated his route to the ball. Kuntz counseled him to swivel his hips instead and straigthen his line.

Two days later, as he swatted fly balls, Kuntz watched how Rios hunted for balls and noticed the difference.

“Just like that, he’s got it,” Kuntz said. “But he’s an athlete. And he’s coachable.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 02, 2015 at 09:33 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rios, analytics, defense, nori aoki, royals

Keri: The 30: Offseason Stock Report

Today, as a treat for everyone who’s (almost) made it through this cruel, frigid, never-ending winter, we’re going bigger, ranking and examining all 30 clubs.

Since the calendar has turned to 2015, we’re starting off fresh. Last year’s results don’t matter — sorry, Giants fans — and all teams are ranked based on how they look coming into the spring.

But before we begin, our standard disclaimer: If you disagree with these rankings or any of the 2015 rankings to come, remember that I made my decisions based solely on my bias against your favorite team, with no consideration whatsoever for data or objective analysis.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 02, 2015 at 02:32 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: clinique, oprah, secrets

Yankees Rookie Nervously Tells A-Rod How Much He Used To Hate Him As A Kid

TAMPA, FL—Tentatively approaching the All-Star third baseman during a spring training workout Friday, New York Yankees rookie outfielder Tyler Austin reportedly worked up the courage to tell Alex Rodriguez how much he used to hate him as a kid. “Hey, Alex, I’m sure you get this from the younger guys all the time, but I just wanted you to know how much I hated your ####### guts when I was growing up,” Austin told the Yankees slugger, adding that he will “always remember” watching Rodriguez slap the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove in the 2004 ALCS and then later finally admit to years of steroid use in 2009.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 02, 2015 at 02:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: centauromachy

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogIs Charlie Brown the Worst Manager Ever? – The Hardball Times
(166 - 2:34am, Mar 04)
Last: Monty

NewsblogRobothal: Walk away from $144 million? No sweat, Scherzer had it covered
(23 - 2:16am, Mar 04)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - March 2015
(185 - 2:14am, Mar 04)
Last: MikeOberly

NewsblogMets ask Billy Bean to suit up, but how do players feel about gay player in baseball?
(1 - 2:10am, Mar 04)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogCurt Schilling outs Yankees worker who allegedly posted vulgar tweets about daughter | NJ.com
(127 - 2:02am, Mar 04)
Last: Morty Causa

NewsblogOTP - March 2015: You’re out, tobacco: Bill would ban products at all California baseball venues
(468 - 1:34am, Mar 04)
Last: tshipman

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1902 Ballot
(16 - 12:51am, Mar 04)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogOnetime AL Batting Champion Alex Johnson Dead at 72
(30 - 12:33am, Mar 04)
Last: Infinite Joost (Voxter)

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(654 - 12:32am, Mar 04)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogHouston Astros might have a problem, a good problem | FOX Sports
(9 - 12:19am, Mar 04)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(12 - 12:03am, Mar 04)
Last: The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB)

NewsblogReports: Wright confronts Syndergaard - Mets Blog - ESPN New York
(30 - 12:03am, Mar 04)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogDeadspin: "Sports Analytics" Is Bullshit Now
(23 - 11:24pm, Mar 03)
Last: Der-K is at full whelm.

NewsblogAdam Dunn, Juan Pierre, and Why We Need WAR «
(26 - 11:19pm, Mar 03)
Last: Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy

NewsblogCorey Hart slices foot stepping into a hot tub
(29 - 10:32pm, Mar 03)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

Page rendered in 9.6742 seconds
167 querie(s) executed