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Friday, August 28, 2015

Mariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik

This could be the sixth-best job that opens up this year.

Here’s the statement from Mariners president Kevin Mather:

“We have reached the point when change of leadership of our baseball operations is needed for the Seattle Mariners to reach our goal of winning championships. We are very disappointed with the results this season, and are not satisfied with the current operation. The search for a permanent general manager will begin immediately, and while there is no deadline, we expect to have a new GM in place as soon as practical.”

“We have great respect for Jack and his work ethic. He was an excellent representative of the Mariners both within the game of baseball and in the community. On behalf of the entire organization, I wish him and (his wife) Debbie all the best, and thank him for all his efforts.”
 
Assistant general manager Jeff Kingston will serve as the interim general manager for the remainder of the season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 28, 2015 at 12:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: jack zduriencik, mariners

SI: Mariners fire general manager Jack Zduriencik

The Mariners have not made the playoffs since 2001 and never finished a season higher than third place in the division under Zduriencik’s direction.

Entering Friday, Seattle sits 12 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West division with their 59-69 record.

But what about the weight room?

Monty Posted: August 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Its OK to have the hots for baseball players: A Manifesto

I have no problem admitting my love for Alex Gordon.

Female sports fans in general are treated like a stock list of stereotypes: served up infantilizing Hello Kitty merchandise and given institutionalized opportunities to “better understand” the game, invited to wine-soaked MLB-sponsored ladies’ nights, or dressed up in Victoria’s Secret gear that invites kisses on the kiss cam.

Further, it seems that sports culture can’t reconcile female desire with knowledge, so if you’re admiring the finer points of Josh Donaldson’s unstoppable swagger—his “liquid hot sexual gold,” as certain aficionados have been known to call it—you can’t possibly understand the mechanics of his MVP-worthy work at third base. Logic would dictate that I can find him stunning and still understand how the game works, and even be an expert on it. Yet, for whatever reason, acknowledging that I notice how pretty he is somehow becomes a shameful admission. I am forever a guest in a man’s house, and am expected to watch what I say and police what I feel accordingly.

Quite frankly, I’ve grown real tired of pretending that Bryce Harper isn’t a scorchingly beautiful specimen of masculinity. I’ve become exhausted denying that Buster Posey has the most adorable, angelic boy-band face I’ve seen since perusing Tiger Beat as a teenage girl. I’m weary from saying that Justin Verlander’s pants look “uncomfortable,” or that Matt Kemp looks “like an athlete.” I’ve actually come to think that every time I deny my inevitable attraction to players—I’m only human, and you know what Matt Kemp looks like—I’m supporting that terrible notion that real fans don’t have crushes, or that crushes hysterically cancel out all other considerations, and finally that women should simply shut up about how they feel if they want to watch a game with everyone else. A more cynical observer might even wonder if this gag rule has more to do with a threat to the general fan base’s masculinity than any real “respect for the game.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 28, 2015 at 11:25 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: fans

Los Angeles Dodgers can hit and get on base—so why can’t they score? | FOX Sports

The way I figure, it comes to four things. Very slightly, the Dodgers have underachieved with men on base. They’ve been a bad baserunning team. They’ve very infrequently reached on errors. And then some of this is probably just simple bad luck. Combine those and I imagine you can account for the missing half-run a game. You at least get close. That’s why the Dodgers haven’t scored as many runs as you’d think.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 10:25 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, sabermetrics

Martino: Mets should use Steven Matz out of pen in playoffs - NY Daily News

The Mets are already thinking about their playoff roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Pedro teaches Carlos at ASG | MLB.com

Good stuff from Pedro.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 09:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos martinez, pedro martinez, pitching mechanics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-28-2015

Pittsburgh Press, August 28, 1915:

John J. McGraw, manager of the Giants, has just signed the youngest ball player ever placed under any form of contract by a big league club…
...
Waite Hoyt of Brooklyn is the youngster. He is 15 years old, but large for his age, and weighs around 165 pounds. He is a pitcher.

Nice pickup. Very well done, Mr. McGraw. The kid could definitely pitch, he just mostly did it elsewhere for the next couple decades.

McGraw traded Hoyt to Rochester in 1919 and the youngster eventually became a star as a Yankee. A reasonable trade, though: Teenage Hoyt, a handful of mediocre players, and cash for Earl Smith, a catcher who hit .296/.371/.439 (111 OPS+) and won two World Series rings as a Giant.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 28, 2015 at 08:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, john mcgraw, waite hoyt

Each season has an autopsy. Here’s an early version for the Nationals. - The Washington Post

Thomas Boswell article reads more like an obituary.

“We do an autopsy on every season after it’s over and also every month. Sometimes I feel like I do it every night,” said General Manager Mike Rizzo, whose Nats still trailed the Mets by 6 1/2 games after Thursday’s win over San Diego. “I always say, ‘In the end, you are your record.’ This August has been my worst month ever” as a general manager.

The Nats’ “end” hasn’t arrived yet. Last year the team got healthy at approximately this juncture in the season and ended on a 33-13 streak. Then, they did it with decreasing September pressure as they pulled away. This year they need a repeat but with increasing pressure each day they don’t gain ground. A different test.
...
“We have [star] players who had a combined WAR of 28.5 last year, and this year they are negative . That’s a swing of 29 wins,” said Rizzo, naming nobody but working from some combination of Rendon, Werth, Desmond, Zimmermann, Zimmerman, Span, Fister and Strasburg, all down, Rendon by 6.9 wins, Werth by 6.0 (to -1.9) and Fister by 4.6.

“It’s injuries. It’s coming back without your timing and not hitting for a while. It is bad years [for good players]. It’s everything,” Rizzo said. “Twenty-nine lost wins [in player production] — and that’s on the manager ?”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 07:58 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Old News in Baseball, No. 18 « Our Game

The picture of Huggins and Ruppert is worth a click.

1925: After a night on the town‚ Babe Ruth shows up late for batting practice. Miller Huggins suspends Ruth and slaps a $5‚000 fine on him. In the ensuing battle of wills, owner Jacob Ruppert backs up his manager. Ruth is forced to apologize to the team before he is reinstated.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 07:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Dan Shaughnessy: With Don Orsillo news, Red Sox drop the ball again - The Boston Globe

It’s not often that I agree with Shaughnessy.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2015 at 07:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcaster, red sox, television

JON HEYMAN: MLB prevails over Barry Bonds in collusion case over his career ending

Baseball arbitrator Frederic Horowitz has ruled in favor of MLB in the case in which Bonds claimed he couldn’t get a playing job following the 2007 season due to a concerted effort by MLB to keep him out of the game, CBS Sports has learned.

Bonds’ career ended at the time, when no job was forthcoming.

The ruling, made within the last few days, came in the form of an opinion written by Horowitz, who heard Bonds’ case back in May.

Bonds, with the assistance of union lawyers, tried to make the case through circumstantial evidence that MLB’s powers must have colluded against Bonds, as no free-agent players coming off an excellent year fails to get a job.

bobm Posted: August 28, 2015 at 01:17 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, collusion

8-28-15 OMNICHATTER

The Great-Tasting OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 28, 2015 at 12:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Website MLB Couldn’t Buy

Since 2000, Major League Baseball Advanced Media has conducted a stealth campaign to take over every team domain, undoing any damage caused by its slow start in registration. MLB and other leagues have tried to snap up team sites not only to attract more traffic and ad revenue, but to avoid the unwanted attention that can come from a site like Cowboys.com, which became an “online dating community for men who enjoy the same country living lifestyle,” after the NFL’s Dallas franchise passed on it at auction.1 Both to streamline the process and to avoid hurting its leverage by letting potential sellers know there was big money behind its overtures, MLBAM has worked mainly through intermediaries like Monte Cahn, the founder of URL registrar Moniker.com and the president/director of RightofTheDot, LLC.2

According to Cahn, some of the URL squatters that MLB hoped to dislodge were “taking advantage of misspells and mistypes of famous brands,” like latter-day Twitter trolls who tweak prominent writers’ handles to break fake trades before the deadline. By placing ads on those sites, owners could profit from the traffic that flowed their way from baseball fans who hit the wrong keys. Most, Cahn says, “were unaware of the actual online domain registration laws vs. traditional trademark laws, so some registered names because they were fans of the teams or felt another fan would come and buy it from them, not knowing it could violate the trademark of the owner.” Still others owned sites with words that weren’t subject to trademark. “If you owned a domain like ‘Cardinals,’ your choice would be to just hold it, build a bird website — not that exciting or lucrative, probably — or sell it to MLB through us or other brokers,” Cahn says.

The decades-long scavenger hunt is close to complete. This February, MLB bought Rangers.com for $375,000. That triumph followed the 2013 purchase of Rockies.com (for an undisclosed price), the 2012 acquisition of Athletics.com, the 2010 addition of Angels.com (which went for $200,000 at auction), and the 2009 addition of Cardinals.com. Between 2004 and 2007, MLBAM acquired 12 team addresses, and had already brought 10 into the fold before that. That brings the total of MLB-owned team sites to 27, leaving three holdouts: Giants.com, Rays.com, and Twins.com.

Clown Penis Dot Fart clown penis dot fart from Galen Kennedy on Vimeo.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:53 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: internet, mlbam, twins

Hey, data data: MLB teams face challenge delivering info to players

Some great points in this article.

Some still choose to do their trend-spotting homework themselves. In addition to video and heat maps, Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki said he delves into the raw data while scouting opposing hitters.

“You look at exit speed velocity,” he said. “You look at tendencies in certain counts and certain pitches and quadrants of the zone. Velocity comes into play.

“You try to match it up with your pitcher that you have that day.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 11:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, scouting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-27-2015

Pittsburgh Press, August 27, 1915:

TOOK HIM FOUR YEARS TO LEARN HOW TO BUNT

Tod Sloan, outfielder with Birmingham in the Southern league, will be with the St. Louis Browns again next season for his fourth trial in the major leagues.
...
He was sent back from the majors three times, mainly because he couldn’t bunt. He has learned the bunting art this season.

That’s just goofy. Sloan appears to have been an okay enough ballplayer, mostly generic, nothing special but not terrible. In 143 MLB games, he put up 0.1 WAR and an OPS+ of 86.

At least he wasn’t a guy like Showboat Fisher or Buzz Arlett, who were wonderful hitters, possibly even all-time great hitters, but were robbed of MLB careers by an inability to field.

Put a Milo Candini on him. (Dan Lee) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 10:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bunting, dugout, history, tod sloan

Pablo Sandoval has improved defensively - The Boston Globe

I bet this means fans shouldn’t make snap judgement on players. Of course, most of you already know that.

But that has started to change. Since the break, Sandoval has played with more efficiency at third base and become a reliable defender.

It’s something teammates and coaches have noticed.

“I certainly have,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said Wednesday before the Red Sox played the Chicago White Sox. “Moving very well laterally. The first-step quickness, he’s getting to a lot of balls. There’s been an overall upgrade in his game.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 09:03 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox

Month is cold one for Trout

The greatest player on the planet is struggling.

In 24 games this month, Trout is batting .200 (17 for 85) with one homer and six runs batted in. He has a .327 on-base percentage, .306 slugging percentage, 28 strikeouts and 16 walks.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout

Justin Verlander barely misses third gem as Tigers beat Angels, 5-0 - LA Times

Does this mean Verlander is good again?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 08:59 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, justin verlander, tigers

The Pyramid Rating System: JAWS on a Career Scale – The Hardball Times

Interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing some rankings.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: rankings, sabermetrics


Plans for more protective netting already in works in Philly | FOX Sports

Nerf balls and bats. Problem solved!

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, phillies

OMNICHATTER 8-27-15

Cold, Refreshing OMNICHATTER

Gamingboy Posted: August 27, 2015 at 06:25 AM | 136 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, omnichatter

Schoenfield: Trying to figure out Don Mattingly and the Dodgers

I agree with Schoenfield: Absent a World Series ring, Mattingly is going, going, gone.

That brings us to the latest maneuverings of manager Don Mattingly. After Mattingly spent a few weeks screwing around with Yasiel Puig by occasionally sitting him to get Carl Crawford some at-bats, the manager has now benched rookie center fielder Joc Pederson, with Enrique Hernandez—who had been filling in at second due to the injury to Howie Kendrick—moving to center so Chase Utley can play second. The Dodgers, who emphasized better defense with their offseason acquisitions (although that hasn’t worked out as planned, since the Dodgers are 23rd in the majors in defensive runs saved), arguably weakened their defense at two positions, right when they’re playing a crucial stretch of baseball. (I don’t say that with certainty; Pederson is probably average-ish defensively and Hernandez may be as well, despite limited experience at the position. Utley’s diminished range is almost certainly a drop from Hernandez at second, however.)

It’s easy to see why Mattingly benched Pederson. The rookie hit .169 in July. He’s hitting .122 in August. Pederson, however, has drawn 20 walks in August and has a .413 OBP. He told Mark Saxon that he understands the demotion. But ... well, I’ll turn it over to Joe Sheehan, who wrote yesterday:

“What makes Mattingly’s decision all the more incomprehensible is his continued commitment to Jimmy Rollins at the top of the lineup. Rollins has been a replacement-level player this season, batting .223/.275/.361 with below-average defense at shortstop and an abysmal 9/7 [ratio of stolen bases to caught stealing]. It’s Rollins who replaced Pederson atop the Dodgers lineup, leading off in 21 of the last 22 games. In that time, he’s batting .269/.299/.398—a performance inferior to Pederson’s in that time. A leadoff hitter with a .299 OBP is actively hurting your offense. It’s 2015, and there’s an MLB manager unable to see past batting average to build his lineup.”

That’s what’s most stunning to me: The Dodgers, with like 26 general managers in the front office, are watching Mattingly bat his worst hitter leadoff. How does that make sense? As he did with Puig, Mattingly seems to get easily frustrated with young players, and can’t look past a small sample size to see long-term production trends. The roots of Pederson’s recent struggles with his batting average and his current benching go back in some fashion to spring training, when the Dodgers were concerned about his violent, all-or-nothing approach at the plate.

Of course, keep in mind that Mattingly’s style as a hitter was basically the exact opposite of Pederson’s. Mattingly rarely walked and rarely struck out. Pederson waits and waits and waits for his pitch and tries to jack it out, but he pays the price with a high strikeout rate. Mattingly’s swing was smooth and effortless. Note: Even with his recent struggles, Pederson has a .357 on-base percentage on the season. Mattingly’s career OBP? .358.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, don mattingly, on-base percentage

SB Nation: Pirates outfielder may have made the most chill out in MLB history

You know, I don’t think I had ever seen a casual throw nail a runner on a tag play.

Starling Marte’s chill knows no bounds. Most players would be harried trying to get the ball to third, but Marte put less effort into this out than people at the fair when throwing at milk bottles to win a prize.

JE (Jason) Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:39 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: cool, defensive plays, pirates, starling marte

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After loss and injury, is Javier Baez finally ready for the Cubs?

A really nice article about a guy who sounds really great and his miracle sister.  Keep the tissues handy.

Walt Davis Posted: August 26, 2015 at 08:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

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