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Monday, August 14, 2017

Taking Back the Ballparks - Rangers voting thread

So, we’re down to four.

The overwhelming choice in the nominees was some kind of return to the original name for the Rangers joint, though opinion seemed divided on the full name or the half-measure. So, we’re leaving both options available.

Choose between any of the four selections. However, if you prefer Choice A), then please follow it up with 1) the naked version or 2) the full throw-back to the Ballpark in Arlington.

For those who don’t like either of these options, you’d probably better head to the still-open nominating thread to coalesce behind a single alternative among the expected also-rans.

A) The Ballpark
    1) The Ballpark (by itself)
    2) The Ballpark in Arlington
B) Lone Star Stadium
C) The Stockade
D) Vandergriff Park

Voting will be open until this time next Monday, at which point we’ll announce the BTF choice, then throw out our third team.

SoSH U at work Posted: August 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, stadium names

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2017

New York Tribune, August 23, 1917:

It was a big day for Flatbush, but only a paltry 1,500 “bushers” were on hand to appreciate the fact.
...
The champions last year of the National League and Pittsburgh, the cellar champions of this year, occupied the stage when the battle for a decision opened. Thirteen innings had been played the day before to a tie, and it took twenty-two more frames to break the deadlock.

The conflict opened at 1:30 and ended at 5:45, with the home boys victorious in the longest struggle ever held in the National League.

Elmer Jacobs took the loss, throwing 16.2 innings of relief and allowing one run.

The win probability chart for this game would be crazy if we could see it. There would have been plenty of scoring chances; the two teams combined for 47 hits and 10 walks.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Cardinals rethink roster protection for offseason | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

“I think what you have to realize is there is always going to be a team or two that can take the approach to a complete rebuild, or take a chance,” Mozeliak said. “When you go back five, six, seven years ago that wasn’t happening where people are taking four or five Rule 5 players. Now people are being more aggressive in how they think about talent collection.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rule 5 draft

Players’ View: Will Hitters Adjust to the High-Spin High Heater? | FanGraphs Baseball

Some nice comments in this article.

Derek Shelton, Toronto Blue Jays quality control coach: “No. 1, it’s a pitch well sequenced. No. 2, there are organizations that identify it. It started in Tampa. They identified guys who can spin the ball and throw the ball up in the zone.

“I think the way hitters are trending now, with the ball being in the air, there’s usually a little more loft in the swing. For hitters to adjust to that pitch, they’re going to have to shorten up and probably use the middle of the field a little more. It’s a hard balance for guys who already have their swing built.

“If your swing is working in a way where you’re trying to get the ball elevated, it usually happens more on the ball down. I think that’s why organizations are trying to identify guys that spin the ball up, because the ball up that spins… for guys who have more loft to their swings, it’s a harder pitch to impact.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching

25 Best Baseball Nicknames in History | MLB.com

No. 1: Babe Ruth (George Ruth)
What if he had gone by George Ruth? It’s hard to even imagine. He was called Babe as a young player when he was all naiveté—he was like a babe in the woods. Over the years, he was called many other things—“Bambino,” “The Sultan of Swat,” “The Big Bam” and “Jidge”—but at heart, he was always Babe, and 100 years after he began, everyone still knows him that way.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:17 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: nicknames

How Promotions and Demotions Affect Relief Performance – The Hardball Times

I am struck by the fact that all groups outperform their projections on average. I suspect this fact has more to do with the projections themselves and doesn’t mean there’s a hidden pattern here we’re not seeing. If anyone has suggestions for other projection mechanisms that would be suitable, let me know in the comments.

The conclusion here seems straightforward. I can find only the most tenuous connection between a role change for a reliever and his subsequent performance on the field. If a reliever does struggle or suddenly become lights out, look for other factors besides his recent promotion or demotion.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: relievers, sabermetrics

The unusually healthy Twins - Twinkie Town

All told, the Twins have been a fairly healthy group of players this year and that has been helpful towards keeping this team in playoff contention as the season enters its final month. With September callups looming, the influx of minor leaguers will help stifle the loss of any additional injuries, but we all hope that it won’t be a worry as the Twins fight for the Wild Card.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list, twins

MLB to implement code of conduct for fans at ballparks in 2018

Will Yankees suck still be allowed?

Over the past four months, Kennedy said MLB has encouraged teams to exchange ideas about ways to promote inclusion and stamp out intolerance.

“There’s not been any directive or mandate, but there’s been support from the commissioner’s office for sharing ideas and looking at different policies and procedures,” Kennedy said. “I actually think most clubs have a zero-tolerance policy with respect to fan enjoyment and creating a safe environment.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 10:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, mlb

That time Tommy Lasorda got the Expos mascot tossed out of a 22-inning, 1-0 game - CBSSports.com

First, a warning: this video autoplays. I hate when sites do this.

Second, it’s pretty funny so I posted it anyway.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, mascots, tommy lasorda

Royals get Perez, may lose Herrera | The Kansas City Star

“He says he’s fine, but I think he’s hurt,” Perez said, before quoting his teammate. “ ‘I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.’ That’s what he told me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 09:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, kelvin herrera, royals

Leiter on pitching mechanics | MLB.com (VIDEO)

Great segment with Al Leiter on some dangerous mechanics that lead to elbow problems.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2017 at 08:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching mechanics, tommy john surgery

Tuesday, August 22, 2017



Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2017

Pittsburgh Press, August 22, 1917:

If dreams come true Outfielder Harry Wolter will pitch a game for the Chicago Cubs before the season comes to a close.
...
While taking his nap [Cubs manager Fred Mitchell] dreamed Wolter was pitching a game for him against the Giants at the Polo Grounds and that the score was 0 to 0 in the fifteenth inning. How the contest came out Mitchell never will know for he woke up before it finished, but with a hunch, and that was to pitch Wolter in one of the contests on this trip.

...Wolter has been asking for a chance to twirl for several weeks, since it became apparent that the Cubs required another left handed pitcher.

Wolter never did get to pitch for the Cubs, but it wouldn’t have been completely crazy. He originally came up as a pitcher and was converted to the outfield.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 22, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Who Was George Wright? – Our Game

A guy with a very bad haircut is only part of the story.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 08:33 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: george wright, history

Mets’ Steven Matz goes on disabled list | MLB.com

“It’s tough,” Matz said. “But I talked to some guys who have had this procedure done before, and they came back feeling good and it solved their problems. I’m happy that there’s an answer to it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

How much is Tanaka worth? MLB execs weigh in on $67M mystery | New York Post

A second high-ranking official of a second big-market club offered this anonymous wisdom: “I suspect Tanaka, with only three years [left], may look to get more, but I think a bigger factor is how much he likes playing there. It’s hard for me to see him opting out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 08:00 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mashahiro tanaka, yankees

OTP 22 August 2017: The myth of baseball’s depoliticalization

The cornerstone of a democratic republic is civic engagement in service of civic virtue, to be aware of fellow citizens’ struggles and to doggedly fight injustice and oppression. In today’s America, much of this engagement is missing, and it is viewed less as a responsibility held by every citizen than the task of few professional groups. But when it comes to Nazism, it should be the duty of every person, doubly so for white people, to vociferously denounce the individuals and the ideals themselves, to stamp them down in every area of society. The silence of white MLB players is thus telling of the way baseball players in the past have interacted with politics and its relationship to the larger degradation of American democracy.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:43 AM | 397 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

The totality of Rafael Devers, who is eclipsing everything thought possible

Devers won’t be able to sustain his current play forever. (His .377 BAbip would rank him 3rd all time.) Nevertheless, he looks like a great young player who has great bat-to-ball skills and an ability to make adjustments. I am looking forward to watching his career.

For reference, he’s the top 30 in BAbip (minimum 1000 PA):

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:26 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, rafael devers, red sox

MLB Central: Cat and Mouse Game | MLB.com (VIDEO)

Smoltz talks about the ability of Miguel Cabrera to make adjustments and the inability of Reggie Sanders to do the same. (Neither of them had a lot of success vs. Smoltz. Click the links.) This is a very interesting part of the game. It’s an area of the game that players and coaches know about but, to this point and to my knowledge, there are no metrics to quantify the ability of players to make adjustments. With Statcast equipment getting added to more and more minor league parks, I would think better quantifying this ability would give a team a slight advantage when making moves or advancing players. Don’t get me wrong, I know teams already make note of this ability. I’m talking about more systematically examining the ability of all players using big data.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:14 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: video

Monday, August 21, 2017

Colon becomes third active pitcher to beat all 30 teams

Minnesota Twins starter Bartolo Colon became the third active MLB pitcher to beat all 30 teams with a 12-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

“It means a lot to my career,” Colon said through a translator after matching the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer and the Cubs’ John Lackey, who accomplished the feat last season. “Now, I haven’t won in two stadiums, so that’s the next goal.”

Chris Fluit Posted: August 21, 2017 at 04:10 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bartolo colon, diamondbacks, john lackey, max scherzer, twins


Future Phillies Report: J.P. Crawford makes more sense at 3B than Scott Kingery | CSN Philly

Some info on the Phillies prospects. I thought Crawford’s defense was above-average at short?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2017 at 12:57 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects

Can Scouts and Statcast Coexist? | FanGraphs Baseball

Yes, still beating this dead topic. At least there is a new spin.

“I think context on a personal level,” Daniels said. “I think in general, when we talk about evaluating players, that is the piece [missing]… You’re not there everyday. And that includes myself… That’s becoming more and more the skill of the scouts; their top responsibility is to identify that context. Identify that personal piece… that is an element you cannot access unless you are on the ground. The best scouts are able to fill in that blank.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2017 at 10:25 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, scouting

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-21-2017

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, August 21, 1917:

The American Giants’ baseball team, of Chicago, Ill., have been matched by Jack Roden to meet the two leading negro baseball clubs of this section the latter part of this month.
...
The Chicago team is recognized as the negro champions of the West and will meet the Bacharach Giants, of Atlantic City, the eastern champions, in a two-game series for the negro championship of the country, on August 29 and 30.

That would have been an amazing series to watch. John Henry Lloyd, Bruce Petway, Dick Redding, Rube Foster, Pete Hill, Bingo DeMoss, Dick Lundy, and Bill Pettus in one place at the same time. Goodness.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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