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Friday, March 06, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 6, 1915:

One of the Cub rookies spiked himself in the knee. It was not exactly his fault, however, as he slipped on the soggy field and in some manner managed to get his spikes entangled in his left knee. He will be out of the game for several days.

You’ve gotta be ridiculously flexible to spike yourself in the knee. I don’t even think I could do that in QWOP.

Elsewhere in the Pittsburgh Press 100 years ago, mentions of two strange young pitchers (Carmen Hill and Lee Meadows) who *gasp* wear glasses, and a banner headline reading LINER IN FLAMES right above a story about how the Lusitania managed to avoid German U-boats.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: March 06, 2015 at 08:02 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history


Why Masahiro Tanaka isn’t worried about the health of his elbow - Yahoo Sports

Mechanics? What did he change?

And for Tanaka, the latter begins with something so fundamental to success in his native Japan: pitching mechanics, something he believes led to his injury in 2014.

“I don’t think they were solid,” Tanaka told Yahoo Sports through interpreter Shingo Horie recently. “With the right mechanics, the right form, the right balance, you’re able to throw a solid pitch. It’s not about how much power you can put on the throw. It’s more about the mechanics. That’s what I believe.

“I’m never really satisfied. Your body is different every day. You’ve got to talk with your body and make small or, sometimes, big adjustments to get that pitch form right. It’s hard to get to a point where you’re completely satisfied with your mechanics.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: masahiro tanaka, yankees

Jackie Bradley Jr. keeps chin up and swing level - Sports - The Boston Globe

As he piled up hits during spring training in 2013, there was a heated debate about whether the Red Sox should put Jackie Bradley Jr. on the roster for Opening Day or wait until later in the season to delay his becoming eligible for free agency.

The assumption was that Bradley would be so good that the Red Sox should do everything possible to hold onto him.


“It’s funny how things change,” Bradley said Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2015 at 06:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley jr, red sox


Video: Pedroia’s grand slam | MLB.com

The Laser Show is healthy again. Move him up on your draft boards.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2015 at 06:18 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Doc: Reds’ Joey Votto a curious guy

Ted Williams was criticized for his approach as well.

Votto could be right. He could be in the vanguard of how hitters hit and think. At the moment, metrics are discussed by media and front-office types, not players. Maybe Votto bends that discussion.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2015 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: joey votto, reds

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Patriots, Giants, Rays sign amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage

The New England Patriots, San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays have all signed onto an amicus brief urging the United States Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, according to the Huffington Post. They are among almost 400 companies - many of which are some of the biggest corporations in the country - to support the brief. The Supreme Court will hear a case on gay marriage on April 28 and is expected to make a determination by June.

All of these teams have strong histories on LGBT issues. The Patriots’ owner, Bob Kraft, supported LGBT rights years ago and the Patriots appeared at an LGBT fundraiser years before it was en vogue. The Giants were the first team to produce an It Gets Better video in 2011, sparking a string of other MLB teams to follow suit. That list included the Rays.

 


ESPN: Cashman: Retire captaincy with Jeter

Tomorrow, Cashman will tell ESPNNewYork.com that he’s recommending that no one play SS right away….

“I think Derek did it as well as anyone can,’’ Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. “He wore it well, and I’m not a big advocate of giving out the captaincy anyway. I’m not going to recommend anyone being named captain of the New York Yankees right away.’‘

Earlier in the day, Cashman had said on ESPN New York Radio 98.7 FM that he did not see a viable candidate in the Yankees clubhouse to succeed Jeter as the 16th captain in team history, a list that includes Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson and Don Mattingly.

“And that’s not disrespectful of any of the guys I have here that have a lot of leadership,’’ Cashman said. “As far as I’m concerned, and I’m not the decision-maker on this, that captaincy should be retired with No. 2. I wouldn’t give up another captain title to anybody else.’‘

JE (Jason) Posted: March 05, 2015 at 09:08 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: brian cashman, derek jeter, the captain, yankees

Minor’s absence opens opportunities for Stults | braves.com

This doesn’t sound good.

Though Braves officials are maintaining hope that Mike Minor needs just a few weeks of rest, they are well aware of the fact that the three months of rest he received this past offseason did not prevent his left shoulder from becoming an issue yet again this week.

Thus, instead of simply waiting a couple more weeks to see if the shoulder discomfort persists, the Braves are planning for Dr. James Andrews to evaluate Minor’s shoulder early next week. The hope is that the evaluation will provide a clearer understanding about what has caused the 27-year-old southpaw’s shoulder to prove so problematic over the past year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:09 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mike minor

Sources: Cuban Hector Olivera could have damaged UCL in throwing arm - Yahoo Sports

Serious concern exists that Cuban infielder Hector Olivera has a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm, potentially hindering the market for a free agent who many expected to contribute in the major leagues this season, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 07:57 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, hector olivera

Darvish not concerned after exiting spring debut | MLB.com

Tightness in the right triceps.

“I was working on my location,” Darvish said in a limited press conference afterward. “It didn’t affect my location or the command of my pitches. I felt it warming up and didn’t think too much of it. But it never loosened up.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 07:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

UPDATE: X-rays confirm fractured left forearm for Giants’ Hunter Pence, out 6-8 weeks - Giants Extra

Bummer.

Pence was diagnosed with a non-displaced ulnar fracture and was being fitted with a cast; he is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, meaning the earliest he could return is mid-April.

Pence was struck by a pitch from Cubs minor league right-hander Corey Black. He usually sprints to first base after he’s hit by a pitch but stayed down for several seconds before he began walking toward the base.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 07:23 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hunter pence, injuries

Joe Posnanski’s Top 100 Players: No. 40: Eddie Collins

Annnd, we’re back!

There is no satisfying way to compare ancient players from Deadball to the players today. For instance: There is an argument to be made, a strong one, that Eddie Collins was one of the ten best player in baseball history. If you treat the baseball of his time as equal to all other times, you almost have to rank him in that stratosphere. He ranks tenth In wins Above Replacement. He hit .333 with more than 3,000 hits, more than 700 stolen bases, more than 1,800 runs scored — only Ty Cobb has that combination…

How can you guess what Eddie Collins would be in 2015? He was a 5-foot-9, 175-pound competitor, a peerless bunter, a breathtaking base runner, a player with a brilliant baseball mind. Would that game play in 2015? Collins averaged — AVERAGED — more than 20 sacrifice hits per season over his 25-year career. Last year, no player had more than 13 sacrifice bunts. We don’t have complete information, but based on what we do know it seems Collins routinely would get thrown out 30 times a season attempting to steal. That obviously wouldn’t play these days. Collins seemed to get on base a lot with bunts … but even his admirers would say that he wasn’t breathtaking fast, he was just a great bunter. Would that work in 2015 against specialized defenses?

Then again he was just such a smart player — you have to believe he would adjust to modern times. Would have become a faster Dustin Pedroia? A Joe Morgan type? Your guess is probably as irrelevant as mine.

The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2015 at 02:12 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, eddie collins, history, joe posnanski, white sox

‘Boring’ Cardinals know how to win

“People say we’re boring,’’ Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright says. “That’s fine.

“But it’s kind of like the San Antonio Spurs, right? They just show up every year, play well, and act professionally.

“That’s who we are.

“We want to make news because we’re winning, not because we’re the loudest or act a certain way.’‘

The Cardinals have been the most consistent team in baseball since 2011. They’ve reached the National League Championship Series four consecutive years, winning one World Series and two pennants. Since the turn of the century, they’ve had just one losing season and 11 playoff appearances.

Yet, they may be the most anonymous team in baseball, with not a single player featured in a national endorsement, let alone selling sandwiches or hair products on the air.

Come on, go ahead and bang your head against the wall to shake those brain cells, can you remember a single controversial quote by any Cardinals player in recent time?

Anything that trended on Twitter, lit up Facebook, or created national headlines?

Anyone? Anyone?

“Even if I could think of one,’’ Wainwright says, “I wouldn’t bring it back up. That would go against the curve, right?’‘

And a retort filled with potty mouth language.

 



It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports: ‘Being Mr. Met’ «

It sounds like being Mr. Met gives a guy a big head.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 10:56 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, mr. met

Pictures of New Ballpark Food Items « Ben’s Biz Blog

I’m not a health food nut but this stuff doesn’t look appealing. (OK, maybe I’d try the bacon on a stick. Who doesn’t like bacon?)

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 10:47 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: food, minor leagues

Arbitrator will decide whether Josh Hamilton should enter rehab - ESPN Los Angeles

While I sympathize with Hamilton battle with addiction and hope he wins this fight, I don’t believe it’s unreasonable that he should lose the money he won’t be earning during his time away from the game. This isn’t his first second chance. Mistakes have consequences. From what I’ve seen in my life, avoiding consequences after repeated mistakes doesn’t ultimately help the person change. Ultimately, whatever decision gets made, Josh Hamilton’s choices will control his future.

The arbitrator’s decision on a rehabilitation program will affect the $25 million he is owed this season, according to the Times report. He would be paid his full salary for 30 days and half his salary for the next 30 days ($6.2 million total) if in rehab. He would not be paid if suspended and not in treatment.

In addition, MLB is deciding whether to classify Hamilton as a fourth-time offender, the source told the Times, which could increase a suspension from 50-75 games to at least one full season.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 10:28 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, josh hamilton

‘I thought the bat looked slow’: Scouts on A-Rod | New York Post

If he’s used right, I expect Alex will have enough in the tank to be a net positive for the Yankees. Of course, while doing that, he will be the most expensive part-time player in history.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

David Wright’s stand is how Mets foster Yankees-like intensity | New York Post

I agree with Joel Sherman. Organizations that consistently win have a culture that focuses on doing things that foster winning. At the core it’s about finding every possible way to increase a team’s odds of winning.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 09:57 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, winning

Locking Up Brian Dozier | FanGraphs Baseball

This doesn’t paint an optimistic view of Dozier’s future.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 5, 1915:

They are counting 10 on Hunter Hill, the Texan who startled by St. Louis by carrying a gun in his back pocket even on the playing field. Hunter has grown fat and can’t pick them up any more.

A gun in your pocket on the field? That seems ill-advised. Tim Raines’s cocaine vials are no longer the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of an MLB player keeping in his back pocket during a game.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: March 05, 2015 at 09:30 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, hunter hill

Mike Norris and the Moral Winter – The Hardball Times

Here’s a nice article about Mike Norris.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mike norris

How Kevin Long is helping to rebuild Granderson’s swing | New York Post

“The comfort of knowing someone who knows their swing is so important,’’ Ricciardi said. “They can always go back to that guy and he can get them to the foundation. That’s really important. You can see that comfort level and it’s great for us, I think it’s going to reap a lot of benefits.

“When a player is struggling they have to have someone that they feel confident with so that when they say something, they get it immediately. Sometimes, working with someone new, you just don’t have that. There are certain buzz words that they hit on and certain catch phrases that get him back.’’

There is the baseball and human connection.

“Kevin is a friend outside the game,’’ Granderson said. “He is going to be confident, he is going to be your biggest supporter and he is going to work with you and what you have. He is not going to make me hit like David Wright.’’
This is not cookie-cutter coaching.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: curtis granderson, mets

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