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Friday, November 28, 2014

Baseball’s most underrated Hall of Fame candidates. | SportsonEarth.com : Anthony Castrovince Article

Sure, it is a veritable given that Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez will get in on their first try, as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas did this past year. John Smoltz also has a strong shot in his “rookie” year. Meanwhile, Craig Biggio, who fell two votes shy of induction in 2014, and Mike Piazza, who missed it by 74 votes, could see an increase that gets them over the hump. This is a similarly important year for Jeff Bagwell (54.3 percent of a required 75 percent last year) and Tim Raines (46.1) to at least creep closer, lest they lose any “momentum.” And it will again be interesting to see if the likes of Roger Clemens (34.4) and Barry Bonds (34.7) see a drop in support, as they did between 2013 and ‘14, or an uptick.

But what follows is a list of five guys—their underrated cases ranging from strong to quite strong—who are and will be most affected by the jam-packed nature of the ballot or the BBWAA’s sometimes overly stiff standards.

None of these guys, it must be noted, have any reported or documented association with PEDs. They’re merely victims of a cramped circumstance.


Marlins seek lefty balance in lineup, on mound | MLB.com

Marlins are looking to the left, for pitchers and first basemen.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2014 at 09:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-28-2014

Washington Times, November 28, 1914:

Connie Mack is said to be willing to trade this big slugger, J. FRANKLIN BAKER, because he is not working in harmony with the other members of the Athletics. Larry Gardner and a pitcher was asked from the Red Sox, but Bill Carrigan turned down the offer. A sneaking rumor has it that Baker has seen his best days, and is on the down grade.

According to Baker’s SABR bio, the third baseman wanted to renegotiate his contract as a result of Mack selling off most of the team’s stars, but Mack refused. Neither would budge, so Baker went back home to his farm in Maryland and spent all of 1915 playing for local clubs in the area.

Eventually, Mack sold Baker’s contract to the Yankees in time for the 1916 season and the stubborn slugger returned.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 28, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, home run baker

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jon Lester has plenty of options in addition to Red Sox - Sports - The Boston Globe

Nick Cafardo runs down what is currently known about the Lester sweepstakes.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jon lester, red sox

What’s cooking? MLB shares Turkey Day recipes | MLB.com

Over the years I’ve learned a lot about baseball from members of the site. I’ve also shared a lot of laughs. Thanks for being part of our community. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2014 at 08:18 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: holidays

Baseball Prospectus | Moonshot: A New View of Plate Discipline, Part 3

Interesting stuff. I hope the next step is specifically looking at areas within the strikezone.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2014 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

[Cricketer NOT baseball player] Phil Hughes dies after “pitch” to the head

Thought this would be of interest.  I’m sure you can find video of it somewhere.  Basically, from the photo I saw, it managed to catch him below/behind the ear where the cricket helmet offers no protection.  The estimate I saw had the ball clocked at about 85 MPH (not sure at what point that measurement is taken) and it of course bounced before it got to him.

Walt Davis Posted: November 27, 2014 at 02:25 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cricket

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Source: Tomas agrees to six-year deal with D-backs | MLB.com

Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas and the D-backs have agreed to a six-year deal worth $68.5 million, according to industry sources.

The Tomas deal is believed to have an opt-out and is pending a physical, the sources said. The D-backs have not confirmed the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 06:21 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, yasmany tomas

Baseball’s Teen-Age Twitter Reporters - The New Yorker

He’s got to be kidding.

After working to confirm the scoops by Fink and Murray, Rosenthal said that he was overwhelmed by similar requests. “I’m getting tons of tweets every day from young kids: ‘Hey, I’ve got a story, can you confirm it?’ It’s funny in one way, but it’s getting to be a little much in another.” Rosenthal may traffic in the flow of information, but he nonetheless marvelled at the success of some of these neophytes. “I am frankly surprised that these guys have done this well,” he said. “They’re working hard and they deserve to be recognized, but, I mean, who are these execs that are willing to reveal sensitive details to teen-agers?”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 06:08 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: online, reporters, twitter

Dave Cameron: A proposed three-way swap for Red Sox, Mariners, Nationals

So, we have Cespedes and Napoli going to Seattle, with the Mariners sending Miller and Hultzen to Washington. What do the Red Sox receive from the Nationals to make the trade work for everyone? Zimmermann is the key piece, obviously, but the Sox are dealing two sluggers and watching the Nationals acquire a potential 11 years of young talent in exchange, so they might not settle for just the one year of Zimmermann’s services and the draft pick they’d get if he left next winter. To even things out, the Nationals probably need to add one more piece to the Red Sox side of things, and it should probably be an arm.

Specifically, the Sox could use a high quality reliever to help pitch the innings in front of closer Koji Uehara, and the Nationals happen to have a strong depth of bullpen arms. Clippard would seem to fit well in Boston, especially given that he’s under contract for only one more season; the Red Sox like short-term commitments to pitchers. And, coincidentally, Zimmermann and Clippard are likely to make about $25 million between them next season, almost exactly the same amount that the Red Sox are currently due to pay Napoli and Cespedes. This would be a payroll neutral deal for Boston, with Seattle absorbing the costs that Washington is cutting.

No Jose Lopez?


Should the Red Sox Be Afraid of Hanley Ramirez Being Hanley Ramirez? - Red Sox - Boston.com

Steve Silva runs down the list of Hanley Ramirez’s missteps.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 12:06 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Five things to watch leading up to Winter Meetings | marlins.com

One writer’s suggested to-do list for the Marlins.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 09:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

2015 Potential Hall of Fame Ballot | Baseball-Reference.com

Jay Jaffe and Sean Forman came up with a good list to help Hall of Fame voters.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 09:16 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-26-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, November 26, 1914:

The baseball series for the championship of the world will consist of 11 games next year instead of seven and prices will be lower, according to B.B. Johnson, president of the American League, when he made public tonight a letter he had received from August Herrmann, chairman of the National Baseball Commission.

Milwaukee Sentinel, November 26, 1914:

Chairman August Herrmann of the national baseball commission Wednesday night denied that he had ever written to President Ban Johnson of the American league advocating that the number of games in the world’s series be changed from seven to eleven, and the prices reduced.

“I certainly wrote no such letter,” Herrmann said.

Bummer. More baseball > Less baseball.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 26, 2014 at 09:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Sandy Alderson says Mets can move quickly if a shortstop becomes available - NY Daily News

You have to like the off-season posturing teams do.

The Mets would be happy going into spring training “with what we have,” Alderson said. He praised Flores’ work and potential to improve defensively at shortstop, but also admitted that there is a possibility that Matt Reynolds could be the Mets shortstop at some point next year

“It’s a possibility,” Alderson said. “The interesting thing about Reynolds is that he didn’t play shortstop in college, he played third base. One reason we were able to sign him so quickly was promising him he would get a chance to play shortstop.

“He’s done well. He’s gotten all the way to Triple-A without having to come off that position,” Alderson continued.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 08:29 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Yankees won’t get into bidding war for Chase Headley: source - NY Daily News

Why would they? They are already paying third baseman Alex Rodriguez $22 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 08:25 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: chase headley, free agents, yankees

Notable Players Available In The Rule 5 Draft - BaseballAmerica.com

he Rule 5 draft is fascinating because of its timing and its format. Positioned right in the middle of the baseball offseason, it gives everyone a chance to scour rosters and dream on talented players with flaws.

In reality, the change of eligibility rules in 2007 that gave teams an extra year of protection before players become eligible for the Rule 5 draft reduced the importance of the Rule 5 draft significantly. That extra year has made it easier for teams to make decisions on players, and since then, fewer impact players have been nabbed.

But teams will continue to scour rosters in hopes of finding another Joakim Soria, Dan Uggla or Josh Hamilton. Or at least another Ryan Flaherty or T.J. McFarland.

With that in mind, here’s an initial list of 10 of the top names to keep in mind for the Dec. 11 Rule 5 draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 08:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, rule 5 draft

Boston Red Sox owner John Henry hopeful on re-signing Jon Lester, says team willing to exceed luxury tax - ESPN Boston

The Red Sox aren’t restricted by the luxury tax.

“The way it’s structured, you can blow through [the threshold] one year,’’ Henry said. “Again, for next year we have tremendous flexibility, so we could go through for one year. It would not overly affect us [trying to re-sign Lester], but we’re hopeful.’‘

The Sox owner left no doubt that the homegrown Lester remains the team’s No. 1 target.

Red Sox owner John Henry, seen here saying goodbye after Jon Lester was traded to the A’s, said a large part of the team’s presentation to the free agent focused on “finishing that legacy he started.”
“Obviously we’re doing everything we can to sign a top-tier pitcher, Jon Lester,’’ he said. “And hopefully he’ll come back.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 08:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, jon lester, red sox

Hanley, Panda and the Monster | FanGraphs Baseball

An interesting look at park adjustments by Tony Blengino. I have always preferred park adjustments by BIP rather than AB or PA. I would have liked to have seen their 2014 numbers translated to Fenway rather than just adjusted rate stats.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 01:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, pablo sandoval, red sox, sabermetrics

Boston Red Sox prove (once again) that competitive balance in baseball will never exist | cleveland.com

The way the Yankees and Dodgers have dominated the last few years proves that topping the payroll list guarantees World Series appearances and championships. There is no way teams like the Royals, Rays, A’s, and the Cardinals can compete.

There is never going to be competitive balance in baseball. In a game where the players have proven time and time again that they will strike to prevent it, perhaps it was never meant to be.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2014 at 01:34 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: economics

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Darvish cleared to throw « Postcards From Elysian Fields

Yu Darvish underwent an MRI and a subsequent examination of his right elbow by Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday in Arlington. Dr. Meister reported that the MRI looked fine, and he has cleared Darvish to begin throwing on his normal schedule.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 06:24 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Kap: Cubs have made ‘significant’ offer to Jon Lester | CSN Chicago

“What I’m hearing is the Chicago Cubs have made a significant offer - significant north of $135 million,” Kaplan said.

Kap also said he’s hearing the Cubs’ offer would be for six years.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 06:17 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester

Wendy Thurm on Twitter: “What the hell kinda panda is that?”

That’s a creepy looking Panda costume. Keep the kids away.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 03:13 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: panda, red sox

ESPN’s Dan Szymborski: Modeling Moneyball Data for Long-Term Value | Blue Hill Research (PODCAST)

Dan talks about ZiPS.

In this episode of the Enterprise Tech Cast, Blue Hill Chief Research Officer Hyoun Park and ESPN’s Dan Szymborski discuss how Dan got started in building statistical models and built the ZiPS player projection system. Anybody who wants to learn to develop an ongoing projection and forecasting system, and wants practical insights and how-to’s should listen to this podcast. Also, we stray off the enterprise path and discuss baseball free agency, including whether Pablo Sandoval is actually the right choice for the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2014 at 03:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: projection models, sabermetrics

Oz: Mike Trout Q&A: His workouts, goals & what he’s thankful for

How to be like Mike (Trout) this offseason:

MO: You’re home in New Jersey, right? What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

MT: I usually go to two dinners. At my parents’ house, then my girlfriend’s house. They have a dinner too. Nothing too crazy.

MO: Since you’re the youngest of three kids, do you think having an MVP will give you extra clout at Thanksgiving this year? Biggest piece of pie? You get to eat the last roll?

MT: It’s first come and first serve in my house and in my family. That’s why I love ‘em. They stay the same. They’re always joking with me. ...

MO: Since I know you’re training for next season already and you said you have two Thanksgiving dinners, how do you balance that out in the gym?

MT: Thanksgiving, it’s a day you can cheat a little bit. You don’t want to be sitting at dinner and not eating anything. To me, it’s not that bad the next day, working out. I think the biggest thing is in the morning, waking up, you can tell when you ate too much the day before. But it’s only one day. ...

MO: In general, what’s your training schedule like during the offseason? Do you give yourself a break at all?

MT: I played something like 158 games, so I like to take two or three weeks off to let my muscles relax.

MO: From a training standpoint, are you focusing on anything particular this offseason?

MT: There are always things you can improve on. Obviously speed is part of my game. You want to get quicker feet. I’m just working on my agility and trying to get stronger.

MO: When you’re trying to improve, are your goals numbers, like “I want to hit five more homers,” or is it all feeling, like “I want to feel stronger or faster?”

MT: There are a lot of things you can put into it, but for me it’s just wanting to feel faster and stronger. It’s just preparing my body for next season.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 25, 2014 at 02:32 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout, training

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