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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


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Saturday, October 22, 2016

A well-rested Kenley Jansen makes Cubs’ task more daunting | New York Post

The star closer will be on three days’ rest Saturday for Game 6 of the NLCS, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Jansen is an option as early as the seventh inning if Clayton Kershaw needs help.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 10:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Dodgers turn once again to Clayton Kershaw, this time fully rested but with no margin for error - LA Times

If you are a Dodgers fan, who better to keep your team alive?

Kershaw tends to pitch better on regular rest. In his career, he has a 2.31 earned-run average in the regular season on four days’ rest. His ERA rises to 2.61 when he receives five days off.

But these are unique circumstances. His output has been extraordinary these past two weeks. He started Game 1 of the division series against Washington on Oct. 7, and pitched on three days of rest in Game 4. He helped the team avoid elimination, then two days later he collected the final two outs of the clincher at Nationals Park in Game 5.

Three days after that, he took the ball at Wrigley Field. He emerged victorious, allowing just two hits in a 1-0 win, though his effectiveness appeared to wane during the sixth and seventh innings. Kershaw acknowledged that the Cubs might feel more comfortable seeing him pitch again so soon.

“There’s no secrets, anyway, in the game right now,” he said. “There’s so much information. They know every pitch that I throw and every count and every situation. So it’s just a matter of not really focusing on that and just trying to compete every single pitch and execute every single pitch. You maybe have a little less margin for error facing them the second time, but just be better, I guess.”

At a news conference Thursday, a few hours before the Dodgers dropped Game 5, a reporter asked Kershaw about his “excitement” about the challenge that awaits him.

“I don’t know if excitement’s the right word,” he replied.

What is the right word?

“I don’t know; that’s such a deep thought,” Kershaw said with a wry smile. “I don’t know if I have a word for it. But I think you do everything you can to try and keep it just like another start at the beginning.

“Then, obviously, the magnitude and the situation of the game kind of raises everybody’s adrenaline and things like that. But I’m trying to keep it the same right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, cubs, dodgers

In Cubdom, the anticipation is brimming, the eagerness palpable - Chicago Tribune

After the Red Sox, I’m a Cubs fan. Unlike a true Cubs fan, I’m not feeling the angst that I felt with the Red Sox. The tips I can give are: keep the faith, keep a paper bag handy, and have something you can destroy in the backyard, just in case.

“It’s within our reach right now,’’ Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re not going to run away from anything.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Beating Clayton Kershaw is Cubs’ biggest barrier to 1st pennant since 1945 - Chicago Tribune

I’m not sure the word “advantage” applies to Clayton Kershaw.

“I always think the advantage goes to the hitters when you’re seeing a guy (in back-to-back starts),” Anthony Rizzo said. “But we’ll have to execute and capitalize on every detail.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Trevor Bauer wants to pitch every game of World Series; Cleveland Indians just want him healthy |

Trevor Bauer has an idea of which World Series games he would like to pitch.

“Game 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7,” he said Friday afternoon.

“That would be a little better than the last series,” manager Terry Francona quipped.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, trevor bauer

Ryan Merritt might not be a household name, but the Cleveland Indians pitcher is the talk of the town |

Paul Dolan just wanted to get acquainted with the guy who lifted the Indians to a World Series berth.

“I’m spending this time trying to find him,” the team owner said. “I’ve never met him.”

The “him” is Ryan Merritt, and for eternity, his moniker will satisfy trivia questions and trigger fond memories for those in Cleveland. For the Blue Jays, who barely recognized his name before his astonishing performance in Game 5 of the ALCS, Merritt will be hard to forget.

“He’s kind of unflappable,” said pitching coach Mickey Callaway. “He’s the unflappable Ryan Merritt. He probably doesn’t even know their names.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, ryan merritt

Prospect Retrospective: Ricky Vaughn, RHP, Cleveland Indians - Minor League Ball

Looking back at Ricky Vaughn.

*Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round of the 1984 draft, out of high school in Malibu, California.
*Released by Dodgers May 1, 1987 following arrest for grand theft auto
*Pitched in California Penal League 1988 (no statistics kept)
*Signed by Indians as a free agent, February 9, 1989

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 08:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, major league movie

Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona hints Danny Salazar could start in World Series |

“He threw the ball really well,” said Francona. “He let it go, which is good. He really let it go. He threw his change up with some arm speed. We’ll see how the next one goes.”

Salazar, who went to the All-Star Game in July but spent most of the second half struggling with right elbow problems, is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game on Saturday or Sunday.

“He’s ready to pitch,” said Francona.

The Indians have mentioned Salazar throughout the postseason, but usually in terms of pitching out of the pen. When asked if Salazar could start, Francona said, “I don’t know. The good news is if Danny pitches and he pitches healthy, we have a really good pitcher for whatever amount of innings he’s build up for. That potentially could help us.”
Well, except for saying that Bauer was scheduled for more “suture work” on his damaged finger – which at last count was held together by 10 stitches – Francona wasn’t saying a lot.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 08:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: danny salazar, indians, world series

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bill Murray Bernie Macs the Cubs

Celebrities declaring the Cubs the champs is never a good thing.

bunyon Posted: October 21, 2016 at 05:28 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, world series predictions

Charlie Sheen Responds to Indians Fans Demanding he Throw the First Pitch at the World Series


Charlie Sheen


Major League continues to be the gift that keeps on giving!

if called upon,I’d be honored.

eddieot Posted: October 21, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, major league, wild thing, winnning, world series

Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press sports columnist, dies at 56

Well this sucks… RIP

Upon being named columnist, Sharp wrote: “A columnist’s role isn’t to blindly lead cheers. Nor is it a blank check to slam individuals solely because you have been given a club. But there is a responsibility to raise questions and express doubts. There should be a commitment to deflate the smug and arrogant because, after all, this is only sports—a useful diversion and an increasingly influential business, but hardly irreplaceable in our everyday lives.

eddieot Posted: October 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sportswriters, the freep, tigers

ESPN 2016 Ultimate Standings: Royals, Rangers lead MLB teams

1. Kansas City Royals (9 overall)

The Royals had the second-biggest leap in last year’s Ultimate Standings, and now, after winning the World Series last fall, they climb into the top 10 as the highest-ranked MLB team. Key injuries to Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon’s bad year wrecked the team’s playoff hopes, but Kansas City remained baseball-crazy, with the highest local TV ratings in the sport….

27. New York Yankees (100 overall)

The Yankees think of themselves as the greatest franchise in all sports, so their barely making the top 100 goes against corporate culture. (Of course, they’ve also played a grand total of one playoff game since 2012, so this ranking could be even worse.) This offseason, New York finds itself in a transition period, with Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira joining the likes of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera on the sideline and making way for the next generation of Yankees, led by catcher Gary Sanchez.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2016 at 09:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, fans, ultimate standings

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2016

South Bend News-Times, October 21, 1916:

Sunday baseball may be legalized in New York state before the opening of the 1917 season. A number of state senators and congressmen from the metropolitan district will champion this cause at the next meeting of the legislature.

It was at the suggestion of certain prominent politicians that the patronage of the Brooklyn National league club was sounded on the matter last summer. The attitude of Brooklyn, it is believed, will prove beyond a doubt to the lawmakers that public sentiment favors such a law.

I’ve known about the old bans on Sunday baseball for years - decades, even - but it’s hard to even wrap my brain around them. It always slightly surprises me when I run across a mention of the blue laws.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 21, 2016 at 09:26 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Blue Jays Should Rebuild | FanGraphs Baseball

Is my memory faulty or is Dave predisposed to tear down rebuilds?

Jeff Sullivan disagrees.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:58 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Heyman - MLB Replay System Needs To Be Redefined

If you are going down the replay rabbit hole, why not have cameras on the umpires so you can see their perspectives on the play? They are supposed to get into the best position to see the play.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:44 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: replay

Behind Dodgers’ plan to escape their own misery | New York Post

“We know the media and fans are going to be biased about winning tonight’s game,” Kasten said. “That is not a productive guiding vision for building a franchise. … If you only have short-term goals, you cannot have sustained long-term success.”

So, the Dodgers protected Game 4 starter Urias and their now best player Seager, and used the next level of prospects to get Game 3 winner Rich Hill plus Josh Reddick. The combination had them in as good a position to win that first title since 1988, without jeopardizing chances to keep on going for it.

“It is largely correct that the playoffs are a crapshoot,” Kasten said. “So if you think you can lock something up in just one year by going all in, that is folly. I know our chances of winning a championship are better if we win eight out of 10 division titles.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

What we learned: The Dodgers can’t hit Jon Lester

It was a good, tense game until it wasn’t. After back-to-back shutouts, the Chicago Cubs have now scored 18 runs the past two games of the National League Championship Series after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5 on Thursday. The series heads back to Wrigley Field, and we all know what’s at stake.

at the end you will see why I posted this.

Meatwad Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:20 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The unique role Hazleton, Pa., plays in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series push

Nice take on Joe Maddon’s hometown, his sprawling Italian family tree, and a new outpost of Cubs fans.

sotapop Posted: October 20, 2016 at 04:40 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

No Strike Or Lockout For MLB, Challenges With International Draft

While the current labor agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association is set to expire in early December, don’t expect a strike or lockout to occur, that according to sources who would not speak on record but are close to the details.

As to when the deal may be announced, it would benefit both the league and union to have it occur prior to free agency, which starts shortly after the end of the World Series on Nov. 2nd.

The current five-year CBA was reached on Nov. 22, 2011, but prior to that, the 2006 labor deal was collectively announced by then commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA executive director Donald Fehr on Oct 24 during the World Series. While sources would not say, it is possible that the labor deal could be announced during this year’s Fall Classic or very shortly after.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2016 at 03:23 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, international draft, labor

Putting value of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal in the proper frame

Sam Miller appreciates Yasmani Grandal work behind the plate. Maybe a little too much.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2016 at 11:23 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasmani grandal

Indians’ World Series drought: 67 years of highs, lows |

Jay Jaffe goes over the history of the Indians.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2016 at 11:03 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Blue Jays face uncertain future after falling short again

Now two of the biggest cogs in the lineup, right fielder Jose Bautista and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, seem likely to leave as free agents in the offseason. Bautista has hit 265 home runs in his nine seasons with the Blue Jays while Encarnacion has 239 homers in eight years.

The duo helped the Blue Jays end a 22-year playoff drought last year.

“Eddie and Jose really helped put this team back on the map again with what they’ve accomplished,” said Gibbons, who completed the fourth season of his second stint as Toronto’s manager. “Really, both made their name here in Toronto. But baseball is still a business. It’s a game we play, but it’s still a big business and guys earn the right to try free agency. They both love it here, but it’s still a business.”

Bautista declined to comment on his future following Wednesday’s game.

“I don’t think it’s the right time to be taking about that,” Bautista said. “We just battled through a tough series. I don’t want to make this about myself, and I don’t feel like I’m in the proper state of mind to be taking about that. I know it’s a possibility but we’ll see what happens.”

Instead, Bautista was more disappointed about going 3-for-18 with seven strikeouts in the ALCS.

“I know that I’m capable of doing a lot more,” Bautista said. “They pitched great. It was tough. They seemed to make the right pitches at the right time.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 20, 2016 at 10:34 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, edwin encarnacion, jose bautista

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-20-2016

New York World, October 20, 1916:

Yankee Owners Planning To Start Work on Their New Park by Next Spring

Nobody is more anxious to begin the erection of a new ball park than are [Yankees owners] Capt. Huston and Col. Ruppert, but the problem that is besetting them is location. They have had under consideration an excellent place in Long Island City, on the other end of the Queensboro Bridge, but there is a doubt as to whether it would be advisable to get off Manhattan Island.
The decision on location is the only thing holding back the owners of the Yanks.

“Long Island City Larrupers” doesn’t have quite as good a ring to it as “Bronx Bombers”.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 20, 2016 at 10:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, yankees

Citgo sign could be landmark on the move | Boston Herald

I don’t get the attachment. It’s an advertisement, not a landmark.

“What if changing the location improves visibility? How do we allow for the serendipity of that approach?” said Rosanne Foley, executive director of the Boston Landmarks Commission.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2016 at 09:53 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

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