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Monday, February 08, 2016

The Private World Of The Negro Ballplayer

The state of race relations in MLB in 1960.

“Occasionally, Negroes and whites will share the use of an expression. One that is shared reflects poorly on mother love, and a few years ago, a Cub — a white, by the way — used it so freely that he caused a semantic crisis. National League President Warren Giles was so distraught over the player’s use of the expression that he sent a memo to each club forbidding its use, particularly against umpires, under pain of a $500 fine. In his memo Giles noted that the expression had been recently introduced into baseball. A Negro player saw this and nudged a buddy, saying proudly, “That means we brought it.””

Hank G. Posted: February 08, 2016 at 07:43 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: integration, race in baseball

The time my family invited itself to Gaylord Perry’s house for lunch – HardballTalk

Craig Calcaterra shares the memory of a childhood visit to Gaylord Perry’s farm.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2016 at 06:07 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: gaylord perry, human interest story

OTP - 2016 February 8: There’s baseball, politics … and real problems

Instead of wasting the time and effort thinking about baseball, wouldn’t it be more productive for our elected representatives to concern them with one of this state’s biggest problems? Water quality.

How many cities and towns have problems like the lead levels found in Sebring, Ohio? And how many draw their water supplies from lakes containing massive amounts of toxic algae, like Toledo and Celina?

Conservation groups around the Great Lakes region are calling for states to become more active in cleaning up lakes, especially those used for drinking water. As one group told the governor of Michigan, they’re tired of reading about plans; they want to see some action.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: February 08, 2016 at 01:16 PM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose, politics, water quality

Cops: [Delmon Young] chokes, threatens to kill valet, unleashes slur-filled tirade

Major League Baseball player Delmon Young was arrested late Sunday night in Miami, accused of choking and threatening to kill a valet attendant, and using ethnic slurs.

Young allegedly grabbed a valet attendant by the neck at the Viceroy hotel in Miami after he wouldn’t open a door with access to a club.

“Stupid Cuban, open the f—king door,” Young allegedly told the victim. After repeatedly telling Young he couldn’t open the door because the club was closed, Young said “I’m gonna f—king kill you, you Latin piece of sh-t” and then reached over the valet podium and grabbed the victim around his neck with both hands, strangling him, the police report states.

The victim said he was able to break away from Young’s hands. Young then fled but was later met by police at his residence, which is also at the Viceroy. Police say Young answered the door naked from his waist down. According to police, Young said he didn’t know anything about the incident, but was identified by the victim.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 08, 2016 at 12:09 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: delmon young, police blotter, slurs

Lourdes Gurriel, Yulieski Gurriel defect Cuba | MLB.com

This is going to get expensive.

Two top players from the most famous baseball family in Cuba are not expected to return to the island.

Brothers Lourdes Gurriel Jr., 22, and Yulieski Gurriel, 31, are believed to have defected from Cuba’s Ciego de Avila team following the Caribbean Series that concluded Sunday in order to seek contracts with Major League teams, according to sources. Lourdes is considered the top prospect in Cuba while his brother is considered the country’s best player.
Both have repeatedly expressed a desire to leave the island legally and with the permission of the Cuban government.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents, lourdes gurriel, yulieski gurriel

League Ownership Compliance in League Recruiting Forum

Although I understand the company’s desire to limit piracy, this is the wrong way to do it. If I used DMB for my sim league, I’d rather switch games than be put in a position of snitching on my league members.

In order to help incentivize leagues to make sure that all of their members own the DMB software, DMB is beginning a new policy to help insure compliance. Actually, this is not new, it was started by “Pat” several years ago.  Here is how it will work.

The League commissioner sends DMB a list of manager names and email addresses for members of their league.  If all members own the DMB game and season software, then DMB will award the winner of the league with a gift certificate in the amount of the cost of the season database being used. League commissioners can send their league information for verification to:  dmb_info@imaginesports.com.

DMBJim-Jim Wheeler

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2016 at 09:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: diamond mind baseball, simulations

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-8-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, February 8, 1916:

Baseball magnates, players and fans are elated over the dismissal of the Federal League’s suit against organized ball. Had the suit been pressed, as the Baltimore Federal Club owners threatened, and had Judge Landis finally rendered a decision, it is certain that the effect on the national game would have been great.
...
In dismissing the suit, Judge Landis said, in part:

The court’s expert knowledge of baseball, obtained by more than 30 years of observation of the game as a spectator, convinced me that if an order had been entered it would have been, if not destructive, at least vitally injurious to the game of baseball.
...
I want to say that in all the preliminary evidence and the various arguments…not the slightest evidence was presented to cause the most suspicious person to impugn the honor of the game or of any of the individual players.

Sounds like a wholly impartial judge who would leave his personal feelings out of it when it comes time to render a verdict.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 08, 2016 at 09:55 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history, kenesaw mountain landis

Evaluating the 2016 Prospects: Colorado Rockies | FanGraphs Baseball

1. Brendan Rodgers, SS
Current Level/Age: R/19.6, 6’0/180, R/R
Acquired: Drafted 3rd overall (1st round) in 2015 out of Florida HS by COL for $1.7853 million bonus, traded to CLE in July 2015
Previous : NA

Rodgers went into his spring season as a strong contender for the first-overall pick, though a slight dip in performance made him slide down two spots to the Rockies. Every aspect of his game shows promise, from his soft hands and strong arm in the field to his promise of power and average at the plate. Throw in above-average raw speed, and the sky is the limit for what he can do at the big league level.

His offense is likely to be the greatest source of value he provides on the field. A future plus grade on his power may be light once he fills out, and he has good enough contact skills to be a well above-average bat overall. He gets good lift to his swing despite his hands being a little steep entering the zone at times, and he can be long to the ball due to his barrel getting away from him early. Both qualities are relativley minor limitations, since he also has excellent hip drive and a really efficient lower half as a whole.

The downward start with his hands makes him mildly pull-heavy with his fly balls, though he has shown some capacity to drive the ball to all fields. As he adds strength, he may still be able to hit the ball out to all fields. The length to his swing may also lower his hit tool potential slightly, but I still think he profiles as a likely 55 bat due to a good feel for the barrel and great balance. I have a very small concern about strikeouts in the future as the competition gets better, but not enough to think his other skills can’t compensate for it.

Defensively, there is talk of him moving off short as he matures, but I think that’s premature. His range may be average or a little above, but he adds quick yet quiet hands and footwork to profile as a legitimate big league shortstop in my mind. He has plenty of arm strength and can throw from every angle, showing aptitude for throwing on the move. His defense at third would profile as elite for the position, but I still see him as an average shortstop at worst defensively.

As a high school bat, undoubtedly Rodgers carries a bit more risk for his high draft position, but there is great potential here with plenty of present ability to buy into his development. Whether he plays shortstop or third base, he has a bright future with one of the highest ceilings in the minor leagues.

Hit: 35/55/60 Power: 40/60/65 Run: 50/50/55 Field: 55/60/65 Throw: 50/60/65
Overall: 35/65/70+

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2016 at 09:06 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rockies, scouting reports


Sunday, February 07, 2016

Nick Cafardo: Here are the Red Sox storylines entering spring training - The Boston Globe

This week’s notes column centers around the Red Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Sunday Notes: Seratelli’s Sayonara, Kaminsky’s Curve, Cards, ARod Managing, more | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s latest includes this tidbit:

I held back a few quotes when I put together this past week’s Current Players Who are Future Managers article. In most cases, it was because the respondent addressed the hiring practice itself, but didn’t name a player. Then there was this quote, which I felt merited some extra attention:

Andrew Miller: “I’ve been blown away by Alex Rodriguez. Does he have any desire to manage in the major leagues? He’s made something like $400 million in his career, so maybe not. But the way he sees the game has blown me away. You hear our hitters talk about his insights, whether it’s pitch sequencing or lineup matters. Whatever it may be, Alex has a really advanced grasp.”

Could it happen? Assuming A-Rod actually wants to manage, are there teams out there who would hire him? As implausible as it may seem, I think the answer is yes. The Marlins just hired Barry Bonds to be their hitting coach.

Hiring A-Rod to run a team would create a media circus, but it’s not as though he couldn’t handle it. Between playing in New York and the whole Biogenesis imbroglio, he’s been smack dab in the middle of one already. Whether he’d want to remain under a big-tent spotlight is another question. My guess is that he wouldn’t, but if the right opportunity were to present itself, he just might do it.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:39 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Stick to Sports? NEVER! The Intersectionalist Manifesto – HardballTalk

I enjoy and value reading political commentary from baseball people as much I enjoy and value sports commentary from politicians.

That Manny Ortez guy sure can hit!!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:34 AM | 133 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

The Cespedes gamble: The biggest MLB position-change risks | New York Post

Joel Sherman ranks the position switches.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: defense

Bip Roberts Was The First Bip

The link goes to the Value Over Replacement page, whose author seems to have a thing for names…...she has produced a spreadsheet with every given name (or “first” name) for every player in MLB history   AND   the date of the first appearance of that name!

Link to the spreadsheet, via Google Drive

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fsV6bR4aHIRlyZEMwHy3wAbre2hogrJ9HLyqSpVCrgo/edit#gid=0

pthomas Posted: February 07, 2016 at 01:07 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Checking the facts ... yup, MLB still has greater parity than the NFL

But the NFL is better to parody.

* Since I spend most of my year honed in on baseball, I can actually tell you exactly which day I first started looking forward to writing this column. It was Oct. 15. That was the day we learned the identity of the final four playoff teams in a sport in which everybody knows The Same Teams Win Every Year. Those four teams were:

The Royals—who hadn’t won a World Series since 1985 (30 years).

The Mets—who hadn’t won since 1986 (29 years).

The Blue Jays—who hadn’t won since 1993 (22 years).

And the Cubs—who hadn’t won since Lincoln was president. All right, not really. I made that up. It was 1908 (107 years).

So that adds up to 188 title-free seasons. In a sport in which The Same Teams Win Every Year. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

* But back in the NFL, the final four looked slightly more familiar.

There were the Broncos. They’ve been in the playoffs five years in a row and 12 of the past 20.

There were the Patriots, who were playing in their fifth straight conference final in their seventh straight trip to the playoffs. And their 12th in the last 13 years.

And there were the Panthers and Cardinals. Two teams that hadn’t faced each other in a playoff game since—oh, wait—a whole 386 days. In the previous year’s playoffs.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2016 at 09:21 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: nfl, parity

We’ll have robot quality umps by 2059

Better umpires? Or replicants?

But improve is what umpires have done every year since we’ve had access to robust PITCHf/x data. When you plot out every pitch umpires had to call a ball or a strike from Baseball Savant and judge accuracy using its strike zone definition, the consistency of this improvement stands out immediately. Over the past seven seasons, umpires have improved their accuracy by 0.37 percentage points each year, a value that seems negligible until you work out that over the course of the season the decision to call a ball or strike comes down to the umpire on roughly half of pitches thrown. This represents more than 350,000 strike zone judgement calls home plate umpires, as a group, must make each year….

Umpires’ mastery over the strike zone has been on a steady, linear progression toward robotic perfection since we’ve been able to track it in the public domain. The adjustment that younger pitchers have been better able to make is calling fewer balls as strikes each year. If the yearly changes continue on, we’ll have robot quality umpires in the summer of 2059. Maybe even sooner, as the older, less adaptable umpires are replaced.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2016 at 09:13 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch fx, umpiring

WANTED: New home for American League baseball team | Tampa Bay Times

Actual criteria for picking stadium deal: make a deal which extracts as big a profit as possible regardless to the the actual benefits of taxpayers.

The potential for public-private partnerships, economic development opportunities, site accessibility and regional connectivity — “those are critically important elements of any potential location.”

The Rays appear eager to start providing details to interested parties. Team officials delivered the document to St. Petersburg officials three weeks after the City Council approved a deal allowing them to look outside the city. The memorandum of understanding gave the club 60 days.

The document lists six categories by which the Rays will evaluate potential sites:
• Catalyst for development
• Local authenticity
• Regional connectivity
• Site accesibility
• Size and geometry
• Financial feasibility and development readiness

The granite countertops could come up later.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2016 at 06:17 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Padres say they’re not rebuilding, plan to compete in 2016 | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

If the Padres won’t call this a rebuild, what do they expect in 2016?

“Significant improvement,” said executive chairman Ron Fowler. “We underperformed last year. Our goal is to overperform this year.”

“For us, 2015 was just a step in the process,” said president and CEO Mike Dee. “It was part of a journey, part of the plan. 2016 brings a next step with a new manager and a team we think is going to compete.”

“We’re looking to field a team that’s competitive in the short- and long-term,” said general manager A.J. Preller. “I think the biggest thing is you want to continue to grow, and on the big-league side, it’s going to be fun to watch (manager) Andy Green this season putting players on the field and getting them in position to play better.”

Said lead investor Peter Seidler: “We’re going to try to be in the playoffs this year, and that’s going to be from day one.”

 

Jim Furtado Posted: February 06, 2016 at 06:10 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Friday, February 05, 2016


Stephen Strasburg: This Could Be the Year | FanGraphs Baseball

Tony Blengino’s take.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2016 at 10:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, sabermetrics, stephen strasburg

Citi Field and Yankee Stadium Could Become Off Limits to Smokeless Tobacco

The effort has achieved results. Starting this season, smokeless tobacco will be banned in three of baseball’s most notable sites: AT&T Park in San Francisco, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Fenway Park in Boston. Players will be barred from using the substance both on the field and in the clubhouse.

Get the big sports news, highlights and analysis from Times journalists, with distinctive takes on games and some behind-the-scenes surprises, delivered to your inbox every week.

Now, a member of the New York City Council, Corey Johnson, is set to introduce a bill Friday that will include language that would ban smokeless tobacco from Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, along with other public arenas in the five boroughs.

“If New York passes this bill, and I think it will, it moves us dramatically closer to the day when smokeless tobacco is prohibited in all major league cities,” said Matthew Myers, the president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2016 at 10:21 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, smokeless tobacco, yankees


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-5-2016

Topeka State Journal, February 5, 1916:

Jim Scott, big league star, got his start this way: In 1907 Oskaloosa in the Iowa State league had eleven pitchers and no catcher. The manager wired to Chicago for a catcher and through mistake Scott was sent out. He was determined to pitch in the first game after his arrival, and did so well that he was signed to a contract before the end of the game.

A fun story, but it likely isn’t true. According to Scott’s SABR bio, he showed up uninvited in Oskaloosa after a failed tryout 60 miles away in Des Moines.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jim scott

Japan Times: Retired slugger Kiyohara refuses to divulge drug source, admits injecting, smoking stimulant

This isn’t some run-of-the-mill former star getting busted for drug use. Kiyohara was one of the greatest sluggers in NPB history, hitting 525 home runs over 22 seasons from 1986 to 2008. With multiple gambling scandals in NPB this off season, it hasn’t been a good year for baseball’s reputation in Japan.

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the possibility that the seller of the drug is connected to yakuza. They also plan to learn when and how Kiyohara started using the drug. The police plan to send him to the public prosecutor’s office later on Thursday for suspected violation of the laws to control stimulants…

...“Sometimes I injected it into my arm, and sometimes I burned it in a glass pipe and inhaled,” he reportedly said.

vortex of dissipation Posted: February 05, 2016 at 02:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: drug abuse, japanese baseball

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Jonny Gomes: Sayonara, For Now: Why I’m Playing In Japan

Gomes will be big in Japan.

Unsure of whether or not I wanted to wait again until February to find an MLB team, I remembered that old scout from Durham. Have you ever thought about playing in Japan? And the idea of playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan became option 1A. So I started doing some homework.

Here’s what I learned:

Free agency is a lot different over there. They like to set their rosters early. So if you start pushing that panic button in late January or February and you think Japan is an option, it’s really not. They don’t do the long negotiations like we do here. There’s no free-agency frenzy. Only a few guys a year become free agents.

Also, if you’re from the Major Leagues, it doesn’t matter how bad you want to play in Japan. They have to really want you. They don’t just take scraps from the big leagues here. They have plenty of talented players of their own.

They don’t need or want Major League leftovers….

Maybe I’ll see you guys again come August … Maybe I won’t.

But we’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now, I’m 100-percent focused on winning a championship in Japan.

Until then? Sayonara, ‘Murica.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2016 at 10:36 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, jonny gomes, players tribune

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