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Saturday, December 08, 2018

Sarris: The next ‘Moneyball’ is already happening all around us, in the Wild West of player development – The Athletic

As you can probably guess, the coaching staff is considered the nexus of this renewed emphasis and investment in developing the best players. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the average tenure of today’s hitting coach — 1.4 years — is lower than it’s been at any time in the last 10 years. Things are changing when it comes to getting most out of players, and the major league staff needs to change, too.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2018 at 07:46 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, pay site, player development

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The art of the BIG deal: An inside look from the GMs who signed the largest free-agent contracts in MLB history – The Athletic

Very interesting article about big ticket free agents.

Boras, who represents Harper, also negotiated Mark Teixeira’s 8-year, $180 million contract with New York, and Scherzer’s and Fielder’s contracts.

“The biggest challenge is the amount of information that comes to you and to weigh it,” Boras said. “The free-agent process is one that teams do things they never, ever expected to do at the start of things. You really realize in this process that they really change their direction because trade doors have closed, other free agents have closed and they look at their team at a 10-day window and what they thought was their plan in November is not at all their plan in December and it’s a completely different plan in January.

“You have to be open to the idea of immediate change, adjustment and you have to be prepared for all different decision making even though you’ve been given direction otherwise because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2018 at 05:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, pay site

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The greatest under-28 free agents of all time, and where Harper and Machado rank – The Athletic

Cliff Corcoran’s list of top free agents of all time. ARod is #1, Machado #3, and Harper #11.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 13, 2018 at 06:35 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, pay site

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Sarris: If you could build the perfect pitcher, what would he look like? – The Athletic

Another interesting article from Eno Sarris.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 11:20 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, pitchers

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

This changes everything: Giants president Farhan Zaidi agrees to a five-year deal – The Athletic

Friedman and Zaidi may be competing for the same guys.

And how’s this for intrigue? Before the Giants and Dodgers meet on the field next season, Zaidi and Friedman could find themselves in a more immediate form of competition. Zaidi is almost certain to hire a GM. Friedman, unless he decides to keep Zaidi’s former chair empty, will be in the market for one, himself. And here’s betting their lists will have some overlap.

Will Zaidi seek to renew with Billy Owens, his former colleague with the A’s? Or would he be attracted to someone more like-minded with which to collaborate and spark ideas? Would he value an executive with administrative skills? Or a more traditional scouting background? Is it possible that the Giants already have vetted some of the possible candidates (Kim Ng, Jason McLeod, Chaim Bloom, Matt Arnold, Mike Elias, etc.)?

Zaidi should find no shortage of qualified people eager to work in a front office where out-of-the-box thinking will be encouraged.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2018 at 11:11 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, general mangers, giants, pay site

Dale Murphy: An advice column for GMs heading into the offseason – The Athletic

His four points:

  1. Your signs are getting stolen
  2. Launch angle is irrelevant
  3. “Bullpenning” is unsustainable
  4. Leadership matters

And get off his lawn!!!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dale murphy, pay site

Undeterred by last winter’s free-agent freeze, Scott Boras is even more himself – The Athletic

Yesterday I listened to the interview with Boras shill Casey Stern (which you can listen to On Demand on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM). Although his hyperbolic shtick can be amusing in short doses, it wears thin in a half-hour interview. 

Anyway, Boras rehashed a lot of the interview with reporters, including Dave O’Brien here.

“We have all kinds of evidence that anybody who’s done what Bryce Harper has done (at his age) — they’re Hall of Famers,” Boras said. “I can show it 12 different ways. So you have a chance to employ a 25-year-old future Hall of Famer; you (rarely) get that opportunity. And the other thing is, Bryce has iconic value, which creates revenues for teams in addition to his performance. Those types of players are rare and they pay for themselves.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2018 at 08:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agents, pay site, scott boras

Monday, November 05, 2018

Who is the Astros’ future at catcher? Exploring their options, and what they value at the position – The Athletic

A great in-depth look at the Astros catching options.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 05, 2018 at 12:19 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, pay site


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

For Orioles, let history be your guide, hire a general manager first – The Athletic

It’s tough to grade Duquette. Peter Angelos wasn’t the kind of owner who gives his GM any real autonomy.

The Duquette era was always about making marginal moves and hoping they turned into gold under Showalter’s direction–and in fairness, sometimes they did. But a lot of this team was built on the structure of what came before — both the 2012 and 2014 teams were stocked with guys acquired by Andy MacPhail, Duquette’s predecessor — and eventually when those guys started getting long in the tooth and low in the tank, it wasn’t enough to keep grabbing Rule 5 guys and hoping they’d explode onto the scene or signing a guy or two out of the Cuban defector pool and foreign pro leagues every year. Duquette was excellent at spinning the hay he was given into gold, as far as it went. But his front office was never so good at getting more of it.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2018 at 08:08 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles, pay site

Monday, October 29, 2018

An overreliance on analytics did not determine the outcome of the World Series – The Athletic

Somewhere​ along the line, the word​ analytics​ became​ a boogeyman, ready to​ be blamed for​ all that​ ails baseball.​​ In this World Series in particular, there’s the idea that the Dodgers made too many decisions by the binder instead of the gut. It’s a weird idea.

“Throw away the numbers and let your eyes tell you everything you need to know,” said broadcaster John Smoltz during Game 5. Smoltz, in particular, has been talking about problems he sees in the sport today, and earlier this year he came out in favor of rule changes that would blunt the use of analytics in decision-making.

Smoltz was not alone.

MLB Radio’s worst host/**analyst** doped chimed in as well.

There, of course, were others.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: October 29, 2018 at 11:31 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, pay site

Thursday, October 25, 2018

On the verge of hiring a new general manager, have the Mets figured out what they want? – The Athletic

What’s weird is that, nearly four months into this process, we aren’t debating the merits of these individual candidates as much as their philosophical underpinnings. The Mets have treated this entire process like the way a middle-schooler approaches his science fair project, wasting several potentially useful months before throwing something together the night before it’s due. They haven’t even decided yet whether they’re building a styrofoam solar system or a volcano that spits out baking soda; to be safe, they bought the supplies for both.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2018 at 08:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, mets, pay site

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Do the Cubs still have the foundation to support another World Series team? – The Athletic

“We have a lot of work to do in our farm system to continue building it back up to where it was,” Epstein said. “It’s not close to where it was. That’s the goal – to get it back there – especially by the time that this generation of players is transitioning or potentially transitioning.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2018 at 09:45 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Alex Cora, the manager who can seemingly do no wrong – The Athletic

His players’ performances are making Alex Cora look like a genius.

“I know every time he puts me in the game, it’s because he trusts me, you know?” Rodriguez said. “No matter what the situation is, he trusts you’re going to go out there and get people out. So, that was my goal today. Go out there and get that guy out, and I know he trusts me because he put me in the game, in that big situation.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2018 at 07:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: alex cora, pay site, red sox, world series

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The drama is only just beginning for Joe Maddon’s agent, Theo Epstein and the rest of the Cubs – The Athletic

It will be interesting how the situation plays out.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2018 at 06:50 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rosenthal: Manny Machado still has work to do if he wants to keep the focus on his performance – The Athletic

Whenever I see you and ask you how you’re doing, you say, ‘I’m chillin.’ I know that’s your personality, that’s how you are. But there was a ball the other night, and you didn’t run hard. Manny, you know this, at this time of year people notice that kind of thing, so how would you explain it? What happened?

Machado: “Uhhh … (pause) … I’ve been thinking about it and it happens every time, there’s no excuse for it honestly. I’ve never given excuses for not running. I’m not hurt, there’s no excuse but I’ve been the same player … I’ve been doing this for eight years, I’m in The Show for eight years, I’ve done the same thing for eight years, I’ve been the same player. (Machado actually just completed his seventh season.)

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.

“Should I have run on that pitch? Yeah … but I didn’t and I gotta pay the consequences for it. It does look bad. It looks terrible. I look back at the video and I’m like, ‘Woah, what was I doing?’ You know, just the emotions of the game … I’m the type of player that has stayed in the zone, I’m playing and I’m just in the zone.

“On 3-0, I’m trying to drive one out. I hit a 100 mph groundball (actually 76 mph) right into the shift, right to the shortstop … before I even step out of the box, I look to the shortstop, he has the ball in his hands and I’m like, ‘I’m out.’ … I mean, what am I going to do?

“Should I have given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. (It’s) my fault like always, I mean that’s just my mentality when I’m in the game. (There are) things that you learn, things that you gotta change. I’ve tried changing it for eight years and I still can’t figure it out but, one of these days I will.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 02:33 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, manny machado, pay site

Will Duquette and Showalter get top jobs elsewhere or will the disaster of 2018 — and the perceptions that re-emerged — damage their resumes? – The Athletic

Like the Mets it’s tough to know how many bad decisions were owner driven.

This takes us back to the original premise: Showalter and Duquette are good at what they do. They, together, helped lift a moribund franchise back to relevancy.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Showalter gets at least one interview this offseason for one of baseball’s managerial vacancies or if Duquette ends up as special assistant somewhere given his keen eye for undervalued assets.

But for them to get hired in high-profile, decision-making positions again, an organization will have to overlook what has happened in Baltimore since September 2017.

In the “what-have-you-done-lately” world of baseball, that may be a tall order. Especially considering the falls from grace are illustrative of the negative perceptions – fair or not – that have followed both men during successful baseball careers.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:16 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, dan duquette, orioles, pay site

‘He’s as smart as anyone I’ve met in baseball – or anywhere’: How former team lawyer Sandy Alderson became one of the most influential GMs in the sport’s history – The Athletic

And even he couldn’t get the power to do the job. What’s the next Mets GM going to do?

“To me, if you look at the executives today and the template for the guys that run baseball teams today, they essentially all have the background of Sandy,” said Beane. “Sandy was the original Ivy League graduate with analytics driving his decisions. He was the groundbreaking guy.”

As such, those who know Alderson believe him deserving of at least one more honor.

“He should be in the Hall of Fame,” Ricciardi said. “He deserves to be a Hall of Famer.”

“On the short list of GMs who are at that level, you’re talking about Pat Gillick, John Schuerholz and Sandy,” said Ricco, referring to two other GMs enshrined in Cooperstown already. “That’s the company he belongs in.”

“He’s just been so influential, and his influence is still going on today,” Beane said. “If you look at the tree of executives that has worked with him and around him, absolutely he’s a Hall of Famer.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2018 at 10:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, pay site, sandy alderson

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

“By now I’m entirely consumed with it, and only marginally able to do anything else”: Bill James can’t stop dreaming about baseball – The Athletic

I know exactly how he feels. I also know I wouldn’t be making this post without ever finding and reading his books.

“The more you know about the game, the more enjoyable — the more fun it becomes,” James says. “And this cycle has been running in me for 50 years, so that by now I’m entirely consumed with it, and only marginally able to do anything else.

“And I’m up in my dirty little office upstairs, just obsessively studying this and that. Not because I have to … I just can’t stop doing it.”

“I dream about baseball every night,” Bill James says, one day earlier this year. He doesn’t know if people will believe this. It sounds apocryphal, a charming anecdote. James is not trying to be charming. He lays down. He dreams about the game. He wakes up.

“It’s true,” he says.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2018 at 01:47 PM | 129 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, pay site

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Yankees have paired the best bullpen ever with cutting-edge tools to optimize its usage. Will it be enough in the playoffs? – The Athletic

A really interesting look at what the Yankees are doing with analytics

In his previous life as a broadcaster, Boone dutifully studied matchups. Before every game he was assigned to call, it became part of his routine to learn which pitchers had the most success against each batter. Past performance was his guide, the same as it had been for many others over the last century. This is the information that allows fans to manage along at home and on Twitter, one of the many charms of the game.

But in in his role as Yankees manager, those numbers have almost become an afterthought.

“There’s pretty strong evidence that it’s nonsense,” Boone said recently.

...

Then there’s the science. For the Yankees, their work in that area is proprietary, so club officials declined to share specifics. But according to people with knowledge of the team’s thinking, they have designed a projection system to identify the best matchups based on stuff and pitch types, thus allowing Boone to use certain arms to attack perceived vulnerable spots in opposing lineups.

The concept itself is not new. There’s no shortage of publicly-available data to expose which hitters might have trouble against cutters buried in on the hands, or two-seamers that nick the corners. But the Yankees have used their blend of data to tailor those projections. With their tools, it’s possible to estimate a hitters’ performance not against just two-seam fastballs in general, but two-seam fastballs thrown by Britton, or curveballs thrown by Robertson, or sliders thrown by Chapman. Specific velocity and spin is taken into account and matched up to a hitters’ bat path, which can also be precisely measured.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2018 at 09:01 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, sabermetrics, yankees


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The making of a modern closer: The meteoric rise of Edwin Díaz, explained – The Athletic

Some nice insight On one player’s development.

Stottlemyre: “This all goes with something I remember my dad (former Yankees and Mets pitching coach, Mel Sr.) always telling me about pitchers. He would say, ‘You never know when things are going to click.’ You work with these guys, have long sessions with them, and then all of a sudden, it’s like something clicks, and it starts to resonate.

“With Eddie, I have seen a guy who carries himself differently now. He has a much better understanding of who he is. That’s big. That takes time. In our eyes, we didn’t know if that was going to come this season or next season.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 28, 2018 at 08:11 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin diaz, mariners, pay site

Monday, August 27, 2018

Why J.D. Martinez could rebuild himself into a feared slugger, and others can’t – The Athletic

Nice insight into sometimes stubborn mind of a hitter.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2018 at 07:36 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting, j.d. martinez, lars anderson, pay site

 

 

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