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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Spring Training Newsbeat

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Spring Training showings to get excited about

I guess it’s better than the alternative.

1. Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets (2 starts, 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 K)
Some wondered if Harvey would even get this far. After the past couple of years, no one knew what he was still capable of. At this point, the right-hander has given the Mets every reason for optimism. Harvey could be the difference between the Mets making and missing the playoffs. Or he could be dealt at the Trade Deadline.

2. Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers (.313 BA, 3 HR, 1.228 OPS, 16 AB)
Wait, what? Wasn’t Kemp’s return a bookkeeping part of a complicated salary-dump trade with the Braves? Well, maybe not. He singled and homered in his first two spring at-bats, has been getting warm ovations and seems to be handily winning the Dodgers’ left-field job.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2018 at 12:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Thursday, March 01, 2018

The most intriguing thing at every Cactus League camp

These guys have track records. Unless one of these guys has made a pretty big adjustment, I’d think he already knows who’ll be the starter. Of course, he won’t want to say it.

Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings and Ketel Marte are competing for the starting shortstop job in Arizona, where manager Torey Lovullo and his staff are focusing on things that don’t appear in a box score.

While MLB goes young, here’s why the Giants are doubling down on players in their 30s
Baseball is a young man’s game these days—except in San Francisco, where the Giants are hoping a pair of veteran additions can get them back on track and show that older guys can still get it done on the diamond.

“I don’t necessarily evaluate it by results,’’ Lovullo said. “We know spring training can be misleading. So we’ll watch swing planes and breaks on defense and how the ball is coming off the bat. That’s the game within the game—the part we all love.’‘

Ahmed is the lockdown defender of the group, while Owings hit a career-high 12 homers in 97 games last season. Marte, acquired from Seattle in the Jean Segura trade, showed improved plate discipline in 2017 and had a wild-card game to remember. He went 3-for-5 with two triples against Colorado and showed energy and some tantalizing glimpses of his ceiling.

“I think competition brings out the best in people,’’ Lovullo said. “That’s what I lock down on. It’s a time for me to get to know body language and what makes someone tick. I pay attention to the little things that show me they’re comfortable in winning those innings.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2018 at 10:10 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Monday, February 26, 2018

OTP 26 February 2018: Hope springs eternal in baseball and politics

This is a special time for baseball fans. Major league baseball is ready to begin another season, with spring training officially opening this week. With some exceptions, fans in most cities can at least dream of watching their team play in the postseason and maybe even compete for the World Series championship. For them, hope springs eternal.

Ditto for the Democratic Party. 2018 appears to be a “wave year,” with an opportunity to win control of the House of Representatives, maybe even the Senate, and then use those majorities to place a major constitutional check on a president almost all Democrats loathe. Once that victory is secured, Democrats dream of finding the perfect candidate to win back the presidency in 2020. Just who that might be is not clear yet, but Democrats are hopeful that it is only a matter of time before the next Messiah arrives to lead them to the promised land. Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy in baseball or politics.


Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 26, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 1688 comment(s)
  Beats: off-topic, politics, spring training

Monday, February 12, 2018

OTP 12 February 2018: Jeff Samardzija explains why politics and baseball rarely mix

However, there were several curveballs that forced Giants’ players to think outside the box, including one from a fan who asked a trio that included catcher Buster Posey, reliever Cory Gearrin and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija whether they think baseball players should have a role in voicing their political opinions like football and basketball players have in recent years.

The question temporarily stumped Gearrin and Posey, so as his teammates waited, Samardzija decided to jump in and share his perspective.

“I don’t think so, not necessarily because we’re here to entertain you guys. Every time we step on the field, it’s important,” Samardzija said, before pausing temporarily while a loud round of applause petered out.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Yankees’ biggest challenge isn’t going to be on field | New York Post

It’s nice seeing the words “Spring Training” appearing all over.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:19 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, yankees




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