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Monday, November 05, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Chicago White Sox

The latest ballpark to undergo a name change, dumping the harmless U.S. Cellular (which did provide a pretty good nickname, the Cell) to the ridiculous Guaranteed Rate Field, complete with its downward trending arrow. G-Rate Field, as absolutely nobody calls it, is the closest thing to a home park in MLB I have now, though I’d actually tab the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary as my true local diamond.

Whatever you call this field, it’s one of the odd ducks of major league stadia. It’s of similar ...

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SoSH U at work Posted: November 05, 2018 at 08:40 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: stadium names, white sox

Monday, November 12, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-12-2018

Toledo News-Bee, November 12, 1918:

Germany went into last place in the world league on Monday.

There are magnates in the American Association who can be expected to urge the candidacy of General Foch for the league presidency in place of Tom Hickey.

It might not be a bad idea to suggest Hank Gowdy as the first president of the German republic.

Things couldn’t have gone worse under President Gowdy than they did under Friedrich Ebert. Anyway, I feel like Austria was probably still below Germany ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 12, 2018 at 10:20 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

Sunday, November 11, 2018

MLB owners expected to unanimously approve extension for Rob Manfred next week, report says

MLB owners are soon expected to vote on a new five-year term for commissioner of baseball Rob Manfred, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

To get a contract extension, Manfred will need “yes” votes from a simple majority of team owners (i.e., at least 16 of 30). However, Nightengale reports that Manfred is expected to receive unanimous support among owners when they meet in Atlanta next week.

Manfred, 60, has served in the role since January of 2015, when he succeeded Bud Selig and became ...

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QLE Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, owners, rob manfred

Dodgers release Utley to facilitate retirement

And the retirees just keep on coming….

Chase Utley was given his unconditional release by the Dodgers on Friday so the veteran second baseman can officially retire. Utley announced in July that 2018 would be his final season.

“The thing I’m having the most difficult time with is being a part-time dad,” Utley said at a press conference to make the announcement. “So that’s really the reason I’m shutting it down. I’m ready to be a full-time dad.”

Utley played 16 seasons in the Majors. He played ...

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QLE Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: chase utley, releases, retirement

Glanville Offseason Journal: Winter Ball

Something to add to the listings of writings on baseball connected to those who play it.

QLE Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: doug glanville, winter baseball

Quintin Berry retires

A reminder that it’s not just the stars who retire every season….

QLE Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: quintin berry, retirement

It’s not just the worst teams not spending money in baseball free agency — it’s the richest, too

CARLSBAD, Calif. – During the great panic of 2017-18, when jobless players were jumping on conference calls and asking one another what the hell happened to free agency, the Major League Baseball Players Association tried to allay fears by pointing toward the future. It wasn’t particularly satisfactory for those lacking employment, but the 2018-19 offseason, players were told, shouldn’t be like this.

The New York Yankees, the game’s financial behemoth, would dip below the $197 million ...

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QLE Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, free agency, offseason, spending

Report: Nationals Ownership Rejected Bryce Harper Trade to Astros

The Houston Astros reportedly had a deal in place for the Nationals’ Bryce Harper at the non-waiver deadline in July but Washington ownership nixed the deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Nationals would have received right-hander J.B. Bukauskas, the Astros’ No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, and two other minor leaguers, in exchange for Harper. Catcher Garrett Stubbs, the team’s No. 15 prospect, was also reportedly in play, along with another, low-level, minor-league pitcher ...

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QLE Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:56 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, bryce harper, deadline trades, ownership

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Olney: Cubs Open to Trading Bryant

But it’s possible that the Cubs will trade him, perhaps as soon as this winter. As part of their early offseason discussions, according to sources, the Cubs have indicated to other teams they are willing to discuss trade proposals for almost all of the players on their roster and those sources say that includes Bryant

Chris Fluit Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:45 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Joe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons

{quote]Joe Mauer, the 2009 American League MVP who has spent all 15 seasons of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins, announced his retirement Friday.

Mauer made his announcement in a letter to fans that was released by the Twins and is set to run in both The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday.

 

Chris Fluit Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:43 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: joe mauer, twins


Friday, November 09, 2018

The Library of Congress Site is a Digital Wonderland for Baseball Fans

“Honus Wagner, looking like he was sutured together by a grave-robbing mad scientist: Enormous hands at the end of long, stove-pipe arms; broad shoulders and barrel chest; a short torso supported by severely bowed legs that suggested he spent the off-season in the saddle…”

gehrig97 Posted: November 09, 2018 at 08:53 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: honus wagner, nap lajoie, ruth, ty cobb, walter johnson

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-9-2018

El Paso Herald, November 9, 1918:

BOSTON CLUB IS ABOUT TO SINK

Two major league clubs may find themselves homeless before the snow begins to fly. It is said that they are involved in financial troubles to such a degree that their landlords intend to freeze them out for nonpayment of debts. If these clubs are evicted it is probable that their franchises will be sold to the highest bidder. Both have lost big money since 1916 and the gossips insist that the end is near.
...
The total expenses of ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 09, 2018 at 10:01 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB faces offseason challenges

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball heads into the offseason with no shortage of issues to address, most pressingly the drop in stadium attendance and TV ratings, a trend toward longer games and a dearth of star power in its ranks.

Easy answers, however, may prove hard to come by.

Average attendance for regular season games in 2018 fell four percent from the previous year to 28,830 per game, according to MLB, while the total number of fans who showed up at the ballpark fell below 70 million for ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, doom and gloom, pace of play, ratings, stars

Reds’ Scott Schebler, Rangers’ Matt Bush miss arbitration cutoff

CARLSBAD, Calif.—Cincinnati outfielder Scott Schebler and Texas pitcher Matt Bush just missed the cutoff for salary arbitration eligibility, while Chicago Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. and Toronto pitcher Joe Biagini earned the final spots.

The Major League Baseball Players Association said Thursday the cutoff for eligibility this winter is 2 years, 134 days of major league service—up from 2 years, 123 days last year.

The top 22 percent of players with at least two years of service time, but ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, matt bush, scott schebler

No MLB rule changes likely until eve of spring training

CARLSBAD, CALIF.- Major League Baseball and its players’ union likely will not decide until the eve of spring training whether to change rules in an effort to increase action on the field next year.

Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem said Thursday as the annual general managers’ meetings ended that there was no consensus for change yet. More discussions will take place when owners gather next week in Atlanta, the union’s executive board convenes in late November and major league executives go to ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: rob manfred, rule changes, still considering

Mookie Betts wins 2018 Heart and Hustle Award

So, who says that heart, hustle, and sabermetric-approved performance don’t mix?

QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: heart, hustle, mookie betts

Rick Ankiel undergoes elbow surgery as he attempts MLB comeback as a pitcher

Rick Ankiel’s attempt to return to baseball as a pitcher will be delayed a bit. Yahoo Sports reports that Ankiel had ligament reattachment surgery in October. Per the report, Ankiel is looking at a return at some point next season.

Wait, what?

Yes, it’s true. That Rick Ankiel is trying to make a comeback as a pitcher after making a comeback as a position player. What a story this would be.

So, is this heartwarming, a tragedy, or a farce?

QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, elbow surgery, rick ankiel

The Best Quotes from Sports Agent Scott Boras’s Baseball Media Scrum

Scott Boras is a super agent. He’s also a fantastic quote, too.

During his annual media scrum at Major League Baseball’s general manager meetings on Wednesday, Boras’s comments were arguably on par with the high-caliber talent levels of the numerous star athletes he represents.

Below is a compilation featuring some of Boras’s best remarks from his offseason session.

Warning: Many of these quotes are prime examples of what our British friends mean when they state that Mandy Rice-Davies ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, scott boras, tanking

Determining Madison Bumgarner’s future will be Farhan Zaidi’s first Giant decision

The ink on Farhan Zaidi’s contract as the new San Francisco Giants general manager was barely dry Wednesday when he was asked the question weighing on the mind of every Giants fan.

Is it possible, and perhaps even necessary, that he seeks to trade the franchise’s longtime ace and multiple time World Series hero, Madison Bumgarner?

The question itself was as straight forward as it gets. As for the response? It was not surprisingly vague.

Mind you, with pitchers, the future tends to be ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, madison bumgarner

Red Sox fan wins $100,000 grand prize after playing jersey numbers in lottery

TEMPLETON, Mass. —After winning the 2018 World Series, the Boston Red Sox have now helped a Massachusetts man win the lottery.

Jim Aylward Jr., of Templeton, won a $100,000 grand prize in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s Mass Cash game by playing the jersey numbers worn by five key members of the Red Sox championship team.

Aylward’s winning combination of 11-16-19-22-25 represents the jersey numbers of third baseman Rafael Devers, left fielder Andrew Benintendi, ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, jersey numbers, lottery

J.D. first to win 2 Silver Sluggers in same year

BOSTON—J.D. Martinez had such an impressive offensive season that he pulled off an unprecedented feat on Thursday, becoming the first player to win American League Silver Slugger Awards at two positions in the same season.

The right-handed-hitting masher, who helped the Red Sox win the World Series, received Silver Slugger Awards at designated hitter and outfielder.

The announcement came just three days after many were stunned when Martinez was not selected as one of the top three finalists ...

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QLE Posted: November 09, 2018 at 07:55 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: jd martinez, silver slugger

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Red Sox: Bill James “is not an employee nor does he speak for the club”

People are losing their minds over James’ tweets. Of course, people lose their minds over all kinds of stupid stuff, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Anyway, Craig has the important links and info.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 02:03 PM | 173 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, mlbpa

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

Document prepared for potential investors says Dodgers plan on staying under luxury tax threshold - Los Angeles Times

More info in the article.

Under the projections prepared for potential investors, the Dodgers would spend $185 million in 2019 and 2020, $191 million in 2021 and $196 million in 2022.

Should you rent or own? How fast can you get that part? Does it fit the budget? That’s what your Cat® Dealer is here for. Learn more at MiltonCAT.com/promotions/caterpillar-national-program.

The Dodgers’ payroll projections are not binding. One high-ranking team official called the figures a “forecast,” ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 11:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

How the Mets could jumpstart the Brodie Van Wagenen era with a few low-cost pickups and some good luck - CBSSports.com

This is a tough place to be.

Even with some big chunks of money coming off the books, the Mets have strikingly little financial flexibility for a team coming off such a lousy season. According to the excellent Cot’s contracts page, New York is already projected to carry about $144 million in payroll next season, with about $46 million of that total tied up in projected arbitration awards. Syndergaard and deGrom project to earn about $22 million combined through arbitration in 2019, with a ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 10:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-8-2018

El Paso Herald, November 8, 1918:

Irish Fans Not Very Excited Over Baseball

Weather and an open-eyed wonder as to what it is all about made the first international baseball game Dublin has seen something of a fizzle so far as enthusiasm was concerned.

Yanks met Canadians, and the Yanks won, 13 to 6. The game was played in puddles, with much slopping about. Dublin boys will not adopt baseball as the result of their first introduction to the game.

People trying to spread baseball in Ireland were ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 08, 2018 at 10:12 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Tomase: Overreliance on WAR may have hurt J.D. Martinez in AL MVP vote that’s going to be won by Mookie Betts | WEEI

Take this year’s AL MVP race. Betts led the league in WAR, will win the award, and deserves it. Hard to argue with Trout or Ramirez, either, based on performance, though I’m certainly open to the idea of an MVP coming from a winning team, and not Trout’s sub-.500 Angels.

But there are other deserving candidates whose WAR won’t give them a sniff. Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez is one of them. For five months, he flirted with the Triple Crown. Because he’s mostly a DH and no better than ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 08:54 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, j.d. martinez, war

Bryce Harper free agency focus at GM Meetings

Huge ten-year contracts pretty much suck. Pass.

While that contract would be the largest for a free agent, it would not surpass Giancarlo Stanton’s record-breaking 13-year, $325 million deal from 2014, nor would it surpass Zack Greinke’s $34.42 million for the highest average annual value. Harper has confirmed he is seeking a long-term deal, but accepting a contract with no opt-outs would lock Harper up for the entirety of his prime without giving him the chance to earn more money should player ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 05:27 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper

Mariners finalizing a trade that would send catcher Mike Zunino, outfielder Guillermo Heredia to the Rays | The Seattle Times

Mike Zunino may not have to go far from his home in Gainesville, Fla., when the 2019 season begins.

Multiple Major League Baseball sources said the Mariners are finalizing a deal with their favorite trade partner, the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle would send Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia and minor league left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer to Tampa in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and minor league outfielder Jake Fraley.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 08, 2018 at 05:21 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: guillermo heredia, mallex smith, mariners, mike zunino, trade

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