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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Team USA defeats Japan to reach Classic final | MLB.com

“It means a heck of a lot,” outfielder Andrew McCutchen said of Team USA finally clearing the semifinal hurdle. “We’ve got a great group of guys on this team who have dedicated this time to be able to try and win some ballgames. Sacrifices had to be made, and there are no egos when that door opens.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, usa, wbc

MLB Has a Massive Diversity Problem in the Local Broadcast Booth

The numbers here would be even worse if it weren’t for what the Twins did this off-season. The Twins became only the second organization with two people of color on the air when they added Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins to their rotation of TV color commentators. They are not the main analysts, that job goes to Bert Blyleven, but they will be in the group of people regularly joining the play-by-play announcer, Dick Bremer, for the roughly 70 games Blyleven doesn’t call.

The only other team ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 12:35 AM | 106 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, racial diversity

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017 MLB Trade Value player rankings, Part I: Introduction, honorable mentions, just missed

Missing The Cut

Before we get to this year’s list, here’s a quick rundown of the players we ranked in the top 50 before last season (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) but who fell off this year’s list….

Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (35)

He hasn’t been an elite pitcher in three years, and last season was the worst showing of his 12-year career. Hurling 2,415 2/3 innings can take a nasty toll on a pitcher’s arm. Mariners fans would gladly sit through an even heavier workload if it would mean ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:50 PM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: trade value

Report: Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause dies at 77

Krause was known to have a rocky relationship with then-Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, with Jackson leaving after the 1998 season and the Bulls’ sixth title. Jordan also retired after that season, although he would later briefly return to play for the Wizards.

He retired as Bulls general manager in 2003, with an official explanation pertaining to his health, and amid a struggling Bulls rebuild around young players.

Prior to working for the Bulls, Krause, a Chicago native, scouted for a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:49 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, jerry krause, mets, white sox, yankees

Sport Illustrated MLB preview: Dodgers will beat Indians in the World Series

A number of teams could win it all this year if things break right for them. But L.A. is the one best positioned to win even when things go wrong.

Here are SI’s complete postseason predictions:

AL wild-card game: Mariners over Rangers
NL wild-card game: Mets over Giants

AL Division Series: Indians over Mariners; Red Sox over Astros
NL Division Series: Cubs over Mets; Dodgers over Nationals

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 02:30 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, indians, sports illustrated

Do the unthinkable, Yankees: Give Gleyber Torres a shot | New York Post

No, no, no. Give the *kid* some time in AA. If he does well, move him up to AAA. If he does well there, then, and only then, add him to the 40-Man Roster and bring him up to the big league club. If he plays well, he still makes his debut at age 20. (He was born on December 13th.)

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:49 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: gleyber torres, prospects, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-21-2017

Pittsburgh Press, March 21, 1917:

Manager Mathewson is a great believer in speeding up the play during the games. He allows no loafing, and is constantly urging the players to keep on the move. Nothing annoys him so much as a game that lasts over two hours.

If time travel were a thing, I’d pay to see what would happen if Christy Mathewson watched Steve Trachsel pitch to Mike Hargrove.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, pace of the game

White Sox sign shortstop Tim Anderson to six-year, $25 million contract

The Chicago White Sox signed shortstop Tim Anderson to a six-year, $25 million contract extension Tuesday morning, a high-ranking executive with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports.

The executive spoke on the condition of anonymity since the deal isn’t scheduled to be announced until Tuesday afternoon.

The deal is the most lucrative contract given to a player with less than one year’s service in baseball history.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 21, 2017 at 09:08 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: tim anderson, white sox

Confessions of a Fantasy Baseball Wife – The Hardball Times

A funny take on being a fantasy baseball wife/player.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy

Outfield Defense: Does the Team Make the Player or Does the Player Make the Team?

A look at team outfield defense using Statcast.

Jason Heyward’s impact on the defending champion Cubs is clearly present through these numbers, but did not necessarily make his center field neighbor a better defender. But perhaps the difference in left fielder made an impact, in the other direction, on Dexter Fowler as well.
In Baltimore, Adam Jones performed worse when partnered with Mark Trumbo. However, other components may be at play — like Jones’ age curve.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast

The new Mariners’ culture: what’s changed? - Lookout Landing

The new Culture Club?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:34 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Will Jason Heyward bounce back from abysmal 2016 season? - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

I haven’t been able to watch him hit this spring. What do are Cubs fans think?

Joe Maddon is steadfast regarding his opinion of outfielder Jason Heyward’s swing makeover. The Chicago Cubs’ third-year manager insists he’s seeing improvement after a lackluster 2016 campaign, although rival scouts who have followed the Cubs this spring don’t necessarily agree.

Many showed no hesitation in stating the swing—and subsequent results—are very much like last year’s. Maddon, meanwhile, says it ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:28 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Unbeaten PR walks off vs. Netherlands to final

It was the golden-locked men of Puerto Rico, who prevailed, 4-3, in the bottom of the 11th inning on Monday night at Dodger Stadium when Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice line drive to center field drove home Carlos Correa, sparking a celebration by first base and ending a marathon that clocked in at 4 hours, 19 minutes, and will be talked about for quite some time in both countries and beyond.

“It means a lot, because Puerto Ricans have gone through a very difficult [economic] situation currently, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2017 at 06:26 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: netherlands, puerto rico, wbc

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tragedies Lead to Calls for Change in the Dominican Republic

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the league has “comprehensive programs” in place, from educational and developmental sessions in the Dominican all the way up to employee assistance programs and security briefings at the major-league level. MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark expressed similar sentiments, adding, “Educated players make educated decisions.”

Some former players say it’s not enough.

“You can say whatever you say you have, but the results are not ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 04:46 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: andy marte, dominican republic, yordano ventura

Ranking top 10 homer-stealing catches

When I was a kid—and maybe you used to do something like this, too—we would practice making home run-robbing catches. It wasn’t exactly authentic. The walls were chain-link fences, and they were probably no more than four-feet high. And these weren’t actual home runs we were saving but were, instead, thrown balls. The idea was to throw the ball high enough to clear the chain-link fence and potentially end up in the Zepkin’s yard (where it might end up in the Zepkin granary of lost baseballs) ...

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cardsfanboy Posted: March 20, 2017 at 03:40 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: homerun robbing catches, joe posnanski

Baseball Prospectus | Baseball ProGUESTus: Is Speed Enough?: A PITCHf/x Look at the Effect of Fastball Velocity and Movement

So it really is the size of the fastball and not how you use it that counts.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitchfx

“I Don’t Know is on third.”

One guy probably knows.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 02:03 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, notes

Tim Tebow to be assigned to Columbia Fireflies, Mets’ low-A affiliate

Tim Tebow’s baseball odyssey will continue in South Carolina with the Columbia Fireflies, the Mets’ low Class-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, where he will play every day as attempts his a transition from quarterback to corner outfielder.

“Sending him to a full season club is what we hoped to be able to do,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Newsday on Monday. “And based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 01:18 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tim tebow

Brady Anderson’s role with Orioles a topic of debate

I think it was a poor move when Brady brought along Drake LaRoche.

Some players, too, are uncomfortable with Anderson’s presence.

Anderson last played for the Orioles in 2001, but he has a locker inside the team’s clubhouse at Camden Yards, where he gets into uniform to coach.

“A baseball clubhouse is always going to be something that players want to keep locked down as much as possible. That’s where it’s a fine line,” said former Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who recently ended ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 12:47 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brady anderson, ken rosenthal, orioles

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2017

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1917:

“Aviation,” says Charlie Herzog, “has a remarkable fascination, once a fellow becomes interested in it. Several times this winter, after I had become interested in the art of flying, I decided to give it up, but in a few days I was back in the seat of the old hydroplane. It’s great stuff, and I have become quite enthusiastic about it.”

This is the first mention I’ve seen of a big league ballplayer being an aviator. I guess this means he wouldn’t have been in any ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: aviation, dugout, history

For Japan’s Hitting-Hurling Double Threat, a Complex Path to the Majors - The New York Times

One disappointment in the WBC was not being able to see Shohei Otani play.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:50 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, shohei otani

Why Joe Maddon and The Geek Department think this Cubs lineup could be more explosive than last year’s team | CSN Chicago

The Geek Department has spoken, reaffirming Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s belief that Kyle Schwarber should be the leadoff guy atop another monster lineup projected to score more runs than the 2016 World Series champions.

“I’m all about the geeks,” Maddon said. “Everybody should have their own geek.”
...
“I talk to the guys upstairs: ‘This is what I’m thinking. Tell me where I’m wrong,’” Maddon said. “Like I said a couple years ago when Schwarber finally came up, I thought of hitting Schwarber ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:47 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Trea Turner loves baseball so much, he can hardly feel the pressure - The Washington Post

“I never really played anything but baseball growing up. My parents would have let me play anything. My dad played all three sports,” Turner said. “But I loved baseball. I always wanted to play baseball. In Florida, I got a chance to do it year round. So it was fun for me.

“I didn’t do some of the things kids are doing now — all the lessons, like video my swing when I was 10 years old. I think that’s a little too much,” Turner added. “I just had fun with it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:36 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, trea turner

Kiermaier extension: Behind the thought process that goes into long-term deals | Tampa Bay Times

All of which allowed starter Jake Odorizzi to feel good about turning down a deal two offseasons ago that would have guaranteed him close to $30 million over six years and could have exceeded $50 million over eight.

“There’s pros and cons, and you’re committed to this for whatever it is, six, seven, eight years,” Odorizzi said. “Sometimes it boils down to, and I hate to say it, but the dollar amount. We all know the money in this game and the value of players and what your value is. And ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin kiermaier, rays

Drew Pomeranz suffers another injury | Boston Herald

“The first inning, my triceps got a little tight toward the end,” he said. “I told the trainers in between that inning, went back out and it stayed tight the whole time. Nothing crazy. Just a little triceps tightness. I think my workloads have been a little higher this week. Who knows. I threw that second inning and it didn’t really loosen up. We just decided to call it quits. I could’ve thrown one more but it’s still the second start and we’ll give it a little rest.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:25 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: drew pomeranz, injuries, red sox

Yankees have to question if Luis Severino belongs in big leagues | New York Post

Severino said he gets in trouble when he rushes.

“I have to practice more in the bullpen,’’ he said of repeating his delivery and not rushing. “Sometimes the pressure of the game, you start thinking about that. I have to keep working.’’

Severino owns a 5.08 ERA this spring.

“You have to be able to slow things down and relax,’’ said Girardi, who in his playing career was always there as a catcher to try to guide the way. “The pressure of pitching in New York, the pressure ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: luis severino, yankees

Joe Girardi: Yankees prospects can reach Core Four heights | New York Post

“Now I don’t know if this group will reach that,’’ Girardi said, “but I think this is a broader group when you start talking the sheer number of kids that can really make an impact here. I’m really excited about the group. It’s really deep. You know it’s probably not going to work out for everyone of them, but when you watch them,’’ he said, then pointing to the field, “you feel like he’s going to play in the big leagues, he’s going to play in the big leagues and you ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2017 at 06:21 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, yankees

Sunday, March 19, 2017

OTP 20 March 2017: This fighter for civil rights has baseball in her DNA

An interview with Bay Area activist and baseball fanatic Sunny Schwartz.

The S.F. Giants are gutsy and sincerely community-minded. They not only put money where their mouth is but they put their principles in action. They raised awareness of our [restorative justice] program. Graduates from our program stood shoulder-to-shoulder with survivors of violence in the ballpark before a game, saying they’d do the right thing. The Giants also took on AIDS awareness in the early ’90s. Today that ...

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BDC Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:58 PM | 2086 comment(s)
  Beats: activism, ballpark weddings, giants, politics

Big Read: Inside the Toronto Blue Jays’ high performance department - Sportsnet.ca

There are no more pumps for Pearce, who signed with the Blue Jays this off-season after stops with five other major league teams. He’s found they do things a bit differently in Toronto. That’s thanks to the Blue Jays’ high performance department, an interdisciplinary collection of specialists covering everything from strength and conditioning to psychology. It’s an all-encompassing collective the Blue Jays hope will provide each and every player in the organization, from the teenager at ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 01:17 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, sports science

Trio of top prospects head to minor league camp with visions of ‘World Series,” completing Phillies’ rebuild | PhillyVoice

Young Phillies on the way.

“That’s a great compliment – he’s going to be one of the best in the game soon,” Crawford said of Coghlan’s comparison to Russell, a first-round pick in 2012, the year before Crawford was drafted. “He just told me that he liked how I handled myself, how I went about my business. I really thank him for going out of his way to come talk to me. I’ve never had anyone like that, a veteran guy (doing that). I took it to heart and I can’t thank him ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 19, 2017 at 11:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: j.p. crawford, phillies, prospects

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