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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Real McCoy | Billy Hamilton is a blur but no mirage

Hal McCoy believes in Billy Hamilton.

Billy Hamilton won’t be a mirage.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:39 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: billy hamilton, reds

Tech-savvy Pirates testing a new secret weapon this spring | TribLIVE

Or how much can Russell Martin eat?

This spring the Pirates are experimenting with sports science technology. Prior to and during games this exhibition season, some Pirates are wearing Zephyr workload monitoring devices. Under select players’ jerseys is a tight-fitting, compression shirt, which has a black, circular, detachable electronic device — about the size of a quarter — attached near the center of the chest. The device collects data from a sensor that records players’ heartbeats and ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:33 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

MLB system discourages teams like Astros from promoting top young talent | FOX Sports on MSN

Outfielder George Springer, the Astros’ top prospect, has yet to play an inning in the major leagues. He almost certainly will not make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Yet last September, the Astros offered him a seven-year, $23 million contract, according to major league sources.

Springer, 24, rejected the offer, sources said, declining to give up three years of arbitration and one year of free agency.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:27 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, george springer

Aroldis Chapman struck by liner, hospitalized with facial fractures

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures to bones in his nose and left eye while taking a line drive to the face Wednesday night.

Chapman was carted off the field and transported by ambulance to a hospital and would be kept overnight for observation, the Reds said on their Twitter account.

The Reds said Chapman was originally taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., where tests indicated the facial fractures. He was then transferred to Banner Good ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 20, 2014 at 05:28 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Drugs, booze, cheap motels. This is the real life of the majority of America’s pro baseballers

Descent into the Maelstrom!

With two American pro teams down under this week to play the opening games of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the focus is on glitz, on glamour and on two teams with a combined salary of $300 million.

There’s no doubt life can be extremely glamorous at the top of US professional sports. But scratch below the surface and it’s a different world.

...Even Triple A is a world away from the Majors. Here’s a snapshot of that desperate, often sordid world ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: australia

Cubs taking a different psychological tack

Cubs team psychologist no longer has a locker. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it’s a quack, quack, quack!

KT's Pot Arb Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Jonah Keri: Beane Counters

Don’t have time to go through this now as “à la croisée des Stooges et des Cramps” material has crossed my faux desk.

While Moneyball the book and especially Moneyball the movie pumped up certain aspects of the A’s success while downplaying certain others (Messieurs Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Tejada, and Chavez would surely like a word), they perfectly pegged Beane’s distrust of industry insiders. While acknowledging that Melvin’s playing experience helped his candidacy for the manager job, ...

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Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 19, 1914:

Manager Jack Hayden of the Louisville Colonels, during his team’s training season at Fort Myers, Fla. has invested in a 10-acre tract of land that he will have planted immediately to grape fruit. In about three years Jack imagines that he will not care what happens in baseball.

Well, he was sort of right. Hayden was relieved of his duties as the Colonels’ manager in May 1915. Shortly after he left Louisville, he was named the manager of the Frankfort (Kentucky) ...

Read More...

Bo Jackson to Russell Wilson: Stick to football

An All-Star in both baseball and football, Jackson said his advice for Wilson is the same he offers to kids who attend his Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports complex in Lockport, Illinois.

“Stick to what got (Wilson) in the headlines, not baseball,” Jackson said. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I did it, I’m not trying to say anything negative about other athletes, but the talent pool wasn’t that deep. In this day in age, with all the high-tech training, computer-engineered workouts and ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:52 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Dick Allen’s son has Hall of an idea

So if Miguel Cabrera’s career ended today…154 OPS+/7126 PA’s ~ 156 OPS+/7315 PA’s for Dick Allen…

When he’s not watching his son play hoops, Allen Jr. is campaigning to get his now-72-year-old father, who works on the Phillies’ community-relations team, into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Allen, who had two stints with the Phils (1963-69 and ‘75-76), is considered by many to be the best player not in the Hall. He is, apparently, not a self-promoter.

“It’s difficult because he doesn’t want to be ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:29 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FAA to Washington: No Drones

The Washington Nationals were told last month by the Federal Aviation Administration to stop using a small, four-rotor drone to take publicity photos at the team’s spring training facility without the agency’s permission.

“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,’’ a team official told The Associated Press. The drone flights ceased the next day.

Overregulation.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:42 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: overkill, washington nationals

The Poscast Episode 5 - Numbers Game

Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur (Fire Joe Morgan, Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) both believe that the NL will be led by either this year’s aspiring superteam in Los Angeles, or last year’s aspiring superteam in Washington.  They admire the San Antonio Spurs-like continual success of the Cardinals.  They see the AL as more of a tossup.  Schur picks the Dodgers to beat the Tigers in the World Series.  Poz predicts the Nationals over the Red Sox.

Then, they draft numbers. ...Read More...

The District Attorney Posted: March 18, 2014 at 02:24 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: gallimaufry, joe posnanski, michael schur, predictions

Posnanski: Cleveland Indians: The name

Pretty sure that cartoonist does Mallard Fillmore now.

in my national search of more than 300 national newspapers, I could not find a single mention of Louis Sockalexis in the entire year of 1915.

The story I grew up hearing — that the Cleveland Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis — is certainly untrue…

when Sockalexis joined the team in 1897, there WAS legitimate excitement. The stories of his baseball exploits were known everywhere. The curiosity of seeing a Native American ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:47 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: history, indians, joe posnanski, louis sockalexis

LA Times: Andre Ethier irritated by questions about Sydney playing surface

It just wouldn’t be spring without a grumpy ‘Dre.

SYDNEY, Australia—As much as bombastic Dodgers President Stan Kasten tries to convince people otherwise, it’s clear not all of his players like the idea of starting their season on the other side of the world.


Working out at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday turned the usually affable Andre Ethier into the moody Andre Ethier of years past. Without the slightest trace of a smile, a clearly irritated Ethier sarcastically recited the company ...

Read More...

Olney: Sources: Rollins Should Lead Or Leave

Sources indicate that some in influential positions in the organization want Rollins to be a leader by investing himself more thoroughly in daily work and setting a strong example for others. If Rollins isn’t going to do that, the sentiment of some is that the team would be better off moving him as soon as possible.

Rollins, 35, will make $11 million this year, and with 434 plate appearances in 2014, an $11 million option for the 2015 season would vest.

Perhaps if the only other alternative ...

Read More...
eddieot Posted: March 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, jimmy rollins, ryan sandberg, ruin tomorrow jr.

Baseball’s Most Surprising Seasons, Good And Bad

PLAYER YEAR AGE PROJ. WOBA ACTUAL WOBA PERCENTILE
Travis Hafner 2008 31 .387 .270 0.0
Andruw Jones 2008 31 .350 .238 0.0

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:49 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: nate silver

PP: A look at the Yankees right fielders using Inside Edge data

This looks interesting…but who knew Courtney Love worked for FanGraphs?

gbb

Although he never really looked the part, Nick Swisher was actually a pretty decent right fielder, putting up a +12 UZR over his four years in the Bronx. Swish generated most of his value with his bat, but his defense was an underrated part of his game.

Ichiro Suzuki may not be much of a hitter anymore, but he’s still capable of playing an above-average right field. Despite pushing 40, Ichiro graded out very well ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

MASN: Returning to Nats, Carroll has an eye on his future

Wuh? Taking over Micah’s Korban cult ain’t enough!

“Well, I’m 5-9 on a good day,” he says with a laugh in the home clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium. “Hopefully pushing 170 in weight. I don’t run the best, I don’t have the best arm in the world. So I had to find a way to compete and stay at this level and I understand that. I’ve had to do whatever I can and I think, for me, there had to be something that’s going to help me stay on a ballclub and be a reason for a ballclub to keep me. Guys are ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:21 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nats

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-18-2014

New York Evening World, March 18, 1914:

That he would not rejoin the New York Giants if President Hempstead gave him the Polo Grounds for playing, was the statement made yesterday by Arthur Shafer, the man John McGraw declares is the best utility player who ever donned a uniform.

“I do not like baseball,” said Shafer. “I do not like the life and I do not like the Eastern climate.

“Big league baseball once attracted me, but now its glamour is all gone. I have satisfied every ambition in a ...

Read More...

Russell Martin: Replacing me with McCann was ‘expensive mistake’

Russell’s paradox…a new angle.

“It becomes an expensive mistake, no question,” Martin told The Post before the Pirates-Yankees game at McKechnie Field was canceled by rain on Monday. “They can’t turn back the clock. They went and got a good guy who, offensively, puts up better numbers than I have and so costs a lot of money. I love McCann. They got a good one.”

McCann’s numbers slipped last year, but the Yankees are confident his left-handed swing will fit perfectly at Yankee ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:35 AM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates, yankees

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nieman Storyboard: Annotation Tuesday! Roger Angell and the pitcher with a major-league case of the yips

After almost 40 years, Roger Angell looks back on the making of one of his classic essays.

After giving up a home run to the Reds’ second batter of the day, Joe Morgan, which was hit off a first-pitch fastball, Blass readjusted his plans and went mostly to a big, slow curve, causing the Reds to hit innumerable rainmaking outfield flies, and won 5-1. I can still recall how Blass looked that afternoon–his characteristic, feet-together stance at the outermost, first-base edge of the pitching ...

Read More...
AndrewJ Posted: March 17, 2014 at 07:45 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: long reads, pirates, roger angell, writing worth reading

Apples and Oranges, Bambinos and Billy Goats «

Although you should still read the article, if you are pressed for time, I will condense Rany’s message to Cubs fans to two words….be patient.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2014 at 06:15 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

A’s Jarrod Parker to miss season – Tommy John surgery again

The Complete Jarrod Parker On Nerve.

Jarrod Parker will miss the A’s 2014 season; the projected Opening Day starter needs Tommy John surgery for the second time.

“The first thing in these situations is you feel bad for Jarrod,” assistant general manager David Forst said. “He worked hard this offseason after some struggles at the end of the year and was going to be at the top of the rotation. But we can only play the hand that we’re dealt.”

This morning, Parker visited Dr. James ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:23 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland

Megdal: An ex-Met on his old team’s propensity to smear

On Friday morning, Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner, late of the New York Mets, offered up a defense of current Mets shortstop (and frequent media target, thanks to leaks by his own team) Ruben Tejada.

“I think the issue is that nobody takes responsibility for what they say,” Turner told me as we chatted in front of his spring training locker. “You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks. It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:34 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: mets

fivethirtyeight.com: Silver: What the Fox Knows

Nate Silver and the launch of the FiveThirtyEight website.

Guapo Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: statistics

Unnamed MLB Team Purchases Supercomputer for At Least $500,000

An unnamed MLB team has purchased a supercomputer from Cray Inc., which sells machines that range from $500,000 to $60 million, according to BusinessInsider.com.

Cray CEO Peter Ungaro told The Economist that the club wishes to use the device for speedy in-game analysis.

Ungaro also noted that, while the team wished to remain anonymous, it was an organization that many might not expect.

Meanwhile, the Mets purchased a used Casio calculator for $50.

The Orioles attempted to purchase an ...

Read More...
Karl from NY Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM | 86 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Calcaterra: The Mets St. Patrick’s Day caps are … horrifying

Can’t sleep, Irish Mr. Met will eat me . . .  can’t sleep, Irish Mr. Met will eat me . . .

I’m too afraid to ask what Mrs. Met is wearing….

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 10:14 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: greenies, mets, uniforms

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2014

Toledo News-Bee, March 17, 1914:

Ed Hohnhorst, former Toledo first baseman, had an exciting experience in Covington, Ky. early last Saturday morning. Hohnhorst, who is now a member of the Covington police force, shot and killed Sunny Jackson, a negro, after a hand-to-hand fight.
...
Suddenly [Jackson] turned on Hohnhorst and, whipping out a revolver, commanded the officer to stop of he would kill him.

[Jackson] fired, but missed. The men clinched, Hohnhorst broke away, pulled his revolver and ...

Read More...

Baseball Hall Of Famer Mike Schmidt Recovering From Skin Cancer

Mike Schmidt sat down at a picnic table beyond the left-field wall on a sunny morning at Bright House Field, then scooted over to seek the shade of some palm trees and a light tower.

He wasn’t taking any chances.

The 64-year-old Hall of Famer is recovering from an advanced form of skin cancer that kept him from being a guest instructor with the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training.

Schmidt was in camp Sunday and publicly spoke for the first time about his illness — stage 3 melanoma, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Yankees almost return favor on no-hitter to Marlins in Panama

So I guess the hits Marisnick, Dietrich, Yelich and Hechavarria got on Saturday didn’t count…

Francisco Cervelli was 3-for-3 Sunday, and got the first hit of the game. Since the Yankees were no-hit Saturday, Cervelli’s hit represented the first by a Major Leaguer since 1947, when the Yankees and MLB visited the country that year. “I’m lucky. I’m going to be in the (record) books,” said Cervelli.

...Derek Jeter said the Yankees didn’t arrive at Rod Carew Stadium Sunday with any chip on ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:19 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins, yankees

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