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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Daniel Norris looking like Blue Jays’ fifth starter

After an off-season in which he became a viral sensation for his bushy beard, cerebral surfer persona and his habit of living in his van, Daniel Norris is ready to bring the focus back to his work on the mound.

The media requests — from The Atlantic magazine to NBC — are still pouring in for the man ESPN dubbed “The Most Interesting Pitcher in Baseball,” but the 21-year-old is turning them all down now.

The rookie left-hander, considered among the Blue Jays’ top prospects, is ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 22, 2015 at 09:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, daniel norris, van down by the river

Rockies unexpectedly part ways with Chacin | MLB.com

Well, that was a surprise.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 06:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jhoulys chacin, rockies

The PosCast with Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur - 3/21/15

Pace of play: Both Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur dislike the new pace of play rules. They fear that they will detract from the feel of the sport, and from the hitter/pitcher “chess game.” They believe it is pointless to address the pace of play without addressing the main problem, which in their opinion is pitching changes. Since pitching changes are opportunities to run commercials, they are pessimistic that anything meaningful can be accomplished on this front.

Playoff picks: In the AL, ...

Read More...

Amazing Plaid Coat on Senators’ Skipper Clark Griffith - Ghosts of DC

Managers don’t know how to dress like the old timers did.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: uniforms

Twinsights: Josmil Pinto diagnosed with concussion - Twins Now

How do you get hit three times?

Pinto left Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after Adam Jones hit him three times on the follow-through of his swing. All three swings came during the Orioles’ four-run second inning, with the last one striking Pinto on the top of his helmet.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:20 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: josmil pinto, twins

Marlins announce seven-year deal with Yelich

VIERA, Fla.—The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Christian Yelich agreed to a seven-year contract. MLB.com has learned the deal is worth $49.570 million.

Swedish Chef Posted: March 22, 2015 at 12:18 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hot stove, marlins, signings


Giants notes: Tim Lincecum’s legacy is written, but his denouement is not - Giants Extra

How could I not post an article with “denouement” in the title?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, tim lincecum

Red Sox prospect J.T. Watkins soldiering on - Sports - The Boston Globe

J.T. Watkins isn’t your typical minor leaguer.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: human interest story, red sox

Gibson hoping to ramp up pitch velocity this year | twinsbaseball.com

If his sinker was hitting 94, what was his four-seamer hitting?

Gibson, making his second start of the spring, saw his sinker reach as high as 94 mph on the stadium radar gun and he believes he can pitch with increased velocity this season.

Gibson, who posted a 4.47 ERA in 179 1/3 innings in his first full year in the Majors last season, saw his fastball average 91.3 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com.

“I think [throughout] the year I’d like to stay right around there,” Gibson said of ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle gibson, twins

For A’s prospect Canha, better bat speed the key - San Francisco Chronicle

Really, who can wait on a cookie?

“They said, ‘These guys don’t make as many mistakes, so you have to go up with the mind-set, ‘I’m going to have to go outside my comfort zone. Be ready for everything, don’t wait for that cookie, because you’re hardly ever going to get those,’” Canha said. “‘Just go after those pitchers’ pitches, because otherwise you’re behind in the count — and then you’re walking back to the dugout and what you’re looking for is never going to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Kris Bryant making strong case for Cubs call-up, but is the brass even listening? - Yahoo Sports

This kid is a freak.

Kris Bryant, 23 years old, smiled and looked out over the tops of the heads around him. He’d hit two more home runs Saturday afternoon, one of them against Felix Hernandez, was batting .480, had played a capable third base and had all of Chicago Cubs fandom rallying behind him. The spring in which he’d been dared to play himself onto the team was going handsomely.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:37 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Mets feared elbow would scuttle offseason Wheeler trade | New York Post

Teams such as the Giants would inquire about the availability of Zack Wheeler during the offseason, and the Mets would not even entertain discussions.

The perception they gave to the industry was Wheeler was part of a group of protected players who were not going to be dealt.

In reality, the Mets did not talk about Wheeler because they thought a swap never would go through, The Post has learned.

As part of any trade medical information is exchanged between teams, and there was enough ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:03 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, mets, orioles, rangers, zack wheeler

DallasNews: Big league dreams turn to nightmares for Venezuelan stars

The racket is simple. Grab the relative of a well-paid major league player and make off with some easy ransom money.

“This happens with everybody who has family there,” said Andrus, whose family lives in Maracay, the third-largest city in the country. “It’s easy for them to kidnap people and ask for money. And everybody knows how much money the players make. They can Google it. It’s just not safe. You have to take steps. It was pretty shocking, for sure.”

“He was pretty shaken ...

Read More...
Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 22, 2015 at 03:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: elvis andrus, venezuela

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Best Baseball Books - The 20 Best Baseball Books Ever

There are some great books on this list; there are some great books missing.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 04:30 PM | 87 comment(s)
  Beats: books

Astros’ Collin McHugh throwing by the book - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

Mark Simon explains Collin McHugh’s transformation.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 10:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, collin mchugh



Who will get Derek Jeter’s locker? - Newsday

How will they adjust the bathroom pecking order?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 08:52 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Red Sox starter Justin Masterson continues to make strides - The Boston Globe

For the Red Sox rotation plan to work, their number five starter has to pitch like a number three. He doesn’t have to dominate he just needs to consistently keep them in games. Of the Red Sox starters, Masterson is the guy I’m most worried about.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 08:48 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: justin masterson, red sox

PEORIA, Ariz.: Mariners send six players to Tacoma, reassign five others in latest cuts | Seattle Mariners | The News Tribune

Mariners send a bunch of players down and start lining up their pitching rotation.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 08:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Rays notes: Souza puts scare into team on diving attempt | TBO.com

Some Rays notes.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias, a Cuban defector, signed ... | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal writes about the Reds efforts to sign Raisel Iglesias.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 08:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: raisel iglesias, reds


Cubs top list of MLB’s 10 best farm systems | MLB.com

MLB.com releases the rest of its team Top 30 lists.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 21, 2015 at 08:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Friday, March 20, 2015

MLB In-Market Streaming Without Blackouts By Opening Day? Not So Fast

A report by the New York Post has fans thinking they may get an Opening Day gift of blackouts lifted for games streamed in-market saying, “Major League Baseball is expected to announce in the next few days a deal with a national distributor, like a wireless provider, to stream local games of every MLB team, a source close to the situation said Thursday.”

While nothing could likely make fans happier, the fact is as of today, that is simply not the case.

As we reported last week, in-market ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 20, 2015 at 03:17 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blackout rules, cable, fox, mlbtv

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1915:


Bloop Hits: Warren Zevon and Bill Lee | FOX Sports

In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that Lee and Zevon should have gravitated toward each other. Born less than a month apart (Lee on Dec. 28, 1946, Zevon on Jan. 24, 1947), both men spent substantial portions of their formative years in Southern California; Lee made his college pitching debut for USC in early 1966, just a few months before Zevon’s first single – “Follow Me,” a duet with Violet Santangelo that was issued under the groovy mid-60s alias Lyme and Cybelle – was pressed ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2015 at 07:47 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: bill lee, red sox

Why Billy Butler To The A’s Makes Perfect Sense | FanGraphs Baseball

Tony Blengino makes a case supporting the A’s pickup.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2015 at 07:44 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: billy butler, royals

MLB hopes to add excitement on season’s final day with simultaneous starts

With five playoff spots in each league, there is a good chance that a race or two extends to the last game of the season. In an effort to amplify the drama, Major League Baseball has scheduled every game on the final day of the regular season to start at the same time.

No longer will players squirm anxiously in the clubhouse, waiting to see whether their playoff fate will be decided before they can take the field. Instead, MLB has set up what could be the ultimate day of scoreboard watching.

PreservedFish Posted: March 20, 2015 at 02:00 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: schedule

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