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Monday, October 30, 2017

Historic World Series Home Run Rate may be Result of Slicker Baseballs

Pitchers and coaches from both the Dodgers and Astros complained Saturday night about the World Series baseballs—and this time the controversy is not just about liveliness. They say there is a new problem: the baseballs used in the World Series are slicker than the ones used in the regular season because of a difference in the grain of the leather. The slicker World Series balls particularly make it hard to throw a good slider, they claim.

Astros pitching coach Brent Strom: “We had a ...

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Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 30, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment

OTP 30 October 2017: Yuli Gurriel’s offensive gesture unleashes World Series debate about racism and political correctness

The episode, caught on video and repeated endlessly on television and social media, opened up a new heated conversation about race and identity in professional sports, which has already been grappling with NFL players taking knees during the national anthem.

Many found Gurriel’s antics as juvenile and insulting as they were sadly familiar.

“It just felt like, ‘Man, again?’ Like, we’re so used to this,” Jason Chu, a Chinese American rapper based in Los Angeles. “People don’t ...

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Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 30, 2017 at 07:48 AM | 1917 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, politics, world series

More frustration for Clayton Kershaw | LA Times

In the most important start of his career, Kershaw failed to deliver. In the franchise’s most crucial game in nearly three decades, he unraveled.

Again.

The Dodgers provided Kershaw with a four-run advantage. He couldn’t protect it. They broke the stalemate by scoring another three runs for him. He couldn’t preserve that lead, either.


Astros on verge of title after beating Dodgers in epic Game 5 | Houston Chronicle

In a back-and-forth battle between two heavyweights, the Astros overcame three deficits and countless momentum swings to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 13-12. The final Minute Maid Park crowd of the season was treated to a game that was all sorts of crazy and ultimately left the American League champions merely one win away from their first championship.

That. Was. Awesome.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 30, 2017 at 03:48 AM | 108 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, game 5, world series

Sunday, October 29, 2017

AJC: Royals Say No to Braves’ GM Approach

No Moore.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed a report by ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that the Braves were denied permission to interview Moore, who signed a Royals contract extension of undisclosed length.

But there is a belief among some observers that the Royals might be positioning themselves for possible concessions from the Braves to allow Moore to interview and/or leave. And it’s possible that Moore might also be waiting for some assurances about the Braves situation and ...

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fra paolo Posted: October 29, 2017 at 08:12 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, general manager, general managers, royals

Japan Times: Hawks win Game 2 of Japan Series after contentious call

A close play at the plate overturned by replay leads to the deciding run in Game 2 of the Japan Series.

The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks had definitely scored one run on Akira Nakamura’s hit to right to tie the game. The question was, had they actually scored two and taken a one-run lead, or had the Yokohama BayStars recorded the third out of the inning by the slimmest of margins.

After a very, very lengthy review, the verdict came in: Kenta Imamiya was safe at home, and the Hawks had a one-run ...

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vortex of dissipation Posted: October 29, 2017 at 05:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, replay

Astros closer Ken Giles falters in Game 4 of World Series, says he ‘let the team down’ | USAT

Giles was fantastic in the regular season, pitching to a 2.30 ERA and converting 34 of 38 save opportunities.

However, it’s been a different story in the playoffs. After being charged with three runs and not getting an out in Game 4, Giles’ postseason ERA rose to 11.74.

Giles has given up runs in six of his seven postseason appearances this month. That’s not good.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 29, 2017 at 04:07 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, combustable, ken giles


Did A.J. Hinch reveal former Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has cancer?

During a tribute to those afflicted with cancer between innings during Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday, Astros manager A.J. Hinch held a card with former Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers’ name on it.

Given the reaction on Twitter, Hinch may have revealed Towers has cancer.

KT is 56 years old.  :(

shoewizard Posted: October 29, 2017 at 12:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer sucks, kevin towers

WaPo: Dave Martinez to Manage Nationals

The Washington Nationals have agreed to a deal with former Cubs bench coach Davey Martinez to become their next manager, and are finalizing the details of what will be a three-year deal with an option for a fourth, according to a person familiar with the situation….

Martinez gives the Nationals a different look — a fresher face than Baker or Davey Johnson, but a more relaxed leader than Williams. He is fluent in Spanish, well-versed in advanced analytics and multiple Nationals players have ...

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fra paolo Posted: October 29, 2017 at 11:57 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, managers, nationals, rays

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Bellinger ‘not too worried’ about 4-K Game 3 | Posnanski

This was as good a chance as you could expect—Bellinger would get his swings against a depleted right-handed starter who might have been left in to face one batter too many. True, Bellinger was hitless in the World Series, but as he would say, “It just takes one swing to get out of it.”

Bellinger knew exactly what pitch was coming, too. When McCullers faces the big moment, he almost always throws his best pitch, the curveball. He finished Game 7 of the American League Championship Series with ...

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Astros’ Yuli Gurriel Apologizes After a Racist Gesture Aimed at Yu Darvish | NYT

Gurriel said he was aware that the word Chinito was offensive. “In Cuba we call everybody who is from Asia ‘Chino,’” he said through the interpreter. “We don’t call them Japanese. We call them Chino. Plus, I know in Japan that offends them. They don’t like that, but I didn’t mean to do it.”

Darvish, 31, initially said he was angry when he learned what Gurriel had done, but later issued a statement on his verified Twitter account asking people to forgive Gurriel.

Yu Darvish is ...

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LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 28, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 147 comment(s)
  Beats: racial stuff, yu darvish, yuli gurriel

Friday, October 27, 2017

We Need to Talk About Defense

Three whole days since this was published?? Come on, Baseball Think Factory, time to put aside your all-important OTP arguing and start thinking!

The reason that we have positional adjustments in WAR(P) is that we want to give a player credit for playing a difficult position. He might be an average defensive shortstop, but (we assume) if his team needed him to do it, he could be a somewhat above-average second baseman and a crackerjack left fielder. (Hanley Ramirez would like a word with you.) ...

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Bote Man Posted: October 27, 2017 at 03:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive metrics, positional adjustments, sabrmetrics

CMU alum, MLB stats expert to speak at sports analytics conference | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Something to do in Pittsburgh.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2017 at 01:14 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Toolshed: Fall League lessons from Statcast | MiLB.com News

More minor league Statcast, please.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2017 at 01:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: afl, statcast


Lucky, Good, and Ruthless

The Houston Astros’ players are easy to love. Their front office is not. Should we care?

Perry Posted: October 27, 2017 at 11:39 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, front office

Miami Herald: Good-bye Mr Marlin

Jeff follows Jeffrey out the door.

Jeff Conine, who served as a special assistant to former team president David Samson, said he turned down an offer from new ownership to remain with the organization in what would have been a sharply diminished role at lower pay….

Conine is a South Florida baseball icon, an original Marlin and member of both World Series teams.

PLUS: some random gossip about Mattingly’s future with the club, how much a special assistant makes, how many Yankees are going to ...

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fra paolo Posted: October 27, 2017 at 11:04 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-27-2017

Chicago Eagle, October 27, 1917:

President Comiskey won’t be caught short again in case his White Sox get into another world’s series. He has announced that the gaps in the stands and bleachers at his Chicago park are to be filled, making a continuous line of stands around the field, except where the score board is located, and increasing the seating capacity to 45,000.

Comiskey Park didn’t actually change much until 1927, when they added a second deck to the grandstand.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 27, 2017 at 09:44 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, dugout, history

Jordan: The New (Old) Meaning of 20 Wins

Our own djordan exclaims: #MPWGA.

Since 2006, there have been exactly two dozen 20-game winners in the major leagues. All pitched to an ERA+ of over 130.

Although it’s a statistic that has gained awareness and respect over the years, ERA+ is not every baseball analyst’s primary measurement of dominance on the rubber. So why use it here? And why 130?

Do you know how many eligible starters possess a career ERA+ higher than 130 and are not in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Seven, and one of them ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: October 27, 2017 at 07:27 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pitcher wins, primates

Major League Baseball | Winter Leagues | Arizona Fall League | MLB.com

I’ve been searching online but can’t find any information about televised games. Does anyone know if any games will be on TV or streamed?

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2017 at 06:37 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona fall league

Gold Glove Award finalists named | MLB.com

Ben Zobrist? He’s not even the best second baseman on his team.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2017 at 06:25 AM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, gold gloves

Turner Ward helping Yasiel Puig succeed | MLB.com

Puig isn’t new and improved. He’s just better than he was, and he can thank Ward for the change of pace. The timing is perfect. The Dodgers and Astros split the first two games of the World Series presented by YouTube TV in Los Angeles, and now the Series shifts to Houston for three games starting Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2017 at 06:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasiel puig

Joe Girardi’s Yankees Exit Fits Into an Era When the Front Office Is King - The Ringer

Now, some of the olds are out again, and a manager in the mold of the Astros’ A.J. Hinch is what we’re told that teams want. Hinch, of course, was once fired himself, another reminder both that managers evolve and that some dismissals amount to no more than the baseball equivalent of “It’s not you, it’s me.”

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Jim Furtado Posted: October 27, 2017 at 06:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: joe girardi, managers, yankees

Thursday, October 26, 2017

What made Joe Girardi a success cost him his job | New York Post

Every manager has a shelf life.

This Yankees team is ready to contend for titles the next few years, and the front office wants to emulate what the World Series teams have with Houston’s A.J. Hinch and Los Angeles’ Dave Roberts. Not just smart and energetic and in control of strategy — but having a personality that bonds all the various elements of an organization as one.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:15 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: joe girardi, managers, yankees

Cardinals hire Mike Maddux as pitching coach, promote Eversgerd

Five teams were after him, according to Bob Nightengale.

Perry Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:05 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Joe Torre Confirms Nationals Hurt By Blown Call In NLDS Game 5

The Nats bizarre, bewildering and sometimes-Byzantine Game 5 loss to the Chicago Cubs included more than a bit of controversy, most of it taking place during Max Scherzer’s disastrous four-run fifth inning. And the controversy concerned whether, with two outs and two strikes, Javier Baez should have been allowed to run to first on a passed-ball swinging strike three, since his bat made contact with catcher Matt Wieters.

The rule book seemed clear:

  If a batter strikes at a ball and ...

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Bote Man Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:03 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, playoffs, protests, umpiring

Philadelphia Inquirer: Phililes’ Managerial Shortlist of Two

The Phillies, according to two reports, have trimmed their managerial search to two candidates just 27 days after they removed Pete Mackanin from the dugout. Dusty Wathan, the manager at triple-A Lehigh Valley, is one. The other is Gabe Kapler, the director of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The next manager could be revealed early next week.

fra paolo Posted: October 26, 2017 at 01:03 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial openings, managerial search, managers, phillies

Joe Girardi will not return as manager as Yankees ‘decided not to bring me back’

Joe Girardi is done in the Bronx.

The Yankees decided to part ways with Girardi after ten years at the helm, GM Brian Cashman announced on Thursday.

“I want to thank Joe for his 10 years of hard work and service to this organization,” GM Brian Cashman said. “Everything this organization does is done with careful and thorough consideration, and we’ve decided to pursue alternatives for the managerial position.”

Girardi, 53, leaves the Bombers with a 910-710 managerial record since 2008.

...Read More...

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