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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Passan: Inside the wild, wonky world of MLB salary arbitration

To begin, the player’s side gets an hour to make its argument. After a 15-minute break, the team gets an hour. Following a 30-minute break, during which both sides finalize their closing arguments, the player’s side gets a 30-minute rebuttal and the team gets the same. Players often sit through a savaging of their accomplishments. Arbitration hearings are not for the weak of heart.

The arguments throughout a case run the gamut. Arbitrators have long rewarded home runs and saves, so they are ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 01:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Brian Dozier agrees to deal with Washington Nationals according to sources

On a related note, can Jeff Passan help ESPN regain some page views?

Free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier has reached an agreement with the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $9 million deal, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2019 at 11:08 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Houston Astros Scouting And Player Development Is Extending Team’s Contention Window

Houston won’t be getting a lot of high draft picks while they keep winning. Being able to churn their current prospect depth (which is greatly enhanced by their player development success) will be a huge factor in how long they can keep their window open. Trades like this show they understand how important churning will be for their future.

Houston’s scouting and player development has allowed the Astros to produce a large number of big league caliber players. They have produced large numbers ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:56 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Ex-Yankees hitting coach Rick Down dies at home in Las Vegas

After putting in six years as a Dallimore assistant from 1979 to ‘84, Rick Down would spend the next 27 employed by major league ballclubs. He would have two stints as major league hitting coach for the Yankees, and held the same job with the Dodgers, Red Sox, Orioles and Mets.

As manager at Triple-A Columbus, Down guided the Yankees’ top farm club to three consecutive division titles and a franchise-record 95 wins in 1992 before being bypassed for major league managerial jobs.

He came ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rick down

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-10-2019

Pittsburgh Press, January 10, 1919:

Many people are of the opinion that the adoption of the prohibition amendment by enough states to make the country entirely dry will have a helpful effect on baseball, and cause the national pastime to boom.
...
[Reds business manager Frank Bancroft:] “I can see where thousands of people will now change their daily route and go to the ball park. The suburban garden and saloon have taken thousands of people away from baseball—and now we’ll get them back again.” ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 10:02 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Orioles-Yanks, Mets-Nats start MLB’s regular opening day

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees host Baltimore and Washington is at home against the New York Mets on March 28, the first games of the earliest regular major league opening day.

The commissioner’s office announced games times Wednesday for the schedule, which was released in August. The previous earliest regular start was March 30 in 2003, 2008 and 2014.

The season opens with a two-game series between Seattle and Oakland in Tokyo on March 20-21, MLB’s fifth opener in Japan after ...

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QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: neutral site games, opening day, schedule

Report: Jaime García to retire

Pondering what it means when people younger than me are described as retiring….

QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: jaime garcia, retirement

Brewers bolster lineup, agree to terms with former-Dodger Yasmani Grandal

While the Cubs continue to sit on the sideline, the NL Central arms race keeps on moving along.

Wednesday night, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal have agreed to a one-year contract. The deal is pending a physical.

Fans might remember Grandal for his nightmare performance in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Brewers. That one game aside, the catcher is a solid addition that will bolster an already dangerous Brewers lineup.

Apparently, ...

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QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, yasmani grandal

Reds fan pays off gross chili-chugging bet following unexpected trade

It isn’t easy being a Cincinnati Reds fan these days. The storied franchise that once dominated Major League Baseball during stretches of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, just completed its fifth consecutive losing season.

When the going gets tough, fans understandably get angry and anxious. And when sports fans reach that state of angst, regrettable promises are more likely to follow.

That’s how we would classify this situation regarding a Reds fan who was so desperate to see the team trade ...

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QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: bets, fans, reds

Chris Duncan leaves radio role to focus on his battle with brain cancer

Chris Duncan, the Cardinals’ slugger who found his swing with a championship team and later his voice with a local sports radio station, has taken a permanent leave from his on-air role to focus on his ongoing battle against brain cancer.

Duncan will step aside from the show he co-hosted, “The Turn,” in order to “focus on health,” WXOS (101.1 FM) announced Monday afternoon.

“If you pray, please keep him in your prayers,” a tweet from the station said. “If you don’t, keep him ...

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QLE Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brain cancer, cardinals, chris duncan

San Francisco Giants’ home now called Oracle Park after AT&T split

An Oracle transaction.

Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and their mates henceforth will play ball at Oracle Park.

The Giants on Thursday will announce a 20-year agreement with the Redwood City technology company to affix its name to their waterfront ballpark in San Francisco.

Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but in an interview Wednesday, Giants President and CEO Larry Baer termed it “very much in line with other recent naming-rights deals for top-tier facilities.”

That would ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

A’s expect top pick Kyler Murray to enter NFL draft

The A’s expect Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the team’s top pick last June, to declare for the NFL draft on Sunday, multiple sources told The Chronicle on Wednesday.

Declaring for the draft does not guarantee that Murray, an outfielder Oakland selected ninth overall, will decide to reject his $4.66 million deal with the A’s outright, but it certainly increases the chances that Oklahoma’s star quarterback will decide to go pro in football rather than baseball….

Should Murray, 21, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Report: Braves dismiss scouting leaders Bridges, Clark

The Braves released scouting director Brian Bridges and senior adviser to amateur scouting Roy Clark, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Both assumed their posts in 2014 during a major retooling of the front office. Bridges was promoted to scouting director under John Hart and John Coppolella’s regime.

Clark rejoined the team in October 2014 after leaving in 2009 following more than two decades with the team. He had stints with the Nationals and Dodgers before ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Brewers have deal with catcher Yasmani Grandal | MLB.com

If the Mets rumored offer was real his agent should be fired.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2019 at 11:23 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, yasmani grandal

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-9-2019

Washington Times, January 9, 1919:

Relatives of Christy Mathewson…believe that the Cincinnati manager will not return from France in time to take up his duties next spring. He is a gas officer with the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania division, and is now at Hendticourt, France, sixty miles from Metz.

Not close enough to meet the Metz, it seems. He’d have been recovering from his mustard gas accident at this point, and it’s interesting that the papers still don’t know it had happened.

Elsewhere in ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 09, 2019 at 10:07 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Phillies defense affects pitchers differently

The publicly available info has improved but still has a way to go before we can make better judgments about how defense impacts pitchers.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2019 at 09:29 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: defense

Considering Cubs’ budget crunch, was picking up Cole Hamels’ option the right move?

Did the Cubs make the right call in picking up Cole Hamels’ $20 million option?

That question was a no-brainer in the first few days of November — an easy call to pencil Hamels into the Cubs rotation for 2019 even if it meant trading away Drew Smyly and his $7 million contract to the Texas Rangers.

But here on Jan. 8, it’s at least a fair question and the answer isn’t so automatic, as we discussed on Hot Stove Tuesday.

Sincere question: Does Betteridge’s Law still apply in situations ...

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QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: budget, cole hamels, cubs

How Cubs manager Joe Maddon helped recruit Bruce Arians to the Bucs

Bruce Arians needed some convincing.

At 66, the retired former Cardinals head coach was interested in interviewing for the Bucs job, but it also became a recruiting trip of sorts when he arrived in Tampa Friday night.

That’s when the Bucs got an assist from Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

Because, when I want advice concerning taking a job in football, I always ask a baseball manager….

 

QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: advice, football, joe maddon, tampa bay

The nastiest pitches to face, as voted by players

The Year of the Pitcher was and likely forever will be 1968. But 50 years later, in 2018, there were more strikeouts than hits for the first time in a Major League season, with 1,320 fastballs recorded at 100 mph or more and breaking balls continuing to take up an increased percentage of the pitch populace.

So while it might fall short of irrefutable fact, it would sure seem reasonable to suggest that big league pitching, at large, is at a zenith of nastiness at the moment.

But which specific ...

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QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nasty, pitches, poll

Mets Release David Wright, Move Him into Special Adviser Role to COO and GM

The New York Mets announced Monday former third baseman David Wright has agreed to join the team’s front office as a special adviser to COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Wright was also released from the active roster with the move despite having two more years under contract with the team.

Can David Wright offer any worse advice than everyone else has given the Mets in the last few decades?

QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, david wright, jeff wilpon, mets being mets, special advisor

College student says she ‘felt harassed’ by Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer on Twitter

A Texas State University finance major hadn’t heard of Trevor Bauer when she chided the Cleveland Indians pitcher on Twitter over the weekend.

Days later, Nikki Giles told USA TODAY Sports she’s been reduced to tears by the barrage of responses from Bauer and some of his 135,000 followers. Giles said she’s reported the harassment to the Indians via the team’s official Facebook page and flagged three of Bauer’s tweets in a complaint to Twitter.

“It has definitely ruined my last ...

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QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 326 comment(s)
  Beats: social media, trevor bauer, twitter

Move over Red Sox: Astros the best team in baseball in 2019, according to one oddsmaker

The Boston Red Sox may have won the World Series in 2018, but the Houston Astros will be better in 2019. If you have a problem with that statement, take it up with the oddsmakers.

Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas believes the Astros will win the most games during the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season. Yes, that’s right, it’s barely January and MLB win totals have already been released.

Is this really the sort of thing we want an organization so closely tied to MLB management to be ...

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QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, gambling, odds

Somebody was playing Mario Kart on Kauffman Stadium’s Crown Vision

Everyone loves a good Mario Kart session. That is, until the blue shells come out and someone drops from first place to last place faster than you can say “dibs on Yoshi.” Regardless, it seems like someone at Kauffman Stadium loves Mario Kart enough that they wanted to play it on Crown Vision.

So, how long before we see this happening mid-game?

QLE Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: kauffman stadium, royals, video games

Barry Bonds now has the No. 1 Black Miniature Schnauzer in America

There are a bunch of numbers associated with Barry Bonds. Like 25—his uniform number—or 762, the number of homers he hit in his career. It’s time a learn a new one: No. 1, the ranking that the American Kennel Club gave Bonds’ Black Miniature Schnauzer, Apollo. Oh yeah, and Bonds has the No. 3-ranked Black Miniature Schnauzer in Apollo’s sister, Bonnie.

Those are some really good looking dogs.  But the headline has one thing wrong, he doesn’t have it all yet because he’s still not inducted ...

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A warning about Major League Baseball’s Record Revenues

Today’s report that Major League Baseball has, yet again, set a record for revenues is certainly good news for some. It’s good news for the owners of the 30 clubs. It’s good news for Rob Manfred and everyone at the league office whose job depends upon keeping the owners of the 30 clubs happy. It’s good for various stakeholders of Major League Baseball, most of whose ships rise with MLB’s financial tide.

But that report about record revenues is also problematic for a few reasons: ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: business

White Sox reportedly agree to deal with Jay

Jay joins first baseman/designated hitter Yonder Alonso, Machado’s brother-in-law, who was acquired in a trade from the Cleveland Indians.


Each of the three players wrote about training together in Miami during the offseason in a 2017 piece for the Players’ Tribune.

“The three of us all come from the similar backgrounds. I’ve known Yonder since he was 10,” Jay wrote at the time. “And we’ve both known Manny since he was a young kid coming up. We’re from the same neighborhoods, the same ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2019 at 08:15 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-8-2019

Pittsburgh Press, January 8, 1919:

Waite Hoyt, the schoolboy star, who has been the property of the Giants for nearly four years and who was included in the deal with the Rochester club by which Earl Smith comes to New York, announces his retirement from baseball [at age 19]. Hoyt, who called at the offices of the club yesterday, was not at all pleased when he read of his transfer to Rochester, and declared that he would abandon baseball to accept a position in the mercantile business.

“When I ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Kelvin Herrera, White Sox agree to 2-year, $18 million deal

Zero Degrees of Kelvin Herrera…

Free-agent reliever Kelvin Herrera and the Chicago White Sox agreed on a two-year, $18 million contract that includes a vesting option for a third season, league sources familiar with the deal told ESPN.

The two-time All-Star, who was part of the dominant Kansas City Royals bullpens that led them to back-to-back World Series, could serve as closer for the White Sox upon his return from surgery to repair a torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. The 28-year-old ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 08, 2019 at 08:04 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: kelvin herrera

Monday, January 07, 2019

Deep in Winter, Let’s Discuss the Stifling of Starting Pitchers

Can we talk starting pitchers or, more to the point, their ritual sacrifice on the altar of Major League Baseball analytics?

I put this question to Leo Mazzone, the former pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves and the custodian of one of baseball’s greatest rotations of starting pitchers: Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, Hall of Famers all.

The 2018 playoffs and World Series offered a parade of twitchy managers yanking their starting pitchers after four innings, summoning a parade ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2019 at 03:47 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-7-2019

Memphis News Scimitar, January 7, 1919:

Fred Anderson, New York National league pitcher, has announced he would quit baseball permanently to practice dentistry here.

Anderson has threatened several times to forsake the bat for the forceps. This time his decision seems final.

Fred was popular with the Gotham fans and well liked around the circuit.

Unlike most of the guys who retired from baseball to take other jobs, Anderson wasn’t bluffing to get more money. He really retired to become a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 07, 2019 at 10:09 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

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