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Friday, February 13, 2015

Armour on Top GMs | MLB.com

Mark Armour talks with Chris Russo about his new book.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2015 at 11:21 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #1 — Branch Rickey

I’ve always been fascinated and awed by Branch Rickey. His selection as the number one general manager is well deserved.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2015 at 10:34 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: branch rickey, general managers, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #2 — Pat Gillick

Maybe the Phillies should let Pat Gillick do whatever he wants.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2015 at 10:32 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, pat gillick

The Limits of Prospect Lists | FanGraphs Baseball

This is a few weeks old but I don’t believe it was posted. Kiley McDaniel makes some very good points about prospect rankings.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2015 at 09:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect reports, prospects

Pioneering Toronto Star baseball writer Alison Gordon dead at 72

Some touching stuff on baseball’s first female beat writer.  Good quotes from Lloyd Moseby, and you get a hint of what she went through in the early 80s.  RIP

It was in the late 1970s that female sportswriters began to push back against their long held prohibition from men’s locker rooms. After Sports Illustrated reporter Melissa Ludtke was barred from the New York Yankees’ clubhouse during the 1977 World Series, she filed a discrimination lawsuit against Major League Baseball. She won the ...

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Paul D(uda) Posted: February 13, 2015 at 09:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: bbwaa,, females in baseball, journalism, obituary, toronto blue jays

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-13-2015

Pittsburgh Press, February 13, 1915:

[University of Michigan pitcher] George Sisler, southpaw extraordinary until he strained his arm last spring, dug up a mitt, tossed a few balls and joyously informed his college mates that his offside wing was as good as ever. If Coach Lundgren agrees with him, that means that George will bear the brunt of the mound work this spring.

Sisler was in the big leagues for good as a 1B/RF/P by June 1915.

Obviously he was a terrific hitter, but (as I’ve mentioned ...

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Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: February 13, 2015 at 08:04 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, george sisler, history

Searching for a Comp for the Ultimate Signature Pitch | FanGraphs Baseball

Cutter-ing it up.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2015 at 06:33 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wrigley rooftop owners go to court to stop signs - Chicago Tribune

My first reaction was, “The balls on these guys.” Then I read the article which says they have a “20-year contract that granted rooftop owners the right to sell tickets to games.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 08:15 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, wrigley field, wrigley field renovation

Braves reliever Simmons undergoes Tommy John surgery | FOX Sports

Well, that’s out of the blue.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 07:30 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, shae simmons

Sources: MLB could alter strike zone as response to declining offense - Yahoo Sports

Of course, a lot of pitchers are now starting to work up in the zone.

Concern around baseball about the strike zone filtered down to the MLB’s Playing Rules Committee, which must formally adopt a rules change before it’s implemented. The committee will pay close attention to the size of the strike zone in 2015 with an eye on change as early as 2016 after studies showed it has expanded significantly since 2009, coinciding with a precipitous dip in run scoring. Of particular concern, sources ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 07:05 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: rules of play

Frame Jobs « Grantland

Brad Ausmus was good after all.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 06:28 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch framing, sabermetrics

The Linebacker Who Couldn’t Hit

A 6-foot-2, 220-pounder with a rare blend of strength and speed, he was the youngest of four brothers to star at Grant Union High. The eldest, Syd’Quan, was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010, but would always tell people, “Wait until you see Shaq. He’s better than all of us.” Shaq became the country’s top-rated safety, turning down Oregon and Cal-Berkeley (Syd’Quan’s alma mater) for Washington; he was the Huskies’ most-prized recruit in more than a decade. He’d go on to ...

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Bourbon Samurai Posted: February 12, 2015 at 04:09 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: nfl, prospects, red sox

Richards hoping to be cleared for bullpen sessions | MLB.com

A Garrett Richards update.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 02:53 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

A Plaque on the Wall, But No Ring on the Finger – The Hardball Times

A look at the best players who never played in the World Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 02:29 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: history, world series

How Jonathan Lucroy makes batters swing at bad pitches | FOX Sports

Quantifying a catcher’s ability to steal strikes is one of the great sabermetric advances over the last ten years.

But what I have established here is that the effect of a good receiver extends beyond the pitches that batters let go by. A good framer, by changing the probability of a strike at the edge, causes the opposing hitter to modify his own behavior, causing him to swing at pitches a little bit further from the center of the zone. In addition to harming the batter’€™s chances directly, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 12:19 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch framing, sabermetrics

Charles Barkley is spot-on in attacking sports analytics | The Star Telegram

Is it really that difficult to come up with ideas of things to write about?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:54 AM | 141 comment(s)
  Beats: ignorant writers, sabermetrics

Adam Jones and When an Aggressive Approach Goes Too Far - GammonsDaily.com

So when Jones gets into pitchers counts, he’s not being patient enough to get his pitch.

Last season, Jones offered at 73.9% of all pitches thrown to him in three-ball counts, which was third-highest in baseball. His ability to remain deliberate within the boundaries of the strike zone was even more appalling, as his 62.7% chase rate with three balls in the count led all of baseball in 2014. The result: Jones got on base much less frequently than he should have, posting a .400 on-base percentage ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: adam jones, orioles


Source: Mariners reach deal with free agent Weeks | MLB.com

It will be interesting to see how he’s used by the Mariners. The question at this point is, did he cost himself some money this year by refusing to play the outfield last season?

The Brewers talked of using the right-handed-hitting Weeks in the outfield last season. He balked at that idea, but could presumably be used as a corner outfielder or utility infielder by Seattle. The Mariners have Dustin Ackley returning in left field and acquired veterans Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano this winter to ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:25 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mariners

Schoenfield: Ranking the teams: 18 through 13

I’m just the messenger: Just pointing out that Lester had a 4.82 ERA in 2012 and 3.75 in 2013. Yes, big 2014, new league, no DH and more cutters instead of four-seamers and he could be even better. But you never know. He may not be as good as he was last year. And then there’s Jake Arrieta, former faded prospect turned rotation anchor. He looks like the real deal but ... again ... you never know. Hey, I’m trying. I like the Cubs! I have them ranked 13th!

The final word: If I had more guts I’d ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, cubs, david schoenfield, padres, royals, tigers

First-pitch times look a bit different for the Cleveland Indians in 2015

“Hurry up and lose so we can all get home!”

The Indians are trying something new this season, with six weeknight games in April and May being designated with 6:10 p.m. start times. Those games fall on the following dates:

• Tuesday, April 14 vs. Chicago
• Monday, April 27 vs. Kansas City
• Tuesday, April 28 vs. Kansas City
• Wednesday, April 29 vs. Kansas City
• Tuesday, May 12 vs. St. Louis
• Wednesday, May 13 vs. St. Louis

When asked about the reasoning behind the 6:10 p.m. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: game times, indians

The Quartet: Four Great Yankees Sluggers

Quite the thunderous ensemble.

“In a September 1972 issue of The Sporting News this picture appeared with the headline “Quartet of Spare Parts Give Yanks New Zip.”  I confess to looking upon this photo with great hilarity.  It features Johnny Callison, Bernie Allen, Ron Swoboda and Hal Lanier.  Ever was there a more fearsome quartet of sluggers, I think not.  They all appear grinning and happy.  Their team unity is quite evident as they throw their arms about each other. Confidence leaps ...

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Catfish1974 Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: general, history, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-12-2015

Washington Times, February 12, 1915:

President Joseph A. Lannin, of the Boston Red Sox, predicted two-dollar baseball in the near future unless the controversy between [organized baseball] and the Federals comes to an early termination, at the “Home Night” annual dinner of Boston College last night.
...
“I know personally that the Federal League has already lost more than $1,000,000, one backer alone dropping $650,000.” This cannot continue if the sport of baseball is to live, he said.

According ...

Read More...
Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: February 12, 2015 at 09:51 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, federal league, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #3 — Ed Barrow

Catching up on the GM series today with the Ed Barrow, Bob Howsam, George Weiss, and John Schuerholz. The work of GMs is a topic that fascinates me. Since Mark Armour and Dan Levitt are excellent baseball researchers I am counting the days to the book’s release.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #4 — Bob Howsam

Architect of the late 60’s Cardinals World Series teams and the Big Red Machine.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, reds

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #5 — George Weiss

Long-time GM of the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 08:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history, yankees

IN PURSUIT OF PENNANTS #6 — John Schuerholz

GM of the Royals and Braves.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 08:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, history

How much are taxes affecting James Shields’ payday with the Pads? | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal covers the impact of state taxes on offers to James Shields.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 06:51 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, james shields, player compensation

Philadelphia Phillies’ Jonathan Papelbon woes continue | FOX Sports

Ruben Amaro is what I call a “deal winner”. A “deal winner” doesn’t try to make a fair trade. He only makes deal when it is 100% clear that he won the exchange.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 06:15 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Plenty of interest in Cole Hamels, but no trade yet | SportsNet Philadelphia

Ruben sounds like the guy in your fantasy league who everybody only deals with when they have to.

“If there was an offer commensurate to what we believe is [Hamels’] value we would strongly consider it,” was all Amaro would say.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 11, 2015 at 08:43 PM | 99 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, trade rumors

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