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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cardinals’ Alex Reyes not cleared to throw | MLB.com

Nobody else reporting this (as far as I’ve seen), but if this is true, it’s really bad news.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:46 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: alex reyes, cardinals

Storm Chasers’ owner Gary Green heads group that purchases Baseball America

Gary Green’s passion for baseball has led to another significant purchase.

The Omaha Storm Chasers owner’s Alliance Baseball LLC, which also has a stake in the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, is leading a group that has purchased the publication Baseball America.

The deal was finalized at Baseball America’s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday.

Green, Alliance Baseball’s CEO, and Alliance president Larry Botel, managing partner of the Storm Chasers, are being joined in their ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 01:37 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball america, minor leagues


How the A’s Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Oakland - WSJ

Though the city doesn’t intend to allocate public money for stadium construction, Schaaf said it will offer development entitlements, such as helping to secure publicly owned land, environmental clearance and infrastructure for transit.

“I’ve been very clear about what I believe is an appropriate and responsible role for the public dollar, and that is really only looking at new revenues that are generated by the project itself and dedicating those revenues to public infrastructure ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadium financing

The decline of Albert Pujols has been a shame. | Sports on Earth

NEWSFLASH: Players get old. Paying them as if they won’t is a problem for their teams, not the players.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:43 PM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, angels, cardinals

Happy Valentine’s (and pitchers and catchers reporting) Day!

phredbird says, “Pitchers and catchers report today. Happy Valentines Day, all you other baseball nuts at BTF, and all fans of the greatest sport ever.”
Bob Gibson

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:16 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, valentine's day

Love and Baseball

There is love in the air today.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: valentine's day

Houdini and Field of Dreams | Joe Posnanski

I am a Red Sox fan. If you aren’t, that’s fine. Our disagreement in fandom won’t diminish the joy I get from the team.

I enjoyed Field of Dreams and felt a heart tug when Ray played catch with his father because it reminded me of my time with my long-passed father. If you don’t feel the same connection, that’s fine too. I don’t feel the need to convince you otherwise. Those who go out of their way to try and diminish the joy fans get from the movie tells us more about them than the movie ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-14-2017

El Paso Herald, February 14, 1917:

Dave Davenport, of the St. Louis Americans pitching staff, was seriously wounded at his home in Runge, Texas, today when his rifle was accidentally discharged. Davenport had just returned from a hunt. The bullet passed through his chest and also inflicted a scalp wound.

Davenport must have recovered fairly quickly, because he led the American League with 39 starts in 1917.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:46 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, guns, history

Twins catcher Jason Castro masters pitch-framing art

How did Castro do it?

“Just a lot of work and a lot of understanding of angles and what it takes to be a good receiver,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, a fellow Stanford catching product. “Like most smart players, he found a deficiency where he was being criticized a little bit or he wasn’t being ranked as much.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jason castro, pitch framing, twins

Andy MacPhail on where Phillies stand in 2017 | MLB.com

“We think our starting pitching, we have a lot of depth through the system. Not necessarily front-end rotation types, but, honestly, I would rather take numbers of solid prospects over the higher valued few. Give me numbers because we know the attrition rate. So I think we’re in good shape there. Our expectation is that we’ll be better than we were a year ago, and our expectation is that we’ll continue to introduce new talent onto our Major League team, not unlike we did last year.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

Calcaterra | “Field of Dreams” is absolutely terrible

This is a bad, bad take.

It’s not that the filmmakers lazily mailed in the father-son story, however, relying on you to bring your own baggage into the the theater in order to provide any dramatic heft. They just had a story they wanted to tell more. A story about how a parent’s values are more important than their children’s, how youthful idealism is a sin and how 1960s-style progressivism must be repudiated and repented for.

Baldrick Posted: February 14, 2017 at 08:49 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams, film, movie

Monday, February 13, 2017

Report: Royals sign Travis Wood to a two-year contract

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Royals are expected to sign pitcher Travis Wood. It will be a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Wood, 30, pitched out of the Cubs’ bullpen last season, posting a 2.95 ERA and a 47/24 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Right-handed hitters hit him pretty hard, compiling an .865 OPS, but Wood held lefties to a .447 OPS.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 05:26 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, travis wood

Nationals sign first baseman/outfielder Adam Lind

As their pitchers and catchers streamed into West Palm Beach ahead of their official report date Tuesday, the Washington Nationals made a significant addition to their bench by agreeing to terms with power-hitting lefty Adam Lind, according to a person familiar with the situation. The deal, the terms of which were not immediately available, will become official once Lind passes a physical.

If he passes, he will become the fourth outfielder and backup first baseman, likely bumping similar big ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:46 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: adam lind, nationals

Relaxed John Kruk introduced as CSN broadcaster

John Kruk isn’t going to hold back on Comcast SportsNet.

The Phillies and CSN introduced Kruk as the newest member of their broadcast team Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, and Kruk entertained during the nearly 15-minute news conference. Kruk, who sources said signed a 5-year contract, will work between 80-90 games as an analyst this season. Ben Davis will work the remaining 70-80, and Mike Schmidt will work with Kruk or Davis during weekend games in Philadelphia.

“It’s going to be a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:35 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, john kruk, phillies

Sources: MLB wants 30-second limit for managers to decide on replay challenges

Sources told ESPN that MLB wants a 30-second time limit for managers to decide whether or not to challenge an umpire’s call and is currently discussing that limit, along with other possible changes to replay, with both the players’ and umpires’ unions.

The current rules say that, in most cases, managers must “immediately” inform umpires if they want to challenge a call. But in reality, there are often long delays as managers often wait for advice from their internal replay assistants before ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, rule

Free agency is the best thing that’s ever happened to baseball

Want a reason that Marvin Miller should immediately be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame? It’s the best rule change in the history of baseball. It’s called free agency.

Since 1979, only three years after free agency began, Major League Baseball has seen an unprecedented period of competitive balance and parity. In that span there have been 37 World Series played and 21 different franchises have won championships.

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 13, 2017 at 02:17 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Minor League Ball Top 200 MLB prospects for 2017 - Minor League Ball

John Sickels’ list. I have some spreadsheet work to do this week!

Once you get past the Top 100 especially, you should take a “neighborhood” tier approach rather than “this guy at 179 is clearly better than the guy at 182.”

1) Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox, Grade A
2) Yoan Moncada, INF, White Sox, Grade A
3) Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves, Grade A
4) Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals, Grade A
5) Amed Rosario, SS, Mets, Grade A/A-
6) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates, Grade A/A-
7) Gleyber Torres, SS, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 12:05 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects, prospects reports

Cleveland Indians prospect Richie Shaffer ready to prove doubters wrong after turbulent offseason | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

He was certainly well-traveled this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 12:02 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, richie shaffer

Full Count » Steven Wright still not fully healed from shoulder injury, highlighting concerns at back of rotation

Ugh.

With pitchers and catchers officially reporting and the first workout scheduled for Tuesday, the Red Sox still don’t have a healthy Wright, who continues to work his way back from an injury that didn’t require surgery, but has proven more stubborn than anyone expected.

“He’s making improvement,” manager John Farrell said on Sunday. “This has probably taken longer than he anticipated, than we certainly anticipated. He’s back throwing to 120 feet. He’s throwing flat ground ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:57 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, red sox, steven wright

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-13-2017

Grantland Rice via the Philadelphia Evening Ledger, February 13, 1917:

“The moist ball must go.”—Governor [and National League president] Tener. That in itself will be no great deprivation. We can ramble along in the absence of the concrete fact.

But, in the spicy literature of the game, what new phases are to take the places of those employed to denote the spitball’s flight? What will take the place of “Damp Fling,” “Saliva Shoot,” “The Dripping Drop,” “The Moistened Hurl,” “The Foamy ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 11:49 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, spitball, the damp fling

Baseball Prospectus | 2017 Prospects: The Top 101 Prospects of 2017

1. Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

2. Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves

3. Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox

4. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

5. Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B, Chicago White Sox

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 10:38 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospect reports, prospects

Hannah Jeter: The Derek I Know

Congrats to the Jeter family. As for reports of the sonogram showing the girl has trouble moving to her left, that remains UNCONFIRMED.

On May 14, the Yankees will retire Derek’s number. It’s a significant moment, and one that’s had me thinking a lot about the end of his playing career — those last two years for him as a player, that also happened to be the first two years for us as a couple. Big moments have a funny way of doing that, I think — of getting you to look over your ...

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Renegade (((JE))) Posted: February 13, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, old coot, players' tribune, yankees

Herm Schneider and the Immense Value of Health | FanGraphs Baseball

Schneider believes the industry can learn to better prevent injuries in an era when they keep growing in number. To Schneider, the process doesn’t have to be rocket science, but it does require diligence and organization-wide agreement on practices and principles. And perhaps the greatest lesson to be learned from the White Sox is this: for as much promise as science and technology hold, preventing more injuries begins with open, honest dialogue.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 10:11 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries

Epstein: Cubs’ character gives them chance to win it all again – Chicago Sun-Times

“The primary reason why it’s hard to repeat is just because it’s really difficult to win the World Series,” he said. “In any given year, if you’re any old team, you have a 3 percent chance. If you’re the best team, you might have a 10-12 percent chance. It’s just hard to do.”

Throw in a post-title celebration of the century, and the challenges can increase.

“When you win, you get pulled in a lot of different directions,” Epstein said. “And there can be a tendency to ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

The biggest question each MLB team faces heading into spring training | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal does an overview.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 08:42 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, spring training

Rays say good communication helps three-headed baseball operations department function | Tampa Bay Times

Why not also add in a “college of coaches”?

The setup is somewhat different. In November both were named senior vice presidents, with Neander also the general manager, and both are working under baseball operations president Matt Silverman, giving the Rays, in essence, a three-headed department.

“It is a unique structure,” Silverman said. “But it works because of the uniqueness of their paths and the relationship they’ve been able to form over a decade.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 06:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: front office, general managers, rays

GM Rick Hahn has clear vision for White Sox | MLB.com

When Rick Hahn discusses the White Sox current rebuild, the team’s general manager uses two words in describing his vision.

Critical mass.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 06:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Sunday, February 12, 2017

OTP 13 Feb. 2017: Football and Politics

Because this past week was the annual nadir of baseball news, and because the political Patriots are getting some headlines, this week’s OTP link is unabashedly unconnected to baseball:

In the wake of the Patriots’ thrilling 34–28 overtime victory, six players, five of whom are African-American—Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, Dont’a Hightower, LeGarrette Blount, and Alan Branch—announced they would skip the team’s ceremonial visit to Trump at the White House. All this ...

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BDC Posted: February 12, 2017 at 10:04 PM | 2310 comment(s)
  Beats: football, politics

Did Harold Baines come within a whisker of the Hall of Fame?

Twice in his 22-year career, Baines and his fellow major leaguers were robbed of games due to labor stoppages. In 1981 and again in 1994, the owners and the MLB Players Association came to loggerheads and shut down the game. Could those two labor disputes have caused Baines the hits he needed to get to 3,000? If Baines has 3,000 hits on his ledger when he debuts on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2007, does he garner only five percent of the vote?

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 12, 2017 at 08:10 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago white sox, hall of fame, harold baines

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