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Friday, December 07, 2018

Cleveland extends Carrasco

On Thursday, the Indians announced that they’ve signed Carrasco to a contract extension that will run through the 2022 season—i.e., his age-35 season.


Lance Armstrong is mad he gets more criticism than A-Rod, saying “Alex Rodriguez didn’t raise half a billion dollars”

“I do think there’s a double standard,” he said. “But I’m OK with it.”

…Armstrong, banned from cycling for life in 2012, invoked another famous cheater in Alex Rodriguez, the former Yankees superstar who received a one-year ban for his role in Biogenesis, but has been able to reclaim a positive spot in the public eye years later. It’s a luxury Armstrong hasn’t been afforded, despite his Livestrong brand’s work for cancer research.

“Alex Rodriguez didn’t raise half a ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:36 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, peds

Cards hire Prebynski as game-planning coach

In an effort to improve the synergy between the baseball analytics group and field staff, the Cardinals have hired Joey Prebynski to serve as a game-planning coach.

Prebynski comes from Milwaukee, where he has spent the last three seasons as a pro scout. Prior to joining the Brewers, Prebynski worked with the Rangers as a video coordinator, research analyst, advanced scout and assistant in Minor League operations and player development. Prebynski’s diverse background made him an attractive ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Former Miami Marlins president gives his take on A-Rod, Bonds, Girardi and much more

On the Marlins’ decision to fire Joe Girardi after a 78-84 season in 2005 that earned him National League manager of the year, Samson told Le Batard: “Five minutes before we fired him, Joe in front of the 1,200 fans who were at the game [at what’s now Hard Rock Stadium], said, ‘Sit the bleep down’ to the owner. That’s the biggest act of insubordination you could ever do.

“We had to fire him. It was the craziest day of all time. We fired him and then we had to re-hire him two ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 01:15 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: david samson, marlins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-7-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, December 7, 1918:

The management of the Chicago Club of the National League was formally placed in control of active baseball men at a meeting of the directors today. William L. Veeck, who, for ten years wrote baseball under the name of “Bill Bailey,” was elected vice president and treasurer, succeeding William H. Walker.

And in so doing, the Cubs’ board of directors unwittingly opened the door to one of the most wonderful and ridiculous and wonderfully ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 07, 2018 at 10:25 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Fancred Sports : Jon Heyman: Agent Scott Boras calls recent contracts baseball’s ‘analytic catastrophe’

He has a “state-of-the-art computer to crunch numbers”. How can you argue with him?

Boras talks about what he sees as the “analytic catastrophe” now, after some top players performances veered wildly in contrast to their contracts during the odd market last winter. Boras, who himself uses a state-of-the-art computer to crunch numbers and certainly isn’t opposed to figures, spoke out about the over-emphasis on analytics last year, but it didn’t prevent teams from stressing velocity and spin ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:42 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: scott boras

Allegation of a Doping Cover-Up by Agents Exposes a Hole in Baseball’s Authority - The New York Times

“At the end of the day, if the person is the only one with information concerning a serious allegation, there may be no choice but to forgo an NDA if there’s going to be a legitimate internal investigation,” he said.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:35 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: agents, steroids

What Should the Phillies Do as the Winter Meetings Near? Start Spending, Baby!

The Phillies’ offseason began with a proclamation from team owner John Middleton. “We’re going into this expecting to spend money,” he told USA Today. “And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.”

Taken at face value, the statement might feel silly. The easiest and quickest way to win is to spend money, after all. If you want to win—any team owner’s goal, ostensibly—it should be stupid not to enter free agency expecting to spend money. But “stupid” is flexible, ...

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QLE Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:26 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, phillies, spending spree

Why Giants are excited about South African-born prospect Kieran Lovegrove

You probably missed it, but the Giants made an under-the-radar move late in November that has boom or bust potential.

Across the minor-league transaction wire, the Giants signed 24-year-old reliever Kieran Lovegrove, a move that can bring major results in the future. Just ask president of baseball operation Farhan Zaidi.

“He’s a terrific arm, a terrific prospect,” Zaidi said Wednesday on KNBR.

If he makes it to the Show, he’ll be the second South African-born player to make it. ...Read More...

QLE Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:25 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, kieran lovegrove, south africa

Cubs know NL Central is going to be a dogfight: ‘We have our work cut out for us’

The last time the St. Louis Cardinals played a postseason game, Jason Heyward and John Lackey were wearing redbird logos and had yet to suit up for the Cubs while Trevor Cahill picked up the win and Hector Rondon notched the save for the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

In other words, it’s been a really long time since the Cardinals played in October.

They’re trying hard to change that fact, going all-in for 2019 by acquiring perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt in a trade with the Diamondbacks ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:25 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals, cubs, nl central

Tim Tebow will get major-league promotion if he deserves it, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen says

NEW YORK — Celebrity outfielder Tim Tebow is still a Met, and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon talked him up during their appearance on WFAN Wednesday.

“We need him at Syracuse,” said Wilpon, referencing the Mets-owned Triple-A affiliate. “He’s a great person.”

As Van Wagenen put it: “One step away.”

So, how on Earth did a guy with so little judgment in terms of talent ever get a job as an agent, much less be a success as one?

QLE Posted: December 07, 2018 at 06:25 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets being mets, tim tebow

Ex-MLB players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in car crash

Former Major League Baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car accident on Thursday night, a spokesperson for their Venezuelan team, Cardenales de Lara, confirmed.

Valbuena was 33. Castillo was 37.

The crash occurred after Valbuena and Castillo left the University Stadium at Caracas after playing a game in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Venezuelan authorities said their car went to the opposite side of the road while trying to avoid a sliding rock.


Thursday, December 06, 2018

What’s in a pitch? A Biola statistician connects a change in the baseball to movement

Comparing every pitch thrown in 2016 and 2017, including the postseason, Wilson concluded the league-average pitch quality dropped across several major pitch types: 11 percent for four-seam fastballs, 2 percent for sinkers, 4 percent for cutters and 3 percent for sliders.

The likelihood of this outcome defied mere chance.

Year-to-year quality of pitch “certainly fluctuates,” Wilson said. “What stands out is that that one was across the board. Every single category, you’ve got a ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 02:54 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: science

Boston resigns Eovaldi

The ACES client has secured a four-year, $67.5MM contract, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.


Toronto Sun: BROCHACHO BROUHAHA: Did Josh Donaldson shade the Blue Jays?!

#Burn!

Former Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson served up a double play of diss for his former team.

The Bringer of Rain and former MVP signed a one-year contract for $23 million with the ascendant Atlanta Braves and had some choice words for the wrecking crew currently dismantling the team that got the city excited about baseball again.

Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 06, 2018 at 11:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, braves, josh donaldson

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-6-2018

El Paso Herald, December 6, 1918:

President Ebbets, of the Brooklyn club, is one who says there isn’t a thing in the talk of the St. Louis Cardinals being moved to Kansas City, and probably what he says will be endorsed by seven other National league club presidents…while [Ebbets] complimented Kansas City as a live burg he made it clear that it is not to his mind of major league caliber, even if the geographical location were not all against it. The burden of transportation is enough as it is, ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 06, 2018 at 10:08 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

David Ortiz is all fired up about J.D. Martinez not being MVP finalist

David Ortiz is tired of the anti-designated hitter bias.

The former Boston Red Sox slugger never won an American League MVP award despite putting up some monster numbers throughout his career. He’s apparently still a little salty about that, and after watching J.D. Martinez finish a distant fourth in AL MVP voting this year, Ortiz couldn’t bite his tongue any longer.

“OK, Mookie Betts was the MVP, but you were the runner-up,” Ortiz told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford at his annual David Ortiz Golf ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, designated hitters, j.d. martinez

The Nationals Don’t Need Bryce Harper

The best thing to happen to the Washington Nationals this offseason might be Bryce Harper turning down the $300 million contract offered by the club at the end of the season. Rather than allocating vast resources to one free agent superstar, the Nationals made smaller moves to shore up their weak spots, signing starting pitcher Patrick Corbin on Tuesday to bolster their rotation and adding two catchers earlier in the offseason.

It wasn’t clear if the Nationals would be able to compete ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, contrarians on parade, nationals, patrick corbin

MLB free agency: Giants have extensively scouted pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

The first free-agent pitching domino fell Tuesday when former D’backs ace Patrick Corbin reportedly agreed to a massive contract with the Nationals.

One day prior to the Corbin news though, another interesting piece to the puzzle was unraveled in the pitching market. Star Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi was officially posted by the Seibu Lions.

“He’s an accomplished guy from over there,” Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Wednesday on KNBR. “We have scouted him ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, yusei kikuchi

MLB players concerned about retooling teams, attendance drop

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players are concerned the Seattle Mariners have become yet another rebuilding team and may be joined by others following a season of steep attendance drops among clubs that faded early and never contended for the playoffs.

Union head Tony Clark and new collective bargaining director Bruce Meyer said Wednesday their members also are concerned about rapid change in the way games are played, such as the increased use of relief pitchers, and are willing to speak with ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, bad ideas, bruce meyer, lottery, mlbpa, tanking, tony clark

Banning defensive shifts would be lazy solution to non-existent problem for MLB

It’s that time of year again. That time when Major League Baseball says it’s prepared to make big changes to the way teams are allowed to play defense.

As always, the proposed changes center around defensive shifts, an analytics-based method that has influenced teams to change the positioning of its defenders in an effort to counter a batter’s tendencies. The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reported Wednesday that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is receiving “strong backing” from the ...

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QLE Posted: December 06, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, manfred is thinking about it, shifts

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Diamondbacks trade Paul Goldschmidt to Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired slugger Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder Andrew Young, it was announced Wednesday.

The Diamondbacks also receive a 2019 Competitive Balance Round B draft pick from the Cardinals.

Goldschmidt is a free agent next winter.

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:25 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, diamondbacks, hot stove, trade

Hall of Fame Case for Davey Johnson

Johnson managed for 17 seasons and won 1,372 games, posting a .562 winning percentage. He was twice named Manager of the Year. He won the 1986 World Series with the Mets, led his clubs to first place finishes in his division six times and second place finishes eight times, making the playoffs in six seasons overall. He would’ve likely won another division title and made another playoff appearance but for the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Johnson was on the scene as the Mets ascended to ...

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Bote Man Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:35 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: craig calcaterra, davey johnson, hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-5-2018

Memphis News Scimitar, December 5, 1918:

It’s one thing after another with Babe Ruth this offseason. The latest is some sort of an accident at the factor the factory he was engaged in that put one of the Babe’s legs on the blink and he is hobbling around on crutches. Two weeks ago it was the flu that had him. Before that something else, and right after the season closed he was singed and blistered when a kitchen stove blew up.

The Babe didn’t make great decisions. The kitchen stove incident ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 05, 2018 at 09:58 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Dodgers’ new hitting department – Dodger Insider

Interesting article.

Van Scoyoc would move on from playing baseball, his final days occurring at the community college level, but he wanted to stay in the game. He developed an insatiable thirst for knowledge about hitting, studying swings and the analytics of the game. He became an assistant of private hitting instructor Craig Wallenbrock, who is widely known in the industry for his work and results with professional baseball players. Van Scoyoc calls Wallenbrock one of the most brilliant ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hitting mechanics, hitting philosophies

Why the Mariners rebuild is mostly beneficial to GM Jerry Dipoto’s job security and ownership - CBSSports.com

Is it really true teams don’t have to worry about winning? I don’t buy it.

Now, Dipoto is in a somewhat enviable position: He doesn’t have to show results to keep his job. The old saying was teams had to sell fans on wins or hope. In this post-“Process” era, fans seem more open than ever to buying hope—that their organizations can build a so-called sustainable winner that has many shots at a championship rather than one or two. Not coincidentally, the sustainable strategy aligns with the best ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:18 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: jerry dipoto, mariners

Interesting subplot brews in NL East as rival Braves hire Rick Kranitz, Phillies’ deposed pitching coach

After the Phillies surprisingly fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz last month, we wrote this line:

Kranitz, who had previously served as head major-league pitching coach with Miami, Baltimore and Milwaukee, should have no trouble hooking on with another organization.

Well, this has proven true.

Pity that the soap opera is a dying breed- this is the sort of thing for which the organ music was very much intended.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, phillies, rick kranitz, soap opera

Young players have officially taken over Major League Baseball

This summer, when we asked major league veterans to talk about getting old, only one of them—Adam Jones, father of two sons—brought up Lightning McQueen.

Aging is not so much the body breaking down, Jones theorized, as the fact that every generation is better than the one before it. “It’s not an excuse, but the game’s gotten harder. That’s all it is: the next generation. It’s like that line from ‘Cars 3.’ His grandpa told him, ‘You’ll know when to retire. The youngsters will tell you.’ I’m ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: youth

Mets have been in touch with free agent CF A.J. Pollock

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said his big move to land Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz wasn’t the last he would make. His agressive style this offseason will continue, and free-agent CF A.J. Pollock is a name he has shown interest in.

Van Wagenen said he believes Pollock could be a good fit for the Mets, and he has been in touch with Pollock’s agent

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Pollock is looking for a five-year deal worth around $80 million—similar to what the Brewers gave Lorenzo ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:07 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pollock, brodie van wagenen, mets being mets

BASEBALL: New Braves spring training ballpark named CoolToday Park

The new spring training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name: CoolToday Park.

Tuesday the Atlanta Braves announced a partnership with CoolToday for the naming rights of their new spring training ballpark, slated to host its first game on Sunday, March 24, with the Braves taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:05 p.m. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As part of our commitment to maintain a lifelong relationship with our community, this partnership with the Braves ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:54 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, naming rights, spring training

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