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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Cubs understand there is no ‘silver bullet’ to fix offense for 2019

The Cubs aren’t sharing exactly how they plan on ensuring their offense doesn’t break in 2019.

Which makes sense: Why make your adjustments and gameplans public months before the season even starts?

But the tone about the lineup has changed a bit since the Cubs managed just one run in 13 innings against the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild-Card Game last month.

Wait, who on the Cubs is a werewolf?

QLE Posted: November 25, 2018 at 04:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, offense

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants makes no sense if Yankees will trade him

One year ago, Giants fans were on Giancarlo Stanton watch every day. That won’t be happening again, despite a report the New York Yankees already might be willing to trade the slugger.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, there are “long-shot rumblings” about the Yankees trying to trade Stanton after only one season in the Bronx. The writer also lists the Giants as a team that could reasonably explore the possibility of adding the former MVP after making such a strong push for him ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 25, 2018 at 04:26 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: giancarlo stanton, giants, trade talk, yankees

The Royals hired ex-Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and it brought KC and St. Louis fans together

It’s not often that Kansas City and St. Louis baseball fans agree on anything — let alone console each other — but news on Friday afternoon that ex-Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was joining the Royals as a special advisor almost seemed to bring the two sides together.

And not necessarily in a good way.

It appears neither fanbase particularly likes Matheny and they haven’t been too quiet about the matter on social media, either.

How quickly they turn….

QLE Posted: November 25, 2018 at 04:22 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: best fans in baseball, cardinals, mike matheny, royals

Friday, November 23, 2018

Seibu Lions to post pitcher Yusei Kikuchi in early December | Japan Times

The Seibu Lions will begin the posting process for left-handed pitcher Yusei Kikuchi on Dec. 3, the Pacific League champions announced Friday.

The posting period begins on Dec. 5, and Kikuchi will then have 30 days to sign a contract with a major league team. The Lions would then receive a posting fee based on the dollar amount of the pitcher’s contract. If he fails to reach a deal within 30 days, he remains with the Lions.

Kikuchi is reportedly being represented by agent Scott Boras, who ...

Read More...

DEEPBALL: MODELING EXPECTATION AND UNCERTAINTY IN BASEBALL WITH RECURRENT NEURAL NETWORKS

Making reliable preseason batter projections for baseball players is an issue of utmost importance to both teams and fans who seek to infer a player’s underlying talent or predict future performance. However, this has proven to be a difficult task due to the high-variance nature of baseball and the lack of abundant, clean data. For this reason, current leading models rely mostly upon expert knowledge. We propose DeepBall, which combines a recurrent neural network with novel regularization and ...

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McCoy Posted: November 23, 2018 at 12:37 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: marcel, projections, retrosheet

The Ohio Supreme Court says bobbleheads aren’t, legally, free giveaways – HardballTalk

Or better yet, get a class action suit going so lawyers can earn millions and you can pick up your $0.99 part of the claim.

So, my friends: next time the Reds or Indians hold a bobblehead day, I suggest that you wait until the second or third inning to show up and they have run out of the bobbleheads. Then walk right up to the ticket counter and ask for a free ticket to the next game or, at the very least, some good substitute swag. If they don’t hook you up, sue them for breach of contract. ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bobbleheads

Casey Kelly signs with the LG Twins in Korea

We wrote a lot about Casey Kelly on this site circa 2010-12.

It was understandable. Kelly was a big-time draftee for the Red Sox and famously split time as a shortstop and a pitcher in the minors, with some people even wondering if he could do it full time. The Sox put the kibosh on that pretty quickly, as he became the top overall prospect in the Boston organization as a pitcher. He then made news when he was sent to San Diego — along with Anthony Rizzo — in the famous Adrian Gonzalez ...

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QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: casey kelly, korea, prospect

Raisel Iglesias, Reds Agree to 3-Year Contract Reportedly Worth $24.1M

Cincinnati Reds closer Raisel Iglesias signed a three-year deal on Wednesday to remain with the team through the 2021 season.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported that Iglesias signed a $24,150,000 contract.

Iglesias has been one of the bright spots on a struggling Reds team over the past two seasons. He’s saved 58 games and posted a 2.43 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 148.0 innings.

The next time we wonder why sportswriters overrate closers, consider how baseball management, while being cheap ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: raisel iglesias, reds

From Boston’s Title to Javy Baez’s Breakout Year, Here’s What Each MLB Club Should Give Thanks For

Some MLB teams have more to be thankful for than others do. But every team has something. In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a rundown of baseball’s biggest blessings.

Something tells me that Miami fans will find cold comfort at best with what they’ve been told to be thankful for….

QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giving thanks, teams

Shohei Ohtani reflects on successful first year in Major League Baseball

A little over a year ago, Nov. 11, 2017, to be exact, Shohei Ohtani strode into a room full of journalists at the Japan National Press Club and told the world he was ready to head to MLB and hoped to one day become the best baseball player in the world.

The Los Angeles Angels star was back in that same room Thursday morning — facing 312 writers, 31 television cameras and 30 photographers — to reflect on a whirlwind rookie season in MLB that ended with him as the 2018 American League Rookie ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japan national press club, shohei ohtani

Alex Rodriguez talks MLB coming to London - ‘You’ll see baseballs hit over 550ft that fans will think are golf balls’

People might not know baseball, but they sure know “A-Rod”. Three-time Major League Baseball MVP Alex Rodriguez is in London this week to help promote next year’s London Series, a blockbuster match-up on June 29 and 30 between Rodriguez’s former side, the New York Yankees, and reigning world champions the Boston Red Sox.

While the NFL and, to a lesser extent, the NBA are now regulars on these shores, this is the first time MLB has dipped its toe into the Europe.

Bringing the Red Sox and ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, london, neutral site games

Bryce Harper’s value and other baseball debates worth having over Thanksgiving dinner

Too late for Thanksgiving, I admit, but still better for tomorrow than joining the Black Friday mobs…

QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, bullpenning, hall of fame, hot stove, manny machado

Jose Bautista’s name inspires new beetle species

Meet the Joey Bats beetle.

Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has inspired the name of a new weevil species that ain’t so pretty to look but bears his name proudly. (We think.)

The tiny black insect with a long snout from the Dominican Republic, Bautista’s home nation, has now been scientifically recorded as Sicoderus Bautistai.

[Insert jokes here]

QLE Posted: November 23, 2018 at 10:51 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: beetle, jose bautista, naming rights

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Manny Machado reflects on hustle comments | MLB.com

Right, running hard to first in a World Series game is just showing off.

“When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn’t come across how I meant it,” Machado said. “For me, I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team. ...Read More...

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2018 at 02:41 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, manny machado

Braves owner not in ‘exit mode’ as team makes money at ‘serious clip’

During the day-long investors event, which was broadcast on Liberty’s website, Braves executives provided details on how much money the team is making.

In the first nine months of this year, through Sept. 30, the Braves posted an operating profit before depreciation and amortization of $105 million (up more than 100 percent from $49 million at the same point in 2017) and revenue of $410 million (up from $366 million at the same point in 2017).

The Braves’ strong financial results have ...

Read More...
Nasty Nate Posted: November 21, 2018 at 01:49 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Orioles name Mejdal to head analytics department

As expected, new Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias’ first move was to add longtime aide Sig Mejdal to head the team’s analytics department.

Mejdal, who worked with Elias in Houston will have the title, Assistant General Manager, Analytics.

He replaces Sarah Gelles, who left the Orioles to join the Astros.

According to the Orioles, “Mejdal will oversee all aspects of the club’s growing analytics effort while assisting and advising Elias in all manner of ...

Read More...
A Baseball Fan Posted: November 21, 2018 at 12:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

The Braves’ Profits Provide a Glimpse into Baseball’s Books

With average attendance and ticket prices, a $130 million payroll, and a terrible local television deal, the Braves turned a $100 million profit last season.

Teams are swimming in money.

snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 21, 2018 at 11:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Rogers: Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs pitching coach

Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey has resigned his position with the team, citing personal reasons, after one year on the job, the team announced Tuesday.

“Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons,” the Cub said in a news release. “We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support, and we all wish him well.”

The end of an era. . . ...Read More...

McCoy Posted: November 21, 2018 at 10:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-21-2018

Memphis News Scimitar, November 21, 1918:

TORONTO SEEKS BERTH IN A.L.

Washington Franchise May Be Transferred Next Month

That Toronto is attempting to get the Washington franchise in the American league became known here last night, and it is said the matter will be discussed at the annual meeting of members of the league in Chicago next month.

James McCaffrey, owner of the Toronto club of the International league, it is said, is the man who wants to transfer the Senators to Canada.

...
Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 21, 2018 at 09:45 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

The Yankees Now Have a Second Ace | FanGraphs Baseball

He’s has ace stuff but can a guy who can’t be counted on to throw even 160 innings really be an ace?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 21, 2018 at 05:49 AM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: james paxton, yankees

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Funhouse Mirrors, Colorado Peaks, and Looking the Part: A 2019 HOF Ballot

Forget saves. When it comes to assessing value, saves are about as accurate as a fun-house mirror.


Deadline to set 40-man rosters tonight (11-20)

The Rule 5 Draft will take place on the final day of next month’s Winter Meetings (Dec. 13) and allow clubs with open space on the 40-man roster to select certain players not on the 40-man roster out of other organizations.

Let’s discuss all of our favorite potential 8th relievers and 5th outfielders! (Or Orioles opening day starters.)

Dr. Vaux Posted: November 20, 2018 at 03:02 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: 40 man rosters, front office, options, rule 5 draft, rumors, trades, transactions

Breaking Down the New Players on This Year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

JUAN PIERRE Here was a career of extremes. Pierre had no arm, no power and very little plate discipline. But the things he did well, he did really well. He was durable (five consecutive seasons of 162 games). He was fast (614 stolen bases, ranking 10th in the integration era). He could bunt (he’s the last nonpitcher with 20 sacrifice hits in a season). And he was an extreme contact hitter (an average of 39 strikeouts a season). Bonus fun fact: Pierre was named for his father’s favorite ...

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Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 20, 2018 at 02:45 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Calcaterra - Adrián Beltré Retires, is a Slam Dunk Hall of Famer

Rangers third baseman Adrián Beltré officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending months of speculation about his future. The 39-year-old put together one of the greatest careers we have ever seen, spending time with the Dodgers, Mariners, Red Sox, and Rangers across 21 seasons.

Beltré will be eligible for the Hall of Fame five years from now. Given how much more analytically-literate the electorate has become in recent years, Beltré will very likely get the requisite 75 percent ...

Read More...
Bote Man Posted: November 20, 2018 at 12:22 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, hall of fame, retirements

Amazon bids for Disney’s 22 regional sports networks, including YES Network, sources say

Amazon is bidding for all of the 22 regional sports TV networks that Disney acquired from 21st Century Fox.

The e-commerce giant’s bid includes the New York-based YES Network, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC. An unknown sovereign wealth fund, along with the Yankees, are also bidding for the New York network.

To clarify, I believe these are mainly the various regional Fox Sports networks that Disney just acquired from Fox.

jmurph Posted: November 20, 2018 at 10:34 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: tv rights

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-20-2018

New York Tribune, November 20, 1918:

Jake Daubert, first baseman of the Brooklyn Nationals, has gone to the civil courts with a case which the National Commission denied…the Brooklyn idol has entered in the Supreme Court of New York County a claim for $2,150 against the Brooklyn baseball club of the National League.
...
His alleged claim is based upon what is known as an “ironclad” contract of organized baseball. During the days of the Federal League the Brooklyn club signed Daubert to a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 20, 2018 at 09:47 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world war i

The Sky Is Falling, Baseball Is Dying, and the Roof May Leak

Some perspective from John Thorn.

Let’s focus for a moment on the elephant in the room: the commercial breaks that come with completed half innings or pitcher replacements. In the 2018 World Series each such instance consumed 2 minutes and 50 seconds. For easy mental computation let’s call it 3 minutes … multiplied by 17 in a nine-inning game won by the home team. 51 minutes. Let’s say that the two clubs combine to use nine pitchers, thus making seven changes. Add 21 minutes. Commercial ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2018 at 06:05 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: history, pace of play

Drafting High School Pitchers Is a Major Problem for MLB, Health of Young Prospects

White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech threw 90 mph at age 14, 94 mph at 17, 99 mph at 21 and now not at all at age 22. The rookie right-hander blew out his elbow and will miss virtually all of next year while trying to come back from Tommy John surgery.

If you are even a little bit surprised, you haven’t paid attention to what’s happening with high school pitchers over the past decade. They keep throwing harder and harder—and in more competition. And major league teams keep wasting first ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 20, 2018 at 05:57 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, high school, pitching, tommy john surgery, velocity

Opening Day possible for Pedroia, who doesn’t need offseason surgery

BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia is not planning on having surgery on his left knee and could be ready for Opening Day, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday.

Pedroia was limited to just three big league games in 2018 and had an arthroscopic procedure on the knee in July. That was after he underwent major surgery on the knee in October 2017.

“He has continued rehab and therapy. And that’s what he is going to continue to do,” Dombrowski said on a conference call. ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 20, 2018 at 05:57 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, dustin pedroia, knees

Griffin Conine, Jeff’s son, banned 50 games for drug test

NEW YORK- Toronto outfielder Griffin Conine, a son of former major league outfielder Jeff Conine, has been suspended for the first 50 games of next season under the minor league drug program for a positive test for the banned stimulant ritalinic acid.

New York Yankees pitcher Daniel Marten was suspended for the first 25 games for a violation of the drug program; 25-game suspensions are assessed for use or possession of a syringe of an injectable substance, the commissioner’s office said ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 20, 2018 at 05:57 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff conine, peds, prospect

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