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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Nightengale:  MLB players are furious, willing to strike over economic system: ‘We’re all united’

If all 30 teams were trying to win, it would at least make free agency more interesting, preventing players such as five-time All-Star Adam Jones sitting without a job until mid-March. He eventually signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, accepting a $14 million pay cut.

“I just can’t understand what happened to Adam Jones,” Cole said, “I still can’t wrap my head around that. “If you’re trying to win, that guy knows how to win. If you’re trying to start a franchise, that guy knows how to be an exemplary franchise player.

You know what happened to Adam Jones?  He became a replacement level player.  That $3M contract is an overpay, if anything.

But I get the players’ point, best explained by J.D. ...

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TDF, trained monkey Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:42 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: union

Baseball’s ‘robot umpires’ are here. And you might not even notice the difference.

The Atlantic League, an independent circuit with seven teams on the East Coast and one in Texas, will become the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game on Wednesday night in York, Pa.

“It’s amazing how good these robots look. They look just like the actual umpires,” league president Rick White joked in a phone interview. “I think once people actually see this happening, they’re going to realize it’s not that big a deal.”

League officials have quietly tested software, created by sports data firm Trackman and provided by Major League Baseball, for weeks during real games in New Britain, Conn., and Bridgewater, N.J. For a few innings or an entire game, umpires ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: robot umpires

If baseball is any indication, the big data revolution is over

. Following the so-called moneyball revolution, which emphasized the value of statistical analysis for player acquisition and strategy, Statcast seemed to promise that there was finally enough data to fundamentally answer the game’s remaining questions.


But will it? History says no. Over the past century and a half, data revolutions have helped fans and managers better understand the game, but each was also deemed woefully inadequate within years of debuting.

The same is likely to happen to Statcast — and sooner than we might think. That’s not because some fatal technological flaw will emerge, but rather because of the nature of data itself. Data are, in essence, the things we rely on to make arguments and answer questions. And ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:23 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-10-2019

Washburn [Wisconsin] Times, July 10, 1919:

In a recent Memphis-Birmingham game Red Smith, Memphis catcher, out with injuries, put on a Birmingham spare uniform to work out. Then Manager Barger of Memphis called him in as a pinch hitter in the rival club’s togs. Naturally there was a protest, but Umpire Dan Pfenninger would not allow it.

I’m not sure what the umpire didn’t allow: Smith to play in the opposing team’s uniform or the protest.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Jose Berrios’ Curveball and the Nastiest Pitches from the All-Star Game – Pitcher List

The pitching last night was incredible.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 09:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

Poll 2019: Which Group of Pitchers Performs Better? | RotoGraphs Fantasy Baseball

Unlike in some previous years, these are wildly different groups. Group B (the underperformers) has posted a significantly higher strikeout rate than Group A (the overperformers), while also walking a lower percentage of batters. However, Group A has induced a higher rate of grounders, which is important in a time with a historically high rate of homers per fly ball. The groups have posted nearly identical IFFB% marks.

Not surprisingly, massive differences exist in the three luck metrics — BABIP, LOB%, and HR/FB rate. Even though grounders go for hits more often than flies, Group A has allowed a well below league average BABIP. They did post a lower line drive rate, but only marginally, and not nearly enough to explain the BABIP ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 08:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: projections


“You’ve got to pay correctly”: Rob Manfred is optimistic about negotiations to pay minor leaguers more – The Athletic

Besides improving minor league pay the league and MLBPA needs to do something about the international signing process. Both areas are a mess.

Lurking in the background, and as a point of leverage, is the possibility that MLB seeks to cull some teams or otherwise reshape some aspects of the minors. The system between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball boils down to this: the league commits to supply players and coaches to fill a certain number of teams, and in exchange, the minor-league clubs pay MLB a percentage of their ticket revenue.

MLB can argue that if its cost per player goes up, then the number of minor-league teams will need to go down. MLB could also ask that MiLB pay a higher percentage in ticket revenue.

“There ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:40 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, pay site

Manfred On Ball, DH, Free Agency, Expansion, Rays - MLB Trade Rumors

OK, it’s handmade so every ball won’t be exactly the same. I’m not sure how you a whole season batch of balls would be much different than another year.

And why are the balls still handmade? I would think they could make ball making an automated process where they can control their product’s consistency better.

Of course, the Commissioner could just be full of crap.

At the same time, Manfred did admit Monday the ball has changed. He told ESPN’s Golic and Wingo (via Passan): “”Our scientists that have been now studying the baseball more regularly have told us that this year the baseball has a little less drag. It doesn’t need to change very much in order to produce meaningful change in terms of the way the game is played on the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

Previewing the 2019 Home Run Derby | FanGraphs Baseball

Jay Jaffe is a Home Run Derby witch.

Given that you’ve read this far, you might want some predictions, and while I’m not going to claim to be an expert in prognostication, I will point out that I picked Harper to win last year. So here goes: Guerrero (in something of an upset), Pederson, Alonso, and Bell to advance, with Alonso besting Guerrero in a very entertaining all-rookie finals that hopefully will bring both sluggers back for more in the coming years.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby

AL beats NL for 7th straight All-Star win | MLB.com

And in a tear-jerking moment in the annual Stand Up To Cancer initiative, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, who just revealed last week that he is battling leukemia, was joined by his manager, Terry Francona, and his teammates Bieber, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Brad Hand—all of whom held “I Stand Up For” placards bearing his nickname “Cookie.”

“I think it was extremely special for me, for him, for our teammates, for Terry, and the city of Cleveland as a whole,” Bieber said. “And for him to be doing what he’s doing and kind of turning it over on its head into a positive light and spending more time at the [Cleveland Clinic] Children’s Hospital and spending time with kids, it’s something only he would do.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:08 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

MLBPA Director Tony Clark Voices Opposition To Draft

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark voiced opposition to the draft Tuesday in an address to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Asked if he viewed the draft as “inherently anti-labor,” Clark responded “yes.”

“Limiting and restricting the opportunities of entry, I’ll stand here—and I did at the bargaining table—suggesting that I’d like to remove all of it,” Clark said.

Commissioner Rob Manfred, who followed Clark’s address with his own, said Major League Baseball has not considered removing the draft and that he had not previously heard that stance from Clark.

“Every professional sport has a draft,” Manfred said. “It’s part of the normal economic system that ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mlbpa

Mike Trout: The brilliant $426.5m MLB star most Americans don’t know

A British take on Trout, including an interview with Jay Jaffe.  In which it is revealed that Trout’s favorite team as a child was the Yankees, proving that he isn’t perfect after all.

Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: July 10, 2019 at 06:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, marketing, mike trout

Tuesday, July 09, 2019


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-9-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 9, 1919:

Charles C. Cravath, the hard hitting outfielder, better known to baseball fame as “Gavvy,” was [yesterday] appointed manager of the Philadelphia National League baseball team after announcement was made…that John Coombs had resigned.
...
It was said that when some of the players heard that Coombs was no longer to be manager of the team several of them said they would not play in [yesterday’s] game, but were prevailed upon by Coombs to change their minds.

“Cravath is my manager as long as he lives,” said [Phillies President William F. Baker] after [yesterday’s] game. “There is a man who will be a success.”

Cravath managed the Phillies through the end of the 1920 season, finishing with a career winning ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2019 at 09:55 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Generation OPS—How powerful young All-Stars are redefining the game

“If I wanted to hit .300, I’d hit .300,” Astros third baseman Alex Bregman said. “It’s an OPS game though. It’s about driving the baseball and getting on base, walks and extra-base hits. If it turned into an average game, I’d get the ball out of the air and hit line drives and hit .330.

“All the hitters care about now is OPS. We don’t care about batting average. Some guys do, I guess. Batting average is an old stat that doesn’t matter. It’s OPS, runs created, WAR. Look at Mike Trout’s numbers. There are guys that hit .340. Mike Trout is hitting, what, .300 on the dot? I’d rather have Mike Trout’s numbers with all the walks and the damage than the guy who hits .340 [with a bunch of singles]. It’s an OPS game.”

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: July 09, 2019 at 07:54 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: all stars, ops

Yankees, Red Sox poised to compete for Mets RHP Zack Wheeler | SNY

Zack Wheeler has become a pitcher in high demand, and the Mets have now begun trade talks, according to major league sources. Among the teams who have been in contact are the Yankees and Red Sox, both of whom are interested in Wheeler.

The Braves and Cubs are two other possibilities for Wheeler. According to one source, there is significant interest in Wheeler. A trade is not believed to be close with any one suitor, but the Mets have shifted into a more aggressive sell mode.

Jason Vargas and Todd Frazier are also available. Noah Syndergaard isn’t a total lock to stay, but it is far more likely that the Mets explore trading him again this winter, per sources.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 09, 2019 at 07:52 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zack wheeler

Pete Alonso wins 2019 Home Run Derby | MLB.com

They finally have the format right. Very entertaining!

Jim Furtado Posted: July 09, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, joc pederson, peter alonso, vladimir guerrero jr.

Verlander: MLB juicing balls for more offense

“It’s a f—-ing joke,” said Verlander, an eight-time All-Star who is starting his second All-Star Game on Tuesday. “Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you’ve got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f—-ing company. If any other $40 billion company bought out a $400 million company and the product changed dramatically, it’s not a guess as to what happened. We all know what happened. Manfred the first time he came in, what’d he say? He said we want more offense. All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It’s not coincidence. We’re not idiots.”

Asked if he believed the balls were intentionally juiced by the league, Verlander said: “Yes. 100 percent. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs

What went wrong for Bryce Harper, other missing MLB All-Stars from 2018 | ESPN

As you roll into downtown Cleveland, there’s a pedestrian overpass across Ontario Street with a huge All-Star banner draped along the length of the bridge to promote the week’s festivities. It features the faces of several of baseball’s biggest stars.

One of those stars is Bryce Harper, the biggest name and most recognizable player in the sport.

The only problem, of course, is that Harper is not an All-Star. He’s not in Cleveland.


Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera suspended for rest of season

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera was suspended without pay by Major League Baseball for the remainder of the season because he violated baseball’s domestic violence policies, MLB said Friday.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the suspension is retroactive to June 24 and will cover 85 games and any postseason games the Phillies play.
Herrera was arrested in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on May 27 but the simple assault case against him was dismissed this week.
He will not appeal his suspension.

“I acted in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself,” Herrera said in a statement released by the players’ union. “I alone am to blame for my actions.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 09, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: odubel herrera

Monday, July 08, 2019


‘(Expletive) play!’ Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina rips play that injured Jonathan Lucroy | USAT

Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy was sent to the hospital Sunday as the result of a collision in a play at the plate with the Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick.

Lucroy got a CT scan and was being evaluated for a possible concussion as well as broken nose, the Angels said. Despite the violent nature of the incident, the play reignited debate online regarding MLB’s play-at-the-plate rules (Marisnick was called out for the collision).

Longtime St. Louis Cardinals star Yadier Molina was one of the many voices who weighed in on the play, and he was not happy to see a fellow catcher get leveled in such brutal fashion. He let his anger for Marisnick and the situation at-large known in a profanity-laced post on his verified Instagram ...

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How The Home Run Derby Became America’s National Pastime

An ominous, dystopian account of how Home Run Derby supplants baseball as the National Pastime:

Two things became clear from the success of non-major leaguers in the derby: The skills required to hit 40 home runs in 10 minutes against grooved 70 mph pitches were very different from the skills required to hit one home run every four days against 94 mph cutters; and the derby skills could be trained, with proper focus. For major league hitters making $35 million per season, the incentives didn’t favor developing the derby skill, especially not at the expense of the traditional hitting skills. But for scores of muscular minor leaguers, the incentives shifted. The minor leagues required long bus rides for terrible pay and extremely long odds of ...

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Pete Alonso is Brodie Van Wagenen’s Mets saving grace

Right here, at Citi Field, Jay Bruce was hitting two home runs, giving him three for the weekend and four, total, against the Mets so far. So there was that.

Four home runs — as in the total number for Robinson Cano in his first 242 at-bats as a Met.  [...]

In Cleveland, the two cornerstone players of the Cano deal — Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic — played in the Futures Game by night and charmed a gaggle of local scribes by day with their poise and their candor, so there was that.

In Tampa, Travis d’Arnaud — discarded by Van Wagenen like an empty beer can after all of 25 plate appearances this year, followed up his walk-off homer against the Yankees by getting another hit, scoring another run and making a terrific defensive ...

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bobm Posted: July 08, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets

Angels’ Lucroy carted off after collision at plate

Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy was carted off the field in the eighth inning after a collision at the plate with the Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick.

The Angels said Lucroy was sent to a local hospital to receive a CT scan and will be evaluated for a possible concussion and fractured nose.

“It certainly didn’t look like a clean play,’’ Angels manager Brad Ausmus said after his team fell to the Astros 11-10 in 10 innings. “I don’t know what actually happened, but it looked like Marisnick took a step to the left and bowled into him with his arm up. The call was right. Really, I think Major League Baseball should probably take a look at it. Consider some type of suspension, quite frankly.’‘

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: collisions

Cervelli: I’m done catching after 6th concussion

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Francisco Cervelli said Sunday that he is done catching after suffering his sixth documented concussion in the major leagues.

“That’s enough,” Cervelli told DKPittsburghSports.com. “This time is different. I can’t live like this.”

He hasn’t played since suffering his latest concussion after taking a broken bat to the chin against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 25.

Cervelli, 33, told the website that his decision isn’t being pushed by the team.

“I’m ready to do anything,” he said. “Wherever I am in the field, I’m still catching the ball, right?”

He has been getting work at third base and other infield positions after being cleared to resume baseball activity.

  ...Read More...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2019 at 10:53 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: francisco cervelli

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-8-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 8, 1919:

With a possible flag in sight and his outfield hitting on only two cylinders, Manager Pat Moran of the Reds has wired Honus Wagner, the famous Flying Dutchman, asking him to join the club.

When Honus received the message his heart was sorely tried and yesterday afternoon he came out to seek repose or counsel among his pals, particularly Jack Miller, whom Honus loves like a brother.
...
The lure of the great game is tugging away at the feelings of the picturesque one, but he has business matters which are holding him at present and which, he says, will prevent him from jumping into a uniform for Pat.

Honus was 45 years old at this point and hadn’t played since 1917. Judging by his age 42-43 seasons, ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 08, 2019 at 09:52 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, honus wagner

Sunday, July 07, 2019

The Whalehead Baseball League (OOTP) is Looking for New GMs

My 30 year-old sim league is half-way done with our first year using OOTP. Things have gone pretty well so far this season. Unfortunately, a couple of guys aren’t able to continue running their teams.

We’re currently looking for two people to take over two existing teams. We’re also looking for someone to be an expansion team at the end of the year (one expansion team is already filled).

I’d prefer to fill the spots with people with OOTP experience but any fantasy baseball fanatic who’d like to play something more realistic is welcome. 

For OOTP players: we have a unique set up where we play one season per year. We update MLB player ratings at the end of the year using OOTP live rating updates. Minor leaguers are updated when the new ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: July 07, 2019 at 09:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ootp, simulations

Brodie Van Wagenen throws chair in heated meeting with Mets coaches

A tumultuous Mets season took another strange twist, with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen punctuating a heated meeting with the team’s coaching staff by throwing a chair, according to club sources.

The incident occurred following Friday’s 7-2 loss to the Phillies in which closer Edwin Diaz imploded in the ninth inning, allowing four runs in his latest meltdown.

An irate Van Wagenen assembled manager Mickey Callaway and the coaching staff in the coaches room immediately after the game, according to a source, and lashed out at the individuals present, bemoaning the fact Jacob deGrom’s strong performance had been wasted. Accompanying Van Wagenen at the meeting was assistant GM Allard Baird.

After ripping the coaches, according to ...

Read More...
The Run Fairy Posted: July 07, 2019 at 07:27 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: brodie van wagenen, mets, mickey callaway

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