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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Notes: Coaching Salaries on the Farm, Bullpen Scatalogy, Cards STEP, more | FanGraphs Baseball

I have a hammer. I don’t use my hammer to scramble eggs. That doesn’t mean my hammer is useless.

Colleagues sometimes agree to disagree. That happened this earlier this week, when Mike Petriello and I had a brief back-and-forth on Twitter. Referring to a Jeff Sullivan piece on Ben Revere, Mike called outfield assists “a hilariously useless stat.”

I responded that no stat is useless when taken into context. Delving into “Kill the win” territory, I said I’d rather know Denny McLain won ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2015 at 08:23 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

LeBreton: Forget sabermetrics, Rangers should be much-improved team

Good thing Daniel Okrent never dined at the Le Bretôn Française restaurant.

With the newsstand costs rising to $7.99, of course, most of the preseason periodicals truly are no longer worth the paper they were printed on. Yet, their popularity persists, because with the rise of fantasy baseball has come a surge of championing preseason projections, the fair-haired child of the game’s shotgun analytics marriage.

Spare me the emails. I enjoy baseball’s new math, and even agree with most of ...

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Repoz Posted: February 15, 2015 at 08:10 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, sabrmetrics

Get ready for an awkward spring training with the Phillies

The ghosts of bad spring trainings past.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2015 at 08:09 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies

As camp nears, Astros’ focus shifts from future to present - Houston Chronicle

They don’t know what role Gattis will play?

“There’s a few questions, but more about what specific role they’re going to play,” Luhnow said. “What role Evan Gattis is going to play, what role Chris Carter is going to play, those are two fundamental questions we need to answer because there’s only one DH position. So that’s a big piece for us.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2015 at 07:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Starlin Castro’s changes in approach - Beyond the Box Score

Breaking down Starlin Castro.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 08:25 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, starlin castro

Yankees’ big plan to harness Nathan Eovaldi’s 100-mph heat | New York Post

The article forgets to talk about one thing…the plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 08:22 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: nathan eovaldi, yankees

How new Rangers manager beat cancer, potential paralysis; what his tattoo says | Dallas Morning News

Sean, you need to get on this.

In fact, Baseball-Reference.com and Wikipedia still incorrectly list his birthdate as Jan. 15, 1965 — a year later than his actual birthdate.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 08:19 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff bannister, rangers

School of Roch: Which Orioles bring the most spring curiosity?

Orioles questions that need answering.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 08:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: orioles

FanGraphs - YouTube - Top 200 Prospects

This is some good stuff from Fangraph’s Kiley McDaniel. Although it’s nice reading about prospects, it’s even better to get a glimpse of them.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 09:49 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects

Rankings baseball’s top 10 defenses for 2015. | SportsonEarth.com : Anthony Castrovince Article

I liked the Semien comment. A lot of people don’t think Semien has the chops to handle shortstop on a regular basis. When you look at it from this perspective, though, it doesn’t seem to be a stretch to have him stay there.

Man, so many changes to this roster in such a short time. But attention to detail on defense is a constant. Brett Lawrie, if healthy (that’s always the “if” with Lawrie), is a major defensive asset at the hot corner. Ben Zobrist can handle seemingly every position on the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, predictions

Brewers release Nick Delmonico

from article:

Delmonico, 22, is still under a 50-game suspension for testing positive for an amphetamine late last July. Baseball America reported he has been signed by the Chicago White Sox.

Delmonico was acquired from Baltimore in exchange for reliever Francisco Rodriguez in late July 2013 and immediately was listed among the Brewers’ top prospects. The organization had a void at that position and it was hoped he would rise through the system and fulfill his potential.

But Delmonico missed ...

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Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 14, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, milwaukee

Andrew McCutchen | Left Out

A bunch of 12-year-old kids had their hearts broken this week. Jackie Robinson West, a team from Chicago’s South Side, won the U.S. title at the 2014 Little League World Series. They achieved their dream in dramatic fashion. I remember watching their pitcher give up the go-ahead homer against Nevada in the title game and he was so crushed that he physically doubled-over on the mound. His team fought back and won in an amazing game, and the joy on that kid’s face after the final out was ...

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ESPN: Fate Of Ernie Banks’ Remains Disputed

Not as bad as Ted Williams’ fate. Yet.

Ernie Banks, the beloved Cubs great who once said he wanted to have his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field, is at the center of a battle over his remains, as his estranged wife has gone to court to prevent a longtime friend of “Mr. Cub” from having his remains cremated. .  .  . According to court records, Elizabeth Banks filed a petition to prevent a woman who describes herself in the documents as a longtime friend of Ernie Banks, his caretaker and the ...

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The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 14, 2015 at 12:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago cubs, death, ernie banks, fights, final call, lawsuits, legal, rip, wrigley field

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ranking the teams: 6 through 1

6. Seattle Mariners

Probably unintentional, but the number 6 meme lives!

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 13, 2015 at 06:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, indians, mariners, nationals, pirates

Megdal: Capital Sports-Biz Report: The state of the Wilpons; Red Bulls as anti-Galacticos

Does the new column mean Howard’s no longer in the running for the NBC Nightly News gig?

Welcome to Capital’s new Sports Business Report, a weekly digest of news on the top players and institutions in one of New York’s highest-profile industries. ...

Here are the numbers you have to actually remember, and what keeps Fred Wilpon and his partners up nights (and Wilmer Flores entrenched as a low-cost shortstop). The Mets’ parent company, Sterling Equities, continues to finance the $250 million ...

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JE (Jason) Posted: February 13, 2015 at 11:32 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: citi field, madoff, mets, troy tulowitzki, wilpons

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

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