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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Time Reggie Jackson Got His Ass Whooped In The Clubhouse By A Teammate

Reggie Jackson hovered above them, eyes squinting in scrutiny, until one name in particular caught his eye. “Berman?” he asked, perusing the blue list. “Who put down for these?” Per Rangers policy, players were allowed four seats from the blue list and only two from the white, so first baseman Mike Epstein had used his family passes for friends of his father—the delightfully named Sherman Berman and family—to ensure that they sat together. This was not unusual practice.

“I ...

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ReggieThomasLives Posted: March 07, 2017 at 11:22 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland athletics, reggie jackson

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-7-2017

Washington Times, March 7, 1917:

The death knell has been sounded for “mashed potatoes” in the camp of the Griffmen.

In its stead has come old kid “Ham And.”

For five years the Griffmen training at Charlottesville were filled with mashed potatoes, morning, noon and night. They lived with King “Mashed Potatoes” day in and day dut [sic]. They went to bed with him. They dreamed of him, knowing that they would meet him in the morning.

But now has come old “Ham And.”

This means something. This is ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 07, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

4 MLB clubs face World Baseball Classic teams | MLB.com

What do people think about the WBC? Although I enjoy watching players from foreign leagues, scheduling the play at this time of year just seems off. I’d rather see a shortened tournament which takes place in lieu of the All Star Game during an extended midseason break than the current format.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 08:48 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: wbc

Fixing Batted-Ball Statistics with Statcast – The Hardball Times

Everything you wanted to know about line drivers but were afraid to ask.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 08:32 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, statcast

Blake Treinen may well prove that nice guys can finish the last inning - The Washington Post

Blake Treinen’s gaze falls when someone asks the question, and because he is a candidate to close for the Washington Nationals this year, people are asking, over and over. When they ask, his normally cheerful voice sinks into a defiant murmur, because he has heard people wonder if he is too kind to close before.

“I don’t really care what people say about that,” Treinen said, eyes downward when asked one day recently — a turn to stern that pretty much qualifies as an expletive-riddled ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 08:28 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blake treinen, nationals

Steven Matz just wants to talk about this new trick he learned | New York Post

Unlike some of his teammates, though, Matz had a relatively routine procedure, which is why there was more focus on holding runners on.

In the National League, only Chicago’s Jon Lester allowed more runners to steal (28) than Matz (20).

Matz is now trying out a method he picked up from former Met lefty Scott Rice, keeping his leg hanging before he delivers to the plate.

The move is designed to give Matz more time to determine whether the runner is going to steal.

“It could be huge for ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, steven matz

Henning: Tigers have issues; Avila isn’t worried yet

The Tigers, Avila acknowledged without mentioning names, could say goodbye to some well-known people with high-dollar contracts: Anibal Sanchez ($21.8 million owed on his long deal), Mike Pelfrey ($8 million), and Mark Lowe ($5.5 million). None of the three has pitched well enough to survive – yet.

“We’ll take our 12 best pitchers,” Avila said, insisting performance, as opposed to contract politics, will decide who travels to Chicago.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2017 at 08:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Mariners, a mariachi band and Leonys Martin: A birthday and baseball celebration | The Seattle Times

“We’ve got something special planned for Leonys’ birthday,” Servais said with a mischievous smile in his morning media meeting. “You guys will see it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 07:11 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: leonys martin, mariners

David Dahl injury: Rockies outfielder has stress reaction of rib

This is new.

Asked specifically if Dahl would be healthy enough to see game action during spring training, Black answered: “Yeah, I do. I can’t put a date on it, but I do anticipate him hopefully getting in a game here.”

According to the Princeton University Athletic Medicine website, “A rib stress injury can be described as a rib stress ‘reaction’ or can lead to a rib stress ‘fracture’ if not managed or treated correctly from the start of symptoms.”

According to the website, ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 07:10 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: david dahl, injuries, rockies

The making of an Italian baseball superstar

Teahen has been posting Instagram videos showing his training regimen. His rigorous program seems to include:

• Drinking wine to better understand the culture (“Little known fact,” he says, “Italy produces wine”).

• Overcoming blisters he got while taking batting practice at Scottsdale’s CrackerJax Family Fun Park batting cages.

• Running little left-turning circles in the snow (“Turning left is the key to scoring runs”).

Zach Posted: March 06, 2017 at 07:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: italy, mark teahen, turning left, world baseball classic


Statcast and the Future of WAR | FanGraphs Baseball

I’ve argued about this for 20 years. The MVP question and the best player question are two entirely different things. Using WAR for either conflates the two. Why not transform WAR into a purely contextual answer (value) and continue to define results in runs and wins based on outcome and then use Statcast probabilities as a scouting tool for the best player question? In my mind, using Statcast as the inputs on an improved 20/80 scouting scale and apportioning all the components properly would ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 01:48 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: statcast, war

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-6-2017

A brutally honest season preview in the Seattle Star, March 6, 1917:

Fifth or sixth place seems to be the best the Reds can hope for. There is no silly pennant talk being stirred up here, as the team doesn’t look as good as the one Buck Herzog took South last spring.

Coincidentally, fifth or sixth place seems to be the best the Reds can hope for in 2017.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 06, 2017 at 10:30 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Mike Gimbel’s video of RPA vs. WAR plus 2017 predictions.

Mike Gimbel’s video was made on February 28th. It contains criticism of the WAR formula(s), using a comparison of results from the 2016 season and an analysis of all 30 MLB teams going into the 2017 season.

caiman Posted: March 06, 2017 at 09:49 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb, rpa, sabermetrics, war

Engel: Rangers insulting Elvis Andrus with batting slot

Elvis Andrus should not be some bottom-two hitter.

It borders on insulting and demeaning.

Move him up. Elvis is good with it, and so is Daniels, who says the lineup is entirely up to the discretion of manager Jeff Banister.

The slots Andrus called home last season are for a defensive catcher or infielder. It’s not for a two-time All-Star shortstop whose price tag is $15 million per year. No “defense only” shortstop makes that much.

Andrus batted mostly 7th and 8th last season because ...

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BDC Posted: March 06, 2017 at 09:24 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: on-base percentage, rangers

D-backs Oscar Hernandez and Brandon Drury played catch with one lucky fan during BP | MLB.com

Pretty cool for this kids. That it was caught on video is even better.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 07:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Harvey Shows Both Sides Of The Dark Knight In Spring Debut

The TV gun had him sitting at 92-93, not mid-90s.

After beginning the affair with a pair of timely strikeouts, the 27-year-old right-hander completed the eventual 1-2-3 inning by getting veteran catcher Yadier Molina to ground out to third base. With his velocity sitting in the mid-90s, as expected, Harvey seemed to have no restrictions upon taking the mound for manager Terry Collins – outside of a pitch-count that is.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:58 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Is time running out for Texas’ top talents?

“Don’t hold it against these players,” Daniels said. “That’s on us. We promoted them aggressively because they were advanced in a lot of ways, and when you get to Triple-A at age 19 or 20 years old and reach the big leagues at 20 or 21, that’s unusual. The guys that hit and perform immediately are on the fast track to the Hall of Fame discussion.

“We’ve asked these guys to play out of position and in less-than-everyday roles, and that’s a challenge. The talent and the instincts haven’t gone ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: joey gallo, jurickson profar, rangers

Austin Meadows to see more spring playing time, sets health as spring goal | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

His desire to stay healthy stems from his injury history in pro ball. He did not play until June 30 in 2014 because of a hamstring injury in spring training that did not heal, costing him half his first full season. He hurt the other hamstring last year, then hurt his oblique on a swing during the final game of the season.

“I came down here for about a month to rehab after the season, just to get it healthy and then go home and really get everything right, work on my body, doing yoga and ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: austin meadows, pirates

Red Sox backing off Tyler Thornburg for the time being

Fernando Abad traveled to Sarasota on Sunday to join Team Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic. Abad’s departure from Red Sox camp comes at a time when he’s battling for a roster spot.

“You love the fact that his country looks upon him as a guy to contribute for the WBC,” Farrell said. “But in those positions of competing for a spot, you’d like to think that a guy’s going to be here to make that mark here. He’s aware of his status on the roster competing for a spot. When he ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:33 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Early results promising for Diamondbacks rotation

“Nobody wants to go out there and have a year like that, but it’s part of the game,” Butcher said. “It’s a true test of how we are and how we can bounce back. I think we’re seeing a little taste of that early on in spring training. He’s throwing the ball extremely well his first two outings. Velocity aside, the curveball, the cutter, the change-up – it’s really, really good.”

Said Miller: “I feel good. My confidence is where it needs to be. I’ve still got some things I ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

Everything about Gary Sanchez’s day was ‘unbelievable’ | New York Post

The Post discovered Luis Severino missed the team bus Friday from Tampa to Dunedin, Fla., where he started the game against the Blue Jays. There is more to pitching in the big leagues than throwing fastballs 99 mph, and making the bus is among the basic things.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2017 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Sunday, March 05, 2017

OTP 6 March 2017: Baseball Won’t Change Politics, But Politics Will Definitely Ruin Baseball

Equal time for our friends on the right, with a blast from David Harsanyi of the Federalist:

Stark notes, for instance, that there was a “social media storm” when St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Dexter Fowler “dared” to “express personal concern for his wife’s Iranian-born family in the wake of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.” Fowler was also expressing concern about his sister-in-law having to delay a business trip from Qatar.

Don’t get me wrong, that struggle is ...

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BDC Posted: March 05, 2017 at 10:07 PM | 1583 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, politics, social media

It’s Hard to Be Excited About World Baseball Classic When U.S. Players Aren’t

In weighing his options last year, [Bryce] Harper bluntly said he did not sense much excitement from other stars.

“I really just think if we have the support of all the players in the big leagues on the American side, then I’ll definitely play,” he told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I’d love to. Hopefully, we get some guys like Thor in New York and guys like that.”

Thor, of course, is Syndergaard, who is ensconced in Port St. Lucie as the rare Mets starter not coming off surgery. No rational ...

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ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 05, 2017 at 12:47 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: general, world baseball classic

Could Jake Bauers salvage Rays’ trade of Wil Myers? | Tampa Bay Times

For what it’s worth, Souza is among those who think Bauers could indeed turn out to be a savior.

“He’s very impressive,” Souza said. “I actually made comments to a few people and I even said something to him that he’s going to be a really good player, especially for how old he is. He’s got a really mature personality and approach at the plate. … To be 21 and be slated to go to Triple A, that’s awesome. I’m sure the organization is very happy with that, too.”

The way these trades have played ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 09:31 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: jake bauers, rays

Mets’ Matt Harvey excited to get back on the mound for first time since July 4 | Newsday

Two years ago, almost to the day, Matt Harvey pitched the most anticipated Grapefruit League game in Mets history.

And Sunday against the Cardinals, he’ll pitch another one.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 09:29 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets

Does six-man starting rotation make sense for Cleveland Indians? Hey, Hoynsie | cleveland.com

Six-man rotation? Please, no.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 08:50 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: indians

Sunday Notes: Harkey, Jenkins, Intangibles, Spring Stats, Meyer, more. | FanGraphs Baseball

Since coming to Toronto from Oakland, via trade, prior to the 2015 season, Josh Donaldson has been worth 16.3 WAR. The four players A’s acquired from the Blue Jays — Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin — have combined for 3.6 WAR. By all accounts, Alex Anthopoulos got the better of Blly Beane in the deal.

At least for now. Lawrie and Nolin have since moved on, shipped out for little or nothing in return. Barreto and Graveman remain, and while they have a long ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 08:45 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Miami Marlins engaged in serious sale talks | Miami Herald

The question is no longer if Jeffrey Loria will sell the Marlins. It’s how quickly.

According to people briefed on the situation in the past week, Loria is fully expected to sell the team sometime this year, barring an unforeseen change of heart. He has decided it’s time to move on from baseball.

The Marlins are actively engaged in discussions with four groups and have had additional conversations with two others. MLB is aware of the identity of the Marlins suitors, which include both ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2017 at 08:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Q&A: House on team chemistry, analytics

Tom House is more than just the trivia answer to the question of who caught Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. He is an innovator who admittedly ran into obstacles along the way while trying to change the process of decision makers in baseball.

Now, however, with his 71st birthday approaching, House is enjoying watching the acceptance of analytics, and he’s waiting for the new breed of baseball management to reach out and embrace the importance of chemistry.

House’s insight into athletic success ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2017 at 11:24 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: tom house

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