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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Baseball Tackles Workplace Mystery: How to Build Team Chemistry?

Victor Conte knows!

“Chemistry is absolutely critical, but very few teams or managers or general managers know how to create it or even have any idea how to create it,” said Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, the leader of perhaps the most data-driven front office in the majors. “You know it’s important, but you don’t know what the levers are to change it.”

But what if they did? Corporate managers and armies of consultants have wrestled with this question for decades, and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 12:46 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: chemistry

Ratings: MLB All-Star Game Ticks Up

Fox’s coverage of the MLB All-Star Game drew 8.6 million total viewers and a 2.2 demo rating during primetime, ticking up from last year’s fast nationals (8 mil/2.0). The year-ago contest went on to tally 8.7 mil and a 2.2 in the finals.
Over on NBC aka the only other broadcast-TV game in town, America’s Got Talent (12.3 mil/2.4) dipped a tenth week-to-week but led the night in both measures. World of Dance (7.2 mil/1.7) also ticked down.

Here are historical All-Star Game ratings

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 12:09 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, television ratings

How Thomas Boswell ranked all 30 MLB ballparks, and grouped them in four tiers

7. New York Yankees. They almost ruined it with the “new” Yankee Stadium. It will never be as good as the old place. In its worst elements, it’s a crass cash factory for the rich. In its best elements, it still feels like its Yankee Stadium, white facade and all. The park doesn’t “play” as well as it once did with far too many cheap home runs to right and right-center field. The Babe would hit 75 homers in this bandbox….

17. Kansas City used to be in my top 10 easily. Then they ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 12:02 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, thomas boswell

Taking Back the Ballparks

In two years, the Seattle Mariners will have a new stadium to call home, without changing their address. The ballpark to be formerly known as Safeco Field is undergoing a corporate name change. In 2019, King Felix, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager will be playing in Boeing Park, or Microsoft Yards or Starbucks Lot. Whatever the new moniker, chances are it will be a downgrade.

As corporate names go, Safeco isn’t bad, much closer to Citi Field than Guaranteed Rate Field. But even if the new name ...

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SoSH U at work Posted: July 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: history, stadium names

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-12-2017

Ottawa [Illinois] Free Trader-Journal, July 12, 1917:

When the Providence International league team arrived in Newark, N.J., recently to play the Bears they discovered that Tom Needham’s players were unable to take the field. The trunks and grips in which Newark’s bats, gloves, masks, shoes and uniforms were packed had gone astray, and President Price was at a loss to know what had become of them. So the game had to be postponed. The Providence and Newark players had an afternoon off and made ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 12, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Juiced baseballs? Rob Manfred says he’s ‘certain’ balls are within specified limits - CBSSports.com

A Jonah Keri two-fer.

How much more would it cost narrow the specifications allowed?
According to Wikipedia:

A baseball is a ball used in the sport of the same name, baseball. The ball features a rubber or cork center, wrapped in yarn, and covered, in the words of the Official Baseball Rules “with two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together.” It is 9.00–9.25 inches (228.60–234.95 mm) in circumference, (2.86–2.94 in or 72.64–74.68 mm in diameter), and masses ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 09:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: baseballs

MLBPA boss Tony Clark admits issues with minor-league pay, but actions lacking - CBSSports.com

Actually only some of them will become members. For the most part, those who do stop caring about minor league wages. So, when you read someone railing about the owners on the issue, make sure to make the point about the MLB players walking lockstep with them on the issue.

As Clark himself said, “Invariably those are guys are going to become our members.” It’s time to treat them as such.

I spoke to Clark off the record following his talk in front of the BBWAA members at large. I’ll fulfill my ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 09:29 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, mlbpa, tony clark

Midseason 2017 Strike Zone Review – The Hardball Times

Great stuff on the strike zone.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 09:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, strike zone, umpiring

Baseball Prospectus | Dynasty Prospect Rankings

Finally, a reminder of ground rules here. This list is designed for keep-forever dynasty leagues without salaries or contracts, and with separate farm systems. It’s based on a medium-sized league, generally around 14-16 teams, and assumes one catcher rather than two. Home parks and organizations are factored in, as well as paths to playing time, since fantasy owners do care about these things. And as far as the player pools go, we are including anyone with prospect eligibility (regardless of ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 08:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: prospect rankings, prospects

Red Sox Draft History 2017 | SoxProspects.com

Great job, as always, by SoxProspects.com. Everything you want to know about Sox draft bonuses.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 08:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, prospects, red sox

Acuna’s hot July continues with big blast | MiLB.com News

Click through to see the monster homer. Five-tool player.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 07:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects, ronald acuna


Commissioner Rob Manfred patient with A’s stadium search - San Francisco Chronicle

“Given the change in the control situation,” Manfred said, “I think it’s prudent and sufficient for Mr. Fisher to take a year and make a decision on what site he thinks is the best.

“That decision is a uniquely local decision. I really don’t believe that it’s my job to have a preference for those sites. They know their market better. They’ve kept me briefed. They’ve spent a heck of a lot more time analyzing the sites. They’re far more familiar with the political issues that ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner

How five players on the awful 1999 Marlins made the team unforgettable

A Who’s Who of MLB Network analysts.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 06:53 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

This Time It’s Fun Again: The MLB All-Star Game of old is back

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 06:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna blossoms into All-Star starter under continued mentorship of Barry Bonds - Sun Sentinel

“He was my project when I went there,” Bonds said Saturday in San Francisco. “[Loria] said, ‘He’s yours.’ I said, ‘I guarantee you he won’t get worse.’”

Bonds made good on that promise last year with his work with Ozuna, who made the 2016 All-Star team as a reserve. And Bonds has continued that mentorship from a distance this year, speaking regularly with the Marlins’ left fielder, who will start for the National League in the All-Star Game Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 06:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, marcell ozuna, marlins

MLB All-Star Game gets silly with little on the line

MLB All Star Game is now a celebrity softball game.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 06:32 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

Robinson Cano’s home run in extras powers AL | MLB.com

AL wins meaningless exhibition.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2017 at 06:21 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


On “Weaver on Strategy” – The Hardball Times

There was no BaseballReference.com or Retrosheet.com in 1982. Stats, Inc. was founded in 1981. Weavers numbers were kept on index cards.

The anchor of his case is how Boog Powell fared against Mickey Lolich. In separate chapters of the book, Weaver said Powell went 1-for-61 and 2-for-61 against Lolich, a minor and forgivable slip. “That is something that never changed, and it never was going to change,” he said. That was why you gave your big first baseman a day off when Lolich got the ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2017 at 05:30 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: earl weaver

The Origin of the All-Star Game

By 1933, the Great Depression had ensnared all aspects of American society, reducing life for many to a scramble to acquire the most basic necessities. Unemployment rose to 25 percent, and roughly 33 million people were left without a source of income. After the bank collapse earlier that year, millions lost their savings, leaving them homeless and forcing families to part ways with their children. Cities and the countryside alike were ravaged, decimating both the middle and working classes, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2017 at 05:26 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, history

The Recent History of Free-Agent Pricing

But first this piece will explain how I actually calculate average value — the reference point for whether players are undervalued or overvalued. It is also the appropriate reference point when considering the opportunity cost of any other number of baseball moves. For example, when a team is considering the value of acquiring a young player who will produce a large volume of team-controlled WAR, the reference point for valuing him is the cost of acquiring that amount of WAR on the free-agent ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2017 at 05:15 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: war


How five players on the awful 1999 Marlins made the team unforgettable

That ’99 team, despite its record, will be tough to ignore. You won’t just see members of the club in Marlins Park, you’ll see them plastered all over your TV. Five players from the team: Ryan Dempster, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lowell, Kevin Millar and Preston Wilson reunited, and work together as broadcasters with MLB Network today.

The 1999 Marlins may have failed on the field, but something memorable was happening in the clubhouse. Every day, a group of some of the loudest, wackiest and most ...

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Juiced baseballs? Rob Manfred says he’s ‘certain’ balls are within specified limits

Manfred replied: “I know with absolute certainty” that the baseballs are within specified limits.

This is a non-answer. As noted in comprehensive articles (and podcasts) by both Ben Lindbergh (and Mitchel Lichtman) for The Ringer, and Rob Arthur for FiveThirtyEight, the range of acceptable liveliness of a baseball (in technical terms, its coefficient of restitution, or COR), varies wildly, from levels that could threaten a new Dead Ball Era to what we have this season, when we’re on pace to ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2017 at 04:04 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, rob manfred

Leitch: The All-Star Game Should Be Fun

I don’t agree with every one of his suggestions but I like the premise.  The All-Star game exists first and foremost for fun.  It doesn’t need gimmicks like deciding home-field advantage to make it matter.

Chris Fluit Posted: July 11, 2017 at 03:00 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game

Former Cubs catcher David Ross will return to field for Kansas Stars

Retired catcher and former Cub David Ross is returning to the field with the Kansas Stars, an independent team of former major-leaguers that debuted in the National Baseball Congress last year. Former White Sox player Adam LaRoche and Nate Robertson organized the team.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2017 at 02:23 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: david ross, national baseball congress

Astros player hops into DMs to lambast fan who tweeted about trading him | WFAA.com

It looks like the Astros front office might want to explain to Bregman why this wasn’t a good decision.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, astros

MLB commissioner mentions Charlotte’s name on the telly! | Field of Schemes

It’s tough to extort taxpayers without viable alternatives. Of course, if your team is in Cobb County, extortion isn’t even needed.

This isn’t actually the first time that Manfred has mentioned Charlotte as an expansion possibility — he did so back in 2015 as well, along with Portland — but in baseball Kremlinology, it’s de rigueur to interpret the hell out of every word out of the guy’s mouth, so let’s give it a shot. Maybe Charlotte has jumped to the head of the list in the last 14 ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2017 at 11:24 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: expansion, stadium deals

Olney: Baseball’s lost All-Star opportunity - Buster Olney Blog- ESPN

Another meaningless exhibition.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2017 at 11:10 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: all star game

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