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Monday, January 25, 2016

Baseball’s Sharpest Drives - The New York Times

This does not appeal to me.

After Cespedes established himself as a star, he bought a Lamborghini Aventador, a car that Vega estimated cost about $400,000. Then Cespedes asked for $75,000 in renovations. Cespedes wanted the car painted satin black with metallic blue accents. He wanted the entire interior redone, a custom wheel design, and for the exhaust to spit fire out of the back.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 07:05 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cars

Charley Walters: Paul Molitor has Twins on ‘pretty good course’ - TwinCities.com

Molitor on the Twins.

“I don’t think I’m as nervous as some people—he’s athletic enough,” Molitor said. “Once we signed (South Korean Byung Ho) Park, we knew we were going to have to do something different. You look at your personnel and see how it fits together, and I’m not taking (Trevor) Plouffe off of third (base).

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 07:00 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: paul molitor, twins

Tigers will use more data to improve decision-making

What did the “analytics coordinator” do before the change?

“We didn’t really revamp the analytics department,” Avila said Saturday during TigerFest. “We didn’t have an analytics department.”

So in August, Avila promoted Sam Menzin from analytics coordinator to director of baseball operations and hired former Apple executive and Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager Jay Sartori to serve as senior director of baseball operations in November.

Together, Menzin and Sartori head ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:57 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tigers

Texas Rangers: Investigation finds no ties between Yu Darvish and brother’s alleged gambling ring | SportsDay

Major League Baseball has found no links between Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish and the alleged illegal gambling activities of his younger brother, Sho, in Japan, a source said on Saturday.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, yu darvish

Kevin Kiermaier defense measured with Statcast | MLB.com

I look forward to when there is enough data to put a run value on each catch using StatCast data.

It’s not quite as big a gap, though Kiermaier still clearly covered more ground. The images line up well with the tracked numbers, which show that Kiermaier’s average distance covered of 58.5 feet on catches was well more than Pagan’s 51.2 or the average center fielder’s 53.8 feet.

Now, let’s be clear about what those images are showing and what they aren’t. Those dots are all catches, without ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, kevin kiermaier, rays, sabermetrics, statcast

Deadspin: U.S. Attorney Suggests Password Cardinals Used To Access Astros Scouting Database Was “Eckstein123”

Here’s what U.S. Attorney Michael Chu said (from the transcript of Correa’s re-arraignment):

MR. CHU: It was based on the name of a player who was scrawny and who would not have been thought of to succeed in the major leagues, but through effort and determination he succeeded anyway. So this user of the password just liked that name, so he just kept on using that name over the years.

What about Chris Truby?

eddieot Posted: January 25, 2016 at 05:34 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, david eckstein, hacking

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Top 10 States for MLB Stars

Crabcakes and baseball! That’s what Maryland does!

1. Maryland
50-plus WAR players: 9
MVP and Cy Young Awards: 7

No state responsible for at least 200 big leaguers produced 50-WAR players at a greater clip than Maryland. Despite producing only 303 total players, nine—or one in every 33.7 players—have gone on to reach that plateau. Seven of those nine have a plaque in Cooperstown, including Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Cal Ripken Jr. and Al Kaline. Though Maryland has helped produce ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2016 at 09:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: geography, hometowns, maryland

This Year’s Free Agent Class Was Incredibly Good

I am the #1 fan of this year’s free agent class.

This year’s crop of free agents is nearly two years younger than last season’s — and younger than any of the groups of the past five years. Given that they are younger, it might be reasonable to conclude that they performed better over the past year. That assumption would be correct, as the graph below shows….

Taking inflation into account, MLB teams have not spent more than they did in 2006 in free agency on either the top 10 or the top ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2016 at 09:29 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents

Kahrl: Why moving the A’s and Rays would be good for baseball

Move them to LA to share a stadium with the Rams and Chargers!

A better venue in the East Bay, ideally closer to a rich seam of corporate clients, would provide major money over what the A’s are generating now. If that’s best done in San Jose, it’s on Manfred to make that happen, and for baseball to afford the expense of paying back the Giants for their unused territorial rights. In Montreal, the track record for attendance, even without a great downtown venue and before the industry ran the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2016 at 09:26 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, montreal, rays, relocation, san jose

Nick Cafardo: Which MLB teams improved and which took a step back? - The Boston Globe

Sorry, Swihart is a better all around catcher than Vazquez.

5. Unless Blake Swihart really improves his defense, Christian Vazquez has a great chance of taking the Red Sox’ No. 1 job at catcher once he gets a little playing time at Pawtucket and tests his Tommy John-repaired elbow.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2016 at 04:09 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Sunday Notes: Nicolino’s K, Rangers, Rosario, Andrelton or Jeter, more | FanGraphs Baseball

A bunch of notes, including this warning.

As Steve Dilbeck wrote in the LA Times, Andre Ethier will earn his 10-5 rights — 10 years of major league service, the last five with the same team — on April 21. At that point, the Dodgers outfielder would be able to veto a trade.

For that reason, expect Ethier to change addresses between now and opening day. His salary — $35.5 million for the next two seasons — will deter some teams (hello Cleveland), but the crosstown Angels might be willing ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2016 at 04:01 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: notes

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Mets’ Big Bet Against Fielding

Around the diamond, the Mets defenders rank somewhere between average and lousy relative to their positional peers; this is going to be a bad defensive team ... Rather than going for balance, the Mets have built a roster with two strengths and one big weakness; thankfully for them, their weakness is in the part of the game that matters the least.

PreservedFish Posted: January 23, 2016 at 09:48 PM | 142 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, mets, strategy

Joe Adcock newest addition to Miller Park Walk of Fame

from the article

Former Milwaukee Braves first baseman Joe Adcock is the latest to be honored, the Milwaukee Brewers announced Friday.

The Coushatta, La., native played 10 of his 17 major-league seasons with the Braves, from 1953-‘62. He hit .285 with 239 home runs and 760 runs batted in over 1,207 games with the franchise.

He also accomplished several milestones while playing for the Braves, including recording the first base hit and scoring the first run in County Stadium history on April ...

Read More...
Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2016 at 05:42 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: adcock, braves, brewers

Mike Trout in the middle of “Bone Hard” “12 inches” and is “loving it.”

That headline should be blamed on me, and no one else. My inner 12 year old saw its chance and took it.

When Mike Trout isn’t mashing home runs or robbing them, he’s at home doing precise meteorological measurements; the self-described “weather geek” wants to be a stormchaser someday, and The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore had Trout on this morning to report on conditions in his hometown of Millville, N.J.

Those conditions? Terrible. “I love it,” reported Trout.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Heyman: mets and cespedes have a deal. 3 years guaranteed. opt out after 1.

According to Heyman, Cespedes is *still* for the rest of us.

JEe (Jason) Posted: January 22, 2016 at 11:11 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: free agent, mets, yoenis cespedes

Rosenthal: Cespedes deal with #Mets expected to be in three-year, $70M range with one-year opt-out.

Cespedes deal with #Mets expected to be in three-year, $70M range with one-year opt-out.

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 22, 2016 at 11:06 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: new york mets

Homeland Security Secretary Thinks No Food At Ballparks Is A Good Idea

Freedom isn’t free, but it makes me hungry!

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was invited to address the meeting. Here’s one thing he told the assembled executives, according to Marlins president David Samson:

According to Samson, Johnson told the group a stadium could be 100 percent secure if additional steps were taken, such as prohibiting fans from bringing any bags and eliminating food and food-services workers. Checking the trunks and bottoms of cars entering parking lots ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2016 at 01:40 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: ballpark security

The Road to MLB: Hard and Long for Players, Harder and Longer for Broadcasters

Broadcasters in the minors are subject to many of the same things that test the commitment of players. The conditions are rough. The road trips are long. The pay sucks.

And minor league broadcasters can’t exactly minimize the hours they’re exposed to these things.

Ritzo, for instance, is officially the director of broadcasting for San Jose. In a 2015 interview with Dick Sparrer of the San Jose Mercury News, he said his workday includes not only calling the game but also providing coaches with ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2016 at 10:30 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasters, media, minor leagues

Aroldis Chapman won’t face charges from October domestic case

Looks like Brian Cashman may have outsmarted 29 other GM’s

Edit: Deadspin has more info.

Captain Supporter Posted: January 22, 2016 at 10:23 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, yankees

SpiraAward.org

Greg was an original Primate and a personal friend. Help keep his memory alive by supporting an effort that he would have greatly appreciated.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 09:11 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: writing worth reading

PCL president admonishes LVCVA over crumbling Cashman Field | Las Vegas Review-Journal

You would think Vegas would know a suckers bet.

Eventually, the city leaders there would build a new ballpark where the old one had been. Albuquerque got its team back when the new owners in Calgary decided to play where it was warmer, in a new ballpark that had a climate-controlled batting cage and plenty of restrooms for spectators on Fireworks Night.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 08:49 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league baseball, stadium financing, stadium renovations

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-22-2016

Pittsburgh Press, January 22, 1916:

There is no denying that Joe Jackson is not as valuable to a ball team as his .368 grand average for six years would lead one to believe, but there is no danger of his losing his position as a regular in the Whitesox outfield. Jackson may be a slow thinker and an individual star, but as he only has to contest with Eddie Murphy, “Happy” Felsch, John Collins and Jacques Fournier for a regular position, he will have little trouble holding his position.

A story ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 22, 2016 at 08:20 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, joe jackson

Red Sox considered more moves in January, but right deal wasn’t there | Boston Herald

In the 2016 Hardball Times Annual Jeff Zimmerman did a great study of draft pick value. His study estimated that the 12th overall pick produces about 4.1 WAR overall and 2.7 surplus WAR (which he defines as “how much of the WAR is surplus compared to similar players on the free-agent market”). At $8 million per WAR, that makes the value of the 12th pick at around $21.6 million.

Surrendering their unprotected 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft was also unappealing, though the Sox ran ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 06:50 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Niyo: After cancer scare, Norris lives life to fullest

“I want to be known for baseball. I don’t want to be known for the van, I don’t want to be known for the cancer.”

He doesn’t even want to be “known for the home run,” he adds, though it was pretty cool, that 420-foot shot he hit off Jon Lester at Wrigley Field in August in his first professional at-bat.

“I want to be known for pitching, and striking people out,” Norris said.

“That’s my focus. I want to be the best pitcher I can be. I want to make a name for myself on ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 06:46 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel norris, tigers

The Contacct Theory and the Power Theory | Articles | Bill James Online

This isn’t shocking to people who sim a lot of baseball. The value depends on the home run rate. The more homers getting hit the less important the contact rate. As Don Coffin comments in the article, it’s a difference of long-sequence vs. short-sequence offenses. Right now players aren’t hitting as many homers so the value of contract style hitters, as a lineup group, has risen. (The home run rate also impacts on base percentage as a lower home run rate produces fewer walks.) Of course, if you ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 06:25 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Sources: Yoenis Cespedes torn between five-year offer from Nationals and his desire to stay with Mets, who won’t go beyond three years | FOX Sports

Or, more likely, the Nationals are the only serious bidder and his agents are floating this rumor to extract a larger offer from the Nationals.

By all accounts, he enjoyed his brief stay with the Mets, who acquired him from the Tigers July 31—Cespedes’ third trade in 12 months. Changing teams again might not appeal to him. Joining the Nationals also might concern him, given the number of strong personalities in their clubhouse. The Nats hired Dusty Baker as manager in part to help mold the ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2016 at 05:28 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mets, nationals, yoenis cespedes

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Prospect Watch: Top 10 Catchers for 2016 | MLB.com

Top ten catchers.

1. Willson Contreras, Cubs
One of the top breakout prospects of 2015, Contreras led the Southern League in both batting (.333) and extra-base hits (46), and he set personal bests in most offensive categories. Signed out of Venezuela as a third baseman in 2009, he moved behind the plate in 2012 and has continued to make strides defensively. Contreras’ athleticism and arm strength give him a good chance of sticking at the position, though his receiving still needs work.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2016 at 08:52 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: catchers, prospects

National League could adopt DH by 2017, Rob Manfred says

Chatter about the National League adopting the designated hitter has heated up, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday told reporters the issue could very well be addressed in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement that goes into effect in 2017.

The American League established the DH in 1973 and has since enjoyed advantages over the National League during interleague play regardless of which league hosts the game. American League teams are 23-19 in the World Series since the DH was ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 04:52 PM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: designated hitter, national league, rob manfred

2016 Non-Waiver Trade Deadline Moved To Aug. 1

“And THE LORD said the Seventh Day is the Sabbath, and there shall be no trade deadline unto you.”

Because the typical non-waiver trade deadline of July 31 would have fallen on a Sunday this summer, Major League Baseball has pushed the deadline back 24 hours, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). This year’s non-waiver trade deadline will come on Monday, Aug. 1 as a result of the switch. Nightengale doesn’t include a specific time, but it’ll presumably be the same 4pm ET. ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 03:01 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: trade deadline

Rays signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal

The Rays are signing Steve Pearce to a 1-year deal pending a physical, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Pearce, 32, will get at-bats at DH, 1B and in the outfield. The Lakeland native has played parts of nine seasons in the majors, the last three with Baltimore.

Pearce had a spectacular 2014 season, hitting .293 with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and a .930 OPS in 102 games but fell off considerably last year, hitting .218-15-40-.711 in 92 games.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rays, steve pearce

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