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Sunday, March 01, 2015

ESPN: Switch-Pitcher Venditte The Talk Of A’s Camp

But in the early stages of camp, no Oakland pitcher has elicited more chatter than a 29-year-old career minor leaguer with a novel gift. Pat Venditte, who signed with the New York Yankees as a 20th-round draft pick out of Creighton in 2008, has a 2.46 ERA and 431 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings over seven minor league seasons. But his new teammates are far more impressed with his ability to pitch with both hands.

“For the first few days, he was the talk of camp,’’ Oakland manager Bob ...

Read More...

The career paths of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto |

Some info about the Mets top outfield prospects.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 12:59 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon nimmo, mets, michael conforto, prospects

OTP - March: You’re out, tobacco: Bill would ban products at all California baseball venues

The rifle report of balls popping into gloves, the finessed footwork of a double play, the sludgy streams of tobacco exiting mouths.

One of those mainstays of the national pastime could soon vanish from California’s major-league baseball fields.

Already banned in minor-league parks, tobacco would be prohibited at every baseball venue in California under legislation announced Tuesday by Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond. Thurmond and public health advocates justified the legislation as a ...

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Bitter Mouse Posted: March 01, 2015 at 11:37 AM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: california, politics, tobacco

Minnie Minoso Passes Away

The “Cuban Comet” blazed a trail for Latin American players in the big leagues starting in the 1950s. Minoso drove in 100 runs four times for the Sox and hit .300 or better six times
...
Reinsdorf once said this of Minoso: “...He did everything. He could run, he could hit with power, he could field, he could bunt, he could steal bases. He did everything.  He was a complete player.  He was one of the most exciting players I’ve ever seen play, in the mold of a Jackie Robinson.”

...Read More...
Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 01, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: deaths, white sox

Fun with MLB photo day - SBNation.com

Don’t know who Mr. Zoombiya is?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 09:47 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: photos

With Upton out, Braves can get good look at CF options | Atlanta Braves blog

It’s not like Upton hasn’t been given ample opportunity to keep his job. I’d say he has no complaint if someone plays well in his absence and he doesn’t automatically get his job back.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 09:07 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, melvin upton

Players union sees potential bargaining issue with Cubs-like spending restrictions | Chicago

This does seem to be a valid issue for the union. Essentially, the players are helping Ricketts pay for the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 09:00 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sox scout booed at church in Northern Cal - Boston Red Sox Blog - ESPN Boston

Funny story linked in the Lauria article.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 08:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Sunday Notes: Valentine on Hamilton, Acta & Keri on the Expos, Leathersich, more

David Lauria’s latest.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 08:42 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: sunday notes

Several aces may need to adjust to a low zone loss. | SportsonEarth.com

Sorry, it’s the right adjustment.

“A hitter can take as many swings as he wants,” Butcher said. “Pitchers are only allowed a certain amount of throws per day. So when you start tinkering with the strike zone, I think it’s a longer adjustment process for a pitcher to go through. I think it would be a tough adjustment and the wrong adjustment for the league.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 08:01 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, sabermetrics

Phillies newcomer Francoeur becoming Howard’s biggest fan

“It seems like every time I look at him, he’s got a few guys around him,” manager Ryne Sandberg said of Francoeur. “I think there’s a good reason behind that. Players tend to go to him.”

Francoeur and Howard have been nearly inseparable during the first week of camp.

Their lockers are next to each other. They were in the same, three-man group, with infielder Andres Blanco, when hitters faced live pitching Friday. They are in the same, six-man team under Charlie Manuel’s guidance in the team’s ...

Read More...
eddieot Posted: March 01, 2015 at 07:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur, mets, phillies, ryan howard

Who Is Responsible For A Called Strike?

Joe Rosales and Scott Spratt’s, both of Baseball Info Solutions, co-winning article of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference top research paper. Their work suggests that pitch framing, which has traditionally rewarded most of the credit to catchers alone, is actually a function of three independent participants: the catcher, pitcher, and umpire.

Expanded use of instant replay was a major talking point of the 2014 MLB season, but balls and strikes are notable
exclusions to the list of ...

Read More...
Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 01, 2015 at 04:19 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: research, sloan, strike zone

Alex Rodriguez Attends First-Base School, but a Key Item Is Absent

The Yankees’ grand experiment of spring training, teaching Alex Rodriguez to play first base, began with a rudimentary lesson: Don’t forget your glove.

The new first baseman’s glove that Rodriguez had to procure vanished Friday morning, leaving Rodriguez to do drills at the position with his third baseman’s glove.

What was most striking about Rodriguez’s first workout at first base was how disengaged he appeared to be. While other Yankees did the drills at close to game speed, ...

Read More...
PreservedFish Posted: March 01, 2015 at 01:45 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: arod, equipment, yankees

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Washington Post: A Career In The Balance

Was blind but now can see?

Donatelli trains willing athletes to improve their vestibular system — colloquially known as the inner ear, the system that controls balance. That system aids the eyes in focusing on a target even while the body and head are moving. Dysfunction in the vestibular system can affect an athlete’s ability to see things in motion, such as a baseball hurtling his way while his head and body are rotating to hit it.

Head trauma can cause dysfunction in the vestibular ...

Read More...

Blue Jays expect Saunders back early in season - Sportsnet.ca

Michael Saunders should be ready to rejoin the Toronto Blue Jays by mid-April rather than around the all-star break after the left-fielder had 60 percent of the meniscus removed from his left knee during surgery Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

In honor of the late Leonard Nimoy, the ‘Vulcan changeup’

Actor and cultural icon Leonard Nimoy died at the age of 83 on Friday. So in small celebration of the man and in keeping with our stated mission, let’s devote a few moments to the pitch Nimoy’s Mr. Spock inspired: the Vulcan changeup.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: February 28, 2015 at 04:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: leonard nimoy, spock

Sale fractures right foot in accident at home | MLB.com

Chris Sale sustained an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his right foot in an accident at his home on Friday. The left-hander is expected to be sidelined three weeks before resuming baseball activities, according to the White Sox.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 02:33 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, injury, white sox

Forbes: Chicago Cubs Valuation Hits $1.8 Billion In Minority Sale Of Team

In 2009, the Ricketts family paid $845 million for the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, 25% of Comcast SportsNet Chicago and a small parcel of land outside the stadium. The owners recently recently raised a total of $150 million of equity to help fund the renovation of their ballpark by selling minority interests of the same assets to six investors, plus a tiny piece of land they subsequently bought for $20 million where there was a McDonald’s, for $2.25 billion, according to two people at ...

Read More...
McCoy Posted: February 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, finances

MLB Network: Carlos Pena explains Effective Velocity (video)

Carlos Pena dives into the topic of effective velocity, or why all 90 mph fastballs aren’t created equally.

Xander Posted: February 28, 2015 at 09:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting, hitting coaches, hitting philosophies, mlb network, video

Baseball Prospectus | Prospectus Feature: A.J. Preller’s Offseason and the Toronto Precedent

Put me in the camp of those who think the Padres won’t compete in the NL West in 2015. They will be better than they were in 2014 but not good enough.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marlins, padres

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Yasmany Tomas goes to work at third base

This does not sound hopeful.

I watched a little bit of his defensive work,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. “I thought he worked really hard and that he’s getting there. We have a lot of guys over there who are really fundamentally sound, so he’s able to watch them and pick things up from them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, yasmany tomas

Bobblehead collectors Phil Sklar and Brad Novak turn pro by launching National HOF and Museum

The resultant publicity increased the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s membership rolls, which now include individuals in more than 40 states. Membership, which can be had for as little as $20, includes perks such as free admission to the museum and the ability to vote in Bobblehead Hall of Fame elections. (Fifty bobbleheads will be inducted as part of the initial class, with four per year receiving the honor after that). To create additional revenue, Novak and Sklar have also begun designing ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: bobbleheads

Deep dive from Ike Davis on Mets’ downfall, hope for future - NY Daily News

I still kinda like Ike.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ike davis, mets

2015-16 MLB International Bonus Pools - BaseballAmerica.com

Does anyone know how these numbers are determined?

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 07:15 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: international free agents

Aramis Ramirez plans to retire after 2015 season

In 2,057 career games, Ramirez has hit .285/.344/.496 with 369 home runs and 2,186 hits. Ramirez has made three All Star games in his career, including last season when he was elected a starter by the fans.

Jacob Posted: February 28, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: aramis ramirez

Jeff Sullivan: Every single team has a chance ... yes, even the Phillies

“...just to re-state it, for the current record: one standard deviation of the difference between actual wins and projected wins is found here to be 8.7. That’s a 17-win window, around a central projection…”

'Spos hits refresh, waits for spring Posted: February 28, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, projections, randomness

Dodgers going organic this season

“We are the healthiest team in pro sports,” was written across the top of the menu at Camelback Ranch Thursday. That day’s lunch was organic seared pork chops, free-range herb seared chicken, organic baked potatoes and organic sautéed asparagus. Not exactly low-calorie, but fortifying and low on toxins.

Because nothing says healthy like pork and potatoes.

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 28, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

AJC: Braves center fielder Upton (foot) likely out at least 2 months

Melvin Upton Jr. will likely miss all of spring training after being diagnosed with inflammation of a bone in his left foot, and the Braves suddenly have another opening-day spot up for grabs.

Upton had X-rays Friday morning that showed some damage but weren’t definitive, then had an MRI exam that revealed he has sesamoiditis, or inflammation in a bone behind the ball of his foot.

The Braves said he would be in short leg cast for two weeks, then a walking boot for 4-6 weeks. He’s not ...

Read More...
Rickey! is just here so he don't get fined Posted: February 28, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, the melvins

Friday, February 27, 2015

Juan Pierre officially announces his retirement

Juan Pierre, who sat out last season after struggling for the Marlins in 2013, has officially decided to retire at age 37.

A delayed goodbye from one of the game’s fastest men.


International Notes: Bonus Pools, Alvarez, Olivera – MLB Trade Rumors

Some info about Yadier Alvarez’s free agent status.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2015 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban free agents

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