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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Allen Barra: Football vs. Baseball? The Same Old B.S. Argument

As one of my old managers used to say…“If you’re really not good at any sport…try out for football.”

That’s the nature of pro football. At least 95 percent of NFL fans have never seen their favorite team — or any other team — in person. I’m not pulling that figure out of a hat. A couple of years ago George Will, when he served on baseball’s Blue Ribbon Panel, told me they conducted a survey indicating that the number of football fans who only knew the game from their living room sofa was ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:53 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, special topics, television

Grantland: Keri: The Inexplicable Non-Decision-Making of the Chicago Cubs

Jonah Keri explores a painful topic for Cubs fans - Jim “What, me worry?” Hendry.

Chicago Joe Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:19 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, obituaries, rumors

Baseball America: Callis: Ask B.A.

...about revisiting the Mets Top 10 Prospects list.

The sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft, Wheeler is a 21-year-old righthander who easily delivers fastball in the mid-90s while also showing the potential for a plus curveball and changeup. Like a lot of young pitchers, he needs better command and consistency, but his upside as a frontline starter is undeniable.

Getting Wheeler was a coup for an organization that hasn’t had much go right in recent years. One player alone doesn’t make a farm ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 12:11 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mets, minor leagues, projections, prospect reports, sabermetrics, scouting

Callahan: Erik Bedard is ‘recipe for disaster’

Callahan: You know, you’re crazy if you think you’ve heard the last of this guy. He’s gonna suck again.

Bedard is a hard-throwing left-hander with the proverbial good stuff, but when you take a look at the complete package, it’s obvious he belongs in Boston about as much as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie belongs on an Abercrombie & Fitch billboard.

Bedard doesn’t like the media. He doesn’t like crowds. He doesn’t like attention. He doesn’t like day games. Some people wonder if he ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:52 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, projections, red sox, sabermetrics

WSJ: On-Deck Routines Hurt Hitters’ Bat Speed; Giving Up Doughnuts

Elston Howard just upchucked a heavenly Wasabi Cheese-filled.

Call it mind over physiology, a belief in the practices that have brought them to this level, but hitters are just now digesting the news that their time-honored on-deck routines are wrong. Scientific research makes clear that the more weight you swing in the on-deck circle, the slower your swing in the batter’s box. The slower the swing, the harder it is to catch up to searing fastballs and do what’s considered the toughest task in ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:28 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history

No place to hide Adam Dunn in Sox’s loss to Yankees

Wuh…Taylor Mountain, Genesee River Gorge, and Gilgo Beach are filled to capacity?

As for Dunn, his struggles continued as he struck out three times against Sabathia to increase his season total to 137.

Dunn did receive plenty of support from Pierzynski and Beckham after the game.

“I love Adam Dunn, on and off the field,” Pierzynski said. “Everyone’s been there. If you’ve ever played this game, you’ve struggled. This is not an easy game to play. It’s not something that you can go out ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 11:06 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, projections, white sox

Woody Paige: Rockies are years away from being contenders

My Woody’s outside
Covered with know
Hot air will blow now.

O’Dowd can’t be blamed completely for the fiasco — Jorge De La Rosa’s season-ending injury, Carlos Gonzalez’s wall collision, the dismal efforts of his acquisitions Jose Lopez and Ty Wigginton, the continuing embarrassment by Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta and Dexter Fowler as major-league hitters, Jimenez’s first-half breakdown (combined with his second-half collapse last season), the farcical home record, the preposterous Sunday ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 10:29 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, rockies, sabermetrics

Game Blog:  Brewers 6, Cardinals 2

Craig Counsell, pinch-hitting for Greinke, pops out to second to extend his hitless streak to 45 at-bats.

Counsell appears to be one short of the major league record of 46 consecutive hitless at-bats for a position player, held by Bill Bergen.  Queries on baseball-reference.com, which run back to 1919, show no longer streak.

Counsell’s last hits came on June 8th, when he went 3-3 against the Cardinals.  He has 2 runs scored in his streak, as well as a game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly.  He ...

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Jay Z Posted: August 02, 2011 at 10:22 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cardinals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-2-2011

Pittsburgh Press, August 2, 1911:

Rafael Almeida is neither a Cuban or a Spaniard, but a Portuguese.  He says that he is not Senor Almeida, but Senhor D’Almeida, of a well-known Lisbon family, exporters of port wines and such good things.  What next?

And Tom Grieve, the shortstop who hasn’t shortstopped any yet, is a Scotchman, born in Kiltland, and still carrying a Hieland brogue that would warm the heart of Bobby Burns.  Oh, very well.  Has anyone seen Nikolaieff Skobeloffskivitch in the ...

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Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 02, 2011 at 08:39 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

SF Chronicle: A’s shortstop Cliff Pennington has Bell’s Palsy

Cliff Pennington was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy on Monday, and by the sixth inning, he was having trouble seeing because he couldn’t close his left eye and it kept tearing up. “It feels like I went to the dentist and the whole left side of my face is numb,” he said.

Pennington, who was replaced in the sixth by Eric Sogard, is hopeful that the usually temporary condition, in which a nerve causes facial paralysis, clears up within a day or two. He was put on medication immediately, which is ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 02, 2011 at 07:49 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

MLB.com: Overbay designated as Bucs clear roster space

Brought in this winter to be a big bat in the middle of the lineup, Lyle Overbay’s tenure with the Pirates is over prematurely following four months of offensive struggles.

The club designated Overbay for assignment on Monday in order to open up a roster spot for first baseman Derrek Lee, who was acquired in a trade with the Orioles on Saturday. There is a possibility that Overbay could be claimed off waivers by a team that will ask the Pirates to pay a significant portion of the approximately ...

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NTNgod Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:56 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

WSJ: Bialik: Is Baseball’s Odometer Nearing a Milestone?

Put a milometer on him!

Major League Baseball is approaching an arbitrary but fun milestone: its 200,000th game of all time. Unless it reached that milestone a month ago. Or last October.

The statistical website Baseball-Reference has been counting up to the majors’ 200,000th game. Through Sunday, the tally is 199,254 games, and the site is predicting the milestone will be reached Sept. 24. But there are some uncertainties about the total. Alternate ways of counting lead to the conclusion ...

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Repoz Posted: August 02, 2011 at 02:04 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics

Monday, August 01, 2011

LA Times: Key witness in Bryan Stow beating dies unexpectedly

Hoo-boy:

A key witness in the beating case of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium died suddenly, apparently of an allergic food reaction.

According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, Matthew Lee died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which caused the allergic reaction. The coroner has not determined a cause of death, however.

Stow and Lee went to the Dodgers’ home opener together with a group of friends.

It’s unclear how this will affect the ...

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AndrewJ Posted: August 01, 2011 at 10:39 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, giants, obituaries

Jered Weaver: In Defense Of Headhunting

When Jered Weaver threw at Alexi Avila’s head, the purpose pitch missed by a long shot. Even though Weaver could have hit him, his job is to precisely locate the ball and he did so here - far from doing any damage. But you never know. And that is the terror of the billy club. And you don’t find out about that terror if you stay within the lines of playing the game in a respectful manner. It was a chilling reminder to all that the pitcher is a force of nature on the mound. He literally can kill ...

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WiHaloFan Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:37 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Freakonomics: How Best to Realign Major League Baseball: A Freakonomics Quorum

Woo-hoo! Noisier than Hasil Adkins loading his equipment on stage! With…J.C. Bradbury, Andrew Zimbalist, Dave Berri and Raymond Sauer.

Dave Berri

...Beyond the inability to expand, let me briefly comment on a proposal that I think is linked to the idea of realignment. There is also a movement to expand baseball’s playoffs to five teams in each league. So if 15 teams play in each league, 33% of the each league would be in the post-season if the playoffs are expanded.

My sense is that an ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:15 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, site news, special topics

The Biz of Baseball: Who’s to Blame for Frank McCourt Owning the Dodgers?

“You could say the debt crisis, and you know what…? That’s not too far from the truth…” adds Maury.

Who’s to Blame?

The Dodgers are a victim of circumstance. Glazer being unable to get around the NFL’s rules… the issue with Ed Glazer not being a suitable management fit for MLB… News Corp pushing for the sale…. McCourt’s liquidity problem that Allen & Co said would never be an issue. No one thing is the true catalyst. The league was in a no-win situation and are now dealing with ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:11 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, dodgers, media

Sullivan: J.D. Drew Closure: Remembering Him in the Appropriate Light

Or as my kid said when first seeing the J.D. Drew Rookie Card...“THAT’S the new Mickey Mantle?”

To paraphrase, for (Bill) Simmons, there were a couple “solid” seasons “from a saber standpoint” but he lacked Trot Nixon’s fire and Drew’s personality was probably never meant for Boston (Boston’s a really special place, you guys!) but a big part of the reason that Adrian Gonzalez’s deal is working out so well is that his personality fits here. That’s the lunacy that passes for real analysis while ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:25 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, media, red sox, sabermetrics

Olbermann: Ubaldo: Have You Got Any More In The Back?

Olbermann, more Greenspan than Greenwade.

All of which brings us to Ubaldo Jimenez. Why wouldn’t you trade for a man who shined the way he did the first half of last year? Why, he was 15-1, and he was still 17-2 and the consensus Cy Young Winner before he got “tired.” He’s a solid citizen, and judging by that ‘bicycle license plate’ commercial, a very funny, grounded man. Heck, he’s got an Emmy Award for narrating a special for the regional cable network in Denver (I don’t have ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:16 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, prospect reports, rockies, scouting, yankees

Designated Sitter: Daly: No Fear

“Wilkerish” run by Jon “GGC” Daly…as fear strikes out, with no mention of Malden, Mass.

Eventually, we settled down. Vinroe is in IT. Page teaches. Last I heard, Ladison was selling Amway. It took me years, but I settled down, too. I’m married now. Gave up snuff five years ago, drive soberly at a more reasonable speed. I push paper from pile A to pile B so that salesmen don’t have to. Now I worry about deadlines and commitments. What to leave in? What to leave out? But Leyritz was a jock ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:02 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: history, red sox, site news, white sox, yankees

Rosenthal: Yankees cast lot with their prospects

ROBOTHAL NEVER SLEEPS!

The Yankees on Sunday made a play for Houston Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez, but that push was driven by ownership, not Cashman, according to major-league sources. The Yankees were willing to pay $21 million of the $38 million remaining on the final three-plus years of Rodriguez’s contract, according to SI.com. The Astros, on the other hand, were willing to pay $2 million of Rodriguez’s salary this season or $5 million if his option for 2014 were exercised, sources ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:18 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, indians, minor leagues, rangers, rockies, rumors, yankees

Sheinin, WaPo:  With trade deadline over, Texas Rangers may be team to beat in AL

It would be difficult to consider all that transpired over the weekend –- as well as one major development on Monday morning -– without reaching one obvious conclusion: The Texas Rangers struck it big at the trade deadline, and may have just zoomed past the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees as the league’s team to beat.

TerpNats Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:05 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: rangers, red sox, yankees

Building The Perfect Pitcher

But whose brain do we use? Stay away from the Abby-Normal ones…

I’ve seen this sort of exercise done before, usually in difficult-to-quantify terms like “Mental Toughness” or “Stuff” or “Nastiness” or “Poise.” This time I’d rather it be metric-driven, even if the data is based in part on observation and, by extension, is subject to error. I simply wanted to determine who had the best pitches this season or, more accurately, who had the best results from their pitches

vegasman2000 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:30 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball

Cameron: Moore resisted all offers for “young” veterans Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur

Ô Cameron, Berceau de nos Ancêtres (Frenchy style)

Francoeur and Cabrera, two players who have re-invented themselves and now team with Alex Gordon to form one of the better outfields anywhere in baseball, seem thrilled to be in Kansas City.

And frankly, they’ve both been terrific.

Cabrera is hitting .304, with 13 home runs and 61 RBIs. Francoeur’s numbers are .272, 14 and 62. The Royals have played 108 games, exactly two-thirds of their 162-game schedule – putting Cabrera and Francoeur ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:56 PM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: business, projections, royals, sabermetrics

Brookover: Wade played no favorites in dealing Pence

and all future skid greasing will have no bearing whatsoever! So there!

Amaro did not think that was going to be the case the day before. He feared things were falling apart but said, “I always try to stay cautiously optimistic.”

It helped that he was dealing with Wade, but not because Amaro feels as though he can pull one over on his former boss.

“Obviously I have a familiarity with Ed and I view him as a good friend,” Amaro said. “The one thing you can get from some particular GMs is that ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:17 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, media, phillies

Elliott: Robbie Alomar flip a game-changer

This can’t be true. I seem to remember Rich McKinney attempting this once…and ending up in the weeds.

“I was thinking the other day about changes I’d seen in the game since I started playing,” Mike Flanagan said. “The only one I can think of was brought in by Robbie Alomar.

“On a ground ball up the middle, how he’d field the ball and do a back-hand flip to the shortstop on a double play grounder.”

Alomar was the first Flanagan ever saw make the play and without breaking ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 11:40 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, hall of fame, history

McAdam: Buchholz has stress fracture, likely out for year

No Clay morrow? Anarchy!

With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to now understand why the Red Sox spent so much time and energy on finding a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.

Clay Buchholz, who’s been out six weeks, is suffering from a stress fracture in his lower back, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

It’s unlikely that Buchholz will pitch again this season, though a return in the postseason has not entirely been ruled out yet.

Buchholz, whose last start was ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 11:19 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Rosenberg: Bad behavior tarnishes Tigers-Angels game

Freep Printable Behavior Charts.com has lots of great ideas!

Alas, Angels pitcher Jered Weaver did not. Weaver responded by trying to expand Ordoñez’s vocabulary.

Ordoñez said, “If you get mad because somebody hits a home run against you ... you gotta take it like a man.”

Yes, you do. The Tigers had the moral high ground, and Carlos Guillen promptly pulled them off it. Guillen took Weaver deep, then stood admiring his home run, and stared at Weaver and pointed toward the fence. He did ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 124 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, game recaps, tigers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2011

Pittsburgh Press, August 1, 1911:

Painesville, O., August 1.—Fred White, 18 years old, first baseman for the Mohawks…was struck by a pitched ball which caused his death yesterday afternoon.

White, after being hit, finished a half inning with his team, and was just getting into a wagon to return to his home here when he dropped unconscious.

Fred White: Gamer.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:46 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, obituaries

Baker: End of the Erik Bedard and Bill Bavasi era for the Mariners

The fact that Josh Fields will be added in to the outgoing Seattle portion of the deal matters little. Fields never really took in Seattle, where he staged a bizarre early holdout for six figures in additional cash when he could have spent part of the 2008 season with the M’s had he played his cards right.

Instead, Fields becomes the fourth and final No. 1 draft pick from the Bill Bavasi era to be traded out of town by GM Jack Zduriencik. Fields joins Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow and Phillippe ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:14 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, mariners, projections, sabermetrics, scouting

Sullivan: Carlos Pena believes Cubs’ chemistry could be better

It’s Quaderupolarizin’!

While the Cubs’ clubhouse is relatively calm and quiet compared to years past, Carlos Pena surprised the media on Sunday by expressing a desire to improve the team chemistry.

“When you have the right kind of chemistry, it’s just magical,” he said. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to build toward — that chemistry that really just makes incredible things happen. … It’s not something you can just turn on a switch. I know that for a fact. But it does happen. It’s a ...

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Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:41 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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