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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Why the Mariners rebuild is mostly beneficial to GM Jerry Dipoto’s job security and ownership - CBSSports.com

Is it really true teams don’t have to worry about winning? I don’t buy it.

Now, Dipoto is in a somewhat enviable position: He doesn’t have to show results to keep his job. The old saying was teams had to sell fans on wins or hope. In this post-“Process” era, fans seem more open than ever to buying hope—that their organizations can build a so-called sustainable winner that has many shots at a championship rather than one or two. Not coincidentally, the sustainable strategy aligns with the best ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2018 at 08:18 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: jerry dipoto, mariners

Interesting subplot brews in NL East as rival Braves hire Rick Kranitz, Phillies’ deposed pitching coach

After the Phillies surprisingly fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz last month, we wrote this line:

Kranitz, who had previously served as head major-league pitching coach with Miami, Baltimore and Milwaukee, should have no trouble hooking on with another organization.

Well, this has proven true.

Pity that the soap opera is a dying breed- this is the sort of thing for which the organ music was very much intended.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, phillies, rick kranitz, soap opera

Young players have officially taken over Major League Baseball

This summer, when we asked major league veterans to talk about getting old, only one of them—Adam Jones, father of two sons—brought up Lightning McQueen.

Aging is not so much the body breaking down, Jones theorized, as the fact that every generation is better than the one before it. “It’s not an excuse, but the game’s gotten harder. That’s all it is: the next generation. It’s like that line from ‘Cars 3.’ His grandpa told him, ‘You’ll know when to retire. The youngsters will tell you.’ I’m ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:12 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: youth

Mets have been in touch with free agent CF A.J. Pollock

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said his big move to land Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz wasn’t the last he would make. His agressive style this offseason will continue, and free-agent CF A.J. Pollock is a name he has shown interest in.

Van Wagenen said he believes Pollock could be a good fit for the Mets, and he has been in touch with Pollock’s agent

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Pollock is looking for a five-year deal worth around $80 million—similar to what the Brewers gave Lorenzo ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:07 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pollock, brodie van wagenen, mets being mets

BASEBALL: New Braves spring training ballpark named CoolToday Park

The new spring training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name: CoolToday Park.

Tuesday the Atlanta Braves announced a partnership with CoolToday for the naming rights of their new spring training ballpark, slated to host its first game on Sunday, March 24, with the Braves taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:05 p.m. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As part of our commitment to maintain a lifelong relationship with our community, this partnership with the Braves ...

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QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:54 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, naming rights, spring training

Carlos Santana, J.P. Crawford say goodbye to Philadelphia in classy fashion

On paper, general manager Matt Klentak and the Phillies did very well by trading Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford for All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and two relief pitchers.

Neither the 23-year-old Crawford nor Santana, signed to a three-year, $60 million deal last December, performed to expectations in their time as Phillies.

Give both guys credit, though, for going out the right way.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos santana, j.p. crawford, phillies

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Jeff Francoeur to Be Braves New TV Analyst

Joe Simpson is going to be (mostly) out as the TV analyst and will be shifted to radio. In the TV booth next to Chip Caray for most games: Jeff Francoeur.

...

Simpson has made some unwelcome headlines in the past few years for some comments that raised eyebrows. This past season he implied that Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was lying about his age. He also, strangely, criticized Chase Utley for taking batting practice in a t-shirt, calling it unprofessional.


Patrick Corbin agrees to terms with Nationals

The Washington Nationals are adding another high-caliber pitcher to their rotation, reportedly agreeing to terms with free agent Patrick Corbin on Tuesday.

The Washington Post first reported that Corbin and the Nats had agreed to terms.

The 29-year-old Corbin, an All-Star selection in 2018, is coming off his best season, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA while logging 200 innings for the second time in his career. Relying largely on his filthy slider, Corbin set a career high in strikeouts (246) ...

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Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: December 04, 2018 at 04:06 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, free agents, nationals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2018

Washington Herald, December 4, 1918:

Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox, is reported to have enlisted the aid of George Cohan and Sam H. Harris in an effort to gain control of the Giants.
...
Sam Harris was quoted today as having admitted that Frazee had discussed the matter with Cohan and himself, but that the uncertainty of the theatrical business had prevented them from taking the matter up seriously.
...
Relations between Frazee and Ban Johnson are reported to be strained to such a ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 04, 2018 at 10:11 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Nationals bench coach Chip Hale not tipping his hand on Orioles rumors

NATIONALS PARK—Nationals bench coach Chip Hale was coy Sunday at Nationals Winterfest when asked about a report that he would be interviewing for the Baltimore Orioles open managerial job.

“Let’s just put it this way, there’s 30 jobs and if you get the opportunity, it’s a blessing, so, with all the turnover this year, I have not interviewed yet,” Hale said. “I have a great job here. If you get the opportunity to talk to somebody and meet some new people, it’d be a great ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: chip hale, managerial search, orioles

No matter what Cubs do this Hot Stove season, last year’s failures hang over like a dark cloud

If the Cubs truly aren’t able to afford the top free agents on the open market this offseason, the main reason for that is because they’ve had to spend so much money in free agency on pitching the last few years. It’s also because they swung and missed in a major way last winter and are still feeling the effects.

The Cubs entered last winter feeling pretty good about the state of their offense but wanted to augment the pitching staff in a big way. So they went out and handed $198 million to ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bad deals, cubs, hot stove, pitching

Jay Bruce on being traded by the Mets again: ‘I wish everybody there the best’

Former Mets outfielder Jay Bruce said he wasn’t as surprised at being traded for the third time in the past two and a half years.

“Honestly, it’s just another trade now,” Bruce said, according to the New York Post’s Mike Puma, after he was included in the seven-player blockbuster trade that brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York. “The third trade doesn’t hold quite the shock as the first couple do.”

The Mets dealt Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and three prospects—OF Jarred Kelenic and RHPs ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: jay bruce, mets, trades

MLB to blame for Seattle fire sale

Ah, yes. Exactly what the American League needed: Another team that isn’t going to be competitive.

It’s a shame to see the Mariners hitting the self-destruct button.

Seattle’s fire sale has sent Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets, James Paxton to the Yankees, Alex Colome to the White Sox, Mike Zunino to the Rays, and now, Jean Segura to the Phillies.

Talk about a total teardown. In a little over a month, they’ve gone from an 89-win team to one that looks like the Triple-A ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 121 comment(s)
  Beats: fire sale, mariners, mlb, the process

Umpire Angel Hernandez seeks ‘sensitive’ documents in MLB discrimination suit

Relations between umpire Angel Hernandez and Major League Baseball won’t be warming up anytime soon. Hernandez is suing MLB for discrimination, alleging that he’s been passed over for numerous promotions to crew chief due to his Latino descent, and his lawyers have requested a number of “sensitive” MLB documents that could possibly help prove his case. And as you may have guessed, MLB isn’t on board.

According to the New York Daily News, Hernandez’s lawyers have requested ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: angel hernandez, evaluations, grievances, instant replay, the documentary trail, umpiring

Report: Bryce Harper Met with Magic Johnson, Dodgers; Up to 12 Teams Interested

If free agent Bryce Harper is the jackpot of Major League Baseball’s offseason, it is only appropriate the race to sign him has reportedly already taken a number of teams to his hometown of Las Vegas.

According to Tim Brown and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, “upward of a dozen teams” have either met with Harper in Sin City or plan on meeting with him in the coming days with the league’s winter meetings slated to start Sunday.

Magic Johnson, who owns a stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers, ...

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QLE Posted: December 04, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, free agency, magic johnson

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2018)

The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good.

It’s a difficult leap to make—embracing Darth Vader and the Emperor over the plucky and attractive Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia—but a careful examination of the facts, sorted apart from Lucas’s off-the-shelf moral cues, makes a quite convincing case.


The Performance Case for DRC - Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus has a new batting metric.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2018 at 06:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Monday, December 03, 2018

Latest reports on Orioles managerial search - School of Roch

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal has confirmed that Nationals bench coach Chip Hale, Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde and Royals quality control/catching coach Pedro Grifol are on the list of candidates. Diamondbacks director of player development Mike Bell, younger brother of new Reds manager David Bell, also will interview, according to MLB Network’s Peter Gammons.

The Orioles aren’t commenting on the reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 05:53 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: managerial search, orioles

Seibu Lions posting Yusei Kikuchi Tuesday; Yankees on the radar

As per the terms of the posting agreement negotiated last year, the Lions’ fee for posting Kikuchi will be determined by the amount of his contract. The more money Kikuchi receives, the more his new club owes to the Lions, as it must pay 20 percent of the first guaranteed $25 million, 17.5 percent of the amount between $25,000,001 and $50 million and 15 percent of the total value exceeding $50 million. Percentages of bonuses, escalator clauses and options also factor into the equation.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 05:50 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, yusei kikuchi

Manager Dave Roberts agrees to 4-year contract | MLB.com

On Monday, the two sides put pen to paper. Roberts inked a four-year extension that runs through 2022, the team announced, adding three years onto the contract he was already guaranteed.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 05:49 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dave roberts, dodgers

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2018

Washington Times, December 3, 1918:

Charlie Herzog, captain of the Boston Braves of last season, has accepted a position as an automobile salesman [in Baltimore], and may not return to baseball. He says he will never play again for a small salary, and the outlook is for him to retire.

You know the offseason is in full swing when the reports start to roll in of ballplayers taking other jobs and threatening to retire.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Jean Segura to Phillies trade rumors | MLB.com

Sources confirmed to MLB.com late Sunday night that the Phillies are on the verge of acquiring Jean Segura from Seattle. Sources said at least shortstop J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana will be traded from Philadelphia to the Mariners, with other players likely involved.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2018 at 09:28 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, phillies, trade rumors

Sunday, December 02, 2018

OT - College Football Bowl Spectacular (December 2018 - January 2019)

December 29  12:00 PM  Peach Bowl             Florida v. Michigan
              4:00 PM  Cotton Bowl            Clemson v. Notre Dame
              8:00 PM  Orange Bowl            Alabama v. Oklahoma

January 1     1:00 PM  Fiesta Bowl            LSU v. Central Florida
              5:00 PM  Rose Bowl              Washington v. Ohio State
              8:45 PM  Sugar Bowl             Texas v. Georgia

January 7     8:00 PM  Championship Game      Orange winner v. Cotton winner
Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: December 02, 2018 at 04:59 PM | 389 comment(s)
  Beats: college football, off-topic

Royals won’t listen to offers for Salvador Perez

Admirable, or an admission there’s not much they could get for him?

QLE Posted: December 02, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: royals, salvador perez

Saturday, December 01, 2018

John Sickel’s Minor League Ball is No More

I have just been informed that Vox Media is discontinuing Minor League Ball. I want to thank all the readers we’ve cultivated over the last 13 years.

NattyBoh Posted: December 01, 2018 at 05:50 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: blog, john sickels, minor leagues

For one final time, Adrian Beltre stayed true to himself in his goodbye to the Texas Rangers

ARLINGTON - Retirement press conferences are the worst.

They are stilted and manufactured and, these days, often feature a player who already retired signing a meaningless one-day contract to retire all over again. The retiree usually reads something prepared that sounds nothing like himself. At some point, there is a pause during which the athlete either chokes up or breaks down.

When questions come, they are often tinged with pity for a broken-down player trying to place his just-ended ...

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QLE Posted: December 01, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian beltre, rangers, retirement

Red Sox approaching organizational crossroads post-World Series championship

BOSTON — Months before he and the rest of Red Sox ownership celebrated on the field at Dodger Stadium, team CEO Sam Kennedy acknowledged some of the uncertainty clouding the future.

Now that the Sox have won under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, any drop-off in the coming years will be hard to criticize. The Sox moved all in, so to speak, and it paid off. Risky as it may have been to focus so heavily on the major league roster in the present — rather than focus on both ...

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QLE Posted: December 01, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, the crossroads, what to do next

MLB rumors: Giants’ Madison Bumgarner not ‘going anywhere’ in trade

It seems more and more likely that the Giants will not trade Madison Bumgarner. At least not right now.

On Friday, a Giants source told Fancred’s Jon Heyman that the writer shouldn’t expect a Bumgarner trade to happen anytime soon.

This latest Bumgarner report comes just two days after ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that evaluators in contact with the Giants don’t believe the team is serious about trading Bumgarner. Front offices will call, but for now, it sounds like one of the team’s ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 01, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, trade talk

Speedy Billy Hamilton cut loose by Reds

Cut loose, or ran away?

QLE Posted: December 01, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: billy hamilton, free agency, reds

Cleveland Indians trade catcher Yan Gomes to Washington Nationals for three players

I was driving a couple of ladies of a certain age home from a Lindsey Buckingham concert, and the one lady let out an “OH, NO!”.  I asked what was wrong and she said that the Indians had traded one of her “boyfriends”.  She was a big Yan Gomes fan. The lady had just moved from NE Ohio to Lancaster, PA in the last year.

Her other “boyfriend” is Mike Clevinger.  She isn’t sure if she was going to switch her MLB TV team from the Indians to the Nationals or not. ...Read More...

Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 01, 2018 at 07:14 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, nationals

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