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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-5-2015

Pittsburgh Press, March 5, 1915:

They are counting 10 on Hunter Hill, the Texan who startled by St. Louis by carrying a gun in his back pocket even on the playing field. Hunter has grown fat and can’t pick them up any more.

A gun in your pocket on the field? That seems ill-advised. Tim Raines’s cocaine vials are no longer the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of an MLB player keeping in his back pocket during a game.

Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: March 05, 2015 at 09:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, hunter hill

Mike Norris and the Moral Winter – The Hardball Times

Here’s a nice article about Mike Norris.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mike norris

How Kevin Long is helping to rebuild Granderson’s swing | New York Post

“The comfort of knowing someone who knows their swing is so important,’’ Ricciardi said. “They can always go back to that guy and he can get them to the foundation. That’s really important. You can see that comfort level and it’s great for us, I think it’s going to reap a lot of benefits.

“When a player is struggling they have to have someone that they feel confident with so that when they say something, they get it immediately. Sometimes, working with someone new, you just ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:16 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: curtis granderson, mets

Ethier must prove his worth in crowded outfield | MLB.com

When was this?

Eighteen veteran outfielders with salaries of more than $5 million changed teams in the offseason, going to 16 different teams, and that list doesn’t include the likes of Wil Myers, Jonny Gomes, Ichiro Suzuki, Seth Smith, Matt Joyce and Heisey. Yet there was no market for Ethier, who not so long ago was viewed as a possible free-agent prize for teams like the Red Sox and Cubs.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andre ethier, dodgers

Quartet of Arizona hurlers twirl scoreless outings | dbacks.com

Catching prospect Peter O’Brien rapped out a pair of hits in three at-bats and also played well behind the plate.

“The most important thing for us—we know he is going to swing the bat and do some damage—we’re really watching that catching,” Hale said. “I asked the umpire at one point how he felt with him in front of him and he said he did a good job and was showing him the ball well. He did a good job with the pitchers. This guy has really, really improved behind the plate. He’s bilingual, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, peter o'brien

Mariners’ Walker poised to turn potential into production | mariners.com

“You know what potential means?” said McClendon. “It means you haven’t done anything yet.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, taijuan walker

Taillon ready to shed top prospect label - Timesonline.com: Pirates/MLB

“What I’m seeing (is) that he’s feeling real good, the ball is coming out of his hand very nice,” Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage said after a recent spring training workout. “He looks free and easy. You don’t have to watch him long to understand why he is so highly regarded.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: jameson taillon, pirates

Bryan Price wants Reds to run like Pete Rose

If I were a betting man, I’d bet that all managers feel the same way.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:35 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose, reds

Utah company making a style statement with bat grip tape in baseball - The Globe and Mail

I was never a fan of bat tape.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bats, equipment

Alex Rodriguez Mocked, Ridiculed On Front Page Of New York Post (Photo) | NESN.com

That’s a harsh headline. (Click through to the article.)

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:32 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Cactus League will help determine roles - ESPN Chicago

Cubs questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

ESPN: Diamondbacks Offering Churro Dog

For the foodies:

The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to top the success of last year’s 18-inch bacon-and-cheese-stuffed corn dog by offering a dessert. Team president and CEO Derrick Hall told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the team’s star concession item this year will be a Churro Dog.

The Churro Dog is a warm cinnamon churro sitting inside a Long John chocolate-glazed donut, which is then topped with frozen yogurt, caramel and chocolate sauces. Its estimated calorie count is 1,117.

“We’ve ...

Read More...
The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2015 at 12:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona diamondbacks, concessions, food, grub, snacks

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Economist: Spring forward

A summary of a Sloan Sports Analytics Conference presentation demonstrating that properly deployed spring training statistics can indeed improve preseason projections.

Incorporating spring training improved the correlation between preseason projections and final results from .578 to .593 for hitters (using OPS) and from .354 to .387 for pitchers (using ERA)...

ZiPS projected the 2% of hitters whose forecasts were most helped by spring training for a combined .709 OPS, while they actually ...

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Crane Kenney: Cubs Considered Playing A Season In Milwaukee

The Chicago Cubs of Milwaukee?

Crane Kenney’s statement indicates that they had considered playing an entire season—perhaps 2015?—at Miller Park, which would have given them from September 2014 to April 2016 to do significant work at Wrigley Field.

Logistically, this would have created significant issues for Cubs season-ticket holders who live, say, anywhere south of the Lake/Cook county line in Illinois. Even that line is about 70 miles from Miller Park; those season-ticket holders who ...

Read More...

Opening up about Mets visit, Murphy comments | MLB.com

MLB picked the right man for this job.

When I took this job at MLB, I knew it was going to take time for many to embrace my message of inclusion. Expecting everyone to be supportive right away is simply not realistic. If you asked anyone who has competed in high-level men’s professional sports, I believe they would agree with me. This doesn’t change the way I go about my business, or my belief in what I am doing, but it’s reality.

After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: billy bean, inclusion, social issues

MLBAM Player-Tracking System Is Set for Coming-Out Party This Year : Sports Video Group

I’m really looking forward to this.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 10:55 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, tracking, video

Velocity is not Mike Trout’s problem - Beyond the Box Score

Talking about Trout’s “problem” hitting a fastball is like complaining about the ugly feet of a supermodel.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 09:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout, sabermetrics


Klapisch: It’s time to give Alex Rodriguez a chance - Sports - NorthJersey.com

♬ All we are saying is…give A-Rod a chance. ♫

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 08:36 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-4-2015

Grantland Rice in the Pittsburgh Press, March 4, 1915:

Dear sir—

In your opinion could a ball club be picked from those who live in the south good enough to beat or make an even fight against a club picked from northern players?  E.H.K.

The north would have a decided margin in pitchers, catchers and infielders. The south’s big edge would come in the outfield play, where Cobb, Speaker, Jackson and Milan would close out the debate.

I’ll give this a shot in the comments. My border will follow ...

Read More...
Willie Horton Hears The Who (Dan Lee) Posted: March 04, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Rosenthal wants to avoid creating jams : Sports

Rosenthal has a plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 08:24 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, trevor rosenthal

Braves’ T-shirts: ‘Hello, my name is ...’ - Spring Training Blog - ESPN

You can’t know the players without a program t-shirt.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves


Cubs strike out twice in bid for extended Wrigley construction hours | Chicago

At the least, I hope they will be able to work though the games.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 07:00 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, stadium renovations

Elvis Andrus of Texas Rangers ready to move past ‘rough year’ - ESPN Dallas

Seems legit.

After hitting a career-low .263 last season, which started bad after a difficult camp, Andrus said he reported to Arizona this spring in the best shape of his career.

“I really believe that,” Andrus said. “This year I took it a thousand times (more) seriously than I did the year before. It’s part of the growing part, knowing yourself, knowing your body a little bit more every year. I had a really good plan. Our bodies are our business. You have to take care of that year in and year ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: elvis andrus, rangers

Matt Garza Gives Brewers Pitchers Personalized Bathrobes

But when Matt Garza wanted to give his fellow Milwaukee Brewers starting pitchers a spring-training gift, he hit exactly the right note. He gave them all these oh-so-comfortable looking personalized robes. It’s one of those things you’d absolutely use but might never think to buy for yourself — the sign of a wonderful present.

Photos at link.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 04, 2015 at 01:04 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bonds, brewers, kyle lohse, lounge, matt garza

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Mets ask Billy Bean to suit up, but how do players feel about gay player in baseball?

Cuddyer says he has never had a gay teammate that he has known of. Daniel Murphy says he has not either.

He too is ready for a gay teammate, he says. The Mets consulted players this winter before bringing Bean in and Murphy called the idea “forward thinking.” More than just listening to a seminor or speech, it was an opportunity to get to known an individual. He regretted that he had not had the chance to meet Bean yet.

Murphy, a devout Christian, said he would embrace Bean despite a ...

Read More...

Reports: Wright confronts Syndergaard - Mets Blog - ESPN New York

This isn’t a good way for Noah Syndergaard to get in the news.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 05:38 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Time to embrace A-Rod, just like Yankees’ spring training fans | New York Post

Huh. Maybe they will be able to market his home run milestones after all.

Think it’s a coincidence A-Rod’s Grapefruit League return comes on a home game? It’s a sound business decision for the Yankees, who surely will sell more tickets and draw more eyeballs to YES than if they fielded a lineup without their most interesting player. Or if this didn’t mark his first game back after missing all of last season due to a suspension for illegal performance-enhancing drug usage and obstruction.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2015 at 05:36 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, yankees

Jeff McKnight dies of leukemia at 52

Jeff McKnight, a versatile player who spent six seasons with the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles, has died. He was 52.

McKnight’s family told the Mets that McKnight died Sunday after battling leukemia for 10 years. His father, Jim, who played for the Chicago Cubs briefly in the early 1960s, was born in Bee Branch, Arkansas.

Jeff McKnight made his big league debut with the Mets in 1989 and hit .233 with five home runs and 34 RBIs in 218 games. He singled in his final at-bat for the Mets in ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2015 at 03:16 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff mcknight, mets, obituary, orioles

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