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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Frank Thomas: HOF speech won’t chastise users

He’s Frank.

“There are two guys that (it’s) very sad they aren’t going to the Hall of Fame and that’s Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens,” Thomas said. “When I came into the game, those two guys were the standards as a hitter and a pitcher. You might not know what will happen 50 years from now, 30 years from now, but it doesn’t look good right now (for induction) and I know how great those two guys were.

“You can look at their history. We kind of know when it started for those two guys. For me ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 22, 2014 at 07:05 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bellone: The curious hitting of Didi Gregorius

According to Kevin Towers, Didi is now a prepubescent Derek Jeter.

Last season, against left-handed pitching, Didi hit .200/.267/.245. Quite simply, terrible. Especially compared to his very respectable .275/.359/.429 against righties. It is when you look at his splits against starters versus relievers, though, when things get interesting. Against left-handed starters, the young shortstop hit .261/.354/.333. So, wait. He hit sixty-one points higher against left-handed starters than lefties as ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 09:57 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks

ESPN: Angels trade Scioscia for Gretzky

*whistles*

Jim Wisinski Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:08 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: transactions

OMNICHATTER for Opening Series Games in Australia

4:00 AM- Dodgers (Kershaw) “at” Diamondbacks (Miley)

10 PM-Dodgers (Ryu) “at” Diamondbacks (Cahill)

Both games on MLB Network and also, I believe, the local RSNs.


(All times Eastern)

Gamingboy Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:31 PM | 172 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, diamondbacks, dodgers, omnichatter

Oz: MLB partners with dating site Match.com in hopes of boosting ticket sales

Major League Baseball ushered out a new partnership with dating site Match.com, and thus the MLB team pages had ads urging single baseball fans to search out each other for dates. For instance, Athletics.com had Match.com ads on each side of the page with attractive-looking people (none of them wearing baseball caps or anything). There was an ad that read, “Meet other singles Athletics fans.”

A strip across the top of the page said, “Take them out to the Athletics game,” a call to action that ...

Read More...
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dating, hookers, tickets

Wilson Betamit is the most underrated player in major USA team sports?

Betemit is a couple of years past 30 now and missed almost all of last year with injuries, so, you know. . .it’s anybody’s guess whether he has anything left to give. But in 2010 Wilson Betemit, filling in as a place-holder third baseman for the Royals, hit .297 with 13 homers in 276 at bats, .889 OPS. The first half of 2011 Betemit hit .281, with disappointing power but a .750 OPS. They took his job away, and gave it to Mike Moustakas. Moustakas’ career OPS is 93 points lower than ...

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attaboy Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-21-2014

Toledo News-Bee, March 21, 1914:

Larry Chappell, $18,000 outfielder of the Chicago White Sox, who is suffering from blood poisoning, is really in a serious condition, Manager Callahan said on Saturday, after a visit to the hospital, and may lose his leg.

Chappell broke in a new pair of shoes in the San Francisco exhibition series and rubbed the skin off his left foot.

If it wasn’t for awful luck, Chappell wouldn’t have had any luck at all. In his last minor league game in 1913, Chappell ruined ...

Read More...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FiveThirtyEight | What to Expect From Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects

Top 20 or bust!

For example, Baseball America’s No. 1 slot gets 46 WAR from 1995’s top prospect, Alex Rodriguez. But the top spot loses 1.9 WAR from Todd Van Poppel, one of the game’s all-time biggest busts. Among 18 players from 1990 to 2007, the average for Baseball America’s top spot was nearly 20 WAR.

Do this for all 100 slots, and you arrive at an average, early-career WAR total for each ranking. It’s not a perfectly smooth drop-off from each spot to the next — for instance, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:44 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1914:

Connie Mack, leader of the Philadelphia Athletics, wants his son Earl [sic], who is managing Raleigh’s professional team and coaching the university nine to give up baseball and learn to play the violin as taught in the old world conservatories.
...
The elder baseball man believes baseball will ruin the fingers that will make another Kubelik. Earl Mack will study [in Raleigh] this season, however.

That, I think, was Connie politely telling his son that baseball ...

Read More...

Jack McDowell on R.E.M. & managing rookie ball

JACK McDOWELL: The Dodgers asked me to come to Arizona for Spring Training as a special instructor, travel around a few weeks during the summer, you know, five day-trips to high-A, AA and AAA affiliates, just to see what goes on, which I was on board with. Couple weeks later, the organization called up to let me know they had a managerial opening in rookie ball for the Ogden Raptors if I was interested. I ran it by the wife and joked “Remember when I said I was gonna be gone for two weeks? ...

Read More...
djordan Posted: March 20, 2014 at 09:12 AM | 154 comment(s)
  Beats: jack mcdowell, mlb

Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: The Big Questions from the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference

A lot of good stuff in the article.

Quite a bit, apparently. Dave Allen and Kevin Tenenbaum compared three projections for minor-league players: one based on a “naïve” statistical model, one based on the more complex ZiPS projection system, and one informed by Kevin Goldstein’s five-star prospect tiers at Baseball Prospectus from 2007-2012. The scouting-centric model won head-to-head showdowns with both of the others.
[data snipped]
That shouldn’t come as a shock: Scouts, after all, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:08 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

The Real McCoy | Billy Hamilton is a blur but no mirage

Hal McCoy believes in Billy Hamilton.

Billy Hamilton won’t be a mirage.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:39 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: billy hamilton, reds

Tech-savvy Pirates testing a new secret weapon this spring | TribLIVE

Or how much can Russell Martin eat?

This spring the Pirates are experimenting with sports science technology. Prior to and during games this exhibition season, some Pirates are wearing Zephyr workload monitoring devices. Under select players’ jerseys is a tight-fitting, compression shirt, which has a black, circular, detachable electronic device — about the size of a quarter — attached near the center of the chest. The device collects data from a sensor that records players’ heartbeats and ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:33 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: pirates

MLB system discourages teams like Astros from promoting top young talent | FOX Sports on MSN

Outfielder George Springer, the Astros’ top prospect, has yet to play an inning in the major leagues. He almost certainly will not make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Yet last September, the Astros offered him a seven-year, $23 million contract, according to major league sources.

Springer, 24, rejected the offer, sources said, declining to give up three years of arbitration and one year of free agency.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2014 at 07:27 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, george springer

Aroldis Chapman struck by liner, hospitalized with facial fractures

Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman suffered fractures to bones in his nose and left eye while taking a line drive to the face Wednesday night.

Chapman was carted off the field and transported by ambulance to a hospital and would be kept overnight for observation, the Reds said on their Twitter account.

The Reds said Chapman was originally taken to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., where tests indicated the facial fractures. He was then transferred to Banner Good ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 20, 2014 at 05:28 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: reds

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Drugs, booze, cheap motels. This is the real life of the majority of America’s pro baseballers

Descent into the Maelstrom!

With two American pro teams down under this week to play the opening games of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the focus is on glitz, on glamour and on two teams with a combined salary of $300 million.

There’s no doubt life can be extremely glamorous at the top of US professional sports. But scratch below the surface and it’s a different world.

...Even Triple A is a world away from the Majors. Here’s a snapshot of that desperate, often sordid world ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: australia

Cubs taking a different psychological tack

Cubs team psychologist no longer has a locker. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it’s a quack, quack, quack!

KT's Pot Arb Posted: March 19, 2014 at 02:08 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Jonah Keri: Beane Counters

Don’t have time to go through this now as “à la croisée des Stooges et des Cramps” material has crossed my faux desk.

While Moneyball the book and especially Moneyball the movie pumped up certain aspects of the A’s success while downplaying certain others (Messieurs Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Tejada, and Chavez would surely like a word), they perfectly pegged Beane’s distrust of industry insiders. While acknowledging that Melvin’s playing experience helped his candidacy for the manager job, ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland, sabermetrics

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-19-2014

Pittsburgh Press, March 19, 1914:

Manager Jack Hayden of the Louisville Colonels, during his team’s training season at Fort Myers, Fla. has invested in a 10-acre tract of land that he will have planted immediately to grape fruit. In about three years Jack imagines that he will not care what happens in baseball.

Well, he was sort of right. Hayden was relieved of his duties as the Colonels’ manager in May 1915. Shortly after he left Louisville, he was named the manager of the Frankfort (Kentucky) ...

Read More...

Bo Jackson to Russell Wilson: Stick to football

An All-Star in both baseball and football, Jackson said his advice for Wilson is the same he offers to kids who attend his Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports complex in Lockport, Illinois.

“Stick to what got (Wilson) in the headlines, not baseball,” Jackson said. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I did it, I’m not trying to say anything negative about other athletes, but the talent pool wasn’t that deep. In this day in age, with all the high-tech training, computer-engineered workouts and ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:52 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: history

Dick Allen’s son has Hall of an idea

So if Miguel Cabrera’s career ended today…154 OPS+/7126 PA’s ~ 156 OPS+/7315 PA’s for Dick Allen…

When he’s not watching his son play hoops, Allen Jr. is campaigning to get his now-72-year-old father, who works on the Phillies’ community-relations team, into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Allen, who had two stints with the Phils (1963-69 and ‘75-76), is considered by many to be the best player not in the Hall. He is, apparently, not a self-promoter.

“It’s difficult because he doesn’t want to be ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:29 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FAA to Washington: No Drones

The Washington Nationals were told last month by the Federal Aviation Administration to stop using a small, four-rotor drone to take publicity photos at the team’s spring training facility without the agency’s permission.

“No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,’’ a team official told The Associated Press. The drone flights ceased the next day.

Overregulation.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:42 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: overkill, washington nationals

The Poscast Episode 5 - Numbers Game

Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur (Fire Joe Morgan, Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) both believe that the NL will be led by either this year’s aspiring superteam in Los Angeles, or last year’s aspiring superteam in Washington.  They admire the San Antonio Spurs-like continual success of the Cardinals.  They see the AL as more of a tossup.  Schur picks the Dodgers to beat the Tigers in the World Series.  Poz predicts the Nationals over the Red Sox.

Then, they draft numbers. ...Read More...

The District Attorney Posted: March 18, 2014 at 02:24 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: gallimaufry, joe posnanski, michael schur, predictions

Posnanski: Cleveland Indians: The name

Pretty sure that cartoonist does Mallard Fillmore now.

in my national search of more than 300 national newspapers, I could not find a single mention of Louis Sockalexis in the entire year of 1915.

The story I grew up hearing — that the Cleveland Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis — is certainly untrue…

when Sockalexis joined the team in 1897, there WAS legitimate excitement. The stories of his baseball exploits were known everywhere. The curiosity of seeing a Native American ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:47 PM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: history, indians, joe posnanski, louis sockalexis

LA Times: Andre Ethier irritated by questions about Sydney playing surface

It just wouldn’t be spring without a grumpy ‘Dre.

SYDNEY, Australia—As much as bombastic Dodgers President Stan Kasten tries to convince people otherwise, it’s clear not all of his players like the idea of starting their season on the other side of the world.


Working out at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday turned the usually affable Andre Ethier into the moody Andre Ethier of years past. Without the slightest trace of a smile, a clearly irritated Ethier sarcastically recited the company ...

Read More...

Olney: Sources: Rollins Should Lead Or Leave

Sources indicate that some in influential positions in the organization want Rollins to be a leader by investing himself more thoroughly in daily work and setting a strong example for others. If Rollins isn’t going to do that, the sentiment of some is that the team would be better off moving him as soon as possible.

Rollins, 35, will make $11 million this year, and with 434 plate appearances in 2014, an $11 million option for the 2015 season would vest.

Perhaps if the only other alternative ...

Read More...
eddieot Posted: March 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, jimmy rollins, ryan sandberg, ruin tomorrow jr.

Baseball’s Most Surprising Seasons, Good And Bad

PLAYER YEAR AGE PROJ. WOBA ACTUAL WOBA PERCENTILE
Travis Hafner 2008 31 .387 .270 0.0
Andruw Jones 2008 31 .350 .238 0.0

Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:49 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: nate silver

PP: A look at the Yankees right fielders using Inside Edge data

This looks interesting…but who knew Courtney Love worked for FanGraphs?

gbb

Although he never really looked the part, Nick Swisher was actually a pretty decent right fielder, putting up a +12 UZR over his four years in the Bronx. Swish generated most of his value with his bat, but his defense was an underrated part of his game.

Ichiro Suzuki may not be much of a hitter anymore, but he’s still capable of playing an above-average right field. Despite pushing 40, Ichiro graded out very well ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, yankees

MASN: Returning to Nats, Carroll has an eye on his future

Wuh? Taking over Micah’s Korban cult ain’t enough!

“Well, I’m 5-9 on a good day,” he says with a laugh in the home clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium. “Hopefully pushing 170 in weight. I don’t run the best, I don’t have the best arm in the world. So I had to find a way to compete and stay at this level and I understand that. I’ve had to do whatever I can and I think, for me, there had to be something that’s going to help me stay on a ballclub and be a reason for a ballclub to keep me. Guys are ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:21 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nats

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-18-2014

New York Evening World, March 18, 1914:

That he would not rejoin the New York Giants if President Hempstead gave him the Polo Grounds for playing, was the statement made yesterday by Arthur Shafer, the man John McGraw declares is the best utility player who ever donned a uniform.

“I do not like baseball,” said Shafer. “I do not like the life and I do not like the Eastern climate.

“Big league baseball once attracted me, but now its glamour is all gone. I have satisfied every ambition in a ...

Read More...

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