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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Marlins to install artificial turf, move in fences for 2020 season

The Miami Marlins will join Major League Baseball’s trend toward artificial turf by installing the surface at Marlins Park for 2020, and they’ll move in the fences for the second time in four years.

CEO Derek Jeter said an artificial surface solves the challenge the Marlins have had growing grass in the retractable-roof stadium since it opened in 2012. They’ll install the same turf used by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers.

Five of the 30 teams in the majors now will have artificial turf. Arizona added it this year, joining Toronto and Tampa Bay. Texas’ new ballpark opens in 2020.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 03:36 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: marlins

Hamels To Join Braves on One-Year Deal

Left-hander Cole Hamels signed a one-year, $18 million contract with the Atlanta Braves, the team announced Wednesday.

...

Hamels joins a Braves rotation fronted by Mike Soroka and including Max Fried and Mike Foltynewicz. Two other members of the Braves’ 2019 rotation are free agents—right-hander Julio Teheran, after Atlanta declined his 2020 option, and left-hander Dallas Keuchel.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 04, 2019 at 02:52 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, free agency

Fixing the All-Time MVP List

“Yes, Mays was the best player in his league just about every year from 1954–1966; but you’re not a victim of outright theft when the MVP goes to guys like Koufax, Robinson, Aaron, and Banks. That said, you are a victim when you see the likes of Maury Wills (1962) and Ken Boyer (1964) claim an award that should rightfully be yours. The fleet-footed Wills could’ve stolen 200 bases that year and not been as valuable as Mays.”

gehrig97 Posted: December 04, 2019 at 12:46 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: bonds, mantle, most valuable player, mvp, ruth, trout

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-4-2019

Tucumcari [New Mexico] News, December 4, 1919:

There have been many freak plays this season at the Polo ground, but one that occurred in the final game of the season between the Giants and Pirates was one for the book. It happened in the seventh inning. Schmidt, the Pittsburgh catcher, was at bat. He hit a grounder sharply at Zimmerman. Heinie fielded the ball cleanly, but noticed that Schmidt did not run to first. Instead, the visiting backstop was rapping his bat on the ground to see if it had been broken by the blow. So Zim tossed the ball to Fletcher. Fletcher relayed it to Frisch and Frisch passed it to Chase, retiring Schmidt at first base. Schmidt’s bat had been fractured at the handle.

It was your standard run of the mill 5-6-4-3 ...

Read More...
Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 04, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Mike Rizzo wins Executive of the Year award, might be having the best five weeks ever

Nationals’ president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo was named Baseball America’s Executive of the Year on Tuesday, an exceptional accomplishment. It was the 57-year-old’s first time winning the award.

But compared to the past five weeks, this accomplishment seems to take a back seat.

Over the past month and some change, Rizzo’s Nationals won the World Series, had a championship parade and visited the White House just days after. Following the World Series, Rizzo got married in Jamaica.

When he spoke with reporters prior to the unveiling of the Nationals’ World Series documentary on Tuesday, he said: “I’ve been drunk for about a month.”

So, who’s been having the five worse weeks of their life lately?

  ...Read More...

QLE Posted: December 04, 2019 at 01:55 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball america, executive of the year, mike rizzo

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

MLB Rumors: A scenario emerging where the Red Sox hang on to Mookie Betts?

Chaim Bloom may have sent Sandy Leon to the Cleveland Indians on Monday, but the Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer has much bigger decisions ahead.

It was reported months ago that the Sox would attempt to move superstar Mookie Betts this offseason, but it seems that things have taken a turn. ESPN’s Jeff Passan now is reporting baseball executives across the league think a trade involving Betts is unlikely to happen.

If a Betts’ trade isn’t going to happen, Bloom will need to cut payroll elsewhere—but how?

Passan reports that Boston is looking to cut salary by trading a pitcher, and a prominent one at that. David Price or Nathan Eovaldi, who were instrumental to the Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship, reportedly are on the ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:43 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, mookie betts, nathan eovaldi, red sox douche, trade rumors

Pair of Japan players made available to major league teams

NEW YORK (AP) — Two players from Japan, Shun Yamaguchi and Ryosuke Kikuchi, have been made available to major league teams through the posting process.

Clubs have until Jan. 2 (5 p.m. EST) to negotiate with them, Major League Baseball said Tuesday.

Yamaguchi, a 32-year-old right-hander with the Yomiuri Giants, was 15-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 170 innings. He led the Central League in wins and strikeouts, helping Yomiuri to its first Central League pennant in five years.

Kikuchi, a second baseman who turns 30 in March, hit .261 with 13 homers, 48 RBIs and 14 stolen bases for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Another type of off-season signing to follow, for those with an interest in it.

 

QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:32 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, posting rules, ryosuke kikuchi, shun yamaguchi

The Hall of Fame Case for Dave Parker

Would I vote for him?

He falls short for me.

Parker’s prime was fantastic, but it was too short to carry a peak-heavy, Sandy Koufax-style Hall of Fame candidacy and the fact that he was in the wilderness for a good five or six years harmed his overall career value.  If that hadn’t happened — if he had kept himself in shape and off the blow during what should have been the prime-to-late-prime of his career — sure, we’d be having a different conversation right now. Indeed, we’d probably be talking about one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

But it didn’t go down like that and one’s Hall of Fame candidacy should not be judged on potential. In the end, Parker had less overall career value than his 1978 MVP ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 09:53 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave parker, hall of fame

The Hall of Fame Case for Dwight Evans

In a change of pace, some comments as for why Evans isn’t in the Hall:

First, let’s talk about why Evans got no love from the BBWAA when he was on the ballot between 1997-99. And I mean no love: Evans received just 5.9% of the vote in his first year, 10.4% in his second, and then dropped off with only 3.6% of the vote in his third.

There were a few reasons for this.

The first was the arc of his career. He was, not unreasonably, considered a defense-first outfielder early in his career, not breaking out with the bat until he was almost 30. He was extraordinarily productive in his 30s, but the perception of him being a glove man who, sure, could help you with the bat, as opposed to a great all-around ballplayer, stuck despite the fact ...

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QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 09:48 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: dwight evans, hall of fame

Report: Zack Wheeler has at least one nine-figure contract offer

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that free agent starter Zack Wheeler has already received at least one $100 million contract offer and is expected to eventually command a deal of at least five years in the nine figures. Rosenthal adds that the White Sox, Twins, Reds, Rangers, and Blue Jays are known to be in pursuit of the right-hander.

So, what do we make of such offers for someone who had a 102 ERA+ last season and has never been among the top ten pitchers by WAR in their league?

 

QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 09:40 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, zack wheeler

The Pen: Baseball’s labor strife can make you cynical. Don’t fall into the trap.

I assume that all generations fancy themselves the first to discover cynicism as a signifier and sometimes substitute for critical consideration of a deeply flawed and frankly f—-ed up world. Adulthood arrives and with it, the sense that you were a fool to ever believe in Santa Claus, meritocracy, that politicians want the best for their constituents, or that professional sports are a pure expression of a childhood game. Rather than protect our dismay for the sake of retaining a sense that things should be better, often we overcorrect for our earlier foolishness by becoming blasé about the many disappointments in the world and scolding anyone who is not yet similarly disillusioned.

(This will be a baseball column soon, I promise.)

This ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 09:34 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cynicism, labor relations

Yankees to meet with Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg as team looks to upgrade rotation

The New York Yankees know their starting pitching held them back last season. To remedy that, the team will meet with the top two pitchers on the free-agent market.

The Yankees will sit down with both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg over the next couple days, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Both players are represented by Scott Boras.

It’s believed that the Yankees will be more aggressive for the 29-year-old Cole, who they’ve coveted for years. While New York will make a play for Strasburg, many believe he’ll return to the Washington Nationals, according to Rosenthal.

The Yankees’ interest in both players shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Yankees won 103 games last season on the strength of their offense and ...

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QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 09:29 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, stephen strasburg, yankees

Ortiz, Ramirez, 3 others to be inducted into Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2020

BOSTON (WHDH) - David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez will lead the 2020 Red Sox Hall of Fame class, which will be honored this coming April.

Besides Ortiz and Ramirez, Sox catcher Rich Gedman, pitcher Bill Dinneen and general manager Dan Duquette will be inducted. The 21-person induction committee was led by Red Sox team historian Gordon Edes and included club executives, journalists, historians, and fan representatives

Ortiz, the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history, is the team’s career leader in postseason games and home runs, and hit 483 homers in Boston overall. Ramirez helped lead the team to two World Series championships and hit 274 home runs during his eight years with the team.

Well, that’s one Hall inducting Manny this ...

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QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 09:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bill dinneen, dan duquette, david ortiz, manny ramirez, red sox hall of fame, rich gedman

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-3-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 3, 1919:

Babe Ruth, outfielder for the Boston American League baseball club and champion home run hitter of the world, may become a professional heavyweight boxer, it was announced [yesterday]. Kid McCoy, former pugilist, and Al St. John, a motion picture actor, [yesterday] entered into an agreement by which McCoy will train Ruth for 30 days and, if his report is favorable, St. John will finance a campaign of the outfielder to obtain a match with Jack Dempsey, heavyweight champion.

It’s horrible, this idea.

The only boxing/MLB two-sport athlete I’m aware of is Art Shires, a White Sox first baseman who went 5-2 as a heavyweight from 1929-1935. Maybe there are more. There are probably more. Anyway, Shires ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:05 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Non-Tendered Players: All 30 Teams - MLB Trade Rumors

Full list of non-tenders.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 03, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: non-tenders

Monday, December 02, 2019

Nats 1B Zimmerman plans to be back with champs _ or retired

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman figures he’ll either find himself back with the World Series champions next season — or out of baseball.

“I think I’ve made my intentions pretty clear,” Zimmerman said Monday night, when he attended the premiere of a documentary about last season’s title. “It’s either play some more here or play more golf.”

The 35-year-old Zimmerman is the only player who has appeared for the Nationals in all 15 of their seasons since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital from Montreal in 2005. He was the team’s first pick in the amateur draft that year.

The club declined its $18 million option for next season on Zimmerman, who received a $2 million buyout ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:28 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, ryan zimmerman

Five Best MLB Free-Agent Bargains

Part of the fun in the early offseason is the optimism teams have about signing the franchise-changing free agent. The rumor mill could lead you to believe two dozen clubs have a genuine shot at signing Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg or Anthony Rendon.

That isn’t reality. But there’s still hope for teams that don’t want to dole out nine-figure contracts to free agents. DJ LeMahieu (two years, $24 million) and Josh Donaldson (1 year, $23 million) were perhaps the two best signings last winter. Both signed for less than 10% of one (1) Bryce Harper or one (1) Manny Machado.

So where are there bargains to be found this winter? Let’s have a look.

So, are these the best options of this nature, and, if not, who is?

QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:57 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: avisail garcia, corey dickerson, dallas keuchel, didi gregorius, free agents, yasiel puig

Teams Announce Final Non-Tenders

We’ve been tracking the day’s arbitration decisions in the run-up to tonight’s deadline, which has produced a bevy of last-minute calls. In addition to those already covered elsewhere (with all projected salary figures from MLBTR/Matt Swartz projections) …

Relievers Javy Guerra and Koda Glover were non-tendered by the Nationals, per a club announcement. Guerra would have cost a projected $1.3MM. Glover announced earlier today that he would retire.

The Red Sox non-tendered infielder Marco Hernandez and reliever Josh Osich, per a team announcement. Neither projected at big dollars — $700K and $1.0MM, respectively — but obviously the club felt it could put the roster spots to better use on other players.

The Blue Jays have ...

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QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:42 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: non-tenders

The Hall of Fame Case for Steve Garvey

In contrast, both why Garvey isn’t a good candidate, and part of other factors that have affected his candidacy:

Most of it has to do with the general change in thinking about what makes a player valuable we’ve seen since the late 90s and into the 21st century.

Yes, Garvey hit .300 and he hit 20 dingers and he drove in a hundred a bunch of times, but he hardly ever walked. He never walked more than 50 times in a season and he only walked more than 40 times once. That’s pretty astounding for a guy in the middle of a deep and talented lineup on a team that was always in contention. As such, that superficially impressive .294 career batting was matched by a pretty poor .329 on-base percentage.

It also meant that he never scored 100 ...

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QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:35 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, steve garvey

The Hall of Fame Case for Lou Whitaker

A reminder of why his case has been a flash-point:

Here’s a thing I didn’t know until just a few years ago: before Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected to the Hall of Fame in December 2017, the 1984 Tigers and the 1981 Dodgers were the only two World Series champions who do not have a player in the Hall of Fame. The 1981 Dodgers seem to be permanently out of luck, but those Bless You Boys Tigers have a chance to gain three in the space of two years. And they dang well should get that third player in Lou Whitaker.

Whitaker, infamously, received only 2.9 percent of the vote when he first appeared on the ballot in 2001, knocking him off that ballot for good after just one year. The insult was compounded when, in 2017 — the last ...

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QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:32 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, lou whitaker

Ichiro Suzuki threw a 131-pitch complete game against group of teachers

Ichiro Suzuki retired from Major League Baseball in March, but over the weekend he showed he’ll never, ever be done with baseball.

The Kyodo News reported that Ichiro suited up for an amateur team of local Kobe, Japan, acquaintances and took on the teachers of Chiben Wakayama, a local high school with an excellent baseball program.

Around 3,000 people connected to Chiben Wakayama were in the stands, according to the Kyodo News, and the game attracted a huge media contingent of 80-plus people. The game took place at Hotto Motto Field in Kobe, which is significant for Ichiro. It’s the stadium he first played in when he began his career with the Orix Blue Wave (now the Orix Buffaloes) back in 1992.

Maybe it was the field that inspired ...

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QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:22 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, position players pitching

Sources: Mike Moustakas agrees to 4-year, $64M deal with Reds

Infielder Mike Moustakas and the Cincinnati Reds are in agreement on a four-year deal worth $64 million, league sources tell ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Moustakas, who turned 31 in September, was a free agent for the third straight offseason after earning $18.7 million in a pair of one-year deals.

He hit .254 with 35 homers and 87 RBIs last season for the Milwaukee Brewers, earning his third All-Star selection. After starting the season at second base, he moved to third when Travis Shaw slumped.

The Reds plan to play Moustakas at second base.

Someone here will be awfully pleased by this news…..

 

QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 09:19 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, mike moustakas, reds

Cubs cut ties with Addison Russell

CHICAGO – The Cubs are letting Addison Russell walk.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein explained the decision in a statement.

“We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process.”

 

 

QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 08:31 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs, non-tenders

Padres get infielder Profar from A’s, deal Allen

After dealing Luis Urías to Milwaukee in a trade last week, the Padres found themselves in need of help at second base. It didn’t take very long for general manager A.J. Preller to find it.
The Padres acquired second baseman Jurickson Profar from the Oakland A’s on Monday for catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named or cash considerations.


Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-2-2019

Pittsburgh Press, December 2, 1919:

Considerable has been written about the recent world’s series, and about the work of the Whitesox in many of the games. There have been broad hints that all was not right, and many versions of just what took place have been circulated.

An Eastern sporting man who claimed to be on the “inside” recently said that the Chicago players were entirely innocent of wrongdoing. Said this man:

‘A certain sure-thing guy in the Windy City put up a job on a bunch of eastern gamblers which netted a handsome profit for him. This fellow sent out word that he had fixed certain players who had guaranteed to throw the series to the Reds…The Chicago fixer was just taking a big chance. He knew enough about baseball to figure ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:06 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: black sox, dugout, history


Sunday, December 01, 2019

Red Sox among five teams under pressure for MLB hot-stove splash

Red Sox: They won it all in 2018, missed the playoffs in 2019, fired Dave Dombrowski (head of their baseball operations), have a manager in Alex Cora who might be tied up in the Astros’ electronic pitch-stealing scandal from when he was their bench coach in 2017, owners calling for major pay reductions, and a great, popular homegrown player in his prime in Betts, who has given no indications he will re-sign in Boston before free agency.

So Chaim Bloom, who replaced Dombrowski, has a full plate at what feels like a pivotal moment for the organization to try not to get so caught up in maximizing this year’s team as to mess up the near future. Can Bloom trade Price or Eovaldi? What can be gotten for Betts, whose value is hurt by having ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, phillies, red sox, twins

‘Losing a war that you weren’t informed of’: Some MLB pitchers are livid over electronic sign stealing – The Athletic

Since The Athletic broke the news that the Houston Astros stole signs electronically in 2017, the fallout has mostly been framed as an Astros vs. the-rest-of-MLB scandal. But this line of thought is misguided, or at least incomplete for a couple of reasons.

First, we don’t necessarily know everything that the Astros were doing, or whether they were the only team to do it. Beyond that, regardless of who was doing what and how widespread it was, both commissioner Rob Manfred and the players union will have to soothe a critical undercurrent if they hope to move the game forward.

The issue? Pitchers want blood.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 08:51 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, sign stealing

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2019)

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend have known each other for 60 years. They love each other. “I used to say that I love him, but with my fingers crossed,” says Townshend of Daltrey. Townshend, gangly and hunched, his angular face having grown into his long nose, sits in a Dallas Ritz-Carlton suite wearing gray clothes on a white-hot day. “Now, I like him too. I like all his eccentricities, his foibles, his self-obsession, and his singer thing. Everything about him.” Daltrey feels the same. He sits in a comfy chair later the same afternoon. “I’ve always kind of known Pete cares for me,” says Daltrey, crossing his legs in blue cargo shorts. He’s a little impatient because my time with Townshend ran long. “I hope he realizes I care about ...

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

‘Baseball Is Boring!’ — That’s What Makes It Great

Sometimes when people find out what I do for work, they offer me a look of compassion. “Baseball is boring,” they say, sympathetically.

They are surprised when I agree with them. The words are right, I say. It’s the inflection that’s wrong. Baseball is boring!

Players learn this quickly. No one can stay engaged for three and a half hours, so minor league coaches are tasked with teaching prospects how to zone out between pitches and quickly return to focus. Baserunners joke with the basemen holding them on. Outfielders carry on conversations during innings. Marooned out in the bullpen, relievers try to solve the world’s problems.

For fans, the monotony is even more pronounced, and even more wonderful. Baseball is best enjoyed ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:36 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: boring

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