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Monday, October 18, 2021

Baseball America: Was The 2020 Rule 5 MLB Draft The Best Of The 21st Century?

That group makes a strong case. So far, 11 of the 18 players selected in last December’s Rule 5 draft have stuck with their MLB teams. Nine of them have fulfilled the Rule 5 roster requirements—they were carried on an MLB roster without being optioned for a full season with at least half of that season on the active roster. Another two (Jose Soriano and Dedniel Nunez) spent the entire season on the injured list and still need to spend half a season on the active roster.

Only 34% of Rule 5 draft picks this century have fulfilled the Rule 5 roster requirements with their new teams. In the 2020 class, 50% of the picks have already done so, with a chance to see that number grow to 61% in the future. The 2001 (50%) and 2014 (71%) drafts ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 11:23 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: akil baddoo, garrett whitlock, rule 5 draft

The fans’ way at Fenway: loud, louder, loudest

“When everybody’s yelling, it feels like they have a microphone and they’re . . . right in your ears - it’s electrifying,” Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo said. “And for the opposing team, you’ve got to find a way to get that momentum to come back, and be loud and take the energy out of the stands. Here, it seems like it lasts all nine innings.”

Verdugo’s a novice at Fenway. The only comparable noise he’s heard in a ballpark is at Dodger Stadium, which holds nearly 20,000 more fans than Fenway.

If it takes 56,000 LA fans to match the volume of 37,000 Boston fans, that sounds about right. It also sounds like Fenway is out-shouting the Red Sox’ 2018 title drive, a campaign that felt almost preordained given the team’s 108 regular-season ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:56 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: fenway park, red sox

Arizona Fall League experiments gone awry, plus notes on Spencer Torkelson, Brett Baty and more: Keith Law

Sub required.

Major League Baseball’s plans to test out various ideas for speeding up games in the Arizona Fall League this year have been, through a week of games, a complete flop.

The Saturday night game at Salt River Fields, the spring home of the Diamondbacks and Rockies, exemplifies the entire problem. The game used the automated strike zone, a variable pitch clock and a ban on shifts. The result was a game that was called after seven and a half innings over three excruciating hours because the teams ran out of pitchers. Why did they run out of pitchers in just seven and a half innings, you ask? Because the pitchers they did use walked 22 guys.

I’m an advocate of moving away from a human-called strike zone, which is going to be ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:47 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: defensive shifts, pace of play, pitch clock, robot umpires

Where do the 107-win Giants go from here after early postseason exit?

Second, there’s going to be plenty of money available. Ownership here has proven plenty capable and willing to spend big. The estimated payroll next season right now if they pick up the Posey option and decline Cueto’s is $126 million. They’ve been over $200 million as recently as 2018. They also just went through a successful season which means ticket sales in 2022 will be highly lucrative. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them get up in the ballpark of $210 million. This doesn’t mean only free agency spending. They could also bring on money via trade if other teams are looking to salary dump productive veterans.

To put it simply: Yes, the Giants have a lot of work to do this coming offseason, but they’ll have plenty of money to burn in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:50 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

One of best ever? Astros INF has a case

Over the next five years, Gurriel at first, Altuve at second, Correa at short and Bregman at third have represented excellence on the diamond for the Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series for five consecutive seasons with a core that includes those four on the infield.

When the Astros play the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday at Fenway Park, Gurriel, Altuve, Correa and Bregman will play in their 64th career postseason game together. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the most postseason games played by four teammates at any position in Major League history….

Astros manager Dusty Baker said the foursome will go down as one of the best infields in history, and that’s probably based mostly on what ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:14 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Former Cubs pitcher Chuck Hartenstein has passed away

Those of us of “a certain age” remember Chuck Hartenstein, a capable reliever for the Cubs from 1966-68. He was nicknamed “Twiggy” for his tall, thin build; some of you might remember a British actress named Lesley Hornby from around the same time, also given that nickname for being tall and slim.

Hartenstein passed away October 2 in Texas. He was 79.

I’m posting this mostly to show yet another example of how Leo Durocher wound up ruining the Cubs after he brought them out of a 20-year slumber in 1967.

Hartenstein, signed by the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1964 — the year before the draft was instituted — debuted briefly for them in 1965, but in just one game as a pinch-runner. He spent most of 1966 in the minor ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries

Major League Baseball to require teams to provide housing for minor league players starting in 2022

Amid mounting pressure from players and advocacy groups, Major League Baseball said on Sunday it will require teams to provide housing for minor league players starting in 2022.

While MLB has yet to outline its plan formally, six team officials told ESPN they are starting to prepare to help house players across each of their four minor league affiliates. In mid-September, owners from the league’s 30 teams agreed unanimously to a plan that would provide housing for certain minor league players, the league said in a statement. Whether they will offer stipends that fully cover housing or provide the lodging itself has yet to be decided, sources said.

Minor league players have grown increasingly outspoken about their working conditions, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:02 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues

MLB in talks to launch nationwide streaming service for home games without cable TV

Major League Baseball is in talks to launch a nationwide video-streaming service that would enable fans to watch their teams’ hometown games without a cable-TV subscription, The Post has learned.

The web-based service — which could address a decades-old annoyance for baseball fans that some have partly blamed for the league’s steadily declining viewership — could launch as early as the 2023 season, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said.

The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League are also considering partnering with MLB on the new streaming service, sources said. Insiders say subscription rates would vary by geographic market and could be between $10 and $20 a month — well below the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 12:02 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: streaming, television

Friday, October 15, 2021

NBA 2021-2022 Season Thread

I estimate there are maybe 10-12 Primates left on this site, and none of us want to post this thread.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 15, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 69 comment(s)
  Beats: get me out of philly, nba, off top


Red Sox vs. Houston. Atlanta vs. Los Angeles.

Four teams, one OMNICHATTER.

Hombre Brotani Posted: October 15, 2021 at 04:33 AM | 292 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mike Shildt out as St. Louis Cardinals manager, per report

One week after losing the NL Wild Card Game to the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals have made a managerial change. Mike Shildt is out as the club’s manager, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The team has not yet confirmed the news but has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Shildt, the 2019 NL Manager of the Year, replaced Mike Matheny on an interim basis in Aug. 2018, then was given the job permanently following that season. The Cardinals went 252-199 in parts of four seasons under Shildt, winning one NL Central title.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, mike shildt

Beyond the Selig Rule: Can Baseball Fix Its Pipeline For Managers of Color?

Twenty-two years later, Selig’s goals remain admirable. But evidence suggests that the rule bearing his name has had minimal effect on the makeup of baseball’s top decision-makers. A new study from Arizona State University’s Global Sport Institute examining MLB manager hiring and firing patterns from 2010 to 2019 has found that while managers of color during that time period had the same or more robust playing and coaching experience as their White peers, the managers of color were hired through a more narrow career pathway and within a smaller age range, had shorter tenures, and enjoyed fewer second chances.

During the time period examined:

Eight Black managers were dismissed. Only three were hired.
Thirteen managers with no ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:49 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: minority hiring

Sources: New York Yankees shake up staff under Aaron Boone, won’t renew contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames, 3B coach Phil Nevin

The fallout from the Yankees’ disappointing 2021 season has started, as New York will not renew the contracts of hitting coach Marcus Thames and third base coach Phil Nevin, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

The Yankees also are expected to not renew the deal of assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, sources confirm to ESPN.

The moves mark a staff shakeup under manager Aaron Boone, whose job security also has come under scrutiny after the Yankees’ third-place finish in the AL East and loss to the rival Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild-Card Game.

Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is inclined to keep Boone as manager, although the situation remains fluid. Boone has managed the Yankees to the postseason in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 02:45 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: yankees

Theft Falls To Historic Lows

The mortal wounds struck to stolen bases weren’t caused by a decline in skills, as the league, as a whole, is better than ever in terms of successfully stealing. In fact, the 75.6% success rate in 2021 was the second-highest mark since 1937 – the highest was 75.2%, all the way back in 2020. No, it’s a lack of trying that’s at the root of the stolen base dying.

Since 1920 (the year that failed attempts started being tracked every season), major league baseball has averaged less than two stolen base attempts per 100 plate appearances in 52 of 102 seasons. Of those 52, 42 came over the 48 years between 1926 and 1973 (with the other six seasons only barely breaking the two-attempt threshold) – a period I’m confident in ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:46 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: stolen bases

The mascot created to be hated

And then there’s what the San Francisco Giants introduced during a bleak 1984 season. With fans not having much reason to show up to Candlestick Park that summer, the team and its copywriters introduced the Crazy Crab, a proto-Gritty crustacean designed to be hated.

“So, I’d done a one man show in San Francisco called ‘The Beast of Shame’ about an evangelist, and I got an agent,” actor, dancer, and vaudeville performer Wayne Doba told me in a recent Zoom call from his current home in Quebec. “Then I got booked in commercials and I got this—the crab commercial—because I can do this little crab walk. They booked me for the crab commercial and it became a big hit.”

Before the Giants play the most important home game in their wildly, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, mascot

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-14-2021

New York Herald, October 14, 1921:


He stabs drive by Baker; Quick Play to Kelly to Frisch Ends Game.

The Giants are champions. They beat the Yankees 1 to 0 in the eighth and final game.
From [Waite Hoyt’s] chilled fingers slipped two bases on balls in the first inning. This and a blunder by Peckinpaugh, the Yankee captain, produced the only run.

An injured Babe Ruth pinch hit for Wally Pipp to start the ninth inning but bounced out to first. Two batters later, the Giants were world champs.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 08:26 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A’s VP Billy Beane tips his hand about joining Mets front office

The Oakland A’s vice president is on the Mets’ short list of candidates for a new front office executive. And according to SNY’s John Harper, Beane could be interested in the job.

No idea what Steve Cohen is going to do, but in the last few days I’ve now spoken to two long-time friends of Billy Beane who say he’s very much open to the idea of becoming pres. of bb ops for Mets. Would hire a GM to handle day-to-day duties of the job. We’ll see.

Earlier this month, Beane tried to play dumb about a potential job with the Mets. Per WFAN:

“I don’t even respond to newspaper articles,” Beane said. “It’s all speculation… Normally the process [is] they would call the owner, which is how it goes. And it’s happened in the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: billy beane, mets

Ray Fosse, longtime MLB catcher and announcer, dies at 74 after 16-year battle with cancer

Longtime big-league catcher and broadcaster Ray Fosse died on Wednesday after a 16-year battle with cancer, according to the Oakland Athletics. Fosse was 74 years old….

Fosse enjoyed a 12-year career in the majors as a catcher. He broke into the big leagues with Cleveland in 1967 and he later made the All-Star Game in 1970 and 1971. Fosse’s inclusion in the 1970 contest has become ingrained in the sport’s memory because of Pete Rose’s decision to barrel over Fosse. That collision left Fosse with a fractured and dislocated shoulder—injuries that plagued him the rest of his career, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Fosse would nevertheless go on to enjoy a full career because of his sterling defense. He would make stops with ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:27 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: obituaries, ray fosse

Tampa Bay Rays’ David Hess diagnosed with cancerous tumor in chest, to start chemotherapy

Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher David Hess says he is starting chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumor in his chest.

Hess tweeted Wednesday that he went to an emergency room about a week ago after experiencing chest tightness and shortness of breath.

“After some scans, blood work, and time at the hospital we learned that I had a cancerous germ cell tumor sitting in the center [of] my chest pressing majorly against my heart and lungs,” he wrote. “Today we got the final diagnosis and treatment plan that has chemo starting up on Monday to shrink and hopefully eradicate the tumor entirely.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:44 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, david hess

Chicago Cubs hire Cleveland Guardians executive Carter Hawkins as their new general manager

The Indians over the last several years have done a good job at two things—grooming starting pitchers and front office executives for other teams.

The latest example of that is Carter Hawkins, who has been hired as the Chicago Cubs new general manager. Hawkins just finished his 14th season with the Indians, the last five as an assistant general manager to GM Mike Chernoff.

Hawkins, 37, and James Harris, the Indians vice president of player development, were finalists for the Cubs job. Other finalist included Carlos Rodriguez, Tampa Bay’s director of player development and international scouting and Jeremy Zoll, the Twins assistant GM.

Jed Hoyer, Cubs president of baseball operations, has been looking for a GM since he replaced Theo ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 08:39 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, cy slapnicka, guardians

Ron Washington? Buck Showalter? Breaking down possible Mets managerial candidates

Buck Showalter
The veteran skipper has not managed since 2018 with the Orioles, and he’s made broadcast TV appearances ever since. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Showalter said he doesn’t consider himself retired and he’s certainly open to managing again. Moreover, Showalter said he would listen if the Mets called about their managerial vacancy.

“I don’t talk about jobs that aren’t currently open, so the ones that are, it’s always an honor just to be mentioned,” he said. “They got a lot of good, qualified people to pick from. I don’t know (if I will be asked to interview). That’s not my decision, but I’d listen if they (the Padres or Mets) called. Like I said, it’s an honor just to be mentioned.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:18 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, carlos beltran, joe mcewing, mets, ron washington

Rays’ Influence Continues in Playoffs Despite Their Elimination

Bloom’s Red Sox won the best-of-five series in four games. It was a sign of just how deeply the Rays’ style has now taken root across MLB. (Consider that the other ALDS featured an Astros team helmed by their former Tampa Bay coworker James Click, while their old boss, Andrew Friedman, was once again leading his reigning champion Dodgers in the NLDS.) It was also, from a personal standpoint, a bit weird.

“Erik’s like my brother,” Bloom said. “We grew up together in this game. We’re extremely close.”

Until recently, their careers took paths that made them look like not just brothers, but twins. They’re the same age, 38, born less than three months apart. Both men started with the Rays as interns—Bloom in 2005 and ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rays

Rob Manfred: MLB ‘not sure we see a path to success’ for new A’s ballpark in Oakland

Manfred began by saying it’s “kind of beyond debate at this point” that new stadiums are necessary in both cities, adding: “Oakland, probably critical just in terms of the condition of the ballpark.”

“Particularly in the case of Oakland, we’ve had to open up the opportunity to explore other locations, just because it’s dragged on so long,” Manfred said. “And frankly, in some ways, we’re not sure we see a path to success in terms of getting something built in Oakland.”

Asked again if relocation is a possibility, Manfred said: “Yeah, (it) is a possibility. Yeah. I mean, they’ve been talking to Las Vegas. It’s gotten a lot of publicity, but there are options in terms of relocation in addition to Las Vegas.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 01:38 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Blatant missed call in the Braves-Brewers game showed how broken MLB’s replay system is

During the fourth inning of Tuesday’s NLDS Game 4, Adam Duvall popped up a foul ball near the backstop. Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez botched the catch, but third baseman Luis Urias came diving in on the backup to make what looked like an awesome heads-up catch.

The problem: The ball hit the ground. Like, it was clear.

Braves manager Brian Snitker signaled that he wanted to challenge the call. The umpiring crew even put on the headset, and moments later, the Truist Park PA announced that the call had been overturned. It wasn’t, though.

The call had to stand because MLB replay rules don’t allow for catch/no catch calls in the infield to be reviewed. It’s fine for plays in the outfield because of course.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:11 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: replay

Qualifying Offer Value Set At $18.4MM

This year’s qualifying offer will be worth $18.4MM,’s Buster Olney reports (via Twitter).  This represents a drop from last year’s $18.9MM figure, and the second time in the history of the qualifying offer that the value has declined from the previous season.  The QO was worth $17.8MM in the 2019-20 offseason, slightly below the $17.9MM price tag for the winter of 2018-19.

The qualifying offer is recalculated annually, as it is determined by averaging the salaries of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball.  The $500K drop from last year therefore looks like a reflection of the slower market of the 2020-21 offseason, as several teams spent less in the wake of reported and claimed revenue losses from the pandemic.

Still, ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: qualifying offer

The secret to Atlanta’s defensive turnaround

The formerly shift-averse Braves are moving their infielders around out of nowhere, and largely without notice. If you watched the NLDS, you could see it. You saw it when Avisaíl García smoked a line drive directly to Austin Riley. You saw it when Omar Narváez hit a grounder right at Ozzie Albies, who started a double play. You saw it when Willy Adames, who had been shifted against by Atlanta 19% of the time in the regular season, saw shifts more than 80% of the time in October…

Ask anyone about the Braves’ infield defense, and they’ll invariably start talking about Washington, a legendary infield coach dating back to his days with the A’s in the 1990s. (Yes, the guy from the “Moneyball” scene, if you want to distill decades of ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-12-2021

Alaska Daily Empire, October 12, 1921:

The Giants won a nerve wrecking pitcher’s battle from the Yankees this afternoon by a score of 2 to 1. The spitballer Douglas won the decision by a hair line over the underhand slinger Carl Mays.
The series now stands, Giants 4 and the Yankees 3. The series will continue until one team wins five games.

Before the game, John McGraw had speculated that Shufflin’ Phil Douglas might miss his start because of a severe cold, but obviously Douglas came through.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2021 at 08:19 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, world series

Monday, October 11, 2021

Report: Philadelphia Phillies Hire Kevin Long As Hitting Coach

The Phillies have found their new hitting coach for the 2022 season. Kevin Long, who was the Washington Nationals hitting coach last season, will join Joe Girardi’s staff in the same role, The Athletic reported on Monday.

Long will be reunited with Girardi and Bryce Harper. Long worked as the hitting coach of the New York Yankees while Girardi was the manager. He also worked with Harper during his final season in a Nationals uniform in 2018. Before Washington, Long worked with the New York Mets as their hitting coach from 2015-17.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin long, phillies

Projected Arbitration Salaries For 2022

Matt Swartz has created a model to project salaries for arbitration eligible players, which we’ve been publishing at MLB Trade Rumors for 11 years.

In the baseball industry, teams and agents determine arbitration salaries by identifying comparable players. To project the entire arbitration class in this way would take a massive amount of time and effort. So, Matt has developed an algorithm to project arbitration salaries that looks at the player’s playing time, position, role, and performance statistics while accounting for inflation. The performance of comparable players matters, but our system is not directly selecting comps for each individual player.

As a disclaimer, I should note that our projections are not to be used as a ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:56 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration

Fanatics reportedly could enter the sports media world, with many believing Sinclair’s RSN business could go bust

Per SBJ, Fanatics, the merchandising company that has exclusive deals with numerous leagues and has slipped its way into the trading card business, could become a player in the sports media landscape.

As usual, talks are preliminary, and Fanatics is just one company that has been involved.

One of the most intriguing ideas that has been discussed recently involves Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin, an executive who has not been known for sports media deals but who has had several meetings in recent months to see if there’s a path for his company to jump into the flagging RSN business.

Rubin’s meetings with league, team, distribution and network executives have been dormant for several weeks and nothing is imminent, as sources say Fanatics ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:46 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks

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