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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What led Nolan Arenado to feel “disrespected” by Rockies

The winter of Nolan Arenado‘s discontent took root last autumn.

Frustrated and disillusioned by the Rockies’ 71-win season, the Rockies’ all-star third baseman met with general manager Jeff Bridich shortly after the season ended and argued that the team needed to make aggressive moves in the offseason in order to improve. But when Bridich told Arenado that the Rockies were largely going to stand pat this winter, he expressed his displeasure.

The conversation turned confrontational and soured the relationship, according to sources. That relationship has not mended./blockquote>

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 06:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nolan arenado, rockies

Seven possible candidates the Astros should consider to be their next GM – The Athletic

Since Astros owner Jim Crane fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch on Jan. 13, his search for the team’s next GM has garnered a lot less attention than his search for a manager.

The disparity can probably be attributed to the timing; the team’s roster is more or less set while spring training begins in only three weeks. But Crane’s upcoming hire for the GM position will have much greater implications for the franchise’s long term outlook, particularly given the front office culture issues that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred detailed in his findings about the Astros electronic sign-stealing schemes of 2017 and 2018.

From Manfred’s nine-page report:

But while no one can dispute that Luhnow’s baseball ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 06:26 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

‘What are we, interns?’: Dodgers prospects work to make ends meet – The Athletic

I’m OK with smaller farm systems as long as the remaining players get paid a lot better. It makes sense for teams and for players. It’s understandable owners aren’t fans of losing their affiliations with MLB teams.

So he believes Major League Baseball’s teams are hurting themselves by declining to better compensate minor-leaguers, or at least accommodate them in the offseasons.

“You would be lying if you said baseball wasn’t a full, year-round job,” de Geus said. “But we’re being paid like it’s not. What are we, interns? Seasonal workers?”

And because many of his peers cannot develop in the offseason due to financial constraints, de Geus went as far as to offer a concession: Do what the Dodgers do, he suggested, and do it ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 06:08 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: minor league pay, pay site

Goold: A modest proposal to improve Hall of Fame voting | Derrick Goold: Bird Land | stltoday.com

Goold retweeted this yesterday. I like the idea.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 06:00 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Derek Jeter gives expected response to Hall of Fame vote snub

“I look at all the votes that I got,’’ Jeter said of falling one vote short of being unanimous, posting a 99.7 percentage. “Trying to get that many people to agree on something, it is pretty difficult to do.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame

Curt Schilling misses out on Hall of Fame, but he’ll get in next year - The Boston Globe

I very, very rarely link to Shaughnessy. He’s a decent writer but has really bad takes on just about everything. I link to him now because his view on Schilling is representative of the views of quite a few writers.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Here’s a vote for getting sportswriters out of the balloting process - The Washington Post

I sometimes disagree with their votes but the writers have done a pretty good job overall.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Nolan Arenado’s Rockies future remains uncertain | MLB.com

The situation is a complete mess. The contract structure is dumb. Giving Arenado all the control and then trying to trade him one year later is a joke. Arenado, however, should stop complaining.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nolan arenado, rockies

Miller Park will become American Family Field in 2021

I have park naming fatigue.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Electronic sign stealing: A scandal two decades ago in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — If anyone thought that using technology to steal catchers’ signs had only blemished Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros — or it’s something new — think again.

Japan went through a similar scandal just over 20 years ago. The Japanese revere baseball as much as Americans and have straddled the same thin line between gamesmanship and cheating.

In a widely covered scandal in 1998, a camera in the Fukuoka Dome was discovered to be focused on the catcher. Officials of the Daiei Hawks — now the SoftBank Hawks — reportedly monitored the signs and relayed them by walkie-talkie to fans in the stands, who then used signals to batters to indicated the coming pitch.

There was no trash-can banging, as the Astros ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 01:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, sign-stealing, softbank hawks

With no sure things, next year’s Hall of Fame ballot could be unpredictable

The 2020 Hall of Fame class is set after the Baseball Writers Association of America elected Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. They will join Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, who were elected by the veterans committee in December.

For the new Hall of Famers, the celebration is on. For those whose candidacy will begin or continue on next year’s ballot, it’s time to look ahead. That’s also what we’re here to do.

Our first glance tells us there are a wide range of possibilities in 2021. That’s in part because the next crop of first-time eligible candidates is remarkably underwhelming. There’s not a slam dunk like Mariano Rivera and Jeter have been the last two years. In fact, there’s not a new candidate that appears likely to reach ...

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QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, the future

Dustin Pedroia suffers ‘significant setback’ with left knee, Red Sox confirm

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered a “significant setback” while rehabbing his left knee injury, a team spokesman confirmed.

“As a result, his status for spring training is uncertain,” said Kevin Gregg.

Gregg did not elaborate on the nature of this setback, which exacerbated an injury that has plagued Pedroia for several seasons.

The 2008 American League MVP’s knee troubles began in 2017, when his left knee was injured in a play involving Baltimore’s Manny Machado. Pedroia underwent surgery in October of that year.

Oh, mama
Could this really be the end
To be stuck inside of Boston
With a busted knee again

 

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, knee, red sox

Crane: Players will apologize in Spring Training

HOUSTON—The Astros will apologize for the role they played in the recent sign-stealing saga when they assemble in West Palm Beach, Fla., next month, team owner Jim Crane said while addressing reporters at the Houston Sports Awards in downtown Houston on Tuesday.

Crane, noting the criticism select Astros players have taken for not making more contrite public statements at FanFest last weekend, said the players will “come out with a strong statement as a team and apologize for what happened and we’ll move forward.”

Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were the only marquee players from the 2017 World Series champion team to attend FanFest last Saturday. They each addressed the media but said little to clarify the role they and others played in the ...

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QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: apologies, astros, dirty rotten cheaters, jim crane

Marcell Ozuna gets one-year deal from Braves worth $18 million

ATLANTA—Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves reached an $18 million, one-year deal Tuesday that puts him on the team he helped beat in the playoffs last October.

Ozuna hit .429 with two home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their five-game win over the Braves in the National League Division Series.

The 29-year-old Ozuna hit .241 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI last season. His low batting average was something of an oddity because he ranked among the major league leaders in the highest percentage of hard-hit balls, according to Statcast.

And the hot stove stays on!

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hot stove, marcell ozuna

Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez doesn’t support Astros whistleblower Mike Fiers; ‘You’re just a bad te

Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez doesn’t support Astros whistleblower Mike Fiers, who now pitches for the Athletics.

“If he was to do it when he was playing for the Houston Astros, I would say Mike Fiers has guts,” Martinez said on WEEI on Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “But to go and do it after you leave the Houston Astros because they don’t have you anymore, that doesn’t show me anything. You’re just a bad teammate.”

Fiers, who pitched for the Astros in 2017, went on record with The Athletic to tell how the Astros used a center field camera to steal signs from opponents in 2017.

“Now everybody is going to know that you have a whistleblower in any other situation, too,” Martinez said. “Whatever happens in the ...

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QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mike fiers, pedro martinez, whistleblowers

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Jeter’s Hall call near-unanimous; Walker elected

Derek Jeter barely missed unanimity. Larry Walker barely eluded agony. What matters most is that both men are now enjoying entry into baseball’s hallowed Hall.

The subjects of two very different versions of Hall of Fame voting drama, Jeter and Walker both had their names called Tuesday night on MLB Network’s presentation of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot results. All but one of the 397 BBWAA members who cast a vote had Jeter’s name checked off in his first year of eligibility, and just enough of those writers checked Walker’s name in his 10th and final year to push him above the 75-percent threshold.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:38 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-21-2020

Rock Island Argus, January 21, 1920:

Ice baseball, ice boxing. These sports are forcing hockey to take a back seat [in Cleveland.]

Ice baseball was launched several weeks ago and already has a large following. A league has been formed comprising six industrial teams.

It remained for ice boxing to prove the real thriller. The second of two initial contests, staged at Rockefeller park, with the contestants heavily dressed in sweaters, resulted in a knockout in the second round. Aside from having to dodge the blows, contestants experienced much trouble in keeping their feet when they missed a swing.

If you ever hit an inside-the-park bunt home run in RBI Baseball, the idea of ice baseball may seem vaguely familiar. Ice boxing is pretty much ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:55 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

MLB Source: Cubs ‘got fat and happy’ after World Series, culture must change

Fact: The 2019 Chicago Cubs wildly underachieved, finishing with an 84-78 record and finishing third in the NL’s Central division. Fact: The Chicago Cubs didn’t fail because they didn’t spend enough money. The Cubs were 2nd in all of baseball in payroll finishing behind only the Boston Red Sox. Both of those teams failed to make baseball’s postseason.

Fact: The Cubs front office has done a lousy job acquiring players since winning the 2016 World Series and they have done a poor job in developing quality, big league caliber pitching through their minor league system.

But, it is also a fact that former manager Joe Maddon allowed his comfort level with players interfere with how much he held them accountable and the result was a ...

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QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fat, underperformance

WATCH: Carpenter says lack of identity at plate is why he struggled; New focus to not pull the ball

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Matt Carpenter hit below .230, with fewer than 20 home runs and 50 RBI last year in what was his worst offensive year of his career. He told media at St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up that he feels like he hasn’t found his identity yet as a hitter.

So this offseason, he says he hasn’t tried to pull the ball at all and try to get back to the type of player he was when he came up. Like in 2013, when he led the league with 55 doubles.

“Sometimes it takes something like last year to figure out how did we get to this point,” Carpenter says. “I’ve had a lot of good conversations, I actually have hit with some former teammates and former players and have spent some time having some deep conversations about what I can ...

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QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: matt carpenter

Ex-M’s ace Félix Hernández has minor league deal with Braves

ATLANTA (AP) — Longtime Seattle Mariners ace Félix Hernández reached a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves on Monday that includes an invite to big league spring training.

The right-hander would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to Atlanta’s 40-man roster.

Hernández, who turns 34 in April, is coming off his worst season in the majors. King Felix went 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA in 15 starts for the Mariners and lost his place in the rotation.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:38 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, felix hernandez

20 Big Questions About MLB’s Sign-Stealing Scandal

A sample question-and-answer:

3) Could Manfred suspend or ban players who used cameras, buzzers and other electronic devices?

Yes. Under Article XII of the collective bargaining agreement, Manfred has the authority to take appropriate disciplinary measures against players for conduct that is “materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball.” Cheating is unquestionably damaging to the best interest of Baseball. It undermines the integrity of games and could cost the league substantial revenue if fans are turned off.

Also, no one has a legal “right” to play in a private sports league, just as no one has a right to a job at a private employer. Being kicked out of a pro league is not, in and of ...

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QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: lawyers, sign-stealing

Nolan Arenado feels “disrespected” as Rockies GM Jeff Bridich nixes trade talks

On the same day Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich put the brakes on the Nolan Arenado trade rumors, the all-star third baseman broke his silence Monday saying he felt “disrespected.”

Bridich made it clear that Arenado will be with the Rockies when they open spring training next month in Scottsdale, Ariz. He also made it clear that, at least for now, trade talks are off the table.

“With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that,” Bridich said. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.

“So we can put this to bed and ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:21 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: feud, jeff bridich, nolan arenado, rockies

Monday, January 20, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-20-2020

Bridgeport Times, January 20, 1920:

Youth will arrive with a rush in professional baseball during the next two years. As the old stars sputter out, the new ones burst into being to carry on the spirit of the game.

Frank Frisch, of the Giants, and Waite Hoyt, of the Red Sox, both local fledglings, blaze the way for the incoming host of youthful headliners.
...
Not since Rogers Hornsby bloomed amid the Texas cactus and mellowed into stardom with the Cardinals has the National League welcomed such an exceptional young player as Frank Frisch…His advent at the Polo Grounds—he didn’t report till college closed—was the brightest feature of a disappointing campaign for the Giants. Frisch’s record is a story that needs no retelling now. It was the ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 20, 2020 at 10:15 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

J.D. Martinez says Red Sox are innocent. Now what?

SPRINGFIELD—The next shoe may not have officially dropped Saturday, but a toe was dipped into the water. For the first time, a member of the 2018 Red Sox flat-out said his team was innocent.

Up until J.D. Martinez stepped before the media at Winter Weekend there had been a series of coaches and players leaning on “it’s an ongoing investigation” when asked about Major League Baseball’s investigation into The Athletic’s report that the Red Sox had illegally used their video system to help relay sign sequences during games. But Martinez took things to another level.

“I’m excited for the investigation to get over with, just so they can see there was nothing going on here,” Martinez said.

When pressed on if he believed no wrongdoing would be ...

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QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: bullshit, dirty rotten cheaters, j.d. martinez, red sox

Phillies pitching prospect Zach Warren has a dirty car but a bright future

Every one of the 15 minor-league prospects that the Phillies have invited to big-league spring training camp has a story.

Zach Warren’s is unique because (in his heart) he was a Phillie before he was technically a Phillie.

Warren grew up in Vineland, New Jersey, in the “glory era,” as he correctly called it, when the Phillies were racking up National League East titles, going to two World Series and winning one of them. Young Zach rooted for Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, but his eye always drifted toward the work being done by Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, not surprising because Warren was a left-handed pitcher on the rise in those days.

After successful runs at St. Augustine Prep in South Jersey and the University of ...

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QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: phillies, prospects, zach warren

Andy Green ‘fired up’ to be with Cubs, help David Ross any way he can

It’s quite fitting Andy Green’s introduction to Cubs Nation came at the team’s annual fan festival this weekend.

Green, whom the Cubs officially hired as bench coach in December, grew up a Reds fan in his native Lexington, Ky. It wasn’t long before his allegiances changed to one of Cincinnati’s geographic neighbors, however.

“I went to [former Reds ballpark Riverfront Stadium] as a kid at like 5, 6, 7, first time I saw big-league baseball,” Green told NBC Sports Chicago on Saturday. “But my mom took me up to Wrigley at 12 or 13. I was like ‘This is big-league baseball.’

“I switched over allegiances that time as a Cubs fan, watched Ryne Sandberg — Mark Grace was somebody who jumped off the page to me at that point ...

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QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, cubs, david ross

Astros superfan ‘Mattress Mack’ loses $2 million betting against Chiefs

It hasn’t been a great year for a certain Houston gambling enthusiast’s bank account.

Houston-area furniture chain owner Jim McIngvale, better known as “Mattress Mack,” lost nearly $12 million last year betting on the Astros to win the World Series, ostensibly as a way to hedge against a refund promotion for his stores. He had done the same thing in 2017, but it obviously worked out much worse last year.

McIngvale kicked off a new year of sports betting by turning his attention to a new sport, according to The Action Network. His bets: $1 million on the Houston Texans to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round, then $1 million on the Tennessee Titans to beat those same Chiefs in the AFC championship game.

Yeah, ...

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QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, fans, gambling, winners and losers

Cardinals sign Matt Wieters to one-year, $2 million deal

Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals and free agent catcher Matt Wieters have agreed on a one-year, $2 million deal. Wieters can earn an additional $1 million through incentives.

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:26 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cardlinals, contracts, matt wieters

Royals, Alex Gordon “Getting Close” To Deal

For those curious about what else is going on in the baseball world:

The Royals are “getting close” to a one-year agreement with outfielder Alex Gordon, according to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com. The financial details of said agreement are yet unknown. Nothing has been finalized yet, but Flanagan expects that an announcement might come in the next couple of days upon the completion of Gordon’s physical.

It’s long been expected that Gordon and the Royals would work out a deal to keep the 35-year-old in the organization with which he’s spent his entire career; Gordon has made it clear that he would opt for retirement if a return to Kansas City wasn’t possible. However, it looks as if the franchise icon will stick around for at ...

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QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:23 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, hot stove, royals

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cubs Fans Boo Chairman Tom Ricketts at Team Convention

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts heard his share of boos at the Cubs Convention on Friday while the team remains quiet in free agency.

Coming off a season in which the Cubs fell short of the playoffs, Chicago has yet to add significant pieces or sign its core players to extensions. Former NL MVP Kris Bryant has been on the trade market throughout the offseason, beloved former manager Joe Maddon is gone and the team is no longer the favorite in the NL Central. There’s uncertainty in Wrigleyville for the first time since the Cubs returned to prominence in 2015, and the Convention’s usually positive atmosphere has soured.

“I’m sorry we don’t have a prize free agent or something sexier to talk about right now,” Ricketts said in an ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fans, tom ricketts

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