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“So these guys have more in common than just their team, their jersey number, their heritage, and their position – Santana is basically following the “Victor Plan” in Cleveland. And that’s not such a bad thing as the Indians locked in all of Victor’s arbitration years (and got him at a bargain because of it by assuming the risk associated with inking a player with as little service time as Martinez had) and included a club option for his 1st year of FA. Pending the actual nuts and bolts (dollars) of The Axe Man’s contract, they’ve likely done the same with Santana and while it might be wished that the Indians could keep Santana as long as possible, let’s remember how old Santana is going to be in the years that this contract covers: 2012: 26, 2013: 27, 2014: 28, 2015: 29, 2016: 30” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]
A great long-read. “A few days before Christmas in 1960, John Burgeson, a mid-level programmer at IBM in Akron, Ohio, called in sick and invented a form of computerized fantasy baseball. In the process, he also presaged the rudimentary concepts of sabermetrics. And in doing all that, he figured out that computers, which until then had basically been ice cream truck–size calculators, were portals to a virtual world and the future of gaming.” [Kalb/Grantland]
“I’ve never been a proponent of the Oklahoma City Model technically, because I’ve always thought the Kevin Durant part can’t literally be duplicated. There was a lot of luck associated with Durant being passed over by Portland, and the model would look pretty awful these days with Greg Oden down in OKC instead. But as it pertains to the Cavaliers, I will agree that winning the chance to draft Kyrie Irving last season was similarly lucky to an extent. There’s also no denying that the Thunder did capitalize on just about every draft pick since, and they certainly do deserve to be the NBA’s current gold standard for building a team through the draft. ” [Bowers/Cleveland.com]
“That’s where Ohio State football is right now. Mickey Marotti is transforming Ohio State’s football players with a combination of diet and exercise “never before seen” around the WHAC. In lieu of actual football games, the biggest winner in any new coaching staff is the strength and conditioning coach. How unprecedented is this kind of strength and conditioning porn in a new regime? It’s not. It’s practically required.” [Ramzy/Eleven Warriors]
The end of bean-ball? “There’s a big difference, of course, between stealing signs and intentionally hurling a baseball more than 90 miles per hour at a player standing 60 feet, 6 inches away. The former may give the sign-stealing team an advantage in a game. The latter may seriously injure the batter, cutting short his season or his career. The danger is real and the practice needs to stop. Ballplayers shouldn’t be permitted to do on a baseball field what could get them arrested if done on the street outside the ballpark. Throwing a baseball at someone at high speed with the intent to harm them is, at a minimum, assault and battery. It doesn’t matter if the person hit by the ball did something to anger the person who threw the ball, other than to provide a motive.
Moreover, it makes no sense for baseball to put their most expensive assets at risk. With utility guys making millions and superstars making hundreds of millions — all in guaranteed contracts — teams should be doing more to protect the health and safety of their players.” [Thurm/Fan Graphs]