Right Field

Baseball Reveille 11/14/11

Good morning!

Here are several go-to links that will make the offseason a bit more bearable:

  • Ryan Sommers of Crashburn Alley has this to say about Philadelphia’s free agent signing splash: “Jonathan Papelbon is an elite reliever, and has had sustained success in that role since 2006, sustaining a 200 ERA+ over six seasons. But this is just too much money and too many years for any reliever, save maybe Mariano Rivera.” [Emphasis in the original.] And those comments were written before word came down from ESPN’s Jayson Stark on a player vesting option for 2016.

  • Jeff Sullivan of Baseball Nation has the details on the hiring of former catcher Mike Matheny to be the Cardinals’ new manager.

  • Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown says that a MLB vote on the Astros sale to Jim Crane will take place this week. A successful vote also will result in Houston switching leagues as early as 2013.

  • According to a Rangers report relayed by ESPN Dallas, Josh Hamilton underwent sports hernia surgery last Friday and expects to be ready for spring training.

  • Jim McClennan of Arizona Snake Pit dissects the practice of handing out multi-year deals to the 37-and-older crowd.

  • Fangraphs’ David Laurila interviews outgoing Royals pitching coach Bob McClure on topics such as arm angles, pitching patterns, and what typically is being communicated during visits to the mound.

  • Also at Fangraphs, Sam Menzin discovers an article from a 1915 edition of Baseball Magazine and proceeds to ask, “Was wOBA Invented Nearly 100 Years Ago?” In response, the ever-mischievous Repoz of Baseball Think Factory commented, “And you thought that Tom Tango Bill James Pete Palmer Branch Rickey was the godfather of sabermetrics.”

  • An idea so simple yet so smart: The Padres are donating 10,000 jerseys to little league organizations throughout San Diego County.

Wilson Ramos: “The truth is I’m still very nervous, but thanks to God everything turned out well.”

That’s it, folks. Only 103 days until pitchers and catchers report!

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.