Jim Hickey was on Rays Radio yesterday. While I haven't found any recordings, here are a few snippets.
"I'm very excited with Matt Moore so far he's looked real good" Jim Hickey— RaysRadio (@RaysRadio) February 21, 2014
Well, that's a relief. It's a better sign than "I'm really scared about Matt Moore's velocity. He looks really bad, and I don't think he'll ever become the ace we need him to be."
"We have a number of guys who can fit into a number one role which is nice to have". Jim Hickey— RaysRadio (@RaysRadio) February 21, 2014
That number is either two or three, depending on how good Matt Moore actually looks.
Jim Hickey said Jake McGee is working on a curve which can help get hitters off his fastball— RaysRadio (@RaysRadio) February 21, 2014
Okay, all joking aside, this really is fun. I think it had become pretty clear that McGee's slider was bad (quite literally, it behaved like a straight, mid-80s fastball) and not getting better, so I like the idea of trying something else. Can't wait to see McGee pitch in spring training games.
If embedded radio tweets don't satisfy your urge for audio, take a listen to TPR's Jason Collette, who went on a Blue Jays podcast yesterday to talk AL East.
Baseball Prospectus released it's Washington Nationals top-10 prospect list ($). They've slotted Drew Vettleson in at nine, and called Felipe Rivero a "prospect on the rise." Nate Karns managed to get traded at the perfect time to not be included on any Baseball Prospecust team top-10 list. His loss. Our community has slotted in Karns as the number six prospect on the community prospect list.
Shane Tortellotte has a good article on The Hardball Times about managers getting thrown out of games. He accounts for era and compares ejection rates for the most-ejected managers to their peers. It's the precursor to a deeper study of manager ejections that I'm quite curious to read.
Bryan Cole of Beyond the Box Score tries to develop umpire aging curves. Caveats apply, but it seems that umpires decline steadily as they age (unsurprising). It's a very long, hard road to become an umpire, and I'm confident that at the major league level, we have the best umpires in the world. But it does seem possible that the selection process is too intense, and that these elite umpires are spending their primes in triple-A.
Ryan P. Morrison of Beyond the Box score went looking for the effect of seeing a lot of pitches on the later games of playoff series. He didn't find it. It seems that teams can't really wear an opposing pitching staff out over a seven game series.
Tango provides a simple method for turning projected winning percentage into playoff odds.