December 6, 2013
And here's the full roster.
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Following are the one hundred most recent articles for the category Business .
11/14/2013: Let’s discuss the THT Annualby Dave Studeman
12/06/2013: Cooperstown Confidential: Ed Charles and 42by Bruce Markusen
12/06/2013: The Athletics get busyby Brad Johnson
12/06/2013: Getting to know Ryan Haniganby Chad Dotson
12/04/2013: Cataloging the non-tendered playersby Brad Johnson
12/04/2013: Alone on the pedestalby Jason Linden
12/03/2013: Mascot fight!by Greg Simons
12/03/2013: Why is a sinker “heavy?”by David Kagan
12/03/2013: The role of fall leaguesby Jeff Moore
12/02/2013: Nationals make great deal for Fisterby Matt Filippi
12/02/2013: The Twins go holiday shopping, but to what end?by Brad Johnson
12/02/2013: The end of the benchby Chris Jaffe
11/29/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Danny Waltonby Bruce Markusen
11/29/2013: The best rookies of the ‘30sby Chad Dotson
11/27/2013: Towards an award prediction systemby Shane Tourtellotte
11/26/2013: MLB’s coffers are overflowingby Greg Simons
11/26/2013: The role of prospects in tradesby Jeff Moore
11/25/2013: Stepping up to the plateby Frank Jackson
11/25/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about player birthdaysby Chris Jaffe
11/22/2013: The end of the road for Chris Carpenterby Chad Dotson
11/21/2013: All the news that’s fit to inventby Azure Texan
11/20/2013: Marcus Stroman, the mythbusting machineby Kyle Boddy
11/20/2013: Welcome to the birthplace of… someone elseby Jason Linden
11/19/2013: 2013 THT awards reviewby Greg Simons
11/18/2013: THT Fantasy has moved to Rotographsby Dave Studeman
11/18/2013: Atlanta gets burned againby Frank Jackson
11/18/2013: The 2014 Hall of Fame VC ballotby Chris Jaffe
11/18/2013: Must See MLB.TV 2013by Dave Studeman
11/15/2013: The best rookies of the ‘40sby Chad Dotson
11/15/2013: Card Corner: Wayne Granger: 1973 Toppsby Bruce Markusen
11/14/2013: 10th anniversary: the A.J. Pierzynski tradeby Chris Jaffe
11/14/2013: The Screwball: The face of championship baseballby Azure Texan
11/14/2013: Player-A-Day: Casey Fienby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Player-A-Day: Tim Lincecumby Brad Johnson
11/13/2013: Pitcher performance after batting successby Shane Tourtellotte
11/13/2013: 25th anniversary: Rob Neyer writes a letterby Chris Jaffe
11/13/2013: Houston hoodoo ‘62by Frank Jackson
11/12/2013: It’s The Hardball Times Annual 2014by Dave Studeman
11/12/2013: Player-A-Day: Joe Mauerby Brad Johnson
11/11/2013: Fastball velocity by game stateby Jon Roegele
11/11/2013: The rise of the middle-aged managerby Chris Jaffe
11/08/2013: Player-A-Day: Josmil Pintoby Brad Johnson
11/08/2013: Hall monitor: The case for Andruw Jonesby Chad Dotson
11/07/2013: Big leaguers, bit partsby Azure Texan
11/07/2013: Player-A-Day: Nathan Eovaldiby Brad Johnson
11/06/2013: If he’d only gotten another shotby Jason Linden
11/06/2013: Player-A-Day: David DeJesusby Brad Johnson
11/05/2013: Player-A-Day: David Ortizby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Dariel Abreuby Brad Johnson
11/04/2013: The Boston (Braves) Marathon of 1928by Frank Jackson
11/04/2013: 10 things I didn’t know about birthdays in 2013by Chris Jaffe
11/01/2013: Taking the close pitch with two strikesby James Gentile
11/01/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Don Baylorby Bruce Markusen
11/01/2013: The best rookies of the ‘50sby Chad Dotson
10/31/2013: The Screwball: Celebrate good times, come on!by Azure Texan
10/31/2013: Player-A-Day: Leonys Martinby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Player-A-Day: Jon Lesterby Brad Johnson
10/30/2013: Forecasting the major 2013 awardsby Shane Tourtellotte
10/30/2013: The effect of seeing pitchesby Jon Roegele
10/29/2013: Putting the knock on pitching changesby Joe Distelheim
10/29/2013: Player-A-Day: Ryan Howardby Brad Johnson
10/29/2013: Losing momentum in the sixth gameby Dave Studeman
10/29/2013: Previewing the fall Stars gameby Jeff Moore
10/28/2013: Player-A-Day: Travis Woodby Brad Johnson
10/28/2013: Marquis Grissom: Mr. October Jr.by Frank Jackson
10/25/2013: The blackballing of Dick Dietzby Bruce Markusen
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Xander Bogaertsby Brad Johnson
10/24/2013: The Screwball: Put it in neutral?by Azure Texan
10/24/2013: The all-decade team: the ‘00sby Richard Barbieri
10/24/2013: Player-A-Day: Michael Wachaby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: Earn money watching baseballby Dave Studeman
10/23/2013: Player-A-Day: Jose Iglesiasby Brad Johnson
10/23/2013: 20th anniversary: The Joe Carter gameby Chris Jaffe
10/23/2013: Giants take a risk with Lincecum’s two-year dealby Matt Filippi
10/23/2013: BOB: Nolan Ryan retires…for nowby Brian Borawski
10/22/2013: Where does David Price fit?by Jeff Moore
10/22/2013: Survey says?!?!?by Greg Simons
10/22/2013: ALCS post-mortem: The Fielder playby Shane Tourtellotte
10/21/2013: The best rivalries of 2013by Chris Jaffe
10/21/2013: World Series workhorsesby Frank Jackson
10/20/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/19/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/19/2013: WPS Recap: NLCS, 10/18/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: WPS recap: ALCS, 10/17/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/18/2013: Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Bob Baileyby Bruce Markusen
10/18/2013: The 2013 Atlanta Braves and core WARby James Gentile
10/18/2013: The best rookies of the ‘60sby Chad Dotson
10/17/2013: The Screwball: What about Bob Lemon?by Azure Texan
10/17/2013: WPS Recap: LCS, 10/16/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
10/16/2013: WPS recap: LCS, 10/15/2013by Shane Tourtellotte
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June 04, 2012
Nats picked a great time to stinkThe Washington Nationals are leading the National League East by percentage points going into Monday's games. Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft begins Monday. These two events are not unrelated.
Two reasons the Nats are (finally) finding success are the contributions of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, two of the most hyped draftees in history. And Washington had the distinct pleasure of selecting these players with back-to-back No. 1 overall picks in the 2009 and 2010 drafts.
After dealing with Tommy John surgery that cost him more than a year's worth of starts, Strasburg has returned to the form he displayed when he first burst onto the major league scene. He is punching out 10.9 batters per nine innings with a 4.65:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, leading to a 165 ERA+. Traditionalists eat up his 6-1 record and 2.35 ERA.
Harper is tearing it up right of out gate, posting a .288/.380/.542 triple-slash line, good for a 148 OPS+. He's also walking nearly as often as he strikes out and making highlight-reel defensive plays with regularity.
Basically, these guys are living up to the hype, which is saying quite a bit given the lofty expectations placed upon them. The funny thing is, the Nationals wouldn't have either of these terrific players if they weren't so terrible a few short years ago. By posting awful 59-103 and 69-93 records in 2008 and 2009, Washington "earned" the first pick in both of the following year's drafts.
Yes, this is exactly how the draft is supposed to work. The worst teams from the previous season get the first shot at the top talent in the draft with the hopes of developing that talent into a cheap, young nucleus around which pricey free-agent pickups and savvy scrapheap acquisitions can be added. Ideally, these players all gel a few seasons down the road and the former doormat becomes a potential juggernaut. The Tampa Bay Rays are another example of how this is supposed to work.
But Washington had the additional benefit not only of back-to-back top picks, but also of having these two preternatural talents available and ownership's support to pay what it took to sign them, spending roughly $25 million on two kids with no professional experience. And while the Rays can pin some of their success on multiple No. 1 overall picks, only David Price has contributed directly to Tampa Bay's winning ways. The Rays also took Josh Hamilton, Delmon Young and Tim Beckham at the top of the draft, but none of those players did much to push the Rays to the top of the AL East.
Having the first pick is great—it's yielded such talents as Justin Upton, Joe Mauer, Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones and Ken Griffey Jr. over the last couple of decades—but using that pick on the right player is crucial. After all, Matt Bush, Bryan Bullington and Brien Taylor have gone No. 1, and nobody remembers any key on-field contributions they've made.
Draft well, develop your minor league talent, and spend wisely to supplement that talent. It seems so straightforward, but we all know it's not. Just ask the Pirates.
But when it works out—and the baseball gods bless you with two consecutive über-talents—things can come together very quickly. Just ask the Nationals.
Posted by: Greg Simons
January 12, 2012
On Ryan Madson: Parsing Boras’ commentsPhiladelphia general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. and super-agent Scott Boras are having a skirmish of words regarding the Phillies' non-signing of closer Ryan Madson. Boras seems to be saying the Phillies reneged on their offer of $44 million over four years, while Amaro says, "there never was an agreement."
Obviously, since Madson is now a Cincinnati Red, Amaro is correct that there never was an agreement—at least not one so formal that it led to a signed contract. However, there may have been a verbal agreement, a handshake deal, a nod-and-wink, nudge-nudge, say-no-more pact that simply needed to be put to paper and submitted to Major League Baseball's offices for confirmation.
Or there may not have been. If we read exactly what Boras said, it becomes clear that he did not say that he and the Phillies had agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract.
Boras first stated, "We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal." He followed that comment up with, "We agreed to a four-year, $44 million offer, and Philadelphia decided to sign someone else."
Let's take a look at the first sentence. While he and Madson never rejected the contract in dispute, Boras didn't say the Phillies made such an offer. You can't reject an offer that isn't made, so Boras may not be lying. Also, "never rejected" is not the same as "accepted."
His second sentence says they would have taken such a deal. Hey, so would I, but no one made me such an offer and, again, maybe the Phillies didn't make one to Boras for Madson's services.
The last sentence uses "we" vaguely. Which "we" agreed to the four-year, $44 million contract he mentions? It could be that "we" is Boras and Madson. Perhaps those two men decided between themselves that such an offer would be acceptable. Good for them, but if the Phillies never tendered such a deal, there was nothing for Boras to accept.
Scott Boras obviously is a phenomenally successful agent. He has made his clients billions of dollars and himself a nice cut of those salaries. He produces gold-lettered, platinum-laced, diamond-encrusted binders to demonstrate how clients such as Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder are the greatest athletes in the history of the universe and should be paid like minor deities. Boras does his job extraordinarily well.
But his success does not come from blunt directness. It comes from deception, obfuscation and borderline flat-out lying. Boras knows where that borderline is, and he has no fear of going up to it and nudging his toes right up against that line. It's what he gets paid so well to do.
Posted by: Greg Simons
December 29, 2011
2011 A’s vs. 1997 MarlinsIn 1997, the Florida (now Miami) Marlins won the World Series, bringing joy and enthusiasm to the team and its fan base. Days later, the destruction of the team began as management shipped off nearly every high-priced veteran it could to save money.
The excuse was that the team couldn't afford such a large payroll without a larger fan base, and more fans would come only if the team got a new stadium. Well, it took nearly 15 years, but that new stadium is finally a reality, and it looks to be a stunning ballpark, though the structural integrity and financing of the facility have been called into question.
In 2011, the Oakland A's went 74-88. There were no victory parades, but the team's teardown has been as thorough as the Marlins' was 14 years ago.
Starting pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez have been shipped off to the Diamondbacks and Nationals, respectively, in return for a gaggle of hot prospects. Middle reliever Craig Breslow joined Cahill in the move to Arizona, while closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney were just sent to Boston for three more promising youngsters.
Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, Coco Crisp and Hideki Matsui—all solid, if unispiring, offensive contributors—will not be returning to Oakland. The roster has been stripped so bare that at one point Sweeney was listed on the A's official Web site depth chart as the starting outfielder at all three positions.
Like the Marlins, the A's say they need a new ballpark to compete. And with the Angels signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, and the Rangers coming off back-to-back World Series appearances and acquiring the rights to Yu Darvish, they certainly need something to keep pace.
Rumors abound that the team soon will be allowed to move to San Jose, though Bud Selig's Blue Ribbon Committee that has been studying the issue for a few years now has not made any formal proposals. Given how long the Marlins waited for a new facility, A's fans shouldn't hold their breath.
When the Marlins tore things down, they shaved massive financial commitments from their books, but at least they had a title to show for their investment. The A's are dealing away young, cheap, cost-controlled talent for even younger, even cheaper, cost-controlled potential. And they have nothing to show for their efforts other than the possibility of being the cheapest, most anonymous ball team since the 1998 Marlins.
Things were awful in South Florida in '98, as the team fell from 92 victories the season before to a mere 54 wins. The A's starting point is 74 wins. An equal 38-game dropoff would yield a 36-126 record that would make the 1962 Mets look like world beaters.
Oakland is unlikely to be quite that bad in 2012 and beyond, but it's going to be horrendously ugly for the next few years. It may even be so bad that this monstrosity will look good by comparison.
Posted by: Greg Simons
July 22, 2011
A bargain worth consideringAll right, in the interest of full disclosure: yours truly is the furthest thing from an objective source regarding this book. The author, Bill Gould, befriended me and I read his manuscript and offered him my editing advice. And more than that, I noticed a couple of questionable baseball facts in the manuscript, so Bill hired me to serve as his baseball fact-checker.
So, if you find any misstatements of baseball fact in this book, I'm the party to blame!
But with all those caveats noted, Bargaining with Baseball: Labor Relations in an Age of Prosperous Turmoil is a must-read book for anyone seriously interested in the labor history of baseball.
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Posted by: Steve Treder
April 09, 2011
Lucky EddiePerhaps it isn't the singular event the baseball world has been waiting for, but nonetheless it's good news for those with an interest in the history of the sport: Eddie Robinson has published his autobiography. Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball is a good read.
Robinson wasn't a Hall of Fame-quality player, nor was his long post-playing career in the front offices of various organizations one of the greatest, but in both phases Robinson was quite good. And he was extremely well-traveled, playing for the Indians, Senators, White Sox, Athletics, Yankees, Athletics (again), Tigers, Indians (again), and Orioles, and then working in coaching and multiple executive capacities for the Orioles, Colt .45s, Athletics, Braves, Rangers, and Yankees, including stints as the General Manager in Atlanta and Texas. If one is inclined to think that on such a long and winding road Robinson met a lot of interesting people and has a lot of interesting stories to tell, this book amply proves one correct.
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Posted by: Steve Treder
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