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Monday, March 02, 2009
Arbitration season is over, but it's never too late to learn neat things. To that end, Squawking Baseball has an interview with John Coppolella, the Director of Baseball Administration for the Atlanta Braves, who holds forth on everything you wanted to know about arbitration but were afraid to ask. Among other interesting tidbits:
Once the numbers are filed, how relevant do they become in negotiations (assuming both sides want to avoid a hearing)?
Neyer today shoots down the contraction whispers re: the A's and Marlins. His basis: lack of necessity and politics:
What's more, even if both franchises were utter wrecks they still wouldn't be serious candidates for contraction. No franchise would be. It was, what, eight years ago when this spectre was first raised, regarding the Twins and the Expos? I said then that it would never happen; that Congress (among others) wouldn't allow it, and that the owners were simply floating the notion as leverage in their negotiations with the union.
Well, I think he's right again here. But even if those obstacles were hurdled, wouldn't it make more sense for the owners to sit around a table and figure out how to help ailing franchises rather than kill them? My assumption is that the Marlins' and A's owners would demand something akin to the market price + hassle charge in order to give up their franchises. I'm also assuming that, since Bud has cultivated a very chummy ownership group, they'd get at least that much. So we're talking in the hundreds of millions here.
Here's an idea: if the owners were seriously considering pooling hundreds of millions to throw at Oakland or Miami, wouldn't it make much more sense for them to throw it at HOK and a general contractor to build stadiums or make improvements that the their home cities don't want to do? Rather than a public black eye and a baseball black hole, such a move would result in a nice little revenue-generator for both the home team and the rest of the league, wouldn't it?
Or is that crazy talk?
I was a D.J. at a radio station for a few years in high school and college. Within the first few days on the air, I started to get hate mail and people calling to yell at me. I was only 16 at the time, and this bothered me a great deal. My boss, Bob the Program Director, told me not to worry. "Silence is way worse than anger," he said, "because at least anger means people are listening to you." Such advice only goes so far, but once in a while I get a comment that makes me think of Bob. Like this one, in response to this morning's Curt Schilling piece:
Back off Schil. you jerk!
Man, I wish Schilling's mom had never found this blog.
It's a press release, sure, but it's one that made me wish I had MLB Network:
On Monday, March 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network will debut the first-ever original film from MLB Productions, We Are Young: A Baseball Family, the story of MLB players and brothers Dmitri and Delmon Young, who overcame personal struggles to persevere in the Major Leagues . . .
The Youngs and their antics have often served as point-and-laugh references, and I have been just as guilty of that as anyone. Behind every easy caricature lies a human being, however, and if this film truly gets at any of that, it will definitely be worth watching.
(thanks to Pete Toms for the heads up)
Scott Simkus is taken with a story/press release from the Louisville Slugger Museum about the bat used by Negro Leaguer George “Mule” Suttles. Apparently he swung a 37-inch, 50 ounce stick.
*I changed the name of this post because some people questioned whether I was going for a joke based on a racial stereotype. Such a thing was certainly not my intention, as I'm completely colorblind when it comes to making juvenile penis jokes. But I understand how such a thing can be misconstrued as links get passed along and readers come at it with less and less familiarity with my writing style. And before the comments begin, please know that it's neither my intention or desire to cater to the most sensitive readers in the world with this edit. It's simply a matter of saving myself some valuable time. I mean, if I'm going to spend any time defending my level of racial senstitivty, it's going to be done in the service of a post that actually has something to do with race, not something trivial like this.
If you believe in signs and portents, it's going to be a long year for Braden Looper:
The Milwaukee right-hander was scratched from his Cactus League debut after feeling tightness in his left oblique muscle near the end of his bullpen warm-up.
If you win 20 in the show, you can pull an oblique sneezing and the press'll think you're colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, it means you're kind of a kook.
(thanks to tHeMARksMiTh for the link. By the way, my blogroll is totally out of date and I need to fix it. Until I do, know that tHeMARksMiTh writes here now, not at the place I have linked below. Sorry Mark, I'll get it fixed this week. See, I sprained my site-editing finger in a coughing fit, so I just haven't been able to get to it).
I don't usually post on weekends, but this weekend I did. In case you missed it:
Brett Favre -- er, I mean Curt Schilling -- wants to keep playing:
Curt Schilling likes to break curses. The Chicago Cubs have had one for over a century.
To translate, the "challenge" Schilling wants is to joint a team that is (a) already loaded with pitching; and (b) is already favored to make the playoffs, glom on to its pitching staff, grab another ring, and then get all kinds of media love for being the guy who "put them over the top."
How about this, Curt: offer your services and celebrity to the Royals or the Pirates or someone who could maybe -- maybe -- use those things. Not that he'd do it, of course, because neither of those situations would maximize the Schilling-centric coverage he so obviously craves.
Everyone figured Jim Bowden wasn't long for this world, and as you probably saw, over the weekend he resigned. Tom Boswell comes to bury Caesar, not to praise him:
Jim Bowden was never going to be the Nationals' ultimate general manager, the man who, the franchise hoped, would oversee a potential champion. His methods were too suspect, his moods too unpredictable, his reputation too checkered, his enemies in the game too numerous. But he was useful. He worked like a dog. He sold the game. He was colorful and controversial. He took tiny budgets and, sometimes, made something of them. Or else, like last year, all the baling wire snapped. Given few chips, he couldn't blow a big pot. And he landed castoffs and malcontents, occasionally for peanuts.
If being called a shoddy, moody, hated GM enamored with toolsy players of questionable attitude is the best someone can say of you in your professional obituary, one wonders why this was a resignation rather than a termination.
Summer 2007: Posada kicks butt
Fall 2007: Posada signs gigantic contract
2008-onward: Posada breaks down:
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said the new soreness in his surgically repaired right shoulder was nothing to worry about.
Rare is the major injury that doesn't start out as "a little soreness" or "a little tightness" in media reports. Likewise rare is the contract that turns out as poorly as Posada's is looking like it is likely to.