May 21, 2013
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
NBC buddy Matthew Pouliot thinks the Royals are playing service time games.
Jayson Stark rolls out the usual column. It's basically a brief in support of the owners. I'll grant that there are many problems with the draft, but an argument which boils down to "we need to fix the draft because these guys are making too much money" is a decidedly one-sided one.
He also throws out a bunch of specific ideas, all of which we've seen before. Two that are particularly stupid:
• WORLDWIDE DRAFT -- We're not sure if this on-again, off-again idea will ever fly. But it's gaining momentum again, because it needs to. A system that allows the Yankees and Red Sox to outspend everybody on any player they really want, with no limits whatsoever, doesn't serve anyone except the Yankees and Red Sox. Whether baseball can figure out a way to navigate all the unique laws and circumstances of every country with a baseball talent pool is a massive question. But we now sense more interest in getting those international signings under control than we've sensed in years.
As many around here have noted before, there will be way less talent coming out of Latin America if there's an international draft because there will be no incentive for any team to find talent and set up academies to develop it if the competition is going to turn around and draft them. The imposition of the draft in Puerto Rico has dried up the flow of talent from that island, and it would do the same in the Dominican Republic. And if you think Hugo Chavez is going to allow the Americans to limit the power of his people to make the deals they want to make, you're crazy. Also stupid:
• THE CONTROL ROOM -- Another idea that's been building steam beneath the surface is a way for teams to wriggle out of the embarrassment of being held hostage by 17-year-old high school kids. What some people in the sport would like to see is a draft system similar to the hockey draft, which would allow any team picking a high school player to control that player's rights through his college years. "We need something to that effect," said an exec of one team, "just so you don't feel like you have no leverage as a club in those negotiations. So if you draft a kid out of high school and he says he's not ready to sign, after his sophomore year you can try to sign him again. And after his junior year you can try to sign him again. And then, if he still doesn't sign, after his senior year of college, then he goes back into the draft."
Except the baseball draft has about eight million rounds, and teams can draft anyone they want, regardless of whether a player actually makes some formal declaration to make himself eligible for the draft. It's one thing to render a willing signee the property of a single team for six years. It's another thing altogether to tell every high school senior with game that they'll never have even a modicum of say as to how their career will pan out. Not to mention the fact that such a rule would utterly kill college baseball. That said, I'd be fine with the rule if the control ended the moment the player finished college. How about this as a compromise: players become total free agents the moment their college eligibility is over. You gotta give something to get something, so how about it?
The draft is bad enough as it is from a freedom-to-ply-one's-trade perspective. Adding wrinkles that take away incentives for teams to develop talent and turning kids into branded cattle is ridiculous.
Sure, to the extent there was any bad blood it was 100% manufactured by the media and the Mets' blogosphere, but Cain and Wright bury the hatchet all the same:
Two days after a scary beaning that put him on the disabled list with a concussion, David Wright returned to Citi Field on Monday and met with the man who threw the pitch: Matt Cain.
But did you see that?!! Cain itched his arm right after the handshake, and everyone knows that's an old Irish gesture symbolizing disingenuousness!!
Well, to Arlington. He was already in Texas:
Ivan Rodriguez is returning to the Rangers to be a backup catcher.
Remember how the Rangers were gonna trade all that catching depth they had for some pitching last winter? Hey, nothing personal. I make a lot of plans that don't pan out too.
Joel Sherman on the draft:
I know people demonize Scott Boras for making huge demands for his players. But the person who finishes first, say, at Harvard Law is not told which law firm he must work for, nor is there a ruling authority pressuring that law firm to stay within certain financial parameters. So on one hand, I don't see why Strasburg is different from that No. 1 law student who would have multiple firms bidding for his services.
While the top student at Harvard often eschews that world in favor of a Supreme Court clerkship or something, top law students otherwise tend to limit their suitors just as much if not more severely than the draft limits that of ballplayers. They all want to go to the Jones Days, Pipers, White & Cases, and Skaddens of the world. And unlike ballclubs, those guys hold pretty damn firm when it comes to their slotting system (see right-hand column).
If you run with that analogy further, I guess that makes me Bob Horner playing for the Yakult Swallows.
Sorry I'm late with this today. I don't what has gotten into the people in my office, what with their demands and everything. I mean, don't they know I'm a government employee?
Braves 9, Diamondbacks 4: Max Scherzer's arm is probably going to fall off after starting two games in this series. Oh wait, the first game was back in May and this was a makeup? Forget I said anything. Also forget the fact that only three of Scherzer's nine runs allowed in this one were "earned." Six unearned runs in the third inning resulted from his own throwing error. For Atlanta, Tommy Hanson pitched six innings, struck out seven, walked no one, and otherwise kept out of trouble.
Giants 10, Mets 1: Giving up ten runs on eighteen hits to the Giants is a very special feat indeed, but with Livan, all things are possible.
Angels 8, Orioles 5: Vlad Guerrero hit two homers and drove in five. And because I know you were all wondering, Cesar edged Maicer in the battle of the Izturises, three hits to two, though one of Maicer's was a home run so we probably have to call it a draw.
Pirates 9, Brewers 5: An offensive outburst for a team that has been playing pretty offensively as of late. And it was a fairly democratic outburst at that, with nine different Pirates getting hits, seven scoring runs and seven driving in at least one. The game story notes that the Brewers have fallen seven games back of the Rockies in the wild card race. Given that there are five teams ahead of the Brewers in that particular race, however, the implication that they're a contender is charitable at best. I mean, no one noted that, with this win, the Pirates have climbed to within 17.5 of the wild card. And by my reckoning, the Brewers are just as out of it as the Pirates are.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: The important thing here is that even though he lost, knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) earned another start out of this. Not his fault that Chris Carpenter is a stud (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K). Sure, the HBP followed by the Rick Ankiel homer was regrettable, but there's no shame in the fact that Pujols hit a home run off of him. Game story: "Pujols led off the fourth with a high shot to left field." A couple of Dodgers fans in the stands were arguing about that one. "Too high . . . too high" said the first guy. "'Too high?' What does that even mean, 'too high?'"
Padres 4, Cubs 1: 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth and in comes Kevin Gregg, who quickly allows four runs on a walk, a double, an intentional walk and a walkoff dinger to Kyle Blanks. Lou Piniella: "I think we are going to make some changes as far as what we're going to do late innings." On the bright side, Kevin Gregg, Iowa can be very beautiful in late summer. The Padres signed first round draft pick Donovan Tate. I hadn't realized that he's former Bucs running back Lars Tate's son. I suddenly feel very, very old.
Athletics 3, Yankees 0: Brett Tomko was released by the Yankees a month ago, turned around and threw five shutout innings against them last night. Joe Girardi, speaking in oddly declarative sentences: "We're surprised we got shut out. We have a good offensive team."
White Sox 8, Royals 7: Mark Buehrle continues to be profoundly unimpressive in the wake of his perfect game, getting knocked around by a particularly feeble Royals' lineup, but Brian Bannister was roughed up even more, and ultimately Buehrle's teammates bailed him out.
Rangers 8, Twins 5: Tommy Hunter is now 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA in ten starts, and the Rangers have won five of six. Francisco Liriano should investigate a malpractice suit against the guy who did his surgery (2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER).