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Monday, September 30, 2013

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I dont think anyone on earth is ever going to help Aumont.

Repost:

Some thoughts:
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I don't understand all the glee at Dubee not being retained. Wasn't he the pitching coach during the 2011 season when the Phillies' pitching was historically good? Was he responsible for the craptastic relief corps that r00b and the FOols put in the bullpen in 2013? Just askin'.
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Also, I don't know if anyone saw it on the pre-game the other day or whether anyone posted it, but on CSN they had a graphic showing the Phillies' record with Ryan Howard in the lineup the last two years and without Howard in the lineup. The graphic showed that the Phillies had a winning record with Howard in the lineup, and were big losers when he wasn't.

Now, before you get excised at me, I'm only the bearer of the tidings. However, I also post it as a warning to all of the prognosticators here. Why? Simple: r00b and the FOols are aware of that info as well, and in their planning sessions they will be counting on - even expecting - a rebound from Howard in 2014, and probably expect that that will fix everything that's wrong with the offense. "One The Big Piece is back in the lineup everything will be fine" (or so they think).
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Lastly, with Papelbon's velocity down so precipitously, and the reported hip problems he was having, how long will it be before he goes and sees the same surgeon that took care of Utley?

Dubee will land on his feet. Sandberg probably just wants his own guy in there, that's all.

Anyone who thinks swapping Rich Dubee for another pitching coach is going to fix all of the pitching problems the Phillies had in 2013 is either smoking crack, taking LSD or belongs in an institution for the mentally insane.

It's the talent, stupid.

Dubee was considered one of the better pitching coaches in baseball.

KK and Phillippe Aumont ought to be pleased.

Let's hire Roy Halladay as the pitching coach!

Dubee's likely a fine pitching coach. Having another voice in the organization might bring in some new ideas, though, which could help guys like Aumont (you never know) and Kendrick, as well as other prospects. Supposedly Dave Duncan is interested in a baseball job but doesn't want to be an everyday pitching coach. I'd love to see him take over as the organization's pitching coordinator, which I believe has remained vacant since the Phils fired Gorman Heimueller in August.

"they will be counting on - even expecting - a rebound from Howard in 2014, and probably expect that that will fix everything that's wrong with the offense. "One The Big Piece is back in the lineup everything will be fine" (or so they think)."

They're counting on it because they have no real alternative but to count on it. And there are approximately 125 million reasons why they have no alternative.

I wouldn't say no to a Jamie Moyer reunion as a PC either.

bap, exactly!

Yeah, I don't buy the notion that the Phils are clueless optimists with Howard either. I'm not sure they are "counting on" Howard as much as accepting that they have other priorities to fill, and he's going to be around regardless so you might as well keep hope alive.

No more public tongue lashings. Yay!

To be clear at the outset, the Phils will not get Stanton.

Any team should be willing to give up a bunch of prospects for Stanton. I would not hesitate to trade Brown, Franco, Biddle and others if it could get the deal done (It wouldn't.). Giving up prospects for an established 23-year-old star is a way for the team to get young at its core.

Stanton is the kind of star you can win championships with, and he should be good for a very long time. My only reason for pause about Stanton is injury, since he has missed 85 games over the last two years.

While Stanton will start getting expensive, that's not a sufficient reason to pass on him. The ability to get a player this young and this good with even just a little cost control is a no-brainer. I would try to sign him long term.

To repeat, though, this trade will not happen.

It wouldn't happen because there are easily 10-15 other teams that would outbid them and easily could outbid them.

Cubs fire Dale Sveum.

How many homers did the Phillies hit the last month of the season?

Wow, I expected Sveum to be retained. Lots of dreck on that squad, and it looks like Theo needs a scapegoat.

Found it, they hit 14 homers the last 30 days of the season. Only 1 the last 7 games. That is AWFUL.

We might need a dynamic hitter or four this offseason.

According to mlbtr, the Jays will be looking for starting catching.

Bye, bye Chooch!

Free at last, free at last!

This is the first bit of hopeful Phillies news I've heard. Fingers crossed that Halladay's love of Dubee -- & the knowledge that he has no chance of getting to the World Series in his Phillies uniform unless he buys a ticket -- will encourage him to shun r00b's advances.

"I'm not sure they are "counting on" Howard as much as accepting that they have other priorities to fill, and he's going to be around regardless so you might as well keep hope alive."

I guess I don't see any practical difference between the clueless optimism of "counting on" Howard & the more realistic view that he's probably going to continue declining, but we might as well "keep hope alive" because we're stuck with him. Both scenarios lead you to the same place.

And there are approximately 125 million reasons why they have no alternative.

Let's try to look on the bright side here: three more seasons at $25 million per, plus a $10 million buyout for the 4th season ... That's only 85 million reasons!

I'm sure Dubee will be hired with another team. There was no reason to think he was anything but a good pitching coach. I think it's just the idea of changing things, because it's good to get new voices now and again.

I agree with BAP and Colonel Tom as to the reason why the Phillies are counting on Howard. RAJ made a choice to count on him when he signed him to his current contract. For better or worse, he's stuck with him now.

Its very possible that Dubee himself told them he didn't want to stay on as pitching coach with UC gone and Sandberg in charge.

It's really amazing how many people seem to believe that Dubee was a terrible coach, and that dumping him will improve the staff.

Was it because Manuel liked him? Was it because he had problems with KK (and then Aumont) allegedly not listening to him? His distaste for Mitch Williams' efforts to become the de facto pitching coach?

It was like he represented the microcosm of the complaints about Manuel (every time they did well it was natural talent, but every time they failed it was because he didn't prepare them properly) as pertained only to pitching. There are even specific examples of players saying that he was responsible for their improvements, and people pooh-pooh it, as if that's the sort of thing players say about their pitching coaches all the time...

NEPP: In which case I wonder why Dubee didn't take it upon himself to resign when Charlie was fired, or even right after the game yesterday. I can't imagine why he would want to promote the belief that he was released if it wasn't true.

GTown: Because he felt a connection with the players, and wanted to continue getting paid?

Those are two pretty strong reasons for it.

Plus, what does he care what the general public thinks, so long as the guys offering jobs don't believe it?

Maybe he wanted the pay check? No idea...there could be a ton of reasons why he was let go. Odds are it was just Sandberg wanting his own people but who knows.

BAP: Despite being hurt, Howard's OPS+ was 4th best on the team. Given that fact, isn't it possible that a return to health might put him in the top two?

Howard has long been BL's favorite whipping boy (batter division, KK is tops in the pitcher division) but my eyes and the stats tell me he's not even in the top 5 on a list of problems the team must solve.

I think that's more an indictment of the crappy lineup than anything else. Considering he had an "incredible" 113 OPS+.

Don't overanalyze Dubee's departure. Virtually every new manager hired brings in his own guys as coaches. Very rare to retain someone from the old regime.

Exactly.

Phillibuster: It's my belief that pitching (& hitting) coaches are largely pointless. They look like geniuses when they have good players, & idiots when they don't. Otherwise, only maybe one or two in a generation of the game makes any real, practical difference. I'm glad Dubee is gone because it represents a concrete step forward, which is esp. important given how the Phillies tend to cling to every vestige of their occasional successes like grim death.

"Despite being hurt, Howard's OPS+ was 4th best on the team. Given that fact, isn't it possible that a return to health might put him in the top two?"

Anything's "possible." But if given a choice between pinning our 2014 hopes on a bounce-back from an oft-injured, long-declining player, or not pinning our 2014 hopes on a bounce-back from an oft-injured, long-declining player, I tend to think that most rational people would opt for the latter.

GTown: If they don't matter, how is the step "concrete" in any way? It's perhaps symbolic, sure, but if he was an above-average pitching coach then all you've done is (barring an awesome hire) cut off your nose to spite your face. I get that you - and a number of others - are of the cult of "any change is good change," but that's not really true.

Bringing in a new pitching coach, even one that's not as good as Dubee, could lead to "a fresh new perspective," sure. It could also lead to confusion amongst the veterans and inferior instruction to the rookies.

I'm not saying that Dubee should have been retained, but acting like moving him is unequivocally a good thing seems silly. If Dubee was above average, even if he only was of significant help in a few instances (which we know he was), then the odds are against his replacement being "a concrete step forward."

"I can't imagine why he would want to promote the belief that he was released if it wasn't true."

Typically, one would prefer to be terminated for purposes of receiving the remaining salary on his contract, if any, and/or for purposes of eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Phillibuster: I'll allow that "symbolic" would have been the preferable term. However, it's almost indisputable that the entire pitching staff save for CLiff Lee was a mess this season, rendering the potential "confusion" of bringing in a new coach a moot point. The same applies to the younger pitchers who were, for the most part, varying degrees of awful. I'll also add that retaining Dubee w/out an unequivocal statement from Sandberg that Rich was his #1 choice would have been harmful, & directly undermined the authority that most every manager is allowed, namely that of choosing his coaching staff.

Dubee to RAJ your giving Kendrick a 4 year deal. Im out good luck.

Hugh: My basic point was that the notion of Dubee waiting until the end of the year to tell the Phillies he didn't want to return -- essentially refusing to resign, but demanding his release -- is a bit conspiratorial.

The simplest explanation is likely correct: namely, the new manager wants to bring in a new coach ... ergo, adios Dubee.

GTown - I have no doubt that Dubee is gone primarily because a new manager is in place. However, there's a reason why coaches and players don't resign / quit. Same reasons as apply in the working world.

Hugh: Fair enough.

He could have easily said it back in August and said he'd coach the rest of the year to help with transition.

Odds are that Sandberg simply wanted his own people though.

GTown: Hamels was pretty darn good after his first 2 starts (something like a 3.22 ERA with 210 IP, wasn't it?). Kendrick was ridiculously good to start the season, and then dropped hard after the ASB... Around the same time he was supposedly injured (whether it be concussion or shoulder injury, your choice). Halladay was injured 2013 Roy Halladay, and I don't think he was going to be much better or worse unless you amputated his arm and replaced it with a leaf blower.

[5th starter] was [5th starter].

Considering at least 2 of our starters are likely returning (possibly 3, depending on the offer made for KK, so let's call it 2.5), that's around half the rotation. Additionally, it wasn't "confusion" for the young guys, but simply inferior instruction. If the new pitching coach isn't as good, then you've taken a strength (even if it's a small one) and replaced it with a weakness.

Finally, that's simply untrue. Just because Sandberg may have wanted a better guy doesn't mean a better guy was available. I'm sure Clayton Kershaw is Sandberg's #1 choice for off-season addition, but that doesn't mean it's possible.

Leaving aside for the moment the comments made that Sandberg and the FO will be about 50/50 in deciding the coaching staff.

TTI~ Like I said if Lee is traded, they'll need 3 starters not 2. But I don't care how good your pitching staff is, if you only average 3.5 rpg what good does it do? What don't you get?

As far as Dubee, wasn't there a lot of complaining about him by both current and former pitcher? maybe it's time to move on.

Clearly Sandberg wanted his own people. Besides- if Amaro was going to fire Charlie they needed to move on completely and get rid of anyone still tied to that regime.

My guess is a guy like Joyner might stay on because he was relatively new to the staff.

DPat: Pretty sure the only complainants against Dubee on the current staff are KK and Aumont (who's not really on the staff, and has since said things that make Dubee seem as if he was pretty much spot-on in his previous observations).

Of course, KK has also said positive things about Dubee, Halladay loves the guy, and it seems he's got a knack for teaching a pretty wicked change-up (Madson, Hamels, Halladay).

He seems like he's got a bit of an overbearing personality with the young guys, but I haven't heard anything negative about him from guys who started on other teams and came here via trade/FA.

@Clout - I'm with you on Howard. I'm not about to talk about the contract as that is a separate issue. Yes Roob overpaid long before he had to and those resources could be leveraged elsewhere - yep, I get it.

That said, Howard if healthy is most likely a .265 guy who is going to hit 30 HR and knock in 115-120 RBI for the team next year.

If we added that bat in Free Agency this year, we would be talking about it being a difference maker in the middle of the line-up. That is what Howard still is. He's not the 50 HR guy he was half a decade ago and yes there are better, younger 1B in the league - and yes, they are making much less money per year ...

But from an on the field perspective, we have much, much, MUCH bigger issues to deal with than getting a healthy and fit Ryan Howard back in the lineup for 150 games next year.

Just my two cents.

GTown doesn't have a clue what Dubee does on a day in/day out basis, yet rejoices in his firing. There is no reason to even engage this kind of nonsense. He admittedly has no idea what he's talking about.

Phillibuster: I took it for granted that #1 choice should be understood to mean #1 available choice. And not allowing a new manager to make such decisions RE: his own staff absolutely undermines his authority, both real & perceived.

That aside, it seems to me bringing back a pitching coach who you admit provided "inferior instruction" simply because the new coach might be provide even worse instruction is a fatalistic view.

But from an on the field perspective, we have much, much, MUCH bigger issues to deal with than getting a healthy and fit Ryan Howard back in the lineup for 150 games next year.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: JMARR | Monday, September 30, 2013 at 01:20 PM

Having Howard healthy and in the middle of the lineup for the first time in 3 seasons is the biggest issue they have going forward. If he can give you his 2010/2011 numbers (a huge IF at this point), that is a big bat in the middle of a lineup desperate for some power. I just really question whether a 34-year old Ryan Howard coming off 2 consecutive injury-marred seasons is ever going to be that guy again. I'll believe it when I see it...and I think the FO should take that approach as well.

TTI~ Good one. Point taken.

I get that the Phillies have no choice but to hope that Howard stays healthy next year & bounces back to 2010-2011 levels. On the other hand, there comes a point at which "hoping" turns into full-fledged delusion. Starting Howard against LHP, and hoping for good results, would qualify as an act of full-fledged delusion.

bap, or crack addiction.

TTI: "if Amaro was going to fire Charlie they needed to move on completely and get rid of anyone still tied to that regime."

Agreed - which will only make it that much more puzzling why Juan Samuel will somehow stick around.

GTown: You misunderstood what I wrote. I didn't "admit that [Dubee] provided inferior instruction." Rather, I said that the guy they get to replace him likely will provide inferior instruction, hence letting him go is not the consensus best move available.

Now, again, I have no problem with letting him go. There are other options out there, and I agree that Sandberg should get the opportunity to make his picks - as possible.

But let's not pretend that, just because Sandberg picks someone else as "His Guy" (which he may very well have done for Dubee, if he'd been given the opportunity - we simply don't, nor likely ever will, know), the net effect will be superior. Even factoring in potential managerial loss of face or authority.

Phillibuster: My mistake. Even so, there is no more basis for assuming the new guy will be superior to Dubee -- & I'm not making such an assumption -- than there is for assuming the new guy "likely will provide inferior instruction". The simple fact is no one knows. Sandberg being allowed to choose his own coaching staff is reason enough to make a change, period.

GTown: Dubee (apparently) has a positive reputation, he has players who mention him in particular as the impetus behind developing some of their most effective pitches (and the ones saying it are near the top of the game), and the only players who have anything negative to say about him are ones who underperform.

I would wager that, as far as reputation goes (and that's really the only remotely-quantifiable measurement we have), Dubee is in the top 30% of MLB pitching coaches for doing the job of a pitching coach.

If we accept that he is indeed above average, the law of averages indicates that the odds his replacement is worse are better than the odds his replacement is as good or better.

BAP: Well, OK. What's your plan for the team? Who replaces all the players you want to dump?

Have they finally admitted to the existence of OBP?

clout: If we weren't saddled with Howard's contract (which was the entire point of my post), my plan would be to start Ruf at 1st and spend the extra $25M on a starting pitcher (maybe Santana) and a corner outfielder. And, with no Howard in the lineup, we wouldn't have to limit our search for a corner outfielder to only RH outfielders. We could also pick a LH one, where this year's FA options are not nearly so meager.

"Have they finally admitted to the existence of OBP?"

RAJ didn't say what he intended to do with this new information. Maybe he wants to learn about OBP, so he'll know which players to avoid.

Phillibuster: Word of mouth RE: the prowess of coaches is even less reliable than citing the metrics available for ranking defense in MLB. For example, Charlie Manuel was widely renowned throughout baseball as being a hitting guru. Turns out when you give the hitting guru good hitters, they hit well. And when you give the hitting guru crap hitters, they hit likewise. Sufficed to say I don't accept Dubee as being any better or worse than most pitching coaches.

Have they finally admitted to the existence of OBP?

Baby steps. The Phillies might finally be able to admit that it's OK to take a pitch once in awhile. Just so long as no one makes a habit of it.

Amaro quotes from article:

“We’re going to make some changes. I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way we do some evaluations.”

“Look, we’re going to continue to be a scouting organization. That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No. But we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues.”

“We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet. If we have any changes at all, they will be pretty minor.”

Speaking of analytics and parting with, what could r00b get for Dom Brown? His defense is horrible enough that he'll always be a threat to hurt himself and, with only 6 HRs after June, he looked a lot like the old Dom 2010-2012 version.

I haven't read the Salisbury piece on analytics yet, but I did just read this one (also by Salisbury) with some bad stats but also some thoughts from RAJ:

http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/ruben-amaro-under-gun-%E2%80%93-and-he-knows-it


He knows a lot of the problems. The question is: can he fix them?

My nitpick quote is that he said Ruf is not a RF, to which I would reply: But Delmon Young was? (Perhaps Amaro would now admit that he was not.)

In other words, "we're probably screwing up player evaluation, but dammit this is the only way we know how to do it and we're not about to leave our comfort zone."

Wouldn't you just love to be the new Phillies analytic guy stashed in a windowless basement room right next to the laundry?

Regarding finding a RHB for RF:

"One just got tied up, unfortunately, in Hunter (Pence)," Amaro said.

RAJ with his new Stats guy:

RAJ: See, what I'm interested in trying to come up with is a statistic which measures production.

SG: I see. What do you mean by production?

RAJ: Like, for instance, we need a catcher. And I love Chooch's game-calling skills, but I see that A.J. Pierzynski had 70 RBIs last year, which was 33 more than Chooch had. And the year before that, Pierzynski had 77 RBIs to Chooch's 68.

SG: Ok. But don't you think there are more important stats than just RBIs?

RAJ: Is that a serious question? I mean, it's about production. An RBI is the ultimate act of production.

SG: Yes, but what about the fact that Pierzynski had almost 200 more plate appearances than Chooch last year? Don't you think that's relevant to their RBI totals?

RAJ: Plate appearance? I don't know what that is. Do you mean at-bats?

SG: I prefer the term plate appearances because it also takes walks into consideration.

RAJ: Walks! Yes, we need to know about walks. We definitely want to keep those to an absolute minimum.

SG: Well, that wasn't really my point.

RAJ: Anyway, here's the statistical analysis I want. I want you to look at the back of A.J. Pierzynski's baseball card, and then look at the back of Chooch's baseball card. And I want you to take all their RBIs each season & add them all up and see which player's total comes out higher. Then I'll know which guy to sign.

SG: Well, ok. But only if you give me a 5-year, $125M contract to do it.

RAJ: A guy who can add up a player's total RBIs is worth every penny of that $125M. You've got yourself a deal!

" It's going to be something south of where he is now, clearly, but the question is how far south do you go without embarrassing the player?"

Our Rube zooming right in on the key issue with Doc, not cutting his salary so much that you embarrass him.

"I’m accountable for the things that have happened. I didn’t have a very good year; our team didn’t have a very good year. I think we win as a team and lose as a team. The fact of the matter is that I should take a lot of heat for it. I need to be better, and our guys need to be better. We need to evaluate better, we need to make better decisions and try to create a little better mojo overall."

Source: Amaro Feels The Heat, Talks Future


Aside from the fact that he's no longer coaching here, & would almost certainly never use the term "mojo", I'd be hard pressed not to identify this as the typical Andy Reid excuse speech. A whole lot of talk about needing to be better, but nothing changes.

GTown Dave needs to start all of his posts with:

"Let's go to GTown Dave on line 1..."

Amaro is a moron and this team will never get better with him at the helm.

Anthony: You encapsulated the insanity of r00b's position RE: Halladay perfectly.

Rube probably watches Godfather to get life tips from Fredo.

If Ruiz isn't back it won't because Rube didn't try. The only change he envisions for the starting 8 is RF. Sounds like 3.4 RPG to me.

That one-sentence quote provides a lot of insight into how RAJ operates. One imagines the following conversation:

Ryan Howard's agent: My client wants 4 years, $60M.

RAJ: Well, Ryan's an elite power hitter, and I would hate to embarrass him. An embarrassed hitter is not a productive hitter.

Agent: You make an excellent point. Let's go 4 years, $80M.

RAJ: I'll offer 5 years, $125M and not a penny less.

Agent: You've got yourself a deal, Mr. Amaro.

Ted: Gotta love r00b. The only guy he see fit to get rid of is Ruf.

Seriously, that quote has to go immediately to the No. 1 spot on the "Stupid Things RAJ has Said" list.

"clout: If we weren't saddled with Howard's contract (which was the entire point of my post), my plan would be to start Ruf at 1st and spend the extra $25M on a starting pitcher (maybe Santana)"

Why on earth would you want to build a formidable starting rotation? GTown & crew think this is just a horrible way to build a team.

@GTown, Ruf didn't put up enough RBI and walked too damn much. He's gotta go. Plain and simple. #sarcasm

Random BL poster: "Amaro sucks. We need to embrace analytics and he is a dope because he won't."

Amaro: "We’re going to make some changes,” I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way do some evaluations. Look, we are going to continue to be a scouting organization. That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No, but we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues. We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet."

Random BL Poster: "He is addressing my concerns but I'm not done being angry yet. AHHHH!!!!!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-03vYYAjA

"In other words, "we're probably screwing up player evaluation, but dammit this is the only way we know how to do it and we're not about to leave our comfort zone." "


Probably screwing it up?

Wigginton, Nix, Baez, Durbin, mini mart, mini mac, Qualls, _elm_n, Wells, Carerra, etc. etc. etc................

PROBABLY?

"We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet."

Read: "We may bring in someone from the outside, but there's probably an intern in the janitorial crew who would serve just as well. After all, we got our President from scoreboard operations, & my own GM training came from a guy who learned baseball in the PR department. What's important is that this person, whether he comes from inside or outside of the organization, comes from inside of the organization."

Surprise no one said i like to sign guys that are over 32 to extensions.

"We're not saying the new guy has to come from inside the organization... But it would save us a lot of money we'd have to spend printing up new phone and e-mail directories for everybody. Why, between that and not giving him the full amount we'd normally give an external hire, we could probably afford the arbitration increase on Michael Martinez.

What's more important than keeping a consistent, reliable MLB player on the team, after all?"

Years later i suspect Rube will break down and admit he f'ed up from the giddy up by giving Howard the extension. For now Rube will keep insisting he will be that .280/50 HR guy. Rube has had the perfect excuses the last 2 years since Howard has been injured.

I am curious if Amaro means they will have a larger budget for external data sources from third party sources (Baseball Info Solutions) and/or if it means they will hire additional personnel.

I wonder if the Phillies have a weighting system they use. For instance: "our scouts are kind of bullish on this guy, but not enough to outweigh his poor numbers in our 75/25 scout/analytic split."

"Probably screwing it up?

Wigginton, Nix, Baez, Durbin, mini mart, mini mac, Qualls, _elm_n, Wells, Carerra, etc. etc. etc................

PROBABLY?"

AWH~ He did screw it up. And he's finally taking the hit and being accountable NOW?

FINALLY? All of that means that he can't blame anyone else. I'm not syaing he did that in the 1st place.

But I'm glad to see realizes it.

Are there analytics for measuring toolsiness?

Dickie: The Martinez Scale

Hitting, Hitting for Power, Running, Fielding, Throwing ... A top scoring player does none of them well, at a variety of positions.

Rays v. Rangers in a 1-game playoff for the 1-game WC playoff. Otherwise known as a "play-in" game. Who's watching? I'll watch and root for the Rays.

After a season largely devoid of meaning for the Phillies, it will be interesting and a little odd to watch a game that has so much riding on it. From meaningless to meaningful baseball in one day.

GBF, I'll be rooting HARD for a Rays/Pirates World Series.

I do love good baseball. Feels like I haven't seen any yet this year...

I refuse to root for any team in Tampa. They have no fans, the stadium is an abomination & their manager is a total wackadoodle. Go Texas.

I'm hoping that the Rays pull it off tonight, because I'm rooting for the Tribe. Better to have to face someone who isn't Price than Darvish Wednesday night.

I'd like to see a Pirates/A's World Series.

"Small" market franchises with controllable budgets and low cost players.

IMHO it would do a little bit to temper the demands of guys like Cano. Mind you, my desire to see players' salaries moderate has nothing to do with any arbitrary point about "the players make too much" or "the owners make too much". From a philosophical standpoint I really don't care how much money either makes, as long as get to watch good baseball.

But skyrocketing player salaries have a habit of getting passed on to fans in the form of higher ticket prices and higher prices for hot dogs, etc. at the ballpark, so for selfish reasons all fans have an interest in costs moderating. However, I have no illusions about the greed of fat cat owners.

Awh:
I've been musing on the same topic of late, given the Phillies' megacontract woes. At what point are baseball players genuinely overpaid? Yes, you can never really "overpay" if the market will bear it, but to phrase it another way: At what point do the payroll rigidity, ticket price increases, and other downsides of large player salaries start to outweigh the talent that those large salaries produce?

I have no real commentary on the issue beyond finding the question fascinating in light of Cano's desired contract and that, if he gets anything close to it, the potential impact on the insanity of what Mike Trout will eventually get. (Well, I suppose I do have one comment, and that's that I'd much rather have a mediocre team with cheap and plentiful tickets available than an incredibly successful team that can never be seen live. Which is why I'm part of that deranged minority that misses the Vet and the dark of the Nineties.)

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