Sunday, May 31, 2020
Let It Burn
Olney's main point is that both the owners and players must see that, if an argument over money is what keeps baseball dark this year, the fans won't forgive them whenever Major League Baseball does get around to coming back. It's a valid point, particularly if other sports manage to maneuver their way back into the public eye this year.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
The Return of Alex and Jennifer
Their thinking behind the purchase is interesting. Apparently they envision Citi Field as part of a larger entertainment and shopping venue. We've heard talk of something like that for years, but not much has really changed. The neighborhood around the ballpark is still pretty seedy. Unless your idea of entertainment is walking by rows of chop shops, there will need to be a huge investment involved in making the vision of Citi Field as an entertainment hub a reality.
Friday, May 29, 2020
The Red-Headed Stepchild
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Driving Off a Cliff
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The Not So Funny Money Blues
Let me get one thing on the record here. I don't think anyone should be paid what the top stars in baseball get paid. Being paid multi-millions of dollars per year for playing a game is insane. It's really hard for me to identify with someone making that kind of money, much less feel sorry for them taking a hit along with most of the rest of us during this pandemic. Then again, I feel pretty much the same way about the drastically overpaid company CEOs. It's just the way the world works today.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Walking the Ballpark
Monday, May 25, 2020
Cutting Through All of the Nonsense
As best as I can understand it, the new proposal might be a return to the prorated pay idea that the players want to keep, with the possibility that some of the money would be deferred to a future time when, presumably, the clubs would be under less financial pressure than they are during this pandemic. If that is the case, it seems like a reasonable accommodation on both sides. I'm looking forward to the release of more details as they come out.
Sunday, May 24, 2020
The Dark Cloud
I've written nine pieces for the series so far, including a two-parter. I've written about heroes and goats, great games and a nagging enigma. I've written about significant players who take a piece of your heart with them when they leave, and others who fell short of eternal glory. I enjoyed writing every one of these pieces, and I look forward to writing more of them.
Saturday, May 23, 2020
One Tin Soldier
I made a decision a few days ago that I wanted to take a break from writing about the ongoing negotiations between MLB and the Players' Union. When I tried to analyze the bits of information that were trickling through each day I started to get the feeling that my brain was being led around in circles. It really didn't matter if MLB presented the most comprehensive set of safety protocols to the union. Without an agreement on the money, the rest was a lot of noise.
Friday, May 22, 2020
Closer to Home
I grew up in a very unconventional household. I don't retain the warm memories of home and family that most folks have. I don't live all that many miles away from where I grew up, but I honestly can't remember the last time I went back there. Sometimes I find myself driving through my old hometown on an errand and momentarily think, if I take that next left and a couple of rights, I can check out the old homestead. Invariably, I find myself driving straight on to my destination. There's nothing there worth even a detour of a few minutes.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Wrong Place, Wrong Time
When Omar Minaya was hired to be the GM of the Mets in the fall of 2004, he inherited a team that featured two young players with a future: Jose Reyes and David Wright. Besides those two, there was really very little upon which to build. Check out John Sickels' top prospect list from February of 2005 to see the state of the farm system. The major league roster was quite thin on talent, too. The rotation and bullpen featured a frightening potpourri of has-beens and never-weres, with only a sprinkling of potential useful pieces mixed in.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
I've had a lot of time to think about time over the years, particularly as those years have accumulated and piled up on top of each other. I've had the opportunity to look at time when the vast majority of my own time seemed to stretch ahead of me, filled with a sense of promise and vagueness. I've been on time, in time, out of time. I've watched time go racing by past me, powerless to even slow it down. At other times, I had way too much time on my hands and wished it would just start inching forward and transport me somewhere else.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Fun With Numbers
One thing that was bugging me from all of the statements that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has been putting out is how the numbers seemed so inconsistent. At one point we're told that MLB would suffer roughly $4 billion in losses if no games were played at all. Then we're told in another statement that playing 82 games while players were paid prorated salaries would cost... $4 billion?
Monday, May 18, 2020
The findings are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting in March.Those people, healthy volunteers, made antibodies that were then tested in human cells in the lab, and were able to stop the virus from replicating — the key requirement for an effective vaccine. The levels of those so-called neutralizing antibodies matched the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus in the community.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
It Ain't Going to Be Easy
As I read through some of the proposals myself, I was a little surprised at the lack of outright restrictions on the players or support personnel both at home and on the road. I share with Sherman sincere doubts that a system based on the voluntary compliance of young men to not do what comes naturally to them can ultimately succeed. Even if I was a player who followed the guidelines and kept myself safe, I would have concerns that not all of my teammates were falling into line.
Saturday, May 16, 2020
The Obstacles in Our Way
Sherman also posed the question that I had about testing for PEDs. He says that MLB will continue to do PED tests out of the lab that will do their COVID-19 tests, and he speculates that the same people collecting those tests can also do PED tests. Still, given the ongoing shortage of all components for testing, PED testing would seem to be a much lower priority for this year. I'm curious to see how that turns out.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Feel the Heat
He's taking a lot of heat for those comments, although he later walked them back somewhat, but the basic question, why should I take on so much risk for a drastically reduced pay check?, is a valid question that many of us will have to ask ourselves at some point.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Reaching Back into an Old Playbook
The owners insist they're just trying to be fair by asking the players to agree to a pay cut in a year that revenue will certainly drop sharply due to COVID-19, and the revenue sharing aspect will ensure that the players get their fair share of whatever revenue there might be. As many commentators, including myself, have already noted, there has never been a discussion among the owners during banner years as to whether the players were making their fair share of profits. Also, when it comes to Major League Baseball, it is the skills of the players are what the people pay to see. No Mets fan shows up at Citi Field to see Fred or Jeff Wilpon (unless they snuck a rotten tomato into the ballpark).
Monday, May 11, 2020
Beware of Rich Guys Bearing Gifts
The MLB proposal calls for revenue sharing which, as we discussed yesterday, is a non-starter for the players. They look at revenue sharing as an unwelcome guest. Once he gets in your house, you're going to have big trouble getting him to leave.
Sunday, May 10, 2020
The Conflict Begins
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Flash in the Pan, Part 2
The 3 players I will write about in Part 2 were different than the 3 discussed in Part 1. They all enjoyed longer major league careers than Díaz, Hernández, and Padilla. Even the initial success they enjoyed was bigger and lasted longer. Still, they all failed to live up to their initial fanfare but were interesting stories nonetheless.
Friday, May 8, 2020
Bad Business As Usual
The first is the revelation that Alex Rodriguez' quest to buy that Mets appears to be over. I'm not shocked by the news. Alex Rodriguez and his girlfriend Jennifer Lopez, while certainly quite wealthy, fell far short of the kind of wealth that it would take to buy the Mets. They never seemed to have a partner with deep pockets that was all-in on buying the club. With all of the uncertainty created by the current pandemic complicating matters it would seem that a really tight, committed group would be required to pull off that kind of heavy and complicated transaction.
Flash in the Pan, Part 1
The 2005 Mets featured several players who, more or less, fell under this definition. In this 2-part post, we're going to take a look at them. Before I begin, I want to specify that I am in no way making fun of or demeaning these players in any way. Anyone who makes it to the Major Leagues has overcome tremendous odds to get there. They have achieved reaching the top of their profession, even if it was for a brief time. They have my respect for their accomplishment, every single one of them.
Thursday, May 7, 2020
A Good Start
The usual well-worn caveats from all previous reporting on this subject still apply, with Passan citing unnamed "industry leaders" that the dates are too optimistic. And there is still a matter of essentially asking players to risk health and possibly lives while likely taking a pay cut to play. Of course, as those of us who are out of work understand only too well, some money > no money.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
It's a Date - Or Maybe Not
This comes with all the usual caveats I wrote about a week ago. There really isn't a plan right now, nor can there be until Major League Baseball "gains a clearer perspective" on the way the epidemic is playing out in different places where baseball is potentially going to be played. The plan will need to be "adaptable," and even the schedule itself might be "subject to frequent change."
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
It's Always About the Money
As bad as Diaz struggled last season, while certainly not endearing himself to Mets fans, he wasn't the "problem" from the Robinson Cano deal. The problem was the $100 million that Cano had left on his contract after the offset of the contracts the Mariners took on in return. Even if Diaz had lived up to expectations, handing that kind of money to a middle infielder for his ages 36 - 40 seasons, coming off a freaking steroid suspension, was bound to be a problem.
Monday, May 4, 2020
Monday Musings, My Aching Back Edition
Today I'm still feeling the after effects of that choice, so I thought I'd do a few short takes that would require less sustained sitting and moaning on my part.
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Maybe There's Another Way
When I was young there was no such thing as radar gun readings of every pitch thrown up on the scoreboard. There were certainly some hard throwers in the game, but it wasn't anything like it is today. Tom Seaver, my first baseball hero, threw hard. Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, and J.R. Richard were hard-throwing contemporaries. Later on I have many happy memories of a young Doc Gooden blowing high-90s heat past hitters. Still, the way I remember things growing up was that there were an awful lot of finesse pitchers back in those days.
Friday, May 1, 2020
The One That Got Away, Part 2
Man the Lifeboats
Things aren't going well for the 2023 New York Mets one-quarter of the way through the season. Today we'll look at the starting pitc...
Don't believe everything you read from the so-called experts. They can be every bit as uninformed as the guy on the next barstool over. ...
Matt Harvey's star burned so brightly, it's hard to imagine that his greatness only lasted for 3 MLB seasons. I've been working ...